Monday, March 26, 2012

Horses, In Real Life

Some time ago, I put some of the behaviors of BonnieBlue's that I wanted to improve on a sticker chart and started working with her on them. Stuff like brushing her teeth everyday, going to bed on time, eating at least some of everything on her plate, etc.

She was only 4, and I knew I had too many behaviors on the chart, but I was desperate. These were things that were driving me crazy to the point that I was being a little too unpleasant with her about them.

Here's the chart:

One night, after she brushed her teeth, I pulled out the chart and told her that every time she completed one of the items on the chart, she would get to put a sticker on the chart. Because she had just brushed her teeth, I gave her a sticker and she put it on the chart.

I then told her that after she filled the chart, I would buy her any toy she wanted.

The process went remarkabley well. I underestimated how consisted we would both be and how well she would understand the process. It only took her about a 2 and a half months to fill the chart.

About halfway through that time, we went to Target so I could re-invigorate her enthusiasm. We strolled through the aisles as I told her to pick out the toy that she wanted. I told her I would buy it for her when she filled the sticker chart.

This was what she chose:

 It's 17 inches high.

Here's another picture with it next to a Barbie doll (for perspective).

 It was on sale, so I went back and bought it, put it on a shelf in the garage, and every few days, when BB was resisting the sticker chart, I took her out there to show her. It put her back on track. Eventually, she filled the chart, and we brought it down.

She loves this horse.

At first, it bugged me. Not because it was a horse. I have fostered her horse fetish, as I was horse crazy when I was young. It bugged me that the horse had a mane and tail so long that they dragged on the ground. I often remarked to her that it wasn't a realistic horse, that horses in real life don't have such long hair.

A few weeks after she earned the horse, we took her to the All American Quarter Horse Congress. This is a 3-week event that is all horses all the time, held in Columbus at the Fairgrounds' Celeste Center. We watched an event and walked through the stables and shopped at the vendor fair. She was in horse heaven.

At this event, Rhett picked up a catalog for something that I cannot even remember and I saw a picture that looked a lot like this.

Well, what do you know?! There are horses like this in real life!

It's called a Gypsy Vanner. The breed has a fascinating history and has only been recognized for 16 years. If you enjoy horses, you can find the history here: . Cool. Very cool.

If we ever get a horse, this would be it.

I also like Great Danes. Our horse and dog would match:

I dream big.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bloggess Book Give-Away

I have almost no audience for this blog, which is fine with me. I post infrequently, and I'm boring. Work and my 5-year-old keep me too busy to blog everytime I think of something interesting to say.

I would rather read other peoples' blogs than write my own. My favorites are on the sidebar on the right-hand side of this page.

I was reading The Bloggess tonight, and I was touched by a couple of comments. There are a couple of Bloggess fans who are unemployed and can't afford to buy her book. Now, I fancy myself a nice person (though my students might disagree), and since I happen to have an extra gift card to Amazon, I'm going to give away a copy of her book, Let's Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir).

Here's the problem: I know almost nothing about Blogger, so I don't know how to contact the winner except to ask those entering the give-away to leave an email address in a comment below. Leave a joke, too, if you don't mind. A clean joke. Why? My 5-year-old is really into jokes, especially "Knock, knock" and "What do you get if you cross a ..." jokes, and I have run out. Bloggess readers are the funniest, clever folks on the planet so I figured I would mine the gold. Deadline to comment is April 1, 2012.

I promise I won't do anything with your email address. And, since I don't have a big audience, I doubt there's any risk of anyone else doing anything with it either. I just want to give away a book. I'll let pick the winner. Good luck!

CAVEAT: U.S. delivery only (the contiguous 48 states); I'm nice but not rich.

Three Cups of Tea

Book Recommendation!

I just listened to this as an audiobook. (I have a 45-min 3-day-a-week twice-a-day commute.)

If you have an interest in kids, teaching, mountain-climbing, girls education, 3rd world countries (or parts of countries), or world peace, you should read it. This guy was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize twice and that he did not win is a travesty.

There are few modern-day heroes. He is one. It is an excellent book and an excellent story. It was entertaining and informative. I learned a bit about the issues in the middle east that clarifies the problems with international relations. In addition, it humanizes the citizens of 2 countries (Pakistan and Afghanistan) that the press (in cooperation with our government, I'm afraid) has been unfair and incomplete  in their portrayal of. Given Americans' interest and investment in these countries, it should be required reading.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A long, long time

I've been:

someone's sister for 47 and a half years;

married for almost 14 years;

an orphan for 10 years;

a mom for 4 years, 11 months, and 23 days (I counted from 'gotcha day' not birthday of BonnieBlue);

cancer-free for 9 years, 4 months, and 2 days (yay!);

a motherless daughter for 32 years;

a teacher for 22 years;

a member of the LDS church for 16 years;

sober 16 years, 4 months, and 10 days, 1 hour, and 55 minutes (yay!);

experiencing a daily headache for 16 days.

That's a long, long time to have a headache.