The theme this week could be the title of a popular movie, called Ice Age: The Meltdown. The temperatures are soaring in the 30’s like a heat wave, and when I went to my prenatal massage appointment on Monday, I found myself so overheated from the sunshine and my bun in the oven, I had to roll down my windows to cool off! That’s a change!
Last Thursday was a day for the books here at VanMeeteren Farms! The morning started as usual, and then my midwife joined me for a prenatal appointment and the kids got to hear the baby’s heartbeat for the first time. Nathan really seems to understand what’s going on, while Natalie just thought it was fun to poke at my belly button. I’m 23 weeks now and feeling quite s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d. Morning and evening yoga really make a difference in managing any sciatic pain as well as stretching my arm and shoulder muscles, which often go numb when I sleep at night.
Back to the events of Thursday, I passed the parent baton to Dan and he cautioned me to take it easy driving to town since there was ice in some patches. I popped into my Mom Minivan and headed to Refit (my dancing exercise class) in Luverne, about 30 minutes away. At the corner of our gravel road and the paved county road I apparently didn’t turn wide enough and just slowly slid into the deep, wet, snowy shoulder, and I knew I wasn’t going anywhere! I was really disappointed as I called Dan for rescue, knowing he would just be sitting down at the table to relax and eat supper, and it would take him awhile to get the kids bundled up and ready to pull me out. So, in the meantime, I did what anyone would do when they have time on their hands……I called my Mom for a chat! As I patiently waited, 3 trucks and a semi cab stopped to make sure I was ok, and help was on the way. After 20 minutes Dan pulled around the corner in the truck, with two little people passengers in the front seat and a chain to haul me out. The kids thought it was pretty exciting!
After returning home safely, I settled into some play time with the kids. Dan was sitting in the living room with us, so I positioned Natalie in his direction and told her to walk over to Daddy! And…..she DID! No giggling, totally focused, at least 5-6 solid steps completely on her own! What a triumph! Her confidence lifted, she continued to attempt to walk the path between Mommy and Daddy and sometimes just to the couch! It was a developmental milestone at 14 months! I guess Nathan thought she was getting too much attention, so he decided to pee in the potty too! A wonderful night to stay home!
Friday morning was clear and sunny, so we headed to the Children’s story time at Rock County Library. The theme was a cute, fuzzy lamb. So as the book was read, I whispered to Natalie that the animal was a sheep, and asked her “What sound does a sheep make?” With perfect timing, the room was silent, and Natalie hollered out a crystal clear “baa!” and I couldn’t help but laugh! After we glued cotton balls on our lambs, the kids and I headed upstairs to pick out books, and Nathan didn’t disappoint as he loaded me up with “Biscuit” books, a cute little puppy that always gets into mischief! In one book, the little girl who owns Biscuit, brings home the class pet, which is Nibbles, the rabbit. So, Nathan and I discussed how excited we were to be “bunny sitting” for my friend Berty! The weather was still warm, so we bundled up and put Natalie in the sled and then…. this 23-weeks-pregnant Mama hauled my big self up a couple piles of snow with Nathan, and once with Natalie under one arm! I should mention that the sheer volume of snow we’ve had makes the piles more of a one-story mountain than a small hill. So, I think I should get an award for such an exertion of energy! Nathan was brave and instead of sliding down, counted to 3, and took a huge leap off the pile! After one success of fun, he continued on 4 or 5 times, until Natalie was ready to move on! He is so adventurous!
Saturday felt a little like blizzard conditions, so no traveling. Sunday was the exciting day the bunnies arrived at VanMeeteren Farms! Even Natalie was thrilled after she met Peanut Butter, Cookies and Shawn. She likes to stand by the cages and peek in, saying “hi” in her adorable high pitched voice! Nathan likes to chip at the ice in their water and tear off bits of hay from the hay bales to throw in. The plan is to breed them this month, so we’ll have super cute baby bunnies in no time! Can’t wait! That will make it really start to feel like Spring!
I’ve been so anxious to have my hands in dirt, it literally feels like a pregnancy craving! So tomorrow, the kids and I are going to plant something in a pot in the basement! I haven’t decided what yet….maybe lettuce, maybe peas, something that likes cool temperatures, but we are going to get our hands dirty in some soil. And Dan and I have to do a quick little seed inventory to determine what few seeds we will order for a small garden this year. I have my eye on some wildflower mixes I want to plant in an entire 25 ft. row, so we’ll see. And we’ve been bantering back and forth on some long overdue landscaping in a little dirt patch by the back door.
With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, corned beef and cabbage are in abundance at the grocery store. So we stocked up and I’ve made fresh coleslaw several times, and my all time favorite Reuben sandwiches! So yummy! This week’s menu is full of comfort foods, like creamy chicken tacos, one pot macaroni and cheese, shepherd’s pie, and meatballs with mashed potatoes with, of course, super healthy veggies on the side and fruit for dessert!
Dan just walked in the door tonight from picking up groceries and when I turned around he had put a pint of my absolute favorite Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream on the counter. I saw it and just hugged him and almost teared up! He said, “I wasn’t expecting this kind of response!” to which I said, “It’s better than if you’d gotten me a bouquet of roses!” So, half a pint later….
And that’s the news from this Natalie’s-walking-and-we-have-bunnies week on the farm!