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Update - Turkeys

Ugh. I'm already behind on here! I had good intentions, but then I got (re)addicted to scrapbooking!

Anyway - Bart got his first flock of turkeys last Friday. But the action really started Thursday.

Thursday - The birds need to be kept at a toasty 85 degrees. And normally, they like to take 24 hours to heat up the building and adjust the stoves to the right temp. So, Bart, Noel (Circle Hill) and William (Circle Hill's best employee) came out to fire up the stoves and make sure the building was all ready for the poults. And the stoves didn't work. Well, some of them worked, but some didn't. Some of them were losing juice up the cable that suspended them, and the cables were melting the pulleys. Cool, huh? So - frantic calls to the electricians and manufacturer ensued. The electricians came and by afternoon, had determined that they wired a few stoves wrong, which screwed up the rest of them, too. So...some frantic re-wiring took place, Noel declared he was going home to drink a bottle of wine, and we all hoped for the best.

Friday - We unloaded poults at 7 AM. Bart went out there at about 5:30 to finish getting ready, and his dad came out to help, too. William, his wife Beth, and Noel were also there. Adam usually wakes up between 6 and 6:30, so I thought we'd have plenty of time to get out there. But, at 6:52, he finally woke up. I looked at the clock, sat up, and said, "Holy ****! The turkeys are coming!" I nursed him for about 20 seconds, grabbed some crackers, and we took off. Just as we came outside, the semi was pulling in the driveway.

So I changed his diaper as he sat in the stroller, and watched/helped them unload. The turkeys come in crates that hold 100. The crates are divided into fourths, so there are 25 in each section. Dave (Bart's dad) and William stacked crates on the bucked of the skid steer, and Bart backed it down the length of the building. We (mostly Noel and Beth) unloaded the crates and put the turkeys in the rings. Then we stacked up the crates while the other three went back to the front of the building to get another load.

All in all, it took about an hour to unload 20,000 birds.

The rest of the day went pretty smoothly. I went and got doughnuts for our crew (note to self - provide breakfast next time) and Bart spent most of the day outside with his little birdies, adjusting stoves and so on.

It was a hot day - getting up to about 95 degrees. Then, in the evening, a cold front came through, and the temp dropped quickly. Bart came inside from about 8:30 to 10:30, and sometime in that 2 hour time span, the turkeys decided to huddle. Our theory is that the temp drop screwed up the temp in the building, they got cold, and piled together to stay warm.

So we (mostly Bart, but I took my turn, too) spent the next two days trying to break them of this habit. They were piling up in the corner and suffocating each other. We knew it was warm enough, so it must have just been a habit for them by that point. Bart walked around the building, scraping the cardboard and shushing them away. He would go out there for an hour or so, and then take a 30 minute break, all day long. Finally, Sunday, things got a lot better and Bart got a little rest.

So far, we've lost more birds than we'd hoped to. But they (Noel and William) say that's "New Building Syndrom." There are always some kinks to work out. And now we have some room for improvement with our next flock!

I'm making a book that explains the whole turkey farm. Here are some pages.

Sickie Baby

Adam was sick Sunday night through Tuesday morning. :( He had a high fever, which is a normal reaction to the MMR vaccine he had last week. Poor baby - I've never seen him this miserable. He spent the whole day whimpering, no matter what I did.

But I got to rock-a-bye him for the first time in 3 months. Usually he protests and squirms, but yesterday he wanted to be held. And last night, he actually snuggled me in bed, which was unusual and very sweet.

Today he seems to be feeling better, but very tired because he didn't sleep good the last two nights.

It's times like this that I am so thankful that I have such a healthy little boy. In his first year of life, he only saw the doctor a couple of times for illnesses. Otherwise, we were there for reflux in the first couple of months, and his regular check-ups. We made it an entire year with no ear infections or other illnesses, which I strongly believe is becuase he was exclusively breastfed. I feel sorry for him when he feels crummy, but I know it's a relatively minor thing compared to some of the things his little buddies (and their parents) have gone through, and I am glad that we have made it this far without any serious medical problems.

for the FUN of it!

I used Storybook Creator Plus to make these pages tonight.

One Year Checkup

Adam had his one year checkup with Dr. Swanson today. He was 29 1/2 inches tall and 19 lbs, 10 oz. His height and weight continue to be on the small side of normal, but Dr. Swanson thought that was fine. He said there's nothing that says that bigger is better for babies. Which was a perfect segue into a concern I had.

When we saw a different doctor about a week ago, he commented on Adam's weight, saying, "Everyone trumpets breastfeeding, but those breastfed babies just drop off the charts after 6 months." I was appalled for several reasons:

1. A pediatrician should NEVER say anything negative about breastfeeding.

2. There is evidence that bigger truly isn't better for babies.(http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/dailydose/04/01/baby.fat.obesity/index.html?iref=newssearch)

3. Adam has not "dropped off the charts."

4. I worked my butt off to keep breastfeeding this long! How dare he make it sound as if it wasn't worth it?!?!

After I told Dr. Swanson about the other pediatrician's comments, he said he was going to have a little talk with him. :) Thank you, Dr. Swanson. That's why we love you.

Dr. Swanson was also impressed that Adam says hello, tuh-tuh (tractor), Sal, Mama and Dada. He said he's a "bright boy!"

Adam had 4 shots and had to get his finger poked. But he was a trooper! Hopefully it will be a full 6 months before we have to go back to the doctor!

Here are some pictures from this afternoon.

Happy Birthday (Party), Baby O!

What a fabulous evening! We were worried about the weather this morning, but after a light rain shower, the sun came out and the humidity stayed down. About 45 of Adam's family members came over this afternoon to help him celebrate his birthday. Here are a few quick pictures before I hit the hay.

My cousin, Lane, made his gorgeous and healthy cake. She wanted to make it, and I requested that it not be too incredibly full of sugar. She said the ingredients were applesauce (sugar free), bananas, whole wheat flour, wheat germ and soy milk. I tried it tonight, and I'm sorry, Lane, but there's a reason Adam didn't eat much of it. :)

For some reason, I didn't take many pictures of him smiling! Maybe someone else has some?

Thanks to everyone who came. Adam is so lucky to have so many family members who love him. I know he won't remember this day, but he'll be able to look at the video and pictures and see how important he is to all of us!

New Templates

I got this new blog template for free from www.leeloublogs.blogspot.com . I love it!

Creative Memories

I've been scrapbooking since I was in high school, but I haven't done much in the last few years. I didn't have a permanent place to work, and I hated dragging out all of my "stuff" and then putting it away again. And with the use of a digital camera, I rarely got my pictures printed.

But recently, I learned about Creative Memories' Storybook Creator Plus, a software program used to make digital scrapbooks. Using it, I was able to make a scrapbook for Adam in only a few hours. Digital scrapbooking has made it easy for me to get back into the scrapbooking world, and preserve memories of my baby and family.

I am so passionate about digital scrapbooking that I have become a Creative Memories consultant. So if you are like me, and don't have the time or space to take on traditional scrapbooking, check out my Creative Memories site. http://www.mycmsite.com/sites/katieolthoff

July 4, 2009

I know this is a week or so late, but here are some pictures from Adam's first 4th of July!
My husband, Bart, AKA DaddyO My sister, Becky AKA Aunt Bublabath and Adam. Adam was so serious the whole time.

My little brother, Brett AKA Unca Poptart

My dad and Adam - I adore this picture!

Mom, Becky and Adam

Another great picture - my mom with Adam

Aunt Bublabath again

And finally, my cousin Caroline and her Grandma Jeannie. She loved the fireworks!

Which do you like best?

Adam's tractor

Bart's tractor

I prefer the green one, but the red one gets more work done. Hopefully we can afford a green one by the time Adam starts wondering why all his toys are green, but Daddy's tractor is red. I mean, really, we'll lose all credibility with our son if we keep telling him that John Deeres are best but we use a Case. Maybe it's a good lesson in economics? In the meantime, Grandpa Mark is teaching him to make gagging sounds whenever he is near it.

The Journey

I've been toying around with the idea of a blog for some time now. I have a lot of changes going on in my life, and I thought it would be a nice way to document some of them. For example, my husband, Bart, recently quit his stable, government job to begin farming. Seems crazy somedays. Other days, it's a dream come true.

We have a son who will turn one next week. Adam is so incredibly amazing, I want to show him off to the entire world. (Every mom feels this way, right?)

About 14 months ago, we moved to a 100 year old farmhouse. Since then, we (mostly Bart and my dad, Mark) have gutted it and are slowly putting it back together.

So this blog is intended to keep people up to date on our lives, as well as be a record of where we've come from, where we're going, and the journey along the way.

I just killed a rat with my bare hands! (AKA Adam Sneezes Grass)

Well, it was more like a stick, but I'm still pretty proud of myself.
Adam was playing outside, yelling at his toys in his own little language. He was trying desperately to push his John Deere riding toy around our bumpy, uneven yard. I was putting a coat of bright red paint on his picnic table, and Grandma Joannie arrived to watch him for a few minutes while I showered.

I continued to paint while they played in the shade. Suddenly, Sally started yipping at something by the grain bins. I knew immediately she had found a rat or mouse. What I didn't understand was why it wasn't running away.

After screaming at Sally for a few seconds, I marched off to get her away from the critter. Bart has several rat bait stations, and I was afraid that she could get poisoned if she ate a dead rat. She continued to yip and jump back as if she was afraid. Then, I saw her flinging something around.
Again, shock. Why wasn't the rat able to get away? Sally isn't exactly the fiercest dog on the block! And if it was already dead, why was she so darn scared of it?

It looked like it was still alive, so I kept my distance. Finally, after more yipping and flinging, the rodent was still. I walked towards it, and its beady little eyes stared at me. I watched its chest move up and down and knew I had to put it out of its misery.

I cried to my mommy, "It's still breathing!"

She said, "Well, get a stick and kill it." Like, duh.

So, paint brush still in hand, I retrieved a stick from the burn pile and took to beating the rat to death. On the first strike, the stick broke. Dang. Oh well, get closer and hit it some more. After several more smacks, it was still breathing and moved a tiny, nasty paw. So, I hit it some more. Finally, convinced it was dead, I headed back towards the house.

In the meantime, Grandma (my mommy) and Adam had been watching the whole ordeal. Or Grandma had been anyway. Adam had been eating grass. Grandma heard him coughing, and immediately retrieved two big clumps of grass from his mouth.

But the story doesn't end there. After several more minutes of playing outside, we went in for lunch. As I fed Adam squash mixed with applesauce (yum!) Grandma said, "Wait, he's gonna sneeze."

He didn't exactly sneeze, but snot suddenly came running out of his nose. He reached up to rub his nose with the back of his hand, and out came a 2 inch long piece of beautiful green grass.

Ah, life on the farm. It doesn't get much better than this!