Chiari Sister, I See You

Chiari Sister, I See You

As a stay at home mom, I frequently think about other moms that are in my position. It’s no secret that the stay at home parent doesn’t get enough credit. The day to day seems lost in translation to many, except the one living it. And often we need the reassurance, because as mothers – humans, we want to be seen and loved.

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Whether you have Chiari Malformation + Syringomyelia or any other illness that physically impairs you from feeling your best, know that you are doing your very best. I often compare myself to the wrong people, to those that don’t have physical pain and not needing to be medicated for pain relief.

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As for the stay at home parent living with chronic pain though, the day to day is different and is a tiny bit more challenging. And for me, the physical pain can cause me to have self-doubt, so today, to my chronic pain brothers and sisters, I want you to know, I hear you and see you.

I want to reassure you that you are enough.

Just in case you haven’t heard it today, you did good!

You did more cleaning than your body could handle. It’s OK, not to do more, your body will thank you later.

Yes, it’s OK, the rest can wait.

You folded the laundry that had been sitting in the basket for over a week – no judgment, you did it!

You cooked a meal with love, and that’s all your family could ask for.

You’re pushing through the pain with every step you take – you’re a warrior!

Don’t be hard on yourself, you’re 1 in 1,000 uniquely designed people and not everyone will understand – and that’s OK!

Push through, shower; push through, brush your hair; push through, push through, push through.

Take a break, a much needed break.

Know that your illness doesn’t define you – you are beautiful, believe it.

You are so loved, and you are just as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside.

You are not alone.

Chiari sister – I see you.

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Netflix: Tidying Up With Marie Kondo

This morning GMA (Good Morning America) covered a story on a Netflix Original that has just begun! If you already know, or don’t, Marie Kondo is a Japanese best selling author. She is known for her expert advice on all things organization and I just so happen to have a deep love for all things organized. And this Netflix Original Series is based on the ‘KonMari’ method which is from her best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I also had written the post titled, The KonMari Method + Clutter Free Home, so if you haven’t read it, please do!

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The plot behind this newly original, Marie Kondo lends a helping hand to people in need of decluttering their homes.

In the interview linked below with Marie Kondo, one of the things that struck a cord with me is when she is asked, what is wrong with American’s, why do we have so much stuff, to which she responds, that the homes are huge. Which only got me thinking about the homes I’ve visited – those smaller spaces and large, and how every inch of the home is covered in stuff! Have you been there?! Perhaps it’s because I live with chronic pain, but living in a space that is begging to be cleared is not something that is appealing to me. Either way, my hope is that this inspires you to declutter your home to make it a more loving and inviting space for yourself and your loved ones.

https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/video/embed/60227303

I’m excited to watch and see how she transforms lives, one home at a time.

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The Best Child Friendly Nativity Set

With little ones at home, I have to be very careful of the things I bring in the home and leave within reach. So, there’s a no-glass rule we go by because sooner or later, little fingers are bound to get to it.

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That’s where the ‘Little People Nativity Set’ – this is the updated set, comes in. I purchased ours years ago, perhaps in 2009, and it’s yet to let me down! My kids play with it, turn on the little angel to hear a beautiful melody and the best thing of all, it’s all plastic! I have the ‘Nativity Set’ and The Three Wise Men.’ I know the complete set is made up of three – it contains more animals.

Our family tradition includes getting the nativity set up. However, for picture purposes I photographed baby Jesus, but I will put him away and bring him out, as the children would say, for his birthday – Christmas morning. I’ve included a before and after because it’s exactly what happens once little fingers get a hold of this very cute set.

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List of Great Children’s Books to Own

I grew up getting lost in books and stories – I loved books! But, I’ll be honest, I still can’t seem to get used to reading a book on Kindle, say on the iPad or phone, much less on audio. I don’t know why, but I simply just love the feel of the book, turning the pages and can I say, the smell of them! I’ve turned to Amazon for quick delivery on many of these titles as the children have received many of these titles during Christmas time and Three Kings Day. We will either gift them a book as stocking stuffers or as a present if the book is too large to fit in their stocking. I’ll even purchase some of these as gifts for the children’s book exchange at their schools!

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These are a few of the titles that I’ve gathered over time for my children, they range in ages from 22 months to 11 years old. They have a book shelf that houses these great titles.

I hope this list will help you build or add to your own children’s book collection!

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Children’s Reading Books

For Babies or Preschoolers

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch – I’ll include this one here for ‘babies’ because it’s one I read to my 11 year old when she was teeny-tiny, it’s a must read to your babies, it’ll get you shedding a tear, or two!

Eric Carle Books – titles such as The Very Hungry CaterpillarBrown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?

Dr. Seuss Books – titles such as Green Eggs and Ham, Fox In Socks, ABC, Hop On Pop and I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today!Among many other great titles!

Dr. Seuss Nusery, Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears A Who? Can You? – With Horton as a puppet!

Corduroy by Don Freeman

Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle

Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s Farm by Joy Cowley

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

Happy Birthday Moon by Frank Asch

Clifford books, titles such as Clifford’s Good Deeds

Kevin Henkes books, titles such as A Parade Of Elephants

Raffi Songs to Read books, titles such as Down By The Bay

Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom by Bill Martin Jr.

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

Pat-A-Cake! Curious George – Cute puppet book!

Tiger Tales books, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

Llama, Llama books, titles such as Llama, Llama, Time To Share

Hey, Diddle, Diddle

Old MacDonald Had A Farm 

I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak

‘Look and Find’ Disney books, titles such as The Wild and from the Disney movie, Cars – These ‘look and find’ books are so fun!

Sandra Boynton books, titles such as The Going To Bed Book and Eek! Halloween!Cute Halloween book for kids.

Board Book, titles such as First 100 Animals and Numbers Colors Shapes

Little America by Helen Foster James – Easy to understand, facts on America for little ones.

For Kids Learning to Read

I Like Me! by Nancy Carlson – Great book for little ones about loving yourself, as you are!

Rob Scotton books, titles such as Splat The Cat and Scaredy-Cat, Splat!

Johnny Appleseed by Jodie Shepherd

Judith Viorst books, titles such as Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

The Lunch Box Surprise by Grace Maccarone

Syd Hoff books, includes titles such as Danny and The Dinosaur and Sammy The Seal – Amazing books!

Margaret Wise Brown books, titles such as The Runaway Bunny and Goodnight Moon – Phenomenal books!

Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs by Byron Barton – Great for little ones who are growing a love for Dinosaurs!

Laura Numeroff books, titles such as If You Give A Mouse A Cookie and If You Give A Dog A Donut

Planets by Ellen Hasbrouck – Great book on the solar system.

Firebird by Misty Copeland – Misty is a real life ballerina, you don’t know who she is?! You must read her book here, it’s amazing!

‘Who Was’ books and ‘What Was’ books, titles such as Who Was King Tut? and What Was The Gold Rush?– Easy to understand for kids!

‘Smart About’ books, titles such as Smart About The Presidents by Jon Buller – Super fun facts on our presidents, like the ‘Teddy Bear’ being named after Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt!

Dav Pilkey books, titles such as Dog Man Lord of The Fleas and Dog Man and Cat Kid – From the creator of Captain Underpantsmy 7 and 8 year old boys love these books!

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano – Great Thanksgiving book!

Biscuit Goes to School! by Alyssa Satin Capucilli – A story of a pet and his love for his boy owner!

A Girl Named Helen Keller by Margo Lundell

Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

‘Junie B’ Barbara Park books, titles such as  Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch and Junie B. Jones and Her Big Fat Mouth 

For Readers / Chapter Books

Wonder by R.J. Palacio – Absolutely amazing book, my 11 year old, loved it!

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

Jerry Spinelly books, titles such as Third Grade Angels, Maniac Magee and Wringer 

Judy Blume books, titles such as Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

Megan McDonald books, titles such as Judy Moody Gets Famous!

E.B. White books, titles such as Charlotte’s Web

Roald Dahl books, titles such as James and the Giant Peach

The Chocolate Fudge Mystery by Cam Jansen

Kate DiCamillo books, titles such as Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tale of Desperaux and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – My oldest recently began her fascination with Harry Potter and just began this first book.

For Both Babies and Older Children

Religious Books

‘Stories from the Bible’ books, titles such as Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors and David and Goliath 

Thank You, God, For Loving Me by Max Lucado

God’s Wonderful Plan – This book is amazing and it’s a pop-up book!

Thank You Prayer 

My Little Book of Prayers – This book includes the traditional prayers, from the Our Father to Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, among others!

Daniel in the Lions’ Den by Flying Frog Publishing – Includes great pull-tabs, flaps and pop-ups!

Jesus Wants All Of Me Kids Devotional

The Beginners Bible 

Break Through! Bible

Christmas Books

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg – A phenomenal one to own!

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Clubhouse Christmas – A favorite of my 22 month old, as she loves all things Mickey Mouse.

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore

Frosty the Snowman 

The Story of Christmas by Patricia A. Pingry

Spanish / Spanglish Books

Mario Montenegro books, includes Spanish titles such as, Gonzalo El Cocodrilo, Historia De Dos Sapos and El Caballito De Palo

Monica Brown books, titles such as Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match – We love this book and the story throughout is both in Spanish and English. I’m still in need of other Monica Brown titles, because they’re just that amazing!

Hope my attempt to categorize the books has helped. And remember, books are always a great gift, no matter the time of year!

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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!

Pre-Christmas Time Thoughts

*this is a pre-scheduled post. Momlifewithchiari will be out of commission for a little bit. Please enjoy.

This time of year always gets me thinking of the people that this time can bring certain feelings into fruition, happiness isn’t one of them, but rather sadness and stress. Thanksgiving is getting closer, soon it’ll be Christmas and then New Years, it can all bring either joy or sadness inside all of us. As this can be a very lonely time of year for some.

Also, as you know, my home is still very much filled with little ones and you can see them here in our Christmas picture from last year. And so, we’ve already dove right into a few things, our favorite must watch movies from Charlie Brown to other Christmas classics – I mean, A Christmas Story. Yes!

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There’s been one movie in particular that’s been on repeat these past couple day’s and that’s been the live action Dr. Seuss classic, ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ released in 2000. Jim Carrey as the Grinch is brilliant but I’ll have to admit, this movie at first was unsettling – was it the makeup, the costumes or the people of Whoville?! I can’t say. However, now that it’s ‘grown’ on me, the message that I’ve gathered after watching it a few times – OK more than a few, is incredible.

Grinch_Christmas_Quote

So, before you go on and get stressed, before your heart begins to ache because there’s very little, very little money – heck, very little of everything, stop and think of why this season is so important. Why is this season more meaningful than things? I’m a parent and there’s nothing more that I love than to see my children smile, and let’s face it, children light up at the sight of presents. However, I also have a mission, because with these great children, comes great responsibility, and that is to teach them far more than any present can ever do.

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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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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!