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


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."


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

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