My very special and doting manfriend opened a particularly large can of worms when he bought me that darn bator last weekend. i swear. This is day -1. Yes, day negative one. I havent even put eggs in the incubator and i already feel like it may be time to commit myself. so he bought me the bator as a birthday present, a very early birthday present (its march 3rd yay!). anywho, hes so thoughtful, he got it for me this early so i could find some eggs and get them going and have em hopefully hatch for my birthday. birthday chicks . So I get this thing home and i decide I think i want a showgirl to add to my flock. Yes, i will search now for some showgirl eggs. I seriously thought it would be easy. Well finding showgirl eggs in dead winter is like finding a blinking polar bear in a blizzard. I must have e-mailed and pmmed 75 % of you poor people on byc (so 75% of you are already halfway knowledgable of my struggles, lucky!). I didnt want to settle though because this would be my one and only hatch, seeing how i have room only for one or two more hens in my mini flock. Well I finally found some on e-bay and happily bid bid bid away! And got bid bid bid against! yarg why?! LOL it turns out i was being bid against by a fellow byc member! how silly right? So we pmmed a bit and she pointed me in the direction of a woman who had beautiful showgirls for sale. They werent the colors i wanted, but hey...she could send me some quick and shes got some GORGEOUS birds!. well lo and behold that byc member also ceased to bid on the ebay eggs and let me win those too! (whatta sweetheart, eh??). Omg at this point im so excited i could die. 27 EGGS COMING MY WAY?! i OUGHTTA AT LEAST BE ABLE TO HATCH FIVE, RIGHT? who knows, because as all this is going on i am meanwhile stressing about the darn bator upstairs that keeps jumpimg from 96* to 104*. Im wigging out because i want everything to be perfect and after a week of owning this thing. like seriously, im more nervous about these chicks making it alright on my account than i have ever been about anything EVER. and they arent even here yet! So im running up and down the stairs every hour and a half checking each of the eight hundred thermometers ive got in there and all i can say is this is the best weight loss plan ive ever been on (so the ol boyfriend was onto something when he got that darn bator...). Come to find there is a concensus on byc that LG bators are little giant turds and stink to high heaven at hatching babies. not to mention shipping eggs have a low hatch rate, on top of me being a first time hatcher...augh! i cant handle the pressure! but the eggs are in airmail by now so i must pull it together...for the babies, FOR THE CHILDREN! OKay so i have done my homeowrk on lg bators. i moved it into a more stable temperate room, and layed towels around the edges. sweet! I've been at 99.5* for three days now! Got my calendar up to remind me which days to candle, and which days to lock down and leave the thing well enough alone. I've got my sign on the bator that says "WASH HANDS BEFORE TURNING EGGS". I have taken every precaution under the sun at this point. Im ready. Bring em on. OMG OMG OMG OMG today's the big day! today is the day the eggs arrive!!! I have been checking my e-mail all day to get the tracking info that my seperate shipments have all been delivered. Imagine my delight when i got those! 11:12 first shipment arrives...11:43 second shipment arrives. OH THE JOY! OH THE RAPTURE! i have bubble guts and i am soooo excited!!! Call the boyfriend to rush home and get them into the room to settle so i can have them in the bator tomorrow and start the real stress as soon as possible. But there is a problem Mark calls and tells me there is only one package on the stoop. i tell him look everywhere he says there is only one! I politely tell him that if he is *@#!ing with me i will very kindly %$!@? his :*$@ into next tuesday and his body will be so beyond recognition that even his dental records might mistake him for a jungle creature. but no, alas i rush home to one lonely box. Some jerks stole my e-bay eggs. Some little pukes stole my e-bay eggs that i had spent so much money on and stressed over for a week and a half. Something that means absolutely nothing to anyone around here but me. At least i have my 18 little showgirl eggs. hopefully i will get one of each color to love FOREVER. So yeah, thats me in a nutshell. I am a lunatic. I want this to be perfect so badly and im driving myself nutso! I do find a sense of comic relief in the whole thing though. I though week negative one was bad...i Cant wait for week two! ***DAY ONE! (?) ! **** (and a pretty darn good explanation as to why i am the biggest jerk on the entire planet. aka "how showgirl eggs made me lose faith in all human kind") I think i may have litterally skipped out of bed this morning, which is extremely surprising considering i dont know if i slept one wink out of excitement and anger. I ran to my bator which was still holding a perfecto temperature of 99.5*. I carefully drew on each side of each egg with pencil an "X" and an "O" to ensure even turning. I made sure all of my water canals were full and gently placed the lid on the bator. AHHH sweet serenity. i doted for a good few minutes before realizing its time to get ready for work, WOMAN! I need to be out of the house by 8:45. 8:00- go downstairs to feed the girls, the dog, the cats, the fish, and if there is time- myself. 8:07- DEAR LORD ALMIGHTY I KNOW WHERE THE darn EGGS ARE!!!!!! So i moved last april to a bigger home in the same town. I never updated my paypal address. I AM A TOTAL JERKHEAD IDIOT STUPIDFACE!!! They MUST have shipped to the old house! That would explain why they showed up on the tracking info as delivered! 8:09- Over fill the dog and cat bowls, throw some feed into the girl' pen, race out the door. 8:17- arrive at the old house. It HAS to be here. It absolutely must be here. AUGH! NO ONE IS HOME! Peeking in the windows, i see no package in sight. It totally has to be there, though, like, seriously, i am shaking at this point. So i break into the house, and there it is! The most beautiful package in the world right there on the kitchen counter with MY name on it!! (I suppose i should disclose at this point that i have lied to you all. I did not break into said house. no, i did that to suck you back in. the truth is that my brother in law still lives there and i used my key to get in. It was a terrible trick to play on you, i know, i had you for a second at least! didnt i? maybe? Either way, these eggs may have had me cursing at the neighborhood kids, but i dont know if they could push me to commit a felony. well not yet at least, we are only on day one.) I digress. 8:19- happy dance time!!! I am dancing all OVAH that house. WHOOT WHOOT!! Thank god none of you were there to see it though, then youd really have something to laugh about! The karaoke D.J. refers to my dancing as "karaoke aerobics!". (i suppose it is also important for me to take another second to disclose that i only tried karaoke ONE TIME. it was a holiday and i had a little too much of the sauce...). 8:24- i must have hit some kind of wormhole on the way back to the house. Record time! I was thinking about stopping at the e.r. to have my heart implanted back into my chest, but i needed to take care of the important things first. Thats beside the point. so i get the eggs unwrapped and ready to put in the bator and start freaking out again. okay so these were sitting ALL NIGHT, but omg do they need to sit upsidedown for a while first? can they touch the other eggs? will it be bad to put in a second batch after work? will that effect lockdown? It was a minor recourring panic attack that i only had ten or so minutes to figure out, but thanks to BYC i got it all worked out within 20 minutes! yay! In this time i am running up and down the stairs from bator to computer and back again. i got a workout today! again! that sneaky boyfriend. I made it to work on time but was stressing all day about whether or not the bator was going to get too hot or too cold with the eggs in it. omg i am going to be the first person in AMERICA that kills an entire batch of eggs on the first day, arent i? By the end of the workday my desktop calendar was covered in doodles of eggs and baby chicks. I had every day of the hatch color coded, with important days such as candling and lockdown with extra fun squiggles and swirlies. i am obsessed. 6:00 pm- I have tucked the second batch of eggs into the bator. I think i might be at peace at this point but it could also just be delirium. Who knows who cares? I had a long talk with those eggs about stressing me out and what have you. I NICELY told them a bedtime story about little baby silkie eggs that drove a woman to the brink of insanity, but all hatched out perfect and healthy. then i gave them the stink eye.