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.

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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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The 11th

In the year following Hudson’s birth and death, I wrote something each month on the 11th, to mark the milestones we should have been celebrating with our growing little girl.

And then, we were pregnant with Anson, and Hudson’s first birthday was spent contemplating all we were missing but also celebrating her brief existence and the coming arrival of her baby brother. And with the passing of July 11, 2013, the 11th started to sting less.

Sometimes the 11th of the month comes, and my mom texts me to let me know she’s thinking of us and of the joy our little girl would have brought us, and I’m surprised that it’s the 11th.

^^That actually happened today.^^

This weekend a dear friend came to visit and meet Anson. Amidst the questions about nighttime feedings and diaper changes and who does Anson look more like, she asked me how I was doing emotionally.

Another friend whose first child was stillborn shared with me that some of her most emotional moments over the loss of her daughter came years later, when she was caring for her infant son.

I won’t pretend that I haven’t had countless thoughts of our beautiful girl since the birth of our son. But I’m so filled with joy over the little guy that I don’t have a lot of room for sadness over the missed moments with Hudson. If anything, all these moments are made more beautiful knowing how precious they are, how much we would have given to experience them with Hudson.

Back to my friend’s question: How are you doing emotionally?

I’m happy.

Let me be clear, Anson’s arrival doesn’t fix Hudson’s far-too-early departure from our lives. Hudson’s life is its own beautiful part of our story, just as Anson’s life is a new and wonderful chapter, and he is his own unique person. We experience Anson’s life more fully because of his big sister, but I want to be careful not to tie the two too closely to each other. My hope for Anson is that he always knows how much he is wanted, how much he is loved, in his own right and not just because his big sister died.

So today,  the 11th, gets to be the day that Anson spit up on 3 outfits and went through 3 diapers in an hour.

It also gets to be the day his big sister Hudson would have been 20 months old.

This life doesn’t give us only beautiful experiences. It’s up to us to find the beauty in all of life’s experiences.

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Mommy & Daddy & Anson

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Mommy & Daddy & Hudson

 

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Wonderful

Sometime I will have the energy and motivation to share more than this, but for now, my days are filled with this.

Introducing Anson Joseph.

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And life could not be more wonderful.

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How we distract ourselves

Today, I got a sneak peek of pictures from our maternity shoot in the snow.

These made my day.

I hope they’ll also brighten yours.

Special thanks to the wonderfully talented Melissa McFadden who made us look so good, and who is truly delightful to be around to boot!

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