Hump Day Open Thread

PBS Kids is airing new Curious George episodes with guest Bindi Irwin — the daughter of the late Crocodile Hunter star Steve Irwin. Check out this preview:

I have devoted my heart, soul and life to this project. MomsRising has published a series of blog posts on immigration by writers such as members of Congress, Arianna Huffington (!) and immigrant and civil rights advocates. I would appreciate it if you all could peruse the posts, leave comments on your favorite ones and mention on your Facebook or Twitter feeds. Many thanks!

Finally, I was heartbroken to hear about the passing of Mexican-American mariachi singer Jenni Rivera. She died in a plane crash Sunday night at the age of 43. She was as kind as she was talented. Without further ado, I serenade you all with a performance by her.

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.

65 thoughts on “Hump Day Open Thread

  1. God the age of PBS kids and Disney and Nick are so far behind us it seems like another lifetime ago… i have to say I do. not. miss. it. at. all. So happy with a teen and so happy to have the little kid stage so firmly in the past.

    last night we rehearsed for the upcoming holiday cabaret we are both singing in — doing our first duet ever — “I’ll be Home for Christmas” and while Liza was singing her part her director said “Liza I really see that college girl in you who may not be home for Christmas four or five years from now” and I got a little woozy… 😉

      • her director said ..”you know there will come a day when you’re thinking.. do I go home to mom or go to my boyfriend’s family?” and Liza said “oh.. my IMAGINARY boyfriend? Cuz i’m pretty sure that’s all I’ll ever have..”

        love. her.

        • Yes, there will maybe come a day for this. But probably not while still in college. Later, yes, but I think even most college students in serious relationships still go to their own families for Christmas (but maybe not Thanksgiving or Easter). Their breaks are so long that the typical pattern of students I know is to go home, but take a little trip from home to see their beloved if they live far away. Even my international students or students from Hawaii tend to be home for winter break, with few exceptions. Maybe if she studies abroad for a whole year, but most I know do 1 semester and are home for Christmas. So you can put that anxiety off until she’s in her 20s and working somewhere with little time off.

    • Mine wasn’t here for Thanksgiving and on top of that, he had an issue with anxiety and I wasn’t there to make it all better. That was pretty hard. I know the day will come when missing holidays together is par for the course but the first one kind of kicked my ass.

      • the inevitable anxiety issue when I’m not there is something I know is coming and it feels me with deep dark cold dread. during the hurricane Liza asked me “momma, what would I do if I were in college right now?” I said ‘you’d do what I did in hurricane Gloria in 1985… tape your dorm room windows and go to the liquor store” she was appropriately horrified.

        • Or, the evacuation would be early enough and they would cancel classes and urge students to go home, or there would be a place on campus where they’d gather everyone together to ride out the storm. Colleges, especially small ones, do way more handholding now than they did in the 80s when we were in school.

          • Shoot – no wonder I keep reading stories about how young adults are so immature these days.

            On a related note, my kids wanted to bike to Target by themselves to do Christmas shopping. It’s about 5 miles round trip, the entire route is on bike paths with only one street to cross, and at 10 and 11 I feel this is an excellent independence building activity. But when they invited the 11 year old neighbor along his mother insisted on accompanying them, and I later heard that she was a little shocked that I would let them go unsupervised. Sigh. I guess I’ll have to tell them they can’t bring a friend next time.

            • this summer was liza’s first “go to the movies at night with friends without parents” adventure… four, 13 year olds. I texted with one of the moms.. “If you want to drop them off I”ll do the pickup at 930 and bring them home” she wrote back “ohhh sure.. although I may just stay and watch the movie with them” She was STUNNED when I told her that was a horrible idea and completely defeating the purpose of this right of passage… absolutely STUNNED to thinkt that the point wasn’t really to see the movie but to see it alone, at night, with no parents around.


            • Good for you for trying. One of M’s friends isn’t allowed to come to our house anymore because DH let the two of them walk to the end of our cul de sac without him. It was maybe 8 houses on the sidewalk.

              Some Mamas are just really protective I guess.

              • And yet, I just heard a student speech about “latchkey kids” (that was a term I hadn’t heard in a long while) in which she said that SHE was home alone after school for 2-3 hours every day starting at age 6. I know it happens, but it’s not talked a lot about these days. I thought that was pretty darn young.

                • You know, it used to be a thing we saw all the time, but I really think that parents are afraid to leave kids alone at home because they’re afraid someone will call DCYFS. I was home alone starting at 9, sometimes until late, and it wasn’t a thing. If I leave H alone for 20 minutes while I go get M from something, I feel like I have to sneak out and not tell anyone.

                    • …really? Wow.

                      Of course there are afterschool programs here. More extensive than when I was a kid. But definitely not cheap.

                    • We spend $20 a year to register Lucy and then 3.25 an hour only when needed. She goes 3-4 days a week in the afternoons, so for us it adds up to less $100 a month.

                    • I guess we’re lucky here? Compared to fulltime daycare, we were like WOOHOO when she started school. But also, her school is 9:05-3:55, and we don’t need the morning care.

            • I am generally pretty relaxed about this stuff but all the break-ins and holdups lately are making me a little worried. There were 3 armed robberies on the greenbelt last week, and I talked with a south-area mom whose 12 year old was at home alone when someone broke in a couple of weeks before that. Not fun.

        • You and she will be ready for it when it happens. I guarantee it. You’ve done and are doing everything now to get her to that point.

          But — He had sent me an email a few weeks before then saying he missed “your smile, your energy, and how you make me feel at peace.” So when he was stressing I keenly missed having him near. The phone just doesn’t cut it, and Skype actually made it worse.

          Of course he got through it — that’s what we’re raising them to do, right? But I’m not gonna lie, I missed him so much then. And I am so eagerly awaiting the first hug when he gets off the plane for Christmas! (And anyone who thinks that makes him an immature young adult can go suck ice!)

      • How wonderful, though, that their moms are the first people they go to during anxiety. When I’m having anxiety issues, the LAST person I would go to is my mom. Thankfully I have an great support system, but it makes me a little sad that I can’t share everything with her. I’m glad that your kids can confide in you.

        • Amen. My mother creates my anxiety. I feel it building about a month prior to the visit. And I’m on explosion edge the ENTIRE time I’m with her.

          My goal in parenting is to not create those same feelings in my children!

          • I had those feelings about my mom forever and now — I don’t. She changed. She’s much less critical and brittle and now I genuinely enjoy spending time with her, and I’m relaxed. It’s a Festivus miracle! It could happen for you too. Believe me, if it happened to me it can happen to you.

            • I am much closer to my mom after I had kids. But she has yet to deal with her own anxiety/stress. When I tried confiding in her years ago, she stressed about it so much and nagged that it made me 100x worse. I thought when she retired she’d be less stressed but she still has anxiety and insomnia. I just feed off of it and it makes me really unhealthy. I love her very much and appreciate all she does. But she is not calming at all. I really really want to break the cycle for my kids. Starting up cbt again soon.

              • I remember when I was in my 20s my mom accused me of sounding depressed when I answered the phone . I said yeah, that’s what happens when you’re depressed. She could not handle that at.all and started calling me lazy, telling me to snap out of it, etc.

                Now? She tells me when she’s feeling down and blue and we talk about it. I don’t make my mental health a regular topic with her but still, it’s a miracle, I tells ya! (Seriously, I think she has some neurological problems that are causing personality changes, but I’ll take it.)

            • One of the highlights of having Stormy is how much I enjoyed having my mom here. She and Expat had it out over her racism one day, but overall she was great–really helpful and not at all critical. Much better in person than over the phone.

    • L is not really coming “home” over this break. She has an apartment, so there’s not the pressure to move out of a dorm. We’ll see her briefly this weekend when we drve up to do hannukah at my mom’s, but she had road trip plans with her friends from the 28th of dec through mid Jan. it is, I guess, the right thing developmentally, but I do miss her.

  2. Baby F is one month old today! Such a good little sleeper she is, for now anyway! I love newborns but part of me is sort of wanting to Hurry her along till she can sit up and interact, so I can put her down and let the kids entertain her! The other part of me wants her to stay a baby forever! But, being this busy, I can honestly say I’m going to be ready to say goodbye to the baby stage and I’m looking at my friends whose youngest are toddlers with envy. I wish I had more energy to devote to dd2.5 right now…

    • I bet the other kids will entertain her sooner than you think. Mary Rose and Sammy were really early smilers and it was because of their older siblings. I can remember Sammy lighting up when he saw the bigger kids starting when he was around Frankie’s age. Does she like the bouncy seat yet? I think Sammy interacted with the bigger kids quite a bit when he was in his.

      • She’s starting to like the bouncer, thank you Lord! She’s starting to look around in it and watch the kids, but she has to be in the right mood. She especially loves ds because he knows how to interact with her. But she’s only really smiled twice- once at me and once at my mom. She looks at you and studies you but no smiles yet, really. I’m a little worried…dd1 was smiling all the time at 2 weeks.

        • She’s her own person. If she has smiled, then she knows how to do it, which is good; I would chalk it up to Miss Frankie starting to show you her own very unique personality.

          • I’ve noticed that Stormy usually tries things out, then stops for awhile. He smiled a few times around 2 weeks, stopped, then really started doing it consistently around 6 weeks. (The day before the 6-week growth spurt, in fact, which I’m sure is adaptive.) He also laughed out loud several times over a few days a couple weeks ago, but hasn’t done it since. Xrazy, huh? I look at it like rachel said–he knows how, he’ll do it more when he’s ready.

              • My elder son was like that with talking. He learned to say “cat” and said it excitedly and repeatedly to the cat for a couple of days (oddly, the cat would meow in response, which he never did for us – the two of them would have conversations). Then he was done with the whole talking thing for a while.

                • Now that you mention it, my DS1 did that too with the word “clap” at 9 months after I clapped. He said it just one time. I thought maybe I had hallucinated it but then he said it once when my mother was babysitting him and I wasn’t there. Then at 10 mos said “bubble” and didn’t stop talking after that.

                • My dad’s older brother didn’t talk until he was five. The family legend (as told to my dad, who wasn’t around at the time, so…) has it that my uncle and my grandparents were on a train trip through Canada when my uncle excitedly said “Look Dad, Lake [somethingorotherican’tremember]!” My grandfather apparently asked him why he waited so long to talk and my uncle allegedly said, “I didn’t have anything to say before.”

        • My mom was just reminiscing that DD hardly ever smiled as a baby, and frowned intensely a lot. She thought she’s be a serious kid, but she isn’t all now at almost-4.

        • Don’t worry. My daughter used to freak people out because she would study them like they were bugs in a jar. No smiles. She COULD smile…but only if there was something to smile about. And she definitely didn’t smile if she was trying to learn something. Which was pretty much most of the time for the first couple of years.

          Kids all have their own things.

        • My bff’s baby seemed to be smiling within a few weeks, and I was amazed — neither of my kids were smiley newborns. I didn’t even know it was possible!

          • Thanks for the reassurance. I keep hearing not smiling = autism. Ds didn’t smile, and he was/is just on the edge of the spectrum. Dd smiled right away and she’s not. So in my vast personal experience, it has me mildly concerned. However, not TOO concerned, because as we all know, my son is awesome.

            • um.. she’s a MONTH old? honey Liza didn’t smile for YEARS… I mean YEARS…

              don’t you remember Katie’s # 1 parenting rule? NEVER EVER EVERRRRRRR READ STUDIES!

            • My SMIL is one of the UK’s leading experts on childhood autism and she was surprised Stormy smiled at all before 6 weeks. But honestly? I agree with Katie.

              • I third that. Research has caused me nothing but heartache- and Dr. Google is not your friend either, no matter how helpful he may seem at the outset, with his 15,000,000 hits and reassuring ads.

  3. Home with sick Clara and waiting for the ped’s office to call, so even though she is napping, I can’t get in the shower. I need to grade or wrap presents, but don’t feel like it. I wanted to do the kids’ laundry, but don’t want to wake Clara by going in the room to get the basket. So I’m stuck and can’t be blamed for frittering away some time on the internets, right?

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