Friday, June 28, 2013

Rainy Days

The summer time in this area is really muggy, with lots of bugs.  But it also comes with lots of random thunder storms.  I love it.  I am just a grown up kid, I may not jump in puddles much, but I LOVE driving through them and getting a giant splash all over the car.
Although I have some children that are a little nervous of pools, they LOVE the rain. 
My only problems are with the excessive energy they seem to have on rainy days.  When they want to do this for hours on end.  It really is a miracle there are not more injuries.

So after watching them go crazy and then stare out the window for 15 straight minutes, I finally caved and let them go outside.

All the older kids listened to me and got coats and shoes on.  But not my little guy.  Nope, he always wants to experience everything.

I don't blame him.  It is way more fun getting soaked and have your hair dripping wet and be freezing than just standing under an umbrella, although that is really fun too.  I love the pure joy of the simple things in life that little kids have.  It makes you see the world differently.  A rainy day isn't just inconvenient in their eyes.  It is a world to explore and enjoy.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

What's In A Name...or a Bag?

I have been working on two things this morning:

1. Packing my hospital bag (I probably would keep postponing it, but I have a list of things to do and I would rather pack a bag than vacuum out the car)

2. Coming up with baby boy names that I actually like

So, I need some help/advice. 

1. What would you take to the hospital with you?


2. do you have any good names suggestions/ideas?

For names we are thinking something good and strong, but maybe a little more unique than the top ten most common boy names.  (I know, we usually go that way)

And for the bag, all I can think of is an outfit for the baby, postpartum clothes for me and some snacks for Tyson, maybe a game or a book so he won't be too bored.  That is about all I have.

So really, what is your advice?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bad Guy

I don't know if I am the only one, but I feel like I say "no" ALL day long.

"Josh, don't jump on the couch."
"Caleb, stop whining."
"Matthew, don't beat up on your brothers."
"Don't eat that without asking first."
"Guys!  Turn off the hose!"
"Don't jump off the bed!"
"Stop picking your nose, that is so gross."
"Don't lick food off the table."
"Stop yelling."
"No you can't watch TV"
"No you can't have sugar."
"Don't eat that, you just brushed your teeth."
"No you can't have water.  You need to go to sleep."


It gets really old.  There really must be a better way.

Well last night was just the end of a long day of no. 

Tyson and I were putting the boys in bed and Josh was not being...shall we say a willing participant.  He kept running off and cackling, so proud of his escapes.  One time he came back to his room with a beaded necklace.  It was one of those cheap plastic ones that little \girls have tons of.  Well, we have one.  And for some reason, the boys think it is totally cool because it is blue, so it is okay for boys to wear.  However, we have a rule that you can't go to sleep with necklaces or jump ropes or anything that could strangle them in their sleep.  We found little rope burns on Caleb's neck a few months ago and have been a little terrified since.  So this is how our conversation went:

"Josh, you can't sleep with that necklace.  It isn't safe."
"I'm just putting it over here."
"No, sorry, you can't have it in your room.  Hand it to me and I will give it back in the morning."
"Haha!" (he 'hides' it under his pillow)
"Josh, give it to me."
"You can't sleep with it, give it to me."

So I did the only logical thing and snatched it and walked out of the room as Josh screamed after me like I had just torn away his firstborn.

Tyson was tickling Caleb at the time, so kind of missed our argument.  I decided I was done with the boys and stayed in my room, but I could kind of hear what was going on back in the room of boys.

Tyson: "Goodnight Caleb.  Josh, why are you crying?"
Josh: "Mama took my necklace.  AND she did it on purpose!"
Caleb: (Gasps) "She STOLE it!  That is so mean!"
Tyson is talking softly to Josh, I can't hear what he is saying.
Caleb: "Daddy, Daddy, excuse me Daddy, you should go beat Mama up.  Go get Josh's necklace back.  She needs to get beat up.  Daddy, Daddy, excuse me, go beat Mama up!"
Tyson: "That is a great idea Caleb."

(please note in our home 'beating up' really means tickling basically as a method of torture to make you laugh.  It is usually a punishment for not too serious crimes.)

So Tyson came in to beat me up, which of course got me to laugh quickly.  The only thing is, I know I was right that I shouldn't let Josh sleep with the necklace, but I know I could have handled that WAY better.  But sometimes I can't see beyond the moment.  How do you get kids to be obedient without saying no all day and end up acting like a child yourself?

I really am at a loss.  And I don't like being the bad guy all the time.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ran Out of Battery

You know your kids use too many electronics when your three year old is running around outside chasing lightning bugs and then suddenly collapses. 

When you ask him what is the matter he replies,
"I ran out of battery!  Can you come pick me up and plug me in to the wall so I can recharge?"

Super cute, but maybe we need a week of no electronics or something.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hey Little Kicker

Dear Not-Yet-Born Son,

You are not the first kid to be in my womb, so this really isn't anything new for me.  Besides having extreme varicosity, which is kind of lame, I actually am really lucky with how easy pregnancy is for me.  I am not unaccustomed to growing round in the belly, to waking up to rapid kicks and jerks, to craving sugar and mass amounts of food. 

However, you, little one, are WAY more active than your three older brothers.  At least so far.  I have never had my belly jiggle around this much.  Sometimes I feel like I am belly dancing without even trying.  You also love to shove either an elbow, knee or heel (I can't quite tell) right behind my belly button, directly in my side or right below my ribs.  I know you are in a really cramped space, but please, remember I can't give you anymore room.  My skin is stretched to the max, along with my shirts.

I know it isn't time for you to come yet.  34 weeks along, so technically 6 weeks to go.  But just so you are aware, I wouldn't be horribly sad if you came a little early, maybe like a week or so?  That would be great.  I think we would both be happier.  I think, unless you cry a lot, then maybe you should just stay in there.  I don't know if I am ready for the newborn thing yet.  But I'm sure we will both grow to be so uncomfortable during the next month we will go through anything just to have some space.  Your brothers are excited to meet you.  So are me and Daddy.

Love you already,

Popcorn - My Side of the Story

Okay, so Tyson loves to tell stories.  And he is a great storyteller.  But when listening to his stories, you have to realize that most of it is exaggerated and he often gets the details mixed up.

Like the last post on his blog, found here:

Well, let me just tell you, he doesn't have all the details right.  So go read his story and then come back here and read mine.

About 2 YEARS into our marriage, Tyson was telling me about how when he was on his mission he and his companion would have a discussion once a week and mention a few things that thought the other was doing really well on, and then a few things they could improve on.  So I started thinking about that and said, "Okay, what is something I could improve on?"

Well, Tys is way too smart for that and said I was perfect and didn't need to change.  (I know that isn't true, but yeah, it is still nice to hear).  So I kept prodding him and he refused to give me anything, until finally he caved and said "Okay, there is one thing that really bugs me."

As soon as he said that, I was totally horrified.  "What?!  I do something that bothers him?"  (I know, I know, I was totally asking for it, I don't know why it surprised me).

"Okay, so the water jug I put in the fridge to keep cold, you take it out and leave it on the counter.  It gets warm and that really bothers me because I put it in the fridge for a reason."

Isn't that adorable?  It was the worst thing he could think of that I did.  Or at least that was the most dramatic thing he wanted to admit bothered him.  Probably a good thing, because I felt horrible.  It really hadn't occurred to me that it would bug him at all.  So now I leave it out just to bug him, but that is only occasionally.  :)

Anyways, so then I was a little offended that he could actually think of something that bugged him, so I quickly replied "Well, the way you eat popcorn bothers me."

He really was confused.  But I mean seriously for two years I had to listen to him shoving popcorn into his mouth by fistfuls and then chewing with his mouth kind of open.  And we would usually be cuddling so it was like he was chewing super loud right near my ear.  Horrible and seriously drove me crazy.  Now his sons do it and it is still really annoying.  But Tys did try really hard to change and was super self conscious about it for a long time.  I felt really bad about that.

So of course there are things that bother people about each other, but this is my advice:
1. Don't dwell on it.  Focus on the things that you love, or these few things that aren't really important will start to grate more and more until you go crazy.
2. If it is something that really does matter and needs to be addressed, do it at the right time.  Don't mention it when you are already having a "discussion" or when they are having a bad day.
3. Do it lovingly and sometimes guys need to be told straight up or sometimes a hint works.  Tyson is way more perceptive that most guys so I'm lucky with that.  But other times, I have to come out and say it flat out, "that is disgusting, stop it."  Haha.  But always with love.  :)

Anyways, that is my version of the story.  It is something we still really laugh about and I do agree with Tys, I should have buttered him up first.

Friday, June 21, 2013


I don't know about you, but I am SOOO thankful that we don't have enough money for me to make all the sugary things that I want.  I don't have the self control and apparently I am a severe addict to sugar.  Like seriously, some people feel thirsty, not me, I just crave sugar. 

When Caleb was a newborn, he wouldn't stop crying.  The only way I could cope with it and not freak out was to eat the double chocolate cake my mother-in-law had been so kind to leave me.  So he would cry, and I would eat a bite, he would cry some more and I would eat more.  Then I would feed him hoping that would help and a few minutes later he would just cry harder.  It was a horrible morning.  Until I realized that maybe he was reacting to what I was eating.  I had to cut chocolate out of my diet for a month. 


But at least my baby wasn't crying constantly.

Now it has gotten really bad.  I think I almost get to the point of having my hands shake if I don't have sugar in my system.  And blast Pinterest.  It so doesn't help my problems.  So I think I need to go to SA: Sugar Anonymous.  I need help.  Problem is I don't really want to fix the problem.  I just want more sugar.  That is what my mind tells me will fix this problem.  Which, who am I kidding, we know will only make it worse.  But seriously, look at these mouth watering goodies and tell me they don't call to you too.  Then please tell me how to begin to not want sugar.  I am going to need some serious help.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Swimming Lessons End

There were so many people that have asked me how Josh's swim lessons are going, so I thought I would give you an update, or conclusion as the case may be.  Swim lessons are all over, they only lasted two weeks, but they were totally worth it.  I LOVED seeing Josh get in the water so easily and have such a good time.
Josh begged his daddy to take a WHOLE day off work so he could come watch him swim.  We thought this was funny since Tyson gets off work just a half hour after his swim lessons start.  But Tyson was awesome and took off work early and we all went to the swimming pool for Josh's last lesson.  When it was time for his lessons to start, Josh stood up and walked right over to where his class was.  My jaw dropped, he had at least required me to walk him part of the way over or take a little bit of time to get in the water or something.  Nope, not his last time.  I was so proud of all his progress.
He still wouldn't jump in the pool, but he kind of slid in, so that is something.  His teacher was able to take him out in the "deep part" several times and that was his favorite part.  He kept chucking his floating board and Tyson and I assumed it was to bug his teacher, so we felt really bad for her.  From what he told us later, he was trying to scare all the sharks away and throwing the board apparently did that perfectly.  You have to love the imagination this kid has.
He had one on one training the whole time, so either they felt bad that the first two days he didn't even get in the water, or they were afraid to leave him alone, or he was in a more "individual needs" class.  Either way, we were really grateful for all the teaching and time they took with him.  It made me so happy to see his cute little face bobbing around in the water, smiling huge and having the time of his life.  We loved watching little Tommy too, who was so excited he couldn't stop bouncing.
I guess I forget all about the simple pleasures in life, like water.  How magical and perfect it is, a whole world for them to explore.  Having kids really does remind me of all the beautiful things in life.  Not to mention we got to go out for ice cream again.  You can't really go wrong with that.


My Handiman

So roughly a year ago we were having a lot of car trouble.  At the randomest times the car just wouldn't start.  It was HORRIBLE!  I hate not being able to rely on our car.  One of those times happened to be at the grocery store, it was a pretty warm day, I was by myself with all three boys and TONS of groceries in the car.  I was so mad at our van.  Oh man, I was mad.  I called Tyson and the poor guy couldn't do anything to help.  He was stuck at work and we only have the one car, so it isn't like he could come get me.
The Lord was really watching over me that day, and I had just seen one of my friends and her husband.  So I called her and her husband came running out, pulled his car by ours to jump our car.  Well, neither of us knew much about how to jump a car.  I mean, I had gotten way more practice than I wanted in the few weeks before that, but still, I was far from a pro.  So we hooked up the cables and I went to start our car and I heard a large "POP!"  That is when I noticed the smoke coming from their car.  We quickly turned off their vehicle and realized whoever had put the battery in their car had put it in backwards so the black knob was with the positive end instead of the negative end.  So I almost killed their car and ours.  Thankfully we switched the cords and our car started right up.
However, that loud pop, killed our radio/stereo.  It was the saddest thing.  We haven't been able to use it since.  For almost a whole year.  So then the other day, Tys watches a youtube video about how to take apart a car stereo to find the fuse, and he whips out his tools, finds the fuse, buys a new one, and replaces it, all in about 10 minutes.  It was AWESOME!!!
Now our stereo works like nothing was ever wrong.  I love that I have a husband who is incredible and knows how to fix all the things I mess up.  :)  I just love being married to this guy.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pancake Face

My boys love for me to make shapes with their pancakes, and although I am far from a pro, it is really fun.  There is almost always an "M," "C," and "J," a mickey mouse face, a heart for Tyson, and whatever else the boys want.  This last time I made pancakes, I was really tired and couldn't think of anything else for dinner, so I just whipped up a batch of the easiest thing ever: breakfast for dinner.  Josh asked for a mickey mouse face and Caleb asked for a "3."  So those were the only two special pancakes I made. 
Tyson being the awesome husband he is, tried to get Matthew to stop crying because he was "starving" or at least he thought he was.  So he gave Matthew the "3" pancake thinking it was an "M."  Matthew was appeased, but Caleb was nigh unto hysterical.  I told Caleb I made him something even better and stacked three pancakes saying I made him a snowman.  haha, totally worked.  I gotta love when I am confident, the kids believe anything I say.  I have to be really careful not to take advantage of that.  :)
Josh took his mickey mouse pancake and wanted to make a snowman too.  This is how it turned out.  You have to love his creativity in using toy legos.

Then when he described it to us he said, "Here are the ears, the eyes, the nose, the mouth, the nipples and the belly button, and these are the legs."
I leaned over to Tyson, "Did you just hear what I heard?"
"I think so."
"Oh."  Then to Josh, "Wow, I really like that, especially his face, really cute."
And yet again Tyson and I had to control our laughter so we could actually pray.  But of course we took pictures first, because it isn't every day your kid puts nipples on his pancake.  :)  I'm just thankful it isn't any more anatomically correct.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Drive In

I love this area that we live in for so many reasons: the rain storms, the greenness, the smell of spring, the colors in the fall, the cute little birds, the golden color of the sun in the summer, the rolling hills, the southern hospitality, the slow pace of life, I just love it.  There isn't a ton to do in this area though, the closest place to go bowling is almost an hour away.  So you have to get creative most of the time or you sit at home like we do sometimes and let Netflix take over your life.  :)
But just a short drive away is one of the few Drive-in's left in the country.  That is another thing I love about this place.  We go at least a few times every summer.  I have gone pregnant many times and even with little babies.  That isn't easy, especially when they start screaming and everyone is trying to hear the movie.  But it is still totally worth it.
So we went on Friday.  There ended up being several of our friends there, plus my little brother, Ammon, and my little sister, Carmel, came with us.  We had a blast.  The kids played and played for the few hours before the movies started and we talked and hung out.  I even raced Josh and his friend Ethnie once, but my belly bouncing up and down was a little too funny for me to handle anymore racing.
My friend, April, was there and took some awesome pictures of us, so I will share them with you, cuz who doesn't love these cute kids?  I do, that is for sure.  I also think it is hilarious my boys have such personalities:  Caleb didn't want his picture taken, so we had to trick him into it, Josh was eating something in every shot and Matthew can't seem to make a normal face, he is such a ham.  But as you can see from Tyson's picture, they get it from him.  :)  Love love love my boys.

Father's Day

I love holidays, any days that I can give or receive presents.  I just love the excitement of it.  For father's day, I think Tyson had a good day.  We gave him his present early because we went to the drive in nearby and since we got him a camping chair, we figured he would want to use it.

On Sunday I woke up way too early with my Matthew guy and we made breakfast.  I thought for sure Josh and Caleb would join me and help, but the one day they slept in was that day.  It was probably a good thing.  :)  So we had a yummy breakfast and I kept trying to take care of Tyson all day, but he kept telling me it was my day, the stinker.  But this was the cutest part about Father's Day for me:

Tyson guest posted on the blog: The Wondering Brain.  I thought it was the sweetest thing about becoming a father.  You should totally read it.

Not to mention, the cutest pictures of our little guys!

Happy Belated Father's Day to Tyson, the most incredible husband and father.  And to both my wonderful Dad and Tyson's Dad and my grandpa: Papo.  They are all amazing and I have learned so much from each of them.  I hope to always teach my boys to look up to you too!!  I'm excited to see them grow up (although it is pretty sad in some ways seeing how fast they are growing) and become dads too.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Time Out Does Work

Yesterday was a crazy day, super busy, a lot of fun with friends and swimming, gardening, just crazy busy.  I was worn out by my bed time.  However, when I woke up this morning I didn't feel like I had slept much. 

You know when you reach that point in pregnancy where you have to wake up every hour to get a drink of water because you are SOOO thirsty, so then an hour later you wake up because you have to pee.  Then as soon as you fall back asleep, the unknown kid is shoving a foot in your ribs or decided it is time to do a jig or practice boxing.  That is when I realize that it is super hot in my room and I am covered in sweat, so I turn on the fan.  Then an hour later I wake up freezing because I have no covers on and the fan is going full blast and so is the air conditioning.  So I get all covered up and slip back into much needed slumber only to have a really bad dream.  I wake up and feel freaked out AND parched.  So I debate for five minutes if I should get out of bed and get a drink and risk the scary guy that must be hiding in my house or the giant bug that I for sure will step on, but my thirst wins, so I dash to the sink, gulp water and run back to bed.  Then I have to pee and it all starts over again.  :)

Well, that was my night.

So I woke up with a feeling like someone has twisted my muscles and braided them into knots and there is a pulsing throb all over my head, especially when I hear any noise.  Which happens to be Matthew yelling, "MAMA!!"  over and over again so that I will go and get him out of his crib.

Let's just say I wasn't in the best mood.

Then Caleb starts automatically begging for cereal, which we are currently out of, for the third day in a row.  But, Tyson did do the dishes before I woke up, bless his sweet heart.  He is lucky too, because I'm sure if he hadn't I would have found some reason to be mad at him too, but his niceness took my edge off.

So after Tys left for work, I just went and sat outside to cool off and relax.  All the boys followed me, but at least they had the whole outdoors to distract them.  But, the mosquito's the size of half dollars decided I hadn't been bothered enough.  Darn them and their itchy poison.  I did read my scriptures while outside and weeded for a few minutes before I couldn't take it anymore.

I went inside and of course my sweet little ducklings followed.  After only five minutes, I knew I needed to get far away from them or I was going to say something mean to the little guys that weren't responsible for my crankiness.  I went to my room to get dressed.  I figured that would help me feel better.  No sooner had I shut the door and they realized I had of course purposefully shut them out of my life and they were going to starve and die and have psychological problems.  All four of them stood at my door kicking and crying and whining.  Seriously, I had not been in there for a minute, like 60 seconds.

So I did the only rational thing, told them I needed a time out and to leave me alone.  Then I took my sweet time getting dressed.  They quickly lost interest and disappeared to go play with their Duplo towers and buildings.  Never has somewhat silence felt so nice.  It probably was about five minutes, but I could feel the tension slide off me like melted ice cream.  It might have been the Tylenol kicking in, but I was SO much better behaved when I came back out to join my motley crew.

So moral of the story: when you are having a rough day, take a time out.  It doesn't make things perfect or the kids less whiny, but it does help.  I am all in favor of time out for Mama.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Little Moments

Today has been a good day.  The boys are still themselves, sometimes cranky, sometimes having a great time playing with each other, but I guess my attitude is better.  My little sister, Carmel, has been hanging out with us too and it has been nice to have someone else for them to harass and an adult (or "a dolt" as Caleb says it) to talk to.

But all through out the day, I have had little moments where time just seems to be a little more special.  You know what kind of moment I am talking about?  The kind where you catch yourself watching your little one and they don't know you are watching them and you see their cute little hands playing with a toy and see their little lips mouthing something to themselves.  Those moments that you wish could stand still for a little longer.  The one where you really wish you could take a picture of and somehow hold all that meaning and feeling you have in your heart show in the photo too?  The one moment that you know might fade away from your mind, but it is those moments that make you really glad you have the life you do?

I was watching little Matthew play outside, he sat in a purple chair, babbling to himself.  In just two months he won't be my baby anymore, he will have to be a big brother.  He won't be sleeping in a crib or sitting in a high chair.  Josh will be in Kindergarten and so he will probably be Caleb's new playmate and the baby will be the one bugging them.

I went outside to hang out with the little guy and when I turned around to look at the house there was Caleb playing in front of the window with tons of duplo blocks.  I noticed his hands are losing their pudginess and his building abilities are amazing.  He and Josh create all kinds of amazing towers and creations.  He glanced up right then and saw me smiling at him, he gave me a cute little smile back then went back to playing.

Yup, I really wish I had a camera in my head, that I can take pictures and print them out so I can remember those moments.  I forget so much, but I don't want to forget the little moments that I love so much.

I am so glad they grow up, because I know I couldn't last long with a newborn or a tempter tantrum crazy, or a moody-I-don't-want-to-go-to-sleep child, but still, I can't believe how quickly they go from tiny and chubby, so tall and lanky and talkative and bossy and don't need me for everything.

I just love the little moments I have with my little guys.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Super Heroes Have Feelings

Caleb has been really enjoying his class at church.  He doesn't really tell me much about what they learned or did, but things usually come out in the games he plays and the stories he tells during the next few days.  They must have been talking about emotions, because Caleb had this little face on a popsicle stick that he could switch sides to describe how he is feeling.  So this is how I heard Caleb explaining what he learned to Josh this morning.
Caleb happy
Caleb sad
Caleb turning into Hulk.

I'm so thankful for super heroes that help the children of this day understand how they are feeling.  And really, I am about as afraid of Hulk as I am of Caleb on a bad day.  You just don't mess with that kid.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Superhero Sons

They may be super exhausting to raise, but they are super amazing and super cute.  :)

Oh Bedtime...

To any single mothers out there, or moms that have husbands gone a lot, I salute you or tip my hat at you...whatever phrase it is that says:

"Wow, I cannot do what you do.  Way to go." 

Wrangling three little boys and coercing them into their jammies, getting their teeth brushed, diapers changed or ensure their bladders emptied, then getting them in their room, scriptures read, prayers said and then getting them to actually get into their beds and stay there...well, it is the most daunting task of the day.

Whenever I have to do it alone, like tonight, because Tys is at a church meeting, I just want to cry.  I know that is so lame and pathetic, but that is how I felt and still kind of feel since they keep coming out of their room!

"Mom, I need to get something for Matthew."
"Okay grab it and go to bed."

2 minutes later.

"Um, Mom, I forgot to tell you about........this thing I made at church today."
"What was it?"
"Let me get it."
(the entire back pack of church stuff gets dumped and then they start playing with everything)
"You know what, just go to bed."

(playing can be heard in their room, and some arguing)

"Mom!  Josh took my hat!  I was playing wif it fust" (that is what is sounds like)  "then he hit me!"
"Josh be nice.  Both of you go to bed."

You know, this goes on and on, and I'm sure will still be going on until Tys gets home.  It is all so very exciting and really life would be so sad without it.  What would I have to write about?  Nothing. 

Tys and I stood in the kitchen today, trying to escape our ducklings for a minute, and this is how our little conversation went:

"Why did we have kids?"
"I'm not sure.  Think how rich we would be."
"Oh yes, we would be planning our fifth cruise, not just dreaming about going on one."
"Yeah!  We might even be in Italy, right now.  Cuz, why not?"
"I think it is worth it though."
Matthew walks in right then, topless, with his little baby love handles hanging over his diaper.  He grins his giant grin up at us where his eyes crinkle up and his nose wrinkles.  Seriously precious.
"Yup, totally worth it."

So really, I am grateful for my life.  And really glad I don't have to put them to bed by myself most nights.  And I'm really grateful for the quiet little breaths they take when they are sleeping and the crazy positions they sleep in, that calm my cranky heart and recharge my soul for the new day so tomorrow I can be really glad I am waking up to two little boys yelling at their little brother to stop singing at the top of his lungs and go back to sleep.

Man, I love it.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

New Routine for the New Me

I am queen of sitting around in my pajamas all day long.  I don't believe in doing more laundry than I have to, so why get dressed?  And showering is really just a waste of water too, that is why I don't bathe myself or my children more than absolutely necessary.  I also have about as much hair on my head as a horse's mane, maybe even thicker.  So, washing that and then dealing with either the 36 hours of wet hair after that or taking an hour and a half to dry it and then actually make it look like something other than a giant puff ball, well, it really isn't my cup of tea.  Plus, I have no time for that, I have no idea how women do make time to shower every day.  My kids wake up around 6am, there is no way I am waking up before that.  And once they go to bed, well, I hit the couch and there is no removing my rolly polly mass until the clock stricks twelve.

Okay, so that is kind of how I was living, with a little bit of exaggeration...but not much.  So about half a month ago, I couldn't take myself anymore.  I was SOOOOO tired and felt gross and I'm sure I had a distinct odor.  I decided if the boys needed a routine to stop being so whiny and lazy, so did I.

So there are a few things I make sure to accomplish every morning before 10am if I can.

1. I get dressed.  This is huge.  I actually have a bra on before lunch time.  It is weird.  My kids used to ask where we were going if I got dressed.  That is just sad.  I had no idea getting dressed first thing in the morning would really make such a big difference.  I feel human.  And not nearly as embarrassed if we have early visitors.

2. I read my scriptures and pray.  When Josh was born, years and years ago, I started getting into the habit of reading at least something in my scriptures every morning.  Luckily, that is a habit that has stuck.  It really helps me be nicer and keep myself in check through out the day.  I think it helps me intellectually too, since it sometimes is the only thing I read all day long (minus funny quotes on Pinterest).  Praying by myself though, is not a habit.  I pray with Tyson morning and night and we pray as a family and at dinner, but by myself, nope.  Mostly that is because actually being by myself is well, a rarity.  I go to one room and they all follow.  I really think I am going to film it one of these days.  It is insane.  It is like I have some catnip tied to my back and the little kittens just trot after me.  I go outside, so do they, I quickly slip back in the door, then they follow...anyways, you get the idea.  So I am really trying to force myself to pray, even if I have little visitors I just ask them to be quiet for a few minutes.  It doesn't always work and usually a large meltdown happens just when I actually feel like my heart is in the prayer, but it is helping.  I forgot what a lift praying can bring, and how it can actually feel like I am talking to an adult.  So nice.

3. I take my iron pill.  About a month ago, the doctor called after I got some blood work done and told me I was pretty anemic, that is probably because I never take my vitamins.  So I am still really bad about taking my vitamins, but at least I take my iron pill.  Hopefully now I won't almost bleed to death after I have the baby.  That would be bad.  Plus, Tyson calls it my happy pill.  It might be psychological, but I have a lot more energy and am way nicer when that pill is consumed.

4. I do the dishes.  We don't have a dishwasher, well we do, it's me.  Some people really like doing the dishes at night and then waking up to a nice clean sink.  Well, that isn't me.  Like I said, once the kids are in bed, I am pretty much done being productive.  So the dishes get done in the morning.  It usually makes me tidy up the kitchen a bit too, and then I have the rest of the morning to enjoy at least a part of the house that is slightly less chaotic.

5. I write.  Writing for me is like exercising for some people.  It is a release, it pumps me up.  I feel so much better after I write.  Especially because it usually makes me think things through and see things in a more positive light.  So I either write in my journal or here on my blog. 

There is my list.  And the last few weeks have gone a lot better.  I still don't shower every day, but at least it is more than twice a week.  I do more laundry, but it is worth it to feel a little better about myself all day.  My next few things to add to my list is actually do something with my hair and brush my teeth, and maybe exercise.  Any other ideas?  Oh, and I am working on really spending quality time with my kids sometime during the day too, but for now, getting myself out of my sluggish state was my goal.  Now to do something really productive with my life...

Friday, June 7, 2013

Proud Mama

Yesterday, Thursday, was Josh's third swimming lesson.  After reading from that book the Em gave me, I decided to try to encouraging approach and not try to pressure Josh at all.  So before the lessons started I talked to Josh about what he wanted his goal to be.  He said he wanted to sit on the second step in the water, and so we decided that was what we were going to shoot for.  If he didn't get in, I kept telling myself it wouldn't be horrible, we would just keep trying because it was something he wanted to accomplish.
So we got to the pool and he was super excited like the two times before.  This time though, he only got half way to where everyone else was getting in the water and started crying.  The teachers started encouraging him, waving him over, but nope, he wouldn't budge.  So after a minute or so, I left Matthew and Caleb with my friend Jessica (I would be lost without all these other women in the world), and walked over to my skinny little guy in the blue suit.
I hugged him and told him it was okay to be scared, and reminded him of his goal to sit on the second step and asked if he still wanted to do that.  He nodded his very red and tear stained face and so I held his hand and we walked over to the steps.  He stepped one step down so the tips of his little toes were barely covered and then froze.  Then he sat down, but I didn't let go of my hand.  So I asked if he wanted to step one more step down like he had wanted to do.  The only response I got was a quick jerk of his head saying no.  So I told him I needed to go back to Matthew (I was sure he was going to make a run for the water any minute, he is not cautious in the least), and told Josh I would be over there and if he needed me he just had to wave me over.
As I walked back to the parent side of the swimming pool, I passed the lifeguard and she asked if he was okay.  I told her that he gets really excited to come here and then gets really scared as soon as the lessons start.  She nodded and I joined Jessica and my little ones.  A few minutes pass and then the lifeguard gets up and starts joking around with Josh and gently splashes a little bit of water on his legs.  She gives him a few water rings and then leaves him to go back to her seat.  Next thing I know Josh is smiling, he is actually smiling!  Then he bends over and touches his hair to the tip of the water and pulls back laughing at the water trickling down his face.
Jessica and I are giggling and totally excited about this change in the little guy.  Jess was so sweet, she seemed almost as happy about it as me.  Then next thing I know Josh is standing up and tossing the rings in and leaning over to get them, and then next thing I know, he is all the way down the steps and neck deep kind of splashing around having the time of his life!!
All the teachers are cheering and clapping and I almost burst into tears.  The little guy did it!  He got in!  He conquered his fear and way surpassed his goal.  I am so thankful to that lifeguard and all the teachers.  I don't know if Josh will have just as hard a time on Monday, but still, he got in and now he knows he can!
When his lesson was over he ran over to me (which got his teachers and me to yell at him because everyone knows there is no running by pools, but he was so excited he couldn't contain himself).  So I hugged him and then quickly had to explain to him there was no running.  Before I could say anything else Caleb goes,
"Josh, I'm so proud of you!!"
It was adorable.
Josh couldn't stop talking about how much fun he had and how he wished his swim lessons could last forever.  As promised, we went and picked up Daddy and got ice cream.  Matthew I don't think understood why he got ice cream, but he was very happy and I think he deserved it too since he only ran away to the pool edge once in the past three times we have been there.

Their happy little faces.  Josh was so tired he fell asleep right at bedtime which hasn't happened in months.  Hooray for swimming and hooray for my little Josh!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Swimming Update

Yesterday went just about the same at swim lessons as it did on Monday.  Josh didn't get in the water, or anything close.  You can tell he thought about it, but just freaked out, huddled on the side of the pool crying.

I have two maternal instincts that take over at that point
1. To go and cuddle him and make him understand that he doesn't need to get it.
2. To shove him in the water and tell him to get over it.

So I just stayed in my seat on the bleachers trying to give him a thumbs up and smile big at him if he looked my way.  Luckily my friend, Em, made me feel lots better and talked to me the whole time so I didn't stress too bad.  And Matthew, Logan and Caleb all stayed on the bleachers with me, miracle of miracles. 

Em brought a book for me to borrow called "Raising Your Spirited Child" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka.  There is a particular section in the book about a child's first reaction.  It was rather hilarious because the situation was a little boy and how he handled him first swim lesson.  I think the book was meant for me.  :)

So I just read that section last night, but I have a feeling the whole book is going to be very good for me to read.  I will let you know if it helps my parenting at all.  I sure hope so.

Today is another swim lesson.  Josh and I talked about it and his goal is to at least sit on the second step in the pool.  I trust that he can do it, it is just a matter if he will.  I want him to come home super happy and proud of himself rather than disappointed and glumish.

We shall see...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Mother of Very Little Brain

Lately my home has kind of become a fire hazard.  There are papers EVERYWHERE!  This is because my kids love to color and draw.  And any piece of paper or notebook in the house is not safe from them.  So all the bills and important documents are high up or in a locked place, at least I think so, who knows.  They always seem to find a way to make me realize nothing is truly safe from them.
Okay, so the artwork is really quite precious.  It used to be just a million scribbles and Josh writing his name over and over again.  Now, they are drawings of people and usually our family.
 Caleb’s people are pretty detailed for a three year old, at least I think so, but I don’t really know what any other three year old draws since I don’t remember what Josh did at that age.  And both of them are really interested in anatomy right now.  Thankfully, not the kind of anatomy I don’t really know how to talk to them about (minus the discussion the other day on why girls can’t take their shirts off, that was a funny story).  But they are really fascinated with the digestive system and the brain.  They also think it is pretty cool there is a human inside their mom.  So this interest comes out in their drawings and there was no other way to describe it but to show you just how cute it is. 
Now Josh draws a circle for anything he knows about inside the body, so there is a circle where the throat is and usually a circle for the brain, sometimes a few circles if you have more than one brain, which he personally has five. 
(In case you want a translation: For Cami I love Caleb Love Joshua Love Tyson Love Matthew The End)
Then of course because he is learning to write and spell he often writes who the person is or “I love Cami” or “I love Tyson” on the picture.  Really cute.  I don’t know why he always writes Cami and Tyson and not Mom and Dad, but that is just what he does.  But for the first time the other day he wrote “Mom” on a picture he drew.  I think I will keep it forever (don’t tell him I don’t keep a lot of his pictures, I really couldn’t or we would all go crazy, there would be no counter space, or space at all).  I never realized how special the name “Mom” is until I saw it on his little paper.  :)  Also, note the baby in my tummy.
Then there is little Caleb.  He is really into brains.  He will draw a picture of a person and then fill the entire face with circles, like this one.  His Daddy apparently has LOTS of brains.  Then he flips the paper over and starts drawing a picture of me and I’m thinking “Oh that is so sweet, I love how they see me.”  Then he finishes and brings it to me and says, “I didn’t draw any circles in your head because you don’t have any brains.”  Then he ran off, no apology, no laughing, he was totally serious.  Hm.  Maybe it is my lack of brains, but um, I’m not sure what to think of this.  J

Daddy with lots of brains
Mom with no brains

Sorry I am trying to upload another more current video and just can't get it to work.  Anybody know how to do this?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I am going to make a shirt.

Maybe to make up for the last several days, my boys were great today.  Not to mention I actually had energy to make cookies after going shopping with all three boys.  Not too shabby if you ask me.

Well, when we walked into the store, I always feel like everyone is looking at me.  I am never sure why that is.  But I'm pretty sure they are.  I think it is because I am holding one little boys hand, another boy on my hip, my stomach bulges around him showing that I am very much along with the next kid and then one more kid hanging onto the boy on my hip's foot since I don't have another hand to hold.

It must be a little entertaining.  I get a lot of comments.

So I am thinking about making some shirts to pick to wear when I go places with all the kids.  That way I don't have to answer their questions, they will already know.  This is what I am thinking they should say:

"They really were planned."
"Yes, they are mine and believe it or not they all have the same dad."
"I know, my hands literally are full.  You don't have to remind me."

What do you think?  :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Parenting, Pride and the Pool

Today was not the best parenting day.  I just seem a little lost at what to do for my sons these days.  They all seem to be going through a difficult phase and honestly, so am I, which probably doesn’t help their little lives.  I am round and freakishly tired, no matter how much iron I take.  Not to mention my week alone with the boys drained me pretty deep.

So little Josh and I, we just are either best buds or not friends.  And the ups and downs are pretty severe.  Matthew is at the super cute phase and even though he drives me crazy sometimes, he can smile and his chubby cheeks that look like the caterpillar from Bugs Life, just make it impossible to stay mad.  Then Caleb can be extremely whiny and at least 20 times a day curls up in a ball somewhere directly in my path moaning about how we have all wreaked his heart.  I want to roll the little ball of Caleb down the hall to his room and lock him there and slip food under the door until this somehow teaches him to no longer whine.  However, he is also a charmer and I find myself constantly not punishing him like I had been planning.

But my sweet Joshua, the one who actually does his chores and watches his brothers and gives me times during the day to rest…the one that when I am not in the same room with him and am a rational creature, I want to spoil and adore?   Well, the poor little guy is the one I get frustrated with the most.

I don’t know how he does it and he has told me several times he doesn’t know either, but he drives me crazy!  And I annoy him pretty bad too.  So, in case you can’t tell, today was one of those days.

I must nag a lot and sound like this creature that just goes “Blah blah blah, clean up toys, stop stop stop,” because none of them listen to me anymore.  And if they are listening, they just respond “Just a minute Mom!  We are still playing!” or they just keep jumping off the couch or standing on little Matthew, you know boy stuff.  Well, it was a lot of that today, with the added, “Mom!  I’m so bored!  I want to go somewhere.  Pleeeeeaasssssssssssssssse!”

Well, let me just tell you, the last time I took them somewhere, they started fighting and causing problems, so we came home and so of course they run around the yard yelling for “daddy” because he of course would not be so cruel to bring them home.  So no, I don’t really feel up to taking them places.  Not to mention Josh had swimming lessons in the afternoon and I knew that would wear him out anyways.

So the swim lessons, Josh has been beyond excited about them for about three weeks.  Stuff like lessons, and soccer, extracurricular stuff is very new to us and they are pretty expensive.  So they are a huge priveledge for our kids.  The last time we did anything, was a little summer soccer camp for Josh two years ago.  He sat on the side of the field for the first three days crying.  He finally kind of started to participate at the end of the week.  Hence the waiting two years to do anything like that again.

We (meaning me and Josh) picked swimming.  Caleb was just a few months too young to take them, so it was just Josh that we signed up.  ALL DAY long, almost every five minutes,

“Mom, when are we going?  Should I get my swim suit on?  Why do we have to wait so long?  Let’s go now!”

I was already regretting the decision to have him take lessons because the day was dragging out so long.  So then I load all the kids up and thank heavens my little sister came with us, because as you will see, I probably would have…well…I don’t know what would have happened.   Matthew would have probably ended up in the pool taking lessons instead.

Josh was beaming, grinning, talking about how he was going to jump in the water as soon as we got there.  His best friend is taking the classes with him and they were practically bouncing off the bleachers they were so excited.  Josh and his friend, Tommy, walk over to the side of the pool, they introduce themselves with the other kids, splash their legs for a minute.  Then they get up and walk to the steps to get in and suddenly Josh flips.  I see him start backing away and nodding no, getting redder and redder.  The poor kid.  Looking back I can see how walking to a giant pool of water to strangers saying, “Come hop in, don’t worry I won’t let you get hurt,” doesn’t sound too promising.

So my sister watched Logan (my little babysitting buddy) and Matthew while the all too willing Caleb and I walked over to where Josh was to try and coax him in the water.  I bribed him, I begged him, I demanded he get in.  Nope.  I prayed with him.  Nope.  And horrible me I just kept thinking, we spent TONS of money for you to just stand here crying making us all look like fools!

Finally in the last few minutes one of the girls from our neighborhood was able to get him to sit on the first step in the water, but he would go no further.  Caleb however the whole time is inching closer and closer to the water and saying things like “If I was old enough to take lessons, I would get in the water.  It looks like so much fun.  I wouldn’t make you be mad Mom, I would be a really good swimmer.”  I had to hang on to the back of his shirt the whole time because he thought the whole thing looked way too fun and wasn’t really paying attention to the fact that he had on pants and sneakers, not really swimming material.

We decided to try again on Wednesday.  I really hope he gets in.  I know he would love it so much.  I just wish I could take back my entire bad attitude all day long.  I always compare the little guy and want him to be “normal” like all the other kids.  But really, where would the fun be in that?  He isn’t like everyone else, because everyone is different.  And so what if he never gets up in church to sing with the other kids on Mother’s Day or doesn’t want to participate in the games other kids play?  I know he is a fun kid and that he loves me.  What I should want is for him to be happy, not for my pride not to be damaged.

This is a long story.  But I think that is okay, because it was a long day and I am one emotional woman, so there is a lot of feeling in this long day.  Lucky for you, you get to read about it.  J