Managing a Household with Neurodivergencies (ADHD, ASD, etc.)

Earlier this week my friend Sam posted on Facebook, “Neurodivergent Friends what are some tools you use with others that help you with daily life, communication, relationships?”

A few friends posted that they needed help with meal prep, day-to-day stuff, and as y’all know, that’s my bag, baby!

Both my kids are Neurodivergent (ADHD/ASD and ADHD), and their dad has ADHD (combined type/ C) and because of that, we’ve had to make some adjustments to our daily life and how we function. And while our processes and schedules may not work for everyone, hopefully, these tips give you some idea and hope if you need it.

Some of these directly affect/benefit the kids, and some make my life easier, which in turn makes their lives easier.

Having an accurate(ish) pantry, fridge, and freezer inventory. I have made my own sheets in the past (using Canva), but the ones from Organized Home are great.

Meal Prep and meal planning (this includes using Dream Dinners once every few months). This frees up time each night to read, hang out, bathe, and get kids ready for bed.

Meal Prep can be as easy as cut up veggies, fruit, pre-portioned foods, and easy meals or side dishes prepared in advance that only need to be heated up to avoid wasting money eating out because “there is nothing to eat”. Also having one night for take-out. And I have a whiteboard that lists our meal plan for the week- I try and post it weekly on Instagram.

The Snack Box- I also organized our fridge and pantry to be more ND-friendly. Stuff that should be eaten (healthy food like fruit, cheese sticks, yogurt, etc.) is at kid eye level in clear packaging and is labeled (I use expo markers on my Rubbermaid containers), and I have a “Snack box” in the pantry that is available 24/7 for hungry faces. It’s got individually portioned shelf-stable snacks and meal components. And on days when I am too tired/rushed to cook we have “Meal of snacks” where I serve a variety of snacks on old-school sectioned cafeteria trays- fruits, veggies, crackers, cheese, cookies, and a drink (juice or iced tea is a hit).

We have a list of snacks on the fridge so the kids know what there is to snack on. It is a visual list (I drew it), and when we are out of specific items, I cover the picture with a piece of posit note.

Calendars– in the kitchen, and one in each bedroom. I update them weekly, plus the grownups use the calendars on their phones and we have a shared family calendar. Kids get reminders each day in the morning and afternoon of any appointments or events that will take place during the day. The visual and auditory reminders really help cement the appointment in their mind.

Visual reminders– next to the front door at eye level there is a sign that reminds us we need: cellphone, wallet, keys, and garage door opener. It’s laminated.

Visual schedule– this is mainly for the kids. I drew up a daily schedule using words and pictures. I wrote a post about it here.

Lists– Everyone has a “Care tasks” list each week that includes appts, returning borrowed items, and tasks to do throughout the week. You can read about my weekly Care Tasks here. 

Larger font digital clock with day of the week, date, and what part of the day (morning, afternoon, evening, night). The kids can read a clock, but it can take time to engage their brains and count by 5’s, but the “old people clock” as it was marketed on Amazon helps them instantly and helps a lot with the “is it time for xxxxx yet?!?!”

Using your phone to stay on top of details- I saw this on Facebook in a group and I’ve started doing this. If you have an iPhone, there is a notes section in each contact. I’ve seen them used to keep track of favorite fast food at various restaurants, favorite foods/drinks, clothing sizes and brands, favorite colors, birthdays, and anniversaries. It’s such a game changer.

The fidget/stim box– we have a plastic box full of fidget/stim toys for everyone to grab when they need to focus. And everyone has some in their room too. This includes headphones to cut down on loud sounds (I buy the landscapers kind from harbor freight). We have 3 pairs in the house and two pairs in the car. For those not familiar- fidget toys can help calm the body so the mind can focus.

Some favorites include pop-its, hand strengthening eggs, fidget cubes, fidget spinners, stretchy tubes, pop tubes, and stress balls (the kind with Orbeez are super satisfying). Amazon sells really great fidget toys mutli-packs.

Medication Boxes- We refill our medication boxes each week (both AM and PM).  The three of us take our meds together each morning at breakfast time. Our medication boxes live on the kitchen counter, along with our pill minders: Jon Cena and Skeletor.

Stuff has a place– The kid’s shoes and backpacks are always by the door during the school year, ready to be cleaned out and refilled each night. My car keys and purse live in the same spot, the pool key has a special spot. The extra toilet paper and paper towels are always in the same spot (under the front bathroom sink). These are just a few examples of the ways that we remind ourselves and create routines. Creating routines can give us a sense of normalcy and be calming.

The Family Binder– One last thing that doesn’t directly “help” the kids but helps the family, especially in times of emergency is the family binder. I’ve had one since 2010 in various incarnations. I have a really old post about it here.  It’s basically my brain in paper form. It’s got all of our important papers, insurance info, important phone numbers, policy numbers, warranty information, receipts for expensive/valuable stuff, copies of most recent IEPS, copies of diagnosis paperwork, lists of everyone’s meds, doctors info, etc. Think of it as all the info you’d need if you lost power for an extended period, your house burned down, or there was a tornado.

There are a lot of other things that we do in our home to help the kids- keep them safe, regulated, and happy. The stuff listed above is just a small sample. Everyone’s home runs differently. And this was and continues to be a lot of work. The examples above are continually changing, and evolving in our home, and are a combination of 11+ years of hard work, learning, and failing. Some of this stuff I did to try and get organized in my late 20s, even before I was married and had kids.



Fiona and her visit with The Vets

Special Thanks to Moms Meet and The Vets for selecting our family to be part of this campaign. While we did receive compensation for this campaign, all opinions expressed are my own.

Fiona, waiting for her vist (with a Tiktok filter)

If you follow me on social media, you know that our kitty Fiona is a chonk muffin. She, like most of us, has gained weight during the pandemic. And I’ve been a little concerned for her health, she’s also developed what sounds like a cough too.

Scheduling an appointment was super easy. It was all done online/via text, and it really helped ease my fears about getting Fiona to the vet. Wrangling a cat into a carrier, down the stairs, and into the car with two kids was not my idea of a good time.

Knowing that The Vets are staffed by full-time veterinarians and veterinary technicians that care only for cats and dogs in-home made me feel a lot better. The focus on pet parent education about animal health and wellness was great. Dr. Ngo and her vet tech Lea were amazing. They answered all of my questions about Fiona’s health, and got to the bottom of her “cough”. It turns out it was not cough but a reverse sneeze. She may be allergic to pollen (everything outside our house is blooming and dropping pollen like whoah right now). Now we have a plan of action to help mitigate her allergies.

Fiona is very “food motivated”, so Dr. Ngo used tiny treats to ease any fear and win Fiona over.

Getting Fiona’s vitals was a team effort. Much like human health care, The Vets use veterinary health care uses a device that takes the pet’s temperature via their ear, which was a relief to both Fiona and Margaret, who was a big help during the visit as well. She distracted Fiona with her favorite toys, gentle pets, and of course treats. Temptations are Fiona’s favorite.

We learned that when cats carry excess weight it can lead to diabetes, joint pain, and shortened life expectancy. We’ve already made some changes to her feeding schedule and the amount she receives daily, as she already eats “Old indoor fat kitty” food.

Getting Fiona on the scale was an exercise in patience. Treats and pets were used and she finally plopped herself onto the scale. I love that The Vets use digital scales and other modern tools to keep pets healthy.

Fiona got a wellness check from nose to tail, including listening to her heart and lungs, checking her teeth and mouth (yup she’s got teeth, and boy are they sharp!), looking in her ears, checking her nails and paws, checking her for lumps and bumps, and checking her peepers.

Overall she is a healthy girl. We received a prescription for Revolution Plus, which kills fleas before they lay eggs, kills ticks for a full month, prevents heartworm disease, and treats and controls roundworms, hookworms, and ear mites. While she is mostly an indoor girl, she does like to go outside with us, so it’s important we keep her a healthy girl.

Did you say “BATH”?

Fiona is getting a bath this weekend (shhh, don’t tell her), and after she is clean and dry we’ll apply the Revolution Plus between her shoulder blades and she’ll be all set for the next month.

If you’ve got a cat or dog at home and dragging them out to the vet for care is not your idea of a good time, or if you have pets that are nervous or anxious in the car, The Vets is a great resource for you and your pet. It was about the same price as an in-office visit to our local vet and much less stress on the entire family.  I would 100% recommend this service to any of my readers who have a cat or dog in their homes.


As always,  I only post about products and services I personally use and I feel are a good fit for my family and my readers. Please refer to my disclosure page. Thanks again to Moms Meet and The Vets.


Q-insights Teenager Community Earn Up To $200

QI-logoNOslogan.pngQ-insights is another company where I do research groups, focus groups, and online surveys to earn extra money.

They have a lot of stuff in South Orange County, and less often San Diego County. This upcoming survey takes place virtually!

Q-Insights is currently recruiting for an online Teen Community.  This community will last about 6 months, and teens will have the opportunity to earn up to $200 in Amazon codes
over the course of 6 months! They’ll be paid each time they complete an activity, and it’s OK if they’re not available for every single one. Q-insights will send invitations each time there’s a new activity, about 1-2 a month.

If your teen is interested in participating please fill out the survey here. If you pre-qualify someone from Q-Insights will call you to ask some additional qualifying questions.

7/29/2022 Friday Freebies and Deals

This week was a little slow for me. I have eustachian Tube Disfunction, my head is stuffed up and I feel like I’m underwater. Thankfully, one ear “popped” and the tube drained this morning, so I’m feeling a little more human.  I’ve been trying to follow doctor’s orders and relax and rest. It’s hard.

Big kid is done at camp and now we have 4 weeks of nothing to do. They are really looking forward to it.

If you are looking for some frugal adventures for this summer, check out this post.

Mask Mandates are changing constantly in California and can vary by city and county, so please do your part if you are going to any in-person freebies.

2022 Birthday Freebies are here!


Free Rosary
Free Zeal Creamery Fresh Grass-Fed Chocolate Milk
Free Infantino Baby Products
Free Sample of YSL Beauty Lash Clash Extreme Volume Mascara
Free Organicville Organic Ketchup
Free Gatorade Zero with Protein at Kroger
Free Bang Cookies & Brownies
Free Vitamin C Clay Mask + $25 Amazon eGift Card
Free Like Air Puffcorn Snack from Sam’s Club
Free Sample of Clinical Skin Vitamin C Pro-Collagen Serum
Free 256GB SSD at Micro Center
Free Eggland‘s Best Superior Hero Party Kit
Huggies Rewards Free 4000pts for an Amazon Gift Card
Free VFW Still Serving Dog Bandana or Patch
Free B.Shaye Happiness Nail Polish
Free Makeup, Bath or Manicure Set
Free Timberland Products
Free $10 Every Friday with Samuel Adams
Free Wireless Zone Backpack & School Supplies Giveaway
Free Fragrance Samples from Macy’s
Free Key at a MinuteKEY Kiosk
Free Woolite Darks Laundry Detergent at Select Stores
Free Pink Bath Set
Free TruCup Coffee Sample
Free Access to MyHeritage Ancestry Tools for 2 Weeks
Free Makeup Brush Set
Free Ferris Bueller’s Day Off for Xfinity Rewards Members
250 Free Kool Rewards Points
Free Lawn Mowing Simulator PC Game
Free Cirque du Soleil 60 Minute Specials
1-Year Subscription to Apple TV+



Muscle Tank Tops for ONLY $7.99 (Reg. $16)
Cushioned Cloud Slides ONLY $23.99 (Reg. $36)
Glass Food Storage Containers ONLY $6.34 (Reg. $16.13)
Wireless Earbuds ONLY $19.99 (Reg. $39.99)
Bed Sheets ONLY $23.99 (Reg. $40)
Gap Home Bath Rug ONLY $12.90 (Reg. $19.98)
Ugg Women’s Slippers ONLY $35 (Reg. $120)
The North Face Apparel up to 65% Off
Birkenstock Dupes starting as low as ONLY $13.99
Barbie Pool Set ONLY $8.27 (Reg. $20)
Self Inflating Camping Mattress ONLY $25 (Reg. $60)
Segmented Velvet Ottoman ONLY $12 (Reg $48)
Free Medium Fries w/ Any $1 Purchase at McDonalds – Every Friday
Wild Sage Utility Cart in Iris ONLY $16 (Reg $80)
Amazon Basics Magnifying Vanity Mirror ONLY $13.78 (Reg $21)
Disney Kermit & Piggy 2-Piece Plush Set ONLY $8.02 (Reg $20)
Folding LED Desk Lamp ONLY $9.99 (Reg $30)
Igloo SpongeBob 7-Quart Cooler ONLY $18.88 (Reg $40)

Faith Chapel: 7/31/22 Backpack Giveaway!

This popped up in my inbox last night. I know a lot of you are keeping tabs on school supply and backpack giveaways, and Faith Chapel in Spring Valley has got you covered!

For those of us who start back to school early, this backpack giveaway is perfect.

This Sunday, July 31st, Faith Chapel will be giving out 400 FREE stuffed backpacks! Details will be shared during our 10:30am service so plan on attending. Registration begins as early as 9:30am.

Students must be present to receive a backpack.

Come to Faith Chapel’s main campus to register, enjoy the service, then receive the stuffed backpacks with school supplies.

Faith Chapel
9400 Campo Rd.
Spring Valley, CA 91977

And don’t forget that Faith Chapel hosts two Neighborhood Distributions per month! To learn more, check out my post here. 

2 Upcoming Clothing Swaps in San Diego!

I love clothing swaps- If you have read my blog, you know it’s one of my favorite ways to refresh the kids wardrobes (and my own).

There haven’t been too many clothing swaps since the pandemic started, but I have found two coming up that are going to be GREAT!

Saturday, August 06, 2022, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM Foothills Church 365 W Bradley Ave, El Cajon CA

The women’s ministry is hosting a FREE clothing exchange! You can swap gently used women’s & children’s clothing and infant essentials. They have limited space, so please no toys or books. There will be no childcare available, so keep that in mind. If you want to drop off items early, Look for the bins in their lobby. I’m dropping off items tomorrow.

August 27, 2022 Porchlight Community Services, Inc. 8888 Clairemont Mesa Blvd Suite B San Diego, CA
Clothing Swap
From their site “We invite you to be part of our SWAP PARTY! Bring clothing, accessories, personal hygiene, or toiletries, OR you’re welcome to donate a bag of canned/shelf-stable food to participate. *Expired food will not be accepted*”

This is a fundraising event, donate what you can ($5 suggested) or you can bring canned goods to donate on the event date to participate. We will gladly accept them on the day of the event.

Please drop off items to swap in advance: 8/25 Thursday 10 am-5 pm or 8/27 Saturday *Before 9 am.  For more information, check out the event page here. And to learn more about Porchlight Community Services, check out their website.

And if you are looking for more information about clothing swaps, check out my post from earlier this year here.

Q-Insights Vehicle Study- Pays $150

QI-logoNOslogan.pngQ-insights is another company where I do research groups, focus groups, and online surveys to earn extra money.

They have a lot of stuff in South Orange County, and less often San Diego County. This upcoming survey takes place virtually!

Q-Insights is currently recruiting for an online focus group regarding your vehicle purchase process. The sessions will be held between Wednesday, August 3rd- Friday, August 5th. You will be compensated $150 for the 1 hour 45 minute session.

They are currently looking for owners 2016-2023 new or used vehicles.

If you are interested in participating please fill out the survey here. If you pre-qualify someone from Q-Insights will call you to ask some additional qualifying questions.

Q-insights Long Term Care Study -It pays $150

QI-logoNOslogan.pngQ-insights is another company where I do research groups, focus groups, and online surveys to earn extra money.

They have a lot of stuff in South Orange County, and less often San Diego County. This upcoming survey takes place virtually!

Q-Insights is currently recruiting for an online blog on the topic of Long Term Care.  The study will be on August 8th & 12th and you will be compensated $150 as a thank you for your time.

If you are interested in participating please fill out the survey here. If you pre-qualify someone from Q-Insights will call you to ask some additional qualifying questions.

7/25/2022 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgSummer break is here! We’ve got all sorts of adventures planned, you can check out some of our adventures here.

This week the big kid is off each morning to Home Base Ranch. His class goes there throughout the year, and I thought it would be good for him to go this summer as well. Thanks to our caseworker at TMI, we got this camp funded for him. Regional Centers are supported to fund recreational activities for their clients, but that process was a disaster.

Despite having no voice and feeling run down, I went grocery shopping this morning. I started with a pickup order at Target (I had a gift card), then hit up Grocery Outlet (where I got the majority of the groceries for the week), and stopped into 99 Cents Only, but that was bust. All of the produce was overpriced and in really gross shape. Next, I hit up Vons. They are having a sale on Taylor Farms salads this week, and I really like them. I also grabbed grapes and strawberries.

No CSA boxes until the weather cools down and I can be home when the boxes are delivered. With the heat and the lack of shade on my patio, if we aren’t home when it’s delivered, some of the more delicate foods can spoil.

We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods. I’ve got a few coupons to redeem for snacks and treats from Social Nature this week.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. Lately, the big kid has been digging protein shakes in the morning. This is his favorite kind. 

Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. This is really helpful for the summer when for some reason, kids are starving all the time.

Dinner: It’s hot, I am relying on our crockpot and cold foods a lot this week.  I’m trying to keep the oven off. With the cost of food going up, you may notice that a lot of the food we are eating

  • Monday: Nuggets, fruit, cheese & crackers

  • Tuesday: Moosie’s Pot Roast, rice or noodles, veggies

  • Wednesday: Salsa Chicken, Rice, Beans, Salad (Didn’t end up making it last week)

  • Thursday: Protein shakes, fruit salad

  • Friday: Takeout night!
  • Saturday:  Leftovers
  • Sunday:   Cinnamon rolls, eggs, fruit

Getting Ready for Back to School: Health Edition

The Back to school shopping crazies will start in a few weeks with sales and deals, but one thing we’ve done this summer to help with Back to school is getting everyone in tip-top health!

I made sure the kids are seeing all the doctors/specialists over the summer to minimize appointments during the school year.

Here in California vision and dental insurance is included under health insurance plans for kids 18 and under. To learn more, check the back of your kid’s health insurance card for phone numbers.

The kids saw the dentist and had eye exams. New glasses were ordered through the optometrist that are part of the vision insurance (one pair every 2 years from a list of specific frames), and we get the paper prescription for our family binder. 

I order extra pairs of glasses through online discount retailers such as EYEBUYDIRECT. A lot of online discount retailers have inexpensive kid’s glasses that can be less than $20 a pair, which is great to have on hand because we all know, kids tend to break stuff.

EYEBUYDIRECT prices start at $6 for select frames!

I also had the kids see any specialists that they needed to, in our case they needed to go to the podiatrist.

And of course, we took care of behavioral/mental health appointments and medication checks over the summer as well. And all future mental/behavioral health appointments are after school or on weekends.

The next health component that I am working on is getting our family first aid kit up to snuff, and that will be a separate post over the weekend.