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Everything posted by MyLittleWonders

  1. My dd (Down syndrome) has strabismus in her left eye. She has been in glasses with a prescription of only +1.25 for 2 1/2 years. Her eye doctor said the medical books would say glasses wouldn't work and she'd need surgery, but the glasses have been working great. We are trialling right now no glasses for one month, though her eye does cross at times so I think her doctor will have her go back to wearing them. She has no need for the glasses for vision; she wears them to relax the need to focus, thus relaxing the muscle in the eye, allowing the eyes to work together.
  2. I take either Thorne prenatal or the Garden of Life Raw prenatal (I feel I've been pregnant or nursing for more years than I can count though I only have five). Both help me feel more human. I also take 5000 IU vitamin D while pregnant and nursing, again either Thorne or the Raw ones.
  3. We have dairy and gluten intolerances. We never assume anyone will/should accommodate us in terms of food though I will help out if they want suggestions on things to buy/prepare. We bring our own food unless it's my parents or ILs. (They know what we can eat and prepare food we all can share.)
  4. I'm glad to hear pretty positive experiences! We don't get snow and lately very little rain, so that's not a concern. The hugeness is a concern, but the commercial dealer guy at our local dealership is looking to let us rent the one we would presumably buy, so that's a plus. He said he's hoping to have one in by the end of the year. We had no idea they were that hard to get. Our top color choices are the artic blue metallic and the Java metallic, but we'd do black or silver too (dh really likes the black; I lean more towards the silver as a third choice).
  5. Does anyone have a NV? We are seriously considering one now that there are five kids. I currently drive an Odyssey, which I love, but between strollers, easy-ups for soccer games, Costco trips, and anything else we do (plus usually some sort of road trip in the summers), it is becoming an extremely tight fit. Oldest is 14 and 5'6" and youngest is newborn. We will be hauling kids for some time. Of all the passenger vans, the NV is the only one we are considering. Any opinions? Oh and what color do you have if you own one. ;) (We'd donate dh's very old Civic and he'd take the Odyssey. We'd have two family cars but I'd be driving the NV and it'd be the go-to family outing car.)
  6. EWTN will be replaying it later tonight if you have a dvr to record it.
  7. Our fourth child has Down syndrome. She is 4 1/2 and is being homeschooled (basically what I consider special needs preschool) using Simply Classical from Memoria Press and will continue to be homeschooled just like her siblings. There are many who homeschool their children with Down syndrome (there is a board of us on Facebook for instance). You will have to make a decision that is best for you, your son, and your family. But do not dismiss homeschooling just due to his diagnosis. Our daughter thrives at home with her brothers. She loves stories (she brings us books at the time), her attention span is continuing to grow, I am developing her auditory learning abilities rather than just relying on her being a visual learner (which she is). She aged out of EI when she was 3; technically she graduated before that as our state is messed up and wouldn't provide speech and that was her only real delay. We could have stuck with speech through the school district until she hit school age, but we opted instead for private speech, which is paid through our insurance. Like others have said, look into your state's rules. In my state, there is really no hope of getting public school services unless the child is enrolled in school. Since that really is only speech and potential adaptive PE/some fine-motor OT, both of which I can provide at home (and insurance picking up the tab for speech), I saw no reason to consider school for her.
  8. I first heard about it in the online Down syndrome circles that I frequent. I had dd tested and she was hetero for C677T (I think those are the right letters). So, I had me tested. Neither her pediatrician, nor my doctor, knew anything about it/had never heard about it, but ordered the blood draws. I am also hetero for C677T. We now treat our three boys as if they are also hetero, though they may not be, and everyone in the family uses Thorne vitamins (well, dd uses specific ones designed for those with Down syndrome, but they have the right form of Bs). I can see a history in both sides of my family, though I haven't convinced my mom to be tested and my dad passed 8 years ago.
  9. What about Princeton Files? You could put them on the shelf "backward" and hold your binders while not losing regular books next to them. http://www.demco.com/goto?BLS168249&ALL0000&es=20150721200754777409
  10. I can say my husband and I both loved the book as well (it's one I plan on listening to again). It reminds me, not in content but in appeal, of a Narnia or such book - one that is written more for children, but is loved by all ages. But we are also Ralph Moody fans. He is both touching and quite funny, and knowing it's based on his own life makes it that much more interesting.
  11. What about Little Britches - Father and I Were Ranchers. It's 8 hours, so a little longer than you need, but it is a wonderful book. We just listened this past year with our 13, 11, and 8 year old boys and they all loved it. We also just recommended it to a friend whose 14 year old son is going off to scout camp.
  12. We've always told our kids that they cannot play in the house of a friend without permission from is (for every specific time, not a blanket always). We've also told them that friends are allowed out front, not in the house and usually not in the backyard. They must ask permission to take friends in the back and it's a very rare exception where one friend, and only one, is allowed in the house. I love my kids, but don't care to babysit and keep watch on the neighbor kids. But I do appreciate them outside my house where I can keep and eye and ear on things. There have been a few times I've gone outside or dh has to correct language or behavior. But on the whole, they are on their own. Just set the rules now that neighbor kid has found your house. Explain to your kids that friends are for playing with outside and remind as often as needed. But don't feel you have to let any other kids in your house. Oh, and don't feel badly saying not now/not today/it's time to go home now. We do this frequently. And it's never deterred the kids from coming back again.
  13. I love my Børn flats. I get them off Zappos or Amazon. I live in them almost year round.
  14. I couldn't imagine that much water in one storm. I mean, I've lived through my share of El Niño years, but I've only seen rain like that on the news (I think we are too coastal without any foothills nearby). They are predicting (again, but supposedly with better data) El Niño this winter. The rain is needed, but I am afraid of that much water too quickly on extremely dry ground.
  15. Re reading my post made it sound like we got five inches in a couple storms. Sorry about that. And I found what I think were official numbers and we've had about 7 1/2 inches this year (since July 1, 2014). Last year was six inches and the year before just under six inches. I wish I could find a chart a friend of mine posted on Facebook. It gave the figures for river basin capacity, and if I remember correctly, almost all in the state were at sub-10% capacity. :(
  16. I had a feeling I wasn't reading it closely enough. Thanks for the info. :) I'm not sure which scares me more though ... the cost or the work it'll take to plant them all! I'm trying to talk dh into doing a xeriscape type redo of the parkways (about 500 square feet) and only seriously consider the UC Verde on the main lawn.
  17. I remember seeing the per-flat price, but I can't find (and I might not be reading closely enough) where it says how many plugs come to a flat. We need about 1000! :huh: But, we aren't concerned about the green factor. And I like the very low maintenance involved too (we could potentially stop paying our gardner, who at this point in time is mostly only trimming the backyard as what little is still green in the front doesn't seem to grow anymore). I don't know how our backyard is doing so well. Maybe because we virtually ignore it and the kids aren't running hard on it. And it is better shaded (we have St. Augustine grass but our front yard gets a TON of sunlight almost all day). I don't think we are going to do anything until after this winter though. Other than continue to put top soil down and hopes it helps keep what little moisture there is in the ground there. Our planters out front are all sage and lavender and don't mind being ignored. Even the boysenberry, that I thought for sure would have died by now (was kind of hoping it would ... I don't think a nuclear attack would kill it) is growing beautifully without being watered. :glare: About half our neighborhood has given up on watering, or is watering just enough to maintain brown grass without it all going to dust. There are others with perfectly green lawns. Some do follow the rule (our city was two days a week for watering long before Gov. Brown made it a state-wide mandate), but others water whenever they want for as long as they want. Heck, the city waters the parks in the heat of the day on whatever day(s) they wish. Yes, it's reclaimed water, but at least have the decency to follow the rules like every one else.
  18. Do you know your triggers for migraines? That's one place my dh has started. Certain foods (especially anything with MSG or a derivitive of MSG) can trigger as can the smells in his classroom (dry erase markers and such). Most his migraines anymore come from his classroom (we've eliminated anything with anything related to MSG from our diets). He has a hospital grade (in other words expensive) air purifier in his classroom; when he fails to change the filters or do the required maintenance, his migraines increase in frequency. Once he has one, he'll take Advil, though I think applying peppermint oil (in a carrier) to his temples helps relieve it faster/better. Lavender oil is supposed to help quite well also. For me, I used to get them related to what I think was enzymes used to make certain cheeses. Going dairy free eliminated almost all of them. Recently I started getting optical migraines quite frequently. I ended up going to the optometrist even though I wasn't due in for six months. He adjusted my prescription (astigmatism plus progressives) and the migraines went away. So, long story short, figuring out what was triggering them for dh and I was a big step in greatly reducing or eliminating them. And finding natural ways to combat them when we got one helps a lot (neither of us like taking medication, even Advil or such, unless absolutely necessary).
  19. That's why we are considering the UC Verde grass. UC Davis and UC Riverside, if I remember correctly, took the buffalo grass native to the plains states and created a grass that would grow well in coastal California and be nice on the feet, kids, and pets. I am scared to call and ask how much it costs though (you have to buy plugs as it has been bred not to go to seed and plant them on average 12" on center; we are in a corner and have a lot of plugs we'd have to plant between our lawn and the parkway).
  20. We bought our three boys all keepsake boxes like the link below when they made their FHC last year (we are Catholic converts, so my oldest was 12, almost 13, when he made his first communion). For the oldest, we found one that was a nice black stain with the serenity prayer engraved on the top. He keeps his saint cards and his medal in it. The box was grown up enough to match his age (so much, for good reason, of first communion gifts are very young as the typical age in the Catholic Church is seven and we didn't want something that seemed babyish for him). An example: http://www.catholiccompany.com/gods-love-keepsake-box-i1978/?sli=3022011
  21. We haven't looked into the cost yet, but we are debating putting in a gray water tank to capture shower water to use on the lawn. We have a rain barrel in the backyard that the kids use to water the strawberries and blueberries on off watering days. We also need to go get a 5 gallon bucket or two to keep in the shower for capturing warming up water to help with watering outside. In response to the grass going dormant naturally in the summer, that isn't the problem. We haven't had much of any rain for quite a long time (we had a couple storms this summer that amounted to about five inches total for my area over the last year), and we shut off the sprinklers last fall thinking that Mother Nature would help with watering over the winter. That's why I think we have so many dirt-only spots. In past years, we've been able to water minimally during the winter and have storms help, keeping the grass, albeit less green and more brown, during the summer. But it's been too long with not nearly enough rain.
  22. We are debating what to do as well. Our backyard is small and the grass does fine back there with very little watering. But the front is thrashed. It's barely green in some places, brown in others, and just dirt in the rest. I'd be fine with brown, but the dirt is horrible and seems to aggregate my allergies quite a bit. We've discussed letting it all die and then planting UC Verde grass. It takes water to establish but then is extremely drought resistant. But it's $$$ to purchase and our city doesn't give special permits for watering extra newly planted drought resistant landscapes. We have kids who love to play on the grass, my husband plays with them on the grass, the neighbor kids come and play with them on the grass, and honestly traditional xeriscaping would be worse than just leaving dirt. But I hate the dirt ...
  23. I've never made any of my kids do the "no more than one full meal" fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. My oldest is only 13 1/2 this year, and I err on the side of their bodies needing to eat. Last year all my boys (youngest was 7) chose their own penitential act for Lent. It went okay, but given that we also do something as a family, it felt to be too much focus on the can't portion and not on actually forming new habits to lead us close to God. So, this year we are back to a family-wide fast, though dh and I usually also have our own, typically revolving around something to increase our prayer life. Before my dh converted, he went along with no-meat on Fridays, though only at dinner (he teaches and takes left overs, so he'd eat the left over meat from Thursday night). Last year, as he was preparing for conversion, he went the whole nine yards and abstained from meat every Friday. Funny, I actually forgot (don't know how) and made ham & eggs for breakfast on Ash Wednesday. Had to get myself to confession over that. ;) But the only way to make sure we are all meatless on Fridays is to make sure I don't cook meat on Fridays. So, yes, all children participate, even the young ones (with some exception; the older kids understand that sometimes the little one gets meat, though I don't see having that problem this year with her older and more willing to try different things; plus I can always scramble her an egg for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if need be). So, all the family participates in abstaining from meat and all the family participates in the family-wide Lenten fast/penitential act.
  24. Mine just go along with the family. Ashes on Ash Wednesday, abstaining from meat on Friday (there have been a couple exceptions, especially last year with dd, where we fed her chicken on a Friday), Stations of the Cross on Fridays (except dd can't do loud noises, especially at night, and so one of us has decided to stay home with her on Good Friday from the Living Stations), and whatever our family Lenten practice is. So this year, dd won't have videos on the iPad because we are going media-free and her brothers take to a screen like moths to a light. None of my kids "fast" on Ash Wednesday or Good Friday; my oldest is somewhat in favor of the practice, but the Church doesn't require it until 18, and even though eating less on two days of the year wouldn't be detrimental, we still don't require it. But yes, the preschooler just goes along with the flow.
  25. First of all, in response to the idea mentioned above about families not necessarily being left intact in the PP's experience, a survey was done a few years ago about the overall happiness of people with Down syndrome, as well as their family member's happiness. Overwhelmingly, the response was positive. Approximately 96% of those with Down syndrome reported they were happy in life (how many neuro-typical folks could report the same?). Siblings, parents, and families as a whole also had above 90% reported happiness with their lives. In regards to our own county (US), it is estimated that 92% of babies prenataly diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. And that is mostly based on lies told by the medical profession (at least based on most stories I have read) and outdated fears reinforced. Yes, there is an increased risk of congenital heart problems and yes, children with Down syndrome have a slightly elevated risk of Leukemia. But it's not a guarantee, nor is it a guarantee that a child without Ds won't have these problems. We have come a long way in this country in terms of life expectancy and quality of life for individuals with Down syndrome. But I can guarantee you that is because of the parents of those born before my daughter was born. It was because parents stood up and said no more. No more institutions. No more medical neglect by those who swore to first do no harm. No more shutting children away to waste away in forgotten classrooms. Much like we as homeschoolers have the opportunities we do because of the long fight of those who went before us, my daughter has an entire future bright with possibilities by those parents who fought for the rights of their children before she was born. Yes, the outlook for little Leo in Armenia is bleak. But just imagine the difference that could be made if moms, after giving birth, listened to those maternal stirrings deep within and said, no more. We want to change the future for our own children as well as those that will come after. It's happened here within a couple generations. I don't envy those parents who blazed the trail. But I will be forever thankful. And I applaud the father in Armenia who is making that choice for his son, and hopefully helping forge a better future for others born with Down syndrome in Armenia.
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