Chapter 2017 {Page 17}

The kids finally went back to school today. I mean, it was only one day off, but that really messes with Lauren’s attitude about being home. She can handle Saturday and Sunday. But an extra day (or week? Spring break is coming up) that’s just too much. 

I wrote 1500 words of a story I started last year and haven’t touched since October. I also sent part of it in somewhere to be read so we’ll see what comes of that. 

Following the hearings on Twitter is just…I can’t believe this is our reality now. It’s like a bad movie that never ends. 

Anyway, more sledding tomorrow after school. More temps above freezing tomorrow. More writing tomorrow. 

Now I’m going to try to get Hannah to go to bed. She took a late nap (car nap couldn’t be avoided) so now she’s wired. I’m not though. Sigh. 

Chapter 2017 {Page 16}

So it’s been a week since I last posted. Honestly. it’s been really quiet around here. Below zero temps, runny noses, unpleasant side effects from meds, and an extreme need to get outside.

On the plus side, the temps are heading up to 30*+ this week, so we will be outside as much as possible, even if the kids just have to run down the sidewalk by our house for five minutes. We plan on going sledding later this afternoon, after lunch (Costco frozen cheese pizzas! Add some bacon – OMG. Yum.)

I marinated a huge pork roast overnight in a fajita marinade. It’s now sitting on four colors of peppers and an onion in the crock pot and smells SO GOOD. I can’t wait for dinner tonight!

Hannah is currently watching the new episodes of Daniel Tiger. She’s been asking every day when they will be on, and when the strawberry and fireworks episodes will be back. (We only have the PBS Kids app on Roku, so we only get 5 episodes at a time.)


We went sledding. Not at the hill everyone else uses (hello Death Hill!) but at a smaller, more kids-friendly hill across the street. Next time, I’m bringing a chair. The kids handled this like pros, so all I needed to do was supervise and occasionally yell, “Watch out for that tree!” We plan on going back later this week when it’s supposed to be close to 40*. I’ll have to dig my camp chair out of storage.

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And the dinner I was so excited about? I think I let it cook too long, or didn’t put enough seasoning in, so it just kind of tasted like pork roast. Oh well, the leftovers will be good. All I have to do for dinner tomorrow night is make some potatoes. Boom. Done.

The kids are on their iPads right now, because we’re all tired and it’s not quite bedtime.

Update on my spots: arms are so much better. Legs are coming along nicely, and the rest? Meh. It’s ok. It’s only been a week, so I’d say this is progress.

Back to the routines tomorrow. Have a great week!


This morning, I finally had my skin disease diagnosed: guttate psoriasis. It was most likely triggered by the horrible case of strep I had back in November. That’s when the spots really took off. I really love my dermatologist! (Lauren had one too, in Kalispell, and she was also amazing.)

I was prescribed methotrexate, Folic Acid and a steroid cream. She said since the spots cover more than just my arms and legs, the cream won’t help by itself. So I will take 6 methotrexate pills once a week until I go back in a month. Then she will re-assess my spots and see if I can be done, or if I need a higher dose. She said this may be a clear cut case, or it may have already developed into chronic psoriasis. If that’s the case, I will have it forever, and will need a different course of treatment for flare-ups. I also need blood work once a month to check liver levels.

Sometimes, it goes away on its own. My case is super stubborn and has been resistant to all of my home remedies.

I’m a little nervous taking the methotrexate, but if my brother can be on it for months at a time for leukemia, than I can handle it for a few months for stupid skin spots.

Chapter 2017 {Page 7}

Beth Hardinger Blog

Today, my #OneLittleWord got me in a big way. (I talk about my word at the end of this post.) I decided last minute to just brave up and take the kids to the library (after we had donuts for breakfast). We spent an hour there, but only ten minutes of it was actually picking out books. The rest was spent playing with the kitchen set. (Why does a library have so many toys?) The kids picked out a few books each, and I had to bribe them when we got home so they would read.

I LOVE reading. I always have. I used to stay up most of the night reading. I would lean over my sister’s bed (I was on the top bunk) so my book was illuminated by the night light. I’d sneak books in class, read during lunch, on the long bus rides to and from school.

My kids did not inherit my love for reading. That makes me sad. There is nothing better than reading a good book after an exhausting day. I’ve gone wrong somewhere in my nine years of parenting where my kids would rather watch a screen than read a page.

Anyway. After we had lunch, we went to wander Costco (my sister asked us to go since she didn’t have her kids.) The kids had just about every sample (even turkey bacon and veggie muffins) then we went back to her house where she made her famous cookies. (We also made awesome Costco pork chops for a late lunch. Yum.)

I’m not super happy with this post, but I’ll publish it anyway.

Chapter 2017 {Page 6}

Beth Hardinger Blog

It’s that time again. Where I sit and write a bunch of words that no one reads. And that’s ok. It’s not like I’m someone important. I’m mostly doing this to see if I can finish something. My goal is to make it to January 31, with a post each day. Then take it month by month. It’s like the 31 Days challenge in October, only this is…365 days.

Anyway, potty training didn’t go as well today. She woke up crabby, since she went to bed late. She very sternly told me she wasn’t wearing underwear today, and she didn’t. But she didn’t have any accidents, so that’s good. I’m not going to push her. Avery pretty much potty trained herself just after her 3rd birthday, so I’m just gonna let Hannah do her thing.

We had homemade pizza for dinner tonight and it was awesome. We used pizza dough (instead of the Rhodes Bread Dough we usually use) and it makes such a difference. The only thing I missed having on it was bacon, but I didn’t feel like going to the store just for that.

I was going to take the kids to the library tomorrow, by myself, but I’m already having little anxiety attacks about it. Trying to keep them all quiet and in one spot? Getting them to actually pick out books instead of playing with the tons of toys the library has? I don’t know. I just want to be that normal mom who can take her kids places without having a meltdown. I think it’s kind of the weather’s fault too, since I have slightly less anxiety about it in the summer.

Monday, I have my dermatology appointment. I’m afraid they are just going to tell me I have really dry skin and to just buy more lotion. But maybe it really is something, and they can help me. Otherwise I will have a very miserable summer in sweatshirts and jeans. No way am I wearing shorts or anything when I look like I have leprosy.

It’s bedtime for the kids and we are trying to have Hannah go to bed at the same time. It works perfectly some nights, but other nights, she just stalls and stalls until I go to bed at 10. And she had a nap today (in the car, while waiting to get the kids from school). They need to get outside and run. I wish Brainerd had some kind of activity center that didn’t cost a million dollars. We have a jump place, but the kids get tired of jumping after about ten minutes. Not worth the money.

I’m thinking about doing something unheard of (for me). I’m thinking about planning out my novel. I know. It’s crazy. But clearly, being a pantser isn’t working. I need to sit down with a pen and paper and think about how I want this novel to go. Maybe then I won’t spend hours staring at a blank screen wondering what to make my characters do next.

I also started a FB group for writer support and encouragement. It’s pretty small right now (just me and a friend I met blogging years ago) but if it’s something you think you’d like, feel free to join.

I kind of miss taking pictures. It’s so dark in my house, and while I have a DSLR and decent lens, it can only do so much. I also miss taking photos with my phone. But until Apple acknowledges that there’s a problem with the focusing and quality, it won’t get fixed.

Happy Weekend!

I’m linking up to a friend’s blog today. Go visit her and enter to win an awesome book!

Chapter 2017 {Page 5}

Beth Hardinger Blog

This is gonna be a short one because I just don’t have much to say today. It was -20 this morning, and will be even colder tonight. Hannah went potty all day – not one accident, and she no longer asks for candy after each trip to the bathroom.

Avery had her first Care Group meeting after school. It’s basically a group tutoring session for kids who need a little extra help. She gets help for reading and math.

I am up to 1208 words in my current story and I’m already done with it. I feel like I went the wrong way in the beginning, so I just want to scrap it. But I am going to keep on truckin’ because dammit, I WILL finish something this year.

And I miss going outside, even though I hate being outside. I hate how restricted it is in the winter. Too many layers, too many days stuck in the house, can’t open windows (mostly because they are frozen shut). Spring is only 70 some days away. Soon….

That’s it. I’m mostly posting just to post, which all the smarty-blog people say not to do. Oops.

Chapter 2017 {Page 4}

Beth Hardinger Blog

I’ve done nothing today. Anxiety and depression suck. I took my kids to school, fed and changed Hannah, but that was about it. I had big plans to go to Starbucks for a few hours to write, but the thought of sitting in a tiny space with other humans is just too much today. So I am sitting at home, scrolling through Pinterest, looking for yet another story idea, as if I don’t have fifty saved on my laptop already.

The rest of the day went better than the morning. Hannah has been using the potty all day, and even said “I need to go potty!” before bed (and went!). Next up will be getting rid of the pull-ups. She’s actually excited so it might not be as tough as I feared….

It was apparently National Spaghetti Day today, so the kids had leftover spaghetti from Monday night. We also had some cake left from Hannah’s birthday, so they loved dinner tonight.

The kids have been in bed for over an hour, so I just clicked out of a planner review blog I found. Good news! The planner I bought this year is a huge hit! It makes me want to use it even more, and I know I won’t be purchasing any others. You can find all of the tools for goal setting I’m using in 2017 here. No ads or affiliate links. I just love the stuff.

Now, I’m watching Spy and working on a new story. Also just found out that Avery’s class has lice and my sister has the stomach flu. The kids were with them all last week, and all weekend, so I’m gearing up for barf-fest. Again.

Now I’m all depressed about that so I’m just gonna quit for tonight.

Wash your hands!

Chapter 2017 {Page 3}

Beth Hardinger Blog

It’s Hannah’s 3rd birthday today. I don’t even know how that happened. Along with her birthday comes more attitude. And even less appetite. And the great adventure of potty-training.

We are having a mini party for Hannah tonight, since we did a family one on Christmas Eve. I found some little presents for the kids to give her and she picked out a little cake and some candles. I might to another Facebook Live like I did with Lauren’s real birthday, so family can see Hannah blow out the candles and get her gifts. The kids really like FB Live, because they like talking about anything and nothing, so it should be fun. Hannah requested “nerdles and cheese and nerdles” for dinner (mac and cheese) so that’s what we’re doing. She may eat, she may not. She had pretzels for lunch, so she might be hungry.

I started drafting a children’s book last night. Well, I have a rough idea for one, but it’s not turning out how I had hoped. I don’t quite know how to turn an idea into a real story yet. (And I want to be a writer…HA.) I do think it’s a little tougher writing a children’s book than say, a YA book. With children’s books, they are generally shorter, so you have to have a clear beginning, middle and ending, with a decent plot and challenge. I like books that have a message too, and I’d like to incorporate Down syndrome in there, without having it be the main idea.

I’m also working on some YA stories. The longest one is 15,000 words right now, and I have a good idea of where it’s going. It could possibly even be a series….we’ll see. I need about 70,000 more words to finish the first draft.

Well, dinner’s over and the ‘party’ was quick. Hannah got Elsa slippers (that are a little too small, but I will be exchanging them tomorrow), a huge blanket to make forts, and Mess-Free glitter paper and markers.

Now she’s making every excuse not to go to bed. Up and down the stairs, tattling on the other kids (Lauren’s sneezing! Avery’s talking too much!) and asking for water, crayons, Kleenex and Barbies. Bedtime is usually 7, but we got a late start, so now all the kids are pretty wired.

That’s it for today, I guess. I’m off to write some more words in some story saved on my laptop.

One more thing.

Today is my brother’s LAST DAY OF CHEMO. He had some chemo pills to take this morning, but he’s finished now. Three long years of lumbar punctures, chemo in his spine, steroids (yikes) and all of the things that go along with having cancer and treatment. He’s looking forward to feeling better and having more energy to get outdoors and fish!

Hannah is 3

I don’t have a big long, sappy post planned for today. I’m just not that kind of mom/blogger/documenter. I do have a few pictures.Beth Hardinger Blog Beth Hardinger Blog Beth Hardinger Blog

Hannah turns 3 today. I can’t even believe it. I don’t know when she stopped looking like a baby and started looking like a big kid. She doesn’t eat much and avoids most tomato-sauce based food (pizza, spaghetti, etc) but loves cereal and mac and cheese.

The black and white photos were from Christmas Eve, when we had her party. The bottom photo was taken yesterday, after she got home from Gramma’s house. She wanted to wear her new Elsa dress (one of 3) and carry her snow globe/wand.

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Happy Birthday, Hannah!

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Chapter 2017 {Page 2}

Beth Hardinger Blog

I got another coffee this morning (hey – I said I’d quit, but not today, ok? And I had a coupon.) and walked around Target for a little while. We had some time to kill before we picked up the kids a few towns over. I picked out some little things to give Hannah for her birthday tomorrow (new blanket, mess-free glitter coloring book and Elsa slippers – all on clearance) and got a coffee for my mom.

We got an inch of snow last night, but the roads were decent. We picked up the kids and they both fell asleep on the ride home (which was about 45 minutes) and made them chicken nuggets for lunch when we got home. They all have the typical post-gramma’s house attitude – and always asking for candy and cake. Good thing we don’t have much of either left.

The kids haven’t really been home since Christmas, so all of their new toys have just been sitting in a bin in the living room. I took some of them out of the packages yesterday (what a waste – all that cardboard and plastic) but of course, all they want to do is watch TV. Tomorrow life goes back to normal, so I’m just letting them do what they want today.

Spaghetti for dinner – even Hannah had some, because she wanted yogurt for dessert. Avery is having some tummy issues (because it wouldn’t be someone’s birthday without someone getting sick) and Lauren got a shower and a hair trim.

I feel sort of weird typing out our day, but I think it’s the only way I’ll be held accountable and actually finish something, even if no one reads it. I kind of like seeing all of the posts in a row, knowing that I am keeping up. And it’s not like I have anything else to do at night, now that Hannah falls asleep on her own, in her own bed. It only took  three years.

I’m still watching the MARS show on FX. I’m on episode 6 and it hasn’t really improved. I was hoping they would find some sort of alien life, but (spoiler alert) nothing is happening. Not even down in that huge cavern/lava tube, there wasn’t anything. Time to find a new show, which is tough. I’ve seen just about everything that’s out there, some I’ve watched multiple times (Parenthood, Grimm). And no, This Is Us is not like Parenthood. I couldn’t handle more than two episodes.

Time to go drown myself in lotion (thanks to my weird skin problems) and find a new show, so I can settle in and work on my #kidlit first draft. (124 words so far)

School tomorrow!! Yay…