Monday, June 24, 2013

How old are you?

Have to show off my smart girl....we started asking her this and showing her what to do last week (thinking it would take a couple of months for her to master) but she's already doing it consistently every time we ask. So here is our 10 month old who thinks she's 1. Such a big girl, I should really stop underestimating her. :)

Sidenote: What she's doing in the beginning is playing her version of "peek-a-boo" she just looks at you with her head tilted to the side when she's ready to "peek." :)


Thursday, February 28, 2013


She's done it...she's said her first word. She may be absolutely crazy about her Daddy, but her first word was Momma!

Here's the thing though....she's actually been doing this since she was around 2 or 3 months old. She just didn't know it. But she went through this thing when every time she was hungry or upset she would make a lot of "m" noises and sometimes "momma" would sneak out. We really noticed it on the way home from the doctor's office after her 3 month checkup...she was NOT (I repeat, NOT) happy with the nurse and the shots she administered. She screamed the whole way home (luckily it's about 2 miles away) and most of what she was screaming sounded like "momma". But I don't count that as her first words because it never seemed like she knew what she was saying and it was never was an accident because she was making "m" sounds.

However, yesterday she knew what was going on and said it not once but ALL day. I was playing a lot of peek-a-boo that morning on the changing table where I usually say "where's Momma?" or "where's Shaylyn?" and hide on the side of the table. We play this game a lot, she gets real excited about it. She's so funny about it because she knows what I'm doing but pretends to not look for me and looks straight up at the ceiling while smiling and kicking like crazy....until she can't stand it anymore and tries to look for me. While I was changing her clothes after that (which is not her favorite game) she starts whining and says "mamamamama." Although she hasn't done it in a while, I didn't really think too much of it and when she stopped I looked at her and said it back to her. She looked at me for a minute then started back up again...."mamamama." It made me giggle a lot. Then she proceeded to do it all morning, but the second I would get my phone out to record it she would stop. Rascal. Later that morning we were Skyping with my mom and before I could even tell her what she had been doing she was saying it over and over again.

She has been imitating a lot of things lately. This weekend Chad was making a smack noise with his mouth and she started doing it too. (She still does it when you do it to her.) She studies your mouth SO hard when you're talking to her. This makes me so excited! Well and nervous. She's so interested in communicating and is always looking at us like she's soaking everything up. Which also got me thinking about something else.....since she seems so interested, I'm starting a few signs with her. (Started "officially" today!) I don't know enough myself to really teach her a lot, but I would love to teach her some basic ones that will help us communicate with her over the next few years. "more" "milk" "finished/all done" "eat" are the ones I'm starting with. We'll see how it goes to see what we do from here...I'm not going to push it, just see how she responds.

Here she is yesterday (you can hear MeMe in the background on Skype) .....

And here she is today when I put her down for a nap....I also heard this on the monitor at 2:30am this morning. I can't think of a better way to wake up in the middle of the night! :)

Do I think she knows who "momma" is? Mah, not really. Do I think she's calling for me when she says it? Mah, not really. But we're working on those things. I do know that she can see someone say it and knows how to repeat it now. I think she knows when she says it I will come...because I'm making a point of that every time she says it. At least for now...I want her to know who Momma is! Then I pick her up and say "Momma's here." She definitely knows her own name because she turns and responds to it when someone calls I don't think it'll be too long before she knows what our names are too. Yesterday when she said it, it was always when she needed something.....hungry, tired, or just generally pissed off. Today she said it a few times when we were just playing together and I would say it to her (and also every time she was mad). My mom is completely convinced that she does know what she's saying and who her "momma" is. Maybe I'm cutting Shaylyn short? Either way, I'll take it...because really, it's just too damn cute to matter.

Shay's Momma :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

2 Months

Oh man....can anyone tell me where the past 6 months have gone?? I'm months behind on here! I know all of you internets people are waiting with bated breath to hear about my little girl....right? Right?? Anyone?? :)

Since I'm using this blog as a sort of "baby book" for Shay...I want to go back to do a little recap of pictures and things that happened for each month. So let's think back all the way to October when Shaylyn was just 2 months old........

Happy Shay

MAD Shay

Date night with Chad's favorite girls :)

Morning snuggles...most mornings I bring Shaylyn in our bed after her early morning feeding. :)

Shay's first trip to Napa! We went with Auntie "Madia" and Uncle Mark. :)

In Napa - Momma gets sushi for the first time in like 10 months. Oooh how I missed sushi while I was pregnant!!

Shay discovers she has a tongue in October. I'm pretty sure it was out more than it was in this whole month. 


I remember this day...Shay and I were super cuddly all day. I pretty much let her sleep on me all day. And I happened to catch her smiling in her sleep. This picture makes my heart so happy. :)

Auntie Amy sent a Cardinals uni for our little #7

Shaylyn is introduced to our monthly "Kwanazaaa!" 

Grandpa Scott and Grandma Connie come for a visit and we eat lunch on the beach in Half Moon Bay. (If  you ever go there you MUST eat at Sam's Chowder House and get the lobster sandwich and clam chowder. You will NOT be disappointed!!)

Shaylyn first Halloween! At the pumpkin patch.

I saw our Christmas card, right?? I LOVE taking awkward family photos. I actually waited until she was crying to take this picture. Yeah, I'm that mom.

Our little family

She passed out on Auntie Donna while watching the Cardinals/Giants game in the NLCS.

She cried when the Cardinals' season was over.

She decided to root for the Giants in the World Series. (2012 Champs!)

She went as an owl for Halloween and trick or treated with the big kids...her  cousins Olivia and Zoie and their friends. Mommy went as "fifty shades of grey". 

The cutest owl there ever was.
She was over the owl costume by this point. Daddy went as "The Jager Bomber" :) 
I love this picture of Zo at the pumpkin patch. :)

Roadtrip to SoCal to meet her ADORABLE cousin Kiley!! I can already tell these 2 will be big buddies. :)

All the Johansen/Gillette cousins together! 3 grandkids born in 2012! (Sidenote: Shaylyn did NOT have a good day this day...had a really bad belly ache and spent most of the day crying. Like REALLY crying. The only person who could get her to calm down was Uncle Ryan so he spent most of the day walking with her and bouncing her and being the Shaylyn Whisperer.)

Shay insisted she hold her cousin. We were dying over this picture. So cute.

Shay meets the Laukat girls! Here she is with Kendall. I feel like these two make a lot of the same faces. :)

She very much enjoyed McKenna...she kept smiling at her. :)

On the drive back home to NorCal. Took a pit stop off the highway so I could feed Shay. Then we took this picture of her by a cotton field. I have no idea why this picture makes me laugh so much...but it does.

Baseball season may be over but she still rocks the Cards bib!

Alright...and the Cards dress. The little dimple on her right cheek really came out in her 2nd month...and oh man does it hurt my heart! :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

For your entertainment.

Today, I needed to make a quick run to the grocery store and the produce market so I threw on some sweats, put my hair in a ponytail, and kept the baby in her cow pajamas and left the house. We got a few things at the grocery store which included some frozen things and milk, then we headed to the market. I love my new car which has keyless entry and keyless start. My husband's car has the same feature and you can never lock yourself out. After leaving the market, I (knowingly) left my keys in the bag in the back and went around to put the baby in. Apparently, my car does NOT have the same feature of never locking yourself out. Shaylyn was hungry, needed to be changed, and was ready for a nap. While we waited the hour plus it would take my husband to come from work to get the spare from our house....I had to breastfeed in a sort of "ally" near the parking lot. I thought I was somewhere where no one would be coming through but some unsuspecting man did and saw me nursing my baby on the ground. Did I mention I was in sweats and the baby was in a cow onesie? Pretty sure he thought we were homeless from the pity look he gave us. I was shocked he didn't offer some spare change.

If you don't laugh at yourself sometimes, you'll just cry. I chose to laugh today.

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Very Awkward Christmas.

I started a tradition last year that I didn't exactly know was going to be a tradition.

I'm a huge fan of awkwardness. So Chad and I took an awkward Christmas picture...I made an awkward card...and sent it out to a bunch of family and friends. We got such a great response from it that I decided to make it a family tradition. 

Best. Idea. Ever.

2011 Johansen Awkward Christmas
Meowy Christmas From the Johansen's!
Screen shot of our 2011 card from the website I ordered it from. ( - a super awesome custom order anything website) Sidenote: This is not our cat. We do not own a cat.
Fun fact: I was actually around 6 weeks pregnant in this picture but it was before we were really telling anyone. :)

This year we have a super cute "prop" for our awkward Christmas! She makes this tradition WAY more fun. Poor poor Shaylyn....she's in for a long ride with these parents of hers. So far though I'd say she fits right in to this awkward family, but you can be the judge of that...............

2012 Johansen Awkward Christmas
Made this year's card on -  so easy to custom make them! And also awesome that I got a great deal on all the cards from Groupon. 

This could be really embarrassing so it's a good thing we only sent this to 100 of our family and friends (and posted it here online for anyone to see)............

Have a very AWKWARD Christmas and a HAPPY New Year!!
(I'm not sure how we'll out awkward ourselves next year....we really went for it this year.)
The Johansen's
Chad, Brooke, and Shaylyn

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Dear Shaylyn,

You don't know this but something very sad happened Friday, December 14th. A really sad, angry, and confused young man went into a school and shot some very innocent little children. I won't even waste my breath trying to explain what that man could have possibly been thinking because nothing....absolutely nothing....can make me understand it.

Instead I want to tell you how it made me feel. How it made me hold you a little closer at bedtime. How it made me cry watching you sleep after you had a full belly simply because I knew there were mom's on the under side of the country who would never see their babies sleep again. How it made your dad and I have a conversation on "worst case scenarios" with something happening in a public setting and make a plan of what we could do. How it shook me to my bones to know we can't protect you from everything. How it made me literally nauseous knowing that there are terrorists in our own country attacking not only our own, but the ones that can't defend themselves.

This is just the tip of the iceberg on all the emotions this tragedy brought up but most of all it made me feel more love. Goodness Shaylyn...if I don't teach you anything else in this lifetime please let me teach you about love. It's so important to feel it and give it. It can turn anything around. I'm not just talking about showing love to your family and friends (although that's very important.) But send out goodness and love into the whole world. You don't have to grow up to be the President, a disease curing doctor, or anyone else with an "important" title in order to change the world. You have the possibility to change the world within you just by sending out love and goodness. This is exactly why you make me and your dad better people. It's our goal as your parents to show you by example how to live that way. Not only will you make the world a better and happier place...but can you imagine how happy your life will be too? Giving and receiving that much love and light? Now....let's be real....I am not always good at this. And that's okay. It's okay to not always be able to do this. But as long as there are other people in the world giving out that same love, they'll be able to pick you up when you need it. That's why it's so important to surround yourself with those people who are giving you that love too. It'll pick you up when you need it, push you when you need pushing, catch you when you're falling, and completely envelop you with warmth, security, and happiness. Hang on to the people in your life that challenge you to be a better person.

I'm so sad for all of those effected by the tragedy in Connecticut. Innocence was ripped right out from underneath so many beautiful children. I'm praying for everyone...the people that were taken away and the ones still with us.

Alright, I'm finished for now. Just know that I love you Shaylyn and you have so much to give this world and it's all within you!!

Your Momma

Friday, September 7, 2012

Shay is 1 month old!

Our little lady is 1 month old today!

Man she's growing so fast. These past 31 days have been incredible. Crazy. Awesome. Exhausting. Emotional. Fun. But most of all this past month has been so full of LOVE!!!

I feel like every morning I wake up to a new baby. Her face and little body change so much each day! She's getting heavier and longer and gaining more control of her neck, arms, and legs. She loves holding her own head up when you hold her on your shoulder. I kind of feel like she shows off about it. She holds it up and looks around at people and the world like she's saying "yeah I'm holding my head up myself, no big deal." Her little face is looking less newborn-ish. She's starting to make noises besides her little cry. She smiles at people on purpose now...and not just involuntary gas smiles. (Evidence of that in the video I posted below!) We're really getting to know her, her schedule, her cries, and her personality. Granted, this is the only baby I've ever had to compare to but she is such a good baby. She's really laid back, LOVES to cuddle and be held close, sleeps and eats like a champion, and really likes it when you put your head against hers and tell her "secrets" by whispering in her ear. Sigh....we are so in love. She is just perfect.

My momma (Shaylyn's MeMe) arrived in California July 27th to be here for her birth. She just left on Wednesday so it's been our first couple of days just Shay and myself at home. Oh man...I could write a whole post on how much my momma has helped us around here for the past month. Physically she did all of the things Chad and I didn't want to do/think about when we got home with Shay. Planned meals and made sure we ate, cooked, cleaned, did laundry, held a crying Shaylyn while we took a break (or more than likely ate), watched a sleeping Shaylyn while I took a nap alone in my room, picked her up and gave her to me when my incision was hurting, made sure I put my feet up when we got home from the hospital in order for the swelling to go down (seriously the amount of swelling I had was really ridiculous, more on that in other post), and tons of other stuff that I can't begin to name everything here. Emotionally she did just as much for was great to have her around to provide advice and momma help. I loved just having her here and getting to spend so much time with her. And more than anything I loved seeing her with Shay. Oh it just hurt my heart to see them together and MeMe so in love with my little girl!

31 days ago I also gained a new respect and perspective on my own parents. Of course they've always told me they love me throughout my life...but I don't think I really understood how much and just what that kind of love meant until Shaylyn came along. So to my own Momma and Dad...thank you for loving me and my sisters so much. I get it. And I love you too. :)

A few days after Shay came home from the NICU, she had her first checkup with her pediatrician.  She weighed in at 7 pounds 7 ounces and grew 1/4 of an inch since birth. Her doctor was very impressed with her growth and told us we were both doing great breastfeeding. She couldn't get over how great Shaylyn looked. :)

Good news continued today at her 1 month checkup, doctor said she looked like a perfectly healthy and happy are her stats!
9 pounds 4 ounces (50th percentile)
21 3/4 inches long (75th percentile)


Goodness lady I just love you to pieces. It seriously hurts my heart.

Fact: The other day you were sleeping on my chest while I was watching tv. I was smelling your beautiful baby smell and feeling the weight of you on my body. Cue tears. I'm pretty sure they just came on because my heart was so full my eyes just overflowed with love.

I would say I spent 9 months waiting for you but I actually feel like you've been a part of me my whole life. You just decided to show your face 31 days ago.

Thank you for making me a mother. Just like your daddy, you make me want to be a better person. You take that to a whole new level, girl. And I will be a better person because of you. Speaking of your daddy, thank you for taking our love and marriage to a new height also. When you were born and my heart grew, it grew for your dad too. I didn't know I could love him more, but that was before I knew how much love I could give. Seeing the two of you together makes me feel so complete. And the way his eyes look when he's staring down at you...matches exactly what my heart feels too.

Well, that's all for now. You're sleeping next to me and I need to snuggle and smell you. :)

Love you for always and ever,

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It's a.......GIRL!!!

Shaylyn Kennedy Johansen was born August 7th, 2012 at 3:55pm!
6 pounds 15 ounces
21.5 inches long

Oh boy is there a lot to write about between the hours of 1:00am August 6th and 3:55pm August 7th! Not to mention the minutes, hours, days, and now weeks that have gone by since then!!

Chad and I plan to sit down and write out her birth story sometime soon but we just haven't got the chance to do it yet. Actually, that's kind of a lie. We have probably had the chance to do it, but it's such an emotional thing for us to think about that we've been putting it off. Because I was in labor for so long and so much happened during that time and then after she was born, there were holes in both our stories of things that went on and what we each experienced. We sat down for about an hour one morning when we were still in the hospital and talked through everything that happened. I don't remember the last time I cried that hard. Especially for it being deliriously happy and sad tears at the same time. Anyway, it's important to me that we write it down when it's still "fresh" so we can remember everything and look back on it down the road. I think it will also be pretty cool for Shaylyn to hear some day too. Hear about how dramatic she was even when she came into the world and maybe if she hears how rough she was on her parents during those first few minutes/hours/days, she'll ease up on us during the teenage years. What do you mean it doesn't work like that? :)

She is such a healthy and happy 2 week old now. And we think she's pretty perfect. Our hearts are completely full having her a part of our lives. We love you so much Shaylyn Kennedy Johansen!!!

Shaylyn's Mommy

p.s. I just re-read my last post I put on here at 10pm August 5th. Although I didn't know it (even then) but I actually started early labor just 3 hours later. Haha!! Life is funny, huh? :)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

38 weeks - Today is my due date.

38 weeks!
(July 22nd)

It's 9:57pm PST Sunday, August 5th, 2012.

I was supposed to become a mom today. The baby obviously has different plans. It's been an emotional roller coaster of a day. I just remembered this post I wrote back in October last year before I was pregnant. I read it, teared up a little, smiled a little, took a deep breath, and decided I'd write this really quickly and go to bed.

I kind of feel like I've been pregnant for an eternity but at the same time I feel like I just saw that beautiful little digital word "Pregnant" just yesterday. It's a weird thing. Whew, all of these swarming thoughts have made for a long emotionally and physically exhausting day.

Here's to another day I get to carry this baby in my belly before he/she comes out and changes the world. (At least my world....)

Excerpt from what I wrote on October 12th, 2011:
"Maybe you're pregnant right now and barfing all over the place (your sense of smell is already ridiculous so I can't imagine what that's like when it's heightened)....just remember how excited me and Chad would be to know that we were going to have a baby in less than 9 months. 
Maybe you're in the week of your due date and miserably waddling around feeling like a beached whale (and I'm guessing feeling a little anxious about going into labor)....just remember how your non pregnant self is sitting here right now daydreaming about what it would be like to feel our baby kick from the inside. You're so close to being able to see our baby's face, you can do it! And try not to feel too anxious...Chad will be there with you and he always seems to know how to make us feel better. Not to mention all of the awesome people I know you'll have in that waiting room......If you weren't about to push a human out of your vagina, I would feel more sorry for the hospital staff. :) 
Maybe you're getting impatient on a wait list for an adoption.....remember that your kid is out there in this world somewhere and the universe is just waiting for the timing to be right. (We both know how important timing is.) And it when the timing is will be perfect."