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One of the Flock

We are babysitting some baby chicks for a friend. They are here for us to play with until they get old enough to live outside on their own. Until then they are being very well loved. Hopefully not too well loved. That is part of the reason they are here instead of there. It’s hard to explain to a two year old that you can love something too much.

I understand that when my mom and her brothers were little they got to have baby chicks and ducklings for pets. Mom has said they would get them at Easter, brightly dyed in Easter colors. Between the dye and lots of “loving”, my uncles were notoriously hard on animals, they never lived very long. Which was probably not entirely a bad thing, they did live in town. But my grandpa was a farm boy and loved his animals, even if it was a rather rough love. As a boy he had loved to pit the roosters against each other.

It would appear that his love of animals in general and chickens in particular has passed on to his great grand daughter.





Awoke from a deep sleep I lay still, startled and listening. My heart raced. There it was, soft and quiet in the dark of the night, the noise that woke me coming again.

Opening my eyes I peered into the depths of the darkened bedroom. Even expecting it to be there I jumped nearly out of my skin as my eyes met those of the glowing specter next to my bed. Looking deep into my eyes, glowing white in the dark of the night it repeated it’s whispered entreaty, softly but intent and earnest, wanting me to understand. That pleading intonation that had first dragged me from my slumber.


With a muffled exclamation my husband threw back the covers and jumped out of bed. Dragging The Goblin Child back to bed he made her put the Parmesan cheese back in the refrigerator.  We divide child duty and one would think he would have the easier job taking care of the older one at night but it seldom seems that way.20150326_065532

Sleep Training?

20150325_124423Everybody wants their baby to sleep. Seriously nobody really want to spend hours up feeding a baby in the middle of the night knowing their toddler will be up by six. Except maybe for this lady at Nurshable.

She has some really good ideas/training advice. But I want to nurse a two year old who also sleeps in my bed even less than I want to be up at all hours with a new born.

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum I had the misfortune of finding this article. I would have been much happier not knowing that people were trying this with their babies. If you don’t want to click over it is a doctor advocating putting eight week old babies in their beds and leaving them until morning no matter how much they cry. How could any parent do that to their baby? Of course I know people do much worse to their children all the time but this is a doctor who is supposed to be helping them.

Surely there is a middle ground somewhere in this?

Garden Time Again

I didn’t get around to writing about it then so I need to now. If I don’t we wont know when it was. It’s a very important thing to know. It was very inconveniently postponed due to the whole baby thing, we really should have planned better. And we are going much smaller than usual this year, again the whole baby thing, quite a nuisance. But finally, two weekends ago we (he) got the seeds started for the garden.

My devoted gardener husband tries to get them going around the end of February. Middle of March isn’t doing to bad all things considered. Along with a complete lack of sleep due to two children who are up all night he has been very busy all day with various farming and cattle related chores. On the days he’s not busy at work that is.

Last weekend he replanted the seeds that didn’t come up plus a few others. The Goblin Child has been fascinated by the seedlings wanting to check them constantly. This has been a bit stressful. An energetic enthusiastic toddler and tiny delicate plants are not a great combination. Morning and night she helps him check for new sprouts though and so far everyone has survived.

This weekend he has begun preparing the greenhouse. His devoted follower (hint: not me) helped him get the rototiller ready and pushed to the garden, then watched in concerned fascination as he worked the soil. She offered many tips advice and orders as to what he should be doing. Poor guy as if he didn’t have enough people telling him what to do already.

We dug up the tree that got way too healthy a start in there last summer. We should’ve moved it when it was smaller, who knew it would get SO big. Hopefully enough roots went with it and it will survive. I think it’s a mulberry, other people have doubts. If it lives time will tell. I love the mulberry trees even if they are considered weeds like and a mess making nuisance by some, none of us but some weird people. I have very fond childhood memories of playing and eating on one that grew near the barn where we boarded the horses outside of Omaha. That one has long since been plowed over and buried under endless suburbs.

After lunch and after finishing the greenhouse my hard working husband took his faithful follower and they worked up the end of our new smaller garden plot that he had been unable to reach with the larger equipment. After wrestling the rototiller through the sod for a couple of hours they went to do some work on a tractor, then to get another tractor ready for the field and now, to the best of my knowledge, they are out in said tractor farming. Because he hadn’t done enough gardening already today, he wanted to do some on a much grander scale.

Happy Birthday Mama

I know it has been difficult lately with your inability to do the things you want to do that make you happy. You can’t ride your horses, you only just a couple of days ago were able to start driving again, you can’t get a good night’s sleep, the list goes on…sometimes it seems there are more things that you can’t or aren’t able to do than things you are. But I hope that maybe you can feel happy knowing that you are raising our two beautiful children. I realize that it’s a very, very hectic, busy, exhausting, challenging job to do…one that doesn’t have set hours or holidays. The pay is lousy and the working conditions are less than ideal. However, age is on your side. Someone as young and as strong and as healthy and as spry as you are able to get the job done without too much difficulty. Slowly we will begin to get things back into a scheduled routine like you want. Spring is coming, all three of you can start going outside to play and hang out. Things will get better and become easier. So happy birthday to the best wife/mother in the world, all of us love you and appreciate the things you do for us even if some of us can’t put it into words yet. Not as special as the present you made for me on my birthday, but I hope that we can go to Dairy Queen for a meal sometime today on your special day! I will have one of your favorite breakfasts ready as soon as I am done typing this…

Princess Onna

When my parents came out they brought with them something almost as exciting as a new baby, and maybe more fun.

Princess Onna is a pretty little black Morgan mare. She is very nicely bred with Flyhawk up close, like on her papers, many times, plus some Funquest and Triple S breeding . She is supposed to be, not that I doubt it just that I haven’t had a chance to try it myself, very strongly gaited and incredibly speedy. I can’t wait to see what she’s like. It’s almost harder than waiting for a baby.

Unfortunately it is hard to get a good picture of a black horse especially when you are busy taking care of a new baby.

But we made it out to see her in this nice warm weather. No riding of course, I’m impatient but not a complete idiot. We just played with her and gave her some cake. And worked on a few ground manners. She is very sweet and well behaved but with small children underfoot I like them to be extra careful of people on the ground. I also want to teach her, or find out if she already knows (mom?), how to step over for mounting. It is one of the greatest skills ever, I can’t believe more people don’t teach it. Or maybe I am the only one who can’t get on from the ground.

(We got her out again this afternoon and I see that she does know it. The Goblin Child saw me ask for it once and wanted to try too. She got it immediately then kept the whip and worked on sacking Onna out or possibly fishing. Either way she had fun and Princess Onna started getting used to children.)



A New Baby, in Pictures

Burning the Midnight Oil, Again


This is not the post I started writing. That one was too much work and sat started then untouched for days. This one will be simpler. One day I will get to the gory and interesting, to me at least, details. For now the basics.

We are home with our beautiful baby boy. Mostly very sweet and well behaved but with the rather regrettable difficulty getting back to sleep after his night time feeding. I spend half the night with my arm draped over the edge of the bassinet holding his pacifier for him. I think sometimes, like tonight, I am not doing  a good enough job keeping him awake to eat as much as he should. He ate at three, was up till at least four and again at five. Now, five thirty he is sound asleep. As long as I hold him. I am debating whether it is worth going back to bed until six. (It was worth it, my darling husband shut off the alarm and we slept till six thirty. Definitely worth it.)

My parents came out to help us while I was in the hospital. They were a great help, now they have gone home. We miss them dreadfully. The goblin child loved having Grammy and Different Papa to play with. Her other grandpa is also papa and when they first got here my mom was explaining to her how this was a different papa. She said it one time, before they met and our small brilliant goblin recognized him immediately and identified him as Different Papa.

The Goblin Child loved her baby brother from the start. She couldn’t wait for him to “pop” out of mamas belly. I think she got it from The Very Hungry Caterpillar, he pops out of his egg. She wants to hold his hand and give him his pacifier. It made life much harder trying to keep them apart when she came down with a high fever, then pink eye and now a nasty cold all starting as soon as we got home from the hospital. She is fascinated by my stitches, technically staples, and wants to see mamas “wowy” all the time. It was slightly embarrassing showing it to her in the city park, where she was playing with her grandparents, after the staples were removed.

Now the weather is beautiful, the sicknesses nearly gone and I am able to move again. I have strict orders not to ride horses or do anything fun for six whole weeks.  It’s hard to behave myself now that even off the hard pain killers things aren’t hurting as bad. I stopped the pain killers early once it was pointed out to me that the narcotics were passed in the milk and that was the reason he was sleeping SO soundly. The sleeping was nice but the weird drugged quality was freaky. Without drugs he is much more awake and showing lots of personality, as much as any baby can show that is. He eats, sleeps and poops there can only be so much personality in that, but he is adorable doing it.



Baby Shower

Like the best one ever.

I know my sister-in-law had a great one that she really enjoyed, but I hate baby showers.

When first asked if I wanted one I flatly refused. The last thing I want, ever, is to have to sit there and have people look at me especially when I am the size of an elephant. I hate being the center of attention.

My party planning friend finally relented and said we could leave the kids with a sitter and go to town for coffee. That sounded good to me. As stay at home moms week days are the easiest time to get away. I asked about inviting another friend and was told that she wanted to come but couldn’t get away.

We met and dropped the kids off then stopped for gas. Who should come walking out of the station but the friend who “couldn’t get away”. What a great surprise, just as big as the surprises still to come.

We got to town and parked in front of the coffee place. I got out and waited for them to turn and cross the street. They started walking the other direction. Looking up at the buildings in front of us I realized they were heading for the new nail place. I had never been in a place like that in my life. I’m not exactly a girly girl. The building is old and beautiful, the ladies working there tiny, skinny and very non english speaking. They asked, I think, if we wanted manicures or pedicures. Thinking of my old married lady legs I said manicure. They talked me into a pedicure so we could relax in the massage chairs and gossip while we indulged in the luxury of having our feet worked over.

Giggling nervously, on my behalf at least, we settled into the chairs. The chair controls took a bit of figuring out but once they got going it was an incredible massage. I thought I would either fall asleep or go into labor. Our feet soaked in a bubbling bath between being worked on. There were three ladies working there. One spent the entire time we were there doing the nails on a very constructed (Frankenstein like) looking college girl. The girls hair was carefully dyed very black, her skin tanned a dark leathery brown, cleanly shaven legs and apparently long well decorated finger nails. I so don’t get that standard of beauty. The other two ladies took turns on us.

Us old married ladies who stick to a much more natural beauty standard sat laughing about  unshaven legs, talking about our kids and telling labor horror stories. We were treated to an education in popular music via the giant TV playing videos on one wall. I didn’t realize I was so out of touch. Taylor Swifts non country music is even more vile than her country stuff had become and we all stared at each other in shock and horror during the hip hop song that was nothing but cussing. Most of the videos made me glad we don’t have cable. We did discus with great fascination the wonders of having three whole channels, how there is always something to watch. Got to love this life.

The instigator of our outing got a very tiny and skinny woman to do her feet. She got yelled at every time she moved and was ordered to shut her massage chair off because it was causing her feet to vibrate. She got no massage and little foot filing. She really got shorted.

The other lady was much nicer and more thorough. We got leg massages clear to the knee, hot towels, the works it was awesome. My toes are now more beautiful than they have ever been in my life. I want desperately to wear sandals, in February.

Finished there we headed across the street to the coffee place where we feasted on soup and salad and sandwiches and a huge terribly unhealthy but ridiculously delicious coffee. We enjoyed a morning away from the children that our lives revolve around. Of course we spent that morning talking about our children but we were actually able to finish sentences without being interrupted by said children. We ate our food without having to get up and take anyone to the potty or share food. I forgot what life was like before children. I don’t miss it but a childless morning once in a while is heavenly.

Thanks Heather and Erica, loved it!

Very Pregnant

I have finally reached that point.

Up until now I have been feeling pretty good. When people ask how I’m feeling I have mostly been confused as to why they were asking. I last got on a horse after Christmas sometime, it was all I could do not to go for a real ride. With the nice weather it’s hard not to grab Coyote and hop on. I declared after last weekend that I was done feeding. Bouncing across the rutted ground was getting to be a little much. My family had been (lovingly) harping on me to quit for quite a while now. Other than being a bit sore by the time we finished and completely exhausted when it required getting up at five thirty, that extra half hours sleep is an extra half hours sleep it’s important, I wasn’t ready to quit yet. I am finally ready, really ready.

The child has been enjoying going to feed still with her father on weekends. Especially when Jack and Kayle come along. During the week we are not waking her up at five thirty, it’s just to early for a small child.

I am still not waddling. Except maybe in the evenings when I am just plain tired. I’ve decided it’s like collection in a horse, just need to be gathered and working from behind. When I hollow out and carry the weight on the front end, along comes the waddle.

In the evenings when we have a chance to sit and do nothing for a bit this creature in my stomach decides to do acrobatics. Tonight, as we watched God’s Not Dead, good movie by the way, I swear he was trying to crawl out my belly button again. I know some women say they like being pregnant but surely even they can’t mean that they like these last few weeks? As miserable as this is getting I am not looking forward to days spent in the hospital and months of waiting for my stomach to grow back together with two small children to watch. It’s going to be nice to have my mom out to help for the first bit, after that I hope it’s not too bad like my husband remembers instead of horrible and awful like I remember.

My memories pf the last time could be tainted by the weeks prior spent in a hospital hours from home and afterwards having a child still there in the NICU, the whole thing was a bit stressful. Mostly I just get so incredibly whiny about the whole pregnant thing. I will be thrilled once we have him and I can ride again and walk and sit and sleep comfortably. Especially once he starts sleeping through the night and I get my first full nights sleep in what by then will probably be a good year. Oh my, there I go being really whiny again. Of course I am writing this at nearly midnight, because I can’t sleep, because everything hurts and he is digging frantically at my belly button.

So anyway.

We have been enjoying the February thaw. All that melt meant lots of mud though. The Goblin Child has been loving jumping in muddy puddles (too much Peppa Pig I think). The rest of us have been taking turns getting vehicles stuck. I think I have done it the most, twice, not sure who wins for most impressive. They were all pretty good. Twice the feed truck required a large tractor to pull it out as it sat buried to the axles. Fully loaded it’s more than the payloader has traction to get out. The other time I stopped fighting it immediately and was in a good spot to pull out easily. When the payloader got stuck it took another payloader, don’t think anything bigger would’ve fit through the gate, two broken chains and a tow rope to finally set it free. I think everyone is glad it’s drying up a little.

Supposed to be cold next week with many chances of snow. Hopefully the dry spell will hold or the child will. We planned carefully for February because usually it’s a slow time with calves sold already and calving and most importantly farming not started yet. I must admit we should have thought more about the weather especially since our other reasons are not panning out this year. The calves are consigned at least. For the day I get home from the hospital. Oh well, sounds like it’s a long standing family tradition.