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Archive for the ‘What I’m Reading’ Category

I’m an Aldi shopper.  Can I admit that here?  Yes, yes, I think I can.  Cause it’s my blog, and whaddya gonna do?

I’ve been an Aldi shopper for a few years.  I can admit to avoiding it earlier in our marriage, but for no other reason than it was unfamiliar to me.  I’m an Air Force Brat.  You want groceries?  Go to the commissary.  Then Bald Man was working at Meijer, and we’re nothing if not brand and store loyal.

Well, we were.

A friend of mine was doing the Aldi thing and loving it.  Saving lots of money.  I’m not sure how she got me to try it out, but maybe it was serving Aldi stuff to me at her house.  And, guess what?  It wasn’t gross.  And if she hadn’t told me, I wouldn’t have known.

Years and many shopping trips later, Aldi is a regular stop in our weekly shopping.  Lower prices.  Food tastes good.  And the kids don’t care about name brand cereals, pop tarts, chicken nuggets, fish sticks, peanut butter, jelly, juice, bread, hot dogs, etc.  As long as it’s not yucky, they’ll eat it.  (Okay, can I say that I do feed my children food that requires actual preparation, and not just the stuff listed there?  Kthx.)

In fact, my friend told me that when she was little, she didn’t like the name brand stuff.  Her family shopped at Aldi, that was the food she grew up with and was used to, and the name brand stuff was the weird stuff.  Who knew?

So, if you haven’t tried Aldi, yet, or are curious about some of their products, head on over to Aldi Food Review.  It’s a blog by the brother of a friend of a friend (although that friend of a friend is also a friend now, but that’s more detail than you really need).   Good reviews, I agree with all that I’ve tried, and he’s funny.

Like he says, you’re not going to get everything you need there; they just don’t carry that much variety.  But, for the staples, you will save quite a bit.  I’ve gone through spurts of shopping there.  Whenever I had a baby, I went there much less often.  I needed lots of baby stuff, which they don’t carry, and I didn’t have the extra energy to make all the extra stops.  But we’re there often now, and it’s great for our budget.  You might even save enough for a night out for yourself.   See how smart you are? 😉

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…and no time to read them. 😦 That’s what we have. We always have a big stack on our shelves from the library, in addition to the ones from our own collection, and I just don’t think we’ll get to them all before our time is up! Ah, well…

Here are the ones I’m currently in the middle of:

The Memory Keeper\'s DaughterThe Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards. My friend (hey friend!) lent this to me, which was fantastic since I was still about 70th in line on the library’s reserve list. I’m enjoying it, though I’m going to start referring to it as my Chick-fil-A book, I think. Bald Man likes our little tradition of taking the kids to Chick-fil-A on Friday nights. We all have a yummy meal, and then he and the kids go in the playland while I sit and read. We started this little tradition when my youngest was a few months shy of being born. I do enjoy that time, but I’m beginning to think that’s the only time I read anymore! Every time I pick up this book, I realize that the last line I read was read the week before while sitting at a different table in Chick-fil-A. Gone are the days of knocking out novels left and right in 2-3 days! But I am enjoying the story. I’m definitely intrigued by it.

BoundariesBoundaries by Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend. This is a book that has been recommended to me off and on since I was in college. I don’t think that’s been the case just because I have inabilities where it comes to setting and keeping boundaries, though I’m sure that might have something to do with it. I just started this one though (not such a long reserve line for it at the library).

Boundaries in MarriageBoundaries in Marriage also by Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend. I’d gone to Barnes and Noble to try to purchase Boundaries, and it was not there, but about 4 variations on the book were, including this one. I figure it never hurts to work on a marriage, and there should be good stuff to glean from this book as well. Now, if I just had time to sit and read it a bit more, that might make it actually useful. 🙂

A NovelThe Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult This one I actually have borrowed on CD from the library. I took a trip awhile back and hoped to listen to it. It’s a long one, and I haven’t gotten through it yet. I keep it in the car to listen to when I’m alone (Yes, when I’m alone in the car. Guess how often THAT happens). I would not recommend listening to this when kids are around. I think this is the darkest of her books that I’ve “read” yet, and there are quite a few raunchy bits, but I still want to know what happened!

So, that’s what I’m reading, or not reading, for now. Exciting stuff, I know. I’m really not so good at the non-fiction reading, so I don’t know how much of the Boundaries books I’ll get through. I may end up skimming those to get the gist of what’s being said. And really, for non-fiction, they do have my attention so far. Well, as much attention as I have left to give them, which is not much. Bah.

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I’d like to introduce you all to a brand-spanking-new Mommy blog called Solo Mother. It’s written by a new fellow b5media writer, Christina Zola.

Christina is a single mom in the early days of singlemotherhood. Her writing is genuine, emotional, honest, gripping and addictive. I’m hooked on her journey. Come walk with her.

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Tag, I’m IT….

Bald Man tagged me on a book meme, so here goes:

1. One book that changed your life: What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Phillip Yancy

2. One book that you’ve read more than once: The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

3. One book you’d want on a desert island: Far Side Gallery by Gary Larson

4. One book that made you laugh: Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth About Pregnancy and Childbirth by Jenny McCarthy

5. One book that made you cry:Night by Elie Wiesel

6. One book you wish had been written: How to Not Feel Guilty About Not Breastfeeding (Even Though You Tried!)

7. One book you wish had never been written: My college economics text.

8. One book you’re currently reading: Don’t Know Much About History: Everything You Need to Know About American History but Never Learned

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

10. One book you’d like to write: Losing Weight on the Blizzard and Lemon Poundcake Diet (oooh….a lemon poundcake Blizzard….)

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Tag, I’m IT….

Bald Man tagged me on a book meme, so here goes:

1. One book that changed your life: What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Phillip Yancy

2. One book that you’ve read more than once: The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

3. One book you’d want on a desert island: Far Side Gallery by Gary Larson

4. One book that made you laugh: Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth About Pregnancy and Childbirth by Jenny McCarthy

5. One book that made you cry:Night by Elie Wiesel

6. One book you wish had been written: How to Not Feel Guilty About Not Breastfeeding (Even Though You Tried!)

7. One book you wish had never been written: My college economics text.

8. One book you’re currently reading: Don’t Know Much About History: Everything You Need to Know About American History but Never Learned

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

10. One book you’d like to write: Losing Weight on the Blizzard and Lemon Poundcake Diet (oooh….a lemon poundcake Blizzard….)

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I realized that I have a category entitled, “What I’m Reading,” but I think I’ve only posted under that category once. I’ve read since then, but apparently nothing worth writing about. I don’t know. Here’s what I’ve read recently (or am in the middle of reading, I usually am consecutively reading about 4 books):

Toss the BrideToss the Bride by Jennifer Manske Fenske. It was a cute story about a wedding planner who is waiting for her boyfriend to propose to her so that she can enjoy all of the wedding delights that her snobby brides take for granted. Then she becomes afraid, once she’s engaged, that she will become one of those selfish brides as well. Cute story, and I liked the fact that there were little stories about each bride within the main character’s story. It kept things interesting. Good book to keep me disctracted while I was exercising by stepping up and down the stair. Quite boring. So, there you go.

The Picture of Dorian Gray (Modern Library Paperbacks)

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde is one that I’m currently in the middle of reading. I first became aware of it while listening to James Blunt’s song, Tears and Rain from his Back to Bedlam album. He mentions Dorian Gray, and so I had to ask my mother in law about it (figuring it was a literary reference, and knowing that she would know who he was….and she did). Once she said it was a book, I knew I’d have to read it. So far, so good. Love the writing (from the 1890’s, I think), but requires a little more of my focus when reading it than a lot of the fluff I like to read (meaning, not when any kids are around, which is a rare occasion, which is why I’m still reading it). I’ll let you know how it turns out.

A Novel

Finally, at least for today, is Jodi Picoult‘s My Sister’s Keeper. Wow. This one really is keeping my attention. A teenager, who was conceived to be a perfect genetic match for her sister who has a very specialized leukemia, fights for her right to choose her donor status. The author uses the perspectives of 7 or 8 characters to tell the story. It was a little confusing at first, because she also jumps around in time, but it doesn’t take long to figure it out. Not so much focus required that I can’t read it with the kids around, but definitely keeps me thinking long after I’ve put the book down. I can appreciate that type of story. Haven’t finished it yet, but it won’t be long.

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Do you ever ask yourself this question? Or, if you’re not a mom, do you ever look at someone else and ask, “What kind of mother is she?”

Maybe you’re a new mom, and you’re not mothering the way you thought you would. You haven’t accomplished the cookies baked from scratch, the jaunt to the art museum, the mulitplication table flashcards (for your 2 year old), and the 10 step craft project that you thought would be accomplished each morning. (Wow, were you nuts?)

Or maybe you’re watching someone mothering and you’re thinking, “Why is she doing that THAT way? Doesn’t she know that isn’t the best way to do that? Maybe she doesn’t know that she’s doing it wrong. Maybe I should go tell her.” Wow. Especially if you’re not a mother yourself, I would not recommend this course of action. (But if you’re going to do it anyway, even after I’ve warned you, please let me know when and where. I’ll come to see you get torn limb from limb.)

The truth is, no 2 mothers parent EXACTLY the same way. They may use the same parenting class rules, or parenting guidebooks. They may even have been mothered by the same person. The birth and life of a mother is as unique as each of the children that she mothers. (I feel like I got that last line from somewhere else, but can’t for the life of me remember where! If you know, let me know so I can give it proper credit.)

A good friend recently directed me to one of the books that I’m reading right now. (Well, not RIGHT now. I’m typing RIGHT now. Not that good of a multitasker!!! But some days, pretty close. 🙂 )

Using Personality Type to Discover Your Parenting StrengthsMotherstyles by Janet P. Penley with Diane Eble is a book that adapts the Myers Briggs Type Indicator to mothering roles. Just as the original indicator attempts to identify and explain different personality types, Motherstyles attempts to identify and explain different mothering styles. (Clever name for the book then, aye?)

While some may think that identifying types is limiting to individuals (I don’t know who, I’m just guessing), I personally find it very freeing. I’ve taken the Myers-Briggs before, and did the (unofficial) questionaire type evaluation in the book. The results were consistent (apparently, I’m the same type person whether I’m mothering or not! Who knew?). The results weren’t shocking to me, but they reminded me of the type of person that I am, and that who I am is perfect for me. I love the indicators (whether official or not) because they don’t attempt to put one personality type, or mothering type, on a pedestal above all others. They remind us that we’re all individuals (c’mon Monty Python fans, altogether now, “We’re all individuals.”). That we all bring different, but equally valid, gifts to the table, to the world, and to mothering.

A friend recently humored me and took the indicator while here one day. She is the complete opposite of me, personalitily speaking. (I love making up words.) And you know what? I love watching her as a mother. We have similar values, so we teach generally the same things. But we are different mothers, so we may not always teach the same things the same way. I love watching her, and other friends, because I learn from her. I can experience a different way of mothering just by being around her and her kids. I get ideas of ways to parent that I never would have thought of on my own. And, I finally admit, maybe I do one or two things right that others can learn from me, too. Maybe.

By the way, if you’re not a mother yet, but you’re planning to be, can I pass on a bit of advice? Don’t waste your time thinking of exactly how you would handle certain situations and exactly how your children will behave, etc. You haven’t met yourself as a mother yet, and you don’t know your children yet. Just enjoy all the free time you have taking hot baths, walks alone, watching movies, eating food while it’s still warm. Much better use of your time. You’ll have plenty of time for all of the other stuff later!

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