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 @ and The Doylestown Bookshop in Doylestown, PA, online @  It's also available as a book or ebook on, 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!

#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.