So apparently, I can’t do it all. I apologize, as you all seem to get the brunt of that. Life has been amazingly good, but oh so busy and it seems that sitting in front of a computer in my office area does not make it high on the priority list these days. I’m saving for a laptop to change those ways hopefully soon, but until that day, pardon my manners and allow me to attempt to catch you up on what’s been happening on the farm. So.Many.Things. I suppose I’ll start where our biggest challenges began this summer. Managing a new baby on the farm, getting stuff done and keeping our sanity. We seemed to get at least two out of those three things accomplished.
Bowman is growing fast and keeping us on our toes. He decided to crawl at 6 months and hasn’t stopped moving, and now it’s a whole different level of parenting around here. The dogs have warmed up to the idea of having him mobile – well Wyatt mostly tries to poach his food and Maynard has become a full duty Nanny, which includes 20 minute check-ins, constant face/hand/area clean up, warning growls in case of intruding baby snatchers and judgmental stares if he thinks I’m being neglectful of the cries coming from the nursery. I finally understand the whole “pit bull nanny dog” title. So there’s that. The chickens seem curious and the cat is super tolerant. He also loves to hitch rides in the stroller on our walks. The horses too are curious, and nothing brings a smile to Bowman’s face faster than one of the animals. All in all, life has continued on the farm and our little one fits right in.
In the beginning, we were unsure how life, let alone farming life would happen with a baby added to the mix. It seemed… overwhelming I guess, to haul around a little person and get what we needed to accomplished done, especially outside and safely. How would we get chores done? Plant the garden? Tend the animals? Harvest? There was so much to do, and we lead such busy lives, how could we possibly do it all?
Well for one, I started drinking coffee. That helped.
But as I said before, even with coffee, we couldn’t do it all. That was the first thing we had to accept as new parents. It just wasn’t feasible to get it all done. I also had to relax a bit more on my level of perfection I’m used to. I had to learn to live with the weed infested gardens (very weed infested), the un-washed floors, the piling up paperwork in the office, the un-sent birth announcements (sorry) and the un-made beds (just kidding… I’m not an animal). Not an easy task for me, but with practice, patience and a few tears, I learned to let go. I also had to maximize nap time. That was huge. On nice days, our baby monitor could reach most places around the house or he would sleep outside. On rainy, stormy days I got a hell of a lot of canning done. Prioritize and maximize people.
Baby wearing has been a lifesaver for both of us. Yes, that’s right, my husband (proudly) wears his son, often. It frees up our hands to get chores done and is also a convenient way for me to ride with him in the SxS. We also relied heavily upon our Pack n’ Play, our stroller and a shade gazebo we put up on our deck. The days get very sunny and hot in the summer and it was imperative that I had a sanctuary for the baby as well as the dogs and me. We also made adjustments so I could have some garden areas closer to the house which made it easier to tend and gather dinner supplies. It all worked out to be a great system for us.
As we did more, we grew more confident and learned new ways of doing things. We also learned that our little guy is definitely a farm kid. He went with the flow for most things and took this lifestyle in stride. Our productivity went up and we started to get more things done. We also took time to enjoy ourselves, our new life and our newest family member. I think that was the most important lesson of all. We went on hikes, to parties, swimming, on picnics, lounged in the sun and even went on a quad trip into the mountains for the long weekend. And you know what? The farm thrived! The gardens produced, the animals were happy, projects got started and finished and the weeds lived happily ever after. It was a glorious summer and we took full advantage, and it turns out, living our life with a baby isn’t hard. It’s just our life, except now we have to remember to pack diapers.
So we adventure on and head into the winter months! We have lots of travel coming our way and I hope to update you more on our busy busy summer soon. Have a great day and remember, keep love in your heart and kindness in your thoughts, rise to meet your challenges, remain optimistic that anything can be done and never, ever underestimate the power of coffee.
So apparently we’ve been through some sort of Space-time Continuum here on the farm. Like seriously, what day is it?
It seems like only yesterday I was 8 months pregnant and reminiscing to the slow pace our lives once were in 2015. Fast-forward 5 months and holy.crap. Things have gotten very interesting at Canadian Acres.
After such a long absence, I started to get subtle (and some not-so-subtle) reminders that people missed the blog. But as so much has happened in these last few months, I honestly didn’t really know where to begin. So I’ve decided to start where I meant to last January, which is to review the goals we set for 2016, plus give you a short review on how our lives have been over the past few months. Sound good? Good, because I don’t have any time to argue with you. Shit’s gotten real, and the one thing I do not have time for is extra time. Also, some days I have trouble finding time to get pants on. But that’s besides the point.
When Clay and I sat down together to map out our 2016 goals on a quiet, non-hectic day in December, we wanted to keep things short and simple since we knew our lives would certainly change once our new son entered the picture. You know, make sure we didn’t over extend our expectations because we couldn’t possibly get it all done with a baby. Hahahahahahaha. Anyway, our list promptly grew and grew and although we’ve almost murdered each other a few times, we’re actually figuring out how to make it all work. Mostly. We’ve definitely had to readjust our level of expectations, especially the day-to-day. And we’ve definitely had a steep learning curve. And we’ve definitely felt absolutely nutso and insane and cried for an hour over an egg we dropped on the way back from the chicken coop while carrying the baby. Well maybe that last one was just me. But mostly, mostly, we’re very much making it work 🙂
So…. here’s the list and a review on what’s been accomplished thus far:
Whelp, I think that’s it. See, were are totally sane and within reasonable expectations… The real test has been how to keep the baby safe, warm and alive during all of these things and so far, so good. Sleep is overrated (NOT) and we’ve only had one “oops-we-fell-asleep-and-left-the-chicken-door-open-so-a-fox-massacred-a-few-in-the-night” incidents.
We left the dog’s 2016 goals to them this year, which basically consists of not getting attacked by wolves. Once again, so far, so good.
2016, it is upon us!
As Clay and I sat down to draw out our 2016 goals, we had mixed feelings on how we did on our 2015 goals. I was disheartened as I felt with a full-time job and a pregnancy, I wasn’t up to the standard we’re used to. But after some time and reminiscing, it seems we actually accomplished a whole lot in 2015 and should be proud of what we could get done between long work hours, 40 minute commutes and growing a fetus.
So here it is… our list of goals we started with in January of last year and what we did and did not do, plus some extra items that got squeezed in there along the way:
Goals we planned for but didn’t accomplish:
All in all, I feel like we did pretty good. Thank goodness the major garden work got done before I got super tired in my first trimester. It is important to keep up with our goals and at least write them down for we have so much to do on the farm, and well, in life.
My family members often ask – how do you find the time to do all of these things? And I have to chuckle to myself because I guess we don’t look at it that way. We don’t have TV, we don’t like to sit idle, we like to work to exercise. We try to focus on building a life that keeps us active, on this beautiful land and living life to it’s fullest. Plus, with a view like ours, it hardly feels like work. Though, this 20 pound belly I’m carrying around can put a damper on that quickly. 2016 is all about new adventure and new challenges and we are oh so excited to see how we handle it this time. Stay tuned for a list of our very realistic and not-overwhelming-at-all goals for when baby Peck arrives in March…. are we really
dumb brave enough to try cloth diapers?
And because I always love to hear, what goals did you accomplish last year?
It’s the 23rd of December and here I sit, 29 weeks pregnant, wondering where the year went. Heck, I’d be happy to know where my 2nd trimester went if I had to choose. But all in all, 2015 was an amazing year full of challenges, unexpected journey’s and most of all joy. And exhaustion…. lots of that. Also, Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake, but maybe mostly in the last few months. I don’t really remember.
Anyway, since I’ve been rather busy with the whole full-time-job-plus-running-a-farm-and-growing-a-human-inside-of-me thing, I did not get a chance to send out Christmas cards to friends and family this year. Though, I do hope that this blog gives you a chance to feel connected to us and the farm all throughout the year, so maybe that’s even better.
My second trimester was spent getting organized for winter and starting to focus on the holiday season. I gained back a bit of my energy but started to feel a lot more aches and pains with the growing of my belly. We tried to keep up with our projects though and looking back, I do feel like we accomplished a lot.
The chickens helped with the yard clean up from fall and very much enjoyed the delayed cold weather and snow. But alas, the snow came and with it the below zero temperatures. These past few weeks have been very dark and I’ve been feeling bad as I rarely get to interact with the critters, let alone struggle snuggle them, when I leave for work and it’s dark and I return home and it’s dark. But Winter Solstice has come and for Christmas I promised them more light, so be it. I’m very giving in that way. Sake gets to warm up in car with me when I get home some nights and receives lots of pets and hugs and the horses seem to be wintering well with lots of feed and little snow to compete with.
Clay spent the unusual warm weather building a woodshed and we tried to soak up as much non-snow time on the farm as we could. I took the opportunity to plant 140 cloves of garlic in the garden, with much help from Sake who thought pulling the newly planted cloves and using them as a toy was great fun. So… maybe we’ll end up with a few less garlic bulbs in 2016. I’m always thankful for the company. I harvested the last of the calendula and put it in oil to steep, took a 6 week quilting course and brewed my first batch of beer (which took me like 7 hours and better taste like unicorns).
We took a break in November to meet my family in Hawaii for American Thanksgiving and loved the much needed break. December brought hearth and home and all the great things of the season.
So all in all, as we wrap up our 2015, we are feeling very blessed, accomplished and just a wee bit tired. This lifestyle can hard and it can be challenging, but mostly it’s full of laughter and joy and beauty and the simple things in life. And really, with the state of the world today, who could ask for anything more.
Wishing everyone a holiday season full of laughter and love, and a joyous New Year.
~Katy, Clay, Baby Peck, Wyatt, Maynard, Sake, Thor, Tyrion, Beatrix, Stella, Ruby, Betty, Thelma, Florence, Pearl, Georgia, Izzy, Sophia, Rose, Blanche, Dottie, Mildred, and Annie.
Autumn is in full swing and slowly fading to winter. We have lucked out in the weather department as October has been relatively warm and nice, though we’re losing daylight which makes the work/farm/life balance more difficult. It’s hard to get home at 5:30pm and get things accomplished before the sunset at 6:00pm. But thus is life in the North and as always, we’ll adapt… time to find the headlamps!
This past weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving and we had much to be thankful for this year. Plus, it’s only the first of the double Thanksgivings we get around here, so cheers to that! Clay, his dad Timber, brother Taylor and friend Fernando spent all day Sunday working on our horse corrals. Looks like we may get wild horses on the property this winter if all goes to plan. And then we’ll be completely prepared to brand, cut and buck them in the Springtime… Hopefully right around March 12th since, y’know, we won’t have anything else to do. Except for that whole birthing-and-raising-a-baby thing. Minor details.
As the boys worked hard on the fences, I took the critters on a nice long hike to one of my favorite parts of the property. It was a wonderful day.
Thanksgiving Monday, Clay and Timber headed across the river to check on the wild bunch. If you’re new to the blog and are wondering why we have these wild horses or where they came from, check out one of my very first posts here.They found about 20 horses and everybody looked pretty fat and happy heading into the winter. Makes me excited to see them on the property soon.
Next steps will be to finish the fencing and install gates on the corrals. Then we’ll set trip wires on the “horse traps” across the river (which are basically just smaller corral enclosures baited with salt blocks and hay). Next we’ll accomplish the very simple process of loading and transporting them all in horse trailers to our house. Easy peasy. Now I feel queasy. I’m sure it’s just the pregnancy.
There’s always something happening on the farm and I can’t wait to see what new adventures bring our way. A very gracious thank you to my husband who took the photos for the corrals and the wild horses – 3 hours both ways in a truck did not seem compatible with my bladder this time around… maybe next time.