Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Teeny Tears Update

I have taken a brief hiatus in talking about diapers, but don't worry, I'm still working on them. We had a mini diaper party the other week and we made over 200! Thanks Mom, Christine, Nina, Kim,  and McKenna. My faithful diaper cutters, Angie and Kaysha, were hiding for the picture, but they were there helping too.



We have delivered diapers to 3 local hospitals, a NILMDTS photographer, and mailed some out to organizations that are established in hospitals and make care packages for parents who have lost a child. I have also had the honor and privilege to send diapers to two different Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome groups. Something obviously very close to our hearts as this is what we went through with our boys.




Altogether we have donated around 500 diapers! This does not include the many, many other people who are a part of Teeny Tears who have donated thousands of diapers all over the country.



Fall is coming and if you need a project I know of a really good one! Even if you aren't able to sew there are still lots of ways to help out. Let me know if you are interested.

 {These little diapers are part of a set sent to Skagit Valley Hospital. They were all donated in memory of local babies}

Many, many, MANY thanks to my diaper slaves crew who have cut out, turned, ironed, and sewed hundreds of little diapers. This would not be possible without all of you and I love having this to work on in memory of Carter and all the other babies who we don't get to have here with us. It has been such a healing project for me and I hope it can bring a little bit of comfort to other grieving families. Oh, and don't worry, we aren't finished yet. I have a small mountain of flannel just waiting to turn into diapers and blankets.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mr. Expressive

 Many people have told us "Cohen is so expressive!" Here are a few of his cute little faces. And also, he doesn't have a mohawk, he just only grows hair on top of his head! We have cut the top twice already. One more cute picture? Okay fine.

{Hey Auntie Karen, do you like seafood? Heh, heh, heh....gets 'em every time}

All pictures from Karen!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fess Up Friday

* I voluntarily eat macaroni and cheese on a semi-regular basis

* We are currently using a bag of potatoes as a door stop

* Sometimes I run out of things to watch on Netfl1x and then I end up watching things like "Who the !%@# Did I Marry". Then when I get in bed I wake up my innocently (or is he?) sleeping husband and ask him if he's a spy, a money smuggler, or if he's going to take me on a cruise and throw me overboard.

* While calling patients on the phone, I sometimes have to guess who I am talking to..."Hi is Maryjo Soandso there? Oh she isn't? Is this her................*please give me some kind of a hint*..........husband? wife? son? neighbor? Second cousin twice removed?" They don't often willingly offer me who they are. Guessing doesn't always turn out very well.

* (Continued from above) This also applies to guessing who people are in person. "And is this your dad? Is he going to pick you up after surgery?" "Um, that's my boyfriend" Whoops.

* Cohen has a little baby doll that he is allowed to play with if we refer to it as an action figure, per Danny's request

* I posted Fess Up Friday on Thursday at 11:30 pm (yawn, close enough to Friday) because otherwise I won't have time to do it tomorrow! 

Do you have anything you would like to confess? It'll make you feel better, I promise! 

{You guys are so funny!}




Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Walking

Walking has kind of always been our thing. We took our first walk with Cohen while he was still in the NICU. I begged and pleaded with the staff to let us out! And they let us! We got to take Cohen out of the NICU for the first time in his life when he was 4 months old. I held him in a wheelchair and Danny pushed us around. When we got down to the main lobby (it was deserted, it was a weekend), I got out of the chair and we just walked. We were thrilled to be walking because it was the only "normal" thing we could do.


When Cohen came home in the fall we couldn't really go anywhere as we were supposed to keep Cohen away from germs. But we could walk. We finally got to put his stroller to use and we walked and walked and walked. We walked in the sun, rain and even some snow.





For the most part, Cohen is so happy in his stroller and I think it's because of all the walking we have done. It's his comfortable, happy place. When he gets fussy and restless or overwhelmed, we walk. Sometimes we take 2 or 3 walks a day. Cohen is always calm and just babbles away. I love to hear his little voice and watch him look around at the great big world around him. The world we weren't sure if he would ever get to see. And so, I will gladly take Cohen on 10,000 more walks because it's our together time and it makes us both happy. It's our time of calm in our crazy world.


We have walked through a lot together as a family. And we are going to keep on walking. Thank you for all the kind comments on the anger post. I am thankful that I have somewhere that I can express the feelings that come with our journey and I appreciate all the support. I know it's just a season and we will get through it.

{Doesn't he just melt your heart?}

{I'm pretty proud of his pants, I made them!}

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Weekend

Whew, I feel like as much as we wanted to embrace this summer and be go-getters about getting our summer list done, it has kind of embraced us.

Over the weekend we had a garage sale, which nicely coincided with us needing a new set of tires for the car. My car is oldish and always falling apart one way or another. We just took it in because it was having issues and then on top of the issues they said our tires were unsafe to drive on. While I helped man the garage sale, Danny took the car in for tires.

From the garage sale I ran by the house, grabbed stuff for our little diaper get together and then went to my mom's house. With the help of some family and friends we were able to get over 200 diapers finished or nearly finished!! I did have a minor run in with the sewing machine, just tried to sew my finger a little. I am so thankful for the support I have had in working on the Teeny Tears Diapers. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go check it out. It is an awesome project.  Diaper update coming soon. 


After diapers we were exhausted and decided to go get dinner with my parents. Our favorite restaurant in town was unfortunately short staffed and had no high chairs for Cohen to sit in. I grabbed the umbrella stroller out of our trunk which contained Cohen for a short time, but he soon grew restless. I walked him around the parking lot a few times which settled him down. But, he was tired and hungry and I knew trying to keep him in the stroller in the restaurant was going to be a losing battle. I decided to have Danny get my food to go and I would walk home with Cohen. 

 {Cohen and Daddy eating some BBQ Chicken}

 Also, I think we *may* have a little bit of a strong willed little boy on our hands. Isn't 13 months a little young to be throwing fits over getting a cell phone taken away!?

Danny and I were supposed to go on a date at some point this weekend, but it just didn't happen. So, we ended the night with a fire in our new fire pit. It was a perfect date. Sometimes being busy sounds like a good idea, but man, I just enjoy the quiet times too. We had NOTHING on our calendar yesterday and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We stayed in our sweatpants all day and it was wonderful. The rest of the week is going to be busy so I'm glad we got to have a slow day. I guess all the rain we are getting is good for keeping us inside!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Anger

There are a lot of other mommy bloggers out there who handle life with such grace, even those who have lost children. I don't feel like I am one of those moms. I have this picture of my mind of others so delicately prancing on stepping stones through the puddles in life with their faith never wavering. And then there's me. I feel like I am just tromping right on through, falling over and getting covered in mud.

This journey is hard and I'm far from perfect. While the days are farther and fewer between, I still have times when I get sad or angry. In fact, my therapist told me to make a list of all the things I was angry about. Just a list, without the "yeah, but's". She told me that sometimes people find it easier to brush off their anger by playing it down. For example, I'm angry that people say mean things to me, but it's not their fault because they don't know. I haven't actually made a list because I struggle with the fact that it's okay to be angry. Is there a time it's okay to be angry? A lot of unfair things have happened to us, but don't they also happen to others? I'm not going to lie and tell you that I'm not mad about things, after all, who wouldn't be mad that they are spending a lifetime apart from their child?

 It's just hard to let myself be angry, without finding reasons why I shouldn't be angry. I write off my feelings, telling myself that someone else has it worse and that I still have so much to be thankful for (which I do). I'm not saying that I am going to spend my life in anger, kicking unicorns or kittens or anything. But I do think that I need to allow myself to feel sad and upset about the things that have happened. About my son dying.  And angry about my son growing up without his twin. And angry that some people take their children for granted.

I think there is a fine line between being upset that bad things have happened and letting anger consume. I think that's the line I'm struggling with. I know there is a wrong way to handle anger, but is there a right way? The Lord says that he spends time knitting us together in our mother's wombs, making us exactly who he wants us to be.

           For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you 
          because i am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 
                                                                                                                        Psalm 139:13-14

God loves us so much and spends time carefully creating who we are. Shouldn't I be upset that all of that has been taken away? I am mad that I don't get to be with my son and watch him grow up. But I don't want to spend my life being angry, I know that's not something that I want or that Carter would want for me.

While I have many questions about anger, what I do know is that God knows where I am and he loves me anyway. Even if I am angry and confused, he loves me right where I am at. I can go to him no matter what state I am in and I am thankful for that.

         Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens,
         you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
         if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will
         hold me fast. 
                                                                                                                    Psalm 139:7-9

This is a hard road to be on and I know that anger is just a season in grief. Sometimes I do just want to be mad for awhile. I want to be upset that Carter died and that I couldn't do anything to protect him. And so yes, I am angry. I am angry that things didn't turn out the way I wanted and that I don't have my son. That place of anger is somewhere that I probably need to visit, but it's not somewhere that I want to stay.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Fess Up Friday

I have nothing to confess this week. Except that Danny caught me snuggling my little baby. Yep, I still snuggle him when he sleeps. Have I ever told you how much I love this boy? I do, a lot.



A few more of you have asked if you can borrow Fess Up Friday and of course you can! If you do you should leave a comment with your blog so we can read what you have to confess!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Burning Question


This post has been sitting in my "draft" folder for a little while now because I hadn't decided if I wanted to put this out to the world (or 5 of you reading). Then last week, another preemie mom addressed this same question so she gave me the courage to post my own answer.  

"Are you going to have any more kids?" 

We get asked this question a lot. It always kind of surprises me because honestly, I don't think it's anyone's business. It doesn't offend me, it just seems like that is a very personal decision and not really up for public discussion, especially if I don't know you that well. I think mostly people are just curious because of everything we have been through with Carter passing away and Cohen's not so easy entrance into the world.

 I am going to answer this question because this blog is about a journey through grief, surviving the NICU, and learning to go on living. Danny and I have been talking about this very question for a little while now. We want Cohen to have another sibling, one that he gets to grow up with. I just want to be clear on this because it has been suggested to us in the past that children are somehow interchangeable and that "at least we can have more kids". We would never have another baby to replace Carter. No one else will ever take his place in our family.

We have been through a lot and it definitely plays a role in our decisions. If/when we decide to try for another baby, it is going to be hard. I know there will be a lot of nerves and fears. There's a good chance I will be a wreck. My heart tells me that I don't have the strength to ever go through anything like the twins' pregnancy again. There are a lot of questions that we may never have answers to. But, we also don't want to let fear or anxiety stop us from growing our family. If we had another difficult pregnancy and/or preemie, our decisions may change. We both have discussed the fact that we don't know if we could bear losing another baby or have to go through another NICU stay. Of course that's the risk you take with any pregnancy, there are no guarantees. We also know how in love we are with our boys and they are worth it all.

We would love to experience a positive pregnancy although we know it would never be completely free of worry because of what we have been through. There are things we want to experience, like the last 15 weeks of being pregnant. There is a whole trimester we have yet to get to and go through! I would like to be a walking pregnant lady and not laying in bed the majority of pregnancy. I want to wear maternity clothes instead of hospital gowns. We want a chance to experience "normal" and to hopefully find some healing along the way. 

We are just trying to take things one step at a time and let the Lord lead us where he will. So, there you go, I've given you your information...any other questions? :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Raising A Twinless Twin

* I just wanted to say thank you for your prayers and comments/messages about yesterday's post.  I should clarify that by non-exciting I didn't mean "bad" changes, just non-exciting in that I didn't think you would be interested! :) It actually has the potential to be some very good changes. I'll keep you posted and we still appreciate your prayers!

Since the beginning of all this, we have always wondered how losing his identical twin is going to affect Cohen. Honestly, we don't know how we are going to raise Cohen as a twinless twin. At this point, we mostly have questions with few answers.

What will it feel like to be a twinless twin? I have heard that single twins who grow up without their sibling said they always felt like something was missing. Is that how it will feel for Cohen? Will he wonder what he's missing out on when he sees other twins with that "special bond"? When I think of twins, I think of this incredible bond between two people. They may have their own language or know what the other is thinking.

I have read stories from twinless twins and they break my heart. One of the things that is the hardest for me is knowing that Cohen's life will probably continue to be difficult. He didn't get to leave his problems at the door of the hospital. While from a preemie standpoint he is doing fabulously, he still has a lot he is going to deal with. How do we raise him not to be a "why me" kind of little boy and instead a boy who can use his difficult beginnings to make him stronger and to help others?

How do we help him through losing his brother? How do we help him to know that he is our pride and joy but that we still miss his brother every day? How will we help him when if wonders why he got to live and Carter didn't? What if it doesn't affect him as much as we think it may?

While some twins never find out that they were in fact a twin until later in life, we don't think that's fair to Cohen. He will know about Carter from as early on as he understands. We have no intentions of keeping the fact that he has a twin from him. This is all such uncharted territory for us and we aren't exactly sure how we will handle it when that time comes. We pray that we will be able to handle whatever comes with grace and wisdom. We just want Cohen to know how much he is loved and that we will support him the best that we can, however that looks.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Something Strange

There are some strange things going on around the Kimmel household.

We are learning to milk goats and learning to drink goat milk.


We are saving our food scraps to feed our new piggies Hammy Bacon Breath and Pork Chop.


We are living without a microwave. It broke a few weeks ago and heard it would be expensive to fix (its attached to our stove) so thanks to the encouragement of a few friends, who are also microwaveless, we've just been doing without. So far so good!

 


We have also jumped on the juicing bandwagon. Well, jumping may be a bit too strong of a word, maybe more like stumbled onto it. I've watched a few documentaries on juicing/healthy eating and one of my goals for us for the year was to eat more fruits and vegetables. So far that has been lacking significantly. After camping, we made a pit stop to drop off Richie and Rachael and they whipped some juice up for us. We borrowed my mom's juicer to see how it went before we really take the plunge. I did make some pretty gross juice last night, but other than that they haven't been too bad. We don't want to overdo it so we are just starting out easy with fruits and vegetables that we recognize.

It all sounds a little strange, maybe we are becoming hippies or something. I did have a tie dye shirt on while milking the goat...

Will you say a little prayer for us today? There may be a few other (non-exciting) changes coming for our family. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Look what Cohen got to do last week!!! Feel free to "like" us on facebook for even more pictures of the little fellow...you know, just in case all the ones here aren't enough!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fess Up Friday

* I wiped Cohen down with a baby wipe when I didn't have time to give him a bath. His OT told him he smelled good and asked what I used on him.

* While shopping one day I had picked up a basket of strawberries and got some juice on my hand. I didn't want to stain my light colored clothes so I wiped it on Cohen's sweatshirt (his sweatshirt was dark blue!!).

* One day when picking Cohen up from my sister's house, I let her guiltily explain the bump on Cohen's head before telling her it was there when I dropped him off.

* We have been saving our food scraps for our new pigs and at one point I texted my mom to see if they ate Doritos. They do.

* We haven't learned our lesson about naked baby time. This time he peed on his toothbrush.

* My sister told us that Cohen had said poo poo several times while she was changing his diaper. We were so excited that he was saying a new word that all day we tried to get him to say poo poo. Then we realized that that word could probably wait a little while longer.

* Sometimes, I draw the line and I don't share everything that happens. In fact, 2 things happened this week that are way too embarrassing to tell you. After yesterday's event, Danny said "do you think this is too embarrassing for Fess Up Friday?" It was a definite yes. Sorry!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Time Flies

There have been so many days lately where I look at Cohen and just wonder where my little baby went. Wasn't he just a teeny, tiny, itsy, bitsy baby!? And now I look at him and he just seems so grown up. He giggles and makes raspberry noises when he pushes cars on the floor. He pulls up to stand on everything and gets a look of absolute delight on his face when he discovers one of our phones or remotes that we accidentally left within his reach. He gives nice big slobbery kisses if he is feeling generous.

I am thankful that he still lets me hold him for his bottles, even though he barely fits in my lap anymore, I just love that time. Even if he is putting his feet on my face. 

He is growing up so fast and I'm so glad that, for the most part, I get to stay home with him. Every time I leave him, I miss him and want to go home to him. We have been very fortunate for me to be able to be at home with him. I love getting to spend so much time with my baby, time that we weren't sure we would ever get to have. Honestly, I never thought I would want to be a stay at home mom. I just didn't think I had it in me, I thought I would get bored. But I love it. I know that someday, probably sooner than later, I may need to start working more. For now, I am just trying to soak up every minute with this cute boy that I can't get enough of.



 {July 12, 2011}

 {Sept 2011}


"The baby grew. He grew and he grew and he grew. He grew until he was two years old, and he ran all around the house. He pulled all the books off the shelves. He pulled all the food out of the refrigerator and he took his mother's watch and flushed it down the toilet. Sometimes his mother would say, "this kid is driving me CRAZY!" 

But at night time, when that two-year-old was quiet, she opened the door to his room, crawled across the floor, looked up over the side of his bed; and if he was really asleep she picked him up and rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. While she rocked him she sang: 

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be."


From "Love you Forever" by Robert Munsch

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bittersweet Dreams

Sometimes I get to see Carter in my dreams. Whenever I dream about him it's always about how it was a mistake that he died. At some point I had been told that he died but now I was rejoicing in the fact that somehow it wasn't true. One time I was holding Carter, just like I did the night he died. He looked just like he did that night, like he was merely asleep, only this time he opened his eyes. In my dreams I'm also always aware that it isn't going to last, that soon I will wake up and it will be over.

But, for those brief moments, I get to be together with my boys. I get to have twins. I get to see them together. It's wonderful to see Carter, but it can be so heartbreaking to wake up.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer 2012 - Ocean City State Park

Over the weekend we went tent camping for the first time with Cohen. We borrowed my parents car and barely fit everything in, babies do not travel light. We picked up the Hegartys in Seattle and made our way to the coast. It was around a 6-7 hour drive and Cohen did well, considering. He did get too hot at one point so we made a dinner stop to let everyone get out and stretch their legs and cool off. We arrived at our campsite in the evening to find a mud pit. We reserved the campsite last minute as we had only decided to go camping the weekend before. This campsite was one of the only ones left, now we know why. If you go to Ocean City State Park, avoid site #15.



I had worked 9 hours on Thursday and waited until the end to pack my own bag so by then I was just trying to entertain a baby and pack the car at the same time. Shoes didn't make the cut. But definitely always bring shoes camping. I thought I could get away with only flip flops since it was going to be nice out and we were quickly running out of room in the car. I was wrong, bring shoes.

We found a dry spot to put up the tent and the boys went to work. Our little tent is no longer big enough for all 3 of us so we borrowed my brother's 8 man tent and all stayed in the same one.




Saturday we went to the beach and spent most of the time making Cohen didn't consume mass amounts of sand and trying to keep it out of his eyes. It was also very windy, but it was the beach so we were happy. We are still working on getting the sand out of our hair and ears.

{How seriously cute are they!?}





We ate lots of s'mores, got lots of campfire sitting time, and card playing in. We had a lot of fun and we are excited to go camping again with some other friends in a few weekends. They have 2 little boys so it should be crazy fun!



We are making nice progress on our Summer 2012 List!

13 Months

I'm a few days behind, but better late than never! I apologize for mass posts, I'm trying to do some catching up.

At 13 Months:

- In the 10th % for height!! He's ON the charts! Not for weight or head yet, but he is for height so we'll take it
- Cohen still eats about anything (except raspberries) but loves bananas and avocados
- Wears 12-18 month clothes, size 4 diaper
- Crawling faster every day, pulling up to stand, and gets down much better
- Has been camping twice
- No new words, and I'm still not sure he says the old ones on purpose (mama, dada, mmm, hey)
- Is less interested in bottles during the day, but still likes his morning and night bottle
- Favorite toys: Chuck the dump truck, sunglasses and cell phones or anything else he isn't supposed to have

Grand Coulee Dam

I left out part of our Eastern Washington trip because I was going to make it it's own special post and then I totally forgot!

Some of our good friends moved away to Wisconsin a few years ago and I have only seen them once in that time. They recently moved back to Idaho, which isn't Washington, but it's closer! They moved right after the birth of their first son and had another little guy while they were gone so I was pretty excited to see them. They also hadn't met Cohen yet so we were glad to finally get to see each other's families.

The Gagliardi's hadn't been in Idaho long, but when I found out we were going to be closer than we'd been in years, we decided to meet up. Grand Coulee Dam was literally the only thing between us and them. It was a 2 hour drive for each of us but so worth it.

We met up at the Dam and quickly decided that it was cool to see but that our kids probably wouldn't be interested in taking the tour. We settled for a picnic lunch at a nearby park. The kids played and had a fun time while we caught up in between chasing kids, picking rocks out of mouths, and pushing swings. The sprinklers came on partway through our visit and Jonathan and Danny (their Danny) loved playing in them, clothes and all. I took very few pictures as you can tell.


I like to joke with Bryan and Tiffany that they named their kids after us. Jonathan is the girl version of Jana and Danny, well that's self explanatory.




It was so good to see them again even though our time was too short. The kids were worn out and we headed back our separate ways. We are really excited to get to go camping with them when they come to Washington in a few weeks!

Tips for Camping With a Baby

If you've never taken your baby/toddler camping, do it! It's really fun. I was a little nervous to take Cohen out on his first tent camping trip. We had a practice round when we camped with my parents at their "campsite" but that was close to home and we were in a camper, so this was a little different. I have had a few people ask me for tips and since we've gone once now, we're experts :)

1. Pack a car bag:
Our trip was a 6 hour drive, which is a long time in a carseat. I packed Cohen a bag that I kept in the front seat with me so that it was easily accessible. The car bag had: diaper and wipes, hand wipes, snacks, sippy cup, toys I knew he liked, a disposable place mat and bib (in case we stopped at any restaurants along the way), a bottle with the water in it and formula nearby, squeeze food pouches (SUCH a lifesaver), and a change of clothes just because you never know.

2. Clothes: This will depend on where you live/where you are going, but around here you have to prepare for any kind of weather. Even if the forecast says sun, there could be rain/wind/hail you just don't know. This is probably obvious, but bring clothes you don't care about getting dirty. For a weekend of camping I packed:  
                          Warm weather clothes (shorts, tank tops, t-shirts)
                          Cold weather clothes (sweats, footie pajamas, sleep sack for at night, socks,
                          sweatshirts,stocking hat)
                          Situation dependent (swimsuit, sun hat, sandals, shoes, sunscreen, UV shirt etc)

*While it was warm during the day, Cohen wore almost everything I had brought him at night. Since he is too little and moves around too much for a sleeping bag I just piled clothes on him and tried to put a blanket on him. I packed 2 of everything because I knew he would get dirty and I ended up putting double layers on him at night so it worked out well.

3. Camping:
                          *Rags/washclothes/towels/wipes - babies are messy and even messier when they are
                            camping. We brought old rags that we could use to clean up toys, hands, etc and
                            just toss if needed. We also brought a thing of Lysol wipes and Wet Ones for cleaning
                            Cohen and his things

                          * Blankets - beach blanket, a blanket just for the crib, and one for outside (fire
                             sitting). I also used one of our larger blankets to put over the side of Cohen's crib so
                             he couldn't see us as well, he still could if he stood up, but if he woke up and looked
                             out he wouldn't see us and instantly start crying.
                          * Pack n play - I almost considered not bringing this but I'm so glad I did. Cohen                                   needs comfort of his 4 walls and I need the sleep without him crawling on my                                                face. Also, if your baby has a favorite blanket or sleep toy, bring them. It helps with
                             sleeping in a strange place. 
                          * Carrier - If you have a carrier, bring it. We brought our Ergo and it was wonderful
                             for carrying Cohen down to the beach where his stroller couldn't go. It also worked
                             well to keep him out of the sand and mud when we didn't want him there
                          * Walker - this isn't absolutely necessary, but it sure was nice. Cohen is a mover and
                             doesn't appreciate being strapped in his carseat/stroller. This let him have a little
                             freedom without being on the ground eating bug. Our walker wasn't actually a
                            walker because it didn't have wheels which was an extra bonus.
                           * Bottled water - we brought bottled water to have for making bottles and for sippy
                              cups
                           * A very large car to hold all of the above and understanding friends who tolerate
                              camping with a baby (thanks Richie and Rachael!)

Also, just be flexible. With a baby, things aren't going to go perfectly, just try to go with it and have fun!

And just as a side note, it's probably best not to work the day before leaving for camping and wait until very last to pack your own bag when the car is running out of room. You might decide you don't really need to pack shoes and you will definitely regret it.

Whew, I think that's it. More pictures coming soon. Would anyone add anything else?





Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fess Up Friday - 4th of July Edition


The ultimate photo bomb. And no, he's not singing the Star Spangled Banner, he's BURPING!! Yep, just keepin' it real.

p.s. Several of you have asked if you can "borrow" Fess Up Friday and of course you can!! I don't know how to do fancy link things, but you should post a comment with your blog address so we can all read the fun :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Down on the Farm

My parents little farm has been growing lately with the addition of the tractor, new goats, and pigs on their way plus the chickens they've had for awhile. We love our fresh eggs and I have a really hard time buying them from the store now.

 {Cohen, meet goat. Goat, meet Cohen. I think you guys will be friends}

The goats are the most recent arrival, they are two girls, a mom and baby. My mom has been milking the mama goat! She makes about a gallon of milk a day. Cohen thought Grampa and Gramma got him a horse, we didn't have the heart to tell him they were goats.


{Mom and Baby}

 

This is the house I grew up in so it's fun to go back and see all they have going on there. We also wandered over to the neighbors raspberry field which is only about 10 steps from my parents yard. In case you didn't know, I am an experienced berry picker. I started in the strawberries when I was 12 or 13 (I think?). We got paid by the pound and it was something like 15 cents a pound, so a whole days work usually brought in about $2.00. Probably needless to say I didn't last very long there, plus June is SO rainy and crawling around in the mud day after day gets old. Then I graduated to working on the raspberry pickers, I need to find a picture of one for those of you who haven't seen one. If you are local, you've seen tons of them. My job was working on the picker and picking out all the bird nests, bad berries, worms etc. From the picker I worked up to the coveted position in the cannery which was similar to the picker but it was inside and we got paid by the hour. Anyway, that's my history as a berry picker!



 
{Trying out the goat milk}

The pigs, Bacon Breath and Pork Chop, were scheduled to arrive today but they just got weaned from their mom so they are waiting a few more days to make the move. 

My favorite dessert is Raspberry Royal (seen above), it's kind of like a raspberry cake. So good. Here's the recipe in case you need something delicious.

Cake:
2 C. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/3 C. butter
1 T. baking powder
1 C. Sugar
1 egg, room temp
1 C. milk, room temp
1 t. vanilla

Mix all together.
Pour into greased 13x9.

Top with: 3 1/2 C. fresh raspberries or blueberries.
Bake 350 degrees, 30-35 minutes.
Cool 5 minutes

Top with Glaze:
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar, 2 T. cream, 1 t. vanilla.


We are on our way to my sister's annual neighborhood 4th of July Bash. Happy 4th!!