We have baby chickens. 6 to be precise and they eat gallons, spill water everywhere and sqwark and run in fear everytime the kids 0pen the top lid. But now I am getting ahead of myself.

Over the last month we had taken a trip to Cudgee Wildlife Park, Gusty and I took the kids and let them run wild, stuff food into as many animals as they could. Mostly Jack and Martha ate the bread instead of handing it out but a couple of wallabies got something. Then we dropped off to see a local natural site – and it was here Benji (Gusty’s eldest) decided it was a good idea to head straight to the river through a large amount of mud – see photo of mud covered hands for proof. We got all the way to the bottom before Abi and Emily announced they need the loo so it was a quite ‘ohh isn’t it lovely’ before plowing back up the hill.

My Dad arrived in the second week of July, Jamie drove up to collect him from the airport while I took Abi to a birthday party to distract her. A little time after we got home the car pulled up and Abi rushed out the house shouting ‘Daddy’s home!’. She was completely oblivious to Baba but as soon as Jamie pointed him out she went nuts. Launched herself into his arms, shouting ‘My Baba, My Baba’. I will happily admit I got a little teary. Jack on the other hand kept well back keeping a very suspicious eye on the strange man Abi was hugging. After a quick tour of the house, an introduction to the chickens and Tink Jack allowed his Baba a hug and by the end of the evening he was clambering all over him. Next morning he freaked out again but after that it’s like Dad has always been here.

Dad got all of 1 day off before Jamie dragged him off to chop wood all day. Made worse by the fact that on the way back the trailer burst a wheel and they spent the rest of the trying to find a replacement – and failing. So after an inauspicious start it was full steam ahead. Dad and Jamie have been spending a lot of time chopping, setting fire and in general destroying things. I came out one evening to ask when they wanted dinner to find Jamie half way up a tree standing on the tip of his ladder trying to saw through the top half of said tree. Dad had tight hold of the rope attached to the tree, the pair of them planning that he would yank the top half away from the roof of the house as soon as it started to fall. I felt it was my duty to point out that this situation often comes on shows such as ‘Can you imagine what happens next…’ or ‘things men don’t think through’. But it turns out I have a little faith. Apart from that first bit of tree which managed to knock Jamie’s ladder out from under him, luckily he had tied a bit of rope to himself and was holding a branch so he hung there until Dad got the ladder back up. But the tree came down, and not on my house, and under it we found a clutch of 14 eggs. Apparently our chickens are getting sneaky. So far we have found they are nesting under the tree, in the next door stable when they can get in, behind the log pile, in 2 empty cardboard boxes in the garage, beside the bore pump and in a plastic bucket in their yard. In an attempt to get them to be good we have built them a new egg home (and by ‘we’ I mean Jamie) and a attached a ladder to the stable walls to try and get them to stop sleeping on the level half way up. On the first night most of them flew up to their original perch but Dad has craftily attached a cardboard slope so they are forced onto the ladder, which makes collecting poo much easier – I get all the great jobs around here.

Dad and Jamie also decided to clear a lot of bush from the treeline around the property and after careful thought it was agreed that burning it was the only option. How stupid do they think I am?? I got a phonecall from Gusty as she left the house to inform me the trees were on fire, which they were. But it actually all worked out and now it’s clear and ready for fence fixing.

The final disgusting job was pond cleaning, that things smells. I came home from a girls afternoon out to find them covered in muck and chucking lumps of pond scum and roots everywhere. We found 7 fish and 2 frogs – which I had to save from the chickens – and now the pond is lovely the clean. But unfortunately it also has a hole in it so we now have to drain it again and relay a liner and then refill. Poor fish will wonder what the hell is going on. Hopefully once that is done and we have some lovely plants in and a new water feature Jamie is planning it’ll be gorgeous.

Our baby chicks are now almost ready for the move to the larger box, helped along by the back that they keep kicking their water over and the bottom of their cardboard home is soaked. Little monkeys. Plus they have started to try and peck me when I reach in for them, not sure they believed me when I announced I was their Mummy once they broke the shell.

On the downside of life one of our Roosters has vanished. Diego wasn’t in the coop one evening and there is no sign of him anywhere so we can only assume a fox got him. I ummed and arhhed about how to explain it to Abi but I decided to be brutal. Half way through my announcement that a fox had eaten Diego because that’s what foxes do I saw the bottom lip start to go, so I quickly announce one of the chicks was a rooster so she could think of a new name for that one. Which promptly made everything much better. Think I might have to wait until she’s a little older than 3 before I start announcing her pets have died or gotten eaten, bad Mummy.

Now we are waiting for my Mum to arrive. Abi has started asking how long it will be, but after 4 sleeps she kind of loses interest in counting. So instead I am looking forward to that and the fact that when I go to pick Mum up I will meet my new niece or nephew – Robbie’s due on the 19th so starting awaiting the big news!