Things didn't seem quite as dire after the weekend though, and I'm hoping we're on an upswing again - our attitudes seem a lot better, and I also took some steps to try to dial down my stress. For instance, while a clean house helps me maintain my grip on sanity, I finally recognized that I wasn't able to keep up with it anyway, so having tasks on my to-do list that were weeks overdue wasn't helping my mental state either. So I deleted them all, and will now just clean whenever I'm able to rather than trying to adhere to my "ideal" weekly cleaning schedule. I also started pumping over the weekend so that I have a buffer going into the week, since it basically became a self-fulfilling prophecy last week - I worried that I wasn't able to pump enough, which then impacted my ability to pump, which then led to me not being able to pump enough. So now I have about 1.5 bottles of buffer in the fridge midway through the week, I'm drinking more water, and I also have some fenugreek pills on hand now in case I need to start taking those to try to bump up my supply again.
Audra is much more stable while sitting now, which is really helpful since she's not toppling over and getting upset about that. She is also sick AGAIN though, and has been dealing with a lot of congestion and coughing overnight, although at least she only had one night of bad croupy coughing. We've changed up our evening routine too, which has led to sort of varied results. Ryan is now going on his evening walk with Audra while Josie and I eat dinner (previously he would just try to hold Audra or walk around the yard vs going out on his 30-min walk), so she's sometimes getting a short nap in then. I had been nursing her around 6:20-6:30pm and she would go to sleep within minutes, I would stay with her for an hour to get her through her first couple of sleep cycles, then would sneak out to take a shower, prepare for the next day, etc., until she woke again (sometimes after an hour, sometimes within 10 minutes). Now I'm nursing her around 7pm... and lately she has been popping right back up afterwards, happy and raring to go. And although I was frustrated at first with this change, I quickly realized that it's actually not so bad - I just bring her back out to spend time with Josie (which makes them both happy), I go take a shower or get "bonus time" with both kids so Ryan can get some other stuff done, and then I either just go to bed with her when she starts getting fussy again (which removes any stress for me to try to stay awake so I can sneak out later), or Ryan takes her on a walk if she still won't nurse down, so that way I get a little sleep in before he brings me back a sleepy baby.
[Pretty excited about being out of bed again]
On a lark, we decided to take both kids to an animal park/pumpkin patch last weekend, which went really well! We went in the morning, and since Audra was ready for a nap before we left, she pretty promptly passed out in the carrier and slept through most of our visit. She woke up just in time for lunch, so I nursed her and then she grabbed some of my hamburger bun out of my hand (she's remarkably quick!), so that - and a cucumber - kept her quite entertained while we all ate.
[Audra is pretty big]
[Beating up on poor Sophie]