Monday, October 7, 2013

Amidst All the Shriekiness

Hello!  Without trying to catch up on the past (which has been great and happy and full of family time and work time and not enough horse time), here's a little slice of our life lately.

Beep was the flower girl in my dad's wedding.  I think it was the highlight of her life.  She still asks "Am I your flower girl?"  Because being a flower girl is tantamount to holding the most illustrious, loving, special and elevated position possible.

Thank you for the precious head wreath for my baby girl, Dad and Joyce.  I had no idea what to do about the lingering baby mullet.  Because, you guys, she's still the same Beep we all know and love.  Mullet in the house!

Apparently to make up for her persistent lack of front hair, I got bangs.

 But!  The hair situation does evolve, at least in the back, and she now allows pigtails.  They are tiny and precious, just like her.  As proven by this photo, where the other kids look approximately 3 years older (spoiler alert: they're not).

Yes, it's true.  I am a soccer mom.  Beep is loving soccer, and watching their games has become my favorite weekend activity.  The team's entire game strategy consists of trying to remember which goal to score on.  Not that anyone keeps track, you understand.  

Our baby boy has been a wonderful addition to our family (does anyone ever say otherwise?).  But, if you want to hold a grudge because life without my regular blog postings has become a meaningless wasteland... well, blame him.

Having a second child definitely pushed my schedule over the edge, and it continues to be a challenge for me to find time for myself.  Blogging falls under that category, along with riding, exercising (oh baby weight, how I hate you), and blow drying my hair.  Air dry 4evah!

Brother Bean, as he is mostly called, is merry, sweet, giggly, and has a ridiculously cute set of dimples that guarantee every woman within sight falls helplessly in love with him. 

In other news, he's really really shriek-y.  As in, make your ears bleed.  He recently decided it's his main mode of communication, and really it's so much more efficient than, say, talking.  Who needs verbal communication, or signing?  And pointing is for sissies.  So I am frantically trying to reinforce words, both verbal and in sign language. 
Him: *shriek*
Me: Brother, do you need a drink?  Drink?
Him: *shrieeeeeek*
Me: Brother, drink? [holding up cup]
Me: [signing "drink"]

So that's really working.
Finally, in our household of four there is only one person who favors clothing, and that would be me.  Otherwise Cabbage Ranch is populated by one man who'd rather walk around half dressed most of the time.  Then there's the baby who sees no need for clothing, especially anything restrictive like, say, long sleeves or shoes.  I can't really blame him, because up until now he probably thought his life would be nothing but onesies and the reality of denim and buttons would indeed be a bitter pill to swallow. 

And then there's The Naked Chef. 

How are you guys?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Allow Me to Introduce Myself

This blog isn't the only thing I've neglected lately.

That bay on the right?  The one turning his better side to the camera?  That's him.  Sam has been nothing but a pasture ornament for... over a year.  It feels like forever.  He's right to show me his backside.  He's entitled to hurt feelings and treating me with an air of disdain.

I don't have time for him these days.  He is meticulously cared for, of course, but he isn't ridden and I can tell he misses having a job. 

It's not just that I need to manage my time differently (though I could always do a little better), it's that there's only so much time in the day.  It's hard to admit I can't do everything, but... I can't.  And I have had to pick and choose.  He has lost, and I admit I've lost some of myself in putting him aside.

Motherhood is blessed but hard.  Being a working mother is without a doubt the ultimate challenge of my life.  I fill my days with work, with babies, and the few minutes left over is spent trying to conquer housework.  I love my family, but it becomes a grind and I do feel depleted.  So!  I'm working on learning to leave the house dirty and fill up my spirit instead of a bucket of mop water. 

A few times lately I lunged Sam, and I swear I started to feel the stirrings of my horsewoman's heart.  It was an amazing feeling.  

On Mother's Day I asked for nothing more than two hours, uninterrupted, with my horse.  It took me the whole first hour to get Sam cleaned up and assemble some dirty, cobwebby tack.  I lunged him, and he bucked and kicked and bolted around me in a maniacal circle.  When he settled he was lathered but pliable and content, and I dared to climb on. 

It was familiar, and strange, and triumphant.  It was just him and me.  I could do nothing more than sit in the dappled sunlight, pat his neck, and breathe.  I didn't even really think at all.  I just sat as a near stranger on his familiar back and silently asked him to remember me and the partnership we used to have.  I communed with him and my innermost self, the one that used to ride until my legs quivered and I sweated through my jeans.  The one who chased knowledge and skills by riding any horse I could, the one who loved to jump and learn new skills and work together with my horse, every day.

He was calm and happy.  I was peaceful and hopeful. 

When we'd had our fill of our quiet time, I hopped off and untacked.  I asked for Beep to join me so I could have a helper for Sam's bath.

The guys came out to keep us company.

And my baby girl and I scrubbed our beloved horse clean, and spent some time with our friend Sam.

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Girl and Her Deer

My baby girl is what we call an 80/20 person.  If she's 80% sure a decision is the right one, she's comfortable with the 20% risk.  She's quick and decisive, sometimes impulsive, often tangential, tenacious, and thoughtful.  

Inspired by an idea, she'll immediately fling herself into a new activity, and she rarely needs time to regroup or assess anything.  Beep rarely hesitates and is nearly always convinced she's right.  About everything.  

Her way of being is not mine.  I'm a 99/1 person.  I come to decisions more deliberately, need time to examine them from every angle, and assess the pros and cons.  Still, I don't find her way of being entirely foreign.  I get her.  Even when I can't intellectualize her feelings to understand my most productive response, at a molecular level, I understand.  I do spend a lot of time thinking about her, and her wonderfully agile mind, her swinging moods and her growing needs.  I certainly don't always know how to best parent my three-year-old, but I still feel a molecular assurance in the way we relate.   

I suspect as she grows and learns we'll see her toddler-fueled impulsiveness fade to spontaneity and her penchant for mental side trips replaced with a drive and focus for the task at hand.  

Most revealing to me are her quieter moments, when she maintains an intense concentration for long periods of time.  A favorite activity right now is assembling puzzles. She prefers to begin with all the pieces face down, then  turn each piece over one at a time and quickly fit it in place.  She becomes absolutely absorbed and will continue as long as the puzzle lasts. 

Beep is finding the world to be a large and fascinating one.  She loves the sky, the moon, the trees and animals.  She's understanding how to predict weather by the heaviness of the clouds, and she looks for colors in the sunset and satellites in the night sky.  She delights in finding the moon in the afternoon and is mulling over the root system of trees.  Our animals are much loved (and very bossed around), and Tabor is her special friend.

Several days ago our resident doe, Tabor, gave birth to her baby (babies?).  Since then our little deer has been staying close to the house as is her custom following birth.  For whatever reason, Tabor is always tolerant of Beep's flailing, running, and screeching approaches.  Even when she's feeling skittish and Cabbage and I can't get close to her, Tabor will usually let Beep pet her back, pat her head, and even rub her ears.  They have some kind of understanding.  I remember when I realized Beep and Sam had their own relationship.

Beep understands Tabor has a new baby and is excited to see the fawn.  She is, however, surprisingly patient with the idea of waiting to see the baby.  This is helpful as fawns are usually kept hidden for some time, so we often must wait days or weeks to see the new crop of babies. 

When Tabor came wandering by the other day, she settled in the yard just outside our front window.  Beep was playing inside and watched her for a few minutes while she continued with her game.  Finally, though, she gave in to the allure of some time spent with her deer.  She abandoned her toys, climbed onto the living room trunk and communed.