Thursday, February 27, 2014

Getting there

Somehow, all of this exhaustion hasn’t dampened my determination for our rabbit raising venture.

And it may.           Really.

But I refuse to put it off any longer.

We were able to obtain some re-purposed 2x4’s, and tomorrow my dad is coming over to help us get started on the shed. I think if we at least get the frame built, we’ll have a good idea of how much plywood to buy. Dad also has some metal roofing we can use for it. Once we get started on it, I will feel SO MUCH better.

I’m still planning on Crème d’argents if possible, but I’m willing to go with just about any heritage breed at this point: Silver Fox, Beveren, American, Blanc de Hotot, Champagne d’argent….  As long as they are from quality genetics and good meat rabbits, I care not. I imagine they all taste about the same.
I received my heirloom seeds in the mail a few weeks ago. Some of them really needed to be started indoors by now, but I’m doing good to keep our houseplants alive (heck, I’m doing well to keep myself fed and clothed – and sometimes bathed).

Our garden went wild last summer. The weeds took over (knotweed mostly). It’s going to be a battle with all the weed seedlings yet again this year. This time we are going to borrow dad’s motor tiller, instead of trying to till it by hand.

Ian watching mama cleaning out the garden

Not sure when we’ll be receiving the ducklings, but I requested the earliest possible date (sometime next month) if possible.

Ian already shows a remarkable interest in animals. He shows no fear when our giant German Shepherd, Tala sticks her giant nose in his face and licks him. He likes to watch the chickens scratch around, and the dogs romp and play in the yard.

His absolute favorite thing though, is the aquarium in the big room. It contains two goldfish and a Red-eared Slider we inherited. He can sit and watch them swim around FOREVER. Often, when he’s really fussy and refuses to eat or sleep, the sight and sound of the aquarium always seems to relax and fascinate him. A future in fisheries, perhaps? We shall see…

His amber teething necklace arrived a couple of days ago. He's been wearing it 24/7 and I can tell a difference. He seems to be napping a little better during the day, and we've had some better nights too. 

He's still pretty restless and uncomfortable much of the time, especially when he's tired. In desperation I finally gave him the Hyland's teething tablets. I still can't tell a marked difference. He's not really coordinated enough to hold a teething ring in his mouth, and doesn't seem to like to bite anything cold. My last option is Orajel or Tylenol, but I really want to avoid those things if at all possible. We'll just have to endure it as best we can. It is just a phase, and he won't remember it after it's all said and done. 

The days have been very mild around here, in the 60’s during the day. It’s been nice to be able to take him outside. I should be getting a baby carrier from my sister-in-law soon. I’m eager to get out and do some real walking. I was a little dismayed to find I had re-gained some of my pregnancy weight. Really though, it’s not the weight that bothers me so much as being out of shape. That’s alright. We’ll get there.

Mom’s here to help with Ian today, so hopefully I’ll get a chance to catch up on sleep. That’s going be difficult on such a mild, sunny day.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Daily Trials

Trying days (and nights) around here.

This teething thing has been pretty miserable, for Ian and for us. He’s restless and uncomfortable much of the time, and fussing and wailing the rest. He isn’t eating or sleeping well, which is leaving me stressed and exhausted. He woke up at least 5 times crying last night. I don’t think he woke up that much as a newborn.

I’m really reluctant to give him any sort of medication, even something herbal, since he’s still so young. But it may come to that. I did order him an amber teething necklace, however. I’m eager to see if that helps him. A lot of people swear by them.

I try not to get too frustrated with our circumstances, even though his peers are all sleeping through the night. He’s not doing it because he’s bad or spoiled, he’s waking up because he needs me. I suspect he isn’t feeding enough during the day, since his gums are hurting. So we’ll keep trudging onward. Somehow we’ll get through.

It can be hard to see past our current difficult circumstances, but I’m reminded of other trials I have overcome throughout the past year….

…. I think back to those first few weeks of pregnancy, when I was struck with morning sickness. Curled up on the couch fighting nausea I often wondered in desperation how I was ever going to survive it. But somehow, the days passed and the feeling faded.

 In the third trimester I was dealing with severe reflux and aches and pains. Lugging around that extra 50 pounds I watched the weeks crawl by, wondering how I would ever get through it. But somehow, the days passed, and before I knew it, it was November 7th and time for him to be born.

Labor, of course, was yet another trial. When the contractions hit me, one on top of the other, and my body felt like it was going to split apart and explode in every direction, I prayed for strength, asking how on Earth I was going to survive. But somehow, those intense 10 ½ hours passed, and here was this little baby in my arms.

That first week I was a bag of raw nerves, trying desperately to get this tiny baby to latch on. It was so upsetting, not being able to feed my own child. How were we going to get through this?! But, of course, the weeks passed. He figured it out, and now he is 3 ½ months old and growing like a weed.

It’s not like I didn’t think it would be difficult. It’s just something you have to experience to truly appreciate. It may sound like complaining to a lot of people. But it’s more like venting, really. Because *NEWSFLASH * being a parent is hard!

Yet I look at how far we’ve come – how much we’ve OVERCOME. How God has never left our side. I’ve reached my breaking point time and time again. But guess what – I’m not broken. I’m not dead. And I’m not ready to give up. Parenting pushes you to the limits, and helps you realize a newfound strength.

I also realize we have many more trials to face in our future. But the lesson God teaches us over and over again is to trust Him, and we will overcome. It’s a difficult one to learn, especially as an adult. We always feel the need to do everything on our own. “I HAVE TO BE STRONG!” But our own strength only gets us so far. It fails. God doesn’t.

So here I sit, sleeping baby draped across me. Practically the only way he will sleep these days (and nights). I am BEYOND TIRED at this point. There is SO MUCH I want (and need) to do. But these days too, shall pass. Before I know it he will be running around and exploring his world tirelessly. I’m sure, in fact, that I will look back on these difficult days with fondness. Miss them even. So I’m going to try my best to be thankful. And keep trucking on……

Sunday, February 9, 2014


We've been having to do a lot of that lately.

There for a few weeks we were in a great routine with our little man: Went to sleep around 8:30. Slept for 5-6 hours (in his own bed). Up to nurse around 5 AM. Slept til 7 or 8. Went down for a nap around 12 PM and slept for 3 hours. We were all able to wake up rested and accomplish more throughout the day.

Then two things happened simultaneously that changed our routine drastically:

Husband returned to work. Baby started teething.

So now our routine goes more like this:

Ian goes to sleep at 9:30. And I drag myself to bed with him. He wakes up an hour later and nurses. For two hours it goes like this: Nurse, go to sleep, lay down, wake up crying. Nurse. Sleep. Down. Cry. Nurse. Repeat.

In desperation I lay him down in the bed next to me. He wakes up two hours later to nurse. Then two hours after that. It's starting to feel like those first weeks all over again.

So around 9 or 10 he's up for good and I drag myself out of bed to begin the day in that familiar state of delirious sleep deprivation.

While he still has his content times, they are shorter lived and I find myself carrying him while trying to complete necessary tasks. (Mind you,  I do have a Moby wrap, but even after multiple attempts Ian continues to hate it. So I now have a useless $50 piece of long, stretchy fabric.) His naps are sporadic at best, lasting an hour at a time, and usually come to an abrupt end the second I lay him down (especially if it's in his own bed).

So I'm now learning a new balancing act: the solo dance of the stay-at-home mom. Seems simple enough. Millions of women do it every day. Millions of women also give birth every day. That doesn't mean it's a walk in the park.

But when a moment like this happens, the dance comes to a halt. Time stands still and we rediscover the joy of being a parent once again, reminded that this is a short, precious season in our hectic lives.....

So just as I'm beginning to get the hang of this new routine, the washing machine dies. Bad news for cloth diapering.

Time to adapt once again.