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DCA with the Kids: We went to Disneyland yesterday, even though I didn't want to. I'm glad I did, because it was even hotter today! The kids talked me into California Adventure, and once again, I was glad, because Disneyland was apparently crowded.

We parked on the roof, which they were excited about, then went first to Mickey's Fun Wheel. After waiting in line a few minutes, I determined that Dalton needed to go the restroom. As we exited to take him, the lady behind me said she'd hold my spot if they were still there when we came back. Sure enough, when we got back in line, she jumped up and down and waved and insisted we get back up in the line with them (which saved us 15 minutes+). She said it was because she had noticed Dalton's painted toenails and it reminded her of her grandson!

After that we went on King Triton's Carousel (Sienna rode on a sea creature for the first time), Ariel, and to the Redwoods playplace so I could feed Sienna. The kids stayed in the little kid area and checked-in. Finally, we went on Monster's Inc, got cake pops and headed home.

I had prepped some yummy chicken enchiladas, so they were all ready to bake when we got home.

Accomplished: Maggie made it to level 4 in swimming lessons. This means she can swim 25 yards with the instructor 10 feet away. They also started working on backstroke, and today showed her how to dive in for the first time. I'm so proud of her. Now, if only I can get her to swim like that for us!

Dalton got his first Star Student note at gymnastics. It says, "for good listening and trying his best." It was the evaluation day, and he said he did everything the coach told him to do. He was pretty proud, since Maggie has brought several of those notes. He's a good little gymnast!

Sienna laughs if you blow lightly in her face. It takes a second for her to register it. She's also just generally adorable. Dimply cheeks and chubby legs. That's my girl.

Double Disney Day: John was headed to a client's this afternoon, so he decided to take Dalton to Disneyland this morning, to try to get him on some more new rides (the last of them). They were at the gates at California Adventure when it opened and got in line for Radiator Springs Racers with only a 25 minute wait. Dalton was a little scared, but loved it.

Then they went on Tower of Terror. That height measurer must be a little taller, because this is the only ride we've had trouble getting Dalton on (keep in mind, he has napkins stuffed into his shoes). Anyway, they let him on. Here's what he had to say to me when he walked in the door this afternoon: "I went on the one that goes up and down fast and it made my tummy bad." Yeah, it makes my tummy bad, too. John said he was practically convulsing because he was so scared. Well. That's over with then.

I am taking all three kids to Disneyland after school. Only a couple more days left on our passes. It's almost a relief, to have my life back. Almost. I might cry when it's over.

Update: Disneyland didn't quite go as planned, but we had fun in the end. We waited in line to see Mickey. It was about half an hour. Sienna filled up her diaper and got her outfit, the sling and me all wet. I changed her really quick on the floor, and got a clean onesie on her, but her clean pants were in the stroller, so she is nakey legged in the pictures.

We went on Casey Jr, Pirates, Winnie the Pooh, and the Haunted Mansion. Sienna finally crashed on the Haunted Mansion. Then we got an ice cream and walked over to get a spot for the parade the kids really wanted to see one more time. We waited about half an hour for the parade. Maggie was dancing around and woke up Sienna, but it was just as well because the loud parade music startled her. At least she was already awake. She has a cold, so she was pretty unhappy, but not crying. I think she was content to be held in the sling all day. We made it home by 8:30 and everyone went straight to bed.

All Done Disney: We went first thing this morning to California Adventure. We were there when it opened and got in line for Radiator Springs Racers. Right after John and the kids got off, the ride shut down. So I didn't get to go, but at least they did. We took turns on Soarin' Over California, then went to Disneyland. John tried to take the kids on Star Tours, but they would not let Dalton on. So instead, I used a Rider Switch pass from last weekend to take them on Space Mountain. Of course the ride broke just before we got on. It was just backed up, but it took 20+ minutes for them to reset. During that time Dalton un-psyched himself out and he did not want to go. I made him get on, though. We also waited in line for Casey Jr. just before they had some engine trouble. Ugh!

After that, we went to the Jedi Training Academy. The kids finally got picked - yay! They were so cute in their robes with their training light sabers. Maggie was really focused and did a great job. Dalton had a hard time, but tried his best. Unfortunately, he got pretty scared when Darth Vader arrived. He didn't want to go fight him, and he ended up coming back to sit with us. They still gave him a certificate though. Maggie showed her skills in fighting Darth Vader. I'm really proud of her.

We let the kids each pick one more ride. We waited in line for Alice in Wonderland for Maggie, then John took the kids on Haunted Mansion while I fed Sienna. If you're counting, Alice is the only ride Sienna went on today. John and the kids also went up in Tarzan's Treehouse. Then we took the train all the way around Disneyland and said goodbye.

John is planning to take Dalton one last time on Monday morning, but since we have gymnastics after school, Maggie, Sienna and I are done. I am almost relieved. I have felt like I *need* to go to Disney rather than doing other fun things, and it is a lot of work. Having a hot, disappointing day was a good way to end it, but I know I will miss Disney when the weather cools and the holiday season begins. Next year!

On Being a Mom: Sick kids. Actually, we're all sick. Dalton and Sienna both went to bed when we got home from Disneyland yesterday - at 4:30. Dalton stayed in bed until nearly 10, and Sienna woke up to eat at 7 and is going on the third hour of her nap. Tired, sick kids. Dalton throwing up meant one of us had to stay home from church. John kindly agreed to play the organ, in addition to accompanying the children while singing in Sacrament Meeting, and during Primary, and helping Maggie with her Primary talk. All of which things I am missing, in addition to lunch (lunch!) during the 2nd and 3rd hours for the fanciest Visiting Teaching Conference ever.

How annoying that I have to spend Mother's Day doing throw-up laundry instead of at church where I can hear about what a great job I'm doing as a mother! I mean, how lucky am I? How lucky that I can stay home and snuggle my boy (and, presumably, my feverish baby, if she ever wakes up). Because this is what being a mom is about. Not free food (sigh) or getting to see my kids sing (or not) to me in Sacrament Meeting, or even hearing Maggie give a wonderful Primary talk. It's more about making beds and breastfeeding. More day to day than extraordinary. The key is to make the day to day something special. Excuse me while I hide from monsters with otter-pop-mustache boy.

(I can't neglect to mention that John and the kids picked out some beautiful tulips that were delivered a couple days ago. John also bought me a new shirt that I LOVE and Dove caramel chocolates (one of my favorites). How lucky is he that a stripey shirt from Target that fits well makes me quite happy?)

Suspicious: I have decided that Maggie isn't a picky eater, she's a suspicious eater. She really likes to know all the details about what I've made for dinner before she decides to refuse to even try it.

Today the Kindergarten took a field trip the farm. They got to pick and eat all the strawberries they wanted. Maggie said she ate so many her tummy hurt. "Maybe 17." They also got to try various vegetables. After describing them to me at length we determined that she tried a carrot (a whole carrot), lettuce, 2 peas (and she was happy to tell me she ate the pod and some friends didn't) and a "white thing with green on top that looked like a marshmallow with wigglies on the bottom." Hmm.

After school we went to park day since she was on the early schedule and finally got to go. Then we had swimming lessons. Maggie is learning how to dive and can swim the 25 yard pool by herself. Dalton just moved up to level three which means he can swim about 10 feet or so, rolling over to breathe, with an instructor nearby.

Then we went to Daphne's Greek Cafe for dinner. I carefully described all the food to Maggie and showed her the coupon flier. She decided she wanted a pita with meat and lettuce inside and hummus and pita chips. She was very suspicious about the whole thing, but said she'd be happy as long as she got her "tortilla" and meat. I ordered an adult meal for the kids to share. Dalton had a chicken kabob and Maggie had the gyro. I had to request that they leave her pita whole, and she made a little taco with hummus, pita and gyro and she LOVED it. After her first bite she said, "I wish we could have this for dinner every night." In fact, the only thing she didn't care for was the pita chips. She was also suspicious about trying the baklava.

Suspicious, I tell you. Dalton ate his chicken and half my Greek side salad. I ate the veggies from his kabob, had my own kabob and a street pita. Sooooo good.

After dinner, we walked to the fancy market next door, which I'd never visited. We browsed the produce section to find Maggie's mystery vegetable she tried. Turnip? Parsnip? Rutabaga? Nope. It was a green onion. Maggie actually did like green onion already but perhaps has only seen it sliced up. Anyway, that was her favorite thing she ate all day.

Sienna at Six Months: My baby is already six months old. She is turning into a little lady. As much as it brings me joy to see her eyes light up with each new thing she learns, I'm a little sad as well. It goes by so quickly. Since she was born I had the impression she would be more of a girly-girl than Maggie, and I still feel that way. She has delicate, precious little looks and a petite feel about her. She's very tall though (proof tomorrow after her 6-month well visit.)

Two big things that happened this week are beginning solid foods and sitting up on her own. I've delayed starting her on baby food mostly because I'm cheap and lazy but also because I am savoring the time I spend breast feeding what may be my last baby. I am a proud breast feeding mommy and I really do love it. But mostly I'm cheap and lazy. We've tried rice cereal and pears. She apparently does not like pears. Hopefully she picks up on the eating thing soon because I plan on leaving her for a long hike in Yosemite in 5 weeks.

Sienna adores her family. She turns whenever she hears Daddy's voice. She smiles and giggles at Maggie, who is the best helper and big sister. She appreciates Dalton's attempts to share when he's feeling loving, and leaving her alone when he's not.

Her favorite toys are Dalton's swim goggles, a badminton birdie, and the lid from the toy kitchen. She also likes to put fistfuls of my hair in her mouth.

Baby Girl has a big smile and is very friendly. When she talks while smiling, she sticks her tongue out a little and makes a cute "ulll" sound. She's quite talkative and will babble on to Maggie, or try to sing along if we are all singing songs. The song I sing to her (I should say "we" because the kids know all the words now) is "Hey Baby (I Wanna Know If You'll Be My Girl)." She loves it!

It's difficult to get her to sleep during the day, though she sleeps fabulous at night (7-6 the last couple weeks). She has only fallen asleep in her crib or in the sling over the past month or so. Maybe a handful of times in the car. She just likes to see what's going on. This is making church and the kids' activities difficult.

Dalton Does Good: Dalton brought home a certificate from gymnastics today. He walked forward and sideways on the high beam all by himself. I watched him do it from the viewing area and he did so good.

He made it to level 3 in swimming lessons this week. Just now in the bath I heard him giving swimming lessons to the ducks and dinosaurs. "Eyes Down. Rollll. 1 2 3 4 5, Eyes down."

Dalton: Can I watch the one that says, "What? A llama! He's 'apposed to be dead!" (The Emperor's New Groove)

At the Dentist: Dalton was afraid to go to the dentist. Lucky for him, I forgot and we ran out the door ten minutes after his appointment, so he didn't have time to worry about it. He refused to put his shoes on, so I carried him. He got a piggy back ride from the car to the office, then I got his new flip flops out of my purse. Picking out a Mater toothbrush and Maggie going first quelled most of his fears. Plus, he got to wear cool shades and watch a show about ocean life.

Me: I posted a couple pictures of myself on my picture blog. Both were taken for a photo-a-day challenge I'm doing. The first one was supposed to be for my favorite color. The trees on this street burst into the most wonderful spring-y green. With the setting sun they don't look so pretty but I love looking at them every time I drive down the street right now.

I wasn't supposed to be in the picture. I am singing to baby girl.

Hey, hey baby
I wanna know
If you'll be my girl

In fact, on this particular occasion, I think Maggie, Dalton and I were all singing to her. It was in the evening and she was ready for bed. We were on our way home after having dinner at Daphne's Greek Cafe while John was out of town, and picking out sugar cookies at Gelson's.

The other picture is my reflection in the car window. Dalton and I had dropped Maggie off at school and walked back to the parking lot. I don't normally use the sling for Sienna for such a short trip, but she was really tired and I wanted to snuggle her. Sure enough, she fell asleep in the car on the short drive home.

It's just a coincidence that I'm wearing the same shirt in both pictures! I got it for just $3 at Target when it was on sale for $6 and I had a printable coupon.

Holly Stars: John planned a great getaway this weekend to Hollywood. We stayed at the iconic Hotel Angeleno right off the 405 at Santa Monica. I didn't realize that was the hotel until I was figuring out the directions to go there. It was really nice. There was a wall covered in black stones, and the kids enjoyed bubbles and a jump rope picked from a treasure box at the front desk. Sleeping with everyone in the same room could have been a lot worse. I guess.

After we checked in, we headed to Arby's to pick up some dinner, then found our way to Lake Hollywood park. It's an unofficial dog park, so we had some visitors for dinner. Luckily, the children's play area has a fence around it. The kids loved the park, and even Sienna got to enjoy the swings. After playing, we hiked up the hill a bit to take pictures with the Hollywood sign.

It was nearly dark when we got back to our hotel. We took the elevator up to the top floor to look out at the city and the huge, rising moon.

On Saturday, we were all up much too early. We decided to visit the temple first. We drove to the Los Angeles temple and walked around the grounds and took some pictures. Then we went to the visitor's center and saw some church films and shared that with the kids.

After the temple we drove to Hollywood and Highland and found some parking. Then we began our search for "Holly Stars" as Dalton interpreted the Hollywood Walk of Fame stars. We found all the Disney characters and apparently Disneyland itself has a star. Also saw Harry Potter, Star Wars, and of course lots more.

We took the Metro subway and a free shuttle to Universal CityWalk to have lunch and walk around a bit. A girl gave us some unopened packages of chips they wouldn't let her take into the park.

We went back to the Walk of Fame and found Mickey Mouse, which we missed earlier because of the crowd around Michael Jackson. Then we got in the car and drove home. The drive home was much nicer. Sienna slept the whole way and it took about half as long.

Choosing Dessert: I believe that being grumpy is a choice. Today I am choosing to turn the TV on for the kids. Today I am choosing to turn on the AC. Today I am choosing to enjoy my baby. Today I am choosing to be kind to others. Today I am choosing to pick up dinner from our favorite places. Today I am choosing to eat dessert. Oh, who am I kidding? I always eat dessert.

Today I am choosing to be happy.

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© 1999-2023 Susanna Chadwick.