Archive for November, 2010

My Christian kids love Hanukkah: Do your kids like others’ religious holidays?

My Christian children are fascinated with the Jewish holiday Hanukkah, which begins this year at sundown on Wednesday.

My 9-year-old has loved Hanukkah since she was itty bitty. I think it stemmed from the “Elmo’s World Happy Holidays” DVD that explained the traditions of Christmas, Hanuakkah and Kwanza.

She would sing the dreidel song ad nauseam. She was obsessed with the menorahs. She would cobble together her own with candle sticks around the house. She could even tell you the special name for the shamash (attendant) candle.

Two years in Vacation Bible School they studied Jewish traditions made dreidels, menorahs and ate Passover foods. (I know different holiday but still Jewish.)

Last year my mom gave Rose the American Girl Rebecca Rubin Hanukkah set with a menorah with tiny little fake candles. Rose loves it. (This year she’s getting Rebecca from Mimi.)

My 3-year-old came in last night wishing us a very hearty Happy Hanuakkah. It took me a while to figure out …

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Are you already done with your holiday shopping?

I did NOT get out in the Black Friday chaos but the Associated Press reports that the number of customers visiting stores were up from last year as well as spending online. But there is one worry: Is everyone already done with their shopping?

From The Associated Press:

“Holiday spending appears to be off to a respectable start, with shoppers crowding stores and malls in bigger numbers than last year on Friday and maintaining steady traffic the rest of the weekend.”

“Add in strong spending earlier in the month and robust sales online, and retailers are feeling encouraged. That’s particularly true because shoppers also scooped up fashion and other items for themselves, though mostly where they saw bargains. The question remains how many dollars shoppers are prepared to spend before Dec. 24 in an economy that’s still bumpy.”

“Discounts, particularly early-morning specials, were deep enough that many shoppers say they bought more than they had planned. But some say …

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Set your DVR: ABC Family’s ‘25 Days of Christmas’ schedule!

I have an early present for your family: the full schedule for the ABC Family “Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas!”

Running Wednesday, Dec. 1 to Saturday, Dec. 25, ABC Family features all the kids’ favorite Christmas shows that we can record and watch throughout the season, such as “Dr. Suess’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “The Santa Clause,” “Home Alone,” “The Night Before Christmas,” “Tim Burton’s the Nightmare Before Christmas,” and many of the Harry Potter movies.

I found a copy of the schedule while reading my Entertainment Weekly magazine. I ripped it out, handed it Michael and told him to get busy with that DVR.

So I went searching for a similar copy online that you could have for free. I found the schedule in two different forms:

Form No. 1 – This is an electronic schedule that only presents one day at a time and changes each day.

Form No. 2 – This is a printable PDF that you can use to program your DVR for the rest of the season so …

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Consequences for mom who slapped referee during soccer?

I wasn’t planning to post today (cooking!) and then I found this story from AJC’s Jeffry Scott (I bolded for a quick read):

“A match between 10-year-old girls’ soccer teams disintegrated into a slapping incident Sunday morning in Forsyth County when a 39-year-old mother went onto the field and smacked a 30-year-old male referee.”

“The mother, according to a Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office incident report, attacked the referee during a match between the Cobb Lady Chiefs and the Lanier Sharks at Central Park when the referee didn’t stop play after her daughter was struck in the chest and knocked down by a soccer ball.”

“The woman, whose daughter played for the Lanier Sharks, was not arrested because she left the scene before sheriff’s deputies arrived answering a 911 call. Her identity, therefore, is not being released, said Capt. Frank Huggins, public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office.”

“He identified her only as 39 and from Gainesville, …

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Can you have two ‘fun parents’ in the family?

“Modern Family,” one of the best shows on TV” asked a very interesting question last Thursday about parenting: Can you have two fun parents?

The set up was that the mom and dad were debating which route was faster to a restaurant. The mom Claire had been badgering the heck out of everyone to leave on time and was stressing the kids out.  The Dad Phil challenges her to a race and they decide to take separate cars. The airheaded son comes downstairs and she tells him “we’re splitting up.” The kid thinks they are breaking up and immediately says “I’ll go with dad.”

Claire doesn’t realize he means in a divorce but later in the car puts it all together. She’s hurt but realizes right away it’s because Phil is the fun parent. Then she explains to her son:

“Claire: You can’t have two fun parents… You know that kid Liam who wears pajama pants to school and pays for things with a hundred-dollar bill? Two fun parents.”

You can watch the full episode here. (No …

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How kid-focused is your Thanksgiving menu?

Babble.com has a slide show of kid-friendly (dare I say kid-focused) Thanksgiving side dishes that gave me pause.

The most creative side dishes were cranberry sauce molded to look like turkeys and soup served in tiny little pumpkins.

The slide show made me feel guilty that I didn’t think more about amusing my kids’ bouches, instead of just making yummy (mostly traditional family recipes) that I think everyone will like.

For example, the kids don’t like sweet potato soufflé so we are also having mashed potatoes. And while they like broccoli they don’t like my mom’s broccoli rice casserole (I don’t either!) so we are also having beans. (They’ll eat the turkey, stuffing and rolls.)

The desert is where I did really take them into consideration. I knew I was going to make my mother-in-law’s pecan tarts (because they are super tasty and easy). The kids like them OK but I wanted to also make a desert that the kids would go nuts for so I am making a chocolate …

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Should schools send home notes if kids are overweight?

A school system in Flagstaff, Ariz. will be sending letters to parents whose elementary school students are overweight or underweight.

From the Associated Press via AZ Family.com:

“FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The Flagstaff school district will be sending letters to a parents whose elementary school children are overweight or headed in that direction.

Pediatrician Nina Souders told the Flagstaff Unified School District board last week that being overweight is a serious problem.

The district’s elementary school students will be weighed and measured this fall with help from Flagstaff Medical Center’s Fit Kids staff and North Country HealthCare.

The school district’s top nurse estimates about 50 percent of the district’s elementary school students will be classified as overweight or bordering on overweight.

Letters will go to the parents of students who are underweight, overweight, or marginally overweight.”

From the Arizona Daily Star:

“The Associated Press reported …

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Good touch, bad touch: How to explain TSA pat-downs to kids?

If you’re getting ready to travel with your kids for Thanksgiving you may want to have a little discussion about pat-downs before you arrive at the airport security line.

We spend a good portion of our parenting time telling our children not to let strangers touch them, yet they may have to allow a stranger (in theory with good intentions) pat them down if they want to fly to see Grandma.

Babble.com picked up from the LA Times explanations of the TSA rules involving screenings and pat-downs: (There is more info on the LA Times link.)

“1. A child under 12 who opts out of the body scanner will undergo “a modified pat-down search.” Children over 12 who opt out of the body scanner get the regular pat-down. Citing security reasons, the TSA has declined to say what the modified pat-down entails.

2. If an alarm goes off during a screening (as with the aforementioned 3-year-old), even children under 12 will be subject to a full pat-down.

3. To prepare kids, explain the …

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Reporters seeking Four Loko drinkers, concerned parents

Reporters Craig Schneider and Katie Leslie are working on a story about caffeinated alcohol beverages and they are looking for parents who may be concerned about those drinks. Four Loko is an example of this type of drink. Here is a story on the drinks.

The CABs are often marketed to young drinkers, are fruity tasting and have “youthful” packaging. The FDA is targeting these products as unsafe and on Wednesday told Four Loko and three other makers of similar products to stop distributing the drinks within two weeks. The agency considers them unsafe and possibly illegal.

If you are a parent concerned about these caffeinated alcohol beverages, please contact Katie  at kleslie@ajc or 404-526-5969. Their deadline is today.

We can also discuss the drinks here. Is your college student or young adult drinking Four Loko or similar drinks? What are the affects of the drink? Do you think the FDA should be involved? Should it be pulled? Should it be illegal?

– by Theresa Walsh …

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Who is People’s Sexiest Man Alive of the last 25 years?

This topic has absolutely nothing to do with motherhood other than maybe to prove that we’re not numb and dead just because we had children. I thought it would be fun to look back through People Magazine’s Sexiest Men Alive and  talk about our favorite ones. (It’s Fun Friday Ya’ll!)

Ryan Reynolds was named People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive this week. I’m all on board with that call. We loved him in “Two Guys and Girl and Pizza Place” in 1998 (not the show just him) and also loved him in “Van Wilder” in 2002. He was super cute in “The Proposal.” Here is a link to all his work.  Here is a link to his photos from People.com for the Sexiest Man Alive honor.

Also honored this year:

Jon Hamm – I’m totally into! His longtime girlfriend is the sister of Michael’s friend and everyone says what a spectacularly nice guy he is!

Kellan Lutz – Really young and I have no idea who he is.

Drake – Have heard of him and think he’s OK.

Matthew Morrison – I …

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