3.30.2008

Cruisin'

No, that isn't a space ship coming for Lexi. It's just our outdated kitchen light and we aren't that close to Roswell anyways.



Nanna Case's present arrived. Lexi loves it! Steering conflicts a bit with her efforts to keep an eye on the bubbles while she makes her way around the house. She smiles the whole time but is quick to say "Uh Oh!" when she runs into stuff. Of course, she doesn't quite grasp how to turn the handlebars so she just keeps on pressing the gas and the wheels run against the wall.

3.27.2008

Before and After

Meet Honey. We "rescued" her almost a year ago. You'll see from the photos that she was in a bad way. I went to look at her to use as a lesson horse and was pretty shocked to see her in such condition. I decided I was taking her home whether she made a good lesson horse or not. I took her to vet pretty quick to make sure she didn't have any health problems. Turns out the only thing she needed was some groceries. I put a bale of grass hay in her stall, started her on a cup of senior feed a day and waited. I increased the senior feed by a little bit at a time until she was getting about 5 lbs. a day. She was de-wormed pretty heavily to help aid her weight gain process. It was 2 months before she was even healthy enough to start exercising.




I took the following pictures today. Honey is a happy, healthy 20 year old mare. She doesn't need grain to stay fit and enjoys horse cookies after her work outs. Turns out, this mare has been in the top 10 two times over at the Arabian Youth Nationals. She is fantastic with the kids and smaller adults. She is so well trained and so patient with new riders. She loves to have the attention the kids give to her when they come to ride her. In fact, the young girl riding her today is Maddy. She is going to be feed/leasing Honey. (They live next door.) Maddy has been taking lessons for a year and really wants her own horse. Honey doesn't have a kid of her own right now so I suggested they take her. They pay feed and maintenance costs and Maddy has her own horse to ride. You'll see from the picture of Honey's face that her eye is very different from the one above. She is happy, loved and comfortable.


Update

Allright, at least the jeans with the W next to the size are too big. Whew.

3.26.2008

24

I've had a messy last 24 (well really 36 hours). I'm feeling a little irritated and mostly tired. So, since this is my personal forum for being a whiner, here we go:

March 25, 2008 11:48 a.m.
I'm in ABQ, feeling good after having had a haircut. I have some extra time and decide to get the Excursion detailed. The windows had been left down during a wind storm about 2 weeks ago - yes, it took me that long to get it washed - and there was a good, thick layer of dirt, leaves, brush and part of a tumbleweed inside. They tell me it will take 40 minutes (took 90). So, being the hip child-free woman I was, I head down the sidewalk to Chilis for some soup and queso. I'm walking down San Mateo (think Corrall Hollow at 11th street for you Tracyites) and some very skilled city employee has left one square of the sidewalk about 3 inches higher than the rest. I totally eat it. I fell on my knees, getting some pretty good road rash while my purse flies out of my hands and promptly dispenses its innards all over for the world to see. I actually saw a man cover his mouth in an attempt not to laugh at me.

March 25, 2008 10 p.m.
I have insomnia. BAD. Sleeping for me is a total privilege. However, I went cold turkey from all medications to see what would happen. Sleep was elusive for the first few days, but since, has been easier for me to achieve. I'm feeling good and tired and ready to take advantage of my window of opportunity when Allen and I start having a "discussion". It ends without screaming or cussing (I think?), and he goes to sleep by 10:30. However, I am now a live wire. Midnight comes and goes, 1 a.m., 1:45 Lexi is up crying for milk, 2 a.m. Lexi is down, 2:45 is the last time I checked and knowing that the next day was going to suck.

March 26, 2008 7:30 a.m.
CRAP! I totally turned off my alarm and overslept. I get Lexi up, give her some milk, change into my work (riding) clothes, get Lexi's clothes, get her hair products rounded up, pack the diaper bag, put the extra groceries for the babysitter in the car, get Lexi dressed, try to catch Lexi to do her hair, open the front door and shoo Lexi out, scream out the front door for the stupid dogs to get back inside and finally get her to the sitters (10 minutes away) at 8:20. I race home, run out, try to hook up the trailer only to realize my stinger is no where to be found. I find one with the right ball size, wrong drop length, throw up my hands and hook up. I take out Smokey (a client's horse) saddle him up and tie him to the fence. I grab I Be Streakin, saddle him and lunge him since he the last time I rode him was January 28 (the day I got bucked off Diablo) and I'm planning on hauling him out to Polocrosse practice. It's 8:50 and I have to leave at 9:20. I un-tack him since I can't haul him with the saddle on since I have to put another horse in the trailer, realize that I don't have the time to work Smokey, un-tack Smokey, put I Be Streakin in the horse trailer (9:20) and go to get Gypsy. She decides she doesn't want to load (9:24). After a few minutes, we're on our way. I leave the gates open (a big No,No, but I'm short on time and everyone is put away anyhow) and take off to get Amy M.

March 26, 2008 10:00 a.m.
We made it to Polocrosse. As I step up onto I Be Streakin' my jeans rip in the ass. Yes, I said ass. Finally start riding at 11. I have to leave at 11:45 to get Lexi. It's a 1/2 hour drive to the field from my place so it was not the most effective way to spend the morning. But, we had a great time. I Be Streakin' rocks at everything he does. He's soft, supple, broke, and quiet around all of those other horses. I love him!

March 26, 2008 11:50 a.m.
Speeding down the road to get Lexi. We're still 15 minutes late. I put her in the car seat, get a whiff of something awful. Yeah, we got poop. And lots of it. After that special moment, we head off to home. We get to my house, unload horses and I have to take Amy M. home. Of course, Lexi falls asleep.

March 26, 2008 12:45 p.m.
Lexi is totally out. If I tip toe, she might stay down. I creep into her room, set her down, and POP! she's up and happy as a lark. Great. Well, gotta go to Walmart so we're out.

March 26, 2008 2:35 p.m.
Made good time at Walmart, but only got 1/2 of the stuff on the list because the cart was full. Because my favorite riding jeans were cut off of me in January and my second pair totally betrayed me today, I must buy some jeans for work tomorrow. The kind I bought have a W next to the size. Nuff said.
Lexi is beginning to melt down so we book it to the register. Thankfully, it's almost empty in the store. As luck would have it, I pull into the lane with the girl who likes to "shop" out of the cart of her customers. Oh, this is cute, oh that is nice, oh Alexis isn't overused like some names blah, blah - just hurry the crap up lady! Gosh. Lexi gets really frustrated, cries when I put the bags in the cart saying, "No momma, no!" like it was just killing her to see the bags in there. She asks for the toilet paper and proceeds to hold it like a baby. Then, it somehow manages to offend her and she throws it out onto the floor. On our way to the parking lot, the items under the cart come running out like they're making a break for it and one carton dumps it's contents on the ground and they proceed to roll around and down the road.

March 26, 2008 3:15 p.m.
Lexi is close to being totally asleep, but still alert enough that we may have a chance to get a little bit of a nap in. She is totally excited and eager to get her babies and blanket. I notice that her stupendous diaper has leaked so I change her and put her down and...Silence! Yee haw. I unload the groceries and decide to sit down and watch a few minutes of the boob tube. MAAAAMMMMAAAAA! Uh, uh. No way. Not going to acknowledge the child. MAAAAMMMAAA! Yuck! NOOOOO! At this point, my sanity has evacuated the building so I head back there to see what is up. Lexi, crying, pants off, diaper on the floor, and pee everywhere. I pick her up and she is saturated. Her socks are drenched. Her blanket is smelly. Into the bath we go. Bath was good. I get her out, get her dressed, and pick up the dirty laundry to wash it and she comes undone. BLANKET!!! She screamed so loud and for so long, Allen heard it outside even though he was doing construction work. She was especially pissed when the washing machine ate the blanket. UH.

March 26, 2008 5:15 p.m.
I'm in charge of mutual tonight. Smoothies and pedicures. The house is a mess, Lexi is still screaming, and I'm fraying by the minute. Mutual is cancelled. Sorry.

March 26, 2008 6:30 p.m.
We decide to head to Home Depot to get electrical wiring so Allen can finish the power for the new A/C. We stop at McDonalds on the way so Lexi can play a bit. All is well and good. Home Depot proves to be a nice family endeavor. As we're wrapping up, I hear Allen say, "Nice." Lexi has had a total blowout and there is this putrid smell and yellow stuff oozing through her pants. He runs out to change her and I go to the checkout. The only lane open is the self checkout. Only 1/2 of the plants are ringing up. It took me 15 minutes to get out of that abyss.

March 26, 2008 7:30 p.m.
Get Lexi inside and into bed. I run out to feed the horses. I find that my panels have been bent to crap. Looks like good old I Be Streakin' has been helping himself to Gypsy. I don't think he actually bred the mare, but she's not my mare! Not to mention, my panels are all screwed up. I fed the horses and head back in to do the dishes that haven't been done since the last time I did them. I guess the house elves are on strike again.

March 26, 2008 8:15 p.m.
Allen is running wire from the electrical box to the A/C unit. He has to snake 25 feet of wire through the conduit. He has this neat little metal fishing wire kit that makes it seem like the job is something we can do. We get about 2 feet from the end and the fishing wire comes out sans the electrical wire. We try again, only this time we slap Vaseline all over the place to help aid in "lubricating" the pathway. About 6 inches from the opening, the fishing wire comes popping out without the electrical wire again. Have I mentioned that in the last day I've fallen on my face, only had 4 hours of sleep, had my kid pee on her bed, and had my stud horse breed a performance mare that can't be bred because we need to use her! I tell Allen this is it. The $500 we're saving is starting to seem like a mistake and we better get this done. I suggest a way to anchor the fishing wire through the electrical wire and tell him to say a prayer. He does and as he says, "Amen" I add my own dash of hope. "This bitch better work this time." Yeah, I said it. This is only a family show most of the time. It worked!

March 26, 2008 9:00 p.m.
This is the day that never ends. It just goes on and on my friends. I get the dishes done and put away the last of the Walmart stuff. Inside is a collar for Chilli since his is way too tight. As I cut through the zip ties with the letter opener, I stab myself in the joint of my thumb. A fitting end to a not so horrible but pretty crappy by my standards day. And for those of you who say, "It could be worse" my advice is: Don't borrow trouble.

3.23.2008

The big 2





Today was Lexi's second birthday. She actually loved opening presents and eating her strawberry shortcake bday cake. I'm sure next Easter she'll wonder why she just gets a basket and some eggs instead of all the presents!

She got a trike, clothes and potty from us. We'll also be ordering a playground/swing set for the yard. She got a laptop computer, Spring shirt, book, coin purse and a donation to the playground funds from Gma and Gpa Riddle. The Dunlops sent her a cute shortall outfit. The Haleys a purple two-piece swimsuit with a little matching, sheer skirt to go over the bottoms. She got calls and cards from Great Grandpa Vincent, Grandpa Vincent and Aunt Rachel, Uncle Craig and cousin Nolan. Nanna Case sent a gift, but it didn't make it in time! Needless to say, she was inundated with cool toys and enjoyed all of them. Thanks!

Hippity, Hoppity Easter's here today





We had a great Easter today. Allen was scheduled to work all weekend, but actually got it off so we were able to have some quiet time as a family. We colored eggs this morning. Lexi liked telling us what color to do next and enjoyed putting the eggs back into their carton as you'll see in the video below.
Lexi found her basket from the Easter Bunny and enjoyed the Skittle she found in each egg. She also loved the mini Cadbury eggs, too. She looked super cute (no, I'm not biased) in her Easter dress.

When we got home from church, she had an Easter egg hunt. Now, every time she goes outside she says,"Egg? Egg? Egg?"

video

3.21.2008

Stop and smell the flowers

Yesterday we got a little Spring fever and bought some flowers to plant for the Easter holiday. We also bought everything we could fit in the cart for Lexi's birthday. That's a whole other blog though.

Allen and Lexi planted together this afternoon when he got home from work. She was very helpful and happy to assist.




3.18.2008

Another lesson in appreciation

Friday morning Allen came in around 7 a.m. from feeding and said, "Your stud is trying to colic." Immediately, my gut told me that something much bigger than a tummy ache was the problem. I called the vet and asked if he could meet me at the clinic.

Typically, when a horse colics, they don't eat, are breathing hard, kick at their stomachs, lay down, roll, sweat, and can thrash around. I Be Streakin' wasn't doing any of those but was sluggishly eating his breakfast. Still, I knew that I wasn't going to be able to take care of his problem myself.

I met Dr. at the clinic and got the "you know how to deal with this mild case, what's up?" look. I explained my feelings and told him to tube him and do a fecal sample. If I Be gets wormy, he'll get a tummy ache. Dr. checked his gums to see if they were a good color and they were bright red. Usually, with colic they are pale. So, he decided to run some blood work. We tubed him and gave him some Banamine (to help with the discomfort), tube de-wormed him and observed him for a bit. The blood work came back and his liver is really sick.

I asked if diet could be to blame. It's possible. Also could be cancer. So, we'll adjust his feed, give him probiotics, some beet pulp for hydration and go back in two weeks for more blood work. I'm really glad I went with my gut and took him in. He seems to be in good spirits, eating better and hasn't coliced since. Hopefully, we'll get his feed right and all will be well!

Monday, I took Mia in for her annual vaccinations and to check her thyroid. Dobermans are notorious for developing heart problems and the vet noticed she has a leaky valve. We took her to ABQ at 6 Monday night for an ultrasound. Many times, heart problems don't show up until they are already serious so the ultrasound lady was really worried. Thank goodness she only has a slight murmur, doesn't need medication and has lots of life left. Combined with I Be Streakin's episode and we've put almost $1000 into vet bills in 3 days time! Not a good week for our pets or our pocket books.

Saturday a 12 year old client of mine, and also a Beehive in my ward, came over to ride her horse. She pulls out her hard hat and I say, "You're going to wear a helmet?!?" She starts to tell me this horrible story: her 11 year old friend was trying to ride her horse and couldn't find a bridle. She called her dad who said it was locked in the horse trailer, to un-tack the horse and wait for him to get home to help. Mom was sick and trying to nap in the house. Some time later, the neighbor is roused because the dogs and horse are going nuts. The horse is running around with a saddle, but no rider. He goes into the yard and finds the girl with her skull crushed. She was still breathing so he went to the house to get the mom. No answer. So, he goes back out and she is still breathing but starting to have convulsions and is vomiting. Since she is breathing, he runs next door and calls 911. When he gets back, she has stopped breathing. They tried to airlift her to Albuquerque (she lives in the Jemez mountains about 2 hours away), but the weather was too bad. They transported her in an ambulance, picking up a special crew of EMT's along the way. When they got to the hospital, she had zero brain function, but her heart was beating. Amy (my client) and her parents got a call that the friend was in the hospital at 10 p.m. They were in ABQ for a youth Temple trip and headed over. As they got to the room, the crash cart was pulled in and she coded. The curtain was pulled and they were asked to leave because she had died. She was one of Amy's best friends. Amy rode on Saturday because she wouldn't have gotten on again if she didn't do it right then. She's been pretty upset and is a totally different rider. Who can blame her?

Life is fragile and precious. While we can't lock our kids in the house, we can do lots to make them safe. Even more, we can cherish them and make sure they know we love them.

3.11.2008

Spring Cleaning






I love my new office! It's user friendly, clean, easy to clean up and well organized. I have a few finishing touches to really make it awesome, but I already love working out there. Not to mention, the weather is phenomenal so being outside is literally a breath of fresh air.



I Be Streakin feeling great after a good clip

Cocoa also feeling all pristine after a good grooming and clipping

I went to a client's this morning and had two whole hours to clean the barn, clip and groom the horses, and get the place all ready for the horses coming this week. I Be Streakin loves to play and be groomed. He is so comical and fun to be around. I yell to him, "Come here, old man!" and he trots up no matter where you are at. If I drive the Excursion out there, the comes over and puts his head in the drivers side window. I shoo him off and he runs around, tail up in the air, and then comes back like, "Wait, aren't you going to scratch me?" Then, I got Cocoa all prettied up. The horses look so much better with their whiskers gone and all of the hair the shedding combed off. They really like the attention, too.

Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My!



Yesterday we went to the zoo with our friends Cayle and Cassidy. The weather was beautiful. The girls had so much fun. Lexi really likes the "oooh, oooh, ooohs" (Monkeys) and the "rars" (Tigers and Lions and most of the cats). She also took to the sea lions and seals.

We took a picnic lunch, fed the ducks and fish and ran around in the park area for a while. Grandma Riddle got Lexi a family pass to the zoo and BioPark for this year and I'm sure we'll use it a lot!


3.08.2008

Open for business







The inside of the barn is officially done! There are two complete stalls with mats, feeders, and stall guards. The hay is stacked, the tools cleaned up, the saddle racks up, bridle hooks up, and a cabinet to store all sorts of things too. Most of the tack is even put away. We are so relieved and excited.

We still have paddocks to build on the outside and a few lengths of fence to get done, but a huge part of the horse area is off of the list. Today the neighbors both said that they are really impressed with all that we've gotten done in such a short amount of time. We were grateful for their recognition. We can barely see all of the progress, but when we step back, we've done a lot! They are so happy to have neighbors who work hard and will keep their home in good shape. Our neighborhood is really good about that and we enjoy seeing manicured lawns, nice fences, flower beds, etc.

Thanks for all of your comments and for cheering us on. Allen has been diligent and pushed through the aches and pains of burn out. The next big thing is a play yard for Lexi and lawn. He's really glad to be "out of the barn". We look forward to the next phase. The harder we work, the faster it will be done!

Kids, Kids, Kids

Shannon and Ben left for Boise on Thursday. She came over Wednesday for a few hours to give the movers some space and get out of the mess. I held the babies for a bit, but wasn't that helpful since Lexi was up for some of the time. However, she loved the babies! She kept telling Emily "good girl" and was very cautious around them. She loved to see her Shannon again. We're really going to miss them. But, they have family in Idaho and hopefully, this will be a good career move for Ben. My mom lives about 20 minutes from their new house so I'm thinking we'll see them more often than not.


The next day, Lexi and I cleaned house all day. We must have done 5 loads of laundry, vacuumed, dusted, put up some pictures, re-arranged the dvd collection, and raked the front yard. I was in my bedroom putting away laundry and when I came out, I found Miss Lexi on the kitchen table! She had pulled a chair out, climbed up, and was pouring salt everywhere. She did try to clean it up with some napkins. Overall, we had a great day and really felt good about getting so much done..



3.04.2008

Just like Daddy



Lexi found the small bit of aluminum colored paint today. She got it on everything! She kept saying "yuck!" after her fingers repeatedly got stuck together. She smells great! Even after a bath in paint thinner and then a regular bath, she has a very strong chemical odor. Next time, I'm going to give her a brush and put her to work.

Back in the Saddle

I still feel like the bruising and cellulite are still having a fist fight on my backside, but I'm going back to work. I've actually been working with a client's horse for the last couple of weeks, but that is only two times a week so it doesn't really count for much in terms of being too exhausting.
I start with a new client tomorrow. Because of limited space, I am going to be working at her home. She has a really nice sized arena that was previously used for dressage (the big horses at the Olympics type stuff) so it's going to be just fine. She has two very nice horses and needs them in a fitting program. I go to her home twice a week.

On the 15th, I have two client horses coming here. They will be in part time training (3 days a week) so I'll be riding at least 5 days a week among the 4 I'll be working with. I am slated to be booked through July and I'm really pleased that clients are still coming even though I've changed my requirements a bit. Barring any unforeseen events, I should be at it for the rest of the Spring and through the Summer as a start.

Allen continues to plow through the work outside. He's been trying to work a couple of hours in the evenings after Lexi goes down if he can. The second stall is almost completely finished. He starts this huge test at work on Monday and will be working 6 or 7 days a week for a couple of weeks. This coming weekend is our last big push for the month.

The roadshow turned out to be a big success. The kids did great! They won for best props. One of the girls had a cosmetology head on top her head so they could "kill her with kindess" and lop her head off (she was called "Labanna" and was Laban of our day. The main character, Nathan, (Nephi) had to retrieve his newly earned temple recommend that she swiped.). She had this big coat on so you could only see the fake head and looked hilarious. I truly thought their skit was the best, but there were some really good ones. I guess we'll see if they actually learned anything at mutual this week.

Lexi has grown a ton in the last week. She's suddenly moving out of her 18-24 clothes and getting close to a 2T. She's gotten a little taller and her pants are actually fitting her waist. She continues to develop her speaking skills and says so many words and even some two word sentences. She likes to say "read book", "shirt", "coat" (she points at her armpits at the same time showing me where the coat is supposed to go on her body), " no nigh, nigh" and "Mia come!". She helped me unload the dishwasher and actually put stuff where it belonged. She also helped Allen wash some windows. We are so proud of her and amazed everyday when she does new stuff. My dad said that the 2-5 year old age was "magical" and I have to say I agree.

About Me

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What started as a way to communicate with far away friends and family has become a place for this horse trainer/HR manager turned stay at home mom of 3 girls to hold on to a bit of her own identity. It's my take on the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the thoughts and feelings, the mistakes and triumphs of this family as we bumble our way to eternity.