10 Things I Love About You: Vol. 1

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.”

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Guest Blog: The 6 Moms You Meet at Preschool

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!

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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?

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Mom Jean Confessions: Grace Period

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.

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Our First Weeks with Baby Charlotte

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.

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Mom Jean Confessions: The Final Countdown

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 🙂

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Space Themed Toddler Room Reveal x Seedling Littles

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.

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Fashion Mamas Member Spotlight: Digital Marketing Pro & Cool Mom Blogger Cammeo Murray

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!

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Desert-Themed Baby Girl Sprinkle

This past weekend I was so excited to celebrate our little lady’s upcoming arrival with friends and family at our baby sprinkle. My sweet neighbor and friend hosted the “desert-themed party w/ a southern twist” as I like to call it, with all my favorite tex-mex cravings (I’m still dreaming about the queso :). It was so special to be back in Texas and be surrounded with so many dear friends, both old and new, along with all their moms – who basically helped raise me. Grant’s mom, two sisters and niece all came, who I can’t imagine life without. And of course my mom and her best friend who were so kind to think of Garrett and bring him his own “Big Brother” party hat and more Hot Wheels to add to his already growing stock. Hope you enjoy the photos that my resident blog photographer and friend at Marlo Carroll Photography took of the festivities.

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Morning Rituals with Dad x Bonobos

When Bonobos asked me what my husband’s style says about him, I knew it would be a great fit (literally), because my husband is all about finding the right fitting clothes. Bonobos’ mission is to help men find the perfect fit and take the pain out of shopping, so win/win if you ask me. As women, we know how different our body types can be – but have you ever stopped to think that men actually struggle with the same issue? I hadn’t really thought about it either, until I met Grant – Mr. 6’4″, slender yet muscular build, with the longest legs (I call him Dig’ems, after the Sugar Smacks frog) you’ve probably ever seen. The poor guy can’t just go into a store and buy a suit – he typically has to block off a week to hit up every store imaginable and then when he does find the right one, he has to tack on another week waiting on alterations. Sorry, but, ain’t nobody got time for that. Luckily he’s a pretty easy-going guy, and when he does find the perfect fitting suit – the man looks “sharp” as my late British dad would have said. Plus, he’s got impeccable taste. If you don’t believe me, check out his guest post from two year’s ago  – Pushing Forty, A Men’s Style Guide in 8 Simple Rules.

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CH2T Feeds: ABC13 x Cook2Learn Academy

Today was just like any other day, except not. Garrett woke up way before mama was ready, but just in time to give daddy a great big bear hug before work. Then I rolled my pregnant self outta bed to make breakfast and jump in the shower before heading to my 32-week checkup. Baby girl got a clean bill of health from the doc, and I took Garrett on an impromptu “2nd breakfast”, as I like to call it these days, to Dunkin Donuts (mostly because I missed the chance on National Donut Day and felt ashamed of my pregnant self). I worked on the nursery all morning – organizing the closet, hanging up little girl clothes (eek), and rearranging things, etc (p.s. I can’t wait to do the final reveal, if I can just get my act together!). Garrett went down for a long nap and that’s where the day got good. After all, it’s not every day that you get to sit on the couch after nap-time, cuddled up with your toddler to watch yourselves on TV.

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