Friday, December 28, 2012

Mamatography 2013 Invitation

Are you up for a challenge? One that will take something from you every day, but give a whole lot back too? How about joining Diary of a First Child and I for a photography challenge in 2013 then? A photo a day of whatever your day involved.

Did nothing but laundry today? Photograph it:

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mamatography - Week 49

Day 337


We attended the most amazing first birthday party I've ever seen!

Monday, December 17, 2012

NPN Volunteer Blog Blitz!

I am proud and honored to be a volunteer with the Natural Parents Network (NPN), a community of natural-minded parents and parents-to-be where you will be informed, empowered, and inspired.

When you visit the NPN’s website you can find articles and posts about Activism, Balance, Consistent Care, Ecological Responsibility, Family Safety, Feeding With Love, Gentle Discipline, Healthy Living, Holistic Health, Natural Learning, Nurturing Touch, Parenting Philosophies, Practical Home Help, Preparing for Parenting, Responding With Sensitivity, Safe Sleep, and so much more!

Today I would like to share some bookmark-worthy posts that highlight several wonderful posts from 20 volunteers with the Natural Parents Network. These posts were featured on the personal blogs of the Natural Parents Network volunteers and are some of the best of 2012.

We hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as we enjoyed writing them. We are always looking for new volunteers so please, contact us if you are interested. Just a few hours per month can help other mamas in a huge way!

Jenn from Monkey Butt Junction

Most Viewed Post: Why I want to Homeschool / Why I Don't Want to Homeschool
Personal Favorite Post: Hello Mornings
Post I Wish More People Saw: Eating Healthy on the Road

Friday, December 14, 2012

Peeling the Paint off my Butt

The shower heads in our new place feel like they could peel paint! I got to looking while they were running and figured out the problem. Some of the little rubber nozzles were clogged because some of them were not shooting water out at all. This was causing water to shoot out that much harder through the open nozzles.

My very first thought was CLR. I have gotten rid of all chemical cleaners, though. I really don't want anything in the house that requires an MSDS. CLR is considered "Greenvenient™," but I'm not sure what that means. Could I possibly duplicate the results with vinegar? Here is what I tried:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Childhood Memories - His and Mine

Welcome to the December 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Childhood Memories

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 talked about memories of growing up — their own or the ones they’re helping their children create. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


When I was a kid, I went to camp. A lot. I attended YMCA Summer Camp and Girl Scout Summer Camp and Catholic Youth Camp... Some Summers I attended multiple sessions. I loved Summer camp! One year I had to pack a trunk for camp because I did 3 sessions, back-to-back, at 3 different camps, followed by the 1 month of visitation at my dad's. I loved the horse riding lessons, the swimming, the friends. I just could not think of anything bad about camp!

A couple of my counselors at Girl Scout Camp, circa... 1980-something

Friday, December 7, 2012

Tips for Parenting a Child With Special Medical Needs

This post was originally published as a guest post for the Natural Parenting Carnival on Becoming Crunchy last March. Now that I have nearly a year under my belt, I can tell you that these pointers still stand.

We were very lucky in that we got advanced notice that we would be having a child with special needs. We received Spencer's Down syndrome diagnosis about mid-pregnancy. I kind of saw this as having a new hobby thrust upon me.

Spencer's TherapySpencer's first therapy started with something
as simple as putting a toy in his hands.

I don't mean to make light of the situation, trust me. However, I now had a new passion to research. Isn't that what you do with a new hobby? Then I came up with a plan to manage his care. I put together a notebook with tabs for all the different types of problems he might have, so we could avoid overlooking anything. I added paper to each section and jotted down which tests he needed to have and when.

I'd been told that babies with Down syndrome don't really require much special assistance for the first 6 months. That isn't entirely true. Aside from low muscle tone (which is very common, but Spencer does not have), babies with Down syndrome tend to have small mouths. The reason this is a problem is that their tongues are not so small. They tend to thrust them forward and out. So far, Spencer doesn't do this too much, but he did need to work with a Speech Therapist when we were in the hospital. What? Speech? Yes, because they work with the mouth, not just speaking. It is hard to eat if you continuously push the food out of your mouth, ya know?

Spencer's Hearing Test in NICUSpencer had his hearing tested in the hospital and again shortly after leaving. He'll be tested again at 6 months old and then annually throughout childhood.

Spencer has required several extra medical appointments by comparison to "typical" children. (At 2 months old, he has already seen a pediatrician several times, a cardiologist, an audiologist, and has had 2 x-rays done, soon to be another. He also has blood-work to be drawn soon.) I had originally thought I'd purchase a Day Timer or other such calendar book, though I really love my Google Calendar. As a minimalist and being broke, I put off the purchase and never did get to it. Instead, I now print a month or two ahead (from my Google calendar!) and keep it in his notebook. This makes it easier to book follow-up appointments while I'm on site without the risk of double booking. You do, however, have to make sure to keep all calendars synced. I have to come home and immediately add appointments to my online calendar.

My quick tips, from my minimal experience parenting a child with special medical needs:
  • Sync your calendars!
  • Organize your specialists.
  • Find a pediatrician that is a "Medical Home1."
  • Keep copies of diagnoses and treatments for your own records.
  • Try to group your appointments in a way that works for you. We have NO appointments next week, it will be a nice break.
  • When you get overwhelmed, talk to someone! Get help if you need it.

Do you have some tips I'm overlooking? I truly am very new to this special needs job.

1 Medical Home is a style of management over chronic medical and behavioral conditions with compassionate care coordination. (Our doctor keeps close contact with all of the specialists we see and brings all their information together.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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