Family

Lately, According to My Phone

Do you ever have a time when you’re like, “WHAT have we been doing lately?!” because the days run together and you don’t remember what you did yesterday vs. a week ago?

I hope so, otherwise it’s just me. I always go back through my pictures on my phone to try and delineate time when we get busy. Here’s what’s been happenin’, according to my trusty electronic appendage.

new-haircut-car-selfieWhen we go to Town, we always do allthethings since we’re there, so yesterday before my doctor’s appointment, we got rid of Wacey’s mullet and he did so well. I am super proud of him because usually a haircut is an ordeal. I mean, worse than shots, worse than having to stay inside, worse than…well, anything. I’m not kidding. He screams like you’re poking him with a branding iron the second that cape goes on. It’s quite alarming. But this time, we talked about getting a haircut, and he cried at the beginning but then decided playing with a tractor was a better idea and even let the stylist use clippers on his neck (!!!) and oh man I’m so proud. So, we got frosted lemonades from Chik-Fil-A and took a selfie to commemorate the occasion.

2156cThis is a cow. Just in case you were wondering.

2242cHere’s a calf and her mama–see how their eartags match? The cow’s number is 2242C, that E number on the calf’s tag is the calf’s number, and the “QST” on the top is dad’s sire code.

daddy-wace-tractor
Spotted: one bearded cowboy and one moose hat-wearing toddler out of his mind with happiness feeding cattle together.

excuse-meI was opening the gates of the pens to let the girls out to morning feed, and this cow just kept inching closer and closer, like “Hey. I’m hungry. There’s hay out there. Can I eat that hay? Can you move? I need that hay. Hey, you’re in the way of the hay. YOU’RE IN THE WAY OF THE HAY. You’re in the hay way!” Don’t worry, I did in fact move, and she was in fact the very first one to get some of that hay.

gauchoThis fluffy nutcase turned FIVE YEARS OLD last week and I can’t believe it. We got him in Montana when he was just a puppy and he is the best dog in the world. We’re best frands.

hay-baleSome of that aforementioned hay, hey.

hayOne measurement of calving season is watching this haystack dwindle. The smaller it gets, the closer we are to having all the heifers calved. Spoiler: we’re not close.

making-tagsEar tags! I pre-make all of Bert’s ear tags to save him time since he doesn’t have help in the day (and because his handwriting is tiny. I mean, miniscule). I explained a little bit about what all those numbers mean above, but to continue: the tag on the left is the back of a tag, and that calf has already been born, so reading the back of the tag will tell you that it’s a bull calf, born January 21, has a heart girth measurement of 30″ (this is how we “weigh” the calves), and his mother is 2490C, which means she’s a red cow. We move the year letter around to indicate the breed. For instance, on that second tag, having the letter in the second place indicates that it’s an Angus pair, and if the number were to start with a letter, it would indicate that it’s a Charolais. Every ranch tags differently, and this is the system that works for us.

mama-and-babyA mama with her brand-new baby all snuggled in the hay!

new-mamaAnother very brand new mama! Bert had just pulled this calf (it had a leg back) and this is the first time this mama is meeting her baby! It’s always nice when they recognize the calf as theirs and go to tending to it right away, as pulling a calf can sometimes be hard on the mama and it can take her awhile to get her bearings. This calf is doing great, by the way!

So, apparently, our life right now is cows, and hay, and also cows, unless we go to town, in which case it’s selfies and slushies.

I don’t hate it. Not even kind of.

I wouldn’t say no to a slushy+cows combo, but most slushy slushes seem to de-slush by the time we make it back to the cows. Ah, well.

On The Ranch

Twins!

Over the weekend, Bert had his first set of twins in four years! The other cowboys have all had several sets of twins each year, but not Bert. He was surprised because he pulled the first one due to it having a leg in the wrong position, and it was pretty normal size–usually twins are smaller–and lo and behold there was one more in there, who was just as big! I feel for that mama, and she was a champ carrying two such big calves full-term.

It’s pretty warm here today, so after breakfast Wacey and I got ready and took a walk down to the barn to see the new babies and hopefully help Bert feed since apparently tractors are Wacey’s current major love language. I even had the incredible foresight to bring my Nikon! I did not, however, have the incredible foresight to check the battery, so I only got a few pictures before it died. Baby steps. Baby steps.

Both of the twins are girls, which is nice because–fun fact alert!–when there is a pair of boy/girl twins, the girl twin is sterile because the hormones of the boy calf affect her reproductive development in utero. They’re called freemartins, and they are otherwise completely normal, but as they are sterile we have to ship them to the feedyard for beef, even if they turn out to be a nice enough heifer to keep in the herd.

dsc_0745dsc_0746dsc_0747

Gah I just love baby calves! These two are so fluffy and cute and I can’t even handle it, and I love that they are basically strawberry blondes (Charolais mama, Red Angus papa). The younger heifer will get an eartag today, as we weren’t expecting to need two!

twin-mamaThis is their mama, and she’s outside having breakfast. The twins will stay in the barn until they’re both big and strong, especially since it’s supposed to get cold this week. They should be ready to go outside soon, but we’ll keep them close for awhile. Plus, as is often the case, this mama doesn’t have enough milk to feed both babies, so Bert is bottle-feeding one until a foster mother becomes available. When that happens, I’ll be sure to write a post about the grafting process and how we help foster mamas “adopt” a new calf!

(To be fair, though, we had a cow raise both of her calves last year (W555 is a milk machine, apparently) and we got to see both of her girls at Bangs vaccinating last week and gosh they look good!)

I love twins. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because they’re fairly unusual or maybe it’s because it’s two-for-the-price-of-one cuteness, but they are so much fun. Grafting to a new mama can be a lot of work, though, especially with heifers, so hopefully Bert gets lucky this time.

In case you were wondering how happy Wacey gets when I say “Shall we go down to the barn and see Daddy and the cows?” this is it. He loves it. Also had to get that pre-haircut bedhead on camera because gosh it’s the greatest, even if there is a mullet back there.

bedhead

Happy Monday! May your coffee/tea/caffeine choice of the day be strong and delicious, may your kids’ naptimes be long and full of whatever you need them to be, and may your kid not poop in the bathtub like mine did twice last week.

 

Friday Favorites · Fun

Less Formal Friday (okay, Saturday) Faves

I had almost a whole “Currently” post written, and went back and re-read it, and holy complaining, Batman! I’ve hit the point in my pregnancy where I can’t quite keep a handle on my feelings (and there are so many feelings), and things have felt a little out-of-control and stressful lately, but I don’t want that to be the new normal for the next few months. It’s so easy to fall into the deep, dark pit of “I hate everything.” But, I don’t like being in that pit, and it’s not fair to my boys for me to be in that pit.

So I scrapped that post, and instead I’m going to share some positive, happy things, although I am a day late and a dollar short. Ah, well.

Oh, baby things. They never cease to give me the warm fuzzies. I can’t wait to get my hands on some of these bibs! We loved having bandana-style bibs for Wacey–they seemed less bulky and easier to manage, but I was washing all of his baby clothes for Bub and most of them are so milk-stained that I think we need new ones. In my search for non-stupid bibs, I came across this etsy shop and I’m in love! I tend to dress my babies in plain onesies, too, so these are perfect.
bibs

We don’t do “push presents,” but I am gifting myself a pair of new moccasins (I’ve talked about them before, I know), because my old ones are shot and since I’ll be living in mocs from the moment we leave for the hospital to the moment I feel like a human again, I think it’s an appropriate investment. I know a girl that got a BMW as a push present, so this isn’t quite on that scale, but they do look prettttty cozy, and I love the blue. After the spend-spend-spend of the holiday season, I am trying to be so much more mindful of what I spend money on, but I’ve done my research and these are perfect. Now, LL Bean, please have a sale. Love, me.
moccs
Women's Wicked Good MoccasinsWomen's Wicked Good Moccasins
Wacey’s SECOND (what?!) birthday is in a few short weeks, and I’m so excited about the present we got him–a sandbox! He got so many gifts for Christmas that we didn’t feel the need to go crazy for his birthday. I found this one for a great deal at Target, and yes, it’s a little cheesy, and I would have preferred a wooden one, but it’s going on our deck (to help mitigate the rattlesnake situation) so we needed one with both a bottom and a cover that’s easy to move around. We’re not doing a big birthday party, but we’re going to spend the day doing what Wacey wants to do. I’m envisioning balloons everywhere, chocolate donuts for breakfast, spending most of the day at the barn, and a trip into town for frozen yogurt and chicken lo mein.

Or just six hours in a tractor. You know.
sandboxValentine’s Day has never been a big holiday for us since we’re always calving, but I have to admit that I love Valentine’s candy. I’m trying hard to cut back on the sugar as it exacerbates these wild mood swings, but when I do indulge I love to have a little heart-shaped box of chocolates, or some conversation hearts. I’m also really interested in trying Halo Top ice cream as part of this new effort!

I also picked up some craft supplies today to make a few Valentine’s banners for around the house, and I’m so looking forward to some pink festiveness in this house full of boys!

Also in the less-sugar realm, I’m back to drinking more tea instead of Starbucks Via Refreshers as my caffeine source. I don’t know why I ever stop drinking tea, because I really do love having a mug of something hot, and the no calories/no sugar (I drink it black) is really a big bonus. I have a couple go-tos (Bigelow’s Plantation Mint and Constant Comment), and I discovered that Amazon carried their Green Tea with Mint so I ordered a big box it’s so good. I love mint tea, my tummy loves mint tea, my mood and head love caffeinated mint tea, we’re just so happy together. My favorite decaf option is, of course, Celestial Seasonings’ Peppermint.
green-tea

You know what else I love? Finding new shops to follow on Instagram, new podcasts to listen to, and new books to read. New additions: Southern Fried Chics Boutique on the Insta; Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and Pantsuit Politics for podcasts; and Hidden Figures, Sudden Death, Evicted, and the Magnolia Story are on request at the library. The latest episode of the Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey featured Anne behind Modern Mrs. Darcy, and expanded my must-read and must-listen-to list exponentially!

And, of course, I’m still living in my jogger sweats. If you’re pregnant, get you some. Seriously.

I hope your Saturday was wonderful!! I am not going to talk about politics much here, but I will say that I hope your day, regardless of what you did or who you voted for, was about being proud to be an American, and the rights that we are so blessed to have in this country, and not about being hateful. I hope that we can all be tolerant of and kind to one another no matter what–I hope this also extends to your friends and family who voted differently from you!

On that note, it’s Documentary and Dessert night here in the Johnston household, so we’re keepin’ it classy with Milk Duds and Oreos with a side of a documentary about ISIS. I know, it’s hard to not be suuuuuper jealous of and intimidated by our rockstar lifestyle.

….#parentlife.

 

 

 

 

On The Ranch

Bangs Vaccinating Heifers

Here are some pictures from when we Bangs vaccinated our yearling heifers yesterday! I know, super exciting. This is an important vaccine, though, and must be administered by a vet, so this day is a little more of an “event” than our standard vaccinations. Each animal is given a shot and a tattoo in their ear (the green stuff) to verify that they have received the vaccine, as well as a unique ID (if they don’t already have one) in the form of a metal clip in their ear. Our cattle all have EIDs so we don’t have to use clips.

bangs-vacc-tattoos

Scientific quickie: The bangs vaccine is not an immunization against bad bang cuts (although I wish this were a thing, except our cows don’t have bangs, some of them have tufts, or toupee-looking appendages though. Okay I’m done). Rather, it’s an immunization against Brucellosis, which causes, among other things, abortions in cattle. However, it infects more than just cattle–most domesticated livestock and some wildlife can become infected, and once infected, animals cannot be cured. It can be passed to humans, too, so it’s kind of a big deal. The disease was pretty much eradicated in cattle after strict test-and-slaughter practices some years ago, but some bison and elk herds in the Rocky Mountains are still Brucellosis positive, and there’s always a chance of an outbreak. Some states also still require cattle being moved across state lines to be vaccinated. Thus, we vaccinate our yearling heifers each January. See? That really was a quickie.

(If you want to know more about Bangs vaccinations, click here.)

getting-gathered-bangsgetting-gathered-bangs-2

foggy-morning

Bangs morning we woke up to a very foggy fog (“WHOA!” says Wacey), but it actually turned out to be a really nice day. The guys didn’t run into any problems gathering the girls, and our vet is speedy quick so we were done by lunch-less than four hours is pretty darn quick for getting 425 heifers done!

all-done

On big cow working days, I try to bring a breakfast-y item (that can be held in one hand, haha), to ease the sting of the early wakeup and the sort of monotonous nature of working cattle. Plus I’m hungry. Like, right now. It’s pretty much my permanent state of being. This time, I tried Alton Brown’s Overnight Cinnamon Rolls (cause ain’t nobody got time for waking up at four to wait for dough to rise), and they were…okay. I didn’t love them, but the guys did, so I’ll give them another go and tweak some things. But Wacey helped me make them, so really, they were perfect–toddlers are seriously the funnest. Not even the most fun. The funnest.

wacey-helping-make-cinnamon-rolls

Usually, there’s a lot going on when we’re working cattle: multiple vaccines, maybe a parasiticide, we might be getting weights or other measurements, or re-tagging, sorting, etc., but today it’s just two vaccines and inventory (my job). We’ll see these girls again (well, someone will, I probably won’t since I’m having a baby right in the middle of all our spring work #excellenttiming) in not too long for ultrasound, PAP testing, and AI, so there’s no real reason to do allthethings.

vet-bangs

Cow working days always leave me drained (yes, even when the majority of my time is spent sitting at a table) so we come home, Wacey takes a late nap, I sit down and work for a bit, and them muster up something resembling energy to make a simple dinner (like potstickers and the Pioneer Woman’s simple sesame noodles).

So there you have it, folks! And wouldn’t you believe it, I didn’t get a single picture of my trusty sidekick or my hilarious coverall situation (hint: they don’t zip anymore), but I’ll do better next time! I hope your Wednesday is wonderful and may heartburn give us all a break today 😉

Family · Fun · Home · On The Ranch

Weekendin’

best-friendsWe started the weekend off strong with a visit down to the pens on Friday afternoon to check out the new baby calves. If you’ve noticed a theme where we are at the barn a lot, you’re right! I can’t not take Wacey down there as it’s his favorite place to be, and so it’s mine, too.

chocolate-donutsSaturday morning was a win with a chocolate donut for this maniac, who didn’t enjoy it at all, obviously. We bundled ourselves up, and strollered down to the barn to check calves for Bert since he was moving cattle on another part of the ranch.

baby-calfOur cold walk was rewarded by the birth of a new baby calf we’d been waiting on! This mama did a great job getting her new baby licked dry and he up and nursing in no time.

calving-booksDuring Wacey’s nap, I got the final touches put on our master calving book, which is a gigantic labor of love (and necessity), and it feels so good! I spend days putting together calving books for each member of the crew as well as a big, fancy one for my records, and cleaning up our database so it’s all fresh and clean.

I also did some more mucking out and organizing (of course) and ordered the last few things for Stage 2 (of oh, a hundred) of our downstairs fix-up. I can’t wait to share once it’s all put together!

selfie-2

picture-of-cows-through-the-pensBy some miracle, the frigid, foggy morning that we’d expected to stay around all day turned to fifty degrees and sunny by Saturday afternoon, so there was really nothing for it but to go down to the barn and help Bert feed the cows and enjoy the sunshine. But mostly, mess with the cows! Of course. Bert tends to have a little less to do on the weekends (due to busting his butt during the week), so weekend afternoons are fun since we can spend more time just goofing off and looking at things. And opening and closing all the gates, of course.

Some families do a lovely and much more photogenic brunch-and-park combo on the weekend, we do family barn time. After all, the family that gets poop on their boots together, stays together right? Or at least takes their boots off in the mudroom together.

I think that’s the next big country hit–“Poop on my Boots.” Remember folks, you heard it here first!

Anyways. We fed some cows because, oddly enough, they need to eat every day. Imagine! We fed them round bales today, and the gals were not enthusiastic about how long it took for me to get the net wrap off (#dullknifeprobs). Also, it’s sort of a big deal to stand up from a crouching position when you’re in your third trimester gestating what feels like a block of cement.

cutting-wrap-2“Umm excuse me. Excuse me. Are you going to get the wrap off that bale any time soon? Because I’m pretty pregnant. And pretty hungry. Also pregnant. Seriously. Wait, are you taking pictures? Are you taking my picture? I NEED FOOD.”

cutting-wrap“Hey. HEEEEEYYYYYYYY! HAAAAAAAY! WHY IS SHE TAKING SO LONG?? WHY ARE YOU TAKING SO LONG?”
Girls, I’m stuck. Give me a minute.

funny-hayDon’t worry girls, that’s what I look like when I eat, too. A little less roughage, though, maybe.

cows-fences-hay

sunshine

wacey-stormy-kromerAfter we got done feeding, Wacey had to run around and inspect everything. Don’t worry, all is ship shape!

wacey-picking-bullsAfter we got home, we sat on the porch and basked in the sunshine while Wacey (aka General McMullet) perused the latest bull catalog and let us know all his top picks. He’s big into the Stabilizers this year.

Yesterday was a pretty typical Sunday: lots of laying around, planning for the week and spending long-overdue time with my devotional, laundry, and watching Netflix. PS–I had no idea the book The Magicians was made into a TV series and I am in Nerd Heaven right now!

I also cleaned out one of the dressers in Wacey’s the boys’ (<—WHAAAAAT) room for Bub’s clothes, and washed and folded all the tiny clothes and baby blankets. Cliche alert, but I can’t believe Wacey was ever that tiny, or that Bub will be too! Having tiny baby clothes and diapers in my hands made me even more excited for Bub’s arrival, and made the chores to get done feel even more urgent. Although, we’re pretty much there on the essentials: he’s got a place to sleep, clothes to wear, a carseat to come home in…buuuuut his mama sure would be happy if her office space was ready to go, a double jogger was sitting on the porch, and the baseboards were clean!

baby-laundryIt was supposed to snow buckets, but we only got a dusting (a blessing in calving season!) so we went out to an early dinner at the Mexican restaurant in town which happens to be ah-mazing. I mean, so good.  Unlike this picture that I managed to snap before my obsessed-with-looking-at-pictures-of-himself-toddler needed to gaze upon his visage to his little heart’s content.

boys-at-dinner-2Lazy Sundays are the best.

Now excuse me while I deny the coming of Monday by burying myself in our freshly laundered flannel sheets

 

Celebrate

Friday Favorites

It’s Friday! I’m glad. You’re probably glad. If you’re not glad, I’m sorry. Maybe go get some ice cream? Or Starbucks? Or a whiskey?

I’d love all three, to be honest, but only two are available to me at this present juncture.

I hope your week was great! My week felt long. It’s funny…in the third trimester, you’re both willing time to stop and for it to speed up, and this week felt like exactly that. I’m planning on knocking some baby to-dos off of the list this weekend, though, so I think that will help my ability to relax. Right now, though, I’m dreaming of life post-pregnancy. I’m not wishing away these last weeks in the slightest, but y’all? I feel huge, my hips are killing me, and I miss my waist. And, as nervous as I am about doing the newborn thing again, we cannot wait to meet Bub and just snuggle the heck outta him. Nine months is a long time to know everything about a person without ever meeting him, and I’m getting impatient. Will he favor me, or Bert, or will he be like Wace and be halvsies? Will he have as much hair as his brother? Will Wacey fall in love with him right away, or try to kill him for awhile? I’ve been assured of the latter, but that boy of mine loves babies so much that maybe we’ll get lucky.

Anyways. Favorite things.

Before I jump into postpartum dreaming favorite things, I wanted to share one thing that has helped so much this week. Lavender oil. I’ve had trouble sleeping lately, partially due to being 30 weeks pregnant, and partially due to Bert night calving two nights this week–I don’t sleep as well when he’s not home, and it’s so rough to be tired! I’m not ready for that business yet. But, after putting a dab of this on each wrist right before bed, I’m out in a hurry and I have a much easier time falling asleep if I wake up in the night. I don’t know if it’s a fluke or not, but I don’t care because it works and it smells so good! I’ll likely throw it in my hospital bag to help calm those baby day nerves.

lavender

PS–speaking of Baby Day, I’ve reached the point where the doctor is talking about it, and we’re making plans for when it’s time. On one hand, I’m so excited. On the other hand, I’m running around with my fingers shoved in my ears yelling “I’m not listening!” and humming. Not, literally, of course, as I can’t really run at the moment.

Anyways, figurative running and confused emotions aside, here are some other things that have my heart all a-flutter this week.

Favorite frivolous baby item: Bison swaddle set. We have so many swaddle blankets, but I might get this for Bub, or at least the Bison one, because I just love them, and it never hurts to have a little something new for a new babe. Wouldn’t a newborn cowboy look so sweet snuggled up in those??

bison-swaddle-set
Favorite Flowy: Francis and Benedict Aztec Maxi. I have nowhere to wear this. But gosh, isn’t it beautiful? I think it would be perfect for post-baby, too–a wide waistband and a flattering cut are excellent for that particular problem area. Maybe for my class reunion this summer? Or for a wedding? Or a baby shower? Actually, maybe I do have a place to wear this!!! Plus, this company is doing really great things! And also: pockets.
View More: http://carolinero.pass.us/francisandbenedict
Favorite Festive: Paint chip egg banner. Easter will be our  first holiday as a family of four, and I know Wace will actually want to egg hunt this year! I got a few decorations at after-Easter sales last year, and you’d better bet I’ll have them up as soon as possible, maybe before Bub’s even born so I don’t have to deal with it after. We have a spot in the house where I hung a banner at Christmas, and I loved how festive it looked, so this is definitely on the docket for Easter. I plan on doing this one for Valentine’s!

garland-eggs

Favorite…what?? I’m not even sure what I love about this outfit, except that it looks so easy and there is a waistline involved, and although I have very little of it in my closet, olive is such a pretty color. Mostly, I think it’s waistline envy–I cannot wait to get back into my old jeans! Or real jeans, period. Remember when bending over was a thing?!? I don’t.
jeans
Favorite Footwear: Kork-ease Berit wedges. OH MY HEAVENS THESE SHOES. I’ve been thinking about them since last summer, which is a sure sign I need to get a pair. I think these would look adorable with skinnys, and they’re leather, and a wedge, so I could wear them to a rodeo right? Right. I have not one single pair of wedges left from my college days, and if I’m going to be the only girl round these here parts I think I deserve a pair! If anyone knows my husband, maybe direct him thisaway for Mother’s Day??

kork-wedge-sandal
Favorite Feminine: Lace Tunic. Isn’t this gorgeous? Also looks like it would go great with a newborn and a toddler! Kidding, kidding. I think this would be another great still-losing-weight postpartum option, and I love how it nips in at the waist. It’s also a really beautiful option to go under a blazer with some jeans and boots, which are, of course, another one of my love languages.

lace-top

Favorite Hair: Updo for short hair. I’m not going to kid myself that I’m going to be able to fix my hair a lot after Bub is born, and I bet me and my already good friend Dry Shampoo will become busom buddies. This is pretty for when you want to do something other than a messy bun and haven’t washed your hair in awhile. Read: new mama. Or, when your hair resembles a bird’s nest and not in a good way. It’s the little things, folks, plus this one comes with a tutorial for all-thumbs folks like me.
updo
Favorite Favorite: Solly Baby Wrap. One of my favorite memories from when Wacey was bitty was carrying him around in this wrap, and I can’t wait to carry Bub in the same one. I love having babies snuggled up so close and tight, and newborns are so tiny and precious!

wrap

Thank you for reading, and have an excellent weekend! Mine will be full of–what else–house cleaning, organizing, baby-clothes-washing, baby calves, and let’s get real, probably Starbucks. Because at this point, I will drive thirty miles for one and I’m not even that ashamed.

Family · On The Ranch · Wacey

Penning Heifers and Helllllooooo Calving!

Calving is here! We had our first baby calf yesterday afternoon, and another one that evening. We didn’t bug the new mama, but I’ll get a better look at the calf so I can name it–I always name the first new calf of the year. It’s terrible, but I don’t remember last year’s, although he’s going to be a herd bull so I guess I’ll know him by his number, haha. The year before last, we had Boomhauer, and the year before that was tiny little Lola.

Every evening after feeding the girls and letting them lay around awhile, Bert and Gaucho pen them for the evening. Now that the girls know how to come to the pens for feed, he feeds them outside in the pasture when the weather is nice to give them more room. If the weather is very cold or snowy, they will eat in the pens.

Calving season becomes a rhythm. Every morning at 6:30 (or before, depending) Bert will head down to the barn to relieve the night calver, or he’ll come home and have a cup of coffee and some breakfast if it was his night to stay at the barn. In the morning, he’ll tag calves that are ready to be tagged, doctor his sickies, and kick pairs out to pasture that are ready to leave the pens. In the afternoon, he’ll feed and catch up on chores. He comes home around five if the weather is nice, and goes back down to the barn to check the cows a few times before the night calver comes on. If he’s night calving, he’ll head down at nine or ten. Throughout all of this, he checks the heifers constantly, especially if some are actively calving. There’s a lot of number-taking, note-keeping, and reminder-making that happens!

This used to be my routine, too, and calving season is the time of year I miss the most. I love tagging baby calves and being busy all day, and coming home and falling in bed from a day of really valuable work.

I don’t miss hauling my butt out of bed in the middle of the night to night-check in the cold, though. Not at all. Fun fact: probably half the people you see on a ranch in calving in the morning or late in the evening have sweatpants or pajamas on under their coveralls.

However, since my role on this ranch is different, and we have thing like naptimes and bedtimes and baths to work around, I set my clock by Bert’s schedule, and take on more of the parenting duties. This can be challenging being super pregnant (or home with a newborn), but we make it work. If it’s a slow enough day for him, Wacey and I like to go down to help tag calves or kick out pairs, and we both appreciate more time at the barn and more time with Bert.

Yesterday was one of those perfect days to head down to the barn–it was so nice, and Wacey hasn’t been able to play outside for a couple of days due to ridiculously high winds, so he was raring to go outside after we got home from the office. Tears were shed when I told him we had to go inside for a minute so I could change and he could get his jacket, but don’t worry y’all, we made it through it. It was hard, but with perseverance (and the uncannily well-timed arrival of Daddy), we survived the addition of textiles to our bodies.

Sarcasm becomes me in my third trimester, doesn’t it? I don’t mean to be overly sarcastic, but we could have contributed oh, twenty posts to the “reasons my son is crying” site yesterday, from “We’re walking towards the four-wheeler he wants to ride” to “He didn’t want to put his cookie down to have a drink of water but he was soooooooo thirsty.”

Anyways, sarcasm and woe aside, it was a lovely afternoon. Wacey loves to ride the four-wheeler and watch Gaucho run around, and who are we, his doting parents, to deny him simple pleasures?

new-baby-calfCan you see the little baby? This pair is pretty well camouflaged! The mama is white (a Charolais), and the baby is light red (a Red Angus/Charolais cross).

new-baby-calf_liBert will tag and weigh this baby and give him his shots sometime today, but we left him alone with his mama to nurse and bond for his first night.

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bert-wace-gaucho-four-wheelerThat is the face of one happy kid. He just loves to help! The tractor is his preferred vehicle, and he did have a little meltdown when he learned that Bert had already fed, but oddly enough, he seemed to recover quickly when he learned that he got to ride on the four-wheeler instead.

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Gaucho loves to pen cattle. He’s not a finesse dog, but is great at gathering the herd together and making sure they all go in the pen without stressing them. He’s pretty good help, if I do say so myself–I’m glad he’ll listen to Bert, too, since I’m not working outside as much anymore and I wouldn’t want to take that away from him!

Also…he tends to get a little on the really fat side when he’s idle, even when he’s on diet food, since he’s the laziest dog on the planet when he’s not working. So, it’s good for him to get a little cardio in.

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Rinse and repeat every day for the next two or three months! If you don’t like babies of any species, better just quit this blog now, because it’s going to be Baby Central round these here parts for a looooooong time. Happy Thursday!