Goodbye for a Season

Today was started after a sleepless night, before sunrise, with a fussy baby.

Today was leaving my room, baby on hip, and finding two little girls standing proudly in a clean living room. Today was hearing, “We just wanted to clean for you!”

Today was chocolate muffins and milk for breakfast.

Today was making it on time to the movie theater.

Today was laughing at my kids in WalMart as they joked around with each other.
Today was sticking to the shopping list for a change.
Today was smiling with the cashier as we talked about kids.

Today was coming home happy and so tired every step I took seemed like an event to be applauded.

Today was strawberry stained fingers and smiles while preparing our favorite lunch. (roasted chicken, a bit of salad, a bit of veggies, a couple strawberries, a half a peach)

Today was, “Mom look what I did, Mom look what I made, Mom looked what I colored, Mom look at my toy, Mom look at this, Mom did you hear that, Mom is this funny?”

Today was thinking of my husband as I cleaned the kitchen and planned dinner.

Today was very full and very good and over in the blink of an eye.
Today was lived.

And tomorrow will be the same. I will be present for it. I won’t miss it as I’m busy with the must-do tasks of motherhood. I will look up from peeling potatoes or scrubbing pots. I will put down the book or the phone buzzing with text messages and pull a child close for an unexpected hug. I will listen to what they are saying and respond with what will make them feel good about themselves and know that I care.
There will be so much more.

And in all of this there won’t be time for blogging.

Yes, I’m taking a break from blogging for a while. I’ll be back this fall.

I’ll leave this post with the pictures I took this week.
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It’s been such a full week!
Ember learned to clap.
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We made our weekly library trip.
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The kids love storytime more every time we go. We kept a few books from last week, the desert ones, to enjoy for a bit longer. We read all of the new books a few times over within the first day 🙂
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Ember helped me take the weekly book picture.
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Did I say helped?
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More clapping. She gets so happy and proud when we cheer with her over her new trick.
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Quiet kids and a stack of books, one of my favorite moments.
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Just waking up.
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Allan’s car needed hubcaps.
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So he got some off ebay.
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It was a beautiful, and hot, evening.
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The next morning there was even more reading.
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And always lots of playing.
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There have been attempted naps. I got an hour and Allan got four!
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We’ve played angry birds.
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We’ve shuddered over the taste of banana.
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We kept mommy up literally all night. After letting mommy sleep for a whopping hour we looked so dang cute that we were forgiven.
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We can’t help it if we’re sick and don’t feel well!
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Why I am typing “we?”
Anyway, this girl is too freaking cute!
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Brooklyn was sitting on one of those small child’s chairs when it suddenly broke. She asked me to take a picture of her resulting scratch. She had a couple other scraps on her leg and thigh!
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I’ve been wanting an ipod for a very long time. To take music with me all through the house and out on jogs and in the car. It’s been a fun toy this week. lol
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Music makes the mundane chores a little more pleasant.
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Watching TV in your undies is the best way to watch TV.
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Just ask Sierra.
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Brooklyn and Ember were still asleep.
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Getting to spend time with only two of my kids at a time is always such a treat.
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This little girl turned 9 months old.
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This boy had some cranky days because he’s been a super picky eater and is hungry all the time.
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He cracks his mama up.
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The littlest kids had a bath after baby sister got milk everywhere and big brother got a haircut.
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Being 9 months old is a lot of work. You wouldn’t believe the amount of stuff in this house there is to take out and toss around!
Not to mention the mirros to bang on and reflection to giggle with!
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Big brother tries to help…
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But he leaves and so I’m left to bang this chair alone.
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Have you seen my mommy’s makeup cart? It’s super fun!
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If you bring diapers and wipes on errands and decide to leave them in the car since you just changed your baby and surely she won’t poop again until after the movie.

You’re wrong.

You should bring the diapers and wipes in with you otherwise you might find yourself taking your own shirt off to fashion into a temporary cloth diaper in the movie theater bathroom.
(Notice the purple poking out of the back of her bottoms? That’s my shirt. lol)
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Well behaved children in public places make me very happy 🙂 lol
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Gosh they’re cute!
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Seriously? Aaah, so cute!
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We went to WalMart and I wasn’t stressed out once! Miracle!
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We actually had fun shopping for food. Unbelievable!
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Ember fell asleep and looked so sweet I snapped a couple pictures.
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And she stayed asleep when I moved her from the carrier to the carseat and I was happy because that meant I didn’t have to nurse her in the car before heading home!
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Sierra was very specific about how she wanted her hair.
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We got home and Payson played with his new Rainbow Dash.
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He’s always left out while the girls play My Little Ponies so he was begging me for a Rainbow Dash (he thinks rainbow dash is a boy when they watch the TV show) and so I said of course he could have one.
The very first thing he did was pretend Rainbow Dash was a monster and chased the other ponies.
That’s my boy 🙂
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Speaking of ponies… the kids played with them on the kitchen counter for a good hour.
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They wanted a picture of all their ponies lined up.
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These two are Sierra’s. (she wants more for Christmas)
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And all these are Brooklyn’s. (she bought them with her birthday money)
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Payson begs me to draw Lightning McQueen all the time. So I do.
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Then he erases the tires and draws them back on in red. He hates when I use black for the tires! lol
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His expression when I told him he could color on the whiteboard if he wanted to.
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And those are all the pictures from this last week. Whew!

And with that, I’m out of here!
Have a great summer!
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Happy Father’s Day! (and other pictures)

I’m blessed to have such an amazing father for my children.
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I didn’t do much for Allan this weekend. The kids colored him pictures and brought him home treats from their church classes. I took a picture of him with all four of them out in the desert yesterday. I wanted to make him a big breakfast but Sunday mornings are very much cereal days as we have to leave for church very early.

The main events today were a failed family water fight and a delicious success of a BBQ. Five minutes into playing out in the sprinkler Payson was screaming his head off about being cold and Ember was cranky as well. I ended up inside giving the little two a bath while Allan stayed out having water fun with the big girls. In our family this is very often the way things play out. Allan with the bigs and me with the littles.

Allan kept saying how fitting today was for Father’s Day. Him at the BBQ and leading the children in fun… not being pampered or waited on or spoiled, that is so not being a father. Working and finding the joy in it, that is being a father. Father’s Day was most definitely a father’s [work] day!

Swimming lessons ended this past Thursday. The four days a week thing was great while it lasted but we won’t be going in for more lessons. I know the big girls would love it and benefit from it but it was too difficult driving all that way every single weekday but one.

Since Thursday we’ve filled our time by reading and reading and reading some more. The children and I have been bitten by the need to read more than ever before. Which is kind of crazy because I thought we read a lot before, but no… this kind of reading a lot is the kind where my throat is so sore at the end of the day and my voice is all but gone. I’m quickly guzzling water in between books to try to keep up! But I love it.
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Payson is very fully obsessed with everything Cars. I am all for kids having obsessions. I think it’s adorable and makes them feel so special. I really love it. I don’t care what their obsession is, I go along with it very happily.
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Back to reading, a few of you mentioned a book or two out of the last library trip we had that you and/or your children love. I love several of them, too, so very much and the rest were so highly recommended at one point or another to me. And after having read them all I can see why. We have some major new favorites. I’m thinking some will have to be purchased for Christmas to be in our home permanently ♥
(The Carrot Seed, Five Minutes’ Peace, The Desert Alphabet Book, Way Out in the Desert, Owl Moon, The Kissing Hand, and The Big Hungry Bear to be specific!)
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I came out of my bedroom after putting Ember to bed for a morning nap and found Brooklyn reading The Kissing Hand to Sierra. When I walked in Brooklyn looked up with happy eyes from the page and told me, “This is just like what daddy does for us!”
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Speaking of books, I’ve been reading one called Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt and loving every single word. It’s written as a guide for parents to find great books which is awesome enough but there is so much in the first chapter that describes exactly how I feel about books. I filled an entire front and back notebook page in small writing with notes I took that I loved and wanted to remember and share here. I realized really, I should better just say check that book out if your library has it! It is amaaaazing! And if you don’t check it out maybe just google it and look at the beautiful image on the front of a mother and daughter reading together outside. Oh man, it’s gorgeous!
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Oh, hey, a random picture of my kids’ sippies in the dishwasher!
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The desert weather has been creeping up degree by degree this month. It has hit 105 and won’t stop there.
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The sprinkler got a lot of attention this week.
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Ember is starting to be able to join her siblings in more activities. And I marvel and yet mourn her babyness slowly slipping away. It’ll be only a few short months until my baby girl is a toddler.
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It’s super sunny here (thank you, Captain Obvious) so there are all kinds of weird looking structures setup in the backyard for shade for the little two and their sensitive skin 🙂
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Anything remotely resembling a fort attracts big sisters.
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After 30 minutes, despite my efforts at providing shade, Ember is ready for the comfort and cool of the house. She and I lounge on the floor together while the siblings remain in the backyard, squealing and shouting doesn’t stop until everyone is indoors again.
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She explores for a while…
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Until she realizes her personal chef is right here in front of her!
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She loves using my body as a jungle gym. She crawls all over me, she burrows her head into my stomach or shoulder, she lays over my legs and plays with toys on the floor. I never dreamed being equivalent to a piece of playground equipment could be so blissful.
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Meanwhile the big kids are having snacktime.
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And still enjoying little sister’s fort.
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When they come in an hour or so later their cheeks are red from heat.
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Changing gears… Ember isn’t exactly fussy but isn’t exactly easy going either. She plays happily sometimes and other times she wants to be held most of the day. This week it was mostly wanting to be held and there was so much to be done. And once again I felt extreme gratitude for whoever it was that introduced me to babywearing. I have no idea where I very first heard about it but it has completely changed my life as a mother to a baby and I will never have a baby without a long piece of fabric to assist me again! haha
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And sorry but another extreme shift in this post… we went to Famous Footwear yesterday with a $10 off coupon to get me some running shoes! I’m really excited to start running every morning.
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When I took pictures of Allan with the kids yesterday he suggested we take a quick family picture. Which I was happy to do!
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I love my husband!
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Before heading inside I snapped this of Brooklyn. I love her expression and I love Sierra in the background.
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And I fear this is getting boring so I will end with this picture from today. Allan and the three big kids (Ember was in my arms) heading into church. I’m more blessed than I deserve.
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The Season of Short-Captioned Posts

Running around with, reading to, cooking for, cleaning up after, bathing, teaching and loving on these four leaves little time for thoughtful blogging.
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Yesterday Payson got to wear his pajamas while swimming. They want the kids to have some practice in the water in their clothes.
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Before heading home Ember was in a good mood.
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So was Payson.
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So was Brooklyn.
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Ember still walks on her toes a lot.
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Woah, a picture of Allan! He rarely shows up on my blog anymore, huh?
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At 8 months old, Ember finally got a crib.
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We still cosleep all night every night. I’ve only managed to put her in there, after being breastfed to sleep, once successfully but hopefully it happens more and more. I’d like to sleep by myself again.
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One morning Payson and I were the only ones awake. We played with his new car.
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Ember playing with her bear in her pajamas on her changing pad.
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Woah. Messy. I can hardly believe this was from one day.
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I feel so much better when things are clean.
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These little two cuties were having fun together while I tidied the kitchen. I couldn’t resist joining them.
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The kids looked so cute in their new pajamas the other day.
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The kids asked me to draw babies and animals on some of Payson’s birthday balloons so they could play with them. Then they had fun trying to keep the balloons from hitting the floor. I heard lots of:
“Oh no! My babies! But what about my pets? But what about my pets? Don’t let the babies fall! Babies, stay calm! Oh no, my pets!!”
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Payson mostly just held onto his balloon so that his sisters couldn’t steal it.
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We had yet another swimming lesson. Payson didn’t want to be in the picture. He wanted to take the picture.
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So I let him.
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Ember slept in the stroller that day which was awesome because she’d been unhappy in the stroller earlier that day. I ended up holding her through Sierra and Brooklyn’s dance/gymnastics classes and my back was breaking!
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Today we went to the library for storytime. All four of my kids loved it. Ember was bouncing and waving her arms during the songs so much. It was so cute!
And afterwards the big girls played on the computers while Payson played in the little kids’ section and Ember crawled at my feet. I didn’t want her to crawl on that yucky floor but she was so cranky I didn’t really have a choice! She spotted this little statue and immediately crawled over there. She spent a good ten minutes just hanging out staring and touching it.
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Payson saw that I was taking pictures and thought something extra fun must be going on, so he joined her.
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Yeah, Payson probably wanted extra attention so he pulled out the big guns… biting.
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We got some new books.
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Brooklyn’s willingness to read chapter books quickly diminished after receiving her first prize at the library today.
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And now we’re off to our very last swimming lesson! It’ll be nice to not have to go somewhere four nights a week!

Hurry Kills Love

The title of this post was a phrase I heard online a year or two ago. I don’t remember where but it really stuck with me. It has been a summer activity motto of mine this year.

I give me and the kids lots of time to get ready for all the activities we’re doing. I prepare as well as I can and make sure to leave early for things. Going to multiple activities with lots of kids goes smoothly that way and the fun stuff I’ve signed them up for this summer doesn’t turn into a stressful thing for me. I haven’t felt stressed to get somewhere on time, I haven’t been snippy or impatient with the kids, and we’ve been able to get a lot of joy from the classes so far. I’m so happy with this busy time. It’s the right thing for right now.

That said, every day, despite being fun for us, is much the same as far as pictures go and therefore as far as my blog goes. I don’t have time to take pictures in the “between” parts of the day. Homeschooling is squeezed in and grabbing the camera from my diaper bag doesn’t happen. I wish it did because we’re doing so many fun things, but it just doesn’t!

With that said, here are the pictures!

Swimming classes are Monday through Thursday. All three kids are having a blast. I don’t know that any of them will be great swimmers by the end of summer but they’re having fun.
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I’m glad Ember enjoys watching everything going on from the stroller. She does get cranky sometimes and I have to hold her. My back hurts a lot lately from that but mostly she’s content to sit and watch and chew on the buckle straps or gnaw on her thumb.
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Sierra started her dance class. Unlike Brooklyn’s tumbling class, parents can watch the dance class and I’m SO glad because Sierra’s the cutest thing ever in there shaking her booty.
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Ember sat in her stroller the entire 45 minutes Sierra was in class. I did have toys for her and Brooklyn took her on a walk all around the area so that was fun.
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Sierra’s class ended and Brooklyn’s class started. We went in the bathroom to wash the middle kids’ hands because they’d been crawling on the floor. They spotted the lockers and had some fun.
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After that I took the three kids behind the building, by the desert, to sit at some tables back there and nurse Ember. She was really hungry at that point and nursing her with people around is really uncomfortable for me now. She absolutely refuses to nurse with a cover on. I wear layers so that without a cover I’m still covered by a tank top and my shirt on top but she likes to pull off randomly to look around and so I keep my hand on my chest the entire time and every time she shifts the tiniest bit I cover my boob with my hand. It sucks. lol

I took a group picture after all the classes ended.
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Wednesdays are our craziest day so we had McDonald’s for dinner.
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We had to go straight from gymnastics and dance to the pool so we changed there. My girls were so funny about not wanting to change in the locker room. Brooklyn asked me if she could change in the car instead. Modest little girls! lol
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Allan met us there and took Payson to his lesson. I was glad because then I could breastfeed Ember if I needed to.
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Watching Allan and Payson in the pool is my favorite thing about summer so far. I smiled so much my jaw hurt!
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I guess the pool needed to be cleaned or something because water lessons for the girls were cancelled that day and they did a relay race about water safety instead.
(Payson’s lessons are in a different pool)
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The girls drove home with daddy.
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Ember wakes up early. She usually is ready to get up between 6 and 7am. I get up with her and either edit pictures, blog, or prepare for the kids’ homeschool lessons that day. Lately it’s been preparing for homeschool lessons because I have no time during the day or evenings to do it!
While I get stuff clean and ready Ember makes a mess.
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She loves sitting by me as I read the teacher’s manuals for the day. She loves to pull the book out of my lap and try to rip the pages out. And most of all she loves to practice standing.
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And she really, really, really loves cameras!
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I think this was yesterday that I took these pictures of her and me. I vaccuumed and as usual she sat on the floor watching with wide eyes and a huge smile. She LOVES the vaccuum! She does her little dance moves to the sound of it and squeals with delight.
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The older three kids sit at this bench while they work on crafts or worksheets or whatever and that really grabs Ember’s attention. She constantly crawls over there and pulls up to stand with it. Problem is she almost always bumps her head as well.
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I finally figured out how to do a rucksack carry with Ember in the woven wrap. Not a day too soon either because I’m desperate to have my hands free, she’s desperate to be held and my back hurts wearing her on my front!
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Yesterday afternoon we went to our library for an art project. We got there early (I’m so proud of myself! lol) and it was a good thing because there was a diaper change needed upon arrival!
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Payson chose to decorate a crown.
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He had a blast. He wore his crown most of the rest of the day, too.
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Both girls wanted to make visors.
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Ember happily chewed on the stroller buckle.
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After that the girls played computer games while I played in the little kids (5 and under) section with Payson and Ember. Ember was sick of the stroller at that point so I held her the rest of the time. Over an hour without a wrap, my arm was going numb!

She also wanted to eat, but nursing her when it was super crowded really bothered me so I made her wait an extra half hour until at least half the other people had left, then I sat in the back of the play area and attempted to keep a cover on while feeding her. She violently pulled it off while biting down on my boob. lol- I learned my lesson! You couldn’t even see a sliver of skin on me anyway, I just feel embarrassed lately!

So here are the kids outside the library with their visors/crown and looking cute 🙂
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This was taken just before that one above.
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Payson was happy to see his elephant again. I made him leave elephant in the car because I knew he’d be busy with the craft.
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We got home and I made an early dinner since we had swimming lessons coming up.
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The kids and I had a good time during dinner for some reason. We were all really happy and goofing off. Even Ember sat there giggling and smiling the whole time.
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And then Brooklyn got a book to read to everyone. She was extra excited about reading because we started the summer reading program and she saw the prizes they could get- little rubber ducks.
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This was all the stuff they got for the summer reading program. They’re still buzzing with excitement over it. Brooklyn read three 50+ page books in the last two days! Every chance she gets she goes in her room to read. I’m thinking I need to use a reward system for reading during the year!
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We went, yet again, to swimming lessons. Payson didn’t swim because Allan wasn’t there. He was at the airport welcoming home his brother, John, who just returned from a two year mission! And also, Payson had diarrhea that day 🙁
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After swimming lessons we stopped by WalMart so I could look at prepaid phones. I really need a phone for texting; I can no longer live without it! It was 90% of the way I stayed in touch with my family and I miss it.
The girls were excited because they got lunchables. We very rarely get them so it was a big treat.
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We all ate dinner and then all three kids got a dose of Payson’s daily health regimen. He gets:
Liquid Vitamin (more for making the other stuff taste better than for health benefit!)
Cod Liver Oil (I’m surprised he drinks this stuff because it smells naaasty!)
and
Probiotics (he gets a double dose, occasionally a quadruple dose, of this baby stuff; it is the only kind of probiotic I’ve found that isn’t derived from dairy!)
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And I went ahead and snapped pictures of the books we got. We’re going back to the library soon so they’re smaller stacks this time. I also didn’t check out books from a list, these were just ones that caught my eye as I walked down the aisles holding Ember 🙂
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Mine are all parenting books since those were the only thing to look at in the children’s section. I have some books I really want to check out next time for me. I just returned Anna Karenina after reading half of it because I hated it so much. Great writing, don’t get me wrong, but just not interesting to me in the slightest. I don’t like reading about affairs at all.
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The Mother Who Has No Idea What She’s Doing

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Her eyes soak in the words on the pages. The weight of the bible is comforting in her hands. She searches for His instructions.
How is she to mother?

She feels unprepared for this. Her mind shifts to eight years earlier, with round swollen belly, just nineteen, when she felt so sure and ready for it all.

And as she shakes her head a bit at how much things have changed in eight years she realizes how much has stayed the same.

Her first, young inclinations on how to nurture that baby girl are very much still here in her own eight-year-older self. She’s been given a label for it, which she likes. Attachment parenting.
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Her children have presented her with many challenges. She was not prepared for a child with a personality so unlike her own. She wasn’t prepared for caring for a child with so many digestive issues.

And as she’s learned to mother these parts of her children she becomes more and more aware of how completely clueless she is about it all.

So she sits, with her nose in the book. As her soul clings to the words she feels reminded that as long as love drives her mothering it all works out the way it should. Answers come in those moments where her mind shuts down in parenthood confusion. Words come out and things are taught, expressed, and shared in wonderful ways.
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Skirt thrifted for $4~
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He is the one who made her a mother of a boy.
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It is not the same as mother of a daughter. He is the one who is her baby regardless of aging. He is the one that can’t be complete without mother’s acceptance and love. He is the one whose legs wrap around her waist tightly and who’s face firmly snuggles into her neck as her lullaby is sung. He is the one who clings to her first thing in the morning. Who has endless smiles for her when they sit together on the brown couch, giving each other loving glances in between stories or songs or maybe Team Umizoomi.
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He is the one who finds something new and exciting about life every single day. A new letter sound, a new book, a new toy, a new way to play with a toy, everything for him in this third year on earth is new.
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He is the one who had a very difficult time growing into himself. His first 35 months of life were spent in an extreme state of being. Everything upset him. Everything made him sad and mad and hurt.
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He approaches his third birthday. He talks of it constantly in a sweet voice with excitement around all the edges.
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His favorite toy is Lightning McQueen. In the store this week his eyes were wide as he walked through aisles filled with “red car” and red car’s buddies and accessories.
His request for a skateboard was followed with joy and courage as he tried one out right there in the scooter aisle of Target. And with the giant helmet making the rest of him look all the tinier his mother’s heart thumped a bit harder with love and so much happiness at this phase in his young life.
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Book in hand, five sets of eyes on pictures.
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Pages turn, the crisp sound fills ears with comfort. The joy found in black typed words on pages bursts forth in smiles. Hours are spent shoulder to shoulder, bums in lap, hands on arms, eyes looking up to meet eyes. A baby babbles as her hands happily smack against a cover. Her eyes sparkling look to her mother waiting for a smile of approval. Her excited squeals return and the book is again onslaughted with gleeful abuse. The siblings giggle and are happy when the mother distracts baby’s interruptions with a rattling toy. Or perhaps a cracker.

The mother glancing at one and then another and then another child after each sentence. The child, whichever gifted his/her mother’s gaze returns attention with grin and response.
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The books. They are so much. They bond, they teach, they entertain, they comfort, they give … so many, and so full, emotions and experiences in imagination.
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These were thrifted~
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Small goals for today.
Rather than answer with, “You’ve learned this already, it should be easy.” Smile more, tell her, “I know you don’t like doing your math, but I’m sitting here doing it with you, we’re going to finish it together and when it gets difficult, I’ll help you.”
Though you said it at the beginning of the worksheet it won’t hurt to say it again and reassure her after each problem. If you feel frustrated realize that math can be a great time to build her character.

Pull Sierra aside for some one on one mommy time. It’s been too long and she looked so sad yesterday when Brooklyn got two hours of attention during lessons.

Keep on soaking up this boy and this amazing phase he’s in. Heaven knows you’ve been waiting for almost three years for this time and it’s here.
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Preventing me from Reading Out Loud

I love to read to my kids. It’s one of all of our favorite things to do every day. Which makes it all the harder for me to be sick and have a sore throat and not be able to read and read.
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I asked the three older kids what their favorite books were. I figured I’d read one book to each child (with all four listening at the same time) and that’d be good for the day’s reading while I’m sick. They ran and got their books. I got Payson’s. He told me a couple minutes later that he actually wanted Llama Llama Mad at Mama. He loves that one. He tells me he’s the baby llama and I’m, naturally, the mama 🙂
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Ember doesn’t care about which book she’s reading, as long as she can chew on it, it’s all good.

Mom is taken down next!

I shouldn’t be surprised by how fast I’ve gone from “ok” to “feel like crap.” Late Saturday morning I was thinking, “Oh darn Ember is getting Brooklyn’s cold.” By late Saturday afternoon I thinking, “My gosh should I take her to urgent care?”

Yesterday my head started hurting and my glands felt swollen and my throat was feeling like it was thinking about starting to hurt. Today I woke up with a bit of a sore throat. Right now at 2pm my throat hurts a lot, I’m sneezing like crazy, and basically my entire face and head feels like it was stuffed full of massive amounts of cotton balls. Cotton balls coated with microscopic razors.

I’m pretty moody at being sick. There is no rest for the mom and after taking care of a sick (still sick) Brooklyn and a sick Ember all week I’m so worn out.

And even worse, Payson is getting it. And I’m pretty sure it’s starting for Sierra too, she’s just not the type to ever complain about being sick.

I am trying to focus on the positive- Ember doesn’t have a fever, never lost her appetite, is in a much better mood today, and is currently taking her second nap of the day.

Yesterday I was napping with Ember during Payson’s usual naptime. So I didn’t put him to bed for his nap. Around 5pm he was pretty tired.
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I hadn’t heard him for a while so went looking to see what he was up to. I melted when I spotted him sprawled out on the floor. Elephant leaning on his face. I just know he had been rubbing elephant’s trunk on his nose as he fell asleep ♥
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I read Payson Green Eggs and Ham. He loves it.
Later I had Sierra read it. She read the entire book! Allan and I were really proud 🙂
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And today… oh miserable day.
Though hey, ignore me saying that universe! I’m perfectly fine with today because I know that tomorrow, when this cold is sure to peak, will really suck.
Yes, I’m just fine with being this sick, I don’t want to be sicker!
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And how can one be unhappy, sick or not, when one is reading such a great book as is Jane Austen’s Persuasion? I loved Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility and I dare say I’m loving Persuasion even more! Maybe not, maybe just as much. Because I could live in Pride and Prejudice and be a happy woman.
But no matter the comparison, it’s awesome and I’m happily reading a page or two (or a chapter!) whenever I can steal a few minutes to sit down with this giant book.
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The book is so massive because it is the collection of all of Jane Austen’s novels.

Book Obsession

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I have this notebook. It’s full of pages and pages of books I want to check out from the library.
Sometimes we manage to make it to the library before it closes. Those are happy days.
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After playing with new friends for the first hour of our trip the girls spot the computers and spend the remaining time glued to the screen in computer game bliss.
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I’m a few feet away in the under-5 section reading books to my toddler boy.
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And nursing the baby girl.
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We make our way to our car with books overflowing our bags and toppling off the seat of the stroller.
The books are all read within two days. And re-read. And re-read. Read so many times over they’re mostly memorized.
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And when mommy’s voice gets tired after the 50th reading, Brooklyn takes over.
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The kids aren’t the only ones floating in a book heaven. I’ve put very happy dents in several of these books already.
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Completely unrelated… we’d just read most of the books from the library trip that day and I was preparing dinner. Payson had his third banana of the day while waiting for his beef roast.
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The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Life is so great right now. I work just as hard as I ever did before but now I’m getting stuff done, everything done, every day!!
My house is clean, my family is fed, my errands are taken care of, my children are taught, played with and feeling loved. It feels like some kind of miracle.

I never took pictures during school time before because stepping away from the table to grab my camera ruined the flow of the lesson too much. Now… I am free to snap as many pictures as I want to and I’m not interrupting anything 🙂
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Brooklyn now doesn’t mind Sierra joining her for school time at all. In fact she encourages Sierra to come over and listen with her.
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I’ve even been giving Sierra paper to write down problems and answers as the videos go on. She also did a site plan for a garden during the science lesson.
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Ember joined Brooklyn on the computer chair during a particularly easy science lesson.

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Payson likes watching Brooklyn’s school videos from time to time as well.

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While Brooklyn did her school work the little kids and I read Silly Sally (by request of Payson, it’s this week’s favorite) five or six times in a row. Every time we read it I try to find neat new things to point out and talk about in the pictures. I do that with every book since he really, really loves reading a book over and over and over again.

After reading we acted out Silly Sally walking into town backwards and upside down by doing wheelbarrows. I held the kids’ feet while they walked on their hands. It was really cute!
Then the kids used the wall to try to do handstands.

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For their scrapbook I got a picture of them together with the book.
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I laid down on the floor while they were doing handstands to nurse Ember (I was tired) and Sierra ran and got her doll and laid next to me with her shirt up and her doll at her nipple. haha, so cute.
Payson then ran for his baby as well.
After all the babies, real and not, were fed they took their babies for rides and walks.
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Payson has always loved dolls; I’m glad I got him his very own last year. He loves his baby.
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Payson randomly asked me to carry him in the carrier before dinner so I strapped him on.
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Ember was so cranky that I ended up wearing both of them.
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I cooked most of dinner like this.
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We were holding up two fingers to show that two kids were on mommy 🙂
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After dinner we walked to the neighborhood park again. I’ve been loving the bit of exercise and the fresh air. Until it gets too hot to, I’m going to walk with the kids to the park every day. (The park is a quarter of a mile away)
PhotobucketThe house in the background of the picture above is one we bought when we first moved here in 2008. We cancelled the contract halfway through the building process because we didn’t like the location and I’m really not a fan of two story houses and just couldn’t go through with it. (Allan originally bought the house during a business trip while I was in Texas with the kids so I never was a big part of the choosing anyway)

The kids love our walks. We have the best talks and tell fun stories to each other while we stroll.
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Ember looks around quietly the whole time.
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The three older kids brought their babies to play. Payson was melting my heart walking down the sidewalk with a baby in one arm and elephant in the other.

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Brooklyn stopped to watch ants scurrying about.
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I didn’t take pictures while they played because I was holding Ember and talking to a woman who lives in my neighborhood. I did snap this one on the way home:
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The next morning (Saturday) Allan, Ember and I hung out on our bed.
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Allan was doing a little bit of work since he’s pretty busy this week. Work trickles into home time at the end of the month.
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Ember doesn’t suck on binkies, she just uses them as toys.
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Allan mowed the grass in the backyard. Our grass is finally green again! Yay for summer grass.

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The big kids played ring around the rosie.
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The kids tried to help out a bit.
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We made a quick trip to the store for eggs and some other stuff. Ember happily smacked Allan’s face while we waited in the checkout line.
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When we got home she sat there bored while we put the older kids to bed.
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And that’s when the camera got put away. haha

I’m so excited for tomorrow. I can’t believe how happy I am. Waking up to a mostly clean house makes me feel so much more happy to work hard. I worked hard before but now I work hard with a skip in my step 😉

And I’ll add, because life cannot/will not always be roses and sunshine, something I’m struggling with a lot right now.

Payson and his digestive issues.
I know- surprise, surprise.

It’s gotten really bad lately. He can’t have anything besides plain meat, eggs, bananas and rice milk, otherwise he gets diarrhea. I have an appointment with his specialist in mid May. I’m hoping I can get some answers. I have no idea what’s going on in those bowels of his.

He had diarrhea so bad yesterday that he got an angry red rash all over his butt. It bled in four places 🙁
He screamed at the top of his lungs while I changed his diaper before bed. I felt hysterical myself. I hate dealing with this. I wish my child was normal and could just eat food.

His rash is almost gone today. Heavens do I have some strong love for desitin.

It Sure is a Bright Morning in the Desert

Good morning!
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How can one feel anything but happy with that bright sun shining?
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And even if there were no bright sun shining, there is this cute girl lighting up my days!
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Every morning Payson comes out of his dark room (he has black out shades on his window) and blinks and blinks into the morning light. I give him his sippy cup and he asks me, “Mommy, can you turn out the light?” I smile and tell him, “I can’t turn it off, it’s the sun, baby.” Photobucket

The kids have been spending a lot of time outside. I go and peek out at them often to see what they’re up to. I was surprised to find they’d taken all their bedding out there yesterday.
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I set Ember down to take some pictures of her. I went to get my camera and came back to this:
PhotobucketNoone can stay away from that cute baby for long.

I was interrupted again by a request for a yana. “Mommy, can I have anudder yana pwease?”
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Tomorrow this little girl will be 7 months old!
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She’s a happy baby.
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She totally has a sense of humor.
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She loves when we do something funny and laugh along with her.
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The more we laugh the more she laughs 🙂
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I’ve been meaning to take more school time pictures. Just haven’t.
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Last night I was reading to the kids while they finished eating. Ember is pretty whiny in the evenings, wanting to be held. Not just held though, she wanted me to be standing holding her. So I stood at the table and read.
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Payson took this next picture.
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And Sierra took the rest of these.
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I ended up using a carrier for Ember because I really needed my arms free for putting the older three kids to bed. Especially Payson, I hold him and rock him and sing to him before bed and holding two babies in my arms would pretty much ruin my back. haha
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I’m thinking about heading to the park with the kids now. I’m bored today and don’t feel like being indoors.
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