Friday, March 25, 2011

Guess What?

Chicken Butt!

Yes, the saga continues. We have been going through what you might call a "Chicken Treaty." I refuse to let the dream go, but I have tried to detach myself from the remaining few chickens because I knew they were goners. I have lost the zeal. The passion has dwindled. Still, I don't want to turn the hen house into a goat dwelling.

 Recently, my in-laws moved into their apartment behind the house. Scott's Mom, Martie, became attached to the last chicken. I believe her name was Lily, but she renamed her Henrietta. By all rights, I should have killed that last chicken because that is what Dr. Berry and I agreed would be best. Depopulate, let the ground sit for a couple of months, then start over. It just never seemed like a good day to kill her, so she lived - even though she was most likely the carrier and cause of the twenty two other chicken's demise.

Now for the dilemma. I want eggs. But we had to get rid of Henrietta, which seemed sad.  I didn't want to start all over with chicks because that would mean no eggs until late summer. If we bought laying hens, they would be in danger of catching whatever it is from the lone survivor.  We went around and around. I didn't see the point in sacrificing a new flock of chickens just for the sake of Henrietta, but my Mother in law wanted to try one more time. Maybe it was mites, and not a virus. Maybe it was worms.  Maybe these ones would live.(Maybe pigs can fly) So this is what we came up with.

1) We would find some laying hens and put them in the hen house with the little sicko.
2) We would wait to see if any died.
3) If they did start dropping, we would kill them all in one day. No matter what.
4) In the meantime, we would get baby chicks and keep them far from the above mentioned hens.
5) If we had to get rid of the flock, we would then have a back up flock laying eggs by fall.

We soon found out that it's not so easy to find laying hens. They are quite the commodity! We finally located some on Craig's List and they said they would even deliver.

 I was gone when they arrived so I asked my mother in law how they were doing the next morning. She said they were good except one has prolapse. Evidently part of it's uterus is hanging out of it's behind. She researched it and found out she needed to put Preparation H on it. If that didn't work, we would have to push it back up her butt. Well, I am sure that would involve Dr. Berry, so the cost of that would surely come to more than we paid for all six hens!! Only I would get a hen with that issue. And boy does it look bad! After more reading I think she might be egg bound.
How do you unbind an egg?
And that actually sounds like a good thing....egg bound. Isn't that what I am?

 "Come on Mr. Craig's List Chicken Seller.....that was low of you!"

We shall see how it pans out. I currently have six baby chicks in my bathroom. I went with my friend Shannon yesterday to pick some out. I convinced her she should get some too...because it's SO EASY. I am surprised she looked past my poultry woes and took the plunge. I told her it would turn out great. Jerry told her it would be fine. He knows and I know that I am the only one with these crazy hen hurdles. Her kids each picked one out.  I love the names they chose for them.

Jesus, Power Ranger, and Sarah.

Maybe I should name one of mine Jesus too....Lord help me.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dear Birth Mama...

I am in bed now and almost asleep, but you are so heavy on my mind that I cannot quite get there. I wanted to tell you that the little girl you carried and then placed under the street light is in her bed asleep. Warm and cozy. I don't know if you cry tears for her, or daily wonder how she is, but I know she has to come to mind. More than that, I know when Havensong is asleep, she must, at times, dream of your voice. It will be there forever, even in the farthest reaches of her memory. And if you are mourning her, I would like to tell you that I am sorry. I wish I could comfort you....
 What I can do, is love her madly. I promise I will.

Oh to even have even a few moments with you. I would tell you how amazing she is, and how thankful I am. I'd love to see if she has your nose, or your laugh. I want to know where she got her wild sense of humor, and those silly faces she makes. And where did her love of music come from? Her Grandma? Her Father? And that SMILE! It melts anyone in it's path.

 I didn't count on this bothering me so much, you know. People often tell me it's a good thing that you will never be a part of her life, but I feel the opposite. I so badly want to know you. It's too much sometimes not knowing her story. At times it almost tortures me, trying to imagine all of the missing pieces. Wondering if I can somehow create a true picture for her. I often have to force myself think of other things and just be grateful she is here. I have to stop trying so solve the mystery. I have to remove the images of you that flash before me....

You pregnant...
You delivering her....
Your eyes looking down at her....
Your face the last time you would ever see her.....

It's like a movie that plays in my mind. I didn't anticipate this or prepare for it.  But you really are important to me! And I will pray for you each and every day. Havensong and I will together pray for you. I know you won't read these words but somehow I hope they will find you, and  you will know deep down she found her way home and you feel at peace.

I know I don't understand your culture and values. I have no idea how the dynamics of families work in China. I can't comprehend the pressure you feel. Not first hand anyway. I know it is very complex...I am told most mothers walk away with not a glance back. But I know this; a mother's heart is universal and goes beyond tradition and rules. I know there is a moment when those mothers want to grab back their child and run. It may be a feeling that lasts a lifetime, or it may be just a split second before she lets go, but I know it's there. Nobody can tell me different. And this is my little way of acknowledging what you had to go through.

I am going to try to sleep now, because this "night owl mommy" has been given an "early bird baby," so I had better get some rest. Havensong will want to conquer the world all over again tomorrow.
She is that full of curiosity and spunk.
 Maybe she got that from you.....

With much thanks and even more love,


She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind
And curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
“Winter is dead.”
A.A. Milne

Autumn used to recite this poem when she was a toddler. She was so adorable they way she would act out the words.

She and I love daffodils and always cheer when we see them appear after the long winter months. This year seemed like winter went on forever. I am oh so happy Spring has arrived, and with it small bursts of sunshine here and there.

I am looking forward to Spring.

 My favorite things about it are:

1) New Chicks :) Maybe these ones will can hope.
2) The Tulip Festival....and forcing all of the kids to go and take pictures.
3) Planning a garden....and this year I might even actually plant one.
4) Rubber boots
5) Taking our schoolwork work outdoors.

I can tell the kids have a little bounce in their step. Havensong has not spent much time outside so we are excited to show her so many new fun things.
 And she will be beautiful in the middle of the tulip fields...can't wait!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My First Six Birthdays

So it's my birthday today. I can tell you, for the first time, I am not overly thrilled. I like being in my thirties and don't really want to be out of them. I mean really, will I look this happy when I am in my 40's?
One can hope...

I was looking through albums last night to see how many birthday pictures I could find. I found six, and decided to post them for fun. I scanned them today but couldn't figure out how I was going to separate them all to make them into individual pictures. I was staring at my screen and shaking my head. Most of what I manage to accomplish on the computer is by sheer accident, and I am always so amazed with myself when it works. I don't have a knack like some people, and I didn't know how to cut virtual pictures apart.  I am so thankful Dan called right at that exact moment  and told me about the "Snipping Tool." Wow! Now that is a handy thing to know about. He then told "Happy Birthday" and hung up. Autumn said, "Yep, that's Dan The Man for ya."

So here I am a a couple of hours old. ( I realize my parents will be the only ones to really enjoy this post. haha)
Here is my first Birthday. I swear I remember this, but maybe it's just because of seeing the picture so much. But that cake is so familiar. And I so appreciate it because I love to decorate cakes. I am sure this is what inspired me.
And here is my second birthday.

And my third birthday cake was so great, and I KNOW I remember it. I also remember I got coloring books and paints as gifts. I think Aunt Susie brought me this cake, but I could be wrong.
And the fourth. I look pretty proud here, I'd say.
I remember how cute I thought I looked at my fifth birthday. My Mom put pigtails in my hair and I loved it. I usually had pretty wild hair, but I loved it when she would slick it all back like this. I also remember if I complained or wiggled she thwacked me with the brush, but this is a cheerful post, so I will leave that part out.  ;) HA.

And the sixth birthday. I made that crown in school and wore it all day. I think all kids should wear crowns on their birthday, but especially ME because my maiden name is King, so I am more entitled.

So thirty nine years ago I was born at 11:27. I came out  breech. First one foot, then the other. I am sure I was hanging on for dear life to warmth and comfort. I can see myself doing that. My poor Mother's arms were strapped down to the table while she delivered me. They did that back then so you wouldn't touch anything with your germy hands. They were putting a gas mask over her face the whole time and she was fighting it, but it was pointless since she was tied down. That just sounds so scary.
I much prefer the way we do birth these days. When I delivered Autumn I had six women there and we were passing around Snickers and Pork Rinds. Now it's a regular party when you birth a baby.
A Birthday Party.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Autumn's Amazing Cake Pops

Autumn is whimsical by nature. She is go with the flow. She has always been that way. She really isn't interested in being busy or working the day away. She likes to relax and daydream. She likes to create and laugh. We sort of tease her about being "grabby." But she is just very "hand's on." She enjoys cooking and crafting. I told her I could see her being a party planner, or the next Martha Stewart, but with a sense of humor.

Tayler brought home a "Cake Pop" maker. Cake Pops are all the rage right now. They are basically cake and frosting rolled into balls and dipped in frosting then placed on lollipop sticks. But of course, Autumn put her own twist on it. She has spent the whole weekend creating these.

I have many weaknesses as a Mother. But I think one thing that I manage to do, is allow my kids to have room to create. I let them have free reign in that area. Other kids love coming over because I usually say "Yes, you may do that...just clean up."( I remember which kids actually do clean up, and they get to come over as often as they would like.)

I think the best part is hearing them crack up as they work. It's so cute. They are out there right now coming up with creative names for the store they are going to open up. They are going to make it big selling Cake Pops all over the world. You never know!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sweet Dreams

Last night while I was rocking Havensong to sleep, Beau came in and played the calabash flute he got while in China. It is such a pretty instrument. The sound reminds me of little bagpipes. He leaned against her crib and played while we both litstened. I love it when Beau plays his instruments for me, and he always looks so cute. He has the knack of being easy going and passionate at the same time.

 Looking down at her sweet little face, I could hardly believe she was really there, listening to her brother play music from her homeland as she dropped off to sleep. It was one of those tiny moments that will stick with me.

Calabash flutes- otherwise known as hulusi, Beijing, China
This travel blog photo's source is TravelPod page: "Fragrant Mountain" and more

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Finding My Groove

I feel like I am getting into the swing of things a little tiny bit. I thought I would just hit the ground running when Havensong arrived...I hit the ground, but I have yet to run anywhere. Just the simple task of walking out the door to go to the store takes effort. I come back into the house three or four times to get diapers, bottles, outfits, etc. The bottle feeding is the biggest challenge for me. There is so much you have to remember and bring with you. And I am not the most organized person...My head is often in the clouds and I am many times a few steps behind. Breastfeeding was the easiest thing for me, and I never ever left the house without my own nipples. (Did I mention my milk was FREE??!!)

Once she started eating solid food, things got easier. When she first arrived she would clamp her little lips shut if you went anywhere near her mouth with food. I am sorry to say, it was a McDonald's fry that did the trick. Now she enjoys green beans just as much but we needed something really tasty to start the ball rolling. She thinks eating is the funnest thing ever now. I am happy to say she has gained three lbs, and is now in the 1%! The nannies in the orphanage called her "Thumb." She is still tiny but is making great strides.

She is not only blossoming each day, but she is also becoming really at ease and comfortable. She looks relaxed as she plays with her toys and rides around in her car seat. She is starting to use sign language, and nods or shakes her head when we ask her a question.

 We even have to tell her "No" now, and that was especially hard today while she was sporting a "villain mustache."

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New Song

I look at Havensong and I feel like I have always had her. The five year wait seems like nothing.
I can't imagine my life without her in it. She melts my heart each day. Her laugh sends me to the moon. She endures my endless kisses with patience. She twinkles her eyes at me and I am undone. She was mine from the first moment, but I am starting to feel like HERS.

Everything is a new experience to her and I love seeing it all through her eyes.
 The water, the sky, chocolate, bubbles, music, and everything in between.

 Last year I wrote in my journal and asked God to give me a " New Song" in my heart.

 Little did I know what He had in mind.

 His thoughts are such grand thoughts.
 He is Big.
He is Glorious.
He is Sovereign.
He has no Plan B.
He takes messy things and makes them beautiful
He finds what is lost.
He grows things out of the hard ground that is our hearts.
Life is found in chaos...
We think we have things all figured out only to realize we have no clue.
And when we are at a total loss, He comes in and restores.
He will never leave us.
I call that a New Song....
And the Song He sings is everlasting, unending, and true.