Friday, January 4, 2013

A Year of Wynne

January always brings reflection, looking back on the past year and measuring yourself against where you thought you might be at this time. We’ve been through a lot since getting married and setting off on a 5 month honeymoon on the Pan American Highway just over two years ago. Since then, we “bought the farm” and have been learning the answers to such seemingly simple questions as “Does a hen need a rooster to lay eggs?” (answer is No) and “How much llama poo will fit in a 33 gallon trash can?” (answer is a lot).

Last year at this time, we were counting the days until the birth of our first child. Every movie we went too, we made the comment that it could be our last for a while. We knew that mornings when we slept until 9 might not happen again in the foreseeable future. We were optimistic that we’d still be able to live our lives the way we wanted - combining both the travel we loved and the close connection to our food and land that we’d been recently enjoying - but either way, we were mostly just excited to be parents.

This blog is basically just a journal for us, but we’re happy when someone gets something out of it, whether it be information or entertainment. We devoured the blogs of other travelers before setting out on the Pan Am and can currently be accurately described as “Google farmers.” We appreciate it when other people have – even if it’s also narcissistic and self indulgent – taken the time to document something that might be helpful to others. With that out of the way, he’s a completely narcissistic and self indulgent look back at our past year with a few links that someone might just find useful.

Wynne Marilyn Born was born January 4th, 2012 at 7lbs 2 oz. There was no frantic taxi ride to the hospital or slapstick falls resulting from the water breaking on the kitchen floor. Not to say there wasn’t some drama but in the final analysis, everything went well. Read the birth post and another about our first few days in the hospital with our newborn.


At 3 1/2 weeks we started to see the first smiles, though they were often preceded or followed by assorted random facial contortions that made it pretty clear they weren’t intentional.



Just before 2 months, she’d figured out that a smile got a good reaction. Read a bit more about our first thoughts about what kind of parents we’d like to be.


… but soon after had perfected a dead pan that often got an even better reaction as people made ridiculous faces at her to try to get her to break.

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By 3 months we’d fallen into a nice routine. We were starting to feel like we might actually know what we’re doing taking care of this little one, and we were able to turn our attention to some things going on around the farmlet (like raising pigs for the freezer and caring for a wounded lamb).

In her 4th month, we gave her a taste of the travel we love to do with a two week trip to Japan to see where her grandma and grandpa spent their childhoods. That age was actually a perfect time take her since she really slept anywhere (the louder the diesel engine, the better) and only needed mom for food.



Our daily life

But we came home to a lesson about life and death. Okay, fine, she just came home to get to see super cute little chicks, but daddy had some messy clean up to do…


Soon enough, our thoughts turned to getting back on the road. A new Airstream trailer and an invitation to see some friends we’d met in Central America were all the excuse we needed to once again point ourselves south and set our sights on new experiences.


Wynne likes to hit milestones on her monthly birthdays. At 5 months to the day, she first rolled over. She’s growing up so fast…


6 months was all about sitting up and starting to see the world from a new perspective. Meanwhile, Ann and I got back into the farmy tasks of the early summer: tending to a new flock of chickens after tragedy struck yet again and coordinating the sheep and their new protector – Michelle Ob’llama - to keep the grass mowed.


As Wynne’s nap schedule became more consistent, we had a lot more (at least more predictable) time to harvest from the garden and cook.

When she hit 7 months, everything was interesting (and delicious – sometimes including food but mostly things like sand). We spent three weeks on the East Coast visiting her other set of grandparents and were motivated to write a post about traveling with an infant.


At 8 months, her personality was becoming more clear. We spent a couple weekends camping and listening to music with friends and family before returning home for marathon canning sessions that inspired some thoughts about our general preparedness.

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As our second Fall on the property began, we tackled a few tasks like repairing the greenhouse that had been on the list since moving in. Of course, the 9-month-old Wynne needed to be involved in everything.


At 10 months, we put her back on a plane for a  long weekend in Mexico where we just happened to come across some overlanders who had read our SF to Panama trip blog and were just at the start of their trip.


Soon after returning, we’d get visits from two more couples from the ”Overland Extended Family" and got to show them the kinds of things we’re now concerned about on a daily basis, like gender ambiguous chickens


11 months was all about walking for little Wynnie, although at this point, only with the supportive hands – or at least fingers – of one of us. That wasn’t always easy for me, especially with a swollen hand from an “incident” with yellow jacket nest while getting things ready for this year’s pigs.


And by her first birthday, she was ready to set out on her own. Well, not without a walker and about 17 stuffed animals.

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I’d say this little girl’s had a pretty good first year.



And looking forward to this next year, we have to wonder, what’s next? Talking I guess…


“Really? You’re gonna give me this egg?”


“What if just took it and smashed it like this?!”


“Come on, I was just messin’ with you!”


“Did you really think I was gonna smash it?!”


“You shoulda seen the look on your face! Like ‘Oh no! Don’t smash it! Wa wa!’ Classic!”


“This has been fun.”