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I needed this one today - nearly 3 is kicking my ass, even though she's generally delightful for other people, and nearly 7 is bored at school, which is stressing me out. Then, they fight with each other, and like ML said, I hate hearing my annoyed voice telling them to knock it off. I think if I was my best friend, I'd tell me to relax and try to take a nap, because I don't get enough sleep.
Toggle Commented Sep 15, 2010 on Self-care during the bad stages at Ask Moxie
I have a combination of clear plastic bins and diaper boxes with clothes in them, things that the older girl has grown out of, but that the little girl can't wear yet. I try to keep them sorted by size, but eh, it doesn't always work out. When the little one grows out of things, I put them in diaper boxes (again, I attempt to sort by size), so I can pass on to her cousin. I think that's probably going to stop, though, because even though the cousin in almost 18 months younger, I think she's going to be in the same size as our girl by the time she turns 2 next spring! Like Carmen said above, I feel like I'm always fishing through boxes of clothes. I do keep a few things that I'm sentimental about in a separate box in my closet. As far as secondhand clothes go, I have no problems with them, but I don't like it when people give me stuff in bad condition. When I give clothes to people, I do try to make sure that all the pieces of a set are together, outfits are matched up, everything is clean and stain free, etc.
Toggle Commented Sep 2, 2010 on Q&A: Clothes maintenance at Ask Moxie
I'm sorry, no time to read the other comments, so this may be a repeat, but kindergarten redshirting is pretty common here (Philly burbs), especially in families where one parent is at home. Our school district cut off date is September 1. In my personal experience, my youngest brother had a March birthday. He really wasn't ready for kindergarten, but my parents (my dad, mostly) sent him anyway, and he was placed into a three year K-1 program for unruly boys who didn't want to listen, write their names, color, etc. etc. (that's not how they phrased it, but...). My mom really feels like he was at a disadvantage throughout elementary and secondary school because he was easily led, like Tricia's son, and so throughout those 13 long years, Matt seemed to always find the lowest common denominator of behavior, grades, etc. among his friends. I'm happy to say that he finally got his act together around his second year of college and is a new teacher this year! I'm lucky, my kids have fall birthdays, so there's no question, but I think I would consider redshirting with a summer birthday, depending on my child's personality, abilities, etc. My neighbor's daughter turned five today and started kindergarten earlier this week. She really isn't academically prepared (no preschool, no day care, just hanging out at home with her parents), so she's been placed in a pilot full day program in our district (about 1% of incoming kindergarten age kids were chosen). I think I'd be more concerned about her lack of preparedness than about her being the absolute youngest kid in her class for the next 12 years. All that is to say, I think it depends on the child.
Toggle Commented Sep 1, 2010 on Q&A: Red-shirting for Kindergarten at Ask Moxie
Pregnancy #1 - hormonal, but really pretty happy the whole time, went into labor five days past due date, labored at home for about 12 hours (mild contractions, was able to shower, nap, wander around, watch a movie, etc.), drove to hospital when contractions were 5 minutes apart, had baby just under 2 hours after arriving with midwife in attendance. Tore, but nothing crazy or horrible. Daughter #1 was 7 lbs, 3 ounces and remains healthy, 7 years later. Pregnancy #2 - was horribly sick (sinus infection that progressed to throat and chest, lost voice for 6 weeks - as a side note, if an ENT ever says he's just going to take a quick peek at your vocal cords, say no, because he's going to thread a camera down your nose - YUCK) and had miscarriage at 11 weeks. Not the best few months of my life. Pregnancy #3 - again hormonal but happy. Ate spinach every single day and believe baby may be Popeye. As I was insisting that I was having a huge Popeye baby, I went for an ultrasound 3 weeks before due date (first ultrasound of this pregnancy), and was assured by doctor performing ultrasound that baby was definitely not gigantic. Went into labor one day before due date at around 5am, left for birth center at 8:30am, delivered baby at 12:30pm with midwife in attendance. Daughter #2 was 11 lbs, 6 ounces and remains healthy nearly 3 years later. Midwife: "That's a really big baby!" Me: "I TOLD you I was having a gigantic baby, didn't I!??!?!" I'm sure others have suggested having a doula, and I would agree with that recommendation.
Toggle Commented Aug 23, 2010 on Positive pregnancy and birth stories at Ask Moxie
My daughter went to kindergarten at her preschool, so we're going through the starting at the big school anxiety about first grade. We're lucky - we live in a well funded suburban/exurban district and she'll go to a nice, new school that's about 10 minutes from our house, although she'll get the bus about 35 minutes before school starts. We are still waiting for our teacher assignment and supply list, and she is wondering if any of the three kids from her kindergarten class that are headed to the same school will be in her class. I haven't had the heart to tell her that it isn't likely, since there are 5 or 6 first grade classes at her school. It's going to be a big change, going from 14 kids in her class to 25, and from her preschool to an elementary school with 650 kids! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that everything will go well and if it doesn't, we'll figure out what to do next. And then the following week, my two year old starts preschool one day per week. Yikes.
Those are great books. I actually made my husband read them and now we can't wait until our almost 7 year old is ready to give them a shot. @Janel - I liked Frances Hodgson Burnett (Secret Garden, etc.), Louisa May Alcott (Little Women, etc.), and Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie, etc.) books when I was around that age. That assumes the child is a girl... @Charisse & Koshercow - thanks for the recommendations - I'm going to check out the Ivy & Bean and Fairy Realm books right now for my daughter.
Toggle Commented Aug 19, 2010 on I love Percy Jackson at Ask Moxie
My five year old collects pennies for Pennies For Peace (, which is an offshoot of Greg Mortensen's Central Asia Institute ( If anyone hasn't read the book "Three Cups of Tea," it is an excellent example of what people can do with a lot of determination, even if they don't have a lot of money (Mortensen's organization builds schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan). Anyway, maybe we could all organize our kids to collect their pennies as part of the holiday stuff. I didn't sign up for More Moxie because we were in the process of moving at the time, but would be interested if it is going to continue, for what its worth.
I don't know if his avoidance of scrambled eggs means he eats no eggs at all, but if he does, you could try quiche...milk, eggs, cheese and instead of bacon and spinach or anything else that might be hard or stringy, use pureed vegetables instead or just leave it plain? Good luck.
Toggle Commented Aug 31, 2009 on Grilled Pizza, Part Two at Scrambled
@Brooke - IEPs are for any student whose educational plan differs from the norm, at least that's how it was when I was in school. So yes, kids with learning disabilities or needing special accommodations have IEPs, but students who are in advanced programs (they call them different things at different schools) may also have them. @SarcastiCarrie - like someone else said above, I think some parents come into the process in a combative way, which is unfortunate. In other cases, for kids who need more accommodations than the schools want to provide (in my experiences, this seems to occur more frequently with children on the autistic spectrum), usually due to cost, the parents become legitimately combative, have to hire advocates and so on. I thought Julie and Mrs. Haley gave excellent advice.
Toggle Commented Aug 12, 2009 on Q&A: IEPs and advocating for your child at Ask Moxie
Lowe's has the worst customer service I've ever experienced. January 2008 - I have a two month old infant (and a four year old) and my washer is on its last legs. As I have no interest in waiting for it to die, I send my husband and brother in law to Lowe's to buy a Bosch washer and dryer. They do. In fact, they get a great deal on the washer, which was a floor model or something. The appliances are delivered. The washing machine makes a terrible noise every time it runs. Terrible. I call, they send someone, he says it is fine. Noise gets worse, so it sounds like a jet taking off from outside my bedroom every time we wash clothes. I call again, a different guy comes. He has me put some clothes in it (the other guy only looked at it empty) and realizes that it is broken. I call for them to replace it and they tell me that because my husband bought a floor model, they have no responsibility to replace it without charging the difference. Over the course of multiple calls, I ask if there isn't an implication that an appliance will work when they sell it. They essentially say no. Because I'm now living with no washing machine, I finally agree to pay an additional $300 to get the new machine. When the new machine finally arrives, the installer tells me that the old machine was installed in my house with the wrong feet and that's why it didn't work. He gave me the feet that caused all the trouble before he left. Never buy appliances from Lowe's.
Toggle Commented Aug 8, 2009 on Subtotal Recall at Julia
We live about 15-20 minutes from each set of grandparents. We see my parents all the time and it's great, especially since my husband travels a lot for work. When my older daughter was about 18 months old, I went back to work part time, and we hired my mother away from her job (she was working part time, so we could replace her income) to take care of her. I didn't feel comfortable asking her to leave her job without paying her, and that's worked out well for us. When I had our second daughter, I decided to work almost exclusively from home, so my mom comes to our house three afternoons each week. In addition to that, we just see my family a lot. My parents eat out all the time with friends and they'll stop by with takeout for me if my husband is traveling, my youngest sister (still in college) came over last night to watch a movie with my 5 year old, and so on. I also have two sets of aunts and uncles, a set of grandparents and several cousins who all live within about 15 minutes of my house, plus a sister who lives about 45 minutes away. One of my cousins is actually principal of the high school that my kids will attend. So, we've got family out the wazoo, and for the most part, it is great. Does my grandmother spend far too much time paying attention to how my cousin and his wife raise their kids...YES! But, it is great that my grandparents can live on their own knowing that family members are right next door if they need help with anything. My husband's parents live a similar distance away, but we hardly ever see them. They smoke heavily and don't particularly like to go places where they can't smoke (like our house), so I'd guess they see the grandchildren who live 9 hours away more than they see my kids or their other grandchildren who live 20 minutes in the other direction. They are not willing to babysit - they say they can't handle the kids (they refused to take my 5 year old to a music class earlier this summer when I had a funeral to go to, for example). It's unfortunate, but I've decided that I can't be responsible for their relationship with my kids, so I make the kids available, we invite them over, etc., and we accept it with grace (or we try) when they say no. So to summarize this crazy long comment, I like being close to family and I'm glad we decided to live here.
Toggle Commented Aug 6, 2009 on DOA (Death of Auto-Post) at Ask Moxie
I really, really, really need to get my house packed up as we move in 3 weeks. I really need work to calm down (I work from home and it's supposed to be part time) so that I can pack. I need the baby (18 months) to sleep. I need to exercise instead of reading the internet. I need to figure out what my 5 year old is going to do this summer. On the plus side, I am really happy that my husband won't be traveling every week this month!
Toggle Commented May 6, 2009 on What do you need? at Ask Moxie