All in a Day’s Work

We had a baby bull calf born this morning. Out in the snow, but in the sunshine. Kevin got him into the calf incubator, and came up to the house to let us know we could help feed him if we wanted. We got everyone bundled up and headed down to the barn.

Bundled up boy–too bad the snow was too deep for him to walk–I worked up a sweat carrying him and the camera all around the farm.

Kevin milking the mama.

I even gave it a go. It wasn’t too hard, but I was afraid she’d kick, because Kevin had just warned me to not let her kick the bucket out of my hand and waste the colostrum. I was more worried about my head!
Having his lunch.

After we finished with the calf, we had the girls try out the chicken feeder Kevin built. We plan to get meat chicks this spring, so we need an easy way to get more feed faster. Even the three year old can do it.

The tall white structure is about 1/2 full of chicken feed. The white building with red trim is our secondary chicken house, and the yellow building behind is an old corn crib used for nothing, but we let the chickens run in there and eat bugs.
Vintage soda cases converted to nesting boxes.
Our rooster and a few of his ladies

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DayBook 2-22

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Outside my window… It was a gorgeous snowy day today

I am thinking… I am really glad I don’t have to be dating. The Bachelor is really getting to me…

I am thankful for… my parents

I am wearing… maternity jeans and an oatmeal maternity shirt. Sigh.

I am remembering… my grandma, Oh how I miss her.

I am going… to MOPS, a drop-in dance class for the girls

I am reading… back issues of Mother Earth News

I am hoping… to make it through the next three days without my honey here

On my mind… wondering how big I’m going to be getting…I’ve already “blossomed” considerably

From the learning rooms… reading is coming along wonderfully!

Noticing that… Cadrian is becoming less a baby every day.

Pondering these words… The things that matter the most in this world, they can never be held in our hand. ~Gloria Gaither

From the kitchen…Easy Peasy Pie (whatever almost makes itself)

Around the house… upkeep and putting away my regular size clothes and breaking out the maternity clothes

One of my favorite things…coffee ice cream and my grandma’s homemade chocolate sauce

From my picture journal…

Playing Baby Jesus–Cadrian Playing Mary–Aviana Playing the Angel holding a TinkerToy star of wonder–Brielle

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My Brielle

She is a corker all right.

She painted a beautiful picture.

Then laid it on the cream colored living room rug to dry. I didn’t realize until later, she had completely painted BOTH sides of her paper!

I told her probably more sternly than necessary that she couldn’t lay her painting on the carpet. After many tiring attempts of arguing, she finally took it into the kitchen to hang it up to dry on our artline.

Or so I thought.

As it turns out, she innocently (doesn’t she look innocent?) laid the very wet painting on the kitchen floor, carefully selected my only good tea towel
made for me by a lovely Etsy artiste, and “dried the painting.”

Leaving me with paint all over the living room carpet, the linoleum, my daughter, and my tea towel.

*shakes her head wondering when that incredibly smart child’s brain is actually going to kick in*

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Library Friday

We almost always go to Story Hour on Friday. It’s just our “thing”. I love our library, and our librarians, and making friends at the library, and chatting up little old ladies at the library, and the resources the library offers, and BOOKS.

I love books. Really I do.

Recently read:

Anthony DeStefano contacted me about reviewing his book, This Little Prayer of Mine. Always glad to read a new author (new to the children’s book scene anyway, and as Richard Scarry says, “The best authors write children’s books), and post an honest review, I agreed to check it out.

Am I ever glad I did!

This book, written in non-annoying rhyme, (and have you noticed, rhyme sometimes can be very. annoying.? It takes skill to make rhyme enjoyable.) is a prayer of a small-ling child.

The child talks to God honestly about every little thing, every detail that God cares about. It’s astounding to me that God knows how many hairs are on your head. Do YOU even know how many hairs are on your head? Would you care to find out? And yet, God knows.

I digress.

Big things are also prayed about–making sound choices, asking forgiveness, feeling afraid, being thankful.

Just like we can talk with God about the big things (Please God, let her get better, let her live!) and the little things (Oh God, thank you that Curious George comes on at five!), we can teach our children to do so as well.

Speaking of libraries, and we were, weren’t we? This is a book that you need to add to your personal library. I know you’re teaching them to pray by just how you live your life, and by your example, but isn’t it nice to have other resources reinforce your values?

The Waiting Child is an amazing, powerful book. It tells the true tale of Jaclyn, adopted at the age of three and a half, from China, and her force of personality and relentless pursuit of bringing home “her baby”, the little boy that she took care of in her orphanage.

Since Jaclyn was old enough to talk about her experience in the orphanage, the book shed light on the lives of children waiting for their forever families.

I was deeply moved by so many aspects of this story.

Whether adoption is something personal to you, or something not even on your radar, you need to get hold of this book, and let it get hold of your heart.

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Hooray for me!

So I’m just sitting innocently at my computer writing my State Representive asking him to support the licensure of certified midwives, when in walks my husband with the biggest surprise for me.

Now, it’s not leopard print nor was it bought at a gas station. But if you can get past those small shortcomings, it’s still every girl’s dream.

It makes everything CRAZY fun!

It’s snuggawee fun for TWO!

And it came with a book light.

I tell ya. It’s love in a brown fleecy packaging.

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You might be a big baby…

If after making supper, you say, “I’m exhausted”, and have to go lie down.

If yelling at your husband gives you a roaring headache and you have to go lie down.

If someone wants be read to, and you only concede if you can do it while lying down.

If someone wants to make cupcakes and you think, “I’m so not up for that”, but you do it anyway, but then you have to go lie down.

If you joined a Bible study, but then realized you really weren’t up for leaving your house at 6:00 at night, so you quit after two weeks, even though you really liked it.

If you have worn the same undershirt three days in a row because it seemed like too much effort to get all the way to the skin.

If you consistently sleep until nine if your husband lets you get away with it.

If you’ve given up all your hobbies because you’re just too tired to knit or scrapbook or….

If you really want to check your email, but the exertion of sitting upright for that long seems too daunting, so you just go lie down.

If you really want to think of a clever blog post, but you really can’t, and so you just go lie down instead.

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It’s that time again!

Thanks to BabyCenter for these awesome pictures of what my baby looks like. He’s about the size of a fig right now and is almost fully formed. I’m eleven weeks pregnant, and hopefully moving out of the feeling “completely inhuman antisocial and ill every day” stage.
Kevin said I must have been sucking it in in that 10 week picture, and I agree–because I definitely have a POOCH. The baby may only be 1 1/2 inches long, but don’t tell that to my belly!
I have no idea if I’ve gained any weight because I don’t know what I weighed before I got pregnant. I don’t believe in scales anyway; I go by how my clothes feel.

I do know I’m on the road to huge.

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Discipline Your Kids

At MOMS group on Thursday we had a Christian counselor come and speak with us on The Art of Parenting. It was a great talk. She introduced a new discipline technique that had most of us incredulously questioning. It was thought provoking and intriguing, and hard to believe that it would “work”.

The meat and potatoes of the technique is something called “mirroring”. We do this without even realizing when we are interacting with a newborn baby; if the baby is gazing at you, you kind of open your eyes wide too and engage in talking about what they might be thinking or looking at. If the baby is fussy, you might make a down-at-the-mouth face back and say something along the lines of, “Oh you’re so sad! Do you need a diaper change? Do you need to eat?” and verbalize what may be going on with the baby.

When you “mirror” your child, you imitate their facial expression and repeat what they say. That’s it.

The objective is not to modify behavior, but to connect with your child on an emotional level, to show them they have been seen and heard, which are crucial for a healthy state of mind.

I chose to implement this when the children are whining or crying which are two of the behaviors that drive me the craziest, I most want to get to an underlying cause of, and most want to eliminate completely in our home.

The afternoon after the meeting: Brielle and Aviana are arguing in their room and Brielle is speaking extremely rudely to her sister.

“Brielle, come here!”
(whining crying verge of tantrumy voice) “Mama, Aviana wouldn’t wet me have the foopstool!”

(in a similar voice, similar face) Aviana wouldn’t let you have the footstool

(whining crying verge of tantrumy voice) No, and I really wanted it!

(in a similar voice, similar face) You really wanted it!

(whining crying but no longer almost out of control voice) I had it and she tried to take it fwom me and I wouldn’t wet her have it!

(in a similar voice, similar face) You had it, and she tried to take it from you and you wouldn’t let her have it.

(just a little whining voice) I yelled at her, and tried to get the foopstool.

(in a similar voice, similar face) You yelled at her and tried to get the footstool.


She snuggled quietly into my shoulder and rested there a while.
Then I said, “We don’t yell at one another, do we?”
“No.” “We don’t treat each other unkindly, do we?”
“No.” “Ok, go apologize to Aviana for being not treating her with love, and give her a hug. “
“OK Mama.” And she did!

(and of course, I called Aviana in and did a similar process with her, because when kids are fighting, they are BOTH being selfish and BOTH their hearts need dealt with.)

IT was AMAZING! Usually, I’d be more stern and expect the child to get herself under control before she talks to me. If she couldn’t, she would have to be disciplined because now she’s disobeying, and it’s hard to put a tearful child on the Naughty Step. Sometimes it would escalate further.

Instead I felt connected to my child. I felt I’d relieved her of some hurt. I felt I’d helped her. And I still felt like she could hear the necessary correction and could change her heart.

It worked with Aviana.

And it even worked with 18-month old Cadrian. He usually has huge fits when he doesn’t get his way, like when the computer cabinet gets locked, or the pen gets taken away or the snack is denied, or he gets put on the floor. you know, the usual terrible travesties in a young man’s life. Usually I just say, “we don’t scream at Mama” then ignore him and ask after a few minutes, “are you ready to be quiet now?” And then pick him up when he nods and is quiet.

I tried mirroring instead, and while he still had the fit, it didn’t last as long and wasn’t as loud, as it usually seems like it is.

Mirroring worked with all kinds of tearfulness and whinging in the past couple of days. And every time, nothing further was needed. The child felt heard, felt validated, FELT LOVED.

The next time you need to discipline your kids, please, try mirroring!

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