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Featured Blog Posts – August 2009 Archive (24)

Getting Your Butt in the Seat

Over the summer, a TV commercial for Harry Potter 6 boasted that the movie had the “biggest worldwide opening ever!” I found this interesting, as this is not the kind of claim that would have been made 10 years ago. However these days, the business of the entertainment business is more transparent. Add this to the fact that the landscape of movies has gotten more crowded and competitive, and this means that Hollywood is now trying to hype their movies by any means necessary—which is why… Continue

Added by Reeling on August 31, 2009 at 7:00am — 8 Comments

Joe Cool, Back in School


Every rite of passage begins with the ritual of shopping. Heading off to college? You’re going to need some dorm room furnishings. New job? New clothes. Getting married? Martha Stewart will tell you what to buy, starting with a subscription to her Weddings magazine. Expecting your first baby? Time to take those first tentative steps down the abundant… Continue

Added by TykeGeist on August 30, 2009 at 10:38pm — 11 Comments

The Heartbreak Of Unwanted Guest Turds

Dear Alternadad:

Why is it when any of my son's friends come over for a play date, they all seem to like to use my bathroom for Number Two?

Unlike adults, who tend to only poop in their home toilet or in the well-appointed lobby stalls of high-end hotels, kids will lay down the law just about anywhere that's convenient, including park restroom stalls usually frequented only by the insane or the extremely sexually repressed. And if your son's friends are… Continue

Added by Alternadad on August 26, 2009 at 3:06pm — 7 Comments

Funny People

I remember AJ's first joke. He was two-and-a-half and whenever I came home from work, he would run up to me with his hands out wanting the change in my pockets. Shiny things, you know. This particular evening, his Mother did the same. I gave AJ the coins, 38 cents or so, and told him to share with his Mommy. He looked down at his treasure-filled hand for a moment, selected a single penny, and pressed it to his mother's palm. The mischievous glint in his eye left no doubt he knew exactly what he… Continue

Added by Don't Forget to Flush on August 25, 2009 at 11:00am — 5 Comments

Terror In The Sky

Dear Alternadad:

In about a month's time, I will be flying from Phoenix to Detroit with a three-year-old and a 13-month-old. Alone. The three-year-old will have her own seat. The infant will ride on my lap. First off, am I crazy? Secondly, what is the best battle strategy to get everyone from one gate to the other alive?

First of all, you're not crazy for traveling alone with your children. People do it all the time, and have done it, if contemporary animated… Continue

Added by Alternadad on August 24, 2009 at 10:39am — 11 Comments

Cautionary Tales

My mom is a drug counselor, but not just any kind of drug counselor. She doesn’t work with potheads and alcoholics, or spend her time at a lovely rehabilitation unit housed in a hospital, but made to look “homey” with quilts and prints of ocean waves. Instead Mom counsels people who are, in the common parlance of rehabs, “dual diagnosis.” These are people who have a serious mental health issue, like schizophrenia, and a serious drug addiction, like methamphetamines or heroin, at the same time.… Continue

Added by Terrible Mother on August 23, 2009 at 11:26am — 21 Comments

Embracing Our Inner Griswold

“We're all gonna have so much f**king fun we'll need plastic surgery to remove our g*damn smiles.” – Clark Griswold

Earlier this summer, my sister took this photo of our nephew enjoying a visit to the National Arboretum:


One of her co-workers saw the picture and paused to reflect. “That’s my kids on every trip we ever took… Continue

Added by TykeGeist on August 22, 2009 at 10:51pm — 12 Comments

Step One: Announcing an Engagement to your Stepchild

Last week, Buglet’s Dad slipped a ring on my finger and officially became my Future Husband. And I became not only a stepmother de facto, but a future stepmother de jure.

With my mind flooded with stories of how my own blended family of origin was slapped together (with less foresight than one slaps together a sandwich) I wanted to make sure we were making it official consciously.…


Added by Stepping In It on August 22, 2009 at 6:00pm — 9 Comments

Closing the Book on Family Vacation V. 2009

This is the final segment of a two-part series chronicling the wacky adventures of my extended family let loose in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and the resulting lessons I learned on the trip, which in Part 1 of this series comprised the following: Uncles are easy targets for vehicular homicide, and The Old snack a lot, especially when being driven hundreds of miles by a reluctant chauffeur.

The remaining insights gleaned during Family Vacation 2009 can be summarized… Continue

Added by Hausfrau on August 21, 2009 at 7:00am — 2 Comments

Man Up Already: Parenting the President through the Health Care Debate

by StitchyWench

My dad has been working up in Alaska for the past six months. Last month, he came back home for a short visit. We were fortunate enough to spend several days at the family beach camping… Continue

Added by Use Your Words on August 19, 2009 at 11:46am — 10 Comments

Mmmm... Power-pop Meets Cartoons... Drool...

RobbertBobbertStill.jpg So I kicked off my blog on Offsprung 2.0 with punk music for kids. But I admitted then that my tastes ran more towards quirky They Might Be Giants-style indie-pop. I'll get to TMBG soon enough, but I also have an affinity for a good power-pop tune.

I have two words for this, the video for "We R Super Heroes," from Robert Schneider's debut Robbert… Continue

Added by Zooglobble on August 18, 2009 at 7:43pm — 2 Comments

Don't Take Your Lesbian Moms to Hooters

The Canadian musical comedy My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, which became the hit of the 2009 Fringe of Toronto Theatre Festival in July, will be expanded for a run beginning Nov. 7 at the Panasonic Theatre in Toronto, reports Playbill News. The new version will include a larger cast and new songs, in addition to the… Continue

Added by Mombian on August 18, 2009 at 4:30pm — 6 Comments

Raiders of the Toy Chest

Despite terrible reviews, GI Joe is a big hit. So are the overly long, noisy, nonsensical Transformers movies. It’s clear that these flicks aren’t popular because of quality; they’re popular because people have a soft spot for the toys on which they are based.

Some have accused Hollywood of being bankrupt of new ideas, but I what’s really going on is that Hollywood has brilliantly figured out that if they sell it to us, we will re-buy our childhood from them—in shiny… Continue

Added by Reeling on August 17, 2009 at 4:30am — 15 Comments

Family Vacation V. 2009: Lessons Learned, Part I

I, along with 14 of my kids, parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, recently returned from a week in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. (Yes, like shopping in bulk, vacationing in bulk is cheaper. That's why we do it.) Like my father, I am a horrible, anal traveler who insists that vacation is not merely about relaxation and fun; it is about new experiences, and learning new things. So as I recap every vacation I take, I like to reflect on those things that I came to learn on that trip, that I… Continue

Added by Hausfrau on August 14, 2009 at 3:30pm — 12 Comments

Educational, Schmeducational


In my shopping-for-baby days, I used to raise some serious eyebrow at the whole Baby Einstein operation. Einstein? Really? Toys, books, and videos are going to transform our babies into Einstein? Would we even want that? The whole idea was as absurd to my then-childfree self as a cup holder on a… Continue

Added by TykeGeist on August 12, 2009 at 11:47pm — 26 Comments


by Teacher Tom

Originally published here

Nonviolence is absolute commitment to the way of love.

-- Martin Luther King, Jr.
I would never spank a child, not as a teacher or parent. This is a vow I made long before having a child of my own, and it’s one I’ve… Continue

Added by Use Your Words on August 12, 2009 at 11:26pm — 17 Comments

This Long Journey Begins with a Single Step Family

AJ’s summer vacation has been packed. He started school on Monday, meaning we jammed a surplus of events into seven short weeks, weeks filled with apprehension and anticipation in equal measure. Our trek began shortly after he demolished the 2nd grade—highly efficient academically, coupled with his energy, like that of a tropical storm wiping out decorum and structure in the classroom—and embarked on a crowded To Do List that had him careening around the state, facing new family challenges,… Continue

Added by Don't Forget to Flush on August 11, 2009 at 11:00am — 6 Comments

A Supremely Ridiculous Argument

Sometimes I read something that is just so mind-blowingly irrational I don't know where to begin.

Robert P. George, in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece titled, "Gay Marriage, Democracy, and the Courts," begins by stating that it would be "disastrous" for the U.S. Supreme Court justices to rule on a federal lawsuit that "has been filed to invalidate traditional marriage laws."… Continue

Added by Mombian on August 10, 2009 at 7:15am — 10 Comments

Growing Up Color Blind

by WhackBarWop

What I Remember

I had my first real experience with racism just outside of Charleston, West Virginia in 1983.

My brother wanted his friend from kindergarten to come over and play after school. Phone numbers were exchanged; our mom talked to his mom. One day he rode the bus home with Justin, and they played happily together all afternoon. When his mother came to pick her… Continue

Added by Use Your Words on August 7, 2009 at 7:30am — 20 Comments

A Brief History of Time

One of my son's big projects toward the end of the last school year was to create a timeline of his life. It was my turn to assist the Big Project, which is scary, since I lack an iota of artistic design or sensibility, having peaked at age 17 with my forced metaphor/reproduction of the characters in Graham Greene's "Heart of the Matter" as members of a fictional baseball team, complete with stadium. It was so impressive that my teacher decided to hang it on the wall, where it inspired for a… Continue

Added by Don't Forget to Flush on August 6, 2009 at 10:00pm — 7 Comments

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