Saturday, April 5, 2014

the bit about a broken arm

017

Guess who turned six years old with his arm in a sling?

Yes.

Three days before his birthday Jonathan fell of his bed in the middle of the night and broken his arm. The fall was about 5’5 feet and he did it while sleep. One might argue that he is a little young to be in a bed that high, but I would counter that this child will find a way to fall out of anything. Since the accident my increased scrutiny of his everyday behavior has convinced me he should be surrounded by crash netting at all times. He is always on top of the table, sitting half off a bar stool, climbing the counter or trying to slide down the hallway in his socks. How did I not realize all this before? You’d be amazed how stressful life can be when the doctor’s orders are “don’t let him fall off of anything else”.

Even though the bone was broken through, putting him in a cast was impossible because of how close to his shoulder the break was. And when it was suggested by the radiologist that we might be headed for an orthopedic surgery, I must have looked extremely terrified or like I was about to faint because they found me a chair quick.

Thankfully he ended up needing nothing more than a sling and time to heal without re-injury. Easier said than done with a six-year-old who lacks a sense of self preservation. In fact, he fell off a chair in the living room the very next day. And I instantly sprouted three gray hairs.

019

eating tomato soup with a straw because left-handed spoon scooping wasn’t getting it done

Aside from that, things have gone very smoothly the past few weeks and Jon is out of the sling and using his arm as normal.

Lessons I learned from a broken arm:

1. these things happen to little boys. period.

2. little boys can handle more than you give them credit for.

3. a broken bone will not convince a little boy that rocketing down the driveway in a red wagon is a bad idea.

4. I’m really glad I have little boys.

020 018 022 023

On his birthday day we took Jon to our best hangout where he proved he can gobble just as much frozen yogurt left-handed. The day was awesomely finished with my favorite, “the cone share”, complete with empathetic tongue action.

021 025 024

Monday, March 10, 2014

Jelly’s eggs

002

As far as I know, most pullets reach maturity and start laying eggs somewhere in the 4-6 month age range. I’m not a particularly patient chicken owner so you can imagine my frustration when our hen, Jelly, started coming up on 10 months and still hadn’t laid her first egg. I was checking the coop daily and secretly starting to wonder if she even possessed the correct parts for an egg laying operation. Just when I gave up and decided to quit worrying about it, I found a questionable egg in an odd spot in the coop. Could it be Jelly’s? After so many disappointments, I dared not hope.

02

I usually pretty good at identifying each egg with the hen that laid it. Location is key too. Babs and Ginger only lay eggs in the nest box but Jelly has never voluntarily ventured into that part of the coop. She roosts in the bottom near the feed trough and that’s where I found the lone egg. It was different than all the other eggs too. When dry it looked like all the other eggs, but when rinsed it showed distinct brown freckles.

This should have been enough to convince me, but I remained a tad skeptical. Until one day when I came home and found Caleb in the backyard, arms crossed and watching the chickens speculatively. I opened the door and he motioned me over.

“I have to show you something.” He let the hens out of the coop and we stood back and watched while Jelly detached from the group and hurriedly scrambled off into the forest.

“What in the world? Where is she going?”

“Just watch.” Then he took my hand and we ducked under the bramble and followed after her. About ten feet into the tree trunks we found her sitting nicely on a cushy pile of pine straw. When Caleb picked her up there were two eggs underneath.

So, basically she held them in as long as she could and then she hid them. That’s the kind of bird that keeps a backyard flock interesting.

Monday, February 24, 2014

snow day

012

Guess what landed here a few weeks ago. Snow. I want to put an exclamation point behind that just because of how utterly thrilled the kids were. The last time they saw snow was on Christmas Day the year Caleb was in Iraq (probably the only thing that could have redeemed that holiday for me). Unfortunately, this year the snow wreaked a good deal of havoc on our state and while we were busy running in and out of the garage in our pajamas catching falling flakes, my brother was stuck at work overnight because the roads in Birmingham were full of ice and wrecked cars. So… bittersweet snow.

013 011

It was almost dark when it finally started to fall here. Naturally we sent the kids out in their pajama pants and wrong sized coats, got them nice and cold and wet, and brought them back in and put them to bed. Parent of the year award! 

016

My cousin, Sarah, got snowed in with us. We had a blast and she won the biggest snowball award.

022 023

The next morning there was enough snow on the ground for us to play in. Not quite enough for a snowman, but enough for sledding down our hill and enough to put a serious smile on Jon’s face. Impossible for me to forget the ten million times he asked me for snow this year. In fact, it completely overshadowed the tooth he lost that night. He didn’t even remember to put it under his pillow because he was so excited about playing outside next day.

017 020 019 018 028

(photo, above and below, by Sarah)

021015 027 025 026 014 16 024 029

(thanks to my cousin, Sarah, for the family photos)

Friday, February 14, 2014

assorted chocolates day

02

Valentine’s Day means something a little different around here than it used it. I’ll be honest, this day is a much bigger deal than it ever was before we had kids. “Bring me flowers on any day except the day the world tells you to,” I’ve always said to Caleb. So yeah. I’m one of those.

Times change and two kids in school means I have to take a deep breath and plunge into the red and pink aisle in search of the required party items. And let’s not forget the 36 classmate valentines that I waited until the epic last minute to throw together, meaning it was a full blown family affair at 7:30 last night. After we’d herded the kids into bed, I blearily unplugged the glue gun and scooped giblets of color paper into the trashcan. Then I started yanking open the kitchen cabinets and mournfully complaining “Why isn’t there anything sweet in this house?! I just want some chocolate.” Which is when he sort of smiled a little and magically produced a sack of assorted Hershey’s nuggets from the back seat of his truck.

He speaks my language. I think we’ll call it love.

002 004 003

thanks to my brother, Michael, for the photos.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

the lodge 2014

004

A couple of weeks ago Dad took us all on vacation to a posh hunting lodge here in Alabama. It was awesome and the first time we have been on vacation all together. Not counting the lake house, which is basically a vacation all on its own. Anyway, this seemed like a good time to get away together and go deer hunting, which exactly ONE of us had done before (Dad). And maybe the lack of experience was part of the reason we didn’t bag anything on this trip. HOWEVER, I put that “2014” in the title of this post because there is already talk about a return trip next year. I resolve to be better prepared and equipped, and not accidentally kick the wall of the blind and scare every deer within a mile, so maybe we will have better luck. No deer is worth wearing deer pee, though, just sayin’.

022

Without having seen it, Caleb and I tried to describe the lodge as best as possible to the kids and alleviate their concerns about living in the woods for a few days. Jackson wanted to know if there was a bathroom and Jonathan kept calling the place “the woodshed”. Imagine their delight upon walking through the door and finding the “woodshed” had actual running water… and a pool table.

013 020015 014011 021 009

It was very cold, but we spent time outside whenever possible and came back to the lodge to thaw.

002 02 16 016 012 017 010 019 018 007 006 005