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A Pregnant Party!

Okay friends, I have an idea.

I’ve been thinking about it for a couple weeks, and I’m ready to throw it out there to see what you all think. 

I know a few other bloggers who are pregnant, and I think it’s so much fun to follow everyone’s pregnancies.  So I’m wondering if you preggos out there would be interested a little pregnancy linky party.

I’m thinking about doing it once a month (or every other week?) and you can link up anything pregnancy related – pictures of your baby bump, ultrasound pics, questions for other pregnant women, etc.  I know a lot of you have random pregnancy posts on your blog.  This would be a place for all those posts to gather!

So what do you think?  Yay or nay?  Weird?  Or is there a linky party like this somewhere that I don’t know about?  Give me some feedback!

The Right Tools for the Job

What do you need when your hacksaw just isn’t cutting it?
(Anybody else grow up watching Home Improvement with their Daddy?)
(And please ignore the food on Adam's face. Again.)

How Did I Get Here?



This post is part of a new series, the REAL Farmwives of America, hosted by Heather over at 3 Kids and Lots of Pigs.  It is a part of her regular  Farmer Fridays Feature.

Although hubby comes from a long line of farmers (at least 5 generations) I never thought he would become one!  When we met, I knew that he had grown up on a farm, was majoring in something agriculture related, but wasn’t planning on actually becoming a farmer.  I had grown up in the country, but NOT on a farm.  I knew nothing about farming.  I didn’t even know there were turkey farms in Iowa.

Now, 8 years later, farming is our life.

dig_ camera 308

At our ribbon cutting and open house in August, 2009.

How did we get here?  I often ask myself the same question. :)  It’s a long, complicated story, so I’m going to try to keep it as simple as possible.  But this is the most important thing:

We are farming because we were blessed with an amazing opportunity.

Our decision is allowing us to raise our children in the country, as we had always wanted.

It is giving us a chance to teach them the work ethic and cautious financial management that comes with a farm. 

It is allowing me to be a part-time stay at home mom, which was always my dream.

We were able to move from the “big city” and again become a part of a tight-knit community.

The farm is allowing us to “build a legacy” as my husband says…something to be proud of in our retirement, and leave to our children.

When I take time to remember all these things, I know that we made the right decision.  Even when things are tough – turkeys die, husband’s working 14 hours days, and we have to travel to family weddings without him – I KNOW that this lifestyle is right for us.



Now, here’s how it all happened:

We were married in 2006, and Bart was working for the USDA at the National Animal Disease Center.  He was a lab tech who helped do research on tuberculosis in animals (mostly deer…side note: infected deer can spread the disease to cattle.)  He absolutely LOVED his coworkers, and had great (federal gov’t) benefits.  His job was not stressful, and he got to come home and relax at 4:30.  Although the salary was kind of crummy and there was no room for advancement unless he went back to school (not in his plan) he was pretty happy there.

Then, in the fall of 2007, we were offered an opportunity to begin farming.  It’s a very unique situation, and I’m not going to share all the details, but here are the basics.

There is a large turkey farm near us that is owned by a man and his brother-in-law.  At the time, the turkey industry was VERY strong, demand for meat was up (largely because of their contracts with Subway and the $5 footlong promotion) and they decided to expand.

So, they approached three young men who they thought might be interested in farming.  One was one of their young employees, whose family farmed in another part of Iowa; one was a close friend of ours, who Bart went to high school with and was also in the fraternity with, and finally, my husband, Bart.  These three were picked because of their family’s history in farming, their family’s reputation, and their own reputation.  We were honored to be asked, and in truth, our first meeting with the farmers felt a little like a job interview.

When we first met with them, they explained their motivation.  They told us that they could have put up their own buildings and hired some more employees to run them, but instead, they wanted to invest in young farmers.  They wanted to help out a new generation of farmers get started, and they knew that these farmers, who would have some ownership in the turkeys, would do a better job raising them in the end.

They gave us several months to make a decision and we agonized over it.  We made pros and cons lists, we prayed, we talked to other farmers, we met with our friend and his wife, we talked to our parents, we talked to each other, and we finally decided that this was an opportunity we could NOT pass up.  Did I mention that 3 days before our first meeting with our future partners, we found out we were expecting?!?!  As if it weren’t a hard enough decision already!!!  The hardest part for Bart was telling his boss and coworkers.  He was so close to them, and knew that would be the worst part of leaving his job.  The hardest part for me was just wrapping my head around what life on a farm is like.  I still have trouble dealing with it at times.

So, there was a mad dash that winter to sell our house, find a new house, and find someone willing to break up a field and sell us chunks of it to put up buildings.  All while pregnant.  :)  Then, through a series of unfortunate events (mostly rain and corn prices) we didn’t get to start in 2008 anyway.  Thank goodness Bart still had his USDA job!

Finally, July of 2009, we got our first turkeys.  It’s been just over a year, and although we’ve had some turkey illnesses and problems with the heat this summer, we are *mostly* sure we made the right decision.


Without getting into too many details, our “partners” own 90% of our farm, and we own 10%.  Bart gets paid a “management fee” from them on their 90% of the turkeys.  This fee is based on the pounds of turkey we grow, so it is DEFINITELY in our best interest to do the best we can.  Our goal (and theirs, I believe) is for us to buy more of the farm as we are able, and eventually own a majority of it.  We would also like to diversify and own farmland, and possibly raise some cattle.

We are incredibly indebted (literally and figuratively) to the farmers who gave us this opportunity.  Without them, we would never be able to do what we are doing right now.  Besides the financial backing, they have given us their expertise and support, helping us every step of the way.  I am truly so grateful for them and what they have done.  Their generosity, patience and belief in us has enabled us to live out a dream we didn’t even know existed!


So, for everyone who thought we were crazy (and maybe still thinks so!) that is how and why we began farming.  Although we (especially me!) are fairly new to this, we are so PROUD to be farmers, and are working hard to make our farm something that our partners and families will be proud of, too!


Now, head over and check out these REAL FARMWIVES who are also posting about how they “got here” today!


o Heather at 3 Kids and Lots of Pigs

o Amy & Liz at 2 Maids A Milking

o Amy at A Latte with Ott, A.

o Marybeth at Alarm Clock Wars

o Leah at Beyer Beware

o Jennifer at Farmgirl Follies

o Jeanette at Fence Row to Fence Row

o Lauren at Four Ransoms and a Farm

o Jane at Going Jane

o Cris at GOODEness Gracious

o Meggie at Hoosier Farm Babe

o Jent at My Front Porch

o Katie at On the Banks of Squaw Creek

o Whitney at Life is a Highway and Mine’s Surrounded By Corn

o Lana at Walking the Off-Beaten Path

o Denise at Who is the Grown Up?

Also linking up to a couple of these:
New Friend Fridays

Wanted: Wife/Babysitter

Hubby:  If you die, I’d have to get married again right away so someone could take care of Adam while I farm.  I think I’d just place an ad on Craigslist that says, “Wanted: Wife/Babysitter.”

Me:  You could get a mail order bride.

Hubby:  Huh?

Me:  Duh, that’s what the farmers did on the prairie when their wives died.  Haven’t you read Sarah, Plain and Tall?  She was a mail order bride!!

image(Photo from here, which is actually the artist’s blog!)


Hubby:  I’d rather have “Sarah, Wild and Exotic.”


Good thing we have life insurance on BOTH of us.  That way he could just HIRE someone to watch Adam until he finds Sarah, Wild and Exotic.


(And now he’s analyzing the shrink ray on the Pretzel M&M commercial.  He says he understands how it could make the pretzel smaller, but would the smaller pretzel have the same amount of calories after it had been shrink rayed?  I love when he comes in for “lunch.”)

My New Potty

No, the room is not done.
But, I’ve been able to use the potty upstairs since Sunday night!
So with this, a roll of TP, and a bottle of hand sanitizer, we’re in business!

When daddy finished installing it, he said, “There ya go, Kate.  Sit down and we’ll take a picture for your blog!”
I declined.
He also said, “Now you’re a two-pooper house!”  Technically, we have 3 “poopers” and now, 2 places to do it!  Woohoo!!!

Turkey Tuesday: Monkeys and Turkey

I wasn’t going to post today, because I’m too lazy to get the pictures of our turkey vaccination off my camera.  But let me just tell you this…vaccinating turkeys is “so easy a monkey can do it” according to my husband.  And I screwed it up.  Just a little, I think.  But don’t worry, it didn’t affect how much vaccination they got or anything.  It just inconvenienced my husband a little.


He also said, “Don’t laugh.  It’s not funny.”


I told him that next time he should hire a monkey.


Okay, so anyway.  The real reason I’m posting today is apparently today is “Cook a Turkey Day” in blog world.  I was catching up during nap time on some really important things (blog reading…not laundry or anything like that) and I came across 2, yes TWO turkey recipes!  (I’m not sure if you can call Leah’s a recipe exactly, but it shows you just how easy turkey is to prepare!)


So, please, please, go check out Leah at Beyer Beware’s turkey:



And Cris from Goodeness Gracious’s herbed turkey and rice, which she says makes a great freezer meal!



And, as Leah says, take time to think “about the lack of turkey in our lives.”

Today is a good day… and my bathroom

Started out with a playdate with Adam’s best friends from daycare.  He plays with them everyday, but was as thrilled as ever to play with them again today.  And the other two mommies and I had fun, too. :)
Came home this afternoon, and I convinced hubby to take Adam with on his errands…take a piece of equipment back to the farmer he borrowed it from, and then take the trailer that he used to haul the equipment back to my parents.  Gives me probably an hour and a half to myself.  Which is great, since Adam didn’t nap today.
Now, my daddy’s here priming my bathroom.  This is a BIG deal!  This bathroom is up on the 2nd floor and was supposed to be done before Adam was born.  I have high hopes that it will be done before Baby Hooray comes.   As soon as we get it painted and the vinyl flooring down, we can install the potty and I won’t have to stumble down the stairs in the middle of the night anymore.  I still need to paint the vanity and cabinets before they can be installed, but the potty and some hand sanitizer would be a VERY welcome addition to our upstairs!

From left to right – shower/tubby, plumbing access and small closet for brooms and TP, spot for the potty, and door to hallway, showing some laundry and the cabinet I’m going to use as a vanity which has been sitting in the hallway for months.  The vanity is going to be the gray color you see on the wall above the not-yet-there potty, and the walls are going to be a lighter gray.  I CAN. NOT. WAIT. for this bathroom.  Why haven’t I painted it myself?  It wasn’t ready to be painted until late summer, and by then, hubby wouldn’t allow me to paint.  That’s why.
Oh, and I’m starting to feel better!  I actually had 3 really good evenings this week (and that’s usually my worst time of day) and then threw up twice last night.  But I think I’m back on track today!
So, that might not sound like a great day to some, but it was to me!  Hope yours was just as enjoyable!

(And in case you’re wondering, Hubby was mad at me a little after my last blog post.  But he’s over it.  And although I probably should have apologized, I haven’t.  Maybe I will someday.)


TP Pumpkins

Adam, Best Friend (Karen) and I did a craft with toilet paper last weekend.  I really like the results of mine and Karen’s craftiness.  Adam’s – not so much.  I’ll tell you about his, first.
(Not my picture.  I stole it from http://blog.newsok.com/hiccups/2009/02/19/potty-training-advice-needed/.  But it pretty accurately shows what Adam’s “craft” ended up looking like.)
1:  Karen put the roll of toilet paper on the actual toilet paper holder.
2:  Adam unrolled the entire roll into the toilet while Karen made dinner and I “rested.”
3:  Adam flushed.
4:  Adam ran to the kitchen and told Karen something along the lines of, “Karn, I puh toy pay in pah-pah.”  Which loosely translates to, “Karen, I put toilet paper in the potty.”
5:  I had been listening, so I jumped off the couch and went to check the damage.  Yep, an entire roll of toilet paper in the potty.  Unrolled.  Not just “throw the whole roll in there.”  Nope, he unrolled it first.
6:  Thankfully, the toilet did NOT overflow.  Miracles happen everyday.  I used salad tongs to fish out the TP. And everyone was happy.

The next day, Karen and I used some toilet paper in another unique way!
toilet paper pumpkins
See those adorable “pumpkins?!?!”  Simply toilet paper wrapped in some cloth napkins that I got at Target several years ago.  Just put the toilet paper in the middle, pull the ends up and tuck them into the middle of the roll.  These are all over blogland, so I’m not going to do an entire tutorial, just show you some pics of how ours turned out!
We made a bunch using my collection of decorator fabric remnants.  I wanted mine to be fall-y, but not super halloween-y, so these tan fabrics were perfect.
Don’t have your own collection?  Fat quarters work well, as do napkins (the napkins were the PERFECT size!)
neutral toilet paper pumpkins 
Karen made the cute ones with the strips of burlap and other fabrics.  I was too lazy impatient to get mine looking right that way, so I just wrapped.
 diy fall decor  burlap pumpkin
I had the most fun embellishing the tops.  I think they’re adorable!
diy tp pumpkin pumpkin craft 
*Special thanks to Adam and Best Friend’s Husband, Jon for getting us the sticks from outside. :)

Morning Sickness Treatments


Thanks to everyone who’s been asking about me.  I am feeling a LOT better, but still not 100%.  I haven’t been throwing up every night like I was…only a couple times a week, now.  My biggest problem is that I have so many food aversions, I can’t seem to find much to eat, and then when I get hungry, I get sick.  But according to the calendar, I’ll be 12 weeks along on Sunday (although I have a wacky cycle so I think I’m more like 10 or so.  But let’s stick with the calendar dates, just to give myself some hope) so I should be feeling better soon.  (Now would NOT be the time to tell me about how you were sick the entire pregnancy.  Please. Just. Don’t. Tell. Me.)

(Just because no post is complete without a picture, here I am on July 4, 2008.  Adam was due July 7, and born July 13.)

I’ve been wanting to do a post on morning sickness cures, in case someday, some poor woman going through what I’ve been going through stumbles upon my blog.  So I did a quick google search and one of the first things that came up was the article from WebMD:  http://www.webmd.com/baby/news/20100908/study-no-proven-morning-sickness-treatments

That’s right – the title is “No Proven Morning Sickness Treatments.”   Greaaattt…..

But I don’t believe them.   So here are some ideas to try.  Whether or not they work for you, at least you feel like you’re doing something!


Works for me:

citrus – especially lemon and lime.  I’ve been squirting lemon juice in my water, eating lemon heads, and snacking on lime sherbert

sweets – my OB verified that high concentrations of sugar help, so again, the lemon heads, but also sugary cereals and doughnuts are yummy.  I also love to dip graham crackers or nilla wafers in frosting. :)

eating small amounts frequently – “There’s a fine line between hunger and nausea,” said my OB.  This is kind of hard for me because NOTHING sounds good.  I have so many food aversions that I have trouble finding something to eat, and then I get past the hunger line and get nauseated and then it’s even worse.

drinking fluids before or after meals, but not with meals – This was a new one to me this time around, but it really does help!

getting out of bed slowly – I like to give the contents of my tummy time to move slowly. :)

ginger, Ginger, GINGER!!!! – I got some ginger tablets from my pharmacy and that’s when I quit throwing up every night!  However, I have ginger burps after taking them, and I hate ginger, so that’s kind of nasty, but better than vomiting!!

Preggie Pops – My Best Friend bought me some and they are great – citrus candy (these ones didn’t have ginger) so a lot like the lemon heads.

Potato Chips – the good, salty ones seem to settle my stomach enough for other foods.

Sleep – When all else fails, I sleep it off.  But I’ve found that my stomach feels better when I get more sleep.

Canned Peaches in HEAVY syrup – the heavy syrup helps settle my stomach.


Now, I know a lot of these foods are not things I’d want as a major part of my diet normally.  But my theory is that during the first trimester, anything that stays down is good for baby and I.  With Adam, I only vomited once but I lost 7 pounds during the first tri because of my food aversions.  This time, even vomiting a kazillion times, I’ve lost 3 pounds. So that must mean I’m better at finding foods that sound good this time around (even if they don’t settle well.)


Works for others:

Vitamin B6 – I got some from my pharmacy and tried it once and threw up.  I may try it again, though.  I think it was just the large pill that made me vomit.

Sea Bands – These are little bracelets that press on a pressure point on your wrist.  I used them with Adam, and thought they helped.  Tried them this time around with no luck.

Powerade or Gatorade – I’m not sure why, but they seem to help!

Eat something 15 min. before getting out of bed – I feel best in the morning this time around, so I don’t do this.  But with Adam, I always had to get up to pee around 4 AM, and I’d have a fruit cup then, and it seemed to help a lot.



Okay, so now you’ve read all about my vomiting and what makes me feel better.  Any biggies I’m forgetting?  Any yummy snacks that might help?

Dear Best Friend,

Thank you for spending the weekend with me.  I really needed it.


Thanks also for…

…doing my dishes and cleaning my kitchen while I laid on the couch complaining about my stomach.

…washing and drying your own sheets, and making your bed, since I didn’t get it done before you got here.

… ignoring the fact that you had to sleep on a mattress on the floor in Adam’s room.

…cooking dinner Sat. night.

…fixing Adam’s chair cushion, even though it was seriously confusing.

…letting Adam shower with you, to avoid a meltdown.

…crafting and baking with me (for me?)


Dear Best Friend’s Husband,

Thank you for…;

…entertaining Adam.

…picking up sticks with Adam for Best Friend’s and my pumpkins.

…cleaning out my garbage can because Best Friend said I couldn’t leave the nasty stuff in the bottom any more.

…helping hubby FINALLY finish putting steel up on the cattle shed.  My wallet will thank you this winter.

…taking the stupid password thingy off my computer.


Dear “The Rest of You,”

My best friend lives hundreds of miles away, in Ohio.  She and I met several years ago because our boyfriends (now husbands) were fraternity brothers.  I miss her a lot.  We like to craft together.  And shop for fabric together.  And bake together.  And just hang out.  She and her husband came this weekend and spent 3 glorious days here.  We hadn’t seen her since January, and we hadn’t seen him since, um, I don’t remember…Christmas 08?

It was an awesome weekend.  She truly took care of Adam and I, and her husband helped Bart finish up a project that a) needed a buddy and b) was supposed to be done LAST fall.  I am hoping they will move closer when she finishes her thesis, so we can have more of these wonderful weekends!!!

Morning Sickness

Now that the cat’s out of the bag, I need some encouragement. 
I’m starting to feel better, but today is bad again.  Let me hear your morning sickness horror stories, please!

Tomorrow, we’ll do morning sickness cures.

Adam has something important to say…

Nevermind that he’s eating pepperoni and our house is a disaster.  Just turn up the volume a bit and watch the video, k?