Saturday, March 23, 2013

It's All About Me

O. M. G.
I feel like a dork even writing that. But it's true. I love when stuff is all about me. No joke. I'm a Leo. And let's be honest...the past couple of years have not been much about me. I had to start a blog just to talk about MY feelings on things. Which is a super stealthy way of making things that aren't about me...all about me. Awesome.
Anyway, James is doing well for now. And for the past year and a half or so, he's been a bit easier on a day to day basis. But we went and had Eve. And because of my previously admitted distaste for making formula, I nursed her for a bit over a year. And she didn't take bottles. She basically weaned this summer when James was in the hospital because she had no choice. But then she fussed or cried herself to sleep for several months (although at least she was finally sleeping through the night). This is not anything millions of moms don't deal with, and lots of them have many more kids. But...this is all about me, so I don't really care. Point is, I haven't had a full day away from kids since James was born. Let alone a day and a night. Or two....let's not make this depressing...
So I'm working on taking back my life...just a little. I don't want to not be around my kids. I love them with everything in me. But, sigh, I feel like its time for me to do some stuff. I don't know what. I guess it doesn't really matter. But stuff. I've done some girls nights/days (I actually don't feel the need to be away from my husband either, but he IS the best babysitter I can find sooo (except for Elisabeth and Gabi....we still haven't gotten over you guys), attempted spa days, several questionable activities (shush, mind out of gutter), and the craziest yet---I've started running. I hate running. Or I did anyway. I mean like for all my 30 years, I've detested it. But about 2 months ago, it was freezing cold, but I needed a quick workout and I just didn't want to hang with Jillian or get on the stupid elliptical again while Eve and James tortured each other (and me) the entire time. So I waited for Tom to get home, bundled up, and off I went. I found that I loved the playlist on my phone, the alone time (with the exception of Pata and Dimple), and the fact that once you run a couple miles one way, you have to turn around and run home. So you're locked in. I also love my barefoot running shoes. Since I'm barefoot ALL THE TIME, I think proper running shoes were too much of a shock to my system. But my barefoot shoes rock.
Anyway, I never thought it'd become my thing. But now it's my thing. I run...regularly. So weird. Now why this hasn't translated into a rock hard body with perfect abs....I'm not entirely sure...good thing horses taught me that life isn't fair.

I do have good company on my runs though!

Friday, March 22, 2013

20 Reasons Why Horse Chicks Are So Cool

Growing up riding has certainly shaped the person I am, and I feel like it's important for me to write about because it is definitely a big part of how I've made it through the last few years with my sanity largely (?) intact. It's a, but in mostly good ways. In recent discussions, it's been decided that pretty much all horse chicks are pretty awesome. Here's why, in no particular order.
1. Horse chicks are hot. It's just true. Ask anyone.
2. Horse chicks can function well on very very little sleep.
I used to go out to a pub, or a club in DC, and get home so late that by the time I fed my horses and made coffee, I was late for work. Granted, work started before 5am, but still. And when you have horses, you ride and care for them no matter what. I think it's a skill that a lot of people are lacking. Now I have kids and the same thing still applies, I mean without the staying out at a bar all know what i mean. I never skipped work due to a hangover or cause I was sick or tired. I only skipped one time and that was for an ingrown toenail. You can't put a boot on with that shit. And I was heckled for weeks.
3. Horse chicks can do pretty much anything one handed.
When you're on the horse, you have to be able to adjust stirrups, girth, bridle, and get the buckles to function with one hand. On a racehorse you do it while in motion. Great skill when you have kids and life in general.
4. I can open a beer bottle with a girth buckle.
This pertains to nothing. I just think its a good skill.
5. It's real. Horse chicks can literally fix anything with duct tape and/or baling twine.
People think we are kidding. We are not. I've impressed the boys working at the CoOp at my abilities to secure something to a Prius (God I sound cool...), and I've fixed more toys with duct tape than I can count. Works better than glue.
6. Most of us are good with pain.
This pertains to so many things. And again, just a good skill to have.
7. We can laugh at anything, even if its inappropriate, or especially when it's inappropriate.

Mike Burns Photo
Horse chicks are just fun(ny) people. You learn to laugh first when you break your arm(s), and cry later. You may not learn it right away, but you learn to roll with the ups and downs of injuries and worse, and how to move on and keep positive. Laughing is always good. Why take a bad or awkward situation and make it NOT funny....
8. Very comfortable with gross stuff. Very. And never have a problem getting dirty. Ever.

Mike Burns Photo
9. We can drink (and certainly have drunk) many an Irishman under the table. Champagne is basically soda. I mean, except way better. I NEVER drink soda.
Again, I just think this is a good skill...
10. "Life isn't fair and neither are horses." Lizzie Olmstead
You can do everything right and something can still go wrong. You can work all year for one competition and your horse can step on a pebble the wrong way and you're stayin home. And you roll with it. Good life lesson to learn. Over and over and over and over....
11. Horse chicks can drive anything. You want to teach a girl to be a good driver? Put her beloved horse in a trailer behind her. I've been driving a trailer since I was 15. I can't even count the times I've heard: "that's a big truck for such a little girl." Awesome. Anyway, I can use mirrors like nobody's business. I do not trust the little camera screen on the Prius. When I was 16, I used to have to back my trailer uphill, around a turn, and thread the needle in between a dumpster and the other trailers (Dana, if you're reading this I'm sure you're laughing). I'm pretty sure I can drive backwards better than forwards. That may not be useful ALL the time...but still.
12. Multitasking.
Have you ever been riding a horse, teaching someone else, texting, listening to music, while removing the sweatshirt underneath your jacket one handed? I think not.
13. Serious horse chicks can pee anywhere and quickly. It's amazing how much time you can save by pulling to the side of an off ramp, jumping into a trailer full of horses, and peeing without getting stepped on (makes for real broke horses too). This can be done in under a minute. I guarantee.
Not only this, but peeing in a stall is necessary for a horse chick. It also has to be learned how to do it super stealthily. You'll never know.
14. Horse chicks can rake a dirt aisle in any formation you'd like. Diamond pattern? Straight lines? You name it. This isn't super useful because we will basically never do yard work...but still.
15. I think we all have an amazing ability to coil a hose or a leadrope beautifully. But we probably won't do this at home either, so...still.
16. Today I gave two horses baths and turned them out while wearing flip flops (and pushing a stroller, but that's neither here nor there). In a pinch, horse chicks can rock whatever footwear necessary. Tall show boots all day? Fine. Paddock boots? Lovely. Go feed and turn out horses late at night in high heels and an evening gown? Done.
17. So super strong. Horse chicks can lug water buckets and carry a bale of hay in each hand, hold on to a runaway horse, not to mention ride for hours. Who does that?
18. So super stubborn.
This benefits no one but us, but I think if managed properly, it's a good thing. We will get done whatever we set our mind to. Sometimes I feel bad for my husband, but he knew what he was getting into. I already apologized to my parents. They laughed because they're waiting for my daughter to grow up.
19. This is hard to explain...but...

YouTube Video

20. Lightening quick reflexes. In theory anyway. But think about it, and it makes sense. I didn't actually get this trait, but I'm not super normal...

I basically fell off the fence right after this. HOWEVER, I did not drop my red Solo cup of bubbles. Priorities.
(FYI, these photos were all, clearly, taken by the incredible Mike Burns of who came to take some really awesome shots at our farm and captured some fairly interesting moments and also took some beautiful pics. Thanks Mike!!)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Batter Up

I. Am. So. Frigging. Tired. Of. Making. Pancake. Batter.

This is actually dumb. But I am. For 2 years I made that stupid concocted formula for James' bottles and then tube feeds. And I was so tired of it. When Eve was born I nursed her for a full year because (one) it's the best of course, and (two), I never wanted to make formula ever again. Ever.

Now I make pancake batter. All. The. Time.
I don't even have to measure anymore.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Nudging normal?

Maybe. Cause I mean really, I don't know Normal very well. So we may be nudging a complete stranger, but still. Getting closer?

James is really great. I say that a bit tentatively because I'm a bit gunshy. But he is eating better and better and his gut seems to be behaving more.....normally! His face and color are so much better and while he's not made it to 29 pounds, he's sloooowly climbing the 28 range! He asks for a few different types of food now which is amazing and every day he surprises us with something new we didn't know he could do. I think it's just been sitting in his brain waiting to come out! He consistently gets good marks at school and has SO much fun. As his body is feeling better, he's getting so much more brave.
For now we just keep on keepin on. Seems like this protocol is healing the damage, and then we will see if there's anything else we will learn about or need to do.

In the meantime, Eve continues to be a rock star, riding in the car all over creation and being hilarious. She's talking (kind of) and completely idolizes her big brother, copying everything he does and then usually taking it to a whole other level....

Waiting to pick James up from school

There should be a name for this...I'm just not sure what...

Da Bing

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Alright folks! We have made it past (a little) 28 pounds! I'm terribly excited, but the past 5 (literally) times this has happened, then he's lost a pound for one reason or another. 1 day to lose a pound, 2-3 weeks to regain it. Honestly, if this were ME, I'd have no complaints. As it stands...sigh.

The greatest thing about our current status, besides a feeling of relief every time he stands on the scale instead of dread, disappointment, or tears (omg, that sounds so depressing, sorry pity party), is that feeding is soooo much more pleasant. He's actually starting to show interest in food other than a pancake and is eating more and more by himself without reminders. It so wonderful to see. Meals are going so much faster and without me wanting to tear my hair out. And without James wanting to tear his hair out, more importantly! On Fridays he eats lunch at school with his friends and our speech therapist, and he's SO happy doing it. She (awesomely) sends a written or emailed write up after every session. This past Friday was so fun to read. Apparently he had started eating before she even got there and was chatting with his buds (wish I had a hidden camera for this). He was taking complete bites and chewing and taking some initiative. It's such a turn around from just a few weeks ago. Also amazingly, someone makes a rice cheese that looks (a kind of tastes) like Kraft singles. Now, I'm all about all natural, as we all know, but Kraft cheese is crack for kids. And if my kid is going to be so excited to eat it, then by all means, eat it!! Also amazingly, there are 2 versions of rice cheese: regular and vegan. The regular version has Casein from dairy in it, vegan does not. Quick question: why on earth would you choose to eat fake rice cheese if you were able to consume dairy??? It makes no sense. It'd be like getting a gluten free cracker and dusting it in wheat flour. Or ordering a diet coke with your Big Mac, which I'd totally do, but still. It makes no sense. That's my tangent for the day.

So things are pleasant for now and we'd like to try to keep them that way. It's at this time that sometimes we get over excited and try to be more normal. It usually backfires so we plan on sticking with our abnormalness for a while. It suits us. ;). But prayers, please, for onward and upward. We are still treating the symptoms here, instead of the root cause, but are hopefully buying more than just time until one is found!