I’m all ears

Last week it was six months since the fires. Six months since my Dad died. I chose not to write anything about it or even mention it on social media. A couple friends did and I just read what they wrote and kept scrolling.

I’m not going to lie, but it’s been hard. This year hasn’t been very kind to my family. I wrote something for my work blog and don’t really want to rehash it here, but it needed to be wrote. If you care to read it, it’s located here.

I offered advice to my readers about family farming disputes, and I honestly think my advice can apply to about any situation regarding family. The last paragraph sums it up pretty well.

Communicate. Plan. Discuss. Avoiding the tough conversation of who “gets the farm or ranch” won’t solve anything. Everything comes at a price. An open, honest conversation costs nothing.

My mother recently told me I need to help her clean out the closet I used during my years at home. I made an excuse—where am I going to put it in my own house?—and haven’t broached the subject again. I really don’t want to go through that stuff. I know what’s there. One day when I’m really ambitious, I will sort through my stuff. Hopefully it’s sooner rather than later.

I also made the same comment to my two boys that we needed to sort through their toys and gift some of them to my friend’s little boy. You would have thought I suggested giving their “baby horse” or “blankley” to him. Not what I was suggesting to them at all, but somehow I got them energized enough to clean the playroom enough to get it organized. One of these days when it’s too cold to do much outside, I will send them with their Dad and I will sort and purge. Then get the box of toys to my friend.

The debacle with the playroom and toys seriously made me consider not buying any more toys for Christmas and birthdays. I do think the youngest is too young to appreciate doing “experiences” for gifts instead of physical toys that will just take up space and drive his mother crazy. But I’m considering tucking away part of the money spent on toys and creating a fund for experiences. Trips to the zoo or amusement park; a family vacation or trip somewhere out of state; even a train or plane ride.

I’m a crappy housekeeper, and the toys just seem to multiply. Same with the dirty socks, granola bar wrappers and stickers. It’s just hard to keep up. If you have thoughts or ideas about curbing the overabundance of toys in my house I’m all ears.

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My husband said I’m easily annoyed

On Nov. 1 I was sitting watching TV while the boys napped. Scrolling through Facebook most friends were sharing photos of their kids on Halloween. I had done the same. My ears perked when I heard jingle bells ringing on a commercial for some store. Seriously, I thought. Halloween was JUST yesterday.

Later in the evening we were watching a football game, and the same commercial I had watched earlier in the day was on, and I made the comment rather sarcastically, “And so it starts..” What starts? My husband asked. The barrage of Christmas commercials. “Oh you’re annoyed by everything,” he said. I rolled my eyes and shook my head at him.

But it’s true. Christmas commercials before Halloween annoy me. Christmas commercials after Halloween annoy me. Christmas commercials before thanksgiving annoy me. But yet, I’m planning my assault on buying Christmas gifts for the boys and family. I haven’t bought anything yet, but it’s always good to have a plan.

As a kid I don’t remember being barraged by Christmas. I do remember the excited girls who marked pages in the JC Penney and Sears catalogs with the items they wanted. I do remember participating and going to practice for the annual Christmas Eve program at church (I was always an angel). I do remember bundling up for the ride to Grandma and Grandpa Wetzel’s for a day of packages, food and fun on Christmas day. There was no telling what could happen when all my mom’s siblings got together for a day. I remember one impromptu snowball fight that ended up in wet clothes and a lot of laughter.

Now that I have kids of my own I try to make their Christmas experiences memorable. Last year we took Shaun around to look at the lights and he still asks if we could go drive through those neighborhoods in town to see the decorations. At the little country church we attend on Christmas Eve, members circle the church at the end of the service and hold candles while singing Silent Night. Last Sunday at church Shaun asked if we could blow out the candles again. I told him at Christmas time we will.

It’s really not about the packages or the commercialization of the holiday. The point of Christmas is to remember the real reason it is celebrated, and to spend time with friends and family.

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The aftermath of Christmas 2013 at our house.

 

My boys and their horses

At our house we have three mares. They are very similar to one another – two bays and a brown – all with not a noticeable amount of white on them. If you didn’t know the differences you would be hard pressed to figure out who was who.

There’s Kate, my husband’s old mare. I’m not even sure her age, but she’s a tad grumpy, fat as a hog and will remind me how hungry she is during evening feedings by bumping the gate if I don’t move fast enough. Then there’s my mare, Mare. I never really had a name for her and always just called her Mare, Sis or Sweet Pea. I’ve had her for a long time, and my heart jumps a beat whenever I can’t see her from the window. The youngest of the three, Baby, as my husband calls her, is just that. She’s a little wild, hasn’t been rode much and is full of it. I’d like to start riding her, but I’m scared..

Most every night oldest son and I will go feed the horses. He get’s rather upset if he can’t “help.” Recently he’s gotten better and wants to carry the buckets and dump feed. He still doesn’t realize how powerful the horses are and how they could hurt him. I have to remind him to get his head up and watch where he’s going.

Chance is nearly 8 months old and LOVES the horses. His eyes get big as saucers when he gets close to them. He gets all excited when he gets to sit on them. I adore his excitement when he’s sitting on the back of my old brown mare. She takes it all in stride as he’s screaming “riding” her and pulling on her mane.

The other day, on a night when I actually go to ride, Shaun wanted to ride too. I asked if he wanted to trot and he was confused. “Do you want to go faster?” I asked. I received an enthusiastic, “YES!” We had to video it to show his dad. I think he was pretty proud. I hope some day the boys will enjoy horses as much as I have.

Chance on the old brown mare.

Chance on the old brown mare.

A lot of firsts

A couple of months ago after returning from maternity leave, I was planning my travel schedule, and found that I would have to cover a cattlemen’s meeting in Colorado Springs during mid-June. Last year the same meeting was in Breckenridge, and I tried to get my husband to come with me. To no avail, he had to work. So this year, I worked a little harder on him (practically begged) to get him to take a “vacation” with me. Although I would have to work most of the time we were there, we still had some time to do a couple of fun things, and take Shaun on his first trip.

Our 3-year-old son had never been on vacation, but I didn’t tell him we were going anywhere until the day before we were going to leave. He’s the type of kid that if you tell him something we are going to do fun, he will obsess over it for days. I saved myself some of the agony and only let him wonder for a day. Once we were packed and in the car, only did we explain where we were going. We again saved the fun part – a cog train ride – until we stopped for lunch in Pueblo. That was our ticket for him to get quiet and take a nap. And it worked.

Another first was the hotel. Shaun was kind of confused why we left our suitcases in the room every time we left. He wanted to take his with us each time we left the room. I think it was because it had wheels on it. But eventually the suitcase turned into a mower and the closet became his trailer. (His dad has hauled the mower from the farm to our house a few times, and the kid is obsessed about pickups, tractors, mowers and trailers.) This kept him occupied for a while during the time I was at meetings I believe.

Shaun and his Dad also swam in the indoor pool. He’d had swimming lessons when he was about a year old, but Mom missed the deadline for his 2-year-old year so he didn’t get lessons last year. When I managed to go swim with them, Shaun was clingy and crying and not having much fun. I blame it on him being so tired. Guess we will have to work on that this summer.

Here’s a couple of photos from our trip.

Shaun's excitement could hardly be contained before the train ride.

Shaun’s excitement could hardly be contained before the train ride.

Shaun and his Dad at the Summit.

Shaun and his Dad at the Summit.

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One puke, two puke

Now that we have two kids under the age of 5, puke probably should not surprise me. The smell, however, always gets me.

Our oldest son will be three in about two weeks, and the poor kid has the worst gag reflex. He can cough too hard and puke. The youngest is closing in on three months old, and occasionally spits up but nothing too terribly bad. I really don’t know that I could handle a chronic spitter-upper or one with projectile vomit.

Yesterday the four of us ventured out to go buy a new toilet – and that could be a story of its own, but it was a pretty simple task – and then go to the farm and feed cows. All went well until we were headed back to the house. Shaun wanted a drink and we’d saved his take-out cup from the night before. He got his drink and handed it back to Dad. Then all hell broke loose. He started crying and by the look of terror in his eyes, I knew something was wrong. I pulled over immediately and was about to get out of the pickup to get him out of his seat. My husband asked him what was wrong and if he could breathe. He said no. A few more seconds went by and here comes the puke. Luckily we were very close to where my husband works and we got him cleaned up. The car seat, however, may never be the same. We washed the cover and Lysoled it best we could for the ride home. Today at lunch time, the inside of my pickup reeked, and that cover is going straight in the washer when I get home!

After washing nearly everything in the pickup that was covered with puke, I thought my laundry was done last night. Nope, Chance had to spit up practically everything he consumed at 5:30 this morning. No crying from him though. He was happily laying in the wetness watching his noisemaker in his crib when I went to check on him before going to work. If only the oldest was that easy-going!

I really don’t know what it is about puke that resonates in my nose. I’m tempted to get masks to keep in the pickup and in the house so I can put those on and ward off the offending odor. Of course, the boys might get scared of the masked lady trying to clean them up.. At least I won’t have to smell puke for the rest of the day!

At least he's cute, no matter how big a mess he can make.

At least he’s cute, no matter how big a mess he can make.

 

Happy Halloween

I have a slight addiction to Pinterest (hence my 34 boards with 2,292 pins). I love looking on there for ideas for upcoming birthdays, holidays, meals, gifts, etc. It can also give unfulfilled expectations, but can also help make life events pretty special.

My parents have been asking my son what he wanted to be for Halloween. At 2 and a half he hasn’t quite grasped the concept yet, but he knows what candy is. He stayed the weekend with his other grandma (his words, not mine) while we went to the Oklahoma State/TCU football game. When we picked him up she said he kept telling her he wanted to be a dragon for Halloween. So I cruised through Pinterest and found a dragon tail to sew and a picture showing spikes added to a hoodie for the top half of the costume. Seemed easy enough, so I made my supply list and headed out at lunch time a few days the week of Halloween to get what i needed.

First problem, shopping choices in this town are limited. Looking for a plain, solid colored hoodie was almost impossible. Thrift store had nothing, craft store the same outcome. Dollar store nada. So i was left with Wal-Mart. There I found a solid black zip up hoodie. It was fleece, and not really the color I wanted, but I had to make it work since Halloween was only a couple of days away. Plus my son already had black sweat pants to go with the tail and hoodie.

The tail sewed up rather easily and I had no qualms about the hoodie being difficult. Placing and pinning the spikes on the hoodie was a challenge, but I made it work. Not a perfectly sewn masterpiece, but I don’t think my 2-year-old is going to tell anyone. However, when I got to sewing the hood, I lost my patience. My machine wouldn’t sew and I was getting frustrated. Eventually I found I needed to adjust my thread tension and slow down. Not the prettiest thing, but it was finished.

My son was eating his supper when I finished the costume and while I was sewing he had repeatedly came in to check on me. When I finally came out of the office/sewing room carrying his costume he was ecstatic. If he could have jumped out of the high chair, I think he would have. He wanted to try on his costume immediately. I obliged and was pretty happy that he was as happy as it was. As much as I was frustrated, it melted away when he asked, “Is that my dragon costume? I like it!!”

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The cowboy and the dragon ready to trick or treat.

The cowboy and the dragon ready to trick or treat.

A whole month?

Has it really been an entire month since I blogged last? There’s no excuse. Well, there is a couple – I have been busy, it snowed and I’ve traveled.

Here’s some photos of my adventures.

This guy and I spent about 5 days in the house when we got snow not once, but twice from Feb. 21 to 25.

This guy and I spent about 5 days in the house when we got snow not once, but twice from Feb. 21 to 25.

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Wizarding World of Harry Potter was our stop after a BASF media event at Universal Studios.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter was our stop after a BASF media event at Universal Studios.

Kashe decided to take his own adventure from Feb. 3 to 12. Luckily he came home.

Kashe decided to take his own adventure from Feb. 3 to 12. Luckily he came home.

Happy blog anniversary!

Yee haw! I’ve made it through a whole year blogging and didn’t scrap the idea after the first month or six months. Here we are at 78 posts, and when I was thinking about what to write about I went back to the beginning and re-read some of my posts. Ironic enough my second post was about the howling wind, and you know what, the wind is again howling outside my window! Some things never change.

A lot has happened in the past year. Some bad, others good and some fun in between. I’m not much of a resolution maker, but I try to improve myself each year and not digress into the bad habits I have already accumulated. Easier said than done at times.

Thanks to everyone for reading, and I hope you continue to do so. Here’s to another year blogging!

A beautiful Friday morning sunrise.

A beautiful Friday morning sunrise.

Why is it when…

Why is it when a girl in high school gets a serious boyfriend, people always ask, “Are you going to wear his class ring?

Why is it when a girl has a serious boyfriend in high school they are expected to go to prom together?

Why is it when that first serious boyfriend breaks a girl’s heart it takes a while to recover?

Why is it when people date for long periods of time, the most often question asked is, “when are you going to get married?”

Why is it when couple dates for a long time, and moves in together, why do people ask, “when are you going to get married?”

Why is it when said couple lives together for seven years and decides to get married, the comment most often heard is, “It’s about damned time!” or “We had given up on you getting married!”

Why is it when said couple finally ties the knot, and they are getting comfortable being a married couple, the most common question is, “When are you going to have kids?”

Why is it when the said couple has finally fended off the kids question, they surprise everyone with something?

Now that the surprise is here and said couple is enjoying a family of three, the most often question asked is, “Doesn’t he need a sister to play with?

Why do people ask such questions!?!? No! He doesn’t need a sibling. Mom has enough trouble keeping up!

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