Happy Birthday, Little One

It is Little Miss Ava’s first birthday!  What an exciting milestone, and what a year we’ve had.  She is, by miles and miles, the best decision we ever made. Throughout the last several days, I’ve found myself thinking about what I was doing exactly one year ago.  I did not know of the immense love and connection that we, as common ol’ people, were capable of feeling.  I did not know how primal the instincts I would experience would actually be.  I didn’t even know that we were going to have a daughter!


Ava's Grandma Gail made this gorgeous birthday banner.  Each year she will get another butterfly to add to it!

Ava’s Grandma Gail made this gorgeous birthday banner. Each year she will get another butterfly to add to it!

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  1. Happy Birthday Ava, We share January as our Birth Month, Mine was the 24 and I like January. I happen to be born many years before you are your Mother and father were even thought of. LOL Just wanted to wish you “Happy Birthday” and many more Butterflies. Keep that sweet smile. you are Precious. Hugs Juanita farm sister #1020

  2. Dori Troutman says:

    Dear Alex, Oh I just loved this post. It made me cry. It’s been a long time since my babies turned one, but I have two grand-girls that make me feel that feeling all over again and I LOVE IT. I also love your idea of not bringing actual presents, but bringing something that will last a life-time. And the banner her Gramma Gail made her – what a fabulous idea and keepsake. Hugs to you. Oh, and kisses to Ava on her gorgeous pink chubby cheeks. She is so precious. – Dori, the Ranch FarmGirl –

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Awww, thanks Dori!! Hopefully Ava will like the keepsake idea, too. She has more than enough toys for only being one! Hugs to you and yours as well.

  3. Mary Pitman says:

    I love your stories. You do such an awesome job. I admire someone who can put such feelings down on paper (or ??). I love babies, so have greatly enjoyed your keeping us all posted on your daughter’s growth. Awesome!!!!
    much love and hugs

  4. Maria Reyes says:

    Oh how I envy you! I have always had to work. My kids and us(husband and I), had to rely on grandmother to watch them. My husband did his share, but I missed a lot. Thru your posts I imagined myself with my children when I couldn’t because of work, I’m not sorry but I wished I could have spent more time with them. They know I love them and they know how hard I have worked to make ends meet and be a good provider. I guess at the end that is all that matters. Children now grown and they turned out to be wonderful and loving I guess I did good! I missed a lot but it was worth it.

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      There are advantages and disadvantages to all mothering situations. A working mother definitely shows her children that she loves them so much that she must sacrifice some of the time she wants with them to make their lives the best they can be. I actually did have to work on her birthday for a few hours, but I’m very happy that I don’t work full time and that I can usually bring Ava with me!

  5. susana says:

    Happy birthday to the little one…I think its so beautiful to bring such joy into other peoples lives. Hope you make it more secure for her and cement it with your continued love. Love is beautiful when its more secure. She is do beautiful. Its how God meant it to be….wholesome and enjoyed to its fullness. Glad to see the fruit in of love.
    Love the/first horse. Cute photo. Eva is so beautiful.

  6. susana says:

    Sorry about miss pelling her name….Ava. the tablet has a way of misspelling if….I don’t click on each word ( its a pain in the Butt)!

  7. Kay Shoemaker says:

    I love your Farmgirl stories, but this is the best. Your Ava is a lucky girl. Love and hugs to all of you, and Happy Birthday to your little one. May your year ahead be full of more firsts and more sleep!

  8. CJ Armstrong says:

    What a cutie! Happy Birthday, Ava!

  9. Diann says:

    lWell dern it! This made the little ole lady tear up! Alas, my oldest daughter, born 1/21, turned 40 (OMG!!!) this month. And yet your article brought back all the sweet memories and a few tears of those first years. And ya know, it doesn’t change as the years quickly fly by…you will still feel that incredible pride and joy in your child regardless of the age. Thank you for a lovely walk down memory lane and Happy Birthday all you January babies! Blessings in all of your endeavors!

  10. Lynn L says:

    You asked what tickles our tickler? As I am now in my 60s and just connected with my childhood friend, it’s my memories of our times together that gets me laughing… I was sharing with her my memories of her father one time… Back in the “old days” of the late 1950s before schools became “closed campuses” and everyone ate lunch at school, we used to walk home for lunch, and then walk back to school…. Yes, I know… Anyway, one day my friend Judy and I were walking home from school when her father went cruising by, driving the white station wagon they had in those days, and we went, oh, boy, he’ll give us a ride, so we started running. He slowed down to let us catch up to him, then leaned out the window and yelled, “Are you tired of walking?” We yelled, “YES,” as we were running to catch up to him. He then yelled, “trying running….” which we already were running, trying to catch up to him, as he sort of slowly started cruising off without us…. And there we were still running… going, “what?!!!” That story still cracks me up! I’ve told that story dozens of times in my life…

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Yeah, the posts got a little bit messed up because of my internet situation up here in the far north. So, the tickle post was put up just today. Sorry for the mix up. But thanks for sharing your funny, nostalgic story with us. Different times, for sure! I love it. Thank you so much for sharing, Lynn!

  11. Debbie says:

    Hi Alex! My apologies for being late to Ava’s party! As I read your post my mind traveled back in time to both of our babies ( now 19 and 17 ) first birthday parties, and year of FIRSTS..Which, btw keeps happening as long as you are parents! We are now in the FIRST LOVE stage ( our oldest) FIRST car and FIRST job stage( our daughter) and I can tell you that each first since the first breath to the ones we are experiencing along with our children is still a rush of delight, anticipation, ( I won’t lie) and as they get older toss in some worry and a lot of praying for guidance. I love the banner she got from grandma! So clever and what a keepsake that ( and those following ) will be. My hubby used to draw a big picture of whoever the favorite character or animal was for each of our kids on their Birthdays. For our son, we played pin the hat on Cowboy Rudy from Toy Story, pin the light saber on Luke Sky-walker and Pin the laser gun on Green Power ranger. Pin the dinosaur bone on T-Rex… well, you get the picture! Anyway, dear Alex and Evan… as parents you’ll have something to celebrate and be grateful for every day from here on out… That’s just life after kids! Many more blessings to all of you and give sweet Ava a kiss for me! Thanks for sharing your life as ” new ” parents with us farmgirls! xo Deb ( beach farmgirl )

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Thanks, Deb! Parenthood is a fantastic journey. I am so thankful to be able to share in and learn from experiences of this whole Farmgirl sisterhood. As always, thank you for your support. I love hearing stories of your kiddos, and I look forward to many more firsts with all of our kids.

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The Crud

“A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold.” ~Ogden Nash

It all started on New Year’s Eve.  I saw her, I hugged her, I knew immediately that Ava was going to get what she had (and by the law of being a mom to a sick baby, I would be soon to follow).  She is my adorable, amazing, miraculous little niece, CJ.  She had just gotten tubes put in her ears that morning, so I asked her how she was feeling.  I got a full on thumbs down!  Then, I heard it, the Crud.

Bed is the best place to be when feeling unwell.  Photo courtesy of George Eastman House by Nikolas Muray ca. 1935

Bed is the best place to be when feeling unwell. Photo courtesy of George Eastman House by Nikolas Muray ca. 1935

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  1. diana henretty says:

    If you get a fever this winter, soak some slices of unpeeled potatoes in a bowl of
    apple cider vinegar for about 15 min.
    Take them out, put them in your socks on the soles of your feet.
    Within a few minutes your fever will drop to normal.
    My husband tried this after otc meds wouldnt bring down my 103 fever, and I was talking out of my head.
    The next morning, I was surprised to stand up with vinegar soaked potatoes in my socks but well. That remedy brought down my fever in 15 minutes.
    It really works!
    Wishing you and that sweet baby health and happiness…..Diana, Noel Mo.

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Thanks, Diana! I will keep this remedy in my Crud files. Part of me (a very, very, minuscule part) wants a fever so I can try this…

  2. I would say this post could easily be THE crud manual for mommas and babies. Crud happens but how you deal with it and think about it is everything. I want to be cared for by you the next time the crud pays us a visit:)

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Thanks, MaryJane! I think my written word comes off a bit less pathetic than my reality, but you are right–how we think about it makes a huge difference. I hope you escape the crud this winter!

  3. Shari Doty says:

    I also prefer natural remedies, and self healing. Some things I’ve had luck with are as follows:
    If the ears get involved, I soak two small cotton balls with onion juice, and place one in each ear. Incredibly it takes away the pain, and draws out infection.
    For sinuses, crush a clove of garlic, and breathe deeply through your nose. I have also added crushed garlic to olive oil, and smeared it on my chest during a particularly horrible cold!
    Also never underestimate the power of hot lemonade with honey and a shot of Jack Daniel’s! It makes you sleep and it makes you sweat out toxins. Plus for just a bit, the whiskey makes you feel less like you’re dying! But no more than twice a day, otherwise you’re just masking the symptoms, and might as well go ahead and use the cold medicine. (shudder)

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      My ears ARE involved. I will try the onion juice today. And I do love a nice hot toddy. I think there might be one (or two) in my future… Thanks for the tips!

  4. Nancy Edwards says:

    We are just getting through the CRUD as well. Always hard to weigh in about taking OTC drugs which make it possible to go to work but really mask what is going on. I have found as a I get older that I am veering away from antibiotics and more towards more natural alternatives. I was a child of the 1950’s and 60’s and part of the group that had antibiotics over-prescribed and now I am allergic to penicillin because it was the “go to” drug for everything for so long. That said, I have always maintained getting a broken arm would be easier than the CRUD which hits you on so many fronts. But now, at my age, the idea of staying home and napping endlessly is such an attractive scenario that I am formulating stories in my head to try out on my boss whenever the CRUD comes knocking. “It could be a cold but it has the same symptoms as Koala Flu so I best stay home to be sure.”

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Haha, I love it. Koala Flu is very serious. I remember, as a kid, thinking it would be better for my nose to fall off than to have a cold!

  5. Tamara says:

    What I have sounds nothing like what you have. I just have a common cold and on day 5, it’s following the typical pattern of going away on days 5 and 6 before I wave bye-bye for good. I have a barrage of herbal treatments that I do, which may do nothing, but it makes me feel like I am doing something. The absolutely most awesome thing I take is medicinal mushrooms. I’ve tried several brands and the hands-down winner is MycoFormulas Immune Defense. I’ve warded off many colds by taking this at the very first suspicions that I might be getting sick. Honey is a huge relief straight from the jar for sore throats and coughs. Of course, I take a bunch of other things….echinacea, goldenseal, elderberry, andrographis, and astragalus….and tons of Vitamin C. This time I added zinc at the urging of my boyfriend. Soups full of garlic, lemon, ginger, and shiitake mushrooms always make me feel better. And a hot steamy shower clears up the sinuses. When things get sticky at the end, the netti pot is a godsend. TerraFirm Botanicals “Root It Away” cough syrup works great for coughs….I get it from Mountain Rose Herbs. And I do admit that I take phenylephrine. It is non-drowsy and takes care of sniffles or stuffiness…and in the nose spray form, it works miracles. I do believe that getting sick now and then is really good for our immune systems, but there is a limit to how raw my nose can get before I reach for a little help from the medicine cabinet…and it really makes life tolerable. Stay warm, keep away from other people, and don’t push yourself at the end or you will relapse. And just think of how strong your immune system will be after this ordeal!!

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Awesome, Tamara! Thanks for your cold care guide. It follows my thoughts exactly- “there’s only so raw my nose can get.” I didn’t know phenylephrine came in a nasal spray…I may have to look into it. And medicinal mushrooms?! cool. Thanks for your advice and tips!

  6. Dana May says:

    I love your stories, and your sweet little Ava. Such a good momma you are!! Keep writting you are excellent at it!!

  7. Emma says:

    We are faithful neti-ers at my house. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t ALWAYS take a peek to see what’s come out. Hope you feel better soon!

  8. Hi Alex, I have managed to escape The Crud this season… unfortunately in the back of my head I keep knowing that it is going to come! When it does, I’m going to try some of the remedies in your blog post – and the comments! 🙂 I have to admit that before I read your post I scrolled down real quick to see a picture of Ava…. awwww she wasn’t there! That little girl has to be the cutest little button. Hope you and the darling wee-one feel better soon. Hugs, – Dori, the Ranch Farmgirl –

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Thanks, Dori. Yeah, there are some great recommendations in the comments, I’m eager to try some of them. I was kind of lazy with pictures these past two weeks…I’ll try to find a good Ava one to tack on the end for you! We seem to be on mend today. I hope you don’t get the crud!

  9. Heidi says:

    I love to make a steeping pot of wellness tea….fresh chopped ginger, garlic, lemon an cayenne and just a touch of honey….it works wonders!!

  10. susana says:

    My heart gives it. You and the baby…,the Crud is awful…and no amount fvmeducation can touch herbs fir onboard to their remedies… myself… I have learned get gargling with chloraseptic sore throat spdayy is the first step…killing germs, then making a cup of herbal De-tox tea, is second, thirdly…take a double died of echinachea by capsule….and make chicken soup with egg and lemon and adding cayenne pepper to it….it works…. and crawl in bed with a meeting ad and sweet it out….and pray I don’t vomit….But I find after a good heaving and a bowel movement, I’m on the mend, as I find those things mentioned above is the only way to get over the CRUD! Its never failed me yet! Hope your feeling better….when I follow those steps…usually two days im feeling bad. But I think because I use a CPAC breathing machine, I been sick less. The warm steam and/saline/solution help a lot by getting rid if the crud. I also find working up a sweat by shoveling snow held keep me/healthy…..the child air his the crud just roll it if me…even when I had pneumonia the cold air moist air made it/easier to breath….I have slept in a cold room since…and I have had pneumonia many tines.,…to he that’s the cruelest crud there is….I used to ct my sickness shorter with comfrey tea…. that head the be much better, But since they took that off the market….have to rely on all those other things…. get well…the chicken soul is a lot better than penicillin any day ( I too can’t take it….allergic to it)! Get well. Susana

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Comfrey tea? Hmmm, is there something wrong with taking it? I’ll just Google it, but it is easy to grow comfrey. I’ve made oils and salves with it before, never heard of using it for tea. Thanks for all of your suggestions! Down with the Crud!

  11. Anna Azzopardi says:

    I use Homeopathics – any of the Hyland’s brands that pertain to what you have. I also use Young Living Essential Oils – Thieves Oil (Throat-in water or drop on tongue&Rub on Chest-use neat) , Lavender(chapped lips, inflammation, nausea, laryngitis, sleep aid-use neat or diluted), Frankincense (asthma,coughs-use diluted in an organic vegetable or coconut oil), Lemon Oil in water with local honey (whiskey too if you like it). You can check out on google. These oils are my 4 favorites when sick.

  12. Karen Pennebaker says:

    I make elderberry syrup every year and it does help ward off germs. My youngest son (age 42) got a rip roaring case of the flu and all of us were exposed. His son, my 9 year old grandson, started the sneezing/coughing/ whatever… and I knew we were all likely to catch it. I started feeling scratchy, took some elderberry syrup before I went to bed. By then, I was coughing non stop. Someone told me “put Vicks Salve on the soles of your feet, white socks, and go to bed”… so, that is what I did and that’s what I had my grandson do, as well. Other than a runny nose, which for me is an all winter long thing and always has been, I was fine the next day! Ny grandson was still coughing a little for a couple of days but didn’t feel sick. My husband is still coughing…he wasn’t really sick, but he obviously had it, too. He took the elderberry syrup but refused to try the Vicks Salve. I don’t know how or why it worked, but it did!!

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Oh yeah, Vicks on the feet! I remember that being popular when I was a kid. I recently saw some articles about how that isn’t recommended anymore? I didn’t read them so don’t really know what the deal is…But I like to use tiger balm like this, too! I’ll have to make some elderberry syrup next year. I don’t think elderberry grow in Alaska though…A good thing to research.

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More Than Just Poses

I’ve just finished hailing in the New Year with my extended family, and something was missing (well, one big something was missing–the love o’ my life, Evan, because we are in Minnesota and he is back in Alaska.  Aside from that, though…).  I did not hear even one mention of New Year’s resolutions.  Perhaps it was because we were celebrating Christmas, or maybe…just maybe…we all realize that New Year’s resolutions are generally hog wash!

One way to "get organized"

A common New Year’s Resolution: Get Organized

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  1. diana henretty says:

    Happy Hugs From The Ozarks For This New Year!
    Loved your thoughts and your pictures of your life with your family.
    Your dog looks just like mine, his name is Noel. We found him a few days before Christmas 9 yrs ago, hit by a car in town as we walked down Main St. We took him home with expectations to have to have him put down after the weekend, but instead he improved so much so fast, that you would never know he was ever hurt!
    What a joyful Christmas present he was for us then, and today!
    Took Yoga many yrs ago in high school, never knowing how today it would help my rheumatoid arthritis fight today, 43 yrs. later!! Thanks for reminding me to stick with it!! Diana, Noel, Mo.

  2. susana says:

    Cute photos and cute resolutions….and Im Glad I’m not the only one who wears hats….all the time…indoors too. Lol
    Happy New Year !

  3. Sandy bessingpas says:

    Just looked back on my journal and my “word” for 2014 was organize. I did good in January, then must have forgotten about my word because no more organizing was done all year. No need to pick a new word this year..I’ll continue on with organize and hope to do better. Love your blogs..i live in west central Minnesota

  4. Joan says:

    Happy New Year and thanks for the message. God Bless.

  5. Dear Alex, I loved your New Years post. And I really loved all the sweet pictures. Here’s looking forward to longer days, huh?! 🙂 – Dori, the Ranch Farmgirl –

  6. bonnie ellis says:

    What an absolute cutie you have there. Definitely a future farmgirl. Happy New Year and God bless. Love Bonnie

  7. Deb Bosworth says:

    Dear Alex, So I HAVE been doing Yoga and I didn’t even know it! Max and I are down on the floor together at least once a day! Ha! I’m with you…more cuddles, more kisses, more laughter, more fun, less worry…more daily JOYS! My word for last year was soar. I did some soaring, some gliding, some flying and some flapping. There may have been a few rough landings in there too… Oh, well… we are only human after all! Warmest wishes for a Happy New Year! Deb ( the Beach Farmgirl )

  8. Marion says:

    Loved your comments on what yoga is all about. Yoga is our everyday activities practiced with mindfulness and caring. Being kind to ourselves and others makes life worth living. Love your posts.

  9. Nancy Edwards says:

    I loved this review of resolutions! And how true they are – so many made, so many fall by the wayside. But these are easy to follow or to use to germinate new resolutions (such as, “I will draw more”, “I will read at least one best seller that is not a seed catalog”) Thank you for such a lovely bit of a read. Wishing you a wonderful new year full of blessings, art, fun and just a little bit of whimsy! P.S. I am a knitter! And we love to knit for wee heads like your daughter has!

    Love, N

  10. Maria Reyes says:

    I believe everthing you say is perfect. Love your post and I absolutely love the last picture of you and Eva, you guys are so cute together. Big hug Maria

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