Installing Buttons

Happy Wednesday!

We had a great day yesterday here at the homestead. We spent a long time at the barn chasing the kitties (although we couldn’t find Skittles. He’s the smartest one of the group) and picking rocks while Willow got some outside time.

showmethekitty

Shannon’s latest thing is to go down the barn aisle and point out the horses one by one, asking what their names are (I think, anyways). We go up and down about a million times while she asks “this?” at every stall. If the stall is empty, she throws her hands in the air in her way of saying “all done!”

naminghorses

I also set up a Facebook page for the blog! I figured not EVERYBODY on my personal Facebook wants to get constant blog updates, so give us a ‘like’ if you want to stay up to date on the goings on around here. 🙂

Anyways. Mike got home pretty early last night, and Willow was looking a bit wild eyed this afternoon when we tried to put her out, so I jetted off to the barn when he got home so that I could squeeze a good work in. And goodness did we have a good work!

I try to keep the lunging to a minimum, since the constant circling can be hard on their joints, but I spin her around twice a week. Once with side reins and once without. I supplement it with some ground driving and I purchased a great book on ground work off Amazon at the suggestion of a fellow COTHer. It was cooler out yesterday, so she was a little bit higher than her normal lazy self, which was perfect for what I planned on doing. Installing a “canter” button.

Here’s the thing, Willow has an amazing canter, however like most green horses, the transition is a mess. If you add the fact that she’s huge into the equation, running her into the gait just doesn’t work very well. She has this mind blowing extended trot that she’ll settle into and two strides later you’ve used up your long side. Then, because she’s got all that forward momentum going, it’s hard to down shift again. It’s all typical green horse stuff compounded by the fact that she’s 17.1. We got into it a little bit, but then my center of balance shifted, and it wasn’t fair to her to ask her to try to carry weebly-wobbly me AND weebly-wobbly her.

Last night I got her fully booted up, and we worked on kiss = canter. That mare is so bloody smart, I swear it’s kind of scary. It only took me asking her twice before she stopped trying to bust out a whopper of an extension and just hopped right into the canter. The second she picked the gait up, I gave her lots of praise and let her down shift again to a nice forward walk. Because it was cooler and she was a little bit more ‘up’, I didn’t have to chase her at all. It was just a matter of making the connection between the cue and the gait. As soon as it clicked with her, we were done. I hopped on her bareback (I know, I know) and worked on some leg yielding and stretching at the walk to bring her back down a little bit (cantering is EXCITING, didn’t you know). She had a shower, and I hand walked her out in the arena since she was still just a bit too steamy.

We’ll keep working on it, and once she can maintain the gait around the full circle I’ll add side reins into the mix. 🙂

I know that all this stuff seems like baby horse stuff, but with everything that has gone on in our lives since I was blessed with her a year ago (TOMORROW!!!!)… Lyme disease, the scarcoid surgery on her butt, a frustrating winter trying to get on the same page, abscess from h*ll, moving, second baby, moving again, and now not being able to ride… it makes me happy that we are still managing forward progress (by ourselves, too! No trainer here at this point) and that’s she’s turning into a horse that I can say that I’m really enjoying. I mean, isn’t that the whole point of horse ownership?

Okay. I’m done being sappy now! Shannon is down for a nap, and after riding yesterday, I’m off to take a nap myself before our grocery shopping adventures this afternoon!

And, I want to wish my amazingly beautiful Mom a HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! We can’t wait to see you in a few weeks!! Love you!

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A Day in the Life

I’ve had a few people who have e-mailed me, asking about how Mike and I manage to juggle life with a toddler, 2 high-energy dogs, a horse in a self care facility, his demanding job, and a baby on the way so I thought that it would be fun to do a “day in the life” type of post. Our routine isn’t the exact same every day, but it keeps the same basic pattern. I’m obviously not going to give out locations of where our daily adventures take us, because that’s a little weird. 😉

Mike gets up first in the morning, lets the dogs out, and gets ready for his day. He brings the dogs back upstairs and heads out to the barn to feed and see if he can squeek some turnout in for Willow. We are having a hard time finding a group for her to go out with at the moment, since everybody has hind shoes on their horses and I’m not comfortable with it. She mostly prefers her fan and hay net anyways.

allalone

I get up with Shannon, let the dogs out to play, and depending on the weather, we’ll have breakfast out on the back deck so I can throw the ball for the pooches. If we’re having a hot or rainy day, we’ll come inside to have a little breakfast picnic in the living room and watch her favorite show, Super Why.

barnboots

We put on our barn boot regardless…

At some point between wake up and breakfast I’ll get a text from Mike letting me know if he was able to get Willow out in the morning. If he was able to get her out, we normally go out to the barn after breakfast so that I can bring her in before it gets really hot and the bugs get her pacing. Shannon loves to run around, trying to find barn cats, and shoveling cookies as fast as she can into Willow’s face. 🙂

chasin' kitties

If Mike wasn’t able to get her out, we hang around the house, read books, and just generally have a great time. 1100 is naptime and its usually a pretty non-negotiable thing. I usually get about 2-2.5 hours of time that I use to get the dogs out again, clean up from breakfast, answer e-mails, and type up a blog post or two. Lately I’ve been so exhausted that I do the basics and then hang out on the couch and try to get my toes to unswell. 😉

Naptime really stresses Dixie out too.

sleepydixie

When Shannon gets up, we have lunch and then set out to do any errands I have planned for the day. I discovered that it’s easier to take her out in public after her nap, as opposed to trying to squeeze things in before and rush all around to try to make the 1100 naptime. If we weren’t able to get out to the barn in the morning, we’ll go in the afternoon to give Willow some time in the indoor or outside, if a paddock is open and it’s not too hot. I’ll pick out her stall and chuck her another flake of hay for the afternoon. If the weather is reasonable, sometimes she’ll stay out for the afternoon. Sometimes Dixie comes too. She’s the best little barn dog, but Jax has a really hard time being home alone.

arenatime

walmart!

We don’t do stuff everyday, but it’s really nice to get out of the house! Once errands and the barn are all taken care of, we’ll come home and take the dogs for a walk or throw the ball in the backyard so they can stretch their legs after being in their crates. Usually it’s around 4 and I’m ready to be DONE for the day, but we still have some time before Mike can get home so I’ll use that time to have quiet playtime with Shannon or watch a movie, usually with a snack! The dogs usually alert me around 530 if Mike isn’t home yet. 😉

movietime

waiting

If I haven’t heard from him, I’ll usually shoot him a text asking his ETA. If he’s going to be late, I start getting things ready to bring Shannon out to the barn to do chores for the night. He tries really hard to be home by 6, but it usually doesn’t happen. If he does get home, we’ll have dinner together and I’ll head back out to the barn. If not, then we go first so I can have Shannon home by 7 for a quick dinner and bed time by 8-830. Usually in the evenings I can get Willow out again for a few hours, and go back to the barn around 9 to bring her in. If I don’t have Shannon with me, I’ll lunge or ground drive her instead of turning out, while Mike handles the bedtime routine. Evenings are also when I scrub her buckets, bring up hay, add more shavings to her stall, run a brush over her or give her a bath (once a week), and do other little odds and ends (read: gossip with the barn ladies). I don’t do those things if I have Shannon with me, though, and will do them when I go back at 9 to bring Willow in.

grazing

evening

I’m usually home by 930-10 regardless. Mike will have Shannon in bed and will have finished his end of the day stuff for work. I’ll take a quick shower, grab something else to eat, and we’ll curl up in bed to watch some trash TV or read for a bit until I’m ready to crash.

So there you have it! Our day in a nutshell. We stay pretty busy, but I enjoy getting out and about as much as possible! It’s nice to have a routine in place, for when we add our next little bundle of joy in October!

Hope y’all are having a great Tuesday!

Dealing with the (wee human) naughty!

Happy Friday y’all!

Hope that everybody is doing well. Here at the homestead we’ve seemed to come screeching into our terrible twos. I guess I don’t really want to call it that, since Shannon isn’t a terrible kid. She’s just high energy, willful, and testing the cannibalism waters. The combo makes for an exhausting day. When I get Mike’s text that he’s leaving from work, I usually squeal a little bit knowing that I will soon have reinforcements (and I get to go to the barn soon).

Anyways, we’ve had a hard time trying to figure out the best parenting strategy to handle the outbursts (and violence). I was all gung-ho about positive parenting and reasoning with her, but really… have you tried to reason with an 18 month old who realllllly wants to run around with a screwdriver? Pffft. It usually gets me a slap across the face. She would have an explosion (usually in the form of hitting or biting) and I would try to sit with her and tell her that it hurt Mommy. Ha. Ha. Ha. She thought that she was having a great time playing “chase Shannon all over the house.”

Redirection turned into a game for her.  She would do something, say get into the kitchen cabinets, and I would tell her no and bring her into her play room. As soon as I took her away from whatever she was trying to get into, she would immediately try to get back to what I took her away from. It doesn’t matter WHAT I give her, she made a bee-line for the ‘no’ object. It would turn into a physical struggle with then transformed into hitting/biting. Clearly non-effective.

bookshelf

What about spanking? Mike and I agree that we aren’t sure how we feel about teaching that hitting is not okay by hitting doesn’t really make sense. I will admit to popping her on the butt to bring her back to ground zero when she’s doing something dangerous. That’s effective enough to get her attention, but it doesn’t hurt her, but then, of course, we go back to what I mentioned above about her making a bee-line for whatever it was that we disengaged her from.

cabinet

Cabinets are a big thing…

Finally, we came to time outs. I set up the pack ‘n play in an empty corner of her playroom and I put a stuffed frog in it. Just the one toy. Nothing else. It’s proved to be the most effective of all the thing that we’ve tried (so far). She did a drive by biting the first time, so I put her in it, and I walked away. I did’t say anything to her. She FREAKED. Totally lost her mind. I just sat quietly out of view until she chilled out (so…. 5 minutes, if not less) and started chatting with her frog.  Then we resumed our activity. It gave us both a chance to hit the re-set button on the day and take a break from whatever caused her to bite me (it was a drive by… so I’m not sure what the cause was…).

We don’t use it for everything. Mostly the “big” offenses, like hitting and biting Mike and I (or the dogs and cats). Screaming and crying meltdowns we wordlessly walk away from. Usually those are done within 15 seconds and are the ‘easy’ fits to deal with.

timeout

We also are trying to make an effort to make the right thing easy for her, and the wrong thing hard. For example, she is OBSESSED with turning the computer on and off. I can’t count how many times she’s turned it off on me when I’ve put it down for a second. So now, instead of just setting it down (possibly where she can reach it) to run and grab her juice or let the dogs in/out, I make sure it goes up high. The less she hears the word ‘No’ the less “moments” that she has (and the less frustrated I feel that nobody is listening to me). It’s a lot like training a green horse…. If I don’t want Willow to half pass across the diagonal, I don’t give her to opportunity to do it. 😉 Makes total sense, right? Parenting and horse training is totally the same thing.

Like the horses, I know that she has to make mistakes so she can learn (there are some boundaries that I don’t think that parents can set) , but I would prefer that she puts her shoes on the wrong feet instead of jumping off the stairs. When it’s age appropriate… jump kid, jump! We don’t dictate everything to her, but we want her to know that when we say ‘no’ we really do mean it.

Mike and I aren’t even close to being perfect parents, and I know that every kid is different, but I wanted to share what’s working for us right now. This stage in the game is proving to be pretty frustrating and exhausting for me, and I know that I’m not the only parent out there feeling this way! It’s okay to admit it, I promise! It doesn’t mean you are failing, it just means that you are tired, a parent to a toddler, and NORMAL. I fairly sure I’m raising this little heathen child that was going to go to Pre-K in a few years and gnaw large chunks out of her peers… or at least poop in the toybox. It’s not going to get any easier when Charley gets here (although I’ve been lying to myself that it will, to keep me kinda sorta sane) but having a set plan  to help deal with the not so fun times is going to help.

Also, like with Willow, I’ve seen things get better once she knows that action = consequence. Again, the right thing is easy and the wrong thing is hard (thank you, Warwick Schiller for teaching me this phrase, he’s a western guy, but I’ve used a lot of his techniques with Willow and through that… my child, apparently. Maybe I should write him.)

happy!

It’s not always WWF and cannibalism, I promise.

And when things get really, really bad, I just walk out the door and give my pretty bay stress reliever some smooches. 😉  I even jumped on her bareback last night and THAT was amazing (I’m paying for it today… heh). She’s okay with having the baby around, and Shannon has learned to give her cookies, which Willow thinks is GREAT since Shannon is much happier to dig in the cookie bag than I am. There goes Willow’s weight watchers plan.

Anyways, I just received the “I’m on my way home” text from the Big Boss, so I’m going to put on my comfy pants and prepare to indulge in my favorite book ever before I have to go play with the princess.

It's like putting sweatpants on my brain...

It’s like putting sweatpants on my brain…

Because I’m tired and I deserve it.

Equine Aid!

Can we take a moment to chat about something that is really important to me? I mean, more important than the fact that there is a Chick-Fil-A less than two miles from my house and on the way to the barn (which should give you a clue about how important this is!).

Seriously though. Lets talk a bit about hydration….not my hydration, but Willow’s. When we moved down here, I didn’t quite realize just how hot it would be. People warned me, but I wasn’t fully prepared to sweat straight through the months of June and July (and probably August, September, and October as well). Willow had it even worse, and I was in neurotic Mommy mode. Her paddock doesn’t exactly have central air like my house. Not only was her comfort important to me, but have you ever opened a colic bill? It’s an activity that I don’t like to make a habit of.

As a result of my neurosis, I spent way more money than I should have on salt licks, electrolytes, and Gatorade. Of course, would the normally treat hound, food snarfing Willow touch any of it? Ha! Tacos, sure! Electrolytes, no thanks. Her feed always ended up looking like this…

nobueno

Yea. That’s grain left behind, folks. It looks like this no matter HOW I doctored it. If I added it into her water, she wouldn’t touch it. *headdesk*

Then, it happened. The wonderful folks at Equine Aid contacted me and asked if I’d like to try out some samples. I did some looking into the product before I said yes, and then jumped at the chance to give it a shot. Mike can attest to the happy dance that I did when I got the package in the mail.

equineaid

So what is it? According to their website, “Equine Aid is a blend of natural, organic ingredients that horses love.  By simply flavoring a bucket of water with Equine Aid you encourage your horse to drink, giving him the water he needs and the wholesome flavors that will make a big impression.” `

Off to the barn I went, with my wonder packets in hand! I will admit, after having Ms. Prissy Palate turn her royal nose up at everything else that I’ve tried, I was a little bit skeptical that it would work. The ingredients are really pretty simple, totally organic non-GMO (whoop!) alfalfa, molasses, brown sugar, and pink Himalayan rock salt… that’s it. It doesn’t get much simpler than that and I was hoping that simple was the key. When I compared it to the labels of the supplement that I was currently trying to feed I was wicked excited that I could actually PRONOUNCE everything in Equine Aid. Not only that, but I knew what everything was. Double score.

product

I even gave it a taste (it’s human grade!), and I was kind of jealous. Yum much? And really, if I was so inclined, I could have dumped some in my water bottle. It’s totally safe for me AND for the little bundle of kidney boxer I’m currently dealing with. I wasn’t going to get greedy though. 😉

I had decided I was going to set up a bit of an experiment to see how well it actually worked. We’ve been at the new barn for about a week now, and while Willow wasn’t drinking nearly as much as I would have liked, averaging about 5-7 gallons overnight, she was used to the water. I added one packet of the Equine Aid into one bucket, stirred, and left her to her own devices.

mixin'

Normally I get a glare and a ‘leave me alone to eat my hay” snort. This time, though, Willow was huffing and puffing over my shoulder as soon as I ripped the packet open, so you know that she was into what was going on. It smells delicious!

buckets

I couldn’t get a picture of her without her nose in the way! Despite her obvious interest I was a little bit skeptical weather she would drink, since it looked a little pea-soupy even once I mixed it for a bit. I mean, the piglet has left grain behind to avoid eating sugar smelling powder, so I wasn’t too optimistic about the fact that she was going to drink something that looked like pea soup.

Before my back was even turned though…

drinking

Don’t hold it against me that the picture is so blurry… it was like… an instant thing!

Bam! Half a bucket…gone! Just like that. And she doesn’t even LIKE drinking out of that bucket. I was totally floored and a little too excited. A product that Miss Priss actually LIKES?! Heck to the yes!

I didn’t want to get too excited though, so I refilled the bucket (and didn’t add more Equine Aid) and we left to go out to dinner. I figured I would have Mike snap a picture of the results in the morning when he fed her before work, but then I realized that I had left her apple core in the center console and well… homeslice needs her daily apple core! I’m glad we went back, because I was greeted with this…

buckets2

The bucket with the Equine Aid (hanging) was the one that she preferred, even though it was in the non-preferred bucket.

Another almost empty bucket. Umm… score much?! She just drank her twelve hour average in about two. I refilled the buckets (what a wonderful problem to have!) again and gave her the promised apple core and a snuggle for the night. She was totally thrilled, I promise.

happyface

Now, I did still have a few concerns about Equine Aid. Introducing anything new to Willow makes me a little bit nervous, because not only does she have a colic history (hence my water drinking neurosis!) but she also can be really sensitive to sugars in her feed. Even a handful of the wrong cookies can send her into orbit. Since there is molasses and brown sugar in Equine Aid, I was a bit wary that it would give her a little extra ‘oomph’. Since she’s 17.1 and I’m 30 weeks pregnant, the last thing I need is ‘oomph’. I was totally wrong. Home girl has been outside all day (ALONE) with nary a bellow. She’s stayed totally level-headed and sane.

allalone

So, lets recap- Equine Aid is one of my new favorite products (yes, I’m even more excited about it than I am about Horze tendon boots, Chick-Fil-A, and bling browbands). Not only is it a great tool to have in your kit for any sweaty situation, but I also plan on keeping a few packets in my tack box for flavoring water for when we move barns. The Army keeps us in motion and knowing that I have a fail safe to keep my girl drinking, no matter where we end up, is a huge load off my mind.

And (AND!!) It comes in single packets, so no more opening the container and making sure that mice, bugs, dirt, the barn cat, and my toddler stay out or worrying about it staying fresh. Just open a packet, dump, and done. The packets are super sturdy, so no concerns about them opening up by accident.

It’s affordable too! I compared it to a few comparable products, and at roughly $1.60 a packet (if you buy the 15 packet bundle, $1.99 per. packet if you buy individually) Equine Aid make my wallet (and my husband) smile!  It’s easier to feed too. And again, just look at the ingredients. I’m much happier giving my horse something that is simple (and organic!) than a host of things that I can’t pronounce.

Finally, maybe you have a horse that is even pickier than my girl (I’d like to meet you, if you do). That’s cool, too. Just feed it dry. Willow loved it and was all up in my grill (did I really just say that?) for more. I blame the alfalfa. 😉

I’m all about what is best for Willow, and Equine Aid is the answer to all my “Willow, just drink the water so I can sleep tonight” prayers.

If you have any other questions, their website is here and I’m sure that their kick butt customer service will help you out! Equine Aid is also all hooked up on Facebook and Twitter (@EquineAid). If you check out their Facebook, you’ll see that not only is this company dedicated to hydration, but they are also into young riders and have just awarded an awesome scholarship to a very lucky young lady! You go guys!

I’ll stop gushing now and leave y’all to go order your packets!

**I was not monetarily compensated to write this post. Equine Aid sent me some sample packets to review, and I’ve given my totally honest opinion of their product.**  

Productivity!

Well… not when it comes to unpacking. Unpacking with Shannon in the house is akin to trying to sort paperwork on a desk with a fan blowing on it at hurricane speeds…so almost impossible. We are officially closed out of our post housing though, and it feels good not to have to worry about running back and forth any more. We get what we can unpacked during bed and naptimes! 

Yesterday, Shannon and I were getting a little bit stir crazy being home (and if I had to tell her to get out of a cupboard one more time I was going to blow my top…I’ll happily admit to not being perfect) and it wasn’t AS hot as it’s been lately, so I decided to go out to the barn. I found Ms. Willow’s lunge line, bridle, and boots and off we went. The big mare has been living it up for a while now, so I figured a bit of work wouldn’t hurt. 

So off we went. Shannon hung out in her stroller while I cleaned the beast and waited for the arena, then before I put her bridle on (Willow’s not Shannon’s) I moved Shannon out to the arena. There is a small ‘judges booth’ type thing in the corner that is enclosed and safe. I put my phone on airplane mode with Pandora playing and gave her some juice and a snack. She was pretty content to hang out and watch. 

Willow happily trucked out to the ring and gave me some nice stretchy walk/trot. There was a slick spot that we had to work around, so I decided that we would just work on the two slower gaits, since her canter is so big and a little bit unbalanced still. We worked on transitions within the gaits, and she responded nicely. I didn’t put side reins on, just a bridle, so I didn’t quite get her working over her back like I would have liked, but the end result was a nice, stretchy, floating trot in both directions and a lovely swinging walk to the left. To the right she kept trying to pop her shoulder out, but the side reins will be a good aid in fixing that. 

I kept the session light, about 20 minutes, since I was getting a bit tired and Shannon started to get bored, but I was really pleased with the results. 

Watching her go though, is making me re-think my choice in farriers, as I don’t think that he’s trimming her quite the way that I would like. Nothing wrong with what he’s doing now, but after really watching her I think it can be improved upon a little bit. 

After I threw her in her stall and got her bridle off, I ran back to the arena to retrieve Shannon and then quickly stripped off Willow’s boots and hosed her in the wash rack.

She said thank you to Shannon for her patience too. 🙂 

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And then was happy to chill out in front of her fan for the rest of the day. When I got there last night, she had totally decimated her “slow feeder” hay bag. There is a flap that goes over the top, so that the horses can’t get at it from above… 

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Tough-1 that was the quickest I think that I have ever seen an animal destroy a hay bag. It still serves its’ purpose of keeping her from mixing her hay into her shavings, but I think that the ‘slow feed’ option is off the table. 

I’m off to drag my kid out of the cupboard (Mike… PLEASE install the child locks… PLEASE!!!) for the 800th time and figure out how to keep the dogs from killing each other. It’s a yucky, rainy day so we’re all stuck inside! Dixie is taking great offense. 😉 

Happy Monday! 

Hello Chaos!

Whew! 

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Girl has her priorities….

Well, we’ve officially spent two nights in the new house! Mike has been a total brute when it comes to moving, doing almost all of the work by himself while I wrangle Shannon and try to unpack as many boxes as I can. To add to the fun, it’s been in the upper 90’s with a heat index of 100-105 all week. Fun!

After we closed on Monday, we ran to the tack store to pick up shavings and a few other odds and ends for Willow, then picked up lunch and ate it picnic style on the kitchen floor. 

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We went back and spent our last night on post and got started bright and early Tuesday morning. I had an OB appointment first thing, and then came home to make sure Shannon stayed out from under foot. Mike loaded her and the dogs up, and we caravanned out the barn to load hay, Willow, and my grain bin. He split for the new house and I followed Willow out to get her settled into her new digs!

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Wills is loving her new home, is a bit overly obsessed with standing in front of her fan, and is meeting her new friend Onyx for night turnout this afternoon. It’s been in the upper 90’s all week so she’s been staying in. I prefer that any horse in my care be outside as much as possible, but she’s seemed to appreciate being out of the heat. I know it puts my mind at rest now. 

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Checkin’ out the hay situation.

 

She’s been a total lady, and everybody at the barn loves her. We even had to pose for pictures yesterday, since a few people haven’t seen a horse quite her size before. I hope it doesn’t go to her head. 😉 The barn that we moved her too is wonderful. Everybody is extremely helpful and friendly. The atmosphere is very laid back and I have the ability to do exactly the things that Willow needs. I’m so happy to have her 5 minutes away and have full control over every aspect of her care. There is always somebody around and I was getting updates on Her Majesty all day, which put my mind at serious ease since we were so busy on this end!

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After I got her settled in, I jetted over to the house and did more Shannon wrangling while Mike unpacked. After she went to bed, we put the pedal to the medal and unpacked the kitchen and a few odds and ends. I made 812 trips to Wal Mart to pick up things that we forgot at the old house. Wednesday morning Mike was up and out the door at the crack of dawn and spent the day on post, loading up as much as he could from that house. Shannon and I hung out here, checked on Willow, made MORE runs to Wal Mart, and cleaned the bejeezus out of this place. Mike and I did more unpacking after she went to bed, and got our furniture put together. It feels good to have furniture! He had to go back to work today and tomorrow, but hopefully we will be all set after just one more intense moving day this weekend. You never realize how much little stuff you have until you have to move it all! Next move, we will be hiring a company instead of doing it all ourselves! 

We are loving being in our own house, despite all the work, and will love it even more when it we aren’t so exhausted, I think! I spent most of the day today hanging up pictures, and I have a few DIY projects on the list whenever I can get to Lowes. I’m so excited to be able to make this space ours so that we can really enjoy it for the time that we’ll be here. Mike may or may not be leaving, so it will be nice to have a home base that the girls and I are comfortable in before he goes. 

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Keeping an eye on things from her new kitchen stool.

We have about 1,000 more square feet than we did living on post, and it’s proven to be the perfect size. Post housing was nice, don’t get me wrong, and we are really lucky that we chanced into the house that we did, but when you add a toddler, two dogs, and two cats into the mix, things get a little close. Maybe it’s the layout, maybe it’s the number… who knows… all I know it that it’s great! 

 

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Doin’ log rolls with Daddy in the living roo

My only complaint? The guy that Time Warner sent out to set up our cable and internet. As soon as he left, I was on the phone with the company hub asking them to NEVER send him back to our house again. He was dirty, rude (he seriously asked me if “I could get him a glass of ice water, babe, it’s hot outside”), got into a yelling match with a friend, and farted on my couch. Yea. You read that right. Farted. On my couch. Loudly. The company apologized profusely when I called and promised that he wouldn’t be back out. Honestly, though this whole process could have been much, much worse, so I’m thankful! 

I guess I better be off to take advantage of Shannon’s nap to get some more boxes unpacked without my favorite little shadow. She’s about as helpful as you would imagine a toddler to be! 

On the record.

I know. Two posts in two days. But I’m just so excited I can’t even handle life right now.

For those of you who know me, and Willow, or have followed the blog for a while, you know that the biggest thing that Willow and I struggle with is her separation anxiety when it comes to leaving her herdmates. In the past, she’s had moments where she’s tried to climb over her stall door (and me!) to get back out to her friends. Honestly, I’ve just been working around it since it’s such a point of stress for both of us.

She’s been getting better as time goes on, and little by little been getting comfortable with at least coming into the barn solo. There was always a friend once she got up there but she would still stare out the back of the barn and let loose the occasional bellow into my ear.

We have a busy week coming up, and I wanted to steal some time today to get out and give her a bit of a spa treatment so she stepped off the trailer looking like the diva she knows that she is. I also really hate untidy manes. Like really, really bad. I put on my big girl panties, grabbed the stud chain (because everybody keeps and extra lead rope and chain in their glove compartment, right?) out of the truck upon arrival and prepared myself for battle.

Turns out, homeslice was totally cool with the proceedings. The barn owner had rigged up some sort of weird pasture system, and I didn’t realize that there were horses out where I had to walk Wills through to get to the barn. They came screaming over and I almost had a heart attack. Willow’s reaction? “Eh, I’ll back ’em off Mom. No worries.” She pinned her ears, gave a tail swish, and everybody went back to their grazing.

Then, it was bath time. The other dreaded chore. She will do the ants in her pants dance the entire time, and bathing usually involves going around and around and around in circles, getting tangled up in the hose, and lots of “just freaking stand, damnit!”. Not today! Ms. Thang stood like a rock.

standing

 

Just like that. The entire time. WHAT?!

Then, just because, the Army (I board her right off post, about 5 miles) started off with the heavy artillery. You can feel the thumps in your chest. Then, as if that wasn’t enough… they decided to do a few fly overs with the big planes. I figured, here’s where it’s all going to go down. I’m going to have to call Mike and tell him to come pick up the pieces because no way is she going to chill. I mean, this is Willow we’re talking about here.

What was her reaction?

chillin'

 

She took a snooze.

Umm…

WHAT?!

She got lavished in peppermints and we went and found the yummy grass for her to eat while she dried off.

hoggin

 

I’m still a little bit floored by how wonderful she really was today. We had not one moment of hysterics, or drama, or naughtiness. She followed me around like a puppy dog, ‘helped’ load stuff into the truck, and was really just a good buddy for the few hours that I was able to sneak out there. And she was up there with me all alone, no friends in sight!

Are we finally turning the corner to a sensible, happy to comply Willow? Or are we dealing with the onset of the zombie apocalypse (<- that word was REALLY hard for me to spell…)? Maybe she’s just decided that I make a good friend? Who knows! It’s nothing I did, I don’t think, training wise… *sniff* my big/little girl is really growing up!

himom!

And it was really worth the wait!

I’m off to shower, then we have to hit up the tack store (oh darn!) since I somehow manage to have 3 track bandages but 5 quilts, and then we have the pre-closing walk through of our new house!!  Hope you all have as great of a day as we did! 🙂