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Everything posted by desertstrawberry5

  1. A pillow, for sure. I ordered two for me and D. I don't know what F got me, if anything. He went shopping without me, but I don't know what he got or where he went besides toys r us. We usually don't have gifts for grownups, but this year we are. I took the kids out today to shop for daddy, because it's good for them and i need the help. We are also doing a thing where everyone makes a list for someone else, instead of a wishlist for themselves. So everyone is going to be surprised.
  2. Our favorites are popcorn, and trail mixes-both sweet and savory, especially with extra nuts thrown in.
  3. Home Again, I guess your options are to keep it, enjoy it, and carry on exactly as you would without the gift. Give it no credit beyond a simple thank you and that's that. If that's not something you are comfortable with, donate it to a family that could use it. I'm sure there is a needy and deserving family who would absolutely love to have it. I understand the awkward gifts. I have a box of gifts, still wrapped in my closet. It's from someone we have no contact with and came with a long, horrible letter. It's been there for at least a year. I want to drop the whole box in the donation box, but D isn't ready yet. Oh and if you are up for it, regift the toy and tell the giver that it was too big a gift, but this other family loves it ! Thanks for making that possible! Scout, you can have all the pie.
  4. all of this as well as the family counselling recommendation is not a judgement on your parenting ability. You are absolutely right that blending a family is hard. Parenting teens is hard. Parenting teens who entered your life late is hard. Coparenting is hard, especially when everyone is not on the same page. Family counselling is specifically for these issues. It does not mean you are dysfunctional. It means you could use a little help doing something that is hard. Same with the specialist. Most of the US population is overweight/obese. If it were easy, it would not be a problem for so many people. If you have done everything you can for this kid, and you are worried about his health, if nothing is working, then it's time to ask for extra help. This is a sensitive topic for a lot of people. If it's super easy and you've never once had to think about an extra pound, god bless you. That sounds amazing. It's a lovely problem to not have. But that puts you in the minority. I don't think you've been treated fairly by everyone here. Because this is a hot topic for most people, even if not for you.
  5. Good morning. I haven't been around much but I ave some because... My three middle boys are at winter camp today. They didn't make it yesterday because they didn't get ready in time. They skimmed by today. I'm considering this an exercise in self-discipline because I have been nagging and they have been ignoring for such a long time, and it always ends in me yelling and feeling terrible. Their daddy has been hurrying them along. But I don't say a word. They know what needs to be done. they can choose to do it or not. Luna's home teacher will be here in 5 minutes. I took a loooong bath, dressed, mopped and I just finished lunch of cheese and crackers and crab-coconut-sweet potato soup. It was quiet and divine. We have been doing a little shopping here and there, but we are buying all of the boys new bikes, so that has to be done while they are away. D is supposed to be cleaning out the shed so we have somewhere to hide them, but I don't think he's started yet. I have D's gifts already, though I will probably pick up one more thing if i can. I don't like pie. Thanks, but no thanks.
  6. Going on outings with my husband. We have not done this with kids in years, and without kids in many years.
  7. I haven't chosen a word for the last few years. I have been frustrated and directionless. My word is Home. We have been busy, on-the-go, work, work, work. I'm chronically exhausted and burnt out. My children are untrained savages. I have already decided that we need to stay home more. I am cutting our most of our activities. Our house is reasonably well out together. I am purchasing furnishings and establishing routines. We will spend the next year feathering our nest, and getting cozy together â¤.
  8. We are 7 in 1100 sq ft. We do keep a minimalist house. Except for Luna, who has a bit more of everything, we each have a capsule type wardrobe-tops and leggings for me, athletic pants or shorts and t shirts for boys, golf shirts and button downs with jeans or shorts for D. 5-10 outfits each. The little boys share clothes, so half as much storage for them. We each have 1-2 pairs of shoes. Boys have a couple of hoodies for cooler weather. We live in a warm place, so no winter gear. Everyone has a shoe hanger in their room to store shoes and small items. Clothes are stored in bins in shelves. No dressers. Our kitchen is full of shelving. Lots of storage, no extra dishes. Just what we need. Limited toys. I purge frequently and limit what comes in. We have no grandparents, do not have gifting birthday parties, and do not partake of holiday gift exchanges (outside of our immediate family), so there are no gifts coming into the house. We store off season clothes, and holiday decor, in underbed boxes. When the box is full, we don't get more or donate some. I don't store extra clothes or between sizes. If it can't be used immediately or very soon, away it goes. We buy used, so replacing is not a huge deal. I have a bag or two of donations pretty much continuously. I use lots of hanging organizer thingies for things like scarves, socks, shoes, water bottles and sippy cups, jewelry, hair bows. I built a kitchen table and benches that can store baskets underneath for small kitchen items like bibs, towels, aluminum foil, trash bags and such. Declutter. Keep only what you need. Make a place for everything. Teach your kids to put things where they go.
  9. You have already gotten a lot of advice. I just have one thing. Talking to both of my older boys about this stage of life, hormones effecting growth and maturity, and assuring them that this irritability is normal and theirs to cope with really helped a lot. Especially my oldest really believed that his little brothers had suddenly become extremely obnoxious. finding out that that's not the case and that it's ok to feel that way was a relief to him.
  10. Sleep deprivation will make you so angry and bitter like nothing else. I still am angry with D occasionally when he sleeps late and I'm up with a screamy kid. That doesn't happen a lot these days, but when it does, it hurts so much. I remember when my second was a toddler, I just sat on the sofa and wept while D was leaving for work. I was so tired, I just couldn't deal. I agree with everyone else. If there is any possible way, find some time to get a break. It really is necessary. Your brain needs a rest.
  11. Luna wears these adorable undies. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014SL6X7U/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01EDQ8PUI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I had planned to use cute boy boxer shorts like these that I have for my boys, but she was too small, the above undies contain messes better, and they are just so darned cute. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MCV7NRI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NBJBTMR/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  12. B was 12. He's a ginger, so it's still not dark, but he does shave almost daily now at almost 15. J is 11.5 and he is still baby smooth. We'll see.
  13. I have super dry, big, wavy hair. it looks great when I wake up in the morning. I don't use any product. I rarely shampoo. Just rinse with water most days, and conditioner when it feels dry or frizzy. I wear my hair pulled back, pinned up or in a scarf. It looks good, but it gets in my way. I believe we get into a cycle. Heat treatments, chemical treatments, commercial moisturizers, shampoos, styling products are bad for our hair. The more damage and build up in our hair, the worse it looks, the more we do to it. I would no way heat style my hair every day. That's a one way ticket to split ends and frizz. Straightened hair is the hardest style to maintain. Of course it looks bad the next day. It's trying desperately to return to its natural state. My advice is to look into some styles that your hair will wear well, stop abusing it, and let it be healthy and happy.
  14. family of 7, Dodge Grand Caravan. We have wanted to upgrade to something ;larger for some years, but it hasn't worked out for us. I'm short, I'm not a great driver to handle a large vehicle, and they are so expensive.
  15. Established Middle Class. I don't have a social circle here outside of my family. My family is much better off than we are (and better off than most Americans), so I think my association with them raised my class several notches. If we had done this a couple of years ago, we would have surely been precariate.
  16. I'm sitting here right now. It's pretty nice, but getting into the bench is a bit cumbersome because of the table legs touching the benches. It does smell like fresh wood. That's nice. There are baskets under the bench. I'll get more baskets for the other benches, too. This giant table feels luxurious. The benches are super solid. Tori has been climbing all over them. It's great. I have everything to finish the benches in the car. I'll be done tonight or tomorrow. Keep an eye on my Instagram for updates.
  17. Say the word back to her-not correcting, just responding-with heavy empashasis on the missing sound. "SSSSam?" "Sssschool?"
  18. https://www.instagram.com/strawberrieskye/ Second Third picture. (I'm posting another now of my new, little desk). I need to build a 6 ft bench for the front as you see it here, and a two foot bench for the back. I'll do it tomorrow if D will let me. Then paint the cinderblocks green.
  19. We have 7 people and a small dog in 1100 sq ft, 3 bedroom cabin. The first and most important thing is to declutter. Go through each room and choose out the things you can't live without. Add in the things you use and want to keep. Donate everything else. The less stuff you have, the less stuff you have to make room for. The next thing is to create storage for the stuff you do have. We have lots of shelves, storage boxes, baskets, etc. Use the wasted space. Drawers under the beds, baskets under the benches in the dining room, use the space in the closets. We have large industrial type shelving and clear storage boxes all over the house. It's not pretty (D picked the shelves. I would have chosen prettier ones), But it's effective. We can fit a lot of stuff in there. I actually have a lot of unused storage space. Think outside the box (or dresser). Our kids have never had a dresser. We use open shelves and/or storage boxes instead. It's tidier, easier for the kids to maintain, less work for me. less expensive and take up less space. We have no doors on our bedroom closets. The boys have shoe pockets and coat hooks hanging on their bunk beds. I'm building a dining set this weekend to perfectly fit in our dining room and maximize our space. It's an odd shape, so I'm building a bench across a second doorway that will double as an entryway bench. I'm going today to buy a second dining table to match the first. It will double our space. We will live around that table. The bigger, the better. I might even add a cozy chair for homeschooling in that room. My desk will be a small dining table with an upholstered arm chair that doubles as comfy seating. the toys are stacked in boxes in shelves. use vertical storage anywhere you can. As much as possible give everything a second purpose. Make every piece work extra hard.
  20. I have a few extras because some of these will be lunches. Cabbage, kale, & carrot soup Sausage Alfredo pasta Green curry with sweet potato, spinach, squash, stir fried noodles and fried rice Spaghetti and meatballs Japanese spaghetti pierogies w veggie burger, onions, and peppers fish sticks, french fries, and sticky sesame zucchini dirty rice, baked beans, abd potatoes augratin vegan spare ribs, kale and rice vegan korean bbq, zoodles and rice.
  21. Soooo much less. Life has bitten me in the ass too many times. I'm all out of self-righteousness. I am much more loving to everyone I encounter. I like that much better. Love is better.
  22. If that's what your child needs, then do it. It's better to do less and take the time to really deeply learn it than to plow through too much.
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