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SanDiegoMom in VA

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About SanDiegoMom in VA

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    Sandiegomom in VA

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    Managing three kids with a husband in the military
    Running, swimming, biking and playing the piano when I have a chance!

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    Crazy Lady

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  1. You probably already know this, but set aside lots of extra time on the 95 corridor. The stretch between PW County and Fredericksburg in particular has gotten worse in the last five years. We qualified for the worst traffic hotspot in the US back in 2017 and they haven't added those new lanes yet! Other than that, good luck and welcome back!
  2. Omg, I was totally trying to type this while my son was telling me a long story about the new SuperMario Maker game coming out for the Nintendo Switch. In fullest detail. Yes, I meant they almost never disappoint, lol. Eta: They have at times, been not as satisfying, or fallen apart soon after, or just gotten put in the pile of ones to work on later (usually my daughter's doodle crates have a backlog). But on the other hand my son was trying to build the electric pencil sharpener and broke the motor, and they sent a new one free within two days. I offered to pay since it was our fault but they just sent it for free. Also my standards aren't super high -- they are engaged and happy building or decorating and it's meant to be just a fun surprise, not a teaching tool. If I expected more than that I would be disappointed.
  3. As we have been in the military for 21 years and have alternately bought or rented, I will say that we really appreciate the landlords that allow pets. We can’t always choose where we go, and in places with a really hot rental market it can be so hard to find a place that allows pets. Something looks great, it’s finally in our price range, and bam. No pets. Now possibly if we called them and offered a pet fee, higher rent, assurance that our 9 year old golden does literally nothing but sleep, maybe they’d change their minds, but we don’t know for sure. Moving by FAR is the most stressful part of being in the military. Much more than deployments imo. No it shouldn’t be forced - landlords themselves could have a pet allergy and want to avoid issues if they come back to live, it’s their property, etc. But it definitely adds a greater level of stress.
  4. We love the Tinker Crates. My daughter actually does the doodle crates and my son does the Eureka crates. They almost never fail to disappoint!
  5. Make sure it’s sciatica and not piriformis syndrome - PS can mimic the symptoms but is much easier to manage imo.
  6. When my oldest started Kindergarten she wanted so badly to read, but really struggled. I asked the teacher for advice (it was half day kindergarten and very play based) and she pulled me aside and said don't use the readers here or at the library. USE BOB BOOKS. Which of course is phonics based. She had been teaching 30 years, so she kept to the training she'd had back in the day (which would have been at this point now 44 years ago! Crikey). It worked like a charm. For the next kids I didn't think twice -- they started expressing an interest in reading at 4 so we just started with BOB books and they took off. I tried to tell as many parents as I could about the wonders of phonics, lol. But everyone just trusted the system.
  7. Just for us, the internet/gaming issues have never been an issue. While at her worst in middle school it LOOKED like addiction, but it actually was a symptom - anxiety and depression making the internet (netflix, fan fiction, etc) an escape from those feelings of being out of control. But she never actually GAMED much, which I know is very different in its effects on dopamine hits. The best thing for her was to find some purpose, which led to higher self esteem and less need for escape. And the meds help regulate her attention, so she doesn't get sucked down into the black hole of screen time due to adhd time warp. Which happens with books too, so not a screen issue.
  8. Oh, my husband and I did this last year -- we drove around the neighborhood over and over looking for his grandfather's house, and then stopped in front of it for awhile talking about memories, then went to his old house -- and drove away quickly when someone was looking out the window. It wasn't a great part of town anymore so we didn't want to engage! But we must have looked suspicious. I don't think we would have sat outside any house for 15 minutes. That would be waiting for someone to get home, and finally giving up and leaving. I've done that before too.
  9. My husband pre-buys the tickets because our movie theater is 30 minutes away and he never knows if the traffic will be good or horrible. I am so over where we live! He also can't sit close to the screen because he had a spinal fusion and can't hold his neck in that position, so he doesn't want to risk paying a ton of money and getting a terrible seat. I kind of liken it to Southwest's policy of prepaying for early bird checkin -- it guarantees that you will be in the A boarding group. That being said, I don't go because I hate spending that much money on the movies. I'd rather stay at home and watch from the comfort of my own house!
  10. My daughter has ADHD and started meds in college this year. She is very academic and she was able to get a 4.0 in HS and she has close to a 4.0 in college. She taught herself a great system using Google Keep and Google Calendar, sets alerts for everything, and hasn't had much of an issues with getting stuff turned in on time. This she did before she was diagnosed, and it greatly improved her academic abilities. All that being said, once she got her diagnosis (about 5-6 months ago) she went on meds. For her it made a HUGE difference. It regulates her emotions, it helps her social abilities, it allows her to walk to class without falling (she falls about once a week at least unmedicated, walks into things, etc,) her driving is much safer, she loses her stuff a LOT less and when she does misplace it she remembers where it is... her whole life is improved. Her sense of time, ability to hold conversations, everything. Once she got on the right meds and the right dosage, she felt like she was finally who she was SUPPOSED to be. My daughter has a lot of high goals -- and right now she is an editor on her college newspaper and it is a VERY demanding, high paced and high expectations job. There is no way she would be able to do it without meds. And she is so fulfilled by what her life is right now. That being said it's still not a magic bullet. Sometimes the meds don't work (like when PMS interferes), sometimes they wear off more quickly than she expects. If she doesn't eat well she gets really bad anxiety after they wear off. And the meds didn't teach her the executive functioning -- she taught herself that, but the meds allow her to consistently implement it and still have a life outside of school work. It's like, without the meds she could only keep 1 ball in the air at a time so she made sure it was the most important ball. But now she can keep 2-3 without dropping them, and even though she is still stressed and sometimes things get missed, its just the normal way people miss things when they are trying to do too much. That is where she is at NOW, but as this is still relatively new to us, things could change. 🙂 But I guess I want to emphasize that for our kid, who is very driven, has a pretty high IQ and lofty goals, I think depression would be a real fear if she could not at least have a shot at reaching her goals. She works so hard, but now for the most part all of her work is poured into academics and her job, whereas before a lot of her energy was poured into trying to overcome her working memory deficits or making up for lost time after she getting sucked into an ADHD time warp. Also I second, third, and fourth hard exercise, sleep, adequate protein. Possibly she would have been doing better if she exercised consistently. She always feels the boost after exercising, but doesn't make it a priority still.
  11. That's what it's like where I live, just a couple of counties south of Fairfax. So different. My kids have learned in any event (especially things like CYT -- where they are usually the only non-Christian and only liberal) they just avoid anything political. But when I would be just hanging around I would hear random comments from the kids about Obama or building a wall. It's just assumed that everyone there feels the same way.
  12. As someone who grew up with a LOT of fighting and a husband who grew up with the silent treatment, we had a lot to overcome -- and he did use the silent treatment for many years until we both figured out how better to address our problems. I don't know how to describe the pain - and maybe those who started out with higher self-esteem wouldn't be affected the same way -- but it is an all-body, gut-wrenching painful experience. It is overwhelming and debilitating. One of my friendships ended because of this. She was unable to express what she was feeling and so retreated and didn't speak to me. It sent me into a complete panic and emotional spiral. Our friendship couldn't survive it.
  13. There is a youtuber out there who put out a series of videos called “How to Adhd” and one of them was about how to break through the wall of awful when trying to do what seemed like a simple task. (In the video it was a child getting their binder out of the backpack). The method that kids with adhd commonly use to overcome the wall is “hulk-smashing”. - generating either enough anger at others or at themselves to be able to get the task done. My dd definitely used the first method ALL the time (ask me how I know!) and now my son, while I don’t necessarily think he has adhd, uses the second one. My other kid just happily does tasks and chores normally - it’s SO strange to see. So now I work a lot more with scaffolding with my son. Otherwise he gets stuck in the self- flagellation mode. We never reward behavior (or really much of anything) with the younger kids. It just created too many problems with the oldest. Well, we pay for chores but that’s about it. One other thing that helps me now is visualization - I read recently about procrastination prioritizing one’s present self over one’s future self, and by imagining myself in the future I am less willing to shift the burden of whatever I put off to my future self. I don’t know if that works with adhd, but it helps me get over my issues of not wanting to make doctor appts, make phone calls, etc.
  14. Farrar, if the Online G3 class says Advanced, I think it's taught with the AP materials. I would definitely check with them on this, but the computer science principles class my son just took used the AP syllabus and he was able to take the exam after doing a little prep on his own. Pros -- live secular teacher who is very engaging, very discussion based, and organized platform for accessing materials and assignments Cons -- no grading. Literally no feedback. I am fine with that because I am always there when my kids are working on their assignments and they are in middle school right now, so I'm not too concerned yet about grades. I wouldn't put them in Advanced US History though, for instance, without any type of feedback. I did sign them up for British Lit with grading option on the papers, but have since decided against it (and am leaning towards a program I heard about called GPS:))
  15. Moving Beyond the Page is technically a workbook (it's spiral bound) but it's more creative. So a mixture of fill in the blank worksheets with creative projects. It can be a full curriculum, which tends to be overwhelming, or you can pick and choose. We have used a few for unit studies and found the Language Arts to be most to our liking.
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