Saturday, October 27, 2007
At any rate, we found this place which is for kids at 2.5 years, sessions 2 hrs each, 2 days a week, maximum of 10 kids, parents welcome to stay or leave. It's about a 30 min drive, actually we'd looked into MPG's in Hawthorn East but it was too far then. The directress and assistants seemed very lovely, very easy to talk with, their thoughts on education and learning very in line to my own.
Laurent LOVED the set-up and went around from one thing to the next going, "Wow! Oh WOW! Wow!!! Mum wow! YAY!" He didn't want to leave and our exit ended with, "Bye bye" in a teary voice any soap opera starlet would envy. The program they have looks nice, diverse, flexable and a lot of stuff right up his alley.
So long story short, we liked what we saw. Hopefully this is a good step for Laurent as well as for getting me a few extra hours every week to dedicate to the dogs and eventually time alone with bubba #2 when it comes.
Friday, October 26, 2007
I guess the best start is with the photographs. On La's birthday we were at the mall and there was a booth there doing childrens photography so I opted to get some as this place looked like they did more natural poses as well as standard portraits.
At any rate, here's the shots:
After I picked them up, I noticed a sketch we have of Nic's mum at the same age, so I scanned it to show. I've always thought he looks a lot like Nic's mum and uncle when they were little despite everyone claiming I was nuts! What do y'all think?
And the more traditional "posed" shot.
Cute La Moments
* Yesterday while we were at the mall, I went into a lingere store. (NO, that's not the funny part, smart alecs!) Laurent gazed around, grabbed my pants to tug and pointing in awe, "Mum... wotsa bibi!" After I picked out what I wanted, he nabbed it off the top of his pram and examined it carefully, peering into the cups, flipping it around and looking perplexed. "Mum, where'd da bibi GO?!?" I think all the store attendants about choked laughing!
* Today while I was at the breakfast table, all of the sudden I look over and La is out of his highchair, on the floor, cheerfully scarfing a bowl of leftover spagetti noodles. He looks up at me and in the most innocent of voices says, "Mum, it just fell!" complete with a 'would-ya-believe' shrug! (Yeah, I just bet it did, all by itself even...)
* One of the few DVD's he has is Charlie and Lola. After requesting it and being declined due to my being in the other room, La came trotting up with the dvd,playstation, gamecube (which plays dvds since we don't have a regular dvd player), remote control and the video control in his arms in a giant tangled mess. (These were locked in the tv cabinet prior... childproofing devices aren't La-proof devices!) "Mum, I sees Char-wee now?"
And Not So Cute Ones
"OWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!" is the new word at our house. I decided, after he's been a bit rough with me, to say "ow" when he bumped into me or such. He's now taken to yelling, "OWWW!!!" in the most tortured voice whenever he's annoyed, frusterated, not getting his own way or upset. The door won't magically open? "OW!" I refuse to hand him a second apple after he's spit the first out? "Owww...." I won't give him a lolly at the shop? "Owww!!! Owww, ow, owwww!!!" while I get glares from all the little old grandmas secretly sure I'm abusing him. I won't set him down to dash off? "Owww!!!!! Mum, owww!!!!!!" Joyyyyy...
Well after FOUR YEARS of bugging him to get his drivers liscence he FINALLY went and booked and took the test for his learners! Yee haw!!! Finnnnnnnnnnnnnnaaaalllyyy!!! And yes, he passed! ;-p
Comings and Goings...
My little lambs are not so little any more. They will wean around Christmas but they will be sold before then. Their owners are keeping a few but the land at the place they're buying won't support the whole flock. I'm buying the big boy and his mum and possibly a few others. I'm not as thrilled about taking the ewes with the lambs because they're the ones constantly challenging the dogs but thems the breaks.
The Faverolle chicks are growing like weeds, Nic is still tickled pink with Milly, his Rhode Island Red chick. My beautiful little partridge Wyandotte chicks are absolutely darling.
The guy I bought my silkies from and whom I'd asked to buy a pair of goslings from told me that instead of just selling me the average stock he's got a clutch of his exhibition geese and will be picking mine for me from them so they'll be extra pretty.
The Hope's Ouchy Leg Saga
Hope's leg is coming along slowly but surely. It looks like we're finally out of the woods!!! *WHEW* I was so terrified she'd end up needing more surgery and something would go wrong that'd cripple her for life! Okay so it wasn't horribly likely and my vet is good so if we did have to do more surgery I'm sure it'd be fine but it's my worst nightmare to have something go dreadfully wrong like that! In the end, the best guess is something was up there we missed. Swelling went down on the water pills but then as soon as she came off the clavamox swelled back up. I tried comfry compresses and pressure bandages to get the lymph back up to the body and massaging the lymph upward to help and it seemed to settle it. Throughout all this Hope has been a total trooper - she never took her paw from my lap while I was working on her or protested even though it must have been ouchy.
It's almost 1am so I'll have to save the "Me Stuff" till the next time La goes to sleep early!
Sunday, October 21, 2007
So I hope this works - I'm importing them from photobucket!
Now for the exciting news! CHICKS! Yup. I went out this morning bright and early, unable to stand the wait a moment longer and found four little puff-balls, two nice and fluffed up, two still wet! Awwwwwwwww...
She is still sitting on a few eggs, so there may be 1 or possibly 2 more but at least we've got 4 healthy bubs! Laurent went almost as gooey over them as I did and offered them a bit of his yogurt (!) and a kiss, along with a gentle pat. I also managed to catch one of the bubs having a bit of a rest after the hard work of hatching, it flopped onto it's back and decided to just sit there and contemplate the new state of affairs for a few. ;-) I'll be back to edit this nicer when blogger is behaving itself again!
Saturday, October 20, 2007
I hear *peep peep peep*!!!
Okay, so I hear the Faverolle and RIR chicks peeping every time I look at them hoping for food or treats but that's not what I mean! I heard the EGGS peeping! I was went out to check in on mumma hen and heard peeping from within the shells. At first I thought I was imagining it as my crappy hearing sometimes means I hear things that aren't there and I have absolutely *no* ability to detect where a sound originates from directionwise so it might be something outside the shed or in my head and my brain was intrepreting it as peeping. But nope! When I put them up to my ear I could hear them very clearly and feel them tapping and feel the vibration of the peeps!
How freaking cool is THAT?!?
Friday, October 19, 2007
Nope. Twasn't her leg. Her leg has had it's own problems and all the stitches split but that's another story and another vet bill. So I look her all over, expecting somehow she's cut herself elsewhere. The last place I thought to look was her bum of course - thus proving I come by my blond honestly. At 13 months and 1 week old she's not injured - she's in heat!
I've gotta give it to her - the girl has timing! I'd been expecting it and thinking I'd seen signs a few times before today but it never eventuated and given she's not at her mature weight I figured she'd be a really late bloomer. At least it explains the weird behaviour I've seen the past week or so!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
I think I'm in the middle of information overload and my brain has melted. To start with there is all the practical stuff I'm thinking about - you know, like I've got to pay the bills, when the paycheck is coming in, what needs cleaning, how much mulching can I get in. Practical stuff.
Then there is the thinking about all the stuff I should be doing if I were a person who was organized, prompt, timely and capable of balancing a thousand things at once without it crashing down like some circus side-show act with the performer missing a step while precariously balancing a delicate spun glasses. Quite frankly this stuff is stuff I really don't particularly want to do it, so I'm seeing how long I can procrastinate without the world imploding. This stuff would include planning renos, classes, meetings, internal politics within certain groups etc.
And then there is my current obsession with understanding dog standards, movement etc. Moreover in reconciling "what wins" with "what is historically proper for the BREED" which can be two different beasts. I'm really obsessed with correlating the "old fashioned" style of movement that I remember seeing as a kid (when of course I wasn't thinking to take notes adn being filtered through twenty-odd years of memories when I can't remember where I put my keys most days) with "hm, what caused that?" and how it fits into the standard (ie is it correct or deviant and if yes or no why) But it was so unique and it's stuck in my mind and won't quit bugging me. ~_~'
And the chooks... I'm doing all this "elementary" colour genetics reading with them at the moment attempting to figure out both different breeds. Although both partridge, the genetics behind the colouring is totally different. And of course looking at one thing like colour just sends me trawling as I follow links from colour to pattern to leg feathering to iris pigmentation to the inheritance of ear lobe colouring and if certain traits are dominant or recessive or incompletely dominant and one trait is incompatible with another.
My eyes are swimming with multi-trait punnet squares but it's just so darn interesting I can't stop reading even though I'm driving myself nuts because I'm too tired to really be reading at 11pm! And of course there is all this lovely stuff about line-breeding and inbreeding and braiding lines without loss of vigor or genetic decline... methods that have the same flock not having an outside infusion in almost a hundred years with no incidence of trouble - 1909! Man, think of the applications for dog breeding that might bring up and a way to maintain a line of consistent type without the troubles of breeding yourself into the proverbial corner! I think my brain likes thinking about stuff like the movement and the genetics because it's "simpler" in a way. It's got concrete laws and rules and it's really just a matter of understanding them and then following them to their logical conclusions whereas the other stuff is just sort of vague and nebulous and every option has it's benefits and downsides! Simple is far more solvable. ;-p
*Ka-PLOW* (<--- my brain exploding from learning to much at once!)
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Aw, my little man is two now! So the party ended up not going on as no one would be able to come but it turned out that despite the forecast his birthday was gorgeous weather wise, so we had a nice day here just playing and reflecting, baking his cake and getting his goodies ready. Ironically, Nic's cousin Nina who was one of the people who couldn't come has a daughter with a birthday around now and had the same thing - everyone couldn't come last minute!
After running around like a wildman outside for awhile, watching Ken who boards the sheep here sorting them out and declaring, "WOOOOWW!!! Cool!" to the motorbike crew we left to pick up the new chicks.
We got seven Favorelle, which are a French meat/egg breed and a Rhode Island Red for Nic who'd been taken with them at the Melb Royal. Laurent thinksthey're far too funny for words and spends ages watching their every move and chatting with them. Their conversations are a bit funny as well.
"Chick-chicks, 'dats a food!" he says while pointing to their feeder, "Go peep peep (the sound they make while eatting), eat the food, it's yum yummmm!"
"Chick-chicks, your food (dish) is GEEN! Dats yummy, happa tummah!" (Aka green. All food on green dishes taste better and makes a happy tummy!) This is frequently 'helped' by pinching a bit of the food and letting them peck it from his hand.
"Mum, 'dose MINE chick-chicks!" with much nodding to emphasize the fact they were his and his alone!
They're also a lesson in anatomy which can sometimes be less charming than others. He points to the tail, "Mum, dats a tail!", the eyes, "dose eyes - one, two!" and of course their bums and poos which are sources of unending amusement.
They've definitely become fast favorites and this morning even resulted in turning down breakfast in favor of chick-watching!
The green theme was also apparent today as for his intial birthday outfit he chose a green top, green striped pants, green socks and green shoes. At the shops he got a green lollypop and his I lifted my normal stance on junk food and he had a kiddie cone of sorbet - green apple naturally! Everyone who saw him was hysterical and asking him if hewas enjoying it since he had it smeared all over his face, his hair, hands, shirt, pants and even his socks - ironically due to trying to eat it very neatly! It was melting and dripping, so he'd try to lick off the drip one one hand while holding it with the other... the trouble being he wasn't watching where the other hand was going while he was intent on cleaning up the drip!
As for prezzies he's made out pretty well - his big prezzie was a "big wheel" tractor with trailor (yes, it's green) but he also got a soccer ball, animal set, more crayons and paints, the "paeony, a whole bunch of green shirts/socks/pants including one that read, "LOUD AND PROUD!" I think I could have saved myself the money though and just got the chicks! While we were out we were by a mall photographer and so I had a sitting for him, which we'll get the proofs of next week.
We're having a special dinner of his favs - cannoli with herbed chicken, spinach and ricotta; watermelon, applesauce and special broccoli with (unknown to him as he's not had any so far in his life) chocolate cake with green frosting and green candles.
We also have green wrapping paper, bows, and yep - you guessed it sparkly green balloons!!!
"Ohhhh.... mum, green is HOT!"
He was rather put upon to discover the cake wasn't green all the way through and pretty much only ate the frosting, discarding the cake. A crime as it was a delish cake!
At the end of the day he was dead tired and ended up snuggling with Si for awhile. (Yes, different shirt and pants - the fifth set of the day no less! Pants are actually pale green.)
This morning was less charming. Hope is now off her antibiotics she was put on when she hurt her leg - the last one was yesterday morning. Her leg puffed up again and began weeping and as of the last bandage change her wound hasn't healed as much as I'd have expected with the center looking granulated instead of neatly closed. To boot the booger pulled the "shoe" of the bandage off and licked two small (pea sized) patches absolutely raw on her foot so I'm upping the metacam dose slightly. I'll watch tonight and see how she goes but I have a feeling we may be visiting Dr. Jayne again soon to donate to her BMW fund!
Saturday, October 13, 2007
We'd planned a nice party for Sunday - a day trip out to Puffing Billy, a rest and picnic at Emerald Lake Park before returning and coming to our house for cake and food. We got the coolest "big wheel" - a tractor with a trailer he can haul stuff around in outside and yes... it's green. Plus a soccer ball and a set of animal figures he's got a growing collection of. I've got together my pretty paper, ribbons, bows. For Emerald Lake break we planned something light, crisp and sweet - a smoked chicken, watercress and sugar snap pea salad with garlic herb and feta pull apart with herb infused butters; flavored waters, mineral waters and muscato and then for the proper lunch teas and hot brandy creams, birthday cake (a bunny shaped one), cupcakes, pear gallettes and platters nibblies with home-made chocolates. Painted "pin the tail on the Aussie" on a piece of fabric! ;-) Since we're playing financial catch up after Hope'$ repeated trip$ to the vet (running total - just under $700 now... eep!) just after Nic had been between campaigns for 2 weeks and the weather supposed to be suspect I figured we'd move it back. Unfortunately everyone who was going to come has had various things come up and not only couldn't make it this week but cannot make it next week either. Which is fair enough, it's short notice but I'm still rather down he's not having a party. I know Laurent won't really be aware at his age, so that's a small blessing. We'll still do a party for him here, I'm still doing the cake and stuff for him and we'll open prezzies, have balloons etc. and I'm planning to get some goslings and ducklings to handraise so they're tame for him. (Vs mine who like me and only if I have the food bucket!) I know he'll adore them because he loves the current ones even though they aren't fond of humans. And on the more spiritual side if we get a bit of sun I'll plant his tree in the ground from the pot and his paeony rose and write him a letter about himself on his birthday. I still can't quite believe he's two... TWO! Gawds I'm still trying to wrap my mind around him being one!
As for Hopie, she is doing much better thank goodness! She is still mighty peeved I won't let her chase sheep, swim in the dam or romp madly with Si and Verity though! Meanwhile we've all got bruised calf muscles from her whacking into them constantly with her e-collar! Ow!
As far as the eggs go... having looked at the 13 non-cracked eggs last night, it looks like a few of them are clear, a few of them died from the cold/being kicked around and a few of them are doing okay so far. If all goes well (and if I'm intrepreting what I'm seeing through the egg right) we might get maybe 5-6 chicks, barring anything else going wrong.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Worse than that though, while she was pulling off the e-collar, she pulled off and CHEWED UP her other (regular) collar into five pieces!!! Her nice, new, fancy-schmancy green collar that was part of a collar-leash I'd splashed out on even though it was far more exxy than I'd normally spend because I thought it would look so nice on her! Now it's trash.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
It's been a week since Hope had her stitches put in and we have gone through more boxes of melolin, gauze and wrap this week than I care to count. I'm fairly sure the pharmacy must think I'm running an illegal hospital given that I'm in there every day buying heaps every few days.
After the surgery, her foot was a bit swollen but I didn't worry as I figured it was a bit of bruising due to the general trauma of snagging herself, surgery and a few stitches that had been underlayed. While changing bandages there wasn't really any bruising though, just swelling. But it looked healthy and she is on clavamox so I decided just to wait and watch. Evening of the third day after her foot was very puffy but the wound was still looking healthy and poking and prodding didn't feel like infection, so I chalked it up to the surgery being a bit more rigorous than Jayne had made it sound, coupled with Hope having pulled off the bandages irritating it. As of last night it began weeping clear fluid, so I guessed lymph and the "normal brusing and swelling" was more like edema. This morning it was puffed up about 3x the normal size and began weeping heavily. It still looked and smelled fine, fluid was clear as water, no temperature, her food and drink intake has been fine and it didn't appear to be tender. It was weird enough I figured I'd have Jayne take a look and sooth my niggling worry-wart feelings.
First thing first, we weighed her and she's lost a kilo in a week - this is despite her intake being fine and actually a bit extra (mince to put her clavamox in 2x day).
She looked at it, examines the stitches and the puffy areas... pokes, prods and goes, "Hmm... that's weird!"
"She's been having her antibiotics?" Yes. "And no fever?" Nope. "Intake is fine?" Pft. She'd be dead before she'd turn down food. "Bandage wasn't wrapped too tight?" Nope - I was careful to wrap it loose and evenly and the swelling didn't relieve when I left the bandage off. "No other discharge?" Nope. "Hm... How long has it been swollen?" Well almost from the start a bit but getting progressively more so but I'd figured it was because of the trauma, underlaying stitches and general surgery. "I didn't underlay them that far though, so that wouldn't explain it and there was no damage to the lymph that would explain the leaking." She paused, looked closer at the stitches and pointed to a little blackish spot in the middle of the healing wound where there's a tissue deficit, "What's that black spot there?" I said I didn't know, I'd thought it was a blood clot. "No, there was no blood vessel damage," she frowned, "and I don't like to see black spots in my surgical wounds." Hm, well we agree on that but bad black spots usually are quite obviously not healthy and this didn't look like that. "Some dogs form a pocket..." she mused. "Yeah but it was a clean, dry, simple wound - was there enough there to really form a pocket?" "No, not really." She continued poking, decided to lance the spot. Nothing. A few more moments, "The fascia was in tact..." Well not that I've got the lovely DVM to go after my name but yeah, it looked fine to me too. "But the only thing I can think is if the barb wire jammed something up in there that I couldn't see. So if it doesn't respond nicely in the next few days our best option may be to go back in and see if there's anything we can find."
Will try some comfry poultices later and massage the area or use pressure bandages if it keeps puffing up.
There was a funny moment today though, at the vets when Laurent was chanting, "Mum! Mum! Mum!" and Jayne asked him, "Laurent, can you say 'Jayne'?" I don't think she really expected him to answer but he looked at her and rather indignantly said, "Yes!" She blinked and said, "Well then go ahead and say it!" He looked back at her and said, "Jayne!" (Haha... little did she know!!! She thought it was cute!) "Yes?" "Jayne?" "Yes?" "JAYNE!" "Yes?" "Jayne? Jayne! JAYYYYNE!!! JaynejaynejayneJAYNEEE!!!"
Monday, October 08, 2007
The three cracked ones had been fertile ones, I could see the poor little chicks dead in the shell. Nothing to do for them so I put them aside and gathered the remaining ones up the hen wasn't on. They were all pretty chilled, cold to the touch but no cracks visible. I've no idea how long they weren't under her but obviously long enough for them to get cold and the chicks in the opened ones to have died. They were fine as of 11am this morning. I put them back under her and I'm hoping they will survive - I guess I'll know if I see movement in them still in a few days. But I've no idea what their chances are given that they were so chilled and possibly kicked around enough to detach the embryos or damage the blood vessel network. Poor little things, cross your fingers for them folks!
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
We had a pretty good weekend - Saturday at home and gardening, Sunday to distraction class with Verity and Hope. I took Verity in first and gosh what an absolutely great day for her! Verity had hopped out of the car happy, eager to go into the training building, happily fanning her tail in big circles and she was fairly prancing with these high steps, nudging my pockets to see if I had goodies and generally being a big goofus!!! I know that doesn't sound like a major thing - in fact for Sierra or Hope or Cade it's standard opperating procedure - but holy moley - for Verity that's a major step!
When we got there, only a few of the demo team were there so it was quieter than normal and I could tell Verity was comfortable with that lower level of activity. Her respiratory rate was still up a hint from normal base-rate and the smallest corners of her eyes were squinty so there was a little bit of stress going on but on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being totally relaxed and 10 being highly stressed, she was down to maybe a 1 or 2 from her usual 4-5 range, which she was much happier and easier to engage/keep engaged/ask to change her attention. She was showing far more happiness and playfulness than stress. In fact she was actually PLAYING with me, dancing around my legs, tuggy - the same as she does at home - in the training building with other people working their dogs!
Jenn's car had broken down so a few people went to go help her and her dogs. She needed a bit of a breather so she stayed back in the building along with one or two other people who wandered in and out while the rest of the class went down to the oval to practice outside. At one point, one of the people who'd left to pick Jenn up drove her big blue SUV by close to the door so that it blocked off the view entirely. This was enough to worry Verity... the whole SEC thing again. She was still taking treats but reluctant to disengage her attention and the way she was taking them felt as if she was taking them almost without really registering the food for the next few minutes.
Since she'd had a mild worry, I decided to back off a bit from my plans and opted to hang back at the building with Jenn for a tea and rather than take Verity down to the oval where there'd be the higher number of people, a novel environment (I've not worked her out there as we usually train inside) and higher activity level. That turned out really well actually, Jenn is pretty savy with anxious dogs as one of hers has some similar issues she's working around. So all in all a pretty wonderful day!
Monday was decent enough, more gardening and hip hip HURRAY my Wyandotte hen has finally gone broody! I was starting to think I was going to have to hire an incubator to hatch any eggs. Now let's hope Jarrah the Rooster has been doing his bit (this can be a problem with them due to their very fluffy bums...) and those eggs are fertile! If they are in about 20 days I should have little chicks!
Now for the downer... last night Miss Hopie decided to run out into the paddocks by attempting to jump (going full tilt) between the lowest string and the second lowest of the barbed wire, clipping her leg as she did so.
She tore herself a nice big triangle gash going up from just over the knuckle to wrist. It was all the way through the skin, peeling back down to muscle but luckily it didn't bleed much and after it stopped was a nice dry wound so we didn't have to make a 1am run to the ER.
I rang the vet in the morning as I was sure it'd need at least a few stitches and probably a bit of tidying of the edges. The vet was out but the receptionist clearly thought I was over-stating matters. I'm guessing they're used to people thinking things are worse than they are. I decided simply to drive out as the vet herself is usually pretty good about such things. Nope, surgeries all morning so 4:30 was the earliest says the receptionst.
Meanwhile Hope is doing nothing to convince the receptionist she's got anything more serious than a papercut - dancing about, animated, wanting to play, snuffing for treats, hopping on the scale and sitting while pointedly looking at me for her click and treat. "Fine," I said pointing to the leg. "Can I have some gauze and vetwrap then? I don't want this flapping about all day, exposed while we wait another four hours." She paused, "What? Gauze? Vetwrap?" (Er, is it called something else here in Australia? I've no idea... bugger.) "Yeah, just some gauze and some vetwrap - elasticish self sticking stuff that goes around it so at least it's covered and stays put?" She looks at the leg I'm pointing at. "Oh. OH! That'll need stitches, let me just go talk to Jayne..."
Anyhow, long story short she talked to Jayne who agreed with my original assessment that yes indeedydo - it did need stitches and we'd have to actually do it as a surgery and put her under. Bugger. I was hoping we could do a local. Meh. But at least it won't leave a visible scar. I've decided her vet-wrap bandage is officially a fashion statement - at $470 it costs more than most of my wardrobe, so it must count as a fashion statement right???
The fun part? I'm supposed to keep this hyper little booger from playing, running or in any way stressing the stitches while the heal. Wish me a miracle all, this is Hope we're talking about - "sedate" is not a word in her vocabulary!