Archive for April, 2011

Kate won’t say ‘obey’ in her wedding vows: Did you?

It is being widely reported that Kate Middleton won’t be promising to obey Prince William in her wedding vows. Princess Diana also removed obey from her vows in 1981, which was seen as very feisty and against the royal protocol then.

Now Middleton’s refusal to say obey is being represented as part of a modern marriage and a modern couple.

From the Mirror in England:

“KATE Middleton is set to follow Princess Diana’s example by ditching the word “obey” from her wedding vows.”

“Instead she is expected to promise to “love, comfort, honour and keep” Prince William when they tie the knot next Friday.”

“Kate, 29, and Wills, 28, discussed the wording with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.”

“He said: “They have a very simple, direct picture of what really matters.”

The obey portion of wedding vows has always rubbed me the wrong way and I am next to positive that I omitted them from my vows 17 years ago. Even at 22, I sure as heck wasn’t promising to obey anyone.

I think Michael …

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Watch Royal Wedding live (and be a grumpy mom) or DVR it?

I am really torn about watching the Royal Wedding live and being an exhausted, grumpy mother the whole next day. (I am now three hours behind you guys and the wedding will start at 3 a.m. here!)

I remember getting up early to watch Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding, and I really treasure those memories. So I would hate to miss it, but I don’t want to be a bad mother the whole next day because I stayed up all night watching all the pre-coverage, the actual event and the after parties. (Why didn’t they get married on a Saturday??)

A friend has invited me and Lilina to work out with her Friday morning and then swim at her house and have lunch, but if I watch the wedding live then I am afraid I won’t be good  company.

Originally I had asked my husband for the day “off” so I could watch all day and then sleep the next day. However, he had to go out of town so now it’s just bleary-eyed me and the kids.

I know I can DVR it but there is just something about watching an event …

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1 in 4 U.S. kids raised by single parent: Why? How to reverse?

One in four children in the United States is now being raised by a single parent, according to The Associated Press. The percentage is on the rise and is higher than developing countries.

Here are the stats from the AP:

“Of the 27 industrialized countries studied by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the U.S. had 25.8 percent of children being raised by a single parent, compared with an average of 14.9 percent across the other countries.”

Ireland was second (24.3 percent), followed by New Zealand (23.7 percent). Greece, Spain, Italy and Luxemborg had among the lowest percentages of children in single-parent homes.”

Why experts think this is happening:

“Experts point to a variety of factors to explain the high U.S. figure, including a cultural shift toward greater acceptance of single-parent child rearing. The U.S. also lacks policies to help support families, including childcare at work and national paid maternity leave, which are commonplace in other …

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Do you trust celebrities for vaccine advice?

Jenny McCarthy is a former Playboy bunny but many people know her for her autism advocacy against vaccines. While McCarthy is not an academic or vaccine expert, 24 percent of parents in a recent University of Michigan survey said they trusted celebrities like her for vaccine information.

Researchers were interested in assessing which sources about vaccines parents trust and how best to disseminate evidence about vaccine safety. The study was published online this month in the journal “Pediatrics.”

From Time Healthland.com:

“Most parents reported they relied on their child’s doctor for accurate information. But the opinions of friends, relatives, public health officials and nurses were also considered, according to a national survey of 1,552 parents of children under 18 that asked them to rate the degree to which they trusted various sources of information about vaccines using the following terms: a lot, some or none. (More on Time.com: A Little-Known Problem in Children With …

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Do your kids know the tornado drill for home?

Kids often practice tornado drills at schools, but what about at home? Do they know where to go in your house if there is a tornado warning?

All of the recent storms and tornado warnings in Georgia bring up childhood memories for me of dealing with the threat of similar storms when my parents were not at home.

Both my mom and dad worked and often my older brother was in charge after school.  I can remember seeing the tornado warnings coming on the TV while we were watching cartoons.

We didn’t have a basement, but I remember being told by my parents to go to the center hall bathroom on the ground floor in case of a tornado warning. There were no glass there and no exterior walls.

That lesson stuck with me. I remember in my first house, which also didn’t have a basement, hiding with my toddlers in the closet under the stairwell. There was no glass or exterior walls.

In our second house we always told the kids to go to the basement if there were ever bad storms. We did it a …

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Do prepaid lunch cards ruin the responsibility of lunch money?

When my kids first started school I loved the idea of the prepaid lunch accounts. You filled it up at the beginning of the year or quarter and you didn’t have to worry about it each day. They couldn’t lose it, and you didn’t have to fumble bleary eyed each morning to find the right change.

However, as the years have passed I’ve started the think the prepaid accounts take away a good opportunity for kids to learn to be responsible with money.

For part of this year I switched my kids to change brought each day in their little pockets for their lunch money.

We liked the challenge of finding the right change each morning. Plus it was valuable practice for my 7-year-old in counting out change.  It was a challenge for him to keep up with the money, or he end up with a cheese sandwich (what the school gives kids without lunch money).

It also kept him from buying two lunches. You can’t set a daily amount online with this lunch account so my lovely son would purchase two lunches each …

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Is middle school a power vacuum?

I attended several classes about the middle school years at a recent education conference. One of the theories floated as to why middle school was so awful for kids had to do with a power vacuum.

The speaker explained that in elementary school the teachers were in control and directed everything for the children. Besides just teaching academics, teachers are also often social engineers. They would keep the peace and make sure all were playing nicely. If Bobby has a problem with Ken then the teacher tries to help them work it out or keep the apart. If Sally is a little catty or hurts other girls’ feelings then the teacher may point that out to Sally and help her see the error in her ways.

You also have a teacher that knows her 25 kids pretty well. She knows if they are having bad days or if something seems out of place.

However, according to this expert, when pre-teens/teens head off the middle school, the teachers’ roles subside to just teaching and there is a power vacuum to …

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Are you as smart as your spouse?

A few weeks ago Michael and I attended some education seminars at a local university. The key note speaker was a researcher and psychologist, and she spent the first part of her speech talking about how intelligence relates within families.

So for example, often if you have one gifted kid, there’s a good chance the others will be gifted as well.

That didn’t really surprise me. But one very interesting point she made was that spouses were often close in range in IQ. She said that generally spouses were within one standard deviation of each other on IQ – that’s about 15 points according to her chart.

She said people sought out mates of similar intelligence.

I was thrilled by this information. I think Michael thinks he is much more intelligent than I am. (He says this is not so. He knows we are equally intelligent. Cough. Cough.) So I love this idea that we are within one standard deviation of each other.

In college when we first started dating I happened to see his transcript, …

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If pesticides lower kids’ IQs, is it worth buying organics?

Three new studies draw a link between prebirth exposures to a class of pesticides widely used on crops and lower intelligence scores in kids.

The pesticide group is organophosphates, which kill insects by disrupting their brains and nervous systems. It was first developed in World War II in a more potent forms as a nerve poison.

The tests do not prove conclusively that there is an effect (you can assign some kids to be exposed to some pesticides and others not) but Brenda Eskenazi, co-author of one of the studies and director of the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health at the University of California, Berkeley, says a body of evidence if starting to build.

From HealthDay News in U.S. News and World Report:

“Two of the studies, conducted by researchers at Mt. Sinai Medical Center and Columbia University, examined kids in New York City, while Eskenazi’s study looked at 329 kids and their mothers in the Salinas Valley area of central California. All of the …

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What are your family traditions for Passover or Easter?

I am always fascinated with how families celebrate holidays and what traditions they have created.

Do they attend Holy Week services? Do they go to Passover services? Do they go to egg hunts? Do they cook up a storm? Do they create elaborate Easter baskets and buy fancy Easter outfits? Do they just enjoy the spring weather with their families?

One of our neighbors is Jewish and I am dying to know all about her Passover traditions but I don’t want to be nosy asking. I know she loves to cook so I would love to know what she’s up to for Passover.

When we were little we would wake up and hunt for dyed boiled eggs around the house. We would then open all the items in our baskets and then get ready for church. We would go to church on Easter morning in our fancy little Easter outfits and then come home for ham lunch with my grandparents.

(Let’s review that my mother would hide those real dyed hard boiled eggs overnight and then we would eat on them for days. It’s a miracle we didn’t …

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