Archive for September, 2010

Will you talk about terrorism, 9/11 with kids on anniversary?

We visited the Oklahoma City bombing memorial this summer. We talked with the kids about what happened the day of the bombing but then tried to focus on the memorial.

We visited the Oklahoma City bombing memorial this summer. We talked with the kids about what happened the day of the bombing but then tried to focus on the memorial. The kids were checking out the reflecting pool, gates and chairs at the memorial. (Photos by Theresa Walsh Giarrusso)

Empty chairs represent each of the 168 victims of the bombing. Smaller chairs were used to represent the children that died in the day care. I didn't notice the smaller chairs at first but my 7-year-old did. He also theorized that the materials for the chairs were recycled from the bombed building and he was right.

Empty chairs represent each of the 168 victims of the bombing. Smaller chairs were used to represent the children that died in the day care. I didn't notice the smaller chairs at first but my 7-year-old did. He also theorized that the materials for the chairs were recycled from the bombed building and he was right.

On the anniversary of 9/11, some parents may shoo their kids out of room when footage of the doomed towers comes on the TV, and others may use it as an opportunity to explain the complicated topic of terrorism to their kids.

A friend of ours wrote an article for Salon about explaining 9/11 to her 7-year-old. A native New Yorker, she struggled with how much to tell her son and how to …

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Momania Book Club: Do we want to read, discuss ‘The Help’?

We have had a request from one of our readers to discuss “The Help,” by Kathryn Stockett.

I have heard it is a very good book, but I have not read it. I wanted to see if we all wanted to grab a copy and reconvene to discuss in about three weeks on Sept. 28. (It might be pre-empted if news breaks but we can aim for that date.)

Here is a quick summary from The Washington Post (from Amazon.com’s site):

“Newly graduated from Ole Miss with a degree in English but neither an engagement ring nor a steady boyfriend, Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan returns to her parents’ cotton farm in Jackson. Although it’s 1962, during the early years of the civil rights movement, she is largely unaware of the tensions gathering around her town.”

“Skeeter is in some ways an outsider. Her friends, bridge partners and fellow members of the Junior League are married. Most subscribe to the racist attitudes of the era, mistreating and despising the black maids whom they count on to raise their …

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Has recession swept you into the thrift/simplicity movement?

The recession has spawned a thrift/simplicity movement that has been in the news a lot lately and also is something I have been feeling at home. There are three parts to this discussion so I am going to number them.

  1. A few weeks back The New York Times ran an article asking people if they could reduce their belongings to only 100 personal items. The gist of the story is about how people are moving away from conspicuous consumption (or buying without regard) to calculated consumption. They are saving their money, savoring the anticipation of buying and spending more money on experiences than objects. Researchers believe that ultimately spending more carefully (especially on experiences instead of on objects) will bring more happiness.

From The New York Times:

“Amid weak job and housing markets, consumers are saving more and spending less than they have in decades, and industry professionals expect that trend to continue. Consumers saved 6.4 percent of their after-tax income …

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Would you have a selective reduction? With twins?

One of our readers sent me this link to an Elle story on CNN.com. It is the shocking and heartbreaking story of a mother choosing to selectively reduce (abort, kill whatever word you would choose) one baby out of the twins. She already had one older child and just wanted one more. They used fertility treatments and got twins but decided to only keep one.

This is very hard story to read. I cried through most of it and my stomach was ill after reading it. If you are particularly sensitive (ie pregnant right now) you may not want to read this.

It is a long story but well worth  reading all of it because you understand all of her reasoning (whether you agree with it or not).

I think there are multiple elements to this discussion – obviously the abortion issue, but I think even more so the question is about this mother’s motivations. (As the reader sent me the story said “ I’m pro-choice but what this lady did nauseated me!”)

  • Was she selfish to abort?
  • How do you handle …

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Should lap babies be banned on planes?

The National Transportation Safety Board is asking the Federal Aviation Administration to require children under 2 to be in separate seats and restraints on airplanes.

The board is using a deadly plane crash in Montana to revive the debate about whether infants and toddler should be allowed to not buy a ticket and sit on their parents’ laps during flights.

From The Associated Press:

“A 10-seater plane crashed in Butte in March 2009, killing all 14 people aboard, including 7 children.”

Here’s the kicker:

“The FAA says it will look at the new recommendation. In the past, it has said the cost of buying an extra airline ticket could force some families with small children to take to the highways instead of the skies, which would result in even more child injuries and deaths.”

I am really torn on this topic. I can completely understand parents not wanting to pay full price for infant and toddler seat especially when you know you are going to be holding them a lot. (The …

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Will recession turn college students into Republicans?

When President Obama was elected in 2008 national exit polls had him carrying 66 percent of young voters versus Republican John McCain’s 32 percent. President Obama carried strongly the college vote but now political scientists believe there may be a shift in the youth vote.

From The New York Times:

“Though many students are liberals on social issues, the economic reality of a weak job market has taken a toll on their loyalties: far fewer 18- to 29-year-olds now identify themselves as Democrats compared with 2008.”

“ ‘Is the recession, which is hitting young people very hard, doing lasting or permanent damage to what looked like a good Democratic advantage with this age group?’ asked Scott Keeter, the director of survey research at the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan group. ‘The jury is still out.’ ”

“How and whether millions of college students vote will help determine if Republicans win enough seats to retake the House or Senate, overturning the balance of power …

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Fun Friday Game: How much did this mom spend?

groceries compressed

There is one among us who is a superior saver. She is my high school friend and regular community member New Mom! I am on Facebook with New Mom and almost every day she posts some new  fantastic deal she has found. She also has shared photos of products that she bought and then asked friends to guess how much she spent. So I thought it would be fun for us to play the same game: How much did New Mom spend on these groceries?

Write your answers below and then check back at noon and I will add to this post how much New Mom spent and some of her favorite sites for saving.

Update: Here is the grand total from New Mom: $19!! She saved more than $30 on that trip.

“I haven’t saved my receipts, but one time I did the math and estimate that we spend between $75-$100/week total on household stuff, including diapers (for a family of 4)!   But seriously, I can’t take credit for it, I just find the deals that others have already found, ya know?   www.southernsavers.com,

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Are skin tight jeans back in style thanks to Katy Perry?

After a respite of low-slung, wide-leg and loose jeans, it seems the tight jean is back!

I saw tight jean leggings for women in Nordstrom last spring and recently saw tight jean leggings for girls in Target. But with style maven Katy Perry’s latest video “Teenage Dream,” I predict the skin tight jean craze is about to explode! (She convinced all the girls they needed Daisy Dukes with bikinis on top this summer with “California Gurls” .)

You can see the video to the song above. It’s pretty clear what’s going on – no ambiguity like in the ‘80s  — Did Madonna really mean baby?

Here are some of the lyrics to “Teenage Dream”:

“I might get your heart racing
In my skin-tight jeans
Be your teenage dream tonight”

”Let you put your hands on me
In my skin-tight jeans
Be your teenage dream tonight”

“You make me
Feel like
I’m living a Teenage Dream
The way you turn me on
I can’t sleep

“Let’s runaway
And don’t ever look back
Don’t ever look back”

People.com

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Has another mom ever started a bad rumor about you?

I was talking with a mom at school that I didn’t know all that well. We were talking about another mom that I didn’t know either and she was telling me about her. She said “Oh she’s a teacher and she’s just the nicest woman.” She paused and said in a low voice “Well as long as she hasn’t been drinking.”

She paused again. My mouth dropped open and I just looked at her. She finally started laughing and said I’m just kidding. I was in total shock and didn’t know what to think.

I’m pretty sure she was kidding but it’s a scary proposition to think that some ladies talking in a school yard could completely ruin a mom’s reputation at school. (And in turn hurt your kids!)

I decided that I had better stay on this lady’s good side so she doesn’t tell someone that “joke” about me.

So the question for today is: Has another mom (or dad) ever started a rumor about you or one of your friends at school? Did people take it seriously? How would you counteract …

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