Where Equine Medicine and Motherhood Meet

Dec 30, 2013

Our weekend was quite uneventful…or maybe just uneventful to our standards. Saturday was filled with packing and cleaning in order to get rid of all things Christmas. Not that we don't enjoy the holiday but our tree had been dead for some time and it felt like a huge accomplishment to get rid of it, and pack up all the decorations in one day!!

So Sunday we decided it was a time for all parties involved to get dressed and get out of the house and into some crisp cold air. The only thing we could come up with was going on a walk, we like to live on the wild side over here! I wish going on a walk involved just grabbing the kids, loading the stroller and off we go. But alas, it entails rounding up any and all winter gear, getting base layers on every human, tracking down matching boots, and topping off the baby. So while all the winter wrangling was going on Pierce was having fun playing with a sleeping bag, clearly harmless right? Negative. We are still scratching our heads as to how he did this, but somehow he slipped or tripped or something and fell and hit the back of his head on the floor heaters. I heard a scream and came running to find my little dude holding his head. I convinced him to let me take a look, and at the preliminary glance I thought yep ER here we come. I called the husband over for a second opinion and he agreed that he could probably use one stitch to keep it together. Well somewhere in my brain I thought, one stitch I could just butterfly that baby and avoid putting Pierce through the trauma of the ER. So I traveled back in time to all those years I worked closely with many different large animal vets, and cared for too many of my horses getting hurt and decided I could handle this one. And we did, we cleaned that little wound out, reassessed the situation, bribed Pierce with enough chocolate to hold still while I cleared away some hair to apply the butterfly strip. He did great!! 

We thought we should just scratch the walk idea and watch Pierce to make sure he didn't have a concussion, but in true Pierce fashion he said "c'mon guys lets go lets go". I figured we should probably get him out of the house and keep him distracted so he didn't mess with the back of his head, and give that butterfly stitch a fighting chance. 
It was such a beautiful late afternoon/ evening, which up here is at about 3:00 pm. The sun sets at 3:45!!

 This is how you take an evening stroll in Alaska…kids on a sled…baby in a backpack!
We took the kids to Kincaid Park in south Anchorage, the trails are easy for the kids, and the views are amazing!! Not to mention there are so many trails that we can go there are goof off without bothering any REAL winter enthusiasts. 
In the end, he didn't want to go home. This kid is such a trooper. I can say with complete confidence that if a head wound had happened to Ace we would not hear the end of it. We would most definitly be sitting in the ER waiting for a "real doctor" to check him out, all while he is telling anyone who would listen that he broke his head and could possibly need a new one. But Pierce…not Pierce…he lives by the you only live once philosophy and would never waste a moment not smiling!! 

So here's to going out with a bang 2013, literally a bang on the noggin!

Weekend Mom Uniform

Dec 28, 2013

This weekend is dedicated to de-christmasing our house! And after spending the better part of the last three days in pajamas I decided to shower and change into socially acceptable going out pajamas. A zippered sweatshirt and leggings in the closest thing I could come up with that would allow me to still feel like a bum while out buying storage bins and getting rid of our tree. 

That is the down side to getting a real tree every year, the disposing of it part. In Arizona they had a pick up service to recycle your tree which was so nice. In Anchorage you can load your tree up and drop it off to recycle it. Anytime the husband and I have to do something that involves lifting and moving things I always feel like it is so comical. I am the worlds clumsiest person and he never lets me forget it as I drop and trip over everything while trying to put this damn tree on the top of my car! Not to mention we will find remnants of this tree all over the house for the next few months! But is was nice while it lasted…adios christmas!

I Get Knocked Down…But I Get Up Again

Dec 26, 2013

Not even an insensitive Christmas cold can keep me down….

Well actually that isn't all true considering yesterday when I woke up I felt like I had been hit by a semi, and then my body was drug off a bridge and thrown in water with weights strapped to my ankles! Avalon would tell you she felt the same way, but she cannot articulate that to you just yet.

Of all days to get sick, it had to be Christmas. But I did my best to to put on a jolly face and act alive.
The morning was amazing as every Christmas morning should be. Yes our tree had died some time last week, and it was quiet the crispy son of an elf. And yes my procrastination karma caught up with me this year and many of the kids gifts are sitting somewhere in the Yukon. But…But with all that the kids still shouted out with glee…yippee! 
Avalon was in paper eating euphoria, she could not wait for the boys to open another present just to follow their paper trail. She loved even more when I would turn my back to help another child so she could shove as much in her mouth as possible before I turned into the paper taking grinch, at which point she would let out a blood curdling scream, and Ace would rush to hand her some more paper. She had that kid wrapped around her finger!
The festivities really got to Avalon, and she was ready for a nap long before all the presents were open. Pierce seemed to get what was going on this year, or he did a good job of agreeing with Ace about all the naughty and nice list stuff. I have to say that all three of these little munchkins were high on my nice list this year, regardless of the bald spots they have given me. I could not feel more lucky to be blessed with these three amazing little humans. 
The after Christmas carnage leads me to believe that this holiday was a success! And after all children and husband divided themselves into their designated corners to play with their winnings, I cleaned up the aftermath and made my way to my bed. Up there I listened to the joyful sounds of screaming and negotiations that were going on downstairs between the men of the house. Ace screaming about Pierce touching one of his toys, and Chris trying to talk him off a mountain size ledge of a tantrum. All while trying to get Pierce to play with his own toys. I guess I could have gotten up to help place the fighters back to their corners, but I was getting a good laugh. The princess and I took a long nap before jumping back into the fun. 

We spent the whole.entire.day in pajamas!! Chris and I talked about actually getting dressed for when dinner rolled around, but that idea was just laughable. So we had a delicious dinner in the comfort of our thermal pjs. We face timed with all of our families spread out across the lower 48, and we finished off the night with a movie and the rest of Santa's cookies. 

First Christmas as a family of five was a fun one….now excuse me while I go pick up the ridiculous amount of legos scattered across my house. I loath legos with a passion, which is why I bought a tub full of 150. The love for my children supersedes my intelligence!

….twas the night before Christmas

Dec 23, 2013

Running With The Reindeer

You know Dasher and Dancer and...watch out Pierce!! So this weekend we headed back out to the reindeer farm in Palmer. We first discovered this place around Halloween for some pumpkin picking, which was so fun, so we had to see it during Christmas time. I mean they have real life reindeer how could we not go back?
Lately it seems like whenever we plan a family outing we encounter some not so kid friendly weather. This adventure went from zero visability snow to freezing rain to just plain rain. You know you have lived in Alaska long enough when you ask your husband what the weather is like and he replies "high is about 26"  and you say "oh, so not too bad". The old Kelsey would have said "26!!! eff that!"

But we braved the ever transforming weather to further advance our Christmas spirit!
Let the record show that my kids and the big guy are not too fond of each other. Ace questions everything no matter what you tell him. So when we approached Santa I said do you want to say hi? Ace said "no that looks like grandpa". I can tell you right now that no grandpa in this family resembles this man, but Ace wasn't going for it.  So I didn't push it, Santa said HO HO HO and we were on our merry way. 

Before we went out to see the reindeer we got a pep talk about how to act around Santa's magical friends. The kids heard none of this talk as they were too distracted by the gang of reindeer not so patiently waiting for us to open the gate and feed them. We were also told we could go see the Moose, and Bison if we were so inclined. What they did not mention was that as soon as the gate opens the reindeer will begin to act like they have not been fed in years, and they are going to do everything in their power to get to you and the cup of snacks you are holding. 
At first Pierce was terrified! Yelling "mama help me". Ace was yelling "Pierce run!!!". We were told very clearly NOT to run in fear of spooking the reindeer. I knew most of these rules having grown up with horses, but petting zoo like reindeer and toddlers are a force to be reckoned with. So Pierce ran as fast as a child can in snow with boots that act like ankle weights, while reindeer scattered about, as I was trying to call him back and Ace was all too good at pointing out the obvious. The husband being the cool calm and collected human that he is, just stood there. We eventually figured it out, and we were all able to cohabitant for the remainder of our trip. 
 Here you see an elf- a reindeer- a sled- and 60 something pounds of children.

This was definitely fun for the kids to experience. I am glad we braved the weather to see the reindeer, it was absolutely a Christmas miracle that no one got hurt, reindeer included. After it all we came home to watch the Polar Express and have some chocolate milk...my children do not enjoy the warm version of that drink. 

If this doesn't feel like Christmas, with the snow and the reindeer than I don't know what would...

Nap Time Is A Luxury

Dec 19, 2013

Oh the blessing that is nap time… that time that every parent looks forward to. A time to do a magnitude of things, to collect your thoughts, man your battle stations, and stuff your face full of food. But have you ever thought about what happens when that time comes to an end? I am currently in the midst of that with Ace. He will be 4 next month which blows my mind, but he is getting to the point where he no longer needs a nap. But I kind of need him to need a nap some days. Not for selfish reasons but more for productive reasons. I am sure my husband is wondering if and when the piles of laundry will be leaving the laundry room, so he doesn't have to climb over them to get to his office downstairs. I have successfully addressed and stamped five Christmas cards, yes five!! So family if you are reading this the cards are red so they might just become Valentines Day cards? That is a win, win if you ask me because I haven't sent a valentine since the fourth grade!!

But I am trying to adjust to this new Ace being a little human now that has an endless amount of energy without needing to recharge in the afternoon. Now, I have gotten lucky on the off occasion that he gets tired out at school and takes a 45 minute siesta. But more times than not he is up and ready for activities while the other two nap their lives away. 

Don't get me wrong, I do love having time with him. He is filled with curiosity and questions. We have also reached the why stage, and "I don't know" is not a valid answer to him anymore. So we do have pretty good conversations about trains, and what dad does at work (which is hard to explain to a three year old why his dad would jump out of a perfectly good plane), and his "boys" at school. But I have been doing a lot less cleaning, a lot less trashy reality tv watching, not such a bad thing I guess. 
Most afternoons look like this…just him and I. We talk about what we should have for dinner and we play with tons of tractors!! But the second I think I can tackle a chore he is not having it. And I can't take the chance that he might wake beauty and the beast so I just kiss my freedom goodbye…

I am kind of thinking about putting him in his room for a bit during the day though, with some books or puzzles, or coloring materials just for him to unwind and harness his chi. Do people do this? I mean I don't know. What I do know is that I haven't had a solid shower that includes hair washing in a few days now. I have had to do what we call the "car wash" shower. You know, kind of run in one side and out the other. 
It's true what they tell you when you first have a baby…sleep when your baby sleeps. I wish I would have actually taken that advice. But I would have taken it one step further, sleep whenever your children sleep no matter what the age! Maybe I will ask Ace how he feels about watching me sleep? This solution does nothing for my laundry problem, or my hair filled with dry shampoo, but it just sounds amazing!

And clearly I know how to prioritize my time as I sit here and watch Avalon rip up a magazine…I am down right amazing at this stay at home mom stuff!!

We Broke Tradition...

Dec 17, 2013

So I was going to do some kind of Christmas wish list/ gift guide for the ladies…but I felt that was a no go after the husband and I broke the gift giving tradition that is Christmas morning. Just call us tradition breakers…

I am fully blaming this on Chris, 110% throwing him under the bus. You see my husband is many a great things but a secret keeper he is not! As in he has the guiltiest conscience ever and he wears it on his face as soon as something happens. This time was no different, he said he was going to go to the gym and would be back later. But then he calls oh about 35 minutes later saying he is on his way home, wait…what happened to the gym? He walked in smiling from ear to ear and said "so I got your christmas gift". I was hysterically laughing, who does that? Just my husband. Then he says "and I am probably not going to be able to wait to give it to you". Well there goes Christmas…

Since I am being all truthful right now this is not the first time we have opened gifts before Christmas. Many moons ago before we procreated we were living in Arizona and it was our first Christmas together as a married couple. It was about 2 or 3 days before Christmas and we were sitting on the couch staring at the tree when we both looked at each other and agreed we should just open the presents now! haha!! And we did, it was about 6:00 pm on a random day and we just ruined Christmas morning for ourselves.

So take it back to present day and Chris said "go get the kids ready lets go out…lets take your car…I'll drive" when he goes into the role of dictator something is up. I did all that and as I open the car door there is a bag on the seat, not wrapped, just the plastic store bag, and my husband giggling like a 13 year old girl peaking behind the garage door. Inside was……
 I was super excited and I had no idea that he even knew I wanted a new camera. I like to take pictures obviously, but I am in no way shape or form good at it. So this is a good beginner camera for me to learn a few things and capture some good moments of my family! Don't worry the husband was not left empty handed, he got a new 3D tv. So we will not be exchanging gifts on Christmas, but I happen to think that when you have kids, Christmas is for them. So we will be putting all of our creative energy into making it special for the munchkins.

But there are so many great gift guides out there that I am loving like this one by Natalie, this one by James, and this one by Christine. So many great gift ideas for someone….ooooor maybe yourself :) 

Preschool Art and a Parental Dilemma

Dec 15, 2013

Over the weekend Ace had a Christmas themed art class at his preschool. I originally did not sign him up for it because I thought well the husband has the weekend off so I don't want to take time away from him. But then we found out that we would be getting snow dumped on us, so I figured Ace should have a chance to get out of the house.

His teacher had asked if I wouldn't mind coming in to take a few pictures of the kids and their craftiness. I said yes of course because I am almost 100% sure I am the only parent that has yet to be seen at just about anything…. I blame my other offspring.
Ace was so excited to show me their tree that had a present underneath it just for him! We have zero presents under our tree at this time. I am working on it though…procrastination is where I excel in life!

Truth is this is one of the first times I have been able to see Ace really interact with his teacher and some of his classmates. This is actually one of the first time I have been able to escape from the house without Avalon. So I jumped at the opportunity to get some one on one time with my biggest kid!

When I showed up to take pictures Ace ran up to me and said "mommy I made you something" I was pretty excited to see what it was. He handed me a little box wrapped in red paper. He said "open it open it". I did, and inside I found some fudge! Ace told me he made it all by himself, and the teacher praised his listening skills while making this yummy treat. But in my head I was thinking, please don't ask me to eat this. I know I know this sounds horrible and I am probably going to mommy hell for thinking it, but I was just a little leery as to what actually might be in this fudge…

Since Ace has been in preschool he has come home with more colds, flu, pink eye, you name it we have all had it. So I had so many germy thoughts going through my head. I mean did he wash his hands? Is this even your fudge or some other kids? Did you pick your nose while making this? Did you drop it on the ground and pick it back up and say "its not that dirty" like you do with your own food? But alas he said, "try it mommy". I cringed for a second but felt an enormous amount of pressure considering all his little friends and the teacher were looking at me. I took a tiny tiny bite and said "yum!! this is so good Ace. I am going to save the rest to share with daddy." Dodged that bullet!
They really did do some fun Christmas crafts, better then anything I could ever come up with to do, so I was happy that I was there to witness it. I was also so happy to see the other side of Ace, the good, listening side of him. I personally do not get to see it much at home. But man, I was overwhelmed with pride when I saw my kid in his class. All the hair I have lost over battling with this child is paying off in other avenues of life. 

Ace selected where his art pieces should be hung and we all obliged. These are the first homemade Christmas decorations of many to come I am sure, but there is something about these being the first that I think I will always cherish! So proud of this little dude.

This parenting stuff is an emotional roller coaster…

But if I come down with mad cow disease this week, or some crazy bird flu, it was the fudge!

Say What?

Dec 12, 2013

These little posts about the conversations with my kids are probably my favorite, and at the request of my husband this week here the are zingers that I could remember. Or some of the ones I got on video :)

You can check out the other interesting things my stand up comedians have said right here and here.
As I was trying to explain to Ace why he needs to be nice to Pierce.
Me: He looks up to you, you are his older brother.
Me: Yes, older just like the big brother.
Ace: No mom I Ace okay. Just Ace. No older. 

As Ace was throwing a tantrum on the stairs.
Me: Ace can you please calm down, and get off the stairs. 
Ace: Nooo I tannot calm down I freaking out!
 Grocery shopping with my spawn.
Avalon: crying
Pierce: Mom adalon is crying she need boob milk.
Me: ......uhhh.....

Ace woke up from his nap early.
Ace: Can I wake up Piercey?
Me: No lets give him 30 more minutes.
Ace: what! tirdy minutes? whats that mama you speakin spanish?
As we are all playing in the living room:
Ace: mom I so proud you know how to make a baby.
Me: oh ok thank you son!

Randomly Ace walks up to me:
Ace: hey mom want to give me a kiss so I can wipe it off?

After Ace woke up from his nap.
Ace: can I wake avalon up?
Me: no way.
Ace: yes I gunna wake her up, I want to.
Me: no ace let her sleep she is a baby, babies need lots of sleep.
Ace: hold on I go get the snow blower to wake her up. its nice and loud!
(as you can see Ace like to make my life a hell of a lot easier...)
Pierce has entered the stage of I would rather scream about everything then take a moment to tell you exactly what I want. So half of my day is like one big game of tantrum charades, I lose every time. Or maybe Pierce is the one losing since I can never figure out what he is screaming about and end up giving up before we get to the bonus round of the game.

At least they keep me laughing right? Hopefully this weekend will be filled with laughter on mother natures part as we are supposed to get feet of snow as opposed to inches. So I am planning on making this soup, and these cookies to keep us warm.

Gift Ideas For The Man In Your Life

Dec 10, 2013

Top row: 1/2/3/4
Middle row: 1/2/3/4/5
Bottom row: 1/2/3/4/5

Shopping for my husband isn't really hard, it just takes a little creativity. I always have to find gifts that he normally wouldn't buy himself, but that are practical for his life. If he isn't in uniform then obviously he needs clothing. When he is out in the field I know that he will want to be eating something besides MRE's and he most definitely wants coffee, thats where a jet boil and a portable espresso maker come in handy. When he is off work he loves to be doing some sort of outdoor activity. So I have to factor in all these little details before I can pull the trigger on a gift. One place I decided to look this year was Bonobos, they put together a really cool gift guide for every kind of guy. If nothing else I got a lot of ideas from there. 

I am an options person, I need options for just about everything in my life. So now the fun part starts…narrowing it down. Ace says he wants to buy dad "a weally weally small hat". I am on the hunt for a tiny hat now so hopefully I find one that Ace approves of. And I am so excited for the future with the gifts that I will receive from my first born…because who doesn't want a hat that is too small for their head?

Foggy...and dare I say warm?

Dec 9, 2013

I am sure many people are feeling like their weather has been all over the place! Well here in Anchorage we are feeling it too. A couple weeks ago it was -12 for more days in a row then any one human being would like. Then we got some snow...and now we have been in the 30's!!!!! As much as that sounds like a good time...its not! Snow + warm temps + freezing temps at night = ICE EVERYWHERE! So we have had school cancellations, ice warnings, road closures, just frozen hell.

But over the weekend we had an amazing amount of fog! I live for foggy days. Sure they aren't safe to drive in, but lets not get into anything technical...

I told the husband I wanted him to drive me around to places he has hiked so I could take some pictures. He said he had the perfect spot, a place called Arctic Valley. I had never heard of it so I said load up the troops lets do it!
It is amazing to me the way your body can climatize so quickly. This time last year it was about 20 degrees in Anchorage and I would go out wearing no less than four layers, thick wool socks, and snow boots. Even then I swore I was going to freeze. But on days like this one, it was 32 out and I threw on a sweatshirt and jeans and was comfortable walking around to take some pictures. 

The kids of course were still bundled, but Ace did mention how "warm" it was out :)
 The roads were pretty bad, so I was happy that the husband was driving or I probably would have backed out of this little mission. Driving super slow made time for us to fit in a few more christmas songs to be sung loud and not so in tune.
After Arctic Valley we decided to check out the lake near our house to see the fog over there (as you can see my obsession with fog is out of control). And my instincts were spot on...

 FOG! There really is a big beautiful lake somewhere hidden under that blanket of foggy goodness. This day just made me totally happy. I never claim to be on the sane side of life, and I am so incredibly thankful to have three children with limited opinions that I can drag around with me. Oh and a husband who kept his "and why are we driving around trying to find fog?" comments to a minimum. Love you guys!

Christmas Tree Survival Plan

Dec 5, 2013

We put the tree up! This is super exciting for us because we never get the tree up this early. Call us parental grinches, but we are a put the christmas tree up after thanksgiving kind of family. And if the husband had it his way the tree would go up the week before christmas. But this year I begged for some early holiday cheer…for the kids sake of course. Chris knows just how annoying I can get, so he gave in after a day of my "jeez this room would look great with a big tree in it" or "wow look kids the neighbors have their tree up"….

My husband really should have been an actor instead of a solider because he "acts" like he doesn't want a tree or he isn't into the whole decorating thing, but once he gets a whiff of that noble fir, he turns into santa's little helper. 

There aren't many options when it comes to tree lots here in Anchorage. But we have gone to Bell's Nursery  two years in a row and loved their selection. 
I also really like this tree place because it is indoors and heated!!! I knew that Santa would be there and I figured this would be the perfect time to get all the kids a commemorative photo. When we walked in and saw Santa in his sleigh I asked Ace if he wanted to go see him, he replied "uh thats a negative mom". Monkey see monkey don't and Pierce said "I no want to eidder mama". I figured I could save the $24 since I can hear Ace scream nonsense anytime, I do not need to provoke him in front of Old Saint Nick himself. 
On the drive home we tried to decide how we would decorate the tree this year. Last year we did the whole colorful lights, and ornaments on only the top half of the tree. But this year with Avalon crawling and pulling herself up on everything we thought we would tone it down, as not to tempt her anymore with colorful hanging balls. 

Ace was all about the simple white lights and ribbons. He loves the magic of all things Christmas, which makes me love this time of year even more. Kids and Christmas just go hand in hand. They believe with all their hearts about every detail about this holiday. The significance of the tree, and the presents that will appear. The reindeer, the elves, the sleigh, the naughty or nice references. It is all so fun for them, and I take my job as Christmas cheerleader very seriously. We sing we dance we yell HO HO HO at the top of our lungs. Don't get me wrong this is clearly not the true meaning of Christmas, and yes I want my children to know the real magic of this holiday and why we celebrate. But I want them to enjoy the fun and be kids and be silly…I mean lets be honest I am not the model of seriousness over here. 
And there she is in all of her sparkly glory! I just hope that she can withstand my three crazy christmas fanatic children because man I enjoy the smell of her in the house! 


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