Sunday, April 29, 2012

::happy birthday to Josh::

Thank you -
For you for singing me Southern Cross on the phone while I was driving
For always invading my personal space as a way of stopping a fight, you just smell so freaking good
For instilling quality music in my life and forgiving me for teaching your kids bad pop
For spending your days off building goat/chicken/dog/horse/platypus enclosures
For loving babies and allowing me to have too many
For thinking my crazy is cute
For always thanking me for every meal I have ever made you.  It sets an example to your children that can not be taught any other way.
For being an incredible example to your daughters of what a husband should be and to your sons of what a man should be.
For saying that me working over time isn't worth the money.
For being so handy and clever.
For selling your super fancy truck so I could have a maternity leave.
For always putting things in the attic.
For taking my crazy plans and making them make sense. 
For aging well.
For feeding the animals at night.  I know those Red Capes from the Village are in there.
For humoring me about my three crockpots.
For craving time with me instead of time away from me.  
For being brave enough to try one last time.  He is worth it.  
For being my husband and not just my co-parent

Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

::i have a blueberry for a daughter::

Lily before the play in all the seats we had to save.
 Princess Lily was cast as Violet Beauregard in Willy Wanka Jr is a local kids drama group.  It was a really big roll for a second grader to get.  I had to ask special permission just to get past her being a year to young to even audition.  I did not expect her to get the role, but that little kid got it done.  The way the play was cast was two nights she was an Ooompa Loompa and two nights she was Violet.  She was the cutest little Oompa ever, but when she was Violet she just stole the show.  

Let me say that is was not a huge stretch for her to dig down and find a totally loud brat character.  If anything I have had to remind her to let go of her inner Violet and come back to being my Lily.  Every time she went on I just sat in the audience wide eyed and half crying.  Of course I am biased, but that kid has talent.  She thrives on this stuff.  It is amazing to see her so happy.  


Sunday, April 22, 2012

::goat baby::

Emme - three days before delivery

This time things did not go so well.  Our doe's water broke and she pushed and pushed.  Finally I knew it was taking too long and I checked things out more closely.  The baby was both legs back and head first.  Totally stuck.  It took us forever to get him out and finally Josh had to do it.  Poor little baby goat did not survive.  He was stuck too long.  It was terrible.  One very large caramel buckling.  He was just too big.  Luckily Josh was home.  With his patience and strength he got him out and saved the mama's life.  I think it says a great deal about his love for me that he has gone from a goat hater to goat midwife.  He still claims to hate goats, but he loves me enough to help me.  The mama was very sad, but we brought her six month old baby back in with her and she seems to be recovering quickly.  

Emma and I had a long talk about that when something is dead you can not bring it back.  She says she wants to be a nurse (wouldn't that be amazing?) and that fact is a hard lesson to learn.  Why can we save some babies and not others?  Because that is the way it is.  No way around it.  Emma said, "Brooke, thank God you're a nurse so you know stuff.  No way could you have saved that baby.  You did everything right."  Seriously?  Soothing me?  She is 14 by the way.  An age of selfishness.  But not for her.  I really love that kid.   

Mental heath side note - don't worry.  I promise.  I am appropriately sad about the baby goat.  It stinks.  It's a bummer.  It is a reality of having farm animals.  This is not a set back or a flash back.   

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

::summer goals::

I want to try something different this year.  Usually I set totally insane goals for summer.  Whoppers like - teach Lily one years worth of school over the summer so she goes back to school crazy advanced.  Or - Spend one hour every day in the garden.  Or - organize all my closets.  Or - kill myself trying to be the most creative-most perfectest- most coolest mom in the universe.  Only to fail.  This year I would like to set myself up for success.  I decide to make Ten Summer Goals that might actually be possible.  Phrasing them as goals gives me the chance to strive for them without always perfectly meeting them.
Summer goals: (in no particular order)
1.  Be totally present and totally focused every single day for each member of the family for at least 20 minutes.  No phone in my pocket, no lists on my mind - 100% in the moment and attentive.

2.  Let the house go to seed.  Don't run behind the kids cleaning up all day.  Make an evening rule that when Dad calls to say he is on his way home each kid spends 15 minutes power cleaning while I finish dinner.  Allow 30-45 mins each day I am off for cleaning and that is ALL.  If it doesn't get clean in that amount of time than it is not happening till the next day off.  Set a timer and stick to it.

3.  Cook lots.  Meal plan lots.  Avoid eating out.  It's stressful with all the herd of people we have to take now.  It's unhealthy because I love friend food but don't know how to make it at home.  It's costly because Lily and I know how to put some serious food away.

4.  Do lots of art projects.  Don't sink away from a mess.  Let them get the paint out.  Get crazy.  Encourage them to be expressive.  Let Max paint the trees and fence (with washable paints).

5.  Go on a weekly field trip.  Plan it ahead of time.  Take lunches and go.  Try out new things in the city that we have never done before.  (Side goal - get a stroller.  Quinn is getting too big to be carried all the time.  New goal - do more arm exercise so I can carry Quinn till he is 4.)

6.  Do something every week that is just for Josh.  Just to be considerate.  Something that takes stress out of his life.  Plan it and get it done.  Talk to the kids about it so they can get in on the idea.

7.  Say yes.  Don't just say no because I am tired or stressed or doing the laundry.  If Max says, "Can I go outside?"  Say YES~ and stop folding clothes and go with him.  I'll regret it in 10 years if I don't.

8.  Be ready for 4H fair WAY ahead of time.  NO JOKE!!  Don't put it off.  Start soon.

9.  Encourage the kids to be magical thinkers.  Play pretend with them.

10.  Dry as many clothes as possible of the clothes line.  Yes it is less confident but it looks so pretty and the clothes smell so good.
One more -
Make time to go to the YMCA.  Let the kids swim and play with the kids groups while I keep working on getting fit.  This baby weight is not going away by itself and I want to be fit so I can keep up and not be grumpy.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

::ode to the wubby::

When I was pregnant with Max I was trying really hard to not spend money.  Being cheap was new to me and I failed in two major ways.  I bought him the newest greatest swing out which he never used and I bought him two kind-of-expensive-to-me blankets from Skip Hop.  I thought they were warm and cool looking.  Little did I know that they would become his bestest loves in the world - he calls them Green Wubby and B-Uew (blue) Wubby.  The name Wubby comes from the 80's movie Mr Mom.  The kid in that movie threw his wubby in the fire place once he was ready to let go of it - that will not happen around here.  

Max has an extreme attachment to these blankets.  Blue Wubby is his number one BFF, he would die with out it.  Green Wubby can be spared, but his presence is appreciated.  Max only sucks his thumb when he is holding a Wubby, and always his left thumb.  He becomes very upset if you try to hold his thumb down while he has a Wubby.  Sometimes we do that to him just to mess with him a little.  We call his Wubby's his "kryponite" because he will go from a crazy running fool to a glassy eyes zombie if you throw a blue Wubby and him.  Many pictures have been taken of him with his Wubby's because it is a time you can make him hold still.  He has to hold particular parts of the Blue Wubby.  It used to be rubbing the tags till, to his HORROR, they fell off.  They are still on my fridge for safe keeping.  Once the Blue Wubby got beat up enough that the piping out he rubs that instead.   

The Wubby's have rules.  They can not go to school.  They are to be left in the bed when you wake up.  Sometimes you can bring them in the car on a long trip so Mommy can get some peace.  Cheater Mommy - They get to go to any boring place where I need him to sit still and be quiet, like the Winter Program for Lily.  The Wubby's get washed as rarely as possible so they will not disintegrate.  They are not to be taken outside for any reason.  I will never take them away from him permanently, even though sometimes they make me jealous because he loves them so much.  He can take them to NFL training camp if he wants to.  If he falls down and gets hurt and can't stop crying Lily runs and gets his Wubby's and he sucks his thumb till he has recovered.  


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

::two month old Quinn::

Sometimes I am totally overwhelmed with the joy this baby has returned to my life.  

Thursday, April 5, 2012

::asparagus patch::

My orchard garden - before shot
  I want fresh asparagus, and lots of it.  Asparagus comes back every year so it needs to be in a permanent bed, and it is also an ugly fern like plant for most of the summer.  I don't want it right up front with all the pretty stuff, but if I hide it off in a corner of the property it will get neglected.  The patch had to be far enough away from animal pastures that no one will eat it.  It also needs lots of fun in the sun.  The first year or two it needs lots of watering, so it has to be easy access to water.  I decided that part of my orchard garden needed to be given over to the job.   
Curly head helped measure
 We tilled up the entire orchard garden, which is about 20ft by 96ft.
I plan on putting in lots of melons again and maybe some sweet corn.
The center 35 feet is going to get divided into three long beds.
One for strawberry's
One for plants to be rotated through (tomatoes - beans - etc)
And one for asparagus

After tilling Josh took the tractor and dug out a two foot deep trench.
Some well done formerly-fecal-compost made from last year fine manure of every animal on this farm was scooped in to fill all but the top three inches.

Formerly Fecal Compost ready to be dumped in.

Two big buckets of wood ashes got added next to improve that soil.
Bone meal or wood ashes are recommended to supplement the start of an asparagus bed.
I would love to tell you I used wood ash because I am super organic, but really I am just super cheap and happen to need to clean the pot belly stove.  
After the stage was set I carefully planted each precious little baby asparagus.  I bought a very common variety called Martha Washington.  I think I bought it at my friendly area Rural King.  
Lastly I raked back on the top three inches of soil.  This left a little hill next to the asparagus patch of extra soil.  I think it is just going to help protect it from the mower.
In a few more weeks I will go back and line the whole area with landscape timbers to define it as a no walking or digging space (MAX!). 

Compost down and wood ashes getting spread on top. 
Next year we will not have spears to harvest.  The next year we may have some.  But from them on out we will should be lousy with the stuff.  I can not wait.  I think that fresh asparagus tastes like spring.  

Here is a link to the brochure that Purdue has published on planting asparagus. I found it very helpful.

Also - there is plenty more compost for anyone who would like a scoop.  Free for the taking :)


Monday, April 2, 2012

::new goats - and one is pregnant::

 Life review: Josh's exwife and I are friends.  She just gave me the thumbs up to buy Emma and Shealynn some more goats for 4H.  She is the funding and I am the manager.  I touched base with my favorite goat breeder and talked her into selling me two lovely ladies.
Second life review: Shealynn is Emma's mothers boyfriends daughter.  Got it?  She and I have no technical relationship to each other, but she spends every summer up here with her Dad and I just love her.  She and Emma are the only ones old enough to show the goats in 4H.  

A four year old doe that is bred and due to kid on APRIL 18!!!!  That is so soon!  She had had three sets of triplets so far and we have our fingers crossed for another set.  I know better than to count on that, but we are hoping.  I will post about it as soon as we have babies.  I hope none of them need mouth to mouth like our last baby goat.

A six month old daughter of Emme and out of the same sire as Beau and Betty.  This little girl is going to be lots of fun at fair.  She is super friendly and there is something about her sweet little face and her expression that just makes her extra cute. 

Now I still need to buy a buck this summer for all these does we are collecting.  DON'T TELL JOSH!!


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