Let’s play a game: What country would you choose to live in; where would you refuse to go?

A family we know has joined the United States State Department and essentially they could be sent any where in the world. I don’t think they are allowed to say “No” to a country but I think they could mark off some countries that they weren’t really comfortable with. I think they could also list some countries they preferred.

They are a white couple who adopted Asian babies so they are obviously concerned about the safety of their family but also wanted to choose a place where their children wouldn’t face overt racism.

My other thought other than racism is choosing a country where women’s rights are protected. I don’t think I would want to take my kids where women were treated as second-class. On the other hand: Would that be a formative, eye-opening experience for them?

I wonder if military families face the same sort of decisions? I think they have even less say about the countries they are sent but I guess the family can always choose to stay home. Michael’s mom took the …

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What age is appropriate to see ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier?’

Both of my oldest kids wanted to see the new Captain America movie, which opened on Friday. Rose is days from being 13 and Walsh is about a month from turning 11.  “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”  is rated PG-13.

I knew there was no chance I was taking my 7 year-old to see the movie, but I thought it would be OK for my older kids because I had seen the first Captain America movie and the first Avengers and I didn’t think they were overly violent. My 10-year-old has seen about three super hero movies like this in a theater.

There was very little blood, and I do think they made a very conscious effort to not have blood spurting when people were shot or dying. They also did not show people being shot in the head or face up close, and I don’t really think they showed much of the bullets entering anyone – you just heard the noise and saw people drop.

However, there was lots and lots and lots and lots of shooting and lots and lots and lots of guns – handguns, machine guns, …

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Are you helping your tween figure out her shape, skin care?

My oldest daughter is about to be 13 and during this last year I have been trying to help her figure out how to best care for her skin type and find clothes that best flatter her figure.

Rose has her father’s skin and tends to break out some. I have extremely dry skin and didn’t really have acne as a teenager so my skin-care regimen even from my younger years doesn’t really work for her. So we’ve been trying different products to figure out what out what works best for her. She was using a Clean and Clear pore cleanser but it seemed kind of harsh so now we are trying a Neutrogena grapefruit cleanser that has some Salicylic acid in it for the acne. (It’s funny because my mother has oily skin and never used to tell me to use lotion or buy me lotion and I was always so dry as a kid.)

She hasn’t really started wearing make up yet but I occasionally pick her up a lip gloss and inevitably choose the wrong shade. Again, her skin coloring is more like her father. She is very olive …

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Prom dress shopping perilous for plus-size girls: Where are the best places to look?

Leanne Italie of The Associated Press took a look at the difficulties plus-sized young ladies face when trying to find an appropriate prom dress (not old lady) that fits! Interestingly she found that nationally David’s Bridal and an online site Sydneyscloset.com may be some of the best resources for these young women. I am wondering where you have found good plus-sized prom dresses in Atlanta. She also points out that there is a definite need for donations of plus-sized prom dresses. So if you have one stashed in your closet, some young woman might really be able to use it.

Here’s the story in full.

From The Associated Press:

“NEW YORK (AP) — Maria Giorno has nothing against long gowns with high waists and flowing fabric — dresses that are designed to camouflage curves on plus-size women.

But the New Jersey high school senior had no interest in buying a loose-fitting style for her senior prom, even though it was all she could find in a size 16 or so at nearby stores. So …

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Is baseball a great way for families to connect or too expensive for most?

Last baseball season I thoroughly enjoyed seeing photos of our friends in Pittsburgh attending almost every Pirates home game with their two kids. I loved that they had carved that time out without iPads or ear buds to get in their way of sharing an experience as a family. They had three to four hours to sit together, talk and enjoy each others’ company during the game. (To me it’s almost like camping.)

Michael used to take me to tons of Braves games in college. I always loved going because unlike college basketball or even football, there was lots of time to talk in between actual things happening.

Now sitting through a baseball game just seems downright luxurious. Do I really have three to four hours to sit in seats with my family or friends and watch a game and not multitask? I cannot even imagine.

But the next question is: Are MLB games too expensive for most families to afford?

Here is a sample of prices from the 2013 season. From a 2013 Scripps Howard report that I …

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Are you faking the big O to make yourself feel hotter?

According to 2010 report nearly 80 percent of women admitted to having faked an orgasm but a new study published in the Journal of Sexual Archives looks more closely at their reasons why.  This study found that sometimes women faked it to feel more sexually excited and not just to get their husbands off of them.

From USA Today:

“The U.S. study looked at 481 sexually active, straight women with an average age of 20 who weren’t in a committed relationship, and asked why they faked it. Their top four answers:

• Altruistic deceit (making the guy feel better)

• Fear and insecurity (avoiding bad feelings about the experience)

• Elevated arousal (turning herself on)

• Sexual adjournment (getting sex over with)

The first two answers fit traditional thinking about a faked orgasm — that it’s for the man, or a woman’s emotional well-being — but the third shows a new self-determination by women in bed, says study co-author Erin Cooper.”

From The Huffington Post:

“While the two most cited …

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What’s a mom to do about son’s girlfriend visiting college for weekend?

One of our regulars mentioned that her 18-year-old college freshman son was expecting a weekend visit from his high school girlfriend and the mom is not happy about it.

Here’s what Techmom told us yesterday:

“Speaking of dumb decisions when you’re young: I’m currently cringing inside right now at my 18-year old freshman-in-college son… He’s had a girlfriend for almost 2 years who is a senior in HS this year. They are far too serious for my liking of course. I just found out that she’s going to visit him at college this weekend. Ugh. I told him I wanted to talk to him today on the phone. I don’t know if her parents know and I will ask but unfortunately I think they do and are ok with it (I don’t know if they’re just naive or if they’re looking for someone to take care of her… I honestly think it’s the latter and they would be perfectly ok if my son wanted to marry her the day after she graduates from HS). Anyway, I know they just as easily could have had sex while they were …

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UGA advises players how to treat women: Should college students need that?

News organizations in search of team policies regarding social media actually found that UGA basketball has team policies regarding sex and dating.  Sports Illustrated reported it first but Deadspin put up a copy of the document.

Here is some of the advice given to the players from an AJC synopsis:

Among the highlights for “Treat women with respect”:

  • You don’t own your girlfriend.
  • Birth control is your responsibility too.
  • Never assault or intimidate a woman.
  • Don’t spend all of your energy in the bed all night
  • Hicky’s/passion marks should not be ever noticed by coaches
  • One. Not two or three girlfriends.

Not widely publicized but you can view in the document is an item that says: No means no, date rape is a serious issue. Also mentioned is to avoid gray areas like orgies.

So I have a couple of viewpoints on this: one as a mother and then also one a college professor who has taught at a large university for the last three years.

On the one hand, …

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Are you a dad wearing a Rainbow Loom rubber band bracelet?

Are you a dad wearing bracelets made of tiny rubber bands created by your kids? Then you, sir, are on trend!

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that high-powered Dads wearing Brooks Brothers suits accessorizing with rubber band bracelets made by their kids are all the rage across the United States.

From The Wall Street Journal:

“The bracelets are “the hottest trend out there right now,” said Andrej Suskavcevic, president and chief executive of the Craft & Hobby Association, a trade group in Elmwood Park, N.J. “It is the Beanie Baby of today.” Arts-and-crafts retailer Michaels Stores Inc., which is the exclusive big-box retailer for the Original Rainbow Loom Kit, said in late 2013 that the kit was largely responsible for its biggest quarterly same-store sales increase in eight years….”

“Rainbow Loom was itself invented by a dad. Cheong Choon Ng, a father of two, came up with the product after struggling to keep up with his daughters in crafting projects. The loom allowed …

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Do divorced couples sit together at kids’ games and other game questions?

My soon-to-be divorced friend is aggravated by her ex sitting next to her at the children’s spring ball games. She can’t stand him at this point. They are in the middle of a very contentious divorce, and he just blabs at her the whole game. She just wants to watch her children play in peace.

She noticed all the other divorced couples seemed to be sitting together too. She’s trying to figure out how to break that pattern.  Can you break that pattern? How can she get away from him without her kids really noticing? Should she tell him she doesn’t want to sit with him or at the very least that he needs to shut up during the game? Or is this an opportunity for them to improve their relationship for the sake of the kids?

In other ball games questions:

1. Are games running too late? Our friend’s game lasted until 10 p.m. last week and he’s in elementary school. What’ up with that? I think that is way too late for games.

2. Do you find the elementary-age baseball games to be boring? …

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