Summer

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We’ve been enjoying the warm weather over here. I wish F would make friends with the car seat, so I could take M to more fun places! At least we have a huge yard and a little kiddie pool here.

Everything is going well, so far. F is growing like a weed, if weeds became delightfully pudgy, and M is still cute and funny. The baby chicks are growing up — last night was their first one without Rita, who wanted to stay with the other hens at bedtime. I hope the chicks were okay! And Aster is sitting on guinea eggs (for the neighbors), which should hatch in early July.

At Home

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1. We’re settling in for a rainy week now, but we had some spectacular weather the last several days. We cleaned the chicken coop (I say ‘we’, but M only took away the one child-sized wheelbarrow of old bedding — she was very proud of herself for pitching in, though, and so was I), and it was a perfect coop-cleaning temperature outside. I think it’s quite a narrow range where raking out dirty wood shavings feels fun.

2. On Saturday, we took two walks down to the rock pile. With Grandma in the morning, and in the afternoon, we met our new neighbors. They’re also expecting a baby in May! It’s so nice to be able to let M wear herself out outside again. She’s been falling asleep much more quickly at night!

3. I needed something bigger/better to put over the breaker box in Baby Sister’s room, so I made this yesterday. I masked off the letters with painters tape and then just kept painting until I was too bored to keep tweaking it. ‘I Will’ is one of the songs I sing to M most often, when she wants a real song.

4. Trying some furniture reorganization to get M’s clutter under control. There’s still a long way to go (I think it’s just time to box up more stuff that she no longer plays with), but at least this little reading area looks serene.

5. My challah got a little tall — this particular bread flour always rises just a little too high. It’s good, though!

6. I was going to put away M’s wooden blocks and Brio trains for a while, since she rarely plays with them, but then we played with them together this afternoon and had a nice time. I made some ‘garage’ stalls for her cars, but they somehow turned into bathrooms for these wooden animals, instead. Toddlers!

Outside, with Chickens

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By the time we got outside to play today (after running errands, lunch, and nap time), it was fairly overcast, but we still enjoyed the 50˚F+ weather a lot! So nice to walk around without snow pants (for M) and without most of the SNOW, as well. The chickens are in heaven, finally seeing grass again and digging through leaves to see what’s underneath. I’m not sure if they’re finding much/anything, but it keeps them busy!

Sometimes M asks for a ‘[M] story’ at bedtime, which just means she wants to tell me a story about everything we did that day. When I got to the playing outside part, I asked her what she’d done outside, and she said, ‘Saw chickens! And sticks.’ I asked her what she’d put in her pockets. ‘Rocks! And saw Nova, Henny. I found Nova.’ (I’m always calling for Nova, so she won’t run too far away.) I reminded her that she’d done some running. ‘Yeah. Ready, set, go!’

She also played with her outside toys, which live in the garage. I sat in a chair while she played, and I’d just barely gotten settled when I was mobbed by chickens. I guess they haven’t become any less friendly over the winter! That’s Iris (left) and Laverne (right) in the bottom photo. Laverne loved to lie on my lap and fall asleep last summer/autumn, and it seems she remembers it. After peering at my face (one of the most unnerving things a chicken can do), she hopped down to my lap and settled down for a bit. Chickens are nice.

Snow Day

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There’s a commercial on TV that features a toddler sledding down a hill, and from the first time she saw it, M has been fascinated by the idea of sledding and snow. She’s been waiting months for today! Once down the ‘hill’ (really the sidewalk down to the chicken coop) was enough, and then she just wanted me to pull her around. We made a trip out of it and went out to the mailbox to bring back the mail. She was so happy to finally have snow on the ground!

The chickens were less impressed, however. They managed to get out and about, but they weren’t entirely joyful about it.