Father’s day for farmers

We won’t have a big celebration for Father’s Day. There isn’t time for that in a farmers schedule.

The girls have requested to help with a dinner they planned of salad, fried chicken, onion rings and fried pies. They will make Lynn a card, and I got him some new work pants. Beyond that, it will be business as usual.

But really it’s the simple thing that matter most…like tonight Lynn began to teach Caroline (who loves numbers) about how to calculate soybean population. (Here is the formula he was using https://www.agweb.com/mobile/article/calculate-soybean-populations-with-the-hula-hoop-method-naa-sonja-begemann )

We will spend time together after church doing chores.

And we will get to enjoy views. 

We will get to spend the day together and together is what we enjoy.

Happy Father’s day!

No kids at the grocery store

I went to the store today withOUT the ratbabies. 

It was quiet. It was peaceful. I could read my grocery-list in its entirety and not have to peel a small person off a merchandising display.

It was lovely.

Except
Nobody told me ANY jokes.
Nobody fought over who got to hold my hand.

There was absolutely no one at the store that got so excited about anything (and everything) they literally jumped up and down and screamed with joy.

Nothing embarrassing (but funny) happened. At all.

No one danced by the frozen foods.

There were no fights over the shopping cart.

I got zero hugs, and zero kisses.

It was normal, and boring….and a little bit lonely.
Good golly …. I think I actually missed grocery shopping with my lovely children, and all of their talkative, distracting, messy glory. 

This doesn’t mean taking them to the store in the future won’t eat at what little sanity I have left. 

But part of me will sure be happy they are there. I’m certainly going to work on appreciating what I’ve got.

Have a great week friends. 

Only moderately crazy.

Today I felt crazy. Even crazier than normal.

For the past 4-5 days Claire has been belligerent. 

Every single thing I have asked her has gone like this.

Me- “Claire, would you rather take your frog (toy) to your room or put it on the shelf?” (Trying to trick her into thinking she had a choice)

Claire- “No! I will not do EITHER.” Foot stomp. Pint sized dictator head tossed back squint-eyed-glare with defiantly crossed arms. 

Me- “Claire. I need you to choose a place to put away your frog or I will put it in my room until you can earn it back”

Claire- *falls dramatically on the floor, screaming, crying and kicking…Looking up just often enough to see if I am looking*

I try to not be looking. 

After much cajoling, threats, discipline and bribing she will finally do what we set out for….An hour before.

Then she frolics off and the happy place of Claire-Land is all games and giggles.

Anytime anyone else (anyone on the face of the earth but ME) asks her to do something, she smiles and pleasantly complies. 

Either something is wrong with this formerly delightful child, or she is trying her derndest (successfully) to drive me batty. 

Maybe it’s her ears. She had an ear infection a couple weeks ago and finished her antibiotics recently. 

I kind of hope for my sanity, that it is her ears. (I know. That probably makes me a horrible person.)

At the Pediatrician today, the nurse was going through the usual.

So what brings you in today? “I think Claire has an ear infection”

Any Cough? “No”

Fever? “No”

Runny Nose? “No”

Has she been complaining about ear pain or  has she been tugging at her ears? “No. Actually she tells me they don’t hurt when I ask.”

I realized then what an hypochondriac-parent I am sounding like. 

Claire is giggling to herself, looking exceptionally healthy and puttering about the room, doing her best to touch every germ-laden surface….No doubt we will be back here soon. Gosh I hate germs. 

“So, I realize she is three, and some of this is normal threenager behavior…But she has been belligerent. And she refuses to listen. And the whining…”

I trailed off, realizing how I sound. 

The nurse, kind as always smiled. 

“I just want to know if this is behavioral or if something is wrong physically so I know how to address it”

There. That sounded less emotional. Much more like  something a sane, level headed logical parent would say. Feeling more confident, I grabbed Claire. She pinched my nose HARD and yelled “HONK”….And went limp laughing.

The nurse smirked. “Oh I know. I’ve got three boys. If you are hard on them and they are sick, the mom guilt is bad”

I agreed. Mom guilt is the worst.

Turned out after the Doctors inspection, kid DOES have another ear infection. We got a prescription which will hopefully will take care of it.

Some ibuprofen and Claire’s mood was much improved this afternoon. Poor kid has been in pain. I’m glad I wasn’t hard on her. She’s tough, and has a pretty high pain tolerance- it will take a lot to completely throw her off her game.

As you can see, the little Daredevil was bound-and-determined to make it down the driveway first. Caroline wasn’t so interested in racing.

I am slowly learning that maybe you should still do what you think is the right thing, even if you look and sound like a lunatic. (Which for me is most the time anyway) 

Anyway. Have a great rest of your week friends, I hope you get some of this beautiful sunshine we did here.

Summertime Shopping (same drama, different day)

We went to town.

Here’s how it went….

We stopped at the Dollar store, and the kids were pretty good, and I was all “Good Mom” and keeping them engaged and entertained.

Then we ran another errand and they were whiny but quit when I gave them a snack and a drink.

At the Farmers Market they were tolerable, but deteriorating quickly, and my patience was waning.

Then the devil-grocery-store.

Had I thought it through, I would have put Claire in the baby- carrier to restrain her (http://angelpack.com/max-toddler-angelpack/ – that’s what we have and I LOVE it…I bought it secondhand but it would have been worth it to buy it new) and buckled Caroline in the buggy, when I do that the worst that can happen is they complain some. But it is HOT today, and I slept crooked and my back is hurting a little and I didn’t even think of it. GAHHH.

This video is actually the part of the grocery store trip where they were being less wild. There wasn’t any audible music and Caroline was dancing, and Claire was pretending to be a frog on the floor and yelling “RIBBIT, RIBBIT”.

Pardon my annoying-on-video voice.

 

 

While I picked out some peaches, they leaned up against a freestanding display on wheels and it rolled away and they fell down. They looked at each other and grinned and leapt up, put their hands on it and shoved it… almost into a nice looking older lady’s shopping cart. I apologized, scolded them and they apologized as well.

Then while I was trying to find vanilla wafers to make banana pudding for dinner, Claire tried to climb a shelf of diapers, and Caroline spun in circles until she fell into a display of Pringles and knocked them down. Claire scooped up a can and threw it at her sisters head where it made solid contact. I swatted Claire’s bottom, and then I had a mess of pringles cans to pick up and two squalling kids. Fun times.

I promise I try to maintain some measure of control over my children, but there is some devilment that overpowers logic and all I have ever taught them at the grocery store.

By the end of the trip I had strapped Claire into the buggy seat and regained a tiny bit of control. So that’s a positive.

We came home and unloaded the car, had lunch and they played in the wading pool.

I might have put on my swimsuit and sat in it with them…but a picture of it doesn’t exist, so that means it didn’t happen, right? ha.

 

It’s hot out there. Perfect afternoon for popsicles and vigorous outdoor activities to wear out the wild ratbabies.

 

 

 

Hay Season

It’s hay time on the farm. Typically they bale hay (which is a feed source for the cattle in the winter when the grass is dormant) twice, maybe three times a year if weather conditions are favorable. They do round bales meant for cattle which are easier to move with equipment and only a few square bales for my horses because those are more labor intensive.

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Pic from Lynn at work

Since most farm work is seasonal, and like many farm related chores dependent on the weather – hay time means many things to our family.

It means long days for Lynn – who comes home covered in dust and equipment grease.

It means it is hot and muggy. And the girls get to play in the wading pool or sprinkler in the afternoons.

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Caroline is hanging the freshly laundered swimsuits out to dry, since the dryer makes the elastic brittle.

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It means we have FINALLY had a chance to get the garden worked and planted.

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It means the pop-up thunderstorms sometimes end the farming day, which frusterate Lynn but thrill me since sometimes he can come home before 7pm.

It means my work schedule has slowed down a bit and I’m almost down to “regular” work hours… I’m planning and preparing for summer horse shows, beef shows, the late summer awards banquet.
The work assignment I dread most all year happens this time of year, a week away from my family at 4-H camp. I don’t dislike camp itself and I think it is a fantastic opportunity to for the young people I am in charge of for the week.
My stomach churns when I think about spending a week 2.5 hours away from my girls who need their Mama especially at bedtime, and my Type 1 diabetic husband who is prone to low blood sugar at night. It just feels wrong to leave them.
BUT, my job is steady and provides good health insurance coverage for the family. And I enjoy what I do…It’s just the being away that bothers me.

Real official hay-season summertime is here. We’ve finished out first watermelon and the girls eat popcicles in their swimsuits. Sometimes we all pile in the tractor and ride with Lynn while he’s working for some family time.

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It’s a long hour, hot and sweaty, hard work rhythm of life – but it’s our life and for that I’m thankful.

The whining tree

So – my Caroline has random freak-outs.Think if you are being held hostage, except instead of a gun the bad guy is screaming, kicking, growling and gnashing while making unreasonable demands..but you can’t just “walk away from it”..and that’s pretty much it.

She can scream and fake cry for literally hours, until one of the following happens

A. She gets her way (I don’t want to encourage this rottenness so I make my best attempt to never let this happen.)

B. She gets distracted (very rare)

C. She decides she is finished.

I don’t know what to do. Punishment, bribes, and removing privileges don’t work. Neither does hugs and snuggles.

Typically she is demanding that Lynn return home from work. So…I can’t make that trigger stop because farmers gotta farm.

Sometimes, she throws fits over say ” I want ice cream”.

The only strategy I know to do is send her to a cool down spot to give what shreds of sanity I have left a break, and to let her mellow and decide she wants to stop.

Unfortunately I can’t handle angry screaming right next to me for long-drawn-out-amounts of time. It makes my heart rate fly up, my head pound and my patience die a painful death.

Enter: The Whining Tree.
It’s a part of the fenced in backyard that she is banished to where she can scream to her hearts content. (Sorry neighbors) She can climb it, dig in the dirt, throw sticks or kick the tree. Whatever. Just stay there until you finish, and quit screaming before you rejoin the family activities.

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Caroline celebrating Mothers Day with a robust temper tantrum.

I am doing my best – and right now, this is the best idea I’ve got. If you have a better idea, I am all ears.

Obviously I don’t send her there in bad weather or after dark, or while I’m not monitoring her… but since it’s 75 and sunny with a light breeze today…well…you have to make use of your resources.

I love my sensitive, high strung, intelligent and Sweet Caroline. I don’t really like screaming though.

Have a wonderful Sunday friends.

Soccer Saturdays

It was a chilli morning for a soccer game.

Claire was all about being outside with a ball and running around.

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Whatever it is, she's usually ready.

Caroline, not so much.

She wanted to trot around with her hands in her pockets.

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Self preservation is important to this one.

So I hollared at her to take em out.

So she decided it was much too cold to do much more than a slow walk….but the preferred method was stand and observe.

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Y'all just run. I will wait here.

When she had a break, she made sure her sitting towell was straight with no wrinkles, and her lap coat and bottle of sprite were aligned correctly.

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You can see her kneeling and straightening her "soccer supplies" on the sidelines.

Towards the end, she did briefly break into a run.

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I was lucky enough to catch this rare moment on camera.

She says she loves it though. And really, who cares if she scores a goal or blocks the other team.

Her sweet little mind is a mystery to me – and that is OK.

As long as my girls love each other, it’s all alright.

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I love you sissy

Sisters!

My funny and good looking lunch date

Had to go to the ENT to get Claire’s ear tubes checked. Turned out tubes are no longer functioning she also has an ear infection. BOO.

Since it was lunchtime and I wanted to spend a bit of one on one time with her we went to lunch.

The first place we went was on fire. Literally. Fire trucks everywhere, firemen of the roof – the whole shebang.

We settled on a deli.

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She loved her pizza

This place included a soft serve cone with every meal. Hurray.

Claire took NO LESS than 30 minutes to eat hers. After each bite she rolled her eyes back and said “YUM!” It was a puddle by the time she was done so she resorted to licking it off the napkin.

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Oh Claire.

Tomorrow is FRIDAY friends. That is something to celebrate!

My kid ran away today

Claire was by my side while I talked to her teacher about a minor scrap she got into with a classmate today. (I need to teach her to never start a fight she can’t win….JUST KIDDING)

She yelled “get Sissy” and ran out the door. I looked over my shoulder to grab her lunchbox while I walked after her. When I looked back, she was GONE.

Oh, crap.

I looked in big sis’s classroom. No Claire.

What a hassle.

Up and down the hall. No Claire.

I’m going to have to make her hold my hand always.

In the bathroom. No Claire.

This is not good.

Panicking I tried the parking lot. No Claire. (Unless of course she’s already been kidnapped and stuffed in a trunk)

Now my heart is beating in my ears and I’m fixing to cry.

I looked outside again, in each of the rooms, behind the toys she likes to hide behind NO CLAIRE.

Almost in full meltdown/panic mode and…

I hear…”Is this yours?” And I see Carolines teacher holding a reluctant Claire by the hand. She had crowded in with a group of kids and parents and slipped through the door to the playground, and then made it through the playground gate the same way.

So this afternoon I had a minor heart attack, aged 10 years and got twice as many grey hairs as I already have to hide. And Claire got in trouble for running off. (Even though technically she DID tell me where she was going. )

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For some reason I dont think she feels guilty for scaring me to death.

My 4-H kid

An 11year old in my 4-H club meeting and I had this conversation today when the 4-H officers were done leading the business meeting.

Kid: “Ms Waters? Can I have your gavel?”
Me: “No. Why do you want it?”
Kid: “Because I’m going to court tomorrow”
Me: “Court? How come?”
Kid (Looking down): “I dunno”
Me: “Ha-ha, Speeding ticket?”
Kid: “No” (a huge grin spreading across his face) “Tomorrow, I’m getting  adopted!”

I congratulated him and high fived him.

**all the feelings** Seriously, put some things in perspective for me.

It was also a 4-H baking contest day….so I had a “healthy” breakfast….you know. Gotta taste them to judge them….it’s FOR THE CHILDREN! Hahaha.

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They all did a fantastic job.

My “real” children matched today. They are a mess! Mostly Claire. Claire is a mess.

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Me: Smile! Claire: Flashes me

Speaking of Claire… I asked her to pick up the candy, sock and toy she threw on the floor. It appears she decided not to.

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I gotta focus on my follow through when making the kids pick up after themselves

Thanks for reading, friends.