Wednesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

I am almost done sending all my Christmas cards — 100 total — but just need a few more addresses. Even though my kids are off from school right now, I managed to wrap all their Christmas gifts, write them letters from Santa in fancy gold pen, and hide the packages. I just need to stuff their stockings, which I will do, if and when, they go to bed on Christmas Eve. :)

Where are you in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season? Our “capasb,” by the way, has a diary and excellent on-going series called “Getting it DONE.” (Warning: cute kid drawing in the most recent edition!)

The Texas NAACP and Texas League of United Latin American Citizens have called on the U.S. Department of Education to investigate the Lone Star’s newly approved curriculum under the premise that it was “made with the intention to discriminate” and would have a “stigmatizing impact” on African-American and Latino students. From the Huffington Post:

“The State of Texas is failing to provide many of its minority students with equal educational opportunities,” documents sent to the federal department said.

The request, signed by Gary Bledsoe, president of the state NAACP, and Joey D. Cardenas Jr., state director of Texas LULAC, asked that implementation of the curriculum changes and new standardized tests be stopped for being racially or ethnically offensive or historically inaccurate.

Besides the curriculum complaint, they accused the state, the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Board of Education of “miseducation” of minority students, disparate discipline for minority students, using accountability standards to impose sanctions on schools with high numbers of minority students and rules leading to underrepresentation of minorities in gifted and talented school programs.

That’s one case I will be following.

In celebrity gossip break: want a preview of American Idol new judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez? Check out this OMG! article. Will you be watching this season?

Have a wonderful holiday all! What are you up to today?


80 thoughts on “Wednesday Morning Open Thread

    • I found his speech really moving

      I was impressed.  And I really liked that he invited so many people there who have been fighting for this, and often not supportive of his strategies on it.  It’s nice to see President Obama recognize the role of activists in moving things forward.

      Now I’m hoping the R’s don’t block the 9/11 first responder’s bill… Should know later today.

  1. My DH is coming home!!

    He’s been gone since Friday the 10th, being with his parents, which I totally get — he is an only child, his mom appears to be near the end of her life, FIL is 86 and can’t take care of her by himself  [BTW, MIL seems to be doing better, there is now question as to whether her quick downward spiral was a sign of imminent death looming or the result of the chemo she had on 12/2].

    But it’s been sucky for him to miss the kids’ birthday, and facing the prospect of him being gone for Christmas sucked even more.

    So since Saturday he has been trying to talk to FIL about a long-term plan — a plan for days or weeks to get some kind of help other than just DH and FIL doing all the caretaking. FINALLY, last night, they have reached a plan — DH’s cousin’s granddaughter, B,  who is about 21 and is trying to become a nurse’s aide, will come and stay with them for the short-term (a couple of weeks) and help FIL out.

    Now, we don’t think this is an ideal plan, because B is not the sharpest tool in the shed and we are not sure she realizes how intense it will be — but DH said FIL is excited about this plan and the thought of trying to get him excited about any other plan is too exhausting. So DH is rolling with it.

    B will come over today [about a 2.5 hour trip from her hometown] and they will have this afternoon/evening and tomorrow to get her settled into the routine. Then if all goes as planned, DH will come home on Christmas eve!

    • wonderful

      I had to go in and wake up DS at 10:10 because we are leaving in a little while to go have lunch at my uncle’s — but I love it when the kids can sleep in!

    • It’s lovely!

      We decided to just keep Isaac home (he could have gone to daycare but Mira doesn’t have school).  So we’re all still in our pajamas and relaxing.  I keep thinking “I should be doing…” but am trying to just let it go :-)


  2. ungrateful kids make me stabby

    I know this little snot is quite young, but WOW, was this viral video annoying.

    I found it equally annoying that this parents seemed to encourage his behavior by laughing at it.

    I found it MOST annoying that he was bitching about books as presents, when there’s a Wii sitting next to him. So it’s not like he thought those were his only presents.

    Not that I know how I would react if my kids were to do this. Maybe I would laugh too, out of shock and incredulity.

    As of now, Maya loves books (yes, even books for Christmas) and hopefully Alex will too (crossing fingers and toes).

    • Not cool

      I think this begs the question, why doesn’t this kid like books?  My kids love them too.  Is he having a hard time reading, although he looks a bit young to be starting, hard to say as kids start early these days?  Is it a result of school taking the joy out of reading or does he not get special time where his parents read to him?  There has to be more to the story.

      • my kid doesn’t like books,

        much less love them. I don’t think there’s anything more to it than that, at least in DS’s case. He got special time with his parents reading to him, and lots of teachers who offered all kinds of material to pique his interest. He enjoys reading scripts aloud but other than that he is not a reader.

      • books are a tier 2 gift

        DS1 loves books and he’s going to be really happy to see the Percy Jackson books he’s been wanting.  Still, books do not have the same gee whiz impact as toys.  They rank well above socks, but not far above the gloves that my son also wants and will be getting in his stocking.

        • Yeah. In our house

          which is filled with books, including a weekly library trip, a book is not really a special and exciting present the way a toy would be.

          • Us too probably

            Although Isaac right now is wrapping up all of his favorite books as presents for everyone else.  Then he brings them to us, tells us we can’t open them because it’s not Christmas, and then goes, “It’s ok. Open it now. I did a present for you!”  Luckily he’s transitioned to gift bags as his wrapping is atrocious :-)

          • Same here

            Only because I also buy them way more books than are probably necessary. But my parents bought me a lot of books as a kid and I’m very grateful. It’s one thing I’ll go overboard on with my kids. That being said, they do still get kind of excited every time they get a new one, so they each have one waiting under the tree.

    • Eh.

      If you took videos of some of the things my kids said and did, I’d look just as bad. He’s little. He wanted toys. He’ll enjoy the books later on, snuggled up with mom and dad.

        • Not YouTube.

          But it could easily end up on our blog, if we thought it was funny enough….  Though I did restrain myself from putting the conversation where my daughter announced that she was an atheist up. We generally refrain from things that make us look too bad….

          • You know…

            I wonder about people’s need to share all this stuff and how embarassing it’s going to be (or already is) to the kids.   Like the one where the little boy is stoned after the dentist appointment and it’s all over the place…what’s that kid’s life going to be like when everyone is making fun of him?  

            No one wants all their embarassing moments displayed all over everywhere and kids are full of embarassing moments.   I think it’s downright mean of parents to post this stuff.  


            Stick in the Mud

            • Except

              That these kids are all growing up in front of the internet — it won’t be as strange as it would be for our generation. Part of me is mortified that someone would share videos like that, and another part of me thinks that this next generation won’t be as damaged by embarrassing moments because everyone they are growing up with will have them online, too. I don’t know that the consequences will be what we expect because kids are growing up with an online presence before they are even born.

              • To me it’s like

                announcing to the world that your child peed their pants at their kindergarten Christmas concert…over and over again.   We’re supposed to be their greatest ally and their defenders and their protectors so to put them up for ridicule seems like a shitty thing to do.     Even if they’re growing up this way they still have feelings and as their parent it’s pretty awful to make fun of them that way.    

  3. Best Laid Plans

    My plan for this afternoon was to wrap gifts- even the Santa gifts- and watch White Christmas.  I had a meeting this morning, so I knocked out the rest of my errands and the grocery store while I was out.  I was just passing the kids’ school on the way home with a mountain of frozens when the nurse calld- Harry threw up and could I come RIGHT NOW to get him?

    I make a totally illegal u-turn, grab my pukey boy, and now I’m torn between stuff I need to get done and the reality of what I can do at this point with a sick kid in the room.

    In totally unrelated news, my grandma mentioned wistfully yesterday that it just isn’t Christmas without a tea ring- the kind with the little green and red cherries on it?  So I managed to locate green and red candied cherries (no easy feat, trust me) and a box of sweet roll mix (’cause there’s no way I’m making it from scratch the way she did) and I”m going to try to mix up a tea ring on Friday morning.  I’ve got no freaking clue what it’s supposed to look like, but I have faith in the power of the interwebs.  Wish me luck!

    • um, Laura?

      I think the universe may be trying to tell you something.  With everything on your plate, it’s still your instinct and your goal to make sure every little detail is perfect for everybody in your life?  While I can’t help but admire this, I’m worried that the universe will think it needs to keep dropping you stronger and stronger hints until you get the message.

    • Sweetpea you have your excuse!

      Or excuses, actually.  You have a good reason to let things go, as lyn mentions.  You can do it!  Everyone will survive, just fine.  If you need to feel more competent than someone I will happily share my stories so you feel better.  If you give me your email address I’ll send you photos of my house and its holiday clutter/grime for ever better therapy.

      • It’s not a competition!

        It’s just that she’s 96 and we’ve nearly lost her twice in the past 12 months and I don’t think we’ll have her next year.  Seems like making a tea ring is the least I can do.

        Trust me, “perfect” is not on the agenda.  “Done” is on the agenda.  DH just e-mailed to say he may be having a reaction to the statin he’s on and he may need to skip out of school early to go to the doc.  At the very least, he says I should plan for him to be minimally helpful this evening.

        Yeah.  Not so much with the perfect.

        • You are a good granddaughter

          I’m not sure I could make something I couldn’t eat, and even though I generally love any & all sweets, there’s something about candied colored cherries that sort of puts me off! I’d make one my grandma wanted one though.

          • you are a good grandaughter

            I would probably have said “yeah…. right?” and forgotten all about it…

            then again I never had a grandmother so I have the feeling I’d kinda suck at being a good granddaughter anyway..

              • I agree.

                My grandmother’s memories of her own grandmother are that she was stern and used to make her eat liver.  Her mother (my dad’s grandma) was a bit warmer but not much.  My grandma is not exactly all with the sharing of the feelings (she’s Scotch and German- we don’t expect much different) but she’s always made sure I knew I was loved.  Usually via food and knitted items- a particularly crazy pair of knit house shoes come to mind, along with a fully knit dress and matching tam in the 1970’s.

                Anyway, my mom?  Is the best Grandma in the world.  She’ll enthusiastically wear anything and will ooh and ahhh over performances and she’ll read for hours.

                You’ll be a rockstar Grandma.

                • I hope so

                  Liza only had my mom for 8 years — but she has AWESOME grandmothers on her dad and step mom’s side – and now has another one in Kelly’s mom…

                  both my grandmas died before I was born so the whole grandma dynamic is fascinating to me…

                  • I don’t know where I’d be without mine

                    My grandma is the best. Never cooked anything from scratch, doesn’t do crafts or anything, but she gives love. I had a tough childhood, and my mom was angry a lot of the time and very unhappy. I spent a lot of time at my grandma’s house when I was a kid, and it was the one place where I felt loved unconditionally. She is still the only person on earth besides my two children who I KNOW loves me fiercely, unconditionally, and feels like her life would be better if I was nearby. We have a very special bond, and I know that I am closer to her than her two remaining children. Don’t get me wrong, she loves her boys and they adore her, too, but do they spend an hour and half with her on the phone? Don’t think so!

                    Every kid should be so lucky to have a person like that in their life. She’s always been my cheerleader, my soft place to land and has always given me 100% support. Aw, man, I miss my grandma!!

                    • Here’s to grandmas!

                      I’m the first grandchild on my mom’s side, and my grandma told me that when she got the call that I was born, she laughed, cried, screamed, danced, jumped up & down, and then phoned her best friend. I’ve always thought that everyone deserves one person who celebrated their birth like that.

                    • I’m the first grandchild

                      on my father’s side.  My dad is an only child, so I was the only grand daughter and the only grandchild for nearly nine years.  I was truly my grandparent’s “princess” long before there was the whole “princess” thing going on.

                      On my mother’s side, well, my grandparents lived with us.  My grandfather passed away when I was only six, but my grandmother lived to see me a mother several times over.  I’m still convinced that my grandmother visits me on a fairly regular basis…so, yeah…I’m a real believer in the power of Grandmothers!

                    • Me, too

                      First grandchild. My grandma was 41 when I was born! So, we’ve had a long time together. Good lord. I’m only 6 years away from 41.

                    • Hee hee

                      My grandma was 47 when I was born, and I’m five years from that! DH’s grandma was 34 when his older brother was born, but she’d had my MIL at 15. It’s great now that my kids and nieces have a healthy, active great-grandma.

                    • 34?

                      Wow. Just wow.

                      It would be great to get to enjoy my great-grandchildren, but I am perfectly ok with being to old to see any someday! My grandma is 10 years younger than my FIL, so that’s always interesting. He was 50 when his 3rd child was born.

                  • Katie,

                    You will be a wonderful grandmother.  I can see it  now…you’ll be Grandma who lets the grandchildren have soda and cookies.  The grandma who’ll not mind if the grandkids stay up late a make a little noise.  The grandma who realizes that grandkids don’t require a lot of the not-fun responsibility.  

                    • the grandma who teaches them all the words

                      to Auntie Mame… with choreography.

                      And the grandmother who teaches the “Great-grandma Youngs death stare.”

                    • awww now that made me cry

                      I hope so…

                      I always wanted a grandma – i’m glad liza has a bunch.. even if none of them are on my side of the family LOL

        • It’s okay.

          I’m the same. I do have a tendency to take care of everyone except myself. Just keep an eye on that tendency and warn everyone when you’re getting to your breaking point. :)

          I would have busted my ass to make a tea ring too. I’m the one who stayed home to make emergency ginger snaps this morning. And instead of being at work, I’m waiting for the %$#% Enjo lady, who was meant to be here at nine. She’s now looking at 9:45. Because I have nothing better to do with my morning….

            • No Enjo there?

              Hmm. Maybe it’s called something different there. Here it is. It’s a cleaning product company…you just use water and microfiber things. Too much work for me for things like the bathroom (it does work, but you have to scrub…and I like some germ killing chemicals in certain areas), but the floor mops are AMAZING for hardwood floors.

    • poor Harry

      so sorry that he’s ill. I empathise – our afternoon dash to the ER with Hive Girl totally blew a hole in the rest of my Christmas list. Life, hey?

      Hope Harry gets better quick and it doesn’t spread.

      I’m with lyn on this one, btw. And if Grandma is wistful about tea ring, why hasn’t she made one herself all these years?

      • She did

        until her health went really bad a couple of years ago.  She didn’t ask my mom for it because she felt guilty that she was becoming more of a burden.

        What’s the deal with the hives?  Did I miss this in an earlier thread?  What happened?

        • sorry for my snark

          I just feel for you having one extra task!

          The deal with the hives … I’ll just repost from yesterday, if you don’t mind?

          the universe is a skanky crack whore (0+ / 0- )
          I don’t have big problems, I know. But c’mon – what’s with the tidal flow of low-level worry?

          Today, we get given a box of chocolates with hazelnut praline. Break them out. Give one to each girl. Jess? No worries. Lily? Breaks out in huge hives within 10 minutes. Off to the ER I go. A dose of antihistamine from the nurses, and a 2 1/2 hour wait to see a doctor. We agree it’s probably the hazenut, since that’s the outlier. RAST test ordered for ASAP. Doctor also goes, gee, Lily’s bowlegged and she still has a fontanelle that hasn’t closed. I explain both situations from times past (I feel like a friggin’ medical Proust – a la recherche des temps medicales perdus) and that the GP, the pediatrician and the orthopedic surgeon feel that they’re non-connected and will resolve themselves. Doctor goes, sensibly, while you’re getting the blood drawn for the RAST, get a little more taken and we’ll do a blood chemistry. Again.

          So, probable nut allergies with Lily and more medical hmmm over her fontanelle and bow legs. Really, universe? Don’t you have better things to do, you skanky crack whore?

          • Oh

            yeah- I totally missed this.  So sorry you’re dealing with this.  ER visits suck ass- especially when ER docs think they’ve discovered something brand new and amazing which you’ve known about forever.

            Ack.  Glad to hear the prednisone is working, though.

            • thanks, babe

              it’s not huge, huge in the scheme of things, but you know how it is. I’ll do the tests, because they’re drawing blood anyway for the RAST. I’m just like, she’s fine. Let’s not medicalize everything???

              • I like the doc

                Not that I have any idea what he’s testing for. But if you’ve got two symptoms in the same general category, and testing is non intrusive, theres no reason to not test. Even if it’s almost certainly nothing I prefer an easy test to a wait and see, since that way I don’t need to worry that maybe I’m wrong.

                • logically, I know you’re right

                  and yeah, I also like the doctor for casting an eye on things. He’s testing for nut allergy (yes, called for). He’s also going to do a Vit D, calcium, phosphate(?) and ATP test, which is basically a repeat of what happened exactly a year ago when we were given reason to have concern about the fontanelle. So now we still have a bit of a fontanelle and the bow legs – testing for bone deficiency. I see the cause for doing this.

  4. Spreading cheer!

    I’m taking some cookies to the homeless men’s shelter.  Usually the deacon who baptized Mary Rose brings them in for me but he’s hospitalized this year and I told him that I would still take care of his men.  He’s had an ongoing ministry there for some time.  I have to take the two youngest with me and I’m not sure if that’s a good idea but off I go!  Wish me luck!

      • Well…

        They slept through it.  I drove up and a client greeted me and no staff members were there.  The client seemed lucid enough but he had no idea who the deacon was so I’ll be going back when there are some staff members.  It is in a really rough part of town and there is a gang war going on in that neighborhood so I was a little nervous having the kids in the car as there have been daytime shootings.  Now logically, they probably would not be gunning at my minivan but I’m not sure that their aim is that good so stray bullets were my main worry.  

        I may send my husband or dad to drop them off later as it’s pierogi day and I’m supposed to be at my uncle’s helping with that when the staff will be there.  The deacon mentioned one year that the guys were fighting over the cookies so I would really feel better dropping them off with a staff member as the last thing I would want would be to give anyone a headache.

  5. Ah, Prednisone

    you are a lovely thing. Hive Girl has woken up with much-diminished hives and is pretty chipper. We will now resume some Christmas function.

    Also, I finished my Christmas cards last night. So they’re now New Year’s cards. So sue. But they’re done.

  6. Have a wonderful christmas everyone.

    May peace, joy, and happiness be with one, and all.  

    Can’t wait to read about all the great events happening on christmas day in everyone’s life.  

    We will be having a white christmas after all.  It started snowing night before last, stopped for a while, and it started again.

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