Archive for July, 2009

Is there a ‘conception etiquette’?

A wanna-be mother sent a letter to the Slate columnist for manners and morals, “Dear Prudence”.

The woman and her husband were planning to start their family but then her sister-in-law suffered a miscarriage. She writes it’s the perfect time for them to begin to try to conceive but she doesn’t want to hurt her sister-in-law’s feelings by getting pregnant. She asks if there is a “conception etiquette”?

Here is the full question and Prudence’s answer!

I actually think this type of situation happens pretty often. Siblings are frequently of child-bearing age around the same time, hence babies being conceived and born around the same time.  I definitely think there can be jealousy and hurt feelings when one is successful and other has a problem, or when one sibling steps on the other’s announcement.

One of the things that struck me the most about Prudence’s answer is she points out that because a lot of woman get a year focused on them when it’s their time to be the bride they …

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Can you turn early risers into kids that sleep late?

My friends are always shocked that my kids are still asleep at 9 or 10 in the morning during the summer. It’s partially because I let them stay up too late, but I also think it’s partially internal wiring. Michael and I are late-night people, and we always have a hard time getting up in the morning.

We know several couples who have adopted kids, and it’s interesting to study whether sleep patterns are inherited or situational. One of the couples had a daughter on their own before they adopted. The first daughter was always an early riser and the adopted daughter seems to follow suit. Could her birth-mother have been an early riser or is she just hearing her sister wake up and adjusting to the family’s pattern? The other couple has two adopted children and what’s interesting is when the second child came two years later, he completely mimicked the older child’s patterns.

Are sleep patterns genetic? Do they rise when they hear you rise so they seem genetic? Can you reprogram …

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Is the new Harry Potter movie too scary for your kids?

Is the new Harry Potter movie too scary for your kids? Jaap Buitendjik / Warner Bros.

Is the new Harry Potter movie too scary for your kids? Jaap Buitendjik / Warner Bros.

I have told my poor hospitalized brother that unless he really needs me today, I am skipping out on rubbing his feet and feeding him to go and see the new Harry Potter movie: “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”

I was planning to see it alone, but after watching the trailer (below), I’m thinking I need a friend to go with me. I think I may be too scared!

We know that the book series got darker, more intense and more violent as the saga continued so one would expect the movies to do the same. Although “Half-blood Prince” is only a PG where “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” was  PG-13.

I found a bunch of headlines last night warning parents to beware before taking their kids. Here are a few of them:

New Harry Potter movie could scare younger fans

Parents cautioned about new Harry Potter movie

Missed one or all the movies: Here is a quick summary of all the Harry Potter movies …

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Divorce rules: OK to vacation with the boyfriend and the kids?

I’m always wondering about the rules of divorce.

Although I’ve never been divorced I’m a big believer in kids not meeting a date/girlfriend/boyfriend until it is really serious. But what about taking the boyfriend/girlfriend on vacation with the parent and the kids after it is serious? Is that OK?

I recently heard that an old friend was bringing her boyfriend along on her vacation with her kids. I just wasn’t sure how that would fly with the ex-spouse or with the kids? Is that fair game? Can an ex put his or her foot down? Could the kids object?

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What if Jon and Kate were on …

Some funny, maybe mean, people on Funny or have created videos of what they think Jon and Kate would say if they were on the online dating site I think the Jon one is funnier than the Kate one, but see what you think. Leave us your reactions to the videos below. Gosselin – watch more funny videos

Kate Gosselin Profile Video – watch more funny videos

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Pet python kills baby: Should parents be criminally charged?

Law enforcement officials remove a Burmese python,  measuring more than 8 feet long, from the home where it killed 2-year-old Shaunnia Hare in Oxford, Fla. on Wednesday morning, July 1, 2009. The Sumter County Sheriff's Office said Charles Jason Darnell, the snake's owner and the boyfriend of Shaunnia's mother, discovered the snake missing from its aquarium and went to the girl's room, where he found it on the girl and bite marks on her head. Darnell, 32, stabbed the snake until he was able to pry the child away. (AP Photo/St. Petersburg Times, Will Vragovic)

Law enforcement officials remove a Burmese python, measuring more than 8 feet long, from the home where it killed 2-year-old Shaunnia Hare in Oxford, Fla. on Wednesday morning, July 1, 2009. (AP Photos)

You may have seen the very upsetting story from Florida about the 8 ½-foot-long pet Burmese python that escaped from its glass aquarium in the living room, slithered into a 2-year-old’s bedroom, coiled itself around the baby and killed it.

Now the question is: Should the parents be criminally charged and if so, to what extent? reports: The parents, 32-year-old Charles Jason Darnell and 23-year-old Jaren Ashley Hare, could face charges ranging from child abuse to aggravated manslaughter. Or no charges at all.

Prosecutors will carefully assess to what degree culpable negligence played a part in the child’s death.

“Culpable negligence is defined as involving acts of such ‘gross and flagrant character’ to evince ‘reckless disregard of human life or of the safety of …

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Our children do NOT need longer school days!

I just read the story that The State Board of Education signed off on rule changes that would allow schools to lengthen their days to shorten their year.

From the AJC:

“The State Board of Education early today signed off on rule changes that will allow schools to change from the traditional 180-day school year, provided students still end up with the same amount of class time.” …

“The Murray County School System, located in Chatsworth, has already approved a 160-day calendar for this fall that adds an hour to each school day, but allows students to start the year after Labor Day.” …

“Dana Tofig, spokesman for the State Department of Education, said several school systems appeared interested in looking at a schedule change back when gas was over $4 a gallon.”

This decision just stuns me as a mother!

Apparently the School Board members are too old to remember their children getting off the bus exhausted!

Last year, my kindergartner fell asleep on the bus ride home every single …

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What to do with a very Fancy Nancy?

My girlfriend who lives in New York CC’d me on a quick email she sent out of frustration to her other mom friends. She has a precious daughter about to enter kindergarten who apparently likes to be FANCY all the time! (My friend is beautiful but very natural. She can be fancy when the occasion calls, but she is not a prissy woman concerned with her appearance.)

Here is her note (I emphasize she jotted it off quickly!):

“Okay, so today going to church might have been the last straw. The fancy dress, the necklace, the lipstick (very pale kids pink), the curlers in her hair the night before so it could be bouncy, then her crying over MY shoes having high heels and being fancier than hers.

So (her husband) is saying, and I kinda agree, that it is time to say enough with the fancy.  Do any of you have any opinions on this and how to go about saying that, doing that, showing her how NOT to worry about her looks so much? A good lesson on vanity is in order I think.

I’m at a loss as …

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Are you hiding money from your hubby?

Recently a good friend was telling me about a bank account that she hides from her husband. She says she feels like she needs financial security and just pops money into it whenever she can.

A day later, I was listening to an encore show of “Whatever with Alexis and Jennifer” on Sirius radio (the show with Martha Stewart’s daughter Alexis Steward and her partner in crime Jennifer Koppelman Hutt) and they were talking about secrets that you keep. A woman called in and said that she had a secret bank account with $100,000 in it! Her husband was being investigated for tax problems and even though they file separately she was terrified her husband would find out about. (The woman ran her own business and has a separate account anyway so she was just squirreling away from her business.)

Time magazine wrote about the history of women hiding money from their husbands in a 2004 issue.

“Wives have probably been hiding money from their husbands since marriage was invented. The Japanese …

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Are lakes more dangerous than pools for kids to swim in?

Department of Natural Resources officer corporal Eric Sanders, left, and boating safety officer Mark Stephens, right, patrol Lake Lanier on Monday, June 29, 2009.  Curtis Compton /

Department of Natural Resources Cpl. Eric Sanders (left) and Boating Safety Ranger Mark Stephens patrol Lake Lanier. Curtis Compton/

I have a very good friend that won’t let her kids swim in lakes because she says if they ever start to drown you couldn’t find them to save them. She says she’s really bothered by how dark and muddy the water is and feels like it’s a greater drowning threat than pools.

And it does seem like this summer there have been a lot of stories of children and adults drowning or almost drowning in lakes.

For example,  a 24-year-old is in grave condition after being pulled from Lake Lanier on Sunday. She spent 12 minutes submerged underwater!

A 6-year-old boy, the woman’s relative, also had to be rescued. But Hall County Fire Chief David Kimbrell said the boy was resuscitated and taken to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for evaluation.

The woman is in critical condition and the boy is in stable condition, Kimbrell said Monday morning.

Also …

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