Tuesday, March 31, 2009


We got a Lego catalog in the mail recently and Ethan has spent hours poring over it. Let me just say, Legos have changed a lot since the days of our Legoland spread across Kirk's bedroom floor. I seem to recall our catalogs showing simple machinery and buildings, a couple different animals (I was the master at building sheep!), and a few variations of colored bases. Now there are huge, sprawling farm sets and construction sets and some kind of rock-mining set. Even a Sponge Bob set, which by the grace of God will never pass through the doors of my home. Ethan has been using the 'map', as he refers to the catalog, to recreate some of the equipment. It is not easy to build a giant crane or excavator out of our basic set of Duplos but he is managing quite well. My attempts aren't up to par, though. I handed him my version of the cement mixer and he looked at it with disdain. "That is not a mix-mixer," he pronounced. "That is a gun-truck." My bad.

"I wish I had dis one, and dis one, and dis one," he tells us as he turns the pages of the catalog. They are all really cool-looking, and I find myself thinking the same thing. Matt told him that we can get some as soon as Evan is big enough not to swallow all those pieces. I think at this point Evan is pretty much out of the random-toy-swallowing stage, but is heavily into the destroy-everything-in-sight-because-it-is-superfun phase. I am looking forward to the time that the kids can really work together on a satisfying project. My brother and sister and I spent hours, some of our most peaceful together, in our Lego city. I am often surprised at how long the boys will play together now, and I am excited for the days to come when Matt and I can really join in the fun.

Friday, March 27, 2009

My Day

Ethan: [wailing away on Evan]
Me: Stop that! You're going to hurt him!
Evan: Ha ha.


Things Evan Has Unloaded From The Fridge:
eggs - individually, not just the carton
juice- 'poured' it into a cup himself, A for Effort
3 yogurts- punctured each one, dumped out a little, then started a new one 5 minutes later
eggs- AGAIN

*Note to self- stop complaining about everyone joining you in the bathroom. The alternative is much, much worse.


Ethan on the phone with my dad: "I got 2 ears! How many do you got?" pause "EARS! How many ears do you got?" pause "EARS!" "Gwampa, are you still there?" aside "Evan shush down!"

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Better like wine, or stinkier like cheese

Today was my 27th birthday. Matt has a Thing about getting older and spends most of his special days complaining but I love everything about birthdays. Each year has brought more wonderful times than I could have imagined the year before, and I have no reason to suspect that this year will be any different. Those little boys are even more delightful than last year (and eviler, but this is my happy post), we are better off financially than last year (by which I mean we haven't gone broke yet- d'oh happy post happy post), and I am looking forward to many good times with my family and friends soon (although they will have to come here because I never get to go anywhere) (man I am really bad at happy posts).

We had a very festive dinner, followed by a chocolate raspberry cheesecake (yummm, excuse me while I wipe the drool off the keyboard). Ethan sang an adorable version of Happy Birthday (happy biiiirfday to you, happy biiirfday to you, I weally wuv you a wot) (see, adorable). Then we made caramel corn and snuggled down in a big comfy nest to watch Bolt, which just might be my new favorite movie. It was really sweet, with some downright hysterical one-liners. (Seriously hysterical, like, Pigeon-riffic.) Evan reached out his little grabby fingers and squealed "Dee-gee! Kee-gee! Dee-gee! Kee-gee!" every time the dog or cat was onscreen (which was, y'know, most of the time) but it was kinda cute and he fell asleep pretty quickly. Then Matt, Ethan, and I ate some more ahhhhh chocolate raspberry cheesecake, now everyone is asleep, and I have the whole quiet house to myself. Just me and the *cheesecake.*

1) Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes!
2) Do you think I overused the parentheses? (A little?)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Did I say 'spring'? I meant, STILL EFFING WINTER

Luckily, I had one last inside-fun trick up my sleeve...


Yesterday we all went for a 4-wheeler ride around the pastures and saw a brand-new baby calf. His mama was, ahem, cleaning him off and I was struck again by how amazing the whole process is. (And disgusting.) Heifers, which we are calving out right now, are young female cows who haven't had a calf yet. Can you imagine how surprised they must be when they give birth? No weekly doctor visits, no Lamaze classes, no one to talk them off the ledge during those first horrible weeks of breastfeeding. And yet somehow they know what to do when contractions start, and they know to get the baby cleaned up and nudge him into standing and feeding. They have this soft, tender moo that they use to call their calf when he's running around with the other calvies. It's actually much sweeter than the "Eeethan" I screech when he dashes out of sight.

Sometimes I get tired and discouraged by this ranch life. Too many chores, not enough time, definitely not enough money... but on days like this it all feels right. This is where we belong.

Monday, March 23, 2009


There are two new kids in our family- big, hairy, annoying ones. Yes, we have goats. Ethan is thrilled. He has dubbed them Big Bill and Little Will, after the ones in our Three Billy Goats Gruff book. I think more appropriate names would be Double and Trouble, or perhaps Dump and Truck but maybe I'm just bitter about spending the whole morning chasing them around the pasture while trying to get them into the pen. "Look! We are playing tag!" Ethan shouted delightedly while we were all racing around. "Do you wike to play wif my goats, Mom?"

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Random Photos

Ethan was in such a hurry to get outside, he couldn't be bothered to change out of jammies.

(I did win that battle, eventually.)

White Trash Baby

At least the mac 'n cheese crusted on his face was made from scratch.

Quotable Quotes

Yesterday Matt took the day off. The night before, he told Ethan he didn't have to go to work and they made a lot of exciting plans. Unfortunately, the day began for Matt with a meeting at the FSA, the government office in charge of Farm Loans and Causing People To Chop Off Their Own Limbs In An Attempt To Avoid These Annual Lovefests. (And if I ever complain about anything my beloved husband does this year, remind me of how he took one for the team by handling this financial review himself. Love you, babe.) Anyway. Midway through breakfast, Ethan set down his fork and ran to the front door. "Hey!" he exclaimed. "I thought my daddy didn't have to go to work today." I explained that he had gone to a meeting but he would be home soon. Ethan was all sorts of offended. "My dad was supposed to be home all day. Why would you guys twick me wike that?"

Then we watched Ethan's friends, Ethan and Lissy, that afternoon. The kids were happily playing when Matt got home. We sat at the kitchen table and talked Matt off the ledge, then reviewed the details of the meeting and the rest of the paperwork they needed. At one point the kids ran through the room but otherwise we never heard a peep. "At this age, it's kind of like the more kids there are, the easier it is," I remarked. "I know, we just had a whole conversation," Matt marveled. Then he scooped up Evan and kissed his head. "But, y'know, I think we're almost out of the horrible part."

Ha! Yeah, I do know.

* Note to all the pregnant readers: not to imply that infancy is horrible...it's a very, uh, special time. You'll love it, really.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sunny day

When it is 76 delicious degrees, there is only one thing to do- take a picnic to the park. I am amazed at how much more Ethan could do on the big equipment this time. He scurried up the chain ladders, went down the fire pole, and even braved the tunnel twisty slide. There were lots of kids to play with today, which I love watching. Evan ventured away to pet a puppy once but spent the other 99.99% of the time glued to my hip. He knows how to have fun.
When playing outside at our house, Ethan almost always chooses to dig with a shovel, scoop with a bucket, and push stuff around in his wheelbarrow. He works so industriously; I can just see his little muscles moving furiously. It must be such a relief to enjoy big movements after spending so many hours inside. Jumping on the couch just doesn't compare to shimmying up a tree or jumping off the deck. I only hope Evan remembers how much fun it is to move about on HIS OWN TWO FEET soon. Sheesh. If Discovery Health wants to do a show about people who became conjoined after birth, sign us up. His bottom molars are in and he was happy for, like, one day but now his fever is up again and he is back on my hip. I'm going to miss this someday, right?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

No More Mr. Nice Guy

Lately Evan has been a little unpleasant, to put it politely. Fussier, bossier, clingier (yeah! who knew?), squawkier...I can't tell if it's about being sick or having company or teething or permanent personality change or if he just realized how much his life SUCKS, which I would like to remind him is NOT AT ALL. And the biting! Yesterday he got mad at Ethan, pulled Ethan's head down with both hands, and bit him over the eye!! What the HELL, Baby? Mom's theory is that this kind of attitude precedes a major developmental leap. If so, he must be about to come up with new mathematical theorems or laws of physics but I would gladly settle for some plain old English VERBALIZATIONS. The ehhhh, heeeee, ooooohs, are starting...to...get...to...me. The only physical milestone that would be helpful would be for him to spontaneously potty-train himself. There isn't much left for him to accomplish on that particular chart. Yesterday alone he pushed a chair up to the counter, climbed onto the counter to open the cupboard with snacks, found the stove-burner knobs, climbed back down onto the floor, and tried to put the knob on so he could turn on a burner and kill us all with the propane fumes. All while I was putting out a plate of scraps for the cats, which took like 10 seconds!!!! If you don't hear from me tomorrow, send help.

The kids pulled a bunch of papers off my desk while I was typing this. "You have a lot of toys to play with. Don't mess with my stuff." I snapped. Ethan smiled. "Yes, Your Majesty." Ha! That's more like it. All that Cinderella-watching is finally paying off.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Haircut

I wasn't going to let my mom go home until the boys got haircuts. At this point, the homeless-child look would have been an improvement. So out came the scissors and all of them, even Lane, got trimmed up. Then I had the brilliant idea of using the clipper/razor-thingy to finish up Ethan's sides and oops... this one spot got a little short. Matt stepped in to help, and ta-da, I now present: Little Matt.

Luckily, everyone stopped me before I got close to Evan's sweet little head.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Finally, an update

We had a great weekend with my parents and our friends Eric, Heather, and Lane.

It was a working vacation, of course:

Planting seeds...

A little sewing...

Eric & Matt pulled this calf, here Evan is checking him out...

And finally, a rest...

More tomorrow, I promise.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Better Now

That was the oddest, and simplest, illness I have seen. Everyone is much better now, which is lucky because these little ranchers have work to do!

Monday, March 2, 2009


I had grand plans for today- a festive celebration of Dr. Seuss' birthday. We started with green eggs and ham for breakfast. Why is our ham not gween? Is Dr. Seuss coming to our house? Where does he wive? I totally skipped over the chance to discuss life/death/heaven for the 35934th time. Instead, we looked up where he was from (Massachusetts) and then looked at the map and talked about how it was too far away to come here but we were going to have a little party with just us. The website we found, www.seussville.com was pretty cute. Ethan especially enjoyed the music but I wouldn't recommend it, unless you were looking for an excuse to drill through your eardrums. Want some?

However, before we could make Cat in the Hat hats and get to the cupcake event, Ethan succumbed to the bug Evan had been fighting all weekend. For some idiotic reason, this bout of sickness really took me by surprise. I've had this triumphant feeling like we had passed through the winter cold/flu season. Apparently I've blocked the memory of last March, when Evan had RSV and I got pnuemonia. (I doubt Tessa has forgotten, seeing as she spent her final spring break at my house learning how to use a nebulizer and check the cows.) Then early in April, Ethan spent several days in the hospital with rotavirus. So woo hoo, I haven't had to wipe any noses lately but now I am extremely paranoid about barfing. Evan had a temp all weekend and objects to being apart from me for any reason. Ethan has a fever and a little pitiful nest on the floor. He would prefer I lay by him but Evan prefers to be walked around, so someone has been unhappy all day. Not me, of course, I am Florence fricking Nightingale. At least these germs have cured the 3-year-old attitude because Ethan is the politest little patient I have ever seen. "Mommy, could you pwease help me feel better?" he asks in a squeaky, sad voice. "My piwwow is too hot, could you pwease fix it?" I flip his pillow over and offer him a drink. Matt brought home popsicles and Children's Tylenol Melt-Aways. "Daddy bwought me dese? Tank you berry much, Dad." His little sad face breaks my heart- the cracked lips, dark circles, translucent eyelids. I don't know how parents cope with really sick kids. I hope that everyone is well tomorrow morning, mostly because I'm a nice person, and also because we have some GOOD TIMES planned for Wednesday.