Splish-Splash: Bathtime Favorites

Most every kid loves bath time! So today I thought I’d share some of Lil’ Cute Cowboy’s favorite simple, bath toys and a few bath products we love. So let’s get to it!

Lots of Links

My little bear loves these! There’s 24 in a pack so we have some for the bathtub, some in our diaper bag, and some attached to our carseat. He loves pulling them apart and trying to attach them to whatever he can. Great, simple toy in and out of the bath.

Bath Book

As I’ve mentioned before Little Bear loves books, so it’s only natural he enjoys a good ABC book while in the tub. ☺️ I couldn’t find his exact alphabet book, but these look pretty cute. It’s small enough he can easily hold it in the bath, it has a squeaker, and sticks to the tile in the tub. It’s a winner for our bath time!

Swimming Penguin

This little guy is so stinkin’ cute!! You wind up his little fins and away he goes, swimming through the bath water. LCC loves to watch him swim around… he also likes to see him fly, and throws him out of the bathtub *sigh* but either way he has fun with him.

Stackable Cups

Do you even have a kid if you don’t have these?! Bratcher has loved these from the beginning! You can’t tell from the photo, but each cup has holes in the bottom so that make them perfect for the bath. These are hands down some of his favorite toys in and out of the bath.

Natural Bath Sponge

My friend, The Chanhandle, told me about these sea sponges that are especially for babies. You guys, they are so soft and gentle. Little Bear loves to play with his as well. I definitely recommend getting this brand because I also got One Cute Cowboy and I some that were a different brand, and they’re way too thick and don’t get near as soft as this one does. So not only is it good to scrub your little one down with, it’s also a great toy.

Tubby Todd Body Wash

We absolutely love Tubby Todd! This stuff not only smells amazing, but is formulated with natural, plant based ingredients, free of toxins, parabens, artificial fragrance and color plus its animal cruelty free. It’s gentle enough for Little Bear’s skin, but still works well enough that even One Cute Cowboy and I like to use it! I’ve used several of their other products, and have loved every single one of them. The Dream Cream being our favorite go-to after bath lotion.

And last, but not least…

Classic Rubber Ducky

Couldn’t leave out a bath time staple, the rubber ducky. We never have bath time without it!

Those are our top bath picks! And of course we always sing Splish Splash at least once. 😉 I’ve linked everything else below!

Lots of Links • Bath Book • Munchkin Swimming Penguin •Stackable Cups •Sea Sponge •Tubby Todd •Classic Rubber Ducky

*ASpottedHeart

Mom Moment

My Little Cute Cowboy is 7 months old. How exactly did that happen?! It feels like yesterday I was worried about keeping his head and neck propped up properly while I held him, now, he’s on my hip whipping his head left to right to see everything going on around us. Time slow down!

I’ve had several “Mom Moments.” You know the ones, those moment when it hits you square in the face that you’re a mom. That for the rest of your life you’ll hold the title, Mom. I’ve had many of these moments in these last 7 months. They’re a lot like “Ah-hah” moments. But today, today I realllly felt like a mom.

Little Bear and I made our first solo trip out of town for the day! It was a two hour drive to our destination, the furthest we’ve ever gone without a little assistance in the car with us. Usually One Cute Cowboy goes with us, but this was short notice, and had to be done so it was just the two of us!

The trip there was good, he did great! He slept most of the way which was a total win, and he was pretty happy and comfortable in the times he was awake. It poured down rain the entire trip, so I think they helped him sleep good the steady sound of raindrops. We went to our appointment, had a picnic of Chic-fil-a in the backseat of the pickup ( well I had Chic, he had a bottle) and then we decided to brave Target. Mind you, this is our first solo trip to a bigger city, and shopping is definitely something we haven’t done, so I was taking a pretty good gamble here.

I’m painstakingly aware of my surroundings. I’m talking if something doesn’t look right, I’m not stopping! I let my intuition guide me 99% of the time. Being by myself, handling a 7 month old, I was a bit nervous. Once we got from the pickup to the storefront in the pouring rain, we were golden! He did awesome! He sat in his carseat while I walked through the women’s clothes, and kids clothes, and then I got him out and he hung out on my hip the rest of the time, in complete awe of all the people and all the things there were to look at. Not to mention, it must have been Mom & Baby Day at Target. I bet I saw 4 or 5 other babies around his age, and then several younger, and a few toddler to about 7-8yo. I felt like there was a Mom Club meeting to meet up for and we were all just Mommin’ through our day like a bunch of bosses! Little Bear and I got our things and checked out,then braved the rain again back out to the pickup.

Once loaded and headed home, I thought to myself, “Man, I realllly felt like a mom today.” I know this may sound funny or strange, but it was just one of those moments (and small victories) for me and I thought I’d share. As I was walking through the aisles, I was that woman with the baby, I was that woman looking for new pajamas for my kiddo, I was the woman scanning the aisles with the baby on her hip…I’m still getting used to this Mom Life, and continuously learning and bettering myself because of it. Whoever said, “Mommin’ ain’t easy,” definitely had it right, but I wouldn’t trade a single day of it for any other kind of life.

*ASpottedHeart

July on the Ponderosa

Lil’ Cute Cowboy coming nose-to-nose with his first bronc!

July has felt long and short all at once. Seems like just last week I was writing June’s Ponderosa post, but at the same time, there’s also been a lot of happenings this month.

One Cute Cowboy kicked off the month by completely replacing the floor in his stock trailer. This took a few days and evenings, and the finished product was well worth the time spent. It’s as good as new!

We celebrated the 4th of July with family and friends in the park of our small community. We had hamburgers and hotdogs and homecut French fries. Our local firefighters did all the cooking. It was delicious. We threw our big jean & fleece blanket on the ground and ate and listened to the live band. Bratcher wasn’t sure what to think of it all at first, but he warmed up to it. He even got to meet one of his future little classmates!

Guess what else One Cute Cowboy did this month. No guesses? Fixed and built more fence! Haha! As I’ve said before, it’s truly a never ending job. I guess it’s job security, because there’s always fence to be worked on somewhere. He finished up building the hot wire fence for the CRP cattle and got them all moved to their new pastures for the next couple months.

Along with CRP cattle, comes the job of hauling water. Most CRP pastures don’t have a water source, therefore the Cowboy’s have to haul the water to the cows every, single, day. The little rig above is new to the ranch, and has been pretty dang handy. The Cowboys haul water to 3 pastures everyday, and it takes around 2 hours from start to finish. I always like to go haul water, though I haven’t gotten to this year any. It’s always fun to see the cows come in for a fresh, cool drink of water.

It was unbearably hot here for about 2 weeks. It reached 106 for a high and we were over 100 for 6 days! Days like that make me so ready for fall to come around. It’s especially important on days like that to make sure every pasture has water and all windmills are working as they should. This month also consisted of a lot of water checking and more windmill oil checking.

The Cowboys rotated some of the cattle around to different “summer” pastures to give some of the land a break. As I talked about in June’s post, it’s just as important to take care of our land as much as the cattle. God made us to be good stewards of both, for they’re each a living thing and have been gifted to us.

As you may have gathered, One Cute Cowboy is a jack of many many trades! He is also a Superior Livestock representative. He spent part of the month contracting and selling cattle through Superior. July is a busy time because of the annual Superior sale that happens up in the Rockies. The first year we went it was up in Steamboat,CO. The last two years it’s been in Breckinridge, CO. We didn’t go this year but OCC and my dad watched a lot of the sale online on the Superior website. Each year OCC contracts calves for local producers that top the markets throughout the United States. We have some dang good cattle in this part of the country! Be sure and contact OCC if you have some cattle that need reppin’. 😉

OCC did quite a bit of maintenance work on machinery and trailers this month. As I’ve mentioned before, he likes to keep everything in tip-top shape!

He also cleaned out the pens here at the house a couple evenings. It’s important to keep your pens clean of old manure and hay. It helps the animal stay healthier and keeps their immune systems strong. As well as it cuts down on those pesky flies! It’s not just a healthier environment for them to live in, but a happier one!

Here on the homefront we had our first successful grocery shopping trip with Little Bear! Woohoo! This may not seem like a big feat for most, but it was for this little family! We also went to our first church service. He did completely awesome at both! He’s such a trooper!

Well, there are the happening for us in July here at the Ponderosa. Hope you had a good July, stay tuned this August for a special edition from the animals on the Ponderosa!

*ASpottedHeart

Lil’ Cute Cowboy’s Favorite Books at 4 Months Old

Growing up, I always loved stories. I loved being read to, I loved library day once I was in school, and when I got old enough I loved reading! My love started out with Clifford the Big Red Dog (Oddly enough I haven’t bought any of those for Little Bear yet) and then continued to grow the more I read and learned of other authors like Mercer Mayer, Bill Wallace, and Peggy Parish.

When I first brought Lil’ Cute Cowboy home from the hospital, I wasn’t really sure what to do when he was awake, so I’d read to him. Studies have shown that children that were read to as infants grow up with a larger vocabulary and more advanced mathematical skills. This also helps develop their language skills. Its great for their brains to see pictures and connect words with those pictures.

Needless to say, Little Bear gets read to every day, and at 4 months, these are his favorite books.

1. Disney Bunnies All Ears

He loves this book! His Aunt MiMi got this book for him for Easter and he’s just started really enjoying it. I think he loves Thumper’s big eyes and pliable ears! He always smiles when he sees I have this book to read.

2. The Brave Cowboy – by Joan Walsh Anglund

This is the cutest book! We were gifted this book and he loves when his daddy reads it to him. I have a feeling this will be a book we will be reading for many many more years! It’s also illustrated really fun; what’s really happening in the story is in black and white drawings, but his imagination is depicted in red. I’d recommend this to any little Cowboy!

3. Snuggle Bunny by Kate Dopirak

This is a book we’ve been reading since day one. I think what he enjoys most on this book is the pictures of all the different animals that come over to Snuggle Bunny’s house for Snuggle Bunny Day. When you read this one he just looks and looks at the pages. It’s a really cute and fun book.

4. There’s a Wocket in my Pocket by Dr. Seuss

This kid loves Dr. Seuss! You start reading this book and he starts jabbering like there’s no tomorrow! I think he likes the rhyming and rhythm. Dr. Seuss is so highly praised in the literary world (and by teachers everywhere) because rhyming helps children understand how language works. They learn to predict what’s coming next, which is another great learning tool to have in their toolbox. I think Little Bear also really enjoys the illustrations with the bright colors and funny looking creatures in Seuss world!

5. Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins

This is right up there with the Dr. Seuss books! The rhyming and rhythm of this book gets him talking and kicking and you can tell he really enjoys this book!

6. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin Jr.

He loves this classic children’s book. It’s celebrating its 25th anniversary of being published this year! His eyes get big as he looks at the colors and shapes while you read. I look forward to continuing this book in hopes that it helps him learn his colors. You can’t go wrong with a classic.

And now for Lil’ Cute Cowboy’s favorite book right now:

7. Bedtime for Chickies by Janee Trasler

You guys, he absolutely loves this book! You start out with the opening line, “It’s bedtime for chickies, it’s bedtime for sheep…” and he starts kicking his legs, waving his hands, and jabbering like it’s the greatest thing in the world! This book always makes him smile. It’s a cute little story about some little chickies who just won’t go to bed! It’s a repetitive book, and I think that’s part of why he loves it so much, because he anticipates what’s coming next. Like when the chickies go “cheep cheep cheep!!” He Loves that! I definitely recommend this book if you have a little one. Really cute!

So there are Lil Cute Cowboy’s Favorite books at this age. I’m so thankful he enjoys story time, because Mama sure does too!

** I cant forget one of his favorites, his crinkly book shown above! Haha! Every baby needs a crinkle book, here’s a link to his: Penguin and Friends

Did you enjoy this post? Is this something ya’ll, my readers, would be interested in as a monthly thing? Maybe not 7, but 1 or 2?new children’s book recommendations a month? Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email aspottedheart@gmail.com

Thanks for reading!

*ASpottedHeart

First Trip as Family of 3

One Cute Cowboy and I both grew up taking trips to Red River, New Mexico with our families. In fact, we probably passed each other on the sidewalks of the small mountain town, when we were just 10 or 11 years old, and never knew we were within arms reach of our future spouse and soul mate. We both love Red River and have gone just about every summer since we started dating.

This year we made kind of an impromptu trip up there when I decided to take vacation at the last minute. This was our first vacation as s family of 3!

“Red River you say? Very interesting!”

We loaded up Lil’ Cute Cowboy and all 90 of the different supplies we thought we needed! Haha! I really should have gotten a picture of the way the pickup was packed. We might have overpacked a bit, not knowing what we would, and wouldn’t need for this little turkey.

I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous not knowing what he would do going to a place with higher elevation. We live at 4,167 ft. above sea level. Red River is another 4,500 ft. at 8,671 ft. above sea level. But he was a complete champ and did amazing on the drive up!

We stopped at our favorite little roadside stopping place in Gladstone, NM for a bottle break. There was a nice, cool breeze so we decided to have our bottle outside. It’s the cutest little rest stop this side of the Mississippi, and has out of this world baked goods, every day!! We never ever drive by without stopping. We always end up leaving with at least one bag of oatmeal raisin cookies (One Cute Cowboy ‘s) and one bag of chocolate chip cookies (mine!). Not to mention she has homemade loaves of bread. *Swoon* One Cute Cowboy grew up stopping and eating here often. As a young boy he’d day work for people around the area and got to know the owners well, so he especially likes to stop so he can be sure to say “hi!”

Since One Cute Cowboy and I have been together, we’ve never stayed in the same place twice at Red River. Always trying out new (to us) places to stay and trying to figure out where our “spot” will be in years to come. Well, this year, I think we’ve found it! Hotel Ryland! This is a place neither one of us had ever stayed. The newly renovated room was perfect for our small family of 3. It was definitely a smaller room, but worked out great for us. It was clean, updated, and cute. Upon arrival an older gentlemen led me up to our room and told me he was glad for us to be there. He was so nice and sweet and Riley enjoyed talking with him the next day before we left too. He was very welcoming and sincere, and that just made us feel good, and definitely made us want to come back and stay.

Once we unloaded our things we decided to go across the street to my favorite place in Red River–The Bobcat. This place has been my turquoise sanctuary since I was 9 years old! The A-frame building welcomes you in, with its wind chime lazily dancing in the breeze. You walk in and can feel the warmth of the owner, Sherri. We’ve gone for so many years she knows our faces when we walk through the door, and she immediately greets us with a warm smile and a “You’ve added to the family!” She came over to see Little Bear and quickly says, “I have a gift for you!” She went to the back, with her sweet dogs following her, and she came back with a beautiful sterling silver baby rattle that she said to use when he starts to teethe. She said to just stick it in the refrigerator and get it out once it’s cool to soothe his little gums. It was such a sweet, and beautiful gift.

Then she told her helper, a woman I’ve never seen before, to get out the pawn/antique stuff because she knows that’s what I’m there to see. She has the most beautiful and unique vintage turquoise, not to mention a slew of other different stones. We start out looking at the rings, then the squash blossoms, then the cuffs. Most handmade by Native Americans. I ended up with a “Fred Harvey” cuff and ring set. It’s hard for me to ever leave without getting something.

Lil’ Cute Cowboy was fascinated with everything in the shop and I was so proud of how well he did! After that we decided to stroll down Mainstreet.

It was a little warmer than usual, but there was still a nice mountain breeze that made it perfect. It was pretty quiet in town, being the middle of the week, there didn’t seem to be as many people as there usually are, which was really kind of nice. It felt like we had the place to ourselves.

Little Bear absolutely loved it! We’d stroll around and he’d just look at all there was to see, taking it all in. Then we’d stop and hang out for a little bit in the shade and he’d just hang out and listen to the birds or the wind chimes clinging around town. He’s a mountain kid for sure!

We worked up quite an appetite and decided to try the brand new brewery that opened in town just about a month before. We’d walked by earlier and it looked fun and the food they were serving looked delicious! When we got there we could tell the music was really loud but hoped maybe there was an area where it wouldn’t be so loud, but we walked in the doors and Little Bear had a look of terror on his face, seconds from a complete meltdown. We quickly walked back outside and decided we’d better try some place else. So we decided to go to the nice little Mexican food restaurant in town, The Sundance. It was Lil’ Cute Cowboys first time in a restaurant.

He did pretty good as long as he could see all that was going on. He was completely worn out by the time we got back to our room. He’d had a huge day!

The next day we ate at our favorite breakfast place, T-Bucks, and did some more walking around and visited our favorite little coffee place The Way Coffee. I ordered my go-to, a London Fog, and Riley ordered himself a latte. They were so delicious! We just sat and watched passerby’s for awhile and enjoyed our beverages and breathing in the mountain air. It was so relaxing and peaceful.

“Best Seat in the House” by Kenneth Wyatt

One of my favorite places to stop in Red River is Kenneth Wyatt’s art gallery. Photos on the internet cannot do his incredible paintings justice! This is one of my favorites of his. He is truly gifted and I always enjoy walking through his gallery to see what’s new and to see the ones I’ve seen 100 times over again. He’s currently 88 years old, has painted over 9,000 paintings, and paints every single day. Did I mention he didn’t even start painting until his 40’s?! If you ever go to Red River, do yourself a favor, and walk through his gallery.

We tried out the Smokehouse before we left, and parked beside this pretty little stream to eat our chopped beef sandwich. Little Bear loved to watch and hear the small stream. It was finally time to head home. We said goodbye to the mountains, and pointed our pickup east, back to the flatlands. It was such a nice trip and went great for our first mini-vacation!

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Check back in for the newest “Ranching on the Ponderosa” that will be up in the next few days!

*ASpottedHeart

May on the Ponderosa

Well, here we are starting into June. My oh my, how summer has rushed upon us! It’s been in the upper 80’s low 90’s the last couple weeks, which feels insane to be that warm already. But I will say, we’ve had some nice little thunderstorms! We’re always thankful for rain!!

This month has been full of more brandings for One Cute Cowboy. 2,900 calves in 21 days to be exact!

Started the month off with finishing up the branding at the ranch headquarters and has been gypsy jumping around from ranch to ranch “dayworking” (helping other ranches for a short time), all month!

This time of the year is tough on cowboys because not only are they working long hard days but they have to get their normal jobs completed and cows checked and problems dealt with on their own ranches after “dayworking” for the other ranches. Needless to say, they can turn into VERY long days! No one ever said being a Cowboy’s wife would be easy.

OCC had the yearly branding at my in-laws in New Mexico, just on the other side of Kenton, Oklahoma this month as well. Once again, Lil Cute Cowboy and I decided to stay home since it would be hot, windy, and dusty. This mama bear is still a little overly protective. ☺️

The brand on the calf pictured above is One Cute Cowboy’s great grandpa’s brand. It’s been in his family for 5 generations! Agriculture is all about tradition you know. It’s neat to know that the calves have received this same brand for all of these years.

The bulls of the ranch were finally happy to be placed out in their different pastures for the summer. It’s important to make sure and give the bulls and cows a break from one another. Some of the bulls will be gathered back up in July, and some will get to stay with the cows until October.

Speaking of bulls, we got all of our registered bulls delivered this month as well. It’s a good feeling to have them all placed at good ranches .

One Cute Cowboy and I have our own little herd that got vaccinated and branded this month too. Have I ever told you about Mama, the friendly cow? She’s an older cow that Riley and I got in our first herd right after we got married. She is such a sweetheart, she’ll come right up to eat cake out of your hand (she’s actually usually up in your business trying to see if you actually have any cake in your hands to snatch up!) She always throws us a good little bull calf each year, which we’re always happy to see! She’s talked one of the other mamas into coming up to us too. We call this ‘ol gal Sister.

One of the biggest changes this month on the Ponderosa is I went back to work at my 9 to 5. It’s been incredibly hard leaving Little Bear everyday, but we’re getting more of a routine down and learning and growing. I try to remind myself to just be in the moment and not to dwell on not being with him all day. It’s definitely hard on this mama!

This Lil Ranch Kid is growing like crazy and smiling and laughing and just so much dang fun! Our hearts are full here on the Ponderosa.

Happy June!

*ASpottedHeart