Thursday, March 6, 2014

Kids Say: February 2014


This was one of my favorite kind of posts to write. We all know that kids say the darndest things. That's what this post is all about!

*Emmy Word: Hay-elp = help with a toddler southern twang

*Em is singing the abbreviated version of the ABCs "a, b, sing with me"

*Sean "the groundhog saw his shadow, 6 more weeks till summer! "

*The girls wanted their nails painted today. Afterward, Em was showing hers off to everyone, including the cat: "Look, pretty nails. I pretty princess!"

*Maddy randomly announces at dinner "When I die I am not going to be cooked. I am going to be buried and the bugs are going to eat me and poop me out dirt."  ...we discussed cremation last month...

*Em: "11, 12, 13, here I come!"

*Sean: "Mommy, I'm just so smart. I just can't get math out of my head!"

*Em after daycare baby went home...not seconds after he was out the door, "Where'd baby go? I want baby back!!" ...with bottom lip out and all.






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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Suburban Homesteading: February Rabbit Babies


We've had a lot going on in our little rabbitry. We had three litters born back in December. Unfortunately we lost quite a few of them After research and talking to other rabbit breeders I think that it has to do with their early and abrupt weaning. Their mothers decided at 4 weeks that they were done and were actually charging and snapping at the babies when they went to nurse. The "diagnoses" is called weaning enteritis. I made their diet partly pellets but mostly oats and hay. As long as that was their diet, they did well. If I increased the pellets in the ratio (thinking that they were old enough), we'd lose a baby or two. So, that's the diet they will have until they are old enough to process (next month). There was a pretty solid black baby doe that I was considering keeping. She loved to snuggle under my chin (picture below). We lost her one day when she decided to run up my shoulder and jump off. :'(


The mamas: Mopsy, Flopsy, Flora, and Beatrix
 

Since the babies had been weaned for awhile, I decided to rebreed the mamas in early January. We rotated the boys in the run for a few weeks. I was hoping for 4 litters since Flora was old enough to breed now. However, that didn't happen. On the evening of Feb. 11th Beatrix have birth to 8 kits. That night something spooked the animals. The mama rabbits, the chickens and the weaned rabbits took notice around 9:00pm. The chickens began making alert bawks (if you have chickens, you know this sound!) so I ran to the window. I saw them looking and bawking at the gate to the side yard. The weaned kits were standing at attention in the pen, also looking at the gate. The mamas were running around, standing at attention, looking at the gate and thumping their hind legs. I continued to keep watch while hubby got ready to go outside. I never saw anything and he didn't see anything once he got outside. Who knows what it was but it sure did frighten the animals. The next morning I found 5 more kits scattered around the run, obviously dead. I'm just assuming that they were Beatrix's but could have been Flora's or Flopsy's. We'll never really know b/c neither Flora nor Flopsy had a litter afterwards. Mopsy, however, did have a litter overnight on the 17th. She had 12 kits (1 of which was a stillborn). I couldn't believe she had so many! Unfortunately, I discovered the rest had passed 2 days later. My best guess is she abandoned them but don't know why. In this time we also lost 3 of Beatrix's. Good news is the remaining 5 are doings great. They are now 2 weeks old and have started opening their eyes!! The other 3 mamas have been rebreed and hopefully are due at the end of March.

Beatrix and her kits:


 

This is a sight I had not expected. Henrietta, our Easter Egger hen laid one of her pretty blue eggs in the nest with Beatrix's kits.

And I can't write a post about our rabbits and leave out our house rabbit, Thumper. He's a snuggler...who has taken to licking me. Strange rabbit!


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Monday, February 10, 2014

I'm Back - Daycare - I Am Project

I have missed blogging. I probably could have made time for blogging but haven't. Any ways, I've realized that I've missed it and am back. Today I was thinking that it may be a little difficult to blog about the kids without including what goes on in my home daycare too. Therefor, you'll see some new faces. I will only post pictures of children who I have permission from their parents to do so. I will also avoid using their names and instead just use their initial.

I guess I will start with a little daycare update. For the last 2 years my daycare has been full or close enough where I wasn't looking to fill a spot (like when I had a part time opening). In this time, I did have a couple kids leave (started school) and a couple join but that all happened without me advertising. I've even had to turn people away in that time. I've been blessed! This pass December I got notice from 2 families within weeks of each other telling me that they would be moving. I was saddened with both announcements. We miss those kids. After getting notice from just the first one, I had decided to not advertise the openings. I didn't need to have those spots filled right away and had decided to enjoy a lesser work load for awhile. Plus, the other mom was pregnant so this would keep a spot open for her baby. However, after the second notice I knew I had to start advertising. Things would just be too tight for my liking with just one family. The one family I was left with was D's family. D has been with me for over 2 years now. I've watched him grow since he was an infant. As a matter of fact, D's mom had recently had a baby. D's baby brother, T, will eventually be joining us. I can't wait! So, I'm currently working on finding the right family (or 2) to join us...but haven't found them yet. For now, I'm enjoying the more one-on-one time I'm having with Sean, Maddy, Emily, and D.

Last week I discovered the facebook page, I am. I love their message and accepted their challenge. The pictures below are from that challenge. I'm going to take it a bit further here. I posted these pictures on my daycare's facebook page and mentioned that it's just the tip of the ice burg about these awesome kids. I'm going to tell you about the rest of that ice burg here.

Sean is: smart, a leader, a helper 
Maddy is: creative, determined, unique 

Emily is: silly, an entertainer, energetic 
D. is: caring, imaginative, a music lover


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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

New Product Announcement: Headbands

Today I added a few new products on my Etsy shop: Made By Mama Dani. I now have knitted headbands for sale. These are fun to make. I have a green headband with a pink and brown flower, and a purple/blue headband with a white and blue flower up for sale. I also made a listing for custom made headbands. You pick the color of the headband, the flower, and the button, and tell me the size you need. The blue/white/yellow headband at the bottom was made for Maddy. I need to make another for her because she was upset when I told her I was making the other headbands to sell. She loves her accessories!!





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Friday, January 24, 2014

The Big Announcement!

I'm so excited to make this post tonight. The big announcement is... I have opened up an etsy shop! I've been working on it for a little while now and today I opened the doors to Made By Mama Dani. I decided to open Made By Mama Dani to help fund my craft hobby and to supplement my home daycare business income, especially during times like now when I have openings. Currently I have a few hats and some soaps (goats milk and shea butter, both scented with essential oils). I will definitely be adding other knitted products; I'm starting on one tonight! I also have some ideas for other items to make. I can't wait to make them all and then blog about them here!

Here's a look at my current listings:
My hats:
I love making these. They are the perfect craft for when I'm sitting around watching tv.
   


I have recently fallen in love with essential oils so I thought, why not make soap with them! I plan on getting some other molds though. The flower/leaf ones are a hard plastic that makes getting the soap out difficult. I want to get some silicone molds like the one I used for the mini soaps. 

 

So, there you have it! I hope you take a moment to check out Made By Mama Dani, share it with your friends, and maybe find something you like!
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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Suburban Homesteading: January 2014


My last homesteading update was in May so I have a lot to talk about. Both our chicken flock and our rabbitry have grown! In May 2013 Mopsy had a litter of 10 kits. Unfortunately, only 4 survived. Flopsy was suppose to be due at the same time but it turned out that she wasn't pregnant. When she didn't give birth, we bred her again. In July she had a litter of 5, with only 1 surviving. Out of these litters we ended up keeping the only 2 females (Beatrix and Flora) and 1 of the males (Baby....more on him later). The other 2 were processed in the fall. 


We also hatched more some chicks in the summer. We didn't keep any of those but it sure was fun! In August we bought some chicks. All the Silkies went to a friend but we kept the Rhode Island Red and Polish; Penny and Joan Jett.



Of Mopsy's and Flopsy's litters, we were only planning on keeping the females. Well, this little guy was just way too tame to process. His name was changed to Baby and we attempted to keep him as a house rabbit. He's just too big for the house so he went back outside with the others.


We did end up getting a house rabbit. We got this little Lionhead in November. His name is Thumper. He hasn't gotten much bigger than he was in this picture:

Around then, our does were due, or we thought. It seems they hadn't gotten pregnant. So we decided to give a rabbit colony a try and moved the rabbits in with the chickens. The girls did beautifully. The boys however, couldn't get along. The girls now live in the colony and the boys live in separate cages and get special visits to the colony. Hubby also built an awesome new chicken/rabbit run this fall. It's bigger and more sturdy than the other one. I absolutely love it! The chickens and rabbits are getting along just fine....once the chickens realized the rabbits weren't something to be scared of. 


Almost 2 months ago we had the results of the rabbit colony 3 of our 4 does gave birth. The one doe that didn't give birth was just slightly too young to get pregnant. We had a total of 24 kits. We lost a few and are down to 17. They are now weaned and doing great. Some of the current babies will be adopted out as pets, some will be processed and I'm thinking of keeping one female. She's a beautiful solid black. The boys have had visits with the girls so if it all went well, we have 4 does due in the beginning of February. I love having the babies around! 




And lastly, yesterday, the chickens got their first taste of snow. .... They were not impressed!!

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