Thursday, December 28, 2017

School Christmas Performance and Christmas Parades

James had his school Christmas music performance at the beginning of December. Anthony had to work, so I was on my own with these two. I knew that it was going to be standing room only in the cafeteria where they have the performances, so I got there an hour early. Thank goodness for kindle fires!!

Both of the boys wanted to wear Santa hats and light up necklaces. So adorable!

James found a friend from his class: Kylie K. (since there are two Kylies in his class they add the initial). They are assigned to sit next to each other at lunch and in class and have becoming the most adorable friends! Her mom works in the cafeteria and said that she is so glad that they have started playing together because for the longest time at lunch she would just sit and eat quietly with no one to talk to.

While I was saving our seats, James wanted to go with Kylie and her family to drop off her older sister at the middle school. Her mom took this picture of them holding hands. I am dying at how adorable they are!!

James showed me where his seat was on the stage so I got to be right in front of him this year. He also happened to be behind the piano, but what can you do? :)

We went to our annual Christmas parades this year, first was for New Smyrna Beach:

Rett is still terrified of the loud noises. If he even thinks it will make a noise, he covers his ears.

The theme this year was riverfront Christmas, so there were a lot of fishing/beach life floats.

James and Rett found a group of kids sitting close to the floats and joined in:


A local restaurant called The Garlic always throws out whole cloves of garlic to the crowd. The adults get pretty competitive about catching them. James really wanted one too, he was jumping up and down and waving his hands. No luck though.

This adorable little boy was in a remote control power wheels being steered by his mom. It was the coolest thing ever!

Snow! (Soap bubbles)

The parade always ends with Santa and his sleigh:

The following week was the Edgewater parade. We almost considered not going because it was drizzling and sooooo cold (40's maybe?) but it is so hard to skip when we've gone every year. It is a tradition! We brought blankets to wrap up in, a few umbrellas and made the most of it. The boys thought it was extra fun. Anthony thought he was dying.

We had to take a picture of the flamingos instead of reindeer for my mom. She would have loved it!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Oliver the goat

The day after Thanksgiving we drove over towards the Orlando area to do some black Friday shopping. A woman posted on one of the local chicken/farm facebook groups I follow that she had a bottle fed 2 week old goat available for sale. Her house was really close to Orlando and so we decided to go for it! We wanted to get a bottle fed goat since they bond more closely to you and this guy was cute as a button! We decided to name him Oliver.

Since he needed a bottle every 6 hours and he was all alone, we decided to keep him in the house until he is big enough to be weaned and be outside all the time. He was the sweetest little thing, always ready to snuggle.

He was still growing in his baby teeth, so he was chewing on everything!

Anthony feeding him a bottle:

He actually fell asleep in James' bed with him and I had to go get him to give him a bottle in the middle of the night. It felt like having a new child!

We couldn't find him one afternoon and eventually tracked him down under the Christmas tree.

During the day he would hang out with Seabiscuit outside:

I ran out of goat's milk we got from his mother, so we took him to the farmer's market to buy some more. He wasn't a fan of walking on the leash, but he loved all the attention he got. So many people would stop and stare and take a second look before they realized he was a goat and not a dog!

Unfortunately after having him for about a week, we noticed that he started acting strange. He would walk around the house, peeing small amounts and making grunting noises like it was hurting him. We researched like crazy what it could be, and it isn't too uncommon for older male goat to have urinary stones so we thought that might be what he had. We found an after hours vet clinic that would see him, so we spent 3 hours late one night with him there. They agreed with us that he probably had a blockage in his urinary tract. They gave him some sedation and passed a catheter to empty his bladder. Then they sent us home with antibiotic injections and anti-inflammatory medication to give him and we hoped that would be it.

A few days later, he started doing the grunting and dribbling urine again, so we called around to find another place that would take him that was familiar with goats and could see him right away. We found a place about an hour away, so I picked James up from school early and drove straight there. They were able to test his urine and they analyzed it and found calcium stones. The vet was really stumped because she said there was no reason at all that he should have them, he has only been drinking milk so it couldn't really be his diet! The only think she could think of was that it was something genetic. They gave him some gas and tried to pass a catheter to empty his bladder again but his poor urinary tract was so inflamed that they couldn't get a catheter in. The only other thing to do was to perform a $1000 operation that would reroute his urethra permanently. We decided that we just couldn't spend that much money, especially since it wouldn't be likely that his little body could take that much surgery and anesthesia. The vet was really nice and gave me a hug and told me not to feel guilty but that it probably would be the best decision to put him to sleep.

So I talked to the boys and explained what was happening and we got to go give him kisses and pet him and say goodbye. He was still asleep from them trying to pass the catheter, so he wasn't in pain.

They let us take him home and we picked a spot to bury him over by the chickens. The boys and I put flowers on it and said a little prayer to thank Heavenly Father for the time we got to spend with him. He was a special little guy and it is surprising how much we came to love him in a short amount of time!

So we are going to take a little time before we try goats again, and for now we are going to stick with girls (they don't usually have the urinary problems). It was a sad ending to a fun adventure, but we will just learn from it and keep going!

Baymax our new puppy!

Anthony's coworker's dogs had puppies and she offered one to Anthony. At first I wasn't excited about it, but then we had something in the yard scaring our chickens. One of them even went missing, so something was hunting them. Then I decided that a guard dog wouldn't be such a bad thing :) The breed of dog they are is a Great Pyrenees, which is really well known for being working livestock guardians. In fact when we were researching more about the type of dog they are, a lot of people said that this type of dog is happiest with a flock of animals to guard and a job to do. They love to roam and protect and they often prefer to just stay outside as outdoor dogs. 

They are very large dogs, but so sweet! At first we wanted to pick out a smaller female dog but once we met the dad (who is a huge dog but the calmest sweetest thing) we decided to pick out a big male.

Here is the mother dog with the babies right after they were born:

So tiny and sweet!

A basket full of puppies!

We had so much fun loving on them all. They were so young they didn't even have their eyes open.

This is James with Chancho, the dad. He is massive!

Update pictures at about 3 weeks old:

Now that he is 5 1/2 weeks old, we got to pick him up and take him home for the day to introduce him to the chickens and our house. He doesn't get to come home for good for another 2 1/2 weeks, but it was so fun to have him for a little while. We weighed him when we got home and he is already 11 pounds!

I brought him into the chicken coop first to see how the chickens would react. The leader of the chickens came right up to him, looked him over and then pecked him on the nose (she does that to all the new chickens too). He made the saddest face after that and slunk over to hide between my legs.

Once I let all the chickens out and the puppy realized that they moved around, he got very interested in what they were doing. He didn't really chase them, but he wanted to follow them around.

Happy boy!

When Anthony came home from fishing he got a chance to play with him out in the yard and he got a video of his cute squishy puppiness running around the yard. We can't wait to bring him home for good!