Every day I think, "Oh I have to get on and do a quick blog post today. Today I will make sure I do it." But when you are very, very tired and always have a baby in your arms and your husband is studying for his boards, "today" just keeps becoming "tomorrow!"
Today has been Leah's best day to date. I just kept marveling as she laid there awake and content for awhile. We started giving her some probiotics about a week ago. There's just no way to know why she is improving (and just getting older surely plays a HUGE role), but we are going to continue the probiotic. We are far from "normal," but are seeing some glimmers of a happier, more content baby.
Last week was one of the longest of my entire life. Nate left on Sunday after church for some training at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina for about a week. I have been alone with the kids many times, even for a month at a time, but never with a demanding baby in the mix. My sweet visiting teacher came over one night and held Leah while I put the other kids to bed. It was exhausting to hold her ALL day, and then the evening would come and she would fuss for hours no matter what I did. After working for forever to get her to sleep, I would lay down in the recliner for the night with her. Sometimes I hadn't changed out of my clothes or washed my face or brushed my teeth before she fell asleep, and with Nate gone, I did not have the energy to try putting her in her bed and risk her waking up 20 minutes later and starting all over. I just couldn't do it. So some nights I would sleep with her all night in the chair in my clothes.When any of the other kids would wake up (which they did, and several times the first night) I would have to carefully bring Leah with me to help Emmy go to bathroom or something and pray that she wouldn't wake up because if she did it would be an hour or two before she'd go back to sleep. In addition, on several of the nights I had to work with her for an hour and a half or so around 3 am to get her back to sleep after waking up after a feeding or something. I had a headache almost every afternoon from being so tired. One night I went to change Leah and realized she was wearing TWO dirty diapers. I guess I never took one off when I had last changed her. Just fastened it right back on over the new one! I must have been in quite the fog.
I think from the outside most people probably think a lot of this rigmarole with Leah is crazy. Holding her all day. Things like that. I will just say, unless you have been there, you just don't know what it's like. You do whatever you need to do to stay sane.
I don't know what I would do without this wrap. It's supposed to let me have my hands free, but of course Leah likes to hang her head like so. She doesn't like her head inside, so I just get one free arm. Oh well, it's better than none.
I took this picture because it's a snapshot of life right now. One thing I do when Leah is fussing is turn on this faucet and do elevator movements at the same time. It's one of the more effective ways to calm her down.
We all love this little monkey no matter how hard she can be. The kids often fight over who gets to hold her.
Enough with the fussy baby business...Jansen made an obstacle course down in the basement last week.
The missionaries stopped by and the kids played a little soccer out front with them. Most days I feel like it's too hot and humid for Leah outside, so I'm glad they had this chance to get out and play since we haven't been going to the park.
Here's Nate and Rich at Camp LeJeune. I'm so thankful for Rich who offered to take care of some things for Nate on Friday so that Nate could come home Thursday night. Boy were we glad to see him.
Jansen HATES when Leah wears anything but a onesie. It's really funny. He begged me to take her out of this outfit and he hated the little dress she wore on Sunday. He just thinks she looks funny in "real" clothes I guess.
Natalie has a little bit of trickster in her. She told me she saw the mailman come and to go check the mail. I found this note inside: "Dear Jessica, Nate is going to a military thing. It is from this Thursday to Monday. I hope you are okay with out him. Have fun!!" What a weirdo.
Jansen is really afraid of thunderstorms. He actually doesn't even like the sound of rain, and any sort of dark clouds make him nervous. We have been working on these fears, and there are good days and bad days. He had a great day a couple days ago and was using some strategies we had talked about to deal with his anxiety/fear of the rain and decided to face it head on and go outside and catch some rain in his mouth. It's so wonderful to see him take control of situations that are difficult for him.