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Everything posted by NanceXToo

  1. Hi! I've been a Fresh Air Fund host for going on 7 summers now, and this will be my second summer as a Volunteer Chairperson in my area of Pennsylvania. It is a great organization and a great experience and more hosts are always needed! For my kids, it's a week long fun sleepover with a friend they don't get to see very often, a chance to show someone from out of state about our family and area, and a chance to learn about other cultures. For the Fresh Air Fund children it's a chance to get out of the inner city and see and experience things they can't at home, to see that there are different paths their lives can take, to spend time with their "other" family/friends, and to experience other cultures. For me, it's a bonding experience and it's also so amazing to watch these kids experience new things and to watch them grow each year as we invite them back. It's just a week, and there is always 24 hour support from Fresh Air Fund and your chairperson, so you've got nothing to lose by trying it! :)
  2. Thinking of you again today, Rosie. I hope your little girl is bringing you comfort and some small happiness this Mother's Day. I know how we all wish your son was celebrating it with you, too. I saw a quote the other day, a Winnie the Pooh quote: how lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. You were blessed with a bright beautiful boy for five years- not anywhere near long enough, not by a long shot- and the saying goodbye sucks, but he was here and he mattered so much and I'm glad you had him for the time you did and that you will always have good memories of him. I know they aren't enough. I know they aren't as good as the real thing. But I'm happy you touched and were touched by your precious child for the all too short time you had with him. <3
  3. Oh, Rosie. This is so monstrously unfair. As mothers this hits all of us like a sucker punch right in the heart and we mourn your beautiful son with you. I'm heartbroken for you and I wish more than anything that I could undo it for you, or do anything that would actually help. I know I don't have the right words or real help but I am so sorry for your loss.
  4. Hi all! I am doing well! I had my baby at the end of August. Her name is Adelaide Elizabeth. She will be 10 weeks old tomorrow. I tried a while back to post a pic of her on here, and I don't know if it is the site or me, but I was not able to upload any pics. If any of you would like to be Facebook friends, you're welcome to message me privately and I'll give you the info so that you can add me, and then you'll be able to see pics and updates on there. Thanks for asking about me! :) Nance
  5. Hey all, Just wanted to pop in and give a quick update. I am now a little over 24 weeks pregnant! Things have been going well, all tests have been normal, I'm feeling good. I had my anatomy scan a few weeks ago, and we did not find out gender- it will be a surprise at birth! We're just about done with our school year, wrapping up the last week or two of Oak Meadow 6 and Oak Meadow 1 (and my oldest daughter is graduating from her special needs school at the end of this month, crazy)! Anyway just wanted to let you guys know how things are going since so many of you followed my saga of TTC and my three losses in a row, and finally this pregnancy. :) Nance
  6. I'm so sorry your family has to go through this. I can't imagine. I would do child led/unschool and find out what he wants to learn about, what interests him, what he's passionate about, what seems therapeutic for him, and do as much of that as you can. Do things you enjoy as a family to the extent he is able, read to him, be together, find things to laugh about.
  7. Thanks, all! :) I appreciate the good thoughts!
  8. Waves. I don't know, I just couldn't get into the forum changes. I peek in once in a while and keep in touch with some of you via Facebook! For those who don't already know I am currently 13 1/2 weeks pregnant, and after those three losses in a row, this one is going great so far! :)
  9. Good for him! Everything he talked about was my experience exactly when my daughter was in public school. In Kindergarten and 1st grade, they had desk work almost all day preparing for the standardized testing they'd need to take starting in 3rd grade. They had silent lunches and were not allowed to talk in the lunch room, so they could hurry up and eat, so they could hurry up and get to their 15 minute recess, so they could hurry up and get back to their desks. Only, the teachers frequently took my daughter's recess away as a punishment for talking too much in the classroom. So these 5 and 6 year olds had to sit quietly at desks all day, had to sit silently in the lunch rooms, and would only get a 15 minute break- but lost it for socializing. What a vicious circle. And when she got home at the end of the day (often not until around 20 or a quarter to 4 PM), she had homework to do. I hated it. And her first grade teacher also gave her a "demerit" for talking too much so that she came home one day sobbing, "I got a demerit! And I don't even know what that is, but it's bad!!!" And that same teacher also gave her an F in math making her think she was bad at math. Why? Because she'd missed some assignments due to illness and/or vacation that the teacher couldn't find time for her to make up in school and wouldn't send home, combined with the fact that she'd tell the kids to draw pictures to illustrate their problems and my daughter, who always loved art and drawing, would take her time, drawing elaborate illustrations. Then she wouldn't have enough time to do the second side of the sheet, so instead of grading her on what she knew and got right and had time to finish, the teacher would just give her a 0. It was unbelievable. We stuck it out until 3rd grade when I had to add in all the stress and stomach aches of the school pushing the standardized testing so much, and by then, I was just done. That was no childhood. That was no real education. That was no fun, no room for creativity, individuality, etc. I pulled her out and never looked back. He summed it up exactly. It's like that all over.
  10. I watch Survivor every season. Love it, though I miss the gross food challenges hehe. I used to watch Facts of Life as a kid and I like Lisa on Survivor. I didn't know she homeschooled her kids but that's cool!
  11. Honestly, for your own sanity, block your mother and your cousin on Facebook and stop reading either of their posts. Go about your life. Some people are just toxic and it's better to cut them out of your life. Or maintain casual/civil conversation if she calls you or you see her at a relative's house, but don't call her, invite her over, visit her, or view her Facebook. If she asks you about Xmas, "no, sorry, Dh and I have decided to keep things low key this year and aren't prepared for overnight visitors." As for her and your cousin, sounds to me like she's trying to avoid feeling guilty about being a cruddy parent and is making herself feel better by telling herself that there's someone who likes her just fine, so it must be you guys and not her, and yadda yadda. Helps her sleep better at night, probably.
  12. We started using it sporadically at the end of third grade with my daughter and that was perfect. She's now 12 and we're still using SOTW (Middle Ages, now), and she still likes it. I think the book itself is still good for her age, and the supplemental books recommended in the activity guide seem to span a decent variety of ages- some are just simple picture books but others are more advanced. The map work is very simple, there's a coloring page, and then a handful of activities and projects to choose from, ranging from very simple, to somewhat more advanced, and you can usually choose other books or figure out other projects from there if you want to add on a bit more. My 7 year old son on the other hand would have ZERO interest at this age and I just can't see him really getting anything out of it.
  13. I haven't posted in a few weeks, but here's my list! COMPLETE 1. Envy, by J.R. Ward (Fallen Angels series) 2. Kiss of the Highlander, by Karen Marie Moning (Highlander series) 3. The Ramayana, A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic, by R.K. Narayan (with my daughter for school reading) 4. Dark Highlander, by Karen Marie Moning (Highlander series) 5. The Immortal Highlander, by Karen Marie Moning (Highlander series) 6. Spell of the Highlander, by Karen Marie Moning (Highlander series) 7. 11/22/63, by Stephen King 8. The Traveler, by John Twelve Hawks (Fourth Realm Trilogy, Book 1) 9. Into the Dreaming, by Karen Marie Moning (Highlander series) 10. A Judgement In Stone, by Ruth Rendel 11. The Dark River, by John Twelve Hawks (Fourth Realm Trilogy, Book 2) 12. The Golden City, by John Twelve Hawks (Fourth Realm Trilogy, Book 3) 13. Forbidden Pleasure, by Lora Leigh 14. Relic, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child 15. House Rules, by Jodi Picoult 16. Midwives, by Chris Bohjalian 17. Wind Through the Keyhole, by Stephen King 18. The High Flyer, by Susan Howatch. 19. Daughter of the Blood, by Anne Bishop (The Black Jewels Trilogy, Book 1) 20. Heir to the Shadows, by Anne Bishop (The Black Jewels Trilogy, Book 2) 21. The Host, by Stephenie Meyer 22. Queen of the Darkness, by Anne Bishop (The Black Jewels Trilogy, Book 3) 23. The Invisible Ring, by Anne Bishop (The Black Jewels series) 24. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James 25. Fifty Shades Darker, by E.L. James 26. Fifty Shades Freed, by E.L. James 27. Dreams Made Flesh, by Anne Bishop (The Black Jewels series) 28. Tangled Webs, by Anne Bishop (The Black Jewels series) 29. Goodnight Nobody, by Jennifer Weiner 30. Kiss the Dead, by Laurell K. Hamilton (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series) 31. The Shadow Queen, by Anne Bishop (The Black Jewels series) 32. The Read-Aloud Handbook, by Jim Trelease 33. Ahab's Wife, by Sena Jeter Naslund 34. Shalador's Queen, by Anne Bishop (The Black Jewels series) 35. Sebastian, by Anne Bishop (Ephemera, Book 1) 36. The Devil Wears Prada, by Lauren Weisberger 37. The Good Sister, by Drusilla Campbell 38. The Lost Boy, by David Pelzer 39. Little Children, by Tom Perotta 40. Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Niffenegger 41. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy 42. Impact, by Douglas Preston 43. House of Stairs, by William Sleator 44. The War After Armageddon, by Ralph Peters 45. The Casual Vacancy, by J.K. Rowling 46. Into the Forest, by Jean Hegland 47. Belladonna, by Anne Bishop (Ephemera, Book 2) 48. Rapture, by J.R. Ward (Fallen Angels series) 49. Iced, by Karen Marie Moning 50. Smiles To Go, by Jerry Spinelli (aloud with my daughter) CURRENT 51. The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende, translated by Ralph Manheim, aloud to my son. 52. Micro, by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston
  14. I read this book many years ago but I really loved it and it immediately came to mind after reading your post: http://www.amazon.com/Swan-Song-Robert-McCammon/dp/1439156735
  15. Not sure, mine was done after my most recent loss but they can definitely test your progesterone now and I don't see why they can't do the other stuff too, it's just bloodwork!
  16. I'm so sorry. :( Checking progesterone levels is just a simple blood test. Insist your doctor send you for one, and ask them to send you for a "recurrent miscarriage" panel of blood tests, including for a blood clotting disorder. That way they will know if you need progesterone, blood thinners, etc.
  17. I have a schedule/outline of things I'd like to get done in a given day. Usually we can get it all done. If it's a day with lots of other stuff going on- appointments, field trips, drop everything and clean the house before I freak out, whatever- we may not get to everything, in which case I get to it at some point during the week or consolidate or modify a bit, or whatever. If for no special reason things consistently weren't getting finished most days, I'd either evaluate whether I was expecting too much to get done, or whether I was allowing too much independence in getting it done. If the former, see if you can whittle down your to do list a little bit. If the latter, see if you can spend more time with or near your child while s/he does the work, helping or redirecting as necessary. Oh, and we don't assign blocks of time, we just "do the next thing" and finish what we're doing first. If a subject takes too long, spread it out more over the week. As for grades, I don't give grades. Only math is graded and that's because the program does it automatically. Other than that, we just go over things together and I give feedback, have her make corrections where necessary, etc.
  18. I really wouldn't worry about it at 6. Is it really going to matter in the long run if he becomes a fluent reader at 7 or 8 instead of at 5 or 6? If it will make you feel any better, read "Better Late Than Early" for some perspective (even if you don't fully proscribe to their philosophy or methods). In the meanwhile, don't put a lot of pressure on himself or you, just keep going, try to make it fun...yes, it will eventually click. By the way my son loves and does well with Reading Eggs.
  19. Denise! :lol: I think your posts made my day! In all reality, we just work things out. Sometimes I take the kids along to errands, appointments, etc. Sometimes I schedule them for when my husband is off so I can go alone. Sometimes I'll get my mom or someone to watch the kids for me while I go. I have "me" time. For one thing I tend to wake up earlier than my kids and get to sit with my coffee, computer, and so on. When the kids are in bed, I have a bit more time. I plan some "mom's night out" events for my homeschool group, get a sitter (or husband) to watch the kids, and get to go have dinner and drinks with some friends. Sometimes my husband and I get a sitter and go out together without the kids. Sometimes we go to another homeschooling family's/friend's house with the kids, and our kids all go play together and the adults can hang out and socialize. During the normal course of a typical day if I need some down time, the kids are more than happy to play and amuse themselves or each other for a bit so I can go take a break and do my own thing for a bit. I won't profess to being the world's neatest housekeeper. That doesn't mean my house is gross, though. We keep up with what needs to be kept up with as well as we can, usually doing some basic chores before schoolwork. The kids all pitch in with what needs to be done and I'm not afraid to ask my husband, "Can you do this for me?" if I need his help with something. I mean I usually do the basics (with the kid's help) but if we're having a "thorough cleaning day" rather than just maintenance I might ask him if he can do this, that, or the other thing, and he does it. If things ever seem like they're just getting too messy or cluttered, which happens periodically, everything grinds to a halt, I call everyone over and assign jobs, we get it done, and when I'm happy with the way things look and the way I feel about it, we move on to whatever else needs to be done. You just learn to juggle, prioritize, and go with the flow, if homeschooling is worth it to you. And it is to me. Can it be a bit harder when the kids are very young? Sure. But they don't stay very young forever (another reason to not miss out on it). I like giving them the opportunity to have more of a childhood. I like getting to experience more of their childhood. I like spending time with them, doing fun outings and projects with them, reading lots of books with them, being in charge of our time and having the freedom to do the things we want. When my daughter was in school (which she was until toward the end of 3rd grade in March of 2009) it always felt like my time wasn't my own and my whole schedule had to revolve around the school- bus schedules, homework, "it's a school night," stuff the school wanted, having to get "permission" for outings and vacations on school days, and so on and so forth. If you want to spend more time with your kids, take charge of their education, have more of that type of freedom and so on, you'll make it happen. If you don't, you won't. If you do will your priorities have to shift a bit, particularly while the kids are young? Sure. That's why they're called priorities. P.S. Kindergarten really is not that time consuming. And how did you get all your errands and appointments taken care of before your child became school age? You just do it the same way after they become school age. You manage. And you ask yourself, "When I'm old, and my kids are grown, and I'm looking back, am I going to wish they'd been out of my hair more so the house could be cleaner and the errands could be more convenient and I could have more time to myself, or am I going to wish I'd had more time with them, done more things with them, worried less about superficial stuff and more about just being and bonding with my kids before I blinked and they were older, grown, gone?" I know MY answer to that, and I make my choices largely based on that.
  20. My daughter who turned 12 last month will still sit on my lap, cuddle with me, hold my hand in public, give hugs and kisses, etc. :) (I should prob take advantage of that a little more- who knows how long it will last)!
  21. Our plan is definitely to meet outside. I don't want my kids staying in the house any longer than necessary, a fire can spread so quickly, smoke inhalation can affect them- they are told to just get themselves outside IMMEDIATELY and not worry about anyone or anything else. Granted you may need to help younger kids but hopefully the older ones know in no uncertain terms that they shouldn't be the one holding things up and causing anyone to have to look or wait for anyone else- just get out!
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