3 becomes 4!

Harmon is four months!

I did not find the time to blog his third month milestones/photos last month, so I included one of his three month photos below. He’s changed so much! So much less hair, which I am sad about; his hair, especially on top of his head, is falling out/has fallen out & is being replaced by a lighter color. He still has all his baby hair in the back & it is very dark. I’m wondering what color he is going to end up with by a year old…I just hope he has some at this rate!

Three months!

Three months!




IMG_3652[1]He was just under 12lbs at four months.  Today I took him in for his four month well-child check & he weighed 12lbs 7oz.  He’s in the 2nd percentile for weight.  At 24.25in long, he’s in the 7th percentile for height.  His head circumference is still hovering at the 50th percentile.  Still wearing his newborn Sloomb diapers, but he’s moved into medium Sloomb flats.  A small guy!IMG_3014[1]He cannot sit up & has not rolled even once, but he can hold his weight up in his legs very well!  He did this around 3.5 months!  June was stunned!  I was just plain old worried….not ready for this!
IMG_3657[1]He always has his hands together now like in this photo.  It is most definitely a comfort measure.  Reminds me of my dad.IMG_3658[1]

IMG_3659[1]He helps me wake up Merritt for the early bus around 6:15AM every morning.  Takes a very short nap (like 12 minutes) about an hour after waking up.IMG_3660[1]

IMG_2668[1]June took this photo in the car & I just thought it was cute.IMG_2549[1]Speaking of June, she wants to TOUCH TOUCH TOUCH her baby brother all.the.time.  It’s becoming a bit of a problem, but she just loves him so much.  I just wish she would stop touching his face.  He’s had far too many colds.  Harmon is a bit leery of her, but to be honest, he’s a bit leery of everyone.  He’s very serious.  Very much a mama’s boy.  He just wants his mama at all times & then everything is OK.IMG_3486[1]Hey, baby.  I’d like you to meet my girlfriend.IMG_3487[1]That’s some manicure my sister (June) gave ya.IMG_3490[1]You still there?IMG_3493[1]I think we should see other people.IMG_3656[1]Hanging with mama in the early morning.IMG_3475[1]Celebrating Merritt’s birthday!IMG_2535[1]I found this photo on my phone.IMG_2541[1]

Sleepy pics.  Harmon takes like 4-5 12-minute naps during the day.  Gah!   He sleeps well at night, waking a few times to nurse, so I can’t complain….but, yeah, I do!IMG_2647[1]



IMG_3653[1]Four months is so sweet! xoxo

Eleven Birthdays!

Merritt celebrated eleven years on Wednesday!  I was 23 when I gave birth to him–I have changed so much since that time!  Merritt brings lots of smiles to our family, lots of laughter, lots of excitement, & lots of parenting challenges, but he absolutely, 100% is making us better parents & keeping life interesting around here. 🙂

Merritt, you are creative, crazy intelligent, a blast to hang with one-on-one, & so very interesting to talk to–I love chatting with you in the morning as we wait for the bus!  I love you with everything I have, buddy, & I am so excited to see what you give to this world in the years ahead!  Happy Eleven Years!  Like your big sis told you, a milestone year!  You can no longer count your age with just your fingers! 😉


Prairie Fire!

We drove north to Crumbacher Wildlife Area in Buchanan County last night to attend a controlled prairie burn.  The burn was ignited at dusk, just after 7PM, & took almost two hours to burn.  Prior to the burn, air temperature was around 41’F, relative humidity was 61.2%, and the highest recorded wind gust came in at 6mph.  Ranger Mike Van Raden told the assembled group (which included our family, a local reporter, Buchanan County Naturalist Sondra Cabell, Executive Director Dan Cohen, 2 park techs & 1 other ranger) the weather conditions were on the parameters of what he’d like for a burn, but doable.  Why so few people attended this AMAZING event, I have no clue…Iowa is not boring, people!  You just have to seek out the opportunities!  Anyway, off my soapbox.IMG_3378[1]Burn began in the back (south edge) of this reconstructed prairie which is to the east of the wetland pond.

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie; wetland pond at dusk

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie; fire started slower than expected

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie; Coralee & Merritt’s view from down in the prairie about to be burned

IMG_3396[1]June was not impressed.  Harmon was not, either, & kept moaning/fussing in the carrier.  June collected a bunch of sticks & old seed pods which are still in the back of the Suburban.  Shortly after I took this photo & the next one, June, Harmon, & I hiked back to the Suburban.  June said the fire looked like lava & that she “knows what lava looks like because I watch Wild Kratts.”  She yelled at me that lava is scary; however, she clearly was not scared.  I think she was just plain old COLD.  IMG_3397[1]I accidentally had my HDR on when I took these photos–makes it more dramatic, I guess.  If you are on a laptop or PC, click on this photo–it’s way better viewed in a larger size.IMG_3398[1]Hangin’ in the ‘burb.  Wishin’ I was at the burn!  Thankfully, I could still see it from where we parked, but it wasn’t the same as being “right there” like Brian & the older kids experienced.  #fifthtrimester #preschooler

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie; fire getting going now!

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie; using a drip torch

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie; using a drip torch

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie, Merritt Bodeker & Ranger Mike Van Raden

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie; Merritt Bodeker & Ranger Mike Van Raden, hanging out, just feeling’ the BURN

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie fire

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie fire

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie fire

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie fire; kids were able to be right up next to the fire line–so cool!

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie fire

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie fire

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie; Sondra Cabell (Naturalist) & local newspaper reporter

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie; local reporter & Sondra Cabell (sidenote–Merritt keeps telling us he’s going to be “famous” because the reporter took his photo, ha!)

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie: Sondra Cabell & Dan Cohen (Exec. Dir.)

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie; Sondra Cabell & Dan Cohen

IMG_3391[1]A natural masterpiece.  High five, Nature!

Cars out on the road were slowing down & parking once the fire really took off & darkness descended.  It was like lining up for Christmas lights, only a million times better.  #takebacktheprairies

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.








IMG_3261[1]Girls being goofy.


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

ⒸCoralee Bodeker

ⒸCoralee 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!

Five Years for the ‘Bestest Girl Ever’

 June turned FIVE on Monday!  Five!  I’m as surprised as anyone at how fast those five years flew.  June was a sweet baby & continues to be a very very sweet girl.  She is friends with everyone in her 4yo preschool class–her teacher, Mrs. Gerber, always tells me how nice & kind & friendly June is to all her classmates.  Always smiling.  Always happy.  Very VERY happy to learn.  Inquisitive.  Curious.  Good listener.  Follows the rules…wants others to follow the rules as well & kind of a stickler about it, yikes! 😉  Calm, collected, but fun.  She is kind of oblivious to the crazy in her classroom (there’s a lot of rambunctious kids in there)–she just does her thing & honestly doesn’t really care what others think about her...but she absolutely hates to make a mistake, a mistake she’s aware of, I mean.  If she doesn’t know how to answer something, Mrs. Gerber said she will just smile with her huge blue eyes & stare at her.  Ha!  Working the angles already, I guess!  Can’t be wrong if you don’t say anything!
Brand new five year old about to wake up!
Merritt left a present for her on the dresser.
  Blew out a candle with her breakfast.  I sang Happy Birthday to her, which she loved, & later I heard her singing it to herself in the bathroom.  Too cute!  She is the Shining Star at preschool this week.  Such a thoughtful idea to honor each child for one week throughout the year.
  June brought Harmon for her show-and-tell (the kids LOVED him, loved him too much!) & also her new binoculars from her Bodeker grandparents.  Everyone wanted to try them on & June, being the sweetie that she is, had no qualms with it.

Such big eyes June has!!!


June said we should take a selfie together, ha!

  Decorating for June’s birthday dinner.  On the menu, per her request: Veggie dogs with Ranch dressing, baby carrots, milk, and some chips.

  This isn’t working, Mom!I guess I’ll try two since one doesn’t work.
Gifts from Aunt Ellie, Uncle Paul, & cousin Theo.  
  Five!  I’m fairly certain she wished for either a pony or her mama to have another baby, a baby girl.  She has been praying to God lately for him to give her a baby sister…poor kid, she’s got some disappointment coming her way!
  Harmon was fairly pleasant during dinner (that’s a welcome change).  The best gift she got came this morning–she finally got to carry Harmon around!  I told her she could when she turned five.

 We love you, Junie Belle, our “bestest girl ever” & Papa Hammond’s “rock star”!

You are growing up to be such an interesting, awesome girl!

Happy Two Months!

IMG_1990[1]Happy 2 Months, Harmon Hunter!

He’s definitely changing–face is much more filled out & growing significantly taller!  Current weight: 10# +/- an ounce.  He is still wearing newborn cloth diapers, but some of his small Sloomb flats/prefolds are too tight across his tummy & I’ve started using mediums.  His tummy is really big, sometimes I worry it’s bloated, but I think it’s normal.  Hope so!  He still has not had any immunizations–first appointment is next week.  We continue to exclusively nurse & he continues to have trouble with the let-down and chokes, gags, etc, despite me trying every suggestion know to man to combat this issue.  I really think he just needs more time to mature & he’ll handle it better.  His gas has slowed down a bit, but not by much.  His happiness seems to go in spurts–he’ll have a string of happy days with long, peaceful naps/content wakeful periods & then he’ll have a string of hellish days where I think he must have colic he’s so unhappy, crying constantly, sleeping for 10 minutes at a time all.day.long.  He likes to be upright & is getting more & more tolerant of the baby carrier.  I’ve even ventured outside twice now with him in the Tula & I think he enjoyed it.  He fell asleep, so that’s enjoyment, right? 😉

IMG_2001[1]I think this is his Rocky Balboa pose.

IMG_2002[1]He still clenches his fists quite a bit.  Coralee thinks it’s the cutest thing ever when he looks like this.

IMG_1965[1]He took the longest nap ever the first time he went outside riding in the Tula.  Three hours!  We walked to the end of the driveway to fetch Merritt from the bus.  It was cold & insanely windy, but his fleecey suit kept him cozy.


IMG_1962[1]June LOVES to read to him & Harmon is very, very interested in June.  He is content in her presence for quite a chunk of time.  She’s a great babysitter!



IMG_1950[1]This photo makes me swoon!  His face is so sweet & June loves him to pieces.  She continues to tell us God sent Harmon for her like God sent Merritt for Coralee. ❤ ❤ ❤

IMG_1952[1]I am, like every new mother, in awe how quickly two months passed us by…