Monday, July 7, 2014

Goat: Part Deux

We bought a goat.  Ugh, that hurt to admit.  This isn’t our first goat but it is our first goat since our first goat which I swore would be our last goat.  Did you catch all that?  Our first goat was Charlie.  Remember Charlie?  Johnny Cash & Charlie: A Year Later 
Why in the world would I agree to another goat?  Well, we have officially reached rodeo age at our house.  The kids go to a weekly play day/rodeo.  They are able to enter events such as barrels, pole bending, dummy roping and goat tying for Degnan's age group.  He has been expressing  an interest in tying goats for a few months.  Our first clue was when I broke up a knock down drag out fight between him and Josie.  The fight was brought on by Degnan tying Josie's cat up like a goat.  My second clue was when I found him flanking Rawhide and tying him down.  I had put it off as long as possible but for the sake of the cats, dogs, sisters and Degnan's physical well being, it was time to get the kid a kid.  Get it?  I am soooo funny tonight.  It's goat delirium.
Austin and the kids went to the small animal auction this evening.  I wasn't able to go due to work.  I have to admit, I am a little/lot disappointed that I missed the kids' first small animal auction.  It's kind of like missing their first steps.  It's life changing.  I can't wait to hear the stories.  What I can wait to do is meet the goat.  Austin called a bit ago and they are on their way home with what I consider to be a ridiculously over priced goat.  Seriously overpriced.  I am insisting they name it Neiman Marcus.
I am sure this won't be my last goat post.  All I can say is, that thing better eat sticker plants.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Scratching at Boy/Girl Equality

I wrote the first draft of this blog, as promised, a few days ago.  It was eloquent and probably worthy of a Pulitzer.  Unfortunately, it is stuck in my phone.  There isn't any way I can repeat that genius piece of work. 

This conversation between Austin and his girls is an example of what I was referring to in Boy or Girl? when I said personality matters more than gender.

Setting the Stage:  Driving down the road as a sweet wholesome family of five.  Kids in the back.  Parents in the front.

Josie:  Dad, it isn't fair!!
Austin:  What isn't fair?
Josie:  You get to put your hands in your pants and scratch.  When I do that, you and Mom just tell me to stop!
Makenna:  Yea!  Me too!!  If you can do it, we should be able to.
Me (looking at Austin's face as he telepathically begs me to jump in):  Hey, this is a father/daughter conversation if I ever heard it.  They haven't asked me anything.
Austin:  It's different with boys.  We sometimes have itches.
Josie:  So do I and I am a girl.  It should be the same.
Makenna:  Why do you think we are scratching?!?!  Something itches.

At this point, I did take over and explain to ALL of my family that putting one's hand down one's pants isn't the ideal method of taking care of itches.  I explained that we all have them but we should be digging around in our drawers to take care of them.  Then, I looked out the window and tried not to pee my pants as I laughed silently.  Meanwhile, Degnan just looked at all of us and shook his head.  Poor kid has no idea it's only the beginning.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Boy or Girl?

"Do you want a boy or a girl?"  That's a question we hear quite a bit these days.  As we wait for the arrival of Fat Elvis a/k/a Creepy Country Kid #4, people are making assumptions and questioning what our true desires are as to the gender of the new baby.  When we say we don't care, many follow it with something like, "I am sure another boy would be nice.  You know, to even things out."  I don't take offense.  I understand this line of thinking.  However, I have learned something in raising a boy and two girls.  You never can tell what you are going to get as far as personality goes.  What the diaper holds doesn't dictate what the personality will be.

For instance, I witnessed two young children, left alone in the vehicle while their mother quickly ran into a store, have an all out brawl in the back seat of said vehicle.  They were literally throwing each other across the back seat.  Punches were thrown.  Legs kicked at the other set of legs.  Objects flew from window to window.  At one point, you could see one of the small fists hold up a trophy of newly snatched hair from the other's head.  Witnesses could only watch it and wonder "Who is raising these beastly boys?"

Well, it turns out they weren't boys.  Those beasts are the two girls being raised by Austin and I.  It also turns out this wasn't so much a fight as a rip roaring good time.  The girls were dying laughing and taking turns hitting each other as hard as they could to see how much it hurt.  In many ways, raising our girls has included a lot of the things we expected of girls.  They like their nails painted.  They like pretty clothes.  They like to play with dolls.  In more ways, raising our girls has proven to be anything but what we expected.  They are dirty.  I mean REALLY dirty!!  They scratch themselves.  They fight like Rikki Tikki Tavi and the cobra.  They are fearless in their physical activity. 

Raising Degnan is no different in its surprises.  He isn't the typically thought of impulsive, self involved boy that many talk about raising.  Degnan is methodical.  He doesn't do anything (be it semi-dangerous or run of the mill) without thinking it all the way through.  He hates to see anyone hurt or being treated unkindly.  I can't tell you how many times he has come home from school upset because one of his classmates wasn't being nice to someone else.  He pays attention to every detail.  If you live within thirty miles of us and have moved your cattle or bought/sold a horse, he notices.

All three of our kids have different personalities.  None of them fit the typical gender stereotype.  I like it that way.  I can only hope Fat Elvis proves to be the same in that he/she is different from anyone else.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Baby Registry - For Real

If it is expensive, can break down and is vital to the survival of our household, it has plagued us this past month.  All of the repairs and replacements have me thinking of a missing custom in our society ... the Fourth Baby Baby Registry. 

Why would we need a registry for the fourth baby?  Don't we have everything in the form of hand me downs from the last three?  Aren't we well established enough to get it on our own?  When it comes to onesies, high chairs, strollers and cribs, we are good to go.  What we don't have, we can buy used or get from a friend who closed up baby shop.  I am talking about the important kind of stuff that begins to wear down by baby four.  The expenses we never imagined happening all at once.  So, here is a glimpse of what our Fourth Baby Baby Registry would look like.

Fat Elvis Baby Registry

1.  Washing machine service or all around new washing machine.  These front loads do not hold up to the rigors of five people who change clothes at least twice a day on a good day.  They do not hold up to husbands who believe the machine is tough enough to wash sixteen pairs of jeans.  Nothing is that tough!

2.  Garbage disposal.  At this point, a lot of food and foreign objects have been passed through our disposal.  It cried "uncle" two weeks ago but Austin brought it back to life.  I noticed a "DNR" sign on it for next time.  It isn't going to give us another chance.

3.  Lawn Mower.  When you live in the country with kids, animals and trees all around, you need a lawn mower with guts.  Ours' ran out of guts this afternoon.  I prefer something that drowns out the sounds of the kids, has cup holders and turns on a dime.

4.  Professional Organizer.  The minute I get one closet organized, four more are spilling out into the public eye.  I will gladly turn my home over to a slightly/severely obsessive compulsive person for the weekend and let them have at organizing it.  They will be placed on retainer and expected to visit bi-yearly.

5.  Label Maker.  This is more for #4's use while organizing.

6.  All Inclusive Vacation.  We haven't had one.  I really want one.  All good registries have at least one frivolous item on it.  Hello, have you seen the wedding registries with the wine fridges?  Like any newly married couple can afford wine that needs its own fridge.  Put your wine where the rest of us do ... in between the ketchup and the beer.

7.  Plastic Surgery.  This is my fourth kid.  Enough said.

Father's Day Ride

Just in case you didn't get a full picture of the kind of dad Austin is from yesterday's blog, check out what he did on Father's Day.  

"Makenna, go get some boots and your helmet. I will take you for a ride on the four wheeler."

She should have known something was up. She never saw it coming. 

Then , the great trickster got it stuck and had to push them out. In the process, he got himself and his flip flops stuck in the mud. 

Paybacks are fun!  She left him there. 

She had to pull over due to some water coming onboard. Onboard her boots!

Meanwhile, someone (whose eyes cannot be seen through the blonde veil) patiently waited her turn. 

Patience paid off!  Daddy came for her!

Josie ended up muddier than Makenna. 

Where is Degnan?  He still prefers four legs to four wheels. He saddled up Tattoo and through the water they went. 
It only makes sense to ride in your swimsuit if you plan to get soaked. 

Unfortunately, flip flops don't work too well on the four legged version. Degnan threw a shoe. Dad loaded him up and away they went to look for it. They found some mud and water along the way. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Interview for World's Greatest Dad

The term "World's Greatest Dad" is generic and cliche until you find him. I don't have any doubt I did that. Judging from their answers in the "Daddy Interview", the kids don't have any doubt either. 

What is your favorite thing about Daddy?
Degnan:  He talks horses with me. 
Makenna:  He's funny!
Josie:  I just like him and love him. 

What is your favorite thing Daddy does with you?
Degnan: He rides horses. 
Makenna:  Rides horses. 
Josie:  Wrestles with us. 

What is Daddy's favorite food?
Degnan:  Fajitas
Makenna:  Meat
Josie:  Macaroni 

What is Daddy's favorite drink?
Degnan:  Beer. Can I say that?
Makenna:  Beer. Yuck!!
Josie:  Pepsi 

What is Daddy's favorite thing to watch?
Degnan:  Horse training shows. 
Makenna:  Bad shows for kids and cowboy shows. 
Josie:  Not cartoons!

What makes you lucky he is your daddy?
Degnan:  Everything. 
Makenna:  He takes us with him.  Sometimes we get snowcones. 
Josie:  He calls me Bug and just loves me. 

There you have it. The "World's Greatest Dad" for a group of creepy country kids is a horse riding, beer drinking, meat and macaroni eating, bad show watching guy who loves his kids. His kids (and his wife) sure do love him, too!!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Storm Watchers

Last weekend brought some answers to prayers. We had some rain!!

** No editing in this picture. It really was yellow out after the rain stopped. Cool and creepy. 

Austin and I have two very different methods of watching the weather. I sit on the porch and watch it roll in. He sits on the couch and watches the radar on his phone and the television. I prefer the real deal. He prefers to know exactly what is coming. He has more faith in weather prediction than I do. 

As for the kids, they simply enjoy the results of the few and far between mud puddles. 

I have to admit that I thought about joining them. There isn't a better feeling than mud between your toes. I am praying we all get the chance for more moments like this. I would love a summer of green grass and mud.