Archives for the month of: March, 2021

It would appear that caring for any sort of creature – whether it be children or pets or livestock – is basically periods of calm, enjoyable existence punctuated by moments of varying levels of stress and anxiety. I don’t like the stress and anxiety at all but I really love the calm times.

Currently our goats are spending the month with a buck at a stud farm who is hopefully laying his moves on them for some late July/early August babies. I am so excited to have baby goats again! I’m also super excited for our goats to be milking again. They really have the creamiest milk and I love knowing everything that went into making that nutritious milk for my (human) kiddos. I’m really looking forward to growing our herd and building a strong, healthy line of goats. The buck we picked to breed them to is gorgeous and comes from a strong dairy line. If we get any does from him, I definitely intend to keep at least 1 or 2. This will hopefully be Lucy (our baby goat from last year’s kidding) first time to have babies and we are really looking forward to seeing them and also finding out what kind of milker she will be. Her mom isn’t a big producer but on her dad’s side are good milking genes. I sure hope she will do well!

Lucy

Our chickens are back to laying eggs after their winter break. We could have put lights in the coop and kept them laying throughout the winter but needless to say, this winter was not a great time for projects like that while getting ready for Destin to arrive. Maybe we will get the coop set up more before next winter. (DH is dreaming of an automatic door opener so he can be sure they are locked up safe at sundown) It’s warm and cozy and that’s all that matters for now.

But anyway, yes, they are laying eggs again and DH couldn’t be more thrilled. Like I seriously woke up the other morning to see him standing by the bed with 4 eggs in his hands, smiling and remarking on the unique color of each egg. So far we are getting 3-6 eggs a day from our 10(ish – I forget actually😂) hens. We also have 3 roosters. We originally had 5 roosters, which is way too many for the number of hens we have. Decisions had to be made about who would go and we actually only need one rooster (we don’t need any roosters really but I want more chicks soon) but so far we have removed 2 that were dangerous. Zane was outside with me and one of our previously docile roosters decided to flog him, out of nowhere and for no reason. Thankfully I was only a couple feet away and despite wearing Destin in the wrap at the time, I was able to grab Zane and throw him behind me. The rooster learned quickly that he was no match for my ninja skills and went back to his eating, but as soon as I could, I caught him and his identical brother (because I couldn’t actually tell them apart). Thankfully Zane was only pecked once and was ok. Unfortunately, of our remaining roosters, one is full size. The bantams don’t go anywhere near the kids because they’re not tame at all, but the big guy is Levi’s favorite and he can’t bear me to get rid of him. He may disappear one day though…. I can’t take risks with roosters.

DH is a great little farmer. He took over all animal care for the last month of my pregnancy as it was snowy and icy and he wasn’t having it with me going back and forth between the house and barn multiple times a day. He was very diligent with keeping the water thawed and everyone healthy. He even spent Christmas evening saving chickens from the cold after they inexplicably got stuck outside the coop. He spent some considerable time crawling through their pen in the dark and getting them back inside and warmed up. He frequently is heard singing “We are farmers… Dum dum dum dum…”🤦 😂

Unrelated but DH and our neighbor rescued an owl yesterday. I was outside and heard our big rooster making weird sounds and the hens ran away. I saw what I thought was a hawk in our neighbors field. Levi tried to scare it off but it flopped around. He said he thought it was an owl because it turned it’s head around. I went to investigate it closer and sure enough, it was an owl and was dragging a chain from its foot. Apparently it had stepped in a small game trap. DH decided to call our neighbor and see if they could help the owl. They were able to catch it and remove the trap and because there was no sign of injury, they set the owl free. He was tired and rested awhile but later on he flew away. 🙂

Amazing camouflage skills

So, what is next around here? I need a couple barn cats to control the mouse population. You wouldn’t believe how many mice I’ve had jump out from behind hay and feed buckets in the last year. Tru and Levi are anxiously awaiting this addition. 🐱🐈Stay tuned!

Today is Destin’s 1 month birthday. 🙂 He’s grown and changed so much already, it’s incredible! One thing that has stayed the same is that he is a very sweet and happy baby. We are in a super good routine and I hope we can stick with this for a long time.

Sleep

From day 1, Destin slept well at night in the hospital. I think he woke 2 or 3 times through the night for the first week. Some time toward the end of the first week or beginning of the second, he started waking just once around 3-5am. Now he usually wakes around 4:30-6am. Then he usually wakes around 7:15am and will take his binky until I get him up between 8-9am for the day. Bedtime is at 11pm after cluster feeding from 9-11pm, although I’ve noticed that he’s cluster feeding less now than the first few weeks. I try to wake him up around 9pm to get some energy out before bedtime.

At first he napped pretty much all day between nursing. He had almost no awake time at all. Now he spends around an hour awake at a time, sometimes more. Some naps are long, especially if I lay him down for them. He can’t take long naps in my arms because I don’t get to sit down for long without having to jump up to take care of Quayd and the other kids. It actually makes me super sad that I have to ever lay Destin down for his naps at this young age, but honestly it’s probably for the best as it’s teaching him healthy sleep habits.

He definitely prefers to be swaddled when he’s put down, whether he’s awake or asleep. He gets agitated easily when his arms are loose. At night I wrap him in a receiving blanket to keep his legs secure and then put a thin swaddle over top of that. I SO wish I had thought to try this with my other babies because it seems to make a huge difference in how much Destin startles at night when his legs are secure. It only took me 5 kids to figure this out. 🤦

Eating

All day. Especially at first, feeding on demand was every hour at the hospital. Once we came home I noticed it was more like every 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. Now he’s going longer, even up to 2-3 hours occasionally. But honestly, if it helps him sleep longer at night if he eats all day, I’ll gladly do it. I even encourage cluster feeding before bed. Plus, feedings mean I have a solid reason to just sit and snuggle. ❤️ I’ve been so blessed that after the initial soreness and engorgement, breastfeeding has been easier this time than any of my other experiences. I was extremely particular this time about latch, although I still managed to get blisters on both sides before we got home from the hospital. They healed quickly though. The nipple shield didn’t work for Destin, but thankfully a deeper latch helped the soreness immensely. I also was very faithful with putting on nipple balm the first couple days and every night for the first week.

He’s also just been my easiest baby to get a good deep latch with from early on. I worked on it a lot in the hospital. He had latched himself on right after birth and did great, so I feel like he’s just a natural. Interestingly, he likes to nurse longer durations than my other kids did, except Levi.

I’ve been pumping with my Elvie pump, which is a post all of its own. I definitely like it, even though I don’t think my milk supply is quite as high this time. Probably at least partially due to not usually pumping both sides at the same time and not pumping fully dry because the Elvie only holds 5 ounces. I’m pumping in the morning, before bed, once in the night and usually a time or two during the day. I’d say I get roughly 25oz a day, although I’m not keeping track. No milk has made it’s way to the freezer though as Zane and Quayd are drinking it as fast as I can pump. With Zane’s petite size, I’m glad he’s getting the extra calories and nutrition. For Quayd it’s more of a comfort to him and helps him feel more included rather than not being the baby anymore.

Growth

All this feeding has meant that Destin has been very quick to gain weight. He’s well over 10lbs already, maybe more! At first his newborn clothes were baggy. Now he’s filling out his 0-3 month clothes. 😭 We ran out of newborn diapers after the first week, so I moved him into size 1 since we had a ton of those. At first they were really big on him but already the waste band is about to not fit! 😱 I’m both devastated by how fast he’s grown and super thankful that he’s growing so well. Emotions are complex. 😭

He has had 1 checkup so far at 13 days old and he was already 8lbs 13oz. Up 1lb 1oz from birth weight.

Destin was by far our weakest and floppiest newborn. I asked the pediatrician about it at his checkup (it was at 13 days old, not right after hospital discharge because of snowstorms). She said something about low muscle tone. Since I didn’t have a lot of fluid with him during the pregnancy, I feel like maybe that prevented him from building as much muscle tone as our other newborns had. Nevertheless, he’s definitely getting stronger. He’s even lifting his head off our shoulders now when we burp him. I think he’s still not as strong as my other 1 month olds were but he’s definitely getting there!

The other big developments are his awake time increasing and the fact that he looks around to see what he’s hearing when things are loud. He also looks at the TV when it’s on. From birth he has always responded to his daddy’s voice and looks for him when he hears him talking.

As of 3 weeks 4 days, he smiles at people. I thought maybe he had smiled at me once before but for sure he smiled at 3 of his aunts in separate occasions over the weekend, then today he definitely smiled at me for real when I was talking to him this morning. He had his pacifier in though so I’m anxious to see him smile without it. 😀

Destin just has such a calm and sweet demeanor. This might sound silly but he has a soft and quiet cry. I’m so incredibly thankful for that because Quayd came out screaming and never stopped and his cry is so incredibly loud. Like opera singing is almost definitely in his future. 😂 I prayed throughout my pregnancy for Destin to be a quieter baby than Quayd because, our sanity. I’m so thankful that so far he is not a fan of screaming at us and to be honest, a couple times he’s been crying in the other room after waking from a nap and I didn’t even hear him till I went to check on him. I call this a blessing, folks.

The family

We’ve all adjusted well to having Destin in our lives. Everyone loves him so much. My sister said she was going to take him home with her when she came to see him the other day and (bless his heart) Zane started crying and ran to me begging me not to let her take our baby home. It was equal parts sad and adorable. Zane had to hold Destin after that to comfort himself. The kids all kiss him a million times a day. I’m constantly wiping crumbs off his head from kisses left by sticky little mouths. 😂

I personally have done well recovering so far but I’m still trying to take it easy (failing because it isn’t possible, but trying nonetheless). I had one scary incident at 9 days pp where I had done serious gushing and thought I might be hemorrhaging again, but a call to the dr assured me I was ok. My energy levels stayed low the first couple weeks but after some daily iron pills, I do feel stronger. The body aches were what surprised me most this time around. I took ibuprofen every single day for probably 3 weeks. I’m starting to feel ok enough to skip now but still have a headache and get really tired around 3pm every day. Some coffee and sitting down for a bit is usually enough to recharge me until bedtime. I haven’t found that unicorn opportunity to take a nap yet but that’s ok. If Destin will (please God) keep sleeping well at night, I will be just fine. 🙂

Dear God, thank You for this beautiful and precious baby. Please keep him safe and healthy and happy. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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