Archive for February, 2011

Togetherville: Let your child on kid-friendly-type ‘Facebook’?

This video explains how Togetherville works and what kids can do on it.

This video explains how the kids find “friends” safely and with their parent’s approval.

This is a link to the Togetherville channel on You Tube that explains even more stuff about the site.

Togetherville is a new web site for kids that basically is a kid-friendly version of Facebook. (See the top video for how it works.)

Mashable.com explains:

“Togetherville is meant to offer a more colorful and safe Facebook-like experience for kids ages six to ten (though any child under 13 can become a member), and it includes parents in the entire experience.”

“ ‘Grownups’ can sign up using a Facebook account. They then create an account for a child and help connect the child to real-world friends by pulling data and relationships from the adult’s own Facebook social graph. Parents can easily find the children of their adult friends and connect them to their child on Togetherville. Parents also have …

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Would you eat breast milk ice cream? Should breast milk be shared?

A trendy London ice cream parlor introduced a new treat last Friday – ice cream made from human breast milk.

From The Associated Press:

“The Icecreamists, a trendy ice cream parlor, says its “Baby Gaga” ice cream sold out as soon as it launched Friday.”

“The company paid women who donated their breast milk after a health screening. The milk is then pasteurized and churned together with vanilla pods and lemon zest. The dish, which comes in a martini glass, sells for 14 pounds ($22.50) each.”

“Matt O’Connor, who owns the company, says the product is ‘organic, free-range and totally natural.’ ”

“The Food Standards Agency says there are no specific laws prohibiting businesses from selling human milk products, although they must comply with general food safety laws to ensure the product is safe for consumption.”

From NPR:

The case reminded me of the Eats on Feets campaign, which started out on Facebook after a breastfeeding mother sought ways to put her surplus …

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Would you give your spouse a ‘Hall Pass’ for extra-marital sex?

So there is a new movie out this weekend called “Hall Pass” starring SNL player Jason Sudeikis and Owen Wilson. It has not gotten great reviews from the critics but the gist of the movie is the wives give their horny husbands a week to cheat.

I’ve never heard of a wife giving a husband a week to cheat but you do hear about people giving their spouse a one-time pass with a celebrity. If they happened for some reason to meet their favorite celebrity then they could have at it. (I interviewed at “George” magazine when we lived in NYC, and if the editor John F. Kennedy Jr. had made any move I was going for it! Sorry Michael!)

Would you give your spouse a pass to cheat – one time or for a week or for an open marriage? Do you think that would actually help intimacy or your marriage? Will you see the movie?

(I have posted two topics at the same time to make up for the lost day of sickness! See the second topic — Who gave what to whom? Tracking illness through your family. …

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Who gave what to whom? Tracing sickness through a family

At a birthday party on Monday my 3-year-old threw up. It had been a jumpy party and then they ate – so was it the combination of jumping and food or did she have some sort of stomach bug?

She came home from the party and I told her she couldn’t eat for a while and we’d see how she was. She wanted to play and she wanted the cupcake sent home from the party. I eventually gave in on the cupcake figuring at least I would see if it was the jumping or if she had a bug. She didn’t throw up again and went merrily on with her day. I concluded it was the combo of jumping and eating.

Flash forward to Wednesday night. We go through a full day of working, volunteering at the school, playing at the park, and then taking the kids to church. We get back from church, make dinner and I am nauseous. By 10:30 I am throwing up like crazy. Michael sleeps with the kids.

Thursday nauseous all day but didn’t throw up again. Michael gets the kids ready for school and then heads to work. I lay …

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Top new toys for your little genius

Time magazine’s editors picked the top 15 smart toys from this year’s 2011 Toy Fair in New York City.

Click here to see the complete list.

Here were some of the ones I thought my kids would like the most:

  • Thames & Kosmos Global Water Quality Kit – Anytime science is involved my kids are in. I think they would love testing water for chemicals and impurities.
  • Hot Wheels Video Racer – This is very cool. One car has a camera in it and films as the kids race the cars on the track. Later you can download the footage for your own little movie.
  • Quadrilla Melody Basic Set – We love marble runs and this is a marble run that makes music when the balls pass through. All three of my kids have played with our marble run and they each play with it differently. A plain one is well worth the money. I’m not sure if I would pay extra for it to make music.
  • Perplexus – I think my kids would love the 3D ball labyrinth.
  • LeapPad Explorer – This is basically a kid’s version of the …

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Should young girls be allowed to use tampons?

I heard a discussion on the Sirius radio show “Whatever with Alexis and Jennifer” about whether or not young girls should be allowed to wear tampons. Alexis and Jennifer had talked to a mom who was bothered by the invasiveness of a tampon. She believed it was too much like sex and not appropriate for a teenage girl.

Alexis and Jennifer disagreed with this depiction and felt like tampons have absolutely nothing to do with sex and are essential to young girls being able to go on with their regular activities while having their periods. They felt that restricting young girls to pads made them suffer through their periods and would keep them from participating comfortably in their normal physical activities.

There was also discussion about whether young girls were responsible enough to remember to change their tampon. You never hear people talk about Toxic Shock Syndrome anymore but I guess that is the concern. I would think there would be natural consequences – ie …

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Can you make teens achieve if they don’t want to?

In another story that just depresses me: A Tampa mom made her son wear a sign announcing his 1.22 GPA.  (With this story and the judge story, I feel like going back to bed and repeating “Find a happy place. Find a happy place!”.)

Here’s the background in case you missed it:

The Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. — A Tampa mother is defending her decision to stick her teenage son on a street corner with a sign that says, among other things, “GPA 1.22 … honk if I need education.”

Ronda Holder says she and the boy’s father have tried everything to get their 15-year-old to shape up academically. They’ve offered help, asked to see homework, grounded, lectured him and confiscated his cell phone. James Mond III’s indifference at a school meeting last week was the final straw. The next day, Holder made the sign and made her son wear it for nearly four hours.

Experts criticized the move as humiliating and ineffective, and someone reported Holder to the Department of Children and …

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Kids for cash: Can you trust judges/system to discipline fairly?

This Pennsylvania “kids for cash” case is just making my heart hurt. I am literally crying reading the story. If you didn’t see the story, here is the gist of it:

From ABC News:

“Prosecutors say former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella used children as pawns, locking them up unjustly in a plot to get rich. Ciavarella is accused of taking nearly $1 million in kickbacks from owners of private detention centers in exchange for placing juvenile defendants at their facilities, often for minor crimes. Ciavarella claims that the payment he received from a developer of the PA Child Care facility was legal and denies that he ever incarcerated kids for money. ”…

“Ciavarella, 61, was found guilty of 12 out of 39 charges on Friday, including racketeering, money laundering and conspiracy, in connection with the nearly $1 million payment from Robert Mericle, the developer of the PA Child Care center. He plans to appeal. Ciavarella was acquitted on charges of bribery and …

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Natalie Munroe: Should teachers blog, even anonymously, about their students?

CNN and all the cable stations were abuzz about the teacher in Pennsylvania that has been suspended, and may be fired, for blogging about her students.

Natalie Munroe, a 30-year-old teacher at Central Bucks East High School in Doyleston, Pa.,  didn’t identify her students in the blog, but she did say some mean comments about them. For example:

According to the New York Daily News:

“In her blog, which has since been removed, Munroe referred to her students as ‘out of control,’ ‘rude, lazy, disengaged whiners,’ and called one ‘a complete and utter jerk in all ways.’”

“ ‘There’s no other way to say this, I hate your kid,’ she wrote in one post. ‘Although academically okay your child has no other redeeming qualities,’ she said in another.”…

“I don’t think I did anything wrong,” she told ABC News. “I’m sorry that it was taken out of context but I stand by what I said.” …

“In one tongue-in-cheek post she offered fellow teachers alternative ways …

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The long goodbye: Do you sneak out on your kids?

Lately my 3-year has been having some separation anxiety with me. She didn’t care for last three years when I left to do things but lately she get upset when I say I am leaving. She runs after me and offers me repeated hugs and kisses (she says hugs and kisses, hugs and kisses). She does it a little bit to Michael but not as much.

So over the weekend when I went to run errands I just snuck out the door. I hate doing that because God forbid I die in a car accident and I didn’t say goodbye to my children or kiss them or tell them that I love them. But it did make it a heck of a lot easier to get out of the house!

In general when I say goodbye to anyone in my family, we always say I love you and I generally kiss them. When I take the big kids to school I say I love you and at the very least touch their hands or arms as they climb out of the car (depending on how fast they have to jump out). Michael always get an “I love you” and some days a kiss depending on where I am in …

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