Saying prayers 

Last night as I was tucking my sweet girls into their beds.

First, Caroline. She says special bedtime prayers. First she prayed (she’s very thorough in her prayers- I’m so thankful for this kid who a lot of the time is absolutely nothing like me) for people who might be sick, and thankful prayers for all she had done that day. The. She prayed for Sierra Leone and all of Africa.

After she was done, I asked her what was happening in Serria Leone.

Patiently to me she said “Oh Mama. Their country has had a war. It is very hard. Then the people got sick.”

Me. “Oh, ok, thanks for explaining. ” (Figured I’d Google it later to find out what on earth she was talking about)

What a sweet kid she can be.

Then I go to Claire’s room. 

She squealed softly “Mama! Snuggle me!”

I laid down next to her to snuggle and asked her if she wanted to say bedtime prayers. 

She ignored my words and used her hands to make chopping motions at me. 

Me “Claire. What are you doing?”

Claire “I chopping your head off with my scissor hands” (wild laughter)

Probably not normal threenager​ behavior.

Me “Claire that is NOT nice. Do not ever say that again.” I looked as stern as I could.

Claire “Ok. No problem. Look, I cut your hand off!” Making chopping motions at my hand.

Me ” If you cut my hands off, who is going to change your diaper?” (Yes. STILL in diapers. *Sigh*)

Claire “Hahahahah. I just tickle you then. No more chopping!”

These two opposite children. They keep my life interesting.

Only moderately crazy.

Today I felt crazy. Even crazier than normal.

For the past 4-5 days Claire has been belligerent. 

Every single thing I have asked her has gone like this.

Me- “Claire, would you rather take your frog (toy) to your room or put it on the shelf?” (Trying to trick her into thinking she had a choice)

Claire- “No! I will not do EITHER.” Foot stomp. Pint sized dictator head tossed back squint-eyed-glare with defiantly crossed arms. 

Me- “Claire. I need you to choose a place to put away your frog or I will put it in my room until you can earn it back”

Claire- *falls dramatically on the floor, screaming, crying and kicking…Looking up just often enough to see if I am looking*

I try to not be looking. 

After much cajoling, threats, discipline and bribing she will finally do what we set out for….An hour before.

Then she frolics off and the happy place of Claire-Land is all games and giggles.

Anytime anyone else (anyone on the face of the earth but ME) asks her to do something, she smiles and pleasantly complies. 

Either something is wrong with this formerly delightful child, or she is trying her derndest (successfully) to drive me batty. 

Maybe it’s her ears. She had an ear infection a couple weeks ago and finished her antibiotics recently. 

I kind of hope for my sanity, that it is her ears. (I know. That probably makes me a horrible person.)

At the Pediatrician today, the nurse was going through the usual.

So what brings you in today? “I think Claire has an ear infection”

Any Cough? “No”

Fever? “No”

Runny Nose? “No”

Has she been complaining about ear pain or  has she been tugging at her ears? “No. Actually she tells me they don’t hurt when I ask.”

I realized then what an hypochondriac-parent I am sounding like. 

Claire is giggling to herself, looking exceptionally healthy and puttering about the room, doing her best to touch every germ-laden surface….No doubt we will be back here soon. Gosh I hate germs. 

“So, I realize she is three, and some of this is normal threenager behavior…But she has been belligerent. And she refuses to listen. And the whining…”

I trailed off, realizing how I sound. 

The nurse, kind as always smiled. 

“I just want to know if this is behavioral or if something is wrong physically so I know how to address it”

There. That sounded less emotional. Much more like  something a sane, level headed logical parent would say. Feeling more confident, I grabbed Claire. She pinched my nose HARD and yelled “HONK”….And went limp laughing.

The nurse smirked. “Oh I know. I’ve got three boys. If you are hard on them and they are sick, the mom guilt is bad”

I agreed. Mom guilt is the worst.

Turned out after the Doctors inspection, kid DOES have another ear infection. We got a prescription which will hopefully will take care of it.

Some ibuprofen and Claire’s mood was much improved this afternoon. Poor kid has been in pain. I’m glad I wasn’t hard on her. She’s tough, and has a pretty high pain tolerance- it will take a lot to completely throw her off her game.

As you can see, the little Daredevil was bound-and-determined to make it down the driveway first. Caroline wasn’t so interested in racing.

I am slowly learning that maybe you should still do what you think is the right thing, even if you look and sound like a lunatic. (Which for me is most the time anyway) 

Anyway. Have a great rest of your week friends, I hope you get some of this beautiful sunshine we did here.

Fashionistas 

We’ve got to go to the grocery store. Yuck. I told the girls that we would go to the store and then watch our new copy of The Little Mermaid.

8:15am. Claire “Mama, help me get dressed”

Me “Can’t you just dress yourself?” She always dresses herself.

Claire, looking pitiful and doing the eye-batting thing at me “No Mama. I need you” Her little hands patted my face pleadingly.

Ugh. So I caved and laid out an outfit for her. When I started to dress her she threw an elbow at me. “Stop it. I do it myself”

Fine. Whatever. Just get dressed. I don’t even care, just put CLOTHES on your body already.

8:30am Caroline’s turn.”MommmEeeee! I can’t find any pantssssss. Can you come hellppp mee??!”

Me (ohmygosh why can’t they put clothes on this morning?) “Ok Caroline”

I get to her room, where every dresser drawer is open and clothes are strewn about. It looks like my room used to whe I was going on a date during college. But Caroline is not in college, and she is NOT going on a date…So I made her pick it up. 

She picked each piece up painstakingly slow, knowing I am in a hurry. I caught her giving me a smirky-smug side eye. 

Infuriating.

9:00am I didn’t lose it and shout at her. Good job me. I must reward myself for that. Brownies during naptime maybe? It’s a date.

I then found her some pants, and laid out and outfit for her. Which she didn’t like. 

Her majesty does not feel like wearing purple today.

Her majesty doesn’t like the fabric in that shirt.

Her majesty doesn’t feel like that outfit “makes her look fabulous”

Her majesty does NOT wear stained socks. (Her majesty rolled her eyes with hand on hip at this point. Obviously I should know this.) 

OBVIOUSLY Her Majesty does not know how dangerous eyerolling is to her social calendar.

Stifling a crazed scream, and the strong urge to pick out the worst-most-stained-and-scratchy outfits possible and force her to wear that, I took a deep breath and walked out.

Pretending to be an adult “Ok, please pick out your own clothes. I’m getting myself dressed.”

I passed Claire in the hallway. WEARING A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT OUTFIT. And like 10 hair clips which she screamed bloody murder when I tried to remove a few. So I left them in.

Quite the hair designer

It’s little wonder that I’m crazy. 

9:30am (An HOUR and FIFTEEN MINUTES after we started) Both girls flounced in to where I was feebly trying to dress myself. 

“We READY!” Claire announced with her arms flung wide for dramatic effect…Quite similar in style to a circus ringmaster

Caroline had a turn, her style more regal and composed. “Yes. We are dressed. We are ready to go grocery shopping and then watch the Little Mermaid and YOU (she puncuated this with a finger to my chest) can make us popcorn ”

Oh no she didn’t. 

Me. “Well, it’s taken you much too long to get dressed. We have to go to the store, but I don’t think we have time now to watch a movie”

BOOM. Trump that kid. 

Two sets of eyes widened. Two little mouths quivered.

Ok now it’s no fun anymore

Claire squeaked out “Maybe after nap then?”

Me, feigning unconcern “We will have to see how you behave at the store”

THE STORE

Y’all pray for me.

Springtime on the farm

It’s springtime on the farm. 

Yes, that means baby animals for some species, the calving season is well underway here..so it’s time to vaccinate the winter and spring calves to protect them from preventable diseases. 

The girls favorite TV show is “The Incredible Dr. Pol” (www.thedrpol.com   that’s not an affiliate link, we just like the show) which is a reality show about a veterinarian and his clinic staff. They talk about it many many times a day. Since they’ve both expressed interest and don’t seem to be bothered at least by basic animal procedures on TV at least I decided to brave it with both girls. I’ve not taken both of them in years past. 

Lynn and the others corralled the cows and calves then ran the cows through a chute so they could be carefully looked at and medicated if needed. Then they ran the calves through. They separate them while they do this so the small calves will not be injured by big heavy cows pushing and shoving. For the most part, everything looked really healthy.

That white cow with horns is mean. We girls stayed away from her.

First things first- right after we arrived, the STARVING children needed a snack. You know, because breakfast was almost a WHOLE HOUR AGO.

Lucky charms makes a breakfast bar. Claire ate 4 in a row when I was distracted. Wow.

Then Claire played on the parked 4-wheeler and I took the opportunity to reclaim my “pre-baby job” of drawing up syringes. Only now I have a quick-learning protegee. 

Caroline is good with numbers and being precise, so she was a quick study. This bright blue stuff is a vitamin/mineral shot that Lynn is using to try to help those who might be feeling a little puny. Not given to all of them, just the few it was needed for. Take a look at Claire and Papaw in the background.

Caroline loved being helpful. In only short time I bet she will totally be “farmgirl-in-charge-of-vaccines” 

She got good at her job by the time we got to the end of the calves and was drawing up medicine independently. Obviously I was closely supervising.

 Claire was enthusiastic in her assignment, which was to shoo the cows away from the area we were working. She stayed on the 4-wheeler and waved a switch to startle the cows to make them move to one of the other haybales (or the plentiful nice green grass)

Hollaring things like “Hey cow. Get away” this is a job Claire FULLY embraced.

After a couple more things, it was past time for a late lunch and then feeding at a different farm. 

Food tastes better when you’ve been working outside


Both girls tried to help shovel gluten feed to the edge so the cows and bull could reach it. You’ve got to learn how to work at some point. They are still at the point where they fight over who gets to use the shovel, and to them it’s just a big fun game. Hopefully their enthusiasm will not ebb.

Claire has claimed “dee white one” as her friend
Caroline’s pet is “Mister Bully” This is as close as she is allowed to get to him.

Have a good weekend friends. We’ve enjoyed our time together this spring break.

The WORST Mommy EVER

When y’all realized I am crazy…

Between Three Waters

It appears we have reached the teenage years at age 4.

Yesterday I chauffeured Caroline, her friend and Claire to a birthday party last night.

It was supposed to be a pool party, but it stormed with a lot of wind and thunder and lightening.

Obviously no swimming.

When I loaded up the kids she started.

Caroline : Why you not let me swim

Me: Because there was lightening and I didnt want you to die

Caroline:(30 minutes of complaints and whining)

Me: Caroline, I cannot allow you to continue to treat me like this.

I dropped off the friend, picked up some dinner for Lynn and the backseat situation was drastically escalating.

Me:(repeating to myself, don’t engage – she is looking for a reaction)

Caroline: You are the MEANEST MOMMY EVER! I want to live with someone ELSE! Aaaahhh! Wooohoooo!HELP!(Pounding the back of my seat…

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I’m spring-cleaning it this week. I am doing my best to stay home and let the girls (and myself) relax and finish up things we’ve started and MAYBE EVEN CLEAN. (Don’t hold your breath on that one though!)

I scrounged these old come crates from an old milking shed on the farm a while back. They were gross and dirty. 

I scrubbed them with hot soapy water then forgot about them

I found them again yesterday (they were storing my art supplies) and scrubbed them again with hot bleach water and set them out to dry. Because ya gotta be clean in the kitchen. I figured it would mess up the paint, but it seemed to brighten it. That was a nice surprise. 

I’m going to start with the end. Here is what I ended up with. (Yay)

Yes, I know they are offset. I did that on purpose… because (as Claire says) “Because I wanted to”. I also did it by myself because I’m betting my organized and responsible husband would encourage me to make them even had I waited for him to assist me. (I wonder why my kids are so strong-willed)

I needed a thingy to do it. But so couldn’t describe it to Lynn suffiently for him to go get it for me. So Caroline and I went to wander a store to find it yesterday.

It’s like a drill-screwdriver-extender-thats-also-magnetic
See? Magnetic magic. It sticks!
And then you slide the attached tube-thing down over the screw to steady it while you put it in the wall. Magical.

I pre-drilled holes in the crates because I was afraid they would split being so old. I also used washers so it would (maybe) better support the weight. 

I found the studs by seeing where the wood paneling was nailed to them. (Highly scientific method)

I put in one screw/washer to attach it to the wall, then leveled the top then put in the rest of the screws. Notice the crate on the left is a little crooked. It’s just the way it warped over time and I couldn’t pull it straight. I’m sure there is a way to fix that, I just didn’t want to fool with it and I like it how it is.


At any rate. I’m pleased with how they turned out. And my spices were in two drawers, which are now freed up for other stuff/junk.

Have a great week friends.

Life and Death with baby chicks

The 4-H chickens came in to our office this week. I was available to help -so I did.

It’s a great thing I love chickens. Way back in the day I spent many hours memorizing chicken breeds, brooding temperatures and other fun tidbits. I also showed purebred breeds in fairs and at other chicken shows. (Obviously my social life as a teen was kind of slow) When the girls get a little big older I want to get a few hens to raise with them..But I digress.

After these 4-H chicks were all handed out to their respective new owners there was one group that was not able to be claimed until after working hours.  

I took them home for the new owners to pick up, since they live near my house. Plus, as a working parent myself, I totally get the constant logistics struggle that it is.

The girls thoroughly enjoyed “chicksitting”. Lynn was very VERY happy we were JUST chicksitting, and didn’t have new pets. 

Temporary setup. Dont ever use a heater like this for longer than you can sit there and look at it…it could very likely cause a fire.

One of the chicks was deformed, and it was obvious that it may not make it.  The girls asked why it wasn’t moving like and acting​ like the others. I explained to them that it was probably not going to survive the night. 

Caroline and Claire spend the bigger part of two hours talking to them and ever so gently petting them. They also sang sweet childlike songs to the deformed one to “help it get better”.

When the owner came to collect the chicks, my rascals bounded out mouths-still-stained-with-spaghetti-dinner to say goodbye to their temporary charges. Despite our best efforts, the deformed chick was struggling to breathe and its death was imminant, even to my girls. 

All the other chicks had pepped up significantly with the sugar water I had given them to revive them from their flight on a plane from Texas…And were merrily pecking and scratching at the box that they were in, warming. That made the difference between the healthy ones and the unhealthy one more apparent.

The girls paused. Looked at it. Looked at me. 

“Mommy. What wrong with dat one?” Claire whined softly, pawing me.

“Is it going to die?” Caroline asked quietly her eyes wide and sad. Being older, she has seen more life, new life and death on the farm than her sister has.

I explained to them gently and honestly it probably was going to die, and likely soon. And while that was very sad, it was not unusual for chicks to not make it the first few days of their lives.

Two glum little girls trudged back in. Caroline lost her appetite and could not finish her dinner. Claire cleaned her plate and asked for dessert. 

They perked up and moved on before bed, and it wasn’t mentioned again.

Until I picked them up from daycare today. 

The first words out of Claire’s mouth “How dat one chick?” I had to tell her big blue eyes that I had heard it died. 

She needed a long hug.

Caroline waited until we got in the car. “Mama. Did that sick chick live or did it die?” I had to tell her too, that it died before it made it to its new home. 

She needed a hug too. 

Sweet sensitive girls. I hope they always care about the welfare of lives entrusted to them. 

I hope they always care tenderly for life, because it is the right thing to do.

I hope they learn that caring might hurt, but being the kind of person that cares enough to get hurt is what makes our lives rich and meaningful.

I also hope that in the near future we can be three crazy chicken ladies (and maybe wear floppy hats, flip-flops and overalls) and raise a batch of our own healthy little chicks.

Have a great weekend friends.

Oh Claire

I’m trying to get some computer work done in a “for credit” class I’m taking.

I thought Claire was being cooperative.

Until I looked at her.

Yep.

She’s found a curtain rod somewhere. 

(Probably off her bedroom window when she was supposed to be picking up one pair of shoes in her room)

She’s trying to jam it in the ceiling fan.

And my husband wonders why I’m crazy.

 

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