April 1, 2017

March '17

March has been quite satisfying around here.  While we spent February getting certain areas of the backyard in order and prepping garden beds, we spent March working to ensure a strong future for our aspiring homestead.  There is very little as satisfying as seeing the germination of the seeds I planted after carefully prepping the soil.

For now, I am keeping a close eye on them watching for pests.  Once my plants are large enough and/or I have finished making chicken wire cloches for their protection, I will let the ducks once again roam the garden area for bug control.

Speaking of, the ducks are doing great!  It’s been their mating season so it has been interesting to watch the drakes compete for attention.  I am hoping one of my hens will decide to set her nest soon.  In the meantime, we added three baby ducks to our flock.  I would be thrilled if they were all girls, but being that they were straight run, there is a decent chance of boys.  Life will be much shorter for them if they are all boys.  For now though, they are just cute!

 We also did some work on our two and half year old made-from-scraps chicken coop.  After three years of chickens we have learned a few lessons (another post).  So we revamped, put on a new roof and created a new space for our girls to lay eggs.  They had no problem adapting to their new egg laying digs and have been providing us 8-10 eggs a day (plus 1 or 2 from ducks).

We culled two of our older flock members because we wanted to thin the flock just a little and once they get older, they lay fewer eggs.  Bad news for them, but good news for our venison-loving household because we got some chicken.  They were good hens, may their souls rest in peace in chicken heaven.

 The biggest news is that my beehive is set up!  Long time coming.  This was something I talked about since we got out here three years ago, but the timing had not been right for me.  So finally, I have my hive and it has found its perfect home in view of my back porch just like all my other endeavors.  I figure the more I see something, the more attentive I will be to it. I opted for a Top Bar Hive; more on that later.

 It’s been exciting for me around here, to make big strides to grow and raise our own food.  That was one of my main goals when we moved here three years ago, but my plans got derailed for a while why I worked through mother of cancer stricken, chronically–ill child PTSD.  So now the sun is shining again and we are moving forward.  Super exciting.

As for Clayton?  Well mostly he is doing great.  Talking up a storm and always taking things in.  His favorite phrases this month are:

“But how?” –when something goes wrong instead of but why, he says this and shakes his head with a hand on either side and gets a sweet little whine to his already super sweet voice.

“What to do, what to do?” –this has been a go-to for a while now.  He still uses it with the same theatrics as when he started.

“Where are you?” –I wish people could hear him say this one.  It is precious.  And when he says it he puts his hands to his mouth like he is calling for whatever he wants.  This morning he wanted his cars DVD, “Cars, where are you”, the other day looking for George, “Daddy where are you?”

Equally used is his sweet little, “Der dey are” = There they are.

“Do you hear dat” and “Do you see dat”

He is also good with using “I sorry” and “pease” – but don’t take that to mean he can’t throw down the gauntlet with a tantrum…he can.

Oh and I can’t forget one of the sweetest ones, that shows what a considerate kiddo he is….”Are you happee?”

It can be hard to understand him but he tries and things keep getting clearer and clearer.  I end up translating a lot for others, but this has all been such a long time coming and is really fun for us.

 Unfortunately, he did have an incident this month.  He became unresponsive and we rushed him to the ER.  Long story short, we didn’t stay, because they didn’t have the good sense to do labs immediately on an unresponsive child.  While waiting for them to do something, which didn’t happen we were able to get Clayton responsive again and we left and called his doctors in Pensacola.  Because the hospital did not do immediate labs, we can’t confirm the issue was blood sugar related, but are pretty sure.  As parents it would have been nice to get that confirmation.  I was hesitant to go to our local hospital, but did so out of fear not knowing why Clayton was unresponsive.  In the future, we will go straight to Pensacola.  For the record, I never would have left the ER with Clayton had I not been confident in where he was at that moment and in the fact that it was an issue his other doctors and I could handle outside the ER.  When we first arrived, I was concerned it may be something more serious such as acute renal failure (been there done that) or such.  Knowing what to look for, I was confident in my decision to leave, while very disappointed labs had not been done to confirm our suspicions.  I would NEVER recommend anyone leave like we did unless they were sure and had the support of doctors outside the ER like we did.  Just saying.  Follow your mom gut and stand up for your kid always.

And he also spent some time fighting a pretty mean rash this past month.

It lasted WEEKS.  His eyes were the worst and then a bit on his arms, but nowhere else.  All better now though and moving on to April.