Would you prefer a March or April spring break?

Our school district follows the college spring break schedule so my kids are out of school this week.

The University of Georgia is out of school this week as is the University of Arizona. I think at least one of the Catholic high schools in Georgia is out (based on a Facebook post.) But I know Gwinnett is still in. Is anyone else out?

I was really ready for a break since Arizona obviously hasn’t had any snow days. But I guess it would be weird for Georgia schools to be off especially after so many winter weather days off.

Spring Break in Georgia always hits on my birthday week in April. I loved being off with the kids for my birthday. We would often travel that week so it would make my birthday even more special. I have lovely memories of eating tapas in Washington D.C. with the kids and being in Disney World for my birthday.  (Now in Arizona it’s just a regular week for my birthday.)

We’re not traveling this week. I’m working on taxes finally while Michael keeps the …

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Can parents say my rules or no money?

A judge has denied the initial request of  New Jersey honor student who is suing for support after she moved out of her parent’s home. The judge said it was a slippery slope that could lead to other teens suing their parents.

The crux of the argument at least according to the parents is that their daughter refused to live by the house rules, left voluntarily and then turned 18.

From AP:

“In court filings, Canning’s parents, retired Lincoln Park police Chief Sean Canning and his wife, Elizabeth, said their daughter voluntarily left home because she didn’t want to abide by reasonable household rules, such as being respectful, keeping a curfew, doing a few chores and ending a relationship with a boyfriend her parents say is a bad influence. They say that shortly before she turned 18, she told her parents that she would be an adult and could do whatever she wanted.”

Here’s the full updated story from the Associated Press:

MORRISTOWN, N.J. (AP) — A northern New Jersey …

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Husband returns after 7 weeks: What I’ve learned as a solo parent

In 44 hours my hours my husband returns home after being away for seven weeks – most of that time in Russia — and I am literally counting down the minutes until the plane lands.

Seven weeks is a pretty long time to be alone with three kids without any reinforcements in sight. I won’t call it single parenting because I haven’t had to worry about making money to buy food or pay rent, but I think solo parenting is a fair statement.

Besides taking care of three kids, one dog, and four Koi fish, I have been organizing and packing up a house to sell. I’ve been hiring and overseeing workers and going room-by-room eliminating items and boxing everything up so it looks to potential buyers like we don’t live here anymore.

I’ve had a babysitter come only once in that time for me to get away. I think I needed her to come more often than that.

Here’s some of what I’ve learned during the last seven weeks:

  1. It is scary to be alone and be the only person responsible for your …

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What parts of college should parents pay for?

One of our regulars wants your input about how much financial backing parents should give to their college students. Here is what she is thinking about.

From Techmom:

“Our son is planning on moving off campus for his sophomore year so he’s looking at apartments. We agreed before he got to college that we would help with his college, including living expenses, as long as he maintained HOPE (3.0 GPA). Now we’re trying to decide what we will pay for and how much per month. He does have a part-time job and we expect him to contribute some as well. We don’t want to put an undue burden on him such that he would have to work more than 20 hours a week but we also don’t want to pay for everything so that he’s just turning around blowing his money on whatever he wants. We want him to feel like he’s responsible for his education as well so that he’s more likely to continue to study and go to class. All bets are off of course if he drops below a 3.0 GPA.”

“I’m curious what …

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Licking and twerking: Should concerts have ratings for parents?

A friend and her 13-year-old daughter are debating whether concerts should have a rating system or warnings like albums, video games and movies.

The Daily Beast looked specifically at Miley Cyrus’s Bangerz tour.

From The Daily Beast:

“Miley Cyrus’s Bangerz tour kicked off in Vancouver on Valentine’s Day. While critical reviews have been mixed, there is universal consensus that the 21-year-old pop star’s biggest tour to date is pushing the boundaries of age appropriateness.  Between skin-laden video montages, mocking oral sex on a man in a Bill Clinton mask, on-stage masturbation, and grinding with her back-up singers, it’s a tween parent’s worst nightmare.

“In response to that bad trip, parents are walking out of the show, 9-year-olds in tow, flooding Cyrus’s record company with complaints and calling for the entire tour to be cancelled. While that is not likely to happen, her record label and tour staff have been discussing ways to tone the show down. If …

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Are you using period/ovulation apps? How helpful are they?

My Samsung Galaxy IIs died about a week ago. I wasn’t that upset about losing some of my contacts but I was upset about losing my period tracking app. I had no idea when I was going to start again.

I was using a free app that only allowed you to store three months at a time. It was great to help me remember when I would start next but with only three months of data for free it didn’t help me show my doctor trends – like my cycles getting shorter or spotting that wasn’t mid-cycle, which can be bad.

At one point I transferred some of the older data to a paper calendar, which I promptly lost.  And it doesn’t work as well on just your Google calendar because you have to hunt for it. The apps are usually color coded and make it easy to see when you’re ovulating or when your period should start.

So I’m on a new phone with a different operating system – iPhone so I can Face Time with Michael in Russia – and have a new app called Period Log. (Tells you exactly what …

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Disney World hikes daily pass price to $99

If you’re heading to Disney World for spring break or this summer expect to pay more for a single-day admission for your family members that are 10 or older. The rate went from $95 a day to $99, according to USA Today.

Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios are also raising prices – up $4 to $94 for a single-day pass.

According to USA Today Disney just raised the daily admission last June from $89 to $95.

From USA Today:

“When one central Florida theme park hikes entry fees, the others typically follow suit. Last year, Universal Orlando Resort became the first Orlando theme park to break the $90 threshold for a single-day, single-park ticket when it raised its prices to $92. Two weeks later, Disney announced a price jump from $89 to $95.”

“Industry observer Robert Niles of ThemeParkInsider.com isn’t surprised by the increase, though its timing is a bit unusual.”

“It almost seems as if Disney is daring Universal to go over the $100 barrier,” he says. “We …

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Gwinnett to make up snow days by extending days: Good or bad idea?

Gwinnett County Public Schools has announced that to make up snow days it will be extending the school day by 30 minutes from March 3 to May 14.

From the Gwinnett County Public School website:

“To date, GCPS students have missed 7 days due to inclement weather. Three make-up days (Feb. 17, March 14, and May 22) were built in the 2013-14 school calendar. The additional lost instructional time will be made up by extending the school day by 30 minutes for 48 days. This means that all schools will dismiss a half-hour later than their regular time, from March 3 through May 14.

This plan allows the district to maintain 180 days of instruction, making up the time in a manner that has the most positive impact on instruction. Click here to learn more.”

What do you think? Good plan, bad plan? Does is screw up carefully orchestrated after-school activities? Will those be pushed back as well?

I actually think this makes sense. They are already there, and it doesn’t mess up …

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New book: Internet safer for teens than parents may think

A new book, It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, suggests that internet may be safer for teens than moms and dads may think.

The author of the book is Danah Boyd, who holds positions at Microsoft Research, New York University, and Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

The Time Heath reporter Randye Hoder had four three big takeaways from the book, and here they are. From Time Healthland:

The internet is not making teens social misfits — The writer says that teens would love to go out and be with their peers but often are not allowed to wander about so instead they congregate on social media.

“To make up for this lost freedom, teens have turned to their computers. “The success of social media must be understood partly in relation to this shrinking social landscape,” Boyd explains. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other sites “are not only new public spaces; they are in many cases the only ‘public’ spaces in which teens …

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Mean or OK fun? Dad tapes kids falling on ice at school pickup

This video is making the rounds on Facebook. It’s from a dad who is waiting for his daughter at school pick up. He starts video taping on his phone kids slipping and falling on an ice patch near his car. He chuckles through the whole five minutes and likes to try to predict who is going to bite it. About 3.5 minutes in the daughter joins him in the car and also finds it very amusing. The daughter says at the end “We’re kind of bad people.”

I wonder if a mom were sitting there would she would tape it or get out and warn the kids “Hey this is really slippery here. Be careful!” I have no doubt that if i was sitting there I would feel obligated to warn the kids so no one gets hurt.

So what do you think: Bad dad or just clean winter fun? Would a mom have handled it differently? Would all dads tape it or would some dads warn the kids?

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