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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/15/2015 in all areas

  1. 131 points
    Update: I received the divorce decree late Friday night from my attorney. The judge gave me a decent but not overly-great settlement. I got half the 401K, 32% of the difference in our salaries for alimony until he turns 67 (10 years) and that's about it. She did not give me any percentage of his bonuses (which is a stinker because he makes some good bonuses of $90K+) and she did not give me any consideration for his share of his parent's house. The one that really surprised me was she is having us split our college debt for our daughters 50/50. I think that is unfair because he makes so much more than me. So in the end any money that I receive, like back alimony owed, will have to be used to clear debt, but I will be able to walk away debt free. Then I will just slowly build back up a cushion. If I was not living with my sister this would be a whole other scenario, but thank goodness I am. About 4 hours after I got the decision I had a HUGE panic attack. It was awful. I got all hot and had that pinprick feeling all over. The last time I had that feeling was at the very beginning of this process when my STBX said he wanted a divorce. I had hoped to NEVER have that feeling again but I think it was a combination of finally getting a court decision, realizing that I was not getting all I had hoped for (which would have given me a nice cushion) and just a general pissed off that 30 years of marriage has come down to such dirty mud-slinging. So unnecessary. I was literally freaking out. I had to go walk around my neighborhood just to get my breathing and heart rate to slow down. Today I am still a bit shaky. Is it silly to think I may have PTSD? There is still so much to do to wrap everything up, like cashing in some accounts and paperwork to transfer titles of cars, etc. But during all of this my youngest daughter, who is in Colorado with her boyfriend on vacation, texted me on Saturday "Having a great time! Going whitewater rafting today!" and I realized that THAT is what I have that is the most important .... a close, healthy relationship with my daughters. My STBX is still alone and still missing out on their lives. And now that the judgement came down and my STBX will have a lot of money coming in, I don't think our daughters will like seeing the discrepancy in how we live. I certainly live in a nice house and have plenty of money to live a moderate lifestyle, but they know that every dime I get from him I had to fight tooth and nail for. And if they ever get to the point where they speak to him again I don't think they will be very impressed with his fancy top-floor condo in the city. They will know it was at the expense of everything good we ever had. Thank you all for all of your kind words, support and good wishes during all of this. Life really does take you on some crazy paths that you never expect. But I think that it has changed me in a positive way. Today I don't necessarily feel strong and empowered, but that feeling will come back. And the freedom I have from his constant criticism and judgement has been so freeing. My favorite quote from my father: " Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see it is what you would have wanted had you known" So I hold onto that. Please forgive any typos I am doing this on my iPad. I think it went really really well. I felt like I touched on everything I wanted to get across. My Stbx sat there furiously scribbling notes the whole time in preparation of my cross examination but you know what they ended up doing? His attorney went over VENMO payments I had made to my daughters while they were in college. Literally one transaction at a time. “So, on May 1st you Venmo’d $30 dollars and wrote ‘because I love you’ ..... what was that for?” Ummmm I sent her $30 because she is my daughter and I love her? this went on for about 10 minutes until the judge told her it was just badgering. But the best, absolutely BEST moment was this: part of my stbx argument is that he never agreed to me having $2000 a month to pay my sister for rent. Just because he lived in our 5000 square foot home a year longer than he was supposed to and now lives in a $4000 a month condo in the city, I am not supposed to get consideration for my rent. So he asks the judge if he can re- testify on a point. He then gets up there and starts with his double talk ....”when she moved out all conversations of her rent were of a conceptual basis blah blah blah, things were still fluid blah blah” But then he gets really angry and starts to say “but there was NEVER any conversation...” and that is when the judge STOOD UP! Actually stood up and very angrily said “What are you saying?? That she is supposed to live with her sister rent free while you lived in the big house and now in a $4000 a month condo in the city?? You can get down now from the stand!” ladies, I have been waiting for that for 4 years and it was amazing. I really think the judge now understands all the players in this game. Before when only he testified I am sure she thought I would be just as greedy and arrogant as him. How else does a simple case bog down for 4 years? Now I think she gets it is him, he is the narcissist, the bully, the unreasonable one. she also kept looking at my sister in the audience and smiling at her which I am taking as a good sign. so now the attorneys have 3 weeks to file their final paperwork and then the judge will rule. But I am feeling really good about it
  2. 128 points
    Bye, bye breast cancer. I had my last radiation treatment today. Let’s hope cancer’s butt is sufficiently kicked that we don’t meet again for many decades, if at all.
  3. 121 points
    Hard to believe our sweet little Alex is 4 months old already! The novelty has not worn off yet. Mr. Five still covers him with kisses sixteen million times a day. He is a very jolly baby, very content and easily entertained by watching the crew. He is all about shoving toys and burp cloths and anything else he can grab into his mouth and then giggling. I adore him so much and still sometimes can't believe I have him to cuddle all day long. Here are a couple of recent pics.
  4. 110 points
    Hi all, I have not been around much anymore, but I wanted to post an update because we had this looooong thread three years ago when I was trying to figure out what to do with my life and how to find a new calling (not just something to keep me busy). This one: You all had so many interesting suggestions, and several commented that they were in a similar situation. So, I figure I owe you an update on how it all turned out: As I had posted towards the end of that thread, about 8 months after the initial post, I have gone back to writing. I am still working in my regular job as a physics professor, but have focused the remaining time on poetry. I have - completely accidentally - found community in a very unlikely place. Remember me talking about how this is a small town with few opportunities? I found a cluster of people in an even smaller town near here! I am regularly participating in live events, have gotten work into a few journals, and my first book has just been published through a small independent press! I feel like I have found a new direction and calling, something that defines me and goes beyond merely filling time. I want you to know that life post empty nest can be wonderful and fulfilling, and also that it took me several years of deep searching to figure out my path. I hope this is encouraging to those of you who are starting on that journey and are facing the end of the active parenting years. Best wishes to you all. ETA: Because people asked further down the thread: if you are interested in my book, please pm me. I won't post an advertising link in the thread.
  5. 101 points
    UPDATE: Greta has beat the odds and has had some reduction in the size of her tumors. She had her husband have had a wonderful second honeymoon to the most romantic of cities—Paris—and have found the way to love one another and life while squarely facing this serious illness. She’s connected at her parish with frequent gatherings, and, of course, connected with her medical community with frequent meetings. Greta calls herself most blessed to have this time with her husband, daughter, family and friends. Recently, she has developed really loud tinnitus, so she has joined me in the hearing-aid-brigade, which lets her play white noise into her ears that at least distracts from the tinnitus. And podcasts too. :0) It's not curative but it does help. Going into this diagnosis, 9 months ago, the "expectancy" was stated as 12 months. Without raising her hopes or projecting doom, her doctor told her that she is healthier now than she was 12 months ago, and recent tests revealed "nothing new." (That's called "good news" in this milieu.) Please keep praying for her. She is going to try to read the posts here, so if you want to chime in, feel free. (Just between us chickens, Greta has found and displayed amazing grace in a most unexpected place and experience. We should be so happy to call her one of "ours." )
  6. 87 points
    I got to spend my morning today with a WTM member who lives not very far from me. She helped me restore order to my homeschool room. She is also terrific company! She didn’t even make fun of my disembodied manequin heads for displaying knitted baby hats, although I think she did agree they are more pleasant and less Stephen King when they actually have a knitted hat on. She didn’t criticize me for having 900 colored pencils and a lifetime supply of Sharpies. Everyone here should be so lucky as to get to know a Hiver IRL. I know she would not seek accolades, but I just want to thank @Garga publically. She’s a gem!
  7. 86 points
    ...and I'm only telling everyone I ever met and all their friends and family keep it to yourself. Local-to-Kirkland/Bellevue WA-Peeps--You are invited if you would like to come! This is my first exhibit, and Windermere Real Estate in Kirkland is my sponsor. I'm excited and a bit of a nervous wreck. That watery first photo is my "signature" photo--it's called Water Colors and I use it on all my marketing materials. Anyway, I'm pretty excited. I told my dh I am Miss June and expect a tiara and a sash. :0) (Mercifully for all, there will be no bathing suit competition.) There are twenty wall-size photos that will hang in their office for 2 months. I'm hoping a few will sell. :0). I've already sold one... Yay! If you want to see the full publicity, it is on Facebook, Windermere Real Estate Kirkland (They also go by "We Are Kirkland" as their marketing phrase.) Anyway, that's my news. :0) ETA: BUT please don't use your phones--the phone app is not working right at the moment. It WILL--trust me--I've got that look in my eye. This info also added in update 5/22/18 at about 4:40pm.
  8. 84 points
    I’m half the woman I was a year ago. Well not exactly. I was a size 16/18 this time last year. Today I slid on a pair of size 8 jeans and packed a size 8 swimsuit for vacay. 210lb down to 153lbs. All I need is 9 more pounds to win my HealthWage. I think I’m going to just barely skid across the finish line on time if I stay on track. But regardless, I’m very happy my hard work has paid off in better health and a better self image. I’ve learned a lot about food, exercise, metabolism, and friendship this year. It’s been hard as heck but worth it.
  9. 82 points
    This could mean anything, right? In this case it was coming from DS5. DS5 is my youngest. He has, at minimum, a speech delay. He may or may not qualify for an ASD diagnosis. DD7 has one, but she barely qualifies and her speech delay was the biggest factor. He is much less delayed, in all areas than she ever has been, so I just don't know where he would fall. I feel like if I pushed FOR it he would qualify, if I pushed AGAINST it, he would not qualify. Regardless, I am well aware of his strengths and weeknesses and more. Today, he surprised me. Out of the blue, after he was totally ready for bed, jammies, teeth brushed, etc etc. He walked into the front room and said "Mommy, Daddy, I have somfing to tell you. Thank you. Thank you for helping me." Then, he came to me, climbed in my lap and said "Fank you. Fank you for helping me roller skate. I wuv you." And he hugged me and "smackered" me on the cheek. THEN, he got down, went to DH and crawled into his lap and said "Fank you, for helping me protect my sisters." Then, he got down and finished his chores. UM, HUH? I am like blubbering at this point lol. We continued with nighttime chores and bed time routine. THEN, while he was waiting for the toilet to be free for the "before bed, EVERYBODY go pee!" He climbed back into my lap and said "Fank you for being there for me." Like literally actually his words. I have no idea where these thank yous came from. So I will take them as sincere. They are just so far more than I ever expected out of my 5 yr old.
  10. 80 points
    Emma turned one month old yesterday and I've been meaning to share a photo, but I had exceeded my attachment size limit and only got around to deleting some old photos today. It worked out because dss just sent us this picture last night. We're a boy-heavy family with 2 sons and 2 grandsons, so we're all pretty excited to finally have a girl join the crew. She'll be the last grandchild until ds 21 has kids (if he does), and we hope that won't be any time soon! Emma has Down Syndrome. Fortunately thanks to positive changes, she'll have much better opportunities in life than if she was born even as recently as 10 or 20 years ago.
  11. 79 points
    Long story short, I ended up having a stat csection due to placental abruption during labor. I am still processing it all, but I am very grateful we're both here and headed home from the hospital today. He is insanely cute, a good nurser, and has the most delicious newborn smell.
  12. 76 points
    I was considering quitting but was convinced otherwise because many of you made me realize what a perfect situation I have in my job. Well, I kept it (of course) and started putting almost all of my paychecks into a separate savings account. I now have $10,000 which is enough money to pay off DH's car ???. So I am paying it off ❤️
  13. 71 points
    If you remember I started the thread saying I was considering doing childcare to bring in extra money. Well, I wound up responding to a Craigslist ad about an 88 year-old man that needs help with cleaning and food prep 3 days a week and I got the job. This is a much better situation for my family and I am very happy with it. Thank you for your ideas, encouragement and prayers.
  14. 70 points
    He has lost close to 40 pounds. He is thrilled and motivated. I am super happy for him and very very proud of him.
  15. 69 points
    Update! I had an ultrasound today and at 8 weeks they saw the flutter of a heartbeat so we are cautiously optimistic it will stick! ❤
  16. 69 points
    Caden is 3 today!!! He is a happy, healthy, absolute joy of a three year old. He’s showing some global delays, but that’s unsurprising considering his traumatic pregnancy and birth. Oh, and he’s really the cutest thing ever.
  17. 68 points
  18. 68 points
    I have been sitting on this news since June, unable to announce on social media (though I'm terrible at secrets and some of you know, and I've been dropping hints all over the place)--We are moving to Jerusalem in October! Back in March, as I did share, my husband was sent an email detailing an available position as Dean of St. George's College in Jerusalem. He interviewed in late May but, although one of two candidates, did not get the job. We were saddened and a little stunned, because so much about it seemed to be right, but I was also a bit relieved. My husband told me he had a feeling things were not "finished," and just to stay tuned. He said he had a picture in his mind of a ball on a pool table, aimed for one pocket, missing, and rolling allllll the way down to the corner pocket and going in. lol We are big on metaphors and such here. That's exactly what happened. 2 weeks after the rejection for the Dean's job, the Archbishop sent an email to my husband offering him the position of Chaplain to the Archbishop. It is a job on the cathedral/clergy side of things instead of the academic side. (The cathedral close houses the church, the college and the accomodations for the pilgrims.) He accepted, and we are currently getting ready. We fly out on the 15th. It should be interesting! My feelings are mixed, but I do feel this is right. Thanks for letting me share!
  19. 67 points
    Wanted to give a good update on my nearly 20 year old with ASD, ADHD, anxiety, etc. He's ithe one that I basically just handed a diploma too and we cut our losses 🙂 He's been working as a kennel technician at a vet office for a while now, and after a new owner took over was less and less happy. He was working fewer hours, having to work every weekend, having to go in early int he AM, then go back for the afternoon shift during the week so fewer hours but still taking up most of his day, etc. So, after a few conversations with me gently reminding him that if he's not happy to look elsewhere rather than quit or do a crap job and get fired, he applied for a veterinary assistant job at another clinic and got the job! He wrote out his updated resume all on his own, went out on his own and bought new dress pants and a dress shirt, interviewed, then did a working interview, and the manager said she wanted to hire him on the spot as her lead vet tech would never forgive her if she didn't - he was that great to work with 🙂 He's going to have a better job, a pay bump, better hours, and get to learn a ton in a much more organized, well run environment. And he did it all himself! He's also making more noises about going to college, so we shall see!!! I'm just so proud of him I could burst. Meanwhile, my ex in laws called about some paperwork pertaining to my late ex, and mentioned that they were upset with my son as he has only contacted them twice since his father died and he is all they have of him, etc. Well, yes, he should call them more, but he's a teen boy. With ASD for crying out loud! How about YOU call and offer to come up here and take him to lunch, or invite him to dinner, or something!! Or meet him halfway. Send him regular, non guilt inducing texts and messages and such. That kind of thing. This isn't easy for HIM either, and he's the kid! Turns out her husband is not doing well...he has parkinson's and has been in and out of the hospital with TIAs.'s hard on Michael to have to deal with that kind of medical stuff after his father. Maybe be understanding, and acknowledge that? sigh. My mom earlier offered to invite them to her house for lunch one day - she's halfway between their house and our house, so michael could see them and have her there as a go between, which I think may be the best thing. I'll talk to him about that. But I'm also not going to overburden him. Either way, he's doing well, and I wanted to share how proud of him I am!
  20. 67 points
    When I was into my homeschooling journey people told me over and over "You need another interest, you can't make your kids your whole life, what will you do when they are grown? How will you let them go after centering your whole life around them??" Years after homeschooling is over the answer is easy. Grandchildren. Grown children. I am blessed enough that our three boys live within 2 minutes or 20 minutes down the road, and our two daughters 90 minutes away. My "other interests" are things that include the kids. Horses, gardening, living on a farm. We have big family dinners once or twice a week for anyone who can make it. I have the grandkids as often as possible. I do things for the grown kids when they need me, whether it's help finding a lost kitty or cooking dinner for 20 people because you lost a poker game. I'm not trying to brag on myself, I just want to encourage young moms who center their lives around their family. Keep it up girls. There's nothing better. Relax and enjoy.
  21. 66 points
    I've been here a long time, and today, I just feel like calling out another long-time poster, Lori D. I go on a lot of the boards, but esp college and chat now. I frequently see these truly helpful, amazing posts by Lori D. She gives incredible lists of literature, movies and even games, tailored to people's requests for their children. She has a scholarship list and a list of schools that give 100% merit aid. She is, quite simply, one of the most useful sources of homeschooling info, and beyond. So I wanted to say, THANK YOU, LORI D, for all you do for us boardies. You bring light and cheer, information and peace, and you are just a wonderfully supportive member of this very special community.
  22. 66 points
    Your wish is my command! ? Initial pathology is very good. For those who like the technical details: Stage 1, Grade 1, ER+ and PR+, HER2-. For the layman: early, slow-growing, most common profile, 95% remission outlook. Still on the docket: sentinal lymph biopsy, MRI, genetic workup. Of these, the genetic workup is the slowest report and treatment partially hinges on that. That is a two-week-wait and it hasn’t been done yet. IF those workups don’t reveal unpleasant surprises, I can skate out of this with a lumpectomy and radiation. I’m hoping for this outcome; I do not want to go double mastectomy and reconstruction route unless the baddies lurking in my genes strongly suggest that route. Lots of appointments coming up! Feeling positive though and and SO relieved to hear the “slow-growing” and “early” parts of this report.
  23. 63 points
    Meet the newest hive member! She just missed having a 4th of July birthday by a few hours. She’s a little chunk at over 8 pounds!
  24. 62 points
    So, I have news!!!! (recap was I have friends, but no Catholic friends, and really no Christian friends, and my kids have no Christian friends, and I'd like to meet some, but the mom's group at Church said I couldn't bring the kids with me because they were too old) Anyway, I posted on a Florida Catholic Homeschool facebook with a question about a particular umbrella school and in one of the comments someone mentioned something their pastor said on Sunday. And MY pastor said that too, so I asked and yes, she goes to my parish. And then another mom piped up and said she does too. And then one of them messaged me and they have a small, informal group of 7 homeschool families that meet during the school year!!! And I am welcome to join. In fact, the mom that messaged me has kids exactly the ages of my two middle kids, and had just asked one of our priests to pray that she'd find more Catholic homeschool families and I posted the next day. ?
  25. 61 points
    Dh had to take a placement test for college. He did horrible in school and only took a few classes in college, and pretty much failed all of those too. He was bright but a late bloomer(and young for his grade), watching my son I think he is bright w/ some difficulties with writing. His parents never expected much or encouraged, so he's had this stuck in his head that he's not very smart. Well, he needed to place into Calculus- he only ever took Algebra 25 yrs ago, he scored into Trig, just 8 points shy of a score high enough for Calc. His score on Reading and math were high enough to get him a request to join the Honor's program. He totally bombed his writing, like his son that is his weakest subject and he didn't realize he would have to write an essay(the practice test was multiple choice) and totally messed up. So, I worked with him and he wrote essay after essay and retook the test today and made a 7 out of 8! Now, he just has to retake the math portion of the test to get into Calculus, which I have no doubt he will be able to do easily. He's so proud and I'm so happy for him to get some external validation. This is a huge step for him to have the guts to go back to school, to finally have the courage and confidence- I think his dad's passing was an impetus that life is short, he should just go for it. Who knows where this will lead but I think this a great thing for him and even better that his job is paying for nearly all of it (and he should get aid for the remainder).
  26. 60 points
    I was near the dairy case with cheeses when a young man said, “Excuse mom wants Parmesan cheese, but I don’t that the stuff you shake out of a can?” I chuckled and said, “Well, usually that’s what people mean here when they say Parmesan.” I pointed him towards the correct item. Then, he says, “...Also, what is *light* mayonnaise?” I said, “Well, probabaly just looks like Mayo but will say ‘Light’ on it. Like lower calories.” Then - the funniest yet - he said, “And also, my mom said ‘chicken’. What does she mean?? Aren’t there lots of kinds of chicken?” Lol! “Yeah,” I replied, “there’s lots of things she might mean by that....does she often bring home the fully cooked rotisserie chickens? They do have those here. But she might mean pieces, raw. Or breaded patties. Or a whole, raw chicken. You might need to ask...” 😂 I’m betting he just recently got his license and his mom was like, “awesome! Go get the groceries!” Poor thing had no idea...
  27. 60 points
    I love being a grandmother. It's totally living up to the hype and she couldn't be more perfect. This picture shows her on her quilt I made for her. I'm a very slow hand quilter so it took me over 200 hours just to hand stitch swirling hearts.
  28. 60 points
    I think people have the right to do as they want, but they don’t have the right to expect emergency personnel to risk their own lives to come save them when they choose to ignore mandatory evacuation orders.
  29. 59 points
    It's been a long haul, with two extended periods of absence-on-leave due to illness. He will graduate in three weeks. He is job searching - he has found one part-time gig already and has been invited to interview for a full-time position. Onwards and upwards. Very relieved.
  30. 58 points
    Talked to sis this morning. Going to get horse ASAP. Everything good.
  31. 58 points
    Last week my oldest ds's college called my dh and invited us to an awards ceremony at the school. They told him that ds would be receiving some kind of award but didn't tell dh what when he asked. I decided to drive the two hours and go to the ceremony and take ds out to dinner as we have not seen him this semester. The awards ceremony was mostly for graduating seniors and looking at the program we couldn't figure out what ds (a junior) would even be up for. Turns out they award a few scholarships to upcoming seniors that were not listed in the program. My ds won two of the four scholarships awarded! The first he was aware existed because he applied and interviewed for it. It was an endowed scholarship funded by the alumni association of the accounting department of the school. It is substantial and the letter he got explained that the alumni association stipulates the award be stacked and not reduce any other offers from the school. The other scholarship he didn't even know about and did not apply for. It was one of two endowed awards given to rising seniors who have demonstrated excellence in the classroom and in contributing to life on campus and in the community. He doesn't even know how much it is, but it seemed like a big deal! He has gotten smaller endowed scholarships from the school in the past without any notification or fanfare. They just showed up in his account. So, the assumption is this is substantial as well. He is anxious to get over to financial aid this morning and find out the details. Ds has paid for his own school. He got a good financial deal going in, then won a large scholarship from my dh's employer that the college allowed him to stack without reducing their aid. He has worked long hours at miserable jobs in the summers and taken a few loans (not even to the max of the federal limits) and taken pride in carrying the load of financing his education. He has scrimped and saved and lived in the oldest junkiest dorm to save money. Now, it looks like he has a full ride for his senior year. Tuition, housing, etc. everything should be covered. I am just so happy for him to get this sweet unexpected reward to go into his senior year for free. He already has a professional internship and a side hustle lined up for summer so he will make a good chunk of money and for once actually be able to keep it and not pay for his school. He has worked so hard and with such a great attitude. I am just so proud of him and happy for him. Ds introduced me to the husband/wife couple that presented the award. They are both accounting alumni and have worked in the "big four" accounting firms and are active in giving back to the school. The told me they are already working on getting him lined up for jobs and they both told me that he is graduating into a powerful alumni network and will always have a job. It was an obvious point of pride to them that they claim 100% job placement for accounting grads. My ds has already been to multiple recruiting events for one of the big four firms as well as smaller firms and banks in the city. Such a nice night for ds. He is bright and hard working but he isn't ever the smartest kid anywhere. He has never had a 4.0 and isn't even the top of his accounting class in GPA. But he works hard and is humble and a good leader. He's just a good kid. He could have gone to higher ranked schools or schools with more amenities but he went to tiny Oglethorpe University in Atlanta with a 76% admission rate. People in Atlanta usually have not even heard of it. LOL. He got a fantastic value, has had a nice experience, and it looks like he will actually have a job in the end. Another kid not ruined by homeschooling!
  32. 57 points
    Today was the first day of recitation for Intro Chem which is a required class. The instructor started pretty basic, and the kids behind ds in the class were making somewhat-loud, rude comments about the class being useless, and why did they bother to show up, etc. After class, two of them went up to the instructor and said to him "next time, why don't you just tell anyone who knows anything about chemistry to leave. This class just wasted my time. etc" He said it went on for at least a minute or two. DS waited for the kids to leave the class and went up to the instructor and said "Thanks so much for teaching this recitation. Looks like you have a pretty tough crowd here, but I appreciate you being here." The instructor then asks his name and they get to talking. DS has been working in a chemistry lab this summer and apparently they have been doing the same type of research in materials science and really hit it off. DS came home and called me to say not just how he couldn't believe how rude the kids were, but that he felt good about making the effort to fix it.
  33. 57 points
    Paint by numbers! I used to do them as a kid, but of course it was just the cartoony puppy or horses or whatever. But now I have discovered that they have some really beautiful options! The canvas it is printed on is high quality. I did buy my own paintbrushes as I read the ones that come with the kit can be cheap. For someone like me, who can't even draw a stick figure, this has been so much fun! I usually get a glass of wine and set up my audible book when I paint. It is so relaxing! Below is the one I am working on. Sorry the picture is so big. I don't know how to shrink it.
  34. 57 points
    Dh and I have spent most of yesterday and likely today rearranging and getting rid of crap. I’ve been slowly doing it all year but hitting it hard this weekend. Moving beds and furniture and going through every bit of clothing and toys and STUFF. Ugh. It’s frikken everywhere. Five black trash bags of boys clothing that isn’t used for whatever many reasons. If my youngest boy outgrew it, I’m no longer keeping it for any next kid. Same for baby girl. 42 pairs of boys shoes donated. Probably double those trash bags in stuff thrown away. Furniture I don’t want around anymore. I’m just tired of all the stuff that needs cleaned or put back or doesn’t quite work right so has that not really a big deal but always a minor irritation to deal with stuff. I’m not selling much, I just want it gone. So donations. A few things I might sell on FB. The children are disgruntled but not complaining too much. Dh is none too happy since he is tearing down beds and rearranging them in different rooms according to my requests. But whatever. It’s the first thing he’s done around the house in years bc normally I do literally everything house and kids and errand related. I’m going minimalist. Not because I care about being minimalist but because I’m just tired of dealing with it all and frankly I’d rather spend the money on a vacation. And because while I hope I live at least another 50 years, reality is I probably won’t and I for sure won’t take all this crap with me for most of it. It’s just stuff. It’s not important to me so I don’t want to spend energy and money and time on it. Anyone else spending this week jump starting new year goals and plans?
  35. 57 points
    It is so much fun! I had a lovely lunch today with @Penguin. She gets around and has met with other boardies on other continents, but I am privileged to have her living practically in my back yard. 😊 So here we are together today.
  36. 57 points
    Thanks to all for your support over the years. I just popped back in to answer a question on the chat board. While I'm here: Hobbes got into his first choice university. It was a bit of a drama because his results were not good enough to study English and French (his school was pretty rubbish at foreign languages) so he had to decide whether to try to go to another university for English/French or drop the French and go to his first choice. He did the latter and they let him in. I'm really happy - I don't think he has a good foundation in French and it would have been a struggle. He's been at university for a few weeks and seems to be doing well.
  37. 56 points
    Bear with me, and maybe this is a JAWM post, and I still have jumbled thoughts about this. Seems like there is a backlash against high-achieving kids. Over and over, I'm reading posts about "not all kids can achieve at the level that is recognized so we should not celebrate those achievements". I read one just yesterday and how it hurts a mom to see the MVP Award or the "breaks school record" award in freestyle, or the spelling bee champion, or whatever. Yeah, we should celebrate the kid with ASD who asked for juice in her cup, but can we also celebrate the kid that did break the record? I spent much of my last kids' high school years flying under the radar in our hs group because the only other mom with high achieving kids gave up and sent hers off to fancy boarding school back East. When moms would ask what my kids were up to (as they rarely came to things because they were off at the uni) I was expected to downplay what they were doing. I was castigated by a Scouting family because surely "T isn't actually taking the REAL SAT tomorrow as a 9th grader", Yeah, he was. Ran into a fellow awhile back that made it very plain that I was bragging when I said what ds was doing. No, I wasn't. Simply stating the fact of what he IS doing when I was asked. No, my kids aren't "lucky"--they've had a lot of adversity, but they've worked hard. Your kids are working hard too? So, let's celebrate that. Let's not denigrate the kid that is the National Marbles Champion (who knew there was even such a thing, but there is, and the kids work insanely hard to get it!). Let's ooh and aah over his crown (it IS pretty cool!) with pride of place on his mantel shelf. Kid is Concert Master? Yay! Let's quit acting like those kids who have achieved stuff have "pushy parents" and "well, MY kid could have done that if I'd paid for it", etc. Let's celebrate ALL achievements, whether it's getting through the grocery store w/o a meltdown or playing at Carnegie Hall!
  38. 56 points
    DD was launched yesterday. She went from our home in Cali, Colombia; via a connection in Fort Lauderdale, to the Raleigh-Durham International airport and to her dorm at UNC in Chapel Hill. She was able to check into her dorm in advance of the normal check-in day and is OK. With the exception that she couldn't get the Red Pocket Mobile cell phone service activated while waiting in FLL for the second flight, everything went extremely well. She got the cell phone service to work this morning. I was very impressed with the Spirit Airlines Check-In process in the Cali airport. Their Check-In process was about as good as it can possibly be. When we made the reservation (early in April which is much farther in advance of when I usually book, which is 30-90 days ahead of departure) we paid for a Carry-On bag and also for one checked bag. About a week before the trip, she realized that the Carry-On bag was going to be an issue, during her very long layover (6 hours) in FLL. Like if she went into the restroom, where would she put her Carry-On bag, because she also had a personal item, which was her backpack, with 2 Tablets and lots of important things? The decision was made to check the Carry-On bag, as a 2nd checked suitcase. We had to pay $23.80 USD extra, which I believe was for excess weight. The 2 checked bags weighed 30 Kilos which is 66 pounds. We had also paid extra for "Big Front Seats" on both flights, which makes the experience of going on Spirit Airlines much more enjoyable than their normal seats. Thankfully, with the Internet, and the cell phone service, we can communicate with her and being "Empty Nesters" will be easier. WhatsApp, etc.
  39. 56 points
    I got an email from Greta this week...she's been battling an infection, which is difficult when you are already undergoing cancer treatments, so recovery is slow and energy is low. Still, I sense strength through fatigue. She was moved to know of so many messages and of the continued caring people have for her. :0)
  40. 55 points
    Update Nov 12: It's been a couple of weeks since finishing TMS treatments and so far the improvement has been sustained. Yesterday dh had the day off work; instead of spending most of the day in bed as he would have done in the past he helped fold laundry and then took the kids to the aquarium. And stopped for groceries on the way home. He's been reading The Hobbit to the kids in the evening, listening to him makes me so happy. *Original post* I know there are others here who either struggle themselves or have family members who struggle with depression, posting this in the hopes it may be helpful to someone. My dh has dealt with anxiety and depression his entire adult life, he's been to a lot of doctors and therapists unfortunately he falls into that group of people who never have really achieved remission. In August he started treatments using deep TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation); insurance authorized 36 treatments and he isn't finished yet but I am extremely encouraged by the progress he has made. For years he has basically come home from work (when he could drag himself out of bed to get there in the first place) and gone straight to bed. I have seen some significant improvement since he started TMS treatment. He has started spending more time with the family in the evenings, especially reading to the younger kids. He isn't on edge and irritable. The other day he come home and sat down to tell me animatedly about his day and about a book on management he had been reading; usually the only response I get to "how was your day" is "it was long". He has also been listening to an audiobook in the car about raising emotionally intelligent children on the way to and from his treatments and he tells me about that (and is clearly making an effort to put it into practice). He is smiling a lot more often. Basically, he is acting like a human with a fully functional brain. TMS is intensive and I don't know how long the effects will last, but we have been searching for effective treatment for years and this is by far the best results we have seen.
  41. 55 points
    So, in another thread, I babbled about fulfilling one of my personal goals for the year (having a couple of pieces of visual art I made accepted for an exhibition happening this weekend). Meanwhile, my daughter -- who has been juggling multiple part-time jobs since moving to Brooklyn almost four years ago in order to (more or less) make her rent and (come close to) paying (most of) her bills -- interviewed for a full-time job last week. Within just a couple of days, she got a message l(etting her know that they had gone with another candidate, but wanted her to come in and interview for a different, higher-level position doing the thing she had said during the first interview that she'd like to eventually grow into doing. She did the second interview on Thursday and got a call that same afternoon telling her she would receive an offer letter e-mail by close of business today. She received the official offer a couple of hours ago, and it involves almost doubling the combined income she has managed to scrape together in each of the previous few years, medical, dental and unlimited paid time off. They also have flexible hours and have already promised they will accommodate her schedule when she begins grad school this fall. It's not exactly the kind of work she hopes to do in the long term, but it has her working for a company that does work she appreciates, with people she likes and admires, and the salary and schedule should make the next three years of part-time school a whole lot more manageable and comfortable for her. It's a fantastic surprise, and I'm so grateful and happy for her I could just cry.
  42. 54 points
    Are you homeschooling or b&m schooling? I'll tell you my story and you can take it fwiw. Honestly, the "good time to fail" around 6th grade is the exact thing the PS told all of us parents and I can tell you that they were dead wrong. 6th graders are still very much children with a ton of other brain fog going on thanks to hormones. They aren't mini adults, or mini high schoolers. They told us if we didn't let them fail that they'd never be able to handle high school, much less college. It was so ridiculous in hindsight. Had I known then what i know now I would have taken the Failure Speaker to task on the spot. But we all sat around and let our kids fail because the school told us that's what we were supposed to do as good parents. Do you know what failure tends to do to 6th graders? It tends to roll into despair and apathy. Not, "let me pull myself up by my bootstraps and show them they're wrong! I'm not a failure!"(And that's NT kids that aren't dealing with ADHD on top of it.) In my experience, if you have a 6th grader who is failing school projects it means you aren't providing enough scaffolding. I'm not saying they don't need to take responsibility for some things, but a kid who is failing despite scaffolding clearly doesn't have enough of it. Yanking more away isn't going to solve anything.
  43. 54 points
    So my CA ID expired on my birthday at the beginning of July. CA is attempting to align its standards with TSA standards by 2020, so you can either renew the easy way & go in to the DMV with your old ID and get a new one that will not be TSA compliant by 2020, or you can renew the hard way and go in to the DMV with a stack of documents that ID you as you and get what is called a REAL CA ID. I decided to get a REAL CA ID, so I looked at the list and gathered my birth certificate, my SS card, a bill in my name that shows my current address (this was difficult,) my expires in 3 days old ID & off to the DMV I went. Apparently if you are a married woman you can not get a REAL CA ID without a certified copy of your marriage license even if you didn't change your last name. After 3 hours at the DMV I got to go home. At home I couldn't find a copy of my marriage license anywhere. Not in the fire safe with the other documents or the file cabinet with the copies. I went online to the website of the county recorder's office, I downloaded the official form, took it to a notary to be notarized (did you know your license is expired, Ma'am?) and sent it off with a check and a self-addressed stamped envelope. Three weeks later I received (in my self-addressed stamped envelope) a letter which explained that no record of my marriage or my having applied for a marriage license could be found in the year that I claimed to have been married. They would be keeping my payment because they tried. Because I indicated that I had been married in a different county, perhaps I should try that county. I went to a different website for a different county recorder's office, downloaded the form, took it to the notary who looked at me with suspicion. Why did I need another copy of a marriage license from a different county? Why am I trying to get multiple marriage licenses with an expired ID? Again with the self-addressed stamped envelope and check payment. 5 weeks later I received a call from that county because they also have no record of my marriage. The lovely person I spoke to is someone with whom I attended high school. She informed me that she looked in the month before and after the date I put on the form, but she just couldn't find it. She told me she found all 3 of my sister's (not sisters') marriage licenses, but not mine, which was so strange because she thinks that her cousin was at my wedding, or at least at the reception. She remembers that I got married to that boy I was dating in high school, right? The one on the football team? And am I still married to him? She asked me who was responsible for turning in the paperwork after I got married. I told her it was my mom. She told me I should ask her if she hand carried it to the recorder's office in the county where I got married or if she mailed it to the county where I was living at the time. I told her that would be difficult because my mom is deceased. She blessed my heart and let me know that the county would be keeping my check because the payment is for the search and by golly she had searched. I was at a loss. I started having dreams where my Dad called me to say, "So we finally moved the furniture out of the bedroom and you'll never guess what we found in a big white envelope behind your mom's nightstand!" Maybe I wasn't even married. Maybe these past 28 years of "married filing jointly" taxes have been a lie. What now? Should Dh & I have a re-commitment ceremony? I think I have seen this sitcom. Four months after my ID expired, I received a letter from the county I started with, saying a clerical error in the spelling of my married last name at the time of the search caused my record to not come up on the computer, but now it has been found and if I would like to submit another notarized form and payment I can get a copy. Maybe I will find a different notary..... Amber in SJ
  44. 53 points
    I posted awhile back about my decisions to stop being a grumpy Christmas lady. Umm. Something weird is happening. I bought a tree the Monday after Thanksgiving. In the past, I'd always waited because we do a real tree and that's a long time to keep it alive. That meant that in the two weeks before Christmas, when we have 2 birthdays, I was also trying to shop, celebrate birthdays, and buy and decorate a tree. So I thought if I get it done early, maybe it wouldn't be so bad. So I bought the tree and put it up in the sun room (this makes me happy because it's not hogging up major space in the corner of my living room. ) We took our time decorating the tree. It's a big tree and it took 3 days to finish but that's okay. We worked a little at a time. I found Christmas music that I didn't hate before Thanksgiving. This is big. It includes lots of Pentatonix, and Piano guys. Instrumental is good. I also prefer Christmas music about the religious aspects over other more cultural celebrations. No I do not want to Rock around the Christmas tree, nor do I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas. I figured out several nice gifts for my dh. I also found some simple gifts for my dad and brother. Each year, I stress out looking for the PERFECT gift when I just need to find something nice that says I thought of you. My kids are NOT IN THE HANDBELL CHOIR this year. I had no idea how running back and forth to rehearsals and performances was sapping my joy. I also declined to participate in our church Christmas program. The last few months have had some major stressors (not related to holidays) and I just don't have the energy for it. All that to say, I'm not dreading the holidays. At least not entirely. Yes, there are still aspects that I won't enjoy, but I'm digging deep to find joy in some stuff. So yesterday, it was icy and cold since we got some freezing rain. We were looking out the window at the ice and it began snowing, large fluffy flakes. I said. "Oh look! Snow. How pretty!" My dd looked at me and I clapped a hand over my mouth. I said. "What just came out of my mouth!" Dd said "You don't sound like yourself. What in the world? What's the matter with you?" So my Joyful Christmas Project is doing something. Strange things are happening around here.
  45. 53 points
    My sister completed a triathlon today. Her first. She places something like 275 out of 315. My BIL has a condition called polycyththemia. Basically, too many red blood cells. His is a rare form related to cancer that, as I understand it, has no cure, but can be chronically managed with treatments and healthy living (Basically, blood draws as needed and meds for vitamin deficincies as a basic healthy diet that includes healthy foods, little to no alkie and no smoking...) BIL was a smoker. It took years after he was diagnosed for her to get him to quit smoking. Beyond that, she started a garden. My mother and I have been gardening for years now, we have been encouraging her to do so but only in the last few years has she started. Before the diagnosis........she would NEVER garden. Now that he's stopped smoking....she's getting more and more into walking/running activities. And although it's good for her, the reality is that he WON'T exercise for himself. At all. BUT, she asked him to help her train for this triathlon. And he did. I could share all sorts of stories about "honest bob's personal training' and 'eagle attacks' and a bunch of other inside jokes. BUT...all those inside jokes aside, the ultimate result is that he was walking with her, biking with her, to "help her train" And the end result is, he is healthier. His condition requires less treatment. She completed the triathlon. He might have added another year or two or five.
  46. 52 points
    I can't believe our little rainbow baby is three months old already! He is the sweetest. He has recently started giggling at us, and he shoves burp cloths into his mouth. We adore him so, so much. Mr. Five cannot get enough of him. A thousand times a day, he comes up to say, "I love this baby too, too much. I need this baby. Let me hold the baby." A few weeks ago, he told me, "This is the baby I always wanted." Baby gets covered with a lot of kisses. (And in true Mr. Five fashion, he still very often reminds us out of the blue that he is a double big brother.) It is such a beautiful gift to have him and to be able to pick him up and cuddle him whenever I want. His little face smiling at me in the morning lights my world.
  47. 52 points
    ...and there was a "+" sign. I am not ready to tell anybody in real life about this (other than DH obviously) and even if I did I wouldn't get the info I need because I know precisely one person ever who has had a baby after age 45. We definitely weren't trying to get pregnant, but I figured my fertility is not what it used to be and I'm getting to the age where I am just. so. over. condoms. and so we weren't exactly being careful either. I am so so so excited ? and also so so so terrified ? I know some of you have been in this situation, so please tell me this baby will keep me young, not make me old!!! ETA: Oh yeah, and oldest DS starts college tomorrow
  48. 52 points
    Last night, I helped ds24 pack up his car for his cross-country move. This morning, we said our good-byes and wished him well as he sets off for his grown up adventures ... entering his PhD program at UConn! It is has been a journey. It took 2 years to find a program that would take him. In that time, though, he was able to work, buy a car, and leave with money in the bank so he'll be able to buy a bed and necessary furniture. He is actually going to be a grown up. I'll be booking plane tickets to see him for his birthday in October.
  49. 51 points
    The long awaited update. I am sorry it has taken so long. It took until late this evening to get full resolution. Long Story Short: Homeschool Group lady approached facility as she has in past years. She signed a contract for an event BUT was not able to guarantee enough people to meet the facility cost. Facility decided to make a homeschool day and invite multiple groups to make it worth their while. Apparently Homeschool group lady was either A) unaware of this at all or B) wanted to dictate exactly what groups were invited. We originally chose to move to another day but at the end we WILL be attending on Homeschool Day and if the other group has issues with it, they were going to be given the choice to A)attend, B) move to a different day C) not come at all. The facility has been fantastic and accommodating. I wish I could say the same for some of my group members, but unfortunately, you can't always win them all over.
  50. 50 points
    My granddaughter Emma turned one year old yesterday. She has been doing amazingly well since her heart surgery at 5 months. Just like everyone said, once that was fixed she went about the business of being a baby and reaching milestones. She doesn't crawl yet but is trying (and she rolls over). She babbles. She receives both physical and occupational therapy, and is finally starting to take some solid food. She also communicates in her way. She opens her arms wide when she wants to be picked up, and she lets her brothers know when she's enjoying their antics and when to back off.
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