Life On The Ponderosa · Rancher's Wife

Mama Bear 🐻

I can’t believe my baby bear will be a month old this week! I always thought it was a little silly when I’d hear other moms say this but, Time, slow down already!! I totally get it now, he’s already changing so fast. While I love it, it’s also a little sad because he’s not my little newborn anymore. I never knew I could love being a mom this much. Most of you probably read my Pregnancy Truths post, and know my journey to this point; but even still I never dreamed I would love this stage so much. It can be hard and frustrating and oh-so tiresome, but when this little guy falls asleep on my chest, or his little blue eyes look into mine, I completely melt and it’s hard to imagine life any other way.

Moms, I know I’m not telling you anything new, this isn’t some new revelation on Mom’s loving their children, but it’s a bit of awakening in my own heart that I just want to share I guess.

I didn’t get to share my Lil’ Cute Cowboy’s “full” birthing story last week so I want to share a little more about it with you today.

At 9:30 the night I went into labor, One Cute Cowboy and I had just gotten home from going into town to get supper at Subway. He decided to go check the heifers before coming inside to eat so I went out to the pens with him. There was a heifer whom was clearly having trouble having her calf, so he got her into the chute to pull the calf.

OCC started to pull the calf and was having some difficulty, then the mama went down in the chute which makes it near impossible to continue pulling a calf when a heifer goes down like that. So I was trying with all I could to get her to stand back up while OCC continued to try to save this calf and get it pulled. He asked me to go get a sorting stick, to poke her with,out of the pickup, so here I am 9 months and 1 day over due and I’m at a trot to the pickup so we can get this mama up. (One Cute Cowboy still thinks this is the reason I went into labor.) I got back and OCC had successfully pulled the calf and it was alive and well, but the mama was going to need stitched up. So we got the pickup and trailer and hauled her into the vet to be stitched up and get her back to her calf. We got back to the house around 11:00 and went to bed.

A mere hour and half later I woke up, just like I had been the last 7-8 months, to go to the bathroom, but when I got up, my water broke and I had a really strong and long contraction. I knew the time had finally come! I woke up One Cute Cowboy and he looked at me in disbelief. Haha! Poor guy had been waiting for months to meet his son, and now that it was time he looked at me with a look of shock and said, “right now?!” We got our bags I’d packed a few weeks earlier and headed out the door. Although if you were to ask OCC, he’d say I dilly-dallied. 😏

We said a short prayer together as we left our home and we were on the road to Amarillo. I started having consistent contractions as we pulled out of the drive that were only 5 minutes a part. I must say, at that point OCC and I were pretty scared because they were so close together and we still had a 2 hour drive ahead of us!!! They stayed at a steady 5 minutes apart as One Cute Cowboy drove 90 with his hazards flashing. Praise God for He was watching over us and we made it to Amarillo at 3 a.m.

Once we got to the hospital, time seemed to slow down a bit. They got me in my room and started getting my IV hooked up and my contractions were now starting to get stronger, but still about 5 minutes a part. Something I’d gone back and forth about was whether or not I wanted an epidural. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate needles? Also, I guess I’m a little “crunchy” you could say, and I was torn between not wanting to feel unbearable pain, and wanting to have the full experience of bringing another human being into the world. Let me just tell you, after those contractions started getting stronger, the only thing I could think of is what a saint those women who don’t get epidurals are! I told One Cute Cowboy I had a whole new respect for my Mom who had 3 girls without any medication. So as you may have already guessed, I opted for the epidural and after that, it was a little smoother sailing. OCC and I actually both took naps believe it or not!

About 9 hours later it was time for Bratcher to finally make an appearance. It was the hardest, most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life. The human body is absolutely mind-blowing what it can endure and do! It can be pushed to what feels like it’s limits only to prove to you it can do so much more. God truly did something magnificent when he created us.

When you see that little guy, that’s been inside of you growing and thriving the last 9 months, finally face to face it’s the truest purest form of love at first sight. To know that he is yours is incomprehensible in that moment and there’s an overwhelming feeling of pure joy.

One Cute Cowboy was a complete trooper through the entire process! He never left my side. He got to do his part as well, some pretty amazing Dad stuff! He immediately was handed towels to start drying him off, he cut the umbilical cord, then once he was ready OCC helped measure him, weigh him, and put on his first diaper. A little later he helped give him his first bath. It’s amazing how instantaneously my love also grew for him in those moments.

Now here we are a month later, being parents! My days are all mashed together. Spending most of our time nursing, sleeping, and a little play/reading time each day. OCC and I’s evenings consist of cooing over whatever cuteness Lil Cute Cowboy is serving up and just enjoying being Mom and Dad. One Cute Cowboy has been amazing about making breakfast and supper, cleaning, and making sure LilCC and I don’t want or need for anything! He’s pretty amazing. 😍

Even though it’s incredibly scary to be 100% responsible for another human being, it’s incredibly rewarding to be this little bear’s mama. I thank God everyday for these two Cowboy’s He’s put in my life.

Hope you’ve had a great weekend!

*ASpottedHeart

Bratcher’s Mom · Life On The Ponderosa · Lifestyle · Ramblings · Rancher's Wife

March on the Ponderosa: Lil’ Cute Cowboy

On the night of March 13th, around midnight-thirty, my Lil’ Cute Cowboy decided to start his journey into the world. One Cute Cowboy and I headed to Amarillo and arrived at 3:00 a.m. I was treated like a queen at BSA, and had a really great experience. Then at 1:49 p.m., on the 14th, One Cute Cowboy and I’s lives changed forever when Bratcher Lynn entered the world. 7lbs and 19 inches long. We are so in love and feel beyond blessed to be this guy’s Mom and Dad.We’re so excited to be on this adventure and feel a whole new level of love for this guy and for each other! Needless to say this has been the only thing going on at the Ponderosa as far as I’m concerned for March 😉

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!

P.S. Seeing One Cute Cowboy become a dad has been one of my favorite things to ever witness. He’s been amazing with this little bear and has been so helpful adjusting to our new way of life. ❤️

*ASpottedHeart

Life On The Ponderosa · Rancher's Wife

February on the Ponderosa

February started out moving a few of the cattle off of corn stalks back to the ranch. Luckily we’ve got these portable pens. This comes in super handy, and saves a lot of time not having to load, haul, and set up panels. It’s all right there and you just “unpack” it.

We’ve continued into calving season and having babies left and right it seems. The cowboys are still checking all through the day and night. One particular night, when it was frigidly cold, I heard One Cute Cowboy coming back inside from his 2:00 a.m. check, and I heard him call my name once he came in the back door. I thought, “Oh crap! He wants me to come help him pull a calf. Should I act like I didn’t hear him?” But I got up out of bed anyhow to see if he needed my help, when I rounded the corner, this is what I saw…

This little guy was probably about an hour old when OCC went out to check heifers. Said he was just shivering, and mama hadn’t cleaned him off very good, so he brought him in the house to warm him up a bit. We gave him some colostrum and wrapped him in a blanket, put a heat lamp on him, and went back to bed while Nurse Hershey kept watch on him through the night. She is absolutely infatuated with the baby calves.

The cowboys have stayed busy to say the least. There’s a lot to pay attention to during calving season. You’re not only watching new heifers, but you’re having to watch the cows too as their calving. Just because they’ve already had one or two, doesn’t mean there still can’t be different things to watch for and complications.

One Cute Cowboy tries to ride through the cows that are calving, on horseback at least 4 days a week. You are more apt to notice if there are problems if you see the cow in her natural state, rather than chasing the feed wagon, wanting to be fed. You get a better sense of how she and her baby are getting along and if all is well. One afternoon, One Cute Cowboy called to ask if I’d bring out the drench with some colostrum. There was a mama who had had a hard labor with a pretty big calf, and the calf was real lethargic either from being so big, or the labor being so rough, so it was detrimental to get some nutrients in him to give him the energy to nurse by himself. So I drove out to the ranch and we drove out to the mama and her calf. He then told me, when he rode up on him and his mama, he looked out and there were 4 coyotes laying down in the taller grass, waiting for that mama to leave, thinking the calf would be easy prey. The smart cookie he is, he got the cows closest to them to come up and he fed them some cake near the new baby and mama, knowing good and well, that many cows wouldn’t let those coyotes anywhere near this new baby (or their own babies staying at their sides.) That can be something really cool about cattle, they really are “pack” or “family” oriented with one another. This little guy was so dang cute and he was big! He drank the colostrum right up and you could start to tell almost immediately in his eyes that he was starting to perk up some! I love the hair on a newborn calf, they’re so silky and soft. This guy was so sweet. Luckily he had a good protective mama too. If OCC hadn’t been horseback, he might not have ever seen him and unfortunately, he probably would have ended up dying from lack of protein and electrolytes to get up and have that first nursing of colostrum. A couple days later, One Cute Cowboy rode up on him sunnin’ just as content as can be! Pretty cool to know we helped save a life!

The last couple weeks the cowboys have been consolidating wheat pasture cattle in anticipation for shipping in March.

As for me, I can’t believe it’s already March!! Won’t be long now until this heifer calves out! Haha!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s ranching series! I’m always appreciative of my readers, and always glad to hear from y’all or answer any questions! Thanks for reading!

*ASpottedHeart

Life On The Ponderosa · Lifestyle · Rancher's Wife

5 Ways to Take Care of your Cowboy during Calving Season (or Anytime!)

Calving season is an incredibly busy, and can be stressful time for cowboys. They’re long, repetitive hours of checking heifers and babies. (Read all about some of the “basics” of calving season from last year here and the start of this year’s season.)

So, I know not all of my followers have husbands that Cowboy. But I wanted to come up with 5 ways to let your significant other know they’re appreciated, and are important to you during what’s maybe tough or busy seasons in their lives. Or maybe don’t wait for those seasons at all and just do these anytime you’d like!

  1. Make a good pot of coffee

As I said above, calving season can make the days seem pretty long when One Cute Cowboy is waking up every couple of hours to check heifers, then having to put in a full days work. Coffee is an essential! I’ve made it my mission to make sure I make the best pot of coffee around. I like to make sure before he leaves in the morning that he has a cup and full thermos before he walks out the door. This helps him not only stay going throughout the day, but something warm to drink and keep his insides warmed up during those really cold, long days. So whatever your partner’s thing is, maybe it’s hot tea, or iced tea, or something as simple as Gatorade, make sure they’re getting the best of whatever “go-juice” helps them stay going throughout the day.

2. Rub their feet

Okay, maybe One Cute Cowboy and I are different, but one way we like to spend time unwinding together in the evenings is rubbing feet. This may seem odd to some, but there are actual health benefits to giving/receiving foot massages. It promotes better sleep, improves blood circulation throughout the body, relieves aches and pains, can lower anxiety, and on top of all, it just feel so good! So spend 15-20 minutes a night rubbing their feet, or shoulders, or hands to help them relax and feel a little pampered.

3. Help Out

Is it your hubby’s “job” to take the trash out, feed the dogs, get the mail, or wash the dishes? When you know they’re having an extra long or difficult day, try to help out and do that small job for them. It’ll not only let their day feel a little less hectic, but they’ll also be appreciative and glad to be able to relax a little sooner than usual and maybe help them not feel so overrun with things to do.

4. Boost of Vitamin C

This time of year, it’s easy for your immune system to get run-down when you’re constantly on the go. I like to make sure Riley is fully stocked on everything he needs to stay healthy and keep his immune system up. We diffuse Tea Tree & Orange oil to help keep both our immune systems up. We also really like to juice. So I try at least a few times a week to make a fresh orange juice (for me orange, carrot, & apple) to boost that Vitamin C. He also takes Vitamin C tablets and Apple Cider Vinegar capsules. This way his system doesn’t get completely run down from constantly being on the go.

Lastly, but most certainly not least…

5. Pray

This one doesn’t need much explaining, it’s pretty simple. One of the best things you can do for your significant other is pray for them daily. Every morning I pray for One Cute Cowboy’s day, attitude, protection and spiritual guidance. I believe one of the greatest gifts we can do for others is pray for them, so this one to me is important.

 

This is just a fun list of things to let your other-half know you appreciate them, and to maybe help take a load off during busy seasons for them. But as I said, you don’t have to wait for it to be a stressful season to do any of the above, I hope you do these for your loved ones whenever you can. Hope you’ve enjoyed! 🙂

 

A Few Things From This Post:

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*ASpottedHeart

 

Life On The Ponderosa · Ramblings · Rancher's Wife

Love, Love, Love

Lately, I’ve thought a lot about Love. February seems to do that…and being pregnant. The word itself has become so commonly used, but do we ever stop to think about what love actually means to us?! According to Webster’s dictionary there are 9 different definitions of love, nine! Maybe thats’s why they say love is a universal language.

I won’t list what all nine say, but let me tell you the ones that resonate the most with me.

1) strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties.

2) warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion.

4) unselfish loyal and benevolent

9) God

These are my 4 favorite ways that love are described. Being pregnant has made me really focus on the love between One Cute Cowboy and I, and the love we already have, abundantly overflowing, for little bear. It also has made me fiercely protective of that love. I guess you could say like a Mama Bear, I want to protect and nurture and make the love I have for Little Bear prosper, but I also feel that strong intuition to protect the love between One Cute Cowboy and myself.

That “warm attachment” mentioned above, has been like red-hot attachment lately. We’ve been savoring these last couple months as just “us” and cherishing one another for what we’ve become as a couple, and what we’ll soon be–parents! We’re wanting to make sure we’re setting a strong foundation of love for our Little Bear to look to when everything else seems to falter. We want him to know how deeply his parents not only love him, but love each other. I think it’s important for kids to see that.

Which brings me to the number nine definition of Love–God. I can’t help but think it’s that red-hot attachment that He has for us as well. He wants us to know His deep love for us, and to share that love.

Now a minute to brag on my loving husband. I’m strong-headed (so is he) but he lovingly takes me in stride when my temper runs over. He is my supporter in anything I set my mind to. He is my rock, he is my shelter. He is quite simply the love of my life, and soul-mate. I can’t imagine going on this journey with anyone else in this world. Our love isn’t perfect by any means, but we’ve learned to love through the imperfections.

” It’s not a walk in the park to love each other, but when our fingers interlock I can’t deny, can’t deny, you’re worthit. ‘Cause after all this time, I’m still into you.”–Paramore

We’ve been on many adventures together, but we’re getting ready to embark on our greatest adventure yet, there’s not a doubt in my mind that you’re my One. Happy Valentine’s Day, My One Cute Cowboy! ❤️

Life On The Ponderosa · Rancher's Wife

January on the Ponderosa

IMG_0307I think I say this every month, but where the heck did January go?! This month started out fairly cold (some bone chilling ones), but there were several kind of “odd jobs” that needed to be done.

One evening One Cute Cowboy and my dad built a wind break for some of the calves on wheat.

They took some t-posts and some old irrigation pipe to make a nice break for the calves to be able to stand up against and behind. It provides a little shelter for them when the winds are super cold.

One Cute Cowboy spent an evening trimming up some of the horses feet. This is certainly not an easy task, as I’m sure you can imagine, not a single horse actually enjoys this chore, but it’s something that has to be done to keep their feet healthy and happy.

One really cold morning, we went out to work on the windmill in the bull pasture. The bulls just hung out and watched while One Cute Cowboy pulled the windmill to replace the leathers. I stayed in the pickup most the time since it was so cold, unless OCC needed me to hold something.IMG_0204Still doing a lot of the same things as in December; checking wheat pasture calves, doctoring calves, treating bloats, feeding cows,fixing fence, and breaking a lot of ice. One thing that started about 4 days ago, that wasn’t supposed to start until about February 10th, was our heifers started having babies! So far we’ve had 12 new babies, and the cowboys have started their round-the-clock checking on the heifers. They switch off during the day and at night they check at 10 pm, 2 am and 5 am.  OCC gets pretty grouchy because he values his sleep!IMG_0310IMG_0311We brought 20 out of the 100 that will be calving the soonest, to the house this past week. The cowboys choose the ones that seem closest that way they can keep a better eye on them when they start to calve. IMG_0315

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Fur found her a good sunning’ spot.

I actually had to stop in the middle of writing this post and One Cute Cowboy and I went out to pull a calf. I wish I could’ve gotten more pictures of it actually being born, but I had to hold the lights so One Cute Cowboy, could help the mama and pull the calf. With the fast approaching arrival of Baby Bear, I feel some extra sympathy for these mama heifers. IMG_0317This little guy hasn’t even been in the world for a full hour yet. He was about 3 minutes old in this picture. He made it by only a few hours to be a January baby. I’m so glad I’m married to a man that knows what to do when it’s “go-time,” a man that’s confident in what he’s doing because he’s taken the time to learn and grow in how to take care of cattle and help them along in this process. His passion for them is what drives him. I’d be lying if I said this didn’t sometimes make me crazy! Haha! He spends so much of his time (read as: every waking second) learning, and reading about different aspects of ranching/cattle/calving/feeding aspects/cattle vaccinations; but with that said, I’m so glad he’s so passionate about this life, about taking care of these cattle to the best of his ability.  He always wants what’s best for the cattle/ranch. I’m very proud of him.IMG_0318

This little guy was also born today! All-in-all January has been a fast, but enjoyable month. It’s hard to believe tomorrow is February 1st. (Also my sister, Kizzi’s, birthday! Whoop whoop!) As One Cute Cowboy would say, before we know it, this heifer will be calving as well! Haha!IMG_0214

If you want to read a few highlights from last years calving season, go check out the post I did here! Happy Wednesday, hope you’ve enjoyed January on the Ponderosa!

 

*ASpottedHeart

Life On The Ponderosa · Pregnancy · Rancher's Wife

Baby Boy McNabb

This past weekend, my friends and women in the community threw One Cute Cowboy and I a shower, celebrating Baby Boy McNabb.

Baby McNabb

They did such an amazing job on just the decorations alone! I could’ve just set up my nursery in there and would have been just fine with it. They decorated in buffalo plaid and gave it a very woodsy feel that I absolutely loved!

 

Not to mention the delicious goodies they had! Beautiful & yummy sugar cookies, muffins, fresh fruit, yogurt & granola, and sausage balls. It was all so good, and looked amazing! Not to mention they had a hot tea bar, coffee, & punch!

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I’ve always considered myself blessed to live in the community that I do. It’s a community full of giving, supportive, and loving families. Not only the people that still live in the community, but the people who have lived here in the past and moved off still make a point to be a part of celebrating and loving others! It was so nice to see some people I don’t get to see all the time.

I was overwhelmed with the amount of love that was poured out for us yesterday! My heart was so full of love and gratitude and I just don’t feel like I can say ‘Thank you!’ enough!

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My wonderful hostesses!
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My mom (Yia-Yia) & I
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My niece, MIL, & I
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My sister, niece, mom & I

The girls in this next picture are 3 of the ladies I’ve known my entire life. We grew up together and I feel like have been through everything together. We sure missed the other girls we grew up with in our class, but I was so glad to get to see these 3 and their cuties! Baby Boy McNabb will be surrounded by some pretty dang cute little girls!! I’m so thankful for these friends that God placed in my life 31 years ago, and excited to raise our babies together!IMG_0267

And this picture was just too cute not to share! These two girls belong to one of my life-long friends that I can not believe I didn’t get a picture with! But they were such little helpers, bringing me gifts to open and taking the ones I’d opened back to the tables. They were great little helpers!

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My heart was overflowing with gratitude and joy yesterday! I can’t express just how thankful and heart-warming it felt to be surrounded by these friends and family to celebrate this huge thing happening in One Cute Cowboy and I’s life! We’re so incredibly excited, it was such a blessing to feel the excitement of the people in our lives as well. We’re so excited for Baby Boy McNabb to get here!

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(Stay tuned for name to be revealed on March 12th 😉

Thanks for reading!

*ASpottedHeart