Outnumberedx3

Life as a queen in a land of many kings…

Life As “Mama” and Aunt “Apple”

Being queen is hard sometimes, and my royal schedule has kept me so busy that I’ve failed to keep this blog up to date!  Do you remember that post, “Talia May Turns 1 Today!”?  Well, Talia is now two!  And what about my post, “Happy 1st Birthday, Westin!”?  He is now 22 months old, just two short months away from his second birthday.  Like many parents, I sit back often and wonder where the time has gone.

 
The days, weeks, and months have not passed idly.  Since the last time I wrote, we took Westin on his first ever vacation to Ocean City, MD and then a subsequent vacation to a cabin in Pine Grove, PA.  Westin got his first haircut and many more teeth (his first eye tooth came in this Sunday!).  We also enrolled Westin in parent/child swim lessons, which gave us something fun to do to help pass the cold, winter months.  We participated in our fourth March for Babies walk, personally raising $1028.73 out of the $4372.72 our team raised for the March of Dimes.  And we’ve enjoyed celebrating holidays and birthdays with family members throughout the last many months too.  
 
My husband, Matt, was promoted to a superintendent position at his job.  He is often overwhelmed by all the new responsibility, but I am so proud of all the ways he strives to do a good job.  He takes his work very seriously, and I admire his work ethic.  Despite all the added stress of his job, he is still a fun and loving dad, and we share many moments of complete awe as we enjoy watching our little guy grow up.  
 
Our dog, Morgan, is now an estimated six and a half years old and lovable as always.  He is tolerant as Westin learns to pet instead of pull, to kiss instead of hit, and he shows patience now that Westin helps to prepare his food bowl (a chore Westin gets very excited about!).  Westin loves, loves, loves Morgan.  He calls for him when he is not in the room and waits at the top of the steps to make sure he will be joining us any time we are about to head downstairs.
 
And Westin…I don’t even know where to begin.  He remains the center of our world, and watching him learn and grow and imagine and create always brings such joy.  He tests our wills at times, and other times he just makes us smile and remark what a good boy he is.  He is sweet and cuddly and wild and crazy, and there is certainly never a dull moment with him around.  I think he is so smart and am amazed by how well he remembers things after only seeing or doing them once.  His latest fascination is fastening the clips on his high chair.  He will do it over and over again, asking for my help to unfasten them each time.  He is getting really good at putting puzzles together but asks for help sometimes, and he is really particular about lining up all his toy cars and then putting them all away.  He loves stickers and can ravage a whole page of stickers within minutes.  He is showing signs of independence and pushes my hand away when he wants to do something on his own.  And he is even using the big boy potty an average of once a day!  We haven’t attempted actual potty training yet, but I sensed his readiness when he started pointing to his dirty diapers.  Now he points to his belly when he needs to go potty, and his eyes grow wide with excitement every time he goes.  He even tells me, “More, more,” if he isn’t done.  He totally “gets it.” 
 
Westin does not say many words yet, but he communicates well in other ways and I notice him attempting to add new words to his vocabulary all the time.  He has the basics covered:  mama, dada, dog, uh huh (yes), uh uh (no), ow, uh oh, hot, more, and so on.  He loves to look at books and point to objects and count or let mommy and daddy name what he is looking at.  He is OBSESSED with Disney’s Cars, so often we are looking at Cars books and naming the characters to him repeatedly.  We also have a picture book of family members, and he points to each family member as we read their names.  He likes pointing to body parts and having them named as well, and he will excitedly lift his shirt and show off his belly if asked where it is.  He loves dancing and has moves far more impressive than my own.  He moves exactly to the beat of the music, sometimes even just to the music from a brief commercial on TV, and then asks for more when the music stops.  
 
Westin and my niece, Talia, are a perfect pair.  Talia really looks out for Westin and has come to expect to see him every time she goes to Grandma’s house.  “Wes come.  I need Wes.  Play with Wes?”  We also hear a lot of, “Wes too,” and, “Talia too,” because she likes for them to do everything the same and everything together.  They get so giddy when they first see each other.  They smile and point at one another and then set off running circles around Grandma’s house.  They share a special bond, and we often remark how happy we are that they have each other so close in age and so close in friendship.  Westin also has two cousins who live out of state, and though we don’t get to see them often, we cherish the moments we share with them.  The oldest is only five months older than Westin, and the two of them hit it off every time they are in town.  They make really great playmates, and I’m so in my element watching them, giving piggy back rides, and playing Ring-Around-the-Rosie.  I love being a mom, but being an aunt is pretty special too.
 
As for me, I continue to juggle the jobs and joys of family life.  Some days I am treated like a queen, and other days I feel like Cinderella, always hopeful but struggling to get ahead.  There are clean days and messy days.  Stressed out days and relaxed days.  Fed up days and patient days.  Every now and then there are I-need-a-glass-of-wine-before-bed days!  But mostly they are just happy days and loving days and take-it-one-day-at-a-time days.  And I love all of those days spent with my three kings.
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