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Tuesdays Alone: Our neighbor and I swap kid-watching days every week. I watch her 2 year old for an hour on Wednesdays while she volunteers at the school and for 3-4 hours on Thursdays while she ice skates. She watches mine for 4-6 hours on Tuesdays for my volunteering and whatever else I need to get done. Today I volunteered for reading groups, voted, found a pair of jeans at Old Navy that fit me very well, picked up my sewing machine, at lunch at Taco Bell, and took my time looking through Halloween clearance at Target. It was a great morning. It's definitely nice to have some alone time, and also nice to tick off lots of errands without hauling kids in and out of the car. I don't mind shopping with them, but the in-and-out is annoying.

Also today was Running Club for Maggie and Dalton, during which I took the younger two to Trader Joe's and the nearby park. Then we had a quick dinner and piano lessons. The kids spent the evening sorting their Halloween candy to leave some out for the Switch Witch who will be bringing them a toy tonight.

: Poor Arthur is sick. He's got the saddest little wheezy cough, and is breathing like a poor thing. Hopefully it's at it's worst. Nothing like not being able to do anything to make your baby feel better. He's pretty happy as long as he's being held at least.

First Freckle: Arthur got his first freckle a month or two ago, just above his right hip. It's pretty cute.

Habits: Sienna has developed a nervous tic. Except it's the other kind of nervous (not nervous system) and it's more of a tick tock than a tic. She makes a clicking sound when she's nervous, like talking to an adult, meeting a character at Disneyland, or speaking in front of people - she did it at the primary program after saying her part! It was funny and also really cute.

Lately she's been sighing as she breathes. Taking constant big deep breaths for no reason. The internet has convinced me it's just a habit and she'll grow out of it, just as Maggie did with throats clearing a few months ago.

No More Rides: The kids didn't have school today, so I took them to Disneyland, where we met up with my cousin Laura. They were pretty whiny. Starving to death at 10:15 etc. Maggie was bored and wanted to leave. We had fast passes to Hyperspace Mountain. She said, and I quote: if we go one one more ride, I will kill you.

Baby Vacuum : 4 stages of vacuuming with infant.

0-1 months. Vacuum provides desirable white noise. You can vacuum in baby's room while sleeping and she won't stir. Unfortunately, it makes you bleed every time so no vacuuming gets done.

1-3 months. Vacuum wakes baby up. Getting baby to sleep is so difficult that no vacuuming gets done.

3-9 months. Baby is scared of vacuum and insists you hold him while vacuuming. This is impossible. No vacuuming gets done.

9 months-2 years. Baby thinks vacuum is a friendly pet and follows close behind. So close that you when you pull the vacuum back, you may run over baby. No vaccuming gets done.

Happy Boy: Dalton cheered when he came home from school and saw me making pretzel dogs. He also cheered for the Chipmunk Adventure movie Sienna was watching. And excitedly told me about the snack he ate. He is so optimistic most of the time, as long as he isn't "bored."

Family of Six: I am feeling the effects of having a family of six. Today I did five loads of laundry. And lots of dishes. I used to run the dishwasher every other day, but it's closer to every day now. When we were in Utah, I did a load of laundry every day. We make a load of laundry every day. On the bright side, we packed pretty light!

Last First: Arthur is one! My little king. On his first birthday, he also had his first haircut, which he took like a champ. He also learned how to go down the stairs while we were in Utah for thanksgiving. He's growing up.

Arthur likes balls, cars, touchy-feely books, biting things, and ripping paper. His favorite foods are bananas, string cheese and anything in a pouch. He loves those pouches. He only drinks a couple ounces of milk each day, and it's hard won. He takes two naps, sometimes short, sometimes long. He sleeps at night from about 6:30-6:30.

Arthur is interested in the world around him. He thinks animals, and sienna, are fascinating. He smiles at everyone, but will only go to mom or dad - or Maggie! He's started making sounds like "a-dad" and "a-mom" that may or may not actually mean what they sound like. He laughs easily. He loves Disneyland and still enjoys meeting his friends. He pretty much likes anytime we are out and about, riding in the stroller or car, and seeing the world.

His main annoying trait is clinginess. And of course I worry that he doesn't eat well.


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