Month: March 2008

Baby Q – 9 Months Old

Well, I was writing a post the other day, on the 23rd, in fact, since it was dear Baby Q’s 9-month b-day … but I wasn’t able to finish it at the time, but didn’t “save” it, having to shut my laptop instantly (Baby Q sees me with the laptop open and makes a beeline to grab and grope it. :rolleyes: ) It’s so hard to be able to read anything online as time goes on, let alone WRITE anything.

So Baby Q is now 9-months old and growing ever so much as usual. Physical and mental. He’s power-mobile, crawl, cruise, and is testing out “look ma, no hands!” more and more the last 4 or so days. He hasn’t taken any steps like that, but in his crusing-pulled-up mode he lets go and stands straight and true, for a few seconds. He doesn’t hold on tight anymore either, just a light feather touch is all he needs.

He talks often. He actually does repeat words here and there, and also has his own baby gaga stuff. He loves music, and does truly sing with some things, though his styling isn’t in keeping with any of it, of course.

He’s sleeping on my lap right now, and my laptop was within reach without disturbing him, so I finally am writing a semblance of what I had wanted to on Sunday.

Baby Q is a lot of fun, but so very much in need of holding/being held as much as usual. I’m his prefered holder. Daddy is second. Siblings rank as playmates mostly. I can’t so much as go into the next room without him wailing and coming after me if he can. In this way he is very different from his siblings, compared to when they were babies. He’s just the “I want to be held, and if I’m comfortable, don’t change anything!” guy. This isn’t anything new, it’s the same old, same old, with Baby Q.

Nighttime he sleeps all night with the exception that he awakes and I feed him a couple of times a night. He goes right back to sleep. This is different, compared to my first three babies. 1 & 2 slept through the night at 7 and 9 weeks respectively, with my aide at training. 3 was born a natural sleep through the nighter, I tried to un-train that days 1 & 2 but he prevailed, and I accepted it. Now Baby Q is just so different from any of them and it’s been something I recognized from the start, there would be no fiddling with his nighttime, he will sleep through sometimes, and other times he wants to eat. That’s that.

Organizing

I just posted about my kitchen and changes that have happened and will happen (sooner than later, I hope!) With all this comes junk and more junk to be organized.

We already have a house full of junk to de-junk, now have so much more since moving the old cabinets fully out of the kitchen. One row of cabinets was still very good, so we moved that into the laundry room and will install the base and wall portions eventually, but for now they sit one atop of the other and I have good storage for so many things that I never did before. Laundry and cleaning things, bulk this and that from Costco. Not cluttering the kitchen and jamming things here and there. It’s nice.

But there was a large expanse of cabinet that was packed full of stuff we hardly ever use, and it was trashed (the cabinet) and so all that stuff is in need of sorting and it’s only partially been done. There are things that are homeless still, that I want to keep/use, but need to get the kitchen permanently finished before I can do some things.

Re-organizing the stuff in a kitchen is a nightmare, for me at least. The junk drawer that turned into three junk drawers and a few cabinets of junk … augh!

There is just stuff all over the place in every room too, despite the trying to find a home for everything for the most part. Houses with few storage places, not enough furniture, no room for the few bits of furniture we do have … a house so small for an ever growing family … augh!

We finally bit the bullet and purchased a storage lease this past month. So we are weeding out the stuff that we want but can’t use now, the stuff we seem to want but want to live without if the trial of separation work out that we forget and then can donate it away. There is also box after box of stuff we need to sort through, now we can bring it away and do it in the storage unit when we have some time here and there, to sort away from the house, where it’s a task we can complete instead of getting that drug out feeling of “I have other things I could be doing … I’ll just put the lid back on and think of it another day” and never go back. Sometime hubby will bring in boxes and force the sorting, and it makes my head feel so dense and my limbs like rocks. I hate junk drawers, boxes of stuff. But I’m a saver. A lost cause one too.

There are reasons to save stuff. I just need all the right bins and boxes to save what I need to save, and get rid of all the cardboard boxes that are so horrid. Then have the right solutions in the house for usable stuff to be in it’s own place. We lack decent closets. They are so insufficient I cry just thinking about them. Shelves, for books, things, well this kitchen re-do is helping that, and then to get the spaces in the living room filled out with cabinetry will help, each side of the fireplace is recessed and is begging for cabinetry, and the TV is begging to be mounted above the fireplace. These things will be done after the kitchen. We might put a beverage center/bar in the left flanking one, that is near to the kitchen, and a media/book area on the right side for books, media, and the electronics (TV/Audio.)

Right now it’s a hodge podge of furniture we have, dinky media stands, old dressers but not enough for all of us, beds that need replaced, no nice frames at all. Closets are nothing but holes with wire hanging shelves, not outfitted to hold what we need. We have some bookshelves that can’t hold all we have, they are cheap, and we need more books too. Augh.

Things are looking up, we are weeding things out. We actually did throw out our big TV Armoire, it wasn’t that good in quality, kind of falling apart, and just a hulking big thing that held lots of stuff in a nasty manner. I got the idea to put the TV on the French Bakers Rack (one of the few pieces of furniture that I consider worthy of keeping and of nice style/quality). The TV is an LCD flat-screen, 32″ with speakers on both side, making it appear wider. The stand barely fit on the base, table-height of the bakers rack, and the shelves behind it gave just enough clearance for the back of the TV base. It was not safe to leave it like that though. I had an idea, hubby had another, both with bungee-cord thoughts, he went to look for some long ones in the garage, we had one that was shorter and wouldn’t work for either of our ideas. While he was gone I got to thinking and wrapped the bungee-cord around the TV stand base and then hooked each end to the “iron” bars that go up the back of the bakers rack. Voile! Secure. When hubby came back he hadn’t found anything longer, and was able to find one shorter bungee-cord to supplement the configuration I’d tried. It works wonderfully. We have all the equippment on the shelves behind and behind/above, and also have some of my records on one shelf (when I couldn’t put them anywhere before) and we have room to arrange other things nicely, when before it was a big hodge podge of unhappy arrangements and workings.

Hubby pushed the old TV Armoire out the door and it fell and went *splat* in the front yard, literally fell apart completely. The piece of junk. We paid so much for it back in the day, what a shameful thing!

For now my bakers rack will fill this need, and eventually it’ll be unloaded, cleaned-up and put into storage to await a happier house to live in (with us!)

Of course all of this is exasperated with a baby in the house again. All the stuff. I knew last year before the baby was due that we’d be feeling the crush and indeed we are, with every month the crushing gets crushing-er. At least the kitchen is more right now, and we have a storage unit for overflow.

My Kitchen – March 2008

We have been getting our kitchen changed slowly, the past few or more years, with only better changes of late. We now have new cabinets, not actually “installed” but in use.

Our old ones are all either moved or thrown away, hurray!

The base cabinets are in use where they will be installed permanently and the wall cabinets are here and there on the floor or on the top of the MDF we have for very temporary counters. The sink and stove have been relocated to their new permanent locations. The stove was finally done this past weekend, the sink just a few weekends before.

We have a semblance of an L-island in place, but it won’t be like it is, we need to get some more cabinets and haven’t determined if we can get the type we want for the design we are going for, or will need to retro-fit some to do what we need.

Basically I need/want drawers for bases on the short part of the L shape, which will be paralell to the stove, adjacent to the sink, and be table-height, so I can chop anything/roll out dough in comfort. I’m short and 30″ high is my preference for any standing up work in the kitchen. It’s a must for dough and chopping, so I’ve alway had to use the dining table and that is something I do not like having to do. So with this “new” kitchen I have a temporary spot on the “island” though it’s not as wide nor doesn’t have the right sort of storage underneath, since we are using wall cabinets that are 30″ high for now, until we get them up on the walls. We have to find out if the manufactuer has 30″ or so high drawer bases they can get us, or if we can cut off the toe-kick on drawer bases (like we’ve bought for other areas of the kitchen) successfully.

It’s what I’ve dreamed of for some time, and have wished for partially since moving into this house late 1997. The kitchen was on the other end of this 20 ft. long space, but was right next to the garage, and had a pathway dividing the main work counter, which was right next to the door, and the stove was on the other side of the door with no space horizontally next to it to work on (which I desire strongly to have for cooking with) it was basically jammed into a corner on the left with 12″ of counter space on the right.

We removed the French Doors that were on the other end of the kitchen. That’s where the sink is now, with the Fridge down towards the middle of the kitchen, about right across from where it started out in 1997. Basically the design used to be a glorified galley, two sections of counter and appliances separated by the garage enterance/walkway.

Now it’s an area with enough space to cook in. The stove has 36″ of horizontal space on the left, and 30″ and then a corner on the right. πŸ™‚

The sink is one nice triangle space to the rear/right when at the stove. The L-island “baking center” is directly behind the stove. Basically the space will be a Double-L design, but an inverted Double-L from what I’ve mostly seen on paper.

We have to get a new window for over the sink still. We did get one for free, but it wasn’t installed as I wanted it, and it’s not going to work, even if it was re-installed correctly. We have a glass sliding door to install but have some plumbing work to finish before that can happen. We have to paint and fix a few drywall things, and decide on how to finish out the area we removed part of a wall.

Then we can put in the wall cabinets then install the base cabinets on the outside “regular” part of the kitchen. Then at that point we are going to put in wood floor and THEN put the island on top of the wood floor. That will give us a counter around the kitchen that is more like 35-inches tall, then the island with the 30″ baking center and 36″ bar and work counter. That’s the current initial plan, at least.

We’ve changed the plan time and again, before we bought any cabinets, then settled on something, bought the cabinets, then after a bit decided to change the layout again, somewhat back to my original desires though.

Thus far it’s great to have things where they should be, appliance-wise. I’ve found the few meals I’ve made to be much more efficent in prep than ever before, and that’s super duper for a Mama of 4, with one being a baby, and none of them helpful enough in the kitchen to aide me in cooking, really. I love to cook, but hate the daily chore of it. I hate clean-up. It’s tiresome too being so short in comparison with my kitchen counters and cabinets. So finally, I have something to chop on that isn’t the table and doesn’t kill me and nearly get my fingers chopped off, having to stand on my toes to chop on high (to me) counters. The “feeling” of the kitchen is finally right. That oriental chi stuff, I’m not into that, but I can say that “feeling” is important and some of the prinicples I’ve read of about it seem right on with much of comfortable design and for placement of things in rooms for working/living.

My kitchen feels so right, when it has always felt so very, very wrong, and it’ll get more “right” as time goes on. Wow. πŸ™‚

Mobile Baby

Baby Q is really, very mobile now. He’s been pulling up for a few weeks, but not everywhere, but for the last few days, he now can pull up on anything at all, and had been working towards that for over a week.

When we got back from our Florida trip, he was at home in his pack n’ play and he was crying, I looked at him, and there he was, for the first time standing holding onto the side of the play yard. He does that all the time now, just pulls up and cries standing there, “take me OUT of HERE!” no doubt is what he says.

Not just that though, he’s cruising with more and more confidence, and standing “look Mama, no HANDS!” occassionally too.

I know he’s seriouly into all this stuff just from one perspective: dirt. He’s not just dirty on the knees, hands, etc. It’s now his feet too. Dirty feet. He’s growing up.

He loves the kitties and is getting bolder with them, when they let him do so. The kitten, Clementine, just lays there sedate sometimes and lets him pat her and more. He loves it when they let him touch them. Imitates my petting them sometimes, with great delight.

He loves anything he can get his hands on, especially electronics. Not that he does anything with them but beat, shake, slap, and slobber over. It’s hard to work on my laptop with him around. His other move is this raking, scratching thing, just feeling everything and that is a nuisance with a laptop keyboard. Yanks on cords with great abandon.

In November, when he had just turned 5 months old he got ahold of his sisters birthday balloon and yanked that ribbon like a freak old train conductor yanking on the whistle cord over and over. More than pleased with himself. That’s what he’s like with ANY sort of cord.

He’s a big talker too. “Mama” and “Nigh Nigh” and all sorts of other sounds. He isn’t always talking, but he sure has a lot to say in some situations. Like right now, he’s pulling on my knees, wants me to put my computer down and hold him, so he’s “Mama, mama, mama …” over and over, crusing back and forth trying to get between me and this laptop. So I must end this post. He wins. πŸ™‚

Hennies 2008

Our hens began laying in mid-late February, and are now fully laying, I think. We were away most of last week, so I’ll spend the next few days starting to track when they lay, and get a pattern down on paper to understand it all.

One bad thing happened, on Saturday morning I looked out the window of the kitchen and saw one of my beautiful big Black Australorps loose, just pecking at the ground gracefully. I ran out and picked her up and got her back in the pen. I couldn’t see any reason for her escape, and the only thing I can figure is that the night before when my hubby went out upon our return, it was nearly dark, and somehow he might have let her out without knowing, as he collected the eggs.

No harm in that though, the Australorps are very gentle and calm, and whenever it was that she got out, she hung around.

The bad thing is this though: I went out on Sunday afternoon to look at them all and see if there were any eggs and to talk to them. I got to the A-frame pen and counted and freaked, one of the black hens wasn’t in there, as far as I could tell.

I got my DH and he came out and indeed, there was one missing for certain. We walked all around the yard, but found not one sign of her. It wasn’t one of the big Australorps, it was the other black hen that looks like them, but is smaller, sort of bantam but not exactly.

Later I just happened to be looking out the window and saw the dog hovering over a small black mound in front of the swingset, as if he’d just put it there. I ran out, gathering my DH as I went, and sure enough, it was the missing little black hen, very dead.

It isn’t clear how that happened, was she missing already when I got the Australorp back into the pen on Saturday? I don’t know if I counted, or not. I must have “felt that they were all there” to some degree. I have no actual memory of “making sure” though.

So when we discovered she was missing, was she dead already, or alive, hidden or hiding? The one place we didn’t look was under the small tractor that’s sitting in the yard. The only other possible hiding place was under the crawl space, which was accessible due to the “screen” falling off the foundation wall, a small thing that covers the masonry brick thing which is open to air out the crawl space, covered with the screen to keep critters out. Since it falls off all the time, and was off already, maybe a scared little hen went in there to hide, then came out later when the dog was out in the yard and he got her? Or maybe he got her earlier and somehow hid her from us? At the time we looked for her the dog was inside still, from the night before. We let him out later after we looked all around the yard without finding even one sign of her.

Oh well, it was sad. I felt so horrible when we found her.

So we now have 4 hens in the A-Frame and then 3 others in the SuperYard. We lost a bunch of hens all the sudden one after the other, from the bunch that are now in the SuperYard, but were in a different pen before, about a month ago or so. The three that are left are plugging along and laying now. They are Rhode Island Red types (maybe mixed to some extent.)

The A-Frame hens are the 2 Black Australorps and 2 Golden-Laced Wyandottes. These are hennies we’ve had for a long time now. Started with more, but lost them here and there due to different reasons.

So our total hennie population currently is; 7.

That’s a drastic reduction in the number of eggs I expected to get this spring. Oh well. We had about 14 or 15 hens at the start of 2008.

But the ones we have are laying and seemingly doing fine. Spring is beginning and trees are beginning to come “back to life” as well.

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