Archive for April, 2014

Is your family getting any sleep with severe weather warnings?

My girlfriend who lives in Atlanta by Phipps Plaza was exhausted all day Tuesday because she had been up all night monitoring the weather. The TV coverage had scared her so much she didn’t want to go to sleep and die in her bed. Her mother said, “You should have switched channels. The other guy said we were OK.”

My friend’s neighbor had watched the same station as she did and was also up all night trying to decide if she should move the kids to the basement.

My friend’s middle school child was worse for the wear and had to face the CRCTs on Tuesday morning. She gave him a coffee to wake him up. Her youngest was passed out on the playroom floor by Tuesday afternoon. She just let her sleep. She was worried they were going to have another bad night on Tuesday night.

Her basement isn’t finished so not really feasible for them to sleep down there but I told her she should just put everyone to sleep on the first floor and she might get a better night’s sleep.

Are the …

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Kate’s favorite photo of Prince George: What is your favorite shot of your baby?

The Los Angeles Times has a photo that is supposedly Duchess Catherine’s favorite shot of Prince George from their trip to Australia and New Zealand.

I don’t have rights to the image so click here to see the photo.

From The Los Angeles Times:

“A snapshot taken by professional photographer Simon Woolf, also a councillor in New Zealand’s Wellington City, was the best of the bunch, he recently told reporters. …

“She said it was just lovely and that it was her favorite photo of the tour,” Woolf told reporters (via E! News). The photographer said he gave the duchess a black-and-white version of the shot when the family left New Zealand. He plans to send framed versions to George’s grandfather, Prince Charles, and his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, according to Hello….

“Woolf was the official New Zealand government photographer, People reported, so he was allowed at each event the royals attended during the nine-day leg of their spring tour. The young prince is said to have just …

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Teacher Appreciation Week should be moved to February!

I have a yearly rant that I cannot believe in nine years I have not published here: Teacher Appreciation Week needs to be moved to February!

National Teacher Appreciation Day is May 6 this year and the celebration week is May 5 to the 9. Teacher Appreciation Day always hits in early Mary.

There is simply too much stuff going on in May as school is letting out (end-of-year parties, concerts, promotion ceremonies, awards nights) to properly — and without ripping you hair out — honor teachers the way they should be honored.

In Georgia I would stand up every year at the first PTA meeting and ask can we please move Teacher Appreciation Week to February when there is nothing going on! Other than Valentine’s Day there is nothing big going on. It’s bleak outside, and that would be a lovely time of year to bring in cheerful daily treats for a teacher.  They would always vote me down and tell me that the national one is in May and that’s why we do it in May.

I suspect that the …

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CDC hits back: Vaccines do work and save hundreds of thousands of lives

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a new report seemingly to promote that vaccines really do work and parents shouldn’t be skipping them.

From USA Today:

“Vaccines given to infants and young children over the past two decades will prevent 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths over the course of their lifetimes, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vaccines also will have saved $295 billion in direct costs, such as medical expenses, and a total of more than $1.3 trillion in societal costs over that time, because children who were spared from sometimes-devastating illnesses will be able to contribute to society, the report shows. These calculations may underestimate the full impact of vaccines, the study notes, because authors considered only the early 14 routine childhood immunizations typically required for school entry. Authors didn’t include flu shots or adolescent vaccines …

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Teens and hair dye: A-OK or no way?

My oldest daughter asked to have her hair dyed red for her 13th birthday present. I told her I had to think about and talk to her father but I honestly couldn’t come up with a reason to say no.

I think as long as the dye isn’t permanent and is tastefully done and actually suits her skin tone then I can’t think of how this could be detrimental to her.

I did tell her I would like to have our hair stylist do it because I trust her to pick the right tone and to use a demi-permanent, which will last longer than a wash-in but won’t leave her with roots. Also I told Rose I thought she should do it before we move so her hair will be back to normal to make a first impression on people in the new town. People already know her here and I don’t think she would be judged negatively for dying her hair.

I remember dying my hair in high school and college.  I used to always try to go red and finally figured out it didn’t really suit my skin tone. Red is tough to pull off, and I …

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Michael leaves today; very depressed

It was heartbreaking to watch Michael kiss Lilina through the fence at school this morning. He is flying out in about an hour and we won’t see him again until school is out and we are ready to move. We had walked her to school and he had hugged her and kissed her before she went into the school yard. It was so sad. But then she came back again to the fence for one more good-bye. Oh my goodness. We had to hurry home so he could say good-bye to Rose, who is last to leave in the morning.

On the bright side the separation is almost over. On the negative side, we have another month apart and no clear plan on how we are moving forward. We have to sell the house here to be able to buy there so everything hinges on this house selling. We don’t know if we will head directly to New Jersey when they get out of school or head to Atlanta to wait for the house to sell so we can buy. We’ve decided though come July 1 we either need to have bought or go ahead a rent a house so the kids can …

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What role can parents play in controlling impromptu social media parties?

As you may have read, a giant impromptu party broke out on Sunday thanks to a few clicks on a bunch of smart phones. The party was hash-tagged “BigAssCookOut,” and police estimate about 1,500 young people showed up to a park near Stone Mountain. Here’s more from the AJC.

From the AJC: (I will try to link to the latest story as I see updates move)

…“This came really as a surprise to us,” the county’s public safety chief Cedric Alexander told reporters on Monday.

But Alexander vowed that they would be prepared in the future.

“We’re going to monitor social media going forward so that we can try to get ahead of them as quickly as we can and intervene,” he said.

Two women were shot Sunday evening as DeKalb County police broke up about 1,500 youth at the Wade Walker Park party near Stone Mountain.

“There was underage drinking and some drug use there,” he said. “Often when we have things like this, things go awry.”

Party organizers did not get the …

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Would you die within hours of your spouse?

The Associated Press reported a sad but very sweet story about a couple who had been married for 70 years who died within 15 hours of each other. The husband just didn’t want to be on earth without her. It’s like “The Notebook” but for real. (I weep through that movie every time.) Here’s the story.

From the Associated Press:

“NASHPORT, Ohio (AP) — A couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.

“Helen Felumlee, of Nashport, died at 92 on April 12. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died the next morning.

“The couple’s eight children say the two had been inseparable since meeting as teenagers, once sharing the bottom of a bunk bed on a ferry rather than sleeping one night apart, the Zanesville Times Recorder reported (

“They remained deeply in love until the very end, even eating breakfast together while holding hands, said their daughter, Linda Cody.

“We knew when one went, …

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Painted baseboards, broke the internet, celebrated 20th wedding anniversary, child’s 13th birthday and Easter and that is why there were no posts

After our open house two Sundays ago, my real estate agent suggested that my baseboards didn’t look clean enough and that the wires hanging down from our television were distracting. We had 10 agents touring the house last Thursday so I got to work to try to remedy these items. So I spent Monday, Tuesday night and Wednesday of last week cleaning and painting baseboards on my hands and knees (among all the regular tasks). I also put together a TV cabinet to try to conceal all the electronic equipment and all of the wires. When I installed the TV cabinet, I had to disconnect all the wires from the router, wifi and the satellite and I couldn’t get all connected back up correctly. So I lost internet. I wrote to MJG on my phone to ask her to tell you guys that so you would know what was going on. (Every time I tried to pull the cabinet out to adjust the wires, I knocked off plaster from the nook that holds it so then I had to repair the plaster and paint it.)

I spent Thursday …

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Should schools develop relationships with universities?

Today I am chaperoning my daughter’s seventh-grade science class trip to the Arizona Statue University’s Marston Exploration Theater where they are going to see a 3-D planetarium show and tour the schools of Astronomy and Geology with ASU students.

Earlier this month, engineering students from ASU’s Barret Honor’s College came and taught a robotics lesson to her class.

And a few weeks before that her class went to the ASU Engineering School to participate in another engineering experiment.

I LOVE all the exposure our middle students are getting to college science programs. I love that they are working in a university-level laboratory and participating in college-level experiments. I love that they are able to observe how the college students are experimenting and learning what those programs are all about.

The university is just down the road from our school, and I am so glad the middle school science teachers have cultivated this relationship and are making the extra …

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