Thursday, February 20, 2014

Watching and Waiting

Today is Baby #2's due date. I'm not one to get stressed out by being "overdue" so really it's just another day. I'm just in a pattern of resting and waiting this week. I got all my pre-baby todo lists done, the hospital bags are packed and ready, and we have people lined up to help with Ava and our little farm while I'm in labor. 

I think the only thing that is getting to me right now is the unknown of timing. For example, should I plan out another week of meals and go grocery shopping or just take it one day at a time? Little problems really, but to preggo hormones they seem like big issues. 

The other timing issue on my mind is with our doula; we didn't secure our spot with her early enough to claim her usual buffer around our due date and so she has another client who was due this past weekend and still hasn't gone into labor yet! I'm not overly worried about not having Bonny there when I'm in labor but I am getting a little antsy for her other gal to just have the baby already! The unknown is a bit of a bugger. 

The end of this pregnancy has brought up some really unexpected emotions for me. I'm really excited to have a newborn again, but right along with that emotion is a deep feeling of loss as I think about my time of just Ava and me coming to an end. I think Ava is sensing that a bit too as she's been exceptionally clingy this week and is nursing all the time all of a sudden. I'm just soaking in the cuddles and nursing sessions knowing that these quiet times of just us are almost done. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sometimes life changes the stories you wanted to tell

So five days in I bailed on 31 Days of Stories. Why? Well when the toddler decides to make every. single. bedtime. an epic battle, there is just not much energy left for storytelling. I'm also still striving to improve at living wholly this year and blogging just became another thing keeping me from that for a while.

So I keep plugging along, good days and bad, keeping things afloat here on our little mini homestead. These days it's mostly de-icing waterers and refilling feeders, although there are still some apples and brussels sprouts from the garden that I need to get into the freezer.

We had a totally out of the ordinary day on Thursday, however, when our goat Selah had her kids! Ben was able to get home from work to take care of Ava and I hung out in the barn with Selah as a full time goat midwife for several hours. She ended up having boy/girl twins and the births were textbook: perfect for a first time goat midwife! I've got to say... baby goats are quite possibly one of the cutest things on earth. The only hard part now is making sure not to get too attached to the little boy since he will be for sale next spring. The girl we will keep to raise up to be a milker though, so I've been brainstorming cute names for her!

Mere minutes after birth: left is the boy, right is the girl.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

31 Days of Stories: When Bedtime Takes Forever

Tonight, Ava wore herself down by running and jumping on her beanbag chair. She finally got tired and we headed upstairs to start our bedtime routine. Overnight diaper, pjs, a little goofing with Daddy, all the stuffed animals, the blankie, and finally laying down with Mama for nursing and sleeping.

It started well.

Then she got a second wind.

"What's that, honey? Mama, what's that? I rub your back Mama?"

Well, I wasn't going to object to that one. She happily rubbed my back for 10 seconds, lost interest, and started bouncing. She stopped, rubbed my back again, petted my hair, and flopped back down. The next thing I knew I hear,

"Hold on Teddy!"

She put Teddy on her back and went on all fours like she was giving a horsey back ride to Teddy the way Daddy does for her. Teddy fell off and Ava fell over giggling. There's not much point getting frustrated when she's being this cute.

"DADDY!! Where are you?!"

"Honey, Daddy is downstairs."

"Ah go downstairs?"

"No, it's bedtime right now. Time to sleep."

Instant tears. She slid off my bed and sadly stood by the bedroom door yelling for Daddy. A quick distraction with the "buffalo game" (an animal sounds app on my phone) got her back into bed and starting to act sleepy again. She clicked through all her favorite animals on the app, and then handed me the phone.

"Mama, NUM!"

Finally! I laid down next to her again, and she cuddled in. Within five minutes there was nothing but the sound of slowed breathing, and within ten minutes I was able to sneak downstairs leaving a peacefully sleeping toddler behind me.

Friday, October 4, 2013

31 Days of Stories: This Second Pregnancy

We started trying for a second baby very soon after Ava was born. We thought we were ready for another then, but thankfully God knew better. This next baby is due in late February, so our kids will be exactly 2 years apart and I am so excited about that spacing.

The crazy thing about this second pregnancy is that I'm so busy keeping up with Ava and our household that I don't have as much time to dwell on the time passing as I did with my first pregnancy. As a result time is flying by; I can't quite believe that I am already 20 weeks along! Sometimes it won't be on my mind and the baby will turn or kick and I think "WHOA what was that?! Oh yeah, there's a baby in there."

This pregnancy has been SO very different from my first. I'm not sure if the differences are brought about by my more active lifestyle these days, better nutrition, or as everyone keeps telling me, maybe it's a boy this time. Regardless of why, this has been a breeze of a pregnancy so far. I have not thrown up at all, which was a huge improvement over the at least once a day puking that I dealt with when I was pregnant with Ava. My energy levels have been better too, and I haven't been as much of a zombie as I was when I was pregnant before.

This is going to sound weird, but with this pregnancy I am actually really excited about labor. With Ava I didn't know what to expect, and labor was rough. This time, I know what it will be like and I am confident that it will at least be shorter than 36 hours! I've also been watching some birth videos and have gleaned some new pointers on keeping everything relaxed during labor that I think will be key for me to power through this time. I'm feeling very empowered this time and I'm excited to get to experience a labor again.

One silly difference this time is that I'm feeling really angsty about names. With Ava, we had names picked out before I was even pregnant so for the whole pregnancy I knew what the options were going to be. This time? We have a girl name picked out (and one for a third daughter if we ever get there!) but as for a boy name..... nothing. I didn't think it would be that big of a deal to choose a name, but man. I guess Ben and I are very picky about boy names.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

31 Days of Stories: A New Coat and Shoes

I got home and started sorting through my Mom2Mom sale loot. Ava came over to see what I had and I asked if she would like to try on her new coat. She gasped with excitement.

"Coat on mama!"

Then she saw the shoes...

"Mama shoes on please?!"

After I had obliged on both counts, Ava proudly tromped into the kitchen, twirled a bit and ran back to me. 

"Mama! All ready for snow!"

I don't know where she gets these things! Hopefully she won't have to wait too long this winter for snow. In the meantime, she'll be cheerfully running around the house in a winter coat yelling to the world that she is ready for snow. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

31 Days of Stories: Toby

Toby was our first dog. He is a large black lab mix of some sort: a lot of people have guessed he is part Great Dane due to his long legs, but his face almost seems setter like sometimes. Regardless of the breed, he's big and kind of dumb, let's be honest. Despite that, he is a very lovey dog... in a desperately needy way.

We adopted Toby from the local humane society when he was 7 months old. He had been picked up off the streets at 4 months old, and so had been at the shelter for almost half of his short life. I remember seeing him for the first time there: he just sat quietly and looked at us with those big brown eyes, and we knew we couldn't leave him there. 

Toby is one of those dogs that probably should have been an "only child." He gets along great with our other dogs and Ava, but his attention needs are He has gone through many phases of panic attacks, severe separation anxiety, and weird OCD habits over the years. His obsessive licking and nail biting seem to be triggered by allergies, but figuring out a dog's allergy? Good luck! 

Despite (or maybe because of?) all his strange quirks, he still is our sweet first puppy. I often have to remind myself of this when he is having yet another panic attack or is desperately begging for all my attention all the time! 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

31 Days of Stories: Escape Goats

Last year I considered doing a 31 Days series, but never quite found the motivation to do it. This year I have decided to do 31 Days of stories: stories of memories, Ava, our mini-farm, our animals, family... Whatever "the muse" dictates.

Today is one I've been meaning to blog for a while now: the story of our first few days with our (escape)goats. 

We brought our goats home on a Saturday to their lovely new stall in our log barn and its attached pen made from reclaimed pallets. Little did we know that our pen was not goat proof. On Sunday I was home by myself with Ava and since she was being horribly stubborn about napping, we went down to the living room and I turned on some cartoons so that I could have a short break. As I sat down on the couch to check Facebook, I looked out the window and saw our new goats happily trotting down our neighbor's driveway! I grabbed a huge handful of treats to lure them to me and ran outside. I wound up following them across the road and through three backyards before I managed to head them off and snag Leia's collar. Unfortunately Chewy didn't have a collar yet, so I had to carry a 40 lb goat while dragging another all the way back to our house. 

Later as we discussed how they could have gotten out, we realized that Chewy was just small enough to fit through a gap in a pallet so we added chicken wire around the outside of the fence and figured we must be goat proof now. The next morning however, I found Leia out in our corn patch happily munching away. I locked the goats in their stall and headed out for more chicken wire. Once we had installed an upper level of chicken wire, I figured my worries were over: Chewy could no longer go through the fence and Leia couldn't go over it. 

On Tuesday my family stopped by to see the goats and we all headed back to the barn. As we got close though we saw Leia ON THE ROOF. Apparently the old picnic table we had given them to play on was close enough that she decided to hop onto the roof of the barn to escape. After more bribing with treats she eventually fell/jumped off the roof and we moved on to what she really wanted: getting milked. Thankfully now that the picnic table is in a better location there have been no more escape attempts, and my anxiety about escape goats is no more.