Can you believe it’s already been three months since Charlotte was born? Cuz I can’t. This time around has gone by even faster than it did with Garrett. Much to my surprise, since it felt like I was holding my breath the whole time with him – dreading the day my maternity leave was up. Now with Charlotte, things are just more complicated – I have a 4 year old literally running circles around me, I’m trying to navigate this whole freelance world, we’re still getting settled into our fixer upper, and I’m working on expanding the blog/styling arm of my brand. It’s such a double edged sword too, because you want to soak up every moment but at the same time you kind of can’t wait to have that 4th trimester behind you.
To say that my skin care routine took a back seat once I had kids is a drastic understatement. To be honest, I was never that committed to a routine to begin with. To be even more honest – I was that annoying friend in high school who never washed her face, and for the most part didn’t have the same skin problems as my peers. Since then, I’ve had the occasional hormonal acne and fine lines as much as the next gal, but one thing is for sure – nothing says “Hi, I’m a mom” more than dark circles.
I would have posted this sooner, but it’s taken me some time to gather my thoughts after the tragedy in Vegas. When I was single (or just prior to starting a family), things like this would happen in the world, your mind tells you how horrible it is, and you react like any compassionate person would. But it’s like the minute you have a baby, you no longer think with your head. In fact, it’s as if all of the world’s emotions get sucked into your heart and BAM – you’re a mom. You no longer just fear for yourself, you fear for these innocent little people who you created, and your mission in life is to protect that innocence for all it’s worth. But the duality is that you still have that logical pre-mommy side of your brain telling you that it’s impossible. That they will get to an age where they will become aware of the bad things that happen around them, outside of this parental bubble you’ve created, and you come to grips that this “age of innocence” is over. You accept your job as parents to raise them to be good people who fight for what’s right. Period.
Ok, I’ll go ahead and say it – it’s just easier this time. I haven’t been shy expressing the struggles I had as a first time mom to Garrett. Anxiety, guilt, shame, control (or lack there of) – you name it, I felt it. But with Charlotte, it’s as if those heavy clouds that hung over my head the first year of Garrett’s life, were never even in the forecast. I’m not sure if it’s due to my hormones not being as imbalanced – I keep saying that maybe my body rejected the boy hormones, and that’s why it’s easier having a girl. Or maybe it’s just that there really is such a thing as (and I cringe as I say this, cuz I really do hate the label), a “good baby.”
So excited to announce my first guest blog post for the uber sweet baby/children’s sleepwear line, Westyn Baby. Now that summer has officially come to a close (can you hear that collective mommy sigh of relief?), I felt it was only fitting to welcome all the kiddos (ok, it’s really for the moms) back to school with a little tongue and cheek piece 😉 Here’s an excerpt below, but you can read the full post on Westyn Baby’s blog!
I think we can all agree on one thing. Moms come in all shapes and sizes. Some moms are “Pinterest” moms, some moms are “so cool you’re not even sure those are really their own kids” moms, and well, some are quite frankly just a hot mess (which, if we’re being totally honest, is all of us – amirite?). But no place, and I mean NO place, brings all these moms together in one glorious clash of cultures than – preschool. Here are some of the mom-types I encountered in our first year of preschool, and I don’t think I’ll ever look at motherhood the same.
1) The “Veteran” Mom
To be honest, this mom was the one I was most intimidated by. Not in like a “she’s so cool I can’t talk to her” kinda way. It was more because she had clearly been doing this preschool mom thing for a while, probably with two or three kids rotating through the program over the past six years, and she’s got this thing on lock down. I’d watch her from the safety of my car, as to not get burned by her supermom radiation, as she’d usher not only her kids but two other moms’ kids to and from their classes with ease and grace. On the last day of school she can be heard making a flippant remark to her son’s preschool teacher that “she’d better go since it’s the last day of errands sans kids”. Oh yah, and she says what we’re all thinking because, well, why not?
We’ve officially made it past the four week mark with baby Charlotte, and I have to say I’m incredibly proud of Garrett for adjusting to this new way of life so quickly and so well. From the minute he saw Charlotte, he went into big brother mode – asking to hold her, and wanting to get as close to her as possible if anyone else was holding her. Every morning he walks into our room (where I’m more than likely nursing Charlotte back to sleep) and he gets as high-pitched as a banshee saying “Hiiiiii. Whatcha doingggggg?” (I realized that he gets this from me – isn’t it funny how a toddler can remind you just how often you say things out of habit?). There have only been a handful of times where he’s gotten upset over me not being able to do whatever it was he was asking me to do, which ended up making me feel way more guilty than he had intended. Even so, I try not to let my head wander to “that place.” That place where you remember what it was like with just you and him. That place where your mind tricks you into thinking he would have been so much happier as an only child.
Our sweet baby girl (who we can now call by her actual name, Charlotte Madeleine Murray), was born Friday July 21st at 3:47 am, at 7 lbs 14 oz and 20 in long. Garrett dubbed her with one last nickname – “Twinkle Toes” – when he met her in the hospital, and not gonna lie – it kinda stuck. He also couldn’t help but notice the “Italian trademark” of dark hair covering her ears, to which he inquired, “Why does baby sister have so much fur?” LOL. It’s hard to believe that just this past Tuesday was my original due date, but this little lady had other plans. She shocked us with what we’re now calling our “trial run” the Wednesday night before, which sent us to the hospital and then back with irregular contractions 3-6 min apart. So come Thursday night, I told the hubs that I was just going to ignore any weird contractions I was feeling. Easy enough, that is, until 1 am rolled around and I got up to go to the bathroom, after tossing and turning for lord knows how long, only to realize my contractions were 2 min apart and had me buckled over in pain. Yep, it was the real deal. So we called our sweet neighbor again to come stay at our house with Garrett until my MIL could make it over, and Grant literally flew down the freeway to the hospital 40 min away – with me white-knuckling the passenger door handle the whole time.
Well, I made it to week 37 and it’s as if ’80s one-hit-wonder Europe’s “It’s the final countdown, do-do do do, do-do do do do” is the theme song to my life right now. Not really, but wouldn’t that be cool – or am I just showing my age? Anyway, I thought it might be time to do a little bump update since I have so many sweet friends and family members checking in with me daily, anxiously awaiting any signs of baby girl’s arrival. I also wanted to show off this flirty little non-maternity dress, or “maternity-friendly” as fellow Fashion Mama and owner of Audrey & Olive likes to say of her uber-cute line (you may remember her chic kaftan/kimono I donned at my sprinkle a few weeks back). Plus, mama’s not so much feeling photog moments these days, so these were taken a few weeks back by the hubs – which explains the last two photos where he’s comparing me to Napoleon Dynamite and then I proceed to walk off set, bahaha 🙂
When my husband and I met, he was still working at NASA (he literally used to train astronauts at NASA’s NBL – soooo he’s kinda a big deal, but he’d never tell you that ;), and I never dreamt we’d have the chance to pass on his love of space to our son someday. But it’s like that passion was passed down in his genes, which has been so special since moving back home to Houston and living just five minutes from NASA. In fact, we were just talking the other day about the wonderful irony of us ending up buying our first home back in Clear Lake, after living in NYC, LA and traveling all around the world. Funny how life comes full circle sometimes.
So excited to be a part of the amazing group of creative mama entrepreneurs that is Fashion Mamas! I was lucky enough to be featured as their Member Spotlight this week, and honored to have been asked to share some of my thoughts on mamahood and what it’s been like transitioning from full-time working mom to work-from-home mom/entrepreneur. See interview below and on the Fashion Mamas blog!