Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The "Calm"

Little Baby #2 is due in just eight days. Eight days.

Keats and I have both sustained a terrible coughy cold for the last couple of weeks. Thankfully, Birch hasn't seemed affected. Two nights ago my entire body itched like mad and didn't subside until this morning with the help of sprays, ointments, and a couple Benadryl. If it comes back, I have the nurse's phone number. Not sure what caused the outbreak, but I haven't felt like that since I discovered I was allergic to penicillin several years ago.

Olive helped Nick the farm dog track and chase a pesky raccoon that was trying to break its way into the barn and then our yard. She growls at strangers on a regular basis, but we learned that night that particular growl is not her "real" growl. A much more terrifying, deepset growl came bellowing out of her as she stood her ground against that raccoon, the two staring at each other through the glass sliding door before I let her out once the raccoon had moved far enough away to make an escape once I did. Having lost a cat to a raccoon, I know the damage those scruffy puffballs can do, so I didn't want Olive to actually be able to catch or corner it, just let it know with no uncertain terms that it was not welcome in our yard. Its muddy footprints are all over our car. The battle continues.

One of three Ameraucaunas.
Golden Sebrights getting a drink of fresh water.
About a month ago, Birch and I purchased seventeen chicks from the local farm supply store. Birch will take seven to school to populate his garden there. He made a deal with his students that if they brought in the money to purchase a chick, they would have naming rights. To his astonishment and delight, seven of his students remembered and ponied up the five bucks (per chick), so off we went to the store to select the lucky seven. Our lovely landlords offered up their brooding box and supplies for us to use as the chicks grew, so we bit the bullet and purchased ten for ourselves as well. The store had quite the variety that day, so Birch snagged one of each for his garden flock, and I picked out my favorites. We ended up with two Buff Orpingtons, two Black Sex Links, two Silver Laced Wyandottes, two Rhode Island Reds, two Blue Andalusians, three Ameraucaunas, two Golden Sebrights, one Old English Game, and one Australorp. I have to admit that the Blue Andalusians were picked almost purely for aesthetics as they are quite flighty, but they are gorgeous. I've also read that the Old English Game is a bit of trouble in a bantam-sized package, but it is all part of the learning process. I visit them each day not only to give them fresh water and starter, but to get to know them or more importantly for them to get to know me. One of the Wyandottes and one of the Ameraucaunas have been the most interested in befriending me, the Wyandotte consistently pecking at my hands for me to pick her up and pet her. It's been startling to see their personalities come through so quickly. So, as we wait for them to grow, I'm designing their coop and run for our yard and doing a ridiculous amount of reading and research on their care. It's really exciting to finally push our way into this world we've coveted for so long. From here we'll set up our new garden with raised beds, half barrels, and hanging planters, a new and larger run for Harlequin the bunny, and eventually a large play structure for Keats and his sister! Our plans will take at least several months, and in some cases years, to see through, but we're so excited to be in a place where making it happen is actually possible and encouraged.
Silver Laced Wyandotte dozing under the heat lamp.
Old English Game chick.

As for going into labor in the next week or so, I feel ready. There are things I wish we had done already, like the purchase of that new car and Birch's sub plans for school, but I feel like the rest is falling into place and my body and mind are ready for a grueling ordeal. We're nervous for the reality of having two very small children, but I'm sure we'll make it through. Our families and friends are so supportive and eager to help, it's such an amazing gift to have them in our life.