Archive for December, 2009

Party, party, party — like you’re a room mom!

No time to chat today. I’m running like a crazy woman preparing for school parties. I’m helping with four parties today, leading one on Friday and leading one on Saturday as well.

We’ve got Rose’s school party (cut up a bag of apples and took in bulky items at 8:30 and the teacher’s present), Lilina’s school party (baked, wrapped present exchange and prepared teachers’ gifts), and then we have two Sunday School parties tonight (presents and food for those.)

In the interim I have to find Velcro tape that I can use on the school carpet to make Polar Express train tracks (school custodian won’t let me use electrical tape), magnets for the backs of the keepsake trains, jewels and glitter pens to decorate the trains.

Prepare more than 50 snowflakes to hang from the ceiling so the kids walk into a winter wonderland and then decorate his teacher’s classroom this afternoon.

I also have to figure out how to fix the photos I took of the kids for his teacher’s present …

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Child sent home for drawing crucifix: What was the teacher thinking?

Editor’s Note: The Associated Press published an update to this story late last night. You will find the updated paragraphs below the original post.

I think we’re going to start a new feature called “What was that teacher thinking?” (It can apply to parents too. It’s a very versatile heading. ) Here’s the first entry:

According to an Associated Press story:

“An 8-year-old boy was sent home from school and ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation after he was asked to make a Christmas drawing and came up with what appeared to be a stick figure of Jesus on a cross, the child’s father said Tuesday.”

“Chester Johnson told WBZ-TV that his son made the drawing on Dec. 2 after his second-grade teacher asked children to sketch something that reminded them of the holiday.”

“Johnson said the teacher became upset when his son said he drew himself on the cross. Johnson, who is black, told WBZ he suspects racism is involved. He said he thinks the school …

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Would you let your daughter be a ‘recruiting hostess?’

There are three things I don’t want to hear from my daughter when she goes away to college:

  1. Mom, I’m gonna be on “Girls Gone Wild.”
  2. Mom, I’m on a MTV reality show.
  3. Mom, I’m a recruiting hostess for a major university athletic program!

The last one may seem odd if you don’t follow college football or haven’t heard the latest news about possible University of Tennessee recruiting violations involving “hostesses.”

The NCAA is investigating whether the University of Tennessee violated recruiting rules when two of the school’s “recruiting hostesses” showed up at a high school game more than 200 miles from the university. The young women showed up dressed cute with signs for these high school players.  They claim they didn’t meet with the students, but photos have popped up of the girls posing with the players.

But the accusations go further than just meeting with players off campus.

From The New York Times story about the University of Tennessee …

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Techno Parenting: Tracking baby’s every breath, poop and babble with an app!

According to a Wired story, the latest trend in parenting is tracking (and graphing) with computer software every poop, babble, cry and minute of sleep your baby experiences.

With the help of Web sites such as Trixie Tracker and of course your iPhone (because there’s an app for that) parents can record in mere seconds the most mundane statistics to help them know that their child is developing “normally” and on par with his peers.

Wired interviewed Allen Fawcett and his wife about their tracking of their baby’s diaper changing, feeding and naps – for three years!

“With the help of the Trixie Tracker website, they know they’ve changed exactly 7,367 diapers for their three-year-old son and 969 for their three-month-old daughter. They also have a graph of precisely how many minutes each of their children slept on nearly every day since birth. During their daughter’s first month, the data shows she averaged 15 hours of sleep a day, which is two hours more than her …

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Mall Santa Photos: Love ‘em or hate ‘em?

Rose and Walsh peeking compressed

Last year Rose and Walsh peeking around the corner to see Santa Claus. I think this was the Mall of Georgia Santa. It was actually a pretty nice wait and they were excited about peeking.

Mom on the set compressed

Mom trying to get the kids set up on Santa's lap. The baby was not happy even though the Santa seemed very nice.

The baby got her blanket and stopped crying, but no smile. A good one of Santa and Walsh. OK one of Rose.

The baby got her blanket and stopped crying, but no smile. A good one of Santa and Walsh. OK one of Rose.

We took these photo last year when the kids went to see Santa Claus. I haven’t unearthed the official photo yet this year. I always like my photos better than the official one.

My husband found this Web site called SketchySantas.com. I can’t decide if they think the Santas are questionable or if it’s just that all the photos are terrible because the kids are making crazy faces or crying. (You can even make your Christmas card out of one of these photos if the spirit moved you.)

When we were little we ALWAYS went to the downtown Rich’s to see Santa. (Rich’s was an …

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Do you report odd behavior from a workman?

I had a very odd workman stop by yesterday to do an “annual” inspection to our house. We have a contract with the company and the company has been around for probably 40 years or more.

The interaction started out weird because he called first to let me know he was coming. (The office hadn’t called to warn me of the inspection before the actual day, which I think is odd as well.) For whatever reason I couldn’t hear him on the phone line. I could see the company’s name on my caller ID but couldn’t hear anything. He called three times without me being able to hear him and then showed up anyway.

He asked if it was OK to do the inspection. I said sure fine. Lilina and I were in the house alone. (This is why this is a mom topic. I think often women are the ones who have to be in the house when workmen come.) But I’m not generally bothered or intimidated by having workmen in the house. (I had a bunch of different people in the house for our renovation.)

However, this …

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Funny cell phone ads tell teens to stop ‘SEXTING’

With 25 percent of America’s teens “sexting” each other, cell phone companies have started creating public service announcements to tell them to stop texting mean and sexually explicit messages.

LG has created a very funny series of ads (there are several, which you can watch above) with James Lipton narrating sexting  and other texting scenarios where teens are encouraged to “give it a ponder” before texting photos of their “junk” or other items.

The ads also address mean girl texting, rumor creating and rumor forwarding.

I don’t think teens will know who James Lipton is but the ads are very funny!  But will they be effective? (Maybe Tiger Woods can be their next anti-texting poster boy!)

What do you think: Do you think the ads will help kids stop and think before they text or sext? Will they know who James Lipton is? What would help teens think about the consequences of sending photos of their boobs over a medium that can be exponentially sent out? How do …

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How neutral do school holiday parties need to be?

Are hats shaped like reindeer antlers verboten at your child’s public school holiday party? Can the plastic plates and cups feature images of Santa Claus? Can the kids craft a menorah or the Star of David without a myriad of phone calls to principal’s office?

These are questions room moms across the country may be considering as they huddle together to plan festive, yet-not-too-holiday-specific parties for their public schools.

I’ve worked on five public school holiday parties for my kids so far and each year I stress tremendously about what images, games and crafts we can pull from different traditions without offending other families. I can’t decide if I’m overly cautious or if I’m right to be this sensitive when planning.

Here are some different situations to consider:

  • Is it wrong to send home an ornament the child made during the party — often done with the child’s photos? One year I looked specifically for snowflake ornaments that could be set like a …

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Did ‘SNL’ go too far with Tiger abuse skit?

Watch the clip first. Then read.

It is Saturday Night Live’s job to be topical and to joke about the things that people are talking about. However, did they go too far with Saturday night’s skit about Tiger Woods being abused by his wife Elin Woods? They did a fake CNN news cast with Tiger being shoved down stairs, through glass windows and finally being beaten over the head with his own golf club.

I have to admit that I did chuckle some. It’s hard not to laugh at Kenan Thompson’s big bugged-out eyes with a golf club bent over his head flashing secret messages for help. It’s not  funny in reality, and I actually felt bad for laughing.

I wish I hadn’t read a news story questioning whether the skit was inappropriate before watching it. (We didn’t watch until Sunday night.) I wonder if I would have perceived it differently then?

Was it less appropriate since Rihanna, a victim of domestic violence, was the guest singer on the show?  I wonder if it was funny to her? …

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Manger Chic: Parents push for fanciest Jesus, Joseph, Mary!

Even in a struggling economy, parents are willing to spend a ridiculous amount of money to make their child the greatest looking Jesus, Joseph and Mary to hit the school or church stage.

Mail Online out of London reports:

“Virgin Marys are appearing in luxury pashmina shawls and velvet dresses, while shepherds are opting for striped velour dressing gowns.”

“Parents whose children are playing minor roles, such as the donkey or sheep, are sometimes prepared to spend double the amount of those buying to dress Mary and Joseph, added Ed Watson, spokesman for the department store Debenhams”

“ ‘They feel they have to compensate for their child’s minor role by putting on a much greater display of Manger Chic to win attention,’ he explained, before blaming the demand for places at good schools.”

So far this trend hasn’t hit our church. Our preschool has some basic costumes that the 4-year-old use each year for their Nativity so the parents aren’t involved in the …

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