Thursday, August 30, 2007

This post is for Peaches...

...who is tired of seeing the book review that has been up for a week now.

I have about fourteen blog posts in my head about various things that I can't seem to form into actual coherent posts. So, you are getting a list of sorts of the randomness that is my life. Otherwise, I have no idea when I will sit down and do this again.


School started Monday. With as much bitching as I have done about the children driving me crazy and how in the hell could they have pushed school back two weeks, I was surprised to find myself feeling a little sad Sunday night. I really do enjoy my kids. Except of course when they are beating the crap out of each other. Or whining. Or waking me up at five o'clock in the morning for no reason.

SugarPlum and Bear both looked so grown up Monday morning! While I was a little sentimental seeing them, I was stunned when SD had to leave the room so overcome was he by the appearance of our oldest two. My sweet, marshmallow husband was brought to tears!

As expected, SP loves the fifth grade and the fifth grade seems to love her, so far. She has some good friends in her class, though not the child with the batshit crazy momma (whom I have decided not to expand on here because the woman really is mentally ill and it seems cruel and in bad taste to pick on her. If things get out of hand, however I reserve the right to rant about her!) She is really looking forward to being able to do PE again after missing the last six weeks of it last year after the broken collar bone.

I was a little apprehensive about Bear going into first grade. Mrs. Kindergarten had both of us worried about how Bear would do in first grade. Fortunately, Mrs. Firstgrade seems to love our Bear and said that, so far, he has been very well behaved and that he has done really well on his work. He got a 100/A+ on the first paper he did!! I like her so much. Honestly, it was all I could do not to hop in the car, drive over to Candyland Early Childhood Center, stick out my tongue, and say "Nyah Nyah Nyah!" to Mrs. Kindergarten. But, as I AM trying to set a good example, I chose to just walk around with a look of smug satisfaction on my face. And, of course praise Bear lavishly. Isn't he adorable?!

Bug, on the other hand is pissed. His school doesn't start until next week. And he doesn't understand WHY?!! Personally, things would have been much easier this week if he had been in school. I have about eleventeen appointments and other things to do. But we're managing.

Bug had a cavity in one of his molars a few weeks ago. He has something called hypoplastic enamel on a few of his molars (SugarPlum has it on her permanent molars - joy). So, Tuesday he went in to have a silver crown put on that molar to save him from further decay on that tooth. We decided to make it a cool thing for him to get a "silver tooth." Gray Gray told him that he would be like a pirate, which was just about the most awesome thing he had heard in a long time! He did pretty well. He was mostly mad that morning because he had to be NPO after midnight. That really wasn't a big deal in his mind until he woke up and he was hungry! Then he decided that perhaps we should do another day. Too bad for him. He looks cool now though. And he has told everyone he sees that he has a silver tooth.


Well! Look at that! I guess I did have enough for a blog post. So I guess that now you will have to wait to hear all of the other exciting stuff that has been going on. Like how I had another freaking car accident. Yes, really. WTF is wrong with me?

And how we had a bunch of people over here for a party after SD rode in a bike race that morning and I was suffering from PTSD after that accident the day before.

And how, even though she doesn't want to play on a competitive soccer team, SugarPlum is traveling without us to a tournament as a guest player on the club team that is pursuing her. This should be interesting...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports

Several weeks ago, I was driving my babysitter home and we were discussing the books that SugarPlum likes to read. She and SugarPlum have similar tastes - Harry Potter, Eragon, Narnia and various other fantasy books. She mentioned that she had gotten hooked on James Patterson's Maximum Ride books. She said that she thought that SugarPlum might enjoy them and that she would loan them to her.

Shortly thereafter, Mother Talk sent out a request for people to review the third installment in the series, Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports. My initial inclination was to have SugarPlum read it and write the review here and on her blog for her friends. Then I realized that perhaps it would be a good idea to read it before I gave it to SP so that I could make sure it was okay. I'm picky that way.

(Of course that was a moot point because SP and her bestfriendinthewholewideworld, the Princess went to the big Harry Potter party the night of the debut of book seven. After that she was sucked back into all things Harry. She's still not quite over it, even though she's read it seven times now.)

After we got back from the beach, I saw the book and, honestly, I wasn't that excited about reading it. Not my genre, and not my age. But I promised, so, eventually anyway, I got busy reading. And? I was hooked.

It was a little awkward at first, starting on the third book. But Patterson does a great job catching you up if you missed the first two. The books main protagonist, Max, is a fourteen year old human-bird hybrid (yes, really) - the result of recombinant DNA experiments by some mad scientists who are now planning on taking out half the world's population. The scientists, not the bird kids. Max leads her "flock" of other bird kids, ranging in age from six to fourteen, after they have escaped from the headquarters of the mad scientists' ("whitecoats") union.

Patterson captures the snark, attitude and insecurities of a fourteen-year-old girl perfectly. Honestly this is what made the book most enjoyable for me. The story switches voices between characters several times throughout the book, which is a little hard to follow at first. However, I really think that for teens, who are used to that sort of storytelling on the TV shows they watch, it probably flows and makes perfect sense. The characters are fairly well developed, but, again, I'm certain that some things would likely have made more sense had I read the first two books. One fun thing is that Max's best friend, Fang has a blog that does exist and that you can read comments from readers and "supporters" of the flock. Welcome to the 21st Century!

The plot was exciting enough to hold my interest and make the book enjoyable. There were a few "yeah rights" in there as I read along (you know, beyond the whole DNA hybrid/mad scientists business), like how the kids were broke at some times, yet had the money to get into a Dallas Cowboys football game and later purchase four transatlantic plane tickets. That aside, it was fun to read.

I believe that I will let SugarPlum read this series. Many of the situations are a little mature, but then so is she. I found no terribly objectionable language (at least nothing worse than I have found in the HP books) and no drinking/drugs or sexual situations. I know that SP will enjoy these books if she can tear herself away from those "other ones."

For more information, you can visit the book's website

It includes a cool CGI TV commercial, plus nearly 2 million message board
posts from kids who love Max and the flock. Also, the publisher had two separate
“clicking” contests here. The first was to garner 1 million clicks to keep the series going (into a fourth book), and they garnered the first million clicks in just one week. The second was to garner 5 million clicks to tell Hollywood there should be a Max movie. That 5 million was garnered within the next two weeks.

(Info from MotherTalk)

There has been talk of this series "replacing Harry Potter." Honestly I can't see anything replacing Harry. But is this a series that might get young adults excited about reading much the same way that Harry did? Yes, I think it might be. And so does the author of this article. Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports has the cynicism that appeals to teens as well as the kids vs. the evil adults theme that is fuels the healthy rebellion that all teens must express. These kids are out to save the world from the thoughtless, power-hungry, environment-polluting adults. How much better can you get?!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Yeah. I suck.

Okay, I'll be honest. I don't think that beach post is ever gonna happen. Now that we have been back for over two weeks, it just seems kinda lame. Yet, I have been hesitant to post anything until I tell you both (I'm being realistic now, nobody comes by here anymore as far as I can tell...) about the beach. Because it was great. And relaxing. And I wish that it could have gone on forever.

But we are back home and SD is back to work and the kids are.....dammit, the kids are all at home because some joker in the Texas legislature decided that it would be a great idea to move the start of school back two weeks. Said joker obviously has no kids. Because today it's 103 degrees and they won't even go play outside -- unless it is to play in the hot tub. Where is the logic there? No, they would rather stay inside and beat the shit out of each other and ask me every 38 seconds if they can have another snack. I don't know how we will ever afford them once they are teenagers. Heh. As if they will live into their teens.

So, about the dearth of posts. It isn't likely to get better any time soon. If the beach taught me anything, it was to appreciate the company of my husband and children. I have actually been enjoying SD. We have been having these great conversations (and other interactions *ahem*) sorta like when we were first dating and married. That's been good. And of course, my kids are always freakin' hilarious. Though now, I am able to better appreciate the humor of these crazy kiddos now that I am not the only person responsible for them day in and day out. As a result, I find myself NOT on the computer more than ever while I indulge my family with my loving attentions. I'm sure that will get old soon.

That said, I am sure that my wacky progeny will be committing many blogworthy acts, so things won't be totally dead around here. And, as I said, school starts in two weeks, so once I am able to hear myself think again, perhaps I will start posting a little more regularly. Perhaps....

Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Still in Beach Mode

I haven't been able to work up the energy or at least the will to post lately. I'm still pretty chilled out from the beach, I suppose. That, and I have really enjoyed just being with my family & spending time with my husband, I suppose.

The irony of that is, at this moment, I am actually away from my family for a few days. I am in Dallas visiting some friends and basically just doing absolutely nothing and having no responsibilities. SD returns to work next week and I knew that this was my last chance at solitude for a while. So I seized it!

I am working on a post about our trip to Virginia, but it may be a few more days. I HAVE uploaded a bunch of pix to Flickr, if you want to take a look. They are by no means all of the photos taken that week, just the ones with my new camera that SD got me for my birthday. YAY honey!

More to come, I promise!