Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Rain, Rain Go Away, Come Again When We're Done Planting

Last year I talked about the drought many times and even this year I've continued to talk about the drought.  Well, I don't think anyone in our area, and actually throughout the state of Iowa, is concerned about being in a drought anymore...  Let's just say we've gotten our fair share of rain lately!

Here is last week's Drought Monitor map for the state of Iowa
(I guess whoever is incharge of updating is still on their Memorial Day vacation
because it wasn't updated this morning)
I have circled the county where we live and farm.
As of last week we still lived in an "Abnormally Dry" area
On Saturday we received around 2 inches of rain and then overnight into Sunday we received an additional 4 inches of rain!  Normally on the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend My Farmer, LP and I go to church and then go to a Memorial Day service at the cemetery - not this year...  Instead we were busy making sure everything was alright at our current house, our new home and at our hog site.  

We've gotten pretty accustom to water in our basement at our current house if it rains a lot.  The key is, if water reaches the apple tree, there is water in our basement.  Water was at the apple tree probably by 5am on Sunday...  

On Sunday water was ponded past our apple tree.
Today though can see how far the water has retreated since then
but you can still see how wet it is.
Our sump pump has been working nonstop since Sunday at our current house and finally today it is taking a breather and only pumps every so often.  I think I might actually be able to do some laundry today because now the laundry washer's water will have somewhere to go!

Our new house only had a little bit of water in the basement thankfully and our hog buildings were fine.  We were a little worried the hog barns were going to get water into them on Sunday morning but the rain stopped just in time that we didn't have to stress about that.

But stress is still high as we have large ponds in all of our fields.  Not only are we worrying about drowning out the corn that is planted in some of those fields, we are also worrying about the corn and soybeans we still have to plant!  And it doesn't look like this week there will be a good chance of getting field work done with a chance of rain every day.  Because the season is starting to go late, we are starting to talk about switching some of our intended corn fields into soybeans fields and have also talked with our crop insurance agent about preventive planting acres.

This is a view to the east from our acreage where you can see several "ponds".
On Sunday these were one giant "lake"!
I guess the only thing that needs to happen this week, so we can get our minds off of all of this, is to have a baby!  Every morning My Farmer talks to MP through my stomach telling him or her that it would be a good time to arrive!

Have you been dealing with flood conditions where you live?  Do you have any questions about planting this spring?

Friday, May 24, 2013

2013 Family Summer Fun Bucket List

As we draw near to the Memorial Day weekend we approach the unofficial start of summer.  This of course makes me think of all the things we want and will be doing this summer - having a baby, finish planting our corn and soybean crops, moving to a new acreage and having some family fun!  I'm a big "list" person - the feeling of crossing off items from my list makes me smile!  Anyways, here is my Family Fun Summer Bucket List for this year.  We should have a lot of fun!

  1. Go to the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines (and invite my Grandma S/LP's Great-Grandma to come along)
  2. Ride the Train at the Boone Scenic Valley Road (and invite my Grandpa & Grandma K/LP's Great-Grandparents to come along)
  3. Go to the County Fair
  4. Go to the State Fair
  5. Visit a New Midwest Town/Landmark
  6. Go Camping at Pine Lake with Friends
  7. Go on a Family Vacation
  8. Sign-up for the Summer Reading Program at our Local Library
  9. Participate in the Latimer Fun Day 5K Run/2 Mile Walk
  10. Go Swimming at the Swimming Pool
  11. Go Golfing
  12. Go on a Nature Walk at Beeds Lake
  13. Have a Picnic at Clear Lake's Beach
  14. Watch Fireworks for the 4th of July
  15. Have Family Dates (Mom & Dad, Mom & LP, Mom & MP, Dad & LP, Dad & MP)
  16. Go to a Baseball Game
What is on your Summer Bucket List?  What are some of your favorite things to do with your family during the summer?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hump Day Bump Report

Well, I'm still here and pregnant!  And to tell you the truth, I wonder if this baby is going to be born in June, rather than May, like My Farmer and I always thought...  Oh well, like we say, the baby will come when the baby is ready.  Here is this week's Hump Day Bump Report:

  • How far along?  38 Weeks Down - 2 Weeks To Go!
  • Baby size:  Pumpkin
  • Baby milestone:  The baby may have an inch or more of hair at this point.
  • How did your doctor's appointment go this week?  Are you dilated?  My appointment went well.  Things are looking good and I have started dilating!  Granted I was only less than 1 cm dilated but hey, at least it is a start!
  • How is the "to do" list coming along?  I think I pretty much have everything bought that I wanted to buy.  Now I just need to do some baby laundry, set up the bassinet, install the car seat and pack the hospital bag.  
  • How is the "nesting" going?  Besides what I mentioned for the "to do" list, I also want to put together a few more freezer meals, as well as probably get some pantry ingredients for quick-fix meals.  I also in general just want to do some more laundry for the entire household and clean My Farmer's and my bedroom.
  • Any swelling now?  I shouldn't have said anything a couple weeks ago - I have started getting a little swelling in my feet and fingers.  All I have to say is thank goodness it is nice enough to wear sandals and I'm thankful my wedding ring still fits!
  • Any crazy or unexpected pregnancy symptoms?  This was unexpected for me, I have had a few mornings where I have woken up with a charley horse in one of my legs.  One morning it was so bad I couldn't sit up to massage it or get up to stand on it, so I had to wake up My Farmer to help me - probably not the best thing, initially he thought it was "time"!  He sure got moving right away but as soon as I said I needed him to massage my charley horse in my calf, he calmed down and went back into half-way asleep mode.
  • Are you planning on doing anything fun to destress before the baby arrives?  I got a pedicure before my doctor's appointment earlier this week and if we can't be in the field tomorrow, My Farmer and I are going to go to the movies and have a little date - just the two of us.  So part of me really wants it to be too wet to be in the field so we can go on a date but then the farmer in me knows that if we can be, it'd be best if we could actually be in the field.
  • Emotions:  Still feeling good and pretty easy going.  I got pretty active working on my to do list and nesting last week but after my appointment and finding out I was less than 1 cm dialated I have eased back on getting things done, which is too bad, because I really need to get things done still.
Don't forget to place your bets on my blog's facebook page if you think MP will be a boy or a girl and when you think MP will arrive!  And if you missed it, check out last week's Hump Day Bump Report.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Schools and Tornado Safety

I have lived in Iowa my entire life so I'm no stranger to tornadoes.  After the tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma yesterday, including destroying two elementary schools, I can't help but think of tornado safety in schools.  Just like in Oklahoma, the same goes for Iowa, the tornado shelters include restrooms, locker rooms and hallways.  If you live in tornado alley, you know that the safest place to be is underground.  Luckily in Iowa, most people have basements under their houses.  It does not sound that very many people in this part of Oklahoma yesterday had underground shelters or basements.

An aerial photo of Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma
taken before yesterday's tornado
(photo from NY Daily News
An aerial photo of Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma
taken after yesterday's tornado
(photo from NY Daily News
So if we know the safest place to be is underground when a tornado is approaching, why don't we have underground shelters for our children in our schools to go to?  I can't help but think of a tornado that hit around this time five years ago in Parkersburg, Iowa.  It happened on Graduation Sunday, as many people were coming home from graduation parties.  Luckily, this tornado didn't hit while school was in session.  Before the tornado, Aplington-Parkersburg High School had similar tornado shelters in it's school just like in Moore, Oklahoma - hallways, bathrooms, etc.  After the tornado, Aplington-Parkersburg High School had to rebuild and with that rebuild they built a concrete re-enforced underground wrestling room that doubles as a storm shelter, with enough room to house the student body twice over.  I think this is something every school should consider not only for it's students, but for it's community.  I think about how bonds are passed for a new gym or a new auditorium or a new football field, why not pass a bond for a storm shelter?

My heart breaks for those in Moore, Oklahoma and other places that have been devastated the last couple of days.  During the aftermath of these tornadoes, I hope schools and communities throughout tornado alley think about what should be done for safety.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Farm Friday

Welcome to the first Farm Friday of the year!  Throughout the growing season I'll be giving a couple Farm Friday updates a month.

Tis the season for spring planting of our corn and soybean crops.  Planting has been a little late this year due to cool and wet conditions, and delayed even because of a late snow storm.  But the weather window finally flew open this week and we were able to get a lot of corn planted, along with tillage work and herbicide application, before a rain storm popped up last night.

My Farmer planting corn
This week was just what we were looking for to get a lot of ground covered.  Sunny skies and windy conditions allowed for quick drying and a warm up of the soil.  The rain we got last night will probably keep us out of the field for a day, but hey - that means the lawn can get mowed right!

My Farmer and LP hopping into the tractor to plant some corn
Do you have questions about corn and soybean planting?

Also, wanted to share some posts from last year for all the farmer's wives and farmers out there:

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hump Day Bump Report

LP and I on Mother's Day
(By the time we took a photo he didn't want to look at the camera but
he said he would give me a kiss for a photo instead.
I couldn't complain, I can always take a kiss from my little boy.)
Another week down, another week to go?  I guess we'll see!  When My Farmer and I first found out we were pregnant I thought how graduation parties might be interesting to attend  this year and this weekend is graduation in our community.  So how does this make me feel?  Well, first, I feel like I need to get several things done and second, that I'm feeling pretty good and have no worries about going into labor during the graduation parties.  I'm sure all the seniors' parties we're invited to are happy to hear that!  Here's this week's Hump Day Bump Report:

  • How far along?  37 Weeks Down - 3 To Go!
  • Baby size:  Winter Melon
  • Baby milestone:  The baby is practicing some skills such as inhaling, exhaling, sucking, gripping and blinking.
  • How did your doctor's appointment go this week?  Are you dilated?  My doctor's appointment went well this week.  Not too much has changed.  Things are on track and all final tests they ran this week turned out well.  And I wasn't dilated!  I thought for sure I'd be 1 cm or something but nothing - I guess this means the baby isn't quite ready to start making its way.
  • Are you ready for MP to come?  Are you ready to be done being pregnant?  I have always had the mind set that the baby will come, when the baby is ready to come.  And in reality, I'm not ready for MP to arrive yet!  I have some things I want to purchase, clean, make, do, etc. before the baby arrives.  But like I said, when the baby arrives, is when the baby arrives and whatever I don't get to, I don't get to.  It will all work out just fine.  As for am I ready to be done being pregnant - I actually don't mind being pregnant.  Part of me can't believe I'm approaching my finals weeks of this pregnancy but then part of me thinks about when we first found out we were pregnant and that seems like a long time ago!
  • Have you done more "nesting" in the last week?  Not really and I should have...  This week I do feel like I'm more in a "nesting" mood.  Hopefully my "to do" list dwindles this week!
  • Are you in pain since you're at the end of your pregnancy?  I was asked this question earlier this week and I asked what they meant.  They said that pregnant women they know complain how they are just in more pain at the end of the pregnancy.  The only thing I can think of is that they're complaining about is the pregnant "waddle".  Which I have to admit, I think I'm starting to waddle and I know it does take me longer to go from sitting to standing then it use to.
  • Are you still able to sleep alright?  I'm sleeping alright.  Sometimes it takes me awhile to get comfortable at the beginning but for the most part I sleep alright.
  • What are some things you want to get done before MP arrives?  I need to get laundry caught up on, I need to go through baby things, oh - I should probably get my hospital bag packed, and I still need to buy some baby things...  Plus just my normal to do list items.  Oh, and I want to get a pedicure next week after my doctor appointment - just a little pampering for myself!
  • Emotions:  I'm feeling good and at ease.  Even though I have many things I want to get done before the baby arrives, I have a pretty laid back attitude about it all.
Don't forget to place your bets on my blog's facebook page if you think MP will be a boy or a girl and when you think MP will arrive!  Also, don't forget to leave a comment or message me with a question you want answered for next week's Hump Day Bump Report!

If you missed it, check out last week's Hump Day Bump Report.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Moving Up Monday

Have you ever watched TLC's show, "Moving Up"?  Each episode of this home renovation reality show shows a family moving out of their home and then a new family that has purchased the house moving in and renovating it to their desired home.  Then, the old family sees the change to their old home and provides feedback.

Well, I'm proud to officially announce that I am living a real-life "Moving Up"!  

My Farmer and I purchased our first farm this year which included an acreage.  We thought for a long time, do we just stay in our current home and rent out the new farm's acreage as is, or do we renovate the new farm's acreage so we can live in it, or do we just knock down everything and farm it over?  Well, we decided late this winter that we should do the second option and renovate the new farm's acreage so we can raise our growing family in it!

If you would of asked me six years ago when My Farmer first moved into our current home if we would still be living in it now I would have probably laughed.  When we first got married I thought we'd live in our current place for a couple years and then move to another place.  But as time has gone on, I have truly fallen in love with our current place and am proud to call it home.  So this decision became pretty emotional for me because our current home is My Farmer's grandpa's place, our first (and only so far) place that we have lived since getting married over five years ago and LP's first home.  There are so many memories in this home and it is a very livable home.

So why did we decide to move?  Well, to start off the new house has more space and more bedrooms.  Our current home is a two bedroom ranch and the new place is a 1 1/2 story farm house with three bedrooms.  A second reason, the new house has a better foundation and in general is just built better, so if we would want to add on someday, the possibility is better at the new place than our current home.

So we are currently renovating, with the help of a general contractor, and plan on moving into the new house at the end of the summer.  The old owners of our home (who are a landlord of our family's) are excited to see what we do with the place and want to see the house when we are finished.  And we have some friends of ours, who are getting married this summer, who are going to move into our current home once we have moved out.  So see how we're living a real-life "Moving Up"?

Through out the rest of the spring and summer I'm planning on posting a "Moving Up Monday" once or twice a month with updates on the house.  This week there is work being done in the bathroom and mudroom, as well as our new windows should be coming in and work is going to be started in installing central air/heat.  So for now, I'm going to share some "before" photos with all of you.  When looking through the photos if you see anything or have any ideas please share!  My Farmer and I are doing a lot of "while we're at it" and "just as well" projects besides some major renovations, so any ideas are welcome.

View of South Side of House from Road
(we are planning on painting the house "Farm House White")
View of North Side of House (and part of the garage)
We are planning on adding a deck to this side of the house,
as it will be the main point of entrance and near the kitchen
View of Kitchen
Kitchen looking into Dining and Living Rooms
Living Room looking to Den (which we are thinking Play/Toy Room)
and the open door to the right goes out into a small enclosed front porch
(the front porch is so small it is hard to get a photo of to really show anything)
Living Room looking into Dining Space and Kitchen
Farthest right door leads into hallway with Bathroom, Linen Closet and Office
Left Door leads upstairs
Bathroom from hallway
Bathroom from inside doorway
Downstairs Office that will have back wall (that I'm standing by)
knocked down and added with...
Laundry Hallway that can be accessed by back door
to create a larger Office/Laundry/Mud Room
View from top of stair well looking at second floor
This unfinished closet at the top of the stairwell
is going to be a second floor half bath
Bedroom 1 (which will be MP's room)
Bedroom 2 (which will be LP's room)
Bedroom 3 (which will be My Farmer's and my room)
This room also has two closets, one on each side
(I guess you could say his and hers closets)
So there's a little first look at the place.  Any advice for us as we go through our first major home renovation?  Also, any ideas for 1/2 story closets that are all slanted?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Letter To My Son On Mother's Day

Dear LP,

I am so happy, and feel so blessed, to have you call me Mom.  You always make me feel special - from making my kisses feel like they cure all, to cuddling up on my lap, to still wanting to get a hug from me even it was me that just punished you for something.  Soon our lives will change and there will be two who will call me Mom.  I want you to know that I love you with all my heart and after MP arrives, I will then love two children with all my heart.  Thank you for being such a good little boy that makes me smile every day.  I feel very honored to celebrate Mother's Day because God blessed us with you.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Hump Day Bump Report

Another week closer and I'm so excited!  I was hoping that my doctor's appointment yesterday was going to be more than just a little check-up but sounds like if I had went one day later, I would have been checked to see if I was dilated, but since I wasn't a full 36 weeks yet, it didn't happen.  Oh well - next week!  Here's this week's Hump Day Bump Report:

  • How far along?  36 Weeks Down - 4 Weeks To Go!
  • Baby size:  Honeydew Melon
  • Baby milestone:  The baby's liver and kidneys are in working order.
  • Have you started "nesting"?  Yesterday I bought some newborn diapers to have on hand but I still need to do a full "baby run."  I haven't started making lots of meals or washing baby clothes, but I do have to say that in the last couple of days I've been better at knocking things off of my to do list.  I'm not sure if that is because I am starting to "nest" or if it is just because I told myself I needed to be more productive during the day...
  • Have you been having any heartburn?  Not really.  LP had a full head of hair when he was born with minimal heartburn during the pregnancy, and it'd be fun if MP had hair too.  Baby hair is so cute and soft!
  • Have you been having any ankle and foot swelling?  I don't think so - I can still wear my cowboy boots so I say I'm good still!
  • Does LP understand what is happening?  I get asked this a lot.  Does any two year old really understand what a new baby means before the baby actually arrives?  We have been reading big brother books so hopefully that will help.  And we talk about the baby - he'll point to the baby in my stomach and give the baby kisses by kissing my stomach.  But does he really understand what it all means - probably not.
  • How do you think LP will do once the baby arrives?  I think he will be a good big brother.  He is a big helper around the house now and is a very curious and inquisitive toddler.  I think that will only continue after the baby arrives.  And in the past when LP has been around newborns he is either not interested or affectionate.  So hopefully he'll be affectionate towards his baby brother or sister.
  • Do you have a "coming home" outfit picked out for the baby?  Not yet but I do have going through newborn clothes on my to do list.  I'm not too worried or concerned about picking out a "coming home" outfit though.  We had to change LP out of his "coming home" outfit before we even left the hospital because he ended up having an accident in it.  (He ended up actually coming home in a hospital bodysuit.)
  • Emotions:  I'm simply happy.  I also am proud that I have been more productive lately.  It is about time, because I feel like since March I have fallen behind staying on top of things because I was so fatigued.
The bets are starting to roll in on my blog's facebook page - what is your bet?  Do you think we'll be having a boy or a girl?  And when do you think MP is going to arrive?  Place your bet and keep your eye out for the next month for the results (well hopefully in the next month)!  So far the girl bets have a slight edge over the boy bets!

Signs of Spring

Who would have thought after having a snow storm just last week, it would feel so much like spring so soon!

I put out my hanging annual flower baskets
Our dog Bailey and LP are enjoying going on adventures together on the farm
(Since it has turned nice again it has been hard for me to keep LP in the house!)
My Farmer officially mowed the lawn for the first time for the year
LP and I have been taking walks on our gravel road again 
The snow is almost all gone...
(There's only some left on field edges and in ditches.)
LP has been busy on his tractor
Now the only thing left to really make it feel like spring
is to get the "big" tractors back in the field!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Hump Day (+ 1 Day) Bump Report

LP and I having a PJ Day on this Snow Day
So this week I purposely waited to do my Hump Report because I was suppose to have a doctor's appointment this morning (and part of me thinks I may have started dilating so I was hoping to share that information).  Anyways, due to the snow, my appointment was cancelled.  So, here is my Hump Day (+ 1 Day) Bump Report (with no doctor appointment report included...):

  • How far along?  35 Weeks Down - 5 Weeks To Go!
  • Baby size:  Coconut
  • Baby milestone:  The baby's hearing is fully developed and the baby responds best to high-pitched noises.
  • Other fun factoid:  At 35 Weeks, a woman's uterus has grown 1,000 times its original size.  Isn't that crazy to think about???
  • Do you think you're going to have a boy or a girl?  I've always been pretty even and haven't had a feeling one way or the other, but in my most recent baby dream I had a baby boy.  So part of me thinks that maybe I'll have another boy.  This pregnancy has been very similar to LP's but I know in the end, that doesn't mean jack-squat...  I'm prepared and ready for either a boy or a girl.
  • Do you have baby names ready to go?  About a week ago My Farmer and I actually sat down and talked and worked through baby names.  Our list probably has six names for each boy and girl and we'll work on whittling down the list to just two or three before we get to the hospital.
  • How are your Braxton Hicks contractions?  In the last several days my Braxton Hicks contractions have been getting stronger and more frequent.  I take that as signs the baby is continuing to get ready for its arrival!
  • Do you have your hospital bag ready to go?  No.  And I probably won't at least for another couple of weeks...  That might be pushed up depending on how my doctor's appointment goes!
  • Food cravings:  Diet Coke.  I am usually pretty particular about pop and usually never drink dark colas, but for some reason here lately I've been craving Diet Coke (or Diet Caffeine Free Coke if available).
  • Emotions:  I've always been hoping and praying that the baby is going to come a little early, and I do have to say that I really do feel like the baby will be here by the end of the month.  So that makes me excited!  I can't wait for my rescheduled doctor's appointment!
I think it is officially time to start taking bets on when the baby will arrive and if it'll be a boy or girl!  Go on to my blog's facebook page to mark your guess!

May Snow!

You know how they say "April Showers Bring May Flowers" so what does "May Snow Bring..."?

That's right - May Snow!  You have no idea how many times I've thought about writing about the weather this year!  We've had unseasonable highs, unseasonable lows, dry times, wet times and of course snowy times.

Who would have thought we would have been doing this just a couple days ago?

Planting Corn
So as My Farmer and I woke up this morning what were we thinking?  I think My Farmer was in shock that it actually snowed and that it is suppose to continue snowing all day today.  And I am thinking - well, at least it is moisture!  We have been in a drought for the past year and I figure you've got to look at the good side of this May snow and say - moisture is moisture!

What does this mean for the corn we've already planted?  Well, we'll see in a few weeks...  It either means the seed will not germinate properly due to the cold conditions and we'll have to replant due to low stand counts, or it means the seed was not harmed and we'll be happy we got a couple fields planted early.

I guess this is why they say that "Farming is a Gamble" - there are some things you can control, and others, like weather that you can not.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy May Day!

LP ready to deliver May Day baskets this morning
Happy May Day from our family to you!

This year our May Day baskets are cups of Teddy Grahams with a muffin liner flower and note attached.  Pretty simple besides that LP wanted to keep the Teddy Grahams for himself...  May Day baskets are a fun family tradition!