Year of the (3) Horses

My husband pointed out yesterday that he’s not quite sure when he last saw a post from me (busted). I’ve also found myself deleting my blog’s address from the signature line of my emails when I send them.

Ultimately I’m embarrassed I haven’t been updating the blog. But with good reason…

The last backpacking trip I was able to take.

The last backpacking trip I was able to take.

Here I am in May 2013, near the Dugger Wilderness part of the Pinhoti, getting McDowell, my then hiking partner to snap a picture of me trying to cheerfully indicate to the world on top of this mountain that I was five weeks pregnant. I will never make a good mime I’m afraid and this is why I refuse to play charades.

I fully intended to keep hiking/backpacking well into my third trimester. But on the 6th week when I returned to work from this trip I became violently ill and thus began my initiation into the sometimes rough road of pregnancy. I reeled from one oddness to another, clinging to my belief that despite my bodies apparent betrayal of its ability to do, well, anything easily, that this temporary weirdness would pass and I’d be back out there backpacking and hiking with my dog. I did not. I went from morning sickness to food aversion where the only foods I seemed to be able to tolerate were donuts and garlic bread. I went from not gaining any weight (food aversion style!) to sudden and crazy weight gain despite not changing much of my eating habits once the food aversion had passed. Then on to horrible scoliosis pain and then I lost the feeling in my knees as they were first bruised from various activities at work and also at home with physical therapy in attempts to help my scoliosis improve. My body, unused to the extra weight my knees then bared resulted in bruised, & eventually nerve damaged knees that went numb and tingly whenever I bent them with pain radiating out from where the nerves still worked fine (I gave up on actually using them, even crawling into the bed became nearly impossible without creating excruciating pain in my knees/legs).

The health issues sort of snowballed into colds that wouldn’t go away (“Oh, you’re pregnant, you’ll just have to tough it out…” they said) that eventually ended not long ago with a frightening trip to the labor and delivery room where they gave me the medicines you’re not supposed to have when your pregnant because there was no alternative. I had bruised (or cracked, who knows) ribs, pleurisy, and was unable to breath. Not to mention a two month old cold that was keeping me from sleeping, talking, breathing. The pain that wracked my midsection kept me unable to talk or move without assistance as we shambled in, and later, a very drugged, very largely pregnant woman, shambled out, wondering how in the world her dog would ever get walked again. But even then, well after I’d given up my dreams of backpacking into my 8th month, I still had new health issues arise as my feet and legs and hands began swelling suddenly to 3 times their size and my blood pressure soared. Truly sealing the deal that not only would I not backpack, was the fact that I also would not be able to drive myself, be able to touch my feet, get in and out of bed without assistance, and definitely, definitely not walk the dog.

So yeah. That’s why it’s been quiet around here. If 2013 had been kinder to me health wise I would have kept plowing on through the Pinhoti (I only had about 20-30 miles to get to the GA line I think), exploring local trails, etc.

I do intend to come back, but for now I felt that on this first day of the year I needed to put a big placeholder here on the blog to explain why I’ve been so quiet and explain potential future quietness.

I do regret not using the down sick time to get caught up on all the back posts I needed to post from previous hikes, but just the idea of how to make time to write seemed impossible. I’m not sure what our new normal will look like, or how I’ll incorporate writing into our new schedule, but I believe I will. I believe I’ll be back writing on here sooner rather than later.

As for Whiskey- he’s been doing pretty good with his new routine. He spends a good portion of the day “surveying his kingdom” as well call it, from a slight, barely noticeable rise in the backyard where he can watch the chickens and see most of the yard on both sides and into the back woods. Brandon’s been trying to teach him to turn off light switches, though I’d prefer he teach W how to pick up things off the floor for me! And he has a variety of visitors to dote on him recently.

I’m afraid our walks went from daily, to every other day, to every three, to once a week, to….the last time I took him walking was Thanksgiving, when we visited one of our very favorite places Blue Ridge, Georgia, which was the last time for several weeks that I was able to sleep laying down.

Dogs are truly amazing. He’s adapted. I’ve promised him life will slowly work back into routines of walking weekly, that he’ll get more attention in the arena of physical activity (He gets a LOT of attention, just not the physical exercise outside of the house kind).

People ask us all the time if he has acted any different since I became pregnant. I really don’t think so. From day one he’s pretty much been the same. He’s even laid his head on my belly while Baby R moved around and I know he could feel it, heck, he could probably hear it! But he didn’t move at all. Even when I was intense pain and crying and totally freaking out before we went to Labor and Delivery in the middle of the night he seemed mildly curious, but it didn’t seem to ruffle any feathers, er fur. He barely noticed us at all. Well, that’s standard Whiskey I guess.

But I don’t want you to think our lack of blogging or confession of not walking in the last month means a neglected dog. He’s had a full social schedule. He’s done a number of traveling bloggy type things….

He got to do a lot of walking on the local Rails to Trails.

He got to do a lot of walking on the local Rails to Trails up until November.

He got to see some snow in 2013.

He got to see some snow in 2013.

Whiskey spent most of the year convincing our feral cat that they were friends. After 3 years- it finally worked.

Whiskey spent most of the year convincing our feral cat that they were friends. After nearly 3 years- it finally worked.

We spent a lot of time teaching Whiskey not to chase or eat the chickens. It worked. He is now allowed unlimited unsupervised time in their presence and does great with them.

We spent a lot of time teaching Whiskey not to chase or eat the chickens. It worked. He is now allowed unlimited unsupervised time in their presence and does great with them.

He got to go to the River a few times and spent time adding to his "what can I collect in my fur" collection.

He got to go to the River a few times and spent time adding to his “what can I collect in my fur” collection.

He went into some buildings he probably wasn't allowed to go in on our trip to Cheaha ;)

He went into some buildings he probably wasn’t allowed to go in on our trip to Cheaha 😉

He went to Blue Ridge GA where his tail learned to match the clouds...

He went to Blue Ridge GA where his tail learned to match the clouds…

In Blue Ridge we also found this awesome sign.

In Blue Ridge we also found this awesome sign.

He featured prominently in the displays at our baby shower. Because if you know us, really know us, you know we would have *Had* him there if we could.

He featured prominently in the displays at our baby shower. Because if you know us, really know us, you know we would have *Had* him there if we could.

The banner of ribbons at our baby shower had pictures of our lives in the last 7+ years. Several of them, which you can't quite make out from here, were of us with Whiskey. We incorporate him into as much of our life as we can. We couldn't have had pictures of our shower without our first "child"!!

The banner of ribbons at our baby shower had pictures of our lives in the last 7+ years pinned throughout the ribbons. Several of them are from our outdoor travels and of Whiskey. We incorporate him into as much of our life as we can. We couldn’t have had pictures at shower without our first “child” or without showing our love of the outdoors.

Then because we love it, we took him back to Blue Ridge at Thanksgiving. Lucky dog!!

Then because we love it, we took him back to Blue Ridge at Thanksgiving. Lucky dog!!

He went to Fort Morgan where it was very wet, but he loved it.

He went to Fort Morgan where it was very wet, but he loved it.

He loved it so much this was how he was every time we loaded him up at the beach!

He loved it so much this was how he was every time we loaded him up at the beach!

He had the privilege of being the one who got to introduce the FB world of friends and family that we were expecting- that he would be a big brother come January.

He had the privilege of being the one who got to introduce the FB world of friends and family that we were expecting- that he would be a big brother come January.

Any day now, quite literally, a new little man will be entering the Robertson household. Since he managed to stay inside through 2013, this means we’ll be a household of 3 Horses if you follow the Chinese Calendar. Should be fun! I don’t know what the shape of our lives will be in 2014. But as for 2013 I can say that we are thankful beyond measure- for each other, for time with family, for friends who take care of one another, for dogs who forgive you for not walking them for a month, for all of it. I promise an obligatory “Baby R Arrives!” post once he does. From our growing household to yours, we wish you the best trails, the most trail magic, and lots of dog fun in 2014.

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