Susie's Leaning Tower of Chocolate

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

[No comments] 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.

[No comments] 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.

Supermom : Tuesdays are always power days. I worked out, made a triple batch of peanut butter chocolate chip muffins, took Sienna to the beach, made real food for dinner, and took Sienna and Arthur to splash in puddles and throw pine cones in the river. We had baths and showers (always an accomplishment) and went to bed with the house tidy.

New Year: Starting the new year off right with all the Christmas decorations put away, a clean house, both cars washed and mine vacuumed and car seats clean (thanks to a road side vomit stop on our way home from Utah). John got a new Jeep, so it doesn’t need vacuuming yet. Kids got lots of time to play iPad but also went outside and did some jobs. The under stairs storage closet is all organized nicely. And I printed a 2018 things in 2018 decluttering chart and we filled in some stuff as we worked.

Santa Gifts: Maggie had a long list of inexpensive things she asked Santa for. He brought her a foam Minecraft diamond sword and pick axe.

Dalton also had an impressive list, which Santa mostly ignored and bought him CPK gift cards, which he loved.

Sienna asked for a Hatchimal and a (real, pet) horse. Santa came through with the hatchimal - a big one that talks and walks, which is what she really wanted.

Arthur only had a vague idea of what was going on, but was very pleased with a Green Toys dump truck, and has been giving the new Beanie Boos rides around in it.

Most of the gifts from mom and dad were things like clothes and sticker books. The kids also bought each other thoughtful gifts. They picked out Beanie Boos for each other, Sienna wanted to get Maggie and Dalton LEGO Ninjago mystery mini figures, etc.

I am ridiculously pleased at the lack of “stuff” we ended up with.

We also had really minimal stockings this year - mostly candy. I think we didn’t put a lot of effort into it because Leonard wasn’t with us. But no one complained about candy!

Potato, Potato : Sienna: This fry that I got looks like this on the back.
Me: That’s a potato skin.
Sienna: It got a potato skin on it?
Me: French fries are made out of potatoes.
Sienna: I did not know that. Can I eat it?

November Babies: Arthur and Sienna had 2 and 5 year old check ups today. Sienna is 34 lb (11%) and 43” (62”). Arthur is 25 lb (15%) and 34” (44%).

: Older lady from Wales latched onto John on his tour of Lantau Island in Hong Kong.

Lady: I’m on a whirlwind ski tour.
John: Skiing in Hong Kong?
Lady: Oh it’s an expression. I’m spending my kids’ inheritance.
John: Oh so am I!

Wake Up, Fire Truck: If Arthur wakes up happy, he is usually jabbering and telling all sorts of stories when o go get him. For a long time he would tell me about the beach, and anemones, and how they eat you. The other day we saw a fire truck bring paramedics to tend to a girl who had fallen at the park and got an owie (she was fine). Now he says fire truck! And owie doctor!

Stuff Sienna’s Been Playing With: Sienna likes to play with random stuff. And by “random stuff” I mean “trash”.

Envelope for a card I tried to mail. I had to get a new one.
Garbage pick up bill for our house in Utah.
Halloween card from grandma and grandpa.
Thank you card from a birthday party she went to. This is her “computer” (laptop).
Cardboard boxes. She begs to keep every one that enters our house.

Wah, Truck, Wah: Between daylight savings and Arthur not eating food, he has been really grumpy today. I took him for a walk along the busy street to see lots of trucks go by. He started grumping as soon as we got back home.

Arthur Has Weird Ideas: Q: What is more difficult than buckling a toddler who doesn't want to be buckled?

A: Buckling a toddler who thinks he is being tickled.

Rainday : This morning was wet and a little sprinkly. Arthur first woke up at 5:20 - Daylight Savings Time has ended. We went for a walk to the hot tub. The long way because the first pool we went to was closed. The kids watched Christmas shows and played iPad most of the day. Arthur took a nice early nap, and we went early to church so I could join the choir in practicing Christmas music, which was really fun.

I taught a Sunday school lesson on family history today. I read the New Era story my mom wrote about her dad’s contact lenses. And I took the actual contact lenses to show everyone. We talked about different ways we can do family history and temple work just a bit in our lives to get the Spirit of Elijah.

After church John made pulled pork sandwiches and roasted veggies. We went for a walk. Made Arthur stay up until nearly 7. He was losing it, but I think he was really hungry because he didn’t eat dinner. I’ve been giving him fewer squeezes and offering him more real food, but I think he’s just eating less. Maybe drinking more milk. I guess I’m saving money. :/

Bubbles: This morning while I was cleaning, Arthur got out the bubble bath and pour the rest of the container into the bathtub. I mean, at least he poured it into the bathtub. I closed the drain and then tonight, gave the kids the bubbliest bubble bath ever. I had to give them a shower after to rinse all the bubbles off and actually wash them.

Ladies Who Lunch: Maggie is trying to get Dalton to play with her outside but he’s still in his pajamas. Didn’t get dressed when I asked him to and now Arthur is asleepin his room.

“Who’s outside at this time of day? They’re either at work or at some fancy restaurant.“

Pajama Day: Today was pajama day at school for red ribbon week. I thought it was fun that the kids thought nothing of ever actually getting dressed and had dinner and piano lessons in their pajamas. Dalton got out clean pajamas to change into after showering, but showed up wet in the same PJs. I told him to go put on the clean ones and he never did. He couldn’t find them. They were in the dirty laundry basket.

He also got himself his own bowl of ice cream for dessert. Arthur got out a spoon, climbed up on the chair behind him and started poking his spoon in. His giant plastic serving spoon. Also, Arthur didn’t actually want any ice cream because he doesn’t eat food.

However, I only let him have one squeezey this afternoon and he eventually ate a yogurt tube, and then had four chicken nuggets and tasted a tater tot at dinner time. Unbelievable.

Also, unbelievably hot. We get random hot days in October from the Santa Ana winds every year, but this year was ridiculous. Car said 109° today. Melting.

Be Careful What You Wish For: Arthur finally got his wish, and helped himself to a bullion cube in its shiny wrapping. Told ya, kid.

Milestone: Arthur’s reached the point where he’ll sit for and enjoy a picture book, which opens up a whole new world.

5th Grade Lyfe: Maggie and I argued about whose life is harder. She said “I have to follow Arthur around and clean up after him” and I said “…” She said “you finished college already!” and I said “so I have a college degree to follow Arthur around and apparently it only takes a fourth grade education.”

Dalton’s Baptism: Dalton William Chadwick

I have a little sister Sienna, baby Arthur is super cute, mom and dad are super nice, big Sister Maggie plays with me a lot.

Favorite scripture story: The one when they lower the man through the roof because it was so crowded. Because it’s funny they went through the roof.

Favorite song: Gethsemane

His unique talent is swimming.

Special qualities that prepared him for baptism are that he’s kind and forgives right away.

Arthur Gets Glasses: By the time Arthur was 6 months old, we began to suspect his wandering left eye was not normal. The pediatrician referred us to a pediatric eye surgeon at 9 months; she didn't notice anything unusual but showed me how to take flash pictures to see if the eye was misaligned.

A year and several dozen flash pictures later, I took Arthur back to the eye doctor. He has intermittent exotropia, a kind of strabismus. She noticed it right away, flipped through two of the pictures, and began talking options. She ended up prescribing glasses for his minor near sightedness, and we are hoping that makes it easier for him to control his eye, and we can avoid surgery.

So now Arthur wears glasses like mom and dad. He adjusted to them surprisingly well. I say, as he takes them off and throws them at me.

To Cook or Not To Cook: Yesterday was a busy day, planned down to the minute, so of course Maggie woke up sick and missed school. I shipped Arthur off to the neighbors for the whole day, left Maggie at home for one errand and dragged her on another. I had a meeting at school, and then Dalton had cooking class. Which was cancelled, though no one informed me. I am quite used to getting phone calls that whatever Dalton signed up for has been cancelled. So 45 minutes was wasted driving around town with four grumpy kids in the car. Poor Dalt was so sad. This always happens to him.

Sienna’s school had a fundraiser at McDonald’s so we went to pick up food. They wrote down her name and class, so opedully she’ll get some credit for going. The principal and teachers were there bringing out trays of food. It was pretty fun.

In between all that, I made a Rapunzel dress for Sienna’s second Halloween costume.

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