Celebrity Dad Faceoff 2.0

Dave Grohl really surprised me.  I thought he would be left in the dust, but he managed to garner a fairly amazing 47% of the vote.  I guess you guys are digging the scruffy-sexy look.  Me?  I can’t stand scruff.  I think the only man that can get away with it is Hugh Jackman, and that is just barely.

Today’s challenger comes to you from our favorite commonwealth, Puerto Rico.  He is a huge Latino popstar, but I’m sorry to say I hadn’t heard of him until I stumbled across his picture.  And what a lovely picture it is, no?

VERSUS

Testing, Testing, 123, Testing

This month marks the time when all schools in my state conduct the STAR test.  It’s a standardized test designed, supposedly, to measure the success of what is being taught in the classroom.

I am of two conflicting minds about standardized tests.

First, as a parent, I am anxious to know that my child knows the stuff he is supposed to know, you know? 

Yet another part of me whispers that standardized tests are a bunch of baloney and waaaay too much importance is placed upon them.  Honestly, there are some children who are quite smart, but aren’t good test-takers and there is no way to account for that.  My husband, who has a mild form of dyslexia, would have been one of those children.

Then another part of me thinks that there has to be some way to measure children across the state and the country, and the only way to do that is with a standardized test.

Then the anarchist in me says that they want to use the tests to decide too much about the strength of the teachers and the school when really there are variables like children who sleep in a room with seven other people, or who don’t eat breakfast in the morning, or whose mom and dad got in a fight the night before, and how would you like your paycheck to depend solely upon the performance of the employees under you? 

Sigh.

But, we reported to the testing site bright and early this morning, and will continue to do so for the rest of the week.

As an aside, I left my son in the main waiting room, thinking that he would follow the example of all the other students who were going to the classroom.

As I’m driving by to go back home, through the window I see him sitting on a chair in said waiting room, reading a book.  All the other kids? Gone.

So I have to swing all the way back around the parking lot, leave the Munchkinette in the car by herself (I swear God, I was only gone for thirty seconds, don’t report me to child services!), literally run into the waiting room and tell my absent minded son to get his butt in the classroom, and run back.

Sigh.

It’s About F’ing Time

That there was a book that tells it like it REALLY is at bedtime with your kids:

(Pics after the jump as this is mildly NSFW)

Continue Reading…

Monday Teeny Poll

47% of you agreed that summer camps are a bit on the expensive side. 15% said that they weren’t sure, but the $800 a week robotics camp I mentioned sounded a bit pricey.  And then, a full 36% of you woke up on the wrong side of the bed and chastised me for expecting a robotics camp to be cheap.  Well, I hope all 36% of you are feeling better today.

Of all the official royal wedding pictures, the one making the most impact is the one where young flower girl Grace van Cutsem is doing a bit of a glower and covering her ears whilst the newlyweds kiss.   Young Grace has become the hottest internet meme (although with the news of the death of Bin Laden, she might be usurped by tomorrow) around.  But, is it appropriate in the first place?

Celebrity Dad Faceoff 2.0

Oh man, that was a close one.  Brandon Flowers and LL Cool J were pretty much neck and neck for the entire week, and then somehow, LL managed to eke out a couple more votes to make him the victor.  But by a pretty tiny margin.  Sorry Brandon!  LL and his abs live to see another poll.

Today I’ve got another man of rock.  He began with some inconsequential group called Nirvana, and is currently the frontman for the Foo Fighters.  I loathe Nirvana and love the Foo Fighters, so go figure. 

VERSUS

Songs as Understood by a Five Year Old

Cracked has some very awesome submissions that envision what popular songs sound like to five year olds.  I have to say, I was so there on that Stairway to Heaven picture when I was young.  There are 27 in all, here is a sampling:

Things I Love: RCA Twin Mobile DVD Players

I won’t lie, the only way my family gets through long car rides is by watching videos. 

My son is prone to carsickness (something he apparently will never grow out of, as he has had this since he was a baby) and my daughter?  Well, she just hates being confined in her carseat and the only way to stop her from screaming the entire time is to have some Wiggles playing.  I honestly tried to resist playing the movies for her, but after multiple car trips with non-stop crying and a couple of crying-induced vomiting sessions, I copped out.  We don’t play it on trips shorter than twenty minutes, but after that, all bets are off.

We briefly considered installing a DVD system on the roof of our minivan, but decided against it because with the seven year age difference between my kids, it is pretty much a gurantee that they will never want to watch the same movie.

We also thought about installing some of those headrest monitors, but the drawback was  you could only play one DVD at a time, and they were mucho expensive.

Enter the RCA Twin Mobile DVD players.

You can actually play two different DVD’s since you can load each monitor with its own movie, but there is still a single power source.  The whole thing has worked out perfectly, especially since my daughter is still in her rear-facing carseat, and will be until she is at least two.  Her monitor is strapped to the top of her seat, and my son’s monitor is strapped to the back of the front passenger seat.  My son wears his headphones, and we are all happy.  I would have preferred larger screens, as these are only 7 inches, but they don’t make a system like this with 9 inch screens. 

And the whole set was less than one hundred and fifty, which I consider to be a HUGE bargain.

We Also Both Like the Color Blue

Having a child is like playing the ultimate lottery.  You have absolutely no idea what is going to happen, but you know that the odds of it being completely in your favor aren’t all that great.

When I first found out I was giving birth to a son, I despaired for a short time.  I knew nothing about little boys, and I wondered what in the world I was going to have in common with this kid. 

Of course, how stupid was that?  I blame pregnancy hormones. 

I am always surprised by the small ways my son reminds me of myself, and our love of reading is something that we share.

I’d placed a certain book in his bookcase a very long time ago, simply because I wanted him to read it at some point, and yet I didn’t want to put it somewhere I would forget when we moved a little over a year ago.  Then I sort of forgot about it.

Until I opened his door one night and found himreading this.  He had never mentioned to me that he had started reading it, and I (excited that he was finally reading it, but hoping he wouldn’t hate it) casually asked him if he liked the book.

“Oh yes, Mom!” he answered.  “I think this is so funny, I’ve already read it a couple of times now. I love Miss Wormwood the best!”

That’s my boy.