Susie's Leaning Tower of Chocolate

Hi, I'm Susie. You can find out all about me, or just read my journal.

[No comments] This is Halloween: I keep waiting for John to mix up his nightguard with the glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth sitting on the bathroom counter.

[No comments] Feetie Nen: Watching Sienna it her feetie pajamas on may have been the highlight of my day. There was a lot of turning around, and an adorable face plant at the end.

The primary program was also today. I was surprised how well Sienna did since she refused to even go up for Mother's Day and Father's Day. She sang some of the songs and sat relatively still. She even went up and did her part, with a nervous "tick tock" sound of her tongue at the end. It was adorable and hilarious.

Maggie, The Lion, and The Witch: When I discovered Maggie was rereading Rainbow Magic Fairy books, I got out the Narnia series, told her what it was about, and gave her the first book to read. She trudged along for her daily reading, with the promise of a movie at the end. Today she finished, and she told me she read four chapters today. She's finally excited about a book! We started the movie tonight, and she asked me to get out the next book for her so she could read it when she wakes up.

[Comments] (1) On Strike: One day while nursing, Arthur bit me, I yelled, and he has refused to nurse since. That was nearly three weeks ago. The whole experience has been very distressing. I was surprised at my intense emotional reaction to it. And worst of all, I've had no support. Either none of my friends have gone through this, or it's one of those things, like miscarriage, that people don't talk about.

Five friends with babies off the top of my head. One didn't occur to me, and I'm annoyed at her. Hah. One uses formula for her convenience. One pumped exclusively after a months-long battle with thrush, mastitis etc. One was only able to nurse for a week, having a breast reduction previously. And one was unable to nurse. So not much help.

The internet assured me that most nursing strikes end after 2-4 days, though anecdotal evidence showed otherwise. The pediatrician, the most supportive person I talked to, told me he would just suddenly start nursing again. I tried all the tips online, no luck at all. He is also cutting upper teeth (theoretically, it's been weeks), and had a cold in the meantime. All strikes against us.

I've been pumping three times a day (he was nursing four) and trying to get him to drink from a cup. After two weeks, I introduced sippy cups. I think we're maybe up to half of what I pump. I would not be surprised if he's losing weight, and he's always hungry.

So here is what not to say. "Maybe he's just done." He is Not. Just. Done. Literally every person I talked to said this to me, except the pediatrician (the only person who knew what she was talking about). That is the very definition of Not Supportive. This is MY baby. I have over five years of breastfeeding experience, I have weaned three babies and I can tell, he wants to nurse, but can't or won't for some reason. (I say this in present tense, but I think it likely the sippy cup has ruined it forever). He signs for it. He is just as upset as the break in our nursing relationship as I am. Maybe even more so, since he has also lost his food source. But I don't know what else to do.

Clearly, I am very upset about this. I nursed Sienna until maybe 26 months, and she was sad when I finally cut her off. I was hoping to have that wonderful, long-lasting experience again, but it may not be meant to be.

This experience also served as a reminder that we all have Stuff. Maybe you don't wear your trial on your sleeve, but that doesn't make it any less important, difficult, or significant. We all have stuff, keep that in mind when making your judgements.

To Sum Up: I spent two hours at the pediatric ophthalmologist with a sick, teething baby, on day 10 of a nursing strike. That is all.

Rule Bound: Maggie at Mt. Hood, was quite upset that we said Dalton was 7 so he could go on the zipline. "I feel like going back up there and telling them Dalton is 6."

She also refused to enter the McDonald's play place until John came in because it said she needed a parent. John: "The first thing she did was read the rules."

Jack, the Pumpkin Pie: Sienna watched The Nightmare Before Christmas today and sang "Christmas Everybody sing to the pumpkin pie!"

Merf: Wow, it's really easy to fake enthusiasm over text. I just forced myself to use an exclamation point instead of a period. Instant perceived joy!

: Sienna, singing Let it Go: The frozen crackers all the way down!

Actual lyrics: spiraling in frozen fractals all around.

Mid-Life: When I turned 30, I made a list of thirty things I had accomplished in my 30 years. I remember starting the list several months earlier in Goa, in the resort pool, alone at night, John back in the room with the (two) kids. I'm in a different place now, physically of course, and in many other ways.

35 is probably mid-life for me. I think I am done with accomplishments. I made four wonderful children, I just need to finish them off, and that's all the mark I plan to leave on the world. The next 35 are for fun!

10 Thing That Make Me Happy:

1. Long conversations with John
2. Tickling my kids
3. Being at Disneyland
4. Traveling somewhere new
5. Exploring the outdoors/hiking
6. Playing board games
7. Eating really good food
8. Snuggling
9. Singing along
10. Finishing a project

Sacrament Thoughts: Someone in Utah should, instead of participating in an MLM, market a portable baby-proofing cover for hymn book pockets.

I felt like a space age parent feeding two of my children food from pouches at the same time.

Too Splash: More Sienna Zootopia funnies.

She went on Splash Mountain with John for the first time yesterday (yay 40 inches!). She said it was "too splash" and now she is telling me about how Judy Hopps (the rabbit character from Zootopia) was stuck. Also, she calls her "Hopps Hopps" ("Officer" Hopps).

Little Hustler:

John quoting Nick Wilde in Zootopia: "It's called a hustle, sweetheart!"
Sienna: Don't call me Hustle!

Arthur at 9 Months : Arthur's 9 month appointment: he was 19 lbs 1 oz (having eaten four ounces of baby food in the elevator) (38%) and 29 inches tall (75%).

Letter of Introduction: Dear [Maggie's Teacher],
I’m pleased to introduce you to our oldest child, Margaret. We have three other children and Maggie is a very helpful big sister, especially to her baby brother. She is a fearless roller coaster junkie, and also enjoys Minecraft, My Little Pony, and Lego. She likes rules, and making sure everyone is following them. She always tries to do the right thing, even if no one is looking. A close circle of friends is more Maggie’s style than the popular crowd. She is friendly, kind, and inclusive. Her imagination is very active, so don’t be surprised if you catch her talking to herself! School work comes pretty easily to our bright Maggie, though as we are both avid readers, we wish she enjoyed reading for fun a little more. We are very proud of Maggie and the kind, bright girl she is growing into, and look forward to seeing how she progresses in you class.
I also look forward to helping in the classroom this year!
[Maggie's Parents]

Stuff I Googled Today:

Can crabs breathe air
Brazilian men's gymnastics floor
Nadia perfect ten
Wake boarding in flooded street
Carl's Jr. complaints
Wire to make costume ears stand up
Irvine dentists
Day 11 highlights
US medal count
Old man names


Hey this milk expires after you go back to school!
Maggie: Milk doesn't expire. Only passes expire.

: I did a kid swap with my neighbor today, which was both exhausting and awesome. I dropped my kids off in the morning so Arthur could nap there and did all kinds of stuff.

Picked up the kids' rooms
Threw away junk
Two loads of laundry
Dropped off dry cleaning
Did some Walmart shopping
Put groceries away right after buying them!
Lay in bed and ate half a bag of chips.

At this point another neighbor asked me to watch her kid so I did. We picked up my four and she went to Costco. Then dropped off her 2 and 6 year olds and took Maggie and her friend ice skating. This left me with only five, and the babies slept for the first couple hours.

I made pretzels and got a 15 minute nap before babies started waking up. The rest of the afternoon was crazy, but we survived. Arthur only got stepped on once.

Arthur Teeth: Arthur cut his first tooth this week, with here more on the way. This leaves Sienna as the earliest (almost average) tether, with Arthur following right behind, Dalt a couple months later, and Maggie way in the distance. He's been up in the night four or five nights this week and reverted back to his months-ago grumpy clingy self. he is finally starting to nap without crying, put himself to sleep more quietly and enjoy life, so I'll take it. Also, he eats a lot.

Peek a Boo: Dalton has been at culinary camp this week, held in a senior center in a galaxy far away. I was early today, trying to avoid traffic. Maggie was at the fair with a friend. I left Sienna at the neighbors, so I just had the baby. Arthur crawled around the hallway while we waited for the class to end and found a room of seniors playing cards. He peeked through the window at the side of the doorway and before he knew it, and older gentleman had crawled on the floor on the other side of the window to say hi to him. People are great.

Ice and Blood: Typical Saturday at Knott's berry farm yesterday. We first had to do our chapel cleaning assignment. So everyone was already nice and tired when we got there. We did the water park first. John and Dalton did some water slides while the rest of us enjoyed the wave pool, then we all did a lap in the lazy river. Arthur didn't take a nap like he has the past several times, so it wasn't as much fun.

For lunch we went to the chicken dinner restaurant - we went there our first visit with my family, but haven't been since. It's really good though. The kids meals come with jello, ice cream, and berry punch. Sienna has been carrying her plastic Snoopy cup around every since.

We went straight from lunch to the new Snoopy on Ice show. We were just on time and got decent seats - despite how crowded the park was by this point, the theater was pretty empty. I got Arthur to go to sleep, which was great. I was very impressed with the quality of the show. It was about Snoopy going to Hollywood, so there were lots of California songs. And, they played They Might Be Giants Why Does the Sun Shine? with a Griffith Obervatory background and my heart was smitten.

After the show, we stopped by the bathroom on the way out. Dalton managed to fall on his face and came out with blood pouring from his mouth - no paper towels in the bathroom of course. We used a burp cloth and a stranger's frozen water bottle to get him to the first aid station where they determined he has bit his cheek and was otherwise ok. And asking for treats again already.

I threw the horridly bloody burp cloth in the rinse and spin cycle with the swim suits and it came out completely spotless.

Also, John has been making dinner on Sundays for a while now. He comes up with clever stuff and it's usually amazing.

Beach Beach: Today was our second beach day this week. We took the two neighbor girls and a woman with no kids from the ward, and met some more friends at Newport. We brought all the boogie boards because the kids had fun floating on them and using the paddle board at baby beach in Dana Point on Monday, but they didn't use them. They just did body surfing for three hours. Sienna and her little friend Preston had fun running around together, playing in the water, playing in the sand. I had fun talking to my friends. Arthur had a nice nap and crawled around happily, eating sand. Everyone had a great time.

Shortly after I got home, another friend texted me and asked if I'd like to go with her on Friday. Looks like it's a triple beach week! Dalton has cooking camp next week and then school is practically back, so we'll make the most of it.

Minnie: John got called to go to the hospital with the bishop to give a blessing. It was an petite 82 year old woman who works at Disneyland playing Minnie Mouse.

Sienna's Going to Be a Great Mom: Mom, can I watch a show?Mom can I watch a show?Mom can I watch a show? how many time do I have to tell you can I watch a show?"

And then two minutes later "I heard you the first time!"

[Gummy shark]
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