Friday, June 29, 2012

Sensory Kitchen Play

So...R gets bored.  I know to some that might sound silly to say about a 6 month old.  But he REALLY does.  He has met about 90% of his 9 month milestones, he has been crawling, sitting up and pulling up on furniture/mommy's leg/the dogs for weeks now.  He is ALWAYS on the go and is always looking for something new to explore.  Our entire living room floor is covered in baby toys...but he has already played with all of those a hundred times and they just don't interest him anymore.  So today, I decided to try something new.  I got out about 10 plastic bowls of different sizes, some lids and a bunch of measuring cups and spoons and put them on the kitchen floor.  Then I put some dry maccaroni in some ziplock bags and some in an old plastic peanut butter container.  Then I took a couple tiny tupperware containers and filled them with colored water.  I took 4 other small food storage containers and filled them about half full of rice, added some food coloring and shook them up.  And guess what....he has been enthusiastically playing for almost a half hour without a peep or even a glance at mommy.  Another day I plan to get down there with him and talk about colors and shake things with him and drum on the bowls and open and close things for him.  But today, after a VERY long, sleepless night, this Mama is just happy he is entertaining himself for a bit.   Here are a few pics.  If you have ideas for other activities to keep my busy baby entertained let me know! 

Checking it all out

Our bowls of colored rice

 Couldn't decide what to play with!

I need to remember sometimes the most commonplace things are fascinating to a baby.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Moving Cows you know we raise beef cows.  One of our management strategies is called "rotational grazing".  What that means is we house our cow/calf pairs in relatively small pastures and move them from pasture to pasture frequently (at the "farm" they move every 2 to 3 days, at our house they move about every week to 10 days).  We do this because it is a more efficient way of utilizing the available grass and avoids the cows selecting certain areas to not graze at all and certain areas to overgraze.   A few mornings ago it was time to move the cows.  Many times when they move they just have to walk through a gate.  But occasionally they have to cross the road and go up our driveway (or across our yard, depending on what they decide to do!).  Now, just so you don't panic, we live on a VERY rural road.  We have a car on average maybe every 30 minutes pass our house.  So this isn't really a dangerous thing.  There are 4 pastures on one side of the road and 3 on our side. is what moving the cows looked like. 

First, we set vehicles/machinery around strategically to deter them from running through my yard

Then D gets in his truck, drives into the pasture and HOOOONKS his horn.

Here they come! 

So....this is pretty much a problem already, the cows are supposed to be following D, not passing him. least they are going where they are supposed to. 

Oh wait, D is still back there trying to convince some calves to come through the gate! 

 And this is why I said it was bad that they passed D.  They are supposed to be going through the gate STRAIGHT across from the driveway.  They normally do but apparently this day some cow in the lead decided they should go down the road instead! 

This was the last picture I got before D yelled at me to get in my car (which required getting R out of the wrap on my back) and go park on the road to block them from missing the gate when he went around the section and brought them back to the correct gate. 

They didn't end up coming back down the road.  D didn't realize there was a gate open down the road into the pasture they were supposed to rotate to in a week.  They all ran in there and headed for the trees and the crick.  So, they just started there instead.  Oh well!  Never a dull moment around here!!!   

Please let me know if you have any questions on different things we do around the farm.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012


After a week and a half of wheat harvest, with artificially inseminating around 320 cows/heifers dumped on top, all with a summer cold and a baby with a summer cold who has run a low grade fever off and on and is also teething, I have NO motivation.  My house is a mess, Mt. Laundry has replaced my couch, my kitchen counters are covered in dirty dishes too big for the dishwasher that I can't psych myself up to handwash and I'm completely void of ideas for posts on here. 

So...tell me...what do you do when you lose your motiviation? 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Little Bee Co. Giveaway Winner

Laura, you won the Little Bee C. Giveaway.  Check your email! Thank you to everyone who participated!  I loved reading your comments. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cattle Dogs

There are, what some people would refer to as “a lot”, of dogs at our house.  There are 2 beagles that stay outside, Daphne and Maddie and then there are 5 inside dogs. 

Today, I will introduce you to the 3 cattle dogs (none of them wanted their picture taken).  Cattle dogs can be very helpful on the farm.   They are an extra “person” when it comes time to gather and sort and work the cattle. 

Jake.  Jake is a Blue Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog)/Australian Shepard mix.  He is 6 years old now.  Jake is the best cattle dog we have.  He used to work in the local sale barn 1 day a week with D but now just works cows at the farm on occasion.  Jake is also VERY sweet if he knows you and ALWAYS wants petted.  However, if Jake doesn’t know you and you show up at our house, you MIGHT not want to get right out of your car and just walk up to the door.

Annie.  Annie is a Blue Heeler and is 5 years old.  She is a hard dog to describe.  She likes petted but could also live without it.  She is silly at times.  She HATES getting left home with R and me.  She is a good cow dog in wide open spaces but gets a little out of control in the corral pens. 

Badger.  Badger is Jake and Annie’s pup.  So that makes him ¾ Blue Heeler, ¼ Australian Shepard.  Badger is a pretty big dog.  He is also a sucker for petting, like his dad.  He was born in Sept. 2010 so he is almost 2.  Badger is WEIRD.  He is very sensitive but very tough at the same time.  He also HATES to get left at home most of the time.  In fact, there are days D will be home and we can’t find him and we go look and he is in the bed of the pickup waiting to go somewhere.   Badger has a little of both of his parents when it comes to working cows.

Jake and Annie were D’s dogs before we got married.  They and Badger usually go to the farm every day with D.  They ride in the bed of the pickup and LOVE it!  

Yesterday was a big cow working day.  This morning D left them all home because he was gonna be in the wheat field all day.  Before he left he said “Umm…Jake kind of got overhauled by a cow yesterday.  Be careful of his face and just let him stay inside and be lazy if he wants to be”.   I ALWAYS just let them be lazy when they are home with me.  I checked Jake’s face.  He must have taken a pretty good kick.  He is a little scuffed and a little restless but he's ok. 

I think it is time for Jake to retire.  He actually doesn’t mind staying home with me and being lazy.   And R and I need a big dog to protect us and let me know if someone is lurking around that shouldn’t be.  Yep, I’m pretty sure I’m just gonna have to tell R it’s retirement time for Jakey!  Wouldn't you want him to just stay home if he was your dog?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Wheat Harvest and In-law Frustrations

I’m so sorry I haven’t posted in forever!  This post is a bit of a “life on the farm post” and a bit of a “rant about my in-laws post”.  Hope you don’t mind

It is wheat harvest time at our house.  That means D is in the wheat field usually until at least 10pm if not later.  Since “the farm” is a 35 minute drive from our house (not by my choice, maybe I will post those details tomorrow) that means he isn’t home until 11 by the time he gets out of the tractor, things put away and gets home.  In past years it hasn’t been THAT big of a deal.  Before R arrived I drove an hour one way to my job so by the time I got home it was usually 6:30 or so.  Not too much of a biggie that we didn’t really see each other for 10 days or so.  And I didn’t mind waiting up to see him for a bit.  But this year there are 2 things that are making it more of a challenge.  R is here of course.  And he REALLY likes to see his Daddy before bed.  And, wheat harvest is WAY early.  That means we are also in the middle of when we artificially inseminate the 300+ cows and heifers.  So D can’t stay later in the mornings either because he has cow stuff to do. 

So a couple of night R and I have taken supper to the field.  Like I said, it is a 35 minute drive but it is worth it to see D for a bit and so R can see him a bit too.  The first night went great.  We took Pizza Cups (I will try to post a recipe/tutorial next time I make them) and ate with D and then we went with him in the combine while my father-in-law and mother-in-law ate.  My FIL normally drives the combine, D drives the tractor with the grain cart which the combine unloads wheat into out in the field and MIL drives the semi and hauls the wheat to “the farm” to put in a bin or to the grain elevator a few miles away.   Here are some pics from the first night. 

(eating supper with Daddy)

(fascinated by the combine header)

(view from the combine)

The next night MIL said she didn’t want me to bring supper.  O....K.....  Kind of annoyed because that is really the only way I can feel like I’m involved and helping with harvest, but whatever.  It also meant I didn’t think I could justify driving 70 miles round trip with the price of gas.  So we stayed home.  And R was a BEAR to get to bed.  He wanted his Daddy.

So the next day I made it clear I was bringing supper.   We made slow-cooker sausage and jambalaya, corn bread, watermelon and bar cookies.  We got there and it was all great.  D was happy to see us, R was happy to see D.  We ate. 
(FIL cutting wheat)

(Little fawn that was hiding in the wheat, his Mama came and found him later)

(D was happy to see R, wouldn't even let me take him while he ate)

Then we went to get in the combine.  FIL had been smoking a cigar in there.   GRRRRRR!  He knew I was coming with supper, he knows we would be going in the combine with D while FIL/MIL ate.  And yet, he doesn’t care.  So frustrating. 

So now, I have to make a decision.   Do I keep R home and have him literally not see his dad except for maybe 5 minutes in the morning and avoid the cigar retch?  Or do I try to tell myself it’s not a big deal and every kid survives a little smoke here and there (not to mention smoke gives me a migraine in a heartbeat, so therefore I would have to do R’s bath and bedtime with that “accessory”)?   You might ask why D doesn’t just ask FIL to not smoke until AFTER we had been there.  Which seems logical.  Except my FIL has absolutely no desire to see R or me and if it interferes with anything in his life he doesn’t care if D sees us either.

So…give me your opinions.  What would you do?  I’m not sure how to handle the situation.  I’m tired, I’m lonely (I would like to see D at some point in the day besides waking me up to say bye in the morning too) and I’m grouchy because R and I both have head colds.  So fuel my anger or tamp it down, I’m ready! 

Friday, June 1, 2012

4 month sleep regression

Just quickly sharing a link today.   When R was about a week old he started sleeping pretty long stretches at night, like 6-9 hours.  I thought "I must have the most WONDERFUL baby, by 6 months old he will be sleeping at least 10 hours consistently!  This isn't so hard!"  When R was 1 day short of 3 months old he rolled over from his back to his belly.  For a week or so he slept terribly.  Then he kind of got back to sleeping pretty well, as long as I let him sleep on his belly.  His pediatrician said as long as he was big enough to get himself to his belly if he rolled over in the night he should be fine.  Then, right at 4 months old he started sleeping TERRIBLY!  He was waking up every 2 to 3 hours at night, did NOT want to take a nap, he even completely gave up his binky because he figured out when he sucked it he fell asleep!  He started hating to be rocked and would flail while he was nursing if he got drowsy.  I was panicked!  I asked around to some of my online Mom groups and heard a term I had never heard before "the 4 month sleep regression".  I thought, "how have I never heard of this, I have read so much?!"   R is now a little over 5 months old and we are still having restless nights, but he is napping better most days.  Some nights he sleeps for 6 hours, some he is up every 2.  I think it is a combination of being to busy during the day to REALLY eat and his mind being too busy to really rest at night along with some growing pains and teething pains.  Hopefully he grows out of it soon, if not, we will all survive I'm sure!

This link shares some awesome information about the "4 month sleep regression" idea.

KellyMom has lots of great articles and resources for all sorts of other baby topics as well!