Friday, December 19, 2014

Mommy Post Mondays - My Top 10 Must-Have Items for the First Weeks with a Newborn

One thing about my blog is - well, "you just never know what you are gonna get".  One day I am talking about roosters crowing and the next I might post a recipe and the next a mommy post.  I like to keep my readers guessin'. :)

This list is my personal top 10 list, which I am posting for two reasons. One, I want to remember this stuff for next time. And two, it might be helpful for any new momma's-to-be out there! Everyone is different and has different experiences, so what might be in my top 10 might not be in yours. I feel confident that if I had all of these items on my list, I could bring home a newborn at any time and feel totally prepared. Well, as prepared as one can feel when embarking on a journey of such magnitude!

1. Pacifier.
2. Bassinet.
3. Swing. Oh I could not live without our swing!! Lifesaver! Or sleep saver. Heehee.
4. Breast pump. This was pretty much the whole reason I was able to breast feed at all. We got a really rough start but my breast pump pulled us through, and now I have been able to breast feed 100% without having to use the pump for months.
5. LOTS of diapers and wipes, obviously.
6. Large, absorbent swaddling blanket (like we got from the hospital).
7. Sleep sack/"Woombie".
8. Lots of onesies.
9. Carseat with stroller click in.
10. Diaper bag with cold compartment for milk and other organizational compartments.

Oh, the sweet sight of a sleeping newborn!!
Anything I forgot?  Feel free to ad to my list in the comments!!

Happy Holidays!!

The holidays have proven to be great fun with a baby around to enjoy everything with.  

Our sweet boy has been doing great!  He has a super early bedtime (about 6:30 p.m.) but that is OK with us!  It is a little hard sometimes because our family may not get to see him if they come visit in the evenings, but they do get to see him on the weekends so that is good.  He is sleeping 11 to 12-hour nights which momma is loving.  Now once he gets older if he could just go to bed a tad later and sleep a tad later, we'd be in good shape!


We had a great Thanksgiving.  Tons of food, as always, and tons of fun.

The Littlest Farmer sat in Aunt Julia's lap to watch the parade.  We didn't watch a lot of it - I think we woke up too late to see most of the fun floats and balloons. We enjoyed board games in the evening after our sweet boy went to sleep.

<--- As you can see, the Littlest Farmer is growing like a weed!!  It is hard to find clothes that fit right at this stage.  It is REALLY hard to find 6-9 month stuff in stores!

Christmas Celebrations

First off, we did a lot of decorating.  I still need to take pictures of our house, but I haven't gotten around to it yet!  We have been listening to tons of Christmas music, putting up lights, shopping, making cookies and candy, you name it and we've done it.  I still have a tiny bit of Christmas shopping to finish up, but I am done for the most part.  It is sooo nice to get to enjoy the holidays this year! Last year I was so sick due to being pregnant that I was pretty much just a party pooper.

We took an evening last week to make Christmas cookies and candy.  We made Aunt Bill's candy, chocolate covered pretzels, sugar cookies, and glitter cookies.  Here are a few pics of our Christmas cookie and candy making day:

For my next update I plan to share our Christmas family photos and the Littlest Farmer's FIRST Christmas!!  Have a very Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Spark the Rooster's Adventures at Little Bitty Life - Chapter 1

(This is the first story in a series I am beginning for my blog.  It will be continued each Tuesday.  I hope my readers enjoy!)

It's morning!!

It is early.

It is cold.


I love mornings.

And early.

Not that fond of the cold, though.

"COCCKKKADOOOODDLE-DOOOOOO!!!  UP and AT 'EM, ladies!!"  I coax.

Mostly my crows fall on deaf ears in the mornings.  None of the girls are much for being early risers.  They moan and groan and stay curled up on the roost.  However, I have a mission.

I stretch my wings out and scratch my head with my left claw.  Another crow.   Then I hop down to the coop floor, soft with a layer of pine shavings, and make my way out of the door.  Ahhh.  The morning air is crisp.  The horizon is dark blue - I get up before the sun, you see.  Then I look up.  Every morning for as long as I can remember, I fly out of the coop and monitor the grounds.  There are dogs to inspect, cats to converse with, and a pony to question.  I have a VERY important job.

With one big stretch and a 1, 2, 3  I extend my wings and with a few good flaps and I am out of the coop.  I sail to the ground and sound a boisterous crow to let the world know to stand guard!!  I am Spark, and I am watching!  A hawk caws in the distance and I dart beneath a bush.

Okay, all clear.  Anyway...

Once I am sure the coast is clear, I slide through the fence and into the dog's yard.  Jake, the rather flighty male collie, is in a tizzy about something.  He is running alongside the fence, then darts towards the woods and barks and barks.

"Good grief, Jake.  What is it this time?"  I bellow.

Jake sees me and scampers forward, stopping just before me.  His eyes look anxious!

"Spark, alert the girls!!  There is a FOX just down in the gully!"

"A FOX???"  I squawk.  Suddenly I hear noise in the bushes.  Jake bristles and I ready my spurs.

Out pops Siri, the rather naughty calico cat.  She likes Jake for some reason, and he likes her.  But I never have cared much for her since she decided it would be good evening entertainment to scare my girls when they are trying to set on their nests.

I say nothing as she saunters by, a mean glare in her eyes.  Jake walks to her and they sniff noses.

"Fox is almost up the hill."  I hear her tell him.

"Probably be best for you to stay within the safety of our yard, then."  Jake informs her.  Siri rolls her eyes.  Arwen, the female collie, trots up then.  "Fox?" She asks, sniffing the air.  Jake, Siri, and myself all nod.

Then, just across the yard, we hear the howl of a fox - right behind the chicken coop!!

Click here to read the next chapter!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pilot Me

I have always been a chronic worrier.  Worry wart.  Hypochondriac.  

I remember being a kid and thinking I had some sort of horrible kidney illness, that I would never survive out of high school, that I would miss the bus, that my parents would die.  Fast-forward to me as an adult with a precious baby and you'd find me in the middle of a tempestuous sea where my worry waves of childhood had multiplied and grown by about 10 times.  There is something about holding your own child in your arms, his eyes ever-watchful and taking it all in, to get your worry gears to grinding.

You aren't just responsible for YOU anymore.  There is another human being that can only thrive under your tender love and care, that now depends on you for everything.  From feeding him to changing him to cleaning out his tiny little boogery nose.

But the other night before bed, I had a little moment that made me think about things a lot differently.  I was telling hubby about my fears regarding our son - fears that something would happen to us, that something would happen to him, that he would grow to be an unruly child... so many concerns and worries.  I was so worried I felt physically ill.  And Ben just said, "you know you can't control the future with worry."  As soon as he said it, it opened my eyes right up.  I have always been the sort of girl who likes to feel in control of things, to be steering my own ship of life.  And when I find things that I can't control I worry about them chronically.  My brain struggles with whatever it is I am facing, convinced if it toils over something long enough that somehow it will win control over the fear at hand.

But that will never, ever work.  And I am reminded, alongside the words my husband spoke to me, of the words of Christ in Matt. 6:27 - "And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to  his span of life?"

Suddenly it all made sense - that is exactly what I was doing!!  I was putting worry at the helm of my spiritual ship allowing it to be the captain, thinking that if I'd only worry hard enough I could change something.  That is a recipe for total failure because it is like pouring water into a bucket with no bottom.  It is like using a wet noodle in place of a sword while waging war.  It just doesn't work that way.

Well, you can bet that my prayers were so different that night.  I could feel the weight being lifted from my shoulders, suddenly really understanding the scripture in Matthew 6 though I had read it 100 times.  As I prayed, I was finally turning my worries over to God.  I don't know why it never clicked for me until now.  I truly believe that is why it is so important that you marry someone who will sharpen you spiritually - but that is for a whole other blog post entirely! Haha!

It was so good for me to realize that hey, I am NOT in control.  Nor will I ever be... and nor do I really even want to be.  That is a ship that only God can pilot.  I am reminded of the hymn:

Jesus, Savior, pilot me,
Over life’s tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treach’rous shoal;
Chart and compass came from Thee:
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

God has always taken care of His own.  There may be times in life where we face struggles and heartache and loss where we question that truth.  But He will reward the faithful.  I know I often forget that this life is about so much more than the "now" - and so much more about where we will spend eternity.  I want to be sure He is at the helm of my ship, that He is the captain so that when the end comes He will steer me straight into Heaven's harbor.

Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

We Were Super Family for Halloween!

My sweet baby and I have had a nasty cold virus lately that does not seem to want to leave!!  Being sick as a mom is a whole new experience.  Anyway, our Halloween costume pictures are being posted a little late, but better late than never, right?!

Superman and Family

The reason I chose to dress the Littlest Farmer up as Superman as well as mommy and daddy was for a couple of reasons.  For one, on the day we found out we were finally pregnant last year, hubby himself was dressed as Superman for an event he was helping out on.  So it was sort of a recognizing that things had come together in a beautiful "full circle".  For another thing, who doesn't love Superman?  I love that he fights for justice and stands for what is right, which is something we hope to teach Cade.  Also, not gonna lie, I just love the place Superman's mom had in his life (in the most recent movie).  I think it is just really sweet. 

Well enough blabbing.  Here is our little man himself in full on Superman garb! 

Hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween holiday!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fall 2014 at Little Bitty Life

A few shots of the gorgeous leaves and weather out here:

Look out for my next post where I will be posting our Halloween costumes! :)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Gluten Free Meal: Taco Soup

Lana's Taco Soup

- Chicken breast meat (as much as you like) 
- 1 bag frozen corn 
- 2-3 cans pinto beans 
- 2 cans Rotel 
- 2 small cans chopped green chilies 
- 1 can diced tomatoes 
- 1 pkg taco seasoning 
- 1 pkg Ranch dressing seasoning 
- 1 big bottle V8 juice, to add as much as needed for desired soupy-ness.

Directions: Cook chicken and chop/shred it up with spatula, for flavor I add a bit of the spices while cooking it. Then add all other ingredients. Allow to simmer for a good 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy with cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.

Note: I love this recipe because it involves no dicing, cutting, or slicing of vegetables. Just open up cans/packages and pour!! It has served me very well when I have company come or if I want to take soup to someone who is ill.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

First-Aid Cat or Kitten Care: 5 Must Have Items for Kitten Rescue

During mine and Ben's time together, we have rescued and provided a home for a LOT of cats and kittens!!  Some have had various problems and have since passed on, but we currently care for 5 cats.  We have rescued about 10 cats during our 6 years of marriage, and I know there will probably be many more to come.  Here is my little list of items I keep on hand to make taking in a homeless kitten/cat a little easier.  If you live in an area where you know you might find a kitten in your backyard or mewing at your doorstep, these items will help you out tremendously!

1.  Kitten milk replacer - you can buy this at the pet store or even at your local Wal-Mart.  This is so handy to have on hand in case a young kitten comes into your care.  I have also found it very useful for older cats who look a little dehydrated and just need a boost.  Be SURE you have a syringe or bottle to administer it if need be.
2.  Flea and tick drops - I use Frontline Plus.  You can bet that if a stray cat or kitten comes into your care, they are gonna be covered in all sorts of nasty things - especially fleas and ticks.  This will kill 'em dead!
3.  Dawn dish soap - This may sound a bit odd, but it has been vet-recommended to me a number of times specifically for kittens.  It kills fleas immediately and is especially useful if you have a young kitten come into your care who is too young for the flea and tick drops.  Just be careful when you bathe cats and kittens to never make any sudden noises, and use water that is comfortable to your skin, not hot.  Always wash all the soap out very well when you are done.
4.   Dewormer - And I don't mean those cheap dewormer drops you can buy at the store.  I am talking the stuff you get from the vet that kills everything including tape worms, because most stray kittens have them.  Be sure to consult with your vet on the safe age to administer dewormer to a kitten.
5.  A whole lotta love and patience!  Kittens and cats who find themselves without a home may be spooked or untrusting.  We have one cat whom we have owned for 4 years now who still won't let us pet her, but she lives right on our front porch.  And it is so worth it!!  She is so sweet and I am glad she has found a safe haven with us.

Also, it is important if you take a cat or kitten in to get them examined by a vet and spayed or neutered as soon as possible to prevent more stray kittens from happening!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Babies are a blessing!

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."
ESV, Psalm 127:3

"For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.
ESV, 1 Samuel 1:27-28

I just love these two verses.  The first talks about what a blessing that children are to us.  The second is the thankful promise of a mother who wondered if she would ever have her own little child, after the Lord granted her request.

Before I had my own precious little baby, I didn't grasp the blessing and innocence of them.  I hadn't been around them just a whole lot in my life.  Yes I knew they were God's blessings to us, and that they were innocent beings that were are commanded to protect, but none of that became so understood to me until I had my own.  For the first few years of marriage, I saw babies as precious and innocent, yes.  I also saw them as stinky little diaper poopers that screamed a LOT and were incredibly needy.  Now I am not going to deny that they are pretty good at the latter statement.  Haha!!  But it is so wonderfully worth it.  There is a lot of things that you don't really get in life until you change an "explosive" diaper, use a snot sucker, wake up at  1 a.m. and 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., and mop up cottage cheesey spit up.  
Me and my sister.  We were very blessed children!
It's that babies are a blessing, and that you were one once.  There was a time when someone wiped your rear end, who cared enough to wake up at all hours of the morning when necessary to feed you and console you.  And don't all babies deserve to be so loved?  Doesn't everyone deserve to have their little cheeks kissed as a baby, to be rocked to a lullaby, to be taught right from wrong?  Unfortunately, not everyone gets the blessing of being born into a loving situation.  Just let that sink in if you were loved as a child.

That was a privilege.  Be thankful for it. 
As followers of Christ, I believe we are commanded to love and protect children - ALL children, not just our own. But how can we help?  What can we do?  This is something that I hope to explore and study more about as time goes on.  Sometimes I get afraid of what I might find, that it will take a lot of work or a lot of emotional toll on me or my family.  But Christ died for me.  Surely I can do something for Him.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Baby and Doggy Outing!!

A couple days ago we took a ride with the Littlest Farmer and Jake to the park.  The weather has been just beautiful lately and we didn't want to miss out!!  Hubby has been crazy busy with two jobs AND full time school to get his Bachelor's (way to go hubby!!) and we were in need of some serious family time.

We didn't have room for both doggies so we started out taking Arwen.  However, ever since she was a pup she occasionally gets this weird thing where she drools like CRAZY in the car and nothing will stop it!!  So we had to turn around and switch her out for Jake instead.  Jake thoroughly enjoyed himself and behaved very well so we were very glad we got to take him.

Fun times!!  I wish the weather was like this year round!