2017 Spring AI Season.
Well, I think this weekend wrapped up my 2017 Spring AI season!
And it's been a great one. :)
This was the first year Clint worked for All West Select Sires full time, so the season looked a bit different than previous ones. Normally, we both are juggling full time jobs and trying to AI cows on the weekends and evenings since it was a personal business. Now that it's Clint's full time job - there were a lot of projects that I would normally go to, that I didn't - since he did them during the work week. I've been trying to save leave for when the second baby comes, so unless he got in a pinch and needed help - Chandler and I only went to the projects he did on the weekends. I missed seeing a lot of long time customers; but it was also refreshing to not have the extra stress of juggling a job and AI'ing.
Also, Clint has been on the road a lot this spring which is totally to be expected - but when he's home, he's home. I'm not sure how to put it into words - but this career change really came at an opportune time, family-wise which is what we had hoped it would do. Clint goes hard during the AI season, but if he's home for a morning - he gets to spend it with us, doing what he/we want to do - versus having to juggle a full time ranching job too & lining people out to do work while he's gone like when we were at Double M. That was our choice to juggle both at that time - and it was worth it; doing both allowed us to do certain things....but now that we have Chandler, it's nice to have a little more relaxed feel at home, when we are home.
For example - Clint used to always have his phone with him in the AI barn to take calls, answer questions, etc. At first I didn't notice that he was leaving it in the pickup when we started breeding this spring....but all season, that's where it has remained since he's able to put his focus during that time with the customer & those cattle. Little things like that, have really stood out to me as differences this year.
And of course, Chandler is mobile this year, so I wasn't exactly sure how that would work, but it worked out just fine. Last year he just hung out in his car seat on a storage tub under my little desk where I thaw
How sweet is little baby Chandler 1 year ago? 💛
This year he either hung out on my back in my Ergo or in his jogging stroller. And for the most part - he was a ROCKSTAR. Maybe because he's our first - but I guess we have expected him to behave a certain way, even for a one year old - but at every project we went to, we got nice compliments about how well he behaved. Some people didn't even realize he was there until the end, because he rarely fusses. And if he did get fussy, he was usually in his stroller and couldn't see; so I would load him in the Ergo and then he was just fine. Mostly, it came down to if he could see what was going on.....if he was a part of the action, he could go for hours and be content. Like this past weekend in Riley, we started at 7:00 am and went until just before 9:45 am and he was laughing or content the entire time. The crew couldn't believe it - and again, we were reminded how lucky we are.
Some things helped us be successful though with Chandler along, for sure. First - normally I would help Clint set up the barn, but this year he would get things set up and I would make sure Chandler was ready to go. That means always making sure we had snacks (like individually packaged Tillamook cheese squares, granola bars and precut strawberries or melon), a bottle of milk and a sippy cup of water for every project. If we had those things - and a fresh diaper - we were good to go. I would also have a blanket & toys for him that he didn't get to normally play with - but honestly, he was most content when I would hand him the plastic goblets when I was done thawing 5 units and he'd chew on those, or wave them around, etc. :)
We are so thankful that he is willing (and content) to hang with us thru an entire AI project, and doesn't get fussy. I hope that trait carries on with him thru his lifetime....and selfishly, I hope his little brother will be the same way.