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Everything posted by Alice

  1. I did al three big ones online and also did Innivus and ChexSystems. They were all easy. The info was all stiff I figured they already had so I didn't think it increased risk. To do it by paper you have to send in a bunch of copies of documents and that seemed riskier to me.
  2. I like an adapted version of Paula Deen’s Monster Cookies. They are a little overly sweet but you can cut down on the sugar a bit and leave out the M&Ms if you want. They also have no flour so have the advantage of being potentially gluten free (you have to use the right kind of oatmeal and other ingredients). I’m not gluten free but since so many people are these days it can be nice to bring that as an option.
  3. And I could be your triplet. I could have written both your posts.
  4. I HATE talking on the phone. Hate it, hate it, hate it. Even when dh and I were dating long-distance we talked on the phone maybe twice over about an 18 month period. And that was before texting. We wrote long emails daily and kept in touch, but no phone. I have a relative who has expressed that it makes her sad that I don’t initiate phone calls. The thing is that I hate it so much that it’s not ever something I would think to do. I would never think “Oh, I miss so and so, I should call her and chat.†If she calls, I’m happy to talk. If she’s here I’m happy to talk. Not calling is not a “I don’t care about you†thing to me but really a “I don’t think of calling someone.†I don’t chat with friends on the phone, I don’t chat with anyone. Maybe your sister is similar and it’s not you, it’s the phone. :)
  5. I have tried and tried and have not found a way to have my Mom limit what she buys. I get told I am mean if I push too hard. There are other issues there and other boundaries that are more important to set for me so this is an area that I've somewhat given in on. We have gone to giving more experiences because they get so much stuff from other family. It doesn't limit the stuff from family but it does give us a way to do something special that is not just stacks of more toys. We've done: reptile house tour, trapeze lessons, tickets to plays, day at a favorite activity, pottery lesson. Or I will buy thing that I know they could use and that are special (expensive sports equipment, camping stuff for Scouts, science supplies for school, really good art stuff). For Christmas we have started to do a big family gift, usually an experience like tickets to a play or event. One year we went away and went snow tubing and to a water park.
  6. My current middle schooler isn’t doing Latin because he hated it so I let him quit last year. My oldest did Lively Latin Book 1 and 2. We started young. I can’t even remember why at this point...I was an overzealous homeschooler, probably. But he actually really loves Latin and it’s a good fit for him. We started in 3rd grade and he did LL Books 1 and 2 over 5 years (through 7th grade). We went slower at the beginning. My youngest is doing LL Book 1 now and also really loves it. My middle son did LL Book 1 and didn’t like it but he’s a different kiddo and really just doesn’t like much of anything school related. He got enough in that I felt like he had a good foundation for vocabulary and it helped reinforce grammar. He is trying Greek this year at his own choosing. As far as LL...we really liked it. I found it very easy to teach as someone who had not had Latin myself except for one year in 8th grade about a million years ago. My oldest really loved the history so we read all of it and incorporated it into the lessons. My next two didn’t so we just skipped those pages. Oldest has continued with Latin through Lukeion. He did Latin I last year and I think found it fairly easy after LL. That was a nice experience for his first real online class. He did very well in the class and on the NLE. He’s finding Latin II much more challenging this year but is hanging in there and doing well. Overall, I’m pleased with the foundation he got from LL. It’s a bit pricey, but one nice thing is that once you’ve paid for it you have access to print out for as many kids as you want (in your family). So we paid for oldest and then have been able to print out the pages for the next two. I like printing myself as that enabled me to skip the history pages for my kids that didn’t want to do them.
  7. I would let him quit. I think there is a difference betweeen quitting because it’s too hard or if a parent sees benefit but the kid doesn’t like it and quitting because the class is worthless. My son took a live (not online) writing class a few years ago that he hated. I had him stick with it because I didn’t want him to quit and because I’d paid for it. But at the time I kind of agreed with him that it was a bad class with stupid assignments. I wish I had let him quit. He hated writing before he started and the class only made him hate it more. We are just now (three years later) getting to the point where writing isn’t so much of a horrible thing for him.
  8. This is what I thought of. It’s unusual to have just one person in a family with it, but I’ve seen it happen.
  9. My almost 14 year old sleeps about 10-11 hours. He goes to bed between 9-9:30 most nights and gets up between 7-8 am. We wake him up most days but often if it’s on the later end when we go in to the room he is awake reading. He has always needed more sleep than his siblings. I know he gets way more sleep than most of his friends, especially those who aren’t homeschooled. My almost 11 year old is going through a big growth spurt. He also gets about the same amount. They share a room so typically go to bed and get up at the same time. He used to get up earlier and be wide awake. In the last 6-9 months he has been sleeping more and eating more. And growing more. :) I think they both get enough. As a pediatrician, the number one issue I talk to teens about is sleep. So many have the complaint of being tired or fatigued. And almost all of them are not getting enough sleep. I see a lot getting 5-6 hours. Those getting 7-8 hours are doing pretty well in comparison but I think they probably need more, especially if they are complaining of being tired.
  10. Boys and dh just got back from a mountain biking camping trip. This was dh’s first camping trip in a long time. He did it with Cub Scouts with our oldest but then our second son didn’t do Cub Scouts and dh hasn’t been camping with BS. It went pretty well, even though he had to spend most of Saturday in the ER with a kid (not ours) who got pretty badly hurt after a crash. The kid is ok, although has multiple broken bones. In a weird way, dh felt like it was good for him to be there as he felt like he could be more useful in that way. The other dads are way more experienced campers so I think before the crash he was feeling a little unsure of how to be helpful. Ds13 was just elected SPL. He’s very excited and I think a little nervous about it. It’s great to see him taking on leadership roles. He’s a Life Scout so starting to think about things like the Eagle Project. He’s almost done with the required Merit Badges, just Camping and Personal Management to go. Ds10 is in his first year. He didn’t do Cub Scouts as he didn’t like it. I’m hoping he will really like Scouts and so far he does. He loves the outdoors and camping and activities. He’s not as much of a kid who likes to follow rules or requirements so the Merit Badges and Advancement will be harder for him. But I figure he can still get a lot out of it even if he has different ultimate goals than his brother. He just got his Scout badge and is almost done with the Tenderfoot requirements. He has an advantage because he’s friends with a lot of older brother’s friends and when they come over they will work with him on stuff.
  11. Do you have an EZ Pass? If so, you can use it to take the HOT toll lanes on 495. It will be super pricey that time of day (the tolls change depending on how much traffic there is) but it’s worth it. I would bet it will be something like $25 to go from where you get on them (basically entering VA) to 66. But it would be worth it to me to do. I have to travel that section of 495 regularly in the summer and I find that the HOT lanes are almost always worth it to me. Also, do you know the Waze app? I have found it super helpful that time of day around here. It’s more real-time than Google Maps and I have found it takes me on some weird routes sometimes but is obviously avoiding stand-still traffic. If nothing else, it can tell you if the 267 or 66 option is faster.
  12. We don’t have this happen a lot but when we do we usually do sort of two half meals. They will eat dinner about an hour before the activity, but it’s often lighter than normal. Then when they are done they might have a snack if they are hungry again.
  13. I didn’t do them with my oldest or with my youngest. My middle son needs more reinforcement and needed to work on math facts more. I gave him a page a week most weeks. It was his choice how to do it...all in one go or break it down and do something like 5 problems a day. I didn’t time him because that would have led to more math anxiety in this kid. I also usually used them behind whatever lesson we were on. So it was kind of a review/fact practice.
  14. Yes, this. Some people test well. I’m lucky that I’m one of them. Messed up the quote but I think it was Wooly Socks: :iagree: This type of testing can be troublesome for some out of the box gifted thinkers too. We're all that type over here and learning that "No - that's not a trick question. Answer it as you read it" is a skill to learn and not to over think it too much. This is totally my second son. I watched him take the Iowa test this summer and kept wanting to interrupt to tell him “Stop overthinking it. Just answer the question.†He’s such an outside the box thinker that I’m fairly sure he will never test well. Where as I would take a test and know “oh, that’s what they want me to say†even if I didn’t necessarily know the subject that well.
  15. It would not have bothered me. I would not think twice about seeing a naked preschooler or infant in that setting. And I think by doing it on her own blanket it’s not really that unhygienic...unless you mean that it was just gross for people to have to see while eating. To me, a waiting area like that isn’t meant for eating so it’s not like changing a diaper in the middle of a restaurant. It’s an area of mixed use and people are doing all sorts of things there. Which might include taking care of kids’ needs...like diapers.
  16. Yes, signed by me and dh. This is what we said: We, (dh) and (me), give permission for (Aunt’s name) to accompany our son, (full name) (DOB ) on a trip to Alaska. They will be flying on _____ Airlines from Washington DC (IAD-Dulles) to Anchorage, AK (ANC) with a layover in Chicago, IL (ORD-O’HARE) on Tues, June 20, 2017. They will be returning via United Airlines from Anchorage to Washington DC (through Chicago) on June 28, 2017. (Aunt) has our permission to act as a guardian and to make all decisions related to travel and medical needs for H. while on this trip from June 20, 2017 through June 28, 2017. My oldest went to Puerto Rico with his aunt when she was 10. I think we did a notarized letter because we were more on top of planning. Our second son went to Alaska this past summer with the same aunt and I procrastinated a bit on getting things ready. So I just did a signed letter (by both me and dh). She said no one ever asked for it. It seemed like a good precaution, but probably rarely actually needed.
  17. Our sons have gone on flights with their aunt. We sent along a letter authorizing them to travel with her and for her to make medical decisions in the event of an emergency where we couldn’t be reached. She has the same last name as them so I don’t think anyone asked for the letter for travel but we didn’t want it to be an issue for her. They didn’t have any kind of ID. I looked up recommendations and requirements before they went and couldn’t find anything absolutely required. But most of the travel sites I looked at recommended a letter authorizing her to take them.
  18. It's all what you're used to. I've never lived somewhere that had community mailboxes, except in a condo complex. I can't think of any neighborhoods with single family houses that have them, although I bet the newer planned communities further out west in NoVA do. The house that we lived in before our current house had the mailbox on the house itself and our current house has a mailslot in the door. My kids think a mailbox on the street is weird although they have seen them. They just are so used to having the mail come right through the front door. :)
  19. Most of my friends are coffee drinkers. Usually at a group function I will make a pot of coffee and put out cups and cream and sugar. I just leave it on the coffemaker in the pot for people to serve themselves and then they can also choose to add cream and sugar if they want. I usually also boil a kettle of water on the stove and put out tea bags for those people who might want tea. The coffepot is next to the stove so it makes a little service area for either one. I have one friend who always serves tea in a china teapot. She hosts our book club and it is lovely to have the more fancy set-up for that.
  20. I got my box yesterday. I had asked for 5 pairs of jeans. I love jeans and basically wear them all the time and don't currently have any I really love that don't have holes in them or are really worn. Of the 5 I got, I'm keeping one pair. The ones I'm keeping are really nice. The brand is Liverpool and they fit beautifully. They are black though and I wanted some basic blue denim. However, I've also been looking for black pants so these made sense to keep. They are ok priced. Usually I try to buy things on sale so they are pricier than I would normally spend but the price is about the same as what I would buy not on sale (if that makes sense). The other four were all good as far as style. I felt like they listened to me (nothing distressed and not skinny jeans). But they just didn't fit right. I am short and fat so that's not unexpected. It's hard for me to find pants that fit well. One pair (Warp and Weft) fit really well but needed hemming. They were super pricey though so I didn't really feel that I could justify that much plus getting them hemmed. One pair (Kut from the Kloth) brand I hated as far as style but I had mentioned that I would be willing to try a pair with cuffs. The cuffs just looked so weird on me, although they were cute jeans in the box. My daughter liked them the best (but she didn't see them on me). Over all, I was a little disappointed not to end up with a great new pair or two of jeans for the fall. But I felt like they listened and tried to fit my style and I'm happy with the one pair of black jeans that I'm keeping. I scheduled another one for the end of October. I have a wedding to go to in November and it's a family wedding. I'd really like to wear something nice that looks good because I'm always kind of the frumpy unfashionable person in the photos. One of the reasons I started doing Stitch Fix was the idea that I could use them to shop for the wedding (something that I was dreading). I thought if I did a few boxes first they would have a better idea of my style and likes from my feedback. So I'm hopeful. I did schedule it a few weeks before the wedding so that if it's a bust I can shop on my own.
  21. I use Nars Tinted Moisturizer. It comes in a variety of shades, I think Finland is the lightest.
  22. My daughter and her friends love Shopkins. I personally think they are stupid but they all love them. They are little play food and other things but with faces. That's as best as I can describe them. American girl has some of their dolls available in tiny options, they are very cute. Lego has some Disney princess themed sets, and they are for younger girls so have the bigger Legos that might be ok for that age. For example: https://shop.lego.com/en-US/Cinderella-s-Enchanted-Evening-41146. My daughter also really likes the Lego Friends series which is aimed at girls. They are the tinier pieces though so might be hard for a 3.5 year old, unless she is used to it from her brother.
  23. Yes, absolutely. I've done it many times. It seems silly to me to have separate gender bathrooms when they are both single bathrooms.
  24. I have the Fitbit Zip. I hate things on my wrist. The Zip clips to your waist or bra. It does have the time, although it's a little weird to check if it's on your waistband. I think the ones for the wrist also display the time. Mine is the most simple, it just counts steps and miles (which is less accurate since it's based on steps and the stride length you input). It also reports calories burned which is not supposed to be that accurate. It doesn't do heart rate or sleep or fancier stuff. You can enter activities manually on the app or website. I do that if I swim or do something else that it doesn't count well or if I forgot to wear it. Mine doesn't give goals on the device but you can put goals into your account. On the app it will keep track of your goals and give you positive feedback...which is sort of embarrassingly motivating.
  25. We gave ds (9th grader) a hand-me-down smart phone this year. Previously we had an old phone that we called the "kid phone" and that was for the kids to use if they were getting dropped off somewhere. Ds's phone service is with Tracfone. We told him that above a certain amount of money he would have to pay for any texts. He could use Internet with wifi somewhere but there isn't access otherwise. He really doesn't use it very much. At home he uses our other computers and we have to remind him to take the phone places. We want him to take it when we're dropping him off somewhere so he can text us for a ride or if he needs something. Most of his close friends don't have phones which makes a difference as there isn't really anyone to chat with. We also have parental controls on the phone so he can't erase history on the Internet for example and he can't add apps without asking.
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