In case you don't know it, today is National Coffee Day. You can snag some free coffee at participating businesses like Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme (where you can also get a free glazed donut). Lots of local shops are also offering free coffee, so you need to check in your area. Don't rush to Starbucks, 'cause they ain't giving away no free java. But they are giving away free coffee trees.
Me? I'm gonna go in the kitchen and make me cup of Folgers Instant.
With school well under way, helping your kids get and stay organized can seem like a monumental task. This includes getting ready for school in the morning, as well as completing homework and projects. Not to mention the night time routines. The key to organization can be as easy as 1-2-3. That's according to an article I read on kidshealth.org.
According to the article, all tasks can be broken down into three components. They are:
Getting organized : Your child should gather everything they need to accomplish the task at hand, then head to where they need to be. So, if they're are working on a poster project, they should gather all materials and then head to their workspace. They should not have to leave to get supplies that they "forgot".
Staying focused : The next step is for your child to complete the task at hand, without getting distracted. They need to focus. Turn off the TV and put the cell phones away. Although Tyler is in high school, he knows my rules have not changed. He's not allowed to text or even have his phone near him, when he's doing homework, unless he's working on a group project and they are texting during a specific time.
Getting it done : This last step simply means finishing up the task. This includes things like making sure your child puts their homework in their backpack so they don't forget it. At Tyler's school, they have "A" and "B" days, so each day they are taking a different set of classes, similar to college. He has one binder for each day. One thing he has to make sure he does each day, is put the correct binder and books in his backpack at the end of his homework section.
This method works not only for school related tasks but household chores and hygiene ...you name it. And parents, you may want to try this method to keep yourself organized too!
Sometimes I'm a hypocrite. I love coffee, have been drinking it since I was about six. I allow Tyler to drink coffee. He started a few years later than I did, but he's been drinking coffee on a regular basis since he was about ten. But I have to admit, I'm still shocked when I see other kids drinking coffee and I never know whether to give the parents a "thumbs up" or give them the stink eye.
The other day I was in Winn-Dixie taking advantage of the free coffee (shout out to Community Coffee ) when this little munchkin walks over and makes herself a cup of coffee. She looked like she was maybe nine or ten. I didn't give her the stink eye but another customer commented, rather loudly, "You gonna drink that coffee? You too young to be drinking coffee!" She simple smiled and walked away. I saw her later with her mother, who seemed not to mind that she was drinking coffee. As they strolled I noticed people were giving her and her mom the stink eye. I realized that's probably how people look at Tyler and me when they see him drinking coffee.
Most days when I drop Tyler at school, I see at least a student or two heading to campus with a cup of coffee clutched to their chest. As I was dropping Tyler at school last week, we stopped at PJ's, our favorite coffeehouse. Normally, when we go there, he's the only minor drinking coffee but on this particular morning he saw several other kids from his school. So it seems it's becoming more the norm, seeing young kids drink coffee.
But is it okay to do so? The "experts" have long debated whether coffee is good for adults to drink. One study touts its benefits, another tells you to just say no. I finally gave up and decided I would take my chances and keep drinking my java. As for my kid, his coffee habit is not as strong as mine so I'm not worried. I think the decision to allow your child to drink coffee is, like most parenting decisions, a personal choice. Ultimately, you have to decide what's best for your family.
If you'd like more information on this subjects, here's a few useful articles:
Ask the Experts: When Can Kids Start Drinking Coffee?
Kids & Coffee
Caffeine and Your Child
My son and I come from different eras. I come from a time when the only kids who wore uniforms attended private or Catholic schools. Until Tyler started high school this year, he had only worn uniforms. Uniforms are basically the norm for most kids today. When he found out that his high school was only one of a few schools in New Orleans that didn't require uniforms, Tyler was ecstatic. Which surprised me since he never expressed much of an interest in fashion.
Lately, there's been a lot of hoopla over dress codes which has caused me to examine my feelings on the whole uniform vs street clothes deal. I admit, I like the idea of uniforms. Let's face it, the cost is a definite plus. Each year I purchased five shirts and pants and called it a day. Did I really want to run around looking for clothes? Hell, I don't particularly like shopping for myself.
The decision was made for me. However, I thought it would be different having a boy. I figured he'd grab a few pair jeans and shirts and call it a day. I figured two hours tops. Well, we spent an entire day, I'm talking maybe 8 hours, running around from store to store. At the end of a rather exhausting day, Tyler had the wardrobe he wanted. On the plus side, I only have to iron once a month because I made sure he had enough clothes to wear a different outfit each day, without repeating and saving me from having to do tons of laundry. So for that I'm eternally happy because if there's something I hate worse than ironing... it's doing laundry.
I think uniforms are probably a good idea until you reach high school. This is the time when kids are wanting to express their individuality. Having everyone dress alike is not the way to go. For that reason, I'm definitely pro-street clothes.
As a mom I try to stay on top of the latest in parenting news. Here are 8 useful articles I've read recently.
Can More Outside Time Help Kids' Eyesight?
Is Baby Fever Real? (note: this refers to desire to have a baby, not the medical type of fever)
Health Tip: Encourage Kids to Stay Active
Health Tip: Get Involved at Your Child's School
Health Tip: Cutting Down on Kids' Screen Time
Health Buzz: Alcohol Education Should Begin at Age 9
How Parents Add to Math Anxiety
Why Buying Expensive Clothes for Kids Is Dumb
The other day I was looking for some new music to play , when I ran across a Wiggles CD. When my son was a toddler, we couldn't go anywhere unless I played his CDs, including the Wiggles. Of course, we haven't listened to any of these toddler tunes for at least eight years but for some reason, I'm hording them like a precious commodity. Maybe I'm saving them for my grandkids?
This got me to thinking about all of the other keepsakes I've amassed over the years. I have a huge plastic container full of memorabilia and am working on a second one. Not to mention a gazillion digital photos and several hundred printed photos. I'm not a pack rat but when Tyler was born, I decided I would keep as much stuff as possible, so that he could have memories when he became an adult. I suppose it has something to do with my own childhood. I have practically nothing to prove that I was actually a child. Maybe I was born an adult? But I digress.
What few items I had accumulated, I lost most of them ten years ago thanks to a little lady named Katrina. So now I'm even more adamant about documenting Tyler's childhood and teen years. But where should I draw the line? How do I decide what's really a keepsake and not some old junk?
I decided to bite the bullet and sort through the "big blue bin of memories", as I call it. I found some interesting items. At first glance, his journal from first grade seemed like a likely item to chuck but as I skimmed through it, I found some poignant and innocent writings. For example:
"Today is Monday. The date is November 26, 2007. It is a rainy day. Today is Tyler's birthday. He is 7 years old. We ask God to bless Tyler in a special way on his special day. Happy Birthday Tyler enjoy your day! Today is also Sr. Carmen's birthday We ask God to bless Sr. Carmen in a special way too."
Okay, this is definitely a keeper. Plus, the dude could spell his ass off, even in first grade.
A giant Ziploc bag from his first haircut at age five. Keeper.
Too many certificates, awards and ribbons to count.
Keep. Keep. Keep.
Reading log from summer reading program from six summers ago. Yep, I can definitely toss that puppy.
A set of Baby Mozart CDs I won when I was pregnant! Okay, again with the CDs. Let. Them. Go.
His tiny feet prints, given to me by the hospital. Definitely keep.
As I continued to dig deeper. I kept finding things I couldn't bare to part with. I have all of his school work that was sent home from Kindergarten, until at least, the fifth grade. I realize I probably need to sort through these memories and limit what I keep. But I just can't seem to let go. I'll definitely keep all the cards and craft items he made for me. I enjoyed reading his thoughts, so I'll keep his journals. In fact, I'm glad they journal in school (at least in the lower grades) I think he's going to love reading them as he gets older. I'll keep all the important stuff like record cards, progress reports, awards and such. But do I really need the student handbook from second grade? Probably not.
If you're like me, you probably get your share of spam email. It's annoying and time consuming deleting unwanted emails from women who want to show me their vaginas or companies offering to make my penis harder. I admit, I don't have problems with my Gmail account (nor do I have a penis) but Yahoo! sucks big time in keeping the spam out. But, I have my small business account, which includes my domain name, with them so for now I have to deal with it.
If you're like me, you've probably gotten up on the wrong side of the bed one morning and when you sat down to check your email, you fired off a "go fuck yourself" reply to any number of spam messages (come on, don't tell me I'm the only one). But no matter how much you feel like doing so, don't respond to spam messages.
For one, most of the messages will simply bounce back because they aren't real accounts. What they're hoping is you'll be stupid enough to click on whatever link is within the email. The other group of miscreants, are simply checking to see if your email is valid and if you're the type to open spammy messages. You will probably actually get more spam if you respond. This is also true of any message that asks you to "click here to unsubscribe", unless of course, you actually subscribed in the first place.
What's even more annoying than the Viagra and porn spam is this shit here:
Really? No, just please stop this foolishness.
I admit, I open some of the emails just out of curiosity. I want to see how dumb the spammers are, as evidenced by their piss poor grammar. Of course, I never click on any links but some are worth a good laugh if I have a free minute or two.
There's got to be a better way to block spammers. Just think, if they spent as much time pursuing legitimate business opportunities, they could actually make a decent living.
And that's my rant for today.
Myra Faye Turner, Writer