Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring is springing

Frogs. Croaking and creaking and getting busy. We heard them the first time yesterday. We'd already found several huge tadpoles by bucket seining (if you can call it seining). I put them in a large vase in the kitchen and they're going through several large lettuce leaves a night. I can't wait until they start sprouting legs; it's just a crazy transformation to watch.

The ducks and turkeys have settled in well, though I have to say it's an odd experience to see ducks roosting up in the rafters of a building. Still, good it's a fox avoidance technique, don't you agree?

Duck finally worked up the nerve to nail one of the hens today. It took a surprisingly long time, but maybe I'm just used to the chickens. On! Off! ruffle and go! I hope that the hen will start laying in a place I can find; I'll maybe give those first ones to a friend who had a bad duck year. They got me started with Duck and his first two short-lived wives, so the least I can do is toss a few eggs at them. I won't be able to incubate them in the house until May since I'll be gone for 10 days this month.

I finally found someone who has built a hoop house the way I'm planning on doing it, so I have pictures and descriptions to go by to help me out. I won't be using quite the same materials, but it should work out the same. I'm also going to build the chickens a hoop tractor; I think we should be able to fit at least 50 birds in each tractor, and that would be a great way to start to revitalize a good part of the pasture.

Once I get back to town, we'll have our pigs delivered, and I'll start looking for a couple of market lambs. I'm going to take the small flock class at Shepherds Harvest, if I register in time. I wish I could have taken something like it last year, before the wheels fell off of my sheep keeping.

71 degrees today. Mostly sunny.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Oh, hello. What? I can't hear you. My ears are filled with cobwebs.

Um, er. Yes. Well. Hello! I can see by my handy 2009 calendar that it's been a while. There are so many happenings chez nous, both good and tragically bad.

To the good: Jabba (who has morphed into Chewie with her amazing Wookie impersonations) is walking. And she's 16 months old. What! She isn't quite talking, I don't think, but then again, she makes the same noise everytime she sees the cat, and it sounds, if you stretch your ears to the back of your head and hold your left arm up just so, like "GA!" which I consider to be Close Enough. So she's talking, fine. Yes! Add one more to the chorus of my God, I can't hear myself think with all the voices talking at me at once.

On the farm front: I think someone ate Rosencrantz sometime this winter. Alas. I knew him well. ahem. I gave Guildenstern to the shearer when he came, and then my sheep died, so that was nice. The running theory is that the ewes had toxemia and I put that down to poor management. I'll know better next time, and that means I'll find a new way to kill the next batch. Marley probably succumbed to worms. The ewes had three lambs between them, all just about due. So that's what, a 200% loss?

Crazy Betty is setting on a new batch of eggs, and I hope they will all hatch safely. I'm not sure how they'll get out of the nest box, elevated as it is, but I suppose I can deal with that when it comes.

We're drowning in eggs. I think there is a gross of them on the porch. We have one hen who produces olive-green eggs. I wish I could figure out which one it was; I'd like to ID her. In the meantime, I'll just keep them by for incubating.

I put out the call for chicken and turkey orders. It's hard to know what to price them at without knowing how many I have to order, but people want to know how much I'll be charging. I may just ballpark it.

Perp is having a grand time in kindergarten. She turned 6 last week, dude, and I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around that. Six. She got a bike for her birthday and has mastered riding up and down the apron of the garage and coasting back down.

Dude also got a bike for his birthday (4!), and he's slowly learning to manage it. More importantly, he got to see the end of Bad Rooster.

Bad Rooster made a big impression around here.
He would pretty much attack any one of us, mostly from behind, and around here, mean people get eaten.

So we ate him. And it was good. And Dude was happy the end.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The view from the North Pole

just got obscured by letters.

Dear Santa,

This year, I have been very good. I am nice to my sisters most of the time. I try to help around the house when Mama needs it. I take naps most days. Sometimes I don't hit. Sometimes I don't scream. I think that's all.

This year I would like a space suit, a helmet, a firetruck man, a clown car, and a clown suit. I think that I want a police suit, a police car. I would like new games new clothes, please. I mean not new clothes, just new game a helmet for a space man, a space suit, firetruck man, and a police things and a space ship helmet, space suit, firetruck man and police. And a, uh, space ship to go with the space suit and the helmet. And I think that's all.


Dear Santa,

Cleaning my room, and sleeping in my room for two nights, and helping cleaning the dishes. And another thing helpful is staying in my room unles we have to go to the bathroom and always going potty before I go to bed, this is at Grammy's, too. Also, sometimes going to sleep, going to school, that's my favorite part. Playing with my friends inside and outside, being quiet while my teacher talks.

I was doing well and I liked getting for me the food for me and Dude, the toy food.
I liked getting Sprinkles the bear for my brother.

I would like pom-poms and a cheerleader costume [ed. - we're watching the football as I type this]. I want a (before I do another one, can I please tell you if Santa lives in the North Pole? Does he? I always wanted to go there!) king merman. I remember last time when I saw the elves. That's it.


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Lucky cluckers

I've read over and over again that broad-breast turkeys can't naturally reproduce because they are just too big. I wish I had a video to contradict that theory, but I didn't have my camera on me. Nevertheless, I stood in the field Sunday afternoon while the butcher slaughtered the pigs, and I watched a pair of turkeys getting it on. I have no idea if he was successful in fertilizing any eggs, but he sure had the motions down. I'm almost tempted to keep a pair.

PS, why are they breeding NOW? Isn't this a little late in the year for nesting? Gosh, they really are dumb.

Monday, November 02, 2009

The Happiest Drunk on the Block

Yay for conscious sedation during dental work!

Monday, August 17, 2009

So, um.


I honestly don't know which angle to go with here. Birth control? Waxing? The American Anti-Speculum League?

And on a totally unrelated note, the trailers filmed for the start of Tropic Thunder are HIlarious. If I ever make a movie, I want it shown at the Beijing Movie Festival and to be nominated for the coveted Crying Monkey Award.

That is all.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Mind like a steel trap

P's playing with a jelly treat and drops it.
Me: Better grab it before it runs away.
P: Food doesn't move.
Me: Piggies move.
Whining child: Not when they're cooked.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I've been running around ALL DAY with my shirt inside out. I can only assume no one else noticed it, because I sure as hell didn't have it pointed out to me at any time in the last 13 hours.

On the plus side: Cinnamon Rice Chex. Dangerous.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Peaceable kingdom

Thanksgiving dinner takes a break from pooping in my car. Time for a nap!

Marley is a Lincoln/Wensleydale ram, about 5 years old. He's pretty wild but took some sheep treats out of my hand today. I feel like a winnah!

Rosencrantz rules the roost.

Guildenstern is without question second banana in this production.

Unnamed ewe. She's the mother in this pair. Given her Siamese-like color points, I'm tempted to call her Anna (that may be a somewhat obscure Hollywood musical reference unless you're my age or older but I really hope not). Husband would like to call her Eff. Eff ewe! You can see her (also unnamed) daughter behind Marley in the first shot.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Farm update

Well. So things here at Moot Pointe aren't going quite they way we'd planned, but there are changes.

A friend of mine came over a couple of weeks ago and helped me build my raised beds. Husband and I had ordered three pallets of concrete blocks which were sitting and sitting and sitting out by the pond. Every time I walked past them I thought about how it was going to take me all summer to build these beds and what was I thinking, why not just use the damn treated wood and get it over with, the usual self recrimination refrain.

But! In one day we got three beds built and chipped wood mulch put all the way around two of them. AND two beds filled with soil, two more with chicken litter. Hot dog!

Bed 1 has tomatoes, peppers, and herbs, bed 2 has squash and cantaloupes. We'll see, but so far the kids in Bed 1 are going ganbusters. It also rained off and on since last night, including a lovely shower just this morning.

Tomorrow I go to examine some sheep. Yeah. We're expanding. We don't have any pigs as of yet, and it's looking like we probably won't, so that time can be well spent learning ruminant theory. I'm looking at a ram, two or three ewes, and a couple of wethers, one for the freezer and one to keep the ram company when he's beign separated from the girls.

To help prepare for the sheep, I went on my first pasture walk on Saturday. What a revelation! I found out about several fabulous extension programs (free grazing plan! fencing grants!), and met a few people I may be able to learn from. I have a grazing planner coming on Wednesday; I'm all 'splody with excitement.

The chickens and turkeys are going well, and the first appointment at the slaughterhouse is on the 30th. I'll be taking about a dozen birds in, far fewer than I'd scheduled (and purchased). Second date is the end of next month, then the turkeys go mid-November. We primarily planned to send them because we can't manage that many birds on our own in a day or two, which is how much time we have to work with since Husband has a full-time job. But then we discovered the Whizbang Chicken Plucker (also on the pasture walk). That sucker can pluck a bird in 15 seconds! I ordered the plans yesterday so I expect they'll come this week. Youtube had some fabulous videos, including one plucker made from a washing machine. Chaka like. We really could do a large number of birds in a day if we didn't have to pluck them by hand. It's the worst part, imo. I totally don't mind gutting.

According to state regulations, we can sell up to 1000 birds a year directly to customers with no USDA inspection. With a plucker, it doesn't even sound crazy. I think, though, that if we were to start selling, I'd move to a slower-growing bird, like a poulet rouge or a heritage breed. Don't get me wrong, I like the Cornish X we've been raising just fine, but if we're going to do this for money, I'm going to pull out all the stops and raise for the market, which is for heritage birds. They only take a couple of weeks longer than Cornish X, but they can reproduce on their own and many are better at utilizing pasture. Might as well do what brings in the most money. The farm we went to for the pasture walk only raises Americauna chickens because they get a premium for the blue/green eggs. Crazy but true.

We haven't decided on how to handle the pig situation yet. We could buy feeders from someone else, but I'm kind of tempted to leave it alone this year. I'd love to have the meat, but to only have to deal with one large animal type at a time is immensely appealing. In the meantime, I'm rendering lard from last year's batch. It looks like it's going well. It doesn't smell bad at all, which seems to go against everything I've read so far, but I still have to get cheesecloth to strain it.

I've decided to start keeping records of what goes on, farm-wise. I think it will be interesting to go back and see what we spent and did from year to year. Then, when I get crazy and try things like grafting and incubating eggs in the basement (which I hope to start tomorrow).

So, that's my quick farm update. Oh, we also got a pair of Muscovy ducks from a friend and they're doing really well. I think they may be gearing up to set up a nest. Throw a whizbang plucker into that mix and you'll find a very happy me.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Exactly what demographic is Noggin attempting to draw with these Jumparounds videos? The all-important "Desperately longing for youth so we'll take a role we're 20 years too old for" group? Perhaps those "I really wanted to be in Scooby Doo as a kid" folks you hear rumors about? Seriously. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

No, really. I don't get it. These people are all at least 30, pretending to be teens. Nothing new here, I know, but it still boggles the mind. They do lameass dance moves that Perp is trying to copy. I find this both amusing and horrifying. Yes, I love that she wants to get her groove on, but dude. Can't we put on Code Monkey* or something instead?

Also: I don't care what anyone says, I love Yo Gabba Gabba. Biz Markie! There's a party in my tummy! It reminds me a bit of the Sid and Marty Krofft acid trip extravaganzas of my youth. I honestly thought I'd come up with H. R. Pufnstuf during a febrile nightmare one night. Seriously. What. the. fuck.

Oh, and using periods for dramatic effect has officially jumped the shark. I saw it on the cover of some gossip rag at the grocery store yesterday. Shit.

In other news, Jabba is nearly sitting up on her own. She does crunches when she lies down (uber cute), and today went from propping herself up with her hands to fully sitting. On her own. Awww, crap.

She cut two teeth on the bottom and is busy trying to gnaw my fingers off whenever she has the opportunity. She has tried bananas and avocados and loves them both, but I don't think she's getting much down her gullet. I just park her in the high chair and give her a slice of either (long ways) and let her go to town. I have to say, I don't miss the purees at all and I don't think she does either. Since we waited to introduce solids until she was 6 months old, it seemed reasonable to just skip that whole stage. Whee!

I ate cheese today. I suspect I'll be posting tomorrow about the hideous night she (we) had. But maybe we'll luck out. She still does not approve of coffee or wheat but I'm just not ready to give up the latter, given that dairy and joe are out.

Holy shit, ya'll, it went from 47 to 87 today in about 20 minutes. The wind started to shift around noon, with a HUGE wind storm, then it calmed down just a few minutes ago and no shit, it's 90 at our house. In town? fifty-nine. That's crazy, yo.

Dude is still cute and has oddly adult mannerisms, none of which I can bring to mind at the moment. Thanks, lactation lobotomy! He and Perp start summer school mid-June and we're all v excited about it. It gives Perp the perfect opportunity to get familiar with the school layout, introduce Dude to new kids and possibly neighbors (playdates!), and give Jabba a few hours a day of pure, unadulterated Mama time. I think this will be a good thing.

Perp is in an ... interesting ... stage. She's 5. I think that's probably all you need to know. It pretty much says it all:
"Oh, yeah, sorry about X, Y, Z that Perp did. She's 5."
"Ohhhhh, gotcha. Sorry!"

Mary Poppins will be coming to our house for the summer again. She'll be splitting her hours between us and some friends in town with a toddler, so I won't have her daily, but I am so sublimely blissed out by this that I don't even mind it much when Dude tries to headbutt me on the way to naptime. Much, I said. I'm not stoned.

Random mix of news that I'm not even trying to tie together in a coherent post:

I got Husband a Kindle for his birthday and he's in the trial phase, trying to determine if he'll use it enough to keep it or if he should trade it in for blowjob coupons. I suppose I chould just give him both.

We got three pallets of concrete blocks delivered so I can make raised beds where the fenced gardens used to be. The wood was rotting and I decided that a few raised beds made more sense than 55' of mostly unattended garden. Also, I can reorient them so they run N/S instead of E/W. A friend's rockstar husband came over and tilled the spot for the first bed last week, so I just need to level the edges and place the bricks. She said, casually, as if it were just that easy. I think a friend is coming later this or next week to ride herd on the kids while I work.

We have our second batch of meat birds in the garage. I moved the first batch of chickens and turkeys out to the bird yard, and they're all doing really well. We lost one chick to spraddle leg/trampling, and I think two each to general failure. I found the remains of one turkey outside the fence. Since the pigs trashed it last year, the birds have been just ducking underneath a section and going on walkabout. Not so much with the safety, there.

The first batch of chickens is due to go to the slaughterhouse at the end of next month and I honestly don't know if they're going to be big enough. Since they're actually free range, they don't sit and eat crazy high-protein all day long, which means that while they are gaining faster than the layers, say, they're still not going to be mondo birds by 6 weeks, like the ones you see in the grocery store. You read that right. Six. Six weeks. How sad is that? But at least mine are running around, eating bugs, taking dust baths, and doing crazy chicken things, instead of living inside a building loaded with their own shit and devoid of sunshine and grass. Also, I think this first batch will be more like 8 weeks.

If we can get our shit together this weekend, we'll put the electric in the temporary pig yard and get the first two of four. We can't get any until we're ready to build the main yard, though, and I realized that we might need to change our method of building after I saw the fence a friend put up. Seriously, it's a thing of beauty. We could use it for pigs, sheep, AND cows if we wanted, and I suspect we could put birds in there and keep them safe.

Said friend also has Muscovy ducks and I'm going to bring a few home. They are very good setters and mothers and I suspect that the only thing that will keep ducks safe is starting with wily adults.

I got a few dozen minnows for the pond and released them yesterday. I think the pond freezes enough to kill all the fish off, since we NEVER see any feeding dimples in the water, but I don't mind getting a few dozen a year to keep the mosquitoes down. Maybe we'll even see some predator birds.

My mom wants me to take a Master Canner class. Should I? I do a little bit most years, but I'm kind of afraid it would raise my interest in an unhealthy way. That is to say: I'll go apeshit and try to can everything I bring home and we'll never get the kitchen back.

*Known as "Code Monkey love you" chez Smacky.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Anyone need some eggs?

That's two eggs short of eight and a half dozen. I'm sure there's some kind of crazy joke to be made in there, and I wouldn't begrudge you one little bit. I really wouldn't. Husband found the motherlode today, almost three dozen in a tipped over cardboard box out in the pole barn. I've seen that box I don't know how many times, but it never occured to me it would present itself as the Ideal Nestbox. Silly me.

Yeah, so hi! Hello, how are you! Um, I guess I don't have a good reason for not posting. Post partum derangement, perhaps? Yes! Why not? We've had two birthdays, not including Jabba's, a couple days where I sat for a friend's kids and had something crazy like eight preschoolers, toddlers, and babies in the house with just me in attendance*. If that ain't crazy, I don't know what is.

So, a roundup of our activities over the last few months (shameful!):
I flew with all three kids to my dad's place on the East Coast. By. my. self. And we were all unmedicated! I KNOW!

Actually, when it comes to flying, my kids are rock. stars. They kind of suck in the airport itself, but really, where would you rather have the good behavior? In a relatively small, exceptionally contained space, or a hundreds of thousands of square-feet facility with room to run? Yes, exactly.

We spent two weeks out east, with Husband coming out for the second half, which is when we turned it up a notch and dispatched 500 clams. Dude didn't have a chance to repeat his astonishing oysterfest, but he made do. We took a couple dozen out on the dock and tossed them in, hoping they might take a liking to the place and settle in for a stay. Who knows, it could work.

My folks and I took the kids to the beach for a foot-dip, but it was pretty windy and cold, and really too early in the season for a beach day. Perp was ecstatic about being able to stick her toes in the ocean, though. Dude managed to handle the wind pretty well; he HATES it when it blows in his ears, always has. Even as an infant, he'd burrow his face into my chest at the least sign of a breeze. Freak.

Unfortunately, we had a minor tragedy. Let me just say that a four-pound box of shortbread cookies and I cannot coexist in the same house together. Good thing I got the stomach flu yesterday and managed to unload a few pounds in the space of 16 hours. My pants almost fit again.

We all flew home togther and managed to survive the cancelled flight, reroute to Chicago (go see the dinosaur!) and late-night drive from Big City airport to our little burg. Instead of arriving home in time for a late-ish bedtime for the kids, we got home at about 2 am. But we still got home, so okay.

We got our first batches of birds last week, 25 turkeys (bronzes) and 25 meat birds. I have them all together in a wading pool, but they announced their displeasure with this setup by starting to pick at each other. I had to put three bandaids on the butt of one of the chickens. I'll try to get a shot of that, it's actually kinda cute.

So tomorrow, I'll move them out to the new old chicken coop, set up the lights, and let them have more room to roam. I think it'll do them a world of good and I bet the picking stops right away.

And! One of our hens hatched a chick! And she's raising it! For those of you what don't have chickens, this is a Big Deal. Most birds have had the setting/brooding instinct bred out of them, so the only way to increase your flock is to buy chicks or use an incubator/brooder setup. But I managed to score an excellent mama hen, who is doing a bang-up job, and I hope she'll hatch out a full clutch this summer. I suspect that any chicks she raises that have the least natural inclination to motherhood be more likely to get the job done. The other birds we've had who managed to set long enough to hatch eggs out were suckass mothers and smothered the hicks or abandoned them. This is too cool. Me, I'm remarkably easy to please. Cheap date!

So far, no indication that I'll get into school early --holy crap, it's POURING just now-- and frankly that's good since we have no childcare leads. Helps to look for some, I suppose..

And now, cute kid pics!

*I don't mean eight of each, of course. That would be insane.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Brush with flame

So a friend of mine is in the running for Extreme Home Makeover. Color me jealous. But it sounds like they get into your shit enough that I'm glad it's not me. Sure, I could pass a background check, but is it worth it to have to hang around Paige Hemmis? I don't know. If they get picked, I guess I'll find out, 'cause you KNOW I'll be lurking around the site. Especially if Ed is on the crew.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Three months

Hey! Hi! Hello, there! Um, I have no excuse. Other than having three children under the age of 5. Jabba the Baby is 3 months old today and I can't for the life of me figure out how that happened. While the days sometimes seem e n d l e s s, the weeks and months just fly by.

She's figuring out how to suck on her hands, oh happy day!, and is still a fantastic sleeper. Except when we put her down for the night in the cosleeper. Then, not so much. I have to say, I do love sleeping with my babies, but it means that the sleeping part of the night is fragmented and not so great. So I'm always looking for a chance to catch a cat nap. Or a sloth nap, that appeals even more. I know it'll come, I mean, she hasn't even organized her daytime sleep very well yet, so expecting her to get it at night may be asking a lot. But I'm looking forward to it, oh yes I am.

She's a champion puker. Like, if she were a cat, she'd have the horking down pat.

I've cut myself down to eating chicken, sweet and white potatoes, rice, tea (no caffeine, alas), 7-up (don't ask me why), and a few fruits. Still with the puking. And lest anyone think I'm being dramatic here, this is NOT spitting up a lot. This is dry-heaving, projectile, pyloric vomiting. Several times a day. Sometimes I can see it coming and get her to the sink, but generally it just comes out of nowhere. Could it be HFCS from the soda? I know she doesn't like dairy because she screams like we're pulling her spleen out her nose. Wheat seems to be a problem too, and given Dude's adventures in gluten-free land, I guess I'm not surprised.

There is a stomach bug going around, and I am allowing for the possibility that her continuing to vomit is related to that, but I don't know. If it hasn't cleared up by the end of the week, I shall freak.

Last month, I took her to visit her Auntie 6 in San Diego and we had a marvelous time. We ate hole-in-the-wall Mexican, fantastic Thai (like, I'm still fantasizing about that soup), and a lovely prix fixe meal at a spot on the harbor during restaurant week. And while we ate, we talked about what we were going to eat next. I brought out a couple of shoulder roasts from our pigs and she and Latrell Soulpatch had one for dinner after I left. I hear it was good. 6 was even willing to touch a baby. It's the end of times, I'm telling you.

I'm taking all three (three!) kids to VA in April to visit my famdamily, and I can't decide if I'm crazy or outrageously brave. Maybe both? I have to call the airline and see what kind of services they can provide to keep me from killing one or all of them. I hear that TSA will sometimes allow someone to accompany groups like mine to the gate. Gopod, I hope so. Just getting all three car seats to the gate puts the fear of I-don't-know-what in me. Husband is coming out for the last half of the trip and we'll all go back home together.

Yeah. So. Um, that's all I've got.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hatty holidays

I made this for Husband for Christmas but alas it's not long enough and I don't have enough yarn to extend it. I do have more than enough Cascade Eco Wool, however, so that's the next version. Alas, I spaced and didn't have them wind it before I left my LYS and I don't have a swift or a ball winder. I think they'd probably be overkill, though, which is why I don't have them. So tomorrow (if this crazy storm is over and the roads are clear) or Monday when it's all cleaned up, I'll go have it wound up for me. I think I can crank a new one out by xmas.

Sorry it's blurry; I had to shoot it without a flash and folders make lousy tripods.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gobble gobble

Today was the day of destiny for two of our turkeys. Husband dispatched, plucked, and cleaned them and now we let them sit until Thursday, when we will gorge ourselves silly and thank the turkeys for their ultimate sacrifice. I had really hoped to keep a pair of them as breeders but we still can't tell who's a hen and who's a tom, and my god they eat a lot, so all four (someone got the fifth last night, if you can believe it) are going to meet their maker.

I hope they're good. The chickens certainly have been, so I'm going to assume we're in for a treat come T-Day.

In other non-death related news:
Fat Baby is doing really well. Her jaundice is clearing up nicely, and she gained 6 oz between Tuesday and Friday. I expect she'll be back to her birth weight or better by her 2 week check on Tuesday. Two weeks! How the hell did that happen?

Perp and Dude continue to be fascinated, if a bit dangerous. They either don't get the concept of being gentle with her, or they are trying to off her in subtle ways. I really can't be sure which. Good thing babies are tougher than they look.

I can't get the kids to play outside, or even go for a walk. Christ, it's going to be a long winter.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

This must be a typo



eta: out of stock now, or they caught the error and I'm going to receive an email that makes me do frowny face because they won't honor the price. Hope for the former, eh?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Smack Attack!

Our second daughter made a bit of an early appearance this morning. Her official due date was Thanksgiving, but she decided to grace us at 6:33 am on my father's birthday (clearly a Very Good Baby already). I don't know how to break it to him that I got him the most awesomest present of evah but he can't have it. I suppose I can loan her out on occasion.

She weighed in at 8 lb 8 oz, 19.5 inches long. I'm not sure if you can make out the incredible fat rolls, but this kid could give a sumo a run for his money. She has quite the ham hocks going on there.

It was a longer labor than I expected (7h) but since most of the ctx were only around 30-45 seconds, it wasn't really too bad until my water broke. Then things got Fairly Intense but it was by far the shortest stage of the labor. I cannot imagine doing this labor without the tub. CAN NOT. Apparently I'm quite the gymnast when I push. I think I nearly climbed out at one point, trying to find the right position for leverage and to get the hell away from that giant melon (okay, only 13.5", but from the inside it feels like a bowling ball. Can I get an amen?).

Best of all: no tears! No sutures! It doesn't hurt to pee and I'm not afraid to poop. Wow.

The kids woke up just as she was being born, so by the time they got into our room, we had her all wrapped up with a teeny lid. More interesting to go watch tv, though.

We're still working on names. We need her face to unflatten a bit before I can tell who she is, plus we still have a list of four or five we have to narrow down. It may take a few days. Good thing she has no concept of time.

The kids are so far quite fascinated and want to be around her all the time. They each have a baby wrapped up in a receiving blanket that they're toting around. I expect this will fade as they realize just how much time babies take up, but you never know.

I'm also proud to say I introduced one of my midwives to The Daily Show while we waited things out. She will never be the same.

All in all, a good day's work.


er, for those not in the know, Smacky is our all-purpose fetal name since we don't find out gender at ultrasounds. Hence the title. It has nothing to do with fondness for heroin. Mostly.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


With both Perp and Dude, once I had the lovely bloody show, it meant babytime was imminent. Like within a few hours. It would appear that the third child syndrome mantra "expect the unexpected" is repeated for a reason.

Still here. Still waiting. Still no contractions. Bah.

Not to jump the gun or anything

but I think Smacky may make an appearance today. We shall see.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Here's to hope

Husband took the carpet sharks out to see Madagascar, and I'm bouncing on a ball trying to get these contractions turn into Something rather than Nothing.

If you have any pull with the Uterus People, please put in a good word for me.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Thank dog it's over. And I don't even have to stay up late.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Conservation of mess

If you took chemistry in HS or college, you probably remember the concept of conservation of mass. I now posit there is a corollary: despite how much you clean, purge, declutter, and generally empty a space, children will achieve Conservation of Mess. I cleaned most of the downstairs today and a good portion of the upstairs. To compensate for this loss of mess, the kids managed, in the space of about 45 nanoseconds, to trash several previously cleaned spots.

What. the fuck?

OT: Dude just peed standing up and said, "It's a good thing when I pee potty. Rock on!"

OT2: I contemplated washing the kitchen floors today. No, not mopping. Washing. On my hands and knees. Perhaps I nest?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Holy crap, I'm in

I just turned in the paperwork for the ADN program at a local community college. So in 18-24 months, I'll be starting my first semester of nursing school. No assessment tests (I have a BA), no pre-program classes (I have a BA), and no swollen uterus (I have 4-8 weeks left. Oh, did I neglect to mention that? Time somehow flew. Another post for another day).

In other positive news, the pigs are gone. The yard we had them in was fairly devestated (picture Beirut, for instance), and the grass literally was greener on the other side of the fence (simply by virtue of there being grass). So they started busting out. We thought we were being all clever by putting the portable electric fencing inside the other yard but they had the nasty habit of charging *through* it instead of backing off. So they busted out again. Then the last time I realized that I couldn't: herd the pigs, fix the fence, and keep the kids from killing each other while I tried to do the first two. Poor Husband had to rush home twice in a week to help me corral them. His partners probably find it very amusing.

After wandering around the yard for 10 minutes weeping hysterically, I called the butcher and begged them (more weeping) to "come out and kill these damn things." They took pity on me and when Husband and I managed to lure three of them into the kids' play yard (again: Beirut). Lovely Clyde the Butcher came out and dispatched them that day. The other three we got into the old freezer (don't worry, it's 18'x20'), and they went to the Great Beyond two days later.

I picked them up the day before yesterday and I can't tell you how much more relaxed I feel. Between that and stepping down as the organizer for a local Meetup group, it's like I was on vacation for two weeks. I had no idea how much they were freaking me out until their collective weight was off my shoulders.

We've pretty much decided that we won't have more pigs until we have permanent fencing, which we might be able to do in the spring, but probably not. Luckily, Clyde the Butcher sells directly so we can buy from him if we need to.

I probably have lots more to report but I can't think of it now and it's time for the news.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Oh. Um, EWWW

When you flush the toilet, ideally all the products therein flow merrily downhill through the stack and into the sewer/septic/holding tank/whatever fetid locale you happen to have. Right?

I'm just checking, because right now? If you flush the upstairs bathroom toilet, massive quantities of ick flow up through the tub drain. Into the tub. Which we generally use for cleansing our bodies.

There are no words.

Husband made a valiant effort and tried to snake the toilet, but my theory is that the issue is in the tub's line and it's moved far enough down that now it's affecting the toilet, too.

PS, my god we poop a lot.

In other news, I called our local meat guys and am waiting to hear back on when they're coming out to do the pigs. They won't be nearly as big as Breakfast and Brunch, but we got them late (thanks, local meat guys!), so our timeline was shorter.

I feel bad because unlike pretty much any other animal I can think of, when the pigs encounter the electric fence, these guys charge THROUGH it instead of backing AWAY from it. So we haven't had any luck moving them to greener pastures (literally). They're still in the chicken yard, which thanks to several days of rain and the handiwork of our rootertillers, now measure about 5" of muck. I know they'd rather have nice cushy grass but they're too effing stupid/stubborn/bizarre to accept that white lines = pain and hey, STAY AWAY FROM THE WHITE LINES AND EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE.

Next year, we learn them young and early.

Perp started preschool last week and is already home with a cold. Swell! I know she's really feeling pretty bad because she's willing to just flop on the couch with Noggin on, and even spent several hours upstairs in her bed with no complaint. People, that's huge.

Dude has mastered the art of pooping on the potty. This morning, he dragged Husband in to show him and said, "That certainly is a big poop!" Too bad we couldn't flush it down the freaking toilet.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Patho-ver me

Yesterday was the first day of my pathophysiology class. I'm very excited. I have a few days before we're divided into discussion groups and start working, so I'm putting up the bat signal for anyone who's taken it and can recommend good study guides. I LOVE Springhouse Notes (the A&P book was immeasurably useful to me), but they don't seem to be in print anymore, and they never seemed to have a patho volume. Boo. There's the Incredibly Easy series, but I don't know. Seems like false advertising. Anyone ever use one?

I really don't want to buy any textbooks, but I'm willing to be convinced.

Another successful day of mothering

down the drain.

Hey, I have an idea: let's have a bath! Relaxing, cleansing, fun. Right?

Tell that to the two tearing around the upstairs hall shrieking at the top of their lungs (now with fighting!). I warned Dude that standing up in the tub meant an automatic end to bathtime and he didn't believe me. NOW he wants to wash his hair, which I couldn't bribe him to do with all the tea in China (or jellybeans in the candy factory, which is a far more likely option). Perp didn't want to get out because she wanted to play mermaid, but I really want to get them fed and down early. So I wrestled him out, threatened her out, and now they're banging on my door and trying their level best to break the sound barrier.

TO hell with the kids, it's a wonder any of the parents survive.

I wish you could hear them. It's really quite astonishing.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Because I so totally want to win this

I'm clueing you in, too. Simple Mom has an awsome contest up at her site (closes tonight, so hop to it!). She also had a great post today about tasks. Multi, single, reallynotnecessary, and how they can get in the way of parenting. (guilty).

Monday, August 18, 2008

Must be time for a vacation

Perp: I wish I didn't have a little brother. Then we could go to lizard land today.
Me: Where's that?
P: Mmmm, it's by Mexico.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Very satisfying

I whipped up three batches of blueberry muffins that I'm putting into the freezer against the fall and winter. I usually just freeze the batter in trays, bag the nuggets up, and then bake them as I need them. You don't miss out on crunchy muffin tops that way. <---- clever!

I also got a copy of Fix, Freeze, Feast and put 9 bags in the basement. It took about 4 hours, but I was wrangling kids. Solito, you could crank them out in about an hour, I think. It's basically the same thing you do at Super Suppers or Meal Time, but you do all the prep and shopping yourself. I don't mind the shopping or the prep, so it works out well.

A few friends and I are trying to make a date to whip up a few more meals and share them. So far I can tell you that Swimming Rama is tasty, though I added a lot of ginger and a few tablespoons of peanut butter to the sauce. It really makes a difference. Sweet Asian chicken was a hit, too, but again, ginger, and if I knew the kids weren't going to partake, I'd add the pepper the recipe calls for. The honey-glazed chicken thighs are okay, but I don't think I'll repeat that one.

I also plan on putting a shepherd's pie away (LAMB! not beef!). I could eat that just about every damn day.

I lovelovelove having a ton of food already set up and just needing heat to make it into dinner. My favorite thing about this book (and the meal prep places) is that you don't have to prep, COOK, and freeze. You just put it away raw and cook it when you want it. I think that's the secret to freezing a lot of meat dishes, frankly. But I'm making that up as I write it, so feel free to disagree.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Knitting Olympics

They started last Friday! Unfortunately, I miscalculated and it's at 7 AM, not a lovely and civilized 7 PM. Ah well.

My choice for this year's competition: Phazelia's Ribboned Baby Jacket. Yum.

I'm wrestling with myself over whether to stasbust or take advantage of the 20% discount at my LYS. I know what most of you would say, but I think, given the GORGEOUS marino fingering I got at a local show this summer... well. Smaller stash equals more room to cram something new, right?

eta: I'm just at the neck section now and it's going quite well. Kiss of death to say that, but whatever.