Serenity in September

What is it about the rain that makes life seem so serene? That’s how our weekend felt. On Saturday morning, we woke up and went to the doctor’s office to have Jensen weighed (he was 9 pounds, 9 ounces that day) and get Jaylen’s allergy shot. We have to sit and wait for 30 minutes to make sure there’s no reaction from the shot, and that’s usually torture. (Actually, the way things usually go, I’m nursing Jensen for his weighted feed and we’re all cursing having to watch the same Accent Health episode again and again.) Since we hadn’t yet eaten breakfast, we were planning to walk over to the donut shop while we waited, but it started raining, so we drove over, came back, and finished our breakfast in the car while we counted down the minutes.

Afterwards, we had plans to attend the fourth annual Stop the Violence rally and march in Frazier Park, but with the rain the march itself was cancelled (the other events were not). This is an event that was started by a lady named Teresa Smith after her son, Dee Dee, was shot and killed in the park four years ago. It’s heartbreaking to me what she’s had to go through in addition to the loss of her son; a suspect was arrested initially, then let go and another suspect was arrested this summer and charges against him were dismissed, too. At any rate, it’s a good event and the kids enjoy going. This year, they jumped on bouncy houses and slides in the rain and we ate corn dogs. Jensen was wrapped up pretty snugly and wearing a hat because of the rain. He was the driest person there.

The rest of Saturday was basically spent resting. Jensen was congested, as were the girls and I, so we just hung out, nursed, slept and watched TV. My brother Ryne and his family were in town over the weekend and he’d made some grilled chicken; we brought the leftovers home and I used that to make a chicken-veggie-noodle soup that night. It was delicious!

On Sunday we walked up to church and then back home after lunch. I wish I could tell you we did a bunch of fun things, but it was more of the same ol’ boring stuff: TV, nursing the baby, telling the kids to clean up various things, grocery shopping (and I picked up a pair of pants for myself and socks for the baby), etc. We had omelets and sausage for dinner, which we do pretty frequently as it’s fast, easy, and the kids can do it themselves (though this time, I did it).

The kids are settling in nicely to the new school year and Mama’s-back-to-work routine.

Notable this week: Jaiden’s teacher recommended her for student council, Jaylen’s teacher told him he should consider it as well, Jenna made the Lighthouse Team, which is a leadership group (their school uses the Leader in Me program and this group greets visitors and takes them on tours of the school, among other duties), and Jensen has learned how to put his pacifier back into his mouth after pulling it out (he uses his wrists!).

Jensen and I had another visit with the lactation consultant on Tuesday; he weighed in at 9 pounds, 14 ounces on Wednesday (so, up five ounces from Saturday, according to this scale) and so I’m expecting him to be over 10 pounds at his official weigh-in on Saturday. The LC says he’s gaining a little too quickly now, because babies are supposed to gain about an ounce a day. Most other babies in our birth group (on Facebook) have gained 4-5 pounds by now, so he’s behind the trend, but he’s gaining weight now where he wasn’t before and that makes me happy. He’s on about the sixth percentile now and is now starting to grow into 0-3 months clothing, at 11 weeks. I went through his clothes the other day and realized he didn’t have very many 0-3 outfits, probably because we all expected him to be in 3-6 months a long time ago, so I picked up some sale and clearance items from Target.

Jaylen has ball practice three nights a week, so he’s usually getting dressed and ready for that when I get home. My dad picks him up and takes him to practice; Jaylen likely wouldn’t be able to play (or my life would be that much crazier) if he didn’t do that. Games start this next week, so life will get a little busier.

Jaiden’s in Algebra I and I’ve basically been rendered useless when it comes to helping her with her homework. This week it was, “Do you remember how to do literal equations?” WUT? I haven’t even heard the term. She’s also working on early U.S. history and growing up near Jamestown, I love talking about this period of time. She asked an interesting question about women and Jamestown – were they forced to go from England to Jamestown? – and her teacher made her look it up and find the answer. I’d never thought about it before, and that’s one of the amazing things about having older children: you can carry on intelligent conversations with them and even learn a thing or two.

I’m finishing up my second third week of being back in the office. I still hate being away from Jensen, and the older kids too, but we’re getting by. Fridays are fantastic (!!!!) because it means I can hold the baby from the minute I get him after work until the minute I drop him off on Monday. I’m not even going to slide an “LOL” or “Ha!” in there like I’m playing because I mean it. Weekends are #allbabyeverything for all of us. The kids are adoring him more and more because now he’s smiling, cooing, laughing, etc. Anyway, we’re also on week two three of pumping at work and … I kind of hate it, but more than I hate it I love being able to provide my baby with milk made just for him and his needs. I’m concerned about my supply, so the LC has suggested Mother’s Milk Tea 3-5 times per day, a Cal-Mag supplement, plus the breastfeeding trifecta of flax seed meal, oatmeal and brewer’s yeast. I rarely use flax seed meal, but I’ll have oatmeal for breakfast sometimes and other times I’ll go with the Carnation Instant Breakfast shake with brewer’s yeast added to it (I have a 16 oz. container, so I’ll do two servings of the shake with a 1 Tbsp. scoop of yeast). I made lactation cookies over the summer and those helped a lot; when we went on our trip to Oklahoma in July I was pumping every two hours in the car and nursing him when we stopped to eat; I spent that whole trip engorged. lol. She also suggested a dream feed, which is when you nurse the baby overnight and they basically sleep through the entire thing; Jensen had been sleeping through the night for the last two weeks, but last Wednesday and Thursday mornings he was stirring around at 4 a.m. and last Friday at 1 a.m., so he nursed and it has thrown off the schedule we were getting used to (up at 5:30 a.m., nursing from 6-7, formula bottle at 7), so now we’re waking up half an hour later, getting out the door later, and my pumping output has been affected, too. The lactation consultant said the dream feed would help build supply, but I haven’t seen it yet.

… And now it is Monday Friday once again! We had a family-filled weekend with my second set of parents in town as well as my youngest brother and his family. My kids have been dying to go to a high school football game, so I took them last Friday and … I doubt they’ll be asking to do that again any time soon. I know nothing about football, so I couldn’t answer questions. Jenna found a teacher from the school and sat with her and her daughter during the second half. Jaiden texted her friends most of the time (even two of whom were at the same game but she was too shy or lazy to get up and go find). Jaylen watched it and had some idea of what was going on, so he tried to explain bits and pieces to Jaiden, but she wasn’t grasping the concept. They did, however, love the band’s halftime show. Our high school team ended up winning, so that was good.

My nephew Caiden plays travel ball (the boy is crazy good) and we all went down to Mississippi to watch a game, then had dinner at Cracker Barrel before heading back home. My parents were keeping my youngest brother’s two boys, so we had six kids at Cracker Barrel and five adults; this is the second time we’ve done a big dinner out where it’s my parents, me, and six kids and I can’t help but wonder if people think they all belong to me. The majority, yes, but not all six. lol. On Sunday, we went back to my parents’ house to pick my son up (he stayed overnight with his cousins) and ended up staying all day so the kids could swim and so we could have Sunday dinner (ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans, etc.).

I really intended to post this weekly update last Thursday (eight days ago now) and call it Throwback Thursday (throwback to the old way of blogging).  That didn’t happen.  Then I planned to do it Friday, then Saturday (“Hey, Old School Blogging Saturday!”) and Sunday, but … it didn’t happen. It’s hard to find time to get some blogging done with a mess of kids like mine. When I get home, we eat, the baby nurses, homework gets done, we play with the baby, the big kids go to bed, the baby nurses again, then I try to steal a few minutes to myself, but I usually fall asleep staring at the baby while he sleeps. And then I’m up somewhere between 3-4 a.m. for an hour, then up for good between 5:30-6 a.m. I need to be washing bottles and whatnot, maybe even cramming a pumping session in, after the big kids go to bed, but I’m usually EXHAUSTED because they find whatever reason they can not to get into bed. When I got this far, it was Monday night and picture day was the next day; that night, Jenna was trying on her dress and complaining about not having shoes (she’s had the dress for a month and has never mentioned that, but wore some bedazzled flip flops) and wanted me to do the braided belt on the dress (WHY?). Jaylen had another headache/migraine. Jaiden is usually pretty good about going to bed on time. Thankfully it’s not as infuriating as it was the first couple weeks of school; most of those bedtimes involved screaming matches between the girls (fighting over everything you can imagine, like the lights being on) and me screaming over top of them. Fun times, guys.

On Tuesday (Sept. 1), Jensen’s teacher had pink eye, so he came to work with me. He slept most of the day, nursed whenever he wanted, and went to two one-hour meetings with me at city hall. Lucky him, he slept through arguments about a proposed solar farm and updates from the public works committee.

Jaylen’s had two ball games this week. They won the first game 4-3, lost the second game 8-3, I think. He’s been playing center field, but Thursday played short stop for a couple of innings and got three outs. He practiced pitching last week and was, apparently, pretty decent at it; he’s hoping he gets to pitch some time (he had the biggest smile on his face talking about it). Hopefully he can as it’d make his day, maybe even his week.

As for this weekend, and it’s a long weekend at that, we don’t really have much in the way of plans beyond our usual routine on Saturday mornings. We’re taking a week off from riding lessons, but will need to have the boys in the clinic for the weekly allergy shot and weigh-in. Earlier this week, Mom decided to shut her finger in the overhead garage door on the way to Jaylen’s baseball game and we had to make a trip to the clinic for stitches (which came after they cut her nail off, yuck!); I weighed Jensen while we were there and the baby scale said he was at 10 lbs., 8.5 oz. but the big scale said 10 lbs., 4 oz., so … I don’t even know. He turned 12 weeks yesterday and will be three months old next Friday!

So let’s wrap this up now before it gets even longer.

And also, how is it already September? Yikes.