image

As I look back on turning 30, and welcome in the new year, I can’t help but reflect on all that my 20s brought. One phrase that kept repeating in my head as I thought through all that had happened  was “I became”. Let me explain…

I BECAME a college graduate. I was the first in my immediate family to go to a 4 year university. It was exciting, scary, and taught independence. It was the absolute best decision I had made in my young life. Not only did I become a WSU Cougar, a KD, a PR major and Hospitality minor, but I became part of a family of tradition, legacy, memories and had some of the best years of my life.

I BECAME a wife. Another great thing to come out of going to college was meeting my husband. B was someone  different that made me a better person and who I had a ton of fun with. We moved to Hawaii together after college which was another great adventure to add to my 20s.

I BECAME a baptized Christian. I grew up in the Catholic Church and during college and after meeting my husband, I identified more with the non denominational Christian church. We were both baptized as Christians together in Hawaii with our church One Love.

I BECAME a home owner. Moving into a home that was our ownership has been something I’m very proud of. It may not be the newest, but it’s ours,  and that makes it wonderful. We are constantly doing upgrades and finding our style, which is hard work but something we are very proud of.

I BECAME a career woman. Immediately after graduating from college, I had some time at Starbucks corporate, which I absolutely loved as my first out of college career. My career was stalled briefly when we moved to Hawaii for my husband to pursue his career dreams. After moving home from Hawaii, I embarked on a career journey at Microsoft that gave me many great opportunities. During my latest time at Microsoft, I found a love for Visual Merchandising. I continued to work hard to further my career there and find my passion in my work, while balancing life at home.

I BECAME a mother. Bringing two beautiful babies into the world has changed my life and heart beyond measure. What a gift and blessing it is to become a mother. I am in a season of focusing on how to be the best mother I can be to these two, which has its daily challenges, but is a job I wouldn’t trade.

The 20s were such an amazing, challenging, searching, life-changing, adventurous time. Can’t wait for all to come in this next decade!

image

In case we decide, or it is decided for us, to have more children,  I feel that it is necessary to write my future self a note to be reminded what things will be like the first 3 weeks post partum and how I will survive. Here we go:

Hey you. You exhausted, slightly smelly, old mascara dusted eyes, moody, you. The next 3 weeks may feel, and may be, some of the most physically and mentally difficult weeks of your young life.

image

The birth. You may have chosen to have another C-section or you may have done a VBAC, either way, don’t feel guilty for your decision. Try to ignore those that make you feel like whatever you chose was wrong. While you work through that mental mind game, whatever way you did choose to give birth will cause you great pain.  Like, lots of pain. And those pain meds that feel glorious for the moment? They will impregnate your bowels to allow you to enjoy the feeling of a VBAC, without an epidural, for the first few weeks post baby. Take the stool softeners. Eat Medamucel crackers like they are candy. Drink prune juice like it is that beer you craved all pregnancy. Look forward to the sapository like a baby-free night on the town. Yay you!! Try, please for the love of God, to quickly wean off the major pain meds. And when you are in the hospital,  some of the first days major pains will be caused by gas. Ask the nurse for gas meds immediately. You’re welcome.

image

The first days home. You will remember how hard you felt things were with just the first baby. Then you will remember how truly hard it was going from one to two. You didn’t realize you can’t lift your toddler for 6 weeks or do anything around the house for fear of activating pain and the dreaded post partum period soaking through your sexy granny panties or mesh tear away boy shorts from the hospital with your medical grade 16″ long pad. Hang in there.  Enlist family to help at least the first 3 weeks. Use a step stool to assist your toddler up and down where you can’t lift. And rest. Seriously. Stop trying to do chores. Stop bending down and lifting things that “are probably fine”. Limit the Costco trips. I know it feels great to get out, but it’s not fun to keep bleeding.

image

The moods. The thoughts. The tears. The confusion. The “baby blues”, “sundowning” – is real. So real and so horrid. You will feel panicky. You will feel hopeless. You will feel pain. You will feel silly. You will feel frustrated. You will feel ashamed. Lost. Sad. It will feel foreign. It will be terrifying that it could last. Lucky for you, it should only last about the first two weeks. Some others won’t be so lucky as it may last longer. Talk to your doctor if it goes beyond 3 weeks. Remember that with your first you didn’t have this at all, so it could be fine! But above all, remember you aren’t going crazy. Your hormones are just intense. And they will regulate.

image

The sleeping. Or the non-sleeping. You will be a human milk machine. The baby will not have a schedule. They will demand food, be irregular in timing to eat, how long they eat, and when they sleep. They may be great for two days and turn into a horrible, confusing, demanding little love bug the next two days. And when I say days, I mean 24 hours. Not like 9 to 5 kinda thing. Round the clock. You may only get sleep with the baby on your chest as you lay completely flat, built up with pillow around you for fear of the baby rolling off you in your sleep. It’s ok. Remember number one? This too shall pass. It may take over 15 months like your first, but it will eventually. At least that’s what they say.

image

The Googling. You will become the best researcher for the first 3 weeks (and beyond,  let’s be honest). Your Google searches will mimic a hypocondriac’s. Your new babies doctor’s file may become thick with visits because “the baby is breathing nasally”. Remember it’s all okay. Knowledge feels like power and peace of mind at this time. But remember to take caution. You may find yourself on a website convincing you that your newborn needs reconstructive chin surgery. Yes, that was my reality for a sleepless night. You have insurance. Your doctor won’t tell you she thinks your crazy, although she may think it. If they tell you this, find a new pediatrician.

image

The house will be dirty. The dogs will drive you crazy. You will feel overwhelmed – a lot. Someone will need you at every second in your house. Remember,  you need you too. Try to pee when you need to, put the baby down to free your hands for at least 15 minutes a day, play with your other kids the best you can,  watch shows all day on those days you just need it, and remember to enjoy this time too. They are only this little once.  And each day, remember you all will never be as young as you are that day. So hug them a little closer, take deep breaths, and rock that crusty mascara and greasy hair. It’s called Motherhood. And it looks good on you.

image

One week ago our family of three became four with the addition of little baby G. This last week has been all consuming of every emotion available in the human body and physically so rough for this repeat c-section mama. But one week feels like a great accomplishment right now.

Little M has taken quite well to her new baby brother – a truly answered prayer. Sure, she has her moments, but we all have many times this week. She is such a trooper. Brad has been an incredible help, which always makes me fall more in love with him. My mom has taken on the challenge of staying with us which has been a HUGE blessing. Sometimes a mama still needs her mama.
image

We are all adjusting to this new life which both terrifies and excites me. I’m exhausted, recovering, can’t lift my daughter for 6 weeks {still trying to figure out the logistics of that between changing diapers and naps and mornings in and out of a crib}, and overall so in love with this beautiful baby boy.

As I embark on this new journey and write most posts during middle of the night feedings, please keep us in your prayers. Pray for a very speedy recovery, for my emotional wellbeing, and for our new life as a family of four.

image

By the way, if you are wanting to get an adorable personalized baby gift, I found the customized blanket and beanie in the first picture through Pearl Pear Designs on Etsy. She was so wonderful to work with and created the design with very minimal direction. We love it!!

image

I have been searching far and wide for the perfect personalized necklace to showcase the love for my children. I have been browsing local shops, looking at charms with initials, and browsing Etsy.

I recently saw some of my favorite family members when they were in town and loved their gold bar necklaces they were wearing. They informed me that one of their clients from their hair salon had made them and gave me her Etsy shop information.
image

I started to chat with Shop Luca on Etsy explaining what I was looking for and the dear made me exactly what I wanted!! A perfect gold bar necklace with “MADISON♡GAVIN” hand stamped on the bar. Start the swooning.

It came pretty quickly and receiving this cute little package was such a treat! I wanted to give myself a special little gift, and something to celebrate the upcoming birth of my son. Who says you can’t give yourself a “birth (push) gift”?

I have worn it everyday since I received it and love how it always reminds me of my littles. If you are looking for a great gift this Christmas or something special for yourself or a friend, I highly suggest checking out Shop Luca on Etsy!

image

DSC_4013To say the birth of my daughter hasn’t been one of the biggest highlights of my life would be a complete lie. Anyone would know that. I over-picture, over-talk about, over-love my little girl. She has been an absolute joy to raise these last 2.5 years. We knew we wanted more than one child, so when we were ready we tried for number 2. Needless to say, we were successful! 

This pregnancy has been completely different from the first. Morning sickness, discomfort, insomnia, sciatic pain…all while still working full time and raising a toddler. But one thing has remained constant; the questioning of what’s to come. The transition for our family, for little M, who the world revolves around, and the question a lot of mom’s going from one to two may have: how can I love another child as much as I have loved the first?

Little M is just so special. She brings joy to all she meets, greets every stranger, throws tantrums like you wouldn’t believe, is super witty and expressive, loves to “shake it”, sing, make goofy faces and give a hug and kiss until “mmkay, all done”. She is smart, playful, stubborn, and a sponge.

I do worry about how she will be as a big sister. I pray over the bond her and little G will have. I pray over her heart and mind being open and understanding right off the bat with this transition. I pray over our family as we prepare financially. And I pray over little G that he is a calm, chill guy who will just fit right in with the crew. I pray over my husband as he takes on a lot of responsibility for our family – that God blesses him in his career and provides for our family as he has so done in the past.

I am looking forward to all the good times that are coming. I am praying for strength and patience during all the hard days that are coming. I am saying ‘thank you’ for all the blessings we have and are given daily. DSC_7860lr