Wednesday, October 31, 2012

::goats having babies::

I know its Halloween.  I promise I will take lots of pictures of the shorties tonight and go on and on about it.  Pinkie swear.  But right now I am thinking goats.  And since Quinny decided he wanted an unheard of second nap before 1, lets talk goats.

We started out with two Nigerian Dwarf wethers (wether = neutered boy goat).  They were good times.  They led to a few super cheap pygmy goats off craigslist.  Some of which I managed to sucker someone into letting her buck breed with.  Leading to our first round of baby goats.  Also good times.  Then I started to fall  in love with the correct conformation that pygmy goats are supposed to have.  Think of taking brand new Play Dough straight out of that full yellow container.  Take some sticks and give it legs to stand on.  That is a pretty close estimate of what an ideal pygmy goat looks like.  Any animal that is supposed to be short and round is meant for me.  But you can't easily find that kind of roundness in the cheap craigslist crew.  After fair a few years ago we sold off the starter herd and invested in some higher quality animals.  By we - I am talking about Josh's exwife Jenni and I.  We are pretty darn friendly with each other and want Emma and Jenni's boyfriend daughter Shealynn to have some quality goaties to show.  (Did you follow any of that?  I will draw you a chart if needed.)

Now this year we invested in a nice buck to breed to all the does we have collected.  All our stock now is registered.  This year we will be taking the does in to make sure they are bred.  They actually get a real ultrasound from the vet.  This will be my first time to get an ultrasound for a goat.  They go in about two weeks.  I will update after that, I am so curious.  

At this point we have a nice little herd here.

We have Grandma Willow - a retired from breeding former beauty queen.  She and I both struggle with our weight.  You turn your back on her and she looks like she is having quads.  I was shocked that when the girls showed her this year she was the old pro of the group.  Lily ended up showing her in the costume class.  She was given to me by a friend and we hope she lives out her old age here with us.  She is the boss of the doe herd. 

Nelly - This is the goat that I had to give CPR to when she was born.  She is a super tame little baby doll.  Very friendly.  We hope she is bred and due at this end of January.  This will be her first baby.  If she is bred I bet she is only having one. 
Betty- Twin of Bo and granddaughter of Willow.  She is very light in color and by far the shy girl of our ladies.  She can be a little difficult to handle since she basically hates all humans.  If she is bred this will be her first kidding.  I vote twins for her.   

Emme -  We bought her bred last year.  She had a single baby buck, but he did not survive delivery.  We hope for better luck this round.  She usually have triplets.  Fingers crossed.

Blake - This is Emme's adult daughter.  She is so sweet.  She is the friendliest goat I have ever met, and was triplet.  We hope she is bred but my instinct says she's not.  If she is not bred we will try again with her latter this winter.  

Bo - He is the twin of Betty.  A nice wether.  I have him keep company with our buck.  He is very friendly and sweet.

Madden - This is a buck that we bought a few months ago.  This is my first round with bucks.  You can tell he was not handled much as a baby.  He acts very wild.  I have to tackle him to trim his feet.  But he makes nice babies.  I think we will keep him for a year or two.  If he had a good personality I might love him more, but I can't stand animals that are not very much fun.  BUT he is so handsome. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Through some various HIPPA protected events at work recently I just want to write a little note to each kid, just in case I never get the chance to tell them these things.  

Emma - When I met your Dad you were two.  He and I had a very rocky start, but I was in love with you from the first moment I saw you.  Your Dad got in a football stance and said, "Blue 42! Hut. Hut. Tackle!"  You jumped into my arms because you knew that game meant wrestle time.  I was so overwhelmed that I started crying.  Your Dad was totally confused at my tears.  It was you.  Your cuteness, your trust, you sweet little round face.  I never saw a girl and her Dad be so in love with each other.  It blew me away.  I am so glad to have you in my life.  Love - Brock

Lily - Oh little lobster, don't ever fit into the box the word presents to you.  Even I try to make you follow the path that I think is right for you.  You always correct that mistake.  Keep being you, kid, because I adore you.  I admire the fact that you can not be defined.  You are one hell of a kid to parent because you excel at loop hole finding.  This is going to be a major strength for you as an adult.  You are a force of nature.  People are often going to misunderstand you.  Don't let that sway you.  {"The light that shines on you, will shine on you forever." paul simon}  Let's see what you do next.  I can't wait.  I'm right here if you need me, but I'll try to wait till you ask.  Love - Mommy

Max - Little Mr. Wellington.  You and that hair.  No matter how big and manly you become you will always be my skinny little boy with the big ball of hair and the crooked smile.  You have an amazing natural instinct for improving the mood of people around you.  You are a tension breaker.  During Mommy's "dark year" you kept me on track.  You kept me getting out of bed.  You kept me connected to something.  You get away with more than any other kid because your cuteness is overwhelming.  I have almost never made it through a lecture with you without laughing.  Your bond with your father brings tears to my eyes.  Two boys - best buddies.  Keep it up.  He needs you too.  Love - Mommy

Quinn - My Quishy.  You took my last grey fuzzy edges out of my brain.  To hold you for the first time was a spiritual experience.  If you take my whole life and put it into still images and frozen moments, that image with your new little face would be under the title - clarity.  A rainbow baby brings brightness to the world.  The mother that will raise you is so different from the mother that baby Lily had to break in.  I hope that is a good thing.  Your Dad sent me a text the other night, it said, "How come when I look at Quinn it makes me like you?"  Because you were worth it.  For all of us.  Love - Mommy

And lastly -
Baby we lost - Thank you.  Thank you SO much.  Thank you for changing me in a positive way.  Thank you for making me more sensitive to other peoples personal struggles.  Thank you for making our choices about you for us.  My soul had to break to grow back stronger.  Thank you for letting the next egg in line be used :)  He is so Quishy.  Thank you for helping me get my priorities straighter.  So many things in my life right now that I think of as very positive or fulfilling, stemmed from the loss of you.     

Saturday, October 20, 2012

::tips for a kid/baby in the hospital::

I have been thinking recently about how to help parents deal with the stressful situation of their child being in the hospital.  Here are few tips that come immediately to mind.  Some of these stem from being the nurse and some come from being the mother, but I hope they can help some one get through the overly consuming stresses of helping your child get healthy.  

Be Freaking Nice:  If your baby or child is in the hospital this is not the happy event that you were hoping to be doing this week/month/year.  It sucks.  Your pissed, annoyed, and potentially fighting with your spouse because of the emotional/financial stressors this is all causing for you.  Things are not good for you right now.  But your kid needs you.  So be nice to those nurses.  Be lovable to them.  Nurses who take care of kids are almost always women and are usually very maternal people by their nature.  Use that.  Make us love you.  I'm not talking about bringing in candy every day (but that doesn't hurt), I'm taking about making us your allies.  Ask us who is the best doctor.  Ask us what we would do if it was our kid.  Use the insider tips we have about a night shift attending that might be an idiot.  We may not be able to make it all 100% clear but we will push you in the right direction.  We know whats going on - we deal with these Dr.'s every day.  If we have even a grain of connection with you we are going to give your child extra attention.  Maybe not on purpose, but it always seems to work out that way.  We are going to fight harder for you behind the scenes.  Talk to us.  Make yourself a partner with us.  Don't pick fights with us.  We are trying to help your family.  Keep in mind that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.  It's true.  If you are the primo mom bitch of the unit, we will consider it punishment to be given your child as our assignment for the day.  I will still give your child good care, but I will not want you back the next day - nor with anyone else.  In the long run this disjointed care leads to a lower over all quality of care.     

Ban the students:  Nursing students are not the bad ones.  They come in for one day or so at a time, and they are mostly just doing observation.  I have had a nursing student at three out of my four deliveries.  On Max she was holding my right leg by the end.  The students that are problems are med students and residents.  Doctors have to learn.  I can not even imagine how difficult it is to learn to be a doctor - but get out of my kids room.  As the parent you have the right to ban all residents from your child's care.   Do it nicely and do it the second you walk into the hospital.  Tell the first person you see, "Please no residents or med students."  Its that easy.  Just say it.  You will never regret you did.  Don't be rude - don't do it in anger after the bad experiences you are destined to have with a resident.  Be proactive about banning med students and residents.  I am always a big wimp about doing that and it almost bought me an emergency hysterectomy once.  Let them learn on some one else.    

Child Life:  This is one of the many good reasons to take your child to a pediatric hospital.  Child Life Specialists are people who specialize in playing with kids.  They are not medical staff.  Their job is to go around and help kids deal mentally with the procedures that are going to be done to them.  For example the nurse came in and put lidocaine cream on Lily's hand and left it to soak in for awhile.  When she came back to place the IV the Child Life person came in with her.  She told Lily all about what was going to happen.  Then while the nurse placed the IV she showed Lily a flip book and asked her rapid fire questions about the visual puzzles on the page.  The IV was in before Lily really even knew it was going.  No tears, no problem.  The hospital I work at recently hired a Child Life Specialist.  (Which makes me love them even more.)  I ADORE HER!!!  She comes in and preps the kid mentally for me to place the IV, or what ever else I may have to do.  Then she and the kid plays with bubble wrap while I pop in that IV.  No tears, no trama.  The whole world is a better place with child life.  If the child sees the equipment ahead of time and is not afraid of it then they have a totally different experience.   

IV's and painful procedures:
I promise you that we crazy NICU and peds nurses do not want to hurt kids.  Pinky swear.  We as nurses have the choice of were to work.  We might "end up" as a med surg nurse, but you don't "end up" as a NICU/peds nurse.  You chose that field.  Which generally means you desire to help these little people.  Just like adults - some kids have great or easy veins and some kids are not so blessed.  If your kid has been cursed with crappy veins - I am sorry.  The unfair truth of it is that your child will suffer more IV sticks than the easy veined kid.  But not all people attempted the IV placement are created equal.  Nurses have what we call "the two stick rule."  We get to try two times to get an IV, if we can't get it over those two sticks we need to stop and find someone else to try.  Some days I am the go to IV stick person and some days I can't hit the side of a barn.  Not every nurse follows the two stick rule, and there are some very rare exceptions to this rule (codes for instance).  But if you see the same nurse try to stick your child four times, you need to NICELY say some thing about it.  "Thanks for trying to get her IV in.  Is there any body else here tonight that might be able to give it a try?"  Do not say, "You stupid ass hole!  If you stick my kid one more time and miss, I will kill you."  That is a quote that a dad said to a Dr once - true story.

Make a plan:  Every time you get face to face time with the doc have your questions prepared.  Keep a notebook and write down questions as they come to you.  Write down notes after they leave the room about what they just told you.  Ask them to spell bizarre words for you or have them tell you what abbreviations stand for.  If you are not medical and you know what PVL stands for - I will give you $100.  You don't want the doc to leave the building for the day and then remember your important question.  You are not getting tons of sleep usually, so use that notebook to keep yourself organized.    Use your time away from them to get online and look up more information about what is going on with your child.  Take the things you get off the internet with a grain of salt.  Just because one site has a story about a 22 week baby that weighed 350gram that they say "turned out fine" doesn't mean it went down just like that.  In NICU I find some of the first questions I always get from parents are "When can she go home?"   and "Is he circumcised yet?".  This is usually from a family that is so shell shocked that they don't know what to ask yet.  Keep asking these silly questions and a good nursing staff will help educate you into some better questions.  
PS - the questions about going home is not that silly, it leads to a good conversation about what a baby needs to do to go home.  But think more short term, like - Is my baby breathing on her own?  How is my baby getting nutrition?  What do you hope to see from her today?  What is the next big improvement we can be watching for?  The circ question, however, is a silly question.  When a baby is hanging on to life with white knuckles lets focus on that issue before we look at elective procedures.

Pain Meds:  Any time I work with kiddos that need pain meds parents become immediately concerned about addiction.  That is a realistic concern.  BUT - we never give narcotic pain meds to babies or children unless they are essential.  Addiction does happen.  We sometimes have to wean a baby/child off of those pain medicines.  Ask lots of questions about these medicines, you need to be informed.  But if a child is suffering severe pain they deserve the hardcore stuff to deal with it.  We will help them deal with the physical withdraw after their life is no longer in danger.  With babies this kind of withdraw can be no problem, quick and easy - or I have seen some kids that were addicted to pain meds need more time to wean off.  We will help keep you educated and informed, but ask us lots of questions.  Every kiddo is different.  
This does not relate to kids that are born addicted to drugs the mother took.  That kind of withdraw is totally different and makes me want to punch the birth mothers in the face.  Those kids suffer.  They scream, they arch, they are very difficult to soothe.  We give both kinds of kids the the same kinds of drugs to wean them off, usually methadone at my old job or morphine at my current job.  It just seems to me that USUALLY the kiddos born addicted via good old crack head mom take longer to wean.  I can think of an exception or two, but in my general experience that is how it rolls.

These tips are just a few that come to mind.  They are not going to cover everything you may encounter in your baby's or child's hospital stay.  I am hoping they will help you at least get started in the right direction.  When Lily was last in the hospital I put out an all points bulletin on facebook.  My medical and some non-medical friends were sending me tips and thoughts all day long.  It was wonderful.  I felt like I had my own personal consultation group on hand.  Not every one has access to such a broad group of medical professionals, so utilize your resources.  Ask questions, be organized, and BE NICE.  Please be nice.  Except when drunks yell at me in ER and I crack up laughing, please please please - BE NICE.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

::drying peppers::

I grew too many hot peppers this year and in an attempt to utilize them I decided to try and dry them. 

The weather outside is already too chilly for drying them in the sun.  I decided the next best thing was by the pot belly stove.  I had some old window screens in the attic so I put them to work.  I am experimenting with which prep method works best.  Can I just throw the whole ones on the screen and they will eventually dry out?  Or is cutting them open and removing the seeds the best way to go?  I'll keep you posted on the progress.  

Monday, October 15, 2012

::a game plan in the works::

The Funny Farm has not sold.  

And I am still torn about it.

I have spent years training myself to love this place.  I said it before - I love this place like a mother loves an ugly baby.  Its yours and you see the potential, you are wired to love it.  Maybe in a secret place you see the flaws, but you over look them. 

So here we sit.  We lowered our price dramatically.  No interest.  Because now it has two major problems.  The barns are in a flood plain and at this point it becomes a short sale. 

A short sale.

One more time -

A short sale.

How embarrassing.  Really.  We have lived her for ten years.  We have never paid the mortgage late by one single day.  We made bad financial choices, but we are good now.  We always thought the house was a good choice.  But then the flood plain issue.  And the value dried up. (in that a pun?)

Now that we have just crossed over into short sale territory I don't care what this house sells for.  You want it?  $50.  Because no matter what we will be financially screwed.  In a way.  

Let me tell you what happens.  Some one comes to see this place.  They ignore the flood plain, the updates needed, and the half done bathroom - because they submit on offer that reflects those needs.  They are excited to be getting such a great property for such a cheap price.  We accept and submit it to the bank.  The bank rolls their eyes and finally give in and approve the loss.  

Our credit is screwed for 2-3 years.  But want to hear the loop hole?  Our credit is screwed for 2-3 years anyway.  Remember how we started a credit restructuring plan about 3 years ago?  It will be done in about two years.  We have talked to several mortgage people and they have told us that once that is all paid off our credit score will hit the roof.  And now we have enough smarts to be trusted with a good credit score.  So the credit cards and the short sale will roll off our credit at about the same time.  Mean while we have set our rental budget for $1000 less a month than we are paying for our mortgage now.  That still leaves us a generous budget to get a really nice place in our new town.  We are going to use that extra money in the budget to pay off the cards faster, then take the rest of that budget to go into savings for the new house.  Once our credit is totally recovered we also have a nice savings ready to be invested into a new place.  

At least that the plan.  Now we just keep waiting for some one to buy this place...


I suck at waiting.

I waked into the bookstore, bought the last Harry Potter book, and walked right out to my car and read the last chapter.  

And I don't feel bad about it.

AT all.  

...still waiting...

Saturday, October 13, 2012


First thing first -
Meet my new nephew Caleb Marcus.
He has been a dream for 10 years and fate/God brought him into our family in the last month.
He is the sweetest little boy in the land.
We hope that he will officially share our last name by Christmas.
I like this picture because he is totally filthy and my sister in law will freak that I showed it.
I can't wait to buy him an indoor sandbox and a loud drum set as revenge for loud gifts my kids have been given. 
He is my first nephew.   

 We always go camping for the opening day of deer season.
And Lily always finds her way quickly to a hammock.  

This is the first year my father in law came.
The man knows how to party.   

Josh has three brothers.
This is his younger brother - Jacob.
Currently single, just FYI :)

 This is Caleb and his Dad, Josh's older brother Ryan.

Caleb and his Mom, Jamie. 

No deer meat ended up in my freezer at this end of this trip, but fun was had by all.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

::shorties loosing their marbles::

 Max was looking over my shoulder at my Pintrest page.
He saw a pool noodle made into a toy car track and he has not stopped talking about it since.
We couldn't find a big enough pool noodle for cars, but they were just the right size for a marble race.
I cut it in half with a bread knife and managed to not cut off my hand :)
I used tooth picks to stick them together.
Duct tape held them down. 

 Oddly enough we happen to have an entire jar full of marbles.  

 Quinn was present in a purely observational mode. 

 The kids decided that they needed a marble maze, so out came the blocks.

See the fort built around the stove in the background?
Max lost a few marbles under the stove, so he came up with more blocks to protect it. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

::max vs Q::

 Here is Max at exactly the same age that Q is now.

And here is Mr Quinn

 Q supporting Harry's
Like his Mom and Dad did back in the day.

I titled this picture
:what the hell bro?::

Pure delish Quish


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