Friday, April 26, 2013

Our Week in Pictures

The past week has been a bit of a whirlwind, between Little M's first hotel stay and then surgery, casts, and cast removal, several family visits (grandpa, cousins, and then cousins again), first snake sightings of the season (a gophersnake and a rubber boa!), a quick vet visit for Lily (the 4 year old 'puppy') to determine that the alarmingly large & rapidly appearing lump was just a bruise, all on top of the usual spring gardening chores. I'll show you through our week in pictures, ok?

first hotel stay and acceptable bed-jumping = happy hyper girl!


Pool jumping!

hot tub time with daddy

once the fun left the pool and entered the hot tub, mama got out to read and get ready to snuggle a worn out girl!

Dopey little girl from pre-surgery funny drugs prior to anesthesia

post-op rage when I was expecting neediness (mama take them off -- sorry, I can't love bug -- NO! GO!).

quickly adapting to the casts, happy smiley girl showing back through once more

Cousins! all the better to decorate my casts mom!

Started turning over the soil in the back of the garden for this years dry bean bed
get well soon card from a friend (see those decorated casts?!)

Transplanted the largest peppers and tomatoes into larger pots, the shelf is getting filled quickly!
Figuring out how to eat her favorite food (white cheese 'sticks') with limited arm and hand mobility
Planting potatoes

Digging in the garden

Ummm... getting rather filthy in the garden... Oops! Luckily the casts come off in 24 hours from this point!
Saw the first hummingbird of the season, so put up the feeder - no bird on feeder pictures yet, but soon!
One last picture before my casts come off mama!
Bath for a dirty girl with no casts! (the bandages cover the dissolvable stitches for a bit longer

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Planting Potatoes

After cutting our seed potatoes up into eye-containing sizeable chunks on the weekend, yesterday they were definitely sealed up enough to be ready to put in the ground. I like to leave them out a couple days after cutting them so they dry up a bit and have less chance of rotting once I put them in the ground.

We had purchased 6 large potatoes each of Russets and Yukon Golds, and ended up with one row of Yukons and two rows of Russets just based on how many eye-containing chunks of each we got. My intention was to at least double the yield from last year's, which hopefully we will do based on the number of potential plants we planted and the length of the rows.

Little M of course was down helping me, getting rather filthy in her casts (and bare feet and pulled up pants so as to smear dirt from her casts onto her bare legs... hmmm) while I worked to get the potatoes in the dirt. Luckily the casts only will be on about 24 more hours from this point, because boy was she ever filthy!

So far in the garden I've got the greens seeded, the onion sets from last fall in and sprouting, the carrots seeded, the garlic from last fall well up and growing, the basil seeded, the peas seeded in the new side garden, and now the potatoes in the ground too. Not a bad start to the garden I'd say!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Slight update on day to day life here

I'm still trying to get my schedule figured out what with my husband working the night shift, and with ever diminishing energy levels as the baby gets larger and larger, I'm not sure that I'll find a balance between work and home and rest before baby comes. Doesn't stop me from trying though, and also doesn't stop me from wishing things were simpler!

This past week Little M had bilateral trigger thumb release surgery. She had nodules on the tendon in each of her thumbs, meaning the tendon couldn't slide through the tendon sheath, meaning her thumb couldn't extent to a fully out position, and was forever bent a bit. Three out of my husband's four siblings had the same surgery done on one thumb or the other, back in the day when they were about her age, so it wasn't as scary an experience for us as parents as it would likely have been otherwise.

Little M was really great about it, apart from the whole waking up with casts on each arm almost to her armpits, and an IV in her foot with wrappings all around it, even though we had talked about each of those things happening. I'm sure it would have been hard for her to understand what a cast and IV were, and that they weren't removable, prior to experiencing them. Plus add in the dopeyness of the drugs wearing off, and she kept forgetting about them then realizing they were there again. So that waking up period wasn't such a pretty half hour. Mostly it was hard for my husband and I, as I'm quite sure she won't remember it at all what with the anesthesia. But definitely the hardest moments of my mothering life, that's for sure!

However once she fully woke up and got some food into her system, she was much much better, and much more content with the casts. Since then she has gotten very used to wearing them and has been developing work arounds for most things. For example, this morning I looked over to see her moving all of the shoes in the front hall into rows (one of her favorite things to do when I'm not paying close enough attention). Since she couldn't carry them, she was getting into them and walking them into the row!

She gets the casts off later this week, luckily only has to wear them for a week, and then for the next couple of weeks she'll have bandages on over them to keep the incision sites relatively clean. From how quickly she has adapted to having the casts on, and how little pain she seems to be having from them and the surgery, I really doubt she will remember this as much more than a little blip on her radar, which I'm glad for! I'm also really glad the surgery was able to be scheduled when it was, so that we could get it all done before the baby arrives so that my focus could be all on her for the duration. Yay for things working out :)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Setting priorities to get the necessary stuff done!

So the mister is on true nights for the next 3-6 months, meaning 4 days a week he's leaving the house at 5 when we are eating supper, and returning at 5 in the morning when we are all soundly asleep. This means that for most of the day Little M and I  (and the dogs!) need to stay as quiet as possible. On Saturday this worked out well, we had some errands to run in town - recycling to sort and drop off at the recycling depot, and potatoes to pick and buy at the gardening store. Sunday I had grand plans of spending most of the morning outside putzing around the property. We have lots to do, but I wasn't going to care if we got anything done, feeling that keeping the house quiet was goal met enough. However, we woke up to this, which kept falling for over 2 hours in thick wet bunches!

So the wet snow falling and slightly sticking kinda put a damper on our outside plans, so instead we ended up inside in a somewhat cloudy-dreary house. What to do? While Little M occupied herself with a little game while swinging herself in the much-too-small baby swing, I decided that since we're getting down to the last (less than 10!) weeks of this pregnancy, I likely should have a master list of what I want to get done before baby arrives, so that I can prioritize the most critical items and let myself relax the rest of the time... For example, I've been spending a lot of time and energy on the new side garden space, which really isn't one of my yearly goals, let alone a goal for before the baby gets here, meanwhile there are definitely things that need to get done before baby comes that I've been putting off.... Hmmm... So time to start prioritizing my limited time and energy I figured!

I won't bore you with a play by play list of what all I need to do, but lets just say I was fairly specific, writing down small chunks of tasks that would each be easily do-able with the energy levels and time windows I typically have. By the late morning, I had my list complete, broken into sections - Garden, Property, Little M, Cleaning, and Baby, and then color-coded by month. Month, however, ended up being a bit of a mistake. There were some things that had specific months for completion - planting certain vegetable starts out, or certain baby doctor appointments for example, but for the most part, I just shoved everything else into April, although I sorted it by importance. I'm not yet sure if that will leave me feeling overwhelmed and make me attempt to get everything done, or if it will work in that I do the things I have time for and don't get done the less important things. Time will tell!

Already yesterday I did 2 of the more pressing tasks that I had definitely been putting off for much too long in favor of new garden fun chores - I made contact with a doula about her availability for our due date time window, and fixed the kitchen sink faucet which had (again, sigh), come unscrewed from its base so was requiring two hands to turn on and off. So I'll consider the list successful thus far :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Moving the chicken coop

So over the Easter weekend we were rather busy! Not only did we fit in 2 easter egg hunts and Easter lunch with some close friends who have a daughter a bit younger than Little M & the girls' paternal grandparents, but we moved the chicken coop from the old location, where it was when we bought the property, to its new home in the new side garden!

The mister and I were about to start putting the temporary fence up around my new garden area for the year when I realized that if we were going to move the chicken coop at all, it was really now or never. You see, once we have the temporary garden fence up, the next step would be to start installing the fencing on the log posts we've been installing. And both of those fences would preclude moving the chicken coop into that space.

We were wavering because
  1. I wasn't sure the chicken coop was structurally sound enough to survive being jacked onto sled logs and dragged around the property, and
  2. I wasn't sure we had the time or energy this spring to devote to moving and leveling the coop into the new side garden, getting the outside secure enclosure disassembled, moved across, and reassembled, all in addition to getting some sort of fenced new garden area set up along side the coop in the new side garden area (not to mention the normal spring chores we have!).
But since the mister's mom & stepdad were here for the weekend, we decided that if it was going to happen at all, this was the time, and so we decided to just go for it, because the benefits of having it over in the new area far outweighed the additional work and risks moving it would mean. After all, if we hadn't of moved it, the coop would have been where it was for at least 5 years until we could afford to build a new coop and garden shed in the new side garden. Since we've been having problems having the coop over there in terms of dog-chicken interactions & poop eating, we decided the hassles involved with moving it would be far outweighed by not having the hassle of the dogs and the chickens overlapping in the existing orchard area in the future. Of course, it means that we are now thinking about relocating the pig pen as well, but since we aren't set yet on having another pig this year, we may have next spring to get that relocated to a better spot.

So, Saturday around noon we started jacking up the chicken coop, in preparation for placing logs under it to make a sleigh to drag it around on. This went fairly successfully, the mister had a pretty solid idea of what he was doing and it seemed to work just fine. There was a slight hiccup maneuvering around the closest corner of the pig pen, but the mister's stepdad was able to wiggle the fence post loose enough to bend it sideways, and so we will just have to re-set it later to get it secure again, no big deal.

The real issue came once we were down in the bottom field. There was a patch of ice/snow and a muddy patch placed in just the right locations, near a tree we were trying to go slowly around, and the jeep got a bit stuck due to the weight of the coop behind it. In the process of trying to get going again, the chicken coop was pulled with too hard of a pop, and it came right off the log sleigh! Oops... Luckily, after a bit of re-jacking and manuevering, the guys got the sleigh back under the coop and the jeep unstuck, and headed up and around to get the coop into the new side garden area. By then, it was almost suppertime. They were able to mostly level the coop, although the floor joists had been torn off in the move, so Sunday morning a bit more work was required to get the floor adequately supported again.

Sunday evening the mister and I were back out there, moving the outside secure enclosure across from the old location, and tidying up the old coop area. We wanted to have at least the side fencing back up on the outside enclosure in the new area so that we could let the poor cooped-up chickens out, but we didn't quite get done in time, so the chickens will have to make do until later this week when the mister is on his days off.

Of course, we also didn't quite get around to fencing my new garden area off from the dogs, so planting in the new area will have to wait until later this week too... Not a big deal, since that area isn't at all the priority this year, and I did get around 10 wheelbarrow-fulls of dirt/chicken manure moved across from the old outside pen area to mix in with the soil. There is also a bunch of pig manure to be moved across from last year too, and any number of other chores to get that new garden area starting to be more functional, so I figure this next month we'll slowly work on it, fence post by fence post, wheelbarrow-load by wheelbarrow-load, and just not stress about it at all! :)
Slowly tidying up the area where the coop used to be. We haven't quite decided what will end up over there, but we've got nothing but time.

I love March and April because we just get so much done around the property every year!
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