Category Archives: Parenting

Basement Toy Organizer

A friend of ours had some great shelving units in her house to organize toys and many other things. I admired how well it worked in their house and knew someday we’d do the same in our house. We recently finished off our basement and our children’s toys had taken over the floor space. So we got this Expedit Shelving Unit from Ikea. Nick assembled it and secured it to the wall. I ordered some storage cubes and other organizers from a friend, who is a Thirty-One consultant. The storage cubes are nice because there is a window so you can see which toys are in the cube. We put legos in one, the play food toys in another. Now we are able to get most of the toys off the floor and into the storage unit. The kids can see which toys they want to play with, and our son enjoys parking his tractors in the “shed” on the bottom row of the unit when he’s done playing.

This is what the finished project looks like.

This is what the finished project looks like.

(Ikea didn’t compensate me for this blog post. I just really like being able the see the floor when we pick up now!)


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Vaccination Schedule

I am a firm believer in vaccinations, as an adult we keep up to date on our vaccinations. When I traveled to China a few years back, I got the necessary vaccinations. As a mother of two young children, I get them vaccinated according to the Center for Disease Control recommendations.


This same mentality holds true for our animals. Our German Shepherd dog gets vaccinated and so do our cows/calves.

Vaccines are a tool to help us ward of diseases and stay healthy. Vaccines help us keep the vulnerable (elderly, children too young to receive a vaccine, and those with suppressed immune systems) healthy too. I am not writing this post to get into a debate about the pros and cons of vaccinations, but to explain our beliefs and why we choose to vaccinate our animals as well.

Since I left my full-time job off the farm in November and have been working full-time on the farm now, one of my jobs is to manage Meyer Dairy’s vaccination schedule.

We work closely with our veterinarian to determine which vaccinations would most benefit the health of our herd and follow each vaccine’s label instructions for use, while also following the strict withdrawal times for each vaccine.

We keep track of each vaccine, when it was administered to the animal, and vaccinate during the optimal timeframe during the animal’s progress in their cycle on the farm.


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Department of Labor thinks they know what’s best for my kids – I think not!

If the Department of Labor gets their way, my kids, nieces and nephews nor high school kids can work on our dairy farm until the age of 18, 16 if they never go near one of our cows.

I grew up on a farm and am now blessed to live and work on our farm. By learning at a young age and wanting to follow my dad around and learn about the farm, my home, I learned how to gently work with cows, mix feed, and learned farm safety. I was never forced to go outside and do chores, in fact, I would usually beg to go outside and help. At a very young age I learned what was safe and what was dangerous. I learned a work ethic and responsibility that I could not have learned anywhere else.

It is these early learnings from my parents that have given me the opportunity and will to continue farming and I plan to share those same qualities with my children. If this rule is passed, it will eliminate the opportunity for my children to work side by side with me. Why should my children, nieces and nephews, or high school kids not have the opportunity to work at our farm? I personally teach them animal care, how to work with and around equipment, and how to be safe.

I suppose having all kids get a job at McDonald’s is a safer option? What if they burn themself on a hot grill?

4-H and FFA have been an integral part of my upbringing along with a great leadership program that gives students opportunities to grow and succeed. Our high school has a very strong FFA program. These students are good students with the will to be successful. If this rule passed, these students will no longer be able to work with livestock, can’t dairy judge, can’t walk their cow around on a halter that they’ve worked with since the animal was a baby. This rule makes no sense and was written by people that have never been on a farm nor seen the success of people that have worked on a farm. I know how to work around animals, I know how to be safe and I know how to teach not only my children, but nieces and nephews and employees farm safety. Accidents happen anywhere anytime, not just on farms, but in people’s houses, in the car, anywhere. Don’t make a rule that involves no common sense!

Please send your comments to the Department of Labor on how this rule could affect you and your family. Comments due by December 1, 2011.!submitComment;D=WHD-2011-0001-0001


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A New Addition

Earlier in September, Nick and I were happy to welcome our
daughter, Madeline. She has been a great baby so far and Tyler is adjusting
well to being a big brother.

Meanwhile on the farm, the corn silage is harvested for the
year which will provide nutritious feed for the animals. It was a hectic first
week with a new baby at home as corn silage harvest was in full swing, but
thankfully my mom was able to stay for a week and help in the house!

Madeline comes with me to feed the calves amongst our other
chores and Tyler is eager to “fix” things and play outside as usual.

We are very thankful to have two wonderful children and be
able to raise them on the farm!

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While mommy’s away, the boys will play

I was recently at a two-day conference in the Twin Cities, so Nick was solo in the parenting department back home with Tyler.

 It was also John Deere days, which is an annual event that features John Deere equipment on display.  It has been a long standing tradition in my family to go every year.  So, in keeping with tradition, Nick decided to pick Tyler up early from daycare and spend the afternoon at John Deere days.  As you’ll see by the pictures, they were both thoroughly enjoying themselves looking at tractors and checking out all the equipment.  They were both very excited to tell me about their big day together!

Enjoying an ice cold glass of milk with their snack when I arrived home


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Diapering Dilemma

As a new mother of a baby boy, I had to learn as I go.  However, having four sisters and several friends that have children of their own, advice is always plentiful.  Recommendations included: Huggies wipes and Pampers diapers.  After getting both brands as gifts, I quickly agreed with the advice and began stocking up on Huggies wipes and Pampers diapers (of all sizes – you know to spread out the cost, mostly I was super-excited to become a mother and wanted to buy baby stuff).  Before he was even born, I had stockpiled a closet full of Pampers.

 I’d vaguely remembered a relative saying “make sure you point his “peepee” down when you put on the diaper”.  It wasn’t too long after we arrived home from the hospital and little one’s diaper was always leaking, that I realized what this all meant. Point his “peepee” down before closing the diaper.

 As he got older, I dwindled my closet full of Pampers and had to start buying again.  By this time, Pampers had done an “upgrade” from their standard Baby-Dry diapers to Pampers Cruisers – the latest and greatest in diaper technology.  I jumped on the bandwagon and purchased.  Not impressed by the Cruisers, his lil bum was bright red and irritated by the elastic and the diaper always seemed to be leaking.  By now I had pointing the “peepee” down, so knew it was not mother error.  I was convinced it was the Cruisers. (FYI – if you express your concerns about a Pampers product online, they’ll mail you a coupon.)   I’m a regular shopper of Sam’s Club and purchase my diapers from such Clubs.  However, Pampers Baby-Dry were no longer stocked.  Only Cruisers.  Hmmm.  Our local Wal-Mart came through for me and still carries the Pampers Baby-Dry diapers, boasting of 12 hours of absorbency for your lil ones long night.  All right, we’re back in business.

 Until, at about 14 months old, we started dealing with middle of the night potty explosions again.  So much so, one night the diaper literally blew apart and I was trying to clean up the insides from the diaper that were all over the bedroom, crib, changing table, etc.  After five nights in a row, I decided I needed to explore outside my Pampers comfort zone.  So I purchasd a box of Huggies Overnites to prevent overnight leaks so he could go back to sleeping through the night.  Again, the package boasts of all night absorbency for your lil one.  I must say, so far so good.  The Huggies Overnites have solved our diapering dilemma.  So my advice for other mom’s – Huggies wipes, Pampers Baby-Dry diapers by day and Huggies Overnites by night.


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