Category Archives: Bullet

Prayers for my son

All the parenting books say you need to get your kids into a bedtime routine.

So, we do a few things every night before we put Anson down in his crib.

Bath Time is most certainly Anson’s favorite.
Story Time is next: sometimes just one book and sometimes a few, but ALWAYS “Sleep Tight, Sleepy Bears.”

Then songs: sometimes just one song and sometimes a few, but ALWAYS “With Anson in the Family, Happy Happy Home”

And always, before I put Anson down in his crib for the night, I say a prayer for him.

We all have dreams for our children. We know we want the best for them, and we want them to be the best they can be. That’s the big picture. But there are these little prayers:

“Tonight, my prayer for you is that you have good friends in life, the kind who look out for you.”
“Tonight, my prayer for you is that you always see the good in others, even when it isn’t easy.”
“Tonight, my prayer for you is that you like getting a little exercise.”
“Tonight, my prayer for you is that you learn to push yourself.”
“Tonight, my prayer for you is that you aren’t afraid of things you haven’t tried.”

And on and on.

Usually they just pop into my head as I’m putting him down, but there are some that are a little more profound.

Like how I want our son to know about his sister, and how I want her to be a part of his life, without him feeling like he has anything to live up to.

We have two very big pictures of Hudson hanging on the wall of our staircase. Anson is often fixated by his sister’s face as we walk up and down the stairs. I like to think he knows that face is important.

Next to the big recliner in our living room (where I have often nursed Anson since he was brand new), there is a picture of the skyline taken from Hudson’s Hole at Vet’s golf course. It was given to us by Grandma and Grandpa Dub on Hudson’s 1st birthday. Ever since Anson was a tiny baby, he locks in on that picture, cranes his neck to get it just right in his view. I like to think he knows that place is important.

I wear a necklace every day with Hudson’s name and birthstone. Sometimes when I’m holding Anson, he’ll get a look of intense concentration and grab at the little round part with her name on it. I like to think he knows that name is important.

While the pain of losing Hudson is pushed to a small corner of my heart to make room for all this crazy elated joy over watching her baby brother grow, I do still feel that pain. I’m glad that as a mother, I can see my son and share the experience of raising him with my husband and not be overwhelmed with the “What We’ve Missed”. And I guess that’s just one more prayer for my son:

“Tonight, my prayer for you is that you focus on all that you have in this life, instead of on the things you don’t.”

Because even though his big sister isn’t here for him to grow up with, she is a part of his life every day.

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2

This has been a full, beautiful day.

The day our daughter would have been two years old.

There is a completely different life I could be living today.

I COULD be living life with One Red-Headed Beauty named Hudson. I could have experienced a world of firsts: steps, words, poops on the potty. I COULD be wrangling two children to bed instead of one.

But I don’t get that life.

So I COULD be someone who has spent the last two years focusing on the ways I was robbed. I COULD spend today hiding from the world that is, wishing for a world that can never be, crying and missing an entire, irreplaceable piece of me.

Sometimes I give myself permission to go there.

Today though, I am someone who is absolutely blessed. I could never have survived the last two years without the Man Who We Call the Hubs: his steadfast nature, his unwavering love of our girl and of me, his strength and his character have carried me through when I haven’t had it in me to be Better Me. Hudson’s Grandparents set excellent examples of both parenthood and marriage. My sister? there are no words. My brother and his sweet family? sweet, thoughtful, and present! My in-laws? How did I get this lucky?

And then there’s Anson. This year we have Anson. A year ago we faced Hudson’s first birthday knowing the Bullet was on his way, and today we experienced Hudson’s birthday with her 5-month old little brother.

Anson loved it.

Uninterrupted Mommy & Daddy time? Awesome! Grandma and Grandpa Shiz drove up for the day? Jackpot! Face time (and sing-along time) with GreatGrandmaR? Hi-ho, hi-ho, hi-ho! Plenty of Non-Mom&Dad People to drool/poop/love on? Anson spent the day in hog heaven.

We took a quick trip in our new “weekend rig” to Vets Memorial Golf Course to get a few pictures with Anson at Hudson’s Hole.

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On the walk back to the Blazer, a little white butterfly flitted across out path and I thought of sweet Hudson and smiled.

We hosted a small birthday celebration with our close family this evening. To decorate a bit, we printed up a bunch of pictures from Hudson’s short life and hung them from balloons all through our entry and hallway. Nowadays I don’t spend a lot of time looking at my pictures from Hudson’s life. Seeing these beautiful floating images of our daughter was like seeing them for the first time. They made me catch my breath every once in a while – the memories they brought back, the love they inspired, the way this little girl changed my life.

Last year we spent Hudson’s birthday in a trailer park in Yakima, so I thought “Heck anything is better and classier than that.” But I did go big in the cake department. More money and butter than I care to admit later, we had this masterpiece.

Hudson's 2nd birthday cake

And what’s a birthday celebration without a take-home gift? One of my goals this year was to publish the Meet Baby Dub book. Today I accomplished that goal, and presented my family with their own autographed proofs.

My Aunt and Uncle swung by the house later in the evening, and spent a little time visiting with us, holding Anson, being a part of our day without making it a big thing. But as I walked them to the door, my Aunt turned to me and gave me a big, extra-meaning hug.

“We love you,” she said. “And we love Hudson. She accomplished more in her 3 days than many people do in their entire lives. We’re all bonded in our love for her.”

Those words are the words I’m smiling myself to sleep over as our daughter’s second birthday draws to a close.

We’re all bonded in our love for her.

 

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4th of July

If there’s one day of the year when I should write, it’s today.

This is the day we looked forward to with so much anticipation back in 2012: Hudson’s Due Date.

On this day, two years ago, I watched fireworks and cried as I realized that I would not be getting my 4th of July baby. Our little firework showed up a week later and filled three days with so much.

The arrival of Summer 2013 was difficult. Summer belonged to Hudson. Warm weather, beautiful sunrises, gardening, golfing and spending time in the sunshine made me wistful for our sweet girl. And even as summer began in earnest and we KNEW the Bullet was on his way, I spent the month of July with a lump in my throat and the Missing-My-Girl just a bit heavier on my heart.

My mom told me once that you can’t truly begin to get over a loss until you’ve gone through a full year, because you need to experience all the holidays and milestones without that person.  Making our situation even more difficult: That year full of Firsts-Wthout should have been a year full of Firsts-With our baby.

And today was Anson’s first 4th of July.

Every once in a while I will pick up my baby and realize he’s mine.  I’m not sure if that makes sense to anybody else. In the Year of Firsts-Without, I remember comforting myself from time to time by imagining our future children and how wonderful our life would be together.

We are living that life now, in the Year of Firsts-With-Anson, and it’s better than I could have imagined.

As a parent, you hear this a lot: “Enjoy this phase, it goes so fast!”

Anson’s first four months have gone by awfully fast. It’s unbelievable how slowly the last half of a pregnancy can drag on, and how quickly that same amount of time can fly with an infant.

Another thing you hear fairly frequently from parents who’ve been there, done that: “Every stage is better than the last one.”

This, I can also vouch for. Every single day is better than the last one. I can’t explain it, but it’s awesome. Anson changes so much from day to day. I swear I went to get him one morning and he LOOKED OLDER. This morning, I tried to sit Anson up on his own and he went timber the second I took my hand away. By the afternoon, he could balance himself sitting up for a couple of seconds!

Though I miss Hudson every single day, today, I’m so grateful for the Firsts I get to experience with Anson.

On Anson’s first 4th of July:
Like a true American, he puked on himself before noon.
He had a yelling match with his cousin C.
We learned that he is un-phased by the erratic POP and BANG of fireworks.

And there was this:

Sweet, sleepy boy.

Sweet, sleepy boy.

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Let’s pretend it’s actually June 13

Making the time to write has been challenging for me, but I’ll spare you the excuses  and just leave it at this: I have a four month old.

And it’s the best.

June 13 marked Anson’s 4 month birthday (yes, we celebrate month birthdays around here). It also marked the one year mark (exactly) since we found out we were pregnant with the Bullet. It also kicked off Father’s Day weekend.

I found myself thinking (amidst the whirlwind that was that weekend) how very grateful I am that we knew we were pregnant prior to Father’s Day 2013. Remember how the Hubs didn’t want Father’s Day to even be acknowledged last year? Ugh. My heart aches thinking back to those incredibly hard 11 months between the loss of Hudson and the hope of Bullet.

How did we even function?

Our days are filled with so much joy because of Anson. He’s truly a blessing, the love of my life, the never-fails-to-put-my-life-in-proper-perspective little dude who puts more huge smiles on my face than I ever thought possible. Before Hudson, we didn’t know our lives were so empty. With Anson, we get to experience daily what our short time with Hudson gave us a just a beautiful glimmer of.

And he’s an awesome baby. All boy, with delicious rolls of chunk on his thighs and forearms. Yes, his forearms. Kissable cheeks, enviable eyelashes, the definition of Baby Blues. He smiles when he’s smiled at. He flirts. His laugh, while hard-earned, will send me and the Hubs into fits of giggles that result in more laughter from Anson… the highlight of any day. As his personality emerges more daily, I discover how much he truly is like me and like the Hubs – a bit of a showoff, likes the sound of his own voice, enjoys entertaining a crowd and can’t help but check himself out if there’s a mirror present.

My baby makes people who are done having babies want to have more babies.

My baby also makes me a big fat braggart.

Joy: synonym for parenthood.

And without further ado (and to spare you anymore of my incessant bragging), pictures.

Anson's skeptical face

Anson’s skeptical face

These days it is hard to keep his fist out of his mouth...

These days it is hard to keep his fist out of his mouth…

Handsome Anson

Handsome Anson

Yea. He sucks his thumb.

Yea. He sucks his thumb.

Or... his entire first.

Or… his entire first.

Money shot. That face!!

Money shot. That face!!

 

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Best Mother’s Day Gift EVER

For Mother’s Day, my amazing hubby NAILED IT.

Four mini-sessions with our favorite local photographer, Melissa McFadden.

We’ll get to capture Anson at 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 1 year old.

Have I told you lately that I love the Hubs?

We will have no shortage of photo documentation of this little guy. I have taken at least a handful of pictures of him every single day of his life. (Thanks, iPhone!)

But one thing we DO have a shortage of is photo documentation of ME with the little guy.

Now, I’m not offended by not being in the picture out of personal pride or anything. I mean, my body has a ways to go before I’m back to pre-baby shape. I’m still wearing predominantly elastic-waisted pants. Lots of “flowy” tops.

I have tons of gems of Anson with his daddy.

Sleepy boys

Because I’m always the one TAKING the picture, I’m rarely IN the picture.

A while back, this article went viral on Pinterest and Facebook and I was missing my beautiful daughter and I thought, “When Baby Dub Dos arrives, you’d better believe I’m getting in the picture.”

So we have a few treasures like this:

Mommy and AnsonBut more often than not, they look like this:

Napping togetherSo on Tuesday, Mr. Whiskers stayed home and I got in a few of the pictures.

img_025 img_016 (1) img_034 (1) img_029 (1) img_028And of course, Anson starred in a few on his own.

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3 Months Old

Anson officially turned 3 months old on Tuesday.

I love watching this little dude grow up, but seriously. Can time slow down already? Why is he wearing 9 month jammies right now?

It isn’t lost on me that significant number: 3

Anson has been alive and a part of the outside world as many months as Hudson was days.

And back then, we felt the same way: Can time slow down already?

Anson's pretty jazzed

Anson’s pretty jazzed

What are you doin' Mom?

What are you doin’ Mom?

No, seriously. What are you DOING?!

No, seriously. What are you DOING?!

I guess I trust you.

I guess I trust you.

Because you're hilarious!

Because you’re hilarious!

This is the face Anson makes when he does his little stoner laugh. "ah-HUUUUUUUH"

This is the face Anson makes when he does his little stoner laugh. “ah-HUUUUUUUH”

Anson Joseph Walter. Distinguished.

Anson Joseph Walter. Distinguished.

There isn't a face more perfect.

There isn’t a face more perfect.

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Mother’s Day 2014

The year 2014 marks the third year that Zeb and I have celebrated Mother’s Day, with Me in the starring role of Mother. The year 2014 marks the first year that we’ve had the proof of our parenthood present and accounted for.

In 2012, we were eagerly anticipating the arrival of Baby Dub, aka Hudson Ruth.

In 2013, we were mourning the loss of her, and I was struggling with the awkward quandary of being a mother without a child to be a mother to.

And then, today.

The only Walter getting breakfast in bed was Anson.
Nobody slept in.
Everybody is blissfully happy.

I have found myself thinking often of what an awesome world we would live in if we had 22 month old Hudson today as well as 3 month old Anson. These two would have made a dynamic duo of trouble-making. Hudson would have been inquisitive, unhelpful-by-trying-to-be-helpful, loving, gentle and wonderful in her role as Big Sis. Anson would have doted on this Other Woman in his life, and would have grown up to be as protective of her as her father would have been. The world of Anson-PLUS-Hudson would have been paradise.

Who knows if I would have known how good we had it. Who knows if I would have taken this gift for granted. I’d like to think I would have cherished every day with the same fervor that I try to now.

We have much to cherish.

Tickles and giggles with Uncle B and cousin C

Tickles and giggles with Uncle B and cousin C

Future best friends.

Future best friends.

Couple-a dudes sitting on the couch

Couple-a dudes sitting on the couch

That juicy smile!

That juicy smile!

That's the Dub in him coming out!

That’s the Dub in him coming out!

A precious keepsake of Anson's first Mother's Day

A precious keepsake of Anson’s first Mother’s Day

 

 

 

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Birthday Bonanza

Today I turn 31.

My 30th year brought two of the Top 5 Moments of my life…

 

The moment I found out we were pregnant with Anson

The moment I found out we were pregnant with Anson

 

And the moment Anson was born

And the moment Anson was born

 

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And so many moments since then have been made better by the simple fact: We are a family.

Ten weeks later, and it’s hard to imagine anything in year 31 topping the highlight of 30. That’s not to say I don’t have high hopes for this next year of life. And that’s not to say I have peaked and it’s all downhill from here. Life with Anson just keeps getting better.

In fact, the only complaint I have is that I don’t also get to live this life with Anson’s big sister.

That nose. Those eyebrows.

That nose. Those eyebrows.

 

And when life has only given you one valid complaint, it’s best not to complain at all.

That's me on the left and Anson on the right. Both of us can rock a faux hawk!

That’s me on the left and Anson on the right. Both of us can rock a faux hawk!

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2 months old… what?

I cannot believe we’ve been living life with this handsome sonuvagun for the past 2 months. Where does the time go?

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I can’t pretend that the past two months have been easy. Far from it. Ever had a kid? It tests your will. It calls into question your sense of adequacy. One human being entirely dependent on another. It’s blow-your-mind BIG.

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And you rise to the occasion.

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Because look at that.

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You made that.

There are parts about this journey that nobody tells you about… likely an evolutionary thing, to ensure the human race keeps reproducing.

Breastfeeding is almost as big a sacrifice and takes nearly the same physical toll as 40 weeks of pregnancy.
Say goodbye to a solid night’s sleep.
You and your husband can’t be held accountable for what’s said in the middle of the night when the baby is crying.

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But are you freakin’ kidding me?

My body will never be the same, but I am the sole source of sustenance for the most adorable human being on the planet.

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I may not sleep more than 5 hours straight for the next 18 years. But I get to see this face all day, every day, and most of the night too. And that’s good.

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And yes, sleep deprivation might cause us to be a little short with each other from time to time.

I didn’t wake up at the sound of Anson’s cries one night, so my husband brought him into the room and woke me with this gem:
“Remember this little guy?”

BUT the love I feel for this man who is raising this precious human with me? That’s beyond words.

Know what else is beyond words? The feeling I get looking at this face.

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There just aren’t words for that.

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1 Month of Magic

Anson is 1 month old today.

I celebrated by taking a zillion pictures of him in a custom-made onesie. Enjoy.

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