motherhood reviews

How Have I NOT Read the Nancy Drew series yet??

Somehow despite my big appetite for books, there are always those classics that seem to evade me. While I was busy reading The Babysitters Club books, I somehow managed to avoid ever reading the Nancy Drew or Hardy Boy series – perhaps they weren’t as colorful and current, I don’t know, but I missed out, and years went by and it just never happened. But I’ve always been curious about this series and after seeing the new Nancy Drew movie, now I’m convinced – I need to read these books. I need to be in on this!

The movie, by the way, was fantasic – far exceeding my expectations. I assumed it would be cute and probably funny, but didn’t think it would be so well made – I loved every little detail, the storyline, the acting, the script – all was REALLY good. I love how they give a new kind of depth to each character that I suspect wasn’t necessarily present during the books. Especially the “mother angle” – Nancy’s mother died when she was little and you come to realize how big of an effect this has had on her life and how it partially explains her obsession with sleuthing. Being one of the many children out there who grew up without a mother, this is something I can get behind. It was very authentic and realistic, and yet it also had situations that were absurd and hilarious. Even the little love plot between Nancy and Ned was adorable. Um, hello, “Can you tell when a girl looks at you and is thinking how much she likes you and is wondering if you like her and thinking how important it is for you to say how you feel before she says anything more about how she feels about you or anyone else they might be jealous of because she’s already said how she feels how she’s said in her own way?” Seriously.

And now I want to know moooooore. I want to read them all. I want to go to the library right now and check out every single Nancy Drew book EVER. But maybe I should finish reading the other three books I’ve already checked out first? šŸ™‚


When Cleaning Sprees Go Crazy

What is it about visits from in-laws that send normally sane women into cleaning frenzies? Last minute frantic scrubbing in the bathroom to eliminate any sign that someone may have recently used the bathroom. Vacuuming the kitchen of any recent crumbs – going above and beyond the every day call of duty so that nobody can suspect that one might actually live there.

I assure you, I don’t put in this much effort before my father visits – and I love him a lot – and sure, there is the fact that my dad might not notice as much as my germaphobic mother in law would – but it still seems silly. I’ve just in the last hour repeated all the same chores I just did on Wednesday, even though they normally wouldn’t be done again for an entire week. I even put real clothes on, because nobody should know that I live in my pajamas most days.

I know this is probably normal, but it still struck me as mildly ridiculous as I did it.


I Know You’ve Been Waiting, But I’ve Been Off…

making babies buying a new hamster and um, learning every little thing about them and how to take care of them. I am the epitome of a new mom, reading up on the history of hamsters and every way they can be harmed, scared, or stressed in any way. Feel free to express condolences to my husband – I’m sure he needs it.

So, no pictures of the new guy yet, if only because I don’t want to scare the [expletive] out of him with the camera. But, soon, I promise. His name, obviously, is Freddy. As if there was any doubt. He’s a cute little Dwarf Hamster and has taken a serious liking to DH and is slowly warming up to me and my son.

Anyway, IĀ  am certain this post is boring you all to tears, but I figured I’d wrap up my last entry and confirm that we did indeed purchase a hamster, we’re all still alive, and no, I don’t have anything better to blog about. But don’t lose hope, I’m sure this break in creative energy can only last so long.


A Golden Hamster for a Golden Child?

So maybe years of reading about Stephanie Plum’s great relationship with her pet hamster, Rex, combined with recently reading an adorable kid’s book I, Freddy – told from the perspective of a golden hamster, lead up to this moment, but regardless, this morning I heard myself saying the words, “I want a pet hamster.” Maybe I lied and said that MLM needs a pet hamster, but truthfully, this is all about me. I want a hamster. My husband was enthusiastic about the idea and so we began reading online and went to a pet store to scope the scene on what hamsters go for and what our options are, and moreover, how big of a commitment this could become.

It seems to me that the Dwarf Hamsters are actually where it is at – from ten minutes in Petco spent observing, the Dwarf Hamsters were rowdy and rambunctious and ah-dorable, much like MLM. Now, Syrian Hamsters in general are nocturnal so perhaps I should take that into account, but if my son and I are considering spending our days oohing and ahhing over cuteness, cuteness that does cute things seems appropriate. But according to the websites, a dwarf hamster will not exactly, um, like young children – go figure, they are teenie tiny and little kids are clumsy and not at all gentle. Something to think about. But seriously, MLM is just barely two – he’s not “handling” this hamster at all for quite some time.I’m not a sadist.

Then there is the question of security – I want our little Rex or Freddy-to-be to feel safe and secure, which means a nice sturdy side table that MLM can’t tip over or climb on top of. The location is secured, but there is a serious lack of said side table to go in that corner and we are CHEAP man – so it’s gotta come at a steal, free being the best price out there, but like $30 or less being the ideal – because we’ll still need to buy the hamster, the cage, the wheel, the feeding supplies and food and all that other stuff. But still, it seems kind of worth it – it would add an extra element to our days that I feel would be useful – take care of hamster time, play with hamster time, etc.

Besides this, I have almost always had a pet in the house growing up, and I miss having that but living in an apartment makes dogs or cats a complete deal buster. Fish and I don’t get along. Mice are, um, mice. Hamsters, however, are cuuuuuuuuuuuuute and seem totally my speed. Being active at night, means I can put it in one of those cute hamster balls after MLM is asleep and let it run loose during tv time with the hubby. And hey, maybe it will wake up occasionally while MLM is awake and run in it’s wheel for a bit. That’d be fun. I should also be able to do feeding and cleaning without the boy in my hair – another plus.

But this is all still speculation. Anyone out there own or have owned a hamster that wants to bestow some advice or tips would be super appreciated!

motherhood reviews

The Other Boleyn Girl: A Review

To begin with, this was my first book since finishing the Series of Unfortunate Events and it took me a LONG time to properly disengage myself from Snicket’s amazing series – a long time for me to stop referring to Mary Boleyn as “Not a Baudelaire” – and a long time for me to realize, “Hello, shut up, this story is incredible.” Philipa Gregory has been referred to as one of the best historical fiction writers of her time, and I have to say after reading her novel, The Other Boleyn Girl, which was recently made into a movie, I am agreeing 100%.

Now, it took me half the book to realize that this novel was actually about King Henry VIII and how huge that is – knowing a small portion of the history surrounding this ruler, I became even more intrigued upon this realization and quickly found myself devouring the humongous novel, entering a stage my son will eventually come to know as the “point of no return” – yesterday found me glued on and off to this book, unwilling to put it down for more than an hour at a time, until I finally finished. There were hours I laughed out loud and others where I struggled not to cry bitterly.

This story could be considered grotesque, as it begins with an execution and ends with one, but what fills the heart of this book is stories of love, heartbreak, motherhood and betrayal – at the beginning, Mary Boleyn, the main character is an innocent girl of fourteen, newly married, anxious about having her sister, the other Boleyn, joining her at court and surprised to find she has caught the eye of Henry VIII. Pushed into his bed chambers by her social climbing family, she struggles with falling in love and realizing how worthless and powerful she can be at the same time. When the king’s interests wane, she finds herself easily tossed aside as her sister (who has always been a rival as well as best friend) takes her place as the king’s favorite. The story grows darker, but also more and more fascinating from here on out, with secrets and twists that even history buffs may not anticipate. It ends with a woman very mature for her young age, who defies her family and pursues marriage for love and not advancement, fights for the right to raise her own children and occasionally struggles with the realization that despite their differences, she will always be a true Boleyn girl – with all the deception, deceit, and secrecy that comes with it.

The highlights (despite some being low points) for me, include her experiences as a mother and lover – things that are completely relatable and yet hardly capable of understanding at the same time. Despite the hundreds of years passed, it seems to me that not much has changed – with women still struggling to make names for themselves and yet also struggling to earn the right to raise their own children, nurse their own children, and have a say in their upbringing, all while balancing the art of keeping the eye of their husbands and lovers, indeed, it seems not much has changed, except the type of expectations that keep us from achieving these goals.

Having been raised an only child, I found her relationship to her siblings almost as fascinating as DH’s relationship with his own set of three siblings, while growing to love the characters myself as the book drew on. By the final chapters I felt heartbroken right along with the novel’s heroine and even now, a day later, I find I am not quite ready to put Gregory’s characters to rest. I think there will be a movie theater in my future soon, so that I can see how the big screen will compare to this amazing, incredible masterpiece of a novel – also in my future, a trip to the library to check out the author’s other works – was The Other Boleyn Girl a fluke or one of many masterpieces – we’ll be soon to find out.


One Step Forward, and Then Another…

Went to the mall with DH and MLM to get daddy’s new camera (the Nikon D40 he’s been lusting over for almost a year now). It took long enough, but we finally saved up enough money to buy him the camera of his dreams and he is in hog heaven, so to speak.

We also got new glasses. We had gone to Lenscrafters yesterday, got our eye’s examined and found we both needed a new prescription, but when they quoted us over $300 each for lenses alone, we decided to take out business elsewhere. And a good thing, too, because at the mall today we found a store selling glasses for $99 (frames AND lenses) – um, hello. So, yeah, I won’t bore you with all those details about picking out a new style and getting used to my new prescription, but just say that Lenscrafters is an overly expensive jerk face and I may never go there AGAIN. And you shouldn’t either. šŸ™‚

This mall, btw, that we went to today is our new favorite mall in the world. Their bathrooms are comparable to what I’d picture in the lobby of the most expensive hotel in the world (with nursing rooms and several places to change your baby’s diaper, that feel cozier and cushier than anything you even have at home – they even have training potties! What? And stores and stores galore all seemingly employing the friendliest smartest people ever. I think it may be the miracle mall.
Other exciting moments included glancing at a cute baby across from us at Friendly’s and ogling her ah-mazing place mat. Her mother was kind enough to tell me that she purchased them via the One Step Ahead catalog which I am in the process of signing up for as we speak (type? read?). All in all, it was a good day for parents and toddlers everywhere, and by that I mean, for me, my husband and my son.

family fun

Dear Anonymous,

Today I received my first comment on this new blog, from you, dear anonymous, but unfortunately it was lacking in certain elements that I deemed necessary for approval of content, that being, content. I spent several long moments staring at my computer screen with contempt, hoping that the words you had intended for me to read would load momentarily, but alas, nothing changed.

Perhaps you wrote to me in a secret invisible type that I did not have the proper instruments to read, or maybe it was a much deeper meaning than that – could your comment have symbolized the sounds of crickets chirping in the night breeze, so as to inform me that nobody cares? Or that in the end, none of this will matter and words will simply be irrelevant.

Or maybe your computer’s mouse went on the fritz this evening (maybe even at the same time that my mouse, too, decided to play games with me) and while attempting to change it’s batteries it clicked the reply button that you never intended to click, but thus the comment was sent to intrigue me for hours on end…

Regardless of your reasons, dear anonymous, your comment will remain forever in my thoughts and loving memory as I think back upon the early days of this blog – you will always be remembered as the first – the strong silent type who was here in the beginning, although you never did say much, you will still be appreciated. For, sometimes it would seem, that what you do not say, is more powerful than what you do say.

With Sincere Thanks,


motherhood reviews

Eww!! Germy McGerm Germs!!

So, what do we think about air sanitizers and disinfectants? I keep seeing these commercials on tv where Oust is all like “We are so much better than Lysol because…” and then Lysol comes on five minutes later to say, “We are like SO much better than Oust because…” and when I’m not thinking, “When did commercials start to feel like political campaigns and start actually calling out their opponents?” I’m thinking, “Should I be disinfecting and sanitizing MY home?” As you may remember, I’m not exactly a mopping maven or disinfecting diva… So when emailed me, inviting me to join the Oust Surface Disinfectant AND Air Sanitizing campaign, I decided it was time to give this thing a shot, particularly since Oust is all about multitasking, and lets me do both at once with one HUMONGOUS can and did I mention they sent me TWO cans for free? Huzzah, if I do say so myself.

So today, my bzzKit finally arrived in the mail via my friendly neighborhood UPS man. And after calming MLM down from the disappointment that our doorbell was not rung because we had company in the form of some relative coming to take him out on a fun play date like on Wednesday, I set to work disinfecting my apartment. It went a little something like this…

1) Open box. Nearly shout with glee – “TWO CANS!!! These are humongous!!! Woohoo!!!!!!”

2) And look, handy dandy paperwork and COUPONS for more free cans!!! (which don’t expire until August, so if all my friends and family DON’T want a coupon and I decide I like spraying spray, I’ll be one well stocked momma.)

3) Carefully read can to insure that spraying spray is not more difficult than it sounds (again, remember the mopping incident).

4) Cautiously shake can and spray on refrigerator handles. Cannot remember if it is Lysol or Oust that says you can spray INSIDE refrigerator and thus refrain.

5) Move on to spraying doorknobs, trash compactor, recycle bins, diaper pail and bathroom.

6) Remember how humongous cans are and start feeling liberal. Spray MLM’s crib, bedroom, my bedroom, and finally the entire living room in one big gigantic spraying extravaganza.

7) Cough, sputter, and rethink extravaganza. Remind myself to next time, not spray so close my personal self. Honestly, the smell isn’t that bad, but I can still feel the fumes….

So how does this work, this spraying thing? I think that the apartment should come equipped with a special “light” that shows me all the germs, so as to determine if my spraying spray has actually accomplished anything worth blogging about. Perhaps my DH can engineer me something? šŸ™‚


The Invisible Woman

Now my son is still too young for a lot of the typical demands of motherhood – I don’t bake for bake sales or sew costumes or help with homework yet, but this article about the invisibility of motherhood on still moved me a great deal. The brief description in my RSS feed led me to think maybe it would be about activism and doing something more with your life, but instead it is wholly focused on the truths of motherhood and embracing what that is. It moved me beyond words. And yet, now I’m going to use words to talk about it some more.

Being a mother is certainly a challenge – the chores and tasks we do are undoubtedly thankless. MLM is too young to thank me of his own accord (although I constantly demand the phrase anyway in an attempt to teach him kindess and manners) and I’m sure that when he is old enough to think of it himself, that most likely he will not.

I know that there will be no awards or medals or praise for defeating the most evil of butt rashes or cooking the best dinner they’ve had all month. Nobody will call the press because I managed to sit through the 100th viewing of Elmo in Grouchland without screaming. And that’s cool. I’m used to the feeling of invisible. If you flipped through my photo albums you’d see 8,000 pictures of the world’s cutest toddler and maybe 4 of myself. I’m the invisible girl behind the camera in pictures and in life. I think all mothers are. Especially SAHM’s with no other career to speak of.

While our husbands go off to make a name for themselves within their careers, we stay at home and strive to make men and women out of tiny neanderthals we call our children. But we did, in fact, sign up for this role. I meant it 100% when I uttered the words “I want to stay home with my children,” (over and over and over again to my disbelieving family) and I still mean it today. Because as thankless as the job is, I think most mothers will agree that it’s also like winning the lottery – we do have the best job in the world, even if it does come with a lack of vacation time and Christmas bonuses.

Anyway, if you haven’t read the article linked above yet, please do so now – because everything I’ve just said is nothing compared to the beautiful speculations in her article.