Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Grandma's house

I took these photos a few weekends ago when we stayed with Grandma and Grandpa on our way up to Wisconsin for a visit.  I think the horse and donkeys are just as curious about Lily as she is of them.






Friday, September 24, 2010

Funny stuff

In the last few days, Lily has really increased her vocabulary. For one thing, she started saying "Oh man!".  If she can't quite reach something, or something unexpected happens, she's all "Oh man!". It is so funny. I guess I she hears me say it a lot.

She's also started saying "diaper".  And getting much more interested in what all of this changing is all about. I'm hoping that awareness quickly transitions into potty training.

This morning I was applying lotion to my legs straight out of the shower. She was watching me very intently and when I was done, she pointed to the lotion bottle saying "nanoo nanoo" meaning "I want it".  I put some lotion on my hands, and some on hers, and we rubbed it onto her legs. When I was done, she came very close and put her arms around me and her head on my shoulder and gently patted my back to say "thank you". It doesn't get any better than that.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Update on #6

Last night we were a little concerned about #6. After hatching in the late afternoon, it was having trouble getting going. Typically the mother sits on all of the hatchlings until they are done hatching and are all fluffed out. In this case, the little suprise egg was so much later than the rest, I think she had given up on it hatching. She peeked into the nest every so often to look at it, but she was busy taking care of the other 5 and couldn't go in and sit on him/her. Corey gingerly took the new little one outside and set it by the others so he/she could warm up and dry off in the afternoon sun. When Corey set the chick down, the mom pecked Corey hard on the hand. Corey warned me to turn around, just in case the mom attacked and killed the chick, seeing it as an intruder. Instead she inspected it closely and then seemed to understand that it was one of hers. While it's nest mates were running about, this little one was having a hard time figuring out how to get around. It's legs didn't seem to be working right. No doubt it was still very tired from making it's way out of the shell. In this video taken yesterday evening, you can see, it is having a bit of trouble.

When the hen and the other chicks went in to the nest for the night, the late bloomer was stuck outside, still unable to walk. Corey tucked him into the box with the others and momma bird gently coaxed it under her belly. After a good night's sleep, you could hardly tell this one from the rest. So glad it is doing well. Here they are this morning.

Yesterday as we were watching the surprise chick hatch, Corey and I were talking about the mom chicken and what a good job she was doing. Corey was quiet for awhile, and then he said "Can you imagine how she felt when she heard the first peep after all those months waiting?". See why I love that guy?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Gone broody

This summer, one of our hens started going "broody".  She sat dutifully on her and her sister's eggs, waiting for them to hatch. She would sit there all day, every day on the nest, never wavering. She only came off for a short while to eat, and then back to the nest she went. Each day, I would reach under her warm belly and extract the eggs. Sometimes she would give me a gentle peck, her way of asking me not to take them. There was nothing I could do, the eggs, of course, were never going to hatch. We have no rooster to fertilize them. It was very sad. We hoped she would just come out of this on her own, getting back to her usual days of scratching in the grass and taking dust baths like her sisters. No such luck. We felt worse and worse as she pulled out all of her belly feathers preparing to warm her little chicks that were never to be. She got very skinny from not eating enough, I could feel her breast bones when I would gather the eggs. She sat in that sweltering chicken house all day every day this whole long HOT summer. It made me want to cry. I knew exactly how she felt.

I too, spent a very long time waiting for a baby that was never to come. Like her, I prepared, I sat, I hoped,  I waited.  Those were the darkest days of my life.

136/365 I wish...

Something had to be done. Given the chance, I knew this chicken would make a wonderful mother. After about 3 months watching her with a heavy heart, I "hatched" a plan. I decided we needed a "rent a cock".  I would find a rooster to borrow for a week or so. He could fertilize our chicken's eggs, and then this poor girl could finally be a mom. It seemed like the perfect plan.

I talked to a friend and he said he would be happy to loan us a rooster. When it came down to it though, the logistics of transporting a mean old rooster started to seem a little daunting. One day I was explaining my plan to Corey's aunt Edna, a woman I would consider an authority on chickens. She told me she had a better plan, she would just give me some eggs from her own flock (which contained roosters). We could swap the fertilized eggs out for our girl's eggs. This seemed like the perfect plan! Our little chicken could be an adoptive mother, just like me!

The night we got home with the eggs, Corey built the little brooder her very own little cage with a special nest box with a removable lid. This way, the other chickens would not bother her. We put the eggs inside the box on a fresh bed of straw, and just as we thought, she knew exactly what to do. She sat, and sat, and sat and sat, for 21 days.  There was much talk between Corey and I of what might happen. Was there any chance they weren't fertilized? Was she turning them properly? Was this going to be all for nothing?

Then today, Corey gave me a call at my parents house where I was visiting. He said he went outside and there she was, digging in the dirt with 5 fluffy little chicks in tow! He told me she was being a very good mother, just as we'd hoped. Lily and I rushed home and what a sight it was to see the 6 of them. Everywhere she would peck, the 5 little chicks would peck. She showed them how to drink and what to eat. If you got too close, she would give you a loud warning "cluck" to stand back! I shed a few happy tears for the new little flock.


There was one more surprise in store for us. In the afternoon Corey opened the lid to inspect the eggs that had not hatched. One was moving! See for yourself what happened next.

We have kept this whole operation on the down low because we were not sure of what would happen and didn't want to get everyone's hopes up for nothing. Of course, since it is such a happy ending, I am happy to let the world know :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fun with Nanny and the gym

It was a little hard for Nanny to fess up about the sucker Lily enjoyed during their afternoon adventure.


Christina, Tiger and Joni left yesterday :( We had a really great time with them and just wish we lived closer so we could get together more often. I know I have said it time and time again, but we feel so fortunate to have these sweet ties to Lily's birth family. It is just the most amazing thing. So much love we all share for one special little girlie.

After they left, it seemed pretty quiet around here. Lily and I decided to head to the gym to meet Henry and Lisa for some tumble time. It was our first time there and boy, it was fun! Lily mainly just felt the place out. Henry did his best to show her the ropes. There were lots of balls to play with, so she immediately honed in on these. We also explored the foam block pit and the trampoline. I know as she gets more comfortable there, she will have lots more fun. Looking forward to going again next week.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Family Ties

We have some special guests visiting us at the moment. Lily's Nanny, cousin Tiger and Aunt Joni are spending a few days with us. As you may know, these are some of the members of Lily's birth family.

We always have such a great time when we are together. Christina and Joni are just some of those fun loving people who makes friends wherever they go. Wouldn't you know it, they wound up hugging a perfect stranger they met while dancing at BBQ and Blues! I love it.


Looking forward to a few more days together before they head back to California.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Banana Muffins

Multigrain banana muffins

We try and get as many whole grains in our diet as we can. We only buy whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread, whole wheat crackers, etc.

I've never been too fond of wheat muffins, though. Most of the ones I've tried have been quite dense and dry. I tried this recipe (actually a combination of 2 different recipes) in hopes of creating a low sugar, healthy snack. They turned out quite good. I'm ashamed to admit how many I consumed before they even cooled. Lets just say LOTS. I think the oats in them help keep them quite moist and the bananas provide a bit more sweetness. They are much lighter than other multigrain muffins I've tried.

Here is the recipe:

Multigrain Banana Muffins

1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour milk (I make sour milk by adding a tbsp of cider vinegar to a cup of milk and letting it sit for a minute or two)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats, quick cooking or regular (I used regular)
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup walnuts, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease muffin tins (my batch made 14 muffins). Do not use muffin cups, I made that mistake and the batter sticks to them too much. Mix first 5 ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the flours, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Mix the wet with the dry until just combined. Add nuts if desired.

Bake for 18 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Enjoy!

Monday, September 6, 2010

16 Months


This is the view I get of Lily most of the time these days. She is always on the go, running here or there. She is a very busy little bee.

Things to note about her right now:

She is really into shoes. She wants to wear them all of the time. She gets plain giddy when we even mention the word "shoes". She rushes to her shoe basket, pulls some out (usually not a matched pair, I might add) and plops down into our lap for the fitting, giggling the entire time. She gets REALLY angry if she tries one on and can't quite get it on her foot. She stomps and screams and throws herself on the floor over it.

When you hold her, she pats or rubs your back. This might seem like a little thing, but it is so sweet, I can't stand it.

Each day when Corey comes home from work, she runs to the window and hides below sill. When her daddy gets close, she pops up and laughs. Then Corey does it. They play this game over and over.

She loves to give kisses.

Life with her gets sweeter by the day.