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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Where did those days go?

I didn't sleep well last night, so I am up early - well, early for me.  I'm not really a morning person - not a good trait for a farmers wife.  Anyway, I visited all my usual morning websites and blogs and nothing had changed since yesterday so I decided to look through my iphoto library and realized I took a bunch of pictures I hadn't realized I had!  Since this blog is aimed mostly at keeping family and friends updated on what is going on here at Goodness Grows Farm, I thought I'd just post pictures and some little stories inspired by them.

This boy just melts my heart.  He works harder than most grown men.  Everything he does, he does with all of his heart.  He's kind, responsible, caring, and sensitive.  In fact, there are times I fear he is too sensitive.  I worry about his heart and am afraid it will be broken many times in his life.  He is innocent and everything a little boy should be!

Did I mention how much I love his freckles?  These photos were taken back in March, right after a hair cut - his hair has grown out a lot since then and on humid days, it gets really curly.  He hates it and wants to get a buzz cut for the summer, but I keep putting him off.  I fear he won't stand for it much longer.

This little boy also melts my heart, but he challenges me in ways I never would have imagined.  

He is stubborn and strong willed and at times quite a bully.  He is independent, yet is fearful of doing things without his siblings.  He, like his older siblings,  has been blessed with impossibly long eyelashes.  We recently had a bit of a melt down because he was having a problem with the new sunglasses he got.  He was telling me they were broken and I couldn't figure out what he meant by "broken, Momma!"  Finally, I had him put them on and I looked all around his face to see where they were broken.  When I looked down on them from above, I could see his eyelashes were smashed against the lenses.  Poor guy's eyelashes were too long for him to wear the glasses so far up on the bridge of his nose!  Who complains about that?  

We're also working on potty training this little guy.  He went through a phase for a while where he always had to be wearing this blue skirt from Maggie's dress up bin.  On this particular day, he has on sweat pants, pull ups, the blue skirt and his muck boots.  I told him if he was going to wear the pull ups he wasn't allowed to pee in them.  Well, that worked, but he decided to pee outside, far away from me and then couldn't get all of his pants back up.  He was pretty stuck.  Of course, being the good mother that I am, I had to take pictures of it before I could go help him.

This little princess is something else!  She's smart and sassy and quite the tattle tale.  She doesn't restrict her tattles to things the boys are doing wrong - she gives me updates on everything that is going on.  She tells her stories with such passion and animation that even when she is being a tattle tale, it is quite funny to listen to her story.
She and Will are my big sweets eaters.  They would eat sweets 24/7 so I have to be very careful on what they are allowed access to.

Maggie & Walker have their very own cowgirl/boy hats.  On this day they were playing cowboys/cowgirls and were wearing their hats and boots.

Will was very disappointed to not have his own hat.  All we had left was a costume type hat that I had to modify to fit him.  He was pleased as punch, which is all that matters in the moment.  However, I have a feeling that when this photo comes to surface sometime in the future, I'm going to get in trouble.  Something along the lines of "sure, typical third child, always getting the left overs!"   Willie J, my consolation to you is only this:  Imagine the short end of the stick your new baby brother is going to get!"  Poor guy - I had to find a super larger rubberband and wrap it around his hat and chin to keep the at on him!

Scenes from fishing camp at my dad's.

Enjoying the last days with the puppies.

Will is obsessed with goggles.

Will falls asleep in our bed.  Typical male.

Maggie exerts her sisterly dominance and applies lipstick to her little brother!

Will isn't such a photogenic model demonstrating his recent lipstick application!

Walker holds Tubby - now named Levi as we say good bye!

I can't express with words how much joy these creatures bring to my life.  We wait with great anticipation for the arrival of this little guy.  We're at two weeks!  But we wouldn't be too disappointed if he came sooner!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Catch up

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!)

All six of our puppies have found homes. HOORAY!  I was a little sad to see them go, but I know they all have wonderful new homes and are loved.  That's a good feeling for sure.

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!