Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Back at Work

It's my first day back at work in nearly 5 months. I've slipped back in as if I never left, other than my badge & computer login not working.

So instead I'm immersing myself in statistics, since that doesn't need a network connection. I'm looking at data and asking, is this data normal?

Funny that, but I feel that way about our life right now. Typical? No, definitely not. But that doesn't mean we're outside the bell curve....we're just way out on the tail of the curve.

Lucky us?

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Last random breastmilk thought

As we're using up the last of the frozen donated breastmilk today, I find myself wondering about the statement that it's liquid gold.

(This, by the way, is where you learn just how much of a geek I am. I am an engineer. Don't say you weren't warned.)

Gold weighs approximately 19.3 grams per cubic centimeter. There are about 28 cc in an ounce (volume). That's about 540 grams per ounce (vol).

The price of gold this week is around $1675 per ounce (weight). One ounce (weight) is approximately 28 grams. So, gold is about $59.80 per gram.

That makes an ounce (volume) of gold a little over $32,000.

I was told donor milk is about $5/oz; there's an FDA presentation that says the total cost is $13.59/100 ml, which is $3.80 per ounce. the end, liquid gold is still way more expensive than breastmilk, but doesn't have all the neat properties that help your baby stay healthy.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A busy week

Even with all the schedule changes, I'm having a pretty good week, post wise.

I'm over on The Pagan Household, talking about our plans for Ostara

I'm part of the Carnival of Natural Parenting, talking about how similar we are to families with more typical kids

And over on Cauldron of Changes ( I'm announcing my new Energy Work For Pagan Tots kit, an ebook and recorded meditation for parents and small children to work through together. There are some other goodies in that announcement, so go read the whole thing.


In other news, still looking for sponsors and guest posters for the birthday bash coming up in late May and early June. Contact me for details.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

We're a Lot Like You

Welcome to the March 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting With Special Needs
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how we parent despite and because of challenges thrown our way. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

It's kind of funny, but the topic left me struggling for a bit - after all, special needs parenting is a pretty big theme here. But it's a pretty broad subject, all things considered, and I wondered what would really be of interest to the carnival readers - after all, while we strive for following natural and attachment parenting ideals, we make a lot of trade-offs, and I often feel like the things that my children need make us outcasts amongst our more naturally minded friends.

And so I thought that maybe that's the thing I ought to write about. One of the primary tenants of Natrual Parenting is that while you keep the ideals in mind, you also strive for balance and for doing what works best for your family. No two families are alike, so Natural Parenting often looks a little different from family to family, and ours is no different.

We feed with love and respect...even if it is a tube feeding, even when the only thing a child has eaten in days is cheerios and prescription formula.

I pumped breastmilk...for as long as it seemed a viable option for both Acorn and Leaf, as long as it wasn't getting in the way of actually doing the things they needed.

We have very attached kids...who happen to be attached not just to us, but to several of their nurses as well.

We reasearch our medical options and choose carefully...we give elderberry syrup for viral illnesses along with albuterol; we see a chiropractor and numerous regular doctors too.

We babywear....just not all the time, because it's hard to babywear while carrying 75 pounds of ventilator and oxygen.

We use cloth diapers...much to the horror of some of our medical staff. We've used washable cloth options for other disposable things too, like in place of gauze under g-tubes and trachs.

We recycle....including the plastic syringes and feeding pump bags and the cardboard that everything seems to arrive packed in.

When the weather's nice, we get outside...even if that means hauling the ventilator and oxygen to the park.

We discipline gently...even when the other parents we know whose children have similar medical issues think we must be crazy to not spank, yell, or do time out.

Every day here is one of learning...even if some days the extent of the learning is 4 hours of therapist appointments, and even if our idea of milestones isn't quite the same as everyone else's.

And we may be among the very few families who've had doctors advise not to let our children cry it out, which we just smiled about and said, "oh, that's probably a good idea."

Really, we're a lot like most other families. We just come with a lot more equipment and doctors than even a mainstream family. But it doesn't make us bad Natural parents....just a little extra special.



Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon March 13 with all the carnival links.)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mondays are now a total loss

So...this month we're taking the schedule that we've been working on setting since January...and throwing it in the blender and starting over.

Acorn had his IEP meeting last Wednesday, and he qualified for services through the school (duh)...which meant starting developmental preschool today.

So yeah. I did school shopping (including pull-on style disposable training pants, because that's all they allow) in 5 days total. There's no bus ready for him yet (it could take up to two weeks from the date of his IEP), but he will be riding the bus from daycare, to school, and back to daycare the 4 days a week he's there, and I will meet the bus in the daycare parking lot the 5th day....Monday.

We've had to re-schedule all of his therapy sessions, because preschool is in the morning, and so were all of our therapies. Speech was pretty easy (and I'm writing this from speech, which is my only moment of free time today), but OT has no openings that we can make at all, and PT has only one, and it's on the day I've tried to reserve for Leaf's appointments in Ann Arbor because Acorn is in daycare that day and I don't have to take him along.

Furthermore, I start back to work on the 21st. Through the end of the month I'll be at work every day, and then I'll be going to 3 days (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday) after the first of April.

So....Mondays are a mess. School from 8:45 to 11:15, then lunch, and then probably no nap, because if it's anything like today we drove around for over an hour (Acorn is way overtired today) and still got no nap...only to have my phone ding and remind me that we had we had a quick 10 minute pit stop at home for a bathroom break and diaper change and a little milk for Acorn, and then off to speech.

Officially, Mondays are now the day I know I'll get nothing done. Maybe if I plant that thought in my brain, it'll be less stressful.


In other news, in the next couple weeks I'll be announcing the launch of my new energy work kit for parents and their young children to do together, and I'll be migrating products from my etsy store to my other site, Also watch this week for my Ostara planning post over at