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[Comments] (1) Sienna's Blessing/Easter/Spring Break in Utah: Links are for pictures!
Day 1: We planned to leave after school on Friday. Maggie woke up throwing up and didn't end up going to school. But by that point, John (who was also sick) had to go in to work for a meeting. So we didn't leave much earlier than planned. Traffic was awful and we had to stop a lot to feed Sienna. About 90 minutes into the trip, we decided to fly in December. We ordered room service at the hotel instead of going to a buffet as planned. This saved us a lot of money, especially since the buffet wouldn't have been worth it with John sick. We went to bed super early.

Day 2: Saturday was slightly better. There wasn't any traffic at least. Sienna cried more and we had to stop three times for her. A dirty diaper and outfit change at every stop. We arrived in the early evening and I went to pick up Zupa's for dinner.

Day 3: On Easter, we got up early and went to Sacrament Meeting. It was really an enjoyable meeting. The kids enjoyed all their new Angry Birds stuff they got for Easter. Angry Birds hats, socks, shirts, maze books, a blanket for Dalton. They also each got a Lego set and an Easter book.

The family all came and John gave Sienna a blessing. She was quite older than babies usually are and just sat there being darling. She wore my blessing dress and looked like a chubby little doll.

We had Easter dinner, and a not-egg hunt for the kids. I made eggs for the kids to find, but no one else did. Our kids were a tiny bit disappointed because I hadn't made eggs for them, but they got lots of other stuff.

Day 4: On Monday we went to the cabin with John's parents. It was rainy and cold, but it was fun to go up there. On the way home, we stopped to meet new baby Franco. So sweet. We had dinner at Jon and Sharon's on Monday night. The kids loved playing with the doggies. They came running in saying, "We got to feed the dogs!" They were giving them treats to do their tricks. Maggie really got into dogs on this trip, which was fun to see. Also, dinner was delicious.

Day 5: We spent most of Tuesday at Tasha's, hanging out with Colette, Madeline and Emmett. The kids had a great time. Maggie arranged a fun game of "Disneyland." They slid around the room riding it's a small world, walked over to California Adventure to ride Ariel, and screaming in delight on the Haunted Mansion. We went to Brook and Erin's for dinner. The kids were happy to see Jetta and Jazzy. We had hamburgers with donuts for dessert, and played a game of Taboo. Dalton was pretty good at Taboo, randomly shouting and repeating things that we were saying. My favorite quote of the night, though, was from Maggie. She sat down to eat a few more bites of hamburger before having some donut. She picked off the cheese I had put on her burger and brought it over to me stating, "I HATE this cheese!" quite vehemently. "It's gross."

Day 6: We lounged around on Wednesday morning, then met Brook, Erin, Ember, Jetta, Jamie and Mary for a hike in the afternoon. We hiked in Corner Canyon to Ghost Falls. It was a really nice hike. We spent almost two hours hiking and enjoying the small waterfalls. Maggie hiked almost the entire way on her own. Dalton didn't do as well. I think he was carried almost the entire way back to the car. But that was probably mostly because he could: Uncle Brook was willing to have a turn. After the hike, we stopped by our/Jamie's house, then headed to Jodi and Franco's for dinner and cousin time.

Day 7: We headed home on Thursday about noon. The drive up was so awful that we decided not to try to drive straight through. We stopped twice in Utah. Another gas station, another outfit change. In one place, there was a spot of grass for the kids to run around on. A fire truck stopped, and gave them coloring books which occupied them for a bit more. We stayed overnight in the Hilton Suits Vacation Club in Las Vegas. The hotel was SO nice. It had a real, full kitchen, a soaking tub, and a little overpriced market downstairs. We got sandwiches for dinner, breakfast sandwiches and chocolate milk for breakfast in the market, and enjoyed the tub.

Day 8: Finally a good driving day. There was no traffic, Sienna slept the whole way and we only had to stop once. The place we stopped actually had an open play place, so the kids got some energy out. We got home around 2 and had plenty of time to get unpacked, wash the car, do some laundry, and even enjoy being outside and doing the kids' new bubbles they got for Easter.

Spring: Four hours of General Conference is probably only slightly less church stuff than we do on a regular Sunday. But we managed to do a LOT today! We went swimming (Sienna's first time in the pool). We did bubbles and "flew" kites in front of our house. Dalton and John did scootering in the driveway. Maggie helped me organize the pantry. I rotated the food in our 72-hour kits. We all went to the park and played basketball. Maggie practiced doing the monkey bars and made it all the way across for the first time. Yay! She has been practicing for gymnastics and I think she'll be excited to tell her coach tomorrow.

The kids start swimming lessons this week. Our ward FHE in the park begins tomorrow. I've stopped panicking about the lack of long-sleeved onesies in Sienna's wardrobe. We had a colony of bees removed from our eaves. I bought myself some pants that fit - capris.

Spring is here.

These Socks Be Folded:
Me: Why are you folding your socks when you put them in the dirty laundry?
Maggie: Because that bees easier!

While I laughed about her saying "bees", she corrected herself, and then continued to insist that it was easier to have her socks already folded into each other before being washed. That's what I get for making her sort her own laundry to put away, I guess.

M: What's your third favorite? ... What is your fourd favorite? (I could NOT stop laughing at this)

Where are the finger muppets?

[Comments] (1) : Here are some of the cute things Dalton says and does at 3 1/2. If you (my 3 blog readers! or maybe my future self) want to put a smile on your face, read this post. He. Is. Adorable.

M: When it's scratch paper, it'll be blabby blobby.
D: We don't say those words.

Dalton is always very impressed when Sienna smiles at him and he says, "She gave me a mile!"

Am I a man or a muffet? I want to be a muffet.

Me: Do you want to walk or drive to school?
Dalton: Drive. Walking is not easy. (He always thinks I mean WALK though we've never not taken the stroller.

I explained to Dalton that some babies (like Maggie) spit up a lot and some babies (like Sienna) don't spit up much at all. He said, "Baby Jesus didn't spit at all."

Some cute word mispronunciations:
grils (girls)
nest (net - as in basketball)
Newtah (Utah)
Posco (Costco - this is where he usually pretends he's going in his ride-on car, or where Alligator is going if he's hanging around)
cramra (camera)
beebee (nickname for baby)

One of the most adorable things Dalton is doing right now is kissing himself better. I laughed out loud when he tried to kiss his elbow after bumping his funny bone on the table. If he can't reach, he kisses his fingers and gives the kiss to his owie.

He has renamed his stuffed alligator Swampy after the character in "Where's My Water?" This has been his favorite "guy" for a long time. The other stuffie he currently sleeps with is a stuffed deer from Aunt Erin.

Me: Don't lick Maggie's homework.

He put on a pair of shorts I got out for the warm weather: "What! There's pockets." He walked out of the room mumbling to himself, "I need to find something to put in beese pockets." I don't like you when you die. Are you going to die soon?

New Clothes: I am pretty excited about what I wore yesterday. On Saturday we bought a shirt at Disneyland that I've been eyeing since last summer. It's grey and pink - my two favorite colors to wear. It's long over my hips and the neckline isn't low. Meaning, I don't have to wear a tank top under it. And, it's a Disneyland shirt, so yay.

Additionally, my one pair of pants was in the laundry and it looked too cold to wear my new cropped pants. So I tried on a pair of my regular jeans and ended up wearing them with my maternity stretchy band since I couldn't button them. And my friend, Amy, said I looked skinny.

Today I hot glued the black band onto my hat. The black band that came off in India. Two years ago. The hat I bought on clearance for $4 at Old Navy in 2003. Yay!

Roll With Me 'Nenna: Sienna learned how to roll onto her tummy this week. Once she started, she hasn't stopped. Once she even kept on rolling all the way to her back (and almost right off the bed, but of course I was sitting next to her). She is SO ridiculously proud of herself, too. She giggles about it. And she thinks she is ready to crawl. She kicks like crazy, and can lift her entire bottom half off the ground.

Of course, she wasn't too thrilled when she rolled onto her tummy while she was supposed to be going to sleep. The first time, she then had a dirty diaper and leaked onto her sheets. Today when she did it, I turned her back over and she went right to sleep.

My baby is so big. She is bigger than my other babies, which is part of it, but part of it is knowing that it might be our last (sniff) and trying to enjoy every minute of her littleness. She's got adorable chunks all over and I love hearing her giggle when she's tickled. And she has a fat roll on just one of her thighs - her left. Love baby fat.

[Comments] (1) She Needs to Sort Out Her Priorities: This morning, Maggie completely ignored my indication that it was time to start her get-ready-for-school routine.

Me: I guess you aren't going to school.
Maggie: *gasp!* But how will I know when it's time for gymnastics??!?

A Good Mom for Maggie: This week I made a goal to be a better mom to Maggie. More patience, less yelling, supporting and uplifting her rather than discouraging. Focus on the positive. All that sort of thing. A few days later I read a talk from the most recent General Conference that talked about mothering daughters.

Young women need mothers and mentors who exemplify virtuous womanhood. Mothers, your relationship with your daughter is of paramount importance, and so is your example. (2013 April General Conference, We Are Daughters of Our Heavenly Father, Sat. Morning Session - By Elaine S. Dalton)

I spend a lot of time trying to get Maggie to do things - necessary things. Eating, bathing, getting dressed, homework. Asking, reminding, nagging, yelling. She is a sensitive thing, and she is in her own world a lot of the time and she Does Not Listen. She is very rarely disobedient. Just clueless. I've specifically told her she needs to do what I ask immediately, not because it's urgent, but because if she runs around the room first (and she always does) she forgets what I've asked her to do!

Anyway, I'm focusing on the impact my words will have on her tiny, precious spirit and hoping that thought guides me to be a better mother to her. I want a close relationship with her, so it's better start now.

In addition to just generally being more patient, I tried to make food that she liked and I didn't criticize her clothing choices (I was really glad I had an excuse to ask her to change into pants on Wednesday...), tried not to pick on her for being mean and bossy to her brother. And when I did pick on her, I did it nicely. Also, a big focus on saying positive things to her. Noticing when she listens, telling her I'm proud of her, pointing out her good traits and habits.

Maggie brought home a paper from school where she wrote about being smart. I love that girl.

The Little Things: I've been trying to focus on doing the little things with the kids (Particularly Dalton, whom I'm with all day), things I'm usually too "busy" or impatient for, or too bored, but that mean a lot to the kids. The kid version of stopping to smell the roses. In fact, we did stop to look at some flowers one day. Other things we did:

Let Dalton try some light-up toys at the souvenir stand at Disneyland.
Built a pillow house.
Hid under the covers and yelled Boo! to scare the monsters away.
Got the slide out.
Made lunches more appealing (muffin tin meal style, sprinkles, dippers etc)
Busted out the fingerpaints.
Paid for the full version of an iPad game the kids love but have been playing the free version for 6 months. Now they can do A-Z instead of A-E...
Played with shaving cream.

Sick Sunday: Today after church I started feeling really sick. I had actually been nauseous all morning. John to the kids to the park for two hours while I slept. Sienna slept too. I tried to make beef stroganoff for dinner but I only got the meat cooked and the noodles made. John came home just in time as I fed Sienna. He made frozen burritos for dinner and put the half-made stroganoff away. After another rest I felt well enough to help get the kids in bed. I hope tomorrow looks up. I'm keeping some water down.

Both of the kids passed off the fifth Article of Faith today. Dalton is so adorable when he says them, but he is too silly on camera so far. He got the fifth one word for word except he says "authorisGod" instead of authority.

I got to listen to bits and pieces of church, as happens with a baby. The organist forgot, so I helped fill in the closing hymn. In the meantime, I fed S in the mother's room where I could hear the talks. She went to sleep and I handed her off to a Good Samaritan so I could run in and play the organ. She continued sleeping while I gave an organ lesson. She was awake when I popped in for the last five minutes of Sunday School. My friend Stephanie held her while I got a brief message about seeking the Lord's will.

I spent most of Relief Society trying to get her to sleep, and then feeding her again. I made it in for the last 15 minutes, where she behaved (other than a noisy dirty diaper toward the end) and I got to hear Lorenzo Snow's opinions on following the Spirit (I think).

Also, someone told me they really appreciated the closing hymn (I'm in charge of picking the songs) and that it fit well and was inspired. I think I was successful at my calling today.

Busy at Home: I had a very productive morning. I took the kids to the grocery store to get a flower for teacher appreciation, but we ended up using one cut from outside out house. I picked up a deal on some dishwasher gel pacs while I was there. Then we went next door and got some doughnuts. A lady told me I was Mom of the Year because my three children were so well-behaved. They are really good kids.

After we took Maggie to school, I got to work cleaning the house. We did one load of laundry, cleaned the bathrooms, organized in the garage etc. I did lots of work while Sienna took a nap.

Dalton and I were eating lunch when I realized it was time to go get Maggie. We had to wake up Sienna and run out the door with our lunch on the table. Then we rushed home, ate, and got ready for swimming lessons. Maggie is working on swimming the length of the pool (including the deep end) with her instructor 10 feet away. Dalton is working on doing two roll overs (breaths) on his own. He used to be able to do that, but has fallen back. Both of them need more practice to be able to keep their skills up outside of their lessons. Maggie never swims as well for us.

After swimming we did homework and cleaned up. Then we went to McDonald's and the play place for dinner, since I knew John would be late. Sienna didn't take another nap, so she was grumpy, but she didn't go to sleep and life moved on. When we got home, Dalton took a bath, Sienna went to bed, and we read two stories. Dalton picked The Sleepy Little Alphabet, one of the kids' favorites, and we read a story from The Book of Mormon picture book.

John texted just in time that he was coming home, so he got to snuggle the kids before bed. I worked on the baby sling I am making.

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