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Chick Magnet

2016 August 15
by Becky

EthanBirdHead

For the month of August we’ll be hearing new noises around our house.

Little chirps and cheeps of our four tiny visitors, temporarily named Peeper, Beeper, Rex, and Bowie. The first two are Cinnimon Queens, Bowie is a Honey Orpington, and Rex…I can’t remember. Maybe an Easter Egger? A Barred Rock? Whatever the case, she’ll have white stripes soon.

ChickNames

We’re hosting these little ladies, feeding and petting and watching them grow, through The Easy Chicken, a business run by a local St. Louis family, that specializes in making city-folks’ dreams of backyard chickens a reality…in the easiest way possible. After watching my kids freak out over the chicks hatched by our school’s first grade class, I jumped at this opportunity.

Ethan-ChickWhisperer

We’ve seen Seth and Maria at the Tower Grove Farmers Market every weekend for years, always talking to them about how much we’d love to have chickens, but never taking the leap. Walking out each morning to find fresh eggs, letting the kids experience a bit of “farm life”…sounds pretty magical. But also a ton of responsibility…more things to feed and keep alive. So when they mentioned the “Watch Them Grow” program, we were sold. They provide all the gear and four adorable chicks, we provide the care and plenty of snuggles.

Ethan is obsessed.

ChickGazing

The “roost” is a retrofitted rubbermaid tub, Ethan was over the moon about the nifty recycled eating and drinking vessels. There’s also a heat lamp stand to keep the little peeps nice and warm. We’ve started raising it as they get older, it’s happening fast! Feathers are sprouting and wings are flapping and they are beginning to resemble actual chickens.

ChickHouse

Finn, aka Squeezy, is, under no circumstances, allowed to be alone with the chickens. I think he was jealous of the attention we gave the chicks on their arrival, my hypothesis based on his attempts to swat the birds out of our hands when anywhere near. After a day of keeping them on the back porch and fighting off his grabby hands, we hid them in the basement where Ethan can visit them in peace. Since then, I’ve slowly worked with Finn on gentle chick handling and he’s really getting the hang of it.

FinnChickMan2

FinnChickSmile

FinnRexChick

“Mama, here baby chi-hen!” He’s suddenly a fan and I couldn’t make this post until I had at least one adorable pic. So why not include three?

At a little over a week old, we had to have some friends over to experience the cuteness and the chicks were really good sports. They are visibly bigger every day and the tiny fuzziness stage is super short, so we couldn’t wait to long share this experience.

AceBirdHead

AudieAceBirds

Big kids are really good with them, pretty gentle and so excited. It’s a really special thing, exposing kids to baby animals. I remember the kittens and horse born on the farm when I was in high school, it was the best. I never left those babies alone for a second. There’s such a short window of time when animals are truly babies, all soft and helpless and mostly unafraid of little hands holding them.

Maelle&EthanChicks

EthanChickShoulder

Am I attached? Kind of. Giving up Rex and Bowie is gonna be tough, they are so sweet and I’m having mama feelings about them. Ethan is REALLY attached to Rex and she seems to adore him…I mean, as much as a two week old chick can. My desire to keep these two is strong, but check back with me after another two weeks of cleaning up their poop.

I could be singing a different tune.

It’s bee an wonderful experience so far and I can’t wait to see what we have on our hands in another two weeks!

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Friday Favs: Nashville Edition

2016 August 11
by Becky

FiveFavNashville

I just spent a weekend with three beautiful girlfriends and NO kids.

That’s right, no kids.

For the first time in over six years I went on a trip that didn’t have me waking up at 6am or worrying about the availability of high chairs in eating establishments. I’m tempted to post a dozen blurry, low-light, selfie-style shots of us bumping around Nashville, the hipster capitol of the Midwest, but instead I’ll just throw out a list of the really fun places we ate, drank, and relaxed.

  1. Butchertown Hall is a crazy-good barbecue joint that doesn’t scream SMOKED MEAT! Instead it’s got high ceilings, gorgeous interiors, dozens of beers on tap, excellent bartenders, and the best brisket I’ve ever had in a restaurant. It’s in Germantown, just North of downtown, and, had it not been raining, we’d have asked to sit on the beautiful patio.
  2. The Nail Bar is the place you go with a group of girls who need to be pampered. We had our feet and hands beautified in this very cool place, as walk-in patrons. It’s a little outside downtown but worth the drive.
  3. Belmont & 12 South neighborhoods are not to be missed on a Nashville trip with your friends. We loved the Impeccable Pig and Serendipity (where I got some amazing boots, check Instagram for a pic), were two many (and weren’t outrageously priced like most of the stores!). These adorable areas also had plenty of good eateries like The Flipside diner, get the Phuket and be happy.
  4. Broadway! You can’t make a trip to Nashville without hitting up the main strip of bars, all of which have amazing music blaring through their doorways. We stopped by this area of downtown each evening, totally innocently (wink wink) to people watch and dance till our high heeled feet were stumps of numbness. Our favorites were The Stage (they had the BEST band) and Honky Tonk Central. Get ready to see a million bachelorette parties and hear a whole lot of talented musicians. We also danced off Broadway at a little club called The 5 Spot. It reminded me of the college bars I frequented as a young whippersnapper and we happened to be there on 80s night, so do I really need to say more?
  5. Butcher & Bee is completely hidden from anyone who isn’t looking for it, and maybe some who are. I was directed here by an Instagram friend/super foodie and it was delicious. Service was amazing, space so cool, and, if it’s not 1 billion degrees, the patio looked very fun. The burrata was, as Ethan would say, a “flavor explosion!” and the whipped feta to die for. We may have ordered every small plate on the menu.
  6. Steadfast Coffee was yet another recommendation for the aforementioned Instagram buddy and she was SO right. I didn’t totally feel cool enough to be in this place, but didn’t care because the baristas were incredibly sweet and the coffee was goooooooood. Again, off the downtown path but getting there showed us a little of the Germantown neighborhood.

Nashville was the perfect road trip for a long weekend with some of my favorite people. While I was tempted to bring up sightseeing (Country Music Hall of Fame, Hermitage, Music Row, etc) it was so nice to just play the days by ear and chill. The boys took off for Nebraska—Stu’s first solo trip with both kids—for a super fun visit with grandparents and cousins, making it even easier for me to be away. While I doubt they missed me much, Finn’s reaction to seeing me after four days was epic-ly adorable, like the icing on the very decedent cake of a weekend.

Thank you to my dear friend Catrina for planning this trip and making it happen!

What is your favorite Nashville spot? What did we miss? Was it a huge mistake to skip the long line at Biscuit Love? 

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