Check this out! It is unbelievable how much they've grown in just 2 weeks!
Their downy white feathers are starting to show underneath. Bath time is their favorite time of the day. We put a kiddy pool in the yard for their bathing pleasure. While they are adorable, they are beginning to stink up the garage. I bought some air fresheners, but they aren't helping much. We have a pen (formerly a weed garden, where tomatoes used to try to survive). The ducks will be moved to it in about a week. This is Doodle. He's the one that survived the near-death-lovin'. He is the cuddler of the group. He also follows my daughter around like she's the mamma. It is precious. He is also pigeon toed. It's hilarious!
We're having a pig pickn this afternoon. If you're not from the south, I'll post pictures later for educational purposes. =)
Laura and Mary Ingalls have been visiting lately. They like to show up on sunny afternoons in their bonnets. You would think that my name would be Ma. Nope, I get to be the mean storekeeper, Mrs. Olsen. I can still hear her wail, "Nells!" to her on-screen husband. My little man gets to be Pa. "Cause he hunts and shoots stuff."
I long for sun-drenched afternoons when my children drink in the day and get lost in their world of play. Just listening to their imaginations run free reminds me that childhood is such a gift.
I am saddened by the schedules my children's friends are trying to maintain. When did we, as a society, decide children needed to be involved in so many activities? As a mom, I sometimes get pulled into the "my child is involved in such and such" game. But then I have to remember that those conversations are usually wrapped up in motherly pride. Then I have to laugh. Pride in what? How many hours I logged in the driver's seat shuffling children from one activity to the next? When I see mini vans (the vehicle of choice for taxi moms) with multiple stickers touting the various activities of their young riders, I just roll my eyes. Is it a badge of honor? Is it necessary to state to the world that your family is over-committed?
How about a sticker that says,
"today they just played"
or "who needs to pay for fun... the back yard is free." There is no pressure in my back yard. It is a soccer field, a pirate ship, a jungle, a classroom, a home.
My children are free to laugh, love, learn, pretend, run, imagine and grow.
If you happen to stop by my house on a sunny afternoon, you just might find yourself in Little House on the Prairie world. Don't be alarmed. I'll make sure Mrs. Olsen is nice.
I had no idea so many questions would arise from our Easter purchase! Thanks for the comments and questions. Now to answer some of them.
1. NC law requires that ducks and chicks be purchased in quantities no less than 6 to prevent the general public from purchasing only 1 or 2 for Easter presents. A woman in her 60's recently told me that when she was a child, it was popular to receive baby chicks dyed pink, blue or green for Easter. I am sure PETA had a fit over that!
2. Some of you asked where we are keeping them. Well, first let me remind you that I am married to a builder who loves to whip out a good project. So we went from a galvanized tin tub to this:
This, my friends, is the mac-daddy duck pen. It is currently in our garage, away from predators, and out of my house. It measures approx. 2'x6'. I call it the duck run. He is talking about creating a door at one end that will open to a kiddy pool. I'm thinking that I really like parking my car in the garage. Also, please note in the picture above my contribution: hand sanitizer. Two bottles.
Oh my! Did one of them lay a blue egg?!
3. As far as maintenance, they are very easy. We have a water dispenser (red and white thingy), a bowl of food (purchased at the local farm store), heat lamp, and fresh shavings. They love to drink and play in the water. Yesterday, we filled a large tin tub and let them play in the water and test out their swimming skills. 4. Now to answer the question asked by several friends, "what will you do with them?"
That is the best part. They are a temporary pet! After 8 weeks, they are ready to be released into the wild. We have a pond, so they will have a nice home. But our care-taking days will be over. It's kind of like foster care. The only thing we have to be careful of is our dog. Once they are in the water, they will be safe. Our retriever is afraid of water. Go figure.
We are amazed by this little creation of God. Since last Friday, they have almost doubled in size. We have one runt that hates to be held. Doodle got past his near death experience and now loves to be cuddled. I guess he figured, if you can't beat em, join em!
On Good Friday our family enjoyed the day off together. Our final stop of the day was to "just look at" some new baby ducks. Thirty minutes later ... we walked out with 6 babies. Even though I was perfectly content with just 1 pet (our dog) I realized that sometimes it is fun to break your own rule (no more pets!) To watch the sheer joy on my children's faces was better than any Easter basket. Our daughter LOVES animals. She adores anything with fur, feathers, or (ewww!) scales. I knew she would take good care of them.
See? She is already tending to their fashion needs.
Our state laws require that we purchase 6 at a time, so each of us got to name one, plus a spare. You know, just in case the unthinkable happens. Which, by the way, we've already discussed with the kids so they won't be in shock if one doesn't make it.
Introducing: Woody, Coco, Doodle, Sweatpea, Chester, and John-Henry
I'll give you two guesses who picked the name John-Henry. I chose Sweetpea. My first choice was Duck Confit, but that was a little barbaric. Woody and Coco have the black spots. It will be interesting to see what color they turn out to be.
Doodle was making us nervous on Saturday night. His neck was a little red. I think he was being loved-to-death (guess which child he belongs to). Literally. Loved to death. We put him on bed rest (aka: no touchy) and he seems to be doing great!
The delicious green houndstooth was $1. Not per yard. For the whole thing!
The trim was purchased for a specific reason (see below).
The black and white, well, it was an impulse buy. Only 1/2 yard didn't hurt the purse fund too much.
We recently repainted our family room (See Going Green here). The black curtains match the green fine, but I wanted something light and airy for the summer.
Oh, I forgot to mention that I needed to do it on a very tight budget. So I visited Wally world and found this: Two panels for $10. I didn't realize that they were attached together at the top. So I just cut them apart and stitched up the edges. Then I added a little bling in the name of fringe and...
With a little fringe, you can make the 'mainstay' everyday something unique!
I told my Manly Man that I need to go out of town more often. After a few days of having the house to himself, he painted the den and had our foyer/hallway/stairway painted. It was like coming home to a new house!
Now for some before and after pictures:
Before (looking into kitchen):
After (looking into kitchen):
The color is Garden Sage by S.W. It is very soothing and relaxing. While I loved the tuscan yellow, it was very busy for a room that we use to relax. The room also has some new (summer) window treatments, but I'll save that for another day.
I'll have to take some 'after' shots of my foyer, too. It is the famous "Tobacco Road" retired Duron color, color-matched by Sherwin Williams. It's sublime!
I KNOW that I am redeemed and will live FOREVER in heaven
I THINK I need a Starbucks giftcard
I DON'T THINK bathing suits should cost so much
I WANT new furniture
I HAVE been to 8 countries and 31 states (so much to see, so little time)
I LIKE little old men; Sonic cranberry limeade; purses; porches. (What a weird combination!)
I DISLIKE heat and humidity; whining; complaining;
I HATE booming bass radios from punk drivers
I DREAM of living on a ranch in the mountains (with a Target nearby)
I FEAR alzheimer's disease
I'M ANNOYED by sullen choir music; loud people; my alarm at 5:20am
I CRAVE gelatinous desserts; chocolate; peace and quiet
I USUALLY keep my house clean and neat
I SEARCH for a new hairstyle on a yearly basis; library books on a weekly basis; my cell phone on a daily basis
I HIDE my good pens from my daughters; dark chocolate M&Ms (in an undisclosed location)
I WONDER what we are having for dinner (every single night, I wonder)
I REGRET that I ate a donut a few minutes ago; that I ate a Swiss cake roll before that
I LOVE my amazing husband; my family; my Lord; my life
I CAN play sports with my right hand, even though I am left handed
I CAN'T do blood or teeth
I TRY to stay organized
I ENJOY traveling; trying new restaurants; watching my kids enjoy each other
I DON'T CARE for jewelry on men; seeing myself in a bathing suit; pork
I ALWAYS tell my children that I missed them while they were at school; tell my husband that I love him; wash my hands with antibacterial soap in the car
I NEVER want to go to a jungle/ rainforest
I'D RATHER go somewhere cold, like Germany, Scotland, Ireland, Alaska
I RELY on my husband to fix anything around the house
I BELIEVE in God the father, maker of heaven and earth; Jesus Chirst, his only son, sent to die for my sins; that Jesus rose on the third day; that I am forgiven; that I have an eternal hope and assurance; that I am free.
I DANCE in the kitchen a lot... the kids think I'm crazy fun
I SING in the car at the top of my lungs when I'm alone
I ARGUE rarely. Can't stand to argue... I'd rather walk away.
I WRITE things down if I want to remember them (especially the calendar)
I WIN in Wii bowling
I LOSE weight rarely
I WISH I could eat sweets and still lose weight easily
I LISTEN to a wide variety of very cool music
I DON'T UNDERSTAND economics, chemistry, bailouts
I'M SCARED of bears, snakes, bugs
I FORGET birthdays. I'm the worst at remembering dates!