Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

No Eggs For YOU!

 We got our chickens starting back in February. We raised then from day old chicks.

We lost their coop to storms twice- the first time was bad, the second didn't hurt so much. It took awhile to get it rebuilt permanently but we chose a better protected location, beneath a stand of trees, where they were shaded and protected from most winds.

At the end of July all the work and the whole reason for our raising chickens paid off- they started laying! It started slowly, just one egg a day, then 2. Up to 4, on average, a day. Some days we'd just get 3 and some 5.
We ended up with a stock pile and started giving them away.

 Belly Button has been our primary chicken wrangler. We let them out in the morning and feed them, but after that she waters them, feeds them in the evening, collects the eggs and puts them away at night.

About a month ago we lost one of our 5. A Rhode Island Red. We only had 2 of those. My husband found it dead in the hen house one morning. It seemed odd to us, as there were no signs of foul (no pun intended) play and all of them were healthy.

Later that same day the neighbor's dog, who had been hanging around for a few weeks, going home only on occasion (I figure to eat), got into the chicken coop.
The kids had been playing outside and came running, screaming and crying, because of the awful sound coming from the chickens. My husband and I ran out as fast as we could. It took my husband all his self control to keep from hurting the dog. (Don't think too harsh of him- these are not just chickens, but have become part of our family and instinct is to protect.) He brought the dog (and the dead chicken) home and warned the owner to keep him locked up. We worked so hard for these girls, to loose them to a way ward dog would be devastating.

And the scare to the kids, the noises, the thought of them being killed, all the feathers he tore out, has been hard on them. 

Chickens can be delicate things. They scare easily. And can suffer heart attacks from nothing more than a scare. We think that's what happened to our girl that night. He got in but couldn't get to them because they were locked in their house. The scare gave her a heart attack.

The day after the attack they stopped laying. There's been a few eggs, 5 total I think. Only one of which we were able to retrieve. The other eggs are being broken by the chickens before we can get them. We can't figure out why they're doing that, breaking them that is. So now we have chickens that aren't laying and we're not sure if they ever will regularly again. It's like they're saying "No eggs for YOU!"

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Birthday 11

When August gets here we start "birthday season". For us birthdays start in August and run till April. In September and December we have two. December both Peeker and Oni celebrate theirs- on the same day. That doesn't happen often (except in twins of course!)- siblings with the same birthday, just 6 years apart. In September its Belly Button's and mine, we're just 4 days apart.

She turned 11 this year. We celebrate small- a few friends, family, cake (always ice cream cake for her!) and presents. This is our celebration this year!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Play Day

A moment (or two) frozen in time. Remember. Cherish.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Combines, Dogs, Babies & Story Problems

Busy week here! The farmer came through with the combine, taking all the corn! Yay! If you've never lived this close to corn before you wouldn't be aware of  how allergic one could be to it. And man am I allergic! But the past month the Morning Glories took over the edge of the corn field and that was so beautiful- I had to venture close to get a shot!

Bug Loves all things tractor related, so watching the farmer in his combine, was the highlight of his day! He was so disappointed when he got up from his nap and the combine was gone.

 Wednesday a package came from my mother-in-law, included in my birthday present was these two photos of my husband as a little guy! The baby pic is about 6 months old and the "big" boy about 10 or 11. (Don't ya just love the smirk!) She also sent Oni's quilt she made for him- Star Wars. And man was Bug jealous! First thing out of his mouth "Oh man! No fair! A Star Wars blanket." even thou he just got a monogrammed dragon quilt in July! (That he picked out!) Haha.

 Thursday was the day our dogs were blessed. See the photo above. well that is my husband's brand new smart phone. While out on a walk with the boys, one of them (who shall remain nameless <Daisy>) got under the side table (that's sandwiched between the couch and the chair) and pulled the phone off the charger and into the middle of the living room. Chewing it to that ^ in less than 20 minutes. My husband held it together well, much better than I expected. This same little doggie has also eaten my meditation books, one of them twice, this week, and Belly Button's flip flops, pulled the binoculars off the porch into the driveway (where they were run over), chewed 3 pacifiers, and an arm band radio. Seriously don't know what to do about this. Its new behavior that's getting worse!

A few shots of Truly just because she's so darn cute!

Look at those expressions!

And then there's been these two! Boy does Bugabuga LOVE his sister. Trying to teach an 18 mo to be gentle and that baby is not a toy is harder. (It wasn't this hard with the first two- but the sexes were opposite, and that probably makes a big difference.) And can anyone tell me why he's so obsessed with standing directly over her like that! Freaks me out!


We're finding more rhythm in home schooling. I'm learning what works better for him- like he hates math problems that are repetitive, and prefers story problems (story problems! I hated those!). I'm coming up with more ideas to get us out of books and more into learning while living. Not unschooling but not so structured. I think we're going to try a six weeks on- one week off approach. I like the idea of a break, gives me time to plan the six weeks ahead, catch up on things around the house and him to unwind. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A's Home Birth Story

I started to write this out on paper about a month after A's (Truely's) birth. But the emotions that surround her birth were still raw and I couldn't finish it all. The emotions are still there, just not quiet as painful. They've been replaced with others. There are days were I look at her and my heart swells with some sadness. I don't pity her and I try not to ask why, but it's still there. Why her? Our life, growing up in this family is not an easy. We struggle with things that our typical children have to overcome. How come she has this even bigger thing against her? My mama's heart feels too much for my children sometimes. I hope by me feeling these things they don't have to. (Warning: Birth/graphic photos at the end of post.)

Her Story

Thursday morning I woke up the same as usual- pregnant and disappointed my water hadn't broken during the night. I shook it off, got up and went about my usual day. Got children ready for school, dressed J and C.

We had planned to go grocery shopping that morning. A big trip with hopes baby would be there (here) soon, and the visit from R that next week. Walking through Wally World had been very uncomfortable the last few times. Contractions (ctx) would come and go, with lots of pelvic pressure. This trip was like all the rest.

We made it home, had lunch, and the boys and I took our usual naps. The pressure and ctx I'd had shopping dwindled away, and were gone completely after some sleep. That afternoon went as usual.

 By the time Chris was making dinner I was exhausted and fell asleep on the couch for an hour, sleeping through dinner. I woke up about 6:30 to a contraction. Stronger than what I'd been normally having. 10 minutes later I had another. I ate a bit of dinner, tired to get my head to clear. More ctx every 10 minutes, a bit stronger each time. By 7:30 it was time to get the boys into bed, but I left that to DH as I was having to concentrate on each ctx more. Almost 8 and I was feeling like we should at least call the midwife (Kate), ask her thoughts. I was afraid to say I was in labor, fearing it'd all stop and it wasn't for real.

Dh called and talked with her. The ctx were about 8 mins apart at that time, and strong. She asked us to call her back in 30 mins, let her know when they were 5 mins apart. 30 mins later they were 5 mins apart and I knew she should come. I knew she had at least an hour drive and things seemed to be moving fast.

Close to 9:30 and we needed to move C in with B, out of our bed.I was peeing every 5 mins it felt like. Still waiting for my water to break. My MW was comfortable with me delivering her in the cull, but always having my water broken before hand, I was intimidated by the thought, and what is would be like- more painful? less? I was unable to let go full with this running through my head.

After moving C, I wanted a shower, to help me try and relax. Kate still wasn't there yet and I was starting to to feel like I was loosing it. I wasn't sure I could handle the pain; I was too old; maybe I should go into the hospital; maybe I'd rather have a  C-section. I tried sitting,because my legs were getting tired but the ctx seemed too intense. I laid on the bed, and felt burning with the next ctx, which scared me even more. The ctx were back to back now, not stopping, no breaks. I just wanted my MW there.

I had to pee so bad, but couldn't make it to the toilet, but got to the shower. Which where I was when Kate got there. That was somewhere between 10 and 10:30. Between ctx she and Dh helped me get out of the shower, but it was a slow and painful process, as we were working in 30 second increments. I was in a lot of pain, and nothing was seeming to help. Kate helped remind me How to breath properly and showed DH how to push on my pelvis to relieve some pain.She also checked baby's heart rate, which was good.  We were trying to find better positions when I started to feel pushy, but I was still afraid  (my water was still intact). My MW offered to check my dilation, which I was really ok with. For me knowing if I was close helped me to see light at the end of the tunnel.

I maneuvered onto the bed, and she checked. 10cm! I was ready to push, but how did I want to deliver?! I knew I didn't want to stand again (like with J). I thought about on all 4s but really didn't want to try moving again. So I just asked for a bunch of pillows behind me and stayed put. Dh took his position next to my MW, our wish was for him to catch baby. I pushed tentatively for awhile. Testing to see how painful it would be. With my fears abated, and courage restored I put more effort into it. On my third good push there was a POP and my water broke- spraying Kate, DH and the wall behind them. (I laughed a bit at the time and still laugh now.) But with my water breaking the ctx got harder. So I pushed harder.

Out came the head. Kate checked for the cord around the neck and then asked DH if he wanted to do the rest. He hesitated and decided to let her catch. Out came baby. We'd said we wanted DH to tell me the sex and he said "It's our girl!" She started to cry, a nice strong cry. And she was placed onto me. It was 11:45 pm March 8 2012. (International Women's Day)

Meeting my littlest girl was a moment that indescribable. But relief was (that she was a girl- hey don't get me wrong if she'd been a boy I'd love her the same. But after 3 boys, I really really wanted a girl) there. We laid there for what seemed like a long time but I was uncomfortable and ready to birth her placenta. So I let daddy meet his little girl.

Birthing the placenta always bring me relief- soothing waters on a ring of fire. Its my second favorite thing (next to meeting my little) about birth. Actually there are only 2 things about labor that are enjoyable for me. Baby and placenta.

While DH and my MW checked A over a bit, my MW's back up (her mother by the way, a labor and delivery nurse of 30 years, a wonderful addition to our birth team) helped me getting adjusted on the bed and ready for baby.

As Chris hands A over to my chest, he says "She'll be a lefty." My crazy husband making assumptions already was what passed my through my mind. But then he pulls back her blanket, and while still holding her and me, shows me her missing right hand. "She's prefect. She'll be just fine." The tears and emotion in his eyes and face mirrored my own. In those moments I loved her more and never before felt the need to protect something so much. His words and emotions were perfect. His resolve and peace held me together in that moment. I cried for it all.

We didn't not know it expect her hand to be missing. We didn't have a single ultrasound.And we firmly believe having had one would've caused her birth to be chaos, with doctors, hospitals, NICUs, and lots of poking and prodding. We are happy with our decision- this peaceful little being got the birth and first moments of her life how she (and all babies) deserved it to be- calm, full of love and support, without pain.

A's birth brought us not just another little person into our family but helped to unite this family with a common bond. The love of one who is innocent and extra special.