Thursday, May 31, 2012

Evening Ranchwear

What happens when Beep decides Mama's drawstring shorts are, in fact, a dress?  I agree (naturally) and rig them up as an asymmetrical one-shoulder ensemble to let her enjoy it the rest of the night. 

She was quite pleased, although she made a few tailoring adjustments here and there.

A plunging back makes this ensemble suitable for evening wear.

...but still comfortable enough for short jaunts.

And it's so versatile it can even be worn to do chores around the ranch.

A little light gardening, perhaps?

(which turned into the swimwear competition shortly after this photo was taken)

These photos are being saved in a folder titled "To Mortify Beep In Front of Future Boyfriends"

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Love Like a Deer

I'm sitting in our living room, watching Amish: Out of Order.  My pregnancy accessories, cankles, are propped up and a ceiling fan stirs the air, just enough.  The baby in my belly, whom we've taken to calling Bean, squiggles and squirms from time to time.  In the kitchen Cabbage is doing the dishes (even though he also cooked dinner) and a few feet away Beep has barely gone to sleep in her crib.  Just a few minutes ago we saw Tabor and one of her babies outside the window, and I told Beep about how a mama deer licks her babies to clean them.  She thought about that, then nodded, smiled, and started licking me and we both giggled.

Tonight, and the past few days, parenting Beep has been difficult.  Her moods swing wildly and she is insistent on pretty much everything... anything... whatever strikes her fancy...  She will be denied nothing, and any attempt to control her impulses or budding independence leads to tears and heartbreak. 

I was gone four days last week- the longest we've ever been apart- and although she did fine while I was gone, this is the fallout.  She needs me, and wants to be carried and coddled.  She sometimes refuses to eat unless in my lap and will stop at nothing to have my full attention.

It's been a delicate balance to pick our battles with her.  Tonight she railed at her high chair and sobbed that she couldn't sit with me to eat.  I've indulged her in that impulse a couple of times recently, but I usually end up wearing half her dinner and I just wasn't up to it tonight.  Beep wasn't taking no for an answer and a fit ensued... Ultimately she was placed in time out (one of her few time outs ever) and invited back to the table two minutes later.  Then she melted down again so we repeated everything.  Cabbage and I sat in silence, listening to her shudders and sniffles, eating our salad and miserable that our beloved baby was struggling.

Back to the table and she sat well, did not eat, and tried her best to hold it together.  It was enough.  Cabbage finished and offered to pick her up. "No!" she told him, and laid her head against the side of her high chair.  I finished a couple of minutes later and gathered her to my shoulder.  She breathed, shuddered, her mood lightened, and happiness dawned on her again.  Eventually she started eating, sitting on my lap and chattering.

"Do you think it matters that she still ultimately is sitting on my lap to eat?"  I asked Cabbage.
"Nah," he said.  "Hold what you've got.  She sat quietly and waited for us to eat.  She did what we asked."

So I kissed her, and snuggled her, and let her eat the few bird bites she wanted. 

Then we ventured outside, Beep attached to my hip, where we hosed the day's sweat off the horses and petted Tabor.  I talked to her about where and how Tabor feeds milk to her babies and I rubbed my tight, swollen belly and found myself wondering how Beep will adjust to our new baby in a few months. 

Finally, I carried my baby inside to get her ready for bed.  Washed dirty little hands and feet, put on her beloved jammies, brushed pearly tiny teeth, read two books and pointed at the little mouse on each page.

That was when Tabor made her appearance outside our window.  Having my baby giggle and try to lick me clean more than made up for the drama and misery of the tears earlier.  One thing's certain: she loves me like a deer.

Beep and me, along with Tabor and her baby, 2010

Monday, May 21, 2012


I am going out of town for a few days on a work trip.  Last night I kissed my Beep goodnight, and this morning while she slept I kissed Cabbage goodbye.  A wave to Sam and I was down the driveway.  Catch you on the flip side!...

Monday, May 14, 2012

It's Twins!

Twins for Tabor, that is!

Not for me... No thank you.  One person per person, please.

Tabor, who was until recently kicking up her heels in the wide open yonder, returned home just in time.  She gave birth to two healthy fawns on Friday, which just happened to be my birthday! 

Cabbage told me she'd had the babies when her (formerly bulging and squirming) belly was empty Saturday morning.  She showed up at the barn during feeding time, ravenous and wanting attention.  As always, it was great to see she'd delivered safely.  Then we started the waiting game to anticipate when she'd bring her babies within sight, which we didn't expect to be for a week or two.  As with most deer, Tabor prefers to hide her babies somewhere safe, then come out to feed herself. 

This year, though, she gave me a special Mother's Day treat by bringing them by on Mother's Day!  Although just two days old they are strong and healthy, and just like their older siblings have white spots near their noses.  They're unbelievably cute!!! 

Beep was napping so she'll have to see them another time... but Cabbage and I were quite close and felt very fortunate Tabor decided to share her fawns with us.  We don't try to touch them as we're not trying to imprint them, though my fingers almost tingle with the memory of Tabor's tiny spindly legs and smooth, glossy spotted coat.  

Seeing the new fawns was my favorite Mother's Day gift this year!  Sorry Cabbage! :)

 Tabor with both babies (just beyond the wire fence)

 Fawn with Mama walking to the right

Fawn curled up at Mama's hind feet

Below is a video of Tabor walking away with the babies in tow (picture Cabbage and me gleefully holding our breaths and resisting the urge to hug and squeeze them).  At the beginning of the video, listen for Tabor's gutteral croak calling her fawns.  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Baby Mullet Comes to Fruition

 Allow me to introduce to you the newest resident of Cabbage Ranch:  Beep's ponytail.

Yes, indeed.  After more than two years of a bald or fuzzy-headed baby...

...we are finally reaching the stage of actual, real, measurable hair growth.  At least in the back of the mullet.

I am not a fan of the bow-taped-to-head thing (no offense to those who like that look), so since her birth we more often gravitated toward caps and bonnets, which have done a dandy job of "labelling" her as a girl, and more importantly protecting her poor little naked scalp from the sun. 

The hats have been really fun, and since she's been wearing them since birth she doesn't mind them at all.  The poor kid doesn't know any better.

So Beep's baldness hasn't really bothered me.  On the contrary, it's been a source of amusement as people sometimes offer their condolences and unsolicited reassurances for her baldness... "oooooh, don't worry, she'll grow hair eventually."  (She has a good brain, all her major systems work, and she'll grow hair eventually.  I couldn't care less. But thanks.)

Still, it really is fun to enter this previously unexplored girlie territory with her.  She likes it, too, and will occasionally request "a pony." 

That's about the time I sprint for the hair elastics quicklybeforeshechangeshermind.  Then I scrape together a few longer hairs (don't worry about the thin spots), wrestle them into a band (never mind if it pulls at her scalp), and ignore the front of her baby mullet. 

This is a thick and lustrous ponytail.

Don't burst my bubble.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Vagus Nerve is the Devil (but Yay! We Love a Parade!)

I thought it might be time for a field trip off Cabbage Ranch.  Come along, my little blog friends...

So last Friday Cabbage and I had the pleasure of participating in one of San Antonio's biggest parades, the Battle of Flowers Parade.  It's part of the famous citywide Fiesta event, and the parade route winds through the heart of the city and past the Alamo itself.  Very cool.

Cabbage and I were invited to judge the horse entries in the parade, which threatened to make me feel very legit and accomplished.  Not really.  But it did sound like fun, and promised a change from the daily grind.

That morning we dropped Beep off at the babysitter's as usual for a weekday, and made our way downtown.  Parking on the outskirts of the parade route, we walked about 3/4 of a mile to the Alamo, where we met our hosts for a pre-parade luncheon in the courtyard behind the historic building.

The Alamo is one of my favorite places in San Antonio.  People have mixed reactions about it, and some remark it's "so small" or "not what I expected" but I love its crudeness juxtaposed with the high-rise buildings around it and the nearly palpable sense of history. 

Plus there are those lovely courtyards surrounding it on three sides.

We checked in with the parade organizers, mingled and talked with our hosts and other judges, and generally enjoyed ourselves and our sense of civic involvement.  Suddenly, though, I started to feel hot.  Like... sweaty hot.  I ignored it and hoped it would pass, and I hoped noone would notice I'd suddenly become a melty mess while everyone else seemed cool and comfy. 

Then things got a little more desperate as I started to feel lightheaded.  I wished for an easy way to excuse myself, but within a minute or two I became downright dizzy.  I turned to Cabbage and said "I don't feel good."  That was about all I could get out, and fortunately he clued in and asked me if I needed to sit down.  I nodded, and he tried to help me to the nearest chair.  Suddenly, I could barely walk, was stumbling at best, and although I could hear Cabbage, I couldn't even respond to his questions.  I couldn't follow Cabbage's instructions to sit down, either, but after a minute he got me into a chair and people gathered around the spectacle me as they gave me ice packs and I started coming back to myself. 

For the first time in my life I had very nearly fainted.  At a luncheon.  With tons of people around.  For no real reason.  Fabulous.

As soon as I was able to talk again, I apologized and said "I'm so embarrassed.  I'm five months pregnant, that must be it."  (and may I add, "so embarrassed" doesn't even cover it. Mortified? Crawling under a rock? Ridiculously conspicuous?) 

Several doctors and medical professionals came by to check on me, and within a short time I felt like myself again.  I sat and ate a little lunch, drank plenty, and tried to not cringe at the scene I'd caused.  Everyone was very kind and concerned and urged me to go home and rest, but I knew we had a couple of hours until the parade so I asked to just stay and see how I felt. 

True to my usual hale and hearty style, I was soon fine and able to safely stay and be part of everything.  Which was great because Yay! We love a parade!

The view from the judges' stand across the street from the Alamo

Loved these bright orange Converses as part of this band's uniform.

 LOTS of parade royalty- the court members wear these elaborate gowns... and cowboy boots!  Hey, man.  it's Texas.

And some really great horses in the parade, like this Budweiser entry.  I don't have photos of the others, though, because we were busy being very responsible-like and marking score sheets. 

After the parade was over, Cabbage and I took a quick spin around the front of the Alamo to enjoy the grounds and all the flowers the parade entrants left as they passed in front of the shrine.  It's customary for the parade participants to leave a bouquet, and the military floats stopped and saluted in a touching tribute to those who lost their lives here.

I had an appointment with my doctor yesterday for a routine baby check-up, and we discussed the fainting episode.  I'd been eating and drinking, it wasn't overly hot, etc etc, so there really wasn't an easy culprit to blame.  She explained, though, that the Vagus nerve, which helps control blood flow, can sometimes get a bit wonky (my technical term) during pregnancy and send some random crazy-ass signals to drop blood pressure suddenly.  Once that happens, it can lead to being dizzy or even fainting.  

In summary: the Vagus nerve is the devil. 

So even though I'd been taking care of myself, my body suddenly turned into its own worst enemy and EVEN THOUGH nothing like that has ever happened to me before.. and hopefully won't again... I almost didn't remember the Alamo.  But they'll remember me.