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Everything posted by aggie96

  1. aggie96

    Teen JAWM

    Got one two three of those, too. Fun times. I was just thinking how I was really regretting raising them to think for themselves and not blindly follow "authorities" etc etc. I don't really regret it, but in the moment I wouldn't be sorry to have some compliant, door mats. 🙂 ETA: I would only admit it here that these apples don't fall from the Mom-tree. But I will only admit that here. 🙂
  2. My oldest could.not.wait to fly the coop and head to b&m school. She is so extremely shy, and I thought I would get her longer than I did. It was sad. It was hard for me. The fact that she loved it and it was clear that it was the right choice for her made it easier. She is NOT NOT NOT getting the kind of education there that she would have had at home in SOME respects. But she is challenged in other ways that she would not have at home, so that is good. Always trade-offs. I still miss her. 🙂 Now my youngest has followed in her footsteps and flown the coop as well. But he is an extreme extrovert. I always knew he would be headed out of the house sooner rather than later. I mourn for the missed opportunities that this creates. BUT if I'm being honest, I was not going to get to it all anyhow because...reality. Only so many hours in a day. Easy with 3 elementary kids, no so much with 3 young adults. The one thing that I insist on to keep my connection with each kid strong is carpool. I drive DD to school and 3-4 day/wk pick DS up from school so that I get that quality one-on-one time with them. It's short but sweet. And they love it too. I have read their school books with them, busted out better homeschool resources for learning something on occasion, and insist that they use what education I gave them even if their teacher doesn't (like proper grammar!). Sigh...I'm already dreading DD heading to college, and it's 2 years away. It's never enough time no matter what you do.
  3. Highschool hours 7:20a-2:50p (middle school hours same) Wake 5:30a. Car 6:35a. Commute 11 miles takes 25 minutes to drive due to traffic. After school band: Rehearsal 3 days home by 6:45pm, GameDay home by 12am-1am, CompetitionDay usually about 12hours. So band 5 days/week, only Sunday and Monday off. Spring much the same but swap marching season for winter-guard and symphonic band. DD is varsity in both, but all 4 level bands have almost this same schedule. It is not unusual to have a 20-hour weekend day. I have no idea how these kids manage, but they do. I have a very organized and highly-academic student that manages to get the bulk of her homework done in scraps of downtime here and there. But about 2-3 days/week she has homework that can take her 1-2 hours at night. I have a Freshman fulltime homeschooler. She attends online classes and has a carefully crafted schedule. The only conflicts with the public-school schedule come from me having to juggle my time acting as a homeschool facilitator/tutor and taxi-cab/personal assistant for b&m kids. MY time is very conflicted to keep the kiddos' time running smooth. She dances 6 hours a week. We had to drop her daytime classes and go to late night classes to accommodate the schedule. 5-9:30 time frame. My middle schooler does not have much homework as of yet (1st year just started). No outside school club obligations. But he plays select baseball and TKD. We just paused TKD because otherwise, he would have had a long practice every night of the week plus games on weekends. Plus 6th grade and puberty and middle school challenges. Too much. DH has had to get much much more involved in running and helping with kid schedules. Plus we are insisting DD16 go ahead and get her license so that we can relieve some carpool pressure too for after school stuff.
  4. In Texas, anti-maskers have adopted the "My Body My Choice" mantra to justify not wearing a mask that saves OTHER's lives. Unless you are pregnant, then it's "YOUR body YOUR baby/fetus MY choice". Along with other anti-women things such as you can't wear spaghetti-straps, or shorts above mid-thigh or sports bras in 100 degree heat outside for 6 hours, or Nike-shorts (that have built in bloomers), or shirts that show your belly-button (you know, the one every freaking human has). Because heaven forbid a boy think "impure" thoughts and rape/coerce/or simply consent to sex with you, forcing you to have a rape/surprise/life-changing-baby that now can't be aborted in order to avoid being left with the ultimate responsibility of handling the consequences of TWO people coming together. It's also interesting how once a child is born, so many people believe that children belong to their parents and parents should have the ultimate say over their care/life-decisions/education/etc. BUT while YOUR "baby" is inside you, subsisting on YOUR life, you have absolutely NO rights to have any say over that "child".
  5. They are not pro-life. They are anti-women. Google and watch George Carlin 90sec clip on abortion from 1996. Spot on. Nothing’s changed in 25 years except to go backwards. I hate my state. Gillead indeed. and we are also leading the country in childhood deaths from Covid as well… “ Boy, these conservatives are really something, aren’t they? They’re all in favor of the unborn. They will do anything for the unborn. But once you’re born, you’re on your own. Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don’t want to know about you. They don’t want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no daycare, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you’re preborn, you’re fine; if you’re preschool, you’re f****. Conservatives don’t give a s*** about you until you reach “military age”. Then they think you are just fine. Just what they’ve been looking for. <insert political line that can’t be addressed here>These people aren’t pro-life, they’re killing doctors! [remember this is 1996]What kind of pro-life is that? What, they’ll do anything they can to save a fetus but if it grows up to be a doctor they just might have to kill it’ They’re not pro-life. Do you know what they are? They’re anti-woman. Simple as it gets, anti-woman. They don’t like them. They don’t like women. They believe a woman’s primary role is to function as a broodmare for the state. Pro-life… “
  6. I'm so sorry for y'all. Extreme weather sucks. Ida has been just awful. We are steady sending help to Louisiana right now. Even getting a little help to them is hard because of the total wipe out in areas. Pics from the northeast are jaw-dropping. It's weird how it kind of triggers a PTSD-like stress response after Harvey and all our major floods down here.
  7. Absolutely hate that LA is getting hammered again. The Gulf Coast has just been treacherous these last few years. 😞 For those wondering, it's too late to evacuate. Too much traffic, no fuel, the logistics just do not line up. The news/weather guys have been warning last 48 hours to leave or be prepared to shelter-in-place. As Houston well knows, it's very hard to make the decisions. Just so hard. Plus Ida is coming on extremely fast. I just hate it for everyone in it's path. This could be a real whopper.
  8. Absolutely agree! We won't even be notified about positive cases. SO no way to even assess our risk to "do what we think is right for our family." And the Final Exemption policy was reinstated meaning if you miss less than 3 classes all semester, you don't have to take the final. Super incentive to come to school sick. School starts Monday here, and for the very first time, I am genuinely scared for my kids. 😞
  9. This is after the fact but in case anyone searches this topic and lands on this thread in the future... Alum paste (alum from spice rack in grocery store with a little water) makes a wonderful anti-itch/anti-welt home remedy for mosquito and fire ant bites. Me, my oldest DD, and youngest DS are SUPER allergic to bites, and in Texas the mosquitos are the size of pterodactyls and fire ants are the most evil creatures on Earth sending fiery blisters out like death rays when you least expect it. When the kids were little, we would paste them all over and wrap an ace-bandage over the entire area like a mummy. Really gave some relief. We still use Alum paste on all bites as needed. I also pour vinegar on fire ant bites first, then paste. We can rarely get away with Benadryl just because usually too busy to be drowsy, but we make liberal use of the Benadryl sprays and creams (better for mosquitoes than ants in our experience). My Granny turned me on to Alum after DD had a few bites during a visit to her Great-Granny's house. Granny said this was the norm long before Benadryl came along since Alum was a popular pickling ingredient on hand. Take that for what it's worth...just passing on what has worked for us. Disclaimer--always head to ER in extreme cases as described above!
  10. I also wonder how much the pandemic shutdown delayed any actions from 2020 to present. 2020 was a hot mess with resources and politics. All of this would dampen any urgency in spending millions of dollars on repairs that no one really flat out said were imminent. I mean it seems like bids and repairs were started as soon as "life" resumed. That 1-bedroom $80k assessment over 15 years works out to around $400-500/mo. That's a chunk of money, especially during the pandemic. I was musing about this because I can't even get my pool repaired or cracked windows replaced from 4 months ago. I've called many contractors. Either man-power or materials are non-existent. The same goes for my business materials (transportation). It's nuts. I've got to stick some tape all over my window now because the crack is growing and I'm not sure if it will just fall out or not. And no one will just SAY that is could. So I'm left playing a game of chicken with my house and Mother Nature. None of my stuff remotely important in the grand scheme, just used to illustrate, BUT if it is like this for simple stuff, I can imagine that major million-dollar projects would be a nightmare right now.
  11. We have had several weather reports like this in June for Houston. source: spacecityweather.com “August-like heat continues in Houston with minimal relief ahead June 15, 2021 at 7:08 am by Matt Lanza Let’s be honest. It has felt like August lately. I mean, really. For Hobby Airport, the last 3 afternoons have tied for the 5th hottest 3-day stretch of high temperatures this early in the season (trailing several 3-day periods from 1998 and 2011, both notoriously hot Houston summers). For Houston officially it’s the 12th hottest 3-day stretch so early in the season. It’s hot, it’s early, and it’s not going to get much better this week.” I’m just ready for Mother Nature to take a breath and calm down. I hope the PNW hangs in there and the heat waves pass fast. It is awful being completely unprepared and feeling helpless in a nasty weather event.
  12. I've been sick (head/chest cold-ish, no cough but burning lungs/chest, no noticeable fever but fever-break sweats, fatigue, insane headaches), then all 3 kiddos followed suit. Vaccinated so not likely Covid. Plus it was really not acting like Covid (which we had at the beginning of epidemic). But is was clearly contagious. Didn't know there was an RSV outbreak. Would make total sense that this is what we were battling. Yuck. I hate RSV. Tends to linger in us, not bad, just takes forever to feel 100% again.
  13. I can attest to foil in windows making a noticeable impact. This was a common tactic in west Texas (115 degree days was normal) back in the 80s. Texas can certainly empathize with PNW. STILL recovering from Uri. Plus we had the 10th wettest spring on record, and now scorching heat with highest temps on record in June. Mother Nature is finally fighting back. And she's going to win...
  14. It gets easier. Very fast. DD LOVES her Invisalign. She's been in them 14 months and gets them off in 2 weeks. It was perfect for a pandemic shut down because they just gave us all the trays to use during lock down. There was a 4wk delay when they started seeing patients again because the orthodontist changed and wanted his own treatment plan which meant new trays for tweaks. Hang in there. These really have been super easy and convenient. Much more so than brackets and wires. I think compliance can be tricky. So if you have a kiddo that just won't stick to the instructions, then brackets are the way to go. DD was motivated, wants straight teeth in as short a time as possible and did not want brackets. So she has been super compliant. Hang in there! We did buy a cute case for the trays on Amazon instead of the generic one we were given. 🙂 ETA: There are tons of YouTube videos with suggestions. If the one I linked doesn't resonate, find more.
  15. My normally-unflappable daughter had an absolute nervous breakdown the first 3 days with her trays and bands. YouTube to the rescue. She watched this video and followed the method (super simple) and never had a problem going forward. The key was to put the bands on the bottom first and place tray on thereby "locking" bands into place. Take a look. https://youtu.be/mRVRtoFzjI4 Another video suggested using a paper towel to grab the band to put on top. This helped with slobber (which was making it hard also) but made it more difficult to see where to attach. So she ended up just dabbing her mouth/tray/band with paper towels as needed to make things less slick and followed the above technique. I bought the tool from Amazon that helps remove the trays, but she never used it after using paper towels and the video technique. Hope this helps!
  16. We pay for 90% of household remodel and repairs using Amex points cashed in for Home Depot ecards. A coworker turned me on to doing this when I was 28. He did this with the cash-back from his Discover card. I started this in 2002 when I was single and owned my first home. Almost 20 years later, we still do this even though the house and yard have grown quite a bit from that first house. We use Amex for everything, and I mean everything, that we possibly can that we would normally pay for with "cash" to rack up those points. We do not carry a Amex balance. It's free money in the end. My mom bought a bunch of Pottery Barn furniture that way after cashing in Amex points for PB cards over a length of time. Also, whenever we are asked what we want for Xmas, birthday, etc (although we try hard to discourage buying us anything, we have relatives that insist on a gift), we ask for Home Depot cards. They are my favorite gift to receive. Just an alternative suggestion to setting aside cash or savings.
  17. Agreed. And I really loved my state, my people, the general Texas ethos. And now everything is discombobulated. ETA: It's like someone let the crazy, mean uncle have the microphone. Before, everyone just tolerated him in the corner lazy-boy until he got drunk and passed out.
  18. This is exactly the case for 11yo too. Turns 12 in October. So no mask, no vaccination when school starts. Fortunately, my 13yo is homeschooled. She'll still be vaccinated ASAP though. ETA: And because he turns 12 at the start of the school year, most of his classmates will be not vaccinated or wearing masks. But the second he can get his, we will. Invisible mask.
  19. Funny aside, I asked him the same thing. There are 2 liquor stores across the street from each other. The other one is next door to son's TKD class, which DH was waiting on him and popped in to replenish my whiskey supply. 🙂 So I asked him why he wasn't using the next-door store instead. He said he tried there first, but they were out of whiskey (our brand). Lol! So my next question was "But did you get the whiskey?" A little funny to try to calm DH down. He was very, very angry. We will NEVER use that store again. ETA: By the time he got home, he wished he hadn't bought it. But he was just stunned. Caught between my whiskey and an a$$hole. 🙂 And that wasn't $150 worth of whiskey alone. It was just the most important. If I was drinking that much whiskey, I probably wouldn't need a mask because I'd be pickled. LOL!
  20. My understanding from the board meeting was that it was a combination of a bond, technology fund, and emergency fund that had already been funded. I appreciate that they pivoted to go pseudo-virtual. It was when they dropped "virtual" for several programs that worked well in the fall, I questioned the point. The students are now required to complete all the school work online in the virtual portal while sitting in school. <eye roll> And my DD has 5-6 substitutes every week with recorded lessons from the teacher in the virtual portal. And district didn't have to drop the virtual option for spring. Of course, TEA has dropped funding for virtual for next year already so now they MUST physically go to school next year. Only now they will go with no masks too.
  21. Yes, it's the straight-up animosity that has me shaken. There is no way I can send my kids to school in a mask here (if covid still wreaking havoc) now that the mandate has lifted. I didn't even want to vaccinate, but I did. I do not adopt early medical procedures (I'm a biomedical engineer-I've seen behind the curtain). BUT the vaccine is like an invisible mask at this point. I will be so relieved when the kids are vaccinated now.
  22. My kids had a "mystery" virus that behaved exactly like covid 4 weeks before the US shut down last year. It was a nasty, nasty cold. I almost never take my kids to the doctor, and they all went in for this. Both DH and I, my mom, dad, and 2 brothers also had the pleasure. Ironically, the younger the person, the worse it was in our family. I'm not afraid to get it again. We survived. But it's not like I'm "licking lamp posts" either. Know what I mean? I prefer to avoid it if for no other reason (and there are many good life-threatening reasons for others) than there is no time to be sick. And last time it was bad enough for a doctor and took almost 3 weeks to recover fully. Grrrr.
  23. Our 115,000+ school district just announced that they are lifting the mask mandate on June 7. Given that 75-80% of kids were face-to-face in our high specific high school, it was impossible to space everyone out. Plexi-glass corner dividers (not 3-wall variety) were installed on desks, still set in 2x2 formation, shielding nothing. Now, my kid was virtual first semester and had to go face-to-face second semester to participate in varsity band. We mask. We move around within the community and attend things--masked and distanced even when it wasn't required or easily accommodated. Adults have been vaccinated. Older, high-risk adults in our family have been vaccinated. But my 11yo,13yo, and 16yo can't even be vaccinated yet. Why, oh why, oh why, couldn't they wait to lift the mask mandate until AFTER vaccinations for all 115,000 kids were approved? Why did my DD have to miss 10 days of school because of contact tracing because the teacher removed the shield in her classroom this semester if 3 months later it doesn't matter if they are sitting shoulder to shoulder with an infected person with no PPE measures? I mean seriously, DD has played both and instrument and colorguard fully in a mask no matter the temperature (9-95 degrees), length of time (12-13 hours/day), heavy exercising, etc. What was the point? Our specific zip code is reporting about 22% vaccinated (pop. about 91k). Lots of kids in that 90k. Most do not even have an option to be vaccinated. Think about that; on my block of 21 houses (approx. 42 adults/40 children), only 18/82 people have been vaccinated. There are about 6 homeschoolers and 36 b&m school kids. On top of that, DD13, DD15, and I attended a children's theater production last weekend. This was to see a bestie (who we haven't seen but once in the last year) in a major role. Previously, it was held in a large auditorium. When we purchased tickets in February for the April performance, it was to be held in a large venue, seating in spread-out pods with masks. Because the state-mask mandate was lifted and Texas was "open", they apparently changed the mask and seating. We found out when we arrived. Venue was small-ish school gym/cafeteria that had a low stage. Chairs were "butt-to-nut" as my husband would colorfully say. There were about 300 chairs. I was concerned. BUT we were wearing our extra protective masks and decided to avoid the lobby, intermission, etc. Get-in-get-out maneuvering as best we can. Once seated, DD points out that we are 3 of about 15 people in the entire room wearing a mask. Then, big guy 3ft behind us hacks up a lung leaning forward over and over for almost 3 hours. So much so that we felt the cough physically on us each time. Now, under any other time, I would have politely confronted this person. But we were clearly in a room with people who did.not.care about Covid precautions. And we were in the very minority. And we were 3 rows from the stage which would have caused an even bigger disturbance to attempt to rectify. I searched for a different area to move to. None. Absolute nightmare. At best he was an oblivious idiot (rude action long before covid came along), at worst accosting us for our masks. I was upset, shocked, disappointed. Thank goodness for our own high-quality masks, my vaccination, and our general robust immune systems. In the end for y own sanity, I chose to think this guy an idiot rather than an attacker. Until last night...neighborhood mom-n-pop store (that we purposely choose to use despite higher prices to support our community) accosted DH for wearing his mask. Owner said, "You know those mask are bullsh*t and don't do anything." No comment while checking out spending $150 bucks (so not a candy bar). Again, "You know you don't need a mask, right?" No comment. Other patrons in store (not wearing masks) go deadly silent. Again, "You shouldn't be wearing that in here." No comment. DH showed amazing restraint. He does not mind being "confrontational" when merited. He was just shocked that this guy that we have patronized over the last year to "help" did this. And, folks, this is a liquor store that didn't shut down during the entire pandemic. So he doesn't get a "covid ruined my business" pass. In fact, the liquor stores did very well around here this past year. Now I think that there is a good possibility the hacker-man was being intentional. And I'm left wondering what in the hell did we go to all the trouble with masking in school and dealing with all the work-arounds? And why did the school district spend $41 million on giving every single kid a laptop and hot spot for what amounted to really just one semester? And why do you care if I wear a mask, especially when you are not made to? And if you think it was wrong to REQUIRE masks, then why is it ok to REQUIRE no masks? And why did the one thing, school, just go rogue against trying to keep the virus to a minimum within the school with multiple covid reports (presumably stemming from community exposure, not school) coming out every week? Well, this was very long, and somewhat cathartic. Obviously, I can't say any of this aloud in my world. And I'm trying to avoid bringing this feeling of despair down on my kids. Lifting masks in school has really done me in. Thanks for listening y'all.
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