Wednesday, December 23, 2009

the secret kleenex


It seems that Sadie has been hiding Kleenex with secret codes written on it all over my house. I have found them hidden in books, tucked under pillows, in coats pockets, inside a DVD case, and my favorite wrapped around a fork stuck back in the silverware drawer. I love Sadie's randomness, and I hope to one day crack the code.

Friday, December 18, 2009

like mother like daughter



Annie had her first recital Thursday. I was so excited. She was not. I'm really sad to report that Annie has inherited my very awkward stage presence. It's a mix of stage fright and the inability to make a normal facial expression when standing in front of people. It's bad enough we're scared to death, why must we add the awkward stance and the strange face. I can't say I'm surprised I've been that way my whole life. Why should I expect different from Annie. I guess I was just hoping she'd be better than me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Night terrors

For two nights I have woken up screaming from nightmares. Yes, screaming. I'm very lucky Annie is such a heavy sleeper. I don't know what is going on, but I am now afraid to go to sleep. I stopped watching scary shows (sorry Fringe, but it has to end here). I don't watch movies. I don't read scary books. I can't remember the last time I even had a nightmare, or if I ever had them at all. I am getting little to no sleep, which definitely makes me the life of the party (yeah, two in the last two days). Is there a magic button for this?

Thank you

Thank you to whoever the sweet person/persons was who left me and Annie the gift certificates in the mail. It totally made me cry, and caused Annie ask "is the mail hurting you?"

Monday, December 14, 2009

The house


I had this deranged thought I was going to get lots of help decorating. Here's what I got. Three kids Hyped up on a sugar, two wild dogs, an 82 year old who kept sneaking roof tiles and me sitting with my friend Carol bickering about how to decorate the house. Evidently, I do not share the creative process well. I wanted to pipe the windows and cut the pieces to fit just right, but the kids ate the icing and people do not seem to share my love of tedious measuring and cutting.


Step one everyone together.


Step two they all leave.


Step three they sneak back for candy.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

12 hours and counting


Our gingerbread house for Harriet. It's modeled after her house, which she is letting us live in.     Note to self, next time build house to specs of oven. I had to make the roof and front pieces in sections because they were to big to fit the oven.   I'm thinking it's going to take more than just me to move it to Harriet's once it's covered in 80 pounds of candy.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Goodbye

I foolishly plucked Annie from her Gigi's house without allowing her to give a proper goodbye to all inside. I thought a quick goodbye from the door would suffice. I was surely wrong. As we pull away from the curb Annie burst to tears (fake one's, I'm almost certain). "You didn't let me say goodbye." I'm not turning back, it takes me 5 minutes to get her buckled in the car, with all her things properly placed around her. She asks for my phone and dials Gigi's house.
"Gigi, I didn't get to say goodbye. Goodbye. Can I take to Papa? "
"Papa, I didn't get to say goodbye, goodbye. Can I talk to Sadie? "
"Sadie, I didn't get to say goodbye, goodbye."
She hung up the phone and I assumed we were good now and they were be no more issues. Before I realize what she's doing I here Annie say
"Aunt Greta? My mommy and me left Gigi's house. My mommy and me are going home. Can I say goodnight to Ruby and Ruby's daddy?"
(talking to Sam) "My mommy and me left Gigi's. My mommy and me are going home. Goodnight. Can I talk to Ruby?"
You get the pattern.
After she finishes with my sister she asks me for Aunt Debbie's number. Thankfully no answer. I fear had Debbie answered she would have just continued calling all through the night. Instead she hangs up and says "She not answer, I think everyone sleeping now."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Annie's comment to me

"Do you know what makes you special? is that you are the coolest mommy.  God gave me that idea."   Annie 12/10/09

My new filtering system

So I decided to put up a little warning to possibly help filter the unwanted winks and emails.

Surgeon General's Warning:
Dating this woman can cause serious side affects. This woman has a serious aversion to pot and all other illegal substances. If you partake in such illegal activities, dating this woman can result in community service or possible jail time. Winking or e-mail has been proven to cause irritation to those who haven't read closely. Avoiding church can increase the risks of rejection and possible spiritual cancer.

Not sure if it's working yet. I'll let you all know in a few days.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

the ginger bread house




Finishing this house required staying up late into the night covered in sticky icing glue.  You better like it.  

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

No match for me

I'm starting to see a startling trend in my match.com connections. I'm getting a lot of winks/emails from people with head lines like... Looking for my hippie chick, Gr8ful_dead, or my favorite dreads_man. Is there something wrong with my profile? I am not a hippie. First off I have an aversion to pot and all other illegal substances like you wouldn't believe. Yes, I would turn in my own mother if I caught her smoking pot. I do shower. In fact I love to shower and be clean. I don't wear patchwork clothing and I am not going to live with you on a "clothing optional" organic farm (that's just gross).

Monday, December 7, 2009

My half day

A gingerbread house half made. A tree half strung with lights. A pile of laundry half done and tomorrow I work all day, so it's going to sit until Wednesday. So much for my day off.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The tree angel

"Look mommy, she loves me. Can we snuggle her tonight?"
"No sweetie, we can't. She's not for snuggling."
"Yes she is, mommy. She told me so! Banjo heard her too."

How exactly do I win an argument against Annie and the dog?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Purchase


So I bought a pair of boots. It was not a snap decision or impulse purchase, but it was my first big purchase on me in a long time. I not only agonized, but I more or less tortured myself over it. At one point I had myself convinced that buying these boots would surely mean Annie and I would find ourselves homeless and on the street. Not sure how I got to that thought, but it was there.
After obsessing this long over one pair of boots (8 months to be exact), I'm sure they aren't going to fix my life, but I do love them.

Friday, December 4, 2009

latest nap excuse

"Mommy, I was sleeping and a serious noise woke me up."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The uneaten breakfast


Today was one of those days I would rather have slept through. Annie woke up more or less a mess. I'm pretty sure the tears actually started before her eyes were open, but I can't prove it. I thought perhaps if I made her both of her favorite morning foods for breakfast it would cheer her up. Oops. It somehow manages to make her even more upset, which only made me mad, because no one's making me breakfast every morning, and setting it before me as I relax on the sofa wrapped in warm Blankets.
The morning ended with me giving in. I called work and let them know I wouldn't be able to make it and spent the day with Annie. I foolishly thought that my staying home from work to spend the entire day with her would make her happy. Oops again. The whole day was a mix of tears and screams, and I'm pretty sure I'll wake up with a couple bruises I didn't had before.

"Annie don't play with mommy's new cards."
"GRRRRRRRRR......" is her reply as she dumps them on the ground and then stomps on them.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Yikes!

Match.com might not be such a good idea. I've gotten 43 views, 5 winks and 4 e-mails in the last 24 hours. Why don't I get this much attention from guys when I go out? Because 4/5 of these men probably never leave the house. One guy who's ID was Letsdoit69... told me he'd like to "hook up" sometime. Really? So sorry, but I think I'm busy. Please tell me Christian men actually use this site. Honestly, I hate that I am even doing this. I don't think on-line dating is going to be a good way for me to meet men. I would rather have a personal reference from someone I trust. I really don't want to end up on a date with someone who's only agenda is to "hook up." My new plan is to just ask the single Christian men that I know out. They don't have be "the one," but to at least date men I've actually met would be better don't you think? Maybe they will know a single Christian man who isn't trying to just hook-up. And perhaps I'll try on-line dating some time down the road just not today.

Thanksgiving

My Thanksgiving was a little odd this year.   Instead of spending all my time cooking, I found myself hectically sewing Cinderella blue slip covers for the kids chairs.    It was my own fault.  I make a tent with lights every year for the kids to eat under.  This year thought it looked off.   It wasn't magical enough, so my solution?   make custom cinderella slip covers for each little chair and tie them with pink princess bows.   It looked wonderful, but next year it will be better.   After dinner my sister signed me up for match.com.   Yeah it's come to that.   I'm getting more comfortable with the idea of online dating each year when my family gets together.   My sister is obviously beating me into the ground with her brood of children.   I would at least like to be dating at this point in my life, so thank you Greta.  I got three winks in one day.  I think that's good, I'm not totally sure what a wink is, but it can't be bad can it?   Now I just have to come up with the courage/money to join.   I don't like how you literally have no idea who these people really are, other than what they tell you, and I really have no idea how faithful they are.  And what does spiritual/other mean exactly?  

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

update

I've decided I don't like posting when no one ever comments. So please if you read this darn blog, comment! It's make me feel a little less pathetic. Just me and the computer is rather sad, but if people are actually reading what I write, well, then it's slightly less so.

This week has been really busy. I've been in a panic because I bought myself something I couldn't afford and then I lost my food stamps. Two things I can't handle. My case worker calls it the "Shit Zone," his words not mine. I don't make enough money to buy all our food, but I make to much for food stamps. His advice, Stop working. I looked at him like he was crazy and he just shrugged. I now understand why people who get assistance never get off of it. There is no gradual movement into self sufficiency. You either do or don't make it. You'll be happy to know I did not take my case workers advice. I am instead working my butt off to get money in the bank for next month (this month we're eating at my mothers, sorry mom). As for my insane purchase, I'm not talking about it. It hasn't even gotten here yet, and honestly I've worn the same pair of shoes for the last three years. If it gets here and I still feel conflicted it will go back.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Incubation time!

It all started with the Egg


Whats a girl to do with a Thursday night off and nothing to do? Build an egg incubator of course! With Annie at my mothers for an impromptu sleep over, I found myself home alone for the first time in a long time. I really wanted Annie to stay with me, but she was captivated by the idea of an overnight with Sadie and Ruby at her Gigi's. I think they had planned and plotted against me from the beginning. But that's ok, I managed to keep myself busy.
When I got home I went to collect the eggs and there was another Turkey egg. In perfect condition. I could not let it go to waste, so I looked up simple incubator designs online (thank you UTube), and went shopping. $24 later and here it is.

Looking in from the top. I made a glass window for little noses to watch the action if the egg actually hatches.


This is the Thermometer/ Hygrometer, and where I wired the light bulb. Yes, Charlie I wired it myself. The egg won't go inside until I get the temperate and humidity under control. Hopefully Jane will lay a few more eggs before I have to start incubating this one.



Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lunch with the girls



On Monday, Annie and I had guests over for lunch. We invited Ruby, Gigi, Harriet and Carol. It was by far the best lunch I've had with Harriet. Ruby was smitten with Harriet, and Harriet was definitely smitten with her. They played the piano and sang songs. Before guests arrived Ruby and Annie made play-do creations for hours, moved on to crayons for minutes and then back to play-do. It was great. I was able to make lunch with out Annie crying about being bored and Gigi helped me decorate a little for Christmas.
Banjo hid under my chair for lunch. does that mean I'm the messy eater who drops crumbs everywhere? I really thought it would be one of the girls. Guess not.
Annie took this picture of me and then said, "Look mommy you are a giant, see how big you are?" For the record it's not fun when your daughter tells you your giant. I guess I need a few more Hot Yoga classes.

Crafts and cards


This last Saturday I helped a friend who was sick and took her things to a craft fair for her. I got to take my most resent creations and my sisters as well. We didn't sell anything. My friends stuff sold, but none of ours did. I forgot how much I hate going to these things. I didn't mind selling my friends items, but I hate selling my own things. I prefer to be the anonymous seamstress hidden in the back room. Who no one ever sees.
I'm getting back into sewing again, so hopefully I'll soon have them listed on etsy. I recently got a graphic design program put together on my computer. It's a little confusing to maneuver, but I managed to make a business card for my etsy site.

Front:

Back:
It was really fun to make the card. I forgot how much I used to like graphic design. I just wish I knew how to work the program better. It might take me a while to figure out how it all works.

Turkey Babies


Jane has laid her first egg. I'm not sure if I should be excited or sad. She's up for slaughter in a few days and this only makes me want to keep her around. It would be fun to have turkey eggs, or even better to have turkey babies. Imagine never buying another Thanksgiving turkey! You just go outside and fetch one. OK, I'm might be a little strange. The saddest part is that I am 100% sure this egg is fertile, if it hadn't cracked I'd sit on it myself. This being her first egg the shell is very weak.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wow. I'm in trouble.

"Annie we have to go.  If you can't get your pants on you will just have to stay here."

"But then you will be a bad mommy and they will throw you in jail."


Monday, November 9, 2009

Gluttony and Frogs

So sorry. I've had a sudden surge of sewing desire and couldn't tear myself away from the sewing machine long enough to post. The good news is that I have been sewing. The bad news is that we moved the sewing to the basement and it gives me a headache when I am down there for more than 20 minutes, but even that has a flip side. I get a good workout going up and down the stairs.
Top that off with the Hot Yoga and I should have the body of an 18 year old by let's say spring maybe? If I don't I'm going back to my old ways of laziness and gluttony.
My pink chicken has been very busy making a mess of my mothers house while I've been sewing. She refined her couch hopping skills, played dress up, and she spent most of yesterday leaping around like a frog while saying nothing but "ribbit" the entire time.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Again.

I went back. I kind of had to. My legs were feeling like I would never be able to straighten them out again they were so sore. I am actually glad I went back though. I did much better the second time, stuck it out through the whole class, and got to take hot Yoga with Tom, Debbie and Meagan Holley. I don't see my entire family showing up for hot Yoga, but it was pretty funny to see half the Holley clan in there sweating it out. Going during the day is much better than going in the evening. The class is smaller, there are less men to see you sweating and although the women are still skinny (and yes, I'm still hoping for some sort of osmosis in that regard) it's not as bad when your not sandwiched two feet apart from them.

And not that my description is very enticing, if you do go, tell them I sent you. I'll get a free class and be able to take more classes!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I found them!

Last night I went to my first Hot Yoga class. I haven't done any Yoga since having Annie, so I figured I would give it a shot. If Tom Holley raves about it, it must be pretty good. Believe me when I tell you I was less than thrilled about the dress code. It's recommended you wear nothing but a bathing suit. I walked into the building to meet my instructor who was somewhere in her 40's with the body of a 18 year old wearing a cheetah print bikini. Already feeling uncomfortable she informs me I cannot wear pants. So I am putting on my shorts and the smallest top I could find (that still covers my stretch marks), when 10 other women of varying ages walk by me. All with bodies that remind of what I wasn't even close to achieving before having Annie. Is this for real? Possibly there is something to this, or do people like me just not go to these classes? Then I walk into the studio and there they are, all the men in St. Louis. Laying on towels in a room where the temperature never goes below 90 are a slue of single men. Sadly they are all in speedo's dripping with sweat and I there I am covered in sweat myself. In my old gym shorts and a very unattractive tank with one of those useless bras inside, I was the most overdressed person in the room. I felt truly frumpy for the first time in my life. Overall the class was good. I sweat about two liters of water, felt a combination of nausea, dizziness and heat exhaustion. Managed to stay semi conscious the whole class and found myself unable to walk for about 15 minutes after the class ended. As to whether or not I will go back? I'm not sure. Do I go to another gym, get in shape and then return? Or do I continue going as I am in the hopes that my body will somehow morph into one of the well toned stick figures parading around it in the class? It's a tough call, but I will let you know.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Garden vs. Annie, (Annie won)

This morning Annie and I got up super early to plant bulbs in the yard. It ended up being me alone planting the bulbs while Annie went and played in the chicken run. She tried to get me in there with her but I was determined to get something done today. She finally resorted to every two seconds she yelling, "which one is Lightening McQueen?," and insisting I tell the names of each chicken repeatedly. It was getting a little ridiculous, so I just started yelling out names at random. She caught me when I told her Puff was Lightening McQueen. This created tears and "bad Mommy" looks from Annie. I wasn't giving her my full attention. She stomped out of the run growling.
Lately, Annie has been in her high maintenance mode, so if I'm not right next her she insists on keeping a constant dialog going and telling me to "look at this mama." It's her way of keeping me from getting anything done. I used to think she was starving for attention, but this kid gets a lot of attention. At this very second, Banjo is sitting behind me in the chair and Annie is climbing on my back with her arms wrapped a little to tightly around my neck. Did I mention this is a very small chair and I am feeling a little smothered? The worst part is that I've yet to find a cure for this particular ailment. If I give her to much attention she starts these elaborate games which always end in me pinned on the floor and the pile of dishes sitting in the sink untouched. If I ignore her she starts to do that annoying fake cry that all kids do. You know the one. Where they scrunch up their faces and whimper then they throw themselves across your lap in mock desperation. It's a classic. If your kid hasn't started just wait. They all do it. Annie tried this very move on me outside only it was muddy and the grass was slippery so when she overshot her landing a little and ended up in the mud of course it was my fault. Which led to real tears and a very muddy child. She's clean now, but I think I might have to plant the rest of the bulbs by flash light when Annie is sleeping. I can't wait for the neighbors to see me outside in the dark planting. They don't think I'm weird enough as it is.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Annie's Halloween in under three mintues

video
She did it! She wore her costume for Halloween!  I didn't even have to force her into it.  She Willingly put it on!    The above video includes photos from her party, random chicken play and trick or treating.  

Thursday, October 29, 2009

big people conference

Today was Annie's parent teacher conference. I was actually dreading it all day long. I have this fear that they will tell me my child is broken or that she's the biter/ hitter/ bully of the class. I know that Annie is none of these things (not that being the bully is bad or anything), but my initial instinct is that they will say something bad. Something that can't be fixed. I'm not sure where I get this fear, other than it's what my parents were told about me. No, I wasn't the biter/ hitter/ bully of the class, but I was in need of special schooling and being separated from the pack. As Annie gets closer to the age when I was singled out I know I will get even worse about going to these conferences. I do not want Annie to be separated from her class mates. To have to go to a different school. To be told that she is different. Being told that as a child has hurt me in so many ways and I am still struggling to believe that I am just like every one else. I find myself being so careful with what I say to Annie when she is struggling with something or having a hard time. I want her to know that struggling and having a hard time is normal and all kids have to find there way, not just her.
Annie's teachers had nothing but good things to say about her. Only about 27 more parent teacher conferences to go.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dear Banjo,


I wish Banjo was able to read this post. He was so amazing for Annie's Halloween party, I'm still in shock. He not only kept his pumpkin costume on the whole time, but he was on his best behavior. All the kids running around, food in little hands right there in front of him, I was sure something would go wrong. I have to admit I had laid out plans to escort him to my mother's house but I ran out of time. He was there purely by accident, but I am so glad he got to stay. He was great and made me realize how glad I am that he is our dog. Whoever threw this dog away was an idiot and I wish I could thank them.

The Chicken (costume) goes out for the day.

My frustration with this costume is building and Halloween is still 5 days away. It started with her Halloween party, where she took off the costume I spent hours sneezing over (yes, I am allergic to pink dyed feathers) and insisted on wearing a very old torn Disney princess nightgown for the party. She worn the costume maybe 10 minutes.
Then today she was supposed to wear it to her gymnastic class. We had to make a deal she only had to wear it for two minutes, so her teacher could see it. She was sulky and pouting the entire two minutes. Grrrr, why did I spend all that time making this thing? Oh yeah, so she could wear it into TJ Maxx. Annie the girl who I had to beg to wear her costume just hours before, insisted on wearing it while we shop. Could someone please explain this to me? She wore the costume all through the store like the proud chicken I knew she could be, but when all the other kids are dressed up, she refuses. Please, let this change by Halloween. I am not taking her trick or treating in an old Disney nightgown, and no we are not wearing the chicken costume shopping after Halloween.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Chicken



I know lots of you have been waiting for me to post a picture of Annie in her costume, so here's my pink chicken with her kitty cat cousin Sadie. I would have posted earlier, but I had a lot of sleep to catch up on.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The things we do...

Just spent three hours stitching feathers onto my daughters butt. The amazing thing was that she actually sat still for three hours while I did it. She REALLY wants to be a chicken for Halloween, I wish I could get her to be this good all the time. Now when she misbehaves I just tell her I won't finish her costume and she straightens right up. Is that mean? I have to admit I've been a little desperate to get her to listen, perhaps threatening the life of her chicken suit isn't the best idea. I could easily see this backfiring and her getting to wear her chicken suit after Halloween just as a means of getting her to behave. Yeah, this is a bad idea. I will no longer hold her chicken suit's life in my hands as a means of control. Promise.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Annie's Aunt Heather


I have known Heather since I was 18, count them up and that's 11 years. I can't tell you how strange and wonderful this is. To say it takes a long time for people to get to know me only tells the half of it. I have what you might consider intimacy issues. The reality is that people can know me, but for me to be comfortable around them takes forever. I don't let people get close to me. Blame it on the chaos I was raised in or the fact the I grew up with two hermit's for parents. Either way, I came out a little funny. My sense of humor is strange to say the least, I'm not a party girl, or a hermit. I love being with people, it's just that they make me insanely uncomfortable with their constant need to talk/do things. Heather is one of the few people that gets me in the strangest of ways. She understands me when my brain stops functioning and I can't speak. She's not bothered by my constant need to feed people that come into my house. She's fine just sitting on the couch doing nothing. Having her visit for three days was awesome. We got to sit and do nothing, I had someone to cook for, and Annie went ballistic over her. The first night Heather got here, Annie asked if she could sleep in Aunt Heathers bed. I was quite shocked seeing as how it takes Annie a long time to get comfortable with people (something I'm determined to stop from getting worse), and she hadn't seen Heather since she was two.
If you look closely you'll see that Annie's arm is zipped up inside a plastic bag filled with her stuffed animals. She carried it around the whole time Heather was here. Banjo was very fond of Heather as well and split the nights up half in Heather's bed and half in mine. He was a little Gaga over Heather as you can see from the photo. Sadly Heather was only in town for a fashion show (she makes the most amazing free form crochet hats), and had to return home to her husband in Chicago where they live with their two cats and their dog named Tater. One day they will live here, it is my mission in life to see that it happens. I've yet to resort to begging, purely because I have known Heather long enough to know that she hates begging.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sally's Great Escape


Found Sally out sitting on a wire the other night when I went to shut the door to the coop. It was not easy getting her down, but thankfully she came willingly. Not sure how she got out, but the Temporary run is a little flawed.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Banana's

Annie has been eating A LOT of banana's the last few days. Yesterday she ate two with her dinner and then one as dessert. This morning she ate another banana for breakfast.

"Annie do you want to buy banana's at the store?"
"Nana's make me grow big and strong."
Not realizing this was a question I responded, "yes they do make you grow big and strong."
"No, I don't want to. I grow big and I knock up the houses. We not buy any nana's"

Of coarse we ended up buying Banana's, but not until after coming to the conclusion, "I won't grow too big eating these, mama, they small."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Annies Outfit


"Annie it's going to be cold out today, so you have to wear warm clothes."
Annie replies with, "Don't worry mommy, I'm wearing my winter hat," as she walks into the kitchen. At least she put on tights this time, right? I think I might have to burn all leotards, if I'm ever going to get her into warm clothes.

Project Turkey

I finally finished the Turkeys new house. There are two reasons that necessitated the building of this separate housing structure. First off is that they needed to switch to meat builder feed (for obvious reasons). The second being that Norton (our Male Turkey) has been getting really aggressive with the other chickens. I found out why yesterday when I witnessed Norton getting frisky with Jane. It was weird and I'm not sure if I should be grossed out or Jealous that my turkeys are getting more action than me, not that I want to date Norton or anything. Jane would be furious, and don't worry their married, so it's ok. I'm very happy to announce that now they can now get frisky inside the house instead of in public.
The Turkey.
I wish the color was better, he has this spectacular blue around his eyes, but the camera didn't pick it up well.
The Tools
A green hammer and a jig saw that were my dad's dad. The guy at the hardware store just laughed at me when I asked him what blade it used. A hand saw I picked up for $11, and lets not forget my drill from a old ex-boyfriend.
The new house
It still needs the trim put up, but I didn't account for that when I measured everything out, so now if I put the trim on, it won't fit out the door to the run.
The romance


(Thank you Mark for help with the hinge. Sam, Jeremy and Brader for your help with moving the house.)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The turkeys new house

So I planned to spend my day getting things done on the chicken coup. Latest project: build separate housing for the Turkeys. I dropped Annie off at my mothers and got to work. A garage full of scrap wood, my 70 year old jig saw and 5 trips to Home Depot later (I thought that was pretty good, considering I can take that many trips to the grocery just to make a jello salad), I've constructed something close to a habitable housing structure for the turkeys.
Yes, Vice Grips are a perfectly acceptable substitute for c-clamps.And that would be my window I got for $15 dollars at the hardware store. I talked the guy down from $20, and got him to throw in two hinges for free. I really like Home Depot.

My biggest challenge is figuring out the roof, it has to hinge open and not leak (challenging isn't it?). Thankfully I was able to call in reinforcements to help me with that. When my reinforcements show up and it's finished, I'll post a better picture. For tonight Puff is sleeping in the new house with the roof tacked on.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Watermelon attempt II


Annie and I recently cut our watermelon off the vine. It wasn't quite was I hoping for, but as with anything, practice makes perfect. Last year when I grew watermelon, they all grew to be the size of ping pong balls. This year they are slightly larger than a softball. Success in my eyes. Perhaps next year we will get closer to a cantaloupe size watermelon. Annie was very excited to finally open it up. The insides gave us about five spoonfuls each. Well worth the 3 months of growing right?

Meet Nadia

"He doesn't have a home. He has to come home with us. He needs me, mommy. I take care of him..." The list of excuses was endless and tear jerking. She just couldn't leave this poor lost soul on the floor of her Gigi's bathroom. So now Nadia the gymnastic Butterfly lives with us on our kitchen counter next to Mr. Wormy the snake (see post tittle Mr. Wormy for a more formal introduction), he's a dried up worm, seriously. I love my daughters loving heart, but I'm little worried that as she grows so will her need to take in lost souls. I can see cats and dogs in our future who just "follow" her home. Eventually leading up to us having random strangers who Annie deems as homeless coming over for dinner. As long as she doesn't start adopting homeless teenagers when she gets to those years I'll be ok, I think.

Hand Me Ups


My sister, who I recently learned has a Nerd Phobia (the candy, not the guy who fixes your computer) gave me back some clothes that I had loaned her for Poppy (her 20 month old). In the bag was a dress that was not from me. Of course Annie puts it on and it fits. Is she not growing, or do my sisters kids just grow twice the rate as mine does?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

todays conversation

"Annie where are you?"

"In here, I holding a egg, it OK I sit on it?"

"No dear it will break."

"But I am a chicken! I sit on eggs all day."

"No dear, you are a little girl who raises chickens."

"Oh"

Friday, October 2, 2009

A better picture


The plus side to turning 29 is that I finally got a new picture for my drivers license. My last photo portrayed me in a very different light. I was 18 or 19 when it was taken. I lost my Drivers License and assumed they would just print off a copy of my old one. It was the middle summer. I had to ride my bike to the DMV? (Yeah, it was not a good year). I got there sweaty and tired and they took my picture before I even realized that's what I was there for. I had that Lady you fear getting who probably feels terrible every day of her life and finds joy in making sure you look like she feels on your drivers license. How I ended up keeping the same picture for the last 10 years is beyond me. I was so excited to get me notice in the mail that my drivers license was about to expire. Strange I know, excited about a trip to the DMV. I actually did my hair and drove a car to the DMV this time. See things are getting better. I let a few people go ahead of me, not because I was feeling generous, but because this time I going to make sure a woman did not take me photo. I got the only man in the DMV to take my photo. He was very nice, even counted to three before pushing the button that would capture the image every bartender in St. Louis would see. Well that's probably over doing it. All of maybe three bartenders in St. Louis will ever see it. I don't really get out much and when I do it's to go to one of three places. 1. Nacho Mama's 2. Off Broadway and 3. Blackthorn. These are my favorite places, and I really hope I get a new employee next time I go in, so that I can show them my drivers license. It's not the most amazing picture, but I don't look like an abused drug addict, so this is a big improvement. Thank Jim from the DMV, your my hero.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

missing the ghetto


This may sound strange, but I really miss my old apartment. My wonderful neighbors, last minute dinner parties. Being able to decorate any way I wanted, not being surround by flesh toned walls and giant pianos that take up half my living room. I don't miss the scary guns shots or being super far away from everything. I just really miss feeling like my home was my own. Feeling free to have people over whenever I wanted. Not feeling watched or nervous my landlord will stop by because I didn't respond to one of his e-mails fast enough. Being forced to ask permission to have a friend visit from out of town is not something I have ever encountered with a landlord. Not knowing when people are coming in the house, and generally being made to feel that this is not my house is new too. I am seen more as a long term house guest here.
While struggling to deal with this, I have realized that mostly I just feel trapped. It's like being 16 all over again, when you feel all grown up and want to make your own choices about your life without the influence of your parents. Feeling watched and knowing as soon as you step out of line you'll be called on it. Not being able to feel your way through life . Only I'm not 16 I'm 29 and I have a landlord who treats me more like his lost teenage daughter than a tenant. Sorry that's not nice, but it really feels that way.
All of this has made me desperately want my own house. To not fear that my landlord will stop by while I'm at work and leave me a "to do" list on my kitchen counter (yes this really does happen). To not have to explain why a light is turned on, or why the house isn't picked up. If you weren't aware I work A LOT, so no my house isn't how I would like it to be. Nothing would make me happier than to be able to stay home and play house (really I'm serious), but it's just not in the cards right now. All of this has made me really determined to get out of here, but not to make a mistake and throw away an opportunity. So I've set myself a new goal and started saving, but guess what? It's super hard to save when your a single parent. There just isn't enough income. No matter how much I work it's still just enough to get by. At night we pray to God for work, and Annie always interjects with a reminder that she doesn't like when I work, which of course makes me feel terrible, but at least she's not going to grown up watching me sleep all day or watch soap opera's (not that's a bad thing, if that's what you like to do). I'm on my third month of saving and lets just say I haven't even saved half of what my monthly goal needs to be if we're going to get a house in three to four years (and that house would have to cost no more that $80,000). This week I got news from two jobs that they were "cutting back" which means I'm out a job, and will be making that much less each month. God, do you have a plan here that I can't see?
So I've been a little sad this last week, even though it was my birthday, it was a really hard week. My sister is convinced I'm depressed and will probably show up at my door any day now with our counselor (yes we see the same counselor) for some sort of "just say no to sadness" intervention where we'll look at anti depressant brochures and talk about my treatment options. Really I am just feeling discouraged. In the last three years I have barely stayed afloat some months and I'm just tired of feeling like everything is staked against me. I'm determined to make this happen, I'm just sad that I have made so little progress, so I'm longing for my old apartment in the ghetto. When my only goal was to pay the monthly bills and worry about everything else later. I guess this is later.

Kid in the cart

Driving to the store Annie is half asleep

I always find myself stuck with a kid half asleep driving home to a house with no food after work. Miraculously I have found a simple solution to our quirky little dilemma and it's nap time at the grocery store, and for us it works. Although I will need to find a store with bigger grocery carts soon. Thankfully the grocery store clerks haven't reported me to child services and love to sneak peeks at little Miss. Annie asleep in the cart. As cute as it seems though, I find myself jealous of all the moms who get to go to the grocery store alone or better yet have someone else go for them altogether. Annie still sleeping after a long walk through the store

Monday, September 28, 2009

My day early birthday

Favorite picture of the night, sadly taken without a flash, silly camera.

I got a surprise from my mom, who informed me we were celebrating my birthday tonight. I was a little surprised seeing as how I thought we were celebrating it on Sunday, but that fell through. It was a very awesome night with kids and family. Sorry Peels, but you've been indoctrinated into the family category. This is a good thing really, don't be scared. It only hurts for the first 28 years then is gets better.

We started off with a baby in the fire pit.
Added some smoke
Then started cooking
Next came the best part, where the kids all get sticky with S'mores.
Very Sticky
Or just chocolate if marshmallows offend you
Ending in a sugar induced coma.

It was a fun night, thank you mom.
 

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