Monday, December 24, 2012

::leonardo the elf::

Some of what Leonardo did this year, 
Leonardo had a great year.  
He was up to no good and caused many problems.
I can't wait for him to come back next year. 

Link here for some of the other things he has tried.  

Friday, December 21, 2012

::christmas strategy::

Lily xmas 2007

I have been taking a personal survey of my friends and family. 

How do you guys divide up Christmas?

Do your kids get that same amount of presents?  The same amount of money spent?  Do you even check that kind of thing?  

We have ages 14, 8, 4, and ten months.  We go with same amount of presents right now.  As time goes by we may have to switch that up a bit.  A teenager always wants some kind of expensive electronic device, but the five year old just wants to unwrap a bunch of toys.  

This year I emailed Santa and we set up a strategy.

Each kid gave one gift to each of the other kids.  For example Max has picked out a gift for Emma, Lily and Quinny.  Each child will also get one gift from Josh and I.  Not two total.  One gift from the parents of this funny farm.  Then Santa will bring five presents on Christmas Eve.  

I find that when I ask people how many gifts their kids get, they all get a sheepish kind of look on their faces.  Like when I ask people in the ER how much they smoke.  "Only a few cigarettes a day."  More like a pack or two a day.  Asking how many presents their kids get is what I call in my head a B.S. question.  Most people lie about the answer.  Maybe lie is too strong a word.  Most people give you an answer that they think is right.  They don't want to be the person that over does it, and makes Christmas into a commercial craziness.  But they also don't want to be a Scrooge.   

When I write that they are getting nine presents, I am not including the gifts Santa brings to the whole family, or the pimped out stockings.  I am just leaving that out.  Or that Santa worked some hard core over time to get the cash to buy those presents.  

Now be honest.  How many presents do you give your kids?  How do you divide up presents?  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

::all set::

I never make forever promises when it comes to babies.  I reserve the right to change my mind.  But at this time, I feel like our little family is complete.  I used to hear my other friends say they were never having another baby, and I would want to feel that way too.  I wished that I didn't need another one.  I wished my heart didn't ache with that need.  I know that my nature leads me to always take things too far.  Too many goats, too big a garden - one step too far.  I was worried that because of how much I love babies, my brain would never shut off that constant drive to have another.  

Finally - some peace.  

I have no little voice telling me how to talk Josh into another baby.  It is silent.  It's all set.  

Quishy completes the set.  

For the first time, I am ready for what happens after baby having is done.  I am excited to go through the process with them.  The birthday parties, the Easter egg hunts, the sporting events, the first dates, the prom.  Fighting the girls off Max.  All the parenting/kiddo milestones.     

Sunday, December 16, 2012

::a random day in December::

 The chalk board front door had to get a make over.  

 I found this on the tree. 
 Quinny has put lots of focus on maximun teeth growing.  

 One more reason why I couldn't move.

Maxwellington had to take all his cars out and make a train.  
I finally got the playroom baskets labeled.  
Only took ten years.  

No one managed to get hair brushed today.
Quinny hides it well.  

I just got my first issue of Urban Farm.
I know I am RURAL not URBAN, but I still love a good gardening magazine.
The cover made me laugh out loud.  
Lily asked - "What are they doing?"  I went with - dancing.

::goat comment::

I got some great goat questions that I wanted to try to answer.  
From someone who knows nothing about goats here are a few questions your post prompted....
1. Why do you have to sell the boys
2. Can you only show females in 4-H?
3. January in Indiana is you have to have a heated stall or something for the babies?
4. How long is typical gestation for goats and how many babies do usually have at one time?....and how often do you breed them?
That's all my questions for now... :)

 1.  We will most likely sell any more than three boys.  The human girls (3 girls this year) each need a baby to show of each gender if possible.  But if we end up with six boys, we will only keep three.  Boys are fixed pretty quickly after they are born.  Too many is just too many mouths to feed.  We don't raise goats for meat, so altered males just eat hay and act cute.  Which they can do else where.

2.  We show altered boys (wethers) and girls but extra girls can stay home and make more babies, extra boys just eat and poop. 

3.  Cold.  Yes.  Cold is a problem.  Eventually I want to get the does giving birth in September, but we didn't get our buck till September this year and we needed babies for summer 2013 to show. We use heat lamps and lots of deep straw to keep the little ones warm.  I will also have a little heater in the stall while I am there to get them warm after they are born.  

4.  Goats are pregnant for about 147 days.  Some people induce the does at 145 days.  I am more about letting nature do its thing.  Last year I induced our doe and the baby died.  Maybe the mama just was not ready.  I'm not sure.  We will see how things go this year after I have lost three weeks of sleep checking on my does through out the night.  They generally have 1-3 babies.  I am super excited to see how many my girls are each carrying this year.  The big breeders breed twice a year.  Because of my professional experience with human pregnancies I just feel like being pregnant over and over, with no time to rest, just can't be ideal.  This round is only my fourth round of goat babies so I am still figuring things out.  

Babies are due January 14th at the earliest, and January 30th is 147 days from the last day they were with the buck. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

::christmas tree::

We have a crazy little stand in our small town here in central Indiana that we frequent.  It's where we get pumpkins, and watermelons, and fresh honey, and Christmas trees.  Obviously not all at the same time, but that would be awesome.  We have played around with a fake tree before but that just didn't do it for me.  For the past two or three years we have a had a luscious tree from our crazy stand.  This year Max and Lily got in another flipping fight on the way there.  The 400th of the day.  So I let Emma pick the tree and made those two sit in the car and watch.  Too far?  Scarred for life?  Maybe.  But I was afraid for their safety if they got in another fight in front of me.  Emma picked a wonderful tree.  Perfect - round - and the cheapest one.  That's my girl.   She named him Clyde - as all good things need a name.  We name just about anything.  The pot belly stove is named Larry.  

Emma's monster ornament
Clyde came home and we got him right in the stand.  By ourselves!  No Josh.  Of course it was crooked and Josh had to fix it when he got home, but that is not the point.  We immediately put on all the lights and ornaments.  Why exactly are you supposed to wait to decorate a tree?  Does anyone else remember hearing that?  Wait a few hours after you get it inside before you decorate it.  Why?  Doesn't that seem kind of unnecessary?  We sure as Christmas didn't follow that.  And I think Clyde looks wonderful. 

From the breeder who sold us Donkey.

Man, I love vintage Rudolph
That rotten elf is hiding in the tree right now.
Any expensive or fancy ornaments I may have bought in our first few Christmas's together have been broken by Max over the years.  The curly head is hard on everything.  My favorite ones are made by my Father.  He is a master wood worker and went through a wood carving phase.  His ornaments are stunning - and durable!!!!  Every year the kids each get an ornament from Santa - this is the first year he will be bringing FOUR.  Amazing. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

::captain max::

Max is obsessed with pirates.
So his Papaw made him a sword. 
And even wrote Captain Max on it.   

He takes it with him every where.
He loves it.  
It may end up in his dorm room with him some day. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

::toy review::

We had Christmas with my parents last night and each kid got a  present from them.  My mother asks for an email list with links to what exact presents to get them.  She is a creative gift buyer, she could do it herself, but she knows I will have some good hook ups for her. 

I wanted to go over some of the toys, since they all seem really great.

Quinny got the Elefun Popper.  It is an elephant that has air power in it so the baby can press a big button and the thing shoots balls out of its trunk.  The big kids are in love with the crazy thing.  It is plastic, but put together well.  They have been mistreated it since it got its batteries (4D!!!) and it looks like it is going to hold up pretty well.  Quinn has barely played with it yet, since the big kids are hogging it.  Even though it was from my parents I found it on sale for $20 at Target and picked it up for my mother.  Its noisy and annoying, but it does have an on/off button.  

Max got the Go-Go Pogo.  This thing is awesome!  First it came in a huge box that my kids turned into a caterpillar and have been crawling around the house in for hours.  CUTE!  Then the toy itself is wonderful.  It has a thick rubber ball on the bottom instead of a peg, like a traditionally pogo.  It kind of reminds me of a toy I had as a kid called a Pogo Ball, but even better.  The ball on the bottom lets you use it inside.  Any toy that wears the kids out is a thumbs way up!  The handle has some buttons that let you play different games or sound effects.  It also has an off button - essential.  My biggest problem with it is that it is pricey.  It cost around $100.  It does seem well made, but that seems over priced to me.  A perfect grandma gift.  Lily has it all figured out, but Max is still getting the coordination for it.   

Lily's gift has not arrived yet.  But she knew exactly what it was and it will work perfectly for us.  It a big platform swing.  It comes from Hearth Song and my kids are going to love it.  Yes - we are in Indiana.  Yes - it is too cold outside to use a swing.  Technically.  But I promise you that when it arrived we will be putting on Carharts and getting our selves on that freaking swing.  Cost for my mom was $130 plus shipping.  Pricey.  But I expect this things to last for a very long time.  I predict that my kids will use it almost every single day.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

::bred does::

Goats waiting at vet for ultrasounds
 The four breeding age girls got loaded into the truck and taken to the vet for confirmation ultrasounds.

The youngest of the ladies was not prego.  That's ok.  She was only one in September and that still feels to little to me.  Maybe we will breed her right before fair for a fall baby.

The three other girls are BRED!!!

The vet was not able to tell how many babies we have coming, but I got to see those sweet little babies moving and grooving around.  One of the girls that is bred is my favorite little lady, Nelly.  For her birth story link here.  She is the goat I had to give CPR to to save. 

Now I have to place bets:
Nelly - one baby, caramel doe, will arrive January 25th
Betty - twins, boy caramel and doe agouti, will arrive January 29th
Emme - triplets, two agouti boys and one caramel doe, will arrive January 30th

If we really have that many babies Josh will have a seizure.

The plan with these little ones would be three baby boys and at least three baby girls for my human kids to show in 4h this year.  If we have any more than three boys we will sell the additional boys.

I'll keep you posted with delivery information!!!  I can't wait.  I just love delivery baby animals.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

::elf on the shelf::

 Leonardo has been a rotten little elf these past few days.


Friday, November 30, 2012

::We found a house!::

The perfect little farm.

The land is stunning.  It gives me an emotional response every time I see it. 

It has plenty of room.

The gardens are perfect. 

But it needs some work.

The animal set up isn’t perfect.

The house is too small.  Not one decent closet it the place.  One bathroom is still not done.  The landlord is a slave driver.

 Its our current farm.

We couldn’t do it.  We just could not leave.  All the financial risks of staying or going were not the final straw.  The final straw was driving by our house to see if the last showing was done yet, and...


We turned around and waited at the nearby church for them to be done. 

But we both had this sick feeling in our gut. 

It was like watching someone flirt with Josh.  It made me want to throw up. 

We were both just waiting for the other one to back down. 

I said it first.

“Let’s stay.”

I’ve never seen him agree to anything faster. 

So we stay.  Now we have to figure out how. 

We have learned that our bank has a hardship mortgage department.  We are currently negotiating with them to get our loan in line.  I’ll keep you posted on the details as they come. 


Sunday, November 25, 2012

::leonardo the elf::

 We got a new friend.
His name is Leonardo.
As in Leonardo the Terrible Monster, the best children's book ever. 

He is already up mischief.  

Saturday, November 24, 2012

::november wrap up::

photo by YourFamilyStory
Hello friends.  

Funny Farming has been ruling my life.

Its long past time for an update.

Things are rocking and rolling.  We have lots of new developments around here.  None of which are anything having to do with another baby, so drop that idea right now.  If I got prego again Josh would be on suicide watch.  You're going to have to stay tuned for all the details, but here is a general update on the crew.

Quinny - he is extra Quishy.  Six teeth in.  Crawling around this joint in a odd half leg pull half leg drag technique.  He loves to pull up and cruise.  He really is just pure joy.  Still hanging on to breast feeding but we are about done.  Both of us.  He's really not in to it.  He has crap to do and me trying to feed him is just not enough time spent watching every thing Max does. 

Max - still curly.  Thank God.  Also still on a quest to break and destroy all in his path.  But his good looks help him get away with much.  This may be true his entire life.  He went down on the growth curve from 58% to 23%.  After months of specialist and tests and blood draws and ultrasounds and general Max torture they came up with an official diagnosis.  Ready?  
                  He is going to be a late bloomer.  
That might be good for him.  Because if you have his looks AND you are 6ft2in 195lbs at 16 you might have physically peaked a little too early.  We had decided two years ago to hold Max back in school a year anyway.  I can live with "late bloomer" over "kidney failure" any day, thank you very much.  

Lily - is on an up swing.  That kid has started violin lesson and LOVES it.  She waits all week for her little lesson.  I tried piano with her before but she fought it so hard that I couldn't keep fighting with her about it.  Now she finds violin and we are off to the races.  She has also started writing her own songs.  I encourage her to carry a notebook and write down any little snippets that might come into her head.  WHAT!!!  Me encourage someone to carry a notebook?  No way.  She went through a little bit of a rough time, but she is feeling confident and on top of the world.  Her third grade teacher and I had a big talk about Lily being a creative soul.  This lady gets Lily.  She lets her sing and original song for the class whenever Lily has one.  She wrote a song about her school that is so sweet - it really might make you cry.  

Emma - is make all other teenage girls seem annoying.  That kid is rocking it out.  She is in swimming right now as a freshman where she is on varsity.  Ok fine - the team is so small they are all on varsity.  But she really is good enough.  She is coming in first almost every meet.  IN HIGH SCHOOL!!  She is already about 5ft 7in and the prettiest girl around.  That kid warms my heart.  We have been getting to see much more of her now days.  It is a true joy.  She is actually sleeping on the couch next to me right this second as I type.  Teenager can sleep through anything.  

Joshy - Good.  Great.  Wonderful.   We are going to our first Colts game together on Sunday.  I am overly excited.  No kids!!!!  His job is trucking along.  He has been letting go some hints that he wants to get a Jeep to restore.  Of all his potential hobbies I like that one the most.  I love the idea of a Jeep to play with.  

Me - following Lily on that same upswing.  Things are wonderful.  I love the holidays.  I got along with my entire family at Thanksgiving.  That's something.  Even in the corners of my head, even on the wrong side of my mouth filter - I was getting along with them.  I am loving my job.  I'm not sure when that happened.  It just kind of snuck up.  I get my fix of rushing in the ED then I get my baby loving/ICU time in the NICU.  Its a perfect fit right now.  I am getting financially nervous about Christmas again, but I do that every year.  I can't wait to post the kids presents.  I think I found some good stuff this year.  BUT - Miss Emma has been reading my blog so I will not be posting her presents before Christmas anymore.     

Thursday, November 8, 2012

::moving emotionally::

"When we leave here we leave together."  Wise words spoken by a wise Josh.  As usually he has a way of putting things in perspective.  When we walk out of this place for the last time, we will go one together.  We take the funny farm with us were ever we go.  No matter what.  Even if we had to leave every material thing or animals behind, we would still be a family.  (Don't worry - goats, ponies, DONK, and chickens are going to live at Josh's brothers house.)  

But what still has this - I think I might throw up feeling - kicking in my stomach?  What do I not want to leave?  First of all is the door frame where every Schaefer kid got there height measured.  How can I walk away from that treasure?  Well - what about making one of those huge wooden rulers?  I could transfer the measurements to that.  Then when we leave our future rental to move into the next funny farm I can just move the ruler too.  Yes?  Plus you know I love to rewrite a good list.  I actually am getting that "excited about list making" feeling right this second.  It it a psychosis.  But I think of it more as a super hero power.   

I get a little sad at the idea of leaving our tiny little bedrooms.  This is silly.  But I am converted to the kids being so close to me when I sleep.  It makes me feel like they are safe.  I can't deal with a house that has the kids two miles away.  I need the meatballs near by.  

I will miss the view.  The green alfalfa field looks so soft to me.  Its not.  That sucker will scratch you to death in flip flops, but it looks so lush.  And it smells amazing.

If I am being honest, I will miss having what in my mind was the best hang out house.  The place to burn huge bonfires and gather.  A place I was happy to show off.  A place I was always willing to host a party or play date at.  That is a weakness in my soul.  A little flash back to the princess youth I had.  In truth it was the property I was always prideful of.  The house has never been the best thing about this place.  A too small little ranch that needed someone with deeper pockets than me to fix up.  But the out side is impossible to beat.  BUT - who know what is coming next?  I went tire kicking at a rental house that was interesting to me.  A HUGE old main street house in a town over from our ideal location.  It had tiny little nooks and crannies every place, an urban chicken coop, and a wonderfully creaking old stair case.  I fell in love with it.  Now if we could just move it over one town we would be moving in this weekend.  I would have been very proud to have people over to that place.  I would not have even wanted to phrase invites with, "It's just a rental house."    

But -
I hate my set up right now for the animals.  I have a great barn but the pastured and runs make no sense.  I will not miss that at all.  I have done a pretty good job of detaching myself from the cottage garden.  I liked that garden.  It was my brain child.  But it too, will be even better its new and improved version.  Size is perfect, but layout could make more sense.  

I love the idea of a restart.  A clean slate.  Doing the things we did pretty right here even better.  I like the challenge that gardening at a rental house is going to bring.  I like the idea of RENTING a big old house that isn't my problem with the roof needs replaced.  I'll want my next funny farm, but our rental sabbatical actually sounds like fun.   

We take the funny farm where ever we go.  Even if it ends up being in an old house in town. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

::goats having babies::

I know its Halloween.  I promise I will take lots of pictures of the shorties tonight and go on and on about it.  Pinkie swear.  But right now I am thinking goats.  And since Quinny decided he wanted an unheard of second nap before 1, lets talk goats.

We started out with two Nigerian Dwarf wethers (wether = neutered boy goat).  They were good times.  They led to a few super cheap pygmy goats off craigslist.  Some of which I managed to sucker someone into letting her buck breed with.  Leading to our first round of baby goats.  Also good times.  Then I started to fall  in love with the correct conformation that pygmy goats are supposed to have.  Think of taking brand new Play Dough straight out of that full yellow container.  Take some sticks and give it legs to stand on.  That is a pretty close estimate of what an ideal pygmy goat looks like.  Any animal that is supposed to be short and round is meant for me.  But you can't easily find that kind of roundness in the cheap craigslist crew.  After fair a few years ago we sold off the starter herd and invested in some higher quality animals.  By we - I am talking about Josh's exwife Jenni and I.  We are pretty darn friendly with each other and want Emma and Jenni's boyfriend daughter Shealynn to have some quality goaties to show.  (Did you follow any of that?  I will draw you a chart if needed.)

Now this year we invested in a nice buck to breed to all the does we have collected.  All our stock now is registered.  This year we will be taking the does in to make sure they are bred.  They actually get a real ultrasound from the vet.  This will be my first time to get an ultrasound for a goat.  They go in about two weeks.  I will update after that, I am so curious.  

At this point we have a nice little herd here.

We have Grandma Willow - a retired from breeding former beauty queen.  She and I both struggle with our weight.  You turn your back on her and she looks like she is having quads.  I was shocked that when the girls showed her this year she was the old pro of the group.  Lily ended up showing her in the costume class.  She was given to me by a friend and we hope she lives out her old age here with us.  She is the boss of the doe herd. 

Nelly - This is the goat that I had to give CPR to when she was born.  She is a super tame little baby doll.  Very friendly.  We hope she is bred and due at this end of January.  This will be her first baby.  If she is bred I bet she is only having one. 
Betty- Twin of Bo and granddaughter of Willow.  She is very light in color and by far the shy girl of our ladies.  She can be a little difficult to handle since she basically hates all humans.  If she is bred this will be her first kidding.  I vote twins for her.   

Emme -  We bought her bred last year.  She had a single baby buck, but he did not survive delivery.  We hope for better luck this round.  She usually have triplets.  Fingers crossed.

Blake - This is Emme's adult daughter.  She is so sweet.  She is the friendliest goat I have ever met, and was triplet.  We hope she is bred but my instinct says she's not.  If she is not bred we will try again with her latter this winter.  

Bo - He is the twin of Betty.  A nice wether.  I have him keep company with our buck.  He is very friendly and sweet.

Madden - This is a buck that we bought a few months ago.  This is my first round with bucks.  You can tell he was not handled much as a baby.  He acts very wild.  I have to tackle him to trim his feet.  But he makes nice babies.  I think we will keep him for a year or two.  If he had a good personality I might love him more, but I can't stand animals that are not very much fun.  BUT he is so handsome. 


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