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Carrie Elle

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Scorpion Ranch, Continued...

So the other night I put Jack down and dragged my butt out of bed to make muffins (yeah, because we all need to make muffins at 9:30 PM on a Friday night) and as I was moving around the kitched I noticed something else moving around the my foot.  That would, of course, be a scorpion (what else, right?) - cruising around unpleasantly close to my feet.

So I dashed to the counter and grabbed a wad of paper towels to pick it up with (going to flush that bad boy down the toilet) and when I turned around, he was nowhere to be seen.  I mean, NOWHERE.  Dude escaped.

Between Charles and I (mostly Charles), we put in about 30 minutes of serious scorpion-hunting, all to no avail.  I was getting more and more upset by the second.  Then I remembered that we had some spare Scorpion Traps laying around the house so I grabbed them, peeled off the sticky part and put them together (they are just sticky rodent traps that you fold into a little box and apparently scorpions are drawn to the dark space). 

Well after about 18 hours of "traps out" time, let's just sat this - TAKE THAT, BITCHES!!!!!!!

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ding Ding! Rounnnnnd Two!

Well, my second pregnancy is well underway.  I'm 24 weeks pregnant and there ain't no denying it anymore.  The other day a co-worker said, "Wow, that dress makes your stomach look huge!" and I had to correct her..."No, my stomach IS huge.  There's no 'lookin' huge' about it!" 

My nights are filled with trips to the bathroom, crampy calves and weird dreams.  My days are filled with trips to the bathroom, pickles and mood swings.  Some of my maternity shirts have already been put away because my belly is growing so quickly they no longer serve their purpose (which is to cover not only my belly but ALSO the sexy panel on my maternity pants). 

But probably the biggest shock of all came when I logged in to one of my iPhone's pregnancy apps (yep, they actually do have an app for that) and it said, "You are 6 months pregnant."

WHA-AT?!?!  How the heck did *that* happen (not the pregnant part - I know how that happened - but the actual SIX MONTHS PREGNANT part). 

It's official - I can no longer hide it, I can no longer ignore it, I can no longer kid myself that I have plenty of time to prepare and get things done before the baby comes.  This baby is going to be here in, like, three months!!  And then I will have TWO kids.  A toddler and a baby.  Oh my. 

So of course this really set the wheels in motion.  As in, the wheels of panic, anxiety, worry and stress.  Because all of a sudden I started to realize things, important things, that have not happened yet, that need to happen, that are going to get the idea.

For one thing, the house has not sold yet.  This puts a damper in my pre-conceived images of life after baby.  We are all supposed to be moved into some cozy little house in a nice town with a Target and a Kohl's and a Chick-fil-A.  Jack will have his own room, right next to our room, where I don't need to worry about him getting stolen or trapped in a fire (yes, those are legitimate concerns I have and one of the reasons I don't want to even think about transitioning him to "his" room - which is all the way across the house).  We will have our nice King size bed back together again, as in actually lifted off the ground and with a headboard, and Baby Girl will sleep peacefully in her Arms Reach co-sleeper next to our bed.  We will have a teeny little yard that Jack can play in and a bathtub that doesn't rival a jacuzzi or a shower in a cruise ship (we currently have both).  I will put Jack in the stroller and the baby in the Ergo and walk to the park in the mornings.  It will be perfect!

That was my happy thought.  Here is my anxious/panicky thought: We'll still be here, trying to sell our house with a newborn (as if it isn't hard enough keeping clean as it is).  Someone will buy it when the baby is two weeks old and we'll have to move (pack! move! unpack!) with a toddler and an infant.  We will be desperate to find a place to live because we won't have the luxury of taking our time and looking at houses (think about how much fun house hunting would be with said toddler and infant...) and we will settle for some dumpy rental house with bad neighbors and toilets that never work.

Then I tell myself that my panic is completely justified because of course, how can it work out any other way?? 

I mentioned something along these lines to my mom and she said "Don't worry, it will all work out and you'll have lots of help whatever you guys end up doing."  OK, Logic.  She might have a point.  My mother-in-law is retired.  My mom is a school teacher and will be off during the summer.  Charles has a flexible schedule.  I won't, by any means, have to go it alone...but man, I wanted it to work out the way I had first envisioned it. 

When I stop and think about it, I did have similar pregnancy-induced bouts of anxiety when I was pregnant with Jack.  And when I really think about it, they were all over very silly things (nursery furniture comes to mind...seriously...and the kid never even slept in his nursery).  So that, and logical comments from my mom and Charles (who has reminded me there is actually nothing we can do about this situation until the house sells and we can't make someone buy it from us, so no point in worrying about it for now) helps tame the beast.  But the whole "You are 6 months pregnant" thing is still freaking me out!!

I don't know what the deal is...I have talked about this with other moms of two-or-more, and they say the first pregnancy seems to last forever and the subsequent pregnancies seems shorter and shorter.  This is exactly what I am experiencing.  I don't know if it's just that I've been pregnant before so I know what to expect and am not constantly consumed by it (was that a kick? is this normal? etc.), or if it's that I don't have as much time to sit around and read my Babycenter Bulletins each week (also have an app for that), or if having another kid just keeps me busier during the day, or what...but this pregnancy is flying by, I tell you.  In fact, I saw a picture the other day of Charles and Jack with my brother and his family at the Dallas Arboretum and I thought "where the heck was I??"  After thinking back to December and trying to figure this out, I finally remembered that I stayed home that day because I was about six weeks pregnant and was feeling awful that day - and then I remembered that I was actually pregnant in November, and I just cannot even believe I have been pregnant for this long.

In many ways this pregnancy flying by is a good thing, but there is also a downside to it.  I realized the other day that I have not done any real research or looked for any classes to assist me with the upcoming birth (this time, I'm planning on delivering at a Birthing Center instead of a hospital...that means NO EPIDURAL...).  I should probably try to read up on the whole natural birthing thing...right?  I should probably pull out the Arms Reach co-sleeper and make sure it doesn't have cat pee on it, wash the car seat, get the carpets cleaned, start transitioning Jack into a different sleeping arrangement...that sort of thing.

But I still have three months to go.  Plenty of time, right?


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Girls and Horses

I am preparing, both physically and mentally, for Norman's impending departure.  He is scheduled to move on to his new home (and his new life) on or around April 10th.  He's leaving behind the humid Texas summers and horseflies the size of golf balls for a green pasture in the mountains of Colorado.  He'll be trading in the life of leisure for an actual job, leaving a family who loves him but doesn't show it for a family who will not only love him but actually give him the attention he deserves.  All wonderful things and clearly in the best interest of the horse.

So why am I so bummed?

Well, in some ways I'm really not sad at all.  One less mouth to feed, one less critter to keep up with and budget for each month, one less being not getting the attention he deserves.  The thought of only having one horse (and two donkeys) is a little bit freeing.  It makes the one horse I will have seem more manageable...maybe (and we can blame this on my pregnancy-weakened brain), I will actually be able to ride again someday.  Right now I feel overwhelmed by the horses and almost like I wouldn't know where to start if I all of a sudden got a wild hair and decided to go spend some time in the barn.  But if I only have one horse, I know exactly what I would do with an extra hour in the barn (I would wash Seamus''s nasty and hasn't been washed in probably a year and a half).

I also know that this is really what is best for the horse.  A real job, a real family, a better location (he's a draft horse and he does best when it's comfortable to cold outside...he won't have to sweat through any more summers).  Norman will have a better life in his new situation.

But I am still sad.

For one thing, Norman is a beautiful horse, inside and out.  The kind of horse every girl dreams about - with a luscious mane and tail and feathers on his feet.  A pretty face with kind eyes.  A solid back that is perfect for some bareback chillin'.  Who wouldn't want him??

I first met him a few hours after he was born (my mom's PMU rescue mare gave birth to him in May of 2006).  A gangly colt with none of his mother's shyness.  His belly still wet, he let us all love on him from the beginning.

He wasn't always perfect.  He turned out to be a complete nightmare for the vet.  It took four of us to hold him so the vet could sedate him to be gelded.  He then of course remembered this and reenacted the scene for subsequent vet visits.  But this kind of brings me to what prompted this post...I had to have the vet out on Friday to get Norm's paperwork up to date for his trailer ride to Colorado and guess what?  He stood like a perfect gentleman. 

Oh...he eyeballed the vet alright.  But that was it.  He didn't move a muscle while he received two shots and had his blood drawn.  The vet, shocked, commented on how the draft horse in him had finally overtaken the "baby" part of him and how she couldn't wait to go back and tell one of the helpers who had dealt with him at that first vet visit.  And it's not just the vet...he's never been nasty for the farrier but I would hardly call him "easy" - until the last time, when he pretty much stayed in one spot the entire time he had his feet done and refrained from trying to remove the farrier's hat even once with his giant draft horse lips.  He's turning into a big boy, a grown-up - a mature, sensible, easy horse. 

So I wonder, often, if my future daughter will see pictures of him and say, "MOM!  Why did you get rid of him?!"  Because I remember giving my mom a hard time because she didn't save her "cool" bell bottoms and shoes that I saw in pictures and wanted to wear in high school - and those aren't nearly as cool as a big, beautiful horse.  But then I also realize that if this little girl does like horses, and does want to ride...I really hope to be in a place where we can get her one.  And then I realize how much I hope she *does* like horses...

Having a child is kind of like living a great science experiment every day.  Before Jack was born, we wondered what he would look like.  Would he look like me?  Charles?  A combination of the two? (Charles, in case you are wondering).  Would he like horses? Golf? Guitars? You know - things he should be genetically-inclined to like.

Well, so far he is ambivalent about the horses.  I ask him if he wants to ride and he says yes, but after a couple of circles on Norman's back he's over it and wants down.  He has important things to do that don't involve horses - like digging in the dirt and pretending to fill his car up with gas. 

He likes golf - that is for sure.  We just bought him a new set of plastic clubs that he can play with (so far he seems to hit left-handed, and his Walmart clubs just weren't helping his swing any...hehe!).  He has, on two separate occasions, played nine holes of golf with Charles (I use the term "played nine holes" very loosely...imagine, if you will, a two-year old on a golf course and you can surely imagine how much actual golfing took place...but since he will only last about five minutes on a horse I would say it counts for something that he can spend almost two hours on the golf course).  So we know Jack likes golf.

Only time will tell if this little girl will be content to spend a couple of hours with me at the barn...I guess we will have to wait and see.  There's just no way to know until that time comes.  I am not lost on the irony of rehoming Norman so we can have more time and money for the kids, one of which very well might be asking for a horse just like Norman a few years down the road.  But for now...I'm going to enjoy my last week with Norman AND enjoy my freshly-cleaned tack room, which has a whole lotta less junk now that I am down to one smallish pony!

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