Rural Mom in an Urban World

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This week on face book I saw our town, Elko-NewMarket, post a question to the residents. It said “If we gave you a million dollars what would you do with it to enhance Elko-New Market.”
Some of the replies were:
1. Grocery Store
2. Bigger gas station (where more than one dually pickup at a time can pump gas)
3. Hardware store
4. Coliseum (ya know, for concerts and stuff!)
5. Shopping Mall
6. Hospital
The list goes on! One commentator was very frustrated that Elko wasn’t growing as fast as she wanted. “If the farmers would just be willing to sell their land we could really make this town thrive!”
Here is where I start deep breathing and counting backwards from 10 before I comment.
What I really wanted to say was, “Well, don’t come knocking on OUR door for land sweetheart because the family has been here for over 150 years farming and we’re not planning on stopping any time soon! YOU moved HERE!!!!!”
But I didn’t…
And it got me thinking of just how great I have it living between country and city. We live in a town which is about 30 miles south of Minneapolis/St.Paul, MN. We have a WalMart and Target within 10 minutes, a grocery store within 15 minutes, and I can get to the closest mall in about 20. PLUS, we can watch our Minnesota Twins play baseball within a half hour. Thankfully we also have top notch medical facilities within that time frame too. I’m thinking that’s a great place to be.
We also live on the outskirts of the small town of Elko New Market where there’s one church, one bank, one post office, one gas station, and five bars! Again, a great place to be!
We can hear the cars at the Elko Speedway on Saturday nights, but can also sit around a bonfire and only hear the crackling of the fire and crickets.
We see lots of traffic going back and forth on our road, but also the tractors and combines (causing frustration and anguish when they’re going SO SLOW).
When my kids get off the school bus there’s dozens of tiny faces glued to the windows when their dad is sitting waiting for them in a big CaseIH tractor with the duals on! Our girls look pretty proud at that moment. Their dad does too πŸ˜‰
I recently took my girls into the Doctor to have their yearly check up before school. The Medical Assistant goes through all sorts of questions about how they eat and sleep and if I had any concerns. One question they asked was, “Are the children ever home alone?” I don’t ever remember being asked this question, but I guess they feel like it’s their business. Whatever.
I answered the question, “No.” and my 6 year old daughter pipes up and says, “Well, we’re only home alone when mom and dad are both outside when the cows get out.”
I burst out laughing along with the nurse! “Yah, we live on a farm if you hadn’t caught that!”
I’m raising farm kids and that makes me so happy. We may be caught between two worlds of Rural living and Urban living, but I can confidently say that my kids are growing up more country than city! THATS a great place to be.

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Surprises, Tears, Laughter, and Jack Daniels!

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My adventure as a mom began somewhere in the ballpark of March 2006. I was working at an Urgent Care and “borrowed” one of our pregnancy tests because something juuuust wasn’t right. Well, in retrospect, everything had actually gone PERFECTLY because I was pregnant. My co-worker re-tested it a couple times from different boxes just to make sure and i obviously double checked again when I got home.

SHIT

Not the end of the world, but definitely not what I had been planning. I had just gotten engaged on Valentine’s Day of that year (which was probably the night that landed me in this “situation’ πŸ˜‰

So, we got to have the ever-so-pleasant talk with the parentals about our news.
“Mom, I have something to talk to you about.”
She stops, looks at me seriously and asks “Is it something I have to take you to Target for a test?”
“Ummmmm, yah, but i already did.”
“and you are?”
“yup”
She lets out a sigh and says, “I don’t know whether to hug you or spank you!”

She hugged me πŸ˜‰

17 weeks in I started spotting and went to the Dr.
I found out that day that I had miscarried at 9weeks and 6 days.
All this 1 week before the wedding.
(I didn’t think writing that would make me cry) hold on…
A big hug goes out to all of you moms and dads who have lost a pregnancy. I know there are many. With statistics of 1 in 4 pregnancies ending in miscarriage, we’re kind of a big club.

Thankfully, I got pregnant just as easily with the next one as I did the first! The next step of the adventure was probably in October 2006. Again, totally out of the blue and very surprising.
And because God has an awesome sense of humor, my fertility goes on to get me pregnant AGAIN just a short 4 months after Kaylee was born. At this point, Brent and I are contemplating having separate closets space just to be sure this doesn’t happen again.

I am the mom who was breastfeeding a 4 month old, took a pregnancy test and found out the next one was on its way…ready or not. My favorite moment in our marriage so far is when my husband, Brent, came home from work and I held our daughter up and said, “Welcome home daddy, hey guess what?? I’m gonna be a big sister next year!!”

HIS FACE WAS PRICELESS!!!

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It was at the birth of my daughter, Macy, that I succumbed to the fact that my motherhood adventure was going to be nothing I could control. I still kind of want to have another baby and PLAN on having the baby and PLAN when they will be born…just to say I did it. Not gonna happen πŸ˜‰

They say the 1st year of marriage is always the hardest…I call bullshit!
Ours hit probably at year 3 with two girls ages 1 and 2 and me married to a busy farmer and struggling to balance mommyhood, wifehood, work life, social life, and just time for ME!

I only threw a bottle at my husband once…I’m pretty sure

I cried the first time Kaylee fell down a flight of stairs

I yelled at Brent when he got home once because it was OBVIOUSLY his fault both kids were screaming, naked, covered in their own body fluids, and I’m scrubbing the carpet also full of said body fluids.

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I fed my kids formula after about 12 weeks because I wanted to. Me and the breast pump were through with 8-a-day milkings. πŸ˜‰ As far as I can tell they are turning out just fine.

I realized just how much I like the taste of a Jack n Coke. Through many experiments. They all turned out a positive.

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I suffered some mommy guilt when i started working more and they were at daycare 5 days a week instead of 2 or 3. Again, they seem to have adjusted fine.

I probably didn’t get them their vaccinations right on schedule, but that’s what Kindergarten check ups are for right?! Get ’em all up to speed! Macy, at 5, still puts most things in her mouth and when you live on a farm…that gives you some pretty good coverage.

I let them play in the mud

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I worry about them not eating enough fruits and vegetables (as I dole out Mcnuggets)

I don’t give band aids unless there’s blood. Ice packs, however, can be put on anything.

I let them wander through the barn by themselves with 700-1000 lbs animals lumbering around.

I get nervous about letting them be out in the barn with 700-1000 lbs animals lumbering around

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I bought bike helmets…they don’t wear them…But like a “good mom” i bought them πŸ˜‰

We don’t use the word “hate”

Other colorful 4 letter words have been spoken though…in correct context. I will take full blame for that.

Brent and I argue in front of them some…They haven’t expressed any feelings of fear towards this. Usually I hear, “MOM, stop yelling at dad, he works really hard for our family and you should love him!” Geee, I wonder who’s a daddy’s girl.

“DAD, you should really put your own clothes away like mom does.” AAAAAAND we’re back on track.

I’m only 6 years into my adventure and so far, I’m having a blast! Not everyday, but most days. We’re happier more than we’re sad. There’s more laughter than there is yelling, there’s more clothes than I know what to do with, and I am supported by Brent’s family and mine which is priceless.

I was a surprise to my mom too. She is no stranger to hard work and sacrifice so I can’t think of anyone else better to emulate. I joke about turning into my mother…a girl’s worst nightmare right?! It wouldn’t be such a horrible thing if I did.
I hope my girls can say the same one day.

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Enjoy your families this Mother’s Day.

That Just Happened

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My husband says to me, “Oh yah, we were supposed to get back to Mary about reading at Kaylee’s (our daughter) school next week.” I said, “Didn’t I tell you??? You go in on Thursday at 2:00pm to read. Oh, and Katie has a cow costume you can wear too!!”

As you can imagine I hear from hubby…”I AM NOT READING IN A COW COSTUME!” hee hee hee. “Don’t worry, hunny, you’re not…I AM!”

So let me back up…My daughter’s school has a farm themed week and during this week they get to dress up, read books, and have their education materials focused around farm animals and country life.

Kaylee was very proud when her teacher announced to the class that I was coming to read and that SHE lived on a farm near school. The kids that ride her bus know a little of her rural livelihood when they see her craw out of the skid loader or the semi to get on the bus or when she gets picked up by the combine or tractor after school. I think her dad feels pretty proud about this too πŸ˜‰

So my reading day rolls around and what I didn’t tell her was that I was coming dressed up in a Jersey cow costume!!! This is what I get as I walk into the class room…

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Can you hear her saying it??? "That Just happened?" I walk in all smiles and shes just glaring at me like, really??? really mom??? THIS is what you're going to do here?! All of her classmates thought I was GREAT!!! They were laughing and clapping and so it didn't take long until Kaylee clapped too and gave me half a smile!

I read…

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and…

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I gave the kids some time for questions. “What happens if the machine gets stuck on the cow??” “What kind of ‘sores’ do they get when their yutters get too big?” “where do the babies come out from?” Seriously…I swear you could read them a book about the moon and they would STILL ask you where babies come from!

I loved every second of it because their little ears were wide open and they were so excited to hear about our farm life and ask all their questions.

When we got back home I asked Kaylee, “Were you embarrassed when I walked in dressed as a cow?” She said, “Yah kinda…I thought my friends were gonna make fun of me, but then they just made fun of you so it was ok!”

Thanks doll πŸ˜‰

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What to do

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I know I’m not the only farm wife in America who hasn’t seen her husband before the 1-2 am hour in the last few weeks. Combining corn and soybeans has started and keeps the farmers busy

Am I right?!

I can only stay on task with the laundry, dishes, kids, cooking, and parenting for so long until i NEED something different. Even if its a new face in my house to balance out the the 4 and 5 year olds I always look at! Just kidding…kind of πŸ˜‰

So I had the kids put their dishes away and I very skillfully tricked them into thinking it was REALLY fun to haul the 2 loads of laundry down from upstairs. They not only loved it, but they changed loads for me too!! I gotta say, I’m really getting the knack at the parenting stuff…not gonna lie!

And while they were doing this I fulfilled one of my goals I set for myself at the AgChat Foundation Confrence and that was to set up a YouTube Channel to start sharing our family, our farm, and our story!

So with all this time on my hands after my child laborers did their thing, I IDID!

Its in the beginning stages, of course, so bare with me…the first few videos will be me trying to learn how to use the programs.

And as some of you know…My husband Brent, LOVES to take pics and videos of himself farming and post them to Twitter and Facebook. He also likes to rub my nose in ALL of the likes he gets! Dork!

So check it out, wait for more, and enjoy what you see!!

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