76 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread

  1. SNOWFLAKES OF DOOM are not falling yet, though school is alraedy cancelled. I’m going to head out to rent some movies and buy cat food and diapers before it starts. The kids got up early today, so extra togetherness already today! #soblessed

    • How much are they expecting you to get? Interesting that they will cancel school before it even starts. In NC growing up I think they had someone on 24 hour watch and when the first flake fell out of the sky they would cancel it, but I don’t think it was ever before it started.

      • that happened here during the blizzard a few weeks ago bc it was supposed to hit right when school would be gettting out.. and we have alot of walkers in our city and they were concerned about them having to walk home on snowy slippery roads with no sidewalks in bad weather

        • When I was growing up it was strictly about the sidewalks. Our town didn’t have a lot of these but there was a sidewalkable route within a mile radius of each school. If they didn’t think they could have these cleared they canceled. Unfortunately they were really quick with the sidewalk plow – we didn’t get a lot of snow days in my town.

      • Earlier in the week they were saying it could be a foot, now I think the forecast is something like 7 inches. We’ll see. They usually wait until the morning if the storm hasn’t even started, but they cancelled today at around 9pm last night and the storm wasn’t predicted to begin until noon. Chances are, we’ll also be cancelled tomorrow. The snow is supposed to end sometime overnight, but I’m pretty sure there’s no way that all the neighborhoods can be plowed out by morning. I’m bummed. The Girl Scouts are supposed to go on a field trip to the Humane Society on Sat morning and we decided to keep notifications simple and just say that if school is cancelled on Fri, there will be no field trip on Saturday. I was excited to do their tour and soak up some cuteness.

    • Ours canceled last night prior to a single flake falling and then the University canceled, which never happens, and I became a believer. Sure enough we have 5-6″ since it started falling around 6 a.m. and they are saying 9-11 daytime and then more overnight.

      • I think we had maybe 2 snow days my entire undergrad there. Once, during finals week, they cancelled the bus service but not the finals. Not fun.

        Here, ostensibly, we are more prepared than your city is. But it’s just now 1pm, snow has been falling for about an hour, and we have only a tiny little skiff. It’s supposed to pick up later and we’re supposed to get a lot more, but I’m annoyed that they didn’t at least have school with an early dismissal. I realize that is difficult logistically with transportation, but there’s been plenty of time to work it out with this storm. All the elementary schools in the district had early dismissal at 1:15 last Friday, so I know they know how to work it out.

        • It never closed in my 6 years there. I think my DD is having a fun day off with her friends hanging out on a snow day.

          They never early release here for weather either. I don’t really understand that as they have a standard early release every single Wednesday. Frustrating for you!

          • AND K-12 is closed again tomorrow. My university is open at 10am, which is ridiculous. I really doubt residential streets will be plowed by then. But when the president is a Jesuit who lives on campus and most students are also on campus, what do they care if faculty and staff have a hard time getting in? I also don’t think they probably needed to be closed all day, but noon would have been more humane.

            Thurs and Fri are my research days, which just means that the snow and the public schools screwed me out of those. My colleagues without kids are all psyched for extra work time at home. The only work-related thing I managed today was to check email. I never seem to get lucky and have a class I teach get cancelled due to snow.

      • That’s hilarious! And oh so true. You should have seen the grim faces on the other shoppers as they walked briskly through target this morning, heading for the bread aisle.

  2. IOS on my phone updated, made me restore to factory settings, and I lost all my apps and all texts back to October. Did anyone else have this happen? I tend to be afraid to sync with itunes because I have lost stuff syncing, maybe if I did it more often that would help. Thank goodness it did not lose my contacts, that would be awful.

    • I have my sync settings on manual so when I plug my iphone into my computer and open up ituns it doesn’t automatically sync.. I have found this to be a lifesaver…

      do you back up to icloud at all? that should save your contacts and other things..

    • I love the iCloud. I highly recommend backing up there. Once my company IT department accidentally wiped a thousand employees’ iPhones and I was able to get everything back, except for some calendar appointments.

        • there’s no cost — you get a certain amount free.. on your iphone go to settings.. icloud.. and follow the backup prompts.. it has to be plugged in, connected to wifi and locked and it takes it from there.

        • Oh, this is helpful. It turns out mine was automatically backing up to iCloud and I didn’t even realize it. I am going to try to restore it a little later and see if it works.

          Backing up to iCloud: link

          How to restore to the backup: link

          • Drat. My iCloud said this morning that it had last backed up on 2/19. I read online that I should first transfer my purchases (apps) to iTunes before restoring, so I did that so now iTunes has a copy of the apps I have downloaded. Then I unhooked the phone and went to restore everything from the two days ago backup. But when I looked at the iCloud, suddenly it said I had NEVER backed it up, so there is nothing to restore from.

            Gah. I hate iTunes.

      • That’s the problem is that I hadn’t connected it to iTunes in a while, because I don’t really trust that iTunes isn’t going to lose something or put deleted apps back on my phone. I think it restored it to the last time I connected.

  3. Thanks for support yesterday, here and on FB. It helps so much to have friends who I can lean on! This has been such a hard year, but we are now in “year 2″ and it gets easier. Last year, on my Dad’s birthday (less than 2 months after he died), my mom was a wreck and wouldn’t leave her hotel room (we were all in FL together). This year she was with a friend, had a busy day, and sighed “I made it through the day” to me over the phone.

    In other news, there is a very strong chance that I will get to meet Elisa in two weeks. MomsRising is sponsoring a food conference in Brooklyn, and I signed up to go ….. Elisa is one of the advertised panelists….so cool!!

    • SWEET! Elisa is awesome and you’ll love her. I’m sorry I didn’t post yesterday, but so you know, I was thinking of you and your mom, as I do often. Grief sucks.

      In MT meetup news, it looks like I’ll be in northern CA (north bay/bay area) next month for my sister’s wedding! The flight costs are cheapest if I’m there for a little longer than I’d originally planned, but I think that will just mean Monkey and I will get a little vacation. The beach in March is not my #1 choice but I must see the water. And friends!

          • Nice. Well, if you have time and want to plan a meetup let’s keep in touch. We have a baseball tournament that weekend which I don’t have a set schedule for yet, and Windsor is an hour and 45 min from here so not a quick trip unfortunately, although I love that area. I don’t know whether it might be possible for Elisa, Lyn, or any other regionally located MTs to get together?

  4. Am wracked with mommy guilt right now. Screwed up a field trip thing (paid wrong amount) so son didn’t get to see special exhibit he was soooooo excited to see today. I was texting the chaperone and they still wouldn’t let him go it. I would have written them a check for the g-d $6, I’m the f-ing PTO president, I donate so much of my time and money to that stupid school but they can’t even cut me the smallest of breaks. He was crying because he couldn’t see the exhibit and it’s all my fault. And I f-ing hate the school right now.

    • OMG that is crazy! I can’t believe they would only let kids whose parents had paid in to the exhibit, especially when you are telling them that you will pay.

      Is this a public school? It is illegal in CA to charge fees for participation in school activities. They can ask for donations but they can’t prevent you from participating if you don’t pay. I wonder if MN has the same law?

    • Wait, what? The number of times I paid for and fed kids who forgot or could come up with the cash would make your head spin. They need a swift kick in the arse.

    • That’s ridiculous. You have a right to be furious with them. I can’t believe that they did that. We also have a “everyone or no one” rule for field trips so the class only does things that the whole class can do. Sometimes they do ask for money from parents, but the PTO plans to put in whatever isn’t sent in so that all kids can go. Perhaps as PTO president you should enact that rule going forward. I’m so sorry. Hopefully you and DS can have a nice mom-son outing to this exhibit sometime soon.

    • I can not believe that! I have paid other kid’s ways into a ton of things and bought food for them, whatever was needed. Someone should have stepped up for your kid. PERIOD.

    • I am so surprised at this story. I can’t believe that someone (parent or teacher) couldn’t have fronted you the money, especially because you were on the phone AND are a known entity.

      Like others have said, our school has a Field Trip Fund, to cover kids who can’t pay.

  5. Here’s the e-mail I wrote to the teacher–tried not to be too crazy: Hi X,
    It was very distressing to get a call from (chaperone) today to hear my son was in tears because he was not allowed to see the exhibit I thought I signed him up for. I would have gladly paid the $6 to get him in (I think you know I am good for it–and I could have even even a credit card number by phone!!). I understand you just can’t let anyone into the exhibit, but when you have a parent *on the phone* and a crying child, I would hope for better, more personal treatment from a small school like WLS.

    It is very upsetting to hear my child is crying (because of my administrative mistake) and then be prevented from actually doing anything about it.

    • That’s terrible how they handled that. Very unkind to treat a child that way, whether or not it was your fault. And to not let you fix it on the phone is ridiculous. I’m with Pat of Butter that this policy of making parents pay and thus excluding some is just plain wrong.

    • Terrific email. How they handled that was wrong, wrong wrong.

      And do I understand that the children were at the field trip, rather than at school, before they sorted out who had paid?

    • I wonder why they called you, if there wasn’t any way you could fix it? Was it just so you could hear your child crying?

      I’d be awfully tempted to walk away from the volunteer work. It doesn’t sound like much of a “community” that would treat a child that way. I also don’t think healthy communities leave kids out during outings for not paying. It seems weird to exclude during a field trip.

  6. Dance vs cheer leading? Signing dd3 up for something in addition to gymnastics for summer to burn energy. I’m leaning towards cheer bc she’s a pretty fab little tumbler, even at age 3, but I’m so not a cheerleader…thoughts?

    • I’m biased towards dance because I did it for so long – all through my childhood! In addition to the athletic benefits, I find it also has the added benefit of music education/appreciation.

      • Me too. I did dance and loved it. But a not worried that she won’t want to slow down to do the fundamentals. She’s constantly bouncing off the walls at gymnastics while the teacher is explaining something. At this point I don’t see her standing at the barre, she would be hanging from it. But, I don’t know enough about cheer to know how they teach the little kids.

        • Lucy had a miserable first experience with dance, because it was too boring. She wanted to be leaping and twirling and was constantly being told to be quiet and stand still. I’m sure it’s mostly the teacher, but it put her right off dance. Soccer, on the other hand, she LOVED. There are soccer lessons here that spend the whole time doing drills and playing little games with the soccer ball, rather than focusing on playing an actual game of soccer. It’s great exercise and lots more movement and fun than dance, in our experience.

          • We might do soccer in the spring church league. It’s super fun, and the drills are high energy and hilarious fun! Dh coached 2 years ago but if they do it this year he’s sticking to the sidelines. It’s only for spring and fall tho. I’m trying to fill up some time over the summer.

        • I assume it’s graded for age. When I started at 4, there wasn’t a lot of barre work. I mean, that would be too much hard work and concentration for most kids!

        • Are there any fundamentals at three, for either? Seems like as long as the class is high energy, you might get what she needs from it. Can you observe both before making a decision.

          That aside, I’d vote for the dance myself. There’s nothing cuter than a tiny ballerina.

          • True, maybe we can watch both first. And I might pick dance so that ds can take a dance class at the same time if there’s one offered. I do think cheer would play to her strengths, but she’s only 3. There’s plenty of time. And she doesn’t have enough hair for a big bow, lol!

  7. I heard on the radio today that the backlog for LEGAL immigrants to get a green card is 4 MILLION people, and these are people who are waiting decades. I have to admit that I have not been paying close attention to Immigration Reform, and the attention that I have been paying has been more toward “get a legal option out there for people who are here illegally.” I had no idea the backlog was so huge. This discouraged me that there will ever really be a solution.

      • You know, in the whole story on “All Things Considered” the issue of staffing (or other strategies) to reduce the backlog or expedite the process NEVER came up.

        I love NPR, but sometimes they forget to ask the obvious question!

        The implication of the piece (although this wasn’t addressed directly, either) is that quotas contribute to the backlog – that if you are “in the wrong line” so to speak, the wait is longer. People from certain countries have a harder time, or a longer time; people with more education have a shorter wait.

        • Visas work that way, and the timeframe before you can apply for a green card varies based on your visa type, but AFAIK the actual processing time for a green card from application to approval depends only on which immigration district you’re in and whether you’ve submitted adequate documentation for your type of application.

          • Oh, and the problem with hiring is that USCIS is one of the agencies that must be entirely self-funded, by law. The fees are already more than double what they were when Expat got his green card in 2005 and the main reason they keep going up is to hire more staff to process the applications.

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