Road Trip to Washington part 2!

We went back to Washington for my dad’s surgery. (Wednesday, March 29)

By this trip I was an expert packer! I was really proud of how well I packed for the trip. And I didn’t forget a thing! For 7 people! I have to compliment myself when I can since I easily spend my days tearing myself apart for my failures πŸ˜‰

Heading off!

Lyla had a huge blowout diaper all over her and me in the car on the way there!! I remember sitting there like, how the heck do I even manage this right now!? We both need a bath and we’re in the middle of a road trip! I managed thanks to a hundred wipes and an outfit change for her.

This is the next morning in the hotel. (Thursday, March 30)

Breakfast in the hotel.

Because we weren’t going to stay for a long time this trip we met up with my mom that morning before going to the hospital to see my dad. Lyla by this time was really starting to warm up to her family and she loved sitting with grandma! So cute!!

Grandma had craft stuff again and my kids made themselves right at home! haha

Thank goodness for google maps on my phone. It was really difficult finding the hospital where my dad was having surgery.

I breastfed Lyla in the car again.

I didn’t take many pictures in the hospital, in fact I only snapped some at the end before we went home. It was a very emotional time for me. I might’ve even went to the parking garage at one point to have a total breakdown and cry by my car.

I asked Allan to get a picture of me with my brothers. We were the only three still there and I kicked myself a bit for not getting a picture with my sisters when they were there. They’d been there all day.

And then we went back to the parking garage to head home. The kids liked the escalators. haha

Goodbye, Seattle.

My 34th Birthday!

My birthday was like any other day. Home taking care of my kids.

Allan got steaks for my birthday, though! Here he is BBQing.

I know what I want for every birthday. In material things and non-material things. haha! I can get myself presents but what I REALLY want from the people in my life are photos. I would be most happy if every birthday I get a picture of me with all my kids.

We’ve been meaning to start Lyla on solids… I was waiting until she looked really ready. I basically watch my baby’s cues for signs of readiness. She was just about to turn 9 months old and was starting to watch intently as we ate and opening her mouth willingly when I give her her probiotics so I gave her an apple slice this day (I’m a fan of starting kids on real foods with real textures) to see if she’d suck on it. She didn’t even put it in her mouth once! She’s not the type of baby to put anything in her mouth (I know, lucky me!) so she just didn’t even try!

She’s had a tooth for almost a month now but this was the very first time I got a good picture of it!

Payson and Ember were trying to build big towers of magna tiles but Lyla kept coming over and ruining them. It wasn’t just bad that she was wrecking their towers, those towers when they fall pack a huge beating! It’s dangerous to let them fall on her head. So the kids build a fort out of toys and things around the living room to keep her away. It worked but Lyla sat beside it yelling at them the whole time. haha

The Day After We Came Home From WA.

After spending so much time in the car and new places we had a really leisurely morning letting the kids play calmly. Not that they were calm, I don’t think my kids are ever calm, just that their environment was calm and predictable.

Everett put together some puzzles while Lyla stole the pieces.

Lyla loves playing peek-a-boo!!

She was laughing in this next series because I was tickling her. She is very ticklish!

We needed groceries so we went to Costco. It was raining.

Allan playing Everett’s favorite grocery shopping game. Everett pulls off Allan’s hands from the cart and Allan says, “Oh no, don’t, oh no!” (or something like that) and when his last finger is pushed off he acts like he goes falling off and flies backward. It cracks Everett up so much!

Spur of the Moment Road Trip to Washington!!

I got a phone call from my dad on Monday, March 20th. He told me he was just diagnosed with cancer. I called Allan and we immediately got to planning and packing, and we left for Washington the next day. (Tuesday, β€ŽMarch β€Ž21)

I didn’t overbuy for this trip because I knew we’d be going back there often this year to see my dad, but what I did get was well received by the kids. I got them Trolls coloring books and Allan got them each a new Trolls toy.

We stopped at Burger King for lunch and Everett got a DJ Suki toy. He was really excited about it the whole trip. It’s kind of his and Allan’s “thing.” Everett says “DJ Suki” really cute so Allan loves that he likes DJ Suki and got the toy because then Everett talks about his DJ Suki more often and it’s cute!

I got a cheeseburger and nursed Lyla while I ate it!

We forgot to order water in the drive thru at Burger King. We’d drive to a different parking lot to eat because there was more privacy there for me to breastfeed Lyla and there was a McDonald’s there. So Allan got water for everyone in McDonald’s and also got me and him a mcflurry! Yes, I approve!

I gave Lyla some time out of her carseat and sitting upright to burp.

Water!! Most times they do get milk or apple juice but we really wanted water cups to refill for the rest of the trip so water it was!

Breastfeeding Lyla again in Ellensburg.


Because we knew how difficult this sudden trip and hearing about their grandpa would be on the kids we had made new CDs of music for the road trip and we played songs (the soundtrack to Moana was the biggest hit with them) and sang along and danced in the car and were really silly and upbeat.

Some of the views!

We got to Everett (the city I was born in and what Everett is named after!) which is where out hotel was and needed to get dinner. We decided to go get french bread, meat, and cheese at Fred Meyer for dinner instead of restaurant food. While there I got toothbrushes and toothpaste. I didn’t forget them, I just thought we were about due for new stuff anyway and it’d be easy to grab them while in Washington.

Made it to the hotel! Everett spotted this giant mirror and told me he met his new best friend, Everett. haha

Happy group! The road trip had gone so freaking well and we were all happy and excited!

Oh yeah, I’ll just throw this anecdote in here: Allan told Everett we were in Everett, that the place was called Everett. We were standing outside the hotel at the time so he thought Allan meant the hotel and every time we’d talk about the hotel Everett would say “Everett hotel” and get a huge kick out of it. It was really fun!

One of the things I did forget was socks for everyone! haha. The next morning we went to Fred Meyer before going to see my dad and I got everyone new socks. Fred Meyer is expensive, I know why I never shop there. I spent twice as much getting socks than I usually do. (Wednesday, β€ŽMarch β€Ž22)

We went over to my dad’s house. My sister and her daughter were there, and my brother and his wife and their three kids live there. I introduced Lyla to everyone for the first time. Lyla was not excited about meeting her family. She’s SO shy!!

Months and months ago I’d asked my dad if he had any pictures from my childhood because I don’t have hardly any and he had put together a big stack of all the photos he has. This was the first time I’d visited since he’d gathered them so he gave me them while I was there. I was so excited to look through them with everyone! Wow, so many pictures I’d never seen or didn’t remember! I scanned them all before returning the stack to him so I’ll post some sometime.

I asked Jeena if she wanted to hold Lyla, thinking maybe Lyla would be okay, but no. haha. Poor Jeena! Lyla doesn’t like anyone new! She DID warm up to her later, though!! Which we’ll get to in a second πŸ™‚

I got to meet my nephew, Elex. He is two months younger than Lyla but much taller and weighs probably ten pounds more! haha. It’s funny because most of my babies have been super chunky but Lyla is my teeny baby, at the bottom of the charts small! Holding them at the same time was so fun! I love my nephew!

I told Allan he should hold them together. Oh and Elex and Lyla LOVED each other!! Elex was the only new person Lyla met and liked right away. She must’ve understood they were both babies and peers because they were smiling and grabbing at each other any time they were near each other!

We decided to go out for dinner. I breastfed Lyla in the car before we left.

I have no idea what this restaurant is called. I wasn’t paying attention, we just followed my dad there and I was so busy wrangling my kids I didn’t even look up at the sign. haha. It was GOOOOOOOD, though!!
(We googled it and it’s called Conto’s)

Deciding what to order! We ended up getting two large pizzas for my family and Jeena and Ava (her daughter, my niece) to share and a gluten-free pizza for Payson!

When we were sitting in the restaurant Lyla kept staring at Jeena. Lyla was getting used to her and after not very long she smiled at Jeena and reached out to touch her face!! That’s what Lyla does when she likes you so it touched my heart! Especially that she did that all on her own. She developed a brand new relationship with her auntie πŸ™‚

I breastfed her again in the car after dinner before heading back to our hotel.

We set up my laptop and watched Moana. Moana and Trolls are my family’s current favorite movies.

 These photos of everyone sleeping were from the next morning. (β€ŽThursday, β€ŽMarch β€Ž23)

Breastfeeding Lyla before we go!

I didn’t take pictures of this but I had to go back to the store because I’d also forgot nursing pads and I’d already totally soaked through one of my bras. I nurse my babies for a few years and literally never stop needing nursing pads. I just pour milk all day every day. haha  
After the store I nursed Lyla again. I was holding her so she could burp before going in her carseat and she was watching, with great interest, all the cars driving on the road and the birds flying around. She developed a huge love of bird watching that week and still whenever she sees birds outside she just sits still watching them with laser focus!

We went to my mom’s house to visit! Everett was really into all the new, fun things to play with! Like these magnets on the fridge.

My mom made us tater tot casserole. She really wanted us to have a home cooked meal since we ate so much restaurant food while traveling. It was so good!

Then she’d bought these wooden Easter frames and all the kids painted a frame!

Later that night, back at the hotel, the kids colored in their coloring books.

The next day we met up with my mom and Jeena and Ava at Costco for lunch before heading back to her house. (Friday, March 24)

We went back to my mom’s house since my dad had some errands to run. Jeena and Ava came over too, and we all hung out!

Ava was taught how to give kisses and it’s something she does a lot and it’s SO CUTE!! This was the first time I met my niece, and it’s my sister’s first daughter so you know, she’s pretty special and I just freaking adore her! I can’t wait to go back and visit again!

The littlest three kids played together a lot.

And I got a picture of my kids with grandma to put in those new frames they made! πŸ™‚

After hanging out with my mom we went to Jeena’s house. My dad came over and Jeena made us all dinner! With no notice, either! She’s amazing! And she’s pregnant and she works and basically is amazing. I’m so lucky to have her for my sister.

And Lyla by this time loved her auntie and let her hold her πŸ™‚

We took a picture of us girls with our dad πŸ™‚

And we hung out and talked for a couple hours. It was so nice!
After that we went back to our hotel and hung out. I spent time cuddling with the kids. I was super aware of how stressful this could all be on them and wanted time to just hug and have down time together.

The bigger kids were coloring. Always trolls stuff πŸ™‚

Sleeping in the hotel was an interesting experience. My younger three all like to cosleep and five in a queen sized bed wasn’t the easiest arrangement. I slept as straight as possible in probably less than a foot of width the whole time. haha!

One awesome thing we did is buy two cots and some new blankets just for hotel stays. Payson slept on a cot this trip and Ember was supposed to, and she did sometimes, but mostly she’d wake up after an hour or two and climb into bed with me and Allan.

The next day we were heading home but we wanted to get to say goodbye to my dad first. We met up in a parking lot after we got breakfast. Our hotel was too small to visit in and we didn’t want to bring my whole crew to swarm his house where my brother and sister-in-law and their kids live too, so parking lot it was! Kids love parking lots, anyway. haha (Saturday, March 25)

I asked everyone to get a group shot with grandpa.

And Lyla decided she liked her grandpa, too! πŸ™‚

Allan took these without me or my dad knowing while we talked outside the car alone for a bit. I love them πŸ™‚

My dad had stopped at a store to get us donuts before we left. I wanted to remember that so I took this picture. I’m sentimental and I imagined him waking up early to go shop for donuts before meeting us. Thinking about him doing that made me feel special and loved. I’m thankful for my dad.

We stopped after a few hours of driving to eat lunch at Burger King. We actually let the kids eat their donuts first! haha. You only live once.
My dad knows Payson is allergic to gluten so he went searching for a gluten-free treat for him and got him fruit roll ups! Payson was excited. I think he’ll always remember that grandpa did that, or at least he’ll have this picture to remember it! Or at least I’ll always remember it β™₯

I ordered onion rings for me and Everett saw them and not realizing they were something he’d never had said, “Oh me want some! Me want mine chicken nuggets!” I gave him one thinking when he took a bite he’d be surprised and spit it out but he didn’t! He ate several, calling them chicken nuggets the whole time! It was cute. I told him afterward those were called onion rings and he said, “Me liked those!”

Payson wearing a crown pretended to be King Simon again. It’s been a loooong time since his King Simon character came out and we were happy to see it again!

I think seeing me hold Lyla up front so many times during the trip made Everett feel jealous because he asked if he could sit in my seat. I let him, of course, and you can tell how happy he was about it!

I gave Everett his Trolls coloring set.

This was another breastfeeding stop.

The kids in the far back! I loved that Ember had hooked her travel bag up above her head.

The first thing we did when we got home that night was take showers and baths!


St. Patrick’s Day

We didn’t do a whole lot for St. Patrick’s Day. I printed some coloring pages for the kids and we went to McDonald’s for lunch and got a large shamrock shake to share. We put on what green we own and drew shamrocks on our faces using washable marker and called it good. It was really simple but the kids had a blast. Payson pinched me first thing in the morning because I wasn’t wearing green yet. I was the only one in the family that got pinched.
Everett wanted a picture with Lyla when he saw Sierra getting one. Cute, huh? He also leaned over and kissed her without me telling him, too. And for once Lyla didn’t try to claw his face off. Lyla loves to claw people’s faces off. For love. She takes her little dagger nails and grabs you by both sides of the face and pulls your face to hers to lick and slobber all over you. It hurts, it’s slobbery, but it’s the best thing in the whole world! haha

Mmmm, shake.

Wearing Lyla while teaching homeschool. This is the only way I can homeschool. Or cook. Or clean. Or live.

I told Payson to come over and let me snap a picture before his shamrock totally smeared off. Everett wanted to be in the picture and when I told Payson to look slightly to the side to show his shamrock better, Everett tried too. And did this face. So cute!

For a Good Time: Costco

Costco is like our second home we’re there so often. Lyla falls asleep on the drive over and if we’re lucky she stays asleep when we move her carseat into the cart. That makes for a peaceful shopping trip though it also makes it difficult to find room for the food we buy! ha

Quite the crew! Can you see all the little trolls toys in my kids’ hands?

These two are best friends and spend lots of time playing together. While on errands isn’t the exception… they bring their trolls and play with them the whole time.

Most often we get food from the food court and eat it there. Today was so freaking busy in Costco we took our food outside. We sat these three in the back of the car to eat.

Before going home I ran into Target with only Lyla to grab a couple things. I probably spent like a full hour in there or more, though! I should NOT go to Target “for a second.”

Poor, Neglected Everett!

The kids had a lot of fun building forts in the living room.

Like always, Lyla was super cranky that day and so I wore her while cooking and cleaning. And that day Everett was super whiny and kept asking me to hold him. Poor thing has been so neglected because of how much time and attention Lyla demands πŸ™

Later in the day I invited Everett into the kitchen to help me make cloth wipes solution.

I used to make it in a big glass bowl and that was a huge pain in the butt to pour into the wipes container because it spilled everywhere! I finally bought a giant glass measuring cup to make it in.

Pouring is a breeze now! Whew!

I also bought a tall kitchen garbage can to hold the wash bag I use. Ember walked in my room and noticed it and asked what it was for and I asked her, “What do you think?” She said, I know, dirty diapers! And pointed like this:

Lyla woke up from her ergo nap.

Me and the kids gathered around the computers. We like to watch Good Mythical Morning on youtube together every day.

Lyla kept trying to grab Everett’s binky.

Everett found some old stickers (like, years old) in my closet. They were Payson’s and they are spiderman stickers. He brought it to me to ask about it and I told him briefly about spiderman and showed him a youtube video of the old cartoon. Like, the old, old, original cartoon. He was delighted! He was enthralled! He talked about spiderman a lot and even practiced his spiderman moves. It reminded me of Payson and how he discovered spiderman all on his own and that’s a fun feeling. Watching your son delight in something in similar ways to your older son did at the same age, all on their own… it’s just FUN!

Then after the big kids went to bed me and Allan watched a movie together. Since we cosleep and since the TV is in our bedroom the little kids got to watch it with us. We were actually watching Moana! I’d bought it earlier that day for the kids and liked the little bits I saw so much I told him I wanted to watch it on my own and he agreed to watch it with me!

Tuesday: Our New Curriculum Arrives!

I was not having a good experience with My Father’s World and my kids. It just wasn’t a good fit for us and after fighting with it for months I finally caved and switched to A Beka Book.

I’m not messing around with many companies and mix and matching, I straight up bought all the items needed for each grade. Here’s Ember with her kindergarten stuff. She was over the moon excited! She loves school!
A group shot with all the books!

We got right to work!

After school was done Lyla went on my back so I could clean.
All that stuff piled up on the far counter is the A Beka materials!