I'm 37!

Sunday I woke up and I was 37. And the strangest thing happened. I didn't remember that it was my birthday for about an hour. Not until I heard Rory say, "Elsie, go wish your mom a happy birthday..." I do believe this is my first birthday where it slipped my mind that it was my special day.

The day was fantastic. We went to church and came home and celebrated with my sister and cousins and all of our families. It was so great. We feasted and played and caught up and laughed. There were 14 kids and 8 parents and it felt like a real celebration. At one point I went into the upstairs bathroom and found it unflushed. The kids were all playing up there and whoever had last used the restroom must have been feeling much better. So I went to flush it and the toilet handle just fell right off the toilet! I thought this was so funny. And thankfully the dads were able to fix it quite easily.
We celebrated most of the day and then everyone went home around 5 or 6.  But Mara, Sonna and Svea got to sleepover because it is their spring break! Mara and Sonna and I went out to the barn to do the evening chores and laying right in the glow of the heat lamp was a new baby lamb! It was quite the surprise because I didn't even know the mama was pregnant.
The Ewe and lamb looked great. Rory was so pleased to hear the happy news and then Mara and Sonna and I loaded up and went grocery shopping, came home and put the groceries away. The kids all went to bed and then around 10pm Rory and I went back out to the barn to check on the little newborn lamb. And lo and behold, there was another lamb, laying in the straw. Twins! This one looked a lot smaller and was just trying to stand up. We stayed for a long while watching the little life, not wanting to intrude, but also wanting to be sure it was healthy. It didn't seem completely right but it had just been born, so we left the mama to do her thing and we went to bed.

Now wait until you hear about my second day of my 37th year...and the second day of life for that little tiny lamb having trouble getting to its feet...

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.