Ouch, Stop, No More Please

I’m not sure whether I have a stomach virus or food poisoning but whichever it is, it has hit me pretty hard. Being awake is agony enough, running to the bathroom every ten seconds (just staying in there all day would probably be more effective) and then trying to take care of four kids… oh my word this day has sucked so freaking bad.

So a couple highlights??
10am, been up for hours being very sick in the bathroom and suffering, I decide that sleepy Ember needs to have a nap and I take her into her room (the furthest from the bathroom) to nurse her to sleep (like always). This lasts about ten seconds before I’m sprinting, jumping baby gates in the process, to the bathroom to lose my lunch. Except I never ate anything all day.

later on, walking into the kitchen because where the heck is Ember and finding her, oh right there up on the counter pouring water everywhere and messing with my iPod and pens.

later, coming out of the my bathroom I see Ember running from the kids’ bathroom. I pick her up and notice she’s soaking wet from her feet to her knees. Further inspection of the bathroom reveals the reason is that she used the toilet water as a soup for her stolen piece of toast. Water everywhere and chunks of soaked bread all over the floor.

later still, the kids’ play table again pushed up to the kitchen counter and Ember, again, walking around on the counter getting into things. (the table is now in my bedroom)

I could go on but instead, I’ll just stop because I still feel like total crap and still have four kids to take care of (Allan come home pleeeeease! *pout*) and it’s only 5:35pm. Three more hours until Allan gets home, two more hours until I can reasonably send the kids to bed.

But first, finish this post and then go make dinner. That I won’t eat, of course.

So the other day my kids had koolaid for the first time.
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My kids don’t get juice very often. When they do it’s real fruit juice or that naked juice (yum!) so when both girls got koolaid packets from school for the end of the year celebration they were like, mom what is this stuff??! And when I told them they got so excited they talked about it nonstop until Allan finally bought some sugar at the store and we made it!
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Brooklyn found this bottle of breastmilk in the fridge and gave it to Ember. Ember took one tiny sip of that breastmilk in that bottle and then preceded to try to dump the rest out. Straight from the tap it is, Ember
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Because we get bored we go outside. Brooklyn earned a dollar for something and used it at the Target one dollar spot to buy this growing turtle. She’s wanted a growing animal toy for ages and was pretty darn excited this week watching it grow every day in the tub.
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I had been cutting the kids’ nails outside and Ember wanted to try that.
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She really loves that turtle.
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Last night Ember was having a hard time sleeping since she likes to stay latched on all night and couldn’t breastfeed well with her stuffy nose. So instead of sleeping, she was being awake.
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I was laying in bed really early this morning feeling like… really, really awful and in a lot of pain. I’d just gotten off the phone with Allan, I’d asked him to come home (which I so so rarely do) because it was SO terrible taking care of all of the kids while suffering so much. I could barely even stand up this morning and my entire body hurt really bad with sharp stabbing pains. And being completely bound to the bathroom- ugh. So anyway Allan is just too busy at work to help me, which I expected, so I was laying in bed trying to muster up the courage to attempt to go change Ember’s diaper (standing up is the worse!) when Payson comes into my room with a huge smile, spiking his hair up. He’d used their handsoap (and plenty of it!) to give himself hairdo.
Uuuuuuuugh!!! Really?!
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Since I was holding my camera I went and snapped a picture of the older girls with their babysitter. Thank goodness for movies on days like this, I swear.
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He was pretty excited about his after-bath hairdo. He asked me to take a picture of him and after I visited the bathroom, I did.
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And like I said earlier, right now I have to go make dinner and figure out a way to stay sane until bedtime.
Thank goodness today is almost over 🙁

Nothing Special

We’re sick again. After barely any sleep last night, being up with a feverish toddler so much, today is one of those days where the messy house makes me feel extra tired and instead of cleaning I’m just saying screw it.

Ember owns like fifteen sippy cups and I can never find them. I have three right now in the dishwasher but where are all the others??

She didn’t drink a single drop from that bottle. Girl hates bottles. (She’s still breastfed)
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She did really like chewing on the nipple, though!
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The three older kids played with my little ponies.
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Brooklyn and Sierra have been doing this funny little dance move lately.
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Time for an Adventure!

This weekend Allan took each of the older girls out on a hike. He and Brooklyn went to Picket Post Mountain on Saturday and today (Sunday) he and Sierra went to the Superstition Mountains.
And these are their stories.
As told by Allan.

So from here on, Allan writing!

Saturday morning we went out to breakfast and noticed the weather was wonderful. It was like 67 degrees and breezy. It just occured to me this might be a good day for a hike! It has been over 100 for the last week and for it to be this cool out was completely unexpected, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity!
So I said to Brook, “Wanna hike Picket Post?” And she was like, “Totally!”
So we got our gear and took off.

We got to the trailhead at 11am and looked up at the cliff face that would be our trail to the top, we looked at each other and said, “Let’s do this!”
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Brook took off at a brisk pace. She kept looking at the highest point very determined.
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This is our first rest, the highest point on the trail that the entire family had ever reached. It made her happy to know she was stepping into the unknown.
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The trail led us right up to the face of the mountain where we started to climb… up!
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And then up some more!
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Stopping for a moment to ponder the meaning of life. Or something.
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I think we found lunch. (look closely in the middle of the picture)
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Decided on banana chips and jerky instead.
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I guess we should’ve known, the trail would get even steeper.
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Look at those cliffs towering above us. What a thrill.
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Eating lunch on a ledge.
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Brook sees the trail pass to the top of the ridge, excited to be getting close!
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We took this one to play a joke on Ariana, we told her that we had to climb to the top of this rock to make the summit. We didn’t climb the rock!
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Near the top it flattens out, it’s a short walk from there to the high point and a 360 view of the Superstition Wilderness.
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Brook at the top on a bench with a sucker. Life couldn’t be better (who brought the bench?!)
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We checked the box for mail but no one was thoughtful enough to send any to us. It was fun for Brook to see a mailbox at the top of this mountain.
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Just a couple of shots from the top.
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We lost the trail coming down and Brook got a little nervous.
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When we found the trail again, she was pretty excited. Never fear when dad is near!
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Brook said while we were hiking, “This is the best day of my life!” It means so much to know I’m making memories with my daughter. Neither of us will ever forget this day.
We conquered Picket Post Mountain… together!

When I got home on Saturday I noticed Sierra was really enthralled by our stories about the hike. I told her, “Tomorrow it’s your turn!”
So on Sunday after church we had some lunch and took off on another adventure. I asked Sierra which trail she wanted to try and she said, “The one that goes to the top of the mountain.” And I said, “I know exactly which one we will do!”
I took her to Peralta Canyon and when we got out of the car we saw the mountain I planned to climb. Sierra was really excited. I thought to myself, “She’ll probably be able to make it up that.” Little did I know we’d pass on that mountain and climb one tweice and big.

While I was preparing the backpack Sierra was practicing her autograph.
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At the trailhead.
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Sierra motored off like I’ve never seen her do before. She was obviously on a mission!
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Sometimes you’re just in the right place at the right time.
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Seesie taking a break.
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… a cool break.
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Sierra as we passed over to the other side of the ridge. This opened a whole new landscape to our view. She just loves beautiful landscape views.
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Here’s a shot of the view.
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A small water break before our last push up to the top of the mountain.
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Sierra liked the bright yellow yucca flowers. Our destination is the top of the mountain behind the yucca.
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We had to take an unmaintained trail to get to the top of the mountain. Sierra decided to pose for a few pictures before breaking off the main trail. She was really into pictures on this trip!
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Sierra was just soaking up the experience. (Ariana interjecting, this is my favorite picture from their adventure!)
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I’m so proud of her for how she challenged herself and made it to the top of the mountain. Almost to the top. We still had a little unfinished business. We chose to try to climb the rocks behind us to try to get to the high point. (Sorry, Ariana interjecting again, maybe this is my favorite!)
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This wasn’t nearly as dangerous as it looks. I was practically laying down on the ground and distortion helped us quite a bit on these shots. That didn’t stop her from feeling like a professional rock climber!
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It took some careful work but we got to the top of the rock pile. That was the top of the mountain.
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Heading back down as the sun was setting over the Superstition Mountains. This is such an untamed wilderness full of mystery and adventure. Somehow little Sierra was totally in her element here.
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She blew me away with how grown up she’s getting. She talked to me about things I didn’t know she even thought about. She really is quite a special person. I’m so proud to be her dad.
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We made it back to the car before dark and raced home to have a campfire in the backyard with the family. The end to a perfect weekend of adventures!
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So She..

So she climbs counters now.
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She pushes objects to the counters and uses them to climb up.
She can reach onto the counters.
She can reach into every drawer.
She can open every door in my house and has even attempted to unlock locked doors.
She is creative, she uses things around the house to enable her to get into places she can’t on her own.

She is trouble.
Oh so much trouble.

(You can see a drawer open in the background! She emptied some tiny little pieces, tools and such, out and was sucking away on them! Aaack, if we weren’t planning on moving ASAP I’d have to reorganize my entire house setup!)

Very Ember

A daily activity for her, getting into cupboards and emptying them of their contents.
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First she’d messed with the toilet paper (in the background) then she’d taken off her diaper and next she was about to sprint away from mommy so she could enjoy her nekkidness a bit longer.
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Brooklyn’s Last Day of School, Chuck E. Cheese

Since we went with the other kindergarteners to Peter Piper Pizza on Sierra’s last day of school it only seemed fair to take Brooklyn somewhere for her last day.
Now this all seems a bit much to me but this was the end of both of their first year in public school, so that’s why 😉
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Both of my older girls were petrified of Chuck E. Cheese. Payson and Ember were in love. Payson especially. He thought Chuck E. Cheese was just about the best thing ever!
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The non alive version of Chuck E. Cheese was a lot more appealing to Brooklyn.
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She made a little friend.
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Brooklyn’s Reward Ceremony

Brooklyn’s class had a little ceremony for reading awards yesterday. Brooklyn got the highest AR goal a student can get this year. I’m SO proud of her.
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I like school events because it’s expected that you’ll take pictures. Normally I want to take pictures but I get really embarrassed, especially with my big ol’ camera, so on days where pictures are taken by all parents, I LOVE it!
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I got her a little gift bag of treats for finishing second grade. One little thing that was the biggest, unexpected, hit was a whistle that blows bubbles. It even has Dora on it (there weren’t any other options) but she still loves it! haha (she doesn’t like Dora normally)
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So, someone in my house has discovered how to take their clothes off. This was a joyous discovery for her.
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As we’re playing with the bubbles and other little toys Ember comes walking up to me pointing to her body…
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She’d decided to taste a tomato out of the garbage. She’s really into eating stuff out of the garbage. We keep our garbage can in the pantry and used to have a lock on that door but since the house is on the market and has showings we took it off. And she’s been hanging out in that pantry ever since 😛
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Oh and randomly, we’ve been out of the house a lot and crazy busy with end of the year stuff so my house gets really, really messy while we’re gone and I scramble and clean up at night if I can or even in the mornings while the kids eat breakfast. It’s crazy how hectic this week was! So, here’s a shot of my counter after like one day of not being cleaned. Ugh
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Sierra’s Haircut

After Brooklyn got her haircut Sierra decided she wanted nothing more in life than to have short hair also.
Problem with that is, Sierra’s hair is really straight and smooth and fine and I have a hard time cutting her hair. Brooklyn’s hair type can hide little mistakes I make but not Sierra’s. So I decided to take her to a salon. New problem: none of my kids have ever been to a place for haircuts so I didn’t know where to go or what to expect! I asked on my personal facebook place for advice and got a lot of help.
We ended up going to Cool Cuts 4 Kids and it was a really great experience and Sierra’s haircut is adorable! I’d highly suggest them 🙂
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Sierra gets shy with people she doesn’t know so she wouldn’t hardly answer the girl’s questions about her hair. I had to tell the girl what Sierra wanted and basically answer everything else. I would encourage Sierra to answer and she would but it’d come out as a whisper. haha
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So cute and perfect for summer!
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Very Ember

For months now one of her very favorite things to do is take little toys or any other small objects and put them inside a little box, bag, bowl, whatever. Then she takes each one out one at a time. Then she puts them all back in. Then she takes them all back out. One at a time, over and over.
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It’s adorable.
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She also still doesn’t like to sleep. I mean, she gets her needed sleep, don’t get me wrong. The process just means I don’t get my needed sleep. ha
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I love her so much, it’s worth every single second of sleep deprivation being her mama 🙂
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Famous Dave’s and Bass Pro Shops

Is just the title of this post alone making you happy? If so, we would definitely be close friends 😉
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It’s really, really hard to raise four kids right. I try very hard to be a good mom. So when I’m complimented on their behavior when we’re out, it makes my day. Heck my week!
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Of course there were many months with this little girl where we simply didn’t go out to eat because she was too loud. She’d happily scream and squeal and that’s just not cool restaurant behavior Ember Anya! (But we did go to fast food places occasionally, I mean- it’s fast food after all.)
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Seriously, all four of my kids were little angels while we were there. I love my kids 🙂
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And they all ate and loved all of the food. But then, who wouldn’t?! So so yummy! And balloons, too? Yeah, we approve.
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We went over to Bass Pro Shops, too. It will be nice one day when we own a boat!
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I tried on this hat and then Payson wanted to try on this hat.
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Elevators are awesome. Elevators with windows into a giant aquarium? Best.
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