Archive for December, 2010

Congress has a ‘boob cube.’ Do you?

Babble.com reports that since 2006 Congress has added six lactation suites for members of Congress, aids and journalists to use.

“The one highlighted by The Seattle Times “the boob cube,” is a 12-by-10 room in the basement with frosted glass doors, equipped with an electronic combination lock, two hospital grade pumps, a mini-refridgerator, hand sanitizer and sterile wipes, comfy chairs, multiline phones, a TV (normally with C-SPAN), and power outlets for laptops.”

“The first lactation suite was put in place in 2006, but Nancy Pelosi has been a driving force in adding more and making them more mom-baby friendly to support the demands of both motherhood and career.”

Does your office offer a dedicated space for you to pump? Do they offer you time to pump? Do you think offices offer more amenities when women are in charge?

Continue reading Congress has a ‘boob cube.’ Do you? »

Kids are out of school: What’s your holiday fun plan?

Besides sleeping in, what is your holiday fun plan for the next two weeks?

We’re hosting a gingerbread house making party today with eight little friends – 11 kids total if you count mine. (More on that later probably. We had to postpone from Saturday because Lilina was sick.) Wednesday we are planning a day trip to the mountains, and Thursday is caroling with little buddies. Friday night is church and then of course the big day! We also have to work in seeing Santa Claus. We haven’t seen him yet.

Michael always takes off two weeks at Christmas so we are all home together. His brother usually comes to stay with us too.

I’m sure we’ll bake a bunch, watch our favorite Christmas cartoons (We DVR’d ABC’s Family Channel) and play video games. We’ll also drive around to see houses lit up.

So what’s your plan for the next two weeks? Do you have special parties planned? Will you go out ice skating, see light shows, playdates with far-away friends? How will you spend school …

Continue reading Kids are out of school: What’s your holiday fun plan? »

Do you take away internet, all ’screen time’ for punishments?

Parents are always searching for good ways to punish their children and for years have relied on taking away TV. But in the last decade, taking away the internet has become a powerful tool in a parent’s punishment arsenal!

From The Associated Press:

“No TV for a week, the time-honored punishment for misbehaving children, has been enhanced. Now, parents are also withholding Internet access to punish their kids, further sign that the Web has become as important to families as television.”

“As the two mediums converge, parents are quickly coming to see TV and the Internet in similar ways and are seeking to limit their kids’ access to both, according to a report out this week from researchers at the University of Southern California.”

“The survey from the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future found that two-thirds of parents say they restrict their kids’ access to TV as punishment, a number that has barely budged over the past 10 years. But the percentage of parents who …

Continue reading Do you take away internet, all ’screen time’ for punishments? »

What mischief is your Elf on the Shelf up to this year?

Upsidedown Jingles compressed

Just a few of last year's epic efl battle between Coco and Jingles. Adventures and photos by my friends Sue and Pete Fritts.

Jailed Coco compressedGumdrops Jingles compressed

Last year I shared with you the epic battle between Coco and Jingles, my friend’s Elves on the Shelf. I keep harassing my friend to send us more photos of their hijinx but she reminded me that Jingles only shows up the last week before Christmas so we have to wait until next week!

In the meantime, my husband has been doing a pretty good job helping our elf be mischievous. His latest adventures include:

  • Caught hanging from the top of a kitchen cabinet with a chocolate wrapper on his foot breaking into the cabinet for more candy.
  • Caught inside the refrigerator with his arms and legs wrapped around the Cherry 7-Up trying to get his fix.
  • Caught sneaking out the front door holding Walsh’s DSL in his arms.
  • Caught outside the back door on Barbie’s white horse with Jessie from “Toy Story” making a romantic getaway.
  • This morning, I found him holding …

Continue reading What mischief is your Elf on the Shelf up to this year? »

After dozens of deaths, drop-side cribs outlawed

The Associated Press is reporting:

“WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s the end of the traditional crib that has cradled millions of babies for generations.

The government outlawed drop-side cribs on Wednesday after the deaths of more than 30 infants and toddlers in the past decade and millions of recalls.

It was a unanimous vote by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban the manufacture, sale and resale of the cribs, which have a side rail that moves up and down, allowing parents to more easily lift their child from the crib.

The new standard requiring cribs to have fixed sides would take effect in June. The move by CPSC would also prohibit hotels and childcare centers from using drop-sides, though those facilities would have a year to purchase new cribs.

Around for decades, drop-side cribs have come under scrutiny in recent years because of malfunctioning hardware, sometimes cheaper plastics, or assembly problems that can lead to the drop-side rail partially detaching …

Continue reading After dozens of deaths, drop-side cribs outlawed »

Kids write to Santa for basic needs instead of toys this year

We keep hearing that the economy is better but the U.S. Postal Service is reporting that more and more kids are asking Santa for basic needs for their families instead of toys.

From USA Today (read the fully story for all the heartbreaking examples):

U.S. Postal Service workers who handle letters addressed to Santa at the North Pole say more letters ask for basics — coats, socks and shoes — rather than Barbie dolls, video games and computers.”

“At New York City’s main post office, Head Elf Pete Fontana and 22 staff elves will sort 2 million letters in Operation Santa, which connects needy children with “Secret Santas” who answer their wishes.”

“Fontana, a customer relations coordinator for the Postal Service, has been head elf for 15 years.”

” ‘The need is greater this year than I’ve ever seen it,’ he says. ‘One little girl didn’t want anything for herself. She wanted a winter coat for her mother.’ ”

“At more than 20 post offices, workers log every letter, black out …

Continue reading Kids write to Santa for basic needs instead of toys this year »

13 presents NOT to give your kids

I am trying to find happy, fun links to brighten your afternoons until we get to the Christmas holidays. Today’s find: 13 presents you should not give to your kids!

A sample of a few:

Kid-size vuvuzelas – The most annoying instrument ever! Ruined my summer listening to them while watching the World Cup. You will never be invited to my house again if you give one to my children.

TSA check point action figures! Just what every child wants to re-enact being felt up by TSA agents. They’ll be using them at psychologist offices for years to come.

A dog that lets you practice scooping his poop. If any child wants to practice this for real I have a side yard that can use some attention.

Along the cleaning lines – a sweep and dust bin. I don’t think this is a bad present. I’m giving water bottles. Is that bad?

A roadkill stuffed animal with eyes popped out and gut spilling from its stomach. Truly a sick gift. Who would buy this?

What do you think of their suggestions for what not to …

Continue reading 13 presents NOT to give your kids »

My gift to you: 12 ways to cut winter energy bills!

As Atlantans freeze their booties off I thought it would be appropriate to share 12 ways to lower your winter heat bills and help winterize your homes.

From AOL’s Wallet Pop Economizer:

“Powering a home costs the average U.S. household $2,160 a year. While heating and cooling a home are the primary energy guzzlers, appliances also consume their fair share.”

“Of course, there are ways to keep your energy usage — and your monthly bill — skyrocketing each winter. Using efficient Energy Star products, for example, can cut costs by 30%.”

“In the spirit of the holiday season, SolarCity came up with a list of “12 Days of Energy Efficiency” to help consumers save money by using less energy at home. Where possible, we’ve added estimates of how much it would cost consumers to act on these tips and how much money it would save them.”

Some examples of the tips are:

1.Switch to an Energy Star programmable thermostat. We did switch a few years ago to a programmable thermostat, and it is …

Continue reading My gift to you: 12 ways to cut winter energy bills! »

For your amusement: Naked pregnancy shots and other Awkward Family Photos

With one week left before school is out I know we’re all feeling a little senioritis so I thought it would fun to share this photo site of crazy and hysterical family photos.

First up: Pregnant lady shots!

Filed under pregnant ladies do crazy hormone-fueled things: A collection of awkward and (and often naked) pregnant women showing off their bulging bellies from the Web site “Awkward Family Photos.”

Some of my favorites include – the hockey mom (Is she wearing a sleep bra? Why would you include the other children?), the pregnant couple almost getting it on, the lady with the hand gun and a watermelon! Take the time to click on this link! But be prepared to muffle your laughter if at work!

For your continued amusement the site also offers general awkward family photos. Be horrified by babies sitting in toilets or children taped to windows to look like their siblings. Also seems to be a lot of Renaissance/Braveheart dressing up photos.

Hall of Fame category

The kids

Holidays – …

Continue reading For your amusement: Naked pregnancy shots and other Awkward Family Photos »

Help! Mom needs cheap teacher present ideas fast!

I received a note from a mom on Friday in desperate need of INEXPENSIVE gift ideas for teachers. Here’s what she wrote:

“It may be late in the game, but I would love to see some teacher gift suggestions. I have 4 children, and when I add up school and church, it’s almost 20 teachers! I want to do something, but can’t spend a ton of money on each one.  I’m sure your readers have some great ideas, especially the teachers out there who have one too many apple ornaments!”

I usually do $20 movie gift cards for teachers (school, Sunday School and bus drivers) so they can relax with their families and contribute to the class gift. But this year I have cut back. I did contribute $15 to the class gift for each main teacher. For the Sunday School teachers I found these very cute little bags at Barnes & Noble for under $10. They had a bright illustration of a peace dove on them and I thought that would be appropriate for church.

I was tempted to bake something extra for the teachers …

Continue reading Help! Mom needs cheap teacher present ideas fast! »