Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat

Our town always does trick or treating on "Beggar's Night" which is Halloween Eve, so last night was the big event! Kate joined us for the festivities... she was dressed as a "nerd" and was very cute! We all had fun, when you are a kid Halloween is such a blast- dressing up, candy?! What's not to like?!
We did Grandma and Grandpa Houston's house first; Uncle had gotten a mountain of candy so we were off to a great start before we had even gotten very far!
It was a cold evening, blustery and dark. My Mom drove over to see the kids in costume but didn't stay too long, it was chilly!

We walked a few neighborhoods and they filled their sacks and tummies with treats~ Happy Halloween!

Halloween Party

Friday night was our school Halloween party. The PTO does a great job putting on an evening of games and candy!
We invited Kaleb and Jayson, so from Left to right we have, a duckie (Wes) a ninja (Jay) Alice- from Wonderland (Savy) a vampire (Olivia) am assassin (Billy) and a pyscho (Kaleb)
We played games and won candy. I think Jay had the best time of all, he was bouncing around the gym.
The games were just right for him, he had such a good time and I couldn't help "feeding" him more and more tickets!
Wes was a hit we got loads of compliments on his costume!
We had such a good time, especially Jayson who really is at the perfect age... I'm so glad the Roth's could join us! We got lots of candy and I love how the school party gets you into the spirit of Halloween... Plus it allows for a round one of candy trades!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Baby Steps

Are you ready folks?! Wes is walking!

On Sunday Wes started taking wobbly "stumble steps." He would take a step forward to catch himself rather than sit when he lost balance. By Monday he was taking that step them stumbling a second step before he would sit. Then yesterday he was stringing maybe 3 or so steps with more intention, less as a means of catching his balance and more as a means of locomotion. Today he is off at it again, and I think he had 6 or 7 steps in this sequence. He does better if he starts off holding something then moves off after getting to the edge. He does a good job of judging distance and reaching for things when he gets close- he will step a step or two to get between objects and furniture. He does not fall down and get up yet, once he hits the ground he is off and crawling... nor does he go from a sitting to standing position then walk; but he is now among the bipedal population for sure!
ETA: the shiner had nothing to do with walking... we are not sure how he got that black eye! Also, don't mind the highlighter he is sucking on... I'm sure it's not a choking hazard!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


One year ago from the day of the foxhunt was the afternoon I fell and broke my ankle. I meant to do an "anniversary" post but things got away from me! So, here is how my ankle looks now, at a year and a few weeks! The scar has healed well, it's certainly there, but barely noticeable I think... If you catch it from the right angle it is raised and slightly reddish purple but overall I'm OK with how it looks. My use/function is also pretty good. My flexibility and range of motion are still somewhat limited, if I kneel on my knees and sit on my lower legs I can not get my right leg flat to the floor. Other than that I can do just about everything else I want! Occasionally (mostly at the end of the day or middle of the night) it hurts when I first step down but only sometimes and it's just off and on even then. Every now and again when I ride my toes go numb, but besides these minor things I have full use. If it never gets any better I am OK with it, I'd like for there to be a tad more progress, but if this is as good as it gets I'll be OK too!
To add to my ankle scar I've gotten a new one. I had to have a small lump removed from my shoulder this week. This little lump has been bothering me for a while and i finally went in to have it checked out. The Dr. doesn't suspect it is anything to worry about, it looked like a fibroma to him... but we still have to wait a week for biopsy results. I've got three tidy little stitches there, but no pain or anything, so I am happy we opted to take it off. I will have another little scar to remind me though...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mommy's monster



We were playing in the leaves this afternoon and I asked the kids to pose for me. I'm so glad I did, I think this might be our first group shot of the four kids all together! What a family~

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Grace's Big Ride

Since getting Grace this summer I have not had much time to put into riding her. She is super happy just being part of the herd, and the few times I've gotten on she has been good but for the most part she just hangs out. Olivia and I "play" with her, but she hasn't had much saddle time; but today I changed that!
Linda's (my riding buddy) horse Miller has an abscess that is still clearing up and we had wanted to ride this weekend. It is pretty much peak foliage season, and we both had today free. I was bummed when Miller came up lame... but then Linda suggested taking Beau and Grace out! What a brilliant idea! When I work Grace, I've always had Beau out too, so it was perfect for Linda to come and hop on him while Grace finally made her debut in the woods!
We went out for a little over an hour. I'm not sure how much time she has spent hitting the trails, but she was great. She was plenty forward, and not too upset to be out in the woods! Beau is a good babysitter, and helped her I'm sure, but she was a very good girl. She threw a few small "tantrums" but always went right on from there, mostly she kept telling me she wanted to come home, but then would go on with some encouragement. She wasn't too sure about water, and I'll need to do some work there, but for the most part following Beau she was good!

For his part, Beau was particularly happy to have her all to himself for a while! Linda and I both had a good time and decided we need do it more often. It was great to have Grace and Beau out together so hopefully I can take her up on her offer to help me turn this little miss into a trail horse!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

10-16-10 = 9 months

Another month has passed, which means Wes is 9 months old!

Staying still is very hard for us these days... we are on the go all the time!

I am so lucky to have a happy, healthy baby, and before long he won't be a baby any more! He is about 21 pound now, eating solids about 40% of the day... he likes "real" food better than baby food: yogurt, toast, crackers, fruit... He loves being outside, playing with the "big kids" and climbing stairs. Westley laughs and interacts with us so much more these days; you can almost play with him now... He is trying so hard to walk. He stands for a few seconds at a time and creeps along the furniture like a champ! Holding a finger he can walk down the hall... it won't be long now!

Homesewn Kitchen Curtain

We are down to the final details in the kitchen (crown molding is last on the list!) and yesterday we had a nasty rainy day so Bill's Mom came over to help me sew up my kitchen curtain. I am so happy with how it came out!

My Mom and I had picked out this fabric last week, but she had a lot going on and wasn't able to help me sew. I was going to wing it on my own but Bill's Mom volunteered to "get me started." She was invaluable. It's a curtain sewn right. She was so careful of the pattern, making sure the plaid lined up right, if I had done it, it would have been messy... she had me pressing and pinning and measuring! It may be a little silly to have such a small valance, but it came out just the way I wanted it! It covers up the fact that the microwave and stove don't align, and doesn't block too much view. I am so proud of it, what a great rainy day project! Beth had the great idea to make valances to match for the dining room windows, but that's a project for another day!

Fall Grazers

After the foxhunt our little herd was locked down by the house for a few days until all the gates got closed and checked. When I finally got them put back out to pasture they were so happy! It was a beautiful afternoon and Wes was napping, so I followed them up to the field.
They made a b-line for the apple trees and went tree to tree gathering up all the dropped apples they had "missed" during their days down here. It was pretty fun to stand in the afternoon sun watching them. They are all so pretty, and in little moments like this one it's so much easier to remember how blessed I really am!

"Num, Num... We love apples!" I did watch Poke run smack into a downed limb... a reminder how how blind he is, but blessed again he was not hurt!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Foxhunting Beau

In keeping with the New England tradition, the Houston's hosted a fox hunt yesterday. This local hunt group rides out of the farm a few times a year, but only once before have I ridden with them. Some of you might remember that I pulled Poke out of retirement to hunt a number of years ago. That was a cub hunt and Olivia and I rode hilltop division... yesterday was a formal hunt and a bit different:
It was a beautiful fall day, and the hunt group arrived bright and early. I hadn't mentioned to Beau what was up, and he was happy to go along until we tried to get down the driveway... "humm" he said. "Something seems odd..." The trailers parked up at the big barn were his first tip off, and he snorted himself right up and got pretty jazzed as I explained "A' hunting we will go!"
There was a smaller group and they wanted to ride in one field. "Gulp" I said. Was I o.k. with canter/gallop they asked...? "Sure" I replied. And we were off!
The time I hunted Poke we were on a lovely trail ride with the distant braying of hounds and the call of the horn. Yesterday, well yesterday was a blur. We were catering/galloping about 90% of the time. Other than that we were waiting for the hounds to get scent. It was cool to be in the first field and be able to see the hounds working the track (don't worry, these hounds are trained to a drag... they follow a prelaid trail of fox urine, and the "catch" is a huge pile of dog treats!) but it was certainly the most intense riding I've ever done!
I tried to keep tucked into the back of the group, worried that I might have trouble, but Beau was awesome! I gaped all the larger fences, but did hop a few of the smaller ones. He was game for everything, and did so well catering/galloping in the group. He seemed to know right what to do, and even though we came back thru the yard and passed the pastures he came/went by the other horses willingly and was a champ! I was so happy with him! There are no real good pictures of me, since I was "hiding" in the back most of the time.
I'm working up the courage to do it again since Beau was such a super star... but it was a stretch for me! Most of you know I like the controlled feeling I get in the Dressage arena, and this was about as far as you can get; I actually almost cried walking him home. After doing the ride I experienced quite an emotional "rush." It was a great reminder for me though, that it's not him; it's me! Beau can do anything! (ok, not for a few days as he "recovers and gets the shoe he threw put back on!)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Seriously, Folks

This is what I have to deal with:

See the red tin plane by Wes' right hand. Well, after watching me put a few things behind the gate to be taken upstairs later, Wes decided he should have been allowed to play with that plane first. So, he proceeded to shake the gate loose, then used it as a ramp to get to the toy. I watched, camera in hand (and dog bed on the floor behind him in case I was too slow) Sigh. It's gonna be a long ride!
ps. please excuse the poorly fastened prefold diaper. He likes the boy short look!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Standing Solo

Just this past week Wes has started to stand on his own. It's just 4 or 5 seconds at a time, but he is letting go of things and balancing before he sits down, and will stand by himself if you get him balanced real good before you let go. He is very proud of himself, and you can see the wheels turning; sometimes he ever tries to move a foot! It won't be long now before he is walking!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Bill

Today was Bill's birthday. He turned 41 tonight, and of course we had to celebrate! He had his usual birthday dinner: steak and mashed potatoes with angel food cake for dessert.
He got a new weed whip from his Mom and Dad and the kids and I gave him some embroidered shirts and hats for work. He seemed pretty happy, especially since he had given himself the day off! He did some little odds and ends in the kitchen and helped Olivia with a project... so still a productive day- but he didn't have to do any shoeing (which is a good thing as we are still recovering from our busy weekend!)
I feel so lucky to have this guy; he makes me laugh every day and is such a great Dad...

Happy Birthday Honey!

IEA Show

Earlier this fall Olivia joined a local equestrian team. They ride with the Interscholastic Equestrian Association. The team rides out of a barn nearby and she has been having a great time taking lessons and meeting the other girls.
Our team co-hosted this show, so it was a "jump in with both feet" type introduction to the IEA world! We had to bring 10 horses for the other teams to ride, it made for an interesting experience. We brought Nic and 2 Lucky Clover horses and the remained came from others in the team or the team farm. Hauling the horses meant we had to get up at 3am to be there in time to set up etc.
Bill and I, Grandma Houston and Westley went to be extra hands and Olivia's (and the other York kids') cheering section. It was a long day, but we had so much fun! The team did great- we got 2nd overall for the day (I think there were 6 other tams there) and Olivia got 4th in her class! We were so proud! In the IEA you draw horses and ride mounts from the host team (in this case ourselves!) so you have to hop on and go with a horse you don't know. It is great for testing your horsemanship and riding abilities! Olivia just rode on the flat, but there are jumping classes too!

She pulled one of "our" horses ( a pony actually) Liam. She has ridden him a few times in her lessons, so that was lucky... but she was the last class of the day and he was a tad naughty and got pretty quick in the cater. I had my heart in my throat for a second or two, but she did so well and pulled it all together. She has improved so quickly with this program. I really think it helps to ride all sorts of horses. She is so amazing, we are so proud of her and all the other girls on the team too!

Go York Equestrian!