Archive for September, 2012

Katie Couric dives into public breastfeeding debate: Were these two mom OK to nurse in public?

Katie Couric talked about breastfeeding in public on her show this week. She interviewed Douglasville mom Dawn Holland on being asked to leave a local Applebee’s after refusing to breastfeed in the bathroom. She also talked with American University professor Adrienne Pine on her decision to breastfeed her child in front of her class.

The show sent over excerpts from the interviews so I wanted to share those with you and get your opinions.

From the “Katie” show:

“Douglasville, GA mom Dawn Holland on being asked to leave a local Applebee’s after refusing to breastfeed in the bathroom:
KC: Dawn, let me start with you. I know you were at an Applebee’s in Georgia. You were in a booth with your mom and your 11-year-old son, right? And you started nursing your son. Tell me what happened.
DH: We hadn’t been sitting very long at all. In fact we were still looking at menus and drink orders had just been taken. And a manager came up to me and told me I was being …

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Do you check your students’ grades online? How often?

Many schools offer a way for parents to view their kids’ grades online. I personally don’t want to look. I ask them how they are doing. They show me their papers and their grades. In theory I should know what their grades are.

I think I am afraid that if I start looking I will look all the time and micromanage their school work. I want them to be responsible and know when things are due, know when tests are and know when they are in trouble.

Blackboard is the common tool for online grades for colleges. It is amazing. The kids check their grades constantly on it — especially the ones trying to keep their state scholarships.

Update to this story: I wrote this last week and since last week I have actually used the grade website twice. Walsh somehow missed a test in math, and I was trying to figure out how. So I looked up the date of his absence and the date of the test on the website. So that was very helpful. Rose also came home with a 100 on her math test, and we were …

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The lunch money surprise: Is one child buying too much?

My friend received an email that one of her children’s lunch accounts was underfunded. She was surprised because she put the same amount of money in each student’s account and didn’t receive notices from the other accounts. So she started investigating. It turns out the one child was buying breakfast each morning at school – even she was eating a small breakfast at home. She was also buying ice cream and other additions at lunchtime.

Walsh was doing something similar two years ago in second grade. His account was being spent at double the rate of Rose’s and it turned out that he was buying two lunches a day. He wasn’t eating two helping of the vegetables, just two helping of hot dogs.

At our old school in Gwinnett you could limit the child to just one lunch or just one ice cream a day or just one ice cream a week. With that particular lunch account here, I couldn’t limit the child to just one lunch a day.  So the next year everyone started bringing their …

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Should students be able to opt out of P.E. in middle/high school?

It appears that in our middle school kids can pretty much opt out of P.E. by just not choosing it as an elective.

Now they could accidentally get P.E. if all their first options are already filled but there appears to be plenty of other things she could fill in with before getting to P.E.

I’m not sure what happens at the high school level here.

I remember taking P.E. all through middle school and high school (and hating it.) That’s where I learned aerobics. We used to have to design an aerobic routine and then perform it for the teacher. I also remember being told by the male P.E. teacher that I had the worst running form he had ever seen. So that was lovely for an awkward sixth-grader to be told in front of all the other students.  That teacher really knew how to support his student’s self esteem. That experience made me never want to run again and to this day I hate running.  So maybe it’s OK for Rose to skip out on that type of physical education.

She is on the …

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Fall fun: Recipes, decorating and ideas for Halloween!

One of my buddies in Atlanta made this wreath. She wrote on Facebook, "It's a styro ring (also available in black) from the $ spot in Target, old spider rings w/the backs cut off then hot glued on, and ribbon from the $ store. Total cost probably $2.75."

One of my buddies in Atlanta made this wreath. She wrote on Facebook, "It's a styro ring (also available in black) from the $ spot in Target, old spider rings w/the backs cut off then hot glued on, and ribbon from the $ store. Total cost probably $2.75."

I am so jealous that Atlanta’s temperatures are dropping in to the 50s at night and only reaching the 80s during the day. Even though it continues to rise to 104 almost daily here in Phoenix, I am so ready for fall!

I am ready for pumpkin and apple recipes and slow-cooker comfort foods. I have made pumpkin pancakes for dinner two weeks in a row. The kids just love them and they make a relaxing Thursday night dinner. (The week is almost over!)

So here are recipes that I been perusing and thinking about making.  I am also including some adorable Halloween crafts and treats to start you percolating on ideas.

Cooking with Apples

Comfort foods in the slow cooker

Kids’ Halloween crafts — I love, love, love the Paper Mice cutouts …

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Report: Mom thrown in jail for letting kids play outside

A Texas woman was arrested for child endangerment because she let her children ride scooters out front of her house. She watched from her front lawn. Her neighbor called the police to report her when she saw the children outside. She reportedly didn’t see the mother watching. (See the video above for the full story.)

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

“ ‘Orange jump suit, in a cell, slammed the door, for 18 hours,’ Tammy Cooper told KPRC-TV.”

“Cooper was arrested for child endangerment and she is disputing the charges. According to Yahoo News:

“Cooper is suing the La Porte Police Department, the officer, and the neighbor who made the call. In a statement, the police department said it was “confident of the known actions of the officers on the scene that evening.” The neighbor had no comment.”

It is disturbing that the mom was arrested when she was actually watching her kids play out front. But what if she hadn’t been watching? Isn’t that a parents’ call whether …

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Do you let your kids attend youth programs at churches of other religions?

My 11-year-old daughter has been invited to a youth event at a Christian church out here. I have heard the name of the church a lot, but I’m not sure if I am comfortable with her going to the event because I don’t know where they stand and if they would put pressure on her about her own religious beliefs.

If we were still in Gwinnett, I would be very comfortable with her going to events at Cannon United Methodist or Grace Fellowship, just to name a few.  Even though I am Catholic I know those churches fairly well and feel like she could enjoy the commonality in the religions and her religious beliefs would still be respected.

I grew up going to preschool and camp at First Baptist Church in Decatur even though on Sundays you would find my family down the road at St. Thomas More Catholic Church. (My mom was the accountant for the Baptist church.)

I taught VBS at First Baptist in middle school and went on Spring Break trips with the church’s youth.

I also attended Wednesday …

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One Direction dolls, retro Ninja Turtles, Furby hot for Christmas!

Toys R Us-Hot Toy List

One Direction dolls are hot for this Christmas. Will you be buying them? (AP)

I know what I am getting my niece for Christmas: One Direction dolls! (Well maybe only three of them at $19.99 each.)

Toys R Us has released its list of expected hot toys for Christmas and the boy band was on the list along with many throw-back toys such as the Ninja Turtles.

Toys R Us releases a hot list each year, but this year you can now reserve a hot toy with a 20 percent down payment. (See details below.) I bolded the hot toy list at the end.

From The Associated Press:

“Knowing early what will be popular during the holiday shopping season is crucial to retailers seeking to have the right mix of toys at the right prices. The holiday season can account for about 40 percent of a toy seller’s annual profit.

Last year, U.S. retail sales of toys fell 2 percent to $21.18 billion, according to research firm NPD Group.

This year, Toys R Us, is introducing a “hot toy” reservation program. Starting …

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Super cute chore charts that may actually help them clean

In related news, I found on Babble this slideshow of super cute and effective chore charts. I have not been this creative with their chore charts but maybe I should be.

I liked the daily job zones and the round and round. I also liked the moving the pictures of the chores over from one side to the other when you are done.

Although my kids would probably respond well to digital.

Maybe giving them different chores each day instead of the same ones would make it more interesting. Or does it make it more confusing?

Which charts did you like? What do you use? Post it on our Facebook page if you have a good one so we  can steal it!

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Does your family prefer planned cleaning day or surprise blitz?

When I was a kid, every Saturday morning meant cleaning. My mom woke us up early, fed us pancakes and then told us to clean. (She doesn’t remember it this way.) I dreaded Saturday morning and have always hated cleaning.

I used to rebel against cleaning but after having kids my tolerance for a messy/dirty house has definitely dropped.

We try to pick up the downstairs every day but you still need to do your deep cleaning. Instead of having a set day for cleaning I usually do better with a surprise blitz.  It’s not necessarily every week, it’s just when the house needs it.

For example two Sundays ago the house needed it badly. (This last Sunday it wasn’t so bad.) The kids went out to swim with Michael and I started picking up. When they came back in and got changed, I started giving them assignments. They picked up their rooms and the playrooms. Michael vacuumed the downstairs hard woods and stone while I cleaned the bathrooms and the kitchen. Then Michael went up to …

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