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[Comments] (1) Finally Fall: I am looking forward to...
Having energy to play with my Dalton Boy.
Not having to reach around my tummy to do things (my back is REALLY starting to hurt from that)
Cooler weather (finally here!) We walked to school today and it was awesome.
And, of course, my baby.

[Comments] (2) Thankful A to Z: I'm not really comfortable posting daily Thankfuls on my Facebook page, because I think it's a little too personal for random people to see. But since no one reads my blog, it's probably ok to do it here! I am borrowing the idea Jill is using this year and doing a daily-ish thankful alphabetically throughout November. Theoretically. I'll be in the hospital some of that time. I haven't been posting daily, but I have been thinking on this in the evenings.

A is for America: It's not India. That's all I need to say.

B is for Baby: I love being pregnant! I hope it's not our last one. Once the throwing up is over, and I start feeling little baby kicks, I think it's so awesome to be carrying a little person inside of me. Of course, I also can't wait for him/her to come out and meet us!

C is for California: California is awesome. The weather is great, the atmosphere is great, the diversity is great. We love our house and our area and our ward. I'm so glad we moved back.

D is for Dalton: Oh, how I love that boy. He is the sweetest thing. He is silly and adorable and smart and charming. What more could a mama ask for in a little man?

Newish Ward: A couple weeks ago, four of the wards in our stake were reorganized into 5. This wasn't unexpected and the new boundaries are about what we thought. We also expected to be sent to a different church building, but we did NOT expect 1 pm church time. John remembers that we enjoyed that time when Dalton was a baby, so hopefully we will like it, because our new time continues through 2013.

In the meantime, today was our first day of 1 pm church, and with Daylight Savings, it was a long morning! I made cookies, the kids watched some Duck Tales, and watched Daddy play "silly alligator game" (Where's My Water?). We went for a long walk. The kids had a bubble bath. John practiced the piano.

John was called to be the Primary pianist, which is his dream calling. I don't have a calling yet, which I might blame on impending childbirth if I thought the bishopric capable of remembering when women are expecting babies (nothing personal to this particular bishopric). No worries; they'll find something for me soon enough. The wards were too big and there were not enough callings, hence the reorganization.

The kids really enjoyed Primary. Maggie found that a friend from school is in her new Primary class. Dalton got to go to sharing time for the first time (so BIG!) and they did playdough in senior nursery. Very ambitious.

E is for Energy: E is for energy: This is one of those examples of you don't know what you got till it's gone. I am SO looking forward to having energy again after the baby is born. Being pregnant and HOT really takes a toll on you. I'm looking forward to saying "yes!" when Dalton wants to be pushed on the swings.

Seriously, why is it 91 degrees in November?

[Comments] (1) Sick Kitty: Dalton is sick. We went to Disneyland to meet a fellow Mommysaver. Dalton "meowed" himself to sleep in the car on the way home. (Seriously, he thinks he's a cat.) When I said that to John, he replied, "and now he's purring."

ETA: At the exact moment I hit "publish" on this post a loud MEOW! came from the other room where Dalton is sleeping.

F is for Faith: I have a testimony of a lot of things, but none so strong as my testimony of Jesus Christ as the resurrected Lord. I've heard this quote from Elder McConkie mentioned several times in the past few weeks. This is from his last address, given just weeks before he died. I can't help but agree.

"I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears.

But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God’s Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way."

Bruce R. McConkie, The Purifying Power of the Atonement

[Comments] (1) Singer/Songwriter: The kids made up songs on the way to school today. And sang them over and over.

Maggie's song
Look into your eyes
You'll see something real
It's your cutie self
It's real

Dalton's song
Meow meow meow meow
Meow meow meow meow
Meow meow meow meow

G is for Giggles: I love hearing my kids giggle. Nothing makes you smile like a giggling child. We make sure to have lots of tickling, just to hear those giggles. Baby giggles are the best, but it's still fun to hear M ask to be tickled!

G is for Gymnastics which the kids both love. I'm going to put them in a "real" gymnastics class next year.

H is for House: I am so thankful for our house. We found the perfect house for us. Our only real complaint is that it could definitely be nicer. But the layout is just what we were looking for and the location couldn't be better. The space is just right. It's not overpriced (relatively speaking). We're very happy with it!

H is for Holidays: Can't wait for Thanksgiving and Christmas (not that Thanksgiving is going to be the least bit exciting of itself this year). We'll get to see family and celebrate and eat good food and enjoy the seasonal spirit. Not to mention Halloween, which was fun as always.

I is for:

I is for in-laws: I'm a pretty lucky girl as far as in-laws are concerned. I got some great sisters-in-law in the bundle, not to mention how good John's parents have been to us. Did I mention Susan is coming to visit? Yay!

I is for imagination: I am loving Dalton's "kitty" phase. He made friends with a mom at the park (he doesn't play with other kids, but will go up to the moms and strike up a conversation). When I went over to collect him, he was answering all her questions with "Meow." Except when she asked his name he said, "Meow, kitty." He's a doggie sometimes, too, so I'm not too worried.

I is for ice cream: Nuf said.

J is for John: Of course! I had to write a post about my awesome husband. Here are 10 things that make me grateful for John.

1. He is thoughtful. He brought me donuts last night! You can't go wrong with a guy who brings home donuts.
2. He is a great daddy. Lately, all the kids want to do is play "silly alligator game" with Daddy. Watch him play.
3. He is talented. Right now he is practicing the piano for Primary and I love hearing him play every night!
4. He is a hard worker. Sometimes he works too hard at his job, but he's very good at it.
5. He's hilarious. Seriously. And he's silly.
6. We are on the same page financially. It's nice not to be married to someone who can't control money.
7. We are on the same page politically. At least there was someone I agreed with this week!
8. We like to do the same things. Go for walks, enjoy the outdoors, Disneyland.
9. He bakes good cookies.
10. He makes pretty babies (as my mom would say). Further proof forthcoming.

Also thankful for: job security.

K is for Kitchen: This is a bit silly, and I did already write about how thankful I am for our house. Our kitchen isn't anything fancy. It's actually kind of run-down. But it's efficient, and there's enough space. I like having a gas stove again.

Today I made a double batch of pretzels, lemon bars, and taco soup. I'm glad it's soup season because soup is so easy to make! It only took 10 minutes, then we just reheated after church. I got all of this done this morning before church, since we got up nice and early with daylight savings. I've been meaning to make lemon bars for several days, but by the time I have time, my energy is sapped. So it was nice to get it done first thing in the morning.

I always say that I like to cook but I don't like to have to cook. I much prefer doing it on my own time rather than "what's for dinner?" every.single.night.

[Comments] (2) L is for Leonard: I lucked out with a great older brother. But you know what? He is an even better uncle. Even though he is "grown up" he likes dinosaurs and space and books and Lego... you know, all those things Maggie is into. And he buys her presents. Also, he lives somewhere cool, so I can always say, "New York, where Uncle Leonard is."

Leonard is smart and articulate and kind. He's a really good cook. He likes to play games. He was not the type to beat up/question boyfriends when I was growing up (probably because he moved out before I had any) but I feel he's very thoughtful and protective of his little sisters. Always makes sure we're doing ok!

M is for Maggie: Miss Maggie... what would I do without my Maggie girl? Life would be a lot quieter and more simple, that's for sure! She's very kind and likes to make friends. She recently won an award in her class for one of the school values - Integrity. She makes up lots of new games and is very imaginative. When the kids play on the slide, she makes up a different name for each slide she does. "This is the pretzel slide!" as she goes with her legs crossed.

She's starting to be more independent - a few years behind Dalton. She threw a fit the other day because she couldn't do her own ponytail (something she'd never attempted before). At least she can do her own seatbelt and open the car door and other useful things like that. She's also more useful about doing things like, "run upstairs and get me such-and-such." Maggie is very smart and is getting really good at writing her letters, sounding out words, and reading sight word books. Her drawings are amazing, too, as school encourages lots of different colors and details.

She loves to snuggle ("Is it morning yet?" she asks way too early every morning) but her definition of snuggling is noisy and thrashy and pokey. But I love her anyway.

M is for Modern Day: Our garage door is broken, with our cars trapped inside. Nothing like that to make you appreciate modern day conveniences!

N is for Naps: Which will soon be part of my life again. It's been over a year since I had a child who napped! Most moms say something like "I'm sorry" upon finding out that Dalton stopped napping at age 2 (mostly due to the 12 hour time difference when we moved back to Utah, I think). But really, it's been great. I don't have to plan around him at all.

However, unlike toddler Maggie, toddler Dalton will probably actually let ME nap when the baby naps. Bonus nap time!

41: Saturday was our 41st trip to Disneyland since we got our annual passes. 41 doesn't sound like a significant number (unless by "significant" you mean BIG) but it's actually the number of times we went the entire year the first time we got annual passes! Since we've had these passes for exactly 6 months... yeah, that's a lot of Disneyland.

I'll be taking a Disney break soon, but at the rate this baby is coming out (not) we may squeeze in one more trip.

O is for Oranges: Tis the season! I bought a bag of clementines on sale this week. As soon as I opened the first one I thought, "It's Christmas!" It was so delicious and definitely reminded me of winter even though it was 75 degrees.

P is for: Disneyland! Park, that is. Whatever, you're just amazed it didn't show up at D. I love having Disneyland passes, though being pregnant it's starting to wear on me. We'll definitely take a break next year; Maggie has stated she doesn't care if I go without her during school, and that she doesn't like going after school because she's tired. The more you go, the more opportunities for disappointment (or annoyances). But I'm excited to get to go on the fun rides again! And the atmosphere never disappoints. It's been a fun 6 months.

I am so grateful for all the local parks nearby. There are at least 6 or 7 we could walk to within 20 minutes. How awesome is that? There's one next to the school we hang out at after school sometimes, now that it's not hot. And our ward has a weekly park day. It's especially great that my kids don't require a ton of attention/following around at the park. Soon to change.

P is for Photos: I think Dalton might be one second child who has MORE pictures taken of him than the first. Although we had a digital camera when M was born, we still weren't in the habit of snapping 1,000 pictures and delete 998. I'm not sure if having an iphone has caused me to take more pictures, or fewer, but I hope to keep it up with our third child.

P is for Parents: My parents left me a great legacy. A love of reading, a musical base, an expectation of college education, cooking and other homemaking skills, a sense of humor, and the genes to make cute babies.

Q is for Quotes: Which are in great supply with the kids around. They are always making me laugh. Here are some from this week.

The kids put up some foam ABCs on the bathtub door. Dalton was pointing to them and reading, "Don't put lolli pop in blue water." I let him take his lollipop in the bathtub and told him it'd turn the water red if he put it in.

M: "Mary Poppins are a good rhymer." Well, she's right.

M: "Why are there water falling from the sky?" Oh, you mean the rain??

M: Dad, your ideas are rude.

M, in regards to the "missing links" line in The Monkey's Uncle. "What does it mean 'missing legs?'"

Dalton calls helicopter "rawrcopter". One day he insisted he saw a Fleece Rawrcopter and it took me forever to realize he was saying "Police helicopter." He uses F a lot when there are double consonants.

D: Because = "keycause" So cute.

[Comments] (1) R is for: Rachel. Leonard got a post, so here's one for my favorite sister. Even though she "forgets" that there's an 8 hour time difference and 6,000 miles between us and texts me at 3 am, I still love her. Maybe even more, because it's so fun to text my sister! What is the world coming to that we can text overseas? Awesome.

Rachel is a great auntie and sends fun presents for the kids. She drags kitties over to say "hi" on Facetime. Just like a sister, she's great for complaining to. Like Leonard, she lives somewhere cool. The kids love seeing bits of London on Mary Poppins, or on rides at Disneyland (it's a small world, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride etc). If they hear London mentioned in a song they will yell, "they said 'London!'"

When she visits, we give each other pedicures and she's a great feet-rubber. She holds new babies for me so I can take a shower. She finds clearance deals for me at Target. There's nothing like a sister to always be there for you!

R is for Responsibility: There's something to be said for taking care of yourself and your family, paying your own bills, and making your own way. I love that good feeling of accomplishment and self-reliance.

[Comments] (1) S is for Sienna June: I figured if we had a girl that could be my S post. I really expected a boy but here she is! Baby Sienna June arrived on November 19th at 4:28 pm after an induced labor similar to Dalton's - slow, slow, slow, that was fast, start pushing, STOP, get the doctor in here now we're having a baby!

She was 7 lb 14 ounces and has lots of dark hair. Her eyes are medium blue, she has a little Maggie nose and the cutest mouth I've ever seen. She's very sleepy. We haven't seen her eyes open much but are pretty sure she doesn't have the big Richardson eyes Dalton gets comments on all the time. She also definitely does not have my fingers. Her hands look much more like Grandma June's (!) that Grandma Rosie's.

Sweet baby girl is going to fit in great in our family. I think Dalton is going to be a great big brother and Maggie loves babies. I also have a feeling Sienna will be more of a princess and girly girl than Maggie. We shall see!

[Comments] (1) T is for Tomorrow: Tomorrow I am going home with my new baby girl. I get to snuggle my big kids and sleep in my own bed and enjoy newborn, do nothing goodness. But I'm also thankful for the greater tomorrow. All the wonderful future plans I have, from Christmas in California this year, to retirement and traveling with John. And speaking of travel ...

T is for Travel: I love traveling. We thought we'd be done for a while after all the traveling we did in India. Not so much. Maggie asked a few months ago when we're going on an airplane again. Well, it's going to be a while, but we do have lots of travel plans for the future! With our move this summer, and all the traveling John was doing for work, we sort of missed out. But we love to see new places and new cultures and enjoy the outdoor world. So, more travel, coming up!

T is for Toilet paper: Seriously. And I mean American toilet paper, not wax paper or crepe paper like some places use.

T is for Thanksgiving: Not my favorite holiday and not my favorite food, but it is always good to get together with family and have thankfulness in our hearts.

T is for Temple: I made it to the temple twice in my last couple weeks of pregnancy and it's a good thing because it's even more difficult to go with a newborn. It's always nice to get to the temple, put aside all the every day cares and focus on ehat's really important. Sometimes that may be an every day care we need help with, but I always get a new perspective on it.

U is for Utah: Fall is a good time to miss Utah. By the time it cooled off here and we actually saw some leaves changing, it's already snowing in Utah. But we missed the few weeks of beautiful leaves and wonderful weather. Hiking at the cabin, and all the fun free activities there. The cheaper food. Kyli, Colette and Madeline play dates. The nice thing about not living in Utah is that there's always an excuse to visit.

V is for Visiting Teaching: I'll admit I dont love visiting teaching. But it was awfully nice to get a phone call yesterday and know I don't have to cook next week! A student nurse assisted with Sienna's delivery and has all sorts of interesting Mormon questions for us. But one of the first comments she made (after asking about our spirituality and did we have any) was that we must be all set with meals. We do take care of each other and that built-in support system sure is nice.

Me Time: When Maggie was born I suddenly found it very difficult to find time to read scriptures. When do new moms have time to read scriptures? Looking back, what actually happened was that my routine got messed up. Because now, with my third child, I'm like, hey! Uninterrupted time to read my scriptures! If I can stay awake.

W is for Walks: We love taking walks together! This is one of our favorite family activities. We all go together. Before church on Sundays, or we go for a "hike" on a Saturday. The kids are getting scooters for Christmas (shhhh!) so we don't hear fighting over the stroller or complaints when we don't bring it. I especially love walks with just John and I, but those are not frequent enough. It's a great time we can have to actually talk to each other.

W is for Wellness: We brought Sienna home to a houseful of germs but she appears to avoided catching anything - so far. John has been sick with the world's most awful cold, missing out on baby snuggling and wasting his paternity leave being sick. Being sick makes Maggie extra grumpy and ornery, too. Not to mention bossy. I'm thankful I've managed to escape with a little cold.

X is for: Exercise... Which I hope to do again soon.

Extermination... Cause I hate spiders.

Exceeded Expectations of new babiness, big siblings, sleep and more.

Y is for BYU: Rachel came up with this one. Those were the days. Not only did I have fun at BYU, I got a decent education, and met my favorite husband. John got an especially good bargain at BYU with the 5 year MAC program from one of the nation's top accounting programs. You can't beat that.

Z is for Zoo: Is there anything else good that starts with Z? Tomorrow is, I believe, the first of the free zoo days at Hogle Zoo in the winter time. I am sad to be missing it. We had a great time the past couple years going with Tasha and Jodi. And Dalton had a really fun time the last time we went with Jill and Sarah and saw the new polar exhibit.

The zoos in Orange County are lame, at least they were when Maggie was a baby. In any event, I don't plan to check them out until our Disneyland passes expire. All outings are reserved for Disney right now. But in the meantime I'm grateful for all the fun memories I have of visiting zoos all over the world, and making new memories with my kids.

Sienna's First Week: Sienna is already a week old! We haven't done much this week, but Sienna has done even less. I forgot how much newborns sleep. Monday she was awake for well over an hour and that was by far the longest she'd been awake. At night she sleeps 3-4 hours so I try to feed her every 2 hours during the day. She pretty much wakes up to eat and falls asleep nursing. She has a hard time going back to sleep on the occasions she does stay awake.

Other than driving in the car to take Grandma to the airport, her first outing was to the doctor on Saturday. We also made a quick trip to the grocery store after and she slept the whole time. At the doctor, Sienna weighed in at 7 lb 13 oz. almost back up to her birth weight at just five days! They even said I don't need to bring her back until 6 weeks unless we have questions.

The bad thing about this week is that John has been really sick and has not had his fair share of baby snuggles. Plus, with John being home and taking the big kids to do fun things, and their own germs, the kids haven't spent much time with Sienna. Dalton did discover, upon waking up before everyone else one morning, that a breast feeding mommy is a captive audience. And also she has snacks. The kids like to grab their stool from the bathroom and bring it in Sienna's room so they can watch her in the crib or on the changing table. Maggie showed Sienna everything she brought home from school, and read some stories to her.

Sienna's hair is so long and soft. Both of our other babies had hair, much to our surprise, but Sienna has even more. I love feeling it, especially after I wash it.

I seem to be recovering very well from Sienna's birth. I got an epidural before my contractions really started hurting, so labor wasn't very painful. Breastfeeding seems to be easier and hurt less than with the other two. Not that it doesn't hurt, because it does. And that girl sure can sleep! I won't complain about getting up twice in the night, for now at least.

But I will complain about my pained tailbone, my miserably aching back and, now, a cold! Add the exhaustion to that and it's no fun at all. I hope most of that clears up before John goes back to work next week and I have to start functioning again.

Also, I realize she is now nine days old. It took me two nights to tap all this out on my iPhone.

More Thanks: A few more miscellaneous things I'm thankful for.

Nice, hot showers. When we came home from India I said I'd never take a nice hot shower for granted again. That actually lasted about 8 months - maybe our shower here isn't as nice as the one in Utah. But I'm back to fully appreciating showers again. I think I actually fell asleep a little bit in the shower last night but that might have been more about forgetting to take a nap.

Tap water. Last night I heard John rinse out a culinary the sink, then fill it with a drink and I thought "Wait! Dry out the yucky India wat... Oh wait...". It's really nice to be able to rinse my mouth out after brushing teeth again. Not to mention the sanitizing power of my dishwasher and washing machine.

My iPhone. I seriously love this thing. I love having everything all in one place - my calendar, notes, email. Plus, it's awesome for being up in the night with Sienna (like right now). I can read scriptures or conference talks, play sudoku, chat with Rachel or blog! I'd rather be sleeping, but it beats sitting here.

My sweet snugly silly kids. I already wrote about them, but they get bonus. Nothing like a little towhead who wants to snuggle and read stories!

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© 1999-2022 Susanna Chadwick.