i feel like that photo up there sums up our last few weeks perfectly: exhausting. is that the right word? i'm not even sure. the last three or so weeks, for me, have just been, for lack of a better word - ugh. i don't know if we haven't gotten back to where we should be emotionally since justin's grandmother passed away or what. it's been rough, to say the least.

i'm not sure i mentioned it on here yet or not so i'll say it now anyway - justin started a new position at work a few weeks ago. he is now the crisis supervisor for the mental health department in linn county. it's a very important job and i'm so proud of him for doing it. he has taken on A LOT more responsibility with this position and it feels like he's working nonstop. he's essentially on call 24 hours a day because if any of his staff have questions or the hospitals can't get ahold of the person that is actually on-call, they call justin. since this new position started, i'd say he's averaging at least one call per day when he's home with us. that is taking quite a bit of getting used to for me. we went to omsi one day last month and he got a call that he was on for, i don't know, an hour? that was really frustrating because he doesn't get all that much time with the kids anyway, and for him to have to be away from them when we're doing something fun together and on a work call is just plain hard. and then it just feels like there's added pressure from me too, when he's home, because who knows if he's gonna get a call and when he does, it's on me to keep the kids as quiet as i can, or basically just be on my own with them again. so sometimes it feels like i'm just doing everything by myself with the kids, every day, all day long. and i know that's not the case; i know i'm not alone and he's not working all the time and when he is here he's THE BEST help i can get and i'm so grateful for him. it's just, different. 

and then to continue with more reasons why life has been exhausting: claire's still sleeping horribly. i know it's most likely my fault in how we tried to sleep-train her and then i kept reading articles that were pro-crying and then articles that were pro-attachment and i could see the pros and cons to both sides and just got overwhelmed and yada yada yada, here we are. she wakes up anywhere from one to four times from 730pm to midnight. and from there, who knows what's going to happen. sometimes it's once, sometimes it's every single hour. and this last weekend justin had a procedure done that prevented him from lifting anything and so that left me to tend to claire all night long. and if you know me, then you know if i don't get good sleep, i am a horrible person (well, my mood is pretty horrible. i think i'm still a good person. c;). so there's that.

sure, get her in a carseat and she'll sleep like it's her job

and fall is finally here. i know everyone seems to be super excited about wearing pants and sweaters and boots and all that jazz but i'm totally a late-spring, all-summer-long type of gal. i need that sunshine in my life in order to be happy. and who wants to shave their legs in the morning and by noon have their legs be all prickly again? i sure don't. then there's all the rain. so much rain. it really gets me down. and the rainy season lasts way too long here in the valley. ugh. i mean really, the only good thing about fall is the colors of the trees and getting our family pictures taken for christmas cards. that, and being able to turn on the fireplace again. but muddy footprints because ripley's an idiot and refuses to let me wipe him off and being stuck inside pretty much all day? yeah, that i can do without. oh, and i guess football is back. so there's that.

hm, what else can i talk about here. so most of you know that landon has mentioned having a "ghost" in his room that talks to him and is scary and all that stuff that is associated with ghosts.  and we have no clue how he even knows what a ghost is. so that's totally freaky. and then we have little things happen like the baby monitors cutting out (i know, that might be pretty common, but it happens A LOT), and a weird handprint on the back glass door that's outside and is too big/high up to be landon's and too small to be one of ours, and a balloon spinning in circles in our dining room and then randomly floating up the stairs and even though we put it in one corner of our loft (which is back in a little niche) it somehow gets out and stops directly in front of landon's room, just hovering there. so, who knows. it's concerning because landon talks about it all the time and it seems to be hindering his ability to sleep (and maybe that's why claire is sleeping well either?). i've got my fingers crossed it's my late brother or late aunt just checking in on us. 

and now back to me maybe over-sharing? as if i haven't already in this post. oh well. so, it's hard being a mom, right? i know i've got it easy when comparing myself to some other families out there but that doesn't make my life any easier in the moment, you know? maybe it's because landon is three and there are times where he just feels like he's not going to listen to anything. or maybe it's because claire is one and she can't quite share her emotions with us other than crying, and she cries a lot guys. or maybe it's that no matter how much i clean, it never seems like the house is actually clean or there's enough clean laundry for everyone. or maybe it's that i have to make three meals a day, every day, and when most of those meals aren't appreciated by two little ones (they can't really convey that, i get it) it just makes mealtimes that much more stressful. really, deciding, preparing and cleaning up meals are my least favorite times of the day. and sometimes i'll skip out on a meal myself just so there's one less plate to fill and then subsequently wash. or maybe it's being a one-car family and so we're stuck at home most days. or maybe it's just simply that i'm over-tired. who knows. all i know is that these last few weeks, i haven't felt like myself and definitely not proud of myself and the job i'm doing as a mom. it's just one of those seasons i guess. 

and now, (i've used the word "and" a record number of times in this post, i think) before i continue typing just for the sake of typing, i'm gonna log off. those dishes aren't gonna wash themselves, right? c;

09.24.14 | 37&38/52

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

before i start, i know i'm behind. last week was kinda crazy, in so many ways (i'm sure i'll write a post on it at some point) and i don't think i took one single photo. SO unlike me. so to make up for last week, i stole a couple of pictures that i took this week. and then for this week's picture, i used one for both kids. time management, people. 

landon: he's been asking to watch way too many movies/cartoons these days so a few days last week (this week? i don't know anymore.) we pulled out the art supplies. we've been doing painting, coloring, drawing, using scissors, stickers, finger paints, and play dough like no other. he's been enjoying it a lot. i think his inner artist is starting to show itself. 

claire: i HAD to include this picture of her in her adorable denim jumper, bringing me her favorite shoes to put on. i think this is one of those pictures that gives me a glimpse into what baby girl will look like when she's a teenager. she looks so grown up with her hair pulled up and making that adorable little "duck face". gosh, i can't get enough of her.

landon&claire: another art day, this time in the living room. after one too many times of claire dumping out all of the good crayons from the crayon holder, i got smart and got out all of the miscellaneous crayons that we have just sitting in a paper tray. she can dump those out as many times as she want! more often than not, the kids have toys ALL OVER this room and even though i'm sometimes stressed a little about it, i know that i'll miss this one day. c; so, we make a mess every day. and that's ok. oh! and landon's started a chore chart (he feeds ripley, helps with laundry when asked, and helps pick up toys at the end of the day) so clean up is going a little better than it used to. plus claire is always willing to help when it comes to cleaning up. c;

**linking up with jodi.
i got a new iphone this last week
and even though these pictures aren't the 
greatest in showing the quality of the camera, 
trust me when i say the camera is AWESOME.

09.11.14 | 36/52

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

landon and claire: only one photo this week. justin's grandmother unexpectedly passed away this last week and i'm just not on top of my game with taking pictures. this photo was taken at one point last week when there was a rare moment that both kids were sitting still, at the same time. i have mickey mouse clubhouse to thank for that! (also worth noting: claire gets really excited and proud of herself when she gets to sit on the couch by landon, without me holding her. it doesn't last long because she can't help herself from crawling all over the couch.)

**as always
linking up with jodi

09.03.14 | 35/52

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

landon: he made a bridge for his cars to travel under. i love seeing him be so proud of himself for accomplishing something that he has worked so hard on.

claire: sometimes i don't want to leave her when she's sleeping as she is so peaceful. sometimes.

**linking up with jodi.

08.30.14 | STATE FAIR FUN

 ^^his very first amusement park ride, other than the kiddie train at enchanted forest.

so, last weekend was busy, let me tell you. not only did we see the hot air balloons and go to portland to omsi, we also went to the oregon state fair. yeah, once monday rolled around we were exhausted. it took all day to recover. c;

we had planned on getting there right when they opened, at 10am, but ended up arriving a tiny bit past 11. that's what happens when you're chatting with dish network about an auto-pay issue for way too long. ugh. anyway, we got there and luckily i had purchased our tickets ahead of time to save some money and we got to bypass the ticket line! our first stop was to check out the kiddie rides. i figured landon wouldn't want to ride anything as he's a little tentative when it comes to doing new things. he surprised me though and wanted to ride some cars or trucks as soon as he could! he saw this truck and was sold. my little guy, he sure is growing up.

after rides we visited some animals, walked around some booths, ate fair food, walked around some more, and then headed home once it started to get really hot. that evening, my mom came over and watched the kids so justin and i could go back to the fair and have a little date night. i love going to the fair at night - it's so magical! i had some major mom-guilt though because we found the family section when we were there without the kids and gosh, there was a petting zoo and exotic animals (like tigers and snakes) and we missed it earlier in the day. #momfail

we had such a good time at the fair again this year. i love going every single year. it was a tradition for me growing up and i intend on keeping that tradition with my kids. now, way too many pictures. not sorry.
^^all i wanted to do with him was ride the carousel. he seemed excited about it and then as soon as i tried to get him to ride a horse, he flipped. luckily i convinced him to sit on a bench with me so we didn't lose out on our tickets. he seemed to enjoy that a bit, even if i was a tad disappointed.
^^sorry for the butt shot. that cow in the back was staring right at me so i had to get her pic. plus, cows are so cute!
^^the best animals at the fair - the clydesdales!
^^one of my cousins was showing their cattle this year and even though we didn't actually see them, we got to see their bull!
^^boys and tractors.
^^all landon wanted to do was get claire out of the stroller so he could get in. this is him telling me that.
^^and this is him showing me how tall he was - almost as big as the tire!
^^from on top of the ferris wheel.
^^this ride was correctly named. no way was i getting on that thing. 
^^i didn't go on the swings this year but i had to get a picture of the ride itself. i just love the ornate details of it. especially at night. c:
^^the starship 2000 is another of my favorites. 
 ^^okay okay. i may have a slight obsession with the ferris wheel. it's just so pretty at night!

until next year, fair!