Tag Archives: pragmatic mom

Rocky Road – a summer read worth reading – Take the ice cream personality quiz at the end

I do like to read young adult fiction, I can say it because I am pre-reading for my children but that is only a partial truth – I like the quality of the writing, the story lines and the fact that I can read it in the time I could read a Harlequin romance…not that I read those now – but I did in college – by the armful, and the occasional Danielle Steele novel, too. I did say I would read anything…and I have – if you are judging me now, so be it. I also read “grown-up” books and am reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog now. Back to YA…

The last young adult fiction book that  I read was Rocky Road by Rose Kent  – Pragmatic Mom let me borrow an advance copy back in June but I am just getting around to writing about it now – it was already published in hard-cover by the time I got the  pre-published bound copy but it was still kind of cool – I walked around with it casually…on purpose. No one asked about the advanced copy but I had fun.

Anyway,  the story involves a more than usually dysfunctional family (Note to YA writers – you know how Disney  kills off a parent for the sake of the story line? YA writers sometimes rely too heavily on family dysfunction for their conflict), having said that and loving YA the way I do, I really liked this book.  The family was dysfunctional in an interesting way with a lot going on. Tess, a seventh grade Texas transplant, whose bipolar mother (father is not involved in this family) moves them to Schenectady, NY in the dead of winter to open an ice cream shop. Tess’s younger brother, Jordan, is deaf and struggles to make himself understood by their mother who can’t seem to manage sign language. The mom is charming and high-functioning and Tess is an artsy-crafty girl who struggles to fit in.  The story is believable and you really care about the characters – and there are plenty of well-drawn characters here,  A strong sense of community and friendship and good values like hard work and responsibility also run throughout the story. If that sounds like a drag, it isn’t. I liked the characters, the writing and that the author dealt with tough topics – bipolar disorder, financial troubles and even caring for a younger sibling (when you may not really want to) are all interwoven in a way that make these topics accessible to younger readers but also engaging to – ahem – older readers, like myself.

All in all, a good read that makes me want to find other books by this author. I found this one: Kimchi and Calamari about an adopted boy who is researching his roots.

About Rose Kent  –  a native Long Islander who spent her summers in the great state of Maine. She is a former naval officer who also worked for a major food corporation. Rose’s first middle-grade novel, Kimchi & Calamari (HarperCollins Publishers) was inspired by her adopted children from Korea. Kimchi & Calamari has been nominated for the NY Charlotte Award, the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Award, and the Florida Sunshine State Young Readers Award.

Ice Cream Personality quiz that Pragmatic Mom found and I blatantly copied. Thanks, Pragmatic Mom!

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Filed under Authors, books, Books and More, Creative outlets, Feed your head, soul, self, Finds, mom blogs, young adult fiction

Now here is what I am talking about

Why am I Capability : Mom? Because sometimes I am so capable…like today. What happened today? Well, I combined a puppy playdate and business meeting with Pragmatic Mom – we talked about Coffee Shop Bloggers and other social media stuff while our dogs gamboled in the grass. Nice, really. Then, I washed the dog – okay, mostly my helpers did but I drove over-heating (it is the a/c – not engine) Mommy Car to the place where we wash her (BYOD), then I finished an article for InterfaithFamily.com and fixed the dishwasher. Fixed the dishwasher? Surely you mean you hired someone? Phoned a friend? Nope, I fixed it. I was frustrated that it was Sunday and I couldn’t get anyone to fix it (even if I could it would be billed at time and a half) and darling spouse was away in New York with friends. So I found a great site – Fixitnow.com and followed the instructions on how to fix a dishwasher and while that didn’t exactly work it told me that the problem was the floater something – so I rinsed out the screen in the bottom of the machine and threw a cup of water into it. I turned it on and it worked. Okay, no, I didn’t take apart the machine or the water connections but nor did I pay someone $100 to rinse out a screen. Maybe not a professional job, but I think it counts for something. Oh, and I made a nice dinner, too.

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Filed under Feed your head, soul, self

Googly bands – The Contest

Okay, I think from just the number of people who already visited my site yesterday Googly bands logo on capability momthat I may be on to something (grin). Desperate parents in search of  Googly bands? Look no further! While I can’t get you any Googly bands, I can tell you about a cute contest for kids (and, no I did not score any free Googly bands, both Pragmatic Mom and I were shut out of the Twitter Mom link to get the bands and write about them).

The contest is open to children 5 and up (and everyone under 14 needs parental permission to submit a photo/design – click here for contest rules) to design a new Googly band.

From the website of Googly bands (from Imperial Toys):

Do you have a great idea for a Googly® Band shape? Let us know!

Starting June 1st 2010 Imperial is accepting submissions for the first ever Googly® Band Design Contest! Top ten band designs will be posted on googlybands.com. Other Googly® Bands fans will get a chance to narrow down the top 10 designs to the top 3 designs by voting on googlybands.com on July 26- August 16. Imperial will select the final winning design eligible for development! Winner will receive recognition on googlybands.com, via Facebook and Twitter and a 50 dollar giftcard!

All submissions must be emailed to submissions@imptoy.com by midnight pacific time on July 18, 2010.

For a full list of rules and regulations click here.

Contest Timeline:

Submission Dates: 06/01- 07/18

Finalist Posted For Consumer Voting: 07/26 – 08/16

Winner Posted: 09/01/10




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Favorite books for Middle School readers at Pragmatic Mom

What does Capability Mom do all day? She reads, of course. When she is not unstopping the bathroom sink or walking the dog or making dinner or folding laundry or buying groceries or cleaning or paying attention to her blog or her family. I did all of these things today and posted on social media (okay, it was a really, really short post) at CoffeeShopBloggers.

Pragmatic Mom is an amazingly energetic and productive person (and she is sweet and funny, too) who gets more done in a day than I get done in a week. Seriously. She may not even sleep or maybe she does and is just so super bright and efficient… never mind. I grow weary of this hapless comparison. Go to Pragmatic Mom’s site and read her post that I helped out with…

Top 10: Books for Summer Reading (Middle School)

pragmatic mom top 10 books for middle school by capability mom

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Filed under library, young adult fiction

Mompreneurs – do you like the title or find it dismissive?

close conceptsMompreneurs…Mommy bloggers… Are women defined by our status as parents while men never are? Is there a ever a Dadpreneur? No, but should we care? Are we fine with it because we don’t mind the extra qualifier?

Let me know what you think. Are you either, neither or both? Hate the terminology or love it? Weigh in here. Pragmatic Mom, you are a self-described Mompreneur – let’s hear from you, too.

Anyway, I have more than a few working friends (and three working sisters) who are flat out amazing.  Here are a few that I want to share with you.

A friend and mompreneur, Judy Close,  (no, I haven’t asked her if she is okay with the term) who is described by a former colleague as “a brilliant industrial designer” (they worked together at Reebok) has a business putting together everything you could possibly need for any party and here is her site  Close Concepts.  close concepts

The company’s tag line is Creative solutions to specific party needs and here are just some of the things she has done – invitations, table numbers, desserts…yum. I think I would be hanging around that cookie table for a bit.  Really cool invitations, party favors, centerpieces and more.  Judy is amazingly creative and so easy to work with – you immediately feel comfortable with her and she asks all the right questions (in case you don’t exactly know what you want…like me).

close concepts

close concepts

She will think of things A) that you will not and B) so you don’t have to.  As a family we have gone to our share of Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Confirmation and Coming of Age parties in the past two years and it is truly lovely to see the personality of the person or family in the details of the event.

Another friend (and new-ish mom) Shannon McGill works for Stella and Dot. It is a wonderful company that sells really sweet jewelry at house parties. The prices are reasonable and the stuff is super cute – bold necklaces or charming charms and a bead and pin combination (that I loved in all colors) and the setting is more cocktail party than anything – no hard sell here …they are fun to go to and from what I hear fun to host, too. Come on, your friends will tell you if something is right for you, so no worries there and if you host you get free stuff. Sign me up!

stella and dot shannon mcgillI found it hard to choose, there were so many things I liked…hmm…I do have a birthday coming up…

I have some other friends who are artists who work in glass or jewelry and I will feature them soon (I need more pictures of their wonderful stuff).

stell and dot shannon mcgill

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Filed under Creative outlets, the mompreneurs

Why I Blog – Magazine – The Atlantic

capability mom goes to fenwayThis is an amazingly thoughtful and wonderfully written  piece (sent to me by a lovely and thoughtful friend)  by Andrew Sullivan who writes but much better than I can  Why I Blog – Magazine – The Atlantic.

Here is a link from Pragmatic Mom (on CoffeeShopBloggers where we also write)about why moms blog. http://www.coffeeshopbloggers.com/2010/04/understanding-why-moms-blog-from-kevin.html

Happy Reading! If you are wondering why I haven’t posted all weekend, it is because I was having what my sister-in-law called a “Rock Star” weekend. We were out three nights (in a row!) until midnight each night. Maybe I should call it my Cinderella weekend. I ate delicious food, had wonderful wine, danced, hung out with fun friends and cheered for the home team. Oh, almost forgot – saw the Cavaliers exit the bus at their hotel on Friday after their victory over the Celtics – they all looked like their knees were killing them -a brush with stardom moment – LeBron James and company.

Dinner out Friday with lovely friends and food, a wonderful Bat Mitzvah party on Saturday (more lovely friends and food) and the Red Sox game on Sunday (even more lovely friends and only a little food -thankfully). I also managed a Mother’s Day lunch (Tapas) with family, and a soccer game.  Capability Mom might have to go a juice fast. My coach already turned back into my 10 year old station wagon and I will be working in the yard spreading mulch today, so I think it is safe to say I am back to real life.

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Filed under Creative outlets

As if you don’t have enough on your plate – a Monday Morning Update: Children’s Tylenol, Baby Gap and Graco recalls and MWRA boil water order still in effect.

mwra breach capability mom blogI have to say, the stores I have been to since the water main broke have been civilised, no pushing or knocking each other over for the last Poland Spring gallon. People are concerned but seem to be taking it in stride and I have had a few (!) conversations about this.  Here is the latest from boston.com.  Click here for the information for Newton and here for a story about how businesses are coping with the boil water order.

Nice for the water companies that this is their Super Bowl  – even I, who posted this  The Story of Bottled Water just bought three cases worth.

As for the product recall for Children’s liquid Tylenol –  Here is McNeil’s Press Release :

http://www.mcneilproductrecall.com/page.jhtml?id=/include/new_recall.inc

McNeil offers a phone number for consumers to call: 1-888-222-6036 and on Monday through Friday 8 AM to 10 PM EST and Saturday and Sunday 9 AM to 5 PM EST. You can also visit the website www.mcneilproductrecall.com.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/abraham/detail?entry_id=62614#ixzz0mscwk4v0

There are two other recalls – Pragmatic Mom has the scoop – one from Baby Gap (infant swimsuits) and Graco (drop side cribs).

Off to clean my counters with…pond water? Just kidding…Disinfectant spray.

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