Introducing …

Our babies are about five days old today but you wouldn’t know it from the way they’re tearing around their cage. Thank goodness there are only two because they are like a pack of piranhas when we feed them.

After the spotting scare Valka is perfectly healthy, though clearly fed up with her youngsters climbing on her.

In light of their trouble-making, LOUD personalities, there really was only one option to name them.

Introducing Ruffnut (white) and Tuffnut (brown).

Aren't they well behaved?

Aren’t they well behaved?

Nope, nevermind, Escape!!

Nope, nevermind, Escape!!

For those outside the How To Train Your Dragon universe, Ruff and Tuff our twins whose main goal in life is to make as much chaos on the island as possible. I’m sure these two will do their best to live up to their legacy.

Ruff and Tuff stealing their Mum's lettuce. Valka was shocked the first time but now she holds her own against them.

Ruff and Tuff stealing their Mum’s lettuce. Valka was shocked the first time but now she holds her own against them.



Well,  I predicted that she was close, I was right! Valka delivered two healthy babies around 2 pm yesterday afternoon. There were signs of a third that was stillborn/unformed but we are just thankful that Valka is safe and healthy.

Though we’d been checking on her constantly she managed to give birth to both before we realized what was going on. So they’re a few minutes old at least in the first photos.

002 Brand new and still wet.

003 006 010 Still bloody.013 Family shot.015 Valka trying to discreetly squash one of the babies.

019 Drying off!030

 We had a small scare last night when we realized that Valka was still bleeding sporadically, neither of our previous mother spotted after birth. However she remained alert and eating and there has been no more blood today.

These babies are noisy little things! They’ve been running around nibbling on everything in the cage (pellets, brocoli, the plastic side of the cage, each other…) and Valka keeps looking at us expectantly as though asking, “You’re taking these things away now, right?’

Names and more pictures to follow, I’m going to go stare at my beautiful babies.


Bursting at the seems, but no babies yet! I think she likes being in the living room, she’s taken to sitting on her haunches and peering out the bars at us.

And begging.

Standing up and begging.

Standing up and begging.

The watch continues but it can’t be long now! Here’s to a safe birth and healthy mother and babies.


Oireachtas Manuscripts and Guinea Pigs, Oh My!

Well, the Oireachtas has come and gone. I was hoping that my four hand team would recall. We didn’t. It was a bit disappointing because we danced amazingly and it sucks when you know you did your best and it wasn’t enough. But as bummed as I was I’ve bounced back and I’m ready to go again (let’s face it, I’m used to rejections and disappointment, I’m a writer!).

While our team might not have placed, I’m still proud of how we danced and of our school! We came away with two World qualifiers ( 3rd in girls U12 and 4rth in boys U12!!!) and a National qualifier. Not too bad for our young school!


Last month I mentioned that while I wasn’t competing in NaNoWriMo I was going to use the month to focus on my writing and get back on track. I didn’t write an entire novel in a month but I did do something better. I fell in love with a new project! Now I have something to engage my imagination while I put my other manuscript aside to figure out what’s wrong with the darn thing.

I think one of the hardest thing for a writer is to admit that ‘this’ novel may not be the first one you publish. We get our hearts set on them and to put them aside feels like giving up. Well, there’s no way I’m giving up and I live for the day I get to see it in print but I’ve admitted that this might not happen immedietely and now I have another project to fall back on. And I can’t wait to see where this one goes!


And, finally, the baby watch is under way!


Valka has been moved to her own cage now and resides in a place of honor in the living room where we can monitor for babies all day (and shower the mommy-to-be with various delicacies …). Since we don’t know how far along she was when we got her we don’t know how close she is. Guinea pigs gestate for around 60 to 70 days. It could happen in a few days or two weeks. Either way, we’re ready.   



P.S. Spell check is trying to tell me that ‘gestate’ is not a word. Spell check, thou art worthless.