Thursday, December 10, 2009

'Tis the Season...

It amazes me that the Christmas season is already upon us. It also amazes me that at this time of year how Scrooge-like some of us become.

On a recent shopping trip to the local mall, I was not surprised to find that people seem to practice a more Bah-humbug attitude than a kind one toward others. For some reason it is this, the most important of holidays, that seems to bring out the worst in us.

Feelings of pressure, anxiety, anger, inadequacy, and hostility seem to emerge more this season than any other time of the year. I experience a bit of these myself. I find that I get caught up in the whirlwind of the season. Lost in the aisles of the toy stores...trying to find a way to stretch the budget as far as possible. It can be very tempting to purchase today what we cannot pay for tomorrow. For this, our credit card companies are eternally grateful!

Maybe it is just my perception, but it seems that there are an infinite number of toy commercials on television these days. Every one of those commercials are somehow able to convince our children that it is an item that they simply cannot live without. I find this ironic since it is the most influential people in our children lives (us parents) that cannot seem to make our children understand the simple joy in this very important season. Perhaps it is because the spirit within each of us has been lost.

Each year I find myself yelling at a car for cutting me off, or grumbling under my breath because someone didn't say "thank you" for holding a door. It is in that moment that I realize that through example I am teaching my children how to become mini-Scrooges. Anger and greed are much like a cyclone...the more you allow yourself to be taken in, the deeper it takes you. Then, if you aren't careful, you might find 3 ghosts visiting you on Christmas Eve.

Personally, I find that the best medicine for a Scrooge is a smile. The theory of "pay it forward" is needed more this season than any other. It seems that when your willing to give the gift of happiness, kindness, and compassion the recipient is much more grateful than if you would have given them an expensive gift. This Christmas, if you are faced with an eternal Scrooge, the person that is impossible to shop for, or the child that wants everything...try giving a little love, time, and bit of happiness. My bet is that your gift will be the one that they talk about for many years to come.

Merry Christmas! May this season find you happy, healthy, and surrounded with love. :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What is a "Mousewife"

Everyone always asks me "What is a Mouse wife?" My favorite reply to this question is... "one busy lady!" By definition a mouse wife is either a male housewife, or a housewife that spends a lot of time on the computer. Male I am not, so I have to admit that yes, I spend a lot of time on my computer.
To me, a mouse wife is much more than just spending a lot of time on the computer. I consider it one of my professions. First and foremost, I am a stay at home mom. Next, I am a wife and matriarch of my family. Finally, I am an entrepreneur. I am one of the lucky few that gets to enjoy my family, work in the home, and enjoy a hobby that pays. I often wonder if life could get any sweeter?!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Four little words

I have written several blogs. Most of them tend to be about motherhood and the balancing act that happens in the life of nearly every mom. This time I want to try something a little different.

What does it mean to start and run your own business? This is a question that every new entrepreneur asks themselves as they attempt to compose a mission statement. Everyone wants to have the perfect answer, unfortunately there is no perfect answer. For some I suppose it could be money or control. For others it may be convenience and ease. For me I think I can say that I wanted creative freedom.

My definition of creative freedom means that I can adapt products and ideas into tangible items. I get the freedom to choose the colors, theme, style, and overall appearance of any given item. Sometimes this process is very calculated and exact, other times I wind up with something totally different than my original vision.

I think one of the aspects that I love the most is finished product and the effect that it has on the person receiving it. There is nothing I love more about this job than pouring my heart and soul into an item, loveingly wraping it, and presenting it. Only to see it bring complete happiness to the reciepent. One of my favorite phrases in the world is "Did you make this?" . Somehow those four little words validate what I do. I suppose it's silly to let simple words have such a profound power over me, but when I create a burp cloth, bracelet, quilt, doll, painting, etc. I put my blood, sweat, and yes even sometimes tears into it. Seeing all of my efforts create happiness in someone else makes all of my hard work worth while.

I guess that's where I link the business back to my most important role, which is as a mother and wife to the greatest family ever. I always loved rocking my babies (when they were small enough to be rocked). I would find myself looking deep into thier eyes and wondering what they were thinking and if they would ever know just how much I love them. I'm not sure if they'll ever know but one things for sure the first time I heard each of them say "I love you, too!" changed who I was as a person. Everyday I try to think of ways to be a better person, mother, wife, christian, businesswoman, daughter, sister, friend, etc. No matter how bad a day is or how gloomy things look, those four little words envoke the need for the four other little words. So, for me I guess my business couldn't exist without those four little words, "I love you, too!"

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Finding Inspiration

Finding inspiration can be the easiest or the most difficult part of any day! I guess it depends upon what your trying to get inspired to do or be......for me, I find that different things that create a spark in me.

To be a better mom. I find inspiration through my kids. Every time I shout or snap at them and I see the look on their faces, it pushes me to be a better mom. Whenever I see an episode of "Super Nanny", I can relate to what is happening to those people and I try to apply it to my life. Or, I simply think..."Glad that is NOT me!"

To be a better businesswoman "Mousewife", I find inspiration in successful moms like Julie Clark, founder of "Baby Einstein". She took a simple idea and created an empire that was eventually purchased by!!

To be a better wife, I find my inspiration for this area through my husband. He is the rock that anchors my family. He is not only a great husband, but he is a wonderful father, son, brother, uncle, partner, lover, and best friend....but he is the gravity that holds our universe in perfect rotation. I am one of the lucky few that have found my soul mate.

To be a better person. This area is a challenge for me, I try to find inspiration everywhere. I TRY to follow the "pay it forward" philosophy, and the rule of 10. I try my best to be courteous and kind to everyone that I encounter, in hopes that they will repay the kindness to not only me but others as well. The rule of 10 is every time I see someone smile at me, I give out 10 random smiles to others. My hope here is that if we all spend a little less time focusing on all that is not so great in our lives (and we all have it!) we would have more time to savor the joy that is there. I once heard someone say that true happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you get.

The key to all of this I guess is that finding inspiration is not the difficult part. The hard part is opening your eyes long enough to see it!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

April Showers bring May's Thunderstorms!!!
This has been a month of many thunderstorms, or maybe I should say, the snowball effect getting out of control! Everything from orders to complete, the economy, local election results, and birthday parties coming out of my ears!!
I have had my busiest month yet on the web site, four birthday parties, two cookouts, soccer games, cub scout camp out, and a Mother's Day celebration later, I am finding that I crave stress. As a matter of fact I think I am a stress junkie! Maybe there should be a 12 step program for stress addicts.
The craziest part of my addiction is that I think that it's a fairly common problem. I am a total busy-body and I find that I go crazy when there is nothing to do, I am incapable of relaxing. In fact, I am relaxed when I am creating, weird huh?
The compulsion that drives me to constantly make busy work for myself is my ultimate excuse. I frequently use it as my excuse to not cook dinner, or do laundry. (Brilliant, I know). The deal is, I think that many people in this busy society try to fill themselves up with busy work instead of focusing on the empty space inside.
The empty space is different for each person. My empty space is/was not having a job that allowed me to contribute to the family income (I think). For others the empty space could be all that they do not have or all that they want.
My thought here is that if we try to fill the empty space with all of the wrong things nothing will ever seem to go right. It's only when we find the source of our emptiness and fill it with the right things that life finds the perfect ebb and flo.
So, with that said, bring it on Mother Nature and be prepared to take notes, because this mom is ready for the storm~!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A balancing act....

It always amazes me how many different jobs each of us has to perform each day. As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, granddaughter, business owner, mousewife , artist, homeowner, maid, cook, housekeeper, nanny, personal laundromat, dog owner, my goodness the list goes on forever. I am constantly reminded what a delicate balancing act everything seems to be.

I often imagine myself as one of those ladies at the circus that balances all of the plates, cups, and bowls. Fifteen years ago I would have never thought that I would be able to hold a stack of plates from each of my hands, top of my head, and the tip of my nose, all the while asking for more.

Sometimes I guess we have to wonder at what price are we willing to sacrafice our sanity. With that being said, I have to admit that I am a stress adict. A major junkie! I do my best work under pressure, and often thrive in stressful situations. It is only when my brain is allowed to idle that I find myself wondering how I will ever keep up with all of the reponsibilites that are ever-present in my life. Some days I feel as though I can take on the world, and others....well, not so much.

I suppose the real lesson to be learned is to spend time with the people that are most important to you, enjoy doing what you love and you won't have to stop to smell the roses, life will already be a sweet success.

I guess that is why I do what I do, because I truly love every aspect of my life. I love my jobs, mother to four beautiful children, wife to a fantastic man, and owner of a great business. Who could ask for more?

Mommy Advice:

Just when you thought you couldn't give anymore, and you just might scream if the little one(s) ask for one more thing. They will be all grown up, self-sufficient and they won't be asking for anything. You might be surprised how lonley it can be not to be needed. So, the next time your little one asks for something, indulge them and yourself at the same time.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Little Patients!

This week has been one that requires a lot of patients. Patients with my children and the world in general. Everyone has heard that "Patients is a virtue", and it is one that I do not posses. I am finding that no matter how much prayer goes into something, it doesn't always work out the way that would be most obvious. I believe it was Morgan Freeman that said "If you pray for patients, God doesn't make you patient, he gives you the opportunity to learn how to be more patient". Although that seems like the way it should be, it certainly isn't the easiest. After all, who wants to change their behavior? It's much easier to stay the same and simply expect the world around you to change completely.

New Mom Advice:
Try to remember that as we expect our newborns to adapt to their new surroundings, they expect us to adapt to them and thier regular routine (in utero).

Established Mom Advice:
Personally, I know I always said "I'll never do/say that when I'm a parent". Since then, I have done and said almost everything that I never thought I would. So, the advice is Never say never! Until you walk the path of all that have come before you don't make assumptions.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A new day, a new product.

Since my last blog life has been crazy. Keeping up with the kids, their activities, and life in general is proving to be a large and chaotic mess!!

On the business front life has not been any easier. It's no secret that I love a challenge and boy, has this week provided. The old saying of "be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it". Well, that has been the theme of this week. I am not a real patient person and somehow my brain believes that if I stay over-prepared so will the rest of the world. Much to my disappointment, that is not always the case.

This week I have had several orders, three new product requests, and two charitable donations. I try to keep on top of things by doing what my husband calls "obsessing". It is my personal belief that once I have agreed to take an order or donate products I should have it done within a few days, or less. For example; I recieved an order from Ireland this week. The lady let me know that she needed the item quickly, so I finished it and mailed it within 24 hours. Don't even ask about the shipping, OMG!!

So, all of this boils down to my lesson learned. Take a deep breath, make the husband put the kids to bed, put on a pot of coffee, and obsess all night long! At least I get my work done:)

New Mommy advice for the week:

Buy two times the diapers that you think you will need for the next week. Worst case senario, your darling bundle of joy has blowout and you are prepared. Best case senario, you won't have to go to the store as often as you thougt, allowing you to go another day with no makeup!
P.S. don't forget the wipes.

Established Mommy advice for the week:

When you find yourself doubting your parenting skills (we all do at some point) remember that kids do not come with an instruction manual. On that same note also remember that someone on ebay or etsy or something like it must make toddler straight jackets, hey wait a minute...that could be another new product idea:) lol.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mommy advice

New mommy advice for the week...

"Always remember that sleep deprivation accounts for a lot! "When your fighting at 3am with
your husband over what color the baby's eyes are, take a deep breath, take a nap, and chances
are that when you wake up you'll never remember that you were fighting in the first place.

Experienced mommy advice for the week...

"When you argue with a two year old, you sound like a two year old!" When your tot tells you
"NO!" remember that when you argue with him/her you sound as silly as they do. Afterall,
your'e the parent/adult, so your probably going to win the fight anyway.

Friday, February 27, 2009

This is my first attempt at blogging, however I am thinking it's a good way to tell the world (or whoever is listening) about my ventures in becoming a "Mousewife".

The story began about a year ago, when my wonderful husband suggested that I start my own business. Allow me to preface this by saying that I have always loved sewing and crafting. So, I agreed, and was born. At first it was stagnet. Nothing really came of it until the fall of 2008. That's when my dream was becoming a reality.

I began with only three products, and now I have expanded to five with plans of future growth. I am currently considering the creation of pet products as well as a line of gag gifts.

Although the technical stuff is still a mystery to me, I am fortunate enough to have a brilliant husband that happens to be quite computer savy. He does the hard work while I get to do the fun part!