‘Muppets Most Wanted’: Are you still Waka, Waka, Waka for the Muppets?

We are so excited about new Muppets movie opening today, and we are definitely going to see it this weekend. We are having an open house so the kids and I are escaping to the movies!

Every time the kids see a preview for it, they are cracking up. I am glad my kids love the Muppets like I did when I was little.

I love Tina Fey’s Russian accent in the movie and love Ty Burrell’s mustache. They are two of my favorite actors. I also love all the physical comedy they show in the preview. I am a sucker for anyone falling down.

The USA Today review said they have brought the wacky back to the film. I liked the 2011 reintroduction of “The Muppets” but I think I am going to like this one better. USA Today gave it 3 out of 4 stars and Entertainment Weekly gave it a B, which surprises me. EW said the 2011 one was better.

From USA Today:

“The Muppets’ winning style of self-referential, pun-filled, fast-paced comedy ventures further afield as the duplicitous Dominic (Gervais) persuades …

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AJC wants you to share video of your teen’s college acceptance moment!

Click the photo to see the video of the Target ad where kids find out they are accepted to college.

Have you seen this Target ad where kids find out on camera that they were accepted to college? It totally makes me cry every time I see it. (Click the screenshot or this link to watch the ad. I wasn’t able to embed the video with the new iframe embed code.) Well the AJC wants you to share your special college acceptance moments as they happen this spring. See how to share your videos of your teen’s joy (and your joy) below:

Want to share that special moment when your child learns that he or she has gotten into the college of their choice? The AJC would love hear from you if you’ve captured the moment when your son or daughter receives a letter of acceptance. Please send a video to media@ajc.com with the subject line “I GOT IN!”  We’ll post the videos on ajc.com.

As a side note, apparently I am not the only one crying when they see this Target ad. A marketing website explains emotional branding:

From Contently.com:

Of course I’m not crying at the Target commercial of …

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What are your best tips for showing a house with kids in it?

Clutter-free and ready to show -- the family room.

Clutter-free and ready to show — the family room.

The house is FINALLY ready to put on the market but now I have to keep it this neat and orderly with three kids living in it.

We’ve never had to show a house before while we were still living there. We had already moved into our second house when we put our first house on the market, and we had already moved out of our second house to come here while it was on the market (for a whole year)!

This time we want it sold before we leave town so we can buy in June in New Jersey without worry.

My girlfriend who sold her house last year here with three kids in it has had some good advice:

  1. Grill out for as many dinners as you can. It will keep kitchen odors out of your house and also keep your kitchen tidy.
  2. Buyers are always going to want to come late afternoon/early evening when you’re trying to do homework and make dinner so I need to plan accordingly.  The kids need to knock out their homework when they first walk in so at 5 or 6 …

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Is work-life balance an issue for government?

A recent Washington Post story examined how working 13-hour days at high-levels in the Obama administration affect parents with young kids at home.

The story was full of examples of parents such as White House budget chief Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who had to leave her 4-year-old’s birthday party for a budget impasse.

Former deputy chief of staff Nancy-Ann DeParle’s 12-year-old son asked her to quit after two years of overseeing the healthcare policy. President Obama invited her child in to discuss why he still needed his mom.

It’s a hard article to summarize but it looks at how the White House is trying to make work-life more manageable for its own employees and what the government could possibly do for the rest of the nation.

From the Washington Post:

“Even as Democrats tout family-friendly policies as a top priority, those within 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. continue to wrestle with the fact that their own workplace often falls short of those ideals. Obama announced last week that …

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New York City: Fantastic for kids, but just not cheap

My 10 and 12-year-olds loved the boat ride to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Some of the exhibits on Eliis Island were still damaged from Hurricane Sandy.

My 10 and 12-year-olds loved the boat ride to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Some of the exhibits on Eliis Island were closed due to damage from Hurricane Sandy.

The kids with the father looking at the 9/11 Memorial. The 6-year-old understood this wasn't a time to play or be loud. The 10-year-old and 12-year-old appreciated the importance of the memorial but I don't think it was too sad for them.

The kids with their father looking at the 9/11 Memorial. The 6-year-old understood this wasn't a time to play or be loud. The 10-year-old and 12-year-old appreciated the importance of the memorial but I don't think it was too sad for them.

By Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

New York City is a fabulous playground for families with endless opportunities to expose kids to music, art, drama, culture and food. However, those experiences don’t come cheaply.

I would love to tell you that New York City can be done on any budget, but it’s simply not true. There are ways to cut corners and to get more bang for your buck but you need to prepared that you’re going to feel like you are bleeding money during your trip.

The kids and I flew to New York City during Christmas break to look for a new house for our impending move and …

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I’m working on travel stories this week

I may post this week if something really controversial or exciting pops up but I think I am going to take Spring Break to work on travel stories. I have a bunch of travel stories to share with you guys but I never get them finished. I want to share about San Diego and Southern California. I have a whole camping for dummies/Yellowstone/Grand Tetons story that stands half finished. I also have a story about taking a family to New York that is also half finished. Message me on Facebook if you see something we really need to hit, but otherwise I am going to try to work on these stories to help you plan your summer trips.

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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 kids …

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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 honor …

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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 kids. My parents …

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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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