Monday, June 28, 2010

Funny Faces

Cooper's Mr. Potato Head creation:

Daddy's Mr. Potato Head creation:

New glasses for the whole family!

Monday, June 21, 2010

June excitement

Check out this look:
Sunglasses, pink princess cell phone, and a face of sheer awe.  What on earth?

We have friend who bought this old Catholic church in town.  Coop and I got to go watch a crane lift off the bell tower.  He was mesmerized.

And he spent nearly the entire time we were there on this phone narrating the scene to his buddy Mr. William from daycare.
And I even got admonished once to "be quiet while I'm having a conversation!"

This is Alan and his half-ironman team from a couple of weeks ago. 
From left to right: Chris, the swimmer, Dek, the biker (who was at K-State when Alan was there), and Alan, the runner.

Playing in the doctor's office waiting room (and talking on that blasted cell phone again!):

Red Chicken:
Still alive and well.  Though I'm guessing if she knew what that was, she wouldn't be sitting so close.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What the one-armed boy has been doing

Everytime I comment to Cooper that something is difficult with just one arm, he reminds me that he does in fact have two arms.  Alrighty then.  Duly noted.

So here's what the two-armed boy has been doing lately, using only his left arm.

Playing Candyland:

Watching movies:

Eating at a little bench, so he doesn't have to climb up on a big chair.  (Notice the cape -- it's not a bib, thankyouverymuch -- to help with messy left-handed eating.)

Talking to his grandmas on the phone, both of whom have injured their arm/shoulder/wrist in the recent past:

Playing pirate ship:

One-armed painting:

Lots of reading:

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Chicken Watch Continues

I've been taking lots of pictures of Red Chicken because (without sounding too dramatic), you just never know how long she's going to be with us.

As I mentioned, she was the only chick of the four that I could hold once they got big enough to run away from me:

One morning, I saw a pile of brown feathers and I was convinced she was a goner.  But then she came running for some treats.  Turns out whatever was chasing her got a mouthful of back end/tail feathers, but nothing else.
Whew.  Close call.

She's been spending some afternoons up on our deck railing.

Recognizing that she's likely in danger, I've been trying to shut her in the coop at night (which was my plan with all of the chickens until I got a little bit lazy).  But I haven't been able to find her in the evenings.  Finally one evening I saw her:
Can you see her?  She's the black shape slightly left of the tree trunk.  Crazy.  But at least she's safe up there, I guess.

As a side note, I think this is how I've been getting the recurring poison ivy rashes I've had the last couple of months.  Chicken runs everywhere, including in the poison ivy, and then I "cuddle" with her and pick up the plant oils.  Lovely.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Another trip to the er.

Last Sunday, about 15 seconds after we walked in the door from church, Cooper rolled off the couch and landed on the floor.  Not an uncommon occurrence during playtime in our house.  Except that this time, he started crying.  And when I asked him to raise his arm in the air so I knew it was ok, he wouldn't/couldn't.  I gave him something to drink and he intentionally didn't use his right arm.  He wouldn't let me touch the area around his right shoulder, and his crying intensified whenever I moved him (to take off his shirt or to pick him up off the couch).

So we loaded up the car and headed to the er.

(Am I a bad mom that I intentionally ran back in the house to grab the camera?)

And did I mention that Parker was with us?  And that I was the only grown-up in the house at the time?

Once we got settled into a room, Cooper was doing fine.  Any kind of movement (getting in and out of the car, walking across the parking lot, getting up on the bed, laying down for an x-ray) was not pleasant, but he was fine just sitting.

Especially because I kept shoving snacks at him.

Truthfully, the boys couldn't have been better for me.  One of them couldn't get off the bed even if he wanted to.  And the other was pretty calm and helpful.  (Frankly, it was easier keeping an eye on them at the hospital than at home where they run and yell nonstop.)

A nice nurse brought them stickers.

And coloring books:

Eventually, Coop was diagnosed with a fractured collar bone.  He has to gets to wear this stylish sling for 3-4 weeks, along with an ace wrap to keep his arm tethered to his body.

Yeah, I'm sure that'll be easy to do for a 3-year-old.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Thank goodness for grocery stores.

This post could also be titled:  We suck at agri-business.

So remember we got four chickens?

And here they are at about 1.5 months old when we moved them to their coop:

Well, life has been hard on our chickens.  About a month ago, the black one just disappeared.  We didn't see or hear any signs of struggle.  Just no black chicken one day.

And then this week:
A lone dark brown/red feather.  And the night before, I had heard some noises outside (not unusual here) and then smell a skunk.  So I'm guessing chicken #2 was picked off by a skunk.

And then there were two:

And then one morning when I left to exercise, I saw this:

And just like the Golden Girls, my group of four was down to one:
She seemed so lonely, though she is the only one of the bunch that I can actually hold, so at least she's got that going for her.  But frankly, if I were her (or Betty White, actually), I'd be nervous...

In other agri-business news, however, we may have some bees around again.  As of last October, it wasn't looking good for our bees.  They had failed to make/keep enough honey to get them through the winter.  So we fed them sugar water until it got too cold to open the hive.  And then we just crossed our fingers and hoped for the best, while secretly writing them off as goners.

One day early this spring, we saw some activity at the hive.  Could they have survived?!!  The next day, we opened the hive to give them sugar water as a jumpstart to their spring time feeding, and the hive was completely empty save for four mice who had apparently wintered there.

Discouraged and too busy with school to focus on bees, Alan put the hive in the lean-to of our barn, figuring we'd order another set of bees next year sometime. 

Lo and behold, it appears that some bees have found the hive and may be trying to make their home in it.
You can't really see the bees in this picture, but there's the hive, stacked haphazardly on a tractor mower, next to the chicken feed and the fireplace logs.  And there's a steady stream of bees flying in and out of the hive.  Some day soon, we'll move the hive out to the yard (so I can get to the chicken feed without fighting through the swarm) and we'll see what the heck is going on in there! 

Man, we'd make terrible farmers and ranchers.  We just don't have a clue.  But apparently we have a bit of dumb luck, which sometimes works better!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

More random pictures

I'm running to the end of my current photos, so these random ones will have to do.  Or, as Alan likes to say, "we need to go make some more memories so you can blog about them!"  Yes, indeed.

Cooper decided to try on my boots. 

It's a nice look, I think:

Picking strawberries:

Sitting on a bobcat thing (that belongs to a friend of Alan's):

A tractor ride with Grandpa Jerry:

And finally, a picture of Cooper's latest music class:

That's right, parents weren't allowed in the room for the first 30 minutes of the class!  We tried this during the spring semester, but Cooper wasn't keen on it.  Last week, however, Miss Janet managed to sweet talk him right out of my arms and into the singing room, and he never looked back!