Thursday, April 28, 2016


Sometimes, though fortunately not terribly often, the kids will go days without seeing their dad.  He leaves before the sun is up in the mornings and often times comes home at nine or ten after working ground, fixing fence or some other random task.  

Sometimes; however, we get really lucky and he decides to take us on a spontaneous outing.  I'm not quite as spontaneous as I used to be.  When Wes poked his head in the door and said, "Let's go fishing" I couldn't just walk out the door.  Now it requires packing the diaper bag with sippy cups, snack crackers, a few diapers, Gatorade for myself, strapping on the chest carrier, socks and shoes for everyone, stocking cap for the baby.....

The romantic spontaneity is gone, but it's been replaced by something even better.

Our catch for the evening trip included 7 bull heads, 2 perch and one bass.  Not too shabby for a handful of worms.

This was our attempt at a family photo while sitting on the bank.  The head bumps, from left to right, are: John, myself, Wes and Kenyon.

It is impossible for any little boy to stand next to a body of water without throwing in a few rocks and making a big splash.  Proven fact.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Pickups and Wives

My husband's feed pickup and I came around at the same time, and I've always felt that we were kindred spirits of sorts.  My (now) husband and I had just begun to date and he had just purchased a shiny, new feed pickup.

Now, here we are nearly a decade later and the guild is definitely off the lily.

His pickup's not anything fancy, no 'extras' or frills, nothing sporty or flashy.  Just a plain, brown, workhorse.  She works tirelessly, day in and day out without much fanfare.  She gets treated to new tires every now and again because they help her keep working hard.  The items that are fairly inconsequential; however, are ignored once broken - radio, air conditioning, side mirror, passenger door handle...  But as long as she can keep running 9-0 from before sunup until well after sundown, he'll keep her around.

To say that he 'abuses' or 'neglects' his pickup is not quite accurate.  The words are much too strong and the connotations too negative.  He keeps the essentials maintained - tires and oil.  For everything else, she can take care of herself or do without.

But wait?  What's this?

A few weeks ago, my husband brought home a new feed pickup.  She looks almost identical to the old one.  Brown hair paint, single cab.  This one even has a few of the upgrades, like power windows and locks.  (Getting a bit pretentious now, aren't we?)  He casually mentioned that one of these days the old feed pickup will no longer be of any use to him so he'll take the flatbed off her and slap it on the new pickup.

I was indignant.  REALLY?  He's going to rip the bed off the old pickup like it is no big deal, especially after she's given him the best miles of her life?  What about their vows, the promises that they made to each other about staying together through good times and dust, muddy pastures and snow drifts?  Does that not mean anything to anyone anymore?

I sneer a little every time I walk by 'the new girl' as she sits there all clean and pretty in the shed.  She may think it's all fun and games right now, but just wait, my dear.  Just wait.  Someday you'll have a baby calf in your cab and I hope it poops on your floorboard, right after her mama dents in door trying to reach her baby.  You'll see then that it's not all fun and games being a ranch wife pickup.

Ladies and pickups, please know that you're the unsung heroes that help keep things running smoothly day in and day out.  Even if you're husband doesn't tell you this on a daily basis (i.e. never), the two of you can still commiserate together.  And in the back of your mind, pray that the only thing he ever keeps trading in and upgrading is a pickup.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Like Father, Like Son

Several weeks ago, Kenyon asked if he could have a cake feeder on the back of his car, just like his dad has a cake feeder on the back of his pickup.  I dismissed the idea pretty quickly and we went on with our day.  

Yesterday, I took a moment to really study Kenyon as he was playing and I observed this:

He filled up the back end of his car with fine gravel from the driveway, drove over in front of his bull and proceeded to feed, just like his dad.  

Have I mentioned lately how much I love this kiddo?  Maybe I should work on rigging up some sort of feeder for him now. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Let's All Just Hope It's a Virus

We've been busy lately: hauling calves to grass, burning, occasional cattle testing, meetings, as well as all the 'fun' regular stuff - smoke filled laundry, cooking, tilling the garden, etc.

We're a little exhausted.

A few nights ago I finally finished all our outdoor chores and finally sat in the recliner at 10:30.  My body ached and I didn't want to move a single muscle.  I racked my brain and tried to figure out what could possibly be causing my body to absolutely want to shut down and never move again.

I came up with three options:

  1. Maybe I'm pregnant?  Not possible right now.  Whew.
  2. Maybe this is just how motherhood of two boys under 3 feels.  Damn
  3. Maybe I just have mono.  (You know, 'the kissing disease' that really isn't a disease at all, but rather a virus.  Sorry, not germane to the story.  I digress.)  Yes, please.  Please just let this exhaustion be from some terrible, temporary virus.  Please tell me it will get better and easier in less than 18 years.
So let's all just hope that in 7-10 days my body begins to find the fountain of youth again (and 400 hours of sleep) and we're back to a life full of sunshine and roses. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The True Cost of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding seems to be a hot topic these days.  When you can do it, where you can do it, why you should do it.

I think breastfeeding is great; I'm all for it.  I think there are a million reasons why it is great.  I'm not going to belabor any of those today; however.  Today, I am raising a serious point regarding breastfeeding that most every list I have ever read skips over entirely: the TRUE cost of breastfeeding.

I have heard countless times that 'breastfeeding saves so much money versus purchasing formula.'  True.  But breastfeeding does not (at least in my case) save money overall.



That is how hungry I am at all times.  It is slightly embarrassing, but I am learning ways to manage it.  For instance, if we are going somewhere for the evening I will eat before going out and then eat again at the function, just to save myself from hitting the food line 4+ times with heaping mounds of food and dealing with stares from bystanders.

Wesley took pity on his wife, the new mom, several months ago and brought home food from a restaurant.  He was so stellar that he brought home food for supper and lunch the next day (or so he thought).  I ate an entire chicken salad, a ribeye sandwich, an appetizer of onion rings, went for a little 10 minuted power walk and then returned to eat his ribeye sandwich he saved for lunch the next day.  Three adult sized entrees and an appetizer in one hour.  That is how hungry I am at all times.

Experts say you should eat several meals throughout the day.  I have taken this to heart.  I eat a huge breakfast, first lunch at 10, second lunch at noon, a little snack at three, first supper at 6 and second supper at 9.

When I make a 9x13 casserole dish of any sort it no longer lasts our family days; it lasts roughly 2 meals at best.

I looked into joining Weight Watchers one day.  I figured up how many 'points' were appropriate for my nursing body and calculated the points on the foods that I had eaten thus far that day.  I smoked through my points after only consuming breakfast and first lunch.  By noon I was working on eating my points for my next day.  I just couldn't do it.

Why am I confessing all of this?  I have several friends that are currently expecting and most of them are first-time mothers.  I am sure they are researching everything baby-related that they can.  I just want to offer my two cents and make sure they are properly forewarned regarding this little aspect of parenting.  Yes, by breastfeeding you will save money on FORMULA, but I have limited confidence that they will save money overall.  You will definitely make it up in the maternal feedbill.  Trust me.

*And now I have to throw in this little disclaimer so some internet troll doesn't try to sue me someday for misleading medical advice.  Yes, breastfeeding is wonderful; you may experience different results; there may be some side effects such as a distended belly, increased trips to the bathroom, limited productivity in other areas of your life.  If you experience an erection lasting more than four hours please contact your doctor immediately.  Whoops!  That probably should not have been included.  That teaches me to double check before I 'cut and paste' from any old medical website!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Good Friday

Because there is very little regard to timeliness with my posts, here are some photos of our Good Friday at my folk's house.  It was a Good Friday indeed. 

Approximately 90% of the children and 70% of the adults managed to sit still for this picture.
Everyone smiling at the same time was a pipe dream.
And no, we are not normally a narcassistic group of people that MUST include ourselves in pictures but we thought it would be really neat to get a group photo of all the kiddos.  It was immediately revealed that NO ONE was going to sit still for a picture without some sort of parental restraints upon them.  Notice a little girl named Avery in the picture?  Of course you don't.  Too quick for the parental restraints. 
I always take pride in knowing that Kenyon is a pretty smart little boy.
Owen absolutely blows him out of the water.  This kiddo is super sharp.  And super cute.
Kade.  The stoutest, youngest steer dogger you've ever met.

The perfect Hide-and-Seek spot.  Unless you are hiding from your mother with her camera.
(This may or may not have given away his hiding location.)

There aren't enough words for Avery.  I just love her.
You can't help but love her.
This is what happens when you play too hard for too long.
We. Are. Done.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Planting Potatoes

This month, generations of my ancestors rolled in their graves when potatoes were not planted on St. Patrick's Day.  I'm so glad that my dad bucked tradition; however, and waited for his grandsons to come home during Easter weekend and help him out.  

Kenyon and Kade thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  Not sure how straight the rows ended up or if everything planted was indeed a potato (Kade liked to play with clods of horse manure that were roughly the same size), but nevertheless, a good time was had by all.

Possessed?  More like an allergy induced fog that lasted the entire weekend.

He has aspirations to become a plumber one day.