Susie's Leaning Tower of Chocolate

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

[No comments] Walrus Pup: Arthur: What’s Wally’s nickname
Me: Walrus
Arthur, two weeks later still: Hi Walrus!

[No comments] Joshua Tree: Our impromptu trip out to Joshua Tree was pretty much the exact opposite of the carefully planned, kid-free vacation to London and Amsterdam that John and I were supposed to be on right now. We barely researched, the traffic sucked, kids threw up, we made a masked detour to Walmart for new clothes, and dinner was several hours late. But for a few hours, I forgot about coronavirus, and we enjoyed rocks, sunset, and stars, and fresh air.

We also went with our neighbors, which is not technically allowed, and we don’t even care.

Highlights:
Monday: It rained. I took the boys to chick fil a for lunch and we had a picnic in the parking lot.

Tuesday: John and I went for an evening walk on Laguna main beach, and picked up gelato to bring home for dessert.

Wednesday: I took the kids, neighbor i was babysitting, and dog to Irvine Park where we sat in my new inflatable hammock, climbed, trees, ran around, and enjoyed not being bothered by people enforcing rules.

Thursday: We spent an hour at Laguna beach with the younger three. Then we had dinner out with our friends, and fluffernutter blondies for dessert (made by John and Dalton).

Friday: I went for a nice morning hike with a friend.

Feeling Glad: That we got to take our trip to San Francisco to see The Cursed Child. That John got on Rise of the Resistance before Disneyland closed. And that we already taken our kids to New York City because that may never happen again.

Applesauce Update: Arthur still loves applesauce. Now he traces the letters (a p p l e s a u c e) before eating and he likes to refill the applesauce with air by blowing into it when he’s halfway done.

Quarantine Haiku #1:
We chose SoCal for
Beach, parks, sun, pool, Disneyland
What’s even the point?

Fit: For the last year or so, I’ve been attending a dance cardio class with some ladies from the other ward that meets in our building. Now that we’re all stuck at home, we’ve been doing Zoom classes. It’s been keeping me sane to get some exercise, and see people I know for a little bit.

Plan C: Today we headed to the beach as soon as everyone woke up. Dog hours are only until 10, and it was supposed to be hot and crowded. When we got there, before 8:00, it was still foggy and some people thought it was too cold. Dalton latched onto a half-dig hole, and I was enjoying the beach, but we left after 20 minutes to do a paved trail in Laguna instead. Except after we drove there we realized all trails in Laguna are closed. So then we drove home. After that enormous time in the car, we changed and walked a bit of our trail, except further from our house. It was a nice walk with a tunnel and lots of trees.

Also today, we did the drive through farmers market at the Great Park. It took nearly an hour and we spent $125. We got oranges, strawberries, eggs, kettle corn, empanadas and chimichurri, tamales, dog treats, beef jerky, and hummus and pita. Yum!

Full House on Quarantine: I just took something out to the car and when I opened the door, Dalton waved to me from the backseat. “Just getting some alone time,” he said with a smile.

Time Flies: Today we took the family on a walk around north lake in Woodbridge. John and I used to walk around this lake when we lived in Costa Mesa. When Maggie was a baby, and now she bikes by it every day on her way to school. (If school were still a thing). She was in her element, showing us the difference between the 18 adolescent Egyptian geese, who were babies last time she was here, and the adults, and pointing out other types of birds, and baby rabbits, and goose eggs, and turtles. It was a fun walk. Wally also enjoyed it. It was crowded, but there were fewer bikes than I expected.

Dog Treats: Wally is a great dog. He is so shy that he spent the first three weeks mostly hanging out on Maggie’s bed, and still prefers to hide out there. But he’s started following us around the house a little and begging for car rides and sitting under the table while we eat.

I noticed he came downstairs while I was cleaning up after dinner.
Me: Good thing we don’t have to worry about Way eating that goldfish (cracker on the floor).
*walks over to the sink and back*
Wally: *Eats goldfish cracker as I’m turning around*
Me: Huh.

Here, Boy!: One of the highlights of getting a dog is listening to Dalton use his baby voice to talk to him.

It’s Quiet Uptown: Tonight I realized we don’t hear the Disneyland fireworks every night at 9:40 anymore. (Obviously.) And also no cars.

The lack of traffic is astonishing. And the clearing of the pollution all over the world. It makes me wonder if Mother Earth is just saying “stay home and enjoy your families, and let me breathe.

Tradition: We weren’t able to host our annual flashlight egg hunt this year. Despite, quarantine, it was pouring rain all week, so even my social distancing ideas didn’t work out. We did a hunt in the house after dark, and I gave away most of the dozens of prizes I had already bought.

Three Things: I started doing something I saw on Instagram, where you pick three things to accomplish each day. Some people are using quarantine to start enormous projects, but I have significantly less time these days. But I also want to make sure I keep exercising, keep on top of the housework, and have fun. So my three things are one each of those.

Today: Pilates, wash towels, dye Easter eggs. Success.

I also found that I have to plan what exercise I’m going to do, or it doesn’t happen.

Home All Day: Three years ago (three years ago) when decluttering, I put away all my silverware except ten of each. I think I even got rid of it the next year. Because I never needed it. Until now. With six people eating at least three meals a day at home, we’re definitely going through silverware and plates. Plus John has been cooking real food for breakfast a lot.

Home All Day: Three years ago (three years ago) when decluttering, I put away all my silverware except ten of each. I think I even got rid of it the next year. Because I never needed it. Until now. With six people eating at least three meals a day at home, we’re definitely going through silverware and plates. Plus John has been cooking real food for breakfast a lot.

Doggies is Peoples: Arthur just gave me a math problem. There’s six people and then we buyed a dog. How many people do we have now?

School’s Out for Summer: A couple days ago, the California governor announced that schools will not reopen this school year, and we’ll be doing online learning for another two months. We’ve been enjoying spring break, but hopefully it will be nice to get back to the new normal.

Stay at Home:

Me: Maggie can we take your school water bottle out of the fridge?
Maggie: No, I need it.
Me: For school in five weeks?
Maggie: No, if we go somewhere, I need it cold.
Me: Well, we’re not going anywhere!

School cancellation has been extended through May 1. Fun times. I cleaned out the fridge for lunch, and had to run the dishwasher twice today. Feeding six people all day, every day, is no joke.

Weekend: What even is a weekend, when you can literally go nowhere? John wasn’t working, and there weren’t new school assignments at least. We went to the beach on Saturday, and it was much more crowded than when I went on Friday. It was fine at the beach, plenty of space, but people weren’t being distant on the sidewalks etc.

Sunday, I made pretzels, yogurt, and worked on my 1000 piece puzzle, and we got a dog.

The Beach is Open: Until it’s not. The entire state of California was put in lockdown yesterday. On essential things like food shopping, pharmacies, essential business, and “taking your kids outside” are allowed. So today I took the youngest three outside at the beach. The little two ran around and had a blast playing in puddles. Dalt and I gave each other exercise challenges. His were all thing like “throw the ball in the air and spin around and catch it.” It was great to get out, and let John work in peace and Maggie catch up on school work in peace. She has been sick and slept all day yesterday.

Emergency Distance Learning: I am not cut out for homeschooling. I already knew that. The kids received their assignments today, through three different methods. Maggie was able to access and complete most of her stuff on her own. Dalton needed help logging into a few things. I had to sit and do Sienna’s with her. I’m sure if I’d printed it out I could have handed it to her to do, but I am not interested in printed full color pages for a 2 minute math worksheet.

John read with Sienna, they all did piano, and played in the garage (we moved the cars so they could have some space - we’re not supposed to play with friends anymore, and Sienna has a cough anyway. I finished a 750 piece puzzle. I need to get Arthur ping more activities tomorrow, he colored a little today, and played of course, but was otherwise on screens most of the day.

In other news, Leonard moved to the place they bought, John and the older kids met a pet dog candidate, and there was an earthquake in Utah.

Homeschoolers: First day off school. I made the kids a list of stuff to do including some learning activities, piano practice, chores etc. It took them about an hour to get it all done. Dalton and I baked cookies. We went on a family scooter ride at Mason Regional Park, during which it rained, even though I planned around the supposed weather. Then we goofed off the rest of the day.

Day 2 of Social Distancing: We went to the hot tub this morning with the whole family. We thought we might get rained on, but the day kept getting nicer and nicer. John printed out some super Mario coloring pages and colored with Arthur. The boys had fun on the Wii; the girls had fun playing outside. John and I went for a three mile walk with the neighbors. Then we watched Honey, I Shrunk the Kids with popcorn.

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