Thursday, June 26, 2008

Chicken Update

The baby chicks are doing well. We have them in the house right now, in a makeshift brooder which is a metal washtub with two lamps on top to keep them warm. They aren't very much work right now, but they can be pretty loud with the chirping sometimes. One of them in particular seems to like to sing really loud. The singer is the most active and jittery, while another is the most friendly.

Edited to add: We are a bit nervous that the singer might turn out to be a rooster. It's very hard to tell at this point, but she/he is definitely the most aggressive and vocal of the lot. :)

One of them is also obviously smaller and less active than the others, but she still seems to be doing ok.

The girls really like the shakespeare names the best, so we're leaning towards them (since there was no clear winner in the poll.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Four at Last

Ellie is now four years old. Her birthday (today) was quite an affair. We progressed from happy surprise as she woke up this morning ("You mean I'm four right now?") to telling everyone what to do because she was the birthday girl ("Sophie you can't wear that today because it's my birthday") and on to shrieking meltdown whenever anything happened that wasn't to her liking ("She cutted in front of me, I was walking there!") and using the threat of no cake to try and manipulate ("That's it, Sophie isn't getting any of my cake.")
By this evening she was a complete mess. All of my attempts to get her to take a nap had failed. Her birthday dress was filthy, her hair was falling out of her crooked birthday pony tails, and she was oscillating between a melt down state and a whiny repetition of "When do I get to eat the cake? When are we opening my presents?"

We had a nice dinner in spite of it all (just the 6 of us) and ate some of the cake (with sprinkles and blueberries, according to Ellie's specifications) and opened presents and everyone was happy for a few minutes. When Anna saw the cake she said "Yeah! Coo-kie!"

the cake:

the three littles:

Ellie with her new shirt, necklace, and doll:

We took a short walk after dinner and when we got home Ellie was so exhausted that she collapsed onto the floor in her anguish, yelling "I'm not going to bed! I'm not tired! You go to bed! I'm not going to bed!"

Five minutes after this tirade I found her asleep on the floor. Maybe she'll be a bit calmer tomorrow. (sigh) Four is supposed to be easier than three, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Difficult Day

I'm feeling all out-of-sorts today. Anna kept us up most of the night fussing, so Tony and I were pretty tired today. She had a sad accident yesterday in which she fell down and hit her mouth and knocked one of her front two teeth loose. We took her to the dentist, but there isn't anything he can do. We'll have to wait and watch to see if it will re-attach or come out completely. I'm really sad at the thought of her losing her tooth.

Here is her beautiful smile before:

and after:

Tomorrow is Ellie's birthday and I have grocery shopping and baking to do which I haven't had time to do because the baby chicks came unexpectedly one day early!

They are so amazingly cute I'll have to post a video of their cheeping when I get a chance. So far we have nicknames for them based on their markings, and we plan to watch them and discern their personalities a bit before naming them.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Baby chicks

After the loss of Blaise, we decided that we needed to find some other sort of pet to keep and take a break from dog ownership for a while.

We do still have Maggie, but having Maggie isn't really that much like having a dog anymore. She has arthritis so she doesn't really run around, she can't jump up anymore, she doesn't chase her beloved frisby anymore, she doesn't come when we call her (we think she's mostly deaf), and she can't go for walks unless they are very short. What she does do is sleep, eat, drink, and hang out looking confused. Don't get me wrong, her funny old lady ways are very endearing. The reason we call her the bear dog is that she doesn't really shed anymore and because of all her hair she looks like she's part bear. Unfortunately, since she's nearly 15 we are assuming that she won't be with us too many more years.

So, while researching alternative pets, Margaret came up with the idea of keeping pet chickens. After a bit of consideration (and looking at our city ordinances) we decided this could be quite fun and also a bit productive since we can get eggs. We ordered 4 baby chicks (silver-laced wyandottes) from a hatchery and they are being shipped today. We expect to receive them Wed. or Thurs. and then the adventure will begin. We are complete poultry novices so we've been reading a lot about keeping chickens and we'll be learning a lot as we go, I'm sure.

Provided the hatchery has followed our instructions, the babies will be all girls because we can't keep a rooster in the city limits. Please vote in our name poll, and we'll post pictures and names as soon as we have them.

Anna's vocabulary

Anna has been doing a lot of talking lately and she's surprisingly clear and easy to understand.

So far she can say:
no no
let go (she uses this with Ellie all the time :)
ma ma
marba (this is what she calls Margaret)

a few others I can't think of right now,
and just the other day she said


Oh boy!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Simpsons Circus!

We've been Simpsonized!

Tony Simpson

Keri Simpson

Margaret (not Marge) Simpson

Sophia Simpson

Ellie Simpson

Anna Simpson

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It's a Lovely Morning

The kids are playing,

the growing things are growing,

the trusty bear dog is at my side,

Tony finished the last leg of the fence, enclosing the breezeway,

and it looks so nice from the front,

and the pre-teen is still in bed, reading.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Photography by Keri


Sophia, wearing her black braided wig and looking very pensive:

Photography by Sophie

Here are some photos by Sophia of the fish,

Princess Leia:



They are all male betta fish, so they live in separate tanks. I don't claim any responsibility for their silly names, which I may or may not have spelled correctly. :)