Every and Blowa

Somewhere in that sea of children is a father who is adored by his kids. 

Well, I'm blog-logged. I feel like I have so much to write and say, and don't know where to begin. For sure I have two big posts in me: one on all the emotions we felt during the birth of our adorable goats, Cici and Presh. The other post will be on my amazing weekend trip to Seattle with my sister, folks and brother to celebrate my mom's 70th birthday. Those posts are being held up because I think I threw away the cord that gets my pics from my phone to my computer. I'm sure I could use the cloud or something fancy, but I still regularly use my CD player-boombox that I got in 1999, so I just need to find that cord.

In the meantime, I just want you to know that my kids are really into playing house and that for three days in a row Hattie has been assigned the role of the grandma. She has a stuffed animal the is Grandpa. And she can be a cantankerous grandma so I hear a lot of "No! Grandma! Stop pulling the roof off! Now go take a nap again!"

And I want you to know that Elsie woke up yesterday and told me she wanted to "go to lots of different places for just a short time." I told her that was called running errands. But that wasn't it. She said, "no. it's like when we go to Cub, and the bank and another store. I just love that!" I confirmed that is definitely called running errands. And she said, "Well that is what I want to do today then." So we ran errands.

Also, Elsie decided the name for the new baby will be Blowa if it is a boy. Her exact quote (and she is so quotable lately...) was, "It rhymes with Noah, a good Hebrew name." Where she got that, I will never know, but she is right. If it is a girl, Ivar has chosen Every, straight out of his reading book. When he read "every" he stopped and said, "oh that is pretty. we should name our baby that if it is a girl." Blowa or Every. Rory and I have a few other options up our sleeves...

And here's the father, peeking out of the children...

a baby goat is born!

I was dreaming that I was back at Gustavus, moving into my dorm room with my roommate Jill. And then Rory knocked on the dorm door and asked if I wanted to grab dinner with him at the caf. I was processing how fun it would have been to be in love in college, sort of thinking about the dream while I was still in it. It was one of those perfect dreams with no conflict, and so, so good. We walked outside and Gustavus took on some Ivy League campus in the fall, glorious and stunning. And Rory took my hand and we started walking towards the caf. And then from a far away land, I heard that same Rory whisper-yell, "BECCA! THERE IS A BABY GOAT!"

I woke up so confused and listened to my six year old jump off his bunk and pound his legs down the stairs yelling, "I'm coming Dad!" And moments later I heard the front door slam and shake the whole house. 

I thought some more about my dream and realized that even though I didn't get Rory in college, I get him for the rest of my life. 

Elsie came in my room and reminded me that this is the day she wants to stay in a "cozy bath all day, except for mealtimes." We went downstairs and watched the baby goat and mama's in their goat pen on the live stream Rory has hooked up. And after her cereal, we ran her cozy bath. 

You can watch the fun too! I believe this is what happens when you mix a computer programmer with a hobby farm. Rory has set up a youtube channel to watch the goats. Precious is the newest mama, and Ivar thinks her baby will be named Presh. Which is presh. And Darcy is in full labor as I type this. It should be an exciting day of viewing! 

YouTube Live Stream:

I don't know when I've ever been so amused...

Oh my word this blows my mind. This is hilarious. And we could probably make a killing hosting this in our barn but we most definitely will not. Because it is absurd. And weird. And goats poop and pee all the time, as they will. Thank you Kathy, for sending this on to me! I have not laughed so hard in a long, long time!

a whole bundance

Elsie has started helping me with the laundry and it is sincerely so, so helpful. I love her company. I love her narration of the task at hand. I love that I have a partner in crime. She told me, "Mom, look at this on the bed. I am really folding a bundance of kitchen towels!"

Watching my kids vocabulary grow has always been one of my very favorite parts of motherhood. I think it is for everyone..it's just so entertaining. Today Ivar was protesting the movie that Elsie wants to watch for family movie night. He said, "Elsie, I don't want to watch Ben Hur! It's just so awkward!" It's an animated version my dad got for us to watch. I asked Ivar, "what do you mean, awkward?" And Ivar's eyes went huge like a dear caught in the headlights and he said, "I have no idea what that word means. That was my first time using it!"

winter survival skills

I took a class on winter survival my senior year of high school. That class was geared towards car kits with flares and granola bars, and learning how to build a shelter in the snow. But the kind of survival I am talking about today is the one where a woman may look aghast at her calendar and say, "what on earth? Is it STILL January?!!" Longest month ever. Plus, we're on a tight budget and ran out of food money nine days ago. For real January, let it go.

But it got me to thinking about the things I do to make it through with my spirits high. Because, as your may remember, I have regrouped my seasons and My Winter is actually January, February and March. It sets March up with much more realistic expectations. It's going to snow a lot that month...might as well call it winter. Which means we are just 1/3 through this season.

I actually do love winter, but mostly because of the hibernation and hunkering it naturally brings. Which is why I wanted to share my favorite winter survival skills:

1. Kiwi, orange and banana salad. Just these three. Just one of each. Cut up into a fruit salad. I swear it turns into a different food entirely. Somehow it all balances each other out and because all are in season all winter long, it can feel like a little tropical get away. Try it before you knock it. It's my favorite.

2. Hot Baths. Honestly, people who don't have winter just can't get the gift of a hot bath. Or a hot shower, for that matter. We just read The Long Winter to the kids, where the Ingalls family nearly starves to death waiting for the train to come through the snow drifts in late, late April. Blizzards come for days at a time and only leave for one or two days. It's terrible. Rory mentioned that he couldn't imagine not having a hot shower...ever. That whole generation died before they knew the goodness of a hot shower! Don't take it for granted!

3. A roaring fire. This isn't completely fair because most don't have a fireplace. We dreamed of our fireplace and talked about it and even made fake paper fireplaces on our living room walls for a decade. But when you are bone cold, there is NOTHING like standing next to a roaring hot stove. It's such a good, radiant heat.

4. Grapefruits, peeled like an orange and then each section peeled again. There is no other way to eat a grapefruit. Get rid of that sharp spoon and learn from my ways. My uncle Wayne taught me this method and I can never go back. To take a bite of an enormous wedge of grapefruit in the dead of winter? Well it's worth all the work and mess off peeling the whole thing. It will reset your mood, outlook and will become a daily ritual. Just the smell alone will do wonders.

5. Winter photography. This is a favorite. When I'm feeling like it, it is so good to get outside and look for what is beautiful. There is so much. We recently had a snow that coated each tree in white on just one side. I looked out my windows and thought there is just no better painting in the world than the one God changes for us each day.

6. Tea Time with Popcorn! Do this! I was recently at Cub and looking at microwave popcorn. And then I saw a bag of whole kernels for a fraction of the price, for like 10 times the amount of popcorn. And I thought, "Aunt Louie pops her own popcorn. How hard can it be?" And thank you Aunt Louie! It's not hard! At all! I don't even have a pan with a proper fitting lid, and I still can do it. (look it up on youtube, lots of videos..it's a cinch, try it with coconut oil...yum!) Anyway, each day at 3:00 when my kids start saying they're hungry I have been making popcorn and tea. (They love tea now that Mary and Laura drank so much in The Long Winter. We're really into Good Earth Sweet and Spicy...thanks to some recommendations here on the blog!) What used to be a long and dragging part of our day has become a highlight. We sit and sip and eat and talk and regroup for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Hattie loves popcorn too.

7. An electric blanket. So excited about this. I don't know if a night has passed where Rory or I don't say, "this blanket is the best." Bed is already heated when you crawl in. 2017 is a fine time to be alive. An electric blanket is just a sweet luxury that isn't that expensive.

8. Good books. I have been listening to The Read Aloud Revival podcast that shares great, wholesome books to read aloud to the whole family. (they have a book list of recommendations on their site to print off!) Along the way I have heard many titles that are too old for my kids, but I want to read. My list is long and the books are rich and good. Classics, or certain to be classics. And you tell me if you're not hungry for a good story of good people doing the right thing!

9. Playdates. Winter is such a catch 22 because the second you plan a playdate, someone gets sick. But we persevere because eventually it works out and friendship is good for everyone.

10. Go to be early. I love this one. Especially because I'm pregnant and exhausted. But isn't it nice to have permission to go to bed before 10, just because it's that dark? In the summer, Rory and I will putter in the yard until 10 most nights, working on projects. But not in winter. There have been many nights at dinner that I announce, I am going to bed with the kids tonight. And when 7:00 rolls around, I'm the first one with my teeth brushed and contacts out.

So there is my list. I'd love to hear if you have any other favorites to add. You'll note I'm not super active this winter. I daily walk would be good addition, but hard with all the little people (and snowpants drama) it involves. But do share! I really do love winter because of the list above. And I'd love to add more to my list!