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Everything posted by pageta

  1. Our middle child is very inquisitive as to how things work. Other kids want to make things go, he is driven to figure out how things go. So inevitably any toys you buy him - trucks, farm toys, etc. - get taken apart in order to figure out how they work. My parents are horrified by this. My mother is sure that he is being "destructive" and needs to work at a demolition junkyard someday. I think not. My parents even went so far to say that they are not going to buy him any gifts for Christmas "because he just destroys things." Granted, any new toy is played with for a few hours and then is slowly taken apart. But he is utterly fascinated in figuring out how things work. I hate to deny him that learning experience. We don't buy him more or less toys than we would if he didn't do that - he simply has fewer toys because he takes them apart and eventually they get trashed because they don't work anymore and are nothing more than a pile of random pieces. The natural consequence of taking something apart is that it may not work anymore and thus you won't be able to play with it. Yes, he has Legos and other such toys. But he is far more interested in figuring out how things work than he is in building things. He does some building. He had a couple corn cobs he found after riding in the combine and he took the corn off them and made a series of grain bins and used his tractor and wagon to haul the corn around. Eventually the corn was all "lost" (or picked up and thrown away as to not attract mice when it was left out). But here is my question - if what he enjoys about having a truck or remote controlled car or toy combine is taking it apart and figuring how all the parts work and he genuinely enjoys doing that, does it matter that the toy no longer works and ends up being thrown away? If you build things, you use up materials. I knit, and when a ball of yarn is gone, I get another one. Yes, I do enjoy using my handknits, but I knit more because I love knitting than because I love my handknits. What if you pay for sports? What does a child have to show for that other than spent time with his friends and gotten physical exercise? You pay x dollars for him to play a certain sport, and when the season is over, its over. You don't have anything to show for it, other than possibly a trophy that sits on a shelf. If you go to a movie or read a book, you spend time enjoying it, but you don't have anything to "show for it" when you are done other than the knowledge you gained while seeing or reading it. Does every toy you are ever given have to be in perfect working condition after you are grown in order for somebody to not have wasted their money buying it for you? My husband and I still have many of our childhood toys, but neither of us were obsessed with figuring out how they worked like our son is. So if a new toy only lasts one day but is played with intensely for the entire day, was it a waste of money? Should you lecture the child and refuse to buy them toys? It's not that he doesn't spend his time doing other things. It's that if you buy him a truck or a remote controlled car or anything that can be taken apart, he will take it apart in order to figure out how it works because that is far more interesting to him than simply using it. Once it is gone, he has to find other fun things to do - like riding his bike and catching every sort of living bug that ever enters our yard and keeping them as pets (two of his prime activities last summer).
  2. Just curious... In your pack, do the scouts wear their Class A uniforms to den meetings or Class B (or something else)? How do you decide (or what is the general trend) for Class A vs Class B? Just curious what other packs are doing and why. Thanks!
  3. At the Webelos camp last year, they sent me a picture of the boys wearing their Class A shirts and scarves, etc. with their swimming trunks! I just about swooned! I will definitely ask about the uniforms, too.
  4. He is no more in it just for himself than he is in it just for the pack. Leaving a group because of personal reasons such as a family relocation is completely different from leaving a group because it is part of the scouting path. I am very happy to donate my time and energy to making scouting great for all of the boys in the pack, not just my own. I did not realize they had to wear Class A from head to toe for Boy Scouts. It is just optional in Cub Scouts, but that would be a great way to spend the money. After all, the more he sells, the more the pack benefits even though they are giving him a part of the profits. That would be a great way to benefit both.
  5. Great questions to ask when looking at troops - Thanks! We do have dozens of troops within a half hour so there are lots of options. This is my oldest so it is my first shot at this and I am still learning the ropes, despite being involved in the pack and attending committee meetings. We are still finishing up the Webelos badge, but looking at the arrow of light, I think I might of gotten the two-troop impression from #4 where you have to "visit at least one Boy Scout troop meeting and one Boy Scout-oriented outdoor activity." I guess that could both be with the same troop, as could #6.
  6. They benefit as well when he gets a portion of his sales. He gets 15% and they get the rest (the amount kept by the pack from the council is a little over 30% so he is getting about half). He has to sell a baseline amount in order to get that benefit. They do not pay for uniforms, they do not pay for camp, they do not pay for go-see-its or other activities. Last year my dh was co-den leader, and I was the asst and I attended the committee meetings. This year, I am the den leader and I attend committee meetings. I've been a part of discussions regarding how the dues are spent and how the popcorn money and other funds raised are spent. The Blue & Gold "banquet" in our pack is a potluck with each family bringing a main dish and a side dish (no food whatsoever provided by the pack). He gets his patches and his book, but other than that, everything is paid for by us, not the pack. Stuff for each activity, such as the trailer and truck for the float in the 4th of July parade, is donated for that specific event. So in our pack, the money you raise selling popcorn benefits both the pack and you. Rather than being asked to make a donation if you choose not to sell popcorn, you simply have to pay for your own expenses. We are not part of a pack where everyone sells popcorn on the honor system and then everyone's expenses are covered. Last year all of the boys in his den went to camp but not all of them had help covering that expense because not all of them worked hard to sell popcorn. Each boy was rewarded according to his effort, which I think is very much in line with scout values. As Webelos leader, I've been talking to many troop leaders about their troops because one of the requirements for the boys to cross over is to visit more than one troop. Around here, it seems to be the norm that whatever the fundraising activity is, the boys benefit directly from their level of involvement. The number of hours they spend at the concession stand determines the amount of money they earn toward scouting activities. So don't try to tell me this will be a bigger issue once he is a boy scout - their expenses are more at that level but they still benefit in part for their effort rather than just working solely for the common good. And I see absolutely nothing wrong with having a split system where the scout benefits directly for the effort he makes as well as benefitting the group.
  7. No one had suggested anything like that. In our pack, popcorn sales in the fall are the ONLY fundraising opportunity. The boy scouts sell concessions as all of our events. Every year he has sold enough to pay for a significant portion of his summer camp expenses (and it gets more expensive every summer). That is the only time it has ever been mentioned that the boys could use those funds from that account. Since camp isn't until June, if he left in February and his funds did not go with him, he would lose that benefit in his last year of cub scouting. That benefit is a far bigger motivator to us than some silly toy they get for reaching a certain level of sales. I don't think my values are in conflict with scouting values and that we need to reconsider our involvement with scouting just because I don't want to leave $100 sitting on the table. I will ask and see if there are things they will allow us to spend the money on other than camp. He won't be needing a new uniform, but he could certainly buy some personal camping equipment with the money.
  8. If your child is in Cub Scouts and sells enough popcorn to get a percentage of his sales to use towards scouting expenses (camp, etc), if you scout is a Webelos II and sells in the fall and then crosses over in February, does he get to take with him the funds he earned selling popcorn to use for scouting expenses as a Boy Scout? Or does he forfeit all that money because he has "left the pack"? Furthermore, does it matter whether he crosses over to the troop that has the same chartering organization as the pack he sold the popcorn for? Our pack committee had a long discussion about this and tabled the issue. The fact that they are even discussing it is scaring me because my scout will be a Web II next year, and if his money doesn't go with him when he crosses over (regardless of which troop he joins), I can guarantee you he won't be selling a dime's worth of popcorn in the fall. I know the Webelos book requires you to check out more than one troop as part of the requirements for crossing over, so I would think it should go without saying that you are not automatically expected to join the troop that has the same chartering organization as the pack. So if your money goes with you, it shouldn't matter which troop you join. I need some voices of experience here. Thanks!
  9. Get up and move around. Often. Exercise is nice, but once a day and being a couch potato for the rest of the day doesn't do anything to help water retention. The more active I am throughout the day, the less trouble I have. If I'm starting to feel it, I know I've been too sedetary. I learned this for myself when I sat at a convention for 2 hours followed by a 15 minute break, 4 times a day for two days. I had never had water retention before during pregnancy, but boy did I have it then. The pattern has continued, long after pregnancy. So mine just seems to be baseline activity related.
  10. pageta


    Each of those tools is a whole lot easier to clean and put away. I only use my food processor when I really need it or for large volumes.
  11. This may or may not help, but I wind all the yarn into center-pull balls - aka yarn cakes - and then pull from the outside. It doesn't flop around, and it doesn't collapse on itself and get all knotted up. I recently discovered many of my friends do this as well.
  12. ...do you still bother to decorate? We are leaving on the 21st and returning the day after Christmas. Putting up the tree seems so pointless. It's just one more thing to live around and keep the kids from messing with perpetually. The thought of putting it up just tires me. Am I just being Scrooge?
  13. Adding my request to the hover feature. It's quick, painless and so very, very slick. Miss it!
  14. We have 36 weeks in each school year which breaks down to 3 weeks per month. At the beginning of each month, I look at what is going on and what days I have available and plan accordingly. For instance, in December, my husband's company shuts down completely between Christmas and New Year's so we will be finishing our 3 weeks of school before Christmas. During the month I keep track of where we are and how many days I have left that I can opt to take off. My kids do better with routine, so we do four-day weeks usually, taking one day off for errands, library, etc. But when we've needed to, we've done school 5 days a week as well. Every month my goal is to get everything done so I'm either ahead a day or two and I'm definitely not carrying over days into the next month to be done. Every month is different, but one month at a time, we get it all done.
  15. Try Ravelry. Lots of ideas there. Do you have a library? You can browse their knitting books for ideas. Or go to Barnes & Noble and look at the current knitting magazines - lots of ideas there.
  16. I would suggest Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding. It is very homeschool like in that it is creative and encourages rabbit trails like you describe. At the same time, he shows how you ARE covering the things in the Common Core. He has a set of three books covering K-2, 3-5, 6-8. You could kill two birds with one stone using something like that as a guideline.
  17. We do 4H and it meets once a month. Cub Scouts has a pack meeting once a month plus one or two den meetings, plus campouts and such. So for social time, I would vote Cub Scouts over 4H. With 4H, you focus on specific areas and do them perfectly. For Cub Scouts, you are exposed to a wide range of things. For instance, 4H has a tree-leaf project where you collect 10 leaves from different trees and they have to be perfect (no disease or insect damage) and they have to fall into certain categories and you have to label them a certain way (including the scientific name and location of where you collected the leaf) and you have to figure out a way to put them in a binder and present them (glue, staples, contact paper, lamination? - and your 9-year old must be able to do these things perfectly) so you can get a ribbon for your project (ds was knocked down one level because he hadn't made an "appealing cover" for his notebook containing his leaf samples, which I thought was ridiculous because the project was identifying trees, not scrapbooking). For Cub Scouts, the boys are required to go on a hike and identify five different trees. It's practical, it's about identifying trees. The 4H project was 10% identifying trees and 90% doing all sorts of things to make your tree identification better than someone else's in order to win a ribbon at the fair (after all, either it's a maple tree or it's not). If you're a hopeless perfectionist and you like to compete against other experts, then 4H is fun. If you want your kids to learn how to identify trees and other things you see on nature hikes and enjoy being out in nature and learning about it, Cub Scouts is a much better option. ETA: Cub Scouts isn't just about nature - the boys can focus on woodworking, academics, sports, art, a whole range of things. But as said before, it also depends highly on which 4H club and Cub Scout group you are joining. It can vary a lot from group to group.
  18. It sounds to me like your *both* picky eaters. I'm sorry, but we have vegans in our family, and just being vegan with all the restrictions it entails makes one a picky eater. So simply stated, you cater, she doesn't. Because your diet is more restricted, you're accustomed to making more adjustments so it's less of an issue for you to cater to her sensitivities than it is for her to cater to yours. You could become a "social vegan" and eat non-vegan food when not at home. You could quit catering to her picky eating and just expect her to eat whatever you serve when she is at your house. I grew up in a household where we were vegetarian - so no pepperoni pizza - and while I have left those restrictions behind (we eat meat but do not eat processed food), my parents have gone further with their restrictions and are now vegan. My mom's approach is to double cook anything that has meat in it when we're at their house - as in, if we make chili, she has vegan chili. But she makes things with their tofu milk (not a single ingredient on that container is something that isn't highly processed) and doesn't make a second batch with real milk. Their church bans "unclean meat" per Leviticus so no pork. I swear every time we go to visit them that next time they come to see us, my homemade bread will be made with lard (though I would never mention it). The whole thing is infuriating. They're being picky by being vegan. We're being picky by avoiding processed foods. To say nothing of those who don't like cooked carrots. I could never invite them over to my house and expect them to eat pepperoni pizza because that's what we're having, while they expect me to eat their tofu "milk" and tofu "cheese" and vegetarian "burger" and turkey "bacon" and what not. Don't get me started. So it's not fun, but my advice is to change that which you can change - i.e. how much you cater to her. If she doesn't want to cater for you, then you don't need to cater (or cook) for her. If it's worth it to you to do it so you have things that are appropriate according to your dietary guidelines, do so. Expect nothing and you will not be disappointed. It's hard, I know. I feel your pain. But you can't change her, you can only change yourself.
  19. I just want to add that all of the scans they have run on me do not show any reason for a seizure, but I still have them. I get the deja vu feeling (which I thought might be a panic attack), but prior to that I just get odd feelings with no explanation, like high blood sugar but no reason for feeling that way because I haven't eaten a stack of junk. I'll feel like I'm not quite all there. Hard to explain. But the types of things you're describing are very much in line with things I've heard about seizures, and there are many, many types of seizures.
  20. I second seeing a neurologist. As someone with seizures, most of which I have while conscious and no one can tell I am having them, the things you are describing could certainly be symptoms of certain types of seizures, especially considering your history of head injuries. I spoke with a number of different professionals about my symptoms before someone was able to diagnose what it actually was. Panic attacks were ruled out among other things. So you really need to see a neurologist to get that possibility diagnosed or ruled out. Hugs!
  21. Thank you. I knew there had to be someone out there who would "get" what I am trying to describe. It's not just four hours - it's a complete disruption of the schedule I've so carefully tweaked so I can get everything done without losing my sanity.
  22. No, I have not outlined my issues to him yet. I am still trying to decide whether or not I am being ridiculous. I'm trying the one car thing and seeing if it is as bad as I think, and I'm trying to give it my best. But we're two weeks into this, and my reasons why this is not a good idea have yet to be disproved. In the mean time, we have to sell his old truck before we can buy a new one, and with it needing the new spring mounts, we really don't want to be driving it. If we fix it, we won't get that money back out of it when we sell it. I need to have my ducks in order so when the truck sells, I can make my case for why we need to buy a new truck. This thread is part of that process. I've already told them he needs to get up earlier so he has time to feed the kids breakfast before we leave on mornings we drive him to work. He also mentioned one morning as we were taking him to work that he's glad we don't have to get our kids ready for school/daycare every day. He ended up finishing the laundry last Saturday because I hadn't gotten it done during the week. And last night he had to help clean the house (which I hadn't gotten done during the day). I'd rather show him than tell him that this isn't working, if possible.
  23. We drive older vehicles so our cost per mile isn't that high. Our car is a 2003 model, his truck is a 1995. If we bought a new truck, it would probably be about the same age as our car. It's not like I'm asking for a car that has one of those remotes you only need to have somewhere in your purse and your car knows when you walk up to it and automatically unlocks and then you just have to hit this start button and you never have to dig your keys out of your purse. I have a friend who is a SAHM (not a WAHM) and they just bought a new car with a remote like that. And they talk all the time about how frugal they are (including which car they bought). It makes me want to just stay home all the time and never go out and talk to anyone. Then we would only need one car and it wouldn't be a problem at all. I know this is completely beside the point, but it only serves to make me more bitter. I am trying not to be bitter.
  24. We live in a small town outside the city because our house cost half of what it would have had we bought a comparable house in the city. We don't even have pizza delivery in our town. So public transit or a taxi are not an option. If I took him to the most outlying bus stop, the extra time he would need to navigate the bus system to get to his destination would be far more than the extra eight minutes it would take to drive him in the rest of the way. DH's commute is on a busy highway, so a bicycle is out. In the winter (when the children sleep the latest), we have snow, so a motorcycle wouldn't help either. I mean, we are saving money. But all things considered, is it really worth it, including the risk of my not working as much because I'm either too tired or am spending time driving him back and forth so I can have the car? I've taken on a lot of household responsibilities he might do if we both worked because I am home and can do them during the day, and since I work on the weekends, I'd rather get those things done during the week so we can do things together as a family on the weekend (even if we're just at home). But this extra responsibility is just going too far. At the same time, I feel like I'm being completely selfish and ridiculous. But money isn't the only factor - time and energy are factors, too. And I'm already so tired.
  25. I guess the question is, are we really saving money, especially considering the effort it takes to have just one car? We aren't saving any money on gas because even with the better mileage, we are making more trips to town so that more than cancels out any savings. If we look at our repair records, we have put maybe $500 a year into repairs/maintenance on dh's truck. Let's say we spend $1000 on either repairs or car payments. Round up to $100 per month. I'm spending four hours driving him back and forth from work every week, saving $25 per week, which comes out to $6 per trip taking dh to/from work. If I was saving $20 per trip, I might be motivated to figure out how to make this work. But for $6? I'm just overwhelmed. I make a whole lot more than that when I work, but I do technical editing - not something mindless like transcription where you're just writing down what someone else said. I have to check technical writing to make sure it is correct before it is published so my clients don't end up having to list errata for their publications. If I miss too many errors, I lose clients. I need to be at the top of my game to do that, not tired and worn out from spending hours on the road making unnecessary trips to town in bad traffic. If I didn't work from home, I might say, well, it's worth it to me to not have a second vehicle so I don't have to work. But I do work. And I'm tired. DH comes home every evening and after the kids go to bed at 7:30, he gets to sit on his arse and do whatever he wants until he goes to bed at 10:00. I use that time either to work or do something else while I feel guilty about NOT working while I have peace and quiet. I like being able to run errands during the week because it isn't hectic like it is on the weekends, even if that means I need to bring the children along. Traffic is much more relaxed during the day, and people aren't so rude. I eliminate a lot of stress from my life by running as many errands as I can during the week. The only errands I run on the weekend are ones like going to the home improvement store where I have to stand and think about which something I want to buy - it's hard to think when the kids get bored and start horsing around. The kids are fine shopping when I go to the grocery store and have a list I'm following. We may be saving $1000 per year on repairs or car payments, but it is really worth the added stress of driving dh to work so I can have the car? Time spent doing one thing is time spent not doing something else. Am I supposed to sleep four hours less, not do laundry, not clean the house, buy expensive processed food because I don't have time to cook supper? Where are those four hours (and the extra stress they cause) supposed to come from? The number of hours in my week has not changed. And I was already tired before we came up with this let's-save-money-by-having-only-one-vehicle scheme.
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