Saturday, February 28, 2015

It's All About The Chicks

This pretty much sums up how we spent our day:

Moving day!
We moved our first two chicks to the brooder.








Staying warm!

We kept watching over the next two.
I got to witness the last one hatching! (Logan was asleep in my lap and you can hear his sleepy breathing... Also very cute.)




And then there were 4!
These two will move to the brooder in the morning.
David and his dad were able to put in some time at the house where they started to run the pex pipe which supplies water to the house.




All very exciting stuff!!

~Sarah

Flashback!  Here's what we were up to one year ago today: "Every Party's A Birthday Party"
Two years ago today: "Recipe For A Meltdown"
And three years ago today: "Sick Day"

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Pips And Peeps!

Three days late but we FINALLY got our first pip!


I have been reading articles, blog posts and message boards to ease my mind because chicks typically pip on the 20th day and hatch on the 21st. Luckily there are PLENTY of folks out there who have eggs that hatch on the 24th-27th days and better still, their chicks come out fine. I have read that the incubator that we have can fluctuate enough to create delayed hatching. We also did not have a gauge to detect the humidity level so I wasn't sure if there might have been a problem there or not. 

Anyway, I digress. Every single thing I read reminded me to have patience which was hilarious because I had more patience when my own baby was almost 2 weeks overdue!  I think the difference was that with Logan, I was doing the most natural thing where as having eggs in an incubator is not so natural. It's harder to just trust that nature will find a way when there are so many external factors, or interventions if you will, involved. The good news is that our patience paid off because we have our first pip and LOTS of peeping going on today! 




We left for a few hours and then we came home to this!




It can take up to 24 hours for a chick to work it's way out of an egg so it was such a pleasant surprise for it to have hatched so quickly!  They usually "unzip" the shell with a little egg tooth on the front of their beak (making a small crack most of the way around the diameter). Then they uncurl and straighten out their little bodies, pushing their head and feet away from each other and cracking the egg open the rest of the way. In the time spent between pipping and actually hatching, they absorb the remaining yolk and blood vessels (nature is truly fascinating). This is why helping a chick hatch is STRONGLY discouraged. If you remove the shell before they are ready it can kill a perfectly healthy chick immediately. They then live off of that last bit of yolk that they absorbed for the next 24 hours while they rest and dry off. The hatching process is very hard work for a little chick just as the birthing process is hard work for a human baby. Once they are dry and fluffy we will move them into the brooder where they will start eating and drinking all on their own. 


 It's hatching time folks and we are so excited!

~Sarah

Flashback!  Here's what we were up to one year ago today: "1st Trimester Recap {Baby Number 2}"
Two years ago today: "Blueberry Monster"
And three years ago today: "Napping House"

Thursday, February 26, 2015

We See The Light


Things are transitioning back to normal with this sweet boy.


Whoever came up with the Wonder Weeks is a genius.  It is so amazing to be able to predict and understand disruptions in a baby's normal behaviors.  It is also reassuring to know that any behaviors that develop during "stormy" periods are only temporary while they work through their developmental leaps rather than worrying that it is their new normal. This leap was a doozy for us as far as sleep goes and how much he wanted to be held.  The past couple of days have been almost back to normal and that is a beautiful thing for this spoiled mama.



We have never actually read the Wonder Weeks book but the App is something I would put on my list of must-haves for baby's first year!  The developmental leaps and the chart for stormy periods were spot on for Ayden and have for Logan so far and they are two VERY different children.  It's a pretty amazing tool!

Do you use the Wonder Weeks?  Did they line up with your child's behaviors?

~Sarah

Flashback!  Here's what we were up to one year ago today: "Little Man Leads The Way"
Two years ago today: "Puzzled"
And three years ago today: "Ayden's Favorite Things"


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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Calm. Clear. Concise.

SItting up always opens a whole new world of exploration!
David and I have decided that it is time to expect Ayden to be a little more responsible with cleaning up his toys. We have him help us when he is around, and a lot of times will ask him to clean up one thing before starting the next; but most of the time the toys that he gets out during independent free play are left out for us to clean up during nap or after he goes to bed for the night.

This morning I was working in the kitchen dealing with dishes and getting dinner into the crockpot. Logan was napping and Ayden was playing nicely in the living room. I turned around to check on him and saw that he had dumped out EVERYTHING from his toy shelf and then some. Many collections of little things were spread out all over the floor. I said, "Oh Ayden, it looks like you are making a bigger mess than you are going to want to clean up. Let's take a break and put some of it back where it belongs." He ignored me. I asked him again and he looked at me and spread it around a little more. Our spirited boy was challenging me. 

I could feel anger and frustration welling up inside.  If this were an isolated incidence it would not have bothered me so badly but we go through this sort of challenge on a regular basis. Our morning had been going so well, I really did not want to disconnect from him which is what always happens when I act immediately in these situations when he triggers an emotional response from me. I closed my eyes for a moment and then walked away. He kept playing happily, thinking he had won this battle. I went to a quiet room and thought for a couple of minutes. It was something like, "He needs a clear and concise consequence than I can deliver while keeping calm. Why isn't there a manual for this?!?"  After a minute or two I had it. I came out of the bedroom and headed upstairs. Ayden tried to talk to me but I ingnored him.  I was on a mission. He followed me up to the playroom where thought we were going up to play. I walked in and got his timer and walked back downstairs. He was intrigued and followed me. "What do you think you are doing, Mommy?" (His new question that always makes us laugh a little because he so innocently uses the phrase that is usually smart aelic). He followed me to the laundry room where I emptied out a small box and then back to the living room we went. I set the box down, set the timer and set it where he could see it then finally looked him in the eye. I got down on his level and very calmly and very clearly I said, "Ayden. I have asked you to pick up these toys and you chose not to listen. Now I have set this timer and any toys left on the floor when it goes off, Mommy is going to put in this box and then I'm going to take it out to the shed."  

Well, he did not hesitate. I was a little generous and set the timer for 10 minutes, wanting him to succeed on his first time so we could celebrate after he did it, and he got it done in 5. 



It wasn't all out back where it actually belonged but it was all up off the floor and that was good enough for me!  

It felt like SUCH a success.  We celebrated and called David to tell him how we worked so well together as a team.  We rode out the rest of the day in sync and it was a good reminder of how, as parents, we don't always have to give an immediate consequence.  It is okay to step away to regain composure and perspective.  Discipline works SO much better when we leave our own emotions out of it.  Instead of fueling any fires or changing the course of our days for the worse, we can simply get the job done while teaching them a lesson. Some days will be easier than others for me personally but it will always be something that I can strive for.

I am going to keep that box handy.  Any time Ayden chooses to continue playing rather than clean up as I have asked, I'm going to get it out.  I am hoping that I will never follow through but I will if I have to and if I do it could also turn into a purging exercise.  I have heard of parents doing this and leaving the box/bag out in the garage, basement, storage shed, etc. and if the child does not "miss" a toy or ask for it back after a certain amount of time they just give it away. I've been wanting to do a major toy purge anyway!

How do you encourage your children to clean up their toys when they don't want to?

~Sarah

Flashback!  Here's what we were up to one year ago today: "Privileged"
Two years ago today: "Cave Lady Proud"
And three years ago today: "Happiest Baby On The Block"


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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Little Reader

We went to Tuesday storytime today!

Oh those LASHES!
Sitting up on his own for longer periods.
(And by on his own I mean we help him get balanced there and let go.)

It's the first time we made it to story time in almost 2 months!  I am so glad that we were all well enough and that the weather allowed this week. We saw our favorite librarian who is like a 3rd grandmother to Ayden. He's kind of her favorite too which is really sweet. 

While we were there I took some time to talk with her about Ayden and his reading. I asked if they had the BOB book series because he knows his letters, both capital and lowercase, his letter sounds and a few high frequent words that he looks for and finds when we are out and about. He is ready to start reading!  

I had heard good things about these BOB books and asked a fellow teacher friend if she had used them and she likes them so before going out and buying a set I checked with the local library. They had the whole series and she was very excited to hear about Ayden being ready for them.



 The thing that stopped me in my tracks is that the level he is ready for says "Kindergarten" on the box. I know we still have a couple of years before he'll start Kindergarten but it just made me realize how quickly it will be here. We still have a lot of thinking and research to do to know what kind of schooling we will start him out in and I feel like I need to put figuring it out higher on our priority list. 

All of that being said, I am so happy that he has a love for books and for reading. I am excited to start this next adventure with him because once one learns to read they can then begin reading to learn!

Something very important to keep in mind. We will just follow his lead!
We don't want to rush him but we do want to make resources available so he can run with new skills whenever he is ready.

~Sarah

Flashback!  Here's what we were up to one year ago today: "Big Stuff"
Two years ago today: "Little Ayden Had A Farm"
And three years ago today: "Magical Music"

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Monday, February 23, 2015

For The Birds!

We were out of the house all day today!  Play group met at the indoor bounce park again. 


The boys had their naps on the way home. When they woke up we had lunch and got out again. We ran a few errands and then visited with my parents at their house for the first time in weeks!  David stayed home after dinner tonight due to the cold so I was able to make some chocolate zucchini bread and fruit leather for the dehydrator. 

It is amazing what normalcy can do for my spirit. I was in such a good mood all day!  I do what we need to do for my family (like staying home for a week straight while waiting for them toget off their colds and for the snow to melt so we can be safe) but being out of control of my days for too long is hard on me!  

We usually stay home on Tuesdays so I can do my weekly cleaning tasks but we are heading to Tuesday story time in the morning. Staying home is for the birds at the moment. Ha!

~Sarah

Flashback!  Here's what we were up to one year ago today: "No Telling"
Two years ago today: "The Secret Life Of Bees"
And three years ago today: "Tummy Time"

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Chicken Birth Supplies

Tonight was the last time turning our first clutch of eggs!  We have some that were added a few days later so we will continue turning those tree times a day but the first clutch gets to rest until their big debut in about 3 days!  I've started gathering their home birth supplies :) . We needed to put cheese cloth under them to help contain the mess, we also needed to add a sponge of water and close a vent hole on the lid to increase the humidity. Once they hatch they are to remain in their cozy incubator for about two days and once they are completely and adorably dry and fluffy we move them into their "brooder" where they will remain until mid Spring. 



We are so excited about the arrival of these babies and I know that come mid-Spring we will be excited to get them out of the house and into the coop!  

I haven't posted any house progress in a while. Things were put on hold during our recent snowpocolypse but they have been working this weekend and they have made a good deal of plumbing progress. They are done with the drain/vent system for now and are ready to move on to the supply side.











The exciting part is that we are getting to the stage where I get to start choosing interior fixtures, faucets and stuff. 

The bathroom faucets I chose.
It's a good example of the overall feel we are going for...
{via}
With the help of Pinterest I have a great idea of how I want our home to look and luckily David is on board with all of the ideas I have pitched so far.  I've heard that building a home together can be tough on a relationship but, knock on wood, we seem to be on the same page. It has been really fun getting to start using my virtual daydreaming to make this house into a home!

~Sarah

Flashback!  Here's what we were up to one year ago today: "A Driveway"
Two years ago today: "What's Up Doc"
And three years ago today: "Best. Day. Ever."

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Good Reads

Every time I saw or read something worth sharing over the last couple of weeks I copied and pasted the link for it into a draft post in hope to collect enough to share them with you guys.  Some of them are just good reminders that I have seen (and possibly even shared) in the past.  Some of them are enlightening or just encouraging. I'd love to hear your thoughts on any of them and I hope they can bring you inspiration too!

A motto I am going to *try* my hardest to adopt in an effort to acquire less and save money for decorating our new home!  I found this photo in this blog post which is also a good read.

The Most Powerful Thing You Can Say To Another Mom

This video below is hilarious but gave me goosebumps by the end.  We are all different mothers/parents but at the core we have something VERY similar in common.  We all LOVE our babies. That alone makes us more alike than any of us realize.


My midwife linked this up on Facebook recently and it could be a good read for anyone who desperately wants to succeed at breastfeeding: The Slippery Slope of Supplementing




How To Be A Calm Parent


~Sarah

Flashback!  Here's what we were up to one year ago today: "Name Hunting"
Two years ago today: "Snug As A Bug"
And three years ago today: "Early To Bed"

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Day Dreamer

This is what we woke up to this morning:

Brrrrrrrrrrr is an understatement. 
The boys hung out in bed together for a while. 

Staying warm and being sleepy.


I know he was bread for this and all but I still couldn't believe how much Mav enjoyed the sub zero temps.

In this drafty old cottage the upstairs gets HOT while the downstairs is frigid so we spend a lot of time up in the playroom in the Winter. 


Working on his sitting up skills!
I felt CRUMBY today, both physically and mentally. It was a combination of so many things: Logan had me up for about an hour and a half in the night, the boys have not napped at the same time all week, I had SO much sinus pressure, we've been cooped up for too long... To name a few. David hitched a ride to work with a coworker who drives out our way so I'd have the car but we never made it anywhere. It was SO cold in the morning so my plan was to get out after nap but for some reason Ayden had in his mind that he was boycotting nap today (which was a first). I stood my ground and after about an hour and a half of just hanging out in his bed, calling for me about every 10 minutes or so, he FINALLY realized that my stance was firm and he went to sleep (and then slept for TWO hours). Naptime is still a necessity for ALL in this household!  Because of the delay and then the log nap, he didn't wake up until 4 and by then it was time to start dinner. I still HAD to get some fresh air and a change of scenery so after dinner I left Ayden and David to watch a movie while Logan and I went out for a night on the town! At the grocery...


Logan had skipped his evening cat nap that he usually takes at around 4:30 so he fell asleep on the way there and slept the whole time. It felt like I was alone which was exactly what I needed to recharge a little. I took my time and even looked through a few magazines. I felt like a whole new person on the way home. 

The grocery was a bit of a madhouse because we are supposed to get 4-8 more inches of snow tonight (!!) but I didn't mind since I was in no hurry. I'm glad I got out because we might be snowed in again tomorrow and I'm not sure I could have endured one more day without a break! 

 If anyone needs me, I'll be daydreaming about the warm days of Spring. Planting our veggie garden, going to bee school and doing our first hive checks, hanging clothes outside to dry and playing with the boys out at the building site while David works on the house. Ahhhh. It seems far away but the days are gettin longer and it is coming!

~Sarah

Flashback!  Here's what we were up to one year ago today: "5 Kitchen Gadgets Worth Having"
Two years ago today: "The Five Love Languages"
And three years ago today: "Sleep Solutions"

Thank you for stopping by Life With the Ladniers!
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Still Snowed In

Another day at home in the books. I am really looking forward to taking David to work and having my car tomorrow!!  Even though it's going to be COLD... Considering that we have been snowed in all week, it was still a pretty good day with my boys. 

Thanking me for his milk.
He named his parrot "Open Wing Parrot Eye"
Haha.  Sounds Native American or something...

Bedtime stories.
I am getting the cold that the boys had. I have had some early signs for a few days but it hit full force today. I've been drinking lots of water, downing my feel better tea, taking some immune boosting/infection fightig supplements and diffusing aome dƍTERRA Breathe all day. A good thing is that, since the boys are on the mend, we have all been sleeping better. More rest should help too!

~Sarah

Flashback!  Here's what we were up to one year ago today: "Reassurance"
"Two years ago today: "Mothers Are Strong"
And three years ago today: "Sunday Funday"


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

COLD Forecast

We got three more inches of snow overnight...


That's a COLD forecast, folks!
Yesterday it said the low on Thursday night was going down to -20* so -13* really isn't going to be so bad... right?

Needless to say, David took my car to work again today and we had another stay home day! And we (the kids and I) plan to do it tomorrow too.


Logan's sleep is finally falling back into familiar (predictable and solid) patterns.  His current developmental leap along with teething and being sick has been a doozy.  We are lucky it took a whole 5+ months before we had any sleep issues with him but that fact doesn't make us feel any better to endure physically.  I'm just glad an end seems to be in sight because he had me spoiled!


Our day went MUCH better today and it was my attitude alone that was different.  We can't control what happens in our lives but we CAN control how we handle it.  

Happy mama = happy kids.


We needed a few things from the grocery since I haven't made any trips to restock our kitchen staples so when David got home we took a family trip back out.


It was my first time out since we got covered by a beautiful blanket of snow and I soaked up all of the beauty that is a snow covered horse country.


We plan to stay in again tomorrow due to the low temps and the fact that David's car is literally buried in our driveway.  I'll probably drive him to work on Friday so we can spend the day out and about.  

~Sarah

Flashback!  Here's what we were up to one year ago today: "Getting Dirty"
Two years ago today: "Big DC Day"
And three years ago today : "4 Weeks Old"


Thank you for stopping by Life With the Ladniers!
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