Monday, January 31, 2011

Warm is Good

Today is going to be the last really nice weather day we will have for about a week. Tomorrow a cold front is blowing in that is bringing some really frigid temperatures until at least Friday...that's where the forecast ends. This means some extra work for us around here. We don't get these super cold spells very often, so we start preparing days in advance. Or just one day or a couple of hours in advance. It all depends on how weather focused we are. It's not like there's anything else going on in our lives besides watching out for freezing weather and possibilities of snow. Lucky us, we have been forewarned about this weather. I have no complaints about the extra things that have to be done; I just don't like being cold. So the next 5 days when I go out to check the animals I will be bundled up like I'm in the Artic. The lows are going to be in the teens and highs only in the 30s. I'm a Texas gal, I don't do cold. I spent a small chunk of time in Baltimore, February-April a couple years ago, and the snow was pretty but otherwise I didn't care for the cold.
Today I have to make sure the sheep and horses have water in the pens at the barn, check the little house next door and turn the water off over there, get Lori's kennel inside because I don't like hearing her crawling under my bed at night and tend to the chickens. Not a big deal. That gets the animals out of the way, but I also have my own little humans to take care of. I need to make sure we have an ample supply of diapers, food, warm clothes, blankets and fun inside activities. That's not a big deal either. I don't get to town often by myself so T is stopping by the store on his way home, otherwise I'd be there right now instead of writing this.
Today I will be baking cookies and creating a great cold weather menu for this week. So far I have chili and roast beef planned. Now I'm stuck. Lasagna and stew? I suppose that could be good. Does lasagna qualify as a "cold weather food"? Probably not, but I want it.
It's nap time now so I will be going back to my life. I love my life.

Friday, January 28, 2011

What'd You Say?

Just a couple of cute things I've heard my kids say this week.
1. Ry-Guy was in his room to take a nap and our dog was inside... "Lori can you take this? I don't want it anymore." He has shoved his toy pistol under the door. "Lori, I can't open the door. Please, Lori, open the door for me." Mister Clever.
2. D-Man nearly every day tells me, "Well, I'm not hungry for that. I'm hungry for some cookies." Or, here's a good one, "Daddy, do you like those peas?" Daddy answers that he does and so D-Man says, "Oh, that's great! They are good for you, but yucky for me. You need to eat all of them." Such a Smarty-Pants!
3. Little Rose. She tells us no, uh-oh, and MAMA! She also calls our doggie "Doh". Oh, she tells the boys "Go", as in "Go to your playroom!" and points her little index finger at them...Just like Mama.
Hoping everyone has a really awesome weekend,

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Baby Girl

I was really happy after having my two boys. I was not expecting to get pregnant a third time and certainly not expecting to ever have a little girl. Never say never, right? I knew I'd have a girl from the moment I thought I was pregnant. I tried to deny this, yes, but there's no denying I had a girl. She is so precious. She is moody, stubborn and emotional at times. However, I've been lucky this far... She doesn't care what clothes I put her in, she doesn't care if she has a bow in her hair (it's rare), she loves her Mama (I hope she still does at 13), she even hates it when I wash dishes! She tells us no already! So won't last. Eventually that will get her into trouble.
So, why didn't I expect to ever have a girl? I thought I was done having kids. I had experienced our friends' baby girls. Honestly, I couldn't handle the drama. I am a pretty laid back girl, not high maintenance and don't care if I get dirty. So... the thought of having a girl scared the heck out of me. I understood boys. Trucks, tractors, dinosaurs, dirt and animals. Hopefully Little Rose will have a good balance of girlishness and normalness. I hope she doesn't throw tantrums about her clothes or hair. I'm realistic; it'll probably happen, but just not every day. Please. I am pretty sure she won't mind getting dirty and hanging out with her brothers. She doesn't have a choice. We are all she has. I think she'll turn out to be a well rounded person that can hold her own with the boys and make all the other girls jealous of her amazing-ness. I am making up words now and we all know I should just end this before it gets out of hand!
In awe of my toddling girl,

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wanted: A Guard

Dog. We already have a cowdog, yes, but she is not going to scare anyone off. Goodness, I hope I didn't offend her, because she really is an amazing dog. She alerted us every time the moutain lion attacked over the fall and she's great with the kids. However, several unfortunate things have happened over the past year that really makes T and I feel a large dog would really benefit us. I don't want a mean dog or a dog that will attack my grandma or something, but a dog that will bark at a stranger and just by it's looks tell them to "Get the hell out!"
Our cowdog alerts us to other animals, people walking down the road but not to people in vehicles. Not to mention most of the time when greeted by a new person she rolls on her back and says "give me love and attention!" So, we love her, and of course she is staying with us, we just need a good big dog to "defend" our home.
Oh, those "unfortunate things" that happened over the past year: Several of our neighbors were robbed during the day. Other nonsense is going on in the little town that really makes us want to have a good strong dog around. Don't mess with country folks, y'all.
So, you urban dwellers may say it happens all the time and to get an alarm system and be done. Uh, we live in the country...we have other devices to defend ourselves and property, if you know what I mean. We need something to defend our property and livestock from these overly confident thieves when we aren't home.
Anyhow, we hope to find a puppy soon. We know they're out there!

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Better Monday

I'm not sure what I should write about today. I had quite a busy weekend but I don't know that it was interesting enough to claim a blog post. Hey, what-the-heck, let's go with it.
So, the house has been a little chaotic. You know, messy. Ok, it was a great big pig-sty of a place and I couldn't deal with it on top of my daily responsibilities. It was really out of hand. Saturday morning we started cleaning. I will admit it took some prodding from T to get me moving. Come on, we all know Saturdays are to create messes not clean them up. About half way through this clean up it dawned on me that during big crisis type messes I revert back to being a 7 year old. When I was a kid I would be told to sort through a bunch of school papers or organize my dresser drawers and it always ended up it being worse than it started. I would sit in the middle of my room surrounded my useless stuff and worry I might need it again one day if I threw it out. I guess I need supervision. T was amazing. He took charge right away and gave me a simple task that I could accomplish without much distress to my pretty little head. Even as an adult (this is sad) I needed someone to keep me focused during this massive clean up. I instantly felt overwhelmed and stressed when I stared at those boxes that I had to go through. (insert heavy sigh)
We made it though. I pulled on my boots and plowed through the mess and actually helped rather than hindered my dear sweet husband. Yes, he has great patience. Our room is actually peaceful now. The living room is welcoming, I can walk through the playroom and the dining room is nice again. The kitchen was left untouched... I am cleaning it today. It was not the most important part of "The Clean".
Besides cleaning we went to a play in the nearby small town that T's brother was in. It was about lady pirates... and it was a small town theater. I still remind myself. My brother-in-law did a great job. Didn't miss any lines and played his part really well, which included him having to wear a dress! Sunday we finished up cleaning and then went to my Opa's house to watch the AFC and NFC championship games. One of our teams won. I am already planning the Super Bowl menu. Yum. That's an entirely different post.
Monday is going pretty smoothly. I do have to clean the kitchen and do laundry, but otherwise not so hectic. I better get to it.
Slightly less frazzled,

Friday, January 21, 2011

Two Boys

They are mine. I love them to pieces. So on one hand they fight over toys, whine about missing toys, dump out all their cars, trains and trucks and then leave them all over the floor for me to step on, yell, run through the house screaming at a decibel I'm sure will cause me to go deaf by the age of 35, lose things... and on the other hand: snuggle with me, say silly things that make me smile, giggle uncontrollably, give me spontaneous hugs around my legs, kiss their little sister when she's crying, tell me they missed me if I'm gone for even an hour, love me because I'm their Mama.
They are wonderful boys. I wouldn't want anything else, although I could stand for less whining and fighting. They are growing up. They are only 4 and 2, but time is already speeding by. I can't stop it. It feels like yesterday I was holding this tiny baby and today he's walking, jumping on one leg, holding actual conversations with me...When did this happen? Somewhere between me singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and him learning how to put his boots on by himself, my four year old decided he was a little man. And my 2 year old...he's almost 3. He's very close to being a little man too. And this must be why Little Rose just learned to hold her own bottle.
I think I'm hormonal,

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It looks dreary out

I say "looks" because I haven't been out yet. Don't get all out of whack about this. I have just had more important things going on inside today. Such as? Well I slept in until 7:10 this morning. T had coffee brewed already and the kids' oatmeal made, as well as his own breakfast made and consumed. So I woke up when Little Rose started fussing in her room. Us girls slept in today. Ha.
I have been feeding these children since about 8:30...their second and third breakfasts and then a snack and lunch. Lunch ended about 10 minutes ago and I'm already getting the "What can I have now?" question. You just had lunch! Not to mention half of the groceries I bought Sunday! The whole loaf of bread is gone already because you just want a piece of bread 4 times a day! I'm using lots of exclamation points....I will stop.
Anyhow, I've been in the kitchen a lot, and now I'm trying to get through these enormous mounds of laundry that have accumulated throughout the house. I have also been researching car seats. Little Rose is really a bit big for the infant seat so instead of buying her a new one I am buying the middle child a new one. My Ry-Guy. He has just about outgrown his seat so it makes since to make this swap thing happen. Car seats are expensive, but luckily I have narrowed it down to 2 that I feel are in our price range and I feel are good long term investments.
Oh dear, gonna have to leave you a little sooner than I planned. I have to find a phone number and then get my house shoes to stop being so smelly. Wish me luck; I promise to go out; I have to feed and water the chickens at some point today.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Aftermath of a Long Weekend

Thursday and Friday T and I attended a Beef 706 course held at a university about 65 miles away. We took the kids to their Neenaw's house Wednesday night to camp out in the living room instead of waking everyone up at 5:30am. So, Thursday we leave just in time to make it to the hotel/meeting place to board the bus that takes us to class. It was awesome. Day 1 included watching the cleaning of 2 steers that we had only observed for the class 30 minutes prior to their end. I did pretty well until I smelled something funny and couldn't retain my composure enough to make it out the doors to the hall. I passed out. Cold. In my vain attempt to be tough and not pass out I waited, gripping T's arm saying I was going to pass out for a little too long. I almost killed myself. Seriously, I happened to do some kind of ballerina type move and caught myself on a cord that was attached to a saw (that was used to cut the carcass) hanging from the ceiling. I was literally swinging on it. The floors were concrete and I was going face first. All the men gasped and the women screamed. I can't believe I was the only one to have a problem with all of it. Anyhow, I don't remember what happened after I suddenly went deaf and took one unsteady step towards the exit door. The rest I was told by T and one of the instructors. So I am very lucky to not be recovering in a hospital right now....or worse, not even being alive.
After that we ate a delicious lunch of beef fajitas, which I gobbled down cause I was starving after the immense bravery and ballerina skills I possessed on the killing floor. We proceeded to get all decked out in butcher's clothes; it was actually closer to a surgeon's attire, except for the chain mail vest we put on. That was in case we happened to slip on the floor and fall on one of the very sharp knives we were given. Man, they really trusted me to not pass out. My group, I could sense, thought "For real? We get 'pass out girl' to work with? Who thinks this is funny?" They were actually pretty nice, only the weird old lady said anything about it, the others acted like nothing had happened. I did very well. Fabricating the carcass... it was just huge-ok, gigantic slabs of meat that I had to cut the fat off of. I do that in my own kitchen, no big deal. This was just on a much larger scale. I stayed conscious. Thank you.
So, I learned all about beef. Selecting the right calves, how to grade them and predict their marbling... It was really a great class. I learned more than I thought I could ever know about beef.
On with this weekend. We picked up the kids around 4 on Friday and came home to a decently mess free house. I tried really hard Wednesday night to pick up a little. Saturday rolled around. It was gross outside. We all stayed in and created more little messes for Mommy to get to on Monday. Sunday was the same thing only I left to get groceries and came back and thought, "I might as well just close my eyes to this and pretend none of it exists". I'm still doing that. It is Monday morning. I started some laundry but how am I supposed to clean if the boys are running around trashing everything I clean? They will not be contained to a single room. Even if that room is their play room that was designed specifically to contain them and their outrageous amount of toys. Something has to change. Soon. I can't keep up with this.
Having a Monday-morning-house-cleaning-anxiety-attack,

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A New Year

No, I did not keep up with blogging last year. Only one post, wow. Things got a little busy...traveling, keeping up with the animals, finding the animals, trying to protect the sheep and lambs from a mountain lion, killing lots of chicken snakes; 12 in one month, and all the birthdays and holidays at the end of the year. I sort of forgot I had this blog. I read other blogs and keep saying that I should start one too so here goes. For real this time! It may not be a daily thing I do but I will try. I'm already trying to plan my garden this year and I know it's going to be much smaller than last years huge pain-in-the-neck hassle of a "garden". We had no idea what we were doing. I'm sure that's why my grandpa laughed when I told him all I was going to plant. He's 95 so I should have listened to him. It was just too much to handle with 3 little ones and let's not forget about those grasshoppers. I barely had time to water the garden let alone weed every day and try to do something about those dadgum pests. Why are they here anyway? If it's just to feed the darn garden spiders then what are they here for? I had a huge garden spider live on my kitchen window for at least 6 months. He ate well. My green beans lived long enough for one picking (filling up a gallon Ziploc bag) before the grasshoppers completely devoured them. In three days my three rows of beans were gone. They left the tomatoes, peppers and basil alone though. Basil was the easiest thing to grow last year. I didn't plant it, T did so that's probably why. We could plant the same thing and his would flourish and mine would promptly wither and die. This has been tested, I don't care to talk about it much. T doesn't know it yet, but he will be planting everything this year. I may try some flowers but I give them a miserable life after a few weeks. Except my ivy I bought; my mom has given me a hundred or so plants that I kill off after a while so why bother humiliating myself like that again? I can say very proudly that my store bought ivy is still alive. It went unwatered for 2 weeks when I was gone and still lived. I think it knew I needed it to live. If I can just keep one plant alive maybe I can add some more. Slowly.
I need to make cookies now. And fix some beef and get ready to watch the Ravens and the Steelers game. No promises, but I hope to write again before next year.