Hump Day Open Thread

What’s up?

Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the Family Medical Leave Act. It was the first piece of legislation that Bill Clinton signed into law and since then it has been used more than 100 million times by families who need time off to care for themselves or their loved ones. Of course, there is much more we can do to better support families during times of crisis. For one, we can join practically every other nation on earth and offer paid leave and to all workers. Here is a blog carnival on it. Please leave a comment or two and share on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you, ladies!

Yet, another tragic story having to do with our culture’s obsession with guns and violence. The parents of Hadiya Pendleton have raised $40,000 for the capture of their daughter’s killer, who is still on the run. Pendleton, 15, was gunned down near her Chicago school, just days after she performed with a marching band during President Barack Obama’s inaugural festivities. My heart breaks for her parents…

In health news: a new report found that 84 percent of fish samples taken from around the world contain unsafe levels of mercury. Considering how much I love seafood — UGH.

For you Californians who are obsessed with In-N-Out like I am — blame that on the book Fast Food Nation — check out this story about it’s owner Lynsi Torres. At 30-years-old, she is the youngest billionaire on the planet.

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.

82 thoughts on “Hump Day Open Thread

  1. Thank you so much for the thoughtful advice yesterday, ladies! You just helped us save a ton of money next year. We’re going to stick with the plan to send DS to the public kindy in the Fall. It feels good not to be second-guessing something for a change!

      • One of my least proud parenting moments was when I went to my husbands workbench to get the ear protection headphones so I could continue rocking my son. It did take the edge off.

          • For awhile there, Justin Bieber’s song “Baby” was the only thing that got Clara to stop screaming in the car. I kid you not. No other music would do it, but she’d hear the first few bars and BAM…instant quiet. We still use it in emergency calming situations. In a pinch, Lucy can just sing a few bars and it usually works.

            • I, um, actually love that song a little bit. Ok a lot. Will try that at the bus stop today! For the record, my son would calm down instantly to T Pain or that “apple bottom jeans” song

                • That’s very funny. For H it was that Garth Brooks song “The River.” For M it was “Ain’t going down ’til the sun comes up,” two songs that I hated to start with. They didn’t improve with repeated playing, trust me.

              • DD’s was “Yellow Submarine.” Worked every time. DS never had a calm-down song, though, and was also a screamer in the car. Every car ride, every day, for months. It was torture. I actually screamed “Shut the F *&$ up!” once. Definitely one of my least proud parenting moments. And I wanted to scream the same thing to every mom who said that THEIR child would be soothed by the car & it was the best way they could get their kid to sleep.

                • Evactlt!!! And I get really short with people who look at me like a child abuser when we are out and she’s howling in the seat. I try to wear her, but with 3 kids and in the middle of winter, sometimes I just have to keep her in the carseat while I drop the kids off or get milk or whatever.

            • For DS11 it was “Put Your Lights On”, by Santana feat. Everlast. I kept the Supernatural album in the car CD changer for more than 4 years and I could hit the third song in my sleep.

    • I feel you! I have been there and it is not easy.

      The one thing an old boss of mine said (who was a pediatrician and a dad) that has stuck with me was, “Time is your ally.” Of course, this is more obvious to a parent of 3 than the first time around.

    • Oh, so been there. Mine didn’t stop screaming until I turned the car seat around. Which I did far earlier than is recommended. I figured a baby screaming at full throttle was a far worse hazard.

      Sounds like she’s even screaming out of the car in the car seat? Yikes. What about swinging it while you’re carrying it? Sometimes it would surprise mine (with that roller coaster feeling) enough to shut them up. Yes, I’m a great mother. 😛

      • Yes swinging helps occasionally. But she rarely down enough to sleep in the seat.

        Basically, she is a great night sleeper. But during the days she’s awake a lot. And when she’s awake she wants to nurse or be held (mostly nurse). Thus the screaming. And if she wants to nurse, which is often, no amount of rocking or baby wearing or bouncing or music will tide her over. She’s just a toughie. But thankfully she does sleep all night.

        • Ah yes. I remember those days…. Sometimes I think that subsequent children feel they have to scream to just get noticed. So many second and third siblings are noisy, demanding babies. Which is fair…I did forget my son often enough, even though he was loud!

  2. Do any of you photography fans use Pixoto? It’s a site for getting your photos critiqued that I heard recommended on a photo podcast. I tried visiting it and of course my pictures aren’t good enough to submit anyway, but one thing I noticed was that in order to participate, you have to sign up with either your Facebook or Twitter account (there is literally no way to sign up without linking through one of those), and when you do, it says you are authorizing permission for Pixoto to post to your FB or Twitter account if you sign up. It will automatically post things to your accounts about the pictures you submitted.

    This integration of social networking sites and auto-posting seems to be an increasing thing which I don’t understand. Why would somebody want their membership at another site to automatically post to Facebook for them? That seems like a real negative, to not have control over what gets posted for you. I don’t want to spam my friends’ feeds.

    • I think you can then block that frm your FB or twitter feeds… for example I have an app that works that way but I make its posts “only to me” so i’m the only one who sees them… or you can manage it in the applications section of your account

      • That’s good. Facebook’s “rules” change so often I tend to be suspicious that they are going to change it while I’m not paying attention.

    • Or you could create an alternate FB account for the purpose. You’d need an additional e-mail address, but you could use gmail or the like for that. This is how I have two completely separate FB accounts, one for MT and one for ‘real life’. It’s mainly because I want to be able to be open on MT and in the FB group. So far, it’s working for me.

    • It’s one way FB makes money — your personal info is valuable to all those companies who make you log in with your FB account. Just get a new shell account. I do the same thing with my MT group FB account.

    • That would make me nervous. Although direct critique is useful and hard to find. I have learned so much about photography through Flickr – not really that my photos have been critiqued per se, but just I am always looking at photography. I have gotten a better sense of what I like, what I don’t and where my strengths and weaknesses are. (You do get quit a bit of feedback – mostly positive not really critiquing.) I have also learned a lot from “digital photography school.”

  3. Everything feels off today. DH and I had a miscommunication last night that was still lingering around this morning when we left for work. I texted him and he was free for lunch, so we went and I brought it up. Usually after we talk about something, it feels more smoothed over. This time, it’s still a little ragged. I’m sure we’ll be fine and it’ll all blow over, but I HATE these times when things just don’t feel right. Thankfully, it’s few and far between, but still. Ugh.

  4. So, there’s this education columnist I know. He’s well known-ish, CNN/ Huffpost/ EdWeek stuff. He’s a bit of an idea thief but he’s also someone who’s been friendly to me in the past. I don’t trust him, but he’s got a big megaphone and I want to approach him about guest blogging on one of his sites. I feel a little sketchy about it, though I can’t quite put my finger on why- am I scared or is my intuition telling me to stay away ’cause he’s a snake? (He’s not a bad guy, he just doesn’t quite get why all ideas aren’t public domain and his to develop & make money from.)


  5. Ok, ladies, here’s a good one. On a scale of 1 to 10, how irritated would you be with your husband’s or wife’s good friend who offers to cover for him if he wants to cheat? (Long story what the general convo was). Backstory: I’ve known her (gay woman, to dispel any notions of some meathead kind of guy) for 10 years, and in those years, she has cheated in both of her long term relationships (one a girlfriend, current one is a marriage.). It’s definitely cheating, ie the partners didn’t know. Yet all of her friends knew (including us – including the affair partner suddenly appearing at our house without warning when our friend was staying with us! Awkward. Dh and I were two of about 10 people invited to her wedding about 4 – 5 years ago during all of those weddings in San Francisco. Our friend is a civil rights lawyer well known in certain circles for her victories in court for gay marriage.)

    So, 1 = What’s the problem, will she cover for me, too?
    10 = SOD and bag of doorknobs x10

    Running out, will be back later this evening.

    • Your friend should not put you in this position. But I guess it depends what you mean by cover. It’s not your place to expose her. But I wouldn’t lie for her or provide an alibi either.

        • First, thanks for the clarification. Second, that is just so, so, so grody-grody-grody-gross-gross-gross. Doesn’t sound like she’s much of a friend to either of you, if she thinks that DH would, and thinks that it’s her job to further the deception and lie to you.

          • Exactly. I took it as a direct grievous insult toward me. And the family as a whole. But it was a “joke” and she has a lot of respect for me, you see. Given everything, I told her we are having none of that.

            It’s too bad. She’s a freedom fighter and a really effective one so i admire her for that. But now we (both me and dh) can’t be friends with her. Sucks.

            Are we online at the same time?? How’s it going, lady????

            • (Ps We’ve been friends for a dozen years. If it weren’t a long term friend I’d have just written her off as a lunatic and not had such a strong reaction.)

            • Glad you stood up to that – that’s not a joke. At all.

              Definitely online – all good here. Just getting ready to publish my mag for the week, then one more article to write before the workweek is over. Girls are going … well… Jess is adjusting to being back in school and chafing a bit at hte fact that she has to comply with these things called rules and norms, like not always being the leader at games and such. Makes for some meltdowns at home, but we go through this at the beginning of every year.

              And you? How are you?

            • Ugh, that is insulting. It’s one thing to say to a friend, “hey, even if you do this I’ll still care about you and be a friend.” But offering to cover up such an assault to a marriage is not ok.

    • I know it makes me come off as a terrible jerk but cheating is something I cannot deal with.

      Stay or go but be honest with the people who trust you.

      I’m bag of doorknobs, I’m afraid.

    • Was it just a horrible joke gone awry? Or was she, like, planning for the future?

      I have a friend who is having an affair with a married guy right now. She claims the marriage hasn’t been working for a while, they’re just staying together for the kids, blah blah blah. I want to support her but yikes, I don’t like this.

  6. DATE NIGHT! :-)

    New job means a) I”m home earlier and b) I’m not so cranky. DH is currently between jobs…..AND Wednesdays, DS has Youth Group from 6-8. So, DH met me at teh door and said “you sit for a few – I’ll run him over to Temple, and we can go out to dinner”

    YAY… would be very nice if Wednesdays were a regular “date”. Having a teen is wonderful, but we have (long ago) lost the “time after the kids go to sleep and we can talk”…. he’s up later than we are!

  7. You know what’s sad? My 16 year old is doing a country project for French and is researching Senegal. She has discovered that sex tourism exists. And she won’t include it because her partner is a 14 year old freshman that she apparently feels protective of.

    I did ask her not to dig further. The world sucks sometimes.

    • Oh dear.

      I was kind of surprised SNL had a fake Rosetta Stone ad along that line recently (featuring a lot of skeezy guys learning Thai for that purpose).

      • I admit that anytime I hear a man say they’ve traveled to Thailand more than once (without a significant other with them), that’s immediately where my mind goes.

        • A good friend of ours travels a lot to Asia for work. On his first trip to Thailand, he was shocked to discover that apparently he’s more easily shocked than he thought. From the moment he got in the cab at the airport, he felt like people were trying to set him up with different varieties of prostitute. On a later trip, a colleague actually sent a girl to his room as a gift. He sent her away with a polite “No thanks”, but he dreads those trips now.

    • Yuck. DH is doing a project on human trafficking right now. It’s awful stuff. I’m sorry your DD has to know about it at this tender age.

  8. sigh. Just had the beginning of year meeting with RJ’s teacher. As per advice from another teacher at the school (also a friend, and she has a similar child that had this teacher last year), I told the new teacher that RJ is mildly Aspergers and ADD. I suspect that is true, but it’s normal for us, so I haven’t really felt the need to diagnose it. But this teacher apparently will invent problems unless you give her one. So I’ve given her one. And she was engaged, excited, intrigued, helpful, etc. All good. But I so wish that I didn’t have to do that. Why can’t he just be an insanely bright, kind of weird kid with lots of quirks?

    Oh well. Such is life.

    • Such is life, indeed. Some people are happy to see the quirks as positives, some people only function with clinical diagnoses. And some are just jerks.

      But blergh. I’m sorry that you had to invent labels for RJ. And I’m not just saying that because I’m really and truly very fond of your kids.

    • That sucks. Been there and it sucks. Wouldn’t it be lovely if kids could just be people instead of having to be some constellation of diagnoses and categories? Hope the ultimate outcome for RJ is a good year with a teacher who’s trying to meet his needs.

  9. The 12 year old told me tonight that he thought it would be fun to be a fifth grade Montessori teacher. (He went to a K-6 Montessori program.)

    Not bad for a kid who claims he hates school. Even if it was partly based on having summer vacation.

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