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This past month I noticed that our hen Omelette was hanging out beneath our back deck in a far corner and wouldn't come out except to eat. It is so dark under the deck I couldn't see her well, but I thought I spotted an egg just behind where she was crouching. After three days of Omelette just sitting there, I declared to Paul that she must be brooding and trying to hatch that egg. So, like a good husband and chicken farmer, he put on some old clothes and crawled through the chicken manure under the deck to assess the situation. After much cajoling, he got Omelette to move from her protective crouch where she was sitting with her wings spread wide. When she finally did move, Paul spotted a large clutch of eggs that she was keeping warm.  In fact, there were 21 eggs she was trying to hatch! Of course, chickens have brains the size of peas, and most of their behavior is governed by instinct, so she didn't know that because we don't have a resident rooster that none of those eggs would ever turn into baby chicks. Instead, they turned into hardboiled eggs that we hid for our annual Easter egg hunt the next day.

 
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Madeleine has hit the nine month mark, and as you can see, she's pretty excited about eating solid foods.  Some highlights from this month:

  • First Easter egg hunt.  She wasn't very interested in the searching part, but did like playing with the eggs and our tie-dye-clad friend Randall.
  • Excitedly throwing balls.  As well as plastic Easter eggs and other toys...
  • Practice wearing a bike helmet.  We've been putting on her helmet occasionally so she'll be ready to start riding behind mom in a trailer.  We usually wear ours, too, and play catch with her on the floor.
  • Eating.  At a retreat we recently went on, she actually ate artichoke off the leaves (no, she's not eating a pickle in that picture).
  • Speed crawling.  Madeleine has mastered the art of getting around on her hands and knees.  Particularly amusing is when she makes a determined break for something on the other side of the house.
  • Visits from all the grandparents.  She charms them every time.
  • Riding on dad's shoulders.  She gets quite excited by this, too.  This now is accompanied with pulling off glasses and tasting his hair.
More photos are here.