# Susie's Leaning Tower of Chocolate for 2008 May

Set: I've been thinking about what it's like from Maggie's point of view when I point out something to her. When I point to a dog, in real life, a toy, or in a book, I think she understands that dogs all have the same general shape, are fuzzy, whatever. What I'm really wondering about is how she learns shapes, colors, letters, numbers, and how many of things there are.

Maggie has a set of foam letters and numbers to play with in the bathtub. If I point to a yellow letter P and say "yellow", she can't have a clue if I'm telling her the color, the shape, or what order it's in on the tub wall. What if she has three letters lined up and I say, "1, 2, 3" while pointing to a red B, a green C and a blue X?

My meaning will come across more clearly with fewer variables. For example, if all the letters were the same color, or if I am counting 3 of the same item, or sorting blocks by color. Thinking about this reminded me of a game Leonard and Sumana gave us for Christmas once called Set. In this game each player tries to find a set of three cards from those laid out that either have all properties common among them, or different. The elements on the cards need to be of the same number, color, shape and pattern OR the elements can each have one or more different properties from each other.

Double Time: John took Friday off work so we had two Saturdays this week.

Saturday I: Our shower handle broke Thursday night, so Friday morning we went to Home Depot to get a replacement, as well as some bark, some replacement sprinkler heads and a few plants. After Tyler's piano lesson we worked in the yard, planted our new plants etc. In the afternoon we went with Susan and Brook up to the cabin. There was no snow on the road and it was actually very pleasant up there. One of the neighboring cabins had a Little Tikes log cabin which Maggie had so much fun playing in.

Saturday II: Today we got up early and worked in the yard some more. Then we went to Ember's soccer game. Afterwards, Jodi and Franco came over and looked at pictures from our Alaskan cruise and my trips to Victoria. Then we went back out in the yard with Brook's fertilizer spreader. After noon we went down to take Grandma June to the cemetery and to IHOP. At the cemetery we discovered a flat tire, so we spent an hour there lying in the sun, letting Maggie have her nap (she slept 1 1/2 hours in the car seat). Once we got home we went back out in the yard. I mowed the lawn and John dug grass out of our beds. When we came inside we put The Wiggles on for Maggie and cleaned the floor. We are both exhausted from the heat and work of the day.

(2) A Kick in the Pants: Maggie and I went and picked up Grandma June this morning and brought her to see our house. She said she loved it and it was so nice and kept asking where I got all our furniture, pictures etc. Then she asked for a piece of chocolate cake and the raving really began. I made mom's fudge sheet cake recipe yesterday. Grandma wanted a piece to take home too, and said, "John must really look forward to coming home for supper."

We are headed to California on Saturday to take advantage of our Disneyland Annual Passes before they expire. It is going to be so much fun with our little Maggie toddling around the place and getting excited at every little thing.

(2) What the Mermaid?: My latest online hobby has been browsing Amazon for things to add to my wishlist. The other day I was looking through Amazon's recommendations for me, and some weird games started showing up. It said, "recommended because you purchased Nautical Chessmen." Seriously?

La Cursa Lunga: We made it to California safe and sound. The trip didn't seem as long as it has in the past. Maggie was pretty well-behaved, better than can be expected at least. We stopped at the outlets in Primm and bought some pants for me and a shirt for John but nothing for Maggie. We checked into our hotel (also better than can be expected for the price we are paying) and had dinner at Downtown Disney.

As we were walking in from the parking lot John said, "We're back to where Maggie gets lots of attention." Sure enough I overheard at least three people say how cute she was.

Maggie + Mickey = Friends: Why is it that Maggie can zonk out on my lap with pirates yelling all around, but have a hard time falling asleep in her crib with her soft blankie, stuffed monkey and two pacifiers? Sheesh.

Maggie met Mickey today. She grinned and poked his nose. We went on lots of rides, ate lots of food and had a good time. We had to wake Maggie up for the parade in the evening. Jiminy Cricket tried desperately to get her to smile, but she just stared. He even made faces (wiggled his hands on his head; he's wearing a mask, people). She finally caught on, though. It's fun to watch her face light up when she realizes why something is exciting, or what we've been standing around for.

We're in for another fun day tomorrow. We haven't even set foot in California Adventure yet, so that's on the menu.

Best Compliment: "She's even cuter than the baby ducks!" Waddle, waddle.

Disney 1-2-3:
Miles driven: 1500
Pictures taken: 107
Videos taken: 1
Times Maggie rode a merry-go-round: 5 (3 horses, 1 sea otter and 1 magical underwater oyster bench)
Times Maggie threw up: 2
Days we were waiting on Main Street when Disneyland opened: 4
Wiggle shows watched: 7
Dollars under budget: \$184
Kisses from Mickey: 3
Pink shirts bought for Maggie: 2
Pluto encounters: 3
Train rides: 6
Times John and I went on adult rides alone: 15 (yay for baby switch and single rider)
Hours of rain: 6
SPF Maggie managed to tan through: 50
Current price of a one-day park hopper ticket: \$91
Total amount we paid for the Disney annual passes we used this trip: \$125
Stuffed animals snuggled by Maggie: 27
New hidden mickeys discovered: 2
People who thought Maggie was So Darn Cute: 32
Times Maggie slept in bed with us: 4
High score on Astro Blasters: 385,000 (Susie)
Things Maggie did for the first time: Walked across a swinging bridge; rode Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin, gave Pluto a kiss, went down a slide alone, climbed up stairs upright, and told us what ride she wanted to go on.

1-2-3 Game: A little game Maggie loves to play: Count to three and then do something exciting like "drop" her, throw her in the air, tickle her, give her a tummy bubble etc. She giggles the whole time, even if you trick her and just count to three without doing anything after.

4 Day Weekend: John had a four-day weekend for Memorial Day so we got to do lots of fun stuff. On Friday morning, Kristen, Aaron, Lily and Gunnar came over for breakfast and to play with all of Maggie's toys. It was great to see them and Maggie had fun with cousins more her own age. In the afternoon we went to Provo, visited the cemetery and walked around BYU.

Saturday we went to see Prince Caspain, which I thought was really good. In fact I reread the book this weekend, and it was better than the book, I liked the changes. We took Justin with us and afterwards went to the Chadwicks' and hung out with Chad and Jodi.

Sunday afternoon we packed the car and drove up to the cabin to spend the night. It was a really nice day and we enjoyed a nice walk with Maggie.

Monday we were all working at the cabin as Mom's Mother's Day present. Unfortunately it rained and everyone was running late, which we didn't know. I helped Nathan put together the new BBQ so hopefully I can put ours together now. We were out of the rain in the unfinished basement, so it was a pretty good job as far as that goes. We all got nice and muddy and had a big lunch with cake for Chad's birthday. We got home around 4:30 and Maggie took a very long nap while John unpacked and cleaned and I did nothing.

Only three days left until our next weekend adventure; John is taking Friday off again.

(1) Regrets: One thing I really regret not taking from mom's house before the estate sale is her box of vintage ties. She had over 70 awesome ties in an old All laundry detergent container, once upon a time used to transport hand-me-downs to our Whitney cousins. She intended to make a skirt out of them one day. I meant to keep them, but they were out in the garage and got forgotten.

I also wish I had a lot of her gardening stuff, but that just wasn't practical at the time. I am thinking of getting a flamingo lawn ornament for her grave.

(1) New Toy: Every time I open the refrigerator door Maggie shrieks and points to her bottle of amoxicillin. Now she is carrying it around with her. Hmm, and her pants are falling off.

(2) Awesome Things John Did Today: Got up early to go running. Bought prescription sunglasses. (Happy Father's Day!) Went to Wal-Mart with me so we could spent \$100 on emergency preparedness supplies and picture frames for our soon-to-be family picture wall. Beautifully laid out said family picture wall. Took Maggie to the park and on a painstakingly slow walk down and up the block. Made a helpful suggestion for breakfast and raved about the result (raspberry muffins). Took me to dinner and let me order anything I wanted. Watched Maggie so I could go to the temple. Did LAUNDRY while I was gone. (Good thing I showed him how to use our new washer last week! He washed, dried, folded, put away and even remade our duvet & cover. (Maggie spit up on it last night.)) Pulled weeds. Filled water jugs, lugged them downstairs and arranged them. Cleaned up the kitchen, including washing muffin cups by hand. Swept the floor. Was generally adorable and sweet.

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