It feels like the last two months have been a whirlwind! We've been busy enjoying warm weather and enduring the ups and downs of the temperature. We've also been working through a few weeks of various illnesses. Maggie & Will came down with the 24 hour stomach flu, thankfully not at the same time. Walker had a bout of what I believe was Fifths Disease, which then led me to a series of blood work to determine if I have an immunity to the disease (I am) and general life on the farm! We ordered 50 broiler chickens to raise for our own consumption and hopefully to sell to customers. Erik has been super busy with his landscaping business as well as keeping our other customers happy. In addition to the Burmese families that come to the farm to purchase their meat, we've been approached by a young man from the Pittsburgh area who is opening a gourmet market in the Strip District featuring hard to find meats/delicacies. He has put in an order for a variety of things: Ducks, geese, goat, in addition to specialty items like lamb belly (he makes a bacon out of it) and is even looking for venison, game birds, etc. Erik is doing his best to accommodate him, but finding a lot of these animals on demand is hard! It is kind of ironic that the game animals that Pennsylvania has been so well known for are so hard to find through domestic resources.
We've had two ultrasounds and as of May 13th, the baby was estimated to weigh 7 lbs 13 ounces. That measurement was taken about three weeks before my due date. Baby's gain about half a pound a week the last four weeks of gestation, so factoring that in, we're looking at a pretty big baby - about 9 lbs give or take! I'm not really worried about it - have you met the children I've already birthed? They are peanuts! We are actually struggling right now with Walker because he has graduated up to the official "Olympic" pool at the YMCA for his swim lessons. Unfortunately, the Olympic pool is kept at 80 degrees and he finds it freezing! We've tried using those rash guard shirts to keep him warm, but it just doesn't work. He's such a skinny little fellow and by the end of the 40 minute lesson, his lips, fingertips and toes are purple from cold! Unfortunately, the class he is in is a mix of kids that have graduated from preschool swimming classes and youth ages 6 and up that have never taken lessons before. His class has two inexperienced swimmers in it, which makes it difficult for the instructor to really provide much additional instruction. He's too busy convincing the one student to move away from the wall and encouraging the other student to actually move his arms and legs. This situation has been a real challenge for me because I want to interfere somehow because I feel the rest of the class is being treated unfairly. They end up swimming the length of the pool and are left waiting at the end for the beginner students to catch up. It's especially frustrating because Walker used to LOVE swimming lessons and now he cries and complains each week when I tell him we have to go to lessons. He hates being that cold. In fact, this past week, the instructor said that next week will be report card week, so that means only two more weeks of class. Walker burst out with a "HOORAY!" when the instructor made the announcement. Now I'm torn between registering him for class again. My hope is that he will advance to the next group and leave the beginners behind but my fear is that the instructor, really having no time to evaluate the entire class on their progress, will not see that Walker would benefit from advancement into a more active class. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.
The wait and see portion of parenting is the hardest for me to deal with. I like to look at the calendar and make plans for what is going to happen. (More like make plans for what I want to happen!)
Walker has been taught how to mow grass and has been mowing it every week now. We felt bad because we kind of scared him to death, lecturing him about the responsibility of mowing grass, how the other kids, dogs, etc. were not to be in the yard when he mowed, he was NEVER EVER EVER allowed to mow without our permission, and all the other bad things we could think of to scare him into being safe (like accidentally mowing off his leg, or his brother's leg). But, we think he got the message and he did a great job of mowing! He's very conscientious of what he is doing and I'm very proud of him for doing such a great job!