So nice to have you....Hold Leland?

I wrote this post LAST Monday but it has taken me another week to have the presence of time and attention to press the blessed PUBLISH button. 

The hoop house went up this weekend. The sheep were shorn (by a professional who is not me). We had a house-full again. This time Nick's sister and her family. Her sons pictured above are Leland's only cousins. And so we cherish them. It is so much fun to show these city kids around the farm. Having them help me herd the sheep, watching Nick milk.

As good as it was to see Nick's family, I took advantage of their presence like I have with every visitor in the long march we've had since late July. Hi! So nice to have you! Hold Leland for a quick minute? 

I needn't explain my love for this boy. The photo in the previous post should be enough of an explanation. Yet, we struggle with his addition to the working farm. Since he was born and my sister returned to California we have been a one man operation for the animals. One of us, always holding Leland. When he is awake the boy emphatically prefers to be in our arms, without carrier. Most days, this means, that Nick, is feverishly working on finishing the barnyard for winter and I am hopping around the house, garden, and barn doing one-armed chores. When he naps we can lay him in his bassinet and work nearby. Two Tuesdays ago I was able to do this with Nick. We harvested the remnants of the garden before that night's killing frost while Leland slept. The three bushels of carrots I harvested remained in baskets on the porch for three more days until I had the chance to put them into storage after Leland had gone to sleep for the night.

We certainly underestimated how difficult it would be to continue all of our chores and projects on the land with a newborn. Animals and gardens have been ruthlessly prioritized. And so, when visitors come, we slip them the baby and take off at a fastforward pace to Get It All Done.

The days are winnowing. Morning takes hours longer to break than it did when Leland was first born. Winter is very near and soon our pace will come to a natural slowdown with the shorter days. When spring comes Leland will be sitting up on his own and soon after able to crawl making next season a bit more chaotic but we'll have the use of both arms.


  1. I know you didn't ask for advice, but I'm curious which carrier you have and if you're open to trying others?

  2. Sounds vaguely familiar... ;)
    Reminds me I should send you pics! xo

  3. Lovely pictures! Congrats on getting the hoop house up!!! Can't wait for me turn to hold Leland :) xxoooo

  4. remember it so well. It took me days to move through the mud and get stuff done. Can you have someone come by for a couple of hours per day and pay them in milk/produce?

  5. ahhh, totally get it. I am a year in with a beautiful boy and self employed (well used to be) with my husband. He has stepped up to the plate and also hired help while I struggle to 'work' part time while the baby sleeps/plays. We were so unprepared. I can say this now with hindsight. How can you be prepared anyways? Sitting was a bit of a god send for us, and crawling is so fun. I just got grandma to take a few days a week with him and that is helping wonders. Something I should have lined up earlier. Your boy is adorable, hopefully he will grow to love the carrier and I love following your blog. It gets better and also you just figure it all out and muddle through somehow ;)

  6. Good luck then with the approaching winter... It's only going to be that way for a short time. Later you'll get Leland to hold the little brother or sisters while you guys are at work!! Wishing you a calmer winter and time so you get ready for an exciting spring. Are you still milking throughout the winter?

  7. Don;t worry, soon he'll be walking and into everything! My little girl (who is now 21 months old) is quite happy out in the garden with me and trys to help by picking seeds and flowers whuilst yabbering away telling me what she's doing.
    One of the best things I did was to put a sandpit by the veg garden to keep her entertained (your boy might be a bit young for that at he moment but time soon goes) it means I can talk to her as she plays whuilst I get some jobs done. Big changes for us next year when I might be becoming a house husband and have both children to look after full time whilst trying to grow all we need to eat!
    I love the pictures you put on your blog.

  8. holding leland while you two worked and entertained my little devils was more than a fair trade. loved every minute of it :)
    by the way, kellen is missing "eye hawk and sunday". love and miss you tons!

  9. Your life looks so beautiful. I love when your updates show in my email! Your pictures and writing emit such joy and gratitude, it's a pleasure to read. Wishing you the best in preparing for winter.

    Also, I highly recommend some kind of sling that will free up both arms. My sister, who has a toddler and newborn TWINS, uses a "Baby Bjorn" and I love it. It's still a little cumbersome, and far from cheap, but I think it's worth the cost because it's very safe and would let Leland accompany you on many two-arm chores. There are also slings that carry baby on your back, but I like being able to see them easily while doing other things.

  10. We've bought a farm (my husband and I) and we are working on it since April. We have a small daughter of 2 years old. Before the farm I have a store and I my baby was almost born there. With 2 weeks I started working in the store. I brestfeed my baby and all I can say is that it was not easy. Now it's not easy also, she wants to "help" us in all the chores, sometime it's funny, sometimes not so...But what I want to say is that I feel lucky to be able to have her with me. When Leland starts to walk I think it would be easier for you.


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