Saturday, March 5, 2011

Six Months and then Seven--Where does the time go?

Wow! Beckett is seven months old already! I feel like it was just yesterday that I held him in my arms for the first time! The last two months have been crazy! I had planned on posting at least once a month with an update, but life got the best of me.

I used to really look forward to January because it felt so calm and restful, but being stuck inside with two sick boys for so much of January and February has certainly altered my opinion! Both boys had fevers for several days at a time twice in the last month. It was miserable! In between the fevers, Maclain tripped and fell down the stairs. That resulted in his first concussion. I can only assume he'll have more in the future given how active and fearless he is!

Beckett has been knocking out the milestones since Christmas! In January he started sitting up. I swear he went from tumbling over every few seconds to sitting solidly in just one day. A few days later, he started eating solid foods. The kid can really pack it away! One night, in particular, he at 2 servings of sweet potato, 1/2 cup of rice cereal, and 1/2 of a large avocado! I think he would have continued to eat if I'd let him. So far, Beckett has loved every food that has crossed his lips. I even found some gluten-free puffs, and he loves feeling like a big boy when he gets them in his mouth.

This week Beckett started crawling. Yep, crawling, at seven months! At first I was cheering him on with Maclain, but then I started thinking about what that accomplishment means for my life. It was SO great to plunk Beckett down and have him stay sitting in one spot with a toy for those few weeks between sitting and crawling. Now, he's everywhere, and the boy is determined! He loves Hot Wheels in particular, and I've come to realize that just about every one of Maclain's toys poses some sort of choking hazard. So, as my best friend put it recently, my primary job these days is to spend 24 hours a day making sure that Beckett stays alive.

Here are Beckett's 6 month stats:
Height: 27.5 inches (75-90%)
Weight: 16lb 9oz (25-50%)
So, Beckett is more than 1 pound heavier than Maclain was at 6 months. His thighs look so chunky to us, and he feels really dense. Yet, he's below average in weight. Crazy!

Being Three

Maclain is SO inquisitive. At times it drives me mad, especially when he asks questions I can't answer. He won't accept, "I don't know," as an answer and often responds with, "Just tell me!"

Here are a few of our recent conversations that were memorable...

Maclain: "Mama, does God glue our hair on?"
Katie: "No, it grows out of your head."
M: "How do we get it off?"
K: "Well, you can cut it to make it shorter."
M: "But Babu doesn't have any hair."
K: "No, his fell out."
M: (a little shocked and scared) "Is my hair going to fall out soon?"
K: "No, that happens to Papas sometimes when they get older."

The other day Maclain walked up to me and said, "Mama, you are my pride and joy." He said he learned that from Cory. Talk about melting a mama's heart! It's those out-of-the-blue, unsolicited comments that really get me! Another comment that melted my heart was when he looked up from coloring and said, "Nana, you look awesome!" He was right...she was all dressed up for her 50th birthday party and really did look awesome, but for a 3-year-old to interrupt his coloring to say that really touched me. I love getting those glimpses of his heart (and God's shining through my sweet little boy). Then I know I must be doing something right.

One last quote that still kills me...Our house rule is that no-one goes downstairs until after 6 AM. Wednesday night, Maclain was up from 12:30-2:30 for no particular reason. I thought we'd all get to sleep in a bit, but at 6 o'clock on the button I heard him hollering at us from his room. "Papa! It's six-zero-zero. Papa! It's six-zero-zero. Cock-a-doodle-doo!" Seriously! You can't make this stuff up!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Good Ride

Yesterday my best friend called as I finished up riding my horse Libby. She asked how my ride was. I answered that it was just okay. Her response was, "What makes a ride good?" I tried to explain to her what it is I do when I go out to ride, and I've been thinking about it ever since. I decided to try thinking on 21st Century paper and blogging about it. For those of you who've ever wondered about my passion for horses, here goes nothing...

Have you ever had one of those workouts, be it yoga, running, a team sport like basketball, where some day everything feels natural? Movements flow smoothly from one to the next. Your body is in sync, and it responds just as you tell it to. Nothing hurts, at least not in a negative way. Your team is playing as one?

A good ride feels like my horse is an extension of my body. It's the most amazing thing to realize that a 1200 pound animal responds when little 100 pound me thinks, I should ride a circle here or change from trot to canter or let's take off for that jump right here. The even crazier realization is that I can't identify what my body did to make that happen. I've been riding for 20 years now, and a lot of what I do is automatic. I think, "Let's ride a circle" and we do it. I couldn't tell you, honestly, what made it happen. I know in my head how to ask Libby to do these things, but my body does it without my having to think "leg move back, fingers squeeze, etc." I've heard riding, dressage specifically, explained as dancing with your horse. I'm not a great dancer, but I agree with the analogy.

When I ride, we don't just make a big circle around the arena over and over for 45 minutes. Dressage, my sport, is French for "training." The horse is an athlete, just as I am, and so we train together. We always start and end at the walk to warm up our muscles and cool them down. I ask Libby for transitions, and we ride different figures (shapes or patterns) to get her really paying attention to me. It's mostly my seat that I use to communicate with her. My legs steer. My hands are soft and set boundaries. Sometimes I use my voice either to get her attention or to praise her.

Libby is my partner. Sometimes we argue. Sometimes we're not at all on the same page. Some days, it's magic. Those are the rides I remember, the ones that keep me going back day after day, even when it's 20 degrees below zero. Riding makes me a better mom and wife and teacher and friend, and everything else I am, because it centers me. I hear God's voice clearly when I'm on Libby's back. I can let everything else go and just feel. It's work and play all rolled into one. Every time I sit down in the saddle after some time off from riding, it feels like coming home. It's where I belong.

I'm working on posting a 5 minute video clip from a pretty great ride I had on Libby last March for those who are curious.