Name That Tune…I Mean Goat!

We have had such a busy few days! On Tuesday we celebrated my sister passing her test for her teaching license. It wasn’t much of a celebration being it was last minute. My dad and Caitlyn came over and we had a bit of champagne while we watched Dumb and Dumber.

The next day Caitlyn and I took Daniel to his first real doctor appointment in Watertown. He did great! Unfortunately the Dr. and I didn’t share the same views on certain things so I don’t think we will be going back to him. Fortunately we all had a fun time in Watertown. Between some photobooth fun and losing Dan’s bottle half way through the trip, it was a wild day!

Thursday was full of fixing up our new stroller, baking monster cookies, making salsa, making a trip to Runnings for things to make our goat fence and a ‘toy bucket’ for Daniel’s room… and trying to get caught up on the laundry–that still isn’t done yet.

Friday we went to pick up our new goats. It was no picnic in the pouring rain. We ended up getting one billy, who we named Billy, a little girl who we named Darla and a pregnant momma who we couldn’t decide on a name for. This is where you guys come in. We will name the goat whatever gets the most votes on the poll at the bottom of this post!

This morning Daniel and I went to water the chickens/ducks/turkeys and check on the goats and we were greeted by about six or seven HUGE gardener snakes by the barn door. We ended up waiting until Ryan got home so we could have him scare them away from the door. 

Here are Billy (black and white) and Darla (brown and white). They are both a little skeptical of us still. I couldn’t even get close enough to take a decent picture!
And here is ?????. She is such a sweet mama. She is literally like a big dog. She followed us around the whole time. She even tried following us back up to the house.

—–> And yes. Those are snowmen on Dan’s PJs. We make use of all our hand-me-downs….even if they aren’t in season!

(Sorry the poll isn’t showing up automatically. You’ll have to go through the link below)   😦


Introducing Millie!

This weekend one of Ryan’s cows gave birth to our first Angus Beef calf. We took some time to go over the the barn with Daniel to name her…we decided we’d go with Millie. She and DTM (Dan the man) hit it off right away. She was very sweet and didn’t mind Daniel hanging on her at all. I’m sure these two will grow to be great friends!


In other news: This Saturday I, along with some other members of my church, went down to Sioux Falls to serve at ‘the Banquet’. We have done this the last two years in May and it is a blast. It is nice spending time with members of our congregation and meeting new people from all walks of life. My sister Caitlyn and I were assigned to pour beverages. She had regular and chocolate milk and I had coffee and water.

The beverage pourers are definitely the coolest at this place…we get to sport these sweet aprons filled with salt, pepper, creamer and sugar to hand out. No need to mention I have had the honor of doing this job the last two consecutive years.


It was nice to get home after the two hour drive from Sioux Falls. My dad, brother and nephew were already over by the time I got there. My dad and brother worked on things while my nephew TJ tortured our cat. When he was starting to get on her nerves we took her away. TJ was not happy about that. He walked away from us and worked on his pout. It was too funny not to capture on film…or SD card. Notice all of the cat hair on his shirt!

It was a great day. The world didn’t end, so that is awesome in itself. Daniel went to bed early so I got to wind down with a glass of wine and a bad 80’s movie (two of my favorite things!) with this view… it just couldn’t be beat.

This and That

The last couple days we have had perfect coffee, nap, pillow fight, become completely obsessed with the show ‘Jockeys’- weather.  

I’m thinking Daniel is also liking Jockeys by the way he flips himself all the way over in his bouncy chair just to watch it. We can thank his dad for teaching him that one. I know I’ve said this before, but I think it might be time to retire the darn thing…and I mean it this time!

With this weather Daniel and I really can’t wait until we get my mother’s day present (a new TV for the ‘master’ bedroom). Until then we will just have to settle with listening to our homemade “best of Norah Jones” CD while we lounge…and eventually make the bed.

There hasn’t been too much going on the last couple of days. Still working on the sitting. I got Dan to take his hands off the floor for a couple of seconds to reach for his cookie monster yesterday. Yay! On a complete side note: I will be so sad when the cute little Dr. Seuss outfit he’s wearing in these pictures doesn’t fit anymore. I love it.


We did, however, get a couple of minutes to plant about three potatoes when the sun snuck out a couple days ago. We didn’t spend too much time outside because my dad, Dan’s grandpa Dar got a little antsy.   


Dear Daniel III

Dear Daniel,

May 21st. I got a call on my cell phone at work (Java Jules) from our favorite nurse, Lisa, saying there was a possibility that you would have Down syndrome. Lisa had explained that my quad screen test had came back positive for Downs. I was immediately alarmed. I had no idea what a quad screen was! I had never even heard of such a thing, nor did I know I had one done. They drew my blood on May 18th. Exactly a year ago.

When Lisa called she had told me that my chances looked to be 1:120 but not to be too alarmed yet because the cut off for notification is 1:150 and about 90 percent of these end up being false positives. Lisa is such a sweetheart, she was an angel to work with. After hearing this news and asking around there seemed to be dozens of people who had false positives, but for some reason I couldn’t stop thinking this was different.

Lisa then told me the next step was to get a level II ultrasound and possibly an amniocentesis. I would have to venture down to Sioux Falls early the next week (May 25th). I ended up taking your grandma Susan with me. I remember walking into the counseling room with Grandma and Nicole, the genetic councilor. I remember I was wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and flip flops and that room was so cold! Nicole then talked to us a bit about Down syndrome. All of which I had already known from taking genetics the previous year. Nicole tried bringing up some sort of website on the computer in the room, but for some reason the internet wasn’t working and I can remember thinking “hurry up so we can get this thing over with. I’m freezing”.
Finally we were walked into the exam room for the ultrasound. We were greeted by two ultrasound techs. A young girl in her early twenties, if that, with short curly blonde hair (who pushed the keys on the computer keyboard much too hard according to your dad later) and an even younger girl with mid length brown hair who was training. Unbeknownst to us we would see Blondie MANY more times before you were born. The ultrasound seemed to take forever. They measured EVERYTHING on you. Finally they got to your organs. The ultrasound tech lingered on your heart for an eternity…then I saw it and I knew. An echogenic intracardiac focus (bright spot). I had done some research earlier in the week for soft markers commonly seen on ultrasounds, courtesy of google, and this was one of them. I then asked her (I wished I could remember her name) “what is that bright thing on his heart?” she responded “that’s something the doctor will have to talk with you about.” She said that and again, I knew.
Blondie and her sidekick then left the room for what seemed to be forever. Then the two techs, Nicole and Dr. Maria Palmquist re-entered the room. First I have to say I love Dr. Palmquist. She is so great. She sat down and explained that with all of the measurements your chances of having DS had risen to 1:3. She had told us that your long bones were measuring too short and that your nasal bone was abnormally small. I will never forget your grandma then saying, “Well look at Whitney. She’s really small. She was only 4 pounds when she was born…and see her tiny nose.” It was almost as if she were trying to bargain with her. Like if she gave her enough excuses it wouldn’t be true and as if it were something the dr’s could change.
After getting these odds your grandma and I decided to go with the amnio if they felt it were save enough. I was so nervous. I hate getting shots and they were about to put a three foot needle into my stomach with an audience of five people. But first I had to sign a paper promising I would pay the 3,000 dollar fee if my insurance wouldn’t cover the amnio and lab tests (Yikes). The u/s tech then looked for the best spot for the needle to go in. They made dots on my tummy with a purple marker…exactly the same way they do when you’re getting something pierced. Then they got started. I refused to look the whole time. I held your grandma’s hands as hard as I could and we cried. Not for myself, but for you. For the life I thought you wouldn’t be able to have and the way I felt you would be treated. Again, I have to say I wish I would have known how things would be. I am so embarrassed that I mourned over these things.
As they were putting the needle in your grandma whispered in my ear “I love you so much” I then looked up to see her licking the tears that were pooling around her nose and mouth. She couldn’t wipe them away because I was occupying both of her hands. Remembering it now it is very comical. If you talk to her about it she’ll laugh and say she was licking her face like a dog. The rest of the day was a blur. The only thing I remember is stopping at Wendy’s for a chocolate shake. And talking to your dad about the news.
And in case you didn’t know, your dad is my hero. I wish I could have handled the news like he did. He never cried or was upset or angry. He knew that no matter what you were going to be our son, baby, and love of our lives.

Duck, Duck, Turkey????

So, something I have been noticing the last couple days. For some reason all of the chickens have been hanging together while all of the ducks and turkeys keep each other in check. There may be some truth in the saying “birds of a feather flock together”!


More news on the farm from this morning:
After mixing up a batch up apple-peach baby food we spent some time playing with the kitty. Daniel doesn’t really know what to think about her but she definitely likes him. She’s always trying to lick his fingers or rub up against him. We even got some time to practice our sitting in the dandelions while the bees were away! It turns out a face-plant on the grass really isn’t that painful.  

And more news:
Yesterday Daniel and I made a trip up to Valley City, North Dakota to attend my sister’s graduation. It was excruciating. It was long especially with the drive, but Dan my man handled it like a trooper. It was fun getting to see Caitlyn, Mom, Uncle Edward and our old friend Miss Kelsey Larson. Unfortunately the lighting in the building was HORRIBLE so only a few pictures turned out decent.


It’s raining, cats & dogs…not in that order.

Well at least we got one nice day in this week. Ryan, Daniel and I took advantage of the beautiful day we had this Wednesday by going on a walk and playing outside for a little bit. Unfortunately our one beautiful day has been followed by two of rain. I wanted to get a chance to put Daniel in the grass but it was totally bee infested so we opted for the driveway for some time to pet the kitty. Being the terrible mother I am, I accidentally sat his butt right on an ant hill. Thank goodness he only had one ant on him before I noticed!

After spending some time with the cat we went on a stroll over to Ryan’s parents house. Daniel is very good at falling asleep to anything rhythmic so he conked out as soon as we put him in the baby carrier (courtesy of Sarah and Craig).

When we got to Carrie and Jim’s house we had a few seconds to play with their dog Charlie (I think that one is Charlie anyway!).

When we were finished with our adventures outside we endend our day like we normally do…you know dishes, laundry, bedmaking. The normal life of a midwestern servant… I mean mom. Ha ha! We ended our night with Daniel’s evening therapy. We were working on sitting.

This Post is For the Birds…Literally.

A couple days ago Ryan, Daniel and I spent some time out with our birds (broiler chickens, laying chickens, ducks, and turkeys). I cannot believe how much they have grown! We got them on Easter and they were just tiny little things.

Daniel seems to like all the little animals. Thank goodness considering he will have to be around them when he’s growing up! He also does a pretty good job of being gentle with them…with the exception of pulling a feather out of a turkey.

It’s funny how Ryan works 11+ hours a day with cows and we choose to have animals as a “hobby”. Living on a farm has definitely given me a new perspective on time. But I guess as my mom says “do what you know”… now if I could only get her to read my blog.

And now, I have saved the best for last. Daniel has been working really hard the last couple of days to get up on all fours and rock back and forth…and I have finally been able to catch it on camera. He has improved so much just in the last day. If only I could say the same about my video taping abilities.

Wedding Bliss

This weekend Ryan, my mom, and I had to take a trip down toSaint Louis,MO for my good friends wedding. My childhood friend Tyler and his new wife Katie live there so everyone had to pack up and head south. It was actually a nice change to be in 85 degree weather instead of the 40-50 degree junk we’ve been having here. Summer can’t come soon enough. I am impatiently awaiting the arrival of leaves for the poor naked trees.

It ended up being one crazy trip! We had to stop in Minneapolis for some shopping along the way so we didn’t get to our first hotel in Iowa until 2 a.m.on Friday. By the time we got to Saint Louison Saturday we had just enough time to find our hotel and get changed…only our hotel was overbooked, so when we arrived we had NO ROOM! Yikes! So we drove around with only an hour till the wedding looking for a hotel. Finally we stopped at a gas station to ask where the nearest hotels were. We ended up getting a room at the Red Roof Inn. While getting out of the car Ryan realized he had left his wallet on top of the car when we were at the gas station! We ended up just throwing our dress clothes on and going back to the gas station before going to the church. Thankfully the man working there saw us drive away and the wallet fall off the car. What a wonderful man. He was actually going to go looking for us in the area of hotels he sent us to after he got done with work. There are still good people out there!

Dear Daniel II

Dear Daniel,

The second time I ever got to see you was the day we found out you were going to be a boy. Your dad, Aunt Caity and I went to the Milbank hospital for your first ultrasound. There isn’t a doctor in Milbank that oversees ultrasounds so Dr. Wahl was on a video conference from Sioux Falls while a technician performed the actual ultrasound. I was a little concerned for awhile because the doctor was having trouble distinguishing between your different heart ventriciles, but she decided just to give you some more time to develop before worrying about it.

After getting all of your measurements out of the way we got to get a good look at you. The ultrasound tech took pictures of you and asked us if we wanted to know your sex. I obviously wanted to. He then moved the wand to where your legs were and said, “Ok. Here’s a leg…here’s a leg…and here’s another leg.” Your dad was so happy! He wanted you to be a boy so badly. He texted everyone in his phone right away “IT’S A BOY!”

 That was the last time I would get to see you before the level II ultrasound I had for your Down syndrome screening.

What I Woke Up To

Yesterday was a great day…overall (minus Daniel needing a bath two hours early because a poopy diaper that crept up his back, and me needing to scoop the remnants off his outfit with a spoon.)

Daniel and I woke up to a great start. He was a happy giggly boy all day. We started the day by finishing a quilt that I was making for his room.

He was a little counterproductive as a helper but we still manage to get things done. We were also able to bring his crib up to his new room too for a finished product (finally!).

By the time five rolled around Daniel and I were hanging out in the livingroom. It was one of those perfect late afternoons. Daniel started dozing off to the warmth of the sun creeping through the window. It was one of those times when the sun just hangs in the air and isn’t too dim or to bright…it’s just perfectly comfortable. That with the sound of the dryer in the background and the smell of coffee looming in the air put us both at easy. You know the things that make home “home”.

We had about fifteen minutes of this break before Daniel came upon a gut wrenching tummy ache (which was soon followed by the creeping poop). But by the end of the day I was rewarded with a couple of awesome gifts.

 Daniel getting some serious air with his bum. He’s been doing this for a couple days but he did exceptionally well today. Just one step closer to crawling. Yay! (I think.)

And video proof of his first and favorite word… can you really blame him?!

This along with ending the day with some homemade pudding really made it a great day.