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Everything posted by Rachel

  1. I thought maybe there was an attendant he just didn’t notice but he said he was watching quite a while and never saw anyone. I’ve never seen parking like that except on a ferry and usually there is a crew of people directing traffic.
  2. Can someone explain how this parking lot works? It’s across from my husband’s hotel in Albany, NY. He says individuals are parking there, not valet attendants. How do you get your car out at the end of the day? Do you park by time you are planning to leave? Does an attendant have everyone’s keys if you have an emergency? It looks like everyone is blocking everyone else in, except in a very small handful of places.
  3. My South Dakota family has a very similar menu, but it’s regular stuffing not cornbread. There might be pheasant with the turkey if it’s hunting season. The bread is different and there would definitely be 7 layer salad. Usually there were more kinds of pies, because Grandma likes mince meat. I don’t know if that’s all family tradition or unique to the region though.
  4. Denim couches were in our church’s youth room 15 years ago. They are now out at camp. They do look faded, but nothing is torn. We bought inexpensive (for a couch) couches that came with a lifetime warranty on the frame and 15 years on the cushions. 6 years ago we bought 2 identical that were $550 each. We don’t let the kids jump on them or climb over the backs, and no food or drinks (even water) is allowed in the living room. We have 3 kids, 2 dogs, and 2 cats plus regular company with kids and until we got a dog that slobbers a lot, they looked pretty new. I would say visitors don’t notice the dog slobber, just me. I don’t know what at the fabric is but some sort of low nap velvet type, the brand is England. They have more expensive couches, but we decided to go with something that was less expensive because of kids. We also have a couch from Ikea with a tweed type fabric in our school room. So far it’s holding up well too, it’s only about two years old and it doesn’t get used near as much as the living room couches. It was a display couch so we got it at a discount, I’m not sure which model it is.
  5. I think part of this would depend on what part of Texas. Based on what my dad grew up with in east Texas, their basic Thanksgiving would be: Turkey with brown gravy, cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce from a can, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, ambrosia, pumpkin pie, and pecan pie. There would be some sort of dinner roll too. My bio mom grew up in the panhandle and their traditional meal is pretty similar, no ambrosia though, and there would be sweet potatoes casserole or something similar. My cousins of a younger generation serve slightly different foods. Cranberry sauce tends to be fresh, instead of green bean casserole, fresh green beans. I don’t think anyone still does ambrosia. It’s interesting that you brought up Texas specifically because initially I thought traditional Thanksgiving is about the same everywhere in the US, then I remembered that where I live now there tends to be lots of little differences and Thanksgiving with my in-laws use to make me very homesick because although the foods were similar, they weren’t what my (step) mom and her family fixed. I think this is a very sweet thing for you to do for your husband!
  6. It’s 67 and pouring now, supposed to fall to 40 by trick or treat time and into the upper 20’s overnight for our first freeze of the season. Couple that with 20mph winds gusting to 40, I’m trying to convince my kids to skip trick or treat tonight and go Saturday afternoon in a neighboring town. At least the rain is supposed to stop so we won’t be wet and cold if we go tonight.
  7. Shouting, hollering, using “outside voices” are fine with me, the ear piercing scream annoys me, it seems some kids are more prone to it than others. I don’t mind the occasional gleeful scream when you are about to be tagged in tag or whatever. One day my daughter seemed to be screaming just to see how loud she could be, I told her, “hey save that kind of screaming for emergencies so I know if there’s a problem.” She isn’t much of a screamer so it wasn’t a huge ordeal, just me saving some of my sanity. A couple years ago the cousins were all over and one of them is a screamer. My daughter, age 7 at the time, told her “you need to save that scream for when you really need your mom.” My SIL was amused but also amazed that it worked. She has since used that statement for her one daughter who likes to scream a lot.
  8. Our local lunch counter in a similar town does chili dogs, pimento cheese sandwiches, and soups. They also have ice cream and coffee.
  9. Here’s my signal to start school playlist, it’s really upbeat. Happy Dance, Mercy Me joy, for King and Country Move (Keep Walking), Toby Mac All the People Said Amen, Matt Maher
  10. We use cash or auto payments for most things, but basically my husband checks the bank app daily to make sure any charges are correct. We do write a handful of checks a year, it drives him crazy if those take awhile to clear. It’s so few though that he can generally keep in mind that there a check out there waiting to be cashed.
  11. My husband played football through high school and then chose not to play at a D3 school in college. He has been adamant that he doesn’t want our boys playing football because of the head injury risk and also because of knee and back issues he believes it has caused him. It has worked out in that neither of my boys have had any interest in playing. I do require bike helmets, my sister had an accident in elementary school that would have probably killed her had she not been wearing a helmet. Other than riding bikes and climbing trees, my kids haven’t really been interested in “dangerous” sports.
  12. I met a guy a couple years ago who spends a couple weeks every year as a volunteer lighthouse keeper. I think it’s through a national park, but don’t remember for certain. Here’s a link to lighthouse accommodations by state: I’m more of a mountains and forest girl, but I still think a lighthouse could be a fun place to live.
  13. It sounds like you decided to get some for yourself, which is my vote. Kids don’t seem to grow predictably, so I don’t like to buy things until they actually need them. I have an 11 year old boy. At 10 he grew 4” in height, so I thought he was done growing fast for awhile. He’s grown another 4” since last November (he passed me in height!). In May I bought him size 8 men’s shoes, they fit well with I thought room to grow. In August we were at the PT and he got orthotics. When I was checking to see how his shoes fit with the orthotics, I realized his shoes were way too small. I replaced them with size 9.5. His basketball shoes I bought last week were a 9.5 too but if they had a 10 narrow that might have been better. I am floored how quickly he is growing. His sister on the other hand has been in a size 3 kids shoe for 2 years now. I don’t know why her feet grow so slowly!
  14. I rented a car in St. Maarten this summer. It’s a fairly small Caribbean island that is half Dutch, half French. Although I had cell service and my Apple maps worked, I was not able to get turn by turn directions. Streets showed up and the blue dot where I was showed up, but I had to figure out where to turn. More than once I had to pull over to orient myself. I was by myself most of the time though. The times my brother was in the car with me he could help me figure out where to go. My only real difficulty is that I had to be a much more assertive driver due to heavier traffic than I’m used to. Also, the traffic signs were really different than in the US. Some I never figured out and some took a few days. Even though it was all one island the traffic signs were different depending on which part of the island I was on. I wasn’t in a hurry or on a deadline and they are used to American drivers so it didn’t end up being a big deal, but I could see it being stressful to some people. school crossingDouble speed bumpNever figured this one out Speed limit 50 kph (this one took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out, I though they were highway numbers)Intersection ahead
  15. Oh, he has also started giving me a heads up about potential travel. Sometimes these last minute trips only seem last minute. He has given someone a block of dates, and someone else can only meet two of those dates and he’s waiting on a third person to finalize the plan. If I can kind of have in my mind that it is coming up, it helps me. Before all I knew was that suddenly there was a meeting and he was leaving tomorrow. Now I know that there might be a meeting next week, but I may not know exactly when it is until the day before.
  16. While my husband isn’t military, I have totally been there. Like you, my husband has always traveled. One or two nights a week, especially when I know in advance is pretty easy to deal with. Because I’m home and handle the kids, he is more flexible and if something goes south on a project he may go out of town or go to an in person meeting instead of handling it via conference call. My husband was gone 4-5 nights a week last fall and into this spring. At first it was ok, but then it really started to wear on me. We knew that when that project was over, things would slow down, until the next project started approaching its deadline. When a former coworker approached him about coming to a different company, we chose a slight pay cut and smaller bonuses in order for him to be home more. At first, he was out of town a lot, meeting people in other offices, and I was really regretting the change. Now that he’s been there 6 months the travel is at the level we had been expecting. I have at times had to be firm about the last minute and not really essential travel. My husband is a good worker and has trouble putting work on the back burner. So, I let him know when I have something for me or the kids that I really want him around for, he blocks out the time. At different times the kids have been especially challenging and I’ve also had to request that if he traveled, to only be gone 1-2 nights. Basically, when it starts getting to me and if he’s not noticing, I have to speak up. I think different families can have different boundaries regarding the travel but it is reasonable to set those boundaries. It’s also reasonable to see if they need to change every 6 months or whatever, especially if you have younger kids. Figuring out ways to stay connected during the travel periods helps too. He often FaceTimes with the kids, but we usually just talk. Sometimes I realize I need to see his face just as much as the kids do. Hang in there, I imagine just having moved doesn’t make it any easier.
  17. I was just talking about this with my husband. My grandparents won’t leave. They were born and raised in Beaumont, they have weathered many hurricanes and storms. My cousins are young and have young families. With Harvey they were told it was 1000 year event. Two of my cousins married high school sweethearts, parents on all sides are divorced and remarried. So extended families are huge and all live in a 15 mile radius. Everyone is super tight knit so I think it would be a struggle for any of them to leave the area unless they all left the area. I would at least want to get to a higher ground. If you look at the neighborhoods where my great grandparents lived, all the homes were on piers, not super high piers but definitely off the ground. The houses in the last 40 years seem to be built on slabs, at least from the observation of someone who doesn’t live there. My grandparents street is at least built up so their front door is about 2-3’ higher than the street. My aunt and three cousins though all have homes on slabs that are at or barely above street level. I mean 40” of rain anywhere in two days is going to cause issues, so I’m not sure how much piers would help across the board, but I would think it would help some. My husband pointed out that even if they did want to move, selling a house that flooded out twice in two years is going to be very difficult.
  18. I have family in Beaumont and just east of there. The Beaumont family is fine. Those east of there have flooding, again. My aunt literally spent the first night back in her home in April and had it completely finished 6ish weeks ago. One of my cousins only has about 3” in his house as of this morning. They got back in their house about Christmas time. Another cousin with extensive damage from Harvey took on some water today too but I haven’t heard how much. They are ok physically. It’s just emotionally draining to have lost almost everything two years ago and then be facing loss again.
  19. My husband is 6’5” and we have a queen sized bed. He would prefer a king but we don’t really have room for it, but his feet don’t hang off if he keeps his head toward the top of the bed. My 11 year old is 5’4” (95th percentile) and still sleeps in a regular twin. His best friend is 5’7” and 6 months younger, he’s still in a twin. I’m not saying you shouldn’t get an XL twin, just that you have time to wait until you have cash.
  20. I think you basically fill out an application online but you meet with someone in person for fingerprinting. My husband said it was no big deal, 15 minutes at most. I agree that at some airports it isn’t that advantageous. But sometimes the airports you think you will breeze through take awhile.
  21. I always hated it when my kids were younger and people would tell me it’s just the stage of life I am in. There is a lot of truth in it though. These types of things get better as your kids get a little older. I had similar feelings when my oldest was 7, but now that my youngest is 7, things go a lot more smoothly. If kid clutter is a huge problem, I would temporarily put stuff away until it’s easy to manage. Our legos had to be put away for a couple months. I also find it easier if we have a pick up time pegged to another part of our schedule. Timers worked really well with two of my kids, I set it up as a try to beat the timer race and then see if we can do it faster the next time. I didn’t punish for not beating the timer but I did reward when they beat it. My third is a dawdler. I haven’t figured out a good way to motivate him not to dawdle with picking up his own messes. He is a great helper with other chores though. I find that with him he just can’t be sent off to cleanup on his own. He needs someone keeping him focused. Part of that is his personality and I think part is his age. I think it’s normal, especially when expecting to worry about the future, but I have found things generally fall into place over time. Good luck!
  22. The Marines still train dolphins, at least that is what I was told last time I was in San Diego. My Colonel friend currently in war college told me about the cat thing recently. He said the project failed because the military couldn’t get the cats to do what they wanted them to do.
  23. Definitely get precheck if you will be flying more than a couple times in a year. It’s something like $75 for 3 years. The lines move quicker, no taking off shoes, no taking electronics out of your bag. Plus everyone in the line travels regularly so they know what they are doing and don’t bog down the line, it’s way easier. I don’t fly enough to have precheck but my husband has it and when I fly with him I usually end up with precheck too. Even if I don’t get precheck, the kids can go through with him and I get through the regular line more quickly. I wore a dress on my last flights, no pat downs. I’ve only ever been patted down once (I don’t fly very often so that doesn’t mean too much) and it wasn’t horrible. I mean it felt a little weird but I didn’t feel violated or anything. I was wearing pants that were a bit big and they made me take off my belt so I was worried my pants would fall down, but that was the worst of it.
  24. I read this on NPRs website the other day, I haven’t looked into it yet. The military has done some strange research but this is the first I’ve heard of ticks possibily being used for biological warfare.
  25. That’s crazy. It does take a little while (2-3 months) to get my three kids in for well checks with our preferred pediatrician at our preferred location. Part of that is wanting all the kids done the same day. However, whenever I have anything urgent I can usually get in the same day with any doctor or within a day or two with our preferred, as long as she isn’t on vacation or something. It’s the same for the general practice where my husband and I go. I do specify when I call that I want to be seen today or tomorrow depending on what I’m calling about. I did switch away from a doctor in the same health system as one of the hospitals because they couldn’t get patients in for urgent needs withinin a day or two. My kids would have strep, I would develop symptoms, then be told the doctor could not see me for a couple weeks. I felt like if was part of how that particular hospital system operated or poorly trained scheduling staff, I don’t think the doctor has any clue patients had trouble getting in to see her. Have you talked to your son’ pediatrician to see if they have a practice they would recommend? They may be aware of someone taking new patients.
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