Saturday, March 30, 2013


As you may be aware, we have chickens in our backyard.  We bought a coop that is supposed to be moved around the yard.  Technically it's called a chicken tractor.  We have done this every Spring through Fall for 3 years.  During the Winter we move it into our garden. 

The problem is that when you move it, you leave a day's worth of chicken poop on the grass.  It's never been a big deal.  We have had dogs that used to "take care of it" (sorry that's really gross!) but they are both gone now.  And before I quit my job, we never really played out there. 

Last summer Ryan and our friend Rob built the kids a swing set.  We used it some through the Fall.  Ainsley knew how to watch out for poop.  We tried to keep the coop a good distance from the swing set too.

And then this week, David discovered that we have a back yard.  The swing set blew his mind.  He loves it.  Especially the slide.  And so my fear of my kid sliding into poop resurfaced.  Or even worse, my kid picking up a piece of poop and eating it.  Oh the horror!

Enter the "Chunnel".  I know that's not a real word.  It's a chicken tunnel.  A Chunnel.  My friend Caroline had sent me a link to one about a year ago.  I pulled it out of the memory vault and just knew I had to build one.  The idea was all of a sudden brilliant!  It took 2 trips to Lowes and a quite a bit of work, but it's done. 

And it's spectacular!  It goes the full length of the outside of our back yard.  It even curves. 

It connects into the coop and gives them an extra 15 feet beyond that.
Before we let the chickens in, Ainsley had to try it out.  This is the last time she will ever be allowed in it!

Once we opened it up to the chickens, they began to explore.  It took them a bit to really go out there.  I was a little disappointed, but then they got it.  Pretty soon they were digging and running. 

The grass that's there probably won't last long.  But it's ok.  They will still enjoy the place to run and move around outside of the small coop.  And there will be no more moving of the coop.

After it was done and the chickens were happily playing in it, I let David come outside.  He went right to it.  He looked at the chickens and followed them down the outside of the chunnel for a bit and then just left them alone. 

Chickens and children in complete harmony with out the threat of disease!

The one downfall is that my hands and arms are now killing me.  I'm scratched and scraped.  I'm cut and bruised.  Metal fencing is no joke.
These cuts and bruises will last a short time and yet the happiness the chunnel will bring us will last way longer than that! 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Get Outside

Ainsley is an inside girl.  She really doesn't care if she ever goes outside.  At least that's how she used to be.  When I used to work, her nanny had 2 little boys who loved to be outside so she would go out and pretty much just sit there.  I never really minded this much.  I'm mostly an inside girl myself.  I prefer to be in the kitchen or on the computer.  If I had time, I would love to curl up on the couch and read a book (but who in the world has time for that!)

When David was born and he was indeed a "he", I knew my life as an insider was probably over. 

I have taken him outside some but taking a kid who can't walk outside is really just messy.  We have been to the park and it took everything I had to let him play in the sandbox.  But I did.  And he got messy.  And had to ride home in just his diaper.  But I did it.  And I was pretty proud of myself.

This past weekend was gorgeous!  Ryan and I took both kids to a local park.  While Ryan was up on the top of the playground essentially forcing Ainsley down the big slide, I was following David around.  Now that he's walking with ease, he just had a blast walking around all the kids.  I put him on the top of the baby slide and gave him a little nudge.  He literally squealed.  So I put him up there again and before I could even nudge him, he had figured out how to get himself going. 


All that to say, that my time is now going to be spent more outside than I probably would like.  But that's ok.  Because to see this kid happy is worth every bit of it. 

Listening to him laugh and squeal as the wind hits his face or when he sees something in the woods (like 15 deer running by or a wild turkey chilling out in our neighborhood).


Seeing him light up and point as the school bus drives by..

Or maybe just seeing the biggest smile ever.

And frankly it's good for me.  And it was actually fun.  I think my inside girl even enjoyed herself. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Don't Say Things Like That

This past Friday David had an incident with a hanger.  I won't go into the details, but it was gross.  I thought for sure we were going to the ER.  But he was ok.  And then he took a face plant on our train table.  But he was fine.  I was on the phone with my mom later that day and said something along the lines of "I can't believe we have never been to the ER with my kids.  I'm sure David is going to make us go there quite a bit"

David has had a fever and a cough since Sunday afternoon.  The fever has gotten high.  But it is responding well to medicine.  I still took him to the doctor on Tuesday morning.  He said that he was wheezing some but not enough to do anything.  The doctor wanted us to let him know if things changed.

By the afternoon, David was wheezing more and just generally miserable.  You could see his stomach heaving as he was trying to get air.  And his fever was just persistent.  So I put him in the tub to see if it would make him get any better. 

It just made him shake and get cold but didn't take his fever down.  I put him to bed and he fell right to sleep.  I told Ryan I was a bit concerned about his breathing and I was just going to call the doctor to see what he said. 
One piece of back information is that my pediatrician is very low intervention.  He rarely prescribes anything.  He is a proponent of letting the body do what the body knows how to do.  This is actually one of the reasons we love him.
So when I called him last night and he said that we needed to take him to the ER, I was shocked.  But I also knew that we needed to go.  When he jumps, so do we.  We dropped Ainsley off at Grandma's house for the night and off we went. 

It was a fairly easy experience. They gave him a breathing treatment and did a chest X-ray. He lungs were clear.  It was viral and we just needed to wait it out.  We were home by midnight with an inhaler and instructions to keep up the Ibuprofen. 
Serves me right to say things like that. 
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