Payson’s 11th Birthday!

Payson’s 11th birthday fell on the same day as his very last day of school and his wax museum project at school! WHAT A DAY! It was hectic. I got the kids up extra early and they watched something while I made breakfast and lunches.


We got to go to his wax museum presentation and we were all SO excited. He had to say his speech so many times for all the different kids and parents there and he nailed it each time! I was so freaking impressed and proud of him!


Someone got a hold of her brother’s hat!


I love Payson! He worked his butt of this school year! He made huge improvements and learn so, so much and is really excited for 6th grade. 6th grade!!! He’s growing up SO fast!


The kids got to pick up all their art and projects and bring them home.


After school he got to open presents and have cake before we left for Chuck E. Cheese!


Ember made him a gift and birthday card ♥




So I had wanted to get him a skateboard or a scooter, something he could ride on or be active with but WalMart had neither but then I spotted rollerblades in the right size! Yes! I bought them and hoped he’d like them but really thought it might be his least favorite gift. Guess what! They turned out to be his most favorite gift!! He wanted to put them on and try them out immediately. It was super hard getting him to come back inside to finish his birthday!


Lyla kept holding onto Payson and saying, “It’s okay, I help you Payson!”


Here was his cake. The top half was gluten free and the bottom was regular gluten cake.


After presents and cake we went to Chuck E. Cheese!



Playing Tennis and Payson’s Birthday Prep!

We went to the park to play tennis. Because they each got new tennis rackets (for the first time) I snapped a photo of each of them with the racket and the bag of tennis balls.


After tennis we got the water guns out of the van and had a water fight.


And then it was time to stop by Party City to get balloons and decorations for Payson’s birthday which was the next day!


And then photos of the boys’ haircuts… well, the before of Payson and then the hair on the floor… I forgot to snap after photos. You can see that in the next post 😀


I came out from cutting the boys hair and found Lyla had stolen a treat.


School Picnic and Performance!

Today was Sierra, Payson, and Ember’s bring your own picnic and watch the kids perform event. They passed out awards, had all the grade levels perform songs, dances, poems, and play instruments, and also passed out the kids’ yearbooks to sign.


The school passed out popsicles.


I snapped a few pictures during the performances, they’re weird on the blog just because I blurred out everyone else’s faces. But my kiddos show. haha

After all the school kids performed it was time to get yearbooks and just hang out. The kids had fun playing around the school grounds.


Sierra and Ember showed me where their part of the school art projects were.


And then Sierra, Payson, and Ember showed me their art work in the building.


It was such a fun time. I had wished it was after school so Brooklyn could have been there but she didn’t mind missing it anyway she said. I missed her being there, though.

Here was a group shot I took before we went home. I love that the three kids who went to the school this last year have their yearbooks in hand 🙂



Picnic at the Park and Getting a New Table

We first bought some food to bring to the park. Lyla sits in these chairs every time we go to this store. Today she brought it down the aisle we were shopping in. haha


She also can’t pass by the ball display without begging for one. We have so many already and she throws a fit each time we don’t buy another 😛


Then we went to the park. It’s always a challenge getting the kids to eat before playing, they get so antsy to run off and play!


Today the little kids tried out tether ball for the first time. They played that most of the time we were there, actually!


Then they got really into playing with this tree in particular. Trying to pick leaves and stuff.


This was the first time we brought sand toys to the park, I bought some from the Target dollar section, and they spent the rest of the time in the sand pit.


Later that day we went to WalMart to get a new table. The one I used to have was too big to bring to the apartment so I left it behind for the kids’ dad. I think he sold it. Anyway, we were going to use the desk in the kitchen to eat off of but that didn’t work out well. So then I got a few floor mats and we ate picnic style in the living room for what, 9 months or so? I hated it. The kids didn’t seem to mind too much but it just wasn’t a good long term thing. We ate family meals like that but it felt… less ideal than eating together as a family at a table.

I found this folding table at WalMart for $39! I also got folding chairs so we could move everything aside if we need more space. For folding tables they don’t look too bad. I not only love that they’re foldable but that they’re all super lightweight. Moving everything aside to sweep and mop three to five times a day is SO easy! Woohoo!


Ember Might Have An Allergy!

Poor Ember! I bought three or four types of sunscreen at the beginning of summer to try out. Two brands are sensitive types made for babies actually, and the other two were run of the mill normal ones everyone uses. We had Neutrogena, Baby Bum, Babyganics, and I can’t remember the other and can’t find the bottle… but it was just something off the shelf from Target… never mind, I googled and it’s Bare Republic. haha

Anyway, I used the Baby Bum on Ember’s face and then the Neutrogena for the rest of her body and that evening after playing in the water she erupted in a rash. It looked so much worse in person. I googled Neutrogena sunscreen and found other women talking about the rash it gave their children as well so I’m pretty sure that’s what it was. I use Baby Bum and Babyganics only now and those work well and don’t give my kids rashes!


Magna Tile Fun!


I can’t remember if I blogged about how I put the magna tiles in storage or if I blogged about taking them back out of storage. haha! It was an INTENSE year so obviously when it comes to record keeping, it’s a big blur.

But last year our downstairs neighbors complained constantly to the apartment manager about the noise my kids were making. They specified crashing noises as one of the worst noises. I figured out right away they must be talking about when my kids build tall towers out of magna tiles and then those towers fall to the ground because it literally sounds like dropping a huge box of plates or something. It’s SO loud. So I put the magna tiles in storage and figured as soon as I could afford to rent a house instead of apartment we’d bring them back out. I was so freaking sad about it because my kids LOVE magna tiles the MOST. It’s their all time favorite toy.

Fast forward through the winter and spring to just before summer when it came time to either renew my lease or move. Financially I can’t move even if I wanted to (which I did) so I decided to stay for one more year here. There are a lot of benefits to staying, which I briefly talk about here.

Anyway, one of the losses I couldn’t quite accept was my kids not playing with magna tiles for another year. I know it probably sounds silly but imagine your kid’s all time favorite play time and taking that from them for years. I decided to bring the magna tiles back out in smaller batches so the kids couldn’t build huge towers. That worked. But there weren’t enough magna tiles for the kids to each be able to build things all at once so eventually I decided to make some new magna tile rules in order to bring them all out but keep the noise down. Rule 1 is: no towers taller than Lyla when she’s sitting. Rule 2 is: no knocking over structures for fun… try to gently take them apart to rebuild.

These pictures are from the first few days we had the magna tiles back out. It took a few reminders of the rules but the kids have been playing happily and decently quietly with them ever since ♥477efbblog449efbblog456efbblog

The Funnest Life = Park Life

The second the weather warmed up we started going to the park every single day. If it’s warm, we’re at the park! There are 4 really nice parks within a 7 minute drive of where we live! And most of that 7 minutes, for the furthest away park, is spent just waiting at traffic lights! The distance isn’t far, all are 2 miles away or less and it’s super awesome because living in an apartment means we don’t have a backyard so we use all the wonderful parks around here as our outdoor space. I set up the trunk of my car with outdoor toys (tennis rackets and balls, water guns, horse shoes, frisbees, kites, sand toys, etc) so any time we feel like playing outside we just drive right over to the parks! I store the toys in cheap pop up laundry hampers from WalMart.

It is so amazing to live in the city we live in while we have to live in an apartment! I feel lucky every day to be able to have a cozy home and everything we miss in a house and neighborhood be within biking distance. Heck, we could even walk to this park I’m blogging about today if we needed to.

I carry our collapsible drinking cups with us, too. Sometimes I bring water with us and we also use the water fountains at the parks. (That link is an Amazon affiliate link)


Brooklyn doesn’t love this particular park so she wasn’t there, we went while she was still in school. She has school for three hours after we pick up Sierra from school since Sierra has half days.

I think all the kids’ swimwear in this post is from Costco and Target. Maybe all from Costco.


We found a cool dragonfly on the playground and took pictures and then realized that one of its wings looked bent and we worried it was too injured to survive. I hope it was fine 🙁


This park has a fun splash pad and also a cool sand pit the kids love.


Need. More. Water!


Also Costco has decently affordable bathrobes for kids and I bought some and they’re AWESOME! If you have little kids, especially 5 and younger, bathrobes are so much easier to use than regular towels since the kids can walk around in them drying off before you head back to your car! Payson and Ember had robes, too, but they were in the dirty clothes that day.279efbblog282efbblog

Group picture before we left.


So I took off Lyla’s wet clothes for the drive home and she was so hyper while I was loading our supplies and the stroller into the van. She was seriously SO happy and full of energy. She loves sitting in the front seat.


I had been wearing Ember’s hat while unloading stuff, wanting to put it in last so it wouldn’t get squished.


And then of course Lyla insisted on breastfeeding before leaving.




Payson’s Field Trip Mosquito Bites!

Poor Payson got eaten alive during a field trip the 5th graders went on to a national park nearby. He had food and water and sunscreen and a hat but it didn’t even cross my mind to give him bug spray since we haven’t had mosquitoes around. I felt guilty for not thinking about it. Payson felt severely itchy! He told me about it that night before bed and sadly we don’t have calamine lotion on hand since we’ve never needed it. I told him to try not to scratch at the bites for just the night and we’d go the next day to buy some lotion.

This photo was from the next day. The lotion actually helped a lot!!