Monday, June 29, 2009

Little Angel Abigail

(Annie took this photo all by herself, and she's quite proud.)

What do you do when your only child tells you she has a sister?  That her name is Abigail and she lives up in the sky with God?   What do you say when she tells you Abigail taught her to ride her bike fast and that Abigail talks to God for her?   Annie has been telling me about Abigail for about three to four months now.   I'm not sure where Annie even got the name Abigail.   She'd never even met an Abigail until last Monday, at least not a person (that I can see, too) named Abigail.   

Info I've slowly gleaned about Abigail:

Abigail's favorite color is green. 
Abigail doesn't like food. 
She doesn't like doggies, because "she just like kitties." 
She likes to play on the playground with Annie. 
"she doesn't have a mommy and Daddy, she just doesn't like them." 
" She come from the sky, she flies down the sky.  God gave her to me."
"God just brings her down to me, she doesn't have wings."  

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Morning Binky

Sunday mornings are a big deal in our house.  Annie will spend about an hour searching the house for her princess dresses, which I hide every other Sunday.  I don't do it to be mean, but I can only handle so much torn lace and polyester satin.   Not to mention I let her wear them all week long.  This morning was princess dress morning.  I got up early to find them all, but it seems I have hidden them a little to well, and I can't find them.  Annie, thankfully, is not aware this week is princess week yet, but I guarantee she will remember the second we pull up at church.   Moving on, Annie decides to wear the dress she slept in last night.   I'm confused, almost shocked.  It does not have a princess on it, or lace, or frayed polyester satin.  I ask her what she likes about her dress, "it match my binky mama."  Wow, she was right, but does she now think binky is an appropriate accessory to wear out with her dress?  
     I've been struggling with Annie and this binky for a while now.  She is definitely a binky addict, but I am not skilled in the ways of addiction and how to break them, especially in little girls.   Do I take it away and go "cold turkey" as they say, or slowly decrease the time allowed.  I have tried both ways.  When I slowly decrease the time allowed with binky, she somehow always manages to slowly increase the time allowed, and we end up back at square one.  I'm not ashamed to admit she can outsmart me.   When I remove binky completely, we actually do great for about two days, and then she screams and her dad gives me grief about taking away her binky, telling me I should slowly decrease the time allowed.   That I'm being mean and makes me feel like I'm inflicting actual bodily harm to her.   Grrr.   My frustration is only magnified when I remember Annie has another parent who does legally have parenting rights, but who is also never around.  How is this allowed?  Do I really have to consult him about taking a binky away?  It doesn't help that when he is here, Annie gets her binky whenever she wants.  
    So here's what I've decided to do.  I am going to pray, a lot.  Pray that Annie will outgrow this binky problem and hand it over to God.  This might sound silly, but I can't seem to win in this situation.  Maybe God will show Don, the long term effects of binky addiction.  Perhaps an airplane ride sitting next to a dentist on one of his flights, or constantly running into people with severe overbites.  I don't know what, but I'm sure God could think of something.  

Friday, June 26, 2009

"What my doggies name?"
"That right, my doggie Banjo, he a tiny doggie, so he fit in my house.  Moose not in my house.  He not tiny, my doggie tiny.  God gave me tiny doggie."

Our conversation in the car yesterday.  Annie keeps forgetting his name, but that hasn't stopped her from smothering him every day.  Moose would be my sister dog, who is much bigger than Banjo.  I'm kind of worried about Annie seeing one of those itty bitty dogs; she might try and trade Banjo in for something smaller.   All our conversations lately have been about Banjo, it's all she talks about.   I'm constantly catching the two of them together doing something cute.  I'm  so thankful God found us this amazing dog.  

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Monday, June 22, 2009


  The reasons are:
1. I don't want Annie growing up afraid of dogs
2. She loves them! (after getting over initial fear)
3. Annie really could use a sibling and this as close as it gets for now
4. Security system (this one is for me)
5. Annie's birthday is coming up

So this led me to the Humane Society in Maryland Heights.  Yes, very far away.   We went to see a dog we found on-line, but the dog turned out not to be good with kids, super hyper and a bad fit for us.  So we were just going to leave, when my sister said she saw another cute dog.  I'm thinking, it can't hurt to just look.   Well, it can.   He was so gentle and sweet.  Kissed the girls and kept rolling over to have you pet his belly.  Plus he's part Basset Hound, my favorite breed (only I could never afford the vet bills on a pure bred).   
This is either the dumbest thing I've ever done or the smartest thing.   Her dad was nice enough to split the cost with me on food and vet bills, so that Annie could have the dog.  Now we just have to see what kind of dog he really is.  I'm going to give him about two weeks to show his true colors.   It's hard to believe he could be this good.    
I didn't really think we would find a dog today.  I planned on spending a whole month researching and looking at shelter, but he just fit.  We'll see how I feel about him in a week or two.  For now I love him.   Annie has already claimed him as hers.  She's done everything but pee on him, to mark him.   

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tattoos and scissors

  When I got the call, honestly, it was the first thing I thought of.  "Somethings happened, Annie's ok, but..."  my mother seems hesitant to tell me the but.   "Really she's ok, but she did something." Already I know what Annie did.  It's something I've feared for a while now.  What all little kids do at one point.  I guess it's a right of passage.  Already I'm in tears, because I know.  At this point I'm just praying it's not terrible.  That it's not all gone.  Yes my little Annie cut her hair, and I'm driving (with tear in my eyes) what now seems the longest distance to see how bad the damage is.   I love my Annie, more than anyone, and I love her hair.  It's beautiful and curly and long, and I'm thinking in my head all gone.   I get to my mothers to find a pile of hair, and Annie, with super short wispy bangs and chops taken out of the curls that used to frame her beautiful little face.   Thankfully she didn't cut into the sides all the way or it would have been worse.  Now each time I look at her I have to fight off the tears because she's so proud of herself and feels so beautiful.   The hardest part of being a mom sometimes is just that.  Not showing how upset I am when she cuts her hair, or colors on the wall for the first time not knowing thats bad.   Then there's the not laughing when she's being completely serious about something and you have to force yourself not to laugh, not to smile to big.   Like when she makes up a new song and you get to see the debut performance (which is of course histerical).  She's informing you to not laugh at the doll because said doll has no arms or legs and you might hurt her feelings.  The list is endless, and so is my love of Annie.  This to shall pass right?   Her hair will grow back, I will meet the man of my dreams someday, and Annie will grow to be a beautiful woman who loves the Lord and never gets a tattoo or piercing.  

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My new mouse trap

Today was yet another example of how ridiculous my life has become.  I worked six hours cleaning a large filthy house only to get a migraine after work (on the one night I had planned to go out).  The migraine's that the meds I'm on are supposed to stop.  The meds that made me super sick and now only make me mildly nauseous all day every day, aren't working.   GRRR...   At least I have Bob now.   Yes, I have Bob.  He looks ferocious doesn't he?  I got him yesterday after work and brought him home.  Eager to have him roam the house and catch the rats.   He ended up sleeping all night in bed with me.   I figured I'd give him one more shot.   See if his hunter instinct came out.    Well it did, sorta.  He managed to corner a rat in the dinning room, but then he cased it to me, and left.  Not exactly what I had in mind.    So I'm here, in my kitchen sitting up on a chair waiting for Bob to come back and finish the job.  I just hope he comes back soon.   The rat is blocking the exit. 

On the up side, I get my food stamps back tomorrow, and people from church may come and help me finish the top to the chicken coop.  I'm excited about having food again, but mostly I'm excited about my chickens not being someone else's food.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mouse Traps

It's freaking 10:30 at night and I'm up crying because I've spent the last 25 minutes trying to set two stupid mouse traps.  Every time I set one down it goes off, setting off the other one and I have to start again.  Have you ever tried to set these stupid things?   It's the most stressful thing ever, and the worst part?  Yeah, if a critter actually sets one off,  you then get to clean it up.   I can't do this.  I can not trap the icky critters that are running around this house.  I'm not cut out for this, and I'm really mad that God hasn't figured out by now that I need some freaking help!   I can't catch the mice and drain off the flooding back yard and finish this stupid chicken coop (what was I thinking?) and make enough money to pay the freaking bills, and feed and cloth Annie on what money isn't left over because our freaking food stamps got cancelled because some idiot forgot to forward her mail when she moved.  Yeah, that would be me and now we have no freaking food and a mounting credit card bill just to buy Annie's basics.   Annie evidently cannot live without pink pretzels and cheese sticks, just ask her she'll tell you.  

two day marathon

It's not what you think.   I'm not training for a marathon like so many moms, who seem to have inordinate amounts of spare time to do so.   Annie and I had two days of solid Go.  It started off, of coarse, with the country club day in the sun, followed by me sun burned wishing I could take a nap.    Instead, I found myself working on the chicken coop while Annie napped.   Then yesterday not realizing how tired I was from a full day of dehydration thought going to the botanical gardens would be a good idea.   So I called up my friend Lindsey, Author of "who froo that ham at me" (see top right hand corner), and off we went.  Sunshine and long walks here we come.   Annie of course was still tired from the day before and required a fair amount of carrying.  Regardless she had fun, and so did I.    The fish were bigger than I remembered and all sorts of things have changed.   I think another trip in the near future is a must, but I'm gonna wait for a day when I'm not sunburnt and tired.   I have no shame in admitting that we both fell asleep after we got home.  I am ashamed to admit just how long we napped, so I won't.  

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Just went out to check on the chickens before going to bed, and I think I met Blues killer.  It's a giant OWL.  Yep, an owl.   He flew over my head as I was walking around the fence.  He was probably just trying to let me know that this is his hunting ground and to get lost.  He flew over my head and perched on top of the house (the big people house, not the chicken house).   The photo is really hard to see, but thats him at the top.  Watching me.  Laughing at me. Probably calculating if I'm a threat or food.

Annie's Chickens

We've been working like crazy to get the run finished for the chickens (run is a fancy word for playpen for chickens).  During this crazy two day period of nonstop poultry construction, we lost one.  Our baby turkey named Blue, got away.  We aren't really sure when or how, but he is gone.  Sometime Tuesday night he disappeared.    Most likely taken by foxes, but if you happened to be out walking and see a light gray turkey, with a long funny neck, he's mine.    Annie and I have both been upset over this lose.  Me because he costs money and time to replace, meaning more work for me and Annie because that was her baby blue.    We still have a third of the fence that needs to be finished, but it's up enough for them to run around.  
Annie had a blast introducing her girls to their new area.   She ran around with them for a while and then being to worn out to keep chaseing them, sat and held one in her lap for a while. 

Here's Annie's chicken catching method, step by step:


No, peek-a-boo is not the first step.
Memories of being pecked in the eye by Puff, still fresh in her mind, Annie was just being cautious when approaching her chickens.  


Evidently she thought that pretending to be a chicken would allow her closer access to catch her bird.  She clucked and pecked her way over to Gertrude, and to my surprise...  

Success!!!!    Annie caught Gertrude in record time.  Puff got away, but don't think Annie isn't going to hold her.  

In fact, right after she put Gertrude down Annie went after Puff and caught her.  She carried her around the run for quite a while.  You may notice that Gertrude and Puff are sisters.  They are both Buff Orpingtons and they are the softest sweetest chickens in our hen house.

After a while Annie decided she was done (haha, get the joke?) playing.  I was shocked.  She'd only been in there three hours.  Then I realized she only wanted to play with the door we just finished hanging.  

So this is where we are in our project.  Far more man hours in then expected with more to go.  Hopefully we'll finish before winter.  

(Joke: Only turkeys are Done.  You won't get this unless you had a teacher in school who was big on grammar)

Monday, June 8, 2009

back seat drivers

I spent yesterday with my sisters two oldest daughters and Annie.   They were quite entertaining until we got in the car, and then things got hilarious.   Oh yes, from the back seat I hear Sadie tell me, "thats a red light aunt Maddie, that means you gotta stop."  "OK, Sadie thanks."  Each light, I was instructed what to do and it was cute until the other two started to chime in, which created a mixture of laughing and fear.    "geen light a go light," ruby tells me.  Annie of coarse tells me, "yellow, red, geen all mean go super fast, mommy."   Ah yes, my little speed racer loves to live on the wild side.   And her comment of course launched a full on argument as to what light colors mean what.   When the others girls say stop, my Annie says go.  Do you think this a sign?  Am I in big trouble when she gets older?  At least she doesn't follow the pack, right?  Although in matters of driving safety I hope she learns to.  

Saturday, June 6, 2009

the turtle and the hare

Well once again I'm struggling with another stupid medical problem, and the new meds are making me really sick.   The worst part is not being able to play with Annie.  Any quick movements seem to set off the cramping in my stomach, so I'm moving at the pace of a very slow turtle.  Annie and I have made a game out of it, but I'm not sure how long she'll keep hunching her back and walking at an excruciatingly slow pace.   At least I feel OK for the first part of the day.  It doesn't seem to hit me really bad until the evening.     It makes me sad to think of my poor sister keeping up with three kids while sick.  I completely understand orange ice cream for breakfast.   Yesterday Annie had cheese puffs and a juice box for dinner.  Tonight I'm forcing myself to make a real meal for her.    

Thursday, June 4, 2009

late night terrors

I think possibly the worst part of being a single mom is just not having a man's presence in the house.  Being lonely and financially strapped definitely takes a back seat to the feeling of vulnerability one gets when things go bump in the night.    Last night I was up late reading, no surprise there, when I hear loud banging coming from the basement.  Not a normal house sound.   I calmed myself down, not wanting to be the woman who calls the police because a broom fell.   But then it happens again.   Done.  I run upstairs, pluck Annie from her bed and lock us in the bathroom (the only room that locks) with my cell phone.  I'm thanking God every second for my neighbors barking dog, Sophie.   Because of Sophie's 3 am barking escapades I have the Clayton police on speed dial.    Within minutes they have police surrounding the house looking for any compromised point of entry.   The basement door was unlocked, and they come in to investigate.  I can honestly say I've never been so scared in my life.  Not the police coming in, but the idea of someone bad in the house to get us.     Well there was no one bad in the house.   Turns out my mysterious house guest had found his way into the duct work in the basement.  Which of coarse bangs and echo's loudly.     Not able to sleep after that, Annie and I turn on every light in the house, and watch a movie upstairs with a chair blocking the door.   I really need a dog.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My day off

So Monday was my first day off in a while.  Annie and I spent it almost entirely outside in the yard.  Of course she gets to play while I'm hard at work, but we both had fun.   I got all the trim work painted for the chicken house, built a trellis (from scrap wood I found in the yard) for our green beans and kentucky wonders (followed by me untangling them and training them up the trellis).   Then we weeded the raised garden bed, and I had to move a few potato plants in order to give them enough room to keep growing.    Cleaned out half of the garage, where we found more toys for the kids to play with and Annie had a toy cleaning adventure with the hose.  
My next project is to get mulch down and find out what's wrong with the rose bushes.  They are looking a little sad.  

Here's a photo update on the Chicken Run.  We have all the posts in and just have to get the wire fencing up then we're done.   I'm most excited about hanging the screen door we got.  It's so cute.    It looks terribly junky right now with the makeshift run in place, but once it's all done it will look really nice.  I promise.

Monday, June 1, 2009

She outsmarted me again

Well I thought I had her on Sunday morning.   I hid every single princess dress in the house.  She had nothing to wear but regular clothes, or so I thought.    Little miss Annie unwilling to be outsmarted came up with an ingenious idea.   She came into the kitchen that morning and said, "I wear my doll clothes mommy."  Ah yes, she was indeed wearing her doll clothes.   A completely see through dress that barely covered her bottom all the way.   I couldn't decide if I should cry or laugh when I turned around to see her.    Thoughts of being arrested crossed my mind if I let her out of the house in it.  I am now committed to praying that she develop a rather amish dress style for when she enters her teen years.  

quick update on Sunday,
I guess a lot of people noticed that we weren't at church last Sunday.  We decided to check out a church near our house, just to see what it was like and because they have a single women's group that meets there regularly.     I was really hoping to like it there, but it didn't feel like home.   I really struggle with meeting other single women and Riverside has nothing to help me do that.  I'm not saying anything bad about the church, just that I've learned that I am one of those people who needs help meeting people.  I don't come off as it, but I am terribly shy.  I do not strike up conversations well (unless I've been drinking, that is) and I often find myself to scared to even say hello to the person next to me.   And I am most scared of single women.  I can't say why for sure, but mostly I see them as already  having a large group of friends that keep them too busy to get to know me.  Probably because I've actually had women say that to me.   
So that is where we were on Sunday. 

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