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About pitterpatter

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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  1. We follow the four-year cycle for history and science. We started with ScienceFusion this year for sixth grade. It turned out not to be our cup of tea, so that left me scrambling around Christmastime. I ended up ordering the sixth grade earth science-themed LightUnits from Christian Light Publications. I don't think they are traditionally recommended here, but they ended up being a great fit for us this year. They are to the point, take about 30 minutes or less per lesson to complete, and have low-key, mostly independent experiments/activities sprinkled throughout the books. Grade six was redesigned for this past school year, so that's a plus! My DD has some writing composition issues plus a low tolerance for frustration. She can be a creative writer, but she needs a method to fall back on for everyday writing. We've been using The Paragraph Book series a couple times a week this year. (We split each lesson into two days.) We've both been pretty happy with it.
  2. We used My Body too. It also includes short descriptions of various parts. You can see our finished product here.
  3. We got to watch the same thing with the giant tortoises at the zoo once. 😄 It was a very noisy experience!
  4. Thank you both! I'm bummed I didn't discover these sooner. My daughter loves doodling and making lists, so I think the ones you've mentioned will be a good fit. 😄 They will be a nice end-of-the-year treat, I think.
  5. Farrar, The Tin Man Press books look like so much fun. I'm positive my daughter who is in sixth grade would adore these. Can you recommend any titles in particular?
  6. I pulled three two-foot high stacks off the shelves just yesterday. I need to sell them but am not motivated. I have a couple of totes full downstairs as well. I have a hard time selling expensive hard-to-find-used curricula because I know it would be difficult to get them back were I to "need" them again.
  7. I'm looking for something for art appreciation for my 6th grader. Would "Great Courses: How to Look at and Understand Great Art" be good/appropriate for this age? (We can stream it for free through the library.) I realize there will probably be some nudity in some of the featured pieces, but is there discussion of adult subject matter in any of the lectures? TIA! PS - If anyone can recommend Great Courses for music appreciation (or any other topic) for the same age, I'd appreciate it.
  8. The miniature schnauzer we had when I was a teenager was the most wonderful dog ever. The second one my mom had (died a couple of months ago), was the most annoying dog ever. Definitely get one that's bred well. The first was, the second wasn't. They do tend to yap a lot. Also, they seem to like to run out the door every chance they get. For what it's worth, if you want a high-maintenance dog that is stubborn with unlimited energy, check into wire fox terriers. They have incredible personalities. However, I cannot recommend them. Hah!
  9. Thank you, TechWife. This is a pretty accurate summarization of our problems. I can understand the PP's confusion, though. I've jumped back-and-forth between threads, plus current and past problems. My experience in applying for Medicaid in my state has been extremely time-consuming and stressful. My mom had modest cash assets (a small savings account she kept for Christmas money and to pay her real estate taxes each year, plus the loan values of some small whole life insurance policies, which we now have to pay interest we couldn't transfer the policies, as that's considered hiding assets). We spent them on part of a non-revocable prepaid burial plan and prepaid her real estate taxes for the year. That's it. And, that about killed me. We spent all her cash assets with the "hope" of getting on Medicaid. What would we do if she wasn't granted Medicaid? There would be no cash to fall back on. And, that is exactly what happened. Coming up with the money (about $1,800) to pay her real estate taxes this year will be a hardship. Also, selling a house while applying for Medicaid in my state is the absolute worst thing you can do. You are penalized for this. Plus, she would need a place to live, if she improved. (When it comes down to it, it's completely up to her whether she wants to live in a nursing home. Fit or not, she can go home any time.) I don't think you have to do anything with a house until the owner dies. But of course, someone has to pay for the upkeep. A little more about applying for Medicaid. The paperwork seems simple enough, but it's not. You have to provide paper trails for absolutely everything. Although there is "only" a seven-year-look back in my state, you may have to find paperwork from decades ago to prove this or that. My mom set up a revocable trust (this type is totally worthless for "protecting assets," btw) when we were small children. It had not been updated since then. There were two pieces of property in it that had long been sold. We had to prove exactly what was and wasn't in the trust. Plus, she had taken out a loan against one of her whole life policies beyond the look-back period, but we still had to prove what she spent the money on. All correspondence is handled through the mail. Requests from the state for additional information can be very cryptic. It was difficult to understand what they wanted and I could not talk to anyone in person or on the phone about her case. I called, and asked many people. I bet her case file was two inches thick by the time we got done running back and forth. Anyway, I'm pretty sure everyone is getting tired of reading about my life. My mom is suppose to transfer from the rehab center to a nursing home this afternoon. I've been sick with stress for days. I've had to prepare her Medicaid application again, scout nursing homes, figure out how to downsize her bills and pay for her house without her Social Security check, visit her every other day, change her ostomy, deal with her sadness and depression that I'm in no mind-frame to deal with, etc. Needless to say, I'm not getting much of my own work done, which is more stress.
  10. Yes!! This is part of what made it so difficult for me when my mother first came home (a year ago). She required an oversized wheelchair. Guess what?! Those things don't fit through standard-sized interior doors. The rehab center she was being released from was supposed to ensure that she had a proper wheelchair when she came home. Just a couple of days before she was to be discharged, they said their supplier didn't have a chair to fit our needs. Oh well, they would send her home with a walker. Uh, no. We explained how the house was designed, the length of the sidewalk, the number and height of the steps, etc. There was no walking her into that house. She could barely walk with a walker and the only steps she could climb were a couple of very low ones that had special handrails in the rehab setting. The rehab setting is no where near like the home setting. At that point, she had lost a good deal of weight but was still around 250 lbs., I think. I tad more actually because she was right at certain wheelchairs' weight capacities. There was no way we could carry her in, so it was up to me to figure out a solution. (Her case worker saw every concern we had about bringing her home as complaints, she marked them down as "family unwilling to help.") There aren't many places that sell wheelchairs. There are far, far fewer that sell bariatric chairs. You can special order them, but that would have taken time we didn't have, extra money for quick delivery, and would be nonreturnable. I ended up purchasing a bariatric transport chair for $300 and crossed my fingers. The only thing available right then. We didn't have the money for it and neither did my mom (we had already spent her few meager assets on a prepaid burial plan in an attempt to get her on Medicaid), but we bought it anyway for her birthday that was coming up. What else was there to do? Transport chairs do not have the big wheels on the sides, so they must be pushed from the back. This meant I had to push her everywhere inside and outside of the house. In time, she shrank down enough to squeeze her into a little bit smaller chair that would fit through the doors. But, those first weeks at home were brutal. Also, wheelchairs need ramps. That was a whole other stressful, expensive endeavor to figure out on short notice. And, it's really not as easy as one might at first think. I asked the case worker for help because no one in the city sold what we needed off the showroom floor. All had to be special ordered. She gave me a set of blueprints for building a ramp. Then, she just couldn't figure out the problem...why we couldn't magically build this expensive, elaborate setup in two days. After extensive research, I was able to buy one ramp from Amazon (yeah, Prime) and another of a different size from another vendor (had to pay expedited shipping on this one). That was another $350+. And, they just about didn't work. Math on paper is not the same as reality. There ended up being just enough clearance on each side for the wheelchair to fit. If whomever was pushing her wasn't extremely careful, she could easily go overboard.
  11. The only way my mom can be in a nursing facility is if Medicaid picks up the tab. We have no other means to pay for it. While I realize Medicaid for a nursing home is a little different than standard Medicaid, I have pegged my hopes on Medicaid relief before. There are programs that would have paid me for my time as her caregiver but only if my mom would have been on Medicaid. There are programs that would have provided me respite but only if my mom would have been on Medicaid. Pick a service/program. It likely requires the disabled person to be on Medicaid. After spending an immense amount of time jumping through hoops trying to get her there, she has already been denied twice.
  12. I have no idea. All this sounds great, if you can. It's a whole other ballgame when life throws you continuous curve balls. In my case, should we save, or spend money making memories for my daughter with her father? (He was given a 5-10 life expectancy about eight years ago.) What about when your husband is fired at age 40 through no fault of his own and is forced to take another job at much less pay? Btw, this happens all the time. We didn't pay attention until it happened to him. The government seriously needs to do something about these unethical business practices. My only suggestion, live well beneath your means. Save and hide money beneath your mattress.
  13. Yes, I realize this. In all fairness to myself, it took a little while to figure out that the situation wasn't going to improve. That it wasn't temporary. I never said yes, the rehab hospital dumped my mom in my lap. My sister abandoned me right at the start. I never expected extended family to help. The day-in-the-life post is for the people who think it's an "honor" to care for their parents. Until you're living the situation, you can't understand it. I'm trying to dig us out, but the government limits me. I can dig us out only so far as they will allow. At this point, we are literally at their mercy.
  14. How dare you suggest such a thing?! ? (My mom's thoughts, not mine.) I must keep the animals together after her death at all cost. I must convince her male friend to live in the house forever to take care of them. I have to use my own money to pay her personal property tax, her house insurance, and any repairs costs that arise (because it wouldn't be fair to make her male friend pay for them since he doesn't own the house), to ensure that the animals have a proper home.
  15. My life as my mother's caregiver...starting at midnight. - Mom wakes me at midnight. I'm asleep beside her in her bed. She has to pee. I unpillow her. Get her into her wheelchair. Help her transfer to the toilet. Help her empty her ostomy. Get her back into bed. Repillow her (this involves placing six pillows under various parts of her body just right). - Mom wakes me at 2 a.m. She has to pee again. Repeat the above. - My husband drops off my then 10-year-old daughter at 4 a.m. I get up to let her in. I try to be super quiet. I don't want to wake the dogs. She goes to sleep on the couch or watches a device. I don't know. I'm locked in Mom's room. - One of Mom's four cats wakes me at 5 a.m. She wants pets. I want to sleep. - I get up to let Mom's three dogs out at 6 a.m. Back to bed. - Time to get up. It's 7:30 a.m. I help Mom to the toilet again. Then, get her back into bed. I give her a "sponge" bath. - It's time for breakfast. One cat has peed on the stove. I clean it up. Feed all seven animals. Sanitize the kitchen. I make breakfast. - I help Mom into her lounge chair. - I try to work on the computer because I have to work for our family to survive. Uh, oh. A cat has puked. I clean it up. Oh, there's a dust bunny from one of the dogs. I have to quickly sweep the whole house before in-home health comes. - I let the dogs out because one nips at the in-home health worker. - In-home health comes. They do nothing but waste time. - I let the dogs in. It's hot. One drinks a bunch of water. It pukes. I clean it up. - I make lunch for everyone. - I try to work. Mom has to pee. Or, wants some water. Or, want this or that. - I try to work again. People come to visit. I have to let the dogs out again. The same dog also nips kids. - Ok, the visitors are gone. Yeah! Time to make dinner and feed the animals. This takes like two hours because I have to make two different meals. One that is pureed for Mom (because of her ostomy and she's picky). And, one for everyone else. - Sometimes my husband gets homes at just the right time. He eats dinner with us. If not, I talk to him (cry on him) on the phone. I miss him. I miss our lives together. He picks up our daughter. I give him a kiss. Tell him I love him. He has to get home. He has to wash his work clothes. I'm not there to do it. He has to be in bed by 8:30 p.m. He has to get up at 3 a.m. to commute 1.5 hours to his new job. (He lost his old one after 15 years of dedication and hard work just months earlier because the company's chief financial officer made some bad predictions. The company has to make stockholders happy. His salary was capped. He was an expensive employee. He and others from his peer group were axed. His new job pays less than half of his old. It doesn't pay the bills. It's up to me to make the difference.) - Mom's ostomy leaks. It's a difficult ostomy. I work on it for an hour and a half. Try to figure out a better strategy. This thing leaks all the time. Anywhere from twice in one day to every 2-3 days. - Crap! One of the critters has pooped on the floor. I clean it up. - It's getting late. I'm tired. I give up working. Time to watch American Pickers. - Time for bed. I let the dogs out. I help Mom with her toiletry needs. I get her back into bed. I pillow her just right. I round up the animals. Two dogs go into kennels in her room. One stays out. Two cats get locked into her room with us because they pick on the other two that stay in the kitchen/living room. Oh, wait. Gotta make sure I give those two treats. I crawl into bed next to Mom. I listen to an audiobook for a while wishing I was far far away. - It's midnight! Mom has to pee... This is just one scenario. Often, we have to drive 1.5 hours to some doctor/treatment in the city. Sometimes, twice a week! Or, we have to go to the ER for various complications and sit for hours...well into the early morning....waiting. What's my daughter doing all this time? I have no idea. I've not the time to track her down. Or, she's sitting on some device in some doctor's office or treatment center waiting room by herself watching who knows what. I bought her a phone. She's too young. I didn't want to, but I have to have some way to contact her. To know she's safe when she's sitting alone. Where's my husband? Working or alone at home. Now, it's time for school. Where do I insert that? My poor daughter. We tried doing it at 4 a.m. when my husband dropped her off. It was tortuous for her. She kept nodding off. What a crap parent am I?! She's forced to school herself. I simply don't have the time. Anyone want to trade lives? Please, oh please. I beg you.
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