Archive for September, 2009

How do we teach kids self control?

My 6-year-old son can read on a third-grade level, finish long chapter books in one night and can multiply. However, he can’t seem to control himself at school.

He is not a bad little boy. He is very loving, very empathetic and always willing to share. But he is very chatty (in his genes) and is also very touchy (also my genetic fault).

In addition to his genetic dispositions, he is a boy with a late spring birthday. I like to credit a lot of the issues to that fact. (We couldn’t redshirt him though for Kindergarten, he’s just too smart to hold back. I think he would be more misbehaved bored.)

For the last two years I have spent way too much time on the phone with teachers hearing about how he is talking too much in circle time or touching other kids in line or in the lunchroom.

His kindergarten teacher was very patient and her mantra was “He will get it.” And by that spring, when his age and maturity caught up with his classmates his conduct grades were finally …

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Pregnant ladies should be getting their flu shots and other stories you will like!

Since I had router problems yesterday and couldn’t publish, I wanted to give you two blogs today. This blog is a collections of three great stories from The New York Times. I wanted to make sure you all saw them.

Pregnancy is no time to refuse a flu shot

The first is about pregnancy and getting your flu shots (swine and regular). When I was pregnant they always said you should get your flu shot but only if you were passed the first trimester. Apparently that’s not the rule now.

As the article tells us: “Pregnancy meant a fourfold risk of hospitalization, sometimes with a tragic outcome; all the pregnant women who died had been relatively healthy to begin with.”

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have since put pregnant women at the top of the priority list for the vaccine, and have recommended that pregnant women start antiviral medications as soon as possible after exposure to the virus and after the onset of flu symptoms.”

Probiotics: Looking underneath …

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Should couples sleep in separate beds?

Tired, grumpy all the time? Not getting enough good sleep?

A friend of my husband’s wrote an interesting blog suggesting that Lucy and Ricky had it right in the ’50s — separate beds are better for couples.

Colleen Newvine Tebeau found multiple studies that agree that couples would get much better sleep and more of it if they didn’t share a bed!  Here’s the link to Newvine Tebeau’s blog.

She reports:

“A recent Wall Street Journal blog post reported on a presentation by British sleep specialist Neil Stanley: Dr. Stanley, who heads a sleep laboratory at the University of Surrey, reported at the British Science Festival that married people suffer 50% more harmful sleep disturbances if they share a bed, the BBC reports. Poor sleep can cause depression, heart disease, strokes, lung disorders and accidents, he says.”

“The WSJ went on to say:  In 2005, a National Sleep Foundation survey showed 23% of married Americans sleep alone, an increase from 12% in 2001, CNN …

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Why I don’t bring my wife to Georgia football games

Editor’s Note: I’ve complained a lot on this blog about my husband abandoning me on the weekends to go to the University of  Georgia football games. Finally, here’s HIS view on the subject.

Michael and Lilina.

Michael and Lilina.

By Michael A. Giarrusso

Ever since our first child was born, my wife has had a hate-hate relationship with college football, a game that she once loved. She’s written about it here many times, but to summarize:

We used to go to games together all the time, and she was generally an attentive and enthusiastic fan. She simply couldn’t go as much after the kids were born. Babysitters were tough to find, especially since my in-laws go to games themselves most Saturdays. And bringing small children to loud, hot Sanford Stadium is not a great idea.

I kept the tickets, and Theresa was replaced by my best friend. For the last eight years, she has become more and more resentful of this situation, angry at me for going, for leaving early or staying late and for drinking …

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How BIG was your baby? Can you beat 19.2 lbs.?

I ran across an interesting story on Yahoo last night about an Indonesian woman who delivered a 19.2 pound baby!

The woman delivered the child by C-section. (Thank Goodness!) The baby boy was 24.4 inches long! Here’s the full story from USA Today.

Apparently after the story ran on the Today show, Yahoo showed a huge spike in people searching for “19 pound baby,” “indonesian baby,” and “heaviest baby ever.”  The Yahoo editors conclude that people love to brag about having big babies. (I couldn’t get the Today show clip to load but you can see it on the Yahoo link.)

My brother loves to tell everyone how big his babies were. He is so proud that his son was over 10 pounds and his daughter was just shy of 10 pounds. They were big ole babies and my sister-in-law is tiny!!  My sister-in-law’s tailbone was knocked out of place delivering her first child, among other things!

All of my babies were right around 7 pounds. I can’t imagine trying to pass a 10-pounder, and I’m a heck of …

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Could one hour of exercise help your child fall asleep faster?

A new study from New Zealand shows that kids who did at least one hour of vigorous activity during the day fell asleep much faster than those who didn’t.

The study of 591 7-year-olds found that on average it took kids 26 minutes to fall asleep after bedtime. With that one-hour of activity it only took 6 minutes.

There was a direct correlation between the number of minutes it took kids to fall asleep and the number of minutes of vigorous exercise they had that day.

For every hour a child spent each day being sedentary, it took them 3 minutes longer to get to sleep.

From the ABC News story:

“Up to one in six parents of school-aged children report that their child has difficulty falling asleep, Dr. Ed A. Mitchell of the University of Auckland in New Zealand, the study’s lead author, told Reuters Health by email. The study’s findings, he said, emphasize that physical activity isn’t only important for fitness, heart health, and weight control, but also for good sleep.

” …

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New book on Obamas: Kids strained their marriage too!

They seem to be happy and have a lot of romantic moments. But that wasn't always the case according to a new book. (AP)

They seem to be happy and have a lot of romantic moments. But that wasn't always the case according to a new book. (AP)

The New York Daily News ran an interesting excerpt from the new Christopher Andersen book about President and Michelle Obama’s marriage — “BARACK AND MICHELLE: Portrait of an American Marriage” (HarperCollins, September 2009). I have no idea how accurate his portrayal of their marriage is but it sure sounds familiar!

You can read the entire excerpt at this New York Daily news link. Here are a few paragraphs from the story:

“You only think about yourself,” she would say to him again and again in a tone dripping with disdain. “I never thought I’d have to raise a family alone.” Barack, convinced that whatever time he devoted to his career would ultimately benefit his wife and daughter, shrugged off the criticism….”

“In the face of running a household, raising two small children and trying to find ways to make ends meet, such soul-searching struck …

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Water in the basement; kids running around in bathing suits

I was naively enjoying a rainy day at home with the kids yesterday when I decided it would probably be a good idea to check out our basement just to make sure there wasn’t any water seeping in.

And guess what? There was water coming in.

We’ve lived in the house for two years and never had a drop of water in the attic or basement. It wasn’t a huge amount of water coming under the basement door but it was enough to wet the floor and a lot of our boxes in the unfinished part. Some of the carpet in the finished part of the basement was also wet. It was sucking the water in through capillary action.

We spent most of yesterday trying to dry out our carpet. The kids, who promptly changed into their bathing suits, liked the process of stomping on towels on top of the rugs to soak up the water. Michael took a different approach working the wet/dry vac like a pro. The carpet is pretty dry now and we’ve set up several fans help finish the job.

I know we have been lucky thus far. …

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Are bathtime photos child pornography?

A couple in Arizona had their three children taken away from them for taking partially nude bathtime photos of their kids. The couple was never charged with any crime and did get their children back. They are now suing the state and the Walmart that turned their photos over to the police.

From The Arizona Republic:

“A Peoria couple is suing Walmart and the state after they were accused of sexual abuse for taking bathtime photos of their daughters, according to court papers.”

“Lisa and Anthony “A.J.” Demaree’s three young daughters were taken away by state Child Protective Services last fall when a Wal-Mart employee found partially nude pictures of the girls on a camera memory stick taken to the store for processing, the lawsuit claims.”

“Walmart turned the photos over to police and the Demarees were not allowed to see their children for several days and did not regain custody for a month while the state investigated, according to their lawyer, Richard Treon.”

Their …

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Birthing trends: ‘Mad Men’ explores the horrors of giving birth in the ’60s; how about now and in the future?

Last Sunday’s episode of “Mad Men” offered a visceral and scary view of giving birth in the 1960s. It was titled very appropriately “The Fog.” (The producers of the show even did a whole video about why they wanted to explore giving birth in the 1960s. See the clip above. The first 2.5 minutes apply to our topic.)

Betty Draper was pregnant with her third child on the show. She smoked and drank her way through the pregnancy and didn’t eat much other than Melba toast and cottage cheese, so she wouldn’t ruin her figure of course. (Oh is that where I went wrong – eating sausage biscuits?)

(Here’s part of Betty’s visit to the hospital to give birth.)

When the time came, her husband Don drove her to the hospital. The nurse plopped her in a wheel chair and told Don his job was done and to go sit and wait. They proceeded to take her a room to shave her entirely and give her an enema. These things sound terrible under normal circumstances much less while you’re in …

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