Monday, November 21, 2011

Six months at home

So I've been a stay at home mom for a little over six months now, and we have settled into our routine.  Mason is almost 16 months old, and very happy.  He's had a cold the last few days, which has mainly been affecting his (and my) sleep and his appetite.  But our lives have gotten better in many ways.

It has been a bit of a stress financially to have me home, but I have been able to make a little money babysitting, enough to pay for a couple months worth of groceries, and we still have a decent amount of savings.  So things are going well there.

I really have no regrets about quitting my job.  Mason has responded so well to having me home, and I have enjoyed being home with him all the time, and being able to play with him and be there for him.  I love him so much more than I could have ever imagined.

It's been good for me too, in a lot of ways. I didn't realize just how stressed I was until I quit and the stress was alleviated.  I have high standards for how my house should be kept, and I wasn't anywhere near to keeping up with those standards while I was working, but now it's much easier. 

There are some interesting aspects though.  I have absolutely no sense of time anymore, as far as when things happened.  I remember trying to figure out when my niece was born and being totally off.  I never know what the date is without my calendar I rarely know what day of the week is unless it's the weekend, and I've started forgetting plans unless I check the calendar, which never used to be a problem.

There are some downsides to being home all the time.  I am trying to work on the social life aspect of things, I don't have a lot of friends outside of family, and they are all busy.  It makes it tough that I don't have a car the majority of the time, I usually have to drive Mike to work on the days I need to go shopping unless my sister-in-law has time to go with me.  A friend of mine from work asks me to meet her for lunch occasionally, which is nice, but once again, it has to be when I have a car, and it doesn't happen very often.  So I need to make some friends.  There is a lady who lives down the street who is always home with her two little girls, but I don't want to impose on her too much, and it seems like half the time when I do want to go over, Mason is sick, or I'm babysitting.

Overall, life has improved in the last six months, and I am very happy with the change, with no plans to go back to work until all my kids are grown up.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mike's show

Saturday, Mike had his senior show for his degree.  Well, actually it has been up since Monday, but Saturday was the family day.  Anyway, Mike, Mason, and I drove out to his school Saturday morning, and I spent the time chasing Mason around the gallery and front area, while occasionally meeting one of his teachers and classmates.  Mike's parents and a couple of his siblings showed up near the end, and then we all went out to lunch.

Here are a couple of pictures of the show:

 After lunch, Mike drove by a house he thinks is amazing.  It's very cool looking, but I couldn't imagine the heating bills, not to mention all the work that is needed.

 April rode home with us, and she and Mason took a nice long nap in the back.
So cute!

Let's go back to riding horses

Friday morning I ended up driving my husband to work because a friend of mine wanted to have lunch with me that day, and I needed the car.  I had grabbed some things in preparation for running errands, figuring it would be easiest if I didn't go home before lunch so my little boy would stay awake, and not get bored, since he usually takes a nap around the time I planned to be at dinner.  On the way to his work, I noticed that our car was seriously overdue for an oil change, and figured I'd take the car to Jiffy Lube as part of my errands, since I knew it would be hard to find another time to get the car in.

But I had forgotten one important thing.  It was Veteran's Day.  So Jiffy Lube was PACKED.

They told me it would be a forty minute wait, which I figured would be fine.  I grabbed one of the library books I was planning to return for some reading material, and a couple of cars for Mason to play with, and we went in.  Unfortunately, the car in front of mine, had some issues, and my car didn't get in for an hour.

Then they told me that I had a leak in my transmission.

My last car died because of a leaky transmission, so I wasn't happy to hear this.  They said it could be fixed by dropping the pan, whatever that meant and gave me a quote.  I decided not to do it then for two reasons: first, I figured I could get it done cheaper at our regular car place, and second, I didn't have time, since my lunch was supposed to be about an hour later at that point.  So I had them change the oil and left.  An hour and a half gone.

On my way to the library, I called our regular car place to ask what it would cost for what I needed and was surprised to find out it would cost as much as or maybe even more than Jiffy Lube for what I needed.  Apparently one of the main costs is the transmission fluid.  Plus, I wouldn't be able to get the car in that day, and I wanted to get it repaired quickly, since my husband drives the car almost 2 hours Monday through Thursday.  In fact, I wasn't sure I'd be able to get it done in the next month.  So I decided to take the car back to Jiffy Lube after lunch and Mason's nap.

I went to the library and dropped off the library books, then got Mason back in the car to go to Wal-Mart. I needed lightbulbs to replace the front blinkers.  But the the car freaked out on me.

Back when I was pregnant with Mason about a year and a half ago, our car started acting up (as I wrote about here.)  We never managed to get it fixed, because whenever we took it to the shop, it was working fine, and they couldn't figure out what the issue was.  Mike figured out that the best way to handle it is to disconnect and reconnect the battery while trying to start the car.  It works, but it takes more than one try usually.

Basically what happens is the car is stuck in park.  This happens periodically and seems to be more frequent recently, but it usually happens when Mike is driving; this is the first time it has happened when I was alone.  So I spent 45 minutes messing with the battery before it finally got fixed.  I had to let Mason out of his car seat about 15 minutes into it, because he HATES being in his car seat if we aren't moving.  And the worst part is, that I called a friend to come help me (it's much easier with two people, and she had room in her car for us if we couldn't get it going) and the first time I tried it when she got there it worked.  Stupid car.

I was late picking up my friend for lunch, but thankfully she was working overtime, so it didn't matter how long of a lunch she took.  Then I took Mason home and he took a nice long nap.  When he woke up, I got smart and called Jiffy Lube to see if they were still busy.  The manager remembered me, and told me that yeah, they were busy, but to try back at four.  When I called back, they were mostly caught up, so I headed on over.

They got to my car quickly, but it took over an hour for the repair.  I had them flush the transmission as well, because it needed to be done anyway and only cost an extra 20 bucks.  They gave me a discount too.  But it was another hour and a half.  I spent 3 hours at Jiffy Lube.

I guess I shouldn't really complain, because if I hadn't taken the car for the oil change, and hadn't caught the transmission leak, we may have killed the car, especially since Mike drives it so much.  I just hate car problems, and I don't like having to pay lots of money on my car when we are poor.  Sometimes I think cars are more trouble than they are worth, and wish we could just go back to riding horses.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


 Halloween pics!  Here are some cute pics of him with his dolls that fit with his costume which was Winnie the Pooh.

Sorry it took me so long to get these up finally.

So Mason went to two different Trunk or Treats, one with our ward, one with Grandma Blake/ Auntie Lizzie's ward.

Here is a random picture of me that Mike took at our ward's activity.
(UPDATE: Mike insists this picture is not random.  It's when we went fishing.  I couldn't get Mason to hold the stick because he was so clingy.)

Mason was Mister Clingy at the parties, not letting anyone hold him but me.  It was bad when Mike tried to take him in the costume parade.  See him screaming? You can see Grandma next to them in this pic.

Here is Auntie Tiffany and her friends in their Harry Potter themed costumes.
He's so cute!