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Amy Gen

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  1. Wellbutrin is not a SSRI. It is a dopamine/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor which works very well for some people in combination with a SSRI.
  2. Since the Lexapro is working for me, if I have issues like weight gain or lack of motivation, my doctor wouldn’t take me off of Lexapro. He would just add Wellbutrin to help balance it without losing the positive benefits. Since you know you are dealing with depression, my uneducated guess is that your weight loss struggles are being sabotaged by the depression. I have some PTSD from medical trauma, but my psychiatrist assures me that I can get better and they won’t stop tweaking what needs to be done until I am better. That reassurance helped me not feel so fatalistic about everything. I definitely feel like it is not too late.
  3. I can only tell you about my own experience. I know how to lose weight and have done it before successfully, but in the last few years, I just don’t do it. As a cancer patient, my doctors are happy when my weight is stable, but I still would benefit from losing 30 lbs or so. I’m having repairs done on both of my knees, so less weight on them would help me. Also, I think that being thinner would make physical therapy easier for me, and that is going to be the crucial part of making my knee surgeries successful. So I wake up telling myself that I will stay on my eating plan, and I fall off of it by evening. For years. About a month ago, I started seeing a psychiatrist for my anxiety. He diagnosed a depression that I didn’t recognize at first because it doesn’t manifest how I thought depression would. He put me on lexapro to start out because it has been helpful for my son and my doctor believes our issues are genetic. He assured me that we would make adjustments if I gained weight on it because many people do. Imagine my surprise when I started the medication and sticking to my eating plan is suddenly no problem at all. I’m in bed, recovering from surgery, so I can not possibly be any less active than I am now, yet, I am losing weight every week. I’m tracking my food so I make sure I’m getting enough calories. It isn’t as though the medication is killing my appetite. I get hungry and enjoy my food, but it is easy to stop when I’m full. So if you keep trying and find that you can’t follow through with your best intentions, it might be time to see if their is an underlying issue making it more difficult to succeed.
  4. Each kid can be so different, can’t they. It is tricky figuring out what works for one, then finding out another kid needs something completely different. In talking to my friend about this last night, I remembered when my middle daughter was having a depressive episode around 15 years old. She could not get off the computer and finally ended up lying to her dad about it. I took away all screens for 18 months. She had to do her outsourced class papers on notebook paper. The only exception was watching a movie in the living room with the family. Her friends told me they were so relieved that I did that because they had been worried about her. It was a really good reset for her. She was much happier and was able to manage her screen time better after the 18 months were over. She is 22 now, and not living at home, but I have noticed that when her mental health is tanking, she is on her phone much more. I may suggest to her that she keep track of her screen time, and when she sees a sharp uptick, she talk to her doctor about a med adjustment.
  5. My teen doesn’t have social media, but I’m sure she is still using her phone to text friends who are up late after her own bedtime. I will probably watch The Social Dilemma with both of my girls so that they understand what their friends are going through. My 11 year old has a friend with depression who tells her, “I would die if I didn’t have TikTok.” My daughter isn’t as sympathetic as she could be, so understanding the draw could be helpful. My 15 year old’s best friend got Instagram for her birthday. Soon after, we all attended a really perfect party and went to her house afterwards. She got on her phone and was immediately deflated seeing pictures of school friends getting together without her. Then the boy that she likes told his mom that she is headed down a bad path and is on Instagram until 2:00 am. I know that her parents think she is just doing homework. I will suggest to them that they can make Instagram unavailable on her phone after 10:00 pm, but it will be a hard sell because they could never imagine that she would ever break a rule. I’m not going to rat her out. That is why I am going to approach them by telling them, how I have made a change that has helped my own Dd get more sleep, and they might consider it for their own daughter. Obviously, I realize that living at home is the appropriate time to learn self discipline how to self monitor. I have graduated 3 kids already and have seen first hand the issues that their friends have who have not learned this before leaving home. I did have my own teen charge her phone in the kitchen last night. She is a day behind on her school work this week, and has not been giving me the best attitude. I just told her that she hasn’t been doing what I need her to do, so maybe getting more sleep will help. Clearly, this will not be how we handle phones in bedrooms until the day she moves into the dorm. We will reassess when she is back to getting all of her work done on time and not being so grumpy when I remind her to do her chores. Her dream gaming PC is being shipped now, so it is good timing to give her a reminder about what our expectations are. I predict that I will have the most cheerful helpful child today.
  6. So I just had a talk with one of my friends and she told me that her son is worried about my 15 year old’s best friend because she is on social media until 2:00 am. Her parents just gave her Instagram for her birthday, a few months ago. They think her school load is so heavy that she is doing homework all night. He told his mom that nothing good happened after 10:00 pm and to please tell the other parents about Gryphon parental controls. I told my friend that I could set up my daughter’s phone and computer to turn off at 10:00pm and then casually mention how well it was working to best friend’s parents and then none of us would be ratting anyone out. So I looked up Gryphon and it is a couple of hundred dollars on Amazon. I can’t just turn off the router, because my son is 25 and has insomnia. He needs WiFi at night. My daughter doesn’t have social media, but I bet she would have a much better attitude when we are homeschooling, if her phone stopped working at bedtime. I’m trying to figure out if Gryphon shuts off their ability to just use cell service. Buying a whole new router seems like overkill, and it has pretty bad reviews on Amazon. My friends have Life360 on their kids phones, but my kid said, “That is way too intrusive.” So I took it off, and she is with me 21 hours a day anyway. I’m just trying to think if there is a good way to make sure she can’t be on her phone or desktop at night. My 11 year old has a phone and iPad, so I would put it on hers too, even though a good book is the only thing that ever tempts her to stay up late. Is there an easier way to make sure they are actually going to sleep at night?
  7. My oldest had 1.5 years in private school, .5 years in public school, and was homeschooled the rest of the time until she started college. She is so unique, she never would have fit into any peer aged social group. She is 27 now and her friends are in their 50s-70s. Her roommate is older than I am, but they are super compatible. My 15 year old has never been to school, and she is the queen bee of her friend group. Even my friends tell me that she is who they dreamt of being when they were teenagers with her brand name clothes and unshakable confidence. I have no idea how she always knows what is “on trend”. She doesn’t have any social media. I said that I would consider Instagram for her 15th birthday. She said, “Oh, I don’t care about that!” She just has it factor, even though she has never been to school. She just had a “ctottagecore” picnic for her birthday. I didn’t even know what that was. She lent her friends clothes that were in keeping with the theme so they could take pictures to post on their Instas. Oh, and the party couldn’t start until 5:00 pm because that is golden hour and you need the right light for the photos. I have no idea how she knows what all of the other kids will get excited about, but she does. My 11 year old is a little more of a non conformist, but she is also the most popular kid in her friend group. When she gets her hair cut a certain way, every other girl gets the same hair cut the following week. Whatever she decides is cool, they all think is cool. She is just a natural leader. I think it comes down to personality because my oldest who spent more time in school than any of my kids will never be like her peers, but my youngest girls are much more socially confident than their friends who go to private and public schools. A kid is going to be who a kid is going to be.
  8. Here are some of the things that I think influence regret of lack thereof. I didn’t get married until I was 25 and had finished college and worked for a few years. I didn’t have my first child until I was 27 and I had my last at 43. I had the aptitude for law school, but knew that I wanted to stay home with my children so I went into education instead so that if I ever needed to work, I could still spend afternoons, vacations and summers with them. What I’m trying to say is that I never had a vision or goal of me being some kind of high powered career woman that I had to let go of. Other than the messy house, I am really living the life I wanted most. Also, in terms of making a difference in the world, I don’t think that needs to be just through a job. I get a lot of appreciation from friends and from my kids’ friends about just being there for them to listen to their problems and to lend a hand when I can. That kind of service would be much more difficult if I was working outside the home. My husband is very supportive and puts absolutely no expectations on me, so I have someone to lean on who isn’t all up in my business telling me what I could be doing differently. Also, aside from this past year when we were getting our house in Texas ready to sell, we have had enough money for all of our needs and many of our wants. It is much more fun to stay home with kids when you can give yourselves treats, and don’t have that heavy financial dread hanging over you. And finally, it just happens that my youngest 2 kids are pretty extroverted, but they are in a sport where they see their friends every day all year long and have parties or events every weekend. So they get the social rewards of school without actually having to go to school. All this is to say that I don’t think not having regrets means that a mom is more selfless or a better homeschooler or more evolved or superior. I think it comes down to circumstances and a whole lot of those circumstances are pure luck. P.S. I have to address early education as being lame, because that is my passion. I remember once, in a job interview, the principal asked why someone as clearly intelligent as I am would want to teach Kindergarten. I told her that very few jobs can offer me the challenge of teaching complex concepts to children who can take in no written information and very little verbal instructions. Also I feel like one good preschool or kindergarten experience can set a kid on the right path all the way through their educational journey. For me, teaching young kids takes every bit of my flexibility and problem solving skills. But I get that it isn’t thrilling for everyone. LOL
  9. I always say that spoiled is how you act, not what you have. Because of Covid, the swim team couldn’t have our big Halloween party last year. As a consolation prize, I set up a table and was giving out brown paper bags with treats like microwave popcorn and pop tarts and junk like that. There was a new teenager on the team. He was so shocked that I had a bag for him even though it was something like his second day. He was so appreciative and so grateful, and just so opposite of entitled. I decided right then and there I was going to make friends with that family. It turns out he goes to a private high school that costs more than many colleges. His mom drives a Tesla with the butterfly doors and they are having a new house built on their 53 acres. Somehow they have still been able to raise amazing, humble, generous kids. I think it is their role modeling. His mom is delivering dinner to me tonight. I had to remind her that I’m not friends with her just because she is a chef but because I fell in love with the way she has raised her children
  10. I don’t regret my 20 plus years homeschooling or my years staying home with babies before that. I planned a life that I wanted for myself and my family, and I’m proud of myself that I was actually able to build it. I figure that I’ve given up over a million dollars in salary homeschooling, but I wouldn’t trade it, because I got what I expected out of it in terms of closeness, and influence over their educations. I never expected it to be easy or to have my kids and peers appreciate the job I do. My husband was at the pool yesterday and the other moms were complaining about how unhealthy it is that their kids get up and swim and then go to school, then swim again, then stay up all night doing homework. He told me, “I didn’t tell them that there is an alternative.” Our teen gets up, eats breakfast, swims, eats second breakfast, puts back on comfy clothes and takes a nap, does school work with her private tutor (mom), swims again, eats dinner, plays games with her sisters and goes to bed at 10:00. That is worth a million dollars to me. That said, since Dh is now permanently working from home, I do plan to go back to work in the spring or summer. And the kids will continue homeschooling. Part of my plan is getting some surgeries done, which is actually good practice for Dh and the kids since I will be bedbound for a few months. My girls found a private university that they want to attend and that I feel like will be a perfect continuation of their homeschool studies. They may get merit aid, but I don’t want the stress of any of us wondering if we can afford it. So I’m going to go back to teaching in the public school district and have my salary put directly into our savings for their college. I will also be able to earn my own pension so Dh and I will have 2 plus our 401k. If I want to keep working after the youngest graduates, I’ll start putting all of my salary into retirement. I feel like up until now, I’ve spent my time doing what was in the whole family’s best interest, and I’m going to continue doing that, even though my days are going to look very different.
  11. Even though we are only socializing outside, I’ve become more anxious about my 11 year old. She won’t turn 12 until December, but I’m hoping she will be able to be vaccinated even earlier. My kids are homeschooled, and no one in our family goes to in person work, but all of my 11 year old’s friends go to school in person. They seem to be passing around one virus or another every week, even though they test negative for Covid. Last night, I kept her home from swim practice which I ever do. It was being held at a pool that reminds her of when I was in the hospital, so she was already emotional. I am having an incisional hernia repaired tomorrow and I realized that if she comes home coughing or picks up the bug of the week, I won’t be able to get my surgery. I’m torn because she is already struggling with depression and anxiety, so she needs the exercise and to see her friends, but long Covid would be absolutely devastating for her. I feel like as we get closer and closer to being able to have her vaccinated, I’m willing to take fewer and fewer risks.
  12. My 15 year old and all of her friends were vaccinated this summer. After the first shot, she had fatigue for about 4 days and a very slightly sore arm. After her second shot, she started taking ibuprofen 4 hours after the shot and only had 1 day of fatigue. I’m counting the days until my 11 year old can be vaccinated.
  13. This is somewhat of an issue in my family. I’m close to my oldest and we are similar in some ways, such as being more analytical that emotional, but she is a carbon copy of her dad. She has gotten the majority of my parenting attention because of her special needs. That is just how it is and I don’t regret my choices. My son is very much like I am and like my dad was. Even when he is in the wrong, like he is today, I understand his motivations, and how he got there. We generally share the same values and the same weak areas. We enjoy the same activities. Our middle child is very clearly my husband’s favorite. He has never told her no about anything her entire life. That put a strain on my relationship with her because any parenting I do is perceived as victimizing her. She is VERY sensitive which makes it draining to be around her. Who likes having to walk on eggshells in their own home? She is very jealous of my relationship with my son. My 4th kid is the exact opposite of both me and my husband, but we both have a good relationship with her. Middle child thinks this daughter is my favorite along with my son. The baby is super easy, always obedient and trying to please people and do her best. All of us have a good relationship with her. I don’t know how to not have an easier relationship with some kids rather than others. I do think I love them all the same, but I can’t treat them all the same way.
  14. One thing we did in our last kitchen was lay the floor down wall to wall, and then add the cabinets, then we added the island, but we had it put on locking wheels so that it can be moved to the dining room for a serving station or over by the windows if I needed more space in the kitchen for a pig project. Everyone who looked at the house commented on how much they liked that feature.
  15. The version we sang went, “met her at the door with a loaded 44 and she ain’t my teacher no more.” We also sang, “Oh, I wish I was a little piece of glass, Oh I wish I was a little piece of glass. I’d cutty and I’d cutty and make everybody bloody. Oh I wish I was a little piece of glass. Oh I wish I was a little bar of soap. Oh, I wish I was a little bar of soap. I’d slidy and I’d slidy over everybody’s heinie. Oh I wish I was a little bar of soap.” and ”Oh, I had a little chicken and she wouldn’t lay an egg, so I poured hot water up and down her leg, oh the chicken she cried and the chicken she begged and the chicken she laid a hard boiled egg.” Sometimes to choose who was out, we’d sing, “Wire, briar, limber, lock, three geese in a flock. One flew east, one flew west, one flew over the cuckoo’s nest. O U T spells out goes he, you old dirty dishrag you.” Also hand clapping song, ”Say say old playmate, come out and play with my. Climb up my apple tree. And bring your dollies three. Shout down my rain barrel, swing on my cellar door, and we’ll be jolly friends forever more.”
  16. So one of my best friends has 2 kids who are very close friends to my younger 2 kids. Last year, she kept them both at home. I understand sending the vaccinated 15 year old back to school this year, but she wanted to keep her unvaccinated 8 year old home. She and her husband both have blue collar jobs, but they work opposite shifts so someone is always available to be with the kids. But, like was mentioned earlier, no online options were available at her home school. The separate online school thing has no teachers here. The people who signed up have been told one week into the school year, “We will let you know when we get a teacher. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” That doesn’t seem like an option. My friend is very, very cautious, and yet, when I told her that I didn’t realize her daughter was in school in person, she said, “I gave her a necklace that is supposed to keep her from getting sick, so hopefully that will help” So I agree that some people don’t feel like they have a choice and also that some people aren’t being very clear-eyed about it.
  17. My mom’s oldest sister never had children or a marriage that lasted for more than a couple of years, but she was very involved with us growing up. She bought us ridiculous gifts like baby rings with real diamonds and our birthstones, and life sized stuffed animals from FAO Schwarz. She is in a care home now, and one of my cousins has guardianship over her. My cousin told me recently how this aunt is who always had the time and the will to make things special for her and she will never allow her to be without everything she needs in her old age. When my kids tell me they never want children of their own, I say, “Well, the world needs special Aunties too!”
  18. We never stopped participating in swim team. Last year, everyone needed to be masked on the pool deck and had to go through a temp check at the beginning of practice. Those safety measures have been dropped, but I’m still masking and having my kids mask and they are certainly not the only ones masking voluntarily. My kids have never been in school, so this is their exercise plus their only social outlet. If we quit the team, they would literally sit in the house all day, and I know that would be very depressing for them. I still have one kid too young to be vaccinated, so I really don’t want to take any unnecessary risks. Swim team feels necessary to me though.
  19. Best wishes from another old-timer who never got closer than second when the board flipped.
  20. I do not think my oldest will have kids. My son used to say he never would because he didn’t want to pass down his mental illness to anyone. But then he met “the one”. She teaches special ed and convinced him that even if their kids inherit his brain, there are ways to still give them a happy, successful life. I think they have some baby names picked out. My middle child hopes to adopt, but I really hope she does a ton of maturing before then, because right now, I don’t really think she would make a good mother. My next daughter says babies are uglier than potatoes and only wants to have trendy dogs and money. My youngest probably will, but I didn’t have her until I was 43, so if she has them late in life, I might not get to know them. I thought that by having 5 kids, I would have grandchildren for sure. I’m trying to improve my health and keep my strength up so that I can be very involved with my grandchildren, hopefully on a daily basis.
  21. So, we are in California and are staying at home from here on out except for daily swim practice in an outdoor pool. Dh and middle daughter are in Texas selling our house there. Buyer has 3 elementary aged kids going to school in person. The whole family now has Covid one week into the school year. The dad was in our house on Friday. Dh and Dd were both wearing masks. The mom came by on Saturday when Dh was doing a repair outside. I don’t think he was masked because he didn’t know anyone was coming. My family members are staying with neighbors who are both elderly and immune compromised. I told them to pack up now, and go stay in the empty house. I’m so glad to be on the other side of the country right now!
  22. My sister moved to Ottawa a few years ago. I almost fainted when I found out she spent this past summer in Texas. She said Canada was so locked down that she was “losing her people skills.” LOL.
  23. We used to live in a low cost of living area, and were able to get a great deal on our first house. Ten years later, we sold it for double what we paid, then we bought another house with acreage, ten years ago, and we are under contract to sell that for almost double what we paid for it. We are now in a very high cost of living area and plan to stay here at least until our youngest graduates in 6 years. We may not buy again unless there is a sharp downturn in prices. For now, we are just doubling up what we contribute in our matched 401k. It feels weird not to own a home, but we will reassess each year. For now, we have a lovely rental that is well below market price, but I know how quickly situations can change.
  24. I have a friend who is very anti mask and anti vaccine. She even asked me to let her know if I found a source for fake vaccine cards. She broke up with family members over the holidays because they wanted households to sit together at Christmas dinner and for everyone to mask when they were not eating. I thought something might shift in her thinking when she lost someone very close to her to Covid, but it didn’t change anything. In fact, I couldn’t understand the reasoning, but she has somehow rationalize it so that she believes her loved one was actually killed by the measures the hospital used to prevent and treat Covid. She feels that her loved one would have lived if the opposite political party was still in power. I love her dearly, but nothing will shake her from her stance and knowing how she has responded to this crisis has reignited my passion to make sure my kids get the very, very best education I can possibly provide.
  25. I had a bad case of this a couple of years ago. I told Dd that I thought I was anemic. She said that was probably an old wives tale. The obsession with ice was then joined by a full blown addiction to……wait for it……parsley. I knew which stores in town had the best parsley. I would drive to different stores so as not to buy more that 6 bunches at any single location. I didn’t want to be forced to talk about it with curious cashiers. I tried to limit myself to only eating one bunch a day, but seldom succeed. I couldn’t sleep because all I could think of was one tiny bit more that I knew was in the refrigerator. I’d sneak out of bed trying not to wake my husband. When I finally got help, my hemoglobin was below 6. I’m sure that the excessive vitamin K I was consuming contributed to my multiple blood clots, but if it wasn’t for the blood clots, my stage 3C cancer would not have been discovered before it progressed to stage 4, so I guess I could say that I owe my life to my parsley addiction. It feels silly to go to the doctor because of cravings, but I do think this warrants having a blood panel done.
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