Special Delivery

I'm feeling tired and achy and a little delirious from the whirlwind of the last 24 hours. This time yesterday I was running a bath in our huge, gigantic bath tub for my sister who thought she might have been in labor. Although this is baby number 4, she has never gone into labor on her own. Last night she began having regular, yet non-painful, contractions. She decided to soak in the tub for a bit and I offered our big triangular corner tub, thinking she could relax better with plenty of room. She took me up on it and showed up at our door around 10 last night, had a nice peaceful 30 minute soak, and then proceeded to have regular contractions- every 5 minutes. With cautious excitement she went home to call her midwife who told her to go to the hospital. So off we went! Our mom met us there and we were a team again. With my sister's other 3 deliveries we have been her birthing team- her husband, our mom, and me. Once she got all settled in we tried to get a few winks....until someone set off the fire alarm TWICE during the 4:00 hour which sounded for over 15 minutes with alarms and a BLINDING strobe light flashing in our room. So we were wide awake and a 20 minute nap in a chair was all we were getting. From there she progressed quickly and did a great job dealing with the pain. Her epidural didn't really give her much relief, so she ended up having to make it through a lot of painful contractions. At 7:10 a.m. she delivered her beautiful, chubby cheeked miracle. I was the camera man and got to capture a modest top view of the sweet moment. Welcome to the family Collin!


Oh, sugar!

*mysterious detective music plays*
I've known about this for some years now. Although it's serious, it's never been addressed. I didn't want to face the truth. But the time has come to admit and confess....*music climaxes*......I am a sugar addict! There! I said it! (or typed it) The cat is out of the bag.

Now that I have stared the problem right in the face, what am I gonna do about it? I don't know. Yesterday I went cold turkey. It wasn't too bad. I expected the withdrawal symptoms and cravings to hit hard, but they didn't. Maybe they will come today. I hope not. Rumor has it that if a person can make it for 2 weeks without the glorious white crystals then the worst is over. I gotta do it.

Once I found out what sugar does to the body I had to let it go. I have loved it all my life. It's always hard to say goodbye to a dear friend. Even if that friend is killing you slowly.......secretly.......sweetly.......from the inside. Like the most dangerous of evils- deceptively good, yet truly wicked. So, goodbye, my friend and worst enemy. May we part ways gently and NEVER meet again!


Do you smell hair burning?

We really love our wall mounted heater that I blogged about before. It is a great little efficient appliance that has kept us nice and toasty this winter. The only problem with it is that it gets really hot to the touch! So far my two year old daughter and niece have touched it and learned the hard way what HOT! means. A month or so ago my baby even backed up too close to it and singed a good bit of her already thin and wispy hair. Then, today, just as her hair was starting to grow back, she did it again and this time it was an even worse singe than before. So I got out my comb and scissors and gave her a short bob cut. It looks cute! But I cut off over an inch and it is very short now. I guess if she singes it again we will be looking at a buzz cut for her. :-) Enjoy the following BEFORE and AFTER pics.



It's Friday AND a possible snow day! How are we gonna handle this much excitement? It looks like the winter storm is gonna hold off until about noon, so that means we have another three hours to get as much school work done as we can. Then we are going to do a little bit of baking, cleaning, and preparation for dinner and tomorrow's lunch. After that we can enjoy the snow! Beautiful, rare, delightful snow!

P.S. It DID snow! Cooking and baking with a winter storm swirling outside the window was the best!

The pizza stuffed pretzels Sunny helped make for dinner turned out really good & pretty too!


Bye, Bye, Birdies :-(

Because I was a sensitive child I have always tried to protect my own children from things that might scare them or make them sad. I don't know how many nights I would lie awake, terrified, as a child because of some scary thing on tv or some scary story I heard. And we couldn't pass a bum on the street without my heart going out to them. I felt sorry for the under dog and sad movies always made (and still do make) me cry.

Of course you can't protect your children from everything and earlier this week something happened that is a perfect example of that. Sometimes in life bad/sad/scary things happen. Instead of just trying to shield them from all of that, I guess I need to also teach them how to deal with things that can't be prevented. Stay calm. Think fast. Act smart(ly). Use wisdom.
On Monday my nieces and nephew came over for a couple of hours while my sister went to the doctor. They were all clamouring to go to the backyard and have a look at our chickens. After finishing their morning school work they got to go out. Sunny is the egg collector girl, so she proudly lead the way to show off her chickens. She opened the small door on the back of the hen house to check for eggs. All of a sudden our large and 14 year old dog, acting like a crazed puppy, jumped through the egg door! It is hard to believe that she could even fit through that opening, but that shows how badly she wanted to get at those birds. Panic broke out and the kids began screaming and crying, while our dog attacked one of the chickens and nearly killed it in front of their eyes. Our chickens live in a chicken tractor, which is a long wooden frame covered in wire with a small hen house with roosting and nests at one end. It is on wheels so that we can move them around the yard. There are only two ways into the tractor and that is through the small egg door, or to lift it up and crawl under on your belly. But it is very heavy to lift! So Scotty has decided to put a gate at the other end for times we might have to go inside of it. He hasn't gotten around to doing that yet, so when the dog jumped in there she was trapped. I didn't know what to tell them to do! I yelled from the window for Micah to lift the tractor so he tried- he got it about 10 inches and then set it back down- right on the injured (and now dead) chicken. Our dog had a second chicken trapped inside the hen house. I had no idea how we were going to get that dog out of there. In the meantime we were watching her excitedly kill our poor chickens one by one. Sunny was traumatized! She has been caring for those birds and checking on them several times per day. Now they were being mauled before her eyes and there was nothing we could do about it. (This whole scene was happening very fast) My 10 year old niece, who apparently has her mom's head for quick thinking and calmness in a crisis, went around to the back of the tractor. She reached in through the egg door, seized the dog by her collar, and some how yanked her out. This saved the day, the rest of the chickens, and Aunt Heidi's sanity as I was completely freaking out. I do not know how that child managed to yank that dog out through the egg door. She is old, but big and very strong. Scotty has a hard time managing her on a leash. I figure it wasn't so much Claire's physical strength that did the job as her determination to save those chickens. As determined as that dog was to attack them, she was even more determined to save them.
After the damage was done and we all calmed down, then the attention turned to Sunny. She was heart broken not only that her chickens had died, but also because she felt it was her fault. Tears were flowing down her cheeks. All I could do for her was hug her and tell her it wasn't her fault. Eventually she was comforted. When we first got our chickens she chose one of them to be her own pet and, after careful observation of it's behavior and much thought, decided to name it Pecker. We were relieved to see that Pecker was not among the dead.

Two days later Scotty came home with a couple of new chickens to replace the victims of our dog's instinct to kill birds. Sunny named one of them Layla and the other one Laylee. We should have known she was a bird dog. In her younger years she once jumped straight up and grabbed a bird right out of the air. We couldn't believe our eyes. She's got a whole lot of spunk for a dog her age.