Kid Review: The Last Kids on Earth, reviewed by Harrison, age 8

I read books that I buy my big kid, especially ones that I buy for him that he then refuses to read. My review of a book is going to be much different than his might be. So I had the idea to interview kids to get their take on their favorite books or books they’ve read recently. This is the first interview in that series.

The first book reviewed is The Last Kids on Earth, written by Max Brallier and illustrated by Douglas Holgate. Harrison, age 8, was interviewed about the book.

What’s the book about?

“There is a monster apocalypse and some of the kids stay home and battle monsters. But most people in town go west where the army is there for safety.”

Who was your favorite character?

“The main character, Jack.”

What did you like about him?

“He was the most adventurous one. He went to different parts of town and everyone else stayed in shelter.”

Who was your least favorite character?

“There was a boy who was really strong. He was a bully and only cared about himself.”

Was there any lesson you learned while reading the book?

“If someone is lost and you think they might be dead, you should still look for them. Because they might not be dead.”

How would you describe this book to other kids?

“It’s funny but sometimes can be scary. They go on lots of adventures. But sometimes they say ‘crud’ so their parents might not like them reading that part.”

Would you recommend this book?

“Yes!!”

 

My take: Admittedly, I didn’t read the entire book. He brought the book home and asked me to read with him a few nights at bed so I read a chapter here and there. It kept my attention and left me wondering what would happen next. From my googling of the author, I see that he was a past game designer. He also writes for Uncle Grandpa and Steven Universe, two favorites around here. It’s no wonder that my kid was over the moon about this book. I’m happy to see that he has other books that we can pick up because I find it hard to find books that are on his reading level but also appropriate.

 

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Vocabulary

Being from the South, I have all sorts of phrases and words in my tool kit that folks from other parts of the country might not understand. Many of the phrases I know, I never use. However, my grandparents had really different words for common objects and situations that I loved hearing. There are certain things that I’ve always used the wrong word for. Once I had kids, and they started saying things wrong, my vocabulary expanded. Some of the words my kids said wrong, they now say the correct way but I don’t. I use their old word or pronunciation.  Here’s my list of words that I say wrong or different:

Vomick: To throw up

Betwinxt: Between (betwixt is actually an old word for between, so not far off)

Scoatch:Small amount

Gore: Girl (kid word)

Diamond room: Dining room (kid word)

Fowlers: Flowers (kid word)

Lease: Leash

Oh-up: Up

Squinched: Put out (as in, that water squinched it)

Biddie: Judgey old woman/rude old woman

Old folks home: Skilled nursing facility (when I’m at work I refer to it the correct way)

Thee-dee-er: Movie theater (kid word)

Cafkay: Cafe (kid word)

 

I know there are more, I’ll have to update this list as more come to mind.

 

 

WFD Wednesday: My kids actually eat this, mostly.

I struggle to find foods that my kids will eat. The older one is more adventurous and will try most anything. The younger one is very picky but will usually always eat “chicken”, we eat a lot of chicken. Sometimes our chicken is made from pork or very occasionally, beef.

I’ve made this particular recipe a few times now. I found it after searching for recipes that use chicken thighs after reading that most people don’t realize they are pretty good for you and the skin is the real problem.  I’ve also come to have an obsession with roasted carrots and I’m eating more carrots than I ever thought possible.

So what did I make? The recipe is Oven-Roasted Chicken Thighs with Carrots and Yukon Gold Potatoes. Check out the link to see it for yourself. The folks over at Epicurious have won me over with this one. I did change-up just  a couple of things. For one, I used 8 chicken thighs instead of 6, because I try to get two dinners out of it. I also forgot that I usually don’t leave the veggies in for so long because they burned a little at that temp for the time suggested in my oven. My oven cooks everything a little wonky so that was my bad. Here are some pictures of what it looked like:

You’ll notice that there is spinach on my plate. To go with the Epicurious recipe, I also made Paula Deen’s Creamed Spinach recipe. I did just a couple of things differently for this one as well. I bought my spinach in bags, so I’m not sure if I used more than I was supposed to or less. Between my oldest kiddo and myself, we inhale this stuff so I wanted to make enough that we’d have leftovers the second night. I also didn’t use any onions. I didn’t have one on hand and I really think it is amazing without the onions. I’ve been a Popeye fan since a kid, so I’ve always loved spinach.

How did I get the kids to eat it? I pull the chicken off the bone for them and give the little one some ketchup. I also never call the potatoes, potatoes. They are french fries. FRENCH FRIES! She will happily eat those (with ketchup as well). She tried a carrot but refuses to eat it, so I usually give her some fruit. The big one doesn’t like the potatoes (see what I’m dealing with?) but will gladly eat the carrots and will cut you for the creamed spinach. As long as they eat some of the meal then that’s okay. We don’t make double meals in this house. I try to make an effort to have something in each meal that everyone likes but I’m not making everyone a different dinner.

Spring Breaking

Next week is Spring Break and we are never the family that goes out-of-town. It just doesn’t happen. It seems like we always have something going on the weekend before or after that keeps us from being able to get away, that and of course the budget.

This year for vacation we are taking a road trip to New York. We are trying to save up for that so a trip over Spring Break isn’t in the cards. As a result I’ve been coming up with things that I could do with the kids around Nashville. If you are local to the Nashville area, here are some things my kids enjoy:

We’ve lived in Nashville since 2006 and never been to the Country Music Hall of Fame. We’ve always wanted to go but the tickets are a little pricey. This Spring Break, they are offering a free admission deal for kids and $10 off admission for parents!

Another place that my kids really enjoy is the Nashville Zoo. We are members so we go throughout the year. Since we’ve been quite a bit, we usually take a leisurely pace and don’t try to rush through and see everything. There is a restaurant on site that has pretty good food, and sometimes we just pack a lunch.

On Tuesdays, the local Carmike Cinemas have Stimulus Tuesday. All their treats, drinks, and a small popcorn are $2 each. You can get even more bang for your buck if you go during the cheaper times from 4:30-6pm daily when tickets are much lower.

Some of the other things we enjoy doing are: taking our bikes and heading out to one of the greenways around Nashville; going to a puppet show at the Nashville Public Librar, walking the pedestrian bridge and grabbing lunch; seeing what is on exhibit at the Frist and taking in the kids’ art area and the Adventure Science Museum.

What do you have planned for Spring Break?

Bad Habits

I have a few bad habits that I’m working on. The top two are my soda intake and eating after dinner/before bed. I know that those two are contributing to my lack of weight loss and also my stomach issues. I’ve been without my gallbladder since 2012 and it’s caused problems a majority of the time since then. The only exception to that was when I was eating much healthier, exercising hard and on the regular and drinking lots of water. I’ve been plagued with nausea and other issues for a few months. I know it’s my eating habits.

So I’ve been trying to drink more water. If I absolutely have to drink something other than water while eating out, I’ve been trying to choose sweet tea. Still not great, but a much better option than soda.

I’ve also (only since Monday) been not allowing myself to eat after 7pm. I have been guzzling water in an attempt to drown out the sounds of my stomach. It’s been growling so loud I imagine it’s yelling at me to feed it. The first night I was so hungry I wasn’t sure I could sleep.

The second night my husband sat across the room sneaking apple slices so I wouldn’t seem him. But I could HEAR him because he eats so loud. Sigh.

Then last night, I’m drinking my ice water when the delicious smell of popcorn wafted over to me. I snapped my head around to see him walking to his seat with a giant bowl of popcorn. I was able to make it through the rest of the night without hurling anything at his head or making myself a snack, so I call that a win.

What bad habits do you wish you could rid yourself of?

Braver than me

Throughout my life I’ve had friends tell me they wish they were as brave or confident or as willing to put their foot in their mouth as me. Hearing that brings up a mix of emotions. One being that they must not realize having a filter isn’t something I’m working at, it just isn’t there. The other, more constant one, is that I’m really not brave at all.

In high school, I really REALLY wanted to play soccer. I had several friends who played. I even went to watch some of them play indoor soccer. I was terrified. I had never been into sports. I was not graceful, at all. I couldn’t stand the thought of not being good enough. I wanted some sort of assurance that I would be at least mostly good. I never played soccer.

I’m now 37 and just now taking a chance at this whole idea of being a writer. I’ve wanted to do it my entire life. I’ve just now come to the point where all my f*cks have been given so I’m out of them. I’m going to try it and at least, if I never get published, I know that I tried. Really tried.

Today, I took another step toward being brave. I took a swim lesson with a friend. I can swim. I can float. I can tread water. I can’t, no, I won’t put my face into the water without something covering my nose.

I’m trying to get fit again. I’m trying to take off those pounds I gained back after taking them off and keeping them off for years. But also, I miss feeling energetic and strong. I mostly miss feeling strong. After having issues with my hips always being too tight and my knee sometimes bothering me, I naturally thought about swimming for exercise. Except I don’t want to hurt myself by doing it wrong. Or put my face in the water.

After today, I can say that I really enjoyed swimming for exercise. It hurts, I can tell it’s working my muscles. And I still don’t like water going in my nose. I might even legitimately feel like I’m going to drown and stop swimming to make sure I’m not going to drown. That might have happened. More than once.

When I need a laugh

If youtube had been invented when I was younger, I would have been glued to the computer non-stop. I remember when we bought our first computer. I was in middle school. Then, as a college freshman I realized my roommate’s computer would allow me to record my voice and use different functions to make it sound different. That kept me entertained for HOURS. I’m someone who can always amuse herself. I find the weirdest things funny. After watching one of my favorite videos that always makes me laugh, I thought I should devote a blog post to sharing some of my favorite youtube videos. I will preface this by saying that I find it especially funny when people fall, myself included. I fell going up the stairs in my dorm once and laid on my face laughing for several minutes while people stepped over me. So for your enjoyment, here are some of my favorite videos to watch.

The Grape Lady. My sister first shared this with me and it’s funnier every time I watch it.

 

Hotline Bling but with Donald Trump’s head. This one showed up in my Facebook newsfeed. I watched it probably 20 times the first day I saw it. It’s one of those weird things that I find ridiculously funny and can’t stop looking at.

 

I’m not going to ruin this one by describing it. It’s unbelievable.

 

Finally, one that was so good it makes me want to do it myself. While trying to learn a dance with a friend, I mistakenly came across this guy in his underwear singing “Work Bitch” By Britney Spears. It’s.so.good. I can’t put into words how watching this will make you feel. And because he made so many of these and I love them all, I’m going to add a bonus video in.