Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Like He Was One Of Those Cows In Michigan

Hooray!!!  Our sweet feathered babies are here!  We got a new brood of baby chicks just this morning - at Phil's request I'll have you know.  Plus he was responsible for their names, an honor I rarely let out of my clutches, but he picked really good ones.  Ten thousand points and an omelet to anyone who can find the common thread.  Here are Elsbeth and Andrew holding their most cherished, Els with Mary and Andrew with Sybil.  They are both Easter Eggers, precious little chicken mutts that can look very different from each other (as you may have gathered) and lay eggs ranging from white to pink to blue.  No one knows 'til their first eggs what you'll be getting from these girls, but Elsbeth is pulling hard for Mary to be a pink layer while Andrew is whispering high praise about the color blue in Sybil's ear.

And now an introduction to the other 4 newest members of the family.

Below are Isobel and Violet, both Buff Brahma's.  I've been wanting this breed since we got our first chicks, but they were never available at the right time until now.  They are brown egg layers with feathered legs, known as the gentle giants among chickens and revered for their huggability.  Don't you just want to hug one right now?

Next is Edith, a Rhode Island Red and Phil's special girl.  He just loves this breed - wonderful egg layers, sweet and beautiful - but between illness and raccoons and hawks we've had terrible luck keeping them around.  We're really pulling for Edith.

And finally, here's Daisy being a little shy for the camera (not used to be out of the scullery and all).  She's my Olive Egger, another mixed breed with a lovable temperament that lays the most amazing olive-green eggs.  We're looking forward to a very colorful egg basket come fall.

In other news, here's Elsbeth all decked out for the sheepdog trials.  Who knew it was such an ostentatious affair?  If I'm remembering correctly, she was actually a dog in the trials and won first place!  And I didn't even train her.  She's just that good.

Our sweet Nibblet, clearly more competitive and athletic than we ever knew, followed up her trial win with a medal-earning run in the Parkview Christian School Trail Trot.  It was pretty adorable watching the siblings tear off together down our local walking trail with a smattering of Andrew's school mates.  Elsbeth is holding her longhorn steer named University who was peeking out of the top of her jacket during the entire run. Andrew is not wearing a yarmulke, by the way, just in case you were curious.

A few evenings ago at supper (facon, eggs and pears if you must know), I noticed that Andrew was engrossed in some book he'd brought with him and was completely neglecting his end of the table conversation.  Curious, I peered over his shoulder to see what had him entranced.

This is what I found.

I'll round out today's installment of SweetScooterBicks with another creature update.

Have you ever seen anything so pitiful?  Poor Shiloh had a tumor removed from his tummy last week and is being prevented from chewing at his stitches in the most humbling way.  Thankfully he's getting more used to his new decoration and isn't crashing into everything quite as violently now.  Just got the pathology report back and it's benign - yea! We sure love this sweet boy.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Look at you! Still all muscly and everything. How’s space?

Look at my budding scientist sporting his new glasses! Many months ago the nurse at his 7-year-old check-up suggested we have his vision tested.  He seemed fine to me so I took my sweet time doing it. When we went to the eye doctor a few weeks ago, they started throwing up those letters on the wall and they nearly had to scroll back to the giant "E" before he could see them.  "Oh no!"  I thought.  "My poor blind child has been bumping around, trying to make his way in life because his horrible mother hasn't had the sense to notice!"  Turns out it wasn't really all that bad, but he's a bit near-sighted and these adorable wire-rimmed spectacles bring the world into tighter focus for him.

 I'm happy to report that he loves them, and we've had them for nearly a week without them getting lost or broken.  Amazing.  He looks so old to me, full of deep thoughts and wisdom, not far from packing up all his Legos and heading off to college where he's destined to change the world.  Sigh.

And then we'll have a bona fide 7-year-old moment that brings me back down for a while.  I confess that I've saved this little disciplinary writing sample in his box of memories. *

Another thing I've been slow to do is getting these kiddos back into swim lessons.

Elsbeth thinks she can swim and has absolutely no fear of the water, but can't keep herself up for more than a couple seconds. A terrifying combination.  Andrew can keep himself up and slowly make his way around a pool, but his skills could definitely use some strengthening.  And they both adore the water.  Glad I finally got around to this, but I dearly love to be home, and leisurely afternoons of the two of them flitting around the back yard for hours while also having plenty of time for homework and chores is my idea of heaven.  So adding swim lessons PLUS piano lessons for Andrew feels like a lot!  And sometimes ... brace yourself ... it cuts into my tea time.  Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!  I mean, can you even imagine having such a loaded schedule?  (The world around me laughs and laughs as I wipe my brow.)

 Fortunately, even with this new frenzy of activity, we manage to squeeze in a little super hero time.

And here I am at 4 months.  I'm not sure where that crazy fuzz of hair came from - don't pretend you don't see it - but Phil was being particularly horrible that morning and wouldn't take another one.

I'm feeling this wee one kicking around in there now, my favorite.  The floor already feels very far away and I'm tempted to install one of those awesome chair lifts on our stairs, but I'm really enjoying the sweetness of the second trimester.  Apparently Wee Bairn is quite a savory baby and I've often  found myself opting for BBQ potato chips or (like today) a black bean burrito as my tea time treat while the Girl Scout cookies sit untouched in the pantry.  Odd.  I'm sure it just means that this baby is so unbelievably sweet already that my system just can't handle any more, right?  :-)

* "Bicks" is our family word for "bottom"