Archive for February, 2010

Should families Go Green for Lent?

Today is Ash Wednesday and many families will begin their Lenten journey by giving up meat and usually something else.

Often times folks choose to give up things like chocolate, French fries or a bad habit.

It seemed for a while when I was in college it was more in vogue to do something for Lent (like charity work) as opposed to giving something up.

But now I am hearing a drumbeat for giving up things for Lent that will help the planet. Even the leaders of the Church of England are getting involved calling for a “Carbon Fast.”

From the Telegraph UK:

“Senior bishops are calling for a cut in personal carbon use for each of the 40 days of Lent. Their list of ways to achieve this includes eating less meat, flushing the toilet less often and cutting vegetables thinner so they cook faster.”

“But one of their tougher challenges is to give up technology such as television, mobiles and iPods for one day. The “Carbon Fast” , organised every year by development agency Tearfund, …

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Mom fights US Airways via her blog: Would you sit separated from your 2-year-old?

Would you sit separated from your 2-year-old on a cross-country flight? One mom says that’s what US Airways expected her to do when the airline assigned her a seat rows away from her 2-year-old and 5-year-old.

The outraged mother is protesting the treatment she and her children recently received on a US Airways flight via her mom blog. Her headline declares: US Airways hates families and kids. She said she was afraid to make too big of a fuss on the plane because people get arrested and charged with felonies for disobeying flight attendants, but now she is determined to vent her anger and frustration.

Her blog is being retweeted heavily so I wanted to share it with you. I don’t know this author or her blog, but I thought it was interesting and a topic we have talked about before (flying with kids).

See what you think about her story and tell us how you would have handled the situation. Would you sit separate from your 2-year-old? Would you pitch a fit on a flight knowing you …

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Are you OK with Sunday activities for kids?

A friend recently asked on Facebook if anyone else had noticed a trend of kids’ activities being moved to Sundays.

We in fact have had two groups move many, if not all, of their meetings from weeknights to Sunday afternoons in the last two months.  Girls Scouts has moved entirely to Sunday afternoons. (The leader asked if it was OK and everyone said yes.) And Boy Scouts is still meeting some during their week but also some on Sundays as well. (They also asked if it was OK.)

I wouldn’t participate in any activity on Sunday that was during church hours in the morning.  I don’t mind the Sunday afternoon meetings too much. Since my husband is almost always home on Sundays I don’t have to drag all three children to the meetings. Also on Sundays he can help take their kids to the activities.

I hate having to rush through homework and dinner to do weeknight activities. So it has simplified our weeknights some.

My only objection is that sometimes it would be nice just to …

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How do custody swaps get so contentious?

For the second time in less than 12 months a custody swap has ended with violence outside of a big chain outlet store, and I’m wondering what generally happens at these swaps and how they get so contentious.

From today’s AJC story: “Suwannee Police responded to a call around 4 p.m. Sunday about an argument between a man and woman in a Walmart parking lot. When police arrived on the scene they found the man and woman had been stabbed, apparently as a result of an argument, Cpt. Cass Mooney, a Suwanee police spokesman, told the AJC.”

“Two children were at the scene of a knife attack in Suwanee that left their mother dead, and their father awaiting charges.”

“The couple has been identified as Shelley Dyan Dunn, 27, of Buford and Phillip Chad Dunn, 28, of Lawrenceville.”

“ ‘The meeting was a custody exchange between the husband and wife,’ Mooney said. “At some point the husband pulled out a knife stabbing the wife and then himself.’ ”

Another custody swap …

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Nurse practitioners, midwives the future of medical care?

I realized today that I can’t remember the last time I’ve personally been seen by a doctor.

I went to a midwife for my annual exam in January. I had a routine surgical procedure done by a nurse practitioner also in January.

Two weeks ago when I thought I had strep I saw the nurse practitioner at my doctor’s office and yesterday I saw a nurse practitioner at the Walgreens Take Care clinic. (I went to the Take Care clinic because they have rapid strep tests and my doctor’s office sends the test out for several days.)

The closest I am getting to an actual doctor these days is our dentist.

I haven’t seen an ob/gyn in seven years. I’ve seen only the midwives (other than one specialist with each baby) since I was pregnant with Walsh. I love the midwives. They take time with you. They listen. They are very reassuring. (One friend recently said she would stay pregnant all the time if she could hang out with midwife at our practice.)

The nurse practitioner who did my …

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How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your kids?

A few weeks back I was all enthusiastic about celebrating Valentine’s Day with the kids. I stopped into Hobby Lobby (my favorite store besides Target) and bought glittery pastel puffy paint for decorating heart cards, cute old-fashioned picks for cupcakes, heart plate and napkins. I’ve been practicing chocolate heart cookies and making special cherry drinks for the kids. (Cherry 7-Up with cherries in it.)

But after scrounging through closets this week searching for shoe boxes so the kids can make Valentine’s mailboxes and forcing them to write more than 40 Valentine’s between the two of them, I’m feeling a little annoyed with the holiday.

All my mom buddies are doing the same thing. We all had children at the kitchen table on Tuesday night writing out their Valentine’s cards and taping candy to the packages.

Our favorite fill-in host Keith is such a prepared mom she keeps shoe boxes around just for these types of projects. (I never save shoe boxes. Would diaper …

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Duggars: Should medical issues mean no more kids?

(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar surprised a lot of people when they recently told People magazine they are still open to having more kids despite their most recent baby – their 19th child – being born more than three months early and struggling to live with multiple medical issues. (This particular article is not featured online, but here is the most recent story about the Duggars on

Mom Michelle had preeclampsia, pregnancy induced high-blood pressure, and the baby girl had to be taken by C-section in December.

Jim Bob and Michelle talk frequently about why they want to have as many kids as the Lord will give them. (The story is on their Web site.)

Michelle miscarried after she conceived on birth control pills. The doctors felt the miscarriage was because of the pills. At that point they decided to they shouldn’t use contraceptives and be open to how ever many kids they conceive whenever they conceive.

Doctors in the People article suggest that the …

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Poor husbands! So beaten down! So henpecked! No choices in their lives!

Well at least according to many of the ads featured during the Super Bowl tonight. We noticed a theme about how men are so emasculated by women and how they have no choices in their sad little lives.

Here are the ones I noticed in the first half (I will update with second-half ads as the game goes on):

Dove skincare line for men

Starting with a Dove ad for skincare for men, we learned that men are destined to marry, have kids and be forced to do yard work. This ad was less  about women beating down their men and more about men just not having any choices in life.

Dodge Charger Ad

The next ad for the new Dodge Charger was downright depressing and is much more accusatory that women are sucking the life out of their men! Literally titled “A Man’s Last Stand,” it features men with dead eyes and sallow complexions reciting in monotone all the things they are forced to do in their lives. This isn’t …

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Michelle Obama criticized for obesity comments: Was she really out of line?

Michelle Obama has taken on childhood obesity as her cause from the White House.

With more than one-third of America’s kids falling into the category of obesity and as a mother of young children, it seems like the perfect issue for our First Lady.

However, she’s already being criticized for her efforts.  Here are the issues:

  1. Michelle Obama referred to own her daughters when talking about obesity.

From Shine: “Two weeks after announcing the unnerving news that childhood obesity has tripled over the last 30 years, and unveiling her own initiative to combat it, Michelle Obama has offended critics by discussing her own “wake-up” moment—when the family pediatrician told her that daughters Sasha and Malia were becoming overweight.”

“ ‘In my eyes I thought my children were perfect,” Mrs. Obama said at the January launch of her initiative. “I didn’t see the changes.’ ”

As someone who writes about her children often, I can understand the natural …

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Is Victoria’s Secret meant for Moms?

I took a very discouraging shopping trip to Victoria’s Secret last week that made me wonder if the store and the line are actually meant for mothers.

I got my hair cut and colored and dropped into the store on my way home. I was actually alone, which rarely happens, and thought it be nice to buy a couple of new sexy items. Other than some fairly plain supportive bras and panties from Target (so sad!!), I haven’t bought any new sexy stuff in probably six years. (I keep trotting old the same numbers hoping Michael still likes them.)

I went in with high expectations all excited about the different colors and styles of the little nighties and sexy bras.  I felt like there were just hundreds of choices all around the store. But then the saleslady measured my chest.

She deemed me a 38-D and walked over and pulled out a drawer and said here are the bras in your size.

I was reduced from an entire store to a drawer!!

(In fairness I think there was one other drawer she could pull …

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