Well, dear reader, it's been nearly three months since I wrote. There have been reasons, I'm sure, but I can't really remember. I have a new baby, so I'm positive that's part of it. Perhaps because the laptop cord broke and it's hard to share one with my husband? It doesn't really matter. I just haven't felt the need to write anything, until today.
A lot has happened during the last several months. Sweet baby girl was born, of course. We had family come in for her blessing and #4's baptism a few weeks after she was born (my parents, my brother, Brandon's dad, Brandon's sister, my cousin and his family). I had a lactation consultant come in to help me because for the first time since my first baby, nursing proved to be a real struggle (she has an overbite, high palate, and my milk dried up, and I got mastitis, and I was bleeding, and...). We were able to get those things resolved just in time for me to have gall bladder removal surgery! That was kind of crazy, but blessedly I was able to keep nursing. A few weeks after surgery (which went really well), we got thrush. That was not fun! We are finally at a place where I can nurse without pain and she's growing steadily (about 12 pounds now, I think!). She's good, I'm good. Well, at least with nursing, although she won't take a binky or suck her fingers... she's kind of needy. But not in a bad way, since she can be easily soothed with the breast or just being held (while standing up. Of course. Ha!). But that means I am tired and can't get a whole lot done around the house without help.
Ah, the house. Well, almost everything I had done to get ready for the baby has been undone. Surface things stay clean, but deep cleaning and organization will have to happen again, soon. I don't really hate it that much, since, you know, I JUST HAD A BABY, but still, it grates on me a bit.
Our days are the same as they've always been --up at 6:30AM for scriptures/prayers, get the kids out the door on time for school, spend mornings with #6 and baby girl, pick up #5 from Kindergarten, maybe attempt some kind of errands and chores throughout the day, and then the witching hour starts around 3:30PM and lasts until 10PM. Or 11PM. Or whenever I can crawl into bed and latch the baby on, and some nights, it's 9PM! Huzzah!
#1 went to Mormon Prom (stag), we had Spring Break, #2 attended a Shakespearean Festival at a local university, #5 lost a few teeth, I've had to pull off about 12 ticks this season already, #3 was in a track meet, Brandon's consulting work is going well (although he travels a lot, again), my only calling at church is RS pianist (easy peasy) although I accompany the ward choir a lot since our accompanist moved, I accompanied another violin recital for a friend, Brandon and I still try to have date night every week and FHE with the family every Monday, I've been attending book club with the greatest women, the Philly mission took our Elders and Senior Couple, so we only have Sisters in the ward (I try to feed them twice a month), I still haven't been able to get to the temple since baby was born (but Brandon is in charge of the monthly ward temple trip, so he gets to go a lot and the girls have gone, as well), Brandon is still in the Bishopric, #3 starts middle school next year and gets to go to Washington D.C. next week with his class, #1 starts high school next year and is all registered, #4 (all baptized and getting too old) is doing really well in school, #5 is reading!!!, #1 turned 14, #2 turned 12, #4 turned 8, and #6 turned 3. #1 continues to be a great babysitter, #2 is starting to get asked by others to babysit, as well, and we performed our Mormon Daddy Style lip-sync routine for the ward talent show.
The house is usually filled with origami, sticks and rocks, ball tag, Star Trek, books, markers, board games, shoes, unfolded laundry, dirty dishes, laughter, scuffles, yelling, cat throwup, dirty diapers, piano playing, paperwork, string cheese wrappers, Clash of Clans, Minecraft, painting, pocket knives, dirty socks, the smell of tick repellent, band-aids, kisses, and making baby noises at baby girl.
My Depression is doing well. Wait, scratch that --I am doing well. My depression is stupid. I've been consistently seeing my therapist every 2 weeks for a year, now. I've been seeing my psychiatrist for the same amount of time. This week she upped my meds due to some slippage --most likely PPD. It's fine. I have really good days and my bad days are short. The sleep deprivation is probably the biggest cause of my impatience or anger, so I'm being careful about how I communicate with people. At least I'm trying. My family still gets the brunt of my frustration, but since they're usually the cause... ;)
The boys are with Brandon right now at the annual Fathers/Sons camp out. The girls and I went to dinner last night and watched movies back at home. The best part was sleeping in this morning. Well, sort of. Baby girl doesn't let me sleep too much, but it was still more than normal. The rest of the day will probably be filled with me trying to get the kids to do chores.
This summer we're heading west! We'll be gone for about 5-6 weeks. We're going to Canada, Utah, Idaho, and maybe California (still up in the air). I'm really looking forward to it! The drive will be epic, as will the amount of people we see.
The kids don't get out of school until mid-June. I'm jealous of all the Utah and Idaho people whose children are out next week! Luckily, it's mostly filled with field trips, events, and performances, rather than homework and testing. I am glad, because I'm so done, and so are the children!
When I think each day about the tasks before me and the things I face, I have to remind myself of my blessings. I have to remind myself of how incredibly miraculous and wonderful my life really is, because it's easy to forget in the face of my challenges. Sure, on paper, it probably looks like I have a perfect life (husband, kids, SAHM, nice house, good schools, etc). But it is not. I have a big family. I have physical and mental limitations. I am strung very thin and stressed a lot (I won't even start on the emotional toll of needing/wanting to nurture my children the best that I can every single day). It's very hard work. Very hard. Sometimes, I honestly question why I made the choices I have made to give me this hard life. And then I remember that I chose it because I wanted to make the right choice. I asked Heavenly Father if this is what He wanted of me, and He told me that it was. That it is. And I have a firm and solid testimony that if God brings me to it, He will see me through it. He would never ask me to do something that He wasn't going to help me accomplish. My days may tax me physically, mentally, and emotionally, but they are also filled with a lot of joy. This tough work I do? It's the most important work I will every do in my life. And I feel my Savior and my Heavenly Father with me. I feel angels surrounding me at times, cheering me on, lifting me quietly, telling me I can do this hard work.
And with that, dear reader, I leave you. Hopefully, I will feel another urge to share with you several photos of the last few months!