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Everything posted by violamama

  1. I feel a bit apprehensive, and guilty for feeling so. I should really just be overjoyed and grateful. And I am, but the apprehension is really distracting. We're in the process of finding out what the extent of our daughter's medical needs might be. The possibilities run such a wide gamut. More than that, the world will not stop so I can focus on these things. I find that exceedingly frustrating and it makes me short tempered and resentful. Thinking of the next 6 months of school, I see my future mess-ups (snappiness, self-centeredness) and don't even want to start school. Sorry for the intense post, don't worry, we also get to go to Florida for almost a month in just a few weeks and I have a very supportive family.
  2. Magnatiles are too expensive. And I want more now.

  3. They only get dusted because I have to wash the walls when I deep clean because the grubby little minions are incapable of navigating the house without dragging their hands along the surfaces at all times. We're hoping to move within the next year and are already starting to try to keep the place somewhat respectable-looking...
  4. In our next house we'll fill the closet with a "system" of shelves, bars, and bins. We currently have a dresser for each kid, one of which is actually IN the closet with the doors off. We tuck tall things around the edges and things like sleeping bags underneath. Things I don't like about dressers: Can't see what's in 'em Drawers can be finger pinchers Clothes can get stuffy smelling (but we live in Oregon where it's usually pretty humid) They waste space The tops are mess magnets for my boys I keep the two we have only because I love them (they are heirlooms) and the only place they would fit was the boys' room. Someday they'll live in my room where my husband will drive me nuts by cluttering up the top of his.
  5. If I were looking to hire you for our mainly private lesson music school, I might consider you without a degree in music. You would need continuing ed (suzuki training, dalcroze, RSM, whatever you believe in) and experience teaching. Honestly, one of the most stable ways for a musician to secure employment is to establish a serious private studio. Again, having teacher training and a system of your own in place are two things that attract students. You mentioned accompanying so I figure you're a pianist. There are lots of programs for students/teachers involved with piano. I would pick one and focus the training there. Go to all the teacher groups, attend any masterclasses you can, network with more established teachers in your area in any way you can. For piano in particular (in our area, anyway) studios of more established teachers often fill up and they might refer overflow students to you. You could ask for mentorship or to simply observe some of their teaching. Perhaps offer to accompany their recitals or something useful. If you want to build your studio I have some advice there, but don't want to butt in if that's not your wish. PM me if you are interested. All the best to you! ETA: fwiw, a bachelors in music is (or is usually, or should be) very focused skill-building. It's not something that makes sense to me to skip precisely because of the sequential courses and ensemble requirements.
  6. Thanks for all the great discussion/comments. I think part of this is that I need the rules so I can be okay with them blowing $40 on freaking Pokemon cards. My older boy (turns 9 in a few weeks) has heard a lot of lecturing from me about the closed-ended-ness of those cards (he literally has hundreds already and doesn't play the game really) and that he buys one only to immediately "need" another. I think a set of clearer rules is necessary for me to give him the space he needs to make some dumb choices and then (hopefully) learn from them. Or revel in them like what he is- a child. Either way, rules will help me back off. I'm more naturally a saver and he was, too, until those cards came along. Sigh.
  7. My SIL and MIL both asked about our newly adopted daughter's "real mom" and also if I was planning to homeschool her, too (said in a tone I can only describe as cautious resignation). Both questions reveal how little they understand about our family and/or our "real world". They also both immediately called me on the sour face I must have made about the "real mom" part even though I was biting my tongue to protect them from all the pent-up snark ready to explode out of my very soul. Ahhhh. It felt nice to let a little bit escape, born wild and free. Thanks for the complainy thread! ps. OP, I would have been sorely tempted to shake my head, pat that MIL on the shoulder and say, "I wonder what other hilarious things you'll say this year. Everybody is always talking about how you're sooooo funny with that fake rude stuff! Just imagine if a person were to really speak to another adult like that. You're a hoot!"
  8. My boys both have $150-$180 they have saved or been given for Christmas. They often get gifts of $25-100 for birthdays, etc. They each have savings accounts with more in them. Sometimes we let them spend it all, sometimes they tithe or save some percentage, but we need more consistent rules. How do you handle larger money gifts for kids under 10?
  9. We're at our second week of Christmas at my mom's house and were at my inlaws over the actual holiday. In between we were home for a day and a half and I got rid of our tree and decorations then. I am dreading Monday. I need to get my head straight over the next few days.
  10. I like to bring one or two schmancy meals when we take our camper to "fun flies". My husband flies his rc helicopters all day and the kids and I mess around all day doing school, practicing instruments, riding bikes and basically killing time. If we are for real camping (somewhere beautiful/remote) then I don't bother with schmancy. My schmanciest schmancy would not take 3 hours. I wouldn't even do that at home.
  11. Nope, not rude. Thoughtful, even. FWIW, I secretly bring Power Bars or LaraBars to my inlaws house now. I have severe nut allergies and milder stone fruit allergies and am a fish-eating vegetarian (which I own as a form of pickiness, not at all dictated by concern for my health). My ILs have in the past had a hard time remembering to offer something I can eat and I wouldn't want them to go out of their way in a holiday situation anyway. So I pick at a salad and a roll or whatever and know that I certainly won't starve. At least no one there is pressuring you to "just try" stuff. And the chair thing seems to have been unintentional.
  12. If you can add some fruit, I think most kids will eat strawberries, grapes, bananas, cutie oranges, etc. That way if you have some super health-conscious moms the hot dog factor will be cut down by the fruit. But then again, I live in a hipster town so my perspective is probably skewed. Free range gluten free non-GMO locally sourced... you get the picture. It can be a rough crowd. We go rounds every year when we decide what to offer at our music camp snack cart...
  13. I like the personality analysis route. My SIL is totally, completely the opposite of both her brother and me. It was revolutionary to finally realize she doesn't LIKE to discuss things deeply and we don't like to stay on the surface. She lives in the moment and we are always trying to take a long view. She drives us insane and we drive her insaner. Stuff like that.
  14. I have had an interesting few months with my inlaws, too. I respect your choices here and can empathize from a very similar position. If you decide to say anything about her pinning stuff on you inappropriately, I recommend it come from your husband and be phrased non-confrontationally. "I was saddened and surprised to hear you were upset with Bolt when she actually had nothing to do with XYZ. She has always done all she can to chat with you and show you love and respect. We know you are having a hard time in a lot of ways but it's not right to have Bolt caught by friendly fire. We'd like to continue to support you but can't let this kind of behavior go unmentioned." The Boundaries book is very helpful. It sounds like you have a healthy perspective, but this will not likely turn into an easy relationship despite all your kind efforts. Having you and DH on the same page will be extremely helpful. Whether this is helpful or not, I have personally decided to avoid talking gender roles with my ILs like the plague itself. Truly, I try not to even think about the crazy stuff there because otherwise I start cataloguing it and it irritates me no end. They don't have enough direct contact with my kids/family to shape the children's understanding of these things. When the kids are old enough we may have a talk about generational differences. It's a bit of sand in my jello that my FIL runs the show no matter the skew to his logic (and other issues) but... I don't have to fix it. We can play up the positive and avoid situations that highlight the negative. We have also clearly decided where our nuclear options might come into play (like leaving a holiday gathering or putting them on limited contact) and that will always come from DH first. He totally gets it. I was miserable until he did, and it wasn't all that much fun for him to pull back that particular curtain over his family's dysfunction. I can't recommend strongly enough that your read Boundaries together. You may just have to know that she will always think of you in this (not complimentary) way. And that's okay. Remind yourself she is not right, decide what you want from the relationship (and the whole family) and reconcile yourself to it always rubbing you a bit raw. You will probably never be able to prepare your way out of those little injuries. Be absolutely sure what you are willing to take, and how you will recover after visits. (Extra exercise, alone time, talk with a friend, more cuddling with DH, date night where you get to vent to him, etc?) Sorry you have to deal with that.
  15. The tree is evicted! Done! Gone! On to Christmas #2 with my family and when we come home it's back to reality... with fewer needles.

  16. He says he wants to take a class but only if I do it with him. Sounds good to me, so now we just need to find one. There are a couple of little shops here and I thought I'd start there. My experience stopped with a skateboard pillow in jr high home ec.
  17. My son would live in pj pants if he could, so we will definitely check that out!
  18. My sister and I still laugh about the day-of-the-week undies our grandma liked to buy us, which she did well into our teen years. I think it's a really odd gift, but I'm in the camp that thinks gifts shouldn't be *only* practical & needed.
  19. He got a blaze orange sewing machine for Christmas! We are very excited. He made 9 stuffed animals for family gifts. On our drive out to relatives, we stopped to see my favorite aunt and in our 45 minute visit she helped him sew a pillow with a monogram for his little sister with her machine. He's hooked! Thanks again for the advice. When we get home and have our second Christmas with my family, he'll get the two Sewing School books and a bunch of other supplies.
  20. I have a collection of single-color long sleeved shirts. V-necks look best on me, but they can be hard to find. Mostly black, red or white, sometimes thin sweaters. We live in Portland so it's not usually all that cold here (rarely snows) and all it takes is a jacket with a hood when we go out. I have some excellent slippers for when I'm cold and I also have a couple of those infinity scarves. A scarf really makes me feel put together, and the infinity ones stay put when I'm changing my daughter's diapers and crawling around playing with the boys. I'm not a big jewelry person.
  21. I didn't comment there, but I followed. I like stretchy skirts (mostly long maxis) and only wear workout stuff if I'm planning on running during the toddler's nap time. Here's one I like: http://www.amazon.com/Beachcoco-Womens-Flower-Printed-Skirt/dp/B00MN24ONM/ref=lh_ni_t?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3BKU0BV98PME4 And I usually wear some kind of footless tights under them. I also like skirts with uneven hems or some other kind of artsy flair. These stretchy skirts are so comfy, it's almost like sweats. The only drawback I've been discovering this year is that you can gain weight/change shape without realizing it unless you also regularly weigh yourself. Seriously, one of my resolutions is to wear pants or a skirt made from non-stretchy material at least once a week.
  22. This is our first Christmas with our daughter and there have been a lot of neat moments. Her two older brothers have been so thoughtful, wanting to show her everything and give her special presents. We waited so long and she is so perfectly one of us. It's fun to show her to the extended family (over 30 at dinner tomorrow!) and see her delight with all the fun things about the season. We're visiting Montana and got the best softest wettest most picturesque snow today. I have a lot to be thankful for...
  23. Things are going fairly well (48 hours in to a 5 day visit) with my in-laws who were pretty passive aggressive... or maybe just plain aggressive last week on the phone with my husband about all my many flaws. He and I have crammed the Boundaries book in the interim. It's been good for us, actually. My MIL knows I'm a vegetarian and that I have no problem making something for myself so she never has to go out of her way... but she has asked me no less than 8 times in long drawn-out conversations on the same day if I couldn't just go ahead and eat the chicken-broth based soup she wanted to make. She also jokes about slipping me some meat based food to see if I would notice. She also asks every.single.time if I can eat the things I'm anaphylactic-shock-style allergic to "as long as they're cooked in" even though she has similar allergies. She was going to make her customary meat with meat and meat on top pizza when we arrived, but my husband practically handed her the toppings for mine and I got my own veggie corner of the pie. (Yay, husband!) She asks if she can give one of my children something, then microanalyses or flat out argues with my answer. My MIL is unintentionally passive aggressive in so many ways. It's very difficult because she is abrasive and rude but doesn't really mean to be. It's exhausting to keep answering the same thing politely while letting go of any feelings of overwhelm or frustration... it's a bit like dealing with a child, frankly.
  24. Yes because we're going to my inlaws and there will be thousands of them there and they were pretty jerky to me last week. Dread is a word I don't use lightly, but... My "real" Christmas will be at my mom's house over New Years. No pressure on anybody to behave any particular way, and lots of slow time together. That's the way (uh-huh uh-huh) I like it.
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