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Countdown to County Fair:

If you have been a fly on the wall in our house (and Lord knows you could be by the number of flies around our place) you know that the countdown to the county fair is on!

If you were that fly here are some things you might have heard:

Goal Cards

“You are not waiting until the last minute this year to write your 4-H goal cards!”

“Let’s get the goal card finished for the projects that you have finished so there will be less to do as you are wrapping up the projects.”

“Grace, did you get that goal card finished?”

Wash your calf

“Girls, time to go rinse your calves.” Insert pause and no children moving. Now with a little louder tone, “GIRLS, time to go rinse your calves.”  Again, no movement.  Now with a little more gusto and a possible threat, “GIRLS, GO GET STARTED ON YOUR CALVES OR…” think scattering mice.

Sewing

Kid-Mom, I am going to my room to sew.”

Me-”Oh, good, you know there are only 17 days until judging, so you will want to get your quilt finished up.”

Kid- “I know, but I want to make some Barbie clothes, I will finish the quilt later.”

The “ List”

“Mom, add rubber cement for my photographs to the list.”

“Jen, make sure the show box has enough fly spray in it. If not add it to the list”

“Mom, can you add a pink bucket to the list? I really want a pink one because it will look good with my heifer’s hair.”

Obviously, that was meant to be a humorous look into the countdown to the county fair through my eyes and other parents, but in reality, I want everyone reading this to know just how much time and work EVERYONE, especially THE KIDS involved in the county fair are putting in to help make it an amazing, fun event for everyone in attendance.

We, all four of us, love the fair, FFA and 4-H.  Rob and I showed at the fair and our kids love showing just as much as we did.  It takes hours of practice, elbow grease, a few wheelbarrows full of patience, and lots of laughs to prep for the fair.  I would be lying if I said it didn’t take some prodding to get the girls moving in the morning to get their calves rinsed, but seeing their smiles and listening to their conversations as they work together is worth every ounce of it. The countdown is on and I will continue to add things to the list so nothing gets forgotten, lessons can be learned, and memories can be made.  

We’ll see you at the fair!

What do you do at your house for a smooth county fair prep? Did you enjoy taking projects to the fair? What is your favorite fair memory?

From the gravel road-

Jen

Being a human is hard, being a parent is stressful, being an anxious parent is sometimes too much!

As many of you know I ventured into uncharted territory this weekend. I decided to take my book to the Iowa Horse Fair to promote it to a crowd of people that didn’t know me. That meant leaving home Friday at 7:00 AM and not returning until 7:00 PM Sunday. While that might not seem like a big deal for most, it was huge for me. Remember, I’m the girl that hated to stay away from home as a child/teenager.

My family came down to attend a rodeo with me Friday night, stayed in the hotel to swim and attend the horse fair with plans to head back home Saturday night. This was a fantastic plan up until the moment Ellie put on her swimsuit to go for her first dip in the pool, I noticed a red mark on her tummy, looked closer and realized she had hives. My first reaction was, “oh crap it must be bedbugs!” After a quick examination of Grace, who slept in the same bed as Ellie, we realized she had none of the red marks. As we retraced our steps through the week, night and morning of we determined she had had a lot of citrus. She’s had citrus before but we did all comment that she had had a large amount. Luckily, because I’m an anxious mom, I had Benadryl with me and we gave her some which seemed to ease the hives.

Said child must have taken some selfies at the horse fair!

Fast forward to a successful afternoon at the horse fair and my family hitting the road to travel home.  My niece joined me at the horse fair and we had a great time laughing with kids that came to our booth and visiting with each other. As we were finishing up at the vendor show for the night I got a call from Rob that the hives were back with a vengeance. If you are at all like me you know what happened next, my legs went numb, my arms went numb and my heart felt like it was going to fall out of my chest.

Does she have hives because I’m not home?

Does he know what to do if she has trouble breathing?

Will he even hear her if she has trouble breathing with her sleeping?

Why isn’t he taking her to the doctor?

Rob eased my mind by telling me he had spoken to our friend that is a nurse, asked for advice and he had even picked up some over the counter meds for her. My body started to calm down as I talked myself into the fact that he would do just fine, it wasn’t my fault that she had hives and he could parent her just as well as I can. As I tried to fall asleep in the hotel room that night I kept telling myself she was going to be fine, at the time she fell asleep she was having no trouble breathing, and it was just something on her skin.

Fast forward through a restless night of sleep and another phone call that the hives were back and worse. Cue numb feeling in arms, legs, and lump in throat. I began talking to myself, using my name and telling myself that it would be fine, kids get hives. I will admit though I couldn’t stop the feeling that it was my fault because I wanted to go away and promote my book. That was the mom guilt/anxiety kicking into overdrive. I know I’m not the only one to experience this, but man it’s a crappy feeling!

Why do we as mom’s or parents get this guilty feeling? We HAVE to take time for ourselves. Especially when we give, give, give all of the time.

My entire way home from Des Moines I couldn’t turn the negative thoughts off in my mind about it, if I wouldn’t have went to promote the book she wouldn’t have gotten hives and on and on!

Guess what? It’s Thursday and she still has hives and I am still an anxious mom.

I will repeat what I have said before, I am doing this work so that my girls know that they too can dream big and huge! But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t deal with the mom guilt and anxious feelings that many of you may be dealing with, too!

Are you an anxious human? How do you deal with parenting guilt?

From the gravel road-

Jen

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