My Two Cents


Babylittle boy











There are times after paying bills and getting the essentials it feels like all I have left are my two cents. A quick online search or any conversation with someone that has children will produce a long list of “must haves” and “must do’s” for a new baby. What you need in a hospital bag for mom and dad (glad I didn’t have to pack one of those), what you have to have on hand for baby, what you need for mom post delivery, what you need for dad and other children. It seems like everything on these lists need to be purchased, especially if this is baby 1. It’s never ending and even the short lists are anything but short. I don’t know if people get carried away because everything is so tiny  or they like to shop or just what it is. But when your pocket book only gives you two cents, you start to see what the essentials really are. Even if there is more than a few penny’s, it doesn’t mean you have to spend them all.

My best friend is due to have their first baby and she asked me what I thought the “must haves” are. I gave her a reply of “Hmm. Eh nothing much.” I know this can be a rather discouraging answer to a new mother, but really there is not much that one has to have for a baby. Mostly it’s attention, patience, time and work that is a must have; it’s not all sorts of gadgets, toys,  and so on.

My “Material Must Have” lists are pretty short. There is enough to do that I see no reason to make anything more complicated than necessary

For New Baby:
-Receiving Blankets ( a few, they get soiled quickly)
-Sleepers or Onsies ( a few, depending on the season, these also soil quickly)
-Baby Powder (cornstarch works just the same)
-Diaper Rash Ointment
-A place to sleep ( crib, cradle or pack-n-play, you only need one to get started)
-Car Seat
-Car Seat Cover/Snow Suit (depending on the season or where you are this may or may not be necessary)

Helpful but Optional Items:
-Monitor, if baby will be sleeping where you can not hear when they wake up
-Baby bath tub, they are nice but a towel in the kitchen sink works just as well
-Baby Swing or some sort of Baby Seat so baby isn’t laying on the floor when you can’t hold them. They can be laid in their “bed” in place of this too.

For Baby 2 +
Go through what you used from the previous baby, assuming care was taken with what you already have there shouldn’t be much that is needed right away.  Baby 1 was born mid-summer and Baby 2 was due mid-winter so we needed a few long sleeved pieces and pants.
That’s about it.

This time around because we didn’t have to get much for new stuff we were able to purchase a few “optional items”.
-A second (cheep) Monitor, as baby 2 will be sleeping in our room, we need to know who is awake at nap time.
Cradle– Baby 1 slept in a Pack-n-Play in our room at the old house, our room isn’t big enough to set that up in the new house and we don’t want to disrupt Baby 1 during the night so a cradle was picked up.

I am all about second-hand and hand-me-downs, especially when it comes to children’s stuff. They grow out of everything so fast, I see no reason to spend so much extra for a new tag. I tried to get things that could be for either sex the first time around so when the second came we were ready no matter which they were.

As with everything there are a few acceptations. We picked out a brand new sleeper set for Baby 1, it was my favorite and when he out grew it, I put it in a keepsake box that I started for him. Baby 2 also got their brand new outfit too. Little things like that I find important. It doesn’t amount to much but it is something that years down the road, hopefully, they will find special.

For Mom:
Bra Pads, these are a number one on my “need” list. I never knew they existed before Baby 1 and wish I would have known before baby came. I learned very quickly, but it would have been nice to have them on hand.
Super Absorbent Pads, something that is not talked about at our house, it’s personal. They are necessary though.
-A Set (or a few sets) of Extra Comfortable Clothes, for the first few days (or week) after delivery it’s really nice to be able to wear something a little too big and extra comfy and not leave the house. You’re going to be tired adjusting to the “new baby” schedule, you might as well be comfortable. (this also something you already have on hand, just set them out of “lazy” access)

Helpful but Optional Items:
By now I am going to assume that most of the male readers have left the page, Ladies these are something to print and give to your husband as an obvious hint.
Epsom Salt, this does wonders in a hot bath. I splurged this time and bought a few extra’s for a bath tea that I will swear by. Recipe found here. I use Epsom salt in place of sea salt if that’s what is on hand.
A “Granny” Style Night Gown, honestly that’s about all I have anymore, Grandma got that right too. It may not be sexy but it will be so comfortable it won’t matter. (There are some pretty cute ones out there too)
-Fluffy Bathrobe, if mom doesn’t have a cozy, fluffy bathrobe, think about getting one. This is most certainly an unnecessary extra, but I can tell you, in the middle of the night it is really nice to put that on for rocking/feeding baby. Our Little Boy now tries to wrap himself in mine when he wakes in the night. It’s almost like a security blanket of sorts it seems.
*Husbands* -If mom already has one have it washed and ready for her right after baby arrives. Little things make a big difference.

That’s all. The simpler things are kept the easier it is as far as I’m concerned.

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All in a Day’s Work

Go to work, for a long shift, plow snow, do animal chores, haul a little firewood, deliver a baby, make supper. Just a normal Tuesday on the farm.

I know over the years I have unintentionally, we will say “given Mike opportunities” to do things that he never would have guessed he would do. Own a farm, raise his own livestock, tend a garden, deliver his daughter. That’s right, he delivered our little girl last week. The midwife was on her way but baby decided not to wait.

I share a lot of what goes on around here but the stuff that is the most “close to home” I like to keep “close to home”. I want to share this story because I am so amazed and proud of my husband.

I hadn’t been feeling real great Monday night to Tuesday, but by the time it was time for me to go to work Tuesday night I was feeling better, so in I went. I figured it was only a 4 hour shift and not strenuous by any means, there was no reason not to go. I had been there about an hour and a half when I began to feel uncomfortable again. Slight contractions but mostly uncomfortable. A bit later a co-worker asked if I was going to make it through my shift. I had planned to but wasn’t totally sure. A half hour later I headed home, knowing the roads were terrible and the drive would be a slow one. I needed to be able to walk to my car and drive home and if this was labor I didn’t want to be stuck at work. (I can see the hospital from my office window but had no intention of ending up there.)

Mike was working an extra long shift due to the snow we had been getting and wasn’t home when I arrived. I called him to say I was home. Then I called Rebekah, the midwife,

“I think I’m in labor. I know the roads are awful and I would hate to have you come on a false alarm but if you don’t mind, it might be a good idea to head this direction.”

(She was only 1 1/2 hours away. Much closer than when our little boy was born.) She was on her way with her apprentice within 15 minutes and had called a second apprentice to meet her here as well.

I called my dad to see if it was ok that the little boy stayed a bit longer.

“That’s just fine. Call if you need anything; I’ve pulled a lot of calves in my day!”

We had a good laugh. (It’s not the first time I have been likened to a cow. Some might take offense, but hey, if the shoe fits! Haha!)

I decided to try to relax by taking a hot shower. At some point Mike arrived home and checked in to see how I was doing.

“I’m fine.”

He was headed out to plow snow and take care of the animals.

“Flash the porch light if you need something.” (He wouldn’t be able to hear the dinner triangle in the truck.)

When he got back in from chores I headed upstairs. He was getting things from the birth kit (supplies ordered and on hand for home births) ready for when Rebekah arrived. Checking in every little while on me and on the phone with her giving updates.

M:”She said she’s doing good. She hasn’t been able to time contractions yet.”

R:”Has her water broke yet?”

M:”Has your water broke?”



R:”Ok, you have some time then.”

A:”My water broke.”

After that I’m not sure how the conversation went. Mike kept checking in and preparing.

M:”Are you doing ok? Going to make it til she gets here in about 45 minutes?”

A:”I’m fine. I will make it… I’m sorry, I know you didn’t want to catch but you’re going to have to.”

M:”I see that. I’m just looking for gloves.”

A:”They are in the… You don’t need gloves!”


Two quick pushes.

M:”Well do you want to know?”  “It’s a girl!”

I held her as he cleaned her up. He called the midwife with the update. We had a half hour or so and used the time to let our parents and siblings know.

The ladies arrived and did their midwife thing and helped clean up. My parents brought up the little boy for a quick visit and brought supper. Mike got that going and the night went on. For how he handled everything, you would think this was just a regular Tuesday night.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, “Everything works out as God plans it is to be and there is never a dull moment on the farm.”Baby

We are very thankful for Rebekah Knapp for her prenatal care and venturing out to help us on delivery night. A thank you to Molly and Karissa too! All wonderful women to work with.


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I Was Going To…

They say women get what is referred to as “Pregnancy Brain” when pregnant and it gets worse the farther into the pregnancy they get. “Bologna” was my thought to this. I am usually one that has my act together. I have my lists all organized, any paperwork is done timely and filed as needed, the house work and chores are done and everything runs pretty smoothly.

I think I need to retract my “Bologna”. Now my lists are a jumble, assuming I remembered to write one and know where it is. List’s most certainly help. If I can remember to keep my list from the day before I can “copy and paste” in a sense: Breakfast, Laundry, Dust, etc..

My phone, who knows where that is these days; some days it’s on the counter, other days I will find it tomorrow (if I notice it’s missing). “What’s for supper?” has been answered with a blank stare and then “pancakes?” more often than not lately. Chores, yeah, it’s a good thing I’m not in charge of that right now. I turned the kitchen upside down last Sunday looking for my favorite stone pie plate. I never freeze anything in it because it’s my favorite and I use it a lot. Even my husband joined the search. I finally gave up still a little worried about it. It was found, froze with the chicken pot pie I had put together a few days prior. The list goes on…

Some speculation is that this happens because the mother-to-be is consumed with thoughts of what needs to be done or gotten before baby arrives. Some say it’s due to hormones or something. I don’t know which it is, but I don’t think it is the “baby thought” theory. Everything we need, we have, at least the basics to get us through the first bit or so. As far as I can tell there is nothing going on up there right now. I think I could shake my head and loose a few more marbles if there are any left to loose.

Last night my husband was reading something about what guys should know about pregnancy. Of the few I remember, she will move much slower than usual, it takes a lot for her to do simple tasks and she will forget everything, even the simplest most routine things- gone. I don’t remember where I was going with this (not kidding, lost it).

I’m just going to sit here for a bit and plug my ears; try to keep in anything that might be left.

To be continued…?

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Tales of the Pregnant Farmer- The Passing of the Pitch Fork

Pitch forkWell, it’s official. I have taken a temporary “leave of absence” from barn chores. My hard working husband now has to work even harder for a little while. It has been a little over a week now. He is doing a great job; not that there was any doubt. I did the chores as long as I could but with only a couple weeks left it was time.

The other day he cleaned the barn out really good. When he was done he came to the house to have me come out and see. It was so nice outside! He let me put the fresh straw down for the cows. That was nice. I got to feel like I helped a little, even if it is a job that our little boy could handle.

We took a walk out in the corral and checked out the herd; all three of them. Everyone is doing well there.

Mike cleaned the chicken coop too. The girls are all looking good and happy too. They were lined up for a dust bath outside.

Now we are just waiting…

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Pregnant and Waiting…Impatiently Waiting…

Lucy and Elvis
Lucy and Elvis

Elvis is here. Lucy is producing milk. I could be milking her. I have been dying to have fresh milk on the farm since Lucy first arrived. Actually since before she arrived, but once she got here there was a real possibility of having milk. I got her all halter broke again and she is very used to me handling her and being around her. Yet here I sit, next to Lola the chicken in the kitchen, during the early morning hours before chores when I could be milking a cow.

I have been told by multiple people- Husband, Dad, Mom, friends… that I should/need to wait until after I have the baby to begin the cow milking. I know they are just trying to keep us safe. I am trying to be an obedient wife, daughter and friend, but that doesn’t mean I am any less impatient when it comes to something as exciting as milking a cow.

Waiting is not an ability I am very good at when it comes an activity that I am so excited about. However, they all know that unless I lock the cow or calf outside the barn for the night, I have no way of keeping them separate for a morning milking. They also know that for how cold it has been there is no way I would be able to put one or the other out for the night. I have thought about putting the calf in the meat bird side of the chicken coop. He would stay plenty warm and safe and it won’t be in use until spring again.

You see the problem is I have saved up the money to get the panels for the calf pen and what I will need to put together a make-shift milking stall but I can’t go get them. Well, I could go get them hope that the nice gentlemen working would load them for me but then there they will sit; in the trailer or truck bed. A load of water to the barn and tossing down a few hay bales has already made me wonder if the baby was going to come while I’m mid-chores in the barn. As much as I want to start milking the cow I don’t want the baby to come too early either. Seeing as though my panel unloading help thinks I should be waiting to get kicked milking the cow for a few more weeks, there the panels would sit, just tormenting me.

In the mean time I’ve been trying to think of different indoor projects to work on. Winter is usually the season I’m creating all sorts for things in the comfort of the house. At this point they idea list I have came up with looks like this:

1. Work on the next cookbook(s).
2.Make hard cheese.
3. Carve a butter press.
4. Make cottage cheese.
5. Mend jeans that should have been done months ago.
6. Organize the basement.
7. Make butter.
8. Start a new sewing project.
9. Finish knitting the sweater.

So far the most appealing things on the list require me to milk the cow first. I have been doing some work on the cookbooks, but still. Mending jeans, although it needs to be done is not something I am interested in at the moment. I could plan the 2016 garden because I don’t know how much we are actually going to plant this year. I have been doing my pig and peacock research so this spring I will be all set to get started on those projects. For now everything just seems to revolve around the cows and dealing with the little chicken issues that have been arising.

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