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Archive for February, 2009

I’m a Catholic girl, raised to believe in heaven, hell, holy water and saints. But sometimes, you have those days when your own native language just won’t suffice to express your particular torment.

Yesterday was that day for me. An “oy vey at Old Navy” kind of day.

Started out wonderfully. Ran an errand with my daughters. Had lunch with my sister and my girls. Enjoyed good food and fun at Panera.

Wanted to buy my girls new bathing suits so it was off to Old Navy. We were very happy.

And we found the most darling little suits too! Lindsey looked great in a one-piece all covered in hearts. She loved it. She really really loved it! Nora was checking out the tankinis, but then tried on a one-piece with abstract boats on it.

Then all hell broke loose. Lindsey wanted that one. No other suit would do. Just the boat suit her sister coveted.

The cogs started moving in my brain. Because they are identical twins, I don’t really like them to dress in identical outfits. It’s important, I think, that they express their individual identity. The idea of them racing around the pool this summer in identical boat bathing suits simply wasn’t working for me.

And so I said no to Lindsey’s heartfelt desire to chuck hearts for boats.

The screams that followed were horrendous.
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Recess matters. That’s the conclusion of a study published this month in the journal Pediatrics.

And students don’t even need to be outside for a long time to see benefits when back in the classroom. The study suggests that one recess a day of at least 15 minutes improves classroom behavior among students.

So when teachers and administrators punish active children by taking away recess – as is common for children with ADHD and other behavioral issues – they’re actually taking away a powerful tool for learning.

You can read more about the study here in the NY Times.

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When Role Models Fail Us…

My son, at times a rather impulsive child, became a fan this summer of another highly impulsive person – Michael Phelps. We celebrated Phelps’ remarkable accomplishments at the Beijing Olympics with a lot of high fives and cheers. My son is now nine, and this is a memory he could easily take into adulthood – seeing one person achieve such incredible recognition and reward at the Olympics.

Thus, I was very sad when Aidan came home from school the other day with this to say:

“Mom, the boys at lunch told me that Michael Phelps got in big trouble for doing drugs.”

I actually don’t much discuss news like this with my children – why inundate them with all that is wrong with the world? They’ll learn soon enough, has always been my philosophy.

I didn’t bank on the accessibility of news via the lunch room table. Apparently all the third grade boys had a discussion about the fall of the golden man of the Beijing Olympics.

The good news – the boys were upset with the fact that Phelps was photographed taking a bong hit. (Not that they know what a bong is – they just identified the problem as “he got caught using drugs.”)

Strangely enough, the confessions of Alex Rodriguez’s steroid use when a Yankee did not merit a mention at the lunch table.

Which makes me worried that we’ve grown to accept cheating among the pros as a matter of course.

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Two girls, enjoying the great outdoors...

Two girls, enjoying the great outdoors...

My girls are identical twins, which means that at one point early in their fetal development, they were one embryo, which split about a week into the pregnancy, and thus, two babies were born.

It was a shock, to say the least, when we learned through an ultrasound that we’d gotten the two-for-one special – in fact, my husband nearly (more…)

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I posted a story yesterday about some heartbreaking news my friend Deana had to hear. If the next protocol of chemotherapy does not work for her, hospice is recommended as the following step.

Her story has inspired another woman to take action. Jen is a working mother of four (triplets and a singleton) – she knows that the fight against cancer is long and hard.

Kind of like a marathon.

So Jen and her husband, Charlie, and her friend, Margaret, have decided to run a marathon in honor of Deana – to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

You can read more about Jen’s goals for the run here:

And to encourage people to contribute, she’s raffling off some hot prizes to people who contribute $5 or more. You can find out how and what you can win by clicking here.

Check it out….

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“Please, please take the extra moment to hug your spouse and kids today and often.”

That was the message from Jack today on his wife’s Caring Bridge site, the web resource that allows critically ill people to share information about their situation to people who care about them.

My friend Deana is going through treatment for Burkitt’s lymphoma, treatments that have not yet been working. While they are continuing to explore chemotherapy and are considering experimental treatments, Deana’s doctor yesterday brought up the topic of hospice.

Hospice.
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When a single mother on the dole finally found a publisher for her first book, a children’s novel about a school for wizards, it was decided that she should disguise her gender by using initials instead of her first name. It was felt that the boys who would be most attracted to this genre would not fancy a book written by a woman.

Thus, J.K. Rowling is known to be the creator of the Harry Potter universe, not Joanne Rowling.

It’s A Girl’s World that Harry Inhabits…
But when you read the Harry Potter books, they are clearly not the work of a man. For one, the small gang of heroes includes a girl – Hermione – who would later become known as the “greatest witch of her age.” No relationship like this can be found in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Not one girl works in alliance with Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island. Children’s adventure stories written by men tend not to include girls – or at least don’t include girls who behave like heroes.

But the most telling clue to the gender of the now-famous author can be found at the end of the first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Spoiler Alert!
(Here’s where I talk about the ending of the book.)
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