The Stuff We Do

So Target’s dollar spot is one of the worst inventions ever for me because I have no self control when it comes to omgosh only a dollar items!
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And worst yet they had a bunch of little musical instruments! I am huge into play musical instruments so I bought like ten :S
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I’ve been working with Payson on cutting; that hasn’t been fun.
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Sierra wanted to try too.
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And even Brooklyn joined in. She was the only one who could do the folding activities and she loved it.
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I bought a boxed set of Karen Katz books for Ember. She needed some more books.
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I took fifty pictures of her because she is too cute not to.
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I love when she stops playing to come over and sit with me. She’ll stop playing to give out hugs and kisses sometimes, too.
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Sierra spends time reading to Payson now. In these pictures she got his little Brain Quest flip book of 300 questions for preschoolers. It’s ages 4-5, we had one when Brooklyn was little, and Payson got all but one of the questions right and had a blast doing them.
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She was being so dang sweet. I love it when my kids are nice to each other!
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I’ve been growing out Sierra’s bangs because bangs are a pain in the butt and they’re at that horrible length of hanging right in her eyes. Most days I clip them up or put them in a little ponytail but this day I hadn’t yet so she took matters into her own hands.
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I’m so glad I took a picture of it because it’s goofy but totally cute.
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We’ve gone to the library many times and read many books but taking pictures of all that wasn’t something I felt like doing after doing it so much last summer. But looking back through their albums I love seeing what we were reading and seeing my kids at the library so I brought my camera during this trip.
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All four of my kids love the library so much. I love the library so much. Free… quiet… books… it’s the best place.
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There was this little girl there, she must’ve been 5, who caught sight of Ember and wouldn’t leave her side after that. It was really cute and the little girl was darling and sweet but once she picked Ember up to cuddle with Ember decided that little girl was Satan. Ember hates to be held by anyone but mommy and daddy. Even her own siblings, she loves them to pieces but the second they pick her up she is furious and wants nothing to do with them for a while. lol
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These pictures were taken during the five minutes before the little girl picked Ember up. Ember thought the little girl was intriguing and had a lot of fun playing with her and Payson.
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The little girl’s older brother was putting on a puppet show and when Ember noticed she about jumped out of her skin with delight.
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Payson is such a social butterfly. He loves playing with kids and making friends. He talks about going to preschool all the time now. Because I told him once he was potty trained he can start preschool! He goes to Sunbeams (3-4 year olds class) at church now and loves it!! If he ever goes to public school I have no doubt that he’ll excel in academics and socializing. He is the perfectly well rounded child I wish I was when I was little 🙂
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The girls spent the whole time we were there on the computers. Happily they did talk to other kids and play with other kids most of the time so it wasn’t a total screen suck waste of a trip. I let Payson join them at the very end.
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Doesn’t Sierra look almost sweet here? The real story below, haha.
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Sierra’s been a moody little thing the last few months. It must be the age because my sweet, go with the flow child has turned into a sassy, rude little brat! haha
I’ve been working a lot with her on correcting her snotty, disrespectful behavior and it does help. She is mostly rude to Payson and she loves loves loves to correct me. On things that I’m right about.
Like if I’m giving her oatmeal for breakfast and say, “Here’s your oatmeal Sierra!” She’ll snottily snip back, “It’s not oatmeal, it’s maple and brown sugar.”

Um… how about instead you eat some go to your room for the next hour?? haha
Just kidding about the room thing… but it does annoy me when she says completely rude stuff like that. Which is often. I mean often, like every hour.
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Ember had spent so much time playing that the stroller was the last place on earth she wanted to be when her siblings were still having fun.
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The last thing we did was let Brooklyn pick out a bunch of books. She’s really into magic treehouse, goosebumps, and scooby doo right now. Anything spooky mostly. I feel like books are definitely one of the best things that bonds us. We both adore reading and she loves to be read to still and we love the same types of books. I’m so proud of her and her reading skills. Basically I love my Brooklyn and I love that she loves books. haha
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Sierra Michelle Turns 6!

Yes she did, she went and got another year older. Despite my pleas to the universe to give me my baby Seece back. It’s just not going to happen and this little girl is growing, growing, growing!

Sadly, surprisingly, last year I didn’t take a picture of her by the column!! What?! Why?! I just plum old forgot!!
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But this side by side kills me. Seriously kills me. How did this happen? So much went on in these last three years and yet she is honest to goodness still that little three year old in my mind.
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I like certain things about my kids growing up… mostly that’s it’s slightly less work, but seeing these big girls in place of my little girls is really sad 🙁
Thank goodness there are so many great things about having kids who I can have real conversations with and do things other than play with baby toys with. It’s a good new relationship… though I would still in a heartbeat go back to January 2006 and do the last 6 years all over again.
And probably much better 😛
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I’m usually really good about making a big deal about Sierra’s birthday though it’s so close to Christmas. But this year it was a struggle! I was really not in the mood to do more partying and buy more presents after such a big huge December! We did a million crafts and games and bonding things in December and they got SO many toys on Christmas day… it was way too much and so the week of preparing for her birthday was almost torture! But I managed to pull everything together in a way that made her happy. She said it was her best birthday ever which surprised me with how little I actually did, so that made me happy!
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Sierra’s always been my daughter obsessed with dress up and makeup and jewelry so I got her a ton of dress up clothes and jewelry (she had a ton of makeup from Christmas) but I still worried that with only one toy she’d feel sad about her presents.

Nope! She was over the moon happy about all her dress up stuff! She’s put on a dress up dress every day and loves to wear all of her accessories with them.
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Allan’s parents came over to celebrate and they were reading to the kids and Allan was playing with Ember so I dropped the knife I was cutting onions with and hurried over to get my camera and capture the cute moment.
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So these are the very last pictures I took this week. Yesterday Sierra wanted to dress up again, of course, and was super picky about her hairdo. She told me exactly what ponytails to do and where and also which hair clips to use. She cracks me up.
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Oh and yes, she wore that birthday girl badge for about 5 days in a row! haha
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Mommy’s Bed

Sometimes when we get randomly bored my room is the reprieve we need. A new room almost never visited by the kids, an exciting place.
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Sleeping children…
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well, silly children at least 🙂
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Little girls with new dress up clothes and makeup.
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Which seems to make everything more fun to a certain little girl.
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Discovering the giant plastic storage box of Christmas stuff didn’t have its lid securely on and within that giant plastic storage box was a super yummy treat waiting…
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Naughty baby. With crazy hair.
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Later cleaned up and with hair did.
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And that awfully gaudy mommy necklace (nursing necklace) they accidentally sent, which is now a fun toy…
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and big brother nearby.
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Fun, fun times in mommy’s bed, that’s for sure.
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Rash. Allergies. Suck.

So we started giving Payson a little dairy because every 6 months or so we’re supposed to try a small amount to see if he’s outgrown his allergies. We tried gluten a few months back with horrible results! Definitely allergic to that and probably always will be 🙁
So anyway he didn’t have a reaction 3 days later (with gluten he has horribly diarrhea three days later) and then 4 days, 5 days, 6 days, 7 days!! But, what he was getting was…
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A rash! Just like when he was a baby. It turned into really bad eczema all over his thighs and butt so… dairy is still out. Which is such a bummer I can’t even talk about it. That glorious week of only avoiding gluten was… heaven! But… tearfully we’re back to his strict diet 🙁
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Slathered in hydrocortisone cream.
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Can it Be? Pee in the Potty?

Last week Payson told me he needed to pee in the potty. He’s done that several times over the last 5 months, since I first tried potty training him, and it’s usually just because he wants candy!
So I let him pee in the potty and didn’t think much of it. I’ve been absolutely petrified of potty training him with his allergies and diarrhea… I would tell Allan often I don’t know how he’ll ever be potty trained so young with such explosive, at times, diarrhea!
So anyway the next time he had to go he wanted to go in the potty too. I figured it was for candy again. Long story SHORT, after a few times of that I decided he is 3 years 7 months old, maybe I just need to DO this once and for all. And into undies he went.
And the next day he had three accidents, including a poop, but ever since then… not ONE accident and we even went to church, on lots of errands and he even woke up DRY this morning! Wow. My boy is actually potty trained! And it was EASY PEASY. Waiting until the kid’s ready really does work!
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Recreation

With the nice weather this winter we’ve been spending more time outside. I love spending time outside with the kids. Their intense volume doesn’t seem quite as jarring in the great outdoors. Or the great backyard as the case may be
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Ember rode this little toddler bike the other day for the first time. It was adorable watching her short little legs walking along the patio, and her grinning from ear to ear as she watched Sierra and Payson doing the same thing on their little trikes.
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Perhaps I have posted too many pictures from this day.
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But this face:
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And this one:
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I can’t help it if I like them all!
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After playing on bikes we played ball.
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Uh oh. Time to go in!
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Randoms

It’s nice to cram all these random shots into one post together. The oddball pictures that couldn’t possibly take up an entire post of their own!

The other day I came out of my room after having done my makeup. Payson caught sight of my lipstick and gasped and said, “Mom! Mom you have… Mom! Kiss me!!”
So I kissed him and when there was a little red mark on his lips he thought it was funny.
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Brooklyn asked for an Ipod for Christmas (um, no) so I’ve let her play mine a little bit of every day for Christmas break.
Her current favorite is Plants vs. Zombies. She’s really into zombies lately. All my kids are.
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Her first day back to school after Christmas break. Getting up early was torture. I miss break and leisurely mornings!!
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Payson had a funny dot on his nose from chocolate rice milk so I snapped this.
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And then this, just because.
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Ember fell asleep in the car one day and stayed asleep when I got her out. It’s been a while since I had a sound asleep baby on my shoulder and boy have I missed it! There is just nothing like it in the world ♥
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Brooklyn’s school pictures came! I love them! haha, so classic.
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Last random shot… Allan and I were watching Dual Survival and Ember climbed up on the ottoman to watch it too.
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Toe Walking Update!

We found a company that makes braces for toe walking pretty cheap. I decided we’re going to try them out and add in more physical therapy exercises for Sierra before taking her into the doctor for AFO (expensive, customized) braces in three months. If we see a lot of progress from the braces we bought (from the very town in Washington we considered moving to, ironically) then we won’t go through with the doctor’s plan after all and will stick with the cheap, easy ones.

So we measured her feet the other day so we could order them.
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And I took a video of her walking and jumping and turning and trying to touch her toes so that in a few months we can hopefully see a big difference in comparison. That video is boring but I did snap two pictures then as well.
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Here’s to 2012 being the year Sierra walked normally and stopped the pressure on her toes and deforming her feet!!

New Year’s Celebration

We didn’t do much of anything for the kids for New Year’s. They’re too little. I did buy party hats and noise makers from the dollar store and that’s it!
And, we actually celebrated with them on January 1st! Don’t tell them! haha. And it was like 7 at night! Didn’t matter to them, they just liked celebrating!
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These first two pictures were just ones I snapped because I’ve been trying to take several group shots, with all four, every week. I LOVE seeing pictures of me with my siblings from when I was a kid and I have so few… so anyway, that’s the reason behind these.
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They put their hats on and got their noise makers and I sat Ember down and was about to give her her noise maker, knowing that’d keep her interest and therefore keep her sitting by her siblings, but before I could hand it to her she started to stand up to run off. I sat her back down and the other three kids started blowing their noise makers and it all freaked her out!
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But then, like I knew it would, getting that noise maker in her hand delighted her!
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The other three were blowing those things so loud! I’m not one who gets annoyed by noisy toys, I buy loud/annoying toys for my kids all the time and don’t limit their play (my life is so crazy I totally block it out), but THOSE things were LOUD! And they were just sitting there blowing them as hard as they could!
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Because I put celebrating holidays before my own comfort I just endured the noise but I was worried Allan was going to get a headache because he is one of those parents who hates noise making toys/devices for kids so I asked him if he was about to go crazy but he surprised me by saying that no, let them celebrate and make all that noise and after a while it’d be over, that’s what New Year’s is.
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Ok, how cute is she? She was blowing right along with her siblings. Because she couldn’t blow hard enough she ended up making a noise into hers instead. It was the CUTEST thing.
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So. Ahem. Because I tend to be crude (wha? Me??!) when I thought the kids were busy blowing their noise makers and being silly with each other I grabbed a couple of the extra party hats and walked over to Allan in the kitchen and put them over my breasts, a la Madonna, and whispered something dirty about it, jokingly. Well, the kids saw me from across the room and thought it was just about the best thing they’d ever seen and had to immediately try it out.
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Happy New Year’s indeed. (PS, the night before Allan and I really did celebrate New Year’s together. We hung out and had sparkling cider and kissed and all that yayhoo)
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2012 New Beginnings

I took these pictures at the beginning of the week.
Life’s been really good lately. I have moments when I’m stressed or confused or down but I think I blow them up too much. Or I just let them fester and be more than they really are. Life isn’t falling apart or terrible just because I have moody days or overwhelmed moments.
And that’s why my main goal/resolution for 2012 is to let go. To say OH WELL when things get rough; when things are left undone, when things don’t go as planned.
OH WELL.
Move on… be happy for the next moment. Let go of ideals and plans of perfection. Accept that I’m human and have only so much energy and time and that’s perfectly ok.
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2012: The year I stop caring so much and just be happy.
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So I added all the rest of the pictures I took the last three weeks to this blog. There are about ten new posts below this one. Sheesh.