themamabeth's Blog

Figuring it out, one crazy day at a time.

Making Changes May 5, 2014

Filed under: Family,Parenting 101 — themamabeth @ 10:32 pm

First thing: I finished the window screens! They are working beautifully and I am so happy we took the time to do it.

Second thing: Our land buying is iffy right now. There are some concerns about the water, and…yeah. Needless to say, I’ve been back on the real estate websites. So much time drawing floor plans…sigh.

 

Today it became abundantly clear that some changes need to be made around here. We’ve had a rough couple of days, and I’m not even sure when it started, but I know Thursday was rough. Friday I was sick with some sort of mysterious stomach/fluish thing that left me almost totally couch-bound for the entire day. Saturday and Sunday were catch-up and recovery days, and then today. Today was awful. Jake just got off night shifts, and he normally goes to hang out for a bit before he comes home. I made it an hour before I called. And he didn’t answer. It was so bad that I actually sent a message to my brother-in-law looking for my husband-I was that desperate for him to come home; which he did, right away once he realized I had been trying to reach him. But anyways. Bad.

 

The things I have revoked:

-xbox

-TV

-Kindles

-Computer time

-going to both homeschool group and t-ball (the t-ball was less of a consequence and more of me trying to not totally lose my mind)

The attitudes and general awfulness that I am dealing with right now must stop. I have no idea what is spurring all of this all of the sudden, they’re usually so easy going and enjoyable, but man.

 

And it occurred to me today-why am I trying to do everything? Both Adeline and Lucy are old enough to do a lot more around the house than they are now. It is insane that I’m spending two hours after everyone has gone to bed cleaning up-after spending umpteen hours every day…cleaning up. Crazy.

 

So. Time for some changes.

 

I’m going to make up specific chore lists for each kid, on top of asking them to keep up with their own things-leaving your clothes on the bathroom floor isn’t going to fly anymore.

 

There’s also going to be more structure to our days, and I’m going to make up some kind of chart so we can all see where we are in the day and know what to expect. I feel like if we could use our time a little better, more could be accomplished-both with school and fun stuff-and I’ll feel less like we just flailed our way through the day, or worse, like I rushed us through school.

 

We altered the bedtime routine tonight, and it went pretty well. Everyone was in bed and asleep by 9:15, which is pretty much unheard of around here. I think that will help things considerably as well, since I don’t think they were getting enough sleep and it was seriously affecting moods during the day (probably mine as well. Ahem.).

 

This is going to be hard for me, I think. I get frustrated with schedules, and tend to just throw the whole thing out the window if something gets off track. But being temporarily frustrated while we adjust has got to be better than permanently frustrated by not making any changes.

 

House Changes April 16, 2014

Filed under: Family,Life Is Good,Makin' Stuff — themamabeth @ 4:07 pm

My living room is 95% done.

 

I bought patterned fabric for our dining room window, and a solid blue for the living room. The blues didn’t match though, so I had to return my solid blue fabric (sorry UPS Guy) and reorder. My second attempt was a success.

Small_0329809 Small_EL-229It’s just so much fabric, I’m totally intimidated. Maybe tonight…

 

The curtains and the cover for my glider, and I’ll be done, though, and that would be totally awesome.

Our new dining table AD580-45was delivered last week too, and that is probably my favorite change at this point. It is considerably smaller than what we had, and it created so much space. We also got rid of the dog crate, since Sarge is fine if we have to leave (we still make him stay in the kitchen, even though he’d probably be fine whole-house), but we did replace it with two giant dog beds; at least we can store those away easily if we need to.

 

 

 

 

The last big house thing we wanted to do was put up solar screens on all of our west-facing windows. It gets so hot in here in the summer, there’s nothing to block the sun at all. I planted bushes, but they are puny and not offering any shade yet.  Jake cut and assembled the frames for me, and I just need (haha,”just”…one screen takes me all day) to put the screens in the frames and then the frames in the windows. We’re using velcro so we can take them down in the winter when we want it to be warm.

 

So…all that said…

 

We just put in an offer on a piece of land with the intention of building our dream house. We’ll know for sure in the next couple of weeks, but isn’t that always how it goes? Get everything juuuust right, and poof, decide to move. (Not like this will happen any time soon, but still.)

 

Today’s Post is Brought to You by Ikea March 24, 2014

Filed under: Life Is Good — themamabeth @ 12:03 am

I packed up two of the kids on Friday and we made a quick trip to Phoenix to hit Target and Ikea. Our hodgepodge of random furniture was making me nuts, and that combined with a real need to create just a little bit more space inspired a little shopping spree. I got a chair, bookshelf and two end tables and now I feel like we live in a whole new house. That single bookshelf has freed up so much other space, it is amazing.

 

All of the sudden my living room feels so put together! I have a few more projects to finish up tomorrow (hopefully, Monday is busy for us) and we’ll be golden. It is the end of a looong road of me tweaking and rearranging and I’m sure Jake is going to be very happy to not have to wonder every day if he’s going to come home to all of the furniture rearranged yet again. I can’t imagine the dread he must feel when I pull out the tape measure.

 

We did run into one snag, because going to Ikea at 5:30 on a Friday with two little kids and my mom, who is currently in a sling, didn’t lead to clear thinking, and I actually bought a blue chair rather than the grey one I planned on. So now I have a random blue piece of furniture that doesn’t match a single thing, at least not at the moment. Since I can’t exactly hop back to Ikea to return it, I did the next best thing and ordered new fabric to make new curtains, which will tie in the blue chair. I’m actually kind of happy, because what we have now was my first attempt at curtains so now I have a chance at a re-do so I can fix some mistakes I made the first time around.

 

It is awfully exciting to be done with the decorating stuff. We’ve been here for almost three years, and I think I’m finally satisfied that it is as good as it is going to get.

 

Now I’m ready to move on to the next big project, which is mainly going to center around school. We bought a legit curriculum to do over the summer, so after the house projects are finished up, we’ll jump in to school for real-probably within the next two weeks. Between school, classes and sports, I think it is going to be a really busy summer! But it feels like all of the sudden our whole life is just falling into place and I couldn’t be happier.

 

This day: 1, Me: 0 February 9, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — themamabeth @ 9:33 pm

This is probably the hardest day of the month for me. Jake has four night shifts after being off for a week, and this is the last day of those shifts.

Adeline was up until 11PM last night, which I knew we’d pay dearly for today, but what could I do? I can’t make her sleep.

Lucy got up this morning and informed me the dog had an accident in his crate. Great Dane puppy accidents aren’t anything to sneeze at.

Hazel got mad at me for telling her no about something and she hit the baby.

Lucy bit Adeline.

Adeline got mad at Lucy for something and put her in a headlock (well, sort of).

I got mad at everyone and spoke with a tone and volume that I’m not proud of.

The sink is full of dirty dishes.

I’ve been spit up on so many times today that I’m nearly out of clean clothes-and I have a mountain of laundry to do tomorrow.

We never made it outside today, or out of our pajamas for that matter.

The kids had open-faced tuna sandwiches for dinner because I didn’t have enough bread for everyone to have real sandwiches.

 Everyone is going to bed early tonight, and tomorrow is a new day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our new normal January 26, 2014

Filed under: Family,Homeschool,Life Is Good — themamabeth @ 11:02 pm

Today was the first day I was officially on my own since Delilah was born. Right after, Jake was off, then my mom came to help for nearly two weeks (best mom ever, by the way). I spent the two weeks post-delivery on the couch, being taken care of and catered to. Once I had to throw a load of laundry in the washer because there was an Incident while changing a diaper, but that’s the most work I did in those two weeks. It was lovely and wonderful, but by the end of it I was ready to lose my mind.

For some reason I had been dreading today, thinking it was going to be Just Terrible, that it would be chaos and screaming, with tears from everyone involved.

It went fine. The baby is already following some pretty predicable patterns so I knew what to expect from her, and the rest of the kids just do what they normally do-playing nicely, trying to kill each other, and demanding food. Last night was a little rough, so I set the big kids up with Kindles while the babies napped and I got a nap in myself.

Tomorrow we’re going to pick back up with school, so that’s going to add a new layer to things, but I’m determined to not let myself get frustrated and just let things happen as they will and trust that in the end, it will all work out. I’ll admit that we’ve not been very consistent with school at all, so there’s no good, established routine in place. At first that was really stressing me out, but now I think that it is a good thing that we’re essentially staring from scratch. I’m picking up our curriculum from the first week of September when it goes over some of the behavioral expectations, and then in February I’ll jump back in with the scheduled material.

So yeah. So far so good. Going from 3->4 hasn’t been nearly as tricky as I thought, but we’re also only two weeks in, so that could change any day.

 

What’s for dinner this week…

Filed under: Soup's On! — themamabeth @ 6:56 pm

Jamabalaya

Spicy Sausage Pasta

Confetti Chicken

Beef Stew

Broccoli and Cheese soup

Grill

Pork chops, veggies (we’re doing squash and zucchini) and rice

Nothing new or exciting this week. It has been nearly a month since I’ve meal planned, shopped or cooked so I’m a little rusty. Lots of pasta and crock pots while I get my feet back under me.

 

Hey there, Delilah January 20, 2014

Filed under: 9 Months,Going Crunchy,Labor and Delivery,Life Is Good — themamabeth @ 11:02 am
Tags: ,

At the beginning of January, I had a day of cramps and general discomfort. It was a not very fun day, Jake was at work and I couldn’t figure out if I was being labor-ish or not. When he came home that night and I told him how I was feeling, he made an executive decision that the next day we’d head to Phoenix to wait for the baby.

I was decidedly uncomfortable in the car during the drive down, but the closer we got to town and the more I relaxed, the better I felt. Once we were there and unloaded, I stopped having cramps, stopped feeling rotten and pretty much just reverted back to just being regular pregnant, not about-to-go-into-labor pregnant.

So, we hung out in my mom’s two-story condo, with no yard, two big dogs and three kids who had been pulled out of their house without any warning. Every morning Adeline would ask me “Is baby Delilah here today?” and then be disappointed when I was still pregnant.

The more time that went by the more frustrated I got. We could have been home! I was fine, barely a twinge.

After we had been there a little over a week, my mom took the girls out for the day to give Jake and I time to just hang out and do whatever we wanted together (for, like, the eighth time since we’d been there. My mom is amazing.). We kind of putzed around for the afternoon, and I took the dogs for a walk before we headed out to do…stuff. We went to some stores-Jake’s willingness to wander around Joann’s with me never fails to make me all gooey inside-and then out to eat. The last time we’d gone out to eat, I’d had an anxiety attack in the restaurant and it wasn’t so fun. This time, I was feeling similarly, and I though for some reason I had developed an aversion to restaurants. It was a dinner I had long been looking forward to though, so I ignored how I was feeling and although we kind of left in more of a hurry than we normally would have, we still ate and it was still nice.

I wasn’t feeling a whole lot better when we got back to my mom’s and I ended up falling asleep on the couch after everyone else had gone to bed. I got up and went upstairs, still feeling not great and there were cramps added in this time too. I read for a little while, and ended up falling asleep again. I woke up again with the cramps, and…my water broke.

Based on previous experience-my water breaking while the baby was actively being born-I was feeling a liiiiitle frantic. I woke Jake up and changed into different clothes so we could leave. He isn’t the world’s faster waker-upper, and I don’t think I quite articulated my panic to him so it felt like he took foreeeeeever to get ready to go. I’m thinking, do you really need to brush your teeth? I told my mom we were heading out, and we paged the midwife to let her know too. She called back before we could even get out the door and let me know she’d be there with the tub ready.

The drive was uneventful, I had some cramps and maybe one or two contractions. I had been stressing out the entire week that I’d go into labor during a time of day that would force us to drive to the birth center during rush hour, and since it was Saturday morning that fear was gone, but the new fear of construction zones popped up. Luckily it was smooth sailing, and the light to turn left off the freeway was even green when we got to it. What are the odds?

We got to the birth center and…nothing. The tub was ready, the midwife was ready, Jake and I were ready, but apparently the baby wasn’t. The assistant (apprentice? I’m not sure of her title) got there and we got settled in. The room is set up like a bedroom, there’s a bed, chair and nightstand, and an attached bathroom. I swear that full tub was mocking me, because after all of my panic and rush, I wasn’t even having contractions, cramps or anything.

So, we slept. I ate, we slept. We watched TV, I slept. I ate again, and slept some more. I went back and forth between waking up cheerful and optimistic (this will surely be the hour something happens!) to being discouraged and frustrated (calculating how many more hours until I’d be facing a hospital transfer). It was easier to just sleep than to worry, so I slept. Since I had left the house sure I’d have a baby in my arms by lunch time, as the afternoon went on I got more and more anxious. I kept thinking I should get up and walk, but the whole water broken thing made that very unattractive. My midwife kept pushing food, which I was so not interested in, like not interested to the point that I asked Jake to eat his breakfast outside because I couldn’t stand the smell.

As it got later, we started discussing ‘things to do’ to try to get things moving. My midwife was sure that if I ate something substantial that it would help. I was resistant, so she told me I had a half an hour and if nothing changed then we’d try a good meal. She also told Jake that he should be laying in bed with me, rubbing my back and taking care of me. He politely agreed, but after three previous babies he knew better than to crowd me. After she left, my contractions started to pick up-just a little, like I actually had to think through them rather than just notice they were happening.

A few more contractions in, and I wasn’t able to be laying down anymore. I had Jake refill the birthing tub, and a few more contractions went by and I was ready to get in. At this point I was kind of not aware of my surroundings anymore, but I remember the assistant coming in, and then telling them that the midwife should probably be there too, and then hearing her telling me she was right there. She turned on the jets in the tub this time, which we didn’t have a chance to do with Hazel, and it was wonderful. After another handful of contractions, I was ready to push. It was three, maybe four pushes, and we had a baby. That first minute after a baby is born might be one of my most favorite feelings in the entire world. Delilah Joan was born at 5:59 PM on January 10th, weighing 7 pounds 15 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long.

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We hung out at the birth center for another few hours, and then packed up and went home. It was late-we didn’t get back to the house until 11 or so, but Adeline was still awake. She got to meet her new baby sister, and then insisted on sleeping downstairs with me and the baby that night.

After a couple of days we were ready to come home, so after having the baby checked over by a pediatrician, we loaded up and drove back. My mom followed us up so she could help me while Jake works, and we’re all working on settling in to a new routine and giving me a chance to recover.

I’m so happy to be home, and am feeling about 96%. My mom will be here for a few more days, so I’m back and forth between being excited to get back to normal and kind of terrified about doing it on my own when Jake’s at work. This has been the longest I’ve ever given myself to recover after a baby, and I’m starting to feel a little bit lazy, and ready to be back in charge again. I have learned a lot about managing the kids from watching my mom with them though, and I hope I can remember everything that she did so I can start doing it too. Her methods are very effective, and more pleasant than how I’ve done things (she never, ever raises her voice. Ever.). But it is still hard to not be in charge, and I rather miss Hazel, who is in total YaYa mode right now.

So here we go on our next great adventure-family of six!

 

 
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