So, the Holidays

Our holiday trip was a master undertaking of ginormous proportions.  It went pretty smoothly, though, if I do say so myself.  We left out around 3 am Sunday, December 14th, and drove straight through to St. Louis, which took about 18 hours.  We had originally planned to stop somewhere for the night, but Hazel surprised us and slept for most of the trip, so we just kept on.  She definitely cried, this kind of wimpy, sleepy whine, but would fall asleep within 15 or 20 minutes after each stop.  We got to St. Louis in high spirits.

St. Louis is one of my favorite places.  It's a big city, which is fun for a small, small town girl like me, and I just like the vibe of the place, so I was excited just to be back, not to mention getting to see family and show off Hazel.  Speaking of which, this kid worked the crowds like Kanye.  She loves being around a bunch of people, and loves it even more when they're all but begging her to smile their way.  I hope that lasts, because it was adorable.  We had a great time introducing her to Amos's million relatives, and having quiet nights with his immediate family made me homesick for them.  

By the time we got to Alabama, though, we were a little road-weary, but still very excited to see everyone there.  My little nephews, 7 and 2, thought she was hilarious, especially in the tub, and of course my parents went bananas over her.  I was also really happy to see my grandparents with their first great-granddaughter.  
At both places we were more relaxed than any other visit, not driving all over bejesus because Hazel couldn't handle the constant overwhelming stimulation, but I had a really nice time.  For once, it was amazing to have a bunch of other people willing to hold her and help out with the daily grind; I already totally miss that.  It was also unexpectedly sweet to see her with all these other people that kind of look like her.

Her first Christmas was a blast, even if she mainly slept through all the present-opening (she's reaping the benefits now, though, as I pull out new toys!).  She got a few ornaments, too, which I thought was really thoughtful.  I've been besieged with 18 loads of laundry since, and just getting the house back in order and Hazel back on schedule has been a full-time job, but we're getting there.

Oh, and a little Hazel update:  she's now over 20 weeks (about 4 1/2 months), 14.5 lbs, and 24" long.  That's the 75% for weight and the 95% for height!  She's found her feet, started to really babble & squeal, and has started rice cereal, which she kind of likes and kind of doesn't.  I hate sounding cliched, but it's true — she's growing up so quickly.

*Photos are still to come – I mean, I took over 200!  Still editing!!

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