Jack: 1-3 Months!

Dear Jack,

Forgive your mother. My intention is to blog about you each month of your first year of life, but guess what? It's November and you're 3 months! So I am playing catch up.

Here is a little recap.

Month 1:

*Whew, the first two weeks were HARD. I'm sure you wouldn't think so if you could look back and remember. But momma was an emotional mess. Thank goodness we had Daddy, Nana, Ali, Poppy, and a lot of others to help us! 
*By week two, you were sleeping in your crib at night! I missed you but I slept so much better in-between feedings and you didn't seem to mind; so we went with it!
*Maybe all newborns/babies are this way but you have the most ridiculous facial expressions, Bear Bear!

1 Month Pictures
Month 2:

*You started smiling at 6 weeks! Wow, it's the best. I still can't get enough of that gummy grin. 
*Your happiest time of the day is in the morning, right after you eat. You smile and coo are SO much fun!
*Your not-so-happiest time of the day is in the evening. Anytime between 4-7, you might have a total meltdown. Crying and crying. It's been hard on Mom and Dad, but we just remind each other "it's just a phase!"
*You got to meet all your Kansas City friends/family this month at a party that Nana and Poppy threw for you! You were a champ the whole evening even though it was past your bedtime. 
*At your 2 month appointment, you got your first set of shots. Whew, that was harder than your circ! For not being a baby that cries very much, you whaled. You also weighed in at 11.3 pounds. 

Forgive your mother again, because I didn't get your 2 month picture taken. But here are two that show your smile!

Month 3:

*This month has been, at times challenging. I was really hoping/praying/holding my breath that you would start sleeping through the night during this month. Like maybe a good 8-9 hours+. But I guess you aren't ready yet. We've had a handful of nights where you've gone 6.5-7 hours! You are going to bed between 7:30-8 and are typically getting up around 1:30 and 4:30...although that randomly changes sometimes. 
*Your evenings are getting SO much better. You are much happier and it's only a night or two a week where you will cry for a little while. 
*Daddy and I have heard you laugh once or twice...we think! But we're waiting for that full out belly laugh. Anytime now, J-Bear; we can't wait!

Love these pictures of you. You are so ready to smile when the camera isn't in front of your face, you stinker!

We love you little Jack babe!



Our Little Pumpkin Head

It's Fall! My favorite season. We've been enjoying a beautiful one around here. I can't wait until next Fall when we have a 1 year old cruisin' all over the place. It will be so fun to take him to a pumpkin patch!

Speaking of pumpkins, here's our little pumpkin head! The cutest around, if I do say so myself. 

Wow, he's delicious!

Happy Fall, Ya'll!


Jack's Story

This is the story of our son, Jack.

Bryan and I had been wanting to start a family since we went to Europe in the Fall of 2011. That was going to be our last "hurrah" before I would hopefully become pregnant. Well, fast forward to Fall of 2012 and I was definitely not pregnant. It was a difficult year of waiting, hoping, praying. It was a journey that required total surrender to God. We had no control; this is very hard for my first-born, list-making, always have a plan self. I could write more than one post about our brief, although still difficult journey through infertility. But, I'm not going to. I'm just going to give thanks to God for the gift we now have that we don't deserve and for the year of growing pains He led us through. Amen.

So fast forward to a morning in December 2012... Bryan was in KC for a KU game and I decided to take a test. To my total shock, it was positive. I waited until Bry got home to tell him; talk about patience!

And thus began our nine months of pregnancy. Moment of truth: I had the easiest pregnancy ever. You may hate me for a moment. But seriously, it was. I never had any symptoms of nausea, sensitivity to smells, etc. I don't think I would have known I was pregnant without the test until I was at least 4-5 months along. Now, I am very very grateful to have had such a breezy experience. Really, I am. However, I fully expected to have any and/or all of those crazy symptoms and after waiting over a year, I was ready to embrace them (as much as one can)! So when they didn't happen, I became very fearful of miscarriage. When friends ask how my pregnancy is/was, the easy answer is/was, "It's going good. I feel really great." The more truthful answer is/was, "Physically, I feel amazing. Emotionally, I'm a crazy mess!" Fighting the fear was a constant battle...even up until I delivered! For pretty much the whole pregnancy, the verse on our chalkboard read Psalm 112:7, "We will have no fear of bad news. Our hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord." I had that thing memorized in about five minutes.

So one thing I (we) weren't great at was taking bump pictures. We have some, but they weren't consistent every week and certainly weren't in the same outfit. Man, is that mom-fail #1 and I wasn't even a mom yet?!

Keeping it classy with a work bathroom pic

Those are pretty much all the bump pictures we have, minus a few.

My due date was August 15th but our babe decided to come early...

On Monday August 5th, I woke up around 6:45 and without explaining details, thought that my water may have broke. It wasn't totally obvious like the movies, so I wasn't sure and I wasn't having any contractions either. I called my OB and he said to go ahead and get to labor and delivery. I was not very happy with these directions because I was just sure that it was a false alarm and that I was going to waste a whole day in the hospital for them to tell me to go home.

I made Bryan go on to work because I figured there was no point in two of us wasting a day. And I took my sweet time...I showered and got ready, did some laundry, made a sweep through the house to make sure it was picked up, loaded the car with our bags, and went through McDonalds for a drink on my way to the hospital. Priorities people; chocolate chip frappes are very important : )

I arrived at the hospital at 11:30. They checked me in, got me hooked up, and started tests to see if my water had broke. At 12:30, they finally confirmed that it had broke! I was super surprised to say the least. A phone call to Bryan to confirm that we weren't going home without a baby and he was on his way to join me.

At this point, I was finally starting to notice what I thought were contractions and the nurses confirmed it with their machine. By 1:30, I was having strong contractions every 3 minutes but I was only dilated to a 2. I've never been opposed to an epidural but I wanted to see how things went before automatically asking for one. When I realized that my contractions were close together and consistent, and dilation wasn't increasing, I said "yes, please" and quite gladly accepted the feel good juice.

waiting, waiting...

My OB thinks he's delivered between 13,000-14,000 babies! Mind blown.

Once the epidural set in, it was smooth sailing. Bryan and my sister arrived to be in the room along with Bryan's family in the waiting room. Although I continued to have regular contractions, I was not dilating so they started some Pitocin to help me out.

The next several hours went by as we waited around, watched the Bachelorette finale (good choice Des), ate ice chips, and tried to sleep; me 1/2 paralyzed in the bed, Bryan in the recliner chair, and my sister in the bath tub. I personally think she was the most comfortable.
Jack's adoring fans...

Since my water broke at 6:45 am, they wanted me to deliver within 24 hours. As morning approached on the 6th, it was around 4:45 am and I was only dilated to a 6. Talk about frustrating! We were starting to worry that a C-section was coming and I was going to be so bummed after working so hard for so long. 6:45 came and I'd moved to an 8, woo, woo!

But my OB is a wonderful man and we are so thankful to have had him as our doctor. He let us wait it out as they closely monitored me and baby to prevent infection. By around 8:00, I was finally at a 10. Twenty-six hours of labor and we were ready to meet our babe!

I pushed for around 40 minutes and didn't feel a thing (not even pressure) since I'd had my epidural for so long at this point. When they turned him over and said he was a boy we were thrilled and shocked! Bryan was so sure it was a girl.

But a girl it was not. We had our boy, our son. Bryan and I are so in love with him and pleased to introduce:

Jack Webb Dunham
August 6 2013
9:07 am
6 pounds 15 ounces
19.6 inches long 

Daddy's first look
Our one-eyed Jack ; )
And yes, he has a TON of hair!


The hermit has emerged and the longest post ever!

Hello? Is anyone out there? It's me. I'm back, maybe? I totally never intended to take a year off from writing down and sharing our memories. You know growing up when you're parents would say, "I'm not mad, but I'm disappointed...?" Like that was so much better than mad, right? Well, that's me; with myself. Oh well, better late than never again. 

In my perfect world I would catch up on all the lovely details, but that is just too much for my brain and watch to take on. Sooo...I'm going to attempt to hit the highlights month by month.
Without further ado...

August 2012

*School started without a hitch. In a lot of ways though, it was a challenging year professionally. I was stretched a lot, but God is faithful and grew me through the challenges. 

Obligatory "First Day of School Picture"
That picture never gets less awkward throughout the years. But off to mom it goes.
*Bry turned 28 which means he is now fast approaching 29

September 2012

*September began and almost ended normal
*Football games and Friday night lights, the Hillsong Concert with best-friends, The Lion King with Bryan and his sister, Brielle.

Such a good concert

*But like I said, all normal things must end and unfortunately my dad and subsequently our whole family was thrown into a crazy ordeal that we never imagined nor wanted. I'm not going to go into the details, but he works for a "business" (you do the digging) that accused him of handling a situation in a manner that didn't actually happen. He nearly lost his job and would have if it weren't for an incredible community that stood up for my dad; a man of great integrity and character whose spotless and acclaimed reputation was flippantly forgotten at the hands of a bureaucratic bully out to make him their scapegoat. I might be a little passionate about all of it : )

That is probably the most abbreviated and ambiguous version I can muster. If you're reading this, there's a good chance you already know all about it...because I don't have that many readers, hah! 

But I wanted to get it down for my memories because although it is one of the most awful things our family has gone through - long (it just ended - July 2013), emotionally, financially, and physically draining - we were constantly reminded that things could always be worse. And they weren't. They were just...this. So our family clang tightly to each other and God revealed Himself to us in His time. Thank you Jesus for your promises and wisdom:

 If with heart and soul you’re doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you’re still better off. Don’t give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath. It’s better to suffer for doing good, if that’s what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad. That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God.
                                                         1 Peter 3:13-18 Message

That's you dad - through and through - because He did it first.
October 2012

*On to better things! 
*I visited my bestie who lives in Texas. Bry couldn't go with...bummer. But her and I had a great time cooking, touring the 6th Floor Museum where JFK was shot from, finding eateries that had twinkle lights (it seemed to be the theme), and playing with her sweet girls. 
I will cheer on the Cats as long as they aren't playing my Jayhawks - I did attend K-State after all...
"X" marks the spot where JFK was shot

*Bry went to a USA soccer game in KC with some friends. Apparently it was pretty awesome, and their seats weren't too shabby either.

Only at soccer games can men wear scarves in that way and still be manly

November 2012

*Lots of little things this month and a holiday!
*Saw some sissy swimming - college is big time! Woo woo!
*My family moved my grandma into a lovely assisted living home
*My hunter got a doe with his bow (I love rhyming) for the first time - what a man!
*Bry went flying with his family for his dad's birthday (I was not apart of this because I would have freaked out)
*And then Thanksgiving...Bryan got sick the day of (lame) and missed the celebration with both families. I was super sad for him, but he was feeling better in time to spend a little money on Black Friday :)
My sweet, but slightly nutty grandma. 
Sorry, I tried to choose the least gory picture

Thanksgiving fam time at the Arboretum

Spoons, we draw blood!

December 2012

*This is a month for Bryan and I's memory book...but no one else's! One Saturday morning while Bry was in Lawrence for a KU game, I took a test that said "Yes" and the rest is history! Baby D was officially on its way! We opted for no pee stick pictures - ew, you're welcome. That day followed many more before we told our parents at 10 weeks, the rest of our family and close friends at 14, and then didn't really shout it to the rooftops until we hit that halfway 20 week mark (all done in personal preference). More about Baby D later and in other posts...
*If you hadn't noticed already, Bryan's beard was getting longer and longer each month. He'd been growing it since September and this was the month to end it all. He says he's doing it again, so if you were a hater, get ready!
*My wonderful husband took me on a weekend stay to a little country town about an hour away. It was so nice to be secluded. We watched movies, played games, read, I took a heavenly bubble bath, and we ate dinner at a place worth driving an hour to get to. 
*We celebrated Christmas in Wichita with Bryan's family and went to KC for mine. Great times were had by all. 

This was actually the end of October, but it's my favorite. Just appreciate it for a while if you need to.
Before (Zach Galifianakis) and After
Our getaway dinner
January 2013

*Happy New Year! 
*From pictures, we apparently didn't do anything in January except for spend New Years with Cole and Valerie - we love them! They are our peas in a pod. 

Anything goes when these two are together.
February 2013

*This month looked very similar. So much so that Cole and Val came back! No one was complaining here though. We went to a piano bar and did some good ol' shooting...not as a combination though. (Sidenote: Cole, there are SO many pictures I want to use but I am refraining so that you will still like me. You're welcome.)
*We also spilled our "bean" news to our family. It worked out that I was 14 weeks on Valentine's Day so we sent them a super fun love-day text. 

This is how excited I was about shooting.

The example of what we sent to our fam. They were obviously pumped!

March 2013

*Bry and I both headed to Texas to see our friends. A little March Madness (more mad for Adam when his Cats lost, bummer), museuming, good food, and even better friends made for a fab time. So glad Bryan got to go with.
*My momma turned the big 5-0 and my aunt planned a weekend to remember! Lots of girl stuff like massages, shopping, a workout sesh with a personal trainer, City Market, more March Madness, Easter lunch, and of course a lot of good food...duh.

Jojo and Bryan and their bed-head craziness
Momma's weekend! Massage time...
My aunt had these made for our workout - I want a cereal bar named after me!
My favorite women.
April 2013

*Pretty much nothing...the calm before the storm I suppose
So low-key we  had nothing better to do than Vader while pregnant...

May 2013

*Bryan coached 3 & 4 year old soccer this year. Most hilarious thing ever. All the kids loved him, of course.
*We started house projects. Yay, and Ughh...all in the same breath. I'm just going to make those a separate post.
Yes, it was still this cold in May. Sick.
June 2013

*Day Camp: our busiest week of the year. Jam-packed, full of Jesus and kiddos. We somehow don't have any pictures...
*Vacation to Boston with my parents. We just wanted to go somewhere so we picked a historical East Coast city and off we went. It was a blast. We also spent a day in Kennebunkport, Maine, the most picturesque coastal town you ever did see.

The Green Monsta
 Days of boats and the harbor, pastries and bike rides
My cutie parents waiting for the T
Libraries and cute husbands

Dad's a cheeseball
Nubble Lighthouse
July 2013

*Not over yet, but I'm getting it down anyways...My lovely friend Sara and two of my sister-in-laws threw me a baby shower. It was so perfect, right down to the striped paper straws. I'm typing this fast so I don't cry but I accidentally deleted all the pictures. Seriously. I hate my whole self right now. And I feel terrible because my aunt willingly took all of them. Please forgive me?
*In the same weekend, Tracie came up to have a last "just-us" weekend before the babe arrives...even though she has two babes herself. We shopped and got pedis and went out to eat. Such a fun time.
The aftermath and maybe only shower picture I have.
Pre-baby BFF weekend

And oh my goodness, I'm done. Wow, I hope I never ever take such a long break again. That was brutal getting caught up. And I'm sure I missed things. 

Posts in the very near future (just to keep myself accountable):
-House Projects
-Bump Pics

Back soon.