18 in '18: Earlier in 2018 (March, haha) I made 18 goals to accomplish, and I actually met all but one. Most of them were really fun, because I like fun and wanted to have more of it.

1. Finish Aurora dress
2. Try 30 new recipes
3. Play all board games, do all puzzles
4. Take a family name to the temple
5. 2 Disney dates with John (several!)
6. Overnight trip without kids SF 8/17, Orlando 11/26
7. 30 day spending freeze
8. Week without social media
9. Special date with each kid
1. Maggie - yorgurtland
2. Dalton - Target
3. Sienna - McDonald’s
4. Arthur - Disneyland
10. Play every hymn 11/6
11. Read Harry Potter -> Book of Mormon (Harry Potter bored me, so I gave up, but then I decided to speed read the Book of Mormon.)
12. Declutter 2018 things
13. Plan a girls night - 5/18 trip to San Diego
14. Disney girls night 10/1
15. Plan a game night (This is the only one I didn't accomplish)
16. 100 blog posts on journal blog 12/1
17. Try something new (like the rock climbing) kayaking, line dancing, zip line
18. Read all conference talks by October.

I have a vague list of 19 things I can hopefully accomplish this year. More fun, coming right up!

Family New Year’s: We started the new year off right with an early morning trip to the hot tub, where we blind taste tested chewy sweetart flavors. We had lunch at CPK, did new lego sets from Christmas, worked out, and sat around. It was great.

Six Monkeys: Twice the past week, all six of us slept in the same room, and it wasn’t traumatic. We stayed in Las Vegas on our way home from Utah so Dalton and I could go to The Beatles Love cirque du soleil show. And then we stayed at Great Wolf Lodge. Everyone slept, Arthur went to bed pretty easily. A page has been turned.

Pita Show: Maggie has been reading The Hunger Games and got the movies for Christmas, so we watched the first three over winter break. Sienna loved them and was begging for more "Peeta Show" all the time. I can never tell with that girl; she refused to watch The Addams Family with us because of the disembodied hand on the cover.

January: I really love January in southern California, where I can wear sweaters and flipflops and laugh at all the miserable people in colder climates.

All the Dogs: Sienna: that’s a chihuahua!
Man walking dog: she’s so smart!
Sienna: I know all the kinds of dogs. Chihuahua, puppies, regular dogs, Dalmatians. That’s all the kinds of dogs.

<3: Dalton and I ate breakfast together - his second breakfast (third if you count the piece of cake). We passed a paper back and forth drawing each other pictures and emojis. It was fun.

I’m Olden: Sienna:
Mom, are you from the 90s or the olden days?

And: Did they have deal or no deal in the olden days? When you were a kid?

Price Dropping: I took the kids with some friends to Glow Zone over the recent four day weekend. It was $85. I remarked to John how nice it is to be people who can spend that kind of money on an outing for the kids for a special day. Then, I saw a woman at Disneyland with four kids, each eating a churro and I thought “I hope I’m never the person to drop $20 on a snack like that.” So maybe I have not yet “arrived.”

Croc Clock: Arthur whispering “never smile at a crocodile” in my ear at 5:45 in the morning is almost cute.

Me: Let’s wash your hands.
Arthur: Ok. Do I have worms on me?
Apparently he meant “germs.”

Mom Skills: Sienna announced on the way to school that she’d forgotten her backpack. She’s in kindergarten, so this was hardly a life or death homework situation, but she does need a snack. So, she and the neighbor hunted around for a ziplock bag (in the car for motion sickness purposes) while I got out a fruit snacks and applesauce from my massive car snack storage. As I was emptying wipes out of the bag the neighbor found, Sienna said “I found a baggie with my name on it.” Well then. Snack in a labeled bag, packed on the way to school. Done.

Argument/Agreed: Maggie makes nasty comment to Sienna.
Me: You didn’t need to say that.
Maggie: You didn’t need to say that. ... You love when I use your parenting words against you.
Me: *high fives Maggie*

Truth or Dare: We’re playing truth or dare. Sienna has asked me “have you ever been on a bike?” And “have you ever escaped from jail?”

Maggie’s First Sacrament Meeting Talk: Maggie started young women’s a few months early, with the recent church schedule and program changes, and gave her first talk yesterday. She did such a good job. She refused to write down any notes, and just got up and talked! I was worried, but it was a great talk. She talked about how she knew she needed to work on her siblings being closer so she found a scripture that made her think she also needed to help her siblings be closer to Heavenly Father. So she asked if they wanted to read scriptures with her and they weren’t interested. So she put on a scripture scavenger hunt for them instead. She even dressed up as King Benjamin, as the kids love to use the dress up box when doing scavenger hunts.

She wasn’t a bit nervous, it was the best youth talk, and I was so proud of her. She got tons of compliments too.

Cold Fries: I got Arthur some nacho fries at Taco Bell, since he won’t eat real food but does like fries. He wanted his cold - kept asking for cold fries. It wasn’t until the next time he was eating them that I realized he was asking for non-spicy fries.

Fireworks : I planned another Disney girls night last night, with a bunch of church friends. We had 9 people total, and it was a great time. I got completely drenched on splash mountain again, though. But my favorite part was when we went on Big Thunder Mountain. We lucked out and were on the ride during the fireworks. It was amazing. A great Disney memory for sure.

Brushing Teeth: Ok, I've finally got almost in the habit of brushing Arthur's teeth before bed. Nevermind that he's three, and also that he then has two applesauce pouches before falling asleep.

Butterfly Migration: The Painted Lady butterfly migration is coming through our area this year, maybe due to the tons of rain we’ve gotten, making more wildflower. The first time we watched them Sienna said “maybe they’re hibernating!”

Change the Time Already: Daylight Savings is slowly killing us. John and I have been going to bed at 9. Arthur will barely sleep until 6. And I still have to wake the other kids for school every day. Didn’t we vote for the legislature to make it permanent? Hurry up.

Fun and Fury at Del Taco: Maggie and a handful of her friends wrote a skit and performed it at the school talent show. I guess it was based on YouTube jokes and memes, so I completely didn’t understand it, but Maggie ran around on stage yelling free food, so I still laughed. I’m impressed with their initiative, creativity and bravery in doing it.

Monday Morning: This morning after dropping Sienna off at kindergarten, Arthur and I went to Fisherman’s Cove to look for sea glass and play in the caves. When we got back, I did 30 minutes of Pilates - carefully curated to avoid hurting the cyst on my tailbone. Then I had just enough time to vacuum and shower before picking Sienna up.

Wendy and Skunk: Maggie and Dalton's latest musical theater group did Peter Pan. Maggie was cast as Wendy and Dalton was Skunk, one of the Lost Boys. Maggie did an amazing job learning all her lines, all her choreography, practicing her songs, and being a leader to the younger kids in the group. I was very impressed and proud of her. Dalton had some funny lines, and he had a good time hanging out with a group of the other cast members.

We were going to take a break, but one of my friends talked me into letting Maggie do the next play - Frozen - so her daughter could do it with her. I think they'll have fun.

Bath and a Haircut: There’s something very satisfying about sending my entire family off to bed clean, and bonus points to me for giving all the boys a haircut. Except the next morning I realized, I forgot Sienna. One more bath.

Sigh: We don’t remember what happened, but Maggie asked me something and when I sighed she came back with “don’t sigh like that, mom. It breaks my heart.”

A Garden Dream: Yesterday, the day mom died, the radish seed Sienna brought home from her field trip sprouted. I have never had good luck growing things, even when we had a yard. We grew a few beans and tomatoes, but that’s about it.

Last night I had a dream. I was walking someone out to their car through my backyard, which was a garden. We ate heirloom tomatoes of different colors, and she helped me clean bugs and dirt off a watermelon (growing on the same vine as a pumpkin, very Minecraft) by sending Dalton inside for a paper towel. The garden was somewhat overgrown and I explained I hadn’t been outside since the previous Sunday because my week had been so busy.

I love the idea of growing my own food but I can’t keep so much as a houseplant or basil alive these days.

Neverending Story:
The Song That Never Ends: 1
Dalton: 0

True Words: Arthur has said to me twice this week, “I don’t like eating.” I know, bud. I’ve noticed.

Siblings Weekend: To celebrate Leonard's 40th birthday (early), Rachel and I surprised him with a weekend visit over Memorial Day weekend. We made a big list of fun things to do and met him at breakfast (he thought he was meeting a friend) and made him pick everything he wanted to do and show us around the city.

Some of the fun things we did included the aerial tram and walking tour of Roosevelt Island, ferry to Long Island, The Play That Goes Wrong (SO FUNNY), cheesecake, Museum of the Moving Image, Socrates Sculpture Park, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, dinner at Craft, Guggenheim art museum, and lots more. It was a busy four days, but we had a great time. It was so fun to be together just the three of us, and loved just visiting with each other.

Bonus: One of my favorite memories from our sibling weekend in NYC. Rachel's hobby of taking 1 second videos from her travels led to my new hobby of ruining her videos (I'm the middle child, obviously). I stole her phone and made my own video, 45 seconds of me being annoying, ridiculous, or just laughing loudly in the background, cropped from her 4 minute video. And a few of the many she took from behind unsuspecting me. Sisters make the best Instagram husbands.

Bonus #2: Explaining "Instagram husband" to Leonard.

"Sass": Maggie starting using "air quotes" to sass me.

Me: Practice more piano
Maggie: What do you mean by "practice"?
Me: Did you brush your hair?
Maggie: Define "brush."

Etc. Anyway, I started pointing it out and imitating it, and completely ruined it as a method of sassing because now we are too busy laughing everything she does (or doesn't!) do it.

Twenty Ten 100: Arthur loves counting. He wants to count everything. He wants to know how many minutes. He did push ups with dad today and counted to twenty-nine, twenty-ten, one hundred.” He bothered me every three minutes on the drive home from Utah asking how many more minutes (along other whines), and he does it even when we’re driving around town.

Sporty Dalt: This week, Dalton is doing tennis camp as well as usual swim team. He loves running and lifting weights with dad, and exercising in general. He has been begging to do swim team during the school year, which i think we’ll allow. There’s one very close to home, and very reasonably priced. As far as kids activities go, it’s a winner.

Countdown Update: Follow up to my last post, about Arthur obsessed with counting. Yesterday, he asked me how many minutes until he starts first grade.

French Browns: Arthur was asking for French toast with no syrup the other day. Not toasties (premade Frozen French toast). You make it in the toaster, mom. Not actual toast. Eventually we figured out he wanted hash browns (with no ketchup). The next day he called them “brownies. Then “crumbs.”

Boring Games: Arthur: Can I play a game not on the big TV (Wii)? In the closet.
Me: A board game?
Arthur: No, a fun game.

16 Years and 40 Inches: Today is our 16th anniversary. We celebrated by getting John a Flex annual pass and taking Arthur to Disneyland. He has recently passed 40 inches in height, which opens up 7 new rides at Disneyland. Today we went on Star Tours, Big Thunder (fast train! His fave) and the new Star Wars smuggler’s run ride. We waited an hour for the Star Wars ride, but he was so patient, and he had fun piloting the ship. We also tried the blue milk (delicious and expensive) and ate at the Mexican restaurant and had Salt and Straw for dessert. Then we went out to dinner at a Thai restaurant near our house. A great anniversary, and looking forward to the gift of another year of date nights.

Reading Chain: Every summer, we do a reading chain where the kids wrote the title of each book they read on a strip of paper and add it to the chain. Then I give them a prize every 25 chains. Some prizes we’ve done this summer include ice cream taco restaurant, everyone picking out a toy at Target, going to Circus Trix, Valentines clearance toys I had leftover from our flashlight egg hunt, $1 candies etc. they are about to finish #250. I have to come up with a prize for that, then our last prize will be milkshakes at Black Tap with dad next week.

Other prizes we’ve done previous years was a new Beanie Boo for everyone, McDonald’s dessert run, a big LEGO set to share, $1 icees at Burger King, nano block sets, craft sets (the Ooz Os was a HUGE hit) etc

Tummy Says: After Arthur threw up goldfish all over the kitchen floor:
Me: Next time, listen to your tummy when it says it’s all full.
Arthur: I didn’t hear it.

Dorn It: Two adorable Arthur-isms: Dorn it! Most often said while playing “games on the big TV” with his brother.
He says “not” instead of “want”. “Do you not the red cup or the blue cup?”

3 Spaceships: Yesterday John and I took Arthur on Space Mountain for the first time. He didn’t love it, but he does love Star Tours, and the new Millennium Falcon ride. We taught him how to say “Millennium Falcon” (adorable) and that Star Tours is not called “the spaceship ride with no buttons” (you push buttons on the new ride). He was so excited he got to go on three spaceship rides, and kept telling everyone all about them. He says Star Tours is his favorite ride, so I’ve been on it more in the last month than in the rest of my adult life. It doesn’t seem to make me as nauseated as it used to.

Marshmallows: Two funny, unrelated Sienna quotes about marshmallow roasting.

7/5/19 at the cabin
Sienna talking to herself about best way to roast marshmallows:
Oh well. Potato, po-tah-to. Or should I say, marshmallow, marshmallow roast.

Being nervous about going to Hero Camp:
It’s just that I’ve never been camping, and I’m still learning how to roast marshmallows, and I won’t remember my lines.

Homemade: 12/5/18
Dalton: We can just buy graham crackers and you can make frosting.
Me: I love that you say we can make frosting did you know you can buy it?
Dalton: By itself?
Me: Yes
Dalton: Wow

8/5/15: Some old quotes from breakfast at Stacks and a walk on the beach.

D: the walk board is more un dangerous.

Dalton: I had the best food I ever heard of.
Maggie: they taste like real crepes (after turning her nose up because they were folded instead of rolled.

Baby Boy Names: A list of baby boy names from whence came Arthur.

Topher Christopher

A P P L E: The progression of Arthur’s applesauce eating quirks.

When Arthur was barely one year old, he started demanding that we spell out the letters on his applesauce before he would eat them. APPLESAUCE. Then he started doing it himself. Then he started slurring it. APPLESCE. Then, after I bought some Gogo Squeez brand on sale (GOGO) he started differentiating with “APPLE bapplesauce.” Now he has started moving the applesauce in a circle in front of his face before eating it. He still calls it A P P L E bapplesauce.

After his last dentist appointment, we moved the bedtime applesauce to before brushing teeth, which he accepted pretty well. But he still wants us to lie with him at night, and he still wants one In our bed at 5:30 am.

Update: Apparently, moving the applesauce around in a circle is him drawing a circle around it. It seems that you get more points that way. Like if you draw a circle around a cat or dog you see to get bonus points.

Boring Birthday: I had a crazy super fun birthday week, but my actual birthday was boring. Arthur went to Disneyland with friends, and I stayed home and checked off tons of boring phone call-y things on my to do list.

Make DMV appointments
Reserve Dalton’s birthday party
Make invites for party
Prepare instructions for overnight babysitter
Drop off hazardous waste
Safelist cars
Lots of laundry
Clean bathrooms
Register Dalton for swim team
Send emails for my calling

It got very boring.

Luckily my friend Annie stopped by for a bit, and then Jodi and fam showed up and we went swimming and had taquitos and macarons and partied hard at Disney for two days before John and I went on a relaxing getaway, so all was well.

Conference Weekend: The Saturday of general conference, John and I went to see our first play of the season, Miss Saigon, with two other couples, and then out to dinner. We read about and discussed the changes announced at conference.

On Sunday, we sat down with the kids and some treats to watch the first session. Sienna only made it halfway through before the girl next door came over and invited her out to play. She came in for lunch but otherwise played outside for eight hours.

John and I went for a walk on a nearby open space trail and saw a tarantula.

I made pumpkin spice muffins for breakfast and John made a fall skillet meal for lunch, with apple, onion, squash, chicken, bacon and Brussels sprouts.

Catalina: For my birthday, John planned a overnight getaway to Catalina. We flew over in a helicopter, ate dinner at a fancy restaurant, lay around on the beach, went on a glass bottom boat tour, walked around Avalon, visited the spa, and lay around some more. Oh, and hunted for sea glass (found tons). It was very relaxing and just what we needed.

Shark Teeth: Sienna has finally lost her first two teeth. She's had shark teeth on the bottom front for several months, and she worked up the courage to let Uncle Franco pull them out. We were, ironically, at the pool, having a fun family night swim, where Maggie lost a tooth at a swim meet this summer.

Sienna is now following up on every bribe I ever offered her to get those teeth out. Also, I told her she couldn't have candy until her teeth came out and she countered with no ipad. And then went without her ipad for a month.

Experiment: I stopped shaving my legs in July, maybe as a social experiment, or laziness. I hate doing things because I'm "supposed to." So far I had one person say they were proud of me and one person say she was glad I didn't shave my legs like her (though she said she had just shaved so she didn't embarrass her grown children when she visited them) and one husband of a friend look at me weird.

In the Middle: Maggie seems to be enjoying Middle School. She has gotten used to biking every day (it's quite a bit farther than the elementary school) and she has a good group of friends to bike with. Some days they stop at Yogurtland or Del Taco on the way home, which has made her interested in earning more money babysitting.

She loves her elective this trimester - Writer's Workshop - and all her other classes, except PE. Though she is trying hard in PE. She takes her school work seriously and is very conscientious about getting her homework done. Other than a few minor dramas with the friends, she is happy and enjoying everything.

Halloween-Lo-Ween: Halloween morning I went to a High Fitness class in costume. It was super fun. I finished in time to put my room mom hat on and help with Dalton's class party, running spider races. I was able to peek into Sienna's party for a few minutes before I had to pick up Arthur.

We got invited to a chili cook-off with some church friends. I made white chicken chili and we played at the park. Then Maggie went off trick or treating around town with her friends, and we headed out just the five of us. We did end up trick or treating with some preschool church friends for a bit, but it was nice not to be in a big group waiting for people. Our kids got tons of candy and were very happy.

I'm pleased with our Avengers costumes this year, but it was fun to dress up in my Monsters U costume for the dance class and I want to do something more fun for myself next year. I'm also glad we got a lot of use out of our costumes. Besides Oogie Boogie's Bash, we wore them for trunk-or-treat, park day party, a friend's party, kids got to all wear them to school, and Maggie is going to a middle school Halloween dance tonight.

Arthur Halloween Funnies: In a (successful) attempt to be a fun mom, I made a Halloween playlist this year, and bought some fun songs for us to listen to in the car. Arthur is obsessed. He particularly likes Thriller, Monster Mash, I Put a Spell on You, and Ghostbusters.

He's obsessed with Thriller (aka the song where if you don't dance the zombies will eat you) and he constantly asks me technical questions about zombies, the plot of the song, and 80s music in general. How do they eat you? Do hey cut it into little bites? What happens when the sun comes up? What if you get tired of dancing? What does "Ow!" mean? What does "yeah!" mean? What does "Oh!" mean.

Arthur was also really into Hocus Pocus this year. Again with the technical questions about their powers, hair, coats, and teeth. He wants to be Winifred.

Back to Work: I recently got a job helping an attorney friend with office work a few hours a week. It's nice to have my time more structured - with Arthur at school/playgroup twice a week for 5 hours, I have plenty of time, and it's a good way to fill it.

On a Mission: Last week I went on Dalton's 4th grade field trip to Mission San Juan Capistrano. I'd never been there before and it was very interested. The kids learned how to make adobe bricks, from a very animated instructor, and got a tour about life in the mission. Dalton wanted to sit by me on the bus, which made my heart happy.

Arthur Swims: Arthur hit the Magic’s breakthrough in his swim lesson this week, where he realized he can put his face underwater without breathing, and then he doesn’t inhale water. He just asked me for goggles so he could practice in the bath. So cute.

Double Birthday: Sometimes John has good ideas like “you should go on a girls trip with your friends” and “we should throw a party for both Sienna and Arthur at the park with a bounce house and invite all their friends.” So we did. The bounce house was actually pretty cheap - certainly cheaper than going to a play, and we could invite as many people as we wanted. So we invited all their friends, and all their siblings and ordered pizza and made two cakes.

Arthur wanted a Star Wars cake - he wanted a Star Tours ship on top of it. Lo and behold, apparently that’s a thing. I got an overpriced Starspeeder 1000 and a Millennium Falcon diecast on Amazon. Then I dyed chocolate frosting black, and drew white lines on the cake to make it look like lightspeed. He loves the new spaceship toys.

Sienna wanted Jasmine cake. We agreed on teal rose cupcakes and purple cupcakes with gold star sprinkles. Turned out super cute. I also made her a last minute Jasmine dress because she threatened to wear her pajamas to the park. And Tressa made her a cute Jasmine bow to match.

The party was just bounce house, park, pinata (bye bye Halloween candy), pizza, and cake. Perfect.

Christmas Disney : We had a reservation-free Friday on everyone’s Disney flex passes last night, so we went and enjoyed some of the Christmas atmosphere. We made it in time for the parade. I saved a spot while John took the kids on Star Tours, and our neighbors met us in time for the parade. Then we went to California Adventure, got some Peppermint Hot Chocolate Floats, did a few rides, and watched the holiday World of Color from underneath the Golden Zephyr. We also went to Bing Bong’s candy store and for a rainbow unicorn slushy with nerds on top, and Sienna picked out a birthday baby Dory stuffy. It was a great night, and the kids were chatting so nicely about math and science and being so good the whole time.

Feminist Dalt: I told Dalton the youth were in charge of Sacrament Meeting today and he said, "but Maggie doesn't have the Priesthood yet!"

Conquer: Sienna somewhere picked up the phrase "conquering her fears" and uses it (appropriately) all the time. Recently I heard her tell a friend, "Once I get my own dog, I can conquer my fears alone. In my room."

Indoctrinated: Maggie: Gender doesn't matter in this family.


Me: Who wants to make me waffles?
Maggie: Last time I made waffles I almost put cream cheese in them. And used baking powder instead of baking soda. And didn't know what buttermilk was.

Super Mom: In the middle of the night, I woke up, sat up, and caught Arthur as he was about to roll off the foot of our bed. Some sort of sixth mom sense or super power. Also: can Arthur please sleep in his own bed?

Sienna is Seven: Sienna turned seven this week. She likes TsumTsum, her favorite princess is Belle, her favorite ride at Disneyland is the Incredicoaster (which she’s been on twice), she suddenly insists she doesn’t like peanut butter. She’s as spunky as ever. She hates practicing piano and it’s like pulling teeth to get her to sit and do it. Speaking of putting teeth, she finally lost her two extra front shark teeth when Uncle Franco pulled them both out at the pool one night when they were visiting. First grade, however, is my favorite because I love watching my kids learn how to read. She is learning very fast now that she’s in first grade, reading sight words fluently, and picking through short books pretty well. She fights with pretty much everyone in the family, but she’s also sweet and thoughtful. She only wears dresses and gets annoyed if I talk her into pants for hiking, or being out when it’s cold. She is obsessed with the hatchimals and the pogo stick she got for her birthday.

Memories: Tonight we took our kids to do chapel cleaning (so we can go to Disneyland in the morning) and then had dinner at chick fil a (including peppermint milkshakes!) On the way home we were singing snippets of songs and quoting lines from our favorite Christmas specials (we really like the Peanuts and Garfield ones). I hope this is what my kids remember from their childhoods and not the insane amount of bickering.

A Day Together: I spent all day with Arthur today. I mean, I spend most days with him, but today I spent it with him. After dropping Sienna off at school, I took him to his swimming lesson. He did great, and had fun playing in the pool with his little friends for some time after. Then we came home and he did window stickers while I took a shower. Then we scootered over to park day where we stayed for almost two hours.

After the park, we sat down and at lunch together at the same time. Then we played a game of checkers (his pick) and tsum tsum (my pick). We each picked ten tsum tsum, and then we started singing songs for each of them. I was able to sing a song for nearly all of them. Then we watched Little April Shower on YouTube because he didn’t know that one. Then we watched Fantasia faeries because he loves Faeries from Mannheim steamroller, and I’ve been meaning to show him that. Then we watched Sorcerer Apprentice Mickey because, why not. Then we sat in the car until it was time to get Sienna because I was cold and it sounded warm at the time...

He is such a good buddy, and I’m already sad he’ll go to TK next year.

Decorations of Red: This morning we went to Disneyland where Sienna got to pick a toy (a stuffed Porg) for her birthday, and we went on a bunch of rides, including it’s a small world holiday (yay). After Disneyland, we got lunch at Cava, my new favorite Mediterranean bowls, and then John decorated the entire house for Christmas. I got a bunch of our cards addressed, and sorted out some hand me downs as long as the attic was open. But mostly I sat around. Decorating is definitely John’s thing, and appreciating it is mine!

The Fun One: I’m on my way out the door to a church meeting.
Sienna: Is just you going?
Me: Yes.
Sienna: Good. I want the fun one to stay home.
Aka Dad, the fun parent. She went on to explain that she didn’t mean to hurt my feelings, but dad gives her treats. Indeed.

Supervising: I’ve heard Sienna use the word “supervising” twice this week. I think she meant improvising, coming up with a new way of getting something done, but it was adorable. I am loving watching her learn how to read.

Break Time: A sweet lady in our ward took Maggie and Sienna to see Frozen 2 with her. They loved it, and it was a fun special thing for them to do.

Sienna, earlier that day said: Good thing shows have breaks in them.

Because apparently the last thing she saw in a theater was Aladdin, the Broadway musical.

Drivesgiving: We thought we were being smart by driving up to my aunt Pat's house on Thanksgiving morning, rather than driving up the night before with traffic, and paying for another night of hotel. Instead it took us 6 long, rainy hours to get there. Bleh. We enjoyed dinner with the family, but were eager to head home the next morning. We did stop at Pea Soup Andersen's on the way home, and the drive was just the usual 4 hours, so at least that was better.

Triple Holiday: Leonard came out to visit for Thanksgiving. We had a good time celebrating Arthur's birthday with bowling and In n Out, celebrating Thankgiving with our Richardson family, and celebrating Christmas with early presents from Uncle Leonard, and by decorating Christmas cookies. Games were also played, and night swimming happened. We love when Uncle Leonard visits.

Arthur, Age 4: Arthur turned 4 this week! With a birthday the day before Thanksgiving, and a party 11 days earlier, it was pretty low key. The boy has become obsessed with Star Wars. He got some action figures for his birthday, and Star Wars lego sets, pajamas, stickers etc. He runs around with his Lego ships making Star Wars noises (whatever he thinks those are!). Arthur also likes tormenting his siblings, and watching TV on his head.

He is still pretty much the worst eater and prefers yogurt and applesauce to anything else. He will eat chicken, ham, grated cheese, various crackers, zbars, sourdough bread, and occasionally I can get him to eat an apple slice or a baby carrot.

We're working on him staying in his own bed at night. I wish I could say it's going better. This project mostly consists of me putting him back in bed whenever he comes to snuggle dad in the night.

Losing Dory: This afternoon, while I cooked Back-Up Thanksgiving dinner, Arthur sat at the table and watched Finding Dory. My sweet boy kept coming to me crying because Dory had lost her dad. He’s seen the movie, and didn’t understand why he was crying. He was laughing at himself half the time, but he kept getting upset. His empathy is a lot more endearing than when I watched The Little Mermaid in 3rd grade and cried when Ursula died. Poor baby Dory!

Back-Up Thanksgiving: John wanted me to make his mom’s sweet potato casserole, so I went ahead and planned a whole Back-Up Thanksgiving meal. I got it all done this afternoon despite an hour and a half of driving kids around. We had rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, Brussel sprouts, crescent rolls, cranberry jelly, and apple tart for dessert.

The crescent rolls turned out amazing. I laminated them, and I’ve never made anything so flaky before. They didn’t rise very well and could have been fluffier but were so delicious. I used over a pound of butter between the rolls, the tart, the mashed potatoes, the Brussel sprouts, and the gravy.

Christmas List of Very Real Reindeer: Me: Sienna what do you want for Christmas?

Sienna: Some of the kids in my class said Santa isn’t real, but I said obviously Blancer, Plancer, Dancer and Pancer are real. It’s a deer with horns. Of course it’s real.

Me: What.

Christmas Cheer: Last night we took the kids to Yogurtland and enjoyed the festive Christmas decorations. It was cold and the fake grass we like to sit on was still wet from the downpour the day before, but it was a fun little outing and the kids got out lots of energy.

Preschool Turn: For my latest preschool carpool day, I took the four boys to the Great Park. The new playground opened a couple weeks ago and is big and lots of fun. Also, the balloon ride is free again, so I took them on that. It was the fastest the two hours has ever gone by. I forgot that one of the kids is scared of every ride at Disneyland when I took them on the balloon and again when I sent him careening down the zip line. He survived.

Mind Your Cs and Ks: Sienna says “chey kain” instead of key chain. Also, there’s a few pairs of socks wrapped under the Christmas tree for her, and she’s convinced it’s chee canes.

Santa Parties: This morning was our ward Christmas breakfast. I was in charge of the food, which went well. Kids sang songs with the Primary and Arthur actually sang. They got to see Santa. Maggie threatened to ask for a pet if I made her see Santa, but we managed to get a picture of the four of them anyway.

Tonight we had John's work Christmas party. As we were leaving, all dressed up, Sienna said: "You look like you're going to a fancy party!
John: We are. We're going to my work Christmas party.
Kids: Will Santa be there?!?!?
John: Santa is too busy to go to a grown up party.

So naturally, Santa was there. They also had the fanciest balloon arches I've ever seen, and mashed potatoes in martini glasses with DIY toppings, so I say it was a win, even if we left before dessert. Who needs dessert when you can just have more potatoes?

Shiny: I got my nails done for the first time ever (except maybe in India?). I asked a friend who I know goes occasionally and she set it up and we went together and got mani-pedis. I picked out a light tealish blue for my toes, for the cruise and apparently it's cheaper to have your nails painted than buffed, so I got shiny red for my fingers for the holiday.

It was fun, but it was expensive and I certainly wouldn't do that often. Next time I want to spend money, I'll go get a massage.

Dalton Gives a Gift: Dalton asked if he could buy a present for a friend named Alex. He was suspiciously referring to his friend Alex, his music stand partner, as "they" and finally said it was a girl. Ok. We scootered to Walgreens and bought her two little packs of Ghiradelli chocolates, which he wrapped and gave to her at school. The next day he brought home a decorated baggie of candy she had given him and a NOTE about how she wishes to always be by his side and how she trusts him, and likes how he feels for her. Dalton, the charmer, fourth grade version.

Mail: We’ve been out of town for 12 days, and came home to 15 Christmas cards (and 3 DMV documents). December is the best mail time.



© 1999-2021 Susanna Chadwick.