Mom Jean Confessions: Why I’m Proud To Have A Strong Willed Child

It’s been nearly a year since I wrote about this topic, and my how things have changed. If we thought Cha Cha was strong willed before, then we absolutely, without a doubt, and whole heartedly know this to be true now. But here’s the thing. At what point did “strong-willed” become synonymous with “bad-behaved,” or “stubborn,” or even worse – “problem child?” My child is anything but a problem. My child is strong-willed, Yes. But she’s also mind-blowingly perceptive, and what if some day she wakes up and starts perceiving that this world isn’t meant for her? That her strong will is yet another thing society tells us we need to correct for her to “fit in.” Well screw fitting in (pardon my French). I honestly think we need more children like Cha Cha, and here’s why…

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10 Things I Love About You: 18 Months Old

I can’t believe the last one of these I wrote was 6 months ago on her first birthday. Our little Cha Cha has changed so much in just the last couple of months, it seems like that should be a year ago already. She went from just a baby-faced little thing, to a full on toddler with a mind of her own in what feels like the blink of an eye. Naturally we came up with a whole new crop of nicknames for her that seem to suit her just fine, such as: C-Rex (Grant’s personal fave), Charnado (my personal fave), Charmin Ultra, and Charley Davidson – just to name a few 😉 But without further ado, here’s our latest list of sentiments for our dear Charnado – happy half birthday little one 😍


1) I love all your facial expressions – you can go from a sweet smile, to a side-eye, to your infamous stink eye in less than 2.5 sec and it always has us in stitches 🤣

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Cammeo HEAD TO TOE: 2018 Year in Review

How is it that another year is gone, just like that? I mean, 2018 feels like it didn’t even happen. For some reason – what should feel like a year went by, really only feels like a solid 6 months max. It’s like I woke up one day after Christmas, like woah, 2019 is just around the corner. Maybe it’s because so much happened last year. And maybe that’s why this year I was excited to actually get my hiney up off the couch and ring in the new year right – like we used to, before kids 😉

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Son, I Know Your Soul So Well And Here’s Why

It’s pretty common for people to say they see their mom, dad, grandma, etc. when they look at their own child. But with our son Garrett – it goes way beyond just a physical resemblance (although he definitely favors our Sicilian side 😉). When I say I see my dad when I look at him – I mean, I see his soul. I see past those warm and compassionate dark brown eyes right into the soul of a man stuck inside of a little man I call my son. The soul of a man who was also an old soul, and who left us all too soon.

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Mom Jean Confessions: Bye Bye Baby

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.

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Mom Jean Confessions: To the Mom with a Strong-Willed Child – I Get it Now

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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“Cha Cha’s Bloomin’ One” Cactus First Birthday Party

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using the links in this post.

1st Bday Letter Balloons & Pennant Banner

Cactus Balloons DIY | Cactus Cake DIY | Cactus Pillow

Watercolor Polka Dot Napkins | Watercolor Floral Plates

Hot Pink Layered Ruffle Tutu | Pink Crown Hairclip/Headband

Bday Onesie (handmade gift from aunt – ribbon rose tutorial here )

Well, it’s official. Our little Cha Cha turned one and is definitely not a baby anymore. She’s a walking, talking (although these days it’s more screaming), full fledged toddler. I always wished I’d had more of the baby months with my first – Garrett weaned and walked at 10 months old and mama was not ready for either. So hey, at least I got a couple more months with Charlotte, who just started really walking in the past week – on her first birthday, believe it or not. I keep joking what a strong-willed child she is, and she was gonna make darn sure she’d be walking by her first bday. Well played, Cha Cha, well played.

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10 Things I Learned When I Quit My Day Job for Blogging

This post is sponsored by Basic Invite. I received compensation and a complimentary product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Two years ago this month, I finally put pen to paper (er finger to keyboard) and started blogging again after a very long, very emotional, and very challenging 9 month hiatus (you can read more about it here). I had just quit my day job, moved my family back home to Houston, and literally had no clue what my life would look like 2 months from then, let alone two years. One thing I did know though, was that I finally had my future, my career, in my own hands for the first time since that wide-eyed 20-something took her first steps off the plane in NYC ready to embark on a whole new adventure (another story, for another day). So that’s what I decided to do – look at this new chapter in life as an adventure. I’d been given a second chance to write my own story, and pursue something I was truly passionate about, and I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity – since who knows when I’d get this chance again.

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Mom Jean Confessions: Self-Aware

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.

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