Susie's Leaning Tower of Chocolate

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

[No comments] Arthur, Age 3: Arthur's 3 year visit, he is 30 pounds (29%) and 37 3/4 inches (53%). Very similar numbers to Dalton this year. He made a good effort at carrying on a conversation with the doctor, other than randomly going off about mom's bandaid.

Doctor after talking to Sienna about the box she sleeps in: Where do you sleep?
Arthur: Bed!
Sienna: He sleeps in a bonk bed.
Doctor: Are you on the bottom? Who do you sleep with?
Arthur: Dalton and mama.
Sadly it's true for a bit most evenings. And he's still a terrible eater.

[No comments] Sienna, Age 6: Sienna and Arthur both had their check-ups today (just coincidentally the day I got around to writing about Dalton's). Sienna is 38 pounds (10%) and 46 inches (65%). She couldn't remember what grade she was in to tell the doctor. She also struggled a little with the vision test (Possibly because Arthur was interrupting with the correct answers). But she still passed, 20/25.

[No comments] Dalton, Age 9: Two months ago. 56 pounds (21%), 53” (58%) and he passed his vision test. Dalton loves playing games and watching YouTube videos on his kindle, but he also likes building race tracks, reading Calvin and Hobbes, being a helper, having contests, and school. He makes friends easily, and has a nice group of boys he hangs out with at school. Dalton loves vegetables (mostly roasted) and besides not wanting to eat breakfast most days, he’s probably our overall best eater.

[No comments] Fancy New Executive: For John's promotion, we went to Orlando for training meetings and fun. We went a little early and spent our first morning at Animal Kingdom, going on rides I didn't get to do last time because I was pregnant with Arthur. That evening, we ditched the dinner and went to Hollywood Studios for another roller coaster (yay), Tower of Terror (boo) and Fantasmic.

The next day, I went with the other spouses on a Wild Florida airboat ride on a lake where we saw interesting plants and lots of different birds. Then we explored the little wildlife zoo - lots of alligators. Did I mention it was 45 degrees? Aka freezing. The boat would have been a lot more fun if it had been a lot warmer.

That night, the company rented out Universal Studios (!). We hung out in Diagon Alley, escaped from Gringott's twice and drank a lot of butter beer. All the food was free. We had ice cream from Fortescue's, chili dogs, Korean beef tacos, Chinese food. That and more was just there for the taking, and I'm all about free food.

Which was the main awesome part of the whole trip. During the conference, there were meals served. And on the airplane! I didn't have to cook a thing, or feed anyone.

Speaking of not feeding people, we left the kids with a couple in the ward. They have a 1 year old and stayed at our house and I paid them and it was amazing. That was our main expense. Otherwise, we bought Disney tickets, dinner at Disney the one night, one Uber ride, and a Mickey ice cream bar.

Set Ups: The kids call an arrangement of toys to play with “a set up.” For example, Maggie and Sienna made a set up of TsumTsum to play with, and add the new ones from the advent calendar.

Date Night: We made plans this afternoon to go to dinner with our neighbors tonight - to our favorite new neighborhood taco place. Left the kids all home with their big sisters and did not intend to be gone for three hours, chatting the night away. Maggie handled everything great.

December 1st: The first day of December is always a fun day. Today the kids got to eat their first chocolate from the Trader Joe’s advent calendars aunt Pat bought for them. They got a letter from their elf, Peppermint, and a gift - a TsumTsum advent calendar! So they got to open their first tsum tsum too. Plus, they got to put the first get ornament on the advent Christmas tree that was mine when I was a kid. An exciting day, and an exciting three weeks ahead.

I also got some fun Christmas activities at the dollar store that I think Arthur and Sienna at least will love. Window cling gingerbread house and decorations, mini Christmas train wind up, Christmas stamps etc.

First Class: John and I are traveling to a new executive conference in Orlando, first class. The kids are mad. Dalton thinks he’ll never get a chance because John won’t let him be an accountant. Sienna is mad because she wants to go “to first class.”

: I subbed Sienna’s primary class today. In sharing time, she went up to pick a paper and when the teacher asked “do you hear the Sacrament prayers every week?” She answered “nope!”

Maggie Sits: Tonight Leonard took John and I to Javier’s, which was so yummy. We left the kids home with Maggie, and when we got back she offered to put Arthur in bed and did a great job of it. Maggie being able to babysit is my new favorite thing about parenting. She also babysat for both of our neighbors this week, earnings a total of $21.

Poisonous Gas: In the cell phone waiting lot on the second of many airport runs in the next couple weeks. I can hold my breath through the tunnel under the LGB runways, but not through the LAX one.

Javier: Sienna, watching live action Beauty and the Beast: this Javier scares me a little bit. (Lumiere.)

Phone Addict: Arthur, trying to get my phone away from Sienna: “I need to tell Tressa something!” In case we didn’t know how I always get my phone away from him!

Veterans Day Tradition: Apparently, we went to breakfast at Stacks with our neighbors last time we had school off for Veterans Day. So we did it again yesterday. We also scootered down to the park to meet one of Arthur’s baby friends, and John bought new couches we’ve been decided on for the last couple days.

Time Change: Last week I, and 61% of other California voters, gave permission to the legislature to make daylight saving time permanent, as soon as they can get federal permission. It’s been 10 days since day light saving time ended and my kids were all awake by 7:15 today. My friend summed it up nicely yesterday: “She used to wake up at 7. Now she wakes up at 5.”

Things That Go: During Maggie and Dalton’s theater class on Thursday afternoon, I took Sienna and Arthur shopping. On the way back to the theater, we pulled over in rush hour traffic to let a fire truck through. I was impressed at how the packed traffic of people trying to get somewhere managed to make room so quickly. When we got to the theater, we sat on a grassy spot in the parking lot. It was dark because daylight savings ended, windy because Santa Anas, and airplanes taking off instead of landing in that direction, probably also because of the wind. The kids loved it.

Flip: We have many good Reasons for staying in our little house, so it’s been a long time since I wished we had more space. But apparently flipping water bottles is a thing, and it’s a thing Dalton has gotten into and no matter where he goes I can hear the *thud* of a water bottle landing over and over.

Spiteful Christmas Music: I turned on some Christmas music in the car to spite my “but it’s Novemebr 8! Why are the Christmas movies out?” kids. Sienna asks, “I wonder what Santa will look like this year”, remembering that “last year he had dark skin.”

Goal #10: I finished goal #10 of my 18 in ‘18 goals yesterday - playing every hymn in the hymn book. Apparently there are 14 men’s choir songs, all in weird keys, so I plugged through those and finished with a patriotic bang.

Tree Beard: Probably every kid does this, but Sienna calls root beer “root beard” and it’s adorable.

Arfor : After 3 years, Sienna has started saying “Arfor” instead of “Arsor”.

Travel Plans: Last night John told me he was taking the morning off and going for a hike, so I asked if I could tag along. I swapped Arthur to my neighbor - and took her kid running errands with me afterward - and we headed out after dropping Sienna off at school. I haven’t been hiking in a long time, especially if you don’t count the easy 1-2 mile kid paced stuff we usually do. We did close to 4 miles, up some steep grades, and John patiently waited for me at the top of each one. When I wasn’t breathing embarrassingly loudly, we had a great talk about our set future travel plans and possible other ideas. A topic we both love, and it was nice to have uninterrupted time together doing something we enjoy.

Travel Plans: Last night John told me he was taking the morning off and going for a hike, so I asked if I could tag along. I swapped Arthur to my neighbor - and took her kid running errands with me afterward - and we headed out after dropping Sienna off at school. I haven’t been hiking in a long time, especially if you don’t count the easy 1-2 mile kid paced stuff we usually do. We did close to 4 miles, up some steep grades, and John patiently waited for me at the top of each one. When I wasn’t breathing embarrassingly loudly, we had a great talk about our set future travel plans and possible other ideas. A topic we both love, and it was nice to have uninterrupted time together doing something we enjoy.

Trick and Switch: Fun Halloween evening started with walking a couple neighborhoods over to where some church friends were doing a haunted house in their garage. I took Arthur through the lights-on, less scary version ("Hi, it's me, Emily!" says the creepy masked being) and it was really fun. Then we got to go into the "Friends only" trick or treating in their house with full sized candy bars, donuts, and they even had chili, corn bread, apples and dip for the kids in the haunted house and everyone. (We did not steal their dinner). The kids all loved it. I love fun, generous people like that.

We meandered our way through the next neighborhood trick or treating as usual. The kids got tons of candy and sorted it out for the Switch Witch when we got home. Sienna woke up crying at 11:30 pm because her candy was gone but there wasn't a toy in its place. The toy was outside her door, and assured of that, she went back to sleep. She got a baby fingerling, that also included two surprise baby fingerlings (surprise to the switch witch who bought it on clearance and wants to go back and buy more.) Maggie got the latest Wimpy Kid book ("I didn't know this was out yet!"). Arthur got a Thomas train mini mystery ($1.49, score) and Dalton got the board game Qwuirkle, which I can't wait to play with him. The Switch Witch needs to be more on the ball next year.

The Switch Witch candy was gone from the EY break room by 9:30.

Dancing Boys and Beagles: One of my 2018 goals is to play through the hymn book. The other day, one of those days I was watching a variety of kids at my house, I was playing a couple hymns and when I stopped, Arthur and his friend came in demanding more. So I got out Snoopy Dancing song and played it and they danced, and clapped and begged for more. We did that for another 15 minutes, filled with giggles and expending energy, until it was time to pick up the big sisters from school. It was nice to be appreciated.

Snoopy Dancing* - this is Minuet in B flat major by J S Bach. Snoopy dances with Marcy and Peppermint Patty in the Easter Beagle show to this song and I started playing it for four year old Maggie to dance to. All the kids still love dancing to it.

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