Susie's Leaning Tower of Chocolate

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

[No comments] 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!

[No comments] 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 th 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.

Anemone: I took Arthur to the beach early one morning. It was about 8:30 and 58 degrees when we got there. Which seemed surprisingly warm in the sun. The low tide was quite high, so I only found a few pieces of sea glass, but he found lots of shells, and we were able to climb on the rocks and explore the tide pools. Arthur learned the word “anemone” and learned how to touch their tentacles to make them think you’re food. They are sticky, and close up and try to eat you. He thought it was hilarious! I love my beach buddy.

Village Errands: I write about this all the time... but I came home from getting Sienna from school, and my Costco order was sitting in my garage. This is the life! I felt a bit silly earlier this morning, walking over to Tressa's with three bags of glow sticks, strawberries, and dollar store snack deals, but our Village makes my life so much easier.

Legoland Birthday: Dalton begged to go to Legoland for his birthday. There was no school that day, and we didn't have a party last year, so it was hard to say no. I took him and one friend from school and we had a great time. We did some coasters, then the boys played in the castle play place for an hour, then built and raced cars for an hour. They held and official race, and they both won! We went on the new Ninjago ride, where we shot our powers at the bad guys in 3D. We also got to explore the aquarium. It was great birthday fun.

I See London: For my birthday/kindness points/new auntiness, I got to go to London for 8 days to visit Rachel, Brett and their new baby Theo. It was a very fun and relaxing trip. I pretty much snuggled Theo, did stuff around the flat, and went for long walks with my sister.

We did some organizing and decluttering. I hemmed some curtains. We returned baby gifts and walked back from the mall via the Olympic Park. We wandered in the Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park near the flat. We went for a touristy walk up the Victoria Embankment, across Westminster Bridge, back down the south bank, stopping for Greek street food and the view from Tate Modern, and walking back across to St. Paul's. And we walked down the canal to the river and back in the rain. Theo slept a lot while we walked, so we walked a lot.

Rachel and Brett are good parents, and Theo is a good baby. It was a pleasure to hang out on their home, cooking, playing games, and lots of laughing.

I was pretty glad to get back to my own babies, even though they're much more difficult. I'm sure John was glad to have me back, too. It was an exhausting week for him.

Seasons of Love: Last night I dreamt I was in a bedroom with five of my cousins, and our relief society president was reading a church announcement from her computer at a desk in the corner. Something we disagreed with. When I turned around, all of my cousins had changed into fandom shirts saying various things of underlying dissent. Jill was wearing a shirt that said "five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes to love."

Play Time: Today for her sharing day, Sienna was supposed to bring something she found on a nature walk. She shared some fluffy grass stuff she and John found at the park. She was very proud of it.

After school she was throwing around words like "pollination" and "harvest" and telling me how the white part of the apple she was eating is called the flesh.

I am loving her TK class and the emphases on playing and learning through play and real life, rather than worksheets.

We've been playing lots of games together. My Little Pony memory and Sophia the First Spot It, etc. I get to witness her learning through play first hand, and it's marvelous.

Household List: My cousin Alyson came to help me when Maggie was a couple weeks old. She got up in the night with the baby, cooked amazing food from scratch, did laundry, gave me breastfeeding help. When I commented she wasn't getting much of a vacation, she laughed and said something implying it was a whole different kind of break. Her boys were maybe 5 and 7 at the time.

I am fascinated by the invisible mental burden of moms (as homemakers). I've spent hours over the past few weeks coordinating, organizing, cooking, planning, shopping, and preparing to leave my kids. John is more than capable, and they'll be watched by my neighbor, with whom they're probably overly familiar. But I still had to pass on the details of our life, and John still has his day job.

I made a list for my neighbor of when she'll have the kids and a few little things she'll be helping with. Then I made John a detailed schedule of the week, and an even more detailed schedule of things that needed to happen every day.

John: "Drive to gym?" Am I just supposed to know what time?
Me: That's Tressa's. If it was on your list, I would have put the exact time you need to leave and what car seats to take and address and phone number and coaches names...
John: And emergency contacts!

Tressa and I have a bit of a shared mental burden... which makes it easier on both of us!

Little Gymnast: Today I took Arthur to open baby gym at the place Sienna and Maggie have gymnastics. I don't think it ever occurred to him that he could have fun there; he's usually stuck in a chair being bored. It took him a while to warm up, but he had fun throwing blocks into the pit, playing with the giant exercise balls, and going down the slide. We had some friends there too, so I had fun too.

101 Picnics: Sienna's favorite thing to do when she gets home from school is have a picnic lunch in the living room while watching a movie. Picnic just means she has to eat on a blanket so she doesn't make a mess. Today she brought home a 101 Dalmatian book from the school library, so we read that, then watched the movie while she had her picnic lunch. She had two bowls of pasta with red sauce and Parmesan, almost an entire package of blueberries, a string cheese, and a package of fruit snacks.

Duty and Honor: Me: Want to go put these clothes in the laundry basket for me?

Sienna: That would be an honor!

Peoples Is Peoples : Last night, while the girls were in gymnastics and the boys were home with dad, I stopped into Target to make a return. As I was walking across the street, everything suddenly get very surreal. Like, what is this life I'm living? in a kind of first world way.

When I approached the return counter, several young men employees were joking about a TV show. This turned into a conversation about Kids These Days and screens and the cashier made a comment about something he had learned in his child development class. It struck me that I wouldn't have expected him to be taking child development; I wouldn't have thought of him being in school at all. I would have only thought of him as a Target employee, but he is a person as well.

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