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StephanieZ last won the day on January 10 2014

StephanieZ had the most liked content!

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About StephanieZ

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    Child Wrangler

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    Between a hill and a valley

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  1. This. 30 years ago, an affluent, loving mother I knew well with 5 young children had to give one (10 year old) up to the state in order for him to access mental health services. The 30 day stay their private health insurance was willing to pay for was used up, and her child was still throwing himself out of moving vehicles and otherwise risking danger to himself and others. The only way to access hospitalization again was by giving custody up to the state. Ultimately, he was returned to her custody. She's struggled for the last 30 years to help him, including hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical and legal services. And they have more resources than the vast majority of families. 100k/mo for in patient care isn't uncommon. I think we should #FocusOurOutrage on the system that creates these crises. We need much better social services, medical care and support for ALL FAMILIES, especially those with special needs. Just as I've been telling people to focus their outrage not on looting or vandalism but on the brutalization and murder of innocents by representatives of our government, I encourage all of you to focus your outrage on our nation's outrageously negligent social safety net. I feel terrible for Huxley, for all those who love him, and for all the similarly situated families across our "great" nation. I'm very thankful I've never faced such a shattering situation. Let's fix that by choosing to govern in a different way. Don't forget to VOTE.
  2. Don't hesitate. If you can afford it, do it.
  3. Get rid of all carpeting. Made a massive difference in our household.
  4. 1) It may or may not be helpful, but your daughter *might* be able to change exchange plans because it might permit her a "special enrollment period." If that's the case, check her state's exchange and see if there's a better plan that would provide better coverage. 2) People, please remember health care when you're voting. Until we get single payer universal health coverage, these stories will just devastate more and more families.
  5. All your pets need to be treated. Get "good stuff" from the vet, more than simply Sentinel. If you've got an active infestation, Sentinel on only one pet would take ages to rid the house of the fleas. I'd add a good quality topical "topspot" such as Advantix for the dog and Advantage Multi for the cat. I don't know about rabbits, but if they can get fleas, then give them whatever your vet recommends for them. BE CAREFUL because some dog products are VERY toxic to cats. Don't use a dog product on a cat. EVER!! You need to vacuum daily and throw away the vacuum bag each day. And wash everything that is washable (throw blankets, pillows, etc) and dry on hot. Repeat as frequently as you can manage (daily is ideal). 90 days after the last known flea bite/infestation, you can probably safely go back to once a month treatments/medications for your dog and cat. Then stick with that until the end of time, IMHO. I prefer to avoid "bombs" and household sprays if possible, but if you can't avoid that, then there are good products out there. Ask your vet for recommendation. You will need to bomb plus spray under couches, in corners, etc, to really do the job. A professional exterminator might be your best bet. If you need to DIY . . . at our vet hospital, we generally recommend the KnockOut line by Virbac. Buy online or wherever.
  6. Absolutely not normal and definitely awful. GROSS!!!! I'd be furious!
  7. Thanks much for all the kind words. 🙂 ps. I should have mentioned that the very first book I bought on homeschooling, in 2000, at the recommendation of a new friend, (when d23 was three years old) was The Well Trained Mind, 1st edition. And the first internet forum I ever used at all was this here forum, around the same time, back when you could make up a new name for every post and the message boards "turned over" every so often to keep them concise enough that our old dial up internet could handle them. And this forum here is now the only internet forum (outside of FaceBook) that I visit regularly and actually think of as a community and a valuable resource. So, anyway, thanks SWB for all the inspiration and advice, and to all y'all here for the same. Your company on this journey has been greatly appreciated.
  8. My first homeschooler, who is now 23, just graduated from college! She was homeschooled start to finish, from learning to read at age 4, though high school. The only times she was in a "regular" class room were her 2 morning a week preschool when she was 2 (adorable) and then when she headed off to college. She's now a graduate from the University of Alabama College of Engineering, with a BS in Computer Science and a second major in mathematics with an emphasis in computational mathematics and also completed a year's worth of work experience through their co-op program. She has a job lined up with an excellent computer science employer which has a major office in our home town, so she is going to have a great job here in our home town, which is NOT an easy thing to achieve as we live in Appalachia where really good computer science jobs are few and far between. (She really wanted to come home after college.) Anyway, I'm super proud.
  9. I'd put pretty things -- bamboo salt cellar, pretty pepper mill, possibly oils or vinegars if they were in attractive bottles. Maybe you could put attractive jarred jams, apple butter, etc. If they're tall enough, you could put wine bottles there up right, either unopened bottles or the half-drunk-now-cooking-wine bottles that I keep around on the counter. Other ideas are attractive water pitchers or vases. Or a tea pot. On a shelf like that in my brother's kitchen, I put an antique family wooden recipe box that has a stack of my dad's old recipe cards (who died 20 years ago) in it. It's really sweet and appropriate. Sort of a Kon Marie thing where you actually display and enjoy a sentimental object.
  10. I have a similar design (all appliances on perimeter except a small prep sink on the island.) I chose a large, wide, single level island with seating for 2 (3 if they're kids), and I can't think of a single thing I'd change. Having the large single level allows for lots of work space. We'll routinely have 3-4 folks working at the island comfortably. I have my prep sink on one corner -- the one that's nearest the cook top across the aisle, for easy dumping of pasta water/etc. I'm happy with that, and two folks can actually access it at the same time if desired because one can stand on the "short side" or the "far side" while the other person is working at the "main side" My biggest tip is to make sure the counter depth is plenty deep for any seating. I all the time see folks with skimpy 12-14 inch deep "seating" areas, which are ridiculously uncomfortable for actually using. Be sure to really sit at a counter and imagine how you'll use it and MEASURE how deep you like to sit when relaxing at a counter/table. Depending on your layout, you might want to consider a raised seating area at the island. I do have that on a peninsula at one end of my island, and I love it. It's wonderful for stashing laptops/phones/speakers/whatever and it being raised protects it from liquid spills or flour or sugar "sprinkles" that tend to escape when baking on the working surfaces and also helps block the view of messier work counters/sinks. (My peninsula is between our dining room and our kitchen.) Again, only caveat is make sure that it is deep enough. NOTE: for deep seating areas, you may have to seriously reinforce the counter top supports. This is why most kitchen designers don't make them deep enough, because beyond 10--12 inches, overhang, you need major supports. I had special steel L brackets (about 2 inches wide and probably 1/4 inch thick fabricated, which is all good and not terribly expensive, but is a special order from a special fabricator project, so a bit of a hassle for your contractor. Only other caveat, hell-to-the-no on "lower" regular table height seating level on an island. It's nuts. Just sit at a regular chair pulled up across from your current counter height island, and attempt chatting between diner and standing chef. YUCK.
  11. Traditionally, all cabinetry had visible hinges and visible knobs or handles. You can absolutely have both. I actually like the look of visible hinges and handles or knobs. Personally, I went with a variety of coordinated knobs and handles in my kitchen/dining cabinetry when I built a new kitchen a few years ago. I put handles on the vast majority of cabinets, but used knobs on the smallest doors in decorative glass-fronted cabinets at the top of my cabinetry (cabinets go all the way to the 10 ft ceilings) as well as the upper cabinetry in the dining room (glass fronted doors and small/shallow drawers). The handles themselves range in size depending on the size of the cabinet. Most of them are 4-5 inches or something like that, but the largest drawers have larger handles (up to 8-ish inches or so). Handles are definitely advised for "aging in place" issues, largely due to arthritis issues using knobs (and God-forbid no knobs at all). Given that i'm just now developing some arthritis in my hands, it sure is reassuring to know my cabinets shouldn't be a problem with that. So far as the mystery as to why so many nice kitchens have no knobs or handles . . . and often don't even have "finger pulls" . . . I believe I have the answer. When one is building a brand new home, you often have a choice of finish color on your cabinets, etc. Nearly always, IME, knobs or handles are an "upgrade" and cost significant $$. Like $1000 for a modest kitchen for cheap $2 pulls on a couple dozen cabinets. So, folks often forego the pulls, some maybe thinking they will add them on their own. BUT, of course, most folks are reasonably afraid to drill holes in expensive cabinetry, so then it just never happens. The new construction neighborhood we bought into in the early 2000s was like that. They were very expensive town houses (mid 200ss when we bought in 2001, low 400s when we sold just 3 years later), but the vast majority of the homes had (and likely still have) cabinetry with no pulls at all, and these weren't cabinets with finger pulls, either. (We did have pulls in our own kitchen, but it was only because I went to the effort to find a carpenter who was willing to take a "side job" and who came and installed the pulls on a weekend at a reasonable cost. Despite being an experienced DIY'er, I was (and still am) too afraid to drill holes in anything but the cheapest oldest cabinetry.)
  12. 1) Go ahead and buy a couple books on puppy raising! Look for a recent publication date (within 5-10 years) to ensure it will focus on modern positive methods. You're looking at raising an infant vs an 8 year old . . . (based on your prior experiences with a more mature new dog). You need a new skill set! Get some books! 2) You can get a crate with a divider panel that is both movable and removable. This allows the crate to create a small enough space initially to help with potty training, but still be useful when your pup is an adult. 3) A "play pen" is also helpful to coop up the pup in a smaller area when you can't completely supervise. 4) Make your first vet appointment for the first couple days of ownership (no later). DO NOT SKIMP on wellness care for puppies. Puppies are extremely vulnerable to parvovirus and you can NOT skimp on wellness visits. 5) A "waist leash" is handy for "tomato staking" your pup during the first weeks of potty training. If you can go "all in" on potty training for 2-3 weeks, you'll likely be 90% there within those 3 weeks. If you don't go "all in," it'll take a lot longer. 6) Expect to spend a LOT of time taking your pup outside to potty! 7) REWARD REWARD REWARD CONGRATS!!! Puppies are the best!!
  13. 1) Dose every 2 weeks for at least 3 doses *everyone in the household*. 2) Hygiene. Wash bedding daily. Fanatical. 3) Single use towels (wash daily, handle carefully) Then you should be good.
  14. THIS IS FANTASTIC!! Great job, Mommy!
  15. Totally normal. She is beautiful. You're doing great!! If at all possible, keep her "tomato staked" to you when she's loose in the house. A "hands free leash" is the easiest way to do this, as it is essentially a bungee-style leash attached to a simple waist belt. So, you can go about your business in the house, hands free, and keep her at your heel all the time. If you do this for a week, and be accident free, you could try again having her loose in the house for short periods, ideally, say, just the first 30 min after she comes in from doing her business outside . . . Then gradually extend times. She'll probably be fully trained in another month or so, as it sounds like she's doing well and knows to go outside (and is getting rewarded for that), and that's the toughest part. Especially if you get her a door bell or she learns another way to ask to go out, she'll probably get the rest of the way there quickly. Until she knows how to ask to go out, I'd do all you can to avoid giving her a chance to have an accident in the house.
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