Happy Birthday Ferris!

July 6, 2015

Four years ago today I went into the hospital at 8:30 in the morning.  Four hours later Ferris was born.

In the beginning he was the most serious baby we had ever met.  Ryan and I constantly joked about how “this was not in the brochure.”  And then he discovered how to smile and all that seriousness vanished.

When Ferris genuinely laughs, it’s infectious.  It’s a truly joy inspiring noise unlike any other.  As if he knows it’s a superpower, he always covers his mouth like he wants to hold it all in.  

Today he’s four.  His favorite person in the whole wide world is his big brother, he LOVES the color black, and will eat peanut butter and jelly for three meals a day.  He is almost three feet tall, he’s, “not little.  I’m medium-sized.”

He travels, runs, builds legos, rides his pedal bike, likes to cook, and still thinks Batman is, “kinda awesome.”  

There are no more babies on Team Chicken anymore, everyone is growing up.  The years ahead seem very far away, but the ones behind us happened so quickly.  It’s quite an adventure for all of us, and I’m glad we’re in it together.

Happy Birthday Goblin - we love you more then Batman, Legos, and bicycles put together and multiplied by “one-hundred and ninety nine.”

Snow Days & Stomach Bugs

March 2, 2015

It’s been two weeks of snow days.

Two weeks.

The uncivilized cats who pee on stuff are in the house since it’s too cold for them to be outside.  They’ve been in for the past month, and are getting tired of spending all their unchaperoned time in the apartment complex I built out of dog crates.

Oh, and Porter had a stomach bug.  We nicknamed him him Poopy Tail McSquirty Butt.  In retaliation he gave his stomach bug to the kids.  (And yes, I know that’s not how diseases work, but he’s an evil genius so humor me.)  

There are bowls and buckets placed at decorative intervals all over the house, and the washer has not stopped once in the last 5 days.  So far Ryan and I are ok....so far.

None of us want to do anything, we’re tired of the iPad/Netflix/Wii combo that’s straining to keep us entertained.  (I think the Wii committed harikari yesterday.)  I chewed through a dozen novels.  Ryan read all of the internet and now has half a dozen bikes on his wish list.  We played with some science experiments.  I’ll admit monster eggs and slimy oozy goop loses it’s charm to a kid when they’re dashing off to the bathroom while Dad is wiping up the trail they left behind.  

I’m ready for spring.

Ready for longer days - spent OUTSIDE.  Way OUTSIDE.

I pulled out the gardening books and spent the afternoon hiding being supported by my super awesome husband and laid out a plan.  I also cataloged a the list of Things We Absolutely Have to Stop Putting Off.

I woke up this morning with a spring in my step and a $400 plant order itching to be placed - right after I clean up the messes of five cats, one dog, and two exploding children.

Bagels - Week 14 of 52

April 18, 2014

We have been making bagels, and they are awesome.

I am ashamed to admit that for the past 5 years I've been buying refrigerator bagels from the grocery store.  Simple, sometimes frozen, and decidedly not bagels.  Then on a whim (like everything else around here) we thought to try making them ourselves.

The recipe is here: Serious Eats Bagels 

They are really wonderful and not that time consuming.  It takes about two hours from start to finish, but there’s not a whole lot of hands on time in that two hours.  We have been making a batch every 5 or so days, along with other dough so everything rises or bakes at the same time.  

I would really recommend you give them a shot, especially if you've been living on crustless, nay soulless, refrigerator bagels.

Also, due to sudden phone death, and general laziness, there are no photos this week.

Spring! - Week 13 of 52

April 11, 2014

Things are blooming.

Look!  Someday these will be cherries.

And these will be apples.

We've had a pretty productive week outside.  I got ⅓ of the mulching done.  Ryan made progress on the now infamous shoe rack that’s been on the to do list since last October.  Charlie found his third favorite place to sleep, the baby chickens have been enjoying the outdoor chicken tractor in the afternoons, and the kids have been riding bikes every day after school.

I love spring.

League of Unsettling Villains™ - Week 12 of 52

April 4, 2014

Right now Ryan is outside getting the leaves out of the front beds.  He dry fitted bits for the shoe rack he’s building me, and we got a hike with Charlie in this morning.  I’m super stoked about this since I feared NOTHING WOULD EVER GET DONE AGAIN.  This is not a rational fear, but my mental to do list is insanely overwhelming and filled with the most silly and trivial things.  Just today make bagels has been moved on and off it SIX TIMES.  

I have never once claimed to be rational.

So progress is being made and I’m still working on being ok with good ‘nuff.  (OMGWTFBBQ Good enough SUCKS, it’s horrible and I hate it with every fiber of my being.)  I may not be rational, but my OCD is well documented.

Also, I’m feeling shouty today.

This week we all were plagued by the League of Unsettling Villains™.  Zane was the first attacked, hit by Se├▒ior Upchuck and his side besties the Yurpies while at school.  That night Sir Up-All-Night dodged from room to room haranguing Ryan and myself as well as Zane.  Meanwhile on the north side of the house, Ferris was battling The Snot Monster and Herr H├Ąckencough.  There was a Mexican standoff when Ferris was armed with The Spray of Saline and Tincture of Dimatapp, but at 4am they overwhelmed him and he had to be rearmed.  By morning, Zane bested most of the foes that menaced him, but the Yurpies gave him the slip and nipped at Ryan and my heels for the following day.  Also Ryan had the runs.

12 hours later, the League was locked up in Bleach Penitentiary and normalcy was restored to the Suburban Farm.

We also relocated another raccoon, rearranged dishes and food so Zane can officially get breakfast for he and Ferris, we made bagels (they were really awesome) and tortillas with bacon fat, (first batch awesome, second batch meh), dealt with our taxes, read a bunch of books, and watched Frozen.  

Yes, we’ve all been singing Let It Go OVER AND OVER AND OVER.  Only the kids can’t remember anything other than the “let it go” part.  I squelch my inner drama queen every time and avoid calling out “the cold never bothered me anyway.”  Which while dramatic, is patently untrue as my stupid allergy to the cold has gotten worse this year.

This week hopefully progress on the yard will continue.  We'll do even more bike riding with the warmer weather, and I will continue to work on living a slightly less organized life...  or go totally postal and you'll find me with the recently relocated raccoon at the park.

Zane is 5 and there were Chicks - Week 11 of 52

March 28, 2014

And we’ve missed another two weeks.  I’ve spent the better part of this month trying to embrace the less than perfect.  Good e‘nuff is good e‘nuff.  Serving that, I’m going to keep trying to blog once a week and if I fail, oops, at least the kids were (mostly) cared for and no one (mostly) caught fire.

Bullet points of the last couple of weeks.

The Box - the shovel came out, and the box stayed in our living room for another two weeks as “The Cave” where the boys built a living room and could be found eating snacks, watching the iPad, and hiding toys.  At one point I think trains were set up.  (And yes, they had to do this all laying down ‘cause the box was only 20” wide.)

Zane Turned 5 - and I didn’t do a “I love you, you’ve grown, perhaps you’ll read this when you're older” post.  Hey Zane, you’ve grown, you’re a cool dude, and I’d much rather actually play games or build legos with you then try to sum up an indescribable year full of adventures, clothing rending, a few tears, and many many many hugs.  But, I love you and hope that future you is content.  Hey Ferris, same goes for you, and I skipped last year’s post so I’ll double sum up in July.

We did have a party.  It was super fun.  A bunch of kids thrashed my house, built legos, played in the yard, and ate way less pizza then we thought they would.  Also no cake as Zane “has too much icing in my tummy” so we did doughnuts in a heap.  Everyone had a blast and three hours after they all left the house was back to normal.  I would do it again in a heartbeat.

We Got Chicks - 3 black australorps, 3 buff orpingtons, and 3 barred rocks.  Let’s hope we can keep all of them for at least two years so we’ll finally get enough eggs to prevent us from buying them.  For the record, we go through at least two dozen eggs a week.  That’s if I don’t bake or have company over.  

The Front Yard - I got it mostly cleared of leaves, and we need to decide if we’re going to clear the rest off the front and the side or mulch some of the uncovered beds this weekend.  One or the other is all we have time for.  

Charlie is good, the kids are good, the chickens and cats are good, and Ryan and I are scrambling along behind them all, but we’re having fun in the process.

Box of Shovel - Week 8 of 52

March 7, 2014

We missed a week.  Week 7 was full of packing and preparing for a trip to Cincinnati.  We were on the road on Thursday, briefly discussed needing to post the next day, and then promptly forgot.  Friday was spent running around the Cincinnati Aquarium with the kids, followed by three days of non-stop eating.  This week we’re back on the horse!

Ever wonder what the package looks like when you order a shovel from Amazon?  

I happen to know.  I ordered one three weeks ago, and it’s been sitting in our living room, all boxed up, ever since.  We haven’t really needed it, but aside from that, the packaging is so freaking funny that I kept meaning to take a picture of it.  Yes, I've had a giant box of shovel sitting in my living room for three weeks, because I couldn't be bothered to get my camera out.

For the first two weeks, when Zane got home from school he would ask when we were going to open the box.  Week three he gave up, thinking it an exercise in futility.  Yup, not only did I have a GIANT BOX reminding me to open it, I had two weeks of daily reminders from Zane too.

When we got back from our trip, there was enough snow on the sidewalk that unpacking the thing might have been prudent.  But, NOOOOO, I must document the ridiculousness of a shipped shovel.

Then last night, after a glass (ok, two and a cocktail) of wine, I told Ryan we should make a movie about the box full of shovel.  He nodded, “Yes dear.” and we both fell asleep on the sofa.  I can’t be bothered to take a camera out, why not add even more obstacles to removing the GIANT BOX from the living room?  I do not always act in my own best interests.

Today, I’m putting the shovel in the garage.  I may or may not unbox it.

Photo of a huge box with a shovel top sticking out of it.

It’s like we ordered a shovel made for Andre the Giant.