Goodbye for a Season

Today was started after a sleepless night, before sunrise, with a fussy baby.

Today was leaving my room, baby on hip, and finding two little girls standing proudly in a clean living room. Today was hearing, “We just wanted to clean for you!”

Today was chocolate muffins and milk for breakfast.

Today was making it on time to the movie theater.

Today was laughing at my kids in WalMart as they joked around with each other.
Today was sticking to the shopping list for a change.
Today was smiling with the cashier as we talked about kids.

Today was coming home happy and so tired every step I took seemed like an event to be applauded.

Today was strawberry stained fingers and smiles while preparing our favorite lunch. (roasted chicken, a bit of salad, a bit of veggies, a couple strawberries, a half a peach)

Today was, “Mom look what I did, Mom look what I made, Mom looked what I colored, Mom look at my toy, Mom look at this, Mom did you hear that, Mom is this funny?”

Today was thinking of my husband as I cleaned the kitchen and planned dinner.

Today was very full and very good and over in the blink of an eye.
Today was lived.

And tomorrow will be the same. I will be present for it. I won’t miss it as I’m busy with the must-do tasks of motherhood. I will look up from peeling potatoes or scrubbing pots. I will put down the book or the phone buzzing with text messages and pull a child close for an unexpected hug. I will listen to what they are saying and respond with what will make them feel good about themselves and know that I care.
There will be so much more.

And in all of this there won’t be time for blogging.

Yes, I’m taking a break from blogging for a while. I’ll be back this fall.

I’ll leave this post with the pictures I took this week.
Photobucket
Photobucket

It’s been such a full week!
Ember learned to clap.
Photobucket

We made our weekly library trip.
Photobucket

The kids love storytime more every time we go. We kept a few books from last week, the desert ones, to enjoy for a bit longer. We read all of the new books a few times over within the first day 🙂
Photobucket

Ember helped me take the weekly book picture.
Photobucket

Did I say helped?
Photobucket

More clapping. She gets so happy and proud when we cheer with her over her new trick.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Quiet kids and a stack of books, one of my favorite moments.
Photobucket
Photobucket

Just waking up.
Photobucket

Allan’s car needed hubcaps.
Photobucket

So he got some off ebay.
Photobucket

It was a beautiful, and hot, evening.
Photobucket

The next morning there was even more reading.
Photobucket

And always lots of playing.
Photobucket

There have been attempted naps. I got an hour and Allan got four!
Photobucket

We’ve played angry birds.
Photobucket
Photobucket

We’ve shuddered over the taste of banana.
Photobucket

We kept mommy up literally all night. After letting mommy sleep for a whopping hour we looked so dang cute that we were forgiven.
Photobucket

We can’t help it if we’re sick and don’t feel well!
Photobucket

Why I am typing “we?”
Anyway, this girl is too freaking cute!
Photobucket

Brooklyn was sitting on one of those small child’s chairs when it suddenly broke. She asked me to take a picture of her resulting scratch. She had a couple other scraps on her leg and thigh!
Photobucket

I’ve been wanting an ipod for a very long time. To take music with me all through the house and out on jogs and in the car. It’s been a fun toy this week. lol
Photobucket

Music makes the mundane chores a little more pleasant.
Photobucket
Photobucket

Watching TV in your undies is the best way to watch TV.
Photobucket

Just ask Sierra.
Photobucket

Brooklyn and Ember were still asleep.
Photobucket

Getting to spend time with only two of my kids at a time is always such a treat.
Photobucket

This little girl turned 9 months old.
Photobucket
Photobucket

This boy had some cranky days because he’s been a super picky eater and is hungry all the time.
Photobucket

He cracks his mama up.
Photobucket

The littlest kids had a bath after baby sister got milk everywhere and big brother got a haircut.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Being 9 months old is a lot of work. You wouldn’t believe the amount of stuff in this house there is to take out and toss around!
Not to mention the mirros to bang on and reflection to giggle with!
Photobucket

Big brother tries to help…
Photobucket

But he leaves and so I’m left to bang this chair alone.
Photobucket

Have you seen my mommy’s makeup cart? It’s super fun!
Photobucket
Photobucket

If you bring diapers and wipes on errands and decide to leave them in the car since you just changed your baby and surely she won’t poop again until after the movie.

You’re wrong.

You should bring the diapers and wipes in with you otherwise you might find yourself taking your own shirt off to fashion into a temporary cloth diaper in the movie theater bathroom.
(Notice the purple poking out of the back of her bottoms? That’s my shirt. lol)
Photobucket

Well behaved children in public places make me very happy 🙂 lol
Photobucket

Gosh they’re cute!
Photobucket

Seriously? Aaah, so cute!
Photobucket

We went to WalMart and I wasn’t stressed out once! Miracle!
Photobucket

We actually had fun shopping for food. Unbelievable!
Photobucket
Photobucket

Ember fell asleep and looked so sweet I snapped a couple pictures.
Photobucket
Photobucket

And she stayed asleep when I moved her from the carrier to the carseat and I was happy because that meant I didn’t have to nurse her in the car before heading home!
Photobucket

Sierra was very specific about how she wanted her hair.
Photobucket
Photobucket

We got home and Payson played with his new Rainbow Dash.
Photobucket

He’s always left out while the girls play My Little Ponies so he was begging me for a Rainbow Dash (he thinks rainbow dash is a boy when they watch the TV show) and so I said of course he could have one.
The very first thing he did was pretend Rainbow Dash was a monster and chased the other ponies.
That’s my boy 🙂
Photobucket

Speaking of ponies… the kids played with them on the kitchen counter for a good hour.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

They wanted a picture of all their ponies lined up.
Photobucket

These two are Sierra’s. (she wants more for Christmas)
Photobucket

And all these are Brooklyn’s. (she bought them with her birthday money)
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Payson begs me to draw Lightning McQueen all the time. So I do.
Photobucket

Then he erases the tires and draws them back on in red. He hates when I use black for the tires! lol
Photobucket
Photobucket

His expression when I told him he could color on the whiteboard if he wanted to.
Photobucket

And those are all the pictures from this last week. Whew!

And with that, I’m out of here!
Have a great summer!
Photobucket

Movie Theater Chaos, Stinging Creature, Sweaty Errands

I had just finished the utter chaos of lunchtime in our house. The kids scampered off to play while I hurried about the kitchen putting leftovers away. But it turns out I wasn’t the only one hurrying about my kitchen.

As I carried a bag of carrots towards the fridge I found myself jumping back and uttering a squeaky scream almost before I even knew it was a scorpion I was seeing dashing across my path towards my fridge.

Without thinking I’d grabbed a water bottle off my counter and swiped the scorpion away from the fridge. My eyes darted across the nearby counters for something heavy to kill it with. Darn my earlier cleaning spree!! Why is my counter clean the one day I need it messy with helpful crap to use as objects of death?!

I have my empty water bottle poised in the air. Then I make my decision. “Brooklyn, watch this scorpion and tell me if it moves at all!” And I’m sprinting to the cupboard for a glass jar. Scorpions can’t climb glass and as much as I loathe scorpions my stomach is too weak to hear the sharp crunch of one being killed by something in my own hand. So trapping it must be!

I come back with the jar. The scorpion is on the floor, pressed into the corner of the cupboards. Two inches from my fridge, and its certain escape.
I use a butter knife, so so slowly moving towards the scorpion to try to move him to a more open place to plop the jar over him. My hands are shaking terribly. My heart is pounding in my throat!

And I almost wince as the knife touches his creepy body and… he dashes. Before I can react he’s under the fridge and I feel my entire body tensing and the full on phobic reaction quivering under the surface of my skin. Utter panic is threatening to explode in my body. My trembling hands pull my phone from my pocket and I dial Allan at work and I can barely think of what to say. I know he’ll be upset (for my sake) that I let it get under the fridge, I know a scorpion free in the house will stress him out (he knows my fear), and I know there is really nothing he can do to help besides hopefully calm my nerves.

He tells me exactly what I was planning to do… get the glue traps, surround the sides of the fridge with them after spraying a generous dose of raid (oh my gosh, another fear of mine, deadly nasty chemicals, but scorpions… they’re a much worse fear!) and hope and pray he dies or gets caught!

But I know, I know that even after having done that, and putting shoes on all my kids (and myself, of course) he will get away. I just hope, so hope, that he doesn’t go into my living room or family room or… I can barely type it.. my bedroom. Where my baby, my little helpless baby, sleeps. Ack, it’s terrible. It’s enough to make me want to move.
AND I’M NOT KIDDING!

Woah, sorry, my phobias tend to make me a little crazy! I have got to get over it. I’ll call pest control and ask them to come out again and yes I know pest control is a terrible, terrible thing… just terrible for our earth but you know what I think is worse?

Scorpions.

So while we live here, which I dearly hope isn’t for longer than a few more years, it has got to be done.

My whole body just did a giant shiver, like it’s purging that horrible experience after typing it out! haha

Picture below: My shoes, next to a glue trap and my fridge- aka concealer of evil.
Photobucket

The kids were wearing shoes, too. I couldn’t get Payson to keep any on. He doesn’t even own closed toe shoes that fit so he was in Sierra’s.
Photobucket

This morning we went to another summer movie. It was one Brooklyn’s wanted to see since it first came out. How to Train Your Dragon.
I’ve been at least 15 minutes early to each movie so far this summer. We’ve had lots of time to find great seats, get snacks, use the bathroom…
Well today I got up with Ember at 6:45am and just dawdled all morning. I even got online! Why?? I don’t know, just being stupid.
I even french braided the girls’ hair!
Point is, by my own fault, we were late. I hate being late because finding four seats together is pretty much impossible.
So I get to the movie theater at 9:45, the exact time the movie starts. I open the car door to unbuckle Payson and immediately notice he’s not wearing shoes.
Crap.
I grab the stroller from the back of the car and he climbs in.
Photobucket
Photobucket

And a few seconds later when I pull Ember out of her carseat I smell that she has a poopy diaper.
Great.
So we hurry inside and I pick the shortest line to get popcorn. Which, my luck, takes much much longer than the other nearby two lines!
Photobucket

So then we make our way to the bathroom to change Ember. She looks around in terror the entire time I’m changing her majorly full (hadn’t pooped in three days prior) diaper and cries and cries and cries.
Photobucket

We finally are on our way to our seats. Except like I mentioned before, if you’re late (or heck right on time) there are rarely more than two seats together. We found four seats together. Right in the very front row.
Yikes.
But the kids don’t mind 🙂
The kids are good during the movie. Ember refuses to sleep and wants to grab the pop and popcorn and my hair and basically everything and her very favorite is standing on my lap and squealing happily. Cute but not great movie theater behavior 😉 But she’s still just easy going enough to be distracted for the length of a movie.

I got ready to take the usual group picture before leaving.
Photobucket
Photobucket

We then did our weekly Costco trip. Nothing special there.
Photobucket

It was super cute how Payson shared his berry smoothie with Ember.
Photobucket

We got home and I opened the new pencil sharpener I bought without giving it much thought. Brooklyn came over and started asking me questions and when I put the pencil in and it got sharpened she was amazed! lol
She’s never seen a pencil sharpener (we use mechanical pencils) and found it so cool!
I let her and Sierra sharpen their new pencils.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

And they were so excited they went and wrote a bunch of notes and birthday party invitations. (Brooklyn’s obsessed with making to buy/to do lists for birthday parties and also invitations)
Photobucket

Then we had fun during lunch. I can’t remember what we were talking about. I remember they thought it was silly that I had a Cars bandaid on my finger. (I cut myself while washing a knife)
Photobucket
Photobucket

The girls started singing a song about frog hands while playing with their olives.
Photobucket

And Payson said he had cricket hands and made up a song about that.
Photobucket

And that’s about it!
Photobucket

Well, except for these two pictures of Ember nursing the other day.
Photobucket
Photobucket

Happy Father’s Day! (and other pictures)

I’m blessed to have such an amazing father for my children.
Photobucket
I didn’t do much for Allan this weekend. The kids colored him pictures and brought him home treats from their church classes. I took a picture of him with all four of them out in the desert yesterday. I wanted to make him a big breakfast but Sunday mornings are very much cereal days as we have to leave for church very early.

The main events today were a failed family water fight and a delicious success of a BBQ. Five minutes into playing out in the sprinkler Payson was screaming his head off about being cold and Ember was cranky as well. I ended up inside giving the little two a bath while Allan stayed out having water fun with the big girls. In our family this is very often the way things play out. Allan with the bigs and me with the littles.

Allan kept saying how fitting today was for Father’s Day. Him at the BBQ and leading the children in fun… not being pampered or waited on or spoiled, that is so not being a father. Working and finding the joy in it, that is being a father. Father’s Day was most definitely a father’s [work] day!

Swimming lessons ended this past Thursday. The four days a week thing was great while it lasted but we won’t be going in for more lessons. I know the big girls would love it and benefit from it but it was too difficult driving all that way every single weekday but one.

Since Thursday we’ve filled our time by reading and reading and reading some more. The children and I have been bitten by the need to read more than ever before. Which is kind of crazy because I thought we read a lot before, but no… this kind of reading a lot is the kind where my throat is so sore at the end of the day and my voice is all but gone. I’m quickly guzzling water in between books to try to keep up! But I love it.
Photobucket

Payson is very fully obsessed with everything Cars. I am all for kids having obsessions. I think it’s adorable and makes them feel so special. I really love it. I don’t care what their obsession is, I go along with it very happily.
Photobucket

Back to reading, a few of you mentioned a book or two out of the last library trip we had that you and/or your children love. I love several of them, too, so very much and the rest were so highly recommended at one point or another to me. And after having read them all I can see why. We have some major new favorites. I’m thinking some will have to be purchased for Christmas to be in our home permanently ♥
(The Carrot Seed, Five Minutes’ Peace, The Desert Alphabet Book, Way Out in the Desert, Owl Moon, The Kissing Hand, and The Big Hungry Bear to be specific!)
Photobucket

I came out of my bedroom after putting Ember to bed for a morning nap and found Brooklyn reading The Kissing Hand to Sierra. When I walked in Brooklyn looked up with happy eyes from the page and told me, “This is just like what daddy does for us!”
Photobucket

Speaking of books, I’ve been reading one called Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt and loving every single word. It’s written as a guide for parents to find great books which is awesome enough but there is so much in the first chapter that describes exactly how I feel about books. I filled an entire front and back notebook page in small writing with notes I took that I loved and wanted to remember and share here. I realized really, I should better just say check that book out if your library has it! It is amaaaazing! And if you don’t check it out maybe just google it and look at the beautiful image on the front of a mother and daughter reading together outside. Oh man, it’s gorgeous!
Photobucket

Oh, hey, a random picture of my kids’ sippies in the dishwasher!
Photobucket

The desert weather has been creeping up degree by degree this month. It has hit 105 and won’t stop there.
Photobucket

The sprinkler got a lot of attention this week.
Photobucket

Ember is starting to be able to join her siblings in more activities. And I marvel and yet mourn her babyness slowly slipping away. It’ll be only a few short months until my baby girl is a toddler.
Photobucket

It’s super sunny here (thank you, Captain Obvious) so there are all kinds of weird looking structures setup in the backyard for shade for the little two and their sensitive skin 🙂
Photobucket
Photobucket

Anything remotely resembling a fort attracts big sisters.
Photobucket
Photobucket

After 30 minutes, despite my efforts at providing shade, Ember is ready for the comfort and cool of the house. She and I lounge on the floor together while the siblings remain in the backyard, squealing and shouting doesn’t stop until everyone is indoors again.
Photobucket
Photobucket

She explores for a while…
Photobucket

Until she realizes her personal chef is right here in front of her!
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

She loves using my body as a jungle gym. She crawls all over me, she burrows her head into my stomach or shoulder, she lays over my legs and plays with toys on the floor. I never dreamed being equivalent to a piece of playground equipment could be so blissful.
Photobucket
Photobucket

Meanwhile the big kids are having snacktime.
Photobucket
Photobucket

And still enjoying little sister’s fort.
Photobucket

When they come in an hour or so later their cheeks are red from heat.
Photobucket
Photobucket

Changing gears… Ember isn’t exactly fussy but isn’t exactly easy going either. She plays happily sometimes and other times she wants to be held most of the day. This week it was mostly wanting to be held and there was so much to be done. And once again I felt extreme gratitude for whoever it was that introduced me to babywearing. I have no idea where I very first heard about it but it has completely changed my life as a mother to a baby and I will never have a baby without a long piece of fabric to assist me again! haha
Photobucket

And sorry but another extreme shift in this post… we went to Famous Footwear yesterday with a $10 off coupon to get me some running shoes! I’m really excited to start running every morning.
Photobucket

When I took pictures of Allan with the kids yesterday he suggested we take a quick family picture. Which I was happy to do!
Photobucket

I love my husband!
Photobucket

Before heading inside I snapped this of Brooklyn. I love her expression and I love Sierra in the background.
Photobucket

And I fear this is getting boring so I will end with this picture from today. Allan and the three big kids (Ember was in my arms) heading into church. I’m more blessed than I deserve.
Photobucket

The Season of Short-Captioned Posts

Running around with, reading to, cooking for, cleaning up after, bathing, teaching and loving on these four leaves little time for thoughtful blogging.
Photobucket

Yesterday Payson got to wear his pajamas while swimming. They want the kids to have some practice in the water in their clothes.
Photobucket

Before heading home Ember was in a good mood.
Photobucket

So was Payson.
Photobucket

So was Brooklyn.
Photobucket

Ember still walks on her toes a lot.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Woah, a picture of Allan! He rarely shows up on my blog anymore, huh?
Photobucket

At 8 months old, Ember finally got a crib.
Photobucket

We still cosleep all night every night. I’ve only managed to put her in there, after being breastfed to sleep, once successfully but hopefully it happens more and more. I’d like to sleep by myself again.
Photobucket

One morning Payson and I were the only ones awake. We played with his new car.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Ember playing with her bear in her pajamas on her changing pad.
Photobucket

Woah. Messy. I can hardly believe this was from one day.
Photobucket

I feel so much better when things are clean.
Photobucket
Photobucket

These little two cuties were having fun together while I tidied the kitchen. I couldn’t resist joining them.
Photobucket
Photobucket

The kids looked so cute in their new pajamas the other day.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

The kids asked me to draw babies and animals on some of Payson’s birthday balloons so they could play with them. Then they had fun trying to keep the balloons from hitting the floor. I heard lots of:
“Oh no! My babies! But what about my pets? But what about my pets? Don’t let the babies fall! Babies, stay calm! Oh no, my pets!!”
Photobucket

Payson mostly just held onto his balloon so that his sisters couldn’t steal it.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

We had yet another swimming lesson. Payson didn’t want to be in the picture. He wanted to take the picture.
Photobucket

So I let him.
Photobucket

Ember slept in the stroller that day which was awesome because she’d been unhappy in the stroller earlier that day. I ended up holding her through Sierra and Brooklyn’s dance/gymnastics classes and my back was breaking!
Photobucket

Today we went to the library for storytime. All four of my kids loved it. Ember was bouncing and waving her arms during the songs so much. It was so cute!
And afterwards the big girls played on the computers while Payson played in the little kids’ section and Ember crawled at my feet. I didn’t want her to crawl on that yucky floor but she was so cranky I didn’t really have a choice! She spotted this little statue and immediately crawled over there. She spent a good ten minutes just hanging out staring and touching it.
Photobucket

Payson saw that I was taking pictures and thought something extra fun must be going on, so he joined her.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Yeah, Payson probably wanted extra attention so he pulled out the big guns… biting.
Photobucket
Photobucket

We got some new books.
Photobucket

Brooklyn’s willingness to read chapter books quickly diminished after receiving her first prize at the library today.
Photobucket
And now we’re off to our very last swimming lesson! It’ll be nice to not have to go somewhere four nights a week!

Let me explain. No, there is too much.

Let me sum up.

Instead of waiting until I have time to sit down and write something coherent I’m just going to post the pictures I’ve taken this week with some quick captions!

Ice cream and popsicles.
Photobucket

The three big kids pretending to get stuck under the couch. Sierra actually convinced herself she was at risk of death and started screaming hysterically.
Photobucket

Payson’s birthday was a very typical birthday… cake, ice cream (gluten and dairy free) and presents.
Photobucket

A short, unsuccessful photo shoot.
Photobucket

I might try to take pictures of him some other time. I might not.
Photobucket

He was SO excited about cake and ice cream!
Photobucket

And SO adorable blowing out his candles!
Photobucket

I couldn’t possibly love a child more than this one!
Photobucket
Photobucket

There has been a LOT of arts and crafts around here. Too much if you ask me. So we’re taking this week off of crafts. lol
Photobucket

My kids like to be with me all day.
Photobucket

You’d think seeing me 24/7 they’d get sick of my mug, but nope!
Photobucket

Movies. LOVE THEM.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Summer yummies.
Photobucket
Photobucket

She is everywhere. She is into everything. It’s not that fun for me! haha!
Photobucket

But I think she’s just the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!
Photobucket

Hurry Kills Love

The title of this post was a phrase I heard online a year or two ago. I don’t remember where but it really stuck with me. It has been a summer activity motto of mine this year.

I give me and the kids lots of time to get ready for all the activities we’re doing. I prepare as well as I can and make sure to leave early for things. Going to multiple activities with lots of kids goes smoothly that way and the fun stuff I’ve signed them up for this summer doesn’t turn into a stressful thing for me. I haven’t felt stressed to get somewhere on time, I haven’t been snippy or impatient with the kids, and we’ve been able to get a lot of joy from the classes so far. I’m so happy with this busy time. It’s the right thing for right now.

That said, every day, despite being fun for us, is much the same as far as pictures go and therefore as far as my blog goes. I don’t have time to take pictures in the “between” parts of the day. Homeschooling is squeezed in and grabbing the camera from my diaper bag doesn’t happen. I wish it did because we’re doing so many fun things, but it just doesn’t!

With that said, here are the pictures!

Swimming classes are Monday through Thursday. All three kids are having a blast. I don’t know that any of them will be great swimmers by the end of summer but they’re having fun.
Photobucket
Photobucket

I’m glad Ember enjoys watching everything going on from the stroller. She does get cranky sometimes and I have to hold her. My back hurts a lot lately from that but mostly she’s content to sit and watch and chew on the buckle straps or gnaw on her thumb.
Photobucket
Photobucket

Sierra started her dance class. Unlike Brooklyn’s tumbling class, parents can watch the dance class and I’m SO glad because Sierra’s the cutest thing ever in there shaking her booty.
Photobucket

Ember sat in her stroller the entire 45 minutes Sierra was in class. I did have toys for her and Brooklyn took her on a walk all around the area so that was fun.
Photobucket

Sierra’s class ended and Brooklyn’s class started. We went in the bathroom to wash the middle kids’ hands because they’d been crawling on the floor. They spotted the lockers and had some fun.
Photobucket
Photobucket
After that I took the three kids behind the building, by the desert, to sit at some tables back there and nurse Ember. She was really hungry at that point and nursing her with people around is really uncomfortable for me now. She absolutely refuses to nurse with a cover on. I wear layers so that without a cover I’m still covered by a tank top and my shirt on top but she likes to pull off randomly to look around and so I keep my hand on my chest the entire time and every time she shifts the tiniest bit I cover my boob with my hand. It sucks. lol

I took a group picture after all the classes ended.
Photobucket

Wednesdays are our craziest day so we had McDonald’s for dinner.
Photobucket

We had to go straight from gymnastics and dance to the pool so we changed there. My girls were so funny about not wanting to change in the locker room. Brooklyn asked me if she could change in the car instead. Modest little girls! lol
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Allan met us there and took Payson to his lesson. I was glad because then I could breastfeed Ember if I needed to.
Photobucket

Watching Allan and Payson in the pool is my favorite thing about summer so far. I smiled so much my jaw hurt!
Photobucket
Photobucket

I guess the pool needed to be cleaned or something because water lessons for the girls were cancelled that day and they did a relay race about water safety instead.
(Payson’s lessons are in a different pool)
Photobucket

The girls drove home with daddy.
Photobucket

Ember wakes up early. She usually is ready to get up between 6 and 7am. I get up with her and either edit pictures, blog, or prepare for the kids’ homeschool lessons that day. Lately it’s been preparing for homeschool lessons because I have no time during the day or evenings to do it!
While I get stuff clean and ready Ember makes a mess.
Photobucket

She loves sitting by me as I read the teacher’s manuals for the day. She loves to pull the book out of my lap and try to rip the pages out. And most of all she loves to practice standing.
Photobucket

And she really, really, really loves cameras!
Photobucket
Photobucket

I think this was yesterday that I took these pictures of her and me. I vaccuumed and as usual she sat on the floor watching with wide eyes and a huge smile. She LOVES the vaccuum! She does her little dance moves to the sound of it and squeals with delight.
Photobucket
Photobucket

The older three kids sit at this bench while they work on crafts or worksheets or whatever and that really grabs Ember’s attention. She constantly crawls over there and pulls up to stand with it. Problem is she almost always bumps her head as well.
Photobucket
Photobucket

I finally figured out how to do a rucksack carry with Ember in the woven wrap. Not a day too soon either because I’m desperate to have my hands free, she’s desperate to be held and my back hurts wearing her on my front!
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Yesterday afternoon we went to our library for an art project. We got there early (I’m so proud of myself! lol) and it was a good thing because there was a diaper change needed upon arrival!
Photobucket

Payson chose to decorate a crown.
Photobucket

He had a blast. He wore his crown most of the rest of the day, too.
Photobucket
Photobucket

Both girls wanted to make visors.
Photobucket

Ember happily chewed on the stroller buckle.
Photobucket
After that the girls played computer games while I played in the little kids (5 and under) section with Payson and Ember. Ember was sick of the stroller at that point so I held her the rest of the time. Over an hour without a wrap, my arm was going numb!

She also wanted to eat, but nursing her when it was super crowded really bothered me so I made her wait an extra half hour until at least half the other people had left, then I sat in the back of the play area and attempted to keep a cover on while feeding her. She violently pulled it off while biting down on my boob. lol- I learned my lesson! You couldn’t even see a sliver of skin on me anyway, I just feel embarrassed lately!

So here are the kids outside the library with their visors/crown and looking cute 🙂
Photobucket

This was taken just before that one above.
Photobucket

Payson was happy to see his elephant again. I made him leave elephant in the car because I knew he’d be busy with the craft.
Photobucket

We got home and I made an early dinner since we had swimming lessons coming up.
Photobucket

The kids and I had a good time during dinner for some reason. We were all really happy and goofing off. Even Ember sat there giggling and smiling the whole time.
Photobucket

And then Brooklyn got a book to read to everyone. She was extra excited about reading because we started the summer reading program and she saw the prizes they could get- little rubber ducks.
Photobucket

This was all the stuff they got for the summer reading program. They’re still buzzing with excitement over it. Brooklyn read three 50+ page books in the last two days! Every chance she gets she goes in her room to read. I’m thinking I need to use a reward system for reading during the year!
Photobucket

We went, yet again, to swimming lessons. Payson didn’t swim because Allan wasn’t there. He was at the airport welcoming home his brother, John, who just returned from a two year mission! And also, Payson had diarrhea that day 🙁
Photobucket

After swimming lessons we stopped by WalMart so I could look at prepaid phones. I really need a phone for texting; I can no longer live without it! It was 90% of the way I stayed in touch with my family and I miss it.
The girls were excited because they got lunchables. We very rarely get them so it was a big treat.
Photobucket

We all ate dinner and then all three kids got a dose of Payson’s daily health regimen. He gets:
Liquid Vitamin (more for making the other stuff taste better than for health benefit!)
Cod Liver Oil (I’m surprised he drinks this stuff because it smells naaasty!)
and
Probiotics (he gets a double dose, occasionally a quadruple dose, of this baby stuff; it is the only kind of probiotic I’ve found that isn’t derived from dairy!)
Photobucket

And I went ahead and snapped pictures of the books we got. We’re going back to the library soon so they’re smaller stacks this time. I also didn’t check out books from a list, these were just ones that caught my eye as I walked down the aisles holding Ember 🙂
Photobucket

Mine are all parenting books since those were the only thing to look at in the children’s section. I have some books I really want to check out next time for me. I just returned Anna Karenina after reading half of it because I hated it so much. Great writing, don’t get me wrong, but just not interesting to me in the slightest. I don’t like reading about affairs at all.
Photobucket

Totally Crazy

If I’m not driving to one place or another for lessons and classes I’m home cooking, cleaning, taking care of kids and teaching lessons. It’s a bit nuts right now. No, it’s a lot nuts right now! But it’s all good. I’m exhausted from late nights (Dear Ember, Please sleep. Love, Mom) but having fun and marveling at what a tight ship I’m running these days! lol
Photobucket
Gotta run!

PS- Payson was making that face to be funny. Love that kid!

Summer Activities in Full Swing

The days are full. We’re all really loving it so far! Last summer I was pregnant with Ember and really miserable. Everywhere we went was a huge ordeal for me. Payson was still in his crazy cranky phase and I was uncomfortable and super hot. It was really unpleasant.

This year I feel fantastic and all four of my kids are fairly easy going! It’s incredible!!

The three big kids have swimming lessons. They were SO excited for their classes to start yesterday.
Photobucket

Allan comes with me to watch Ember since I have to be in the pool with Payson.
Photobucket
Photobucket

It was fun having one on one time in the pool with Payson. He’s so funny!
Photobucket

Another week, another movie! Payson spilled a lot of rootbeer on himself in the theater. He started crying and begging me to take his shirt off. So I did. His shirt was sopping wet!
Photobucket

The theater is really close to Costco so we stopped for some chicken and salad. I didn’t know if Costco employees would be upset by Payson’s bare chest (no shirt no shoes no service?) so I put my nursing cover on him!
It was a super quick trip so looking weird didn’t bother me much. haha
Photobucket

Ember got lots of attention today. She returned all the sweet talk and smiles with this expression:
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
And that’s it for now. We’re off to swim lessons again!

Willow Springs Lake Trip!

Photobucket

This weekend we took a drive a couple hours north to Willow Springs Lake. It was nice to see trees and feel cool mountain air.
Photobucket
Photobucket

Allan brought a couple fishing poles.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

And had a little bit of luck. There were four baby bass caught (and released) during our few hours there.
Photobucket

I spent my time holding Ember, watching Payson and taking pictures.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Payson is in that nonstop talking phase. He has something to say about everything. Whatever experience he’s having or thought that passes through his mind is shared out loud. I understand about half of what he’s telling me.
Photobucket
Photobucket

The weather was perfect. Low 80s when we arrived.
Photobucket
Photobucket

I dropped our point and shoot in the lake. I was really sad because this is the only camera we use for videos. I’m letting it dry for a full 24 hours before I attempt to turn it back on. Hopefully it works. If not, I really don’t want to acknowledge that I’ll have to spend money on a new one.
Photobucket

Payson threw lots and lots and lots of rocks/sticks in the water.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Allan spent the entire trip with the older girls. They got really good at casting.
Photobucket
Photobucket

He had a good time 🙂
Photobucket

I love this lake. The first time Allan took me here was 8 years ago when I was pregnant with Brooklyn.
Photobucket

Allan, the older girls and Payson are those colorful specks you see in this picture 😉
Photobucket

I wore Ember in this carrier the whole time. Which I regretted because it killed my back.
Photobucket
Photobucket

Having more fun throwing stuff into the lake.
Photobucket
Photobucket

And having fun making silly faces with mommy.
Photobucket
Photobucket

Smile through the back pain. lol
Photobucket

I love this picture of Allan. I think I’ll print it for my desk.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Ember got hungry and sleepy and I was so extremely happy to sit in the camping chair and nurse her to sleep. This was actually my favorite part of the trip! Watching my family around me having fun while I got to rest with a warm baby on my lap!
Photobucket

He never went far from mommy. Even at the lake he is totally mama’s boy.
Photobucket
Photobucket

Allan and the girls didn’t stop fishing until the very very end.
Photobucket

I let Sierra take some pictures as it got dark.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
We left the lake at 8:30, got home at 10:30 and started dinner. And we were eventually in bed… pretty late. We are very sleepy today. lol