Being Thankful

Being Thankful

I was listening just recently to an actress being interviewed, she was talking about her life struggles and all the difficulties she’s had to endure. At a young age, her mother had a life altering car accident, her mother hit the windshield causing neurological trauma, changing her families lives forever. Ultimately due to the accident and her mother’s condition, the children had to be taken away, her two sisters were sent to one home, her two brothers to another home and she was placed in foster care for a few days – she was 13 years old. She talks about one of the people that inspired her, her social worker and getting to the tenth grade and not knowing how to read. This is just a small snippet of her life, of her mother and of her childhood. Her name is Tiffany Haddish, a comedian and actress. Image result for we all have issues quotesThis interview was phenomenal. And I say this because often times I think that my life is the only one that’s complicated, rough, bad and too difficult to handle sometimes – to even understand. And then I listen to testimonies like these that remind me, that I’m not alone. I’m not the only one with problems, with issues.

We all have a past, we all have and/or still going through things that are going to test us to the core of our faith, perhaps a diagnosis, a separation or job loss. Faith? Yes, that what seems unattainable but very possible. It helps us rise in times when we just don’t see hope, when we don’t see light because all we feel is pain. Hope? Yes, that’s when we begin to desire to get through the bad because we realize that the light is brighter than the darkness.

The thing that allows me to connect with people is when I see past what my eyes see and I listen to their life’s journey. I see that we’re all different, we come from all walks of life and born from all parts of the map. Yet, there’s one thing that connects me with you, the fact that you and I have been through difficulties in our lifetime. In some cases, the difficulties are bigger while others are minor, but they’re life altering nonetheless. Yet aside from all that, we realize that we’re trying to be the best version of ourselves and living the best life that we can – a connection like no other.

I’ve realized that embracing where I am today, is accepting my journey. The difficulties I’ve had to face has brought me to this day – where I am today – I will be thankful for today.

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My YouTube Channel Is Born

My YouTube Channel Is Born

Have you ever felt so bad, in so much pain, feeling like you have enough on your plate, but can’t stop pushing forward?! That’s me at this moment in my life. I’ve decided Chiari + Syringomyelia will have a place in my life, but not have my entire life. As positive as that may sound, it is extremely difficult, as I don’t only deal with the mental challenges of having a non-curable illness but also the physical aspect of it all.

I mentioned to my daughter earlier this week about perhaps starting a nail tutorial YouTube channel – for beginners, as I’m one myself. And before I could finish talking she said, ‘do it!’ Oh, to have the heart of a kid again, no fears, no doubts, just pure determination. That was the push I needed and before I had the time to second guess myself, I ordered a simple iPhone tripod from Amazon Prime, thought of a name for the channel, spent 1,000 hours – or what felt like, watching YouTube videos on how to make YouTube videos – did you get all that, and my channel Simple Nail Designs was born!

With a new tripod in hand and my iPhone, because right now any fancy equipment will have to wait. And this video here is the result of a small idea made reality.

 

Make things happen today.

It doesn’t take too much money to start an idea, try to work with what you already have. Don’t think of making any large investments right away. If you’ve been contemplating on something, big or small, all it takes to make it happen is passion and motivation.

How serious are you about achieving those dreams and how hard are you willing to work for them. I have absolutely no knowledge on recording a video and editing – none. I did however, know that the idea could turn into something. Maybe it won’t grow right away, but with patience, it will grow.

I share the news so you can follow along this new journey of mine. Please take a look at the video – my very first, AND please subscribe! Don’t be a ghost follower, they’re frowned upon!

I’m self-taught right now, so if you have any ideas on how to make videos that much better, please share!

Have a wonderful day.

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Photo: Carl Heyerdahl

Disclosure: Mom Life With Chiari is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. I will not recommend or buy anything that I do not already own and love or would not use for myself and my family. I make a small commission when you click and make a purchase on any link my website provides at NO additional cost to you. Thank you in advance for supporting companies that support me!

Searching For A Sign

I often get so many thoughts running through my mind and maybe you can relate. These thoughts of wanting to do something else, something more, maybe learn a new language or perhaps learn a new recipe. As for me I think with the blog and the online store I have, is enough considering there are still little ones to look after. But really, there’s always that one thing, that thing that we think we should be doing, should have done or goal yet to be reached. And all you’ve been doing is waiting, waiting for something, perhaps God to come and give you a sign. Perhaps because you’re not sure, you have self doubt, you’re afraid, afraid of failure or afraid of success, but you’re afraid. So, let’s say, you do it, whatever you’ve been thinking of doing, a job change, going back to school, yes, lets just say you do it. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to finally do what you’ve been thinking about doing for so long?!

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This often reminds me of those who have been stuck in a rut for so long. We become content with what we have because it’s become our safe place and it’s what we’ve known for so long. In my opinion, the number one culprit in relationships, is the argument of never having enough money, you complain there isn’t enough, but I often question, what are we doing to change that, what are we doing to get to the finances that we need to finally ‘make ends meet.’ In all honesty, probably nothing. So, if you’re a mother, a father or simply someone that’s looking to take that leap – take it! It’ll take you farther than you know.

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The First Day Of School – Poem From A Teacher To A Parent

Have your little ones – or not so little ones, begun school? My little ones went back to school this week and it’s been quite the ride for my four year old. The first day, she was ecstatic, there were no words to express her excitement to finally be able to attend school with her older siblings. However, she arrived home not understanding why there were children crying in her classroom. As much as we’ve tried to calm her heart, she isn’t liking what she’s seeing. It can truly be an adjustment for some children, especially for first time students – like my daughter. As teachers have in the past told me, preschoolers will often take about a week to adjust, that’s what I’m hoping for her.

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I can understand why people would assume that since there is a tiny tribe behind me, that I am somewhat numb to many ‘firsts’ my little ones experience. But that is far from the truth. I’m experiencing firsts with each and every one of them. As much as they are siblings, as much as they may have the same features, maybe even mannerisms, they are so different. They are individuals, they even cry different – as only their own parent would know, they talk different, they even handle situations differently, some are shy and some even far more sensitive than the other. My oldest although entering the sixth grade – the dreaded middle school, she is also experiencing many ‘firsts’ and as a parent, I am experiencing it all with her.

I wanted to share with you today a poem given to me by my four year old’s preschool teacher. It served as a reminder that teachers understand the adjustment isn’t only experienced by the child, but also the parent. So, whether you have one, two or a tiny tribe like mine, every experience with our children is our first. And I have a feeling, that will never change.

‘The First Day Of School’ – From A Teacher To A Parent

I gave you a little wink and smiled

As you entered my room today

For I know how hard it is to leave

And know your child must stay. 

You’ve been with her for four years now

And have been a loving guide,

But now, alas, the time has come

To leave her at my side.

Just know that as you drive away

And tears down your cheeks may flow

I’ll love her as I would my own

And help her learn and grow.

From as a parent, I too know

How quickly the years do pass

And that own say soon it will be my turn

To take my child to class.

So please put your mind at ease

And cry those tears no more

For I will love her and take her in 

When you leave her at my door.

Love,

From A Teacher To A Parent

Have a wonderful day. I pray that your children have a phenomenal school year.

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Back To School Readiness Check List

Back To School Readiness Check List

This summer like the ones in years past, is going by quickly. It’s that time when I get my check list ready to hit the stores – whether that is ordering items online, ordering for in-store pick up or going to the store, the time is now. With ordering online and having chronic pain, this is a ‘pain saver’ or is it ‘life saver’ – whichever the saying, it’s good! And ordering in advance gives me time to make exchanges if needed.

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This year my older four will be going off to school. We have them going into prekindergarten 4 through sixth grade. This will be my preschoolers first time in a school setting and she’s elated! Here is a sneak peak at my “Back To School Check List” – because when you’re shopping for a mini tribe, it’s essential that you stay organized.

“Back To School Readiness Check List”

To Do At Home

• Gather new grade school supplies lists for all

• Take inventory of materials / miscellaneous things – check what for items you may have put away in your home, cross that item off the school supply list.

often times at the end of the school year, I’ll get back unused / new materials that went unused, I’ll save those items for the next school year.

 also with things like, rain jackets and sweaters, I’ll have them try it on, if they haven’t outgrown them, they’ll reuse these.

• List the children’s names with their shoe size, shirt size and shorts/bottoms size (double checking will ensure buying the correct sizes)

• The hanging closet organizer, this is our ‘school cubby’ that hangs in the children’s closets, each child will have a cubby assigned to them, each night they’ll set up their uniform / school attire for the next day – makes getting ready in the morning easy!

School Uniforms / Clothes

• 4 uniform polo shirts per child (verify school colors) – I will purchase these from Target

• 1 school patch / emblem for each polo shirt (can be purchased at the school  from PTSA)

• 1 ‘Friday’ school shirt per child (can be purchased at the school  from PTSA)

• 4 uniform shorts per child (verify school colors)

• 1 pair of pants per child (verify school colors)

• 1 sweater per child – to be ordered from Gap (Go to the sweaters that are on ‘sale,’ you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the quality and the price you’ll pay)

• 1 rain jacket per child (to keep inside backpack)

• 1 mini-umbrella for oldest to keep inside backpack (she likes to have an umbrella)

• 1 pair of sneakers/running shoes per child

• Undergarments for all / each child

• Pack of socks for each child

• Belt for each child – to be ordered from My Self Belts (I have been ordering them for about 5 years, the belts are EXCELLENT – especially great for my son with autism)

Backpacks + Lunchboxes, Miscellaneous

• Backpack and Lunchboxes – to be ordered from Pottery Barn Kids (Go to the backpacks that are on ‘sale,’ you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the quality and the price you’ll pay) If ‘last’ years backpack is still in good condition, it will be washed and reused.

• PE water bottles – to be ordered Contigo water bottle

• Labels for PE water bottles – to be ordered from Inch Bug

• School agenda / homework agenda (can be purchased at the school  from PTSA)

Kids Hair

• Girls hair bows (I’ll purchase bows according to the school colors)

• Black elastics – for pony tails

Clear small elastics  – for tying ends of braids

• Detangling spray

• Tresemme hairspray – to use on both the boys and girls

• Mennen Cologne – for kids

School Supplies

• Gather new grade school supplies lists for all and log in the school website to be sure it’s the latest supply list – as the teachers will often update them even during the summer.

• I try to buy things like crayons and pencils in bulk from Amazon Prime – things like this are always needed throughout the year, things like folders, paper, etc. from Target

If you’d like to know all that’s inside my ‘kids hair bin’ organizer you can find that here and for a detailed post on what I use in my home for school purposes you can find that here.

Hope you have a great back to school shopping experience!

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Photo: Sharon McCutcheon

Amazon + Target – Mom Life With Chiari is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. I will not recommend or buy anything that I do not already own and love or would not use for myself and my family. I make a small commission when you make a purchase on any link my website provides at NO additional cost to you. Thank you in advance for supporting companies that support me!

Inspiration Is Everywhere – Even Star Wars

Inspiration Is Everywhere – Even Star Wars

With Summer vacation still in full swing – and chronic pain still sneaking it’s ugly head, we’ve had a couple of things going on. So, one of those things being catching up on all things Star Wars. I’ll admit, I’ve never fully seen all of the Star Wars movies. And the one that has been on repeat with my little ones has been The Phantom Menace, can I just say, wow – amazing! I can really see what the ‘buzz’ is all about with Star Wars, from the special effects, to the wardrobe, to the lines, to the makeup – it’s all mesmerizing.

So, today’s inspiration came from Yoda, there’s 9 year old Anakin standing in front of the Jedi council when Yoda senses Anakin is afraid. In return Anakin replies to Yoda in a sort of defensive manner. But, Yoda in turn offered these words to Anakin ….

Fear is the Path to the Dark Side.

Fear Leads to Anger. 

Anger Leads to Hate.

Hate Leads to Suffering. – Yoda

I’m guilty of this, of allowing people to lead me to this path of – what seems, no return. I allow things and life circumstances to overwhelm me, for me it’s Chiari + Syringomyelia, for you it maybe a separation, a breakup, a job loss, a bad grade, it maybe anything and just like that, it takes over any positive thoughts you may have had. It’s so incredibly true, fear, anger, hate can only lead us to being stuck in the darkest moments and in return only hurt us – no one else, but us. And lead us into even more suffering.

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Accepting + Dressing Body After Baby

Accepting + Dressing Body After Baby

The most beautiful experience in a woman’s life can quickly get overshadowed after the birth of her baby. As a first time mom and full of energy at that time, I quickly lost all the ‘baby’ weight and was back to my ‘ol self in no time. I walked to a local park with baby strapped securely in her stroller and walked about a mile a day. There was no science, no diet, no torture, no miracles here to be made. I simply walked every day – Monday through Friday. At this point in my life with Chiari + Syringomyelia and Hypothyroidism – which can give you unexplained weight gain, exercising is basically non-existent, much less walking for long periods of time because my legs can give out at any given time.

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At this point my body after having six c-sections  – understandably, has not been the same. Yes I know there are six which is a lot according to today’s society – but I won’t be going into all that. The message here is to accept our bodies as they are after baby. Your body has done the most precious thing, which is to create and care for a human in your womb and then give birth to it. I’ve birthed my babies being born weighing from 5 pounds to 9 pounds 10 ounces. I’ve also been the size 2 and am now way past that! But before I allow myself to tear my body down, I try to remember that my body has done what no other body has. It’s been through surgery after surgery and has carried babies – healthy babies! Remember that! Also, give your body time to get back to pre-baby shape, don’t rush the process, it took you 9 months to get there, it’ll take you 9 months to get back there.

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Now, how to come to a place where you are accepting of it?! How?! When I look in the mirror, I want to love what is looking back at me. It may not be perfect, I have loose skin, I have cellulite and dimples in places where I didn’t know there could be and stretch marks on my stomach, and legs and well everywhere! The darn things are everywhere, they’ve invaded my body, have taken out their sh$t and are enjoying their stay. There is no leaving for them any time soon. The creams, the oils, they don’t work – at least not for me they didn’t. Either that or I’m months too late in getting my money back on those belly creams. I think they’re actually hereditary, if your mom had them when she was pregnant, the chances of you having them are pretty precise. Sorry to be the bearer of the bad news, but yes!

The most effective way I’ve found aside from making the necessary steps in accepting my body the way it is now, is to dress for my body. You need to know your body, know your new body shape and dress for it. And know that a woman with confidence makes her the most beautiful. Lastly, wear a shape wear after baby, it helps smooth and tuck the abdomen area. These looks are what I look for when shopping and dressing my new body after baby.

It’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it.

I’ve found that non-tight fitting t-shirts or flowy shirts look best. They don’t accentuate my stomach or abdomen area – my ‘problem areas’ and are the most flattering. And if I do wear a form fitting shirt, I like to wear a jean jacket over, jackets are such staple pieces.
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Also, high waisted jeans, they avoid the ‘muffin top’ – which by the way, there isn’t such thing, that only means you’re wearing jeans that are two sizes too small for you. What a difference good fitting jeans make! Also, if I can give you a tip on something to look for when buying jeans, the zipper, the longer the zipper the less camel toe you’ll get. Yes!
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I love the A-line t-shirt dress for a casual look. It’s so flattering and hides what you don’t appreciate at the moment. I personally don’t like anything that is tightly cinched at the waist line or underneath the boobs – you know what I mean, yes, I feel like it makes me look a little pregnant-ish again.

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Just like the A-line t-shirt dress, I do the same for the evening dresses. How amazing are these?!

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And lastly the skirts, now because my ‘problem area’ is my abdomen, I pull the skirt up higher than my waist, bring the skirt up higher – you’ll notice the difference! You can see what I did for our last family photo session with the skirt and chambray shirt – such an easy and cute way of finding what you currently have while embracing your new figure. I’ve loved the combination of a casual top, like a tank top to a t-shirt with a flowy skirt/dressy bottom.

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And because my family will be going on vacation in the next couple of months, I wanted to see the swimsuits. These I found on RoseGalRose Wholesale and Plus Trendy – love the ruffle tops!

‘Wanting to be someone else, is a waste of the person you are today’

Here’s to us women loving our bodies at all stages of life! Have a beautiful day.

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Photo: Tanja Heffner