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Noreen Claire

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Everything posted by Noreen Claire

  1. DH (36) is paying into the Mass Teachers Retirement System at 9% plus 2% on earnings over $30,000/year. He's got plenty of years left to work, and will collect his pension based on his age at the time of retirement, his years of creditable service, and his highest three-year salary average. As for me (42), I need to work two more years to be fully vested in the same pension system (I taught for 8 years total, with one maternity leave, and have been out of work since DS4 was born). I will collect a much smaller pension benefit due to teaching fewer years (husband and I started teaching the same time, but I've been lost years of service due to having 4 children since we married). My years of service will be fewer if we retire at the same age (not the same year) and my salary will be lower due to those missing years. I plan to open a 403b if/when I do go back. I also have a small pension from working in a warehouse (union job) before I began teaching. That is $250/month, starting at age 65. Due to the laws in MA, we will NOT be eligible to collect Social Security if we collect our teacher's pensions, even though we both paid into it before we started teaching in MA. Okay, my head hurts now just thinking about this... off to bed. G'night!
  2. I second The Last Airbender and The Iron Giant as excellent movies with well-written boy protagonists.
  3. My littles are 7, 4, 2, and 2mos. The guy who works in the dairy department at the supermarket is my biggest fan. When he saw me last week all by myself he was stunned! My oldest is 21 and can be a help, if I really need him. Otherwise, he's not around much. I miss that kid...
  4. I have started scheduling a game into the day in my bullet journal (another 'no willpower' purchase - I'm a lost cause!). Today we played Monopoly Jr for the first time, and it was okay. The kids weren't taken by it as much as when we opened Sequence Jr last week (both were Christmas gifts). The third game they got for Christmas was Catan Jr - I opened it up and promptly closed it and put it up really, really high. It has SO MANY PIECES. *sob* I'm frightened. Maybe some day when DH can take the little boys out of the house DS7 and DS21 and I can play...
  5. You have a three year old who sleeps? DS4 and DS2 both gave their naps up at about 2.5. Gah! I'm so jealous. ;-) I was glad to see that our new version (opened this afternoon) had only one dollar bills. I *loathe* sorting cards/pieces. One of the many reasons we hardly ever played (until I started the gameschool challenge). We played for the first time today and I purposely only gave each person nine dollars. Very quick game for littles that way! I'm with you!
  6. I've never heard of this before? Off to check it out... My husband probably wouldn't buy it, but he would ask me why I want it. That might be a good way of keeping myself from buying it! Right there with you!
  7. Example #1: I joined the #gameschoolchallenge from the My Little Poppies blog in order to get myself playing games with my kids more often. (I'm not a game player by nature.) Seeing all the posts by others in the facebook group, I ended up ordering a whole cart full of new games from Amazon! We haven't even played all the games we already own... Example #2: I joined the Food In Jars Mastery Challenge through the Food In Jars blog because I barely canned anything last year and wanted something to spur me on this year. After seeing all the posts by others in that facebook group I just ordered a case of Meyer lemons, with plans to make several different batches of marmalade! I must not join any more challenges... I must not join any more challenges... I must not join any more challenges... Anyone else have my specific problem? How do you talk yourself out of purchases like this?
  8. My son (7) tested positive for strep without having any symptoms. I asked for the test after he started having serious OCD and 'pee' issues overnight. It's worth a test to know for sure.
  9. I accidentally signed us up for Amazon Prime when my kids received Fire tablets for Christmas. Now that we have it, I might as well check it out before deciding whether or not to keep/cancel. So, here's my big question: can I cast Amazon Prime videos to my TV using my ChromeCast device? I have a ChromeBook, android phone, and several Fire tablets I can use. Is there an app that I can put on my phone to play Amazon videos that will work with my ChromeCast app? (I can cast the screen of my ChromeBook, but it is awfully slow and will probably not work well.) I'm just too sleep-deprived right now to figure this one out on my own. Thanks in advance!
  10. Acyclovir (generic Valtrex) is safe and commonly used during pregnancy at a maintenance dose, as someone with an active herpes outbreak within a few weeks of their due date will have to deliver via c-section. It is possible, knowing that you flair up at ovulation, to start taking anti-virals a few days before you usually flair up and then stop again after ovulation, in order to prevent the monthly outbreak. I've had herpes for nearly 20 years (it truly is the gift that keeps on giving), but the outbreaks are very minimal and far between now. I also have learned what my prodromal symptoms are - the nerves in the skin on my legs get very tingly and touching my skin feels like fire - and immediately begin taking my meds. This usually knocks it down in 24 hours and spares me an actual outbreak. FWIW, I've been with my husband for 10 years now and he has not caught the virus. (thank god!) Good luck.
  11. My 7yr old (will be 8 in March) 2nd grader works from a checklist (me, too!), and has the following daily schedule: 8:00 - 8:30am: Morning time (led by me) - prayers, poetry, grammar (First Language Lessons #2 - all oral), family read-along (currently The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe). 8:30 - 9:00: (independent) spelling (Spelling Workout B) and handwriting (Zaner-Bloser 2C) snack/break 9:30 - 10:30: math (Singapore CC 2A) I present him any new topics and work through textbook material with him, and then he does assigned work in the workbook or the extra practice/challenging problems books and brings it to me to be checked. Most of the time this doesn't take anywhere near a full hour. outside break/lunch/clean up/family read aloud 12:30-1:00pm science (independent) He's focusing on astronomy, mostly reading, some written/copy work. He keeps an astrojournal of stargazing at night with his father. 1:00 - 2:00: (led by me) history (Story of the World 2) and literature (Classical House of Learning Literature, Middle Ages Grammar Stage). I read and ask questions orally, he does some writing/mapwork/coloring work, and then he reads from other related fiction/nonfiction books on his own. He has only 60-90 minutes of daily screen time during the week, mostly tv with his little brothers. He hasn't used the computer much, and I guess we should add a typing program in at some point. He has a tablet that he just received for Christmas, and plays with that as much as he is able between Friday night - Sunday afternoon. He reads and plays independently doing puzzles, arts & crafts, Legos, and loves to listen to audio books with headphones. His chores include clearing the kitchen table after dinner and loading/unloading the dishwasher. He also washes/dries/folds/puts away his own laundry on laundry day, and helps out with his little brothers' laundry as well.
  12. I have the 3rd and 4th editions... I will keep them both forever but, if I had to choose, I would keep the 3rd, as that is the one I read first and marked up.
  13. This makes me nuts! Oh, goody. The things I have to look forward to. This *will* be my children. I agree with this. Along with this, I *cannot* sit in the same room with my oldest while he eats ice cream. The noise.... *shudders*. For me, one of my big things is that the males in this house don't seem to know how to turn off a light. Every. Light. In. The. House. Makes me crazy!
  14. My DS21 has also tested as severely deficient in Vit D (more than once). Within days of taking the prescription he is like a new person - more energy, better mood, better skin complexion, quicker thinking, and just all-around easier to be around. DH has also tested as severely deficient, but he wouldn't take the prescription. You can tell by his mood and energy levels whether he's gotten more or less sun exposure (and, therefore, more or less Vit D).
  15. DS21 just squeaked out of the public high school by the skin of his teeth in 2014. He started working part time at the local supermarket during his senior year and has been steadily getting more hours ever since. He now works full days, 4 to 5 days a week. He picks up any extra shifts he can get and occasionally talks about getting a second job. He's saving for a car and is talking about getting his own place (though he can't really afford it yet). FWIW, this is a local supermarket chain, owned by a local family, and it is an institution around these parts. Many people work for the company their entire lives, and are rewarded with profit-sharing bonuses and are treated like family.
  16. Me, too! We did this with the Kura, and currently have DS7 and DS4 in that one. We are going to move DS7 into the new bed, DS4 & DS2 can be in the Kura, and DS.baby can have a bottom bunk to himself eventually... The coupon came in the monthly mailer; it's good until the end of January. They often have an extra book at the service desk if you ask nicely! Thanks for the info! I'm actually afraid that the older boys would try to shove the 2yr old into the drawer... Ugh. That's great to know, thanks!
  17. I'm buying another set of bunk beds tomorrow. If you had to choose, would you go with the Ikea MYDAL, $169, (here) or the BJs bunk bed, $189 w/coupon (here). Both are made of pine. The BJs bed can be separated into two twin beds (we don't have room for that) and has a drawer underneath (I don't need). We currently have two boys in an Ikea Kura bed, and have been happy with it. I don't have any real style preference - they both look nice to me. What say you?
  18. Give more hugs. Even when they are so *&^%ing annoying/frustrating/aggravating that you can't stand the site of them, GIVE MORE HUGS. I screwed this up and, now that he's 21, I'm trying to repair it before he moves out/on...
  19. My mother bought Amazon Kindle Fire tablets for each of the middle boys, (7, 4, & 2) for Christmas. I'm looking for recommendations on good educational apps for those ages. So far, we have DuoLingo, ScratchJr, and ABC Mouse added to what is provided already by Amazon FreeTime. Thanks, and Merry Christmas!
  20. My boys are younger, but the got Fires today from my mother. We have the Amazon FreeTime app - it is a monthly subscription, but comes with really good parental controls and filtering.
  21. I have 7, 4, 2, and baby. We do audiobooks on PlayAways that I borrow from the library. They are self-contained little digital books, slightly larger than the size of an old iPod shuffle. Each of the older two get their own book and their own headphones to use during quiet time while the younger two nap (hopefully).
  22. You don't sound bratty at all. I'm right there with you on the stocking thing...
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