Wednesday, March 31, 2010

::mini goat housing and care::

I love my goats!  They are really smart and funny.  The are at least as bright as a dog if not more so.  Their little mouths are so dexterous that they can undo most latches and they can really get up to some serious trouble.  They are fun to train and enjoy the interaction.  On the down side - they can be very loud and stubborn.  They drive Josh crazy because they refuse to listen to him.  Which shouldn't be funny, but is.

bob the goat - dead last
this was our first year and the judge told us Bob was in "poor condition"  
We have learned from that

the next year we did much better

We have two nigerian dwarf's and two pygmy goats.  Three are whethers (neutered males) and one pygmy is a doe.  We hope to breed the doe some day.  She was the first baby goat I every helped birth and I can't wait to help dry off her babies some day.  My grandbaby goats.  (Josh would cringe horribly at this point)

I am no expert.  All the information that I have about goats in from my own experiences, the two books I read about it, and any website that would teach me about it.  Take these tips with a grain of salt.  They only thing I know for sure is that you must train your goats to come when called.  When they get loose I have taught them to come.  If I shake some grain they come RUNNING from anywhere.  

In my barn we have a 6 foot by 12 foot dog kennel that has a trimmed out hole leading to a paddock that is about 14 feet by 40ish feet.  The dog kennel has a rubber mat floor and the door has to have a hook thru the latch to stop the goats from opening it.  Which they love to do if you forget to put it on, then they happily eat all my strawberry's.  This size pen seems to be fine for the four goats, but was too tight when we had six goats.  

baby bob

When they walk out of the inside they have an extra scrap of rubber mat to stop them from turning that area into a mud hole.  My goats hate bad weather and only come out when the weather is good.  They don't really care about cold, they just don't like being wet.  They like being able to get in or out as they see fit.  It has a high outlet that I can plug a heated bucket into in the winter.

To maintain the pen we scoop out the inside area and fill it with fresh shavings about every three months or so.  It would be better if we did it every two months or so, but that is a super crummy job.  We rack out the outside run about three times a year.
see the toys for them to play on?

During the winter I sometimes move them into a 12/12 foot horse stall so they have more floor space, since they will not go outside for most of the winter anyway.
grazing in the shade and living in harmony with the dogs

People think that goats eat anything, but that is very far from the truth.  They are very picky and with their little mouths they can pick around just about anything.  I give them one-two large flakes of hay every day.  If the weather is even close to decent I put the hay outside, but if not I throw it in the dog kennel.  

Around late spring I start feeding them Show Goat feed.  About one scoop in two different floor buckets., two buckets so they don't fight over the feed as much.  Then about three weeks before fair I double that amount of feed.  During this time period I also double the amount of hay I give them.  I want them freshly fat for fair.  As soon as fair is over I start taking away the feed slowly over the course of a month.  

Last year I let them roam the yard when I was home.  They loved the exploring, but I am too focused on the garden working this year to let that happen right now. They never left the property.  

Maintenance grooming:
They don't need regular baths.  They hate it and so do I.  But they need their feet trimmed about every other month.  (Man, are they overdue right now!)  They go thru an entire process to get show groomed but I will post on that when we get to that time of year.  If you think I am crazy wait till you see that whole process!
tasting the halloween hay ride

They are cheap to keep and easy to love.  If I had my way I would buy 6 or so hog panels and a big dog house, and make that into a portable summer pasture.  I could just move it around the farm letting them summer graze on fresh green grass, which is good for their spirit and all those good nutrients makes them fat and sassy.  Maybe next year.  Too many pots on the fire this year.   

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

::eggs to dye for::

When I was a kid we always bought the little kit and made up our little easter eggs.  I have been seeing several blogs talk about making dye so I went with that this year.  

We used one cup of hot water, one table spoon of white vinegar, and a TON of food coloring.  We used gel and liquid food coloring and the liquid worked lots better but you needs tons of it.  
The kids had a great time at it but max came out of the deal looking like he was "hulking out" with his green hands.

::schaefer doings::
josh - I made him clean out our storage unit today.  Who needs a storage unit when you have a huge barn? He had to move a pool table basically by himself
brooke - I am giving up caffeine for two week starting today.  Wish me luck.  I have been drinking a diet coke for breakfast every day since I was 11 years old.
emma - she has started tennis practice.  She'll be so cute in her little skirt!
lily - getting ready for Annie and running this place.  She spent time teaching the chickens how to stand on her finger today.
max - he got his first steps evaluation for his speech delays.  They said he is only about 10-15% delayed and that he does not qualify for services.  GOOD NEWS!

Monday, March 29, 2010

::thumb sucker so back off::

Yes.  Max sucks his thumb.  He always has.  From the time he could get his thumb into his mouth he loved sucking his thumb.  SO BACK OFF MEAN OLD LADY AT THE STORE THAT TOLD ME THAT I HAD TO "MAKE HIM STOP".  How does one force a baby to not suck his thumb?  It isn't a pacifier that I can just take away from him.  I am not putting hot sauce, or chicken poop, or anything else on his thumb to make him stop.  It wouldn't work anyway.  Here is what it comes down to - I don't care that he sucks his thumb.  He will stop when he is good and ready and till them I will keep an eye on that thumb blister of his and make sure it doesn't start looking like a staph infection.  I get overly rev-d up about just about everything but on this one I just want to tell nosy people "you are not the boss of me!"   

Now with that rant out of my system I want to make it clear that I am not TELLING you what you should do.  You should do what ever works for your family.  And it works for me to let my son suck his thumb.  I always thought that I would be such a tough love kind of mom when it came to things like that but I am not at all. 

He also has two blankets that he loves.  We call them his wubby's and he specifically loves the blue one the most but the green one will do.  The tags on them are the best part and he isn't shy about making that clear to you.  I talked about them at work and the wise parents/nurses helped me come to grips with the fact that I should just leave him alone about it.  He will get rid of it when he is ready.  Or he will take it to NFL training camp some day.  Who cares?  His wife can deal with it.  

We have a picture of Lily at her 20 week ultrasound sucking on the back of her hand.  When she was born started off sucking on the back of her hand right away.  That progressed to her lightly pinching her neck and sucking her hand.  Next she stopped sucking her hand and began pinching her neck and pushing her tongue against her teeth.  Her favorite was to sit on your lap and pinch your neck too.  It was a sign of her affection so it became really cute to me.  

Her preschool said that the neck pinching was distracting to her and that she did it too often so they made the rule that she could only do that at nap.  I supported them on that and she did what they asked.  Now she hardly ever does it.  Only when she is really tired.  I think it is precious and I wouldn't take that kind of self comfort away from her. 

Lily and her cousin Sybil

::babies - the more the better::

Prego with lily at 25

Babies at work.  Babies on the brain.  At work yesterday I got called to a delivery of a kid that ended up being fine.  The dad walked over to the warmer and said, "it's so nice to finally meet you buddy".  Good freaking thing I had a mask on cause I burst into tears.  With some people I just hint about it and with some people I just lay it out.  It's nice at work because I just flat out say it "I WANT ANOTHER BABY!" 

Lily at 30 mins old

Now - if you know me at all you know that I have a really hard time knowing when to stop on something that I really like.  (Curse you Qdoba!)  And I REALLLLLY like this mommy thing.  It isn't just the pregnancy I want.  I honestly don't care if I am pregnant again.  I enjoyed it, and had peaceful successful pregnancies but its the baby/future kid I want. 

Max on board

A week after Max was born Josh told me he wanted a vasectomy and in that post baby haze I agreed.  We got our appointment and loaded up our then 4 week old and got the procedure.  It was the worst mistake I have ever made.  If I had told him no he would have dropped it but because I went along it happened.  I try to look at most mistakes as chances for growth but this one was just a pure and simple screw up.  

Now what?  The reversal is going to run 7K plus.  We are just finally at the point that we are getting somewhere financially but we no longer have any credit cards so that option is out.  (Don't get jealous, we don't have credit cards but we still have the chaos that we let them cause to repair.)  In about 5 years we should be at the point that we can afford something as important as the reversal.  But in five years I will be 37!  I know people have babies all the time at that age, but it just isn't for me.  And the chances of the reversal working decrease with time.  If we are going to do this we need to do it.  But how?

41 weeks waiting for this snuggle

I really admire all you ladies out there that go through infertility and manage to not loose your mind or kill your spouse.  I have my other shorties to keep me happy and focused but baby number 3.5 (Emma is only half mine) is always on my mind.  It will be so nice to finally get to meet him...  

My brain says - you have no room to whine.  Your life is about as perfect for you as it gets so shut up and pull your self up by the boot straps.  BOILER UP as we say in this house.  If I want another baby that bad then I will  make the vasectomy reversal happen.  Josh says he is willing to go through it but figuring out the money is my problem.  I will keep working on it.  

Saturday, March 27, 2010

::chicken coop - part one::

These are some happy flappers to be out of the little empty water tank they were living in.

I looked into all kinds of option for the chicken coop.  I was going to build a big fancy chicken tractor that we could more around the yard but my budget was too small.  I finally decided that it would work the best for us to turn one of the empty horse stalls into the coop.  The stall in just over 12/12 feet.  We wrapped every bit of it with chicken wire.  

We (I mean Josh) built 7 nest boxes that open into the aisle way so you can get out the eggs without going into the stall.  Next month we will build the opening in the wall for them to go outside into the closed in outdoor area.  

One less than excited husband was critical to building this thing.  I am the dreamer and he is behind keeping me under control and keeping me under budget.  Poor guy.

Pretty cute crew.

Lizzy climbed in the rabbit cage and the door shut behind her.  So I moved it the the end of the barn...

So then Max did the same thing.  Not to sure about that kid.  

Here are the finished nest box's.  Now they just need to start laying eggs.  The third one from the end had a present that Lily made as a surprise for the chickens.  It is a scrap piece of wood tied with pink string.  

Friday, March 26, 2010

::pinecone playdate::

Tessa loved the ponies!

Today I hosted a little farm play date for some my friends from work kids.  I was excited to show them all the animals and to see those little faces!  But the March weather did not agree!  It was only about 49 degrees, but those little ones toughed it out long enough to see the creatures.

They made peanut bird seed pine-cones.  It was really cute.

Layton was very serious about the knives and birdseed.  

Then they came inside for some snacks.

Tessa (Brianna), Max, Lily, Layton (Shelly, and Gavin (Erica).  Colby (Erica) was there too!

Layton met my otter!

One of the prettiest little girls!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

::yellow duckies::

Josh took this picture on is iphone when he and Lily went into tractor supply.  I have always wanted a little yellow duckling.  

$8 later and I had two little shorties of my own.

They needed to swim with rice krispies.  Lily said so.

She loves them!  Me too. 


::silverware windchime::

I not sure were this idea came from or I would give it credit.  I think I saw something like this at a junk shop store in Pendleton, but I’m not sure.  None the less I had gone to Goodwill last fall and gathered up the parts for it, only to sit it in a bag and forget about it.  This great craft push reminded me about it so Lily and I pulled the stuff down and got to work.  
All we did was take my hole punch tool and cut holes in some of the sides of the cake pan.  Then we ran wire thru it and added the beads and silverware.  We could have done even more beads to make it more colorful, but I like the way it turned out.
In retrospect I would have wired up all the silverware first and then added it to the cake pan last.  I think I could have got it to balance better that way.  
Pan = $0.99
Silverware 25 cents X 8 =$2 
We used the beads and wire from our our ::suncatcher:: craft.  
Total: =$3

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

::Max's first haircut::

still curly after the cut

I have been holding out on trimming the curls.  When they first started growing in I thought it was a fluke, they were just baby curls and they would go away.  Then as they got more and more luscious I began to get a little protective of them.  Those blonde curls are mine and if I trim them they will dissapear and no one will ever believe me that he "had curly hair as a baby."  

Granted my kids don't grow a lot of hair as little guys, too busy growing huge brains thank you very much, but he is two years old and I needed to trim off the dead baby hair.  So we pulled out Josh's clippers.  I put on a 1 inch guard and got to work.  I turned out ok.  

I wish I hadn't cut it.  I miss all that hair, but it will grow back healthier.  It's not a hard guess to figure out that this sort of "high and tight" hair cut is not going to be his normal haircut for as long as I am the boss of his hair (till he is 35).  I day dream of a surfer like do - that is messy and curly and hangs down in his eyes.  One of the pro's about the new cut is that the mohawk if much easier to get done now. 


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