Friday, November 21, 2014

Mamatography 2014 - Week 46

This post catches me up! Next week will hopefully be right on schedule.

Day 313 - Sunday - November 9

Found our dinosaurs using the bathroom sink as their personal wading pool.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mamatography 2014 - Week 45

I'm still a week behind, but I'm working on it!

Day 306 - Sunday - November 2

He rolled / climbed down off the couch in his sleep... to sleep on the floor.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Mamatography 2014 - Week 44

Seriously behind, but I'm trying to catch back up!

Day 299 - Sunday - October 26

Our friend came to take 2 Oklahoma Brown Tarantulas away to breed.
He brought his own Kritter Keepers.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Cabin Fever Plan of Attack

Welcome to the November 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Indoor Play This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared ideas and inspiration to keep families happy and healthy while cooped up indoors.

On cold but sunny afternoons, I think some outdoor play is still awesome! We need some sunshine when / if we can snag it. Sometimes, though, you really are stuck inside. It doesn't take too long for that to get old real quick, especially in smaller shared spaces. I have a couple of plans of attack up my sleeve for days when we're getting sick of each other.

First, toy and game rotation. I keep some toys back. I generally rotate bins close to the first of each month, but sometimes I'll whip out something "new" when we're driving each other crazy. Sometimes I inspire the kids to play with an old toy in a new way. Or we check out the games closet. We don't get stuff out of there nearly often enough!

The second big thing we do is allow a bit of craziness indoors. This isn't limited to being stuck inside, but I think it helps during those times. I let my kids do somersaults on the couch or climb all the way up the back of it and drop back down. They run across our small living room and crash into the couch. They might even be allowed to jump on my bed! <gasp> Being able to use up some of their energy in a rambunctious way just seems like a logical fix.

Every once in a while, we also just sit and search for images of whatever Sasha wants to see. Its usually different types of animals. I'll search and then we'll scroll through several pages of images before moving on to a new one.

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon August 12 with all the carnival links.)

  • Congestion Be Gone Shower Vapor Discs — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares a fun way to beat the indoor blues while creating something useful at the same time! Come learn how Jennifer and her daughter created congestion relief discs so you too can get creative in the kitchen. It makes a fun science experiment too!
  • Indoor Fun: Dads and Moms Who Listen Prevent Cabin Fever — Laurie Hollman Ph.D. at Parental Intelligence reminds us that even with all the best planning for indoor fun, it's helpful to have creative tips that forestall daytime upsets and build parent-child bonds.
  • Outside? What's that?: 13 Boredom Busters for 13 Weeks of Winter — Joining us from rural Ontario, where she is no stranger to massive amounts of snow and frigid temperatures, Leslie at Eat Your Peas shares 13 Boredom Busters to get you through the 13 weeks of winter.
  • Where to get the wiggles out in bad weather — Lauren at Hobo Mama offers indoor places to escape to when kids need to run and shout away from the rain and snow.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Chicken Coop Project - Part III

If you have no idea where this started, check out the first post, Chicken Coop Project - Part I. This week (Day 3, just 1 week after our last work day) will complete the actual building of the coop! See, there became a little bit of a rush because my egg / chicken lady friend was suddenly needing to re-home some of the members of her over-sized flock. I was itching to do the roof, but...

Brent was already building fence panels when I got outside. He had these 1½ inch square posts he was saving to use on his porch, but they had just been sitting in a rotting pile of wood. We also used a 2 x 6 (from my fence panels), split down the middle, to make the top and bottom. I had picked up several 10' sections of wire fencing (for free!) from a guy outside of town when he had to downsize from his 200+ flock. Elmo had also found a random roll of new fencing in the woods while geocaching! (The roll turned out to be over 20' long!)

Based on the length of the used sections, we made the fence panels 2 inches shy of 10 feet. One post was used at an angle to brace the panels so they would stay square. We made 4 panels and stapled the fencing onto them. These will be mobile, so we'll have the option to change the chicken run around a bit.

We had some random sized sections, too. Brent stapled fencing onto the front of the coop and under the nest. We only closed off 2 sides. I picked up 2 pieces of cheap sheet metal to use for the roof, total cost $20 from a local building supply (that has used and new materials). He used 2 boards from our scrap pile, nailed inside the coop, to support and attach the roof.

We set one panel right behind the nesting box. It connected (in an L) to another fence panel, which we wired to the fence post already in place. The placement was perfect for strong support, despite the old fence being in major disrepair. There's my li'l chickadee, testing out the half-done chicken run.

I didn't get pictures of the roosting bars yet, but we wound up using those same 1½ inch posts from Brent's pile. We used scraps of them to make a U shape on the wall. The roost bars (one high across the back, one low from front to back) slide down into the U support shapes. This makes the bars easy to remove for cleaning or in case I need to get into the coop. I had planned to use branches, but didn't have one the right length to go across the back.

We wired a fence panel to the existing chain link fence. The girls we're getting have been free ranging in a yard with a similar chain link fence. The other panel connects to the coop and overlaps for a handy gate into the run. To make it stay put better, we simply screwed another post scrap next to the panel on the coop. This was very helpful since this panel gets swung in and out so often.

We also installed a new security hasp to lock the coop door closed. I wish I could have found a used one, to match the hinges we used. The hasp cost $3 at the same place as the sheet metal. Brent threw together a temporary cover for the chickens' door (using fence planks) that I'll use a rock to hold down overnight. The nest cover is made with scrap sheet metal from the roof. It isn't completed with hinges yet, we're watching for the right scrap to support it. I just hold it down with rocks for now and its tucked under the fence planks so its still safe from rain.

After this last five hours of work (and less than $60 in supplies), the coop and run are usable! I talked to my connection and... hens would be delivered the next morning!! She also planned to bring enough pine shavings for our coop plus a little feed and scratch. I'm sure I'll write another post about welcoming our girls!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mamatography 2014 - Week 42

Day 285 - Sunday - October 12

Final work day on the chicken coop.
Lovely fire burning some of the extra scraps.

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