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December 1st: The first day of December is always a fun day. Today the kids got to eat their first chocolate from the Trader Joe’s advent calendars aunt Pat bought for them. They got a letter from their elf, Peppermint, and a gift - a TsumTsum advent calendar! So they got to open their first tsum tsum too. Plus, they got to put the first get ornament on the advent Christmas tree that was mine when I was a kid. An exciting day, and an exciting three weeks ahead.

I also got some fun Christmas activities at the dollar store that I think Arthur and Sienna at least will love. Window cling gingerbread house and decorations, mini Christmas train wind up, Christmas stamps etc.

Date Night: We made plans this afternoon to go to dinner with our neighbors tonight - to our favorite new neighborhood taco place. Left the kids all home with their big sisters and did not intend to be gone for three hours, chatting the night away. Maggie handled everything great.

Set Ups: The kids call an arrangement of toys to play with “a set up.” For example, Maggie and Sienna made a set up of TsumTsum to play with, and add the new ones from the advent calendar.

Fancy New Executive: For John's promotion, we went to Orlando for training meetings and fun. We went a little early and spent our first morning at Animal Kingdom, going on rides I didn't get to do last time because I was pregnant with Arthur. That evening, we ditched the dinner and went to Hollywood Studios for another roller coaster (yay), Tower of Terror (boo) and Fantasmic.

The next day, I went with the other spouses on a Wild Florida airboat ride on a lake where we saw interesting plants and lots of different birds. Then we explored the little wildlife zoo - lots of alligators. Did I mention it was 45 degrees? Aka freezing. The boat would have been a lot more fun if it had been a lot warmer.

That night, the company rented out Universal Studios (!). We hung out in Diagon Alley, escaped from Gringott's twice and drank a lot of butter beer. All the food was free. We had ice cream from Fortescue's, chili dogs, Korean beef tacos, Chinese food. That and more was just there for the taking, and I'm all about free food.

Which was the main awesome part of the whole trip. During the conference, there were meals served. And on the airplane! I didn't have to cook a thing, or feed anyone.

Speaking of not feeding people, we left the kids with a couple in the ward. They have a 1 year old and stayed at our house and I paid them and it was amazing. That was our main expense. Otherwise, we bought Disney tickets, dinner at Disney the one night, one Uber ride, and a Mickey ice cream bar.

Dalton, Age 9: Two months ago. 56 pounds (21%), 53” (58%) and he passed his vision test. Dalton loves playing games and watching YouTube videos on his kindle, but he also likes building race tracks, reading Calvin and Hobbes, being a helper, having contests, and school. He makes friends easily, and has a nice group of boys he hangs out with at school. Dalton loves vegetables (mostly roasted) and besides not wanting to eat breakfast most days, he’s probably our overall best eater.

Sienna, Age 6: Sienna and Arthur both had their check-ups today (just coincidentally the day I got around to writing about Dalton's). Sienna is 38 pounds (10%) and 46 inches (65%). She couldn't remember what grade she was in to tell the doctor. She also struggled a little with the vision test (Possibly because Arthur was interrupting with the correct answers). But she still passed, 20/25.

Arthur, Age 3: Arthur's 3 year visit, he is 30 pounds (29%) and 37 3/4 inches (53%). Very similar numbers to Dalton this year. He made a good effort at carrying on a conversation with the doctor, other than randomly going off about mom's bandaid.

Doctor after talking to Sienna about the box she sleeps in: Where do you sleep?
Arthur: Bed!
Sienna: He sleeps in a bonk bed.
Doctor: Are you on the bottom? Who do you sleep with?
Arthur: Dalton and mama.
Sadly it's true for a bit most evenings. And he's still a terrible eater.

The Box Nest: Sienna has been sleeping in a large cardboard box for two months now. Today I cleaned it out to wash her blankets and found:

3 blankets
1 pillow
9 toys
5 pieces of trash
18 stuffed animals

For the Record: I just renewed my Disney pass when I bought one for Arthur. Not sure I’ve ever directly renewed before. I made 36 visits in my car this year. Plus date nights and at least one girls night that I didn’t drive. Not nearly as many trips as usual, but we usually go every Saturday, and that was John’s job this time around, plus I couldn’t go most of the summer because of the other kids. Lots of fun though, and my favorite addition was the date nights. Love spending time with John at our happy place.

Careful What You Wish For: I made a Christmas wish for Arthur to sleep until 7:30. He slept until 8:40, but it was at the expense of keeping me up for over an hour in the night, and my last couple hours of restless sleep being on the uncomfortable couch bed with him. Sigh. And the kids were annoyed they had to wait for him to wake up to get to their stockings.

Awember: A couple of Sienna-isms. She says awember for remember and wumber for number. The other day I heard her telling a friend in the car “do you have a wumber 6?” And her friend said “what’s a wumber?”

From a 2016 Note: Me, watching something on tv with a metal Merry-go-round at a park: This was obviously not filmed in America.

Dalton: Dalt: mm hmm. They don't have ice cream trucks in America. You just drive yourself to the store

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© 1999-2022 Susanna Chadwick.