Bella and I are having a sick day. OK, I'm having a sick day, and Bella is along for the ride, complete with sympathy symptoms. Can't tell you how crazy I am about this little girl. Thank God I met Alex and had her and she turned out so amazingly...I am blessed. So today, we've had several instances of what seem, to me, to represent breakthroughs in understanding of language, idioms, and communication--on both our parts.
Example the first, this exchange: "Isabella, you have to get dressed right now."
"Mommmeeee, I caaaan't!"
"Actually, you perfectly well can, and you know it."
"Then I don't WANT to." AH! Fair enough, and an honest argument. That, I can work with. And after a very short, gentle discussion, she did get dressed, and everyone was happy.
Example the second: After a mind-numbing barrage of polite but never-ceasing requests to get into my very hot sinus-steaming bath with me, I had had it. Since she couldn't get into the tub, Bella kept sticking her hand in the water and splashing. I told her to quit it about 17 times, and then exasperatedly, "Bella! Seriously! Do NOT put your hand in my bath! I am NOT telling you again!"
"But, Mommy, you ARE telling me again." Ouch! Touche'. This takes me right back to Karen Pryor*, operant conditioning, and dog/horse training. If you say to a dog, for example, "Sit. Sit. Sit. SIT! SIT!" and the dog finally sits, and you say, "Good dog," you have taught the dog that he is to sit upon hearing the "sit" command no less than 5 times. I should really re-read Karen Pryor* and apply those concepts to my child. They work well enough on Alex, when I can remember to use them. (Think I'm kidding? See the footnote.)
Example the third: After seeing her sticking her fingers, for no discernable reason, into my glass of milk, I sputtered, "BELLA!" at which point she snatched her hand away and took off running. She came back in while I was cleaning up the splatters, and I said, "Why did you do that? Don't act like you don't know better that that!" And she answered,
"Yes, I think I DO know better. I promise I won't do it again."
Hey, we may be getting somewhere with this parenting stuff!
My ears. My ears are just assaulted and insulted repeatedly throughout the Arkansas allergy seasons, which are pretty much year-round. They never get a chance to recover, my ears. I'm allergic to all forms of pollen, as well as dust, hay and mold...and I have horses. And dogs, who while they themselves are hypo-allergenic (yaaay, poodles!) do go outside and frolic in the spring greenness, then come back in and pollute my airspace with whatever has adhered to their furry little bodies. Plus I live in the area that is designated by the CDC as the "most allergenic" spot in the U.S. Wheeee! But that's why it's SO pretty here, you know? And this time of year? ALL cars and trucks are the same color, no matter what their paint-job--greenish yellow! The pollen coats every surface like a light dusting of snow. It's a real shame, because in other parts of the world, this would be the time of year that you would throw open your windows, and revel in the perfect temperatures and fresh air! Why, you'd picnic! You'd play lawn games! You'd dry your sheets outside on the clothesline! Of course, I am speculating all of this, because OUR reality is that we are sealed up as tightly as possible inside, with the air-conditioner and our air-cleaners running at full-blast.
Anyway. The drainage is of epic proportions. It's like water, and in the words of my doctor, is "sheeting" constantly down the back of my throat. Sometimes (and I only share this for the edification of those of you who live in low-allergy areas, curses upon your blessedly clear heads), you swallow so much--I hate this word--mucus that you actually have to vomit. Lovely, eh? And in my case, with my tiny nostrils and sinus cavities, it backs up into my ears. And that creates pressure. And that HURTS. Usually, the doctor looks in there, and reports that my eardrums are bulging outward from the pressure of the fluid behind them. THIS time (yesterday), he said the eardrums were actually being "sucked back" against the tympanic bone, or something like that, because of the chronic congestion in my sinuses, which is creating a "reverse pressure" like a vacuum. LOVELY. And it hurts even MORE.
So I went to the doctor yesterday, and got my usual Prednisone dose-pack for 5 days, the magic elixir of cough-suppressant/antihistamine/decongestant, and more Nasacort nasal steroid spray. And I promise, this time, that I am going to be religious in the twice-daily sinus-cleansing with my Neti pot...heck, I'll even post pictures of that process, because if you haven't seen me pouring a solution of warm water and non-iodized sea-salt through my head, well, you can't say you've really lived. But this time, I got a referral to an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor, not giant walking tree) guy, because I am seriously ready to put some tubes in my adult ears. Does anyone out there have ANY experience with this? Tubes in the ears of grown-ups? I've been at the point, pain-wise, that I just want Alex to get a needle and poke a hole in the eardrums to let the fluid out and relieve the pressure. And no, he steadfastly refuses to do it, so no concerned emails about the state of my eardrums are required.
Oh, and while we were cataloguing health issues, I got referrals for a reproductive endocrinologist (raging endo is back with a vengeance, I fear), and an orthopedist (hips are loose and painful, and my Frankenfoot is beginning to swarm on me). Apparently, my warranty has run out.
Horses In My Yard
I just have no other choice; it's the only place on the property with grass. Of course, this means horse-apples in the yard, which is every dog's delight, but worth it for me if my horses can eat as they were intended to. We live on the side of a stinking ROCK now, and no one, I mean NO ONE has any hay. If you are IN the state of Arkansas (Kari??), and you know ANYONE who has any round-bales, PLEASE let me know. I have called everyone, and no one has any hay until the spring cuttings which are still several weeks off. Even though I'm feeding grain like crazy, up to 150 lbs./day, I'm watching my horses lose weight due to lack of forage. Going from 10 acres of Tifton 44 Bermuda to 5 acres on the side of a mountain is not good for anyone except the Shetland pony. So the horses are grazing around the swingset, and far from resenting any poop-scooping I may have to do, I'm grateful that I have SOME grass I can offer them.
A Creepy Sort Of Closure
Many of you will remember that just at the time we moved, our old gal Rosa died. It was already a time of high stress for me, and just put me really on edge. Her last foal was thankfully past weaning age, but it was a hard thing getting him to leave his mother's body, and it was just sad and heartbreaking all around. But somehow, at that time, I had the presence of mind to have Alex pull a small handful of mane hairs from her body before she was buried (once I managed to get the baby safely away and moved over here, I couldn't bear to go back to where she was until after she was buried), and bag them. I can't believe, looking back, that I even thought of it.
Arabian horses, in order to be registered, must now be DNA-typed, using hair samples. It used to be that they were just blood-typed, which was simpler and cheaper, but less accurate. But during the time between Rosa's previous foal and this last one, the DNA requirement has gone into effect, and you have to submit 25-50 mane hairs, with the root intact, to the Registry for DNA typing. So yesterday, I went by the old house on the way home and picked up the bagged hairs, and came home and filled out the paperwork. I had been putting it off, because, well, it was sad and sort of creepy. But now it's in the mail, and Rosa's last foal will be able to be registered. I think he will be "Music ofthe Night," in respect of his "Phantom of the Opera"-style facial marking. There's a nice sense of closure there, and a nice colt that does honor to his pedigree and the Great Ones that he represents.
In Other News, I do have plenty of soap, at least for another day or two, if the orders maintain the pace they've had. Of a total of probably around 600 bars, over 400 have been sold since I posted about it the other day. After these are gone, I'll start the new batches, develop a logo, and make this into a full-blown side business. isabella soaps is going to be a reality. Going over the inventory and wrapping bars, and using the product myself, I'm very pleased with what I create, and I think you will be too, if you have some coming.
And I'll save some to use as prizes in the upcoming "Lost Blogs" GBBMC contest that begins next Monday, which is my OTHER other news, and on which I will elaborate later. Basically, this blog space will be given over for 5 days to a "guest blogger," whose identity you will have the chance to guess, based on the posts I make as this person. Comments will be closed for those posts, and if you have guesses, you will have to email them to me, so as not to give hints to anyone else. Everyone who guesses correctly will win a prize, with a special prize going to the FIRST person who guesses correctly, and I will not divulge the answer until the end of the week.
It's gonna be fun, stick around! And if YOU'D like to play along as a "ghost blogger," contact Kevin A.S.A.P. There are 37 participants so far, and it's shaping up to be a HOOT! And it's all to benefit and promote awareness and hopefully sales of the latest book of fellow blogger Paul Davidson:
The Lost Blogs: From Jesus to Jim Morrison--The Historically Inaccurate and Totally Fictitious Cyber Diaries of Everyone Worth Knowing
*Karen Pryor wrote the best book on the practical use of positive reinforcement EVER, and it works on anything with a brain, from chickens to spouses. Have I ever lied to you?
Don't Shoot the Dog!; The New Art of Teaching and Training