Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Random Pics of Cuteness

All of these pics are fairly self explanatory, but I will add a word about two. In one, our Little Someone is wearing a "hat" and has her magnifying glass and .... I guess, is looking for ? something. Then, while off to get a change of pants, someone decided to 'write with a pen'.
Santa pics didn't come out great... oh well, you get the gist.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Put Another Log on the Fire

Our Little Someone was getting logs and sort of stuffing them in the end of the pit -because she was "putting logs in for a fire" (there was no fire going).
You've got to understand, this was serious business being completed!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

And I Consider MYSELF an 'Older' 1st Time Mom! ...

I was 37 y/o & one week when our daughter was born. Then, when I read this news article below, I thought, "HOLY COW!" pun intended as this woman is from India.
...gees, and my masculine half and I think we're on the 'older' side.

Indian woman gives birth at age 70
AFP/Yahoo Buzz reports

NEW DELHI (AFP) – An Indian woman has given birth to her first child at the age of 70 after receiving IVF treatment, newspapers reported her doctor as saying Monday.
Rajo Devi, who married 50 years ago, gave birth to a baby girl on November 28 after in vitro fertilisation, said Anurag Bishnoi, a doctor at the Hisar fertility centre in Haryana state.
"Rajo Devi and (her husband) Bala Ram approached the centre for treatment and the embryo transfer was done on April 19," he told the Hindustan Times. "Both the mother and child are in good health."
Bishnoi claimed Devi was the world's oldest mother.
Another 70-year-old Indian was reported to have given birth to twins via IVF in July this year, while a 66-year-old Spanish woman had twins in 2006.
Devi's husband, aged 72, had also wed his wife's sister after 10 years of his first marriage did not result in children. His second wife also failed to become pregnant.
It was not clear whose egg and sperm were used in the successful treatment.
"IVF has revolutionised the way we look at infertility," said Bishnoi. "Infertility is no longer a social taboo or a divine curse. It can be treated scientifically.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Yeah, I know, she's not matching. But, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do- especially when your laundry breeds like rabbits in the hamper (plus, in this pic, she has yet to put on her pink coat).

And, hey, she's warm, ready to go, and the horses don't give two hoots and a holler what she wears. They know she's cute any which way.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Where's Waldo?

Who's there?? ...who, whooo could it be?
Wow, talk about camouflage!
My sister-in-law sent this pic that she took through her front windshield as she was leaving her place yesterday morning. For what it's worth, she lives out in the boonies (not a neighborhood) in the central-east part of Texas, so probably gets to see a good bit of wildlife... but, what a pic to get!
I had to look twice before I spotted the wise one.

(click on pic to view full size)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Well.... Duh!

Okay... my apologies for the title of this post. But come on(!)'s another 'science' experiment showing dogs think and feel more than ?? some people previous thought. You know, some of this stuff is so common sense that if one is around animals at all, they would say "duh!" too. Okay, okay ... playing Devil's Advocate, I know... there are some that have no exposure to animals. And for them, I'm sorry. So here's the article:

Studies show dogs have sense of fairness
By Randolph E. Schmid, Ap Science Writer –
No fair! What parent hasn't heard that from a child who thinks another youngster got more of something? Well, it turns out dogs can react the same way. Ask them to do a trick and they'll give it a try. For a reward, sausage say, they'll happily keep at it. But if one dog gets no reward, and then sees another get sausage for doing the same trick, just try to get the first one to do it again. Indeed, he may even turn away and refuse to look at you.
Dogs, like people and monkeys, seem to have a sense of fairness.
"Animals react to inequity," said Friederike Range of the University of Vienna, Austria, who led a team of researchers testing animals at the school's Clever Dog Lab. "To avoid stress, we should try to avoid treating them differently."
Similar responses have been seen in monkeys.
Range said she wasn't surprised at the dogs reaction, since wolves are known to cooperate with one another and appear to be sensitive to each other. Modern dogs are descended from wolves.
Next, she said, will be experiments to test how dogs and wolves work together. "Among other questions, we will investigate how differences in emotions influence cooperative abilities," she said via e-mail.
In the reward experiments reported in Tuesday's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Range and colleagues experimented with dogs that understood the command "paw," to place their paw in the hand of a researcher. It's the same game as teaching a dog to "shake hands."
Those that refused at the start — and one border collie that insisted on trying to herd other dogs — were removed. That left 29 dogs to be tested in varying pairs.
The dogs sat side-by-side with an experimenter in front of them. In front of the experimenter was a divided food bowl with pieces of sausage on one side and brown bread on the other.
The dogs were asked to shake hands and each could see what reward the other received.
When one dog got a reward and the other didn't, the unrewarded animal stopped playing.
When both got a reward all was well.
One thing that did surprise the researchers was that — unlike primates — the dogs didn't seem to care whether the reward was sausage or bread.
Possibly, they suggested, the presence of a reward was so important it obscured any preference. Other possibilities, they said, are that daily training with their owners overrides a preference, or that the social condition of working next to a partner increased their motivation regardless of which reward they got.
And the dogs never rejected the food, something that primates had done when they thought the reward was unfair.
The dogs, the researchers said, "were not willing to pay a cost by rejecting unfair offers."
Clive Wynne, an associate professor in the psychology department of the University of Florida, isn't so sure the experiment measures the animals reaction to fairness.
"What it means is individuals are responding negatively to being treated less well," he said in a telephone interview.
But the researchers didn't do a control test that had been done in monkey studies, Wynne said, in which a preferred reward was visible but not given to anyone. In that case the monkeys went on strike because they could see the better reward but got something lesser.
Range responded, however, that her team did indeed do that control test as well as others in which food was moved or held in the hand but not given to the dog being tested.
In dogs, Wynne noted, the quality of reward didn't seem to matter, so the test only worked when they got no reward at all.
However, Wynne added, there is "no doubt in my mind that dogs are very, very sensitive to what people are doing and are very smart."
(sorry... just one more time... Duh! ...okay, I feel better)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Those Dad-Gum R.O.U.S.s'

I'm not a huge movie watcher. I like to be somewhat selective, as we are given only so many hours in a day and I like them to be spent usefully. So, if I am going to watch a movie, I hope that it makes me laugh, think, moves me, or all the above. For those times that I don't want to have to think or have my emotions toyed with, a light-hearted movie suits me. One such movie is called The Princess Bride.

There is a scene in the movie where the hero has to travel through the woods with his love. To do so safely, he has to watch out for three 'dangers' that he knows will be present in the forest. To the best of my recollection (I haven't seen the movie in a long time), the dangers are:
  1. Quicksand

  2. The Fire Swamp

  3. The R.O.U.S. -Rodents Of Unusual Size

Now, the only reason I bring this movie up is for the last point above...the R.O.U.Ss'. For, it is whenever I see a possum, that I think of this. Yeah, yeah, I know a possum is not a rodent. But, they look like one for all intense and purposes. In our barn, we keep our feed in a metal trashcan, but I recently had a bag of feed sitting out. Well, the blasted thing kept coming up with a hole. I would tape it... another hole. We knew we had/have a field mouse or rat or two in the barn, so we set up traps. We did come up with a couple of rats in the traps ... the snap kind (hey, it's quick). But, not only did the the darn bag keep coming up with a hole, something was relieving itself on one of our hay bales- I'm talking 'number two' relieving. Looked like it could have been a feral cat. Well, that was enough. We got the big traps out. Both are live traps. One made by handy-man-other-half and the other, is a smaller store bought wire trap.

Well, what do you know... we caught ourselves the culprit. Lucky for him, it was a "catch N release" situation. Before the R.O.U.S. was released a few miles away, I caught these pics.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Oh Go Ahead, Flatter Me

Met my new OB doc a few days ago (my regular girly doc doesn't do pregnant woman anymore, just GYN stuff, so I was referred). Am not one to fall head over heels quickly ......but...... I think I love her (I'll get to why shortly). Course, it was just one appt... and she's also a she. Many woman have all sorts of differing opinions on this... and if your doc fits you, then great. I am used to a man girly-doctor- and an older man girly doc at that. Not an over the hill geezer, but one that has experience. My experience with male girly docs (I've had a few of both in the past) is that men tend to be more gentle, if you will. I think the reason is because they don't have those parts, thus they don't know exactly how gentle or not they can be... and a woman does.

Anyway, back to why I might "love" my new doc. She is very thorough (yeah, after the labs she ordered, the bloodletting commenced-FIFTEEN tubes of blood. I was able to walk out on my own two feet). Other reasons; she is high-energy without being hyper. She does a thorough ultrasound....

But, the number one reason why I like her is because of something she said while she was doing the ultrasound. It was a trans-vag ultrasound and she had looked and measured all and was finishing with finding/measuring the right ovary. I watched the monitor as she was having a time finding it. As she was finagling around looking, she said, "I would think it would be easy to see because you are so thin". thin, she said?!? Did you hear that?!?

Now, for those that don't know. I am not like I used to be. I used to be thin. I used to be a double-aught (that's farrier talk for a double zero). And speaking of doubles, my weight used to be double digits. Hasn't been double digits for 18- 20 years. So when she said this, my first response was a knee-jerk response, "I'll have to let my husband know you said that."

It was then, I started the internal dialogue, "Did she really say what I think she said? Yes. Well, maybe she meant my internal parts... like the lining between each is thin... maybe she didn't mean me". So I said aloud, "You mean internally, like the lining between things?" (I know, I'm such a dork at times). Anyway, she said, "No, I mean you. I mean you're not fat, you're thin."

That, folks, is when the love affair started.

{Footnote: Okay, all semi-facetiousness aside, I actually find it really appalling how most all forms of media portray that a woman's bod is what makes them important... which, in Hollyweird, is often a stick figured, hot-dog lipped (my unique other half's word for botox lips), helium balloon chested young woman. If they focused more on what's realistic than what's starved & surgically altered, a lot more woman wouldn't be so unrealistic with what to expect with regards to their looks. Hey, what's important is health ...and that can look different on different people}.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Planned Surpise

Ohh, I'm tired. That's my first response.

Second response: Oh how surprised I was! Even though we were planning.

How does THAT happen you ask. Well, I'll tell you, but I have to first post a WARNING for those that proclaim "TMI" (too much information) more than your average person. If you think this might apply t0 you, then Stop Reading.

So, how was this planned, yet it still surprised me?

"Not in a nutshell"... the story starts a LONG time ago- when I was in the womb of my dear mom. Sometime in her second trimester, she started bleeding. Back then the docs sometimes prescribed Diethylstilbestrol- a synthetic estrogen better known as DES.

DES was first used in the early 1940's. Its use continued until 1971 when the FDA -finally- removed it from the market because of links to cancer and other reproductive anomalies found in the children of the mothers that took it. Funny enough, a double blind study of pregnant women was not published until six years after DES received FDA approval for prevention of miscarriage. This study was published in 1953, when DES was at it's peak in sales, and concluded that DES had no effects in helping the prevention of miscarriages. Other studies were also published showing links to anomalies and cancer... Hmmm... I was born in 1969... a whopping 16 years after findings were made public.

Call me a critic of powerful drug companies.

Okay, so enough on that. But I did have to lay that groundwork to get to the next part. So, to continue on, I had my share of 'problems'~ namely pre-cancerous biopsies... gees, I have had so many, I can not recall. I even had the LEEP procedure done- where, with an electrosurgical wire (kind of like a cheese slicer, but electric), they cut & cauterized all in one swipe the top of my cervix off. Still didn't take care of the pre-cancer, so I was sent to an Oncologist Gynecologist -a cancer girly-doctor. Upon being referred, I was told/'prepared' that the worse case scenario, I could have all girly parts removed. LONG story shorter (I'm trying), what I had was "Adenosis" -that is, normal cells in an abnormal place, thus appearing as cancer. Through all of this (surgery and all), my husband and I also learned that... I'm "small" ...well, hellllo, I could have told you that! All kidding aside, my doc said, "There's no way you could deliver a baby, it would have to be cesarean. You would be split stem to stern because your cervix is so small." That is a quote from my forward doctor, of which I love.

So, coming up in time... I'm a horse breeder. We only breed by artificial collection and insemination (our stallion doesn't know a real mare... he doesn't know any different, so he's happy). What I'm getting at is that I know a fair amount about reproduction and how goes all. Timing is important. So, when when my manly half and I were ready "to try", I had it all planned. Got my LH Surge urine tests... let's you know when your ovulating (thing is, I know when I do already since I can feel it, but wanted to 'be sure'). Well, we tried for 10 months the old fashioned way- hit me at the right time and all, but it was a no-go. So, I told my tired other half that I didn't think his swimmers were getting through ... you know, the small cervix thing. It was simply a matter of physics. They needed a little help. So, I went to my Equine vet... yes, I said vet- as in horse doctor and asked him for an Equine Eye Flush Catheter- it's real small, about the diameter size of a pencil lead. I figured this could help the little swimmers get where they needed to go. All I needed to know now was... how far. Since I had training and artificially inseminated many a horse, I know that your average horse's cervix is about 3 inches long.

So, I called my GYN doc and asked. He told me (and I could hear him roll his eyes) and then he said, "When you're done trying Artificial Insemination, give me a call and I will hook you up with an AI specialist". Well, I did the deed ONE time -with a little help from my XY half, and I was pg (pregnant).
There you have it... how our Little Someone came to be.

So, what's this got to do with a 'planned surprise'? Well, as my other half and I want another child and 10 months of "the typical way" didn't get us our first child, I/we were planning to do the AI deed again. I started with doing the Ovulation LH Surge tests (because timing is important) and it showed that I was getting close, but the little test line was not quite as dark as the control line (though very close). Later that evening, we happened to... well, we're married... anyway, about an hour after we romped in the hay (proverbially speaking), I felt myself ovulating. Didn't think anything of it as we tried the "old fashioned way" for 10 months before AI-ing for our daughter. I continued the LH Tests for a number of days just to make sure. Well, sure enough, the test line got weaker and weaker, so I had ovulated (those ovulation test lines... well, I was obviously being too picky about the hues).

Anyway, I told my husband that we would just have to wait until next month to AI. Well, heck, that never came... I was feeling some pretty good pulling sensations. So, I counted days and realized I was late (something I never am). Then, the following conversation took place in my head: "Nooo way. Well, you have a test, take it. Nooo, it's not possible... just take the test, you have two of them." So I did and about dropped my jaw.

That there, was my planned surprise (due first half of July if all continues well).

{Footnote 1: Actually, our first was also a 'planned surprise' in that I was so... how do I say... 'conservative' with my approach, I totally did not think it took}.

{Footnote 2: Why did I get pg. 'naturally' the 2nd time when I couldn't to begin with? My understanding- pregnancy. It can really stretch, move, flatten and bulge things (internally & externally) in ways you don't want to happen and there's not a darn thing you can do about it}.