New Icon?

Feb. 15th, 2013 08:50 pm
spirithorse21: (Dash and Sam Painting)
IMGP6055
I think this might need to be a new icon or have some sarcastic phrase to go with it or something. Yes?

And my other favorite today :)
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Name Game

Oct. 23rd, 2012 03:32 pm
spirithorse21: (Dressage)
So, I acquired a leather halter for Doc and it will be getting a name plate. This means I finally have to decide on his forever show name. And I want your help.

[Poll #1874191]
spirithorse21: (Growing Family)
I just had to share some baby smiles...they are the first really good ones I've captured. :)

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1 month!

Oct. 13th, 2012 01:09 am
spirithorse21: (Default)
My baby boy is one month old already. How did that happen?
2012-10-13_00-21-20_964

2012-10-13_00-29-56_388
spirithorse21: (Huh?)
I cannot ever remember feeling this tired for this long. But things are slowly coming together. *sigh*

Samuel
He will be 3 weeks old tomorrow. I can't believe how quickly time has flown--one more week and he'll be one month old! And he has GROWN like a WEED! Seriously, he entered this world at 7 lbs. 6 oz. As of Tuesday, he was 9 lbs even. He has outgrown the newborn cloth diapers and his strictly newborn clothes are fairly tight on him. The 0-3 month clothes look good though...for now.

Things have not all been easy though. Among all the usual newborn issues, he has been getting increasingly fussy about feedings, and then starting spitting up an oz or two of breast milk at almost every feeding followed by being very bloated, gassy, and generally uncomfortable. We saw the pediatrician about it Tuesday and he decided we should have an upper GI study done, so yesterday little Samuel got to fast for 4 hours (really, this is SO much fun with an infant. *eye roll*) and then drink barium for a scan. Results shows that it is just a minor reflux issue, so that is a relief and we can begin helping him feel better.

Today has been a little rough just because he's eliminating the barium. It has made him clingy and lethargic, but I don't mind cuddling with baby. Plus, it coincided with another visit from my mom, so *she* cuddled him for a few hours while I visited Doc.

Samuel in his first week
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Samuel today after a bath and getting ready to go into his favorite thing--the ergo baby carrier. It's his cuddle time with Daddy. :)
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Doc
We have almost completed 45 days of downtime for the injured suspensory. He has a recheck with the vet next Wednesday and I'm hoping we will get cleared to begin walking under saddle. In just the past two weeks the leg has really started to look better--cleaner, less swelling. I trotted him on a circle for the first time the other day and I'd say he is only a grade 2 on the lameness scale. *crosses fingers for next Wednesday*

Doc being hand grazed by one of our barn buddies who was kind enough to help me manage all this care-giving during the final weeks of pregnancy
Lame Doc

Joon
Poor Joon Dog. If it is not one thing, it is another for her. We have taken her off antibiotics for the first time in a year (yay!). She is doing pretty well. Still has a snotty nose, but vet and I think it is ok. She has been put on Prilosec because we now think that maybe all this pneumonia was caused by her aspirating snot into her lungs (eww!). It seems to be working. However, she has since experienced a kind of yeast infection probably caused by coming off antibiotics for the first time in a year. Poor thing had no beneficial bacteria left in her! We got *that* cleared up only to be confronted by random vomiting, which seems to be the result of not getting enough to eat (go figure!). My theory is that, as a barn dog, I always let everyone give her whatever they felt like sharing. At the moment we don't get to the barn terribly often, and I'm not pitching her table scraps all that much either. We've cut out a *significant* portion of her extra helpings. And apparently, all the snacking was good for her. We have resolved *this* issue by adding a *second* antacid--pepcid--to her diet, and she gets a third meal late at night, plus I'm trying to be better about giving her snacks during the day again. Who knew the treats and scraps could actually be a *good* habit for a pup?

Jeremy with a Joon Dog the day Samuel came home from the hospital.
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Me and Jeremy
We are, unsurprisingly, exhausted. We are still trying to figure out how to juggle the night time duties with daytime responsibilities. I feel like we might be almostthere, but ask me that again next week and see how I feel. *grin* Otherwise, we are well. Jeremy, unfortunately, did not get that job in Terre Haute. It was a real downer because they said the job would have been his, they loved him, but stuff came up at the firm and they were unable to hire anyone. They hope to offer him the job again after the first of the year should he still be available. *shrugs* we're not holding out for it, but it would still be nice.

For my part, I cannot wait to begin riding again. I love my son. I love cuddling him. Motherhood is wonderful. But I cannot wait to begin riding again. The Blessing is this weekend and Jeremy is encouraging me to go watch without Samuel (It's supposed to be crappy weather here this weekend), and the Swallow Ridge fixture at my parent's place is at the end of October. I really hope to have something to ride for that hunt.

The Whole Family (ok, minus the Joon Dog, but close)
2012-09-18_16-20-47_749

One Week!

Sep. 21st, 2012 02:02 pm
spirithorse21: (Dash: The Look)
We have all survived one week together! Things are starting to normalize a bit. And we've met The Big Red Horse without incident. *grin*

2012-09-18_16-20-14_686
spirithorse21: (Growing Family)
He's here! He's finally here! It took 29 hours, several more procedures and drugs that I originally planned, and was completely and utterly exhausting in a way I have never experienced before, but he's here!

Sameul Eric Johnson, born at 12:48 am on September 14, 2012. He is 7 lbs. 8oz, and 20.5 inches long. He has just the right amount of hair, and is very squeaky when he makes noises. :)


Unsurprisingly, we are all exhausted. I will write more another day. But until then, he's here!
spirithorse21: (Ribbons)
Looking at the medal count, Team USA is doing very well by all standards, but we didn't do so hot in any of the equestrian events. I've been trolling around the forums looking to see what others think about our non-medal performance, and it seems that those who think our performance was pretty poor are in the minority. Most folks seem to be saying that we gave it our best and that should be good enough.

I don't agree. I'm going to be a bit of a nationalist here because I think that is largely what the games are about--national pride. Yes, I am proud of those who *did* perform well in the equestrian events. Team Great Britain has been amazing and their dressage performance was inspirational to watch. I really couldn't be happier for them. Michael Jung's performance in eventing was also nothing short of phenomenal and he has really set a high bar for up-and-coming riders. What a role model to have in eventing! I didn't see very much of the showjumping, but I also think it's pretty awesome that Sweden turned out an individual silver medal and that Saudi Arabia earned a team bronze...who cares that they bought their horses? The powers that be in that country decided they wanted to bolster their show jumping program, and they went out there and did it. I'd say that's national pride working hard right there!

Back to Team USA. Did we give it our best? Did our athletes try their very hardest? I believe they did. Boyd's performance on XC was quite an opener, and KOC was a shining star for Team USA. We had some bad luck in eventing. Our dressage team had two not-so-experienced horses and one horse ready to retire. I think Ravel and Peters gave as good as a performance as the horse had left in him. I thought the freestyle was ridden very sympathetically and it was touching. I didn't see any of Team USA show jumping, so I cannot comment on how they performed.

However, our best was no where near good enough to medal. No, we can't medal in every event every time. But, we should be striving to be eligible for a medal. And I'm not entirely sure that was the case here. Or maybe we were, but everyone knew it wasn't a reality. After all, no one seems surprised that we didn't medal, Sports Illustrated didn't pick us to medal in any equestrian events, everyone seems to be saying that Europe has a far superior riding and breeding program...it all adds up to Team USA kicking the dirt from the sidelines.

This pervasive attitude that we gave it our best and we should be happy with that is not the mind set of a winner. I would be willing to bet money that every one of our Olympic athletes is *not* happy with the Team USA outcome in equestrian. They may publicly say we did our best, but I would bet that quietly, they thought they could do better.

And that's exactly how they need to think. Our eventing coach is about to change, and it sounds like that will be a very good thing. Certainly our international performance hasn't been all that great under Coach Phillips. I don't know what to think about our coaches for SJ or dressage, I don't follow those sports closely enough. But it seems that we need an overhaul in our approach and attitude in order to be competitive on the international level. We need more funds, better breeding programs, and more ways to challenge and shape our upcoming stars. Some people have said it's disappointing that we can't do more given the very large pool of competitors we have to choose from, but that's just it--America is so large, it makes it hard to fund all the people. And it's not cheap making a star! So what can we do? How do we up our game to compete with GB and the Germans? What is different now from the days when we were internationally competitive? How do we get it back, or better yet, usher in a new era that is sustainable in our current world? I'm not sure. But I think more people should be wondering this rather than just saying we were good enough. Clearly, we weren't.
spirithorse21: (Dressage)
I just finished watching Steffen Peters and Ravel...wow. I've never really watched them go before. And of course, Ravel is reaching the end of his career, so he's not as incredible as he once was, I'm sure. But I was so impressed--so touched--by the sympathetic ride Peters gave the old boy. Especially in the canter pirouettes, you could really see what a struggle those were for Ravel and Peters just very lightly balanced and helped him through those movements with the greatest amount of grace you could expect. Just beautiful. Peters rode so lightly and just really lended his balance and rhythm to the horse. I got a little misty eyed in the end!

Anky was the first one I watched today. I remember watching her 94? ride on Olympic Bonfire at the Pan Am? games and just being mesmerized. I loved her back then. It was an inspiring ride to me as a young teenager. But now in my 30s, I just don't care for her very much. And it's not just all the LDR crap either. I watch her ride and she looks so *heavy* and *rigid* on Salinero's back. I just want to tell her to breath. Especially in the passage and piaffe. I don't know crap about riding those movements, but I can't help but think that Salinero would lift his back more and have more lift in his legs if she would give him room to lift instead of being so *glued* to his back. I thought the same thing of the German girl, Sprehe on Desperados, too.

Laura Bechtolsheimer on Mistral Hojris were amazing! And they earned a score to go with it! How cool would it be if GB took all three individual medals? I am rooting for them and a new era in dressage!

Ok, wow! Go Charlotte! What a beautiful test and a score to go with it! Can you imagine it without the bobble at the end? Probably would have been a 92% or 93%! I think Adelinde Cornelissen scored better than she deserved. It's too bad, because I think she's a much more fluid rider than Anky and could be quite something if she weren't jamming her horse up all over the place. At one point I thought to myself, "her shoulders are as tight and jammed as his!" Let the horse out a little and imagine the possibilities!

But anyway, what a thing for GB and dressage. LOVED Charlotte's test, loved her riding. Glad I got to watch it!
spirithorse21: (Default)
Quite a finish to the olympic eventing, yes? I was really pulling for the Swedish rider to clench the individual gold, but what an unlucky last rail!

It must have been very taxing for both horse and rider to come back for a second jumping round today. More so since the horses know their jobs and know they should be done after the first round. Almost doesn't seem fair. At least they shortened the course.

Who the heck was commentating? They didn't seem to have much accuracy in their reporting of goings-on, and their commentary on the rounds was...not useful in the least, I didn't think.

Also, did anyone else think Phillip Dutton and Mystery Whisper looked out of sync half the time during their jumping rounds today? Not the entire round, certainly. But every rail they took looked to be the result of pretty major miscommunications (or perhaps lack of communication?).

I didn't see any of the dressage, but the XC was grueling and unforgiving by my estimation. Perhaps it's because I don't care for a course that zigs and zags that much, or maybe I just like to see more gallop, but that was *tough*, and very physically hard on the horses. I was really impressed with how Mark Todd got his horse home at the end, and WFP as well. Too bad for Boyd, what a heart break!

30 Weeks

Jun. 29th, 2012 03:28 pm
spirithorse21: (Growing Family)
I feel like I should be a lot more excited, but in reality I think the hardest part is about to begin. But before I get there, the good things we've accomplished...

* I have acquired the stroller, car seat, some cloth diapers, a second base for the car seat, and the dresser I wanted, all for considerably less than I would have spent buying them new. Ebay, Craigslist, and Once Upon a Child are wonderful!

* I brought the crib back to Indy last weekend and on Monday assembled it by myself correctly on the first try. Go me!

* Jeremy and I are planning to prime the nursery walls and steam clean the carpet next weekend, which means the room will be totally prepped for painting it with my mom later in July.

* We start baby classes tomorrow and take them throughout the month of July.

So, that's the good stuff. I'm pretty excited about what we have accomplished, and I'm looking forward to getting more done. But there are anxieties too.

The past week I have felt...off. I wake up early in the morning--around 4 or 5 am usually--and my heart is pounding. Pulse isn't elevated, just pounding. It is always accompanied by a headache and nausea, sometimes a vaguely clammy and cloud-headed feeling. I had my regular visit with the doctor today, so I told him about all of this. He asked some questions, took my blood pressure. Which was sky high. 160/90. Even higher considering that I actually have *low* blood pressure...usually somewhere between 90/50 and 110/60. They waited a bit and took it again. Same thing. He was concerned about this, so ordered some tests and sent me off to the hospital to get those taken care of right away. Fortunately, everything came back very normal, and by then my bp had even normalized down to about 109/60. Good news, no signs of preeclampsia at this time (which was his big concern). This does mean I have to be more vigilant though. Take note of these symptoms, call them if I have concerns. I get to monitor my bp every day, twice a day, and also anytime I feel like my pressure is askew. I also get to start once a week appointments now instead of waiting another 6 weeks. For now, I don't have to reduce my work load, but if things persist they will want to reduce my activity even more. I know this is all for the best, I can handle that. It just seems like I'm doing so little as it is...turning horses in and out once a day three days a week, and teaching lessons for 2 to 4 hours four days a week. That's pretty much it. But if I know me, I bet this is the beginning of something that isn't going to go away easily, especially in this heat, and that's going to mean giving up work earlier than I had hoped. *sigh*

I can't let myself get depressed about it. It's a short term thing--we're already at 30 weeks! And it's for the health of both me and the baby. It's just a downer at the moment. I knew things probably wouldn't be perfect for me...my body is a little unstable in the health department anyway, more so in relation to the reproductive system. We had problems early on with bleeding and cramping that forced me to give up riding at 4 months, and that hasn't been so bad. It stopped the problem and I'm doing ok. I miss riding, but I'll get back to it soon enough. This is just the next thing, right? I can manage this too! Just two weeks ago I managed to overcome what I thought would be a big hurdle...I had my gestational diabetes test and it came back clean! My doctor and I were concerned about this because I am hypoglycemic already, started the pregnancy enough overweight to be concerned about adding too much more, and I don't handle body changes well. Well go me, I've been diligent about my diet and low-level exercise and my blood sugar levels came back at 95 mg/dL! I'd say this pretty solidly shows I'm still hypoglycemic--I don't think anyone who drinks those sugary drinks they give you to take the test should come back with a blood sugar level below 100 in one hour's time--but at least I don't have gestational diabetes!

I think the thing that is most...stressful? dispiriting? about the blood pressure issue is that hard work and planning can't fix it. With the blood sugar thing, I could head it off by keeping up a good diet, exercising regularly, and watching my weight. These are proactive things, key phrase there being "active." Active fits very nicely into my personality. The blood pressure thing? Not so active. If the problem persists, the best thing I can do is *cease* activity. And that's going to be hard. Don't get me wrong, I'll do it. No question. But the novelty will last about...12 hours. And then I'll wish that I could go do something useful. Jeremy keeps telling me I am doing something very important, and very hard. I know...making life *is* hard. But it's still going to be hard if that's the *only* that is going to be filling up my days.

but who wants to be all depressed about baby stuff? Here, have some pictures. It's stuff that made me happy anyways... )
spirithorse21: (A Toast to Friends)
Jeremy and I hit up a free festival today at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in their new nature preserve. We got there toward to the end of the festival when it had started to cool off a bit and the sun was setting so it was easier to find some shade. A free concert was the main attraction...a band from Minnesota called Cloud Cult. I'm not quite sure how to describe them, but the vibe really set the outdoor, art/nature setting well. They had some folk feel, but also some synth feel. They had strings, guitars, and horns playing and it made this beautiful earthy sound. I really enjoyed it in the outdoor setting with the trees and the wind, and also the children playing all around.


This was one of the songs they played, called Love You All

I told Jeremy this would be good music to play for our child. It's very soothing, even keel, and peaceful. Jeremy pointed out that it has a heartbeat-like rhythm to it. I think I'll be getting a few CDs of these guys.

The crowd was largely parents in their 30s and 40s. All outdoorsy types, all with a bit of tree hugger in them. *grin* It was fun to sit on the fringes of the group and watch them all. The parents chatting and enjoying the music, the children running about playing on the grounds. No one was concerned about what could go wrong, no one was attached to a tablet. It was just. simple. fun.

And to make it all perfect, off to our left were the remains of some sort of interactive art exhibit...some string and bags of chalk. The children were making up their own game with the string and then launched into a full on chalk fight. A young adult we dubbed Hippie Waldo played with them. It was so much fun to watch!



more summer celebration back here )

ps, I hate the new media features. Anyone want to tell me how to *actually* embed youtube videos? How about managing the new scrapbook? They did not make this "upgrade" very friendly!
Figured it out. Still hate the new media, but I figured it out.

Movies

Jun. 15th, 2012 10:37 pm
spirithorse21: (A Toast to Friends)
Upcoming movies I'd like to see this summer (a note to self):

The Word
Won't Back Down
Magic Mike
Step Up Revolution
Ruby Sparks
Take This Waltz
Hyde Park on Hudson
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
spirithorse21: (Doc)
I brought horses in today and when I got to Doc's field (7 horses) he came through the gate and stood behind me to protect me from the other horses. He wouldn't move until I patted him and told him it was ok. <3
spirithorse21: (Doc)
I brought horses in today and when I got to Doc's field (7 horses) he came through the gate and stood behind me to protect me from the other horses. He wouldn't move until I patted him and told him it was ok. <3

Then & Now

Apr. 11th, 2012 06:04 pm
spirithorse21: (Sam and Co)
My last post made me reminiscent about my horses. They have changed so much in the years I've known them. I got Sam in 2002 as a 3 yr old coming 4 and now he is a month shy of 14. We got dash in 1993 as a 15 yr old coming 16, and now he is 33.

Samwise in 2002


Samwise today


Dash in 1994


Dash today

Then & Now

Apr. 11th, 2012 06:04 pm
spirithorse21: (Sam and Co)
My last post made me reminiscent about my horses. They have changed so much in the years I've known them. I got Sam in 2002 as a 3 yr old coming 4 and now he is a month shy of 14. We got dash in 1993 as a 15 yr old coming 16, and now he is 33.

Samwise in 2002


Samwise today


Dash in 1994


Dash today
spirithorse21: (My World)
It has been almost 4 months since I've visited Terre Haute to see my family and my boys. Traditionally I spend Easter with my parents and I get to cook (lamb. And it's delicious! I love cooking for Easter). This year we came down to Terre Haute and Jeremy and I spent this afternoon walking around the farm, ending with the horses in their pasture.

Dash has wintered especially well this year. He turned 33 in January and today the weight tape said he was at 1275 pounds. Back when he was still well muscled I could count on adding at least 100 pounds to anything the weight tape said. Now that he doesn't have much muscle, I'm not sure how inaccurate the tape is, but 1275 is a damn good number for my big liver chestnut! I can't tell you all how pleased I am with his condition. To have him only barely ribby is just amazing! And there is a little meat on his backbone too. I don't think we'll ever see much of a top line again, but he's looking pretty fine for his age.

Sam looks pretty good too. We had to give him a pretty ghetto roach job today. The only scissors I had on hand were a bit dull, and I forgot to bring my clippers along to do a proper job. He was looking pretty...rugged though (lol), so I didn't feel like waiting. As such, we have a bit of a Stegosaurus look going on, but he is otherwise fine. His eyes continue to recede. Eventually I should have them removed, but they don't seem to bother him and he doesn't get infections, so I'm in no hurry. He turns 14 next month. I can't believe where time goes. I got him as a 3 year old that was unbroke.

All in all, they are very happy, retired (or mostly retired in Sam's case) pasture puffs. Mom and Dad's farm hand has taken to brushing them daily. He has always enjoyed the horses, even though he doesn't know much about caring for them. When Mom and Dad hired him ages ago he didn't know a thing about horses, and now he cares for them daily. Dad tells me that if you sneak into the barn, you can hear Phil talking gently to them as he brushes them. Makes my heart melt. I also hear they are spoiled rotten by the dry cleaning delivery guy. He apparently loves the horses and brings them a bag of carrots anytime he stops by! Like dogs who learn the sound of the UPS truck, my horses have learned the sound of the dry cleaning truck and coming running to the fence, eager for their treats! I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I do.




Happy Horses )
spirithorse21: (My World)
It has been almost 4 months since I've visited Terre Haute to see my family and my boys. Traditionally I spend Easter with my parents and I get to cook (lamb. And it's delicious! I love cooking for Easter). This year we came down to Terre Haute and Jeremy and I spent this afternoon walking around the farm, ending with the horses in their pasture.

Dash has wintered especially well this year. He turned 33 in January and today the weight tape said he was at 1275 pounds. Back when he was still well muscled I could count on adding at least 100 pounds to anything the weight tape said. Now that he doesn't have much muscle, I'm not sure how inaccurate the tape is, but 1275 is a damn good number for my big liver chestnut! I can't tell you all how pleased I am with his condition. To have him only barely ribby is just amazing! And there is a little meat on his backbone too. I don't think we'll ever see much of a top line again, but he's looking pretty fine for his age.

Sam looks pretty good too. We had to give him a pretty ghetto roach job today. The only scissors I had on hand were a bit dull, and I forgot to bring my clippers along to do a proper job. He was looking pretty...rugged though (lol), so I didn't feel like waiting. As such, we have a bit of a Stegosaurus look going on, but he is otherwise fine. His eyes continue to recede. Eventually I should have them removed, but they don't seem to bother him and he doesn't get infections, so I'm in no hurry. He turns 14 next month. I can't believe where time goes. I got him as a 3 year old that was unbroke.

All in all, they are very happy, retired (or mostly retired in Sam's case) pasture puffs. Mom and Dad's farm hand has taken to brushing them daily. He has always enjoyed the horses, even though he doesn't know much about caring for them. When Mom and Dad hired him ages ago he didn't know a thing about horses, and now he cares for them daily. Dad tells me that if you sneak into the barn, you can hear Phil talking gently to them as he brushes them. Makes my heart melt. I also hear they are spoiled rotten by the dry cleaning delivery guy. He apparently loves the horses and brings them a bag of carrots anytime he stops by! Like dogs who learn the sound of the UPS truck, my horses have learned the sound of the dry cleaning truck and coming running to the fence, eager for their treats! I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I do.




Happy Horses )

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