Wednesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

Lately our Dana over at Mombian has published some great stories on the state of adoption by gay parents. I was especially blown away by the fact that gay parents are more common in the south than anywhere else in the United States.

Our Katy over at Non-Toxic Kids reviewed a book about raising children in the age of environmental guilt. She also doled out 7 practical tips on how to enhance your child’s school performance. Katy is a teacher and has written a book about teachers, by the way.

Blogging mommas are on fire this week. Laurie Puhn over at the Expecting Words blog had a couple good columns about the importance of not neglecting your marriage. She mentioned the importance of not-so-little things like thanking your mate for taking out the trash.

In related news, Carolyn Hax had the same to thing to say in a similar conversation. This is how she summed it up: “marriage + kids + work + housework = love-killing drudgery. I think you are dooming your marriage if you’re trying to have the kids and careers and the nice/clean house without setting aside any energy for or making a priority of your marriage and family life.”

In the same chat, Hax doled out advice to a single woman wondering whether she should adopt even though she has no partner.

Here is one trial I will be following: that of former Minutemen and anti-immigrant crusader Shawna Forde. According to the The Village Voice blog, Forde is accused of shooting 9-year-old Brisenia Flores and her father in a faux raid for drugs and money. Of course, there were no drugs and money, and sadly, this case has been underreported in the news.

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


Tuesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

A group of us in the Bay Area and Sacramento plan to meet up for a River Cats game in Raley Field in Sacramento on Friday, July 2. The game starts at 7:05 p.m.. Children and partners are welcome! If you are interested in going, please purchase the $7 “lawn” seats here. The seating isn’t great, but it will allow for all of us to sit together and the kids to run around and have fun. Thanks pat of butter in a sea of salt for the idea!

Once again, Newsweek came out with its top U.S. high schools list, based on advanced placement college-level courses and tests.

I would be mortified if this happened to me. A fourth-grade teacher at a Christian school in Florida was fired for having premarital sex, according to the TODAY Show. But that’s not all. The principal actually told the staff and called up all the families of her classroom to tell them the reason for her firing.

Latinos, both documented and undocumented, are leaving Arizona in anticipation of SB 1070, according to USA Today. This quote by a school superintendent captured my feelings exactly: “They’re leaving to another state where they feel more welcome.”

In a comprehensive health study of the gay community, Boston researchers found that gay men were 50 percent less likely than their heterosexual counterparts to be obese, according to Among lesbians, it was the opposite, making them more vulnerable to heart disease.

In belated celebrity gossip break: first Kristin split from her husband, then Al and Tipper announced a separation. Now oldest daughter Karenna is the latest Gore to separate from her hubby. According to the Huffington Post, Karenna Gore and husband Andrew Schiff have agreed to separate for two months while they go through with counseling. The couple has three children.

Actress-model Jenny McCarthy is poised to get her own TV show, according to MSN. Let’s hope she stays away from the vaccine wars.

I loved this quote by Barbara Walters, which I also found in the Hybrid Mom magazine newsletter: “Most of us have trouble juggling. The woman who says she doesn’t is someone whom I admire but have never met.”

Ha! So true.

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


Tuesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

I spotted this heartbreaking letter in the Facebook Circle of Moms page:

My stepson’s mother smokes in her home and car even with her child. He’s 4 and has severe asthma! He has at least 5 asthma attacks a month. Mostly because she smokes around him. He has been coughing so bad (since last night when he got here from her house) it’s to the point where he’s vomiting because he’s coughing so hard. I have to use his inhaler and breathing treatments every 2-4 hours because he just keeps having attacks. His mother told us that his doctor said cigarette smoke has no affect on his asthma! Well we called his doctor just to make sure cause that sounds ridiculous! The doctor laughed and said there is no way we would EVER tell anyone cigarette smoke has no affect on asthma, thats the number 1 reason for attacks.
Is this abuse/neglect? And if so, what should I do?

I did not know this, but it is illegal in Canada and in other countries for people to smoke in their cars with a minor present. Four U.S. states — Maine, Arkansas, Louisiana and California — as well as Puerto Rico prohibit this as well. Most of the moms on Facebook recommended that this mom report her stepson’s mother to child protective services since he has asthma. What would you do if you were her?

In related news from the Dallas Morning News: Texas, which has 3.3 million smokers, is receiving a lot of pressure from the CDC to ban smoking in public places. Actually, the CDC would like a nationwide ban.

From the Guardian in the UK: Apparently it is now illegal to drive while brown in Arizona.  

Here is a great top 10 list. MSN compiled the best pizza joints in the country. Have you been to any of them? What other places would you add to the list?

The U.S. Supreme Court is listening to a case to determine whether to reinstate a California law barring the sale or rental of violent video games to minors, according to the Associated Press.

Once again, if you are mulling between studying or completing a project and getting a good night’s sleep — go for the sleep. According to a study reported by BBC News, people who dream about a new task perform it better on waking than those who do not sleep or do not dream.

Oh. My. God. Jesse James’s mistresses have offered to sit down and chat with Sandra Bullock “woman to woman,” according to MSN Wonderwall. Insult to injury, anyone?

I know I am not alone here to say that this season’s Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains is the BEST EVER. People magazine had a Q&A with sexy cattle rancher JT Thomas, who was just voted out. I have to say that I am finding myself eating my own words as I completely underestimated the genius of Russell and especially Parvati. When she pulled out those two idols to eliminate JT, I was like, “Okay, she deserves to win.” But I am still rooting for my Puerto Rican sister Sandra, who looks like she will be pulling moves of her own this week. :)

Survivor fans, please engage me here! DH won’t indulge me, even though I have caught him occasionally glimpsing at the TV and asking questions. I have to say that I was bummed that Boston Rob was outwitted by Russell, then again, Russell has played a fantastic game. What do you think will happen this week? Who are you rooting for?

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


Late-Night Liberty: Job Search Edition

This is kind of a bummer of a subject, but I figure most of us are not immune from current economic conditions.

The advertising market has dried up, which isn’t good for my family. But we are fortunate that we have a cushion to fall back on. Also, unlike these couples recently profiled in the Wall Street Journal, we do not have to live separately as DH and I look for work wherever it may come.

It’s sad, but true. The number of couples living apart because of work has shot up to 18 percent from 11 percent a year ago, according to WSJ.

Faced with a choice between the financial hardship of unemployment or a relocating for a job, more couples are going for a third option and choosing long-term separations. The issue is more common during this recession than in past downturns because of the prevalence of two-career couples. In 2008, 51.4% of married households had both spouses working, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

“Someone finding employment in another city creates a bigger challenge for families than it did a generation ago,” says Joseph Foudy, a professor of economics and management at New York University’s Stern School of Business. “You can’t assume that a spouse that follows another will find employment in this market.”

A job drove Donny Quinones and Elinor Soriano apart, just two months after their May wedding. Mr. Quinones, 33 years old, was laid off in March from a product-engineering position with a consulting firm in the greater New York area. After looking fruitlessly for months, in July he landed a three-month contract job in Frederick, Md.

Since then, he has been living in extended-stay hotels, while Ms. Soriano lives in their Edgewater, N.J., condo, near her job as a project manager with a pharmaceutical-communications firm. Mr. Quinones drives 4½ hours to Edgewater most weekends. “This is really a test of the strength of our relationship,” says Ms. Soriano, who misses having her husband around for meals and joint workouts. She celebrated her 31st birthday alone in August.

Wow, that is a strain on a marriage. Are any of you living apart from your spouses to make ends meet?

I am so ready for this recession to be over. How about you? Are any of you looking for work? How is it going? Feel free to use this thread to swap services or post your job skills!