Susie's Leaning Tower of Chocolate

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

[No comments] Corndogs: Maggie eats a corn dog every morning for breakfast.

We Need Its Energy: Sienna’s favorite planet is the sun, because without it, we wouldn’t have iPads.

New Friends, Fast: I got assigned to visit teach a new woman in the ward, about 15 minutes before visiting teaching was "retired", and five days before she had a baby. I met her once, at park day a few weeks before. After the baby was born, I offered to take her three year old to park day, and I was surprised that she said yes, mostly because sometimes people don't let you serve.

But also because I only met her once, and her kid doesn't know me at all, and really, neither does she. But this says a lot about our church and its members - that I can take an unknown three year old for two hours, based solely on my Mormon niceties.

Also, thanks for letting me serve.

John’s New Car has XM Radio:
Sienna: I wish we still had that kitty. Jellybean. (She has a photo of jellybean, she’s obsessed with.)
Me: Jellybean died a long time ago.
Sienna: Did she die in the 80s?

So Cute Right There: Two cute things Arthur says lately.

Oh right dere!
It’s so cute!

If I’m lucky, I will get a video before he outgrows it.

NYC Pizza: John: New York has all the best food.

Sienna: You mean like cheesy noodles, and pizza?!?

Chinese Easter: At 7:30 am, the Monday after Easter, the elders serving in our ward texted me and asked if I had any extra Easter eggs because they wanted to do an Easter egg hunt for the Chinese-speaking missionaries serving in our stake. I was headed to Walmart, so I picked up some clearance Easter candy, and enlisted kids to fill the roughly 400 eggs I had. Then we hid them at the park with the help of some sister missionaries. We had a great time playing at the park with the missionaries. We played catch and duck duck goose, and had an exciting egg hunt. Then we collected all the eggs. The kids had a great experience doing that for the missionaries.

Forget-Me-Not: Today I felt seen. Last night, Arthur took nearly two hours to fall asleep, and when I left the room, John suggested I plan a getaway with one of my girlfriends. This morning he offered to watch the kids while I cooked Easter dinner, and then he went for a bike ride while streaming conference. He also bought me some Easter lilies, helped clean up after dinner, and even started the dishwasher while I was putting Arthur to bed (thankfully took closer to an hour this time). And when he went to take a bath in the evening, he checked with me to see if I needed help with anything first. Hit was very sweet and thoughtful, and I felt noticed.

$1.31: Today was $1.31 cone day at baskin Robbins so i took the kids while John was at Priesthood session. Their credit card machine was down, and they were operating cash only. Amazingly, i actually had cash. While we were outside eating our cones, a father and son came biking up, went inside, and came back out, clearly looking for a credit card friendly alternative. So I offered them money. The dad tried to refuse, and would only take enough to get his son a cone, but was very grateful.

Five minutes later, Sienna accidentally throw her cone at the dad, and he caught it. Luckily there was no ice cream on the cone because she was tired of it and shook it off into the trash so she could eat the cone. My kids are weird.

*I can brag about this because it’s my blog and no one reads it. Maggie commented that it was a nice thing I did, so I’m glad she noticed my kind example.

Flashlight Egg Hunt: Last night was our sixth annual flashlight egg hunt. We had nearly 100 kids - 50% more than last year. It was that many more eggs to hide, and we did flameless candles to exchange for prizes, instead of numbered eggs. It made the field look magical.

It was a lot of work, and I was annoyed at people who showed up and didn’t know you were supposed to donate eggs. But I tried to chill out. I’m working on being more generous and gracious.

We had a lot of friends help set up, donate more than their fair share of prizes, help distribute prizes, offer to clean up, it really warmed my heart and reminded me of why we really do it. We love the community, and it was so fun for our kids to have all their friends there.

Crazy Town: This morning was a bit crazy. I sent my kids off to school in western wear, a twin outfit, with piano books, a swim suit, goggles, and 100 plastic eggs. All the things happening today.

Arthur spies Sienna’s ring pop: treat!
Sienna: this is healthy
Dalton: no it’s not
Sienna: but it’s green apple flavor
Arthur comes to me whining: healthy! Healthy!

Maggie’s Birthday Party: Maggie had a belated birthday party at the gymnastics place today. She invited the four boys in her primary class, and four girls from school. I made cupcakes and picked up Taco Bell, and that’s it. My kind of lazy party.

The kids had a great time. I’m so glad she has such nice friends. Even the boys have tamed down quite a bit over the years.

Maggie got a big variety of gifts. A LEGO set, a book, drawing stuff, stuffed Pokémon and a dragon beanie boo, trapeze class with her bestie, a funny board game, Pokémon cards, squishies, erasers, and candy and money. Score!

Talent Show: My kids were not interested in the school talent show, and who has time for that? But they were asked to be announcers, because you know the LDS kids can speak in front of people. There were a handful of announcer kids, dressed up as circus performers, with little scenes to do between each handful of talent acts. Dalton was a magician and pulled bunny Maggie out of a hat. He did a great job remembering his lines and being nice and loud. Maggie also did a mime routine, and I was very impressed with how quickly she picked up the concept. I was backstage orchestrating announcers going out, and costume changes for the announcers. It was lots of fun (even though I was right: Who has time for that?)

Afterwards, we stayed and helped put chairs away and clean up. I couldn't believe the amount of trash left lying around, but I was pleasantly surprised by random families (not just the usual PTA and LDS crew (it was held at the Stake Center)) who stayed to help.

Toddler Sea Turtle: I had a dream I was at the beach and I saw a sea turtle and picked it up (don't do this in real life). Except it was more like a cartoon sea turtle. And really heavy. In fact, as it clung to me, it sort of felt like a toddler sleeping on my chest.

Lollipops and Stickers: Sienna’s school book fair has a poster board full of dum dums. You can pick one for a quarter and some have prizes. I had a dollar, so we had two extra quarters. We gave one to Sienna’s little friend, and then convinced a new Japanese kid in their class (who barely speaks English) to take the other. The next day, she brought a little thank you note on origami paper and a little set of hello kitty stickers for Sienna. Sweet little exchange.

Morro Bay Whirlwind Tour: Rachel, Brett and Theo came to visit and Leonard and I stayed in Morro Bay with the kids so we could attend the Sip n See. We had a few hours to kill so we did a bit of a whirlwind tour of the city.

On our way into town, we drove up to Moonstone Beach to look for sea glass, then further to the Elephant Seal viewpoint. We also saw Hearst Castle and the zebras from the road.

The next morning we hit the future Morro Bay Maritime Museum (currently a couple cool sea vessels in a parking lot), the Strand beach with Morro Rock viewing and sand dollar collecting, and the Brown Butter Cookie Co in Cayucos. On the way down to Aunt Pat's, we drove through Morro Bay State Park, and stopped at the natural history museum there -$3 for adults, and the kids were free. It was a neat little museum with lots of hands on activities, a beautiful view, and some cool whale bones.

Sick to the Bone: I got a call to pick up sick Maggie from school today. She was very pale and her stomach hurt but she had not yet thrown up. I brought her home and tucked her in and went back to school for a meeting. Immediately upon seeing me, one of her friends informed me that they began studying body systems today. Maggie seems to have neglected to mention that fact!

Rose and Thorn: Sienna and Arthur were playing outside today when Arthur fell into a rose bush in the landscaping. He scraped up his arm and I had to pull some thorns out of his hand. Then I did what any reasonable parent of a toddler with an owie would do - I put his coat on so he couldn’t see the scratches and would forget about it. It only partially worked. He carefully held his hand to his chest the rest of the day. And when I took his coat off so we could paint rocks with friends, he held his arm behind his back so he couldn’t see his owies. Poor guy.

Not Yet: Maggie tried to pull “I’m eleven!” on me and I pointed out she would be if she hadn’t been so late. I will enjoy holding that over her head for nine days every year for the rest of her life.

Freezing: It’s the last week of our annual spending freeze! Which we will not be doing in January next time. I went shopping for the penultimate time this morning, a Walmart trip that will be followed by bananas and a box of applesauce at Costco.

Meals I planned
Apple cheddar soup
White chicken chili (already have chicken and canned stuff)
Thai pasta salad
Meatball subs (already have meatballs)

We spent $29 at Walmart today. (Maggie is home sick, so I had her and Arthur with me)
1 gallon milk
Tub strawberry yogurt
8 orange creamsicle yogurts
Spaghetti sauce
Bow tie pasta
Giant bag of tortilla chips
French bread
French toasties
Ritz crackers (a treat since we are under budget)
Green onion
3 lb bag of apples
And we also bought cough medicine but I didn’t count it.

Our cupboards and freezer are looking nice and clean. We’ve used up all kinds of half empty containers and bags of stuff. It’s a great feeling! Next week I’ll spend $200 at Walmart and refill with stuff we’ll actually eat on a regular basis.

Sea Glass: Yes, I’m obsessed with finding sea glass, and tide charts. I felt a bit guilty playing with today’s finds, as it’s 9pm and John isn’t home from work yet. But then I remembered that today I also worked out, took Arthur to the park, made a double batch of apple walnut muffins, did two loads of laundry, did two school pick ups, took the girls to gymnastics, picked up a Walmart order, and shopped at the dollar store. So I will call that good.

Sienna and I had a great hour and a half at Fisherman’s Cove in Laguna this afternoon. We found tons of sea glass, including a tiny red piece and a few little blue ones. Sienna usually stays far away from the water, but the tide was so far out, she was comfortable and soon started finding sea glass with me for the first time.

I climbed into the furthest cave, which usually requires wading through a foot or two of water, and if there’s no sand filling the bottom of the cave, it’s all under water. But today I was able to get in, and found lots of nice pieces in there. I carried Sienna in, but she was freaked out by the barnacles. Can’t say I blame her.

Man of the House:
Me: Where are you going?
Arthur: Arthur’s room.
Walks into mom and dad’s room...

More Grump: This afternoon, I got in the car to drive Dalton to Scouts only to find that my car key was missing. (I asked for a spare key for Christmas, but that’s neither here nor there, apparently.) We spent 45 minutes looking for it, during which I completely broke down over the crappiness of the day and the complete nothing I accomplished (tea party with Sienna was the only highlight). I also broke a bathroom drawer, and pieced together what happened: the front pocket of my purse was ripped, I had cleaned up a rubber band earlier, and there was an empty fruit snacks wrapper in the girls’ room. Someone had ripped open my zipped pocket, helped himself to fruit snacks, and lost my key.

I once found a Very Important Key as a clear answer to prayer - no other possible reason for the location I found it in, or the fact that I found it, or the fact that I hadn’t found it in the previous days I’d been looking. So I said a prayer, mostly because I didn’t want to disappoint Dalton. Who was probably more disappointed with my attitude than with missing Scouts. And lo and behold, Sienna found the key in the shape sorter, clearly put there by a toddler. We were only 35 minutes late to Scouts.

Grumpymom: Between coughing and Arthur (who wakes up around 5, and sometimes also in the night) I got about five hours of sleep. Today Arthur and i were going to Disneyland while the kids were at school, which I’ve been planning for ten days. I packed my bag last night with lots of snacks, and got up and put my favorite clothes on. Then Sienna decided her “tummy hurts” and now I am sitting at home instead. Half an hour later Dalton called from school and asked me to bring his lunch box. So now I’m tired and grumpy and can’t even just sit here being tired and grumpy.

[Gummy shark]
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