When You Give a Toddler a Kitten

When you give a toddler a kitten, cuteness abounds. Even if you feel a little sorry for said kitten because she is definitely taking a fair amount of abuse all for the sake of teaching a small child how to treat her.

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“Here kitty, kitty, kitty…”

The sweet savor of victory! Even if Luxe resorts to pulling them out by one leg…or their throat. Whatever works!

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This is the girls’ little female kitten. Her name is Pippa.

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It appears that Pippa’s attempts to run at this point are futile. You shoulda’ tried that beFORE she caught you, honey.

And then there were two! Pounce is Pippa’s brother. He’s a glutton for punishment. He comes running anytime anyone comes outside. You would think he’d go running as soon as he saw who it was outside, but no… He’s obviously starving for love no matter what he has to endure to get it.

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I think Luxe has figured out that she can basically paralyze him with this style of choke-hold. I’ll be submitting this to Webster’s Dictionary when they need a visual representation of the word “mischievous. Pounce says, “Haaaaalllppp!!!” and Pippa’s look clearly says, “I hate my life.”

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But, just look at that little face. Such love and glee.

Thank you, Pounce and Pippa, for being so patient with a baby. Certain animals just seem to know.

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All in a Week’s Time

Taegan was home on Spring Break all last week and we always try to do some fun things when she has a little time away from school. Fortunately, she had several cousins staying right up the road at my mother-in-law’s, so that made it even more fun. We started off Monday with a nature scavenger hunt after the farmer finished feeding hay. I took these photos with my phone.

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We enjoyed it. They enjoyed it. And a good time was had by all.

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Also during this week, we jumped in full throttle with potty training Luxe. It wasn’t going well.

Me: Luxe, where do we go pee and poop?

Luxe: In the toe-wet.

Me: So, why aren’t you going in the toilet?

Luxe: ‘Cuz I don’t want to.

I was in need of some reinforcements and the timing of spring break couldn’t have been better. I suggested to Taegan that she might be just the right person for this job and she squinted her little eyes and gave me a look that said, “What are you trying to pull?”

Mind you, this is the child that consistently says she’s never having kids “because they’re too much work.” Astute and accurate observation. I’ll make sure I tell her that she better feel really fortunate that I was not as sharp as she is at 24…otherwise she wouldn’t be here. And then I did it again.

And again.

But back to my story, I decided a different tactic would surely work to get Taegan to give potty training Luxe a shot. She’s competitive by nature, so I said, “I bet you could do this way better than me.” She took the bait. Show Mommy up? I’ll play. She asked Luxe if she needed to go on the toilet. Luxe, of course, followed her back there and I sat her on her potty seat on the big toilet. We don’t use the little one…because she can get off it.

So, Taegan’s in there reading a book and I hear Taegan ask Luxe, “Do you want me to hide?” Luxe says, “Yeah.” Taegan opens up the cabinet door and gets behind it and what.do.you.know….Luxe goes potty!!! I’m whooping and hollering; Luxe is grinning from ear to ear; and I’m pretty sure a person couldn’t have wiped the proud smile off of Taegan’s face for the next couple hours. Because Luxe did it again and again for Taegan. To the point Taegan started referring to it as “working her magic.” She’d call from the bathroom with Luxe and say, “Mommy, I worked my magic again!” Luxe obviously thrives on pleasing her sister. Now, she’s going like a champ for all of us. We’ve had a few accidents since Thursday when we started, but many, many more successes.

So, thank you, Taegan. I gladly bow down to your potty training prowess. 🙂

Meanwhile, Luxe continues to work on mastering the very necessary skill of drinking out of the hose.

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You can’t be a farmgirl and not get this down.

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Then, on Friday, we decided to take the girls–namely Taegan–to chick day at the local feed store. I don’t like chickens. I’ve made that very clear in past posts, but chicks are cute and I thought I might be able to work a little photography around them in spring photos with the girls. Taegan is the farm animal lover. We would have everything if it were up to her. Chickens, bunnies, cows, horses, ducks, goats, sheep, pigs–you name it, we would have it.

 

I’m also the type of mother that has a hard time saying no to things that teach responsibility. Taegan is a very practical, responsible realist.She’s never really been into playing pretend or fairy tales. If she plays, it usually has a real-life component to it and she tends to  give things a long, hard think before she commits her time. And she really wanted some chickens. And she told me she would take care of them and gather all the eggs when they started laying.

Works great for me because I do like eggs.

So, here we are at the feed store with a box.

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This chick is ready for her chicks…even down to knowing what kind she wants. Yeah, we had to have all that figured out, too. We looked up every breed they had available and picked out our favorites. The farmer asked me, “Now, are the ones we’re getting good layers?”

My reply: “Oh, we don’t care about that. We’re going purely based on looks.”

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Here’s the whole fam.

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Luxe can’t figure out why Taegan’s so happy, what we’re doing here, and why there’s all this incessant chirping.

So, we get up to the chicks and they.are.cute!!

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They had ducklings, too! I’m getting some after researching why I would want them. Has anyone ever had duck eggs? I read that they’re more nutritious, better tasting, better for baking, and that ducks lay year round–never really going through a rest time. I also read that ducks are excellent pest controllers (bugs, ticks, grasshoppers, etc), won’t dig up your yard and gardens like a chicken will, and will even kill small snakes if given an opportunity. Sign me up!!! Sounds like the best pet ever!

Seriously, I’m totally getting some ducks.

We told the man what chicks we wanted. He placed them in the box. We paid for them. And now we are the proud owners of some pretty cute little chicks.

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If you ask Taegan, she will accurately tell you exactly which breeds are which, but we’ve got 2 Welsummers, 2 Barred Rock, and 2 Silver Laced Wyandottes.

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And one happy little chicken-loving farm girl.

She puts her shoes on every 20 minutes, opens the front door, and says, “I’m going to check my chicks. You gotta be fast if you wanna’ catch those Welsummers! I just have to swoop in cuz they run!” I think she’s holding a Silver Laced Wyandotte here.

It was an eventful, productive spring break. I miss Taegan when she’s gone. She creates so much material for my creative processes.

October Update/Ramblings of an Insane Pregnant Woman

1. As much as I hate it, my blog has had to take the backseat lately and my camera has sat in its case far too long. With work, pregnancy, school stuff, and motherhood/wifedom in general, I live in a state of perpetual chaos that I honestly haven’t figured out how to juggle gracefully yet. Add to it the impending extra child and I fake sob maniacally just to get myself to laugh. I think we have officially crossed over into crazy town. A tranquilizer dart may be in order.

A few weeks ago, I had a dream in which my cousin asked me to do her a favor and make the church loaf on Sunday. I walked out of the church house sobbing. Then, I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep. By the way I reacted, you would have thought it was a nightmare.

The next night, I dreamt that Taegan and I were going to miss a flight we had to be on, yet we didn’t have a car to get us to the airport. Have no fear, though, we could run as fast as cars, so here we are on Highway 60 running alongside a semi like it’s no thing. But, in my head, I knew we still weren’t going to make it.

Dreams reflect the subconscious and mine has been totes cray cray lately.

2. The farmer has been milking, feeding, cutting, baling, milking, cutting, baling, feeding into infinity and this week started planting. Mo’ cows, mo’ work. Inevitably, this means that the tasks that require some brawn or carpentry skill around here have had to take the backburner. I’m trying to be patient, but the pregnancy compulsion to nest takes over sometimes because there’s no nursery to “nest.”

3. I don’t have a single item of the baby bedding I designed done. “Yay, look at me! I’m going to learn how to sew, design and make all of my nursery stuff, and achieve world peace!” Why, why, WHY didn’t I just go buy something? I enjoy the time spent with my mom immensely (she’s helping me make it), but somebody honestly should have slapped me when the idea popped into my head. Taegan’s room was done before I hit the third trimester.

4. I still have to paint the dresser, too.

7. Get the crib out of storage and clean it.

6. Get the dog fixed.

7. Do most of my Christmas shopping because everybody knows that’s not going to happen when you have a newborn at the end of November.

10. Decorate for Christmas? I say BAH HUMBUG to that.

9. Prepare for the fall festival at Taegan’s school.

43. Organize the pantry.

2. Go to the doctor every whipstitch.

-5. Maybe buy a diaper or two.

Quince. Get all of Taegan’s outgrown clothes stored away.

Pickle. Get the carseat in my car.

9. Get all my photo albums up to date.

17. Say hi to my husband.

You know… everything and nothing that has anything to do with having a baby MUST be done YESTERDAY!

20. I need a vacation from myself.

2. I’m hungry.

21. The farmer built me some bookshelves for Taegan’s room. I found how to make them on Pinterest and he took it from there. They’re super cute and so easy. Easy to make and easy organizers because there’s no order or organization for the books. You just throw them in there and you’re done. It makes it a lot easier for Taegan to clean up her own messes, too, and I’d be crazy not to LOVE that.

 

 

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22. Taegan’s been cooking, which is one of her favorite things to do.

 

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She’s also been cracking us up with her maturing wit lately. She told us she got put in time-out at preschool last week. When I asked her what she did, her reply was, “That’s… a long story.”

The farmer took over after that while I stepped around the corner and listened trying not to bust out laughing:

Farmer: Well, I guess I’ll just have to ask your teacher.

Taegan: You never pick me up.

Farmer: Oh, that doesn’t matter; I can call anytime.

Taegan: You don’t know her number.

Farmer: Taegan, I have the school number. I can call up there anytime.

Taegan: (Looks skeptical as to the likelihood of that happening)

Farmer: So, tell me, did you like getting put in time-out?

Taegan: Well, I didn’t cry! (4 year olds and sarcasm…gotta love it.)

Farmer: (Getting a little heated) Well, what does make you cry??

Taegan: (Knowing she’s approaching dangerous territory) *crickets due to wheels quickly turning* “…Bleeding.”

With that response, the farmer was having trouble maintaining the firm look on his face and I was shaking. Making our daughter bleed is not part of our disciplinary repertoire in this house and, clearly, she knows that.

There was once a time before I had a child when I worried that being a stay-at-home mom was not going to be mentally challenging/stimulating enough…

There’s another story I wanted to share. It happened right before Taegan started school. The farmer had gotten out of the shower, so he shut our bedroom door, locking it because anyone with little ones knows that anytime a door shuts, it sounds an alarm to them wherever they might be in the house. They come running. Shut doors are NOT ok. I was in the bedroom folding and putting away clothes and she was watching cartoons. No biggie, right? Wrong. Door shuts. The sound of little feet running and she’s standing outside the door obnoxiously knocking, saying, “I want in!” (BAM, BAM, BAM) “Let me in!” (Fingers wiggling under the door) “Why does Mommy get to be in there?” (BAM, BAM, BAM)

Finally, a small, pleading voice says, “I want to join the herd!”

We about died. By that time, the farmer was dressed and opened the door and she skipped in with a successful grin on her face.

So cute I can’t even stand it.

23. I think this picture was taken by the farmer last spring. He put it on Facebook and titled it, “Tools in back pocket=farm girl.”

 

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Nothing has changed. Currently, a trip to Lowes still makes this girl’s day. I call this “Tools and Tutus.”

 

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Do you think Daddy bought these for her?

Um…yeah.

24. Taegan celebrated Grandparents Day at school with her two lovely grandmas.

 

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I absolutely love this picture.

25. Then, about 2 1/2 weeks ago, Taegan came down with the worst cold I think I’ve ever seen. It came with a high fever and lots of sleeping. Neither I nor the farmer came out unscathed. It took the whole family down for a bit, but we’re good now. The only time my daughter isn’t daddy’s girl all the way is when she’s sick. It’s when she’s not feeling well that only Mommy will do. So I rocked and I rocked knowing that the odds were very good I was going to get what she had, but she’s growing up so fast. If Mommy rocking comforts her, then Mommy rocks. Come what may.

I also allow this when she’s sick.

 

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Our bed. To Taegan, there’s nothing better than getting to sleep in our room. The farmer had to sleep in her room. And, trust me, this was no hardship for him. He didn’t want within 10 feet of us. Something about having to run a dairy or some such. No sick pay and no substitutes or what not. The poor guy got it, anyway, and had it the longest. It’s hard to take care of yourself and rest when you’re a farmer.

26. One morning, a few weeks back, I was working on the computer when I heard Taegan open the front door and go, “Whaaaaaat??”

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Taegan was headed outside to the barn, opened the door, and there stands Triumph. Just hangin’ out on the porch. Waiting. I’m pretty sure this calf thinks she is Taegan’s loyal dog.

Well, cattle on the porch was kinda’ the last straw for the farmer, so she joined some friends on a place we rent…where she can be well-socialized…where she can find herself…where she will grow into a balanced, well-rounded cow.

(Read more about Triumph here: http://wp.me/p1lzEK-qS and http://wp.me/p1lzEK-qS

27. I’m 32 weeks pregnant right now. Here’s a selfie from last week.

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This pregnancy has been as different as I’m sure my two daughters’ personalities will be. With Taegan, I gained 45 pounds, had flawless skin, back fat, horrible all day sickness, major swelling, joint pain, and an overall sense of peace and calm. (It’s called naivete.)

With this pregnancy, the sickness was very tolerable for the most part and I’ve been a string bean other than the little basketball that continues to grow. My fingers have swelled slightly and I can’t wear my wedding ring, but I’ve only gained 18 pounds. No back fat, no sciatica (unless I wake up on my back), no joint pain, and a sometimes overwhelming amount of anxiety paired with a roller coaster ride of happy-sad-happy-sad. Some days, the farmer only has to look at me or not look at me and the tears start falling. I don’t know who the woman residing in my body is right now, but I need her to leave. Fast. Oh, and my face possibly looks worse than it did in high school.

Bless my husband’s heart…he never knows who he’s going to walk in the door and find. He’s rolled with it very gracefully.

28. We celebrated my mother-in-law’s birthday over the weekend. She a twin and that’s her on your left.

 

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I should have had them stand this exact same way and do a current version of this picture!

 

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Everyone got together and had a really good time visiting around a fire, roasting marshmallows, and listening to our children play and laugh.

And that’s pretty much what we’ve been up to lately.

Ta-ta for now!

Breauna