A warrior’s cat (meow, meow, meow, meow) I’m a warrior’s cat. I like to walk and talk, that’s what I like to do. I’m a warrior’s cat (meow, meow, meow, meow) I have a best friend, her name is Julie and she is really nice. We’re warrior cats (meow, meow, meow, meow) We love each other. We love each other. We’re warrior cats (meow, meow, meow, meow) We love to play, we love to play We’re warrior cats (meow, meow, meow, meow) AND THAT’S THE END!

Just Me Rambling to My Computer Screen

I’m a normal person. I’m not special. I don’t have any amazing talents or skills or even really anything that interesting about me. And I think that’s perfectly ok.

I’ve struggled this past year or two with feeling like I’m not enough. Everywhere I look there seems to be some woman doing everything I could even dream of and doing it perfectly. And that bothered me. Because if someone else is doing something so perfectly, so much better than I could ever even hope to do, does that make me worthless? Less than? If I can never be as good as, why do I even try?

What an odd thought process, right? Such a waste of time to compare. Who the heck cares what some other woman is doing? My kids love me. My husband loves me. They only want my time, love, and attention. And I can give that perfectly every single time. What a beautiful, freeing realization that was. I only wish I’d had it sooner.

I want to continue to make a conscious effort to not go for perfection. I want my life to be filled with happiness, not filled with something that looks good to someone else.

Today was a good day because I played with my kids outside. It was good because my family ate dinner together and laughed and talked and had a really good time. It was good because when Allan came home from work we hugged and kissed for a long time and that feels really dang good. Today was good because I got to smile and giggle with Ember while she breastfed. Today was good because Sierra and I were cracking each other up after school.

And today was also really bad at times. Mostly because of my own faults and weaknesses. I got upset with the two youngest kids when they were cranky on errands. I got upset with Brooklyn for not obeying me after school. I got upset when all the kids were piled into the kitchen while I was trying to cook.
These are really stupid things for me to get upset over. I’m trying really hard to let things like that go. I succeed a lot but I fail a lot, too. And that’s ok. I’ll keep trying. I’m sure I’ll have failures on a daily basis, if not an hourly basis. But I’ll keep trying. And maybe tomorrow I can really enjoy these moments of this time in my life even more. Because I sure do have a lot of people in my house who love me and I don’t want to waste this season of being surrounded by that. When it feels overwhelming I really need to step back and realize that I’m overwhelmed by love. Even in the moments of my kids disobeying, they really love me. I know it, I know it for sure, and I need to appreciate what a gift that is. I don’t appreciate it enough. PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Corn on the Cob

We had corn on the cob with our Thanksgiving dinner and we had leftovers for the next full day. This was Ember’s first time with corn on the cob and she was impressed. PhotobucketPhotobucket

She shared with Sierra. I love her face in the background here, she was telling Sierra to open wide and say, “aaah” as she bit. Photobucket

Sierra’s New Bike!

There was a coloring contest held by Allan’s company last month. My kids all entered their drawings and we found out a week or two later that Sierra had won for her age group! The prize was a bike! We gathered the kids outside. Photobucket

We’d told the kids that Sierra was getting something. (we told them it was an early birthday present for her because we didn’t want them to know that Sierra had won the coloring contest and they hadn’t, but we did tell Sierra seperately that she’d won) Sierra wanted to close her eyes. She was so excited! Ember closed her eyes too! Photobucket

Allan rolled the bike out of the garage where it had been hidden this last week. Photobucket

We told Sierra to open her eyes and when she caught sight of her bike for the first time she was speechless. Photobucket

She was grinning and was really happy when we told her she could hop right on to tr it out! Photobucket

She’s been wanting a bike for a few years and we really wanted to get her one. It’s a huge blessing that she won this one 🙂 PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Thanksgiving Week

I didn’t want to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. It was a really difficult week. I was really tired taking care of cranky, sick kids night and day. Then I got really sick which made everything even more difficult! And then Allan got really sick!

It was Sierra who changed my mind about Thanksgiving. She’d sounded so excited about Thanksgiving when she came home from school Wednesday. I told her we were going to skip it and she looked sad but accepted it without a complaint, because she is such an easy going little girl. I stood there thinking, why not? Why not just up and DO Thanksgiving? For Sierra’s sake?

And that’s why, at the very last minute on the night before Thanksgiving, I went to the store to buy a feast. And it was a very delicious feast (thanks, Costco!) and all pretty much premade! I was still recovering from an almost sleepless week, after all! I’m no supermom!
Here are all the pictures I took this week so far.
Allan staying home sick from work. He almost never stays home sick from work. And not only did he stay home, he took some long naps! Photobucket

For a full 24 hours (when I was the most ill) I didn’t clean my house. And this is the result: Photobucket

And this: Photobucket

One of the turkeys Sierra made in school. Photobucket

And to be fair I photographed a picture Brooklyn drew, as well. ha Photobucket

There was a lot of TV viewing this week. Photobucket

WAY too much, truthfully. I’m not sure how I would’ve made it through without it, though! All the responsibility while so ill, as if motherhood isn’t challenging enough on a normal day! Ugh. Photobucket

Still sick as a dog, I couldn’t take it anymore and cleaned my house in between trips to the bathroom to be sick. (Payson putting together a puzzle on the kitchen floor is an everyday thing) Photobucket

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I’ve been meaning to set up these bookshelves for a week but haven’t been able to. Hopefully this weekend! Photobucket

This little girl deserves her very own post. But since there won’t be one I’ll just sum it all up with one sentence. She is very tired, very cranky, very clingy, and not in a very good mood these days! PhotobucketPhotobucket

But she has her happy moments 🙂 Photobucket

And when she does, it’s just about the most delightful thing. (She thought it hilarious that she was running around with her top down) Photobucket

Ember’s preferred napping place is the couch. She’ll now take at least a one hour nap there every single day. I try to give her her naps in her bed, but when she’s slept for two hours on the couch, I don’t have a problem with that! haha PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

My kids love to be made into “burrito babies.” PhotobucketPhotobucket

They love it when I carry them around when they’re wrapped up. And they love it when I set one on top of the other. PhotobucketPhotobucket

Once you start playing burrito babies you can’t stop very easily. They want to keep the game going for what feels like ever. Photobucket

And with such giant smiles and nonstop giggling, I don’t mind! PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

They did stop to break out some Spiderman poses, though. PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

But then again, back to burritos! Photobucket

This was a picture I snapped in Costco waiting in a long line for pumpkin pie the night before Thanksgiving! Photobucket

Knowing there was to be such a huge feast the next day, dinner was pretty simple that night. PhotobucketPhotobucket

I obviously don’t take pictures during family prayers normally but this night was extra sweet because Brooklyn wanted to say a special prayer for Allan that he could feel better and enjoy Thanksgiving with us. That day he’d been extremely sick. Photobucket

I didn’t take any pictures all day Thanksgiving (darn it! We did such cute crafts!) but did pull my camera out before we started eating. Photobucket

We ate at 2pm! I wanted it to be super early so that a little later when it was really dinnertime we could have a relaxing dinner of leftovers! Allan was reading everyone the menu I’d made earlier in the day, he was so cute about everything I’d done since he knew how sick I’d been 🙂 Photobucket

And he said I should take a picture of it. It was such a little thing (just typed and printed it out) but Allan complimenting me on it and liking that I’d done it (and made the table decorations out of scrapbooks scraps) made me feel good 🙂 PhotobucketPhotobucket

It was a yummy meal! Photobucket

I didn’t want to take pictures while we ate and said our thankful things and all that stuff so we took these few posed pictures before we started and that’s it! PhotobucketPhotobucket

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Ok, completely changing gears for these last couple pictures. The other day Ember came out of my bedroom wearing my bra! She’d been struggling to put it on (she LOVES dressing up in my stuff!) and Allan helped her snap it and she was over the moon happy! I mean, SO happy!! Photobucket
She kept pointing to it and saying, “Pretty!” Photobucket

And this last one was today at lunch. PhotobucketPayson was having seconds and it just reminded me that I’d wanted to talk about how much Payson eats. It’s INSANE! The kid eats SO MUCH. He eats as much as I do. He eats twice as much as his older sisters. He eats probably four times as much as they did at his age! I’m not even joking. It is going to cost a fortune to feed him as a teenager, I just know it!

All Nighter!

I mentioned at the end of my last post that Ember threw up just before I was going to go to bed. We got everything cleaned up and I managed to get her back to sleep. I stayed up finishing a load of laundry (because all our towels were dirty and towels are the basic necessity of vomit clean up for me!) and finishing that blog post!

Before I went to bed I went in Ember’s room to check on her and it smelled like diarrhea. I checked her diaper and sure enough, a load of diarrhea. DANG. I carried her to the changing table and she basically stayed asleep while I changed her diaper. Then I took her back to her room and I think that’s when she threw up again. It’s all a little fuzzy now, hours and hours of not sleeping later! haha

So I gave her a bath and washed her bedding and bed and laid down with her on the couch to try to get her to sleep. And mostly to try to sleep myself because it was 2am at this point and I was exhausted. I haven’t been getting enough sleep anyway.

So she would not sleep. She was really upset with me not letting her nurse. Especially feeling so awful, she really wanted to breastfeed. I’m sure her stomach hurting was confusing her- she probably thought she was hungry. And heck, maybe she was.

After an hour or so of rocking her and patting her back and doing other mommy things to try to soothe her to sleep I finally couldn’t stand it anymore and breastfed her. She was instantly asleep. *sigh*

We dozed for a few minutes until I woke up to her throwing up all over. It was just breastmilk which was an easy cleanup. Bath number three and an outfit change for both of us, and then back to the couch for some sleep!

But no. This time she was plain old sad about not being able to breastfeed. I think she knew that breastfeeding meant throwing up and so she just lay on my chest crying and holding her hand over my boob. This time she was crying sadly, “Mommy. Moooommmmeeeee. Milk. Mommy.” It was the sweetest sad thing ever!

I was SO exhausted, of course. SOOOOO tired! But I did everything I could to help her feel better. Sometimes when I’m the most tired I’m the best mom. I guess that motherhood adrenaline kicks in.

She threw up again about an hour later. She was fighting me like crazy as I held a towel up to her mouth. She kept pushing it away and trying to barf on herself. Kids are so dumb when they throw up. Like, really you want to tilt your head up towards the ceiling? That’s really your instinct when you’re throwing up?!

She finally fell asleep for good around 6am. Of course then Payson was up and pestering me and then the girls had to get up to go to school and BLAH, what a crappy morning!

Because I was holding a cranky Ember (she woke up when I got up to get the girls up) the girls made their own breakfast (raisin bran) and got themselves dressed and brushed their hair and all that jazz. I made their lunches while Ember cried on the couch. Then I took them to the bus and came home and turned on Toy Story 3 and tried to doze again. Not very successfully. Oh well, hopefully I’ll get some sleep tonight.
Here she is after bath #2 I believe: Photobucket

I think this was after 4am. But I could be totally wrong. haha Photobucket

I actually didn’t even get two minutes of sleep right then. Photobucket

This next picture was taken after the very last time she threw up, I left her shirtless because washing yet another outfit seemed stupid. Photobucket

Got home from dropping the girls off at the bus, feeling like a zombie. Photobucket

I tried to sleep on the couch while the little kids watched TV but only got about fifteen minutes of sleep. I fed Payson (it was about 8:15am) and then nursed Ember while checking facebook. She kept the breastmilk down! Photobucket

One awesome thing about being the mom is that you sacrifice all that sleep to help your child and the next day all the crankiness has worn off and they feel SO bonded to you and are super affectionate ♥ Photobucket

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She was feeling just as tired as I was! Photobucket

I showed her the pictures on the back of the camera (she insists) and she points to each of us and says, “Mama, Ember.” And then I ask if she wants to take one more picture of mommy and Ember and she says yeah. And then while I snap she says, “Mama, Ember.” (Her lips are puckered up because she was saying EmbER when I snapped. So cute! Photobucket

I wasn’t feeling all that great so tired and exhausted looking, but happened to stumble upon a fashion blog (I don’t usually read fashion blogs) by accident and the girl was overweight and looked HOT. She’s like my size and looks a million times better than I do. I always wonder how women my size manage to look SO much better and confident than I do! Why can’t I be that way? So anyway, I thought maybe some red lipstick would make me feel human more than zombie.
It did 🙂 Photobucket

I kinda like that I have this darkness under my eyes and then that red lipstick. Like, yes I am totally looking like death but I’m not going to give up to the exhaustion without a fight! haha Photobucket

And I actually look much worse in real life. My camera has a built in skin smoother thing that is forgiving 😉 Photobucket

Some of the Things We Did Recently

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As pictured below, my kids watched The Land Before Time III on Netflix while I cooked dinner. Photobucket

Sierra completed a decorative turkey for school in preparation for Thanksgiving. Photobucket

Brooklyn was very angry, very often, at the injustice in the world. Photobucket

Payson and Ember were upset that I took them to Lowe’s. Photobucket

Very upset. Photobucket

But then very happy. PhotobucketPhotobucket

I took this picture of myself in the car. Photobucket

We stopped by Costco for a salad lunch. Photobucket

Ember put her water on the table in such a way that splashed. When she saw that she had spilled a bit on the ground she took it upon herself to clean the mess up. Payson joined in. A woman came over to my table to tell me how special it was that Ember is such a good helper and I nodded in agreement. I hadn’t been excited about Ember crawling around on the ground in the process of cleaning her water spill but after that I just let the dirty hands and knees go and enjoyed my sweet helper girl. Photobucket

Then Payson showed Ember where the garbage was and they had the happiest time throwing each and every piece of trash from our table away. Photobucket

We stopped by Hobby Lobby and though they look happy in the pictures, they hated it there and whined the whole time. Photobucket

The whole time after the first five minutes anyway; which is when these pictures were taken. Photobucket

I wanted to go home but really needed to make a quick stop at WalMart. Ember fell asleep in the ergo and Payson was in a good mood! He requested this picture! He says he was doing a mean face. Photobucket

And we were pretty sick of shopping and ready to go home and chill out when Payson, without warning, barfed all over himself and the car. He was quite uncomfortable on the drive home, sitting in his throw up. When we stopped he asked me to not only take his picture but to video record him too! I told him for just a second because I really needed to clean him up. He was happy for the ten seconds I filmed him (not sharing it because he’s covered in barf and that’s gross) and thanked me. Sometimes kids are weird. Photobucket

Another day (I think?) Ember and I went to Walgreen’s to rent a movie from Redbox. PhotobucketPhotobucket

These next few were taken after a family hike. Photobucket

Allan and I were balancing on this metal gate thing. Photobucket

I was doing really well until Allan came over and held my hand. For some reason when he held my hand it made me off balanced. I fell/jumped off and was embarrassed. Photobucket

This is a different day (today actually), we went on a family walk. Brooklyn found a bullet. Photobucket

The little kids had fun. Anything outside is fun for them 🙂 PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Ok, these next few were taken when we very first arrived… PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Ember had fun playing with her petshop animal in the sand. She was doing this cute little voice for the lizard. Photobucket

She was excited about finding cool rocks and kept showing them to me. Photobucket

And then we found a bone and the kids thought that was the neatest. PhotobucketPhotobucket
And a little while later it got dark and we walked back to the car and drove home.

Then we fed the kids and put the older three to bed. Ember wanted to be nursed before bed so I was nursing her while Allan and I watched a Tivo’d Saturday Night Live episode when Ember suddenly threw up all over herself, me, and the couch. We got her and the couch cleaned up and I rocked her to sleep (she was really unhappy that I didn’t let her nurse once more) and now I am going to bed also!