Lao-Tzu said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. We're embarking on a pretty monumental journey here at Our Little Acorn, and I invite you too follow along.
I am taking a 6 month sabbatical leave from work (unpaid), to stay home and take care of Acorn and Leaf. I have less than two full weeks of work left right now. Even as I write it, it sounds surreal. There's so much priviledge tied up in that statement that it scares me - I can afford to walk away from my job, for Pete's sake!
Leaf is getting a feeding tube so she can come home. She eats, but wears out before she finishes any given feeding. She breastfeeds better than she bottle feeds (yay mama milk!) and so we'll be working on that a lot. She's still on oxygen too - more than they'd like, but after Acorn, we're all sure we'll be just fine.
Acorn is leaving daycare. We can't risk the germs this winter. It feels awful to pull him now that he's finally getting the hang of it, but there's nothing to be done for it. We'll be out to some carefully screened low-germ playdates each week, and we'll be doing "homeschool" preschool type things at home too. He's recently discovered coloring, so I'm hoping that will make for some fun afternoons with crayons and markers and paint.
Needless to say, there are some dramatic lifestyle changes involved too. We're losing more than half of our income, and will be paying out of pocket for health insurance (and we can't go without - the kids have too many bills, and won't qualify for any of the low-cost plans; Leaf loses medicaid in May and Acorn in July). We'll have to budget much much better. We'll be eating out less and spending our pennies carefully, trying not to dip into savings during this time. We'll be debt free other than our house, thanks to an AFLAC policy that pays for each day in the hospital....and between Leaf and I, we've had a lot of those days this year. We have 2 cars, one new and the other nearly new, that are in good working condition. We're starting out with a well stocked pantry (if I make it to costco next weekend). My kids get WIC because they're on medicaid.
And, if things work out that way, I can theoretically return to work this spring without issue (technically, they don't have to hold my job, but since I'm covering 2 people's worth of work, and have been for over a year because they can't fill the other spot, the likelihood of not getting *this* job back, much less any job here at the company, is miniscule).
We're amazingly blessed to have this all work out. When we first started talking about it, I asked my Gods to help pave the way - to make it work out without us losing our house or going bankrupt or anything else awful happening, and it appears that it's all going to come together.
I'm sure the first week will be rough - just me and Leaf. The week after will not be much better - me, Leaf, and Acorn, trying to find a rhythm that works for us. But I'm also hoping to be able to document and write and photograph and bring you along on our journey.
Wish us luck!