Friday, April 19, 2013


I just have to say that this year so far has been a learning experience in animal husbandry.  We have chickens, two adult hens and 3 chicks.  All was well until about two months ago when our neighbor's rooster flew into our yard to "visit" our hens.  They used to roam freely, but after he came I locked them up in their pen and spent two days trying to toss him over the fence gently with our rake.  I was afraid he would scratch me with his spurs, and I didn't want to hurt him.  Then I got frustrated and started throwing rocks at him.  I felt really bad because I surprised myself by being a pretty good shot.  After this did nothing, I decided to just pick him up and throw him over.  I cornered him, caught him by the tail, then grabbed him and tossed him over our 6-foot fence.  I can't see over the fence, so I climbed up on our picnic table to see if he was OK.  He strutted over to his rooster buddy, and they went on their merry way.  I think he just honestly didn't know how to get home.  He never once scratched me, and was very sweet.  He came back over the fence a couple weeks later, but I just picked him up and tossed him on over.  Poor little rooster.  I'm sorry I threw rocks at you.

We also got 3 chicks about a month ago. The kids are ages 3 and 4, and we all went to IFA and they got to help pick out the chicks.  We got home, and put the chicks in our kitchen to stay warm. The next day the kids were doing great, petting them gently and being very sweet.   I decided that I could run and do my hair quick for 10 minutes - the chicks would be safe, we'd talked about being gentle and careful, and I had sweet kids, right?  Well, when I stopped blowdrying my hair I heard lots of laughing and lots of loud cheeping.  I thought, 'oh, they're having such a good time, how cute.'  So I finished doing my hair, and then I went to check on the kids. 

To my horror, when I looked into the chick's box, I saw three soaking wet, dead chicks.  I yelled at my kids and sent them to their rooms.  Then I picked up each chick and noticed that one was still moving a little bit.  I toweled it off, held it in my hands and blew on it to keep it warm.  It slowly revived, and started to cheep in a very distressed way.  I kept it warm for a little longer then set up it's box in the garage with the heat lamp on.  I was sure it would die, but I didn't have the heart to kill it in case it might make it.  So the kids and I loaded up in the SUV to go visit my sister  who was visiting because our grandpa's funeral was two days before.  Needless to say, it had been a bad week and I needed to take my mind off that little chick.

We spent the day with my dad and Allison, and when we got home, I hesitantly checked on the chick.  And there he was!!!  Fluffy and dry, and walking and cheeping and looking like a normal little chick who had not just had a near-death experience.  I couldn't believe it!  I was so happy.

The next day, the family went back to IFA to get two replacement chicks.  They are the same breed as the others, and to save emotional scarring on the kids, they have the same names as those they replaced.  They are all alive and well and growing fast, and they now only have strictly supervised visits from the kids. 

The day after the chick fiasco was resolved, I went to go check on the adult hens who were roaming the yard freely again because the dog had pulled up the chicken wire on one side of their pen while trying to get to a blueberry muffin I had fed the chickens.  So there was a big gaping hole in the pen and the chickens came in and out at will.  I found the chickens laying down in some tall weeds.  I had noticed Wally (our extremely large beagle) digging excitedly at something and barking like crazy earlier that day, so when one of the hens didn't run away as I got closer I got worried.  Sure enough, Wally had chewed a big hole in her back.  I gently picked her up and put her in our brood box, then put our red wagon in front of the hole in the chicken wire and came in to check the internet to see what to do.  I might have kicked the dog really hard several times on my way in. That darn dog. 

According to several discussion threads on backyard chickens, being bitten by dogs and severely wounded is quite common, and if left alone the hens usually make a full recovery.  So I checked on the hen each day, made sure she was eating and drinking and left the poor thing to suffer.   We were sure she was crippled and had decided to put her out of her misery once the chicks were old enough to move into the coop with the other hen.  Then today when I went out to feed the hens, she was out, walking around normally and looking great.  Not crippled anymore, her tail feathers have come upright again, and I think she's just fine.  Yay!!!!

So I'm slowly learning that dogs, kids, and chickens should be supervised when they're together, and otherwise kept separate.   Hopefully my learning experiences will take a break for a while because I could use it.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sam's Third Birthday

Sam had a birthday, shout Hooray! He was so excited to turn three. We had such a fun day. The kids and I had lunch at Arctic Circle and Daddy got off early enough to catch us there before coming home. Then we had a party with both sets of grandparents and Aunt Becky.
Here we are having the birthday dinner. We had pizza, olives, goldfish, baby corn, chips, soda and broccoli - all Sam's favorites.

We only had 4 party hats that we had to take turns wearing because Sammy like them. I tried to get a picture of everybody wearing a hat, and I think this picture of Grandpa and Grandma Henrie turned out hilarious!
Sam's snake cake turned out cute and he was able to blow out all three candles. We told him to make a wish and he kept saying 'what is it? What's my wish?'

Sam loved opening gifts. He really caught on to tearing the paper off to find a toy inside! I think this was the first time it really clicked, and it was so fun to watch him. He got a LOT of toys, and two of his favorites were a flashlight and a front end loader, or as Sam calls it, a "Mighty Machine".

This birthday also marks the end of an era. Up to this point Jared and I were able to take the kids to the store that day before any big event where they receive gifts and let them pick out their favorites. They would forget the minute we left the store and then be surprised again the next day. It was great! But this time Sam spent the morning of his birthday asking where the basketball we bought the night before was, and I finally just gave it to him to stave off tears. So, we'll have to figure out how to be a little more sneaky from now on.

We had made a robot pinata for the occasion, but it turned out way too cute and Sam got quite attached, so when we suggested hitting it with a bat to break it so the candy could come out he told me he didn't want to hurt his friend. So the robot pinata currently resides on top of our fridge, and we let sam hit a plain paper bag pinata with a wooden spoon to get his candy.

Overall, Sam said he had a good day, and we're sure glad. He's a delightful little guy, and we love having him in our family. Happy Birthday, Sam!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Brittany's first birthday!

Brittany's first birthday was February 6, 2011. A fun, good weather day sandwiched between two very rainy/cold/kind of snowy days on either side. We had a great day!! Luckily it fell on a Sunday so we were able to do the big family party on the actual day. Here's a picture of some of the party decor:

It was the first chance I had to use my entertaining table topper which I got from Jared's parents for Christmas. My mom, Jared's m
om, and Su
zanne all brought things to eat, and in the end we had way more than we could handle. It was all so good! We had a lot of fun planning and putting on her party. Sam, Brittany and I set everything up a couple days before the actual event to see how everything fit, and we had a blast. They were very interested in helping me put flowers and napkins everywhere and showing everything to the dog. Here's a picture of the countertop featuring our main course, hot dogs:)

Brittany loves sweets so we were expecting her to just attack the cake. However, when the time came, all the cousins, a candle to be blown out, and the singing of the birthday song proved a little overwhelming, so she decided to be a somewhat reserved. She got into it, though, after a bit. It was a very tasty cake. I had some of her leftovers after the party.

Our family would like to thank everyone who was able to come support us as well as all those who called and sent birthday wishes. Thank you!! We can hardly believe that a year has gone by since Brittany was born. She is a delightful, cute little girl. Her smile brightens up the whole room and when she laughs you can't help but laugh too. She is also a mischievous little thing. Already she loves to tease Sam, so it will be interesting to see how their relationship grows and develops over the next 12 months. She is almost able to walk, but seems quite content with her ability to get around by crawling, so we aren't sure when she'll get to that milestone.

Brittany loves to read books, play with Sam and Wally, sing and talk to her momma, play peek-a-boo, clap her hands, climb all over daddy, eat the dirt from the plant in her room (to our chagrin), look out the windows, drink from her sippy cup, look at the fish at the library, stand up during her baths, be tickled, play with her toys, go on stroller rides, visit grandma and grandpa, and have her picture taken. We love all that she has added to our family. Happy birthday, Brittany!!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I thought that we were getting better with making Sunday mornings less stressful, but then today came along. It started last night with getting to bed way too late, and then wanting to sleep in a little bit this morning. Jared was not feeling well (perhaps because we got to bed too late? Hmmm...) So, I fed and dressed the kids by myself. We got to church on time, miraculously, and Jared started feeling worse. So, instead of having him drive himself home and then come back to get us an hour and a half later, I suggested he wait until after Primary opening exercises so I could drive him. Unbeknownst to us at the time, neither the primary secretary (who is in charge of the schedule) nor the primary chorister (who does all the children’s music) had informed anyone that they would not be at church today. AND, on top of all that, it was ward conference, so all of the people from the stake were there to watch us. So while I’m holding my one-year-old baby on my hip, the poor president and I are try to figure out how to substitute all the missing people, Jared’s sitting in the back dying, and I’m putting on a happy face and saying “Welcome to Primary today!” Opening Exercises took a lot longer than it usually does, and after a while Jared left, so I had to go find him before I could drive him home.

On days like today, I miss the carefree Sundays of my singlehood. I went to church. I felt the Spirit. I felt edified and fed. After church, I fed myself, and then either wandered campus to have a good think while I walked, or went to my favorite place in Rock Canyon to be alone and meditate. When I wanted to, I came back to my apartment and hung out with friends or called my family. So nice. So truly a day of rest.

I expect that someday Sunday will once again be a peaceful day of rest, but I don’t expect that to be for a very long time. However, it would be nice to feel the Spirit again at church. I did cry at church today, alone in a corner playing with my baby. But they were tears of stress, not of joy or an overflowing of love.

I don’t want to go back to the Sundays when I was single. I just want to find some way to make my Sundays now a day to look forward to instead of a day to dread.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Acid Reflux

In between Christmas and New Year's we decided to schedule a doctor's appointment for Brittany. We went in the hopes that the doctor would let us try some medication for acid reflux. She had been up for 3 hours the night before crying inconsolably, and we couldn't take it anymore. Unfortunately, the inconsolable crying for two to four hours a might was not an uncommon thing. We usually got about one uninterrupted night of sleep a week, the other six we could depend on a screaming baby.

We went to our appointment, described the symptoms, and got a prescription for medication! This came as a big surprise because we had thought that Brit had acid reflux when she was a month old, but at that time when I asked the doctor, he wanted to do several tests before trying medication. This is all well and good; I think that overmedicating of children is a problem, and if there are other treatments available for my children I am very willing to give them an honest try. However, the first test he wanted to try was a lactose-intolerance test which involved bottle feeding her a lactose-free formula for at least one week. She was only four weeks old and we were actually doing great with nursing, so I was worried. The bottle feeding went fine, but when I tried to rent a decent pump to keep up my milk supply, I found that they were about $100 a week. Very discouraging. So I decided to give up nursing.

In the end she was not lactose intolerant, so we were back to square one and I was now buying formula. Those of you who have not had the experience of having a very fussy, irritable, five-week-old baby, having to give up breast feeding against your will, being sleep deprived, and having an 18-month-old little boy who also needs a good deal of attention may not understand the amount of frustration and annoyance I felt toward our pediatrician. There were three or four more tests he wanted to try before medication for acid reflux, all of which I understood would take several days to a week to complete. In my frustrated state, I felt he wasn't listening to me and he didn't care that my baby cried constantly and I was ready to pull my hair out. So, instead of dealing with all of that, I decided that she had colic and she would get better at around three months. I must be wasting my time with more doctor's visits. (In my doctor's defense, medicating a one month old baby for acid reflux can mask symptoms of more serious digestive disorders. He may or may not have explained this to me at the time, I do not remember.)

Finally, Brittany turned three months old. The "colic" did not disappear. In a phone conversation with my mom, she told me that when my brother Justin was a baby he had colic. Her doctor at the time informed her that a small, "lucky" percentage of babies with colic had it for four months instead of three. So maybe Brittany was one of those lucky ones! At her 6 month checkup we saw a different doctor, and after explaining her symptoms, I was told that some babies just cry, and if it's at night I should just leave her alone for longer and longer amounts of time until she learned to put herself to sleep. I guess he hadn't understood when I told him that she usually screamed for 2-4 hours at night until she was finally so exhausted she fell to sleep. Jared and I had actually put her playpen in the finished part of the basement where we couldn't hear her as well so we could get a little sleep.

Around December Brittany started spitting up again, and I remembered that I once thought she might have acid reflux... And, that brings us back to the beginning of the post. Since she's been on the meds, she's been a different little girl! She's happy, charming, and likes to giggle, sing, and crawl around the house chasing Sam or Wally. Best of all, everyone in the house is getting SLEEP! We're all much happier. Sam as well has turned back into a happy, cute little boy.

Thank goodness for modern medicine!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On the Move

Sam and Britt are definitely one the move. Here are a few of their favorite modes of locomotion:

First, Britt likes to crawl. This girl can go anywhere, and she loves it! She crawls after Sam, to find mom or dad, and especially after the dog. Two of her favorite things to do are splash in Wally's water dish or eat the dog food if she gets the chance. I don't understand what it is with kids and dog food. Sam loved it, too.

Next, Sam loves the princess cart Brittany got for Christmas. He rides around on it every chance he gets. He loves to put his feet up on it and have me push him around. Brittany also got a singing rocking horse pony for Christmas, and Sam loves to have it and the princess cart sing at the same time. Thank goodness for the OFF switch on all the noisemakers!

Brittany likes to stand and wander around supported on anything stationary. She'll use whatever's around - the bathroom stool, couches, mom's legs, the dog, etc. She still won't walk with us when we hold her hands, but we think she'll probably figure out how to do it all on her own.

Last, we bought a new to us double jogging stroller last week, and I really like it. I don't have any pictures, but it's great to use, and we love to wander around in it for out daily outings. I love it because it helps all of us to get up and go!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas was a lot of fun at our house! For the first time the kids got pretty excited about things, and it made it very fun for Jared and me.

Our little Christmas spread may not look like much, but we knew it would be more than made up for by visits to the grandparents. Brittany and Sam each made quite the haul! Sammy got a pillow pet, a Thomas the Train track set with all kinds of engines and buildings and some awesome Lightning McQueen pajamas. Brittany got a singing Pretty Pony rocking horse, a Pretty Princess scooter cart (which Sam loves!) a baby doll, and new coat and a tea set. Sam also got several new cars. They both got several Dr. Seuss books to share.
For Christmas, I got a cold. It was mild Christmas day and then turned quite ugly the day after. Instead of Christmas carols being sung by a roaring fire, my racking cough can be heard throughout the house as I huddle in blankets before the TV. Poor Jared has the week off, and it's been a week of taking care of me and the kids. We're very grateful, Jared! I've been on antibiotics since Wednesday, so hopefully I'll get over this soon and have a healthy New Year!