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Are your kids reading this summer?

In the midst of math-mania (we are now on either Day 3 or Day 4 of the Summer Math Torture, depending on whether or not you count the day Chickadee was locked out of the system, and I am thinking about chewing off my own leg to escape, but Chickie seems to be holding up pretty well), we are still trying to hold to our general philosophy of summer being the perfect time to devour all of the books you didn’t have time to read during the school year. (This is partially to counteract Monkey’s philosophy that summer is the perfect time to buy yourself a Zelda game for the Wii and play it for five hours straight before your mother notices you’re still in your pajamas mid-afternoon and glued to the television. Whoops.)

Anyway. What were we talking about? Oh, right! Books! I wrote a piece for Alpha Mom about the books my teens recommend for summer reading, and if you have similarly-inclined kids you may find their picks interesting. Or maybe you have some recommendation to add, which would be cool, too.

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Inspiring things

I’m not here right now. Rather, I’m here, but I’m hiding. I am not being my best self right now, and as such I am looking for inspiration elsewhere on how people do the right thing even when, maybe, life is not feeling so right.

Do you know what I mean? If you do (or even if you don’t), here’s three places to go today that I promise will up your good karma:

1) Please visit this post at BlogHer to painlessly donate a book to a child in need. Your comment = a book for a kid. It’s that simple. (Bonus points: You blog about it, that’s another book, too.)

2) I couldn’t be more excited about my friend Karen Walrond’s impending book than if I’d written it myself, and the video she posted today made me wish I could always see what she sees. Go watch it.

3) I don’t know this woman (in fact, never read her blog before today), but this post makes me want to be a better person.

Maybe tomorrow I WILL be a better person. I hope so.

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Compliments, and a contest

I usually save the contests for that other little blog o’ mine, but today I’m going to do one here. Just because. It’s at the end of this post. OH, THE SUSPENSE! Don’t hurt yourself!

It has long been our dinner tradition to go around the table and have each family member share the best and worst parts of his or her day. It’s not only a nice way to reconnect after the hubbub of daily life, but it provides a much-needed break from telling the kids to stop bickering or exhorting them to actually eat some of their food. Of course, some days it’s easier than others to come up with something to share. Occasionally a child will say “THE BEST PART OF MY DAY WAS” and then list off ten different things. This doesn’t quite conform to the rules and the standard definition of “best,” but I like it. Other times a child will say “THE WORST PART OF MY DAY WAS” and then list off ten different things, and then everyone cries. It’s an adventure, is my point.

Recently we’ve started a new game. We go around the table and pay each other compliments. (more…)

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Reading once, reading twice. . .

… Reading books is very nice. (You’re welcome for sticking this in your head. No need to thank me.)

I would love to tell you something really meaningful and life-changing, tonight, but I’ve got nothing. Well, I have a bunch of laundry that needs to be put away, and NO COOKIES, and a couple of children who probably need a shower, and some parakeets that don’t belong to me (oh, don’t even ask), but nothing worth going on about.

Instead, allow me to revel in my geeky bookworm ways and refer you to other places where I had something to say, earlier… before I realized I was out of cookies.

If you go read me over at Maya’s Mom (a new parenting website with all kinds of good stuff, by the way; check it out) you can learn about some of my favorite books to share with my kids. (This piece is the third in a series I’m writing weekly for Maya’s Mom on all things kiddie lit.)

And if you go read me over at Ty’s you can enter your name in a drawing for free books that are guaranteed to please either your actual children or your inner 10-year-old boy. You don’t have to tell me which one.

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Blog Book Tour: Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook

Lookie here, it’s another blog book tour, except this one is all INTERACTIVE and stuff. I was sent a copy of Georgeanne Brennan and Frankie Frankeny’s Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook to check out, and I fully intended to read it cover to cover, try a multitude of the recipes, and bust into this review thing ready to assure you that I’d gone to the ends of the… errrr… pages… to really assess this thing right.

I forgot that life likes to laugh at me when I intend to do something that organized. Whoops. But! I still feel qualified to review the book, because let’s be honest: If you’re the sort of person who’s intrigued by a book of recipes based upon Dr. Seuss stories, what are the chances of YOU being any less frazzled than ME? Slim to none, says I.

Just consider this your Real Mom review. I even put my sweatpants on. That’s dedication! (more…)

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Blog Book Tour: We Are All Fine Here

We’ve arrived again at that point in our program where I wave around I book I read and say “Look! I read this!” This month’s Blog Book Tour is for Mary Guterson’s We Are All Fine Here. I probably should’ve realized what I was in for when I noticed this cover blurb (from Amy Tan): “A real winner… full of naked truth.” (more…)

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Blog Book Tour: Mama Lama Ding Dong

When Ayun Halliday emailed me to ask if I might be interested in reading and reviewing the U.K. release of The Big Rumpus, renamed Mama Lama Ding Dong, I—like the gigantic dork that I am—mailed back “Ayun? Ayun Halliday? *pinching self*”

Despite this auspicious beginning to our correspondence, I was booked for the blog tour. (And even if you aren’t interested in the book, go to the end for some bonus material from Ayun.)

My shiny copy of Mama Lama Ding Dong arrived and I plowed through it, aware both of my preexisting admiration for Ayun’s writing and also of some random past comment that had stuck with me; something about how Ayun’s work is fine if you’re “of the bohemian persuasion” or somesuch. (Credible source? No. Just pointing out that this comment was lodged in a distant nook of my brain.) Being not terribly Bohemian, myself, I was curious to see if that mattered. (more…)

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Blog Book Tour: The Ghost in the House

When I signed up to be part of the Mother Talk book tour, I was excited. I love reading books. I love reviewing books. I couldn’t imagine this undertaking being anything other than a bookworm-y good time where I got to metaphorically lounge in a bathtub full of novels.

Sometimes, I’m not very bright.

This month’s tour is for The Ghost in the House: Motherhood, Raising Children, and Struggling with Depression by Tracy Thompson. I cannot think of another book that has been so difficult for me to read. I cannot think of another book that has been so important for me to read.

I cannot think of another book that is so vital for every mother who has ever struggled with depression to read. (more…)

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Does this book make my butt look big?

I caught Chickadee in a lie this evening; I gave her two more chances to recant–neither of which she took–and then when I revealed that I had evidence to the contrary, she dissolved into tears and demanded to know why I hate her. Having come to this interaction fresh out of trying to make her brother try on his Easter clothes (“Take your pants off and try these on. Take your pants off. TAKE YOUR PANTS OFF! Monkey, please PUT YOUR UNDERWEAR BACK ON.”), I did the logical thing.

I announced that as soon as they were in bed, I would be phoning the Easter Bunny to tell him to skip our house.

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Joss, please don’t kill me

I could write about the sun being out or the errands I ran yesterday or all the things I need to do today or the fact that Monkey is now suffering from my headache-and-fever malady of last weekend or that I have LESS! THAN! ONE! WEEK! to finish up things for Chickadee’s birthday party. (Remember the capes from Monkey’s birthday? Because I am incapable of learning from my mistakes, we’re making aprons for Chickadee’s party! Yes!) (Shut UP.)

But, no. We’ll not be talking about any of that, right now. Instead we’ll be talking about HOW FREAKING COOL it is that Joshilyn‘s pretty, pretty book arrived in the mail yesterday.

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