June Harbor Shippy: 8 Months
Oh Baby June.
I’m so excited to write you this month’s letter. This past month was just a whole lot of wonderful.
No big appointments with some old lady doc telling me how bad I’m ruining you. No mastitis. No running nose or neck rash for you.
It was just honestly and truly– a whole lot of wonderful.
I could list all of the big moments and new things you’re doing, because girl– there are a lot of them.
But that’s not where my heart wanted to land with this letter, Baby June.
Those achievements are grand, and I’m so proud of how smart and quick to learn things you are, but tonight’s letter is going to be shamelessly and completely all about the perfection of a baby you are.
I think it’s important I write this and communicate this to you for a few reasons.
(1) I’ve read that how parents speak of their children acting as babies can have an effect on them, ie: if growing up you always heard how you screamed all the time, never slept, caused us so much stress as a baby, apparently (and understandably) that could make you feel less of a joy and more of a burden. (Future children of mine that undoubtedly might scream all of the time, never sleep, and cause stress– I won’t pretend like you were angelic, but I’m sure I will just explain the relentless and strong personality behind those potential baby traits!)
(2) In the event you quit being the perfect baby and turn into a normal toddler, I don’t want to have forgotten about your sweet status as The Best Baby Ever.
(3) Everyone that is around you tells me you are very much not “the norm.” Which to be honest, scares your mama a bit… because I don’t know anything different, and I’ve become pretty accustom to the easy that you are! When I feel a little fearful or hear people say, “Oh just wait– if June is this good, your next baby will be such a terror” (those are real words people say to me, Junebug lol) I really try to just say a prayer to Jesus that goes like this:
Jesus, I did nothing to deserve this good of a baby. Thank you so much for her. If you have room in the blessing department to give me another one like her one day, I’m cool with that. And if the saying “God only gives you what He knows you can handle” is true and you and God and The Holy Spirit all three have conferenced and decided I’m too big of a wimp to have a baby that is any part of a challenge, I’ve even okay with that. I’ll own it. Thank you and Amen.
That prayer isn’t even a joke actually, Junebug. Well, you know that– you hear me pray it over you quite often.
I truly cannot tell you how often I am with other babies, other people and you’re being so exceptionally calm and chill and I just feel so unworthy of you.
Your daddy and I recently were even talking about how frequently we hear the words, “You do realize this is not normal, right?”
Or another very frequent comment heard at family dinners or anytime we’re with friends or family for an extended amount of time, “She is seriously the happiest baby I’ve ever seen.”
Your daddy DID read half of the book “Happiest Baby on the Block” lol.
No, but June, I just can’t quite explain to you how wonderful you really are.
That transition to the crib? Smooth as molasses.
In fact, you love crib sleeping so much that recently we were visiting our Meyer friends and you just made yourself at home and slept in a Avery’s crib for a little nap! It probably did help that her crib had a little Soother in it just like the one in your own crib, per Kristin’s very wise advice.
On the topic of sleep and being places, oh June– let me tell you another way you’re apparently abnormal but have become so normal to me that I don’t even want to believe all babies don’t do this.
So you literally will go to sleep pretty much a big variation of times depending on the busy or schedule of our evening. So sometimes you might go to bed at 8pm. Other times you might not make it to bed until 10pm. Or the night recently when your daddy was fishing with your Papa, and I was just wanting some company out in the living room and purposely let you keep playing and snuggling with me until 11pm, because I knew that it just meant you would then sleep in until 11 the next morning.
Well, I was texting a friend a picture of me and you and she was surprised you were still awake, thus leading me to explaining my theory of if you stay up late, then you sleep in late, so we could all sleep in Saturday morning, and she nearly couldn’t believe this “crazy talk.”
I guess that is not normal for babies to adapt so well to bedtimes and wake-up times. Apparently when a lot of babies go to bed late, they still wake up at their same normal time that I have heard is some sort of crazy 6am time.
I don’t even know how those moms do it. I’m not kidding, June. I can’t quite picture myself being as happy of a person if I was up every morning at 6am. I have SUCH a respect and admiration for moms who do that.
And such an appreciation– due to their stories– for a Junebug that knows I can’t handle that.
Another sweet trait of yours, June, is how you just love people. I mean you truly light up in a crowd of people. You love smiling at them, waving at them, clapping for them. I’ve seen you be tired and feeling a bit restless, and we get you out of your carseat, walk into a restaurant or church or a ballgame, and you truly come to life in such a way that assures me you’re going to be a social butterfly just like Coach Northrup once called your mama in 8th grade!
You’ve loved every food we’ve given you to try, which for the record, isn’t a whole lot. That’s something I probably need to work on. I’m a little scared to feed you! But don’t worry, you still breastfeed a lot, so you’re not skimping on calories or anything. When we do give you food, it’s generally baby food, and whether it is peas, green beans, squash, apples… you ALWAYS are ecstatic about eating them. You get so excited and make the most sweetest of faces in anticipation of your baby food delight!
You also love walks, Junebug. And that just works out because so do I! You’re a real fan of waving to people on our walks and occasionally turning around and waving at me, too.
I never hear you cry. I mean, I seriously have so many memories of being pregnant and thinking my future life would be this constant soundtrack of a baby crying all of the time, and then you come into this world, and you literally RARELY cry. When you were first a little baby, maybe you did some and then I just fed you and you were happy. And there was definitely a period for a couple of weeks when you couldn’t stand your carseat and we heard you cry in the car, but outside of those times, you don’t cry.
You smile. You laugh. You squeal. You talk to us constantly, but you just don’t cry. You honestly rarely even cry when you wake up in the morning.
Take this morning for example. I had put you to bed last night at 9pm. Before putting you to bed, I change you into your PJs, change your diaper, give you vitamins, tell you some stories, feed you, give you lots of kisses, pray over you, and then put you in your crib. You went down with no tears. I heard nothing out of you until 8:45 this morning when I see on the monitor that you’re in your bed, sitting up, clapping and waving at your giraffe. I watch you for a good 5 minutes– you play with your hands, you pat your own head, you push the button on your Soother, you roll over, and you wave to your giraffe some more. You seriously don’t even cry when you wake up. You literally wake up smiling and waving. I don’t even know how I’m so lucky to have you, June.
I LOVE– and I mean LOVE– the moments when I get to walk into your room after you’ve woken up and you’re sitting there in your crib just smiling, clapping, and waving at me with such enthusiasm and such excitement to hug me for the first time in 12 hours.
You always clap until I pick you up, and then you hold on to my arm SO tight– kind of like you’re just never going to let go.
If I’ve learned anything in these last 8 months, Junie, it’s the speed at which your life has already flashed before my eyes, so it makes me some kind of giddy that you want to hold on tight.
It makes me so giddy that I get to be there for every smile, every giggle, every new sound.
Being your mom is a joy like nothing I’ve ever experienced.
I know we’ll have more challenging days ahead of us. I know you won’t always be this easy. In fact, sometimes when I say, “June, you’re such a good baby. I love you so much…” I stop myself and I have to clarify, “But I don’t love you so much BECAUSE you’re such a good baby. I would love you so much no matter what you did.”
I need you to know that. I want you to know that you have unconditional love from me and your daddy. Nothing you could ever do– even waking up at some crazy 6 o’clock hour– could change the way we love you.
This rare kind of love often reminds me of how grateful I feel for a God who loves ME like this. A God that would send his one and only son to die on a cross for my own sin. A God that doesn’t love me more or less based on my actions. But rather He loves me just the way I am. It’s so unreal when I think about it, and then so very real when I realize my love for you is so similar.
Yes, you’re nearly the perfect baby in a way I truly don’t deserve, June. And it’s important for me to tell you that. I want you to know about your first year of life and how easy and breezy and beautiful it was for me. The Cover Girl Pregnancy I had with you very smoothly transitioned to some kind of Cover Girl Infancy. Your Grammy said recently how I shouldn’t brag about how easy and happy you are. And I agree. I’m intentional to be understanding that this isn’t the norm, and I’m always the first to admit I’ve been so incredibly blessed with your easy nature. But in a series of letters that are written just for you, I get to brag on you, Juniper. I get to tell you the truth. I get to tell you how you’re the joy and giddy of my day, and I can’t believe I ever feared you’d be anything but so very, very delightful.
Because these letters… they really are all for you, June. They’re my own scrapbook of a baby book without the dreaded cut outs and glue messes.
I’ve written to you about a month that saw me crying in a doctor’s office parking lot, a month that found me in so much pain in the ER, and another month when I was unsure I would ever figure out a “proper and nutritive latch,” so I get to be so honest this month to tell you that you, my Baby June– you’re truly one of a kind.
I love you, and I’m so thankful for you.
PS: I wanted the focus of this post to be on me just getting to talk to you about how extraordinary you are, so instead of writing captions or stories for each picture, I’m just going to put some of my favorite pics of you from this month here at end of the letter. Because while I should be waking up hours before you wake up to get stuff done, I kind of still like to “sleep when the baby is sleeping” lol.