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happysmileylady

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Everything posted by happysmileylady

  1. So today's update....I woke up, oddly, around 5:15, no alarm. I thought about getting out of bed....and then it was 5:40 lol. At 5:40, I got out of bed, and made some tea. My alarm on my fitbit went off at 5:45. I stayed up. I was still not very functional until like 6:15 or so. I DID stay up too late last night.....Was trying to see the paycheck hit the bank account lol. It's a dumb reason to stay awake, but yeah, that's why I was was up so late. Tomorrow, plan to set my alarm for 5:45 again. Won't swim tomorrow, have to get cookies ready for a 10 am cookie booth. Counting, loading, setting up the booth, etc etc. I might go swim on Sunday. It's a good start to the week.
  2. My girls are 3rd through 5th (and DS7 tends to tag a long) Video games are an easy go to for rainy days. I suspect though that the girls that are hanging out and loving Perler beads are not really the kids that are really video game kids lol My girls like to cook. Might require some work from you, but handing the kids a packet of sugar cooking mix and letting them go at it, especially with the older girls helping the younger girls through the recipes/instructions, might produce some interesting things On rainy days, if it's possible, clean out space in the garage, provide roller skates, skate boards, etc and just let them hang out with that stuff in the garage. A jump rope competition doesn't need a lot of space lol Friendship bracelets-just buy a bunch of embroidery floss, teach them some knots and let them have at it. Movies....like good classic 80s movies-Back to the Future, Goonies, etc. Combine cooking and movies-buy some pillsbury pizza dough in a tube, have them make their own pizza and then choose a fun movie.
  3. I have read skimmed other replies but may very well have missed something so please forgive if I have repeated anything. The world of work is both very different, and at the same time very much the same as school. In terms of being required to repetitively prove we know a concept-well, that's not the point of the world of work. The entire GOAL of going to school is to learn XYZ concept. Therefore, throughout school, we have to prove we have acquired that knowledge in order to begin to learn more things. The entire goal of work is to a) accomplish the task that is our job, and b) to earn money to pay our bills. (for some people, a provides enough fulfillment in itself and they have the luxury of not requiring b...but for most, those two goals are fairly equal.) For most people however, they are not participating in the "world of work" to acquire knowledge. Therefore, *proving* the knowledge has been acquired isn't necessary. But in school, since the goal is to acquire the knowledge, then proving that has been done is necessary to determine the goal has been met. In terms of the idea of accommodations in the world of work....well, there is a law called the ADA which requires that, when possible, accommodations for disabled people are required. Sometimes, it's not possible. I recently learned that for safety reasons, a wheelchair cannot be used on the work floor where DH works. There are a lot of machines and moving parts and a wheelchair in that environment presents a real safety issue to both the person in the chair and the people around them. It's not possible at this time to build the facilities to accomodate both the manufacturing AND the wheelchairs. So, there are no accommodations available for people who want to work there (or who might need short term disability...that's how I found out) with that sort of disability. At the same time, my DH works at a company that is Japanese owned. A large percentage of the employees are actually Japanese citizens who come to the US to work here for a set length of time (he has described anywhere from 1 to 7 years). There are translators on site 24 hours a day. This isn't an ADA required accommodation, obviously, because speaking a different language isn't considered a disability (well, I suppose unless your different language is ASL) But it IS an accommodation. And it's one the company pays VERY WELL for, because that is to their advantage. IOW, the "world of work" actually does have a LOT of accommodations. Some are required by law, some are simply accommodations that are obviously advantageous to the company. And then of course, sometimes, accommodations just can't really be made. Whether the issues are safety related or otherwise.
  4. Actually, I tend to work best between 6 and 7 hours. At about 8 hours, I start to get a headache. I also tend to sleep best in the hours between like 2am and 7am. My fitbit even shows that. Most nights, regardless of what time I go to bed, I am least restless and have the most regular sleep cycles between those hours. Unfortunately the world just doesn't work on the sleep cycle that works best for me.
  5. Thank you for the ideas. One thing on my list of things to get is some wireless headphones (potentially waterproof so that I can put music on my watch and listen while I swim.) Maybe that will help with sound. Earlier bed time is tough. I am not a mom who can fall asleep if I know my kids are awake. DD9 used to be a very real concern about getting out and wandering off. That's not so much an issue anymore, but even without that, I feel obligated to be available if a kid needs me before they sleep. I know that is probably crazy, but it's like ingrained in me. Even if I go to bed, I struggle to actually go to sleep until I know all 3 kids are asleep. On top of that, as a not morning person............I am a night person. ( Truth is, swimming in the evening would actually be better for ME. But it just doesn't fit in well with the family schedule and the pool schedule. ) When the sun starts coming up later, that will help quite a bit. I *like* the dark, but when the sun is up when I wake up, I am much more awake. Maybe I will start with this in 15 minute increments. Right now, 6am is pretty much never a problem. DH's alarm goes off at 6, so even if my alarm doesn't wake me, his will. So maybe I will start with a 5:45 time. It actually only takes 15 minutes to get to the pool, so even at 5:45, if I move fast enough (which, is tough, but not as tough as the actual wake up part lol) I could still be in the water by 6:15, and even just 15 minutes in the water is a good start if I have unlimited visits. Maybe more frequent mornings, for less time is a better way to start out anyway.
  6. My swim class has it's last session tonight. I want to continue twice (actually 3x when including Saturday) a week, but going in the evening on a regular basis is just super ultra mega tough. The pool schedule changes after this week and it's going to be even more difficult to make sure DH is home in time. We are working on getting a phone here at home, but kids won't be home alone until there's a phone here. Plus, evening stuff just is a struggle between dinner, getting the kids to bed, etc. SO, that leaves the morning. I am SO not a morning person. I will repeat....NOT a morning person. Also...................I don't drink coffee. I do drink tea and a strong black tea in the morning can help but one of my biggest problems? Actually getting out of bed. This week, I have my alarm set to go off around 5:15. Ideally....I would be up by 5:15 (ish), out the door by 5:30 (ish), to the pool by 5:45, and in the water by 6. Swim for 1/2 an hour, out of the water by 6:30, and then home no later than 7 so DH can leave on time for work and I can start the kids on morning lists, breakfast and school. Alarm has been set for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Today. Wednesday is the ONLY day I got up before 6am. Monday, I woke up to the alarm, turned it off, rolled over, and then lost like half an hour.......when I sat up, I realized I had been laying there longer than I thought. Tuesday, I simply didn't wake up. If I woke up to the alarm I don't remember it. Wednesday, I got up, it was SUPER hard. Today, like Tuesday, I never woke up to the alarm. I heard DH's alarm at 6, and managed to roll out of bed by like 6:15. Now, I will say, I haven't been doing morning swim this week because of AF at the beginning of the week, plus I can't purchase the inexpensive pool pass till Friday, so each visit that is outside of my class is $5 each. (pass is $45 and covers unlimited visits till May) So maybe the "get in the pool" incentive next week will help. I also know that once the sun starts rising earlier (which DST will mess up on the 8th) it will be easier for me to get up. Light in the bedroom and warmer weather always help. Please help me wake up. My goal right now is swim Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings. Saturdays, the pool isn't open until 7, and being there at that time is like NO problem. It's that early morning crap that is so hard. I also want to say...I know that getting to bed early enough is a thing. However, last night I was in bed by 10. And I still didn't even wake up to the alarm. Also, my alarm is on my fitbit. I don't have a sound alarm because I don't want to wake DH up with my alarm. He needs more sleep than me (and probably more than the average person) and I want him to be able to sleep until 6 and not get up with me. I don't have any earbuds but maybe something like that will help? Having the vibration AND the sound at the same time?
  7. Most of the time, he doesn't get stuff at the vending machine at all. Part of that is that he knows I am....................obsessive..........about the bank account. I check it multiple times a day. So any time he gets stuff from the vending machine, I know it. And he knows I know it. And he knows we have already agreed that there is no spending from the checking account like that. All of which means that when he gets stuff from the vending machine, he has to be accountable. NOW.....he *could* go get like McDs or whatever..............I don't care. And I won't see it because that would be cash. But that means he would have to "waste" his own cash on something frivolous like fast food, after having brought a lunch, plus it takes extra time. By getting something at the vending machine, he's "accountable" for the fact that a)he didn't eat the food he brought to work, and b) he really just wanted something really convenient and junky without a lot of effort. Like I said, I am not going to get on him (I mean really, it's only $3) but he knows that he should have used his own cash that we agreed was for stuff like that but he wants to save his cash for stuff like fishing hooks AND he knows that he brought food and just didn't feel like eating it. Having said all that, honestly, none of us is perfect. Not me, not him, not anyone else here lol. Basically he wanted permission from his "accountability partner" to do something he said he wasn't going to do.
  8. As another poster said, if the child truly cannot read, I would start with reading. I don't think it actually takes a lot of formal instruction to learn basic elementary arithmetic, and that sort of stuff can be incorporated as needed with games at the beginning and ending of each lesson. But reading is really the foundation of everything and learning the mechanics of it is the most basic step. So if the child really cannot read, I would hook up with Elizabeth B and work her stuff. If the child can *read* but not at grade level and/or struggles with comprehension, I would go with a reading/writing combo. Basically....read X, write Y about it. You can work on writing mechanics, plus discuss the reading to work on the comprehension. You can focus the writing assignment towards what has been read. At both levels, I would focus on reading for both tutoring sessions. At the first level, I would do all reading, with a beginning and ending math based game. At the second, I would probably consider doing like 1/2 or 3/4 reading, with math at the end.
  9. So yesterday, outside of the tax crap, I had both a frugal win and lighthearted frugal "fail." The win is....I cooked dinner! lol. I was supposed to make turkey manhattans. Thought I had bread in the freezer, but I didn't. Almost ordered pizza. Instead, I used the turkey, plus the leftover chicken in the fridge, AND used up some fresh stuff that for sure needed to be used, and made a pot pie. I didn't spend money we shouldn't spend, I didn't even break into the "emergency frozen pizza stash" AND I even used up food we had so that it didn't go to waste! Frugal win all around! The "fail" is that DH ended up using the debit card to get himself something out of the work vending machines. The machines don't take cash, only cards (I have seen them, and I find this weird, but yes, the entire wall, like 8 to 10 vending machines, not a single one takes cash.) He brought a lunch, insisted he ate it and was still very hungry. Now, ultimately, I discovered that he didn't eat the chicken in his lunch (no wonder he was still hungry lol.) But I am not going to get on him, I know chicken breasts aren't his favorite, and he's been making lots of healthy food choices otherwise, I am sure he just was like "I really just want a junky frozen burrito today!" lol.
  10. Yard sales all up and down US127 http://www.127yardsale.com/ It's so awesome. Every year, my mom and DD24 and I go make a whole weekend of it with hotels and everything. In the past we have taken the younger 2 girls, but this year, we are ALL adults. We are starting up north this year, near the OH/MI border and getting a hotel up there on the 6th. Then just working our way down, I think we will probably make it all the way down to Cincy by Sunday afternoon. ETA: In addition to the major vendor stops listed on the website, regular people living on the route set up their own garage sales, and sometimes, neighborhoods nearby will do their neighborhood garage sale that same weekend. Basically, it's heavy duty yard sale-ing. And there are some people who are really hard core about it, they rent like U-haul trailers and everything.
  11. Is that what it's called....that sounds right.... If you are still looking for great deals come August, the 127 sales are the first weekend. Eaton and points south are good till you get the Cincy area, and then things get better again once you get into Kentucky. North of 70 has been pretty good to us too. Teens and tween girls are tough though. In our case, DD9 is starting to pass DD11 in terms of sizing, but not in all areas, so in some cases they wear the same size, sometimes DD11 wears a larger size, sometimes DD9 does....It's a bit of a pain.
  12. Goodwill down by Dayton Mall has 99c Sundays. Of course, it's something you would have to hit on a regular basis because some Sundays there's lots of that color tag and other Sundays not so much. The girls GS leader has mentioned a different thrift store up on east Dorothy, I can't remember the name of it though. Also the Kettering Rec center is doing a "community garage sale" on 4/25. You don't have to be a member or resident to go to the garage sale. I didn't go last year so I dunno how many kids clothes there might be or might not be. US 40 yard sales are the last weekend in May, which may be later than you are thinking. If you do decide to hit those up, I have found that west of Dayton tends to be more junk and "antique" dealers. I am planning to head east this year, I haven't ever hit any of the sales between Dayton and Columbus. Is there something specific you are needing right now? OH, and there's an OUAC out by Hobby Lobby in Miamisburg. The few times I have been in there, they seem to be OVERFLOWING with kids clothes, and I am pretty sure they go up to size 12 or so. Probably not going to work for your tweens, but the younger ones maybe.
  13. Tax stuff is faxed. The only thing DS7 has left to do is his spelling. The girls are both done with daily math and daily grammar. DD9 still has math spelling phonics handwriting reading DD11 still has math spelling reading reading comprehension.
  14. Good Morning! I have to go fax more tax paperwork today. The weather is supposed to get crappy in about an hour or two, with a wintery mix turning to snow. So I am gonna try to get out and get the tax stuff faxed before that rolls in. I think I am gonna have the kids bring their work to do in the UPS store while we wait for 20 pages to transmit. Well, transmit twice actually. I have to fax the same set 2 different places.
  15. Between the offset on the 2019 tax year federal refund, and the 2018 state tax refund that they will eventually see that they owe us, the total is now around $900. Of course the offset includes about $100 in collections fees and interest, but after the 10 months that they say it's going to take to get me the money back, there's of course no way they are going to be paying US interest on the $900+ that they owe us. 🙄
  16. OMG, this lady at the atty general's office is about to drive me up a wall! So, first, she's rude. Lots of sighing and lots of "like I told you back when I spoke to you in January" stuff. Well, I am sorry to have messed up your day with needing information on my *HUNDREDS* of dollars that your department is essentially holding hostage! And then, end of the phone call, I asked, ok, so once I get everything faxed in, and everything gets proven, what will I need to do to actually get my offset back. All she could tell me was that the money would be refunded but it probably would take like 10 months *sigh* So, ok, will there be any other paperwork that I need to file. And she says "Oh I dunno!" And not in a surprised tone, but in that "why you asking me all these crazy questions" tone. Now, see, according to the attorney general WEBSITE, there is a form for an application for administrative review of the offset (ie to prove that I didn't owe the money) and on the website, it says that the form has to be filed within 21 days of the date of the written notice of the offset. But the lady at the office doesn't know if I need to send that. I am going to go to the UPS store and fax the entire Indiana state tax return over to the atty general office, which is going to cost another $20.
  17. Tax return deposited Yay! Stupid state tax department offset the federal return for money that they *think* we owe, but we don't, but they are taking their dang sweet time getting corrected. End of January I talked to them, then wanted me to fax in the entire Indiana state return for the year in question, which I did, at a cost of TWENTY freaking dollars. I gave them time to process it, called to check, they don't have a record of having received it. So I have to go back over to the UPS store and have them retransmit the thing. THankfully they said they would do it for free with the receipt. I am also going to have to get in touch with the atty gen office, that's who files the actual collections offset, so I am going to have to take care of things there too. On the plus side, I suppose this means that I can go ahead and file the state taxes this weekend for this year. The federal refund that did deposit was still about 2/3 of what we were supposed to get, and that all went right into the savings account. Once this year's state refund deposits, that will go to the savings account too, and then, once the mistake from 2018 taxes gets all fixed, that refund will go into the savings account too. I am hopeful that by the end of March, all that will be taken care of and we will have a pretty healthy savings going. In terms of being frugal with groceries....I got a little more produce this past week, DH did all the chopping and we got it in the fridge. But, we aren't going through it as fast this week as we did last week. Though I will say, I ended up buying a head of lettuce instead of a bag because there was a clearance head for like 75c. We basically never go through a whole head of lettuce in a week and nearly always end up pitching some. That's why I usually get the bag....a head is usually like $1.25 to $1.50, but the bag is always a buck (or less if on clearance.) I also have a bunch of leftover bbq chicken and pork that I am not sure what to do with it. I might try to make some chicken/pork tacos for lunch today to get that used up. Or maybe I will just put it in the freezer.
  18. DH finally texted me back, no need to drive out there. Woo Whoo! DS7 is done for the day. The girls have both done daily math, daily grammar, and spelling (well, DD11 is just finishing it up.) So DD9 still has-phonics, math, reading, and some handwriting DD11 still has-math, reading, and reading comprehension.
  19. I don’t know what our schedule is today. The schedule I wrote out for the kids includes all the same basics as yesterday. But, DH was supposed to bring some papers in to work for HR and he forgot them. He asked me to drive them out to him, it’s about a 45 minute drive. I don’t mind doing it but I asked him if he could just bring them tomorrow. He said he will check with HR and get back with me. I waited 20 minutes then sent a text asking and he just said he was in a meeting and please wait. I told him that was fine, I just wanted to get it scheduled into my day. That was 2.5 hours ago.
  20. Now, I will say... There is a story of my grandmother, the oldest of 8, being left home alone with 4 of her younger siblings, for an ENTIRE WEEK, including charge of the functioning farm, while my great grandparents took the youngest 3 with them to go to a funeral. My great grandparents farm was in southern MI, the funeral was in the Chicago area. At that point in time, my great grandparents had a single vehicle and no telephone service to the farm. The farm was fully functional (it was still fully functional when I first visited it myself around like kindy age). So my grandma was in chage of 4 sibs, the entire farm, including live stock, for an entire week................................at the age of 12. The sibs would have been like 10, 9, 7, and 5. With the closest neighbor being a few miles away, no transportation other than her own feet, and no phone service. In this day and age, that sort of thing would have been unthinkable, but I suppose that in the 30s, that was probably fairly common.
  21. Yeah, I think at age 15, I would be totally cool with 4 to 6 hours.....but I struggle to imagine a situation where there would be no adult home for 4 to 6 hours. Even when DH and I were BOTH working full time, we worked opposite shifts and the cross over was never more than 4 hours.
  22. I think part of my struggle with things like "morning routine" etc, is that.........no one scampers off to do it. DD9 constantly tells me "well you see, the truth is....I hate making my bed" (or doing spelling, or folding laundry or whatever the task at hand is.) And then there's the 'half a$$ing" Making sure the floor is actually swept and not just had a broom run over the top. Making sure a kid isn't "potty procrastinating" I also struggle to do things like start a load of laundry before breakfast because I often have to wait for DH to finish his shower, or time out showers, dishwasher, laundry etc. When we lived in Indy, that wasn't so much of an issue, but with homes built in the 60s, it's a thing with hot water and such (and since we rent, that won't be fixed)
  23. I have 4 kids. Ages 24, 11, 9, and 7. With DD24, there was no after school care for the middle school, so we started discussing and teaching around age 11 (mid 5th grade for her). We started very slow, like, staying home while I walked the dog around the block, and then worked our way up from there. Big caveat.....at that point, we had a home phone, plus I had a cell phone. So, if anything happened, she could call me or 911, from the land line. By age 13, I felt comfortable leaving her home, to babysit her baby sister, for about an hour or two. At that point, she had her own cell phone, we had a land line, and I had my cell phone. Having said that....4 to 6 hours, I don't know that I ever had an opportunity to have her home, alone or babysitting, for 4 to 6 hours. I think she was actually *working* 4 hour shifts before there was a chance for her to be home alone that long. My next one down at 11....we are just starting the process of having her home alone, learning how to be home with the younger kids....getting *DH* comfortable with the kids home alone lol. I just had a post last week about leaving her home alone with her sibs for an hour-ish vs taking them with while I went to swim class (I ended up not going due to AF) So all that to say, I guess around age 11 or so, we did, and currently are starting the process of learning. When I was a kid, say, 6th grade or so, there was a neighbor across the street that had their only DD as a latchkey kid at age 8. She would get off the bus at like 2:30, and be home alone for like 3 to 4 hours, at age 8. And mostly, she didn't do anything crazy....came home, ate a snack, did half her homework, played nintendo.
  24. Not sure what other label might be more appropriate. DD11 is afraid to give a wrong answer. She would rather give no answer than the wrong one. A few weeks ago, we had her in a rec center "kids home alone" sort of class. When DH went to pick her up the instructor pulled him aside with concerns that DD couldn't keep up, had to be redirected to write down answers, etc. I thought maybe this was due to this being her first "classroom" sort of experience since 1st grade, but then, last weekend, her GS troop did a cooking badge. Now, I have posted here before, we have done quite a bit of cooking together at home. And my kids aren't going to win Chopped Junior or Kids Baking Championship, but we have done quite a bit of simple and less simple meals. DD11 even received a "MasterChef" cooking set for Christmas, that she uses. In particular, we have done much of this cooking with minimal measuring cups and spoons so we have done a lot of "ok, this is a 1/4 cup, we need a half of a cup for the recipe, how many" And AT HOME, she can answer. At the scout meeting, nothing. I know she knows the answer, but she's afraid to give it. She's TERRIFIED of being wrong. I realized she wasn't writing anything down in the book because she was afraid she would get it wrong and couldn't get confirmation from the teacher before she wrote it. Today, our first week back after break, I tried to keep an eye on this. So working on spelling, the lesson was on differentiating between suffixes. Prisoner is a person who is in jail because of a crime, but greater is a comparison between two things. And sure enough, for most of the words (20 in all ) she needed me to reassure her that she had the right answer before she would write it down. And most of the time, she really did know the answer, she was just afraid to write it until she had confirmation that she was right. Going back to the scout meeting, the leader asked at the end what each kid learned. DD11 was all freaked out, felt put on the spot and could only answer "I learned how to make noodles." Well, thing is, she has been making noodles for a while now. And once things were relaxed, and it was "open discussion" she could talk about how she makes spaghetti all the time and how she liked the chicken and hasn't made that yet, and a bunch of other things. But yeah, as soon as she feels like there is a right or wrong answer, she freezes. Anyone have any suggestions for dealing with this?
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