Day in the Life · On The Ranch

Day in the Life: Branding Calves

morning5:30 am Buster and I wake up for the day! Usually we get up a little later, or go back to sleep after I feed him, but since we needed to be up and at ’em, I decided we may as well get up. And no, nothing’s on fire–the nightlight is, apparently, oddly orange.

buster morning6:00 am after Buster eats and gets a diaper change, he comes downstairs with me while I pump and do a little work (my current location!). He lays on a blanket and squeals and snarfs while I get a little work done or check social media.

buster carseat
7:15 am both boys are up and dressed and their mama is up and dressed, which means that surely somewhere a pig is flying around. Wacey is itching to get going since he’s been excited to brand calves since yesterday, and the car is loaded with everything we need to occupy a two-year-old and take care of a baby while we’re branding, which amounts to lots of snacks and toys, pumped milk, formula, and multiple changes of clothes. I used to think it would be a snap to go to work when I didn’t have to get up super early to catch and saddle a horse and go out and gather cattle, but boy was a wrong. It takes us twice as long to get out of the house, I swear. I retrospect, being in charge of just myself and a horse was lovely–I can grab a granola bar and be good for a long time, and I’m fully potty-trained. Horses handily eat wherever they end up, and pee on the go. I mean, babies do too, but horses don’t require you to change a diaper or run up to you with a stinkbomb in their jeans for you to change.

diaper bag
car selfie7:20 am We’re off! We have car breakfast on mornings where we need to be somewhere early–milk and cereal bars for Wacey, milk and BelVita biscuits, cereal, or a protein bar for me. This morning we’re so early that we decide to head into town (close to the set of pens we’re using to brand that day) to get donuts for the crew and a coffee for me!

pumping8:30 am I’m not sure what was in the water yesterday, but we were early to everything! So, while the guys finished penning the cattle and sorting the calves, I used my handy dandy car adapter to pump again.

pumping view
donuts8:45 am Time for breakfast! Wacey is a donut fiend, and I mean for reals, so this had to happen before anything else. He eats while I get my things in order, feed Buster, and put him in the wrap.

buster wrap
wacey watching ropers
9:00 am Branding is in full swing and our biggest little cowboy is making sure everyone is getting their work done. He’s a great supervisor because he doesn’t mind if you take snack breaks, so long as you share with him.

bert roping10:30 am Watching Bert rope calves is our favorite.

hello cows11:00 am We’re still going strong, but Wacey’s attention and good mood is starting to flag since he woke up earlier than usual. He decides to pay the cows a visit and see what’s happenin’.

truck bath11:30 am Law and order has broken down, Wacey’s attention is officially off the branding proceedings, and he has decided that his pickup needs a wash. I have decided to pray that he doesn’t get something gross from the inevitable slurp of water tank water.

way home
12:30 Branding is over, clothes are changed, Buster is fed, we’re only wearing half an acre’s worth of dirt on our faces, and we are getting the heck outta Dodge. Usually we stay and have lunch with the crew, but my spidey senses are tingling and telling me that a meltdown is imminent–it’s about to be past Wacey’s usual naptime, and he’s t.i.r.e.d, and pretty darn hungry, but not in a way that would be conducive to sitting in a diner. Plus, the rain was about to roll in. I, of course, am pumping again at this point, and inhaling a protein bar.

rain
swing1:30 pm After an enormous lunch for Wace, and a little more food for Buster, both boys are down for their naps. Victory! I get to each lunch alone, which is a BFD, and start a load of very dusty wash.

book
2:00 pm It’s time to work! I had 150 calves that were waiting to be entered into the book and database.

coworker2:30 pm Buster’s having a hard time settling down, so I bring him to come and lay near me while I work.

still working4:30 pm I work and check emails (and pump, and eat–are you sensing a theme here??) pretty steadily until the end of naptime. I love getting work done in a quiet house–it’s amazing how productive mamas can be when their attention isn’t divided twelve ways haha.

bucket5:00 pm We have some post-nap, pre-dinner shenanigans that involve me spying on Wacey while he plays “46511322475 Things To Do With A Bucket.”

dinner6:00 pm Dinnertime! Dinner was homemade meatballs and spaghetti with Texas Toast–perfect stick-to-your-ribs food for the end of a long day.

After dinner, bath and bed for both boys, with us following not too long after because the caption to a Norman Rockwell painting of us after 7 pm would be captioned “Tired AF”. Half-joking about how lame we were (but proud of it), Bert said “What if the cows get out or something and someone comes to the door and we’re in bed at 8:30?” Me:

let them come
you shall not pass
GWTW
Hey, at least I’m honest. In all seriousness, if the cows had been out, we’d have put them up, but we wouldn’t have enjoyed it and I would have given them the stink eye in the morning.

Now. It’s past my bedtime, and we get to get up early early and haul our butts down to the barn to breed some cows, so we’re just going to end this here. Which makes sense, because after the “We’re lame for going to bed at 8:30” discussion, we went to bed at 8:30.

 

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