Susie's Leaning Tower of Chocolate

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

[No comments] A Cup of Sugar: One of the things I really love about where we live is the community feel. It's not just at church; I love walking to school and seeing familiar faces. But a whole lot of it IS the church. We have a large group of friends who attend both church and school with us, including one family who also lives right in our neighborhood. We trade childcare at an unprecedented rate in my life: Sienna goes to our neighbor's house an average of four times a week. It. Is. Awesome. It's a great feeling to have friends I can count on to pick up Maggie, to carpool, to go out to dinner, the meet at Disneyland, to chat at the park after school, to be part of my extended family.

Just for example, here's today: I walked Maggie and her friend to school, while my neighbor watched Sienna. After school drop off, I went running with another friend. After I picked Dalton up from school, he went with our neighbor to baby group (which happened to be at a pool). I picked both the girls up, and we hung out at the park with three other friends from church.

This afternoon, I dropped Sienna and Dalton off at another friend's house, and took her oldest with Maggie to rehearsal for the Stake Musical. I sat with several other church friends (nearly all of whom had carpooled with other neighborhood moms).

And we'll do it all again tomorrow.

[No comments] A Moment at Disneyland: We went to Disneyland on Saturday morning. On our way out of the park, we stopped at the candy store on Main Street, and bought a vanilla cake pop and a rice krispy treat (both Mickey-shaped). Then, we sat on a park bench and listened to the Disneyland Band performing a few songs. It was a really enjoyable way to spend a few moments. We weren't riding any exciting rides, or doing anything unusual. Just a restive moment with our family, some treats, some music, and enjoying the atmosphere. All the things I love about Disneyland.

[No comments] Silly Fruit: Dalton checked out his first school library book - Fruits and Vegetables A-Z. Last night when we read it, I had him point to each thing and say what it was, if he knew. When we got to U, he pointed to the Ugli fruit and said, "dumb fruit."

Trader Joe's: Everyone has their favorite products to buy at Trader Joe's. I mostly shop there for dairy and produce, not for their specialty food items. I started going there when I was looking for non-UHT organic milk, and didn't like the taste of the only other brand I could find (Sprouts). So, I buy organic dairy, eggs, and produce there, but there are a few other items we've tried and really liked.

European-style chocolate yogurt
chocolate covered butterscotch caramels
dye-free gummies
chicken field salad (with sweet basil dressing)
nitrate-free ham, pre-cooked bacon, and organic hot dogs

Those are the main staples we really like. The yogurt is really good.

New Activities: I took Maggie to the kickoff meeting for the Stake Musical. Sounds a little crazy and intense. She wanted to do it with a friend. Hopefully it's fun and a good experience for her!

She is also doing skating classes right now, which we got her for Christmas. I think we will be quitting gymnastics soon. They've been doing it for 2 years and have kind of lost the spark.

If she likes skating and picks it up ok we might do ice skating lessons with a friend in a couple months. Dalton is interested in soccer or something. And swimming is coming up already, too! This year we are going to do cheap-o lessons at the community center since they both already know how to swim. Ish.

I Don't Believe That Ever Happened: Today John said, "You know what sounds good for dinner? Cafe Rio." And I said, "YES!"

School Mom: Today I volunteered in Dalton's class for the first time. I just did some prep work, but it was fun to see Dalton and all his little friends working hard. I'm looking forward to going every week. He is so cute sitting at his little table, cutting little fox ears with his little scissors and being a good listener. His class is so well behaved, especially compared to Maggie's 1st grade class. She has better luck this year, and/or a better teacher. I am assistant room mom for Maggie's class, so I have to go to all the parties. Helping at a 2nd grade class Christmas party left me quite winded.

I also made friends with two other moms who have had Dalton over for play dates already. He loves that, and it was nice to get Sienna down for a nap earlier/get stuff done. I think next time, I will take her to Disneyland when it opens.

Bad Excuses: This morning, Maggie said she couldn't play the piano unless one person was upstairs. I told her that was the dumbest excuse I'd ever heard. Even she had to laugh at that.

I also spent all morning cleaning/fixing the vacuum. And then re-vacuuming the house. Water and pine needles make nice clogs, apparently.

: I just looked at the calendar on my check register for possibly the first time ever. It wasn't very helpful though, since it isn't 2006.

New words for Sienna:

baby Jesus

She also defines everything by the person it belongs to. "Nenna pillow. Daddy pillow."

Sunday Morning: We have 11:00 church. Not sure if that's good or bad.

Pro: I made 4 dozen peanut butter chocolate chip muffins this morning. The kids cheered.
Con: In the middle of eating my first muffin I realized that it's Fast Sunday.
Con: John is leaving for Chicago after church.
Con: I just got called into the nursery. Yay, in general, but 11:00 church is the worst for naps.
Con: 11:00 is the worst for naps during Sacrament Meeting too.

Basically, I don't like 11:00 church. But I do like muffins!

: Another trip to Utah, another round of sick kids. Maggie and Sienna both started throwing up Tuesday night. Sienna was basically fine after that, but Maggie basically lay in bed the next two days. she missed the New Year's Eve party where we played tel-tionary (hilarious).

On Thursday I took her to the urgent care because she was also complaining that her ear hurt. Apparently, ear infections are strongly associated with a couple types of stomach bugs (which explains why Dalton had the same thing a couple weeks back). So, she had a really bad double ear infection on top of the tummy troubles. Three trips to Walgreens got us chewable ibuprofen, anti-nausea, Benadryl for car sickness, and antibiotics. We cleaned her up for family pictures in the state Capitol building. We had to spend some time waiting, but the kids had fun running around with their cousins. Except for Maggie who slept on the marble floor. With a pillow her smart daddy brought.

After the pictures we had Su Casa and Waffle Luv food truck for dinner. Yum. Splitting the drive with a stop in Vegas means we didn't have to get up early, but four days of driving is a waste of time. We're flying next time.

Sledding Day: One of our favorite things about coming to Utah at christmas time is sledding. Maggie has been talking about it for days. She kept asking if we were going to let her go by herself. Well, since we didn't end up going to the cabin, why not? No cars to crash into, no dangerous mountain sides to tip off of.

Jodi and Brook brought us plenty of gear to suit up with. We met at Murray park and had a great time. Maggie was so thrilled to go by herself, she went over and over, hiking up the hill and carrying her own sled every time. She is at a bit of an awkward age with the big gap between her and the older cousins, trying to figure out whIfh group she belongs. She had a blast.

Dalton went with me and John and also by himself. He was mostly able to make it up the hill alone, especially after we moved to a little shorter part.

Sienna went a few times with me and John and then kept saying "no". She wasn't crying, but obviously not loving it. I finally ditched her with grandma and Aunt Jamie. After about an hour she started crying nonstop, I think from the cold, so we all headed back to grandma and grandpa's for our Christmas party. Maggie and Dalton went into the backyard with Kyli to play some more in the snow. Sienna was glad to be done.

Pressies: Kids got lots of stuff for Christmas! Maggie nearly made the naughty list, but apparently, she CAN be good. We started a clip chart and her attitude has been awesome the past few days.

Maggie got:
Wii games, accessories from Uncle Leonard
Wayside School/Fudge books
Angry Birds Stella shirt
skating lessons
owl purse from Auntie Rachel

Dalton got:
his own ipad (Kindle Fire)
Minecraft for his tablet
Minecraft Legos from Uncle Leonard
Minecraft shirt
Bearenstain Bears book
Wooden auto from Auntie Rachel
remote control car

Sienna got:
Princess Little People
Minions shirt

: While Dalton was sick I missed two planned Disneyland trips. Sad! We finally made it yesterday after school. Met up with a couple friends, did a couple rides, the kids were well-behaved, and we made it home before bedtime. We walked in the door and Sienna threw up all over the kitchen floor. Which is much better than throwing up all over the car, right? She appears to be fine this morning.

Siiick: Dalton is really sick. Boo.

Other Side: Sienna phrase of the month: dah die - other side. She first said this when I was giving her tons of kisses near her ear to ask for kisses on the other side. She still mostly uses it for more kisses, but she's also used it for putting pants on, and a backpack. It's adorable. Who wouldn't love a toddler asking for more kisses?

Weird Thing to Say: "Mouse and rats can fit under our stroller." Dalton

Sienna turns 2: For Sienna's second birthday we got her Princess Sofia socks, a Rapunzel t-shirt, a stuffed doggie and Sleeping Beauty movie. I'm thinking she doesn't need anything for Christmas a few short weeks after that haul.

Lost at Disneyland: Two of our kids got lost at Disneyland and, considering their ages and Sienna's propensity to run away, probably not the two you might think.

John and the kids had Fastpasses to Star Tours, so they went to do that while Sienna and I got in line for Buzz Lightyear. But when I turned around, Maggie was with me! I saw John waiting to get into the Fastpass line at Star Tours so I told Maggie "Daddy's getting in the Fastpass line. Hurry! Run!" Apparently, she entered the line and worked her way all the way up to the front while John was waiting to get in. When she got to the front and still hadn't found him, so told the cast member she couldn't find her dad and waited there for him. She got a little teary but she was so brave they gave her a free pass to go on any ride! John made his way up there, quite unconcerned about Maggie since he thought she was with me. And there she was.

We went on Small World Holiday and when we got off, John wanted to take a picture of me and Sienna. Maggie waited for us, but Dalton disappeared on ahead. When we went after him, I found him stickety-stuck, asking a nearby dad for help. Just like he's supposed to!

Sleeping Baby: Sienna will be two in a few days, so she's not really a baby anymore. She's refused to nap the past three days, so she fell asleep nursing at bedtime (6:00) tonight. I took a few extra moments to snuggle my sleepy (heavy) baby girl before I put her in bed. Who knows how many times I'll be able to do that anymore!

Sienna Isn't 2: I have to keep reminding myself that Sienna is still a 1 year old. She's growing up so fast. We have a collection of Disney CDs in our car that has somewhat molded her preferences. She was quite obsessed with Ursula for a while ("Keep singing!"). Then I Just Can't Wait to Be King. She still loves Heigh Ho; she has a set of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves little people toys she she carries around "heigh ho-ing" with. Now it is Jack and Oogie Boogie. Jack this, and Jack that. She goes to a neighbor's house a couple days a week so I can run in peace, and she always insists on watching The Nightmare Before Christmas there. She points out Jack on people's t-shirts. She screams for joy when we ride Haunted Mansion Holiday. Seriously.

New things she's learned to say are: Oogie Boogie, fruitie (applesauce squeezie), Whoosh E Gaga, Nursery (doesn't sound a thing like Nursery, but I'm glad she's asking to go!), Bubbles.

We've decided to leave her in her crib for the time being, though the other two moved out around 2. Also, I thought she'd be the one to start climbing out, but it hasn't happened yet.

Dalton on Technology : Me, looking for a requested Disney song: Just a minute, I not sure what Cd it's on.

Dalton: It's on blu-Ray!

Dalton: What are those CD glasses for? (3D glasses)

Halloween Dinner: I just got a pizza made, from scratch, jack-o-lantern shaped, and in the oven in less than 15 minutes. Sometimes I even amaze myself.

Bonk: The other day at Music Makers, Sienna was running around like a crazy toddler, amidst other crazy toddlers running around, and she ran smack into one of her little friends. He's not so little - weighs more than Dalton though he is a month older than Sienna. So at first I thought they bumped heads, but really she bumped her head on his nose. He got a bloody nose and she got a bump on her forehead, but the hilarious part was that she bounced straight back and landed flat on her back on the floor. Like hitting a brick wall.

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