Daily Deals: When Parents Text: So Much Said…So Little Understood and Bird’s the Word

When Parents Text: So Much Said...So Little UnderstoodToday you can get When Parents Text: So Much Said…So Little Understood written by Sophia Fraioli just for $0.99

“An addictive and side-splitting read . . .  the underlying relationship between parent and teen is simultaneously touching and hysterical. This should be a best seller–it is a total moment-in-time classic. Enthusiastically recommended.” —-Library Journal (starred review)

A collection of insanely funny texts between parents and kids, When Parents Text is a surprisingly affecting window into the complicated time when parents aren’t ready to let go, and kids aren’t ready to be let go. The parents are well-meaning but hopeless, silly and a little corny, and befuddled by the technology. The kids are bewildered yet patient: the perfect straight man. And the authors, two recent college graduates, Lauren Kaelin and Sophia Fraioli, have an unerring editorial instinct to select the funniest, sweetest, quirkiest, most-telling exchanges.
There’s the revelatory: Mom: My fingers are saying words. This is amazing.
The virtual scolding: Dad: I will deal with your sassy behavior when I get home. Meanwhile have some fiber.
The autofill-challenged: Mom: dig up some tadpoles on ur way homo. Me: ummm, what? Mom: It autocorrected me. I mean to say dig up some tadpoles on ur way homo. (4 minutes later) Mom: PICK UP SOME TAMPONS ON YOUR WAY HOME.
The manically inappropriate: Mom: Woo Hoo—Ruth died, you know Uncle Lyman’s wife, BUT I have your Braves tickets and check on the table!!
And the downright inexplicable: Dad: You could poop your pants in the yankee candle store and no one would know.
Includes an emoticon glossary and 16-page color insert of MMS texts— multimedia messaging service, aka, bizarre photos from mom and dad. It’s the perfect gift for every text-savvy kid to give to his or her parents.

Bird's the Word

In case you haven’t heard, the Bird is the Word. And now it’s also an entertaining game for your Android device.

Cheep Cheep

In Bird’s the Word, the goal is to make as many words as you can, as fast as you can. Highlight the letters in the word and then enter it–the Submit button turns green as soon as you’ve created a legitimate word of three letters or more. When you do, the letters disappear and different ones take their places. The longer the word, the more points you get, and there are lots of special bonus letters that pop up as you go.

There is a catch: Make sure that all the letters in the word are touching each other. If not, a sneaky bird will fill one of the spaces rather than a new letter. The more birds that perch on the board, the harder it will be make new words. Don’t let the winged menaces thwart you!

Three Ways to Wing It

With this game you can create a flap three different ways. In Classic mode, you must fill up the score bar as quickly as possible to advance to the next level. To make it to the top of the pecking order, score more points at each new level within the same amount of time.

With Timed mode, you try to collect as many points as possible before the clock runs out. Word Worm is a fun twist, where each new word must start with the last letter of the previous one. Remember that the early bird gets the worm–you only have 30 seconds to find each word. Think fast, bird brain.

The game tracks stats such as longest word, average word length, time per word, and high scores for each game mode. The more you play and the higher you score, the more achievements you pile up: Word Warrior, Nesting Instincts, Squabble, Pest, Stunner, etc. As you go further into the game, you’ll be able to unlock special birds and other features.

Word War

Since birds of a feather flock together, you can also go beak-to-beak with your friends in Bird’s the Word through Facebook. Just select Challenge on the main menu and pick out one of your friends. Then play a game in any mode and when you finish, a challenge will automatically be sent to your friend’s wall. Can you soar with the eagles or are you going to end up hanging out with turkeys?

Kindle Fire Santa App Great For Parents

Amazon has a habit of releasing some very functional mobile apps that subtly encourage customers to use their site more often.  Of course the fact that they do this by making these apps into genuinely useful ways to save money makes it rather hard to fault them on it.  The most recent of these, and the first one to be released specifically for owners of the new Kindle Fire, is the completely free Amazon Santa app.

At the most basic level, it’s nothing more than a pleasantly festive holiday wallpaper thrown across an Amazon.com wishlist building application.  It provides the user with a few categories – Music, Books, Video Games, Toys & Games, Movies & TV, Everything Else – to flip through, which can be run through endlessly (or close enough based on my experimenting and the claim of over 500,000 listed products).  Presumably these are sorted out based on current popularity, since the product page notes that dynamic updating is a part of the experience.

The reason I consider this one worth recommending, despite having a fairly narrow range of application, is the appeal to children for the benefit of parents.  The Amazon Santa app lets each kid pick out their own favorites in a separate wish list, then send it off to Santa.  While I can’t necessarily vouch for anything that is happening in the North Pole, I can definitely confirm that Amazon will send along some notice to the Kindle Fire owner’s registered email account.  This includes a short list of selections from the list, a link to the full list, and other relavent information.

It’s worth noting at this point that the company is quick to explain how their privacy applies to kids.  Specifically, that no information is in any way linked to the individual identity of a child on Amazon’s part.  Also, that it is preferred for parents to handle all naming of wish lists and registration of accounts under their own names.  While it is always tricky to market anything toward children in a manner that might pass on important information, in this case it would be difficult to think of Amazon picking up anything unless a parent goes out of their way to put a real name on the related list.

Now, I’ll openly add the disclaimer that I do not personally have children, nor do I do any particularly intensive shopping for the ones I am related to.  That aside, the parents I know were quite fond of the idea and their children (all ages 5-12) had no trouble using the app.  I’m told that at least one friend now has trouble retrieving her Kindle as a result, but that’s a completely unrelated problem

The reviews among the broader audience are generally positive, 4 Stars at the time I’m writing this, but there are a couple complaints.  There isn’t sorting, nor can you really narrow down what you want to look at beyond the main categories.  You also will not be able to make use of the app unless you happen to have a Kindle Fire or an iPad.  Definitely important things to note, but if you have the opportunity I would definitely give this one a try.  The value is great, especially considering the price.