My Dyer-E
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My Personal Journey to a Mom Haircut

Come with me on a haircut journey.

It started with this.

But then there was this Snapchat pictorial journey of a second thought.

13244808_680796508062_3893617106650887453_n13244870_680796513052_3233837029773337958_n13254219_680796498082_6090915812487741274_n13254232_680796503072_8603314135471429553_nSo I was a little conflicted.

But so dang tired of ALL. THAT. HAIR.

With summer approaching, I KNEW my times of spending an hour plus to blow dry it only to get to an event and sweat myself away and then break 2 hair ties and have to try to pin it up with a pencil were coming.

So it’s like– “cool that I have thick great hair” but not really in the summer because I can never wear it down and pretty.

In fact, earlier this spring, I was ELATED to be going to a Royals game when it was cool out because it was THE ONE time I might have pretty hair at a Royals game, because hair down while watching my boys in blue is just never in the cards for me.

Anyway, I thought about it and then all of the sudden was driving to my hair cut — still a little unsure what I was going to do but with this perfect Julianne Hough picture in my mind that I knew I would leave disappointed if I didn’t go for.

And I had some great and brave shorter hair enthusiast friends cheering me on via Voxer.

As well as a snap from Ryan’s Aunt Janet that I appreciated.  I’m not for sure if it was Janet or Gracie giving the advice, but they both have good hair, so either way it was cool:

And there really is such truth in that thought process.

OH, and this was everything, Sammi:

13310442_680795460162_1760157428616227704_nI cannot even tell you how much I resonate with that thought process!

When I had mono, I would DREAD washing my hair only because I literally didn’t feel like I had the energy to do my hair, and for those two looooooong months I often daydreamed of someone coming to my house just to blowdry my hair for me lol.

Anyway, all of you that joined my convo on FB and Snapchat– and my text and Vox friends, too– I appreciated all of you.

Before I knew what was happening, this was going down:


13239960_680796602872_7238268821916905314_n13240520_680796587902_7235509257086785481_nAnd I mean LOOK AT THESE THINGS:

13319930_680796597882_7206660585993085711_nThere is a reason my hair constantly breaks hair ties AND gives me a headache from being in a ponytail if I have it up for longer than an hour!

Goodness gracious.

I really cannot describe how wonderfully fresh and light and airy and perfect cutting off that much hair made me feel!

Not to mention, my stylist, Vicky, is just THE best.

I trust her so much that deciding kind of spur of the moment to go for it was no big deal with her in charge– and her so enthusiastically on board with me!

I feel like you can see in my face how elated I am to be holding that hair in my hands instead of from my head anymore:

13307255_680797121832_4537909745678373283_nI had some fun on Facebook this morning with this:

13319753_680798154762_5542354767088681811_nSo I’m (obviously) kidding, but I am NOT kidding that the haircut IMMEDIATELY made me lose 3 pounds!

Hahahahahha– that hair is HEAVY.

I really cannot be expected to carry all of that hair around AND a Smith Shippy, too.

I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out, and I’m now beyond excited to go read all of your sweet and kind words over here on The FB.

Y’all are the best, and sure know how a girl that went for A Mom Cut that hopefully doesn’t look like A Mom Cut (GOD BLESS YOU MRS. HANSEN) (yes, I know that’s not your name anymore, but I still can’t call you Lindsey LOL) feel like a million bucks.

Also, The Shipper has been quite a fan, so that’s cool.

And it took me about a fourth of the time to just WASH MY HAIR alone.

I haven’t for real styled it myself yet, but I did get of the shower, throw some gel in it, and rock it curly AND LOVED EVERY LAST BIT OF THAT.

Including the start to finish SIX MINUTES IT TOOK ME TO DO IT.

I really think it’s going to be perfect summer style for me with so many options– some fancier and more stylish and others very, very practical and perfect for my life with a million kids in the Missouri heat of a summer.

I wanted to conclude this journey with this picture, because it’s me and June Facetiming my mom to show her my hair.

They’re the two girls’ opinions I value most.

June LOVED it.  It excited her to no end that it was “very SIMILAR to my hair, Mommy.”

(yes, my 2 year old is now using the word similar and emphasizes it every time she says it because a lady in Target heard her say it and went on and on about how smart she is lol so she is basically now showing off when she implements it into sentences, but I’m too proud of her to care)

She was only mildly disappointed I didn’t come home with blonde hair like hers.

And my mom loved it, too, which is also very important to me.

For two reasons.

1.  She’s my mom.
2. She actually has amazing taste in knowing what looks good on people.
(three reasons)
3. She doesn’t lie to me lol.

So yeah.

It’s been a win of a haircut all around, and I’m so very excited about donating all of that heavy hair to someone who can use it and appreciate it!

PS: I should really see about sending some extra hair ties with the hair, because Lord knows that ponytail will be breaking someone else’s hair ties now instead of mine.

05.26.16 4 Comments

HELLO SUMMERTIME (and dinosaurs)

Some hardworking teachers look forward to spending their first day of summer vaca relaxing or by a pool.

Not our Grammy.

She wanted to celebrate the start of summer with all four of her babies!

We’ve had it on our calendar that we’d be commencing the start of summer with Gram Bomb today, and originally Grammy had mentioned Worlds of Fun.

But with the weather being uncertain, I suggested a back-up plan of the T-Rex Cafe at Legends.

We had all went last year over my parents’ spring break, and for several reasons it was just a complete chaos of a hectic day, so I’ve been wanting to get the kids back to try again.

Also, Roman and Ian recently introduced June to Land Before Time, so with all the kids having watched Longneck and Sara and the whole gang on Netflix quite a bit recently, I thought it would be perfect.

However, when I was Googling our drive this morning and realized it’s quite a trek to get there, I was feeling a little unsure how good of an idea my back-up plan was really going to be.

Gram and Pa are never ones to shy away from an adventure, so we were onward to Kansas for some dinosaur excitement!


When we went last year it was over spring break and PACKED (even on a weekday) but today was PERFECT.

We were able to mingle through the entire place and admire and roar at all the dinosaurs– it was so much fun for all of the kids!

(and me and Grammy and Pa, too!)

I feel like Roman and June were at perfect ages to really appreciate it all, and especially so with their recent Land Before Time interests.

I heard Roman naming several of the dinosaurs and June very matter of factly telling Grammy, “Longnecks don’t play with Spikes, Grammy!”

So much to love.

And despite the complete crazy of our trip here last year, June has LOVED her “Saufer” (how she used to pronounce dinosaur last year when she was 1 and now we’ve just named her dinosaur that) ever since that trip!  It’s one of her very favorite little guys to sleep with, and she just loves her so much.

So naturally, we brought Saufer along.


As we were walking in, I wanted to melt into a puddle when I heard the following conversation happen as June was carrying her Saufer.

June:  “Roman- did you bring your dinosaur from last year?”

Roman:  “No, Junie, what do you mean?”

June:  “Oh, I brought my Saufer because I wanted to show her where she came from!”


That girl melts me– and gets me– on so many levels.  I just adore her little heart.

Poor Roman was looking a little stressed he didn’t have his dinosaur from last year while June was saying–

“Oh no… I guess your dinosaur won’t know where he came from, Roman!”

I quickly jumped in and explained I would take pictures Roman could show him later lol.

Love this crazy shot of Grammy and Pa with all their grandkids:

Instead of saying “cheese!” Grammy told the kids to say “SCHOOL’S OUT!  SUMMER TIME!”

And then June wanted to take a picture of us all.

Which led to Roman wanting to.

And Ian, too lol.

We posed for every one of their turns, God love ’em.


After much exploring, we made our way back to our table for lunch!

Watching the kids interact with the dinosaurs was priceless!!!!!

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And when I say priceless, I don’t mean it came without a price, because holy moly, the food is NOT cheap at this fun little adventure of a place.

I can only assume each menu price includes the price it cost to feed the dinosaurs at night, too.

But seriously— so grateful for Grammy and Pa sponsoring this trip, because the prices were a bit steep.

Also, all the things you can do there is not included in your meal price, so these things below also cost money.

This digging for dinosaur bones was SO MUCH FUN for the kids!

And it was amazing because we were the ONLY ones there– so perfect.

13239890_680722226922_5492561790785822550_n 13254545_680722346682_1647124569932177400_n


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Grammy got each kiddo a treasure hunt where they got to find treasures, which was also a great time!

And they each got to pick out a little dinosaur they loved.  June’s was green.  Roman’s blue.  Ian’s pink.  I’m excited for Atticus to see that.  Hahahaha.

And then I had told June she could get a little something for her Saufer to wear and I kind of was envisioning a tutu or a dress, but June was REALLY excited about these work boots for her Saufer!

It kind of cracked me up, but who am I to judge the stylings of a 2 year old and her pink dinosaur?

It was such a great time with people I love so dearly.  I’m so thankful for two nephews I get to love on so often and two parents who are such involved and ambitious grandparents.

If today was any indicator of the fun of which we will be having for The Summer of 2016, I think we’re in for the best summer ever!

And while there were so many precious and sweet and adorable moments of our day long adventure here, I HAD to get a picture of these stairs.

I will conclude my post with this picture, as it shows the crazy stairs we had to climb anytime someone needed to go to the bathroom.

And ummm, we’ve got two toddlers.  Who are new to the world of being potty trained.

So yeah.  That was quite the thing.

Especially when we’re shoeless unveiling dinosaur bones and someone’s realizing they NEED TO GO.

Shoes on.  Mine and hers.  Sprint up the stairs carrying my Baby June so we get there quicker.

We made it though!

In fact, we went from noon–6pm with all these kids and a bathroom two flights of stairs away with no accidents!

That’s some kind of success right there.

And even more proof this is going to be one awesome summer with all these babes of ours.

Bring on the fun in the sun, Summer.

We’re ready for you– with our Grammy out of school and all!

05.25.16 3 Comments

Wilbur, Wedgies, and A Pa Comment, too.

I’m so tired, but I want to share three quick things.

Most of which — okay all of which have to do with June.

I love Smiffers just as much as my Juniper Beans, but his lack of words gives June a few more story opportunities.

June Story #1.

Today marks TWO WEEKS of June being free of any potty related accidents!  I am so proud of her!

This does mean we’re always in underwear now, which is fun.

Mostly because 4T little girl underwear are so dang adorable.

We’ve got Elsa and Sofia and Olaf, and I’ve got my eye on some Inside Out ones to be coming soon.

So much fun.

But with underwear also comes the inevitable…

The Wedgie.

June came up to me this morning with a slightly distressed face and said-

“Mama– my underwear and shorts are… stuck.  In my bum!?”

With much laughter, I fixed the situation and told her that’s called a wedgie.

And then, I am not exaggerating– it happened probably 15 more times today.

The first few, she came over to me and said, “What’s that thing called again?  You know where my underwear and shorts are stuck in my bum bum?  I have that thing and need help!”

And then she started calling it an “Edgie.”

Finally around 4pm, she got it right lol.

Looks like we’ve got ourselves a new W word for The Word Wall.

June Story #2.

This weekend, we were at Chipotle for lunch.

It’s 11:26pm and I am so hungry and just text a friend that I already wish it was lunch time tomorrow lol, and I now really wish I was at Chipotle right NOW.

Anyway, back to Saturday at Chipotle.

June made a friend, because she makes friends everywhere.

Honest to blog, everywhere we go—- Twisters open gym, the zoo, Chipotle, the post office, the grocery store– she goes up to kids and will say, “Hi! My name is June– what’s your name?”

And then as soon as they tell her their name, she will say, “Hi WHATEVER THEIR NAME IS!  So good to meet you.  I’m 2.  How old are you?  Do you want to play together?”

About 98% of the time, the child she is talking to won’t talk back to her.

Maybe because they’re taught not to talk to other kids.

Or maybe they’re just not in the mood.

Or sometimes it’s because they’re not quite that verbal yet and June doesn’t realize that.

So Saturday, we’re next to a little girl June’s age, and we’re on the patio, so June and the other little girl are near each other and both playing by the gate.

June does her thing and introduces herself and asks the little girl’s name.

June can’t understand the little girl, so she does what she has recently started doing and asks the mom to clarify.

The mom tells June the little girl’s name is Charlotte.

To which my June Harbor naturally says, “Charlotte!?!?!?!  Like in Charlotte and the Web!!!!!!”

(I love that she doesn’t say titles correctly sometimes– I think it’s precious and never correct her.  Meanwhile, The Shipper ALWAYS corrects her lol.)

Anyway, June’s new friend Charlotte looks completely confused.

So June looks at the mom who nods along about Charlotte and the Web, and then June– God bless my favorite girl in the whole world– says,

“So, Charlotte– do you have a friend named Wilbur?”

I mean, I just want to go wake June up right now and hug her, because her little mind makes me so happy.

I couldn’t love that little peach more.

Naturally Charlotte had no clue what June was talking about, so yes– she then asked–

“Charlotte’s Mom– does your daughter Charlotte have a friend named Wilbur?”

And Charlotte’s mom just died laughing.

Which come to think of it, June is probably still wondering about this lol.

Ah, I love her so much.

June Story #3.

This last one isn’t really a story, but just a comment I just found from yesterday’s blog.

So I used to get emails when people commented on the blog, so I wouldn’t miss them, but I haven’t received those in a long time, so sometimes I miss comments, which I hate!

I am especially glad I saw this comment tonight.

It’s from my dad (aka June’s Pa) and it absolutely MADE. MY. DAY.

Truly– I can hardly think of a better compliment or a sweeter sentiment to read from my dad.

And I can’t wait to read it to June in the morning!

OH!  And I just remembered today is the 24th.  Which I haven’t celebrated this kind of thing for June in awhile, but since this post was all about her, it’s kind of perfect because today at 2:21pm, she turned 33 months young.

33 months of pure sweetness.

13307335_680640395912_3223665566821812772_nBest big sister in the whole wide world.

Just ask Smith Bomb.

05.24.16 2 Comments

Good News on a Monday!

The minute I woke up this morning, I knew I needed to know Smith’s test results today.

(If you’re confused about what kind of test results, you can read about Taking Blood From My Baby HERE.)

The doctor had told me it might be Tuesday, but could also be Monday, so when I heard that, I heard:



Because I’m an optimist like that.

Or crazy.

Or demanding lol.

Anyway, I called that office the minute they opened to leave a message to call me back.

Then I called two more times and worried my neck into a state of pain for about three hours.

I loaded my million kids up for a ride and a Sonic drink (aka my vice) and ended up getting talked into a ham melt, and it was as I was handing June her ham melt that I saw “Kirby-Diaz” coming through on my phone screen.

I nearly dropped everything, put my car in park, and answered with my hopes all kinds of up.

I could tell immediately from Debbie’s (KD’s nurse) tone that this was the news I was wanting.

But because she didn’t know I’m a Tone Reader on the side of being a full-time SAHM and a part-time blogger, she went ahead and told me that Dr. Kirby-Diaz reviewed all bloodwork and it all looked absolutely perfect.

She said the thyroid looked especially great with zero concerns to be had.

I was so relieved.

So excited.

And only slightly annoyed at the doctor (nurse practitioner) that put us through this whole three ring circus.

Before I could even hang up the phone, I had tears in my eyes at the exact song that came on June’s CD we were listening to:

“God is so good…  God is so good… He’s so good to me.  He answers prayers….”

Tears everywhere.

But then I realized I needed to share my wonderful news, so I very excitedly told June.

She had already known what was going on, because she was VERY concerned when she saw the tape and bandages on his arms from the blood draw last Friday.

I told her everything was absolutely perfect and he was healthy and wonderful.

June’s little rearfacing voice was so quick to say:

“I’m SO glad nothing is wrong with my brudder, Mom.  Do you know that when I thought something could be wrong…. it made me SAD.  I don’t want anything to be wrong with my Smiff Bomb, because I love him too much.”

I’m going to borrow a line from my girl JoJo with:


Who is this girl?   This Baby June of mine that could formulate that kind of response???

Both the sincere and genuine caring of it, but also the ability to articulate it?

She blows me away.

Naturally her reply brought back ALL THE TEARS.

We started driving and I was honest to goodness about to explain to June why this song that was on meant so much to me right now, and you guys– my 2 year old little Baby June interrupts herself singing along and says:

“HEY!!!  God IS so good!  That’s what Eddie (the guy singing on her CD) is saying and he’s right, because we prayed for Smith and he is all better!  Eddie says God answers prayers, and he does!!!  Way to go, Eddie!!!  (laughing)  And well- WAY TO GO GOD!”

I really can’t even explain or try to explain what a blessing June is to me.


I’m in tears right now at the daunting task of trying to type letters to form words to describe someone as precious and remarkable and brilliant and sweet as June Harbor Shippy.

I will fail every time that I try to put her heart to words, but I guess if I was to try to explain her, I would have to just say she’s everything I ever would have dreamed to have in a little girl…

And then so much more.

Her heart.  Her mind.  Her memory.  Her compassion.  Her precious.  Her voice.  Her sassy paired with her sweetness– it’s too much.

IMG_8748 IMG_8232

I love her so much that I cannot wait for her to wake up each morning— today it was 9:58 God love her.

Only my daughter would also have a grand appreciation for being well-rested.

She really is the daughter I always wanted, and I just can’t believe I get to be her mom.

Her reaction to Smith being okay, and then her recognizing the amazing of that song being on while we found out the good news— it was just another example of her being the delight of a little girl that she is.

We had a wonderful afternoon of playing outside together– with our sweet Smithers, too.

13243763_680520311562_6290073875691669981_oIMG_8788We played with the neighbors, took a walk in the new (used) (detailed) double stroller to Pinto and the water to see tadpoles, played basketball and baseball, put on some shows, read lots of books– so many favorite activities of ours.

As we were heading inside– all quite tired, I told June that Smith was ready for his nap, she was going to have snack and show before her nap, and I was so worn out I might rest too.

She quickly chimed in, “That’s a great idea, Mom, because you know– even God had to rest!”

I was quite surprised by that reply and asked her where she learned about that, and she told me–

“My Grammy taught me.  She’s a great teacher!”

I certainly can take no kind of credit for the joy that is June on my own.

Daily I hear her credit her dad or Gram Bomb or Pa– or even Atticus recently with “LACES OUT!”

She forgets nothing someone tells her.

I’m so thankful for the news of our today.

I’m so grateful Smith is healthy.

I’m so grateful for the big sister he has in June.


I never knew my heart would be so effortlessly capable of having two favorites.

Nor did I have a clue as to how having my Smith would only make me love June more and vice versa.

The two of them together… whether it be June using all her arm strength to get him to crawl (see hilarious Facebook video) or Smith waving to June in their carseats or Smith being sad I leave the room and June rushing to make him happy or Smith lighting up when June hands him a toy…

To see them together and loving each other is just my absolute favorite.

Thank you, Jesus for my two precious and perfect little babies.

Everyday with them is a gift and one I pray to never take for granted.


05.23.16 5 Comments

Barely. Able. To. Keep. Eyes. Open.

I’m so tired that I’m going to borrow a page from yesterday and basically just post to say I can’t write all that I want.

As The Shipper and I were driving two exhausted babies home from Lee’s Summit this afternoon to get back in town in time for church, we both realized we basically had been going non-stop since Friday at 4pm.

So many fun things, but very little down time.

Which we kind of love.

Down time, that is.

I mean we love fun things, but something we definitely have in common– The Shippmate and I— is we also grandly appreciate chill time.

So instead of staying up to blog, I’ve got to go snuggle up to sleep with my favorite guy.

But two things real quick before I collapse on the memory foam pillow that I love so much:

1.  June adores pretend play and loves being The Mom and me being The Kid.

As in, that’s what she calls me: “Kid.”

So earlier, we were doing just that and I see Ryan pulling in the driveway, and I briefly break character and say–

“June– look!  Daddy is home!”

And my 2 year old daughter says–

“Ummm, Kid… that is NOT my dad.  That is my Shippmate.  He’s YOUR dad, remember?”

I love her so much I can hardly stand it.

2.  Earlier at church (Pillar Church, that is) Atticus passes me a note asking me if I want to read Scripture before his sermon.

I always want to, so this was an obvious yes.

It was just about 3 seconds before I was about to be in front of our congregation that I realized in all of our hustle and bustle of the day — we left our house at 10am to be in the city for various events all day long and got back in town just in time for church– I had removed the actual shirt I was wearing to feed Smith and just had on a tank top that was supposed to be an under shirt.  I mean it’s still a real tank top but NOT what my outfit was or what I would generally wear to be in front of people reading from the Bible lol.

I had no choice to do anything to fix the situ at that point.

I did say a little prayer.

So normally before I am about to speak in front of people, I say a prayer prior to taking the stage that is asking God to make me transparent so the people listening will see right through me and just see Him.

This time I prayed the opposite of that basically– “Forget the transparency, God– let no one see through me or this little black tank!”

I like to think that God is amused by our convos and my precarious situations.

Okay, Erica OUT.

Good night, world (and by world I mean the 12 people reading this scrambled post that I’ve tried four freaking times to publish but our Internet keeps failing me and I WANT TO SAY ALL THE CURSE WORDS) and I promise for better blogs to come this week!!!!!!

And for a final closer of a pic, my people.


It was a busy and full weekend that started at 4pm on Friday and went non-stop until 10pm tonight on Sunday evening, but it also was a whole lot of together.

Which I love.

Truly— my heart had no clue last year at this time just how much I would adore being a family of four.

A Smith Bomb.  A Shippmate.  And a June Harbor.

My cup runneth over.

05.22.16 1 Comment

A Post to Say I Posted


I know this is kind of being technical to keep with EVERYDAY IN MAY, buuuut I’ve had a packed and fabulous day and am ending it with a super late night pizza delivery with The Shippmate now that the babes are in bed, so I am writing to say I’ll explain more tomorrow!

It was such a full day of fabulous and I will definitely elaborate tomorrow!

05.21.16 Leave a comment

Taking Blood From My Baby.

So yesterday.

Goodness gracious, our yesterday.

I dropped June off at my parents’ house and that’s a most minor detail of this whole story, but also important to me, because had I had to do all that will happen with her– I CAN’T EVEN IMAGINE.

So incredibly thankful she was at her favorite place with her favorite Pa.

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Smith and I were onward to his 9 month well child appointment.

Which normally I really enjoy those appointments, however I had been stressed and dreading and anxious for this one ever since a couple weeks ago when we were at his dermatologist appointment.

Which sounds confusing, but stick with me.

So he had a check up to just confirm his skin was doing awesome (which it was) at our pediatric dermatologist.

We waited over an hour to see her, and while we barely talked about his skin (because it was doing fine and great and now I wish we hadn’t even gone) she did have a serious concern to address— about his weight!

I was so taken back by this and just had no idea where it was coming from.

She pulled out a chart and showed me where he was (off the chart) but she only had two points on the chart– his first appointment with them at six months and then this follow up appointment.

Anyway, she said she thinks he needs blood work and testing to see why he is so big.

I explained that he started out big and he (at the time) was exclusively breastfed and hadn’t even ate real food yet.

She then said some of the results would help explain why he probably isn’t sleeping through the night yet.

Several kinds of confused, I said– “What?  He is a great sleeper!  He has slept through the night since night one in the hospital and he’s an excellent napper– we have zero sleep problems with him??”

To which she replied– “Ahh– well then this might help explain why he is so lethargic.”


I was fuming and so mad and frustrated and felt instinctively so defensive and protective of my Smith and all his rolls.

He actually was looking up at me blowing raspberries as if to say:  IGNORE THIS CRAZY LADY, MOMMY!

Which I half wanted to do.

I’ve NEVER felt worried about him or his size— I know he’s healthy and breastfed and he just IS a big boy but will slim down when he’s moving more.  Nothing about his weight has EVER worried me.

Uhhhh, cue Jimmy Kimmel television debut lol.

Just my point being— I’ve never second guessed anything about him or his health.

I had only felt most confident about me and him with no worries to speak of.


But now, there was this horrible feeling creeping in me questioning EVERYTHING.

Was he okay!?!?

Was I so stupid for missing something so huge?!?!

(Puns always intended here.)

I took the elevator down from his appointment to go meet my mom and June who had been waiting that entire horribly long appointment outside in the van, and as we rode down in the elevator I physically felt like my heart was sinking.

Just this entire feeling I had never really felt in terms of being a really neglectful or awful mom that didn’t even know her own kid!

I looked at Smith and just burst into tears (in the elevator with several other people– always fun) because I felt HORRIBLE if I had missed something or hurt him in anyway.

I immediately called my pediatrician to schedule this bloodwork, but she was NOT having it.  She was clearly annoyed by this and said she has had Smith under her care and he was born big and healthy, had newborn screening, is exclusively breastfed, etc. etc. etc.

She was not ordering the bloodwork.

Which semi-comforted me for the three weeks.

But in the back of my mind, I couldn’t shake this idea planted in my head that something could be wrong with my Smith Baby.

The next few weeks I didn’t tell a soul— not even my Shippmate– but I watched every move of Smith’s like a hawk and wondered if the slightest things were some sign of something horribly wrong with him.

I even did some EXTENSIVE research on breastmilk and if somehow MY specific milk was bad for him and making him too big.

(What I eat actually does NOT change the calories or make up of my milk.  Tons of moms wish it did for the opposite reason, as in babies needing to gain weight.  Those moms can’t add fatty foods to their diet to make “better” milk for their baby no more than I cannot change mine to put Smith on “skim milk” per se.)

Anyway, it was just miserable and annoying and so stupid to worry over everything and nothing.

I was so glad the day had finally arrived to see Dr. Kirby-Diaz and put this whole thing to rest when she saw him and confirmed all was good.

We waited a looooong hour and ten minutes to see her and did have some fun in that process.

13220969_680183351832_2706072763132522682_n 13239484_680183416702_8768409635796525235_n 13244857_680183411712_1552410079658570123_n 13240552_680183336862_4014383795596470720_n 13226699_680183341852_1913888781992192480_n 13254200_680183511512_8118865032970725610_n 13256399_680183426682_638506113641214815_n

But mostly my heart was just so anxious to get this appointment going and done.

I had already been in major tears on the drive to the appointment and just so stressed and worried.

Well, KD came in and loved on him and listened to my concerns and did her usual greatness, but she couldn’t just look at him and KNOW nothing is wrong.

I don’t even know why I was so silly to think that would happen.

She did tell me she never would have expressed this concern– or even had this concern and certainly wasn’t worried about him.

She had a million reasons as for why he was completely great and healthy and developmentally he’s rocking everything, but she felt like as a parent if she had been told what I had been told by that doctor (nurse practitioner, WHATEVER lol) that the only way it would be put to rest was through that blood work.  And because they do some blood test (lead, etc) at one year, they could just combine that with this blood work and then not do that at his 1 year appointment.

As we walked to the lab after him and I both had already cried through his shots, I was envisioning a finger prick.

Because that is how they do the lead test at one year.

However, since this was requiring MUCH more blood, they had to DRAW blood.

Oh my gosh– my day was going from not great to much worse.

Smith was snuggled up so close to me after those shots and I could tell by the lab nurses’ expressions that this was NOT going to be easy.

They looked around for a vein, both of them looking stressed and nervous– which is NEVER what I want to see in someone with a needle about to go to my arm LET ALONE MY BABY BOY’S ARMS!

I actually said I needed to go use the restroom quickly before they started, and because I hadn’t planned on all of this happening, I hadn’t brought my stroller in, so yes- I held a 31 pound Smith Bomb while unbuttoning my jeans, and somehow going the bathroom and washing my hands.

At the time I was too stressed to be impressed with that whole feat, but SERIOUSLY.  I need a medal or something.

When I returned, I think they could sense (or see) that I wasn’t doing well with all of this and they neither one felt confident they would be successful so they sent us to another location for another lab.

I thought they meant just downstairs or something, but um, no.  We had to drive 10 minutes.

Load and unload a tired Smithy.

We were clearly not impressed:

We get to this lab and the three women there were SO nice.  They could see I was not doing so great and they were so comforting and wonderful.

I had called my dad to tell him we’d be even longer and he was also so nice to offer to come up there to be with us or take us to lunch afterwards but since they got Smith right in, that wasn’t necessary.

So we go in this little room and there are three workers in there— getting info, getting Smiths’ arms ready, and prepping tubes, etc.

I asked them if this was going to be easy and they all confirmed no.

They also explained it would probably be the worst for me, because Smith would be upset and I would need to hold him down and just that drawing blood from babies isn’t easy.

They tried one time and it did NOT go well.

Smith was so red in the face and upset, I was crying– it was bad.

I asked what would happen if they couldn’t get it in and they said we would probably be sent to Children’s Mercy.

The thought of re-loading Smith, making this process even longer and worse– it was just too much so I’m pretty sure my eyes were begging and pleading with this kind lady TO GET THAT NEEDLE IN HIS ARM.

OH- and I didn’t even mention how they warned me how bad it would look since he has so much arm fat– in terms of the needle is really going in deep.


My stomach actually is hurting now typing it out.

And here’s the thing– I KNOW that there are so many moms and babies out there that do so much more than this– daily– for different conditions and testing.

In fact, somehow God had me reading this girl’s blog late the previous night about her baby that was born with snydromic cranio and even while sitting in that chair so stressed by this blood draw experience– and especially now that it’s over– I fully recognize this is NOT that big of a deal.

I also recognize the parents of babies and kids that have to go through testings and medicine and procedures that I don’t even know about– those parents are WARRIORS.  And champs.  And deserve so much respect and love and support from moms like me that are freaking out about one dang blood draw.

But, still– it was just no kinds of fun.

In fact, I was trying to show him a video to distract him and accidentally recorded us for 2 seconds and captured this face:

Which is a face I’ve never seen on my happy Smithers and it was killing me.

So after I’m pretty sure my entire being of a body was communicating to the lady with the needle I NEEDED this to happen this time, IT DID!

Smith was screaming.  The lady with the needle looked at me so intensely and firmly said: “Do NOT let him move. You can’t.”  And I held on so tight.  That same lady then also looked at her co-worker and demanded she hand her the tubes faster!

It was so intense and painful, but praise Jesus it was successful and they got everything they needed.

I immediately nursed Smith after they were done and he clung to me like he was even more done with our morning than I was.

Our pediatrician appointment was at 10:30.  We weren’t seen until after noon.

So by this point it’s 1:15 and Smith is normally down for a morning nap at 11:30 so he was EXHAUSTED and fell quickly asleep in my arms.

As I stood up from that chair where I’d been holding him, it is NO exaggeration that my jean shorts were WET.

Not from pee lol, but because I hadn’t even realized the stress of the situation had caused me to sweat so much.

Not to mention I was holding Smith.

Ah– I was so glad to be leaving there and once I had Smith loaded and looked at the van clock, I realized it was 1:30 and the only food I had consumed all day was half an apple at 9am.  I hadn’t drank even a full glass of water.

And I HAD fed Smith multiple times, so basically my body was running on empty.

After devouring some Chik-Fil-A, I felt a little more alive and had the drive back to my parents’ house to process everything with a little more clarity.

Likely nothing is “wrong” with Smith.

Hopefully and prayerfully in a couple of days, my month of being a paranoid and worried kind of mom that I’ve never been will be over and I can never go back to that dermatologist again.

But– this is where the chicken sandwich really helped my clarity that had been fogged from hunger and stress and blood draw trauma– if something is “wrong” with him…

It will completely be okay.

It’s not going to change how I love him.

It’s not going to define him.

It will all really, really be okay.

And despite recalling the way the “real” doctors on Grey’s make fun of dermatologists for being B-team doctors, I’ve tried not to be angry or overly annoyed at that doctor (nurse practitioner) for her expressing a concern.  Because she likely was trying to be helpful and if something is wrong with him, I guess she was.

Just the entire thing has made me feel so wildly protective of Smith in a way I’ve never quite felt for either of my kids until this happened.

He’s so perfect in my eyes— I LOVE his rolls. I LOVE his little grin.  I LOVE the way you can see his smile in his sweet eyes.  His huge hands are my favorite. His expressions are endless and perfect.  The way he leans in for a hug has melted me for months.  His adoration for June is beyond precious.

Nothing will ever change the way I love him or see complete perfection when I look at him.

He’s my baby boy, and in my mama’s heart– no test result or dermatologist’s diagnosis will change a thing about him.

And for that, my heart feels a peace even before we get the results from that terrible blood draw.

Despite feeling like the opposite of how I’d want to spend Smith’s 9 Month Birthday, I will say, it gave me a precious appreciation for the gift of life this son is to me.

And how I will always always be there for him– even if it means sweating through my shorts while trying to keep him calm for that dang needle.

He stole my heart 9 months ago to the day, and he continues to capture it daily.


05.20.16 15 Comments

Happy 9 Months, Smith Shippy!

I desperately want to write about something that happened today, but my heart and emotions and eyes can’t handle staying awake any later than it already is to make that happen, but I’m SO hopeful it will happen tomorrow.

And being that it’s #throwbackthursday on the 19th, which means it’s Smith’s 9 Month Birthday, I was excited to post several pictures I’ve never shared from his Birth Day 9 months ago today.

I decide this after everyone is in bed, and I have to go to our bedroom and accidentally wake The Shippmate up getting my old computer out of our room, because it has all my pictures on it from 2010-Smith’s Birth Day.

I already have annoyed him by waking him up, and I get the old computer out here only to find IT WILL NOT TURN ON.

I want to cry.

It’s been such a crappy day and if I could even articulate how excited I was to end the day getting to reminisce about one of the most special days in all my life by looking through all of those pictures…


Not even to mention the stressed out I feel that my old computer– storage of ALL my pictures– isn’t turning on.

So instead of ending my day with semblance of peace, it’s ending like it’s been since about 9 this morning.




I’m over it.


I decided to open it and press down on the power button for an INSANE amount of time (one more time) (I’ve done it like 17 times since waking Ryan up) (and yes, Shipper– I KIND OF wanted to come back in there and ask you how to fix this but didn’t LOL) — anyway, I tried ONE MORE TIME and look what I got…..


Twenty minutes later I was reminded why I have a new computer as it takes 20 minutes for this old computer to do ANYTHING lol.

But, it DID lead me down a very relaxing and emotional road to revisiting my pictures from Smith’s Birth Day!

And oh, that was worth the trouble.

Worth waking up The Shippmate.

Worth thinking it wouldn’t come on.

Worth trying ONE more time.

My heart NEEDED to see these priceless, precious images tonight.

I needed to remember the pain.

The focus.

The work.

The love.

The labor of love.


The arrival.


But most of all, I needed to see this face.

That sweet, precious– seconds new face!



I cannot get enough of him.

Be still, my heart.

It was 9 months ago today, this baby boy with the sweetest grin I’ve ever seen captured my heart in ways I didn’t even know my heart was available for capturing.

Smith Dyer Shippy– you really are the baby boy I never knew I always needed.

I cannot imagine my life nor my every days without you.

Going to get you out of your crib every morning at the beautiful hour of 9am makes me so giddy and anxious to see the way you LIGHT UP when you see me.

I’m not trying to brag– fine, maybe I am– but you smile for me in a way I don’t see anyone else capable of making you smile.

Maybe it’s because you know.

You know my secret.

That my heart is yours forever.

I love you to the moon and back, my sweet Smith Bomb of a Smithers.

Happy 9 Months, Baby Boy.



05.19.16 1 Comment

Mother Daughter Date Night!

I had too much fun with my mama tonight and want to talk to The Shipper a bit before bed, so I’m going to just borrow some Snapchat material to write the blog tonight.

First we had a quick dinner at Chik-Fil-A.

It was quite tasty.

Oh, and this happened:

Then we were off to get our toes pampered and pretty!

(or if you’re me– TORTURED AND TORN APART because I LOVE the after of peds but they are quite painful and it’s a whole surgery on my ingrown toenails that my mom cringes through while I’m in pain lol)

This was how bad they were:


13244807_680050982102_8575880246671305967_n12524158_680050992082_3011782520619291425_nMy guy was AWESOME.  And quite handsome.

And patient with my skin freaking out at the sea scrub thing my mom loves but my sensitive skin needs only THE CHEAPEST NOTHING AVAILABLE lol.

But seriously– this guy was SO nice and even helped me wash my legs off.

Okay that all sounds weird now but it (mostly) wasn’t really.

Anyway, so much fun talking to my mom and just being us.

And because my mom is the most generous soul on the face of the planet she completed spoiled me with my first ever SHELLAC pedi!

These toes are ready for poolside adventures with Grammy and my million kids:


So thankful to have a mom of a best friend.

And equally thankful to have a daughter to continue such a legacy.

There is really nothing like a mom/daughter date.

I’ve looked forward to it all week and it was everything I needed and wanted it to be.

It really makes my heart beam that I get to learn how to be a mom to June from the very best example in my own mom.

She’s the best.

13256257_680050987092_7419116417008681089_nI love you, Mom!

PS:  June and Smith will NOT be disappointing this year with the Christmas tree snap. ;)

05.18.16 1 Comment

A Simple Kind of Wonderful.

(slight disclaimer:  this post was written while simultaneously talking to three different friends so please ignore any writing flaws or weaknesses in the name of friendship)

(oh- and shout out to my friends for being the best– I love you girls so much)

I loved today.

It was just quiet and simple and nothing out of the ordinary, but just nice.

I have often joked that I’m a SAHM (stay at home mom) who is never home, which is true a lot of the time.

I love going on adventures with my kids and spending time outside of our home, but I also love love love our days at home.

I’ve really felt the appreciation for being home since having a million kids, because while being out and about and doing fun things is cool, it’s also just so much easier to be home.

I was just talking to some friends today about how on the weekends, my kids’ days just get all messed up.

And I don’t mean that in a bad way, because it’s just inevitable– with activities and events, etc.

But even on a day when the kids are home, but I’m gone or not in charge of all that is happening and Ryan’ with us— it is not quite the same as me at home with them by myself.

Just last Sunday, The Shippmate let me sleep in (WHICH I LOVE) but he had the kids up at different times than they’re ever up for me and then Smith went down for nap at a weird time, and then Smith was waking up right as June was going down for nap…

None of this is a big deal AT ALL (especially since it was so wonderful of The Shipper to let me sleep in) but I remember that when this would happen early on with us having June, I would always fear somehow it would mess up our schedule and routine when Ryan was back at work and it was just us on Monday.


The last two days, it’s just been me at home with the kids— normal days and with the rainy weather, we’ve (mostly) just stayed home, and their schedules have been PERFECT.

As in, they both sleep in until after 9am.

They both play and enjoy some morning fun while I get a few things done and then I can play and do activities with them.

We all eat lunch together.

We all play and learn and talk and read some more.

They both go down for a LONG afternoon nap together.

I get things done and then just get to relax in my clean house while they’re sleeping.


Today was especially nice, because my dad took June to celebrate ONE WEEK OF NO ACCIDENTS!!!!!!!!

She is doing SO good in The World of Potty Training, and so funny– on the way home from their IHOP date, my dad told me that June said she needed to the bathroom.  Pa asked her if she could hold it and she said she could.

Then she explained, “I will wait until we get home and then I will poop in the potty seat and then WE WILL GET TO GO TO IHOP AGAIN!”


While they were pancaking it up, Smith and I ran to Wal-Mart to get some groceries in the crazy rain (Smith Bomb seemed to enjoy the rain and was zero percent worried about me getting us and the groceries to the van while us all trying to stay dry) and when we got back home from our errands, we found June on the potty seat and Pa reading her Once Upon a Potty book him and Gram Bomb gave her for Christmas!

Anyway, my point being that today was especially nice because I was able to get out and get some errands done with only half a million kids and I had planned ahead and had dinner cooking in the Crock Pot all day.

The four of us had a lovely and relaxing evening just enjoying dinner and each other and normal things around the house— which if you follow me on Snapchat you know also involved riveting dinner table talk that was captured.

We also all watched some Aladdin again tonight, which June has quite enjoyed!

It was just a simple, quiet rainy day that my heart kind of adores.

I feel like this picture from today beautifully summarizes the simple wonderful of our day.

It’s June and I both so excited about our new writing utensils and paper.

I bought her this journal I was so excited about, and she loves it so much!

She immediately told me thank you and how special it was to her and that she couldn’t wait to show Grammy and Pa and all her friends for Show and Tell at Gospel Kids!

Then when Ryan was tucking June in, I heard her tell him how much she loves that journal and it’s so special that she will be taking it to Show and Tell!

Which is not until Sunday, but I love that she’s already prepared.

She even told me today that she writes and draws stories in her journal like I do on my blog.

Gah- I adore her.

And to end this sweet and simple day, I’m headed to bed at 11pm which is officially early with EVERYDAY IN MAY!

But wait– I feel bad sharing only pics of June and not Smith Bomb, so here’s a sweet Smith face to say good night!


05.17.16 1 Comment

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