Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bigger Chickie Chook Chooks

We have had the chooks for 2 weeks and they have grown into feathered things. Only Chippie has much down left. They spend the nights indoors under the heat lamp but most of the day they are outdoors in their coop. We have yet to update the latches with racoon proof versions but other than that and another 10 degrees of heat overnight, we think they will do well there.

They are [from left] Chippie (an Americauna), Sylvia (a light brahma) and Ruby (a rhode island red). Chippie is by far the smallest of the three. We estimate that Chippie is now 2.5 weeks old and the others are about 2 weeks older. Its hard to know exactly because Chippie will be around 5lbs fully grown while Sylvia could be a 9lb chicken.

They love being outdoors but we have to be careful of the cats until they are larger. The cat (our remaining pet) and the Bad Kitty who lives over the back fence (aka Neighbor Kitty, New Kitty or That Cat) both like to hunt them through the fence as they run around cheeping. Happily, as time passes the chickens are becoming bored with the cats and react far less to their presence. They are much more excited by dust baths and invisible particles which they peck from the dirt.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Eating cough drops because they taste good

I had a funny conversation with Frost today when he started to confide in me what he likes (and dislikes) about the parents of his best friends.

He likes Alex's mom because she always gives him compliments and makes him feel good, she is very funny, she lets them do fun stuff like running outside and playing noisy games but he doesn't like one thing. She does not let them have lots of screen time.

He likes Isaac's mom because she lets them play wild games and they have so many cool things to make up games with. She even let them play a tinkertoy game where they made a guy out of tinkertoys and then kicked him off the deck! BUT she sometimes gets cross with them, like with "the barf incident".

"The barf incident?" I ask.

"We went to red mill burgers and we made some barf in a cup. We mixed up ketchup and mustard and vanilla shake and salt and pepper and mayonnaise and stuff and then we mixed it up and we spilled it on the sidewalk so it looked like barf."

"And she was cross?"

"Yes, and she made us clean it up." [damn right!]

Another friend's Mom apparently is beloved for allowing them to do even crazy things like eating cough drops because they taste good and she sometimes lets go of the steering wheel while driving and goes "whee!"

Finally, I asked him about myself. He likes me best but "I also have the most complaints about you. I think that might be because I know you best and I have spent the most time with you and also I am your kid so you get me in trouble when I am having a playdate at my house but other Moms are nice. I like it when you give us sugary food and let us have screen time but I don't like it when you get mad if we make a big mess and dump out toys all over the yard and you say "clean up" or if we get all wet in the yard unexpectedly you say "OH NO THEY ARE ALL WET AND MESSY" and you get cross if leave a big mess."

I guess I do. I shall aim and calm control in future.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Folklife Performance

Frost is having a 4 day holiday weekend because they had the day off on Friday to sing at Folklife. Wren missed nap to come with us and watch. We had Alex over for a sleepover the night before and the boys were up at 5.15am so Frost was exhausted and started to yawn and lean by the 4th song. Still, he sang and took part in all the hand motions which is the first time he has not been overawed by the spectacle.

As you can see from this picture, the room was quite full and there were many people listening. Wren is in the middle of this picture (near Tara) sitting on a little plastic chair. He is also exhausted and kept suggesting we "go home now."

Once the music started Wren stopped complaining and watched attentively. After the performance we drove out to the pool. Wren surprised me by becoming brave at the pool and letting me hold him in the water and later even kicking his legs while I pulled him along. He liked to jump off the side and into my arms with a bit of a splash. We would have stayed in the water longer but both boys were getting cold.

Eating too much fennel

I asked Frost if he would come with me to the Farmer's Market on Saturday. He said he would come if we went by bicycle. I love to ride and Wren was ecstatic - he ran about saying "go NOW" even though he was in his pjs.

The problem with going by bike is that its hard to buy anything because the child-seat on the back prevents me from using panniers so we had to be quite picky. We bought some squeaky cheese, honey sticks, cannoli, BBQ sauce, morels, fiddleheads (fern fronds), local artisan cheese and some fruit and veggies.

Here are my shopping team on the bikes stopping at Whole Foods for some choc-chips to make cookies.

Frost with the BBQ sauce. They were holding cooking demonstration with BBQ sauces and Frost liked this one but ate it on a piece of bread because he is becoming increasingly vegetarian, retreating even from hot dogs and teriyaki chicken.

The next picture needs some introduction. Wren has a mouthful of fennel. I think I mentioned that Wren is interested in edible plants. He has learned to recognize mint, fennel and tomatoes and sees them along the road. Fennel is particularly large and prolific in the area and whenever Wren spotted a bush he yelled out "FENNEL" and we had to stop for a handful. The amazing thing is that he eats it all up!

Jumping in the Sun

Its the Memorial Day weekend and its SUNNY here which is quite exciting. I went to Fred Meyer this morning and bought all the essentials for summer - a wading pool, charcoal briquettes and some new deck chairs. The chickens went out early because it was so warm.

The wading pool was used immediately . Frost stripped off and Wren and he played a game where Wren squirted Frost while he slid down the slide screaming. Here Frost is hiding under the lid of a big tub so he doesn't get sunburned.

Wren is 'Brave'
Today , Wren asked if he could jump off the deck. I said "no" but Joshua said "yes." I suggested that he start jumping off one step and then the next step. By the time he was jumping from the third step I agreed that he could jump off.

Here are some pictures of Wren jumping. "I am brave" says Wren. He was brave MANY times.

I had a lovely day. I managed to install our new clothesline, clean up the yard, plant some flowers and do some weeding. Josh repaired the hose pipe line which burst during the cold snap last winter. We even BBQ'ed some chicken and had an early dinner. Frost refused to eat the meat so he had baked potatoes.

I am thinking of taking Wren for a weight check next week because he's not eating very well. He'll have an egg for breakfast but the rest of the day its hard to know whether he is eating enough and today was typical. Unless I am chasing him around he nibbles a bit of tomato and cheese.