Monday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

Where is my family in the hustle and bustle this holiday season? We are waiting on our holiday photos to create the photo albums for our families and mail out Christmas cards. I have only the kids’ gifts to wrap, which I will do the 24th at night after they’ve gone to bed. :)

Not too bad.

In other news, I’ve noticed this interesting discussion on a diversity newsletter I am a part of regarding minority and low-income students who attend elite private schools in Manhattan. The New York Times published an article describing how isolated these students felt. At the same time, I have read reaction from several African American women who attended such schools and felt that this article lacked nuance.

In the other extreme, this article in the San Jose Mercury News rang true for me as I have witnessed the unbelievable sacrifices my parents have made to care for my grandmother who has Alzheimer’s disease. Caregiving, while rewarding, is expensive and has driven families into poverty — and even bankruptcy. I found myself shaking my head in disgust as I was reminded, once again, how we’re not set up as a country to care for others.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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About Elisa

I am a journalist and online organizer who is the co-publisher of this blog. When I am not online, I am shuttling around my two kids, an 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter.

49 thoughts on “Monday Morning Open Thread

  1. boy did I open a can of worms on FB by voicing my gratitude that I missed the whole Elf on a Shelf phenomenon… not since I called pandora bracelets “silly bandz” for rich women has there been so much discussion on my page.

  2. Our city is always on a high after a big win, so today is a beautiful day! Big W over our nemesis the ravens yesterday. It’s so much sweeter because the game really belonged to our 3rd string quarterback. He’s very loved here and he’s somewhat of a hero here…grew up here and he works tirelessly for the community. He’s been in since our first 2 QBs are injured, and last week he had a terrible game. To see him start what was possibly his last NFL game and fight to win it to the last second…I don’t think there was a dry eye in the ‘burgh. I hope the team keeps him on as a coach, because he essentially has coached Ben Rothlisberger to be what he is today.

    Anyway, aside from football, the baby seems to be breathing much better today. I’m still trying to get the hang of this 3 kid thing. I heard going from 2 to 3 was “so hard” or “so easy,” depending on who I was talking to! So far, my vote is “so hard.” I think it’s because I got one of those wide awake babies. She wants food or entertainment when she’s awake, which is a good portion of time. She sleeps soundly, but there is no setting her down when she’s awake. I don’t know how I’ll ever get laundry done…or shower, ect. Dh is taking over dinner duty and cleanup.

    • Do you have a sling? I had good luck putting #3 in the sling while I got stuff done. Could nurse in it too while doing the groceries and no one was the wiser.

      • I do, but can’t use it for a little while because it sort of smooshes her shoulder and her clavicle is not healed yet. I prefer the baby bjorn for around the house but can’t use it yet either.

        • Right – forgot about her shoulder. Best advice I have is just to let stuff go for at least another month to 10 years. I remember chanting that they would be 10, 8 & 5 during the first year or so. And then they were. And it was awesome. Still awesome at 14, 12 & 9 though. Way better than baby years.

    • I have one of those and thank God he’s an only. He technically slept through the night last night (1:30-6:55) but since then all he’s done is eat (4 times in 4.5 hours) and fuss. The only time he’s stopped fussing is on the changing table, go figure. He almost never naps more than 15 minutes–don;t think I’d have survived the first month without the Miracle Blanket but I don’t know if you can use one with her shoulder?

      • This is why I liked the post Elisa linked to yesterday on FB about the Yahoo CEO (this one). If her baby is easy, then lucky her. But they aren’t all easy to deal with.
        “That worries those of us who are just ordinary, because it’s not just the women for whom work and motherhood is “easy” who should have a shot at the top. It’s the women for whom it is messy, and daunting, and hard.”

        • Stormy’s usually pretty easy, actually! Just time consuming. He eats for an hour every 2-2.5 during the day, and goes through 10-12 diapers. He just rarely sleeps, and usually only in our arms.

          • Well, that’s good, although not infrequently with “easy” babies they will let you put them down and go to sleep. My #2 did. But regardless, I thought the larger point of the column was true, there is something about the person at the top saying “It’s a lot easier than everybody says” that feels like it is diminishing or blowing off the challenges that other people (including, by the way, people without nannies, housekeepers, gardeners, assistants, etc; and maybe people who have babies with more difficult temperaments) might have.

            • I know this makes me a bit evil, but whenever I hear someone say that it’s not that bad (any aspect of it, the sleep, working with baby etc), I do secretly wish that the second baby, or third, kicks their a$$ pretty good LOL.

              My little guy is a freaking dreamboat in every way, so I know for sure what a huge massive difference in experience it is. And Ds1 was just a bad sleeper who was a total creature of routine (even more so than most babies and toddlers). Usually cheerful, no colic, no stomach problems, any of that stuff.

              • well, hello there!

                I agree with you, completely. Having said that, I am glad I got dealt the hand I did; having a child that is, um, challenging on the sleep routine, is a picky eater, etc., first made the second child seem that much easier by comparison.

                  • Hear you both on that count. Ds1 was a planned only. Then in the 2-3 year range, when it makes sense to maybe kind of sort of consider a second, it was like, no way in hell could I handle a pregnancy and infant in addition to the force of nature that is Ds1.

                    Then of course we learned that saying we are too old and what are the chances is not birth control LOL. Which was one of two best things that have ever happened to us :).

                • Oh I’m glad to get the easier one second. I know exactly what to appreciate. Dh and I are constantly amazed. And of course I had forgotten temporarily that Ds1 was a runner for about 2 years and wouldn’t leave places, any places, without a battle royale, and craved constant movement and adventures (still does on the last one)!! How soon one forgets LOL.

                  Girl, how are you?? And btw, I might have a story idea for you. How do I get in touch?

            • Oh, I know–I just meant that I wasn’t saying he’s particularly difficult in general (he does sleep at night, just doesn’t like to nap much), just that I understand the challenges BB is having with little Miss F and I’m glad I don’t have to deal with two more at the same time.

              I have to say that the biggest surprise for me is that while I would never say it’s *easy* (even with my fairly happy baby), in fact it is quite hard (duh) in the sense of relentless and stressful; but not difficult in the sense of esoteric or complicated. I sort of assumed there’d be all sorts of new things I’d have to master that I didn’t know about yet, but there hasn’t been anything I hadn’t been exposed to in my limited baby experience. (Which is good, because I also sort of assumed I’d suddenly get new-mommy superpowers to help me master those things, and those haven’t materialized either.)

              • Parenting does seem to be a gradient where it starts out very physically challenging and much less intellectually challenging, and moves toward the reverse with age.

                • Yup. I’m less exhausted physically and more utterly drained emotionally these days. The boy just has to battle every single thing these days. The baby phase was hard, just because I was tired and they just needed me all the time. This school age phase is hard because of dealing with school issues/friend issues/sex talks/and the constant pushing back. I’m sure the next phase will be hard in a whole new way. :)

                  • even though I’m enjoying a new phase with Liza what’s so so sooo hard for me is the worry… she’s at an age I just identify so much with and I find myself daily saying prayers for life to smile on my girl…she battles her anxiety so well but it’s hard for her and sometimes it breaks my heart..she said to me one day “momma, when I have kids I hope they don’t have my worries..” sigh..

        • I didn’t see that. I had truly easy babies but even so there is an adjustment to motherhood, particularly with the first, that is making her statement ring a bit false. My guess is that she has a boatload of hired and other support and that we are talking apples/oranges between her and the average new mother. I’m looking at her a bit sideways here.

  3. I’m still home. Should have been at work 20 minutes ago. Haven’t showered. DH is making me coffee but I think a catapult may be in order. Must.leave.warm.bed….

  4. Monsoon season appears to have started here. Obviously the perfect time for the eleven year old to decide it is time for him to bike to school every day. 6.6 miles round trip.

  5. Aw, poor Kate Middleton hospitalized with hyperemesis. How awful.

    I turned on the car this morning and the heat blower smells like mouse urine. I think a mouse must have crawled up into the air vent when it was pouring yesterday. If it’s not one thing it’s another! I guess I will need to figure out how to get that taken care of.

  6. Santa spend a $hitload of money at Target this morning. I had a 5% off coupon that expired today, and I got paid today, so it was a perfect storm. I figured I’d play hooky this morning when Target wouldn’t be too busy and I took a long long list of everything I could think of. I think I’m almost done with the girls (including the stockings) plus my parents’ stockings. I also got something for Nathan and had to stock up on diapers, etc, since I had the coupon. I need to spread everything out and see what all I have. It may be that I have way too much stuff for Lucy and will have to take a few things back.

  7. Headed to Boston here in a minute. Presenting at a conference tomorrow which is completely *not* interesting. The exciting part? Cocktail party tonight that my publisher is throwing to connect authors with book sellers and a real, live, honest-to-dog book signing tomorrow afternoon.


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