Wednesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

I noticed that our Facebook MotherTalkers group was about to be “archived,” so I upgraded to save it. Please re-sign up! Many thanks for letting me know, Lisa! :)

Also, as part of my work with Moms Clean Air Force — please sign up if you haven’t already! — I am floating this online petition to curb emissions from electrical power plants. America Electric Power (AEP) tops most air pollution categories in terms of what it spews. It is currently spending tens of millions of dollars in lobbying efforts to fight clean air standards. Please help me not let them get away with this. Thank you for your support!  

This Mamapedia Voices account by a mom rejected by her mommy playgroup almost read like satire. But what popped in my mind was this: I am so glad I am not there anymore. The baby blues, the uncertainty at a well-meaning wisher’s comments, the books, the perceived slights at my parenting…I am so glad I am not there anymore! While parenthood forever changes and the only constant is to remain flexible, I wish I knew then what I know now. There is more than one way to be a mother! What granules of wisdom have you gained from this thing called parenthood?

Also, Laurie Puhn at the Expecting Words blog raised a good question: what should you do if your spouse is not a “baby person”? I could relate as my husband and I found the baby phase quite trying.  

In health news: one in 38 South Korean children — or 2.6 percent of the child population — has an autism spectrum disorder, according to a story in MSN Health. Researchers were careful to note that the spike in cases was due to better diagnostic tools and not necessarily an increase from previous generations.

In other health news: you are more likely to stick with a consistent regiment if you work out in the morning, according to my recent edition of Women’s Running magazine. Now that I am over my cold, I am hitting the pavement again. I have my first half marathon in three weeks — yikes! Runners, how do you stay motivated?

Daily Kos’s Teacher Ken had a very nuanced response to the National Education Association’s endorsement of President Obama for re-election. Obama received the teacher’s union endorsement for the stimulus package which saved thousands, if not, tens of thousands of teaching jobs in the country.

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


Monday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

In education news: Daily Kos’s TeacherKen wrote a phenomenal review of our Katy’s book, Why Great Teachers Quit And How We Might Stop the Exodus.

In entertainment news: I must agree with Huffington Post writer Ken Levine’s take on this season’s American Idol. First of all, I cracked up when he referred to new judge Steven Tyler as “Carly Simon.” Also, he is right that it has become a competition of 16-year-olds — after all, these kids grew up on Idol and prepped for it their entire lives. And did you notice that they sounded exactly the same?

Oprah Winfrey is expected to reveal a family secret today on her show, according to the Seattle Post Intelligence. Will you be watching?

In political news: Please join us tomorrow night for our State of the Union Open Thread. The speech is slated to air 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

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


Wednesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

Update on Target: Here is the number to call if you are so inclined: (612) 304-6073. Press 1 and connect with “customer relations.” Stay on the line for instructions. I am calling now to complain. -Elisa

Update #2: I got through to a spokesperson for the executive team. I think the conversation went well. I told her the truth, that I love Target, could spend the day there, and just spent a lot of money there yesterday. I gave her my name and zip code. I then told her that I am concerned about the political contributions of Target, most recently the $150,000 to Tom Emmer of Minnesota. “He has said some outlandish things. As a Hispanic consumer, I am especially offended at his anti-illegal immigrant rhetoric. He has also come out against gay people and workers. I think you are alienating your shoppers donating to candidates like these.

“I want to support your current workers, but this guy stands for everything against that.”

The woman thanked me for my time and told me she would send along my message to the executive team.

I thanked her for her time. It felt good — my civic good deed for the day. (Okay, I just freaking want to be able to shop at Target!)

Okay, here is my mami confession for the day. I had a lot of ambivalence about having a daughter since I have a boy I adore, and my sisters and I were pains in the butt to our parents. (Occasionally, we still are.)

But I am loving having a daughter especially since we share so many interests. We are girly girls, and we love painting each other’s finger nails, putting on makeup — for Eli, this is a cheap lip gloss I picked up at Target — dressing up, and shopping. Yesterday, she told me she wanted black boots “como mami.” So we went over to our favorite store, Target, and had a blast. As you can see, aside from Eli’s black boots, we also picked up purses and hats. Squee!

Please Note: I just learned about Target’s revolting $150,000 donation to a gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota who is anti-immigrant, anti-gay, and anti-worker. Here is the AP story on it.

I will not be returning to Target until it stops giving to extremist candidates. I was glad to see take action on the matter. This describes my mood right now:

Ari, by the way, is a mini-Markos. They both play beautiful piano, love science and sci-fi shows, and all things fish and sea life. For now, Eli and I have been curling up to So You Think You Can Dance, which by the way, the season finale is this week. Squee!

How are you spending your last days of summer?

In other news: Teacher Ken wrote a diary at Daily Kos defending teacher unions.

In other political news: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wants congressional hearings examining whether the US Constitution automatically grants citizenship to every person born in the United States, according to Talking Points Memo. As the daughter of a Latino immigrant and a Puerto Rican — who is well-assimiliated, thank you very much — I say blech.

The Boulder County American Civil Liberties Union has sent a letter to officials with the Boulder Valley School District arguing that the Boy Scouts should not meet at public schools at a discounted rate because they have openly discriminated against gay men, according to the Boulder Daily Camera.

Hearst’s and JCPenny teamed up to let teens “try on” back-to-school clothes with this virtual fitting room application, according to min online.

Check out this Washington Post profile about a family that spent seven years out at sea — during the three children’s teen years. Wow.

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