Just

The little kids have the flu AND pink eye. The most severe cases of both of those things I’ve seen!
Brooklyn is starting to get pink eye, too. Both eyes! Ugh. And I’m still JUST as sick as when I first came down with it. I feel like total crap.

Payson has everything worse than everyone else. I’ve never seen my son so sick! He has no appetite, no interest in most things, either lays on the futon barely moving or is at my side whining and crying about everything.

To cheer Payson up I had him help me bake. He liked it though he mostly still just felt like crap. He even looked glum eating his treats afterwards. The boy is REALLY sick.
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This was his attempt at a smile! He is seriously sick 🙁
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Yesterday Sierra needed markers to do one of her homework pages. Brooklyn helped herself to them as well to color. These markers have been locked away for ages because EVERY time I let them use them one of the kids colors on the floors or walls. But Payson was in bed and the girls were at the table so I figured it was safe.
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Seriously?! One of them knocked an OPEN marker off the table! I was PISSED. There were open markers ALL over the table, who DOES that?!
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I set Ember in her highchair to color some more. She LOVED it! She filled an entire sheet of paper!
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She’d drop the marker occasionally to eat a cracker or something and pick it up upside down and start to color and then promptly turn it around the right way. When did she get so dang big? 🙁
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Sick Baby Ember

It was no surprise to me when Ember’s eyes started looking awfully watery that first day. Despite numerous requests by me not to touch anything, Sierra had spent the entire week touching everything and everyone.

Payson’s eyes appeared to be watery the same day Ember’s first looked that way. So both my little kids have pink eye… that’s just great.
By the end of that day they were both pink, goopy messes.
That night was pretty horrible. They both woke up a bunch and cried and were pretty uncomfortable. Their eyes sealed shut, running high fevers, the works! It was miserable.
As has been every night since! It’s the same ordeal every (day and) night. Crying, fevers, goopy eyes, thick- crusty- boogery sealed eyes, etc, etc.

I have snapped some pictures here and there of it. I didn’t think I’d take a single picture because they’ve both been so dang miserable that it felt utterly cruel to take their pictures. But on these particular mornings I snapped some.
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I think this was the very first morning that it was totally official she had pink eye. I knew it the day before but the day before it was mostly watery eyes with a little bit of discharge. This morning her eye was pink and swollen. She hadn’t been crying, those tears and the watery eyes were just from pink eye.
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She has been really cranky. There isn’t really anything that makes her happy these days. Sometimes I get a smile out of her while playing with toys, sometimes bubbles get her to perk up, sometimes she really just wants to nurse for a while but mostly, mostly she wants to whine and cry and ferociously rub her eyes.
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Every morning Ember wakes up with completely sealed eyes. It takes a lot of warm water and gentle rubbing to get the hardened goop to come off enough for her to open her eyes. It’s really sad. She actually wakes up about a hundred times a night annoyed because her eyes seal up shortly after falling asleep.
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Today was the first time Sierra’s been to school in over a week. This week is celebrating reading week and today they were supposed to dress up like a “reading rockstar.” The girls picked their outfits and were over the moon excited about being dressed almost exactly alike.
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They wanted to pose like rockstars. I’m not sure those are rockstar poses but they’re pretty funny…
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They always take forrrreeeevvvvveeeerrrr to get out of the car when I drop them off at school. I had to get out and walk them into the office because we were a little late today (it seriously took 15 minutes to clean out Ember’s eyes enough to let her open them!!) and parents have to sign kids in when they’re late. So, I stood there waiting, and waiting, and waiting and… took some pictures.
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And then figured, hey spend two more seconds and get a cute group shot before they’re off.
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After I signed them in and they were off to class the little kids and I headed home. But not before I snapped this to show how goopy Ember’s eyes had become just in the time it’d taken to leave our house and go to the school :S
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When I took that Payson asked if I would take a picture of him doing a spiderman pose. I think you can tell he’s pretty darn sick by his slack expression here 🙁
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He has been just as cranky as Ember has been. He’s been whining about everything. I decided at the beginning of the week to just be super nice and doting but my energy and patience is wearing thin after two straight months of dealing with sick kids and sleeping so dang little at night!
Anyway, that’s all the pictures I have. I’m proud of myself for keeping up this year on pictures and printing and the kids’ albums. They have nice thick albums from 2012 already and they LOVE looking through them. That makes me happy that they’re already getting such joy out of the pictures I take 🙂
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New Car, Toe Walking and Braces Update

If there are ever cranky bits of typing in here it’s because I’m pretty much at the end of my rope with patience and sweetness after listening to Ember cry ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

day for two days straight. And kicking the crap out of my face all night. And stabbing me in the eyes while I’m sleeping. She does kiss me a ton at night too but even that, with her long strings of snot left behind, hasn’t been my favorite lately. ha

We’ve been sick for so long. I can’t remember what it’s like to not be sick.
I’m so glad we’re moving. I realized today why the last year has sucked so dang much. Arizona is the worst state to live in because we’re trapped indoors all summer (from May to September it’s over 100 degrees) and then when the weather is FINALLY perfect (in late January!) we’re sick, sick, sick for the entire duration of it! The only good times with temperate weather and no illness is April, sometimes November and December are nice but last year we had high 90s temperatures ALL winter! It sucked!

But we’re going to move so that’ll all be in the past. Yay 🙂

Speaking of moving, in Utah where we want to live is off the main road down a dirt road to some property (I’ll blog in more detail about that some other time) so we’d really need a vehicle that could handle a snowy dirt road. Our tiny, weak sauce Mazda5 was in no way appropriate for the job.
So Allan bought a new car a few weeks ago, and we sold the Mazda. I never blogged about it because I have exactly zero interest in cars. I told Allan, buy me something that seats 8 and has rear heating. Besides that I don’t care what make, model, color, or anything else about it.
I was actually a bit of a jerk with him over it, refusing to look at cars online for more than like five minutes. I was sick at the time and OVERWORKED to the max but still, I regret being such a witch. I apologized to him recently and told him to make up for it I took the car on a photoshoot. haha!
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Oh yeah, these first few car pictures are from the other day taking Brooklyn to school. I’d taken Allan’s car to the store to get Sierra’s prescription a few days prior and left Ember’s carseat in there. So I had her sit in Payson’s carseat (which is forward facing) that day and Payson used an extra booster we have.
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Despite it being a one time thing I bet if my blog was public I’d get comments of how I was attempting to kill my child by having her forward facing before she was five :S
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I’m pretty intense about carseat safety but sometimes you just go with what you have.
How cute is Brooklyn? I love that she still looks sleepy in this picture under her giant smile 🙂
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When I stopped on this not-often-used dirt road to take these no one was around. At the very end when I was in my car and making a u-turn to go back the way I came a car was coming up. Right as I was turned around in the other lane, not blocking the road or anything, the car that passed me’s driver was glaring at me. I was like, um-dude what’s your problem?? I’m not in your way, you didn’t have to stop for me or anything? Jerk.
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I was cleaning the kitchen floor the other day and Ember spotted the chairs in the family room and knocked them over to climb in them.
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She’d climb in and then cry, really hard, for me to get her out. Then the second I got her out she’d climb straight back in and scream again.
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She’s on my lap, nursing, as I blog right now. She isn’t wearing pants because she had climbed on the table while the kids were eating and spilled an entire bowl of cereal all over herself and the table. And I think I smell poop. And she’s latched on and wiggly like a fish out of water and there’s a trail of sticky snot from her face to my boob.
Ember is not making my life much fun these days :S
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Sierra and Payson thought Ember in the chairs was hysterical. They ended up pushing over the other one and then later making forts out of them.
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Sierra keeps coming in here every other minute to tell me about some great wrong Payson has done to her. Most of them involve him taking back his own toys from her. She’s a smart kid but sometimes she’s awfully dumb 😛
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Speaking of Sierra… with her so sick and with her braces/braces’ shoes so dirty from school, she didn’t wear them for four days and she was up so high on her toes it was actually making me angry! lol
Today she’s back in braces all day and from now on, ALL day every day!
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I have no idea how to handle the school situation when it comes to her braces. They’re SO nice about it and supportive and helpful, actually I’ve never blogged about it but the entire administration in that school treats us so well and we’ve become good friends, but anyway, the problem with her wearing braces to school is recess…
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There is sand under all the playground equipment and it fills her braces and shoes. I’m not sure what to do about it. It is really, really hard and time consuming to put her braces and shoes on (takes about ten minutes and lots of manipulating and stuff) so it’s not like her teacher can simply pull everything off and shake it out and put it all back on, without a major time commitment anyway, so I’m thinking about googling if they have some sort of special boot that goes on easily over braces. Boots being higher up will hopefully prevent the sand from getting in. Photobucket

I’ve tried at least ten pairs of boots at stores with no luck. The braces are so stiff it makes sliding her foot into a pair impossible. It’d have to be a pair that opens all the way up to the ankle. I’ll keep looking but so far, it’s annoying.
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I’ve mentioned before about her feet being somewhat deformed, the balls of her feet are extremely wide (from all the pressure of toe walking) and her heel is very tiny (from having no pressure). Her toes curl outwards a bit (to grip the ground as she walks). Her toenails get flattened at the top since they hit the ground when she walks… luckily so far she hasn’t had ingrown toenails but I bet in time she would if we didn’t get this all taken care of.
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So she’s going to be in braces full time for years to come probably. The thing about all toe walking fixes is that they’re not truly fixes. Everything short of surgery, to clip her tendons, will counteract against her toe walking and put her back at a neutral (full range of motion) but in pretty much every case I’ve read about or heard about the child will be back on their toes within weeks of getting out of braces or casts.
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It’s a lifelong treatment plan, or at least as long as it takes until the child grows up and decides to walk flat. The fix at that point is them telling themselves to walk flat and then doing so. With children, especially under the age of 10, they really don’t care to remind themselves to walk flat and even when they do they don’t have long term ability with it. As soon as their mind is otherwise engaged (maybe reading a sign while they’re walking) they’re up on their toes without realizing it.
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So updates on Sierra are a funny thing. She has improved a lot with wearing the braces. She can stand flat now (she could not stand flat at all before!!) so her range of motion is getting better, but within thirty seconds of the braces coming off she’s on her toes. Which means, even with improvement she needs to wear them long term.
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My Bobbeen gets Pink Eye

Poor little Seece. Sunday morning she woke with a crusty and goopily sealed shut eye. It wasn’t too pink but it sure looked icky.
As the day went on it got more and more pink. Monday morning there was a lot of discharge and it was itching and burning and driving her crazy. I called the pediatrician who called in a prescription for her.

Last night we started the eyedrops. This morning her eye was super red and swollen and had even more discharge. It worried me and I figured above everything I want to have an exact diagnosis from someone who knows what they’re talking about (I barely trust my pediatrician to correctly diagnose a measly cold) so I took her to an ophthalmologist. He prescribed an entirely different eye drop and said she would be highly contagious for 7-10 days and to keep her away from others as much as possible.
I stood there searching for the words to ask about her school, frustration and anxiety filling me up at the thought of her missing a week of school just as she’s settling into it. “Would you say she must miss school this week?” I’m pretty sure my voice perfectly declared my desire for her to not miss much school.
He sat and considered, “You know when someone gets pink eye like this they really should stay home and away from others. Obviously not everyone does that. But if it’s possible, yes she should stay home from school.”

Darn it!

I’m so devastated for Sierra missing school. She is so great in school {I’ll have to blog more about that later! 🙂 } but she just loves it. I feel like I’m taking away something she loves. Which is, true. haha

Early on, yesterday.
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This doesn’t have to do with Sierra’s pink eye but it was mixed in with her pink eye pictures… Ember got outside with Payson (without permission, that boy!) and got covered in dirt. Her mouth was caked with it too, which has me wondering how much she ate 😛 haha
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When I called the doctor this morning they set me up for an appointment right away. Luckily this doctor was REALLY close to our house (we live far from town, this doctor was only 15 minutes away!) so we all jumped in the car and went straight down there.
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Because we were bored.out.of.our.minds waiting in that small area I took some pictures for her album.
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It was cute watching her with the nurse and the doctor. She’s such a smart, friendly child.
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Ember was not happy about being there. She was really upset and when I finally held her she cried more because I wasn’t letting her unzip my sweater. She grunted and whined and kicked and signed “milk” aggressively. haha. Finally I couldn’t take her screaming and nursed her in that room. I so didn’t want to because it’s an eye doctor and she’s a toddler now and… well, I just plain old didn’t feel like having my boob out even though it only takes me a split second to cover up once I hear the doctor at the door. I hate fumbling with my shirt under my sweater once a doctor is in the room. Unless it’s the pediatrician or my OBGYN or family practice doctor. They’ve seen me breastfeeding (under a cover) plenty of times and it’s not a big deal. A male eye doctor. Just not the same!
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But anyway, I finished breastfeeding her long before he came in because it was like an hour wait! And the kids did ok. I was bummed having all four with me (Brooklyn home sick with the stomach flu) but it was a million times better than when the older three were little and coming to my OBGYN appointments during my pregnancy with Ember!
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My Family this Week

One morning Allan was holding Ember before leaving for work. As I stood beside them watching I noticed the light all around them and the beautiful orangey glow and just could not resist running for my camera.
It was worth it 🙂
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The day Allan took my keys to work and I called last second to the school and had them put the girls on the bus, I walked down to the bus stop to meet them when they arrived in the neighborhood.
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Within seconds of getting to the bus stop Payson was running around pretending to be spiderman and stepped right onto a cactus pricker.
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I had my camera in my hand (taking pictures of Ember) so snapped a couple pictures real quickly before pulling it out.
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My little kids ♥
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90% of the time my camera is out these days Payson is doing a spiderman pose. I love it each time, too.
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Ember was really upset with me forcing her to stay in the stroller. It was really cold and I tied the blanket on because she kept kicking it off.
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More spiderman poses.
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I heard the bus and pointed it out to Payson.
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They’re here!
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They were just as excited to see us as we were to see them.
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Cute 🙂
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Brooklyn was walking backwards part of the way home and stumbled and softly fell backwards, landing on her backpack. And in typical Brooklyn fashion, she decided to make it a huge ordeal and refused to move because she was so injured. :S
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We’ve been doing a lot to our house to get it ready to put on the market. One of the things Allan did was order and lay out river rock in our front yard.
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I asked Payson to let me take a picture of his pants because they were so dirty. But no matter what I said he kept doing his spiderman poses. And I couldn’t stop laughing. What a goofball!
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Allan did so much work. It was really hard work. He even got a bloody nose from working too hard!
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We have this stroller inside for the older girls to push their dolls around in. Ember’s been really into it this week. She climbs on and sits there and I can’t resist pushing her all around the house like a ride. She giggles the whole time.
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I had been inside with Ember while the others were outside working. I was working on getting all of my homeschool stuff on ebay (there is a lot of stuff) but Ember wouldn’t leave it all alone so I decided to give up and go outside with everyone else.
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The kids were excited to wear their sunglasses.
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Ember was helping out the entire time she was out there. She saw us all putting rocks into the bucket and copied us. It was so cute.
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We all eventually came in and while I cooked the others were hanging out like this.
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The girls were playing together later that day.
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Payson was playing on the other side of the room and asked me to take a picture.
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I had many of the homeschool books set up in piles from when I photographed them for ebay. Sierra and Payson saw the books and went over to read them.
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Later, reading their bedtime books on the futon together.
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Sunday I was really sick (still am) but needed to go to church because Allan got a new calling and was going to be set apart for it. I ended up not going though because there was a road block causing a one hour delay on the way!
Ember was really too sick, too, to go. It was good we came home.
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This morning, breastfeeding Ember at my desk.
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It was the time her every minute was full.

Moving.
Having a toddler.

Those alone are enough to make a person pull their hair out with stress.

With everything going on right now, I’m at full speed ahead all day. I work hard. Very hard. I always have but doing so with the weight of selling a house and then moving on my shoulders, it makes it feel unachievable.

But there is nowhere to go but forward. There’s no one here to pick up the slack if I fail to do these things. So do them I will! Sometimes with a bad mood. But at least they’re getting done.

This post is super long because it’s like more than a week’s worth of pictures and stories!

My children mostly play and have a good time. Oblivious to the changes that are going to be coming so soon and the intense pressure their mother is feeling.
As it should be.
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I took the littler two to the library storytime one day while the older girls were at school. It was the first time I only brought kids who were the appropriate ages for storytime in 5 years! My older girls were always well behaved at storytime so it never bothered me, but it was cool to focus on the little kids alone. This is now their season of life with mommy and it feels good to shift the early part of the day’s attention to them alone.
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This was also the first time that Ember hung out in the castle to play with her big brother. She mastered climbing up and down the stairs without help and giggled and ran and acted like a big girl.
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And it was cute. It made me feel happy and peaceful 🙂
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And she heard me call up to her from below and she realized she could peek through the openings and see me below and the giggles then were world stoppingly cute.
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Later she discovered new found treasures and fun in the computer area.
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She typed away, toddler speaking to herself the whole time.
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Payson spent the whole time building giant towers in the castle. That kid loves blocks.
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And though I tried occasionally to steer her back towards the baby areas she was pretty set on spending the remainder of the time messing with the keyboards.
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Oh baby, you have the rest of your life to devote to an internet addiction. Can’t we go play with the toy food and puzzles??
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Eventually I did manage to lead her back to the under 5 area and she and Payson had a lot of fun playing together there. They are so, so good together. Actually there was another three year old boy there who Payson was having the best time with and we found out as the boy was leaving that his name was Payson, too!!

So after nearly two hours at the library (which felt way too long to me but not nearly enough to the kids) we returned our books from a previous trip. And then we went home.
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Back at home Ember has been doing lots of climbing.
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It isn’t fun cooking and cleaning with a baby on my hip. But such is life raising a toddler.
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She is awfully cute. That really helps 🙂
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The moving sale had been going on for quite a while and we’d sold most of the stuff so Allan and the kids started working on the yard.
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Brooklyn posed with her sunglasses.
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This picture makes me smile because of our neighbors in the background. They stood talking in our driveway for quite a while. It was fun.
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Since it was hot that day and they’d done such a good job in the yard they got popsicles.
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One morning Ember was clinging to her sippy cup and her lovey so I snapped some pictures. She sleeps with these two things every night.
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The cutest. She really is.
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And then she wanted milk so I breastfed her and took a hundred pictures. I’m not sharing the boob shots, for your guys’ sake 🙂
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These few are cute but I really, really treasure the boob shots. lol
I don’t know how much longer she’ll nurse for, maybe a year, maybe a month… so I’m enjoying it while it lasts.
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One night this week we were clearing out the kids room (for showing our house) and moving their beds around and stuff. Payson was excited that we took the larger bedrail off his bed and that his room is all boy stuff now. (Sierra was sharing a room with him and some of her stuff was in there)
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All four kids hung out in Brooklyn’s room while Allan moved things around.
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This is attempt number four or five with putting the older girls in a room together. Each attempt before has resulted with a lot of negativity! The girls stay up talking all night. No really. ALL night. Like, 2am, 3am, 4am… pass by with the girls not even quieting :S
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So far with this time they’ve had a few GREAT nights where they went right to sleep and they had one TERRIBLE night where they even turned on the light and were up bouncing off the walls and squealing and crap.
We’re sticking it out this time, though. We’re planning on moving into a smaller house (I HATE big houses) and they’ll NEED to share a room.
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I moved both beds in Ember’s room around.
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I used to sleep on that twin with her but it wasn’t working well. She kept climbing out of it and there wasn’t room enough for both of us with how much she moves and rolls around all night.
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Now the bed is closer to the floor (we moved the metal frame into a different room) so she can climb off easily and the beds pushed together provide just enough space for me to be able to roll away from her a bit but without her feeling like she’s sleeping totally alone. I’m slowly transitioning her to sleeping alone on those beds. I nurse her to sleep and then I get up and leave. So far it’s going ok. She wakes up after not very long and I end up sleeping with her most of the night but as long as she’s waking up on that bed alone every night she’ll start getting used to the idea of it being her bed and me not being there. Hopefully 😉
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I think I mentioned this on facebook. Ember’s favorite thing in the world right now is to put little toys into a baby wipes container and then dump them out and do it again. And again and again…
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I LOVE this new obsession of hers!! I even sit and play with her a LOT because it’s SO cute! Her lower lip pokes out when there’s a bigger, oddly shaped toy that needs to be manuevered in and she has to concentrate… aah, everything she does is cute!!
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I have about a million homeschool items/kits/crap to sell on ebay and it’s really overwhelming. This stuff picture is just the BJU stuff I bought last year.
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These were the pictures I took for ebay and I accidentally uploaded them to photobucket as well and figured, eh- post them… it is a HUGEHUGE part of my life right now, selling stuff to move.
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Valentine’s Day. Before school…
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Wanted to get a group shot for love day.
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And I got a winner! I was surprised to have caught such natural expressions from everyone. Ember wasn’t screaming so I consider that a win! (She loathes being in close proximity to her siblings)
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That day, while the girls were at school…
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This little toy used to be a favorite of Ember’s until the big kids broke the handle off 🙁
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Payson is still really into superheros. His favorite is spiderman.
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I downloaded a bunch of spiderman songs onto my ipod. He was thrilled about that! The kid really, really loves music!!
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Payson and I were having such a good time and I was laughing SO much at him and then he’d laugh, too. Ember thought it was SO fun.
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The word of the week in this house, pertaining to Ember, would have to be “climb!”
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She is up on everything these days.
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And I’ve been wearing my nursing necklaces a lot and she LOVES them.
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I mentioned climbing, right?
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Oh vey.
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I move the bench away from the table to prevent her scaling it and… she tries to climb onto the window ledge. Of course. Climb.
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Payson and Ember both love going to pick the big girls up from school. Payson always asks them, “Did you have a good day at school?” SO CUTE.
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This tree is just outside the door that leads to the third grade classrooms. We wait by it for Brooklyn to come out. The kids all call it “our” tree. Which cracks me up because clearly it isn’t and yet in their mind it so is.
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I thought they were all just so gosh darn cute I’d take a few group pictures for no reason.
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I don’t know when this was, fairly recently, I walked into this room and Ember was quietly sitting in this storage box with all of her toys.
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Brooklyn was assigned her very first report in school last week. They had to do a report on penguins! Brooklyn and I spent four hours researching, printing pictures, putting together her presentation board and writing the report! It was a good time doing that with her. She did an amazing job on it! I was really proud of her when she was writing the report part! Maybe I’ll post her report on here sometime. I’m too lazy to go get it right now. haha
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This is like, REALLY happening!

We had a moving sale today. We cleared out a ton of our furniture and odds and ends crap. We need to make a Goodwill dropoff and then sell a few remaining things at a local children’s resell shop and then we are going to pack up as much of our remaining belongings as possible for storage and then…

put our house on the market!

I can’t believe this is happening. I’ve wanted to move and thought about moving but the fact that we’re working in that direction, that there are actions with our planning, makes it suddenly REAL. And very exciting!! And anxiety and fatigue inducing! haha

I wrote most of this in my journal already so I’m pretty much going to stop talking about it now. It’s boring, I’m sure!

And Then There Were Two

Sierra’s first day of school!

Would you all hate me if I skipped telling the boring story of how and why she’s going to school now? It’s not interesting at all and I talk way too much and don’t feel like typing ten paragraphs about it. haha!
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I was waiting for Brooklyn and Payson to climb out of our car so I snapped some pictures of Sierra in the meantime.
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Which turned out to be a GREAT decision because once we were in school and had done her vision and hearing tests and finished signing her in and all they hurried her into class and suddenly I was standing in the hallway without her and without a good first day picture 🙁
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This next one is my favorite. It’s the one that will go front and center in her album. My little Sierra off to school. I can’t believe it and yet with how SMART she is and basically perfect (social, friendly, funny, sweet, cute…) it just fits 🙂
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Here she is waiting for the school nurse to give her a vision and hearing test.
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I am SO PROUD of this child. I’m feeling emotional all of the sudden looking through these and thinking about her going off to school. It all happens so fast. Time really does fly by.
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I held my camera at my waist and snapped this to check the lighting because I was going to take a picture of her by her classroom door but she was ushered off to sit with the rest of the class and I didn’t get a chance. It’s not a big deal, but I’m glad I have this shot anyway.
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And then, feeling like a psycho mom, I had the secretary (she walked us in) wait for just a SEC so I could snap this before leaving.
PhotobucketSierra is on the right side of the picture from the girl in the bright pink.

And then there were two at home.
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And life became a thousand times more simple.
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The goal of my day now is simply to play with my kids?
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I can focus on one kid at a time. I can give the little kids all the attention they need without worrying about interrupting Sierra’s lessons. I can not feel guilt at having to stop and nurse or change or play with Ember because Sierra’s waiting for my help… Payson is the oldest and within an hour was… MATURE. He is such an awesome kid and thrives with one on one time.
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So yep, Sierra goes to school for the first time and at home there are two.
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