Archive | October, 2007

And People Wonder WHY I am happy about having uniforms!

26 Oct

During my down time I…  Came across this…  IT’s INFURIATING!!!

Fashion Bullies Attack — In Middle School
As More Designers Target Kids,
Label-Consciousness Grows;
The Snarky ‘Nice Clothes’

By VANESSA O’CONNELL
October 25, 2007; Page D1

Aryana McPike, a sixth-grader from Springfield, Ill., has a closet full of designer clothes from Dolce & Gabbana, Juicy Couture, True Religion and Seven For All Mankind. But her wardrobe, carefully selected by a fashion-conscious mother, hasn’t won her friends at school.

Kids in her class recently instructed her that she was wearing the wrong brands. She should wear Apple Bottoms jeans by the rapper Nelly, they told her, and designer sneakers, such as Air Force 1 by Nike. She came home complaining to her mother that “all the girls want to know if I will ever come to school without being so dressed up.”
Sixth-grader Aryana McPike with her mother, Ava, whose idea of fashion differs from that of Aryana’s classmates

Teen and adolescent girls have long used fashion as a social weapon. In 1944, Eleanor Estes wrote “The Hundred Dresses,” a book about a Polish girl who is made fun of for wearing the same shabby dress to school each day. The film “Mean Girls” in 2004 focused on fashion-conscious cliques among high-school teens. But today, guidance counselors and psychologists say, fashion bullying is reaching a new level of intensity as more designers launch collections targeted at kids.

As a result, an increasing number of school and community programs focused on girl-on-girl bullying are addressing peer pressure and the sizable role clothing plays in girls’ identity. In Pennsylvania, California, Maryland and several other states, for instance, community groups and some schools have started Club or Camp Ophelia, a pair of programs developed by Penn State professor and author Cheryl Dellasega that teach girls relationship skills. A “Bully Quiz” the girls take asks, “Have you stopped being friends with someone because she wore clothes you didn’t like?”

Dorothy Espelage, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, who has studied teenage behavior for 14 years, says she has seen an increase in “bullying related to clothes.” She attributes that to the proliferation of designer brands and the display of labels in ads. In the more than 20 states where she has studied teens, she has been surprised by how kids revere those they perceive to have the best clothes. Having access to designer clothing affords some kids “the opportunity to become popular — and that protects you and gives you social power and leverage over others,” she says.

Over the past three years, numerous designers have targeted the lucrative children’s and teens’ markets. Little Marc, the kids’ clothing label by New York designer Marc Jacobs, expanded its line this winter and dropped its price, making it more accessible to a greater number of shoppers. The French luxury label Chloé, Milan-based Missoni and Italian designer Alberta Ferretti are launching new kids’ labels for spring or summer next year. Other designer kids’ lines include Dolce & Gabbana, Armani and Burberry, while Michael Kors, Coach, Dooney & Bourke and Dior have been targeting teens or kids with accessories.

Retailers, too, have rushed to cash in, opening offshoots of their boutiques specifically for children. Cantaloup and Scoop, which sell designer clothing for women in New York, now have Cantaloup Kids and Scoop Kids boutiques that carry a similar selection of designers for their customers’ daughters and sons.

The greater focus on fashion in teen magazines and on TV has increased girls’ awareness of designer labels. “The market has become more sophisticated,” says Fiona Coleman, children’s trends editor for WGSN, a fashion-consulting service. Kids today follow not only what celebrities wear, but also what their children wear, she says. Brooklyn Beckham, the son of soccer star David Beckham, was photographed wearing Junior Dolce & Gabbana in magazines as a toddler, propelling the brand into the limelight. Madonna’s daughter Lourdes Leon, who has her own stylist, has appeared in magazines wearing Juicy Couture tracksuits.
School guidance counselor Angie Dooley sees the love of labels at Lawrence Junior High School in Fairfield, Maine, where some girls wear the same few brand-name items they own again and again. “They don’t want anyone to know that’s all they have,” Ms. Dooley says.

In one study, more than one-third of middle-school students responded “yes” when asked whether they are bullied because of the clothes they wear. Susan M. Swearer, associate professor of school psychology at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, surveyed a total of more than 1,000 students at five Midwestern middle schools from 1999 to 2004, with about 56% of the sample female. While the prevalence of fashion bullies was greater in wealthy cities and towns, where more designer clothing is available, she found the problem is significant in poorer communities, too.

Teens and adolescents are expected to wear not just any designer brands but the “right” ones. “The better brands you wear, the more popular you are,” says Becky Gilker, a 13-year-old eighth-grader from Sherwood Park in the Canadian province of Alberta. “If you don’t wear those things you get criticized.” In many schools, the most expensive designer goods, such as those by Chanel or Louis Vuitton, have the highest social ranking among girls. But popular teen brands such as American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch and Aeropostale are also important. Miss Gilker says Hollister and Roxy are big logos at her school.

But even the wrong color can bring put-downs, Miss Gilker notes. When she wears pink, she says, “I get the snarky ‘Nice clothes!’ when people walk by in the halls.” Her mom, Karin Gilker, who is 44, says she has tried to explain to her daughter that she should ignore such comments and wear what she likes. She also has tried explaining that “pink looks wonderful on her — she’s a blonde — and she looks really good in it.”

Several new programs are trying to help parents, teachers and girls cope with bullying. In Maine, a nonprofit called Hardy Girls Healthy Women has developed a curriculum that has caught on at a number of junior high schools and is being adopted in after-school programs in Florida, Ohio, New York and other states. The program encourages young girls to build coalitions and gets them to look more closely at the messages they get from the media, including those about fashion and clothing.

In June, a national conference on “Relational Aggression, Mean Girls and Other Forms of Bullying” in Las Vegas drew more than 800 teachers, educators and counselors. Many of the sessions focused on the role the media plays in putting social pressure on girls regarding fashion and appearance

Susan Bowman, vice president of Developmental Resources, a Chapin, S.C., educational consulting firm that put on the conference, told the audience that for many girls, the answer to the question “What do I wear?” seems to define who they are. In 2005, Developmental Resources began holding a series of “Mean Girls” workshops for educators around the country. The workshops, she says, explore why fashion is such an important part of a girl’s identity, and how that, in turn, “creates even more social pressure on the ‘have nots.’ “

Some psychologists believe that fashion bullying is happening at younger and younger ages. Megan Flynn, director of children’s services at Westchester Jewish Community Services, says she has recently begun using an anti-bullying program with girls in the fifth and sixth grades, as well as with older students. The program, she says, provides “a process where they can take a closer look at the messages they get” in the media.

Aryana’s mom, Ava McPike, feels it is important that Aryana not be pressured to conform to the dressed-down standard at her school. She believes that generally other people favor those who “look good — the cute kids,” says Ms. McPike, who drives to Neiman Marcus in St. Louis, Mo., with her daughter to help pick out clothes. But Ms. McPike does give in every now and then. She recently bought two Ralph Lauren dresses, in pink and green, and her daughter rejected them, because, her mom suspects, they wouldn’t pass muster with her classmates.

Write to Vanessa O’Connell at vanessa.o’connell@wsj.com

Why I love Grey’s Anatomy!

26 Oct

I use to say anything you wanted to learn about dating, life  and being a fabulous singleton you could learn in Sex and the City!  Well… I have to add another show to that group…
Grey’s Anatomy… 
The story lines are brilliant and the writing is clever!
Once in awhile they will put a WOW factor in there!  
Last week was it…
Let me recap some first I will start with characters:
(Grey’s Anatomy Wiki)

IZZY STEVENS:
What we know:
Grew up in a trailer park and worked as an underwear model in order to pay for medical school. Izzie is roommates with Alex and Meredith (previously George and Meredith but George is living with Callie now), and is best known for getting too emotionally involved with her patients, particularly Denny. She risked her entire medical career in an attempt to save Denny, which ironically resulted in his death. She has recently returned to work at Seattle Grace and is battling with her inability to detach herself from patients. She had a daughter named Hannah when she was 16 but gave her up for adoption because she wanted the best for her.
Medical specialty: Intern, but has shown an affinity towards working with children.
Relationship roller-coaster:
Alex. Denny. More to come. Told long time roommate and best friend George that she loves him, even though George is married to Callie.
Secret:
She was sitting on a check for $8 million. She spent the money on a free clinic, as well as paying for some-body’s surgery.
She has a daughter that she gave up for adoption.
izzie-stevens_174x241.jpg
Moving Right Along… Next We have…
george-omalley_173x251.jpgGeorge O’ Malley( Is Married to Callie Torres )
What we know:
George O’Malley doesn’t fit in with his own family. A Thanksgiving hunting trip resulted in George letting out a lot of emotions during a conversation with his blue-collar dad and brothers (one of whom shot the dad, forcing George to operate).
His positive outlook on life, and the fact that he is more emotional than most men, often lead to conflict with other doctors.He recently admitted his feelings for Meredith and ended up sleeping with her during a period of peak vulnerability for both. After some disastrous fallout, he moved out of her house and onto Dr. Burke’s sofa. He remained there until Season Twocame to a close – and he found a spot in bed next to girlfriend, Callie. In the hospital basement. He has managed to get his friendship with Meredith back and has recently married Callie. Izzie told him that she loves him. He failed his medical exams meaning that he has to repeat his intern year.
Medical specialty:
He is a first year intern at Seattle Grace Hospital.
Relationship roller-coaster:
Had a one night stand with Meredith.
Syph Nurse Olivia.
He is now married to Callie Torres.
Slept with Izzie.
Defining moments:
George won praise among the entire hospital staff for saving a man’s life in an elevator during a power failure. With Dr. Burke talking him through it, George stopped the bleeding in a patent’s heart single-handily after Alex choked under pressure!

It’s getting better…

In Walks in Callie Torres(O’Malley)…  ( Callie is George’s Wife…)
callie-torres_112x180.jpgWhat we know:She’s an heiress. Had a pet ferret for 9 years. Married to George O’Malley. Used to live in the hospital basement. Now lives in a hotel with George.
Medical specialty:
Ortho
Relationship roller-coaster:
She was dating George, they then broke up when George constantly chose his friends over her. She slept with Mark “McSteamy” Sloan in her hotel while her and George were broken up. She and George were married in Vegas after the recent passing of his father.

OK now that you have SOME of the character Bio’s( Thank you Grey’s Anatomy Wiki)
Basically what happened was that George and Izzy slept together…  During one night of drunken venting… 
Well, George told Callie… 
Izzy tried to apologize to Callie but, this is what Callie told Izzy( BRILLIANT )

Callie: You feel terrible? You took advantage, he was your best friend. I tried to trust you. So much that I convinced myself that it was all in my head, that I was crazy. But I wasn’t, was I? And then you pulled that thing in the cafeteria today. It’s not bad enough that you humiliate me by getting in bed with my husband, you have to humiliate me at work too. George may be the one who broke his vows but you… we’re women, Izzie. You did this to another woman. You took something from me. You stole something from me like a petty little thief. YOU are the one who should be humiliated. YOU are the one who should be ashamed. You are the one… don’t you dare come to me for forgiveness you traitorous bitch.”

You know…  This is WHY I wouldn’t sleep with a man that is married or taken… I have respect for relationships, in the past I have been cheated on, and I could never understand one thing… 
If he was cheating on ME, what makes the “other” women NOT think the man is NOT going to cheat on her…?  I see cause it’s different?  Right?  You can change him… HE REALLY LOVES YOU!  Right?
NO!!!!!
When I was single I would really pay attention to WHY a relationship ended.
Did it end because, he cheated on her? 
Did he leave her for another women?  
What was the cause? 
If you do not think things like this matter..  WRONG!!  They do! 
Now it takes two to tango… 
Gage the situation as you see fit! 

Richmond Hill knows how to throw one hellofa party!!

22 Oct

IF you happend to miss the Ogeechee Seafood Festival then you missed out on a fantastic party! 
In the afternoon we took the family the WHOLE family… ( haha ) we had a really great time! 
I tried the fried alligator and it was VERY YUMMY
The chldren played some games and won prizes… Personally wanted a BIG HUGE FROGGIE… But, sigh…  We didn’t win!
We came back home…  dropped the chlidren off with the baby sitter and we went out again to join the festivities! 
The evening ended with the popular 70 & 80’s band survivor and one of the best fireworks displays ever I have seen in awhile!
Good job Richmond Hill and I look forward to next year’s SeaFood Festival.

Do I have to say the words?

15 Oct

I wrote this some time ago… 
I think it’s a lovely piece of advice! 

Hey you foxy lady…YOU DESERVE BETTER!!!

Hey you, yeah I’m talking to you…
FOXY
FABULOUS
BRILLIANT WOMEN….
LOOK AT YOURSELF IN THE MIRROR AND SAY THIS OVER AND OVER AGAIN PLEASE:
” I will not go out with a man who keeps me waiting by the phone!!!!” —
He’s just not that into you!!!
LADIES,  be honest how many times have you made excuses for your girlfriend?
You know the ones that are crushed over a guy that has just blown her off
I know I have found myself saying:
“Honey he could be busy”
“Honey he will call…REMEMBER he had that huge dinner meeting”
“Sweetie, you know how men are…”
When DEEP down inside…WE all know  “He’s just not that into her”
Why can’t we say what we really mean?
No really?
LADIES, do your friend a favor…TELL HER…
“Girl give up, You deserve better”
But, be prepared you might get this:
“Oh no, but, you just don’t understand how wonderful he is….and the SEX is Fantastic…”
Yeah…Well if he is THAT wonderful then, guess what? He would be with you because, he DOES not want that wonderful-ness going to somebody else!!!
Trust me when I say, that when you are into somebody the sex WILL always be fantastic…
You will find another wonderful fantastic lover…He was just not the one.
Here is a little old fashion thought:
LADIES LET the man come to you! 
If a man is actually interested in you nothing will be able to keep him away!
Nothing!!
He will want to hear your voice ALL the time…
He will see you when he gets free time….
He will be thinking about you 24/7!!
How do I know this?
I have been in this game for a long time now!!  HONESTLY and if he doesn’t guess what? Your better off with out him! DON’T CHASE A MAN! In the end…Your self esteem will be better off.
IF and IF they want to hear from you they will call, text, offline message you…THEY WILL DO SOMETHING!
And why? Because, men don’t want you to forget about them! They are afraid you will go into another man’s arm’s AND, if they are smart…they will DO EVERYTHING in their power to keep you around! Because they KNOW how fabulous you are!

You might be screaming at me,  “I know but, I keep on getting mixed signals…”
Ok let’s talk about “mixed signals…”
Are you sleeping with him?
If you are then NO you are not getting mixed signals, he is just using you for sex.  And if that is what YOU want then by all means stay around.  If you know you are better then a booty call…
Then…LEAVE…!!!!!
ONCE again your self esteem will thank you for it in the end! And why? Because, women are not programmed that way…
We are wired differently…
Unless your Samantha Jones ( and myself…HA HA! JOKE)…
But, even she fell in love and I have as well. 
But, alas, this is reality and well…Women like Samantha Jones are few and FAR between!!  Do me and your heart a favor
Put down that phone…
Go out and do something…
Get your nails done…
Go get that Awesome shirt you have been lusting after…and even try to do this…Turn off your phone…:-D~ YES you can DO IT! And make yourself unavailable!  I know it’s kinda sneaky…
But, still!! JUST try it! You never know…!

BIG VOICE… SMALL STEPS!!!

15 Oct

I haven’t always been an advocate for children of special needs. It was a shock to the system to find out that I had two in the spectrum.   Then I read this:

WELCOME TO HOLLAND

by
Emily Perl Kingsley.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

When I read this… It humbled me.  So, instead of being upset, angry and hurt.  I decided to let those passionate feelings fuel my fire.  The main thing that is important here,  is that I am here to tell you it’s OK to have hurt feelings.  It’s OK to be disappointed and it is even OK to question why?   When you first learn that your child has a disability you go through a process of mourning.  That is normal…  But, you will see there comes a time when you have to stop asking why and educate yourself! You are your child’s/children’s voice! 

Sometimes you have to find your inner child!!!!

8 Oct

Running a business can take a toll on a marriage.  
My love and I were like passing ships.  With work, meetings, soccer, raising four children I saw him only a few short hours here and there.  It sucked. 
Thursday as I watched him get ready for work.  I felt a huge hole in my heart.  He wrapped his arms around me and the tears just came. 
We decided that we needed us time. 
So, we booked a hotel  in Savannah Friday evening, and decided since It was first Friday we would go to the Westin and watch firework.  And the bonus is Friday night is Martini at the Aqua Star.(I love a GOOD MARTINI, he even managed to find me a bubblegum Martini) 
It was a DATE!!!
In the arms of my love watching fireworks and drinking a martini could life get any better? 
We drank, We eat and, We were merry! 
While we were walking back to our motel we passed a lawn that had sprinklers…
And I looked at my love and he read my mind…  Yep we played in the sprinklers! I cannot remember the last time I did that!  HOW FUN!!! 
Child in Sprinker
The next time you want to break out of your adult mind and do something out of the norm… If you should ever run across a lawn with sprinklers…  Forget your expensive clothes and your fabulous shoes!  Find your inner child and let it loose!

Autism does not equal STUPID!!!

7 Oct

autism.jpg

1. Autism is a brain disorder it is NOT a mental illness.

2. All autistic people DO NOT always act like Rain-Man. Rain-Man was a savant:
Taken from Wikipedia

An autistic savant (historically described as idiot savant) is a person with both autism and Savant Syndrome. Savant Syndrome describes a person having both a severe developmental or mental handicap but with extraordinary mental abilities not found in most people. This means a lower than average general intelligence (IQ) but very high narrow intelligence in one or more fields. Savant Syndrome skills involve striking feats of memory and arithmetic calculation and sometimes include unusual abilities in art or music. Savant Syndrome is sometimes abbreviated as “savantism” or “KC“, and individuals with the syndrome are often nicknamed savants. This is a source of confusion since a savanter is a person of learning, especially one of great knowledge in a particular subject.”

NOT ALL AUTISTIC CHILDREN ARE SAVANTS!!!

3. Autism is characterized by impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and unusual, repetitive, or severely limited activities and interests. 

4. 1 in every 146 have autism, this is an increase from past history. And each year it increases. 

5. Boys are 4 times more likely than girls to have autism.  But, just because you have a girl…  Doesn’t mean they will not have it!  I have two from the SAME father in the spectrum.

6. Autistic children have difficulties with social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors or obsessive interests.  My son if very intelligent.  But, he lacks social skills of a “normal” child.  My son is often misunderstood children are cruel he is often times picked on.  7.  Early intervention is the BEST way to start the fight.  I encourage every single parent who notices a significant developmental delay.  Please let your Peditrition know at your next well baby check and encourage your Dr. to make a referral to your your early intervention agency(the agency vary from state to state)
Being an activist is a full time job.  I welcome people to ask me questions!  I have a plethora of useful information in my noggin!
36_1.jpg
Thank you Kia from the Biggest Loser 3 for providing some of the information above…