Archive for August, 2011

How to have a successful, stress-free meet-the-teacher?

We have meet-the-teacher night tonight, and I have 1.5 hours to get to two schools. The schools aren’t that far apart but I am worried about filling out all those forms.

Gwinnett County used to mail the forms out ahead of time but they don’t do that here. (I think they don’t wan to pay for postage. So put it online!!) So you first go the multi-purpose room to find out whom (spell check said whom but doesn’t sound right to me?) your child’s teacher is and then you start filling out masses of forms — forms for PTA, forms for the clinic. Then you sign up for PTA, lunch money, clubs and then you go to the classroom. Where the teacher has more forms for you to fill out.

Quite honestly I may ask to take the teacher forms home and send them back in on Monday.

So I am stressed about getting Walsh’s forms filled out and meeting his teacher and then quickly driving over to the other school for Rose.

(Lilina’s meet-the-teacher at preschool is on Friday morning so at least not …

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Are parents with one child happier than those with more?

I visited with several friends last month who just have one child and their lives seemed so much more together than mine.

Walsh and I went to see “Cars 2” with a dear childhood friend, her husband and their son. My friend was so cute with her husband. They were very romantic and seemed like they actually had time to be a couple! He chose the love seat in the theater and immediately put his arm around her.

My other girlfriend’s life just seemed so together and organized. First off she didn’t have toys from 10 years ago still hanging around that had been passed down from child to child and are still in use. Everything was neat and orderly.  They had a schedule and patterns. They were in a completely different stage of life than my family even though our oldest children are the same age.

So what do you think? Is one child just the right amount of kids? You can get them to events, help them with homework, feed and clothe them without going broke or crazy. Or is there …

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What/who makes a school good: principal, teachers, parents, kids, money?

I was talking with a mom at a jumpy place who also happened to be an assistant principal at a school in Gwinnett. I told her which school my kids had been at in Gwinnett and how much we loved it. She said it was an excellent school and that all the VPs around Gwinnett were watching the school because apparently the principal was getting close to retirement age and they all want her job.  (I don’t think the principal is actually that old. I think she has just served in the system a long time and would qualify to retire.)

So I am fascinated by the idea of all these VPs circling the school like vultures waiting for the principal to announce she is retiring but my question is: Will the school still be as excellent without the principal?

Is it that the school is just great or does the stupendous principal make it great?

There is a high number of teachers in the school with Master’s degrees and many have been there 15 or more years. The teachers are very experienced.

The …

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Prepared foods/takeout food can add to obesity problem

We all understand that eating fast food and eating out add a lot of extra calories, fat and salt into our diets. But a new study from the University of North Carolina has found that bringing home takeout and prepared meals from supermarkets can also contribute to the obesity problem in America.

From USA Today:

“Such foods are high in sugar and calories, and their increasing popularity means youngsters are getting more calories than they need, the researchers noted. Since 1994, this trend has been growing rapidly and reflects the availability of fast food restaurants and foods prepared in supermarkets and other food stores, the researchers say. In fact, calories eaten away from home increased from 23.4% to 33.9% between 1977 and 2006.”

“Study author Jennifer Poti says much of the foods children eat outside the home comes from prepared meals sold in supermarkets and convenience stores, as well as fast food restaurants. Much of the fast food that children eat is actually …

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Beach trends 2011: Did you play cornhole at the beach?

The cornhole tournaments went on all day every day. A dry erase white board kept up with who was playing whom. Here Marc Daley of Pittsburgh, front left, and Josh Brooks, Franklin, N.C., back left, take on Jay Brooks, Franklin, N.C., front right, and Mike Greer, Pittsburgh, back right.

The cornhole tournaments went on all day every day. A dry erase white board kept up with who was playing whom. Here Marc Daley of Pittsburgh, front left, and Josh Brooks, Franklin, N.C., back left, take on Jay Brooks, Franklin, N.C., front right, and Mike Greer, Pittsburgh, back right.

I love comparing culture and trends when we visit new beaches and this year for the first time my family went to Myrtle Beach for our vacation.

Well technically it was Garden City, which is a few miles down the road from Myrtle Beach.  I went with my kids, my parents and my brother’s family.

My sister-in-law went to Myrtle Beach growing up so we stayed in a condo from her childhood. It was still in great shape. It was only about 21 units and right on the beach.  My only complaint was not enough parking spaces. I had a full-on tantrum when I went to the grocery store on Sunday night and couldn’t get a spot when I got back due to illegally parked cars in the lot. I was ready to call the …

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How could ‘The Smurfs’ be tops at the box office?

How in the world did “The Smurfs” tie the Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford movie “Cowboys and Aliens” for No. 1 this weekend? (Read how much the movie made here.)

The commercials for “The Smurfs” look just awful and Entertainment Weekly gave it a terrible review — D+. We love Neil Patrick Harris and think he’s so talented and funny. We can’t figure out why he did this movie!!

Are people just that desperate for good kid movies to see that they’re willing to settle for “The Smurfs” or did nostalgia drive it into first place? Were the parents more interested in the movie than the kids?

This explanation was offered in the Los Angeles Times:

” ‘I don’t know why people underestimated this movie to such a degree. We were always very bullish on it,” Sony distribution President Rory Bruer said. “It has a huge following and not just with kids — there’s a nostalgia factor and a cool factor that is kind of making the film resonate for us.’ “

“Audiences who saw …

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