Canyon Lake Evening Trip

We went to Canyon Lake last night. We got there around 6pm. Maybe just before 6, I didn’t look at a clock. We stayed until a little while after dark. It was about 8pm when we left.
It was really crowded when we got there. With very interesting types of people. And their many, many dogs. Does a family really need to bring four dogs to the lake and let them run wild? Because these dogs really liked Ember. Someone just my size! New BFF!! And they’d run over.
Ember was safely on mommy’s hip or up on mommy’s shoulders, where she remained until we found a new location without dogs.
Dogs. I hate dogs around my kids.

Of course just as bad was all the cigarette smoke. Or the booze. These people really know how to partay.

But in the end, we found a decent spot (it wasn’t decent but it was better than the first couple places we tried) and we had a decent time. Well, that’s an average- the kids had a BLAST and Allan and I didn’t hate it, so all in all= decent.
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Ember learned how to do eskimo kisses last week (before that but it’s a daily thing the last week). Because she doesn’t speak well we called them nose kisses. Which got shortened to nosies. So we all call them nosies now. And it’s soooo cute!
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I feel bad that I have a favorite child. But can you blame me?!
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This was the second spot we tried out. The first was the one I talked about before with all the dogs, booze, and cigarettes. This one was private and pretty good. I actually liked this spot the best. There were a million cigarette butts on the ground and some litter but hey… that’s better than… well… running wild dogs. haha
Don’t get me wrong, dogs are as entitled to a lake trip as my kids are, I’ll just find a different location to let my kids play at 😉
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Payson’s been doing this “sweet” smile as he calls it. He looks so goofy!
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Allan fishes strictly with lures and goes for bass. But with kids that’s not the most exciting so we use cheese (or hotdogs, worms, whatev) and go for bluegill. This cheese we brought was falling off the hooks right away so we just gave it to the kids to eat. Well, not Payson, of course.
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I don’t like Ember having a lot of cheese because she struggles with constipation sometimes but she really, really wanted some.
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Allan told the girls to always look behind them before they cast and make sure nobody is standing there. Sierra did such a good job of that! 🙂
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This kid lives for outdoor adventures. He heard we were heading to the lake and was just so so genuinely happy.
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One of the kids was telling me something. Talking a mile a minute. This is the expression I do when they just talktalktalktalktalktalktalktalkQUICKBREATHtalktalktalktalktalktalktalk. Do I look interested? I feel like my ears will start bleeding any second when they do that but I try to listen enough to feign interest.
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This is the last spot we went to.
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Allan and I laughed about Payson walking around like this. And then when he did this goofy smile, ha.
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Cutie Patutie!
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I call this next picture: Serial killer Sierra.
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There was a dead fish there. She was talking about how gross it was and oh my gosh doesn’t have eyes!!
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I love this picture of Brooklyn. She looks so mellow and sweet.
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Cute!! She had mini french braids the day before and her hair looked kinda goofy. But in a cute way.
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He was kicking really hard splashing everyone. That’s joy on his face right there. Doing something that maaaaybe he shouldn’t. (Not that we cared, it’s a lake, but he thought we might care)
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Spring Carnival

Brooklyn and Sierra had their school spring carnival yesterday. It was from 4-7pm and we stayed the whole time. I was pretty tired at the end from standing on my feet the whole time chasing kids and stuff. Ok, I was tired because the night before I got only 4 hours of sleep, but anyway…

*You maybe don’t want to read the part italized. It’s boring stuff for me to remember.
It was fun. I spent way too much. I got the kids the unlimited rides wristband which were $12 each and then I got them each some tickets for the indoor games/concessions, too. All in all I spent $41 which was twice as much as I was planning on spending. (I know this is boring, this is just for my own benefit since I am sure I won’t remember it)

So Brooklyn had it in her head that we were going to eat there. They had some overpriced food that I didn’t think the kids would eat. When I bought them each extra tickets I told them it was for food but they only got snowcones and then used the rest on games. And at that point I didn’t want to spend more money (mostly because we’re saving for the money we’ll lose on selling our house and our move coming up next month!) sooooooo

Brooklyn was super cranky and all she talked about was wanting to eat. I should’ve brought food but, I had planned on them using their tickets for food.

This is really way too much explanation. Long story short I should’ve bought Brooklyn food (or brought it) because maybe she wouldn’t have spent almost the entire time yelling, whining, crying and being rude and snotty to everyone 😛

I would’ve bought extra food, by the way, but I really have a hard time buying food for the girls and having Payson watch. There were NO gluten/dairy free options. Not even one thing, so… no food for anyone.

AND I had two giant tupperware dishes full of yummy leftovers (I’ve been cooking a lot of good food this week!)

Oh and duh, I didn’t have any leftover cash after the wristbands AND all the extra tickets I bought.

Um, shut the heck up already? Ok.
We were one of the first families there so I got the kids there tickets and wristbands and then since the rides/activities weren’t quite ready I got a group shot before all the fun started.
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This ride was a blown up obstacle thingy. I don’t know how to describe it but this part of the ride in the picture had a place to walk up, some steps… one was missing and Sierra was having a hard time climbing up without it there. She even cried in fear. Poor thing. She was overwhelmed at first with the rides… nervous I think. After a few times on the rides/slides, though, she was excited and didn’t get nervous again 🙂
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There’s this place I take my kids for fun that has a rock wall. Brooklyn begs me every time we go to try it. I’ve been meaning to let her but Allan is the one with the pass to the gym and with the pass it’s free, without the pass it costs money. So… I haven’t had her try it yet. So when she saw the rock wall at the carnival I knew she’d want to try it and she did. All three kids were excited about it! I was pretty darn excited to watch them! I didn’t think they’d go very far and the first two times they tried I was right.
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Payson took exactly two steps up and then froze in sheer terror. He started screaming and he was so rigid. It was hilarious. I mean, of course I wanted to help him down and did but it was just sooo funny because he hadn’t even climbed far and the guy helping hadn’t even let go of Payson once. haha (He was smiling here, not screaming, before he got down right after I snapped this)
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Snowcones. Payson offered me a taste and it was gross. I’m not a big fan of snowcones for some reason. I don’t really like chewing ice so maybe that’s it? The kids loved them, though.
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Brooklyn did really well on the games! She got upset when the five carnival dollars she earned didn’t buy her much. She got a little bouncy ball with her winnings and grumbled about it quite a bit. She’s really awful when we do fun stuff, have I mentioned that?
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The third and fourth times the kids did the rock wall Brooklyn got to the top!! I was really surprised because she gets scared really easily. She was determined though and impressed us all! I was so proud.
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Yes, I might’ve taken a few too many pictures. I was just so proud!
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The kids liked these bounce houses. I think this was their first time in them.
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Ember was SO good while we were there. She stayed in the stroller most of the time and just watched her siblings and all the other kids without crying or whining. I did let her out a few times to run around and play but mostly she was content in there.
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So, I’m getting bored of writing… the pictures pretty much are self explanatory from here. Kids playing, kids having fun…
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Ember learned how to blow bubbles. She was doing it so well! I didn’t catch it on film because by the time I was taking pictures she was holding the wand herself and couldn’t angle it right, but when I held the wand for her she was blowing them a ton. It was SO cute!
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As you can imagine, Payson was very excited about this spiderman bouncy house.
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At the verrrry end of the carnival when it wasn’t as crowded I let Ember go in this bouncy house for a while. She had a blast!!
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They had music blasting and Ember danced a lot. There were so many kids and even parents watching her and smiling at her and even dancing with her. It was so cute and I video taped a ton of it. And then I realized that I hadn’t pushed record on my camera! haha, ugh. Oh well.
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Red Mountain Lake

I wanted to take the kids fishing. Just a simple little trout fishing excursion during the very last cold front of the year. Temperatures here are now in the 100s and yesterday and today a cold front is here dropping down to 80 degrees! So, off to this park/man-made lake we went.
I brought fishing poles and a bunch of bread to feed ducks. The kids were excited about that!
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We walked around the whole lake, there were surprisingly quite a few geese. There were these two with three cygnets and my kids went crazy over them. Cuuuuuute!
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One time one of the babies got close to Brooklyn and the big goose hissed at her! We laughed about that.
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I took a ton of video footage (I’ve been really into filming everything lately) but didn’t take a single picture of them fishing! Oops. The fishing line backlashed after only like ten casts anyway so we didn’t catch anything.
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There were two parks.
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When I google mapped the park for the address earlier in the day Payson was with me so I viewed the satellite image of the place. He saw the yellow slide of the park and we talked about that. So anyway, we first played on the park with the orange slide and Payson wasn’t happy with that, he wanted to go to the yellow slide park. SOoooo, he took off for it. When I was helping Ember down the slide and not looking at him. So by the time I notice he’s halfway across the field. Stinker.
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Brooklyn was playing with Ember and they were so freaking adorable together ♥
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We had one piece of bread left so we went back over to the lake to throw it to the birds.
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Ember was both mesmorized and terrified. haha
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Before leaving I wanted a group shot in the shade. I’m trying to get more shots of the kids all together when we go places. It’s TOUGH because Ember HATES group shots.
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By this time Ember was crying wanting to nurse because it’d been four hours since she’d last nursed and she normally likes to nurse every two hours (yes, still!) so I let Brooklyn take pictures and videos while I breastfed Ember.
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Sierra’s self portrait.
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After

Today was the third picture day at the kids’ school. They’ll be photographed in graduation caps and gowns. haha! And they’re redoing the class pictures because last time too many kids were absent. So I’ll probably buy the pictures… because they’re pictures of my kids. How can I ever say no to pictures of my kids? And a class picture? Total must, of course! I don’t have one single class picture from my childhood. Sad 🙁

But knowing the not-as-good quality I’ll be receiving, I took some pictures of the girls outside before school.
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I took Sierra out first and she was flipping adorable! She usually will not look at the camera at all but she totally did and smiled so sweetly!
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Brooklyn was silly.
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But she also loves to pose for the camera. She’s so beautiful.
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Some point and shoot snaps.
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Sometimes I let Payson take pictures of whatever he wants. His photos always make me laugh.
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Photographed his sister with my stolen off the counter iPod!
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Playdough.
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This morning I decided to document my morning routine. Well that’s not accurate at all, my morning routine is getting all the kids ready and taking care of them and I never get ready. Except once every month-ish. ha
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Hair half done.
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So much better. Sad that it takes so much work to look ok enough to go out in public. haha
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Why don’t I get ready every day? Well because someone hates it when I do.
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I picked her up and tried to make her feel better about having spent those brutal fifteen minutes without mom.
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And she promptly signs “milk.”
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And doesn’t wait for me to help her out.
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We’re Trapped Inside

And so very bored!
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I don’t know why but Payson is so darn possessive when it comes to banging on pots and pans. He freaks out if Ember attempts to tap one that he’s deemed his. I explain that he can hit them all and she can hit them all but he’s insistent that she only bang the ones he labeled hers and he gets his and she stays away from them. Silly.
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When Payson first got really into spiderman I downloaded a bunch of spiderman songs onto my iPod and we had them shuffling on repeat while they banged away. He’s such a funny kid with his obsessions. It’s fun, though 🙂
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Pinal Mountains

Sunday evening we went for a drive. We drove and drove for just over an hour and a half and we ended up at the top of the Pinal Mountains.
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It was more than ten degrees cooler up there so that was very nice.
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And there were trees replacing the usual cactus and that was even more nice.
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We got there and let the kids run off. Then Allan hid from them and they had a ton of fun searching for him.
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It was fun giggling and taking pictures of him right there in plain view of me while they looked and looked.
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Payson came back up to me and saw Allan and lit up.
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It was soooo pretty. I’m so very sick of desert scenery and the trees really lifted my spirits. I miss trees!
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He was mad at her touching his back.
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They found this little “fort” and thought it was a fun hangout.
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These two are best friends.
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Sierra asked me for help. I held her hand and held her steady as she walked up and down this log. Eventually she got brave enough to try it on her own (after seeing Payson do it his first try)
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Ember saw her siblings walking along the log and thought it looked like lots of fun. This piece of bark also looked like lots of fun to her.
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She was climbing off and fell down on her butt and looked up at me like it was amusing. She’s so adorable! With only a split second pause she popped her hand up and I love that her face had this look of complete confidence that I’d immediately help her up. Which I did 🙂
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Helping her have a turn walking up the log.
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We were alone up there at this point and went exploring. Ember got onto this dirt road and felt the pull of wide open space… she was off and running from me right away.
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She’d giggle, deep belly laughs, while wobble sprinting in the opposite direction. Then she’d stop and look back to make sure I was still following her ♥
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The backlight here was pretty so I asked everyone to stand together for a picture. I told them to do whatever the heck they wanted and this is how they all posed.
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Abandoning mommy once more.
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He was up there heading back to our car to put the wipes away and the light was cool so I told him to please stop. heh
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Payson saw Allan up there so when Allan left he climbed up for a turn. And there cannot be a picture of Payson without a spiderman pose.
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And then Sierra was watching and thought it looked cool to pose there, too.
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We all gathered back at our little picnic table/firepit spot.
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Allan and Brooklyn were off gathering wood for the fire.
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She was so helpful 🙂
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She was complaining a lot. Good thing she’s cute 😉
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Allan roasted sausages. The kids LOVE sausages.
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It got a bit warm!
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Ember found the entire thing extremely interesting.
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She was riveted to the sausages cooking. My little carnivore.
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She ate her fill of sausage and reached and reached and reached for more. But mean old mommy wouldn’t let her have more after that because it’s sausage, giant processed sausages and that’s not exactly good for toddlers.
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See her still reaching in the background? Poor girl doesn’t understand that she needs grains, fruits and vegetables as well as meat!
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The sunset was AWESOME but pretty much impossible to capture on film. It was this deep, intense pinkish red.
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I think I gave her one or two more teeny tiny bites just because she was so desperate. haha
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Remember that time Ariana Talked to Herself in her Post?

Remember when April Temps Reached 100 Degrees?
We spent all that time in the backyard.
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We didn’t own a pool yet so we used a plastic storage bin.
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The kids were just as happy with it.
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Yeah that was a good time. I’m glad I photographed it.
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Remember how I didn’t even bother with swimsuits? I mean, why bother?
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Remember that cute little bow in Ember’s hair. I don’t know why that bow was that cute to me that day but it was. Normally that wasn’t even a favorite but that day, favorite.
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Remember how excited the older girls were to sit in that box? And how happy they were when I let them fill it up with the hose after they’d pushed most of the water out. They were thrilled.
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Remember how Ember took off her diaper?
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Remember this moment? It was so cute!
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Remember Ember climbed onto your lap nekkid and wanted to breastfeed. Holding her nekkid little body as she nursed, she felt so babyish even though she’s 18 months old.
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Shaggy

It’s amusing that my only boy has the fastest growing, thickest hair of all my children. The boy. haha
So I’m cutting his hair every three weeks or else he’s looking shaggy.
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Allan helped him out with poses.
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Because he was doing his usual spiderman pose and while that’s so him right now and cute, once in a while it’s good to change it up.
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But you know those spiderman poses can’t stop for long!
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What the girls were doing during the one minute photo shoot.
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The Day I Took 200 Pictures of Sprinkler Play

But I justify it because, hey I’m bored… I’m stuck in my house all day with nnooooothing to doooooo so snap, snap, hey snap again, hey snap AGAIN. OH MY GOSH KEEP SNAPPING.
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Struggling overshooter isn’t helped by cutest child ever born. Cutest child ever born… I birthed the most gorgeous little girl to ever grace this earth.
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How adorable is Brooklyn?! Lately she’s been so sweet to Ember. All big sister ish and it melts me 🙂
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This boy… love him.
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This is when Sierra came outside after a timeout.
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He asked me to take these, goofball.
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These are all SOOC. Not only do I post too many pictures, I don’t even bother editing them. Layzay.
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And this is when I was like, Ariana that was over the top too many pictures of sprinkler fun. And I put my camera away. And then Ember was playing with the hose and oh my gosh too cute grab the camera.
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Can not stop taking pictures.
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I absolutely love this picture of my oldest girls. It sums up their relationship so perfectly. Sierra’s adoration.
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Baby belly!
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I’ve started making a point to document Brooklyn just as she is as much as possible when I was looking through old archives and realized there are SO many pictures of her smiling sweetly or concentrating and that is SO not her! haha. I mean YES those are parts of her personality but 95% of the time she is:
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Time to come in and take baths!
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I’m sorry, really. I’ll go back to way less pictures per post now!