Sunday, December 21, 2008

Creatures and Creepy Crawly Things

So, for those of you who do not live in the boonies like me, allow me to educate you on a couple of nuances that come with the territory - today we will discuss dogs. In the country, there are dogs everywhere! Literally, everywhere! There is no such thing as a nice little house pet in the country. Everyone has multiple pet dogs and they are all allowed to run loose through town. Additionally, there are a lot of stray dogs out here because the cruel people in the world tend to drop off animals they no longer want in the country instead of taking them to the pound. Now, all this to say, what to these dogs tend to do? Allow me to enlighten you:

  1. Run after your car barking,
  2. Get into your trash and strewn it all over your lawn,
  3. Drag dead animal parts out of the woods and drop them in your yard,
  4. Bark incessantly in the night (and proceed to wake up my sleeping babies),
  5. Get impregnated frequently and have puppies under your house,
  6. Sleep in the middle of the main road and wait until the very last minute to move out the way!

Now that I have explained the background, let me just list all of the things I have encountered this week:

  • Neighbors dogs got into our trash - luckily, they did not attack the trash bag full of dirty diapers (gross)
  • Half eaten possum head in our driveway (double gross)
  • A detached deer leg that the neighbors dogs were gnawing on (this just freaks me out - I happen to see this dog dragging this deer leg down the road)
  • A dead bird in my car port

Now, I ask you, what kind of mother would let their kids play in a yard where they might run into a half-eaten possum head or deer leg? Especially when those kids are too young to realize these things are gross and should not be touched. Thank goodness it is too cold to play outside right now, but the fact that I have to worry about such annoys me. I once would classify myself in the dog lover category, but since moving here I have become quite the opposite. Now, I don't hate all dogs, but I do find myself thinking at times that I wouldn't mind if some of these dogs accidentally got ran over by a truck. I would never run over them myself, because I am not that cruel, but if the accident where to happen maybe it would be God's will for them to join him in puppy heaven. In fact, I must not be the only person in town that feels this way, because the other day, there was a sign at the post office that said "Any dogs that enter my yard will be shot!" I'm not kidding, someone actually wrote this sign and hung it up at the post office! I also know that I will never EVER own a dog out here because I would not want the dog in my house after encountering who knows what outside and I find full time outside dogs pretty pointless. Plus, I feel sorry for the dogs here because most of them don't get much attention nor are they properly cared for (hence why they go scrounging through trash because they are hungry).

So, all this to say, that once again, living in the country, there is always something interesting/gross occurring and after living here over a year, I don't know if I will ever get used to that part of it. But I will keep trying...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Julie's photos

Julie had her first photo shoot last week. We used One Creation Studios again and got some pretty good shots considering that Julie cried through the majority of the picture taking because she was naked for most of it and she does not like being without clothes on. Here are a couple of my favorite shots...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Two weeks with two kids under 2!

I haven't posted anything since Julie arrived. I have had my hands full trying to recover from surgery, getting to know my new little girl and trying to pay extra special attention to Joshua. So far, we are adjusting pretty well. Joshua has been really good with Julie. Sometimes he is really interested in what she is doing, other times he completely ignores her. He likes to climb up next to me and watch me change her diaper, and he loves to hold her. He points at her when she cries and looks at me with a very concerned look, like he is saying "you better do something about this mom." I was afraid Joshua would act out to get attention once we brought Julie home, but he has been really good. The hardest part really is not being able to pick Joshua up. The doctor says I should wait until 6 weeks after delivery before I fully pick him up. He is still sleeping in a crib and still in diapers so getting him into the crib for naptime or onto the changing table to change him has been challenging. You don't realize how much you pick up your kids until your not supposed to do it anymore.

Julie is a really good baby. She is sleeping most of the time still, and does pretty well at night. We had our first pediatrician visit and Julie weighs over 7lbs now. She also had her pictures taken which she did not like at all - I think she was objecting to being naked and cold more than to the fact that she was getting her picture taken. She is a sweet baby girl and is a perfect little addition to our family.

Thanksgiving was low key this year. We stayed at home and just relaxed as a family. However, I did cook a turkey with all the fixin's for my hubby. I could have opted out of cooking this year, but last year at Thanksgiving Josh was still in Colorado finishing up school and I was in Arkansas and he was quite depressed about not getting Thanksgiving dinner and being away from us. So, this year, I wanted to make sure Josh got his Thanksgiving favorites with our new little family.

All in all, these last two weeks have been an adjustment, but have gone really well. It is pretty exhausting getting very little sleep at night and trying to keep up with a toddler during the day, but it has also been fun. I am so humbled by how truly blessed I am to have two healthy kids and a wonderful supportive family.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Julie Kate Walker is here!

Julie Kate has finally arrived! Born on November 11, 2008 at 7:35am, weighing 6lbs. 14 oz., and 19.5 in long!

Her delivery story is much shorter than Joshua's (praise Jesus!). Basically, we arrived at the hospital at 6am for my scheduled c-section. I was prepped for surgery and Julie Kate was delivered at 7:35am. Everything went extremely smooth. My blood pressure was a little high right before delivery, but other than that, no sign of complications. We were released from the hospital around noon on November 13 and are so glad to be home as a family. Julie Kate is a precious baby girl - she started breastfeeding immediately and has not looked back, so that is a big relief as well. She appears to be a pretty laid back baby like Joshua was, we will see if that continues once her personality starts to come out :) Throughout this whole experience Josh and I have been reminded of how difficult the delivery process with Joshua was. We don't know how we made it through all that 19 months ago, but are so very grateful that this time around was so much better. We are truly blessed and are in awe of how amazing our new little girl is! Here are a couple of pictures from the last few days...

Waiting to go in for surgery....

Julie Kate is here!

6lbs 14 oz.

First picture with Daddy

Are you my mommy? Precious baby girl

Joshua meeting baby sister

Julie Kate is ready to go home.

Mom is ready to go home!

Everybody is ready to go home!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


For Halloween, Ben Lomond hosts a hayride for all the kids. Because houses are spread apart in the country, the kids can ride the hayride from house to house to go trick or treating. They have been doing this since Josh was a little boy so it was fun for Joshua to go on his first Ben Lomond Halloween Hayride. He was Yoda for Halloween and looked pretty cute! He was a little overwhelmed by all the kids in different costumes, but had a good time I think. I even let him have his first piece of Halloween candy after the night was over and man was he a sticky mess! Here are a few pictures from the event.... Daddy getting Joshua ready to head down to the hayride. Joshua is not sure about this yet.

Ok, ready to go... Are you coming mom? Heading down to the hayride.

Taking it all in... Riding on the hayride with candy in his hands.

Enjoying our first halloween candy.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Family Picture Time

For my birthday, we had family pictures taken. Josh hates taking pictures so this was a special treat for me! I am 36 weeks pregnant in these pictures - there are more fun belly pics, but they are a little too much belly to post on the blog. I was really happy with they way they turned out - thanks to One Creation Studios in Texarkana, TX!

Friday, October 24, 2008

A day in the life of an 18 month old boy

Joshua is my little explorer. He is curious about everything and wants to know what everything is and how it works from light switches to the TV remote to the dishwasher, he wants to participate. Today he was particularly nosy and got into all kinds of mischief. Here are a couple of examples...

1. He found his way into the bathroom (again) where I found him head first in the toilet bowl with his hands splashing around in the water and Joshua squealing in delight. Thank goodness I found him before he fell all the way in and drowned in the toilet!
2. Josh stayed home with Joshua during nap time while I went to my doctors appointment. Apparently, Joshua was not interested in napping while Daddy was home and when Josh went in to check on him, he found Joshua had wiggled out of his pants, removed his diaper and thrown it across the room! Praise Jesus it wasn't a poopy diaper!!!
3. I am preparing dinner and hear a bunch of grunting and banging behind me. I turn around to find Joshua is sitting in the middle of the kitchen table (he climbed up there on his own) and is having a grand ole time turning my salt and pepper shakers upside down!

4. Joshua is eating dinner. He must have not been particularly hungry because he started playing in his food, which I usually don't tolerate, but he got in to it so fast that I hardly had time to react. I look over, he has ravioli in his hair and black eyed peas all over his face, one dangling from his eyelash - he looked so funny that it was hard for me to discipline him without laughing.

5. Josh gave Joshua a bath after dinner. Josh thinks it is increasingly hilarious to let Joshua run around naked with his towel on his head after he takes a bath. I, of course, am always concerned that Joshua will pee all over the place as he running around in his birthday suit. Well, this time, I was proven right, Joshua runs out of the bathroom with his towel as a cape and proceeds to pee all over the floor - guess who got to clean that up - DADDY!!!
I have decided that little kids must have a million little guardian angels watching over them because it seems that we have a number of close calls around our house on a daily basis. Joshua certainly keeps me on my toes and I am wondering how I am going to keep up with him once little Julie arrives - we shall see!

Friday, October 17, 2008

36 weeks and still going strong

Well, I have made it to the 36 week mark without complication! For those of you that don't know, this is significant because little Joshua was delivered at 36 weeks by emergency c-section. I have re-posted the events of his delivery below as a reminder to myself of how grateful I am that this pregnancy has gone so much smoother than with Joshua and how truly blessed I was to have made it through that experience alive and with a healthy baby boy. So far, with this pregnancy, there have been no signs that the complications I had the first time will re-occur, but I am not out of the woods until the baby is here, so keep praying folks!!

"The following is a blog entry I wrote after Joshua was born - since it was a pretty crazy time, I like to read this from time to time and remind myself how fortunate I am to be alive and to have such a happy healthy baby....

Hello All! Well, the Walker family has finally made it home from the hospital. Joshua is doing well now and feeding like a champ! Mom is doing as well as can be expected given the circumstances. I know many of you are wondering what in the world happened, so I figured I would put the events of the last two weeks in an blog entry so I wouldn't have to tell the long story that it is over and over. I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but it has been quite an eventful time for us. So, here goes,

Tuesday, April 10th - I woke up at 2am with incredibly intense pain in my chest and was having trouble breathing. Considering that heartburn is common in pregnancy, I took a couple tums, a Tylenol and waited to see if the pain would go away. When the pain had only intensified by 5am, I woke Josh up concerned and we decided to call the doctor. The doctor instructed us to get in the car immediately and go to the emergency room. In the emergency room, they ran a series of tests (EKG, Cat scan, blood work, etc) to make sure I didn't have a heart problem. The EKG and Cat Scan all came back normal, but my blood work indicated that I had a condition called preeclampsia that had progressed into HELLP syndrome. Some women (lucky me) develop this condition which stands for Hemolysis,the breakdown of red blood cells, Elevated Liver enzymes, and Low Platelets, the blood cells necessary for clotting. Apparently, HELLP syndrome put both me and baby at even higher risk for the same kinds of problems that can result from severe preeclampsia. With the only cure for this syndrome being deliver of the baby, I was whisked up to the labor and delivery floor, IV's put in both of my arms, catheter inserted, and immediately prepped for an emergency c-section. Joshua Michael was born at 1:17pm in the afternoon and because he was premature, was taken to the NICU and put on oxygen. Other than having trouble breathing on his own and having trouble feeding, he was perfectly healthy! I did not have it so easy unfortunately, because one of the risks with HELLP syndrome is seizures, I was also put on magnesium sulfate through my IV - the most horrible substance in the world - this stuff makes you feel like it is 100 degrees in the room and also makes you incredibly thirsty and nauseous. I remained on this lovely treatment for 48 hours after delivery. I was also given frozen blood platelets and later two blood transfusions.

Wednesday, April 11th - My elevated liver enzymes began to stabilize, but my hemoglobin and blood platelets were still well below the normal range. Thus, I was given four more blood transfusions. Little Joshua came off the oxygen and was breathing well on his own but was still having trouble feeding and thus they put a little feeding tube in his nose to make sure he was getting enough calories each day. Dad became the professional feeder and spent a lot of time with the little guy in the nursery while mom was stuck in the bed getting pumped full of blood.

Thursday, April 12th - They took me off of the magnesium sulfate at this point - YEAH!!! As luck would have it though, after receiving all of this blood and fluid they put in me, my c-section incision began oozing blood and other grossness and my temperature spiked to 101 degrees. Also,because of all the fluid flowing through me and not being able to walk around, all of the fluid pooled in my butt making me look like I had the booty of an 80 year old lady:) They also put these leg contraptions on my legs that basically massaged my calves to avoid me getting blood clots in my legs. So, picture this, me hooked up to two IV's (one in each arm), my legs hooked to the bottom of the bed, and also hooked to a blood pressure monitor that checked my blood pressure every 15 minutes. Little Joshua was doing better, starting to eat more feedings on his own and was having fun playing with dad and coming to visit mom when he could.

Friday, April 13th - My incision did not improve, my temperature did not come down, so the doctor started me on oral antibiotics and decided it would be a good idea to open up the incision to see what was going on. So,they removed 3 of the staples in my incision and did a lot of pushing of the fluid out of my belly - the most intense pain I ever felt - was there numbing involved - NO!!! Turns out, I had what they called "third spaced" all this fluid they pumped in me between my incision and the next layer of skin. This makes normal healing of the incision space impossible and thus they packed my incision full of gauze and put a dressing on me.

Saturday, April 14th - My temperature broke and IV's came out. I was also able to take a shower for the first time since arriving at the hospital (I was really starting to stink). They came by to remove the packing from my incision and re-packed it again. At this point, my incision will not heal in a normal amount of time and I have to have it packed every day until all of the fluid is removed and the under layer of skin can close normally (the wound care people that I go see every day now say I will be all healed by July 4th - ugh!)

Sunday, April 15th - Is the fun over yet? Nope, temperature spiked again Saturday night leading them to think that my incision was now becoming infected. An IV was reinserted to my left arm and I was started on IV antibiotics for the next 24 hours. Also, my blood pressure elevated again and I was started on blood pressure medication. Meanwhile, the wound care folks came over to assess my incision and put me on this contraption called a wound vac that basically sucks the fluid out of your wound and supposedly helps you heal faster.

Monday, April 16th - Temperature broke and blood pressure stabilized, IV's came out and now just taking oral antibiotics. While Joshua's feeding was improving, his goal was to feed on his own consecutively for 48 hours,which he had not yet successfully done, but was feeding more and more on his own.

Tuesday, April 17th - Mom is ok to go home but little Joshua had to stay in the hospital until he could reach his feeding goal. Luckily, the hospital let us stay in our room so that we could stay close to baby Joshua.

Wednesday, April 18th - Joshua takes all his feedings and pulls the feeding tube out on his own - we thought it was a sign he was ready to go home :)

Thursday, April 19th - Joshua takes all his feedings again and is discharged from the hospital!

We finally go home!!"

The rest of the story goes ... I was on a wound vac until May 25th and had to go into the wound care center every other day to get the dressing changed. The wound vac was basically a tube that ran from the incision in my belly to a pump contraption thing that I had to carry around with me in a backpack. Not only was this extremely attractive, but the pump thing made a noise like a farting pig, so if I was out in public it sounded as if I was passing gas with every step. It took Joshua a month to get the breastfeeding going, but after a lot of perseverance on both parts, he finally took to the challenge and I was able to breastfeed him for a year.

Joshua is now an extremely healthy and active 18 month old. He is constantly in motion and keeps me busy! After all I went through to have him, he is the greatest joy and I would do it all over again!

Stay at home mom struggle

So, I have been dealing with this inner struggle these past few weeks. A little background information is probably in order. Before Joshua was born, I was pretty much the primary breadwinner in our household as Josh was in school. I was working in corporate America and was pretty good at my job. We weren't raking in the dough or anything like that, but were doing ok financially. We had always planned on having kiddos of course, but not until Josh was finished with school and the next step in our lives was more certain. Well, God had other plans and surprise, I was pregnant. It took us both a little time to get over the shock, but of course we were completely excited. The next year was pretty much a blur, I continued to work through my pregnancy and Josh kicked it into overdrive to try and finish up his PhD research before my maternity leave ran out. I went back to work for like a month after Joshua was born and then we packed up to move back to Arkansas to be closer to family and for Josh to try to make a go of it at running the farm. In making this decision, I was to stay home with Joshua and as a result we took about a 50% pay cut. Our cost of living is considerably less in Arkansas, but the cut in pay is pretty significant.

Back to my inner struggle. I love being able to stay home with Joshua, knowing that he is safe and getting to see all his firsts for myself. However, at times, I can't help but feel bad/guilty that I don't contribute more to our family financially. I try to do my best to contribute by not spending money like a wild woman, sticking to a budget, and things like that - but I can't help thinking sometimes that I could be contributing so much more and relieving stress from Josh if I had a full-time job as well. But the thought of leaving Joshua and soon to arrive little Julie with someone other than me for the better part of the day is just unbearable to me. I know what is best for my kids far outweighs the financial contributions I could be making, but I still struggle with it. I wish I was one of those creative chicks who could make a little money on the side by selling crafty things or selling cosmetics, but I'm just not - I have a degree in accounting (you can't get more boring than that). Anyhow, I'm just wondering if any other stay at home mom's out there struggle with this as well or if I am the only one??

Monday, October 13, 2008

Week at Nana's

Last week, Joshua spent a whole week with my parents in Fort Smith. We have visited a number of times of course, but this was the first time I have left him with them alone for an extended period of time. I think they all had a great time, but I have a feeling mom and dad had forgotten how active little toddlers are - Joshua especially! The boy does not stop running and wants to be outside all the time (he gets this from his father of course). Here are a couple of pictures from the week. Thanks Nana and Granddad for giving mommy a break!

So tired, had to take a break in the driveway :)

Playing outside

Running down the driveway

Joshua reading his truck book - yes, it is upside down :)


Preggo mom (8 months) about to leave

Joshua thought he was so big because he learned how to open the doors at my parents house.

Playing outside

Saturday, September 27, 2008


I haven't posted in a while since not much blog worthy has been happening, but here are a couple of updates.

Pregnancy update - Things are still going well so far. My c-section is officially scheduled for Nov. 11 which is just around the corner! Starting next week, I will be having weekly ultrasounds and non-stress tests to make sure my fluid levels are ok and that the baby is doing alright. These additional tests are necessary because of all of the complications I had with Joshua. I am really encouraged right now though because my blood pressure has been fine this pregnancy so far. With Joshua, I started having trouble with my blood pressure at around 26 weeks, so sitting at 32 weeks with normal blood pressure is encouraging. I will keep updating on the pregnancy front as things progress. I think we have settled on a name too.... Julie Kate Walker. We can't wait to meet her!

Recent events - Josh's 10 year high school reunion was this weekend. He hasn't really kept up with anyone from high school so it was a little interesting and awkward. I somewhat forced him to go because I thought it might be a good way for me to meet new people. Living in the sticks, it is a little challenging to meet new friends. I don't know that I met anyone I will end up being best friends with, but it was nice to spend time with people our own age. Joshua had a good time playing outside with other little kids as well.

Not much else has been going on. Next weekend I will be heading to Fort Smith for a baby shower for a very dear friend of mine - Amanda Whittaker. Her baby is due like a week before mine and we are both having girls so it has been fun to share this pregnancy with her.

I will post again soon if anything new and exciting happens :)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Cries in the night...

Ah, the joys of motherhood. Last night, Joshua did not sleep at all! This is something he has not done since he was a newborn! He almost always takes a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon and then sleeps for 12 hours at night which I am so very grateful for!!

Not this night, I put him down around 9pm as usual and stayed up reading a book until around midnight. 30 minutes after I turned off the light to go to sleep, I hear blood curdling screams from Joshua's room. I thought it was odd so I went in to check on him. There he was, his arms stretched out for me wailing! I picked him up, rocked him for a minute until he calmed down and then put him back in the crib. 30 minutes later, again with the screaming! This time Josh goes into comfort him, which usually doesn't work because Joshua associates daddy with playtime. Things were quiet for a little while, but I can't sleep wondering what the heck is going on with my little boy. Josh puts him back in the crib quietly, 30 minutes later... the screaming returns! I have no idea what is going on. I had taken his bumper pad things out of his crib that day because he has started trying to use them to climb out of the crib. I thought this might be freaking him out - all of the sudden having to peer through the slats in the crib into the dark night instead of being surrounded by the bumper pads, so I put them back on in hopes that would do the trick. The whole time I am putting back the bumper pads, Joshua is holding his arms out for me pitifully crying. I pick him up and he gives me the sign for hungry! Ah -ha!! He must be hungry! We go into the kitchen, have a little milk and a piece of bread, which he scarfs down! Then I go sit in the rocker with him, he is holding onto my finger with his little hand for dear life hoping I won't leave him! He finally drifts off to sleep - it is now 6:00am in the morning and I have yet to sleep. Poor little guy, he just needed a snack.

It is as I am sitting with him in the rocker, his little fingers wrapped tightly around mine and his little head nestled up against my chest that I realize again, even though I am exhausted that I wouldn't trade that special cuddling moment for anything - it truly is the joy of motherhood.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The attack of the killer jalapenos...

Tonight I decided to make black beans and rice for supper. It was a new recipe and called for two jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped... no biggee, right? WRONG!!

Usually when I am working with jalapenos, I put on some gloves to do the chopping because the oils in the pepper really burns. Well, I was working fast, had a toddler running in between my legs the entire time I was cooking and just got to chopping without thinking about it. Lord have mercy!! Within minutes, my fingers are on fire! I must have reached up and touched under my nose as well because my nostrils felt like I had just inhaled pure gasoline or something! I run into the living room to tell Josh of the serious pain I was feeling. Of course, he just looks at me and says "Well, don't do that" - infuriating!

So, I am slaving away in the kitchen feeling like I had just dipped my hands and nose into a vat of acid or something. I then go to look in the mirror and my entire upper lip is bright red - quite disturbing! I tried lemon juice, milk, vinegar, orange juice, finger nail polish remover - nothing helped ease the pain!!

I now vow to never cook anything again that calls for jalapenos! To top it off, the dang black beans and rice gave me heart burn so I ended up taking tums and burping all night! Stupid jalapenos!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pregnancy Woes and Wonderfuls...

I am currently in my 26th week of pregnancy and I was thinking the other day that about this time is when you start to look at the calendar and say, "Oh man, I have to be pregnant for how much longer?" Now, I don't want to seem ungrateful because up to this point my pregnancy has been uncomplicated (keep praying it will stay that way), but here are just a couple of things about being pregnant that are difficult.

I call these the pregnancy woes...

1. Everything is getting bigger, belly, boobs, butt - everything! It is a wonder my husband still recognizes me and still stops me in the hall for a hug :)

2. Getting up to go pee in the middle of the night - more than once. Now, I have tried to master the wandering into the bathroom trying to stay asleep as much as possible while peeing and then getting back to bed, but I have a very active mind and have never slept well so after each pee break in the middle of the night it takes me at least 30 minutes to fall back asleep. I am tired :)

3. I am always starving! I have tried to eat healthily this time around, but sugar is my biggest addiction. Put ice cream, cake, candy, anything with sugar around me and I can't resist!!

4. I am starting to have a hard time tying my shoes, getting out of bed, and getting up off the couch by myself - the belly muscles just don't work when you are pregnant!

5. Strange foods give me heartburn that seems to never end. I think I will just eat rice for the remainder of my pregnancy - just kidding!

6. Drinking so much water makes me feel like a giant whale and, of course, I then have to pee all the time!

7. I am always hot and sweating profusely! I am typically a hot natured person as it is, but this summer heat and the pregnancy hormones have put me over the edge. I walk around in shorts and a tank top at home and am still sweating!

8. I am always wondering if my little girl is ok in there. While all the doctors visits say everything is fine, you just don't know until she is here.

9. I am constantly worried that my blood pressure will freak out again and I will find myself with a very premature baby and possibly no momma. I then go back to the fact that God is in control and is watching out for both me and my little baby. Plus, I monitor my blood pressure at home and things have been fine so far, so I am encouraged (at this point during my last pregnancy, I was already having trouble with my blood pressure).

Now, for the pregnancy wonderfuls....

1. I have a beautiful baby girl growing inside me that is a precious miracle! I know so many couples who have had a hard time conceiving or were not able to have babies at all and knowing that this little one is such a precious gift that we are blessed with makes all the pregnancy woes worth it!

2. I get to by fun girly outfits - till now I have been outnumbered by my boys!

3. I get to feel kicks and punches and somersaults in my belly all day - pregnancy truly is an amazing experience.

4. I will have another precious child to call me momma and take care of.

5. I can play the pregnancy card - "Honey, can you get me a drink, I am just so tired" Although, I do not abuse this privilege or it will lose its effectiveness :)

6. Joshua will have a sibling to play with. Dad is a lot of fun to play with, but he thinks momma is kind of boring sometimes. Daddy makes better car sound effects.

7. I get to eat a little more than I normally would, because, hey, I am eating for two!

8. I don't have to ask my husband if an outfit makes me look fat, because let's face it, maternity clothes are not flattering, so I already know the answer.

There are many other things I could list, but I think this hits the high points. All in all, I am truly blessed the have the opportunity to become a momma again and I thank the Lord every day for the precious miracle that will be arriving soon and for the one that I already have with me (little Joshua).

Friday, July 25, 2008

Boys will be boys...

My little Joshua is a precious little boy. He has just started walking and has also started to get in to all kinds of trouble. This morning, I was checking my email on the computer and noticed that the house was strangely quiet - which normally means Joshua is getting into something he shouldn't. Now we normally keep the door to the bathroom closed because Joshua has a strange obsession with the toilet (EWWW!), but it happened to be left open this morning and as I wander around the house looking for the trouble maker I go into the bathroom and discover my son splashing around in the toilet bowl water - GAG!!! I scream and immediately dunk him in the bathtub and scrub his little body from head to toe trying to eradicate whatever discussing germs he had just come in contact with. He found the whole thing to be extremely funny and just kept looking at my like "what's the big deal mom?"

Ah, my husband says this is just a glimpse of the nasty things he will get into in the years to come. I foresee a lot of baths in our future :)

A strange question

I went to the doctor yesterday - standard OB check up, but had to fill out some paper work. I'm going down the list of questions, answering yes, no, yes, no when I come across the strangest question I have ever read. It was as follows:

"Are you related to the father of your child (other than by marriage)?"

I read it over and over trying to make sure I understood what I was reading, then when it finally dawned on me that they were asking if my husband was also my brother or cousin, I found this hilariously funny and started laughing out loud in the waiting room! My doctor is on the Texas side in Texarkana, so you can't say that must be a backwoods Arkansas question, but I guess they have run into that problem enough to put it on a questionnaire. SERIOUSLY!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Why did God create insects?

As many of you know by now, we live out in BFE where the bugs and critters run rampant! Now, I am fine with the bugs and critters as long as they stay on their turf and stay out of mine. Well, with summer in full force now, let's just say the natives are getting restless.

I was brushing my teeth the other night, minding my own business, when I bend over the sink to spit my toothpaste out, this ginormous roach was sitting on the faucet staring at me! Of course I screamed, took of my flip flop and began squashing the nasty bugger to death before it could jump in my ear or something. So I was like, "ok, an occasional roach is no big deal, be a big girl." A few days pass with no roach encounters.

Then, out of the blue, it was around 11pm at night, I walk into the bathroom, flip on the light, and there are 5 more ginormous roaches on the bathroom floor! FIVE, not one, FIVE!!!! I screamed again (thankfully Joshua was asleep in his crib and didn't wake up at the commotion) and began the war with the roaches - one flip flop against five roaches. After much effort, I won and all the roaches were flushed down the toilet to roach oblivion!

At this point, I am not comfortable with the roach intrusion at all. Josh was out working late into the night (darn cows) so I called him and told him about my encounter with the roaches and basically threatened his life if he didn't come home and eradicate the problem at once :) Of course, Josh doesn't see what the big deal is because he is a boy who grew up in the boonies and is used to this sort of thing. Me, not so much - I spent the rest of the night in the fetal position in my bed afraid to go into the bathroom for fear that the march of the roaches would return!

The next day, I put Josh to work spraying roach poison outside the house and making sure that anything inviting to roaches outside was eliminated (i.e. tall grass, wood, weeds, etc). He was really sweet about the whole thing - I think he knows that I have a tendency to over-react at things while pregnant :) Anyhow, there have been no future roach sightings and the Terminix man is coming this week.

I think when I get to heaven, one of the questions I will ask God is why there has to be so many yucky insects in the world and why they don't mind their own business and stay outside! Don't they know that when they venture inside they will just get smashed and flushed! Ugh!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Goat

Another funny encounter with my neighbor...

The other day I was loading up the car for a trip to Fort Smith to see my parents. My neighbor was outside wandering around his above the ground pool and called out to me... the conversation went something like this:

Neighbor: "Hey, ya'll seen my goat?"

Me: "No, is it missing?"

Neighbor: "Well, me and the boys dun gone fishing yesterday for about two hours, and when we came back -the sucker was gone!"

Me: "Well, we haven't seen him, but we will keep an eye out for him."

Neighbor: "It just up and disappeared. My ten year old is beside himself with grief. We drove everywhere in Ben Lomond looking for the thing, and he is just plain gone. We're telling everyone we see to keep a look out for him."

Me: "We'll let you know if we see him."

So, I am telling Josh about this later. His theory is that the stupid thing either got run over somewhere (happens a lot around here apparently) or that a nice Hispanic family was driving through town and thought the goat would make a good dinner :)

The goat remains missing, but alas, the neighbors have since replaced it with another little black goat that enjoys the pool as much as the old goat did! Now, I ask you, how many of you have had conversations with your neighbors like this?

Monday, June 23, 2008


So, it has been a while since I have posted anything, not much blog worthy has been going on it seems.

Joshua is growing and is so much fun. He has started standing on his own, but is still a little timid in the walking department. This weekend, we left Joshua with the grandparents overnight for the first time. Josh and I drove down to College Station, TX to go to a cattle sale and left Joshua to play with the grandparents. He did great and Josh and I were able to spend some quality time together. Joshua is such a good little boy that it is not hard for me and Josh to get time together usually, but it was still nice to get away and pretend we were young married people without kids yet :)

Pregnancy is going well. We found out that we are going to have a little girl! I am so excited! I have always said that I didn't really care whether it was a boy or girl, as long as it was healthy, but I was really excited to hear the news. Now if no more babies are in my future after this one, at least I will have one of each! We are still trying to decide on a name, right now we like Julie Kate... we will see it if sticks :)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Maid, Anyone?

I was just wondering if anyone other than me ever looks around their house and wonders, "I need a full time maid" and then realizes - "Oh yeah, I am the full time maid"?

I was contemplating this yesterday as I swept dirt and mud off the floor yesterday for the 3rd time because my wonderful, hard-working and amazing husband thinks his dirt covered shoes, "Aren't that dirty" and enjoys tracking dirt into my house at various intervals during the day. Now, normally I am an easy going, don't mind sweeping three times a day if that means I get to stay home and raise my kids, kind of person. But, being that I am a little bit pregnant and a lot hormonal - things get to me more these days it seems.

I think the root of this issue is the fact that I live in the country and with the country comes dirt and I just can't ever seem to get my house clean like I like it. There is just something so nice and peaceful about having a clean house and it frustrates me to no end when I finally get it clean and then feel like I need to start all over again.

Am I the only mom/housewife that feels this way? If so, it must be the hormones :)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Joshua turns 1!

Joshua turned 1 on April 10! We had a John Deere themed party for him and I don't really think he understood what was going on, but man he loved the cake. It took him a minute to figure out he could eat it, but once he took that first bite he dug in like crazy. I finally had to take it away from him because I was afraid he was going to eat too much sugar and get sick. He was so hyper after all that sugar it was hilarious! He was crawling all over shouting and giggling - it was so funny! Here are some pictures from the big day!

Morning Sickness and Farm Work

I am currently 10 weeks preggo with my second little one. I haven't been barfing my guts out or anything, but I live in a constant state of nausea! I have a huge phobia of throwing up - I haven't barfed since I was 12 years old and am completely terrified of it. I don't know why I have this fear, probably because my little brother Clay threw up all the time when we were kids and oftentimes he threw up on or around me!

Anyway, last weekend, we had a huge cattle working event. Lots of Josh's family comes to town to help and it is quite the ordeal. Now, as sick as I felt, I didn't want to miss out on the festivities. My job in the cattle working is to open and close gates and help run the cows through the shoot. We don't usually stop for lunch and I get more nauseous if I don't keep something in my stomach. So, this one cow comes through and she just recently had a baby, but hadn't delivered the placenta. She smelled AWFUL and Josh proceeded to pull the placenta out with his hands! So for some stupid reason I watch this as nasty infected placenta falls out on the ground smelling completely rank!! I started gagging and had to run to the other side of the lot to get some fresh air! Crisis averted, I did not throw up - but I thought better of joining in the cow working festiviities after that!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Yesterday, the kind folks in Ben Lomond hosted a "getting to know you" party. This consisted of me and Josh and Joshua going to the community building in ben lomond and sitting in a circle with a bunch of strangers staring at us - awkward to say the least especially given that I hate being the center of attention. Everyone was very nice and there were a few young people there which was encouraging to me.

Instead of gifts, everyone brought a recipe and one ingredient for the recipe. I opened one of the recipes and it happened to be a recipe for red velvet cake with red food coloring being the given ingredient. So after I open it, this woman comes over to me and with a completely straight face says...
"You gotta watch out for that stuff, it'll turn your poop red!"

I didn't know how to respond so I just kind of looked at her and said thanks! Josh and I laughed for like an hour afterwards about it!!

Sad day on the farm

So, it is calving season, meaning that all of Josh's cows are having babies right now. It is interesting to watch all these new momma cows have their little baby cows and to see how they take care of the babies in their new world.

Sometimes cows have trouble having babies and Josh has to help them by pulling the calf out with his hands - eww!! This usually only happens if the calf is unusually large for the momma or if the momma is too old to be halving babies. Well, last night, a cow that was too old to have babies, had a calf that was unusually large - a double wammee! So, after Josh pulled the calf, the momma would not get up. Once a cow falls down and won't get up, it is not long before they give up and just die. After a number of attempts to get the momma up, it was obvious she was not going to and was going to die soon. Josh doesn't think it is fair to let an animal suffer so he decided that he needed to put the momma down (i.e. shoot it!) It was nearing midnight at this point so I had to go out with him so I could hold the flashlight while he put the cow down....Now, I have never witnessed anything being shot at point blank range so I was nervous to say the least. Josh told me to hold the flashlight and close my eyes. So I did, and he shot the cow right there! I thought I could be tough, but this made me so sad that I just busted out in tears right there like a big baby! I just kept thinking about my little Joshua and how sad I would be if I couldn't take care of him. I know it is different with animals, but it still made me sad.The baby calf survived, but we had to bottle feed it milk last night. It was pretty cool to watch the little baby cow drink from the bottle that I was holding.

So I guess that is the circle of life...a new life begins while another life ends. You wouldn't think such deep thoughts could take place in the middle of farm work :)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Another day, another animal

Since we moved to Arkansas, I have been working on fixing up the little house that we are going to live in. Today I went to my house to do some work (we are currently living with the in-laws until our house in habitable), when I pull up and get out there is the sound of a dog barking really close by, but I see no dog. Now, most homes in Ben Lomond are built on a crawl space foundation - i.e. they are up off the ground and don't have a solid concrete foundation. Around the base of the house are small spaces where you can crawl up under the house if you need to (hence the term "crawl space"). Typically, the spaces where you can crawl up under the house are blocked by little gate looking things. Well, on our house, one of the gates is missing and Josh needs to replace it - so any old thing can snuggle up under our house (see where I am going with this).

So, I finally figure out that my neighbor’s dog is stuck under my house because he chased a cat in there and had it cornered!! My neighbor comes out of his house and says "I think my dog done chased a critter up under your house." He then proceeds to crawl under my house and yell for his dog to get out from under the house. The dog finally gives up on the cat, and gets out from under my house, but the cat stayed there. Now, I guess you can look at that as a good thing because if there were any mice under there the cat would eat them. The funny thing was, I was standing in the kitchen later and kept hearing the cat running into the grate things trying to get out. I still don't know if I am cut out for this farm life thing - every day is a new adventure that is for sure!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Today was a new adventure! I learned to drive the John Deere Tractor today. Up until this point, I have been scared to learn how to drive the tractor because its not like driving a car, it has a lot of geers and to stop it you have to push the clutch instead of the brake and stuff like that. Aside from almost decapitating my husband with the front end loader, I did pretty good. Course, I only drove around at about 2 mph, but it was fun to learn something new.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Famous quote from my neighbor

So, I met my neighbor today. He is a nice man with four young boys (I didn't meet his wife). Now as nice as this man is, he is certainly country (has a very thick southern accent) and the outside of his house has more junk around it than you can imagine. Of particular interest is an above the ground pool that is not quite finished - i.e. there is nothing surrounding the pool to hide the blue tarp that surrounds the base of the pool. Also interesting is a goat that lives by the pool and walks around the pool all day. When we asked the man about the goat, he said that his 3 year old son wanted it and (I quote):
"I oughta barbeque that son of a bitch"

This struck me as hilariously funny!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Farm Life

So, after 5 long years in Colorado, we are finally back in Arkansas. Ya know, after all the time looking forward to moving I still feel like I am in a foreign land. Don't get me wrong it sure is nice to be closer to my family and getting back to my roots so to speak, but I am still adjusting to this whole farm thing.

A little background info is probably in order. So I met my husband Josh at the University of Arkansas. He was really fun and charming and as an added bonus was also very smart. He is from this itty bitty town called Ben Lomond, AR. Now, Ben Lomond is about 10 minutes outside of Ashdown, AR and about 30 minutes north of Texarkana. Population in Ben Lomond - 126! Not a typo - one hundred and twenty six! So, I knew when I met and fell in love with Josh that living in this little place was a possibility. You see, my husband has this strange obsession with cows! He bought his first cow when he was 12 years old and his "herd" has grown to a total of 220 head to date. I also knew this when we got married. So Josh's plan has been that he wants to be a farmer, but being the smart one that he is realized that farming is a tough way to support a family. So, he has spent the last 5 years pursuing a masters and Phd in reproductive physiology in Colorado. This way, Josh is qualified to do all kinds of reproductive services (in cattle) that will supposedly rake in the dough - or he can go teach at the college level. So, after all that schoolin' Josh is now the most educated farmer in history. But you know what - he loves it! He is the most happy running after those cows than he has ever been and that makes me happy!

For those of you that know me well, know that I am somewhat of a girly girl. I like things clean, I like to be clean, and I don't venture out much without at least a little makeup applied. Well, farm life sure has changed me. I now own my own pair of Carhart overalls, steel towed boots, and leather gloves. I know how to herd cattle, feed cattle, drive a mule (a large scale four wheeler type thing), build fence, been to a number of cow sales, feedlots, etc. Yep, I am a genuine farm girl!

We are renting a small house in Ben Lomond until we figure out how the whole farm thing is going to go financially. There aren't many living choices available in Ben Lomond, so when this house became available for rent, we jumped on it without really looking at it (we lived in CO at the time). Well, the nicest thing I can say about it is that the roaches are friendly and the mice inhabiting it were all dead upon discovery - thank God for Terminix!!! But, after the roaches were exterminated and the place cleaned up a bit, it is not so bad after all. The other day however, I walked out to the back yard and there was a half eaten dead chicken lying on the ground! It had no head - only its feet were left - GROSS!!

All that to say that it is definitely a different world down here, but I am slowly adjusting. I love having Josh’s parents close by and being able to be within driving distance to my parents is really fun! I am just going to have to be a bit tougher when it comes to bugs and random other grossness – I’m sure there will be more interesting stories to come!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ordinary Day

Today was a pretty normal day down on the farm. It was raining which meant that Josh couldn't do any work outside so we got to hang out some today. That is one super nice thing about his present vocation - even though he works really hard from dawn until dusk, I still get to see him periodically during the day and when it rains I get to see him a lot!