Susie's Leaning Tower of Chocolate

Categories: swishina | Dalton

: Dalton and Sienna’s sort of yearly well visits at 8.5 and 11.5 Dalton was 70 pounds, 58 inches. Sienna was 51 pounds, 52 inches.

Bones: Today was the last of a lot of doctor visits I’ve had to make this month. Half a dozen of them were well visits, x rays, and then seeing an orthopedic, for both Maggie and Dalton.

Maggie’s x ray showed minor scoliosis, but the visible concern is postural. We will need to make physical therapy visits. And do yoga.

We noticed a while ago that all of Dalton’s fingers on one hand were the same length. The middle finger is now shorter than the other two. X ray confirmed that some of his metacarpals (hand bones) are growing more slowly. It’s nothing to worry about, and also can’t be fixed. It’s related to the same thing I have, with the short third joint on the thumb, but his hand bones are the ones affected. So eventually it will be even more obvious that he has a hand difference. But hopefully it won’t affect much and he doesn’t seem embarrassed about it.

Goodnight, My Someone: Dalton comes to say goodnight to both John and I every night before he goes to bed. It’s adorable. Somewhat less adorable at 1am last night when he asked me to snuggle him. But he got in my bed instead of making me get up and go downstairs, so win-win.

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.

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.

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.

Full House on Quarantine: I just took something out to the car and when I opened the door, Dalton waved to me from the backseat. “Just getting some alone time,” he said with a smile.

Here, Boy!: One of the highlights of getting a dog is listening to Dalton use his baby voice to talk to him.

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.

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!"

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.

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.

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

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.

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

<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.

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

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.

Flip: We have many good Reasons for staying in our little house, so it’s been a long time since I wished we had more space. But apparently flipping water bottles is a thing, and it’s a thing Dalton has gotten into and no matter where he goes I can hear the *thud* of a water bottle landing over and over.

Fortunes: Dalton asked me to make him a fortune teller the other day. I ended up making them for everyone. I couldn’t stop laughing when he did it with me. Here are the “fortunes” he listed.

You are a animal
Pink unicorns are coming to attack you
You will die young
You are dumd (sic)
You are awesome
You are a alien
It will rain tacos
You won’t get married
He came in while I was typing this and tried to throw it away again. Future Dalton, I hope you appreciate that I’m preserving this.

Dalton Turns 9: For Dalton's birthday he asked for Roblox figures, Hot Wheels tracks that turn, a fudge cake, and ice cream and Boomers with friends. Done and done!

Blue Bean: Dalton reading his Mike and Ike’s package: carribean blue. Is this a kind of bean?

Then I also had to explain the different pronunciation of Carribean for Pirates of the Carribean.

: Dalton on my leg hair: you need to cut that. It’s getting long.
(It’s not.) Me: how often do you think I cut that?
Dalton: a year?

Hobbes: Dalton asked me “where’s the book about the boy with the huge imagination and the stuffed tiger?”

Talent Show: My kids were not interested in the school talent show, and who has time for that? But they were asked to be announcers, because you know the LDS kids can speak in front of people. There were a handful of announcer kids, dressed up as circus performers, with little scenes to do between each handful of talent acts. Dalton was a magician and pulled bunny Maggie out of a hat. He did a great job remembering his lines and being nice and loud. Maggie also did a mime routine, and I was very impressed with how quickly she picked up the concept. I was backstage orchestrating announcers going out, and costume changes for the announcers. It was lots of fun (even though I was right: Who has time for that?)

Afterwards, we stayed and helped put chairs away and clean up. I couldn't believe the amount of trash left lying around, but I was pleasantly surprised by random families (not just the usual PTA and LDS crew (it was held at the Stake Center)) who stayed to help.

Dalton’s Baptism: Dalton William Chadwick

I have a little sister Sienna, baby Arthur is super cute, mom and dad are super nice, big Sister Maggie plays with me a lot.

Favorite scripture story: The one when they lower the man through the roof because it was so crowded. Because it’s funny they went through the roof.

Favorite song: Gethsemane

His unique talent is swimming.

Special qualities that prepared him for baptism are that he’s kind and forgives right away.

Legoland Birthday: Dalton begged to go to Legoland for his birthday. There was no school that day, and we didn't have a party last year, so it was hard to say no. I took him and one friend from school and we had a great time. We did some coasters, then the boys played in the castle play place for an hour, then built and raced cars for an hour. They held and official race, and they both won! We went on the new Ninjago ride, where we shot our powers at the bad guys in 3D. We also got to explore the aquarium. It was great birthday fun.

Bullseye For the Win: Sienna has been asking to play the boardwalk games at California Adventure for some time. Yesterday we finally did it. She and Dalton raced in a game where you roll balls to move your horse forward. Dalton won, but not by much. The cast member held up the prize choices and Dalton immediately turned to Sienna and asked which one she wanted. She picked a horse like Bullseye, and is now best friends with him, thanks to her sweet brother.

Poisonous Wolf Pee: Dalton came into our room at 2:30 this morning. Talking loudly.

I had a dream that Skyler and I were playing outside and we saw one of those bunnies that bites and pees poisonous wolfblood.


He didn't say "wolfblood", it was some made up word. But we couldn't remember exactly in the daylight.

I told him that rabbits don't bite and took him back to bed. "But what about other animals that pee poisonous wolfblood?"

There's no such thing! Animals pee pee. There's no poisonous animals around here anyway. Etc.

By this point, he's woken up Arthur who was then awake for an hour and a half.

I texted John when Dalton won his 25 Fly heat at his swim meet later that morning. He responded: Way to go! Must be the poison wolf pee.

Update: Some time later, Dalton told me it was like "the place we were going to stay with the water slides." Great Wolf Lodge. He was saying "wolfslodge".

Everything I Do: Dalton does that thing where kids complain that mom's get Mother's Day AND a birthday.

Me: Dalt, everything I do, all day long, every day is for you.

Dalt: loooong pause. ... It's hard to think of something [that's not for him].

Are You Kidding Me?: Dalton's latest thing to say is "are you kidding me?" We usually aren't.

Old School: Dalt is reading Pokemon jokes.

Me: Do you ever know what a VCR is?
Dalt: It's how they used to make movies. Like a projector.

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."

6.5: Dalton is 6 1/2 now, but I just found the little doctor's note from his well visit the school made me do. He was actually 6 1/4 then. 43 pounds (25%) and 47 inches (67%).

Dalton lost his second tooth yesterday. The permanent tooth had emerged behind it some time ago and is now very far back. I hope it moves into place quickly, but I think our kids are going to need braces for sure.

Dalton loves ponies, school, learning, helping, swimming, scootering, fulfilling responsibilities, being a big brother and making lists. He is always making lists of things he wants to do and then bothering me about doing something on his list every day. He loves getting jobs or assignments and then tackling them, especially if it means he can earn ipad time.

He has started that annoying kid thing whether they bother other people on purpose, but inside he is still our sweetest kid. He gives snuggles, apologizes and forgives easily, and loves everyone. He seems to recognizes when things are crazy and is often the one to make peace and calm things down.

He is brave enough to do what he wants without regards to what "everyone else" is doing, but he is still quite sensitive. He's cried to me more than once about kids that won't play with him - most of his friends are girls and sometimes they just want to play with other girls.

With shoes, and napkins, Dalton is over 48" now and can go on the scary rides at Knott's. He doesn't love them as much as Maggie, but puts on a brave face and I'm proud of him for trying. Love my Dalton-tin.

Dalt Loses a Tooth: Dalton lost his first tooth last night. He was eating strawberries and went back to his video game when he noticed it was missing. I assume he ate it along with a strawberry because we couldn't find it anywhere.

He wrote a note to the tooth fairy. "Dear tooth fairy I lost u tooth."

This morning he found a dollar under his pillow. As he was putting it in his money pouch he said, "I knew it wouldn't be four quarters because fairies are small and she might be struggling by carrying them."

In related news, when I examined his super loose tooth, I discovered the permanent tooth next to the missing one has already emerged behind the baby tooth. Shark teeth!

R is for Salad:
Dalton: what does that say? (Pointing to a bottle of ranch dressing)
Me: it says "salad dressing."
Dalton: so you can't sound out "salad" because it starts with an R.

It's like all your parenting lies get exposed when your kid learns how to read.

Best Wishes: Dalton has enjoyed spending hours pouring over My Little Pony toys and Lego Minecraft on Amazon, so I was pleasantly surprised when he busted out with this, two days before his birthday.

What I want for my birthday is for nobody to ever get sick again.

Write Like an Egyptian: What do you put at the end of a sentence?
Dalton: a pyramid.

Boring Old Five: Dalton: I'm almost six. It's so boring being almost another age.

Butterfly Antenna: What color Diana did Sienna's friends have?
What's a Diana?
A pipe cleaner? Oh, antenna??
Silly Dalt.

Daltonisms: A few cute words Dalton uses:

broccimoli (guacamole)
Rain nacho (poncho)
Ohming (aiming)
Lala (voila)
Google quack (googolplex)

He also still says "keycause" which is the cutest ever. Whenever Maggie corrects his pronunciation on something we say, "Be piet, Maggie!" She hates it, haha.

He's Got A Point: Why do I have to take a bath right after going swimming? A bath is the same thing as going swimming. You go underwater...

Shortest Disney Trip Ever: I picked Dalton up at school an hour early because he threw up in class. He spent the next 5 hours running around the house, so when it came time to pick up Maggie and go to Disneyland, I asked him 4 times how his tummy felt, and we headed out. As we were getting out of the car, he told me his tummy felt bad. Nice. We ended up driving back home, and he threw up about a mile from our house. Also, nice. Kids and the best laid plans are not a match made in heaven.

Dumb or Innocent?: Dalton was watching a Facebook video over my shoulder. Me: Oops, he said bad words. I hope you didn't hear that.
Dalton: What? I didn't hear him say "dumb."

A couple other Daltonisms: My eyes is all spiced up.
I want a bacon bite with smashed tomatoes.

Silly Fruit: Dalton checked out his first school library book - Fruits and Vegetables A-Z. Last night when we read it, I had him point to each thing and say what it was, if he knew. When we got to U, he pointed to the Ugli fruit and said, "dumb fruit."

School Mom: Today I volunteered in Dalton's class for the first time. I just did some prep work, but it was fun to see Dalton and all his little friends working hard. I'm looking forward to going every week. He is so cute sitting at his little table, cutting little fox ears with his little scissors and being a good listener. His class is so well behaved, especially compared to Maggie's 1st grade class. She has better luck this year, and/or a better teacher. I am assistant room mom for Maggie's class, so I have to go to all the parties. Helping at a 2nd grade class Christmas party left me quite winded.

I also made friends with two other moms who have had Dalton over for play dates already. He loves that, and it was nice to get Sienna down for a nap earlier/get stuff done. I think next time, I will take her to Disneyland when it opens.

Siiick: Dalton is really sick. Boo.

Weird Thing to Say: "Mouse and rats can fit under our stroller." Dalton

Dalton on Technology : Me, looking for a requested Disney song: Just a minute, I not sure what Cd it's on.

Dalton: It's on blu-Ray!

Dalton: What are those CD glasses for? (3D glasses)

Dalton Doesn't Break His Foot: Sienna's been a crazy, grumpy screamer. I figured maybe she needs more attention and love, so the other day we went to the park instead of sitting around at home. The kids scootered over and I pushed Sienna in the tricycle. Then I paid attention to her and played with her. And during that time, Dalton got hurt. Apparently, he tried to cross the monkey bars, couldn't do it (obv) and dropped down. A parent standing nearby offered to help him down, but he said no, because he didn't know the guy (which is unusual, because Dalton loves adults).

He wasn't able to walk on it, and he was crying very hard and very loud. After about 5 minutes of trying to figure out how I was going to get everyone and everything home, a kind woman offered to help me by wearing her baby and putting Sienna in her stroller. Then I was able to push Dalton in the tricycle and carry his scooter while Maggie scootered home. Whew.

The next morning Dalton still couldn't walk on his foot, so I took him to the pediatrician who sent him downstairs for an x-ray. I was surprised to discover that the hospital didn't have Dalton in their system. Which means it's been over 2 years since he had a crash. Luckily, there wasn't a fracture, so it was just a sprain. We wrapped it up, and he's been enjoying the attention of hobbling around school with one shoe.

Dalton is 5: Dalton turned 5 this past week. He remains the sweetest, kindest, most thoughtful boy I know. He must get it from his Daddy, who is also very thoughtful. He is still generally a good listener, but has developed a bit of stubbornness about doing the dishes. He is also very sensitive and cries at the drop of a hat on days he doesn't get enough sleep. At least i'm still blaming it on that. I've been blaming it on that since he stopped napping three years ago.

He is really enjoying school. He loves telling me what he did every day, showing me his worksheets, practicing making patterns and writing letters. And making friends.

For Dalton's birthday, I made BYU mint brownies, frosted like Mike and Sulley from the Monsters movies. We had some friends over for brownies that night, but his "party" was doing to Disneyland with a friend after school the next day. I bought them treats and let him pick all the rides and they had a good time.

He got a new two-wheeled scooter from us and his grandparents. We also got him some Berenstain Bears books, a Snoopy shirt, an Olaf shirt (and a matching one for Sienna) and a Monsters University hat, which is also part of his Halloween costume. He looks adorable in it. His friend who came to Disneyland gave him a little battery-powered shark that swims around in the bathtub, an aquarium, or the pool. The kids love it.

Like Grandpa: The other day, Dalton fell of the toilet, hit his head on the toilet paper holder, and broke the plastic spring roll. Sadly, I couldn't stop laughing.

Apparently, replacement springs are only $.97 at Walmart. Good to know.

Daltons and Sense: Dalton is trying to raise money so he can "spend lots and lots and lots of things." John just paid $2.05 to rent a stuffed Lightning McQueen for the evening. It's a steal compared to his other rental car.

Dalton mentioned that his money bank wouldn't close. The lid kept popping off (it's one of those tootsie roll banks.) I told him I'd get him an envelope for his dollars and I pulled them out of the bank. He had $41, including a $20 and $10. Hmm. I asked him if he took it from Maggie, which he denied.
At my school my teacher gave me lots of dollars.
Tell me the truth.
That is the truth.
Well, if that's the truth, your teacher is in trouble.
Then... there is no truth!

Eventually, he admitted to taking it from Maggie. I made him give it back to her and apologize. Luckily, I warned her what had happened and told her to be nice to him, so she was done being angry by the time he gave it back.

Sienna threw Maggie's coin bank down the stairs. I heard Dalton helping her clean it up and talking in his baby voice about "big and little circles" and "silver and bronze."

Rain Shower: Dalton hates getting his hair cut, mostly because he hates the shower and I always make him shower afterwards. Since he liked the "rain shower" at our flat in London, today I just switched our shower head to "rain shower" mode for him and all was well. And if you are 3'6", that would be the same mode everyone else calls "shower." I'm not sure if that's mean mom or genius, but it worked, so no harm done.

I Should Have Seen This Coming: This morning when I dropped the kids off at gymnastics camp, Maggie was identified as Dalton's sister. Which is not surprising to anyone who knows Dalton.

Mommy Level 3: Today we went to the Safari Park for what we plan to be the last time before our passes expire next month. The new tiger exhibit was open, so it was fun to see that, go on the tram, feed the lorikeets etc.

I was so tired that I dozed on the way home, and just wanted to take a real nap. Instead, I took Dalton swimming. He recently reached level 4 at swim lessons, but had yet to put it to the test in real life. It took him a while to warm up to the pool and be willing to swim on his own, but I was able to get him to cross the width of the pool on his own, with some strong arms and a couple rollovers. We called it "Mommy level 3." Then we hung out in the hot tub. Love my good swimmer boy.

Mad Gab: Dalton and I did a Lego Friends Mad Gab together. Obviously he had Daddy on his mind.

Hey! Let's sleep to the Daddy after this! I want to get dressed a new green water park.

We've been swimming for 4 days! I'm so happy with my dad that I could paint a slide.

Did you see my dive off of the swimming pool? I practiced it about 4 times, until I could snuggle Daddy through the air like a crocodile and a shark.

Yeah! That was green! Teach us how to play games on the computer it but let's give my dad hugs and kisses some chocolate toast first!

We should try to type an underwater snackbar someday so that we never have to run or practice cartwheels out of the pool!

I Don't Think That's a Compliment: I was singing in the car when Dalton interrupted. (He thinks interrupting is SO rude, unless it's him interrupting someone singing.)

Shhhh! Quiet! You made me want to take off my shoes.

Goal Setting: After Maggie's promotion to level 5 at swim lessons last week, Dalton decided that he was going to be level 3 this week. To be level 3 (which he was actually at two years ago), you have to basically swim the width of the pool without the instructor helping you. I told him he had to do three rollovers in a row all on his own. He's been talking about it all week.

I was quite surprised to observe Dalton willingly swimming under water during play time while waiting for his lesson. It kind of reminded me of the time Maggie suddenly figured out how to keep water out of her nose and burst into her swimming skill. Suspiciously enough.

Sure enough, when it was Dalton's turn in his lesson, he just busted it out and swam the entire width of the pool. The instructor and I looked at each other in pleasant surprise, and he did it three or four more times. Level 3!

He is so proud of himself. I praised him for setting a goal (and explained what that was), trying his best, and succeeding.

Dalton is Adorable.: Yesterday the kids went to "spring camp" at the gymnastics place. I sent Dalton over to find his name tag while I signed the kids in. I heard him ask "which one says, 'Dalton'?" and the girl next to me said, "YES! Dalton's adorable!" She was one of the gym team helpers, remembered him from Summer Camp, and was so excited he was in her group. It made my morning.

When I picked him up, she asked if he was coming back the next day. I told her he'd be here for summer camp. I'm sure he'll be looking out for her practicing during his class, as well.

Oh, and I saw another teenage girl CARRYING him around the gym. What a schmoozer.

But I Can't Close My Eyes for 1 Minute: Dalton has had even more trouble sleeping than usual lately. He often refuses to go to bed. A new rule of no treats the next day if he doesn't go to bed has helped somewhat. He says he can't close his eyes for that long. He will claim he is afraid of something, or try to sleep on the floor in the hallway because he wants to wake up when we wake up in the morning. He doesn't want to miss anything. I keep pointing out that staying up until 9:30 makes him so tired in the morning that he won't wake up at all! He is always sad in the morning when he wakes up and Daddy is gone. He bursts into tears once the realization hits.

One funny thing is that sometimes John and I will be downstairs watching TV and we can hear Dalton not going to bed. We'll come up and see him asleep in our bed, or on the floor, or somewhere silly.

He also comes into our room in the night, which had stopped for some time. Last night I heard him tell John that he'd had a bad dream. We usually let him sleep in our bed until the teeth gnashing drives me crazy and I put him back in bed. The other night when I was sick, I had to wake John up to put him back in bed.

Part of the reason is this so annoying is that I've long felt Dalton doesn't get enough sleep. He often acts irritable, the kind of irritable that comes from an empty belly or an afternoon slump. The irritable of a two year old who's missed his nap. So, when he has trouble going to sleep at night, I have trouble with him behaving the next day.

On the bright side, he's had nearly all dry diapers at night all of a sudden. I've been buying the little packs of 23, but I got a good deal, so I bought two big bags of pull-ups. He's on his last one or two diapers before I open those packs. It's like he was waiting for me to invest in his bed wetting.

Today's Goals: I woke up with some pretty specific goals in mind for today.

Survive preschool
Do laundry
Make dinner

I got all that accomplished with the added bonus of finding the other piece of Dalton's scooter at school (yep) and reading lots of books with the kids. Preschool was actually really fun. We had yummy treats, made fun crafts and played with homemade slime. And dinner was good too. I made homemade pizza, half with just pesto and cheese and it was yummy.

We Seek After These Things: Since we have two weeks between church meetings because of General Conference, the kids are learning the 13th Article of Faith. Maggie just has to remember it from when she learned them all last year. This is her last one and soon she'll be the proud owner of a giant bag of whatever candy she wants. We have a CD with the Articles of Faith songs on it, and it happened to be playing in the car when I picked her up from school. She sang along, in front of her friend and proudly told me that she had been singing it quietly at school to practice it.

Dalton is actually suddenly amazing at memorizing them as well. That's why the CD was on in the car. He'll have no trouble getting it memorized in two weeks. I've also enjoyed explaining to him what it means. We believe in being good! He loves the word "benevolent" but today he said, "I don't want to be nice to mean people." I reminded him of a story we read together in The Friend of someone being nice to a mean person who is later nice to them. He pondered that.

This is my favorite Article of Faith. It's another explanation of why Mormons are so nice. I feel like it justifies my creative impulses, including child-rearing. I'm seeking after things virtuous, lovely, of good report, and praiseworthy. If my own children can fit that definition, I think I'll have done well on this earth.

What Would You Ask If You Had Just One Text?: Today Dalton and I were looking through the Friend together. There was an Easter countdown activity. The activity for one day asked, "What can you do to help you think about Jesus during the Sacrament?"
D: I can be quiet. I can not talk.
Me: What about draw a picture of Jesus? Or look at pictures of Jesus?
D: Yeah. Or I could send him a message [text]. "I miss you. You died."

Some older Dalton sillies I wrote down.

Correcting Maggie on what Sienna was eating: Not sweet potatoes. Ma Tate Toes. (tomatoes)

Me: How's your cherry ice cream?
Dalton: Good, but I don't like the craisins.

My Boy: A while ago I was feeling sad when I realized we wouldn't have Disney passes until Dalton is going to school every day. I've since realized that it's less about Disneyland and more about Dalton. I think I am the most attached to him. He's my buddy. I'd rather take him shopping than any other one of my kids - even though he ASKS for stuff all the time now. He is happy to do just about anything spending time with me. We read, play toys, play ipad, snuggle and watch a movie, do crazy kitchen experiments, make up crafts, run around outside, or run errands.

He's sweet and kind and thoughtful. He's funny. He likes to snuggle. I love spending time with him and I'm going to miss it when he goes to school every day! I'm keeping him.

A Bite Out Of Terrycloth: Despite napping for several hours yesterday, Dalton happily went to bed last night. He came waddling into our room at 3:00 this morning and announced loudly as he tried to climb onto the bed:

Want to know what my dream was about? Kate was over and an alligator was chasing us. It took a bite of my towel. It took a bite on the hood.

I grabbed him under the arms and pulled him on the bed to snuggle me where he immediately fell asleep. After a few minutes I carried him back to his bed, reassuring him I would snuggle him there.

He fell right back asleep, breathing quickly and his abdomen rising and falling in telltale signs of labored breathing and decreased oxygen intake. Boo.

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.

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.

Not Just Boys: In case you think it's just boys who are set in their gendered ways, I will tell you about the two girls we do preschool with. Today they were over and playing Mr. Potato Head. They made nice princess ones. Dalton made one after they left. His had a pirate eye, a mustache over pretty lips, sparkly shoes and a crown. To quote Rachel:

Dalton's pretty in touch with his... non-gendered side.

Couple other Dalton notes. He loves to open the gates for me when we walk to school. He has also started telling me when he wants to get on and off the stroller (instead of annoying hop on hop off.)

What I want for Christmas is a phone that when it's time to wake up it makes a sound and you put your hand on it and it stops making a sound.
You mean an alarm clock?

Chadwick Family Funny: Maggie: Dalton, why are you being such a boss?
Dalton: I learned it from you.

Maggie also offered him money from her piggy bank to play with her. (He recently acquired a juice jar from otter J preschool). Anyway, they played really well all afternoon. First they went camping in the closet. Sienna was a bear. Then they played Angry Birds. Despite anything they may say, the Angry Birds stuffed animals are the clear favorite toy from Christmas. When John took Sienna for a walk this evening, the kids wanted to go too so we took Red and Leia to the park in the dark. They had a nice time.

I gave Dalton a haircut tonight. It's been a long time and I just trimmed around his ears last time. He hates haircuts and I have to full-on bribe him with treats. I went back to the #2 all over to make it quick and last longer.

Asleep, Asleep: Since I'm sitting in the car at dad's care center with a sleeping boy (again) I figure I might as well write something.

We're so glad we bought plane tickets to Utah. It was nice not to dread the drive the night before, nor the drive home the entire time here. The kids were good on the airplane, though they kept asking John if we were there yet. Nice little practice trip of our trip to Europe soon.

On Sunday night we went to Temple Square. We took TRAX, saw the lights and watched part of a concert Jodi was participating in. We also ran into a sister missionary serving from Bangalore. Sister Serah was in the primary with me. So fun to see her.

The only other thing we've really done was visit dad. Most of which time I have officially spent in the car. Susan and I cooked today. Between us we made clam chowder, cheese ball, jello jigglers, pumpkin roll and John made a big tray of fresh berries. Were ready for the big Holbrook Christmas party after the visit with Dad.

Gift from Grandma: Dalton tried to guess what Grandma was getting him for Christmas (or, as he says, "Grandpa and Grandpa".) Here are some of his guesses.

Nerf gun
pokey ball
doctor toys
bed stuffed animal (a stuffed bed...)

1 and 4 Years Old: Dalton and Sienna had well visits at the doctor today. They had six shots and a nose squirt between them! Yikes! Not too many tears though. Dalton was promised three stickers and three suckers from the nurse, and he definitely made good on that.

Dalton had his eyesight and hearing tested (he can see that thing better than I can with my glasses on). He is 33 1/2 pounds (28%) and 40 3/4" tall (56%). He just needs one more shot before Kinder. Ack! (Even though he has another year before Kinder, he has to has them to register for TK.)

Sienna is tall and skinny (gasp) at 17 lb 10 oz (17%) and 29 3/4" (71%).

Maggie will also be going in for a flu mist after school. Hopefully she takes it better than last year when she cried so hard they had to give her a shot instead. EDIT: Maggie handled her nose squirt very well. She weighs 41 lbs.

Kid Update: It's weird to think that Dalton is the same age Maggie was when we lived in India. Sienna is crawling around like Dalton was when we lived with John's parents. [Side note: I don't know how he survived living there with those steep stairs and no baby gate!]

They grow so fast and time passes so quickly. Dalton is really loving preschool. He feels so important going to "preschool" at a friend's house every week, and Maggie helps it along by being genuinely interested in what he did while she was at school. This week is my turn and we're going to do G is for Glow! I have some blacklight and glow-in-the-dark activities planned.

It's amazing to watch Maggie learn how to read. And play the piano. And play soccer. And do gymnastics. She is expanding her capabilities in every direction and it's astounding.

Sienna is a crazy face who won't nap half the time. But she is soooo cute and snuggly, I just love her so much. She just got her 5th and 6th teeth - 6 more teeth than either of the other kids had at her age! She puts everything in her mouth, loves exploring and is a quick crawler. She is starting to cruise and consider standing, but won't be walking anytime soon. I have enough trouble keeping up with her as it is, so that's fine by me!

Dalton on Death: Dalton is starting to freak me out with all his talk of the world ending.

When is the last day?
What happens when there's no more tomorrows?
How much are we going to be dead?

Do you think he knows something we don't?

Daltonisms: A few Daltonisms that he spouted yesterday.

Fire Indian (Fire Engine)
Candy Cot (Handicapped - as in Handicapped Ticket for a parking spot)
Fruit Bear (Root Beer - can I have a fruit bear float?)

Date with Dalton: Dalton and I headed to South Coast Plaza to do a mystery shop this morning. (And Sienna of course, but she was just a hip accessory). After the shop, through which we obtained a $20 gift card we will put to good use, we set about for some mall fun. Dalton wanted to do "all the things" and I think we got close.

Harry and David: a free chocolate truffle each
See's: three free samples plus we bought some marzipan for John.
Disney Store: checked out some new toys (Try Me Now!) and played with the interactive displays.
Lego Store: Dalton built a race at the play table while I looked around. I discovered a bald eagle set for $5 with the fall/Thanksgiving sets so I got it for Margaret who looooves eagles.
Carousel: it was only $1 and Sienna was free if I held her. I found it a lot easier to justify now that we don't have Disney passes. The $15 animal balloons, not so much.
Corner Bakery: I told Dalton, let's go get lunch, and he didn't want to go. Then he realized we were getting lunch at the mall! score!

We spent slightly more than the $20 I'll be reimbursed but we had a great morning.

Run Over: From a friend who watched Dalton recently:

When we walked to school I told Dalton we had to look for cars before crossing and he said "my mommy doesn't do that."

Dalton at 4: Dalton is four.

He loves the color green.
He loves playing racing, dinosaur agent, kitty and roadrunner, owls and eagles and other pretend games with his sister, usually involving imaginary light sabers.
He goes to gymnastics.
He is sweet, kind, and thoughtful.
His baby sister has wormed her way into his heart and he gives her kisses and fights to see her first after naptime.
He will eat nearly everything, including most vegetables.
He does NOT like cheese and fish.
He likes Angry Birds, playing iPad, and playing Mickey Mouse and Dinosaur Games on the computer.
He likes just about any movie he watches.
He likes to run around at the park with friends.
He wants to be a big kid (or a girl - whichever gets him more privileges).
He picks our his own clothes every day and likes to wear a single color (red shirt, red shorts, red underwear).

For his birthday, Dalton got running clothes like Daddy, an Angry Birds Halloween shirt, a Jack Skellington shirt, and a Perry the Platypus shirt. He also got a lava lamp and Halloween ghost lights, a Halloween Lego set and Lego magnets.

We went to Pump it Up with a couple friends, and I made him a Swampy cake (Disney Where's My Water?) as requested. His friend Adrienne came over to have cake with us.

Picking Ice Cream Flavors: Dalton invented a game in the car yesterday. He asked me to name things I can do. I named things like drive a car, play the piano etc. Then it was his turn.

I can pick ice cream flavors, play games, play on the iPad, take a bath...

The boy has some talents. Then we had to list things we can't do. Neither of us can drive a FedEx truck, of which we saw dozens. Dalton can't drive a FedNext truck either.

Dalton learned his lesson after getting lost at school the other day. We played at the playground before Maggie's soccer class on Tuesday. Then we stopped at the car to get her soccer socks on and Dalton kept going. I watched him run to the to the field then turn around and go stand by a light pole and ask another parent where his mommy was. Good boy.

Pack Rat: John had to go to LA a few weeks ago, and since the kids are obsessed with hotels we went up and stayed the night with him. Dalton packed for himself:
4 shirts
3 shorts
1 pair of pajamas
4 pairs of underwear
2 pairs of socks
6 stuffed animals
a blanket
a pillow
14 cars

More Dalton cuteness:

Dalton: Can I play on the macuter after you're done?
Me: Macuter?
Maggie: I forgot how to say it. Pacuter?
Dalton: Zoocuter!!

Dalton: dotter-dotter (dot to dot)
Dalton: Pump Dump (Pump it Up - bouncy place)

Junktastic: I asked Dalton today what we wanted for his birthday. He began to list off a variety of junky things I've said "no" to over the past year. I don't know how he remembers this stuff.

Crayola crayon maker (they saw this in an abandoned cart at Target)
"baby toy where the dolphin goes into a circle" (from a Baby Einstein show)
another new car (ok that one's fine)
Angry Birds racing (I thought this was on clearance at Target and almost bought it, but then I realized it was full-price, for a junky track and an Angry Birds car we already have).

What we are looking at getting him is a trip to Disneyland (his ticket is still valid) and a lava lamp.

Dalton's Bedtime Story: Once upon a time there were a mommy that love me and a beebee that like me and a daddy who love me and a Maggie who like me. The End.

Bright Boy: We scootered home from ward FHE in the park last night.

Dalton: The sun! The sun! It's giving us light!

And a few moments later: It's that how much down.

If only we could all have such zest.

Also, from Rachel's Facebook page: Researching gender in the British Library. We asked my nephew if he wanted to be a flower guy. Answer: yes. My niece asked if she can be a flower GIRL. "I can help Dalton," she offered.

Dalton is super excited to "hold the green and throw the flowers at Aunt Reechel's wedding."

He Finally Said It: "I miss Disneyland." Dalton has been telling me several times a day for the last week or so what rides he wants to go on next. We're going to Legoland in two days, we'll see if that quells anything.

: Dalton, in Sacrament Meeting: Is that Grandma June?!?

The lady was actually not even that old...

Pillow Hotel: Dalton has been making, instead of a pillow house, a pillow hotel. This is just about every morning, usually after I make the bed, and involves taking every pillow into the house and making a little fort. One extra cute addition I wanted to blog about is that when you enter the hotel he has you pick a toy from a treasure box. He got this idea from the Hotel Angeleno. I have a feeling he's in for a disappointment during our next hotel stay.

Meow: The kids are fighting like cats and dogs. No, really. Dalton is the kitty.

At the Dentist: Dalton was afraid to go to the dentist. Lucky for him, I forgot and we ran out the door ten minutes after his appointment, so he didn't have time to worry about it. He refused to put his shoes on, so I carried him. He got a piggy back ride from the car to the office, then I got his new flip flops out of my purse. Picking out a Mater toothbrush and Maggie going first quelled most of his fears. Plus, he got to wear cool shades and watch a show about ocean life.

Dalton Does Good: Dalton brought home a certificate from gymnastics today. He walked forward and sideways on the high beam all by himself. I watched him do it from the viewing area and he did so good.

He made it to level 3 in swimming lessons this week. Just now in the bath I heard him giving swimming lessons to the ducks and dinosaurs. "Eyes Down. Rollll. 1 2 3 4 5, Eyes down."

Dalton: Can I watch the one that says, "What? A llama! He's 'apposed to be dead!" (The Emperor's New Groove)

[Comments] (1) : Here are some of the cute things Dalton says and does at 3 1/2. If you (my 3 blog readers! or maybe my future self) want to put a smile on your face, read this post. He. Is. Adorable.

M: When it's scratch paper, it'll be blabby blobby.
D: We don't say those words.

Dalton is always very impressed when Sienna smiles at him and he says, "She gave me a mile!"

Am I a man or a muffet? I want to be a muffet.

Me: Do you want to walk or drive to school?
Dalton: Drive. Walking is not easy. (He always thinks I mean WALK though we've never not taken the stroller.

I explained to Dalton that some babies (like Maggie) spit up a lot and some babies (like Sienna) don't spit up much at all. He said, "Baby Jesus didn't spit at all."

Some cute word mispronunciations:
grils (girls)
nest (net - as in basketball)
Newtah (Utah)
Posco (Costco - this is where he usually pretends he's going in his ride-on car, or where Alligator is going if he's hanging around)
cramra (camera)
beebee (nickname for baby)

One of the most adorable things Dalton is doing right now is kissing himself better. I laughed out loud when he tried to kiss his elbow after bumping his funny bone on the table. If he can't reach, he kisses his fingers and gives the kiss to his owie.

He has renamed his stuffed alligator Swampy after the character in "Where's My Water?" This has been his favorite "guy" for a long time. The other stuffie he currently sleeps with is a stuffed deer from Aunt Erin.

Me: Don't lick Maggie's homework.

He put on a pair of shorts I got out for the warm weather: "What! There's pockets." He walked out of the room mumbling to himself, "I need to find something to put in beese pockets." I don't like you when you die. Are you going to die soon?

[Comments] (1) Proud Moments Part 2: I forgot to mention that on Sunday Dalton gave his first Primary talk. It was So. Adorable. He read the 3rd Article of Faith and said, "I know Jesus loves me and I love Him." That's it. He spoke clearly, right into the microphone (he does get a bit of practice with this in the chapel when I'm practicing the organ).

Maggie has been memorizing the Articles of Faith. She already knows four of them. The easy four, of course, but she is able to memorize them pretty well.

Proud Moments: Today started off with Dalton's 10th dry diaper since we made him a new sticker chart. This earned him a new pair of pajamas - Space Angry Birds pajamas. (For the record, when Dalton potty trained himself a year ago, he was also dry at night, but that stopped when we moved. Boo.)

Then, at gymnastics we heard the bell ring and looked up to see that it was Maggie! She showed off her new "trick" for everyone, a forward roll on the bar. Ironically, I have a series of pictures of her doing this at her last gymnastics class, but since that class was a make-up, she didn't have her regular coach. The coach told me and her that if she works hard and practices at home building up her arm strength, she will probably get to move up the next time they do evaluations. So, Maggie came home and practiced in the living room for half an hour. I caught a glace of one of her cartwheels and was very impressed! She also always wins the "quiet contest" in gymnastics class, and I think she's brought a star student certificate the last four classes in a row.

Not to leave Dalton out, he has gotten the hand-foot placement of the cartwheel down. There's just not much wheeling involved yet. He's great on the trampoline, though! One of the things his class does is kick bean bags off the balance beam as they walk, and he's great at that.

Very proud of my kids today.

Out of the Mouth of Dalton:
Me: Who has gymnastics today!
Dalton: The Pumpkin King do. I do. That's me, the Pumpkin King. Because I was Jack in the book because I had a Jack apple. (The book in the Animation building at DCA, and it tells you which character you are most like. Dalton was Jack Skellington, right after he picked out a Jack caramel apple for a treat.)

5 minutes later, he interrupted a story I was telling about baby Dalton. "I were a gril baby." Sure you were, boy.

A Bad News Sandwich: Dalton made up some poignant and fitting words to I am a Child of God as he sang. "Don't forget me. I can't go home without you."

The contacts on my phone mysteriously disappeared. I looked for a delete all button and couldn't see one so I don't know how it happened. But the disappearance of two Angry Birds apps on the iPad was not mysterious and was in fact accompanied by much screaming, crying, and yelling (respectively) and a time out and two days of no iPad for Dalton. It was actually nice to see him play with toys for a change.

The other night, Dalton prayed about not getting a piggy back ride. What!? We can't have that. I put Sienna in bed and went back in the kids' room to surprise him with a quick ride. He was thrilled. "I love you forever and ever, Mommy." I love you, too, sweet boy.

At Disneyland this week, Dalton made friends with two Chinese girls. He narrated Pirates for them which, other than being cute, was useless as I only heard them say seven words in English: be careful, the end, thank you and picture? Picture? Of course! They seemed really surprised I let them. On the tram, he deliberately cuted at two more Chinese girls across from us. What a flirt.

And from a recent Facebook status: Dalton, I love that you're friendly, but I'm going to draw the line at playing Angry Birds on a stranger's phone at the park.

I Spy a Silly Boy: A couple Dalton funnies from this week.

We visited John at work for lunch one day. The next day we got on the freeway as if going to Daddy's work, but got off and headed in the opposite direction.
D: Let's play I spy. I go first. I spy something that's big and tall and it's Daddy's work. I spy a eat lunch and it's Daddy's work. I spy a drink of water and it's Daddy's work. I spy a treat and a poptart and it's Daddy's work. (He got a treat and a granola bar when we went).
Etc. So cute!

D: Are these socks clean?
Me: No, they're dirty. We need to wash them, then they'll be clean and you can wear them again.
Next thing I know, Dalton is in the bathroom washing his socks in the sink! I explained that Mommy washes clothes in the washing machine and that's what "laundry" is. Apparently, I usually just say "laundry" rather than washing clothes. He seriously thought we had to go wash his socks.

Another I Spy.
M, not wanting to play: I spy nothing.
D: Is it a bus?

Nakey Boy: Dalton: I'm not nakey. I'm just going potty with no clothes on.

Q is for Quotes: Which are in great supply with the kids around. They are always making me laugh. Here are some from this week.

The kids put up some foam ABCs on the bathtub door. Dalton was pointing to them and reading, "Don't put lolli pop in blue water." I let him take his lollipop in the bathtub and told him it'd turn the water red if he put it in.

M: "Mary Poppins are a good rhymer." Well, she's right.

M: "Why are there water falling from the sky?" Oh, you mean the rain??

M: Dad, your ideas are rude.

M, in regards to the "missing links" line in The Monkey's Uncle. "What does it mean 'missing legs?'"

Dalton calls helicopter "rawrcopter". One day he insisted he saw a Fleece Rawrcopter and it took me forever to realize he was saying "Police helicopter." He uses F a lot when there are double consonants.

D: Because = "keycause" So cute.

[Comments] (1) Sick Kitty: Dalton is sick. We went to Disneyland to meet a fellow Mommysaver. Dalton "meowed" himself to sleep in the car on the way home. (Seriously, he thinks he's a cat.) When I said that to John, he replied, "and now he's purring."

ETA: At the exact moment I hit "publish" on this post a loud MEOW! came from the other room where Dalton is sleeping.

Ketchup and Waffles: "I want to go to Poscoke." (Costco) He pretends to drive to Costco and IKEA on his ride-on car, too.

Dalton has started asking why. Five times in a row. I can only boil down 3 or 4 whys. After that, it's too complex.

"Look! I see wum lake!" He says "one" instead of "a".

"A blue pretzel!" (sprinkle) He also says ketchup instead of syrup. You know, for waffles. Yuck.

Maggie and I convinced Dalton that the silver and blue sneakers were Star Tours shoes, so he would get over not getting the shiny silver and neon green light-up shoes with shark teeth (eew). Except now he thinks he is tall enough to go on Star Tours, with his new shoes.

More imaginative Dalton: One day, Winnie-the-Pooh went to school with us to pick up Maggie. He drove a purple car there, and a green car home. He was very careful to hold hands in the parking lot.

Some Imagination, Huh?: Dalton's imagination has really taken off lately. It started with him handing out pretend honey in line for Winnie-the-Pooh, and turning everything slightly vertical into Splash Mountain for whatever toy he happened to be holding.

This week, he's been pretending to be a kitty or a doggie. Kind of cute, seeing him crawling around meowing. Today he set up a pillow store for me to shop at.

The neat thing is that these are all things he's done independent of Maggie, as opposed to serving up the same pretend soup that she does.

Breakfast Time!: The other morning, while we were still in bed, Dalton came in carrying a huge jug of Naked Juice. He'd gone downstairs and gotten it from the fridge and carried it back up. What a silly boy! I couldn't stop laughing.

Sneaky Daddy (and Mean Mommy): Last night Dalton wanted to go to bed in our bed. So I tucked him in and went downstairs. John went up to snuggle with Dalton and a few minutes later, little feet pitter-pattered down the stairs.

D: I'm not tired anymore.
Me: Well, you can either go in your bed, or go snuggle Daddy.
D: Um... nobody? (he says this for "nothing", or in this case, "Those options suck, Mom.")
Me: It's bedtime. You can go to bed, or you can snuggle Daddy.
D: Um... go to bed?
Me: Ok, let's go.

I sent Dalton to get into his bed and went to get his guys* from our bed. John was still resting there.

Me: Dalton says he's not tired anymore.
John: I know. I told him to go play with Mommy. I can't believe he fell for it!

*Dalton calls his stuffed animals "guys".

Dalton's Birthday and Mickey's Halloween Party: It was a good end to Dalton's birthday (which started with the kids waking up too early and fighting all morning). We got him a ball at the $1 store and The Rescuers/The Rescuers Down Under. The kids had gymnastics and Dalton had art class in the morning, and after school we went to Disneyland for Mickey's Halloween Party.

It was dark so the pictures aren't great, but we had so much fun. The kids loved trick-or-treating at the treat trails around Disneyland. The atmosphere was really fun, and we also saw the Halloween parade and fireworks show. Dalton crashed in the stroller on the way back to the car, but Maggie almost made it until we got home, after 10 pm.

[Comments] (1) Dalton Copies Mom and More:
Running by as I cut out a pattern on the floor: Don't cut my feet! That would be very ouchie.
Not being naughty: That's not a toy. and That's not safe.

Dalton, finding himself stranded on a large rock at the park called out, "Hey dad, come here! It's me, Dalton."

As we were leaving the grocery store, Dalton asked me, "which one is grandma and grandpa's car?" What? "Your" Grandma and Grandpa?" I asked. "My friend," he replied. Aha. An old man in an electric cart was chatting him up at the grocery store, and apparently left quite an impression.

Daltonisms: Dalton has started calling Maggie "Mags". He also calls me "Maggie" a lot, now that Maggie is gone during the day.

D N (the end)

A hort, a set, go! Maggie realizes this is wrong and occasionally corrects herself and says "on your bark."

On the bookmark phone: Hello? Once upon a time there was a cow. Hah! I said "a cow!"

I took the sheets off the kids' beds to wash them. Dalton went into his room and said, "which one is my bed??"

The Ouchie Show: We discovered Wipeout on Hulu Plus, and Maggie was super excited to watch "The Ouchie Show" again. Dalton, not so much.

Me: What's your favorite part? (of the painful elimination round obstacle course.)
Dalton: My favorite part is not going on it.

Incredible King Dalton:
Me: How do you ask nicely?
D: Like this: "I need to play dinosaur games." Like that.

Oh, Dalton. He loves to copy everything Maggie does, but I've noticed he's not really feeling it. Today she was scared to go to swimming lessons because she didn't want to go to the deep pool. So Dalton starting saying he was scared, too. Lessons came; Maggie talked her teacher into the shallow pool. Dalton's lesson is after hers and he dragged his teacher over to the deep pool, where kids his age don't usually go. He outsmarted himself, I think. (And swam great, by the way.)

I am almost done with his Incredibles Halloween costume. He is going to be so adorable. He's so adorable anyway. At the ward FHE at the park today, he went around handing out pinches of sand to everyone. Dozens of people got a bit of sand, thanks to Dalton. Nice of him to share.

Last night, he climbed into Maggie's bed to listen to Daddy read a story and the kids ended up sleeping in each others' beds. Which they found hilarious. In the morning, they collaborated on a bed with about 15 "guys" (stuffed animals (or cars, as the case may be)) and both of their pillows. Yep - they're sleeping together tonight. Maggie looks a little squished. We might have to move Dalton back to his bed.

Today he cried when we dropped Maggie off at Kindergarten. It might have been because I left him in the car, but when I asked if he was crying because he missed Maggie he said, "yes! I miss her!" We went to Target and he soon forgot all about it. When we left Target, he carefully stood up on the seat of the cart and waited for me to get him down, while yelling, "I'm King Dalton!" After Target we got a car wash. He giggled the whole time.

Dalton's Disneyland: I just wanted to record the cute names Dalton has for a lot of the Disneyland rides.

Kitty ride (Alice in Wonderland)
Train ride (Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which he is too small to go on)
Us-side down ho-coaster (California Screamin')
Magic ho-coaster (Gadget's Go-coaster)
Mamarail (Monorail) Bumpy Tars (Tuck & Roll's bumper cars)
Tires Game (Luigi's Flying Tires, which had giant beach balls as part of it for the first couple weeks)
Racing (Autopia)
Yellow Car (Roger Rabbit)
Ha-pillar (Heimlich's Chew Chew Train)
And a new one: Halloween ride (Haunted Mansion Holiday)

From Maggie:
Doors ride (Monsters, Inc.)
Dumbo that flies (as opposed to the Dumbo train, Casey Jr.)
Time Tunnel (Disneyland Railroad)
Mickey's Fun Wheel (Mickey's Fun Wheel - she picked up on the actual name of the Ferris Wheel while waiting in line)

Somewhat relatedly, today we took the kids on a walk just down the path a bit and under the road to what they call the "Echo Bridge". We stood there yelling (and echoing) for 5 or 10 minutes. They love it.

[Comments] (2) More Alligators?: Sometime early in the night, Dalton came running into our room, scrambled up on the bed and over me, and settled in on my pillow. Huh. I went in his room and got his alligator and elephant and let him sleep there. I didn't want to make him go back to his bed if he was afraid. John was pleasantly surprised to wake up to a cute little face, having not noticed Dalton come into our bed. Not surprising, since John ran 6 miles after we went to Disneyland yesterday, and since Dalton insisted on sleeping rightnexttotme the whole night.

Dalton still worries about alligators in the closet. When we put him to bed, we tell the alligators to go back to the zoo, then shut the closet door. That seems to work just fine. Last night I went into the kids' room to put some laundry away after they went to bed and I left the closet door open. Maybe that's what spurred my bedmate last night.

Also, Leonard commented previously about an alligator story about Dad, which he later emailed to me.

This was before Dad went into the hospital, but he didn't get out of bed much. One day he and I were the only ones home. He called me in and said "there's an alligator outside. chase it away." I was terrified because either a) Dad had finally gone totally crazy, or b) there was an alligator outside and I had to chase it away.

Well, I went and checked, and surprise, there was no alligator. So I told him this and he kind of nodded and went to sleep.

[Comments] (2) Lots of Laughs: My kids are hilarious. I guess I really don't have anything else to blog about. Sorry.

Maggie: It was an accident!
Me: What happened?
Maggie: I was shaking his head-
Me: This does not sound like an accident.

Maggie: Dad, I have a really fun game for you! It's special just for you. You can clean up all the pieces back in the box.

Maggie: You're bothering me. You know what bother means? Bother means I'm going to get mad at you.

"King Maggie saves the day!" The kids say this while jumping off the bean bag chair.

"Whatasmic!" What Maggie calls the Fantasmic song.

Maggie knew that some popsicle sticks have jokes on them. She held a popsicle up to her ear to listen for the joke. Not sure where that came from.

Speaking of jokes, she also laughs before the joke punchline. Ie. "Why did the chicken cross the road?" "hahahahaha!"

"Pirates is my favorite ride now." Even though we dragged her kicking and screaming.

M: "I want to tell you something. I think I do like the farmer's market now." Then she covered her ears so she couldn't hear me laughing and praising her.

"I know exactly how to stop the car. You take your foot off the pedal."

Dalton woke up in the night talking loudly about a Ferris wheel.

Both of the kids have developed an obsession with the color of cars, stemming from John's fancy blue car. Dalton calls brown cars "chocolate" colored.

Dalton is very interested in Pirates. He loves that ride and he asked to see the movie. We watched an episode of Jake and the Neverland Pirates instead. One of his favorite parts of the ride is the macaw at the front yelling "Yo ho!" Dalton says "no ho!" and he says it loudly, and he says it during Sacrament Meeting.

Here are some older quotes from the kids I found.

6/8: Maggie names her My Little Ponies "My Little Whatever's-on-the-butt" For example, My Little Birthday and My Little Worm.
6/8: I asked Maggie what she learned in Primary and she answered "A Book of Mormon story." When I asked which story she launched into an episode of someone's car breaking down and his phone didn't work and he had to climb the mountain. Finally I said, "did he pray?" "Yes!"
6/10: Maggie calls the bombs in Fruit Ninja "buns."
6/15: Inside the tunnel at Snowbird: "The echo dripped on me!" Also, about the whole day: "It was almost a good idea to go there."

6/11: Dalton, calling out in his sleep: Daddy! I wanna play. (games on the iPhone.
Dalton calls the scroll bar on the computer an "elevator." He's kind of right...

Dalton Boy:
Dalton crying, almost fake crying.
Me: What is it, Dalton? Do you want a drink of water?
Dalton: No. I only crying.
Poor guy was really tired.

[Comments] (5) Alligators in the Closet: Dalton kind of freaked me out last night. He woke up crying. Normally when he does this (such as when he fell off the bed at 10:00) he cries for 2 seconds, then falls asleep. This time he didn't so I got up. He was sitting up in bed, wide awake, pointing to the opposite corner of the room.

"Over there!" he said.
"Did you have a scary dream?"
"Yes! By the closet!"

So I pretended to make whatever it was go away (though in the night, in the dark, I was getting scared myself!) He was still scared so we said a prayer. I snuggled him for a minute, then went back to bed. I had to get up a few minutes later and comfort him again, but he was more sleepy that time, and just wanted a hug.

When he woke up in the morning, I asked if he had a scary dream. I couldn't believe he remembered.

"Yes. Alligators."
"What were they doing?"
"They were scary."
"Were they in the closet?"
"Alligators in my clothes!"

It all seemed pretty funny by the light of day - and if I'd known in the night that he was afraid of alligators in his clothes, I might have found it funny then, too. Silly boy.

[Comments] (1) Chadwick Family Funnies:

3/19: Dalton: Pizza!
Maggie: I smell pizza. Yuck.
Dalton: No, pizza yum. *microwave beeps* Pizza ready! I have some, too.

(Maggie actually does not like pizza. We thought for a long time that she didn't like Swiss cheese, but apparently she doesn't like "squished" (melted) cheese.)

3/19: Maggie: Dalton are stink and cute.

4/23: Maggie, with Rachel in the room: When is she leaving Mommy?
Me: 3 days.
Maggie: I like her!

Rachel is really good at pretending to talk on the phone. The kids thought it was hilarious and kept asking her to do it again. At one point Maggie whispered, "Aunt Rachel, do it funny!"

4/24: Me: I'm not laughing at you; I'm laughing with you!
Rachel: I wasn't laughing!
Me: You are now.

4/26: Maggie: Are we going home or to Daddy's house?

4/26: Maggie: Boys don't get married.

5/4: Maggie, to Dalton: I have an idea! Let's whine about it.

5/9: Maggie, kind of out of nowhere: I understand, but I'm not going to listen to your words.

5/9: Dalton keeps bringing me playdough food and felt food meals, then insisting we pray before we pretend to eat it. He kept snatching the playdough bites away from me and saying "prayer" over and over until I figured out what he was saying.

Dalton loves eating ice cream cones. Not ice cream, ice cream cones. The yucky cake kind. He tries to bite it before eating all the ice cream on top.

Maggie's favorite rides at Disney are Star Tours and Soarin' Over California.

5/26: Dalton, in the car: Whee!
Maggie: No, "Whee" is for going up.
Dalton: no, down whee!
Maggie: No, whee up!

5/26: Me: You need to go to sleep when you go to bed. It's late.
Maggie: But I always stay awake for a little bit. Just for a little bit to talk to myself.

Maggie's pronunciation of the word "quiet" has evolved from "piet" to "pwiet."

5/29: I've been waking Maggie up to go potty before I go to bed. One night she started whispering loudly to me.
Maggie: Mom! What are you doing?!
Me: I'm taking you potty.
Maggie: Mom! Hedo! (Hello)

The kids think the opposite of "Never!" is "Yessir!"

Goodbye, Sis: Speaking of Dalton. One of his first words was "iss", although it took us a while to figure out he was saying "Sis" for "Sissy". He called Maggie that exclusively for nearly a year. Until last week. He called her Maggie once, twice, and then completely dropped the "Sis."

Maggie started calling Dalton "Dalt and Tin". Recently, this lead to Daddy being called "Daddy Tin" which is super cute.

[Comments] (1) First Stitches for Dalt: Dalton got his first stitches last night, after tripping down the porch steps and getting his sunglasses smashed into his face by the cement. I think this event proves how abnormally well-behaved and laid back Dalton is. He only cried about 2 minutes after he first hit his head, then was perfectly fine. I took him to the urgent care, but they sent me to Primary Children's. They mumbled something about possible brain injury, but the urgent care can't sedate and I think they just didn't want to stitch up an unsedated 2 year old.

Primary Children's didn't end up sedating him anyway. He was so calm they decided to try it with just the shots. They just straight-jacketed him with a pillow case, wrapped him up like a burrito, and had a nurse hold his head while they gave him a couple shots and stitched him up. Oh, and they put on Toy Story and brought someone in to blow bubbles (seriously). He actually almost cried at one point, then I suggested busting out the bubbles and that worked. He kicked at them with his feet while the doctor finished stitching.

The head ER guy kept thanking me for letting them do it without sedation (I guess some moms can't stand to watch their kid be awake while being poked?) and for not making them do a CT scan when he was obviously fine.

[Comments] (1) Superlative: Dalton has been saying "very, very" for a few days. He started off using it correctly. "I'm very, very hungry" or "That was very, very funny (fun)" or "Very, very sunny eyes!" Then today, he took off and is applying it to everything. "That's very, very mine", "Very, very not that!" and "Very, very bacon!"

Dalton: 2/29: He always says "big" with his arms spread out vertically. Big bite, big cat, big shoes.

3/8: 9 kids at birthday party. One drink spilled. One Dalton sitting at the table. Two drinks spilled. This is why we still use sippy cups.

3/8: (re: chocolate cake) Milk! Want milk on it, too. (We know he's in the right family)

3/17: It's sand! It's sand! (In Moab at Sand Dune Arch)

3/17: Hiking to Delicate Arch: Edna Mode. Edna Mode. (Dalton's favorite character in The Incredibles.)

4/20: M, handing out pretend hot dogs: Do you want mustard or ketchup on yours?
D: On yours.

Dalton's Sillies: February was short but filled with lots of silliness. I tried to write the kids' silly sayings down as they happened (in my phone, in my notebook, on a scrap of paper, or a blog post draft). I may have lost a paper or two, but there's plenty to make you smile. See Maggie's here.

2/14: Bye guys! Dinosaur man! Hour! (Maggie got in the habit of saying "bye house see you in half a hour" whenever we leave. And "Dinosaur man" is "We're going to the Dinosaur Museum."

2/14: Mommy, happy face! Which was his way of asking for lip gloss.

The kids have a new game for the car where we each take turns picking a song and then we all sing it. This may or may not have been born out of hearing "Songs! Wiggles!" requested too many times. Dalton invariably chooses "Jingle Bells" or "ABCs". We sang ABCs twice on the way home from preschool today. Except once he said, "Cake." "Cake song?" "Cake." Okaaaay. So I sang "Happy Birthday."

His favorite Wiggles song is "Gulp, Gulp, Drink Some Water." He also really likes "it's a small world" and I've overheard him singing it to himself a few times.

2/21: Dalton burst into tears when he got up and found out Daddy was "on an airplane."

2/22: Every time I notice that Dalton is sitting nicely at the table I realize it's because I buckled him in.

He says "kitty" super cute still. It sounds more like "teeny" or "teengy". Video here.

: Dalton has gotten into the habit of saying "thanks" to the young man passing the Sacrament to him. Aside from my son's adorable politeness, this made me think about who we should really be thanking for the Sacrament. Thanks to Christ we can repent of our sins every week. Lucky us to be so loved.

"Like this, Mommy!": Dalton's favorite phrase this week is "Like this, Mommy!" usually followed by a sound. His favorite sound is ketchup. "Ketchup like this, Mommy! Thbbbbbsth!"

We watched Kyli today. Maggie was at school and Ky and Dalton played so well together. Kyli says "Dalton" so cute. They both sat down on matching blue chairs watching "Dumbo" while each holding their elephant snugglies.

Also today, Dalton made the smallest mess possible involving a boy and an open container of Vaseline.

Keynote Speaker: Dalton has burst into full sentences over the past week or two. He's so smart! I love listening to him carry on conversations. He especially loves to chat about Disneyland. Here's a quote from our drive to the doctor's office yesterday.

Dalton: A food! Food! Hat food.
Me: Oh, that's Pizza Hut.
Dalton: Pizza. Hat.
Me: Yeah, they're asking for that.

I Wonder Where He Gets It: Dalton is such a tease. Maggie totally falls for it every time, and he keeps doing it. The other day in the car, she was getting annoyed with everything he said.

John: Look, there's the geese!
Dalton: Geese! Geese! Geese! Geese!
Maggie: Stop, Dalton!
a few minutes pass.
Dalton: red car!
Maggie: Stop, Dalton!
Dalton: Geese!

[Comments] (1) Even Sicker Kids: Around 5 am, Dalton told me "ear ouchie." Nice. When we got up, Maggie told me that her stomach was hurting, so I wouldn't let her go to school, which made her very upset. I hauled both kids to the doctor.

The doctor said that Dalton had an ear infection and RSV. Luckily his oxygen levels were fine, we just need to watch our for labored breathing. He's just 5 or 6 months older than Maggie was when she was hospitalized with RSV. I guess that "over 2" makes a big difference.

The doctor wrote a prescription for Dalton. Then Maggie threw up on the floor.
"That's why we switched to hardwood floors," the doctor said.
Good idea.

Potty! Potty!: I was fully intending not to even think about potty-training Dalton until he turns three. Why frustrate myself by starting too early, right?

A few weeks ago, he saw me cleaning the toilets for the first time (we had a maid in India, remember?) He was very intrigued and shortly after started asking to sit on the potty a few times. Kyli is using our potty seat right now, so I had to hold him there until he got tired of it, which took a surprisingly long time. Today while I was changing a wet diaper, he hopped up and ran to the bathroom and wanted to be put on. And what do you know, he actually peed.

Dalton is about a month shy of the age when I trained Maggie. I don't know if I want to do this yet, though!

Who's that baby?: Looking at pictures.

Me: Hey, who's that?
Dalton: Um. Baby... Baby... Jesus!
Me: Baby Jesus? That's you! And that was three days ago.

Dalton & Rudolph: Dalton loves to read along with stories and sing along to songs. Unfortunately, he usually doesn't know all (or any) of the words. So he just shouts out the last word, when you give a pause. This makes Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer the perfect song for him to sing along to!

Rudolph the red nosed reindeer "Reindeer!"
Had a very shiny nose "nose!"
And if you ever saw it "saw it!"
You would even say it glows "glows!"

Cuteness ad infinitum. Maybe I'll catch a video.

[Comments] (1) The New Red Doggie: It wasn't until I scrapbooked with Dalton over my shoulder that I realized how many pictures we have with his alligator in them. That thing has had his tail chewed on all over the world. Thanks, Auntie Rachel!

Dalton Boy: I guess I am too good about blogging Dalton updates, because I don't have much to say for his birthday. I tried repeatedly to get him to say "I'm 2!" but each time he shouted "Three! Three!"

He is a brilliant boy and knows hundreds of words as well as the ABCs, colors, a few shapes and numbers, and how to be completely adorable. He still uses signs, too, mostly "please" and animal signs. Unlike Maggie at age 2, he likes to feed himself, he sleeps through the night, he tries to get himself undressed, and he is friendly.

When Dalton is frightened, he prances over and hides behind my legs. He is afraid of animatronic dinosaurs, animals outside the zoo (ie. monkeys on the balcony) and strange noises.

He loves to "watch". TV. Anywhere. He likes Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Blue's Clues and Dora, but he will watch anything. The toy store in Dubai had TVs playing commercials - one playing a Barbie ad in the Barbie room, etc. Dalton wanted to watch them all. I am looking forward to having the TV all the way downstairs once we get home, so he won't always be turning it on.

[Comments] (2) The Kiddos: Dalton had his first calimari in Kerala. He loved it and gobbled up the rest of the plate.

Maggie likes to make up new dinosaurs and describe them to us. Some of them include "Dinosaurasaurus", "Whatasaurus" and, my favorite, "Pteranodon Rex." She's quite a clever girl.

Dalton, somewhere, has learned the number 4 and started pointing it out everywhere. Meanwhile, Maggie has learned to add. I introduced the concept a while ago using some activities from the summer program I bought, and now she's got the concept down and loves to practice. She asks me addition questions all the time.

[Comments] (1) Going Somewhere?: Dalton walked around this morning in Daddy's slippers waving, "Die! Die!" Then he picked up the monster bag full of puzzles and slung it over his arm. "Die!"

"Where are you going?" John asked.

"Airplane." Of course.

Faceplant: Dalton occupied himself a good while by rolling a metal can around the house. Then the can slipped out from under him and he landed on the tile floor.

I got a good snuggle out of it, though!

[Comments] (3) "Trick or Lettuce!" and Other Fun: The only vegetable Dalton will eat is okra.

19 books read in August.

I heard screaming this afternoon. Dalton. Real crying, so I went to see what Maggie had done to him. He was stuck in the hiking carrier. I got him out, and realized he was holding all of his stuffed animals. Maggie was packing hers into the bag attached to the carrier. Apparently they were taking a trip!

"Mommy, do you think Heavenly Father can fix Grandma June?" Out of nowhere, in the car. By the time I was done explaining, she was telling me about the latest dinosaur place.

Dalton: There are lots of new little Dalton quirks to write about. First of all, his vocabulary is astounding. He's starting using phrases like "more crackers please" and "swimming pool" (is that a phrase?) and identifying things by color, such as "black shirt". Speaking of which, since I last updated about him, he's learned all the colors and a few shapes. He also does that adorable toddler pretend counting. "Mun. Bive. Eight." He recently became very interested in Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, and so learned lots of body parts. He also knows clothing items and tries to help get himself dressed/undressed.

He repeats any word I say to him, so he is always learning new words. Some of my favorite things he does/says are:

"Right there!"
Leaning out the car window to wave at people.
"Lighting McQueen" (A boo-ing)
"Yay!" and cheer whenever I sing ABCs to him.
"bep bep" (the sound cars make. He says this not only in pretend play, but when we're driving.)
"uh in" (Muffin)
"Heh Hep. Bawoo!" (Elephant)

Wrong Kind of Wax: I cleaned out Dalton's ears and found little pieces of blue crayon. Hmm.

[Comments] (1) Boy: Dalton is the same age Tyler was when I joined the Chadwick family, which may explain why nearly all his clothes are Tyler hand-me-downs. He's grown out most everything else. Little blond boy!

Some new words: rock, help, stop, wait, and "night night", which is especially cute when he pretends to sleep, or tucks Pooh into bed. Oh, and "head", as in "head shoulders knees and toes." He also says "Dinosaurs" but it sounds like "iss", which is also what he says for Maggie (sis).

[Comments] (1) Pros and Cons:

Con: Poor Sick Baby.
Pro: Sick Baby likes to snuggle.
Con: Snuggly Baby is hot.
Pro: Hot Baby sleeps off fever.
Con: Fever-free Baby up all night? Time will tell.

Night Night!: When we got home from a long search for a frozen yogurt place in Koramangala, Dalton held out his feet for me to take his shoes of, threw his car into the crib, grabbed his alligator and elephant, and climbed into his crib. You would think I hadn't been carrying him the entire time.

This morning we read Goodnight Moon. Or, he flipped the pages (usually backwards) as quickly as he could while I tried to keep up. He repeated and signed as much as he could. He recently learned the sign for mouse, which is brushing your finger on the tip of your nose twice. Now he has a sign for "hush" which is sticking his finger up his nose.

Now he is pretending a tube of oragel is a car. Crazy boy.

Dalton Narrates Tangled: Horse! Mooooo! Ribbit! Bubbles! Ribbit! Lights!

Dalton's First Sentence: Maggie has been playing "Birds" this week, moving on from "Horsies." This might have something to do with having watched Rio. Yesterday she was flapping around like a bird, so I picked her up and carried her airplane-style around the room.

Dalton, watching from the sidelines, said, "Da Da Tuh!" Which of course means, "Please carry me around like a bird after Maggie is finished" or "Dalton's turn!" It didn't sound like much, but I know that's what he said because the day before I said, "Dalton's turn?" and he repeated it back to me. He repeats everything. Be warned.

A Boy and His Cars: Today we went to the Shiva temple in Bangalore again. We just bought one activity ticket between us, so Dalton and I sat on the ground under the umbrellas with other "devotees." Dalton readily made friends with a dozen people sitting around us. One older lady settled next to us and fed Dalton bits of her coconut. He blew her kisses and brightened her day.

I am amazed at how friendly that boy is. So happy to see people, so willing to sit with them, go to them, wave to them, yell "Die!" at them, blow them kisses. The ladies just love him, and so do I.

Dalton is really into cars. Really. Other than the occasional book, ball, and of course his stuffed animals, he really just wants to play cars. He lines them up, tucks their front ends under pillows, and drives them up and down my arms. He has started asking for some to sleep with. Of course I let him have some. Not only does it keep him playing quietly in his crib for a while but I seem to recall Maggie sleeping with 5 Piglets and 3 books, one of which had to be Goodnight Moon. And if any of those items fell of her bed in the night, we'd never hear the end of it until we moved her bed away from the wall and dug her book out. I can handle a couple of cars.

We joked that he learned the sign for Train on our trip to Hampi, the word Boat in Hong Kong and the word Airplane in Goa. Since then he's learned Bus. Bus this, bus that. There are a LOT of busses in Bangalore and Dalton points out every single one. I was picturing him as a baby and have a hard time remembering a time when he didn't point at everything and yell out it's name. Bus! Dog! Airplane! Bus! Bus! Maggie thinks it's hilarious and sometimes imitates him doing it.

[Comments] (3) Picture It: John took the camera on his trip with Shaun, and I am feeling a little naked without it. But I can't wait to see pictures from Goa and Hampi.

Anyway, here is Dalton this morning: He's hiding in the curtain wearing Buzz & Woody jammies and Mickey Mouse sunglasses and holding a Lightning McQueen frisbee.

He's starting insisting on sleeping with cars. The first time I said, "No! I don't want you to get into that habit." Then I remembered that Maggie used to insist on, not only 5 Piglets, but three books, one of which had to be Goodnight Moon. And if the book fell down behind the bed in the night, we'd have to crawl under and get it out. So I let Dalton have his cars. He plays quietly before falling asleep and after waking up. Yay.

: When we first moved to India, Maggie called Sandeep "Sun Beep." Now Dalton has started saying his name, the first he's said besides Mama, Dada and Papa. He says, "Bip!" It's too cute.

We think Dalton might call Maggie "iss" for Sissy, but I'm not 100% sure.

[Comments] (1) Leaps and Bounds: Since I last blogged about Dalton (2 days ago), he's figured out how to climb out of his crib, open the bedroom doors, and shown a big interest in feeding himself with a spoon, which he's pretty good at. He also has a new tooth.

No!: You might have noticed a very common toddler word missing from Dalton's vocabulary - "no!" In fact, just before I took a video of Dalton saying "die!" he said it for the first time. Kannagi asked if he wanted to go to the playground and the answer was an emphatic "No!" accompanied by head-shaking, and running to get his sandals.

[Comments] (1) A Different Kind of Smart: With Dalton starting nursery, I recalled that when Maggie started nursery, she said her first word. Really? Dalton knows dozens of words! Not to mention signs and animal noises, which Maggie knew plenty of (Dalton does know more signs than Maggie did as a baby). He has started repeating words all the time, too. He does not, however, know his colors (though he can repeat the names) and he is not afraid of new clothes. He doesn't like long-sleeves though, a drawback of year-round nice weather. The new long-sleeve jammies have Buzz Lightyear on them, though, so he got used to it.

Anyway, back to listing all the words Dalton can say. In the five minutes it took me to type the above, he repeated paint and green and said: on, off, please and color.
cracker (he was saying this around his 1st birthday)
all gone/all done
star(this is the only shape he knows)
He can also make the sound of each letter of the alphabet (by sight or letter name) and name many of the letters.

Typing all this makes me think maybe it's time to try a video again, so here you go! Here's the "baby Maggie" words video, taken a couple weeks before her first real word.

Update: Last night after I posted this, Dalton started labeling all the green things "geen".

[Comments] (2) About a Boy: Today is Dalton's half-birthday; he is 18 months old. Since we have General Conference this week and will be in Hong Kong the next two Sundays (YES!) he won't be starting nursery for a few more weeks.

He loves cars. He has started lining them up.
He can sign a couple dozen words.
He is very interested in animals. He always notices birds (and signs "bird" and says "caw" if it's a crow making that sound) and dogs (and signs "dog" and says "woof") and cows (and signs "horse" and says "moo") and bugs (and says "guck").
He knows animals sounds and makes them with a passion.
Dalton knows the sounds of all 26 letters.
He loves to color.
He loves to go for walks. If he hears me mention it, he will bring his shoes over. "gack!"
He is not as snuggly as his sister. When we read books, he likes to sit next to me rather than on my lap.
He is very friendly and outgoing and still lets random Indians pick him up.
He just cut his 10th tooth (5 times as many as Maggie had at this age).
He wakes up too early.
He jumps down small steps.
He likes Ring Around the Rosie and other dancing games.
He says "uh oh!" when the power goes out.

Today at Church:
Dalton folded his arms for the prayers.
The kids behaved themselves, with the help of the 5 single brothers who sit behind us, and a lot of goldfish crackers.
Maggie gave an inaudible prayer in Primary.
I wore a sari, petticoat and all.
I got dressed. I was unsuccessful at putting the sari on myself at home.
I played the piano in Primary.
John played the piano in Sacrament Meeting, but actually did not teach or give a lesson this week!
Dalton started pinching his own cheeks.

New Words: Dalton learned two new words yesterday. He started saying "up" and he signed "airplane" to Aunt Rachel for the first time.

This weekend (pictures here, here, and here), both of the kids learned new words. Dalton learned the sign for "train" and Maggie learned about the word "ruins." I first defined a ruin as a really old building that no one lives in anymore. I was wrong.

Leave Me Alone: Today we went to Cubbon Park and visited the children's park there. We were the only white people.

Oh, let me interrupt this post with a white people joke. The other day we were going to a grocery store in the vicinity of this park (a tourist area) and I said, "hey, look a white person!" Maggie jumped up and said, "where? Where??" When I finished laughing, I asked, "Maggie, what color are you?" "Pink," she answered. Of course.

Back to my post. We have really cute kids and everyone loves to see them, talk to them, touch them, hold them etc. Not really a huge deal, and we knew this would happen ahead of time. Everyone here, especially young men, loves our kids. Dalton bears the brunt of it, but since I am often holding him in the sling, Maggie gets her fair share of attention.

Maggie has started yelling, "No!" if someone approaches her. I don't think she minds talking to people, shaking their hands or whatever, but she's been pinched on the cheeks a few too many times. Dalton, on the other hand, LOVES the attention. He is usually happy to go to anyone who wants to hold him - for a minute at least. The sling helps here; it's a lot harder to take him from me if he's in the sling and I'm holding on tight. Saying "no" doesn't work, though Maggie has demonstrated that yelling it does.

Neither of them minds posing for pictures. Oh, and Dalton has started waving to everyone who looks at him. He can just tell when he is the object of attention, and he turns and waves his adorable baby wave. Sometimes he will bury his head against me, but it's so cute that he's hiding that he gets "awwws" of attention and turns right back out to acknowledge them.

Maggie is not entirely unfriendly. As John wrote, she made friends with a gaggle of boys on a school trip. They all passed the playground where we were and waved from the train yelling "Hi, Maggie!"

[Comments] (5) Attachment Disorder: Dalton has developed a sort of attachment disorder. He cries when Daddy leaves for work. Or when Kannagi goes home. Or the cleaning lady. Or the electrician. It's getting a little out of hand.

Attachment disorder reminds me of Mom who liberally applied the term to victims of divorce and naughty dogs.

We walked home from lunch with John today. Our driver has Fridays off and one of the auto drivers near the office thinks he has a monopoly on charging me too much. It only took about 20 minutes and Dalton enjoyed being outside. We didn't have any trouble, even crossing the busy street, until we were nearly home. A woman ran across the street toward us saying the four English words she knew. Hallo! Thank you! Jesus! She said Jesus over and over and then put coconut oil on our heads. If I'd know she was going to do that, I'd have just walked away. Ugh.

[Comments] (3) Dalton Boy: Dalton deserves a post of his own. A post solely devoted to all the cute words he says. I think his first word was Cracker. He also says Ball, Cheese, Lights and Car - all things he loves. I love when he says, "Bah!" especially if he is toddling after one that's rolled under the table.

Also, he loves to dance. He dances to The Hotdog Dance on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and the Handy Manny songs. The other day he smacked the keyboard at Kerri's house and turned on "The Nightmare Before Christmas." Immediately, he got up and started dancing to "This is Halloween."

He's been really grumpy the past few days, but I wore him out shopping this morning, then lunch and a visit to John's work, so he got a late nap. Hopefully that will reset his schedule.

[Comments] (2) On Our Way Soon: It's true. We are finally on our way to India. I can hardly believe it, but now that the flights are booked, I have to. I even started packing up today. I packed a box of newly-acquired Halloween items and was pleased to realize that I had made all but one of them! 5 Halloween costumes, a bat pillow, two witch hats, and a light-up ghost I bought for $1.50 on clearance on November 1st.

We are definitely ready to move on with our life. It has been 16 months since we first applied for this opportunity. We're tired of waiting! During the waiting, we just discovered, Dalton outgrew the height requirement for the airline bassinets. Luckily, we were able to buy him a seat with our flight allowance.

Speaking of Dalton, he elicited a phone call to Poison Control the other day. Somehow the kids got a hold of and opened a bottle of Excedrin. Maggie played "snow" with it, then brought it to me in Mr. Potato Head's hat and asked, "Mom, what are these green things?" Pretty sure Dalton didn't eat any. I found another one on the floor today, and I know we'd used some, so he can't have had more than one.

Anyway, back to India. We leave December 2nd. There are no good flight options for taking two kids overseas. We'll be flying over two nights with a 10 hour layover in NYC. And drugging our kids with Benadryl if necessary (I already cleared this with the pediatrician).

Walkin' and Talkin': Dalton has just, in the past few hours, started walking everywhere he goes. Or trying at least. He is amazing! Waddle waddle waddle. And speaking of waddling, we went to the farm today. We went yesterday to take some family pictures, and Dalton started saying "quack" and "honk" and "moo". So, I took the kids back today and he is such a cute little animal noise maker.

And Then He Was One: First, check out the videos I posted of Dalton during the past week. He walks! He laughs! He plays peek-a-boo! It's pretty cute.

John has been gone teaching new hires this entire week. Since he left, Dalton: started drinking whole milk; took real first steps; cut a new tooth (we're up to three now - and one more on the way); passed out again; and signed "please" for the first time. That's our boy.

[Comments] (1) Tiny Towheaded Trouble Maker: Baby Boy turned one this past weekend. So big! And by "so big" I mean "so little". His well-baby visit was Tuesday and he has gained half a pound in 3 1/2 months. He is not even on the chart. He's been sick for the past six weeks (roseola, 2 colds, a stomach bug, and now another cold), and not eating well, plus he is so crazy-active that he burns off whatever he does eat. Anyway, he is 30" and 17 lbs 3 oz.

I posted recently some of the sign language words Dalton has learned. He uses "nurse" all the time (sigh), but his real favorite word is "dog". That boy loves animals so much! He uses it for Princess (the cat) and he also used it the other day while pointing at a picture of a horse.

He has started to show interest in walking, and took his first few steps on Monday. It will be a while yet. I can't wait - hopefully his hands will stay cleaner and he won't be constantly getting sick. Plus, it may slow him down temporarily. I can barely keep up. I took all three kids (I care for my 3 month old niece, Kyli, most days) to the library today and it was our best visit since Dalton started crawling. I buckled him into the stroller and left him there the whole time! He only managed to pull 2 books off the shelf.

For Dalton's birthday we had two mini-parties with his grandparents. Ice cream and Halloween Peeps. Dalton thought it was so silly to see all of us singing. On his birthday, we went to Park City to buy hiking shoes. We had a little picnic, but it was chilly, and we were all still recovering from the stomach bug we had last week. We also decorated pumpkins with finger paint. We've never used finger paint before, so the kids found it pretty fascinating.

[Comments] (1) What are we going to do with him?: Dalton had another fun trip to the ER today. He fell down a stair or two in the sunroom and passed out again. Since it wasn't a big bump, I knew something else was going on. This time I knew what questions they would ask and I paid good attention to what he did. I was rewarded with an actual answer from the ER doc.

But first I screamed and called 911. I decided that this time they were coming whether they liked it or not. And come they did. I'm not at all surprised that Susan heard the news first from neighbors when she got home. The police, ambulance, fire truck and 15 EMTs were at the house.

John had the car - and the carseats - and was on his way to a job interview in Provo. Ack! Luckily Franco had the day off work and even had a Dalton-sized car seat. The funniest part of the story is that when Franco got out of the car and was bringing the carseat in, one of the guys took it to put it in the ambulance not realizing Kyli was still in it!

After a few minutes lying in my arms and looking really pale, Dalton starting acting fine and was standing on the couch waving by the time the fire truck pulled up. The ambulance had a Maggie-sized car seat that folded down out of the seat. She really enjoyed the ride. Dalton had refused to take a morning nap and was now missing his lunch so he wasn't in as good a mood. They strapped the carseat onto the gurney for him. John swung by on his way and traded cars with Franco so he could come get us when we finished.

So, Maggie, Dalton and I got to ride in an ambulance for the first time. The diagnosis is pallid breath-holding spells, an instinctive reaction to pain, fear, anger etc that he should outgrow by age 2. The doctor said my clear description of his reaction made it easy to diagnose.

Franco ended up having to drive Brook and Erin to the airport last minute and then brought Ember to pick us up at the hospital. We got all four kids in the car and got home before John did. Dalton and Kyli looked so cute sleeping in each others car seats. Pictures here.

Thanks to John for stopping by on the way to his job interview, and to Franco for basically wasting his afternoon for us - including dropping everything to answer my incoherent phone call.

Sumana, you'll be glad to know that I got a privacy practice notice from the fire department.

Dalt: Maggie has started calling Dalton "Dalt". He is such a big boy! Just two weeks until he turns one. This week he learned how to climb down the stairs backwards. He practices it constantly. He also likes to climb up on Maggie's stroller seat and back down.

He can say two words: Dada (Daddy, Doggie) and Mama (Mommy) or Ma (Grandma, More). He also says something that approximates his name - Dat-uh - but he may be saying That. He learned four new signs this week: Dog, Cheese, Sleep, and Baby. He can also say Eat, Water (which he first signed in the pool), More, All Done, Alligator, and Milk/Nurse.

Maggie's learned lots of new signs lately too - all the ones I am teaching Dalton. Bath, Airplane, Bug, Train, Car, Dinosaur, Outside, and Bread.

Dalton is cruising like a pro and standing alone for a moment, but won't be walking for a little while still.

[Comments] (3) And Baby Makes 2: A rash broke out all over Dalton today - just a year after Maggie got roseola. That virus sure is tricksy - Fever, crying, loss of appetite, baby gets better, then, "aha!" a rash. So that's what it was all about.

I think he might have also had a febrile seizure. Our first night in California, he fell off the bed, then passed out. He was limp, non-responsive and his eyes rolled into his head. We called 911, but he came around and started acting ok. That was right before he got sick.

[Comments] (2) Baby Talk: Happy Anniversary to us! We went to breakfast at Market Street Grill in downtown SLC. It was delicious and a great deal.

This post is really about Dalton, though. I have been teaching him some baby sign language. He has learned "eat" "more" and "all done". I've shown him a few others like "milk" "cat" and "alligator" (for stuffed animal he chews on when he falls asleep), but he is still learning the difference between "eat" and "more". He was babbling to himself in the car with his hands, and Ember asked what his signs meant.

Dalton loves animals. He gets so excited when he sees a dog or a cat. He looks eagerly and grunts at them. We went over to Brook and Erin's house last night to get Ember, and he followed Jazzy around. He will learn those signs quickly, I think!

[Comments] (1) Kid Updates: Dalton: has two teeth on the bottom; pulled up in his crib for the first time yesterday (pack-n-play, with nothing to grab onto); stumbles along while pushing a stool (does that count as cruising?); is generally adorable. He eats just about anything I put in front of him, has the sweetest smile. He causes more trouble than Maggie did - tries to climb up and down the stairs, gets into everything, and he LOVES to chew on electrical cords. Eye color still TBD.

Maggie: Says "piet" for "quiet", "banquet" for "blanket", "pack" for "quack", "now" instead of "then" or "next", "last night" for anything that happened in the past ("remember I did [cute thing] last night?") and "bis a minute" (which you can hear in the video of Dalton walking behind the stool.

He's Teething!: Teething became a joke to us about the 15th time we thought Maggie was finally getting some teeth. She ended up waiting until 13 months to cut her first. But Dalton just got his first yesterday! Teething doesn't seem so bad when you aren't expecting it around every corner. Actually, I was thinking this might be more of an indicator of how much less fussy he is than Maggie was. She was always crying for no reason and we wanted to blame teething.

Little Big Boy: Dalton had his early 9 month well visit on Thursday. He also got two of his 12 month immunizations early. He is 28" long (60%), 16 lb 11 oz (5%) and 44 cm head circumference (20%). Skinny and tall. Still. I had Maggie weighed as well, as I plan to use Benadryl to knock my kids out on the airplane. She is 28.6 pounds.

Today Dalton started pulling himself to standing. Just like with crawling, he suddenly started doing it and hasn't stopped since. He first did it in the shopping cart at Target, then practiced on me and on Grandma's coffee table.

[Comments] (3) Messy, Scrappy, Crawly, Packy: Just an update on general things. This blog post will probably reflect the chaos in my home and life right now.

Monday was the free day at the Utah Museum of Natural History. Maggie got to go with Colette this time. I didn't have a ton of fun because Maggie was being ornery and I was being short on patience. We left because she was trying to climb into an exhibit. Also, I purposely didn't bring my camera so I wouldn't feel like I had to post pictures on my picture blog. So sorry to all you people who only look at that blog (guess they wouldn't be reading this). I have too much going on.

Today I focused on getting some sewing projects out of the way. I used up a lot of fabric scraps. I also finished going through my scrapbooking stuff and posted some stuff to sell and give away. Hopefully that stuff is out of my life soon. I have been scrapbooking like mad over the past week, trying to finish the pictures I printed so those can all be put away. I'll be done soon.

We are at that point in packing where we've pretty much packed everything not in use. Most of the house is pretty bare, except for the storage room, and, by extension, the office/craft room. Which is where we spend most of our inside time, now that it's hot. I fished a piece of felt out of Dalton's mouth today. Twice.

As for kid updates, I have two big ones: Dalton is CRAWLING. When Maggie started crawling, she scooted forward a bit, and just did that for a while. Dalton all of a sudden started crawling on Saturday, and he just took off. It is so cute to hear the pitter patter of little knees around the house.

As for Maggie: the girl can do 100 piece puzzles (or at least the one we have).

On the Move: My little boy is growing up. He has learned to get around, at least enough to get what he wants. He can scoot on the hardwood floor by grabbing on to something and pulling himself. He can rotate himself on his stomach in all directions. He can roll. And he can pull himself to sitting from his stomach. I put up a video of him babbling (and Maggie trying to steal the spotlight) and one of him working on crawling.

Also, Leonard is visiting. Pictures of related fun coming soon.

[Comments] (1) Sweet Boy at 6 Months: Naturally, I can't believe Dalton is already 6 months old. He is getting so big! And yet so small. He weighed in at just 14 pounds, 13 ounces, down to the 10%, but was up to 75% in height at 27". Tall and skinny, who'd have thought.

Dalton sits up very well, loves to chew on books, and thinks his big sister is hilarious. He is a happy-go-lucky boy, and perfectly content to sit and play with toys. He has a big smile that he shows off to anyone who gives him one, but he saves his biggest smiles for when Daddy gets home from work.

Dalton sleeps about 10 hours at night. Yay! He nurses 5 times a day, and eats one meal of baby food. He likes baby food, lean towards it and grabs the spoon, but hasn't figured out the opening his mouth part yet.

And his eyes change color every day. A sort of blue-hazely-green.

A Very Busy Day: Today was Maggie's first day of swimming lessons. She enjoyed swimming, but wouldn't let go of me, or kick or anything. Mostly she wanted to splash around in the 6" depth. This is why we started with parent-tot instead of the actual lessons.

After swimming, we went to Target and storytime at the library, then to Dalton's 4 month Happointment. He weighs 13 pounds, 10 ounces and was 25 1/4 inches long. He went down in percentiles, but nothing to be worried about.e is doing fabulous in all other aspects, such as sleeping, playing with toys, drooling, not crying, big smiles, and general adorableness.

We got home from the doctor with about 10 minutes to clean up the house and have a snack before piano lessons. Yikes. Also, Maggie has a little cold and is grumpy. Early bedtime tonight.

It's a Bear! It's a Moose! It's a Really Cute Baby!: Dalton's little moose outfit gets a lot of attention when he wears it. Usually, the comments we get are something along the lines of "that is the cutest thing I've ever seen!" Some people are able to articulate the cuteness a little better. At the zoo, I got accused of trying to take one of the animals home. On our walk the other day, someone asked if we'd been bear hunting. Just now, on my way back from the mailbox, the guy repairing a windshield next door said, "I thought you were carrying a teddy bear when you walked by and thought, 'that's weird...'"

I'm not sure it gets much cuter than a cute baby in a cute, fuzzy outfit.

Sweet Boy: Dalton grew up so much on our trip to California. He started rolling onto his stomach (can go both ways now) and showing interest in and grabbing at toys. It's fun to watch him bat at his toys in the bouncer, or grasp a rattle and play with it. He also tries to lean forward and sit up, when I'm holding him, and when he's in the bouncer.

He is such a happy and sweet boy. He is always smiling and hardly ever grumpy. He lets us put him down in his crib for naps and at bedtime so well. He is the perfect compliment to his big sister.

[Comments] (1) Looking Forward To: When I took Dalton to his 2 month appointment, the doctor told me I was feeding him too much - too often, that is. He said he should be able to go at least 3 hours during the day. Well, he was right. Dalton won't always wait quite three hours, but I've definitely been feeding him less often, and he eats better and longer at each feeding because of it. This makes it easier to go places and do stuff. Also, he is sleeping up to 8 1/2 hours at night, which is great.

At John's work party the other night, we were talking about how dismal January is. The holidays are over. Work becomes busy. The weather is crappy. And there's nothing to look forward to - the next day off John gets is Memorial Day. John is once again going to Orange County to work on a project for a client down there who keeps requesting him. And this year we are going, too! We will be in California for 10 days. We're going to get 6 day passes to Disneyland, and I'm planning to take the kids (during the week when John is working) up to Pat's house to see my family. I'm very excited.

Dalton's Blessing: Today was Dalton's blessing day. We had John's entire family there, except for Dave, who had to work, and Tyler, who was sick. Jon and Sharon and some of their family came, and Tyler and Tasha. John gave him a beautiful blessing and it was great having everyone there with us. Dalton looks smashing in his little (not white) suit, and Maggie was just adorable in her Christmas dress. I put her hair in braids with ribbons on the ends, but I think it was a mess by the time any pictures got taken. She's got her cousins carrying her around upside down, so her hair messes easily now.

After Sacrament Meeting, we came back to our house for lunch. I made 4 lbs of penne (just enough for the 29 of us and John's lunch tomorrow!), pesto, and a butternut squash sauce. We also had red sauce, some delicious salads, rice krispy treats, and garlic bread. Simple, yet delicious.

There were three babies blessed in our ward, but that hardly compared to Tyler's baptism yesterday - he was among 8 children to be baptized in his stake! We all made the drive up to Logan. Jodi and Franco almost didn't make it and we ended up picking them up in our car halfway there. There was some snow, and a LOT of accidents. But we were all safe and able to be there to support Tyler.

[Comments] (3) 6 weeks: I took Dalton to the doctor today, basically for what ended up being cradle cap. Just as well, since I was able to get Maggie an H1N1 vaccine while we were there. Dalton charmed all the nurses while I took Maggie to the bathroom. Also, he's gained another 2 pounds since his two week appointment and is up to 10 1/2 lbs.

We are having the last nice days of fall, I think. Yesterday, I loaded the kids into our new stroller (a fabulous Christmas present from Leonard and Sumana, and took them for a walk around the neighborhood. We went down to the park so Maggie could swing for a bit. She noticed some construction workers had "colored" on the street and sidewalk, so when we got home, I got out some chalk for her to color on the driveway. She loved it.

ETA: John and I also got H1N1 vaccines today. We had an easier time getting these than the seasonal flu. Who knew.

Baby D Update: I took Dalton to his two-week appointment today. He's already gained a pound above his birth weight - up to 8 lb 8 oz. You'd think that would add some chunk to his bones, but no such luck.

[Comments] (1) Dalton's Birth Story: On Friday, October 9, 2009 at 4:51 pm we welcomed Dalton William Chadwick into our family. He weighed 7 lbs 8 oz and was 20 inches long. Pictures here and here and plenty more to come.

Dalton is named after my Grandpa Richardson, and we picked William out of the Chadwick family names. We thought that was only fair since Maggie got a name from each of our mothers' sides of the family.

Erin picked me up a little after 7 am and took me to the hospital to be induced. “We told you so” to all the people who thought he might come on time – 6 days late this time. Erin waited with me until John got there around 9:30 or 10. They started the drugs at 9 and it was a boring few hours. John was afraid we’d have another middle-of-the-night baby, but when things happened, they happened fast.

I got an epidural around 12:15, and another one around 4, 45 minutes after the first one stopped working on one side. Ouchie. Once the second one kicked in, we were ready to go, and 5 pushes later, Dalton came right out. I kept saying “that was so easy!” because I expected to be pushing for an hour. The second epidural was a lot stronger than the first. I was so proud that I could twitch my toe by the time they moved me to my room!

I really love my doctor. I felt like he was more involved and more communicative than the doctor who delivered Maggie. He cleaned Dalton up and let me hold him for a minute – I didn’t get to see Maggie for quite a while, until they tried to make me nurse her but I was too busy throwing up. That was probably NICU’s doing though. Dalton was a great nurser right off the bat. He came out pretty hungry.

He’s got adorable spikey hair, and looks a lot like his daddy’s baby picture, except he has a little Susie nose, we think. He’s a good sleeper, during the day at least, a pretty good eater, and a great snuggler.

Maggie’s been pretty grumpy, between being dragged all over the place, Mommy being gone, and not getting much sleep. I don’t know how much of it is because of the baby – she always wants to snuggle me when I am nursing Dalton, but she slept right through his crying all night last night. She's somewhat better today. We spent the whole day at home, other than John brought Grandma June to meet the baby.

Thanks to Mom, Brook, Erin, Jodi and Franco for watching/entertaining Maggie, Erin for taking me to the hospital, everyone for visiting and calling, and honorable mention to Franco for stopping by the day before and finishing off my “nesting” list by leveling out the ground in our side yard.


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