Let it Rain

I cannot count this as mom camp, but I’ve got to share it!

On one of our Long Island days, we got a bit of rain. And The Cutie Cousin got a bit bored. Teaming up with another teen who came to visit, they created a wonderful of delightful mischief.

Spare google eyes were left over from the clam project and suddenly appeared everywhere!

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P.S. Thankfully no one was electrocuted! But, I do not recommend putting google eyes on light sockets!

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Mom Camp 27,28,29: Lazy Summer Days

When you are in a cottage two blocks from the beach, it’s water, water, water! All the days seem to be rolling into each other — get up late, eat pancakes by Pop-Pops, put on suits and head to the beach. At the beach, we gather shells, 20140718-094204.jpg torment hermit crabs (we just look at them and keep them in some plastic cups until we set them free), and search for jellyfish.

You see, the Cutie Cousin had a sad run-in with a jellyfish on one of our boating/swimming trips. It was a terrible entanglement and could only be remedied by a quick return to the house and a baking soda solution. I love baking soda, by the way. It cures so very many things…But that is beside the point.

Then each night to was time for a little backyard whiffle ball. Cinco is really the star of whiffle ball. It must have something to do with the timing of the ball. He was in a charity whiffle ball tournament in the fall and out hit the start Little League players. If only, there was such a thing as a professional whiffle ball league.

After dinner and whiffle ball we have one of two desserts…’smores grilled over the backyard fire pit or ice cream cones from “The Magic Fountain”.

Of course, we also had a few outtings: boating to Sag Harbor, and a super fun boat ride to dinner across the bay. What could be more fun than going to and from dinner on a boat? Plus The Captain and I had an amazing meal of lobster, clams, mussels and crab… yum!

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Zombie Baseball Beatdown: Why Middle Grade Books Are So Hard…

Zombie Baseball BeatdownZombie Baseball Beatdown by Paolo Bacigalupi My rating: 2 of 5 stars First of all, I would qualify this as a middle grade book. In general, I find middle grade books very difficult reads. So many kids I know are reading above grade level and get into the middle grade books at younger ages– don’t get me wrong, this is a good thing. However, the content of middle grade books can be rather ify. The language is boarder line with insults like ‘dumbwad’ (used in this book and the wimpy kid series). The plots and subplots also cross the line at times. For example, I don’t really care for the anti-biz and pro-illegal alien messages in this book. They are not appropriate for the age group and I would consider a subtle form of propaganda. I loved the Origami Yoda series until the Princess Leia book. Again, it dealt with the issue of students being gay. I simply don’t think that is appropriate content for a middle grade book. So, if I was frustrated with the content and language, why 2 stars and not just 1? The story flowed well and kept me and the kids interested. The author did a nice job of knitting the plot together and coming up with devises for the kids to be on their own and without parental supervision during a zombie brake-out. Also, for a book called Zombie Baseball Beatdown, I didn’t feel as if there was enough baseball action in the book. The baseball content skirts the beginning and ending of the story and is missing from the middle! Personally, I don’t recommend the book, but other readers are free to make their own choices. View all my reviews

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Equal Parts Guy de Maupassant and SNL: One More Thing by B.J. Novak

One More Thing: Stories and Other StoriesOne More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak My rating: 5 of 5 stars Equal parts Guy De Maupassant and SNL’s Deep Thoughts, is how I would describe this book. Most people will know B.J. Novak from his work with the TV show The Office, but this book is NOT at all a replay of the show’s old jokes. Novak creates a series of witty and smart short stories and each one is clever from start to finish. He offers us a look at our own absurdity through his humor but without casting judgment on us. Novak allows us to cast judgment on ourselves. He never comes across as disappointed in society or people. Rather, he wants expose¬†us to the humor behind our behaviors and assumptions. And, should you read too much into his work, Novak brings us all down to earth¬†with silly one-liners and ubershort stories. To pick out the best short stories in the collection, is a difficult task. It would almost be easier to pick out the not-so-good ones. He opens the book with “The Rematch” a hilarious retelling of the classic tortoise and hare story. Other standouts are “No One Goes to Heaven to See Dan Fogelberg”, and the final story “J. C. Audetat, Translator Don Quixote”. As for “J. C. Audetat” it is one of Novak’s longer stories and I thought it was starting to drag. But, let me assure you, the ending makes it all worth it! I must add that I listened to the book. Most of the book was read by B.J. Novak himself. However, he also has a number of Hollywood Stars narrate different parts. I cannot say if the stories would be as appealing on the printed page, but the audio version is a must! Much like World War Z, the audio production is amazing. Friends who know me, know I don’t often find 5 star books. My rating should tell you how very much I enjoyed this book. View all my reviews

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Mom Camp Day 26: A Day at the Beach

Having made it to Long Island we are all about the beach and living the ocean life.

We organized a beach combing trip to collect shells. Cinco and The Princess collected a number of interesting items. We also played with the hermit crabs.

Dinner included clams. What do you do with a bunch of leftover clam shells? 20140715-125124.jpgWell, The Cutie Cousin (as I will now call my niece) came up with the idea of making google-eyed clam shells! Awesome…

 

 

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In the Air Again: Mom Camp Day 25

Everything that right with the flight to London, went wrong with the flight to New York.

First off Cinco woke everyone up at 5am with a nosebleed. Our flight was at 11:35am— so there was a lot of time to kill.

I was also flying solo with the kids–which made things a lot harder! Both kids had to go everywhere with me at the airport…

The Captain booked us tickets on Virgin America with a 35 minute layover. Sadly, that connection time proved to be something of a problem. So we had to get booked on a later flight, ok… But that meant changing the car we had meeting us at the airport and arriving at our final designation at 1:30 in the morning.

But, we boarded the plane not knowing if our luggage was going to make to JFK.

I had three different sticky drinks spilled on me. The kids went to the bathroom about 7 times between the two (no joke). And the screens to watch movies on board kept freezing up! Oh the joy.

I brought fewer mom prizes because we ended up not needing as many on the trip to England and I didn’t want to be bogged down. So, that made the kids a little cranky.

But we did have a good time reading a Judy Moody book and making owl crafts. The kids also put on an owl dancing and signing show.

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Frozen Day! Mom Camp 24

With Cinco at camp, The Princess and I planned a mom camp day dedicated to Frozen!

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First thing in the morning, we made popsicle. Don’t ask what I was thinking— I let her put sprite and skittles in the popsicle molds and stuck them in the freezer.

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Frozen Gummies, Anyone?

We also decided to invite one of her friends over to join in the fun– let’s call her Snowflake from now on. Before Snowflake arrived, we read a Frozen book and I gave The Princess a cute Frozen sticker book to play with while I was at the gym. It seemed to keep her occupied.

We rushed back home to meet Snowflake and let our crafting begin. There are tons of Frozen resources online and some very cleaver ideas.

20140710-074018.jpgI printed out a few items including:

PLUS….

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Snowflake models her bracelet

After making The Princess and Snowflake each a packet of printables… I got to work on our projects.

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The Princess’ necklace

Each girl got to create a Frozen inspired piece of jewelry. I gathered a bunch of clear, crystal-like plastic beads. I was concerned the jewelry would look too dull if they only made of “icy” beads. I decided to add a few beads in different shades of blue and threw in a purple or two for good measure.

Snowflake opted to make a bracelet. The Princess decided on a necklace. Both girls looked very fashionable in their creations!

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Our next craft were a set of Anna and Elsa crowns. I printed both crowns for each girl–no fighting during mom camp! While the crown’s creator suggests using glitter to glamorize the crowns, that as going to be too messy for me. I went out and I got some self adhesive pearls and diamonds to bling out the crowns.

Next, it was time for the popsicle taste test… Everyone agreed they were a bust, BIG TIME! Both girls rejected them and begged for popcorn instead. No problem.

Now it was time to start the movie…within minutes, Snowflake and The Princess were wearing the crowns and singing their hearts out until Snowflake’s mom picked her up.

I’ll count that a successful Frozen Day!

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