Joining the work force

The kids came up to the office the other day to help Phil in his work. Blackbird mostly wanted to help eat my chair. Gotta start these kids early if they’re going to grow up properly! Can’t have a goat that doesn’t chew everything in sight–it just wouldn’t be a real goat!

“Let me up?”

How many goats are on Phil’s lap? Can you spot them both?

The problem with Skeeter is that she’s so darn flashy she drowns out her rather more beautiful black sister. But you gotta love that eager little face!

If I didn’t know better I’d say this was one of Sputnik’s baby pictures!

Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland

I am beating myself over the head for not remembering to grab the camera today. We got about six inches of snow last night and the babies were absolutely thrilled with it when we took our afternoon walk. I wasn’t sure if Petunia would bring them because of the snow, but she wanted to go walking herself and by golly she wasn’t going to stay behind to watch kids! Time for these babies to toughen up and march even if the snow is over their knees!

They loved it! The spent most of the walk bouncing, leaping, cavorting, and racing through the new powder. They got snow dumped on their heads when they stood under the trees where the big goats were pulling down pine needles.

At one point Blackbird raced ahead with Finn and Sputnik when they took off from the herd to stage a little sparring match. She got in their way and both boys stopped their fight and stared at Blackbird who was staring back at them. Finn showed her his horns but Sputnik gently nudged her away with his nose before resuming their argument on a gentler scale. Both kids were tired by the end of the walk and I’ll bet they sleep good tonight!

All in the family

Finn, beautiful as always.

Sputnik just as beautiful.

But they’re more beautiful together, don’t you think?

Apparently they find each other attractive too.

“We interrupt this bromantic moment to bring you some baby goats!”

“Uh, did we sign up for babysitting duty?”

“Ok, that thing seriously looks like my mini-me with Sputnik’s face on it. Weirdness.”

“I take no responsibility. I’m outta here, folks!”

Despite Finn’s reluctance to associate himself with this crew, you can see the family resemblance. Petunia is Finn’s older half-sister, and she is also Sputnik’s mother. So that makes Sputnik the older half-brother to these new doelings and Finn is the monkeys’ uncle.

“Look at that there big goat, Blackbird!”

I think she feels safer on the stump.

Now it’s Skeeter’s turn to be brave.

Nope, this one feels safer on the stump too!

Petunia and Sputnik have always been very close. I love how she’s using him for a headrest in these shots.

“Mama, I saw you use Sputnik for a pillow.”

“Can I use you for a couch?”

“No! A pillow is good enough for anybody.”

Keeping up with the herd and other important matters

All right, now you’re going to have to indulge me as I took WAAAYYYY too many pictures yesterday. But it was such a beautiful day and the kids are now so bouncy and curious and fun but still tiny and cute and soft. It’s hard to put the camera down.

They’re going out with the herd now. The first few times we walked, Phil and I had to carry the kids part of the way. Not any more!

It’s hard to see in the melee, but take a look at Sputnik introducing himself to Blackbird on the rock. She was terrified of that big boy and immediately jumped down and ran to mama, but he was only curious and quite gentle.

“Wait for us!”

“We’re coming!”

“Mama just isn’t fast enough.” Look at that tongue hanging out–I think Petunia is tired from keeping up with kids all week!

Is this the caprine equivalent of a water cooler moment?

Gotta love those airplane ears!

Racing babies!

I love sweet mama-kid moments.

Does this little gal look like a Finn/Sputnik mashup or what?

Oh good, they figured out how to use both sides.

I love that Skeeter prance!

Meanwhile, Blackbird practices balancing on three legs on two different rocks!

She’s black velvet, folks.

In sync.

Whether you’re eating them or standing on them, stumps are the best!

Two days later…

Petunia says, “How about some love for me!”

We had a bit of snow on Monday night so our walks were muddy for a couple of days. The kids didn’t seem to mind too much. They tend to stick to the rocks whether there’s mud or not.

Blackbird is very hard to photograph!

Skeeter, on the other hand…

Exploring the big, wide world

We’re having so much fun with these little critters. They’re coming for walks now and we bring them in the house every night to watch a movie on our laps. They’re growing so fast we can almost watch it happen in front of our eyes. These photos were taken last Monday and already they look ancient because the girls have grown so much.

Blackbird thought this stick was delicious.

But then she saw what Skeeter was eating. It’s important to fight over the same teat. You wouldn’t want to use up both of them!

Just Kidding Around

Our kids had visitors today! My parents came because my mom has been dying to see baby goats when they’re brand new as opposed to a couple of weeks old. My brother and his wife came so their little girls could visit the new baby goats too. It was a fun afternoon!

Nora loved holding the baby goats and little Skeeter loved being held. In fact, when Nora got up to walk around, Skeeter started following her!

Blackbird was a pretty big armful for my niece, Ivy.

My mom with Blackbird.

Baby goats as a fashion statement!

After everyone left, Phil and I went for our daily walk and each of us carried a baby goat for about 2/3 of the distance. Then we put them down and let them walk the rest of the way. They did very well for such tiny youngsters, but I’ll bet they sleep good tonight!

The stork visited last night…

…And dropped off two adorable bundles at around 10:00 p.m.

Baby #1 is the smaller of the two but was stuck fast in the birth canal because her much larger sister was trying to cut in line. I pushed Baby #2 back an inch and this one came rushing out with no problem. Petunia was rolling around on her back when I came in to help and I’m sure if I’d given her five or ten minutes she would have straightened them out on her own, but since I was there I figured I might as well give her a hand.

Baby #2 catapulted into the world so fast I didn’t even have time to react. One quick push from Petunia and she exploded out onto my feet. Phil hadn’t even finished toweling her off before she was up and running. The first baby was suckling first but this one was the quickest to find her legs and start toddling around. She’s quite a lot bigger and chunkier than her sister with thicker fur. Petunia is completely enamored with both.

The night was clear but cold, so Phil and I stayed out with them until around midnight to make sure they were completely dry and had a good feed. I cleaned the stall and bedded it deep with straw and left warm water out for their mama. Nevertheless, I couldn’t resist going back out at 4:30 or so to make sure they were warm enough. I spent some time pressing their chilly ears between my palms to warm them up and I made sure they got another drink of milk before I went back to bed. “Blackbird singing in the dead of night” ran through my head as I held Baby #2 and I’m pretty sure the name “Blackbird” is going to stick. But what to name her wildly colored sister? How about another White Album title? With that coloring, “Helter Skelter” immediately sprang to mind with a nickname of “Skeeter”. We’ll give it a few days and see if they stick.

Today is gorgeous and we got the new kids out for some time in the sunshine. Petunia is almost as fat post-babies as she was before, so she has a nice broad, well-padded back for a new kid to sprawl out and relax on.

Coral was quite intrigued by the newcomers and kept sneaking up very carefully with one eye glued to Petunia.

She felt safer when she could use Phil for a human shield. Protective mamas are not to be messed with!

She could also grab a straw hat snack while she was at it.

I took Pluto up to inspect the new babies first thing this morning. He adopted them immediately and thoroughly licked both of them before their mother came into the shed and made him get out. I’m glad he’s turned out to be so gentle with the baby goats.

Rambo also came over to inspect his new descendants. I’m not 100% sure if these are his children or his grandchildren. I’m pretty sure they’re his grandchildren, but they were born in that window where there’s still a chance they could be Rambo’s. We’ll see if it becomes clear as they grow.

The rest of the goats were bored by the new arrivals.

Supremely bored.

What’s better than a baby goat in your lap?

Why TWO baby goats of course!

Wait, did one of them just smear something gross onto my hand?

Let’s stick with this end, shall we?

You can tell this baby is related to Sputnik! The face is nearly identical! But she is Sputnik’s half sister after all.

Phil should be a cowboy hat model.

My hat may be cooler than Phil’s, but I don’t think modeling is my forte. I’ll leave that to my gorgeous husband.

Cute, soft, cuddly babies!

If I didn’t know better I’d say this baby was a cross between Finn and Sputnik! She’s got Finn’s flashy coloring and Sputnik’s wild face. Her front end is going to darken as she matures and she’ll be a tri-color when she grows up. Petunia is Finn’s half-sister and Sputnik’s mother, so I suppose it’s no surprise that we have a kid who resembles both of her male relatives.

Big-head vs. No-head.

Ride that Big Ol’ Goat!

Last weekend my friend Jordan was home from college and we took Sputnik and Geronimo for a walk, along with Jordan’s little brother, Rodney.

Jordan got some funny close-ups of Sputnik. Close-ups are usually Finn’s specialty, but Sputnik is getting more accustomed to taking the spotlight as time goes on. He was very clingy to me on this walk and I had to push him away a lot because he was stepping on my feet. I think he was a little insecure about having two “strangers” with us.

Rodney is a funny kid. He is not much taller than Sputnik and was therefore a little shy of him. I jokingly asked if he wanted to ride this big goat, and Rodney surprised me when he hesitantly said he’d give it a try. Big as he looks in the photo, Rodney is a string bean and I lifted him easily onto Sputnik’s back with one arm while I held Sputnik’s halter with the other. Sputnik was a little startled and began to walk off when Rodney’s legs gripped his sides, but he stopped on my “whoa” command and stood for a photo. Rodney hung onto Sputnik’s collar and rode him for about fifteen feet while I led him along. Sputnik didn’t seem bothered after the initial surprise, but Rodney is of course too big to ride a goat very far. Tongue

Running Errands Goat-O-Rama Style!

I took Sputnik for a drive around the golf course today. Canon National Bank sits at the edge of the golf course and I had to deposit a check, so what better way to get to the bank than by goat cart? Unfortunately, they don’t have a hitching post or a parking spot for goats. Shame on them! So I tied Sputnik to a lamp post out front. He was very patient while I went in. Someone in a pickup truck pulled into the bank parking lot and sat there for a while just to stare at the goats tied out front.