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Everything posted by Entropymama

  1. My parents are divorced. Both remarried, mom divorced a second time and married a third time. My mom is one of six children - all of them have been divorced save one, who married a divorcee. My mom's parents are still married, but at 89 my grandmother decided she'd had enough and moved out. I doubt they'll ever do the paperwork, but they're no longer together. My dad was one of four children; all but one have been divorced. DH's parents are still married, but it's a second marriage for his mom. He is one of four siblings, all three who got married are still married. I'm one of 12 cousins. Except for me, no one got married younger than their late 20's, and I think our family culture was a big factor in that.
  2. Maybe veering into another realm here, but I find that when I'm depressed I'm on my phone more. It's a way to distract myself from what's going on in my head. I had been doing it for a long time before I made the connection. I'm not saying that's the case with this woman, but who knows?
  3. Lots of good advice here. One more thing - there's something going around the internet that looks like a bullseye with the dying person in the middle, the next ring is the wife/husband/whatever, then the children, then the siblings and moving out from there. (If anyone has a link or pic that would be great). Decide who is in the middle and pay attention to it. Good goes toward the middle, bad goes out; in other words you can only complain to people in rings further out than yours. Then find someone in an outer circle and ask if you can call them once in a while and let it all out. Also, people closer to the middle get to make the decisions. For example, my dad and his wife did not want any kind of memorial service. Nothing. I was sad and his sisters were very upset, but you know what? It's her husband and the argument isn't worth it. It doesn't matter. Oh, how it doesn't matter. Let it go to preserve the relationship because those living people are going to be with you for a long time when the dying person has gone.
  4. The last few years DH and I have been able to spend 2-3 nights once a year somewhere nice because of a work trip for him. So I guess it's a vacation for me, just not for him. :lol: 18 months ago we went to Disneyland for our 15th anniversary. That was definitely a vacation, but because of finances we stayed with a friend, so maybe not what you'd expect for an anniversary trip. (They're great, we loved it.) This summer and last we spent a week with a family we're friends with at their cabin. Again, free and with other people, but I'd call it a vacation. We also took our kids to Wisconsin Dells for two days last summer. As far as 'destination' vacations - like flying the family to Hawaii or something - never.
  5. I was living across country when my dad went through his cancer journey, so I wasn't there day to day, but I can give you generalities. He'll lose a lot of weight and age very quickly. My dad went from a healthy 60 year old to having the appearance of a frail 85 year old in a year. Many of his functions he kept until very close to the end, so there were no diapers to change, etc. He was just very tired and in pain all the time. The mental trauma is difficult - facing your own mortality. He was often quick tempered and then grief stricken for speaking unkindly. He required a great deal of encouragement but was also irritated by encouragement because we all knew he was dying. One of the great things my dad did was to start a binder to keep all his health related stuff in. There were sections for all his test results, medications, insurance paperwork, bills paid, bills to be paid, important documents (DNR, living will). Having everything together and in order was a life saver, and once it was set up didn't take much work to keep organized. I highly recommend it. Don't be afraid to have hard conversations. What do you want for your funeral? Where do you want to be buried? Do you want to update your will? Are there any unresolved issues between us? What is your best memory of me? I hate to be crass, but it's now or never. Don't waste it. Also, you can't say anything (apart from being cold or rude, I guess) that will make him more afraid or upset that he is already. He likely wants to talk about things but doesn't want to upset others, IME. My best advice is to talk to hospice now. Their nurses are the best people on the planet and can tell you very frankly and kindly what to expect. They prepared us and helped us more than any other health professional. They are amazing.
  6. When we were pastoring in Las Vegas we wanted to have a camp for the kids, but there were no sleep away camps in driving distance (for elementary kids - they were all 5 plus hours away), so we threw one in our church. We did it from 8:30-5:30, if I remember right, because we were trying to make it work for working parents. We served lunch and snacks, decorated everything, did tons of crafts and activities, everyone had a blast but it was expensive. I think we charged around $80 per kid for it, just to cover our expenses. The problem was, first year we called it VBS and got a TON of flack for charging. The next couple years we called it day camp and nobody blinked at paying.
  7. FTR, my brother in law sent his daughter to gymnastics camp and it was $900 for the week, so to me $250 doesn't sound too bad!
  8. I can't speak to the camps you reference, but we do kids and youth camps every summer with our church and they run about $200-300 for the week. It seems pricey until you break it down - we pay for bus rentals and drivers to get everyone up there, we pay to use the camp, we feed them breakfast, lunch and dinner for five days, we pay lifeguards and pay the way for the adult counselors, we bring in some kind of musician or performer to entertain the kids in the evenings, we provide activities, crafts, games, etc. There's teaching and worship and the people who do that get paid a stipend. And yes, there is insurance. So it's expensive. We keep it as low as we can.
  9. There are 8 in our family, and we have a giant rectangular table with benches on either side. It's great. However, we ate lunch at Ikea a few weeks ago at a round table that was significantly smaller than what we have and we all fit, albeit rather cozily. All that to say, look for a round table.
  10. Sorry to be off topic, but a 3 yo posted to Facebook and Twitter? I think I'm not understanding..
  11. In case no one else has mentioned - in the US, 90-100% is an A, 80-89% is a B, 70-79 is a C, etc. 59% or less is failing. The pluses and minuses are more subjective, but fall within the range. In my dd's school, the grades are based on mastery of the material, so it is possible to get a 100%. I like the idea of something left to learn, though. It's perfectly okay unless and until they need to get scholarships for college or do PSEO. (That's our state-funded option for juniors and seniors to dual enroll in college). To get into the PSEO program you must have a 3.5 GPA. If you get all B's, you're not going to get in. I get the idea, and I have no objections to tough grading, but I think some teachers need to realize that the grades they give have consequences and need to be honest and accurate.
  12. One way I've made eating cheap fun is to pick an ethnicity and learn to cook that way. Mexican, Indian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Peruvian... Even 'traditional' French and Italian cuisines are filled with grains and vegetables and so can be cooked on the cheap. I'll get a cookbook from the library and we'll splurge on some spices, then load up on beans, grains and cheap veggies and we'll try a bunch of new things. I will say that while my family isn't particularly adventurous about their food, they do like spice. I'll alternate our fun, new recipes with things that are sure winners like spaghetti and tacos.
  13. :iagree: I believe in responsible pet ownership. I believe that all living things deserve respect and to be well cared for. I don't have $8000, or even $2000 to pay for surgery for my pet. If I had it, I'd pay it happily, but I'm not going to put my family at risk by draining my emergency fund for my pet. I would euthanize the puppy if I couldn't find someone who was willing to care for it with its defect. It's terribly sad, but there it is. BTW, I had a kitten as a child who had leukemia. We found out at its first vet visit. We put her down. I was devastated, but even as a ten year old I understood that we didn't have the money for chemo and radiation for a cat.
  14. Yes. To basically all your questions. I'll tell you this - I have 6, 14 and under. About 3 years ago, homeschooling stopped being idyllic days of books and field trips and slowly morphed into 10 hour days trying desperately to get it all done without losing my mind and hopefully getting a shower twice a week. Much less fun. Bear in mind that I had an unexpected pregnancy and a 16 month cancer battle (my dad, he lost) in the midst of that. Next year all five of the older ones will be going to school. I am alternately ecstatic and devastated, but the simple truth is that we need a break. I am hopeful that after a year I'll bring my younger two back home (they'll be first and second grade next year). I doubt very much that my middle schoolers will come home, but I would be open to that if it's what they wanted. It's such a tough balance. I do believe homeschooling is the best education, but at this point my kids aren't getting all the great stuff homeschooling has to offer. You have to weigh their needs and wants with what you're able to do. Your happiness and mental health are also important! Bear in mind that B&M schools have advantages, too, and sending them to school doesn't mean you become hands-off in their education. I fully intend to continue with our read alouds, and to take them to museums on the weekends. Life takes many forms, and the best one is the one that works for your family.
  15. Thanks guys. I'm going to pour and wait and hope for the best. Does the port a potty smell dissipate?
  16. Well, we're among those who had to give up a dog because of a move. It was an out of state move for DH's job and we couldn't find a rental that would take our german shepherd. We did find a home for her, rather than putting her in a shelter, but it was down to the line and we would have taken her to the humane society if a friend hadn't stepped up. We felt awful, but what could we do? I disagree that we were being selfish or foolish. We just adopted a new dog, 8 years later.
  17. I love both, but I've allowed my older kids to read and watch all the HPs and have steered them away from Dr. Who so far. As Seasider mentioned, there are all kinds of issues with Dr. Who that challenge our theology. Lots of comments by the good Dr. on the idea that in the future, enlightened beings will realize there is no God, plenty of sexual remarks, etc., etc. Some gory violence sprinkled in there, too. To not like HP and embrace Dr. Who seems very strange.
  18. Ok, I bought 1.5 gallons of Nature's Miracle on Amazon. It arrived Wednesday and I thoroughly sprayed down all the areas that were peed on. Now it smells (slightly less) like urine and a lot like a porta potty air freshener. My question is how long it takes for the pee smell to go away. It's certainly possible I've missed some spots, but I won't know to look for more until I know the smell from the spots I sprayed is gone. Second question - it came with a really great, battery-operated sprayer, but some of you recommended pouring it on. The carpet is only a couple years old and has a stain guard treatment so I don't think it's soaked in (liquids tend to sit on top, at least for a while), but I'm perfectly happy to pour it on if needed.
  19. So I soak it and just leave it? No need to wash it out? I'm ordering some today. Thank you! This is cool. I just leave it on him whenever he's in the house, right? I like this much better than hitting or shock collars, which are the recommendations I've gotten. We do live in a mildly humid climate. Hopefully this works!
  20. So we got a dog. In most ways he's a fantastic little pet, but he pees in the house. (We're working on this.) In general I am able to get to it quickly and it's not a big deal, but apparently he peed behind the curtain in the family room and we didn't notice it until it was dry. I cleaned it but it still smells. What do you use to get rid of the smell? We're having the carpets professionally cleaned later in the summer, but I'd love a spray or powder or something that will work in the mean time. Also, if it's in the pad, are there any solutions? Help!
  21. My mom pays $2000/month for her meds. Luckily she has a $12,000 deductible, so for the last half of the year it's free. It's the reason she still works, and will probably never be able to retire.
  22. Well, we spent the last hour googling how to rescue baby bunnies and I made the executive decision not to try. The kids are heartbroken, but I can't put in that much time and effort and expense knowing they will likely die. We found mom and she's clearly been dead more than 48 hours, so they're going to be dehydrated beyond what we can fix. Either they'll survive on their own or they won't. I feel pretty cold hearted about it, but that's the wild, eh?
  23. Well, we found the mom (we think) and she's been dead for a while. We put the sticks over the den and they weren't disturbed overnight. I hate to try, because I'm sure they'll die anyway, but the kids want to try to save them. What are your suggestions? Is a cardboard box enough? I'm doing some other research as well.
  24. Hey 4H and animal lovers! Our terrier got into a den? Burrow? of baby bunnies last night. He killed three and there are at least four left. We haven't seen the parents since. Will they come back? If my daughter wanted to try to save them, could she? What do they eat?
  25. Me, too. I keep going through books and hanging on to them because 'remember when we would snuggle in bed to read this in second grade and you loved it so much?!' and none of the kids even remember. :glare:
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