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:




-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.)


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 August 30, 2013

Filed under: Family,Soup's On! — themamabeth @ 10:11 am

I keep swearing that I’m going to get some sort of master meal plan/grocery list set up so I don’t have to go through the aggravation of having to do it over and over again each week, and I keep not doing it.  If I could get maybe six week’s worth done I think we’d be set.


This week:

Friday-Lentil tacos and Mexican rice

Saturday-Sweet and Spicy Chicken/corn/potato salad

Sunday-Pasta with spinach and ricotta

Monday-Salmon/veggies/brown rice

Tuesday-Halal chicken

Wednesday-stuffed peppers



I’m trying to do one new recipe a week, this week it’s the Mexican rice. That’s kind of lame-just doing a side-but I was really trying to shop to the ad so that’s the best I could do. There’s also no beef most of the week, we’re trying to stop eating anything but grass-fed and that’s very expensive and therefore a rare treat. I’ll use ground turkey in the stuffed peppers and see if that passes with my husband. I snuck sloppy joe’s made with turkey last week and he didn’t notice so hopefully if I can find enough with turkey that he likes he won’t miss the beef as much.


Crushed January 18, 2013

Filed under: A Better Me,Family — themamabeth @ 9:52 pm

Last night when I went to pick up Adeline to carry her to bed, I threw out my back.  Two days ago our toilet flooded and ruined our floor-an issue that still isn’t resolved. Today I had to sign for a certified letter about a matter I thought I had resolved months ago (an hour on the phone this afternoon FINALLY cleared it up once and for all-the whole process took nearly a year).

There are dishes-clean and dirty-in my sink. I didn’t get all of the trash out before the garbage truck came. Most of the laundry is in piles around my kitchen. I yelled today, a lot.

I feel like I’m being crushed. The walls of this house are closing in on me right now. I cannot get a single minute to myself-someone always needs something. Lucy goes to bed, Adeline and Hazel are still up. Get Hazel to bed, Adeline is still up. Adeline usually puts up a fight about going to bed. Finally get her to bed, the dogs and cats need me. Or there’s chores, or or or. I can’t walk through the house without someone clinging to me, pulling on me, tugging, holding me back. By the end of the day, once everyone else is taken care of, fed and tucked in, I am exhausted, and the most I can do is sit an stare at the computer or the television. Every day I think longingly of the projects I want to work on-the knitting that was supposed to be my mom’s Christmas gift, the sewing project I have for the kids room, and every day they gather more dust. I promise myself I’ll spend some time in the afternoon working on my own projects, but by the time I get all of the household stuff handled, there’s usually just not enough time.

I feel really bad for getting in these slumps. I know it is a slump, they come and go, and this will pass too. But I’m so lucky and I live such a charmed life, and how dare I complain? We are comfortable financially, I get to stay home with the kids without us having to sacrifice or scrimp. Jake is generous with his time and his main focus is always his family whether it comes to him working hard to support us or him giving all of his free time to us without complaint. And yet here I sit, feeling miserable and sorry for myself, wishing I could have a break, a change, something.

Tomorrow is another day. We’ll be okay.


The Beginning December 31, 2012

Filed under: A Better Me,Family — themamabeth @ 9:48 am

I love new years. It feels so hopeful, all of the things that can come over the next twelve months. I love resolutions and making them, though I’ll admit I’m not so great at keeping them. Luckily I don’t feel much guilt when they fall by the wayside.


My resolution list for 2013 is pretty hefty. I have hobby goals, household goals, financial goals and personal goals. I want to see if I can start an Etsy shop this summer, get our house together in an actually decorated sense,  build up some really significant savings as well as making some larger purchases of things that we’ve been wanting, and get myself a little more put together. I want to get both of the big kids involved in activities and really buckle down with homeschooling. I want to learn more about photography and postprocessing.


It just feels so exciting. I love new beginnings.


Fun Days-Catching Up September 3, 2012

Filed under: Family,Fun and Games,On the Road — themamabeth @ 2:22 pm

I started this post two  three weeks ago. We’ve been busy!

We don’t have a lot of very busy days. We live in a sleepy little town where not a lot goes on.

Yesterday morning I desperately wanted to get out of the house. I usually like my house very much and am quite content there, but yesterday it felt like the walls were closing in on me. So right after breakfast we packed up and headed out. I toyed with the idea of going to town-about an hour away-but I changed my mind and we went to the park instead. (Full disclosure: I put air in my tires and according to the gauges on my dashboard, they were overinflated. I was too scared to drive on them. Jake ended up fixing it for me later.) We might live in a small town, but there is no shortage of parks. We went to the closest one to our house this time, the one Adeline calls the caterpillar park.

When we got there the park was empty-bonus! But right after I found a good shady spot for the baby and the big kids took off to play, another family showed up. Four kids, two adults, and then I saw him. This guy…looked like the Joker from Batman. Green mohawk, facial tattoos, the whole works. Adeline saw him and asked me about him, and I told her that he was someone’s dada, and she was fine with that and went on her way. He brought his kids over-two little boys and a little girl. I kept an eye on him for a couple of minutes, but it didn’t take long for him to go from the semi-creepy guy to just another dad in the park. I felt bad for judging but he was not someone I recognized from around town and there’s not really any reason for someone who doesn’t live here to be here. I desperately wanted to ask him if his life was impacted by the shootings in Aurora since that guy labeled himself the Joker, but I figured that would be rude. When I told my mom about him, her guess was that he’s a rockstar and was visiting our town to stay incognito.


The same night as our park visit, we met up with some friends down by the town corrals to barbeque and let the kids ride the horses. The kids were so incredibly thrilled. Lucy still talks about it.

Adeline rides!

Neigh! All she talks about now are the neighs.



At the museum.

Then the kids and I took a trip to Phoenix to stay with my mom, and visited the children’s museum and a splash park. We came home sick from that trip, so not much has gone on since we’ve been home.

Sick kids.

The kids and I leave again on Wednesday for another week in Phoenix, this time to stay at my dad’s. Then we have another looong trip scheduled for the end of September into October.