Thursday, April 28, 2011

Life as we know it

We've had all sorts of happenings here recently! On April 21st we stopped using the tube. It may not be the true wean where you wait 3 mtgs and watch him get an illness before we take it out, we'll see how it goes. If he got the flu tomorrow, we'd still use it, but he's doing great! I still have to coach him through his meals and encourage him to actually chew his food, but we're getting there. It helps a lot if I put any soft foods like pasta on a cracker or Cheeto or something. He's certainly not ready to go to school and just feed himself what he needs, but we are certainly a far cry from even a month ago! And I just have to tell you. After nearly 3 years of mixing formula, I'm ridiculously happy to break that daily grind. For some reason it was just getting to me. To be fair, it wasn't just powder and water; it was a concoction.

Our days are largely the same though...revolving around food, but that's really nothing new for anyone in my family. I do find myself running out of creativity and variety when it comes to mealtime though, so if anyone with 2-3 yr olds would send me a day or two of their kids typical meal plan, I would sooooo appreciate it. He probably can't eat everything a 3 yr old can yet, but I can improvise. I would also love to know the amount of stuff they eat. Really, this next kid will be like a first one all over again. Scary. :)

So my mom suggested I write about some more changes in our lifestyle, and I pretty much do whatever she says you go. Having all these problems with James, plus our outdoorsy lifestyles, we've really gotten into very natural foods. Very. For instance, this Easter we ate a lamb shoulder raised by us and cooked a la Jamie Oliver, a ham raised by us and cooked a la Ina Garten, and a homegrown spinach salad with bacon from guess where. It was amazing. The taste is different, but better different, like if you've ever tasted real eggs instead of fake grocery store eggs. Amazing. Now, my husband has been hunting for a long time and I've been subjected to all sorts of stuff. We even have two hunting dogs, one of them has caught a live goose in mid air that outweighed her by a good 10 lbs. They've even caught bats and brought them to the door, stuck a dead mouse in my bed, and the one non hunting dog has even left, um, innards on my doorstep. So I've kind of gotten used to gross. Believe it or not, I can still be squeamish about my food. But all our research has actually now made me more squeamish about grocery meats. Not that they're all bad, but I just don't know where it comes from. I've always been funny about ordering chicken in restaurants because I like to be able to pick over it myself. I don't like gristle. Freaks me out. We have raised our own chickens twice and there's nothing like it. We tried to raise turkeys, but they are so dumb, they kept wriggling through the fencing and getting killed. It really was remarkable. I'll rely on Timbercreek Organics for turkey again from now on. :). We've been taking the livestock to a great little butcher, and even took James when we dropped off the pigs, which was also an incredibly hilarious debacle as one pig got loose and we ended up having to hunt it down with a rifle before it got onto highway 66 with a USDA inspector running along behind. Now that's free range.

Our latest endeavor is our new Wangus cattle. My family has been raising cattle in Texas for a few years now, and have now crossed the Angus with thier first Wagyu bull, Mr Moto (hey, they get names if you don't eat them). Last Tuesday, that first crop of F1 weanlings arrived in Virginia to continue their very happy and grass-fed lives on our farm, along with our new Wagyu bull, Mr Briggs, and 2 Jersey cows. All were delivered safe and sound by a young, well dressed, Asian trucker named Earl. I'm sorry, that's funny, and I'm sure he thinks it's funny
too. It's so fun to look out and see the cows out there roaming and taunting the dogs. We're working on getting them stroller broke. Almost got Mr Briggs to come up for a head scratch yesterday, but Dimple chased him away. Hunting dog extraordinaire.

On yet another note, I'm almost 32 weeks pregnant, enormous, awkward, puffy, chinless, and unable to breathe, but happy and still herding cattle with a stroller. James is WILD on a regular basis and I'm actually physically unable to walk faster than him. The dogs seem to watch over him well though. They do have uses outside of hunting season.

So we're clearly overextended as a family, are unable to keep up with so many things like putting laundry away, but we're having fun and hopefully setting our kids up for a healthy future, and it always makes for a good story. What did my sister say during her spee h at our wedding? Oh yeah, something about the road less traveled....

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