Finding A Roommate

While our children are in college it is very challenging finding the right roommate until graduation.   My son, Arthur has one more year until he can apply for graduation and we are feverishly trying to find him a new roommate.  The cost of living has increasingly gone up over the past few years, but we may have found the perfect place for about $1,000 per month.  He’s had several roommates in the past, but they have moved out of the country or have dropped out of college and we know it will not be cheap.  We want to purchase a condo for Arthur upon graduation, so that he can work full-time in his chosen career and then start saving for his own home purchase.

We’ve tried college apartment boards and Craigslist.com but when using Craigslist we know that we must be very careful.  Craigslist has yielded excellent past roommates for Arthur and we are hoping for the same results this time around.  Whatever happened to the days when renting a room used to cost around $300 per month?  Those days go way back to the year 1970. We are in 2017 and the average cost for a one-bedroom apartment in a nice neighborhood runs about $1,500 per month (or more).

If you are having a tough time finding a roommate for your college kids, send me an email and I will send you resources in your area.

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College Students and Eating Healthy

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My friend’s daughter is overweight.  College did nothing but add to her stress and she comforted herself with fast food.  College can be life-changing for many, as some move out-of-state and far away from home to pursue their educational goals.  But, I think as parents we should try to help our kids to refrain from junk food and eat as healthy as possible.  Studying late nights for an exam or getting off work and then rushing to a class, can be hectic and many college students simply don’t have the time to prepare and cook healthy meals.  I’ve suggested to my son that he eat Salmon and lots of salads. He also drinks a gallon of water each and every day which aids in his healthy lifestyle choices.  I know that losing weight is never easy and I highly suggest viewing a “diet” as a “lifestyle change” and not simply a “temporary change in eating habits.”

 

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Alcohol and College Students

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My son is over the age of 21 and I know that on his 21st birthday he actually went out and purchased alcohol with his friends.  He was completely honest with me and said, “Mom, I’ve tried beer and Vodka and it did nothing for me”.  Said he “hated the taste and how it made him feel sluggish and sleepy afterwards”.  I think if we have an “open dialogue” with our children about alcohol, then it will prevent them from drinking alcohol without our knowledge.  I’ve told my son that he can talk to me about ANYTHING and I mean ANYTHING.  It’s crucial that we allow our sons and daughters to feel comfortable about opening up to us as parents.  I hate to see the number of drunk drivers (DUI’s) in the Unites States (college students), who really didn’t have to be in a “drink and drive” situation.  But, most of the time they are afraid to ask their parents for a ride, for fear of retribution.  As a mom, I think we should make our kids feel comfortable so they can open up to us and tell us everything and anything.  This is the only way we can help our kids lead successful lives.

Don’t drink and drive, call a friend, Uber, Lyft or just simply walk home.

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Preparing My Child for College…

How do I prepare my child for college?

Planning for college can begin as early as the sophomore year of high school. Before searching for a college, your child should assess his or her career and life goals carefully. While this will take a bit of soul searching, this can help a child prepare. Determine these goals by sitting down together and asking your child some questions about what would make him or her happy or what his or her strengths and weaknesses are. However, do not push your child toward a field he or she does not prefer.

Many teens have trouble determining their interests. Advise your child to visit his or her high-school guidance counselor and arrange for him or her to take interest-inventory tests, if possible. These tests, also found in college-preparatory books, are useful tools to help focus a student’s natural talents toward the right career path.

Most colleges have many prerequisites. Make sure your child is working toward completing the proper college-preparatory classes in high school. Although requirements vary from school to school and/or major to major, many colleges specify that an applicant must complete the following:

Four years of English
Three years of math: two in algebra, one in geometry
Three years of hard science: biology, chemistry, physics, etc.
Three years of social studies: U.S. history, world history, U.S. government
Two years of a foreign language

Various courses in the arts, computers, typing and other electives
Typically, colleges also require that the high-school student take either the ACT (American College Test, which measures English, math, reading and science skills, and has a maximum score of 36) and/or the SAT I (Scholastic Aptitude Test, which measures verbal and math skills, and has a maximum score of 2400).

Students should take these tests during their junior year. Some colleges may also require students to take the SAT II test, which measures ability in up to 17 different subject areas. The average college-bound test scores are 21 for the ACT and 1509 for the SAT. Your teen’s scores on these exams may limit the choice of schools to which he or she can apply, and each institution sets different minimum scores that it will accept. However, your teen is allowed and encouraged to improve his or her scores by repeating either paid test. You may even advise your child to prepare for these exams with a practice course or test, which are offered in books at any bookstore or through test-preparation programs.

For more information about preparing for college, contact the Admissions and Records Department for the college of interest.  Good luck!

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Sex and College

My son is a junior in college and talking to him about sex was something I did while he was in high school.  Although, I was hoping that when he started college, he would have enough knowledge about sex so that he would make the right decisions.  I think there should not be sex without marriage, but that’s just my opinion.  However, as parents we know that our children (teens) have hormones that sometimes control their actions.  Responsible sex is what we teach our kids, if they plan on having sex before marriage.  But, what exactly is “responsible sex”?

Is responsible sex:

  1. Having sex with a condom
  2. Making sure the female is on a birth control pill
  3. Pulling out prior to ejaculation
  4. Just kissing and going home before things get hot and heavy

Please write me and let me know how you feel about your teens having sex prior to marriage.  Do you advocate abstinence?  I can’t wait to hear your stories…

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Fall Semester or Quarter 2016

Is rapidly approaching…have you added your college courses for the upcoming Fall 2016 semester/quarter?  Some courses may be full and you will have to sign up to be placed on a priority waiting list – do so ASAP.  Some courses I recommend for the upcoming school year are:

Spanish

French

Economics (if you are a business student, like my son)

Marketing (my son is taking his first Marketing class this year and I know it will be fun!)

If you have any questions about registering late for classes, go to your college or university website for additional information.  Don’t procrastinate…get moving!!!

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Class of 2016

Is your son or daughter graduating this year?  Whether it’s grammar, high school or even college – it’s an exciting time for parents.  Graduation is the beginning of a new chapter in our children’s lives.  It’s symbolic of their growth and moving from one stage to the next.  I remember when my son Arthur graduated from high school, I was so happy that I cried.

I knew he was growing up and leaving for college and it was extremely difficult for me to grasp the concept that I would not be cooking dinner for him every evening or driving him to football games.  As parents we want to see our children grow and mature and become independent.  But, it was and still is very difficult for me.  I have no more children at home with me and I am suffering from “empty nest” syndrome.

I am happy for everyone who is a member of the Class of 2016 – no matter what your grade level – it’s a time for celebration!

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Surfing, Are You Serious?!!

surfing lessonsDoesn’t this look like fun?  It’s better for the kids to take surfing lessons, rather than go out into the ocean to actually learn how to surf.  Stay warm as you watch these kids having fun surfing.  Mother knows it’s better to practice first before doing the real thing.  Those waves can be a little crazy.

Click link to see video http://youtu.be/B3s38LrfkfU

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Black Friday Shopping

If you have kids who are in college and plan to go shopping this Friday, a good idea would be to equip your children with debit cards because cash can be lost.  However, if they shop with a debit card you can keep track of their spending and if they lose the card – just quickly contact the card issuer and have it replaced.  My son is in college and I signed up him for the Pass Card from American Express.

pass cardThe Pass Card from American Express comes with the following features:

1) Prepaid re-loadable personalized card

2) Safer than cash

3) Kids can only spend what’s on the card; so it’s not like a debit or credit card where your kids can exceed the credit line to run into over draft issues.  Overdraft charges can run as high as $35.00 each.  Even if your son or daughter made a purchase for $15.00, your bank would still charge you a $35.00 over draft fee.  And those fees can really add up.

pass cardChoose when to add funds

Set up automatic reloads online, so instead of asking for money, teens will know when their allowance is coming. It’s easy to reload PASS anytime, online or by phone.

Track activity easily – View balance and purchase history online anytime from anywhere, or set up alerts. Teens can also view balances online, or track their funds via text messages.
If something breaks – If an eligible item purchased with PASS accidentally breaks, or is stolen, Purchase Protection, can reimburse your teen—up to 90 days from the date of purchase.
If a car won’t start –PASS also includes Roadside Assistance, so your teen won’t get stranded. Just call us and we’ll send help.
Global Assist® Services – Your teen is backed by Global Assist. Rely on us 24/7 for emergency assistance while traveling. We can direct the Card member to English-speaking medical and legal professionals, help with lost passports, and much more.
If you have questions – You and your teen can call us 24/7 at 1-877-405-7277. American Express Customer Service will be available anytime, day or night.

How to Add Funds:

Direct Deposit – Save time adding money to your teen’s Card by using Direct Deposit to transfer part of your paycheck automatically. It’s simple and secure. Get started by logging in to your account.

Bank Account – Simply enter your account information online to reload whenever you choose, but note, for your protection, it will take 3-5 business days to verify and load the funds.

American Express Card – Add funds quickly anytime you choose, or set up automatic reloads to make it even easier.

american express

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Gobble, Gobble

cookie

It’s that time of year again.  Time to spend the holidays with family and close friends.  My son is in college and they will break for 4 days this Thanksgiving and I look forward to spending all four days with my son.  I miss him so much, since he now lives on campus.  But, I know this is the time he needs to acquire an education and grow as a young man.  He is responsible, hard-working and honest and I simply couldn’t ask for a better son.

What’s for dinner you ask?  Well, I am planning to cook a Butterball turkey with all the fixin’s.  A few of my family members eat ham, so I am planning to purchase a small ham from Honeybaked.  Their hams are simply delicious!  Never had any complaints in the past, so I will stick with the same company.  Although, there are a few other ham suppliers out there – one being Kansas City Steak Company. Now, I’ve heard these spiral hams are simply divine.  They are featured annually during the holidays on QVC and sell out pretty quickly, so if you’d like to order one – then I suggest you call them today 1-800-987-8325 or order online at www.kansascitysteaks.com.

kansas city steak co

Kansas City Steak Company is currently offering a hickory smoked spiral sliced ham and hickory smoked whole turkey for only $129.95 – so you get both items for only $129.95.  This is the best deal I’ve seen so far.

apple pie

This year I’m baking an apple pie for dessert…one of Marta Stewart’s famous pie recipes and my family has given rave reviews for this particular recipe.

Apple-Sour Cream Crumb Pie

After a brief time in a 450-degree oven, this pie bakes at 350 degrees. You’ll want to use an oven thermometer to monitor the temperature. Because of the dense filling, a long cooling time is essential before slicing and serving.

FOR THE PIE DOUGH

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 stick plus 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup ice water

FOR THE CRUMB TOPPING

  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

FOR THE FILLING

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 16 ounces sour cream
  • eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 Golden Delicious apples (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4-inch wedges

DIRECTIONS

  1. STEP 1

    Make the pie dough: Combine flour, salt, and granulated sugar in a food processor, and pulse to blend. Add butter, pulsing until pea-size clumps form. With machine running, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture just comes together. Shape dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.

  2. STEP 2

    Roll out dough into a 15-inch round (1/4 inch thick) on a lightly floured surface. Fit into a 10-inch pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, and fold under, pressing onto rim of pie plate. Use your fingers to create a scalloped edge if desired. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

  3. STEP 3

    Make the crumb topping: Whisk together sugars, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Add butter, and combine with a fork or pastry cutter. Stir in walnuts, and press filling into large clumps with your hands; refrigerate until ready to use.

  4. STEP 4

    Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees with 2 racks in lower third.

  5. STEP 5

    Make the filling: Whisk together granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in sour cream, eggs, and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Add apples, tossing to coat. Place apple mixture in crust.

  6. STEP 6

    Place an empty rimmed baking sheet on lowest oven rack to catch any drips, then bake pie 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, and bake until apples are golden brown in places, juices are bubbling, and crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes.

  7. STEP 7

    Remove topping from refrigerator, and crumble over hot filling. Bake until topping is browned and set, apples are tender, and bottom crust is thoroughly baked, about 50 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack, 3 to 4 hours.

Enjoy your holiday, this is a special time to gather with family and close friends!

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#1 Printer for College Students

hp printerWe can’t wait to tell you about HP Printables, the fully customizable source that gathers, delivers and flawlessly prints the content that matters most to you. With HP Printables, you get a free service that connects your printer to a vast library of content that includes the best deals, shares the latest news, offers top health tips, keeps the kids occupied and more! Then, HP Printables deliver a perfectly formatted printout directly to your tray, automatically or on demand.

Here’s just a few of the great ways you can use HP Printables:

  • Save– Customize your savings preferences, or choose a ready-to-go bundle, to receive grocery coupons, get discounts at local restaurants and find price reductions on a host of other services in your area

  • Make learning fun– Print fun learning worksheets for your kids from partners like LeapFrog and National Geographic Kids

  • Make the most of me time– Browse updates from Daily Mail and Busy Moms Weekly

  • Plan– Get organized with 7-day meal planners and fun Weekend Go Guides

  • Entertain– With crosswords and Sudoku for big kids (and adults!) and branded content from DreamWorks, Disney and Barbie for the little ones, the whole family will be smiling!  Be sure to check out printers at #HPPrintables and #HPePrintmom select

 

 

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Ring the Alarm

So, my son Arthur is having difficulty waking up in time for his college classes.  This makes me extremely unhappy.  I’ve called him at 5:30 in the morning and he doesn’t even hear his i-phone ringing (at all).  Last week, I called him 15 times before he actually heard the telephone ringing and it was sitting on the night stand just 1-2 feet away from his bed.  No matter if the volume is all the way up, Arthur seems to be in what’s called a “slow-wave sleep” (SWS).  Sleep deprivation studies have found that the primary function of a slow-wave sleep is to allow the brain to recover from its daily activities.  Arthur is taking a full-load of college courses, meaning he is attending classes full-time with over 15 course credits.  But, this shouldn’t make him excessively tired.  Should it?  Even his roommates have a tough time waking him up.

So, I did some research and shopped around for the loudest alarm clock I could find.  Pictured below is the Elgin Quartz Analog Loud Twin Bell Alarm Clock,  list price is $43.99 but if you shop around like I did, you can find the same exact clock for just $33.99.

elgin alarm

It may sound like a whole lotta money for a simple alarm clock, but when your son (or daughter) can’t seem to wake up in the morning for his (or her) 8:00 am college courses, then it’s time for Mommy to find the loudest alarm clock she could possibly find. This is indeed the one!  I looks sort of old-fashioned and harmless, but don’t sleep (literally) on this super bargain.  It’s the only way I could possibly get Arthur up at the crack of dawn Monday through Friday.

Some factors known to increase slow-wave sleep are intense prolonged exercise, high-carbonated drinks (like soda pop – which I know Arthur doesn’t drink) or increasing body temperature or heating the body (for example, by immersion in a hot tub) – and I know Arthur’s never step foot in a hot tub.  He would tell me if he were swimming in the pool at his apartment (you would think- right?)  Well, he hasn’t mentioned either – so I’m assuming he’s suffering from this “deep-sleep” condition due to his rigorous work-out regimen.  Arthur works out daily at the gym, which is located on the college campus, but how can exercising daily make someone so young, so darn tired?  I plan to do more research on this topic and many other sleep disorders that my readers are writing in and asking about and will keep you updated right here.  So, stay tuned – there’s more to come!  In the meantime, if you know of anyone who is suffering from this same sleep disorder, please go to www.hayneedle.com and purchase this clock.

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Me and My Ducks

ducks

Well, now that Arthur is away at college, it’s just me and my ducks!  I must admit, at times I get lonely and I really miss him.  I sit quietly and think about when he was just a baby and how I enjoyed changing his diapers.  Now, he’s a  handsome, intelligent young man – who barely has time for me anymore.  Of course, I don’t want to get in the way of his studies, but I would like to hear from him more often.  So, I’ve decided to call him every other day, until he asks me to stop.  He may or may not do so.

I text him daily, but texting is so impersonal.  I want to hear my son’s voice.  It makes me feel good to know that he’s OK.  I want him to be safe even while he’s away at college I worry.  I know it’s a great college campus, but as a mother I can’t help but worry.  What do you think?  Are you a mother who worries like myself?  Do you have an empty nest at home too?  Write me, tell me your opinions at carolyn@helicoptermamma.org.loving

 

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End of Rush

fraternity

My son was asked to join a Fraternity. It’s his first year of college and I totally support Fraternities, but I just don’t think he’s ready to join anything, because he can barely get up in time for class. He’s an “A” student (usually) but now that he lives away from home (on the college campus, in the college apartments/dormitories), he’s feeling a sense of independence and stays out late, even on weeknights. So, I listened to his plea…”Mom, I really wanna join because I can meet lots of upper class-men, all I know right now are Freshmen. I wanna make lots of new friends and joining a Fraternity will help me to do so.” I listened to all of the reasons he felt he was ready to join a Fraternity and I listed all of the reasons he was not ready…

  • It’s your first year and you’ve already been late to class and had to make up assignments
  • Joining a Fraternity will cost money (dues must be paid in order to maintain membership) and my son is not planning to work during his first 3 years of college
  • I researched the particular Fraternity in which he expressed interest and found they recently had a “BBQ and Hookah Party” – I was shocked that the University would allow such a party (although it took place off-campus, I totally disagree with allowing Fraternities to conduct “Hookah Parties”.

So, after I mentioned this to my son, he began to see the light. I understand that being a member of a Fraternity makes one feel apart of a “brotherhood”, but right now Arthur is not mature enough for this type of commitment. On college campuses, fraternities may be divided into groups: social, service, professional and honorary. Fraternities can be organized for many purposes, including university education, work skills, ethics, ethnicity, religion, politics, charity, chivalry, other standards of personal conduct, asceticism, service, performing arts, family command of territory, and even crime. There is almost always an explicit goal of mutual support, and while there have been fraternal orders for the well-off there have also been many fraternities for those in the lower ranks of society, especially for national or religious minorities. Trade unions also grew out of fraternities such as the Knights of Labor.

So Fraternity memberships have their pluses and minuses and someday I would be proud to know my son has joined a well-respected Fraternity. However, right now he’s just too young and way to inexperienced to handle everything that goes along with a Frat membership.

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Oversleeping in College

Well, this morning I got the dreaded phone call from my son that he overslept and missed his 8 o’clock class.  There was a term paper due plus a 10 point quiz and he missed it all.  I was not happy, to say the least.  I explained to Arthur that missing class like this is not good.  It’s a bad route to take, especially during your first year of college.  I understand, he wants to stay out late with his new-found friends, but priorities are a must in order to succeed in college or anywhere.  Arthur attempted to meet with his college professor after class was over, but to his surprise – his professor does NOT accept any late work, under NO circumstances.  Wasn’t all this spelled out in the class syllabus?

Arthur is young, he’s 18 and getting out from under my roof has been an exciting experience for him…so, he stays out late and does his homework when he feels like it.  However, when he was at home with mom and dad – he did his homework after school and on weekends and he also had a curfew.  No going out after midnight is my golden rule, but a young, 18-year old man – well he thinks the world is his oyster.  Guess again.  Arthur realized that missing class could jeopardize his entire future.  He said, “Mom, it was a real wake-up call.  I don’t ever plan to let that happen to me again.”  My response, “I hope not”.  But, only time will tell when and if Arthur realizes that prioritizing and time-management go hand-in-hand.

It’s ok to miss one or two class lectures, but exams, quizzes and term papers – that’s a NO NO!

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