Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Darn Tootin'

The chicken coop is done and our little ladies (and a few little men too, we suspect) are living happily out in the yard.  We've been learning all we can about chicken farming and are reading a lot of interesting things online these days.  Did you know that a hen's eggs will be the same color as her ear lobes?  Did you know that as soon as we learned this we had to Google: "where are a chicken's ear lobes?"  Oh yeah, they have ears, and lobes too.  The other night I found myself reading  a blog post titled "Wattle I do for love."

When Dustin builds something he builds it right.  He researched chicken coops for a month before breaking ground on this project.  The end result is an attractive, safe, highly functional home for our new pets.  The door over the nesting boxes opens so it will be easy to retrieve the eggs every day.  

Kenzie helped paint it, and she actually painted quite a bit.  We thought she'd lose interest after a few minutes but she ended up painting both of the removable sides (and parts of her body).
This is her posing-for-a-picture smile.

It wasn't that hot, but she was working hard.

Caught red-handed.

Now that they are accustomed to where their home is we can let them loose in the yard.  We did this hesitantly the first time but countless websites assured us that when dusk settles they will find their way home to roost.  Guess what?  It's true.  All ten were perched in the coop by 7:30 so we could lock them safely in their home.  It's almost too easy.

Kenzie could watch them all day long (and so could Dustin and I if we didn't have other pressing things to do, like, say, work and keep house and, well,  be normal).    We hope that they will start laying eggs by mid June.  More pictures and videos to come.

Kaia is ONE!

Kaia turned one last weekend and it gave me an opportunity to put my new Pinterest addiction to good use. Complete with tissue paper pom poms and personalized banners we celebrated Kaia's big milestone with over 60 people at our home.  Kaia continues to be the happiest, most personable baby on the block.  She was handed around all afternoon and never fussed.  She loved her first cupcake (though admittedly not her first sugary treat) and really seemed to enjoy being surrounded by our family and friends.

She wasn't at all overwhelmed by her birthday song.

I'm still cleaning up from the party and there are balloons and other decorations throughout our house.  Kenzie's birthday is this weekend, so half the work is done already for her party.

Pom poms are the gift that keeps giving...

Kenzie was an early talker (and she hasn't stopped since) and she seems to have taught little Kaia to follow her lead.  Kaia says nearly ten words consistently and tries new ones every day.  The last post showed Kaia's first steps.  After that day she seemed to make a conscious decision that she was going to stop crawling and be a full-time walker.  It was sometimes painful to watch how long it took her to get from point A to point B, but no matter how many times she fell she never crawled.  She would get back to her feet and keep trudging on.  Now she walks like a pro.  She has a bright, warm personality that makes it impossible to be in a foul mood when she's around.  She's our little troublemaker, too, always running to the stairs, toilet, dog food, etc whenever she sees an opportunity.

Some of Kaia's other talents include:
  • understanding simple requests like "throw the ball," "give this to Daddy," "lets to find big sister," "that's too big, spit it out."
  • dancing to the music.  Any noise can entice her to bounce up and down.
  • hugging.  She will give hugs upon request and loves to hug her stuffed animals and Kenzie's babies.
  • saying hi, whoa, Kona, ball, Daddy, water (wawa), arf arf (you know, what a dog says), and eat.
  • signing more, all done, milk, eat, and water.
  • finding her belly and toes.  She likes to eat her toes so we ask her to do that all the time (it's too cute).
  • making us all laugh at her dinner table shenanigans.  She holds onto her tray with both hands and shakes her head (along with the rest of her body) yelling "ahhhhhh" the whole time.  The more we laugh the more she does it.  
  • stopping to smell the flowers.  Although actually smelling things will take a while, right now she blows out her mouth when she "smells."  She smells real flowers and pictures of flowers in her books.
  • climbing the stairs quickly.  Too quickly.  If we forget to put a gate up she knows it and will be on stair three (at least) before we can get to her.  (We could leave the stairs ungated with Kenzie because she had no interest in climbing.)
  • doing laps.  She walks in laps around the kitchen island, and when she gets bored with that she does laps around the dining room table.  Seriously, the girl walks miles each day.
  • "helping" me do the laundry or throw things in the trash.  She gets really excited to throw her dirty diapers in the trash.  
  • making everyone smile.  She is a bright light in our lives, there's no doubt about it.