Archive for November, 2011

Teachers moonlight: Should they have to supplement pay?

About one in five teachers are moonlighting to supplement their pay, according to a story by The Associated Press. One researcher estimates their moonlighting rates may be four times higher than those of other full-time, college educated salaried workers.

From the AP:

“Second jobs are not a new phenomenon for teachers, who have historically been paid less than other professionals. In 1981, about 11 percent of teachers were moonlighting; the number has risen to about one in five today. They are bartenders, waitresses, tutors, school bus drivers and even lawnmowers.”

“Now, with the severe cuts many school districts have made, teachers like Brosz, who hadn’t considered juggling a second job before, are searching the want ads. The number of public school teachers who reported holding a second job outside school increased slightly from 2003-04 to 2007-08. While there is no national data for more recent years, reports from individual states and districts indicate the number may have …

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Were parents really better in the good old days?

A non-parent wrote in to Washington Post columnist Carolyn Hax to question why today’s parents are helping kids with homework or playing with them? The person wants to know why “parents today feel they need to everything with their kids?”

Hax offers, I think, an awesome reply and frames her answer in the context of how parenting has had to change as society has. I can’t print all of it so please click the link to read her full reply. But here’s the basic gist. (The story has been in the top 5 most popular Washington Post stories this weekend.)

From The Washington Post Carolyn Hax:

“Now to your specific question: Unless they choose to homestead and home-school, each generation has to raise children in the context of current society — including but not limited to neighborhoods, schools, media, best scientific and medical practices, scientific and medical fads, and other ideas gone aerosol, not to mention whatever the lawyers dictate.”

“Some examples: Working parents are the …

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Do you serve biscuits every night?

I love biscuits! And being from the South, my mother served biscuits every, single night when I was growing up. It’s not an exaggeration. It’s the truth. Biscuits were always on the table. And I didn’t eat just one. I would have two or three

Because I know I have issues with bread, I rarely serve biscuits or rolls with dinner.

I made pumpkin soup last week and thought it needed something with it, so I whipped up Bisquick drop biscuits and the kids went crazy. You would have thought they were the lightest croissants from the best boulangerie in Paris.

So now I am feeling guilty that I don’t serve that flaky goodness more often than just on special occasions.

Should biscuits and other yummy fattening breads be served with every meal, some meals or reserved for special occasions?

Is this a Southern thing to expect biscuits or some type of bread with your dinner each night? How often are you serving biscuits or bread?

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Why do some preschoolers have crushes? Does it predict later love life?

My 4-year-old has a crush on a little fellow in her class. She talks about him very dramatically. She tilts her head and puts her hands to her little chin and says wistfully, “I love G. I’m going to marry him in my future wedding.” Then she tells me how her buddy is in love with another little fellow. (I think the buddy doesn’t know the little guy exists.)

You may recall that Walsh always had little crushes when he was 4 and 5. (Not so much in first, second or third grade.)

Lilina was telling Walsh about her crush yesterday. He sort of scoffed and said, “Boy if I knew how dumb it sounded I wouldn’t have talked about N.” (That was his 4-year-old crush. He remembers!)

Lilina reminds me of myself in kindergarten. I absolutely had crushes on little fellows. I remember in my kindergarten class at First Baptist of Decatur I was in love with a little boy name Sean.

I wonder why some kids focus on crushes at a young age while other kids do not? It is kids with older siblings who see …

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Moral responsibility: Would a woman have handled the Penn State child abuse allegations differently?

I keep trying to find the right words to write about the alleged child abuse by the former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. I have just been sick about it for days and keep writing draft and draft not expressing exactly what I want to say. But I feel like we should discuss it.

Michael and I lived in the Happy Valley for two years after we first were married. I worked for the local newspaper there as a reporter and an editor. Michael covered central Pennsylvania, including Penn State football, for the AP. We met Joe Paterno on many occasions. I personally talked with him multiple times at university dinners and cocktail parties. He was sweet and very much like a grandfather.  I think because I have met many of the people involved in this case, it is even more shocking to me that they didn’t do more to stop this alleged abuse.

A lot is being written about the moral responsibility of Paterno and the other leaders of Penn State. I think the Pennsylvania state …

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Mom needs help: How to handle separation anxiety with adopted baby?

One of our good friends adopted a beautiful baby girl from China this summer. The baby was around seven months old when they adopted her and is soon to celebrate her first birthday.

Everything seems to be going well for the family, except that the sweet baby freaks out when the mom leaves the room. The mom wrote me that she ”won’t even let me leave from the couch to the table (about five feet) without screaming or crying.”

The mom feels certain it has to do with the adoption and the baby attaching to her but she’s just not sure how to handle.

The baby came from a foster home and was not in an orphanage. It seems that the baby was very well cared for in her foster home.

My friend said that she has heard it generally takes the same amount of time that the child was in the care of the previous family for her to attach to her new family – so she’s guessing it will take seven months. But it the mean time she’s either got a screaming baby or one literally attached to her.

I am …

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What to do with Brussels sprouts so kids will eat them?

I am trying to expand our horizon and eat more produce. I am introducing the kids to Brussels sprouts this week and I wanted your input.

I have never eaten Brussels sprouts ever before – not as a kid nor an adult. I have never worked with them as a cook either.

I have been searching for recipes for Brussels sprouts and reading up on the basics. Apparently, I don’t want to boil them as that gives them a terrible smell and bitter taste. (So that seems really good to know.)

From Kitchen Daily, AOL cooking site:

“Brussels sprouts — those mini green cabbages that everyone loves to hate — are actually delicious if you just give them the chance. Many people grew up hating sprouts for their foul smell and bitter taste, but when cooked the right way, Brussels sprouts can be sweet, fragrant and meltingly tender. They’re also packed with vitamins A and C, folic acid and dietary fiber, among many other vitamins and minerals. Sprouts can be steamed, roasted, sauteed, or even shredded …

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It’s National Adoption Month: Would you take in a preteen or premature triplets?

November is National Adoption Month, and it’s the perfect time to share a story about an amazing family we’ve met.

The mom was coach for one of our kids’ teams and was showing up late to practices. We were trying to figure out what the deal was and she finally said one afternoon, “I am so sorry for being late. We’ve just taken in premature triplets for foster care, and we’re just trying to get everyone where they need to be.”

All the parents on the team were blown away. We couldn’t believe the family had taken in three premature babies. The family already had two natural children (one a teen and one a preteen) and they are in the process of adopted a toddler that they took in as a foster family in the last few years.

The triplets were born four months premature and spent four months in the hospital after their births. Both parents work in the medical field so they feel confident caring for such medically fragile babies.

They have fallen in love with the girls and are planning …

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Is Christmas coming faster this year?

I would like to report that the carton version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” was on TV on Saturday night – Nov. 5. Doesn’t that seem early? Does TBS always show it that early?

I know a lot of the stores are starting their sales early trying to get people to go ahead and spend but is that speeding up everyone else’s schedule? It seems to me that Christmas is coming faster this year than other years. It seems like people are trying to skip November altogether and just jump right to December.

They’ve already put the Christmas lights on the cacti near our neighborhood – although they haven’t lit them yet. (Thanks Goodness.) And the new Michael Buble Christmas album is already at Target!

I’m not sure if I am feeling the pressure because my mom is currently in the throes of preparing for Fake Christmas – where they visit before Christmas and pretend it’s Christmas with my kids but its not yet. She’s been shipping packages to my house and calling me about sizes and asking what …

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Too posh to push reaches British masses: Healthcare system to allow ladies to choose C-section

Pregnant women in Britain, where the government provides free health care, may soon be able to get a cesarean section on demand thanks to a rule change that critics describe as the health system caving into the “too posh to push” crowd.

From The AP: (I have bolded for a quick read)

“Currently, British women who can’t afford to pay private doctors for their baby’s delivery have been allowed to have planned C-sections only if there are health concerns for mother or baby. Emergency C-sections are done when the situation demands it.”

But new guidelines set to take effect later this month say pregnant women “with no identifiable reason” should be allowed a cesarean if they still want it following a discussion with mental health experts.

“It’s about time women who have no desire to view labor as a rite of passage into motherhood be able to choose how they want to have their baby,” said Pauline Hull, who has had two children by cesarean because of medical reasons. “The important …

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