Our 4th of July!

Guess what Costco had this year! Fireworks! I was so dang excited when I saw them because for a huge box it was “only” $50! Normally when we buy fireworks at the fireworks stand it’s twice that! So I got a big box of fireworks from there and then we went to a stand to get sparklers and pop its! We got a variety of sparklers to try out!

108efbblog122efbblog

Brooklyn had stayed home, she doesn’t like to go on most errands. Once home I painted nails… anyone who wanted them painted got them painted. Me, Sierra, Ember, Everett, and Lyla.

123efbblog

I had bought 4th of July themed shirts the second I saw them in WalMart probably a month or more ago! The kids finally got a chance to wear them!

156efbblog162efbblog

We packed up our fireworks and lightweight camping chairs in the back of the van and I noticed someone had thrown an applesauce pouch into the back and it spilled everywhere! Luckily I keep baby wipes in the van and was able to wipe it up but sheesh.

134efbblog

One more sad part of getting divorced and moving into an apartment is we don’t have a yard and legally you can’t set off fireworks unless you have private property and I looked up the laws and you can’t set off fireworks at parking lots or parks or on streets that aren’t yours… luckily there is a special parking lot set up for people to set off fireworks! It wasn’t close to where we were going to watch the fireworks in the sky so I was a little worried about making it back in time to see the big fireworks but it all worked out and I was so thankful for this area to do personal fireworks!

168efbblog171efbblog

The kids’ dad was there, we share holidays, and I have pictures of him with the kids but I’m not posting them because ya know, I keep him off my social media, but in case you were curious, he was there and so far we’ve decided on sharing custody on all holidays and birthdays.

173eblog

Payson and Ember doing peace signs â™Ĩ174efbblog198efbblog

And now… fireworks!

208efbblog216efbblog218efbblog229efbblog

Lyla was thrilled. She kept trying to run up close to them so keeping an eye on her was a full time job. Like with every second of every other day. haha!

I told the kids that I think once they’re 10 years old they could light fireworks as long as they light it and then immediately hurry back toward the van. So Sierra lit her first fireworks!

243ecropfbblog

These are tightly cropped photos from larger versions since her dad was with her. The originals (which is what I’ll use for our scrapbooks) are so cool! I think cropping up close like this is better than blurring faces though! Do you?245ecropfbblog

I didn’t get pictures of the other kids lighting fireworks because I was also filming parts of our day…I vlogged a lot. So as soon as I edit that I’ll add the video to the end of this post.

248efbblog

After we set off our last fireworks we drove back to our city to see the fireworks in the sky. Our city does a really good job and we always get “front row” seats. Literally as close as you can get, we get. It’s AMAZING! It’s like we’re sitting right under the fireworks!

IMG_8832efbblogIMG_8830efbblogIMG_8828efbblogIMG_8827efbblogIMG_8826efbblogIMG_8836efbblogIMG_8841efbblog

Several of the kids wanted to sit right between me and their dad to be close to both of us during the fireworks. That was tricky setting up chairs. We were basically bunched together in a big group. It worked well and was touching that they were so concerned with being next to both of us.

IMG_8833efbblog

Lyla liked the fireworks, she sat on her dad’s lap through most of it and Everett sat on my lap. But you can bet that she also wanted mom and mom’s boobs a few times throughout the night. haha

IMG_8839efbblogIMG_8840efbblog

After the fireworks ended the kids’ dad went home since it was late. We went and did sparklers over by where we’d parked our van.

252efbblog253efbblog255efbblog257efbblog262efbblog264efbblog272efbblog274efbblog286efbblog287efbblog291efbblog295efbblog

It was awesome having three different types of sparklers! We liked each one for totally different reasons. It was a blast. Such a perfect day.

Going to See Toy Story 4!

I was 12 when the first Toy Story came out and I loved it. I’ve seen each movie since. We went on the opening day of Toy Story 3 back in 2010!

So when I heard about the fourth Toy Story of course I planned on going opening day! Unfortunately we couldn’t but we did go a few days later!

003efbblog008efbblog

I actually didn’t even get that excited from the trailer, it didn’t look all that funny, weirdly enough. But my whole family was laughing the entire time! I hated the ending and my kids really hated the ending (Woody LEAVING his child?!?!) but whatever. It’s a movie. haha

Oh my gosh Forky: my kids were roaring with laughter.

012efbblog016efbblog021efbblog

028efbblog030efbblog032efbblog

After all that laughing and good endorphins my kids had so much energy. They wanted to run around and play outside the theater for a while before heading home.

038efbblog039eblog

They always want to have pictures here:048efbbblog059efbblog

Little rest.063efbblog067efbblog071efbblog080efbblog

Back to the van.083efbblog091efbblog

We needed to go to Costco for some groceries and Lyla fell asleep on the drive over so I put her in the ergo while we shopped!

097efbblog098efbblog

She woke up in the store and wanted to breastfeed before heading home!

101efbblog102efbblog

It was such a great day! 🙂

Lyla Nicole Turns 3 Years Old!

I can’t believe Lyla is already three years old! Just typing that makes me want to cry! I’ve adored raising her the last three years, I feel so lucky that she is my daughter and I have the privilege of watching her grow up! She is such an amazing person! She has had the most fiery personality from the time she was an itty bitty baby! She may be the youngest but she is definitely a leader!

For birthdays lately I’ve been taking my kids to Chuck E. Cheese but since Lyla is still pretty young I decided to go to the mall and let the kids ride the carousel instead. It has been a while since we did that and I thought it would be fun to do it again!

154efbblog158efbblog163efbblog166efbblog170efbblog

Speaking of carousels, threw this together for fun because I’m a sentimental, nostalgic mama. haha

carouselsbresize

I think all of those are from when we lived in Arizona from 2009 to 2012. There was a cool carousel at the mall and one at the Bass Pro Shops during the Christmas season.

We ate food after the carousel. The older three kids had chinese food and the younger three had grilled cheese and fries.

175efbblog178efbblog

And then we had a very non-birthday activity to attend: Payson’s dentist appointment!

181efbblog191efbblog192fbblog193efbblog197efbblog198efbblog200efbblog

After the dentist it was time for the rest of the birthday celebration! Woo hoo!

215efbblog218efbblog

I had wanted to get Dora decorations since Lyla loves Dora. Or anything kitty related. But Party City had neither 🙁

Lyla also really loves beanie boos, especially the mini ones, so I settled on those and hoped she’d like them! She was sleeping in my arms as we shopped.

Well, when she woke up and saw everything she was THRILLED! She immediately pointed out the beanie babies on her balloons and said, “aww, babies!” Then it was time to open presents!

221efbblog

Lyla loves loves loves loves Calico Critters so I got her a few new sets. She opened the each set and said, “Awww, baby. Awwww, mommy daddy. Awww, Payson Ember Sierra…” etc. etc. She names all her toys after our family.

224efbblog235efbblog240efbblog245efbblog

Everett picked out this toy controller for Lyla.

255efbblog

More Calico Critters!

267efbblog

Brooklyn was filming at the time!

272efbblog273efbblog

Cake time!

275efbblog278efbblog281efbblogefbblog284efbblog294efbblog298efbblog312efbblog

One of Lyla’s presents was a new baby stroller and after cake and presents we went outside so she could push it around in more space as well as I could snap a couple of birthday portraits of her with her balloons!

318efbblog321efbblog323efbblog326efbblog334efbblog

I couldn’t believe she actually let me take some pictures! She loved her balloons. She loved the whole day! She had this small, shy smile on her face the entire day and every time there was some new birthday thing and we said, “Lyla it’s your birthday cake/presents/lunch/carousel!” she’d raise her shoulders and shyly smile at us. It was so dang cute! She loved her birthday!

349efbblog353efbblog354efbblog356efbblog366efbblog383efbblog386efbblog

Sierra snapped a couple pictures of Lyla with me 🙂442efbblog

I love my birthday girl!446efbblog

Lyla went back to walking around the apartment playground. I loved the sight of her walking behind her balloon bouquet â™Ĩ

455efbblog460efbblog462efbblog

Those were all the pictures I took on Lyla’s birthday!

 

 

 

 

Today Ember Played with Her Toys and We Went to Five Guys

I was making breakfast and came into the living room to find this cute sight.

045efbblog046efbblog047efbblog

Ember had her favorite toys on the recliner and was quietly playing on her own. It was so cute, after she told me about what she was playing I grabbed my camera to take pictures. Times like this are my favorite memories â™Ĩ

051efbblog

For memory’s sake I added Ember’s toys’ names to this one.  The names Fluff, Bumble (like a bee, says Ember), and Rose are ones she chose. The others came named 🙂

052efbblogtext

The kids funnily enough love my Golden Girls magnet set on the fridge. Lyla plays with it a lot. The Blanche magnet is her favorite. haha

060efbblog

Later in the day we needed to go grocery shopping so we stopped at Five Guys for lunch before doing that. It was really fun.

067efbblog069efbblog071efbblog076efbblog080efbblog082efbblog084efbblog088efbblog089efbblog090efbblog091efbblog094efbblog

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)

177efbblog181efbblog

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.

192efbblog196efbblog

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 🙁

206efbblog210efbblog219efbblog223efbblog224efbblog

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

227efbblog229efbblogh235efbblog250efbblog257efbblog263efbblog

Need. More. Water!

271efbblog

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.

298efbblog

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.

307efbblog340efbblog344efbblog

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

335efbblog

And then of course Lyla insisted on breastfeeding before leaving.

381efbblog398efbblog422efbblog430efbblog433efbblog440efbblog

 

 

The Park!

My kids nickname all the parks we go to, we have the library park and the apartment park and the neighborhood park and this park is the kite park. Because we first flew our kites at this park. haha

We LOVE the kite park! It’s the freaking best! A huge field, a basketball court, a tennis court, a sand pit, the playground itself is cool, and a workout area! And it even has pretty decent bathrooms and drinking fountains!

004efbblog

016efbblog022efbblog025efbblog031efbblog051efbblog064efbblog072efbblog085efbblog086efbblog

Lyla is such a brave two year old. She climbs everything, goes on the biggest slides without hesitation, and never looks back! She loves rock walls!

095efbblog096efbblog104efbblog106efbblog109efbblog

122efbblog126efbblog137efbblog143efbblog147efbblog

Since we don’t have a backyard living in apartments I keep all our outside toys in the back of our van most of the time so that when we stop at parks we can use them. I rarely have room for groceries because of the bouncy balls, hula hoops, kites, sand toys, etc! haha

158efbblog159efbblog160efbblog173efbblog

My kids LOVE sand pits. This day was the first this year they’d played in one and it got so messy.

190efbblog194efbblog198efbblog204efbblog216efbblog226efbblog227efbblog235efbblog242efbblog250efbblog252efbblog255efbblog268efbblog273efbblog277efbblog288efbblog291efbblog298efbblog309efbblog315efbblog324efbblog328eblog

The last thing we did was jump off swings!

352efbblog353efbblog359efbblog369efbblog370efbblog371efbblog377efbblog381efbblog382efbblog385efbblog386efbblog387efbblog390efbblog391efbblog392efbblog393efbblog394efbblog395efbblog396efbblog407efbblog

 

Library Trip!

We went to the library to load up on books! I follow Sarah Mackenzie at Read Aloud Revival mostly because she’s so cheerful I feel inspired with positivity any time she posts, and I finally got around to printing out one of her book lists to bring to the library and we’ve read the books already and LOVED them so I’m an even bigger fan now and highly suggest following her and checking out her book lists! Even if you aren’t obsessed with books, she’s just so fun to follow on instagram, so cheerful!

We love the library so much!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These were the first ones we read. So fun! (We’ve already owned/read I Want My Hat Back, Rosie’s Walk, and Turtle Splash but checked them out anyway!)