Friday, March 27, 2009

When Adalynn is Not Outside....

She is scheming ways to get outside. Even trying to trick us into thinking that her baby stroller just may stand up to her whopping 25 plus pounds.
It won't, child. Keep on dreaming...


The more I'm around this horse, the more I like her. Which is good, I suppose, and what we always hope will happen with something that we need to be around a lot. Kels and I took our first ride of the season today.

Here she modeled her tack for everyone: "Today I am wearing a black Proffesional's Choice Air Ride saddle pad covered by an awesome Billy Cook barrel racing saddle with basketweave trim. On my face is a blue nylon one-ear headstall paired with stunning blue contesting reins." Ugh. I wouldn't mind a new headstall, that's for sure!

This picture kinda freaks me out. Looks like she has a saddle horn growing from her head. She doesn't, really, just in case you were wondering.

Ah. That's better.

Kels wanted to show everyone her obvious displeasure of my bit choice for the ride today: a simple, o-ring Snaffle. Which she should love and be thanking her lucky stars for, because the Tom Thumb that she was being ridden in is much harsher.

And eventually she figured this out. And used it to her advantage to not stop until she was conveniently by Patches. Hmmmm. Seriously lazy too, once we had trotted for about 8minutes. Think some spurs may lighten her up next time. Keep her on her feet. Keep me from working so hard.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Poll

Wow, I'm behind. While Keely may have not been a favorite, seems like it would grow on ya. Much like our kids probably will...snot-nosed and smart-alecks from the start, but they'll grow on ya.
Tessa. I like Tessa. Travis doesn't. I'm going to go recite my prayer...

My Lil Peanut Brittle

gettin' a little more like her mama everyday.
and her daddy. caught her rolling her thumb across her fingers the other day while miscellaneously thinking. a definate masselink trait.

Honey, I love ya, but....

saw this today and had to share:

"Dear Lord,
I pray for Wisdom to understand my man; Love to forgive him; and Patience for his moods. Because, Lord, if I pray for strength, I'll beat him to death. AMEN."

Saturday, March 21, 2009


5 Things I learned this morning:

1. If there is somewhere you need to be, of COURSE the horse will not go into the trailer upon command. Or without resistance. Duh.
2. Respect, Respect, Respect. Attention, Attention, Attention. Respect, Respect, Respect.
3. And it takes Time, Time, Time.
4. Michigan will always vote against me. Whether the dadgum weather here (SNOW today? HELLO! Spring began at 7:44am yesterday people!) or the U of M (the only friggin college to ruin my perfect streak on the opening day of March Madness, which has sent my score into a downward spiral ever since).
5. Secure the Child. Adalynn was definately not the problem, but with a misbehaving horse, SNOW, and more misbehaving horse, she also wasn't contributing to the solution. Or my guilt and stress level, or Kelsey's attention and anxiety. Ya know, all the important stuff.

Dadgum horses. Can't live with 'em, Can't live without 'em.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

March Madness Begins!!!

This will never happen again, and I'm sure I'm soon going to lose it, so I HAD to post it now.

Check out this bracket, kids. Currently, I am 7/7 for correct picks. That is 100% PERFECT for you non-math whizzes. WhooHooo!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Making a Kelsey Connection

Don't you hate it when you sneeze/burp at the same time? Very uncomfortable. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

Yesterday I experienced a magnificent St. Patrick's Day. Not because it was St. Paddy's, and no, I did not partake in consuming Green Beer (for obvious reasons). But more because my mother-in-law watched Adalynn for couple hours extra, and Trav gave me the green light to "do whatever will make me happy". I contemplated getting a full body massage, taking up the nunnery, or holing up in a coffee shop...but in the end I settled on scouring the clearance racks at Target (score!) and then torturing Kelsey.

Kelsey....where do I start? I love this mare. But, I have a confession: When I bought her, loaded her up, and brought her home - rocking the trailer around every turn - and then unloaded her, a doubt popped into my head. I tried to ignore it, but it was there...."What have I done?" I hadn't had a horse in a couple of years, and here's this mare pushing me around the barnyard. I knew that only a very kid-safe, non-anxious horse would probably be the next bet for our family. But here's this mare, she's anxious, I'm just a 'lil anxious...not a winning combination. We pushed through, and over the winter and nasty weather we have bonded.

BuT, pushy mare is as pushy mare does, and she still pushes me around on the ground. Not nearly as bad as the first day, but enough for me to want to nip it in the bud - especially for Adalynn and 'lil Britches sake. On Saturday, with Adalynn in the Kelty back carrier and Kelsey on her lead rope, traipsing through the VanPutten's lawn to the barn, Kelsey could have been a little more patient. Instead of pulling at the lead, looking intently at the barn while I'm stumbling over the rocks and mud.

The other piece? I'm contemplating taking her to a fun show the end of April. Just for fun. But I would probably only show in Halter and Showmanship...the ground I'm not 100% sure how she'll do around numerous other horses (although I suspect she'll be just fine). It would look pretty funny to have Kelsey leading me around the Showmanship pattern rather than the other way around. And I can bet that her pattern is NOT the same as the judges. Just a thought.

Anyway, so the name Clinton Anderson has frequented google when I type in "Ground Training, Horse" and "Respect, Horse". Evidently he's some cowboy transplant from Australia, is big stuff right now in the horse training world, and some people think he's the answer to everything. I'm not quite so in-awe and groupie like, but I am pretty impressed with this video of him and his horse, Mindy so I wanted to share it. That's what Kelsey and I will look like by the end of April, for sure.

Back to my great day, at the barn I decided to implement some of the groundwork exercises that I saw online and Kelsey took it really well. For once, she was calmly jogging beaut-i-fully on the lunge line instead of fast, choppy, stressful trotting strides and a broken canter. I'm sure Deb, her former owner, knows her capability and says, "Duh. Just have to do this...". But Kels and I are still learning together. And it was a very successful lesson yesterday. While I'm sure this ground training, respect, trust, and Kelsey's full-on puppy-dog adoration of me will take time and hard work, I need to maximize the time I have with her. But this is a good start.

Ahhh....and then a shower and I actually blow-dried my hair and put on some makeup? Tif, I almost felt good enough for a belly pic. Really. I thought about it. Travis actually thought that I got my hair honey, I just took care of it. (how sad is that? really, I'm embarrassed). The cherry on top was a great Italian dinner - Shrimp Scampi Capellini (NUM!) and a foot massage. I felt seriously pampered and wonderful. So thanks, to Travis and Rennae, for allowing this fab day to happen.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hannah: A Success

We Like Hannah, as do 5 of you of our faithful Peeps. 2 of you thought we could improve though, and 1 silly person we're just going to throw out because they didn't know what they were talking about. I'm sure they "accidently" hit the "I no Like" button, or woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
Probably my main concern with Hannah is it's popularity. I'm ok with it, only because I've never known a mean Hannah. And I want my child to have a nice name, so that she can turn out to be a nice person. It all starts with the name, I'm convinced.
I also like Keely. I thought that Trav might like it too, what with keels being a part on a boat and all. And it's Irish. (and it means "slender", just in case you were wondering.) Trav isn't sold on it. What do you think?

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Transformation

I should be leaving to drop off Adalynn at my mom's right now, then turning around and driving back to Byron Center to see a couple patients, and then off to Grandville, and then back to pick up the little munchkin. Then home.'s wearing me out just thinking about it. I'd rather not, and pretend that work doesn't exist.

Anyway, the point of this picture is, that this weekend our little daughter was transformed into a little cowgirl. -tear- She's growing up so fast.
And our older girl, the 13-year-old, came home for a visit. Although if Kelsey was writing this she'd probably say, "And those crazy, domineering humans grabbed me out of my pasture where I was happy eating hay, and dragged me around in this 4-wheeled trailer where I felt the earth moving out from under my feet. I thought the world was going to end."

Awww, Kels, you were a very good girl. And you think this was bad....I'm not gonna tell you that next week you have to go to the vet!
Slowly but surely we're figuring out how to juggle life with a horse, child, fireman, and the +1 that I carry in my belly. As soon as Kelsey loaded back in the trailer with minor fuss, Trav's pager went off and he ran to a fire. Leaving Adalynn, Rocky and I to drive Kelsey back to the barn. Thank God for the Kelty Carrier and my bulging muscles, or we wouldn't have made it. Wait, scratch that, very femininely sculpted but strong-as-an-ox muscles. Anyway, we did make it, and that's what is important.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Last Week

at this time Travis and I were watching Alison and Jesse dance their first dance as a married couple.


Adalynn sprinted down the half of the aisle as the flower girl, fallen, and then finished with a big step up onto a platform to me. Unable to nap, she ran on momentum all afternoon, and the few pictures she let me take developed into a blur.

Needless to say, just after dinner she traveled home with Opa and Oma to get some much-needed and earned sleep.

Although rain dominated the weather all day, Alison radiated.
Just as a woman in love should. And Jesse matched Alison with quite an adorable grin that he couldn't seem to get off his face. Congrats and best wishes, your wedding was beautiful. May God Bless your marriage FOREVER!!!!

Just wanted to say Hi, from the 2 of us.

Ain't we so cute?

Friday, March 13, 2009

I Made Peanut Butter.

Why? Because we were out (a major tragedy). Because, in our pantry, we just happen to hold a large bag of circus peanuts that were crying out to be used (it's a bad, bad thing when circus peanuts cry). Because I'm trying to use up food that we have before we buy more. But mostly, because I read in this fabulous book from the library how easy it is to make. And thought I'd give it a try. We're adventurous like that.

After buying Safflower Oil on my weekly grocery shopping run, Travis, Adalynn, and I sat down to shell enough peanuts to make 4 cups worth. That's a lot of peanut shells, let me tell ya.

I retrieved my trusty $5 food processor (who cares if it only processes 2 cups worth at a time?) and set to work. According to "Homemade", pour the peanuts into the food processor and add about 1tablespoon of Safflower Oil. Process, then add 1teaspoon as needed to make the consistency desired.

I encountered a couple of problems: 1. My food processor simply isn't big enough for 4 cups of peanuts at once. So I made 4 batches. The first batch turned out coarse and tasted like ground peanuts. On the second batch, I processed a little more, added a little more oil and a touch of organic sugar. Improving....on the third batch I processed the heck out of it (really, probably 3-4minutes?) and realized that the longer the peanuts are processed the less oil is needed. Makes sense, looking back.

The fourth batch I had to make like the food processor was starting to reek of burnt metal and couldn't tolerate anymore tampering. Oops. I can't wait for Mother's Day. My Wish List consists of a bigger, better quality food processor (our current model was an impulse buy during the Christmas season, what, like 5 years ago? it's lived a good life.) and a 50mm 1.8 camera lens. Just in case you were wondering.

Despite the problems, our homemade Peanut Butter was a success. I like it, and Adalynn chowed down yesterday on a PB&J that her daddy made her for lunch. It's a little different consistency, and it's not Jif, but I also know all of the ingredients and it was a super easy cooking task. And Adalynn had a hoot of a time helping shell the peanuts. What more could I ask for?

Our Conversation Went Like This...

"Hon, have you noticed the fir tree by the garage?"
"It's ... leaning. I think it needs to be staked."

(3 weeks later)

"Hon, the fir tree by the garage?"
"L - E - A - N - I - N - G."
"Fine. I have some stakes out by the fire pit, I'll bring them up."
I think, Stakes. Landscaping stakes. Good. Our tree will no longer look like it's trying to complete a 180deg dive back into the ground. It will stand tall with inconspicuous assistance.
Later, I stroll outside. And this is what I see:


But thank you, I know your heart was in the right place.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Melissa Masselink....Hmmmm....It's pretty split.

Out of 11 of you, 3 said "Go for it!", 2 said "It could work..." and 3 and 3 were on the "Nah" side.
And out of this, Travis says that he wins. Go figure. (recall, he promoted Melissa in the first place).
So, next, we will evaluate the name "Hannah". This is one name that both Travis and I are throwing around and actually like. And it sounds pretty darn good with Adalynn. So that when I yell, "Adalynn Reeves, Hannah _____, GET YOUR BUTTS INSIDE, NOW!" we sound good and harmonious. Because that is very important.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

How to Brush Your Teeth

1. Brush the Front Teefs

2. Brusth the sides
3. Brush some More

4. Lean down...
5. ...and Spit!

Friday, March 6, 2009

2 more updates...

Sorry bout the super-blogs today. Guess I had a lot to catch up on, and I still have more pictures in waiting for a rainy day.

2 recent notes though:

1. I interviewed last week for a position with Mary Free Bed's Assistive Tech program. At only 10hours a week, it will supplement Community Caregivers and will make me learn new skills. I'll be working with another OT (the manager) and a Biomedical Engineer out of UofM (but I won't hold it against him), addressing EADL and computer adaptation needs. Very exciting stuff for an OT. Oh, and out of 3 other candidates I was offered the position and I am to start April 2.

2. Baby had her 20-21wk appointment yesterday and we actually got in to see our doctor! She said that the ultrasound looked good, all looks healthy. The ultrasound did show a Choroid Plexus Cyst on the 'lil babe's Choroid Plexus (the area of the brain that makes spinal fluid). She assured me that it does not cause developmental delays or affect development in any way, and most often they fade away unnoticed. They occur in 1-3% of babies between 16-24wks of development, but they won't follow up on it because other than that our child looked fabulous, healthy, and very cute. (tell us something we didn't know!) (every once in a while this type of cyst is associated with Trisomy 18, but our doc said that our baby isn't at risk because everything else (limbs, hands, heart, etc) were intact and thriving. Thank God!) Oh, and she said that it looks like a girl to her as well. So guess we're going to prepare for a little chica. Bring it on, girl!

Oh, so Pretty!

Oh my goodness. The temp has finally broken freezing. Thank God! Seriously. Just 3 days ago I told Trav that if it doesn't get warmer soon Adalynn and I are moving south. Whether he's coming or not. I'm glad I don't have to move now; it would have been a lot of trouble, and I really don't like the idea of a commuting marriage.

The recent childcare situation has left Travis watching Adalynn on Thursdays, currently at the office. This left me with an afternoon (oh!) to myself after I finished work. And it was heavenly. Kelsey actually got some attention. First she looked at me like, "Who is this woman and what is she doing to me?" But then she started remembering. A lunge line and some ground lessons will do that to a horse.
After our lesson, I let her free and gave them hay. I love watching her and Patches run for their meal. Especially when I'm super secret and throw it into the pasture while they're hiding out by the barn. One "Kelsey!" and she's tearing through the pasture like she hasn't eaten in ages. She has such an expectant look on her face.

"Yes, Mom?"

"What, there's hay?"

"Hay, really? That's one of my favorites! How did you know?"

"I'm just psychic like that, Kels."

"And I'm going to beat Patches. Na-na-na-na-na."

"But I'm a good horse, I'll share."
Believe it or not, Patches is looking at the camera. He's just got a happenin' fro, amplified by the wind.
"K, Ma, I'm done with the pictures. Thanks for the hay."
Oh, and for the record, because I know it was bugging you as much as it was me, last night I hacked her bridle path down and brushed out her tail. You can sleep at night now.

"Seriously, woman, I'm done. Go mess with someone else."
Fine. I'll be a nice mother and torture the boys next. They were also ecstatic about the weather, and displayed their emotions by trying to rip eachother apart mercilessly.

Between Kelsey, Banks, and Rocky, who needs cable TV?

I Peed in the Potty!!!

not once, but Twice this morning! I'm a genius baby! On my way to super-star potty-trained-dom!

Just had to let y'all know. You are in the presence of greatness.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Even though Otis is most probably out of the running, no one really though it was ok to name your child Otis in this age. Although 3 of you (who might that be?) did think Travis was a genius, 3 also thought that it sounded like a dog's name. (Milo and Otis. Not Odie, although evidently it is so close to Odie that it reminded many people of Otis.) Oh, and 3 just said it plainly, "No.".

So on to the new poll, another T Fave...Melissa Masselink....too many Ms? Figure we should start on girl's names since it looks like the 'lil Peanut wants to be a Miss.

Message from the Voice in the Tub: 3.3.09 pm

Monday, March 2, 2009

Baby, Baby!

Friday we drove to the Doc's office for some ultrasound love to the baby. The 'lil babe, regardless of if Otis is outdated or a dog's name or a boy's name, will always be "'lil Otis" to my dear hubby. And Trav, I love you for standing by your guns.

The ultrasound ma'am was annoyingly non-commital on our child's the end leaning toward "Girl", but never saying 100% sure. Thanks alot, for clearing up NotHinG!! But that doesn't matter quite so much, right? Regardless, our baby is healthy. And for that we are thankful.

And did I mention that our baby is cute? Very Cute? Takes after the big 'Sis.

And even is clearing the path for a thumb-sucking future.

And't that 'lil Leg so adorable?

Now child, if only you would move out of my pelvis. And turn non-breech...that would be great too. I'm not asking too much, am I, kiddo? Love you! We can't wait to meet you!

Why Mama Always Said You Should Never Bite Your Dog

On Thursday night, the kids gave us quite a scare. Adalynn and Banks, evidently reeling from the thought that I would post that they are best of friends, were playing on the floor with Rocky. While Travis was watching Adalynn leaned too close for Bank's comfort, and Banks began licking her annoyingly to get her away. Adalynn, in her I'm-so-tired-super-dazed-mildly-confused state grabbed both of Bank's cheeks and promptly bit down on his nose. Banks shook her off and, like a man, retaliated.

Of course, there are no pictures of this except the ones that are permanently embedded in my mind under the "Things You Never Want To See Again Because They Scare You S**tless" file.

So Travis reprimanded Banks, while I grabbed Adalynn and assessed the damage. Sure'nuf, Banks landed right above her eye, and we sped off to the ER. Trav had the forethought not only to turn off the lights, TV, and put the dogs away, but also to grab my camera. Always thinking, that man.

Thank God Aunt J was working and able to help us out in the ER. She talked to some of her friends and got Adalynn super-special and out in 55minutes. Thank you!

In retrospect, where the scene is always in 20/20 vision, so many more things could have gone wrong that night. Leading up until this point Banks and Rocky were crated all day without release, a couple more hours than normal. It was rainy out so they couldn't play for long outside. Adalynn refused to nap and her nerves were wearing thin. And the list goes on. So when Banks and Adalynn were "playing" we were preparing to get her in bed, and when she gets tired she tends to bite. Based on the bite, Banks, who is generally tolerant with Adalynn, appeared to open his mouth quite wide and just pinched her above the eye. When Adalynn is tired she also tends to lean forward and nuzzle what she is up against with her our bet is that the cards came together in the wrong order and as Banks opened his mouth to warn her away she leaned forward, and the rest is history.

Even though it looks ugly, Adalynn suffered scratches and only one puncture...covered now by glumpy glue. It doesn't bother her, but of course this is just in time for Alison's wedding this weekend. Hopefully, the 10days will be full of healing.

It's already started, under close supervision.

He stood guard last night while Trav and Adalynn read books.

Then he snuggled in close for a good night kiss.

Today he started in cautiously.

Put the tounge away, Banks...really!

And Adalynn decided to make nice back.
Trav and I have talked about Banks, and the role that he should partake in our lives from this point on. On one side is our conservative angel (me) saying that if this happens again it could (a) be worse and (b) that our house is not going to get quieter or less chaotic from this point on...this could be the start of something not so good. But, on the other side, Travis has argued that Adalynn provoked him (very true) and what dog wouldn't have responded similar when pulled in and nipped on the nose (true as well). Also, that if we take control of the environmental factors (outside time, fatigue, etc.) the chances of this happening again are slim-to-none. And I guess that is where we are right now...watching for any negative signals and possibly leasing out Banks to family for extended vacations if our house grows too hectic.