Thursday, December 31, 2009

ringing in 2010

I sit here in my basement, listening to the sounds of the kids playing "pet shops" on the living room floor, happily sipping my warm (sweet and creamy) coffee, sucking the remains of some chocolate off my teeth, waiting for 2010. Bill and I just had a nice cuddle (now he is plugged into WOW for the evening) my belly is full- baby is quiet and for the moment I am comfortable... what a great opportunity to reflect on what the past year has given us, and look forward to what we are yet to receive.

2010 is surely going to begin an amazing adventure for us; with the ever approaching arrival of the baby, things will certainly be changing! I am anxious for the stroke of midnight, the drop of the ball... I am so ready to meet this lovely little boy, but I also have some trepidations... this will be uncharted water for all of us! 2009 was quite an interesting year- with many highs and lows... and when I think about where we have been, where we have come and where we are headed it becomes a bit overwhelming! I think we are ready: the kids are happy and healthy and doing great at school. The critter are all well; Beau seems to be holding his own (thank our lucky stars and knock on wood!) and I am looking forward to riding in the spring! My ankle is healing well, PT is going great and I am getting stronger every day, despite the ever growing abdomen. We are physically ready, financially ready, and hopefully emotionally ready for our new little one and I can't wait to meet him. To see what he has in store for us; to begin this new chapter in our lives. 2010 is shaping up to be a great year.

Beyond the new baby, Bill's Mom and Dad bought back their original home and will be moving back to the farm this spring. My Mom and Dad just purchased a cabin an hour or so North of here- what will prove to be a lovely place for us all to meet for summertime (well, winter too!) fun and relaxation. I hope to be back in the saddle fairly quickly come spring... if baby and ankle allow! I want to revisit Acadia, start some home modifications (another bedroom and bath... maybe a mudroom too?!) and just enjoy time with our family. Remembering to take time with each of the kids individually will be a top priority, but beyond that what 2010 has in store for us is anybodies guess.

Monday, December 28, 2009

37 weeks

Today marks the 37th week of our pregnancy, and brings me to 3 weeks from my due date (Jan 18th) and I sure do feel pregnant today! I have a bit of an ache in my back, and my feet are killing me! Ok, so I've also been off my crutches for a full week now, and that might be part of the feet problem... I did quite a bit of putzing around the house today too, sorting thru our bedroom and putting away our Christmas gifts, cleaning and doing laundry etc. So, maybe I just over did it. Either way, my belly is big... my ankles and feet are too and I think he may be getting a little lower. My physical therapist (whom I have been seeing 3xs a week) asked if I felt like he was heading downward- she thought my belly looked lower today. I have an OB apt tomorrow and will ask about some aches and pains I have been developing; but I am pretty confident that we still have a while longer to go. He has been stuck right up under my right ribs for a while now, and while he may be a bit lower in his jabbing, I can still feel him quite high up... not that I have anything to relate this to, but something tells me he isn't ready yet! We have our final birthing class Wednesday night, I have his bag packed for the hospital but not mine. I keep putting it off, as I don't have a good suitcase to use, or enough stuff to put things in and not use them for what could be 3 or more weeks. I got a few more things for Christmas (the next size in our cloth diaper stash and a play mat- thanks Mom!) and feel pretty good about being ready. The car seat needs to go into the car, and there is the bag to pack, but otherwise I'm feeling pretty ready!

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Christmas came to our house yesterday! There were three very happy and excited kiddos around these parts... We had a wonderful (all-be-it long) day! I have learned a thing of two over the years, and thus they were told 7am was the magic hour. They were welcome to get up at any point, however they couldn't wake ANYBODY (siblings or parents) until 7am. About 5:20 or so the first of the little feet began to pitter patter over my head, and bless their little hearts they fed the horses and just ogled the piles without touching anything! Around 6:30 I started to rouse Bill, and he was awake enough at 7 when they came down to get up without grumbling. A first as far as I can remember! I'll have to do this again next year as it worked out very well for us, the kids were just about bursting with excitement and Bill was much happier! I had set up the coffee pot, so it just needed to be switched on and the horses had their breakfast and we were ready to go... Santa was good to us; the stockings and tree were loaded!
Clearly a major highlight of our Christmas was Olivia's big gift. Bill and I got her a cell phone... she has been pestering us for one, assuring us she "needs" it... and we agreed that the time was right- Kids and technology. sheeze! She was certainly thrilled. We got her a very nice touch screen model and added her to our plan- so she can make calls and text and we will go from there. I had the grand idea to hide the box among the gifts (I fully charged it, wrapped it last second and left it turned on) and then ring it under the tree. I thought we could have her squirm for a while and ring it a few rounds before she found it, but Billy guessed the box right away and she opened it among her first gifts! She was one happy girl~ Bill on the other hand is a bit jealous. He thinks her phone is nicer than his...
The phone was a big deal for Olivia but I got spoiled too! Bill got me the most amazing gift, and I felt a bit badly as we said we weren't going to do presents for each other- you know how this goes... but, with the financial stress of the season as well as baby expenses, we really didn't need to do extravagant things for each other... we really have all that we need. I did mention though, that before the baby comes there are a few things I want... a new camera (a nice SLR please!!) and a new head for our central vacuum... Well Mr. Houston listened and spoiled me terribly. He presented me with a lovely new Canon EOS and I couldn't have been more excited! We had fun playing with it, and some of these shots were taken once I figured it out... I am so happy to have a nice camera to record the baby with! I love my Easyshare, and have not had much trouble with it... I just really wanted an upgrade. For sure, an unnecessary expense, but man oh man... I sure am one lucky lady! And, to boot- I got him bedroom slippers.... sigh.
Savanna got a new camera too, and a docking station for her i-pod. Auntie Anna passed her her "old" phone to use until the contract expires so she was pretty happy at the end of the day. She also got clothes and some toys- Wii stuff and an easy bake oven plus some other goodies too. Billy got a new bike, a few DSI games he has been coveting and was the major impudence behind an X-box 360 (which is for the family, but was something he asked for) and a few games for it. He got pokeman cards, spy gear and a nerf set/game as well as some "constructable" gifts: legos and erector sets, playmobile. Olivia got her phone and a drafting table as her major gifts. She got some great art supplies and clothes too. A few computer and Wii games and she was pretty stoked with her gifts. All in all, we were all spoiled and treated to all the things we really wanted and had a great day with family around.
We opened as a family in the morning, then Bill's Mom and Dad and sister/brother in law arrived for a yummy brunch. We had round 2 of gifts with them and cleaned the living room for a second time! Then later in the afternoon my parents and sister/brother in law and nephews arrived for round 3! We had some munchies opened AGAIN and picked up paper and boxes AGAIN then all packed into the car and headed up the street for a lovely dinner at Anna and Ed's. Bill's sister Anna just redid her upstairs, including kitchen/dining/living room and we had a very nice meal there with both sides of our family. Even Bill's farther afield sister Krista and his brother-in-law Brad made it from Mass. It made for a long day (especially for my Mom who worked nights at the hospital Christmas Eve.) but the kids were great, and we made it thru without a meltdown! I was so impressed!
I love Christmas and in my opinion today marks the countdown until next year... I get so excited at the opportunity to spoil the kids and love watching them light up as they get all the things they really don't think they could possibly get. Today Savanna is a bit run down and fighting a bug... but otherwise we are just playing with our new stuff; enjoying the gifts of the season. It is such a nice treat to have a restful relaxing day to recover and relish in the love and generosity of our family and friends! Now we can start anticipating next year, and now the baby countdown really begins!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Well, I think it is official. We have decided on Benjamin Jack Houston. I think that Olivia, Savanna, Billy and Ben sounds nice, and really like the way it all flows. Bill is still requesting that we wait and see him for the final call- He wants to retain the right to change back to Westley (or Wesley) if he has red hair. Bill has a feeling he may be redheaded, and in that case he thinks Wes will suit him better. But for now, Ben it is!

Christmas tree '09

Getting the tree- as far as I am concerned, walking out into the tree farm and scouring the snow for the perfect shape and size is among the best parts of the process. I certainly remember tagging and cutting our trees as kids, and hope that these kiddos fondly remember the "hikes" thru the snow and such. I remember the year Bill felled the tree onto Olivia and I watched as she was "leveled" by the falling tree! We laughed about it on the way out to get our tree this year, and I was sad to have to stay in the truck. You never know what might happen out there!
We cut our tree from a small local farm across the street from my friend Linda's home. Beau and I (and Sonny once too I think) have trail ridden thru this farm and although I don't pay too much attention to them, we have ridden among the Christmas trees. So, in that respect I felt "connected" to our tree in a way I never have before. Bill and the kids did a great job picking one out... its a bit "thin" with spare branches and an uneven shape- but it has tons of character, and I think they got us a good one!
The girls helped Bill set it up, while I rested in the recliner. The did a great job, and we are enjoying the new spot Olivia picked out. We moved the bookcase, and will use this space for the baby's pack-n-play after the holiday. It is a bit close to the stove, but we are careful to water every day and it is doing great! I was afraid it might get too dry... but we have been really lucky- that's the difference with a fresh tree. Plus the change is furniture is fun for the kids, and I am enjoying it too, now that the recliner has been moved back into a usable position.
The kids did a great job decorating. Olivia strung the lights, and we all helped with the balls and ornaments. Grandma and Grandpa Houston arrived just as we were finishing up, and we were all able to enjoy the glow after the sun went down. I sure do love the shimmer and shine of all the Christmas decorations.
Bill is always a bit "bah-hum-bug" with the tree- and he was annoyed with me stressing him out about the horses, so this was his view. I think he put one ornament on at the very end after Savanna begged him! He drank coffee, took pictures and just let us enjoy the process. I had to do most of my work from my rolling desk chair- but all in all the tree came out great!

I'm sure like anything, beauty is in the eye of the beholder- but I think it is lovely. It has all of our family ornaments and colored lights and balls, and plenty of candy canes! I wonder what the tree will look like next year?! I suppose with an 11 month old, there will be far fewer balls at ground level!

4th grade Chorus Concert

Savanna had the opportunity to join either (or both) Chorus or Band this year. She opted to sing and we were so proud of her for picking it up, and sticking with it... she really enjoys music, and we knew she would do well... but it meant giving up a few recess periods and going to practices etc. She did great, practicing at home and really being involved at school.
This past Monday was their holiday concert- I didn't get any good shots of them up on the risers singing, but Olivia managed to snap a few of her waiting. She wore her holiday outfit (well shirt and necklace) from last year with brown leggings and the high heeled brown boots she has been coveting of Kate's. Kate is such a great friend... she gave them to Savanna for Christmas, and our little singer was thrilled to wear them to her concert! The kids were great- they sang beautifully. I know I am biased, but Savanna and Kate were in the front row right in the middle and sang their little hearts out! I think we have a Tony award winner in the making- she ate the audience right up, and was all smiles and swayed to the music. I love the sounds of little voices ringing in the season, and Savanna and her chorus made it extra special this year!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sibling Class

Even though these kids are "older" and pretty experienced at being brothers/sisters, I wanted them to have the full experience with this new baby. So, last night they went to sibling class! Well, actually it wasn't really a class- a private run thru for them as we had to miss the class Monday (Billy's concert) night. They did diapering and dressing, got to see the hospital rooms and all the equipment and watched a pretty lame video. I think the usual brother/sisters they get are much younger, but Savanna for one was very excited to have HER class... since Daddy and I go to ours all the time! They made cute fleece blankets for the baby and hopefully got their questions answered and a sense of comfort with the hospital and birthing unit. One more event down, and another day closer to bringing him home!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

2nd grade Holiday Concert

There is nothing like 200 K-2nd graders singing jingle bells to get you in the Holiday mood!
Monday was Billy's Christmas concert- the school and music teacher do such a nice job putting on an evening of holiday cheer. The kids were all so cute in their Christmas outfits, and we love to watch Billy interact with his peers and perform up on stage! This will be his last year in the "little" kids concert- next year he will be in the 3-5th grade group! Savanna is in the chorus in 4th grade and we will attend her concert next week, but there really isn't anything else like the sound of so many little voices to make my heart swell for the season!

It's Off!

Monday morning I had my follow up at the Orthopedics's office. I was thrilled when they took the hard cast off- even before x-ray! On film the ankle looked great- there is quite a bit of hard wear, I was impressed with how it all looked from the inside. Based on the great level of healing, and the support of all that metal the Dr. suggested we skip the air boot and get right to walking!
Since I only have 6 weeks until my due date, that was fine with me! This way we get right on to weight bearing, and hopefully I'll be walking without the crutches in a few weeks, and by January will maybe be feeling back to normal! For now though... it's pretty ugly!
The whole limb is massively swollen and looks pretty icky... not maybe as bad as it could, but still pretty gross with dead skin and such. I took the liberty of soaking in 3 tubs full of hot water before I took these, so you wont be too disgusted! The swelling is such that the leg has no real definition, it's quite alarming sometime to look down at it! The scar (in my opinion- having no other scars) is pretty impressive, and will likely be visible even after the healing is complete. Oh well, battle scars and good stories- I'll have them both!
The top of my foot, and heel are a pretty purple and red combination, while the incision site is still pretty red too. The edema should go down in a few weeks, especially if I am able to slowly start to work it. Small steps for now, with the crutches or pushing a chair ahead of me... 2 weeks or so and hopefully I can go unassisted... then a few more weeks for strength and flexibility... then it will be baby carrying time! For now I'm doing what I can, resting when I need and trying to avoid meds. We are doing well so far, and although there is some pretty significant discomfort I'm working thru and can't wait to be back on my feet full time!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

First real snowfall

Given that I can't venture out, I'd have to guess we got about 5 inches of fluffy white powder over the course of the afternoon and evening yesterday- it was our first measurable amount and has really added to the festive mood! I hate the thought of a brown Christmas, so while this will not likely last, it gives me hope for the holiday!
All of the kids were anxious to be out and enjoying the first snowfall of the season, Billy and Savanna played quite a while this morning, and then after her BFF Kate arrived Savanna and she headed back out for an afternoon romp! Otis was extremely glad for the snow- as it was cause for a good deal of outside time! I had forgotten about wet snow suits and soggy mittens, snowballs in dog fur and pads, slippery tiles around the doors and melting puddles across the house... but I have to admit, that even with all of that, I'm glad for the snow! Plus, there is so much to be said for rosy red cheeks, tales of snowball fights and mugs of hot cocoa. Welcome winter!

Getting Ready

Tomorrow will mark the 34th week of our pregnancy. My girlfriend Kelley and her hubby Geoff will welcome their little boy this week (her high blood pressure is cause for an induction... not the original plan, but necessary for a happy mom, happy baby) at their 37 week mark... prompting me to "get serious" about getting ready. I hope that between this week and next we can accomplish the rest of the prep we have left....
Top on this list is the assembly of quite a number of items: a super cute swing from Auntie Anna and Uncle Eddie, our new (had to return the original...wouldn't carry an infant seat) stroller from Grandma and Grandpa Houston as well as the car seat and pack-n-play my Mom and Dad got us. Bill better get busy- this pile of boxes is blocking our dressers!
We have piles and heaps of toys and odds and ends that need to be "homed." I can tell this little one is going to take over our lives with his stuff! Its already crowded and he's not even here yet!
His dresser arrived on Thanksgiving (thanks Mom and Dad) and is all set up and filled with clothes and blankets. His changing pads are covered and ready to go. I have a lot of arranging to do, and there is still quite a bit I'm not sure what to do with, but I know we will sort it all out once we get to actual use the things. Heaps and piles- that's how it looks for now, but I'd better get going... my goal is to have all of this out of the way before we get too much closer to Christmas... I want to be ready in the event that we "go" early (as Kelley is having to do) and also I want to be able to relax (as best I can- this belly is starting to get in my way!) and enjoy the holiday before the baby madness begins!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Holiday Parade

Our Junior troop took the opportunity today to exhibit in the local Holiday Parade... Our town had a tree lighting, but no parade, so we went to the next town over, and rocked the parade! The girls took first place in the youth division! I was so proud of them. They worked very hard to design, plan and decorate their float, they were all so well behaved and festive in action and spirit.
The Parade theme was "Christmas in the Future" and the idea for our float was "respect the earth now for green Christmas's in the future" They decorated with mostly recycled materials with a silver "futuristic" color scheme. They had a big robot decorating a tree made of soda cans. They also had 2 big piles of boxes wrapped as well as recycle items made into decorations on the sides of the float. Instead of handing out candy they passed out little baggies of bird seed. I think the spin on the theme impressed the judges, and we were very happy to get a big trophy our first year in the parade.
The girls were thrilled with the "win" and really seemed to have fun walking/riding the route. I was a spotter in the truck as Bill drove- I wish I could have walked, but there is always next year right?! To boot, we were blessed with the first real snowfall of the season which "made" the parade... we had a slight dusting a few weeks back, but are getting our first measurable snowfall today. The parade, and the weather have really put me in the mood... maybe decorations tomorrow?!

Saturday, November 28, 2009


There are many things I have to be thankful for this year, but I am most appreciative of a healthy pregnancy (ok, minus the leg ordeal!) and my amazing family! Between Bill and I we have quite a crew living nearby, and I am so glad to have all of them in my life- Thursday afforded us the opportunity to all gather for am amazing meal and some quality time together!

With a large communal effort, we hosted- I had much help with the cleaning, cooking, setting up, serving, and cleaning! Everyone pitched in and did a part- and the meal went off without a hitch! We had 15 (Krista and Brad were stuck in traffic on the way to his parents and ended up late to our house- we missed them for the dinner- but they had plates full when they arrived, and then we did dessert together)

In addition to the turkey, Anna made a roast, so with the two meats and many many sides there was plenty to eat, and it was all delicious! I must admit I ate a rather large plate full... After the fact, when I realized there was only so much room in my belly for a baby AND a Thanksgiving feast I wished I had taken it a bit easier- but man oh man it was a great meal!

Savanna is in photo club at school, and one of this weeks "assignments" was a group picture (with people) so she organized us for a family shot- minus herself, as she was behind the lens... we have my Mom and Dad, Bill's Mom and Dad, the 4 of us, My sister and Brother in Law and their boys, and Bills sister and brother in law. This was the crew for this year, next year there will be one more...

Baby shower pictures

I hopped down the stairs today, and after a false start (why didn't I notice I had to go to the bathroom until AFTER I got down here?!) got my camera plugged in and uploaded- so here are a few shower pictures... Billy was in charge of taking photos, so none are great... but the memories sure are!
Baby Bear party favor on one of the tables. My Mom made the gift bags (see them on her blog) and then they sprinkled the tables with candy and all of the room was dotted with little stuffed woodland critters- to match our nursery theme...
As I said- the gift pile was stunning- we are so blessed to have such giving, caring friends and family... we received an amazing amount of stuff!

My cousin Jesse made the most adorable cake that also matched the nursery theme perfectly- the cake was moist, and the frosting creamy and not too sweet- just the way I like it!

Ignore the second chin, clearly the boy needs help in understanding camera angle! I still can't believe the gifts we got... Baby, you need to hurry so we can start to play with it all! Note the three generations of ladies- all in blue... and Savanna enjoying the blue cake!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Baby Shower part 1- no pictures

Since my computer- and all my photo software and dock etc. are downstairs... down the spiral stairs... and way out of my reach for now, I have to post photo-less. My Mom has promised to hack in here one day and add some pictures from her camera, but for now here is the link to her blog, where she posted a couple already (the invite is quite a few posts back, then the cake and favors are closer to the top)

Last Saturday was my baby shower- we had such a nice time, and, unusually for me, I was mildly surprised! I was under the impression that the shower was to be held here (my home is the largest of the family... and most central... and I'm home bound...) but in actuality they hosted at the lovely hotel on the beach where my sister works. The room was beautiful- all decorated in blue and yellow and green, with tons of "woodland" critters that all match our nursery theme! The cake (made by my talented cousin Jesse) was adorable- almost too cute to eat! The pile of gifts was stunning... really I was blown away by the kindness and generosity of our friends and family!

I got some really amazing things- stuff I had registered for, and some stuff others picked out... man is baby stuff adorable these days! I'll admit a pang of disappointment when we found out we are having a boy- mostly for the "stuff" though~ I so wanted to shop for cute girl things... but man oh man there are some great baby boy things to be had! We got the stroller and swing I wanted, a bath tub set and baby sling/backpack carrier, TONS of clothes and toys, medical/baby care stuff, a changing pad and cover, shoes, socks, blankets and more! The stack is sitting in the living room and nearly covers the bay window! I had them leave it all up here, so I can finger it at will!

His new dresser has arrived, and will come in tow with my Mom and Dad on turkey day, so the "set up" will begin downstairs... I have 2 more weeks in the hard cast, until they recheck and hopefully I can move into an air cast and get cleared for more mobility... I can't wait! I am a bit worried- I still have some pain and swelling issues, but I am hopeful. Yesterday made us 32 weeks... we are closing in- now I've got Thanksgiving, Black Friday and then Christmas to get thru- I have a feeling time is going to fly!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Busy Weekend

I'm resting up today- we had a really busy weekend, and I think I may have overdone it... so today it is back to the chair for me! I have some laundry that needs to be done, and will have to bake a birthday treat for school tomorrow later on but otherwise I'm trying to stay off my foot!

Friday was Savanna's family party- she chose quiche (for the second year in a row!) for her birthday dinner- so between making 2 of those, and cleaning and decorating from my wheelie chair- not to mention the party itself, I was pretty pooped at the end of the day. My Mom slept over and helped with clean up etc, so it was really quite manageable. Then Saturday Savanna wanted a trip to the mall as her major gift from my Mom... so off we went! I wheeled around, and Savanna had a ball. She got some cool clothes and a second set of holes in her ears... she is thrilled with herself! Bill and I got her a loft bed with a desk underneath- so between all of that, she had a pretty great b-day! And the real day isn't even until tomorrow... Yipes! Double digits here we come!

Yesterday Mom drove me down to Mass for Kelley's baby shower. After 2 long days it was a third big event, but I really wanted to go! I have promised a quilt for Kelley and Geoff way back from their wedding- so knew I wanted to at least get a baby one done. Mom helped me get it finished and we were able to have it for her at the shower. I am thrilled for them- their baby boy is due 3 weeks before ours, and I'm so happy to have somebody to share all of this with! I have been just about as compulsive about checking her Babies-r-us registry as I have been about checking mine! Her friends and family were very generous and she go some cute stuff! Seeing her there (as well as another college friend who is also pregnant) really got me excited for my shower.... I know its coming up!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hanging in there

The days are passing... slowly and sometimes painfully so, but passing none-the less. I now count down in weeks for the leg, and up in weeks for the baby! I am at 30 weeks 2 days on baby count... and getting VERY excited for showers and such and at 3 weeks 5 days before the next ortho appointment. With a baby shower to attend soon and mine on the horizon?!, Savanna's 10th b-day next week, Thanksgiving, Black Friday shopping and the holiday rush; I am looking to all that needs to be done and wondering how it will all happen. I know it will fall into place nicely, and I'm sure we will make it thru just fine... but I am certainly "busy" in my head as I continue to sit around taking one day at a time and thrilling over small victories~ yesterday I washed my own hair!

We will start physical therapy on the rest of my body (everything BUT the right leg) next week, at the request of my OB who is worried about the risks of such a sedentary lifestyle (I was pleased with my minimal 3lb weight gain last appt. after doing nothing but sitting and eating for a month!) for laboring and caring for an new born. We will also start back with birthing classes which were put on hold when the accident happened. I have been shopping on-line for all my cloth diapering needs, and today, home for Veteran's day, Savanna spent some time diapering and dressing a menagerie of stuffed critters. She wanted to "practice!" It was too cute!

I miss the fall air, and sometimes look out the windows and lament the perfect riding days I am missing, but I know I must do as prescribed so I heal well and will be ready for the baby... There is a lot going on, I keep fairly busy and am much more mobile- getting good with my crutches and wheeled desk chair and on outings my Mom got a nice wheel chair with a leg lift, so I can comfortably be out for an hour or two... assuming somebody drives me and totes all my gear! This will pass though, and soon enough I'll be back on my feet, and not too much longer before we have a baby in arms...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

All Broke Up

Well, sorry for the long dry spell.... and I can't promise the hope of much in the way of words from me...

Had a lovely beach ride nearly three weeks ago, that ended in an fall (no fault of Beau's... as I told the ER Doc, gravity just got the better of me!) I'm still not quite sure what exactly happened. Savanna and Linda and I were just enjoying the day and the next thing I knew, I was hanging in mid-air! I had just allowed Beau to break to the canter- we were 6 or 8 strides in; "chasing" after Billy on his bike when I had ended up parting ways with my saddle. There was no issue- no spook, no buck, no shy or bolt- I just fell. I'm not sure if it was a balance thing with the ever bigger belly, or what... but in an effort not to have the baby hit the ground, I tried to land on my feet. Saved the belly, but broke the ankle!

Shattered it really. I broke both sides of my right ankle, shearing off the top of the joint space on the medial aspect of the limb. We rather ingeniously got myself and all three horses, 2 kids and dog off the beach and headed out. I didn't want to go to the closest ER, I wanted to hit the hospital where we are doing the baby; where my Mom works... so I made Bill bring the kids and trailer home then we did the drive to the hospital. After x-rays and an ER visit, it was clear we needed an ortho consult... on a Sunday... humm. We had an ultrasound to be sure and sat attached to a heart rate monitor for baby all afternoon. Basically as I told them, he never touched the ground, and Beau never touched me. In fact after I came off he stopped and backed up a few strides (as did Squeeke! Good pony!) So; broken ankle but the baby remains safe and sound.

We went home with no pain meds- lets not drug the baby thanks... and waited a LONG night to see the orthopedist in the am. After he reviewed the case he recommended surgery. Well, not what I wanted to hear... so we opted for a cat scan to be sure it was really the only option. Another long night, and another test later- yup. No choice. 27 weeks pregnant and under the knife! Sigh. And to boot, there was such significant swelling they were not comfortable going thru the soft tissue... so I had to wait a WEEK for surgery. Lets be clear folks. Tylenol is for headaches and such- not broken bones. And, then with upset tummy issues I had to even stop taking that. I'm confined to the recliner and crappy living room futon, bearing the brunt of broken bone pain and pregnancy symptoms. Heartburn anybody?! I am only up on crutches for the bathroom and totally non weight bearing...100% reliant on others for everything.

Finally surgery day arrived and as unhappy about the procedure as I was, I was glad to be "fixed" and on the road to recovery. They were able to stabilize the joint with a plate and 8 screws, and left the outer break to mend as it was pretty clean. I was kept most of the day to let the spinal wear off... yup, I was awake for the whole thing! I wanted to do what was best for the baby, so minimal drugs please! After I regained function of my legs, we headed home. BAD idea! After just a few hours it was clear that even after 4 percoset dosed out over the course of the afternoon, and some Advil to boot, I wasn't going to "hang!" Another ER visit and then an admit for a night stay with some better pain management... lets see if the kid comes out "looking for glue" as my Mom says... but I needed it!

Before we were sent home this time, we had another ultrasound- they checked baby's kidney function (for drug exposures) and my amniotic fluid levels. Based on great results there, we got cleared to use ibuprofen a few days for pain, as well as the percoset and tylenol... came home in the afternoon and back to the chair I went. Well, pain meds and I don't do well. Nausea and vomiting, and then day 3 off the meds I went. Another 10 days of sitting, and yesterday we finally had our follow up. We opted not to do another x-ray, as we will need one in 6 weeks... and Id like to minimize exposure (I know, kinda late now?!) so had the stitches out and a hard fiberglass cast put on. I have until Dec. 7th for non weight bearing- boring stuck at home can't do anythingness. Then they will x-ray and I'll get an air cast "boot" for 6 more weeks of progressive weight bearing and then rehab. Sigh!

My Mom and Bill's Mom, and the kids have been great. It's hard to let go of control and let others do for you... but I'm managing. I've missed a lot of fun kid events, but did manage to sit in the car while Bill drove me along behind the kids door to door trick or treating last night. It's a real drag to be stuck with my foot up, you don't really realize how much you do day to day, until you can't do it! I've certainly missed the computer- but with no lap-top getting to and sitting at the desk top has been pretty out of the question. The kids were desperate for the TV (we just have the living room one) so I escaped the candy trading, sponge bob event and have myself propped up on Bills for now. My leg is on an chair with pillow underneath and I'm craning to see the screen and reach the keyboard lined up perpendicular to the desk, but "My" space (and the bedroom) are out. There is no way to negotiate the spiral stairs, and I sure miss the horses, but I'll be fixed soon enough, the baby is fine and hopefully there will be no lingering issues from the break. Bill bought me a new "bed" yesterday- a much nicer futon for the living room, so hopefully sleeping will get better- sometimes I get overwhelmed when I think about the timing... the baby, the holidays, the kids... but it could have been so much worse and I am thankful for good insurance and supportive family! I'll hopefully be up and around more soon, but until then posts will certainly be slower! And once I can get down to my computer etc, I do have some very nice shots from that day at the beach- Savanna got Squeeke into the water!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Big Baby Day

I realize this is a ridiculously small picture... but it is the nursery collection we have decided to use for the baby. It is by Carters, and called Tree Tops (or Forest Friends... they are making a few changes to the set) I love it! The raccoon is my favorite, and although the baby won't have a nursery per se, I can't wait to get his little area all set up in this stuff! My Mom and I went yesterday and did our registry, so we are all set for what we want. Now, we just have to keep waiting!

Bill and I also had our first birthing class last night. He is sweet to go through it all again with me. I want as natural a birth experience as I can have, so it was important to me to take these classes. We opted to take hypnobirthing... or the Mongan Method. Now I know what you think- yipes. Crazy lady! Well, its not hypnosis as in a stage act- more of a deep natural relaxation and body awareness technique. I am excited for the prospect of empowering myself enough so I can go through my birth with minimal intervention. I have long known that a natural birth experience was what I wanted- I always wondered how we as a society got to the point where birth is such a commercial event- we have been sold an expectation of a drama filled labor necessitating loads of drugs and medical procedures for a successful outcome. I know this is not the case- it's not true of births around the rest of the world, and it's not true for all of the other animal forms that share our planet. The female body was designed to do this... why are we led to believe was are patients who need interventions? I wish to be allowed to be a parent, and welcome our baby boy into the world by the way I was designed... I know my body can do this. I want the opportunity to allow it to be so.

I have watched plenty of horses foal, and know that all of the other creatures on our planet are able to birth their babies unassisted and without medical intervention... so why can't I?! We will deliver in a hospital setting (both because my Mom is a nurse there, and because it really is the best place in terms of dealing with special circumstances) but I hope that through this class, as well as though my ability to work with my body, we can bring this little guy into the world with no chemicals in either of our systems, and without the stress and trauma of a pain filled and fear based delivery. Here's to roughly 15 more weeks of preparing and 5 more weeks of Wednesday night classes!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Shades of My Day

The kids are back in school. The cool evenings have arrived. Most of the bugs are gone. The horses are starting to get their fluffy winter coats. The trails are a blaze in color. It's official... Fall has arrived in New England.
The reds and oranges and yellows are amazing... my pictures do them no justice, the leaves are gorgeous this year. Beau and I enjoyed a nice walk on the trails this morning, and it was beautiful! He was a bit wound up; I have not ridden since our beach ride last week, and he wasn't too sure about going out alone. The wind was blowing, leaves falling as we went along. I knew I needed to be careful, he felt a bit unpredictable, but the call of the fall leaves was more than I could bear!

Fall is certainly my favorite time of year (remind me of that come may or June when I say spring is my favorite) I love the crisp feeling in the air, the bug free rides, the show Mother Nature puts on for us. It won't be too long before winter is upon us, I must get out and enjoy as much of it now as I can! He really was a good boy, and I was so glad to soak up some of the many shades of the season.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Happy 40th

Today is Bill's birthday... I'm trying desperately to upload a photo from my phone... but it just won't cooperate- so I'm using this one Savanna took of Bill on our Acadia trip. He looks like a goof ball, but this is his "happy shirt" and is exactly how I picture him in my head... sexy? Maybe not. However, this is MY Bill; wearing his "day off" clothes and playing around with the kids... My favorite look

So, it's true, he turned the big 4-0 today, and wasn't too thrilled about it. We had a quiet day planned with the kids- a small family party and formal fox hunt with his parents. Then we found out that the kiddos biological mother was coming... why she chose THIS weekend I'll never know... but it is her court appointed weekend for sleepover visitation (she has one each month... has she taken them at all in any of the other 11 months this year?! NOOOO!! But, Bill's birthday.... ugg. don't get me started!) He was pretty bummed about not being able to spend it with them, so we took it even more low key that I had originally planned. We did a brunch with his parents and one sister yesterday before the kids left and did manage to squeeze in a cake before she arrived. Then we went to a movie last night and after letting him sleep in this morning we went up for the potluck at the hunt... which was fine with me. It poured yesterday, and I knew the footing wold be bad. Plus, i don't fit into my boots or jacket... so the formal aspect of the hunt was proving to be difficult for me anyhow! After a nice lunch and another cake, we spent the afternoon shopping at Sears- we got the snow blower attachment for the new lawn tractor we purchased earlier this summer. A large birthday present for him, and hopefully a clear driveway all winter for me! We also looked over some baby stuff and I got a better idea of some of the things he wants- which is good as I planned to do the registry this week.

I know that this wasn't at all the day he had in mind, but I hope that as he eased into the next decade he was able to relax a little and enjoy himself, and I hope he knows how excited and lucky I feel to be heading into this new year with him! I can only image what 40 feels like (I've got another 10 years to go!) and I know he didn't feel like making a big deal of it, but in my opinion it is a big deal. And I'm so glad we get to experience all that this new chapter has to offer, it is really going to be an amazing year for us! Happy birthday honey- I love you!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Back to the Beach

After our first full week off antibiotics, I took Beau for our first beach ride of the season! He was spectacular (although, why would I have expected anything less?!) especially given that he has had a full week off. He threw a shoe when I rode last week on Wednesday, and gosh knows I can't get a farrier to come out here! Geeze. Apparently carrying a son isn't payment enough, and it took a few days to get onto the books. So, yeah with the rain and the lost shoe and a day or two off turned into a week! Poor guy- he is back onto 24hr turnout, and was still getting his grazing time... but we haven't done any work under saddle. He and his buddy Miller were both stellar- we were there right at low tide, and were able to do the full length of the beach- further than we have ever gone! We had a few nice trot stretches, and even a canter or two! He was fine about going into the water- he remembered it pretty quickly, and was good about walking in the waves. It was cool with a bit of a breeze, but after the grey start to the day the sun did try to poke thru and it warmed up once the wind was at our backs. It was exactly the kind of ride I needed- completely uneventful- such a relaxing and beautiful trip! I'm sure I'll be on egg shells for a while, just closely monitoring the leg... we have been this far once before, but I am hopeful that we may be past all of this and will have many more beach rides this fall and winter (before my belly gets too big!)

Monday, September 28, 2009

24 weeks- Whats in a name?!

So, another week passes and we are closer than ever to having our baby boy! I have been spending a lot of time lately (too much time actually) looking online at various sites trying to decide on a diaper solution. We (well, mostly I) want to use cloth diapers- and there is quite a range of options and styles to choose from... It has been fun trying to imagine what it is going to be like once he is here- and what diapers I should pick! I also need to get going on making lists and starting to budget for the major purchases. He will be rooming with Bill and I, so no nursery set... but we still need plenty of stuff!

I am also getting a bit anxious about name choices although Bill is significantly more laid back... he says we should just wait and see. Me, I want to call him something... top 2 contenders thus far are:

Westley Alexander: Wes would continue the WAH initials which are tradition. All the males on Bill's side are William A... and we have yet to have the issue of 2 boys in one family... so what to do?! do we keep WAH as initials?? even though he won't be a William??


Benjamin Jack: Billy and Ben just sounds so darn cute to me! I have always loved Ben... even before there was a baby I dreamed about baby Ben... Jack was my "god father" and I love the name too.

I also like Ethan and Evan, Savanna likes Zachary and Bill likes Ty. Bill's Dad suggested Zachary Tyler, as there is a family connection to Zachary Taylor the President. Bill's Mom had a brother Dean who passed as a teenager, and it would be a nice nod to her side if we were able to use that somehow... I just can't come up with anything... We still have time, but I would like to be able to call him something other than baby!

He has been very active lately- both Bill and Billy have been able to feel him move- The past few evenings, when we snuggle in the big chair at night I have had the kids trying to feel... Billy got a good kick a few nights ago, Savanna tried a bit last night, but he was pretty still. Bill has gotten to feel 2 good thumps- so I'm pretty sure they will be able to feel him from the outside fairly well in the coming weeks! Having never done this before, I can't say for sure... but this little one seems to move around a bit! It's getting pretty exciting! We have a Drs. appointment and our first birthing class next week- I have a feeling that things will roll along pretty quickly!

Friday, September 25, 2009


After a brief stint trying out cross country, Olivia decided to join the 7th grade soccer team at school. She has been going to practices every day after school and working really hard! She has not played (other than gym class and the like) so had a lot of catching up to do!
I managed to miss her first game last week, but she has 2 home games this week. On tuesday she tweaked her knee in gym class so rode the bench for that game... So, yesterday Bill and I picked the other 2 up at school, and made it over to watch her play. I was disappointed earlier in the week to watch her sit the bench, but yesterday she played! My little point and shoot had a hard time catching her in action, but she did so well! We are really proud of her for picking up an sport... and sticking with it! They tied, and it was a pretty good match- tuesday they got stomped, and last week they also tied... so all in all the team is doing well I think, and it should be fun to follow the girls the rest of the season!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The final dose

I have been waiting for these 50 pills for a long time. For 9 1/2 weeks to be exact. Tonight was the last dose of Doxy.
The last time I had to grind them up, mix 'em with apple sauce and
tube them into Beau. He has been so good (as long as his halter is left on- otherwise he plays hard to get!) this whole time about taking them, but boy am I glad to be done! I am hopeful that we are done with all of this!

So, no more antibiotics for now... except that Poke is now on SMZs for his eye! Out of the pan and into the fire right?!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The week in review

Well, time sure flies! I can't believe another week has gone by. We are just over the 23 week mark for the pregnancy. I have had a bit of anxiety carrying this baby, and for some reason I have 24 weeks in my head as a "safe" zone. I read that 90% of babies born at 24 weeks survive. We personally know a 24 weeker (she started kindergarten this year!) and I sort of feel that I can "relax" a little as we get closer and closer to that mark. It's totally outrageous and unfounded... but it's how I feel... I just want this baby so badly, I almost can't let myself get excited for fear that something bad is going to happen... I have this arbitrary date of 24 weeks in my head as a marker for when I can let my "guard down" a bit. I can't wait for next week!

But, even when we get to that point in the pregnancy, there will be no stopping! The days just keep marching by, one by one each with it's own set of things to do. Now that school and sports and scouts have all started back up, we certainly have been keeping busy. Olivia is on the 7th grade soccer team at school, and has practice every afternoon and games one or two days a week. Last Monday swimming lessons started back up- I took the summer off as I felt pretty crappy this spring, and didn't know how much I was going to be able to tolerate, but we are glad to be back at the pool. The girls are in the same class, and Billy swims simultaneously in a lower level. I got yelled at for having my camera out in the pool. Apparently it's a rule- no picture taking. Sheeze, I didn't want other peoples kids in bathing suits- just my own! Oh well, I suppose its a safety rule for a reason!

I had to miss their first swim class for a Girl Scout training I needed to take, then missed Olivia's first soccer game and then her first dance a few days later! I had meetings every afternoon and evening last week! Cub scouts, Girl scouts, school open houses, CPR and first aid... It's been a week of meetings and classes.

One afternoon I did find time to get Poke and Anna opened up into new grazing- then Poke promptly split open his head. He has a nice 2" by 1" gash over his left eye. I didn't panic too badly, as he has no sight in the eye anyhow- so with protecting the eye no longer a concern, its just keeping him comfortable while it heals. Bute and SMZs and we should be good to go. The eye itself looks fine, and the orbit doesn't appear damaged- so hopefully its just a wound that will heal and we will be back on our merry way! Having the blind guy around always makes things interesting! It was a tough call, since he doesn't see, but I took the gamble of giving them more space as I wanted them to have more grass... guess I won't do that again!

The vet was out today. I just found out that she has the audacity to leave me. She is leaving the practice actually, and I got 24hrs to soak it in before she arrived for our appointment. I'm so sad! She is moving in with her boyfriend in Manhattan... I suppose I can forgive her that. This is her last week of work, and she was able to squeeze us in. I feel like I'm going to be lost without her, i don;t want to get anyone else "up to speed!" She knows Beau's case inside and out! Sniff Sniff. How could she do this to me?! We have EEE all over the place around here- horses are dying in many of the surrounding towns, so we did 3 way boosters (and also for flu/rhino) plus Squeeke had a float and Beau his final exam. The Dr from the clinic told her to have me call with anything- and she gave me her personal cell and e-mail so I can keep her updated.

I rode him 45mins this am on the trails- he was good and the leaves are really starting to change. It's quite pretty out there- He had the weekend off as my college roommate got married on the Cape and Bill and I were down there for the wedding, then I had a migraine yesterday. By the afternoon he was pretty stocked up so I turned him out for some grass which helped, but the ride this morning brought it down pretty well. He is on an every other night wrap now and tomorrow will be the last of the antibiotics. Fingers crossed!
We went for a longer ride last week with our friends Linda and Miller- Beau and he get along so well. We found some great trails that come out of the forest land that abuts the equestrian center we belong to. After an hour we had to turn back and we never found anything! We hit a 6 way intersection at some point, and have no idea where any of these trails go. It will be so much fun to explore them... hopefully we will be up for it soon! We were gone 2 hours and he was great, so I'm hopeful.
Soccer games, school dance, scout meetings, swim lessons, vet visits... it's no wonder the week flew! I can't wait for Monday to come- 24 weeks baby!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Billy's Bike

One of the major accomplishments of the summer is Billy's learning to ride without training wheels! We took the big bike with the second seat up to Acadia as he was still balancing a bit on the training wheels and we knew he wasn't up for the longer rides- but my Dad brought along a bike with no training wheels and he spent some time cruising around the campsite with somebody hanging onto his back. Well, after having help down to the bus 2 mornings in a row, he rode home the other afternoon all by himself! He just picked it right up, and it off to the races. Actually, his favorite thing is to speed up, hit the brakes and make skid marks in the driveway! I'm so proud of him- it was really only a handful of times he rode without help before he got the hang of it. Last summer we had the training wheels very high, so he only hit them if he really started to wobble. We didn't do much with him this year, then bam in a matter of a few rides he was a biker boy! Go Billy Go!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Yet another Beau update

The vet was out Tuesday for another recheck. She was happy to hear he did so well in Acadia, and didn't have too much to say... I was fearful of "getting in trouble" with her for overdoing it! Fheww. I knew we had watched him carefully, but I didn't want her to think I had risked his recovery. I was happy to report to her that the leg has been clear and dry for about a week. She took one look at it, and said- well there is discharge today. And, low and behold there was! Just a slight, slight bit of moisture on the original abscess "hole." We are mostly closed up now, and he had been free from weeping over the weekend, but she was right- there was a touch on Tuesday. So, 2 more weeks of antibiotics. Sigh. I was so happy to be opening my last bottle! I'll be so glad when I can start and end my day without counting out 50 pills (and recounting them to be sure) grinding them up, mixing the resulting powder with applesauce and squirting it down poor Beau's throat! I may complain, but tomorrow will be 8 weeks of the doxy, and while I am thrilled to be doing it (since I was pretty sure we were at the end of the line there for a few days) I'll be glad when it's all over! She has him completely off bute, and after this week we will go to every other night for the stack wrap. I'm sure the folks at 3M will be sad, as I have spent the kid's college accounts on vetwrap and rolled cotton. We were instructed to start to increase his work- still some in hand, but also under saddle! He was 100% sound at the walk, and she rated him 1/5 lame at the trot. "pretty good!" she said when she saw him go. So, I'm happy and hopeful! He is back on a partial day of turnout (and scraped all the hair off the back of that hock the first day. sigh) and I went for a nice 1/2 hr trail yesterday. Today it poured, so he was back to standing around, but I plan to begin picking his work back up the week- there is hope yet!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Acadia part 3- the park without horses

Although my original goal had been a major horse back holiday- that wasn't in the cards for us this year- so were were able to do quite a bit of exploring of the park with the kids. It was a holiday weekend, so much of the "touristy" stuff was a zoo. So we skipped a lot of that part of the park and we just let them spend quite a bit of time exploring the rocky coastline Acadia and our New England region is so known for.
We spend one whole morning climbing rocks and playing in tide pools- it was really amazing- the weather was so nice- warm and sunny but not too hot- the kids had such a good time exploring! The pool above was the most spectacular colors- from orange and red and yellow to blue and green- Billy really wanted to find some crabs but after we searched for days we never were able to find him any. I guess that's a sport better suited to beaches down here-
We went to various spots and either hiked down or scampered along the rocks. Bill was quite jealous of the beautiful sailboats we saw all along the coast. Each of the harbors had many ships sailing and moored- the days were sunny and beautiful. You could certainly see Bill yearning to be out to sea!

We went to a few different beaches while we were there- the ocean beaches were certainly their favorite- the lake we went to was quite windy and the weather had turned a bit cooler. The rocky coast makes for a different beach then the ones down near us- we did go to one sand beach but for the most part they are pebble beaches with big rocks to climb and explore. We hiked, and went to a public garden which was beautiful. It really was a good time for everyone- in hind sight it was probably the perfect mix of horse time and family time for a vacation with the kids. Around the campsite we had fun with the horses and doing all the traditional camp stuff- roasting marshmallows and hot dogs and we had the kids bikes so they road all over the site. Billy spent a lot of time practicing without training wheels- and although it was too much to "ride" the trails he will be whizzing along soon!

We had a great time, and everyone votes that we make it a yearly tradition. I can't wait to get back up there- it was so nice and we all had such a good time! Having the National park so close (it was just over a 4 hour drive with the truck and trailer) we really should take more advantage of it! Camping is something we always say we "do" but we don't actually get out too often- so it was nice to have the tent up and the camp stove out. Bill and I slept in the goose neck, which was nice and really made me appreciate our trailer! The kids were all well behaved and although Billy had one too many s'mores and wound up with a sick stomach we all had a blast! My Dad is really fun for the kids- he likes all they outdoors stuff so it was perfect to have them their as part of our Acadia adventure.

Bill and my Dad biked up one mountain to watch the sun rise one morning, and we did one climb with the horses- so the kids were able to get up high enough to get a sense of what Mount Dessert Island really is all about. The park has so much to offer and the equine facility was so nice I know we will be headed back soon!