Thursday, September 30, 2010

We now return you to your regularly-scheduled programming.

Here's why people think I'm a freak =)  Although...truth be told: my kids think that Sesame Street only airs at Papa's house so they do get to watch it once or twice when we're there.  Other than that, they think the tv is for watching UCLA sports, nothing else =)

Here's a terrific article from the Greater Good Science Center that might help you better understand me =)
(i.e., pretty please stop arguing with me that my kids "need to learn about this stuff sometime"...they will.  when it's developmentally age-appropriate.)

Weighing the pros and cons of introducing television into our household

Dear readers,
As I write this, I am waiting for the cable guy (or cable person, as the case may be).  I haven’t had regular Internet access since June 17th, not that I’m counting.  So the cable person is coming to install a landline (no mobile phone service here, either), Internet, and, um, possibly cable TV.
I kind of want it. I haven’t had a TV hooked up for years.  Although I do take a smug pleasure in saying, “My kids don’t watch any TV,” I’m sure this is more annoying than inspiring.
People often say to me, “Don’t your kids feel left out that they don’t get to watch the shows that the other kids are watching?”  I honestly don’t think that they do feel left out, though they are only 7 and 9, so this may change.
To me, here are the pros of having television:
  1. It would be fun to watch cooking shows with my children; maybe it would inspire them to spend more time in the kitchen with me.
  2. If there is a show that all the other kids are watching (American Idol) it’d be fun to watch this together.
Although there is a tiny bit of evidence that some shows are, indeed, educational, clearly time spent reading or in other activities is a zillion times more beneficial developmentally, so I’d put educational shows in a neutral category—not really a “pro” of watching TV, but certainly not a “con,” either.
Here are the cons of television, for my family:
  1. TV takes time that kids could be playing, reading, socializing or doing other, more developmentally beneficial activities.
  2. My kids always seem really cranky after they’ve been watching TV.
  3. Currently my kids are great at entertaining themselves by drawing, playing outside, and by playing with their pet rats (sounds gross, I know, but those pets are a positive thing).  I’m afraid they’ll lose this self-entertaining skill if they can do something that takes less effort, like watch TV.
  4. TV may create a new battle-ground: “can I watch TV” begging.  I certainly know how to create limits (my mom only let my brother and I watch a half hour of TV per day) but I think my kids will still ask, beg, and cajole me to make exceptions.  I can also limit this behavior by taking away TV if they do it, but then I will have created a complicated new system ripe for arguments.
  5. Even if I’m super-controlling about which shows the kids are allowed to watch, TV can have a pernicious effect on our perceptions of race and ethnicity.  New research shows that watching how black characters are treated on TV tends to affect people’s attitudes about race both consciously and unconsciously, and usually not for the better.  Why would I want to let actors’ and producers’ prejudices influence my kids?
  6. Moreover, and I think this is my biggest concern, the influence of commercials, product placement, and celebrities—especially if my kids’ heroes are endorsing a product or style just by wearing it—is not happiness-making.  Consumption and materialism are in large part learned; the materialistic culture often represented on television creates beliefs and behaviors that ultimately make kids dissatisfied (and whiny) rather than joyful.

Great addition to a Waste-Free lunch - ScrappyNaps!

A friend shared these terrific all-in-one placemat/napkin setswith me today.
The boys each picked out the fire-fighter hat and the robot sets.  I'm hoping that she'll have more fabric choices later on because Mama needs one of her choice to =)
20% off through Faberuna

Monday, September 27, 2010

Family Day Out 2010- tomorrow Sept. 28th

We all know the importance of sitting down to dine with our kids.  Two programs are in effect this week to encourage us to remember how valuable this act it.

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse declared today Family Day 2010

Tomorrow is Family Day Out 2010. Participating restaurants offer a free child's meal with the purchase of an adult's. Check out this link to the California Restaurant Association for more info.

 Thanks, First Lady Maria Shriver =)

Now can your husband pay off our state's debt?

Or at least support the schools??

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Capital One Bowl - a little secret about me you may not have known =)

To all 13 of you....hehe

There's a little secret about me that 8 of you may not know...

I'll give you a hint:

I am not a lot less hairy than I was the last two years as an undergrad at UCLA.

My husband is very thankful about that for two reasons - 1) that's how he met me and 2) it no longer applies.

While growing up a UCLA fan (8th member of my family to attend), my family had season tickets (still do to this day) for Bruin Football.  My father (Class of '70) used to encourage my brother and I through subtle hints about the activities we could do while one day attending his alma mater.  Ever gender-correct, Dad would point out the awesome football team to JB and make me take notice of the beautiful, bubbly dance team, saying, "Someday, Jen will be cheering on the sidelines for JB."

Ahhh....a father's dream.

Not.  JB played baseball and I, well, I went for a less prestigious position - the female mascot, Josephine Bruin.


Not only did I meet my future husband and father of my own 3 Little Bruins.

screen-shot-2010-09-22-at-110441-amAs Josie, my head fell off twice, I was “mounted” by the Kansas Jayhawk and had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent UCLA while riding on a barge with the deafening band behind us on San Antonio’s RiverWalk for the Sweet 16.

Fast forward 12 years later....

I've been chosen for the Capital One Bowl Mascot Challenge as the official blogger for UCLA and Mighty Joe Bruin.

Why do I care about Joe when I was Josie?  Because behind every GOOD Bruin is a GREAT Bruinette...? HUH?

Check it out here (oh and GO VOTE)

Standings here 


More to come, but thanks to Danielle Smith, Founder of Extraordinary Mommy, for this awesome opportunity!