Susie's Leaning Tower of Chocolate

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

[No comments] Family History, They Are Doing It: I'm a ward family history consultant. It's fun, mostly Sunday calling. Tonight the beehives went to the family history center, so I showed up to help them. It was so fun! I helped a few girls find a spot to work on and practice attaching records.

John has been getting home after 8 every night, even though he is very ill. So I lucked out that he was home tonight. Now (9 pm) he is working, on the phone, and hacking up a lung. Worst time of year to be sick.

[No comments] Thank You, Internet: My brother lives 2800 miles away, and my sister lives 5400 miles away, and we just spent five minutes discussing clothing hangers in our childhood home.

[No comments] Monday, 7:15 PM: Dalton has started tennis after school on Mondays. Immediately after that, we drove Maggie to gymnastics 20 minutes away. Her class is from 5-6:30. We're still working out the logistics of what to do with the other three kids during that time (also, its dark), but getting home at 6:45 has been perfect. I let the kids eat more dinner if they're hungry, then everyone gets jammies on and goes to bed. At the same time. Normally Arthur is in bed before 7, sienna around 7, and the older two at 7:30. But there's no sense in messing with separate bedtimes on Mondays. They're all tired too, so they go to sleep and the house is quickly quiet. After sub a busy afternoon, it's a good feeling.

[No comments] Scoot a Scoop: Sienna says "scoop" instead of "scoot." Let me scoop my blanket over. Not entirely off-base I guess.

She has discovered mom will peel apples for her (to avoid peels all over the house). She only likes "up" apples, which I think means not the core.

We recently set up the little IKEA play tent in her room. After two nights of having the camping tent in our living room. Sienna slept in the tent for over a week, I think, until I put it away. It was fun to read a bedtime story in there with her, and Arthur liked it as well.

[No comments] Cause I'm Happy: Im decluttering and I recently was flipping through some of my old journals. It seems a great theme of trying to figure out who I am. What am I good at. What makes me special. Then, further in my reading, and further in my life, came the acknowledgment that my goal in life is to make people happy. I love making people smile. It was interesting to see that theme emerge in my introspection.

Goodbye, 2016: 2016 highlights include awesome family vacation to Portland with the Prestons, Knott's and Soak City, hosting various family, Zootopia Halloween, many beach trips, swimming in the rain, Spring and Fall breaks in Utah, Harry Potter at Universal, and of course lots of Disneyland. There was less hiking and more whining than I'd like, but overall a great year.
I actually feel a little guilty because I see a lot of complaints about 2016 (some legit). And I think we had a pretty great year. But I'm not ashamed of it, and this I my blog. Here's to an even better 2017!

Funicular: Maggie is learning Funiculi, Funicula on the piano. I pulled up Larry's High Silk Hat on the Veggie Tales Silly Songs DVD we got (three copies of) for our wedding, and now she is interested in practicing it. Where can I find Silly Songs for all of her piano music?

A Tiss and a Hug: Sienna likes to give people a kiss ("Tiss") and a Hug when they leave. Sometimes she is too late, so she invented a faraway hug where she stands with her arms open. She calls this a "benis."

She also says "waybe" (maybe).

Are You Kidding Me?: Dalton's latest thing to say is "are you kidding me?" We usually aren't.

Game Time: We went to a big neighborhood Christmas party last night. We got. Babysitter for the two little ones, but took Maggie and Dalton. The kids spent most of the time in the game bus. When we told Maggie it was time to leave, nearly three hours later, she accused us of changing the clocks, lying about the time, and only letting her play for a hour. Also, she hadn't eaten dinner (10:30 pm).

Chilly Disney Holiday: John had to go to work this morning, so I took the kids to Disneyland bright and early. The idea was to do Haunted Mansion holiday and Jingle Cruise since we are blocked out most of the rest of the season. I prepared the kids to wait a long time, but we didn't have to! We actually arrived at opening time, which we've been slacking on this year. They agreed on Mickey lollipops for a treat, so we grabbed those from the Candy Palace as they opened. Then we walked onto Jingle Cruise. Sienna got stuck on the boat - literally - and had to have her jacket pried out. Kids got to blow the steam whistle at New Orleans Station. We walked onto Haunted Mansion then got stuck in the seance room for ten minutes. We did Pirates, and went into a shop to have someone help cut the lollipops open. Big kids went on Big Thunder by themselves. We waited ten minutes for Buzz (only line we waited in) and then took the horse-drawn trolley back to the exit. We went over to DCA and rode Monsters, then learned how to draw Zero in the Animation Academy. Everyone did a great job of not fighting or whining up until this point. We stopped to write letters to Santa on the way out. By the time we got to the car, everyone but Arthur was grumpy. Almost made it.

Also, it was in the 40s. Soooo cold.

Little Feet: A little Arthur-ism that I just love. When I'm getting him dressed, I set him on my lap, and he sees his socks, he will hold up one little foot at a time to have his sock put on. It's so precious, especially considering the amount of convincing the next kid takes to get dressed.

Old School: Dalt is reading Pokemon jokes.

Me: Do you ever know what a VCR is?
Dalt: It's how they used to make movies. Like a projector.

Last First: Arthur is one! My little king. On his first birthday, he also had his first haircut, which he took like a champ. He also learned how to go down the stairs while we were in Utah for thanksgiving. He's growing up.

Arthur likes balls, cars, touchy-feely books, biting things, and ripping paper. His favorite foods are bananas, string cheese and anything in a pouch. He loves those pouches. He only drinks a couple ounces of milk each day, and it's hard won. He takes two naps, sometimes short, sometimes long. He sleeps at night from about 6:30-6:30.

Arthur is interested in the world around him. He thinks animals, and sienna, are fascinating. He smiles at everyone, but will only go to mom or dad - or Maggie! He's started making sounds like "a-dad" and "a-mom" that may or may not actually mean what they sound like. He laughs easily. He loves Disneyland and still enjoys meeting his friends. He pretty much likes anytime we are out and about, riding in the stroller or car, and seeing the world.

His main annoying trait is clinginess. And of course I worry that he doesn't eat well.

Family of Six: I am feeling the effects of having a family of six. Today I did five loads of laundry. And lots of dishes. I used to run the dishwasher every other day, but it's closer to every day now. When we were in Utah, I did a load of laundry every day. We make a load of laundry every day. On the bright side, we packed pretty light!

Happy Boy: Dalton cheered when he came home from school and saw me making pretzel dogs. He also cheered for the Chipmunk Adventure movie Sienna was watching. And excitedly told me about the snack he ate. He is so optimistic most of the time, as long as he isn't "bored."

Baby Vacuum : 4 stages of vacuuming with infant.

0-1 months. Vacuum provides desirable white noise. You can vacuum in baby's room while sleeping and she won't stir. Unfortunately, it makes you bleed every time so no vacuuming gets done.

1-3 months. Vacuum wakes baby up. Getting baby to sleep is so difficult that no vacuuming gets done.

3-9 months. Baby is scared of vacuum and insists you hold him while vacuuming. This is impossible. No vacuuming gets done.

9 months-2 years. Baby thinks vacuum is a friendly pet and follows close behind. So close that you when you pull the vacuum back, you may run over baby. No vaccuming gets done.

No More Rides: The kids didn't have school today, so I took them to Disneyland, where we met up with my cousin Laura. They were pretty whiny. Starving to death at 10:15 etc. Maggie was bored and wanted to leave. We had fast passes to Hyperspace Mountain. She said, and I quote: if we go one one more ride, I will kill you.

Habits: Sienna has developed a nervous tic. Except it's the other kind of nervous (not nervous system) and it's more of a tick tock than a tic. She makes a clicking sound when she's nervous, like talking to an adult, meeting a character at Disneyland, or speaking in front of people - she did it at the primary program after saying her part! It was funny and also really cute.

Lately she's been sighing as she breathes. Taking constant big deep breaths for no reason. The internet has convinced me it's just a habit and she'll grow out of it, just as Maggie did with throats clearing a few months ago.

First Freckle: Arthur got his first freckle a month or two ago, just above his right hip. It's pretty cute.

: Poor Arthur is sick. He's got the saddest little wheezy cough, and is breathing like a poor thing. Hopefully it's at it's worst. Nothing like not being able to do anything to make your baby feel better. He's pretty happy as long as he's being held at least.

Tuesdays Alone: Our neighbor and I swap kid-watching days every week. I watch her 2 year old for an hour on Wednesdays while she volunteers at the school and for 3-4 hours on Thursdays while she ice skates. She watches mine for 4-6 hours on Tuesdays for my volunteering and whatever else I need to get done. Today I volunteered for reading groups, voted, found a pair of jeans at Old Navy that fit me very well, picked up my sewing machine, at lunch at Taco Bell, and took my time looking through Halloween clearance at Target. It was a great morning. It's definitely nice to have some alone time, and also nice to tick off lots of errands without hauling kids in and out of the car. I don't mind shopping with them, but the in-and-out is annoying.

Also today was Running Club for Maggie and Dalton, during which I took the younger two to Trader Joe's and the nearby park. Then we had a quick dinner and piano lessons. The kids spent the evening sorting their Halloween candy to leave some out for the Switch Witch who will be bringing them a toy tonight.

Caramel Pie: Sienna thought the process of pumpkin carving very curious. The whole time John was scooping out the innards, she kept asking "are you making caramel pie?" over and over.

All Done: I've quit pumping and Arthur is drinking up the last few bags of breast milk from the freezer. I thought I'd try nursing him one more time. He laughed.

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.

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