Susie's Leaning Tower of Chocolate

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

[No comments] Maggie Love: The other day after a really rough time getting kids off to school properly, John and I decided one of us needed to make time for special time with Maggie that night. She and I scootered down to Golden Spoon. She talked to me about how the higher grade, the ruder kids get, how she feels like we expect her to do everything on her own and don't help her, because she's the oldest, and how she plays four square at recess because you don't need friends to do a sport, just a bunch of kids that all want to play. She definitely opens up more with one on one. We have to make a lot of effort for that as parents of four kids.

[No comments] Rear End: I got in a car accident on my way home from Arthur's appointment with the pediatric eye surgeon. I got rear ended on the 55 South during rush hour. Luckily, we were stopped, and the guy was stopping so it was just a bump, but he left the impression of his license plate on our rear bumper. The guy that hit me couldn't have been more cheerful, and it really made what could have been a terrible experience almost pleasant.

[No comments] Tot School: Arthur started preschool. I think sending two year olds to preschool is weird, but I also think breastfeeding two year olds is weird and I did that with the last, so whatev. He is going to a girl in the ward with a few little ward friends. She is doing a great, organized job, and it’s convenient for us to carpool.

Still Obsessed: Arthur is referring to himself in third person as The Conductor.

Needs Charging: Arthur, on the deflated orca pool floatie: it’s dead. It’s all out of batteries.

Easing to Bed: Since Arthur broke his crib last fall, and we got the boys bunk beds, he has been making us lie down with him to go to sleep, which sometimes takes two hours, which is why I stopped letting him nap. He also required two applesauce, leftover from when he started refusing to nurse and I was desperate to get calories in him. We’re trying to undo these habits. He’s been doing ok if i read him a story and only give him an applesauce if he “goes to sleep” which will get him to lie down at least. Then I leave and he usually falls asleep. Sometimes he comes out and it takes one more applesauce. We’ve also been putting him down later.

Kinder Girl: Sienna started kindergarten yesterday like no big deal. She is perfectly happy to be there and basically knows the drill because of TK. She has church friends and TK friends in her class, and the other am class, so she sees them on the playground. Here’s to a great kinder year!

: The kids had a movie night with the babysitter and watched Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Sienna, on Leia not dying: That’s Heavenly Father helping her.

A Day in SF: John and I went on our first ever overnight trip without kids. EY held a promotion dinner in San Francisco for new directors and partners. We flew up with no whiny kids, got ice cream with no whiny kids, had fancy dinner with no whiny kids, slept in with no whiny kids, had breakfast with no whiny kids, flew home tin no whiny kids, and had lunch with no whiny kids. The whiny kids did not complain: they think the babysitter is more fun than I. It was great.

Olaf: Sienna brought me a stack of red and black checkers.

I made an Olaf!
What’s an Olaf?
Olaf!
How is that an Olaf?
Like a black food thing I put on my fingers.
Oh, an olive.

I don’t get how that’s an olive either, but whatever.

That Kind of Family: Sienna: We’re that kind of family who takes hikes and scooter rides. We’re also that kind of family that likes candy.

Back in the Saddle: After over a year of being frightened of the ocean, Sienna has gotten over it. Last week at the beach, she was having tons of fun in the waves within gibson. This week, she hopped right in. We only spent ten minutes at the beach but she was loving it. Ironically, we were at Crystal Cove, which is where she was tossed by a wave last mother’s day, starting her fear. She remembered walking to the beach through the tunnel but didn’t mention her fear at all today. I’m glad she’s over it; the beach is fun.

Sea Glass: We haven’t done a lot of beach this summer, mostly because of swim team. Now that that’s over, we’re having an actual lazy summer of staying up late and playing outside and enjoying life. Dalton had a play date today, but I took the other kids to Crystal Cove where we spent over an hour doing the free crafts they had available today - making sea glass pendants, watercolors and origami.

Potty Trained: My second goal for the summer (Sienna learning to ride her bike was the first) was the potty train Arthur, even though parents really don’t have much say in when a kid potty trains. Over the last two weeks though, he’s done it. Actually went in the potty for the first time, and really didn’t have many accidents, and now is obsessed with pooping in the potty so I’ll call that a good sign. If you wait until they’re ready, it’s not that hard at all.

: In the last 24 hours Arthur has voluntarily picked up and put in his mouth:

Bagel with cream cheese
Breadstick
Corn
Avocado
Oranges
Watermelon

Considering I don’t even offer him food anymore, that’s pretty impressive.

Blue Bean: Dalton reading his Mike and Ike’s package: carribean blue. Is this a kind of bean?

Then I also had to explain the different pronunciation of Carribean for Pirates of the Carribean.

Not It!: Sienna on scootering to get lunch with dad: 1 2 3 not it!

Our kids are lazy bums.

Swim-a-Thon: The kids participated in their first swim a thon this year. Sienna swam 41 laps, Dalton 64 and Maggie 78. Dalton was second place for most laps in his age group by two laps, and the winner couldn’t go to the pizza party, so he gets to go. I calculated that they swam about 2 miles total. Pretty impressive!

Conductor : Arthur still says “all aboard” when getting in the car, the shopping cart, his scooter, all the things. Except now he insists it’s pronounced “y’ah wee!”

Ghost Ride: Last time I tried to take Arthur on the Haunted Mansion, he burst into tears when we entered the lobby and refused to go on it. Today I asked if he wanted to go on the ghost ride, and he said yes, so we went. He walked through the line, into the lobby and into the elevator holding my hand. He stood there perfectly still throughout the elevator, and then when the scream died down, and the rattling stopped and all was silent, he let out a sad little wail. And the entire elevator full of adults said “awww.” It was so adorable.

PS: He did not enjoy the ride, but went on it peacefully.

Happiness Is: 9pm nacho fries on the front porch with your bestie.

New York City: NYC day 1: Lounged around all morning, grocery shopping, checking out the rooftop pool and playing iPad. We got into the city around 2 and met Leonard at the NYPL for a tour. The building was so cool, and I liked seeing the actual Winnie-the-Pooh friends.

After that we went to the American Museum of Natural History. Arthur loves seeing the dinosaurs. Maggie asked about seeing the Easter island statue, so we saw that too.

Next we had hot dogs and waffles in Central Park, climbed on the rocks, played hide and seek and played in a playground.

We had tickets for Top of the Rock in the evening. The little two, who are both sick, were about done at this point. But on the flip side, Dalton finally seemed to be having fun.

Then we walked over to Times Square and hung out while John got some Juniors cheesecake for dessert. We got a bit lost on the way home, so made an unexpected stop at the World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial.

Day 2: We took a 1:00 ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. So cool! We’ve never been up close before. Of course it suddenly started pouring and we sheltered under a tree for 20 minutes before continuing our visit.

The boat next took us to Ellis Island, which was pretty neat. Arthur enjoyed the boat rides.

After making it back to the main island, we went to the 26th Street pier where they have free kayaking on Thursday nights. John took Maggie out, and I went with Dalton. While John and Maggie were waiting, it started pouring again. Luckily it didn’t last long. And there was no thunder so we got to have our turns. The volunteers running the thing were so sweet, one of them got otter pops out for all our kids.

We walked back to the World Trade Center station to cross the river, and got to see the 9/11 memorial in the day time this time.

Day 3: We took the train all the way to Rockaway where we bought subway sandwiches, more beach towels, and spent a few hours enjoying the Atlantic. Dalton and John got in the water and went out body surfing. Maggie ran around. Sienna lay on a towel, and Arthur played in the sand with a paper cup. A great time was had by all.

After dinner, Maggie and I went to our first Broadway show: The Lion King! It was amazing. The effects, dancing, cool animal costumes. It was really neat. We got a piece of chocolate mousse cheesecake from Junior’s next door, and snuck it in. Maggie was appalled at our rule-breaking, but not enough that she didn’t eat her fair share!

Day 4: Saturday we met Leonard at the New York Transit Museum, after lots of train trouble. The kids loved it, especially the little two, and Arthur was in heaven. There were dozens of actual subway trains on actual subway tracks under the museum, from different times in the last century. It was so fun to play in them and to see the old advertisements. There were also old turnstiles and a ticket booth they had fun playing with.

We had lunch at Shake Shack, then tried to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Unfortunately it was closed to traffic that direction due to a protest ending. So we took the subway to the other side and walked up to the first pillar. It was really hot, and we took advantage of people selling ice cream and $1 cold food water bottles. That was about all we managed to do today, but it was a fun outing.

Day 5: The Central Park zoo was small (and hot) but exciting. We watched the sea lions be fed, and then spent lots of time with the penguins. There was also a small children’s zoo that the kids enjoyed. John and Dalton went to see Wicked after this, while the other kids and I walked to Chopt to meet Leonard.

With Leonard, we walked through Central Park to the turtle pond. Unfortunately the castle was closed, but we got to go in the Shakespeare garden where Leonard and Sumana were married. And the turtles were everywhere. Did I mention it was hot?

Sienna: Can we each get our own ice cream?
Me: I’m not buying five ice creams.
L: Ooh I will! Can I be the fun uncle?

Leonard walked us back to the subway and I managed to get the three kids (plus stroller) back to New Jersey in their respective one pieces.

Day 6: Our last day was spent at Coney Island, and on the train getting there. It was 1 1/2-2 hour train ride, which no one complained about. The kids all loved riding the subway. We went to Luna park, bought $100 of points to use, and took turns going on trill rides, kiddie rides, and playing games. We bought an $8 Icee with unlimited refills (we had at least 6) and had subway for lunch again. The Cyclone, original roller coaster was thrilling. It felt very unsafe, which was half the fun. Definitely no Disney. That evening, John went back into town and had dinner with Sumana.

: Dalton on my leg hair: you need to cut that. It’s getting long.
(It’s not.) Me: how often do you think I cut that?
Dalton: a year?

One Summer Goal Checked: I was cleaning the garage when I heard Sienna yell “mom, I’m doing it!” from the driveway. Apparently she got out her bike and decided to ride it. Just like that.

Must Watch Toddler TV: There’s a Daniel Tiger episode about not interrupting mom when she’s resting.

[Gummy shark]
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