21st Century Furby: Electric Boogaloo

The original Furby came out in 1998 and although I was a little older than the target demographic for the toy, I still received one and absolutely loved it. It was black and white with a shock of pink hair – I named it Priscilla.
I still remember the insane hype that surrounded the toy.  If there was only one left at a store, parents would actually get in a tug-of-war style fight right there in the aisle over the must-have toy which I thought was crazy then buuuut I kind of get now. My kid wants a Furby? MINE. GIMME.

Fifteen years later, there’s a new and improved model of Furby. I was a little hesitant about getting it for Nellie, because once the Furby gets going, there’s no turning it off. Ever. It just keeps talking. I found myself wondering: do I really need TWO things  that talk incessantly in my house? I envisioned stocking up on beer and wine to go along with the new member of the family.

The Furby speaks only “Furbish” (its own made-up language) when it’s new, but as it grows up it learns more and more English words. The new Furby has updated technology, which means it’s equipped with a unique and changing personality.  It has sensors that respond to touch so it can tell when you are nice or mean to it and will adjust its personality to fit that.

I had no idea it was possible to find a toy that is so cute and so annoying at the same time, but Nellie seemed to love it when she saw it in the store. She seemed fascinated, delighted, and – let’s be honest – a little freaked out. But her reaction was more of fascination and delight. Like, at least 75% fascination and delight combined. That’s not bad, right?

We haven’t bought her a Furby yet, but I have definitely considered it. She has always been attracted to slightly “different” toys, movies, and games, so this unique little critter might be the perfect gift for our next outing to the toy store. Nellie may get a Furby and if she does, this mama will definitely be swinging by the store for some “mommy juice” to make the inevitable banter between the two of them a little more tolerable!

Did you have a Furby growing up? Will you/did you buy one for your kids? Have you gone insane yet?

This guest post was brought to you by Tesco.com, though I really did have a Furby named Priscilla that I loved with my whole heart.

After a Month of Silence…

It feels kind of weird blogging after almost a month of silence. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to talk about – by all means, I should really be writing something pretty much every other day – it’s just that I haven’t really felt like it.

I have been busy. I am going to the gym almost 5 days a week. When I leave work, I go before I head to Nellie’s daycare to scoop her up. Three days a week I do Couch to 5k and crunches/arm exercises and the other two days I usually do the elliptical machine. It’s funny, I’ve always hated running but since I started seriously getting into C25k, I have found myself actually looking forward to it. Once I got past the pain in my legs the first week and a half, I found my rhythm and my stride and kind of morbidly enjoy killing myself on the treadmill. I’m on Week 4 now, which alternates 3 minutes of jogging/2 minutes walking with 5 minutes of jogging and 90 seconds of walking…. I think… All I know is the first time I tried I quit after the first 5 minute run, because I thought I was going to throw up. I felt nauseated for a half an hour afterward. But on my second attempt, I did it. My shins are a little achey so I’m taking the weekend off and will start day 2 on Monday.

I’m down 11 pounds so far since beginning counting calories on December 17th, and joining a gym on January 15th. It’s a little slower than I’d like (even though it evens out to about a pound a week) and I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not in any hurry to lose this weight. It is frustrating to be busting my ass and still not be seeing huge results in the way my clothes fit yet. I have to keep reminding myself that in the past, it’s been more like 15 pounds when I begin seeing a difference on my body. Now, I can tell a difference in the way I feel. I have been sleeping better, can play harder with Nellie, and don’t feel like I’m about to drop dead when I haul her around. Yay!

My heart isn’t really in this post so I’ll end it here. I have more to say – last weekend I made an impromptu solo trip to Chicago to see my family so there’s a lot to tell about that – but I’m not really feeling it right now.

BlogHer Book Club Review: A Good American

I had the pleasure of reviewing Alex George’s debut novel, A Good American.

A Good American is the story of Frederick and Jette, two young Germans that fall in love who, after running out of options in their home county, decide to make themselves a new future in America. The year is 1903 as they embark on the journey that will define the rest of their lives.

Frederick and Jette end up in the fictional town of Beatrice, Missouri through a series of unexpected events. There they settle and the lives of the Frederick and Jette Meiseinheimer and the lives of their descendents unfold within the pages of the book. The story goes through four generations of the family.

“Always, there was music.”
The opening line of the book immediately spoke to me.  The continuing musical theme of the book (of course I don’t mean it was literally a “musical book”, I mean music was involved in the characters’ lives from the start)  continued to hit home for me. Frederick loved music, loved singing and performing and passed that love to his descendents. I was raised in a musical family, so the way Alex George described the music and the way it made each character feel spoke to me immensely.  The characters are introduced to a wide variety of music including opera, ragtime, blues, and barbershop. The barbershop  in particular made me all gooey inside, because I have performed in a barbershop quartet.

I have to say: of all the books I’ve reviewed so far, this one was my absolute favorite. From the moment I read the first page, I was in love. The writing is beautiful, the characters wonderful, colorful, and are brought to life very well. I came to love this family of German immigrants. I cheered with them in their joys, gasped during their times of drama, and shed tears (yeah, real ones) when tragedy struck. As soon as I closed the book upon finishing the last page, I immediately opened it again and began to read from the beginning. I reluctantly parted with it to pretty much shove it at my best friend with the insistence that she read it RIGHTNOW.
A Good American has secured a space in my top ten favorite books of all-time. I highly suggest you go get a copy right now. As in, immediately. Why haven’t you gotten your copy yet? GO.

DISCLOSURE: I received both monetary compensation plus a copy of A Good American for this post as part of the BlogHer Book Club. You can read more about this book or join the discussion by visiting the BlogHer Book Club’s discussion of A Good American. I really did adore this book. These thoughts and words are 100% authentic, and 100% my own.