A Big Post of What We Did This Week

Payson after he’d finished his Bunny and Chicky homework. His teacher sends home stuffed animals and booklets often. I really love his teacher! She is the BEST and the BEST for Payson. So Payson had to fill out a sheet inside and then return the stuffed animals and booklet the next week.  photo 580eresized_zpsac7a1eaa.jpg

Last Saturday (or two Saturdays ago) we went to our neighbor, Yvonne’s, house for her daughter’s birthday party. She invited us last minute and despite being CRAZY busy that day and REALLY not wanting to sacrifice our personal time to go we went because you can’t say no to an invitation like that when you just met your neighbor!

There was a bounce house there and near the end of the party Ember got a bloody nose. I don’t know if she got hit in the nose or if the jumping made her nose bleed… she was just fine and it ended pretty quickly but it did give me a great excuse to leave after being at the party an hour or so.  photo 036eresized_zpsb6cc650b.jpg photo 038eresized_zps8ab0d5cb.jpg

She was really fascinated by the whole experience. haha  photo 043eresized_zps7fc9c68b.jpg

Even though I feel like I try and have always tried to get in pictures with my kids I look back and wish I had hundreds more of photos. (That sentence sounds weird. Oh well)
With Everett I’ve made sure to snap photos of us whenever it crosses my mind. Even if I look messy or whatever… just take a quick picture! I’ll never ever regret having these!!  photo 035eresized_zpsfe2c7efd.jpg

The kids were watching TV and Ember was near me and kept giving me cute faces.  photo 058eresized_zps420c482c.jpg photo 068eresized_zps8458bc44.jpg photo 105eresized_zpse25e43c0.jpg

Me and my boy! I adore Everett. Obviously, he’s my son… but really, I just LOVE him so much I can’t imagine my heart being able to hold more love.  photo 114eresized_zpsf0f3a67b.jpg

Because he’s a boy, I figure Everett won’t want a bunch of pictures of me breastfeeding him. I know I would love pictures of my mom breastfeeding me as a baby but my brothers would probably find them horrifying. haha! So I don’t take very many! BUT, I want to see and remember these times so I’m going to try to take more. I might even ask Allan to take some for me, too.  photo 120eresized_zps91946c36.jpg

I don’t know why but I hate taking pictures during holidays! I overshoot the rest of the time but holidays… just photographically doesn’t interest me!
I try to take enough to document it for the kids, though!  photo 135eresized_zpsc3041881.jpg

Easter morning, like all holiday mornings, Allan was still asleep and I was bouncing around like a kid myself waiting for him to wake up. I’m a good mom as far as that goes because I could get up at 5am no matter how tired I am and do the holiday thing. I still get excited for my kids about it all 🙂  photo 146eresized_zpsd0fe8035.jpg

I did take about 200 pictures of Everett on Easter! Not only was he just turning 5 months old but it was his first Easter and the first time I put him in churchy clothes on a Sunday! I couldn’t take my camera off him!!  photo 155eresized_zps9da8311b.jpg

The football Easter egg, the bunny outfit, his bright blue eyes… TOO TOO CUTE!! I mean, really!! He’s the cutest in the world!  photo 160eresized_zpsd95fbe60.jpg

I always edit vertical images this way to make it easy come printing time to print as horizontal for Project Life. (I can’t mention Project Life without expressing my undying love for it. Best.Scrapbook System.Ever!)  photo 174eresized_zps8480cd0e.jpg

I took a picture of each of the other four kids but only Brooke’s and Ember’s are cute. (Meaning their smiles were natural, not that Sierra and Payson are not cute! haha)  photo 184eresized_zps4ceda9ff.jpg photo 195eresized_zpse9cbd5ab.jpg

I bought each kid a different color scheme of eggs to make the Easter egg hunt easy! It was awesome! I’m so smart. haha  photo 199eresized_zps1ac9e886.jpg

In some eggs was candy. In some, Easter stickers. Payson put one of his chick stickers on his church shirt and happily wore it all day. CUTE!  photo 212eresized_zpsd39111a1.jpg

What is this? More Everett pictures? Yep!  photo 218eresized_zps4e393626.jpg

Bunny ears from the Target $1 spot 🙂  photo 242eresized_zpse71215d8.jpg photo 254e2resized_zps82eaee5c.jpg

This photo is already captioned! 😉  photo 260e2resized_zps47483ddf.jpg

Ready for church but not feeling a quick photo session. ha  photo 281eresized_zps82d0ef81.jpg

Payson was super cute and happy at church. Allan doesn’t like me taking photos in church. Part of me understands and agrees it’s awkward, but the bigger part of me (the relentless photographer) can’t listen to that smaller part and has to take photos anyway. Sometimes. And as secretively as possible to embarrass Allan less 😉  photo 288bwresized_zpse0c3b6da.jpg photo 290bwresized_zpsbaddb41e.jpg photo 293bwresized_zps1ce986ab.jpg photo 298bwresized_zps0ebca878.jpg

We dyed Easter eggs when we got home.  photo 302eresized_zps528d331e.jpg photo 314eresized_zps0a4b0306.jpg

Our current dining room has bad lighting so I didn’t take many pictures. We ate dinner with the colorful, drying eggs in the middle of the table. And then I totally forgot to put them in the fridge. Sometime after 9pm I remembered. And at that point they went in the trash. SO sad 🙁  photo 320e2resized_zps98217781.jpg

I LOVE long blog posts!! Here are the last set of photos before I end this one, though! These were all taken on the 23rd. Or on the 22nd but not uploaded until the 23rd.
Everett now really needs to be buckled in his bouncy chairs. He wiggles himself off them if not! (I was right next to him doing my makeup so this wasn’t dangerous at all, I saw him wiggling down when he was higher up and stood over him talking to him and he giggled and smiled and wiggled his way further down while I watched!)  photo 012eresized_zps27dc4bbd.jpg

Everett loves to hold and play with any jewelry I wear. If I’m not wearing jewelry he goes for my hair! OUCH. I just bought a new nursing necklace from Amazon and can’t wait until it gets here!  photo 036eresized_zps36d92e75.jpg

Brooklyn had a school performance a week after Sierra’s.  photo 047eresized_zps2407bd59.jpg photo 060eresized_zpse8769fa0.jpg

They’d painted huge flags which were perfect for a photo op 🙂  photo 064eresized_zpsbf95a0af.jpg photo 067eresized_zpsac577650.jpg photo 069eresized_zpscccda794.jpg

I wanted to snap a couple pictures of her outside in the good light. I can’t remember if it was her or Allan who suggested up on the rocks. I think Allan said on the rocks and then she wanted to by the fence…  photo 073eresized_zps907c3af0.jpg

I almost shut down my blog again last night. I get these wild hairs sometimes and can’t seem to rest until I cut out everything bad in my life.
I wish my blog was only good but mostly it seems bad. Which is weird because I love it, too.

Sierra’s School Performance

Sierra had a school performance a week ago. She was told by her music teacher to dress silly.

My first reaction to these types of things (anything extra in life) is to panic. Where am I going to find extra time for this? I’m already too busy!!!

So here is Sierra on her performance day. I have video but it’s not good quality since we were in the VERY back and my zoom isn’t very good.

Before we left I took some quick pictures with my iPod in case things got crazy and I forgot to take more pictures at school.  photo IMG_2378e2resized_zps658c9724.jpg

She was in a really good mood, feeling awesome because she looked so silly!  photo IMG_2381eresized_zps08aee0a8.jpg

But I did remember to take some of her outside the school before going in 🙂  photo 119eresized_zps97d40197.jpg photo 121eresized_zps6270efb7.jpg photo 128eresized_zps6d0ba6e4.jpg

Watching from the back.  photo 133e2resized_zps7ec6340a.jpg

Up on stage after the performance.  photo 142eresized_zps8a976726.jpg

Family picture before going home!  photo 193eresized_zpsae67093c.jpg

Seeing

Yesterday was abusive to me. Long hours on my feet, back breaking work, a list of the things I needed to get done that seemed like it was a list made for ten people to tackle.

I went to bed near 2am. Of course I got up a few times in the night to breastfeed Everett. This morning I would have paid money to sleep more.

Here are a bunch of photos of my kids just being siblings. These are times where I spotted them being beyond adorable together and had to drop what I was doing to get my camera.  photo 004eresized_zps31252742.jpg photo 010eresized_zpsb3f856e1.jpg photo 013e2resized_zps9b41e329.jpg photo 020eresized_zpsd3f28c2d.jpg photo 038eresized_zpsfcd7b6af.jpg photo 041eresized_zps3d484ef6.jpg photo 051bwresized_zps48669586.jpg photo 053bwresized_zps577fb8d1.jpg photo 078bwresized_zpsd7ac94f1.jpg photo 092eresized_zpsde09e935.jpg photo 093eresized_zpse5deaa3d.jpg photo 101eeresized_zps8aae2989.jpg

Seriously? This is my life! I made those people! I get to be with those people every day! I’m just so lucky.

Happy Easter!

How was your family’s Easter?

We did the usual Easter stuff: egg hunt, easter baskets, dye eggs, go to church. We had an awesome day and I’ll blog about it some other time. I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time today (I’m dreading how much work I have to do today, nonstop work!) so I’m just going to throw up a picture really quickly! It’s something, right?

If you want and aren’t already, you can follow me on instagram (@ariana_tiffany), twitter, or facebook. I post at those places a little more often than here. Though blogging is always my favorite ♥

Want to see the only group picture I got on Easter?  photo 281eresized_zps82d0ef81.jpg
Brooke was really displeased with her siblings. But then, when isn’t she? 😉

Simple But Fun Times with My Kids

I failed at blogging every day of the rest of April, didn’t I? I’ve just been busy. And mostly, I can’t blog well when I have kids around me every single second of every day.

Trying to write anything is impossible with all that noise.
Right now Ember is watching Dora and Everett is taking a nap so I’m using my free time to blog instead of wash dishes! I will regret it later when I have to find other free time (free time meaning when I’m not holding Everett) to wash those dishes!

We visit the park sometimes. I don’t usually take pictures because the local park overwhelms me. It’s always super busy and it’s enough work just keeping an eye on the five kids, taking pictures is too much to add to that!
(Ember had just woken up, she wasn’t grumpy!)  photo 177e2resized_zps3eca6717.jpg

Having a second dinner with daddy before bed.  photo 245eresized_zps03b6f307.jpg photo 232bwresized_zps7c150c94.jpg

I went to the store to buy some supplies to make keepsakes of Everett’s hands! I’ll blog about that separately.  photo 249eresized_zpsbf1d3354.jpg photo 258eresized_zps18f48d9f.jpg photo 268eresized_zpsc2fc1236.jpg

Then we stopped at Sprouts for some groceries.  photo 283eresized_zpsdd1f1683.jpg

She took a ten minute car nap.  photo 317eresized_zps607fa506.jpg

Everett got really cranky recently. He’s fine if I’m holding him but is not content in his bouncy chair or bumbo or laying on the ground or anywhere else.
(This is the first time I wore him on my back! And see him pulling my hair? Yeah, lots of that these days!)  photo 327eresized_zpsbaf5d0e5.jpg

The kids “helped” me make dessert one night. We had to make two versions (one gluten free) so it seemed like it took forever. It was fun, though. If you take away the whining and fighting. And extra mess.  photo 333e2resized_zps3f65c652.jpg

I let the kids color some blank puzzles I got for $1 at Michael’s while I cooked dinner.  photo 343eresized_zpsc6c22ca9.jpg photo 344eresized_zpsc71d5d49.jpg

The next day I met up with Allan at the DMV. Or wherever that was… to register our cars. I think? I don’t remember the details, I just remember I was really late because Allan forgot to call me and tell me what time to meet him. Instead he called me as he was driving there and said to meet him. Getting three kids ready and out the door in less than 15 minutes is absolutely 100% impossible for me. So I was 15 minutes late. And then I didn’t even need to be there at all! haha  photo 003eresized_zpse2930e6d.jpg photo 012eresized_zps32798fd5.jpg photo 014eresized_zpsae5fc823.jpg

My three kids got loud so I walked the halls with them while Allan finished up. photo 017eresized_zpsd06c6bd7.jpg photo 029eresized_zpsa7cf0e27.jpg photo 038eresized_zps18d2dfe4.jpg

I set Payson and Ember up with color wonder finger paints while I cooked.  photo 131eresized_zpseeeb4ff4.jpg photo 139eresized_zps416860b1.jpg

Everett’s favorite time of day to scream his head off is while I cook dinner. From 4pm until bedtime he’d like to be held nonstop. It’s frustrating. I wish Allan didn’t go home so late and could help me by holding him while I cook. But that would be too easy, huh? So instead I have to make dinner with a baby on my hip. Sometimes I try to put him in one of the five carriers I have. But he doesn’t like being worn so he just cries in the carrier, too. I try to get the kids to entertain him or hold him but at that time of day there’s only one person he wants. Me.  photo 194eresized_zps3cdc9b50.jpg

There was a four pack of small canvases on clearance at the craft store. I bought them for Sierra to paint some pictures for her wall. I forgot to take a picture of them on her wall, though. I’ll have to do that sometime, they’re cute.  photo 219eresized_zps69c786e6.jpg

Trying out the bumbo on the counter. Maybe if he’s in the bumbo but right up next to me he’ll be happy? (It lasted five minutes)  photo 227eresized_zps0766bc4b.jpg

Allan needed the sequoia one day so I was stuck having to use the corolla for an errand. The three littlest kids were squished back there together. They loved that, though! Especially Everett! He was loving being close to Payson!  photo 264eresized_zpsa4d28c88.jpg photo 275eresized_zpscad06a46.jpg

Our rental has this old swing set in the yard. I hate that thing but my kids love it.  photo 281eresized_zps9a70f33e.jpg

Brooklyn was pushing the other kids and I just happened to take a picture right as she accidentally pushed Payson right off the swing.  photo 282eresized_zpsbf61e578.jpg

Allan wanted me outside with him while he worked on his boat. I put Everett in the ergo for that. As long as I’m walking around Everett’s okay in a carrier. The second I stop he’s squirming and crying.  photo 301eresized_zps968d8659.jpg

He loves sucking the straps.  photo 320eresized_zps504b0ba2.jpg photo 322eresized_zps62fdaf2f.jpg photo 325eresized_zpsbba33a7a.jpg

Allan fixed one of the lights on his trailer.  photo 331eresized_zps0a99863b.jpg photo 339eresized_zps9c6cc758.jpg

Everett liked standing in daddy’s boat!  photo 344eresized_zps6e7722e3.jpg  photo 349eresized_zps2c44072a.jpg photo 351eresized_zpsaea2ce30.jpg

My back was killing me from holding Everett all day. I set him in the front seat of the car while standing there talking with Allan. I buckled him in to be funny. I’m a mom, things like this amuse me greatly, what can I say?  photo 368eresized_zps414fe37f.jpg

I took the kids on a walk around our neighborhood. There’s a big hill a few blocks away. We were going down the hill. Payson was on his scooter. He kept going pretty fast, I told him to go slower. Near the end of the hill he gets on his scooter and starts pushing his foot against the sidewalk super fast. I was like WTH, kid?! So I told him to STOP and go slower, better yet don’t ride your scooter down the rest of…

And that’s when he went flying.

I pushed the double stroller home (including having to go back up that hill) while carrying his scooter in one hand, with him walking scream-crying at my side and Brooke whining from behind me on her bike, “I don’t want to go home and wait for you to give him a bandaid. I’m going to just go. I’ll keep going and you can catch up to me…” etc.  photo 386eresized_zpsd1cb2cd6.jpg photo 388eresized_zps914dae71.jpg

I cleaned him and bandaged him up. It’s funny how once my kids get bandaids on they feel totally healed. They can be screaming their hearts out beforehand but a bandaid goes on and BOOM, healed.  photo 393eresized_zps39060a7a.jpg

And that night was just another usual, cook-with-the-baby night 😛  photo 410eresized_zps831c4d07.jpg

Can you believe I have like a hundred more pictures? I should blog more regularly!

Well, Haven’t I Failed?

Hi guys! How is it Friday already? And yet, hasn’t this been the longest week ever?

How was your guys’ week? Did any of you blog this week? Would you like to share your blog with me in the comments?
I’ve made a few new online friends this week and it’s been nice. Having a relationship that you can tap into when you have time is an awesome thing. I remember back in 2006 it’s what made me fall in love with blogging. I can’t make phone calls (almost ever) because of the insanity that results from my children, so email and text are the best things I can add to my life for interaction.

Any other moms have kids who react to the ringing of your phone as if a bomb just went off and entirely changed their world? My kids will hear the phone and something in their brains explodes and suddenly they’re running around my house wanting to destroy everything they can, screaming, hollering, ripping off clothes, crawling on the ground, climbing the walls…
Not really that extreme I guess, but they get way more crazy than they usually are and ruin any chance I could have at a reasonable conversation with anyone.

Email, or even better- text, means I can type a short message any time I get a few seconds and the person on the other side of that conversation doesn’t hear a single thing.

Changing subjects back to my original purpose of blogging today, I made a goal to blog every day of the rest of April and obviously I’ve failed that one! But one failure somewhere means succeeding somewhere else, right? I failed at blogging but have been succeeding at life. Being a mom takes up every ounce of my energy sometimes. Raising five kids is so much more work than anyone could imagine until they have that fifth! I’m sure moms of five reading are nodding their heads.

Or they’re not, they’re like… five kids was easy. I had so much help, the older ones were mostly self sufficient, my last baby was easy, blah blah.

My oldest kids aren’t even a little bit helpful, my baby is super fussy (he was so happy for a few weeks but this week he’s a crankpot) and my 5 and 3 year old are super demanding. Not bad, just needy.
In my past life, in Arizona, this would put me over the edge and I’d be depressed and overwhelmed and want to vent all the time.

For some reason this year I’m totally sane. I don’t know if it’s a shift in my hormones (a few other things about me are way different this year, too!) or if it is that we finally moved away from somewhere that was bringing me down. Whichever it was, I’m thankful that I feel sane. That I don’t have to deal with my hormones adding to my bad mood.

So, with all the chaos that’s been a part of our life in 2014 I’ve been trying my best to make our life as normal, and also fun, as possible.

Not, let’s-go-out-to-the-movies fun, but let’s-be-happy-while-doing-the-normal-stuff we do fun. For example, I have to actively try not to feel more stressed when my kids “help” me. I know you guys know I let them help a lot and that I like to fill their days with good things. And I mostly really enjoy that.
What I don’t enjoy is every-day tasks that are annoying for me to do to end up taking ten times longer while kids are helping. I let them make desserts with me and it’s pure chaos. I have to basically tell myself ahead of time (it’s a very conscious decision) to let go of anything that happens during the next 30 ish minutes. Spills, fighting, and adding the wrong ingredient at the wrong time are the biggest ones and I make myself be the cheerful one to calm the atmosphere in our kitchen to keep that fun activity fun.

With blogging lately I’ve been thinking a lot about keeping it real. I’ve always kept my life pretty darn real. I don’t sugar coat how I’m feeling generally. In the past, during the hardest times in my life, my blog could get negative. Most people reading were really supportive. There were some (even a couple of my family members) who wouldn’t be supportive. I had one person in my family tell Allan that he should check out what I’m blogging. And, maybe have a talk with me? Or something like that.

Let me just say, that hurt my feelings so badly! This was during the absolute hardest part of my entire life and I vented about it (it was while we were living in the hotel) and I still am hurt by it. I think it’s crucial for moms to share their struggles. What we don’t need more of in this world is tearing each other apart for our feelings. If someone’s struggling, how is it helpful to tell them to not talk about it? A mom sitting in a hotel room in the dead of winter with five crazy kids, struggling with her current life- shouldn’t talk about that? Should talk about it more politely? Should gloss over her real feelings in order to not share such personal things?

I really don’t know the intent behind these certain family member’s comments but I’m the type that will blog every single thing in my head, good or bad, inappropriate or not. Or I won’t blog at all. And these same family members like reading my blog and keeping up with my and Allan’s life and our kids’ lives and if you want that… then you’re going to have to be exposed to all of it. And sometimes that includes me talking about a bad day! haha

I have changed things about the way I blog over the years. For example, I rarely blog about my older girls anymore. I’ll share things they want me to (they ask me to blog about them sometimes) but besides that, I keep their lives off the internet because their lives are starting to be… their lives. When kids are little they’re all mostly similar. Some are whinier, some are brattier, some are more hyper, some are more shy… but all little kids do the same things. They read books, they play with toys, they poop in diapers, they color… there’s no special story of a kid under the age of 3 going about their life and it being super unique. haha

Burn Out

I’ve been super mom lately. The bad thing about being super mom and doing all of the mom things is, burn out. I hit a wall yesterday. Full force, slam into the wall. I suddenly couldn’t take doing the mom thing for one.more.second.

With the exception of my ER trip a few weeks ago, I have literally not been away from my kids for one second in 5 months.

I hadn’t regularly, or frequently in any way, been away from my kids for 37 months before Everett was born, or really the last 10 1/2 years. But the last 5 months have been intense. I’ve been through a lot. And I’ve done it all. But I need a vacation. Desperately.

Ember started peeing her bed at night about a week ago. The problem with this wasn’t getting up and changing bedding and bathing her in the middle of the night. The problem was she would scream at the top of her lungs the entire time this was taking place. No matter what I said or did, she was just screaming and wouldn’t stop until she was cleaned, dry, and back in her bed.

This meant she not only woke up me and Allan (Allan pulls a pillow over his head and goes straight back to bed) but Sierra, and Everett as well. Which meant after getting her settled I had to be up with a startled, fussy Everett for another 30-60 minutes.

I already wasn’t getting enough sleep, at all. I have not slept 8 hours straight in 42 1/2 months!

I texted Allan last night around 5:30pm and said, “Can you PLEASE come home now?”

No answer.

He got home at 7:30pm after I’d done dinner and all that stuff. The usual.

I handed Everett to him and said I was going to the store alone.

I cried as I drove to the store from the burden of it all. Doing something ever waking second of the day takes its toll! I have someone talking to me or asking something of me every second of the day. There are two days a week where I only have Ember and Everett. And Everett’s been fussy lately (teething?) and won’t take his regular naps like he used to. So even those easier days were difficult. And the days where Payson, Ember, and Everett were home were stressful because Payson is a little tazmanian devil. He wakes up and goes through the world destroying everything in his path. He has to touch everything, mess with everything, and breaks and ruins things in the process. He’s not the worse little boy ever by any means (the stories I’ve heard from other moms! Yikes!) but he’s definitely a little boy. (gender roles

Last night at like 9pm she told me she was “hungweeeeeee” in a super whiny voice. We’d had dinner. She’s a picky eater so had picked at it. I wanted to tell her, “I don’t care if you’re hungry! You should be in bed! I’m sick of taking care of you every second I’m awake!”

But I didn’t. Allan thinks I should come down hard on her now. I don’t know.