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.


Annie recently got to go to the Zoo with her dad. She brought home popcorn, a bag of large plastic bugs and this, an umbrella covered in animals. Obviously the umbrella is her favorite. Yesterday we had to eat breakfast under the umbrella. Please note, mermaid barbie is leaning over to get under the umbrella, not to get a better view of the zucchini muffins.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Rain and Seeds

Annie looking serious while collecting seeds.
I've been trying to get all our flower seeds harvested before they sprout on their own from all this silly rain. I was a little sad when I opened the flowers to find some of the seeds sprouting, but I got most of them. I'm excited to save the seeds for next year. Annie is very curious and wants to plant them now. She helped me collect, dry and package them. At each stage she asked about a billion questions. I hope she grows up to love gardening or at the very least remember some of what I teach her about it. The flower heads were a little wet, thankfully the seeds inside didn't get soaked yet.
These are the seeds we collected drying on a plate.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Dear God,

I don't mind working, having no money, or getting bills in the mail that add up to twice my monthly income, but please I can not handle having a lump on my forehead the size of pingpong ball.

Please remove,


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Our Wednesday Night

It's only Wednesday and already it's a been a long week. I'm not complaining, I want the work, I need the work, but I'm so tired when I get home. Today when I got off work and picked up Annie from school I decided I wasn't going to push it. So Annie got to watch "Bugs Away" (known to most as Mrs. Spiders Sunny Patch Kids) while I formulated a plan. Then we piled in the car to go to Gigi's house. True Gigi's not even there, but AT&T U-verse is. I pick up a box of Stouffer's Macaroni and Cheese and a bottle of sparkling Grape Juice (it's true you shouldn't shop when hungry), and we hunker down for the evening. Annie watches Little Bear while I watch Glee. I haven't laughed that much in a long time. Thank you creators of Glee. It was a great night, strange but great.

Monday, September 21, 2009


We started decorating for Halloween today. Actually tonight. We had friends over for dinner first, and Annie got to play with our neighbors from our old apartment. She was super excited to say the least when I told her they were coming over. Little Miss Crabby No Nap stopped her movie and ran downstairs to play with her friends? Not what I had expected. I thought we would have meltdown after meltdown and figured the night would be a disaster. It was a wonderful surprise. She was in such a good mood after they left that I figured now was as good a time as any to get started on Halloween.
Since the day I moved in here I have wanted to decorate this two little windows flanking our front door. It was so exciting to actually get to today. Don't worry mom, I'm saving the rest of the house for when you get back (Annie wants to have a Halloween party, no pressure). I was a little short on my paper measurements so I have to go back to the store tomorrow and get more. other than that I think they turned out pretty cute. Drivers kept slowing down when they drove past. Not sure if they liked it or if we're going to get a complaint filed against us. So far no one on our street has decorated for anything. I'm just hoping I'm not in violation of some code or anything.

harvesting tomatoe seeds

Annie and I have been working on collecting seeds from our tomato plants for next year. The first batch is done, and ready to be dried. They're from a large heritage plant that to my surprise doesn't make mushy grainy tomatoes, but firm sweet tomatoes the size of Annie's head. We definitely don't want to loose this one.

1. first empty seeds and juice into a container and set outside in a sunny spot for seeds to ferment. After a few days they look like this:Peel off mold from top. (If container completely dries up, ad water before removing mold layer). Scrap seeds off back of mold layer into container. Seeds should look like this:Strain off water and rinse with sprayer, to get tomato pulp off.
sprinkle seeds onto plate and separate so that seeds don't stick together while drying. Place in cool, dry, dark place till dry. About 3-5 days. Then store in a airtight container until next spring.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Eight Eggs!

It's official all eight of our chickens are laying eggs (Puff has a written note from the chicken doctor and is therefor excused from class till further notice). We got our first basket full of eggs this morning, and Annie was very proud of her girls. She gave them all day old pasta to celebrate.

nothing but Leotards

I have discovered that leotards are all Miss Annie will wear as of late. Which, granted is better than nude, but by how much? Skimpy little leotards are almost as bad in my opinion as being naked. Her tush is barely covered, the low cut top is a little too revealing and when she wears skirts over it she's always pulling it down so that her hip bones show. Not to mention the whole 80's flashback I get when she puts on her leg warmers, cut offs and black jewel studded leo (see previous post). These are photo's of her church outfit. I forced her to wear that sweater and skirt, but as soon as we got home they both go off and she runs to the tread mill to work on her gymnastic routine.
Notice Annie is wearing her dance slippers inside her regular shoes.
See how low cut these things are? Whoever designs Target Leotards is not my friend.
This is Annie's favorite gymnastic trick. She actually tried to imitate Nadia Comaneci on the uneven bars. Twisting in slow motion and jumping off to her grand finish. Who knew a tread mill could be used for gymnastics? Thanks Aunt Debbie.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Gourmet S'mores

Not sure how today went. I remember wanting to take a nap all day, and then finally getting to take one. I'm glad I took pictures of Annie or I might have forgotten her outfit. It was definitely one for the records. Black leotard, striped leg warmers, blue jean shorts and pig tails with white bows. The fact that I let her leave the house like that should tell you how tired I was. I blame last nights s'mores. We had some friends over for dinner last night (to eat the chicken I butchered) and had a fire outside. It was fun until Annie knocked over a wine glass with the marshmallow stick and then poked Tim in the eye. Tim is ok, but the wine glass is gone forever, and the shattered glass is still laying on the patio floor waiting for me to pick it up. It was so nice to be outside, and catch up with old friends. Tim works at Wholefoods and I had him bring marshmallows for the fire and I got Graham crackers from Trader Joe's. Here's the thing, gourmet marshmallow and graham cracker's make the worst s'more's. It's just wrong to upgrade when it comes to the classics. So I blame the samore's for being off and making me so tired today. Best not to blame myself for staying up to late, that would ruin the fun.
Annie on the swing at tower grove farmers market eating her zucchini muffin

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Call

While driving Annie and her cousin Ruby to school I received a call from my neighbor. The chickens and the turkeys had all gotten out. This is not a good thing. I drop off the girls, call my job to tell them I'd be late (and why) and drove back home to find 8 chickens wondering the yard and two turkeys looking at me like I was dinner (did I mention turkeys are mean yet?). Thankfully I had a bowl of Tomatoes from the yard sitting on the kitchen counter. And yes I made a trail of tomatoes leading back into the run and no it did not work. It only succeeded in tricking the evil turkeys which also happen to be dumb as rocks. That still left me with 8 chickens. Praying that no one is around to watch me. I walk around the yard bent over like a 90+year old woman making kissy sounds with my arms spread apart so they don't run right past me trying to entice chickens to come get a tomato from me. It probably looked more like the hunchback of Notre Dame trying to catch dinner. Thankfully it only took me 30 minutes to round everyone up. It definitely added a little excitement to my day.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

a little like Trainspotting

Annie is still using a binky.  It's a problem, I know. This last few weeks she has been using her binky non-stop.  I've tried every method I can think of to gently ease her off.   The reality, you can't ease an addict off their addiction.  So I'm preparing myself.  As soon as I am not sick anymore (hopefully very soon) we are going to have to go cold turkey with the binky.  I'm imagining this looking a lot like the scene in the movie Trainspotting where the addict is going through detox.  Puking, sweating, chills, fevers, in-visioning the dead baby crawling on the ceiling only in Annie's case it will be a binky just out of reach no matter how hard she tries to grab it.   You may think I'm over imagining, but she's three and everything is a battle right now.  We don't just cry when things aren't what we want anymore.  We hiss, and kick and bite.   We scream and throw things at innocent bystanders (sorry again to the woman at Target who got clocked with the shoe).  We strip off our clothes and run outside screaming, "I not wearing that!"  We cover the kitchen in yogurt because it isn't the right color.  I love my three year old, but I won't be sad when she turns four.   Only 313 days to go.

Monday, September 14, 2009

My little Gymnast

Annie had her first Gymnastic class today, and to say she was excited would be a huge understatement. Not only did we sleep in a Leotard and legwarmers last night, but we had to bring every pair of tights with us just in case. She had to watch Nadia while eating breakfast and then we had to put Nadia bows in her hair. I was in shock when we got there. I don't think I've ever seen her listen so well in my life. She did exactly what her teachers told her, which after a week and a half of constant fits and fighting I could not believe my eyes. She can hear, she just doesn't like listening to mom. Did I mention Three is hard? She's become a terror, and the worst part is I never know when she's going to strike. At least class went well.
Annie doing the classic "butt shelf" (you will only understand this if you've seen the movie stick it, which I'm not sure I'll let her watch again. She was showing off her butt a little too much in class).

She may not know how to do a cart wheel yet, but her finish is spectacular.
Driving to class. I think the tongue sticking out is her new thing she does when she's nervous.
Walking into class (her pants are little long).

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Meet Mr. Wormy (the snake)

Have I told you Annie's love of bugs and all things crittery? Today my little princess comes running in the house announcing, "Mamma, we found a snake! he died, but he's OK." I see what looks like a small twig in my daughters hand. Of course it's not a twig, upon closer inspection I see she is carrying a dried up dead worm. "Annie honey, I think that's a worm not a snake." "No it a snake, but his name is Mr. Wormy." You will have to double click on the photo to see, but in her hand that Banjo is eying so intently is the dried up worm who now lives on my kitchen counter (in a jar).

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tower Grove farmers market

Thanks to our early morning wake up call, Annie and I got our chores done early (AKA I took care of the work part, while Annie danced barefoot in the grass) and so we went to the Tower Grove Farmers Market. We do not go for the overpriced produce or the organic eggs (we have our own thank you), we go there for Honey sticks, music and the great playground. Annie loves to just walk around and do nothing. For a total of $6.50 we had breakfast, heard a great band, and drank insanely sour lemonade that we sweetened with out honey sticks.Here's Annie enjoying honey stick number one.
This would be Annie somewhere between honey stick number four and seven? listening to free music. (If you look closely she's hiding a small pumpkin under her foot. An adorable 15 month old kept picking it up and walking around with it. Annie didn't like this,we might have some sharing problems to deal with down the road.)Here's the band. Need to find out who they are, it was fun to listen, and yes they do play that mini piano during their songs.
Annie finally started to get worn out, and tried to take a nap on this very comfy concrete slab. I dragged her home after she closed her eyes.I think Banjo missed her.

Good Morning Puff

On the one morning when I am able to sleep in, I get a 6am wake up call. From who you ask? Puff, my injured chicken who lives in a cage in the run. I do not want a noise complaint filed against us, so I go outside to see whats up. Puff, all up in hysterics is puffed up to twice her size standing on top of her water feeder yelping for dear life. I can't help but laugh, and suddenly I find myself not so upset that I'm up at 6am on a Saturday. I really love having chickens, even ones with gender confusion. Dear Puff, you are not a rooster, therefore you do not need to cluck at 6am.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

While the cats away

So while Annie was at school today I went to a friends and learned how to kill, pluck and clean a chicken. I was a little nervous about the whole thing, but I figure if I eat chicken I should just as well deal with the fact that someone is killing it before I buy it at the store. So I put on my big girl panties and got to work. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Definitely not something I'd want to do alone, (mine almost got away). I had the dumb luck of missing on my first swing accidentally knocking the poor guy out with the butt of the hatchet (yeah, I really missed). I got him on the second swing though. Me holding the rooster getting ready to chop (not my best picture, but I dressed to kill chickens not go out on a date). His head is held between two nails hammered into the table.Richard ( with his wife Merryl behind him) carrying his out to the chopping block.
Sorry if some people are grossed out or possibly even offended by this post, but unless your vegan I don't think you have an argument. I thought it was very educational and I'm glad I went. I feel a little more prepared for Thanksgiving. I'm going to need a lot of help holding down Norton though. By then he should be huge. I'm not posting the more graphic pictures, but if you are ever interested in learning to prep a chicken from start to finish let me know. Merryl is more than happy to have the help, it's not much fun to do this kinda thing along.

Tail Feathers

This morning Annie and I went out to feed the Chickens and change their water. Surprisingly Norton, our male turkey, met us at the gate with full feathers. He doesn't normally walk around with his feathers out. I think it's because yesterday I chased him with a broom when I caught him attacking my chickens again. Annie was so excited she made me run inside for the camera. So here he is. Our male Turkey, Norton (short for Narragansett) showing off his feathers. He is rather handsome.

Our female turkey, Jane was named by Liz Forsythe because she is just that, a plain Jane. If you noticed Norton's missing one of his tail feathers, that's because Jane plucked it. She definitely wears the pants in their relationship.
Annie was in a fun mood this morning so I got a few pics of her being silly with her girls.She really loves her girls. Getting the eggs is her favorite part of the day. Not sure how she'll take it when the Turkeys move to their "New" house come November.
Annie took this one of me while I was opening up the water feeders. The other photos she took were a little hard to decipher.
Here's one of the fence and the trees.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Annie's Husband

Annie informed me as I was getting dinner on the table to "get another plate, momma, my new husband is coming to the party." I wasn't sure how to respond when she continued with, "her name is Carissa, and she is coming over to the party, and she is going get her own plate." I tried without success to explain that husbands are boys and wives are girls. That didn't get a good response. "My husband is A GIRL!"
I moved on and decided to ask other questions.
When did you meet your husband? "Oh a few weeks ago."
Where did you meet your husband? "Oh a few weeks ago."
How old is your husband? "She is not old, she is new."
What color is your husbands hair? "the color of her hair is sparkly golden like mine."
What do husbands do? "They play princess."
Are you Carissa's husband? "No, I am a big girl."

Annie's Booboo

Annie got a booboo earlier today when walking into Gigi's house.  While sitting on the couch she looks up and says:

"Mommy, a part is missing that goes to my ankle," pause while she thinks on how to describe said part.  "It's the color of my leg."

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Wow, I think we did too much yesterday. Here's photos of miss Annie Rolling out pasta last night before bed. Annie loved that we made yellow pasta, "it looks happy" (it was because we used our own eggs this time, the yolks are brighter in color than store bought eggs).

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Tomato Picking!

So I hear going fruit picking is all the rage, and after our exhausting magic house visit, I thought Annie and I would do a little Fruit picking of our own. Only in our own back yard, because I have no idea where you go to pick someone else's fruit on a Saturday evening.
I gave Annie the go ahead to pick as many as she wanted. She filled a huge bowl full of all different types of tomatoes. She picked brandywine's, Roma's, Marzano's, and yellow pears. Tasting each type as she went. It was hilarious, she was like a kid in a candy store. The tomatoes have always been here, but I've never let her go wild and pick everything. I usually set the limit at a small cereal bowl size. When she'd filled her bowl and camped out on the porch I thought it would be good to wash the tomatoes, but Annie informed me that it was fine, stating, "my mouth is a sink," and with a smile pops another yellow pear in her mouth.

Filling her bowl.

The classic Annie half smile. Usually only seen when she's talked her way out of trouble and ends up getting her way. It's a very hidden little smile.

Pointing to her mouth, "it tickle my tongue mommy."

Realizing she gets the whole bowl to herself gets a big smile out of her.

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