Books and Pictures

Henley loves this book!  It could be the bright colors and easy-turn pages that draw her attention, but I think it’s the noise she likes the best.  Each page has a flap to turn and when said flap is turned an animal trumpets, roars, or otherwise makes noise.  She looooooooves it!  IMG_2892

And I love taking pictures of her reading.  I am so determined to have nerdy-book-loving children and I want photographic evidence of the journey.


On an average day, we read our noisy animal book four times.  Maybe even five times.  Who’s counting?

Well, technically I am.  I love reading to my baby.  I don’t love squawking like a parrot four or five times a day.



A Baby’s Work


I sent this picture to my mom, because what else can you do when you’re trying to fold laundry and the baby pulls the clean clothes from the basket, one by one, and looks back at you to make sure she has an audience for her “helpfulness?”IMG_2857

She texted back “a baby’s work is never done!”  Oh how true that statement rings, particularly at my house.  Henley must get so frustrated with my constant folding of clothes, picking up of toys, stacking of books, and worst of all, picking up of the tiny bits of paper she has so carefully ripped from books or magazines to be gummed at a later time.  These darn mamas just won’t leave a baby’s work done!  Every time Henley goes to sleep I try to re-assemble the house.  How frustrating it must be for her that nothing is as she left it when she awakes.  Probably as frustrating as it is for me to clean with my little helper around.

The other day, Ty got to see just how hard it is to do anything with our busy-bee trailing behind.  He called me after 45 minutes alone with Henley wonder how anything ever gets done at our house.  Moment of validation for me!  Funny how much better you feel when someone else experiences your reality.  I drove home, strictly adhering to the speed limit, and enjoying my time to myself where I didn’t have to worry about my paper-loving baby devouring every book in the house.  That was Ty’s job for the afternoon.

The Next Generation

These naughty cows have been out, grazing the alfalfa field three times today!  As good as I’m sure the lovely green hay alfalfa tastes, what the cows don’t seem to realize is that too much of this stuff will make them bloat and that can lead to…oh ya know…death.  IMG_2924

Which is exactly what ran through my head anytime I saw the sneaky ladies walk past my living room window.  Oh my gosh, they’re going to overeat and DIE!  On go the sandals and camera to chase them back home.  And the camera is of course essential to cow-chasing ability.


See how the calves obediently scramble back towards the fenced pasture, but one of the ornery mama cows stands there defiantly?  So much for setting a good example mama cow.


I must say I’m worried about the next generation of cattle…If their mothers won’t teach them to stay in the pasture and respect fence lines then who will?  By teaching the babies to escape, and showing them just how good the grass is on the other side, these mother cows are creating a whole new generation of fence-trampling-pasture-escaping-pains-in-my-neck.


This little guy is doomed to be in trouble no matter where he goes, and it’s not his fault, he never had anyone to teach him how to behave like a well-mannered bovine.


Good cows stay inside the fenced boundaries.  Bad cows have to be chased back inside repeatedly!  And even worse cows teach their offspring to break through the fence too…

Or are they actually good mothers for not abandoning their babies to the pasture?  Maybe they want their calves to taste the luscious goodness of grass beyond the fence too, to feel the freedom of life without barbed wire.  Maybe…

Maybe I’m drawing too much from this experience and the cows are just cows who, for whatever reason, don’t stay where they are supposed to.

Sleeping In

Why is it that when babies go to bed late they wake up earlier???  In what paradigm does that logic seem logical?  Henley’s internal clock is unchangeable on this point.  And it’s not like I can simply place her in my bed and snuggle her back to sleep.  Oh no, once she’s awake it is time to play.  I did try cuddling her in my bed this morning and she proceeded to stand up next to anything she could find–my head, legs, belly, or the pillows–and jump.  I lay there next to her, as her handrail, and groaned, already exhausted by her seemingly endless energy.

Motherhood is a cycle of perpetual tiredness.


I love eating home canned food.  Green beans, pears, peaches, spaghetti sauce, and corn taste much better when grown and preserved at home than when purchased at the grocery store.  Growing up, I spent a good deal of my summers helping my mom raise a garden, pick the produce, and either freeze or can the fruits and vegetables to be used throughout the rest of the year.  To be completely honest, canning was the most dreaded, wretched, unpleasant experience of my childhood.  I hated it.  Everything about it.  Planting the garden, weeding the garden–oh, I really really detested pulling weeds–picking beans or tomatoes, peeling the peaches and pears, shucking piles upon piles of corn, walking over a juice stained floor, I hated the whole experience.  My mom seemed like an irrational-home-canning-nut to my little self.  I remember the shocked looks on my friends’ faces when I showed them our storage room, or as they called it “our food mall.”  They couldn’t believe we had so much food tucked away in our basement or that we very rarely “ran out” of anything.  My mom was–well actually still is–the master of preparedness; whether it be food or household items she always has a stash somewhere in the house.  I’ll admit I grew up pretty spoiled in that relatively anything I could think up for dinner or a snack was available at all times.  I struggled learning to cook at college where things like flour, butter, sugar, or chocolate chips were not simply a short walk to the basement away.

Somewhere between my childhood and adolescent detestation of canning and where I am now (I guess young motherhood???) I decided to inflict dreaded awfulness of canning upon myself and my little family.  In a nut shell, or more timely a peach pit, Ty and Henley hate canning.  Ty hates the mess and heat and Henley hates being banned from the kitchen and playing by herself.  But they both like the food.  I still love home-canned food and I’m actually learning to enjoy raising and caring for a garden and storing the food.  Henley will probably grow up much like I did, with a strong loathing of bottling fruit, but I think somehow it builds character.  Hee hee.  Or something like that.  I know I’m grateful for my mom teaching me how to grow and store my own food and I’m hoping my kids make it out of my house with the same sense of appreciation.  Though they very well may adopt my grandmother’s motto “Why on earth would someone spend all that time canning when you can buy it from the store?!”




Evening Outside

Henley and I spent a fun evening outside, just the two of us, with the chickens and Bo.  Yes, we have chickens at our house.  Not our birds but Henley wishes they were!  She loves to watch them wander through our yard and tries to chase them as they peck their way around our blanket.IMG_2798

She’s still my camera-loving baby and is happy to pose anytime I get it out!IMG_2816

In the last week she’s started fake-laughing at basically anything.  I get a lot of fake-pity-laughs during the day.  Apparently she doesn’t really think I’m funny.IMG_2817

This is a picture of one of those fleeting moments when she sits still enough for a kiss…She is a mover and way too busy getting into EVERYTHING to be snuggled.  But we love her, and have learned how to keep her out of the most important things.