Friday, May 27, 2011

Rooster in the Hen House

I am becoming suspicious that one of our "hens" is actually a rooster. They are still young though, and I am a novice chicken raiser. So we are waiting to hear a crow, and then there will be four.

But! We procured two more baby chicks from a kindergarten classroom last week. I don't know what breed they are, but it will be fun to add a couple more to the flock.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I think I've written posts before about my cautious first born. He's always been hesitant to try new things, to go too fast or too high or too far. But he's also a little boy. A couple of days ago, I heard him yelling and talking to himself outside, and I thought I should see what he was up to. And I found him here:

I don't know if you can tell, but that's a pretty tall tree! Now that he's figured out he's capable, I can't keep him on the ground. He will try to climb just about any tree he can reach, and get as far up as possible. It scares me a little bit, but I'm not about to tell him he can't climb trees. And he's having a grand old time. I'm proud of him.

On the other hand, my second born has never been hesitant about going too high or too fast or too far. She scares me half to death all the time. The other night Bryce was working on his motorcycle in the garage, and Molly fell in love. The sight of her manic eyes as she screamed in glee (with no pants nonetheless) gave me an even scarier vision of my future. Maybe we'll just keep her away from motorcycles.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Into the Swing of Summer

Bryce is back to work seven days a week and long into the evening now. School is over for us, and although summer is a great time here to lounge on the beach and walk in the woods, we also need a schedule of sorts or we all go crazy. I will admit it's been hard so far with Cedar in tow. Everything seems to take five times as long. Getting in and out of the car really tests my patience. And after a month long hiatus (thanks to my mom and lovely, lovely friends) I've had to start cooking again. I hate to say it like that because I love cooking. But Cedar would prefer to just sit on the couch and nurse constantly from the hours of about five until ten at night. Which I wouldn't mind doing if I didn't have two other kids and we didn't have to eat (or bathe or get to bed). So I've been doing a lot of easy meals, and meals that I can do most of the prep for in the afternoon. It hasn't been horrible, but I'm always looking for new ideas. I did try a new coleslaw recipe the other day that was pretty good, something a little different. And on Bryce's birthday I made another North Douglas Chocolate Cake. It turned out just as good as the first time! Yum.

And speaking of lovely friends, I received this from my wonderfully talented friend Amy after Cedar was born. This picture doesn't do it justice at all, but it is my new favorite thing. The kids love it too, an egg for each of them. I get compliments every time I wear it. Thanks Amy!

Monday, May 16, 2011

The First Harvest of Spring

The spring plants are late in coming out of hiding this year, despite some recently gorgeous weather. However, one day in the pouring rain, Molly and I picked a bucket full of fiddleheads. These are just the curled up buds of newly emerging ferns that grow plentiful here in the Far North (and lots of other places too). There are several different varieties of ferns here, and you can eat all but one (of which I'm fairly certain there are none around our house).

Fiddleheads are easy, you just rub off the brown coating that coats some of the ferns. Then I blanched them in boiling water for a couple of minutes and sauteed them in butter and garlic and a little lemon juice. They taste earthy and a lot like asparagus - fantastic. Even Porter ate some. A very tasty little Alaskan side dish, even if we did have them next to sloppy joes.

I can't take credit for this photo, but ours looked quite similar...

We all enjoyed our sun filled weekend here too. Cedar went on her first boat ride, which she promptly slept, nursed and pooped through, rather unimpressed. The kids also got to visit our small town Alaskan version of a farm, with goats, chickens and horses. Which they even got to ride. I think Porter was a little more unsure than Molly.

Our weather streak continues today, which also happens to be Porter's last day of preschool EVER. Although I will certainly be back there for many years to come, it was sad to see Porter moving on. He has grown up so much in the past two years with two of the best teachers in the world, and we have so many great memories. So even though Porter really didn't seem to see it as a sad thing, I got a little teary as we left to get in our car. So long preschool and welcome summer time.

Friday, May 13, 2011

One Month

Cedar turned one month old yesterday. The time really is going by even faster the third go around. Despite some bad parenting moments in the past couple of days (only involving the older two and lots of yelling), I'm kind of feeling like we are going to survive.

Molly and I tried to weigh Cedar with my kitchen scale, and after much dissatisfaction, discovered that the scale doesn't work with items that heavy. But I think she's around nine or ten pounds. After a slow start, she's growing quickly now that she's into the groove.

And I just had to include these, because they made me laugh. Even though it sometimes feels like it, life isn't all yelling around here.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Happy Mother's Day! We had a lovely weekend here full of good weather. The kids even put on swim suits and ran in the sprinkler (well, we don't have a sprinkler, that's Bryce with the hose, but still). I'm not saying it was really warm enough out for that, but they had a blast anyway.

I am still adjusting to life with three. Some days are good and I bask in my ability to cope. And then some days are so awful I feel like I spent the whole time sending the kids to their rooms and trying desperately to get the baby to sleep. I'm having an especially hard time with Molly, and I'm not sure if it's just worse since I have far less patience and time to deal with her. Or if she is acting out more from all the changes around here. Sometimes I feel like life is just one big tantrum and the total lack of listening is enough to drive me nuts. She also has no fear of consequences of any kind, and is therefore also very tough to discipline. Her latest antic, which is not only misbehavior but also dangerous, is waiting until I start nursing the baby and then running outside by herself. She is usually barefoot, and I suspect won't get far. But it's just a matter of time before she runs out in the road or tries to go down the zip line, and she just can not be trusted out there. Plus Bryce found her picking up one of the chickens by the head yesterday. We've had so many battles and time outs over this issue, but it has made zero difference. So I'm going to move on to child proof locks. I know that she's two, and that this is just a phase (made extra fun by her willful personality), but I really, really hope that this time is fairly short lived.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Life Continues

The chickens are now living outside full time. They were entertaining in the living room, but they seem to enjoy having more space, eating table scraps and getting harassed by Molly on a daily basis. Boating season is upon us once again, and we've enjoyed some fresh Dungeness crab in the past few weeks. Cedar is waking up more, especially at night (sigh). But she's awfully cute, and is stealing the heart of even Porter, who swore he wanted a brother. Molly has always had a thing for babies though, and today she tried to comfort ours by picking her up when she was crying (while I turned around to help Porter for one minute). I knew it would happen, and she actually did a passable job. But it still scared me half to death. Three of them. Keeps me on my toes.

Monday, May 2, 2011

April 12, 2011

I was 39 weeks pregnant, and my midwife was coming to the house for a regularly scheduled appointment. I was huge and uncomfortable and sick of being pregnant (like everyone at this stage), and she said she could try and start my labor if I wanted. I didn't want to get my hopes up too much yet, as I had gone to bed every night for the past three weeks thinking this could be it. And then I'd wake up in the morning, still huge and uncomfortable.

So she came and she worked her magic, involving a membrane stripping and some herbs. She stayed a little while, but nothing was happening. Almost immediately after she left though, the contractions started. And I have to admit that my first thought was oh crap, this again, I remember this. There is some kind of crazy labor and childbirth amnesia that makes you willing to go through it all more than once, but the (not so) fond memories sure came rushing back.

My mom and the kids were here, but I hesitated on calling the midwife back and having Bryce come home from work. I didn't want to raise false alarms. And honestly, I didn't really want anyone sitting around staring at me. The contractions weren't horrible yet, but I was having to go into another (quiet, dark) room to deal with them. When the contractions were about 5 minutes apart, my mom told me that I really should start calling people. And I'm glad she did!

Things seemed to happen quickly from that point on. Debbie and Abbey and Bryce showed up. We moved up to the bedroom and they started getting things ready. The contractions were getting very painful and intense, and I was beginning to feel desperate. In reality, only about an hour had gone by since I made the phone calls, but to me it felt like an eternity. Childbirth, no matter where and how you do it, is hard work. Painful work. I knew everything was okay, but man, did I ever want it to be over. Abbey checked me and said I was almost fully dilated. Standing and walking around was feeling much better to me than anything else, and somehow I ended up then standing over the one section of my bedroom floor that hadn't been protected with plastic and sheets. And then my water broke. The next contraction came, and I could tell this was it. The baby was coming, but I was too much beyond words to let anyone know. I just knew that I most definitely did not want to do this anymore, so I pushed as hard as I could. No one expected the baby to come so fast, but luckily Debbie was there to catch. She came out all at once while I was standing next to the bed. Her birth was of the baby just fell right out variety. Bryce was expecting to hear something like oh there's the head, so he wasn't even looking. He told me later that all of a sudden there was a baby in the room, and it didn't even seem real. I heard her cry one little cry, and I knew that it was over and that it was all going to be okay after all. The relief is hard to describe, but it was enormous.

After that moment, it was all very peaceful. People were cleaning, kids and dogs were running around, my mom was cooking a meatloaf, but I didn't notice any of that. I got to hold our baby girl in my own bed, surrounded by friends and family. I had my bath and my food just when I wanted them. All the mess of the delivery was gone by the time I even thought to look. It was as if the new baby just slipped into our lives, instead of being an event that occurred somewhere else and required introduction. Everything had gone so smoothly and quickly and really just like I thought it would. I wouldn't say it was easy, but it was perfect.