Sunday, February 10, 2008

babies, babies, babies

Spring is in the air! We have daffodils blooming, the Forsythia is covered in little yellow buds for the third time this year, and we have goat babies everywhere. Sadly for our farm revenue they are all bucks but one. This seems to be a year for difficult kidding. I am beginning to think I would enjoy being a mid-wife or a doula though. Two times we have ended up loading the laboring doe up and hauling her to the vet for more experienced assistance. The first time was with Elisabeth's goat late on a Saturday night, the only icy weekend we've had. All three babies were mis-presented, and we ended up with two bucks and a still born doeling. Next delivery progressed well with a little help from Oil of Evening Primrose, but we got two more bucks. This time, they were experimentals so their market value is less than it will cost to bottle raise them. This past week, Luke's goat went into labor but didn't progress. To my uneducated eye, it appeared that she was prolapsing so off we go again - this time in the van with all the two legged kidlets in tow as well. With a little help from the vet, she delivered our first live doeling. Luke had already decided to name her Idaho. Her sister from last year is named Montana. Bismark and Dakota are both names in their pedigrees. I thought he might like Helena, but Idaho she is.
As usual, the bottle feeding chores are distained by all but the youngest of the children who can't quite manage the task alone. This is only the beginning of birthing season, with more scattered arrivals from now until June.

We are also expecting our first litter of marketable puppies. Eriel and Parrin make a great pair. Soft fluffy white fuzz balls are due sometime this month. Mara's belly is beginning to round out too. Wonder how many kittens she'll have, and if any will be calico? She is due a trip to the vet to end her mommying days!

When all the kitty, puppy, and kidding excitement calms, we should be welcoming a Dartmoor foal into the world. THAT will be the most exciting birth! I can't wait. Nothing smells better than a newborn foal's breath. I know, I'm weird!

Other happenings at the Shaw house:
Ashley Hope stopped by for a visit yesterday. It was short so we didn't get to visit much. She arrived late, and we had committed to go to Thomas' Eagle Scout ceremony. She got here about the same time we all started getting ready so it was pretty chaotic. I have never been to a Scout ceremony; it was quite interesting. It is conducted more like a court hearing where they had to "prove" Thomas was worthy of the honor. There weren't many dry eyes by the time it was all said and done. Thomas has overcome many challenges to become a very responsible and capable young man!

We are planning to attend another Parelli clinic at the end of the month. It should be fun, as all the students are homeschoolers. Now we just have the challenge of finding someone to hold down the fort. Clay has a shooting match that weekend, so we'll ALL be going this time. Hopefully I am up for the challenge of trying to keep up with everyone. It can't be too different from going to a goat show. Maybe Sandy will be willing to milk the goats for us?!?!

I am a bit apprehensive and excited about the thought of Clay getting another job and moving. I like surprises, and am open to go anywhere God wants us, but I struggle with wanting to know WHEN. It'd be nice to know where too. Will it be Montana? Idaho? Wyoming? the Carolinas? Texas? and now Alabama and Mississippi are possibilities.... Hurry up and wait!

I guess I should close. The afternoon is slipping by and it is too beautiful not to be outside today. We normally go for a walk on Sunday afternoons, but I think Clay has slipped off to take a nap.

Hopefully, we'll get a new battery for the camera soon. I'd like to post some pics.

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