Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Happy to See You

Some days, the fact that Acorn doesn't talk isn't much of an impediment to knowing what he's thinking.

Today was the second time this week where the look said it all: I'm so happy to see you and you didn't abandon me you came back for me and I was worried that you'd left me forever and I love you and I am so so so happy to see you!

Today Acorn went back to daycare. We all needed a break - he can't be cooped up in this hospital room every day, much less the two hours (or more) a day in the car. I don't get breaks, ever - I'm trying to manage an often over tired, overstimulated, under exercised three year old, all of the doctors and nurses' reports at the hospital, and spend quality time with Leaf. In the evenings, I'm so exhausted that I don't really spend anything approaching quality time with my husband. So....a few hours a week - just two full days when he's had time to acclimate - for Acorn to have play time and the structure I just can't manage right now is important.

He started crying this morning when I parked the car.

Apparently he only cried about a half hour though, and while he struggled with transitions, he participated, attempted to sing the songs with some of their stuff, and had a ball on the playground. He was muddy and wet up to his knees (it's a nice warm day) - note to self, pack galoshes tomorrow.

But when I got there he was terribly excited to see me. And we've had a good afternoon at the hosptial.

Saturday was much the same. He spent the night Friday at K's house so that we could make progress on Leaf's bedroom. He was fine with her, if a bit suspicious, but when we arrived Saturday, he was ecstatic.

So, the separation is good. He'll be fine at daycare without the drama of last time. And we'll all grow a bit in the process.

And I don't mind those big smiles any either. Better than a screaming whining over-tired boy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pagan Kids and Money

I've been thinking, as Acorn gets older, that we're going to have to start thinking about allowances and money. He's discovered coins - he's not sure what to do with them, but they're interesting, at any rate.

I'm fascinated by multi-compartment banks. There are two types: 3 compartments and 4 compartments.

The three compartment ones are generally set up for money to spend, money to save, and money to "share" by which some people mean charity and others include things like gifts to friends. Some people mean for that "share" bit to be tithing to church specifically.


Four compartment banks usually add "invest"  - money to be saved for the long term


A lot of the places that invent these sort of things talk about tying money to family values using these banks. I'm wondering if there's a better model for Pagan kids?

Wiccan families might try to do some sort of 5 compartment thing:

earth - investing for the future
air - spend on things you need
fire - spend on things you want
water - saving for a rainy day
spirit - charity

I'm not super keen on all of those options, but I'm still thinking about them.

I also was thinking in terms of runes. Fehu is probably money you're going to save for the short term; Gebo for charity, Othala for long term investment. Maybe Wunjo for money you're spending?

What do you think?


Obligatory disclaimers:
Images above are affiliate links to amazon.com. I get a tiny percentage if you click and buy.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Every kid doesn't...

This isn't what I was supposed to be writing today, but it's making me very frustrated.

My kids have WIC because they've got Medicaid due to their health issues. Acorn's WIC gets us Boost Kid Essentials 1.5, a specialty formula to make up extra calories & nutrition he doesn't get from regular food with his oral aversions and typical 3-year-old picky nature. It also gets us some supplemental foods for him, like bread and milk (which he drinks a lot of) and juice and peanut butter and cheese. Leaf gets some baby food (which she's not ready for, but we're stockpiling for blenderized diet use) and since she's getting breastmilk only right now, they provide some supplemental foods for me instead.

One of the things we have to do for WIC is online nutrition courses. One thing in the lesson I did today stuck out to me - it said:

Babies and toddlers WILL eat if they are hungry.

Sigh. No, not all of them will. Acorn wouldn't. Leaf can't. I know plenty of kids who don't eat, who would starve given the opportunity. And I know kids who would likely get sick, or even die if they did eat orally. We've heard it many times, but this one just irks me, because it's so clearly not true, from someone who is "teaching" nutrition to families of "at-risk" kids.

But it's not just eating that not every kid does.

We watched a potty training video that has a popular little red furry character as the child learning to use the potty. They say that all children learn to use the potty...and yet I know young adults who are still in diapers. (and this one is a sore spot right now, since we're in the midst of a potty training strike with Acorn).

Even in an online moms group I belong to, when discussing possible gifts for a certain age group, one mom said she'd never met a kid that didn't like playdoh. Clearly she's wrong - she's met Acorn, and he can't stand playdoh - but I'm betting he's not the only kid she's met who thinks it's disgusting.

I really wish people were less emphatic about knowing that every kid does these things - it'd make the places where my kid isn't typical stand out so much less.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Life in Two Places

We have now spent three weeks driving 51 miles back and forth to the hospital pretty much every day. We're getting closer to the end on that, but we're not there yet, and so it continues. My online time has been cut considerably, between driving and trying to keep Acorn occupied in our corner of the PICU - no doors, no walls, so I can't just turn him loose.

The dishes are never caught up. The laundry is never caught up. There's never enough time for Leaf, and never enough time for Acorn, and never enough time for me or for spouse and I as a couple.

Which is not to say I'm not writing - that's basically mandatory for sanity. It just means that writing is in fits and starts with interruptions, and that other things are suffering because of it.

Tomorrow is our meeting with the vent team to get Leaf out of the PICU and onto the vent unit; after that, they're anticipating a week, or maybe a bit more, before we can go home - it's just a matter of lining everything up.

This is good....we're almost out of frozen breastmilk, and I'm not keeping up with her by pumping, particularly when I don't get the good long skin to skin snuggle sessions we had in the NICU. Hopefully we can track down enough donor milk once she's home (the hospital forbids it) to keep her off formula for a bit longer; if not we'll supplement with some crazy high-cal formula that the hospital has lined up for us.

She's probably coming home on continuous feeds. At the rate we're going, we'll need a second feeding pump, as we switched to j-tube feeds (a feeding tube that is inserted past her stomach, so food completely bypasses it) because of medication induced nausea and slowed gastric emptying, and transitioning back to all g-tube feeds (into the stomach) is a very slow process for Leaf. After we get all the way to continuous g-tube feeds, we'll also have a slow transition back to bolus feeds (ie, X ounces in 15 minutes or so every few hours, rather than a continuous drip), because she's been on them so long.

And now it's late, and I should sleep. A friend is keeping Acorn tomorrow so we can go to our meeting - Acorn has the sniffles, and the hospital will not let him in that way, so it's find a sitter or one of us skips the meeting, and we likely lose our spot on the vent floor, because you have to have the meeting, and both parents need to be there. Sigh.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Thinking about Imbolc

...over on The Pagan Household today.

Imbolc with Small Children which is part of a series about the Sabbats I'll be doing all year

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hospital life is like a pinball machine

...and you're the ball.

It's been quite a ride the last few days. Bethany has been vomiting a lot but we think we have it narrowed down and mostly under control.

Cardiology last week said they wanted to wait on her PDA, but this week's docs changed their minds.

side note: if you haven't spent  much time in a hospital, the various attending, resident, and fellow doctors change by week or by month, and every time they change, the plan is likely going to change because it's a new group of people. They call it practicing medicine because they keep practicing on you until they get it right!


Pulmonology didn't like cardiology's plan because Leaf's lungs and the plan at hand were not likely to play well together, so there's been a lot of discussion amongst our various staff to figure out what to do.

And that's the nice explanation, not including my bitching or telling them their communication skills are less than one would hope, and not including me accusing them of not really having a plan to get us home anytime soon and no intention of having one.

So, as of dinner time Wednesday night the plan is to close her PDA via a cardiac catheterization.

Which is scheduled for TODAY


Wish us luck!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Our Spacy Sensory Bin

We missed doing a new bin for December, but here's January's space themed bin.



4 pounds of black beans
1 Toob of space figures (satellites, space shuttle, astronauts, a space chimp, etc).
parts of 2 packs of glow-in-the-dark stars and planets

2 light-up squishy ball things (on clearance at walmart for $0.50 each)

I also added a vintage 1950's aluminum tumbler, a tea strainer ball (taken apart), a spoon, and a tea strainer spoon.

So far, Acorn is most interested in the big pink crescent moon and the tumbler - it makes a nice sound when you bang it on the counter and when pouring beans in and out of it.  We just put it together last night, so we haven't had an opportunity to see what he thinks of the glowing stars in the dark.

Monday, January 2, 2012

People of the Library

There's a saying that Pagans are not people of the book, we are people of the library. I've certainly got a substantial library....that includes a fair number of completely unread books. If I ever win the lottery or otherwise sort out how to get a Pagan temple operating around here, we're going to have an awesome lending library.

All that aside, I want to put more time into taking care of me this year - we started 2011 knowing it was likely to be a complete loss and that proved to be true and then some. One of the things I want to do is read more books, and I've run across several reading challenges that I want to do to try to work on this reading thing. I've got fairly modest plans - just 6 books this year - but given the general level of chaos here, I can't always get the time to myself I want.

I'll be adding to this post as the year progresses, detailing what I've read.

First is from The Domestic Pagan:

My goal there: "Initiate Read 5 -10 books"

Second, Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf:

Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

My goal there is "Maiden: Read 6 - 10 Witchy Books" - Melissa is offering a prize based on reviews; I'm not sure I'll write reviews, but we'll see.

And finally, from Magaly over at Pagan Culture:

It looks like my goal there is "Elemental Reader - 4 books"

Hm. I wonder if Pagan kids books count?

Anyway, I'll probably mention books I've read in my updates. Poke me if you want to know what I'm reading and haven't heard much from me lately.