Monday, June 30, 2008

More farm happenings (from my prospective)

The farm is in full production these days. They are working 12-14 hour days every day of the week. Here are a few pictures I took this morning.



Yellow squash


In about 2 more weeks we will have vine ripes. And just in case your wondering, these tomatoes don't have Salmonella.


They get dumped into this big tub of water to be rinsed off before packing.

They get a second rinse off here as they are moved out of the tank and onto the conveyor belt, or maybe they are getting sprayed with wax to make them shiny. I'm not really sure. I'll have to get back to you on that one.

Here they are being sorted and counted and put into boxes. I think they put 52 cucumbers in each box.

Auntie Lisa took a quick break to see Tony.

Look at him sitting up all by himself.

I'm guessing they are packing squash later today. I passed about 5 or 6 trailers just like this one sitting in the shade by the barn.

They are making boxes here. That box machine causes Todd a lot of headaches and is responsible for many of his grumpy moods in the summer. It always breaks down at the most inconvenient times and they always call him to come and fix it.

They have a whole barn just for making boxes. Those are palates of boxes waiting to be glued together by the box machine. It saves them a quarter a box to put them together themselves instead of buying boxes already put together. Doesn't seem hardly worth it, but apparently it saves them many thousands of dollars each summer.

These are 4 of the 7 puppies that chase me everyday on my runs. Luckily they are harmless, but they are getting rather big, seems like they should be going to new homes by now.

Even though Todd works such long hours, it's nice to be close by because we see still him a few times a day, either he stops in for a few minutes or we pass him on the road when we go for walks or jogs.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Zoo, Animals and Road Trip

Yesterday Rachael, who is currently down to two kids while the other two are at Grandma's in NY, and I decided to take the kids to the zoo after church. For some crazy reason we decided to take my car, probably for the navigation system (which didn't help much, since we still managed to get lost) instead of her Durango which would have made for a much more comfortable ride allowing the 3 children to be spread out instead of squished into my backseat. Once we finally arrived Rachael's two kids were super cranky and Tony was cranky too because he missed his nap, but we pushed onward to the zoo hoping things would get better now that we were out of a cramped car and had food in our bellies (finding something to eat turned out to be a drawn out ordeal as well). Being lost AND hungry made me cranky too, I think Rachael was the only one not cranky, or at least she didn't show it if she was.

At the zoo, the animals were all hiding out napping in the shade. I guess it was just too hot a day to be up and around, even for the animals. Rachael and I both started thinking we should have just stayed home and either took naps or gone swimming. Tony wasn't too interested in the zoo either, but he stayed awake despite the fact that it was his nap time, and at every stop I got him out of the stroller and showed him the animals. We went into the little goat petting zoo and I let him pet the goat and he grabbed on tight to the fur and wouldn't let go. When the goat finally got away, Tony had a fist full of goat hair.
When we stopped at the river to feed the piggy fish with big open mouths that fight over the food when you throw it to them, Rachael half heatedly mentioned that she was thinking about getting the kids a little lap dog. I told her she was crazy, had too many animals already, and little dogs are much harder than big dogs to care for. She told me she wasn't really considering it, just sort of thinking about it.

Then this morning I got this picture emailed to me. So much for just thinking about it. I have to admit, she is so cute, half poodle half Chihuahua. I probably wouldn't be able to resist her either, except that I might find myself homeless. Let's just say Todd isn't as much a pushover as Rachael and Derrick are for a cute little irresistible puppy. I think they are going to name her Maribel and nickname her Bella. You can see more pictures of this cute little thing HERE on her blog.
Anyway, the whole point of this post was to mention that our little trip to the zoo, was just a little preview for both Rachael and I of what lies ahead for us in the next 2 weeks. She and I are taking a road trip with her 4 kids and my 1 to Oklahoma City to see our Grandma, Uncle, Aunt and nephew, and then to Muskogee, OK to see our Dad and his extended family. It will be a 10 day trip. The actual vacation is not what worries me, it's the getting there and getting back. It's a 13 hour trip not counting stops along the way. So for us, it will probably take at least 16 hours, because I'm sure we will be stopping frequently. The potential problem I see here is that Rachael has learned how to tune her kids out when they are bickering among themselves, and I can't do that so it will likely make me slightly irritable at times. Then there is Tony, who hasn't been on a road trip since he was a few weeks old when we went to NY to visit my mom and step dad. That wasn't exactly a merry trip, Tony wasn't happy about being in his car seat all day long, and there was a lot of crying and fussing. So I don't know how this trip will turn out, but I don't think either of us is looking forward to the drive. The trip however will be much fun, in OKC we are staying at a nice hotel with a pool and we went all out and got 2 rooms rather than craming into 1 and they are both poolside cabana rooms. I'm taking the baby monitor too so that while you know who is napping, I can sit by the pool. Ahh, it's going to be so nice to finally get some sun on my legs.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Is Anthony sleeping through the night at 6 months?

Anthony had his 6 month check up Monday. He took the shots like a champ, cried for a few minutes and then forgot about them. There are two pediatricians in the office we take him too. A man and a woman, this visit we saw the female doctor who seems to be stricter than the man doctor. I was a bit worried, because I knew she was going to ask me if he's sleeping through the night. When she saw him at his 2 month visit she said he should be sleeping through the night, so I knew she would not be happy to hear that he still wakes up not once but twice a night. But hey, at least he sleeps in his own bed, right? When I told her she said I am a lot more patient than she is and I should invest in some ear plugs and give this baby some tough love. I internally dismissed what she was saying, because I know that I can't listen to him cry, it gets me every time, the most I can let him cry is a few minutes. So yes I realize all of this is partially my fault, but it wasn't until she said that HE needs the uninterrupted sleep for growth and development that I decided to seriously try. Here is how it has been going.

Sunday night (before the doctor visit)

8:30 put to bed.

8:30-9:30 in and out of the room several times to put paci back in mouth until he finally falls asleep.

10:00 awake and crying again, Todd and I are trying to watch a movie (fools gold*) so I bring him down and let him sleep while I hold him. (because it's the easy thing to do)

11:00 sound asleep in my arms for the past hour, put him back to bed.

11:15 awake and crying, pick him up and hold him again, while we finish the movie.

11:30 put him to bed, he cries, we shut the door, ignore him and he falls asleep after a couple minutes. I go to sleep too.

1:30 baby awake, feed him and put him back to bed.

3:30 up again, give paci

4:30 up again, feed baby, back to bed.

5:30 I have to get up for work. (now I know why I am so tired, and Tony takes such good naps during the day)

Monday night (our first try at tough love)

8:30 put Tony to bed.

8:45 he starts crying, give paci and set timer for 15 minutes, watch The Bachelorette with the volume way up so I don't have to hear him crying.

8:54 sound asleep! Only 9 minutes, but it felt like forever.

He woke up again at 1:30 and 5:30 to eat and I gave in because I had to work in the morning and was too tired.

Last night

8:30 put Tony to bed and he starts crying right away. Set timer for 15 minutes and ignore crying.

8:45 still crying, send Todd up to console him. Todd gets him out of bed and brings him downstairs and says, "he doesn't want to go to sleep, he is so cute, don't make him do it." (I know we have no one to blame but ourselves for this problem we have created.) I take him back upstairs put him in bed and he starts crying again. Set timer for 15 minutes and within 6 minutes he is sound asleep.

10:30 pm, he wakes up, I decide to feed him since I am still awake and then make him sleep the rest of the night.

4:30 am, wakes up to eat, goes back to sleep until 8:50 am! Wow, what a treat for me.

I know it doesn't sound like much progress, but trust me 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep is huge.

In other baby news, he is perfect, alert, interactive and very happy. Still wont bear weight on his legs, but the doctor assured me that I do not need to be concerned, even though all his other baby friends that are younger than him can do it. (I know you shouldn't compare babies, but sometimes you can't help it).

He can sit up for a few seconds on his own before he topples over. So I went ahead and made the appointment for some professional pictures. We're going to take them at the beach, I can't wait to see how they turn out.

And in pool news...

We went to a friends pool at her condominiums this past Sunday and got yelled at by someone who lives there. She didn't think we lived there, which is a requirement to use the pool, I told her I had a pool pass (not technically lying, because my friend who does live there, gave me her pass to use). I think it may have helped me in my argument for my own pool. When we got home, I asked Todd, hypothetically, if we were to get a pool where would we put it? He entertained my question by going outside and saying where he thought it should go. Hypothetically of course since we're not actually getting one ;) Then we came inside, and while I was feeding Tony dinner, Todd was on the computer, I assumed looking at stocks like he usually does. But then he says, "we should get one like this." To my surprise he was looking at swimming pools, and the one he picked out was awesome, and way cooler than anything I would ever imagine asking for. It had a hot tub that was connected to the pool and overflowed into the pool over a rock wall. So of course we're still not getting a pool, but I definitely think he's warming up to the idea.

For those of you who wonder how I find time to blog, this is what we do sometimes after breakfast.

He watches Baby Einstein, while I blog. I can get about 20 minutes of computer time before he loses interest in the TV. Notice he has outgrown the bouncer seat, so I have to prop it up with a pillow.

*Fool's Gold was a big dissapointment. They filmed the movie in Australia, the same time we were there visiting in October 2006 and even in the same town we were at. We never spotted Matthew McConaughey, but he was around and in town when we were there. The scenery pictures are exactly from where we were, but in the movie they are not in Australia.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Meet the cows

This is Molly.Jane. Lucy. (Lucy is Jane's daughter)
They've had 3 female longhorns for a few years now. They have a pretty good life for cows. They have more than enought room to roam and grass and hay to eat. There are no intentions to butcher them for meat. They even got a new barn built for them this year. They used to just have a little red shack of a barn for selter, but it was only big enough for 2 cows at a time. Jane and Lucy would always stay inside and leave Molly out in the cold. A few years ago Molly got really sick (probably from being out in the cold with no shelter) and had to have the vet come and see her and tranquilize her in order to give her antibiotics, but she recovered thankfully. I was so mad at those white cows, I think they were prejudice against Molly.
Recently they bought a bull with hopes that they will have some baby longhorns. We don't know for sure, but we think all 3 of the females are pregnant. They stay pregnant for 9 months just like humans so who knows when and if they are having babies. I don't know how you'd give a cow a pregnancy test.
Mountain Jack (bull)These chickens are the newest addition to the farm. They are too little to lay eggs yet, but it wont be long. I think they have a pretty good set up here in this new barn built just for them and the cows. I know they have a lot more room to roam than the comercial chickens that lay the eggs for the stores. Can you see the cow on the other side of the fence? Olivia (my friends daughter) is throwing pieces of bread down to the chickens.
She was having so much fun, I called to have Katya and Ben come over. I thought they would enjoy seeing the chickens and cows too.

Even Tony wanted in on the fun.
Here they are feeding bread to the cows, they are quite tame. Here they all are up on the hay.
Ben was a little afraid to feed the cows, Katya however was not the least bit scared (not surprisingly) she was reaching in to grab the horns. That little red shack is the only shelter they used to have before the new cow barn was built.
Olivia was even a little shy about feeding them. Katya had to refrain from taking the bread out of Olivia's hand and feeding the cows herself.
I think Ben and Olivia were a little annoyed by Katya's fearlessness. Of course it probably had something to do with the fact that Katya kept saying "why are you so scared? It's NOT scary"

Mountain Jack is a little scary if you ask me. I wouldn't feed him.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Todd's first Father's Day

Todd's first father's day.
Fathers day went almost how I wanted it to go. Remember back when I told Todd all I wanted for mothers day was to sleep in? And he came back with "how can you celebrate being a mother by not being a mother?" So for the past month, I have been telling him for fathers day all he's getting is 24 hours of one on one daddy baby bonding time. Well sure enough I ended up picking up a night shift the Saturday before fathers day. After I agreed to work it, I thought maybe I shouldn't have, but then decided that working all night would ensure that Todd got his promised time with Tony.
Honestly, it's not like it's a bad thing to spend the day with your baby. How could you not love every minute of it? I'm not sure which one of them is happier here. Anthony loves giving hugs (and eating your face and pulling your hair at the same time. See the new slideshow on the sidebar of the blog for proof.)

I got a phone call at work around 11pm from Todd saying that I was not allowed to work night shift anymore. Apparently he was having a bit of difficulty getting Anthony to sleep. I was very sympathetic and offered several suggestions for getting him to sleep, but secretly I was a little bit happy, I mean after he deserved it for not letting me sleep in on mothers day. I also expected Anthony to wake up once or twice during the night, since that has been his usual routine lately. Even though I've been trying to break that habit, I was secretly hoping he would do it one last night before breaking the habit for good.

When I came home Sunday morning I was greeted at the door by Todd and Anthony, both seemed happy. I asked if he slept through the night, and Todd said "I don't know if he did or not, but I did". Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but I think it worked out for the best, because he slept through the night again on Sunday night. So maybe were making progress in the right direction. Or maybe that was just Anthony's father's day gift to his daddy, because last night he was up again twice!

After I got some sleep we went and had lunch with Todd's parents, and then for dinner we all went over to this girls parents house for some very yummy (as my sister Francie would say) Mexican food, with homemade salsa and guacamole (my favorite part). They also just happen to have a pool, so we packed our swim gear just in case, and I'm sure glad we did. They had the pool heated to 90 degrees. We were the only one's swimming, but we didn't mind. I used the opportunity to work on convincing Todd we need one of these at our house. I can usually talk him into most things I want (I hope I didn't jinx myself by saying that) it's just a matter of how long I have to ask/beg for something before he gets tired of all the asking/begging and he finally agrees. Although he is pretty adamant about us not having a pool, so I think it may take a lot longer than it did for the garage and the sprinkler system. Anthony LOVES the pool, so if I can't convince Todd in the next few years to let us have a pool, I may be recruiting Anthony to help me out, he may have more pull than I do, he just can't talk yet.

And look at Todd swimming in the deep end. He never learned how to swim as a kid, but since I've known him he has been practicing and getting better and better every year.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lazy Summer Days

I have to admit I have a pretty leisure life these days. Working 3 days a week leaves plenty of time to play. No time to clean or do laundry of course, but we make time for the important things in life. I think I may have just contradicted what I said in my last post, but I guess it just depends on the day, and today is a pretty leisure one. I'm optimistic that I will have many days like this one this summer.

This morning while I was putting laundry away (I had to pre-clean for the cleaning lady) I put Tony in the rocking chair. He was perfectly content to just sit and watch me.

He actually started to sit forward in the chair, I had to recline him so he wouldn't topple over. I think he will be sitting on his own very soon. As soon as he does I'm taking him in for some professional photos. He smiles easily right now, so it's a good time.

We went for a swim today after his nap. He has been 3 times this week already and each time he likes it more and more. The first two days he didn't cry, but didn't seem to be excited about it either. Today he was laughing and smiling. I'm glad he likes the water because I love getting out in the sun. I have 2 friends with pools and a cousin with a pool I can go to, so usually someone is home. We plan on spending lots of time there this summer. They say you can teach babies how to swim, I wish I knew how. I checked into swim lessons at the YMCA, but at this age all they do is water introduction classes, which is pretty much what I'm doing on my own for free.

He doesn't seem to care for the brightness of the sun too much. I think the heat and bright light makes him sleepy. Usually after he spends a half hour or so in the water he sits on my lap and falls asleep.

I love this picture. I think it's a framer.

Oh and as far as the sleep issue were having, I didn't follow through like I planned. The last 2 nights he woke up twice and I was too tired to listen to him cry, so I just fed him. So tonight is the night, I promise. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.