Hazel is walking!

Posted by Greg on July 19th, 2010 with tags: ,

We’ve got a walker!  Hazel started walking about a week and a half ago.  We actually missed the first time that she walked – I got home from work and Hazel’s babysitter informed me that she had taken three steps.  We were bummed to have missed it and when I passed on the word to Yenari she begged me not to get Hazel to walk while she was still at work because she didn’t want to miss out.  It was about two days after that when we saw her take her first tentative steps…maybe 3 or 4 steps at once.  A few days later she upped it to 7 steps and her tentative steps turned to excited and over-ambitious steps.  I would have gotten some photos or videos of her walking, but her enthusiasm for walking has resulted in lots of chasing her around and catching her when she tumbles to the ground.

And now, without further ado, the proof:

View video on Flickr


Hazel is 13 months old

Posted by Greg on July 5th, 2010 with tags: , , , ,

A couple days ago Hazel crossed over the 13 month mark…and her 13th month was definitely a month of action. Hazel still isn’t walking on her own, but she is crawling, standing, walking while holding on to furniture, and her new favorite: walking while holding our hands. The month started off with a bang with our trip to Virginia for my brother’s wedding.

The weekend after we got back from the wedding we kept the momentum going by traveling to LA for a 4 day trip to see Yenari’s father who traveled from Korea for a business trip. Yenari’s father was quite busy with work, but we were still able to spend quite a bit of time with him. We met him at the airport on Sunday and spent just about the whole day with him.

Eating in K-Town with Harabaji

Eating in K-Town with Harabaji

Yenari’s father probably spent half his time with us watching Hazel while we ate – I wonder if he even had a chance to eat anything the whole time. We had a terrific Korean BBQ dinner at Chung Dam Korean BBQ and a reprise of the awesome spicy crab soup we’ve had on our last few trips to LA at Ondal 2.

Eating in K-Town with Harabaji

Here’s a short video of Hazel ‘walking’ with her grandfather and Yenari:

Hazel walking with some help from Mom and Grandpa from Greg Neustaetter on Vimeo.

We had a great time seeing Yenari’s father again – Hazel definitely remembered him from our Korea trip and quickly rekindled her friendship with him. One of the things that Hazel started doing while we were in LA and that she’s continued doing every….few seconds, is to ask for things. She does this by putting her hands together:


She does this whenever she wants anything – food, toys, us, dogs, and even when she sees other kids out in public. It is totally cute but grows a little old when it happens every ten seconds or so. What doesn’t grow old is her bowing when she gets what she was asking for. Yenari taught her this when she was teaching her to ask for things, ‘Chusayo’ in Korean. Here’s a quick video of Hazel asking for something and bowing once she gets it:

The rest of the month was definitely more low-key…no more traveling for us, but we’ve still been busy trying to keep up with Hazel. Here are a couple other photos from the rest of the month:

Swimming in LA


Fun with cantaloupe

Playing at the park

Playing at the park

Playing at the park

Hazel's new car!

Hazel's new car!


Andrew and Andrea’s Wedding

Posted by Greg on June 29th, 2010 with tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Catching up on some things that happened over the past month…starting off with my brother’s wedding! We flew across the country bright and early one Thursday morning to Virginia – early enough that Hazel (who still sleeps on a teenagers schedule) slept almost the whole way…aside from waking up at four something in the morning, this was traveling with a baby at its best.

The whole extended weekend was spent hanging out with my family, meeting Andrea’s family, and spending time with both of their friends. A couple photos of the company we were keeping:




They had their rehearsal dinner at a beautiful organic restaurant where the waiter (in a fake British accent) overwhelmed us with all the details about where the butter was made, how awesome it was, and how it was accompanied by the homemade bread…yup, the butter was accompanied by the bread, not the opposite. The dinner was incredibly tasty, the scenery beautiful, and the company excellent:



It was at this rehearsal dinner where Hazel met Coralie, her best friend of the trip:


On the day of the wedding, the weather did not look like it was going to cooperate…the sky was filled with clouds and it was raining on our way to Weather Lea Farm, the beautiful wedding spot. Somehow, magically, the sky cleared just in time to decide to do the ceremony outdoors instead of the backup indoors spot. We got Hazel all geared up in her princess dress:


Hazel had so much fun seeing everyone that she totally passed out right before the ceremony. We walked down the aisle with other family members to kickoff the ceremony, Hazel passed out on my should for the whole walk. She stayed sleeping as I held her over to Yenari so that I could hand over a ring, kept up the sleeping as Yenari held her back, and continued sleeping as we marched out after the ceremony…totally passed out. Some photos of the ceremony I caught from the front row:



and sleepy Hazel…


After a cocktail hour we head into the barn for the reception, and almost on cue the rain resumed, having cooperated for the whole ceremony and cocktail hour. Hazel bounced around from table to table, stolen away by friends and family…giving us a chance to actually eat our food without rushing and without having to keep an eye on her. Hazel awake and ready to party:


We all joined the crowd on the dance floor and Hazel had an awesome time moving to the music, spinning around, and seeing everyone else having so much fun. After a couple hours of dancing Hazel was worn out again and totally passed out…on the dance floor…Lady Gaga blasting away. We had to tone down the dancing a bit while she was asleep, but we stayed on the dance floor and kept on moving! Here’s the crowd:



The wedding was great – a beautiful ceremony, such great people on all sides, a great Thai dinner, and so much time to spend with family. Hazel was wasn’t always the center of attention – the bride and groom took that honor – but I’d say she ranked quite high on the list. Not only did Hazel have a blast entertaining and being entertained, but she got herself a new Aunt! Welcome to the family Aunt Andrea!

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Hazel is One Year Old!

Posted by Greg on June 1st, 2010 with tags: , , ,

Today Hazel passed the major 12 month milestone – we’ve got ourselves a one year old! It’s amazing how fast time flies. Yenari and I spent much of the day yesterday recounting everything about Yenari’s labor and the hours that led up to it – definitely didn’t seem like something that happened a whole year ago.

Hazel has changed a lot in the last few months. She’s standing – both pulling herself up on everything around her and standing up without holding onto things. She’s also started learning things really fast and has become particularly good at copying us – she’s clapping, waving hello/goodbye, blowing kisses, imitating hand motions, trying to say the words that we’re saying, and generally acting a lot more like a kid. She definitely understands a lot more now – if we say hi/bye she waves and if we say jusaeyo (Korean for ‘please give it to me’) she politely hands over whatever she is holding. It seems like she’s coming into a bit of a renaissance period now and changing so much each day.

Here are a couple photos of her today at the park:

at the park on her first birthday

at the park on her first birthday

at the park on her first birthday

This Saturday we had Hazel’s first birthday party. We had it at the same park where we took the photos above and had about 30 people. Korean’s take their first birthday’s very seriously and we didn’t have the time to do all of the decorations for Hazel’s Dol, so we hired a couple people who do it for a living. They did an awesome job setting everything up:

Hazel's First Birthday Party

Hazel's First Birthday Party

Hazel's First Birthday Party

Hazel's First Birthday Party

Hazel was a bit quiet and cautious because of all the people, but she seemed to have a good time. Here she is picking from an assortment of toys – a stethoscope, golf club, microphone, money bag, pencil, and thread:

Hazel's First Birthday Party

Hazel ended up picking the golf club – so it’ll be a career of professional sports for her…don’t quite know which gene’s will help out with that, but the Dol doesn’t lie, so a professional athlete she will be. So spent more time picking runners up – the stethoscope and money bag…maybe a lucrative career in sports medicine?

Hazel's First Birthday Party

Hazel's First Birthday Party

and then…cake!

Hazel's First Birthday Party

Hazel enjoyed a couple bites of her cake…strawberries and all. And then she returned to playing with her guests:

Hazel's First Birthday Party

Thanks to everyone who came to the party to help us celebrate Hazel’s first 12 months and to give her their best wishes for the next 12 months and beyond.

The last 12 months have definitely been a major learning experience for all of us, but life with Hazel is just getting more and more fun everyday.


Connecticut and Boston Trip

Posted by Greg on May 31st, 2010 with tags: , , , , , ,

Catching up on this trip over a month late!  After that series of posts on our Korea trip I had to take a breather, but I’m back now.

Right after our Korea trip, meaning the day we arrived back in San Fransisco, we all hopped on a plane to fly out to Boston so that I could make it to some meetings in in Southborough, MA.  Considering that we had already flown for 12+ hours that day, Hazel handled the 6 hour redeye flight east really well.  We arrived in Boston, got our rental car, drove to Southborough, and I ran straight to my meeting while Yenari and Hazel slept for most of the day.  Because they slept almost the whole day they were wide wide wide awake when it was time for me to get some sleep that night.  We had a couple rough days of sleeping and catching up from the difficult 12 hour time difference.

On our second night in Southborough we went to see Alden, Katie, Violet – this was the week of baby Field’s arrivial, but he hadn’t quite arrived yet.  We hadn’t seen Alden and Katie in over a year, so this was the first time they had seen Hazel.  It was great seeing them after so long – we had hoped to see a little baby, but we were a couple days early for that.  It the excitement of it all I didn’t manage to take any pictures though – booo.

On Friday afternoon we picked up Liza at the train station and then drove down to Connecticut to my mom’s house for a weekend of fun.  We spent just about all of our time in the house, but had many visitors to keep us busy and check in on Hazel.  Here’s Hazel with her grandmother and great grandmother:

In CT at Meemaw's house

and here she is with Yenari and her Aunt Kathleen:

In CT at Meemaw's house

all of the excitement definitely tired her out:

In CT at Meemaw's house

On Sunday, right before we left, Joe and Sophia came for a visit with their little one, Vera. Hazel was kind of afraid of Vera and got really jealous when Yenari picked her up. We snuck the two of them close enough together so I could take a picture, but they definitely weren’t doing much playing together on this trip:

with Joe, Vera, and Aunt Liza

Finally, on our way back to the airport on Sunday afternoon, we stopped by Yenari’s high school friend Jungeun’s place in Boston. Jungeun and her husband have a little baby boy, so we wanted to have a meeting of the babes. Hazel did a repeat of her jealousy act when Yenari picked up their baby and seemed afraid of him – just like he was with Vera earlier in the day.

And with that…our trip was over and back to California we went – this time for more than 12 hours!