After all, tomorrow is another day…

Oh. My. Gracious. 

This was one of those days PRIME for Mama Meltdown.
Cadrian pester pester pestering to walk across the field to meet up with the combine (child doesn’t realize he’s only four). Finally after all the no’s, and he still won’t stop arguing, I tell him he doesn’t get to go at all. Tantrum. Tantrum. Tantrum.
Denton grab grab grabbing everything he can get his chubby little paws on. Cadrian’s card. Book. Car. Stick. He doesn’t care. As long as it isn’t his he wants it. Tears galore. Whining immense. Bicker bicker bickering.
Denton scream scream screaming after his nap for no reason.
Girls lose lose losing their free tickets to the play at the theater where they take ballet. I had decided I couldn’t handle the boys and the baby at the play, so asked a friend to take them. She willingly agreed and then it turned out we had no tickets. Aviana’s was lost lost, and Brielle misplaced hers five minutes before we walked out the door. I said that we couldn’t go then…I did not want to drive an hour to drop them off  with a baby who does not travel well (read: screams most of the trip) AND pay for the tickets! Tears, tears, tears. Brielle said she would use her own money and then Aviana cry cry crying because she had generously and thoughtfully given most of her money to The Great Commission. Finally we agreed they would pay half.
Denton poo, poo, pooing and pee, pee, peeing everywhere. Yesterday poo in his pants in the very top of the McDonald’s play place. Me crawling up there with bleach wipes and dragging him back down. Me ending up having to clean the bathroom floor, wall, toilet, sink, and diaper changing station, not to mention his legs and bum. Today poo on the cream living room carpet, with tiny brown footprints all the way to the bathroom. Me having to bathe him. Coming back from getting him new clothes to discover a bathtub of floaters.
Me cry, cry, crying because I have no idea WHY this kid is not poo trained yet or how to begin to clean this mess up. Me shampooing what ends up to be most of the carpet. Me running over the vacuum cord and shredding off the covering. Me feeling guilty because I should be getting dinner and starting bedtime, but I just want to get. This. Finished.
Me, never once losing it, until Dear Husband walks in and asks, “You’re shampooing the carpet?!” 
And then.
Let this be a world wide apology sweet husband. I’m sorry.   l love you.
Want to go get ice cream?
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Autumn Mantel

Our old farm house was built in 1850. You would think being built before the Civil War and only being a few years younger than the first school in Iowa, that it would have a fireplace in every room. Not so. Our builder was apparently an up-and-comer and put the newfangled wood burning stoves in instead. We used to have two chimneys, but the part sticking up out of the roof have been removed and covered up, better for leaks, but not so great for aesthetics.  We have the brick part of our chimneys, plastered over still in parts of the house. Anyway, no fireplace.

I think it should have a fireplace, don’t you?

 And now it does.

Kevin did some welding for a friend of ours who is completely gutting a house and he gave us the fireplace. Although it’s gas and not wood and while I’m not keen on the brass, it will be warm and cozy and inviting once we get it up and running. It’s currently missing a few pieces because Kevin had it in the garage at the same time he was painting some pieces to the family closet and ooops! Oak trim got heavily misted with  white paint.

We are still waiting on our plumbers (yes) to run a gas line and hook it up for us.

I couldn’t wait any longer to decorate it. I am not a huge decorator, mostly out of practicality (and I’m also cheap). The down low places never stay ‘decorated’ because of the small ones and the up high places get undecorated pretty quickly when they get cluttered up with stuff taken away from and put out of reach of the small ones.

But my mantel will be sacrosanct.

For fall, I decorated with a lamp we had on an end table, a cake plate with a pumpkin and field corn. I leaned a window original to the house against the mirror. I put some pheasant tail feathers my dad saved for me in a triangular shaped jar (which happened to have dirt in it from a science project). In a vase we got for our wedding I put an oak tree branch I snipped in our yard and put some stuffed pumpkins in front of that. Cost: $0.

I love my autumn mantel. It makes me happy whenever I look at it. And I really like to be happy.

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(thank you to Neil Young for the tune of “Old King”)

Belle went a-yappin’ after possum and coon
Wantin’ ta play ev’ry afternoon
Belle went a-sniffin’ and she would go
Was the best farm dog I ever did know

I had a dog and her name was Belle,
A finer farm dog I never could tell…
Any old toy in the yard she’d chew
Friends with the kids and the cats to boot
I had a dog and she was mine
I’d talk to that dog all the time
Just me and the kids and Belle by my side
Then one day that Belle up and died
Belle went a-yappin’ after possum and coon
Wantin’ ta play ev’ry afternoon
Belle went a-sniffin’ and she would go
Was the best farm dog I ever did know
Any old stick Belle would chase
Even though she wanted to she wouldn’t lick your face
She’d sit at your knees and beg for a pet
A finer farm dog I haven’t yet met
 I had a dog and she was mine
By my side, hangin’ clothes on the line
She was always keepin’ me company
That old dog meant a lot to me,

That old Belle was a friend of mine

Never met a dog that was half as fine
I may find one, you never do know
‘Cause I still got a long ways to go

Belle went a-yappin’ after possum and coon
Wantin’ ta play ev’ry afternoon
Belle went a-sniffin’ and she would go
Was the best farm dog I ever did know

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these days

I am doing So much better.

Today, I actually went grocery shopping. I think the last time I did that, by myself with assorted children, was early this summer. Ever since I started having pregnancy complications we have just been doing food triage, where we run in to get the things we think of, or I send Kevin in with a *very* short list. Today, I planned a menu and made a list.

Last night, I created. I made Denton some training bundies. I used his Gerber ones as a guide and made the outside out of fleece and the lining out of an old pair of flannel boxers (not going to say whose ;-)) He’s had them on all day and he’s been dry all day, so I have no idea how well they work. *grin*

This was such a joy for me to have my brain work right. Losing all the blood I lost during Elivette’s birth really affected my mental process a lot more than I realized. I was extremely emotionally fragile and fuzzy headed to the extreme. Being able to figure out how to de-construct a simple pair of bundies and then make a pair myself has been out of my reach for too long.

This week, I have been in control of my emotions for the most part. I could feel myself  slipping, for no particular reason, just the overwhelmed-ness that so easily creeps in. I cried but I didn’t “lose it” with the chiddlers. I went into our pantry while they were having lunch and sobbed a bit; breathed deep and prayed long. The day went on and I was in a much better frame of mind.

Simple things, but things that have been out of my grasp. These days, I’m doing SO much better.

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Chicken Surprise!

This is Buttons the hen,
 and her husband, Sophie the rooster.
Sophie and Buttons were given to us this spring when our town friends realized that Sophie was indeed a rooster and his crowing would not be a welcome addition to their neighborhood.

Unfortunately, several weeks ago, we couldn’t locate Buttons. They had been flying out over the top of their enclosure, and although we thought we had mended the holes in the chicken wire, we assumed that Buttons had escaped once again and met a bloody end at the hand of one of the many predators here in the country who just LOVE a chicken dinner.

I was pretty irritated that our chance for eggs was gone and all we were left with was a somewhat annoying rooster. I had been searching for a cheap source of grown hens so I could perhaps get a half dozen in our coop before winter and have some of our own eggs once again.

 Imagine our surprise when this morning, Buttons not only turned up (still inside the chicken run, I might add!) but with a family of eight little chicks! She’d been brooding all this time and found a mighty good hiding spot for her nest! I had gone into the two houses and chicken yard myself to see if I could find her, and never did. I must have been looking with my Man Eyes.

These are Plymouth Rock chickens, or Barred Rock.The Plymouth Rock is a dual-purpose, cold-hardy bird and therefore makes a great breed for the small farm or backyard flock owner. The breed became popular very rapidly, and in fact, until World War II, no breed was ever kept and bred as extensively in the United States as the Barred Plymouth Rock. Its popularity came from its qualities as an outstanding farm chicken: hardiness, docility, broodiness, and excellent production of both eggs and meat.

In terms of temperament, both roosters and hens are calm and will get along well with people and other animals such as pets. The hens often will go broody if in the right environment, and are good mothers. (Thank you wikipedia)  I guess we provided the right environment!

Taking chick name suggestions.Please leave a comment with your entry for names for our eight little chicklets (but if you can’t think of eight names, just tell me as many great ideas as you have!)

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