Why is it that when life hits us with change – we all of the sudden put these unrealistic expectations on ourselves. Be the perfect wife. Be the perfect mom. Be the perfect employee. When did life become so “all or nothing?” Forcing us to believe that unless we master everything we do, it’s not worth doing. This notion got amplified when I became a mom.
This past weekend we celebrated “Family Gras” with the kids, which is the more family-centric Mardi Gras aka minus all the booze and boobs 😉 My mom now lives in Galveston, right off the seawall, where all the Mardi Gras parades kick off. So I took Garrett and Charlotte down there on Friday, where we ended up having an impromptu beach day. The fog was so thick it made it hard to even see the water, but I knew it would make for some pretty amazing photos – almost magical.
This post is sponsored by Red Baron but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
This Thanksgiving marks two years since we’ve been in our first house, aka our little fixer upper house baby 😊. Call me crazy, but I love hosting family for the holidays. Bring on the drama, food, and kids running all over tarnation – I love it. I really, truly love it. 😉 I think it all started when we lived in NYC. It was just the two of us and I was bound and determined to learn how to cook a real Thanksgiving meal – just like mama used to make. Fast forward, and I now have nearly a dozen Thanksgivings under my belt and still going strong. Except these days I’m catering more towards tiny humans with very particular taste buds, rather than cooking a gourmet meal for people who will actually take more than three bites of their food before declaring “I’m donnnnnne!!” So this “Mom Jean Confessions” is all about hosting for the holidays with kids, and surviving thanks to Red Baron pizza 😉
This post is sponsored by Evivo but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
It’s been exactly one month since Charlotte decided to stop breastfeeding. And when I say she “decided”, I mean – one minute she’s happy nursing, and the next she’s like “meh, I’m over it.” 😕 Girl has a mind of her own that’s for sure, and I’m just thankful I got to nurse her for longer than I did her big bro. It’s never easy letting go of that “baby phase” though and watching them go from being so dependent on you, to all the sudden over night gaining this new found independence. I can’t tell you how many times I get asked at the Chick-Fil-A playground how old she is, followed by “Wow, she’s a climber.” Uh yah, tell me about it – you ain’t seen nothin’ dude. I love her curiosity, but sometimes I just want her to slow down just a tad – because before I know it she’ll be talking, and then going to school, and then graduating, and…ok, deep breaths.
I get it now. I mean, I realllllly get it now. I thought I got it before, but until you have a strong-willed child of your own – you never truly get it, do you? Who knows, maybe you were like me once – before we spawned a child like ours. Watching those other poor moms with their hands full, literally, not understanding how they could allow a child to behave that way. But before I get into exhibits A, B and C – I first want to say that I am strict. Like strict, strict. My first born knew how to say yes ma’am, no sir, thank you, yes please and follow instructions like a soldier fresh outta boot camp. But that’s just the thing – he’s what you call a “rule follower.” My second born – she’s what you call “the strong-willed child.”
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Ask any mom, and she’ll tell you that the transition from one to two kids is like waiting for a hurricane to make landfall. Ironically, Charlotte was born just 1 month before Hurricane Harvey hit my hometown of Houston – crazy to think its anniversary is in just ten days. So not only was I trying to adjust to having a second child, I had to pack up and evacuate with a three year old and a newborn – not knowing if we’d have a home to even come back to. We were fortunate to have family close-by and ended up having very minimal damage to our house. Needless to say, the emotional stress though that it placed on me as a new mom of two was palpable. I remember breaking down in tears at the only gas station I’d miraculously found that hadn’t run out of gas yet. A sweet stranger walked up and told me “It was going to be ok,” after seeing me alone with two kids with a car packed to the brim and no husband around for help (as he was traveling for work and due home the night before Harvey hit). I guess my point in telling you all this, is that we often doubt ourselves as mothers. Thinking we can’t possibly handle another child, and worry about all the little things – like giving them a bath, and choosing the right products that meet our high standards as moms. Luckily, this time around I’ve realized so many ways to cut through the clutter and go with brands that I trust for my baby. JOHNSON’S® is one of those brands.
Now you can try my fave JOHNSON’S® products via this photo – just click through to shop them at Target!
This post is sponsored by Evivo but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
Our little Cha Cha just turned one, and for months leading up to her first birthday, I wasn’t thinking about what theme I wanted for her party (cuz cactus, duh, hehe). Nope. I was thinking about the dreaded “four-letter word” that every breast feeding mama loathes: wean. Thinking, how in the heck am I going to wean this “perfectly content to breastfeed her whole life” baby? This baby who touched a bottle for less than three seconds and decided I might as well be putting some foreign contaminate in her mouth. This baby who nurses with such ease that I honestly wonder if it’s cuz she’s my strong-willed child and there ain’t nothing she won’t tackle like a champ.
This post is sponsored by Gerber® but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
This June marks two years since we left LA. Two years since we decided to move in with family here in Houston, and essentially put the breaks on life as we knew it. At the time it felt both exciting and confusing. We were excited to embark on a whole new chapter in life together, even though it was as if we’d made it to Chapter 27 and decided to go back and re-read the first chapter. Which leads me to the confusing part. We knew it was the right decision for our family as a whole, but as individuals we couldn’t help but feel like we were giving up a huge part of our self-identity. But that’s just the thing, when you become a parent – nothing, literally nothing, stops you from making the best choice for your kids. As hard as we knew it was going to be to say goodbye to the high-profile jobs, the lime-light, and pretty much the most gorgeous place to live – there really was no question at the end of the day that moving back home to Houston was where we needed to be.
Before I had kids, I always knew I wanted to have lots of them – kids of my own, adopted kids, heck, even fostered kids – I wanted them all. Fast forward twenty-some years and I realized “adulting” wasn’t as easy as I thought it was gonna be. Funny how much things change, even when you’re so sure of yourself and your future. The same can be said about the way we think we know everything there is to know about having kids. In fact, I remember hearing years ago about cord blood banking and stem cell research – and thinking that it was only for people who had a first child with leukemia, but had a second so they could use their cord blood to treat their sibling. While this is still very true, I’m learning as a parent of two now that there are so many more new advancements in science and more research using cord blood than I could have imagined. So here are my top three reasons why it’s cool to be a mom in this day and age:
1) Sibling love is adorable
Unless you’re an only child, chances are you grew up with a sibling either in your shadow or vice versa. I for one, had two older brothers that I royally annoyed every chance I could get, and yet they still loved me for it. I see the same dynamic already with Garrett and Charlotte – he absolutely, and for the most part unconditionally, adores her. In fact, when people ask him if he shares his toys with her, he tells them that he’s given her all of his old baby toys, which is true, and he’ll literally spend hours just playing with her on the floor in her room (you can see proof of their sibling love I captured below 🙂 To tell the truth, I was so against having a third because I was one of three and fully believe in the “middle child syndrome.” But if these two keep up this sweetness, they’re gonna have mama rethinking things…
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If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve already had a sneak peek into what the last week and half has been like for our little Murray clan (oh, and for the foreseeable future I’ll be referring to my family as “The Murray Clan” – not because we’re part Scottish, but because that’s what happens when you binge watch Outlander for the first months of a child’s life). So long story short, my mom (who stays with us and helps me with the kiddos a couple times a week), ended up going to my oldest brother’s in NC to help out with his little one the week after Easter. I kid you not. It never fails. Anytime she’s gone, Grant gets told he has to travel for work. The first time it happened actually spawned my very first ever “Mom Jean Confessions” post where I so lovingly referred to myself as a Momaholic. But you wanna know the even more ironic part – it was literally three years ago to the day that they both left me hanging 😯. I’m convinced it’s a sick joke they like to play on me, just to test me. Not funny guys, not funny. Especially because this time around, Garrett and Charlotte both came down with the stomach flu – need I say more? No, but I will for entertainment’s sake. Oh and just in case you’re wondering why we all look so happy in these photos – this was literally the one day of reprieve we had. The hubs had just gotten back into town the night before at like midnight, Garrett had finally felt good enough to go back to school that day, and little did I know Charlotte would come down with what Garrett had exactly 24 hours from the moment these were taken. Hence, the title “Subliminal Messaging” 😉