Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"Utterly" Interesting.....

Back about 25 years ago, when my parents were 'knee deep" in the art of farming, they had become friends with another couple who shared in their interest of small scale farming. On our family farm there were a few cows (to us kids, they were more like pets with affectionate names like milky, agness and cookie), some pigs, turkeys and at one point a lamb. The other couple also had a similar sized farm with cows, but in a much more common farming area with fantastic views out their back yard of fields and green rolling hills of corn that seemed to go on forever. they were two young couples with young families and a lot in common. They had 3 children, their oldest was a boy about 4 years younger than me. I can vividly remember him being a farming fanatic. He and his father lived and breathed their farm. At one of the get togethers, I believe I was around 7 yrs old and He (Danny) must have been about 3 or 4, I was entertaining him by playing farm with him. he had stood the couch cushions up as a fence, and I became the "cow" on his farm. When I didn't want to play anymore, and started to exit the "gate" ,......I was scolded and told to "GET BACK IN THAT MILK'N PARLOR!!!! even back then, Danny's life long dream was to own his very own dairy farm.

Over the years our families lost touch, his parents got divorced, They sold their farm, and ours became the "family farm" without animals, just the seasonal Garden. Sure, now and then we would run into them and hear about a graduation, or a wedding. Then a few years ago, we heard that Dan had sure enough, started his own dairy farm. It has been a couple years now, that we have been wanting to plan a trip back over to those green acres to check out this Dairy Farm. Corin ran into his mother in town last week, and word of Danny's farm was mentioned again - on Sunday, Corin and I decided to take the kids on a little field trip......we were off to Argyle (farm country) to check out the "Ridgeview Dairy farm" - and hopefully catch up with Farmer Dan. The last time I had seen Dan - he was about the size of my son.
We arrived at the farm about 12:30. there was no one around for a while, so we poked around - peered in some windows and chatted with the friendly Dog. After a while, Dan's Girlfriend greeted us and lead us into the barn. The main barn - where all the action is. It was the "milking Parlor"! the kids were so excited! each cow had a tag on their ear with a name. We first met Sassy and Mystic. Then we were quickly distracted to the corner where the kids fell in love with tiny chickens.

We were quickly given a condensed lesson on the workings of the farm. believe it or not, these cows stay right where they are to be milked. here is "Farmer Dan" holding up the apparatus that gets put on the cow's utters for milking..... then the milk travels through a maze of pipes and into this huge barrel. Every other day, these 65 or so cows give farmer Dan 7,000 gallons of their milk!!! can you imagine? he then sells the milk to a co-op and somewhere after that, the milk becomes what my children cherish before bed.

After our milking lesson, we mozied on out of the barn into the area where the baby cows are kept. This little cow, who's name is SQUIRT, was simply adorable. And she just loved the attention from the kids. at one point, she even tried sucking on kerrigan's fingers. "eewwww".
Farmer Dan had to get going at this point. He was running behind on chores that needed to be done - he was heading off to load up a few more cows to bring back to the barn, and he needed to be back in time for the 4:30 milking. I felt a little guilty for dropping in on this busy farm. Should we have set aside a more convenient time for him? - truth is, I don't think there is a more convenient, or less busy time for him. He works extremely hard, but he is loving every minute of it. I'm so glad we finally got to see Dan's Farm, and by the excitement in the kids - I'd say it is worth another trip back there soon. Perhaps we could time it just right to where we catch them at milking time.

The Family Jewels....

When I was a teenager, "friendship bracelets" were really cool. For a while, I was pretty good at making them out of string tied in thousands of knots, and occasionally beaded like these. They were the kind you left on forever.....or at least until they rotted and fell off. I made one for Kyle when he was a toddler and he looked so cute. He called it his "beautiful". A couple of weeks ago I decided to make another one for him and each of the girls. they look so cute on all of them with there tan little legs. Then the kids decided we all needed them so we could match. Daddy even got in on the action. (I'm working on the tan little leg part). It has been two weeks and Kerrigan has still left hers on even. And she is very quick to throw her leg around so you can see her "bwracet".

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A tiny bit of inconvenient Exercise

I need to exercise. I enjoy exercising. I never find alone time to exercise.

among other excuses, I find it hard to get into an exercise routine that I can stick to. I blame this on the kids of course, but believe it or not - it's a very real excuse. And since I have started working full time, I don't find it fair to Gary, or the kids, that I require another hour or so in the evening all to myself - not to be bothered - for exercise.

I have tried setting up the treadmill where I am accessible and in the viewing area of the kids for the usual abundance of questions, or settling of squabbles...but this just leads to kids getting too close to the equipment, and the constant " Mom can I have a turn? please? I promise I won't get hurt. pleASE?"......UGHhhh! - very frustrating.

I have tried Hiking with all 3 of them too....When Kerrigan could still fit in the backpack carrier, I dragged both of us up a couple of mountains and just about died. now that she is much much too heavy for the backpack, yet much much too little to toddle her legs up a hill let alone a mountain, I am seeing a babysitter in my hiking future.

Last weekend I thought I had the solution. - I broke out the "old" (like 10 years old) Rollerblades! The kids and I packed a little snack, loaded up the Bikes and the stroller and we headed for the bike trail. I figured it was time I found some more activities we could do together that would double as a good workout. You should know that this isn't exactly in our backyard - it's about 20 miles away. I picked a stretch of the trail that was completely flat -(didn't want to have to worry about Viv flying down a hill) - the kids had a great time, and I figure up and back must have equaled about a mile and 1/2 to 2 miles. we stopped half way to eat our snack at a little ice cream shop and split a gourmet soda. It was a fun little outing, but sadly, not much of a workout for me. even though I was pushing Kerrigan and rollerblading at the same time, turns out I can skate faster than Vivian can peddle her little bike. So I had to take it slow. And since it takes a little time, and Gas to plan this activity - again it isn't something I can make a habit out of.

I am back to the drawing board. I am back to having to make myself get out of bed at the @$$ crack of dawn to walk up and down the hill in front of my house. Our Fitness Model Friend from the city offered to get me copies of the fitness program DVDs of the P90X 90 day challenge- I am up for anything! I hope to receive it in the mail soon cause guess what? There are only 92 days left before we go to Disney.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Slow Down Lover-boy.....

We hadn't seen Kyles favorite friend Phenesia in a very long time. It's hard because they go to different schools, and then ....well, Life gets in the way. Usually over the summer we are able to get together for a few play dates. June was just a blurr with every weekend booked up, but July has slowed down a little and so Kyle called Phenesia up and left a message on her answering machine on Saturday night that we would like to schedule a playdate for Sunday, maybe at the playground or the Beach if she would be available.( they don't mind the spontaneity)

The whole family gets to enjoy these playdates because, like us, they are a family with 3 children.....their ages are 7, 5, and 3. (spooky right?)

after we left the message, Kyle requested to "speak to me in private"...... ummm ok?

This little 7 year old dream boy wanted to talk to his mom about the possibility of Phenesia having other boyfriends and "mom if she has another boyfriend, should I just tell her to follow her heart"??? (OMG) Kyle honey - "you guys are pretty young to be thinking about all that stuff. I think you should think of her as more of a BEST friend instead of a Girlfriend"

But apparently when Kyle thinks of Phenesia, and closes his eyes, he "sees hearts!"

Oh - I could just melt. I was sure this play date was going to be interesting to say the least.

A call on Sunday morning from Phenesia confirmed a time to meet at the Beach.

There was no mention of other boys and having to follow her heart, but I did hear a lot of conversation like - "Thank you, kyle, for teaching me to swim like a dolphin!" and "Kyle you are the Best Friend EVER!"

When Phenesia got out of the water at the end of the play date, her towel was with her mom who had gone gathering up the toys, and she was cold - shivering.......my thoughtful little boy took off his towel and put it around her.......again I could melt!

I hope this same enthusiasm and sensitivity stays with him for when there is an actual grown up relationship for him to put all of this (that I must have taught him) to good use. There is going to be some lucky girl out there. ------hopefully in about 10 years!

In the meantime, we shouldn't wait so long to get these friends together - absence does make the heart grow fonder.

My other explanation for this big boy behavior is because the kids have stopped being so obsessed with spongebob, and are now hooked on Hannah Montana. Viv loves the Rock star Idea and the Hannah Montana outfits. Kyle apparently pays very close attention to the plots...... and if any of you are familiar with the show, you might see, as I do, a similarity between Kyle and "Jake Ryan" Hannah's Boyfriend - Very cute, but very love crazy....
Those Middle school years that are ahead of us should be interesting.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The grass always looks greener on the other side

This is Vivian - Very happy - can you tell why?????? - Does she look different???

Need help? - Her hair is straight!

ya see, Vivian has this obsession with straight hair - go figure! a girl with curly hair wanting to have straight hair? - been there, done that! - but i don't think I was 4 1/2 years old when I was wishing different hair. I do believe I was about 13 when I discovered the "crimper" that also doubled as a flat iron. I too, used to wish for soft, straight, "easy" - wake up in the morning hair that didn't stick out all over. - but instead, I was blessed with the curls as a child, and the waves as a teen, and bad hair days have always been a battle.

Vivian has caught the straight hair bug because she got a feel of how soft and straight Gwen, my sister-in-law's hair is. Not a wave in it! - and Vivian loves it. She sits next to Gwen and runs her fingers through her hair often. The other day, I straightened Vivian's hair for her so she could see what she would look like. - the next day before she went to the sitter's, she asked if I would straighten it again.... Sharon said all day long Vivian brushed her hair and looked in the mirror. Then that night when we went to bed, Vivian planned ahead for the next day's birthday party -"mom, before we go to the party, will you straighten my hair again?"

I have created a Monster!

I tell her she looks beautiful either way - but that I miss her wonderful curls. I also told her we would not be straightening her hair daily - it would ruin her hair, but that if she wanted to do it for special occasions, I would.
I have a feeling this is just how my girlie girl is going to roll! this is a 4 year old who changes her outfit 3 to 4 times a day, loves make-up, is very particular about her shoes, and doesn't go a day without her nails painted.
I think I would rather have it this way, than to fight with her all the time about looking decent before we go into public -
In my experience I have seen straight haired girls pay a lot of money for the curls Vivian comes by naturally (hello perms), But I can totally remember wishing away my curls while spending hours straightening them out. eventually she will find that the grass isn't necessarily greener, and she will learn to embrace (or at least deal) her beautiful curls. - you know, someday when she is a mom and has no time to fool around with crappy hair!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Window Shopping

That is what I have been doing the last couple of lunch hours. I have easy access to an abundance of "outlet" stores near work, so it is fun to occasionally hit those stores for some window shopping. Yesterday, my goal was to scope out some school shoes for Kyle and Viv. Kyle will be a big 2nd grader this year and Viv has one more year of preschool. I could buy girl shoes all day long - there are so many cute styles to choose from! I found these sketchers that I thought are right up Vivie's ally. They are easy on.....look like something Hannah Montannah would wear....and they've got a lot of BLING! I will keep my eye on these for a good sale, 'cause there is no way I am paying $40 for pint sized sneakers...
Boys shoes are another story! pretty much all of them were hideous. I narrowed it down to these Adidas sneakers...(I have always kinda been an Adidas girl) and these brown "dress" shoes - he doesn't like to dress up too often, but they would look good with the occasional Khaki pants and button up shirt. - I like them for the most part, although they do look a little like they could double as bowling shoes.

My other thoughts as I was perusing the shoe stores were - Holy crap! it is the middle of July already! I really don't want to be shopping for school clothes already! - I was just lining up the options. Hopefully as it gets closer there will be fantastic back to school sales!!!!