As some sort of remedy for what has been a less than wonderful day, I decided to go on a walk.
Thinking the endorphins might just happy up my day.
While getting out the stroller that Graco claimed “easily openable with one hand” while holding June and some blankets, I proved how incredibly not easy it is to open with one hand as I dropped her blankets, knocking my phone to the pavement for complete shattering.
Despite the case that I bought to prevent that.
So if you’re counting– both Graco and Dualtek have lied to me at this point.
Then while on the blessed walk that is going to chipper up my Tuesday, I come upon what appears to be a nest of trackerjackers wanting to attack me and in trying to dodge them, my stroller wheel comes right off.
Yep. Of course it does.
And then I swallow some of the disgusting bugs and continue to cough the rest of my awesome walk.
Typing this I still feel them crawling in my throat, so I’m going to go ahead and count that idea of a walk turning my day around as a big bad loss.
Exercise and endorphins are apparently overrated, so since I’ve never thought cooking would make me happy, I guess I’ll go make dinner and see what happens.
Happy 3 Months of life, baby girl.
I’ve decided to make this month’s letter a little shorter.
Not because I don’t have tons to say, but because I’m too stinkin’ in love with living life with you to have had the time to write more lately.
I also don’t want to dread writing this letter with it being too huge of a task, so to prevent that, I’m wanting to keep it simple enough (some months) to make it just as enjoyable as the first letter.
(For the record, writing is never a chore or task to dread for me, but finding all the pics and uploading them here and then resizing them because they’re never the right size… THAT is the annoying part for me lol. So as soon as I find someone to do that for me- ha- or a better website to work with, we’ll be smooth sailing, for sure.)
Your dad and I are sitting on the couch after just getting home from your first wedding tonight, and you’re still snoozing so peacefully in your super warm carseat, courtesy of your BundleMe from your cuz, Adi Morgan. As I keep looking over at you asleep, I just told your dad, “I seriously miss her when she’s sleeping.”
Because it’s true. I do.
I can’t even explain to you the depths of which my heart and soul and every part of my being loves you so much, Junebug. It’s the craziest thing ever.
But let me get back to this month’s re-cap with our tradition (3 months strong lol) of….
The Very June Shippy Moments We Want To Remember Always: Month #3 Edition!
1. Mommy and Daddy’s 1st Date Night… without YOU!
So way back when you were in my belly, we learned that our favorite Broadway musical was coming to Kansas City! We were so excited, and I did some quick math and figured that when Wicked was in town, you’d be about 2 months old and SURELY I’d be ready for a night out by then…
And then October came. And I felt a little less sure of my desire to be away from you!
But I know it’s good for me and The Shippmate to have time together, too, and it was WICKED. The best musical EVER, Junie.
I will love telling you that this was the first thing your dad and I did without you when you’re a bit older, because it wasn’t just an ordinary first date night… it was such an epic first date night, June!
However, I was not without tears leaving you… even though I KNEW I was leaving you in the very best arms in those of your Grammy, it was still hard for me at first.
In fact, when we had just pulled out of the driveway and the tears were a-flowing, your daddy looked at me and said, “Okay- do you think you can do this? If not, it’s okay, and we’ll just forget about it. What do you think?”
HA! It was so cute to me that he was giving me the option to not be capable of doing it. But I was. (And I knew how much the tickets cost lol.)
And I’m so glad we went— it was such a wonderfully magical evening with my Shippmate.
And you, my dear, had a blast with Grammy.
I did sprint from the car to her door once we got home to hug and kiss and snuggle you right up though.
2. The Beekeeper with his Queen Bee and Junie Bee.
Best Halloween ever.
3. YOUR FIRST LAUGH!
I was out and about shopping with your Grammy and Grandpa, and while I was out of the car, you were just visiting away with Grammy and then YOU LAUGHED FOR HER!!!
I couldn’t believe it! She is seriously the best at getting you to talk, so I guess it did make sense lol. Someone asked me if it upset me that she heard you laugh first, which made ME laugh, because I was anything but upset… I was GIDDY that you and her shared that special first.
And I knew it just meant my first time hearing you couldn’t be too far off.
Except it was! Two weeks went by during this third month before I was sitting with you on the couch just talking away with you (ahh-gooo and huck are some of your favorite “words”) and then we just started smiling back and forth at each like we often do. I am not here to brag– okay maybe I am lol– but I am definitely THE best at getting you to smile, June! So we were doing our thing where I smile and then you smile and then I smile bigger and then you smile bigger… I mean we do this so often and for so long that sometimes my darn face gets tired!
There we were… smiling away on the couch when all of the sudden your smile erupted to this PRECIOUS LAUGH!
Oh June, I nearly died right then and there.
It was the best little noise I’ve ever heard.
I laughed right along with you and then, naturally I cried my ever loving eyes out.
It’s a sweet ride this motherhood trip- it is, it is.
3. Your love for books! This month, I really saw you become more and more interested in books, and this makes my heart so happy.
Here’s us reading together one night:
You current fave is A Kiss Like This, which I’m nearly positive was given to you by one of my dear friends, Laura Scott.
The vibrant colors are your favorite. Especially this particular page:
4. Your exercises with Daddy. I always ask your dad as I’m working on these what he wants included, and this was the first thing on his list! Almost every night, he puts you in his lap for these “exercises” that look a lot like assisted sit ups. That sounds so funny since you’re a baby, but you really seem to enjoy them, and we’re sure it’s starting you off in a great path toward physical strength and stature. Ha.
5. I keep a running list in my phone of things I want to remember, and as I was referencing that list just now, I saw the following:
Which took me a second to remember what that was in reference to!
By “chilling out,” we mean this month has been a growth month in terms of you seeming to be adapting more and more everyday to life outside of the womb. You spent over 9 months there, so it makes perfect sense that life on this side of the womb would be an adjustment at first… and honestly, you adapted quickly in so many regards.
But we just saw things this month that showed you’re really more used to life here with us– car rides are MUCH easier and enjoyable for you (and for us lol), you don’t quite eat every hour from 6pm-11pm anymore (ha), and you are still sleeping like a perfect little angel that we are so unworthy of– you’re just such a stellar baby, June. Truly.
6. Tu amiga– Raquel!
At our very first shower– a surprise of one, nonetheless– Mommy and Daddy’s small group spoiled you silly with many a books, but then Sherri also had this precious 1st doll for you, too!
I loved her brown haired braids, but what I REALLY adore is her little shirt says, My First Doll in Spanish! As the former Senorita Dyer, I appreciated this very much, and naturally, I had to give her a very appropriate and fitting name…
Raquel, it is!
She’s your favorite, and the two of you have many a wonderful adventures together daily!
7. Packages and presents and love from SO MANY PEOPLE.
June, I’m not even kidding you, I’ve never been so awe in the kindness of people. Everyone we know gave you something. And then some people we don’t even really know made and sent and gave you things, too. It was such precious proof of how babies really are just complete joy. So much joy that people– we know and don’t know alike– wanted to celebrate your arrival. It meant so much to me with each package and card and adorable very nautical Junie kind of item we received.
This personalized sign from The Montgomerys is one of my absolute favorites:
8. You found your foot for the first time!
And then looked up at us like, “Hey guys- did you all know this thing was here?!?”
And I’m not just talking about the night you TOTALLY nailed my pose I’ve rocked since my days out at The K.
But please know, that was a total proud mom moment- FOR SURE.
No, I’m talking about the night we were at Grammy’s and we pulled out MY baby books and found this little gem of a throwback for Thursday:
The night we found this, I was feeding you and when my mom showed it to me I nearly wanted to pick you up and dance around the room with you, because for the first time I realized my mom wasn’t just trying to be nice when she said she saw me in you!
I later posted it to Facebook for some Throwback Thursday action, and Juniper doll- PEOPLE THOUGHT IT WAS YOU!
And for a mama who has only heard you look like your daddy, or even your Uncle Atticus (whaaaat lol??), and your Grammy, I was a wee bit smitten to hear people saw me in you, too!
But girlfriend, there is still NO denying you are so so so much of your daddy.
I just also love knowing there is a little bit of a mama in you, too. ;)
And lastly, I love when life brings us to full circle kind of closure of endings, and just as this third month of life for you started with us going on a date night, it concluded the same!
And just like our date to Wicked had been on the calendar for months before you were born, this date had been on our calendar before I was even pregnant!
Your mama traditionally doesn’t just “kind of” like something… I get a bit excited and what some might call obsessed with things I love. And a few years ago, I read this book series I just adored– Hunger Games. Well, we’ve known for over a year that the sequel to the first movie would be out November 22nd of 2013, so almost immediately after I found out we were pregnant I booked a babysitter in your Grammy and Grandpa for that movie night premiere.
Thankfully, they were still willing and available, and your daddy and I had a blast! When I saw the first movie in the series (back in 2011) I actually went to the theater THREE times to see it, and so when I knew I had plans to see it with your dad and my friend Amy text me to see it with her, I first thought- “No prob- I’ll see it multiple times again…”
Except that’s not quite as easy for me now, so I had actually realized I probably wouldn’t get to see it with Amy.
Well, lo and behold how life often works out for us, we get to the theater here in town only to see we were there at the same time as Amy and her kids!
It just made me beyond giddy that I DID get to experience the intensity and wonderful of Catching Fire with my Shippmate AND a best friend, too! I sat right between those two with such a happy grin on my face all night. You’ll understand this one day, but while I couldn’t adore your daddy more, a girl has to have best friends. And it was great, because Amy has also read all of the books, so I could go into booknerd mode with her and discuss details that were different while holding hands with my Shippmate, too.
Again, it was totally a date night worthy of pumping for. We don’t waste nights away from you at the local Applebee’s, Junebug– we go all out for Oz and Quarter Quells.
And again, you had a complete blast with your Grammy and Grandpa.
It’s really vital to my success and content of the evening to know you’re doing well, and they were great to send me these pics that I just adored:
(This is your Grandpa vacuuming– not solely because our carpet needed vacuumed, but also because it makes you happy! And it works out, because coming home to a vacuumed house makes your mama pretty happy, too!)
But even so, when I got home, I was telling Mom how I had a blast and the movie was AWESOME and how special it was to experience it with Ryan AND Amy, and just going on about the lovely of the evening, but then said, “Buuuut… it’s still hard.”
And Mom inquired what I meant, to which I explained, “Well– I mean I had so much fun, but I just still felt a bit distracted a few times during the movie… like I can’t “check out” all of the way and just completely enjoy the movie.”
And your Grammy spoke such wisdom when she replied, “Oh sweet girl- you’ll never be able to “check out” again… ever.”
And funny enough, Junebug– I wouldn’t want it any other way.
It always makes me smile when God puts something on my heart in such a timely fashion as he did yesterday just in time for me to write it before Veterans Day.
June and I met Grammy and Grandpa for some shopping and Spin pizza, and while we were enjoying the delicious that is Spin, we ran into a friend of mine from Warrensburg. (For the record, every time I’m at Spin in Lee’s Summit, I run into someone from The Burg, and I find that as a clear indicator we need one here.)
My friend, Dani, came over to say hello to us– who am I kidding– she came over to see June! Hahaha, no, but we visited a bit and had the pleasure of seeing her adorable sons, and as she and her family were leaving, she said something that really stuck with me.
With such sincerity in her voice and eyes, she said, “It’s just so nice you get to have your family so close.”
That’s all she said, but in that comment, I felt so much more. I felt the hardship of a military wife and mom that has had babies and raised them miles away from home. I felt the appreciation she has for something I take for granted in seeing my family as often as I would like… which is pretty darn often.
As Dani and her beautiful family walked out the door, my parents and I were talking about that very comment she made and how hard that would be to not be close by. My dad said, “Those are the kind of people we should invite to our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.”
Which was a great thought, but the more I got to thinking about it later, I started to think that probably Dani and her family go home for the holidays. That seems to be the time of year people do go home or family comes to visit. The more I thought about it, I started to wonder if rather than the big Christmas dinner or Thanksgiving lunch maybe it is the random Saturday afternoon of shopping and Spin with family that my military friends miss the most?
Because holidays are scheduled. They’re the same every year– we plan for them, flights are made, they happen.
A shopping and Spin kind of Saturday aren’t planned months in advance. They’re born from an early morning text from my mom. They happen in an instant, and they’re easily taken for granted, because they’re “nothing special.”
Except, they are.
Junie and I had such a wonderful day of adventures and fun with my mom and dad. We talked, we shopped, we laughed, my dad slept in the car with Juniper, my mom somehow got June to laugh for the first time (AND I MISSED IT lol), we made finds in the form of new earrings and handbags… it was such a sweet day.
And when I was driving home with a very soundly sleeping Junebug in the backseat (she is over her hatred for the car- PRAISE THE LORD!) I just felt so grateful.
Grateful for the kind of parents I love spending the day with.
Grateful for grandparents that won’t just know my June but will help mold her and teach her and shape her into the person she will be.
But then grateful for Dani.
For her and all of the other military wives and moms in this community that go without Saturday afternoons of shopping and Spin with their extended families.
I know that people like Dani and so many others in our community make friendships that feel like family, and I know there are obvious advantages to the time spent building they’re own little families, so I’m not saying their experiences are less than mine– AT ALL.
What I am saying is they have to have moments when they miss being a car ride away from their own moms. A few miles away from dinner around their old kitchen table with a homemade meal with siblings, parents, and grandparents alike. Or a date night to Wicked knowing their own babies are safe and content in Grammy’s arms.
And because Dani and all of my military friends go without these luxuries I take for granted, I want them to know I’m grateful for their service. And I don’t just mean grateful for their men who work so hard, do so much, and protect our country. Oh, I’m thankful for them, too– so very thankful for them– but this post is to the military wife and mom.
She who doesn’t wear a uniform, but lives a life of sacrifice and devotion to her country and family that I can’t quite imagine.
I’m so proud of you, girls. I’m so in awe of you.
I hardly bathe or put June to bed by myself, and I know there are many of you that are raising babies by yourself while your men are away.
I miss my Shippmate if we haven’t had the opportunity to really talk all evening, and I know you go months without much needed time with your best friend.
Past missing your love of a husband, I know there are so many other challenges that I don’t even have a clue about– Ryan always takes care of the trash, the lightbulbs, driving… these daily tasks we share, you do all by yourself. I don’t even know how you do it.
I know there are a million and two things I’m not mentioning that make up the job description of being a military wife and mom, but please know– I’m thankful for those, too.
On a day that will focus mostly on your man and all of the hard work and sacrifice he makes for our country, I just wanted you ladies to know you’re not forgotten.
While my naive self really has no clue the depths of what you’re going through, I know that you, like your husband, are strong. You are brave. You are a hard worker. You are tough. You are sacrificing much. You are under appreciated. You are incredible.
In lieu of a uniform to show your rank and years of service, you wear a smile and a calm that keeps your family together.
From the depths of my heart, I so respect you. I appreciate you, and I thank you.
You, Military Wife and Mom- you are my hero.
So this is why I should never let myself get incredibly hungry.
Bad things happen.
Ryan and I have an understanding that when I get super hungry, I have to state this to him so he can recognize my mean spirit for what it is– lack of food instead of lack of love for him.
I had been out with June all afternoon, and she was crying on the drive home (which she hasn’t been doing as much and thus my ability to be okay with it had kind of dwindled lol) so I was a bit irritable, and it was 6:53 and I had not eaten dinner. Thus, the world was starting to cave in around me so I dropped her off with The Shippmate who quickly got the message: WIFEY NEEDS FOOD.
I didn’t want to leave Ryan home with a crying Juners, so I sat down to feed her while we were ordering a pizza online with a coupon Ryan found. (I love my husband for many reasons with one of them definitely being his ability to always find us really good coupons for pizza.)
So by the time I get in the car to head to Pizza Hut, it’s now 7:21 and I’m so past my tolerable hungry limit. And while we live on the south side of town, Pizza Hut is– you guessed it– on the north side.
And I’d tell you to Google it to understand how long of a drive it is to get from our house to Pizza Hut, but I fear if you did that you might see it’s only like 2 miles but in Warrensburg on a Friday evening those two miles take FOR.EV.ER.
Thus, I had to intervene by stopping at Arby’s lol.
For a curly fries kind of appetizer, if you will.
(Please don’t make fun of me. I’m already so humiliated to admit we eat lots of pizza and now I’m owning my secret love for curly fries. IT WAS THE VALUE SIZE PEOPLE. Back off.)
Anyway, I got those fries and they were glorious, and as I was sitting in the Pizza Hut drive thru, I really did feel quite embarrassed by the fact I was eating them while waiting on my large pizza.
(Albeit the large pizza I was waiting on had no cheese and no sauce and The Shippmate would later refer to as a cracker with meat and veggies. DELICIOUS.)
So I’m sitting there feeling a bit embarrassed– but not so embarrassed to stop scarfing down my curly fries– when the Pizza Hut worker comes to the window and catches me redhanded with my fries.
And does she ignore my glutton self and just give me my pizza?
She smugly says, “Well… looks like you’re making the rounds tonight, eh?”
And with curly fry in hand– for some reason I’ll never know– I look at the Pizza Hut woman and I explain, “Ummmm…. I used to be pregnant?!”
WHAT IN THE WORLD!?
There are just no words.
I don’t even know what my thought process was there, and clearly– neither did the Pizza Hut woman.
I started laughing so hard as I furiously rolled up the window to finish my fries in the privacy of my car.
With just my former pregnant self.
My dear Junie,
Here we are at Month #2, and life with you sincerely seems to get better every single day. We truly could not love you more, little Junebug.
After feeding you this morning and a little play time on your playmat, I put you in your swing, so I could get some laundry going and get dressed. I had everything all done, the grocery list made, the car loaded, and I just needed to load you up, but when I saw how perfectly sound asleep you were in your swing, I decided to get a quick start on your letter while you were snoozing rather than waking you to load you up.
This 2nd month of your life had a crazy start, as the first week of this second month was quite consumed with The Mastitis. I mentioned in your first letter that “Mama Got The Mastitis” could be a country song with a sad and painful tune, and while I don’t want this month’s letter to be consumed with tales of infection and ER visits, I do have to share some sweet moments that came of it all.
So, first of all, it gave you plenty of cuddle time with Grammy and Grandpa, as they both took off work to come help around here while I got better.
I so enjoyed their company and help while I was very down and out. In fact, the first night I realized I was getting really sick, I called your Grammy in tears and just needed her to come over to make everything better. When you’re so incredibly sick, there is something wildly comforting about having your mom with you. I hope I can take care of you as beautifully as my mom has always done for me.
And oh my goodness, your daddy. June, he just couldn’t have been a better nurse for me. I had a horrible fever with the whole ordeal, and one night in particular, I thought I was dying in the middle of the night. It was so horrible– I was freezing cold to the point of intense shivering and then sweating and so uncomfortable, and your daddy kept rotating these cool wash cloths for me. It literally made me feel better, but also just the gesture of love meant so much to me. You’re going to be such a blessed girl to grow up with a dad that loves you so much, but also having a front row seat to the way my Shippmate (this is what I call your daddy) loves me in such a powerful and precious way. He’s my favorite.
Unfortunately, the mastitis got worse before it got better. Funny enough, I remember one of the nights I was so so so sick, I heard my mom (your Grammy) telling Ryan (your daddy) that ever since I was a little girl, when I get sick, it’s never something easy or simple, but it’s usually pretty severe and gets bad. Mamas know their girls, because that is exactly what happened with this. Long story short, it resulted in two different trips to the ER. Which I had never actually been to the ER in all of my life, and it’s way less Seattle Grace-ish than I had pictured. (Ha- I was just thinking you won’t understand that reference, but actually by the time you read this, McDreamy might be a regular on Nick-at-Nite and maybe you will lol.)
So, by the second trip to the ER, I actually FELT a million times better (after lots of meds that I so worried would affect you, but I had no choice, and they so thankfully did not) but I had to go back to be checked, because the infection site had become bigger for some unforeseen reason. But since I felt better, the whole experience was much more Shippmate style in that your daddy and I were making jokes, taking pictures, and just having quite the time in our little ER cubicle of a room.
You missed out on this time with us, but you were in the best hands, because Grammy and Grandpa had met us at St. Luke’s and they were loving the time with you. And then your Aunt Bailey and Uncle Atticus came over with your favorite little cousin after they got out of church, so it was a full on Sunday party in the St. Luke’s ER.
When I had finally been seen by the surgeons and everyone that needed to check out my infection, your daddy and I came to the cafeteria to feel like we were just joining the fam for a Sunday dinner to watch the Chiefs.
So we did just that. After the pain, the sickness, and the drama that had been The Mastitis, it was such a perfect ending to it all to enjoy some quality hospital food while watching the Chiefs win with the whole family.
Also, your daddy and I shared some hilarious adventures we had back in the ER, including an awkward encounter with our nurse. So this same (male) nurse had been with me all morning, and as he was taking out my IV for me to leave, I was just making small talk and said, “So what time do you get off?”
(Your dad would tell you that I was smiling and looked really friendly asking this– which MAYBE I did, but only because I am a smiley and friendly person lol.)
But before our nurse (that earlier your dad asked for some oxycontin- OH MY SHIPPMATE) could answer, your dad says, “Uhhhh, I’m right here!?!?”
He was kidding but just loved making this situation awkward, but our poor nurse didn’t get the humor and looked so stressed/embarrassed/unsure what to say.
Your dad and I laughed so hard all the way out of the ER about that crazy adventure!
And with that, the sad tune of Mama Got The Mastitis was so thankfully coming to an end.
The next few weeks of your second month of life brought us so much fun and excitement, Juniper. Every single day is an adventure with you.
Here are The Very June Shippy Moments We Want To Remember Always:
1. Your first football game! It was super special, because you got to see your cousin Chloie cheering AND your cousin Keagan doing his thing on the field.
Not only that, but you had your first taste of how cool nights on the sidelines of a football field often bring family together.
The Magic of Friday Night Lights…
On a Tuesday night. ;)
2. Your first visit to MeMaw and PaPa’s house!
Your PaPa took your daddy and I on a ride to see the new cows, and so you got some one-on-one time with your MeMaw.
3. Your first pumpkin patch was so exciting to me, because I’ve always loved pumpkin patches, and this year was my absolute favorite getting to take you.
You were THE cutest little pumpkin in the patch!
4. As I was talking to your dad about what all I needed to include in this month’s post, he reminded me of the craziness that happened this month in the form of packing away SO MANY of your clothes! Somehow, our little Junebug no longer fits in any of her newborn, or 0-3 outfits!?!
5. We wanted to include for you the details of our nightly routine with you, Junebug. It all starts around 5 or 6-ish when you like to eat… A LOT. The technical name for this all evening breastfeeding buffet is “cluster feeding,” and we’re told it’s why you were capable of sleeping through the night from night one here at home. And thus, we are very much okay with it lol.
After a last feeding at about 11pm or so, I will hand you off to your daddy where he takes you away to our bedroom. (Even though you have the coolest nursery and crib from Grammy and Grandpa, you still sleep in our room for now. We like having you close by!)
I don’t even know the exact details of what your daddy (aka The Baby Whisperer) does during this time, but I do know he turns all the lights off besides this little nightlight we have in the room now for you, he turns on the white noise machine, swaddles you up nice and cozy, and I always hear him singing you to sleep! The nightly serenade includes but it is not limited to the graduation song and Chicken Fried.
He is SO good at putting you to bed that I often joke I’m not sure what would happen without him here, as I’m not even kidding you Juners, but he’s done it every night of your life thus far.
So with this letter to you in mind, I decided to snap a picture of you and him during this nightly routine one night. What I did NOT anticipate was the killer flash that went off and the death glare I received from my Shippmate that had worked so hard to get you sound asleep lol!
Thankfully, the flash did not wake you AND we have a picture to remember your dad’s special way of putting you to bed. Win win.
6. Your Grammy and Grandpa annually have a hayride at their house (it used to be my birthday party when I was growing up!) and it’s such a good time. Lots of (my) Mom and Dad’s friends bring their kids, and I clearly remember last year thinking how fun it would be one day to bring my own baby, but I had NO idea it would be this year!
It was so much fun having you at such a favorite October event of mine, baby girl.
So, we didn’t actually let you go on the ride, but took some pictures nonetheless. Next year can be your actual first RIDE!
7. You still just love bath time, and every time we give you a bath, I think to myself, “We need to invite someone over during bathtime so they can just photograph every minute of how precious you are in your bath” lol.
I’m sure some parents bathe their babies by themselves– as in the mom just does it by herself or just the dad does, but for The Shippmates it’s a two person job.
And a Shippmate Family Bonding Time.
8. Month #2 you had your first play dates!
Two playdates in one day actually, Junie. You had so much fun with Roman and Marley and then went from Corder (where Roman’s PaPa has his farm) to Alma to see our favorite Meyer twins! Avery and Brady were excited to see you, but not excited enough to wake up lol.
It was such a fun day with you, Junebug.
9. So, I had always heard that all babies love car rides.
And that would just not be true!
Just like you came into this world in your very own time (late and on the only day in a month time that our birth photographer, doctor, and doula all three weren’t available) you are a unique little lady in your disdain for the car.
It’s really the only time we hear you cry. And girlfriend, YOU CAN CRY.
Your cry is strong and demanding and in it, I hear strength and determination of the girl you’re going to be one day.
I’m getting better at not wanting to cry at the sound of you being upset, because I know you’re okay and healthy, but just not always a fan of our car trips. We do everything we can to make them more enjoyable for you, and sometimes it works! Especially when we bust out your favorite giraffe toy and this crinkly little toy that your daddy discovered you love! It’s getting better, but on one trip to go shopping with Grammy, you cried so hard and so loud the whole drive, and then when I got out to get you out of the backseat, I kid you not, Juners, but the second you saw me– I hadn’t even got you out yet– the crying STOPPED! You know what you want, little missy, and I love you for it.
Also, that day was the first time I ever saw a tear come out of your eye. So naturally I took a picture.
But it wasn’t long before you were cozy in Grammy’s arms and very, very content.
11. I had to snap this shot of some Side Magic with Daddy. June- seriously, your dad is the best at soothing you. Since he can’t feed you, he has to be quite a bit more creative than I do, and within days of being home from the hospital he was reading up on ways to make you happy. I honestly don’t even know the details of all of them, but I know it involves a lot of S’s lol, and I know you LOVE how your daddy works The Side Magic with you!
12. Way back when I was pregnant with you, some of our family mentioned throwing a shower for you. It was later in my pregnancy and while normally I love big gatherings, I was feeling a bit worn out and loved when your Great-Aunt Janet suggested we could even wait and have it once you were here to be there with us! I’m SO glad we waited, because it was SO SO SO much fun having you there with us!
And the theme of the evening was celebrating Our Little Pumpkin! Which I cannot communicate to you how perfect that was, because I’ve called you my little pumpkin since we brought you home from the hospital. Not to mention how much your mama loves pumpkins and all things fall… it was just the perfect theme for this party!
Precious pumpkins everywhere wasn’t all… your family did just the sweetest thing by all giving you their own favorite childhood book to expand your library at home. I have always loved when people write in books, and everyone wrote a little message to you in the cover of their book. This is something that meant so much to me, and I know it will be so special to you, too, June. You’re such a blessed baby to be surrounded by so many people that love you so much!
Oh, and let me just tell you, Junebug- you got some stellar reads out of the deal! Your family has some awesome taste in their literary choices.
It was such a sweet night celebrating our little pumpkin.
14. Your first Berenstain Bears book! These have always been a favorite of mine, June, and I am so incredibly excited to introduce you to the adventures of Brother and Sister Bear. You’re just going to love them. This book is exceptionally special, because it was given to you by your Aunt Rachel who is a very dear friend of mine. Her mom remembered my adoration for this sweet bear family from way back when I was in 2nd grade!
And funny enough, your mama’s 7th grade teacher, Mr. Kohler, knew our family (as in me, Uncle Atticus, Grammy and Grandpa) and he always referred to our family as The Berenstain Bears lol. You’ll read to understand this was a compliment, and I’m excited to have my own little Berenstain Bear kind of family with you, your daddy, and any other future Shippmates to come!
Or on a quilt at Grammy’s next to your favorite cuz:
15. At your one month check up, your weight was the numbers of my birthday (10/8 for October 8th) which was only a week away, so naturally I saw this as your very own way of wishing me a most happy birthday.
I hear people daily– often multiple times a day actually– say to me, “Don’t blink- they grow up so fast!”
But honestly, I hadn’t felt that worried about you growing up.
Even packing away all of those clothes that were too little didn’t bring on any sentimental tears last week.
But oh my baby baby girl– something just hit this mama just now. How in the world have two months gone by? I started this letter to you yesterday, but your daddy put you to bed, and while normally I go right to bed when you do, I stayed up tonight to write, and so now it is actually the 24th.
It was exactly two months ago today that you came into our lives, June, and I cannot cannot communicate to you how much I love you.
Like I love you so much it hurts.
As I looked at those pictures from you in the hospital, I saw this TINY baby girl.
And they’re right! You’re growing and changing, and it’s all happening too fast already, June.
I’m kind of rambling, and maybe this is why I should go to bed when you go to bed lol, but goodness gracious, I just felt this flood of emotions looking at those pictures from the day you were born. I can’t even believe your daddy and I are so blessed to have you.
We love you more than you can even imagine, and I have to quit writing now, because it’s been a couple of hours since I took you in to your daddy to put you to bed, and baby girl- I miss you. I’m going to go watch you sleep and thank my Jesus for giving you to me.
Shoot- I might even wake you up and hold you in my arms for awhile.
I’m the most blessed mom in all of the world, June. I’m so thankful– eternally thankful– that I get to be your mom.
This past weekend was the kind of weekend that felt like we were on a mini-vaca. Tons of exciting adventures all packed into 48 hours.
A Wicked good time at our favorite show:
Costume Reveal Party where The Beekeeper arrived in style with his Queen Bee and Junie Bee.
And then a sweet Sunday celebrating our favorite nephew’s baby dedication at Redeemer.
Juniper naturally had to attend this kind of event in her Sunday best.
So at some point last week, I knew we had all of that fun and excitement in the weekend forecast, and yet, for some embarrassing reason, I was ALMOST the most excited about our plans for Monday (today).
June’s 1st trip to the pediatrician!
You know you’re a mom when…
(And in the event you’re keeping tabs on the wellness of our child/parenting skills, no- she did not go 2 months of her life without any doctor’s visits lol. We have an excellent family practice doctor here in town that we’ll use in conjunction with our new pediatrician. I came to this tag team conclusion after hearing some of my friends talk about this Land of Pediatrics where it’s so specialized just for baby and kiddo health and development, and I couldn’t resist the thought of learning more about Junie and everything we can do for her!)
Apparently I wasn’t the only one who woke up excited for this 1st appointment this morning:
I kid you not- my June wakes up with a smile! She loves the mornings, which has made me a lover of them lately, too.
We got dressed and headed off to the doctor, and in the elevator, Junebug was feeling a little nervous:
“Okay, Mom- now that I see the ghost lights and tree house– I’m good.”
We had so much fun hanging out in the waiting room together that I forgot to fill out my paperwork lol.
It made me incredibly giddy to hear “June Shippy” from the nice nurse that greeted us in the waiting room.
Sometimes I still just can’t believe God didn’t just bless me with a baby, but a BABY GIRL… a baby JUNE just like I prayed for long before even becoming pregnant with her!
First things first– time to hit the scale!
This is Junie giving her mama some 13 love, because I’ve told her it’s my favorite.
Junebug was so happy to be here to meet our new doctor!
“A little modesty for me, please, Mommy.”
I’d wear a burp cloth, too, if I looked that stinkin’ precious in it.
Dr. Kirby-Diaz came in and answered all 113 of my questions without ever seeming annoyed, and thus I love her.
Hahahahaha– it was like I was in baby heaven getting to ask her so many questions all about my June!
Annnd upon entering the room, she gave June a book to encourage reading, and we will get a new book at every well child appointment.
I mean, come on– if they didn’t have me in love with the place with the festive decor, the separate waiting rooms for well/sick kiddos, the promotion of literacy surely just sealed the deal!
(And this is where I shall publicly apologize to June’s Grammy and Daddy, because both of them were a bit surprised when I wasn’t taking her to a pediatrician in the beginning, but I assured them it was not necessary lol. You two were right, and I’m not even sure why I didn’t think I would ADORE a colorful office that is ALL ABOUT KIDS lol.)
I have no photographed documentation of the misery that was HER SHOTS.
Oh my goodness.
I was helping hold her, and I seriously wanted to die. Seeing her cry like that was horrible. I cried my own little eyes out, and I think the nurse almost offered ME a Snoopy Band-Aid!
Before the nurse could complete her sentence telling me I could scoop her and love on her, I was ON IT! I had that Junie in my arms loving on her immediately, and she calmed down before I did, I’m pretty sure lol.
Crazy enough, her favorite cousin was at his well child appointment today, too, so we were texting updates to our family group text, and Bailey sent us all a pic of Roman after his shots looking pretty unhappy.
When I showed it to June, she told me since we missed the moment, she’d give me a little glimpse of how shots for her and Roman make her feel:
(I was mid-buckling her in for this above shot, so please don’t think this is how her carseat strap was left— it got secured right after the pic while we were still in the waiting room.)
But other than the tears and shot part, it was such a sweet time together, and I’m so excited about the beginning of our adventures with Dr. Kirby-Diaz.
And in true Shippmate sweetness, guess what room we were in for this 1st appointment?
I’m so glad my 13 pounder is already embracing the 13 love like her mama.
Like mother, like daughter, my sweet baby June.
This afternoon, June and I ventured out for a walk, and because our day had already involved some grocery shopping, I decided to take a different route closer to home, in the event Junebug wasn’t much in the strolling mood.
It was a chilly kind of October afternoon, which are some of my favorite. I’m an October baby, and everything about the month is my favorite. The cool evenings, the leaves falling, pumpkins everywhere, and the beginning of holiday season starting with Halloween! I got June all bundled up, and off we went.
It quickly became apparent to me that Juniper was in this walk for the long haul, as she was happy as could be, so I decided to walk the old route Amy and I used to always walk together. (The way I worded that sounds like maybe we’re no longer friends, but long walks have somehow become less frequent with someone getting pregnant and someone else deciding to go back to school lol.)
We had the same route we always went on and it started at my house, included two different walking trails, and took us by my dear and favorite Maple Grove Elementary.
In the time since Amy and I haven’t been able to walk as much together, I’ve hardly ever gone on that route.
Kind of because it’s a good hour long route, kind of because it’s more fun with Amy, and then a whole lot because for a long time walking by Maple Grove seemed too much for me.
Well this afternoon, without even thinking about it, I headed straight toward my old stomping grounds– with no anger or tears or feelings besides, “It will be nice to show Junebug a place of such special to me.”
And as we were walking and talking (more me than June lol) a realization came over me as clear as the sweet fall sky.
I just knew in my mind and heart that today was the day a year ago I was fired.
I don’t know how to explain this, but SO OFTEN, I will have a feeling that something was “a year ago today,” and because I’m pretty solid at the documentation– be it here on the blog, in a journal, or in my Future Husband Notebooks–I can always do a bit of digging and see if I’m correct.
And I’m nearly ALWAYS right on with this.
So as I thought about how I knew it happened late October, I just KNEW when I went to check the TOUGH NEWS blog, I would see today’s same date.
Sure enough, while we’re walking, I pull up the blog and see:
October 23, 2012.
My mental calendar of sorts seriously amazes me every single time it happens.
I think God gave me this ability, because He knows how important reflection and processing thoughts and feelings are to me.
And today, as I reflected upon the events of a year ago today, I felt totally okay walking past Maple Grove with a smile.
My dad called right in the middle of my realization of sorts, and as I explained it to him (who I think I get this mental calendar from) I then confessed, “And you know the crazy thing? I had zero desire to give anyone the middle finger as I walked on by. This is growth.”
Ha. But seriously.
I felt so… content. So at peace with it all.
Do I think what happened was fair? Or right? Or even okay?
But you know what I do know to be true from the past year?
I know that my God can take a craphole of a situation and bring glory to it in His perfect timing.
You know how I know this?
I have the most precious, adorable Junebug of a proof in the stroller I pushed past my old school with a smile.
So if you’re in a season of feeling confused at God’s plan or maybe downright angry at Him or driving by your own former employer’s building and not refraining from flying the bird lol… just know that God hasn’t abandoned you. He will make Himself known and He has the ability to turn a situation right around in a way you never even knew possible. He is the ultimate provider, and I’ve seen this to be so true in my own life.
If you would have told me exactly one year ago tonight, as I was so hurt, so confused, so embarrassed, so frustrated, so sad, so angry, so MAD… if you would have told me that God’s plan was so much bigger and He had a baby girl that I’d be on a walk with a year from that very tough night?
Oh man- I wouldn’t have believed it.
And sometimes I still can’t.
But that’s my God. He’s truly and really too good to be true.
Trust Him. In the “tough news” kind of days– especially then– trust Him, because you just never know what a year will bring.
As one who loves sticking to a plan, I will fully confess that I’ve never been so happy to see my own plan turned right upside down.
God knows exactly what He is doing.
My baby girl? She’s living proof.
Oh my sweet baby June. So a couple of weeks ago, your dad and I were sitting in the living room just staring at your adorableness like we often do when your daddy says, “Do you have a baby book or something you’re writing stuff down in? We probably need to write down the little things we love that she does, because otherwise we will probably forget them.”
And oh Juners, let me just tell you- I’ve never ever known your daddy to be one to concerned about documenting memories and such.
This was just one of the many many moments in which I’ve seen him being so smitten by you, June. It’s the neatest thing to see him be so excited by you.
And normally I’m kind of the queen of documenting things around here, so it really was just incredibly precious that HE was reminding ME.
Since your mama is less of the scrapbooking kind and more of the blogging kind, I decided we could document your sweet firsts and favorite moments of ours here on the blog. My goal is to write you a letter on the 24th of each month– to celebrate 1 month, 2 months, etc.
However, this one is a little late because right after your 1 month birthday, Mama got The Mastitis. That sounds like it could be a country song. And if it was a song, it would be a very sad, painful one lol. But I don’t want to bore you with the details of that miserable situation, other than to explain that is why this first letter to you is a bit late.
It also might be a little late due to the fact my days are so busy cuddling and loving on you. We have all these cooler than cool contraptions– swings, bouncy seats, etc. — and yet, all I want to do is hold your sweetness.
Your first month truly was the single best month of my life, June.
And I’ve had some REALLY good months, girlfriend, so please know this is big.
To be real honest, I was nervous for you to get here. I adored being pregnant with you– I felt great, your daddy and I had a blast all summer long preparing our home and hearts for you, and I just was afraid maybe life couldn’t get any better.
Oh. My. June.
I was so wrong. See, everyone had told me I would never sleep and all my hair would fall out and my body would feel like it couldn’t do anything normal for weeks… and somehow, we DO sleep, my hair is still all full as can be, and my body felt so normal so quickly.
Now don’t get me wrong– the first week home had its challenges… breastfeeding was hard at first, my hormones had some crazy moments, and I felt frustrated not knowing if I was “doing everything right.” You’ll probably learn this about me, but I really like reading manuals or rule books on how to do things– be it a game of Taboo or how to make a pie.
And crazy enough, our doctor sent us right home with you WITH NO MANUAL!
Which stressed me out a bit and left me doubting myself during that first couple of weeks, but I was so thankful that the first week of your life your Grammy (my mom) came to stay with us! Oh man, Junebug- that was so helpful. She spoke confidence into me when I felt discouraged breastfeeding, she made us meals, she cleaned like only those in the direct line of Mary Jane Windsor know how to clean a home, and she was just there to be my mom and friend through all the ups and downs of our first week. It was THE biggest blessing, and I so hope I can do the same for you one day.
This is a picture I took while Grammy was staying with us, because I had to capture our sink being spotless, the windows being the cleanest they’ve ever been, and the very signature Robin Dyer washrag hung over the faucet. (This kind of clean makes me a nearly unhealthy amount of happy and truly makes me more relaxed and comfortable lol. It’s a sickness you’ll probably acquire from me.)
Week two everything got easier, and I was again SUPER blessed that for that second week, your daddy took some time off from work to be home with us. Your daddy is the most helpful and involved dad ever. SO many times in that first couple of weeks I literally watched him IN AWE of the way he was so helpful, loving, and involved with you and to me. He immediately had this bond with you that I just couldn’t believe. He would just look at you with such admiration.
Just to be super honest and real here, during that first week when I was figuring out breastfeeding (and my hormones were probably slightly to blame) I nearly felt like he loved you and enjoyed you more than I did. This was so weird to me and incredibly frustrating, because I AM YOUR MOM! The one who carried you around in me for 9 precious months.
I watched him be so excited by you, so smitten by you, and when breastfeeding was difficult and frustrating, I would feel even more frustrated when all I saw him be around you was so in love and giddy. This was absolutely the hardest part about the first week, because I felt like the responsibility of feeding you was such a huge pressure and I didn’t know if I was “doing it right” and I just wished I could be like your dad and just get to hold you and enjoy you with no worries of figuring out a “proper and nutritive latch.”
With all of that, breastfeeding was not without tears that first week. I even asked your dad to capture one of those “less than happy moments” because I had faith we’d get through it eventually and I wanted to remember it wasn’t without some tough times, too.
A pivotal moment for me was your first doctor’s appointment– just one week after you were born we went back and I had been told by the lactation consultants it normally took two weeks for newborns to gain their birth weight back, so not to expect much weight gain.
So when the nurse put you on the scale and I saw you had gained TEN ounces since leaving the hospital, I seriously cried.
Tears of a mama that so just wanted to have confirmation she was “doing it right” for her baby girl.
Your Grandma Shippy text me that “proof is in the pudding” and that weight gain was truly just what I needed to know we were “doing it right”… even without a manual or book of rules!
I also couldn’t be more thankful for such encouraging breastfeeding friends, grandparents, lactation consultants, and your daddy– they all were HUGE support.
Our Bradley teacher had told us learning to breastfeed is such a steep learning curve, and that is SUCH an accurate description of it! Now that we’ve got it figured out, it’s such a special time we share, and I’m just so incredibly glad we kept at it.
And let there be no question that while your daddy is still so excited about you, now that we’ve got that “proper and nutritive latch,” there is no one more smitten, more excited, and more in love with you than your mama.
Speaking of breastfeeding, it’s what we spend our evenings doing. From about 6 or 7 at night until bedtime (about 11 or midnight) you like to EAT. And eat. And eat some more. It’s pretty much all you and I do during that time.
AND THEN YOU SLEEP. THROUGH THE NIGHT, JUNE!!!!!
Your daddy and I seriously spent the first couple of weeks looking around holding our breath thinking it couldn’t be real life when we would wake up at 7 or 8 in the morning!?! You are such a dream of a baby.
You don’t know how much I wondered how I would survive on no sleep, June. And then you get here and literally since the very first night we brought you home from the hospital, you have slept right through the night.
The first couple of weeks, every morning when we’d wake up, I would literally say a prayer over you– first thanking God for your amazing sleep patterns and then a request for it to continue!
So far it has continued, and we are just so incredibly grateful for that dear, dear sleep that you’ve been giving us.
We wake up and eat around 7 or 8 and then you and I snooze together until about 10. I know that I should get up and get things done during that morning nap, but for this first month, it’s been way too wonderful to just cuddle with you instead. I truly adore that time we spend together– often with you on my chest snuggled so close to me. I just love it.
This first month, our days have been spent feeding and cuddling– I seriously never put you down! We also daily go on little adventures– be it to get a Sonic drink or to go on a walk on the trail near our house.
People warned me I wouldn’t want to just run up town to get a Sonic drink the same with a newborn, but either they underestimated my love for Sonic drinks or overestimated the task it is to get you loaded up, because we absolutely go places and do things like I did before you. It’s just all more fun with you in the backseat with me looking up at me in your super cool mirror.
Because this is getting a little long (I’ve been typing this piece by piece over the course of several days and right now I’m hopefully about to finish it as I’m typing while feeding you- I’m learning lol!) I’m going to end with a list.
The Very June Shippy Moments We Want to Remember Always from Month #1:
-the crazy adorable way you throw your hands up in the air when startled (it’s called the Moro reflex)
-the precious way you sleep with your arms extended out
-the sweet bonding time our little family of three has during bath time. Just recently, your daddy said to me how much he enjoys us doing bath time together, because it’s our own family bonding time. Melted my heart.
-your 1st photo shoot! I sat and watched you in awe… as if you were getting a gold medal at the Olympics or something. It’s seriously crazy how proud I am of you… for everything you do… including letting our awesome photographer pose you.
-the way you ADORE your changing table! You are the happiest, smiliest, excited little baby when we put you on that thing! You LOVE having your diaper changed, and the whole experience is so incredibly fun for all of us.
-I asked your daddy some specific memories he wanted documented and he immediately said how he had you sleep with him at the hospital! He let me sleep while he took care of you during the nights there, and while you all started out like this:
Somewhere in the middle of the night, he moved you closer to him:
It was a big bonding time for you and Daddy (and maybe against hospital policy lol) and it is a bonding experience you two have continued to enjoy at home:
-He also mentioned your crazy loud poops.
So your Aunt Bailey had told me that Roman has some major loud diapers when I was pregnant with you, but I had NO idea how loud she meant. It is quite comical to us just how loud you can be for such a little lady! And since your dad brought it up, I will go on record for saying I’ve never loved anyone’s poop more. I remember before I had you reading moms talking about their kids’ poop on Facebook and being so disgusted, and yet now I find myself seriously being so proud of your crazy poopy diapers. It’s the weirdest thing- this motherhood business, and somehow I couldn’t love it more.
This is the face I see after every feeding. It’s the face of a baby so blissfully full from a feeding. It’s the face that made every bit of the challenge it was to figure out breastfeeding ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT. Our times spent feeding are now some of my favorite moments with you, June. I love the fact I get to feed you and what felt like a stressful responsibility at first now feels like an honor and a joy. I’m so glad we stuck with it and figured it out together, baby girl.
-your 1st time in The Principal’s Office. Thankfully he has a soft spot for Granddaughter. (to be said just like Zeke Braverman says it)
-your freakishly long fingernails!!!!!! Your dad and Grammy clip and bite those bad boys regularly, and I personally am yet to do so.
And last, but certainly not least, I will end this first letter to you with two of my favorite of our first family photos.
I couldn’t let it not be documented and remembered forever that we had coordinating “going home” outfits as we left the hospital. Your daddy thought this was a bit over the top, but I insisted that if Prince George was brought home in such a fashion, my little princess would be, too.
These two are the happy to my birthday:
So much so that I didn’t even mind that our celebration in The Big City got moved to the local Applebee’s lol.
Just blessed to be Shippy, Party of THREE!