Archive for August, 2009

Will free kids meals entice you to eat out more?

The International House of Pancakes planned to announce yesterday free kids meals 7 nights a week for the next month. (The company’s Web site is down so I can’t confirm the announcement happened as scheduled but I assume it did.) Steak and Shake has been offering free kids’ meals on the weekends. (One free kids’ meal for every $8 spent.) And my girlfriend told me just last week, that every Tuesday night they head to Chick-Fil-A because their location has free kids’ meals when adults buy a dinner. (Is that at all Chick-Fil-A’s? I can’t find that on the Web site!)

Many restaurants across the county are offering free kids meals with the hope of luring families out to eat out in this bad economy. A USA Today article had some excellent statistics on the restaurant industry and their efforts to draw diners in.

From the USA Today article:

“IHOP’s move, unprecedented by a national restaurant chain, is another signal of just how tough times are in the $566 billion restaurant industry. …

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Are magazines misleading moms about ‘back to sleep’?

A new study published in the medical journal “Pediatrics” showed that more one-third of publications targeted toward women ages 20 to 40 show pictures of babies in unsafe sleeping positions.

Hopefully, most moms know that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies should be put to sleep on their backs — not on soft surfaces and not with loose bedding, which can help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

The Daily News reports:

“But when the ‘Pediatrics’ study examined almost 400 pictures of sleeping babies from 28 women’s magazines, including ‘Parenting,’ ‘Pregnancy’ and ‘Baby Talk,’ the infants were often portrayed curled up on their sides or sleeping on their bellies in many advertisements.”

“The tots were shot on their stomachs or sides 36 percent of the time, and 63 percent of photos showed hazardous sleeping environments that contained pillows, stuffed animals and blankets, or sharing a bed with an adult.”

” ‘It’s a subliminal message. If a mom …

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Can Dad be trusted to take notes on curriculum night?

My husband is a professional journalist who has been trusted for almost 20 years by the largest news-gathering organization in the world to witness, report and edit the news. He’s covered presidential elections, Supreme Court nominee hearings, hurricanes, executions and the Olympics.

However, can I trust him to take notes for me on first-grade curriculum night?

Our school holds curriculum night at the same time for all grades. This makes it difficult for parents who have kids in different grades. A lot of schools offer two or more sessions so parents can be sure to make it each class. I’m sure this is time-consuming and repetitive for the teachers, but really nice for the parents.

So how can I be in two classes on once? How can I learn how third grade works and learn how Walsh’s teacher will handle her class, as well as let the parents in Walsh’s class know that I need a partner to be room mom with me?

Since we kind of know how first grade works, my plan is to send my B-string …

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“The Real Housewives of Atlanta” should watch out for “The Real Housewives of Lancaster County”

NeNe and gang had better beware. There are some new ladies to watch and they have pitch forks!

I happened upon this spoof of “The Real Housewives” series on You Tube, and I love it! “The Real Housewives of Lancaster County” is hysterical. It’s short so I won’t ruin any of the jokes by giving examples of it’s humor — just watch and you will see!

But seriously, we’ve never talked about “The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ because I’m just so offended by it. I’m embarrassed that these are the ladies representing Atlanta to the world. I am actually a “housewife,” a term I hate, and don’t behave that way and don’t know anyone else that behaves that way. I must be running in the right circles.

Their foolishness is so painful we literally have to keep changing the channel. (The meeting in the park to discuss why you’re talking bad about me; the meeting at dinner to discuss why you’re talking bad about her, the ignoring the other one at an event, the touching of the fake boobs.) It’s …

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Kids’ Top 10 Web searches? Sex and Porn of course!

The good folks at Symantec’s OnlineFamily.Norton, a web-monitoring service for parents, scanned 3.5 million searches between February 2008 and July 2009 to determine the top searches made by kids and guess what?

Sex and Porn made the TOP 10!

Here is the complete TOP 10:

1. YouTube

2. Google

3. Facebook

4. Sex

5. MySpace

6. Porn

7. Yahoo

8. Michael Jackson

9. Fred (YouTube star Fred Figglehorn)

10. eBay

Here’s a link to the entire TOP 100 searches by kids. (I love that Norton has identifiers next to names on the list so parents know who in the heck they are. But really, do we not know who Miley Cyrus is? True though, I had no idea who the Fred guy was!)

From the BBC’s web site:

“Symantec’s internet safety advocate, Marian Merritt, said that with the service, ‘parents can stay in the loop on what their kids are doing online.’ ‘It also helps identify ‘teachable moments’ when parents should be talking with their kids about appropriate online behaviour and other issues in their …

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College Life: Do as I say, not as I did?

With college starting for many students this week and next, I thought it would be a good time to discuss how much you told your young adults about your college days and how you have advised them to behave?

Did you tell the truth about your:

Drinking – If you did imbibe, how much and with whom?

Drugs – If you did, specifically what kind and how much?

Sex – If you did or did not lose your virginity? And if you shared an accurate account of how many partners you may have had and the consequences/outcomes of those relationships?

Skipping classes

Did you lie about the same types of behavior when they were in high school? Can you switch your story and still have their respect? Are your expectations different for a college freshmen VS a high school senior even though they’re both 18? What areas did you feel the most sensitive about sharing? Which areas did you still lie about even with them going into college?

Would you tell them honestly about your experiences hoping to help them …

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Greek Life: Would you advise your teen to Rush?

The University of Georgia begins its Fraternity and Sorority Rush Tuesday (as do many other universities I am sure), and I’m wondering: Would you encourage your teen (or child in the future) to Rush?

Were you in a sorority or fraternity in school? Do you they think they are just as important at schools as they were in your day? What have you shared or would you share about your Greek experience with your child?

Here are some sites I found about UGA’s rush and the Greek life in general.

Rules of Rush for UGA sororities (Apparently rush is now called recruitment, which is actually kind of creepier sounding.)

A Web site and magazine about sorority life in general

Apparently, the boys still call it Rush and their info page is a little more informal.

Here’s a quote from the front of UGA Greek Life page that interested me: “The 2008 UGA National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) found that students who are members of UGA social Greek letter organizations report higher levels of …

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A Mom’s TOP 10 New School Year Resolutions!

Just some of the junk I cleared out of my basement this weekend as part of my fresh start!

Just some of the junk I cleared out of my basement this weekend as part of my fresh start!

For some reason freshly-sharpened pencils, blank notebooks and new underwear say New Year to me far more than a ball dropping in Times Square.

I have always loved the beginning of a new school year, and it feels like a fresh start for mom, as well as for the kids. It’s time to get organized and be a better person.

Just part of the baby stuff that is going Bye-Bye this week!

Just part of the baby stuff that is going Bye-Bye this week!

I have spent the whole weekend cleaning and organizing the house. I went through all the kids’ drawers and closets pulling sizes that don’t fit, either to be passed down or given away. Then I organized all their remaining clothes.  I cleaned out and reorganized the basement and have a car load of baby accoutrement to take to the St. Vincent de Paul Society! I cleaned bathrooms (even under the sinks) and washed clothes. There is much more to do, and I’m on a roll.

I am feeling inspired by the kids’ new school year and …

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Do girl babies talk more/sooner than boy babies?

My girlfriend sent me this video last night of this baby girl jabbering away! The headline on the video is “Are women born this way?” I don’t think the headline is meant in a kind way, but I can’t deny that I  do talk a lot!

My question is: Do girl babies talk more and sooner than boy babies in general?

Rose talked the earliest of all our kids. She was talking some at 6 months (I swear!) and by 10 months it was full on sentences. I remember this because Michael covered the winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and we saw him off at the airport.  He was going for a month. Rose looked at her Daddy and said: “Bye bye Daddy. Have a great trip. See you soon.” It was some crazy sentence.

Walsh talked much later and I was very worried. He started talking a little around 16 months and then by 18 months was saying 5 or 6 word sentences. The doctors just kept repeating: “He’s a boy and he’s your second.”

Lilina was more similar to Walsh than Rose. She was very physical early — crawling at …

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Atlanta ranks 31 out of 50 for working mothers

Forbes has released its list of the top 50 cities for working mothers and Atlanta ranks 31.

The list examined things like: Income, Unemployment, Living, Cost for Health Care, Pediatricians, School Quality, Per-Pupil Spending, Child care, Violent Crimes, and Property Crimes.

Heidi Brown writes in Forbes magazine:

“So while it’s safe to say that all moms want a secure and protected place for their children to live in, first-rate medical care and excellent schools, if they’re running a business or earning a paycheck, there are other important considerations.”

“The potential for a relatively high income, job opportunities and family-friend cost of living are obvious ones. But childcare is way up there too. Some big cities that seem like choice places to raise a family, such as Salt Lake City, Utah, and Orlando, Fla., offer comparatively fewer childcare options–including daycare centers and pre-K–for moms who work.”

New York was No. 1 and Austin was No. 2 on the list.

Here’s the …

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