I am plugging away at getting back to blogging! I have a half-ton of holiday pictures that I have to crop myself out of and de-red eye before I post them. I know it has been centuries since I updated here, but here is an abridged version of our holiday. Tune in later for details!
Langford Christmas Swap in Maine with a lot of "I'm not drunk! You're drunk!". We look forward to this Yankee Swap every year, and can't wait for the long standing family tradition of making the legal-to-drive-but-not-legal-to-drink kids drive us home at the end of the night.
Hazel's scary encounter with a giant stuffed giraffe on Christmas morning!
Chaotic Christmas Eve with Hazel's four cousins, Annabelle, Cecelia, Owen and Lorna- all under the age of two! Holy moley.
Photo-op with Santa in a bar in Jamaica Plain! (Yes, we took Hazel to a bar in Boston on her first Christmas. Meet my family.)
Donabed Christmas party where Hazel's every move was shadowed by a gaggle of tween cousins.
Christmas morning drive to Vermont with a car full of dogs and babies.
Christmas weekend with Grammy and Grampy trying ice cream for the first time, playing with her fifth cousin Oliver (also under 2!), opening lots of presents, and getting serenaded by the uncles.
A tandem Christening.
A double ear infection and blizzard that shut down our New Years Eve plans with friends in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, birthplace of Friendly's Restaurant.
Mama's emotional breakdown and subsequent four day silent yoga and meditation retreat at an ashram in the Berkshires.
Now we're back and trying to gain the upper-hand on life again! Hazel is still having a hard time swallowing certain foods, and we are still being followed by her surgeon. We will be for a long time. The new year promises to offer her some nutrition and speech/swallow therapy. I have been having some pretty annoying vertigo from my multiple sclerosis, and a three week head cold. So life has been going on... While we were happy to see certain events of 2008 go, I was also sad to see the year that Hazel was born blow right through. She is almost a year old, and I'm having a hard time watching my baby go! I had always heard how terrible being a mother can be; oh the sacrifice! Oh the loss of identity! Oh the lack of independence! Well, none of that bothered me in the slightest. I was so scared for motherhood, having spent my life internalizing these negative messages and instead found myself one of the luckiest women in the world. I know I'm a good mama (despite having my baby in a bar on her first Christmas) because I love it so much and was one of the lucky women who fell deeply, unreasonably in love with her the moment I saw her! Being Hazel's mother is a thousand times over the most incredible adventure and blessing I ever could have received. I'm so fortunate that she chose me to be her mama. I can't say it enough, and I don't know that anything I could say could ever communicate what I feel. I just spend every moment trying to make Hazel feel the love that we have for her. The world would be such a dark place without her. I only wish that I had not listened to the ugly, negative voices around me and had decided to bring babies into my family earlier. I think that because of my age, and because of multiple sclerosis, there will only be time for one more. Oh! But the world could use a thousand more Hazels!