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!

Acadia part 2- the carriage roads and riding

I have wanted to do this for as long as I can remember. I think that right around the time that I got my first horse, I started dreaming of Wildwood stables, and the carriage roads of Acadia! With the vet's permission to bring Beau based on the promise that I would continue his treatment plan and be careful not to push we opted to go on our scheduled trip despite his ongoing leg issues. I have had this weekend planned for about a year, and was pretty sad about not going. The kids were really looking forward to seeing the National Park (and camping!) and since it was all paid for- off we went! I was clear with the vets about what we were going to do, and was told I could do my walking routine there as well as I could here- so off we went! In speaking with the vets- one concern was the trailer ride, but I stack wrapped him and put his full leg shipping boots on tightly and knew with our camera system I could closely monitor him the whole way! Sometimes you just have to roll with it- so even though it wasn't my planned vacation- we made the most of it, and it was a wonderful weekend!
We had reserved 3 stalls with the hopes of bringing Bill's parent's pony Nic for Olivia to ride, but that fell thru- so we just had our two. The girls took turns on Squeeke who was a champ packing them around the park! She had her own little fan club of ladies at the stables who though she was the sweetest thing! When we went out onto the trails two of us would saddle up, and Bill and Billy (plus the other one of the girls) and my Dad and Mom would head out riding bikes. There are 45 miles of groomed carriage trails, so having the kiddos on bikes was perfect to keep the trips to a manageable length- we could keep an eye on Beau's leg and stride, and we were not tempted to push too far. With my Mom and Dad along for the trip- we had our own tour guide as my Dad knows the park well. He was great at helping us plan rides that were not too far and not too hard.
The conditions were perfect! We could not have had nicer weather or trails to ride. The carriage roads are amazing and were such a treat to ride. They are wide and clear and perfectly flat- they are well maintained for driving, and we just a dream to ride! you could have trotted them all day long! I have never seen anything like it- the scenery was beautiful and just about every corner revealed a new view. The roads were clearly planned with optimal enjoyment of the park in mind. We passed bikers and a few other riders and had to navigate by a carriage or two- but otherwise you could go for hours and just enjoy the beauty and solitude. All of the other trail users (ok- except one couple on bikes that whizzed past Squeeke and startled her) were pleasant and yielded to the horses- many got off to walk their bikes as they passed and all either greeter or responded to a friendly "hello." The other riders and drivers we met were all willing to share tips and advice on which trails were "must do" and I can't wait to be able to ride them all! Some groups we met had people who have been coming 20 plus years- I don't think you could ever get tired of this!

We did a few out and back trips as most of the loops were longer than we wanted to go with Beau- but we did manage one mountain summit- a 3.8 miles loop up Day Mountain. It was probably more than I should have done with him but his stride felt good, and he was willing and forward so we continued on. We took it slow and the peddlers had quite a challenge, and we didn't want to stress the horses, but at the top the view was amazing- and bikers and riders alike voted it was well worth the climb!

I was overall thrilled with the ponies- they both were well mannered and beautifully behaved. They passed mountain bikers and carriages- new experiences for them I'm sure and were calm and cool. Beau's leg never swelled or opened up- and he maintained his stride (he was tired by Monday though!) They did well in their "new" home and settled nicely. They are a bit herd bound- but I'm ok with that. I did take Beau out for one quick walk without his girl- he was unhappy but did it anyhow. My Mom and Dad were so much fun to be with, and I certainly got enough of a taste of the park that it leaves me itching for next year when we will hopefully be able to explore more and ride out all day!

Acadia part 1- you better join us next year

We are home from our trip to Acadia- we had a wonderful time... even though it wasn't the vacation I had planned or envisioned. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow, and do what you can. I figured we would count this as a scouting mission for next year- when I'll try to plan another big group trip! The place was spectacular, and we certainly would like to go back!
For those of you who are local, I will be doing my darnedest to convince you to come along next year. These pictures are for you... The main carriage barn sits at the top of the facility- it overlooks the paddocks for the carriage horses, and houses the main business- the tour company. It is a very picturesque spot, and it was so cool to see the teams being driven in and out of the "carriage barn."
These are the three "boarder barns" each houses 12 stalls- they are pole construction, but very nice and 100% safe and sturdy. There is water at the back of each building and it was all very clean and well organized. There is a large main "lawn" to the right (you can see one truck) where you can hand graze and maybe lunge?! This is also truck/trailer parking for those not camping in their trailers.

Squeeke and Beau had nice accommodations in the middle barn- there were 4 other horses in there for the majority of the time we were there- we had a bit of turn around and go two new neighbors and everyone was kind and friendly-

We found no fault with the stabling... as you can see Squeeke thought her "window" should be opened when we were there- she liked sticking her head out to watch the comings and goings. We used our empty stall for tack and hay/shavings etc. and will certainly spring for the extra stall next time. It made it so much easier to unload it all once and not have to carry things back and forth! Can you just picture your horse stalled right there next to these two?! Who's coming with us next year?!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

And they're off!

Do you remember that commercial from a few years back? I think it was maybe Staples- or Office Max; there was a woman gliding around a school supply aisle hanging off the back of a cart loaded with notebooks and folders singing "It's the moooost wonderful tiiiime of the yeeear!!!"?? Well, I certainly think that most honest Mom's out there can admit to being able to relate! I love my kiddos- but today, today they went back to school, and I've got to say it felt pretty good to watch them climb those big yellow stairs!
Here is Olivia- it's still pretty dark when her bus comes. She got up at 5:15 to have time to straighten her hair and be out to the end of the drive by 6:20. She picked out her burgundy outfit from Aeropostal, you can't really tell from the picture- but in her super slim jeans and layered tops she looked so grown up! She is going to the middle school this year- starting the 7th grade! Yipes.... she is getting so old! And can you believe how loaded down she is?! Hopefully all of that will stay in her locker and she won't be forced to carry it around! I'm excited to see what this year will bring for her-
After our rocky start last year, I was thrilled to have Billy pester all morning about when it was time for them to go out to the bus. We opted to have him loop with his teacher from last year- I know quite a few of the other families did as well, so much of the class will be the same. She did a great job with him for 1st grade, so I have no reason to think that won't carry over to 2nd. I'm hopeful that having the consistency of the same kids and teacher will help with the transition, as last year was difficult at the beginning. By 8:05 he was practically busting at the seams to start walking! It's a good sign I hope...

Savanna wore a bright pink and lime green ensemble she picked out from Justice- yikes are their clothes pricey! I think her new school wardrobe cost more then just about any outfit I've ever bought for myself! She will be in 4th grade this year, which means a new school for her too- it's just a 1/4 mile up the road and has the towns 4th and 5th graders... so not too big of a transition, but enough that she had a few butterflies. I know she will be fine, Kate (her BFF) is in her class- and she knows her teacher from some team stuff they did last year. So, each of them is off for a new year- an new adventure. Maybe tomorrow I'll be sad and miss them. Today though- I'm so glad to have a quiet house!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

1/2 way there

Yesterday was our 20 week mark! I can't believe we are half way to having a baby. Each day that brings us closer is such a blessing... I can't wait! We (ok, mostly my Mom and I!) have started to pick up a few baby items here and there- mostly little outfits and such- we have found some really cute baby boy things. Last week when we were out at the mall school shopping with the girls, my Mom treated me to a trip into the Motherhood store- I ended up with 2 big bags of maternity clothes- the first "real" pregnant lady stuff I've gotten! I was fun for the girls to see me with the little velcro pillow tummy... even though I felt pretty silly. So, as we start the "downhill" count to our little guy, I have some nice stuff to wear. The kids so back to school tomorrow and with that comes the hope that I can sub a bit before we get too far along. I guess I'll need to cram a whole school year of work into the next few months!