I knew I wasn't okay, but I didn't realize how much of a fog I was living in until I began coming out of it. It's only been 4 days, and the meds have not had time to reach their full effect, but already I feel less anxious and weepy. I can think more clearly. I have more energy. And S12 keeps looking at me warily and saying, "You're in a really good mood, aren't you, Mom?"
I am still very easily overwhelmed, and I have to fight off panic/tears every evening, but I am able to fight them off.
That's real progress.
I'm essentially making all of the milk that Baby L needs, but because of the occasional wasted 1/2 ounce at the bottom of bottles, we are still making 2-4 ounces of formula for him each day. He's begun to nurse a little bit--and I mean a very little bit--perhaps 1/2 an ounce at a time (if that). However, I feel a sense of progress. The time I spend pumping and the damage that I feel it doing to my body has me wondering whether I will continue to do this for much longer, but until I am certain that nursing cannot be successful I will try to keep making milk.
As for our educational efforts:
The older girls and I read chapters 3 and 4 in Standing for Something.
The littles and I read some world geography from What Your Kindergartener Needs To Know and some stories from What Your Preschooler Needs To Know.
We watched some documentaries--
More episodes of Life in Cold Blood
Drive Thru History: Greece
Bizarre Foods: America
We tried to watch one of the Great Courses video lectures on art, but no one liked it except for me.
The oldest 3 girls wrote stories for their church youth activity--each girl started a story then passed the papers around the circle so that the next girl could write the next portion. They passed them around until every girl had helped write every story. They said the results were hilarious!
J11's church activity was about budgeting. She spent the rest of the week in her bedroom reading Percy Jackson books.
A8 has been drawing maps.
H5 has been trying to read everything she can get her hands on. She is still in the sounding out phase, but she's surely dedicated at working on it.
I3 has been getting into as much trouble as he can. He's feeling the effects of being replaced as the baby of the family. I'm working on feeding his spirit with love and positive redirection. The highlight of his week--perhaps the highlight for the whole family--was when he peed in the potty! It was a moment of unbridled joy as he came out of the bathroom calling his accomplishment to the family. We all came running for hugs, high fives, fist bumps, pats on the back, applause, and lots of happy exclamations.
"I did it! I did it! I did it!" he yelled over and over again.
I'm not sure I've ever seen such triumphant joy in my life.
Baby L has been smiling, cooing, and yes, even laughing this week. I couldn't believe it when I first heard it, but he did laugh several times over, and I drank in every gurgly, beautiful note.
We didn't have dance rehearsal, but there were some soccer practices (one with the team, some with Dad in the field by our house).
Otherwise I banished the kids outside every afternoon to find something to do in the late winter sunshine. Spring seems to have come early this year, and I figured it was time for them to reacquaint themselves with our back yard.
The kids took a few photos:
|J11 is becoming quite the baby-whisperer.|
|They washed the dog--and themselves.|
|Fancy hair by M13|
|S12 got really into nature.|
|Cute baby close ups by M13|
|Dad found a shirt at the thrift store that matched one that I3 has. They wore their matching shirts when they worked on putting together the new dining room furniture we bought.|
|More gorgeous hair by M13|
|We bought a roll of paper just for fun, and the kids have been drawing oversized pictures daily.|
|And this is my new very-most-favorite-picture-in-the-whole-world. There's just something about seeing my husband and my baby completely engrossed in each other that makes my heart sing.|