Homestead Update: Days Spent in the Sun, Chicken Hugs, and Learning to Live with Less Expectations

Disclaimer:  Here is basically a large grouping of photos of mostly Tad playing outside in the yard. Also some hard feelings ahead. You have been forewarned. 

This week. This week has been equal parts amazing and frustrating. I can't really begin to figure out where my frustration is stemming from, but I think deep down I know what it is. I'll get to that in a minute. The weather has been fantastic lately. Early in the week, we were dealing with some cooler temperatures, heavy winds, and even a little bit of rain. Not that I'm complaining because rainy days are always nice, and the plants outside were definitely needing it. But I was really wanting some days spent in the sun. We had been cooped up for almost four or five days, Tad was only napping for an hour in comparison to our usual 2 to 3, and I was tired of not being able to get anything done. Tad is a toddler, and he wants constant entertainment and movement as well. His energy comes in heaps, so that tends to keep me on my toes. Whenever I have someone ask me how many hours it takes for me to embroider a finished hoop, I just say, "I have a two-year-old." And they always laugh and say, "Totally get it."

Well, anyway, the sun came out, and we were able to get outside. Still, I was angry. I've been angry. Not the kind where I stew all day, but the kind where the more little pecks I get throughout the day, the more easily I erupt at people that I care about. I feel like I can never get anything done, or like I never get enough time to work on the things I want to work on. I am constantly interrupted, someone needs a new diaper, something broke, errands have to be run, dinner has to be made. There are things pertaining to the business that need to be finished, and yet, life seems to call me instead. That's fine. I know it's fine. I am thankful to have parents who offer to watch Tad when I need a couple of extra hours, and who offer to help on the hours that I am around. 

I know my anger is rooting from single parenthood. It just is, and I hate that. I hate it because I try really hard not to think about that label, to think that it's a crutch ever in our lives. It's just how my life is, and yet, I start to get frustrated when I think if it would be any better if there was another half to this parenting duo. Maybe I could get work done, or maybe I could afford childcare. Maybe there could be someone else to lean on so I didn't have to feel so guilty having my parents watch Tad as often as they do. I am finding that the grief that has been buried from the horrible moment I realized I would be alone in parenting is finally starting to bubble up. Ugh. I don't like it. Perhaps those stages of grief I thought I went through never actually happened, or maybe anger is just happening last for me, because I thought acceptance came a long time ago. Either way, the weird dreams about the past and the constant build of who the hell leaves their own child behind like that just need to stop. Because look at that happy baby up there. He's the only thing that's important. 

Everything seems to be growing longer these days: the sun's light throughout the day, Tad's little legs, nap times, lunch times, tail feathers, and plant stems. It is a time for growth, and it keeps getting faster and faster. I love it, and yet, want time to fit in everything before it is gone! 

It was two weeks ago that Tad learned he could fetch and hold the chickens. While they are getting better at avoiding him a.k.a. they're getting a little too quick for me to catch them, he has discovered that Dorothy, the Australorp he is holding above, is probably the closest he is going to get to cuddling a chicken. She's the only one who doesn't holler and screech when he picks her up, and she lets him carry her around all day long without a care. A few days ago, he got a little brave and brought her back feathers up to his face for a chicken hug. It was precious, and I am so glad that I got it on camera! That little Dorothy. She's the sweetest. 

On the other hand, our other Australorp, Thelma is kind of big old B, if you know what I mean. She's not very sweet or cuddly. Whenever you pick her up, the first thing that happens is an instant wing stretch and clawing ferociously to get away. She's also the first one to run up to my hand when I change out their food or water, pecking around for extra treats, or maybe telling me to get the heck out of there and leave her alone. I don't know what's up, but she is assertive and gets on my nerves already. I am sure there will be many eye-rolling Thelma jokes coming in the next years. 

It should also be noted that I have taught the chickens to come to me when called. I am very proud of myself. That is all.

On Thursday, it felt like the perfect day to let our bed linens hang on the line to dry. I tried this for the first time last year and fell in love. Tad was still too small to try running and playing in the laundry, but I was excited to see if he liked it this year. Not surprisingly, he did!!! We laughed and played in between the sheets for about an hour, and then I just sat and watched our duvet cover float in the breeze until it was all dry. As much as I itched to go work, I knew it was good for my soul to just be slow and not do anything. Tad looked for bugs and probably kicked a chicken or two, much to my disapproval, but it was good. 

I posted on Instagram that we were hardening off our plants, and I received a lot of questions about what exactly that meant. It just means that I have been putting all of our plants on a table outside of the greenhouse so they can start getting used to the elements! It's a way to prepare them for their journey into the ground, which is going to happen this weekend for real this time! I am pumped. They're starting to get tired of being in their trays, as you can see by my radishes up there. Yikes. For the most part, all of the plants look really well, it's just well past due that they were actually planted. I just have so many... over achiever, what can I say?

Photos from rainier days earlier in the week. I've been trying to get better at practicing taking photos in darker indoor light rather than wallow that it's not as bright as I would like it to be outside. So far, I am enjoying the photos that I have been able to produce! I am getting back in the habit of having my DSLR on hand just as often as I have my phone. The new iPhone 7 Plus is pretty awesome, though, camera-wise! Also, you should try letting your toddler paint. It's adorable and messy and the end result is wonderful.

There's also a new blog post over on one of our partner's blogs, Fin and Vince, by me. I shared how to make DIY painted cactus rocks! It's a super cute craft you can do with littles. 

I took some photos of Tad and our little family friend, Samantha, this week for Mini Style Blog and a brand called Ittikid, which sells super cute Scandanavian clothing. I just had to share a couple of them because they turned out so cute! Thank you, greenhouse, for being the perfect photo background. HA! 

Also, if you're loving the little linen rompers Tad's wearing in the photos above, they're by Conscious Kids Clothing. I am cannot get enough of them!

More chicken hugs with Muriel. Look at that sass. Sheesh. Today, we are headed out to the first Farmer's Market of the season. I cannot wait! Looking forward to local honey and probably some lavender, too. Also the flower man! He's my favorite. I love putting together my own bouquet. I'll have to throw a blog post about the Iowa City's Market soon for you all to see. Would you like seeing a tour of our favorite places in Iowa City on here? Like a mini travel guide? Sometimes I forget to mention that we only live 15 minutes away from a great college town. 

That's all for this week's Homestead Update. If you took our blog survey, her's a big THANK YOU. It was so interesting seeing that a majority of you listed that Homestead Update was your favorite series of ours. At least, I was surprised! It's still so new and also just little tidbits of our day. I love that you love it, and it's here to stay. 

xoxo Kayla