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.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Who Runs the World? GIRLS!

There is a awful lot of giggling going on over here these days. High pitched giggling and text message tones ring out from 6am until waaaaay too late at night. Extremely serious conversations are taking place over Instagram and Facebook. Conference-style calls with multiple girls face-timing in are happening day and night.What is going on, you ask? Are we taking in a group of Syrian refugees? Are we debating the merits of the GOP candidates? Are we discussing the legality of home-based servers for the former Secretary of State?

Oh you silly, silly people! Of COURSE we're not talking about anything like that! This is MUCH more important, pressing and timely....It's HOMECOMING season my Peeps!

 These late-night conversations revolve around who is wearing what, short or long, pastels or jewel tones, straps or strapless, closed toe or open toe??? The giggling revolves around the elephant in the room - are we going with a group or with a date? There is a great deal of "Bif told Frenchie who told Frankie who told Sandy who told Rizzo who told Kanickie...that Danny is thinking of asking you to he dance." These conversations are held with the gravity that I imagine was the tone of cold-war era, back room conversations between extremely glamorous spies. This teenage drama is par for the course, and while it amuses me, it doesn't surprise me. After all, it wasn't that long ago that Fifi and I were having these same conversations.

 While the cast of characters has changed and the dress styles have evolved, the actual conversations are exactly the same:
"What did he SAY? Who did he say THAT to? Who told you THAT? Well of COURSE SHE would say that - she's a cow. Do you think he's going to ask me? Why hasn't he asked yet? Who cares if he asks me! I hope HE doesn't ask me! He asked WHO? WHY would he ask HER? Oh my God - I knew he was going to ask her! Tell him that if he asks her she will say yes. But don't tell him that I said that. Tell Frenchie that he wants to ask her, but Kanikie is taking Rizzo and Frenchie and Rizzo are fighting and so he doesn't know if  he should ask her because he's going to hang out with Rizzo and Kanickie....." and on and on and on.....These are the days of our lives, my peeps.

What has me quite amused and surprised is my husband's reaction to all of this teen intrigue. Apparently he was not aware that teenage girls can engage in such complex machinations. He was SHOCKED last night as he listened to one of these conversations. I actually felt kind of bad for him. He's lived for 43 years thinking that a high school dance was a simple affair. An innocent and pure transaction between boy and girl. Boy screws his courage to the sticking place, asks girl to dance, girl says yes, boy's mother buys corsage, boy puts on a tie and takes girl to the dance. If the evening goes well, it ends with an awkward attempt at a kiss on the mouth and memories are made. End of story. Isn't that adorable!

Poor Shmuck - he had NO idea of the realities of these situations. There is a reason why Beyonce asks us "Who Runs the World?"! GIRLS run the world! And my poor, innocent husband is just beginning to see this. This was our conversation last night as he listened to one of these conversations:
PC: Who is she talking to?
Me: Frenchie
PC: What are they talking about?
Me: (looking at him like he has 4 heads) Um - HOMECOMING, duh
PC: OK - did you just hear her say "Kanickie told me that he is definitely going to ask you - but he told me not to tell you."? So WHY is she telling her??? (Wide-eyed and innocent)
Me: (Laughing) Because Frenchie is her friend and she needs to be prepared
PC: Prepared? for what? 
Me: Oh, Frenchie doesn't want to go with Kanickie - she wants to go with Bif. But Bif is thinking about asking Sandy. It's all a rather big mess I'm afraid.
PC: Wait a minute - that poor guy is going to get up the courage to ask Frenchie and what is she going to say?
Me: Well if you would shut up we could have found that out. 
PC: Do not tell me that my daughter is counseling Frenchie to turn this boy down! That is HORRIBLE! Do you know how hard it is to ask a girl out to one of these things?
Me: Nope. Can't say that I do. Now be quiet so that I can figure out if Danny asked Laurie yet. Her dress is really slutty...

Me: What? One of THEM? What are you talking about?
PC: You are a GIRL!!!

(Now, may I remind all of my loyal readers that this man has not only helped me create 3 children - he also watched them all be born...out of my GIRL parts.)

ME: Huh?
PC: You are as bad as they are! Let me tell you this - if so-and-so does end up asking her, she is saying YES.
Me: Oh - you're a bit behind on your intel, babe. She's really on the fence about going with him now. She kind of wants to go with the girls. AND my mom knows his mom - don't ask - and she isn't crazy about her. So I'm kind of on the fence about it too.
PC: Oh my God - who cares if your mom doesn't like his mom! If he gets the courage to ask she is saying yes and that is FINAL!
Me: OK - you are crazy nutso. Seriously. Crazy. She is NOT saying yes if she doesn't want to go with him. Plus, he's going to hang out with Kanickie all night, and she's not crazy about Kanickie.. just let her work it out.  OH - AND Kanickie's date "all of a sudden" decides to wear pink and today at lunch she told Bella that "pink isn't your color". Can you believe that? What a biotch! She KNEW that Bella plans to wear pink to this dance. I'm telling you - that gal is one jealous cow. We are buying the pink-est dress on the Eastern Seaboard this weekend...
PC: It's like the patients are taking over the crazy house here! I won't have it...(now he's walking away) I won't have it...

The man spent the rest of the evening in the basement playing Madden '15 on his PS4. I will argue that this is where he needs to stay until she is off to the senior prom.  Poor guy. I had NO idea he is as clueless as he is about how the world works. We have 4 years of high school dances ahead of us. This should be fun!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

When the UNIMAGINABLE Happens...

Well hello there my Peeps! Anybody else out there panicking because it is the middle of August and back-to-school is upon us and I am in NO WAY ready??? We have nary a back pack at the ready. Nothing...nada...not a package of socks from Target. I am in complete denial that my babes will be back in school in 16 days!!!!! HOW did this happen? I feel like time is whirring past me at lightening speed. And the older the kids get, the faster the time flies. It's so unfair!

Well, I am writing today with yet another book review! Those of you who were kind enough to read my Summer Reading list post, will remember that "A Stroke of Luck" by Juli and Jessica Dixon was on that list. Well, I just finished it and felt compelled to write about it.
Disclaimer : I read this book while my daughter was in the hospital recovering from complications from a hip surgery. So my perspective was a bit skewed. I also know Juli Dixon and thought she was amazing BEFORE I read the book. Now, well, I still think she is amazing, but in a more stalker-like, how-the-hell-does-she-do-it? kind of way. So basically, I idoloze this lady. She is like the mom version of Jon Bon Jovi for me. Except I do NOT have a framed, signed picture of her on my desk. Nor do I have her action figure on my desk. (But I would if there was one!) OK - I digressed there.

The book is an account of the worst parenting nightmare I can imagine. Her daughter Alex came home from a piano recital one day with a fever and back pain. She got sick - as all of our kids do. But, instead of bouncing back and getting better, as all of our kids do, Alex just got sicker and sicker. And no one knew what was wrong with her. Juli and her husband Marc watched as their precious girl got sicker and sicker and suffered agonizing pain first in her back and then in her leg, knee and heel. And no one could help them. They flew Alex to the best hospitals and doctors in the country, they researched her symptoms and possible treatments - they did everything humanly possible to help this child. Nothing worked. To add insult to injury, when the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with Alex, they accused Alex of faking her symptoms as an attempt to garner attention from her mother! The nightmare got worse and worse and finally, faced with no other choice, the Dixons agreed to their only option - brain surgery. When an attending surgeon makes a mistake during the surgery, the Dixon's lives are forever changed. Alex suffers a massive stroke. Her prognosis? IF she survives, she will most likely be in a vegetative state.

Now, THIS is where the book gets interesting. (Cue Incredible Hulk music) Juli becomes a momma warrior. She describes it as becoming the Incredible Hulk. This is how I see her in this moment:
(Sorry Juli - but you are waaaay to cute to have a picture of Lou Ferrigno here!)
A vegetative state was not acceptable to Juli. This child was getting all As in GT classes. She was in Oddessy of the Mind and winning statewide competitions for a project she completed on The Americans with Disabilities Act. This was one bright kid! Thus, the battle began. What happened after the stroke is nothing short of remarkable. To read about the lengths this entire family - not just mom and dad, but younger sister Jessica, grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, teachers and friends - went to is nothing less than inspiring. 
This is a story of mothering. None of us are perfect, but we all do our best and we all constantly question ourselves - especially those of us with full time careers that involve travel. We ALL ask ourselves: "Am I traveling too much? IS my career hurting my family? Am I being selfish? Is this toothache/bellyache/earache real? Or is it a stay-home-Mommy ploy? " These questions are excruciating when you're dealing with a phantom belly-ache. I truly cannot imagine asking myself these questions as my child is in the ICU seemingly moments away from death. Juli's story proves that when we stop listening to the outside noise and start trusting our mommy-gut - amazing things happen. We stop feeling guilty. We stop worrying about what other people, like doctors and nurses, think of us. We start focusing on our kids - because we know them best.  And it is then that we can do our job - advocate for our kids. 
As an educator, reading about the methods Juli used to reteach Alex EVERYTHING she used to know was fascinating. Reading about the things Alex remembered and what she didn't remember, what came back easily and what they are still working on provided a peek into the brain and how it works, learns and heals. As a mother of 2 children, reading about what Jessica, Juli's other daughter, went through as Alex walked through the fire was heartbreaking and inspiring. Jessica is the co-author of this book. All I can say, and as I have said to Juli, Jessica is destined for greatness. Want to know why? Well...go read the book!!!!
So - in closing, who should read this book? Well, any and all parents should read this book. Anyone with a sibling should read this book. Anyone interested in the human brain should read this book. Anyone WITH a human brain should read this book, Anyone who knows someone with a brain injury should read this book. Anyone dealing with illness, especially chronic illness should read this book. Any parent who has a child who has been through a trauma of any kind will appreciate this book. Anyone 12 years of age and older should read this book. ALL teachers should read this book - actually ALL people who interact with kids on a daily basis should read this book. All healthcare professionals and medical students should read this book. 

Basically anyone who CAN read should read it. And if you can't read - get it on tape. Or call me and I will read it to you. This is how strongly I feel about this book. I am quite terrified that Juli will really think I am a stalker when she sees her book sales increase dramatically when I order copies for everyone I know for the holidays. I can just imagine her looking at her computer and saying something like: "Hey, Marc? Do you think it's weird that this gal in Maryland just ordered 58 copies of the book? Is that kind of creepy do you think? Who needs 58 copies?" 
Well, friends and family - spoiler alert - you are getting this baby under the tree. 

In all seriousness - if you only read one more book this summer - make it this one. I guarantee that you will laugh and cry and identify with this busy momma and her beautiful, brave family. You can get it on Amazon or you can go to Juli's website:

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


My friend Hermione once told me something about love that has stuck with me for many years. She said: "Do you know how I know without a shadow of a doubt that I love my husband? It's because I have YET to smother him in his sleep. There are nights when I look over at him while he snores like a lumberjack and think: "It would be so very easy to murder you right now with this pillow. But I won't do it. Because I love you." That's how I know."
And I get it - my goodness - how I get it!
See peeps, this is me. This is my night life. Around midnight, 12:30 every single day of my life, I am awakened by a sound that is SO LOUD, I am shocked that the neighbors do not complain. PC snores like a wild boar is trapped inside of him, screaming to escape. This noise is not a normal snoring sound. Oh no - it is SO loud and SO intense, that it has woken both children who sleep in different rooms, with their doors closed to muffle out the snoring. No joke. They both sleep with their doors closed and music playing to muffle out the melodious sounds of their daddy "sleeping". How this man is able to sleep through his own snoring is one of life's great mysteries.

I take that back. We are talking about the man who was able to sleep through the agonized wails of vomit-covered, feverish babies here. He can sleep through anything.

I know what you are saying: go to the doctor, get a sleep study, get a CPAP machine, revolutionize your life. Oh, my friends, my naive friends, if only my life's problems were that easy to solve. PC, under direct threat of divorce and castration - Bobbit style - has seen the doctor and has had no fewer than 2 sleep studies. And guess what? That little %$#@)_*&^%$#-(*&^%%$$!!!!! DOESN"T SNORE IN A SLEEP STUDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Son of a motherless goat! So there is nothing the doctor can do. My husband sleeps like a baby while hooked up to 50 electrodes...but in his bed - snores like a wild animal. 

I am at the "bat-shit crazy" point of coping with this. Last night I actually used my iPhone to RECORD him snoring at 12:08 am. And I got MAD that his snoring wasn't loud enough. Then when it did get to the trapped black bear in a cave loud, I started whispering: "Do you see? Do you SEE what I have to put up with every effing night? I am going to smother you with this pillow if you do not shut the fu%$ up right now!"  Then I stopped taping and started thinking about how basically, if he did just kick the bucket right then and there, the Po-Po would basically have a taped confession and I'd wind up in prison. And how I bet it would really be all like Orange is the New Black, and would I be forced to become a lesbain in prison? And if I didn't, would I be looked upon as a snob? Like I thought I was better than everyone else? So maybe I would become a nun in jail - no one effs with the nun on OITNB. That's what I will do, I'll find religion and be all "I'm way above prison sex" to avoid the whole lesbian thing. 
Yes, this was my exact thought process at 12:15 am. I was like a CRAZY person. Like a heroin addict - only instead of looking for a hit, I was looking for a few, uninterrupted hours of sleep...in SILENCE!!!! So then I punched PC - pretty hard - and asked him to flip over onto his other side. And do you know what that humdinger did? He went:"hmmmulllhmmnn" and stayed in the same position!!!! AND WENT BACK TO SLEEP!
That man is lucky to be alive this morning - that is all I am saying. My new plan involves taking my recording - sans the murder threat - I will edit that out - to the doctor with him. Explain that basically this is a life or death situation. In other words - this man WILL DIE if he does not stop snoring. And beg the doctor to give him a CPAP MACHINE!!! If he doesn't, my next plan of attack is to steal someone else's machine and hook it up to my husband while he sleeps. If he fights it - I will give him a choice - CPAP or Pillow. Either way - this snoring is going to stop.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Remember: As Far as ANYBODY Out There Knows - We are a NORMAL Family!

Hi Peeps! How did it get to be July 20th? Wasn't it June 20th a few days ago? Why does the summer go by so fast? I guess the old saying is way too true: Time flies when you're having fun! Busy Momma and her crew are having a great summer. We have spent a lot of time soaking up the sun and just relaxing. Vacation was great, Cape Cod was amazing and now we are home, determined to jam as much fun into the rest of our summer break as humanly possible.

Which leads me to the title of this post. What is "NORMAL" really? What is a "normal" family? One of my kids informed me that our family is, indeed, NOT normal. When asked about this, said child said something like: "Well, you know, the whole Jake the talking dog thing is really not normal."

OK, she has a point.

First off, I'd like to establish this right off the bat - Jake does NOT talk. We all know that Jake is a dog and therefore cannot talk. However.....

PC is totally to blame for this. Totally, 100% to blame. He started it. You see, one night, long ago, Jake jumped into our bed and took over PC's spot. I mean, head on pillow, under the covers, in the bed. It was funny, we laughed, took pictures and then, PC was really ready to come to bed and told Jake to move. And being the ever-obedient dog that he is, Jake stayed put and just looked at PC. So, after a few attempts, PC picked him up and put him in his crate and headed into the bathroom to brush his teeth. Unfortunately, he must have forgotten to latch the door because about 3 seconds after the bathroom door shut - Jake was back in the bed. Now, I know that I could have and probably should have put the dog back in the crate - but I was laughing too hard. So now, when PC came out of the bathroom - he had 2 choices. Either get really angry or laugh it off. Thankfully, he laughed it off. And before putting Jake back in the crate, he did something that would forever alter the course of our life as a "normal" family. He started to talk for Jake. It was as if we put one of those dog voice boxes from the movie "Up" on Jake and all of a sudden we could hear him speaking to us. PC adopted this silly, whiny voice and said: "Oh but I want to sleep with Mommy. Daddy you get to sleep here all of the time and I have to sleep in the stinky crate. Daddy you need to sleep in the stinky crate and let me snuggle with Mommy."

Was it funny? Yes - hilarious. Did I expect it to become a daily occurrence? Not so much. But it did. Jake talks to us each and every day. And PC is NOT the only "dog interpreter" in this family. Nope - the two kids also take part in this foolishness. They apparently know when he wants a treat, when he wants to play ball versus frisbee. They can tell me when he is scared, what he is growling about: "Oh Mommy, that little fluffy puppy walking by outside looks so yummy...let me out so that I can eat her....plu-ease...." or: "Mommy...there is that scary mailman again...let's go get him please...." or - their all time favorite, reserved for when he looses his shit: "MOMMYYYYYYYYY - there is a BUTTERFLY in the yard!AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH......SAVE ME!!!! SCARY BUTTERFLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Yes, my dog is terrified of butterflies - don't judge...

As much as I want to believe that other families do this - they don't. I know they don't. Why don't they? Because talking FOR your dog is bat shit crazy - that's why. Do other families have special songs that they sing to their dogs every day? No says you? Well we do. Oh yes - the old doggie favorite: Scratch your Belly! Scratch your Belly! sung to the tune of "Hot Potato" by none other than PC's favorite band - The Wiggles.

I kid you not. This man comes home from work EVERY DAY and before he says "Hi" to anyone in the house - he sits down on the couch - where the dog is waiting and sings:
Scratch your belly, scratch your belly
Scratch your belly, scratch your belly
Scratch your belly, scratch your belly
your belly, your belly, your belly your belly...
(All while scratching said belly)

I will spare you the second verse of: Chase the kitty, chase the kitty...

The dog is SO used to this routine, he sits at the front door with his special caterpillar toy in his mouth, tail wagging, as SOON as the car pulls into the driveway. Then, when PC walks up the porch steps, he pees a little bit, (the dog, not PC) starts doing laps around the first floor, flies up the stairs, flies back down the stairs runs into the kitchen and leaps onto the couch waiting for his song.

I don't get a song. I don't get my belly scratched when PC comes home. And I gave him CHILDREN!!!

Lest you start thinking that our crazy is limited to the dog - let me draw your attention to another "not normal" thing we do on a regular basis: interpretive sand dancing. Now, to be fair, we stole the idea from one of my cousins, who shall remain nameless. Interpretive sand dancing has turned into a sporting event that does not even require sand anymore. Our version of interpretive sand dancing requires that the dancer select 3 cards: a subject card, a predicate card/action card AND an object card. These cards are created the night before and divided in appropriate categories. So, while at the beach, the dancer selects one card from each category and basically performs the action on the action card while pretending to be the subject. So for example, one might have to act out: "Upside down horseshoe crab running to catch seagull with sandwich in her beak." You can imagine the sight this creates on a crowded beach. Oh - and it must be done as a dance - in a fluid, interpretive motion.All while 3 people are screaming their guesses as to what you are doing at the same time.

Crazy - no?

We also partake in much smaller, less noticeable, yet not less crazy routines. There is "Talk Like a Kardashian Week" about once every 2-3 weeks around here. We also enjoy "Our Life is a Broadway Musical" nights, where we sing everything at each other. Well - to be fair, Belle and I primarily do this. The boys draw the line here. But we do make up some very funny ditties. My favorites being:

  • Mom, We're  Out of Tampons: Sung to the tune of On My Own from Les Mis
  • What's for Dinner Tonight: Sung to the tune of Little Shop of Horrors 
  • You Won't Believe What Happened at Lunch Today!: An original composition
And let's not forget about the craziness we partake in for major sporting events like the World Series, Superbowl, Stanley Cup finals and so on. There are special menus, outfits, SOCKS, rituals and routines that I cannot even get into here because they are TOP SECRET and I would disappear never to be heard from again if I gave away any of the details. (I will say that the one thing ALL of these events have in common are nachos and motzy sticks.) 

I am sure there are a few other things that we do that other families might look at and think: "How do those people survive day to day activities - they are so strange!" But hey - we're happy. Besides, one man's crazy is another man's normal....right?????? And if you haven't tried it - Talk Like a Kardashian Week is really super fun......

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Busy Momma's Summer Reading List 2015

So yesterday I gave you guys a big list of summer reading suggestions. I am 100% confident that at least  one of those titles will tickle your fancy. As many of you know, reading is my thing. I love to read. It relaxes me, it makes me happy and it forces me to SLOW down. Many of you have asked me how I manage to read SO much while...well, while being a real "busy momma". And I feel like a bit of a cheater here, but it's the truth. I don't read all of these books. I listen to many of them! My job requires that I am in the car for several hours a day, and while Sirius XM has truly revolutionized my life, there is only so much Entertainment Weekly, Jenny McCarthy and Just Jenny a gal can listen to in one day. So I ALWAYS have a book on my phone. Right now I am listening to Jodi Picoult's Leaving Time. It passes the time and makes traffic tie-ups a bit more bearable.

Many of us have retail kryptonite. For some of us it is shoes, others have trouble holding themselves back at the MAC counter and still others we know have hundreds of purses. And while I admit - I have way too many shoes, bags and tubes of lipstick- my book collection is out of control. One would think that eBooks would be the solution to my problem, and eBooks have been great. Except that I am running out of room on my Kindle, iPad and phone for my e and audiobooks. And there is this little quirk I have - if the book is non-fiction, I must have it in paper. I have to be able to flag, highlight and write in a non-fiction book. It is a sickness, I know. But you know what, if an addiction to books is my worst vice, I am ok with that!!! So, I ask you to join me in my addiction this summer. Hopefully this post or my last post will inspire you to take a trip to the library, check out a great book and take a few hours to relax and escape this summer....so without any further ado - here are a few of the books in MY pool bag.......
Did you read Gone Girl? Well, I think Luckiest Girl Alive is going to be this summer's big, twisty
hit. At least that's what I have read. Jessica Knoll introduces us to Ani FanElli, a successful, beautiful woman who seems to have it all. But what the reader soon finds out is that in addition to the killer wardrobe and wealthy fiance, Ani has a secret. And it promises to be a whopper!

Ever since I sat and read Saint Maybe in one sitting, I have been a HUGE Anne Tyler fan. Tyler has a way of capturing the American family- their triumphs and failings- in a way that anyone can relate to. She creates characters that everyone can recognize to and sympathize with. My ability to relate to her characters is, no doubt, also due to the fact that all of her books are set in my beloved Baltimore! A Spool of Blue Thread is Tyler's newest offering. It follows the Whitfield family through 4 generations of highs and lows, victories and defeats. I am really looking forward to opening this one and getting to know what promises to be another unforgetable Baltimore family.
My girl has done it again! After going through an epic battle with breast cancer, Elin Hilderbrand is back on top - cancer free and back on track with her newest novel: The Rumor. This one promises to be great and to touch a nerve with those of us who live in or grew up in a small town. In her latest, Hilderbrand examines how gossip, specifically rumors, get started, spread like wildfire and affect everyone in their wake. This one should be delivered on June 16th and I can't wait!!! Just in time for MY summer vacation.
Another one that I am patiently waiting for is Jennifer Weiner's new novel - Who do You Love? I am going to be 100% honest here - when I saw that she had a new book coming out, I clicked "pre-order" before I even read the description of the book. That is how much I LOVE Jennifer Weiner! And now that I know what this book is about - I can't WAIT to read it! Our 2 main characters - Rachel and Andy - meet for the first time when they are 8 years old in a hospital Emergency Room waiting room. The book follows them over the next 30 years as their paths cross over and over again. This looks like a story that examines fate, and the questions so many struggle with: is there really a type of love that is just "meant to be" and is there really one true soulmate for each of us? This one comes out in August - so it should be a nice end-of-summer treat.
I know, I know - totally predictable. But what book lover has NOT ordered this one? I must admit, after the reports in the news that Harper Lee never meant for this manuscript to be released, I hesitated. Is the release of Go Set a Watchman an example of elder abuse and unadulterated greed? I am still struggling with this question. If Lee truly wanted this manuscript published, one would think that it would have been published long ago - right? Hmmm - I don't know. She was so famously reclusive, perhaps she did want it published but didn't want the hoop-la that would have inevitably come with it? I don't know, I really don't. What I do know is that To Kill a Mockingbird is an American classic, required reading in my house. I am so curious to see who Scout grew up to be and what Atticus is like in his golden years. Will there be any surprises? Will the unrest and shifting cultural norms of the 1960s change these beloved characters? If so, how will readers respond? We will have all of our answers on July 14th.....
I am going to be very honest with you guys about this one - normally, it wouldn't even be on my radar. I am not interested in the sport of rowing - sorry Fifi - and I am not particularly interested in this period in time. HOWEVER, it made the list because so many of YOU have suggested it to ME! So it is in the beach bag, waiting to be read. So many of you cannot be wrong - so I'll give it a try!
So, you might remember my review of Jenny Lawson's first book: Let's Pretend this Never Happened. I read it on the beach at Gull Pond in Cape Cod and I laughed SO much that I cried. I was afraid that the pond regulars wouldn't let me back the next day. I was laughing like a wild hyena - she is SO SO funny, it is IMPOSSIBLE not to laugh! Many of you know Lawson from her hysterical blog: The Blogess. Her most popular post is a classic - it is about the day she bought a GIGANTIC metal chicken, named her Beyonce and brought her home as a gift to her ever-suffering husband, Victor. I am laughing as I type. In Furiously Happy, Lawson once again delves into her crazy life...but this time with a bit more emphasis on the "crazy". Despite her incredible sense of humor, there is serious, serious stuff that Lawson deals with on a daily basis - namely bipolar depression. Lawson talks about taking your everyday ordinary - even if it is tinged with a bit of bipolar depression- and making it extraordinary. Because after all - we've all got something. Isn't that awesome???
This one also comes from a recommendation from a few of you. It is set in World War II and is about 2 sisters who make very different choices while the world is at war. This one is about the impossible choices so many women had to make during the war and how those choices affected who they became and who and how they chose to love.
This is actually the next one I am reading. I met one of the authors - Dr. Juli Dixon - a few weeks ago. This is the story of a parent's worst nightmare. Juli's daughter got sick one day, like all of our kids do. But she didn't get better - she got worse...and worse and worse. And just as things looked like they couldn't get much worse - they did. Juli's daughter had a stroke that left her with serious brain damage. For many of us, that might be the end of our story. But for Juli and her family, it was just the beginning of theirs. This is the story of how a family took a nightmare and turned it around into a happy ending. Juli is a super-cool lady and I am truly looking forward to reading this one. It is available on amazon.com.
As if that is not enough....here are a few more that are on my list.....

Will I read them all by Labor Day? Who knows? But I know that I will enjoy the effort!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Summer Reading 2015

Summer is here my friends! (Well, almost here. Busy Momma has 19 more days of school lunches to make and then...well, I guess I'll be making pool lunches!) Memorial Day has come and gone, we can wear our white jeans and our sandals. And you know what that mean for Busy Momma - Summer Reading! It is time to get our read-on Peeps!This is my FAVORITE post of the year. It represents everything I love about summer - a relaxed schedule, time spent outdoors, getting lost in a good story....a vacation from the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. This year, I am splitting the post in half. Today's post focuses on the books I've read this year that I KNOW will make excellent summer reading for anyone who loves to read. The next post is based on MY summer reading list. Basically it's a list of the books burning a hole in my Kindle, just demanding to be read! So - without any further ado....Busy Momma suggests:
As I have already written about this one, I will be brief. Read it. Seriously. It is that good. It is a murder mystery that will keep you up late at night, turning the pages to see if your theory is right! The main character is a woman who travels to work via commuter train. Her train slows everyday while passing the home of a young, beautiful, upwardly mobile couple. Our heroine begins making up little stories about this couple - she gives them names, jobs, personality traits and creates little stories about them to pass her time on the train.When the reality of what she begins to see doesn't match the perfect scenarios she creates in her head, things get interesting. Someone dies and we spend the entire novel trying to figure out who done it and WHY? I LOVED this book and I am making it my #1 suggestion for this summer.  
If you like a little history and a little supernatural mixed in with a good mystery - you have found your series. The Tradd Street Mysteries by Karen White are terrific. Karen White writes about historical homes in Charleston, North Carolina, and the people who inhabit and inhabited them. White is one of those authors who can take a setting - like the majestic Charleston, NC- and make the city itself a character in her books.Her main character, Melanie Middleton, is a smart, sassy, highly-organized high-end real estate agent. She specializes in historical homes and is always number 1 at whatever she decides to do. But Mellie has a secret....not only can she see the value in historic houses, she can also see, hear and interact with their previous owners...even the ones who owned the homes hundreds of years ago! Throughout the four books in the Tradd Street series, we get to know Melanie and the eccentric cast of characters that round out her life. I read all 4 mysteries back-to-back and honestly couldn't put them down. I am really hoping that White continues writing about Melanie and the gang because I would love to know what happens to them all next!
If you, like me, are one of the only people who has not yet read this book or seen this movie, shame on you! Just kidding. When Julianne Moore won the Oscar for her portrayal of the title character in this amazing novel, I decided to read it before I saw it. And I am so glad that I did! This is one of the best books I have ever read. In Still Alice, Lisa Genova paints an incredibly vivid and realistic picture of the ravages of Alzheimer's Disease. Alice is a celebrated professor of linguistics at Harvard who is stricken with early-onset Alzheimer's around her 50th birthday. While not the "feel good" novel of the summer, it is unforgettable. Genova's ability to capture Alice's descent into this unforgiving and brutal disease is truly remarkable. 
I'm nothing if not loyal....so when I finished Still Alice, I noticed that Genova had just published another novel - Inside the O'Briens. This one is reminiscent of Still Alice, as it takes us inside of another brutal disease - Huntington's disease. Again, while not the feel good novel of the summer, the author's ability to capture the ravages of a degenerative disease while documenting how her characters live with these death sentences is brilliant. You do not leave these families feeling depressed. You leave them feeling a little triumphant, because while you know the ultimate outcome for these characters, you also know that the characters have ultimately defeated their diseases by the way they lived with them, not by how they will die from them.
If you have been following my blog and reading these posts you know that I love anything written by Elin Hilderbrand. Winter Street is Elin's newest book and is the first in a trilogy about The Winter Street Inn and the family who owns it. The Winter Street Inn is a beloved B&B on Nantucket, owned by a former Wall Street big-wig Kelly Quinn and his eccentric wife, Mitzy. Hilderbrand weaves a story around Kelly, his four grown children and his ex-wife who happens to be one of the most beloved and well-respected television journalists in the country. I will warn you that the book ends with a cliffhanger that will leave you on the edge of your seat, begging for more! The sequel should be out by November 2015 - so if you get hooked, you won't have to wait too long!
Ok - confession time - I am not finished with this one! But I am about halfway through and I am loving it, so I feel confident putting this one on the list. I think this one was on last year's list, but I just got around to it. If you are a Picoult fan you've probably already read this one, but if not - pick it up. The main character is Jenna Metcalf, a 13 year-old girl searching for the mother who "abandoned" her 10 years ago. The mother, Alice Metcalf, was a prominent elephant researcher who along with her husband lived on and worked on an elephant preserve in New Hampshire. Alice disappeared after a tragic and mysterious accident on the elephant preserve and Jenna just doesn't believe that her mother would voluntarily leave her. She enlists the help of a washed-out tv psychic and a battered and broken ex-detective to help prove her theory and find her mother. 
And finally - Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen is an absolute delight. If you liked the movie Practical Magic with Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock, pick this one up and tuck it in the pool bag. In Garden Spells, Allen introduces us to the Waverly family and their "special" garden. The Waverly women have long been famous in their Bascom, North Carolina town for their "eccentricities" and "gifts". They are witches! Clare Waverly is an extremely successful caterer who seems to be able to match flowers and herbs from her garden with her clients' needs and desires. When her rebellious sister returns home with a daughter of her own, Clare's carefully constructed life is turned upside down! While not a finalist for the Pulitzer, this is a lovely, easy read perfect for the pool, the lake or the beach. I can't wait to start the sequel: First Frost.
Ok - that's it for today my friends. The next post will focus on the books in MY pool bag for the summer of 2015......

Friday, May 22, 2015

Glass Houses

Oh yes - we're going there this morning. This guy - Josh Duggar - sex offender, pervert, hypocrite - is in the news today. The oldest Duggar - you know - those super-syrupy sweet conservative people with 19 Kids...and Counting? 
You know - these circus freaks? 
Well, by now, we've all heard the SHOCKING news - oldest son Josh has admitted to MOLESTING young girls - including some of HIS SISTERS and other girls. The family has come out and made very well crafted statements, no doubt written by PR heavyweights paid for by TLC. Josh has resigned from his position as Executive Director of  The Family Research Council. 

I use the word "shocking" in the previous paragraph in a satirical and ironic context. How many of these GUYS - you know the ones that I am referring to - the ones who use their "religion" to spew hate and justify discrimination against non-traditional families and the LGBT community- have been caught with their pants down? Many of them LITERALLY with their pants down around their ankles in airport or bus station bathrooms engaging in the type of sexual behavior that they have been condemning in the media. 

WHY WHY WHY??????  Members of the Family Research Council and Josh Duggar have gone on the record saying that LGBT people are a "danger" to children. A "DANGER TO CHILDREN". That is rich coming from a closeted child molester . What kind of psychosis convinces a man who MOLESTED HIS OWN SISTERS that he is morally superior to others? That he has a right to condemn other people for their sexual preferences or lifestyle choices? What convinces this person's PARENTS that putting their ridiculously controversial family on TELEVISION is a GOOD IDEA? Maybe if it was a show devoted to the rehabilitation of sexual predators I could see their logic. But their show is about how wonderful and good and wholesome their lifestyle is. WTF???

I am so angry about this. The sheer hypocrisy is infuriating. I don't blame the parents for the child's behavior, I really don't. But I question their judgement when it comes to putting themselves on television to be held up as some sort of moral bar or standard that the rest of American families should strive to meet. The real monster in this story is Chester the Molester himself. Not like the actual molestation isn't appalling enough.
It is. But what is almost just as appalling is this guys belief that he is somehow MORALLY superior to others and has a right to pass judgement on people who do not believe in his conservative beliefs. What kind of psycho stands up in front of people, makes a CAREER out of discrimination and judging others, KNOWING that the skeleton in his closet is FAR scarier than the implications of same sex marriage. 

I need to stop writing about this now - it is making my head hurt. I am so angry. I have never liked the Duggars. I do not agree with their philosophy on child bearing and child rearing. I do not ascribe to their moral beliefs and values. And honestly, I find them all super annoying and fake. But I've always felt that they have a right to live their beliefs, to talk about them and as long as their lifestyle doesn't hurt anyone else - rock on.  Josh Duggar's life is ruined. His wife's life is ruined. His kids will always live with the stigma that their dad is a child molester. Whether he has ruined the money machine that is "19 Kids and Counting" remains to be seen. No good ever comes out of these situations. 

But maybe, just maybe, one person who is watching this ship sink might stop and think before he or she spews some hate. Maybe one person will stop and think about the glass house he or she is living in before they pick up that stone. And if that happens, I guess Josh Duggar HAS done something good for the order.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ribgate 2015

Hi Peeps. So, Busy Momma has a problem...well, that's kind of an understatement. She has lots and lots of problems...but the most pressing issue is that Busy Momma is broken. And I don't mean that in a cool, deep, dark and twisty broken on the inside kind of way. I mean broken - as in LITERALLY broken - like I have broken pieces and parts.  Seriously. I keep injuring myself. And I wish I could say something cool about these injuries, like: "Yeah, I took a tumble while I was training for the Iron Man I'm doing in June." Or, even something like: "That zombie was much faster than I thought a zombie could be! Thank God I outran him, even if I did break my ankle getting away from him." But I can't. I can't say anything cool about my injuries because I am in no way athletic at all. (And Zombies don't exist.) Hence, my injuries would NEVER be caused by anything remotely resembling an athletic event or an escape from a zombie apocalypse.

 My latest injury is a broken rib - which I sustained yesterday at work. A broken rib hurts like a BIOTCH by the way. I suggest avoiding breaking ribs at all costs.
 The cause, you ask? How on EARTH could busy Momma break a rib at work, you wonder? Isn't she a sales rep for a book company? Is she really a super hero at night? Book Girl to the rescue?

Nope, Sorry.

Is she using the whole Sales Rep thing as a cover for her actual job as an operative for the CIA?

Um - no, not so much.

Nope - nothing exciting like that my peeps. No, the cause of yesterday's disaster was much more mundane. My shoes and a rock came together to create what I am calling: 

Ribgate 2015. 
That's right - these beauties betrayed me. Yes, they might be beautiful. They might lift the fanny and elongate the leg, but they are no match for a small rock encountered in a crumbling parking lot. Once these bad girls step on a rock, they will turn your ankle like a doorknob. They will allow you to fall, ungracefully to the ground - in front of your boss- like a drunken frat girl. They will allow you to attempt to break your fall by flailing your arms out in front of you while you tumble onto your side and BREAK YOUR OWN RIB WITH YOUR ELBOW.

Oh yes, in attempting to save myself and shield my face - my moneymaker - from any and all injury - I broke my own freaking rib. And to make matters WORSE - I broke the rib DIRECTLY under my boob, so it feels like I broke my boob. Seriously - a broken boob. How sad is that? 

I wasn't going to get it XRayed, but my physical therapist told me that I had to.

Caught that, did ya?

 Physical therapist? Oh yes - I am in PT right now for Achilles Tendinitis. Another incredibly painful condition that I highly suggest avoiding at all costs. How did I manage to do that? Would you laugh if I told you it was another shoe related injury?
Yes, they are gorgeous. No support - but beauties none the less. But once again, these beauties are a bitch. They provide about as much support as a training bra and when you are pounding the pavement trying to sell a few books, you might want to wear something a bit sturdier.

Thanks to Therese, my life saving physical therapist, I did go and get an XRay. I trust her, as I've known her for YEARS. She's treated my hip for bursitis, a stress fracture or 3 oh and a labral tear. And she cured my Achillis Tendinitis last summer. 

I can't seem to stop breaking myself. My friends and family are frightened to do fun things with me. Seriously. No one will go horseback riding or inner tubing with me for fear of what part I will break. They need to think about issues like: how far away from civilization will we be if we take her with us? How many of us will be needed to carry her out of the woods and back to the car? Is there any scenario that we can think of where she might bleed out? Has anyone in history ever been known to break their lady parts?  Do we need to have a drill where we practice various rescue scenarios before we actually go somewhere with her?

I'm not kidding. I am beginning to feel like I need to wear bubble wrap...but then again....

Be careful out there my peeps!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

2 Books for your Snowy Enjoyment

OK, I enjoy a nice snow day as much as the next gal...but this is getting ridiculous. I can't remember the last time my kids had a complete, uninterrupted week of school. This winter we've baked cookies, brownies, cupcakes. We've made new recipe after new recipe. We've gained at least 5 pounds per person over here. We've become pro snow boarders - you'd think we lived in Colorado or Utah. And guess what - it's not even 8pm and we are ALREADY closed tomorrow!!! Dear Lord, help me.

So, what's a girl to do when she's not baking, cooking or cleaning on a snow day? Well, the only thing you can do is curl up with a nice cup of tea and a wonderful book. And do I have book for you! I have 2 books for you actually. 2 wonderful books that will keep you up late into the night, turning the pages, reading with a flashlight under the covers! That being said - I realize that everyone (except yours truly) is trying to write the next "Gone Girl". These 2 authors are not exceptions to that rule. However, it's been a long time since I've read a book that I have enjoyed more than these two.

Now, I must admit, the first thing that attracted me to this book was the author's last name. Anything written by a Lane girl is guaranteed to be great. And this one did not disappoint. We selected "Her"
by Harriet Lane as our March book club book. It is a story told from the perspectives of two very different women. One is an elegant, successful artist and mother to a teenage girl. The other is a flustered new mom in the throws of all that mothering 2 children under the age of 3 or 4 involves. As the story unfolds, we realize that one of these women knows the other. Interestingly, the other woman doesn't recognize her. As we go deeper and deeper into these women's lives, we begin to question their motives, their stories and ultimately, their endgames. I hesitate to say anything else about this one because the author keeps you guessing right until the very end. And I mean that quite literally. If you are looking for a page turner that you won't soon forget - pick this one up.

OH MY GOSH - this one was FANTASTIC. I actually started this one on the train this past Monday afternoon. Because what's better than being a girl on the train reading "The Girl on the Train"? (Maybe being a girl on a train drinking a glass of wine while reading...) I have a feeling that this one will make my top 10 of 2015 list - I know, it's a pretty bold call, it is only March, but this one will be hard to beat. This is another one told from the perspectives of a few different characters. By the end of the very first page, one of them is murdered. The reader spends the rest of the book furiously turning pages trying to figure out which character dies, who kills her and why someone would want her dead. Once again, the main characters are women who are as different as night and day....or are they? This is one of those stories where no one is really who they seem to be at first. Paula Hawkins has a wonderful way of drawing you into the lives of these complex, multi-dimensional characters. None of the characters are 100% good or 100% evil. (Well, OK, one of them is pretty bad!) You can't help but feel bad for the alcoholic ex-wife who stalks her ex-husband's new wife. You can't bring yourself to hate the temptress who cheated with the alcoholic's husband and stole him away. And you can't believe that life is all that perfect for the perfect couple you see from the train. I will admit, I had this one figured out well before the end. However, I still enjoyed unraveling this complex mystery. "The Girl on the Train" is one of those rare books that you can't wait to finish so that you can resolve your burning questions, but when you DO finish it you are sad beyond measure because you KNOW that you won't be able to find another book as great as this one! 

Well - that's it Peeps. I hope you enjoy these 2 books if you decide to read them. Let me know what you think!

Friday, February 27, 2015

I Need a SERIOUS Pin-ter-vention!

Ahhh - Pinterest. It's my new favorite website, my new favorite thing, my new favorite obsession. And by obsession - I mean, total, crazy, insane, time-consuming, mind-numbing addiction.

For those of you who have been living under a rock, Pinterest is a website that allows you to "pin" various images that appeal to you on a virtual bulletin board. Each image usually links to a blog post or a recipe or a retail site. Now, don't get me wrong - PINTEREST is a great tool. There are great recipes and other types of information that is really useful on the site. We have tried many of the recipes and for the most part, they've all been great. There is information on every and anything you'd ever want on Pinterest - diet and excercise tips, pet health and wellness tips, funny quotes, funny pictures, home decorating suggestions and advice, fashion advice, makeup and hair pages,organizing advice, parenting advice, bookclub suggestions, educational suggestions, teaching tools....you name it - it's there. And that's the problem....there is SO much available to look at, you will never get bored. And there is always something new to see, explore and investigate. 

My addiction started out innocently enough. I initially visited the site to check out some educational ideas. I used many of the ideas I saw with teachers I was working with. So I started by creating a board called: 
And then I noticed that there were some great recipes on this site, so I created a few more boards:
Nothing crazy - right? 
But then, I started exploring and I found all sorts of images and information. I found pictures of awesome, blinged out, customized soccer and baseball mom tee shirts! So I created a few new boards:
And then, I started finding all of these beautiful pictures of Jacquie Kennedy - well, I couldn't just let them disappear into the ether.. so...
I know..I know. This is where it started to get serious - the addiction started to gain control. 
I created a board for my beach house...you know - the one I don't have.
Then, I realized that a beach house board was ridiculous since I don't have a beach house. So, I created another board to remedy the issue:
Yep - this is when I admitted that I had a problem. Because that's the first step in recovery - right?
I don't even know what prompted me to create a "Smarticles" board. Or a "Pretty Little Things" board that is entirely made up of images of peonies. Pink peonies. That's it. Pink Peonies. No shit.
I have boards that have crafty projects and home projects that I really want to get around to. At the rate I am pinning these pottery, wreath, painting, home redecorating, knitting, sewing and yard projects, I will have enough to keep me busy until 2099. Seriously. 

I have at least 4 boards dedicated to "Healthy Me", "Exercise", "-60 Motivation" and "Wellness". I have a board dedicated to Bella, gifts for Bella, Bella's birthday parties, even - and I am ashamed to admit this - ideas for Bella's hair. I have an entire board dedicated to nail art. I have another one devoted to cakes! And I don't even BAKE CAKES! 

I need a serious intervention. I need Dr. Phil! I need to hear his concerns and admit that I have a problem. Then, I need Dr. Phil to tell me that he is willing to help me if I am willing to get help. I need him to send me to a rehab center somewhere remote - somewhere with no wifi signal, no internet. I need to detox. Maybe a luxury resort in the woods, or a beachfront mansion where I can reconnect with nature. I need to get back in touch with the simple things in life. I need to have huge blocks of time WITHOUT technology. I need hours and hours and hours with unlimited crafting supplies so that I can create something REAL. What will I create, you ask? GREAT question, let me check a few of my Pinterest boards....