Monday, February 21, 2011

Forgot to mention Victor

Last week, on Gwen's birthday, our cow Bella finally--and I mean finally--had a calf.  We named him Victor in honor of Gwen Victoria.

We'd had two other cows calf in October.  Looking at Bella it was clear she was bigger than usual so we expected her to have her calf soon as well.  We brought her to Clyde so she'd be near us because the plan was to milk her once the calf was born.

So we waited and waited and waited.  I watched her out the window several times.  She would look like she was pushing, but all she'd have were cow patties.  This happened way too many times.  I was about convinced that she wasn't really pregnant but just gaining weight.

Then it finally happened.  And he's really cute.

Just One Batch

Cooking around here takes a lot of food.  We have a cookbook from the Momys (Mothers of Many Young Siblings) where the recipes are designed to feed about 8 people.  We have to double those recipes.  When we use a regular recipe that feeds about 4 people, we triple or quadruple it.  I am accustomed to this as are my older 3 daughters.  It's nothing for us to need 9 cups of flour in a recipe.

Last week I made just one batch of muffins--a dozen.  I was amazed when I first saw 1 3/4 c flour.  I scanned through the recipe looking for the rest of the flour when I realized that was it and laughed at myself.  Again when I got to the eggs and it called for 1 egg I laughed out loud and said, "Only one?"

Today Faith is making cookies.  She decided to make oatmeal and reminisced a bit about the time Grammy made oatmeal cookies and forgot the oats and they were good anyway. Faith is making just one batch and substituting xylitol and honey for sugar since several of us are sick right now. So she got started and said, "Where's the rest of the flour? Only 1 cup?"  A bit later she exclaims, "Only one?" Sure enough, she was to the point of needing eggs.  We both laughed about how weird it is to not need a half dozen eggs when making something.

She had most of the cookies on the baking sheet when she yelled, "Now I know how she did it!"  Had it not been for Gloria asking, "aren't you making oatmeal cookies?" Faith would have forgotten the oats.  We've long joked that she cooks like her grandmother who has a tendency to forget she's cooking and burn things.  Now we know it to be true.  I guess sometimes those intelligent people get a bit scatterbrained and forget crucial steps in cooking.  It's okay.  We love you both anyway!  And in Faith's defense, she did have a lot of math to do to substitute the xylitol and honey for the sugars.

Can't wait to taste those cookies!  Gotta eat dinner first though!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Grain update

Yes, we still have grain available.  I've been asked a couple of times this week for updates on prices.  My prices haven't changed, but neither has my stock.  I have the same grain that I've had since last May.  I have less of everything, but haven't had a need to re-order.  As far as I can tell, it's all still in great shape, although supply is getting low in a few areas.

We do not sell peanuts anymore.  Our source closed.

The phone number I listed on the blog should be no longer good after today.  We got tired of having a land line that got only calls from charities asking for Roger's parents who passed away several years ago.  I don't really want to post my cell phone number, but if you need to reach me you can email me at mommawomma at gmail dot com and I'll give you my number.   (Or message me on Facebook)

Here are the prices:
45 lb pails Bronze Chief Wheat  $33
45 lb pails Prairie Gold Wheat  $35
45 lb pail Long Grain brown rice  $65
50 lb bag Prairie Gold Wheat  $28
50 lb bag Rolled Oats  $42
2 lb jar Honey  $10
5 lb bag Prairie Gold Flour  $4

We have 4 bottles of honey left and 2 pails of rice.  1 bag of flour, but I could grind some for you if necessary.  My main purpose in ordering was to have lots of wheat available and that we have.  We may be getting low on oats.  I forgot to check when I was out there.  I'll add a comment later with how many bags of oats are left.

These prices are what you'll pay.  Nothing added later.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I'm learning how to feed a baby

I have been very blessed.  I've had 11 babies with no miscarriages and so far so good with the 12th pregnancy.  I've been able to nurse all 11 babies until now without much need to supplement.

My first child got to have formula in a cup once a day starting at 6 mos.  I went to classes during the morning and since I've never been able to pump, he got formula.  He did fine with it.  Just a sippy cup with handles, no special no-spill spout because they didn't make those yet.

None of my kids would ever take a bottle.  Ever.  Even if I managed to pump and put breastmilk in it.  So it wasn't a taste issue.  They just didn't know what to do with it I guess.  But it's never been a problem.  I just make sure I'm always around and they get what they need when they need it.  They've all become chubby little things by the age of 6 mos, then begin to stretch into the slender young people they are today.

But now we have Gwen.  She grew chubby the first two months.  Then everything changed.  Her appetite dramatically decreased and she stopped gaining weight.  It took a long time to get her to nurse well again, although she continued to want only to nurse.  Once she finally began to increase her appetite, it turned out I was pregnant and my supply began to decrease.  Now that she wanted more, I produced less.  We had no choice but to supplement.

She still did not want anything.  We got her to start eating solids.  That helped a lot.  But she'd get thirsty.  Her diapers were staying dry for way too long for my comfort.  She got constipated.  But she didn't want to drink anything I offered her.  She would start to, but then spit it all out.  We tried water, juice, goat's milk, cow's milk and formula.  Everything got spit out.  Finally she started to drink the goat's milk for a couple of days.  Then I got her to switch to formula (more calories per serving).  But still she'd spit out more than she'd swallow.  I had to have a pile of napkins or paper towels every time she wanted a drink.  Nothing about feeding this baby has been easy since she was 2 mos old.

We tried different cups with different spouts.  She seemed to do best with no lid, but I had to hold the cup so carefully and I just don't have that patience.  Then she seemed to like the spouts that would spill, just a spout, no fancy gadgets, but it would come so fast she would spit out a lot.  She hated the spill proof spouts which was fine with me since we had a child who had speech delay possibly due to using those spouts for way too long.  But as she got used to the whole idea of a cup, she gradually wanted slower and slower spouts.  Her favorite cup now has a slow spill-proof spout.  

This past week I figured out a solution.  I thickened her milk.  The old trick they used to use to try to get babies to sleep through the night, the one where you add cereal to the bottle, works for Gwen.  It wasn't needed to get her to sleep through the night, but to get her to swallow most of her drink.  It seems if it is a little thicker she will drink it.

She has finally begun to gain weight.  She began to gain late December or early January.  She got up to 14 lb 10 oz a couple of weeks ago (after being 13 pounds from June through November), then we got the flu and she lost her appetite again.  It's hard to eat or drink when your nose is too stuffy to breathe.  She lost a half pound, but as of this morning is back to 14 lbs 10 oz. 

She asks for drinks now.  She has this distinctive high-pitched scream she seems to use only when she wants a drink.  It's quite annoying and we're working on words and/or sign language to replace it, but so far she just looks at me and screams.  It works.  I give her a drink to shut her up!

She has a cup with handles and a cup without.  It doesn't seem to matter.  Her favorite way to drink is to hold her arms way out to the sides while *I* hold the cup for her.  This is all so foreign to me.  All the other kids were so independent.  They nursed until 12-18 mos, then went to a cup that they held themselves.  I'm  not sure how to deal with this.  Do I just hold the cup, or try to encourage her to do it herself?  I think I may baby her until she gains another pound or so, then start encouraging independence.  If I stay patient that long.

As I said, nothing about feeding this child has been easy.  But she's growing and happy.  She's been happy and healthy all along, just tiny.

It's made me laugh though to think that here I am a mother of eleven and I still can't figure out how to get my baby to eat.  You'd think I would know the basics by now.  Just goes to show that you can never know everything.