Dog days

Some days just aren’t a win.

I took the day off today to hang out with the girls, as our babysitter had some things she needed to do today.

The dog needed shots etc… and today was a good enough day for it.

When I told the kids it was time to go and that we were in a hurry, Caroline changed clothes TWICE from the perfectly acceptable outfit she had on.

Claire put on three different pairs of church shoes, after I requested flip flops or boots anything that can get dirty.

I was hollaring before we even left the house. The usual Get Dressed! Where are your SHOES?! Please stop locking the car door so your sister can get in! BUCKLE YOUR SEAT BELT!

When we arrived, the dog jumped out of the car nicely instead of requiring me to lift him down. I thought my luck must be turning.

I was trying to get the silly dog calm in the waiting room while the kids giggled and bounced on the seats. They squabbled and poked at the dog making him get up and dance too.

Sit King! Girls SIT DOWN. Girls quit taking to King!! King SIT!

The people at the waiting room were amused. One lady offered her thoughts that neither kids nor dog were listening to me.

I didn’t think it was unkind…..because she wasn’t wrong.

Once the vet called us back, it was more of the same – though the kids were both on the floor at one point laying on their backs beside the dog. But the dog at least was halfway listening. So that was an improvement.

I briefly considered leaving the kids to clean cages and just taking the dog. But I figured they might charge me board on them and decided against it.

Once we got home we took time and thoroughly brushed the dog and got gigantic amounts of hair off him (undercoat) and gave him a bath.

Because it was hot, we were sweaty and the hair stuck to us. After the dog bath, the kids needed a kid bath before their lunch and nap.

Now yesterday morning I asked Claire to pick up the clothes she threw on her closet floor. She had been procrastinating and dawdling for 36 hours at this point.

After nap today I insisted. And she resisted.

Finally after piddling around for 3 hours she began to pick up one piece of clothing At. A. Time. And ssslloowwwwly looked over each one.

Skips down the hall singing.

“Mama? This a size 5? ” While holding up a shirt. (The kid can read numbers just fine)

Me: Yes Claire. It is a 5.

Claire: giggles. “Are you surrrreeee???”

Me: Claire!

She then scurried off and deliberately hung that item on the hanger, only to repeat the process with the next thing she picked up.

Gahhhhh.

That is how my day went. All day. When they weren’t balking at helping me they were fighting with each other. It seemed like one of them was screaming and the other crying all day. And if it wasn’t screaming/crying it was plotting and racious laughter.

At the table over dinner tonight I was trying to explain it to Lynn.

He wasn’t getting it. Until Claire piped up “Yeah. Sissy tried to put dog poop on my shirt today”

WHAT? His eyes were big – she had Lynn’s attention now.

Mischievous Claire went on to describe a backyard stick fight (while I was inside the house vacuuming) that turned gross when they stuck their fighting sticks in…you guessed it. Fresh stinky dog poop. Caroline tossed in details from the other room.

The combination of their shameless description with Lynn’s horrified face was too much for my tired nerves. I laughed uncontrollably until I cried and couldn’t breathe.

Finally. He got it. The kids were mean today.

Whew.

They got baths with soap, and have been turned over to their Daddy for tucking in tonight while I take a break.

Little stinkers.

Farmer’s Top 10

The frenzy of spring has mellowed into long, muggy summer days.

The work on the farm has transitioned to baling straw to be used for contractors and homeowners, baling hay for cattle to eat over the winter when the grass ceases to grow, checking on cows and fixing equipment in preparation for fall

It is hot. SO hot. I don’t handle these super high temps well.

Lynn works long days.

I get frustrated at times that he works so much, even though I know it is necessary.

They say to look on the bright side and so from where I see it, there are positives to being a farmer and so I made a list.

10. You never complain about your boss, because work for yourself.

9. Your lower arms have a great tan.

8. Farm clothes don’t need ironing.

7. Take-your-kid-to-work day can last all summer.

6. Your coworkers don’t complain as long as you feed them.

5. Your office is a gym- some days you strength train and some days you cardio. (Cows out = cardio)

4. You know fancy words like “Commodity” and “Germination”.

3. You enjoy many good sunrises.

2. You enjoy many good sunsets.

1. This is the way you want to raise your family.

June finally

It’s been a minute since I blogged.

The entire month of May is crazy hectic and absolutely exhausting for me and Lynn both.

But we’ve finally got a little room to breathe. Or at least I have, and happy Mama, happy life…or something along those lines.

The girls are growing at lightening speed. They are also flexing their strong wills, testing me and each other.

I know they will need that someday, but I might have threatened to sell Caroline to the circus today as the “girl who never stops talking sideshow”.

Probably not my proudest parenting moment.

It’s probably not too out of character for me because she laughed uproariously slapped her knee and launched into another verbose and loud story. (What kid slaps their knee? I thought that was reserved for the 65+ crowd)

Caroline is old enough to hang with the farmers all day now. Although it completely wipes her out.

Claire is not ready for that but still prefers the farm over everything else.

They are wild children, reminiscent of the feral “dog boy child” with their shrieks and climbing and leaping. And then, when I least expect it they switch gears and become polite and proper society girls and demand everyone around them use polite manners.

They are happy and loving and are thriving.

Lynn and his dad baled some 340 some bales of hay today. He sent me this picture when he got done. Quite the office view.

He is the hardest worker I know, and I hope we can teach the girls that strong work ethic.

Anyway that’s where we are now. Glad May is over, and happy it’s June.

Thanks for reading friends.

I thought I wanted boys

When we were thinking about children, I was confident we would have boys. I would be a better boy mom, right? Dirt is easier to deal with than drama. And then boys could help Lynn on the farm.

And so I had it decided.

Then we had girls. Pink, glittery, dramatic girls.

Strong minded, strong willed. Smart girls. Girls that put on a tutu to play in the mud. Girls that argue, then brawl, then are once again best friends. Girls that are wild, and loud and messy.

We have play tieras and dressy tieras. Dresses and overalls, barn boots and those plastic dress up heels that girls clomp through the house in.

They pick their noses and carry purses.

We put on our pajamas for movie nights and snuggle and eat unholy amounts of popcorn.

Ordinary things are emphasized. Church is an occasion, and one must dress for it. Holidays are somehow brighter. Shopping is exhausting…but fun. There are glimpses of how in a few years shopping with both girls will really be fun, and still be totally dramatic.

Two sweet girls love on me. Two emotionally needy kids need totally different things, and RIGHT NOW. Feet stomp, eyes roll. Compliments are given.

We have bows, rubber bands and headbands but never can find a hairbrush. We have 10 hairbrushes, so it’s a great mystery.

Accessories are selected for me. Eyebrows are raised in disaproval of my fashion that doesn’t meet their standards.

They love nail polish and makeup and feeling pretty. They love the accomplished feeling they get when they help feed cattle. They want to drive the tractor, but so far are terrible drivers.

We have long and deep talks about feelings. Too soon it will be talks about boys.

Life will never be the same for me and I am so glad for it.

My world needed a little magic. Thank God for girls.

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.

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