Well, my darling little baby girl is growing up, even though I keep begging her not to. Hazel started standing up a few days ago, and she's obviously very proud of her accomplishments (and justifiably so!). It's so cute to watch her do it, because she starts by placing her feet really wide on the floor, putting her rear in the air and then slowly, carefully, she pushes herself up for a few seconds of biped glory.
It won't be long now before she's walking and then running around, following her older siblings wherever they go (uh-oh, do I sense trouble ahead?). But who, I ask, could be annoyed with a face like Hazel's? Remind me not to ask that question the next time Hazel wrecks another one of Hyrum's toys....
So on Sunday I tried to get a decent group shot of the kids in their coordinating duds. Have I mentioned how hard it is to get 3 very active kiddos to hold still and then look at the camera with a non-camera type of genuine happy expression? I don't know how the professional portrait photographers do it. Wait - I do know - they have helpers who entertain and squeeze exciting new squeaky toys right behind the photographer's head so that all the kids look and laugh at the same time...ah, well. In the absence of that luxury, this will have to do for now.
To give my kids some credit, they are trying very hard to pose properly. Well, except for Hazel. She just wanted to make her way down the front steps so she could resume her favorite outdoor pasttime, as seen below:
My daughter bites rocks. I have no idea what the attraction is, but every time she is outside she makes a beeline for the gravel in our yard (people don't use barkdust here, because (1) there are no evergreen trees from which to harvest such a thing, and (2) it can attract termites and other bugs, which is already enough of a problem without providing any extra special enticements.).
Anyway, I'm constantly having to brush little rocks out of Hazel's hands and mouth. To give her credit, she's smart enough to know not to try and swallow the things (knock on wood), she just likes to test out her pearly whites on them. I'm hoping that once all her teeth come in (she's almost there, just 4 more to go before she has a full mouthful, including all her molars) she'll lose this obsession with gravel-biting.
"Sure, mom," Hazel says cheerfully. "When I'm done with the biting thing, then I'll just start throwing the rocks so I can break windows and fun stuff like that. Unless you just want me to settle for drawing on the walls with crayons and markers or punching holes in the leather sofa with a pen. The possibilities are endless!"
Maybe I'll just be grateful for the rock biting. :-)