First off, a praise that Ryan is taking the bottle well - is taking in a minimum of 1oz/feeding in addition to nursing. I think he feels heavier already! Jeff also admitted that this helps him feel more connected to Ryan. Jack did take bottles occasionally as did EK, but Will was a nurser exclusively. Especially after all he/we went through being separated while in the NICU, I think it's great that Jeff can bond with Ryan this way. It makes life a lot easier too when I simply cannot be here to nurse him. Yesterday I had a dermatology appt to have a spot looked at (nothing serious she said!) and it ended up coinciding with Ryan's feeding time. No worries - Jeff simply whipped out a bottle and took care of it. The goal of course is for me to nurse every time before he takes the bottle, but ya' know, ya gotta be flexible with 4 kids!
So on to the Simpson kids updates:
Jack is doing well in 2nd grade. His teacher seems to be a good fit for him - nice but firm. We are already experiencing homework meltdowns like last year, but I am searching for some good resources on learning styles to help us steer him in the right direction when it comes to helping him learn/handle schoolwork more effectively. Math is getting to be an issue - the word problems throw him off which I think is as much about him truly understanding what they're asking him to do as it is dealing with the math itself. I remember feeling the same frustrations! He is going to get some extra help at school and we are going to begin a regimen much like what we did last year with reading. My heart breaks for him in that I can see when the tears are right there ready to pour on out - his confusion, often his own laziness getting in his way, and his utter frustration. As parents we desperately want him to understand that he can be his own worst enemy - getting all worked up about something, not listening to our explanations, not focusing on the problem at hand etc. We are trying to teach him to put his head down and get his work done but what if he simply can't do this on his own. How much of this is a personality trait issue, to be broken and retaught, and how much is truly an "issue" for him (like ADD for example, not that this is his problem per se.)? Jack simply lacks internal motivation and teaching that is very difficult! He is such a funny, energetic, loving boy it is so hard to see him struggle. Yet, we know that these struggles are part of life and we must teach him to lean not on his own understanding, but turn to God when he's fearful, frustrated, confused - get refocused and not be a sluggard! WE are praying for you sweet boy!
Ella-Kathryn is doing great in Kindergarten! she loves Mrs. Sweeney and seems to be making friends just fine now. We had to role play how to ask someone to be one's friend! Too funny, but it must be working since everyday she claims a new confidant. The school work is quite easy for her, as it's all stuff she saw/did last year with me at home. I am excited for her to get further in to reading, but for now it's been fun to see her adjust so well to the schedule and structure of school. She love,love, loves her baby brother and always wants to hold him. WE continue to struggle with sassiness, but have also started treating her for allergy issues. Hope the 2 are somewhat connected and that as she feels better in the allergy dept. her attitude will improve too!
Will is an absolute trip! He's so funny and loves to make us laugh. While Dad and Karen were here he was in bedtime boot camp and we are thankfully miles away from where we were a month ago. He now goes to sleep on his own, although still with some intense crying sometimes. He too loves his baby brother and also wants to hold him 24/7. He really is so tender with Ryan and it melts my heart to see him lean in and with that precious chubby cheeked face kiss his baby brother so carefully on the forehead. I have great hopes that these two will be thick as thieves as they grow up together.
I am supposed to start a bible study next week, but am feeling concerned about Ryan and germs etc. I think I'll wait and decide the day before!
Jeff is well and continues to be an amazing father, even if his patience is tried a bit more these days. He is still doing great at watching what he eats and has started running again. He is hoping to train for a marathon in the coming year - I'll keep you posted on that goal. He even asked me if I wanted to train with him! Hah! After 10 years does that man not know that the only way you'll see me running is if there's a pickup truck driving down the street and some guy is on the back offering unlimited free wine! Watch me go after that!
Seriously, I am entertaining the idea of a 5K. I mean this baby fat isn't going to just up and take itself off, so I've got to do something:) I am inspired by my amazing friend L who did a triathlon this year and she was NOT a runner before training for this. She has encouraged me to give it a try and even recommended a book which takes you into the training in baby steps - right up my alley! I'll keep you posted on that too.