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Everything posted by higginszoo

  1. My parents had a 2008 T&C that they absolutely loved. The thing started literally falling apart on them last year, though. They have a 2013 now, but don't love it as much as the old one (not that it was drivable anymore). They've had Chrysler minivans since the first year (1984 Plymouth Voyager), and the things have consistently broken down badly at about the 6 year mark.
  2. Praying for her and for you. And do try to take a picture or something, because hopefully her 19th birthday will be a great celebration of how far she's come after this low point.
  3. Just something I'd watch right now, but not worry about. Get her involved in a sport or dance or something, because that's a good lifestyle choice to have no matter what (I make sure that even my super-skinny kids get enough exercise), but like others have said, this just could be a pre-pubescent thing -- lots of kids grow out, then up, in cycles. If it continues, or if you notice anything else going on (any other changes, fatigue, etc.) then a trip to the endocrinologist might be in order, as things like thyroid problems can pop up in this age range, but 59th% is right at 'normal' for her age.
  4. For us, it would be for the right brick and mortar school situation to be available for each of my dc. I may be down to one eighth grader next year at home, while still guiding an 11th grader who won't be independent enough for me to consider graduating him, even if all of his classes are at a college level, since I'm still having to choose for him. My current 9th grader decided in 7th grade that she wanted to go to public high school. She had come up with some well thought out reasons (some classes that she wanted are only offered in ps without a good private alternative in the area), and she helped me research a good ps program for her. She started this year, and is thriving. She does all of the work required of her without prompting, and more when a concept takes her longer to grasp. I consider her a homeschool success and graduate (even if she graduated from my program after eighth grade) because she is proactive and directing her own education now. She knows how to learn and is able to find the resources for that, which has been my main goal for my children. I don't see her coming back home, and if she does, it will because she wants more independence in her learning, so *I* wouldn't be homeschooling her as much as letting her educate herself. My oldest is 15, and still working on some of the self-directed education skills. His classwork is all outsourced, which has helped our relationship, but he still requires a bit of a kick in the pants as far as grades and doing his homework. He'll get there, it's just taking longer. He goes out to brick and mortar schools 3 days a week (3 days at a community college, 1 day at a university model homeschool program), but isn't interested at this point in planning the next step (whether we're looking as far ahead as career or college or as immediate as next semester's class selection). I'll consider it a successful end to homeschooling when he is taking the initiative to guide his own education and/or career. My younger ds is a high ability learner with some visual processing difficulties that make any kind of mass education system difficult to consider for him at this time, and for the foreseeable future (as he gets closer to college age, I think he'll be more motivated to prep toward a university environment, but as a middle schooler, that's too far off his radar). I don't know what a brick and mortar program would have for him at this point, as he gets lost easily in a group, and doesn't advocate for himself when he gets behind. We're working on this ... this year, he's in a small (3 person) class with a forum mom who is familiar with working with kids with similar twice exceptional learning conditions. Next year, he'll be taking a class at the same university model program older ds is in. Youngest dd is such a social butterfly, but also has ADHD and a minor hearing impairment, yet is academically accelerated. I actually have her name in with a couple of charter schools that I think might be able to provide something that would balance her needs. The lack of out of the box thinking and need for the kids to all be working/thinking in lockstep makes the local public school not a good option for her. I'll keep her with me if a good choice doesn't open up, but really, she is the type who would thrive in an environment with a lot of other people to interact with most of the time (which is another reason regular ps wouldn't work for her -- all those people and you're not allowed to talk). I'm an introvert, my next child up is an introvert, it might be in the best interest of all of our sanity when she goes out to school. For most of my kids, my goal is to have them able to step up and take responsibility for their own learning without my prodding or planning for them. My experience with this is that one of my children was able to do this by 13, while others may well be 18-19 before I'm comfortable that they've got that. It's not my only way I'd send my children to school, though, just a preference as long as most of them seem to be sticking around to/through the teen years.
  5. It's just us this year. Everything is purchased -- I need to get the turkey in the brine today. I need to decide on one more veggie side dish and get stuff for it, if needed. If I don't think of anything, I think I have some carrots that I can do in a ginger glaze ... I have green bean casserole for most of us, but one dc has gagged on green beans since infancy, so for a nice meal, I'd prefer to make something else that he doesn't have to choke down -- most of us don't like cooked carrots, though, so I can get away with a really small portion if I go that route.
  6. I used to stay home and do candy while dh took the dc. Now, usually one of the older dc past T or T age hands out candy, younger boy goes with friends, youngest goes with Daddy or one of the teens.
  7. If your gut is telling you to wait and there's no indication to the contrary, I don't see a problem cancelling. Has anyone NOT gone into labor on their own eventually? I can understand doing a few checks to make sure everything is going along as it should, but if everything seems fine, wait until it feels right.
  8. But 620 does turn North/South in a few places ... it's east/west near you (and even mostly so near me), but in Lakeway and points south, it's pretty north/south for quite a while. Still, I rely on maps more than GPS ... I've known people to die from relying on GPS instead of their brains.
  9. I have one ds who has gotten migraines since infancy. It's one of those things where there are a lot of things that are important to rule out, especially the first time, and especially when there isn't a family history. I knew a guy in high school who went to bed with what he and his mom thought was a migraine ... she gave him an aspirin (which is appropriate for a migraine), but it turned out to be an aneurysm, which presents the same way -- he didn't wake up. It's a pain to drag a kid with a migraine to ER ... I know because sometimes my ds's vomiting gets to the point where he needs IV meds to get turned around. But it's worth it to make sure that is, in fact what it is, and not something worse ... and they should be able to give him something that will help if it's 'only' a migraine.
  10. Among my kids' friends, it's 50/50, certainly in high school, probably more like 30% of their middle school friends have smart phones. My dc have iTouches that give them the same data access as long as there's open wifi (there is in school, and dd is encouraged to use her phone and/or iTouch to keep track of appointments, assignments, etc.) Since most teen communication seems to be by text (even dd's work supervisors are in their 50s and 60s and only text), a phone is pretty essential -- even dd's teachers use texts. But dumb phones with qwerty keyboards work just fine for my teens.
  11. It doesn't mean much to me. I'm an American of German, Irish, Scottish and French descent. Probably a few other things in there, too. I'd primarily introduce myself as an American, though, and wouldn't bring up the other stuff unless it was a genealogy discussion, because I don't think that it's culturally relevant to who I am. The fact that my parents are from New Orleans by several generations might be relevant, the fact that my father was active duty military, so I was raised in that subculture, up and down the East Coast, mostly in the South, might be relevant -- moreso than the nationalities of my immigrant ancestors who arrived as early as the early 1600s (from Scotland) to my great-grandfather, who I never met, who is my most recently immigrant ancestor, and came over in the very early 20th century (from Germany).
  12. http://www.sasshoes.com/main/view_styles.php?catid=2&prodid=96 -- I don't have trendy style options available to me, as I need something that will work with my orthotics. These seem to do nicely, and while not super-cute, they're not nearly as ugly as some of the things I've had to wear. They even meet the FlyLady's lace-up requirement, not that I generally wear them if I'm not leaving the house.
  13. My youngest snored from day 1. The nurse claimed to have never heard a newborn snore before. The family practice doctor said she was fine, though at 8, we did have her tonsils and adenoids out, and that ended the snoring. Otherwise, she's been really healthy, though, so nothing to worry about while he's a baby, but something to watch as he grows. My kids have all varied on the waking up thing. My older three were all pre-term to barely term (35 weeks- barely 38 weeks), two of them took 4-6 weeks to really wake up, the other was alert and ready to go from the start. (They're teens and a tween now and would sleep 16 hours straight if I let them.) Several books I read when they were little referred to a fourth trimester, where babies were out of the womb, but acting much like they were when they were still in -- this was very true of those two.
  14. I would have died before/during birth. I was frank breech, and my mom has a birth defect where he pelvis was fused and wouldn't spread. Without a c-section, I wouldn't have been able to be born, and my mom and I would have died as she tried to give birth.
  15. Nope, I even got kicked out of my sorority because I wasn't that much into that scene. I didn't have a big problem with them doing it, but partly because of homework as an engineering major, and partly because my interests were elsewhere and my budget could not support that kind of lifestyle, I chose not to go and became persona non grata. *shrug* We even live in one of the best cities for clubs (ok, listening to live music clubs more than partying hard clubs), but we still hardly ever go, even now that the dc are big enough that sitters, etc. aren't a consideration.
  16. I have a cluster of three kids in a barely 2 1/2 year span, and then baby sister is 4 years younger. They're 15, 14, 12 1/2 and 8 1/2 right now. Sometimes, she does seem like an only, sometimes she can't do things that the olders can/want to do, and sometimes she or they resent it. But there was a lot more help with my littlest when she was a baby. She has learned a lot just by osmosis, being around the other kids. For the most part, they really do get along well. My youngest is the neediest as far as attention and energy, and I think that no matter the spacing or the birth order, she would be the one that the other personalities in the family would have the most difficult time meshing with. There are advantages and disadvantages to any spacing, I think. The closer they are, the more they have each other, but there are times when things get blurred between one child and another. With a wider spacing, you can focus on each child as an individual, but then again you HAVE to focus on each child as an individual. You just go with what you've got. My childhood best friend has a 19 year old, a 13 1/2 year old, an 8 year old and a 5 year old. So her older two have really been like onlies in many ways, while her younger two are closer. But they all get along well, and the olders have always been a great help with the youngers and loved having them around. The oldest spent a year at a local community college last year, before transferring to a four year school this year. She got some great pictures of him and her 8 year old as he left for college, and baby sister's sad face was priceless. They really do have good sibling relationships, even with a 14 year span. However it ends up happening, it all seems to have a way of working out. In my experience, the individual personalities seem to have a lot more to do with sibling dynamics than the spacing. In my family of origin, my cousins' and my dh's, there are three dc with similar spacing. In my family, it was always the middle one who had a difficult time with the other two. In dh's family, it's the youngest sister who has the conflicts while the other two have always gotten along well with each other. In any case, none of the family relationships are overwhelmingly negative, just some easier and some require more work.
  17. I put the pot on the table and serve out of that unless it's a special meal or company is coming. I'm getting tired of cleaning up mess from cooking and mess from serving, so now that the kids are older, I might start having everyone serve from the kitchen (4-5 nights a week, this happens anyway, just because with teens and a tween, activities swallow many evenings and people eat in shifts).
  18. The head of our academy has a saying that Practice doesn't make Perfect ... Perfect Practice makes Perfect. Bad practice makes bad habits. I definitely second Tampamom's idea. Many schools near us even have deals with a month of lessons and a uniform free, and I know of people who have studio jumped a bit to get a few months of lessons that way -- they didn't advance, but they did gain some defense skills, and more importantly, confidence, that helped them in the situations they were in.
  19. I paid my parents something like $100 or $150 a month when I had graduated from college, but was still living with them. For that, I got a bedroom, food, and use of a car, including insurance. All I had to pay for were clothes and gas. I also was responsible for cleaning the hall bathroom and shuttling my teenage brother and my Marine brother who was stationed nearby around as my work schedule permitted. I also cooked dinner for the family a couple of nights per week. I had a job -- first as a materials tester, and then as an office temp. It was a much better deal than if I would have had to do on my own. My dh lived in a boarding house -- paid similar just for room -- he paid for food, his parents still took care of his car insurance, I think. We knew that this was temporary while dh was in grad school. Afterward, we got married and moved in to our own apartment.
  20. I don't get the adversarial relationship. My high schoolers are both outsourced to other teachers now. I appreciate what they do, probably even more so because I have taught these kids for the majority of their lives, and I know what a tough job it can be, even with my usually good-natured, academically very capable children. I respect them for taking on not only my children, but others with academic and behavioral difficulties as well. They work hard. Both of my children, with a dozen teachers between them, love all of the teachers they have. If they get a bad grade, my assumption is always that my dc missed something, and that they need to discuss with the person responsible for assigning that grade what they need to do to either fix the grade, or at least make sure that they fix their knowledge of the concept. It's rare to come across a teacher not willing to help a student with this, and IMO, it's only in those rare occasions that I have a reason to get involved and/or complain about how a teacher does their job.
  21. Not something that I have around on a day to day basis. I might use them on occasion -- but they would be a special purchase for a specific recipe, and then any left over might get used more spur-of-the-moment when my oldest or I were more impromptu in our menu choices.
  22. I signed my ds up for a year of http://rouxbe.com/, which was a good mix of online videos and tests and some ideas for practical exercises. He also took a Kitchen Chemistry class through MIT Open Courses http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/special-programs/sp-287-kitchen-chemistry-spring-2009/ It made a good introduction to more 'serious' culinary study, and I counted it as a half year of high school credit.
  23. I've got 7 15 year olds in my house tonight. They're all good kids. In fact, this is their Boy Scout patrol meeting. Two of the boys are Eagles, two more are almost there, and the other three are great scouts, just not all that advancement-minded. They're still definitely a crowd of loud doofuses. Entertaining to a point, and then just a headache. They'd be driving me to drink, but I'm one of the Scout adults supposedly supervising, so I guess I'll have to make do with earplugs.
  24. I'm posting here because I figure a lot of you can commiserate. My oldest was elected patrol leader on Monday, and decided that he needed to hold a patrol meeting. A sleepover. Tonight. At our house. Our troop's patrols are age-based, and at 15, there are still 7 in his patrol (older patrols have pretty much dissolved, or at least combined, by this age). They're also planning a patrol camping trip, but that will be at another guy's uncle's ranch -- and that boy's dad is a BSA certified range officer, so they might get some shooting in. So far, there are just two extra boys here, the relatively quiet ones really (the Eagle scouts), and it's already pretty noisy. I'm bracing myself for when the other 4 show up. But I do think that it's great that some of this crew are now in their tenth year together (4-5 were tigers together), and I want to encourage the continued bond. But WOW, they're loud. In other news, my biggest scout has been selected by the committee to be the next lead scoutmaster of our troop, so that will take up a lot of our time for the next 2 years. On the plus side of that, I will be relegated to smaller committee roles for that time. Though one of our district staff has picked up on this, and has tapped me out for some sort of membership job at the district level ... provided my new Venturer/Senior Girl Scout has her second Thursday nights free to watch my littlest one so I can go to Roundtable -- Dh has to go as Scoutmaster, and the boys have OA Chapter meeting at the same time/place as the roundtable.
  25. Ideally, I wanted to have kids a couple of years earlier. We needed some medical intervention to get going, so it took a bit longer. I still kind of wish we could have gotten started when we planned to. Whatever our issues were, they were then fixed and we suddenly conceived easily, and 3 of our dc are very close in age. We persisted through multiple miscarriages between children 3 and 4, and there is a bigger gap that I wish didn't exist. We always wanted 4-6 dc, ended up with four. I'm at peace with not pursuing treatments after dc4 -- it was the right choice for us, as it took a lot of emotional energy away from the other dc. Her being so much younger than the other dc is hard on her and on me a lot, but she was/is so high needs that I can't see dealing with medical intervention again while she was little, and I am happy not to have more big gaps.
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