Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May 31

Grandpa baby caring
Imma be a weight lifter just like my Aunt Ally!
Hilarious face and onesie
Myrah and I going to the chicken coop. After that we mowed the lawn. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Tiny hoodie

Our friend Sue bought this tiny newborn-sized hoodie for Myrah when Mom and Dad were visiting her in Arizona this winter. Mom giggles every time she sees it because she thinks it's the cutest thing ever made! First I tried it on Samson, he wasn't too impressed. Much happier face from baby Myrah!!

Pooping face, grandma laughed her head off! (Yes, her outfit today was the tiny hoodie, a sleeper, and knee socks... No pants, lol!)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

DJ Baby Myrah

Every time we try to take a selfie, she makes a horrible face as though I am torturing her.

This is actually Myrah's very first photo ever, taken 25 minutes after her birth.  She has changed so much in 3 weeks!

Sleeping last night

Waiting to FaceTime with Aunt Ally and cousins Maevey and Caeden (this is also Pooping Face)

DJ Baby Myrah rocking out to Papa Jon's tunes.
 Myrah loves mowing the lawn and vacuuming (or, at least she tolerates me doing those things more than any other task!).  A friend loaned us a book, "The Happiest Baby on the Block" by Dr. Harvey Karp, which theorizes that human babies (in the interest of fitting through the birth canal) are born 3 months before they are ready and so he talks about the first 3 months of a newborn's life as the fourth trimester.  They still have huge leaps of development to make, but also present is a calming reflex which Karp explains how it can be activated with some combination of  his shtick, the 5 S's.  One of those being Shushing, or emulating the loud white noise present in the womb... So, it follows that of course wee babies are calmed by deep rumbling white noise, like lawnmowers and vacuums.  At any rate, it's a great book and I don't want to go much further into it, but if you have a newborn I highly recommend it (the only downfall being the fairly blatant selling by Karp of a $1200 USD newborn sleep aid, called the "Smart Sleeper".  Fortunately you can have a baby without all the gadgets!)

So, after realizing how helpful white noise is in calming Myrah, it follows that Jon was upstairs DJing and she was downstairs fussing, and I thought, "Hey... Why don't they hang out together so I can get something done?".  I warned Jon that he may be interrupted, but for the most part she's pretty happy so long as she's in sight of one of us.  Plus, it means he gets to DJ more often guilt-free, because he's also baby-caring.  Win-win!

Myrah's other favourite activities right now include flailing on a mat on the floor, cuddling with Mom and Dad in bed in the mornings, baby wearing in the wrap, visiting Grandma and Grandpa, and swinging in her Graco swing/chair.  She gets the hiccups multiple times a day and doesn't usually seem too bothered by them, unless she is hungry and wants to keep eating.  She eats lots and tends to eat a few times within a short period of time and then sleep for 2-3 hours after.  Partly I am reluctant to feed her too much at once, after a few epic and frustrating spit ups (one being while she was inside the wrap), so she eats a while, burps, and then we wait to see if she's still actually hungry or will doze off with her pacifier. 

Jon changes the majority of diapers, and we have just switched last week to using the cloth diapers which were so graciously provided by my super supportive amazing friend Kara (who also brought me her wrap last week, and baby-wearing made a huge difference!).  We used disposable while her umbilical cord stump was still attached, as they recommend that, but I HATED all the waste we were creating... Sometimes she'd pee in the new diaper as it was being changed and so two would be soiled at one changing.  We live in the country and all our garbage that can't be recycled or burned needs to be hauled to the dump, so creating large amounts of waste is a hassle.  We don't have the greatest septic, but it can handle an even load and much more than what we as 2 had been putting on it, so even if we now do a load every 2 days that's much preferable to creating a bunch of garbage that has to be stored in the garage and then hauled to the dump in the short windows of time they are open (and the opposite direction for where we normally travel). 

At any rate, I was also worried that for as much as I value the ethics of cloth diapering, that I wouldn't like the results or be able to deal with the hassle.  This is only day 3 or 4, but I actually love it!  Unlike the disposable diapers, the cloth ones don't wick away as much of the moisture and so she seems to notice more when she's wet, and we definitely change her more often... But, it doesn't come with soul-crushing guilt as the garbage fills with complete and utter waste!  I don't mind changing her more often and neither does Jon. The poo stays put for the most part.  (These diapers are an outer cover with an absorbent inner part that gets changed out. When the cover gets dirty, or daily, we switch).

Plus, the cloth diapers are super cute!

Both Jon and I were talking about how funny she looks when naked... Basically a big stomach and head with tiny little appendages.  So, the diaper is a big part of her overall "look".  Now she looks like a crunchy granola baby.  At any rate, we're not militant about anything and so plan to do a bit of both.  I anticipate that the disposable diapers will be much handier when we are out and about, but cloth is definitely easier at home.  Not that it can't be done-- and kudos to those who do exclusively cloth diapering-- we just have to balance what is practical and possible within our realm.

On that note: My tolerance for others "don't-ing" and "can't-ing" and "shouldn't-ing" has always been, and is especially very low right now!  It's shocking to me that people who I barely know will look at me and my 2-week old baby and tell me how they exclusively only breastfed and that's the only way a real mother would do it.  Or, they'll tell me I'm doing too much for someone who had a baby 2 weeks ago... As though we had the exact same pregnancy, labour, and post-partum experience.  Believe me, I know when I have done too much, and I know my limits.  For me, doing nothing but baby care in a day is a waste of a day, I feel MUCH better when I can see something that I accomplished (For instance, on Wednesday I mowed the lawn and picked asparagus and nettles.  On Thursday it rained and Jon went to town, so I vacuumed all the floors on the main floor of the house and mopped them, and when Jon got home I planted lettuce.  On Saturday I detail cleaned the interior of the car and the van, a long-needed task that I was thrilled to accomplish, on top of making soup and pizza.  Baby care is great, but it's not a be-all-end-all for me in terms of having a successful day-- my mental health depends on more going on than that. 

Everyone is different, and "a great challenge of life (according to mine & Jon's favorite astrophysicist, Neil DeGrasse Tyson): Knowing enough to think you are right, but not knowing enough to know you are wrong."  Realize that everyone is different and has a different experience and different goals, and that projecting your opinion as though it is fact just makes me realize how little I care about your small-minded perspective.  (That being said, as usual, my blog readers are different than the people in the world I am frustrated with... So consider this harmless venting, unless you've ever told me that your way is the only way!).

I would be in horrible shape if I had to face day after day alone at home with Myrah.  I love her to pieces, but being able to pass her off to Jon or Mom occasionally is critical to this working for me.  I can totally see why some women suffer post-partum depression, I'm certain I would be struggling with it as well if Jon weren't home!  My biggest aspiration in life was not to be a mother, though it is definitely an important life role and I take it seriously.  Just like I don't want to be a farm wife, I want to be out where the action is happening and be an important part of it.  If all I did all day was cook for the man farmers I would be greatly unhappy.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it just doesn't work for me personally.

Some new FAQs and Answers:

Why is she never wearing clothes?
We've tried putting clothes on her, and have to when she is in transit, and she hates it.  Grandma and Grandpa's house is warm and she would get over there and scream differently than she ever does at home (our house is usually around 17 - 18*C), and we finally realized it's the clothes!  She refuses to let us put a blanket over her during the day, and will grunt and fuss and kick it off if we do.  Same with socks (good thing I have 47 pairs, lol!).  At night we swaddle her with a very light cotton muslin wrap, which she tolerates but is often very warm when I wake up to feed her.  Her thermostat's stuck on hot!

How is she sleeping?
Jon is shocked at how much he is able to sleep through the night.  I however, wake multiple times, sometimes just to stick her soother back in and gain another hour of sleep.  She's really quite good considering she is under 3 weeks old.  I tend to go to bed around 10 pm and if she's not awake then she'll usually wake around then for a feeding and then be good until about 2 - 3 am.  After that she usually wakes again at 5 or 6, and then we always wake before her by 7 or 8 (or earlier, sometimes Jon takes her downstairs so I can sleep uninterrupted for a while).  With 10 hours in bed I am able to make it through most days feeling great and not needing to nap.  I totally could if I wanted to most days, just haven't felt the need.  The soother really helps, as sometimes she just wants to soothe herself by sucking and then I don't have to be awake quite as much!

Why aren't you posting updates on Facebook?
We use Facebook to market our farm business, and though Jon & Teri's Farming Journey Facebook page is different from Brown Sugar Produce's, it's an extension of the same thing-- farming-related, and not baby-related.  Of course, our lives are very closely tied to what we do, but there are also limits to what we are comfortable sharing. The same reason why I don't have a personal Facebook page that I use-- I am greatly tired of the transience and poor communication associated with these mediums and feel like some parts of my life just need to be private.  We are happy to share updates about Myrah and ourselves on our blog, but don't agree with pushing that content to social media where people can half-heartedly interact with it (as in, have it shoved in their face and then click a button regardless of whether they engage with it on a superficial level, or with actual interest).  She is her own person and can't consent to being on Facebook, so I'm not comfortable plastering her photos all over the place.  You can visit our blog at any time, and there is always lots of fresh photos because we are very proud parents, but you'll have to have your own actual interest guide you here!

Somebody has just woken up, so off I go...!

May 25 update

Shortly before I took this photo, she sharted. Best face ever... "Whoops!"

Flailing on a blanket is her current favorite activity!
Visited Sherman on her 2 week birthday, he was delighted to have some baby cuddles
Daddy's little girl
Making funny faces

Monday, May 22, 2017

Babies and cats

So far, the cats have been quite respectful of the baby.  The kittens are mostly scared of her, and Samson seems to understand he's now #2, and is ok with it. He gets kicked out of our room sometimes in the morning when Myrah comes in to snuggle, and he'll go sleep on the nursing chair or change table... Which is better than pissing on either of those things (as I've heard some very spoiled cats will do when the baby joins the family). Also, cats make the best breast feeding pillows ever!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Baby Jon

Got Jon to dig out some baby photos last night-- quite the resemblance! Top left and bottom right are Jon)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Today's accomplishments

Not the most flattering snap of Miss Myrah!  Paul thinks she looks like an Orangutan!


Working on the electrical plan for our building this morning. 


I am immensely proud of accomplishing this today.  The rabbits were inside all winter in the garage and so we filled the cage part of their shelter with straw.  The cage needed to be removed so the poop and straw could be shoveled out... Like, poultry staples removed, so a big pain in the ass.  I was determined not to have Jon do it, as he already does too much bunny care as it is.  Bunnies are now back on green grass, hurrah!  The cart sure is handy for these sorts of jobs.  So is the baby monitor!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Andrew's Rocking Chair

This is my friend Andrew Bishop.  He was an important mentor for me when I was in Nova Scotia, and seeing him smiling in this photo just completely warms my heart!  He runs Noggins Corner Farm, a thriving multi-generational family farm and orchards in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia.  Initially I met AB through working on his daughter's farm, TapRoot Farms, with Jon.  I was doing a farm office job and not loving it, so when an opportunity came up to do a weekly market with Andrew I was thrilled.  We are totally cut from the same cloth and got along great.  He is the kind of person who can appreciate nearly anything about what a person has to offer, and he immediately recognized my produce marketing skills and passion for being at the front lines of the Farmer's Market selling beautiful fruit and veg to people. 

After a year of doing the Hammonds Plains Farmer's Market weekly for Andrew, I moved over to Noggins full-time and started doing 5 markets a week in a new market van that he had invested in for the position.  My favourite day was always Saturday.  It began at 3:45 am, when I would usually pick Andrew up at his home just down the street from the farm.  We would stop at the farm and load up the few items we needed for display or frozen, and then head into the city (1 hr) always stopping for a coffee halfway in Windsor.  The chats we had on those commutes usually centered on our shared passion: produce marketing and the retail side of farming.  We would come up with strategies for the day (the market was 7 days a week but Saturday was the big day), and upon arrival at the market we would scatter and scarcely talk the rest of the day.  A subtle glance or observation of what he was doing and I could usually read his mind and fill in the required support, and vice versa.  He humored my different stall layouts as we attempted to improve traffic flow, eventually coming up with a great functional space.  He would have me build special feature displays and was usually impressed with the result, and if he wasn't would mash in and fix what I had done so it was what he was picturing, if he deemed that to be a better move. 

There's very few people in life that you can work with in that manner-- communicating so easily that you barely need to speak-- and Andrew is one of them I was fortunate to work with for just over 6 months.  Jon is another, and so it was my #1 man and other life goals that eventually led me to decide that the move back to Manitoba was necessary, though Andrew also inspired the move as I watched how critical the multi-generational aspect of his farm really was.  When Andrew took control of his farm, he moved it into the farm market buying-from-other-producers realm, which made Noggins become known as the purveyor of all the best of the valley.  Prior to that, they had grown apples and veggies but were limited by their own capacity to produce.  By purchasing from other farms, not only did they have a near endless supply, but they could also expand their offering to include wholesale, which is now a huge part of the business.  It's a long story and I may not have it all quite right, as this farm has been in operation since 1760, and I believe AB is the 4th or 5th generation.  They have just expanded to another city location and built an amazing new market and warehouse facility, which I know is Andrew's gift to his future generations running the farm.  He worked his way up with less-than-ideal facilities, and so as the farm transitions to the next generation (his daughters), they are off and running with a state of the art facility.

Man, does that family know how to work!  His daughter Carolyn is also an inspiration to me, especially as I become a mother myself.  My most memorable image of her is in her office, counting cash and doing payables with brand new baby Kate on her breast.  You can be a mother and all life does not need to come to a halt, it just takes creative juggling!

At any rate, AB and I still keep in touch, usually by text message, but also the occasional phone call.  He is thrilled to see us doing so well and promises to visit sometime next year.  In the meantime, he was always telling me about this rocking chair.  In his family, the rocking chair is a symbol of the older generation stepping aside and making way for the younger generation to take over.  The rocking chair is a reminder to slow down, and enters the picture with the grandchildren.  By taking the time to do the grandfatherly/motherly role of rocking the grandchildren to sleep, the older generation really comes full circle in their role on the farm.  Andrew thought I should set the boundaries for the relationship as soon as we arrived in Manitoba, by getting a rocking chair and having that be the first item to go into our new house.  That was 2 years ago, and we still hadn't gotten around to getting one. 

Lo and behold, 4 days before I gave birth to Myrah, I got a call from Andrew's other friend in Manitoba, who said she had something to deliver to me.  She showed up, all the way from Portage (1 hr away) with a BEAUTIFUL rocking chair for me.  She had picked it out as per Andrew's specific instructions and driven out of her way all that way just to get it to me in time before the baby arrived.  It is beautiful, Amish made and cherry wood, and now has a special place at Mom and Dad's house, where the majority of the rocking will take place-- when Jon and I come over to work in the fields at Mom's and Grandma or Grandpa get to babysit for a while.  Eventually it will move to my house, but for now that makes the most sense. 

It's already gotten some use!
Grandpa Paul in the rocking chair

And check this out: 31 years apart!

Goodbye, Wildflower and The Jenkins' go to town

 Yesterday we had a family doctor's appointment, so we had to head to town.  Decided to make a day of it and try getting groceries as well, and do what we always do when we go to town- have lunch!  (I intentionally schedule my appointments near lunchtime, especially when Jon was working it just made sense.  It still makes sense... We like having lunch out when the season still allows for it to happen! Not much longer will it)
Doc said everything is just fine.  Doctors are hilarious, he had already forgotten everything about the IUGR they diagnosed just before I gave birth.  She came out fine and that's all that matters!
 Unfortunately, our most favourite cafe is closing at the end of the month, so we wanted to make sure that Myrah got to visit Wildflower at least once.  Shannon, Jamie, Nicole, and Jan were all working and they were glad to meet her!

Shannon held her and I took this photo of her.  I was so flattered that she then asked if it could be used on Wildflower's social media pages!  It's really nice when people ask, of course this past week I've let a few images through just to aid with the announcement and quench people's curiosity, but for the most part I don't anticipate any of my pages becoming exclusively baby-related.  It has nothing to do with the business, and though it's a big part of our lives, I just don't think Facebook is any place for a baby.  This blog is different, because in my experience very few people will seek out information and those who do (that means YOU, reading this!) are alright by me if they want to see some baby photos.  I don't even know who half of the small following we have on Jon & Teri's Farming Journey Facebook page are, so why would I keep them up to date minute by minute? 

 Anyhow, no judging if you do post photos of your kids on facebook, chances are if we are close I enjoy seeing them and wouldn't read your blog if you had one, either.  I blog because I always have, for over 10 years at least through various formats, and I know that it's been a valuable record for me and a good writing outlet.
Our favourite morning time has become baby snuggles right before we get out of bed.  We don't co-sleep, Myrah is in a bassinet right beside the bed, and so it's nice to snuggle before we get up and before she is fully awake!

Anyhow, Myrah made it through the entire trip just perfectly, and it really helped to boost our confidence as new parents!  We knew we had to just continue on with our lives as they were, but going to the grocery store seemed a little scary and so we did it together and figured it out.  Though, I don't really know how we'll ever buy more than 4 bags of groceries... The car seat takes up the entire cart!  Baby carriers are on the way!
At the end of the town trip, Myrah and I stopped by Lady of the Lake and she met her Auntie Andrea, who was elated!!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Myrah's 6th Day

Right... I don't specifically plan on updating my blog for every day that Myrah ages, but today (and yesterday) were particularly good days, and she's a bit of a sensation right now so I thought there might be a few of you hungry for some fresh pics of the fresh arrival (I used to be a Fresh Specialist, so I know a bit about these things... They are time-sensitive!  That's what you get for letting me make up my own job title...!).

Yesterday we took our first family excursion to Grandma and Grandpa's house for Mother's Day.  How lucky we are to be able to celebrate as a complete family this year for the first time (because we all know 9+ month pregnant Teri was getting a little crabby about it!).  Myrah did fine in the car both ways as babies do, and Grandma and Grandpa were so excited to see her!
Oh, you big old softy!

Myrah's umbilical cord fell off!

The farm team

Mothers and daughters

Rocked out too hard at Grandma and Grandpa's house!
Today, Lydia visited for lunch and also brought her camera to take some photos.  They are much nicer than anything my iPhone can do-- speaking of that, if anyone wants to get together and pitch in to buy us a camera, we'd love that!! We didn't get dressed up for the occasion, because I hate those contrived Anne-Geddes-style newborn photos.  We wore what we were wearing and Jon stopped working long enough to pose for a few informal snaps, because that's how we roll around here.  (Sorry Myrah, your parents are hippies!).  Here's a handful of our favourites, if you'd like to see them all you can Click Here!

Then Teresa the public health nurse dropped by. She answered all of our questions and then weighed Myrah, who is nearly back to her birth weight at 7 lbs, 1.5 oz.  It can take up to three weeks for that to happen, so I guess we're doing ok!

And finally, today was Great Auntie Joan's birthday, so we sent her a special photo.  Happy Birthday!!  So glad you were here to meet Myrah shortly after she came into the world.