Our little girl is now a month old and I have not posted since I announced her birth! I know, I know... I said I would post more frequently. I spoke too soon. Who knew it would be so hard to find time to sit down at the computer with a newborn (and 4 other children) and write for 10 minutes? I'll give you a brief update on what's been happening around here and then I will try to get back on schedule ;)
Callen and Liam at the park; Liam with a bug bite, early June. Poor kid! Bites near the eye are the worst!
Our chickens have a new home! Just days after Verity was born, they were evicted from the basement and are now in the back yard, in a chain link kennel left behind by the previous owners. Mr. Ireland put the left behind dog house in the kennel, stuffed the dog house with straw and topped the kennel with some boards to keep eagles and owls out. I miss their little peeping noises, but the smell of straw and chickens was starting to get to us, and there is a fine dust left behind in the basement, so I am glad they are out! This set up is temporary. Once I find my feet again, we will start working on a permanent coop and fencing a yard.
Sadly, just as we moved the chickens out, more tenants moved in. Unwelcome guests... ANTS.
We have ants! At first we thought that maybe they were random ants out on scout, or perhaps the abundant rain this month was driving them indoors. We decided that there were just too many ants to not be worried. There must be a nest somewhere, hopefully not in our walls, and we haven't seen anything in the basement to indicate a nest there. They are the most abundant in the kitchen, yet they don't appear to be looking for crumbs (and Lord knows there are plenty of those around right now!), nor have I found them in the bathroom, both areas where you expect to see ants because of the ready sources of food and water. Our suspicion is that they nested in the pump house over the winter (after Mr. Ireland destroyed their lovely log home last summer), which is attached to our basement, and are following the pipes into the house. Mr. Ireland bought ant bait to tuck under the cabinets and stove, and he sprayed the exterior of our house with cayenne and vinegar solutions. We have also moved the honey and sugar off the counters and keep them wiped off, using a vinegar solution. It seems to be working.
Mr. Ireland cleared the shed and moved the cabinets for our kitchen redo into it.
Anyone want an engine block?
Finally, just this week, the end of June, we have established some garden beds for vegetables. The boys helped me use a roll of news print to put down long rows of paper over the (tall) grass. Our outline was destroyed by Liam tripping and dragging toys over the orange tape, but we managed to make our beds fairly straight. Next week we will plant our (surviving) veggie starts, finish the smaller beds that will flank the steps and lay newspaper and dirt around my established plants. I am so pleased that all my plants that were transferred from the old house have survived the winter. I split my irises and peonies into many new plants and they all seem to be growing! If I can get my beds in, the next step is putting wood chips or gravel down for the permanent pathways and if I finish that, I may treat myself to a trip to the peony garden in Homer this fall to purchase some new plants!
Boys helping me lay newspaper and wet it while Dad moves dirt. Callen had the fun job of raking
the dirt out. It all goes to show that if you nag people enough....
We are slowly getting the hang of having 5 kids. It has been tough to figure out what "normal" is now , but every day feels a bit more successful. I have been very blessed to have Mr. Ireland home for the first two weeks after the baby was born, and again for the last several days.
Over the last month I have finally been able to sit back, look around at the house and really see and appreciate all the work that we have done over the past year. It was stressful, mostly because of the push to get unpacked before the baby arrived, but it was worth it. Now that my hands are full with a tiny baby and what little time we have is devoted to cooking and sometimes cleaning, unpacking would be impossible! It can still get overwhelming when I think about all that is yet to be done, knowing that we are only 1/3 of the way to being "finished", but we are slowing down and pacing ourselves now. It's time for more fun! We've earned it :)