Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Husband Knows Me Very Well

As he should, but here is a great example...

Before Sweet Pea was born, we completed a series of Childbirth Education classes.  They were enormously helpful and still fresh in our minds when she was born, because, little did we know, she would be born just eight days after our last class.  This was almost a month ahead of schedule!

During one of the classes, our teacher was asking us to share our favorite ways to relax.  These strategies could be utilized during labor and delivery as coping techniques.  Many suggestions were made, such as music, massage, and hot or cold compresses.  All of these things seemed like common sense so I nodded in agreement, but didn't really contribute anything and then my husband leaned over and whispered,

"So how can we get Harley into the delivery room?"

Good one, Honey!  He read my mind. 

The horses in my life have always been my number one stress relievers.  Half an hour with Harley, even if I do not have time to ride (or cannot ride due to pregnancy or post-delivery recovery) works like magic to rejuvenate my energy and dedication.  This has also been true in high school, college, and throughout my professional career.  When I cannot see my horse, I feel my energies drain and I lose the patience and endurance required for life's challenges.  Right now I am working for a very demanding (yet adorable) little boss who requires my attention and care 24/7.  I am a very dedicated person, but every person needs down time.  My husband has been wonderful in so many ways throughout my pregnancy and now that Sweet Pea is here.  Just one of those many ways is his understanding that I need to see my horse to maintain my sanity and perspective during a very busy time.  He always made time to bring to me to see Harley at the end of our pregnancy, when I could barely walk, and now he arrives home from work and sends me to the barn for a sweet hour or so to brush, dote, shower, or lunge Harley.  It is pure bliss and better than any full night's sleep.  Seriously!

Thank you to my husband, who knows me very well, indeed, and is proving to be a fantastic father to little Sweet Pea. 
I knew he would be!

P.S. Aren't you wondering how we got Harley into the delivery room? 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Caring for Animals and Baby

It is my strong belief that having animals in one's life is a good preparation for having children.  Before I had a child, I refrained from telling people this, because I had the impression that my opinion about what might prepare someone for children was not appreciated unless I was in the "Mommy Club".  But now that I am an official member, I am going to say it.

"Caring for the animals in my life has helped prepare me for taking care of our daughter."

Nay-sayers eat your heart out.

Please don't take this too literally.

This does not mean that I have stayed up late taking care of my horse...

(Oh wait, yes I have, like the time I drove to the barn in the dark to see if he was eating.  And how many times have I researched his care late into the night or laid awake worrying about my horse's health or a recent affliction?  Or the countless hours spent studying his eating habits and diet and supplements...)

Well then, it doesn't mean that I have had to provide around-the-clock care...

(Oh wait, yes I have, like the time my cat was severely ill and I fed him night and day with an eyedropper.  Or the many times that I nursed his battle wounds from playing too rough with other felines.  And then there was his asthma (yes, I had a respiratory-compromised cat, too).  I had to give him daily inhaler treatments, not to mention teach him to accept an inhaler!  He was a special cat.)

Listen, I can think of countless parallels between caring for my animals and caring for my baby, but one that I did not anticipate is quite literal.

At the moment, I have a hardkeeping baby.

For those who may not be familiar with the term, "hardkeeper" refers to a horse who has trouble maintaining or gaining weight.  Harley has always fallen into this category, although not right now.  He looks absolutely smashing.  His vacation has allowed him to pack on some extra pounds and round out nicely.  That was a great unforeseen benefit.

First post-baby visit!  What a gorgeous pony.  :)
Sweet Pea was born a little early, so she lost a little more weight than is typical and is taking a little longer to gain it back.  She is otherwise fine and wonderful, healthy as a little horse (and eating like one), and feisty as anything that small could possibly be.  Her pediatrician is very much on top of things and we are working diligently to get her extra food in addition to nursing.  So this means that I am not only a 24/7 "breastaurant", but also a dairy-cow facility via Robo-Baby (a breast pump).  This is all very new and not like anything that I have done before, but the sentiments are very, very similar to caring for my horse (My cat at 20+ pounds was not a hardkeeper, by the way.).  I feel the same sense of urgency, which is compounded by the fact that our baby is a growing, developing human and Harley has always been a mature, adult horse since I have cared for him.  We will get there, but right now we are in the thick of it and to say that it is a full-time job is a gross-understatement.

All cliches aside, it is absolutely true that this little face makes it all worthwhile.

Too cute for words, but it doesn't stop me from trying.

I write this question completely tongue-in-cheek, but is there any chance that SmartPak could start a SmartBaby line?  How cute would those supplement wells be?

Monday, June 3, 2013


Our June baby turned out to be a May baby!

Our little Sweet Pea is an early birdie.

Looks like Harley's vacation will be ending sooner than expected.
I can't wait for him to meet our Sweet Pea, but at the moment we are very, very busy!

Our last pre-baby visit with Harley a few days before the big event.