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Thread: Secular Confessions

  1. #18481

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    So cute, Bridget! Does his necklace have any significance?
    Josh picks up the most random things in songs. Today we heard "Toes" and there is a line that goes "Pour me some Jager" and Josh said 'Hahaha! He said 'pour me some Jager. I wonder what Jager is.'" I was too busy laughing to answer him.

  2. #18482
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    Quote Originally Posted by demigraf View Post
    Appropo of nothing, I confess I am addicted to House Hunters International on HGTV.
    I am so in love with House Hunters International!

    So sorry about your job woes.

    Bridget, Sawyer is adorable! And I love how his outfit matches his eyes perfectly.

    I confess the gossip mill is in full gear at work. They are apparently letting almost all of the outside contractors in my job go. The rest of us will have to supervise the assistants that will be hired to replace them. The girl who replaced me in my old job told me today she was notified that her contract will not be renewed next year, and because of a non-compete clause in her contract, the district can't hire her directly without paying a 20K fee to her company. That's probably as much as they would pay an assistant to replace her - which means the kids I used to work with will get someone with no certification and making just above minimum wage doing one of the most demanding jobs it is possible to have in my field. That or they will try to convince me to move back. That or they won't give me a choice about moving back.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  3. #18483
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    3andMe is offline Every day is a gift. It's just... does it have to be a pair of socks? Hopelessly Devoted
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    Mandy, I hope they can work something out without the children losing out.

    Bridget, Sawyer is just soooo gorgeous! I love his eyes!

    I want to ask you all for advice about what to do about my friend and get a little perspective about it. I mentioned in one of my recent posts that the twins were playing with a friend who was roughhousing and pushing them around and his dad was encouraging it. I would appreciate advice from different parenting perspectives and also from non-parents, if you have input.

    This family friend comes out from Wyoming every two weeks to spend a visitation weekend with his son, who is the same age as my twins. They stay at my moms house and we see him a lot. The mother refuses to communicate, so we have no idea what his situation is like at home, or what the discipline is like, or anything like that. I don't usually care how anyone parents - those kinds of debates don't rile me. However, the behavior of this friend, since we spend so much time with him, and how his father reacts to his behavior, are actually starting to impact us because the twins are paying a lot of attention to it.

    I think the main thing he does is that he isn't consistent, and that the father asks instead of tells and doesn't follow through if the child doesn't obey, which results in the child never obeying.

    So the boy says "Poopoohead! Poopoohead!" to one of my kids. I tell him that's not nice language and he needs to stop saying it, that a friend doesn't talk like that. He says it again and looks at his father. His father says, "Hey, what do you think? Do you think you could stop saying that?" He says it again. His father says, "Let's stop saying that now, okay?" He says it again. Later on, my kids start saying it. I tell them it's not okay, and they ask why, since their friend says it. We talk about it.

    Also, running off. Same kind of scenario, except I am not involved in any talking to his child. We're all on a walk together, and his child runs far off ahead, around some bends, out of sight. I spend a lot of time trying to keep my kids from trying to chase after him. When the father does spy him, he calls for him to come back, "Hey, do you think you could come back?" "Could you come back now?" He doesn't. Our friend has to chase after him.

    It's easier for him, having only one child to keep track of, but I frequently am out with three kids, and I have to keep them all with me. Since I've started going on walks with him I've had a lot more trouble with the twins running off. At the beach the other day, Ronin just disappeared for a few minutes when he decided to leave on his own.

    It's making me less inclined to want to do things with him. The pushing other kids at the farm was the part that made me think that not many parents would be really okay with that. When he was encouraging his child to deliberately fall down, to push my kids off the hay bales, to get more and more aggressive, and didn't stop him from pushing down and jumping on complete strangers' kids who came around, I realized that this was the parent/kid combination that people on APA would complain about, right? It's not just me?

    So my mom said I really need to talk to him, since he is a family friend and we do spend so much time together. She said I need to give him some ideas that will make it easier for me to be happy with the time we spend with him. I don't know what to do. I already passed on my 1-2-3 Magic book a long time ago, when he asked about discipline techniques. Obviously he either didn't read it or didn't like it. I think he may be concerned about doing anything that will make his visitation weekends less 'fun' for his son, but it's going to be only harmful in the long run.

    Like I said, I don't have any problem with different parenting philosophies. I am of the live and let live philosophy. And I don't think we're that different at heart. I just think we have different techniques. Help! How do I talk to him without sounding like I'm telling him what to do or being critical? Dh is at the point where he doesn't want to do anything with him, and feels like it's ruining our friendship.


  4. #18484
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    Lydia, that's a very tough situation. Since he is spending time living in your mother's house I think she is justified in raising her concerns about it, and since the behavior is affecting your children's safety, I think you're also justified. Perhaps it might be best for you to explain to him why his parenting is making things unsafe for all 4 of the children and what he could do (such as the techniques in the 123 magic book) that would help resolve the situation. Otherwise I would let him know you can't risk your children's safety by being in situations where they are permitted/encouraged to behave unsafely.

    I know I would make a mess of the situation and probably cut him off ... but you are far more diplomatic than I am. I'm sure you can find a way to say what needs to be said. My opinion.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    Lydia, I think if he's a good enough friend that you think he won't be offended, then I would definitely talk to him about how his son's actions are influencing your kids' behavior. Being a single dad, maybe he would appreciate some encouragement any how?

    Stacy, glad to see you on here; I've been wondering how you and the boys are doing.

    Bridget, Sawyer is such a little doll. What a handsome little fella!

    I'm gonna log off now; I've got to try to clean some of the house, play with the kids and some how get a shower in the next couple of hours.

  6. #18486

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    Lydia that really sucks. I don't know exactly how you should approach it since I'm a total wuss about that sort of thing and would probably end up just avoiding the friend. But I can tell you that certainly are justified in speaking to him and this goes way beyond differing parenting styles.
    Just approach it from a place of love and that you really care about him and his child and want to continue to spend time with them. Let us know how it goes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwenn View Post
    I confess the gossip mill is in full gear at work. They are apparently letting almost all of the outside contractors in my job go. The rest of us will have to supervise the assistants that will be hired to replace them. The girl who replaced me in my old job told me today she was notified that her contract will not be renewed next year, and because of a non-compete clause in her contract, the district can't hire her directly without paying a 20K fee to her company. That's probably as much as they would pay an assistant to replace her - which means the kids I used to work with will get someone with no certification and making just above minimum wage doing one of the most demanding jobs it is possible to have in my field. That or they will try to convince me to move back. That or they won't give me a choice about moving back.
    Oh Mandy. My heart just plummeted. I don't know who I'm more worried about, you or 'your kids' so to speak. I know you care a great deal about them and one of your biggest concerns with moving on was who was going to be in your old place when you left. I hate that ultimately they may be the ones to suffer the most.

    Can I say how much I hate hate hate how vital services are always the first to be butchered whenever there's a money crunch?

    Quote Originally Posted by bridgetwu75 View Post
    Just approach it from a place of love and that you really care about him and his child and want to continue to spend time with them. Let us know how it goes.
    I don't know what to say either Lydia, but I agree with Bridget. When/if you do say something, taking the approach of a concerned friend is probably best.

    I kinda feel sorry for the guy. It sounds like he just wants to make sure his son loves him and has fun with him. It can't be easy.

    It may boil down to having to make concessions...like tolerating 'poopoohead' as long as the little boy stops running off.

    I think, if it were me, I might try to have an conversation with him alone. I'd focus on the safety stuff first, maybe say, "I'm really concerned about our kids running off out of sight from us. What can we do to stop that from happening?" Maybe if he feels like it's a joint effort, he won't get defensive. I also fear that if you have a litany of things about his son or his parenting that annoys you, he'll just tune you out. This could be an opportunity for him to learn some parenting skills that will help them both in the future, but it is indeed a precarious position to be in. I don't envy you. Poor guy.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  8. #18488
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    I should add that I think this friend is concerned about his son becoming too sissified - his mom bundles him up in warm jackets when it's 65 degrees and cites improper jacket-wearing as neglect. She won't let him go down a step without holding hands. Our friend takes it to the other extreme.

    Whereas I tend to not make a big deal of it if our kids fall down - I'll just say, "Come get a kiss if you have an owie" but otherwise try not to display much of a reaction, he'll actively encourage the rough play, I think, to toughen him up, and show glee whenever an accident happens. And where I have a certain admiration for the free range kids mindset (and this is where I'd like to hear from Ky's Mom), I have a hard time actually putting it into practice and don't think I want to across the board. My kids still wander out into the street, not paying attention to traffic, if I let them go. So this friend doesn't care as much about the safety things as I do, but he will ask me things like why I don't put bibs on the twins any more.


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    That part may be just different parenting styles. Rich is far more rough with the kids than what I felt comfortable with doing myself. I don't get the impression it's an attempt to toughen the kids up (on Rich's behalf). He's just like that in general, so of course it comes out in his play too.

    We were at a party last summer and Conner punched a 7 year old and made him cry. I was dismayed when Rich laughed. To his credit, he did tell Conner that wasn't acceptable and made him stay with us in 'time out' but combined with the laughing and bragging about how his 3 year old made a 7 year old cry, I don't think the lesson was got by Conner at all.

    I talked to Rich later about it, but considering Conner is our 4th child and we're not new to parenting, you'd think he'd have somewhat of a clue by now. Unfortunately, he does better with Conner than he did with the girls.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  10. #18490
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    Oh, and when Conner falls down Rich will say "Wow! What a wipe-out!!" like it's the grandest thing ever. I just watch Conner's reaction...if he looks like it hurt, I'll ask if he's ok. Usually, though, he'll look at his dad and just laugh and say, "That was awesome!"

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  11. #18491

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    I would also try to come at him from a friendly perspective and I was actually going to say that I would be more concerned about the safety issues as well.

    Though we do practice a lot of free range-ness with our kids, when we go on outings they (moreso Elle) have to be in our sight. The boy running off not being within sight and taking my kids along would have really bothered me as all the children are too young IMO to go wander off by themselves in a secluded area. Now if we were at home and they were in the yard and all the kids could be trusted not to put themselves into harm's way, like leaving and wandering into the street, then that is okay. I have a rule with Ky especially, since he is older and has more freedom, that he has to always tell me where he is going and what he will be doing. Elle is only allowed by herself in our yard or friends and family's yards. When we go on hikes, she has to stay within eyesight and if I tell her to come back from somehere I deem dangerous, like the bank of a rapidly flowing creek (which happened recently) she is expected to immediately come away from that area. Luckily she listens very well and will do as I say probaby 80% of the time.

    But that would be a big issue with me, not so much the name calling because kids pick up things like that, but your previous post about the aggression and this new instance of the boy leaving your sight and taking your kids along are just not appropriate. We do not promote agression towards other children, Ky wrestles a lot with his friends but I would never let him just pummel some unknown kid for fun and really I try to discourage wrestling (my suggestions do not always happen because he likes to wrestle) by telling him to go dig a hole in the backyard with his friend or use their metal collector to go find a treasure or something.

    Though I do see myself as free range, I feel it is age appropriate and 3 year olds should not be running around in the unknown wilderness unsupervised (but that is just me). I don't know many people who would let such young children do that either and most of my mom friends are way more free range than I am.

    About falling, I usually ignore it if I see it happen unless it looks as if they are really hurt. Elle is dramatic and will cry and scream about bumping her hand against the sofa sometimes, I will just acknowledge that she did it and tell her it is okay and go back and do whatever it was she was doing. If it happens because of roughhousing, I will tell whichever kid (even kids that are not my own or who I don't know) to stop roughing around so no one gets hurt badly. If he is worried about toughness maybe he should enroll his son in some sort of martial art or something. Ky takes jiu-jitsu (because he loves to wrestle) and it gets a lot of his wrestling aggression out as well as teaches him some good fighting skills and toughening up, which is what DH wanted him to learn from it because he thought Ky was too "soft" .

    Erin

  12. #18492

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    I really don't know what I'd say to your friend without insulting the way he parents. I don't know how close you two are but like others have said, if you feel like you can have a heart to heart with him without hurting his feelings, I'd do that. Tell him you're concerned about their safety and other kids' safety and that kind of rough housing isn't always acceptable in public.

    I bought a sundress today. I haven't worn a dress in years and I'm finally at the point where I didn't feel hideous in it. The question is, what kind of bra do I wear with it, if any? It's a pretty thin cotton, with no support. It crosses across the chest and has thin straps and an empire waist. I can't find a picture of it anywhere. Should I find a strapless bra that doesn't show? A demi?

  13. #18493
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    I'd look for a strapless one. Take pics of you in your dress! I wanna see!!

    I must say, I've been coveting some cute dresses and heels. I'm missing the days when I had to dress for work.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  14. #18494

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    Lydia, I'm way less experienced than any of the other moms who've already given you advice on your friend, so I can only speak from how I generally approach things. I think - as with all interactions with people – we walk that line between setting up and maintaining our own parameters *and* keeping in mind that we can't change other people; we can only change the way we react to them.

    So in that sense, you have every reason to convey to your friend what your goals are as a parent and why you see it necessary to control your kids to the extent you do.You can also express to him why his child is introducing certain bad behaviors to your kids, making time spent with them have a negative impact on your parenting efforts. Always ok to ask for (but not demand) things from other people in my book, and help them understand the consequences of their actions as far as you’re concerned.

    At the same time, I think a way to react positively to this situation is to view it as a good exercise in teaching about differences. Our kids are going to be exposed to a lot of “bad eggs” when they’re in school and you’ll have to be able to “let go” to a degree at that time as well. Your kids are already really bright and thoughtful, and in my opinion, not too young to understand that what’s permissible for other kids isn’t necessarily what’s best for them. And you could turn this into a teachable moment by reinforcing for them why you have the rules that you do, that there are consequences to not following the rules (they could get hurt or grabbed if they run off; no one will want to play with them if they’re too rough or call other kids “poopoohead”) and they can govern themselves based on your rules because “mommy sets good rules”. Think of it as laying the groundwork for their future encounters with peer pressure. At the root of it all, not running off just because another kid runs off requires the same mindset as saying no when a school friend offers your 8th grader a cigarette.

    Those are my 2 cents anyway. I know a lot of what I wrote is easier said than done, and it's never that clean or simple. I hope your friend is receptive to what you have to say to him.

  15. #18495

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    Quote Originally Posted by daylilies View Post
    I bought a sundress today. I haven't worn a dress in years and I'm finally at the point where I didn't feel hideous in it. The question is, what kind of bra do I wear with it, if any? It's a pretty thin cotton, with no support. It crosses across the chest and has thin straps and an empire waist. I can't find a picture of it anywhere. Should I find a strapless bra that doesn't show? A demi?
    There are other products on the market like this, but I just like the name of this one: "Fashion Enhancers"


    Having just moved heavy boxes from one house to another, I have no desire to add anything to my stash of stuff in the closet at the moment. In fact, I have a box of clothes marked "Sell on Ebay" in the spare room. I actually have more than I could really ever wear. I just get too attached to my things, so my plan is to just try to sell everything I have at what they're worth, and assume only a few people will want to buy a few items from me. If someone is willing to pay what I ask for them, that'll be good enough reason for the item to leave my possession. I have to play little games with myself like because I am a weirdo. I do love sundresses (and dream of living in sundressy climate year round), but I also have a few boxes in the sewing room worth of project clothes to chop up and recycle into new sundresses. So I'm definitely not going to come home with any new ready-to-wear items this year.

    bridget - sawyer's eyes are the exact same color as his outfit. he's a little loverboy.

    mandy - I hope those rumors turn out to be just that. chrissy is right, that it's unfair that the most at-risk people tend to be the one to suffer when there are budget shortfalls.

  16. #18496
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    Quote Originally Posted by demigraf View Post
    At the same time, I think a way to react positively to this situation is to view it as a good exercise in teaching about differences. Our kids are going to be exposed to a lot of “bad eggs” when they’re in school and you’ll have to be able to “let go” to a degree at that time as well. Your kids are already really bright and thoughtful, and in my opinion, not too young to understand that what’s permissible for other kids isn’t necessarily what’s best for them. And you could turn this into a teachable moment by reinforcing for them why you have the rules that you do, that there are consequences to not following the rules (they could get hurt or grabbed if they run off; no one will want to play with them if they’re too rough or call other kids “poopoohead”) and they can govern themselves based on your rules because “mommy sets good rules”. Think of it as laying the groundwork for their future encounters with peer pressure. At the root of it all, not running off just because another kid runs off requires the same mindset as saying no when a school friend offers your 8th grader a cigarette.
    I think this is really good advice! Something I'll put in to practice myself, I think.

    I had such a tiring day today; my SIL brought my nephews over to play with Travis outside and my nephew who is 8 months younger than Travis is such a handful to put it lightly. He is very "emotional" about things and angers easily. And he is so violent when he doesn't get his way. He used to hit Travis and Travis would cry when they were fighting over toys but now Travis just hits him back and it turns in to an all out brawl. I think if he were my kid, I'd insist the doctor check him over but SIL just says he's "high-spirited" and just struggles along with him. Ugh. Any how, I'm tired now.

    Oh, and I've just bought 3 dresses this week; I looove dresses! Now I need new shoes!

  17. #18497

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    Haha, I think I need to enhance more than my fashion
    Thanks for the ideas Since I lost a size (more or less, depending where I shop) I need to get all new clothes. Plus I'm actually looking for styles that suit me, rather than the usual shapeless pants and shirts I have right now.

  18. #18498

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    Holy shat. Dbf just called me with a really creepy story. His friend's mom passed away last week. Said friend was in florida for the winter so flew back to make arrangements but had to go back to florida so dbf is taking care of some details for him and also fixing some flooding that happened in his friend's house and building something (I admit, I don't always pay attention when dbf talks to me about these things so I don't know the details)
    But anyway, he's in the basement of his friend's house and hammering something when suddenly he smells a really strong cherry smell and no sooner does that smell register in his brain when he sees a stream of smoke in front of his face. He said he whirled around so fast with the hammer up ready to strike, expecting to see someone behind him and there was no one there.
    He runs upstairs and outside partly from fear and partly with the hopes that there is a gang of teenagers outside smoking cherry cigarellos just so the whole thing would make sense. Nada. He comes back into the house and the smell is totally gone.
    He texts his friend to tell him his house is haunted and explains what happened. His friend calls and says his mom burned fruity incense every day of her life.

  19. #18499

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    Oh my! I'd heard of things happening like that after someone passes away. A familiar scent is common but what's really cool is that the guy who experienced it didn't even know it meant anything.
    Things like that really get me excited, even though most of me doesn't believe in it...

  20. #18500
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    Me too Kate. It definitely makes one wonder.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


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    I would probably wear a little t-shirt under the dress....well at least that was the style last time I wore a sundress in the 90's. LOL I haven't worn a dress since my wedding. I have a shape that isn't cute in dresses and well pants are just more comfortable all day at work. Plus the bra thing would be a major issue....I have some DDD's so yeah strapless is not something that keeps them up.
    I'm actually going clothes shopping this weekend with my sister. I need some spring/summer things for work since I can't really keep up with my sweaters now that we are looking at nice 50's and maybe even 60's in the near future.

    Lydia, for once I don't have any ideas or opinions even as a non-mom. I'm so not the free range type at all. I don't even let my dog out of my site outside and she is 7.5 yrs old and comes when called. I remember being shocked and freaked out when we were at the mall of america with my bff and her daughter was maybe three and allowed to wander ahead of her parents.....at that age I would have had her in a stroller or holding one of our hands.

    Ha, Dh used to whine about having to come inside before dark when the neighbor kids didn't and why and that wasn't fair. So his mom without thinking said that he had to come in because she loved him. So he goes around telling his friends that their mom's don't love them because they get to play outside after dark (they were quite little at this point....like very early grade school years).

    So I was in class all yesterday....it is soooo hard to be in class from 9-5 and that was with breaks for lunch. A couple of movies were watched and lots of discussion. We just basically have to finish up the paperwork, get the resume letter written and our profile done. One more class left next week and a home visit.....after that we are officially on the books.
    Still find the idea of an open adoption pretty scary but we are going through with it. It almost becomes like an in-law relationship. And I found out yesterday that generally the adoptive and birth parents name the baby together. A bit of a blow since I have had names picked out for over five years. I am pretty set on boy name but could be more open on girl name. Or maybe we do first name and they do middle name....or maybe even two middle names like as if we were French.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  22. #18502
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    I 100% believe in spirits or ghosts. I have experienced it twice in my life. Once was maybe more iffy. But another was my grandma that I never met. In high school we were messing around with a Ouija board. I wasn't touching it at this time but my grandma did come through and I know it was her because of details released that my friends would never had known (they didn't know that she was murdered at age 34 and they wouldn't have known since I had never said anything and they didn't know my mom's maiden name let alone my grandmothers name). She said she was always looking after my family.
    I really think that my grandma must have been with my dad and sister when they were driving in Chicago freeway rush hour traffic and my dad passed out (this was a few years ago before he got his pacemaker). How my sister was able to keep them in their lane when she grabbed the wheel is amazing, let alone the fact that my dad didn't hit the break or speed up when he passed out.

    Another one my mom had was over the winter at personal creations....she was ordering something for my uncle that had passed away and she happened to look over at the screen of an order before them....she swears and so does my sister it was a message from uncle Tom. At the bottom it was signed With you always, Tom. That is something he would have said...most people would sign something like Love or Love alway.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  23. #18503
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    I think that I believe in spirits. Well, I don't 'not believe' in them; I guess I kind of do hope that there are spirits so that people can live on after their body dies.

  24. #18504

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    Quote Originally Posted by demigraf;[B
    1058163623At the same time, I think a way to react positively to this situation is to view it as a good exercise in teaching about differences. Our kids are going to be exposed to a lot of “bad eggs” when they’re in school and you’ll have to be able to “let go” to a degree at that time as well. Your kids are already really bright and thoughtful, and in my opinion, not too young to understand that what’s permissible for other kids isn’t necessarily what’s best for them. And you could turn this into a teachable moment by reinforcing for them why you have the rules that you do, that there are consequences to not following the rules (they could get hurt or grabbed if they run off; no one will want to play with them if they’re too rough or call other kids “poopoohead”) and they can govern themselves based on your rules because “mommy sets good rules”. Think of it as laying the groundwork for their future encounters with peer pressure. At the root of it all, not running off just because another kid runs off requires the same mindset as saying no when a school friend offers your 8th grader a cigarette. [/B]
    I agree with this as well. I was trying to figure out how to say it but the above is much better. I do always tell the kids that in our family we do or say or behave in a certain way because we have certain rules we have to follow no matter what anyone else is doing saying or how someone else behaves.

    And that is creepy Bridget. I probably wouldn't have gone back in the house even though I don't really believe in supernatural things like that, whenever I get creeped out by a place I never go back to it.

    Erin

  25. #18505

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    Erin, can I just say I love it that you take little Elle out on hikes already? I've tried a few times with Bodhi, but there's always some pesky poison oak or scary drop-off that gets in the way of our fun. I still always have my Ergo with me when we are out for a hike in case I need to scoop him up and carry him back.

    DH is keen on doing a High Sierra backpacking trip with Bodhi & the dogs and our packs. I told him he'd better not plan on going in more than a mile or so. To carry all that for a distance AND be at altitude might be beyond my fitness level.

    About the supernatural...I feel the same way about ghosts and spirits as I do about believing in God. These supposed non-human “beings” are by definition unknowable by our limited human brains, and yet we’re the ones defining them. It’s likely to me that our human brains made up these non-human things that are unknowable… because we are perfectly capable of conceiving of things we can’t know AND inventing new things that don’t exist in reality.

    That said, it still doesn’t stop me from being very easily spooked out by the dark or creepy movies. I can’t watch any scary films anymore. I don’t even like hearing the plot summaries of movies like Paranormal Activity or that new one out called Insidious. I get really pissed off when I open a web page and a scary trailer just starts playing. The last scary film I saw in theaters was The Blair Witch Project, and my roommates and I slept with our doors open for a full month afterwards. LOL.

    I just had this weird exchange via e-mail with my DH about our finances. I HATE talking about money, and yet, I think that’s one of the reasons we haven’t really matured as a couple in terms of being able to talk about finances. The 800-lb gorilla that’s always in the room has been my ability to out-earn him ever since we’ve known each other. That was all fine and dandy when he was the chief at his studio and it was the case that he earned a perfectly respectable amount; I just happened to earn more. Nowadays, with his startup business in Year 2, my income is roughly 2.25 times his, and I pay for 75% of our expenses. It's a tough topic to bring up because I think he may feel emasculated by it, and I fight my own 'traditionalist' discomfort with the situation myself.

    We’d recently been thrown for a financial loop because of a huge crush of expenses happening all at once from our move. The dust is settling now, and we got our tax refund last week. I told DH he could take 2/3 of it. Somewhere in all the unusual big expenses, DH just sort of excused himself from paying any of our regular shared costs. When I reviewed our shared expenses, it turns out he hadn’t contributed more than 6% towards them in the past 2 months. AND he withdrew his chunk from our tax refund and used it all towards his own debt.

    So I sent him an e-mail this morning outlining our average shared monthly expenses, with the point just being “gee, they’re an awful lot. Do you think you can contribute a little towards it with some of your tax refund?”. And he sent me this response that was like “Sorry, honey, it’s all gone towards bills now”. I was more than a bit put out by his response. “Bills”?!? What exactly did he think those expenses were in my outline to him?

    So I swallowed hard and tried again:

    That’s fine. It’s always good to know what our big picture is. Unfortunately, like you, I have my share of bills outside this set, and my debt is bigger to match my bigger income. I think we should always try to make sure we’re each allotting a percentage of our income towards our shared expenses and then use the rest for our separate expenses.

    Like, if I net about $n a month and I’m putting in $x a month towards our expenses, that’s 57% of my income. If you net $a after your taxes/business expenses, and you put $d of your income towards our shared expenses (house, health, Bodhi), that’s about 48% of your income, that would be pretty fair and reasonable, right? That still means I’d be paying about 75% of our shared expenses.

    I’m just throwing the $d figure out there to play with. It seems like a pretty good target amount to me based on what I think your income is (about $kkk gross?). If you just paid the $d into our joint account, then all our shared expenses from below could be paid out of that one account. That would keep things fairly simple.
    Then I ended it my note with love and affection. Still, is it weird that I’ve been married for nearly 4 years and we’re just having this conversation now? I think I’m being pretty reasonable about it with him. He did express a bit of regret the other day that he hasn’t been able to keep up with our expenses. And I told him it’s ok, that the tables could turn so easily. I could contract a horrible illness, would no longer be able to work and I know he’d care for me. I think that helped put things into perspective. So we do talk about money, it's just never been this businesslike before.

    I’m curious what you guys do with your partners when it comes to finances? Do you split things down the middle if you both have income? Do you just each agree to take on certain costs? I understand a lot of marriages end because couples are unable to get on the same page with their finances. In some ways it feels good to have spelled a lot of the agreement out between us. On the other hand, it just seems so unromantic, doesn’t it?
    Last edited by demigraf; 04-07-2011 at 04:45 PM.

  26. #18506

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    Technically I have income. I get money from the govt. each month because the supposed reason I have spina bifida is because my dad was exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam. I say "supposed" because I guess there is some controversy surrounding this finding, but that's another story. However, DH pays all the bills and I use the money I get towards mostly groceries and things I do with Josh. DH uses some of my money towards bills if he doesn't make enough to pull us through, plus I am very lucky to have savings in another account that my grandmother set up that I can get access to for emergencies.
    I only get into trouble with DH when I use too much money for something we didn't really need. I have an addiction to eating out food with Josh at lunch time. It kills time and is more interesting than having a sandwich at home. I know it would help my finances (and diet) if I just suck it up and make food at home more often.
    Also I have a problem saying no. I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I bought personal trainer sessions and got screwed over at the car place. I'm too nice and I can't refuse things that are offered to me that are supposedly a good deal. $30 extra dollars a month to get in the best shape of my life doesn't sound like a lot, but it adds up.

  27. #18507
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmosmom View Post
    Still find the idea of an open adoption pretty scary but we are going through with it. It almost becomes like an in-law relationship. And I found out yesterday that generally the adoptive and birth parents name the baby together. A bit of a blow since I have had names picked out for over five years. I am pretty set on boy name but could be more open on girl name. Or maybe we do first name and they do middle name....or maybe even two middle names like as if we were French.
    Every adoption is different. You can ask for certain concessions with your 'open' adoption. The adoptive mother may or may not go for all of them, but don't be afraid to ask for what you'd prefer up front. You may get paired with a mom that's totally willing to give you all that you want-or a good share of it anyway.

    My cousin (that was adopted out) was already named because Aunt Deb had intended on keeping her. After she was adopted out, it was an open adoption. However, Aunt Deb only got to see her once every couple years. Maybe yearly at first. Connie's (Connie is my bio-cousin) adoptive mother would talk regularly with Deb and if Deb wasn't doing well (like not taking her medication) then she wouldn't let her see Connie. It wasn't a punishment and she handled it tactfully, but it helped Aunt Deb get stable on her medication and it kept Connie as safe as possible. She wasn't exposed to any mental instability at all...which was her mom's goal. It worked out and I don't remember Deb or anyone on our side of the family having bad feelings about that. Not that they would have had the right to anyway, after all, Connie's mom got final say.

    Anyway, my point is that even with open adoptions, the bio-family doesn't necessarily have to be very involved. My maternal grandmother is the only other one who got to visit with Connie, and she only went to take Deb. If Deb couldn't go, my grandmother didn't either.

    Regarding finances (Myles), I pay the lion's share now that I make more. Rich gives me just over 1/2 of his net and I just do whatever I need to with it. I thought he was giving me 2/3, but with the application for a mortgage I realized that wasn't the case. Since I've made it work, I decided not to say anything but if I get in a pinch, he's ponying up more dough!

    Kate-I absolutely believe the agent orange expose causes spina bifida. I hate that it's even a debate. That stuff caused all kinds of birth defects in vet's children. I'm torqued just thinking about how hard the Vietnam Vets have had to fight for everything since coming home.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  28. #18508
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    For those that watch AI--what.a.shocker That's all I'll say. Those of you on the west coast-you're not gonna believe it.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  29. #18509
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    In my head
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    Quote Originally Posted by missychrissy View Post
    For those that watch AI--what.a.shocker That's all I'll say. Those of you on the west coast-you're not gonna believe it.


    Myles, our financial situation is continually evolving. When DH had his old job, I made about 80% of his salary and he was also eligible for yearly bonuses. We split the mortgage (or rent when we rented) 50/50, he paid the utilities, and I paid for phone, cable/internet, and dinners out. He usually paid for groceries, I think, but I can't recall exactly. Bonuses went into savings and DH would usually make a big purchase as well. We had no joint account, everything was handled separately.

    When he lost his job, I took over the majority of the monthly expenses supplemented with his savings. We finally drained that for car repairs and that was tough. His only income at that point was his drill pay for his 1 weekend per month with the NG - about $200 before taxes. I left that as his monthly "allowance" and paid for everything else (wasn't enough).

    With him deployed he's again making more than I do, and I'm making what I was earlier (I took a hit in salary last year and then they put us on a different salary schedule). I added him to my account when he deployed so we could both access everything. My salary is direct deposited to checking and his to savings. We pay for everything through checking unless we don't have enough to cover or anticipate something out of the ordinary, and then we transfer from savings. He won't be earning an income after he comes home and we need a cushion, $ for house repairs, and potentially moving money and we will draw from that and continue to live on my income. I suspect there will be many more changes as his employment situation continues to evolve. I've found that it's a lot cheaper with him gone - I don't have to feed him and that saves me a bucketload. Not sure what things will be like with him home.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  30. #18510

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    I'm watching AI now, I just started.
    Russell Brand? Okay then. He's funny, but I think he got some work done on his face or something. He used to be cuter.
    Oh um, yup. Not happy with the result. wtf?
    Last edited by daylilies; 04-07-2011 at 07:54 PM.

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