I had a really great time with my sister, K! She lives on a ranch, and I got to watch her ride this horse:
He was one STUBBORN animal, who didn’t want to be ridden, and he gave her a very hard time. Which was too bad, because she’s very good at riding horses, and it would have been fun to see what she could do with a cooperative animal…
They raise calves at the ranch, and K is in charge taking care of the sick calves. I got to see her give them medicine, and she let me give a calf a bottle in his pen. The older calves are in feed lot, and she handed me a milkshake to feed one calf who was looking too scrawny. I learned that it’s much harder to give a bottle to a calf in a feed lot with other cows than a calf secluded in a pen! All the other calves crowded around, wanting a drink. One calf kept licking my hand, and then he would start nipping! At that point I would run to another part of the lot, the calf I was feeding would run after me, and I would have a couple of seconds of peace before the other calves caught up. My sister watched me do all this, highly entertained, and then explained that when SHE gives calves milkshakes in feed lot she keeps walking, and then she just has a line of calves following her instead of stampeding her!
I also learned to play tetherball on this trip, and if you’ve never played I highly recommend it! I want to find one to put up in our back yard now!
And my, it is SO easy to travel without children! I admired other people’s adorable children, and didn’t have to do anything when they cried on the plane. I used to love flying alone, because it’s a great time to just sit back and relax – and this trip reminded me just how wonderful that is!
I was also able to spend time with all four grandparents. It was wonderful to see them, and a great opportunity to visit without having to worry about child-created mischief.
I missed my kids like crazy, and had a hard time holding it together when Lily especially talked to me on the phone.
The kids themselves did great! I was actually a little hurt that they didn’t miss me, but they were busy playing with Aunt E and Daddy. They were happy to see me Sunday evening, and on Monday Lily spent the entire duration of Emma and Johnny’s gymnastics class running around my chair, chanting, “Mama! Mommy! Mama! Mama! Mommy! Mama!”
Mike discovered that lone parenting can be exhausting, lonely, and incredibly rewarding. Saturday afternoon I called him, and he was lonely, after spending his first 24 hours parenting without my sister’s help. Then Saturday night we talked again after a day spent playing in the back yard, and he declared it the best day ever! He was still pretty excited to have me come home, though! =)
I learned that ranch life is exhausting, but it was so fun to experience a different KIND of exhausting! Thank you, K, for letting me experience your world!