Life as a queen in a land of many kings…

Merry Christmas, Sweet Dreams

Westin’s first Christmas came and went quickly as Christmases always do.  Westin slept through most of it–he slept through the gift exchange at my parents’ house Christmas Eve, and dinner at our house Christmas day, and then all three days following!

I’ve had the joy of staying home with Westin this whole week.  I promised myself I’d take the opportunity to spend time with him, that I’d nap with him and play with him and hold him.  I told myself over and over again that he is #1 priority over any chores or any email or any Facebook update, and I have loved every moment away from the hustle and bustle of “life.”  It turns out four-month-old Westin is quite a fun little guy.  He brings me laughs and smiles I never knew were missing from my life.  I have loved every stage of his development so far, but he is at a particularly fun phase of discovery now.  I have noticed so many changes in him just in the last week or two, and I am so grateful to have had extra time off work to enjoy these new milestones with him.

Westin is suddenly as heavy as “a ton of bricks” as Matt put it.  Our home scale estimates his weight at about 15 lbs, though we’ll get official word from the doctor when he has his four-month check up on January 12th.  (Solid foods, here we come!)  Westin now “stands” and “jumps” when being held upright.  He grasps at toys and Daddy’s beard, and everything goes in his mouth.  He pulls his feet up to his belly and touches his heels to each other while getting his diaper changed.  He laughs and smiles when being tickled.  He sometimes rubs his eyes to wake up or fall asleep.  He has become a pro at tummy time, and today he rolled over from belly to back twice!

Westin is growing and changing so much that I feel like he’s a different person than the newborn I cared for during maternity leave, though I love him just as much and more!  He is blossoming right before my eyes, and that is the best Christmas gift of all.

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That’ll get me through the day…

This morning Westin woke up earlier than usual, so Matt was able to see him before leaving for work.  Westin kept blinking and rubbing his face, not quite ready to greet the day, when suddenly he looked at Matt and managed a little smile.  Matt smiled back and said, “That’ll get me through the day.”

I live for moments like that.  There is joy in knowing my loved ones are happy, that a single smile can set the stage for a good day.  I’m not a morning person, yet lately I look forward to waking up because I know I’ll get to see my smiling baby.  Even when he has a stuffy nose or a wet diaper, Westin usually greets me with a smile each morning.

This always reminds me of something my friend grew up hearing each night at bedtime.  Instead of, “Goodnight,” her dad would say, “Wake up happy!”  I became acquainted with the phrase when I joined her family on vacation, and I thought it was such a beautiful way to start and end the day.  Westin certainly wakes up happy and, in turn, makes me happy.

And there are many more happy moments throughout the day.  A few favorites are when I walk into a room and discover Matt, Morgan, and Westin snuggling together.  Or when I hear Matt reading to Westin from a room away.  Or when Westin falls asleep in my arms and I can just sit and hold him and kiss his soft forehead.  Sometimes that’s all it takes for a not-so-good day to feel like the best day ever.

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You Are My Sunshine

I admit I don’t plan to dedicate much time to this blog in the way of setting up an elaborate profile and choosing a fancy background theme. Of the 150+ themes I had to choose from, I limited my selection to the first 10. But the choice was rather obvious.

When I was a baby, my mom always sang “You Are My Sunshine” to me. This song carried through my childhood and now into adulthood. To honor this history, my mom chose You Are My Sunshine as the theme for my baby shower, and now that I’m a mommy, I understand the powerful sentiment my mom sang to me all those years ago.

In fact, there’s a lot more that I understand about my mom now that I have a baby of my own. I understand the unconditional love a mother feels for her child and the joy and pain and fear that comes with it. I understand wanting to be with that child all the time, to witness every breath and share in every experience. I understand wanting that child to be yours and only yours forever and ever. And I understand that watching that child grow up, move out, and make a life for himself will be one of the hardest (but very necessary) things I have to do as a mother.

But until then, I’ll enjoy my little sunshine, shining so bright. Yesterday, he started giggling for the first time. I’d tickle his chest, and he’d throw his head back and just laugh the heartiest baby laugh. We did this over and over again, and I couldn’t help but smile and laugh in response. He is such a ray of sunshine!

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Rulers of my Heart

I’m so overwhelmed by emotion when I think about “my boys” (as I so fondly like to refer to them) that it’s often hard to put into words just how much I love them and why. But today I will try…

My husband, Matt, is hardworking, dedicated, loving, and loyal. He is passionate about his friends and family; he shows this more through actions than words. Matt takes pride in the things he creates: a gourmet meal; his remodeled man cave; and most especially, our son. He is funny. Just the other night he got the biggest grin after trying to kiss me with toothpaste smeared all over his mouth. In those moments when we spontaneously burst into laughter over the most silly (or sometimes gross) things, I know we are soulmates. I love sharing this life with him. I love learning and growing with him. And I’m grateful for the ways he has helped me manage day-to-day life now that my time is dedicated to our baby. He is the calm to my crazy. I fear there are never enough ways to show him or tell him how much I love him.

Our son, Westin, is only 3 1/2 months old, and already I am so proud and amazed by his accomplishments. He is very attentive and aware of his surroundings. He has learned to hold his head up, to coo, to smile, and most recently, to laugh (though right now it’s more of a gurgle). I love him little but I also look forward to watching him grow and do new things. Westin is everything we could have wanted. Above all, he is healthy. But an added benefit–he’s cute too! With his head of light brown hair (and newly-acquired old man bald patch), chubby thighs, sparkling blue eyes, hairy little werewolf ears, long eye lashes, pouty arched lips, and cute finger dimples, he is perfection in our eyes. And he is such a good, content baby. Some attribute this to Matt’s and my calm natures. Everyone who meets Westin is astounded by how well-behaved he is. He hardly cries, and he sleeps well at night. We are truly blessed to be his parents.

We adopted our dog, Morgan, from an animal rescue nearly three years ago (he is now about five years old). I fervently didn’t want a dog, but Matt persuaded me, and Morgan quickly became our baby. He’s become such an integral part of our family that I’ve almost forgotten he came to us with a sad history; he was abandoned in a foreclosed home and nearly starved to death before he was rescued, nursed back to health, and adopted. Morgan is loving and gentle, fun-loving and so full of life. He’s crazy at times as all yellow labs are (he can jump as high as the top of the refrigerator), but he’s also obedient and loyal. He wags his tail furiously when he’s excited, and that brings me an indescribable joy. He loves treats, walks, new stuffed toys, belly rubs, and snuggles with his mommy and daddy. He’s the most handsome dog I’ve ever seen, and his eyes have a special innocence and kindness to them. He turned me into a dog lover and made me accept dog hair and slobber as a fact of life. (I gave up on the idea of a clean house when I discovered Morgan’s talent for flinging slobber on the ceiling.)

My home, and my heart, are forever changed now that these boys are a part of it.


Outnumbered by 3

In our house, I’m outnumbered by three boys:  my husband, our son, and our dog.  Truly, I wouldn’t have it any other way!  Weekends usually find the four of us piled onto the sofa together with me buried under a pile of boys who all want to use me as their pillow.  I feel so loved being the most desired seat in the house.

I absolutely love life as a wife and mommy.  Each day I feel so blessed for this life, for our health, and for the many things that bring us smiles throughout the day.  I can’t say our day-to-day living is particularly noteworthy, but sometimes it’s the simple and mundane things that make life sweetest.

So here begins my attempt at sharing those special moments with you.  I was once an avid blogger.  I spent my later high school and college years posting three or four times a day–sometimes political, sometimes philosophical, sometimes just recounting a night out with friends, or sometimes counseling myself through a breakup.  I clung to every word and every memory of that time.  I thought those were the best years of my life.

But I’ve found it just keeps getting better–from buying a house, to getting married, to adopting a dog, to having a baby, all while still holding close those friends and family who knew me in my younger years.  I can’t promise I’ll post several times a day, or even several times a week, but I’d like to make an honest attempt at documenting life as a queen in a land of many kings!

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