New Earrings, Sibling Love, Go BYU!

Today felt lighter.
I woke up and everything was ok.
Life is funny with its ups and downs.

Guess who is TWO MONTHS OLD!
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The three older kids have spent hours and hours and hours playing outside the last couple weeks.
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Ember talks to her toys a lot lately.
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Which I find overwhelmingly cute! I love when babies coo at inanimate objects!
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The girls got new earrings since Brooklyn broke one of hers and Sierra lost two of hers. These kids go through a pair of earrings every other month!
Brooklyn begged me to take a picture of her new ones.
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They have matching earrings now.
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I have a picture of the three older kids laying on the floor together from when Payson was a baby. I decided to try for one like that of all four kids.
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Ember wasn’t happy with that idea! The older kids scare her when they make loud noises and she’s not in my arms.
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But she calmed down when she heard my voice. It was cute how Payson reacted to her whimper… he came over all gentle and was saying, “Oh, Embow, it’s ok.”
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Brooklyn wanted to hold Ember so I said, “Sure and we’ll get a picture of the four of you together!”
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Payson was making Ember wave.
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Which I don’t let him do because he did that once before and then stood up to run off while still holding her hand!
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So I got up and told him to sit on Brooklyn instead and be the big baby.
Which he LOVED. I have twenty pictures of them together laughing and stuff that are so cute.
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Payson is surprisingly very gentle when it’s his turn to hold her. He holds totally still and just looks at her face and tummy and hands and looks so proud and happy.
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Later Payson colored while the older girls went outside to play again.
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But they came back inside when I turned on the BYU football game.
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Go cougars!
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Brooklyn took my camera and started snapping.
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Allan was sadly at work so I texted him about the game the whole time.
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Ember was wearing Payson’s BYU shirt since he was taking a nap.
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I tried out the bumbo but she’s still too little.
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I’m going to make the switch to all cloth soon. I decided to try out the size medium diapers I already have from Sierra and Payson to see if I could skip buying more.
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Um, nope, way too big even on my getting pudgy little girl.
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She was perfectly happy with her too big diaper, though.
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I changed her during halftime. Then she fell asleep while nursing.
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So I set her on the couch next to me and she woke up immediately.
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Payson woke up from his nap during the 4th quarter.
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So he and I watched the end together.
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I love this kid.
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He took this one:
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While Payson and I finished watching the game, Ember was over in her bouncy chair talking to her toys.
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The girls were still playing outside while I made dinner.
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And that’s all!!

Days with my Children

This is several days worth of pictures so it’s a bit long. Who am I kidding, it’s really long!

I was reading on LDS.org today (I’m mormon) about motherhood. There are so many great articles and lessons about motherhood on that site. Reading there makes me feel so happy and fills me with peace.

I know many of my readers aren’t LDS (most probably aren’t, actually) but I wanted to share this quote from one of the past leaders in my church about motherhood because it’s not hugely religious, just absolutely beautiful and encouraging for all mothers:

“Motherhood is the greatest potential influence either for good or ill in human life. The mother’s image is the first that stamps itself on the young child’s mind. It is her caress that first awakens a sense of security, her kiss, the first realization of affection; her sympathy and tenderness, the first assurance that there is love in the world.”
-David O. McKay

These very thoughts are often going through my mind in one way or another. Watching Ember grow these past two months has re-taught me so much about mothers and children and families and God.
PhotobucketWatching every tiny change in her every day is amazing. First she starts turning towards familiar voices. She starts calming at those voices. She starts smiling at those voices. Suddenly she is locking eyes. She’s recognizing a smile and smiling back. She giggles at silly sounds or her arms being moved a certain way.

Hundreds of miraculous moments of development all unfolding on a daily, if not hourly, basis. There’s nothing like a new baby to open your heart completely to God and put your mind towards thoughts of eternity.
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I am so thankful when my heart is softened and I’m patient and relaxed and aware. Aware of the million moments I’ll miss so much when these kids are grown and gone.

Payson and his super silly faces… my heart is going to break when I don’t get to see these every day-
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Sweet, sleeping baby.
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I accomplish a lot while she naps. I spend lots of time with the other kids, I clean, I cook… but I am missing her the whole time. My arms have quickly grown use to her warmth and walking around without her, as nice as it is to get everything else done, is a bit empty.
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But messes like this below (counter was totally clean the day before!) make those short naptimes really important! lol
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Tummy time.
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Looking around from a new vantage point.
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Brooklyn got to talk to Allan on the phone while he was at work.
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She is a daddy’s girl, for sure.
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She lights up when he gets home at night and she is always thrilled when the weekends come around.
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Sierra got twenty minutes of holding Ember yesterday while Brooklyn and Payson played outside.
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I really enjoyed watching them together. Sierra was talking and singing to Ember and Ember was soaking up the big sister love.
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She even did some really sweet coos for Sierra.
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When the bigger kids do the same songs or tone of voice or phrases that I do with Ember it makes me feel so much more determined to have all my interactions with all of my kids be gentle and loving.
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This is a very Sierra thing to do… whenever she holds Ember she likes to hold her head like this.
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This morning was Sierra’s last day of her class. A woman I talk to while waiting for Sierra offered to snap a picture of me and the kids before we headed home.
PhotobucketThe picture makes me laugh. My crazy little group of children!

We got home and the older kids headed out to the backyard to play while I nursed Ember in my bedroom.
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I love that she’s so happy while she nurses.
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And that she loves to stare into my eyes the whole time.
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Makes the painful boobies easier to bare. ha
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*sigh* Baby feet.
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I burped the baby.
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I kiss those soft cheeks of hers probably a hundred times while burping her 🙂
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And then chatted with the baby while she pooped.
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Pooped… all over both of us. Stupid diapers! I ordered cloth today!
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That poop was so bad she really needed a bath.
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Oh gosh is she cute in the tub. I love her little body.
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After Ember’s bath I put her in the swing so she could nap and I started lunch. Problem was…
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Payson doesn’t like waiting for food to cook.
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I turned on NickJR for the kids to watch while lunch cooked.
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Sierra made that turkey during her class this morning. She held it most of the day 🙂
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Realizing lunch was going to take another 35 minutes to cook (stir fry), I gave the kids baggies with snacks.
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Later in the day I took the kids on a walk to go get our mail.
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Brooklyn took these first pictures.
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But I used an electrical box to set my camera on for the next two so Brooklyn could be in it with us!
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It’s been quite chilly here this week. It was in the forties all morning. I don’t think it got over 55 the whole day.
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That might not sound too cold to you guys but after dealing with 110+ temperatures all summer I want 70 degree weather, dang it!!
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I think Sierra’s the cutest little girl I’ve ever seen.
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Brooklyn loves to bring the newspaper with us and say, “Mail for sale, mail for sale, get your mail!” She mistakenly calls newspapers “mail” though I correct her every time! lol
I know the reason why is because we got newspapers in the mail for the first 6 years of her life. She wasn’t used to seeing them on the driveway until this year so to her newspapers are mail.
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The kids were playing around while I was nursing Ember this evening when I glanced outside and saw the sunset.
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And I forgave Arizona for the unseasonably cold weather right then and there 😉
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Loving the Leisurely

The weekends are so blissful after a long week of having places to go. I wish the girls didn’t love their classes so much, I’d love to skip them! haha

Today and yesterday I got up before the kids and cleaned for an hour. It’s amazing being in a quiet house with the early morning sun coming in the window and folding laundry alone with my thoughts. Or washing dishes and only hearing the sound of the running water. It’s almost therapeutic.

We didn’t do a dang thing today (besides me cleaning). We’ve sat around together, we’ve played outside, we’ve eaten meals of course, we’ve read… it’s been amazingly refreshing.
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I know it’s silly for me, as the mother, to say so, but I have to… Payson is the best looking little boy in the world!
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This kid and his love of character clothing. And me being completely wrapped around his finger and unable to resist such cute requests. We were in Target and he spotted this sweater and very sweetly pleaded with me, “Football monkey, mommy? Pleeeease?” And when I picked it up and asked, “This one?” He jumped up with a huge smile and bright eyes and said, “Yes!!” And though he has a sweater and I’ve been trying to buy the bare minimum amount of clothing I can I found myself putting it into the cart.
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It has been unseasonably chilly lately and he does get his one and only sweater filthy dirty and I have to wash it too often. So it’s all good.
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Redundantly- I adore this baby.
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I would say I couldn’t possibly love her more but I swear I love her more right now than an hour ago.
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Sometimes she helps me do laundry. I’ve been washing a load every single day to keep up. And I don’t even cloth diaper her yet!
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She didn’t like laying on the clothes much and was getting super tired so I put her in the swing.
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Before doing some more cleaning while Ember slept I went outside to see what the older kids were up to.
Brooklyn had found a cricket that she was playing with and wanted a picture of.
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She’d named him “Crickey.”
She didn’t want to hold it because, “Ew no, it feels too weird!” so she got it on her rubber ducky instead. And you can’t tell but the cricket was facing the camera and totally looked like he was posing. ha
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I looked over at Sierra who was doing this:
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This smile is because I told her it was amazing that she could do that and she felt proud. lol
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Quick Post

It was midnight. Ember was snuggled up in bed with me. We were both laying down on our sides, facing each other. She was nursing. I had been sleeping but woke up because she started to grunt (she is a very grunty baby) and squirm a bit. I was about to sit up to burp her when I felt her tense and then spit up. A lot. She had been nursing so the milky spew went all over my chest, bra, shirt and stomach and all over her face, neck, and chest.

I got up and changed both of us. I used a wet rag to clean us up enough until morning when I’d take a bath with her. Then I went back to bed.

I was just remembering that because Ember is currently snoozing on my lap in a milky coma and I know the second I put her in bed she’ll wake up and want to comfort nurse and I hope she falls right back to sleep and doesn’t lay there nursing for too long. I don’t like milk spew all over me in the middle of the night.
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She likes napping for a little bit snuggled into the boppy. It’s the only way she’ll snooze outside of my arms or the swing.
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She’ll sleep like this for a few minutes. I’m always sitting next to her when she does because she’s a strong kicker and will kick herself up over the edge onto her head if I’m not there.
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Payson and I spent some time together this morning. All three girls were sleeping so I played with him and we colored. He is so cute when he gets lots of mommy time. He acts like an entirely different child 🙂
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Ember really loves each of her siblings.
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She likes it when they talk to her and sing to her.
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Brooklyn was so happy that Ember was so obviously loving her company 🙂
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Brooklyn’s bruise is already looking much better.
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I cut my hair today. It looks pretty much the same, which was my goal. I wanted to give myself some layers because my hair was looking boring all one length and long, but I didn’t want it to look shorter.
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While I was cutting my hair Payson came in with a wet spot on his head.
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I asked him what was on his head and he said, “soap!” and giggled.
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You can’t really even see my hair well in these pictures I asked Brooklyn to take. I’ll try to get a picture tomorrow when it’s lighter out. Though really, my hair looks the same so it’s not anything to look forward to. lol
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Doing

Wow, talk about being a downer in my last post. I probably shouldn’t type a blog post right after the witching hour!

5-6pm is rough. But the rest of the time things are actually pretty good. I’ve cleaned my house top to bottom, I’ve kept up with laundry, and I’ve homeschooled the girls all week. I don’t know why I get so dang moody in the late afternoons. I should remind myself while I’m in the middle of it that it’ll only last a couple hours and so I should relax.

Actually last night I tried to do just that. I was breastfeeding Ember while brushing the older kids’ teeth and tucking them into their beds and it was uncomfortable for me but it worked well enough.

We’ve been making it to the girls’ classes every week.
Sierra takes her class very seriously. Her class is kinda like preschool. She does an art project and they read a book and sing songs and play with toys and they also have gym days and stuff. She LOVES it.
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She goes twice a week.


Brooklyn’s class is only one day a week. She really loves tumbling. She has a really close friend in her class and watching them together makes me laugh. They’re both really silly little girls.
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I told Brooklyn to move over a little (I didn’t like that tree in the background being so close to her head) and she starts doing her usual Brooklyn posing…
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Geez
PhotobucketI asked her where she learned to pose like that and she proudly replied, “I just thought of them!”

I shook my head and laughed and asked if I could have one more of her straight on.
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My kids are always getting hurt. It shouldn’t surprise me because I do remember constantly having cuts and bruises when I was little. But it does surprise me!
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Brooklyn was climbing on Sierra’s dresser and fell off. None of my kids have ever had a bruise this bad. It’s much worse in person and freaked me out! I’ve never had a bruise that bad. I almost took her to the doctor but some googling taught me to just ice it at first and keep an eye on it.
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This was really, really sad.
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Brooklyn threw a book at Sierra and it hit her in the eye 🙁
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I took these pictures a few hours after it happened. I felt so bad for poor Sierra. By the time I was taking these, though, she felt pretty darn cool about having such a red eye and all the attention she was getting. haha
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Today the kids played outside and when they came in Sierra had a big bruise forming on her cheek. I asked her what happened and she couldn’t even remember getting hurt!
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A couple of my friends on facebook participated in a nurse-in. Facebook deleted some breastfeeding pictures or something so breastfeeding moms are posting nursing pictures as their profile pictures. I realized I haven’t taken any pictures nursing Ember for a while so despite being in my pajamas (when am I not in pajamas??) I took some.

She loves nursing while laying down. I love being all cuddled up with her, too 🙂
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Being all relaxed while nursing she pooped. haha
I changed her and got some big smiles.
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Then sat back down to finish nursing her, which made her even happier.
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Ember is so sweet while she nurses. She loves to stare at me and gosh there’s nothing cuter!
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Just this week she’s started doing one of my favorite things. I’ll start talking to her while she’s drinking and she’ll smile and coo which causes her to come off the boob so she frantically lunges for it and a few seconds later looks up at me again and I barely start talking and she breaks out into a huge grin and then stops and starts sucking frantically before she can pop off. lol. It’s so cute!
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Payson was in the room talking with me while I nursed Ember.
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That elephant of his… he’s my only child so far to have a lovey. And as adorable as it is to watch him with his beloved “eh eh,” I will not be encouraging Ember to have a lovey!!
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“Can I see?!”
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The girls love it that we go to the park so often now. We go during the girls’ classes which ends up being three times a week and I’ve been taking them to our neighborhood park on the other days!
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It’s been 7 weeks since Ember was born and yet I still don’t manage to dress all four kids well most days. At least one of them is in pajamas or dirty or both.
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Sometimes when I’m out on errands and nurse Ember Payson manages to get ahold of my nursing pad and drop it on the ground or attempt to blow his nose with it. Therefore I don’t use it anymore! And not having a nursing pad means…
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Brooklyn brought a big rock home from the park and turned it into a statue.
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The weather was so nice today. Low 70s. We spent some more time outside when we got home from the park.
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I took a few pictures of my cute 7 week old. *sniff* Stupid time passing by.

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She’s not a newborn anymore. I have myself a full fledged baby!

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A getting-a-bit-chubby baby!

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I never ever ever get tired of staring at her sweet face.
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She was cooing in the middle picture below. She does it all the time and it is the best thing. I can’t believe I didn’t have a baby to coo at me for the last year! How did I ever survive. lol
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And now it’s time to make dinner, and this little girl is fussing for some milk.

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Oh Goodness

It’s been a hard week for me. For a few different reasons but mostly because having four little kids is a ton of work. I feel like it’s more work than I can handle, honestly.

And really I’m so tired right now I don’t even want to talk 🙁

Speaking of tired…

She sure does look tired, doesn’t she?

Like she could sleep for hours…

Or wake up after three minutes to hang out with mommy.

The only place she does sleep out of my arms is in the swing. I’ve tried her bassinet, her bouncy chair, my bed, swaddled, unswaddled, bundled and warm, blanketless and able to stretch… nothing but mommy’s arms is going to make this girl happy.

Payson grows more in love with his little sister every day. Which is crazy because he doesn’t spend a lot of time with her.

But he dotes on her and cuddles her and talks to her as if she knows what he’s saying.

Hearing him with her makes me feel happy. Total, peaceful, everything in the world is right, happy.

He was putting the tray on the swing and Ember was fussing and kicking it off and every time she did he’d CRACK UP . “EmBOW!!” *giggle*
Then he’d put it on again, trying to hold back laughing, and sit there smiling waiting and watching.

My camera hasn’t been getting much loving lately. I take it everywhere but I don’t always take it out. Probably because Ember’s decided she hates being out on errands now. She cries the entire time she’s in the Snugli. She used to love that thing. Maybe I’ll try the wrap on errands.

We’re out of food. After nursing the baby and feeding the older kids a snack I get them loaded into the car and head off. The baby cries during the entire drive to the store. We arrive and the baby continues to cry in the carrier.

As I walk my pants fall down. I grab the side of them in a big bunch to keep them up. With my other hand I bounce the baby in the carrier. She doesn’t stop crying.

I try to push the cart with a 30 pound toddler and groceries with one hand. I alternate between giving the cart a push and yanking up my pants.

I’m frustrated. The baby is still crying. I’m thinking about how expensive pants are and cursing myself for losing weight. Because heaven knows I feel just as fat as I did twenty pounds heavier than this.

We’re almost done shopping. As the cashier rings up my groceries, I try not to think about everything to come tonight. The crying on the drive home, the chaotic rush once we’re home and I try to unload groceries while kids run around my ankles and scream and cry and complain and beg for things.

The drive home is unpleasant as the baby cries the whole way and I realize all I have eaten today is a sandwich and my stomach is not so subtlely protesting.

The scene as we arrive home is a rerun of every other time we’ve arrived home. The kids are standing in my way everywhere I go. Literally at my feet no matter how many times I tell them to go sit down on the couch or at the table. It’s like a bad case of deja vu.

My impatience builds as their mouths cease to close for one second. All four of them are making noise. Loud noise. The older ones are asking for food despite seeing me making dinner. The baby is crying. Of course she is crying. She is always crying unless my breast is in her mouth.

I feel my anger swelling up and I utter the phrase I’ve uttered a hundred times before.

“You are all going to bed without dinner if you make one more sound.”

They start to look at each other quietly with expressions that tell me they will start to giggle together in a few seconds. The thrill of making noise after mommy tells them not to will be too much.

Brooklyn’s hand goes up to her mouth to stifle a giggle.

“Ok, go to your rooms until dinner is ready. And shut your doors.”

The kids are gone but baby is not going to stop crying until she and I are laying in my bed with the lights off. She wants to go bed. And she doesn’t want mommy away from her.

Dinner is done, the kids are at the table, the baby is at the breast.

I am worn out.

Park

We were pretty bored yesterday. In the afternoon I decided we should go to the park just for a change of scenery.


The kids had a good time. I usually don’t care for this park but it was fun watching them play together.


For some reason watching Payson play with all the other kids and act so big made me see him as my little baby boy all over again!


Yep, I was there. Nursing Ember on that bench most of the time. Playing monster under the bridge with the older kids the rest of the time.

Oh and snapping pictures for a couple minutes, too. Of course.