20 Months Young!


Happy 20 months today, Harmon!  Leaving the baby-teens behind!  In the past few days it seems like you’ve suddenly crossed an invisible threshold from baby to true toddler.  I realize this is my fourth go, but I feel like I’ve never had a toddler before for some reason…you are  veryveryveryVERY good at leaving a path of crazy in your wake despite your overall quiet & timid nature.  In fact, one of your favorite things right now is to empty every single playing card from the giant storage bag all over the living room floor—all these cards used to be in their own decks & spaces until someone rendered that organization pointless. 😉  I am very, very, very, VERY tired by the end of a day.  Bone-dead tired, body & soul, but, Harmon, you make our family complete & we couldn’t imagine life without your tiny hobbit ways!

More likes at 20 months…

  • MAMA!!!! I don’t need to elaborate.  Love you!
  • BALLS! You want all the balls in the entire world, I think.  You love to kick balls & catch balls & you’re still creepily good at catching any size ball that is tossed at you.  You probably need to be a keeper in soccer.  Or attend a bunch of baseball games & start a foul ball collection.
  • CHIPS! Oh my goodness, you are still an addict for chips, but since your diet is no-dairy and no-wheat, tortilla chips, Fritos plain corn chips, and Lay’s Poppables are about all you can stomach.  And with only SIX teeth still (less than 1% of kids your age have six teeth, by the way) eating anything is tricky, let alone something like a hard chip.  We give you tiny, tiny bites or chew them up mama-bird-style for you (I know, I know, gross, but it works).
  • HOLDING! By this I mean you want to hold all the babies yourself & all the animals on our Iowa hobby farm.  You say the word “hold” very well & clearly & ask to “hold” stuff all the time.  When I stopped watching my daycare baby “Sissy” (who, at 6 months of age, was heavier than & almost as tall as you!) you lost your chance to “hold” a baby on a fairly regular basis…you’ll just have to wait for Auntie Ellie’s next little one!  Hopefully by then you’ll be bigger than the average 9 month old & can actually do all this “holding” you think you’re doing! 😉
  • OUTSIDE! You would live outside in our yard if we let you.  You especially like to climb up & down hills, but have a particular fascination with the dirt hill in front of the chicken coop.  The hill that is full of chicken poo & dirt & old stumps & too steep for your abilities…of course that’s the hill you like the best. xo
  • CARS, the movie! You only actually seem to like watching the opening sequence wherein the cars race around the track & Sheryl Crow sings.  Then you lose interest.  You also like the movie Moana to an extent—if someone is not singing onscreen, however, you’re done, which brings me to…
  • MUSIC! You are still our little music man!  Makes me so happy how much you love music.  You love to dance & bob your head & shake your bum to music of all sorts.  Hopefully we can get you enrolled in a toddler music class this fall…how are you that old already???
  • DEER! You LOVE looking at deer in the yard out the windows.  Birds, too.  You like to listen to birds when we’re outside & you’ll cock your ear & point up.
  • BIKING! Daddy fixed the baby seat on the back of my bike up & now we take you for rides up & down the long driveway on a fairly consistent basis in the afternoon/evenings.  You seem to relish it despite the scenery repetition.

More random likes: picking out your clothes from the bottom drawer of the dresser, throwing away your huge morning diaper after being changed & then high-fiving me, sucking on ice in a rag (like your sister June who taught you to do this!), picking grass clumps from the garden while we weed (you like to help!), wiping the floors with a wipe (again, being helpful to mama),  listening to books (favorite books tend to be about chickens, trucks/cars, animals), blowing the dish soap bubbles all over the kitchen, going upstairs to play in your siblings’ rooms (I think it really bugs you that you can’t go up there whenever you want), climbing up & on & all over stuff—you’re a climber!, petting the cats—usually while sitting in a dirt pile, wearing hats & socks & shoes (because you think this means you’re going outside), putting lotion on your face all by yourself (due to your eczema, you have a lot of lotion application going on 24/7), banging on smartphones/iPods/iPads/laptops—but watching home videos of yourself & your siblings is your favorite technological pastime.

A few things you do NOT seem to like: WATER.  You don’t like swimming pools, sprinklers, showers, lakes, or even the bathtub if mama is not bathing with you.  You will not sleep for long without mama or, frankly, sleep at all.  We co-sleep all night & you continue to nurse all night long, so much nursing, in fact, that my period has still not returned, but you’re so very tiny & eat so very little food that breastmilk is probably 50% or more of your diet, so I’m not doing anything to wean you yet.  You won’t nap for very long, which drives me crazy, & you still require two naps a day, which is also driving me crazy.  I’ve tried moving you to one long nap in the afternoon many many MANY times & we’re making no progress.  One nap doesn’t work yet.  Teeth-brushing practically puts you into a tantrum.  Hair-brushing is pretty awful, too, but this seems to be a common theme in this family.  The car seat is also your nemesis.  Riding in the car is generally a very bad thing in your world.  Now that Coralee can drive herself to school and sports on a school permit, however, life in this department has improved a hundredfold for you!

I’m not sure on your stats, I’ll try to weigh & measure you this week & update this post.

Words: You are not talking much, but your babbling seems to be exploding suddenly.  You will try to say most any word we ask you to say, but everything still sounds pretty much the same.  You can make a lot of animal noises—roosters crowing, cats meowing, dogs panting.  You imitate a baby bawling really well (daycare baby helped immensely with this).  You say mama (finally!!!), dada, hold, iwantdat (“I want that” garbled together), datway (“that way”), wawa (water), baba (bottle of almond milk).  You smack your mouth to indicate you’re hungry or when you just want something badly.  You’re actually quite good at communicating in a nonverbal manner.  We can usually figure out what you want without any words…I’m wondering if this will make your speech delayed?  I guess we’ll find out.

Something cute you started doing this week is keeping your head/gaze fixed forward, while rolling your eyes to the side.  Gives me a headache to do it, but you seem to love doing it & usually laugh at yourself when you’re done.

Love you, tiny hobbit!  So very glad you’re here!

 

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Yarn Along (summer’s comin’ & my internet stinks…)

It’s Wednesday & that used to be Ginny’s Yarn Along day as most of you probably know (whether you knit or not), but Ginny discontinued the Yarn Along and, alas, I need to let go as well.  Blogging is something I really like doing–I don’t know if it makes me feel like someone out there is with me here in the trenches of motherhood when it can get kind of lonely despite the fact a mother is never alone or if I really just blog because I am TERRIBLE at documenting the childhoods of my children & feel like they will all disown me someday for not keeping a beautiful, meticulous babybook for each of them–but whatever the reason, I do like blogging, however, what I ABHOR is our horrible awful terrible ALLTHEBADWORDSYOUCANTHINKOF internet connection out here in the Iowa sticks!  Sorry for yelling, virtually, at you.  We cannot get highspeed internet.  The End.  Our neighbors have a satellite–it never works.  We cannot get cable, either.  We use our phones as hotspots & our phones barely work on windless days…this is Iowa, it’s always windy!  Argh.  I’ve been fighting this battle for going on a decade now & I am so over it.  We are NEVER going to get good internet, I’m sure of it.  We just aren’t.  Every time I write a post with photos it literally takes like ten minutes per photo to upload & with a toddler around I truly do not have time for that…my eldest is homeschooled & needs the computer constantly anyway.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that summer is coming & all the kids are going to be home all day, every day, so the blogging is going to really slip (like it hasn’t already, I know) & Yarn Along is definitely over forever now.  I have rediscovered Instagram using my Ella Mae Knits account & I really like using that–it’s quick, it’s pretty, it gets the job done.  And there are so many yarn/knitting holes to fall into on Instagram, it’s dangerous.  (Time sucks are real, people, I do recommend we all watch out for those.)  You can always check out what’s going on with us here at Being Bodeker this summer by stopping by my Ella Mae Knits Instagram page–it’s public so you don’t need Instagram to have a look & there’s a link on the right side of my blog page. 🙂

So most of these photos today have already appeared on my IG page.  I apologize if you’re like,”This is all old news, Ruby.”  I am currently test-knitting a pattern for Kathryn Folkerth.  I love it so far & I LOVE Quince & Co linen so it’s a win-win.  I can’t say exactly what I’m test-knitting as it’s a gift for Coralee for her birthday next month.  I’m also still knitting my Waterrock vest for myself.  Soon I will be casting on something to give to someone in need as I begin my project to knit every other thing for someone I don’t even know because the world could use a bit more love. xo

Finished Harmon’s shortie overalls this week & they are sooooo cute!  But he was sleeping when I went to photograph them today so this is the best I could do.  The pattern is a Debbie Bliss pattern called Florence.  It’s available on Ravelry.  Tomorrow I hope to take some photos of Harmon modeling his new overalls & I will post on IG. 🙂

Harmon really likes playing with cards.  And putting his sisters’ hair decorations in his hair.  Totally random facts I thought needed to be shared.

Coralee & I saw our first Sora ever last week at a wetland very near our house.  Hoping to bird a lot more once my daycare biz is wrapped up in an effort to help Coralee one day become the Young Birder of the Year.  Wouldn’t that be awesome?!!!  I think she can do it.

Harmon rocked some Lyle Lovett hair this week on IG and I playfully tagged the REAL Lyle Lovett in the photo (because I love Lyle & always have & tried to name Merritt after Lyle, but Brian wouldn’t let me)…then the real Lyle Lovett liked the photo so I can die happy now.

Summer days ahead!  Despite the fact I vowed not to sign my kids up for much we seem to have a never-ending pile of stuff to do all summer so I’m sure September is going to look really good come about mid-June.  Harmon turns 18 months in a week & I vow right here, right now to write an 18 month post for the hobbit, so let’s all meet back here in a week, ok?  Somebody virtually yell at me if I don’t show up. 😉

Mother’s Day Cast-on, a Kestrel Program, & an Ella Mae Knits Update!

I should just call this post “Stuff,” but that seems to sum up all my posts lately…I apologize for being so scattered!  I cast-on a new knitting project for me yesterday as part of the Mother’s Day Cast-on movement (not sure that’s the right word for it, but, in any case, I got the idea from My Tangled Yarn Knitting Adventures & I love it!).  I chose the Waterrock vest & used some yummy Madelintosh I purchased last summer in the colorway Still.  Hopinghopinghoping I actually finish this…I’ve never knit myself anything other than fingerless mitts!  What is wrong with me, you ask?  Sooooooooo much, ha!  Thank you goes to Martha for the pattern inspiration–your version is beautiful!  I loved all your Instagram posts for it.  I also finished knitting a version of my June Belle beanie pattern for a dear, dear mama friend of mine who had a baby boy in March of this year.  Hoping the cap will fit him this next winter.

Coralee painted me two panels of a prairie scene to dress-up our 3-season porch using old shake siding panels (we have hundreds of these panels sitting under a tarp–if you’re interested in her painting you a set of something, just let me know, she’s unemployed & would love some side-work!).  I can’t wait to hang these.  Love my girl.

Harmon is sick.  Again.  Always.  Bleh.  I don’t know what else to say about that–I spent Mother’s Day caring for him off & on, in-between gardening bouts outside.  Brian, Coralee & June worked their backsides off yesterday on the property–I really REALLY appreciate all the work you all did yesterday, thank you!!!!  They painted a fence (to keep our naughty chickens out of the flower beds) white, mowed all over the place, tilled, planted, weeded…there is so much work when you live on a parcel of land…

Coralee spent Saturday morning teaching at our local nature center.  It was International Migratory Bird Day.  She’s working to educate the community about the decline of the American Kestrel as part of her Young Birder of the Year competition for the American Birding Association.  I never posted her results from last year’s competition–she placed FIRST in the Field Notebook Module & THIRD in the Writing Module!  She’s working to place higher this year overall.  This contest is wonderful, I highly recommend it!

She created from scratch all the materials.  The craft project was so much fun!  I was extremely impressed with the crazy amount of information my daughter knows about kestrels.  I had no idea!  The naturalist was impressed, too, & is hoping she will help out this fall with their huge field day for 5th graders & teach this activity again.

Yes, I made her siblings attend.  She needed more participants.

This was the culmination of the class.  We hope to donate the pdf for this activity to the American Kestrel Partnership for the Education materials section.  If you’re interested in using this activity yourself, just let me know in the comments & I’ll be sure to let you know when the link for it goes live!

And finally, Ella Mae Knits.  I began using my EMK Instagram account again around Earth Day.  Please follow me there if you, too, use IG!  I was inspired by the movie Moana (yes, an animated movie–it’s brilliant!!!) to change the way I operate EMK.  Going forward, I am going to donate every other item I knit to someone in need.  There’s a post about this change in my IG feed (which is public, so even if you’re not using Instagram you can still check it out).  I hope to get this going at summer’s end–once my daycare job ends & I find more time to sit & knit…I will carve the time out somewhere, hopefully.

Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all who celebrate & especially to our shared mother, Mother Earth! xo

Spring Strolls…sometimes in a snowsuit

We were taking many spring strolls up until about a week ago…when the spring weather suddenly took a turn backwards & has been trying to reenter winter.  No snow, thank goodness, but it’s been too cold, much too WINDY, too rainy, too too yucky.  Uploading these photos this morning is making me miss spring…in May.

Weird Iowa/Midwest/Middle Lands weather is all I can say.

Harmon found a stick on this pre-Earth Day hike that he & I took one afternoon during the week before second naptime.  I found this picture-perfect patch of purple violets growing down by our creek under a still-dormant walnut tree.  Spirits were instantly lifted.  Made me very much appreciate my muddy slice of Iowa heaven…I reminded myself not every part of our property is covered in mud or chicken poo. 😉

The perfect capture!

Baby-bombed!

Hobbit hiking.

June, Harmon, & I took a separate hike one day after school while everyone else was at Coralee’s soccer game.

Mom, enough photos!

It was absolutely NOT cold enough for a snowsuit during this hike!  Harmon, however, is in love with his snowsuit & thinks if we put him in it he will automatically be allowed outside.  Snowsuit=outside time.  Smart one, that hobbit!

I hope we’re strolling into a stretch of better spring weather this week…no snowsuits required.

How’s the spring weather on your patch of earth?

Yarn Along

I’ve really made little progress since last Wednesday on Harmon’s Florence.  I did connect the two legs of the front & knit maybe ten rows since the join. So much for these being a spring wardrobe staple, however, the weather has turned cold & windy & rainy & just plain gross today so it doesn’t even feel like spring anymore anyway…my lilac bush is trying to blossom, but with little to no sun it’s struggling.  Still smells divine though!

Knitting time the past week has been taken up mostly with four days of daycare kids plus my own kids, of course.  Harmon is almost the same size as the baby girl I watch (she’s the one with the pink face below).  Harmon is such a little hobbit & I’m a bit perplexed at the “mommy-shaming” I’ve recently received for referring to him as “my little hobbit” in nothing but a loving manner…(((sigh))), I get it, I do, I have a child with several learning disabilities so I completely understand the power of words in this modern age…but I’m also #sooverthemommyshaming & #notgoingtotakeitanymore.  Hobbits are not real & I’ve read The Hobbit…plus I was told my entire pregnancy with Harmon he might have dwarfism he was so insanely small & his limb measurements were so very much out of proportion to his body…I worried about it for months…I’m not going to indulge this ridiculous conversation anymore.  Apologies for the soapbox tirade! (((Stepping down now)))

Forgot to say-Harmon loves his “second breakfast” so there’s that, too.  Ha!

My parents stopped by briefly last Friday.  Harmon loves his “twin”–my dad–& gave him & my mother many kisses.

We also spent a lot of time in the garden on Sunday when the weather was glorious!  Got the potatoes and radishes in & the strawberry bed restarted (we sort of let the weeds take over to an extent that couldn’t be fixed).

(((Muah!)))–from a little hobbit & his twin!  Hoping for a wee bit more knitting time in the week ahead!

Joining in with everyone who still wakes up on Wednesdays and thinks of Ginny! 😉

Good Friday, 2008,…

…was March 21st.  I know this because I spent much of the day in a small town Wisconsin hospital with my mother waiting to have surgery.  A surgery to officially end my third child’s existence as part of me.  It wasn’t the best day, obviously.  Our baby was 20 weeks gestation, but an ultrasound (& subsequent post-mortem) showed our baby to have stopped growing sometime around 16weeks, maybe 17.  I had been to my OB-GYN between 16 & 20 weeks at some point (math is fuzzy now) & our baby was alive with a heartbeat at that time.  But then, on Good Friday Eve-Maunday Thursday-I started bleeding & never stopped.  I refused to look at the ultrasound screen the next day, on Good Friday.  I knew what it showed before I even laid back on the table.  I stared at the wall in that dark room & bit my tongue, trying with everything I had not to cry.  The ultrasound tech never said a word, but held my hand.  My mother sat in the waiting room during the scan.  Brian was still down in Iowa at school.  I was visiting my parents for Easter along with my children, Coralee who was in kindergarten & Merritt who was going to turn 3 soon.  Such a strange day.  It was sunny when I entered the clinic that morning & by the time my surgery was over & I was discharged, my mother & I walked out into an evening of gently falling snow. And it was beautiful.  And I can still see it perfectly all these years later.  Beautiful white flakes filling the air.  Like the world wasn’t crashing down on me.  Like I was supposed to stop & recognize there was still beauty out there.


I bought the baby alpaca green yarn that makes up the vest Harmon is wearing in the above photo when I was pregnant with my 2008 Good Friday baby-who, incidentally, had a due date of MY birthday, August 8th.  I thought the due date was a sign this baby was meant to be!  Harmon has worn this little vest I knit with yarn for his special sibling many times.  I snapped these photos of him just before Christmas last year.


I remember buying this yarn.  I was so happy. I loved the color.  I loved how soft it was; Blue Sky Alpacas is dreamy for sure.  I often thought about throwing the yarn out after that Good Friday.  I think I may have thrown some of it away, but I kept a couple skeins wound & unknit for a long time.  When I was pregnant with June I knit some of it up into this vest.  I don’t think June wore the vest but once, if that…this is Harmon’s vest.  I like to think it’s keeping our baby’s memory present. At least with me.

So three years after that horrid Good Friday I gave birth to a living baby, our June Belle.  Yes, on the same day!  March 21st surprised me again.  That’s got to mean something…


And now our second March 21st baby is 6! And such a wonderful little girl.  She does her birthday proud.  

Good Friday will forever be something of a conundrum to me.  Holy Week is tricky, too.  It’s both the worst of life & the best.  Which is scary true on so many levels I get chills thinking about it.  I feel like I have a special connection to Mary, Jesus’s mother.  I really do.  I also lost a child on Good Friday.  But then I was gifted another three years later on the same date.  So, I want to say, Good morning on this goodest of Fridays.  It is a Good day.  And thank you for indulging my thoughts here on this little blog.  May your Friday be Good as well.

P.S. Thank you, Mom. xxo