So it's been a while since I last posted,I'm not really sure where the time goes. Actually I do. I think sometimes I procrastinate with blogging because my Internet speed is so horrible that I get really crabby when I have so much to write and upload, and it never goes well.
Last night was one of the of the rare moments where I felt like superwoman. Now before you roll your eyes, please remember who you are dealing with here. Me. These were the events of the evening when I transformed from mild mannered Clark Kent into Supermanwoman.
After picking up Annabelle I came home, let the dogs out and decided to take Annabelle for a walk. As you may or may not recall, I have a very sketchy history with the cows up the road. So we headed to the South for our walk. I was faced with the dilemma of what to do with the dogs. Milton had been locked up in the house all day, and Bernie will lay on the furniture if I leave him in the house unsupervised. Both dogs would follow me if I just started walking, so I decided to be proactive and leash up Milton (who is too crazy to walk unleashed at a time when the few people who live on this road get home from work), and let Bernie come with us.
I felt like a woman who could handle it all... for about 3 and a half minutes. I was a woman who could be a good mom, a career woman (whose commute was 120 miles a day), and a woman who could also manage to squeeze in some manner of physical fitness, and be good to her faithful four-legged companions. Until we got about halfway down the road.
When the first car came by and I stood in the ditch screaming at Bernie who sat in the road and trying to prevent Milton from pulling Annabelle and I unto the field, I thought we just needed a little practice. But by the time the second car came I realized this all was a mistake. These dogs were just going to ruin my walk, just like they ruin everything else.
We managed to make it about a mile when another car came toward us and I attempted to get completely off the road it was over. I was officially a disaster. Bernie sat in the road as I tried to grab his collar and drag him over to me, while Milton pulled and pulled at the leash so he could presumably run wild and roll in something dead or fecal in nature. As I yelled at Bernie I felt my balance shifting and I realized that the stroller containing my baby was slowly tipping over sideways. I quickly stomped on the stroller to upright it, and fueled by nothing but profanity and rage I managed to drag Bernie over toward me. The car that had been approaching us had by this time stopped and was now pulling in the driveway adjacent to us. Fantastic. It was my neighbor. He had just been introduced to the mother of the year, who shouted the F word at her dogs while threatening to kill them as her baby slowly fell out of the stroller into a ditch. Yet I STILL felt like superwoman last night.
I visited with the neighbor and tried to act like the dogs had seen an animal so I could cling to some shred of hope that perhaps he wouldn't call Animal Control and Child Protective Services. I smiled and politely told he and his wife they should stop over for a visit one evening. I'm sure they'll be here any day now.
- toss the big chickens some torn up pieces of stale bread
- sit and watch chickens and try to decide who's a rooster and who's a hen (optional)
- start to throw torn pieces of bread at chickens when you get angry that they won't come when you call them and offer them pieces of bread (optional)
- clean out the feeders for the babies in the brooder
- refill the feeders for the babies in the brooder
- try, like a jackass, for five minutes to catch a baby chick and snuggle it (optional)
The 12 big chickens are acting like real chickens now. I have never in my life seen anything grow faster than a chicken. Even Annabelle, who is almost 7 months old doesn't grow quite as fast. They do very chickeney things. So I wanted to make sure to capture it to share:
I really enjoyed that I was simply trying to capture their chicken sounds and chicken behavior and instead I ended up hosting a cock fight.
After completing chicken chores I removed Annabelle from her stroller and brought her inside for her dinner. I was checking things off the list in my head: physical fitness-check. quality time with child and dogs-check. chicken chores-check. Dinner-almost check. I was feeding Annabelle her mangoes and oatmeal watching her gobble down the little bites of food. I was watching her eat and I realized I actually had a shot tonight of getting everything done. I might be able to shower AND make a hot meal for Bryan, and if I'm lucky I can make some more chicken crack. As I was mentally high-fiving myself I heard Annabelle engaging in her favorite past time: Blowing Raspberries. I smiled and admired her cuteness, and then made a rookie mistake. I shoveled a giant bite of mangoes in her mouth. This was followed by Annabelle blowing a raspberry and sending bits of pureed slobbery mango flying through the air faster than a speeding bullet.
I know people have said I have a flair for the dramatic, but I was completely sprayed with mango. It was in my hair, stuck to my glasses, my shirt....it was everywhere. And I had no choice but to sigh, wipe my glasses and move forward with the evening.
After dinner I placed Annabelle down on the floor by her toys and tried to tiptoe away hoping she might not notice I was no longer holding her. Annabelle has reached a super fun stage where every evening from 5:30pm to 7:00pm she wants me to exclusively hold her and engage in no other activities. I was not successful, I made it 3 steps before she began to howl. I usually can let it go for about 7-10 minutes before I question the impact on her emotional development and her future abandonment issues and I will go pick her up and inevitably apologize.
In a negotiated compromise I strapped her to me in the Ergo baby carrier and carried on with my plans. It takes twice as long to empty the dishwasher with an 18 pound baby strapped to my chest, but it gets done. We made the coffee for the next day, cleaned the kitchen and got our mise en place for dinner. I knew it wouldn't work with her strapped to me while I attempted to make pork chops and green beans so when she calmed down I was able to put her down and make dinner, and eventually shower. Because she was still being so agreeable I had a chance to make chicken crack. If I haven't mentioned chicken crack (i think I did) before it is 1 part oats and 1 part corn meal pulverized into a meal or powder. The chicks and chickens go NUTS for it.
So at the end of the day when Annabelle was fed and tucked safely in bed and sound asleep within minutes I was very proud of myself. Bryan had a hot meal for the first time in weeks when he got home late from work, and I was able to get a little fresh air, and take care of the chickens, it was a good night.
I know I've said it before but I will say it again, sometimes parenting is just trying not to screw it up so bad that you do permanent harm. I could have summed last night up in one quick paragraph. Last night I felt like superwoman because I went for a walk, fed the chickens, fed my little chicken, made dinner, and took a shower. But to me, that was a big deal. Bryan works long hours....every day. He hates it when he doesn't get home in time to put her to bed and he helps me out whenever his schedule permits it. The expectations in our house have to be set a little lower. As much as I may want to be superwoman, I'm not. I'm sure there are hundreds of mamas out there who are doing a far better job than I am. And for all those mamas who feel like superwoman when they get more than 3 hours of sleep at night. God bless you. We're all doing ok.
So when I nearly dump Annabelle out of the stroller on our walk because my dogs sit in the road, I have to shake it off. And when Bryan shows me pictures like this capturing the time he spent with Annabelle:
I don't get too worked up about it. While part of me wonders if the chicken is actually trying to eat her thumb like it's a worm, I know her daddy would never let anything happen to her. And we have soap. And chances are while this was going on in the chicken coop, it was probably the first time I've gotten to take a nap in months.
Now if only I could leap tall buildings in a single bound, that woudl really enhance my physical fitness routine.
Here's our chickens doing more chickeney things:
PS- And as an update, my Avocado plant has done nothing but be a seed in a cup of water.