Archive for June, 2012

IEPs, 504s: How do you get from your school what your child needs?

We had a request to discuss IEPs (Individualized Education Progam) and 504s and how you can get your school to support what your child needs instead of fighting you every step of the way.

Sadly, I think often schools do NOT provide the services that special needs kids require. I would hope the resistance to providing services stems from financial and staffing constraints and not negligence. But either way it’s illegal.

Often I think principals just don’t know all the ins and outs of federal and state laws that regulate the support to which these children are entitled.

This year I have met several ladies involved in advocacy for special needs kids, and I coincidentally attended last week a seminar about writing IEPs by some education advocates.

Education advocates are people that know the special education system. For a fee, they will review your case, help you figure out what testing you need and then can even come into your IEP meeting with you to fight for what your child …

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Colo. community tries to ban sidewalk chalk art!

Filed under “Really?!,” a community is Colorado is trying to ban children’s chalk sidewalk drawings saying it’s messing up the aesthetic of the community!

From The Huffington Post:

“A Colorado community is trying to stop local children from coloring on their pristine sidewalks, CBS4 Denver reports. Specifically, the Denver neighborhood of Stapleton wants 3-year-old Emerson Cohen to stop scribbling….”

“Some Stapleton residents believe that Emerson’s chalk art makes the communal area less pleasant for others, but Emerson’s mom disagrees: “She’s not bothering anyone,” Cohen told CBS. ‘It’s actually pretty neat — she’s learning how to spell her name.’ ”

“The ban will ultimately need to be approved or rejected by Cohen’s Stapleton neighbors…”

“While this isn’t the first time chalk has created controversy — it was a tool used in the Occupy Wall Street movement to spread the “99%” message — the backlash from the community in response to Cohen’s …

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Babies testing positive for pot — it’s in the shampoo man!

A new study has found that common baby soaps and shampoos are triggering positive results for pot tests conducted on babies.

According to Time via Yahoo News:

“Commonly used baby soaps and shampoos, including products from Johnson & Johnson, Aveeno and CVS, can trigger a positive result on newborns’ marijuana screening tests, according to a recent study. A minute amount of the cleansing products in a urine sample — just 0.1 milliliters or less — was found to cause a positive result.”

“Researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, began studying the issue after an unusually high number of newborns in their nursery began testing positive for marijuana exposure. Newborn screening for marijuana at hospitals, particularly among babies of women who are considered at high risk of drug use, is not uncommon: at U.N.C. Chapel Hill, 10% to 40% of newborns are tested…”

“Soaps that were specifically associated with false-positive marijuana test results …

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Has your wife started watching UEFA soccer tournament?

Has your wife developed a sudden interest in the Union of European Football Association (UEFA) soccer games that have been playing on TV last week and this week?

If so, she may be watching for some of the same reasons that I am  — the super hot European men!

I do enjoy soccer, and I find it relaxing. You can do other things while it’s on and then look up when everyone goes crazy. And they always show a replay.

But what I started noticing last week was all the unbelievably sexy guys on the field, and in particular  the ESPN soccer analyst Michael Ballack, a German soccer player not in the tournament. (See his photo on the ajcmomania Facebook page. I don’t own the rights to the shot so I couldn’t use it on the blog.)

My husband doesn’t mind that I’m ogling players and the ESPN analyst for multiple reasons. First off I don’t complain about hours of games. Second off it puts me in a frisky mood for later. All good for my Michael.

When I admitted my new crush on Facebook, …

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Antibiotic use for kids down 14 percent; contraceptives up 93 percent

The number of antibiotic prescriptions for kids decreased 14 percent from 2002 to 2010, according to a new federal analysis. However, antibiotics still remain the most frequently prescribed drug for kids.

From USA Today:

“Overall, 263.6 million prescriptions were written for patients 17 and under in 2010, down 7% from 2002, finds the analysis of prescription claims databases by Food and Drug Administration researchers, published today in the journal Pediatrics. By comparison, 3.3 billion were dispensed for ages 18 and up, 22% more than in 2002.”

“The medical community has made “an enormous effort to decrease antibiotic use” for kids in the past decade “by educating parents about the futility of treating viral infections with antibiotics” and about antibiotic resistance, the FDA study says….”

“Other drug categories down from 2002-2010 were allergy medications (61%); pain (14%); and cough/cold without expectorant (42%). But prescriptions increasing include …

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9-year-old angers local government by blogging, photographing school lunches: Should all kids start?

A 9-year-old Scottish girl drew the ire of the local government by blogging and photographing her school lunches.

Martha Payne’s blog NeverSeconds chronicled the low points (sausage and bean pita pockets) and high points (macaroni and cheese) of her school lunches. Other kids from around the world started submitting photos of their school lunches too.

But last week the local government in Martha’s town banned photography in the lunch room essentially putting her blog out of business.

The Washington Post covered the controversy. From The Post:

“Under rules introduced over the past decade for British public schools, junk food is banned in vending machines, salt shakers are no longer allowed on lunch tables and deep-fried foods are strictly limited.”

“But the photos on Martha’s blog suggest room for improvement.”

“Martha, an aspiring journalist, began the blog in late April as a writing project with her father. With permission from her teachers, she posted photos of her …

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What type of husband/wife is most likely to cheat?

A new unscientific survey from AshleyMadison.com – a dating site for married people – describes what type of husband and wife are most likely to cheat.

From The Huffington Post:

“…he’s likely in his 40s, been married for over 10 years and has two children over 10 years old.”

“Of the 11,453 fathers surveyed (all of whom have accounts on the website), the largest percentage of would-be cheaters work in the IT/Engineering field, a career that’s moved up on the list since placing fifth in 2010’s survey.…”

“What about cheating wives? In May, the site polled 2,865 of their married female members and found that the typical cheating married woman was in her 30s, married for five years or less and had a daughter under three years old. She is also likely to be a teacher, a stay-at-home mom or work in the medical industry, according to a representative from Ashleymadison.com”

What do think of their character sketches? It’s interesting that the man is more likely to be …

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What do dads really want for Father’s Day?

I think a lot of moms just want time to themselves for Mother’s Day but I’m not sure what dads really want for Father’s Day.  Crazy sex?? Poker night?? Favorite pie?? New swim suit? I don’t know!

So please dads that visit our site tell us what to buy or do for our husbands for Father’s Day!

Michael has given me one suggestion. He wants some new golf/short sleeve shirts because he’s wearing them to work some this summer.

So the kids and I picked him up a bunch of shirts in new colors on sale, some new flip-flops, a new gym bag that will hold his basketball ball, and a new bacon plate for the microwave. (The other one caught on fire.)

I don’t know – what else should we get??

We’re going to spend a day on a lake before Father’s Day and probably just swim and BBQ on Father’s Day itself (plus church).

What do you think Dads really want for Father’s Day?

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Do mortgage modifications really help or just delay the inevitable?

I recently heard from a family that has been facing foreclosure, and they finally received the bank’s offer for modification.

While the monthly payment was greatly reduced and is manageable, it took multiple phone calls to the bank, HUD and the mom working up her own amortization schedule to attempt to understand the implications.

The loan would now span more than 40 years and seems to almost double what they originally owed (interest for a longer loan). Even if the housing market improves and they tried to sell the house later, they don’t think they could pay off the debt. (An accountant friend of mine says they would just need to refinance again in five to 10 years or when they were back on their feet and the loan amount would be greatly reduced by reducing the years. I’m still trying to understand it all.)

On the plus side for taking the modification: The family couldn’t rent a place any cheaper. It allows them to stay and get back on their feet. But when it’s time to …

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What creative play do you love to see?

My daughters threw a big Barbie party and everyone was invited, including Diego. I am pretty sure Hugh Hefner is buried somewhere under there. I loved seeing the results of their play. I know they had a great time at their big Barbie party.

My daughters threw a big Barbie party and everyone was invited, including Diego. I am pretty sure Hugh Hefner is buried somewhere under there. I loved seeing the results of their play. I know they had a great time at their big Barbie party.

I was surprised a few Saturdays ago when I walked into the playroom and saw the Barbie party featured above. That’s 11 years worth of people giving Barbies at birthday parties and holidays.  Even though it was a giant mess I loved seeing the party the girls created together.

I also love to watch the girls paint. My 5-year-old loves to make mail for her friends. She writes messages to all her buddies and draws them pictures. She hums to herself as she works.

Rose has been painting while we listen to Harry Potter CDs. I work on annoying tasks like filing bills and Rose paints portrait after portrait.

I also love when they create games in the pool. With three blow-up rings, multiple water guns, and a water balloon catapult the fun is …

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