General Discussion and Updates

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Dee S on Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:40 pm

Admin wrote:This is going to completely confuse Maria if she comes back.

That makes me giggle

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Admin on Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:47 pm

I actually don't think this is as bad as the Wiccan one. That was really out there.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Admin on Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:48 pm

Ha, Laura, your little stunt let Dee take it to page 6. BURN.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Dee S on Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:54 pm

Rolling Eyes

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Admin on Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:25 pm

Where is everyone?

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Dee S on Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:58 pm

I went downtown to Taste of Muskegon Smile Good food, lots of hugs, great music and LOTS and LOTS of people. Just got home, bus route ends at 10 up here. Hope I get to go tomorrow for a while. Bus stops at 5:30 tomorrow.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by laurav on Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:26 am

A lot, too much, going on today (yesterday). In fact, if someone would like to stop the crazy train, I'm ready to get off....

Anyway, to prove my great parenting skills, here's a video of Zoe in the dryer. It really works better than play pens, and, yes, DISCLAIMER: I know there's a swarm of helicopter parents who would freak out and rant about the dangers of it.

I'm going to try to post something more intellectual after my brain recovers. (DISCLAIMER 2: I also keep all my YT videos unlisted so I am not showing dryer baby to the general public).


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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:06 am

Oh. My. God. How awful. Horrible. I'm calling child services now. How could you? I'd remove you from this group if your removal would not reduce the rest of the active group by 1/3.

Seriously. She's pretty adorable and seemed to know exactly what she wanted. Very charismatic kiddy.

So how far is the Russian collusion investigation going to go? Has it been blown out of proportion simply because Trump can't keep his mouth shut? Will it spin off into tangents?

What about the acquittal of the Minnesota police officer? That shocked me after watching that last summer. I even recall CNN blasting the footage, and my children seeing it and being totally horrified the cops would just shoot someone like that.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Dee S on Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:54 pm

OMG cuteness overload!!

I wish they'd just get this russian thing over and done with. They were caught. Fess up. Take your judgement and move on. Let the country move on.  I hate how every one of these things are dragged out for months because someone is scared of the consequences of their actions.  A group of people who were never taught how to own up to their mistakes.

As far as the Castile case goes, Yanez was fired. He can no longer be a peace officer in St. Anthony. That's not saying that no other force won't grab him up, but he's sour grapes right now. It'd be a publicity nightmare!  NPR's article http://www.npr.org/2017/06/16/533284158/minnesota-city-to-dismiss-officer-acquitted-in-shooting-of-philando-castile

Here's the legal angle that Laura might be able to address. From the article

"the prosecution had to prove that Officer Yanez acted with culpable negligence ".
 That seems to be a very narrow charge to have to prove. Officers train for situations like this; staying calm and controlling the situation. Could it be that he was new? The girlfriend said he was reaching for paperwork, not the gun that he'd said he had. How stupid would it be to reach for a gun after you've just told an officer you have it? Why "Culpable negligence" and not some other charge, like manslaughter? Why such a singular charge? Is this a sign of the system trying to protect itself from litigation? I'm sure the trial was "fair" under that narrow beam to prove; but it wasn't fair to the public, the family or even other officers who've been paying for Yanez's actions daily since the shooting.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Dee S on Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:55 pm

BTW, I loved the skin you had up on the forum before Laura. Smile

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Dee S on Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:59 pm

Another NPR article about the protest after the trial and the 18 arrested.
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/06/16/532783821/minnesota-police-officer-found-not-guilty-in-shooting-death-of-philando-castile

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:47 pm

I don't know about the legal side of things, but it seems to be clear that a jury won't look at a police officer the same way as a lay person. A lay person who believed someone was reaching for a gun would have likely been convicted.

Although there is the strange case of George Zimmerman in Florida, and he was acquitted. But I chalked that up to very debated facts and no corroborating witnesses. In Castile, there was an additional witness who live streamed it, and a jury still did not convict.

What about Cosby's mistrial?

The other one I have been thinking about is the Michele Carter one--if you're not familiar, this is one where she wrote hundreds of texts encouraging this guy to take his own life, which he ultimately did and ridiculing him not to be a coward and just do it.

Being an NPR listener, I found it odd that Thirteen Reasons Why was on NPR multiple times with experts saying that no person can cause a suicide of another person. Kind of seems to undermine that.

How Michelle Carter got guilty and the Castile officer did not is really odd to me. or Cosby getting a mistrial. The latter two involved people who physically committed a crime on the victim. Don't get me wrong. The girl has mental issues to have been urging this guy to kill himself. It's pretty sick stuff.

SPOILER ALERT: this is a show on Netflix about a girl who commits suicide after intense bullying including a rape.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Dee S on Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:20 pm

The witness (his girlfriend who had a 4 yr old in the back seat) didn't start filming until after Castile was shot. What was said or done before she hit record wasn't available with video evidence. It was a he said/she said. I'm surprised at the lack of LIST of charges.

Cosby is irritating me. He was an idiot in the 70s/80s when he did those things. The thing was, lots of people, stars and us "normals" were using drugs to get sex. I was hit with a mickey when I was living in NYC in '83. Had a wine at a bar, made the mistake of leaving the drink with someone I didn't know and he'd slipped something into it. He got me into his car and when I realized what was happening I bailed out at a red light and made my way to the subway. Thank God a subway cop saw my condition and stood watch while I slept some of it off on the ride home to Brooklyn. I'd just moved there but still went "out" in the city on weekends. Cosby used his fame and access to drugs to take advantage of women. I wish they'd come forward sooner and I wish there was some kind of solid evidence that didn't bring back a hung jury; but only a retrial will show that now. It irritates me because yet another sexual predator gets away with their actions.

IDK about the Michelle Carter case. I'll go google it shortly.

The Netflix show is irresponsible IMO
There is a very brief card placed at the beginning of the series (not every video, I'm told). No banners or interruptions saying "This is fiction. If you are experiencing depression or self harm or have a desire to kill yourself please reach out to 1-800-273-8255 to reach a real person who can help you find solutions" NOTHING... just a brief blurb at the beginning. I haven't watched it. I won't. It would trigger me badly into self-harm and I've worked too hard to get this far to cause myself to stumble now. It's a balancing act that millions of people with mental illness face daily. Between daily struggles to survive, the local and international news, the political situation and all of the unrest and pain in the world; it sometimes becomes difficult to stay balanced for the most stable people. With mental illness, it's a very slippery slope.

My daughter April has watched it. She's got OCD and Anxiety with some PTSD but otherwise is very upbeat and positive. She doesn't consider that mental illness because other than getting in a car, she's pretty fine. She said the show was like someone hit her in the gut and took all her air away. It reminded her of all of the traumas in her short life and caused her to question her stability. Having had a mother with life long issues, she saw the depression coming and found ways to avoid it. Even she said the show was too close a trigger.

I suffered bullying through all of my school years. School was pure hell for me. I was raped at 13 and had two "uncles" commit suicide; one of them in front of me; in that same year. I would too closely identify with the lead in the show. No. I do not need another crash. I'm not yet recovered fully from the semi hitting us in December.

I was too sore to go back downtown today. I'm very upset that my body is interfering so much in my life now. Pain meds just don't work. I'm too damned fat to get an adequate amount of medicine. I'm a giggle/stare into nothing stoner, so I don't smoke when I go out too often. Around like-minded people, perhaps but not in a public space around kids. Oh well. There's next year!

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:45 pm

Wow sorry to hear that, Dee regarding your daughter and that the impacted her so negatively. I have heard several other people say that it triggered them.

Everyone is different that's for sure, and brings different life experiences to the table that shape them and make who they are. To that end, would you agree that many TV shows, books, and movies could trigger people? For example, Laura was mentioning that show the Keepers, which sounds like it could trigger people with those types of experiences in their backgrounds?

What's the difference between having a victim on giving graphic description of sexual violence she actually experienced and a fictionalized story about suicide and bullying? Why would we cut the former more slack and not worry about it causing societal harm to other people? Because it is non fiction?

Is it because suicide is a unique event that people who are so inclined can be easily triggered by when viewing others doing so?

I guess the other question then is whether the experts are being truthful when they say suicide is always internal versus external? Michelle Carter case seems to suggest that we can blame others for causing someone's suicide.

I feel like this got super heavy fast, so I apologize in advance. I just think they are important questions and am interested in hearing different points of view.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Dee S on Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:00 pm

I think warnings of triggers are socially responsible in movies and shows that depict violence or mental illness. It's not asking for special treatment. It's asking for compassion and consideration. There's a reason these things were not allowed on TV, people react and act on them.

Censors used to protect us from traumatic things like this. I really don't see a difference between a victim giving graphic description of violence against them or a fictional depiction. Both can trigger a vulnerable person.

I feel the sentence Miss Carter received is appropriate. She drove him to kill himself. According to the texts she hit every trigger he had and then did nothing when he followed through. It's "gas lighting" on steroids. And her reasoning!? To gain sympathy from her high school friends because her boyfriend died .... nope. Lock her up in the psych ward. I don't think narcissists come out of a bubble though and perhaps if she is one, clinically, I hope she can be cured or at least admit to it and take daily measures to counter it.

Yeah, pretty heavy topics. I'm going to go think on it more. It's been a busy night here so I'm gonna post and check back later. Smile

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Admin on Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:10 am

Dee S wrote:I think warnings of triggers are socially responsible in movies and shows that depict violence or mental illness. It's not asking for special treatment. It's asking for compassion and consideration. There's a reason these things were not allowed on TV, people react and act on them.

Censors used to protect us from traumatic things like this. I really don't see a difference between a victim giving graphic description of violence against them or a fictional depiction. Both can trigger a vulnerable person.

That makes sense. We can consume a wide variety of media much more quickly and without the traditional types of ratings. That's something that has changed since the early days we were posting. There was no such thing as Amazon Originals or Netflix Originals then.

Dee S wrote:I feel the sentence Miss Carter received is appropriate. She drove him to kill himself. According to the texts she hit every trigger he had and then did nothing when he followed through. It's "gas lighting" on steroids. And her reasoning!? To gain sympathy from her high school friends because her boyfriend died .... nope. Lock her up in the psych ward. I don't think narcissists come out of a bubble though and perhaps if she is one, clinically, I hope she can be cured or at least admit to it and take daily measures to counter it.

Yeah, pretty heavy topics. I'm going to go think on it more. It's been a busy night here so I'm gonna post and check back later. Smile

I can see from a human perspective why they would want to charge Carter, but I question whether it undermines the position taken that I have been hearing by almost all the experts that suicide is a choice and cannot be caused by someone else's actions? I don't necessarily agree with what the experts are saying. I'll wait for our resident legal expert to weigh in, but I would assume this raises First Amendment issues.

Meanwhile, Trump is still being a stupid, boor.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by laurav on Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:17 am

I did not really follow the Castile trial (okay I did not follow it at all). My understanding, however, is that he was charged with 2nd degree manslaughter and that to prove 2nd degree manslaughter, defined in Minnesota according to the statute I googled as "(1) by the person's culpable negligence whereby the person creates an unreasonable risk, and consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another."

Interestingly, Florida defines culpable negligence as a disregard for human life while engaging in wanton or reckless behavior, and this is tied to involuntary manslaughter whereas Minnesota's definition is for second degree manslaugther.

In other words, in a state with a lower burden due to a lesser statutory threshold required to meet the elements tied to a more severe charge (2nd degree versus involuntary), the jury still failed to convict.

I did not follow it at all, again, but I did see the horrific video, and to me, facially speaking, it seems like there are very few circumstances (like, um, being caught on camera shooting someone in the back) where a jury might convict a cop for taking someone's life on duty.

The biases in favor of law enforcement in juries have always been a huge problem for defense attorneys. Many, even most, prospective jurors are more likely to believe a cop over a lay witness. Tie that into the race bias in the legal system, and it is clear we have a real problem as a society.

Again not saying I wanted the officer to be convicted, or that he should have been, because at the end of the day, I did not follow the trial. Just some observations.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by laurav on Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:42 am

In regards Michelle Carter, I strongly disagree with the charge being brought against her. I think it is worth noting the difference between morality and law. The two are not the same, and the law's goal really is not, I think, to dictate moral behavior by criminalizing conduct.

That distinction is critical to the freedom of religion and of speech, and far left and right organizations have often encroached on these freedoms by imposing personal views of morality on the law.

It's a huge, deeply problematic stretch to say mere words can be criminalized because of what they cause someone to do. While free speech is not absolute, (yelling 'Fire' in a crowded theater for example) and subject to time and place restrictions, this case went way beyond that.

We have a huge problem in the United States legal and legislative system with criminalizing things because we do not like them for moral and social reasons. Yes, I get that to some extent every social contract / Lockean government is going to do that, but to the extreme that we have taken it, has lead to disastrous policies and to our soaring incarceration rates.

Trying to criminalize Carter's texts, which I do find disturbing and abhorrent, is trying to criminalize people's expressions and thoughts.

There is no suggestion of conspiracy to murder here (assuming we consider suicide murder), no agency transferred to a third party, such as when someone orchestrates the killing of someone else. She had no weapon other than text messages. The judge tried to tie it back to failing to act, as many states, such as NY impose an affirmative duty to help someone in risk of dying or serious injury if possible to do so, but she was convicted of manslaughter and charged with manslaughter,  a significantly more serious charge.

It makes no sense. The entire case is ludicrous, and the only question is whether this will get tossed on appeal or make its way up the chain and open a huge can of worms.

Are we now going to see in the civil side of things a wrongful death suit? That would further open the playing field since parents, as in Thirteen Reasons Why, have sued schools over bullying and suicides (and to be clear I think alleging a school is negligent in that scenario could be facially valid), but to open it to this sort of thing, where text messages, even if they shock the conscience, are considered a basis for another's suicide really seems to dissolve personal autonomy and agency completely.

As an aside, I think this case is further troubling because we already are charging juveniles with too many crimes, and, increasingly, as adults, a trend that is also problematic because juveniles really do not I think based off my anecdotal experience in criminal defense, and more importantly, research on it, lack the appropriate impulse control and development to be held accountable in the same way as an adult.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by laurav on Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:01 am

Finally (I was trying to address different issues in different posts) as regards Thirteen Reasons Why, I have also heard people suggest it is a trigger. Therefore, I would assume people who have struggled with suicide ideation or such could be triggered by it. A younger audience, which the show obviously will have a lot of, would be likely even more vulnerable given my previous remark about impulse control.

I watched the show (it is starting to get embarrassing because it sounds like I watch too much Netflix but I swear I only do it to sleep at night), and I was not triggered (other than I personally wanted to kill Clay's mom because she was so annoying).

I think the experts who have stated that it is only ever mental illness are obviously reducing it down to a more narrow subset, or at least I hope they are, since there are people who commit suicide for clearly situational reasons, such as a terminal illness.

The problem for me in regards to James' question regarding whether extrinsic or internal causes lead to suicide (assuming we are talking for example about suicide in people who do not have an overwhelming situational reason for doing so) is that I feel insensitive weighing in on it. I've never truly been in that place mentally. I thought I was back in the day, but that was pure melodrama and my own self-absorption versus ever being suicidal. Therefore, I'd be reluctant to act as if I understand the state of mind and what someone is truly going through who reaches that state, and reluctant to opine on the causes (i.e. is it a state where mental illness alone causes it). It is an area where individual subjectivity is everything.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Admin on Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:51 am

To what extent is the cyber bullying a serious social problem and not just a moral problem though? Especially with teenagers? We've all heard about the failed attempts to divert kids from drugs and alcohol blah blah. Is the online bullying which is what many considered Carter's texts the next social ill?

Or is it just an unusual case where the prosecution felt her behavior was so or of bounds it had to be made the fit a crime?

Personally, I totally agree with Dee that this girl had massive psychological problems which make her a dangerous person and a duck person. But I don't know how I feel about the entire case.

It seems a stretch, I'd agree, to find she committed manalaughter.

But to get back to my original point, I find it more troubling the convoluted and incoherent messages being sent in Thirteen Reasons Why, Followed by the same with the herd of experts denying that third parties could cause it, followed by the verdict in Carter which goes in an extreme direction in saying that yes we can even legally heard third parties who bully or say horrible things accountable.

Teenagers in my experience are acutely aware of intellectual dishonesty because they don't have the decades of needs for rationalizations and self delusion that adults have. Therefore, if we're not providing solid reasoning to them on the issue, it is not going to get better.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by laurav on Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:16 pm

I'm sharing in an effort to further viewers' hearing loss, and inject some levity in the midst of what is happening around the world. My life this afternoon, lol.



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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Jae on Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:40 pm

I should have gotten a trigger warning for that video as I've just spent four days with my bipolar three year old niece and had enough screaming to last me the summer...of course her screams were more tantrums but they hit the same pitch.

Just jumping in briefly because I am exhausted after a family vacation and still somewhat struggling with this congestion. I find it so interesting that people are willing to believe in the power of positive influences that can help people and change their lives around but negative influences are not powerful enough to cause extreme harm. We argue for resources and plead for suicide hotline numbers to be posted because these people may just say the right thing to you if you're feeling suicidal and save your life, then they're considered a hero. But if you're feeling suicidal and someone says the wrong thing, like hey, go kill yourself, that is certainly not powerful enough to cause someone to kill themselves and the individual who commits suicide is solely responsible, not the asshole who encouraged you in your weakest moment of impaired judgment and thought processes.

She deserves to be held accountable. From what I read it sounded like the manslaughter verdict was more based on the fact that she acted recklessly by doing nothing to get him help when she knew he was attempting suicide and she was aware of his location. The judge cited that she could have called for help or notified his family of his whereabouts and his intentions, and she did nothing. The fact that she encouraged him was the icing on the cake. I think this goes beyond cyber bullying and we need to look beyond the scope of the technology factor. If someone was on a ledge and a group of people below him had gathered shouting Jump! repeatedly until he did, why wouldn't we hold them accountable? Especially if not one single person in that group called 911? Why is this any different because it took place via texting?

13 Reasons Why is considerably accurate when it comes to depicting bullying in public schools and what kids have to deal with, and yes, bullying has caused several incidents of suicidal ideation, attempts, and successes. The insinuation that it's impossible for a group of people to push you to take your life because they relentlessly remind you that you're worthless is absurd. We see this shit everyday. I would say about 40-50 percent of kids coming into our clinic have reported bullying. One of my clients lost her friend to school bullying suicide and attempted to take her own life after another student came up to her and said "it should have been you instead."

I will say however that 13 Reasons is horribly inaccurate when it comes to suicidal ideation, attempts, and success, and it has been very concerning for us in the field. We worry about copycats, which they've already confirmed one case of such. I have instructed my staff to watch it and discuss it with any clients that may be identified as a risk who may watch it. It's dangerous and it was created more for drama and entertainment than education or conversation.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Jae on Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:44 pm

P.S. I don't think Maria's coming

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Admin on Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:26 pm

Ha, that video was something else. She knew exactly what she was doing with the dog. Be warned, girls are easier than boys, high pitched screams aside. But both my two are really high energy to say the least.

Okay, so I am happy because we have finally hit a topic where there seems to be a strong divergence of views (The Carter case and Thirteen Reasons Why).

I don't agree--I think cautiously--  after considering the facts as reported that Carter should have been charged, but Jae, Laura and Dee--the three of you make damn good arguments in your own right, and I get swayed in each direction when I read your posts.

Maria are you coming? ? Wherefore art thou?

How's everyone's week been aside from all the depressing topics? Jae what did you do for family vacation? Did you take any pictures? Laura are you still in limbo with your trial? How is Zoe doing other than reaching new highs with her vocal cords?  Dee?

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by laurav on Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:58 pm

For the reasons I outlined last night, I disagree with Carter being charged, as there is insufficient legal basis. If they had charged her for failing to act the day of the suicide, it would have been a much lesser charge than the manslaughter, and that is the only colorable basis as far as I can see.

However, I find the opposing positions of Jae and Dee interesting and compelling, although ultimately I disagree.

As far as Thirteen Reasons Why, that's where I have to defer to an expert like Jae, who has the clinical experience. One of the things older attorneys have always warned me about is to avoid becoming the client's therapist, because a lot of clients will treat their attorneys as such, and we're not trained or equipped to do so. (God, can you imagine me being their therapist? People would be jumping off bridges left and right).

It's been a crazy weekend. I have four trials in the next two weeks (assuming the one on the 29th goes), and due to Zoe having a very hard time staying healthy for the last eight months in daycare (technically ours was an Early Childhood Enrichment Center), we pulled her out. She was missing an average of a week a month. So tomorrow, we are starting with a nanny.

Hope everyone has a good week! Thanks for posting, Jae. I always enjoy your perspective.

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