Archive for March, 2010

Benefits to NOT riding the school bus?

I have always been a big proponent of public transportation – especially the school bus. I always rode it as a child and my kids have always ridden it too, even in kindergarten.

However, about three weeks ago we decided to take a break from the riding the school bus and it has had some interesting effects on our lives.

A few weeks back Walsh was being a little too rambunctious on the bus in the afternoons and was getting into trouble. (This was around the time that it had been so cold for so many weeks and I think they just needed to get out more and play.) We have a lovely bus driver who was very patient with him, but I think we were both tired of talking about him being turned around in his seat or playing rough.

So I decided that I would drop the kids off in the morning and then we would walk as far as we could home in the afternoon. We only have sidewalks about halfway to our house. So I park my car in a neighborhood at the end of the sidewalk. I stroll the baby to the …

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Is Mom ambition a bad thing?

Kate Gosselin is being harshly criticized for leaving her kids with nannies to be on the show “Dancing with the Stars.” Many are writing that she has too much ambition.

From the San Francisco Examiner:

“While Kate was away from Feb. 21 to March 6, leaving her twins and sextuplets with nannies (not ex-hubby Jon), the little ones “were asking, ‘When is mommy coming home?’” according to an Us Weekly magazine source.

Nine-year-old twins Cara and Mady “seem depressed when Kate isn’t around,” per another source, while her three 5-year-old boys evidently acted out and “got into trouble at school for talking back to teachers” during her absence….”

“She says Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have lots of kids and their parents are away for long periods, working to support them,” the source said

With more than 70 percent of mothers working in America, Kate is obviously not the only mother having to leave her kids to do her job. Some mothers work because their families need the money and …

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11-year-olds dating? New survey says YES!

A new poll shows that  79% of kids ages 11-14 surveyed have been in or are currently in a relationship and more than half (56%) feel it is important for people their age to have a boyfriend or girlfriend. Of those who are dating, 53% of kids ages 11-14 say it is hard to get out of an unhealthy relationship.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sponsored the poll and a new initiative in 11 cities to help tweens learn about healthy relationships.

More information found from the polling:

“Although many youth say their friends are in healthy relationships, they also state a majority of people their age are confused about the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy relationship.

  • 52% of 11- to14-year-olds say that people their age do not know or are unsure about the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy relationship.”

“Youth recognize it is important to get out of an unhealthy relationship, and they would rather not be in any relationship than be in an unhealthy one. …

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CPSC issues official baby sling warning; also update on more Cadmium jewelry

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning today about using slings with babies under four months old. The Commission wants parents to know the right way to position a baby in the sling.

This press release has a drawings of unsafe and then also safe positions for sling users.

This is from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s blog:

“The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning parents and caregivers to use extra caution when carrying infants younger than 4 months old in slings and make sure that an infant’s face is visible to baby wearers at all times.”

“When researching incident reports of sling use for the past 20 years, CPSC identified at least 14 babies who died since 1998 inside sling-style infant carriers. Three of those deaths were in 2009.”

“In the first few months of life, babies cannot control their heads because of weak neck muscles. When they are placed with their faces below the rim of a sling, they are not able to lift their …

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Will VBACs make a comeback?

The New York Times wrote a fascinating story looking at the rise and fall of VBACs — or vaginal births after Caesarean section — and how the government would like to bring them back into practice more frequently. It examined the successes at a Navajo hospital in Arizona, where they have lowered their number of Cesareans and increased their number of VBACs, even though the national numbers are just the opposite.

Here is the gist of The New York Time’s very long, but very interesting, story:

In the beginning there used to be a saying “once a Caesarean, always a Caesarean.”

Doctors feared the Caesarean scars on the uterus could rupture during subsequent labors so women were always forced to have Caesareans after their first one.

However in 1980 a panel declared it was safe for many women to deliver vaginally after having a C-section and the VBAC became very popular.

By 1996 VBACs reached their high of 28.3 percent.

Then there were some problems. Ruptures, deaths and of course …

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Can baby slings actually hurt baby?

The government is warning about baby sling dangers. (AP)

The government is warning about baby sling dangers. (AP)

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said it will likely issue a warning this week to parents about using baby slings.

The concern is that will babies could suffocate in certain positions in the slings and the agency says several already have suffocated.

From The Associated Press:

“ ‘We know of too many deaths in these slings and we now know the hazard scenarios for very small babies,’ said Inez Tenenbaum, head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. ‘So, the time has come to alert parents and caregivers…’ ”

“Tenenbaum did not single out any specific baby slings or discuss the number of deaths linked to them. But there have been complaints for a couple years now about some baby carriers.”

“In 2008, Consumer Reports raised concerns about the soft fabric slings and some two dozen serious injuries, mostly when a child fell out of them. A follow-up blog warned about a suffocation risk and linked the slings to at least …

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Are you too tired for sex?

A new study from the National Sleep Foundation shows about one in every four Americans married or living with someone says they are often too tired to have sex.

The New York Times reports:

“The study, based on a random sampling of 1,007 adults ages 25 to 60, focused on differences in sleep habits among ethnic groups — but the responses on tiredness and sex were about the same across the board.”

The report found that Whites were most likely to have a diagnosis of insomnia. Black were most likely to have sleep apnea and Hispanics stayed awake worrying about work, money and relationships.

The Asian-Americans reported getting the best sleep. Interestingly they were less likely to watch TV or drink alcohol before going to bed and were less likely to share a bed with their mate.

So what’s your status: Are you too sleep deprived to have sex? How many hours of sleep are you getting a night? What time are you getting to bed? Are your pre-bedtime ritual conducive to sleep:? What do you …

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Should colleges call parents about drinking on campus?

As a parent of elementary school students I am very used to getting weekly, and regrettably sometimes even daily, reports about their behavior at school.

But what if you’re a parent of a college student? Do you want to know what trouble they’re getting into far away from home? Do you want a phone call or note from his/her dean?

Some colleges around the country have decided to take advantage of the helicopter parent mentality to help keep their young adults in check especially when it comes to alcohol.

The new trend at colleges, including the University of Georgia, is for parents to be notified if their underage child is caught drinking, drunk or in possession of alcohol.

According to The New York Times, the list of colleges include: George Washington University, M.I.T., the University of Kansas, the University of Maryland, University of New Mexico, the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

“These schools have concluded that one thing students seem to fear as much as …

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Blockbuster going back to late fees!

We’ve almost entirely switched over to Netflix now but occasionally we need to pick up a movie at Blockbuster – like when Rose finishes a Harry Potter book and wants to watch the movie that weekend.

I loved it when they went to no late fees because as my library will tell you I’m always late returning things.

However, Yahoo Finance reports that the company is bleeding so much money, it is going back to charging the late fees starting this week. Here is the structure of the late fees according to Yahoo:

“• Starting this week, customers will be charged $5 for a five-day movie rental. Previously, customers were allowed to keep each rental for seven days.

• If the customer returns the movie late, they’ll be charged $1 per day until it’s returned, up to a maximum of 10 days.

• If the customer still hasn’t returned the movie by the 15th day, they’ll be charged the full price of the DVD, which could range from $29.99 on the high end for newly released Blu-ray discs, to just a few …

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Spas offer big deals around Atlanta

It’s kind of like restaurant week but in a spa.

From March 8 to 14, spas around metro Atlanta are offering a week of special services for only $50.

The catch is you have to give up your email address to find out which spas are offering what services but for me that’s worth it. This is where you look to find the deals.

I looked at the list near me and here are some of different services being offered by spas you’ve actually heard of:

Botox for $50 – I wouldn’t do this but that seems cheap

Laser hair removal for $50

Massages

Facials

Microdermabrasion

Chemical peels

Joint mani and pedi

There were 24 spas to choose from near my zip code.

The guy that pitched this had my number. He wrote something like: You look like a hardworking mom who could use some time to herself. Take a break and be treated well.

Yes, yes I am!  I am thinking I may make an appointment for a massage while the baby is in mother’s morning out next week. That would be lovely! (It’s been probably two years since …

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