Monday, November 23, 2015

"Thoroughly Honest, At Times Hilarious and Always Entertaining..."

After reading The Mommy-Go-Round, Jeff Wood of the Whistlestop Bookshop said, "Eleanor has written a thoroughly honest, at-times hilarious, and always entertaining account of coming to be a mother of three. You will learn about the Parental Curse, The Pet War, and the Trials & Tribulations of the Family Vacation." 

Jeff, like many others also admitted to laughing out loud and relating to the book in the raising of his own family. I was extremely honored  to hear that Jeff felt it was in the top books that he has been asked to read by the many authors that ask him to read their books, just as I did. And the icing on the top, The Whistlestop Bookshop agreed to carry The Mommy-Go-Round and hosted my first book signing. Very grateful and happy, that's me!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ho Ho Ho! Give the Gift of Laughter for the Holidays with The MoMmY-Go-RoUnD!


Read it? Relate to it? Laugh & Love the Reality of Motherhood? Then you, your friends, family, coworkers, will all LoVe The MoMmY-Go-RoUnD! Men love it too!  It's available at bookshops, just ask and particularly at my hometown bookshops --  Whistlestop Bookshop in Carlisle, PA, online @ www.whistlestoppers.com and The Doylestown Bookshop in Doylestown, PA, online @ www.doylestownbookshop.com.  It's also available as a book or ebook on Amazon.com, Barnes & Nobel, and Ingram Spark.  Hope you'll pick up a copy for you or your loved ones! 5 star Reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Nobel!
Remember...

#Mommylife = KiDs = UpS & DoWnS but Never Ending Love ---
Enjoy The Ride on The #MoMmY Go RoUnD!!!

Excerpt from Chapter 18: Christmas in July

Being a parent has truly taught me the meaning of the expression, “Christmas in July.” It is the time of year that some children, especially mine, begin to write their Christmas lists…oh and one other thing…they begin to whine about how far off Christmas actually is!!
I’m fairly certain that when the summer gets a little boring, and a bit too hot, there’s summer reading out there that outlines the rules that children follow when making a COOL Christmas List. The first rule is to make the list I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-Y LONG! In fact, my daughter likes to make it long enough so that she can be truly despondent that she will NEVER EVER TRULY GET WHAT SHE WANTS (this year that is…) In fact, to hear it from them, they never do get what they REALLY want. (Forget the fact that a mere six months ago, they received the majority of another rather endless list of overpriced items, most of which are now cluttering up my living room, bedrooms, and playroom areas.)

Anyway, it was a hot July evening when my daughter decided to “Cool off” by writing this year’s Christmas list. She completed the list then proceeded to begin the sales pitch by gently “walking me” through her winter wonderland wish list. Not being of the Christmas giving spirit myself that Christmas List Eve, I did my best rendition of Scrooge. This response caused the list to be abandoned on my kitchen island with her modifying title, new and in my opinion, improved, as “The Never Christmas List.”

Christmas Confessions…
Now I ask you, where would my child get this rather annoying, yet comical habit from? There can be only one answer…. The Parental Curse…. Used only as a last resort, and I’m sure when my own parents reached their breaking point from what else but ….MY CHRISTMAS LIST!!!!
Yes, I confess. I did it. Mine was no ordinary Christmas list…. My brothers were witness to this. My list was in fact almost the entire Sears Wish book with basically everything under the sun circled as a “MUST HAVE!” In an “honest” effort to save my parents some money, I skipped a few boy items here and there. In retrospect, I should have crossed off the few things I didn’t want rather than waste all that time circling things!! Anyway, can I help it if my begging, pleading and dare I admit it?? My WHINING was much more “effective” than my brothers trying to kill each other throughout the rest of the year? Looking back, I’m now sure that my whining was the clincher that drove my poor parents to the ultimate punishment I’m still paying for….the dreaded Parental Curse cast upon their beloved daughter during a brief moment of parental insanity!! By the time I was done with poor Mom and Dad, they were probably in a state of (sticker) shock and asking that age old Jimmy Stewart question spoken in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Why do we have to have all these kids anyway???”
And so it came to pass. I deserved and became a victim of Parental revenge. A simple curse that could escalate my children’s innocent act of making a “simple, little Christmas list” into a Whine Fest complete with written documentation… This incredibly powerful Parental Curse designed to punish me for years on end. And me asking the same question my parents most likely asked years before... Whatever became of those “visions of sugarplums” dancing ONLY in the heads of sleeping children!! What is it that then compels the darlings to put the visions down on paper, in list format no less? I think the answer will come out when my children write their rebuttal to this book due out in paperback in the year 2025…







Excerpt from Chapter 7: 8:00 p.m. "Mom, I have a test tomorrow."



Who knew that this would someday be a phrase that would strike terror in my heart? What's even more incredible is how making that statement somehow brings a sense of peace and tranquility to the child's heart....It’s like a transference of the responsibility for passing the test. Despite my many pleas over the years that we spread test preparation over at least two nights, my children seem to delight in an incredible sense of freedom (and forgetfulness) that first night and the prospect of jamming the studying of 25 pages of history, science, whatever into one teeny tiny evening....More interestingly is that somehow my children have gotten the crazy idea that if MOM memorizes the materials, they are guarantied an A+! No problem!! They must have this vision of me sitting in the desk beside them filling out the test and passing it over to them to put their name on. We’re a team, we’re family, she’s my Mom…Let me assure you, we’re close but NOT that close.

Did I torture my parents in this same way? I shudder to think. Of course, I can’t take full responsibility for this behavior. Having had the pleasure of reading my husband’s report cards when we first married (at which point his family must have believed it safe to bring them out of hiding….), my years of report cards reflecting the comment “too talkative” seem mild in comparison. As one teacher summed him up….if Steve required an effort to breathe, he would cease. Sounds to me like he enjoyed that same incredible sense of freedom which our kids now love, throughout the entire school year.

Now admittedly by having school age children, I have had the opportunity to re-learn all the things I blew off the first time around. And enjoy it too! Trust me, there is nothing more annoying to a child cramming for a test then to say things like….”Isn’t this interesting” or “I love history, don’t you?” All’s fair in love and tests. They come to me with open books and blank expressions on their faces. My feelings are that if they’re going to act like they never heard the test material before and put the burden on me to re-teach two weeks worth of lessons in one hour, then I reserve the right to be annoyingly cheerful and completely absorbed in the subject matter!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Excerpt from Chapter 13: The Pet War



I have continually been under parental pet siege by my youngest child, my animal lover, approximately since his birth! It doesn't matter how many fish, rabbits or whether another family member's cat is staying with us, it seemed it was never enough. This time, shortly after the passing of our one beloved rabbit and the move of an uncle with his cats from our home, Nathan assumed command of yet another attack, call it an act of war. Oh but he was good. He started with a whole new angle, not known or previously tried by any member of this family A "Mother of the Year" contest with the winner the recipient of a trip to the SPA!! Lures and reward never before dangled in front of this mother --- and seemingly so innocent, no strings attached, not yet at least...
He and his sister were hard at work, willingly, singing the praises of my "motherhood." They carefully listed each of my "wondrous traits" in an effort to convey to these judges -- just how perfect a Mom I was -- to win that just reward-- a relaxing day at the SPA!! I, ever naive, had nearly take the bait, when the trap was snapped --
"And after you win the contest Mommy (may as well make that Mommy Dearest), you'll be so well rested from your day at the SPA that maybe you'll be up to taking on the added responsibility for a new pet, a dog!!!"

My moment of basking in their love --- shattered at the mere implications that my actually winning brought, regardless of how remote a possibility!! --A punishment far worse than any one mother could imagine -- a price so high for one measly day at a spa--- you've got it -- 10 to 15 years hard labor --- given full charge of yet another "child," a newly acquired family pet! Why not just take a knife to me and...

It suddenly became a bit harder to smile happily pretending to believe that we would all live happily after, right after I won the contest, that is. --- The kids, their Dad a dog? And me. The important thing is that 15 years down the road, after countless vet visits, thousands of dollars invested in pet food and supplies, lost sleep to dog walks, etc., I can always remember that I looked nice the day I went to the Spa! Lucky me...Wouldn't it have been easier to just treat myself to a day at the spa and skip the hard labor. Needless to say I dodged the bullet that day, never won the day at the spa but that alone was not to enough--- and sooner or later, destiny would have the last laugh.
Excited to have a "second" to my having a similar writing style to Emma Bombeck...another Mom that freely confessed in writing how crazy Family Life and Momlife can get. I tried to as well. Check out this excerpt from The MoMmY-Go-RoUnD. This one takes this Mom back to some CrAzY moments on the court shared with a happy-go-lucky friend who too soon was lost to breast cancer. Remembering Sue this month especially as we gathered for our reunion and also for October Breast Cancer Awareness month... Miss you Sue...wish things could have been different for you...

In Memory of Sue Haldeman

From The MoMmY-Go-RoUnD:
Chapter 23: Take me OUT of the Ball Game???

I know I’m speaking to the hearts AND bodies of some of you when I say that gym class and even sport teams often provide ample opportunities for some students to sit on the sidelines and catch up on their rest, their reading, their social time! I’ve even seen girls do each other’s hairs (despite my encouragement to watch the game or coach will never put you in!). That’s right, no matter how much they want to, SOMETIMES simply NO exercise will be permitted! Instead, as ridiculous as it sounds, if you are new at a sport or considered second string, they often find themselves sitting on the bench, talking or goofing off with friends, catching up on homework and at times, even laughing at their own stagnating skills. At least that’s how I remember it! In 7th grade, 8th grade, 9th, you name it, I was forever waiting… make that waiting to be picked for a team, much less to play! At the time, I shared this “last chosen” place of honor with a friend Sue, who I later heard had married, become a Mom but sadly died of cancer in her late 20’s. In high school, she was found guilty of being a little too short, and thus frequently BENCHED but I remember her bubbly personality that helped both of us cope with being some of the last chosen. Despite our less than impressive roles in gym class, the camaraderie we shared sitting on way too many sidelines was irreplaceable. Little did I know that years later, our antics on and off the court would come back to help me play ball!

Basketball was the best for us. Sooner or later, someone got tired of running up and down the court and they were forced to PUT US IN! We were Mutt and Jeff out there. My long skinny arms and legs (yes they were skinny in those days!) flailing about as I ran up and down the court! What my efforts at rebounding lacked in effectiveness, I made up for entertaining the troops, alias our gym class. Over the years, I could be counted on to miss the lay up, strike out – UNLESS we were bowling, shoot my own eyeglasses off in archery, get physically tied up trying to string the bow, break my middle finger trying to catch a football, and so on. I could make even the most patient gym teacher eventually roll their eyes, shake their heads in sympathetic disbelief. Regardless, on the basketball court or from the sidelines, I’d hear Sue cheering me on, making me laugh at myself – “Go Spidey!!” It was her nickname for me that accurately captured my “all arms and legs” look that so resembled a Spider out on the court. It’s amazing I wasn’t squashed out there – run over by the REAL athletes, playing for keeps! I know I didn’t hit many baskets but I made a great defensive player, slowing the other players down as they held their sides laughing at my uncoordinated self, arms, legs, and ball flying about!

Fast forward – I find myself in a most unexpected role…A Mother of Kids in Sports!

I previously shared a little soccer history but I haven’t mentioned my childhood favorite, basketball. Now once again, despite our advice on his “game plan,” my son made the fatal sports mistake of not going out for basketball the first year he was eligible, putting himself behind his classmates’ skill level and experience. But the second year, he was there for the team. Regretfully, though, it was the second string team. And attending a school with no gym meant only 1 hour practices at a neighborhood gym held only a couple times a week. It was not off to a good start. With such short practices, he wouldn’t get much of an opportunity to shoot, instead he and other non-1st string players mainly played defense to the 1st string's offense....It felt like it was a no win situation, this time with him being stuck on the sidelines with little opportunity to even learn to play or shoot. Feeling his pain, I longed to find some way to help him escape my ever sidelined fate.

So in a crazed Mother’s rather desperate attempt to spare her son from the basketball blues, I decided to take matters into my own hands, me the girl least likely to succeed on the court. So despite the cold winter months or the dark night sky above as I got home from work, and finished feeding the family, “Coach” Spidey’s team practice would commence, complete with winter coats and gloves.

Nathan and I practiced basketball many evenings and weekends through that winter and surprisingly, despite his coach (i.e. Me), it really seemed like it was helping him. We ran drills together, practiced lay ups and long shots, dribbled, passed, etc. I told him my "Spidey" stories from gym class days and had him actually laughing at B-ball Spider-style! He was actually hitting the basket repeatedly and at one count, 7 times in a row! I was sure Angels were looking out for both of us. Maybe one in particular, a certain basketball Mom now in heaven was also enjoying our reminiscing and started watching out for me too because just like him, I actually started hitting the basket during our practices!! Something wonderful was happening despite the daytime basketball disappointments. My son and I were getting closer and we were having fun together, on our outdoor home “court,” (if you can call it that) despite the night or the cold or his status on the school team. My son’s confidence and his spirits started to rise and he actually thanked me on numerous occasions (and it wasn’t even Mother’s Day!). I guess even he realized that ‘basketball coach’ might not really be part of the job description of a MOM, especially one who was once labeled “Spidey.”

Seasons progressed and I think we both started to look forward to our practices and our talks and while we developed our own memories, we never forgot Sue or my memories of her and Spidey on the court. There were no buses for away games so like other parents, I was sometimes a team driver and their photographer whenever possible. They were up against a team that they had never beat before, a team who had the added bonus of their own court and who were known for their basketball skills. It was an exciting game right down to the last minute. Nathan even got in for a few minutes and managed to hit a couple three point throws. In an exciting conclusion which came down to the final seconds, our team beat them by 1 point!! It was a game to remember!

As we headed home that night, we discussed the excitement of the game! And quietly I heard Nathan contemplating that every point counted to make the win. I knew what he was thinking. I was thinking the same thing. His couple of 3 pointers contributed to the win. They made a difference. Second string or not, he made a difference that game and I suspect finally felt a part of the team. My heart soared seeing him have this moment of success! It was worth everything, including a little frostbite. I think even Sue would have been proud. He had escaped that sideline at least for a little while.

Thinking of you Sue, and the classmates who for many reasons may not be there tonight. We’ll miss you.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Excited to share a new review of The MoMmY-Go-RoUnD!! Check it out!

The Mommy-Go-Round is NOT a book of parenting theory written by white-
coated “experts”. It is instead a practical group of essays composed by a mom
who has been in the trenches of motherhood and lived to tell about it. You
will see El's journey from a starry-eyed rookie to a battle-hardened mother of
teenagers. You will watch as her love, determination, courage, and detective
skills expand to meet the needs of her growing children. Travel with El through
the ups and downs of raising a family. Discover with her that motherhood is the
most time-consuming, prayer-provoking, demanding, rewarding, exhausting, and
exhilarating endeavor you will ever experience.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015

Out of the "MGR" mouths of babes came the classic question spoken by an 8 year old...How come when #dad gets sick he lays on the couch & Moans but when #Mom gets sick, SHE STILL has to do Everything?

Heartwarming and humorous The #MoMmY-Go-RoUnD -- IS breaking The #Motherhood Code of Silence ---even when she's sick! with the TRUTH About Life as a MOM!! LOL!!

Available on Amazon as a book or ebook and in select bookshops like the Whistlestop Bookshop (www.whistlestoppers.com) and The Doylestown Bookshop (@DoylestownBooks) and hopefully lots more in the future!




The MoMmY-Go-RoUnD -- Breaking the Motherhood Code of Silence with essays on Motherhood, childhood and everything in between! Brace yourself for honesty, and to quote one reviewer, a book that is: “Awesomely blunt and humorous and never a dull moment. This is a great read.”

Available on Amazon as a book or ebook and in select bookshops like Whistlestop Bookshop (www.whistlestoppers.com) and The Doylestown Bookshop (@DoylestownBooks) and hopefully lots more in the future!


Monday, March 2, 2015

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Still not sure? Check out some of The Mommy-Go-Round Reviews and comments:

The Mommy-Go-Round Reviews: 
Placed on Amazon.com:
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a must read for every woman who has raised children!, May 21, 2014
By Donna Veigle - This review is from: The Mommy-Go-Round
This book will warm your heart, make you laugh as well as shed a few tears! Anyone who has had the experience of raising children can relate to the stories in this book! And for those of you who have not yet had the experience of being a mother, you will enjoy it as well. El adds humor to those situations where you aren't sure if you are appreciated, gives insight on how to play detective once the little darlings reach the teenage years, and shows you that if you continue to love your children through the good and bad times, it all pays off.

5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely Take This For A Spin!, May 29, 2014
By Alyce Schwartz -This review is from: The Mommy-Go-Round
I chose 5 stars for this review, because as a fellow mom myself of 3 children, aged 10 and under, I find it a challenge to eat a meal without shoveling it in, let alone take time to myself to read a book, but this was such an enjoyable read for me, that I not only somehow found the time to enjoy the book but I re-read certain chapters simply because of the joy I got out of being able to relate to the author's experiences and outlook on life with children. Her descriptions of the ups and downs that come along with the merry-go-round of juggling life, marriage and parenthood not only bring humor, but a sense of a relief to know that you're not on this ride alone, and there are others out there who think and act just like you. I highly recommend this book to any mother out there, young or old, or anyone who will soon be given this ticket to ride the merry-go-round of motherhood!

5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for "The Granny-Go-Round"!, June 10, 2014
By Lucy Gojich -This review is from: The Mommy-Go-Round
I felt like I was reliving my feelings as my little darlings were growing up! I laughed, I cried, and laughed some more. Eleanor's stories could easily be turned into a sitcom! Totally relatable. A must read! I eagerly will be waiting for the sequel!

5.0 out of 5 stars A Touching Look at the Joys and Pitfalls of Motherhood, June 13, 2014
By Amazon Customer -This review is from: The Mommy-Go-Round
Penned by a REAL mom, this book will make you laugh and cry. If you're a mother too, you'll see yourself and your kids on every page. Eleanor writes like she lives -- with lots of humor and lots of love.

5.0 out of 5 stars   July 1, 2014
By mark golightlyThis review is from: The Mommy-Go-Round
This book is a real down to earth and very funny account of motherhood! I laughed from start to finish. I recommend it highly........Wendy Golightly

5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ, July 15, 2014
By sarahstan27 -This review is from: The Mommy-Go-Round
This book was Amazing!! It made me laugh, cry and even taught me some things even though I am a Mother of 2! Thanks for sharing you "Motherhood" with us!!

5.0 out of 5 stars it sure is one heck of a ride!!, July 22, 2014
By michelle chaney -This review is from: The Mommy-Go-Round
This book hands down has to be one of the best books i have read on motherhood. I myself am a mother to a five year old and a step mother to an eight year old. I have been reading so many books on motherhood and how to be there for them as they grow but they're all statistics and don't have a lot of stories/ memories in them. This book has me excited for this crazy mommy go round ride that I'm on! The author was smart, witty, comical, and a Witch at 10 pm! I cannot wait until this fresh new author comes out with more books!

4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, July 23, 2014
By RLMWAThis review is from: The Mommy-Go-Round
Awesomely blunt and humorous and never a dull moment. This is a great read.

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Motherhood Primer, July 26, 2014
By Maria Krajeski (Boiling Springs, PA United States) - This review is from: The Mommy-Go-Round
A wonderful book about the joys and trials of motherhood. I could truly relate and only wish I had this book when raising my own family. Eleanor's stories made me laugh and cry, the mark of a really terrific book. Looking forward to the next book!

5.0 out of 5 stars "I truly enjoyed reading “The Mommy-Go-Round” and gladly recommend it to young ..., August 19, 2014
By Elizabeth -This review is from: The Mommy-Go-Round
Bought this book for a family member, who writes: "I truly enjoyed reading “The Mommy-Go-Round” and gladly recommend it to young women, especially newly marrieds. It is a fun read. Young women who read this book will be better prepared to guide their children through the many challenging situations which can arise in becoming and being a mother. This book can help a mother more fully enjoy her children. I can imagine many a grandmother reading this, nodding knowingly and thinking, ‘I wish I had read this while raising my children’."

A must read for anyone with children... you're not alone and it's all 'normal!', October 2, 2014 (5 stars!!)
This review is from: The Mommy-Go-Round (Paperback)
Admittedly as a mom of three myself, I haven't entirely finished the book, but it's certainly not from lack of want/interest! It's just the start and stop of the interrupted read while taking a moment to use the bathroom ALONE, yes all by myself, or those other all too few and too precious moments that I have to do what I want to do!
Eleanor captures the essence of parenthood! It's comforting to know that I'm not alone in all of this. That there are others out there in similar situations and better yet, those individuals have survived!!! And have even managed to find humor in it all!!! I particularly identified with the desire to have a pet of one's own and the wearing down of a parent until there's just no argument left. The camping/family vacations to save money had me laughing out loud as we, too, struggle for the perfect, affordable family vacation. Well, the lice chapter... cannot even go there!!! : ) Thank you for being so candid Eleanor and for sharing the stories of your family. I have so enjoyed reading this book and certainly recommend it! It may be particularly interesting for those without kids to read... perhaps they will remain childless!!! Longing for my living room floor back...

From Barnes and Noble:
KSantoro - Sept. 28, 2014: This was a very funny, touching read. El has covered just about anything and everything that we come across as parents! Her writing style makes you feel as though you were right there through it all. Don't pass this one up! (5 stars!!)
Anonymous  Posted August 25, 2014 for The Mommy-Go-Round

The book was a great beach read.  The author paints very vivid scenes.  It is witty, funny, charming, heartwarming, heart breaking and full of love.  The book is an enjoyable read for anyone -- even if you do not have children.  While the primary focus of the book is the role of mom the author's own childhood memories will strike a cord with many.  You will laugh, you will cry and you will definitely enjoy the journey.  I hope  to see more books from this new author.
Other Reviews:
After reading The Mommy-Go-Round, Jeff Wood of the Whistlestop Bookshop said, "Eleanor has written a thoroughly honest, at-times hilarious, and always entertaining account of coming to be a mother of three. You will learn about the Parental Curse, The Pet War, and the Trials & Tribulations of the Family Vacation." Jeff, like many others also admitted to laughing out loud and relating to the book in the raising of his own family. I was extremely honored (not to mention shocked and excited) to hear that Jeff felt it was in the top books that he has been asked to read by the many authors that ask him to read their books, just as I did. And the icing on the top, The Whistlestop Bookshop agreed to carry The Mommy-Go-Round and is hosting my first book signing. Very grateful and happy, that's me! 

FB Post: Nikki McCaffrey Richie posted to Eleanor Donald Alspaugh
El your book was delivered on Friday, started reading it yesterday and finished it last night! Couldn't put it down (except to cook, clean up, stop the boys from fighting etc...) Fantastic job! I could relate to every page and Mike got a kick out of you picking on Steve!

L Shaffer  Post to FB June 14, 2014 ·
Just finished reading The Mommy-Go-Round by Eleanor Donald Alspaugh, a former coworker that I very much admired and respected. This book gives me one more reason to feel that way. For any mom who has looked around at any point and thought, "How did I get here?", this books is well worth the read!

Personal message...El--I downloaded your book to my phone and have been reading bits and pieces of it here and there when I had time--well I finished it tonight on the plane---I was balling my eyes out--did not expect that ending!!! It was beautifully written and I LOVE that note from your mom in Heaven!  LOVED LOVED LOVED the book!  You are amazing! The book made me laugh all the way through until the end.