I still haven't found the magic formula for having everyone's needs adequately met for ten minutes so I can come and splash some words on a page. Right now Pacey is at school, the baby is napping and Brighton is watching a highly educational show (ha) while she eats breakfast. I am cramming Grape Nuts in as quickly as I can and am determined to post a quick update...it's been a busy few weeks!
I turned 33. I took a two hour nap with Archer and we went out to dinner. The end. Awesome birthday. I feel mostly back to my old self although, you know, on a lot less sleep. My stint as a breastfeeder has come to an end (more on that in a minute) but not before I had mastitis. That sucked. A LOT. However, in the course of getting it diagnosed and treated on a Saturday I found what has to be the best Urgent Care in history. I was in and out with prescription in hand in 15 minutes. Every week I feel like I'm able to resume a bit more of my normal routine. It's a challenge not to feel defeated by the sheer amount of tasks necessary to just keep up with everything, but I am slowly learning to be okay with Good Enough.
Pacey has now lost a total of three teeth, started first grade and begun speech therapy at a new clinic with a new therapist who is the brunette, Midwestern version of Cameron Diaz (lucky kid). School is going very well so far. He is riding the bus (!) which is nice for many reasons but not least because his school starts at 8 and I was really dreading trying to get us all out the door to join the chaos that is morning drop off. Our elementary school has a huge open enrollment (kids from outside the school's catchment area) due to a Chinese immersion program as well as the bulk of the special education services, which means more parents have to drop off their kids than would be typical. Nice to avoid all that and Pacey loves riding the bus. He is totally stoked with the independence he gets and it's good for me to let go just a little more. He is part of a general education first grade classroom with para support and he spends a couple hours in the morning with his special education teacher in her classroom working on academics (she pre-teaches things they'll do in his general ed class as well as works on speech, OT skills and other areas he may need adjusted curriculum). We send a communication notebook back and forth and I hear from lots of different people about what he is doing during the day. It's a huge relief to have started the year and ironed out all the details. I don't recommend changing school districts during the summer if you can avoid it! :/
Brighton will start pre-K and gymnastics this week and I will start having a few hours with just Archer a couple days a week. I'm excited for her to have something all her own again. She is playing soccer on Saturday mornings through our parks and rec program and takes it very seriously (in a good way). They spent the first few weeks just learning skills and starting this weekend they will play short games. She continuously amazes Chris and I with her passion and energy and she is extremely engaging. Her imagination is incredible and she is a great social director for her and Pacey's play time. She misses her brother during the day and will often tell people we encounter how much she loves and misses him. Her vocabulary and language have really matured and I'm going to introduce her to Ramona Quimby and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle this fall.
Archer has progressed from a squalling bundle of flailing newborn limbs into a nicely rounded, sometimes smiley 7-week-old. After the initial first few weeks of smooth sailing with feeding, his tongue-tie (which Brighton also had, much more severely) started to interfere and I had to take him for a frenulectomy (fancy way of saying a doctor takes a pair of scissors and clips the frenulum underneath the tongue to release it). It's not a fun thing to have to do but I'd been through it before and his was much less dramatic (go figure). Following that, however, he developed identical symptoms to Brighton when she was diagnosed with milk protein intolerance. Think waking up screaming every 45 minutes, gas that would raise your eyebrows coming out of a grown man and arching/fussing during feedings. I took him into the pediatrician and she recommended a trial on hypoallergenic formula - the other option would have been to eliminate all dairy from my diet and continue breastfeeding. Considering I don't eat meat, that would have basically made me vegan and, well, I just wasn't that committed to nursing. Long story short, he improved dramatically on the formula, I am weaning off the pump and that is that. It was really nice to experience a normal, drama-free nursing stint and I'm happy he got six weeks of breastmilk but I'm comfortable with formula feeding too and, you know, it's nice to have a baby that doesn't scream 24-7. He smiles and is starting to use his hands purposefully. He is still happiest upright and has amazing head and neck control. Sleep is improving again and he's waking an average of twice a night which isn't too bad. Day time sleep is all over the place but it's going to be a challenge to get him on a nap schedule anyway, with all the other obligations we have.
We have lots of great things planned for the fall and I'm excited for the change in seasons. My sister will be here for a long weekend to meet Archer and Chris is taking a trip to visit a friend in New York. Life is starting to feel manageable again, which is a relief, although I definitely see what people mean about adding a third kid and how much it complicates things! Ok, I'm off to feed said third baby and give him a bath. His new formula smells...not good. :)
|Taking a break from swimming at our friend's|
|She's almost caught up to him in height|
|Notable because he actually consented to be|
laid down on a blanket without screaming
|I love when babies sleep with their arms over|
their heads like this. He doesn't get the
opportunity to be out of a swaddle very often.
|First day of school (note little sister's face in|
the background ;)
|Baby: now with 100% more smiles|