First Ride

Okay, so obviously this is not about my first horseback ride. No, this is about the first ride on Sunshine after her injection of ECP. I honestly wasn't expecting a miracle (thank goodness, since I didn't get one!). And I honestly wasn't disappointed, either.

The injection was done on Thursday evening, and it just didn't work out the next 2 days for me to ride. I can't remember what happened on Friday, but Saturday was way too hot during the day for an out-of-shape horse and rider to be working. I had planned to ride Saturday evening, but of course right after I dropped C off at Mama's it started raining. I will ride in the rain if it starts when I'm already on (as long as its not a heavy rain), but I won't start in it.

Yesterday, the stars aligned and I was able to escape outside for an hour! I borrowed a toddler cot for C (in hopes that it would help her nap without being held), and lo and behold, it was magical all weekend. Saturday afternoon she slept for almost 2 hours in it, and yesterday for almost 3. P also took a long nap yesterday, so around 3 I snuck outside. Yes, it was the hot part of the day, but a storm cloud was coming, and it was cooling off a little. It was still 90 degrees, but there was a nice breeze so it didn't feel so terrible. I knew if I waited til later in the evening it would be raining (and it did rain, a LOT - while I was feeding the horses! haha), so I had to take the opportunity when it arose.

I had read on Friday that trot poles and cavalletti are good for strengthening a horses' stifles, so that was my plan. I forgot to set up the ring before I got Sunshine out, but I got her ready (man, I need to clean my nasty tack! its a disgrace) and just ground-tied her while I set everything up. (If your horse is not trained to ground tie, DO IT! Its the best thing ever. My horses are not 100% trained like this, meaning it doesn't work everywhere, but in the arena they will stand perfectly still - without eating grass - until I'm ready for them. So nice.) Anyway, I set up a line of trot poles, a tiny cross rail, and then I used my cool cavalletti thingys to set up some more raised trot poles. Technically, they are jumps (I think they're 18 inches, maybe less), but Sunshine will not actually jump anything less than 2 feet. My goal was not to get her to jump, but to get her to really pick her legs up and work.

I can tell she's really out of shape. She. was. so. SLOW! I was hot and sweaty just form the warm up, trying to keep her moving. Granted, it was 90 degrees, but she is outside 24/7, so she should be used to the heat. Once she realized she had to focus on poles, she perked up a little (that girl loves to jump!), but I still had to give her a lot of leg to keep a good tempo.

I was pretty pleased with how she picked up her feet. She knocked the poles several times, but most of the time that was due to me not having the spacing between poles correct. Next time, I'll correct that.

I wasn't sure how much of the pole work I should do with her. I mean, she is pretty out of shape, but I'm not sure how hard it is for a horse to do that, you know? Admittedly, I've never spent much time with trot poles and raised poles like this. When I was "teaching" Sunshine to jump years ago, I figured out quickly that it had to be at least 2 feet for her to even consider jumping, and even then sometimes she would just take a big step over it (now, knock it on up to 2"6' or so and she would fly over them poles!), so we didn't spend much time at all on low poles. Its boring to me. With Wiley, I've done a ton of trot poles, cause he needs the help with focusing on where to place his feet. But its never been boring with him because he really needed the exercise. Does that make sense? Anyway, I didn't want to push it since it was so hot and its been a while since Sunshine has been actually worked. I have no idea how long I rode since I didn't have a watch or my phone with me.

After I decided we were done with the poles, I decided to try for the canter. My vet said to keep trying. I was actually able to get a few canter strides in both directions! It wasn't pretty at all, and it wasn't easy by any means, but it was better than the last time I rode her. She didn't want to get into the right lead, which is normal for her. But she did it after I insisted, it just took her a few steps longer than it should have. I felt like it was progress, though!

This issue is gonna be a hard one to gauge, because its not like I can just observe her in the pasture to see if she's still lame. And with it being so hot and muggy, none of the horses feel like running much anyway. The only way I can tell if she's improving is to get on her and ride her.

I briefly thought about getting up early this morning to ride, but I was so exhausted from yesterday that I decided against it. (After I rode, me and C did the Wii Dance game, and boy, what a workout!!) I have a really hard time getting up in the morning anyway, so I'll have to trick myself somehow into gettin up early enough to ride, haha. I do plan to hop on her tonight, though. DH and I have already decided on an easy supper, and he knows that I need to get Sunshine back into work to help her issue, so if the weather cooperates, it should work out. Wish me luck!!


Vet Report

Yesterday afternoon the new vet came out to give my horses their shots and check Sunshine for lameness. First off, I want to say that I love this vet! He's about an hour away from me, which sucks, but that's as good as I can get right now. When I called Dr. Frazier last week, I knew just from the phone conversation that we'd get along real well. He's a bit of a smart ass, but that's okay with me, cause I am too. ( ; He doesn't take himself too seriously, but you can tell he knows his stuff. Some people may not like that cockiness, but it doesn't bother me. Maybe cause I'm sort of like that, as well? haha

Anyway, on to the visit.

Wiley was up first for shots. I went into the pen and put the halter on him, intending to bring him out to the vet's truck. That's what most vets want you to do. Not Dr. Frazier! He just sauntered right in there with us. Its not a huge deal, but I liked it. It showed me that he's not afraid of horses at all (since there were 2 other horses loose in there with us) - I have had a vet before who was clearly intimidated by equines, and they knew it!! Anyway, Dr. Frazier's assistant (a 4th year student who was super nice) administered the shots and Wiley stood there like a champ. He's always good with vaccines, but you just never know what to expect with him and new people!

This was back in 2010, when Rambler was in training with a "professional." It didn't work out, sadly.
Next up was Rambler. He's always good for the vet and farrier, so I didn't anticipate any problems with him. In fact, I didn't even hold him while they gave him the vaccine; I was too busy keeping Wiley away, haha. Wiley is extremely jealous when my other horses get attention. He's such a brat. ( :

Finally we were ready for Sunshine, who also was excellent for the shots. (Can I just say I am so grateful that I have horses who are well behaved for vaccines, deworming, and the farrier?! I know what a blessing it is.) I told Dr. Frazier what troubles I've been having with Sunshine (I blogged about it here back in June), and at first he was confused. He walked her in some tight circles, looked at her confirmation, palpated her back and hips, and started examining her legs. I have a very limited experience with lameness (Junior has degenerative joint disease, so I know all about that, and one of Mama's old horses, Angel, had severe arthritis, and I've unfortunately seen several foundered horses, though never my own, thankfully - and that's my experience with lameness), so I wasn't even sure what he was looking for. I explained how Sunshine wouldn't canter - and it felt like she couldn't, not just wouldn't. He nodded like that made total sense (I feared he would tell me I'm babying her, you know?). I told him how I've always had issues with her canter, but that I'd always assumed it was because I got her when she was about 8 or 9 (we're not exactly sure; she's not registered) and she had basically zero training. Plus, she's half Saddlebred, so it has always felt like she wanted to gait but wasn't quite sure how (again, I assumed from lack of proper training). I don't ride gaited horses, so I've never been able to test that theory by trying to get her to gait. And I didn't want her to gait anyway. Give me a nice, smooth canter/lope any day!

Dr. Frazier asked me if Sunshine canters in the pasture. I noticed recently that she doesn't anymore. I'm not sure when she stopped, but I have noticed recently on several occasions when the boys were cantering/galloping back to the barn, Sunshine just trotted. She hasn't always been like that; she has always been a little lazy, but she normally canters when the boys do, especially when I call them in for feeding time or when I let them out in the morning.

I had eliminated saddle fit as the issue. I think I blogged about it, but a few weeks ago, I rode Sunshine out in the field (where she normally likes to canter better than in the ring - I assume cause she doesn't have to go in circles out in the open) bareback and I could still barely get her to canter, and when I did it was very ugly and uncomfortable to ride. She's been on a joint supplement since June 1 for arthritis, and I hadn't seen any improvement, so I was thinking either it wasn't a good enough supplement for her, or she didn't have that particular joint disease.

I've also noticed that she "pops" when she moves sometimes, especially if she's been standing still for a while. Again, I figured that was arthritis, cause that's how Angel always sounded in her knees (her knees were humongous with the disease, and she was sound at the walk, but couldn't go faster than that without pain). You can hear a pretty loud popping /clicking noise, but I've not been able to pinpoint where exactly its coming from with Sunshine.

Anyway, Dr. Frazier felt of Sunshine's ligaments around her stifle and knew immediately what was going on. He had me feel them, as well, and it was obvious to me that something was weird, but I had no idea what. Sunshine has Intermediate Upward Patellar Fixation. What a mouthful. (I found a good article on it, here.) Basically, the ligaments on the inside of her patella are way too tight. In fact, they feel more like bones than ligaments. Dr. F had me feel Wiley's in comparison, and what a difference! My poor Sunshine. He said she is mechanically incapable of cantering since her ligaments are so tight. Her right is worse than the left, which makes sense because she's always been worse to pick up the left lead (making her right hind have to stretch out more on a circle).

Luckily, Dr. F said this condition doesn't cause her any pain, it just makes it impossible for her to do certain things. She likely has trouble with hills, too, but there are no hills around for me to test that theory. And since the trot is such a different action for the stifle ligaments, she doesn't have any trouble with that. Backing up should also pose a problem. And come to think of it, she has always been reluctant to back, and I do hear an audible pop when she backs up - which is probably her medial ligament snapping back out of the locked position.

He said she doesn't have a classic presentation of UPF (of course she doesn't, she's my animal), but he's pretty confident that's what she has. In severe cases, you'll see the horse drag that leg when she walks, and if you don't actually catch that, the hoof normally shoes a wear pattern from being dragged. Sunshine's is not that severe, but she's probably on her way there, if the hardness of her ligaments is any indication. I asked what causes this condition, and Dr. F said no one's certain yet, but different things can attribute to it. He says he sees it in a lot of post-legged horses, and I'd never thought about it, but if you look at the picture above you can clearly see that she is a bit post-legged. He also said it was genetic, and she's been like this her whole life, which really made sense with me, given our history of canter struggles. I guess its just been slowly getting worse over time.

I did some research this mornin and found that physically unfit horses can get this condition, too, and one of the cures for it is to get the horse back into shape, and especially the stifles (hill work, trot poles, cavalletti). That makes sense, too, since Sunshine is so out of shape right now. She's never confined to a stall, so she walks a lot, which probably has kept her from gettin too bad yet. So now my goal is to work on strengthening her stifles. We don't have any hills around here, but I have plenty of trot poles and the ability to set up cavalletti. And that stuff is fun to me, so I won't mind doing it. The problem will be trying to find time to actually ride her. :/ Maybe I need to try again to ride before work in the mornings...

Anyway, Dr. F recommended a shot of ECP (estradiol cypionate), which is supposed to work to loosen tight ligaments. When I heard the word "estradiol," I immediately asked if this was gonna make her go into heat or act more marish than she already does. He chucked and said no. But I researched it this morning, and the drug is used to make mares go into heat, and all the other uses listed also have to do with their cycles and pregnancy. So we'll see how it affects her. I did read, though, that sometimes it completely chills a mare out. Sunshine's already getting more chill the older she gets, but less hormonal would never be a bad thing. Dr. F said to keep riding her and keep asking for the canter, and if in 4 weeks she's not improved, we'll move on to the next step. According to him, that is to inject the same drug directly into the ligaments (yesterday he did an IM shot). I'm sure 10 different vets will give you 10 different opinions on treatments for UPF. But Dr. F seemed to know exactly what he was talking about, so I trust him. My hope is that this one shot did the trick, and getting her back into shape will prevent it from happening again.

So I feel a lot better now that I know what's wrong with my girl. I'm glad its not arthritis, or a non-healing injury, or behavioral (though she may have some behavioral issues cause she thinks she still can't canter even though hopefully she will be able to). And I'm glad she's not in pain. So wish me luck on getting her back in shape, and pray that this shot fixed her up!!

I feel like I have to blog about Junior's visit with Dr. F, as well. As some of you know, Junior used to live at my house until a year or so ago, when Mama purchased a new horse, Sixx, and didn't want him to be alone. So she took Junior back (who was originally her horse anyway). Even though Junior's not mine anymore, I still have a bond with him (boy, me and him have had some good times!), and I go see him whenever I go to Mama's.

This was taken last year, right before Junior went to live at Mama's again.
Mama said Junior has been lame the past several days, but I hadn't seen him. I just assumed she was overreacting (as usual), so I brushed it off. Well, I went with Dr. F to Mama's house after we were done with my horses. My cousin trotted Junior off and boy was he lame. :( Poor baby. I could tell he was off in the front left and the right hind (the right hind is where he has the joint disease, so that was no surprise). Dr. F did an exam of his front legs, and ended up doing a nerve block on his foot. That completely took away the lameness (in the front end). He mentioned navicular, but he doesn't want to make a diagnosis yet, since there's so many things that could be wrong in the heel area. He put Junior on a pain medicine for a few days to see how he goes, then he'll go from there. Most likely, Mama will end up having to put corrective shoes or a slight wedge on Junior's front feet. And hopefully that'll fix him up. Dr. F didn't have much time after all that, plus he wanted to address one problem at a time, so he didn't do anything about Junior's right hind. I told him that Junior hasn't had a joint injection for the degenerative joint disease in 4 years, so its probably time for another one. He agreed that's probably the case, but wants to do x-rays and compare them with the old ones to see what's changed in there. Boy, am I glad I'm not payin Junior's bills anymore! haha I do feel bad that my old boy (he's not even old, he's only 17) is in pain. I hate seein a horse in pain like that. They can't do like dogs and hop around on 3 legs when one hurts.

Then you have Mama's horse Sixx. What a mess. He has way too many problems to list. We had to give him a shot of corticosteroids before he could get his vaccines, because he's prone to anaphalactic shock. Luckily, that did the trick, and his other issues are well-maintained right now. That's another one I'm so glad I don't have to pay the vet bills for! He's a really nice horse, and he is supposedly trained in low-level dressage, but I've only ridden him once. Mama wants me to ride him more and see what he knows, but I'm too scared he'll break! haha

So that was our exciting vet visit yesterday. Oh, yes, I almost forgot. I also asked Dr. F his opinion on Sunshine's thyroid tumor. I first noticed it 2 years ago, and my vet at that time told me what it was and said there's not much to do about it. She said it may grow to the point where it interfered with Sunshine's breathing, at which point we'd probably have to put her down. But I've just been keeping an eye on it, and so far it hasn't bothered her at all. Dr. Frazier said he sees thyroid tumors a lot, and the majority of the time they don't bother the horse ever. He said he saw one grow to the size of a cantaloupe and the horse was fine. That made me feel better. I'm just gonna continue to watch Sunshine's and pray that it never affects her.


One Thing After Another

My poor baby girl just can't catch a break lately. First she had the UTI, then she got the stomach bug, and now it appears she's got vaginitis (AGAIN - I hate antibiotics for that reason!!) and some sort of really strange rash. :( She's a tough cookie, though - none of this is slowin her down much!

The stomach bug lasted almost a week. It didn't stop all at once, it was very gradual. And thankfully no one else got it from her, which makes me think maybe it was, in fact, related to the antibiotics and not actually a virus (though she did have a fever for a few days, so who knows). At any rate, I'm super glad that its over. There is nothin worse than seeing your child in pain and not being able to help. And her little tummy was causing her a lot of pain!!

Every time C is on antibiotics, she develops vaginitis (basically, a yeast infection; not sure why her dr calls it something different). I mean every. Time. Its so frustrating. I know we can try to prevent it by getting her to take probiotics and eat yogurt. But, seriously, have you ever tried to get a toddler to consume something she didn't want?! Its near bout impossible. This time, I bought gummy bear probiotics, and I just knew she'd love them cause they're basically candy. Nope. She wouldn't touch them for days. Until we saw a commercial on TV and the littler girl ate some. Even after that I've managed to get C to eat maybe 2 of them. They taste pretty good to me, so I assume she just doesn't like the gummy texture. *sigh*

As for yogurt...she used to love the stuff. She'd ask for it. But maybe she ate too much of it and got sick of it, cause now she rarely will eat it. My MIL can't get her to eat it at all anymore, and I can only occasionally. I got her to eat one container of yogurt when she was on antibiotics this last time. After that she wouldn't touch it. So I pretty much resigned myself to the fact that she'd get a yeast infection at some point, and I've been watching for it.

Its probably been building up for the past several days, and we just weren't able to see any outward signs (i.e, redness) yet. Well, I saw the tell-tale redness last night. Thankfully, the last time we dealt with this the dr provided us with a ton of Nystatin cream, so I won't have to take her back to get a new prescription. She's already had 2 doses of the stuff, so she should be improving pretty quickly. But the stupid yeast infection makes her have accidents, just like with a UTI. Its so frustrating. I think its because the infection makes it burn when she pees, so she holds it until she just can't hold it anymore, then has an accident. Cause she's not just been having small accidents (like she did with the UTI - that was a tiny amount of urine every 20 minutes or so) - this is like a lake every few hours! Big mess to clean up. My MIL told me last week that C was still wetting her pants quite a bit, and I told her she's probably messed up from bein sick, just to give her time. But now I'm thinkin its the vaginitis that was brewing. *sigh*

The good news is that the Nystatin usually works really fast, and then she'll stop having accidents. I know the pattern. Luckily, she doesn't have to be on antibiotics very often since she's a pretty healthy child (other than recurrent UITs, and we are seeing a specialist next month about that). She's had 2 ear infections that we treated with antibiotics. The only other thing she's taken them for was UTIs. I think that's pretty good for 2.5 years. Anyway, the faster she gets, the better cause we're all sick of dealing with accidents! Yesterday she peed on my bed and my couch. And I don't mean a little bit. It looked like someone had spilled a gallon of liquid both times. Oh, and she did the same thing in the carseat over the weekend. *sigh!* You can't get mad at her though; she can't help it. We're just workin through this until she gets back to normal.

Now for her rash...this one has us all completely stumped. I noticed it Friday night. She was super ill Friday evening (that means she was in a bad mood, for all you non-Southern folks!) and we couldn't figure out why. She ate a lot at supper - I had cooked fried pork chops, fresh green beans, and fresh potatoes, and she ate everything, which surprised us. After supper, the 3 of us went outside to feed the animals. When we got back in, I noticed what looked like a bug bite on her shoulder. I had forgotten to put bug spray on her and it was at the edge of dark, so I assumed it was a mosquito. Well, in the bath tub later, I could see the spot better and it didn't look like a mosquito bite. It almost looked like fire ants had got on her. She had 6-8 little whelps and the whole area was very red. Wasn't bothering her though.

Then I noticed she had another really red area on the back of her neck. By the time we got out of the tub, I was noticing red places (and some with whelps) on several different areas on her body. None of the areas were bothering her, so I wasn't too worried. Until I was literally watching them pop up! It was crazy. When they got on her face (around her eye), I got concerned. So I gave her Benadryl. She hadn't had anything to eat that was new to her, and hadn't been exposed to anything new at all recently.

Saturday morning, she looked better, but as the morning wore on, I was seeing more red places pop up. And then it got really weird. She'd get a red area and a whelp that looked like a bug bite, and 30 minutes later it was gone. You could literally watch it pop up then disappear. Crazy. It still wasn't bothering her, so I just let her go about her day as usual. The 2 of us went to my MIL's pool that afternoon, and I'm sure the chlorine didn't help her at all. When we got back home, it looked like she had eczema on her thighs and butt. I rubbed her down with lotion and got her to sleep, but she slept fitfully. That night I gave her more Benadryl. DH kept saying take her to the dr, but I knew they'd tell me to do what I was since it wasn't bothering her at all.

Yesterday the places were a little itchy to her, but not enough that it interfered with her day or anything. For church I put her in a super soft dress with no inside seams, and during church we were watching her get redder and redder, and little whelps popping up everywhere. And then disappearing. After church I let her be naked at home, because it did seem that any type of fabric was irritating her skin. That did help some, but she was still getting red places.

I gave her more Benadryl last night and this morning at first she looked much better. By the time I dropped her off at my MIL's, though, I saw several red places - on her feet and around her right eye. :( I've looked online and all I can find is reactions to changes in diet or things like fabric softener. Well, I've been using All Free & Clear for years now, and I don't use fabric softener cause I'm allergic to it (and it ruins cloth diapers). Absolutely nothing has changed lately. The only thing I can think of is maybe she's developed a sudden food allergy. But to what?? Over the weekend she ate a ton of bread and crackers, but that's normal for her. My girl loves her carbs, haha. I don't even want to call the pediatrician because they're gonna want to see her, and we are NOT doing that again right now. I hate exposing her to all those germs in that place, and I know her immune system is weak right now, since she's been dealing with so much. No, thank you. So I'm not sure what to do. I'm gonna keep researching and keep praying that it doesn't get worse. Maybe its a delayed reaction to the antibiotic she was on? Her last dose was Friday night. But she's had that drug before, several times. I'm at a loss!!

Sorry, I know this post was terribly boring for people other than myself. But I wanted to document it for later. I really hope I haven't passed on my freak gene to my daughter. We all know that Nikki has unexplained health issues that come and go. :(


I'm Alive!

Whew! The last few weeks have been insane. I say that a lot, don't it? But its always true. Of course, looking back, all those other times I said that were nothing compared to the past 2 weeks for me. Most of my business has been work-related, and thankfully I've been able to come home in the evenings and basically just relax. Which I have desperately needed, let me tell you!

In short, my company has been experiencing a lot of major changes lately. My office has broken away from our parent company and with that has come a ton of work for me. I love being busy at work, so its been okay, but there have been a few times that I've wanted to pull my hair out! On top of all the changes and new stuff to deal with, I had to train 2 employees for our parent company. Of course, everything was happening all at the same time, so it was pretty stressful. Which is why I haven't even thought about my blog. I do plan to go back and finish blogging about our OBX trip, cause I definitely want to remember that! And we've taken more trips since then, so more memories to log. ( :

Here's a brief rundown of what's been going on since I last posted (3 weeks ago!):

I think I blogged about my eye issues recently. If not, basically I've been suffering from extreme dry eye for several months now. A prescription for Restasis is pending, has been pending for weeks now (my insurance doesn't like to cover expensive drugs like Restasis, bleh). Anyway, I had another appointment the week after our OBX trip. My eye dr put plugs in my tear ducts, and it has made a huge difference. For a few days, I didn't see much improvement and I was pretty disappointed. But finally, I can wear my contacts almost normally. I still can't wear them every day, and I still normally take them out early in the evening, but its such an improvement. If my RX for Restasis ever gets approved, I'm sure I'll be able to wear contacts like any normal person.

The weekend after our OBX trip I didn't do a thing. At least not that I remember. I remember on Sunday we were supposed to take C to a birthday party, but neither of us felt like going so we just lazed around the house. It was lovely. Thankfully, we hadn't even mentioned the party to C, so she didn't know what she was missing! Terrible parents, huh? ( ;

July 1 was supposed to be a quiet day for me at work, but I got a call early that said 2 people were on the way for me to train, and they were 15 minutes away! Yikes. (For the record, it wasn't my boss that called me. He found out after I did that these girls were coming.) Unfortunately, I didn't teach them much since they were unexpected. Plus, the 3 of us went to lunch and then they had to leave around 2. Oh well. The next 2 days, I had one girl here. Thankfully, she was really smart and nice, and having her here wasn't much of a burden. I had a ton of work-related problems to deal with, though. The first and second weeks of July were horrible in terms of work problems. I spent hours every day on the phone with support people. Fun, fun. I think I've got almost everything sorted out now. Whew.

On July 3, my best friend had some important surgery. So on top of dealing with all the work-related mess, I was worried about her all day until I heard she was okay. Well, sort of. She had some major reactions to the surgery and the drugs. It was pretty scary for a while there. But she pulled through and is now almost back to normal. ( :

Also on that day, my boss told me not to worry about coming in on Friday (we were already closed for the 4th). I think he felt sorry for me since I was so stressed out and working so hard. So I had a 4 day weekend!!

The 4th was spent in a frenzy. We had a ton to do to prepare for our annual July 4th cookout. I made sure to enjoy the day, though. After I got some initial cleaning done that morning, me, C, and my mama played in the pool for a while. Then, while I got C to sleep (on her crib mattress on the floor again), Mama cleaned my bathrooms for me. DH was a huge help around the house that day, too. Between the 3 of us, we got that nice nice and clean. So that the family could demolish it that night, haha.

Our yard has been pretty soaked lately. It rained for 40 days and 40 nights here. That's not really an exaggeration. I've never seen so much rain at once. Literally, every day for a long time now it has rained. Our garden has drowned. Our animals are swimming. Its been bad, though not nearly as bad as some people have had it. Anyway, because the yard was so soaked, we set up all the tables in the driveway. Of course, people still managed to get dirty and track all that into my house. I was amazed at how much dirt we swept up that night. But everyone had a great time. We had over 30 people show up for the cookout this year. And it was nice cause we didn't have to rush off for fireworks at 9. (This year, our town held fireworks on July 6th for some reason.) Which also meant we had guests in the house until like 10pm. But C got to play with her cousin (who is 3), and they had a blast together. I love having both our families together like that.

The next day was Friday, and DH decided to head down to the river for the day. His aunt and uncle have a place near the Pamlico River, and they have a boat. Its where we went back in January, when I got the pictures of the eagles. Its about a 2 hour drive from home, so not bad at all. When we got there, we rode the boat to Washington, where we got out and walked around town for a while. That was nice, even though it was about a thousand degrees. C absolutely loved riding the boat, as long as her uncle didn't drive too fast! When we rode back to the dock, we let C play in the water for a while. The Pamlico River is really brown and muddy from all the rain eastern NC has had lately, so it was pretty gross, but that didn't stop C from having fun! We didn't have her bathing suit with us (we knew on the boat we wouldn't be stopping to swim or anything), so we just let her play in the water in her clothes. She loved that. We stayed until after supper and got home that night around 10pm.

Which is when we discovered that our air conditioning was broken. It was 85 degrees in our house. WAY too hot!! My brother works on heat and air units for a living, so luckily he was able to come over that night and work on it some. I don't know anything about A/C units, but he couldn't do much Friday night. So we turned up all the fans and slept almost naked. Saturday morning my brother came back and worked some more. He got it working, sort of, but said it would take a long time to cool the house. Well, most of our windows don't open (hello, old house) so we weren't able to get a good breeze going through there. It was miserable. I stayed long enough to get the floors vacuumed and mopped, and did a few loads of laundry, then C and I left for Mama's. We played in Mama's little pool for a while, then took a nap in the wonderful A/C.

DH wanted to head back to the river that night, and since our house was still 85 degrees, he didn't get an argument from me! We packed up and made it there before it was too late. We spent the day Sunday on the boat fishing. Now, I don't have any patience at all for fishing. But this was actually kinda fun to watch. I didn't participate cause I had to hold C and make sure she didn't fall off the boat. But DH and his uncle were net fishing, which I'd never seen before. They had this super long net and would set it up, then his uncle would drive the boat in circles and we'd be really loud. The idea was to scare the fish into the net. It worked pretty well. We caught a good mess of fish this way, mostly spots. Even C wasn't bored with everything.

I, unfortunately, discovered that day that I now have a true allergy to the sun. I applied SPF 50 sunscreen every hour or so all day, and didn't get a sunburn, but after a couple of hours I broke out into a rash on my legs. It was wonderful. I ended up having to cover my legs with a towel. And lucky me kept having a reaction for days after the sun exposure. Like, I'm still a little itchy, and its been over a week. Ugh. Every night last week I had to take Benadryl just to sleep, and some days I had to take it at work, too. Which I hate doing!!

Anyway, we had a fun time at the river. Once again, after we got off the boat, we let C play on the little beach. This time in her bathing suit. ( :  She had a ball. I think we made it home that evening by around 6. Our house was still pretty hot, but we could tell it was getting cooler.

By Monday morning the house was blessedly cool, but DH had decided that we'll be getting a new unit. My brother patched ours up so it'll work for a while, but sometime in the very near future we'll be shelling out a couple grand for this thing. Gotta stay cool, though!

Actually, yesterday afternoon I noticed the house was getting hot again, and DH had to go tinker with out unit again. Hopefully it'll still be cool when I get home from work today.

Now for the sickness. My poor baby has been suffering through another UTI lately. :( She started having a lot of accidents, and after a couple of days I started to wonder if it was her kidneys again. Last Tuesday night, she peed 5 or 6 times in 40 minutes, so I knew something was up. I tried to get her doctor to just test her urine without having to see her, but they insisted. So Wednesday after work, I took her in. Her urine looked clean under the microscope, and I was confused. Of course, I didn't want her to have a UTI, but I knew somethin was wrong. They cultured it "just in case." Well, early Thursday morning I got the call that she did indeed have an infection. It took until after lunch for her antibiotic to be ready, but we did manage to get 2 doses in her that day.

Almost immediately, the antibiotic made her have looser stools (sorry, TMI probably). But that's normal, so I didn't think much of it. Saturday morning, she had a few bouts of explosive diarrhea. Poor baby. She still acted okay, though, and she wasn't peeing as much. So I felt comfortable leaving her with my parents while I went to see my friend that had had the surgery. C ended up staying with them for longer than I intended cause she took a super long nap. Again, that's normal when she's fighting an infection, so I didn't think much of it. She was really whiny and clingy after her nap, but after a while she acted better. Her and I drove to town to pick up a pizza for supper, and she ate 2 pieces, plus some bread bites. Then after her bath that night, she told me she was freezing and started crying. Then I realized she had a fever. :(

She actually slept pretty well that night, considering. But yesterday morning, she woke up with a bad stomachache and immediately went to the potty, where she had diarrhea. That continued all morning. She was pitiful, and it broke my heart. I was thinking the antibiotic was affecting her, so I called the doctor, who insisted on seeing her again. So the 3 of us headed to town, where we learned that she most likely has a stomach virus. On top of her UTI! Poor baby. :( Probably picked it up the other day when I brought her to that germ-ridden place, and her defenses were already weakened. Ugh. Sot he doctor didn't do a thing for her.

After the appointment, she was feeling better, so we picked up some groceries and ate at Outback. She barely ate though, and was really tired. Once we got home, she napped for a little while, but woke up with a tummyache again. After a while she was feeling better again, and seemed like herself. We actually had fun yesterday afternoon. She had a few more bouts of pain/diarrhea last night, but then slept in her crib until 4:45am. Unfortunately, it all started up again this morning. Fever and all. I hate seein my baby sick! By the time I left for work she was feeling better, thankfully. Hopefully she'll be over this soon. And hopefully we won't get it. I've already been feeling nauseous for the past several days...ugh.

So that's my busy busy life for the past 3 weeks!! Whew!