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Everything posted by swimmermom3

  1. I haven't been on the board in forever, but life still throws me questions that only you all can answer: 1. Instant Pot recommendation for my 27yo daughter. She doesn't need family-size necessarily, but one that would let her prep a few servings. I know nothing about the thing, but remember the board was quite into them a while back, which brings up 2. Is the search function on here still weird? Instant Pot brought up nothing when I searched for it. Thanks so much. I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving and was able to pass the bean dip when needed.
  2. Ds worked with Barbara on his essay for college admissions. Her feedback was invaluable. She can help tease out the things that make a student different from his peers in ways the rest of us just don't think about. He was accepted to all eight colleges that he applied to - with scholarships.
  3. My son took two AP English classes from Maya Inspektor. She is truly the finest English teacher I have ever seen - better than most college professor. Ds got his only C in university from the required writing class where the professor told them that she wanted them to forget everything they ever learned in Ap English. My son has never earned lower than an "A" on over two dozen college papers in three years. She is brilliant.
  4. Yes, I am totally grateful that he has his passport and that someone has kindly taken him under their wing. Lanny, are you still in South America? Do I have that right?
  5. Thank you for this info. The banks told him the replacement cards wouldn't reach him before he came home on the 17th. I am still questioning this, but our contact with him is spotty. I spent a nerve-racking afternoon waiting to hear from him with no joy. Eight hours after the initial call, dh was finally able to get a hold of Sailordude. When he was still at home, he traveled with us using Airbnb. When he went to college across country, he started using Airbnb to visit places like New York City. We told him that it was really important to follow the rules and to do good reviews in order to build his own reputation, especially since he was 18 at the time. He used Airbnb in South America while he was studying abroad and used it again for his trip to the Dominican Republic. So...apparently his American hosts along the Haitian border in a rural area are keeping him longer than his original one night stay. I hope this is all okay, and if it is, I am eternally grateful to them. One of the hosts works for an NGO along the border trying to bring clean water to communities and Sailordude will probably go along to work with them tomorrow. He sent a picture of sunset along a spectacular beach. I know self-sufficiency and a love for adventure are some of the things we tried to teach him with homeschooling, but heck, it is really anxiety-producing for this mom. We will be talking about sharing complete itineraries with someone before he leaves the country next time. And I am fairly sure there will be lots of "next-times."
  6. Our youngest (Sailordude) is in the Dominican Republic for spring break. We received a call at 6:30 this morning to inform us that he had lost his wallet probably from the back of a motorcycle (eye roll emoticon). That's his driver's license, 2 debit cards and a new credit card. We've told him to contact all parties. I am not sure what else to tell him at this point. Any suggestions for those of you that have been there, done that? He still has his passport, thankfully.
  7. J - 😥 I can't really believe the time is almost here. Commencement Day is on Mother's Day. We will be in D.C. a few days earlier and will get to celebrate DH's birthday there as well. The timing is so perfect. Homeschooling allowed the boy to get into the school of his dreams and he has never been disappointed. I cannot think of this milestone without thinking of all of the amazing boardies that guided us along the way: you, Nan, Jane, Kareni, Eight, Nicole M., Lucky Mom (need to catch up with her), regentrude, Sebastian, and so many more that pushed us so much further along the educational path than I could have thought possible. You all helped open doors I didn't even know existed academically. Thanks to the board and our gracious hostess, SWB, the boy is living the dream. Oh, I can't forget Barbara H. who was our guidance counselor and helped Sailordude get accepted to eight great schools with scholarships. The suggestions for PHS's AP programs and the amazing Ray Leven, eventually allowed Sailor Dude to graduate in 3 years thanks to AP credits and to survive a semester abroad in Chile with a 4.0 in 4 all-Spanish university classes and an internship. I am just eternally grateful to this board and of course, who would I turn to for help for planning the graduation trip?😀 J, I hope you and the kids are doing well and I am sure you have wonderful adventures to tell of as well.
  8. Pen, it's my first trip there. Dh has been there for business which means he's seen little outside of the airport and restaurants. Sailordude has been there 3 times and has done a lot. The Metropolitan Museum is on the top of the list. I'd like to see the Tenement Museum. We like a mix of activities when possible. I am assuming we'll do Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Maybe a jazz club in Harlem one night. Vendor carts and ethnic eateries are must-haves. We've thought about a bus tour to get an overview and history and then to do our own thing the next two days. I am really open to suggestions. If you think a particular spot is overrated, I'd like to hear that too.
  9. Sailordude is graduating in May. We will spend 3 full days in Washington D.C. and the best part is that commencement is on Mother's Day! On Monday we will take the train with the boy up to NYC. We have three full days there. What would you all recommend we do in that period of time. Also, where would be the best area to stay that is both affordable and central to cut down on commute times? Ds recommended Roosevelt Island, but Airbnb was fairly high. Thanks for your help. It's been a lousy year and half and I can't wait for this trip.
  10. For 30 years my dh has calculated it so that we owe very little or get very little back. No surprises good or bad. I can live with that.
  11. I am going to have to sit for a while on the idea of "debasing our expectations." My thoughts on "expectations are twisted right now. Every Monday night, I attend a session for NAMI Family to Family. I have sat and watched a family with a newly diagnosed son with schizophrenia be told that "No, it is unlikely your son will ever hold a full time job for any length of time." Holding a full-time job and being self-supporting is a societal expectation, one which is ingrained deeply in many of our beings. As a parent, having to "debase your expectation" to FIT WITH REALITY is an horrific process to observe or be a part of. However, maintaining a "high-level expectation" regardless of the situation or person involved has it own costs and limited effectiveness.
  12. That Colorado study absolutely rocked! Long term birth control was also made available to low-income women and the results were equally good. I believe Colorado figured out that the program would have paid for itself (it was a private donation)and then some.
  13. The US government spends at least $2 billion a year supporting abstinence-only education programs. While the number of teen pregnancies is going down, we still have among the highest rates in the developed word, as well as for STIs. 24 states and the District of Columbia require public schools teach sex education (21 of which mandate sex education and HIV education). 33 states and the District of Columbia require students receive instruction about HIV/AIDS. 20 states require that if provided, sex and/or HIV education must be medically, factually or technically accurate. State definitions of “medically accurate" vary, from requiring that the department of health review curriculum for accuracy, to mandating that curriculum be based on information from “published authorities upon which medical http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-policies-on-sex-education-in-schools.aspx When sex ed is taught, 37 states require that abstinence information be required. 26 states require that it be emphasized. There are 11 states that have no sex or HIV education mandate. Five of those states rank in the top 6 for the highest number of teen pregnancies.
  14. Thanks for your explanation. That makes your point much clearer to me.
  15. Are there schools that have fishbowls of condoms, but no health courses that cover responsible sexual/non-sexual behavior? I ask because if a high school does not have sex education classes, it's usually because parents do not want it, so I can't imagine then having the fishbowl.
  16. Quill, I would guess that many on this thread view the issue of teen sex/condom access and availability through a particular worldview lens. Yes, there variations, but for many there is the idea that premarital sex is careless and stupid. To hold this viewpoint, you have to believe that marriage has value. My dd had a good friend who was the "polar opposite" of our family. We are white, comfortably middle class, well-educated, and grew up in married 50+ year families that had strong faith roots. "D" was black, from a poor, broken family and his dad was a drug dealer. To this day, whenever I think of "D," it is with fondness and a sincere wish for happiness, stability, and love for him. He taught our family so much. At the our dinner table one night, he told us, "You all say 'please and thank you.'" "The meal is great and I am so glad to be here, but I can't say 'please'." He equated "please" with begging as in "please don't hurt me, please don't hurt mom." "Please" had to do with addicts who came to the house. A word that meant civility to us, meant anything but civility to him. Marriage held little meaning for him. It wasn't sacred. It wasn't safe. Love wasn't a factor. Do you think young high school girls that have been sexually assaulted by a family member, a trusted coach, or a religious faith think that sex outside of marriage is "stupid and careless?" What I am trying to say is that more than ever, many of those high school students have worldviews and experiences that widely vary from the stereotypical American middle class image. Does that make sense? Nationally, for the first time ever, 50% of our school age children live in household at or below the poverty line. Your neighborhood may be affluent like mine, but I suspect that you have significant pockets where students qualify for free lunch programs, which means cars and $10 for a pack of condoms may not be as accessible as you think.
  17. My thoughts are that handing out a condom is less likely to have a potential health implication than perhaps giving someone ibuprofen who may have an allergy. I know the policies regarding medications are irritating, but there are some good reasons for them. That said, I've done serious battle to have my kids carry asthma inhalers with them when there was a potential for flair up. With regards to the "wrappers," I am good with it. As Blue Goat pointed out, the STD rates in not just that age group, but across the country, are rising rapidly. I thought our local high school did a very good job in covering the benefits of abstinence AND how to take effective precautions.
  18. You may be right about Target being out of fewer things due to it being spring semester. I hadn't thought of that. He was tired, but sent a video of him putting the bed together at about 11pm last night. Of course, that's when he discovered there was no support. He unpackaged the new mattress and slept on it with his jacket. Borrowed his roommate's towel. I feel rather guilty. IKEA was my idea, while the third roommate suggested they just rent everything. DS graduates this spring and plans on staying in D.C. This apartment is really meant to be his home, hence some of the new furniture.
  19. DS spent the fall semester in Chile and just returned to D.C. for his final semester. He has a new apartment with two other roommates who also just returned from abroad. DS and "A" placed orders with IKEA for beds, linens, sofa, and dining table/chairs. "A" accepted the delivery yesterday as DS was doing the cross-country flight. There was no receipt from the driver and no paperwork. The guys are missing a bunch of stuff. They don't have the middle supports for either of their beds and all of the bedding, towels, and shower curtains are missing. Form online initially said 24-48 hours for response. Now it says 5 days. That's just to hear what they will do. It could be longer to get your stuff. Customer service lines say they are experiencing an unusually high volume and disconnect. The reviews online that I am just now reading are horrific - that you can almost never get through for customer service. DS needs mattress cover, sheets, blankets, towels, etc. now. Waiting a day or two would be workable, but after the things I've read, I almost think it might be better to order from Target or rent a Zip Car and just go get what they need. Of course with everyone returning to school, there will be a shortage of some items. I"ll go through the appropriate process, but online comments have left me with little hope other than to contest the charges. Has anyone had the same experience? We've made our purchase at the store, but that wasn't feasible for our student in D.C.
  20. All three of my young adults are moving into new digs in the next few months. Can you suggest good, basic cookbooks that offer quick, tasty meals, but that also teach some of the basics?
  21. We live in Oregon and probably take ease of voting very much for granted as we can vote by mail. Ds attends school in Washington D.C. and utilizes absentee voting. This last semester he was in Chile, so he was able to print his ballot and mail his vote. I believe there is a way to check if your ballot was received. We simply drop ours off at the box in the local library.
  22. We didn't think she could utilize COBRA because her company does offer insurance, just not to her. She meets all of the employment qualifications, it's just inconvenient for them to process the paperwork now when they are discontinuing that plan.
  23. She completed the insurance application in the month of October.
  24. Kareni, I definitely need to catch up with you, in person, and find out what you and your dd are doing now!
  25. Dd turned 26 in October and aged off of our health insurance. She works as an esthetician and is fortunate to work for a salon that offers health insurance. She filled out the required paperwork and turned it in to the company. They denied her coverage even though she qualifies for it, because they are changing to a new plan at the end of November. She has 20 days to wait and this means she has no health coverage. She suffers from severe anxiety and depression. Her meds can run up to $500 per prescription, not to mention counseling. Can her company legally deny her coverage if she meets all of their requirements?
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