Archive for September, 2013

Are double-pierced ears trashy or OK on tween/teens?

My 12 year-old had her ears pierced for Christmas last year, and now she wants to get a second piercing.

She wants to add a second hole to both her ear lobes and swears she never wants to get anything else pierced.

I feel very old school about this. When I grew up the the “punk” girls had more than one piercing. I know that is very “Footloose” parents of me, and I’m trying to tell myself that two holes in the ear lobes is not bad.  I definitely wouldn’t allow her to get anything else pierced or even further up the ear.

Michael says it just seems too punk for a 12-year-old. I think we both think she should wait maybe a few more years before adding a second hole to her lobes if at all.

Are we being too “Footloose” parents about this? Are two ear lobe piercings bad? Are other piercings bad? Would you let your teen pierce the top of their ear or their nose or their belly button? (Lilina loves to tell me that our babysitter, whom I love, has a belly button ring.)

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First person: An African-American in UGA ‘white’ sorority

Editor’s Note: Cydney Adams was my kids’ babysitter for five years, and I love this young woman like a daughter.  In light of the University of Alabama story about African-American girls not being chosen by white sororities, I’ve asked Cydney to share her experience being a minority in a “white” sorority at a large Southern university.

By Cydney Adams, Senior at the University of Georgia

I read an article this week that was hard for me to digest. Not just because it was about two young black women who were denied membership to majority white sororities at a prominent southern university, but because the story I read all too easily could have been written about me.

I went through recruitment at the University of Georgia in 2010, against the advice of most of my family but encouraged by my close friends. People ask me why I made the choice that I did—to join a “white” sorority instead of a “black” one. The truth is I didn’t really decide. When I was accepted to UGA, I had …

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University of Alabama sororities under fire for not taking black students

The University of Alabama’s student newspaper “The Crimson White” is reporting that two African-American women were not offered bids to white sororities this year. The sororities are citing technical reasons for not accepting the girls but some members are saying it’s about race and the alumni didn’t want them. I can only pull a few paragraphs so PLEASE read the entire story with quotes from the different sororities.

From “The Crimson White:”

“By any measure, this candidate was what most universities would consider a prime recruit for any organization, sorority or otherwise. She had a 4.3 GPA in high school, was salutatorian of her graduating class and comes from a family with deep roots in local and state public service and a direct link to The University of Alabama.

“The recruit, who asked to remain anonymous, seemed like the perfect sorority pledge on paper, yet didn’t receive a bid from any of the 16 Panhellenic sororities during formal recruitment. Gotz and others said …

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Trying to figure out how our youngest learns best

Our 6-year-old has her first spelling test ever this week so I’m trying to figure out her learning style. Is she auditory? Is she visual? Does she need to write things over and over to remember them?

All of her learning up until this point has been very organic. We read with her. Talk about numbers. Do math problems together but she’s never really had a “test.”

The two older kids needed very little quizzing or studying time in the younger grades. Even now they look over it on their own and we might walk through math problems or vocabulary and they’re good. But I don’t know if the youngest is that way or not.  (Walsh’s new school is really emphasizing note cards for studying now. Look over them each day and then you’re ready for the test without much prep the night before.)

I started with a pre-test on Sunday to see how much we needed to work on them. There was about four out of 15 that she didn’t know immediately and two of those were the challenge words. So we started …

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What do you do if your school isn’t fulfilling a child’s IEP?

A friend posted a note in Facebook in frustration yesterday. Her child’s teacher is not fulfilling her child’s IEP. The child has dysgraphia and the teacher is supposed to provide notes of the lessons to the child after class. I believe the child is taking notes during class but when writing fast the notes can be illegible because of the condition. The parent says that the teacher doesn’t think the child needs the notes and is doing fine in the class. The teacher keeps pointing out how smart the child is.

This makes me crazy! The child had an IEP for a reason and it’s not up to individual teachers to decide what help the child qualifies for. I’m not sure how to get through people’s heads that children with high IQs can have disabilities and need accommodations and help. I sent my friend this page with some thoughts on how to deal with the teacher and the school, but I would love your suggestions.

So what should this mother do to get this teacher on board with the IEP? Why do …

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Class newsletters: Helpful or unnecessary?

I have been receiving our first-grader’s class email for the last year few weeks,  and I think for the first time in a long time I actually found a class newsletter to be useful.

The teacher was very specific about what they are studying in class (short A last week, short I this week) and what skills we can work on at home (counting by 10 but starting at random numbers like 8). That’s useful information. That’s information I can act on.

I follow the school on Facebook so I generally know when special events are, and I guess because both Walsh and Rose spent most of the day with gifted instructors so their class newsletters weren’t particularly relevant. I didn’t care what spelling words the class was working on because that’s not what my kids were working on.

I plan to print out her class emails because there are so many skills the teacher wanted the parents reinforcing at home.

Do you like for teachers to send out class newsletters/emails? Do you actually read them? Do you …

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What’s your favorite wrinkle cream?

My theme for the week is “I’m getting old!”

I mentioned earlier this week that I picked up my new progressive bifocal glasses (see below for more details on the glasses), but I am also working on my wrinkles.

I mainly have wrinkles around my eyes at this point but I don’t think I am fooling anybody calling them “smile lines.” I usually use Clinique’s Dramatically Different Lotion for moisture but wasn’t really sure what to buy for wrinkles. I wasn’t sure if any of them actually worked and which would give the most bang for your buck. Luckily, The Good Housekeeping Institute tested wrinkle creams this summer, and I’ve linked to their report via The Today Show.

Here are the winners on The Today Show website. I decided to try their Gold Winner with SPF —  the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer SPF 30.

Here’s what the testers said:

“Facial Moisturizer With SPF 30: Gold Winner

The contenders moisturize and deliver ingredients like peptides and retinol to firm, plump, and …

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Are your kids revolutionizing their media viewing with YouTube?

My 12-year-old daughter carries her iPod everywhere. She carries it on the school bus, puts it away for class and then plugs back in as soon as she is back on the bus. What’s odd is she is not generally listening to music on her iPod. She is usually watching YouTube videos.

I didn’t connect the dots that my daughter was part of giant trend in media consumption until I picked up a July issue of “Fortune” magazine at our library with a cover story about how YouTube is disrupting the traditional media world.

YouTube isn’t just to watch videos of music on demand or viral kitties doing adorable things. You Tube, according to Fortune magazine, is changing the TV viewing habits of the millennial generation and even younger, like my kids.

According to Fortune magazine, You Tube viewership has grown about 50 percent in the last 12 months. YouTube attracts 1 billion uses each month globally and viewers watch about 6 billion hours of videos monthly. Google, which bought YouTube in 2006, …

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Tech advances at college: Does your dorm do that?

(Editor’s Note: I picked up progressive bifocals yesterday and my head is killing me!! It doesn’t seem like I am having a hard time adjusting to the new lenses but my head sure hurts. Did you get headaches with bifocals? P.S. I am officially old. )

A mom friend posted on Facebook that the dryers in her daughter’s dorm at Arizona State University will TEXT you when your load of clothes is done! I just think that’s the craziest thing. How smart and easy for the students. No more sitting around killing time in a stinky basement waiting on your clothes so no one removes them before they are done.

A student of mine reports that there are no keys for her apartment at all – everything is done with a swipe card. Need to get into your apartment, swipe the card. Need to go to the gym, swipe the card. Front gate – swipe the card.

Another student was telling me how they hook up their computers to the TV so bye-bye to cable bills.

I am wondering what other amazing changes technology has …

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Would you hold out searching for a four-strain flu shot?

The American Academy of Pediatrics is concerned that parents will put off getting flu shots for their kids until they can located the new four-strain flu shot instead of the regular three-strain shot. The four-strain shot is new this year, along with some other flu shot options, but the Academy advises parents it’s not worth waiting for.

From NBC News:

“Parents should get their kids – and themselves – vaccinated against flu as soon as possible, pediatricians advised on Monday.

There are some new vaccines on the market and while some of the newer ones might appear better, it’s not worth waiting for one, the American Academy of Pediatrics said in an advisory…

“Theoretically, four strains sounds better than three strains. We just don’t have data to support that that’s actually the case,” (Dr. Michael Brady of Nationwide Children’s Hospital and chairman of the Committee on Infectious Diseases for the Academy) said. “The AAP is not going to recommend a preference, but that …

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