Sunday, March 25, 2012

Meet the Chicks

This week we finially decided on baby chicks instead of grown hens and I found a lady who raised all of the breeds I wanted. So on Saturday, the three of us headed to the country to pick up our four 3 1/2 week old chicks. After getting them home and into their temporary lodging, we introduced them to Duke. He was unimpressed for the most part, but curious of their foreign aroma.

And the girls are...left to right, Gerty (Speckeled Sussex), Sissy (Golden Laced Wyandotte), Petunia (New Hampshire Red), and Francis (Barred Rock).

Petunia (or P-toot as Jordan is calling her) is the most curious of the bunch. She will stick her head up to your hand and is quite the social one of the group. Francis is shy but always active. Jordan says she is his favorite but he can never remember her name.

I can already tell Sissy is going to be the boss. She pecks at the others if they get in her way and when I bring them the occasional bug, she always manages to get it! Gerty on the other hand is always sleeping and easy to catch. She is the most docile and quiet.

I love how you can already tell so much about their personalities. Jordan and I like to sit and watch them, and I'm sure they will only get more amusing as they grow up into hens.

Rylin loves the chicks too and likes to tell each one "hello" and "goodbye" by name. I'm not sure he's figured out they are laying hens though, because he keeps saying "momma, eat shickens!"

They will stay under the heat lamp for another two weeks and then move to their fancy coop. Hopefully, in a few more months we'll have some eggs!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My Urban Country Dream

If you've met me, it's no secret I'm from the country. More than once a week I get a familiar question from a stranger..."WHERE are you from?" TEXAS people...this is what a Texan sounds like!!! Growing up in rural Leroy,TX has shaped more than just my accent, though. I love being in the country. Quiet breeze, fresh smells, animals, and wide open spaces. Don't get me wrong, I like the conveniences of living in the city, but I've always kinda longed for a little of both. I've been on a mission to get my husband to move to what I've deemed the Urban Country for a while now. The Urban planner in him hates that I call it this because he says that doesn't exist...but I know better. The Urban Country is about fifteen minutes from our house where horses and green fields abound and the city is just a few songs on the radio away. Still, this city boy ain't going anywhere anytime soon. So the country girl in me has decided to adapt in the mean time. I follow several other blogs that talk about urban gardening, chicken raising and even bee keeping and this got me thinking that maybe I could have a little of my country dreams in the city. First, I talked Jordan into building me a couple raised garden beds. I found some on Pinterest and he managed to reproduce them in an afternoon. Rylin and I love going out and looking at our growing veggies.

Then, I convinced my brother to build me a chicken coop! We had to take down part of the fence to get it in the backyard, but we made it work. I have been driving to the previously mentioned urban country for my fresh, free range eggs and decided it was time to get them out of my own back yard. Bet you didn't know that most cities don't have laws about keeping chickens. So in a few weeks, we will be adding four new members to the family. We are still trying to decide if we'll get chicks or grown hens.

So I don't live in the country. Maybe I can have a little bit of what I like about it. Don't count on me throwing bee hives in the mix, but my own compost heap...definitely!

Upholstery...Better Left to The Experts

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I've been busy with designing a modern, fun apartment for my cousin Crystal, her husband Rick, and little Crosby. You may remember when I threw a baby shower for her or designed Crosby's nursery. To say I love this girl like a sister is obvious by the amount of time that I give to her! I've had a lot of fun being creative and spending her money too:)

We had a plan to decorate their townhome for several months now, but in the mean time, Crystal and Rick decided to serve with the Apartment ministry CARES. This meant a move for them and a re-design for me. We've been doing lots of long distance design meetings (they're in Houston) and in a couple of weeks I'll go down for the "install". First on my list of things to do, though, was to have a couple chairs reupholstered. Crystal acquired two wing back chairs from her Grandmother's estate when she died, and though they really weren't their style, she wanted to find a place for them. A few decades old fabric and a fall out of the back of her Dad's truck on I35 left them screaming for an update.

So I dialed up my best-kept-secret upholsterer to get an estimate. $375 per chair not including fabric. I called Crystal with the bad news and she responded just as expected..."Can't you just do it?" Instead of being reasonable, realistic, and telling her no, I took on this behemoth of a challenge. Who's idea was it again to upholster them in chevron? Oh yea, that'd be me. Friday I set out to deconstructing and boy, was that chair ever stapled!

I carefully removed all the fabric and laid each piece out on the new fabric to pin and cut. While the fabric was off, I sanded and stained the scratched legs. Then Saturday morning I began sewing piping and the sections that were attached to each other before slowly putting it piece by piece back together.

Luckily I found a video tutorial on Pinterest about reupholstering a chair that clued me in to a few upholstery hardware pieces that made my job easier. Still, the arms nearly killed me and I ended up hand stitching the piping to make it lay just how I wanted it. My fingers and hands look like I've been working hard labor, but I finished! Worth every cent of $375!

Oh, and that other chair...don't you think it would just look good with a slip cover?!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Rylin at 2 and Almost One Half

As I said before. THIS guy is due a big update! I can't believe that he will be 2 1/2 in just a month! He has changed so much in the last few months and so I can't deny that he is getting older. He is Mr. Independent these days and pretty much refuses a high chair, sippy cup, or anything he deems "for baby". That is except the diapers! We are making progress in potty training though, and he has gone a few times on the actual toilet. This week I thought since it was Spring Break and I didn't have Atticus or Adelay that we would make some headway, but as you can see in the picture below, he was more interested in watching his boy parts while jumping on the sofa!

Or working on the computer AND watching TV.

Rylin LOVES to be outside and would rather dig for worms (he calls them all "Slimy" like Oscar the Grouch's worm) or tearing up leaves than color with sidewalk chalk. He wants to swing high and fast and "one more time" when I tell him Mommy's tired.

He LOVES the camera when he can see himself. I can turn the web cam on and he will preform all kinds of silly made up songs. He sings all the time now. His favorite songs are "Jesus Loves Me", "ABC's", "The Cookie Monster Song", and "Itsy Bitsy Spider". I can't even sing to him at bed anymore because he sings all my lullaby's with me!

A few months ago I dramatically changed my diet in an effort to be healthy and loose some weight. Part of this change was eliminating grain and potato carbs. It has been easier than I thought and I feel great at almost 25lbs lighter! A side effect has been how I feed Rylin. Since I started cooking without the extra carbs, he has started eating much healthier himself. Now instead of crackers or breakfast bars, he asks for fruit, eats most vegetables, and enjoys snacking on nuts and beef jerky. He still loves his green smoothies too!

He LOVES playing with the big kids. If there are older kids around, he always tries to be a part of what they are doing. He loves his cousins, "Yuke" (Luke) and Mitchell (who he calls Emmie...don't get me started).

I love that at this stage I can understand what he is saying a lot more. We can have conversations and really communicate! He likes to tell you to "sit down", "one more", "not yet", "yeah", "O.K.". He is still pretty hard to understand, but when you're around him like I am, you start to pick up on his language. Some of his funnies are..."Titty" for Candy (my cousin), "Dukers" for Duke because that's what we sometimes call him, "puck" for cup, "Hesus" for Jesus, "Bees" for fruity bunny candy, and "shickens" for chickens...which will be my next post:)

I love this little man so much and I tell him every day that I don't know what I'd do without him! He is a handful, but so much fun and so affectionate. He's gonna break hearts!

Still Here

Oh dear blog, how I have neglected you...

We are still in a holding pattern for Foster Care. Our home study was completed in January and then we had our house inspected by the local health department (talk about intimidating). We are now waiting for the Fire Marshall to come and do his inspection.

I've been busy in the mean time with helping my cousin Crystal out with a design for their new apartment. MANY little projects that I will update on as I complete. I still haven't learned my lesson when it comes to DIY.

Rylin deserves a post all his own. So that will be next!