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  1. Thank you both so much for all of your suggestions :) I know that a big part of my problem is coming up with a schedule/routine for all of us. The toddlers seem to really add an element of chaos that seems to disrupt any attempts at structure. I'm overwhelmed by the amount of phone calls, laundry, house cleaning, social worker visits, therapy, dr's visits, etc that just getting through the day without the house catching on fire or the babies destroying everything in their paths, is a monumental task! This doesn't even include trying to add school in there for the two older kids :( I guess I was thinking that K12 would take the pressure off of me, to an extent. Although, since we've used K12 before, I know that it's not all that simple. The other factor is that both dd14 and ds13 are struggling academically. I know that they would have a hard time trying to catch up if they were expected to just start at their grade level with K12. I need to call them and find out if they would be able to tweak the curriculum a bit for them. Thank you both again :) I know it takes time to respond and I appreciate the suggestions :)
  2. I haven't posted in a reallllly long time. Life has taken us on many stressful journeys the last few years. We are at a sort of crossroads right now and I'm not sure what to do. Currently we have two, two year olds (both with some special needs), a 9 year old (who is in a residential treatment facility but due to come home in a few months), a 13 year old with severe visual impairments as well as some mild cerebral palsy and aspergers, and last but not least, a 14 year old who has extreme social anxiety. Because of the combined disabilities, I am looking for something simple that my 13 and 14 year old can do on their own (for the most part). I need them to be able to work independently and also be accountable for their work. I don't have time to sit with them for hours every day. The idea of sending them to "regular" school is tempting but I know it wouldn't be good for them at this point. Ds13 needs services that I can't afford independently. I know if we went with a virtual public school, we would be able to have those services again. I fight against the structure of the online schools but I know that on my own, I tend to falter and have difficulties keeping them on task. Has anyone ever used a virtual academy for several special needs children? Do you regret your decision? TIA!
  3. Thank you all :) I guess different Costcos sell different products based on the region. Our Costco doesn't sell much in the way of organic food (that I saw). I wound up getting pears, peppers, grapes, two rotisserie chickens, boneless/skinless frozen chicken, hamburger patties (frozen), milk, butter, horizon chocolate milk (ds picked it out as a treat), frozen pineapple (for smoothies), corn tortillas, Rosarita vegetarian refried beans, and a few other odds and ends. I didn't get as much as I wanted but at least I have some meat to start :)
  4. This is sort of a spin off of my other thread about special diets. I need some meal ideas/ingredient list of things to buy from Costco that would be free of dyes/preservatives. What do you buy that you use for your meals? Every time I go to Costco, I wind up coming home with a bunch of quick/easy frozen/fresh foods that are gone in a few days and are , I'm sure, filled with junk. Any help/ideas/suggestions/recipes are WELCOME!!! :)
  5. Thank you for the responses :) We've thought about enzymes but I think ds's gut is severely damaged from prenatal drug exposure and it's never had a chance to heal. I noticed that his issues really seemed to escalate after he'd been on solids for a while. He was around 12-15 months when his severe tantrums began. (he's 8 now). Little frog is starting to show some of the same behaviors and sensory issues as ds did. He's a year now and has been on solids for a while. He defintely has food issues because he is on a special formula (Elecare) and cannot seem to tolerate dairy.. I know there has to be a connection between diet and behavior in these kiddos that were prentally exposed to drugs/alcohol. I just hope that the connection with ds8 can be fixed with dietary changes :(
  6. I'm familiar with different diets/programs out there ie: Feingold, SCD, GFCF, etc.....but I would like a starting point. Ds8 has FASD and becasue of that, he has some pretty severe behavioral challenges as well as severe ADHD and learning challenges. We are at our wits end. He is on several medications and yet we still struggle daily. I'm planning on going GF/CF but I'd like to start with eliminating dyes/preservatives from our diets. We tend to eat a lot of junk (typical American diet). How do we start? Books? Cookbooks? Websites? I hate to cook, I have no recipe database and I have limited time....but I'm committed to doing this once and for all. I want to believe that changing ds's diet will bring positive changes to his mood/behavior. Thanks everyone :) ps Any stories of inspiration are welcome!!
  7. I'm going for the shabby chic look :) I don't mind patching it with a similar or contrasting fabric. I love the design so I don't want to slipcover it. I'm going to try to get to the fabric store tonight and see if I can find something. I want to protect it before the holes get bigger.
  8. I scored these really pretty couches from Craigslist the other day. They are down filled (if that helps) and some of the cushion covers have rips. I was thinking of getting some fabric and patching the holes but what type of fabric do I get? Is there a special adhesive I could use instead (I don't sew well at all) Any ideas? Thanks :)
  9. I'm sad that I can't wave my imaginary magic wand and fix all of your stuff...but it does comfort me a little knowing that I'm not the only one who is overwhelmed by the amount of "projects" that are waiting to be started/finished.
  10. The title says it all. I have a bazillion projects up in the air. They all have me paralyzed because I don't even know where to start and many of them can't be accomplished in one day....or without help from DH, who works all. the. time. Sooooooo, for fun, if I had a magic wand and could making things happen today I would *Install the stacks of laminate flooring that is currently being used as baby gates (oy!) * Finish ALL of the laundry *organize and clean my kitchen *re do the parquet floors in the bedrooms *buy new comforter sets for the boys beds *buy ALL new furniture and have it here NOW *rehome one of our dogs (long story) *clean out the garage *fix up the back yard and have it beautifully landscaped *Send the kids to grandma's house and make my husband a romantic dinner for just the two of us, with the fireplace going, soft music playing and a perfectly fitting little black dress on a smaller sized me ;)
  11. You are so sweet! Have you tried contacting your local Red Cross? I know victims of Sandy could probably use them :)
  12. Oh Pamela, I can totally empathize with you! Fairy Princess has a crazy judge who is desperate to get her back with inappropriate (dangerous) family! A couple things: I'm in Ca. so I'm sure things are done differently but do you have a foster care advocacy group in your area? We have Advokids and Children's Alliance here. They are both wonderful in helping foster parents advocate for the children. Also, have you spoken with Monkey's attorney? Can you file for De Facto status? I'll be praying for you as I know how gut wrenchingly difficult this must be for you :grouphug::grouphug:
  13. There are so many great ideas in this thread. Thank you to everyone who responded! I wasn't able to get back until just now and am so excited to read so many wonderful suggestions! A huge part of my problem is that I've been to lax with my kids and my expectations of them (as far as cleaning). They are ALL guilty of leaving their shoes/papers/toys/dishes/etc out. They are also guilty of not getting the dishes done when it's their turn....:glare: I hate waking up to a dirty kitchen and that's just what I did this morning because dd17 didn't do the dishes last night and when I asked her about it at 11pm, she said "it's late now...I'm going to bed"....I take responsibility for not MAKING her do them...I need to get tougher on all of them.
  14. Our washer/dryer is in our kitchen and we have no room in there for anything else :( I wish we had a laundry room. My older kiddos do their own laundry for the most part BUT half the time, I mysteriously find their clothes/towels/etc in the bathroom hampers. I used to take them out and throw them in their rooms but I've gotten to the point where I don't have time to sort through them all....I need to get back into that habit though.
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