Monday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

If you can humble me with another bragging moment, I won the “Best Activist Blogger” trophy for the Latinos in Social Media Awards. It was a thrill to receive the results live via Twitter. Thank you for voting for me and for your ongoing support over the years. When I left my reporting job eight years ago, I would have never imagined being a part of this dynamic community and doing what I do for work. I feel so incredibly fortunate and blessed. ¡Gracias!  

For the first time in U.S. history, a majority of moms — 50.8 percent — are receiving paid maternity leave, according to Bloomberg News. However, the United States has no national paid leave policy so some of this may be due to women cobbling together disability, sick days and vacation days. Also, very few women without a high school diploma receive any paid time off (19%).

I want to scream every time I hear the “immigrant-children-will-never-learn-English” meme in this country. As it turns out, immigrant families are having a hard time keeping their children bilingual, according to the Boston Globe.

OMG. Michelle Duggar is pregnant with her 20th child, according to the TODAY Show.

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

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Weekly Parenting News Roundup

Cross-posted at Daily Kos.

Good morning fellow moms, dads and caregivers!

How are you this morning? I am fried. I managed to fill out and send out approximately 80 holiday cards, buy, wrap and mail out gifts this week. On the flipside, we did not put up lights or a Christmas tree this year as we will be out of the country, visiting my mother-in-law and husband’s family.

Where are you in the Christmas and new year countdown? Not surprisingly, we had a lot of holiday stories this week on MotherTalkers.

Sue in Queens wrote a fun diary asking us what our favorite Christmas decorations were. Also, we exchanged butternut squash recipes for the holiday. Plus, Katy over at Non-Toxic Kids listed five ways to teach children how to give.

We discussed a Washington Post story on the death of the office holiday party. Did your company have one this year? Was it any different from previous years? The Washington Post also ran a financial story on when it is time to cut the pursestrings of dependent adult children.

We had a fascinating discussion on how much academic freedom a middle school should have. A Virginia principal canceled a mock UN debate after some parents complained that it was “inappropriate” for their children to represent the views of the Taliban.

We had a discussion on merit pay for teachers. There is a bill moving through Congress that would award the highest performing teachers in the country, according to the Washington Post. (As you can tell, I read the Post a lot!)

In medical news, here is a story in the New York Times about postpartum depression in fathers. Do you know of men who suffered from the baby blues?

The life of Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar’s 19th baby hangs in the balance, according to CNN. Baby Josie Brooklyn was born three months early on December 10, weighing only 1 lb., 6 oz.. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.

A group of us got together for an informal MotherTalkers meet-up in San Francisco. Here is a pic!

My husband will be on Meet the Press tomorrow morning to discuss healthcare reform. I believe it airs 9 a.m. ET.  

Sorry for the monstrous column today, but it will be on short hiatus. I will be out of the country for almost two weeks and will resume Weekly Parenting News Roundup on Saturday, January 9, 2010. Happy new year everybody and I wish you safe travels!

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Midday Coffee Break

What’s up?

First of all, there was a lot of questions and confusion yesterday as to how the Senate will pass a healthcare reform bill, which President Obama said is “on the precipice” of passing. In order to get the bill to a final vote, the Democrats need 60 votes, including that of two Independent senators, according to CNN. Right now, Independent Joe Lieberman has said he will not vote for any bill that has a public option or Medicare buy-in for people 55 and up. He is literally the hold-up. Once this bill is up for a final vote, it only needs a simple majority of 51 votes to pass the Senate. Anyways, this story cleared a lot of things up for me.  

Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, is Time Person of the Year.

In an 11-2 vote, the Washington D.C. Council passed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, according to the Washington Post. If the bill survives a 30-day congressional review period, it will become law in the spring.

Here is an actual example of good corporate behavior. General Mills, the maker of Lucky Charms, Trix and Cocoa Puffs, plans to reduce the amount of sugar to single-digit grams of sugar per serving in its cereals marketed to children, according to the Associated Press. However, the company gave no timeline as to when the sugar reductions will happen.

The Mamasource newsletter had a good thread on homemade gifts for teachers.

A writer at Open Salon recommended anthologies and other book ideas as gifts for writers.

The life of Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar’s 19th baby hangs in the balance, according to People magazine. Josie Brooklyn was born three months early on December 10 and weighs only 1 lb., 6 oz..

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

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Wednesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

First of all, a group of MTers and I plan to meet this Tuesday at 7 p.m. in San Francisco. We will meet at Pizzeria Delfina on 18th Street. Please join us! I will post a reminder as we approach the date.

I can’t believe this still happens. Target called the police on a mother for nursing her baby in the store, according to Salon.

In a 54-45 vote, the Senate rejected a provision to further restrict abortion in the healthcare bill, according to the Associated Press.

Financial guru Suze Orman recently recommended that people pay with cash for everything rather than credit cards, according to MSN Money. Also in MSN Money: There was a story on a specific phone money scam against senior citizens.  

Reality show mom Michelle Duggar was recently airlifted to a hospital in Arkansas for “gallbladder issues,” according to Entertainment Tonight. Duggar is expecting her 19th child.  

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

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Tuesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

A writer at Open Salon wrote a detailed and fascinating list of the top 10 countries with the longest life expectancies in the world. Hint: The United States, which boasts the “best healthcare system in the world,” did not even come close to making the list. We are actually No. 50 in life expectancy.  

In related healthcare news, the Washington Post just called out the inaccuracies coming from the Republican Party about “rationed care” for seniors and “euthanasia.” Yeah, there is a lot of fear-mongering swirling around President Barack Obama’s plan.

Parenting had a helpful guide to purchasing a booster seat. (Sorry, I could not find the article online!)

Mamasource had a thread about a mother whose husband is unemployed and her mother-in-law has offered to let them move into her home. She decided to leave her own mother’s house — where she, her husband and daughter are living now — and move in with her mother-in-law. But the reader advice was all over the place and interesting.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar who have 18 children and a reality show on TLC are about to become grandparents. Their eldest son and his wife, Josh and Anna Duggar, are expecting a baby girl in October who they plan to name Mackynzie Renée, according to MSN Wonderwall.

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

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