Payson and Ember in my Bedroom

Most of our boxes and belongings are piled in my bedroom right now. I’m sorting and packing things in there so that when I’m not I can lock my door and things will stay the way they were when I left them.
This morning before I’d done any sorting or packing the little kids saw the stuff in there and thought it looked really exciting!
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They found their Spiderman toys which naturally resulted in Spiderman signs and poses.
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The real reason we were in there in the first place was to pick out a book to read. Payson picked one of his all time favorites.
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Every time you see her arm out like that in a photo it’s because she’s pretending to spray a web.
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Yard Work

Allan said this might be the last time he mows this lawn. If the house doesn’t sell in the next month he’ll do it again but maybe, just maybe this is the last time.
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Payson had fun following daddy around.
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Payson took this one of me.
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And one of us together. Spraying a web like Spiderman, naturally.
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I asked Allan to hop in a picture, too. I know I’m annoying sweetie, but just one picture?
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Ember joined us outside. I think the older girls were playing with stuffed animals in their room or something.
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Payson and Ember want to show off their ability to spray webs.
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Ember points out dad, that lawnmower is pretty intimidating huh Ember?
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Daddy doing yard work is very interesting.
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As is this rock.
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But seriously do you hear that thing dad’s pushing around?
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Now this is where Ember sees Allan get out the weed whacker. The weed whacker is much louder than the lawnmower.
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And that is not a good thing at all!
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It was a bad thing. All that noise.
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We must stay in mommy’s arms the entire time that weed whacker is blasting!
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Watching Allan finish up.
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Payson Posing

There are a lot. But he’s such a goofball I couldn’t resist.
Catches sight of the camera:
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Turns on the silliness:
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Gives me his sweet smile:
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Almost subconsciously raises his hand in a Spiderman web-spraying sign.
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Then breaks out of his trance and decides to do his very best superhero poses!
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Later in the eveing, Payson is here and he is super strong.
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But boy did I get in trouble when I called him Payson. He’s Captain America.
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“Mom, these are my best poses!”
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Payson Everett turns 4!!

My baby boy is four!!
I love him so much!
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Wednesday was Payson’s actual birthday. We’re going to have his “party” (with grandma and grandpa) on Sunday but Wednesday we did let him open his presents and took him to get a kids meal (per our silly birthday tradition.)

As obsessed with Spiderman as he is, Wednesday was obviously filled with Spiderman. I even googled all the local fast food places to see if any had Spiderman toys in the kids’ meals. And turns out Carl’s Jr. did.
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She saw Spiderman on the kids meal bag and held her hand out to spray a web, per usual. So cute!
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I had told him on the drive over that there may not be Spiderman toys in the kids meal so just be prepared for whatever toys there were. He was pretty darn excited when there were indeed Spiderman toys in there!
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Whhhaatttt?! I get one, too!?
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After that nutritious lunch we went to the dollar store for some balloons. Yes the dollar store! They had Spiderman balloons and holy crap they are STILL full and floating high like new two days later! Score.
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Payson had about ten complete and utter meltdowns about those stinking balloons, though. He LOVES balloons but if they blow the wrong way or get twisted or he’s holding too low on the strings or too high on the strings or whatever he’s not just whining about it, he’s SCREAMING HYSTERICALLY about it! I was blown away by his fits over those balloons. What a relief to get home and have no wind or tight spaces (the car) to annoy him anymore!
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I had purchased some stuff for him before but the day of his birthday I took him to Target and let him pick out a toy.
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Ember squealed with happiness over basically each and every toy in the store 🙂
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Time to open presents!
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Coloring, stamping and using stickers, all Spiderman themed, in his little Spiderman notebook.
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She kept stealing the Spiderman rolling stampers.
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The older girls were equally excited about all of his toys.
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I LOVE MY PAYSON!!
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Darn it 🙁
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Playing with the kitchen drawers while mommy cooks and cleans.
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A few pictures of the newly-turned four year old on the back porch.
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Daddy got home at that time and I wanted pictures of them together.
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I am such a lucky woman!
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And me with my birthday boy!
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Be still my heart I adore this little boy ♥♥♥♥
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So that was the end of his birthday and I was going to leave the post at that but then yesterday I did end up taking pictures and instead of taking the time to make another post I’m just shoving them in here.
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Ember got this cute little cup from Target’s one dollar spot (all the kids got cups but the other three didn’t want their picture taken) and was really excited about it.
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This is classic oversharing with all of these pictures of her with a cup but I couldn’t help it 😛
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I put that headband on her head half-heartedly thinking she was going to immediately pull it off but she actually wore it for quite some time!
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She is a really happy toddler 🙂
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They were laughing because I pretended to take a sip of her drink when she offered it to me and I made a funny slurping noise. Brooklyn copied me and did it, too. Ember thought it was hilarious.
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Payson got a cup with pirates on it. And he carried his balloons around the entire day 🙂
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This is how messy my house got in one afternoon. Not in a day, one short afternoon. Like in two hours or less! No joke.
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These two are best friends.
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Payson LOVES puzzles. He loves it when we do them together. It’s one of my favorite things to do with him 🙂
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Yes, this post is finally over!

Homeschool, Belly Buttons, and our Homebound Weekend

Both my daughters want to homeschool next year. I’m surprised by this because they each loved public school this past year. I mean looooved.
I’m ok with either decision they make. Homeschooling is freaking hard but I do love it. The hardest thing about homeschooling is entertaining a toddler while trying to teach. Ember interrupts everything. We can barely read books anymore because she spends the entire time pulling on the book and screaming. She’ll sit quietly, happily in my lap while I read her books but if the other kids are nearby she freaks out and gets angry.

So this summer we’re going to do some summer school stuff. I want to see if it’s even possible with Ember around to teach the other kids effectively.
The idea of going back to homeschooling actually terrifies me. I’m so overwhelmed with everything lately. Four kids is a lot of work (fellow moms with four+ know what I mean, right!?) so adding the huge burden of educating all of them is pretty intense. I will have to change a LOT of things about how I used to homeschool to be able to manage. Like, as long as math and english get done formally then all of the other subjects can be done in a fun way.

So anyway I asked Sierra what types of extra things she’d like to learn about in first grade and she said cooking! haha
I have been super super sick (you know that, of course) so I was only going to make her spaghettios for dinner. I let her open the can and pour it in the pot and stir it. She was pretty thrilled with herself for cooking dinner. 🙂
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Somehow belly buttons were being talked about a lot that evening.
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And the kids wanted to compare theirs.
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Which is pretty fun because they have such different bellies and belly buttons!
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Ember is a pretty fun, silly, happy toddler…
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Unless mom is working in the kitchen. Then everything in her life is terrible.
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I mentioned that last week when I was sick I was miserable and wishing Allan was home to help out. We’re all still suffering from intestinal issues and currently I’m debating whether or not to go to the doctor tomorrow with all four kids (not fun) but anyway, Allan being home Sunday was heaven.
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Brooklyn is growing up so much! She is so capable lately. She can do pretty much everything for herself (I mean, not laundry and can’t wash toilets or dishes, but ykwim) and is getting so tall and just… big. I can’t even believe she’s my daughter. I’m proud of her and surprised by her every day!
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Even when eating waffles he has to do something spiderman. (We still don’t have a table, it’s hard finding one that’s the right size and price)
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Ember started climbing the oven this weekend. Allan and I weren’t excited about that.
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“Luckily” she fell (when it wasn’t on) and that freaked her out and she hasn’t climbed it since! Yay for hopefully avoiding severe burns when the oven is on!
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Allan made a bunch of burritos (my older daughters favorite food on earth) for lunches for the next three days.
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We had a really fun, crazy game of family tag. I don’t like having a big house but I even had to admit it was nice for this game.
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Allan went in the pantry for something and Ember closed the door on him.
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We’ve been talking about making a new trade system. Something I read online about trading minutes read for minutes they can watch TV. Allan and I are trying to work out the details before telling the kids. Otherwise if Brooklyn hears anything about it when we’re planning it and then we dare make the smallest change she’ll have a meltdown. Girl can’t handle change.
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After the long day (week, really!) Allan and I were laying on the ground together while the kids played around us. I saw the pretty light coming in the window and snapped a couple pictures from there on the ground.
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My kids love to weigh themselves.
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Their current weights are:
Brooklyn: 56.4
Sierra: 43.2
Payson: 35.8
Ember: 21.4
(Ember usually weighs two pounds more but she’s had that stomach stuff)
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Ember got upset when the other kids got a turn.
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More reading.
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Pictures from my iPod this week.
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Ouch, Stop, No More Please

I’m not sure whether I have a stomach virus or food poisoning but whichever it is, it has hit me pretty hard. Being awake is agony enough, running to the bathroom every ten seconds (just staying in there all day would probably be more effective) and then trying to take care of four kids… oh my word this day has sucked so freaking bad.

So a couple highlights??
10am, been up for hours being very sick in the bathroom and suffering, I decide that sleepy Ember needs to have a nap and I take her into her room (the furthest from the bathroom) to nurse her to sleep (like always). This lasts about ten seconds before I’m sprinting, jumping baby gates in the process, to the bathroom to lose my lunch. Except I never ate anything all day.

later on, walking into the kitchen because where the heck is Ember and finding her, oh right there up on the counter pouring water everywhere and messing with my iPod and pens.

later, coming out of the my bathroom I see Ember running from the kids’ bathroom. I pick her up and notice she’s soaking wet from her feet to her knees. Further inspection of the bathroom reveals the reason is that she used the toilet water as a soup for her stolen piece of toast. Water everywhere and chunks of soaked bread all over the floor.

later still, the kids’ play table again pushed up to the kitchen counter and Ember, again, walking around on the counter getting into things. (the table is now in my bedroom)

I could go on but instead, I’ll just stop because I still feel like total crap and still have four kids to take care of (Allan come home pleeeeease! *pout*) and it’s only 5:35pm. Three more hours until Allan gets home, two more hours until I can reasonably send the kids to bed.

But first, finish this post and then go make dinner. That I won’t eat, of course.

So the other day my kids had koolaid for the first time.
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My kids don’t get juice very often. When they do it’s real fruit juice or that naked juice (yum!) so when both girls got koolaid packets from school for the end of the year celebration they were like, mom what is this stuff??! And when I told them they got so excited they talked about it nonstop until Allan finally bought some sugar at the store and we made it!
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Brooklyn found this bottle of breastmilk in the fridge and gave it to Ember. Ember took one tiny sip of that breastmilk in that bottle and then preceded to try to dump the rest out. Straight from the tap it is, Ember
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Because we get bored we go outside. Brooklyn earned a dollar for something and used it at the Target one dollar spot to buy this growing turtle. She’s wanted a growing animal toy for ages and was pretty darn excited this week watching it grow every day in the tub.
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I had been cutting the kids’ nails outside and Ember wanted to try that.
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She really loves that turtle.
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Last night Ember was having a hard time sleeping since she likes to stay latched on all night and couldn’t breastfeed well with her stuffy nose. So instead of sleeping, she was being awake.
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I was laying in bed really early this morning feeling like… really, really awful and in a lot of pain. I’d just gotten off the phone with Allan, I’d asked him to come home (which I so so rarely do) because it was SO terrible taking care of all of the kids while suffering so much. I could barely even stand up this morning and my entire body hurt really bad with sharp stabbing pains. And being completely bound to the bathroom- ugh. So anyway Allan is just too busy at work to help me, which I expected, so I was laying in bed trying to muster up the courage to attempt to go change Ember’s diaper (standing up is the worse!) when Payson comes into my room with a huge smile, spiking his hair up. He’d used their handsoap (and plenty of it!) to give himself hairdo.
Uuuuuuuugh!!! Really?!
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Since I was holding my camera I went and snapped a picture of the older girls with their babysitter. Thank goodness for movies on days like this, I swear.
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He was pretty excited about his after-bath hairdo. He asked me to take a picture of him and after I visited the bathroom, I did.
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And like I said earlier, right now I have to go make dinner and figure out a way to stay sane until bedtime.
Thank goodness today is almost over 🙁

Spring Carnival

Brooklyn and Sierra had their school spring carnival yesterday. It was from 4-7pm and we stayed the whole time. I was pretty tired at the end from standing on my feet the whole time chasing kids and stuff. Ok, I was tired because the night before I got only 4 hours of sleep, but anyway…

*You maybe don’t want to read the part italized. It’s boring stuff for me to remember.
It was fun. I spent way too much. I got the kids the unlimited rides wristband which were $12 each and then I got them each some tickets for the indoor games/concessions, too. All in all I spent $41 which was twice as much as I was planning on spending. (I know this is boring, this is just for my own benefit since I am sure I won’t remember it)

So Brooklyn had it in her head that we were going to eat there. They had some overpriced food that I didn’t think the kids would eat. When I bought them each extra tickets I told them it was for food but they only got snowcones and then used the rest on games. And at that point I didn’t want to spend more money (mostly because we’re saving for the money we’ll lose on selling our house and our move coming up next month!) sooooooo

Brooklyn was super cranky and all she talked about was wanting to eat. I should’ve brought food but, I had planned on them using their tickets for food.

This is really way too much explanation. Long story short I should’ve bought Brooklyn food (or brought it) because maybe she wouldn’t have spent almost the entire time yelling, whining, crying and being rude and snotty to everyone 😛

I would’ve bought extra food, by the way, but I really have a hard time buying food for the girls and having Payson watch. There were NO gluten/dairy free options. Not even one thing, so… no food for anyone.

AND I had two giant tupperware dishes full of yummy leftovers (I’ve been cooking a lot of good food this week!)

Oh and duh, I didn’t have any leftover cash after the wristbands AND all the extra tickets I bought.

Um, shut the heck up already? Ok.
We were one of the first families there so I got the kids there tickets and wristbands and then since the rides/activities weren’t quite ready I got a group shot before all the fun started.
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This ride was a blown up obstacle thingy. I don’t know how to describe it but this part of the ride in the picture had a place to walk up, some steps… one was missing and Sierra was having a hard time climbing up without it there. She even cried in fear. Poor thing. She was overwhelmed at first with the rides… nervous I think. After a few times on the rides/slides, though, she was excited and didn’t get nervous again 🙂
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There’s this place I take my kids for fun that has a rock wall. Brooklyn begs me every time we go to try it. I’ve been meaning to let her but Allan is the one with the pass to the gym and with the pass it’s free, without the pass it costs money. So… I haven’t had her try it yet. So when she saw the rock wall at the carnival I knew she’d want to try it and she did. All three kids were excited about it! I was pretty darn excited to watch them! I didn’t think they’d go very far and the first two times they tried I was right.
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Payson took exactly two steps up and then froze in sheer terror. He started screaming and he was so rigid. It was hilarious. I mean, of course I wanted to help him down and did but it was just sooo funny because he hadn’t even climbed far and the guy helping hadn’t even let go of Payson once. haha (He was smiling here, not screaming, before he got down right after I snapped this)
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Snowcones. Payson offered me a taste and it was gross. I’m not a big fan of snowcones for some reason. I don’t really like chewing ice so maybe that’s it? The kids loved them, though.
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Brooklyn did really well on the games! She got upset when the five carnival dollars she earned didn’t buy her much. She got a little bouncy ball with her winnings and grumbled about it quite a bit. She’s really awful when we do fun stuff, have I mentioned that?
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The third and fourth times the kids did the rock wall Brooklyn got to the top!! I was really surprised because she gets scared really easily. She was determined though and impressed us all! I was so proud.
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Yes, I might’ve taken a few too many pictures. I was just so proud!
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The kids liked these bounce houses. I think this was their first time in them.
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Ember was SO good while we were there. She stayed in the stroller most of the time and just watched her siblings and all the other kids without crying or whining. I did let her out a few times to run around and play but mostly she was content in there.
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So, I’m getting bored of writing… the pictures pretty much are self explanatory from here. Kids playing, kids having fun…
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Ember learned how to blow bubbles. She was doing it so well! I didn’t catch it on film because by the time I was taking pictures she was holding the wand herself and couldn’t angle it right, but when I held the wand for her she was blowing them a ton. It was SO cute!
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As you can imagine, Payson was very excited about this spiderman bouncy house.
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At the verrrry end of the carnival when it wasn’t as crowded I let Ember go in this bouncy house for a while. She had a blast!!
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They had music blasting and Ember danced a lot. There were so many kids and even parents watching her and smiling at her and even dancing with her. It was so cute and I video taped a ton of it. And then I realized that I hadn’t pushed record on my camera! haha, ugh. Oh well.
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We’re Trapped Inside

And so very bored!
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I don’t know why but Payson is so darn possessive when it comes to banging on pots and pans. He freaks out if Ember attempts to tap one that he’s deemed his. I explain that he can hit them all and she can hit them all but he’s insistent that she only bang the ones he labeled hers and he gets his and she stays away from them. Silly.
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When Payson first got really into spiderman I downloaded a bunch of spiderman songs onto my iPod and we had them shuffling on repeat while they banged away. He’s such a funny kid with his obsessions. It’s fun, though 🙂
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Pinal Mountains

Sunday evening we went for a drive. We drove and drove for just over an hour and a half and we ended up at the top of the Pinal Mountains.
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It was more than ten degrees cooler up there so that was very nice.
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And there were trees replacing the usual cactus and that was even more nice.
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We got there and let the kids run off. Then Allan hid from them and they had a ton of fun searching for him.
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It was fun giggling and taking pictures of him right there in plain view of me while they looked and looked.
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Payson came back up to me and saw Allan and lit up.
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It was soooo pretty. I’m so very sick of desert scenery and the trees really lifted my spirits. I miss trees!
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He was mad at her touching his back.
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They found this little “fort” and thought it was a fun hangout.
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These two are best friends.
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Sierra asked me for help. I held her hand and held her steady as she walked up and down this log. Eventually she got brave enough to try it on her own (after seeing Payson do it his first try)
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Ember saw her siblings walking along the log and thought it looked like lots of fun. This piece of bark also looked like lots of fun to her.
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She was climbing off and fell down on her butt and looked up at me like it was amusing. She’s so adorable! With only a split second pause she popped her hand up and I love that her face had this look of complete confidence that I’d immediately help her up. Which I did 🙂
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Helping her have a turn walking up the log.
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We were alone up there at this point and went exploring. Ember got onto this dirt road and felt the pull of wide open space… she was off and running from me right away.
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She’d giggle, deep belly laughs, while wobble sprinting in the opposite direction. Then she’d stop and look back to make sure I was still following her ♥
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The backlight here was pretty so I asked everyone to stand together for a picture. I told them to do whatever the heck they wanted and this is how they all posed.
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Abandoning mommy once more.
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He was up there heading back to our car to put the wipes away and the light was cool so I told him to please stop. heh
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Payson saw Allan up there so when Allan left he climbed up for a turn. And there cannot be a picture of Payson without a spiderman pose.
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And then Sierra was watching and thought it looked cool to pose there, too.
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We all gathered back at our little picnic table/firepit spot.
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Allan and Brooklyn were off gathering wood for the fire.
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She was so helpful 🙂
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She was complaining a lot. Good thing she’s cute 😉
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Allan roasted sausages. The kids LOVE sausages.
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It got a bit warm!
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Ember found the entire thing extremely interesting.
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She was riveted to the sausages cooking. My little carnivore.
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She ate her fill of sausage and reached and reached and reached for more. But mean old mommy wouldn’t let her have more after that because it’s sausage, giant processed sausages and that’s not exactly good for toddlers.
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See her still reaching in the background? Poor girl doesn’t understand that she needs grains, fruits and vegetables as well as meat!
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The sunset was AWESOME but pretty much impossible to capture on film. It was this deep, intense pinkish red.
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I think I gave her one or two more teeny tiny bites just because she was so desperate. haha
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Spiderman, Spiderman

Spiderman, Spiderman,
Does whatever a spider can
Spins a web, any size,
Catches thieves just like flies
Look Out!
Here comes the Spiderman.

Is he strong?
Listen bud,
He’s got radioactive blood.
Can he swing from a thread
Take a look overhead
Hey, there
There goes the Spiderman.

In the chill of night
At the scene of a crime
Like a streak of light
He arrives just in time.

Spiderman, Spiderman
Friendly neighborhood Spiderman
Wealth and fame
He’s ingnored
Action is his reward.

To him, life is a great big bang up
Whenever there’s a hang up
You’ll find the Spider man.

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