Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pregnancy Brain

The other day I took the three boys to the library.  I always let them pick two books each to check out.  They love that and usually carry their own books to the counter, but on this particular day, I carried all 8 of them (including my 2), plus carried Matthew since he was trying to pull every book off the shelf.  I set/drop all the books on the counter and adjust Matthew on my slightly non-existent hip.  The really sweet librarian starts scanning the books and talking little-kid talk to the boys asking them about their books.  I am just constantly counting 1-2-3, making sure all three boys are there and not touching anything they aren't supposed to and keeping Matthew from grabbing at the scanner and tearing down all the piles of free bookmarks they have.

Suddenly the librarian looks at me and asks, "when are you due?"

The librarian next to her glances up at me really quickly and then kind of glares at her co-worker with huge eyes.

My first reaction was to be really offended.  I mean I know I have a lot of kids and working off the baby weight has been hard, but seriously, you don't just ask that question when you don't know the person.

Kind of embarrassed I glance down at my stomach and realize it is huge!  Then I remembered I am 7 months pregnant and really look it.  Trying to quickly recover I say,
"early August."

The librarian just smiles sweetly while the lady next to her finally took a breath and looked so relieved.  I guess it is really bad when your pregnancy brain makes you forget you are pregnant, huh?

Thursday, May 23, 2013


For the past several weeks my boys have been complaining about how bored they are.  I totally understand, I am not the most exciting person and it can get boring.  However, I am so busy cleaning up after them, that when I'm not cleaning or cooking or folding clothes, I am laying on the couch trying to gain some energy back into my limbs.  They don't understand why I am so lame.

So, I pulled the mom card and said "If you are so bored, maybe you need to do some chores."
Josh: "What are chores?"
My mom head started screaming at myself, how could I not have taught my kids about chores!!!  It is just wrong when kids think that mom takes care of everything and they shouldn't have to do anything themselves.  So, I quickly remedied that.

I talked to the co-leader of our home (okay, I know he is the head of the home, but he calls me the boss, so I am often wondering what I should call him).  So Tys agreed on the chore chart and allowance amount I came up with.

Each day the boys are responsible for making their bed (something they have never done before), and one chore.  The chores are pretty simple: take out the recycling, sweep the floor, put away the clean dishes, put away their folded clothes, and wipe off the dining room table.  I thought for sure they would need a lot of help and it really would be more work for me.  I should have known that my Josh boy would have run away with this.  He was SO excited to have a chore.  He would pop up next to my bed way too early and say "Mom, what is my chore today?  I already made my bed."

The rough draft of the chore chart.  You can see Josh's addition for Matthew on the bottom row.  :)


Woah.  That kid has enthusiasm.  It was fun teaching them how to make their beds and since then they are made before I even wake up.  It has only been a week and a half though, so we will see how it continues.  The deal is if they do their chore, they get paid 5 cents for the day (they get paid on Saturday).  If they don't, there is no punishment, but they don't get paid either.  I thought that would get them super motivated since they have never really had their own money before.

The first couple of days Caleb was great, and loved having a chore.  Then he decided he didn't feel like it.

Me: "Caleb, your chore is sweeping the floor."
Caleb: "I know."
Me: "Do you want to come do it?"
Caleb: "No."
Me: "I bet you would do a really good job."
Caleb: "I know."
Me: "You know if you don't do your chore today, you don't get paid."
Caleb: "I don't care."

Hmmmm.  So I just let it go.  (Which for me, is not easy.  Apparently I'm a little controlling).  But most days he is still really excited about his chore and he does a super job at them.  He spent almost 15 minutes one day scrubbing the table.  He even wiped down the chairs, it was awesome.

Josh's version of the chore chart.  He and Caleb put a sticker up when they do their chore.  Super cute.

I have been super surprised at how much it actually helps me too.  I know they are just little things, but they are one less thing I have to do and suddenly they are paying attention to the mess they are making.  Josh even wrote up a chore chart for Matthew.  I told him he was too little to understand and that I wouldn't pay him.  But Matthew doesn't care and I guess loves to work too.  So Josh helps Matthew do his chore which is great because it keeps Josh busy for a few more minutes and makes Matthew proud to help.

So far, so good.  I am liking chores.  And the allowance part is a lot of work, but really neat to give them a tithing slip with their money so they could pay the bishop their tithing on Sunday.  You would not believe how proud those two little guys were to "pay the bishop" as Caleb said.  I will have to share that story another day, it is a great one.  :)

Their piggy banks.  Caleb picked out Batman.  Daddy was proud.

Moral of the story: if your kids are bored, give them work to do.  They either will do the work and keep busy or stop complaining cuz they don't want to work.  Sounds good to me.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Where Does Satan Live?

Caleb (playing with some toy that apparently was Satan, yeah, I know, I wasn't paying very much attention)
Josh: "Caleb, we don't like Satan."
Caleb: "Yes we do."
Josh: "No, Caleb, he is really bad."
Caleb: "No he isn't....why don't we like him, Mama?"
Me: "Well, he doesn't like it when we are happy, he wants us to be sad and make bad choices."
Caleb: "Oh, so he is bad."
Me: "Yeah, he wants us not to live with Heavenly Father."
Caleb: "Oh, so he wants us to live with him?"
Me: "Um, something like that."
Josh: "Well, where does he live?"
Me: (Thinking a second, because why shouldn't I tell him?)  "He lives in a place called hell."
Josh: "Hell?  Hm.  Weird."

Luckily, I haven't had either of them repeat that since, but I have a feeling any day they are going to be talking about going to hell or that someone is going to go there.  And I'm also pretty sure it will be in a public setting and I am going to really regret teaching them that word.  :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Childlike Faith

I saw this article a little bit ago on Facebook and started reading, which made me cry.

Josh looked over at me and said, "Mom, why are you crying?  Are you having a bad day?"
Me: "No, I'm just sad.  President Monson's wife died this morning."
Josh: "Why is that a bad thing?"
Me: "Because President Monson will miss her a lot."
Josh:  "But won't he see her again when he dies?"

So I told him of course.  I just love the sweet faith of little children.  They have full confidence and faith in the Lord and His plan for us.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Caleb came in the room with a circular red mark on his cheek.  My guess is he was leaning on his fist while writing or something.

Tyson: "Caleb, what happened to your cheek?  There is a red mark there."
Caleb: "Oh, it is just a hiccup."
Tyson and I burst out laughing.
Tyson: "A hiccup?  Where did you get that?"
Caleb: "From you, you gave it to me."
Tyson: "No, I did not.  I only give hiccups to Mama."

I wonder what Caleb thinks a hiccup is.  :)

Kindergarten Screening

I feel like I have been a mom forever, and yet, I am just now entering the world of the public school system.  Okay, not me, but my kids are.  My oldest, Josh, is going to Kindergarten next year.  In some ways I am really sad because he is so cute and sweet and I will really miss all his help.  Then again, I know he is already bored out of his mind and CANNOT wait for school to start. 

So today, he had his screening.  Sounds kind of scary to me, "we screen these children brought to us to see if they are good enough."  I know Josh is super smart and would have no problem and probably knows most of what he will even learn in Kindergarten (okay, I don't know that for sure, but still), but well, like I said, he is Tyson's son, and sometimes doesn't like to give the right answers just because someone expects him too. 

Like his five year old doctor appointment went like this:

Doc: "Can you draw me a circle?"
Josh: "Sure."  Then draws an x.
Me: "Josh, draw a circle."
Josh: Huge sigh, "Fine."  Draws a circle.
Doc: "Great, now can you write your name?"
Josh: Sly smile.  "Sure!"  Then writes C-A-M-I.  Looks up with a proud smile.
Me: "Josh, YOUR name."
Josh: Another sigh.  "Fine."

A few minutes later, he takes his hearing test.

Doc: "Okay, this is going to be really fun, every time you hear a beep, you say 'beep!'  Okay?"
Josh nods his head.
It is silent for a few minutes while the machine beeps occasionally.
Doc: "Did you hear any beeps?"
Josh: "Yup, five of them."
Doc: "Oh, haha, okay, when you hear one you say beep okay?  That way I know you hear it."
Josh: "I know."
Doc: "Okay, here we go."
Machine beeps, again Josh is silent.
Doc: "Did you hear the beeps?"
Josh: "Yeah.  I didn't feel like saying anything."
Doc: "Well, I really need you to say something when you hear them okay?"
Josh: "Alright."
Machine beeps, Josh yells "GRAVY!"
Machine beeps again, Josh yells "CORN!"
And thus is continues.  I don't know if I should laugh or be mad.  But it was too funny to be mad.  She did say "say something."  She recommended he come back in a few weeks so they can try again and make sure he can hear okay.  I just laughed and told her it would be pointless.  I have full confidence he can hear just fine.

So needless to say, I was a little afraid he would either be terrified or...a stinker for his screening.  So I decided to send him with his dad instead of me, since I apparently am not a good influence on him.  So Tyson knowing just how to handle Josh, told him that he was excited for him to show everybody how smart he is.  And if he didn't do a good job, he would be stuck with Mama for another year.  So Josh woke up WAY excited to go to his school this morning and even got all dressed up.  So precious.  And I guess knocked the socks off everyone there.  He "can't remember" anymore all the questions they asked him.  But he has been having Caleb sort things by color and finding things that are similar all morning since he got back.  I asked him if that is what they made him do and he said "No, I just thought of this."

I don't know about this kid of mine.

Or my husband, since he brought home an application for me to sign up for the PTO.  I don't know how I feel about this.  At least he didn't sign me up without my knowledge.  :)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Imaginary Brains?

Tys mentioned how he thought it was funny that none of our kids really didn't have imaginary friends. I agreed, then I started thinking about it and realized Josh had the "mustache guys" that made him do all kinds of bad things and now he has his five brains (yes five): Diesel, Moola, Foola, Sneaky, and one other that I can't remember. Oh and Stormy is moving in when Josh turns 6 so that way he can have 6 brains. And Sneaky is the king of his brains. So he is either normal because he has kind of imaginary friends or he has multiple personality disorder. 
Caleb hasn't mentioned any imaginary people, but I think Josh has enough to fill our house.  His brains apparently live all over his body and travel around in cars through his veins.  Pretty interesting and very creative.  Maybe it just means he is really smart.  :) 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

This Little Burden of Mine

My friend (who is also pregnant) told me the other day that she is starting to get really excited for the newborn phase.  I quickly said that I wasn't yet.  I hadn't really thought about it.  And seriously, I really haven't.  In my head I have been kind of thinking this pregnancy is a permanent situation.  Don't ask me why.  Maybe it is the sheer fear of having four little boys to take care of all the time.  Or maybe if I think I will always be pregnant, the pregnancy will go by really fast.  I am really good at deceiving myself.  :)

I am really lucky as far as pregnancy goes.  I get pregnant SUPER easy, I don't get too sick and that only lasts a few months, then I just get bigger.  Not much else happens.  Besides the usual everything in the body changes and I am freakishly hungry.  But that isn't really a bad thing, except when it comes time to loose the weight after the baby comes.  I don't have to think about that yet though.  When I was pregnant with little Matthew, I had some nerve pain in my legs that I think were bad at the time, but I don't really remember it.  I really think women forget way too much about what they went through or they wouldn't do it again.  Well this baby is causing some leg pain, but not nerve pain.  My veins are struggling with all the blood pumping through my body, and especially on my left leg, the blood vessels just keep spidering and get really swollen and painful.  I took a few pictures, but they are kind of creepy and gross looking, so I will just let you believe me.  I got an ultrasound on my leg (weird experience), and I don't have any clotting, so that is a huge relief.

At first, I was super whiny and could barely walk, and really, there were times where if I stood up my woman regions felt like they were going to fall out and my leg was going to rupture.  I'm not sure if I am just getting used to the pain, if the baby is easing up a bit on where he is positioned or what, but I can walk, run (skip or trot is really what it is), stand and such without too much of a problem.  Tyson prays for me all the time and so I am certain it is the Lord easing my burdens.

I read this today in The Book of Mormon, and I thought it applied pretty well to my life right now:

"And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.

And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord."  -Mosiah 24:14-15

I know my burdens are pretty small to begin with, but I am really grateful that the Lord has taken away a lot of the pain I was feeling so I could be the woman I need to be, especially the mom and wife.  I am so blessed to have the life I do, and although I am afraid to have another baby and am pretty unprepared (especially emotionally) to have another one, I know the Lord will help me.  He always has.  I may think of this baby as a burden, but I'm sure he is much more a blessing than I realize.  I have lots of little blessings in this house.  :)  So now I just need to work on submitting cheerfully and with patience.  We will see how that goes...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Like Father, Like Son

There are some days where I really wonder about how to raise my children, especially since they all act like their dad some days (especially the oldest).  That almost rarely is a bad thing, but well, if you know my husband, you might understand why raising someone like him would be difficult.  He can be a tad opinionated and has a wee bit of a temper, not to mention the sarcasm and smart alec-ness.  :)  I find that really endearing in a husband (most of the time and his temper isn't that bad, I guess it was when he was a kid, but he is pretty composed now), but in a child that I have to correct and help, it can be difficult and a little...shall we say, trying?
So my oldest, Josh, and I, often have a few minor disputes during the day.  But they are minor and he is also a lot like his dad in that he is REALLY sweet and thoughtful and for some unknown reason loves me more than anything else.  So I get pretty spoiled.  Like the other day, I reprimanded Josh for something (he hates to be told he is wrong, just like his dad), and so he stormed off and ran outside.  I felt horrible, but still a little fiery, until he came back in a few minutes later with a handful of buttercups and dandelions. 
"I'm sorry Mama."
Who can be mad about that?
So although it is no easy task raising a Tyson replica, there really is no other woman that is as lucky as me.  What cute little guys I have and although I am surrounded by boys and testosterone and teasing, I really am quite spoiled.
Just like the day Tys left work for a few minutes one morning to bring me these:
 or wrote on Matthew's belly with marker to make me feel loved...
 or made me feel special with this (okay, okay, I put the petals there, but he was the one that made me feel special enough to put the petals there.  Which by the way, the boys insisted on helping and didn't understand why we didn't keep the flowers there forever.  You got to love having kids).
So I guess it is easy to say, I am the queen of my home.  I get harassed and teased, but I am also pretty adored.  I don't think it is so bad being the only girl.

So, I am a little behind, I know...

Okay, so Easter (haha, I know a month late)?  It was great, as you can see:

 I love that Tyson's office puts this hunt on every year.  The kids LOVE it and they love that all their buddies get to be there too because let's face it, almost all their friends are kids of people Tyson works with.  The boys had a great time!  So glad my mom was there, then there was one adult (or a-dolt as Josh and Caleb say) for every kid.

 Then we had an egg hunt at home too.  The Easter Bunny was awesome and hopped by to hid some eggs.  What a great bunny, and if you look closely you will see just how well and color coordinated the bunny hid some eggs.  :)
 Matthew loved this new adventure of finding eggs that were full of sugar.  He still gets a little frustrated that all the eggs he finds now are empty.
 The boys and their Easter bunnies.  ;)
 Their Easter baskets (thanks to Grandma Cooper).  Josh wrote out a list the night before of everything he expected the bunny to include in his basket.  Tyson and I thought it was the most precious thing:  "Dear Bunny, Peeps, Hershey, Jelly Beans, Snickers, Love, Joshua"  The Bunny tried to live up to his expectations.  He has the best hiding spots too.  Caleb's was in the fireplace, Matthew's was behind the curtain, and Josh's ("that sneaky rabbit!") was behind his dresser.  It is way too much fun having kids during holidays.
 I also love the fun things Tyson does with the kids.  Like one day, Matthew walks out from the bedrooms, shirtless, with the words "I heart Momma" written on his belly.  It made my day and for days made me laugh every time I saw it since it didn't clean off easy (not that I tried real hard).
 The older boys had a sleepover with Aunt Carmel.  They both fell asleep reading.  So precious!
 Cracker houses that Josh built.  :)
 Tyson took me on a day trip to Appomattox Court House.  We took a few kids from the school for Travel Study and we got to have a great date (thank you Mom, Carmel, Cassie and Dallin!)  I am so glad we got to get away and what a PERFECT day!  The weather was amazing, I so love Virginia in the Spring.  Plus it is okay learning a few things too, but not too much history, but still really neat.
 The local jail.  :)

 Another great thing about the spring is that Tys brings me wildflowers all the time.  They are so pretty and make me so happy.  Plus, the boys have learned from him, so I have had plenty of dandelions, clover buds, buttercups and these little cuties, not to mention amazing smelling lilacs.  Seriously, I love this place and I LOVE my boys (Tys included, although he is a "man" whenever I say this to him)!
 It is a little blurry but Matthew LOVES talking on the phone.  He jabbers in his little language and walks around the house and won't give me back my phone.  It is really cute and sometimes annoying, but I think Grandma likes it.  :)
So other than that, not much is going on here.  I am not babysitting or doing preschool this month so sometimes I feel a little bored, but it is really good for my body to get a break.  Baby is due in roughly 13 weeks, so any time to relax is a good thing, right?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Bug Girls

I was sitting, you know, for once during the day, and checking my email.  My oldest comes up and sits on the couch almost directly behind me.  Then he starts blowing my hair and gets closer and closer to my ear.

Finally I can't stand it anymore.

Me: "What are you doing?!"
J: "Just bugging you."
Me: "Why?"
J: "Cuz Daddy says that is what boys are supposed to do.  Bug girls."

Thank you Hunny, you taught him well.  :)