Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Guest Spot: Vicki Glembocki, Author of The Second Nine Months...

I'm quite excited and honored to have Vicki Glembocki, author of The Second Nine Months, One woman tells the real truth about becoming a mom. Finally. , as the next Guest Spot on WITM.

What To REALLY Expect When You're Expecting

I used to be one of those women who’d hear a mom yell at her child in the middle of Target, and I’d think, Oh. My. God! Then I’d give my husband that, “Did you HEAR her?” look. If my husband wasn’t there, I’d try to catch eyes with another shopper and, when I did, I’d give the shopper the, “Did you HEAR her?” look. And I’d stand there for a minute, listening, deciding that if the mother said one more nasty thing to her child—just one more thing—I’d pull out my cell phone and dial 911.

This was before I was a mom.


And, because I wasn’t a mom yet, I also completely meant it when I promised myself, “When I’m a mom, I will never yell at my child when we’re in a public place.” I also meant it when I said, “When I’m a mom, I will never let my children watch TV.” And, “When I’m a mom, my children will not eat Happy Meals.” And, “When I’m a mom, I’ll never put a DVD player in the car for long trips and, instead, listen to Nancy Drew books-on-tape I borrowed from the library.”

Now that I am a mom, I can say this: Puleeeeease!

But that’s been the hardest part of motherhood for me—coming to terms with all of the wild expectations I had of what being a mom would be like. When I was pregnant with my first, people warned me about two things: that I’d be tired and that I wouldn’t have time to shower. So I expected to be a little sleepy and a little stinky, but staring at my baby all stoned on maternal bliss thinking that she was the best thing that ever happened to me and that my life was finally complete.

Um. Not quite.

And that’s exactly why I wrote my book, The Second Nine Months: One Woman Tells the REAL Truth About Becoming a Mom. Finally. Because transitioning into motherhood was so much harder than anyone ever said it would be. It was part identity crisis, part alone-on-a-deserted-island, part hell. I never, ever expected any of that. I also never evpected to feel totally alone and like I was the worst mom on earth. I wrote the book so other moms-to-be and new moms would KNOW what to really expect.

But, the funny thing is, I’m still at the crossroads of expectation and reality. Every day. Every time I wake up and say, “TODAY we will not watch Dora. TODAY we will finger paint. TODAY we will go to the Aquarium.” And then, before I know it, Dora’s on and I’m feeling like the crapiest mom on the planet. So, perhaps the only expectation moms should have is that they will always, and forever be questioning whether or not they’re good moms.

Like I did. Last week. When my daughter was running away from me. And I was yelling at her. At Target.


For more info on Vicki and her book, Visit her site

Check out the review of The Second Nine Months here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

MotherTalk: The Liar's Diary

The Liar's Diary
Patry Francis
Plume Books/Penguin
Paperback, 311 pages

I don't know how to write this without giving away anything!

Dark, haunting and compelling, The Liar's Diary is one of the best books I've read in a long time. It pulled me in and wouldn't let go till I finished. I was actually 'on the edge of my seat' with this one, eagerly turning pages in anticipation of 'what happened next'.

The first thing that struck me was the way it is written, its voice: It's very human. And, indeed, as you get deeper into the story, you see that theme present itself at every turn. The characters seemed believable, plot, events seemed plausible.

Seduction, secrets, lies: lies we tell ourselves, secrets we hold-the ways we seduce ourselves into thinking 'everything's alright.' All of this in the story plays out quite chillingly.

Patry Francis, an accomplished writer and poet, has delivered her debut novel superbly-so tightly woven, not a loose string anywhere. There are so many twists and turns, unexpected surprises, really a masterful storyteller. Go out, buy this book and read it. You will not be disappointed.


Visit her site

Be sure to look for more reviews at MotherTalk

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Books Added To My Library Recently (February)

The Second Nine Months: One woman tells the real truth about becoming a mom. Finally. , Vicki Glembocki

Dadditude: How A Real Man Became A Real Dad, Phillip Lerman (see guest post here)

The Liar's Diary, Patry Francis

The War Against Women, Marilyn French

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Reading Emotionally Healthy Twins, Joan A. Friedman

Emotionally Healthy Twins: A New Philosophy For Parenting Two Unique Children
Joan A. Friedman, Ph.D.
Da Capo/Lifelong Books (Feb. 11, 2008)
(Division of Perseus Book Group)
Paperback 245 pages

This book is a guide for parents of twins, taking them through the 'seven core parenting guidelines', focusing more on the psychological aspect of being parents to twins (and being a twin) rather than the physical. Friedman, mother of five (two of whom are twin boys), is also a twin herself and is a psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of twin-related issues. So, she's well versed on the subject of twins.

Friedman emphasizes the importance of identity, individuality, uniqueness and separateness for each twin throughout the entire book. In fact, she suggests it is these attributes that contribute to 'emotionally healthy twins'. It is written as if the author is talking directly to you, the mother (or father) of twins, giving a sense of one-on-one interaction-another concept presented along side the needs of identity, etc., indeed, addressing the reader as 'you'.

The author will council you through Two Unique Children, Mentally Preparing for Two Separate Babies, all the stages of growth: Babyhood all the way to Two Young Adults as well as discussing Fathers and Babies, Fathers and Mothers. At the end of each chapter, you'll find the Parents-of Twins Journal and Tips For Parents of Twins, focusing on whatever the subject of the particular chapter was. This is very reminiscent of Self-Help books, though, on the back of the book, the category is only listed as Parenting.

I totally agree on recognizing each twin as a separate, unique being. However, there were several things that turned me off about this book. She often makes reference to her own experience as a twin, as well as the mother to twins, that infer that's how everybody else should do it (more so her experience as the mother rather than the twin); it worked for her family, so why shouldn't it for yours?

In light of the intimate way it is written (the feel of one-on-one interaction), there also seems to be a hint of condescension towards the reader-an aspect, no matter who the author or what the subject, immediately turns me off.
Most of the women interviewed in this book are happily married, able to quit their job and I doubt any of them are on any kind of assistance. Could be wrong about that, but the way the book reads, I kind of doubt it. Where are the mothers of twins who are divorced, who are on assistance, who aren't able to quit their job(s)?

There are some great ideas in here, and it is an intriguing look into another way to think of twins. I just didn't agree with some of what she presented or how the book itself was presented.

Da Capo Press/Lifelong Books
Site for Emotionally Healthy Twins/Joan A. Friedman
Photo from DaCapo Books

Monday, February 18, 2008

Reading The Price of Racial Reconciliation

The Price of Racial Reconciliation
Ronald W. Walters
University of Michigan Press (March 2008)
Hardback, 249 pages

In The Price of Racial Reconciliation, Walters takes us seamlessly through the heavy subject of reparations and what it would take for racial reconciliation to actually happen in the United States by exploring what has happened in South Africa, and using that as a template for reparation movement in the U.S. .

Chapter two focuses on a brief, though in-depth, history of South Africa: how it became an Apartheid state, how racial oppression was commonplace in the Apartheid state and what consequences it wrought on the people-both Africans and white settlers. Also, different groups that developed through time, some extremely militant, some not so much.

Other subjects covered include: A Grand Narrative of Black American Oppression, Barriers to Truth and Reconciliation in America, The Persistence of Memory and The Globalization of African Reparations, among others.

There were plenty of thoughts that ran through my head while reading this.

Is the United States even close to considering reparations?

Also, the actual idea of reparations...How can you put a price to something like the question posed: "Who owes what for slavery?" The government doles out some money and an apology and it's supposed to erase the injustice (s) done in the past?
Walters attempts to go beyond that question, suggesting reparations are more than just money owed for the injustice. He also makes the point of 'money is money, especially if you are poor'.

It is interesting, the timing of publication for this book. 2008 being an election year in the United States and the issues this particular election is bringing up.

Some of what was discussed could easily be applied to women's history as well. You might think-what does racial oppression have to do with women? In his introduction, Walters suggests
"If an attempt to forget obscures a history (a set of memories) that is important to a subordinate group, this is another form of oppression."

What really exists of women's history?

Women have been oppressed throughout the world for centuries. Who owes what for the practice of foot binding, corset training or other mutilations suffered by women throughout hundreds of years? Should there be reparations for that? And how would that be played out? It would be impossible.

These are only some of the thoughts that occurred to me as I was reading this.

I will admit, the book is a heavy read with a heavy subject: the subject of reparations. But, if you can get through it, and understand it, it is very much worth reading.

University of Michigan Press
Photo from University of Michigan Press website

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Just Some Random Things

First, Literary Mama accepted one of my poems recently. I can't tell you how excited and pleased I am about this. It won't be out until around Mother's Day, so you'll have to wait to see which poem.

Second, I finished The Liar's Diary, Patry Francis. Oh. My. God. Go out and buy this book!!! It's amazing. Yep. That's all I'm going to say about it'll have to wait (again) for the review, via MotherTalk.

There's a new post of mine at Green Mom Finds-Tired of chemicalized play doh? Try making your own!
And, as always, check out the awesome giveaways!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I'm Over Here Now, Too

I am now blogging occasionally over at the Mom Writer's Literary Magazine Blog. Stop over and check it out!

There are some awesome women contributing and I feel honored to be a part of it.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Reading The Second Nine Months...

The Second Nine Months:
One woman tells the truth about becoming a mom. Finally.

Vicki Glembocki
Da Capo/Lifelong Books (Jan. 6, 2008)
(Division of Perseus Book Group)
Hardback 264 pgs.

I read-and finished-this book over the weekend. I didn't intend to, it just... happened. It was just so hard to put down.

Glembocki lays it all bare: doubts about breastfeeding, maternal instinct and bonding; the realization that you are somebody's mother and how that particular word can sound so strange coming from your own mouth, the transition of who you used to be and who you are now isn't always so smooth and peachy-keen.

It is, indeed, "irreverent, funny and brutally honest"; a book that lives up to its description.

This is something (whether she'll admit to it or not) any mother can relate to. If not the whole book, at least a chapter, or two....or three.

Visit her site
Da Capo Press

Look for more discussion on this here at WITM......and MotherVerse

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Not So Golden Age

So, I watched Elizabeth: The Golden Age, sequel to 1998's Elizabeth. Well, I can say alot of the critics were right: it was over produced. But the costumes were gorgeous. Absolutely.

Also, the plot seemed so choppy-going from one scene to the next without much transition or cohesion-
And Mary Stuart? She had about five minutes in the entire movie. I expected to see more of that character.

As for Clive Owen-as much as I don't like him as an actor-he was pretty good.

Overall, it all seemed a little off as far as a sequel goes.

Some Words (and other things) I Can't Stand

Wicked-as in- I'm wicked pissed.

When people on the internet-blogging, emailing, whatever-overuse stuff like emoticons or use Internet Slang like LMK (let me know). That just drives me up the wall. Can't you just spell it out? Too much trouble, time?

Ain't: I abhor this word. Makes you sound so....dumb. Proper spelling and grammar usage, people!

This is all that strikes me at the moment....more to come, perhaps.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Looking Forward To Reading This Book

Edited to add: Have finished the book! Check out commentary here!-AFTER you read this post!
Called "brutally honest and funny", Vicki Glembocki's book, The Second Nine Months: One Mom Tells the Truth about Becoming a New Mom. Finally. is now out and seems to be garnering lots of press.

When I first heard of this book, I thought, this is a must-read in the Mother Lit genre (I cannot bring myself to call it mommy-chick-lit) simply because it deals with a subject not talked of much: those first few transitional months into motherhood after baby is born.

It looks to be a myth-busting book on all that goes on after baby comes home.

You know there's a spot on my bookshelf for this one.

Excerpt from The Second Nine Months.....

I want to walk out of Target and leave Blair there, wailing.... Nice people work at Target. Surely someone would take her home and care for her and buy her pretty things. So begins Vicki Glembocki’s brutally honest yet hilarious memoir of her agonizing transition into motherhood. Why agonizing? Because no one told her how tough it would be. Finally, Glembocki lays out the truth about those first months with baby: the certainty that you’re doing everything wrong; the desire to kill your husband, your mother, your dog; the struggle to balance who you were with whom you’ve become-a mother. Unlike any other book on motherhood, Glembocki breaks the New Mother Code of Silence, proving that “maternal bliss” is not innate, but learned. Funny and wise, she connects with new moms on a shockingly intimate level, letting them know that they are not alone.

Visit Vicki Glembocki's site
DaCapo Press/Perseus Book Group

Also wanted to mention I have a new post here about The Best chocolate. And don't forget to check out the giveaways-some awesome tea from the Love and Tea Company and cute cards from Stubby Stencil Studio. See the site for details!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Feb 08 Issue of National Geographic-Some Thoughts

Recently, I picked up the February '08 issue of National Geographic. Particularly because I was intrigued by the cover story: The Black Pharaohs: Conquerors of Ancient Egypt.

While the story was interesting and brought up some previously unknown points on Egypt and its Pharaohs, there were a few things that ran through my mind:

1) How could there NOT be black pharaohs in Egypt, or at least ancestry of such a race within Egypt and its line of pharaohs? It is in Africa; with Egypt having the close neighbors of Nubia and Sudan. That's like saying Jesus was as white as a pearl with blond hair and blue eyes....That in itself never made sense to me-look at the geography.

2) There was a statement in that particular article about how 'the ancient world was devoid of racism'. I realize that the author is talking about how 'the fact that his [Piye: Pharaoh] skin was dark was irrelevant'. Perhaps it was. But to make such a statement as racism not being present-and to go so far as to say devoid- is, for me, hard to believe.

Perhaps there was a kind of racism. Perhaps it just wasn't the kind we know of now; what we are familiar with, what we would recognize as racism. Is it possible?

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Spider on Mercury

Scientists think that the planet Mercury is actually shrinking as it ages:
"Scientists had theorized that as the core of Mercury cools, it contracts, and the whole planet shrinks."

Messenger has sent back pictures showing 'wrinkles' on the surface of the planet and what scientists are calling "The Spider", a series of wrinkles that radiate out from a crater-like formation, most likely what used to be a volcano.

Why is this significant? Because this is a side of Mercury that has never been seen before. These pictures throw off all theories that have been known about the planet. It's making everyone reassess.

It also proves how little we know of the universe itself. All we can do is make educated guesses at most things-sometimes it turns out right, sometimes not. And, sometimes, what we thought was right turns out not to be right at all, but so far from what we originally thought.
There's just so much we don't know.

As a side note, I have a new post up at Green Mom Finds. Have you been there yet? Check it out-lots of giveaways happening including a Moby Wrap and Laptop Lunch System!

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