Archive for October, 2009

Are your tweenagers trick-or-treating without you?

(Editor’s Note: Keith Still will be filling in for me for part of next week and the week after while we bring our kitchen back to the future. (Get it? It’s an ’80s reference because my kitchen looks like the ’80s.) But she had a burning question about Halloween so she wrote today’s topic also.)

With my eldest child’s twelfth birthday and Halloween coming up this weekend, we are once again forced to realize that our daughter is growing up.

Since beginning middle school a couple of months ago, our daughter has become much more independent and responsible. She also has a close group of increasingly-independent and responsible friends. And while life with a middle-schooler is no cake walk, it’s also not nearly as bad (so far) as I had feared.

So as birthday number twelve approaches, our “little girl” is hoping to strike out on her own this Halloween and go trick-or-treating with her friends. She has trick-or-treated with her friends in a way for years – mainly because …

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Do adults without kids waste their time?

My husband ran across a column which basically says adults without children waste their time. Robert Pagliarini, a financial consultant and author, wrote that the child-free have so much time on their hands they are never pressed to do anything and because of that they waste time.

Here are some excerpts from his CBS Money Watch column:

“I have friends without kids and I want to wring their neck every time they say, ‘I’m so busy. I don’t have enough time.’ You don’t have enough time?! Are you kidding me? My theory, which seems to be much more popular with my friends that have children, is that people without kids are inefficient and don’t fully value their free time…”

“Common sense says that if you have children, you will not be as productive. There’s no way you will be able to get as much done. That book you want to write? It will take a lot longer. Time for exercise? Limited. People without kids have so much more free time that it’s almost …

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Swine Flu Etiquette: Should families self quarantine?

We all know I’m a germaphobe, but I am wondering about some choices moms are making after they know one of their children has the Swine Flu. Here are a few examples to consider for our discussion:

1. A child is officially diagnosed with the Swine Flu. The mom, her husband and the child’s sibling all show up at a very optional social event two days later.  My feeling is they put other people at risk showing up when one of their children had full on Swine Flu.

The mother’s argument was that she was trying to keep the second child away from the first so he wouldn’t catch it, but a few minutes earlier she had said the doctor said they were most contagious before they felt sick. So her son had already been exposed under that theory.

2. Another mom reported that after her eldest was diagnosed with the Swine Flu she still sent her daughter to school the next day. One day later, that daughter had the Swine Flu. The mom and the baby ended up catching it too. The husband has …

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Camping for Dummies II: Things I did wrong!

I really appreciated everyone’s great advice for our camping trip last weekend. I thought about all that you guys wrote as I packed up and while we were at the campsite.

The Stone Mountain campgrounds are very nice. Although, Michael found it to be crowded and not just because of the Cub Scouts. He said it was like a tent city.

I liked the pavilion with the giant fire pit/grill area where we had dinner. The kids had a fantastic time running around like maniacs on the greens outside the pavilion and on the playground. It’s all very kid friendly – even my kids couldn’t get in trouble there.

We did have running water and electricity at the tent site, but we didn’t need it. There are bathrooms all around the campground, and they were actually pretty clean and didn’t smell funky at all.

Overall, the trip was extremely relaxing once we got there. (It was stressful trying to make sure your remembered everything you needed.) It was beautiful weather to be outdoors. (We …

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Does more housework equal more sex?

We now know why French maids are always getting it on – apparently the more housework you do, the more sex you are likely to have.

The Wall Street Journal’s Sue Shellenbarger reports that a new study shows that for men and women the more housework they help with the more likely they are to have sex with their spouse.

“Earlier studies have hinted at this connection for men; the sight of a husband mopping the floor or doing dishes sparks affection in the hearts of many wives. But the more-housework-equals-more-sex link for wives, documented in a study of 6,877 married couples published online recently in the Journal of Family Issues, is a surprise…”

” ‘Rather than compromise their sex life’ because of time demands at work or at home, ‘this group of go-getters seems to make sex a priority,’ says Constance Gager, lead researcher and an assistant professor of family and child studies at Montclair State University, Montclair, N.J. The study doesn’t measure what …

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Camping for Dummies: I need your best camping advice!

(Sing to the tune of “Green Acres”  — the Eva Gabor part.)

New York is where I’d rather stay.

I dread allergic smelling hay.

I just adore a penthouse view.

Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue!

Anyone who has ever read this blog knows that I am not the outdoorsy type.  I am 37-years-old and have never, ever, not once been camping. And neither has my husband!

This weekend our family will be CAMPING for the first time thanks to the Cub Scouts. (Walshie did join Cub Scouts. See earlier entry on that decision.)

I am very excited about sharing the experience with Walsh, but I am also pretty certain we’re going to do things wrong, bring the wrong stuff and just generally be way out of our comfort zone. (And as you know from the football game discussion if it rains, I am out of there!)

We are lucky the Cub Scouts are making it an easy first trip. We will only be at Stone Mountain and our tent (borrowed from my friend Sheridan –thank you) will be located near the …

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Too much of a Mama’s Boy?

Time magazine has a fascinating story about the phenomenon of mama’s boys in Italy. They call them mammone and they are hypercoddled boys whose mothers do everything for them well passed their childhood.

Time magazine reports:

“… A disproportionate number of Italian men enter their 30s — and in some cases their 40s — still completely reliant on their mothers to do their cleaning, cook their meals, iron their clothes and keep a roof over their heads. According to a survey published last year in Psychology Today, a full 37% of men from the ages of 30 to 34 still live with their mothers in Italy.”

This story focuses on one extreme case where the mother and grandparents are being accused of child abuse because authorities say their boy was sheltered too much.

Here’s the gist of the case according to Time:

“The case centers on the overprotective mother and grandparents of a 12-year-old boy known only as Luca in the northern city of Ferrara. Prosecutors say the …

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A Woman’s Nation: A new report from Maria Shriver tells us just how much women’s lives have changed

Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress commissioned a study of the state of women today – their work life and their home life.

Through polling and interviews, the partnership has produced a VERY meaty report called “A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything.” Time Magazine and NBC news outlets have been reporting the results of this study all week. There is also a Web site with all the findings.

Here is the web site The Shriver Report:  A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything

Here is the link to NBC news with videos from the Today Show and MSNBC.

We can’t deal with the whole report at once so here are few highlights to start us off:

From Maria Shriver’s opening essay:

  • … fully HALF of U.S. workers are female—and mothers have become the primary breadwinners in 4 in 10 American families.
  • Half of all families rely on the earnings of two parents and in more than 20 percent of all families a single mother is the primary breadwinner.
  • Seventy percent of …

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What’s with the trashy Halloween costumes for teen girls?

The Party City circular that arrived in our Sunday paper had an interesting grouping of costumes for teen girls.

While I think they were advertising a witch costume for teen girls what I saw was a hooker witch costume for teen girls.

The Batgirl costume also appeared to actually be a Hooker Batgirl costume. The Sailor, devil, milk maid, pirate, Red Riding Hood and even Raggedy Ann all appeared to be working the streets with ridiculous short skirts and some revealing bust lines. Just FYI, the Pocahontas outfit covered the most skin. Here’s the Web site so you can see what I’m talking about.

I’m not trying to say this is Party City’s fault. It just happens to be the Halloween costume circular I looked at. But it is a problem over all in society.

I think it was the movie “Mean Girls’ a few years back that said Halloween was when teenage girls got to release their inner slut. I personally think that’s pretty scary!

(Here the actual quote from “Mean Girls”: Cady: …

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Is the movie ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ too scary for kids?

Spike Jonze’s movie adaption of the classic book “Where the Wild Things Are” was No. 1 at the Box Office this weekend and brought in $32.5 million.

We have the book, and I have actually talked with Maurice Sendak once for a story. He was lovely, but I was never a huge fan of the book. I’m just not that into the movie, and I think it would be scary for many kids.

Here’s a story from Entertainment Weekly on the issue.

From the Seattle University Spectator:

“In a recent Newsweek interview, Maurice Sendak was asked what he would say to concerned parents who feel the new film adapted from his children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are” may be too scary for children.”

“ ‘I would tell them to go to hell. That’s a question I will not tolerate,” Sendak said. “If they can’t handle it, go home. Or wet your pants. Do whatever you like. But it’s not a question that can be answered. …‘ ”

“The film is scary. Really. Freaking. Scary. For those who …

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