Friday, January 27

At the Roundup office

We're already finished with the last January 2012 issue... soon we'll be knee-deep in bull sale season, which means a bigger paper with the increased advertising, which means more work for Saige and I to keep it full, so for right now I'm enjoying a few 'normal' weeks, even though we have been running four pages bigger than usual.

Before we know it, Saige will have worked with me on the Roundup's editorial team for a year, and she's accomplished so much already, including an overhaul of our website, and much time devoted to brainstorming new ideas and implementing new sections. Check it out at

She passed her crash course taking care of the paper while I was out on maternity leave with flying colors. So much so that I was compelled to give her a fifth of whiskey and a set of whiskey glasses for her trouble, because in this profession that sort of thing comes in handy every once in a while. :-)

With the new year, she and I sat down and made a list of goals for 2012 for the paper. Most of them are small, and most people probably won't notice them, but they have to do with having a more polished, engaging newspaper. Between the two of us and Tracy, our designer, we tweaked the front page a little, and we've also added article breaks to all of our longer articles, to break up the text and hopefully draw in the 'skimmers,' and we're also doing more of what we call 'pull quotes' and more 'sidebars.' All of this in effort to break up the text and get more people's attention.

Part of what I decide to do with the paper comes from watching Scott look through it. A lot can be learned by watching one of our targeted demographic look through the finished product!

Another goal for 2012 is to renew the partnership with the Northern Ag Network, recording and sharing our Wyoming news for their daily ag broadcasts, which originate in Montana. The first event we'll send them is from tomorrow's Women's Ag Summit, so wish me luck!

Just two days shy

We're just two days shy of Levi's five-month birthday! Five months already? On the other hand, it seems like a whole lot longer than a month ago that we were celebrating Christmas and New Year's.

I fully realize that the focus of my blog has shifted from decorating/house projects/livestock and horses to being extremely Levi-centered, but what can I say? I write about whatever I'm doing at the time, and lately that's been a whole lot of Levi.

But with a face like this to look at almost 24/7 now, I can't say that I can complain. :-)

As each month passes, it's fun to see all the new things he's learning to do. Lately it's been eating cereal, pulling his socks off and watching the dogs and Link. It seems like it will be any day now that he sits up on his own - he's almost there. He can roll from front to back, and has almost figured out how to go from back to front - he prefers to sleep on his left side in his crib.

So that's the latest Levi update! He continues to pack on the pounds, and just yesterday I packed even more clothes away to wait for a little brother or sister to come along. Tomorrow he will spend with Grandma Shirley at our house, since Scott and I are headed to Buffalo and Sheridan - myself for work, and Scott for play. Scott has his Uncle Lee and brother Bob joining us for the trip, and they're going to go to King Saddles in Sheridan while I'm at a Women's Ag Summit all day in Buffalo.

Notice I'm trying to do better with consistency in posting? :-)

Thursday, January 26

He's not just any baby....

....he's LUCY's baby. :-)

The other night Scott was spending some time with baby Levi on the floor, and Lucy came over to be right in the middle of it.

Lucy always has had a pretty strong mothering instinct, and having Levi around really brings it out.

When he starts moving around, we have a feeling that she'll be right with him every step of the way, making sure he gets lots of licks when he falls down.

In other news, 'tummy time' is no longer the 10 minutes of torture that it has been for Levi. He's still not a huge fan, but at least he admits it's not quite so bad.

But he'd really rather read a book instead.

The kind of advice that I like:

"....when you can buy a decent piece of furniture for roughly the same price as a Venti cup of Starbucks, buy it."

I like the way this blogger thinks. 

"It's advice like this that financial advisors tell you to run from," she says. 

It's advice like this that fills my little house to the brim with great, thrifty furniture finds. 

Monday, January 23

Updating my blog:

Obviously, being more consistent with blog posts was not one of my New Year's resolutions. :-)

Any of you who are mothers know that, when little babies come, suddenly things like blog posts are not all that important and fall far down on the list of priorities.

That being said, we've been busy this month! Here are just a few photos to demonstrate:

The first two weeks of the month we had company, with my mom arriving from Iowa on Jan. 2 and leaving to go home on the 16th. Mid-way through her stay she was joined by my dad and Grandma Hemken from Iowa, so we kept plenty busy. My mom helped with organizing and sewing projects around my house, which was very welcome, and my dad also did things like install a thermostat in the basement so we can run the furnace to heat the downstairs bedrooms, while using the wood stove upstairs.

If I ever get to it, I will post some photos of all the projects my mom and I accomplished.

The photo above is my mom and Levi playing dress-up once again. :-) The newborn-sized onesie she made at his Iowa baby shower last July, and she managed to stuff him back in it, although the snaps were about at his belly button.

We've also been cutting teeth! My mom found Levi's first one on Jan. 3, and the second one showed up the day after she left on Jan. 17. She gave him this crocheted cap for Christmas, along with a mini library of children's books and a box of clothing for him to grow into.

Speaking of the books, also while she was here we bought a bunch from the local Salvation Army, and with the two collections we've been enjoying the library. Either Scott or myself reads to him at least once a day, and usually it's twice because I read to him again at bedtime. He's at a stage where sometimes lala land is more interesting than looking at the books, but other times he does act really interested in the pictures. I plan to continue reading with him, covering five or six books every day at this stage.

And he's also started on solids since my last post. See why I haven't had time to write anything new? The fun never ends around here. :-) He's still at one meal a day, in the evening, but I need to start feeding him in the morning. He has a very healthy appetite, polishing off a bowl of rice cereal in no time, and hanging his mouth open, begging for more. We have some store-bought rice cereal I've been feeding that was given to us, but once that runs out I will begin making our own from brown rice. He's also had pears, peaches and apples, and doesn't seem to agree with banana yogurt - not sure yet if it's the bananas or yogurt that's causing the problem, but it does keep him up all night fussing.

Levi has been thoroughly enjoying the Bumbo seat that the Roundup office staff gave to us - except it's not the Bumbo brand, I always forget what it is. This toy that sticks in the tray is one of his favorites, and when I take it out to feed him I have to hide it otherwise it will distract him when he should be eating.

And in other news, this black Ford truck is no longer in our possession, as of last Saturday.

We now have this green Dodge - a diesel, with a lot more room in the back seat for Levi than the black one had.

So that's just a brief update on all that we've been up to! I could make promises about posting more frequently, but we all know that people shouldn't make promises they can't keep. :-)