Friday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

It looks like former NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg is investing heavily to take on the NRA regarding the U.S. gun violence rate, according to the New York Times. His group Mayors Against Illegal Guns has acquired Moms Demand Action to create a new umbrella group Everytown for Gun Safety.

I wish him well. It’s always been astounding to me how we regulate alcohol much more stringently than gun ownership. It’s crazy that a parent can give a child a gun as a gift, but could potentially be arrested for allowing that child a sip of alcohol.

Beautiful food: I pride myself in being a decent cook, but I am not a crafty person — although I admire the work of art that food can be. Check out these deviled eggs posted by PBS Kids on Twitter. Cute, huh?

From the Huffington Post: There is a sequel of Mrs. Doubtfire in the works. I loved the first movie and am surprised it took 20 years to come up with a sequel. What do you think — will you watch?

And last, but certainly not least, Chelsea Clinton is expecting her first baby later this year, according to the New York Times.

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

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Thursday Open Thread

So this is the year I decided to make cascarones for Easter. Basically, I painstakingly cracked, washed, dried and stored six dozen eggshells, with the intention of filling them with confetti.

And then I saw them for sale at bloody Target. Yup, cascarones seem to have gone mainstream. UGH.

So this will likely be my first and last year making them myself. The kids are crazy with anticipation! Do you have any Easter traditions that your kids look forward to?

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In other news: my poor DH had a bike accident yesterday. No broken bones, just some nasty road rash, but sobering just the same. He loves his hobby and it keeps him trim and fit, but I worry every time he leaves the house. He mostly rides on protected trails, but I suppose danger is always present, whether you’re riding a bike or driving down the street. Sigh.

What’s on your mind today? Chat away!

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Wednesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

A co-worker passed around this awesome Mother’s Day video the other day titled #WorldsToughtestJob. It’s a series of interviews for an all-encompassing, 365-day position called “Director of Operations.” Warning: have the hankies nearby!

Speaking of videos…MomsRising is holding a short video contest for Mother’s Day! Five winners will receive a swag bag of goodies. If you are an avid video-taker, submit your piece here.

And this is a must-read: the New York Times ran an op-ed by two university researchers (Duke and UT-Austin) on how parents volunteering in the classroom or helping with homework does not increase test scores or academic performance.

As it turns out, the list of what generally works is short: expecting your child to go to college, discussing activities children engage in at school (despite the complications we mentioned above), and requesting a particular teacher for your child.

Do our findings suggest that parents are not important for children’s academic success? Our answer is no. We believe that parents are critical for how well children perform in school, just not in the conventional ways that our society has been promoting. The essential ingredient is for parents to communicate the value of schooling, a message that parents should be sending early in their children’s lives and that needs to be reinforced over time. But this message does not need to be communicated through conventional behavior, like attending PTA meetings or checking in with teachers.

I found myself nodding throughout this piece. Our school actually told us not to help out with homework because then the teachers wouldn’t know what the kids needed to work on. In fact, my kids’ projects always look like they were made by…kids.

And when I think of the learning that happens in our home, it isn’t the conventional ways mentioned in the article. We’re the type to discuss whatever piques our interest and then google things as a family. I’m lucky as I’ve never taken music lessons of any kind, but my husband will work with the kids on the piano and even write music with them. I could see how this would instill a love of learning.

How do you instill a love of learning in your home? What else is in the news? What’s up with you?

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Monday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

The New York Times ran a heartfelt story about the survivor of Brooklyn’s “Palm Sunday Massacre” being adopted by the cop who was the first responder on the scene. It’s a must-read!

Update on my, er, incontinence: My doctor at Kaiser said that they were very conservative in regards to surgery. She suggested a class — which I am attending this week — and possibly medication to start with.

In the meantime, I am still grappling with a hacking cough — it’s been almost a month! — that I may get in touch with her regarding that instead. Ugh.

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

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Weekend Open Thread

Last night, my little Renaissance Girl played Oompa Loompa #1 in a musical theater production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Today, she will compete in her first track & field meet. She chose the 50 meter dash, 400 meter dash, and the long jump as her events.

I love her fearlessness and enthusiasm for new activities. Whether she’s the lead or a chorus member, whether she comes in first or dead last, she tries her heart out and has so much fun doing it. That’s what it’s all about, amirite? This is the good stuff.  :-D

What are you up to this weekend? Chat away!

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Tuesday Open Thread

I’ve got the post-vacation blues.

Is this an actual thing, or am I the only one? All the planning and packing and scheduling and traveling and navigating and sightseeing and then… it’s just over. It’s such a letdown.

I felt this way after our vacation last summer. I also feel this way after Christmas, though the kids’ birthdays come soon after so ain’t nobody got time for the post-holiday blues.

How do you feel after a vacation? Are you planning any exciting trips? Do tell!

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