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Everything posted by footballmom

  1. I tip $20 on a $32 pedicure (so about $50 total). That might sound crazy, but I’m there for 40/45 minutes with someone totally focused on my feet :) I run 3-5 days a week and go for a pedicure every 8 weeks. The technician deserves a decent tip :)
  2. When DH and I got married, my dad offered a set amount of $ and my mom paid for my dress (under $500) and the photographer. My dad's gift didn't cover all of the other expenses but we were both working decent jobs and decided we could afford the difference. We went with simple flowers and I remember trying all different avenues to try and get the cost of flowers down - I thought the $1k quote was outrageous. I think in the end it was $500 and MIL paid 20% of it in secret and had the shop manager tell me he was giving us a discount because she knew I was working the budget and she wanted me to relax a little 🙂 Bridesmaids dresses were off the rack from a department store for $80 each. I loved how everything came together at our wedding and people still talk about it almost 20 years later. It was simple with a lot of homemade aspects, and very down to earth. My dad has called me after leaving a few weddings of his friends' children and been blown away by the over the top events and costs. It would be interesting to see what our wedding would cost today if we went with the same options but in today's dollars.
  3. If I were someone resigning from a job where I received health benefits, I would ask HR once I resigned when my current insurance would terminate. Some employers pay for a month ahead, or a pay period ahead or real time. So you could have up to the remainder of the month, two weeks, or nothing. Once that insurance terminates is when the COBRA coverage would begin. You will get a letter in the mail but that can take several days to arrive. You have up to 60 days to enroll and it goes retroactively back to the day you didn't have the employer plan. As PPs mentioned, it is expensive. However, given the timing of the year, if you've met deductibles, etc it may be less expensive than signing up for a new marketplace plan and starting deductibles all over. COBRA is the same plan you had through the employer, but now you are paying the full premium. We've had one instance where paying for COBRA made the most sense and another when the marketplace made more sense. Good luck!
  4. Guitar pick punch (got one for DS a couple of years ago on Amazon), SmartWool socks, check out the Man Crates website for something woodworking related.
  5. My oldest has had a tutor for Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Spanish. The Algebra 1 tutor always came to our house. I loved that I didn't have to do anything - it was like a magical math fairy showed up to our home and made our house peaceful. Algebra 2 and Spanish tutors met with DC 1-2 days a week in our home, but no set schedule. I paid an hourly fee. One tutor offered to discount if we went with a "pack" of sessions, but I didn't know what our long term needs would be, so we went week to week. A couple of times DC had an SOS moment and needed the tutor to work through something via FaceTime after trying all of their other tools in their toolbox to figure it out. I paid the tutor the same hourly rate as if they were in the home - it was for our convenience and they were making themselves available on short notice. Win win. I think your situation is unique in that the driving time is significant. But, you don't know long term if the remote sessions will be as effective as in person and I'm more of a keep it simple person. I would try to have just one rate - regardless of in person or remote - since the arrangement can fit different needs and at the end of the day, they are paying for your expertise / ability to teach and improve their child's skills. Plus, maybe the mom spends time tidying up for someone to come over and if you work remote, she's off the hook, lol.
  6. Do you trust her with your child(ren)? For me, if there was an activity that I really wanted to participate in my number one consideration would be if I could find reliable child care I trust. If you don't trust her, it's a non-starter. Next would be logistics. If you don't have time to get your kids to and from her house before and after the activity, it's a non-starter. I think if those two things work (you trust her and you can make the time for driving to / from) then it's a win-win - you will get to participate in an activity you really want to do and your friend will make a little extra $. I wouldn't feel right not paying a friend what market value was for her time / skill and I would also want her to feel like this is a babysitting job so if anything else came up for one of those nights, she would decline because of her commitment to babysitting. I don't think $10-13 an hour is an unfair rate at all. It was a huge sigh of relief once we had a few trusted babysitters who had their own transportation to come to us to babysit, so I understand that hesitation. But for a pleasurable activity, still worth a little hassle!
  7. In your situation, I would decide if I wanted to continue to send them gifts or not. If yes, since it's your goddaughter, I would probably mention casually as we got closer to the next holiday that you would appreciate it if she could let you know when she receives your gift. You want to make sure your mailed things arrive and just hearing she got it would be appreciated. Then move on to the next topic of conversation and see what happens. When I send gifts to my nieces and nephews, sometimes I don't hear they received them and I try to stay focused on the fact that I wanted to gift them something and picking something out or sending them $ brought me joy. If I had bad feelings about it, I would stop sending gifts.
  8. I'm so sorry for the news, Quill. Praying for you.
  9. It's his second year in B&M school. He's going to a school different than what we're zoned for, so it's a further drive. Ironically, he forgot maybe 1 thing last year when he was less than 3 miles away and this year it's happened 3 times when it's a 25 minute drive each way. Part of it is adjusting to block scheduling and he has two backpacks for the different days. One day he just flat out brought the wrong backpack. He doesn't have a PE locker and one day the time of his sport changed to right after school and he didn't have his workout clothes with him. Arcadia, like you said, I've been trying to show him grace but I've got to draw a line. One of my rules needs to be backpack must be packed up and by the door the night before and he needs to bring workout clothes regardless of when the workout time is posted. The day he brought the wrong one, he was scrambling to get out the door on time. I can't figure out the dynamic with the friends needing rides meaning if they really *need* a ride or if DS offers for us to take them with us. He has one friend who always needs a ride - his parents have yet to drive one leg to or from an activity / outing. I like being able to hear what the kids are saying and just being a fly on the wall so to speak, but I'm tired, lol. Plus, some parents I don't know very well and I guess my control tendencies mean I would rather drive and know they are with a responsible person. But I do want DS to start feeling some sense of responsibility in coordinating rides versus thinking mom is on call. Thanks for the support and practical suggestions. I'm going to think more about this today and then have a meeting with him and DH/dad before dinner tonight to set some rules / boundaries. I like the ticket idea but I need to make sure I will be consistent.
  10. Thanks for the advice so far. I know my post sounds a bit extreme but there have been multiple conversations and it just isn't sinking in for him. I went back to work FT recently and I'm stretched thin. Then, I try to remember I only have a couple of years left before he's driving and he won't need rides, so I'm trying to soak in that time with him and I go back to driving all over, lol. I guess the thing I'm upset about is how he isn't kind / reasonable in how he interacts with me or others in the family a good bit of the time. I don't want him to feel like he has to show appreciation or be over the top expressive. I just want a little light bulb to go off "hey, mom's working so asking her to come up to the school twice today at different times because I've forgotten things is a big ask. If she says no / can't, I won't verbally vomit all over her."
  11. My high school freshman has become...the stereotypical teenager. Let's say hypothetically you realize you are meeting all of their needs and almost all of their wants / whims and they in return are not showing / expressing any awareness or appreciation for the things that are done for them (constant shuttling for activities and friend meet ups with very little notice, school clothing and supply purchases way beyond the basics, etc). When this teenager does address his main support person, he's very teenagery lol. Would it be reasonable to strike for a period of time? i.e. not being available / willing to do more than the necessary - having food available and making enough servings to include them in family meals, having laundry detergent available and getting them to and from the bus stop that's 1.5 miles away. That's it. Reasonable or ridiculous? **he does participate in a sport 4 days a week so he will need rides. I am not willing to do this during my strike period. He can ask dad or coordinate with a friend. I've become an Uber for his friends, too.
  12. Asheville, NC or Annapolis, MD would be my top 2 picks
  13. I would say the #1 reason is because no one has a crystal ball. Even if your family has money, there are health issues, divorces, etc that can change "the plan". The only thing they can control is themselves and their spending - they may not have a lot of control on their income - job losses, employment gaps, etc.
  14. Yeah, I just found out yesterday how SOL's will work for my 8th grader. They are untimed and each one will start during first period regardless of what class the SOL is for. He will have a total of 8 SOLs with the way they break out Language Arts. His first two periods are academic and then he has PE and an elective. I asked if he can start the SOLs after his first two periods and was told no. The testing coordinator said that the teachers are aware of which students go for SOLs on which days and they don't do a lot in class on the days students are out. Um, what's the point in coming to class at all during SOLs? It is so ridiculous.
  15. My oldest used to refer to people by their shirt color. He had a very verbose command of the colors even at 3 and 4. We live in a very diverse area and I wanted the playground to swallow me up many times because *I* knew he was calling them by their shirt color and not their skin color. "It's near the peach girl with the brown boy and the maroon boy". UGH! I hope the doctor took it in stride...or it helped make your case for the play therapy referral ;)
  16. I am so sorry. I'm sending hugs and prayers to you, your sister and the family.
  17. I understand your hurt, mourning and sadness. I really struggled when all the kids decided to try PS this fall. The oldest ones have loved it. The youngest came home mid-year and we are both loving our homeschool life again :) So, I think if you can frame it as a "right now" it could help you. They want to try it "right now" as in the next school year and it may be a great fit or it may not. It is all changeable. The adjustment has been hard on me feeling like we are on the school schedule roller coaster and the kids have had to adjust to ridiculous rules and assignments. I got a call from administration because DS had hand sanitizer on the bus. Um, what?! They have recognized they are not really "learning" but rather regurgitating and aren't really going for a deep understanding of anything. I miss afternoon picnics with read alouds, impromptu field trips, skiing during the winter because we could shift our schedule, etc with my oldest kids. But I try to remind myself they had those experiences! Going to school now doesn't take those memories away. Ironically, I did adapt pretty quickly to having several hours of time to tackle projects, work, etc and I had to readjust when the youngest came home again just a couple of months later. :)
  18. Thanks everyone! Smart But Scattered has been ordered. DS and I have talked several times about his lack of a "system" in keeping himself organized and on track. I have given several ideas including a mini composition notebook to write assignments, Siri reminders, a paper planner, etc and he isn't interested in any of the ideas so far. I told him he doesn't have to love my ideas, but he does need a system.
  19. DS will be in high school next year and he will have a pretty rigorous schedule with the academic classes. I know he is capable of the academics. My concern is he seems to have some executive function issues and I want to best prepare him and be a support without over functioning for him if that makes sense. He's really scatterbrained, he's the kid who won't pack his backpack the night before, forgets to turn in assignments he has done, permission forms go down to the wire, etc. Example - he talked to a teacher yesterday morning about staying after that day to make up a test and quiz. He knew going into the day both of those things needed to be done and worked out for himself with the teacher about staying after. Guess who forgot about staying after and rode the bus home? Yep, that boy lol. He puts off assignments until he has to hustle to get them done and he has good grades with minimal effort. He can also be really impulsive - not in a classroom setting (but he is very social there) and his impulsivity mostly shows up with his siblings kind of prodding them and picking at them etc. Today he was walking home after school and close to home kept bumping into sibling trying to roughhouse a little and it knocked sibling's phone onto the ground and shattered the screen. He had no *intention* of that happening but it shows his impulsivity. He will want to buy something on a whim/spur of the moment and whether it is practical or not, he gets hyperfocused on that one thing and when and how he can get it. This is his first year in public. I'm not sure how much of this is teen boy or a bigger issue and I'm trying to figure out if I just step back and let the chips fall (yesterday I drove him back up to school so he could take the test and quiz and by the grace of God teacher was still there) or if I have him tested for ADHD or what, but I feel like there are bigger stakes next year and I need to tease some of this out. I remember flying by the seat of my pants a little with high school assignments but mom and dad were not engaged at all and when I tried to get some help, they were not at all available. But, I really don't want to over function for him - I've already done high school ;)
  20. I went through a painful BFF breakup last year and I realized coming out of it that my closeness with my BFF superseded my relationship with DH in not great ways. DH lost a sibling after we were first married and he has struggled with processing it, I felt like I needed to handle everything for years. I have learned to lean on DH and our relationship has grown a tremendous amount in the past year. I really enjoy being around girlfriends and growing those relationships, but DH is my BFF and I really want to keep it that way :)
  21. I think the answer to nice jewelry is always yes. But I would want to be super sure DH wasn't going to come through with something awesome and was just sidetracked with life right before the anniversary before making a purchase ;)
  22. It sounds like you have a lot of expectations of yourself and from DH that you are trying to navigate along with the reality of two kids - one being an active 3 yo and a child that you are homeschooling. You are not going to be able to solve everything at once and your DH sounds like he's having a hard time right now and to me he sounds a little passive aggressive like with tackling the house projects. I would: 1) Give myself and kids an early spring break. Take a break from school to tackle some of the housework. 2) Find someone (in home daycare maybe?) that could watch your DD for a week to tackle the immediate decluttering / organizing. Get on top of the dishes, etc. Since you won't be doing school you will have that extra time back in your day, too. 3) hire a handyman to hang the things / projects you want done if you don't feel you can do them yourself. Hanging shelves and curtains would be an easy job and you could have someone in and out in half a day. Think about how great it would be to have that done! 4) Get done what you can get done over those 5 days. Make a big trip with donations, consignments, etc on the weekend day so you can spend the weekdays focused in the house. After that week, assess what is on your wish list to still get done, see how you are feeling, think more about summer plans for DD in regards to care, etc. I wouldn't make any big decisions *right now* about next year. You need to triage / take care of the low hanging fruit so to speak and then assess.
  23. I knew a family with something similar and it turned out (this is going to sound crazy) their dishwasher was making them sick. I forget if it wasn't washing the soap off properly or if the water wasn't getting hot enough, but once they figured that out it resolved. Good luck. Stomach bugs are my kryptonite!
  24. I have both an eat in kitchen and dining room. If I had to choose one to go, it would be the dining room. We use it once or twice a year. When I dream of downsizing, it isn't a room I would feel like I need to have in the next house. Of course, needs may change by then. When DC marry and have their own families, the bigger space of a dining room would be nice. To me, the perfect compromise is to have a sun room off the kitchen with a large farm house table that can seat many or work as a school table, craft table, etc. We don't have formal meals that I feel like the dining room calls for.
  25. I don't think you *need* to do anything, but it would be nice / helpful if you have the time to call the providers that you've seen since 2/1 to give them a head's up that they will need to resubmit. In my experience, it will take weeks for them to send you a bill and you could potentially head that off now for them. I'm sure this isn't the first time it happened to them. FWIW, when we had market place insurance and then switched to the plan under DH's new job, it showed the market place plan was still active WEEKS after we stopped coverage with them. We had to be firm with the providers to submit to the correct insurance. Good luck!
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