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About Harpymom

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    Hive Mind Worker Bee

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  1. I'm glad to see someone else thinks of it as Messiah season! We are pretty rural and have to drive hours to see it live, so mostly listen to records, yup, or youtube. We don't usually put it on until Thanksgiving morning, but it was so late this year I cheated and snuck a new recording I really like - King's College Choir with Baroque instruments.
  2. So sorry to read this, I am holding you and their grieving family in the light, and also your friend.
  3. I was pregnant with dd23 and fully vaccinated when I caught whooping cough - coughed hard for 6 weeks. Whooping cough is hard to diagnose once you've reached the coughing phase - if they culture for it now it will likely come back negative regardless. The beginning sore throat and low-grade fever went away after a week then the cough just got worse and worse. I never "whooped" but crikey it was awful. The most undignified pregnancy ever - I would cough and cough until I gagged, plus other less-speakable indignities. I couldn't take any otc stuff due to pregnancy, just tea with lemon and honey (which didn't help at all.) I hope your cough clears soon!
  4. The Christmas Miracle of Johnathon Toomey, A Child's Christmas in Wales plus The Tailor of Gloucester are must-reads for our family each year.
  5. Thanks! I actually never wear Birks, and I also go to the Blue Hill Fair every year. We read the Off to the Fair chapter as we drive there.
  6. Are you looking for an informative and delicious family vacation? You might consider volunteering or just camping out at the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association's Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. For all Maine-based hive folks - see you at the Fair! I'll be the one getting the double helping of tempura root veggies.
  7. This might sound sort of simplistic and only pertains to younger kids but I read the original Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books to my kid when they were little, and I really believe they helped with behavior like this. I'm remembering one story about the boy who loves animals but forgets to do all the chores when Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle leaves him alone at her farm. To this day as teens and olders, they tease each other about being like a particular character if one of them is "having a moment." Not petty. When Mama ain't happy....
  8. Congratulations on your "official" homeschool! I'm guessing the new hybrid school friendships will blossom gradually as the kids get to know each other. The way it worked for us was by following their interests into activities like the theater workshop, then being ready to drive or otherwise find ways to be able to have play dates or hang out time with new friends. You could also put up a flyer at your church or a local food coop or farmer's market to either start a more inclusive homeschool group or a parent-child group devoted to something like trash clean-up at a park. You could meet up at the park on a day you have off from work, do the volunteer activity then just socialize. You could host a fall get-together for a few of them, maybe with a mom or two so you also get some new friends options. It sounds like your child is ready for exploring her interests in real life as opposed to online, so my advice is take the opening and run with it, and she'll know she has options when she's a teen and the peer pressure to be constantly online will be more intense. I'm not familiar with online groups for kids, though I'm sure others here have ideas.
  9. Freeze pesto, finish apple butter, get all the spuds out of the ground. These are really just ways to pretend dd23 and I aren't getting on a plane and moving her to Switzerland on Tuesday. Finish lists for dd14 and dh for next week.
  10. If the kids are also Whole 30, obviously disregard my suggestions above. Maybe an alternative simple array always in the fridge: large numbers of roasted chicken thighs plus lots of roasted sliced sweet potatoes in olive oil and salt; jars and jars of peanut butter and roasted sweet potatoes, apples, carrots, and celery, and coconut-almond granola with coconut and almond milk.
  11. Cooking for teens, especially boys, is the proverbial threading the beads onto the string with no knot at the end. Endless. I loved the "Zits" cartoon that said something like "Cook your teen a snack and he'll eat for a day. Teach your teen to cook his own snack and your kitchen will be a wreck forever." Two words to save money and sanity: complex carbohydrates. My boys snacked on enormous bowls of brown rice, sri racha and peanut butter, extreme amounts of corn tortillas, canned refried beans, and cheese, and yogurt/muesli by the case. If you can have something like these for them to make for themselves all the time, they can eat before the activities and you can get some respite to plan and cook the real meals like others have suggested above. Agree with always having foolish amounts of eggs on hand, it helps to have your own chickens! Your rage is real, but they will grow up. Go with bulk, easy, and healthy. They will never look back and say gee we wish our meals had been more exciting when we were teens, I guarantee.
  12. I'm sorry for your pain at this, it's not easy. I was the first (lonely) homeschool mom in my area, and now I'm the last - all of dd14's friends are heading to high school this year. My oldest is 30 and I've remained good friends with the mom of his best friend who also homeschooled through high school. Likewise, my older daughter had only one friend who went all the way through and her mom and I are also good friends. I do find myself reading these boards more and more, imagining myself friends with interesting lovely moms. All the homeschooled friends of my younger two went or are going this year to public high school and I have no mom friends among their parents. It feels so sad. I felt most at home with the moms of the older ones, and not just in age. The younger moms (mostly of kids now heading to high school) have been weirdly competitive about more things during the homeschool years - schooling, sports, activities - than we old ladies were back in the day. Is this because college is harder to get into? Is the culture more competitive as a result of the internet and the need for instagram likes? I agree with MissLemon and klmama about how new school moms seem very rah rah, whether justifying their decision or just more of that same competitiveness. Selkie, I'm so sorry - I will never complain again about having only a couple of homeschool mom friends!
  13. Really rare. This has been a hard reality for my two middles. It was very hard for either of them to form close friendships in the first two years, since everyone else was bonding at "parties" on the weekends. My dd who graduated this year said that the music conservatory students drank a bit less due to time spent practicing. It seemed to her that everyone, college and conservatory, settled down and drank less in junior year, and many new friendships blossomed that year for her because of it. I'm hoping this is true, as ds is entering junior year as a secular teetotaler and he has been really lonely because of it. They were/are shocked at how much students drink when they or their parents are spending so much money to send them to college - what's the point of being there? Mine were lucky to be at the same college and had each other to hang out with on weekends.
  14. And Plan B: he applied and was accepted to a NOLS semester course - confidence-building, adventure, and a whole semester's worth of college credit. His professional goal is to do adventure education, so he'll be learning hands-on from the best. I am thrilled but will be holding my breath until he leaves the base for the course.
  15. My guess is that people want a sense of control when they specify where their ashes will end up, which is a reasonable way to try to grapple with the ultimate loss of control.
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