Field of Broken Dreams

All winter long and well into the spring of this year, we’ve been lucky enough to observe a large group of turkeys around our property–two adult females & their offspring, roughly eleven birds in total. They’ve been in our front yard, in the alfalfa field to our north, gobbling in the woods to our south & east, out on the driveway & down on the main road. Such a treat! We even witnessed an impressive courtship display play out just beyond our front windows on the lawn by three tom turkeys for an audience of extremely uninterested hens.

This past Wednesday, after walking with the girls & Harmon to pick up Merritt from the bus, we all headed back into the recently-cut alfalfa field for a hike. We saw a crazy amount of birds including Barn Swallows, Dickcissels, Red-winged Blackbirds, Crows, Kildeer, Vultures, even a Cooper’s Hawk overhead. As the kids were taking off across the field after a Kildeer, they stumbled upon a turkey nest decimated by both the tractor that had cut the alfalfa & area scavengers who took care of most of the hen’s body (all that was left were her feet) & probably the contents of the broken eggs. So many feelings bubbled up, ranging from thankfulness for the farmer who leases the land that he chose to plant alfalfa & not the typical corn (which provides ZERO habitat for much of anything in the Midwest) to pure anger that this hen was only trying to raise her brood in what appeared to be a hospitable habitat among the acres & acres & ACRES of corn around here, only to have her efforts (& her life) pulverized in an instant.
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IMG_4462[1]Merritt made a spear with thorns from a tree.
IMG_4547[1]Stumbling upon the nest site.IMG_4541[1]

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IMG_4540[1]Coralee counted at least seven eggs in various fractured stages.

IMG_4543[1]So many beautiful feathers doth a seemingly plain turkey harbor.
IMG_4542[1]June was quite sad about the whole situation as she has loved spotting the turkeys from our windows.IMG_4545[1]We left the feathers, by the way; it is illegal under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to collect feathers.  On Friday the farmer baled the alfalfa–the feathers, feet, & nest contents were bound up into future cattle feed.  Makes me wonder what else ends up in those bales…

IMG_4538[1]We are in Iowa so I think it’s fitting to title this photo Field of Dreams.IMG_4546[1]Harmon snoozed through the entire hike.IMG_4548[1]It was a great hike, broken dreams & all.

Yarn Along

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I thought it might make me feel a bit better about the chaos reigning in our house right now (the appliances are clearly conspiring against us!) to post a Yarn Along with Ginny today in spite of the fact I have so little to post about…still occasionally stitching away at Harmon’s 6-12mos Wee Envelope & reading The Hobbit with Coralee.  I read it in high school, but I don’t recall any of it.  I keep picturing Gandalf as Dumbledore–makes sense as the films share the same actor (edited to add: no they do not!  just strikingly similar & I absolutely knew that, too, argh; thanks for the correction, K!)–but I’m also confusing the two characters to a degree now.  Reading with one eye open as you fall asleep with a nursing baby on top by the light of an iPhone does things to you. xx 

High Five!

High five, Harmon, you’re five months old!  And you’re so handsomely cute!  (I’m not sure if he actually is handsome, but I’ve had several strangers tell me in the past week that he is a “handsome boy”.)

So much has changed as of late.  I took Harmon to a lactation consultant the day after he turned five months & she agreed with what I have been suspecting since his four month well-child check–he has a milk soy protein intolerance.  We will have him officially tested at his six-month check, but for now I have cut dairy entirely, even “hidden dairy”.  It’s been three weeks since I cut most dairy & one week since I went cold-turkey & I can definitely see improvement.  [WARNING, TMI ahead!]  His stools are finally becoming seedy/yellow again, he no longer has constant diarrhea, his eczema patches on his torso/legs are no longer flaring angry raised red, & he’s napping better!!!!  The last week he has steadily been building toward consisten 1-2 hour naps 3X per day!  Miracles do happen!!!! ūüėČ 

Harmon remains a tiny tiny person.  I think now that I’ve completely cut dairy & he’s not pooing 24/7 anymore, he will begin to gain weight better.  At five months he weighs exactly 13 lbs–2nd percentile, yikes!  So he’s slipped a few percentiles since his birthweight.  He doesn’t appear tiny to most people, but when you pick him up, you realize it instantly.  I thought this photo & the previous one illustrate his smallness fairly well. He loves looking at our vast collection of laminated pocket guides.June continues to LOVE her brother so much.  Harmon remains a bit leery, but he does laugh at her antics sometimes.He still likes to support himself up against furniture.  Finding toys in the baby toys bin is one of his favorite pasttimes, but he does get frustrated fairly quickly if he can’t reach what he wants.  He can roll from tummy to back, but hardly ever does….he just fusses on his tummy.  No sitting up, no scooting, no crawling.  I can still lay him down & he goes nowhere, but he’s not usually happy about it!  He prefers to sleep on his side.  Getting to sleep around 7PM at night involves a lot of bouncing; nursing doesn’t do the trick anymore.  He rubs his face on everything when he’s starting to get tired.Mama’s savior!!!  I usually prefer a little coffee with my heavy cream, so cutting dairy nearly did me in until I found this gem.Harmon loves his feet.  He also prefers hard toys over soft & everything goes in the mouth usually with his left hand.  My dad & his sister are left-handed & there are zero left-handed kids/grandkids in our family so a lefty would be awesome!  I realize it’s too early to tell, but I’m not imagining it that he does seem to use his left hand a majority of the time right now.  He’s still solidly a mama’s boy & sometimes tolerates Coralee, but he’s got major stranger anxiety.  He likes to sit on my lap on the back porch & just watch what happens in the backyard.  He loves sucking on the bottom of cold glasses, but he’s still exclusively breastfed.  Eating when he’s away from the house, however, is practically impossible unless he’s in the Tula.  Too much to see!  I also think he’s just a creature of habit & does not do well away from his routine.  He basically doesn’t eat when we’re away & then makes up for it all night long.  He is most content when I’m carrying him around the house, looking out the windows…going for walks is hit or miss.  He doesn’t like wind AT ALL.  Gets really fussy when the wind blows on him in the carrier & usually develops the hiccups, too.  Car rides are absolutely his least favorite thing.  He screams, cries, bellows, fusses…never sleeps.  Our 14 hour trip to Colorado this July is going to be interesting… But he’s my sweetie!  I wish the days would stop racking up so quickly…

Lately…{photo heavy}

This is basically a post where I throw everything-but-the-kitchen-sink in because I cannot find the time to blog (or shower) lately without Harmon wailing at me.  He learned to really holler last week Monday–I mean holler at me (us) with purpose, but also coo at us with purpose & babble loudly at us.  It is actually quite awesome, but as he is still not napping much, either, blogging time is nonexistent.  This large dump of photos is about the equivalent of four or five posts I planned to write–so here’s your second “photo-heavy” warning! IMG_3239[1]
Our dogs found a rabbit nest near our compost pile (which is roughly 20-30 yards from their kennels) & obliterated it.  They, along with our cat Socks, killed several of the bunnies.  Coincidentally, we also found a dead adult rabbit in one of our gutter drainage hoses this week (drowned, apparently, in the deluge we received), so perhaps that was the mother.  In any case, this bunny was in Sock’s mouth.  It is in good shape now & Coralee plans to release it today or tomorrow, down the drive from our homestead (away from our dogs/cats).  It may seem really small, but it is the right size to be able to survive on its own, hoping it does.

I have no time to cook/bake lately…again, Harmon is so cute, isn’t he?  Ha!  I am trying to make really easy dinners.  Last night was leftover ham, Irish Soda Bread, hardboiled eggs, cheese, fruit, etc.  I ate way too much.Our new cat Prairie (born July 2015–adopted in late summer after I accidentally ran over our female cat, Pepper) was injured by something this week.  Big puncture wound in the back of his back right leg.  This photo is from before the injury.  Racked up a huge vet bill having him treated for it.  He is improving, thankfully.IMG_3252[1]Ferdie, our goose, is molting again.

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IMG_3261[1]Girls being goofy.

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IMG_3262[1]Birding at the bus stop.

Harmon tagged along a few weeks ago while Coralee monitored one of our Bald Eagle nests.Hard to discern in this photo, but there is an eagle on the nest!
How Harmon birds when it’s freezing & the wind is blowing like a freight train.  Seems to happen a lot in Iowa.IMG_3267Bird blind at Ham Marsh in Buchanan County.  We saw two Sandhill Cranes on the edge of the prairie pond here–they were bugling very loudly, we could hear them as we came down the trail.  Impressive!
Harmon nursing in a bird blind for the first time. #milestone

‚íłCoralee Bodeker

‚íłCoralee Bodeker: Brown Creeper

Lately we’ve done a lot of neat things, I must admit, but it sure takes a lot more planning with Harmon in tow.

Lately is good.  Hope your lately is good, too!

Yarn Along {dear baby…}

Dear Harmon (aka my baby who does not nap, at least not for more than an hour, combined, all day, unless I hold you continuously),

You will never have all the cute, popular-on-Ravelry, knit items for babies if you keep this non-napping schedule up…I hope you’re ok with that…you’re lucky you’re cute & smell amazing, like a baby.

Love,

Your Mom (aka the person who knits for you)



Pattern: Another Wee Envelope in Size 6-12months

Yarn: Quince & Co Chickadee in Belize

Quilt: Made By A Dear Friend & Master Gardener (& I Guess Master Quilter!) Who Rocks

Joining in with: The Lovely, Always Inspiring Ginny.

Yarn Along {baptism, wee envelope}

IMG_2623[1]I finished sewing the four vintage buttons onto Harmon’s baptism sweater (Ysolda’s ‘Wee Envelope’) at 6:30AM the day of the blessed event (March 6, 2016).  The service began at 10AM.

I live dangerously, apparently.

IMG_2624[1]Ginny’s yarn was a perfect choice for this sweater.  So soft!  I love love love it.  Wish I had more…I’ve got about 1/3 of the skein remaining.  I was hoping to use it for a pair of baby legwarmers, we’ll see.  Might have to be two-tone.

IMG_2625[1]Getting ready.

IMG_2627[1]He nursed right after I dressed him & promptly fell asleep.  I wanted a photo of him on top of my white comforter, awake, looking cute, ready for his big day…nope.  This had to do as we NEVER wake a sleeping Harmon, if we can help it–he hardly ever naps.

IMG_2628[1]I loved seeing his name (& my Grandfather’s!) displayed on the banner.

IMG_2626[1]He was a bit fussy during the baptism (which was basically the beginning of the service).  He did not like the water being poured on his head at all.  He didn’t really enjoy the minister showing him off to the congregation afterwards, either.  I took him to the nursery about ten minutes after it was all said & done & he fell asleep again.

IMG_2629[1]Harmon’s sponsors–Bailey & Coralee.  Such intelligent, kind, lovely ladies!

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I did not make his cake, but she did & she’s awesome!  She made June’s cake, my nephew Theo’s cake, & now Harmon’s.

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Flowers from my mom–Harmon seems to enjoy looking at this photo on my phone.  He also seemed to take a keen interest in staring at the real thing before they wilted & had to be thrown out.

IMG_2630[1]Harmon wore the sweater once more the week following his baptism.  (His new fascination is with his brother & sisters’ soccer balls.)  I should have knit it about 2-3 inches longer than called for in the pattern–I completely forgot in my rush to finish that Harmon has short legs & a crazy long torso!  The sweater is much too short now.  It barely worked for the baptism.  So sad!  But fear not, I have cast on another one & am all of five rows into it!  I’m knitting the next size up & will remember this time to lengthen the body for my elongated boy.

IMG_2631[1]My mother flew in from Tucson for the baptism–thank you so much for doing so, Mom!

IMG_2635[1]Harmon’s sweater looks quite sweet hanging on the wall in our/his (we co-sleep) bedroom now.  It would look better on Harmon, of course, but such is the life of a hurried/harried/knitting mama of four!

Joining in with Ginny!

Yarn Along {woefully behind}

I wasn’t going to blog today…because I’ve barely knit a stitch on Harmon’s Wee Envelope. ¬†Baptism this Sunday. ¬†I am sick, feel like “death warmed up” as Emily Blunt’s character says in the film The Devil Wears Prada. ¬†Harmon is on his third cold (or is it his first & it just won’t quit?!!!). ¬†Crazy stuff keeps happening here this week. ¬†Raccoon in the garage (that actually turned out to be a huge cat our own farm cats were afraid of…those boys are the epitome of scaredy cats), the garage door broke (sorry, honey!), no school days, snow, mud, more snow tonight, company coming, solo parenting…did I mention I’m sick? ¬†Oh & Harmon has decided he doesn’t take naps, like, at all. ¬†Fun times! ¬†June just patted me on the back & said, “I know it’s hard being a mom.” ¬†What a sweetheart!

We’ve been birding a lot the past week, despite all the never-ending sickness, & Coralee would like me to blog about all the lifers we’ve found…hopefully this weekend or maybe next week. ¬†In the meantime, look at the awesome gift (photos below) Coralee, our artist, made for her soon-to-be-godson Harmon Hunter (we chose her & our 20yo niece as godparents/sponsors)….a homemade mobile using the plastic form from his car seat canopy! ¬†Harmon loves it. ¬†I soaked my sick self in a hot hot hot tub today while he stared at it. ¬†Kids are amazing, aren’t they?

 
  
  
¬†¬†¬†Uh oh, I hear my alarm going off…Harmon’s crying & obviously awake from my gazillionth attempt to put him down for a nap today.

 Joining in with Ginny.