Sunday, September 30, 2012

Excerpts from a Mothers Life

Life can carry so many emotions and events to back them. So, I decided to catalog things that have been said in our home this weekend.

 It's Sunday night at 7pm and we are watching Finding Nemo for the second time today. What has happened to us?

"Don't bang your sisters head with that"

"awe crap, how do you get a huge sucker out of a babies hair again?"

"I think I am getting sick" 

"Uhg, I am sick"

"Carli! What is that in your mouth?"

"What did I eat today?" Followed by "Are you sure I ate that today?"

Me "Good Morning hunny, how did you sleep? 
hubby. "Um, Mandi it's 4am" 
Me "Oh crap. Why are the kids awake then?"

"When is it their bedtime?"

Me. "P Sherman. 42 Wallaby Way, Sidney Australia"
Hubby: word 

"What time is it again? Is it their bedtime yet?"

"We need to hire a babysitter"

"Oh sorry, she's teething. Watch your fingers. She bites"

"I refuse to clean the kitchen for the 3d time today"

"OMG I am so excited for when I can teach them Chores!"

"I am so tired. I don't know why, but I am" Hubby. "It's because we didn't sleep last night" Me: "Oh yeah"

"I got the last diaper. It's your turn"

"Could you please put on a kids movie. They are driving me nutts"

"Can Mommy  have her iPhone back please?" Child. "no please"

Saturday, September 29, 2012

{Things I love this week}

Today I have big plans! I am sitting on the couch covered in blankies, emptying my box of tissues and will soon be sipping soup. Haha that was funny. At least the "emptying my box of tissues is true". Moms don't exactly get to be sick. I am up about ever 2-5 minutes caring for the kiddo's or cleaning up.

It's funny how sometimes I finally sit down, and the moment my butt touches the couch a baby cries or Chloe asks for more juice...

I am not feeling very good, so today I am going to bring you things that made me smile this week. My hope is that it works on you too. I hope you lovely readers all have a wonderful weekend and if you have blogs and I follow I have plans on catching up on my blog reading today!

Do you have "catch up on blogs I read days"? Sometimes I get so behind, that I read over 200+ posts. I can't just ignore because most are all so good.

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{Via }

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Friday, September 28, 2012

How do you take it?


If you were to see pictures of me as a child, you would think Chloe is my clone. She is the spitting image of me as a youngster and her personality is her own, but I see "me" in her all the time. For instance she is a little controller. Earlier this week she was playing at her Toddler Talk class for kids with special needs and she was telling this little boy what to do the whole time. She gave instructions like "Sit here" next to me , "Put here" the apple on this wall branch. During snack time he started choking and she ran over and patted him on the back and said "all better". She is such a little mommie/mini me it's crazy. Then I starting to realized that despite her Mandi type characteristics, she is her own little person and personality and through out her life I am going to have to remind myself of that. 

For it is too easy to think well she is exactly like me so I will know all of her teenager tricks. I know how she will handle things, because that's how I did it.... It's to easy to assume to jump to conclusions and I know this will be a struggle for me, thankfully I have little things that bring me back. Little things like how she takes her toast reminds me that she is not defined by her "Mandi genes" or her autism or anything else that labels her. She is Chloe and she is ever changing. 

As a child I was a comfort eater. When I was sick I would get toast with peanut butter and diced banana's and if I wasn't sick I would have butter and sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on it. My husband likes special jellies or apple butter.

As I was making toast with peanut butter and sprinkles of cinnamon and sugar for Chloe this morning. I noticed that we are all individualistic in our own way. I think that even something as simple as how we take our toast defines us and our preferences.

So how do you take your toast? I would love to hear and the more unique the better!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Thinking before I speak

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{Waiting before "Toddler Talk" Class}

Words can be so powerful. Using the wrong ones can reek havoc on making new friends or keeping old ones. Saying the wrong thing is something I do more often than I like and trying to leave a voice mail for anyone is awful because it ends up being like 5-10 minutes long and I trip on words and get easily distracted. Being a Stay at home momma, its so rare that I actually get to sit and talk with other adults. It's even harder to find something to talk about besides my kids, the businesses I run or daily ins and outs.

So last week at Chloe's toddler talk class I was chit chatting with two other moms about those little vacuums and how our kids are scared of the vacuum. I am trying to make friends and enter the conversation by saying that I chase the kids around the house with our vacuum all the time. They both looked at me like they were horrified that I just said that, but immediately start talking amoungst themselves. I should have interrupted and said, "My kids love it. They love thrill and find 'scary stuff', fun", but I didn't get the chance for the rest of the class because both my kids were keeping me busy and 1 seemed to be throwing a tantrum for the rest of the session. I left class thinking, "OMG I can't believe they think I am some mom who tortures her kids for fun". I just shaking my head over and over all the while hoping that they would forget out it.

Well, this week I headed in and got both girls set up and playing happily. Later I noticed that the women were on the other side of the room and went over to try and start up a conversation; However, I was quite surprised when they both turned around and ignored me! I felt like I was just shunned from the cool girls on the playground. It was awful. What is this high school? Any way, for the rest of class I was trying to not let it get to me so at one point I started tossing little Carli in the air (not high) and she was laughing so hard and once her laugh caught the attention of the other women I said immediately, "My kids just loved to be scared. They are definitely thrill seekers". Which totally worked because after I said that they both continued to talk to me.

Lesson learned. Fix a "Whoops statement" before it gets out of hand. I almost was shunned from the toddler talk moms and lost out of possible play dates for my kids.

My mother always use to tell me to think about what you are about to say before you say it, and today her words really spoke to me.

Do you ever find yourself in a "whoopy statement"? I want to know I am not the only one (Insert smiley face here). 

{After "Toddler Talk"}
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Monday, September 24, 2012

Small Blessings


Most days I am working toward future sales, future money, future home upgrades. I think about the endless lists of things we want and need and feel we need. 

As I reflect on my life, I am even reflecting about what my mind thinks about and here is what I decided. 
I think about matter way to much. I think about what we don't have far far more that what I do.
I realized that I can't just immediately halt how my mind is wired and thinking about the future is good and responsible but now I feel like its all I think about.

So Today I made myself complete a little exercise. I gave myself 30 seconds to list 10 small things I am thankful for and not just things that people expect you to say. Real things that are true unique. 

I am thankful...

...That both my kids (1 year old and 2.5 year old) wear the same size clothes and diapers! Saves so much money
... that I am a stay at home momma and can at any time of the day hug and kiss my kiddo's
...that my husbands likes to come home to his family and as soon as he walks in the door he opens his arms and Chloe charges him with the biggest hug. Every day. 
...that despite our condo being 3 flights up, the extra stairs forces me to be some what active even if I don't get in a work out. 
...that my husband is a fantastic cook and never used recipes. He just 'knows' food kids loves their veggies
...for my double stroller which allows me to get off my butt and take the kids out doors with out chaos.
...that both kids are on Nalgene (anti-spill) bottles now! No more milk spilling every where or a mom constantly scrubbing the carpets
...that we still have enough bubble bath left for me to have one  (maybe I'll even tonight!) 
...When my daughter found all my make up and a stuck most everything in a huge jar of vasaline that she didn't ruin ALL the make up! Thankfully, I was able to save the good stuff I need. 

So, how about you lovely readers? Want to try my little exercise? Comment below (if you have the time). I would love to hear! Even if you just list one or two. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Taste Bud Enemies

My husband and I are perfect for each other. We both have areas in our personality that need improvement and we both call each other out when we need too. We work at our marriage constantly but in 7 years of our relationship one area of our marriage where we have yet to meet in the middle and compromise on is our taste in food. We have completely different taste buds.

I like smoothies and chicken salads, oatmeal and secretly eating chocolate every weekend. He loves steak and potatoes, rice and fresh fruit type meals. When we first met, I was a vegan and had been for 5 years. He was fit and healthy and lived off tuna sandwiches and green beans. However, over the years and 2 pregnancies we both have gained weight from pizza's, and candy, and jalapeno poppers (yum!). We both want to eat healthy well rounded meals but we both have different food personalities. 

We both have some compromising to do and because this has been and on and off struggle for years I have been thinking a lot lately how to correct this situation and make a compromise that works for us both. 

As adults we go through phases of what sounds good to us when we do the grocery shopping. During the fall I like lots of soup and warm foods. During the summer we like to BBQ and have fresh smoothies and as the seasons are changing so are our taste buds. 

So, after much thinking I came up with a great way to agree on the weekly shopping list that we usually bicker over because each of us crosses off the others foods...

I devised a simple choice menu. This menu is full of foods I can cook (since I am not the best), and categorized by "Breakfast ideas", "Lunch ideas", "Dinner ideas", "Snack ideas", and "Daily needs". With this list I mention several choices for all and then gave the list to my husband and told him to circle the ones he wants that week or to add ideas of his own. 

After he scowered the list, I was pleasantly surprised that he liked most of the ideas and menu items I offered, allowing for this shopping trip to be a success for all of us. 

All marriages need to be worked on if you plan on keeping them for life and even if it's something like having taste bud enemies, working through those differences allows us to keep our love rich and our marriage strong. I feel like I am learning daily how to become a better wife, since making mistakes and fixing them is what I seem to do best.

Friday, September 21, 2012

"Niche" A must read for all bloggers and women


When I joined the blogger world, I had no idea what I was getting into. The graphic designing and "self promoting" to get more follower and coming up with good content and well written pieces everyday while trying to stand out amoungst the overwhelming amount of other really good bloggers that I practically drool over because their lives or life's on the blog look incredible and I become a little jealous.

I have only been blogging for 7 months now and I have truly been struggling internally with who I am and how everything I do is a reflection of me and how I can handle changing constantly and consistently to become the woman, mother, home maker, wife, business woman etc. Basically I want all my hats to be balanced and happy.

I tend to feel inspired when fall approaches because its my favorite time of the year. I love the colors around me and in the stores. I love the comfy mushy sweaters that I live in at home. I love blankets, and books and hot cooco and coffee galore. I love the fall spirit. I love the life I have during this time. Minus the stressful crazy shoppers, and broke budget from shopping and all the birthdays of course, but over all this time of year speaks to me. It may be genetic, because I know that as I am writing this right now my mother is probably thinking the same thing. we both feel moved by this time of year and both of us carry happy spirits and are truly inspired by ever corner we turn.

Since fall is approaching and the colors are popping up everywhere, I can't help but feel inspired and moved. Inspired is really to small of a word for what I have been feeling.

I feel more like a fire has been lit in me. Over these 7 months I felt lost because as it turned out I did not know me. I felt lost and like I couldn't reach who I was. There was a time in my life where I knew who I was. I was a writer, a good writer. I sketched and journaled. I crafted just because it made me happy. I baked sweet treats to sooth a sad soul every so often. I went sight seeing just because I was board and need to feel enlightenment. I didn't want much because I felt so pleased with what I had then {which wasn't much}. I woke up with yoga and music. I went to bed sketching, then journaling then reading. I slept and worked out more and longer. Things still stressed me out, I still had many responsibilities. I had a job and a boyfriend {whom now is my hubby}. I was in balance and some how over these 7 years I lost it.

I know what happened. I had kids, I got married and my list of "to-do's" just piled up and slowly I put my self on the back burner. And even more slowly I became bitter because I didn't feel calm or complete. I feel like nothing is ever going to be finished or end. I feel like their isn't enough time in the day to get everything I want and need to get done. I feel like as soon as I finish a list of "to-do's" there is a brand new list right behind it and waiting to be done. By time I go to be {like 10 or 11pm} it may be the first time I have sat down all day. Most days I dread waking up because it's a drill over and over. I began to dislike my life and self which is just silly because I am a mother too two adorable children that deserve a happy fulled mother who brings joy to their lives. I began to see my marriage as to-do or chore. I think daily how I can do something to make my husband happy and sometimes he gets pushed off the list because I have too much to do and this is unacceptable.

For too long life has been just a list of completed tasks and thing "to-do". I will still rely on lists to do what I have too, but all of this thinking and feeling lost has opened up a window with fresh air {If you will}. I feel like blogging has pushed me and is changing me into what I want to be like and how I want people to perceive me. I want to be what I share. I want to be raw and real and not embarrassed to be raw and real all the time. I want to move people and I know how I am going to do it now.

Niche, every good and well established blogger has one. Casey Wiegand is gorgeous and artsy, and every woman who reads her practically drools over her life. Dana from the Wonder Forest amazes us all with her cool and trendy style and her amazing business and blogging skills. Ashley from The Shine Project is constantly showing compassion and her love for life and helping high school students go to college is truly amazing. Her business scence and amazing personal style inspires so many women out there. And Kristina from the Streeters Unlimited is amazing because of how kind she is and how much she helps bloggers and etsy shop owners out with her A-list. She is such a beautiful person and everyone who reads her can't help but smile.

All of these amazing women have wonderful and successful blogs. I read them religiously and I do this because their "niche" speaks to me. I too drool over Casey's life, Dana's business sense and success, Ashley's and Kristina's kindness and compassion.

Now I too know and have realized my "niche". I know now what I want my blog to "be about". I know what I want people to come to me for.

Balance. I want balance in my life. I want to feel complete and free and natural. I want to live healthy and be fit. I want my children to grow up manners, and smiling faces. I want my husband to always know that he is deeply loved and that just saying it isn't enough. I want him to see my love daily. I want family to think I have it all together. I want my friend to know they can come to me for anything {but my family does come first}. I want to feel calm, cool and collected while balancing the budget, the home and "to-do" lists. I want to feel like a 50's wife but with a "this era" vibe. I want to be able to find myself in love with life again. I want to wake up again and be life "Thank you Lord, for giving me another day. I am ready to rock today. I am ready to love and handle my shit today. Sorry for cussing God." I want my life to feel fulfilled and balanced.

I want this because balance is what I always struggle with and usually my answer is to just get more done in a day so one day I can rest. This resting thing never happened and I usually fine myself burnt out, stressed out, sleep deprived and mad at myself.

I am just so happy now. This week I have been thinking all about this feeling of being "lost" and my endless lists and just feeling out of wack and since I have slowed life down and am taking breaks with the kids. I smelling the fresh air and working daily and keeping balance I am just so excited about this life I am living and how I plan to balence all my "hats".

I hope you too, my lovely readers will come to know me. Getting to know me deeply, know my spirit and how raw and real I can get. I hope you are all ready to watch me work daily. Having, sharing and showing a balanced life. I know I will have failures and I am absolutely NOT perfect which will also be shared. As I constantly work at life I will use my blog as a journal and an inspiration board for the life I will be living and no longer just thinking "one day I will have that life".

Life is now.

It is real and raw and unless I enjoy today and balance life now it will pass me by all too quickly and then one day I will be much older and still saying "one day".

Working toward a balanced and fulfilled life. One day at a time.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Photo Dumping {life via instagram}


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{Waiting for dad to get off work}

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{She put a diaper on her giraffe and put it to bed in the junk drawer while saying "nigh-night"}

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{Hanging with Great Grandma}
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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A under $30 1st Birthday Party to see!

I was so excited and nervous about celebrating little Carli’s 1st Birthday. First, check out her invitation.


Second. I did a simple and cute theme this time around. I feel like I am finally getting a hang for party throwing, now that I actually plan parties since having little ones. Before I would try to go super big and never actually do half of it. Now, I plan little details that really “make” the party.
I am using most of what I have but did little things to make it a special day. I started with the colors. Cherry red and minty green!

I bought only fabric for the ruffle table cloth ($3.75), the streamers to create the red and white walls ($4.15), the spray paint for the red branches {$1.50}, and the cake and icecream makings {$21.65). It cost me $29.55
Look at the pre-party look and how much every one enjoyed themselves. 

p.s. Carli's Birthday was on the 5th of this month, but time seems to evade me these days. 

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Undressing myself with words

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I was looking in the mirror and before I knew it 20 minutes had gone by and I had just been staring, looking at each feature and breaking me down. My history defines me in that each burst of laughter caused wrinkles, and slight worry lines define where my emotion has been. As I see myself aging over the years I see it creeping, my face is changing, my body even more so.

I think I got lost for a while as to what I want to look like and what emotions I want to display on this body of canvas. As I looked deeper at each split end and pair of bushy eyebrows (man, I need to tweeze), I look beyond the artificial clear completion as I wipe away the concealer. I rub off the thickness of the mascara and look at the bare eyes that stare before me. They aren’t as fierce as when I wear my eye makeup-mask. They look more used and tired looking, a little puffy and a little red.  But they came to look this way from late night bottle runs, teething gel supermom, and extra nights working new shop designs. 

I look at the 3 permanently popped blood vessels that appear like little red dots, and I see the labor I went through when I had no drugs and I was pushing my hardest to get the baby out. I look at my bare arm and I see freckles from being a childhood beach baby. I see that now a days, they are bigger, and a little more defined from all the baby lifting, car seat swinging, and rocking of babies to sleep. Below that, I see my hands. Those too are beginning to show signs of wear and tear. A little too rough for being womanly hands, little scars from clumsy accidents of my past are just the beginning. My nails are slightly weak and bitten down (I need to remember to take my vitamins).  I paint my nail at all times, because my thumbs have bumpy nails and look ugly bare. Soon, I see where my hands lie, next to my stomach. Oh God, not the stretch marks that reflect that extra milk shake I would huff down when I was preggo and of course the 2, 7 pound babies I huffed out. 

I have a little extra skin now, memories of warming my babies as they grew inside of me. It still trips me out that we as women actually grow human beings in us. Beyond my belly making abdomen, I see thighs thicker, hips wider, paper white skin and even more stretch marks. My feet are longer now from growing a half a size with each child. My husband jokes that my feet are clown approved. I am imperfect beneath what clothes me. I fake a perfect face. I grow my hair long so people see it, and not the rest of my imperfection.

With all this imperfection how does one reflect confidence, or laugh at silly moments. How does one not worry about enjoying life when imperfections are appearing as time evades me?

Fake it to make it.

Close your eyes and own it.

Remind yourself that you are strong, you can do anything.

Life, laugh and love is what it comes down too. I want people to remember me as the one who laughed often with her children and loved ones. I want to be remembered for the love I poured into others hearts, not the worry of being imperfect around them. I want to be remembering for the life I loved and not the life I planned on living. I want to be remembered for how I made people feel and not how people saw me. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Such a special way to cheer you up! Yes, you!

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The rules:

+The first three people to comment on this post will receive
a little gift - something personal from me to you.

+Within a year (I'll do it in two months) I'll create something
unique to share with the first three people to
comment on this post.

+But in order to receive your present you have to play along.
Spread the love on your own blog promising to send a
little special something to the first three people
who comment on your post.

+You get 72 hours to re-post, or I'll have to move on to
the next person.

+Please only comment if you're willing to pay it forward.

If you want to receive something unique and self-made from me in the mail and if you are willing to do the same for others, leave a comment below! Please leave your email address so that I can contact you directly! And blog URL so that I and others can visit
your blog!

Happy winning!

Giving Thanks

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I am so thankful for family that loves each other despite bickering and driving each other crazy.
I am thankful for my children and how much happiness these kids bring to our lives.

I am thankful for having a special needs child.
I am thankful for all the help and fun experiences we are able share with our children.
I am thankful for the patience I learn every day.    

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I am thankful for generations and that we are so lucky to have  such a large family .

I am thankful for cool weather again and early nights for the kiddo's.

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I am thankful for teething tablets and gel for they have saved us, truly.

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I am thankful for her swift feet and fantastic balance, so mom heart attacks don't happen too often. 

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I am thankful that my husband had that big of a smile  on. 

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I am thankful for all the  fun slides and playgrounds she was able to play on

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I am thankful for expressions and all the ones she gave us yesterday.

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I am thankful that she was interested in and pointed a lot  this day. 

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I am thankful that we had nearly no temper tantrums in public and  that  she did fantastic this day. 
No fits. No head banging. No screaming and shaking.
Just love and smiles.
and unicorn farts.

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I am thankful that no matter what, these two keep me in the right direction in life. 

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I am thankful for knowing that she is my daughter just because she can keep her icecream safe while climbing up and down the slide. 
I am thankful that my children love icecream. 

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I am thankful that she has a healthy appetite. 

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I a thankful for having a husband who loves to be there for his girls and spoils us with love.
He works hard and can play harder. 

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I am thankful for little hands who hold mine as we walk around. 
I am thankful that for this time in life, I am her favorite. 

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I am thankful for this face which then told us she wanted to go home. 
I am thankful for life and days like these. 
These are the days that will forever be in our minds . 
Moments that indeed took our breathe away. 

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