There are just some things that probably don’t need to be happening when you’re 37 weeks pregnant.
Like running into your husband’s ex-girlfriend.
Or running into the guy you had a crush on in the 7th grade at your dad’s retirement party. (NOT THAT I WOULD KNOW)
Or being a bridesmaid.
Or attending any type of class or other reunion.
And I’m going to go ahead and add:
“Getting life insurance” to that list.
So for some reason, The Shippmate decided we need life insurance for me.
(We just had the best and sweetest weekend together– that is actually in a blog I have drafted but not finished yet– so I don’t think it’s because he’s trying to kill me or something.)
I was never excited about the idea, because sometimes I’m still half an adult and don’t probably think responsibly enough about such things, so kudos to my Shippmate on that.
But when he told me I have to have some health/stress test thing done where a guy is going to come over and draw my blood among other things, I was even LESS excited about this whole charade.
I go to the doctor once a week right now as it is– the last thing I want is some random guy coming over to my house to poke me with a needle.
But apparently that’s what you have to do, so June and I were mid-Taco Bell lunch when this guy and a lady (his wife? his assistant? his witness? I still don’t even know what her purpose was?) come in with what June will continue to call their “DOCTOR KIT LIKE GRANDMA WANDA HAS!”
I get to pee in a cup for him– a cup with no lid at that– that I have to bring out to our kitchen table which felt all sorts of fun.
Then he does my blood pressure before very painfully and poorly sticking me with a needle while the lady tried to make annoying small talk with me and June kept saying, “Doctor is giving my mommy shots! Oh no!”
He then asked me a ton of questions about my personal health before having me step on a scale that I couldn’t see the number it came up with due to my huge belly.
But after he saw the number he asked what I weighed last year at this time.
Which that was the highlight of the whole time when I got to tell him of how skinny I used to be.
So they leave while June bids “the doctor” and “the lady” farewell and I’m glad that whole thing is behind us.
Until it’s not.
We’re at dinner that night (at our kitchen table that earlier was the blood and urine lab) (with food I both gathered and cooked for the first time in a LONG time) and while enjoying my average cuisine, June and I mention the whole “doctor visit” thing to The Shippmate.
His first question, “How much did you weigh?”
I don’t know that Ryan has hardly ever asked nor cared what I weighed in the 5 years we’ve been married. I DO remember telling him during June’s pregnancy I didn’t want to see a number I saw back during My Heavier Days (thank you Tucker Dining Hall) and then I remember seeing that number (and beyond lol) during that pregnancy and freaking out a bit. And I also remember seeing the scale move way quicker than I would have ever guessed or hoped AFTER June and probably telling him about that, too.
But if we ever are talking numbers, it’s because I bring it up, so I’m all— “What????”
And so June repeats for him, “How much you weigh?”
Ryan quickly jumps in with what he thinks is going to be a save of a situation by explaining, “Oh oh oh– I am only asking because if you’re under a certain number, you’ll save us money.”
ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME!?!?!!?!??!?
I’ve had numbers that I’d love to flaunt to “save us money” for most of our marriage, and we choose NOW to make me step on a scale and see if I can be under a certain weight!?!
When I’m a million months pregnant and people are confident my one baby bump has to be triplets?!?!?!!
I knew life insurance was a horrible idea, and suddenly I’m wondering how much we have on my beloved Shippmate that I’m feeling annoyed at!
Kind of, but seriously– if your husband asks you to have some strange man come in your house and take your blood and urine in your kitchen when you’re a million months pregnant, let this be my own public service announcement to JUST SAY NO.
And because I know someone is dying to ask if I was under the “saving money weight,” I’ll just assure you that’s a negative!
(I was last year at this time.)
(And I barely was in My Heavier Days.)
Now let me go enjoy my cheese danish in peace already.
Preggo lady OUT.
Marriage is fun.
(Sappy and long post about our sweet weekend coming soon!)
A frequent question I’m hearing these days is “Are you just SO ready to have that baby?!?”
Which seems like a simple enough question.
It’s a yes or no one and to quote someone from Facebook after I posted this 36 week pic of my belly last week:
(Yes, me and Elphaba both. Ten cool points for the three people that get that very Oz kind of reference.)
Or Ryan’s favorite out of the 50 some that commented–
“Good grief.. your tummy looks like a bomb”
So yes, I’m pretty sure people expect a resounding YES- GET THIS BABY OUT OF ME because well, that would be normal.
Except like my girl Elphaba, normal is something we are not.
This conflicted feeling in my heart isn’t even a foreign one, because I was the same way last time.
(So I went to find the post that I knew wrote last pregnancy and I COULD NOT believe it when I found the title: 37 Weeks and “Not Quite Ready” … which is EXACTLY the same week I’m in now! You can click HERE to read that 2013 version of this similar sentiment.)
I want to answer that I’m so ready to meet him and for him to be here, because I really know I should feel that– and I do– but there is a huge part of my heart that has June Harbor Shippy written all over it and that part of my heart cried three times today thinking about my days not being just about the two of us.
I ADORE my everydays with June. She is my absolute favorite, and I cannot express how perfect of a pair the two of us are.
But because I want a normal day in the life of Mama and June Harbor documented, I’m kind of going to try to articulate just that in this post.
This is an example of a post that I’m really writing for me to have and cherish and remember always, so I will give you a full disclaimer these pictures and moments could mean very little to you, my sweet readers.
But here’s the thing– as the birth of my second baby is getting closer and closer— every little moment… the moments that may mean nothing to everyone else– oh they’re gigantically huge to me and my mama’s heart.
Let’s just start with June waking up.
Because I’m a million months pregnant, I wake up numerous times during the night to pee. And if you’ve ever been a million months pregnant with a belly someone compared to a bomb, you know it’s no easy feat getting in and out of your bed.
So as I was catapulting myself back in the bed this morning around 6 something, I thought I saw the monitor flicker and thought: OH MY GOSH IS JUNE GOING TO BE A NORMAL KID AND WAKE UP EARLY TODAY!?
But thankfully it was just the train going by (that makes the monitor flash) and I was able to go back to sleep until almost 10am because my child is a miracle and gift from the dear Lord who spoiled me something silly with her.
And as I heard her rustling around at about 9:35am, I layed in my bed among my 42 pillows and just admired everything about her on the monitor. The way she so slowly prefers to wake up and spend almost 20-30 minutes in her crib just preparing herself for the day. She reads her books, she talks to her stuffed animals, she plays with her crib soother… and then after about 20 or 30 minutes, she will call out, “Monitor! Oh Monitor– where are you? Tell my mama I’m ready!”
Yes. That is how we start our day.
With my own sleep being interrupted and weird during pregnancy, I CANNOT articulate how her being the Olympic gold medalist of a toddler sleeper has made my life SO MUCH easier.
We are always so excited to see each other in the morning and talk and kiss and dance around her room before having breakfast together.
Except we were out of everything we normally have for breakfast, so we quickly got dressed and headed out the door for some grocery shopping with a granola bar and water kind of breakfast en route.
I love my trips to Wal-Mart with June. Maybe because we don’t go as often as we should or maybe because when we pull up June squeals, “Wal-Mart Time!!!!!! HOORAY, MOMMY!”
We have the best of times, few of which involve her in her cart.
There was this especially great moment while I was looking for
a specific cheese danish celery, and June was one aisle over and found an apple that she was so excited to show me. I said, “Don’t eat that– just pretend.”
And so she pretends to eat it like she does her pretend food at home (with MUCH animation and in a way that truly kills Ryan and I) but then all of the sudden she just goes for it and takes a bite and her eyes light up so huge and she exclaims to anyone in ear shot– “IT’S REAL!!!!!”
And continued to tell people in line while eating that dirty apple. “PEOPLE! My apple is REAL!”
I cannot even handle how adorable she is.
We came home for a quick lunch before this insurance guy came by to take my blood and actually had the audacity to ask me to step on a scale (that I couldn’t see the number because I couldn’t see around my belly so I just figured that was a telltale sign to just not ask) and then asks, “Do you know what you weighed last year at this time and how much you’ve gained since last summer?”
It probably didn’t bode well for my healthy eating habit portion of the survey that they walked in to June and I eating Taco Bell, but FRESCO STYLE.
My favorite thing that June says to me while we’re eating lunch or breakfast together is–
“Mama- talk to me?”
It’s so precious and sweet and doesn’t matter if we’re already mid-sentence and talking, she’ll say it just because.
So we talk. And eat our Fresco Style bean burritos.
Today was a rare day in the summer in which we had NO plans. AND I LOVE IT.
Don’t get me wrong– I love having so many friends and family to do all sorts of awesome summer activities with, but I also LOVE LOVE LOVE The Normal Days.
The ones where it’s just the two of us.
We ran a few errands I wanted to get done after lunch, and then I told June we could go swimming or do whatever she wanted, and while I thought she’d be all about the pool, she chose going on a walk instead.
Since we were out running errands, I offered the idea of inviting some friends and going to a trail or park to walk, and June said, “No- just me and you- walk.”
Which melted me into a puddle.
So we headed home and were onward with our normal walk that always involves going to see the horsey!
I realize that was an insane amount of pictures for a just a Tuesday midday stroll to see our favorite horsey (that yes, isn’t “ours” but a stranger’s that I hope doesn’t mind our frequent trespassing lol) (and also that I hope doesn’t mind June feeding and insisting “next time- bring water for our horsey!”) but the completely normal and mundane of a Tuesday afternoon stroll with my Baby June is kind of what makes my heart feel torn into a million pieces when people keep asking me if I’m so ready for Captain to be born.
It’s moments like today– with “REAL” apples from Wal-Mart and Fresco-style bean burritos and walks and talks and visits to our horsey– that make me want to answer-
“HECK NO I’M NOT READY!!! Do you think I could ever possibly be ready to end this 2 year best friendship I have with my Baby June?!?!?! Our days are perfect and a huge part of my heart is scared to death that Captain might kind of mess this whole thing up!”
What in the world will he do while we’re feeding the horse?!
Will we ever even get to leave the house to go to Taco Bell with him? (this might be an okay thing for everyone if we can’t lol)
Will June and I still get to have our talks and walks together– just the two of us?
I actually am bawling my eyes out just typing out these questions and found some solace in the thought that maybe he will sleep every once in awhile and then it WILL be just me and June again lol!
Which I know this probably— and Lord I pray HOPEFULLY– sounds ridiculous and silly to anyone with more than one kid, because for Captain’s sake, maybe I’ll WANT the little guy around!
(Ryan just walked in from work to me crying my eyes out at my computer and God bless him– I can seriously only imagine what he must think when I say, between sobs, “I just am feeling sad about it not just being me and June anymore!” He was actually so nice and pointed out it might be hard but sometimes I’ll get to be with just June and then I said, “I guess I MIGHT want it to be just him with me too???” To which my Shippmate says, “Yeah- I hope at some point you might want to spend time with your son!” Hahahahahahah. I love him. But had to instruct him to go shower and leave me alone so I can finish my sobfest.)
I was feeling so emotional on our walk home that I didn’t even care that she was too hot to walk and wanted me to carry her uphill for quite awhile back to our house.
We walked straight home and to the freezer for some popsicles.
But do you see that face? DO YOU GET WHY I FEAR NO ONE CAN BE MORE FUN OR PRECIOUS!?
And these– these are her “lookers” (which is code for binoculars) that she was “trying to see your freckles better, Mama! OH! BEAUTIFUL!”
She loved that little photo shoot just as much as I did. And since I’m crying at the thought of adding a Captain to the mix of our wonderful, we figured we should give him some love in the photo shoot, too.
And then we watched a little Super Why and talked letter and reading before it was nap time.
While getting ready for nap she requested to bring her African giraffe from Aunt Bay to watch, too. As she sat down with him, she said, “Now giraffey- can you see okay? This is is Super Why– I love it! I’ll show you the letters…”
And I saw in my Baby June this little girl that needs a baby brother.
I saw in my Baby June a little girl that will ADORE a baby brother.
Honestly– I can’t with any certainty or “proper closure” end this post with the confidence or realization that I think my days will be just as amazing or the wonderful June and I have had going on the last 2 years will be the same, because the truth is— my heart is still nervous and unsure.
But I do know with all of my heart that I can’t imagine not having grown up with my own little Bubby of a brother that I so adored (and still love dearly and consider him and Bailey my best of friends) and so while I feel nervous and torn and confused on if I’m “ready,” I absolutely believe we’re giving June Harbor the gift of a lifetime in a little brother.
And that calms my conflicted heart a little bit.
But June Harbor Shippy– let this super long post about nothing but a normal Tuesday in the life of us be such a reminder of the way you had my heart– my whole heart– for 2 years in a way that I’ll never ever forget.
I love you so much, Baby June. Our days together– when it’s just you and me– they’re my very favorite.
I’ve had this post on my heart since my last OB appointment.
The OB appointment that I decided to go ahead and kind of just cry my eyes out to my pretty matter-of-fact doctor.
Let me start from the beginning.
And I don’t know if it’s the hormones it takes to make a boy baby or what, but I’ve been especially emotional this go around.
Definitely more so than my pregnancy with June.
Like back in March, I was at state basketball with my dad and started crying when this team won the championship, because I just felt so happy and proud for these strangers from a school in Missouri I had never heard of until that day. Watching them all hug and be excited, I pictured Captain being one of them one day and it was just too much joy for me not to cry.
I cry when I’m happy. I cry when someone else looks sad. And I cry when I see people that look like they’re having a bad day at Target, because I have ALL OF THE FEELINGS.
So fast forward to my most recent appointment when I had known I was going to ask Dr. Calbert about something I’d been wondering about.
Last March, we had several test results come back that COULD mean something was wrong or they could be meaningless.
(You can read more about that here.)
It was this whole thing of stress and worry and trusting Jesus in the midst of Googling soft markers and if I could or could not breastfeed my baby with Down Syndrome.
And then on Royals Opening Day, I got a phone call that our test results came back and those markers had been meaningless!
Which was my favorite phone call since December 3rd when Dr. Coffman called to tell me June’s brain was absolutely perfect.
June and I celebrated that afternoon by randomly buying Opening Day tickets and cheering our boys in blue to a victory.
The Shippmate and I rejoiced in the good news and things have been smooth sailing and void of any perinatologist visits ever since.
It was such a relief to get to move onward with the pregnancy feeling both thankful and carefree.
Except for when I wasn’t.
Because while the test results were great, I also know that they are not 100% accurate. And so every once in awhile, I would think about the fact maybe the results we were given weren’t right.
Maybe we were the small percentage of time when the tests were wrong.
I never told anyone outside of Jesus about this thought of mine. I kept it hidden and worrisome– you know, the healthy and mature way to handle such a thing.
And honestly– I didn’t worry about it often, but it was just a thought that crept into my mind every once in awhile.
One night in particular, The Shippmate and I were about to fall asleep, and I leaned over and quietly asked, “Do you ever wonder if maybe Captain’s test results weren’t accurate and something is wrong?”
He didn’t even need to answer, because his silence told me he knew exactly what my heart was feeling.
There are a million ways parenting brings you closer to your spouse, and worrying about and praying over your babies is absolutely one of them.
His embrace in that moment, his heart that knew the hurt of mine, and his shared love for the children we made together… oh goodness, it’s a bond like none other. I cannot fathom doing parenthood with ANYONE but Ryan. He gets me on every level, and I’m so grateful for the dad he is to June and will be to Captain.
We didn’t talk much more about the worry we both shared, but I had thought enough about it that I knew I wanted to ask my doctor a couple of questions at this upcoming appointment.
Because you see, I’m a pretty methodical person in the way I do things. I think through things in advance… I rehearse conversations before having them sometimes… and I absolutely LOVE a plan.
So when it comes to the birth of my babies, I absolutely spend time daydreaming and planning about what is to come.
I think about what I’ll wear both during labor and while in the hospital.
(I don’t do hospital gowns– I feel so much more like a person in clothes I bring in and well– I know where they’ve been)
(and okay fine, could those hospital gowns be any less flattering??)
I had a hat ordered and ready for June to wear instead of the hospital one, and I am currently working on Captain’s. I was so unprepared last time that I used just any old blanket with ducks they threw our way, but this time I’m packing my own blankets for Captain that yes, coordinate with our nursery theme.
My point is– I’m half crazy. Little things are big to me. Details matter.
Agendas and plans are my happy place.
So you don’t know what blanket your baby boy is going to be swaddled in first without also thinking about the minute they hand that baby to you and all the feelings that might bring on.
Before I was even pregnant with Captain, I was completely already daydreaming about getting to go through labor with Ryan again and having a baby that lived INSIDE OF ME put on my chest.
It’s a euphoria like nothing I’ve ever experienced.
However, lately when I daydreamed about that moment, I pictured myself looking around trying to read the faces of doctors and nurses to see if I could get any non-verbal clues if something was wrong and they weren’t telling me.
Which felt about like the opposite of that euphoria I described when they handed me Baby June.
Here’s the thing– if something is “wrong,” it will be very very very alright. I know that. I know that my Shippmate and I can do it. I know we will love that baby boy with every fiber of our being and it will be my greatest honor to be his mom.
This isn’t about fearing having a baby with special needs– this is about the not knowing.
Which as you can imagine from the way I just described my agenda loving self, not knowing is tough for me.
I think I’m actually pretty good at reading people, but seconds after having my baby, I don’t want to be channeling the inner Comm major in me that can read non-verbals like it’s my job.
I want to be lost in the love of my son and Shippmate and Baby June that will be about to meet her brother.
Per some Google research, I read of really tough stories where parents were left wondering and doctors and nurses were silent and the mom and dad were left scared and confused, and I just hated to imagine that being our first moment with Captain, so I knew I needed to ask my own doctor.
My doctor is definitely no stranger to me asking questions (less this time around than the first, but I’ve still had my fair share of lists of things to discuss with her) so she wasn’t surprised when I said I had a question, but she did look a little more taken back when I couldn’t ask the question at first because of the huge lump in my throat.
I took a deep breath, shed some tears, and just blurted out– “I just want to know in that moment- that glorious moment when you put him in my arms– will you tell me if something looks wrong? I will love him no matter what, but I just don’t want to be left wondering.”
What I love about my doctor is she doesn’t sugar coat things. She’s not real enthusiastic or excited or emotional acting– she’s very calm and logical and serious. She didn’t assure me, “Oh honey– nothing will be wrong, everything will be great.”
AND I’M GLAD.
That is not what I want out of my doctor.
I have friends and little old ladies at church for that kind of blind comfort!
I want the straight up truth from my medical people.
She went on to tell me she would absolutely and immediately tell me if they saw features that would indicate they wanted to do further testing. There would be no me glancing all around the room trying to figure out people’s facial expressions.
She also told me that blood tests for the different chromosome abnormalities would not be quick. It would be a long wait for a few hours.
And while Dr. Calbert didn’t have some magical, wonderful answer for me, as I sat there alone on that piece of white paper they pull over the little office bed thing you sit on, all of the sudden, I felt very much not alone.
I could feel the arms and love of Jesus around me saying, “Erica– you have no reason to stress. Your baby boy will be perfect and loved and I will be with you every moment of his birth day.”
It was this surreal moment when I just knew that no matter what happens– whether Captain has an extra chromosome or the “right” amount– it didn’t matter.
I would love him. Ryan will love him. And Jesus will love him, me, Ryan, and June through it all.
Does it make me a little nervous to find out if they see features that would make them want to do more testing or if they don’t– in that precious moment when I’ve just met my baby boy? Well, yeah– it does.
It annoys me a little bit that I have this less naive knowledge this time around to even think about things like this.
But here’s what I know– I know that people have completely healthy pregnancies and no knowledge of any worries and all of the sudden, things can change.
I know that 16 month old baby girls can be healthy as can be swinging at the park with their Daddy on an innocent Friday morning and all of the sudden have seizures sending them straight to the hospital for what will be weeks of more tests and worry.
I can make a plan for my labor outfit and Captain’s hat and swaddle blanket, but I don’t get to control all of the rest.
It’s my job to give that over to Jesus and trust Him.
Which I’ve learned in the last year doesn’t always mean trusting Him to do exactly what I want, but trusting Him that His way is best.
My mom has said multiple times how she can’t wait to tell Captain the way she’s fervently prayed over that little man, and I cannot echo that sentiment enough.
Holding him will be the most precious proof of our faith and trust in Jesus.
In that moment, I know I will praise Jesus– not for a healthy baby– but for entrusting that little Captain of a man for me and my Shippmate to love.
Captain– we pray over you often, we love you to the moon and back already, June kisses you daily, and we cannot wait to meet you and call you our very own.
I only have a list of 13 things I’ve wanted to blog about lately in the Notes section of my iPhone.
Too many fun and wonderful things happening and not enough time to come to the keyboard to transfer thoughts from my heart to My Dyer-E.
That and I’m feeling especially pregnant lately which causes me to nap when June is napping and fall asleep on the couch while trying to be into my new Netflix show.
I also think there is something for getting out of the rhythm of blogging, so I’m going to try to make it here at least every other day this month. I actually VERY MUCH wanted to keep the momentum going and continue EVERYDAY IN MAY into June, but we were smack in the finish line of planning my dad’s SURPRISE (I am still using all caps with that as I did in all correspondences about the party praying people wouldn’t accidentally ruin the surprise!) (and they didn’t! YAY PEOPLE!) party, and I seriously could not add blogging to the madness that was that exciting (but tiring lol) finish line.
This post was going to be about something totally different, but I’m now going to switch gears and write the post I’ve wanted to write about my dad’s party!
(It’s hard keeping up with the ever-changing mind of a pregnant woman, I know.)
The Surprise. Ah. It was sweet perfection.
Months ago, Bailey, Atticus, Ryan, and I decided we wanted to have a celebration to honor Dad and his 30 years of coaching, teaching, and education career.
My mom quickly said it would have to be a surprise or my dad would never approve.
And so thus began quite the adventure of hunting down 30 years worth of students, colleagues, players, coaches, and even a referee, too!
My mom was SUCH a huge help with this process and so much of the party would NOT have been possible without her.
Bailey also did so much, and I’m so thankful for not only her insane organization skills and Excel expertise, but also for the amazing way she loves my parents. It means so much to me.
So we started contacting people and SOMEHOW– well surely by the power of my continual SURPRISE written in all caps on all invites, emails, FB messages, reminders, etc– NO ONE SAID ANYTHING TO MY DAD.
I honestly still can’t believe it.
Very early on, I knew the night needed to involve a ceremony. Atticus, Bailey, and Ryan– and even my mom– had their reservations about this portion of the evening, but I really knew it needed to happen, because I just KNEW Dad would appreciate it. He LOVES that kind of thing and never gets bored at banquets or when coaches talk too long about their players. At one point in our planning, I remember Bailey admitting to me she really had no scheme of reference of a ceremony being a part of a retirement party! Hahahahaha.
But everyone let me do my thing with it, and I found a player/teacher/colleague/coach from each school that Dad was at, with the one exception of his first school where he was only there for a year.
Since my mom knew the most about that year in Lawson, she was our speaker for that school. Then we had a player from Higginsville, Wellington, Pleasant Hill, two coaches and a son from Odessa, and a teacher from his time as principal at Crest Ridge, along with my Uncle Mitch re-telling The Infamous Princeton Game.
Each person brought so much heart and gratitude to the podium and I cannot express how grateful I was for EVERY person who showed up to show their respect to Coach Dyer and celebrate with our family. It was such a busy weekend (Father’s Day, the first nice weekend in forever) and we still had nearly 150 folks come enjoy the evening with us.
If you’re a best friend of mine, you’ve already heard this in a variation of a stressed out text during the weeks leading up to the party, but I just wanted the night to be SO special for my dad who has worked for 30 years to make events/games/practices/meetings so special and well done for everyone else. When several of my friends so kindly would say, “What can we do to help?” I continually would reply everything was taken care of (HUGE props again to my mom and Bailey) but the one thing I just NEEDED to happen was my dad to feel so honored and special because he so very much deserved that.
And with each speaker, each person that traveled to be there for the surprise– I saw my dad feel the exact kind of special I so desired for the evening.
Also, on a personal note, I want to thank everyone who prayed for this event with me, because the day of the party could not have been more flawless. June literally went down for a nap TWO HOURS earlier than normal so that she could have a nap in before the evening, which was totally and 100% Jesus giving us His own blessing of a gift for the evening!
After months of anticipation and planning, everything felt so very, very worth it when we greeted my very surprised dad– with a very smitten coach’s wife– at the door of a gym that has been so special and dear to our family.
The night was everything I had wanted it to be for my favorite coach, my former World History teacher, the best principal I’ve known since Belding of Bayside High, but most importantly for my dad.
Dad— you taught me how to perfect a left handed lay-up, never to save the ball under the other team’s basket, and how to break a half-court press. Those are all pretty invaluable lessons in the game of basketball, and yet– they pale in comparison to the way you’ve taught me the value of a hard work, the importance of priorities, intense dedication, and a genuine concern, respect, and love for people… referees always included.
So many said it that night, but let me say it myself– I’m so proud of you, so grateful for you, and I love that I’ll forever and always be a coach’s daughter because of you.
No tears, no fits– just good times all around.
Well tonight, I left right before she was going down to get my nightly free cup of ice at Dairy Queen (I keep expecting them to say it’s no longer free but every night it still is) and when I pulled in the driveway and got out of the car, I could hear her crying!
ZERO PERCENT NORMAL.
I hurried up the stairs and Ryan said she was just not wanting to go to bed and upset.
Here is where I think a couple of things can happen and I’m not even saying one is right or wrong, but just sharing what I have found works for me and June.
I could let her cry. I seriously doubt she would cry and be upset all night, I know she’s safe (hello, monitor) and probably all would be well.
But, I don’t want to do that.
And this is NOT a post to call out or ridicule any mom that would let their toddler stay in there and cry until they went to sleep. I do not even think you’re wrong or a bad mom or ANYTHING OF THE SUCH.
I just know that when I first had June, I thought there was some “right” way to do things and I questioned myself if I was doing things the “right” way, and 21 months into this business, I have such a different confidence about how very little importance a “right or wrong” way is as opposed to what is best for US!
And what’s best for my heart and my June is not for me to let her cry like that.
So I went in, scooped her up, and talked to my girl.
She said she wasn’t ready yet. I explained it was bedtime and Daddy had done all of her steps with her, so really– it WAS time to go to sleep.
She was having trouble calming herself down and was just unusually upset (again- 363 nights out of 365 there are ZERO tears and only smiles as she goes to bed) so I kissed her and rocked her and said, “Would it be a good idea if we went back into the living room and you watched a couple minutes of Tiger with a snack before trying to come to go night night?”
Through little calming whimpers she said, “Yes, Mommy. Good idea. Let’s do it!”
So we did.
She was all smiles and greeted The Shippmate with an enthusiastic and sweet (and really not smug) “Hi Daddy! I’m back!” and thankfully Ryan is patient with me and her both and wasn’t even annoyed at my idea to let her come back out for a few minutes.
She sat in her chair, sweet as can be, enjoyed a couple minutes of Tiger with her peanut butter sandwich (and Sonic water from earlier lol) and then I came over to her and said, “Okay, Baby Girl- our deal was a couple of minutes and then we’d go to sleep with all smiles and no crying! Can we do it together now?”
I literally cannot even articulate the precious her face looked as she said, “Yes, Mommy. I love you. Night night time.”
She snuggled all up to me as I carried her to her room where she went down so peaceful, so content, and so sweetly.
Before I put her down in her crib, I said a quick prayer over her– thanking Jesus for this dream of a baby girl He gave me and as she echoed my “Amen!” I couldn’t help but walk out of that room with my hand to my heart George Banks style.
I don’t know that my method is “right.” In fact, the pediatrician that told me I had ruined her at 6 months would probably scold every step of what I did tonight. (If you missed that good time, you can read more about it HERE.)
What I do know is that I know my June better than anyone in this world. I really believe that.
I believe that when I hear cries from a Baby June that is never upset, I get to make a call to cater to her a little bit.
I came out of her room patting myself on the back a bit for a job well done, because let’s face it–
Motherhood is a job with few colleagues around to notice your hard work, lots of critics, and minimal monetary compensation.
And yet– it’s my very favorite job of all time.
No other job– and I’ve had quite a few– has brought me such joy, such pride, and such giddy as being June’s Mom.
I’ll forever be grateful for my firstborn girl that made a Mama out of me.
I love you, Baby Girl.
Today was one of those days I just knew I would stay up late and blog about.
Not because anything extraordinary or stressful or live-changing happened, but just because it was the kind of day I think Taylor Swift is singing about when she is talking about her and her mom having The Best Day together.
I have so many of these with my June, so I could nearly write this post everyday, but I chose today.
Which also works out, because it turns out today is apparently National Best Friend Day.
Which is fun, because I’ve always said to June since the beginning of our times together, “Are you my best friend?” or “You’re my bestest friend, Junie Bee!”
It’s just one of our many things we share, and now she will say back to me, “Yes! My mommy, my best friend.”
Which because I’m a mess of a third trimester woman, I’m completely crying typing that out.
I love her so much, and I also love the way SHE loves ME so much. I’m not even trying to brag, but I’m pretty sure I’m her favorite person.
And this is actually quite the honor because my girl loves A LOT of people.
Anyway, I’m getting off topic– back to today!
We were going on our very first pool date of the 2015 season with our friends Krystal (or if you ask June, “Sickle” — even though we’ve very much covered that she can say “Krystal” but chooses to call Krystal “Sickle” lol) and Malachi at 1pm, and we had some serious grocery shopping to get done before that pool date.
Maybe that doesn’t sound like that busy of a morning, but when June Harbor doesn’t wake up until almost 10am, it puts a little more crunch in the time between breakfast and a 1pm pool date!
But with help like this, grocery shopping always flies by:
Grocery shopping seriously is so fun with her. She helps me pick out stuff and we talk about all of the vegetables and fruits and which are our favorites.
I cannot count the number of people who will stop and ask me how old she is because they can’t believe the big sentences coming out of a little girl.
She truly is such a good talker, and it’s so much fun hearing all of the things she has to say.
We got home just in time to unload the groceries, put away the cold stuff only, rinse and eat all the blueberries lol, and then get sunscreen ready for the pool!
June and I have talked about the pool a lot in the last couple of weeks when we drive by, but she’s never really had much of a pool experience, but she was confident it was going to be “SO FUN! POOL TIME! SICKLE, MALACHI– SWIM!”
She was talking faster than ever with much enthusiasm on our drive there, but when we arrived, she got a little overwhelmed!
We stalled the entrance into the madness with a quick Malachi and June photo shoot:
As a veteran lifeguard of nearly a decade of saving lives and living at the pool, as I held her little hand and entered the water with my Baby June, I started to feel a little overwhelmed myself!
Every boy appeared to be playing a little too rough for my liking, big kids were sprinting around with no regard to my precious cargo in her pretty pink and navy anchor suit, and the water looked a little deeper than I would deem safe for my baby!
There is never any guessing what June is feeling with her very animated expressions, and her little face looked so annoyed as each kid ran by, splashing water on her. She looked up at me a couple of times and said, “Mama, no like this! Too much!”
So we retreated to the lazy river, which she and Malachi both enjoyed! I will say that getting in a tube with my belly and my toddler… not as easy as it was once to plop down in those tubes with my book and a bikini!
We eventually tried out the big pool before heading back over to the kids’ section where I was pretty sure June was going to declare “too much” once again and maybe we wouldn’t come back until the morning sessions when it was just toddlers.
And then June spotted some big girl friends of hers.
Lauren and Jillian are 8 and 5 and very experienced at the whole pool scene.
Immediately, they were encouraging June to play and splash and get in the water. I saw such a quick change in June’s demeanor… still a bit timid toward the whole idea, but clearly more intrigued.
Over the course of the next 30 minutes, I watch her confidence and bravery double as Lauren and Jill so sweetly took her alongside them to play and figure out this whole pool thing.
(And by watch, I don’t mean laying out in a chair, but as in watched her like a hawk from about 2 feet away from her at all times!)
The whole transition from June thinking the pool was “too much” to by the end of our time there thinking it was TOO MUCH FUN started with June playing catch with the girls…. near the water:
(Or how thankful I was for the kind and precious friends she has in Lauren and Jillian who were so patient and wonderful with my June.)
I am so forever grateful it’s my full-time job to be her mom and learn so much about her by watching her and studying her and marveling at the way her mind and heart works.
It was such a sweet first trip to the pool together, and I love that I thought we were going to leave and hardly ever come back at about 2pm, and we ended up playing and swimming and having so much fun that we weren’t leaving until almost 4pm!
I didn’t get a picture of it, but since our pool endeavors had become a little more adventurous and involved getting quite wet, I realized we needed to dry off a bit before heading home and we were both pretty hungry so we headed over to the snack stand before leaving. We shared a pretzel and cheese and as the two of us sat there in our swimsuits licking the cheese out of the container with our fingers, I thought to myself, “Does life get any better than this?”
I adore my adventures with my favorite girl in the whole world.
Today was so much fun.
I love waking up to your voice saying, “Mama? Mama, come get me! Good morning- glad to see you!”
I love the way you “zoom” all around Wal-Mart out of the cart, because I’m a total pushover.
I love the way everywhere you go you make friends and people stop to ask how someone so little can speak such clear and big sentences.
I love the way you were so excited to go to the pool before you even really knew what was going on and the way you clung to me when you were scared and cheered with me when you were so excited by how fun it turned out to be.
I love the way you suggested we finish that cheese with our “fingers, Mommy? Lick them like Abby and ‘Aggie teach me?”
I love your bold and brave personality that has such a tender and soft side, too.
You’re my absolute favorite, and just like Taylor sings–
“I didn’t know if you knew
So I’m taking this chance to say
That I had the best day with you today.”
It’s 11:35pm, and I’ve had such a full day of church and family time before coming home to get ready to go to my cousins’ dance recital with my parents and Grandma Wanda, and I’m just entirely too tired for a good last EVERYDAY IN MAY post tonight like I would want it be, so I’m going to come back tomorrow and for a better last post.
But just a quick story.
That I can’t promise isn’t being typed in a near sleepen state, because I’m so dang tired and I know sleepen isn’t a word, but I’m leaving it. There will likely be other typos or made up words, so forgive me.
So some of you might have seen me post this TERROR of a pic on my FB/Instagram last week:
I was utterly shocked as comment by comment came in from my FB post of people saying LUDICROUS and CRAZY things like, “So cute!!!” etc. etc. disgust-o etc.
It seriously made me re-think people I thought I knew.
(I’m mostly kidding but SERIOUSLY– that thing??! On your welcome mat?! WHO WOULD FIND IT CUTE?!?!?!?)
Anyway, I was all kind of frightened and grossed out, but tried to picture it running far away and never returning.
Until this morning. I get to church with June, and The Shippmate had to go early for worship team practice, so after the music he sits down with me and I am so sorry to both God and the pastor, but I straight up missed the first part of the sermon due to Ryan whispering to me the worst story of my residence here at this house.
So apparently my Shippmate was leaving this morning– as in pulling out of the driveway– when he saw the garage shutting and something that looked like a furry black stuffed animal by the door.
THANK THE DEAR LORD ABOVE he did not ignore this “stuffed animal” and kept watching to see that right before it shut, THE “STUFFED ANIMAL” MOVED!!!!!!
Because OH YES– it was that HORRIBLE DISGUSTING AND NOT CUTE but huge raccoon that had been sitting on my welcome mat last week!!!
IT. WAS. IN. OUR. GARAGE.
I can’t even.
So Ryan has to get out and open the garage to find this stupid raccoon NOT moving but rather wanting to hang out in our garage?!?!?!?!?!
Which seems SO not normal and scary and horrible to me, but anyway, The Shippmate being the man’s man he is found a rake or something and figured out how to get the rodent out of our beloved home.
Kind of, because it then ran under our porch where I guess it lives?!?!
Gaaaaaaah. I hate the wildlife.
Can we all just take a minute to realize that the way our home is that literally if my favorite man in all of the world wouldn’t have noticed that disgusting tail then that huge raccoon could have been UPSTAIRS and creeping around our dear home while June and I slept!?!?
It would be another 2 hours before June and I woke up after Ryan left, and I mean– I just can’t even FATHOM waking up to that horrible creature in my room!
I’ve been gone all day, but I received an update from The Shippmate that he and the neighbor (and June lol) were setting traps and I don’t even know, but I DO know that all of our doors are shut and I’m sleeping with one eye open tonight, because I love snuggling up to my Shippmate in bed BUT I DIE AT THE THOUGHT OF THIS FACE IN MY BED.
I love social media.
Clearly, hence the blog.
I enjoy multiple aspects of FB, I’m always up for a good read on other people’s blogs, and I’ve recently tried to figure out the cool of Instagram and so far just feel like it’s a repeat of my FB feed, but I’m still waiting for the magic to grace me before deleting it lol.
I defend social media when people want to say it’s all bad, because I don’t think guns kill people, but people kill people and likewise the invention of the Internet is not to blame for people making poor decisions on it.
(my mom has to be secretly cheering that I am going to throw her a bone here and agree there MIGHT be some negative to social media– hahahaha)
However, sometimes social media can make things tricky.
I would go to say that 98% of the time, I love it. I love seeing people’s lives and pictures and prayer requests. I love seeing new date ideas or restaurants I might otherwise never know about. I love seeing people love each other. I love seeing people succeed on journeys to lose weight. I love seeing other people’s homes and kids and routines of their lives. Oh, and there’s nothing I love more than celebrating a big moment with someone that might only be a friend via the world wide web– be it their sweet wedding, clever pregnancy announcement, or my all-time favorite of stalking their page like none other when you know a baby is coming! There is truly so much I adore about statuses and pictures and all things social media.
But every once in a 2% you see something or notice something or read into something that feels a little not fun.
I’ll be so honest to say I’ve seen people I care about and I’m intentional with seem to not care back. I’ve seen people that maybe don’t know all of a situation saying things with some passive aggression that is just unfortunate.
Or sometimes– can anyone else be so vulnerable to admit that you’ve seen someone write something and thought, “Are they writing that AT me??”
I rarely feel that way, and if I dare did experience that feeling more, I would totally get why some people have to take breaks from FB or quit it altogether, because it’s not fun or enjoyable, so I’m thankful it’s a once in a blue moon feeling for me, but still…. when it happens, dang– it’s not fun.
I was reminded tonight of two things–
1. When you start to take something that wasn’t written directly to you personal or feel like maybe it was written AT you, the first thing I find important is to look yourself in the mirror and say- “Okay, sister– get over yourself. You’re not that important. There are a million and two people in this world and you are but one of them.”
That little pep talk always is a must. It’s a solid wake up call and reminder everyone needs to have when these kind of annoying feelings creep up.
It also reminds me that I so UNINTENTIONALLY could have made someone feel this way from something I’ve written and not meant to. Or something I’ve NOT written in how horrible I can be at private messages on FB. I actually just now thought of three different people I have so wanted to write back and haven’t– WITH NOTHING PERSONAL about it besides I haven’t had a chance.
So it truly is important to remember– especially if you’re as observant of a soul as I am lol– you could be reading into ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
But because I also feel like I’m pretty selective in feeling this way and pretty good at reading people, I will give you a step #2– just in case your feelings are “valid.”
2. Because seriously— this second step is THE most important.
I then remind myself my identity is not found in what someone else thinks!
So let’s just go down the rabbit hole and say someone is being pointed and passive aggressive– and about a situation they don’t even know the half of– here’s the beauty of it…
It’s straight up out of your control. It’s out of your realm to worry about.
My identity is so sacredly and thankfully found in Jesus Christ alone.
Just typing that out calms my heart so much.
I care about people in a deep and intense kind of way, which is just as dangerous as it is awesome at times. I want people to know my heart and intentions. I want people to know the whole story. Truth is so important to me that I daydream of living in the Candor Faction where everyone is honest and open with each other– THAT IS MY HAPPY PLACE.
But the real world operates on people not communicating and avoiding issues– often making them bigger and sadder, and that’s stressful for me.
So I have a choice– I can stew and worry and wonder what some people think from a perception or from one angle of a situation– and every once in awhile I choose to do just that. It is never fulfilling. It is never peaceful. And in that comes so very little contentment.
But the other choice? The one where I give it over to God and say with a burdened heart— “God- YOU know my heart. You know the truth and You ARE the truth. Let me remember that my identity is not found in what this person thinks or believes, but it’s found solely in Jesus Christ.”
HOLY PEACE AND CONTENT AND JOY IS FOUND IN THAT KIND OF LOVE!
Do you know how huge that is to grasp that??? Do you know how life-changing it is? How much freedom there is in that kind of promise?
Here’s the really cool thing… 98% of the time I’m walking around loving life without a care in this kind of petty world… which is great and fun and awesome.
BUT that 2% of the time that I see something and get a little bothered or upset?
Those times are ALWAYS– EVERY SINGLE TIME– when I dig in The Word, step up my prayer time, and seek Jesus first with such a grateful heart.
So in short– those annoying and petty times? Always give God glory.
To the point that I honest to goodness find myself THANKING Jesus for the annoying moment that led me to remembering such big truths and peace I can only find in Him.
Which means, even in the 2% of petty and annoying, I can’t even hate social media. (Sorry, Mom.)
I’m going to end with three different sets of words I love.
First, a solid quote from my Pinterest board:
Second, wisdom that is so powerful from Mother Teresa. I adore everything about this.
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”
Praising Jesus tonight for the 2% of annoying and silly that led me straight to Him. God is good.
I was en route to bed before remembering the month is MAY and the promise is EVERYDAY!
I told The Shippmate it would have been so frustrating to ruin this kind of EVERYDAY IN MAY commitment on the second to last day of the month!
So, I’m glad I didn’t.
But I am TIRED. I woke up two hours earlier than normal and did numerous exciting things all day and night, none of which involved napping, so now at the hour of midnight, I’m pretty much done.
And I don’t even have the energy to copy and paste pictures from FB/Insta, so please just find me there and see the goodness of June wanting to paint, us eating a delicious breakfast out together, the room ACTUALLY painted so wonderfully, and our night out as a fam at a precious wedding.
OH! I will post one picture. Because it completely cracked me up and made me smile.
June and I went to Hobby Lobby today, and she was easily entertained by picking up various signs and asking me, “Say what, Mommy?”
So I would read them to her and she would say, “Oh! Thanks, Mommy. Good one.” before putting the sign back and finding another.
But when she turned to me with this one, I just had to snap a pic:
And such a perfect way to end a post I’m nearly positive I’m typing in my sleep.
Kind of like June danced and enjoyed her little heart out at the wedding tonight and crashed on Mammie’s chest.
Asleep on Mammie’s chest.
Ah- the love of those two. It’s too sweet for words.
Which is why I’m ending here.
Good night to all and may your night find you snuggling up to someone like June is to her Grammy!
My mom and I have had a pedi/mani date on the calendar for tonight for a couple of weeks, because we have a wedding tomorrow night and then I have maternity pics Saturday, so it’s perfect timing.
And let me just say- knowing you have a pampering and relaxing night with your mom happening makes the entire day better!
I remember feeling that way when I had an outside of the home kind of job, too– like the work day especially flew by when you had fun plans that night, so it’s kind of the same idea.
Though June and my days never feel slow or boring, I just felt more energetic to do everything today knowing the sweetness my night has in store!
We ran all sorts of errands for Captain’s room, including picking out the paint for his room.
The paint guys said we picked it out in record time, but with this kind of concentration and help, would you really expect anything less?
(She picked out that shirt today and said, “CHIEFSSS! PA!!!!!”)
She is so excited about the paint and all of the little details I’ve been discussing with her for his room that it makes me DOUBLY excited about it all.
Preparing a room is so important to me, and now that the process has begun I feel a million times less overwhelmed and stressed and SO happy that we’re making a special place for our baby boy.
I honestly wondered if it would be more stressful getting stuff with June, but literally I LOVE having her there to talk to about the colors and the carpet and the details. She is genuinely so excited, and I just love her enthusiasm and ownership in this project of making Captain’s room so special.
I will say with my entrance into The Third Trimester, I’ve especially had Captain’s place in our future on the mind.
Constantly, I’m wondering…. “How will we do this with Captain?” or “Will we still do this with Captain lol?”
It’s just that June and I have such a dang good routine together. We eat our breakfast together while either talking about our plans for the day or watching Daniel Tiger.
Then we start our daily adventures– be it a trip to the park, paint and carpet shopping, a walk around campus, playing on our deck with her water table, visiting neighbors, etc.
Later in the afternoon, she gets to watch a little Daniel Tiger with her water and snack in her chair while I tidy up the toys/kitchen before putting her down for nap.
It’s just all so dang easy. She very much knows around 2pm it’s going to be nap time and she’s going to snuggle in her favorite chair with her water and snack with Tiger. When I tell her to tell him “bye bye” she so sweetly says, “Bye Bye Tiger, see you later, friend- my nap time!”
And then I set her down in her bed where we say byes and I love yous and she so calmly goes into her nap while I dance around knowing I have a couple of hours to do whatever it is I do lol.
Which today is blogging in our clean house with my own water and snack while it’s storming outside.
Which is also known as BLISS.
Other days it might be reading a book or working on a project or starting dinner or watching Netflix.
Having one kid– at least a June Harbor of a one kid at this point– is pretty dang sweet.
While all of these things are happening– from paint shopping to lunch on campus and walking around outside together to her easy nap time routine while I tidy up the kitchen and house– I am constantly wondering:
WHERE DOES CAPTAIN FIT INTO THIS NEAT AND TIDY LITTLE ROUTINE!?
My guess is that he isn’t going to quite fit in flawlessly. I kind of have to assume having two kids will never be as easy as one. I do very much hope we will somehow find a routine of our own that might eventually involve me getting to watch Netflix again lol, but I doubt it will be immediate.
I also sometimes wonder what June is going to think of our new normal. Is it going to crush her? Will she resent me? Will she be annoyed at Captain for monopolizing part of her time with me?
The fears I could have are many, and yet— I just have to trust having a second kid surely isn’t ruining life for all of us forever.
Even though it’s really, really difficult for me to imagine or wrap my mind around, I hear that I’m going to love this baby just like June, and if that is the case, I can’t imagine our future being anything but BETTER. And sweeter.
And likely less relaxing and with less Netflix and less time to read books, but maybe that’s okay.
I’ve been The Absolute Queen of FREAKING OUT at little things that aren’t that stressful lately (hello hormones) (God bless my Shippmate) but today, I’m so calm and confident that all will get done, all will be wonderful, and I just need to take Daniel Tiger’s advice and “take a deep breath and count to 4.” (which is HILARIOUS when June sings this and takes the deep breath lol)
I love today. I don’t know if some hormones are chilling the heck out or if it’s the stormy weather I love or the fact I’ve got a pedi/mani date with my mom on the agenda, but I’m just so thankful for this house we live in that I love so much and my Shippmate who sends me sweet texts from work and my June Harbor that makes my job as a SAHM the very best.
And here’s to hoping life only gets sweeter (albeit likely less calm and neat and tidy lol) when Captain comes in August.
PS: One more love of today in the form of it’s 3pm and my EVERYDAY IN MAY blog is done! This means I won’t be typing in my sleep at midnight! HOLLA!