Archive for October, 2011

Get these mini-candy bars out of my house or How I am doing on Weight Watchers

In a corollary post to the earlier one, I wanted to give you guys a Weight Watchers check in. I finished my second full week on Saturday.

The first week I was very good. I had more than 50 points left over including four hours of exercise points. And the hard work showed – I dropped three pounds the first week.

The second week I think I was trying to see how how many bad choices you could make and still drop weight (I had a cupcake at Walsh’s BB party and the next night a bratwurst and almond bread, The points go much faster that way!) I only exercised three hours last week and only dropped 1 pound (I would four ounces from it being 2 pounds but that didn’t count!)

Now that’s still 4 pounds in two week so I do feel good about that. However, these last few days I have encountered some challenges.

  1. I bought at Costco the $13 giant freaking bag of mini candy bars to give out tonight. The bag got opened to send some candy to school events and that my friends has been a big …

Continue reading Get these mini-candy bars out of my house or How I am doing on Weight Watchers »

How do kids with food allergies trick or treat?

“Trick or Treat?” says the adorable 6-year-old girl.

“Oh aren’t you the cutest little fairy I’ve even seen,” says the neighbor.

“Thanks,” says the Mom. “Oh and please don’t give my child any candy that has peanuts in it or were processed on any machines that had peanuts on them.”

While this scenario is unlikely, I do wonder what kids with food allergies do on Halloween. A friend told me her daughter and the daughter’s friends were debating what to do.

Peanuts and other food allergies are more easily avoided at parties or at school. You inform the teachers and send alternative snacks. But when the name of the game is collecting candy from other people’s houses, it’s tough to come up with a suitable replacement activity where a parent can be certain their child will not come into contact with the allergenic items.

Now I guess it depends on the severity of the allergy. I have a friend who has a child with a peanut allergy but I have never head of them not partaking in Trick or …

Continue reading How do kids with food allergies trick or treat? »

How much should a school event cost?

One of our schools is hosting a pumpkin walk/carnival tonight. The pumpkin walk is where kids can show off their costumes and their carved pumpkins. That part of the event is free. But right next door on the school grounds is a carnival-type event with games, jumpy houses and food. You can pay with $1 tickets for individual things or buy $12 wrist bands for unlimited games. (The food costs more.)

Here is my issue: For me to take three kids to this school event, it will cost me $36.

While I understand it’s a fundraiser for the school and the schools’ budgets are all being cut, it just seems like too much money for a school event.

Now you could go and only buy a certain amount of tickets but I just think you’re opening yourself up to fight with your kids instead of having fun.

I was discussing it with a friend and she said that was exactly what her school was charging. But she lives in Buckhead.

So I am wondering at other schools, not in Buckhead, what are they charging for …

Continue reading How much should a school event cost? »

Teacher asks: Where we draw the line with holiday sensitivity?

Long-time teacher and blog regular sent me this post a couple of weeks ago about holiday sensitivity in school. See what you think!

By Mother Jane Goose, Blog regular!

It’s that time of year again, when the holidays pop up one right after another: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter.

Teachers who work with young children know that children are drawn to all of the seasonal excitement and many are creative enough to insert learning objectives into themes that involve pumpkins, cats, owls, pilgrims, foods, stockings, trees, hearts and love.  Some have their hands absolutely tied and cannot even color an orange pumpkin or black cat.  It has not always been this way.

For years, the holidays were simply a fact in the classroom:  celebrated and enjoyed with enthusiasm.  Nativity scenes were even a staple in public schools.  There was no concern of children donning angel costumes for the Christmas program and Santa art projects were as common as …

Continue reading Teacher asks: Where we draw the line with holiday sensitivity? »

What’s the germiest stuff you touch every day?

Kimberly-Clark Professional examined everyday objects to see which were the most germy. Then  Dr. Charles Gerba of the University of Arizona analyzed their data. Here’s what they learned:

From station KOLD in Tucson:

“They found nearly three-quarters of gas pump handles are highly contaminated with the kinds of germs that can make us sick.

Next on the list, the handle on that mailbox where you drop off your letters and packages.

What you pick up there could send you to the doctor.

The study found 68% of the handles were contaminated.

Here’s one we’ve told you about before.

Vile germs are riding nearly half of escalator rails tested.

What about ATM’s?

You could withdraw more than money the next time you hit the buttons on an ATM.

They were just a bit less icky than escalator rails.

Next on the list, parking meters or kiosks.

And the next time you buy a snack from a vending machine, you’ll definitely want to wash your hands before you eat it.

The study found 35% of vending …

Continue reading What’s the germiest stuff you touch every day? »

Would you let your child/teen dress up as a movie murderer for Halloween?

I put a call out on the AJCMomania Facebook page for blog ideas and one friend/reader posted a great one: Would you let your child dress like a murder from movies?

She is so bothered by the Texas Chainsaw killer or Michael Myers from “Halloween” costumes marketed to kids. “Totally inappropriate,” she writes.

How do you feel: Is it all in good fun and OK to let kids pretend to be something scary? Is the “Scream” mask better than the others? What about the Jason mask from “Friday the 13”?

Is there an age where those costumes are OK  — high school? Do colleges frown on those? Are they allowed to wear those in college or are they seen as threatening?

Continue reading Would you let your child/teen dress up as a movie murderer for Halloween? »

What are your favorite homemade Halloween costumes?

Walsh's homemade iPad costume! It was super easy and cute!

Walsh's homemade iPad costume! It was super easy and cute! Michael is tying it on him. Lilina dressed as Strawberry Shortcake. Store-bought of course and the green-striped leggings have already ripped!

I love homemade costumes, and Walsh has come up the cutest costume for this Halloween. Walsh thought of the idea, and Michael helped him make it. (The first time the man has crafted in 10 years of parenting, and it turned out great!)

Walsh decided he wanted to be an iPad, and he won most-original costume at the Y Halloween party last weekend. There were at least 100 kids there!

I bought two foam-core poster board at Target.  They glued-down tin foil (Rose’s idea) to the make the screen. Then Michael printed out from the Internet large icons of apps – like Angry Birds and of course AP!  Then he printed out a large Apple icon for the back and they glued it all down. They connected the two boards with shoe strings like a sandwich board. It turned out so cute and he can’t wait to …

Continue reading What are your favorite homemade Halloween costumes? »

Harry Potter movies to disappear from stores after Dec. 29

Warner Bros. Entertainment seems to be following in the shoes of the marketing master Disney and will not be shipping any more Harry Potter movies to stores as of Dec. 29!

From Entertainment Weekly:

“Harry Potter said his last goodbye this summer, with the release of the franchise’s final chapter, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2, and Warner Bros. seems determined to prove they really meant it. As of Dec. 29, no more Harry Potter theatrical film titles (including Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection) will be shipped to stores, initiating a profitable home entertainment model not unlike the one at Disney, which periodically re-releases its classics for home purchase. (Warner Bros.’ moratorium on Potter will not include digital — Electronic Sell-Through and VOD — or games).”

“Since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was released in 2001, the Harry Potter franchise has grossed more than $12.1 billion for Warner Bros. Entertainment — $5.1 billion of which …

Continue reading Harry Potter movies to disappear from stores after Dec. 29 »

Study: Teen violence linked with drinking lots of soda

Researchers have found a statistical association between violence by teenagers and how many sodas they drink in a week.

The study found that inner-city Boston high school student who drank more than five cans of non-diet, soft drinks every week were between nine and 15-percent likelier to engage in an aggressive act compared with counterparts who drank less.

From Yahoo News:

“What we found was that there was a strong relationship between how many soft drinks that these inner-city kids consumed and how violent they were, not only in violence against peers but also violence in dating relationships, against siblings,” said David Hemenway, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health.”

Hemenway stressed that they would need further studies to prove or disprove that higher consumption of sweet sodas caused violent behaviour.

From Yahoo News:

“The new study was based on answers to questionnaires filled out by 1,878 public-school students aged 14 to 18 in the inner Boston area, …

Continue reading Study: Teen violence linked with drinking lots of soda »

Would you take your kids to a protest?

A new group has started to occupy Wall Street – parents and their kids.

From The Huffington Post:

“Thirty-five days into New York City’s Occupy Wall Street protest, a new type of crowd — 500 parents with their children — gathered in Zuccotti Park. The event, sponsored by Parents for Occupy Wall Street, was a family sleepover that started at 4 p.m. on Oct. 21 and ran through 11 a.m. on Oct. 22. It came complete with crafts, storybooks and … politics.”

“The reason for a sleepover? On, organizers say:”

“The group’s goal is to raise awareness of the diversity of people supporting the movement. In the press, there is an assumption that the only people supporting the movement are solely homeless or unemployed … With even a short visit to Liberty Plaza, you will see all walks of life supporting the movement, including middle class working families.”

The article says that parents and kids have showed up earlier but this was en masse and orchestrated. …

Continue reading Would you take your kids to a protest? »