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About EmilyGF

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    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

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    SAHM to five
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  1. I sometimes wish that I had been more flexible in my thinking about ways to keep my hand in the working world. I was an engineer at an aerospace company. On the other hand, because I didn't, we've had a lot of opportunities as a family that wouldn't have worked out if I'd done that. When I was in my 20s, we were at a church that was very conservative in some ways (but super racially diverse - it was pretty cool!) and I don't think I knew women who worked good jobs. Any woman who worked, did so because otherwise they didn't eat, and they tended to work mundane jobs. Now, we're at a church where many women work career jobs by choice. I wish I'd had that sort of role model so that I could have made a more informed choice. OTOH, I really like my kids and I like being home with them. There were two women I really envied because they seemed to have it all, and now I've known them long enough to know that their actual lives aren't what the world sees and that there is no way I envy them in the slightest. So, I think I would have liked to have been more thoughtful about my choices, but I don't think I would have changed things. ETA: Growing up, my mom worked at a day care until I was 8. She had studied early childhood ed in college and worked at a variety of day cares and preschools over the years, some pretty high end. She thought day care was positively awful and absolutely the worst and was always telling me that. So that was a very strong influence on me!
  2. Do you have a link to the fit test? I would enjoy doing something like that for June... ------ DH made dinner last night and it was great! He also got up early to do an absolute beginner yoga class with me this morning. I think I might try switching off beginner with him one day and then intermediate the next. No success on the HIIT intervals without arms. I think one point of HIIT is to get a full-body workout and engage the core, and getting on the floor is a good way to do that. Eight years ago, I ordered BeachBody's TurboFire and I think it has some 15-25 minute HIIT routines that I remember being more upright. I'm going to dust those off and do one this afternoon. Today's food: oatmeal w/ berries and peanuts, sauteed cabbage with fried eggs, pear with chocolate, chicken with sauteed white beans and some brussels sprouts dish for dinner.
  3. It makes me think of polio, which my mom nearly died of at 18 months, spending 10 days in an iron lung. She survived and was very active as an adult, into rock climbing and backpacking. Now, from post-polio syndrome, which started creeping up for her in her 50s, she's nearly crippled, unable to walk more than a block at a time. That's one thing that is keeping us cautious. We just don't know. Also, we want there to be no after-effects, so we're more likely to believe that until proved otherwise. Emily
  4. No exercise this morning as I decided to sleep in (didn't happen) and then used the time from getting up early to get caught up on some homeschooling and life things. If I have some down time this afternoon, I'll exercise, but I'm not going to stress out about it. Goal for the day: find some lists of HIIT exercises I can do in my backyard that don't involve my arms bearing any weight. Breakfast: greek yogurt with berries and fruit Lunch: napa cabbage salad with fried eggs and crackers dinner: chicken sweet potato crock pot meal, maybe rice snacks: pear, chocolate 🙂 DH is supposed to make dinner tonight. He is aware of how incapable his father is in the kitchen now that his mother has died and I think wants to build up some skills. He volunteered when I asked each kid to pitch in due to my arms. When I protested (he's literally made dinner a handful of times in 17 years), he said, "Am I not part of the family?" OK!
  5. Yes. With the current situation, DS15 is getting the negatives of public school (other people's schedule, busy work, etc) without the benefits (peer interaction, extracurriculars, competition - for him). Add to that a truncated school year, no plan for making next year better, and kids who are going to be being remediated for the first few months of the school year, at least, and things aren't looking that hot for next year. Then add in the fact that he normally takes public transit to school and it gets even more iffy. I drove him for the last two weeks before the shut down and it was bad. 80 minutes in the car per day with the 20 minutes each way morning and afternoon. I'm really confident in my higher level math and science ability and we have many strong people in our community we could hire for tutors. Really, the peer interaction was why he went to school. He's super self-motivated, though, he just likes competing.
  6. Can you share a recipe? I have been having one seltzer water per day. Also, I've started doing yoga in the morning. I've been trying to buy less stuff. Now that I have to live in the house with all the stuff I don't want as much. (But I do want new armchairs, but I don't think that'll happen.)
  7. Interesting. I think this is very regional. When we lived in California, I saw 1st graders riding bikes on their own to soccer practice in 2010, and in 2016, in Santa Barbara, a teacher thought it was strange that I would ask permission to pick up a 1st grader after school who wasn't my child. In our city, I needed written permission from the mom as well as a state-issued ID to pick up a 5th grader who wasn't mine. But, as I've said, I've had no issue with my kids walking places. Interesting. I live in Chicago, in a middle-class enclave in the inner city. We live in a community with a lot of older people and they say things like, "We love seeing your kids play outside. It reminds us of when we were raising kids." I was expecting them to say things like, "Your kids bike too near my car" or "Get your kids away from the landscaping!!!"
  8. Wow, great job! ------ I did yoga again today and was very mindful of my arms. I stopped the practice early because I could feel them more than normal. I'm trying to listen to my body, since pushing through always gets me in trouble. Sigh. I felt really awful late yesterday afternoon and then realized I hadn't really eaten any protein or many veggies during the day. DD made a mushroom salad and DH chopped up a large napa cabbage for dinner last night that we ate with fried eggs, and after that I started feeling like myself again. Today's goal is to eat protein and nutrient dense foods in order to feel good. Breakfast: greek yogurt, berries, coffee Lunch: baked tofu, cabbage / carrot salad with peanut / soy dressing Snack: pear, sunflower seeds, chocolate at some point in the day Dinner: eggs of some sort again I need to remember to thaw chicken for tomorrow.
  9. We're in a large midwest city and it is sad to be living here without the things that drew us here. DC aren't using public transportation, all the museums and cultural events are shut, we can't even go to the best (and nearest) parks. We have a small backyard, and have been eating outside as much as possible. For a while, the streets seemed quieter, but that seems to be down. There have been shouting matches on the street nearby recently. I called 9-1-1 once, two weeks ago, for a domestic dispute that had moved to the streets. DH called 9-1-1 this morning for a similar event. We have never before called 9-1-1 in the 7 years we've lived here. We've been getting groceries delivered every other week. Once a month from Aldi for basics and to stock up and once a month from a local mom and pop market for everything else and a ton of good produce. My favorite thing about living in a city was walking everywhere, but with more people home, the sidewalks are too packed for comfort. We stay on our private cul-de-sac (yes, they exist in the city) and walk around it, 12 laps to a mile.
  10. Yes! As a CM educator, I'm big into the idea of "Masterly Inactivity." At its best, masterly inactivity is where an adult is present, knowledgeable, desiring to intervene because they could "fix" things so quickly, and holding themselves back for the good of the child. Being successful at problem solving in the little things, like putting away your own PJs as a little or unloading the dishwasher, builds confidence because you are actually capable. Often this involves scheduling in a bit of extra time so that my kids have the leisure of fixing their own problems throughout the day. I actually gave a 90 minute talk on this, with examples of scaffolding bigger skills from very little ones, two years ago, which is why I'm so verbose here. *blush* It is also something I'm very passionate about because it opened so many doors for me. Emily
  11. I used the foreign country example because it is so striking, but really, the only reason that was possible was because they are so independent and capable at home in the USA. If I told you they plan craft projects at home and then bike to the craft store to buy the things they need with their own money, it wouldn't show their level of capability. But they could only go the the Old City of Jerusalem to buy yarn and their favorite sweets because they'd done something similar multiple times at home. I think sometimes it is actually easier to do so than we believe. The vast majority of people who see my kids out on their own think it is great. I am purposeful about telling them how to be safe, for example, which side of the street is safer to cross on due to traffic patterns, or why certain streets are lousy ones to walk on by yourself because they don't have enough foot traffic. But with that preparation, I trust them, they know that, and they are therefore confident.
  12. I had a very defining moment right after I turned 7, so 1988, when I got lost in the mountains during a snow storm. We were vacationing in the mountains at a grandparent-owned vacation cabin. My dad was teaching me to cross country ski in the backyard when a girl showed up. We played outside for a while, but it was starting to snow and wanted to go inside. My mom didn't want us inside, so we decided to go to her house to play and she gave my dad her address. We walked there (she and I - remember, we're both 7) and her mom was cleaning the house and didn't want us inside, either. We decided to take a short-cut back through the woods to the cabin I was staying at, but we got lost in the woods. We were lost for a few hours, during which it snowed a number of inches. I remember sitting with her on a log crying. My dad eventually went door-to-door, asking people if they had seen two little girls, and one of the men he had talked with later found us and took us to the cabin. My dad's response was, "Next year, you need to memorize the address before you're allowed to go anywhere." My dad's response was to trust me but prepare me better. It felt wonderful and shaped me as a confident, independent person as well as a parent focused on preparation.
  13. We've been very guided by our Dutch friends (see things like road dropping) and by the opportunities we were given in our own lives to pursue independent projects. Basically, we've tried to give our children opportunities to fail when it really didn't matter, and time to pursue those opportunities. Our school hours are *very intense* but fairly short, so they can expect open hours in the afternoon / evening to pursue their own projects. Without cell phones, they travel around the city we live in (pop. 2.3 million) and foreign countries by themselves at a fairly young age. Last year, three of my kids enjoyed literally going miles around Jerusalem without adults at the ages of 10, 12, and 14. They learned you can get cheated if you don't bargain well, but really, that isn't a big deal! The 14-year-old flew home by himself from Israel to the US via Istanbul. He screwed up at the airport in Tel Aviv when he was asked if anyone had given him a gift to take with him on the flight and ended up having to unpack and repack his bag after another half hour of questioning, but it grew his confidence and ability (and now he has a great story). Another great story was when DS14-at-the-time rode his bike to try to find a snowy owl and sprained his ankle 5 miles from home. Without a cell phone. I had the car and no cell phone and DH was in a meeting. He borrowed someone's cell to call Dad and Dad said, "I'm busy, figure it out." (!!!) He did - while he planned to bike home, the park ranger decided to drive him home instead, loading his bike on the park truck. I've told my kids they can't get cell phones until they know they can solve problems without me. But these things have worked out because they started walking to a friend's house at a young age and taking responsibility for various things for themselves or the family. When dd wanted a pet, she had to earn the money for it, so she found a family to work for as a mother's helper. DD13 is a ghost-writer for a home-improvement website. DS15 teaches piano lessons to three kids. It is very satisfying to watch him film instructional videos for his 8yo student who can't sit through a lesson via zoom but who watches his videos over the course of the week and does them. My children each (starting with the 8yo) have a 5x20+ grid of things they need to get done during the week, including everything from foreign language practice to math lessons and instrument practice. I've broken each day down into manageable chunks that they take responsibility for, though I work with them on many of the pieces. Certain parts have to be done in the morning, and they find it very motivating that when they finish the list, they have complete freedom. Then, they do whatever they want in that time. During this pandemic, DS15 is focusing on bird research, DDs are writing scripts and making movies, and DS8 is building with lego, reading, and teaching himself piano. And they each make dinner once a week. 🙂 Emily
  14. DH couldn't figure out why all of his college students were asking him for extra credit... then we sent our son to high school and we learned that his school (a top-10 in state, top-200 in country) requires all classes to offer extra credit on a regular basis for things totally secondary to learning. So now we understand why the college students slack off on the regular work but then expect to be handed extra points at the end of the quarter. Ugh.
  15. I just did a 40 minute yoga workout ("Happy feet") and it was amazing - a few good balances, not too many sun salutations. It isn't listed as "wrist-friendly" but it is for me, so I'm bookmarking it. I think I found my fave DoYogaWithMe instructor. 🙂 DH didn't tell me he was planning to join me this morning, and at 6 minutes in he rolled out a mat and tried it. Five minutes later he realized that yoga flows are harder than they look and he asked me to find him a beginner routine. We've been doing school on Saturdays since the lockdowns started and all my kids orchestras shut down, so today is a fairly normal day. Someone will make tuna salad for lunch, with yogurt instead of mayo. I soaked beans for turkey chili for dinner. I think tonight will be a family movie night so I'll make some sort of fancy popcorn. @Laura Corin that is a great idea about olive oil at the table. I need something that DS8 won't take if it is at the table and that would fit the bill. Four of my kids resemble bean poles; he resembles a tank and the doctor tells us every year to switch him to skim milk (and then tells us to switch the others to whole). DS8 is the height of DD11 but weigh 30 lb more than her.
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