themamabeth's Blog

Figuring it out, one crazy day at a time.

Baby Steps December 31, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — themamabeth @ 1:26 pm


Progress so far: I got the out of season clothes for the kids sorted and boxed up. My goal is to move the next sizes into the appropriate closets, but for now they’re boxed and labeled.


The before, this is all the clothes that are outgrown or out of season, there’s more outside of the picture.

These are the bags of clothes, divided up to donate or sell.

Today I’m going through their current clothes and sorting and organizing. Right now, we have a “family closet” where I keep the older girls’ clothes as well as ours, and then the little girls’ clothes go into a dresser in Hazel’s room. (I don’t want the big girls hauling laundry up the stairs, it just works easier this way for now.)

The kid clothes are done, and I got Jake’s and my clothes sorted and reorganized the closet, and organized and found a new home for our linens.

I’m imagining it would be more effective to actually read the whole book and then start this process, but I’m being impatient so I’ll go back and make corrections as I go along, although I realize that’s not the most efficient way. I’m also not very good at following directions.

So far, I feel like this is going to be a really effective strategy, but I’m going back and forth between feeling really excited about getting through the process and extremely overwhelmed and stressed because on top of doing the KonMari steps, I also have to maintain the house in the meantime, as well as the animals. This morning I spent nearly an hour hauling water five gallons at a time from the house to the horse trough because the hose was frozen and I couldn’t run it to refill water. My hope this weekend is that I can really jump in with both feet while Jake helps with the kids. We’re supposed to have pretty weather until Monday, so fingers crossed the forecast stays favorable for booting the kids outside so I can work!



Making Changes December 28, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — themamabeth @ 4:00 pm

I’m at  the end of my rope right now, it feels like everything is just all chaotic and generally out of control. Every time I turn around, I’ve forgotten something, lost something, didn’t do something I should have/needed to/wanted to do. I feel like I spend so much time trying to get organized that it’s all I do. Over and over I’d seen references to KonMari, so I bought the book and am starting the process.


My goal is to achieve a clutter free life so that I can have peace in my home and mind. I want to become more efficient with my time and money, and more purposeful in my actions. I need to eliminate the mess so I can focus on things that I’d like to do-my ultimate goal is to open a small shop selling handmade clothing and other items.


Here goes nothing. Step one-kids’ out of season clothes and shoes.


Here’s to New Adventures… March 8, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — themamabeth @ 9:50 am

Last July, we bought a house on three acres. We very fully intended to eventually use the land to raise animals (pet-type animals, not food-type animals). I have been wanting chickens for ages, but Jake isn’t a huge chicken fan, and he was very reluctant.

Then. He found a person who was wanting to get rid of their chickens, and he said we would take them! My jaw just about hit the floor I was so shocked when he told me. The problem was, we’d have to transport the chickens and coop about 250 miles. Things ended up not working out-Jake and the owner of the chickens just couldn’t ever make their schedules mesh, and we ended up having to pass.

But! Since the seed had been planted and we were going to do it anyway, he agreed I could start from scratch with baby chicks.

So, here we are today, with 18 baby chickens.

We have:

-6 Buff Orpingtons, 3 are pullets and 3 were from a straight run bin (that means they weren’t sexed so we could get hens or roosters)

-3 Rhode Island Reds (also straight runs)

-1 Silver Laced Wyandotte (the bin wasn’t labelled so I’m thinking straight run)

-2 silkies

-4 Gold Laced Wyandotte (should be all pullets, from a local person who was selling off extras)

-2 ‘assorted pullets’ that I have no idea what breed they are

Between the time of us planning on taking the chickens from Jake’s coworker, deciding not to, and then acquiring our baby chicks, we had a lot of time to do some research. Bringing baby chicks home isn’t a simple as running down to the feed store and picking up a few babies. Once home, they need some pretty particular conditions in order to stay alive, and there are health issues that can pop up that one needs to be aware of so things can be handled promptly.

Before I got my first batch of chicks, I found a brooder (we are using a very large cardboard box), purchased food and water containers, and an EcoGlow 20 heater. Chicks must have heat. Many people use heat lamps, but especially since we are using a box as a brooder, that scared me too much as far as being a fire hazard. I also picked up a package of puppy pads to line the bottom of our brooder box, and a package of pine shavings to use as bedding. We decided to go with non-medicated feed, so we grabbed a bag of that (just buy the big one), and also a bag of meal worms, although our chooks are too little for treats yet.

The next thing I focused on was building a chicken first-aid kit.

My current kit includes:

-epsom salts

-popsicle sticks

-vet wrap

-Vitamin B complex

-Vitamin E

-Poly-vi-sol (without iron)



-Vet RX


-Probiotic and electrolyte powder

This is not nearly a complete kit, but it is a good start. I need to get some of the commonly used antibiotics to have on hand, but I haven’t had a chance to do that yet.

The two biggest health issues I have noticed that people come across are pasty butt and wry neck. We have been lucky, and although a couple of my chicks had a touch of pasty butt, it wasn’t anything lasting or serious. We have been feeding the chicks hard boiled eggs smashed up, as well as adding probiotics to the water (the first day I did electrolytes and then switched to the probiotics). I found a Facebook group that has been extremely helpful and is full of knowledgeable people who can offer real-time assistance when things are going down hill.

For now, everyone is happy and healthy in their brooder, but at some point we’re going to need a coop. I drew one out, and priced materials-for the amount of chickens we will have, we need a big coop and run, so we are looking at at least $700. (It probably could be less, but our coop will essentially be in our front yard, so I want to use nicer materials so it will be pretty.)

OR! If I can convince Jake to let me convert our storage shed into a coop, we will only need to build the run and that would save us a ton of money, but he hasn’t decided yet if that is something he wants to do. (I really, really want to use the storage shed. It is in the back of the house, and close to our dog run so there will be added deterrent for predators.)
We are at the begining of this journey, but I am learning so very much, and honestly loving every bit of this. (Even the poop. Goodness, chickens poop a LOT.)
Here are my two newest babies, the silkies. So far, they don’t have names.

Finding Resources February 8, 2015

Filed under: The Pets,Uncategorized — themamabeth @ 1:17 pm

We have a situation.

First of all, we have four dogs:

-Daisy (problem barker), ~ 5 years

-Ranger (overall, good dog, leash reactive), ~2.5 years

-Sarge (overall, good dog. 113 pounds, could use some extra training), ~1.5 years

-Bravo (puppy, going to be a big dog), ~8 weeks

Second of all, in our rental house, we have neighbors who have a couple of chihuahuas, and they seem to very much object to our existence. Although we are here often, they don’t seem to accept that we are supposed to be here. So when we arrive, or when I take out the trash, or when we are out playing in the yard, they go absolutely nuts. Unfortunately, them going nuts is leading my own dogs to go nuts, which is not really very ideal.

I went looking for possible solutions, and it was recommended I read

Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out: Training the Crazy Dog from Over the Top to Under Control

and also

Control Unleashed.

I have the first book on Kindle, and I am waiting for my order to go through for the second one. I’m really looking forward to them both, because it is seriously getting old having to wrestle Sarge away from the fence whenever the neighbor dogs decide to have a conniption.

Dog training has become a new love of mine-there’s so much to it! I had no idea, and it is fascinating. I am also a little reluctant to admit that I used to be a huge fan of that guy who supposedly whispers to dogs…After much research I have come to the conclusion that those methods are not right for us, and we have decided to go a 100% positive reinforcement route.


Nine Months? February 5, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — themamabeth @ 3:54 pm

Goodness, I could have grown an entire person since I last posted here.

The last nine months in a nutshell:

-We didn’t end up buying land. We found a house instead, and it is amazing.


-I lost a beloved family member.

-Adeline became the proud owner of two ferrets, Mojo from Craigslist and Lily from a local pet store.

-My anxiety and depression reached epic levels and I had a hard time coping.

-We have added a new family member, his name is Bravo and he is a mastiff mix from the Humane Society near Show Low.


-My depression and anxiety have been much better lately, and I am so lucky to have so much love and support from my family while I struggle,

-Yesterday, Jake found a person who is getting rid of a flock of chickens and two roosters, and they are now ours.

-I am now obsessed with reading about how to raise chickens.

-Jake bought me an embroidery machine. My plans to become an actual sewing business have been confirmed, and I am in the beginning stages of becoming compliant so I can turn what I love into something I love into a source of income (or at least something to fund my obsession with buying new fabric).


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.









I thought it didn’t matter… December 10, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — themamabeth @ 2:54 pm
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Three babies, one home birth, one birth center birth, one hospital birth. No problems, no complications. Easy labors, easy deliveries. 


We decided this time around that it would be less complicated to go to an OB in town and have the baby in the local hospital. Less travel, less stress, less expense. I figured after three babies, I had this pregnancy and birth thing down, I thought it didn’t matter where I had the baby.


Turns out, it does matter. I ended up leaving my last OB appointment without even being seen 55 minutes after my scheduled appointment time. If someone had just said ‘hey, we’re running late…’ it would have been fine. I could have managed that, rearranged schedules, altered plans. But no one said anything, not a word the entire time I was there. There were two people who were flat out rude to me-stemming from me not going along with their by-the-book way of doing things. I was given the cold shoulder by one, and scolded by another. I couldn’t help but feel like the nearly hour-long wait was some sort of ‘punishment’.


None of the doctors I saw there ever gave me any credit for me knowing myself. Everything was met with skepticism or doubt. Me “the baby’s on my right” when they are looking for the heartbeat with the doppler. Them ‘starting on the left’. The babies are always on my right, from the very start. The first doctor had to go get a portable ultrasound because they couldn’t find the heartbeat. The baby was right where I said she’d be, far on the right. Placenta too-smack in the middle.


As things have gotten further along – I’ll be 35 weeks this week- I began to get more and more nervous. There’s quite a few things that  feel pretty strongly about, things I’m not willing to argue about. I’m not going to be checked for dilation prior to labor. That’s standard practice, and I decline. I don’t want the baby bathed right away-they looked at me like I sprouted an extra head when I requested that. I don’t do medicated births, and the response was ‘well, you might change your mind’. Unless things go way wrong and I have to have a c-section, I’m going unmedicated, period. I’m not going to change my mind, I didn’t change my mind the three previous times. Why are they so unwilling to let me make my own decisions and choices? First timers, yes, they should be encouraged to be open to all possibilities. This ain’t my first rodeo though, guys.


And then there’ the whole depression/anxiety issue. I finally was able to tell the very first doctor I saw about it, which isn’t necessarily an easy thing to do. It isn’t like I care to rehash it all every.single.appointment. But yet, it never came up again, not once. Did it not get written down? I realize it is my responsibility to let them know if I am struggling, and it never got so bad that I felt like I needed to bring it up, but it felt like it would have been nice if it had at least been acknowledged.


This whole OB thing just wasn’t the right fit for me. That became painfully obvious after I called the midwife in Phoenix yesterday to see if by any chance they could take me for the rest of this pregnancy-which yes! They can, and they will do so happily and can’t wait to see me again-oh, and not to mention she remembered exactly who I was even though it’s been almost two years-and I’m eagerly looking forward to my 500 mile round trip tomorrow for my first prenatal appointment with them.


I wish I had accepted the fact a long time ago that I’m not an OB person, but I was trying to be practical. I guess it is okay sometimes to not be practical though, not with something as important as this.


Also, I have to give major credit to my husband. While he knew I wasn’t super excited about the whole OB/hospital birth thing, he said I could do whatever was best for me. When I called him yesterday to tell him that the midwife could take me, he was thrilled. Doesn’t matter to him that this is going to be more expensive, more work, more chaos and complication, and likely cause him to use almost all his vacation for the entire year. He’s happy and excited that I am able to go with the option that makes me the most happy and comfortable, because he said ‘I know how much this means to you’. He’s awesome.