Monday, April 21, 2014

It's Been A Minute...Oh, And A Few Antibiotics...

I definitely feel like at least once a year I have a post that seems to be titled 'It's Been A Minute' and it really has. Well, maybe more than a minute. The truth is my life has been super busy. Amazing enough. I have been blogging, just not on my own personal blog. Doesn't it seem like when life gets busy that our own commitments to ourselves take a back seat? 
 
The truth is the last four months have been full of very hard decisions for our family. Decisions I definitely plan on talking about. I have already been working on a few blog posts that are taking every part of my heart to write. But, I am going to because from the beginning this blog has been about my life. And leaving out these big decisions in mine and my husband's life wouldn't be fair. 
 
Not to mention that we have literally been sick since December. It started after Christmas and I swear it has yet to leave our home. It seems my husband and I finally kicked our sinus infections galore out the door to only now have a sick little girl nonstop for four months. And I am not exaggerating. Even my friends and family are astonished that our little girl has been so sick. I mean the kid doesn't go to daycare everyday. We only hang out with the same kids on a weekly basis. And I am a clean freak. Like Clorox every part of our home clean freak. I even went as far as opening every window when it was just barely 45 degrees outside to try and kill every single germ that had found its way into our home. And it still didn't work. 
 
As I type I have just given my third dose of Tylenol for the day to try and battle down a temperature of 102. Because of the constant battle of fevers in our house instead of filling my days with my giggly little girl and her nap times blogging and catching up on computer work, my days have been filled with cuddling nonstop and watching every single episode of Mickey Mouse, Paw Patrol, and Princess Sofia on our DVR. And the kid has a serious obsession with Monsters, Inc. Weird right? 
 


Not to mention at least one doctor's visit every single week. I wouldn't call myself a go-to-the-doctor-with-every-sniffle kind of mom, but after battling raging high temperatures for a solid three weeks I decided it was time.  And they give me an antibiotic. But, after 6 days of being on the 10 day bottle she was getting worse. I then go back to be given a second antibiotic that I give for it's entire dosage for her to only get a virus from being on two strong antibiotics. That they treat with guess what?? An antibiotic. After being on our third round of antibiotics in one month we then clear up the last virus to only wake up on Elliette's second birthday to yet another raging fever. 

Now, I can't help but start comparing this to cattle. Lots of times the comment is made to me at various events that because of treating our livestock with antibiotics we are causing humans to build a resistance to antibiotics. It really got me thinking even more so because I just gave my daughter three antibiotics in a month time period. Three. 

Did I make a bad choice as Elliette's Mom? Should I have put my foot down and immediately sought out a second opinion? A more naturalist approach?

The truth is I did what I thought was best. We did what we thought was best for our child. And I will be honest, as frustrated as I was at times, I trust her doctor. I trust all of our doctors. If I didn't I wouldn't be able to even follow their advice, no matter how many years they have been practicing. 



The same goes for livestock. We trust our veterinarians to give us what they think is best. They are educated and we trust them. Just like with our daughter, we give the proper dosage amounts for the right amount of time. We monitor their temperature and their symptoms to make sure they are feeling better. And we only give them what they need.

This post didn't really start out being about antibiotic usage in livestock. It just kind of happened. It is about my life on our beef farm after all. 

The truth is I am really exhausted. Our whole house is. Staying up night after night to console our child who is miserable is hard. It's even harder during calving season when you are already up checking cows in the middle of the night. It makes days even longer and everything goes on the back burner. Add in all the decisions we have been making in our house and it pretty much consumes me. 


On a happier note....I am planning on doing a give away later this week. The big give away will be for all you local followers, the ones here in South Dakota. But, because I feel really bad about my last give away being only for local followers I am doing another one too. A "goodie bag" we will call it. One that I really want to give to myself, but I am forcing myself to give to one of you! 

More on that Thursday!
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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Oh, What's In A Label??

Recently, it seems that a lot of the conversations I am having with producers and also consumers is all about labels.

Labeling on GMO's specifically. Or Genetically Modified Organisms. Really, it's just a bunch of Biotechnology.

California tried to pass this law last year and it failed miserably. Not because it was a horrible idea, for the simple reason it wasn't well thought out.

Here's the truth.

If we were to label every item that contained GMO's you may be surprised to see that there are quite a bit of products with GMO's used in them. Does that tell you if they are good or bad? No, not necessarily.

Honestly, it might even be more confusing than anything.

Every time a label gets slapped on something it makes for more to read, more to know, more to understand. And if we have to take the time and money to put a label on then something must not be right with the ingredients...right?

I am not opposed to GMO labeling, but here is what you need to know to know about GMO's.

However, I am opposed to lack of understanding when it comes to biotechnology and what it entails to actually get a GMO on the market. It takes some serious time and some serious money to get one biotechnology trait approved. And the truth is we have been safely eating foods that have been produced with biotechnology for over three decades

Because of biotechnology American farmers produce 40% of the world's corn on only 20% of the world's harvested acres.

And because of that we have one of the most affordable food supplies in the world. And GMO labeling may cause an increase in price within the food system, depending on what the labeling will entail. And here's a question, if it isn't GMO what else goes into the production? Should that also be on the label?

www.choosingraw.com


Remember I am not opposed to GMO labeling. But, I am worried about going to the grocery store and seeing more and more people confused over the vast amount of labels on one package of chicken.

If you have questions about GMOs, ask them. The answers are out there. And I am willing to help you find them and will most likely learn something along the way myself!

I am a part of a pretty diverse industry. There are quite a few options when it comes to growing food. People do things a lot of different ways. Knowledge is valuable and the only thing that will make me happy about the food that I eat is knowing about it, not just sticking a label on it.
 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Mommy Mondays: The Playroom ...

This Sunday was a "Honey Do" kind of Sunday. Well, not really in my husband's mind. But in my "purging for the next 40 days" mind whenever I find an unfinished project I need to kick his butt in gear because planting season is coming up quick. And our Winter inside projects are almost drawing to a close in our home. I mean it was 50 degrees yesterday! Come on Spring in South Dakota!

So, we wrapped up what was our final project in the playroom yesterday, minus one small part. And we may have discussed another project for the room while we worked. And I seriously love these projects because we are using some scrap oak wood in our shed from my Dad and it just looks so fabulous in the sun room turned playroom! 

If you remember I did a magnetic wall and dry erase board. Then before that my husband and I built a sensory table (which I have never done a post on...maybe next Monday?) and before that our benches. All of these things are getting tons and tons of use. It seems that we don't play with too many toys except our babies, animals, and tractors. We mainly spend our time at the sensory table playing, coloring at it, coloring on the board, or dancing in the kitchen (one of her FAVORITE things to do!)

Anyway, back to this project. This project that sounded like a fabulous idea nearly a year ago (yes, I did say a year ago). And when I found the box with all the stuff in it on Saturday I realized that we need to just get it done. So, I casually started asking Jason about it. Slowly, to get his opinion on a few things, then before we knew it we were diving right in. I am pretty sure he knows what I am doing, but hey it works!

Anyway, yesterday on my Facebook page I posted this picture as kind of a teaser.


Well, here is the finished product. Minus a 'Q'. I have no idea how in the world I forgot to buy the 'Q' but I did? Who knows what I was thinking at the time. Oh wait, I know. I was thinking "What was I thinking bringing my 14 month old in Hobby Lobby on a Saturday by myself to buy 26 letters?!?!"
That's our sensory table at the bottom. Minus the sensory tub- time for a new theme!


I will have to say that the project took about two hours. It was pretty intensive, but I found the trick that made it so much easier that I will share next week. It was amazingly easy and saved at least half the time I would bet. 

We were both pretty happy with the final look and Ellie has already started pointing saying "G" "G". Right now everything is "G" unless you tell her differently!

This project was again Pinterest inspired. However, I haven't quite found one like it so please Pin! I had seen a few alphabet walls and I really, really loved it. I wanted to do it in our nursery. But, it didn't fit with the baby calf theme I had going. So, I said maybe the playroom. But wait, our playroom is filled with windows! Crud. So, this was my solution...and I love it!
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Friday, March 7, 2014

#40bagsin40days

Well, I am officially back from my social media vacation. And it was a much needed break. As much as I missed blogging and stalking Facebook multiple times a day it was nice to break away and get some much needed rest for my technology loving brain. 
 
We kicked off the Lent season in our house. And this year I decided to do what I saw a few of my bloggy friends are doing within their homes. And that is to purge and declutter. That means one bag a day for the next 40 days. 
 
Now, those of you that know me personally are probably thinking... how much more could I possibly purge? Since organizing and purging are my two favorite things in the world. 
 
The main purpose of #40bagsin40days is to declutter your life and take out the things that are distracting you from drawing closer to your family and ultimately with the time you spend with God.
 
Now honestly, I purge a lot in my house. My goal is to eventually get to a place where our things are not over flowing in our storage room and everything has a home. Now, I am on Day 2 of this challenge. And so far I would say I have done pretty good. Amazingly enough I did have two full bags. However, since I have been gone a lot the last three months this isn't too surprising to me. 
 
 
 
But, I am pretty positive that in about a week I am going to be twiddling my thumbs wondering where in the world I will go next with my purging. And I already have a few ideas. I will probably start with my cookbooks, then my pictures, and some social media. I am excited to take on this task and so far my husband has already asked me two questions about it today- "What was in your bag today?" and "What are you purging tomorrow?"
 
 
 
For those of you looking for a simple Spring cleaning task, this could be it. It's the perfect project for the Lent season. To declutter, to purge, and to simplify. I encourage you to follow me on Twitter (I added my feed to the right hand side of this blog). And share with me your stories of #40bagsin40days. I would love to hear all about it! And if you need any tips or tricks I would be more than happy to help you out! I love organizing! And in case you feel overwhelmed here are some tips:

...It doesn't have to be a big bag. It can be small grocery bags. 
...It doesn't have to be just garbage, donations are awesome!
...It doesn't have to be material. There are tons of photos on my desktop. 
...Get your kids involved. Elliette loved putting away toys she isn't playing with anymore. 
...Social Media counts. Clean up your Facebook news feeds, Twitter feeds, and Pinterest Boards. Focus on the positive. 
...I encourage you to start each day of Lent with a devotional. It starts the day out positive and it helps me stay focused on the purpose for decluttering my life.


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Thursday, March 6, 2014

I Love My Phone...

One thing I am pretty attached to is my phone. I admit it, I have a slight problem with documenting everything.

From photos, reminders to myself, my calender...And in case you haven't noticed I tend to be a huge advocate for social media. Pretty much love it and what it can do for our industry.

A few weeks ago I was asked if I was interested in reviewing a Shutterfly product. First off, Yay!

Now, if you have been around for awhile you may remember my slight addiction to Shutterfly books. I love them. I love documenting our year in a book of photos. And our daughter loves to look through the books. She especially likes her baptism book because there are lots of photos of "babies" (a.k.a Her).

Now, I was given a choice between a Shutterfly book or iPhone case. Now, my internal self immediately said book. However, I actually took a little bit to think about it. I have a LifeProof case for my iPhone, which is pretty much essential on the farm. Or even if you have a kid that tends to slobber.

However, I typically take off my LifeProof case when I am traveling, speaking engagements, conferences, because it is a bit rough looking. I have loved it thoroughly.

So, I decided to go with the iPhone case. I narrowed down my choices to five cases. Then marked one off because I needed to have the extra liner for extra protection. I tend to drop my phone, a lot.



So, I was down to four. I decided to go with my first instinct. This adorable little thing.


It was a pretty simple process, the hardest part was definitely deciding on which photo to add to the phone. I can see a problem being if you can't decide on a photo and you want to add 20 or so to "try out". That could take some time for downloading. But, for me it was pretty easy since I typically back up my photos every month on Shutterfly.

Shipping estimated arrival between 2/17 and 2/22. Wow, I was going to have to wait at least two weeks to try out this cute little thing!

Luckily, it came quicker than planned, which is actually pretty typical for Shutterfly. I have never had anything go past the estimated shipping date, things are always early.




And once I opened up that package I was so so happy with what I chose. Really. Sometimes I get a little unsure when I order custom things, but it is safe to say I love this case. It is adorable. The downside? The fact that I won't be using it every single day. It's so beautiful I definitely want to keep it out of the dirt and grime around our place.



I know my daughter is pretty much adorable, but isn't this design just as cute as can be? I have already had lots of people compliment the photo and the design and the sturdiness of the case. Now, if I can convince Shutterfly to make a waterproof designable case I am pretty sure that I would order a new one every year. 

If you are interested in ordering your own iPhone case, which I definitely think you should, 
head over to Shutterfly and pick your design!



I was given a product by Shutterfly for review, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own! And I love this case! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Be The Match

In honor of my hubby's cousin, I just sent in my tissue sample for donating bone marrow. 

Every 4 minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer. 

Here's to making a difference in someone's life!




Sunday, February 16, 2014

Love Is In The Air!

It's safe to say I love holidays. And now that I have a small child, a girl even, I am pretty sure I love them even more.

I love decorating. Thinking of fun things to do. Holiday themed everything.

We spent our Valentine's Day with lots of red at our house.

But first gearing up to the 14th we showered Ellie with lots of love. I did something similar to this for Thanksgiving and I decided to transfer the idea over for Valentine's Day.



I loved it, Ellie loved it. My husband loved it.

I also think we are setting a good example for how important it is to be humble. By showing someone else how much you care, as well as showing her the positive attributes that make her who she is.

The last two weeks I filled Elliette's sensory table with Valentine's Day Delights. All reds, pinks, and a little bit of whites. I think it was a pretty good one, but I will say she was definitely ready for a new theme I think. I am loving the sensory table and so does she!



This was a shot of the sensory table in the summer time. I wish we had some green grass like that right about now..


We then spent the afternoon, after nap time, painting our tractor. She had so much fun I think we should set up huge things to paint every week in the kitchen. I, on the other hand, struggle. I am a bit of a neat freak so I had to stop myself from wiping her, the floor, the table, everything off every two seconds.


Once I relaxed with the messy I had a great time painting with her.


Once we were finished painting I plopped her into a Valentine's Bath. Red food coloring, red bath toys, red bath crayons, and red colored shaving cream for her to play with. Needless to say reds, pinks, hearts, were all my theme for the day!

Last year I did this Valentine for my hubby from Ellie. I had so much fun doing it, I decided to do a repeat for this year. I am loving these whole side by side comparison shots. I also think this Valentine will be a ton of fun when Elliette is older and can actually do it all herself! And I am pretty sure he loves it.