Welcome to One Busy Momma! The Blog for Busy Moms by one Busy Mom.....

Welcome to my blog. One Busy Momma is my space to rant about my life and the things that happen in it. I have a crazy life - and instead of focusing on the crazy - I like to focus on the funny. Because if I focused on the craziness - well, I'd have been shipped off to an institution long, long ago. And while, I'll admit, there are some days when being institutionalized sounds PRETTY GOOD compared to making ANOTHER diorama at 1am - I'd rather be right where I am - in my messy house with my not so perfect kids making crooked dioramas in the middle of the night.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails....

What is that old saying about the mothers of little boys? Something like: "Son up until son down, the work of a boy's mother is never done!" Well - I have truly learned what that saying means over the past 12 weeks! My poor boy - my kid who is hardly ever sick - has been injured literally HEAD to TOE!
First - he was playing soccer in the yard and he broke a bone in his foot. OUCH! So - he was on crutches for a week and missed 3 weeks of his soccer season. THEN, he was playing soccer once again in the yard and kicked his ball over the fence. While climbing over the fence - as one does if one is a 9-year old boy - he lost his footing and fell. ONTO HIS HEAD...OUCH. Big, bad concussion. That was a real pain in the butt...and head.The treatment plan for that one was easy to follow - complete cognitive rest.  NO video games, no reading, no rainbow looming, no computer games...pretty much no fun at all. Keeping a 9 year-old boy quiet and still in a dark room is about as easy as training a cat to tap dance. And last night - in what is now being called "The Great Toothbrushing Incident of 2013" he severely sprained his right index finger. The doctor didn't "see" a fracture...but it looks like a break, feels like a break and is being treated like a break. GREAT......

What the HECK? I was kind of afraid to take Jack BACK to Urgent Care this morning. I was afraid they'd call Social Services to question me!!!! I swear - he's doing this to himself! How on EARTH do you practically break your finger and hand while BRUSHING YOUR TEETH? This does NOT happen with little girls - it just doesn't. At least it didn't happen with MY little girl. She has only been really injured once - and that was from falling off of her bike. everyone falls off of their bike at least once. What is it about little boys? Are they just natural dare devils? Are they naturally less careful than little girls? Am I just being sexist here? I don't think so. Certain stereotypes exist for a reason. I know that there ARE little girls that are just as accident prone as little boys. I just haven't met them! 

I have caught my little man about to engage in an activity that would surely maim or kill him several times in these 9 short years. The WORST incident involved me finding him with every pillow from every bed in our home on the floor of his bedroom. These pillows were arranged in a sort of "nest". Where was boy-o? On the top bunk of his bed, assuming the Superman position- ready to fly. It was by the grace of God that I walked in at that moment. You know that story on the internet about the lady who heard her ceiling fan being ripped from the ceiling because her little boys had attached themselves to the blades via belts? Yep - he tried to do that. He thought it would have been a fun ride. He has ripped every towel bar off of the bathroom walls - because he wanted to see how long he could "just hang". And I haven't even begun to tell you about all of the times I have yelled at him for trying to attach himself via jump rope to part of the swing set.

Taking him to the circus was really, really stupid.

I realize that I am so fortunate that all of these injuries have been relatively minor. The concussion was pretty scary - but again - relatively minor in the grand scheme of things. I am convinced that the hair dye companies have missed a HUGE opportunity here. You know how the formula companies give you a cheesy diaper bag filled with samples of formula when you leave the hospital? Their hope is that you will use it once you get home and if the baby doesn't fuss - you will just continue to use their brand. It's the old "if it isn't broken, why fix it?' marketing concept. Well - I think that hair dye companies should ALSO send samples home with mothers of infant boys. Because sooner or later - we NEED their product because these little boys get themselves in crazy, dangerous predicaments and then are injured and scare the natural color RIGHT OUT OF our hair! Clairol and L'Oreal are really missing out on a great opportunity here.

Now don't get me wrong - I wouldn't trade my brave boy for anything or anyone. We are so fortunate to have him - every bit of him...even his broken bits and pieces! Maybe I'd be more chill about these injuries if he were my first child. She spoiled me. She spent her first 6 years wrapped in tuille and walking delicately in ballet slippers and princess jelly shoes. She was afraid of falling and getting DIRTY...never mind falling hard enough to actually get HURT! She never did ANYTHING that could seriously injure her...please. She was way too worried about ripping her clothes for that kind of nonsense! (She still is. ) This kid is like an alien to me. He hurts himself - breaks bones - and gets upset not because it hurts - but because he can't play sports or participate in gym. That's the only UPSIDE of an injury for his sister and myself! Oh well - no matter what - as long as he manages not to do too much damage, and as long as Patricia from Visage remains the hair coloring genius that she is - it's all good. I wouldn't trade my dare devil for any other kid....

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Busy Momma's Ten Books of 2013

Hi my Peeps! So - how ready are YOU for the holidays? All shopped and wrapped and baked? Good- me neither! I'm NEVER ready this early. However, I will say that these 2 unexpected snow days have helped me get a few things done. The cards are ordered, the annual holiday calendar is created and ordered, I am about 95% done shopping for Bella and while I have nothing for Jack - I KNOW what he wants and where to get it. So that's half the battle. I have a few things to order online and then I will be done. I think. Of course, I will probably be wrapping up until December 24th...but that's all part of the fun - right? Right?????

So - what's a Busy Momma to do with herself when she finishes up with all of the holiday madness? Well - curl up by the fire with a great book of course! So, I thought I'd give you some suggestions for your post-holiday reading pleasure. As many of you know- reading is my favorite thing to do, and I have read a few good books this year...so without further ado,,,,

Busy Momma's Top 10 Books of 2013

Note: These books might not have been new in 2013 - but they were new to me.
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer was my FAVORITE book of 2013 and quite possible in my top ten of all time. If you like stories that span a few decades and follow characters as they grow and change- then this one is for you! The Interestings is a story about a group of people who meet at a summer camp for artsy kids and the story follows them from adolescence through middle-age. We watch as they grow together and apart and weather the challenges that we all face as we age. If you only read one book in 2014 - make it this one!
And the Mountains Echoed is the latest from Khaled Hosseini - beloved author of The Kite Runner. This amazing story brings us back to Hosseini's beloved Afghanistan, but this novel also brings us to the streets of Paris and the United States as well. It is another sweeping saga that follows his unforgettable characters across decades and continents. This is a "can't put it down" book - so reader be warned...set aside a few hours for this page-turner - you will need it! (This is a one-tissue box story!)
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is a lovely, lovely story about a woman so broken by her past that she can only communicate - truly communicate with others through the archaic Victorian "language of flowers". In the Victorian era - every flower had a precise meaning. So by presenting someone with a bouquet, depending on the flowers contained within, you could be asking them to marry you or telling them to drop dead! This was a quick read and truly enjoyable and satisfying.
Now, if you know me at ALL, you KNOW that I am a HUGE J.K. Rowling fan. That being said - I did NOT like her first foray into adult fiction - The Casual Vacancy. In fact, I disliked it SO very much that I did something I almost NEVER do - I put it down midway through and NEVER picked it up again. And I was hugely disappointed in myself and my literary girl-crush. Therefore, you can imagine my curiosity when it was revealed that Rowling had been publishing AGAIN - but this time under a PEN NAME: Robert Galbraith. The Cuckoo's Calling is a wonderful who-dunnit that centers around a washed up PI and his trusty, more-than-capable sidekick. Her intention is to create a series around these two and I cannot wait for the next novel. If you like a good mystery, fleshed out with complex characters and an ending that you do not see coming - get thee to a book store! You will recognize Rowling's voice as clear as a bell even without any of the magical language that so many of us love. 

Ah - Jodi Picoult has done it again. In The Storyteller, Picoult creates an  unforgettable, multi-dimensional cast of characters that you can't help caring about and thinking about into the night, long after you have safely enclosed them between the covers of their literary world. The Storyteller is a brilliant masterpiece that takes us back to the horrors of Nazi Germany and examines universal themes of love, loss, grief and forgiveness. Should we truly forgive everyone? Even those who have perpetrated the most heinous acts upon humanity? What does it mean to truly forgive? Is it easier to forgive others than it is to forgive ourselves? If you are a Picoult fan, don't miss this one. 
If you are not familiar with Brene Brown - I highly suggest picking up this book AND watching her groundbreaking TED talk. Daring Greatly takes a look at vulnerability and the power we gain when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. It is a life changing book - full of those "A-Ha" moments. This is one that I downloaded and listened to and now I am going to buy a paper copy so that I can highlight and tab my favorite passages...yep - I'm THAT gal. 
My friend, and Educational Guru, National Treasure, Goddess Among Humans and all-around AMAZING lady - Dr. Vicki Gibson- suggested that I pick this one up and try it on for size. And WOW is all that I can say. In The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains Nicholas Carr discusses how our use of and dependence on technology is actually CHANGING the structure of our brains. It is a fascinating, albeit somewhat frightening read. Carr actually starts his examination of how technology affects our brains by looking at the history of reading - from the invention of paper and ink all the way up to the advent of the Kindle and iPad. If your kids are addicted to their i-devices and spend more time reading from a screen than a page..and you've wondered: "Is this good for them? Is there a downside to all of this technology? Do we REALLY NEED iPads in every school?" you need this book.
Now I know what you are thinking: "Oh Busy Momma - I read this one in high school. Why must I read it again? I JUST saw the movie - no need to read it again." Oh - but there IS a need dear,darling reader! While I must admit that Leo was a pretty good Jay Gatsby and Tobey was acceptable as Nick, the moral compass and steadfast narrator of this film - the movie just cannot compare to the book. While Michelle Williams was a lovely Daisy Buchannan - she didn't quite embody what I believe Fitzgerald had in mind for his "heroine"...if that's what we should call her. Williams did a nice job conveying Daisy's feelings of help and hope-lessness in her marriage and her life. But the Daisy in the novel is way more complex than how Williams portrays her. She has a core of icy cold steel and while she plays the victim quite well, she is INDEED no victim. And THAT is what no film adaptation of this beautiful story has ever come close to capturing. 
My second favorite book of 2013 was Wonder by R.J. Polacio. It is a YA novel that I truly believe EVERYONE should read. Polacio brings us an unforgettable tale of a boy, who suffers from a rare facial deformity, and how his life and the lives of his parents, sister and friends are effected by  his decision to attend school for the very first time.It is a quick, yet unforgettable read that will touch your heart and stay with you forever.
If you are a fan of historical fiction, then you are undoubtedly familiar with Philippa Gregory's work. In The White Queen, Gregory takes us back in time to England before the Tudors, during the time of the Cousin's War. We meet Elizabeth who marries the newly crowned king of England in secret and their life and epic love story unfolds amid bloody battles and heart-wrenching sacrifice. If you like strong female characters and royal intrigue - you'll love this page turner!

Well Peeps - that's it. My favorite books of 2013. I'd LOVE to hear from YOU - what were YOUR favorite page turners this year? My next post will focus on the titles in the que of the Kindle for 2014!
Happy reading!