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Don't Do, Be: Over the past several weeks I found myself spending a lot of time daydreaming. While I'm cleaning, driving, or I even once sat down to take a 15 minute break and dream for a little bit. What am I dreaming about? Doing important things. Being special. Attention. Fame. Anyone who knows me (including me) would laugh to think that I've dream of being famous! I mean, who cares? But it kind of ate away at me and I gotta tell you, "It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice" didn't make me feel much better.

Then I opened a Dove candy that said "Don't do, be." on the wrapper. That didn't make me feel much better, either. But I put it in my pocket, and when I found it in the washing machine, I put it into my pocket again and I kept thinking about it every time I put my hand in my pocket.

Ok, I still don't feel any less boring, but I've talked myself out of caring. I actually love my life and being famous probably sucks. John and I are always saying (every time someone dies of a drug overdose) that we would never wish that on our kids. What's most important is that I'm a good person and work on being a great mom and wife. I don't need to be noticed. I'm ok with a small life. I pick and choose what I do and I don't do things I don't like doing, so I really can't complain anyway!

I hate that I have taken inspiration from a candy wrapper, but there it is.

This One Time: When I turned 29, my husband sent me to New York for a week to hang out with my brother. It as awesome. That must be my version of a spa getaway. There was also that time I turned 32 and he planned a relaxing family resort trip and did all the cooking, packing, and preparing. Also awesome.

One time he bought me six different chocolates to try. Seriously. Chocolate. Awesome. I've always said he is good at gift giving.

The House-Elves of Hogwarts.: I finished re-reading all the Harry Potter books, and watching all the movies (a quest I began in October). Now that I know the story, I was able to concentrate on how great the writing is, and noticing all sorts of seemingly unimportant details in the books, especially The Half-Blood Prince. I also, apparently, didn't really remember The Deathly Hallows. I think this was only the third time I read this one, and the first time doesn't really count as reading. But I was amazed at how much stuff I didn't even remember. I carefully read and reread the last couple chapters.

One bit I missed on previous readings is the only part that made me cry (this time around). The battle has resumed after Harry's "death".

The house-elves of Hogwarts swarmed into the entrance hall, screaming and waving carving knives and cleavers, and at their head, the locket of Regulus Black bouncing on his chest, was Kreacher, his bullfrog's voice audible even above this din: "Fight! Fight! Fight for my Master, defender of house-elves! Fight the Dark Lord, in the name of brave Regulus! Fight!
There are a lot of wonderful bits of wisdom to gain from Harry Potter (many directly pointed out by the mouth of Albus Dumbledor). Here is one I gleaned from this reading: How you treat people can make all the difference. A little bit of respect from Harry and Kreacher was an entirely different being. A few kind words gained his loyalty, even changed deep-rooted hatred. The house-elves were not commanded to fight; they chose to do so because they loved the masters they served.

What Happens in Time Out: You're not a mean mom, you're a not mean mommy. Maggie's just saying that cause she's crying.

Daydream: Last week I wrote about my Dove candy wrapper inspiration and being happy with my wonderful life. A few days later, I discovered one more delicious dark chocolate caramel Dove candy in the bottom of on of the kids' trick-or-treat buckets. (Yes, we still have Halloween candy. Don't judge.)

I opened it.

I put the chocolate in my mouth

(Yes, the whole thing. The kids were awake, this was no time to savor.)

I looked at the wrapper.


Say what? I read it again. I smoothed it out. I told Dalton, no, he couldn't have any because he never ate his dinner. I read it again.


All right then.

I folded up the wrapper. I put it in my pocket. I went about my day a little more lightly.

Sienna Speaks: I have a feeling Sienna will be going the way of Dalton's language development and not Maggie's. Today she said a perfectly enunciated "doggie."

She is adding "gie" and "nie" to her syllables, making the words "daddy" "mommy" "doggie" and "maggie".
dada (doggie)
data (dalton)
nanny for daddy, mommy, maggie
"Geekee" for blankie All The Time
"ah oh" for uh-oh (she sounds like a monkey doing it)
ma (more)
"brr" sound (bird)
"da da" (all done)

Here are the signs she knows:
fish (looks like milk)
all done
change (diaper)

And she knows how to give kisses and does adorable nonsense babble a lot.

And this week she learned "no." Great.

Why Mormons Are So Nice: Today while I was eating lunch I found myself looking at a paper lying on the table that Maggie had brought home from Primary. It was a coloring page of four boys at the park. One of the boys was holding a basketball and invited a forlorn boy to join the game he and his friends were playing. The bottom of the page read:

Jesus Christ is the perfect example for me.
For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done toyou (John 13:15).

Then I realized, this is why Mormons are so nice. Maggie spent 50 minutes today being taught to be a good friend. How to show love for others. How to be a good example. How to share the Gospel with your friends, which usually requires you to have friends in the first place. This is what we learn about every week. The whole goal is to become better people, to become perfect, so we are constantly improving ourselves, and thus our outward relationships with others.

Everyone knows people who are unusually kind. All of the ones I can think of were quite religious, though maybe not of my religion. And in general, religion makes people exceptionally nice, and Mormons have a high degree of religiosity.

There you have it. Maggie is the sweetest, nicest girl to her friends, and a great example and role model. Primary must get some of the credit.

Sienna Sings: Sienna doesn't actually sing, but one sign I forgot to mention is "music." She waves her arm like crazy during Sacrament Meeting. As soon as the organist begins the introduction. She perks up. She usually stands up on the bench with her eyes on the girl who leads the music. And one her arm is up, Sienna's is right up there with her. (The sign for music is very similar to a chorister conducting, for some reason...)

It's adorable how she dances, too. Any kind of music: Handy Manny's tool box, musical Woodstock stuffie, videos, or, you know, actual music. She does the typical toddler bop. I love it.

Happy Valentine's Day!: John was home when we got home from gymnastics last night. The kids ran inside while I took Sienna to get the mail and began to bring in groceries. When I walked in, the three of them were sitting all organized and waiting to yell, "Happy Valentine's Day!" It was quite startling, but the adorable Valentine's Day donuts from Krispy Kreme waiting on the table totally made up for it.

Thanks, John!

Beach Buddies: Today we went to the beach with friends. I love Beach Day! I love the beach. I especially love going to the beach with friends (when John can't go with us - or when he can!). But today I mostly love friends. It sure is nice to have people to hang out with, chat with, text, and enjoy. I had a really nice day full of adult interaction. It was like park day, except better.

I think this is my first trip to the beach on a school day without Maggie. It was a lot of work because since last summer I have invested in an umbrella and a beach chair (neither of which I really used today, though Sienna LOVES the beach chair - and everyone else's). So, Dalton carried the bucket of sand toys and I carried the baby, the umbrella, the beach chair, and the bag.

We met four friends with 5 preschool-aged girls. It was fun to sit and chat while the kids played. Dalton eventually played with the girls and it was great to see them digging holes, burying their feet, and splashing in the water. Sienna crawled around in the sand and was generally very well-behaved. I'm not sure why it's easier to watch her at the beach than the park. I guess I don't have to worry about her falling off play equipment.

I used to dislike the beach because of the sand. I've always enjoyed walking along the beach of course, but sitting there, getting wet, getting sandy, getting kids sandy, and taking sandy kids home. I'm happy to say that I no longer find that cringe-worthy. Sand is fine. Baby powder gets most of it off. Dalton actually asked to take a bath when we got home. Problem solved. Also, by my third kid, I kind of don't worry about how much sand she eats. Crunch Crunch.

Vapid: I recently read an article about how early learning (or putting kids in preschool so you can go back to work) Allows kids to be "social" but not socialized. Apparently, to be properly socialized, you need to first have a strong self-identity.

They used the example of a teacher in a staff meeting who disagrees with what is being discussed but doesn't speak up. Everyone thinks she's nice and she gets along with everyone (never voicing, or perhaps never even having differing opinions). And I realized, that's totally me. I'm the nice person everyone gets along with, because why shouldn't they? I've never said anything they don't like.

I'm not sure this is because I started school too young. I entered Kindergarten at four, which was the case for September birthdays in California through... next year. No preschool. No "early learning." No day care. Nothing to blame my lack of personality on. Hah!

I think part of this stems from the fact that there are very few people with whom I agree on both religion and politics.

I challenge myself to speak up next time I disagree. And I even foresee a situation. Awesome.

Additionally, Maggie seems to be the kid everyone likes but no one is friends with. We've heard this (in not so many words) from both of her teachers so far. I think it's because she's just an all-around nice girl, and she doesn't at all lack confidence. Or seem to have trouble expressing different opinions...

Man Bag and Girl Friends: First a little tidbit I recorded during a play date. Dalton was playing with a pink sparkly wand.

Dalton's Girl Friend: That's girly. And you're a boy. ... It's pink.
Dalton: No, I got it from Chuck E. Cheese.
He looked a little confused and looked over at me. I was tempted to interrupt with my "There are no girl toys and boy toys speech" but I let him handle it. A few minutes later his friend turned to me.
Friend: Is that Dalton's?
Me: Yes, he and Maggie both got one from Chuck E. Cheese.
They were both satisfied and moved on.

Last night, the kids and I were walking through a parking lot holding hands. My purse had fallen to my hand and when Dalton yanked, it fell off onto his arm. I pulled it up over his neck so I could open the car door and Maggie said, "Dalton, you're a girl!" She said she called him that because girls use purses. We discussed how a purse is a bag and is not an absolute Girl or Boy thing (a discussion we've had before about lots of items). Then I asked her, "Is being a girl a bad thing? Are you calling Dalton a mean name when you say he's a girl?" She has a point about the purse, but the word "girl" should not be used as an insult! Especially by another girl.

Another more difficult situation appeared last week. One of Dalton's friends (a girl) said that he wasn't her friend because her dad told her she wasn't allowed to have boyfriends until she's 20! At least she was being obedient: she didn't even say it to Dalton, but to the adults nearby. A few days later, at the beach, the same thing happened in front of several other little girls. As I've mentioned, nearly all of Dalton's friends are girls and I didn't want this spreading around. I mentioned it to her mom. On Sunday, the girl's dad told me that he'd talked to her and told her it was ok to be friends with Dalton and she agreed. Whew! Now Dalton can have his friends.

Sienna at 15 Months: She took her first steps and occasional walks just before 14 months, but it wasn't until this week that Sienna has actually decided to walk. Hurray!

She is still nursing morning and night, but she will actually drink cow milk now.

She weighed in at 18 lb 14 oz (17% still) and is 31 inches tall (67%). She's grown over an inch in the last three months and I realized that her carseat has a 32 inch height limit. Of course, she's not 20 lbs yet, and I am perfectly happy to keep her rear facing. I guess I'm in the market.

Til Her Puzzler Was Sore: I have a pitiful baby seal of a girl today. John kept her home from church yesterday because she was sick and so warm. Today she slept until 9, then refused to nap except for about 3:30-4. Her nose ran constantly and about halfway through the day her cough turned into a bark. I put her in bed with the humidifier to the chorus of screams from the next room.

Surprisingly, it was Maggie. Apparently, she was hiding under the bed and Dalton hit her in the head with a Rubik's cube. Very hard, judging from the bruised bump on her forehead. Nice. He went to bed and she and I stayed up and snuggled and read a library book. Half an hour after she went to bed, Dalton woke up crying. I have a feeling he will be turned seal by tomorrow night. Such is parenting.

Naptime: My saving grace when it comes to The Napless Wonder is that Sienna has always been a very good sleeper at night. We never had much trouble with her wanting to stay up when she got up to nurse, maybe just two times. Which is good because she's pretty much always been a terrible napper. The last month or so has been better. I started doing just one nap with her at around 11 months. That was 6 months ago. It took a few months to "take" and even then, I still put her down at 4:00 because she's tired and I want to make dinner in peace. She rarely falls asleep.

For the last month at least I've gotten one good nap out of her. Sometimes she will even sleep three hours, which is how much sleep she's supposed to get. But whether it was a good nap day or not, she continues to sleep well at night. Even last night when I wrote about how sick she was and she cried on and off until about 10:30, I didn't hear another peep until 6:45.

[Comments] (2) Pic It Up: I keep meaning to do more frequent, shorter posts on my picture blog. It's obviously not working (really long post of pictures of Dalton; even more pictures of Sienna). Or maybe I need to take fewer pictures. I take a lot of pictures capturing random moments of the day, but since I end up blogging them in a monthly Random post, I'm not sure there's any point. It looks like I did 22 posts already in February, so maybe I don't need more. Fewer pictures it is.

I read a blog post recently about how mean it is to take pictures of our kids crying and mock them on social media. I don't buy it. Yes, they are human beings with feelings, but I'm the mom having to listen to their tantrum over some ridiculous thing and if I can't laugh about it with my friends, I may not survive the next tantrum.

However, when Maggie got bonked in the head the other day she did ask me not to take a picture and show everyone, so I didn't. (She showed everyone herself, anyway. The mark is on the side of her head where her hair parts and I had several people ask me about it. She had people at school (including her teacher) ask, too.) So, no picture if you don't want one. My kids are old enough to state when they don't want their pictures taken. Of course, if they are screaming to hard to specify, it's fair game for my Instagram.

[Comments] (1) Check:

London flat
Eurostar tickets
Disneyland Paris vacation package
Day tour of Paris
Passport for Beep
New luggage
Checkity-check check

Next on the list: White dresses with blue purple satin sashes.

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© 1999-2023 Susanna Chadwick.