Archive for September, 2011

Should you let your kid practice funneling on Capri Sun?

The Huffington Post has a story about a little boy being video taped funneling a Capri Sun at a tailgating party.

The video was apparently removed from You Tube by the user, but The Huffington Post still has a screen grab of the little guy with the funnel in his mouth.

I am bummed I didn’t get to see the video but I still think with the screen grab a discussion can be had.

Here’s what The Huffington Post wrote:

“Under 21? Beer funnel a Capri Sun in the meantime.”

“This little boy does just that at what appears to be a tailgate among some University of Miami fans.”

“Funny? Yes. Good idea? Maybe not.”

“The boy’s eager, commendable performance is surely worth a few chuckles, but as commenters on YouTube point out, the beer chugging fake-out might not be setting the best example for the child.”

You can easily imagine how it probably happened: The parents were all doing it and the kid wanted to do it so they just let him do it with a Capri Sun or someone thought …

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Big school or small school: Which do you prefer?

Our elementary school in Georgia was around 1,000 kids. When I went to the same school as a child it was about that same size. I never thought that it was too big. They had the kindergartners in one area and the fifth graders far away. They were never together in the lunch room or on the playground. The children arrived and dismissed in an orderly manner and there were always plenty of teachers on hand to help. The teachers and staff were friendly and you got to know them all. I always felt like it was a warm environment even though it was bigger than some small colleges.

I felt that because of the size, the school would have any resource that my children or other children might need. Some of the smaller schools didn’t have science, math or writing specialists the way our school did.

The school here that both kids attended last year is about the same size as our school in Georgia. I wasn’t afraid of the school because we had been at one that size. However, it feels bigger. …

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What are the best online tools for planning class parties or group events?

This week one of my kids’ classes has been planning its fall party. All of the parents are always willing to help out and that is wonderful, but my inbox now has more than 30 reply-alls. I was afraid to even start opening them to see what was still needed. I felt overwhelmed.

So I set up a closed Facebook group to help the parents communicate, as well as help manage the email traffic. So we’ll see if it works.

A closed Facebook group allows you to add members from a certain group and outsiders can’t read what you are posting, similar to a profile page. You can also create an open group if you don’t care if people read it.

(You can also create a page for an organization, which is different. Those are generally public and function a little bit differently than the group set up.)

We’re in the middle of trying to get all the moms added as members. I went with a closed group so no one would have to worry about the class, school or kids being identified online.

The class mom …

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Upset stomach: Food poisoning, bug or pregnancy?

I have had an upset stomach since Monday. At first I thought “Oh no, I have given myself food poisoning.” I made a fall dish (a turkey/dressing bake) on Sunday that my family was not crazy about. The kids picked at it and Michael didn’t eat it all but I had a huge helping of it! So I immediately went to “Oh great I have poisoned myself.” No one else has an upset stomach in the family, although Lilina does have a fall cold.

Sitting on the couch Monday night it crossed my mind, “Oh Lord, what if I’m pregnant!?” I said to Michael, “If you got me pregnant, I am going to kill you!” Then I was trying to make him count back and help me remember when we did it this month. (You know I am bad at math!)

By Tuesday I was starting to think I have just caught Lilina’s cold, and it’s just affecting me in the stomach. I have caught a stomach bug.

I am still not feeling great today, and for now I am going with the stomach bug theory and not the pregnancy one.  However, …

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How artsy/crafty do your kids’ projects have to be for school?

I learned after a year at our new school that for projects and book reports you need some serious craft supplies on hand.

I keep multiple colors of card stock in my desk drawer. I keep big colored poster boards in between the washer and dryer. I have buckets of colored pencils (the preferred coloring method of the teachers because of more control), colored markers, crayons, paint, glue, glitter and yarn. We routinely use the 3-hole punch, sliding-blade cutter for long even cuts and funky craft scissors.

I can’t decide if this is the arts and crafts standard for projects at our schools or if every school is looking for this kind of commitment to projects to now?

How artsy/crafty is your school expecting projects to be? Are you keeping odd craft supplies at home and using them regularly for school projects? Do you think there’s too much emphasis on appearance in projects and not enough on substance or do you think those requirements are equal?

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Do you warn your kids about shots or just take them?

Rose had a check up recently and our sweet doctor said, “Hey let’s just get your flu shot out of the way today.” (It would have saved me a co-pay doing it then.) Well Rose freaked out!

Normally she is fine getting shots but I also generally tell them ahead of time “We are going to get your flu shots. I will get one too.” And we usually all do it together in one fail swoop and then quickly get ice cream afterwards.

Well that day, she wasn’t having it. It was such an unusual response from her that I just backed off and said, “OK we don’t have to do it right now. But we are doing it at some point.”

When we got to the car, she was still upset and she says with all clarity “All I ask is fair warning!”

I thought this was a reasonable request, and I will warn her before we go.

Do you generally tell your kids when they are getting shots – immunizations or flu shots? Do they do better knowing ahead of time or are they better to spring it on them? What order do …

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Dads less likely to die of heart-related problems

New research has found that fathers are 17 percent less likely to die of heart-related problems that childless men are.

From The Associated Press:

“The study – by the AARP, the government and several universities – is the largest ever on male fertility and mortality, involving nearly 138,000 men. Although a study like this can’t prove that fatherhood and mortality are related, there are plenty of reasons to think they might be, several heart disease experts said.”

“Marriage, having lots of friends and even having a dog can lower the chance of heart problems and cardiac-related deaths, previous research suggests. Similarly, kids might help take care of you or give you a reason to take better care of yourself.”

“Also, it takes reasonably good genes to father a child. An inability to do so might mean a genetic weakness that can spell heart trouble down the road.”

“There is emerging evidence that male infertility is a window into a man’s later health,” said Dr. Michael …

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What details about puberty are you leaving out?

Lately, I have been having many discussions about puberty with my daughter, my mom friends and our new pediatrician. And it’s interesting to hear the questions that kids have as their bodies change and how moms are supplying (or not supplying) the information.

Our pediatrician gave us a great list last year about the order that the girl’s body changes. (I thought I shared the list last year but I didn’t find it in our archive.) Here’s what she wrote down for me as the general order of things changing:

Boobs

Pubes

Pits

Zits

Period “the end!”

She wrote next to it that it all happens in about 1.5 to 2 years. She said generally it was about 2 years from breast buds to periods. I thought this list was really helpful.

I wanted to hit a couple of areas that I wonder if moms are addressing with their daughters.

  1. Things they may feel in their breast as they form: I recall there being like a hard disk in my breast as it was growing and our pediatrician explained that it is …

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Beyonce says pregnancy makes her feel empowered: Did yours?

Beyonce told ET in an interview that her pregnancy makes her feel empowered.

From People.com:

Beyoncé doesn’t just have that pregnancy glow. It’s more like a megawatt luminescence.”

” ‘It’s been great. I feel free. I feel very empowered,” the singer, 30, tells ET Canada of her pregnancy in an interview airing Thursday night.”

My pregnancy made me feel free too – free to eat sausage biscuits and not worry about it. I was free for the first time in 10 years to not worry about the fact that my stomach poked out on a regular basis. (That’s just how it is – not particularly fat just never flat.)

As far as empowered, I actually remember feeling more vulnerable. I used to take MARTA home every Friday night because I would work until 10 or so on deadline with two sections. Michael would pick me up at the Marta station late at night. When I rode late at night after work, I felt like I had a big target on my back and couldn’t run or defend myself if something happened. …

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Cheers to teachers: I don’t know how they do it!

I am completing my sixth week of teaching a college-level journalism class, and it is so much harder than I had expected.

I expected my first semester teaching to be difficult because I knew there was some material I needed to study and also knew I would have to create my lesson plans. But it is taking so much more time than I had anticipated to gather everything that I want to share with the class and make sure I have my materials exactly how I want them.

I also didn’t anticipate how long grading would take. I am spending every weekend grading their blogs, their edited photos and videos, their social media plans, and their essays examining different media presentations.  It is literally taking at least eight hours to grade each week. And then you have to get it all into the grade book.

I am not sharing this to complain. I am sharing it to PRAISE all the teachers out there! I don’t know how they do it and get anything else done! (My house is a mess and my lovely meals …

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