Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A 20 mile jaunt...

One part of the ranch has been receiving a little bit of rain here and there through the summer and was looking a whole lot better than some of the other parts.  Some parts of the ranch have seen very, very little.  So... they moved a small group of older pairs to that better pasture two weeks back.  Ty and his Crew.  They did split the drive up over two days to make it easier on the cows.  The cows were happy to see their new home. 
I got some photos along the way on the first day.

Lil Squirt and I were near by in the vehicle at this point, having just brought lunch to them.  Lil Squirt was still sick on this day.  He is feeling better now, but still not back to normal.

                   This is one of my favorites.  I thought it was neat how I caught them all lined in a row.
Pistol is holding his hat tight in the wind.  Cowboy is proud that he made the decision to wear a cap instead... just in case the wind picked up later in the afternoon.  Quite fitting for his personality.

Heading through one of the many gates along the way.

This is another of my favorites.  The wind had picked up and Pistol was trying not to lose his hat.  He and Smoke stopped to get a better grip on his hat.  And I caught Smoke with his tongue out to boot!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

a SEA of Calves

A lot of calves have been early-weaned and a lot of cows have been shipped -due to the drought.
The calves were weaned in groups and each group spent a few days in the corral with some hay before being turned out in the pasture.  Now they are out and being fed every day.

Here are a few shots of them before being turned out.

They are doing very well now and only one got just a little bit sick. 
Ty thinks they look better now then they did on the cows even.

Is there light at the end of this tunnel?

We are still going through the diapers at an incredible speed!

A post about the big D isn't all that appealing I guess... but this is my life.

I have lost track of what number day we are on now, but it has been over a  week and a half now. 
Lil Squirt is still not terribly dehydrated; thank goodness, but I am not really sure HOW he is not.
Two days ago he was not a bit better, but yesterday the frequency was not quite as high. 
Honestly the diarrhea is still not far from water, so it is not improving in that way.
Most every diaper is very very full, and not with pee.

He has been so bad that he has had diarrhea in the middle of the night and during his naps also.
He has had bad episodes of this before in his life, but we haven't dealt with middle-of-the-night diarrhea prior to this!  What a nightmare, waking up to THAT!  for him and me!
He is so tired of being changed and yet he can't stand that nasty feeling either.
Poor little fellow.
Some days we have to change his clothes as many times as we have to change his diapers.
I don't know why I said 'we'... I am flying solo on this situation!  I have Ty's pity, but that is all =)!
Hoping and praying for a better day today.

The last couple of days have been overwhelming at times between the constant diapers, changing, cleaning up and bathing messes.
I have been loosing confidence that this is just a reaction.
I have begun wondering if this isn't something more.
I am looking into the tests again for celiac disease.
Cowboy tested weak positive for celiac when he was 3, but he was so highly allergic to gluten that we didn't bother with doing the endoscopy, as the solution to both was complete avoidance of gluten.
Lil Squirt now weighs the same that he did last December. 
We still can't figure out for sure what it was he 'had'. 
I think it may be time for some allergy testing and some celiac testing.

I told Ty he was going to be the easy one =)! 
He reminds me of that sometimes.
I tell him... he is easy... it didn't take us 4 years to figure him out, like it did Cowboy!

                        Wally greeting Squirt when he woke up from a nap on the couch the other day. 
Wally now weighs more than Lil Squirt.  Though Wally has the opposite problem... he needs to loose a few pounds!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Food allergies strike again....

Food allergies are such a bummer!  I don't often complain.... but UHHHH!

Lil Squirt is sick again with bad diarrhea.  It started several days ago and it is getting worse and not better.
I know that he ate something, we just can't quite figure it out yet for sure.

We never did figure it out the last time he got so sick with diarrhea either.  He almost landed himself in the hospital that time as he was so dehydrated.  He is not to that point yet, and hopefully he won't be this time.

When he eats something he is allergic to he screams with stomach pains in the night and barely sleeps.  He sometimes vomits continuously and sometimes gets rashes.  A few times he seemed to have an anaphylactic reaction with coughing fits and throat pain.  But he very often gets diarrhea and it often lasts for a good week.  We can tell the difference between a stomach flu and a food reaction diarrhea because after a food reaction his poo leaves large welts and blisters on his lil bottom no matter how fast we get his diapers changed.  Then his bottom turns raw fast.  It is much different when he has a stomach bug, as he just doesn't get those welts.  I know it is from the allergen touching his skin. 

Well we are now to the raw bottom stage.  The diarrhea is water.  We can only improve from this point.  I just hope it happens quickly.  He wants to be changed, but screams from the anticipation of the pain of being changed.  He is asleep now.  He cried himself to sleep after his last diaper change.

I just hate when we can't quite pinpoint what made him or the other boys sick!  His diet is very limited to begin with, and filled with the same routine foods.

The number one suspect to me at this point is the Earth Balance, soy-free, dairy-free butter.  We have just recently been getting/using this for the boys.  And since that time, I have been making cow pies (you know the no-bake oat cookies) again.  You know, sugar, milk (almond milk), earth balance butter and boil and then add almond butter and then oats and spoon onto wax paper.  Well I made some and Squirt had one.

The earth balance butter is soy and dairy free, but it does have pea protein in it.  That is what I am suspecting.  Squirt is highly allergic to soybeans.  He also seems to be highly allergic to lima beans, which are in a frozen veggie mix I used to add to my soup.  So we have tended to avoid peas as they are all similar.  However he has successfully eaten another frozen veggie mix containing snap peas and eaten them raw also.  So I just don't know... but I wish I did know so that we could avoid the problem next time.  I wish I could remember the foods surrounding the last diarrhea episode and I wonder if that butter was involved somehow.

well, like I said already... UHHHH!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Weaning calves

Like many other ranches being affected by this drought, we have started weaning calves. 
It is about 2 months early.  The guys are hoping they will be worth a bit more by weaning before selling them.

The majority of them are pretty even and are averaging 370-380 lbs.
The light end and the heifers calves have averaged closer to 280-290 lbs.

They are going to start selling cows next week also.

This is lunch and vaccinating the calves:

Dad and son.  Cowboy got to do the backpouring today.

Cowboy took his job very seriously as always and did a good job.

What was I thinking... I just about forgot the funniest picture of the day:
Blane was watching them sort, weigh and load the calves at the end of the day and I called his name to take his picture.
I am not sure what he was yelling about, but this is what I got. 

Just Squirt being Squirt!


Friday, August 5, 2011

Fire on the ranch

Ok, so this is the way it started out.  Puff of smoke spotted in the distance from our house.  Ty and the Crew go to investigate.  They find a tree has been struck by lightening and spend a good amount of time putting it out.  Then it rained a little bit and they thought all was well with the world.

Fast forward and another puff of smoke is spotted.  I call up and report to Ty that there is more smoke and it looks bigger this time. 
We loaded the Crew, grabbed some shovels and went to investigate the puffing smoke in the distance.
We assumed we would be dealing with that same smoldering tree. 
BUT............ it had progressed a little from that point.....  obviously. 

Unfortunately Squirt somehow changed my camera settings as I was carrying him and I didn't realize it, so the pictures are all pretty grainy.

Hmmm... things don't look to good.  I think we might need to call for help... HELP!
In the first three pictures, Ty is looking over the damage and..... calling for help from the fire department:

Looks like it has spread just a little bit.

There was a small active flame around the perimeter of the grass that they were able to get stopped.

straight above and to the right of Cowboy's head is the boundary of the fire that was here two summers ago!
The most concerning part of the fire is where it had already gotten into the trees, which you can sort of see above the kids' heads.

Pistol and Cowboy watching the trees burn off to the right of the photo.

I had Ty drop me back at the house with Squirt and he and the older three took the sheriff and a fire truck and a water truck to the fire.  Since that time, the sheriff has gone back to town, and another water truck and another fire truck and a pickup of guys has joined in the efforts.  Thankfully it is not very windy out right now. 

3 hours later.  Ty and the Crew are back home.
One fire truck has left the scene and the others are still there.
Boy they gave him heck for not calling them yesterday, ha.ha.
I guess the bright side is:  At least we didn't wait until tomorrow, huh!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Our posterchild for "ornery"

Well, honestly it is a tie between him and Pistol! 

I just love how this pic. turned out.  Well, except for hubby's elbow that is sticking out in the background; I could do without that.  But the picture is great of Squirt!  It made us all smile.  Sure makes me wonder about what little plot is running through his head at that moment.

He has a lot of "go" and just like the other kids, when they all turned two naps started becoming a thing of the past.  It is a tough call day to day.  If he naps, then he is sometimes up until midnight, and that just gets a little hard on this momma.  But if he doesn't nap, then he goes to bed early but he is a crabby crab all afternoon, because he is tired.  But getting him to take that nap is the hard part.  Very, very hard part that is.  So half the time he gets a nap and half the time not.  It is a hard phase right now.  I actually like when we are in the vehicle around noon because he will fall asleep much easier in there and get his nap at a decent nap hour.

Sometimes he finally can't take it and this is the result:
I thought, ok, not a biggy and moved him onto the couch.  That is when I discovered that he had been doing some dirty business while he was resting against that table.  By the time his pants were clean again he was wide awake and a cranky crab all afternoon!  Loose loose situation we got going on!

 saying cheese for me:                
the look I got when I got the camera out:

the reason why a lot of our pictures are of the older 3 kids.  They are picture pros and used to their momma's insistance on getting group photos.  Lil Squirt has an ornery streak though and this is as close as he would get:

still trying for that group photo:

 dancing on the table for us with his cape and glasses:                
monkey in the tub with a bruise on his forehead:

 he is a handful of orneryness and love.  He is a huge love bug and loves to be held... a lot!  definitely much smaller than the other kids at the same age.  Loves his sister, "Mi Mi" and his brothers, "T" and "We".  Loves to go places and then when he gets there, he wants to load up and go somewhere else!  Has pretty much outgrown his insane love for the wiggles and has been enjoying thomas the train a lot now.  He inherited a room of toys from his 3 older siblings, but he hardly ever plays with them.  He spends all his playtime with their bin of "hard animals"- the little hard rubber horses, cows, farm animals from breyer that the kids collected from Big R for several years.  His other favorite that pairs perfectly with the animals are all the trucks and semis from Big R.  He connects several of the semis to eachother and then balances horses on top and stuffs some bulls inside and slowely trucks around the house.  It is very very cute.  He sometimes convinces the older boys to get in on the caravan and that is something to see!
Nothing stops him.  He has been climbing over baby gates for quite a while.  At least they slow him down some.  When he wants to go outside, he just goes and doesn't bother to tell you about it either.
He is one special little guy and we love him to bits!

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