Disparity Between Schools

Friday, October 29, 2010

This is sponsored post from Welch's Healthy Harvest but the opinions are entirely my own.

Are you watching School Pride? I just caught up on the first two episodes and I am horrified. And embarrassed. I know educators need help updating their classroom materials, keeping arts programs and keeping their quality teachers from moving to other districts. I also know that, when it comes to urban versus suburban and socioeconomic factors, there are huge disparities as to where money goes and how much certain districts get.

When we bought our house it was a compromise and, to me, a little bit of a sacrifice. We chose a fixer-upper condo in a nice area over a detached house somewhere else. We paid a little too much. The area we live in is kind of expensive in general. But, we wanted to be in this part of the city for the schools. That was criteria number one. We know we made the right choice. 

We've been very happy overall with Tyler's school. The students have a computer lab as well as computers in the classrooms. They still have PE class. The library is well stocked. The lunch program is better than most. The kids get to grow and eat things from the science garden. Our Halloween carnival? Looked like a county fair. We have on-site before and after care for working parents. I know how lucky we are.

But I'm embarrassed that I didn't really know how bad some of our nation's schools are. When I thought of the kind of conditions some kids were attempting to learn in I pictured run down buildings, no buses, no after school programs and not enough sports equipment. I was not picturing mice, rats, roaches, no paper towels or hand soap, playgrounds overrun with gopher holes, mold and general decay. Knowing our school has so much when others have so little makes me feel a little pampered, if that makes sense.

It was ironic that, while I was watching the show, someone I follow on Twitter mentioned that she was at her child's school earlier in the day and got to see all the kids working on their own iPads. The School Pride host was asking a junior high student how they play basketball with only one deflated ball and a broken backboard while someone else's first graders have their own iPads. Incredible. 

Well, my eyes have definitely been opened. I'll be paying more attention to legislation that effects schools and helping promote companies and causes that offer schools opportunities to apply for things that will enrich their student's educational experience like Welch's Harvest Grants program. I'm not quite ready to join the PTO but I'll definitely be looking at how our school uses its funds.

Singer John Legend was quoted recently as saying the state of education "is the Civil Rights movement of our time." If the first episodes of School Pride are any indication of what we can expect to see, I think he's absolutely right.


-From now until February 11, 2011, schools can apply for one of 100 grants to start their own garden. 
-Five schools will receive $1000 and 95 will receive $500. 
-Grants will include seeds and tools.
Pass on the information to your teachers and administrators!

*I am being compensated for this post but the opinions on the state of schools and the incredulity and disgust that some children have to try to learn with roaches at their feet is all mine. Photo credit belongs to me.

Telling Myself to Shut It

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Rancho Bernardo Inn for a morning at the spa. I chose an 80-minute. I totally needed it. Between our shitty mattress and the walking I've been doing for the 3 day, my back was a giant knot.


When it was my time to go into the treatment room I was giddy. After I got through my typical massage day freak out (Is my bikini line shaved enough? Will the salt scrub sting since I was stupid and shaved my legs this morning? I hope I don't have to pee. Please God, don't me let me pee or toot when she's pushing on me!) I settled in, ready to be kneaded.

My masseuse got started and I felt myself relaxing. But after awhile, my brain started whirring. I was going through my To Do lists, reminders, schedule, composing blog posts and thinking of what to make for dinner. I literally had to tell myself to STFU and enjoy the damn massage already! Several times.

Jen, Beth, Christine and Sugar
Here I was, in this gorgeous spa getting an awesome massage and I could. not. relax! If ever there was a time to sit back and enjoy the moment, that was it. I hate it that my mind is always working. I have white noise 24/7. There are nights when I can't fall asleep because of the whirring. It's exhausting.

I know I could do yoga or meditate to relax but I don't think relaxing is my problem. I think it's that I never feel caught up. If I'm not constantly thinking of what needs to be done and how to make it all happen I'll fall even more behind.

Perhaps my main problem is time management? Is this just a me thing? Or maybe an anal person thing? A mom thing? Have you ever had to tell yourself to STFU and enjoy the moment?

*Rancho Bernardo Inn provided my treatment, lunch and spa slippers. Katie of La Jolla Mom has a great review of the Inn itself. More pictures from the day are on Flickr.

Sailing: Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Taken with Kodak M580

The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbok: Hot Deal on Amazon

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I met Erin of $5 Dinners when I went to General Mills last year. Erin is one of the reasons I started taking couponing more seriously. I had been reading her blog for awhile and was excited to meet her in person.

Me and Erin in the General Mills Test Kitchens
Her first cookbook came out at the end of last year. I've been meaning to buy it and I'm glad I came across the great deal on Amazon today. It's only $5.42 and ships free if you have an Amazon Prime account (or if you're buying $25 in qualifying merchandise). Erin is a doll in person and I'm so happy for her and her success!

I try to be supportive of my blogging friends whenever I can, especially in ways that help their bottom line. Heck, I ordered The Pioneer Woman Cooks and I don't even read her blog. But I think it's amazing and wonderful that so many in the blogging community have been able to turn their passions into viable careers.

The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook has a limited quantity at this price. At this price it's a great book to have on hand for the holidays as a hostess gift, teacher gift or an I-didn't-know-you-were-going-to-get-me-a-gift gift. Get it before it sells out! 

Other books by some of the bloggers I read:

Cake Pops: Tips, Tricks, and Recipes for More Than 40 Irresistible Mini Treats by Angie from Bakerella (I got to meet her at General Mills too!)

(I met Chris and Scott at Disney Social Media Moms. We sat at the same table during the sessions. It was one of the highlights of the conference for me.)

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment by my friend Denene from My Brown Baby. She a rockstar and I totally want to be her when I grow up.

Have you read a book by a fellow blogger that I should know about? 
Let me know!
*All links are Amazon Affiliate links.

Cowboy Boots and Clogs: Yay or Nay? Fashion Friday

Friday, October 22, 2010

For a few weeks a year the weather in So Cal changes to cool and brisk and I get to wear boots and sweaters. Normally I like my boots knee high, pointy toed and with at least a three-inch heel like these I tried on at a local boutique in San Diego. 
Forward Footwear Pacific Beach
But lately I've been drawn to two types of shoe I'd never thought I'd wear: clogs and cowboy boots. The last time I owned a pair of clogs I think I was 8 years old. The Dr. Scholl's wooden shoe was just getting popular and I was so surprised my mom got a pair for me since she wouldn't spend the money on real Keds. I have never owned cowboy boots.

I was at Marshall's last weekend to look at boots and I saw these two pairs that I think would be good 'starter' shoes to see if I actually do like those styles and would wear them.

These are Frye. I don't think they're 'true' cowboy boots but they're Western-ish, right? I absolutely love the colors. I think I'd wear them with a dress or skirt. I might actually buy tights too.
Frye boots $149.99 at Marshalls
I feel like I shouldn't like these Sam Edelman clogs but I do. I know they're a little out there, but I can't help it. They're so cute! I've seen a few magazine pieces on how to transition a maxi dress from summer to fall and I have a brown dress that would look great with these.

Sam Edelman clogs $79.99 at Marshalls
So what do you say? Are clogs a good look for this season? What do you have in your closet that you never thought you'd wear?

3 Day Thursday: Video Pink Glove Dance - The Sequel

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Makes me smile every time I watch.

Gee, Thanks Nate Berkus!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I've been catching up on my DRV'd episodes of the Nate Berkus Show. About two weeks ago, Tyler just happened to sit down next to me during one show that took a turn I wasn't expecting. We ended up having a conversation that made me squirm.

Viva Las Vegas: Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Girl's Weekend 2010

8 Gift Ideas for Your 3 Day Walker: 3 Day Thursday

Thursday, October 7, 2010

After the closing ceremonies for the 3 Day, many friends and family like to bring their walker pink flowers or balloons. While those things are nice, I feel there are practical gifts that someone who just walked 60 miles would appreciate and be more able to use.

Here are eight gift ideas for your 3 day walker: 

EMU Australia Women's Jolie Slipper,Orchid Pink,5 M US

Two years ago I found slippers like these EMU's at Boot World. I surprised Mom and gave them to her right after the walk. I had to take her shoes off for her because she couldn't bend over! She said the soft fur felt really good, especially between her toes. The sturdy sole makes them perfect for wearing out of the house. Mom wore hers to work every day for a week.

Dr. Scholl's DRFB7006B1 Sole Solutions Foot Spa

Last year, because I'm a good daughter, I let my mom use our foot spa first when we got home from closing ceremonies. Getting your feet into warm water with some soothing bath salts is priority number one after walking so far. I was eying it the way a starving person would a pork chop the whole time. This one from Dr. Scholl's is better than ours because it has a heater to maintain the water temperature.

Pioneer 12-by-12-Inch Dreamy Pink Frame Cover Memory Book

My mom hasn't been documenting her walks very well but this year I hope to take a lot of pictures and put them together for her in a Memory Book to commemorate her 10th walk. 

Other ideas:
*Before the walk, give a scarf, hat and mitten set for the cold nights (it gets chilly where we camp because we're on the bay).
*A sleeveless vest. I was freezing in the early mornings! I wanted to layer but not take a chance on getting overheated. I wore a light down vest and it was perfect.
*Disposable cameras for anyone not on the digital bandwagon. No worrying about batteries.
*Gift cards to a coffee house. Many people go out of their way for a gourmet cup of coffee in the mornings. I don't carry my entire wallet in my butt bag. Gift cards save space.
*Certificates for a massage and/or pedicure are obvious but so needed! I think a massage would have helped me recover faster (hint, hint).

If you've done the 3 day walk, what was the best gift you've received? Do you have any other ideas to offer?  

*Affiliate links used

Low Tide at Ocean Beach Sunset Cliffs: Wordless Wednesday

Would You Turn Down Free Tickets Because of Your Child's Sports Practice?

Monday, October 4, 2010

I haven't done as well as I think I can at being a Yes Mom when it comes to sweets and computer time (though I have bought Tyler two popsicles). But I think Phil and I do kick ass when it comes to doing things with Tyler that make lasting memories. Last Friday, I didn't tell Tyler until after school that he and I were going to Disneyland. We stayed overnight, and the next day we checked out all the Halloween stuff in the park. 

I'm so fortunate with all the things this blog has brought me. I try to share my good fortune with friends and family whenever I can. I invited our neighbor's kids to go with us as a thank you for watching Tyler when I was in Vegas. They declined because they had a busy weekend planned. I invited my other neighbor. No, sorry, dance and karate. 

I invited so many people, and got the same answer each time. Everyone declined because of their kids' schedules. I have to say I was totally surprised. I literally could not give the extra tickets away! I agree that we have to teach our kids to honor their commitments to their sports. We've had that conversation ourselves when Tyler complains about being too busy. 

But the way I see it, Tyler has his whole adult life to be beholden to someone else and to feel the weight of commitments he can't ignore. Childhood goes by so fast. It won't be too much longer until, as far as Tyler is concerned, the only things Phil and I will be good for are rides, spending money and keeping him fed. Now is the time to make memories. Now is the time for bending the rules a little. 

We've taken Tyler out of school for fun stuff before and we don't feel the least bit bad about it. Tyler has told us more times than we can count, "this has been the best day of my life!" We're so lucky to be able to have given him that. To us, that's part of what being a parent is about. Even though we didn't have company, Tyler and I had a great time together. I just wish the friends I invited had been able to see beyond the missed practice to the potential for lasting memories.

What do you think? Is it OK to miss a class for something like this? Would you have gone? 

Powered by Whrrl

*Disney provided our hotel accommodations and tickets to the parks.
copyright melanie sheridan 2009 template design by Studio Mommy (© copyright 2015)