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Everything posted by Laurel-in-CA

  1. This is me. I am on year 21, with my last one in high school. I was on these boards almost from the beginning, though not a bit poster. I don't debate over materials anymore, just want to get things DONE. I will be 64 when she graduates high school, so that will be a career change and a half. But I come here to hear other points of view, learn about new things, encourage others, etc.
  2. Subscriptions -- my dad had subscribed to multiple financial newsletters and I got the job of calling to cancel them all and recouped quite a bit of money. Had had NO IDEA how much some of those investment advisors charge for their news. If your mom is subscribed to magazines or email newsletters, it might be helpful to have a list. My brother was executor for my parents, but they had put all their major assets into a trust and that gave him more time to educate himself and deal with issues as they came up. In our case, my mom was receiving rental income on a proper that had to be split between the 4 of us. That took some time and legal help to reconfigure as she hadn't finished paperwork on it due to parkinson's related dementia. Luckily my brother was able to file with the courts to accept her *starting* the process as the intention of completing it, knowing her failure was due to medical issues not changes in her intentions. (There was a specific term for this but I can't remember.) We voted my brother a stipend, knowing he'd put in a lot of work on the estate issues, both beforehand with my mom and after her death. The person he worked with on my mom's end told him she had only seen 2 families who got through it without significant conflict and alienation and ours was one of them. I credit my parents for having things worked out and my brother for being very open about the process. Are there any legal issues between laws in her state and your state? My parents had a VA burial also. That was a big blessing and really simplified things. Both of my parents had made their funeral and burial instructions pretty clear and worked out the costs beforehand, partly because both of them knew they were failing. When you need help with simple physical things, it becomes much clearer that you'd better plan for the end. This losing your parents is very hard, but I truly do believe it's easier when you talk about it as honestly as you can manage. It seems that you and your mom are doing that. Bless you both.
  3. I am hearing a lot of mutual respect issues as this thread goes on. Without spouse-bashing, I do think it is fair to ask that the workspace you are in all day with the kids (that is, the house) be a project that gets immediate attention from both of you. Not just health and safety are at issue, but also peace and productivity. I'm not sure of the best method to get that to happen. Leave dh with kids and do it yourself? Start it yourself and embarrass dh into participation (this was my mother's method; I don't recommend it)? Hire it done--local handyman (this can be a real relief for all parties)? Hire a babysitter so it can get done? Beg friends to help and have a room setup party? You choose, but babyproofing, baby gate, and quiet, safe bedroom space should be priorities. They would be, to me anyway, indications that my husband respected me and the work I was doing for our family. So should safe transportation, IMHO. We've had one-car times and I never felt comfortable with it, but it was better when I had a plan (someone to call for help or, in your case, walk to pick up the car). I also had an argumentative boy, not necessarily with special needs (altho' we ended up doing vision therapy with him), and he is now an argumentative young man, altho' he's learned to control it much better. What worked with him was a daily checklist -- each subject, # of pages, check it off when done, show your checklist to Dad. Read aloud time was on the checklist, but I decided what it would be. Also that way, Dad can see what *he* does is only part of the package when he checks it off the list for that day. But be realistic and be sure Dad will be excited and positive when he sees everything checked off and not too crushing when a subject doesn't get done. My littlest one spent a lot of time standing on a chair at the kitchen sink "measuring" water and "mixing" it in bowls. Lots and lots of water because that was what worked for her. For another kid, it would have been drawing. For your little one, it sounds like physical activity and time w/mom, so I'd think hard about what subjects your son could work on independently or with initial review of instructions, giving you 10-15 min. for the little one, then back to ds (no, honey, you play with xyz, this is big brother's time, your time is in 15 minutes, here's a timer). That partly depends on her having a specific, safe area for independent play. And I would try to find one subject where she could sit at the table with big brother and do something there, giving her the feeling of participation and equal attention from mom. You keep saying you are not good at.....bed times, making him do his stuff, managing the toddler, etc. All these things are hard for most moms, but we work to get better at them over time. So pick one thing, like bedtime, and announce you are sticking to your guns, and then stick to them and if you don't admit the mistake and stick to them again. Only you know what that first thing needs to be. And please, DO look at the things you are good at, too. They ARE there!! Oh, and the co-op plus evaluation plus driving -- that's more than enough for the day. Seriously. Plan a movie for the night with popcorn or something to celebrate surviving and thriving. And there's a reason my kids still know the theme songs from Between the Lions and Cyberchase....those were our go-to shows for when mom was exhausted. At least I didn't have to feel bad about napping to those. I hope some of these ideas help. You sound really stressed and in need of some positive changes, but you are the best one to figure out what will work for you.
  4. Take comfort in NOT passing down the pain to the next gen. I hope you can find some ways to affirm yourself and reach toward peace in spite of this person (s).
  5. We had a Rain Gutter Regatta with noodle boats for our AHG/TL Welcome Back. This Monday is our first troop meeting, although the older girls started early with CPR/First Aid training. My dd is the only Patriot (high schooler) in our troop but there are 6-8 jr. highers, which is a BIG change from last year when she was the only girl in the jr hi/high school unit! I am Troop Vice Coordinator, but if we have a Pathfinder unit I'll be taking that, too. So far, that's not happening and I'll have time to get the paperwork done @ meetings, which is great. We are supposed to have Family camp next weekend and aside from site reservations, NOTHING is planned. That is stressing me out.
  6. Being the catalyst is hard. Change is hard. But so is being stuck with things that aren't working anymore, and that is hardest on your mil. It's hard on your fil, too, and he may not realize how big the load is until he starts to share it. You guys did the right thing!!!
  7. Well, it's really the teen car -- and we have one more teen to go. She drives a lot because she goes from house to house doing in-home care for disabled clients. I do think we need to set a deadline for the car purchase and then she'll have to take out a loan for whatever she hasn't got. Maybe that will adjust her thinking about NY? She has a friend going to NYU. But she also has friends willing to plan a (much shorter) trip to Las Vegas with her. It doesn't help that my p/t job ends in a week and then we'll have less to cover the expenses anyway. Sigh. Praying about something else I can do p/t from home.
  8. OK, so I have a question. Our kiddo who is full-time @ CC, living @ home w/o paying rent and driving the family car (supposedly saving for her own) is planning a trip to NY for her 21st birthday. I am feeling a little resentful. DH and I haven't been on even a weekender for 2 years and are struggling to make the bills so that SHE can go to NY? Even tho' it's "her" money, it's coming from what's supposed to be savings for her own car. She searches obsessively for a vehicle she can "afford" and then goes to NY on the money? Am I being reasonable or ridiculous?
  9. Praise God you are in agreement and are moving forward for her benefit! Every human should be treated with respect and kindness, the more so as they are more needy. FWIW my sister, who was on the stop with my parents' care, got significant advice and referrals from the in-town senior center. They knew in-home care people and local groups that could help and gave her a list of options.
  10. Charter schools that support homeschoolers are sometimes more accepting, but not always and, of course, most do not have the sports component.
  11. They're not willing to relocate? Have her be in a memory care place while he lived nearby? I suppose not, if he's not even willing to hire in help. Sigh. I am sorry, but I do think in this situation that getting outside resources involved is the only choice that will get things to change. Does your dh have a power of attorney, or another sibling?
  12. Our deal has always been that they are welcome to live at home without rent while in school but once they're out they pay us. I have one paying me rent now, plus paying me for his car insurance. He thinks I'm over-charging but I don't. 8-) He pays for his own stuff and stops once/week or so at the produce stand for his own meals but I do buy groceries. I have one almost-21 year old living at home and in school full-time (barely) and she's just paying her car insurance and her own snacks, clothes, etc. I charged her rent this summer, but it was a token amount. I have a 25yo and she knows she is welcome to move home -- we'll make room somehow -- but she feels she's closer to career opportunities where she is, a 9-hour drive away. 8-(
  13. Estelle Ryan's Genevieve Lenard series -- about a PhD who's autistic and reads body language to help her solve crimes, teamed up with an art thief. Really good. Each one named after an art masterpiece tied into the story.
  14. My last kid starts high school this year. We joined a co-op and this summer had a weekly girls night, trying to build community among them. Another mom and I alternated nights, sometimes with sleepovers. We'll do it once a month during the school year, I think, and invite other friends if interested. We moved when ds was 16 -- what a hard year for him. He felt very isolated. That summer he worked and lived on-campus at a christian camp in the area. It was the perfect thing for him -- friends! cash! independence! (as much as you can have when you don't drive yet). Once employment is available, it can be a good social outlet, too. It's the years between 13-15 that are the hardest, IMHO.
  15. I would add: Sun hat and a bandana I can wet for my neck. Ace bandage or other kind of wrap.
  16. Our neighbor does cat rescue and feeds cats from her front porch. Needless to say, we had an unpleasant fragrance, regularly updated, in the bark on our front entry and lawn. We got a motion-sensitive ultra-sonic device that has been quite effective. Put it in a corner of our yard that covered the problem areas and have had zero problems in the area it covers. And I've had at least one dog-walker in the neighborhood let me know her dog is sensitive to it. (We moved it a bit away from the sidewalk and that helped.) So worth it!
  17. My kids' first resumes, before they had any paid experience, listed volunteer positions they'd held and the descriptions of those positions highlighted their people and teamwork skills as well as their commitment to the area of interest (e.g., for my artist dd she'd led a 4H fine arts project, competed in the county fair in those categories, and volunteered at a summer kids art camp). My son, who applied for a position as program staff for a summer camp highlighted his experience as a camper, arts and crafts director @ 4H camp and volunteer camp director for 4H camp and his public speaking skills. Both of them got the jobs they applied for, BTW. This sounds like a great opportunity for your son. If he's participated in any online communities, I would list that, too. Does that help?
  18. Unless they both want you to volunteer in a significant area......
  19. I have a niece going to Merced. She likes it fine, is on a pre-med track (dermatology is her goal). But in her case proximity to home may have been a significant factor.
  20. SUCH a contrast for us between touring CSU Fullerton and asking about their art dept. (student was clueless, art dept. secretary gave us a form & nothing more, have to do general ed first anyway, so see us your sophomore year) and touring a private art school -- look around the buildings, look at and discuss portfolio, talk about specific majors, etc. Also a large difference in price tags, of course, altho' not so drastic if you're coming from out of state. DD's school was a small (but probably well supported) not-for-profit and there was a pretty huge difference between their tuition and that of the big-name art school in the state.
  21. I live in NorCal and the high school my teen would be bussed to charges $250/semester for bus pickup and delivery. Sigh. It's about 1/4 mile walk to the public bus stop and a lot of families prefer that option as they can buy monthly passes....but for us that wouldn't pay unless student was riding twice/day every day. Son took the bus home (dropped off by dad) and bought a pass with a set # of rides instead. As I recall, that was about $30/30 rides. I think that a one bedroom apartment for a year lease with the resolve to look at other options then, once things are more stable, might be the most reasonable option. I would rather pinch the pennies by cramming than be caught out by an emergencies. JMHO. And Sacramento is expanding, but way cheaper than where we live right now....they take bids on rooms for rent here.
  22. My dd got a scholarship for her portfolio -- $5500/year, and they gave it to her for her extra semester, too. We had 3 kids @ home when she went to school, so she got a CalGrant, too. They host the National Portfolio Day in San Diego. I don't know about merit scholarship other than by portfolio evaluation -- dd had a B average and an low-average SAT, but that didn't seem to be a big consideration. She loved the school -- it backs up to a conservancy and they had their science classes there, town is very artsy with galleries and plein air paintings, etc.
  23. We counted stable time as PE time for my oldest. Grooming & washing & scooping and dumping poo is WORK. Riding is work. And yes, PE includes instructional time. You could also include reading on horsemanship, especially if she wrote summaries of what she learned. JMHO.
  24. Both Cal Polys (SLO and Pomona) are tough to get into, focus a lot on engineering stuff but definitely offer other majors. We have a friend who taught @ Pomona in Industrial Sciences. My oldest attended Laguna College of Art and Design (So Cal, near beach), a fairly affordable, small non-profit art school (400 students). Loved the price, good quality preparation but not much choice of teachers in a particular area. We also toured Otis (near LAX), more expensive and much more urban, and Pasadena (gold standard of art schools) which was not worth twice the price, KWIM? For your artsy student check out the colleges listed at National Portfolio Day, which is held all over the country yearly but at least once in SoCal and once in NorCal each year. My 2nd just graduated from Sonoma State University, part of the CSU system, north of San Francisco. He transferred there from our local CC and finished in 2 years. They do have a mandatory gender studies and internship requirement to graduate. He said the classes were challenging but easier than the CC. (Is that because the CC prepared him well? I think so.) His choice of college was based on proximity -- he knew the $ value of living @ home and keeping his excellent p/t job, LOL.
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