themamabeth's Blog

Figuring it out, one crazy day at a time.

Shaken January 4, 2013

Filed under: Baby Cakes,On My Own,Parenting 101 — themamabeth @ 12:57 pm

Being a mom has given me the most confidence that I have ever had. It was like this is what I was meant to be. It fits me, perfectly. I am a better mom than I am anything else, which is awesome, but it is also not awesome.

 

Today the girls and I headed to the store to do our regular shopping, just like we do every single other week. I’m not entirely sure what happened, but shortly after we got there, things started falling apart. The floral department lady gave the big girls balloons, which I hate because they are annoying. I rolled with it though, and we were doing okay. Then Hazel wouldn’t sit right in the Moby and I was getting nervous she would wiggle herself out, so I pulled Lucy out of the cart and put the baby in. That was going slightly okay, until Adeline wouldn’t walk on her designated side of the basket and Lucy kept hitting Adeline with her balloon. I confiscated the offending balloon, but then Hazel started to fuss. Adeline STILL wouldn’t walk holding the basket and twice I almost left her behind. At that point I called Jake to see if he would come swap cars with me and take the big kids home, but I caught him mid-shower, so no dice. We made it maybe one more aisle, and I gave up. We went to check out with what groceries we had, and Adeline totally melted down. I told her she couldn’t have a treat she had chosen since their behavior was making us leave early, and she totally flipped out. Like kicking, screaming, flailing freaking out. It was a sight to see, that’s for sure. And it was loud enough that the lady from the meat department at the back of the store headed over with a bag of dum-dums in hand. I was really grateful for the cashier who was checking us out at record speed, and I was honestly pretty grateful for the meat department lady-until I heard what the other cashiers were saying. “You’re SO GOOD with the kids!” Um. Yeah. I could have been “so good” with Adeline too had I offered her candy, which I would not do-I do not bribe for good behavior. It was very helpful for that lady to come over and help, she got Adeline distracted enough so that I could get the bagged groceries into the cart and pay. She was so kind, and really did go above and beyond, but it was because she was armed with candy, not because she has some sort of magical kid-whispering abilities.

 

The whole experience shook me though. How can I not manage a simple trip to the grocery store? We travel all over this state, just me and the kids and sometimes with a couple of dogs thrown in too. But this stupid trip to the store has totally stolen my confidence. I feel kind of stunned, even now more than two hours after we made it back home.  It’s crazy how much power these little people have over us.

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One Week June 17, 2012

Filed under: Family,On My Own,On the Road,Uncategorized — themamabeth @ 10:40 am
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Last Thursday I packed the car full to the top of various bags and kid accessories, strapped in the kids and headed off on a week-long, six hundred mile road trip. Just me and the girls.

Our first stop was at my mom’s, about two hundred and fifty miles from our house. It is normally a four hour drive, but we had to make some stops so it took us longer-gas, a snack run, and a pit stop in a strip-mall parking lot so I could feed Hazel. Once we got to town, I realized that I had forgotten the baby gate, and since my mom has stairs and I have a crazy nearly two-year-old, we had to do an emergency run to Babies-r-Us, adding about 20 extra miles to our trip.  By the time we got to my mom’s I was beat. As exhausted as I was, bedtime was one of the things I was dreading the most because normally it is kind of like being tortured. My mom took over Hazel and Adeline so I could put Lucy to bed-and at this point we were probably about three hours past bedtime-and Lucy would.not.sleep. Our normal at home routine is dinner/bath/bed and going to bed is just me cuddling her for a few minutes, laying her down and that’s that. At my mom’s she has to be asleep before I can leave the room due various safety issues. After an hour I got fed up and pulled out the pack-n-play that we keep there. I had honestly not really intended to use it as anything other than a threat; “If you don’t go to sleep in the bed, you’ll have to get in there”. And she didn’t go to sleep in the bed, so I had to follow through. The little stinker laid down and went to sleep, and slept all the way through until a reasonable hour the next morning.  I was shocked.

Friday was just a fun day of playing. The girls didn’t even get out of their jammas.

Saturday my mom had plans with her Gentleman Friend, so the girls and I packed up to go to my dad’s for the afternoon. My older brother drove down from up north to meet us, and conveniently arrived at the same time we did so he got the pleasure of hauling all of our stuff inside. It took a couple of minutes for my little brother to bring Adeline out of her shell and get her playing, but Lucy was a whole ‘nother story. I put her down on the couch, where she sat stone-faced and not moving. I so wish I had taken a picture of her expression, it was priceless. She would have nothing to do with anyone until Oma brought out the bubbles (in the house! Coolest Oma ever).  My mom and Oma chose their own grandma names, and Lucy kept calling Oma Yaya, no mater how many times we tried to correct her, which was a tiny bit awkward even though we all knew it wasn’t anything personal.  We somehow made it the entire night without anyone getting hurt, and the tablecloth only got pulled off the table once and even then only one drink spilled. My dad got in some good rocking time with the baby, and the big girls got lots of time in the yard. Eventually Adeline was asking to go home to Yaya’s house, and in the car on the way she told me that she “didn’t know to stop the yawns in her mouth”. She promptly fell asleep, and somehow Lucy managed to stay awake the entire drive back.

I realized as I pulled back up to my mom’s that I had no idea how I was going to get everyone into the house. Normally I have everything planned out perfectly, but this time I put Lucy in her jammas and shoved her shoes in the bottom of one of our bags. My mom lives in a condo and the chances of getting one of the few parking spots near her front door late(ish) on a Saturday night are slim.  I ended up parking in front of her garage door, carrying the littles while coralling a very sleepy Adeline who was afraid of the dark all the way back around to the front door. I was able to put Lucy right to bed and once she was sleeping and Adeline was content, I pulled the car into the garage. I can’t even describe how wrong it felt to be out in the car like that with all of the kids in the house. It was a really weird sensation.

Sunday was an out-and-about sort of day. I wanted to go to find new shoes since about a week after taking up running I was having crippling knee pain. A friend recommended Road Runner Sports, so we headed over there to check it out. My mom entertained the big girls while I went through the process to figure out what shoe I needed. The guy who helped me was pretty shocked that I was even mobile after seeing how high my arches are coupled with the terrible over pronation I have going on in my left foot. I got custom insoles and a new pair of shoes, fingers crossed that it helps. We took the girls to lunch afterwards, and I think we’ve reached the point that the stress of a meal out is greater than the enjoyment of not having to cook; I am pretty sure we got out of there about two minutes before an epic meltdown started. Lucy is just not cut out for restaurant eating right now. The food was good though, and I was really happy when the bill was only $35 for four of us to eat.

Monday we started the second half of our trip to visit Jake’s mom up north since his sister and her husband were going to be in town and they hadn’t met the baby yet. The drive was easier than I expected, even with the stop we had to make at a gas station for Adeline to go potty. At one point things got a little tense when some maniac in a cargo van decided he didn’t need to pay attention to the double yellow lines or the speed limit. There’s nothing like seeing someone flying up behind you driving on the wrong side of the road, and even though it was scary as hell watching him do it, I was glad he passed me. And I was even more glad when I saw the DPS guy take off after him. Serves you right, buddy.

We spent the days hanging out and playing outside, which meant the kids slept well. It was nice and laid back, and the weather was fantastic.

On Thursday we headed up to the Humane Society to see if they had any puppies. After having gone back and forth over the last few months, we had finally decided on a lab or a lab mix. Our original choice had been an Australian Shepherd but I had read about some breed characteristics that made me hesitate, and after Lucy got along with our friend’s lab so well, we thought that’d be the better choice. But when we walked into the puppy section, this little face was just sitting there regarding us rather curiously. We asked to meet her, and spent some good time with her. The guy who worked there was so patient and answered all of my questions (and it turned out he was supposed to be off, and he never once rushed us or anything). I filled out the application for adoption and was approved. That was a really great facility. Jake told me that Ellen DeGeneres donated there at  one point, and she picked a good place. All of the people who worked there really seemed to care about the animals and they were all really nice.

After a quick stop to a discount store for some supplies, we headed back to my mother-in-law’s house to load up and head out. It was way later in the day than I had intended, but oh well. Since the trip had started we had added a bookshelf, a mountain bike and a puppy+supplies to our load, so getting everything in was kind of like a game of Tetris. But heading home I was much less particular about how things were packed and just kind of crammed everything in wherever there was a spare inch. We came across a McDonald’s in Springerville, and stopped for a quick snack. It was probably the longest drive thru line I have ever sat in-two cars in front of me and it took ten minutes. The lady working the window was so awesome though, totally cheerful and friendly so I ended up not really minding very much. We parked in the parking lot so I could distribute food and drinks and gave the puppy some water and a biscuit.  We pulled back on the road, and juuust after we got out of town, the puppy got car sick-right into the center console. I pulled off in the first place I could find to clean it up, and sadly, my entire bag of M&M’s had been defiled and I had to throw them away. That was the only real casualty of that incident though, miraculously. But, still. Gross. We had to pull over one more time to redistribute some of our food, and then we were on the road for real. Until we had to pull over AGAIN because Adeline had to pee. Sorry, New Mexico but when a toddler’s got to go, they’ve got to go. The drive home was long and boring. I chose that route because the alternative is driving through the Salt River Canyon, which is slow and curvy and scary. But the route we chose was slower and possibly curvier, just spread out over a longer span. Next time I think I’ll go the canyon way.

 

It was a fun week. There were a couple of moments of frustration but they were fairly rare. The whole experience totally made me feel like a rockstar.  And as much as I swore after Hazel was born I wasn’t traveling for a loooong time, I’m kind of considering a trip BACK to Phoenix next weekend because Jake is going down for his annual River Trip and then maybe a road trip to Denver (also with Jake) to visit his sister and her husband in August.

 

On the road AGAIN May 13, 2011

Filed under: On My Own,On the Road,The Pets — themamabeth @ 9:57 pm

The kids and I are back in Phoenix. Before we moved, I had thought that I would miss it, at least a little. I don’t. Not one bit. It is big and ugly and overwhelming. It doesn’t help that I am very bitter about this trip. Which, I really shouldn’t be, because it is all about good things-getting the house cleaned and ready for someone to live in and seeing Jake’s family. But it is just meaning more time for us to be apart, and by the time we get back home, he’s going to be on night shifts again so it’s going to be like a week before we get some normal time. BUT, his next days off are going to be awesome because it is his seven off. So I guess that’s good.

We brought Daisy with us since she’s totally petrified of Jake. She is so good, she rode most of the way in Lucy’s lap, which is hilarious because at home she avoids Lucy like the plague. Lucy loves her a little TOO much and tends to grab on and not let go, but I guess for some reason that dynamic changes in the car. Maybe Daisy knows she can escape easily since Lucy is stuck in the carseat?

Tomorrow is going to be BUSY. We’ve got to get up and get the house cleaned-hopefully all the way so we don’t have to come back on Sunday. Then we’re having dinner with Jake’s family who are all going to be in town also. It’ll be fun to see all the cousins together, though, and I have cool in-laws so I’m actually looking forward to it. We don’t have any other plans, but I want to try to hang out with my dad so that’s putting us at Monday for the trip home. As much as I don’t want to be here, I also don’t want to drive back so I’m debating whether or not we should wait until Jake’s days off to come home again. I guess that’ll depend on whether or not the damn dog behaves herself (the one we left there, not Daisy-Little Miss Separation Anxiety did a number on the windows and curtains from what I hear).

 

Getting Closer April 26, 2011

Filed under: Family,On My Own,On the Road,The Pets — themamabeth @ 8:04 pm

The kids and I survived our trip to the New House and back again. The first night was a little bumpy after the stress of it all caught up with me, but we got through it.

The trip ruined all of the progress we had made with Leika. She’s gone back into hardcore separation anxiety mode and she’s being a massive pain. The new house doesn’t have a proper fence, and she had a hard time dealing with the 20 foot leash I bought for her. I am really hoping that it won’t take too much time for everything to settle down into an acceptable routine. There’s dogs everywhere there, so walking her just isn’t an option until I can figure out how to get her to not flip out every time she sees another dog. I don’t know what we are going to do about her. She’s just not getting any opportunity to do anything anymore, and the worse she behaves, the more often I end up getting mad and putting her in her crate, and the more she’s in her crate, the worse she behaves. I need Cesar Milan, like, yesterday. I’m guessing he doesn’t do courtesy visits without a camera crew, though, so that’s probably out.

The house and the town are both amazing. The house was built in the 50s, it has a cute little front porch and brick walls inside. I’ve always wanted brick walls. There’s one streetlight in town and in the time we were there over the weekend I never actually saw more than one car at the intersection at a time.  It is a lovely, quiet little place and I hated to leave there. Phoenix already seems dirty and overwhelming, and I can’t wait to get back to my new little mountain town.

As far as the actual move goes, I’m getting totally overwhelmed. There’s so much to do, and I just don’t know where to start. And so much of it needs to be done later, or by Jake (like caulking. I am horrible at caulking) that I have these lists scattered everywhere and they just keep getting longer and longer. I have phone calls I need to make and I hate making phone calls so I keep putting them off. I did call and order the a dumpster for the new house, so that’s a start. I need to figure out cable and phone and stuff there too-there is no antenna TV so cable it will be. Or satellite, I guess that’s an option but no one ever seems to be happy with satellite, and I really don’t want to willingly sign up for something that’s not going to work well.

Everything is going to get done, we’re going to move. Everything will fall into place, it always does. Jake is coming home on Thursday and we’re going to be reunited officially, and for good this time. I’m not ever, ever doing this again.

The movie theater. One movie, two showings.

 

April 20, 2011

Filed under: Family,On My Own,On the Road,The Pets — themamabeth @ 9:23 pm

Man today was a good day. I’m 100% convinced that dinner ruins everything. Today I made beans and rice, which is more or less ready to go hours early and I just leave it in the pot on low until we are ready to eat.  Not having to prepare dinner around dinner time makes all the difference in the world; I so wish I liked more crock pot meals. Lucy is really starting to change and move out of her baby-ness, and I’m loving every second of it. Her personality is coming out more and more, and she and Adeline are developing an actual real relationship. Leika suddenly decided that she a)knows how to and b) likes fetch. Not sure where that came from, because she’s never played fetch farther than running after a thrown object and losing interest as soon as it stopped moving. She was so into it that she ran THROUGH the screen door, breaking it beyond repair. That was totally my fault for shutting the door, but I had no clue she was going to bring back the ball I threw with such enthusiasm.

Tomorrow is going to be crazy and hectic getting ready to go. I have some strange compulsion that won’t allow me to leave the house messy, so I have a long to-do list before I’m going to be able to get out of here. I’m way excited though, this is going to be more of a vacation than anything else and I get to see the New House for the first time. I’m just going to ignore the insanity that next week is going to be though, considering we (I) have about four days to get everything done so we can just load up and head out on Friday or Saturday.

I’m getting a little sad about moving away all of the sudden. I’ve been so thrilled at the prospect of our family being back together that I’d kind of brushed off the fact that we are leaving a lot of people behind. A friend of ours asked me tonight if I could watch the Second Cutest Baby in the World tomorrow, which I can’t, and it makes me sad that I’m not going to get to be the Emergency Back up when they need a babysitter anymore. I know my parents are bummed that they won’t have such easy access to the grandkids even though they’ve been nothing but supportive about all of this.

Wish us luck! I’ve never driven this far with the kids by myself, and adding the dogs to the mix will make things triply interesting.

 

Good Day-4/2011

Filed under: On My Own,On the Road — themamabeth @ 2:46 pm

Man today was a good day. I’m 100% convinced that dinner ruins everything. Today I made beans and rice, which is more or less ready to go hours early and I just leave it in the pot on low until we are ready to eat.  Not having to prepare dinner around dinner time makes all the difference in the world; I so wish I liked more crock pot meals. Lucy is really starting to change and move out of her baby-ness, and I’m loving every second of it. Her personality is coming out more and more, and she and Adeline are developing an actual real relationship. Leika suddenly decided that she a)knows how to and b) likes fetch. Not sure where that came from, because she’s never played fetch farther than running after a thrown object and losing interest as soon as it stopped moving. She was so into it that she ran THROUGH the screen door, breaking it beyond repair. That was totally my fault for shutting the door, but I had no clue she was going to bring back the ball I threw with such enthusiasm.

Tomorrow is going to be crazy and hectic getting ready to go. I have some strange compulsion that won’t allow me to leave the house messy, so I have a long to-do list before I’m going to be able to get out of here. I’m way excited though, this is going to be more of a vacation than anything else and I get to see the New House for the first time. I’m just going to ignore the insanity that next week is going to be though, considering we (I) have about four days to get everything done so we can just load up and head out on Friday or Saturday.

I’m getting a little sad about moving away all of the sudden. I’ve been so thrilled at the prospect of our family being back together that I’d kind of brushed off the fact that we are leaving a lot of people behind. A friend of ours asked me tonight if I could watch the Second Cutest Baby in the World tomorrow, which I can’t, and it makes me sad that I’m not going to get to be the Emergency Back up when they need a babysitter anymore. I know my parents are bummed that they won’t have such easy access to the grandkids even though they’ve been nothing but supportive about all of this.

Wish us luck! I’ve never driven this far with the kids by myself, and adding the dogs to the mix will make things triply interesting.

 

April 17, 2011

Filed under: On My Own — themamabeth @ 8:36 pm

Last night Adeline came to my room like she does every night, but when I went to lift her into my bed, she was burning up. And then she puked all over my sheets. Other than being freaked out by the throwing up, she seemed totally unphased, and actually seemed kind of excited to get to camp out on the couch with me while the sheets washed. A second set of sheets just got the top spot on the to-get list.  She’s still sickly but a dose of Motrin wipes the fever out, and she’s eating and drinking. She’s been fever-sick maybe twice ever, so it kind of freaks me out.

I’ve moved past excitement into overwhelmed anxiety about this whole moving thing. I’m workingworkingworking but it doesn’t feel like I am making any progress. I AM, I have to be, but it just doesn’t feel that way. Maybe once I get to the main areas of the house rather than the front bedrooms it’ll be more apparent and I’ll feel like I’m getting somewhere. I also had a kind of detailed schedule for this week, and this whole fever thing throws a wrench in my plans. I’m not going to drag the poor kid out in the heat when she’s feeling rotten, nor am I willing to spread her germs for some other kid to pick up. So, the errands I had planned for tomorrow are a no-go until at least Tuesday. There’s only one we HAVE to get done, which is the PetSmart run to get the car harness for Leika, and I lost Daisy’s collar so we’ll need to get her a new one, but that can be put off as late as Thursday morning since we’re not leaving until the afternoon.  The rest of the stuff can wait until next week, it’ll just make things more rushed later on.

Everything is just so scattered right now, it is making me crazy. I need to get some lists made, maybe some piles and get recentered somehow.