Playing Favorites: Top 10 Moments in Mommablogsalot History

Auds @ Barking Mad is giving away a $250 Target Gift Card and all you have to do to be eligible to win is post 5-10 of your favorite posts from your blog. How could I not? Especially since I seem to love my blog like crazy. I found about 20-25 posts that I LOVE (am I a narcissist or what?). But I managed to narrow it down to 10 after long moments of soul searching and these are the results of that search, my 10 favorite posts, ranging from serious to seriously silly, in my opinion, they are the cream of my crop. Or something.

Favorite Book Reviews:

Favorite John Mayer-Related Ramblings:

Favorite Attempts at Proving that I think about important things, too: One Religious / One Political:

Favorite Parenting Post:

Favorite Walking Down Memory Lane Post:

Favorite Sad, Mourning Post That Turned into a Grey’s Anatomy Advertisement:

Now I am sure you have written WAY better posts than that! So if you like Target and you’re not a total tool, you’d better follow suit, and write up an entry of your own to enter in Auds’ Favorite Posts Contest

A New Viewers Guide : 14 Posts Worth Reading

After reading a post by Karen over @ Write From Karen about keeping negativity out of our lives, out in the real world and in our blogging world, I was a wee bit curious about how my blog would be rated as far as negativity goes – and I have to say with the exception of a lot of self deprecating humor (I can’t help it, it’s like my favorite kind of funny) I think it’s fairly positive in mood – not saying I never complain, but really for the most part, I don’t, at least not very much on my blog – I guess I vent enough of my complaints out loud? haha, poor poor husband; anyway, here’s what I did find out about myself, my blogging, and all:

First off, man do I ever love a good meme – even when I talk about paring down my posts, I still post at least one meme a day and often get sucked into 5 or more posts a day, but you know I don’t really mind. I love doing it, and that’s the point – this blog isn’t my waist line so I really don’t care how big it gets.

One thing I did notice though was some pretty stellar posts (in my humble opinion) that may or may not have ever been read, as they were from my pre-meme-ing days, when I got like 2 or 3 visitors a day – those people rocked! Anyhow, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite posts on this blog (from then AND now) – consider it a new viewers guide if you will – a way of saying, “If you read just one post on this blog, make it one of these”:

  • march 14, 2008 – the invisible woman – about the joys of motherhood in reality, where we are not the most important thing in the world – it’s really a plug for a much better article, but I liked what I wrote as well.
  • march 14, 2008 – eww!! germy mcgerm germs!! – one of my early product reviews, this one still cracks me up every time I read it, and still embarrasses me a little to think, “Yeah, I did that…”
  • april 7, 2008 – gift wrap on my mind – after my son’s 2nd birthday I got to thinking about the cost both monetarily and environmentally of gift wrap, and what I wanted to do about it…
  • june 8, 2008 – babywearing is so chic – back before my blog got a lot of hits, this post did really awfully well for my purposes – I have been planning which kind of baby carriers to use for the next baby (you know that one that we’re still actually trying to conceive) and I actually got some great tips and advice on this post – sweet!
  • june 16, 2008 – oh the thinks you can think: seussical: the musical – My father was in a play this year for the first time in his life – on Father’s Day – this was my post up of both a review of the play (it was awesome!!!) and just the incredible experience of getting to see my father try his hand at something he’d always wanted to do and how great he is in general
  • june 19, 2008 – thank god for books thursday: or things my son likes to wear on his head – oh the infamous my son got his head stuck in a toilet seat post – and thanks to blogging this moment will live forever in cyberspace. Awesome.
  • june 24, 2008 – why I [don’t] Write [much these days] – the woes of calling oneself a writer with very little proof of such a statement…
  • july 2, 2008 – how to: create chocolate chip perfection – I think the only recipe I have ever and likely will ever post on this blog, it was hilarious to write and my husband and I still joke about this post to this day
  • july 2, 2008 – what it means to be a woman – this is one of my favorite posts, personally – it’s something I talk to my husband about a lot, but rarely feel like I’ve articulated well. I’m proud. Nuff said. It’s also a book review. Big surprise, right?
  • july 22, 2008 – dreaming big: planning forever – In which I actually manage to sum up most of my life’s goals in three bullet points – the only thing missing is the obvious – things I want to do as a family – but those things WILL be done – the things on this post are just the big dream kind of goals
  • july 25, 2008 – pizza angels don’t protect against punches – I got to post about my love of Veggie Tales and how I feel about teaching kids what to do and not do in regards to violence, bullies and self defense – It took a lot of guts for me to post this entry, worried about potential controversy and whatnot, and then I’m not sure many people ever read it at all anyway…
  • july 30, 2008 – the anti-robbers: they’re out there – okay maybe this post was only funny to me, but I thought it was really, really, really funny – ahahahaha ::laughing at myself::
  • july 31, 2008 – why blog? – I was told by some other smarter bloggers that this was the best post of mine they’d read this far – so I’m thinking it must have been good and therefore aught to be listed as a must read – it’s pretty obviously about why I blog and I will admit I was fairly proud of it even before the compliments started coming in.
  • and finally, posted today august 12, 2008 – post of the day #2, in which momma whines, begs, & plugs other entries to her blog – no, not this entry – but another fabulous entry I wrote today about how ugly my blog looks – seriously, check it out yo, it’s almost fugly (almost because to be fair the world’s cutest toddler is shown in three different great pictures, but still… not the prettiest blog on the block, let’s be honest). And I made it mah-self (well the header anyway and it’s the only part of the blog I’m complaining about really)…

So there you have it folks – the offical “new readers guide” for momma blogs a lot – a way of weeding through the memes and silliness of the past 5-6 months or so and reading the very best this blog might have to offer – but don’t take my word for it – read ALL my posts and see for yourself. ::wink::

Who would YOU trust to write YOUR life?

I read on 5 Minutes for Books about a weekly book meme called Booking Through Thursday – sounds pretty perfect for me, the absolutely book obsessed and the memes look pretty short which is always nice (not to mention all the cool kids are doing it). Maybe I can type this up before MM notices I’m not paying all my attention to his truly? I mean… anyway, here’s this week’s questions?

Are there any particular worlds in books where you’d like to live?

The first one that comes to mind is the dawn of the 20th century in Libba Bray’s Great and Terrible Beauty trilogy – I know it’s not really a world, but given that magic is possible, I’m going with it being a world of it’s own, and in a time that truly fascinates me with the whole women’s suffrage movement and women still being women but also striving to be something more, when something more was truly needed.

Other books that come to mind are the world within His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman (jumping through different parallel universes, seeing the different possibilities for reality – as long as I don’t have to go through the specific tragedies that Lyra endures by the end… I think it could be neat; and the world within the Eyre Affair also fascinates me – more with the time jumping and the book jumping and just the whole fascinating world that Fforde creates where everything is kind of exaggerated and fantastical and a little bit conspiratorial, but just so neat. All the best and worst theories you might ever have about the world, true and real and bluntly there… I’d better move onto the next question though before this can no longer be called a short post… (too late?)

Or where you certainly would NOT want to live?

Well any dis-Utopian world or post-apocalyptic world would certainly suck – prime examples being the world in The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood or the whole sucky existence in I Am Legend which I haven’t read yet but I saw the movie and yeah… that’d suck.

What about authors? If you were a character, who would you trust to write your life?

Janet Evanovich and Stephenie Meyer both seem to have my number – I think I could trust them to do me justice, to not make me too perfect or too annoying – they seem to have an understanding of the type of character I’d be – a sort of mixture of Stephenie Plum and Bella Swan but married and with one small monkeyToddler – I think they could handle that.

What would your answers be?

What it Means to Be a Woman: or "The Sweet Far Thing": a Review

When I finished reading the Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray this afternoon I was left with some unexpected feelings – no doubt due in part to the completely unexpected ending which I am still coming to terms with. The biggest surprise that should have been obvious was how big the theme of women’s equality would grow within the trilogy. Miss Doyle’s decisions and final realizations of what it is she wanted moved me and I thought of how far the suffrage has brought us since the dawn of the 20th century.

I often wonder if the early suffragetes would be proud of what we’ve done with their lives works. Somehow I don’t think so. It seems that no matter how hard we struggle to be freed of our cages we always manage to lock ourselves inside another. All we ask for is choice but sometimes we seem to take our choices away, perhaps afraid of what lies outside the safe confines of our souls. What do we want? Maybe we, too, can’t quite answer this question and so we seek out others to tell us what we might have.

As a mother the one thing I know I want is time to raise my children and be near them – I want for them chances I never had and I want for myself chances, too – to be silly  and play games, to nurture and watch over. I want the childhood I never quite grasped and to ensure that my own childen can grasp it with all their might. I think all mothers must want this, even the ones who do want to work rather than stay home with their children. What really saddens me is that regardless of whether or not our social status and family income can allow us to stay home, we are not content to support one another, but bitterly lash out at each other from our self drawn battle lines – because of this, we may always be caged – because if we could all work together for one common cause, even if that cause were as simple as defending our choice whatever it might be, then I cannot even dream of what we might accomplish and at the very least how happy we would all be for the company we starve ourselves from while we busy ourselves with judging each other’s decisions, even when they were made for them.

Why can we not be happy for each other when we’ve made our choices or strike hope in the hearts of those who have not or cannot? Support your fellow sisters, even when they don’t see eye to your eye – support them! You never know when you will need their support, too. Why resort to such pettiness when we can stand together, a united front against the world. Let the men fight battles, it is what they do best (with much less catty venom, you must admit). Let them fight the battles that may or may not need to be fought, while we do the one thing women are born to do – nurture and protect and work our mysterious magic as we bring safety and comfort where none see it. We are a force to be reckoned with, women, but only if we accept out weaknesses and revel in our strengths and stop fighting one another for no good reason.

Be the change you want to see in the world. I’d like to share my favorite passage from the novel I just finished – it might be considered a spoiler, so don’t read this if you haven’t yet read the book and intend to. But it really does bring home in my mind the point of it all:

“There in the city’s steam-and-smoke-smudged harbor is the most extraordinary sight of all: a great copper-clad lady with a torch in one hand and a book in the other. It is not a statesman or a god or a war hero who welcomes us to this new world. It is but an ordinary woman lighting the way – a lady offering us the liberty to pursue our dreams if we’ve the courage to begin.”

We are all of us that woman – empowered with knowledge and lightness we possess the choices and chances offered to us by the women before us – we possess that liberty regardless of what we might do with it – whether we harness that power to become a beacon to the world or piss it away in nothingness, it is ours. We might consider lighting the way for the girls coming into this world, wondering what being a woman means – what choices does she have and what should she do with them? I’ll repeat, as it bears the need to be repeated – be the change you want to see in the world.

The Sweet Far Thing: A Midway Review

Right now I’m reading The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray – it’s the latest (and I believe last) book in the Gemma Doyle series (trilogy?). Yet another young adult series that has captivated me, Bray creates a world of magic and petticoats. Taking place in the 19th century, achingly close to the 20th century, the books focus on the ideas of women’s rights (or lack thereof). The girls are all destined for whatever life their families have chosen for them (or been forced to succumb to) but each ache for something more, or at the very least an opportunity to choose for themselves.

Girls reading the books will see how much opportunities they are given these days but at the same time may notice how little some things have change – how far we’ve come as a society, and how little we’ve progressed at the same time. Magic and romance add a lovely spark to this historic novel which takes place in London for the most part, though the series began in India for a few chapters and has a constant Indian presence throughout the series. It is exotic and traditional all in one moment, exhilarating and stifling – much like adolescence.

Perhaps these books are even better to read at my age or older, fresh out of adolescence with a clearer mind of the girls’ mistakes – I am not the young hot headed teenager I once was and can see with great perspective when they are being silly, but I’m young enough to rally around them anyway (or perhaps simply human enough). Add to that a fresh dose of mommy issues, something I always enjoy (Grey’s Anatomy, Bones, Alias) – I do adore any story where family ties are not traditional and simple.

Anyhow, I just started Act III of the book and yet I’m not even halfway through. I’m loving every minute and squealing my way through with delight and I suppose since I haven’t finished the book that’s pretty much all I have to say on the subject thus far.

Other books of a similar genre that I’d recommend are: The Blue Bloods series by Melissa de la Cruz; the Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyer; The Luxe by Anna Godbersen; Tricksters Choice by Tamora Pierce and her other books as well.

Anyone else know of some other good ones?

Things My Son Likes To Wear on His Head

So this morning I decided on the whim to take my son to the library, because I was craving something new to dive into after I finish Jane Austen in Scarsdale ( hopefully soon ::crosses fingers:: ). This post isn’t really about the library though – what I’m about to tell you happened in the library parking lot, on the way home after checking out The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray and The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot (because this growned ass woman has an obsession with young adult novels – deal with it).

We’d gotten ourselves into the car with little issue – he even climbed in himself for the first time like a big kid or something. I’d literally just turned the key when he began hooting and howling like a banshee. I turned around to see if he’d dropped his beloved toy of the moment and found to my surprise that he had somehow gotten his head stuck in a toilet. Or rather a Toilet Training Seat we bought a month or so back to keep in the car when we actually begin potty training – you know, a quick fix for pottying on the go when your tush is too small to prevent falling in.

Since my adorable two year old’s tush has not yet met this cute little seat, we haven’t forced him to stop playing with it when we’re taking a drive somewhere – I figure if he wants to make friends, for now, it won’t hurt him. Apparently I was wrong. There he was in all his glory, with an original potty hat, that he couldn’t get off. And he was not happy!

I struggled for quite some time, trying to angle it so it might slide off without hurting him (which he not too happily informed me I was failing at), hoping desperately that we wouldn’t have to drive to the ER and explain our situation to strangers (although truth be told I was also considering driving down the street to my husband’s office so he could share in the moment – and I might have except I didn’t really want to drive around with a toilet on my son’s head – it just didn’t seem like a safe idea in the event we got into an accident… yeah…).

Well by the grace of god I managed to get the darned thing off his head without ripping his scalp off and all was well. Except when I then took the seat away for the drive he was LIVID. The crazy loon still wanted to play with his beloved potty even after all that and could not be convinced as to why it wasn’t okay! Seriously?

So that’s my story – I must say if I hadn’t gotten two fun new books to read out of this situation it would have been a pretty miserable waste of an outing, so, thank god for books, if I do say so myself. And I do.