Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my mom’s birthday and so I am dedicating my blog post to her—Happy Birthday, Mom!!

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I love my mom with all my heart, and I credit her with being one of my most productive muses. In fact, she inspired the mother character in my debut novel, Just Friends with Benefits. Little things my mother says/does always appear in my writing. I think my mother has a love/hate reaction to seeing “mommyisms” in my writing—she is both flattered and embarrassed.

Despite the obvious affection we share, my mother and I argue pretty frequently. She likes to harp on certain aspects of my life (*cough* my love life) and sometimes, particularly when I’m not happy about it, she stresses me out. I don’t like to confide anything until there is something significant to share. At the same time, I like to assure her that I’m not sitting at home waiting for Mr. Right to knock on my door so that she doesn’t worry about me being a hermit, a spinster, etc. We both lack the patience gene and get frustrated pretty easily. It’s not pretty…

My mother is an avid reader of my blog and while I believe she‘s always hopeful that I will share something personal (*cough* my love life), I know that she’s genuinely interested in all aspects of my life, including my friends, my day job, and my writing.

Although we bicker often and are both aware that time spent together should probably be limited to 48 hour intervals at a time, we have shared many good times together. These are some of my most cherished memories with my mom:

Christmas day – My birthday is December 23rd and since I was raised Jewish, my family typically does not celebrate Christmas. Almost every year since I’ve been out of college, my mother and I have spent either Christmas or Christmas Eve together. We see a movie and then we go out to dinner. Among the movies we’ve seen are The Wolf of Wall Street, Up in the Air, The Pursuit of Happiness, Young Adult and Schindler’s List. Although there have been years that I was away during the Christmas holiday and years we’ve been joined by a third person, those years are few and far between. The tradition is really ours and I love having my mother all to myself.

Day trip to the beach – My mother loves the beach and another tradition we share is reserving a day in the summer to drive to the beach in Long Branch, New Jersey. We leave the house by 9am, arrive at the beach by 11am and stay until at least 5pm. The snack bar at Long Branch makes the best hot dogs ever and I think we look forward to that as much as the beach. Parking is never fun, mostly because I have to carry both of our beach chairs. I’m sure my mom remembers the bitchy woman who purposely took forever packing up her car because she knew we were waiting for her spot. And I know she recalls the year after I graduated college when we passed Monmouth University and I started crying when it hit me that I wouldn’t be going back to my own college, Suny Albany, anymore.

Shopping – there is no one I enjoy shopping with more than my mother. She has impeccable taste and she’s always honest with me about what is flattering and what is not. Growing up, I would lose sleep in excitement the night before a planned shopping spree with my mom. To this day, I entrust my mom more than anyone else to help me choose dresses for important occasions and I’m never quite certain if something works until my mom gives her okay.

Amusement parks – One of my proudest moments of being my mother’s daughter was the day we went to Six Flags Great Adventure. While my sister and I bit our nails in anxiety while waiting in line for the rollercoasters, my mother was fearless. It was pretty awesome.

In sickness and in health – I don’t like being sick but when I’m under the weather, I always want my mom to nurse me back to health by making me her famous “orange aid” with a maraschino cherry. This was a tough winter for me health wise—I was five minutes away from a flu at all times. My mother escorted me to Urgent Care and she also made me several helpings of orange aid and Matzo Ball Soup. There is nothing like feeling under the weather to turn a grown woman into a mama’s girl.

Broadway – Since my mother’s birthday is so close to Mother’s Day, my combined gift to her is always a mother/daughter outing to a Broadway show and dinner. We’ve seen The Producers, Fiddler on the Roof, 9 to 5, The Pajama Game, Mama Mia, Hairspray, La Cage Aux Folles, Billy Elliot and many others. This year, I bought us tickets to see Beautiful. Although it costs me a pretty penny and it seems the tallest guy in the audience is always seated directly in front of one of us, I love sharing the experience with my mother.

There are so many more wonderful memories where my mother is concerned and I look forward to creating more in the years to come.

Happy Birthday Susan Jane Goodman. I love you!

Isn't my mom cute?

Isn’t my mom cute?

Your Littlest “M”

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Welcome Kelly Perotti and Crib Notes Kelly to Celebration of Bloggers Tour

When Kelly Perotti contacted me through Goodreads and asked to review Just Friends with Benefits for her website, Crib Notes Kelly, I was flattered but confused.  Crib Notes Kelly, a blog inspired by Kelly’s book, Crib Notes, a candid look at conception, pregnancy, and parenthood,  is targeted predominantly to new mothers and mothers with young children, and I had no idea why a mommy blogger would want to review Just Friends with Benefits, a book about a woman trying to turn the “one who got away” into “the one.” I thought perhaps Kelly  was confused as to the plot of the book.  She wasn’t.  She explained that while her blog was, in fact, targeted to new moms, these moms probably enjoyed reading as well and an endorsement from her might help me reach more readers.  It made perfect sense.  Just because one is a mom doesn’t mean she doesn’t like to read good chick lit 🙂 Anyway, I sent the book to Kelly (who really enjoyed it by the way – woo hoo) and I also began following Crib Notes Kelly on Facebook and Twitter.  Even though I’m not a mother, even I have appreciated and learned things from her posts.  If you have young children at home or are expecting or just want to read some great book reviews, I highly recommend you check out Crib Notes Kelly.  And check out Crib Notes, a candid look at conception, pregnancy, and parenthood too!

Kelly’s post starts now:

Homegirl

I’m a stay-at-home mom. I’m a work-from-home girl. I’m home. A lot.

I am somewhat of a homebody, not liking to travel too far from home for too long of a time (unless someone wants to send me to Italy; I could get all sort of comfortable there), but being home all the livelong day starts to get to you after a while…

4:40am

H crying
B calling for Daddy (who left for work about 5 minutes ago)

5:00am
B finishing half a banana and a cup of water
H alternating fussing and tooting

5:30am
B in bed reading books
H now crying, wants to nurse for 3rd time since 9pm

5:40am
B, still in his diaper from overnight, yelling “PEE PEE!!” (guess I have to take him to the bathroom. After all, I started this potty training thing…)
H temporarily back in crib during pee pee run= not happy

6:00am
B in bed playing with Prayer Bear (AKA loudest stuffed animal ever to exist—thanks G.G.)
H finally settling for water, falling back asleep despite said Bear

6:15am 
“PEE PEE!!” (more came out—through the seat, onto the floor, my feet, and his pajama shorts)
B, having been up for an hour and a half, is bored of being in bed, now just yelling
H despite the noise, still asleep

6:30am
B in my bed, watching and singing to Elmo (thank God for Tivo)

7:00am
Elmo’s over B’s sliding off the bed “Down! O-me-al [oatmeal]!”
H talking, yelling in crib

7:05am
My eyes are rejecting my contacts Hit in face with poop smell as baby’s bedroom door is opened
B scaling crib rail to get in with H
H smiling (poop in diaper and on sheets)

7:15am
H crib, and changing table, changed
B peeing (apparently takes after me) Poop laundry started

7:45am
B finishing 2nd half of banana and 2 packs of oatmeal
H inhaling “gourmet” Banana Orange Medley and rice cereal (mmm, mmm) Sending my first work email of the day

8:00am
Little Einsteins coming on (aahhh) Stale cake for breakfast

Forecast:
Desired—Play nicely all morning, eat lunch, synchronize naps
Probable—Toys being thrown by mid-morning, too tired to eat lunch, alternating naps

So, although I am HOME a lot, you can see that ‘boredom’ is not on my radar. And with a pretty cool husband and great friends, I can’t say I’m lonely either. But I am chatty. Where better to release that crazy chatter than the internet?!

Blogging is not only a great outlet, but a great inlet as well.

It allows me to vent, help, ask, and share, but also allows me to listen, accept, answer, and learn. I can only hope that I do as much of the first, as I do of the second.

Kelly Perotti is the author of Crib Notes~ a candid look at conception, pregnancy, and parenthood, and writes at www.CribNotesKelly.com. She gained her insight and expertise during a nine month course called Pregnancy and continues on-the-job-training mothering two boys just eighteen months apart in age. Her juggling act of kids, self, marriage, and work is chronicled at www.CribNotesKelly.com. Your comments and communications are welcomed on Facebook and Twitter @CribNotesKelly, or at CribNotesBook@gmail.com.

Coming soon: Blogger Girl

What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out.

A chicklit enthusiast since the first time she read Bridget Jones’s Diary, Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm.

While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chicklit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads–and pages–across the land. It’s also popped into Kim’s inbox–for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.