Ember Helping Me Photograph My Belly

Ember had a lot of fun taking pictures with me to document my belly at 7 months along.  photo 012e2resized_zpsd4bd4087.jpg photo 051eresized_zpsa025780f.jpg

Pretty much all of my stretchmarks were from Payson. I guess a 9 1/2 pound baby stretches out the belly something major 😉  photo 032eresized_zps287818e7.jpg photo 037eeresized_zps9abf4bc0.jpg photo 048eresized_zps11d59f6b.jpg photo 041eresized_zpsc63b274a.jpg

At the end Ember wanted to do a whole bunch of silly faces. Most of them looked like the next two, so I’ll save you the scrolling and only post two of the 30 there are 🙂  photo 064eresized_zps82464965.jpg photo 066eresized_zps66e31a6c.jpg

Running Errands with Ember

Yesterday I had an obgyn checkup.
I started to blow dry and straighten my hair while Ember decided to raid my makeup basket. I didn’t want her to but I also wasn’t successful at distracting her with other toys and in the end I just let her pile on eye shadow and lip gloss. She was so sticky by the time she applied her tenth coat of lip gloss.

After she was done caking her face I wiped her down with a baby wipe. She pouted and said, “But now I not have makeup anymore.” And I said, “Of course you do, you have lots of pretty makeup! I was just wiping off the cereal on your face from breakfast!” She bought that and giggled and said, “Oh yeah!” (I love this about toddlers… so easy to avoid meltdowns, ha)  photo 021resized_zps4516d9a9.jpg photo 031eresized_zps71e6d245.jpg

After getting ready we drove on over to the doctor’s office.  photo 036eresized_zps6df7db63.jpg photo 037eresized_zps55a7ddac.jpg

My appointment only took like five minutes.  photo 040eresized_zps5ff7de2c.jpg

After my appointment we went to Costco to print some pictures.  photo 043eresized_zps182e50d2.jpg

Ember asked for pizza and I can almost never say no to Ember 😉  photo 049eresized_zps4589b867.jpg photo 056eresized_zps48ead4d9.jpg photo 060eresized_zps621f9857.jpg

After uploading pictures to print and eating pizza we went to Michael’s craft store to get some scrapbook stuff. I’m working on catching up on all the scrapbooking I’ve skipped since starting my blog in 2006. My goal is to finish before Everett’s born!

Ember fell asleep on the drive from Michael’s back to my doctor. (She’d left her bucket in the office so we went back to get it)
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After getting her bucket from the doctor’s office we went back to Costco to pick up pictures and buy a few things for lunches.  photo 071eresized_zpsfeff2bcf.jpg

I’m debating buying one of these animal bean bag chair things to use for Everett’s monthly comparison pictures. I would’ve bought one but I couldn’t decide if I love them or not so I didn’t. I like the texture of the fur on the giraffe but the bear is the only one with a really cute face. So I ended up leaving with neither and maybe I’ll ask Allan what he thinks of them.  photo 075eresized_zps0b4f07a6.jpg(Ember was sitting on them because I wanted to make sure they were comfy for three year olds as well as useful for growth photos.)

Ember was obsessed with all the toys in the store. She wanted to stop and look at and try out every single item! It was hard to convince her to leave her favorite toys. A doll stroller and the kitchen pictured below were her favorites.  photo 078eresized_zpsd9cddc4b.jpg

In the cold section getting fruit!  photo 096eresized_zps2b1cceb6.jpg photo 099eeresized_zpsc3e3d6f3.jpg

I bought us a frozen yogurt to share. I threw away about two thirds of it once we got to the car (I meant to tell them to fill it half full but forgot) and I was glad because Ember ate everything that was left in the cup. She probably would’ve eaten more if there had been more in the cup! Which I knew she would!  photo 105eresized_zps3983febd.jpg
And once we got home it was mad chaos for the rest of the day!

Balance

Or maybe more like, juggling?

With four kids… it’s all about juggling. Food preparation, errands, cleaning, mothering, and then anything else that a normal human being puts on their list-of-things-to-be-done.

It’s pure chaos most days in my life. I feel like I’ve never completed anything because my list is so long. I suppose everyone’s life is like that, a never ending to do list from day to day. I thought it would be easy once the big things this year were crossed off my list…
-Everett’s ultrasound to check out his syndactyly and then a visit to a pediatric hand surgeon
-the family reunion in Utah
-Jeena’s wedding

But though the major stress of those things is gone (and really- thank goodness!) I am still overwhelmed every day. It surprises me to have to use my every minute on something. When is the down time? Never again? When Everett goes to school in six years? haha!

Something that’s been important to me this year is lots of arts and crafts time with my kids. They don’t get hardly any in school and I think they need it. Even though I’d rather send them off to play in their rooms when they come home talking loudly and constantly about their day. I know this should be cute and maybe other moms find hearing every detail of their child’s day enjoyable… I don’t.

I can’t handle, in the slightest, three people talking to me in that way at once for a solid hour. It’s seriously SOFAST and SOLOUD, I feel like they’re yelling at me and it’s three people at once!! Gah. I tell them to stop talking after like one minute of it every single day now!! Then after they’re settled with a snack or with our craft they can more calmly tell me about their day, taking turns. Ugh, I swear my heart rate is up just talking about the insane, noisy hour after school! It’s worse than any other time of day! And it doesn’t really stop. They might talk more quietly but they literally talk every second of the day. At least Brooklyn and Sierra do. Payson just whines all the live long day. haha
But what was I talking about? Art? That’s more fun to hear about, I’m sure.  photo 053eresized_zps2a16d2ef.jpg photo 056eresized_zps4ae72aa7.jpg photo 153resized_zpseacca718.jpg photo 164eresized_zpsbf1ff93b.jpg photo 167eresized_zps8f61aef8.jpg

Brooklyn got those glasses from the dollar store and has worn them (without lenses) for the past three days straight. Even to school.  photo 192eresized_zps320393ae.jpg photo 196eresized_zpsa83121bc.jpg

It was maybe two minutes before Payson was making a huge mess with his paint.  photo 203eresized_zpsf815da8b.jpg

I don’t mind my kids using their fingers or hands to paint. And I try not to mind about him painting himself but… I wasn’t happy about it, honestly.  photo 219eresized_zps0af332e5.jpg photo 224eresized_zps649c4261.jpg

The kids played with Ember’s preschool boxes the rest of the afternoon. She has a bunch of different activities in 15 different dollar store storage boxes. This box in the photo was the hardware box, I think. It has nuts and bolts, a tape measurer, a key and lock, some carabiners (and stuff to link onto them) and… I’m not sure what else. haha. It’s a favorite with all the kids, though.  photo 232eresized_zpsfe208495.jpg

The girls showed me their finished paintings. They’re actually really cute but they didn’t photograph well and I was too lazy to change locations to get a better picture just to blog 😉  photo 238eresized_zps8caf033d.jpg

Sierra showing one of the carabiners with rubber bands “strung” on.  photo 241eresized_zpsb2e5b84d.jpg

Home Lunch for School

The first few weeks of school I packed Payson’s lunchbag with small tupperware containers filled with veggies, fruit, meat and cheese, and other little things for his lunch.  photo Untitled-1_zpsd585f10d.jpg

And every single day he’d come home with an empty lunchbag. Having thrown away the tupperware containers!
Day three of this I switched to ziploc baggies to put his food into! I had tried to teach him not to throw anything from his lunch away but it wasn’t working!

So I knew the ziploc baggies were only a temporary solution; I couldn’t stomach using dozens of ziploc baggies every week for an entire school year!
I wanted to buy some cheapy, divided tupperware containers. I figured with the large size and there only being one of them, Payson wouldn’t throw it away!
The only problem with this is his lunchbag is the wrong shape. Which meant I need to buy a new one.
So I did, and while I was at it I bought the girls new lunchbags with the same shape so I could use the divided containers for everyone!  photo 027eresized_zps327d9a70.jpg

Those lunchbags in the picture above are the ones I bought. Luckily they were on clearance! I’ve been using these lunchbags for the last few school days and they’re working out so much better! Not only does Payson not throw his tupperware container away but it’s easier to wash one container per kid (and Allan’s as well) than three or four per person! It’s easier to pack lunches in the morning as well! I don’t have a dozen containers spread out on my counter to fill up, just the four! (Allan’s included)  photo IMG_5894eresized_zps7701c62d.jpg
Excuse the lame nature of this post and the crappy IPod photo included, life is so flipping busy! Blogging has been more difficult than ever before!

My Baby Boy

The only boy. For now. His place as the boy has been a special one. If he wasn’t so beyond excited to have a brother I’d feel a bit guilty at “taking away” his special title. I know, though, that he’ll be happier being big brother to little brother so much more than he’s (actually not) enjoyed being the only boy!

He’s dealing with a lot these days. School has been a very difficult adjustment for him. He’s also going through that five-year-old phase. Sierra went through similar… a rough time. Testing boundaries constantly, not wanting to be told what to do. And yet, functioning so much better when things are consistent, structured, and full of the right rewards and disciplines.

I am thankful for the time we have apart while he’s at school because I know in the long run it’ll be good for him, but I miss him every day and still get teary every single stinking morning when he gets on the bus! It’s pretty silly, I guess.  photo 080eresized_zpsce14073b.jpg photo 081eresized_zpse2b6bcc6.jpg

Home and Not Sleeping

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Ember has not slept well the last few nights. She crawls into my bed around 2, 3, or 4am and spends the rest of the night kicking or putting her hand down my shirt and whining for milk. I can only let her nurse for a minute once or twice a day, tops. I just can’t stand any more than that… my nipples are too sensitive and it’s a painful and annoying feeling!  photo 156eresized_zps0f4cd97d.jpg

So yesterday I was particularly tired. I just wanted to sleep all day. Ember wanted me to play with her all day. And my house needed to be cleaned.
Nothing ended up going very well yesterday but that’s just how it is sometimes.  photo 203eresized_zpsf219f2ea.jpg

She crawled into my bed last night, too. She wouldn’t let me go to sleep (kicking, pulling at my shirt, tossing and turning) so much so that I finally left my bed when she’d fallen into a light sleep and went to sleep on the couch. She found me there very shortly after and continued to keep me up. I was e x h a u s t e d and the second she fell into a light sleep again I went back to my own bed. Then around 6am she was up for the day but by then Payson was up for the day as well (my kids would wake up, and stay up, at like 4am if I let them!) so they played while I slept another hour.

So, yeah. I would really, really like some sleep and I don’t foresee any in my near future as today it is clear she has a cold and Ember handles colds about as well as a man does.
Which isn’t well at all 😉  photo 108eresized_zps438f5924.jpg

Yesterday it was 107 Degrees and I Died

It was September 4th and 107 degrees yesterday. That is wrong. So, so, so, so, so, so wrong.  photo 238eresized_zpsc7778246.jpg

Okay Arizona, you worthless state you, keep being as hot as the depths of hell. I’ll just hole up inside my blasted-with-A/C house and wear nothing but a thin nightgown all the live long day or pull out the baby pool in freaking September, or maybe our sprinkler… you just keep being wretched and when I move away, I will never ever ever be back. Ever.  photo 268eresized_zps15332288.jpg

PS: Anyone else have A/C (or heater) “wars” with their spouse? Allan asks me, literally, every single day if I want to turn the A/C down. I am usually, I swear, sweating at the moment he asks me. And I say, “NO!! I want to turn it up !!”
Third trimester + hottest summer ever = misery.  photo 287eresized_zpsb158b1da.jpg

They, I, We

Finding her in the morning with my iPod. Quiet on the couch.  photo IMG_6813eresized_zps038c0037.jpg

Giving her things to do. She so very cheerfully helped me pick up the house that morning, without being asked, and then when she found out we were doing some fun stuff she chattered excitedly by my side, following me from room to room as I gathered supplies.  photo IMG_6824eresized_zps295d683a.jpg

She tells me what she’s doing as she goes along. I sit and listen to her adorable voice and feel so lucky to spend my day with her.  photo IMG_6818eresized_zps8d5faff7.jpg photo IMG_6823eresized_zpsdbabb1e4.jpg

She tried out painting with a toy car’s wheels. She loved it! It took her a minute to warm up to the idea of purposefully, with permission, using a toy to paint with. But once she did she happily played with the toys and paint and was oh so careful about her “work.”  photo IMG_6829eresized_zpsf6e6ec4f.jpg photo IMG_6831eeresized_zps15051627.jpg photo IMG_6833eresized_zpsf4d910df.jpg

She was carefully making her painting until she accidentally got a bit of paint on one of her fingers. Her finger hovered above the plate. Knowing what she wanted but that she wouldn’t because she was in a “being good” mindset for some reason… I told her, “You can paint with your fingers if you want to.”
She looked happy and moved her finger towards the plate. Then she stopped and looked at me, checking to make sure this was still okay?
“You can. You can use your fingers or your hand if you want!”  photo IMG_6836eresized_zps423f5688.jpg photo IMG_6840eresized_zps368d2663.jpg photo IMG_6845eresized_zpseabdebd0.jpg

After painting she played with pipe cleaners on the couch.  photo IMG_6847eresized_zpsc4851427.jpg

Then played cooking with her dishes and some letter tiles and beads for scooping and pouring.  photo IMG_6851eresized_zps8f2276fe.jpg photo IMG_6854eresized_zps39096e5c.jpg photo IMG_6857eresized_zps2531ac80.jpg

She went on to play with that set up for a good hour! I was surprised by how much she loved it. Though she loves scooping and pouring every time I pull stuff out to do so.
She also brought her pipe cleaners over and strung the beads on over and over again. In all kinds of patterns and talking out loud the entire time. I could happily film her playing for hours, it’s just so cute!

One day later in the week the kids and I went to WalMart. Probably Saturday. It rained. It stormed. It was a major downpour. We left the store with our groceries, the rain was coming down in buckets. I told the kids, “Well, here we go! Get ready to get soaked!” And we ran through the parking lot. Everyone was laughing, everyone took a bit longer than normal to get into the car, hoping to get rained on as much as possible.
Once in the car I waited a while until the rain calmed down. But later when I was driving it got worse than even before. It was crazy. But really fun. photo IMG_5698e_zps8dcb83c4.jpg

At home we ate and then when the rain had calmed down to a sprinkle we went back outside. It was still hot! But it was fun anyway and the highlight of the day (maybe my kids’ entire week!) was when Brooklyn found a baby frog (probably a toad, really) in our driveway.  photo IMG_6866esbresized_zps11891c1d.jpg photo IMG_6881eresized_zpsbcb5c7c5.jpg photo IMG_6883eresized_zps85d1f2f1.jpg

Payson and Ember play so sweetly and quietly together at bedtime. It’s actually extremely difficult to make them go to bed because they’re being so darn cute!!  photo 014bwcropresized_zpsdb366e6c.jpg

Over the weekend they stayed up two hours past their usual bedtime. It makes me sad that Payson’s in school. They are such good friends and miss each other during the day.  photo 025bwresized_zpsdff853b5.jpg photo 029eresized_zps98a482c1.jpg

A company contacted Allan about a job (well, two!) that they wanted to interview him for. He hadn’t applied for the job, they just heard about him and decided to initiate! So this company is a good company and the jobs (one where we want to move to, one in Colorado- where we don’t want to move to) are awesome. We’re pretty excited and anxious to hear more information. I think he has a second interview really soon and we’re hoping that means we’re moving soon! But I’ve been let down so freaking much I’m trying to mentally prepare for living here in Arizona for the rest of the year. If I plan for that I won’t be so let down if that’s what happens. There’s a lot going on with Everett coming in two months so, I can deal with it.
But I still prefer to move! ha
Anyway, Allan was sending off a thank you email for the interview he’d had that week. Ember watched.  photo 006eresized_zps8bd4a72f.jpg photo 012eresized_zpsc8c6b61a.jpg
And I’m spent.

Go BYU! First Game of the Season!

 photo IMG_6912e2cropresized_zps5121dda3.jpgNormally Allan records the football games so we can watch them once the kids go to bed. Our kids are a loud and crazy bunch and enjoying a TV show (or football game!) with them around isn’t really a possibility.
But since it was the very first game of the season we thought it’d be fun to have a family affair of it. I prepared a football-friendly lunch (corn dog muffins, chips and dip, root beer, and football shaped brownies!) and we got in the football spirit with black under the eyes and all of the footballs we own (four?) brought out and thrown around.
The kids were excited. Allan was excited. The day was set to be awesome.  photo IMG_6893eresized_zps2a81a974.jpg

My goal was to spend no money on this little bitty table setup. I did spend $2, though… the table cloth and blue plates. I couldn’t resist.  photo IMG_6894eresized_zps5b06ed8f.jpg

I printed a picture of us at Bridal Veil Falls from two years ago in Utah in our BYU shirts.  photo IMG_6896eresized_zpsba3e9e66.jpg

I would’ve really loved to eat a corn dog muffin but, baby on board means nope to the hotdogs! Oh well, my salad was delish, too! (I did have chips and guac! I made that guacamole that morning and it was SO good! Extra lime and cilantro is my faaaaaave!)  photo IMG_6903eresized_zps3b58ecaf.jpg

We ate just before the game started and then I smeared black paint under the kids eyes and showed them intimidating faces and muscle poses. They were having a blast running around posing (they were breaking out some awesome football poses before I grabbed my camera!) and saying, “Go BYU!” and “Go cougars!” and a bunch of other supportive stuff like that 🙂  photo IMG_6909ecropresized_zps45cb7a49.jpg

I took so many pictures of them like this. I had a hard time narrowing it down from my favorite ten to my favorite four for this post! Even that is a lot! ha  photo IMG_6914ecropresized_zpsa8c9c4af.jpg photo IMG_6915ecropresized_zps803e4243.jpg photo IMG_6921ecropresized_zps20f670ad.jpg

And if that isn’t enough 😉
I took a picture of each kid by themselves for their albums. So, more pictures! haha  photo IMG_6954eresized_zpsc44dbcfa.jpg photo IMG_6953eresized_zpsc5e53a4d.jpg photo IMG_6949eresized_zps4f5e1fd3.jpg photo IMG_6938eresized_zps837107da.jpg photo IMG_6935e2resized_zpsdacf6c2a.jpg

I had planned on printing out the lyrics to the fight song for the girls to practice (because they always want to learn it) and was pleasantly surprised when Brooklyn asked that morning if I could print the lyrics out. She hadn’t known my plan and wanted to learn it all on her own.
I printed the lyrics and then we watched a youtube video with the music and lyrics and sang along three or four times. haha! Ember kept saying to play it again and again! She loves the “rah rah rah” part!

And Brooklyn and Sierra were obsessed with making up cheerleader moves all morning, too! They kept wanting Ember to join them for some cool tricks. I have a bunch of videos of them doing these but only a few pictures. Lucky for you 😉
(this post is so long)  photo IMG_6963eresized_zpsc69cb09e.jpg photo IMG_6966eresized_zps4bb91a19.jpg

So the football game itself was quite an experience. First of all we weren’t playing well in the first quarter. Allan and I were kinda bummed but… we support our team no matter what! But then there was a lightning storm and they delayed the game TWO hours! So by the time it started playing again we only got to watch a bit more before the channel we were watching stopped coverage to switch to a different football game and we had to listen to the rest of the game on the radio online! It kinda, a lot, sucked! haha!

And then… we lost because of some yucky plays and… it was a big disappointment of a day! haha. But we were still in good moods and had a great time as a family.

During the lightning delay the kids were SOOOOOOO cute playing football with their toys and with each other!! I should’ve filmed it because it was seriously adorable! They had a blanket set out as a field and they looked at a picture online to learn how to line up all the toys just right and they had our small, toy football and they were running routes. And then Brooklyn and Sierra (Payson and Ember were playing with smurfs, ha) kept practicing plays they made up and kept track of their touchdowns and everything. TOO cute! And Brooklyn and Sierra drew a bunch of football themed pictures. It was so sweet!

I didn’t photograph any of that because I was just enjoying the day with the family. I did have Allan snap a picture of Ember asleep on me during the game.  photo IMG_5736e_zps36f8819d.jpg

She was exhausted for some reason and slept for like three hours in the late afternoon! And yes she was up CRAZY early this morning and I’m dead tired. haha!  photo IMG_5745e_zps9124f7f8.jpg