29 June, 2012


It's been a rough week for my perfect little (big) pony.

Last week, we had her tested for Lyme, since there has been a massive outbreak in our area this summer. On Monday, her Titer number was 1600, which is what they call chronic positive. The easiest method of Lyme treatment is twice a day dosage with a drug called Doxycycline. You treat for 6 weeks. Of course because of the massive outbreak, all the pharmacies are out. After two hours of phone calls, the uh-mazing staff at Roode & Riddle were able to wrangle me the 8 bottles that I needed, saving Mike and I almost $100. Whoop!

Treatment was started and all was well... until this morning. Willow came in for her breakfast, and I noticed that she was overly stiff, sore, and very wobbly behind. Not good. A call was placed to our vet, and after looking her over, the awesome Dr. Phil deduced that she had a simple absess in her right front. Talk about a relief. My brain had me thinking that she had some wonky neuro symptoms because of the Lyme.

The suggested treatment for an absess is a soak in a warm epsom salt bath. Observe:

Step 1:
Prepare soaking tub before dragging horse out. Coax giant lame mare around in a circle. Watch giant mare eyeball soaking tub. Begin prayer.

Step 2:

Beg giant mare to pick up foot. Curse at husband for taking unflattering picture of your backside. Assure giant mare that cursing was not directed at her, and continue begging giant mare to lift foot.

Step 3:

Give giant mare pats. Encourage her to keep her foot in the bucket.

Step 4:

Drag bucket to where giant mare has moved. Curse husband again. Thank the foot soaking gods giant mare did not tip bucket over and spill the water you had to heat up cup by cup in the coffee pot you were convinced was going to burn the place down.

Step 5:

Good Girl!!

Step 6:

Provide entertainment in the form of a small child in a front pack. (Yea, this horse is going to be in our family forever after this picture... I love them all!!)

Step 7:

Laugh as giant mare falls asleep and begins to drool. Become hysterical when drooling is followed by snoring.

Step 8:

Hold the ^*$#*! foot in the %*#&#(! bucket. Just kidding... take foot out after 20 minutes, give lots of kisses and snuggles. Promise a good graze outside.

Step 9:

Shake head at husband, who has decided to adorn your child with some weird looking 'flower' he claims is 'clover'. Express surprise when 'flower' actually stays in child's hair, and doesn't end up in her mouth, like 12 million other things.

Step 10:

Tuck giant mare into her house for the night, and oogle awesomeness and the size of those ears!

Rinse and repeat these steps once a day for 1-2 weeks!

It also helps to have an AWESOME mother, who will help with the childcare aspect of the day, while you are running to and fro like a chicken without a head. Buy her lunch, and remind her often of her awesomeness! Also, make sure to express much gratitude for her air conditioning, artichoke dip, and general baby whispering skill(z). Love you, Mom!!

22 June, 2012

Just Keep Swimming...

I've decided that that's become the theme of this week.

It started with a bang, and is now ending with quite a loud, obnoxious noise as well.

Monday started out with the day from hell. If a wrench could be thrown in the works, it was.

  • Shannon was a pill the entire morning at the barn so I ended up leaving an hour early, and not accomplishing a thing.
  • My cat was diagnosed with herpes, and I now have the pleasure of wrangling her twice a day to put drops in her eyes and shove a pill down her throat.
  • Milo somehow caught and dragged a live bird into the house. I opened all the doors and windows before finally managing to corral the thing in the bathroom, stun it with a blast from the shower head, and tackle it, football style, with a popcorn bowl. He did this 20 minutes before we had to leave for the vet. Dixie got so excited she peed all over the floor.
  • Shannon screamed the entire time.
  • Mike grabbed the wrong pair of pants, so away we went to bring him a new pair at the office, almost an hour away from the house.
  • Shannon screamed the entire car ride, then pooped up her back when we got there.
  • We made it exactly .02 miles down the road, when I couldn't take the screaming anymore. I pulled over in the B&N parking lot to nurse her before I pulled all my hair out.
  • Dixie, who came along for the ride, spotted another dog walking down the road. She totally lost her bologna and proceeded to pin-ball around the car, whining and barking, and just acting like a total fool.
  • Shannon decided there was too much action going on to eat, so she just screamed instead.
  • I give in and go into B&N to buy myself a book, as a reward for my hard work.
  • Shannon screamed the entire time, and all the way home.
Luckily we had Water Babies, and that was enjoyed by everybody. Mostly by me, because I found out that it's free!! Nothing is better than finding out that something you enjoy immensely is free as well. Whoop!

The rest of the week is has been far too hot for any troubles, although Shannon is on a nap strike and if I get one good one a day I'm lucky. I'm sure it has a lot to do with the heat. She's also getting really good at fighting bed time, and fusses enough through to night to keep me awake, but not enough to warrent going in and waking her up all the way.

She pretty much sums it up.

To add the icing to our already funky looking cake, Willow has tested positive for Lyme. Gah.

Luckily it's treatable. 90 Doxycyline tablets a day, for the next 6 weeks. I found cheap(er) bottles at Rood & Riddle Pharmacy.

What have I learned this week?

  •  I'm lucky that Lucca's issues aren't huge and that I have the resources now to make her comfortable.
  •  I'm lucky to be part of an understanding group of people, who don't mind holding crazy mare to get her feet done, because my kid is a hellion.
  •  I'm lucky to have a child who is beautiful and healthy enough to cause a ruckus.
  •  I'm lucky to have the oppurtunity to stay home with her and deal with the hard situations. 
  •  I'm lucky to have the ability to rock her to sleep, and provide her with comfort that she needs.
  •  I'm lucky to have a dog that provides me with company during the days when I am home alone.
  •  I'm lucky to have the extra few dollars to go into B&N and buy a book for myself.
  •  I'm lucky to have a husband who is so supportive, and allows me to complain to him, even when he can't physically help out.
  •  I'm lucky to have Willow, even if she can't be ridden, or all the goals that I have set for us seem to be utterly unreachable at the moment.
  • I'm lucky that we have the resources to treat her Lyme, and that we caught it before things turned yucky.
I guess that the best part of this week, was everything that didn't go right. I really was able to pull the positive out of all the messy situations, instead of giving into the overwhelming crappyness of it all and throwing myself one, large, week long pity-party.

Next week is a new week, and this weekend brings some family time, some barn time, and some shopping!

And hopefully more cooking with the 'girls' as well!

What more could I ask for! 

I'm just so lucky.

20 June, 2012

4 Months!

Holy crap!

I can't believe that our little peanut is 4 months old today. It seems like just yesterday we were loading her up and bringing her home from the hospital.

She's growing so quickly into her own little person!

She is so in love with her Daddy, as soon as he walks into the room and starts talking, her little head whips back and forth until she can see him, then she just stares at his handsome face and smiles! It seriously melts a Momma's heart! She loves to play with him, and he has been dubbed 'The Baby Whisperer'. He can usually always get her to sleep, no matter what the situation. She loves being 'up high' in his arms and will protest rather loudly when he sits down.

She's mastering the inch worm when we put her down on her belly, and is great at using her legs and head (?) to push/pull herself to her destination. We're still a bit unsure as to where she's aiming, but she gets pretty proud of herself! She's rolling from her belly to her back like a champ, and Mike gets a kick out of it everytime. She can get from her back to either side, but her shoulder seems to prohibit her from getting all the way back over. When we put her down, we usually have to reset her within 10 minutes because she's worked her way off the quilt and onto the carpet. Rug burn would be no fun!

We're full fleged into the teething, and she's got two little bumps on her gums right where her canines will be. Our little vampire baby! We've managed to keep 'most' of the hysterics in check with Orajel Naturals, Tylenol, and The Baby Whisperer. She's been taking more naps, and sleeping in a bit longer in the morning. Frozen washclothes are also a big help, and she loves to chew on them while watching an episode of Sesame Street.

She's still waking up once during the night to have a snack and is up for the day around 7, but welcomed her 4 month birthday by snoozing until almost 930!

As she's getting older, I've noticed that we can loosen up on her schedule a little bit more. We still go with the flow, but keep a loose idea of when we want to her her to bed/for naps by. If we have a long day, like we did this past Saturday, I let her take the next day to recoup and sleep as much as she wants. My general rule of thumb is to not ever wake her up from a nap or in the morning. I think it's important to give her body the extra rest that it needs to help handle the teething/growing that she's going through. She will NOT miss a meal, so I don't worry that she's not eating enough. As a result we have a happy girl! I've gotten really good at listening to her cues, and can usually tell what a tired cry vs. hungry cry vs. wet diaper cry is.

Lucca is pretty helpful too. ;-)

Yup. Still breathing Mom.
We're learning that anything she can reach will go in her mouth, no questions asked. Her favorite things to munch on, besides her washcloth, are my debit card, money of any sort, her fingers, and the dog's ear. We try to keep them all (with the exception of her fingers) out of her mouth. She's quick though!

Nursing is still easy as pie, and really doesn't even need an update. When the kid is hungry. She eats. That's it. I'm very proud that she's never had a drop of formula, and I intend to keep it that way. I've been thinking about starting her on solids, but she hasn't shown many of the signs and I don't feel that I need to push them on her. I'm excited to start though, as my plan is to skip over the traditional rice cereal and go right into baby led weaning. We all know that the best laid plans can be broken, and I'm staying flexible. :)

Shannon is also working on her vocabulary, and has started to yell when she gets really excited about something. We took her grocery shopping yesterday, and she panted and yelled the whole time. I also snagged some video for your viewing pleasure, because I happen to think that it's freakin' adorable!

Yes. I know. It's 4 minutes long.

This one is a touch shorter. :)

It's been a great 4 months so far, and I mean it when I say I can't wait to see what month 5 brings!

19 June, 2012

Manic Monday.

Yesterday was in.freaking.sane....

But first I have to tell you all what happened to me this morning, as it's just too weird and random not to share.

I woke up at Shannon's usual 7, and noticed that I had a missed phone call and voicemail from a number that I didn't have saved on my phone. I figured it was the vet calling to give me the results of Willow's Lyme test, and I was anxious, so I hit 'listen' before I even got out of bed. What I heard was this...

"Jim. Call me. I'm at home. I'm dying."


It was a raspy old man, and it really did sound like he was dying.

I listened to it again once more then called Mike. Umm.. panic much!? I wrote the number down, and called 911, because really, who wouldn't? The operator told me that he would track him down. In the meantime I'm wondering if I should try and track down this 'Jim', because his Dad was apparently at home dying. Mike white paged the number, and it traced back to a 68+ year old man about 90 minutes from where we live.

The 911 operator called me back, and told me that the man had mis-dialed, and that he spoke to his caretaker and everything was ok. From the giggle in his voice, I'm going to draw on the assumption that this has happened a few times before.

Still NOT the way I wanted to kick off my morning!

Back to the cluster that was yesterday...

Honestly, I don't want to re-live it, but trust me when I say that it was a disaster. It included pure chaos at the barn which resulted in me having to leave early and not get the chance to work my horse (again...ugh!!!!!), a live bird being released in my house (thanks, Milo), a cat diagnosed with herpes, the disaster that is teething, the police, and an extraordinary amount of poop.

I treated myself to a new book (it was either that or vodka, and since I'm rocking the whole breastfeeding deal...the book won), and thanked my lucky stars that I have a wonderful partner in Mike.

At least somebody found the positive in yesterday. I can learn a thing or two from this dog I tell you!

I also want to say a huge thanks to Mel! She's always there when I need her, is seriously one of my best friends, and an inspiring Mommy!!

18 June, 2012


Yea, that pretty much sums up my life for the past week.

The teething monster has hit our house full force and has brought a lot of frustration with it. I can't seem to get anything done without some major drama from the miniture unit. That's being a Mom though. I used to think that I was pretty even tempered...not anymore.


Last Monday, Shannon and I had our first Water Babies class at the pool and it was a lot of fun! Shannon loved being in the water and so did I!

There were more younger babies than older, and we sang songs and practiced our kicking mostly. We're pros at kicking. Mike was there to watch the whole thing go down, and I'm excited to go back tonight! We have way more pictures than is normal.

The rest of the week zoomed by in a blur of errand running, and shopping. Somebody grew out of her clothes overnight it seems like.

Saturday we had my little sister's high school graduation! It was a lot of fun to be back at my old stomping grounds and to see a few of my old teachers. Everybody around us was enamored with Shannon, but I'm not sure if the same goes for her.

She preferred to just take a nap on Nana. It was great to have all the family in one place, though, and we're all pretty proud of my sister!!

It was a bit bittersweet for my parents, however, as it was their last high school graduation! Their house is going to be very quiet in the fall!

We also took the oppurtunity to get a 4 generation picture, while all the family was in one place. I thought that was pretty nice, and we always love the oppurtunity to take pictures!!

Me, Lainey, Mom, Abby.
Mimmie, Shannon, and Grandma!

Take note of how I'm not only the oldest and most underdressed (I had to do chores that afternoon as well...not so fun in a dress and heels) but I am also offically the shortest.

After chores were done and graduation was thoroughly celebrated, we loaded back up and headed to St. Johnsbury to particiapte in the Relay for Life!

I've never been to one, and it was a very sobering experience. We got there just as they were doing an hour of silence, and seeing all the remembrance bags lit up was very emotional for a lot of people, including myself. I think I was swallowing the lump in my throat for the entire hour. Mike's Nana and Aunt passed away from cancer, so it was really important to him that we go. His Mom works the event with her team every year. After the hour of silence passed the fun really began! They had a live band, poker walk, AMAZING raffles, and the MC was pretty hilarious. We walked for about two hours and Shannon was a trooper the entire time!

After some minor drama and some puke on the way home, we stumbled in the door at an obscene hour and all fell into bed. Shannon woke up at 5 and I brought her into bed (something I hardly ever do anymore) and we all snuggled until almost 11! A great start to Mike's first Father's Day!
We spent the rest of the day as a family, and got caught up on the laundry while Shannon napped the rest of the day away. We hit up Chilie's for an early dinner, and then walked around The Christmas Tree Shop (read: my favorite store on the entire planet) for a little bit while Shannon fell asleep...again. I'm really starting to get big on using mason jars in the kitchen to store things like sugar, flour, coffee, etc., so we picked up a few of those and we also got Shannon a beach tent! It's supposed to be about 90 the next few days, and while Mike gets to hang out in the air conditioned comfort of his office, we girls have to tough it out at the beach. Since Shannon is still too young to use sunscreen, the $16 tent was something that I've had my eye on!

Today has been so beyond hectic, I'm not even going to take the time to type out a post, as we've got about 20 minutes to eat and get changed before heading off to swim class!

10 June, 2012

Weekend Recap!

Our Saturday started looking a bit like this.

Shannon was up pretty early, so Mike took the oppurtunity to enjoy the weather with some much needed time fishing. It was 'Free Fish Saturday', and he took advantage of it for sure. Shannon, Dixie, and I took a nap on the couch for a bit.

Then woke up to this.

Yea, that's a dog on my dining room table. She was growling at Shannon's balloon.


Mike came home and we made a much needed shopping trip. Hannafords was full to the brim, and I have to say that I enjoyed the people watching a bit more than was normal. I also scored a sweet new pair of flipper floppies, since Dixie has had a ball beating my other pair to a pathetic pulp. We spent $6 and it was the best purchase of the day. :)

After our grocery adventures, I was lucky enough to head out to the barn to do afternoon chores, and work the Mare.

Willow was freakishly good. I just stuck her bridle on, and played around a bit on the lunge line. I'm working on installing a voice enabled breaking system, and so far so good. When you're starting young horses, breaks are always a plus because steering is iffy at best.

She was really light on the line, and didn't take much convincing to come back to me. We lunged all over the ring, not just in our usual circle and she didn't care about that at all. I had more control then I've had this entire time, and didn't use the side reins or anything. I was so proud of her. The next issue that I decided I want to address is how when she goes to the right and I ask her to halt, she swings her butt around so she's facing the opposite direction.

I ended up 'whoa-ing' her, and then walking to the end of the line and making her stand to the count of 5, then doing lots of praising. We did it once and called it good. She's so smart, and it's SO important to end on a good note with her that I didn't want to push it. Then she comes up with new battles, and I'm good with one a day.

She got a nice bath, which went well for the first 3/4 until she decided that the water MUST. BE. DEADLY. and proceeded to spook, run backwards, and jump about like a fool. I lined her up next to the fence and sprayed the suds off while she ran forward, then back, then forward, then back over and over again. I finally held the water stream on her and called the adventure quits after she stood quietly for a 5 count. Lots of praise and carrots.


I turned her out and wanted to take a video of her lovely trot out to meet her buddies...this is what I got instead, as she decided to have a 'Thoroughbred moment'.... Enjoy the genius.

I love the moment when her motor kicks in though.

Mike cooked up some knock-your-socks-off burgers for dinner and we enjoyed them with a glass of wine, then put the plus one to bed.

Sunday morning came a little too quickly (moreso for me, since Shannon decided that 2, 430, and 530 would be good wake up times. I ended up bringing her into bed with us at 530 so I could squeak another hour of sleep in before my alarm went off.

Thank you Lord for giving me the ability to nurse laying down! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

When the alarm went off, I got up to swap this.... 

For this...

I finished chores in record time and while Mike was hoofin' it to Albany (poo) and Shannon ended up enjoyed my sister's Senior Brunch with my Mom and Dad, I got to ride my girl!

Normally she is a loony on the cross-ties when everybody else is outside and she's inside. Today she was actually acting like a normal horse. I was floored! It was also about a million degrees, but I'm going to blame it on my powers as a trainer.


I lunged her in full tack with side reins today, and she was even better than yesterday. We are focusing on slow (we're talking western pleasure jogs here) since she is such the forward type. She listened like a champ and didn't even flick an ear when a certain adorable little baby raised much Cain. (Not my baby, a four legged baby.) Her right side stopping was even improved! She turned to face me, instead of flinging herself all the way around. I did the same thing that I had done the previous day though. Made her stand while I walked to the end of the line, held for a 5 count, and then lots of 'GOOD GIIIIIIRL!'

Even though it's been two weeks since I sat on her last, I swung right up and she walked off like a champ. We did some solo flying, and she makes it very clear when she's had enough because she'll dive in to stand next to B. When that happens, we'll do another half circle, a whoa, pat and dismount.

Again, it's all about ending on a good note and making her feel good about herself.

Another bath was had, and when I left it looked a bit like this...

It's cool if I drool over my own girl, right?

(I actually took these on Saturday, but I'm too lazy to scroll up and add it, but it still looked the same when I left. Willow is the one in the middle, rockin' the fly mask.)
I picked a happy Shannon up at her Nana's and spent some time with them before heading home to sink into the couch for some baby cuddles and a movie while we waited for Big Daddy-o to come home. A good day was had by all (except maybe Mike, who spent it driving).