Being June's Mom | ONE WHOLE YEAR

I barely know how to write these words. I mean, June is ONE. June is ONE. She is an entire year old. 365 days. She is HERE. My whole world is a year old. 

This might be your first time visiting my blog and reading about June. You might wonder exactly why I would write an entire post about my daughter when I should be focused mainly on wedding stuff. True, I am a wedding planner, but I have always felt it appropriate and necessary to share about my life and family. This was never more true during my pregnancy, especially when we found out there were complications. 

At our 19 week anatomy ultrasound, we found out we were having a GIRL! AMAZING! But not too long after the gender was revealed, we also learned there were some measurement issues. She was in a weird position, so they wanted us to come back in a few days for a second ultrasound. Two more ultrasounds, blood test, specialist, amniocentesis, and lots of doctors later, we were given grave news about our baby. At 32 weeks pregnant, they told us to expect her to pass before, during, or shortly after birth. Those 8 weeks and 4 days were the worst of my entire life. I basically sat on my couch and avoided as much human interaction as possible. 

Needless to say, she lived. She is here. We are celebrating her first birthday TODAY! If you have followed along for the journey, thank you. I cannot ever say how much your encouragement has meant to us. We are strengthened by everyone who has shown us love and grace and compassion in this season of our lives. 

Feel free to catch up with June's story HERE for my pregnancy posts and HERE for my monthly June posts. I'll warn you, some of these are quite wordy, so don't click over unless you have some time to spare.

June is the happiest princess. She has 8 teeth (maybe 9 or 10...any day now) and has almost bitten my finger off on more than one occassion. She loves baby food, but still doesn't take very much by bottle, so we have her feeding tube do that for her. She loves music and bright lights. She ABSOLUTELY LOVES being outside, like more than anything else in the world. Her dad is her favorite person, but mommy is a close second. She stares at her kitties whenever they walk by, but they don't give her very much attention, unless she's in the bathtub. She outgrew her infant tub, so we graduated to a little bath chair that looks like a beach lounger. It is so cute! June is trying her hardest to sit up, she loves to stand if we hold her, and she will roll around on the floor, that is, if we ever put her down. She has the prettiest voice I've ever heard and will sing along with her baby songs.

By now, typical children would be crawling, walking, babbling, or pulling up by now. I will admit, it is still a struggle for me to see other babies her age doing so well in their stage of life. Sometimes, I look at them and think about our sweet little June if she did not have the challenges she does. The June in a parallel universe would be EVERYWHERE like her mama was at her age. We'd probably have everything baby proofed by now. She would most likely be scaling the furniture and clawing at every piece of food on our plates. But I try not to dwell on the things she doesn't do. She doesn't have to do these things to impress me. She doesn't have to be typical for me to love her more than anything else on this planet. She certainly doesn't have to keep up with the other babies because she has already won the prize of my heart. 

To celebrate her precious life, here's a little walk down memory lane. Enjoy! And thank you for reading! Thank you for your continued prayers.

Happy FIRST birthday, little June!

Being June's Mom | 8 Month Update

June is EIGHT months old! Today's post is all about celebrating her and the cute things she does. She is seriously the yummiest baby I've ever known and she fills my life with so much joy.

Little June is talking (in her own way) a bunch! She sure does love to sing and ooooo and aahhh all the time. She is especially vocal when my dad puts on his loudest singing voice. Nobody gets her riled up like PopPop. 

June loves being held facing out so she can look around. She has the chunkiest little legs she uses to stand, with lots of help, of course. We have a Moby wrap that she has never really taken a liking to. (I have tried, trust me.) She does not tolerate being held where she can't look around. I've read all kinds of things about wrapping and carrying facing forward not being good for their little hips. I see people and celebrities forward carry a lot, but I wonder how safe it is. I would love to find a good forward facing way to carry her. Suggestions? Or is this a definite no-no?

Our angel LOVES to sit outside, ride in her stroller outside, swing on the hammock, nap on the hammock, and do pretty much any other activity outside. I really need to invest in some kind of netted tent we can use for napping and playtime.

She still only has two teeth, but I think some others will break through soon. The first two didn't seem to bother her that much, so I'm hoping the rest are just as easy. (Doubtful.) We have the baby Orajel on hand! 

We have been sleep training for the past week. Her neurologist, who also happens to be a sleep specialist at CHKD, recommended cry it out. This has never been something I wanted to do to any child of mine, but we trust him, so we are giving it a try. There are few things in my life that are more stressful than hearing my baby scream all night. After 6 days of this, we are seeing improvements. I don't know for sure that it will totally work, but if it helps Cal and I not to feel like zombies, I'm willing to stick with it for a while. 

Speaking of "things I never said I'd do"....there are SO many things. I could write for days on all of the things I'm doing now that I never would before. Some of these things are out of necessity, some are just plain unavoidable. I think this is the main thing I'm learning about being June's mom, that having a child requires a lot of flexibility on my part. 

Our dear friend, Caitlin Gerres, took some pictures several weeks ago to celebrate June turning 7 months. They were supposed to be 6 months, but the weather and our scheduled kept delaying us. I am SO happy we have them. Caitlin gave us the most beautiful session and captured our little angel perfectly. Here are some of my favorites!

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5 Things I've Done As a Sleep-Deprived Mama

This is a funny post. At least, I find it hilarious. Can anyone relate with some crazy sleep-deprived stories? Hahah! I have found myself doing the most bizarre things in the middle of the night. Having an infant who likes to catnap, I don't get many long stretches of sleep. 

  1. I woke up in a panic one night, looking for June in my bed. I was out of town visiting friends and June stayed in the other room with my mom. At 3 am, I woke up and in a fury, tore all the blankets from my bed. I couldn't find June and forgot she wasn't there to begin with. I shook my head and went back to sleep, feeling really stupid.
  2. Started some strange blog posts that didn't make any sense. This has happened MULTIPLE times. I probably have this really good idea and know if I don't write it down, I'll forget. But instead of a really good idea, it's either something incoherent or a really dumb idea. Don't trust 2 am Sterling. 
  3. Picked up a stuffed animal, thinking it was one of my cats. Hey - it has a long tail! This isn't too crazy!
  4. I woke up in the middle of the night to what sounded like a train engine driving through our house. I was mostly still asleep, ran to the hallway, and started yelling "THE HEAT! THE HEAT!!" I thought the heat was going out. It had been super cold out and our heat had run nonstop. I turned off the thermostat, but the sound kept on. I remembered my parents old house had an EMERGENCY HEAT button, so I started looking for one of those. (Still not sure what that button did.) I could not find it. By this point, Cal was awake and asking what in the world I was doing. After about 30 seconds of sheer panic, thinking our house would explode, I walked into the kitchen to find the cat fountain upturned and empty, the pump was sucking AIR. That was the sound. Hahaha! I cleaned up the water, filled the fountain, and went back to sleep.
  5. A small handful of times, I have put June next to Cal in our bed, said, "Don't roll over," and dashed to the spare bedroom. A couple of those times, I don't remember doing it and wondered how I got there when I woke the next morning. 

I have certainly been tired like this at other times in my life, but not for this length of time. I could definitely win one of those contests where you stay awake the longest. Somebody find me one that pays and I'll split the money with you!  

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Being June's Mom | 7 Month Update

My sweet girl is 7 months old!! June is the best thing to ever happen to us. I love sharing these little snippets of her life with everyone. Thank you for following along. 

This has been the most difficult month so far. When she was tiny, I thought, "This is SO EASY!" She slept a lot, she ate a lot, she was easy to calm. Things are different now, but we are still enjoying the moments, even when they are hard. 

One of my favorite things to do with June is go on walks. We both need it and since the weather is finally agreeable, we have made many trips around the block. I'm going to start taking her to the park for a change of scenery. It's hard to explain how much she likes being outside. When I was pregnant, they weren't sure June would be able to express joy. I would like to bring those doctors on a walk with us...she loves it and smiles the entire time. 

I have been reading my weekly blog posts from our pregnancy as they pop up on my Facebook timeline. This past week's post was the last one before we had any bad news. I wish I could hug that girl. I want her to know that the storm coming will be terrible and trying. But I also want her to know that there is a tiny little gummy smile that wakes up to her each morning. I want to tell her my sweet girl will try her darnedest to sit up, laugh, and even use her little legs to stand when we hold her up. Dear self from 52 weeks ago, you will get through this.

Being a first time mom, I'm certainly learning what's needed and what's not. Babies don't need a full wardrobe of clothes. Seriously, this girl has so many cute things and not enough time to wear them! She grew out of some of my favorite outfits and never even wore them. Waaaaah!! Also, we probably have more baby toys we will ever know what to do with. Next time you shop for a baby shower, diapers and wipes and burp cloths are THE WAY TO GO! I always thought those were boring gifts, but now I know they are the most useful! 

Another thing I am learning as a new mom is how important it is to take time for myself. I hate asking for help, but I've been better letting Cal help when June wakes up in the night. (And by "letting Cal help" I really mean "making" him. Haha!) 

It is hard to believe, but we will be planning a first birthday party in just a few short months!!! I am excited to start dreaming and scheming. ...and crying because my baby angel is growing up so fast.