Part 3 of my nesting that has been going on is a bit different. There are 10 things that I make sure are taken care of in my own home before the calves start to arrive. This is very similar to the list I had and many others have before they have a baby of their own.
1. I make sure the freezer is stockpiled with meals that can be warmed up by anyone in the family. If we have calves that need special attention, I am typically the NICU nurse (I have a little more mothering instinct than the other members of the household. This means that Randy or the boys are in charge of meal time and all 3 of them are at least capable of running the microwave. Here is a list of items currently in my freezer:
- French Dip
- Cheesy Enchiladas
- Christy’s Not so Famous Pork Loin
- Grandma Jessie’s Zucchini Cake
- No Boil Lasagna
- Easy, Beefy, Cheesy Burritos
- Pork Chalupas
- Smoked Beef Brisket
- Beefy Nacho Potato Soup
- Barbecue Meatballs
2. A snack supply is a must. If there is a birthing emergency, lunch time might not come until 2:00 if ever. Often we keep some packaged emergency snacks in the feed trucks with us just in case.
3. We get up in the middle of the night, usually around 3 am to check on the heifers (first time mothers) to make sure they aren’t having any problems. This means a nap in the middle of the day is needed or A LOT of caffeine and sugar. I try to stock up on pop before we get started. I am well into week #1 of the nightly checks and have only begged to have a nap twice. Pretty good for me.
4. Adult beverages are also a necessity in my household. Some days things don’t go as they should or we spend a couple of hours with a special patient or two late at night. When we are wound up on adrenaline, sometimes a beverage can help you sleep a whole lot better.
5. I always make sure the mudroom is clean and organized before calving season. This room of our home becomes the calf NICU. Any calf that is having a hard time immediately after birth may get brought to the house for some special attention (including middle of the night feedings) and extra monitoring. Just imagine having a 4 legged newborn in your house, except they don’t cry, instead they get up and bump around until you feed them or take them back to their mama. :)
6. Speaking of the mudroom, lots of laundry detergent is used in my house over the next 5 weeks. Not only to our clothes get pretty gross helping new wet, slimy calves, but we also use blankets and towels for the calves and they need washed as well.
7. It’s always a good idea to keep a supply of bleach or other disinfectant around. The blankets, OB chains and calf bottles all can use a good wash and disinfection when multiple newborns are involved.
8. Now, here’s one most wouldn’t have to worry about: Birthday Treats. Our 7 year old has a birthday right at the beginning of calving season. I try to make his treats for school ahead of time and freeze them. I never know when a weather system will move in and cause calving to move earlier. Cows are just like people and that due date is usually plus or minus 10 days.
9. As a mom, we also try to work on school Valentines ahead of time. Remember, I have 2 boys that hate to write and if the weather is cold and wet it is likely that we will spend more time in the barn than in the house leading up to Valentine’s Day.
10. I also try to keep all the laundry washed and put away while I have time. I also take advantage of sunny warm days when the calves start arriving to get caught back up on the laundry. The boys do like to wash the laundry this year, so maybe they will help out some, but they hate to fold and put their laundry away.
My friends all think I am organized and I think I have them all fooled. I try to control what I can in my life, because I know when I walk out that door in the morning surprises can be around every corner.
Have a great week everyone and be sure to follow me on Facebook to see new baby calf pictures.