Yes, Frank Bruni of the NYT, Parenting Is Confusing

These days, I don't usually even pay attention to the "baffled hymns" of those who don't have children. They're all basically trying to tell parents what they're doing wrong (not the childless, the "hymns" in question), they're all condescending as hell, and they're all totally off-base. But this. This is the New York Times. I mean, really? Really?...more
hehe at flaccid.   I was definitely one of those judgmental childless people before I had kids, ... more

I Judged a Dad on His iPhone

I need to admit something: I judged someone this past week. I judged a dad. I judged him hard. My family was having lunch after church. (I am aware how that point makes this story rather hypocritical, ironic and cliche, all at once.) A dad sat down with his son. A few minutes into their meal, the son was saying, "Dad! Dad! Dad! Hey dad!" I looked over, and you know it, dad was buried in his smartphone. I thought of the recent onslaught of "dear mom on the iPhone" posts and thought to myself, "Well, maybe they have a point. Here's a dad! Not connecting with the cute child right in front of him! COME ON, PEOPLE!" ...more
well said. i do like how you acknowledge that sometimes we do need to put down the Smartphone ... more

I Just Want to Be Alone: Confessions of an Introverted Mom

I love my husband and daughter dearly, but sometimes the sights and sounds of them make me want to scream. I realized why yesterday: I am an introvert often forced to live as an extrovert. Sure, I can be a chatty Cathy with the best of them and even people who know me well would probably classify me as outgoing, but when push comes to shove, I’d rather curl up with a good book than do anything else in the world. So the other day, as I felt the weekend slipping through my fingertips and I began thinking of the busy week ahead, my irritation started brewing....more
YES!!  We are two introvert parents with an infant and a chatty 3yo so it's pretty rough ... more

Beautiful Catastrophe: The Death and Rebirth of Becoming a Mother

So I was hanging out the other day with a friend who has a newborn. A freaking gorgeous newborn boy, to be exact. He is her first baby. She has recently become a mother. You know, when we hear those words we hear them like it’s no big deal -- “become a mother,” like you might “become a doctor” or “become a pet owner.” As if it’s just this thing that happens, without anything else happening -- it’s just this exciting addition to one’s life. You add this new thing and go about your business. Like a new-home owner, or a resident of a new town....more
I *definitely* agree with this, but as someone with a VERY involved husband, I think it's also ... more

The Redemptive Power of Song

We've discussed how music plays a big role in Alex George's A Good American when we talked about how he described Jette's life as an opera. It's more than that the family just liked music, it was woven into the fabric of their lives. It was what they used to learn about themselves and about life. ...more
@teresasreading  Oh me too, totally!!  I love my old cheesy 80s metal! more

Is Your Life an Opera?

In Alex George's A Good American music is important to the lives of the characters and is integral to the plot. Jette and Frederick meet when he serenades her in a park. They find help in New Orleans from someone that Frederick met through music. This same man will come back into their lives and greatly impact their future. Frederick and Jette's sons and grandsons are all singers....more
@@mvemother ooh, I love this.  The complexity of that song perfectly describes what real life is ... more

Do We Ever Really Leave High School?

Lissy Ryder, the main character in Jen Lancaster's new novel, Here I Go Again, never really left high school. She hit her peak during those four years and stopped growing and reaching. When she discovered there is life after high school it was a complete and total shock. While we may not all be like Lissy, I still see references every week online to things being just like high school....more
I think this definitely depends on how good an experience someone had in high school.  I hated ... more

Gastronomic Mosaics & Culinary Road Maps

Food quickly becomes important to the story in Alex George's A Good American. Before the Meisenheimers ever open the restaurant, Jette finds herself homesick. She turns to the meals she ate in her homeland for comfort. She didn't have recipes passed down from her mother or even a cookbook to turn to. Through a process of trial and error, she made her way through the food in memories until they existed on her table. ...more
My mom is an excellent cook, and her specialty is South Indian food, stuff you never get in ... more

Who Do You Want To Be?

When we first met Lissy Ryder in Jen Lancaster's novel Here I Go Again, she didn't know who she wanted to be. She was still focused on who she had been. Her high school days has been her glory days, so why should she want to be any different than she was in her teens? During the course of the novel she learns that if you stay who you were, you'll never become who you are supposed to be....more
In high school, I wanted to fit in, to be more popular, to not be the "nerd/geek/smart one".  In ... more

Would You Like To Go Back In Time?

In Jen Lancaster's new novel, Here I Go Again, Lissy Ryder is given a potion that can help her right all her wrongs. Being the person she is, Lissy doesn't approach it cautiously. No, she throws it back like it's an espresso shot. When she wakes up and realizes she's back in the past -- back in high school -- she's elated. That would not be my reaction. ...more
I'm a practical person so I haven't spent much time thinking about whether I'd want to time ... more