Susie's Leaning Tower of Chocolate

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

[No comments] Spoiled Friend: My little kids really love The Sound of Silence from the Trolls movie. With the creepy forest creatures singing in the background. Except Sienna insists it’s “hello darkness, spoiled friend”.

[No comments] Dalton Turns 9: For Dalton's birthday he asked for Roblox figures, Hot Wheels tracks that turn, a fudge cake, and ice cream and Boomers with friends. Done and done!

[No comments] Miss Independent: For the holiday weekend, my neighbor and I took all the kids (minus Dalton who went to Utah with John) to Knott's Berry Farm. We sent the 11 year old girls off on their own with Maggie's gizmo pal to call and check in every once in a while. They had a blast! They went on all the roller coasters, and toward the end of the day, the lines were basically nothing, so they kept going and going. Meanwhile, the littles had fun in Camp Snoopy, particularly on the "jumpy cars" (Pig Pen's Mud Buggies), and Arthur loved all the trains. We also went on the Voyage to the Iron Reef together, where we got stuck for half an hour before we climbed a ladder to get out of our car and escape. It was a great day.

First World Disney Problems: When you’re sitting too far away to chat on the carousel so you spend the whole ride texting.

Disney Cruise: For my birthday/mother's day/15th anniversary, we went on a four-night Disney Cruise to Cabo. It was so fun! The whole family loved it. The kids loved the kids club, Arthur loved the characters, we had fun at the pools and enjoyed the shows and the food and the peace and quiet. In Cabo, John took Maggie, Sienna and Arthur to the beach, and Dalton and I went on a zipline adventure. We ziplined upside down, tandem, rock climbed, and scooted across the river on a cable. It was very exciting.

The cruise was also Halloween themed which added a whole other level of fun. We dressed as Peter Pan characters this year. John was Peter Pan, Sienna was Tinkerbell, Maggie was Tiger Lily, and Arthur, Dalton and I were Michael, John and Wendy. Arthur as Michael was the cutest thing ever. I heard a lot of "awww"s about our family costumes as we walked by and more than one turned into double "AWW!" when they saw little Arthur toddling in a pink sleeper with his teddy.

Arthur refused to eat anything but french fries, but was otherwise pretty good. He slept well at night, and crashed randomly a few times. At the Halloween party, he was dancing with Dale one minute, and asleep on me the next.

Also a funny moment: Our rooms were across from each other, so we popped back and forth a lot, especially to use the other bathroom. When I was getting Arthur ready for bed, I found myself chasing naked Arthur in the hallway while wearing my Wendy costume and a neighbor said, "Only on a Disney Cruise."

John booked us another cruise for next Christmas, so more adventure to come.

A Night to Remember: We had a super fun girls night at Disneyland last night. I drove five friends, and we went on lots of big rides and had a blast. We first did Guardians of the Galaxy, Monsters After Dark for the Halloween theme. We unknowingly sat with the three fun people in one row, and the three terrified people in another. We also did Soarin', then went to Disneyland where we got ice cream and went on Indiana Jones. Then we decided to do Splash Mountain.

I was in the front, and someone's phone got handed up to me to take a selfie. Then the log bumped and I DROPPED IT! I was so horrified, but the girl behind me was laughing so hard she couldn't even get out the words to tell us that she CAUGHT IT. I couldn't believe it. And then I got drenched. Completely drenched with a wave of water pouring on my head from the front of the boat. I got hit by another huge wave on the big drop. Fun times.

After that we did single rider on Space Mountain (Ghost Galaxy) and headed home well after 11. It was closer to 12:30 by the time I dropped everyone off and got in bed, but it was so worth it. Lots of fun memories made.

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.

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.

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?
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

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!”

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