Welcome 2021: We spent New Year’s Eve taking a snowshoeing class with Dalton, and exploring around silver lake at Solitude. In the evening we ate Chinese food and played games (Mastermind, Boggle, Racko) with Grandma, and doing puzzles. When I tucked an overtired Arthur into bed around 9, he whispered “goodnight, happy new year, have a good sleep, have a good new year, goodnight mom” over and over. This morning when he woke up, he crawled into bed and snuggled me for half an hour and talked about how this year he will turn six and go to kindergarten.

Sprinkles and Perfume: Sienna and her friend wanted to make perfume during their play date. They needed another little container, so I emptied out a nearly empty sprinkles container into their cupped hands, and they gobbled them up, then went outside to collect flowers. They found lots of “beautiful smelling” flowers, including “lavender”, added a little water and, voila! Perfume!

Seeds of Feminist : Dalton and I went for a walk this morning. When he referred to a nongendered video character as “them” it opened a conversation about the male default. It’s something he has noticed already. I told him as a male, he has even more power to change that.

Aww, He Did Something!: When we first got Wally, Sienna and Arthur acknowledged every thing he did as ultra cute. Now we all do it. Aww, he shaked! Aww, he stretched! Aww, he itched! (Itching is when he rubs his head in a pile of clothes.

Dalton’s Dream: What Dalton claims happened: he had a dream he got out of bed and went up to our room to ask about health insurance.

What actually happened: he came up to our room in the middle of the night, and we were in such a deep sleep and he was talking so quietly that it took me forever to figure out what he was even saying. I think it was about helping with his Nintendo DS Pokémon game. I finally told him in was the middle of the night and he couldn’t play his game, and he needed to go back to bed. Then I rolled over and went back to sleep.

I probably should have made sure he made it safely back to bed, but I was so tired it didn’t even occur to me.

Arthur’s Tics: Recently, Arthur started opening his mouth really wide all the time, so I investigated. He told me in a quiet voice that he had a little problem. His mouth, eyes, and nose are itchy. I told him to show me, and he opened his mouth really wide, rolled his eyes really hard one direction, and folded his lips in to stretch his nose.

Walrus: Arthur’s interpretation of Catching Fire
Someone died from the storm troopers. It was the person that girl was in love with. But then that person got back alive, that’s cool right?

Arthur is obsessed with Walruses. Wants to be a walrus for Halloween, calls everything a walrus and says the word Walrus allllll the time.

These are notes I made about Arthur four months ago. Still true. All walrus, all the time.

Glitter on the Highway: Sienna to Arthur: it’s not that I don’t like Gibson. I love him. I’m going to marry him unless something else comes up.
She then started singing Achy Breaky Heart, followed by Love Shack, songs she apparently learned through Go Noodle.

Except. Sienna has been working with a speech therapist to overcome her pronunciation of the “sh” sound - it comes out “s.” So she was singing “Love Sac” over and over and I couldn’t stop laughing. Honestly, I don’t even hear her mispronunciations, but that one was loud and clear.

Dalton Bikes: Lately, Dalton has been meeting up with friends after school and going for bike rides alll over town. This morning he and I biked over so he could show me a tree that he climbed - all the way to the top. It was pretty awesome. I gave him a lecture about stopping at stop signs and only crossing the street at crosswalks and we rode home. I love seeing my kids play outside.

Maggie Draws: Maggie is really getting into her artistic side. She spends a lot of her free time drawing. She enjoys the Wings of Fire and Warriors (cats) book series and draws and creates characters from them. She’s taken a few live online drawing classes through Outschool. She asked for a drawing tablet for Christmas and has started doing some digital art. I’m very impressed with her work.

Tajamas : Arthur is sorting his laundry and saying “socks, pants, tajamas, tajamas, shirts” and I just want to keep him forever.

Sea Glass Haiku:

I sat down alone
And sifted through sand and sea
Then rose with new wealth.

Not So Much: The Supreme Court ruled that churches in California candy in person. Dalton had his first in-person Young Men’s activity and was bored out of his mind. He does not enjoy sports and is two years younger than ll the other boys. And super tired, crying about going to bed while waiting for Maggie to finish. The highlight was seeing an barn owl sitting on a street sign on our way home. Super cool.

Universal Fun: Saturday we drove to Universal Citywalk. Half of it is still closed, but the important things (Butterbeer, candy store, Voodoo Doughnut, Mexican restaurant, Butterbeer) were open. The place was pretty empty, though we still had to wait in lines do to indoor capacity. This was our first time eating in an actual restaurant (outdoor dining of course). I don’t care about being waited on, but I miss not having to do take out and plastic containers everywhere. Most of the quick serve places we like and have been eating at normally serve on actual dishes. So that was great. Kids had fun and played in the car. Wally was happy to see us when we got back. And it occupied most of the day (John and I also went hiking in the morning).

Nature: Today we went with some (covid bubble) friends to a nearby park that has a stream running through it. The moms sat in the sun while the kids played on the playground, threw a frisbee back and forth over the stream, climbed, trees, played with ticks, be got muddy. For 3 1/2 hours. It was idyllic.

Dim Sum: For Christmas, John planned a monthly dinner date with a theme. Last month we got Thai takeout and ate it at home while the kids were all at a birthday party. Tonight we ate outdoors at Din Tai Fong and it was delicious.

Reading: Last year I made a goal to read 12 books. I made it to ten. This year I made a goal to read 12 books and I’ve already read 19. I’m such a binge reader.

Falling With Style:

Me: Did you do a flip?
Arthur: No, I did a roll with jumping.

New House?: The first night in our new house (back in September, when it was time for bed, Arthur started putting his shoes on, to go home for the night. (To the other house). For a long time he asked how long until we would move back to the other house. One too many Airbnbs perhaps.

Salad and Wolves: Walking to school yesterday, Sienna told me all about a game she was playing outside with a neighbor. They made tiny food out of leaves, flowers etc. it was bowls of salad because they were “cool kids.” And their scooters were motorcycles and they ran away whenever the police tried to stop them from going so fast.

Also on the way to school she said, “is that a wolf?” Luckily, it was a coyote. Unluckily, we had Wally with us, but soon enough some people on bikes came and verified it had run off.

“Baby” Teeth: Maggie just lost a tooth. She turns 14 this week, and just lost a tooth. We’re pretty sure it’s the last one. Hopefully.

To Swim or Not to Swim: Texts Rachel sent me when I was trying to decide if I wanted tk take Arthur swimming when it was 55° and possibly rainy.

Isn’t your pool heated? It will be very nice. I love swimming in the rain. I'm so jealous. I'd give quite a lot to be going swimming right now. I dream about it a lot. It will be worth it. Going swimming with your child will give you the mental health benefits of exercise which is the most important part.

Joshua Tree: This weekend we went on a long-awaited adventure to Joshua Tree National Park. We went for stargazing last May, and the kids immediately asked to go back. We went with our friends, and planned a couple short hikes, then a picnic dinner bd star gazing, but we only ended up doing one of the hikes. The kids just wanted to climb on every surface available. Which was awesome. So much climbing, and jumping, and scrambling. After the actual hike, we went to the same spot we went to last time. The kids did lots more rock climbing, went off exploring on their own. The dad’s supervised and the moms set up picnic dinner in a parking lot spot between our vans. Then we had treats and cookies and card games while waiting for the sky to get dark. We bundled up in winter cots and beanies and sleeping bags and watched the stars explode all over the sky. It was fantastic. We headed home about 8pm after a long and busy day. All in all, a day we’ll spent. Wally came with us and also had a blast running round, and snugging Maggie during star gazing.

As Woofy as an Elephant Tongue: Arthur is in a dog phrase, which it seems like every kid has. Unless they pretend to be a cat for two years. Anyway, everything he says is woof or dog. And he says words backwards. Like “full waff” instead of waffles. Or “sin bips” instead of Gibson. This is all incessant.

But occasionally he also throws in the elephant tongue. He must have learned at school that elephant tongues are big. Now he sometimes says things like “it’s as cold as an elephant tongue” or “I’m as tired as an elephant tongue.” So silly.

Little Swimmer: I’ve been taking Arthur to the pool at least once a week so he can learn to swim before swim team. Yesterday we crashed a friend’s swim lesson, because their pool has the hot tub turned on. It’s also very large. Arthur swam back and forth across the hot tub, under water, having finally figured out how to go under without water in his nose. He is excited and willing to swim under water now, the aim major breakthrough in learning how to swim.

Thank You, Williams: The cutest little town in Coconino County... Williams, Arizona was so great that Wally decided to stay a couple extra days, and Maggie and I decided to drive back. 😬 Wally ran off from the train station Friday night, and was missing for a few days. The Grand Canyon Railway staff were so great about helping us look, and when I went into the hotel to leave my info, the front desk woman posted on the local Facebook group for me. When I checked with the Williams police department, the dispatcher said she had been out looking the night before. Northern Arizona animal search and rescue volunteers organized efforts. Most importantly, a kind gentleman, spotted Wally, tried to catch him, and passed his location on to us and the police department, ultimately leading Maggie and I to the place where we miraculously found him, trapped in an excavator storage yard half a mile further down. We had to feed him a pile of stale French fries and dig a hole under the fence with our bare hands in the dark, and after an hour, he scooted under and hopped into the car. We then had hotel trouble because we had just checked into a place that didn’t allow pets. Bonus points to La Quinta for being pet friendly - even to our filthy double rescue.

Blurred Out: Everything Arthur says is blurred. Literally the word blurred. It started with the dog, I think because I took a picture of him and it looked blurry because his fur is so crazy. Now Arthur BLURRED everything. It’s all blurred out. It drives me nuts.

Mighty Ducks: We’ve been watching new episodes of Mighty Ducks: Game Changers as a family together, as they are released on Friday nights. Even Arthur will sit down and play on my phone and mostly be quiet. Wally sleep, with all of us herded.

Pluto: I had a dream we were visiting the (dwarf) planet Pluto. In some sort of clear building, but it was crusted over with ice, and you had to go to a special viewpoint to see out.

I also had a dream that some guy who worked for me came in and demanded I tell him about the church, so I took him in Dalton’s room and started talking about the Articles of Faith. Coincidentally, I’m supposed to be preparing a talk on the Articles of Faith...

A Cute Little Feller: Somewhere Arthur picked up the phrase “cute little feller” and uses it to describe everything from rocks to Wally. Arthur himself is indeed, a cute little feller.

As Big as an Elephant Tongue :

Arthur: There are dogs bigger than me.
Sienna: There are otters bigger than you.

Jealous?: Today at school, Sienna made a speech fan and her friends were embarrassed because they were hot too.

[No comments] Things Must Be Looking Up: A couple days ago, I told someone to stop making me laugh so I could avoid bursting into tears. Yesterday I got on the wrong freeway, going in the wrong direction, and actually found it hilarious.

[No comments] Cabin Floor: Arthur during our cabin stay last summer.

Dad to Arthur (who keeps getting off his bed to sleep on the floor: is the cabin floor comfy?
Arthur: Yes! It’s made of wood!

[No comments] Mother’s Day of Rest: Yesterday John and I got our second vaccine shot, so we planned to be home and doing nothing for Mother’s Day. Luckily neither of us felt too bad, and ibuprofen definitely helped. John made donut French toast for breakfast, chicken and grilled veggies for lunch and McDonald’s for dinner. We binge-watched Wandavision with the older kids, while doing one of my new puzzles, and I sat around in my new fuzzy pajama pants all day. It was a lovely, lazy day.



© 1999-2021 Susanna Chadwick.