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.

Me and My Guy

Our trip to Florida was wonderful! We couldn’t have asked for better. The girls were little peaches! Minimal amounts of whining/yelling during our drive and both of them slept all night, every night. It was the first time we had gone on vacation as a family and we’re so grateful for the memories we came back with.

There will be a couple posts about our trip, but this one’s just about me and my guy.

Here he is. Smolder-smile and all. The best part? He has no idea how charming he is.Especially when he’s got 2 adorable girls in each hand.

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And let me just preface the next round of pictures with this–we I am not great at being photographed in displays of public affection. Especially when it’s my mom behind the camera. To be honest, I couldn’t feel cheesier. BUT, these pictures did turn out pretty cute…
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This photo is symbolic for me. Funny story…Leslee was vehemently against taking a photo like this. Again, the cheese factor…but when I started going through all of them once we got back, it inspired reflection. It takes me back to 12 years ago when I stood at the altar about to embark on a whole new journey. I was willing to walk away with him into deep waters because I knew there was no one else on earth I’d rather embrace uncertainty  with than him. And the same still goes for today.

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Let the awkwardness commence…Must I stand so close to this guy??!

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I guess he’s alright. One thing that people might not know about my husband until they’ve been around him a lot is that he’s incredibly funny. I’ll admit, when I met the guy, I was drawn to him because he has a broody, kind of mysterious exterior. I liked it. So, to find out there was a goofball with a heart of gold underneath sealed the deal. I was a goner. He says I bring out the goof.

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But, it’s obvious that we feed off each other. One of my favorite things about us is how much we laugh. At ourselves, at each other, and at common things that we decide to make funny for our own entertainment. You have to. Life gets heavy if you can’t laugh with someone special.

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Parenting–some more deep water, but we’re trusting the good Father for guidance on this part of our journey. And enjoying the laughs along the way, as well.

Me and my guy…

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by the ocean feeling small and embracing uncertainty. The vastness has a way of doing that to a person. However, the sea is full of rejuvenation and empowerment, as well. It’s an amazing place to press “reset” and remind ourselves that we are part of something so much bigger than us. A place to witness something beautiful for our enjoyment and for His glory.  A place to remember that He’s got this–whatever IT is–…and He’s got us.

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Better Late than Never: Luxe’s Birth Story

Whew! It’s been a long while since I’ve been on here. There’s a new little member of our family that’s been taking up all the time I used to have.

Today, I thought I would get on here and document the story of her entrance into the world.

Disclaimer: It’s very possible that I might give too much information. I never know where I’m going to go with things until I get there.

It all began on a sunny, beautiful day in December. I was 3 days overdue at this point. Here I am on my due date. Ready to be done was an understatement.

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I took Taegan to school, came back home, and waited for the farmer to get done with his chores so we could run into town for a few things. I baked Lemon Sugar Cookies. (When the farmer walked into the house, he looked at me sideways. He told me later that afternoon that he knew right then.) I remember as we hopped into the car saying, “Boy, it sure would be a great day to have a baby!” Not like, “Boy, it sure would be a great day for a picnic!” More like, “Boy, it sure would be great if you’d GET OUTTA THERE!”

It’s funny how vividly I remember this day. I talked to the farmer almost the whole way about a show called Man vs. Lion that I had watched and all the interesting tidbits and trivia I had learned. He was spellbound.

We ran our errands and went to lunch at our favorite little Chinese place. (Chinese was my absolute favorite thing when I was pregnant with Luxe. Chinese and Starburst. It was pancakes with Taegan. Pancakes and brownies. ) We were on our way back home when I had a very sudden, pretty intense pain. It crept up, peaked, and then ebbed off. I had experienced Braxton-Hicks from about week 23 with this pregnancy, so I had a little trouble believing that what I had just experienced was, in fact, the real thing. Until about 11 minutes later.

Still having some doubts, so I didn’t say anything. The farmer was already on high-alert and I didn’t want to send him into a panic needlessly.

Well, it happened again. Getting weird, so I said, “Um, you might keep your phone handy when you’re out feeding.”

Farmer: “Do we need to go now?”

Me: “I don’t think so. They’re kind of sporadic and I’m just not sure yet if I’m actually in labor.”

Farmer: “Well, how many have you had already??!!”

Me: “Three. I’ll keep timing them.”

The farmer had only been outside for about 30 minutes before I was calling him. It was time to go. When the pain started stopping me in my tracks, I knew that it was about to get real. I had my bag and was waiting at the door when he walked in.

We have a 1/4-mile of dirt road that leads to our house. It has potholes and rocks. Oh, that was not fun. I had my first bad contraction at the end and had to have him stop the car to get through it.

That’s when we both started to get really worried.

On a normal day, it takes us about an hour and 20 minutes to get to the hospital. There was a good possibility I might not make it. I didn’t want to be tomorrow’s headline:

LOCAL DAIRY FARMER DELIVERS HIS OWN BABY ON HIGHWAY 60

Could he have done it? Probably. Did I want him to? Absolutely not.

The farmer shaved about 25 minutes off and we arrived at the hospital. At this point, I had reached contractions timing 3-5 minutes. He dropped me off at the hospital entrance, but couldn’t leave the car parked there.

So, he raced off to find a parking spot while I made my way to the elevators. The way the hospital is set up is not good at all for a woman in labor. You have to walk. A lot. I stood there waiting for the elevator and walked on thankful that no one else was in it with me. I was in a lot of pain. I grabbed the railing on the way up to the 5th floor and crouched down. It was too hard to stand.

Once I reached the 5th floor, I had to walk a good distance to admit myself. It took me forever because I had to stop, grit my teeth, and gasp. I guess I was doing a pretty good job of hiding my condition, though, because nobody ever stopped to ask me if I was ok. I found out at the admittance desk that you must get a little callous when you work in labor and delivery.

They started handing me sheet after sheet of papers to sign. Meanwhile, I’m standing there white-knuckling the counter wondering where my husband is. Will he be able to find me? I want to push! I can’t sign this! Quit asking me questions! I can’t speak! Don’t push, Breauna! Finally, she handed me what seemed like the 25th document to sign and I said, “I can’t sign it. I can’t write. I’m hurting.Really. Bad.” I think she sensed the shooting daggers coming out of my eyes.Finally, she got on the phone and I heard her tell the person she was talking to to get a room ready and based on how I was appearing, she guessed I was at a 5 or 6. Guess again, lady!! I was at an 8! (And yet, I still had to walk to that room).

Meanwhile, my husband has finally found a parking spot and is sprinting into and through the hospital. I was in the bathroom supposed to be changing into my gown when I heard his voice in the room. Relief washed over me, but it didn’t make the pain subside. I couldn’t get my clothes off. There was no way this gown was going on. But, all of a sudden, I got stubborn and didn’t want assistance, either. I really just wanted to be alone. In the bathroom. In denial. It would have helped if I could have stood, but I had crouched again and couldn’t get up. The nurse kept knocking on the door saying, “Are you okay, honey?” Through gritted teeth, “Yes!” Nope, not okay, but I don’t want you in here. Leave me alone! About 30 seconds later, my husband, “Babe, you need help?”

“Nope!”

Sorry, honey, I love you, but I don’t want you, either.

A few seconds later, the nurse is at the door. “You’re not pushing, are you?”

There’s a point when your body takes over and the need to push overrides your will. I had reached that point. But, I lied.

Apparently, she was unconvinced because the door opened and here she comes with the farmer. They pick me up by both arms out of my crouched position and she skillfully managed to get the gown on me while I remained totally belligerent.

“You are not having this baby in the bathroom,” she said. Her name was Starla. I won’t forget her. By the time it was all over, I adored her. I wasn’t really liking her at that point, though.

She starts ordering the other nurses to call the doctor and tell him to hurry. Meanwhile, I’m in tears because the nurse assigned to start an IV can’t get my veins to cooperate. She finally has to ask Starla to do it. She got it the first time all the while comforting me with a calm voice and sweet names.

They were still talking to me, asking me questions, trying to distract me, but I was starting to get delirious from the pain. I couldn’t think straight. One question rose to the front of my mind even though I already knew the answer. I looked at Nurse Starla and said, “I’m not getting an epidural…am I?”

She gave me a sad face and said, “No, but, honey, you’re here. You’re at the worst. It doesn’t get worse than this.” (Um, I’m pretty sure it did…)

The doctor arrived and it was time to push. That’s when I got to feel what God really intended for a woman to feel when bringing a baby into the world. And not by choice, mind you. If I had been standing, I could have ransacked that room. I wanted to punch walls. Knock things over. Swipe all the metal trays to the ground just to hear them clang and bang. And scream. Oh, how I wanted to scream. The pain raged and so did I.

All the while, Nurse Starla and the farmer stood on either side of me, grasping my hands and encouraging me to keep pushing.

Seven or eight pushes in, I met my daughter. I remember the doctor holding her up and I marveled at how long and bald she was. Taegan had been very compact at 7 lbs. 7 oz, 19 ¾ inches with a head full of jet- black hair. Luxe was 7 lbs. 2 oz. and 21 inches. A hairless little stringbean compared to her sister. Their faces, though, were almost identical.

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It was very lowlit at this point in the room, hence the look of freckles all over my face. Still hurting pretty bad, but so happy.

When all was said and done, Luxe arrived 35 minutes after I walked into the hospital. Total labor time: 3 ½ hours. I barely made it. They say your second time is faster than your first. I thought, “Well, then I have plenty of time. Taegan took me 17 hours, so even if Luxe takes half that, I’ll still have plenty of time.” Pppfff!! She showed me! She made me wait awhile, but then came like a freight train! I guess it gets faster the more kids you have. The doctor told me to pitch a tent in the parking lot next time. I said, “Ha! There won’t be a next time.”

Taegan arrived with Grammy later and the farmer brought her to our room by herself. We wanted her to meet Luxe with just the 4 of us in there. She had picked out a little pink turtle named Jewel to give to her baby sister a few weeks before. And I had gotten Taegan a gift “from Luxe,” as well. They exchanged their little gifts and my heart swelled to see Taegan immediately adopt Luxe as hers. Taegan’s unspeakable love for her baby sister was tangible. She got a little teary-eyed, but didn’t really know how to articulate why. She didn’t need to. We all knew.

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As I parent, I always love my child. But, there are days when I fall in love with her all over again or I feel so much love that I think I could burst. That day was one of those days. Watching my firstborn fall hopelessly in love with her sister.

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Our hospital stay was uneventful. Everybody was healthy and doing great. We did give the nurses a good laugh on the second night when they walked in to find the farmer in the hospital bed with Luxe on his chest and me on the couch. I hated that bed, so he traded me.

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My sister, Bailey.

The next day, we left the hospital and drove home hopeful, optimistic, and somewhat nervous about going from 3 to Krider: Family of Four.

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Thank again to Shauna at Olivia Andrew Photography for her patience and kindness. Luxe cried the majority of the session and soiled many blankets, but she still managed to capture how perfectly precious she is.

And I would be remiss to not mention the saint of a man my husband is. From fixing meals to bathing Taegan to spending hours at the lactation consultant’s with me (Breastfeeding is HARD at first) to just letting me cry on his shoulder and telling me how wonderful he thinks I am. I couldn’t possibly have done it without him and can’t imagine anyone else to have been more helpful.