Monday, June 18, 2012


Anna and I took the kids picking on the opening day at our local berry patch!  The weather cooperated and made good berries early... I was worried about the timing of Wyatt's arrival... It looked like his "day" and that of the local strawberries would coincide.  Thankfully we were able to get our picking in early, and I've added fresh berries to my new freezer. 
 I had thought about the bending over part, but neglected to factor in the fluid in my hands... I managed to pick pretty well, filling the bulk of our 2 flats myself (Billy and Wes played and ate, Savanna took pictures and helped a bit, and Olivia helped Auntie and Nic) sort of huffing and puffing thru the belly as I bent over.  On the drive home though, my hands were so bad I thought a bit about the safety of holding the steering wheel.  I'll have to think on it some since I really do want to get back to pick some more this week!

 I don't recall picking last year... I think the season was "off" and I didn't end up going. With my big fruit eater I knew we needed a serious trip! I still want to head back to get some more so I can try my hand at jam making...  we ate off this batch for a bit, then I froze them for later.  They are so good in smoothies and such... we go thru a lot of berries in this house.    
 I always figure you can't count it as a success if you don't eat near your body weight in berries in the patch... Wes certainly did his part to make that goal!  He was covered in juice... even up to his eyeballs!


With Wes' pregnancy, there was swelling for sure... but all of that was directly related to my broken ankle.  Plus I was really immobile for much of the "swelling" window.  Not so this go 'round.  I am seriously retaining fluids!  It's to the point of crazy most days...
 I have not had ankles in weeks, I can't "bow" tie my sneakers- only a small knot will fit, and the fluid bulges over the top of my shoe by the end of the day!
If I take off my sneakers, or try to wear the one pair of flip flops that fit I end up with massively rounded "flippers" at day's end.  Both the tops and bottoms of my feet swell, so I end up hobbling around on round feet.  No amount of elevating (ok, I don't have much time for that!) or rubbing seems to make a difference!  The Dr. just looked at my legs and said "well, yeah- that is a lot of swelling!"  Nothing can be done since my blood pressure is fine... just a matter of waiting!  The weight gain has been terrible... in the past 4 weeks I gained as much as I had in the entire rest of the pregnancy.  So depressing. 
Even worse to me though, are my hands.  My right hand in particular is awful!  I have carpel tunnel so badly I can't close my hand most of the time.  I'm stuck with a claw for now, and sleeping is getting terribly difficult.  My hands wake me up often, and when I find a spot that allows me to keep my arm elevated I end up sore in my hips or back.  Sigh.  Less than 2 weeks now... and then I will hopefully "pee it all out" like the Dr. says!  I certainly don't remember feeling this pregnant with Wes... I'm swollen and ready to go!

Did you Eat it?!

Admittedly I was paying more attention to my laptop the other day than I was to Wes and his "art" project.  Rather than the usual paper plate full of paint I give him, we were using a set of paints that are all in their own little "pots."  I looked over after a bit and saw this face... when I asked "Wes, did you eat it?!"  He said... "No!" 

And, in his defense, after a moment of panic (during which he got off the chair and ran around the house... ugh.) I found the pot on the floor... he had not actually eaten it... but I'm still not sure "No" was a completely truthful answer!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Big Kid

How cute is this kid?!

Seriously, I know I'm biased... but come on... he kills me!!

 It blows my mind that in a few short weeks he will be the "big brother!" I know he isn't the first kid to go thru this... but I am worried a bit about how he will transition. He has been doing so well lately- I expect a bit of a regression; it seems to be the norm for new siblings... but for now he amazes me every day!

He transitioned so well to his own bed/room. For all the thought and worry I put into it- it was really a non-issue. He goes right to sleep and most nights sleeps all night by himself. Sometimes he wakes and asks for me- but a bottle of milk/water and he is right back to bed!
He jabbers and chats all the time. I think about 50% of the time 'other' people can understand him... but from the worried place I had been in, we have come so far in just a short while! He really verbally blossomed after turning 2. He is so smart, and wants to share what he knows, and asks questions about just about everything. He knows numbers pretty consistent to 7, misses 8 but can do 9-10 pretty well. Colors are hit and miss- although green is his favorite and he always gets that one! Letters are still a work in progress, for now its just a song we sing in the car.

He wants to read books all the time, play dinos and cars, and be outside as much as possible. He loves stickers and bubbles and playing with other people's toys (Nic's, or Grandma Houston's are favorites!) He wants to help with just about anything I am doing. Cooking/baking are fun for him and he gets annoyed when he 'can't' help. Now that it is warm out, the tractor, lawn mower, 4 wheeler or go cart are also favorites. Anything he can do outside really... but zooming around in particular is a blast!
This week ended our YMCA classes- we will take a break from swim lessons and play group until after the baby comes. I didn't want anyone to have to worry about getting him to class since they will just be starting back up after Wyatt is born. I think he will be fine to skip swim for a while, but I do think he will begin to miss the play group. Thankfully the other kids will be home, so hopefully he won't be too bored! I'm not sure if we will continue the library story hour or not... I suppose it will depend on how I feel after the c-section!

When naked (pretty much all the time we are at home) he will consistently use the potty... but when he has a diaper (night, naps and out and about) he has no problem soiling it.  I'm in no hurry- and he clearly is pretty interested in the treats he gets... so I'm not sure if it will stick or not, but for now I'm going with it!

We are about 50-50 with naps these days.  Some times he takes one, some days not... I fear he will drop them and I'll be stuck with a newborn and no sleep time... but we shall see! 

July 16th he will be 2 1/2... it's crazy!  I swear he was *just* born!  Getting out all the baby things again has been fun; talking to him about when he was a "baby" (he is a "big boy" now) and remembering him that way has been bittersweet.  I know that I'll certainly enjoy having a newborn around again, but watching the kid Wes is growing into is such an adventure too!

Go Cart

After spending 50 some odd hours together in the truck, Bill and Billy came home from Florida with plans for a go cart they had been watching on craigslist.  Apparently cruising the app while they drove killed a lot of time!  They found this cart very reasonable right near us... so they came home and dropped off the horse trailer and went back out to pick 'er up!

It is/was a project.  It wasn't running when they brought it home (in fact, it was in pieces!) but with a few afternoons/evenings of work, they got it up and going!  It is perfect size for the boys.  Even Olivia is a bit big for it... After a few days of running it they found another issue- so the fun has been sidelined until they can get the part and fix the fuel line... but it was so cute to watch them buzzing up and down the driveway.  I'm thankful its about the only flat space, I don't want then cruising too fast- but for now, peeling around the turns and spraying gravel is the best!


Meat Chickens.  I'm not sure why now I've finally gotten the courage up... but suddenly this Spring it became alright to raise our own chickens.  Don't get me wrong- we have had chickens almost as long as I've lived here- but only layers.  I have had a mental hang up about taking our farming any farther... I have always been worried about the attachment factor, and the actual process of processing them.  At an open house earlier in the spring we learned about a great poultry place right up the road from us and knowing their prices, and how "easy" they make it... suddenly it seemed like a less daunting thing to do. 

So, I relented to Bill's pressures to be more self sufficient and agreed to raise the meat birds!  We started with 20 fluffy white chicks:

 Then cared for them, cleaned up after them and gawked at their rapid growth rate for 8 weeks.  We lost a few along the way (a learning curve to be sure!) and ended up with 14 in the freezer! 

Even though it's just about summer- we have had some cool rainy weather so I was able to roast one.  I'm no gourmet cook- and clearly need some training in trussing a bird- but I think it came out pretty good!  It's nice to know where the food we feed the kids came from- and what sort of life it had.  The experience was good for us all... if we do it again I've certainly learned a thing or two, and the kids will continue to see this part of the food chain and hopefully develop an understanding about feeding ourselves and working for food... not to mention getting to enjoy the tasty dinners!

Now, the kicker to this deal: I agreed to care for the birds (cleaning their stall every other day or so, feeding and watering them twice daily and monitoring- (stressing over them!) their growth) and Bill's role would be to make sure we had a new freezer installed in the utility room (we lost our old one last fall, and didn't replace it right away... so I have had no "extra" freezer space) and transport them on their scheduled "day."  Somehow this run to Florida came up at *just* the right time... we ended up with 14 birds and no freezer (Thanks to his Mom who plugged an older model they have in the basement in for me!) plus I had to load them into the crates and take them in myself (Thanks to the girls who helped me and my Mom who watched Wes so I didn't have to explain too much!)  Sigh.  Not sure how that happened!  

A Late Liv's Birthday

How can it be 2 weeks ago already?!
Olivia turned 15 on the 25th... and I'm just getting to blogging about it now! 
 Naturally, when allowed to pick her birthday dinner Lobster was her choice!  I felt slightly bad since on her actual birthday Bill and Billy were off shipping a crew of animals down in Florida; so I didn't argue a bit about the price or "ick" factor of cooking them!  We ended up doing her family party the next weekend and she had her friends over on her real birthday- thanks to Auntie for a lot of help with that party!  I think all in all it was nice to spread out the celebration

 I think you come to realize that as you get older, the gifts seem to come in the form of green bills!  And I don't think she minded in the least!
 She also requested the traditional angel food cake:  thanks to Grandma Houston for once again making it so yummy!  I made corn chowder (we have been in a crazy cool rainy spell) and strawberry shortcake for those who choose not to eat crustaceans. 

This is the one and only shot I have of her friends.  Anna really took over for this, and I know it was a great time for Olivia!  She and her buddies went to lunch and a movie with Anna, then we all met back at Auntie and Uncle's for a bar-b-que.  It was nice for Liv to have some time "alone" with her crew, and I enjoyed watching them hang out and play... then leaving well before the long night began!  Anna and Ed were kind enough to offer their stand alone sun room to the girls for a sleeping spot (Fheww, I didn't have to set up a tent this year!) and they all hung out there!  In the morning they came down and played in the pond and hung out in the hot tub for a while.  I think Olivia really enjoyed it, and I was glad she was still able to celebrate even though Bill was gone.  Fifteen seems so old; her freshman year is almost over... driver's ed is around the corner... sigh.  Where does the time go!?