Canyon Creek part 1

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Part of the reason we went up to the rim this weekend was because we were looking for a good place to take Brooklyn’s birthday pictures.
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There’s one spot I found near the end of the trip that I liked a lot. I didn’t get a picture of it but if I take her pictures there then I’ll share those here.
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This place was really green and pretty. We went on a little hike from our car to the creek. I let Ember walk as much as possible and she was loving that.
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Payson loves being outside. He was so happy the entire time we were out there 🙂
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I love how in this next picture everyone is looking back at Ember climbing up.
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And as fiercely independent as she can be there are times when all she wants in the world is mama and that’s quite nice ♥
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Monday!

The weekend is over. Boo hoo.
Did you guys have a lovely one?
We went up north to The Rim area. We drove to Canyon Creek and played around.
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There were some good and bad moments. Way more good than bad. The bad ones are funny, though. I’ll blog about it soon. Right now we’re headed to the store for school supplies; school starts here next week!! My daughters are full of excitement and nerves to meet their new teachers and classmates and see their new classrooms. So fun! I need to start thinking about what kind of first day of school things I want to do!
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Birthday Prep

Brooklyn’s birthday is in a week. WHAT!? A week! I’ve been planning and shopping and sewing and crafting up a storm this week. I’m very, very, very nervous I won’t be done it time for her birthday!! Maybe we can celebrate it a week late?! haha

Anyway, Ember’s been insanely cranky this week because she has a cold. It seems to be a very minor cold so I’m surprised at how cranky she’s been. She’s been really cranky! She kept me up pretty much ALL night one night. I was really unhappy about that. Oh well, I’m tired, what else is new?

So yeah, supply shopping.
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Ember used to be an angel baby on shopping trips. That has changed completely. She screams when I put her in the cart. She isn’t happy unless she’s sprinting around the store, touching everything. Luckily her temporary hatred of the carrier has ended and she loves being worn again!
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Seriously this week nothing in the world was cheering up my little girl. I gave her a lollipop out of sheer desperation one day. I didn’t think I could take one more minute of crying. She was really wanting to breastfeed but she’d latch on and then not be able to breathe with her stuffy nose and so she’d pull off and cry harder. It was sad and ridiculous and frustrating. Oh my gosh so frustrating! All night she wanted to comfort nurse and she’d latch on and then pull off because of her nose and we’d both get sprayed with milk (which was like a freaking geyser thanks to me being extremely engorged because she couldn’t nurse well for several days!!) and then she’d cry and I’d want to cry and eventually morning would come and I’d feel like death and she’d still be cranky and crying…
aaah!
Lollipop worked for about five minutes. I tell you, those five minutes were the most heavenly five minutes of my life!! (Lollipop stopped working when she climbed up on things and it got dirty, I’d wash it, she’d go somewhere else and it would get dirty, repeat 1,000 times)
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Ember will be two in September. She creates an endless amount of work for me and destroys my house. I can’t keep up with everything these days. My life is just one giant disaster after the next. lol
I was pretty relieved to find this moment’s mess was simply water. Oh such relief.
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No matter how many times I tell Payson not to climb on this car he does it anyway, minutes later. Eventually I stopped telling him to stop. Whatever, climb on the car… live on the car. I don’t care.
And now every single day he climbs on it and every single time he begs, “Picture me, mom!!! MOM! Picture me!”
I have about fifty pictures of him on this car now.
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While I was cooking dinner they were resting.
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Pretty sunset.
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After dinner we went outside because a storm was coming in. Ember was shirtless because she is often shirtless when we eat messy food and I hadn’t put a new shirt on her yet.
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And now I’m done. Sorry it’s all so boring… I can’t write cleverly when my children are hounding me, which they currently are 😉

We Went Out! Movie at the Mall

Tuesday we were going to meet up with my friend and her kids and go to the dollar movie at the Picture Show at the Superstition Springs Mall. Last minute my friend couldn’t make it because her twin boys (Ember’s age) ended up being pretty cranky and taking a late nap, right at the time the movie was playing. We’re going to get together next week instead.

But I’d already told my kids we were going and so we still went.
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I wanted to take them to see The Pirates! Band of Misfits but the only one showing at that time was 3D and I didn’t think Payson and Ember would keep their glasses on and without glasses they probably would lose interest in the weird looking movie quick (and then get cranky) so we saw Chimpanzee instead.
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We all liked it a lot. Both my older girls cried a couple times and were a bit scared at others and laughed through the rest 🙂 Great movie.
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Sierra wanted a picture against this wall. Specifically by the coyote. My kids love coyotes since we hear them howling frequently behind our house and we see them regularly around the neighborhood! (That silhouette might actually be a wolf, I’m not sure… the kids don’t care either way, it’s a coyote to them. lol)
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Dancing to the music in JCPenney.
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Lunch.
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An older man saw me take that picture and came over and insisted I needed one with me in it. I always appreciate being in pictures with my kids, even when I don’t feel the prettiest… so thanks, stranger!
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My kids tried chopsticks.
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Sierra quickly abandoned them for a fork.
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We stopped by the arcade at the movie theater and played Ms. Pacman. Brooklyn had never seen the game before and wanted to try. She died pretty quick. We’ll have to go and play again when I have more quarters.
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Quick side story, I’m actually really, really good at Ms. Pacman… Allan and I went to the movies once when we were newly married and there was a Ms. Pacman game there and I told him I was really good at it and he said, “Oh really?! Awesome!” and we got some quarters to play. I was nervous because I’d just said I was good at this game and now I was going to have to prove it! Not because he’d think I was stupid if I sucked but just because, I’d said I was good at something. haha
So anyway I started playing with a lot of anxiety and tried my best and…

beat the high score of the game by far on my first try. haha! Fun memory.

We stopped and played around the fountain area.
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Payson found Sierra’s glasses in my diaper bag and wanted to wear them and asked me to take a picture of him. So I did. And then I took more because he was being so cute and funny.
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Chase and tag are two of my kids’ favorite games. We all play chase and tag (mostly monster chase) every single day.
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Pictures on the steps before heading home.
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On the way back to the car from this outing Brooklyn says to me with a pouty face and whiny voice, (exact quote) “Aw, we never do anything fun!”

Quick Post before Bed

I got two letters in the mail today from the girls’ school. They were to inform us of the girls’ new teachers, invite us to the back-to-school night and included a copy of the supplies the girls will need this year.

This summer has felt endlessly long. And yet it has also gone by in the blink of an eye.

I’ve been trying very hard to fill the summer up with fun memories for my girls. I’ve been trying to spend every spare second in quality time with the kids.

Which doesn’t leave much time for me, and not for blogging as much as I’d like to. I know I won’t regret choosing extra time with the kids over blogging. And I always eventually get some time to sit down and type so it’s no big deal.
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We had some pretty cool storms this last week. These pretty cool storms made for some pretty cool sunsets, too.
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My Children’s Eyes, a Comparison

I’ve taken pictures of my kids’ eyes close up many times. I don’t usually post those because… they’re eye pictures, they’re not that interesting for others, I’m sure. lol
But the other day I sat each kid down in one place and took a picture of each of their eyes so I could compare them. I know every detail of each of their eyes and how they differ but having it in picture form is really awesome. My kids have such different eyes!

Brooklyn:
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Sierra:
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Payson:
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Ember:
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And all of them, they’re in birth order left to right, naturally:
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I found it interesting that their eye color gets darker by birth order. How fun is that? haha

We Went Out! Thrift Stores + Barro’s Pizza

I feel a little guilty at blowing $70 on random things at the two thrift stores and dollar store we visited today.

We bought a bunch of clothes and even more books and a few DVDs as well. I was surprised by the total when I was paying at one of the stores. When I got home and was unloading the bags I found about ten extra books in the stuff I’d bought. How did I not notice this when paying?

Turns out Payson would grab a book off the shelf and flip through it and then toss it in my stroller.

So yeah, the thrift store was an interesting experience. I don’t mean to sound all uptight but they kinda gross me out. I find myself reaching for the antibacterial hand wipes far more than I’d like to admit.

This is ridiculous and I wish I didn’t think that way. Because shopping second hand is pretty cool. It’s really difficult for me to find things of value but if I’m simply searching for extra play clothes and books it’s simple and that’s exactly what I was looking for so it worked out well.

I wish I was the type of person who was creative enough to turn junk into treasures. I’d probably hang out at thrift stores more often. I read crafty/DIY blogs where they turn the ugliest crap into gorgeous pieces and I feel jealous and worthless afterward. I have not the talent. *sigh*

So yeah, some dresses for Ember and several bags full of books. Fun times.
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Ember’s favorite thing to do is explore. Sitting in a cart or stroller or on mommy’s hip when there are aisles and racks and shelves filled with new things to see and touch and mess with?
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She’s such a good girl, though. She might start to do something inappropriate like climb onto bookshelves but I tell her not to and she usually listens and doesn’t do it again! I told her once to climb down and she stayed off them from then on.
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Well, I’m 100% sure that if we went back to the thrift store tomorrow she’d be up climbing those bookshelves first thing, but within the hour after she’s been taught to not do something she’s usually pretty good about remembering.
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We stopped at Barro’s Pizza for lunch. It was really good and we had such a great time together!
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My kids have been really well behaved in restaurants lately. I’m pretty proud of them.
I chose to sit in the part of the restaurant that isn’t filled with toys and TVs with children’s programs playing because I wanted to spend our lunch talking and being together. We can watch TV at home! So anyway, before our food came the kids kept trying to kneel on the seat to peek into the other room and watch Scooby Doo! haha
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Payson kept standing on the booth like Ember. I’d tell him to sit and he would and then ten seconds later he was up on his knees or feet. I don’t really mind if he’s on his knees because it is pretty hard to eat when you can barely reach your food but standing is not ok.
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I’ve been considering investing in those portable boosters that fold up small for Payson and Ember. That way I could have Ember in the booth with us and she would be buckled in (she won’t stay sitting in the booster chairs at restaurants) while she eats. Same deal with Payson, I won’t have to tell him a hundred times to sit down. Have any of you used those? Would it tip over easily if it wasn’t strapped to a free standing chair? I’m thinking that if we’re in a booth I’ll seat Ember in hers between me and one of the other kids, not close to the edge at all or anything, but I just don’t know.
I’d also use them at home so I can get rid of our stupid, giant highchair once and for all! Ember really wants to sit at the kitchen table with the other kids and hates being in her highchair so I think this would be the best idea.
These two links are the ones I’m thinking about getting, one for Payson and one for Ember.
Munchkin Travel Booster Seat
Brica Travel Booster
Anyone use these? Could you tell me in the comments if you like the booster and if you use it a lot?
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My kids’ love of books has been a constant from the time they were all babies and yet sometimes it still surprises me. We got home from our outing and all four of them sat down in the pile of books and read for a long time!
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After reading the kids some books I went and sat with the older kids (Ember wanted to keep looking at books) in the living room and watched Shrek and colored. They love it when I color with them and I enjoy it, too! Especially when it’s a Precious Moments coloring book. I adored Precious Moments coloring books as a chid and still do to this day 🙂

Oh yeah, while we were hanging out I heard a few ripping sounds from the other room.
Uh oh.
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Hmm, also just saw this portable chair on amazon while browsing. I might get it instead. Having a chair to bring to the park for the kids or even on campouts would be cool. Buuut it doesn’t strap to a chair.