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Everything posted by msjones

  1. You are driving home my point. I hardly know this person. I am considering a phone call, but haven't decided. Again, I barely know her.
  2. ???!!!! Whoa. Wow. If I learned my mom regretted adopting me? And that she broadcast that on social media?! You could not possibly convince me to not have a problem with that. Honest feelings are one thing. But, like I tell my teenagers, some feelings are not meant to be broadcast. There is a time and place for talking about deeply painful and personal feelings regarding one's children. The internet is not that place.
  3. Obviously, those of you who blog about their children's personal issues feel differently. I think it's a terrible violation of privacy from the person who should be most motivated to protect them. (Flame away.) I should not know that this particular child has the issues he has. I hardly know his mother! I know so many ugly details of his challenging behavior. His mom has set him up to be a topic of gossip and "oh my gosh, did you hear what ____________ is doing now?! What kind of kid does something like that? Don't let your kids near him! I wonder what he'll be like when he's older?! etc. etc. etc" How will he ever live this down? I'm glad my mom didn't broadcast my growing pains to the world -- even if (especially if?) I was ruining her life and she wanted support to deal with me. Moms who need support need to find it in a place where their child's identity and privacy is valued. The internet is not that place.
  4. No pseudonyms on the blog to which I am referring. Photos of the whole family with just about every post. An anonymous blog would be an improvement, but still risky, I think. Kids are pretty tech savvy these days. I was adopted, and suspect that my mother has her regrets. If I were to come across a blog/chat room/whatever where she admitted her regrets, I'd never trust her again.
  5. Ugh. I am aghast. Please be careful not to reveal your child's most personal struggles and weaknesses and pain on the internet. Try to think of how he'll feel one day when he reads it and it confirms his fears about your true feelings. Your child deserves privacy as he grows. And there are certain things a should child should never hear from his mother -- even if he is a very difficult child and you adopted him.
  6. Very helpful and informative. Thanks for taking the time to explain! (I'm guessing you have a medical background?)
  7. That's what I've been thinking while reading through this thread...If a person is unable to lose weight through calorie restriction, how would the surgery help? Isn't it just a way to restrict calorie consumption? Or is there more to it that I'm not aware of?
  8. Mine wanted to hs, for high school, but I was done. I told him I wouldn't do it. He just didn't work very hard unless I was ON HIM every minute. I plain old could not do that for four more years. He loves his new school and has good grades.
  9. My goodness. I wasn't suggesting that jeans would "turn anyone away." Just stating my preference. I dress professionally at work because I want to be seen as a professional at work. I think kids, parents, taxpayers, coworkers, administrators, would all have a bit more respect for teachers if they dressed up a bit more. We have quite a few staff members who appear to be on a perpetual camping trip. I teach kids with multiple severe handicaps. I'm sure I have more opportunities to get truly messy (we change diapers, lift students, feed students) than your sister. I also taught K for years, and still dressed in what I consider professional teacher attire. I'm not talking about suits and dresses and silk and high heels. I'm talking about clothing that one wouldn't wear, say, on a camping trip or while doing yard work. I wear pants, blouses, nice tees, blazers, cardigans, etc. None of them require dry cleaning, but maybe a little ironing. None of them are at all expensive, given that I, too, am shopping on a teacher's budget. There are plenty of nice-looking clothes that are comfortable, washable, and inexpensive other than jeans and tee shirts. I'm sure I'll be flamed. It's okay. Going to get dressed for work now. :)
  10. Business casual Mon -Thurs for most teachers here. People dress in jeans on Fridays, but I don't. I wish teachers dressed more professionally. (yes, I keep that opinion to myself...)
  11. I'm back to suggest you try a calorie counting app. You don't have to just eat veggies and salads. You can have regular food that you really like. I really like my app -- it's so easy to use and helps me make reasonable decisions. I enjoy my treats much more knowing that they fit (at least approximately) into my daily calories. I know people think counting calories is a chore, but I find it very freeing! No more guilt -- just an easy way to make better decisions. I realize ymmv, but I do think it's worth a try.
  12. I disagree on Powell's Books and the Fremont Market. In a time crunch, I'd never make these a priority. Yes, a great book store. Yup, a nifty outdoor market. But nothing one couldn't find in any other large metropolitan area.
  13. Would you pick it over Mount Rainier? For someone who may not get up this way again? Just wondering.
  14. I'd go the week after Labor Day, if possible. Not rainy yet, but the crowds will be gone. My favorite place in the world is Mt. Rainier National Park. I'd strongly recommend it over Mt. St. Helens. Vancouver is a fantastic city, but not worth the hassle of crossing the border, in my opinion. I'd visit the San Juan islands instead. North Cascades Hwy is an amazing drive(eastern WA), but the Hoh Rain Forest (western WA) is equally worthwhile. Lots to choose from up here in the PNW!
  15. This is the case with us in regards to vacations. My parents give us the wonderful gift of a warm weather vacation each year. We go with them wherever they choose. We could never afford these beautiful trips if they weren't gifts.
  16. The sad truth for me is that I cannot eat what I used to eat and I was not happy to have to make this adjustment. But middle age has plunked itself down on my once-sprightly metabolism and I now gain weight at the drop of a hat. So, it's calorie counting and 60 minutes of exercise a day for this 'old' lady. The exercise actually feels great. The calorie counting? Not so great, but very doable. I do miss lots of snacking. ;)
  17. I stayed home for 15 years with my kids. My husband has always been a public school teacher. (He also coaches and is a department chair, so that's a little more income.) We live in a large expensive city. We knew we wanted a parent home with the kids so we saved as much as we could early in our marriage when I was still working full-time. We had no car loans, no credit card debt, and a reasonable mortgage. Once the kids were here, I tutored a lot to earn extra money. We budgeted very carefully and were pretty disciplined about sticking to the budget. Our vacations were camping, our home quite small and not-remodeled, our furniture hand-me-downs. While it did feel tight at times, I always felt that we had enough with my husband's income and my tutoring. We just didn't buy a lot of stuff.
  18. I imagine you were over-restricting yourself. That is just so miserable. It's better to go slowly and eat at a small deficit so you lose about 1/2 pound per week. I find I feel great on a breakfast of about 400 calories (usually an egg 'mcmuffin' made in my kitchen), a morning snack(usually fruit), a lunch with some protein (turkey sandwich or a salad with lean meat), an afternoon snack that is more like a treat (like a cookie and cup of coffee), and a decent dinner with my family. That comes to about 1600 calories (more or less). I usually have enough calories left for some wine with my book in the evenings. :) It takes some tweaking to learn what works for each person. Maybe take a look at myfitnesspal for tips if you're interested.
  19. Have you tried counting calories? It's easy to do with apps/websites like myfitnesspal. Once Iearned how many calories are in a lot of my favorite snacks, they were far less appealing. I still have cravings, but it's a lot easier to talk myself out of them. Now I 'save' my calories for something I really, really want (usually wine!).
  20. When I was still homeschooling I loved an evening workout. It got me out of the house and cleared my mind after a day of kids and teaching. You may consider workout DVDs. It's hard to come up with any excuse to not workout in your own house for just 30 minutes. I got very quick visible results from Jillian Michaels workouts and am now 'hooked' on them. :) Whatever you decide, I agree with a previous poster to treat it like a job -- it's not optional. I only miss workouts when I'm sick or we have a very important Something that takes up most of a day.
  21. Wow. I know parents are unhappy with the gifted programs here, but at least they exist. One key difference between "gifted" services and services for the severely disabled is the number of students. In my neck of the woods, there are many parents who believe their kids need gifted services (thousands of them). Thankfully, there are only a very few (twenty, at this time) students as disabled as my students. So, the funding is less controversial.
  22. In our district, instructional assistants (a.k.a."aides") receive the same benefits as the teachers. I'm very happy with my hourly rate (near the top of the pay schedule.) We have many training opportunities and daily on-the-job training from the therapists who work with our students. There are quite a few of us certificated teachers with masters degrees working as assistants because it is such a great job. I know it's not that way everywhere, so I feel very lucky.
  23. OP here. I think it is reasonable to question the expense of a program like ours. It is very, very expensive and far, far more expensive than general ed. One thing to remember is that there are very few classrooms like mine. In our large school district there are only 10 students in the medically fragile developmental preschool program. So, that is a tiny portion of the overall budget. Also, the expense of it is a good and heavy 'burden' on staff like me! I feel the weight of making every moment in our school day count. I am so thankful that we can work closely with our students and am motivated to do the very best I can. Each of my students is severely disabled. Some/many days it is hard to see progress. I do not know what the future holds for them. But I do know that they are little people with little souls and they are "in there." Our students communicate in very subtle ways. Their communication is easy to miss or to misunderstand. But they are wonderful kids! They often surprise us with their progress. Just the other day one student did something that stunned every one of us in the classroom! (I'm being vague for privacy reasons.) It was such a beautiful moment! We got out a phone and filmed it and sent it to her mom right away. I can hardly wait to see this student after break! These kids can appear vacant and absent -- but they also sometimes smile and giggle. They learn. They communicate in their own ways. They know their families, their families love them. They want what every one of us wants - to be known and to love and be loved and to enjoy the little things of day-to-day living. I am so glad to live in a country that values these children and their families even though they may never contribute in an economic sense. They contribute in other (more?) important ways. The bus drivers, the cafeteria workers, the student helpers, the office workers all know these kids and care for them. I am so thankful to know them and to teach them what I can. And none of us knows the potential of these kids. Like I said, one of them knocked our socks off the other day with unexpected progress! So, athomeontheprairie, I don't know if I answered your questions. (And I do think they are fair and reasonable questions! I'm glad you had the nerve to post them. :)) But I am so thankful that we as a culture have chosen to make their education a priority -- even if the numbers don't always 'work out' in an economic sense. It gives me hope to see these kids valued and cared for by our big, messy, flawed system.
  24. The Special Education thread got me thinking about how much I love my new job. I'm an instructional assistant in a developmental preschool classroom for students with multiple disabilities who are considered medically fragile. We have only 5 students with one teacher and two assistants. We also have a vision therapist, a speech/language therapist, a physical therapist, an audiologist, and an occupational therapist visiting the students throughout the week. So, we sometimes have a one-to-one ratio! The students have lengthy IEPs. The teacher spends a large amount of time managing those IEPs and coordinating all the services for our students. Despite the many flaws in the system, I must say that I am so thankful the system and the hefty IEPs exist to serve these kids! I am able to come to work each day and learn which goals I'll be working on with which student/s. I have been instructed by the various therapists how to work with the children -- everything from learning to sit unsupported to using augmentative communication devices to learning to grasp and release objects etc etc. We keep good data and so the teacher is able to adjust the goals and plans and approaches accordingly. We know the kids well and know down to the teeny details what we are supposed to be working on each day. We have excellent support from the therapists. We love our students and are thrilled to see the progress they make! I have taught as a classroom teacher in ps general ed. Never in general ed did I have the opportunity to know a child so well or to work with such care and detail to help them reach their goals. We aren't wasting time or 'warehousing' these children -- they are working hard every day and enjoying (mostly) school. I'm sorry to say that I hear some disturbing comments when I tell people where I work. Many people seem to think the expense isn't worth it for "kids like that." I try to bite my tongue, but I usually tell them they probably wouldn't feel that way if they got to know the children. Okay. Rant/rave over. I just wanted to share some positive thoughts about IEPs and special ed and my school and students. :)
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