cold applesauce

AldenEating from Becca Groves on Vimeo.

I could watch the first 12 seconds of this over and over and over again. Alden is such a joy and delight to me. Just a happy presence to have around each and every day.

He's had a habit of waking up a few times each night, sometimes to nurse, but often just to snuggle. I'll hold him upright in the glider rocker, wrap my robe around him with his blanket over his back and he tucks his head right under my neck. I'll pat his back and he drums his fingers on my arm. Sometimes he looks up to smile at me and then burrows back down finding his spot under my neck again.

For a while I was concerned that this was creating a bad habit. He's clearly waking up and calling out for a midnight snuggle which is definitely not baby-wise. But one night as my heart swelled eleven sizes as he fell asleep on my chest I realized that this moment is the WHOLE POINT OF EVERYTHING I DO. I keep the house clean and teach the kids and feed my family which is all important. But nothing is more important than purely loving my kids, letting them know they are safe and secure and cared for in every way.

And though I might be sleepy, it leaves me so satisfied.

meet the pigs

I know you've been clicking refresh, dying for another pig post, so here are the pigs! Rory thought it was terrible that the first picture I posted of them had poo smeared all over the cage. So here they are all tidy and poo-free. And I've come up with names! The one in the back is with darker brown coloring is named Abraham. (Emphasis on that last syllable.) The one in front is a bit smaller than Abraham and quite timid, so I've started calling him Timothy (sounds like timidity, I guess...). The first day Ivar and I got in the pen and fed them old kiwis and they loved them. Yesterday I got in there and fed them all of our food leftovers and they snorted that up happily as well.

I'm sort of skittish of the pigs. Which is a problem because they are skittish of me and I'm supposed to be calming them down. But they snort and grunt when you least expect it and it's a bit intimidating. Maybe we'll all be tamed by the time they move outside in a month...

Aunt Stella turns 100!

Last Thursday we were supposed to drive to Iowa to celebrate my Great Aunt Stella's 100th Birthday but Alden got the flu. He seemed to be better by Friday morning so we thought we'd maybe try to get to the party, but then he threw up again. I believe the fine people at SunnyCrest Nursing Home were probably very glad we didn't show up with the flu virus.

It was good we were wise enough not to go because Friday afternoon Ivar and Elsie got the flu for a solid 12 hours, throwing up every 30 minutes. Elsie was on the hour and the half hour. Ivar was on the 15's and 45's. It was crazy. I was on Elsie, Rory was on Ivar. Rory shines in these moments. When one of our kids is sick he is fully involved and helpful with laundry, clean up, comforting and bedding changes. He's a total winner. And probably because he was so helpful, on Saturday Rory got it and I had to leave him to go get my pigs. So far Hattie and I have somehow dodged this one. Here's to hoping we really are spared. Ivar had a little relapse last night but today everyone was well.

I will say I was very, very disappointed to miss Aunt Stella's party. My sister and her girls and my aunt and uncle were all there and we had been so excited for this huge celebration. We made cards and talked about the number 100 a lot. We counted to 100 by 5's and 10's and 2's. Elsie noted that our ziplock sandwich bags had 100 in them, so "we should give Stella a box of her own ziplocks!" We figured out what year it will be when we each turn 100. We were pumped and ready to party.

But we'll just have to wait for her 105th, I suppose.

In the midst of all of our big birthday preparation, Rory came across this gem. I cannot get enough of Flossy. Everything about this newscast is perfect.

my pigs!

I just want to tell you my happy news! I got my pigs today! I have been waiting, and getting so anxious for this day to arrive and here we are. They are stinky and grunt and snort just like you'd imagine. So far, they seem very chill and relaxed in their new pig pen in the barn, but Darcy the goat seems almost phobic of them. She's very concerned they are living next door to her now.

We've had quite the weekend with Alden, Ivar, Elsie and Rory getting the flu. I think I should have gotten it too because I was feeling so sick for a while last night, but kept thinking that I simply could not get sick. There was no time. I had to pick up my pigs today.

So here we are. I brought them to the barn on the sled. They are two boys. Hereford pigs and growing quickly, already too big for me to hold. (Though I haven't actually tried yet...) My job now is to sit in their pig pen and feed them donuts as I try to tame them the best I can. That's my best hope for when they grow to be 500+ pounds and I need them to obey me.

Add 'love of pigs' to the long list of farm things I never saw coming. I never thought I would be genuinely thrilled and excited for pigs. But here I am. Off to google a good pair of coveralls to wear when I'm sitting in the pig pen.

your monday morning hattie joy

I had just said, "have you seen Hattie in a while? She's never this quiet." When she came down Rory said quietly to me, "I'll discipline, you get the camera." Thankfully this picture was taken back in January. But I kept the picture for a day like today...

Hattie is so much work these days. She is nonstop, and we are exhausted. Today she got up way earlier than usual and was a hot mess because of it. She ate three breakfasts and then got in trouble because she still wanted rice krispies. Things are about to get a little rough around here as boundaries are put down and enforced. It will be worth it, but sometimes you just have to step back and make a plan to help shape the character and obedience of your child.

At 9:30 today I called my sister who is home with her girls for a snow day (congrats, girls!). Hattie was noisy and frustrated in the background the entire conversation so at the very end I said, "Alright, well, I'll load Hattie up and push her sled in your direction. Be looking for her in about an hour. Just grab her when she whips past your window." We laughed and Annika said she really did wish she could take Hattie for the day. I hung up and Ivar commented that he didn't like me saying I would do something like that. So I apologized to him.

A bit later Hattie came back in the room with the black mop bucket on her shoulder. Inside the bucket she had placed a bunch of butter knives, a big serving spoon and a sippy cup. She said, "Bye, bye, Mama." I asked her where she was going and she said, "Onkuh! Shshshshed." (which means Annika and Jedd). She had heard me and had packed up, ready to hop on her sled.

I picked her up and told her she wasn't really going there and that I wouldn't really send her away on a sled. I told her I was glad we could spend the day together and that I love being her mom.

We walked into the kitchen and then I saw the new box of Rice Krispies dumped all over a chair that had been pushed to the counter so she could reach the cereal. Krispies were dumped in a trail from the chair to the laundry room and she looked at me and shook her head and agreed, "No, no, no."