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13 Cool Things We Did in '13: I was going to do a post about all the cool things I did this year, but then I realized there weren't any.

1. Maggie learned how to read. She also burned a track in the carpet from her running around.

2. John got promoted to Senior Manager. Did I not mention that? Well, he has his own blog.

3. We drove up the coast, then went inland to Yosemite.

4. We went to San Diego! Visited the San Diego Zoo and the Safari Park twice each, and stayed in a cool hotel.

5. We made two trips to Utah. Oh wait, I said "cool" things, not cold miserable things. Utah in March is nice.

6. The kids went to summer day camp for the first time. Maggie to Hero Camp and both kids to gymnastics camp.

7. Sienna learned all sorts of stuff. She basically only knew how to smile at the beginning of the year. So she learned how to sit up, roll over, play dead, talk (recently turned from syllable repeating to babbling), stand up, sign, be silly, play peekaboo, climb up and down stairs, etc.

8. Legoland. Though, I just realized we probably still went to Disneyland more this year.

9. Dalton provided lots of entertainment with his hilarious adorableness, un-lost himself several times by asking a nearby stranger where his mommy was, and grew into the kindest sweetest boy imaginable.

10. Ok surely I did something noteworthy. I made our Halloween costumes. I breastfed. A lot. I did my own NaNoBloMo, plus kept our picture blog up to date. I spent a lot of time cooking and cleaning, and doing laundry and running kids around places and grocery shopping. Lots and lots of grocery shopping.

I think it's safe to say that while 2014 has yet to prove if it's better or not, it will definitely be more exciting.

Must add that much of my snark is coming from the 5:00 hour, thank you, Sienna, myself having already been up once in the night coughing.

AND I just realized I only posted 10 things. Officially time to go back to bed. Hah.

(Update #18) Now that I am awake (but no less snarky) I will add three more.

11. Everyone (except Sienna) got really good at playing iPad games. This may not seem like a big deal, but based on the number of hours involves, it's very important.

12. Maggie memorized the thirteen Articles of Faith and Dalton memorized four or five of them.

13. Maggie learned to ride a scooter. And do a cartwheel. And play the piano. Now there's a legitimate accomplishment for me: I taught Maggie piano lessons and she actually learned something.

Inventive: Yesterday I overheard the kids playing two mishmash games they made up.

Light sabers + gummi berry juice. Oh yes, they did.

Angry Birds Fight, which pits the Angry Bird of your choice against your opponent a la Jurassic Park Battle.

Maggie always talks about games she's going to make up when she grows up. Except I think she's already made them.

Grandma's See's: Last night, Brett, Rachel and I picked Leonard up from the airport. He said he'd brought a present for us that had reminded him of Grandma Rosalie and with that as our only clue we began guessing.

Peanut brittle
candy canes
fisher-price circus train
Stouffer's lasagne
orange soda
Tootsie pops
kids' TV dinners
Meow Mix
Burger King
green mushroom footstool
colored White Out

Eventually, Leonard came to the conclusion that he was the only person who remembered this about Grandma. It turned out to be a box of See's candy. Leonard remembered the large assortment box being on the orange counter at the ranch. Now that he mentions it, I can almost remember this. The chocolate is good, either way.

Santa Barbara: Leonard and Rachel came out for our cousin Eric's wedding this weekend. I was able to only go up on Saturday for one night because of the Beep. I drove up Saturday morning and met Leonard, Rachel and Brett at Silvergreen's for breakfast. So. Good. I had a breakfast sandwich with egg, bacon, cheese, turkey and avocado. We also had a granola berry smoothie that was so sweet and delicious.

After breakfast, we went to the hotel to get ready for the wedding. The ceremony was in the Santa Barbara Mission. It was a Catholic Wedding Mass and it was lovely without being long and boring.

In between the wedding and the reception we went back to Silvergreen's to get more smoothies. Then we went to visit Pat and Alan in their room at the Bacara resort where the reception was held. There was a cocktail reception, formal dinner and dancing. The salad was the best part of dinner. There was golden beets, grilled carrots, tomatoes, avocado, white wine vinegar dressing, and goat cheese crostini. So good.

Leonard and I left early 'cause we're boring like that. In the morning we went back over to the resort for breakfast with all the family. The breakfast buffet was amazing. I had potatoes, french toast with piles of fresh berries, fresh orange juice and really good Ghirardelli hot chocolate.

Leonard and I drove home after breakfast and now we have a few days to spend together before he continues his trip.

Leonard's Visit: We had such a fun short week with Leonard. Maggie didn't have school on Monday so we went to LA to go to the natural history museum. It's always fun to go there and see what we remembered as kids. My kids both really enjoyed it too and were remarkably unwhiny.

Afterwards, we walked over to the science center to see if we could get in to see the space shuttle Endeavor. Success! They gave us quite the roundabout to temporary space shuttle exhibits. I really loved watching the film of images from bringing the space shuttle from LAX. Then, we got to go in the hangar and see it. It was so cool! All around were plaques from every NASA shuttle mission. We learned a lot.

On Monday night we went to see The Desolation of Smaug. I loved the movie and everything they added to the story.

Tuesday was beach day. We went to crescent bay. Because the previous day was a holiday, we found lots of sand toys. There was basically no one else on the beach so we decided to keep them. Dalton dug around in the sand, Leonard waded in the surf, Sienna caused trouble.

Today we mostly sat around. Dalton had preschool. I made muffins and pretzels. We played Carcasonne (both of us getting our fill as we have no one to play it with). Leonard also introduced us to a group iPad game called Spaceteam.

We walked to school to get Maggie (who lost tooth #2 today!). Then, Leonard bought us PDM sandwiches for lunch, yum! The kids were very well-behaved during our airport run. Now back to real life, catching up on work, cleaning, etc.

My favorite part of Leonard's visit is the number of times he said to me "no, I'm spending time with the kids right now." What a great uncle.

Chadwick Family Funny: Maggie: Dalton, why are you being such a boss?
Dalton: I learned it from you.

Maggie also offered him money from her piggy bank to play with her. (He recently acquired a juice jar from otter J preschool). Anyway, they played really well all afternoon. First they went camping in the closet. Sienna was a bear. Then they played Angry Birds. Despite anything they may say, the Angry Birds stuffed animals are the clear favorite toy from Christmas. When John took Sienna for a walk this evening, the kids wanted to go too so we took Red and Leia to the park in the dark. They had a nice time.

I gave Dalton a haircut tonight. It's been a long time and I just trimmed around his ears last time. He hates haircuts and I have to full-on bribe him with treats. I went back to the #2 all over to make it quick and last longer.

Lazy Saturday: This morning when John left for his doctor's appointment (and from there, to work) the kids and I went over to the park. They brought their scooters and I brought our sand toys. There were lots of friends to play with. Sienna borrowed balls from other kids and crawled around in the sand. Dalton and Maggie chased each other all over the playground and they all had a turn on the swings.

After the park, I put Sienna down for a nap, though she didn't really take one. Dalton also went to bed. I gave him the option of a 5 minute time out for his tantrum over the scooter, or 30 minutes in bed and he chose the latter.

Then we had Lego time, which is saved for when Sienna is in bed. Maggie and I tried out a couple Dino-gami creatures from a book my Aunt Sharon gave her.

Then we went to Costco.

John just called and offered to pick up dinner on his way home. Love that man.

Sweet: Pupcake. That's what Dalton calls a cupcake. It doesn't get any cuter.

And So it Ends: Last night Sienna would only nurse for a couple minutes. Of course, she is still happy to wake me up in the early morning, but who knows how long that will last.

Boy and Girl Stuff: We had some friends over to play this morning. We usually watch girls, and it was a nice change to have a 5 year old boy to play with Dalton. Then they went upstairs and here are some of the things I overheard.

Does your sister kind of like boy stuff?
D: Do you want some [Mr potato head] earrings? No way! I'm not a girl.
Why is there boy stuff on that side and girl stuff on this side?
Is this your side? There's an angry bird.
Why is there two purple light sabers?

Sorry for harping on this, but it's my blog and apparently this is my issue.

Not Just Boys: In case you think it's just boys who are set in their gendered ways, I will tell you about the two girls we do preschool with. Today they were over and playing Mr. Potato Head. They made nice princess ones. Dalton made one after they left. His had a pirate eye, a mustache over pretty lips, sparkly shoes and a crown. To quote Rachel:

Dalton's pretty in touch with his... non-gendered side.

Couple other Dalton notes. He loves to open the gates for me when we walk to school. He has also started telling me when he wants to get on and off the stroller (instead of annoying hop on hop off.)

What I want for Christmas is a phone that when it's time to wake up it makes a sound and you put your hand on it and it stops making a sound.
You mean an alarm clock?

Little Gymnast: Dalton put himself to bed early sick, so Maggie stayed up and exercised with me. I was doing Jillian's 30-day Shred and Maggie decided to do some gymnastics practice. A while ago, I suggested she do three bridges every day, to get stronger. So, she started with those and then did a variety of things three times each. Cartwheels, handstands, handstands against the wall. Pike, straight, tuck and straddle jumps. Half and full turns. Arabesques, splits. In between she did some jumping jacks and running in place. It was adorable and much more entertaining than my workout video.

The kids got 1-year anniversary trophies at gymnastics this week. They really love it.

Car Conversations: Things we talked about in the car on the way home from gymnastics.

How many times each of us has been on an airplane. Sienna: 2. Dalton: 27. Maggie: 29. I stopped counting mine, but I guessed around 60.

What's for dinner.
Dalton: Is it January? Then I don't want strawberries. Strawberries aren't good in January.

What we wish were having for dinner.
Dalton: I want to go to Ruby's and have a cheeseburger with ketchup, fries and chicken and I'm getting a chocolate smoothie.

Slurpee rewards for dry diapers.

Left Out: I came home from park day/picking Maggie up from school feeling left out on behalf of my kids. It's funny because I was actually really excited that Maggie had a friend in her class to be twins with for Twin Day today. But I realized I can't remember the last time either of my kids was invited over to play. (Actually, I can, Maggie got invited to a friend's house a couple months ago.) They have also only been invited to birthday parties where the kid invites the whole class.

I wonder if part of it is because most of the kids Maggie likes are boys, and Dalton pretty much only knows girls. Of course, that wouldn't stop me, but see my two previous posts this week on that subject and you'll see that other parents feel differently. And I just opened my Instagram to see pictures of friends at Disneyland - 7 little preschool/toddler girls (no boys).

Anyway. I'm a believer that you get what you put into things and I can't remember the last time we invited anyone over to play either. I show up to stuff, the kids now play with other people at activities, and that's good enough for them. None of that changes the little left out heart ache I have right now.

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