June 30, 2011

Love that Shot | Reflections

My little helper.  Almost always within inches of me.  His way of helping me with the housework is to stay close by for moral support.

He's keeping an eye (a hand, a foot, and at one point a mouth) on the mirror while I clear off the dresser.

My 5 minute tasks sometimes manage to become 15 minute ordeals thanks to all the "help" I have.

Today's challenge on Love That Shot is Reflections... head on over to check out the other entries or to enter one yourself.

June 29, 2011

Love that Shot | Story Time

He was sure he could 'do it himself'.  He's a big kid now.

He 'didn't need help'.  He needs me less and less.

I wasn't sure he could do it...
 But he did.

Love that Shot is doing a Story Time Photo Challenge.  Go to their site to check out the others or enter yourself.

June 23, 2011

The Quiet One

Our second born.  The quiet one. Well, usually quiet. Or maybe just by comparison to his big brother.

With our first child we could sit and stare at him 24/7.  A single child gets a lot of attention and time.  You get to know every little detail about them.

When this guy was born I had a two year old running around.  A two year old getting in to everything; climbing (and falling); potty training.  There is no time for sitting around staring at a newborn when there's a two year old in the house.

But now... Now I have time to observe and really get to know this one.

He's tough.  The kid falls 20 times a day and just gets back up. No crying - no big deal. Our band-aid usage is up 200%.

He's an observer.  A quiet and thoughtful observer.  Always watching.  Always learning.

He accepts defeat and moves on.

He's content.  Able to just be.  Able to enjoy whatever is around him, even if nothing is around him.

He's quiet. Laid back.

And he knows how to have fun.  Deep belly laughs kind of fun.  He'll laugh when others laugh, even if he doesn't get the joke.

Don't get me wrong he also has a stubborn streak, can whine with the best of them when he wants, and can be louder than the average 3 year old at times. And don't get me started on his back-talk. But the quiet moments... well, those just melt me.


June 22, 2011

Laziness: the Mother of Invention

We get the Family Fun magazine and the kids love looking through it.  The most recent issue has a "kid wash" you can build out of pvc pipe.

Have you seen it?
Deluxe Kid Wash (photo credit Family Fun)
My kids have seen it.  They have been begging to build it.  The coop construction has really taken up most of our extra project time (and hardware store budget).

The guilt of not getting around to the kid wash project was starting to eat at me a bit.

I wasn't up for another hardware store trip. I made do.
Is that a hose and nozzle bungee corded to your deck rails?

Why yes, yes it is.

Did my kids care it wasn't the super cool, pvc behemoth in the picture?

Well no, no they didn't.
In fact they were so excited one of them might have forgotten he didn't need to wear underwear with his swim trunks.

Fill up the truck. Dump the truck.  Fill up the truck. Dump the truck.  These are the moments that fool you in to thinking having kids is easy.

Looks like a shower, counts as a shower.  Right?
Love that Shot is having a birthday celebration this week and the theme is Splish Splash.... I'm linking up to this shot to enter their giveaway.  Want to see more splish splash photos or enter your own?  Head on over to Love that Shot.

Later in the evening after we returned home from dinner out, the boys were super excited to find eggs in the chicken coop...
Not sure who the prankster was that left the plastic eggs in there but it provided lots of jokes and giggles for the boys (with their cousin here) so thanks!

June 19, 2011

These Chicks are Moving Out

I've been laid up with an evil, evil stomach virus for over a week now (my toothbrush has been discarded and the house bleached, thank goodness no one else in the house caught it) yet my husband managed to get a lot of work done on the coop.  I did manage a few hours of painting and building myself.
The roof and the access lid to the nest box has been almost finished since this picture was taken.  My husband rocks!

The girls are loving the room to run!  We put them out there every day and let them run around til dusk when its back to the garage for bedtime.
That's chopped hard boiled egg in their treat dish.  They loved it.  I find it a little weird feeding eggs to chickens. Anyone else?

The boys love being able to hang out with the chicks.  Taking out a piece of bread causes a feeding frenzy and tons of laughter from the kids

So far the chickens have been great pets for the boys and not too much work for me.

Building the coop has been the most time intensive and cost involved part of owning chickens.

No thoughts of 'maybe we should have gone with hermit crabs'.



June 10, 2011

Progress, progress, progress...

We've gotten a huge amount of work done on the chicken coop (thanks to Phil mostly).  I took the boys to my sisters to swim on Sunday.  When we left the coop was just a frame, when we came back it was starting to look like a little house.  On Wednesday we managed to cut out and hang all the wire cloth (my job).

The boys helped too. Again by entertaining themselves on the slip n' slide which wasn't slippery enough.  My genius husband decided adding soap would make it more slippery.
 ISO 100 | ss 1/200 | f5.0 (54mm)
Not so much.  But it did make bubbles.  I checked bath time off the to do list for the night and we got several hours of undisturbed work done while the boys played on the bubble slide.
  ISO 125 | ss 1/320 | f4.5 (35mm)
Really, why do we bother buying toys? Dish soap, sticks, and cardboard boxes seem to entertain them longer than anything store bought.
 ISO 100 | ss 1/800 | f3.2 (28mm)
I'm also wondering if there's even a need to buy clothes.

They never seem to wear them.


June 9, 2011

Meet the Girls | Backyard Chickens

They are getting bigger.  They are starting to look more like chickens then chicks.  They have different personalities already.  The boys have no problem distinguishing which ones are 'theirs'.  I'll let you guess which ones the boys named and which ones were named by me (or my mom, who named the cuckoo maran: marion for John Wayne).  Go ahead try and figure out which ones the boys named...

I really hope the name bouncy ball doesn't stick.  I also hope it doesn't indicate its future demise.  The last two chicks are the two that we are waiting to see if they are girls or boys.  They are two of my favorites so I'm cheering for no roosters.  Hubby is hoping at least one is a rooster because he thinks 6 chickens is too many.  ::sigh::

These chicks were waaaay better models than my kids.  Maybe they are all girls ;)


June 3, 2011

Preparing to Build

We've done a lot of research on this whole chicken business.  But when a friend offered to let me and the boys come by to see their backyard chickens and coop I was all for it!  Nothing like getting to see these sort of things in person instead of just online.

They had quite a setup!  And the coop is a little larger than the one we're planning but it was great to see and let the kids have some hands on time with the big chickens.

 Then we got to work on our own. (I swear the spot we picked is shady for about 75% of the day - I managed to pick a moment to photography it when it wasn't full shade).  The coop is going in next to the shed.  It's the farthest place from the neighbors.  I got to dig ditches.

The boys helped.

Well, the boys stayed out of the way.

The settings for the three photos above are all:  f/3.2, ss1/400, ISO 125.

I know it may look like a slip n' slide to you but it's actually a really long drinking fountain.

The chicks are growing fast and the weather is getting hotter by the day.  Time to pick up the pace on building this coop.


June 1, 2011

Newest additions to the family

The boys have wanted a pet for quite a while now.  We debated on hamsters or some other small animal since a dog doesn't fit in with our life right now.

Somehow I came to the decision of chickens.  They stay outside.  Their food is cheap.  They provide eggs (bonus!) and their poop is more manageable then dogs (in my opinion) since you can compost it.

You can order baby chicks through the mail but I wanted the boys to be a part of picking them out.  So off to the farm we go!

The boys each got to pick out two chicks.  They picked sexed link chicks, so they could pick out girls.  Boy and girl chicks are born different colors.  They knew if we wound up with a boy that it would have to go back to the farm.  A rooster wouldn't be tolerated too well in this neighborhood. And they wanted to be SURE they didn't have to send their pets back.

We went to Duda Lang Farms in House Springs.  They were great!  The boys got to see chickens, roosters, turkeys, peacocks.  She even let them feed some bread to the goats and baby cow.
I'm pretty sure that Turkey is bigger than him!

Home safe and eating out of their hands.

They'll be in the garage where its warm for the next 6 weeks.  Then they'll be ready to move out to the coop.

The coop that we're in the midst of building.

Well the beginning of building.

I'm sure there's plenty of adventure ahead for us!