Welcome! I'm Cookie's Mom. You can learn all about Cookie and why I blog here: About Cookie's Chronicles. If you're new here, you may want to SUBSCRIBE TO MY RSS FEED. Thanks for stopping by! Pull up a beach chair and be my guest, won't you?

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Guest Blogger:
Mandi of Smile and Mama with Me
"Hand in Hand"

Today I have the pleasure of presenting the beautiful Mandi of Smile and Mama with Me. Mandi has a real zest for life and it shines through in her writing. Her motto is Live, Laugh, Love, and I think she's doing a fantastic job of carrying out that purpose. If you're not already following Mandi, check out her newly refurbished blog. Love the new design, Mandi! It's fresh and sunny and definitely makes me smile.

Mandi lives in Arizona, USA with her husband - tall, daughter - 5, son - 3, and dog - chihuahua. You can learn more about Mandi by visiting her blog: About Mandi

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Let's get to know Mandi better:

I have a passion for writing, my family, reading for fun, good food, good drink, and life in general. At Smile and Mama With Me you'll hear a little bit about a lot. My kiddos, of course. They certainly aren't perfect and neither am I, but I  absolutely relish the precious moments with them and I love to document  them here and over at Today's Mama (link on my blog). Sprinkle in some  pieces on family life, my cooking successes and fails, my career choice  of writing/editing/freelancing, my love of reading (watch for some  upcoming book reviews) and randomness from every corner and there you  have it: Smile and Mama With Me.

My favourite time of day:
Around 8:00 AM. I've just dropped the kids off at  their summer program (or very soon, dropped off at preschool and  kindergarten). I come home and water my garden. Maybe pick up the  house a little bit before the day gets started. Maybe. I'm usually  dressed and showered by this point. Usually. Then the anticipation and  excitement of what's waiting for me in my inbox sets in. I sit down  and get to work for the day. I'm much more a morning person. The  afternoon feels tedious and boring and harsh to me.
My favourite comfort food:
Elbow macaroni with plain old tomato sauce on  it. No, don't put garlic salt or anything else on it, please! Except  for cheese. Cheese, please! Preferably grated cheddar. That to me is simple comfort food. And simple is what comfort food is to me!
My favourite treat:
Dairy Queen chocolate ice cream in a cone. Dipped in chocolate. Two other top-raters are German chocolate cake and cherry cheesecake.  
My favourite emotion:
Love. Pure and honest love like the kind that comes  unfiltered and unabashed from a child towards their mother. There is  nothing quite like it.
My favourite book:
I read a lot and I have many, many favorites. My  recent obsession was the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins where I  stayed up till 4AM to *almost* finish the first book in a day. I woke  up just a few (two) hours later at the kids' prodding and finished off  the last 17 pages. I'm a huge fan of Jennifer Lauck and her books Black Bird, Still Waters, Show Me the Way and Found (the  latter which I have just ordered and anxiously waiting to read it). Here's a link to a really great (and short) review of her first two books. A book  that has stuck with me since college is A Heartbreaking Work of  Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. Good stuff, if you ask me! I like his stream of consciousness style... :D
One of my favorites posts:
"Niffles and Polygamy"

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Hand in Hand
by Mandi of Smile and Mama With Me

I was sick last week. And thank the heavens above that my husband was able to rearrange his schedule and take the kids to and from their summer program. I don't get down and out sick very often. After all, I'm a Mom, and we can't do that. But this day I felt like I had a wall of bricks sitting on my forehead in addition to the stomach flu. I didn't even want to stand up, so mostly I didn't unless it was a true necessity or emergency.

And yet, I was anxious for the end of the day to come. To see the  kids, to ask about their day and what they ate for lunch, to hear all the little details they like to share. When I heard them rumble in through the garage door, I rolled myself out of bed and prepared to meet them. Obviously my husband informed them that mommy was sick and that I would be resting because my five year old ran up to me immediately, took my hand gently and started mommy-ing me. I wanted to take my hand back, you know, so as not to pass any germs to her. But I didn't. I  didn't want to at all, actually. It was such a sweet gesture from her that I wanted this scene to play out. She proceeded to take me from the living room back into my bedroom. "You need to rest, Mommy."


My, my. How the roles changed! I was so overcome with something akin to pride at my daughter's display of compassion, and relief at being told to go back to bed, that I just plopped down and curled up in bed. For a few minutes. I eventually wandered back out to the living room to curl up on the couch and listen to the hustle and bustle of their day and the dinnertime conversation. And that made me feel better.

It's all the small things like this that makes my world turn.  The daily routine.  The funny moments that pass in an instant.  The spontaneous kisses and hugs.  The honest approach the kids take, when sometimes I wish they had a filter.  These are family memories in the making and I'm loving every minute.


  1. Mmmm. DQ Chocolate dip! Agreed!

    This is such a sweet story, Mandi (and not just because of the DQ reference). I have had a similar experience. There's no way to describe to yet-to-be parents what this kind of caring - of a parent for a child and of that same child for his parent - feels like. It shifts the soul to a new place.

    Thanks so much for being my guest today!

  2. What a wonderful moment. I cherish times like these too and would expect the change of roles to happen as the kids get older. Just as how I realised my roles have switched, with my parents.

  3. Oh would it hurt when I get back to work? I am so getting used to this 'family moments'. To all this amazing 'daily routine' is just priceless. Yes, my day goes fast and yes, it sucks sometimes I don't have enough time for ME, but it's just so good to be around my little one and all the fun and laugh. Just priceless.

  4. Hear, hear! I love the genuine, sweet place moments like these come from. The moments where my son shares a piece of his food with me or tries to give me a drink of his water make me so hopeful this is a glimpse of how he's going to be when he's older. I love them, and they remind me of how the struggles are so very much more than worth it.

  5. Thank YOU @Cookie's Mom! It was a pleasure to guest post. You hit it spot on when you said 'it shifts the soul to a new place.' That it does.

    @mom2kiddos - Cherish these times! We're teaching our little ones how to care and nurture so they can take on those roles for us as we age (and take with them throughout their whole life, of course). Our parents did the same with us and if we haven't already seen those roles reverse, we eventually will.

    @Mama and the City - Priceless indeed.

    @Deb - I love those moments too. I think *maybe* we're doing something right! Right? :D

  6. Aww, sweet post...gotta love chocolate! Chocolate dipped in chocolate...that's my kind of girl!

  7. It's so hard when Mom gets sick. Glad you were able to get break to feel better. Your daughter was awesome for caring for you.

  8. @Jen - Can't beat it! :D

    @Jessica - Really, usually we're not allowed to get sick! This was the best 'being sick' episode I've ever had.

  9. Your daughter's sweet gesture is a sure sign of you being a wonderful mama! Tonight my 7 yo son saw me lugging two laundry baskets down the stairs and he just swooped in and took one from me without me asking. It was such a chivalrous, thoughtful gesture...just confirms in my heart that we are giving him some good roots. Great guest post!