Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Me before the Mom…

Photo courtesy of

This month the From Left to Write Book Club is reading a book called The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, by Jan-Philipp Sendker. Not available on the American market until February 1st, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats is an international bestseller about a man who goes missing and his daughter’s search for him. Her investigation into her father’s disappearance leads her to Burma (now called Myanmar) where her father was born and raised. She meets a man in the small village of Kalaw who tells her of her father’s youth and a love story to end all love stories.

Just recently as we were cleaning up from dinner, my mother mentioned to me a story about a boy she used to dance with in school. She said that she used to enter dance competitions with him and he used to fling her around the room like she was a rag doll. She was often afraid that he was going to let her go and she would go careening to the floor. I laughed as I listened to her tell me about how she used to hide from him at school dances because she was so afraid that she was going to get hurt. It wasn’t a love story like Tin Win and MiMi’s in the book, but listening to her reminded me of the book; of Julia sitting in the tea shop listening to U Ba tell her of her father’s youth and the love he left behind.

Listening to her made me realize that I don’t know all that much about my mom before she became my mom. I know she used to sing in shows at school, very much like I did, and that she was in the colorguard. I know that she was engaged once, before she met my dad, but it didn’t work out. I know that her sister cut off her ponytail one day when she was taking a nap. Beyond that, I don’t really know a whole lot.

Listening to her also made me think of my kids. Will they know who I was before I became their mom? Will they know that I wanted to be a novelist (and still do…)? Will they know that I lost their father for 8 months before we got engaged because he wanted to seek his fortune in Florida? Will they know that I used to work in the lingerie department in Sears and sold bras and panties to old ladies? (that was scary!)

I taught my son the other day how to slice his bagel without cutting off his fingers.  When he asked how I knew that, I told him that I used to work in a bagel shop with my friends.  The astonished look on his face set me back. “You??” he said.  “You used to work in a bagel shop??”  Like its so hard to believe!  I mean, I know I don’t GO to a job every day like some people, but yes, at one point I did, and I still have friends that can vouch for me!

But I digress…  My point here is, for most of us before our parents became our parents, they were normal everyday people who had friends, jobs, lovers, and lives that didn’t revolve around us, their children…  I hope one day my kids realize that and want to know more about my life BC (before children) as I now want to know about my parents.

Oh, and get the book…  Seriously…  get it.  🙂

This is an original ROSCMM post and was written for the From Left to Write Book Club.  This post was inspired by The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, by Jan-Philipp Sendker,  a copy of which I received free from the publisher for the purposes of this book club, and no, you can not steal my content unless you specifically ask me for it first. It’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright 2012 Mastermind Mommy

Categories: From Left to Write Book Club | 3 Comments

Jada Toys Battle Machines Combat Crash Review

Before the holiday season, I was fortunate enough to be contacted by Janina from Southard Communications on behalf of Jada Toys. Janina wanted to know if I was interested in trying and reviewing one of their Battle Machines toys here for you loyal reader.

Of course, I said yes. The toy arrived and my kids played with it. And then the holidays happened and everything got pushed off and put on to the back burner…

So, without further ado, my review.

I was given the choice of the Battle Machines: Combat Crash or the Lazer Combat: Land vs. Air. Big Boy chose the Combat Crash toy because he said he was no good at flying planes.

Jada Toys Battle Machine: Combat Crash

When the toy arrived, he jumped right in, insisting on putting it together himself (he should be able to… he’s nine) so I just sat back and watched.  He had it together by the time I got the batteries in the cars and remotes.

The track put together.

The Battle Machines: Combat Crash is a track set with two cars and two remotes.  SUPER easy to put together, SUPER easy to operate.  The track simply snaps together, and the signs snap into the rail.  Then you put the cars on the track and pull the trigger on the remote.  For an extra turbo boost, flip up the guard on the turbo button and KAZOW!  You’re zipping around the track.  Guide your car around the track with the steering wheel but be careful!  If anything hits you from behind, your doors and hood pop off!! Race with your friend for lots of combat crashing fun!  And you can race on and off the track!

To quote my Big Boy, the Combat Crash is “Totally Awesome!”.  He just loved putting the track together and then racing and crashing his car into his sister’s.  Little Miss had loads of fun too.  Her favorite part was watching her brother crash into her car and the hood and doors popping off.  Major giggle factor there.

Its also pretty durable.  After we finished playing with it, Big Boy took the track apart and put it back in the box.  As he was bringing the box down to the basement, it opened and all the pieces tumbled down the basement stairs!  Not a nick or crack in site.  Whew!  I was going to be pretty upset if we just got this great new toy and it broke apart due to a fall down some stairs.

Big Boy and his blue racer.

Little Miss and her red racer.

This is the perfect gift for the little racer in your life.  It is available at most major retailers including Toys R Us and Target for $49.99 in stores.

Special thanks to Jada Toys for allowing me to try out their toy and also to Janina and Southard Communications for the opportunity.   I can’t wait to do it again!

This is an original ROSCMM post. The product mentioned in this post was provided to me free of charge (or at a considerable discount not available to the public) for the purposes of writing this post. All opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not a result of any compensation or free products received (although they are both openly accepted.) and no, you can not steal my content unless you specifically ask me for it first. It’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright 2012 MastermindMommy

Categories: Reviews | 4 Comments

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