Monday, August 12, 2013

Dear me...

Halli use to sleep at 8 hour chunks. Two times she even did 12 a row!  The first night she did that I raced to her room terrified because I thought something was wrong with her.  I have a bruise on my leg to prove it because in my tired state of sheer panic I ran straight into my door.  Grace should be my middle name...

Lately however she has been waking up every 3 hours. STARVING! She nose dives to eat as soon as I hold her.  During one of our late night feedings as I was exhausted I looked down at her big eyes that were looking at me, she touched my face and smiled...then went right back to eating.  Best moment ever and helped me push through the 2 other late night feedings.

The next morning I was making pancakes for Hayden and threw in some mini chocolate chips.  Hayden sang my praises all morning, telling me how cool and silly I was.  And how putting chocolate chips in was "good using your noggin'." Love him.

These little experiences got me thinking what life was like BEFORE I was a mom... and what I might tell myself the year, months, or day before I was honored with the title of "mommy."  Which led to this...

Dear self, 

Soon you will have a new name to add to your list.  You are currently called Megan, dear, Teacher Megan, Sister Hamilton ...and by those who are real close to you, Meg.  Your new name will be "mommy."  Also mom, mama, or maaaaaawwwwm! It is the best name yet and a huge blessing that will change your life forever.  On this new journey you are about to begin, here are some things and suggestions that I have learned being you 5 years later.

You will love deeper.  You will know what it really means to be unselfish and also true exhaustion.  You will love Cory even more.  Because he loves you through the craziness of pregnancy, and there is nothing better watching him with the kids.  Snuggling, being "daddy danger," a pirate or other imaginary character, teaching them things only he can, and rocking your babies to sleep...your heart will melt every time.  You married a good one. Let him know often how much you appreciate him.  

For pregnancy during and right after...
First Trimester must haves: Ginger Ale. Crackers by the bed. Naps when you can.  Hang in there. Second trimester is awesome.

You will be really hungry and so not hungry at the same time. 

Pregnancy hormones are INSANE! You won't understand why you are crying, don't expect anyone else to either.  You will also randomly really want Greek food and sherbet shakes...thanks hormones.

Sonic has 150 gagillion combinations of drinks and shakes=every pregnant woman's dream.

You will get stretch marks... nice wishful thinking though.  They fade and eventually are less scary looking...kind of. They are a badge of motherhood.

When they say "eating for two," they don't mean 2 full size people.

Tums.  You will pop those babies like tic tacs.  Don't think the biggest bottle is too big.  You will go through 3 of those easy.  

An epidural or spinal block isn't that bad.  The baby could come out your nose and you wouldn't care.

Nursing is hard, like really hard at first. But it's worth it.  Hang in there for 2 months then it gets better.  Also, formula won't kill is a necessary break sometimes.

Baby blues are real and normal.  Crying for a few weeks is normal.  Again pregnancy hormones are insane.  But crying, being depressed, and anxious for a few months isn't.  It is ok to get help.  It does get better, hang in there!

After baby...
It is amazing how well you can function on little to no sleep.  Just keep going, you can do it.  You eventually enter into a tired state of delirious and it's smooth sailing from there.

Throw those jeans away...let's be honest here.  They aren't going to fit again.  You can't stay 22 forever honey. Bodies change after babies and there is no going back.  It is amazing how your body will change to get your new little loves to the world.  Hips are bigger, things sag, and stretch.  It's natural. So get rid of those jeans, they will only make you wishful for what cannot be.  Be your new beautiful you. On that same note.... Spanx.  You are not above them.  They are awesome and hold things up and in like you can't believe.  Spanx....

The mother bear instinct is real thing.  You will be super protective and rage inside like you wouldn't believe will overcome you when your kids are in danger, threatened, or need you to stand up for them.  You will fight for your kids.  No doctor, teacher, or specialists know them like you do. NO one is a better specialist about your babies than you are.  Go with your gut.  Mother's intuition is a gift from Heavenly Father. Intuition rocks!! Stay close to the spirit so you know how to take care of your sweet babies.

As soon as you become a mom you will love baths and want one daily.  This includes during pregnancy.  Baths had to have been invented by a woman.

That random smell of baby spit up, poo, play doh or old oatmeal is probably you, not your tiny children.  Try hard to shower daily.  Those 15 minutes of alone time in a tiny enclosed area is a much needed break.  Don't worry about shaving your legs.  When you do happen to have an extra 2 minutes to shower, shoot for just getting one shaved at a time. Get the other leg the next shower. I believe most moms live in wonderful land of  "One Shaved Leg."  You still may be in sweats all day, but you've showered.  Winning.  With a brand new baby personal hygiene will go out the door.  Don't worry eventually you will be able to really get ready again.(Oh and high, messy buns come back into's a blessing and amazing.)

Sweats.  Hallelujah and Amen.  Immediately apologize in your head right now for when you secretly judged all the mom's, aka "shlumpadinkas" on Oprah that received makeovers because they lived in their sweats.  You will understand sweats and why people live in them all day.  BUT just because sweats are awesome, and comfortable get dressed up sometimes! Like really get dressed and ready.  It's good for your womanly soul!  Cory won't complain about it either...

Some last quick things:
-You get good at doing everything with having only one free hand and a baby in the other.
-You can't do anything remotely sports related but you better believe you can hit a diaper into the trash can from anywhere in the room while holding a wiggly baby down with the other hand. ..and boom goes the dynamite!
-Doing anything while holding a baby is great exercise.
-Enjoy each moment. Don't rush it and don't ever say hurry up, ever. Time really does go by too quickly and your babies will be grown before you know it.
-Randomly put sprinkles and chocolate chips on and in things more often.
-Don't forget about that stupid elf on the shelf on night 22. You've done it every night so far and you're almost there!
-You do NOT have to be perfect.
-Kids can get dirty.  They SHOULD get dirty; it is part of them being a kid.
-You will never laugh so hard, kids are hilarious. You will also be awesome at the fake laugh for random nonsensical knock knock jokes.
-Nothing is better than kissing chubby baby cheeks.
-Boogers, throw up, and blood becomes no big deal.  It is true that it really is different when they come from your kid.
-NEVER say what you won't do... Because I promise you absolutely WILL end up doing it.  The universe will plot against you to make sure you absolutely do said thing you swore you would never do...and probably multiple times.  
-Nap time is wonderful.
-Kiss your babies while they are sleeping.  Every night.
-There will be a universal connection to other moms at Walmart, the park and Target.  They will also probably have their hair in a bun, a weird stain on their shirt, and bags under their eyes.  Give them a head nod and a smile...they will know what you mean.  
-Rock your babies to sleep.  They won't be babies forever.
-Take a break! Make time for you.  Do something you love.  Girl's night outs are fabulous.
-Snuggle.  Lots of snuggles.
-Listen to them pray.
-You will do anything and look ridiculous trying to get giggles out of your kids.  Those giggles are like heaven. Best sound ever.
-That first smile will melt your heart ...and every other time after that.
-You have a new sweet dance move... The newborn shimmy.  Even when you aren't holding a baby you will catch yourself shaking and swaying ...just go with it.
-You will have great literature memorized.  Good night moon.  Guess how much I love you.  Big Red Barn.  Hungry Caterpillar. Brown bear, brown bear.
-Slow down.
-Savor every moment, smile, laugh, squeal, and milestone.
-Pray multiple times daily to know how to raise them.  Pray for energy.  Pray for patience.
-Keep going, you can do it.
-Don't compare. Don't compare yourself or any of your children.  To anyone ever.  
-It is ok to ask for help.  People want to help!
-Forgive yourself. You don't have to be perfect.

Your life is about to be turned upside down, and it will again when you have another baby!  But it is wonderful.  Enjoy them at the age and stage they are in. Babies grow too quickly.  Take a deep breath. Take breaks and make time for yourself.  A mom is a wonderful job and blessing, but you are your own woman first.  Do things YOU like to do and don't lose yourself.  You will be a better wife and mother because you made time for you and the things you like to do. 

Love, Me

ps.  hope to talk to you in a few years with advice about teenagers.  *shudder*

So what would you tell your pre-mommy self?  Or the you 5 years ago?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

March 28th, 2013, 7:58am

My pregnancy with Hayden was br-u-tal.  Pretty much from start to finish.  LOTS of puking, kidney stones, swelling the size of house...etc..etc...  Since the whole pregnancy was dramatic I guess he needed to have a dramatic entrance too.  :)  I wrote about it here.  It is so crazy to go back and read what I was thinking and feeling then. With Hayd's emergency C-section I was so miserable and wanted nothing more than to get my sweet baby boy out!  Being rushed to a surgical room to have a C-section while a nurse is riding on your bed is a surreal feeling. That whole morning was a blur but I had my handsome 8lb 13 oz baby boy and we were both happy and healthy.

Fast forward to this year.  My due date was April 3rd, this pregnancy was easier than my pregnancy with Hayden, and I have a new doctor.  She is more than willing to let me try a VBAC because I never had the chance to push and try with Hayden.   Every weekly checkup I would pray to be just a little bit dilated, and a little bit effaced.  Sadly every time I left I was barely a half a centimeter.  I walked around our neighborhood, bounced on a birthing ball, walked around Target for hours(this is fun and distracting but expensive :) ), more exercises on a birthing ball, spicy food, more walking, walking, walking and still…nothing.  At 39 weeks I was feeling more than uncomfortable.  To add more stress to the situation, Cory and I are it here.  None of our extended family lives anywhere even kind of close to where we are.  My mom had flown out to be with us for 2 weeks, and baby girl wasn’t even close to making an appearance.

March 27th I had another checkup.  I decided I wanted to go ahead with a C-section, I healed great from my previous one, sister wasn't even kind of wanting to leave my belly, and I desperately wanted the help from my mom.  My doctor and the hospital were able to get me in that day at lunch if I wanted; I was more than game because I was so darn uncomfortable!  I was ready, my bags were packed, I had a “big brother kit” ready, my house had been deep cleaned, and I had made 12 freezer meals…GAME.ON!  I flew home to grab our bags, Cory went to work to tie things up and just as we were leaving for the hospital my doctor called to let me know I would need to go into hospital first thing the next morning because of new scheduling issues.  After getting off the phone with my doctor I was crushed.  I was so excited to meet my baby girl that day, not the next morning!  I had already called our family to let them know our fun news.  I had tried to picture her little face and that Hayden would be a brother by dinner time.  But all of it would have to wait until the next morning.  Now…to a normal, not super hormonal, and exhausted pregnant woman this would be no big deal.  One more day would not be the end of the world.  I on the other hand lost it.  I bawled, hysterically for entirely too long and then needed ice cream from Sonic.  Super embarrassing to think about now and looking back I am grateful I was able to have one more day with my family of 3.  Cory and I had a fun low key day together and just enjoyed the day with Hayden.  I could barely sleep that night.  I would be a mother of 2 in a few hours.  

March 28th: Driving to the hospital felt ridiculously long and super short at the same time.  Cory was beyond excited and thrilled both of our kids would be born on the 28th (Hayden's bday is Dec 28th).  I was way more nervous than I thought I would be.  I had a C-section before, but it was all such a blur I barely remember everything that happened.  This time around I was watching all the nurses get me ready, and hooked up to antibiotics.  I walked myself into the freezing cold surgical room and was more than alert for the spinal block (which was not all that bad).  I could hear my heart racing on the heart monitor as nurses and my anesthesiologist (bless him) tried to help me relax.  Finally Cory came in and then my doctor.  The sheet went up and it was baby time.

The nurses and doctors were amazing, telling me how great I look (apparently I have a lovely uterus?), and guessing the size of my baby.  Guesses like "7 almost 8 lbs," or "higher 8 lb baby but not more."  Then I heard the sweetest little cry and started to tear up.  That was my baby!  “She has so much dark hair!”  My baby has hair?  Hayden was super blonde and barely had a little fuzz for hair.  “She is nice and big mama!  She is so beautiful!” And she was.  Overwhelming feelings of love for her took over and I got more teary.  Cory left to go be with our new baby girl, “she is 9 lbs 8 oz!  21 3/4 inches!”  I had to ask again, “did they say 9lbs 8 oz?!”  Yup…she had more than enjoyed her time in my belly, no wonder I was so uncomfortable.  My doctor said she would have been more than fine to live in there another 4 weeks and had no intention of leaving.  It was a good decision to have a C-section; I never would have been able to get her out on my own.

I text my mom later that day and said “I have never felt so happy.”  I was overwhelmed with love for this new little person in our family.  I was overwhelmed with pride and joy to watch Hayden meet his sister for the first time.  I was overwhelmed to see Cory with our daughter.  It was a great, great day.

Halli Hamilton
9 lbs 8oz
21 3/4 inches 

Halli (pronounced “Hal-E,” like Halle Berry) had reflux pretty bad  as a newborn.  Poor girl would cry and scream because she was in so much pain.  That first week home was so hard.  Once we got her some meds for the reflux she got more manageable.  She was also a tiny bit jaundice.  She is significantly darker than the rest of us.  She must have snuck in some genes from my McBride side.  My dad and brother are both really tan with dark hair.  With her dark hair, skin and huge blue eyes she is such a pretty baby.  She LOVES to eat, so I feel like I am nursing all day long.  Adjusting to more than one kiddo was also way harder than I thought.  Hayden was such an easy going baby.  He still is really easy going.  Halli on the other hand has opinions on everything.  No pacifiers what so ever(I tried every kind under the sun for weeks), hates bottles, hates to be swaddled, hates being held certain ways.  And she is not afraid to let you know.  Girl is sassy!!  But dang it she is so stinking cute.  Her little feisty personality is exhausting but hilarious.  Also I could tell I’m older because healing from my C-section was been a little rougher this time around.  Not awful, I still healed really well.  But I am not 22 anymore, hahaha.
(she had sooo much hair! It was so surprising because Hayd had only a sweet blonde fuzz. : )  Now that hair has pretty much all fallen out. Hopefully it grows back soon!)

I am still so overwhelmed with love for my little family.  There is truly nothing more special than bringing a little baby straight from heaven into your home.  I feel so blessed that I have the opportunity to be a mom.  I am so grateful that we are all healthy and that we get to figure out how to be a family of 4 together.  We are slowly finding our new normal and getting to know this sweet, gorgeous little girl.  I am one blessed mama.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My first baby...

Hayden....My first sweet little baby that rocked my world.  So strange to me that he is 4 1/2 now.  I had no idea how fast time really does go by until I had kids.  I blinked and all the sudden he is so grown up and asking me, "are Pteranodon carnivores or omnivores?"  Uhh.. first of all, weren't you just learning to crawl?  And second...what is a Pteranadon? (It's the flying, birdish looking dinosaur, and I totally had to google how to spell it.)  On December 28, 2008 I had another name, Mommy.  

I was 22, so young, and head over heels in love with this little boy.  He taught Cory and I how to truly be unselfish, to give just a little bit more of ourselves when we were exhausted, and helped us turn to Heavenly Father for guidance and gratitude that we get to be his parents. 
Hayden has an imagination that is always going.  I joke that Hayden lives in Imagination Land at least 85% of the day.  He has had multiple imaginary friends. The main ones being: 1: O-Y the puppy.  He carried him around on with his hand out. (all. day. long)  2: Scabby the Leprechaun.  Scabby lived with us for awhile and stayed in a "house" by his bed. He loves playing pretend.  The other day he was playing pirates with Cory.  Which Cory dives head first into Imagination Land with Hayden.  It is amazing, and it makes me love him more.  Anyway, Hayden was of course the Captain and Cory was his first mate.  I hear Hayden fake belly laugh and announce "Oh it was the pleasure of the Captain! Ha. Ha. Ha!"  What in the world?  Crazy kid.  No idea where he learned that. The things he pretends the most lately are pirates, robots and dinosaurs.  Even on the rare instances he is in time out he is still pretending.  Like when he is singing "What's that smell in the galley...?"

He also loves to learn.  Hayden has always been ridiculously smart.  That boy is a sponge.  He hears or learns something one time and it is forever categorized into his little brain and he will pull things out at will.  His memory is amazing.  He was dismissed from his speech preschool program at the end of last year.  Cory and I are so proud of him.  He worked and practiced so hard.  There are still a few sounds that need practicing but you would never know he had such a severe speech disorder and delay.  He has a whole year before Kindergarten. Hallelujah I am pretty happy about it since I am not ready for my buddy to leave me.  Especially when Kindergarten is all day here. He can write his full name, all his letters(upper and lower) and numbers.  Because he learned to speak learning the letters with their sounds he is starting to sound out words and spell.  He is learning basic math and loves learning facts about everything! Craziness I tell ya! I can't keep up with the kid. 
He loves to draw and anything art related.  Play dough, painting, markers, color by number, all of it. 

Hayden is the best big brother ever.  He loves his little sister.  Like, he LOOOOVES her.  I can't tell you how many times he hugs and kisses her throughout the day.  It has been amazing to watch him really grow up and become a big brother.  He takes the job and title very seriously.  He is super protective, and is a huge helper.  He is the best at getting giggles out of her and she adores him. 
Hayden is super obedient and wants to make good choices.  He is so well mannered and polite.  Lately when he has made a mistake, like accidentally breaking something or spilling something... He is so apologetic and always says "sorry, what can I do to help."  I know some adults that can't do that, and he is apologizing for just spilling cheerios.  Cory and I have to be careful with his sweet and sometimes emotional little personality. 

Hayden is the best helper.  He loves helping me cook or bake.  He helps with the laundry and vacuuming.  Which usually turns into a epic battle with the "monster." He is great at helping with his chores.  Picking up his toys and room.  Brushing his teeth and making his bed.  Getting dressed. Helping to fold towels. Helping with putting the silverware away and setting or cleaning up the table.  If there is a job to do Hayden always wants to help.  Especially if it involves Daddy and tools.  
He says the funniest, off the wall things I have ever heard. It is also really important to him that he is funny.  And that others know how funny he is.  If I tell him how smart and handsome he is, he will always add "...and I'm funny."  Yup he's funny.  Really funny.  He loves telling knock knock jokes and making up other jokes on the spot. Cory and I laugh and laugh at some of the things he comes up with.  
He loves snuggling, his little blue and white dog(still), playing with friends, wrestling and playing baseball with daddy, books, peanut butter, m&m's, breakfast for dinner, and family dates.  He loves big, plays hard, has a great imagination and sense of humor.  He is obedient, a good friend, kind, silly, and caring.
We love him so much and his fun, huge personality.  

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Where are they now....

I figured it would be a good idea to give a little update on our lives as of today....

We still live in Texas and love it.  We miss our family terribly but we know for right now this is where we are supposed to be.  We have made life long friends that have truly blessed our family.  When you are SUPER far away from any of your family it is amazing how close you get to your friends and people around you.  We are so lucky to have such supportive and loving friends and ward family at church.

Things I love about Texas:
The food...oh the food.  I could go on and on about it.  Best food you will ever eat is here.  BBQ that is shut the front door amazing.  And food trucks.  I don't know why food coming out of a truck is so magical, it just is. 
I love how nice everyone is to everyone! People just smile at people.  That they don't know! It is great. :)
I love the "yes mam" and "no sir" stuff.  And yes we expect Hayden to say it. I love how respectful it is. It is even better to hear it from some of my friend's kiddos who have a little southern drawl.  Oh my heart.  You say "yes mam" and I will give you whatever the heck you want kid. Cutest thing ever.
Texas Springs, Fall and most of Winter.  It's perfect.  And I don't miss driving in or shoveling snow.
Blue Bonnets every Spring.  Gorgeous.
Y'all.  Yup the word y'all.  I'm not sure at what point that word crept into our everyday vocab.  But we all use it.  Often. I really love it. 
Blue Bell Ice Cream.  It WILL change your life. 
Tim Riggins. Clear eyes, full hearts... ('nuff said...Texas forever.)

The humidity we are use to now. We are pretty much permanently sweaty all summer and I have really super flat and frizzy hair.  But so does everyone else so it's all good.  We live at the pool or indoors.

I have a love hate relationship with the bugs here.  I hate them because..well they are bugs. Usually they are HUGE, gross and either bite or sting.  When you walk in the grass you always watch for fire ant mounds.  I haven't laid in the grass forever.  BUT they pay our bills.  Cory is the regional manager for the technicians of a pest control company here.  He travels.  A lot.  But again, it pays the bills and we are blessed that he has such a great job.  We will also tag along sometimes on some of his trips to see more parts of Texas. Dallas...Houston here we come. Road Trip!

Cory is pretty swamped with the craziness of pest control summers, he works with the young men at church and plays church ball when he can.  He loves his kids, me, sports talk radio, BYU, funfetti cake with rainbow chip frosting, anything sport related and twitter.

Hayden is 4 1/2.  He has a huge imagination that is always going.  He loves pretending, learning, art projects, wrestling with daddy and helping me cook/bake.  We love him so much.  He has a HUGE personality that is always keeping us on our toes and laughing.  He wants to be obedient and make good choices.  He is our big helper and an amazing brother.  He is my favorite little buddy and I don't know what I will do when he leaves me to go to Kindergarten next year.

 Halli is 4 months.  That little but chunkalicious girl has so much sass!  She is determined, has an opinion, has found her voice, and is so spunky.  She thinks she is much older than she is and wants to be involved in whatever is going on around her.

She is already rolling all over the place.  She adores her brother, no one can make her laugh like he does.  She has rolls upon rolls of chubbiness and I love kissing her all day.  She has added so much joy to our family.  I didn't know my heart could love so much with my two sweet, beautiful kids.

I love being a mom.  I know my babies won't be babies forever.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to be home with them all day.  Sometimes it is rough.  I step on multiple legos, I smell like baby poo and spit up, I haven't shaved my legs in days, my kitchen may look like a dish explosion and most of my meals are eaten cold... but I love my kids.  I love watching them learn new things and come into their own personalities.  I am the Relief Society Secretary and try to keep things organized.  I love getting to know the women at church.  They inspire me to be better.  I am so grateful for the blessing of Relief Society.  I contribute to a fun blog called  It has been so much fun.  I forgot how much I love to write!  I am a stress baker and eater.  I love to bake, cook and try new recipes.  I will be posting a few on here every now and then of our favorites. I love to read, peanut butter m&m's from the fridge, girl's nights, I'm addicted to taking pictures of the kids and shoes.

That is a tiny bit of our life right now.  To be continued..... :)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Journey Stories...

It has been over 2 years since I kept up on the ole' blog.  2 years!  Sooo much changes in 2 years.  Hayden is 4 1/2 (ya, let that sink in..while I cry in the closet eating Oreo's by the sleeve because my little buddy is almost 5), we bought our first house in a cute neighborhood(we really do have cowboy neighbors), a sweet n' sassy little princess was added to the Hamilton family...blessed people.  We are blessed.

When I first stopped blogging we had just started Hayden's speech process.  It was a long road and a lot of work but now he has been dismissed from speech.  You would never know he had such a severe delay. We also bought our first house right around that time, then it was summer...and I never got caught up.  I figured photobooks would be good enough and facebook would keep our family updated...I didn't need to blog.

Until recently... I had our sweet Halli on March 28, 2013.  I kept having this feeling that I needed to blog.  I had gotten that thought before in the past but brushed it off. But this time the feeling was more urgent.  I kept getting the feeling over and over I NEEDED to blog.  I would read talks in the Ensign about family history and why it is important to keep records of our thoughts, feelings, and happenings in our families.  Then I would go to church and sacrament meeting would be about family history.  A friend posted a wonderful talk called Your Wonderful Journey Home by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.  In his talk, President Uchtdorf talks about how everyone has their own "journey stories," Dorothy and Toto, Bilbo Baggins... and as I am reading this with all the other thoughts of family history swimming around in my brain I get in a "slap in the face" thought of  "Hey Megan! I don't know what else I need to do for you to journal and keep a record of your family! JUST DO IT ALREADY!"  Esh..*enter guilty feeling*...I really hope I am not the only person that needs a wake up call, or a slap in the face every once awhile from the Lord that I should be doing something.  I want the blessings of keeping my family history.  I hope one day when our kids read this, or their kids, or their kids' kids(?), someone will laugh at the fact that neon came back into fashion, and read about the trips we took, and the memories we made.  I hope that I might be able to inspire and uplift one of them with my thoughts about the world, about being a mom and my unwavering testimony of the Savior.

So here I go again.. Blogging and I couldn't be more excited about it.  I hope this will also be a way to keep us connected to our family and friends that are way too far away.  Some things are still the same around here too.  I still am a helicopter mom and probably way too protective of my babies.  Cory still keeps me grounded and reminds me to let them be kids.  My kids are the cutest most beautiful babies ever.

I love being a mom, I love being married to my best friend and I am pumped to re-start our very own Journey Story with all the funny, the messy, and the happy parts.