photo 297eresized_zps0166c575.jpgI started Everett off in the stroller thinking we were only getting a couple things but quickly went for a cart when my arms filled up. Everett loves riding in the cart these days! He bangs his casts against the handle and smiles and giggles up at me. Cute.  photo 300eresized_zps08bd26cb.jpg photo 304eresized_zpsfb87993f.jpg

A different day:  photo 322eresized_zps907cf3b1.jpg

I believe this was Saturday night and Allan stayed with the other three kids. That made my shopping trip a thousand times easier!
Ember begged to ride in the cart with Everett so I let her. Why not?  photo 325eresized_zps49e9d4cc.jpg photo 329eresized_zps5f1360cc.jpg

The next day we went to another city here in Colorado to look at rentals and also to look at homes for sale! We might buy… we just don’t know what we’re going to do!
Anyway, after all that we hit up Sam’s Club.  photo 342eresized_zpse714f4e6.jpg photo 353eresized_zpsdf0cf622.jpg photo 354eresized_zps09c5254f.jpg photo 361eresized_zpsf10bb460.jpg photo 373eresized_zpsc1b6fc53.jpg photo 374eresized_zps24d25677.jpg photo 376eresized_zps94492cbf.jpg photo 383eresized_zpsd511c7b2.jpg photo 386eresized_zps81dc427e.jpg photo 390eresized_zps1455dab7.jpg

One the drive home we stopped at our current favorite rental one more time.  photo 393eresized_zps9c2373ef.jpg photo 406eresized_zps1077fc99.jpg photo 419eresized_zps7292af0e.jpg

To the Park Again, Again!

Our A/C broke Friday. Colorado has had its hottest temps this week! Yay for that timing 😛

We spend a lot of time at stores, restaurants, the library, and wherever else we can get some cooler temperatures. Early in the morning or in the late evenings you can find us at the park! We’ve visited quite a few new parks this week! The kids are thrilled 🙂  photo 261eresized_zps082fe569.jpg photo 274eresized_zps9cf49232.jpg photo 277eresized_zps6d612bd9.jpg photo 294eresized_zps2a9081b1.jpg

Adorableness and Yuck

One morning I woke up to find Ember in my bed! She often does that when Allan’s out of town because there’s extra room in my bed. The cutest thing is that even if there’s room next to me she crawls into bed and cuddles up to Everett! It’s so so sweet ♥  photo 253eresized_zps67496a30.jpg

Everett woke up crying and when I went to get him out of bed… I noticed a huge mess! He (and obviously my bed and blanket) was covered in poop! It was from his butt to his neck and all over his arms!! Thank freaking goodness I had baby legs over his casts! Yeesh.  photo 255eresized_zps706657d0.jpg

Portable Highchair!

I’ve been wanting a portable highchair since long before Everett had surgery. We want to start going camping a lot and bringing a baby along means me standing around with a baby on my hip all day every day we’re out there! Not the most ideal!

With Everett’s surgery and how often we try to go out of the house to distract him from his boredom (he’s SO bored not being able to play with toys) I needed a chair for him to sit in. He doesn’t like strollers so I figured, maybe he’d like a highchair type chair?

So I ordered the Kelsyus Go With Me Chair from Amazon and picked it up last week.  photo 011eresized_zpsdf0a177f.jpg photo 014eresized_zps28be2c3c.jpg

Later that day at the park I got a chance to try it out. I was nervous that even though the creators’ claimed for it to be easy to set up that it wouldn’t actually be. I worried for nothing because it was literally as easy as easy can be!  photo 031eresized_zps83cb3c8c.jpg photo 030eresized_zps3b258981.jpg

Just for the record… if I ever say that Ember can’t stay away from her baby brother, and adores that boy more than almost anything, I’m not exaggerating 🙂  photo 042eresized_zpsc7c24555.jpg

This was our first time to this particular playground. It’s a lot of fun there and reasonably close to our house. Like, 7 minutes away!  photo 059eresized_zps0a3665c7.jpg photo 075eresized_zpsba5d24bb.jpg photo 078eresized_zpsbcc8f6ee.jpg photo 098eresized_zpsce91c73b.jpg photo 118eresized_zps2c3c54fb.jpg

It started raining so I spent most of the rest of the time sitting under the covered picnic area with Everett. It’s a pain having to keep his casts dry during the rainiest week of the summer! haha  photo 125bwresized_zps653d8b71.jpg photo 126bwresized_zps94cd2fbd.jpg photo 129eresized_zps5841667d.jpg

I ended up taking a few dozen pictures because I was so bored just sitting there for an hour!  photo 159eresized_zps30c8ecca.jpg photo 168bwresized_zps1928fe8e.jpg

I mean, I was enjoying hanging out with my cuddly baby but… you know, it gets boring just sitting after a while!  photo 170eresized_zps417a25db.jpg

Luckily Everett was in a good mood and giggling like crazy over the silly sounds and faces I made for him.  photo 175eresized_zps7b0596ed.jpg photo 188eresized_zpse1d99326.jpg

I keep an umbrella and a spare blanket on me at all times these days in case of rain. This is the set up I used to get Everett back to the car dry:  photo 205eresized_zps41ad0f4a.jpg

Oh and here are a few snaps of the girls before we went home. The sky was so cool and dark gray ♥  photo 211eresized_zps1da0e019.jpg photo 226eresized_zps0ea0e1d4.jpg photo 236eresized_zps14afa21a.jpg

Hi, baby!  photo 242eresized_zps7cd4fbce.jpg

I got all our stuff (and the kids) in the car and then took some pictures of the sky before heading home. It was so pretty.  photo 245eresized_zpsb9c189ff.jpg photo 250eresized_zps1a97ed19.jpg

A Playnest? What is That?!

A playnest. I’ve been a mom for 11 years and never heard of such a thing. And oh boy do I wish I had known about this with my other kids!! It’s pretty much the coolest and most useful baby item I’ve ever had!! I feel like I’m leaving an Amazon review (and I did leave a glowing review there, too! haha) because I adore this thing so much! I almost would have more babies just to get more use out of it! haha!! But really, I kinda do want to just use it forever!

So because of Everett’s casts his previously good job at sitting on his own disappeared. He falls over (I think purposefully half the time) every other second he’s sitting. It’s frustrating!! He doesn’t like his bumbo or his other bumbo-like chair so if he’s not sitting on his own I am holding him. That’s it. The way I found this playnest was actually kinda funny. I was searching for baby ball pit type things thinking that they’d be padded and Everett could sit inside them and it wouldn’t matter if he fell over. And he’d like it because they seemed fun.

But I couldn’t find any specifically for babies and I worried about the plastic on them… anyway… I searched inflatable baby pits and seats and this playnest popped up in one of those searches! The very second I laid my eyes on the picture I knew I was going to buy it! I clicked that image so freaking fast and my eyes got huge… a baby playnest? How is this not a thing here in America?!?! Why do other countries have the bestbestbest baby stuff?! (Side note: baby baths… in other countries baby baths in which the baby can sit up on their own but be held up are popular, why not here?!)

So in came two days later (thanks Amazon prime) and I immediately set it up and put Everett inside. I was shocked by his reaction, too! I knew he’d like it and that it’d be useful but I didn’t realize he’d be enthralled with the designs on the fabric and in love with the hanging toys! He has plenty of baby items that have dangling toys but for some odd reason he adores these hanging toys way more! He bats at them and if he falls over in there so that he’s half laying he kicks at them. It’s awesome. And honestly I’m mostly looking forward to when his casts are off because I can imagine him sitting in there playing with toys happily! I’m just so pleased with this purchase, with this find, and want to shout it from the rooftops! haha  photo 125eresized_zpsa2cd80e0.jpg photo 135eresized_zps32dbde76.jpg  photo 138eresized_zps7ab4e939.jpg photo 146eresized_zps935bdf3e.jpg photo 156eresized_zps9e3a252b.jpg photo 173eresized_zpsb9601662.jpg

The same time I bought him that playnest I bought a train set. I needed something that would entertain him without him having to do anything. He doesn’t enjoy just sitting there smacking things. I was thinking about this one night while nursing him to sleep and realized that a train would be perfect. And I was right! I wish I’d had this train since the beginning of when we came home from the hospital!  photo 195eresized_zpsac279183.jpg
I learned so much these past couple weeks, luckily I have a syndactyly blog and syndactyly facebook group me and another syndactyly mom started… hopefully these things help out future moms of babies with syndactyly! I wish I’d had more information and advice on purchases and stuff to make my life easier during all of this!

Should We Move? Must We Move?

We’re in a weird place with our home situation. Our current rental house contract goes until July (so it has ended now) and now we’re on a month to month lease. So we can leave any time for a new rental. And we want to leave because we don’t love our current rental house.

Up until recently we’ve planned on moving to Idaho by this winter. That’s what Allan’s company told us would happen back last winter when they hired him.

Well, unsurprisingly the Idaho job still isn’t ready (these are all start up companies, all owned by the same finance company) so we’re going to be in Colorado pretty certainly for another year or more. We’re okay with this! We’re liking Colorado!

But, Allan’s company would also like Allan to move to Nevada for the next 8-12 months to be a project manager over a brand new mine. They’re not requiring it by any means, it’d just be easier for them since they want him out there so often because he’s the only one good enough to be the manager over there.

Basically to not add more unnecessary details, we can stay here in Colorado in a new rental or move to Nevada! This is the decision we’re trying to make right now and it’s REALLY difficult! I tell Allan almost daily (or as often as the subject comes up) I just can’t make a decision! I’m so traumatized from Arizona I feel numb to choosing a place to live! I know what I don’t want, what the only real deal breaker is and that is a place where temperatures get to 100 degrees outside! I can’t do that. Ever again. I can’t do heat. Even here in Colorado, this week it got into the 90s for the first time and I haaaaaaate it. (But it’s manageable for sure) I’m a COLD weather girl. This winter with the blizzards and snow and cold, my gosh it didn’t phase me at all! It surprised even me, honestly, how well suited I am to snow!! I just am. I haven’t the slightest idea as to why because I grew up in cold climates but so did the entire rest of my own family and they hate cold and rain and snow!! I’m just the weirdo of the bunch, I guess!

Nevada, the area we’d move to, is very similar in weather to Colorado. I think it’s a bit cooler and has a lot more snow in the winter but we’re talking a ten degree difference tops. It doesn’t get as hot as it does here in Colorado.

The two things that make me hesitate about Nevada are how freaking ugly it is (my gosh google Eureka or Ely Nevada on google images and gasp at the ugliness for me, lol!) and how tiny the towns are! Ely is pretty darn small but Eureka is plain old teensy. Probably the smallest town I can imagine living in! (2,000 people!) We could live in either of these towns since Allan’s mine site is in between the two. I like the idea of Ely because it’s a bit bigger but (and this is a major deal breaker for me!) there is a maximum security prison there!! Well, 9 miles north of Ely to be exact. But still! I just can’t.

So for me it’d have to be Eureka (Eureka is 80 miles from Ely) but Eureka is like a gas station and tiny grocer type town. That’s it.

I just don’t know!!! Ack, could I really, truly live in such a town?!?! We’d be so much better off financially and I would be with Allan every day of the year (yay!) and it’s a better job than the one here in Colorado. Though in technicality he’d still be doing the same job, just traveling to do it! So I guess that’s not a pro.

I could talk in circles about this topic forever. And Allan and I do!! We’re so confused! The thing is… we’ll be making this decision like THIS week!! We want to decide before the school year starts so that we don’t put the girls through the trauma of two different schools in one school year again! I felt so bad about them going to two new schools last January! I don’t want to do that to them again. I went to a million schools as a child, often more than one per school year, and it was so very rough. I don’t want my kids to go through that if I can avoid it. Their school here in Colorado starts August 6th. School in Nevada starts on the 27th. So we have until Sunday to decide, really. And Allan’s gone and we don’t have a time to sit down together and talk! haha! It’s so rough!

So anyway, here are some pictures from one of the rentals we looked at here in Colorado. We’ve looked at a bunch and don’t know what one we’ll go with if we do stay.  photo 108eresized_zpsf16d5a55.jpg photo 048eresized_zps8a2d1a98.jpg photo 050eresized_zps1a0e5235.jpg photo 052bwresized_zpscb39f541.jpg photo 061eresized_zps3b0d7090.jpg photo 065e2resized_zps20a07f3a.jpg photo 086eresized_zps0e289568.jpg photo 092eresized_zps93cb7501.jpg

The kids were pretending to be dogs in the back seat of the car before we left.  photo 097eresized_zps065990d1.jpg photo 104eresized_zps82acab69.jpg

I get so behind on blogging! Ugh. I am such a perfectionist that if I can’t sit down and blog all the pictures I have backed up I just can’t blog. I can’t do little posts with one or two photos and words… I have to put all the photos in the post and since I just don’t have time to do that very often, I don’t blog. I hate that quirk of mine!

But, I have so so so many things that go unwritten that I want to remember and so I’m going to try really hard to just blog things I want to write down and to heck with the photos being in the right order or whatever.

Tonight Ember brought me a pile of library books around 11pm. I was super tired and had just sent all my kids to bed and wanted to watch something on TV or read or something fun for me. But I haven’t had much (any?!) one on one time with her in the last couple months so I took the opportunity to cuddle with her and read her books. I was interested in if her books would be good because she picked them all out all by herself. It was just about the cutest thing in the entire world watching her at the library. Literally there are no words, it was just the cutest freaking thing.

So I start reading her books and she’s enthralled. And one adorable thing about Ember is that when she’s watching TV or a movie or listening to a song or book she likes she SMILES during the whole thing. This completely sweet and precious smile of enjoyment and it just melts my heart so much. Too much! I can hardly handle how cute she is!

So she’s sitting on my lap smiling as we read through books and giggling, too. At certain parts she cracks up laughing and gah, it is just the cutest! I swear I need to remember to video tape it tomorrow when I read her the books again because I have GOT to capture her preciousness on film! I’ve already read five of her books like three times each. haha. Luckily re-reading books to little kids doesn’t bother me.

So I finally tell Ember we need to go to bed for the night because it’s so late and she happily runs off to bed. As I’m walking to her room to kiss and hug her goodnight I spy Payson walking through my kitchen in only his underwear (our A/C is broken during the hottest week of the year so far, yay) with a handful of sopping wet paper towels. He spots me and says quickly, “It’s okay mom, I’m just cleaning up a mess.”

“What mess?” I ask and he tells me he spilled water. How? I ask and he tells me his water bottle leaked on the floor. So I tell him that he needs dry paper towels to clean up water, not wet ones. Meanwhile there’s now a path of water through my kitchen from his dripping (more like pouring) paper towels.

Earlier today we went to a second hand shop for kids’ stuff. My girls were very desirous of beanie babies there. I let them each get a couple and Sierra had picked out this horrifyingly ugly stuff easter bunny. Normally I let my kids get whatever toys they want but I actually told her I wasn’t buying that one! It was one of the ugliest things I’ve ever seen and I just couldn’t stomach seeing it more than that one time there in the store! haha. I just didn’t want that in my life! Is that horrible? I don’t feel like it’s horrible. haha!

Everett does this thing lately when he gets excited or scared or startled or just happy… his eyes get as huge as they get (which really isn’t that huge, lol) and his lips make an open O shape as he stares at whatever it is that got his attention and he kicks his feet and waves his arms like crazy. It’s hilarious. I put a little clip of the tail end of one such times on instagram. He’s such a goofy baby.

Allan’s in Nevada and gets home tomorrow night late. Then he leaves again the following morning before I get up. He’s going to be gone all of the next three weeks minus like two days I think. I’m preeeeeeeeeeetty bummed about it. I actually cried in the driveway after I kissed him goodbye and he drove off. I don’t think I’ve ever cried when he’s left me but I’m in a pretty bad state these days.

And yet stronger than I ever have been. But loaded up with so much more work and responsibility. The sleep deprivation is killing me these days. I’ve never had enough sleep so it puzzles me why the last two weeks of getting 4, maybe 5, hours of sleep is impacting my body so negatively this time. Maybe the heat (my house is 85 degrees all day) doesn’t help? haha

So gosh I could talk forever but maybe I should stop?

Today was so so so so so difficult. You know the type of day that is so difficult you can’t even talk about it? So difficult your very existence feels too much to bear?

I haven’t cried much since last February. January and February of this year had me in tears at least weekly. January was more like daily. Colic Everett, hotel, winter, it was way too much and that often spilled out of me.

Despite an extremely challenging year I’ve been able to keep my shit together since then. Not today. Today Allan was trying to talk to me about dinner at 9pm and I couldn’t even speak. I couldn’t cry, either. I was too embarrassed to cry though so overwhelmed, exhausted, and overworked that I just sat there pressing my eyes as hard as I could without actually damaging them… willing the tears to go away.

My non answer to his question (what should I get for dinner?) had him leaving the room thinking I was upset with him. Once he was gone then the tears could come out. I stood at the sink doing dishes at 9pm bawling my eyes out.
Today I was doing dishes after having spent an hour straight sprinting around my house cleaning as much as possible after literally being on my feet all day holding a crying baby, cleaning up poop blowouts (on my bed of all places!) and a million MILLION other difficult things! Doing dishes after being on my feet for 14 hours, after getting four hours of sleep, after weeks of a super fussy Everett. After almost four years of never once getting 8 hours of sleep at night because of Ember, after 8 months of never have one second alone (minus the time I went to the ER when I almost died. lol)

It’s way too much! It’s just too much and I don’t know how to change it! I can’t make myself leave my kids with babysitters after all the molestation in my childhood. No one on earth is safe to me except like four people. Mary, Don, Daniel, the Hausen grandparents, and that’s it!! I wouldn’t even want Don and Mary to help because they have five kids of their own!! That’s more than enough for one person to handle without me pawning my kids off on them for a few hours. The Hausen grandparents did NOT like babysitting, either. And Daniel for a hundred obvious reason can’t babysit our kids. lol!

That leaves us with a grand total of zero people.

You know for fairness sake I should say I would leave my kids with a couple of my friends in Arizona, they were super trustworthy but… they had five kids of their own!!

I told Allan tonight that next summer I’m putting Brooklyn in summer camp. Not one where they go and sleep somewhere, just the ones that are essentially 7 hours of daycare every day. I can’t deal with her in addition to everything else. She can never be pleased. She ruins practically every outing or event… she’s moody and snotty and disrespectful and I’ll freely admit I have no idea what I’m doing when I parent her. I should not BE a parent to an 11 year old because I’m totally clueless! I was an easy child so I didn’t grow up thinking the way she does. I don’t know how to handle her. Seriously, I have no idea.

Day 7 Post Op- One WEEK!!

It’s been a week since Everett’s surgery!! This week went better than I expected and for having surgery Everett did really well. But, it was so difficult!! I know most people think he’s been easy peasy all week because I tell anyone who asks- he’s doing really well!! But him doing really well for having surgery doesn’t mean he’s being easy! haha.

One thing that’s super annoying that I didn’t expect with casts is how scratchy they are. (I know I’ve talked about this on facebook so just ignore this repeat information but I want it all on my blog!) Everett has to have some sort of cover over the tops of his casts (by his armpits) or the inside part of his armpit/the side of his chest gets SO scratched up!! Like rubbed until there’s an actual scrape! So because I only had two covers I made and those get dirty within an hour I made four more on this day. I’m so sick of worrying about covering up his casts! This is the worst part of casts! lol

While I was sewing in our basement the little kids were drawing pictures on some white cast covers I made. They loved doing this and every time Everett wears those cast covers they run over to look at their pictures.  photo 154eresized_zps5d3355fb.jpg

My favorite pair is this striped pair made from a Wal-Mart clearance shirt:  photo 164eresized_zps303462f7.jpg photo 167eresized_zps8384030e.jpg

Though I guess I didn’t attach the elastic inside very well because one of the cover’s elastic snapped and I have to fix it. And because I have zero time these days without Everett in my arms I don’t think I’ll ever get around to it.  photo 176e2resized_zpsc8a91409.jpg photo 192eresized_zps6156e997.jpg

Later in the afternoon when it was cooling down I took the kids to the park. We’d never been there before to play but saw it once driving by and thought it looked fun!  photo 226eresized_zpsf1d449d7.jpg

This was Everett’s very first time on the swings!  photo 229eresized_zpsc7f5eacc.jpg

He was pretty much terrified at first! haha

The other kids spent the entire time calling out, “Mom push me again! Mom push me higher! Mom! Mom push me! Mom push me again!”
Good workout. Not fun. haha  photo 249eresized_zps06903269.jpg

Brooke helped push Ember a bit.  photo 262eresized_zpseb7b122c.jpg photo 268eresized_zps0055fd50.jpg

I put my umbrella in the swing with Everett to secure him in place so he wasn’t flopping over as much. This made him less scared since feeling secure is his favorite thing (he startles easily)
I pushed him VERY slowly and he started to like it!  photo 271eresized_zps902856fc.jpg photo 272bwresized_zps1186e51b.jpg

I went down the slide with Everett.  photo 283eresized_zps838a3d50.jpg photo 286eresized_zps88da2be4.jpg photo 295eresized_zpsef210388.jpg photo 298eresized_zps1708fa75.jpg

After an hour or so of some intense playing I went and sat in the grass with Everett. But that didn’t last long because there were a million bugs and I got bit by something! Stupid bugs.  photo 308eresized_zps60bd56e0.jpg

Payson was begging to push Everett around in the stroller and I happily let him. It was the first time I hadn’t held Everett all freaking day!  photo 325eresized_zps5807a100.jpg