It’s not completely my fault. I was at the doctor on Tuesday for THREE hours waiting to get an xray of my right rib cage, which hurts like HELL every time I cough. (Don’t even ask about sneezing. I’ve come close to crying.)

The rib pain started almost two days after my pacemaker surgery. I thought it was weird, but when I woke up in the hospital, the nurse said I tossed around quite a bit. When I tried to get up to go home, I realized I was tied to the bed. Sort of. The sheets were no longer tied (not sure if they were at one point or if nurses just held them), but a sheet rope was laced over my biceps and under my back. I just went, “Huh,” and wiggled out from under it. I might have still been under the influence of drugs.

I was in so much shoulder pain for the first two days, I don’t think I noticed my ribs. It wasn’t until I tried to sleep on my side two nights later that I started thinking “Ouch!”

I’ve had a cough since I came down with the flu six weeks ago (yet another reason why I’m so far behind!). My ribs started hurting each time I coughed just like they did several years ago when I broke the rib during another chronic cough episode (I sneezed and felt the rib break. Ew!). So I started coming to the conclusion that I had again somehow broken the rib, even though I don’t remember any extreme coughing. I know the rib wouldn’t get any better as long as I kept coughing, thus, the doctor’s appointment. I’m on prednisone and an antibiotic for the cough now. Maybe it’s helping? But the rib isn’t actually broken.

I don’t know what’s wrong with it. The nurse just said not broken. When I asked what to do about it, she didn’t know.

Not helpful. I so need a new doctor.

But that’s not the real reason this review wasn’t posted Wednesday! Wednesday, I was at home with a sick kid. #momlife Poor guy felt awful. He’s still home today because there’s the whole don’t-come-back-to-school-unless-you’re-fever-free-without-drugs-for-twenty-four-hours thing, and I’m trying to be a good parent.

He’s sooo much better today, so hopefully he’ll be at school tomorrow. He’s so sad to miss school! Unlike his brother, who said, “Sometimes I like being sick so I don’t have to go to school.” That kid just wants to curl up with mommy all day.

Love them both.

Anyway, since I’m talking about the kids–and since I haven’t finished a book since A Breath of Fire–I’m writing a review of our favorite new family game: Evolution: The Beginning.

We bought this game based on a recommendation from one of Spreadsheet Guy’s coworkers. We’d recently bought Evolution: Climate Change, and really enjoyed it (though I still haven’t won the game yet!), so we were happy to hear that the friend thought Beginnings would work for our Kindergarteners.

In a way, this is a deck building game. You take one card and turn it face down. That card represents a species. You want this new species to survive, so you can give it up to three “traits.” The traits include things like carnivore, flight, nocturnal, scavenger, longneck, fat tissue, hibernate, etc. The carnivore lets the species eat other animals. Flight offers protection from carnivores (unless the carnivore also has the flight trait). Nocturnal animals can only be attacked by nocturnal carnivores. Burrowing animals can only be attacked by burrowing carnivores, etc. The long neck trait allows a species to get three free food, and that is SUPER important. If you can’t feed your species, it dies off.

The game is easy to learn and fun to play. You add traits or population to your species, feed your species either with plants from the watering hole or by eating a carnivore), and hope you don’t get eating on your opponent’s turn. It also moves quickly, something which is important for young kids who don’t always have the longest attention spans in the world. The other big bonus is that my kids are learning something! They can tell you what all these traits do. They know what carnivores are, they know how fat tissue can help animals survive the winter, they know what scavengers do, that horns on animals protect them from predators, etc. I love games that teach kids stuff too (Sleeping Queens is another game we like because it sneaks in math.)

This game is made for kids, but it feels like it could be made for beginning adult gamers too. Plus, the art is really pretty.

I highly recommend Evolution: The Beginning!

Have you played this? What’s your favorite game to play as a family?


(WARW (Write a Review Wednesday) is something I started because I have a habit of putting off writing reviews. As an author, I know how important reviews are for the success of a book, so I’m making a concerted effort to write at least one review a week. Reviews might not always be about books–they could be about games, podcasts, online classes, and other things I enjoy. If you want to see all my WARW reviews, click WARW. (Links above may include affiliate inks.))