Archive for May, 2012

Why do parents like to brag so much?

It turns out its not just parents that like to brag, but everyone. According to new research, bragging actually stimulates parts of the brain that make you feel pleasure – like food and money.

From the Wall Street Journal:

“About 40% of everyday speech is devoted to telling others about what we feel or think. Now, through five brain imaging and behavioral experiments, Harvard University neuroscientists have uncovered the reason: It feels so rewarding, at the level of brain cells and synapses, that we can’t help sharing our thoughts. …”

” ‘Self-disclosure is extra rewarding,’ said Harvard neuroscientist Diana Tamir, who conducted the experiments with Harvard colleague Jason Mitchell. Their findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. ‘People were even willing to forgo money in order to talk about themselves,’ Ms. Tamir said…”

“Despite the financial incentive, people often preferred to talk about themselves and willingly …

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Parents, children alike mourn death of Maurice Sendak

I wondered which child would have the book "Where The Wild Things Are" in their room. I found it in my 9-year-old's room. When I brought it downstairs this morning the 5-year-old decided to read it to the dog. He looks like he's enjoying it.

I wondered which child would have the book "Where The Wild Things Are" in their room. I found it in my 9-year-old's room. When I brought it downstairs this morning the 5-year-old decided to read it to the dog. He looks like he's enjoying it.

There are only a handful of books that parents enjoy reading as much as kids enjoy hearing, and I think Maurice Sendak’s “Where The Wild Thing Are” is one of those books. It’s a nursery-room essential that many parents have on the bookshelf even before the baby is born.

Children and parents can recite the lines of Max’s great adventure across the sea and have burned into their imaginations the dark, yet beautiful images of horned monsters hanging from trees celebrating their wild rumpus. (That’s my favorite picture in the book.)

Parents will have to break the news to their kids tonight that Maurice Sendak died early Tuesday in Danbury, Conn., at age 83. He had recently suffered a stroke. (Here is a link to a list of many of …

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Do stepmoms get shafted on Mother’s Day?

Are stepmothers forgotten or ignored on Mother’s Day?

Family therapist and stepmother Judy Osborne says Mother’s Day is “the hardest day of the year.”

From The Huffington Post:

“Osborne, a Brookline, Mass.-based marriage and family therapist, started her practice, Stepfamily Associates, in 1980, specializing in stepfamilies. While she said she has a strong relationship with her own stepdaughter — a bond she cultivated slowly over many years — her stepmother clients have shown her time and again how the holiday sparks complicated feelings. “They really dread it,” Osborne said. “Mother’s Day tends to be a lot more charged” than Father’s Day because most women invest in mothering a new partner’s children. “I think it’s hardest on women who don’t have children themselves….”

“What Osborne said she observes affects a growing number of Americans as “nontraditional” family structures become more commonplace. As of 2009, 5.6 million children lived with …

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N.J. tanning mom loved ‘SNL’ parody of her

The New Jersey tanning mom accused of taking her 5-year-old daughter into a tanning booth thought Kristen Wiig’s SNL impression her was very funny.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

“The whole thing was hysterical,” Krentcil told the New York Post on Sunday. “It was well done…”

Krentcil pleaded not guilty last week to a child-endangerment charge that she allegedly placed her 5-year-old daughter in a tanning bed. She acknowledges a penchant for tanning, but says she would never allow her daughter to use a fake bake, and describes the charge and uproar as a witch hunt. (Krentcil says her daughter got sunburned the old fashioned way — by being in the sun for too long.) The media, meanwhile, have become somewhat obsessed with Krentcil and her burnished brown hue.”

“In the “Saturday Night Live” skit, Wiig arrives onstage as Krentcil, followed by a swirl of smoke. At several points, she stops to drink some water because she’s parched from the inside out. The segment …

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How was your weekend? I’m still recovering from First Communion and birthday party

I promise to give you some newsy topics for tomorrow but I am still recovering today. We had a crazy weekend all focused on my little guy. Walsh made his First Communion and Confirmation on Saturday and then we celebrated his 9th birthday on Sunday.

We had 8 of buddies over to swim and play Skylanders, build Legos and check out Minecraft. (More on Minecraft later.) With 10 kids and four adults, we consumed two platters of fruit, 26 hotdogs, two big bags of chips, cake and ice cream. I made Walsh a Skylanders cake.

If you’re throwing 9-year-old a swim party you need lots and lots of water guns, goggles, sunscreen and extra towels.  I bought everyone the same water gun model (2 for $9 of the foam pump ones) so the playing field would be even but one little guy showed up with a super-action, battery-activated water gun. It got ugly. We eventually took it away.

They played water volleyball, water capture the flag and horseshoes. When they were finally exhausted, I let them inside …

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Moms/Dads: Show us YOUR prom photos!

This was my senior prom dress. It was irridescent blue with sequins all over the bottom. The bottom was fitted and slit up the front leg. This is the only shot I could find easily. And by the way the handsome man I'm with is Jeff Goddard of Atlanta. We had been friends since kindergarten and dated on and off through high school.

This was my senior prom dress. It was iridescent blue with sequins all over the bottom. The bottom was fitted and slit partially up the leg. This is the only shot I could find easily. And by the way the handsome man I'm with is Jeff Goddard of Decatur. We have been friends since kindergarten and dated on and off through high school.

For the last few months the AJC has been asking you to submit your teenager’s prom photos. Now I thought it would be fun to post photos from YOUR prom.

Last week I caught a prom segment on “Live! with Kelly” (I don’t usually watch but I was on a elliptical at the gym.) At any rate, Kelly shared her prom photo from the 1980s and it was hysterical. She had some seriously big hair going on.

So I thought for our Friday fun, we would all enjoy sharing our prom photos on the Momania Facebook page. I will download and share the best/funniest ones of the blog.

I’ve posted one of mine here to get you started. But I have also posted a bad one from my …

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What are your worst family airport pick up stories?

We have family coming in today for Walsh’s First Communion this weekend, and I will be doing the dreaded airport pick up.

I always leave super early because I am so afraid of there being a problem, and I always park and go in to pick up. Even with the cell lot, I don’t want to worry about meeting our older relatives. (With Michael I would do a drive by but not other relatives.)

My dad, however, absolutely refuses to park when he’s picking up. He loves to just keep circling the Atlanta airport until he happens upon the person as he drives by.

The cell phone has ruined all his fun because it becomes less about chance and skill and more about an actual plan.

The cell phone lot worries him. When I flew in over spring break, he kept asking me if they were going to charge him to sit there!

One of my favorite childhood memories is my dad trying to pick up my grandfather at the Atlanta airport. It was in the 1980s and wasn’t as big as it in now. My dad was driving a pick up …

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Did New Jersey mom take 5-year-old in to tan with her?

A New Jersey mom has been arrested for taking her 5-year-old daughter into the tanning booth with her. It’s illegal for kids under 14 to tan in New Jersey. (You need to click this link and watch the video of the mom. Her tan is pretty tan. Also check out how fair the daughter is. I cannot emphasize this enough. Click the link!!!  Watch the video!)

The mom says it’s just a misunderstanding. She says she took her daughter with her into the room but not into the actual tanning machine. (You can’t leave a 5-year-old in the lobby alone.)

She says her fair, redheaded daughter got a sunburn outside playing; not in the tanning booth.

From Yahoo News:

“Patricia Krentcil, 44, told NBC’s local New York affiliate that she took her daughter with her to a local tanning salon but that the child was not exposed to the booth’s synthetic UV rays.”

” ‘I tan, she doesn’t tan,’ Krentcil said. ‘I’m in the booth, she’s in the room. That’s all there is to it.’ …

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Register as an organ donor and update Facebook so your friends and family know your intentions!

Usually on this blog I ask questions about family life but today I want to advocate for something. Today I want to ask you to register to be an organ donor and update your Facebook timeline so your friends and families know your wishes.

Facebook announced Tuesday that you can update your timeline to include if you are an organ donor. The idea is to help raise awareness of organ donation and help family members and friends know your intentions just in case something happens to you. You still have to officially register yourself through your state to be an organ donor.

Three years ago, an organ donor saved my big brother’s life. My brother was born with a congenital heart defect and spent much his 30s in heart failure. At age 40, he was blessed with the gift of a heart. (We think it was a man who died in a motorcycle crash but we haven’t been able to confirm that. My brother wrote to thank the family but he never heard back from them.) Because that man signed up to donate his …

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Actually not surprising: Number of newborns in drug withdrawal triples in last decade

A new study finds that “the number of U.S. babies born with signs of opiate drug withdrawal has tripled in a decade because of a surge in pregnant women’s use of legal and illegal narcotics, including Vicodin, OxyContin and heroin, researchers say. It is the first national study of the problem.”

From The Associated Press:

“The number of newborns with withdrawal symptoms increased from a little more than 1 per 1,000 babies sent home from the hospital in 2000 to more than 3 per 1,000 in 2009, the study found. More than 13,000 U.S. infants were affected in 2009, the researchers estimated.”

“The newborns include babies like Savannah, whose mother stopped abusing painkillers and switched to prescription methadone early in pregnancy, and those whose mothers are still abusing legal or illegal drugs.”

“Weaning infants from these drugs can take weeks or months and often requires a lengthy stay in intensive care units. Hospital charges for treating these newborns soared …

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