Family Friday!

Allan accumulated too many vacation hours for the year so his boss had him take a day off. I was really excited to get an extra day with him home.

We had some stuff to get done. We went to Home Depot, Lowe’s and then Costco.

We ate before heading home.

We stopped at a gas station so Allan could fill the tires on my car and I could nurse Ember.
We took this there, too.

We got home and Allan went straight outside to work on the yard while I nursed Ember on the couch and goofed around with Payson.

He’s still obsessed with shoes and socks.

Payson begged me to let him hold Ember.

And for the first time she didn’t start screaming as soon as she was in his arms!

Brooklyn seeing Payson with Ember had to have a turn, too.

We headed outside to be with Allan.

Brooklyn decided to sweep the grass from the curbing and Payson, seeing her helping out, ran for the rake to help, too.

The older girls dress themselves 90% of the time now since I’m pretty much always nursing Ember. Sierra’s outfits are always interesting. She never dresses appropriately for the weather.

Whereas Brooklyn just sticks with pajama pieces whenever possible.

I told everyone we should do a quick family picture. I decided not to pose anyone or anything. Just set the timer and all be in the frame.

Payson wanted to take more, as he always does, so we let him. I love that in all of these Brooklyn has such a cute smile.

These crack me up… they show the randomness and confusion which is my life.

Though this one is pretty cute 🙂
Sierra was complaining about being so cold and Ember was starting to squirm from the breeze. Allan was joking around about how he wasn’t cold at all.

So I went in and instead of grabbing light sweaters, went for the winter stuff.

Allan took this cute shot. That outfit is one my mom bought for Sierra when she was a baby.

This was my coat from high school. One day I’ll have a stylish coat. Or maybe not.

I couldn’t find the kids’ winter clothes from last year so I put Sierra in one of my sweaters.

We came inside and put Payson to bed. I nursed Ember on the couch while Allan and the girls had…

rootbeer floats! I think this was the girls’ first time to try them!

They were pretty happy with the treat 🙂

Ember was finally happy with a full belly.

She spent a little time in her bouncy chair.

While Allan looked at campsites online with the girls. He’s planning a daddy-daughter campout for sometime in December.

But if Ember’s sleeping better by then I’m going too!

Scorpions, Shopping and Sunset, Oh My!

Geez, these pictures are from Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Tuesday Brooklyn found a scorpion in her room. On her teddy bear, actually! It was alive and well and running to hide when I caught it. NOT COOL!

Allan started doing nightly scorpion checks again with the backlight. He found four Tuesday night and with all the scorpion talk the girls, of course, had to bring that into their playtime.

They were pretending to be scorpions and when Allan and I saw them I ran for my camera and Allan ran for…

Which killed them, of course 😉

Thursday I took the kids to JCPenney because I had a $10 gift certificate thing and REALLY need jeans. I was wearing Ember in the front pack when I realized I couldn’t very well try on clothes like that! But she was sleeping and I really didn’t want to wake her up, so…

Brooklyn helped out for a couple minutes.

I tried on a three things but didn’t like any of them. I didn’t have time to try on more, unfortunately. Some other day, I suppose.

Brooklyn got a new shirt that she wanted to show off.

She’s so funny with her love of the camera. I don’t mind!

With the pretty sunflare I thought I’d get a picture of all the kids together. First I got the girls in place.

Then Payson ran over with his elephant and ball and pajama pants.

Payson was cracking up at all my nursery rhyme songs. I change a word here and there to something silly and he giggles.

Brooklyn took a couple of me and Ember.

And tried to stand on a ball.

And then took pictures of everyone’s silly faces.

I’m going to buy an external hard drive today. The one I have is totally full and I have a whopping 181GB of pictures still needing to be backed up!! Can you imagine if my computer crashed and those were all lost? All my pregnancy, all of Ember’s birth and first month? I’d be sad, to say the least.

Me and Her

I do have a lot of pictures but no time to post them right now. In fact I don’t really have time right now to blog these but I wanted to anyway. hehe
I really like posting every day. It’s truly the ONLY thing I do for myself these days 🙂

My Four Babies

You wanted to compare my kids’ baby pictures?
This is the best I could do. It was hard finding pictures of Brooklyn at 6 weeks old. And I have a ton of Sierra at that age but almost all of them are of her with a dang binky in her mouth.
Do you find it as funny as I do that my only boy has a mop of hair while the three girls are practically bald? ha

My thoughts?
She looks a lot like Payson with Sierra’s nose and skin/eye color.

Ember has the exact same hands and feet as Brooklyn, who has the exact same hands and feet as me. Besides that Ember and Brooklyn look nothing alike.

Ember has very similar eyes and mouth to Payson.

Ember has a very similar nose to Sierra. They also have the same skin and eye coloring. Payson’s eyes are that color, too.

Ember’s ears look nothing like the other kids’.

Ember looks more like me than Allan. She has my eyes, chin, head shape, hands, feet and skin/eye coloring. She doesn’t have my nose- it’s more like Allan’s. Her belly button looks just like Allan’s, too.

I’ve Got the Cutest 6 Week Old!

6 weeks old? Six? How? Why? Make it stop!

The smiles, people! The smiles are killing me!!
Early this morning, at 4am, Ember was grunting and fussing and tooting away and not sleeping and so I got out of bed to take her into the living room to nurse her so Allan wouldn’t wake up (he had to get up super early today) and I was so tired.
I was not happy to be awake at that hour after a not-fitful sleep the earlier part of the night. I was feeling so sad for myself for how little sleep I’ve gotten during the last 6 weeks.

I looked down at Ember who was in my arms at my bare breast but not drinking… she was just staring at me. I said, “Oh you just want to hang out with mommy, huh?” And she broke out into the biggest grin ever and of course I just had to coo to her and she started cooing back so loud and just kept smiling this huge, wide, happy smile that melted my heart. I mean melted.
So so sweet!

I love her so much more every single day. I don’t know how that works but it does! My heart feels near exploding with love for this adorable, sweet little baby girl!

Oh those feeties! They’re covered with kisses from mommy.

My fave: ♥sigh♥

Ok, ok, moving away from those unbearably cute pictures… today we stayed home and it was just as lovely of a day as yesterday! The kids were good (well, not so much cranky Payson but that’s nothing unusual. ha) and Ember nursed the day away.
I started a new unit for homeschool around the book Madeline.
It was a nice and mellow day for the most part. (I say for the most part because I still had to work my booty off staying on top of cooking and cleaning and diapers and everything, but no catastrophies happened.)

Ember actually smiled at Payson today for the first time. So I let him hold her (he’s in love with his baby sister!) and she started crying! Sorry Payson, mommy’s arms are the favorite around here 😉

This was actually taken last night, Allan always holds Ember at night when she’s not nursing and it’s bliss for me since I can get stuff done and it’s bliss for Ember because she loves to sleep on his chest.

I did start to feel really frustrated this morning with everything needing to be done while Ember was not letting me put her down for two seconds. After having spent the morning doing things one handed, I realized, duh- I can wear her in the wrap.
So I did and she fell asleep within thirty seconds and took a thirty minute nap! I laid her down in her bassinet with the wrap as a blanket and she was nice and comfy for the lat five minutes of the nap.

I was nursing Ember at some point this morning when the kids marched in the family room riding our broom. I thought it was so cute that I ran for my camera while still nursing Ember and took this:

The kids moved on to the front room while Ember finished drinking. When she was done I set her in the bouncy chair to go see what the older ones were up to…

Oh we’re not up to much, just being extremely cute in here!

Brooklyn had made forts all over the room and they were all having a blast playing together.

Ember had some tummy time on my bed.

And then I decided to take a picture to show how much she’s growing.

And I couldn’t resist taking yet another picture of her cute tummy.

I’ll end this post with these storyboards of comparison shots of Ember. I can’t believe how fast she’s growing! 🙁

Oh gosh, four cute feet shots? Cuteness overload for this mama!
I also wanted to say that I’m sorry I’ve been horrible about responding to comments for the last 6 weeks! They’ve meant so so SO much to me. You’ve all been supportive and encouraging and sweet and very helpful and I’ve meant to respond or start responding for a few weeks now and just haven’t!
I’m sorry! From today on I’m back to responding in the comments section!! So, especially if you ask a question, check back in the comments and I’ll have hopefully replied!

She Smiles at Me and We Go Out

I took these first two pictures Sunday. She’s in a onesie and tights only because I’d already taken off her dress. She looked so darn pretty sleeping like that 🙂

This morning after I nursed her she was smiling nonstop at me. And doing these itty bitty coos, too. It was the most adorable thing ever! I grabbed my camera and held it straight over my head and took these:

Then I put her on the floor to talk to her some more. The older girls came in and wanted to talk to her, too. They were having so much fun watching their baby sister smiling and cooing!

Oh gosh she’s so funny!

She’s constantly staring at me and smiling at me. It’s amazing how even the fourth time around it still feels so new and exciting and heart warmingly precious.

This is one of my favorite pictures of her ever, I think. I love that head tilted back, crinkled-nose smile! And the gums peeking out. Ack, cute!

Cooing 🙂

Cooing and grinning.

So after a morning of smiles from Ember we decided to go to the arboretum!

The weather was total perfection. The kids were angels. It was pretty much the best day ever.

This trip we headed for Ayer Lake to look around. Usually we stick to the thicker trees and the cool boulders but we wanted a change of scenery.

A nice older man took this of me and the kids.

They were watching minnows in the lake.

This was over in the children’s section.

She was being so cute the whole time.

And she was being a whiny bum. hehe

A very cute whiny bum.

Very cute.

Brooklyn kept asking me to take pictures of her Jaguar. We have twenty pictures that I’m going to print out for her to put in a photo album. She’s super excited about it.

Ember slept almost the entire time.

She woke up at the end and nursed for twenty minutes while the other kids played in the children’s section.

The last thing they did is watch the sprinklers.

They got a little wet.

Oh yeah, the funniest part was when we first got the arboretum we saw a pretty tree with yellow leaves which were all falling to the ground and Brooklyn shouts out, “Hey it’s FALL at the arboretum!! Mom, we do get to see fall after all!”

We got home and I immediately changed into pajama pants and put my hair up and made* lunch while holding a very fussy Ember.
*And by made lunch I mean reheated leftovers. haha

Babywearing and Hiking! ♥♥

I found a video tutorial online for tying on my wrap (it’s a didymos woven wrap, by the way) and got motivated to try again.
And… I totally did it! It was super comfy and Ember loved it. YES!
And a few people commented that I was wearing it wrong but that’s just not true.
The criss cross part can go in the back (against baby’s body) but it doesn’t have to. Even with a moby wrap you can wear it with the criss cross parts on the outside. It’s perfectly fine.
But I actually do wear my moby wrap with the criss cross parts on the inside.

But with the didymos, I like the criss cross parts on the outside.
Check these links for pictures on how to carry with the criss cross parts on the outside:
The Wrap Cross Carry with a Didymos Wrap
The Kangaroo Hold with a Moby Wrap

Ember fell asleep after five minutes in the wrap.

While she slept I had time to get dressed for a hike we were going on. I’m having major problems in the clothing department right now. Only one pair of pants in my entire house fits me! The rest are too big or too small.
This is my smallest pair:

They’re a size 9 and the smallest I will ever fit into!

But it’s going to be another five pounds before I can buckle them and another ten pounds before they really fit!
I’ve been working out every day and eating so friggin’ healthy and am down to almost a size 10 right now. It’s hard work!

I read somewhere online (while googling for wrapping instructions for my wrap) that you could possibly use a tie on carrier with an infant. I thought that sounded interesting and brought mine out to try with Ember. I put her legs in frog position and tied it on and it worked really well. I don’t think I’ll wear her in it again just because she’s more comfy in a wrap but it did work alright.
Now this one I did do something wrong with. I didn’t slide the strap through the loop on the body of the carrier. I’ll remember next time.

Later in the day we decided to drive to the Superstitions and go on a family hike. We didn’t get there until just before sunset. Which was nice because it had cooled down and was so pretty and everything was tinted a gold color.

Allan was the photographer of this trip! All the pictures that he isn’t in, he took!

I’m pretty sure the trend for 2011 is baggy pants that bunch up around the crotch 😛
(Anyone know where to get cute pants for $10?? Is that possible??)

We took the Hieroglyphic trail.

The girls were always ahead of us because we had to wait for slow-poke Payson.

Payson did really well on the hike, but he was soooo slow. Usually not a big deal but since the sun was setting we wanted to get back before it got dark so Allan put Payson in the backpack.

This is the same place I took the picture of Allan last year in the sidebar above.

The girls did awesome with the hike. They would’ve kept going and going if we’d let them.

The sky started to turn a bright pink and cast a gorgeous glow on everything.

Looking back toward Mesa. The sunset was just starting to warm up.

We decided to head back to the car at this point. But first we stood watching the sunset for a while.

Brooklyn got excited about something Sierra was doing…

Sierra was pretending we were camping and she was warming her hands by the fire.

The sky was amazing. Arizona wins hands down for gorgeous sunsets of all the places I’ve ever lived!

When the sunset had burned off, we figured we’d better move quickly to get back to the car before dark.

We got home and did dinner and put Payson to bed. Then Allan held Ember while I did bedtime with the girls.

Goodnight kisses:

Hanging with dad 🙂

Humans Should Have Four Arms

So that they can still get things done while holding their young.

To free up my hands I keep practicing with my wrap. I do use the mobywrap sometimes but Ember seems to hate it.

Ember LOVES the Snugli front carrier I have. But I don’t. So I’m stubbornly going to keep working at this one!

When there is a day where Ember cries any time I put her down (today) then the Snugli comes out. She LOVES this thing! Weird baby… it doesn’t seem comfy to me.

I came out from putting away laundry to find Payson like this:
Today I cleaned out my junk cupboard and one of the things in there was a stack of pictures from when we lived in Texas. I sat down with Payson to look through them and ask him who was who.

He guessed Brooklyn right but he called Sierra “Payson” and called his cousin Ellie (she was a baby) “Ember.” Which he pronounces, “Embowww.”

I showed him a picture of my little sister, Jeena, and said, “Who’s that?” And he said, “Mommy!”
This was the picture he was looking at:

I finally got Ember to sleep out of my arms by using the swing. She actually doesn’t like the swing all that much but once in a while she’ll tolerate it.

I took a bazillion pictures of her after her nap.

I just can’t get enough of that cute face and those sweet little smiles.

She gets prettier every day.

She’s been starting to coo a teeny bit more. It’s so funny to watch her little mouth going and her try so hard to get those noises out.

I love taking pictures of her feet. I should take a picture of them every day and then I can have a slideshow of her adorable toosties as my desktop background.

Ember hates Payson’s old bouncy chair but loves this pink one… it is a lot softer.
She enjoyed looking at the toys while listening to the music it plays.

Then she got really sleepy.

It’d be nice to be able to lay down and take a nap with her.

I’m Thirsty!

I find myself with plenty of time to blog these days. I nurse Ember and edit and upload pictures and type one handed. Most of my pictures are uploaded at 4am… that’s Ember’s favorite time to get up and eat and stay up for a couple hours. 4am is party time in this house!

But when I’m blogging I get SO thirsty! And I can’t very well get up and get water whenever I want.

You know what my doctor told me I could start doing now??

I have about 15 pounds to lose. I started light with just a pilates DVD today. And then I took before pictures!

The kids were outside playing and Brooklyn, camera lover that she is, ran to join me.

The youngest and oldest with mommy!

I sure was glad the children joined me because I feel majorly stupid standing in front of a camera on a tripod and trying to look natural!

I’ve been missing Allan lately. Ember is pretty cranky from 6-9 which is when we used to get to be together the most. And at 9pm I’m sadly exhausted and tend to fall asleep, even if he is talking to me!

Yesterday Ember wasn’t happy with this one poop she needed to do so she nursed pretty strongly for a while. I’d say she even overate…

But she’s actually been more calm lately. She still wants to be held all day and night but she’s not too fussy as long as she’s in my arms. She used to fuss and cry a LOT even while being held.

She smiles a lot now. The early mornings when it’s just me and her are the best. She stares at me and smiles from ear to ear and attempts to coo. It’s the best part of the day!

I’m so glad that the protection we were using last January failed. I love this baby girl and can’t believe we weren’t trying for her! We just didn’t know what was missing 🙂

Payson. Payson, Payson. Oh boy what can I say besides he is a very typical two year old. Terrible twos, oh yeah.
Constantly getting into trouble, always whiny and crying and demanding. He’s letting me know he doesn’t like me spending all this time with the baby!

And the older girls are as silly as ever.

And now I need to go teach a certain 7 year old some addition stuffs. So…