Thursday, July 31, 2008

On Second Thought....

I guess that wasn't all my news for today. I heard on NPR today about someplace that's trying to institute a fine for "text walking." Something like $20, I think. This woman in Galveston works at a hospital and some time ago she treated two patients, the girl who had been text-walking and stepped off a curb without seeing it, and the man in the car who overcorrected when trying to avoid her with his car and hit a lightpost because he was talking on his cell phone at the time. She said she was so amused at the time because she'd never heard of something happening for such a reason--and now she sees about one text-walking injury a week!!!! Can you believe it?!? I am SOOOOOO guilty of this and would be completely broke if Lafayette ever started fining for it.

I wanted to make a "shout out" to our insurance lady, Brenda, who evidently reads my blog! Last week Martin and I walked down to the insurance place (to settle a slightly annoying complication between NHS and our insurance that would've been much more annoying if Tara hadn't told us it had happened to her two days before) and Anja and I stayed down in the lobby while Martin went up to talk to Brenda. When he came back he said she reads my blog! How funny.

The other day on NPR in the morning I heard a story about the upcoming Olympics in Beijing, and how it's something like the most polluted city in the world. Now I realize that China has gone to great lengths to try to improve their pollution problem for years, specifically for the Olympics, but obviously it's still a huge problem. Why would we subject these incredible athletes to such horrible air quality?! "Yes, I hold the gold medal for the 2008 Olympics... but my price was lung cancer six years later..." I just don't understand. And I'm glad that such an effort has been put forth to try to remedy the problem, but the fact is, it didn't really work, and I don't think that any of these athletes should be asked to compete in such conditions. Evidently they have what are called "blue sky days" and everyone was excited because they had two in a row last week. But then it was made clear that a "blue sky day" doesn't actually mean you can see a blue sky... because apparently a blue sky over Beijing is unheard of... it just means that the air quality is decent. I feel so sorry for the Olympians this year.

We just got back from hanging out with Matt where Anja was happy as a clam the whole time and actually fell asleep without a peep on the way home! Hooray! Whenever she wakes up she will easily be settled into her bed for the night. Anyway, we went to Barnes & Noble with him and I got a Jones Soda juice that was orange, tangerine and lime and IT WAS AWESOME.

The other news from today is that last night Martin and I fed Anja some mashed up bananas in rice cereal. She loved it, but it's become SOOOOO much fun to feed her. She is hilarious! She's really good at opening her mouth, but not so good about shutting it once the food is in, so the mushed up food kind of hangs down from her toothless gums and we laugh, which makes her laugh, and then she just looks ridiculous! (And by ridiculous, I of course mean ridiculously cute!!) I took a few pictures:

I've Been Rated!

I got an email this morning saying I've been given an 8.3 ("Great") rating on! This is the same rate as Testosterhome!

Yesterday afternoon Anja and I went over to the Watsons for Anja's first playdate (excluding playing with cousins.) The little Watson grandkids were over and they were so fun to see... I'm not sure I've EVER met Annie, the youngest, and she's 4!! Anja really liked being there. She gets pretty tickled by other kids. I think she thinks they're all weird... but she's the one who's always doing Dragon Face at everyone.

I should be dedicating this and all times while Anja is asleep to reading Dr. Sears' "Baby Sleep Book" which I again got from the library, because we are having a REALLY rough time these days with sleeping. This is mostly because two new components have been thrown in: biting, and no longer sleeping in the car. The past two nights, after multiple failed attempts at putting her down in her bed, I've driven her around town while she's cried and cried and tired herself out so much that when she gets home she's nurse and fall asleep. It's rotten! I hate hearing her cry (it's not even crying so much as just very sad whining) and I liked it when we could drive her around the block and she'd konk out immediately. But the biting is the worse problem. The biting is making me consider weaning at only 9 months when I would've been more than happy to breastfeed her past her first birthday. This is how our mealtimes go now: (this is probably T.M.I. for most)

Anja is cranky and obviously tired and hungry. I lay her down on the bed and offer her her favorite source of food.


Chewing continues while I tense up my whole body, waiting for my milk to come down, which is the only way to make her stop chewing on me and start sucking and eating.

Since there's no possible way I can actually relax while having my nipple chewed off, the milk never comes down.

We get up, go downstairs with minimal whining (mostly from me) and try again a little later.

So this happens multiple times a night!! It's crazy!!! Of course it doesn't help these days that the birthday party the other night threw her off her schedule and now, while she was going to sleep between 7:30 and 8:30, she doesn't want to go down until 10 or 11:00. Last night we tried driving her around but she was soooooooo wide awake and happy that we didn't know what to do. And that was at 9:00! So we took her to the grocery store and walked around with her in the cart. She had a great time, but it didn't tire her out much. It was much later when she finally went to sleep.

So anyway, I need to devote some serious time to that book. Meanwhile, I just ate a bowl of Campbell's cream of chicken soup and it was AWESOME.

This is really all my news.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Birthday Bash

Yesterday was Martin's 26th birthday!!!!! I looked for any grey hairs coming in or teeth falling out, and I found neither, so I guess he's not thaaaaat old. Tee hee hee! To celebrate his barfday we had a little dessert party here at the house with our families and the Aikens. Even Aunt Anna May came! That was a treat. It's fun that she's getting to know the Schap side of the family so now she won't feel weird being invited to family gatherings like the one last night.
I worked all day getting ready for this party. Anja, as usual, took a worthless nap. I cleaned the house a little bit but really spent most of my time making a chocolate cake from a Dorie Greenspan cookbook I stole from my neighbor Tara. This cake took my whole day. When I wasn't actively working on it, it was consuming my thoughts. I made a few easily fixable mistakes, and finally a little after 4:00 (people were coming over at 6:00) I got it into the oven. And only then did I realize that I hadn't greased the cake pans!!! Luckily, this story has a happy ending. It didn't matter. One layer broke so I used it as the bottom. The other layer miraculously came out pretty flawless, and the icing covered any bad blemishes. (It doesn't look so good in this picture, but I promised, it looked edible in real life!) It wasn't in the recipe, but I added a layer of raspberry deliciousness to the middle layer and I think it made the cake even better. Next time I'd like to add it to the top too. If there is a next time... I'm much more of a pie person than a cake person. But anyway, it looked good. We also had some zucchini bread and a hamburger cake that the Aikens brought! I didn't actually get any dessert last night--by choice;I'd had plenty of chocolate throughout my day in the kitchen--so there was one piece of this chocolate cake left that I ate for dessert this morning! And it really WAS good, although it still warm when we cut into it last night and Martin said that made it even better.

Anja was so good while I cooked. I only spent small chunks of time trying (and failing) to get her to sleep, but really for the most part (at least until late in the afternoon) she was happy to play on the kitchen floor and talk to me. Have I mentioned that she is crawling for real now? The thing that did it was the dog's water bowl. Even before she was crawling properly on her hands and knees she would manage to get herself over to that and spill it over onto herself within seconds of Martin or me having our backs turned. She's getting good at crawling too... the other day I went up to check on her while she was napping, and lucky I did--she was crawling right off the end of the bed!

I'm lucky to have a husband who enjoys his baby so much. I realize that there are husbands out there who are less interested in their kids, or who don't go out of their way to do things like spend time alone with them or make fools of themselves for them. But the other morning I was getting out of the shower and I heard all this quacking coming from the kitchen. Martin was playing with Anja's ducks with her. And another day I came out of the bathroom during his vacation and this is how I found them:

They weren't going anywhere, he just felt like wearing her around the house!

Oh, but I'm kind of a bad wife. Last night after the party I went up to put Anja to sleep and I accidentally fell asleep with her. When I woke up I had that strange feeling where you don't know if it's nighttime or morning, and I was very confused. I went downstairs and I'd been sleeping for an hour and Martin had cleaned up everything!!!! On his birthday!!!!!!! Sad face! I felt really bad.

One more picture, of Martin on his way to work this morning carrying the new bag my mom got him for his birthday.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Difficult Day

Last night Anja woke up every hour. This isn't so much unusual, except that she had slept really well the night before and we thought, "Hooray! Caffeine was the problem!" but I guess we thought wrong. She woke up super happy at 5:00 and didn't go back down for a nap until 7:00. She slept for two hours and I slept with her. In the few hours she was awake before going down for a nap a few minutes ago, she was only somewhat cranky... but then she was trying to pull up on a kitchen chair and slipped and hit her face on one of the rungs. Then she was REALLY cranky!! The poor thing has two big red bumps under her eye now. We went to the library on another search for the Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child book that I keep looking for, but it's always checked out, and we settled for the Dr. Sears Baby Sleep Book instead. I got it once before but didn't read it all the way through. This time I will. We saw Michelle there with Elijah and Mary, and Michelle was wearing a VERY cute green skirt.

We had a nice weekend, even under the fog of depression that hung around us knowing Martin was going back to work on Monday. On Sunday we went to brunch at Hour Time with the Watsons again! This time Dr. Watson was there too! It was really fun. Old people really like Anja. It's really sad to think that Joannie's already preparing to leave. The summer flew by so fast, and even though I'm not going back to school so my summer will last as long as the warm weather, I'm still sad knowing that the academic Summer is coming to a close. Also, when the Purdue kids come back it makes campus so much less enjoyable.

The other thing that makes today difficult is the fact that Martin's gone back to work. Aside from the fact that the house seems empty and it's sad to think that our fun vacation (staycation) is over, I'm realizing the mountains of housework I've been ignoring for the past two weeks! Holy smokes!! I have a lot of work ahead of me today.

Tomorrow is my Martino's birthday!! He'll be 26. We invited our families over for desserts, and I am going to try to make zucchini bread, pie and a cake. I accidentally let 2 of my zucchinis in my garden get too big for dinner, so it's a good excuse to make them into bread. But I'd better get to work on it if I want to get anything done before Anja wakes up!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

These Days

I know I've been kind of bad about posting these days. This is for a number of reasons, the biggest one being that I don't seem to have time to post anymore! Since Martin is on vacation, Anja's naptimes are used in other ways. For instance, for the past two days we haven't even been home for her naps--we've walked over to Vienna and she's slept in her stroller while we sit on the patio and read our books. It's really enjoyable and she always wakes up in the greatest mood and she LOVES being at Vienna. Yesterday was especially nice; we walked over and Anja fell right asleep and when we got there we used a full sandwich punch card I had (and had had for possibly more than 2 years) to buy a sandwich and split it. Delicious! Vienna has THE BEST SANDWICHES IN THE WORLD. We had a turkey on olive oil & basil bread with spinach, tomato, black olives, provolone and pesto-mayo sauce. We had potato chips for a side (neither of us likes potato salad or celery, the other choices) and you get a pick spear too. It was the perfect little lunch for us to split with our coffees.

Oh, coffee. Anja's been having trouble sleeping (again... like she has for her whole life) so I'm cutting out caffeine entirely. Again. Last time it didn't seem to make much of a difference, but maybe this time it will. We'll see!

I'm reading a great book called "Flower Children" by Maxine Swann. It's very interesting. It's about the four children of some very extreme hippies/activists in the 70's and 80's and how life is for them. I'm close to the end of it now, and I've really enjoyed it.

I used to have that "Currently Reading" spot in my sidebar here on the blog, but I deleted it because I never changed it and since I put it up I've read at least two other books. So that little idea didn't work out... oh well.

I don't know if I posted this on Monday (or if it had even happened yet) but we've moved back upstairs. Now upstairs we have our bed in its usual spot and Anja's bed next to ours, against the wall. This is a much better setup. When her bed was at the end of ours, I was always so afraid that Martin would kick her in his sleep. He is quite the thrasher, and he tends to scoot down the bed all night until his feet are hanging off the end... or stuck in Anja's face. So the new arrangement is a big improvement. Also, it makes me feel more like Anja has her own little bed and her own little space. We put in the window unit and I've got the temperature set just right. It's sooooo nice in there. Anja is definitely her daddy's igloo child. If she's at all covered up she sweats and sweats and wakes up from being uncomfortable. In the same room on the same night, I'm covered with a sheet and two quilts! Silly, silly.

But anyway, we haven't moved anything but the beds and a few things to the downstairs. So the upstairs looks like we're living in a cramped storage room and the Big Room looks like a thrift store lifted the roof and vomited into it. Dressers, baby equipment, golf clubs, storm windows, a weight bench.... these are only a few of the items that are littering up the room. And then there's all the dirt. It's a pretty gross place back here. But we have plans to make it very cute.

Anja loves pulling herself up in her crib these days and this morning she started walking around it! She is so pleased with herself when she does these things. Sometimes I put her in there and leave the room just so I can come back in and be surprised to see her standing up! I know she'll be that way, but I love to see how proud she is of herself when she thinks she's surprised me.

Last night we had a birthday cookout at Prophetstown for Andrew's birthday. (My sister made some delicious blueberry cream pie.) Anja and I for awhile were sitting up in the tower of the playground because it was shady and we were eating pineapple with Gracie. The kids would run up and "scare" us over and over again, and Anja thought it was hilarious! She's such a good sport... for all the mauling she gets, she sure does seem to enjoy it!

I'm sitting here looking out the window and I can see so many red spots on my tomato plants... I think it might be time for another harvest today!

Monday, July 21, 2008

What Will Do It?

Its becoming more and more obvious that no matter what the luring item that finally motivates Anja to crawl is, it most definitely won't be me. It might be the cat, it might be her rubber duck, it might be the smallest piece of carpet lint that just HAS to be tasted... but it won't be me. She never even TRIES to crawl over to me. But she is often very determined to get to other things. For instance, she actually did crawl tonight; she made about three swift moves to get to her Taggies book.

This morning we read books on the porch while it rained. When the sun came out we went to the grocery store where Anja rode in the cart with great enthusiasm and we ran into my mom in the parking lot. In the afternoon we did a little bit of housework before meeting up with Martin's family at the fair--even AnnLaura and Aurelio were there! Much fun.

Then we came home and decided to start really moving the bedrooms. So we did. I mean, we didn't complete the job, but Martin borrowed a ladder from the Cooks and got up on the roof where he was able to take the screen off the bedroom window AND saw off the huge branches that were overtaking the top of our house. It was a lot of work for one evening. While he was doing that, I was entertaining Anja who had gone to sleep but woken up with no available bed to go back to sleep in. Eventually we got the beds made and the window unit installed and now Anja is sleeping comfortably upstairs in our real bedroom, which is still full of boxes and all sorts of junk. However, we know what we're going to do with all the junk, which is a huge step. No, we're not getting rid of it, which would be the smart thing to do. We're going to partitian off part of the Big Back Room with a dresser and a bookshelf and maybe a small table. We're going to decorate them like they are part of the room and we're going to stash all the junk behind them, while making a cute little living room area with the rest of the room! It will be great, I can't wait to get to work on it tomorrow.

Ooo, it's kind of thunderstorming now, how nice!

I harvested a lot of cherry tomatoes this evening and noticed that one of my zucchinis is about ready to pick and my Romas are turning red! They aren't very big... they're more like the pear tomatoes than romas. But that's because all their plants died. The only really thriving tomato plants in my garden are the cherry tomatoes and they are giving me lots of fruit and I love them. I'm going to make salsa tomorrow with them, and I might even pick off one of my peppers to use in it as well, even though they aren't all that big yet.

And that's all the news from my world tonight.

Friday, July 18, 2008

As the Weekend Rolls In...

I'm not one to complain about the heat, but I don't like taking Anja out in it for long periods of time, which greatly cuts down on our number (and length) of walks these days. I'm eager for the 80 degree days to return. But our house is cool, which is great, and our porch is shady all day, so we spend a lot of time out there during the day.

Last night was horrible! Anja went to bed at 8:00; Martin brewed a pot of coffee while I was putting her down. After she was asleep we went to the porch and sat on the swing drinking coffee and talking. We had the monitor right there with us, and Anja never woke up. Finally when it was getting late, we decided to go to bed... I went back to the bedroom to check on Anja and she wasn't in her bed. That's not TERRIBLY unusual, since she's rolled off her bed before. That's why we have pillows next to the bed and a bundled quilt beyond that... so if she rolls off there's no way she'll possibly get hurt. But she wasn't on the pillows either. I didn't see her until I was all the way in the room--she had fallen off the FRONT of the bed!!! She was lying on the floor with her eyes open, and I seriously thought she was dead. It was terrible!!! Of course, I picked her up and she was perfectly fine, although she was completely covered in dog hair grossness, but I don't know how she got off the bed or why she didn't make any sounds while she was moving. The only thing I can think is that she woke up happy and crawled right off the edge. It was very awful and I hope it never happens again. We drove her back to sleep and every time she woke up in the night I would sit up to nurse her and then put her back in her carseat to sleep because I was too afraid to put her back in her bed.

But today was pretty good. Martin went to the second day of his conference; yesterday we walked him over, but today Anja wasn't awake in time so we didn't. It got over at 1:00 and he brought flowers home to me as a surprise! How nice! Funnily, my sister saw him walking home with them so she told my mom and my mom mentioned it on the phone. I should've pretended to know nothing about it and make her think he was having an affair, but I didn't think quickly enough. Too bad.

Martin took a nap while I made an early dinner. He had a ride-along scheduled with the Lafayette police for tonight so he requested a big dinner and an afternoon nap. He wouldn't be getting home until around 3:00 in the morning or so. So I made a giant dinner of baked potatoes (HUGE potatoes) Lemonicious Chicken, green beans and a delicious tomato that my mom brought by for us. It was a scrumptious dinner but I wasn't very hungry (I'd had a lot of lunch) and he had just woken up from his nap so HE wasn't very hungry, so we didn't really eat all that much of the dinner. Aaanyway... we also didn't get much eaten because I spent most of my time feeding Anja bananas (she's really starting to love being fed and it's SO CUTE to watch) and then it was time for Martin to get ready for his ride-along which started at 6:00. So I cleaned up and he left and I was feeding Anja a few minutes later when he called to tell me that the ride-along was cancelled. He thinks they forgot he was coming because evidently they asked him to fill out the same paperwork he'd filled out when he'd gone in to request the ride-along date, and then a sgt. came out and told him they were too busy to do a ride-along tonight, and that he could come back another time. BUMMER!! Because he can't really come back another time, this is his vacation he can sleep all day if he wants to, that's why he scheduled it for this weekend.

So to make up for that disappointment we went to Vienna and spent a gift certificate we had in our Gift Certificate Drawer--it was from Laura and Dan!--and got ourselves each a double vanilla chai. We sat on the patio and saw our friend Ben, as we almost always do, then on the way home we swung through Target where Martin got to see Anja ride in the grocery cart!!!!! I'm telling you, we have so much fun with that baby. She gets soooooooo excited to be in the cart, and holds on and smiles through the store, as if she thinks she's really something special. So we took her all around the store (even though we were only there for 3 things) and then when we were finished, we drove her to the very farthest away cart corrall before finally taking her out. Her favorite part is definitely going through the parking lot. She LOVES it! And on the way home we were very gross and got a cherry coke from the drive-thru at the gas station. Martin's a lot grosser than I am though because he drank most of it.

I think in the end the day turned around, even though martin had to go to his boring conference and then didn't get to do the ride-along he'd so much been looking forward to. Now Anja is asleep and, wow! it's late! I think it's time for me to be asleep too.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Swimming in Bananas!?

Okay before I go any further, I have to rave about the exotic drink I'm enjoying right now, which is not in any way exotic, really. I wanted a cup of chai--a long lost treat I only tonight remembered since my milk-free living is finally over--so I started to prepare for it in the usual way until Martin suggested that I warm the milk up first and steep the tea bags in the hot milk. !!!!!! So I did that, and then I added some honey... and oh my gosh... I'm in heaven!!!

In other news, Anja has been going to bed fairly well at 8:00 the past two nights. Last night she slept for 3 hours before waking up and tonight she's been asleep for an hour already and is showing no sign of waking. She still wakes up a lot in the night... I'm eager for that to be over, but at the same time I don't mind it so much. It's kind of nice to get a little nightly Anja snuggle time.... I just wish it were slightly more infrequent.

Okay, but really that's not the news of this post. The news of this post is that we went swimming today! You can see here Anja, all decked out in her bathing suit and terrycloth swim cover. She enjoys taking her rubber duck to the pool with her. I had no idea she'd had such a good time last time, but she must have--she was SO EXCITED when we got inside the pool gate. Oh my golly. She started making her weird grunting noises and getting all wiggly and doing dragon face over and over again. It was great!!! She was sooooooo happy the whole time we were there, and fell asleep in the car as soon as we left the parking lot. I can't wait to take her again and see her get that excited. It was hilarious! The swimsuit in this picture is the one from her Granny Schap, but the last time we went swimming (and I forgot to take any pictures because I'm a big loser) she was wearing her cutie-patootie swimming pants that my mom gave her, which are purple and have flowers all over the rumpus. VERY CUTE.

Oh, the other picture up there is of Anja's new trick. She just kind of hangs out with that spoon in her mouth. She does other things... plays with her keys, pets the animals.... all with that spoon hanging out of her mouth just like that. Pretty cute.

The other newsworthy thing that happened today was (drumroll please!) WE GAVE ANJA REAL FOOD!!!! We opened a jar of mashed bananas and fed her while we ate our dinner. Except that she wasn't very interested in eating them, she just wanted to play with the spoon and chew on it. She did swallow all the banana that got in her mouth--she didn't just spit it right back out again--but she didn't seem to love them very much. That's okay... Personally, I loathe bananas. So I won't be offended if she doesn't like them either. Tomorrow we'll try them again and see if she enjoys them any more. I'm not going to force her to eat or anything, but I'll give her another chance for her tastebuds to change their minds tomorrow.

And for your viewing pleasure, here are some more pictures:
Look at these hot chicks! Someone should tell that one in the middle that her bazooms are too big for that dress. Perkalator's nephew, Brayden, who came to play one day.

Martin and Anja at Tim's wedding reception. Martin wore a suit to the wedding (which was on the pedestrian bridge) but he sweat through it so he changed before the reception.

Our little family at the reception.
PeterXavier and Anja laughing at Maizie, my mom's little dog.
"Please don't take my spoon!"

Beautiful Town

Anja seems to be catching up on some lost sleep today. She got a good twelve and a half hours last night (not straight-through, of course...) woke up at 8:30 and was fussing and ready for a nap again about an hour later. Martin wanted to work out and since we STILL haven't moved our bedroom back upstairs, it's best to put Anja to sleep in the car and put her carseat in her room with the door closed because Martin's weight room is right next to the big room and his noisy weights will wake her up if she's in there. So anyway I drove her around town a little bit (she pretty much fell right asleep after a few minutes of singing and talking) and took a little tour through the old Perrin neighborhood. I love to drive through there and think of when all those huge houses were new and freshly painted and the trees were not so big and everyone was rich and fancy. I like to imagine the fancy ladies coming down the steps from the Pegan's house or our old house with their big-butt dresses and little hats and the men with their fancy suits and funny shoes. And of course I can't supress the vision of Lady and The Tramp running down the street as well....

I drove home via Main Street instead of South and I thought again what a great town we live in. We're so lucky to have everything kept up so nicely! So often it seems little historic downtown areas are mostly run-down old buildings with crumbling bricks and peeling facades. But lately on Main Street there seems to be a lot of work going on to spruce up the building fronts. We're really lucky to live in a town where everyone cares so much about keeping it historic, yet nice.

Of course it's not ALL historic and nice. Last night we took a depressing drive out to the new Goodwill to return some stuff I bought there with Perkins and decided once I was home that I didn't need any of it. It's pretty gross to see the new sprawl that's going up out there. It's all strip malls and subdivisions, like a little suburb of its own. And all those gross new plywood and plaster structures back right up to beautiful Indiana farmland and it's really disgusting. *Shudder* If I ever live in an area like that, by choice or by force, please, just kill me.

Today is going to work out so perfectly! I'm so glad Anja is getting a good nap now because she'll be rested and happy for lunch with her Oompa. If she falls asleep again after lunch that would be great too, even if it's just for a short nap, and whenever she wakes up we're going to go swimming with my sister and her kidders over at Castaway Bay! Martin has never been there, so I'm excited to show it to him. I really like that pool. It's perfect for the tiny kids. They are always in sight because it's a small pool and there is much more shallow water than deep and it's perfect for babies Anja's age who can sit on the incline and kids Christopher's age who aren't quite big enough to be in a big-kid pool but can splash in the deeper part of the shallow end, run through the fountain, squirt each other at the Squirt Station, etc. And since it's so small it's not completely overrun with crazy people, as I imagine Tropicanoe Cove to be. It'll be nice next year to be able to be back up at the river, but for this summer Castaway Bay is a good choice!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Good Day for a Picnic

I made Italian Omlettes for breakfast this morning. Deeeelish! But because of them, I came to love our dog a little more. I went out to pick the basil for the omlettes while Martin was taking the dog for a walk. When he came home he shut the kitchen door, consequently locking me out of the house. So I came back to the locked door and knocked. The dog came but no Martin. So I knocked again and still no Martin, so good old Karenin rang her bell! She ran it and waited there and here came Martin to let me in. Yay, Karenin! What a good dog. And the omlettes were delicious, as always.

Anja and I walked down to the Farmers Market this morning and bought some zucchini, yellow squash and a pint of blueberries. We came home and she took a short morning nap; When she woke up we all went to the library together and then we made peanut butter & Nutella sandwiches and took the pint of blueberries and had a picnic down in the grass at Riehle Plaza. It was nice down there in the shade. I took pictures maybe I'll post them soon.

It's great having Martin home. Tonight we're going to Red Seven, that new restaurant downtown with his mom. I hope we get to sit outside. Two weeks of vacation! Well, two weeks with a day and a half of work thrown in... but whatever. That'll give me time to clean the house.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Summer with the Schaps

So I feel like summer is really rolling these days. It's pretty great. Our evenings are laid back and fun, our weekends are busy but also fun, and it's the time of year when random stuff happens--all fun! Also, we have the most beautiful tree that blooms at this time of year along the side of our house. I had forgotten about it until it came into bloom a week or so ago--it's wonderful! And speaking of blooming and booming, my cherry tomatoes are turning red! This afternoon I picked another harvest of flat beans and we had them for lunch. That's the third or fourth time we've harvested the beans! The zucchinis are close to being big enough to pick, and my peppers are growing but not quite big enough yet. And most of the tomatoes are dead except for the cherry tomatoes which are really thriving and, as I said, beginning to glow with deliciousness.

Martin is on vacation for most of the next two weeks. Talk about fabulous! He is encouraging me to make a to-do list for the week because as we learned to day, when left to our own devices we'll not get any work done. I had a dentist appointment in the morning where it was confirmed that I need a root canal, and after that we just kind of hung around all day! We walked up to Vienna and met up with our friend Matt, and ended up staying there a long time before finally walking home. Eventually we made it to the grocery store, but we've spent most of the day playing with Anja and lazing around enjoying the sunshine. Tonight we're having quesadillas (sp?) and chips with homemade salsa. Yum!

Okay, now the weekend. It ended up being pretty great, except for the part where Riverfest was rained out. My poor dad. He works really hard all year on this festival and then it got rained out after only one canoe race. Boooo. Martin came home to change his shoes around 9:00 just when Anja and I were getting ready to head over. On the way back together, we stopped into McCords and got the most delicious breakfast sandwiches. As we were walking across the bridge and eating our breakfasts, the clouds let loose and we got SOAKED!!! Anja didn't though--she was snug as a bug inside her stroller with it's rain guard. Martin told me to go to Panera and he ran on down to the festival again. We were sooooo drenched. It was a real downpour and it went on for a long time. I didn't make it to Panera, but I still had my coffee from McCord's, so I stood underneath the driveway awning of the Hilton hotel and drank my hot coffee and watched the rain with Anja. It was so cozy! There were some other people waiting it out under there too and they had a little dog that Anja was quite interested in.

So that was the morning and it ended up being kind of tiring--more for Martin than for me--so in the afternoon after we were all dry and cleaned up, we all three fell asleep and didn't wake up until it was time to get ready for Tim's wedding which was at 5:30 on the bridge. It was a close call--the wedding was nice, but the thunder started rumbling JUST as they started dismissing people!! Martin and I scooted on ahead instead of waiting to be dismissed by the bride and groom and only a few minutes after we were back inside our house the rains came. It was a wonderful storm though and as it was ending we went out to the reception.

The reception was loads of fun because we sat at a table with Joel's mom and her manfriend--Joel's mom is a big liberal and her manfriend is a big republican!!! It was the most hilarious thing to hear them bicker. I loved it. Also at our table were Perkins and Emily and the dinner was good and the night was fun although it was our fourth (or fifth?) wedding this year and we still haven't gotten to dance at all. But at this one there were plenty of people who volunteered to hold Anja. The highlight of the night was when Tim's sister Sarah was coming through the buffet line past our table and she shouted, "Annie Hatke!" and said hello and then said, "And that's your baby!" and then kind of looked closer and shouted across the room, "You married MARTIN?!" It was very hilarious. I don't know how she's been unaware of that fact for this long, but evidently she was.

On Sunday morning we dragged ourselves out of bed for 7:30 mass where we met up afterward with Joannie and her friend Megan. We were intending to invite THEM out to Krispy Kreme, but instead, THEY invited US out to HOUR TIME!!! Talk about a step up!! It was Mrs. Watson who invited us and it was SO MUCH FUN. It always feels so good to sit around and talk with like-minded people about things that you can't always talk about. And the breakfast was delicious, I had the Benedict Florentine and it was enough to make me like breakfast food! The only bummer of that outing was that Dr. Watson wasn't able to come. I'm so glad Joannie's here for the summer and I'm even more glad that we've actually been hanging out. What fun!

Yesterday evening we took a walk over to campus and introduced Anja to the lionhead fountain. She put her hand in the water stream and was so interested in it! Very cute.

Anja got to ride in the cart at the grocery again today and was once again the cutest thing in the word. She was chewing on a pen today and it clicked open without my knowing, so now she's got blue pen lines all over one of her legs. Haha!

Also, she went swimming last Friday with all her Antonio cousins and THAT was a blast. Anja really enjoyed herself and we're going to go back sometime this week (hopefully.) My sister called me today to go but I wasn't home. Boo. But we'll make it back--it's supposed to be super hot this week!

Also on the schedule this week is dinner with Martin's mom on Tuesday and lunch with my dad on Wednesday! Fun fun fun! Vacations are a wonderful thing.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Things I Wish to Be

Today I saw the most wonderful thing. I was leaving the library and right inside the door a little two-year-old boy was throwing the most marvelous fit--all balled up on the ground wailing and wailing as if someone had killed his puppy. What was really the matter was something to do with a sippy cup, though I obviously don't know the details, but he had two women with him whom I presumed to be his mom and his grandma, and his grandma was with him and his mom was just coming back from the drinking fountain with the sippy cup, and his grandma was saying, "It's okay, Mommy's fixing it." The wonderful thing about this though was how ridiculously calm the women were! He was REALLY causing a scene, but they were laughing quietly with each other about it and just standing by until he was ready to stand up and continue on with his day.

I've always hoped I'll be like that when my kids throw tantrums in public places. But really, the public library at 10:30 on a Thursday morning is no place to get upset about a two year old's tantrum. The place is filled primarily with kids (especially in the summertime) and homeless people. The only people who could really care too much are [generally crabby] people who work there, but they'd be annoyed about anything and I witnessing a good old fashioned fit every once in awhile is good for them.

So anyway, that's one thing I wish to be: a calm mother.

Another thing I wish to be, except I don't have any control over it, is an Asian girl or an Indian girl. I saw the most adorable pregnant asian girl the other day. She was soooooo cute! And they have the best hair and they're always so skinny. The only thing I wouldn't like about being Asian is that I've noticed that many of them have to cuff their jeans because their legs are too short. And I already have that problem and it's pretty annoying. Also I'd like to be a gorgeous Indian girl with their beautiful skin, hair, eyes, etc. And they tend to have big noses, which I also already have, but I wouldn't mind that because Martin LOVES girls with big noses. Whenever we're talking about attractive people, he will often say "no, her nose is too small" or about a girl with a particularly big schnoz, he'll say, "oh, she has a nice nose."

Anja is sooooooo adorable sometimes. I took her to the grocery store today and she rode in the cart for only the second time ever. The first time I had to kind of hold her up while we went along because she couldn't really sit up on her own very well at that time. But now she's a sitting expert and she sat in that cart and held on and was so cute! We went all through the store and she almost never let go, except sometimes she'd hold on only with one hand, and she just looked around with this little almost-smiling expression. She had such a good time. I can't wait till she's about 4 and I can buy her Rolos from the checkout line!

Also I forgot to post the other day about when Joannie came over to visit!! It was great. We sat on the porch swing and talked and ate gross gooseberry pie.

Oh yeah, gooseberry pie. For anyone who ever has had an urge to make this, smother the urge as fast as you can. TOOOTAALLLY not worth it!! I spent three days picking the ends off of gooseberries for a couple of pies that were generally disgusting. Plus, I didn't think until about a day too late that you should probably refrigerate a pie that has sour cream in it, but I ate a total of three pieces and I didn't die or get sick, so I guess it didn't matter. I wonder if it would've tasted better if I'd refrigerated it?

Last night we walked up to Vienna and met up with Joel and Tim and Tim's lady-friend Nikki. She's more than his lady-friend now though... they're getting married on Saturday! That's why all our friends are coming into town this weekend. It always feels so festive to have everyone back in town. We spend all our money on vanilla chai and take long walks around campus, just like the old times!

My garden is looking sadder and sadder every day. It's really depressing, especially when I look over the fence and see Tara's garden flourishing. Ugh. She's one of those perfect people though who is sooo nice, with good style, cute hair, and can do ANYTHING.

Anja's asleep. When she wakes up we're going to go pick up my x-rays from my old dentists office. I have an appointment at a new place on Monday. Then we're going to the new Goodwill WITH AUNTIE PERKALATOR!!! and from there we'll pick Martin up from work!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

And MORE Pictures!

We took a poop sample in to the vet this morning. I suppose we'll hear back tomorrow or the next day about the results, but tonight (as far as I could tell in the dark, pouring rain) her poops seemed to have firmed up a bit. It's interesting having a dog who is afraid of thunder (thanks to the fireworks) and afraid of the dark (also thanks to the fireworks) and doesn't particularly like rain. At least tonight I finally got her to go out and do both #1 and #2 in the yard. Yay, Karenin! And now, on to more interesting topics.

In this picture to the left you can see my beautiful new wrap! Isn't it perfect?! Anja seems to love it too. Last night we took a walk over to Panera where we got coffee (okay, I'll admit that I got and Iced Mocha with lots of whipped cream and chocolate drizzle...) and read the magazines for free. Thanks to my sister-in-law AnnLaura, I recieve "Parenting" magazine in the mail each month. I like it--it's not my bible or anything, but it has interesting things in it and it's where I discovered the Barenaked Ladies CD "Snacktime." I pick up a few interesting tidbits from it each month and I enjoy getting it in the mail because I don't get many mailings that are addressed to "Annie Schap." Aaanyway... there is another magazine called "Parents" and it is entirely different. And to be frank, I really hate it. It basically makes to terrified to be a parent at all!! They tell you the dangers of EVERYTHING, and the articles are incredibly one-sided... which I guess is usually the way in magazines, but it really bothers me in this one. I shouldn't be bothered by it. I picked it up to read the cover article "The Worried Parent's Guide to Vaccines" and it turned out to just be the regular chart of when your child recieves vaccines and why vaccines are good and why more vaccines are better. Well I get that monthly when I visit my pediatrician and they give you those timelines to take home with you every month too, so I don't think it would be useful to many people who are subscribing to Parents Magazine. Of course, it might be useful to people who, like me, just go to the bookstore and read the magazines for free, so maybe I should stop being such a judger. But.... meeh. I can't help it sometimes.

This picture of Martin was taken at the Fiddler's Gathering. On his head is a headlight. He got it out at home because we wanted a flashlight in case a tornado really came ripping through our neighborhood and we had to go to our creepy basement. He packed it along in the backpack we took to Fiddler's and I made so much fun of him the whole time. Well, wasn't I glad he had it when we had to go sloshing through the mud to get back to our car at the end of the night! I never should've doubted him and all his weirdness.

And here we have Anja in a very goofy hat! Doesn't she look lovely? This was taken on Sunday while we were enjoying our porch. People say she looks like she's beginning to slim down, but as you can see, she still has plenty of rolls and is in no danger of being considered "skinny" anytime soon.

I am making an apron!! I am so incredibly proud of it... it's made from a single curtain. When converting the storage room into a weight room, Martin brought me this one red and white checked curtain and I immediately decided that it would make a perfect apron. So I took it over to my mom's house today and got to work on it. I designed it, but it took my mom, dad and myself to actually create it. It will hopefully be finished tomorrow. Stupidly, I forgot to take a picture of it while it was still the curtain! But maybe it'll be obvious when you see the apron how it looked before its conversion.

And now some more pictures, starting with this one of Anja playing with kitchen things on the foor. It looks like she's got pudding or some kind of food substance on her face, but really it's just a light reflection from the spoon. Also, the basket of cherries we picked from Mrs. Presti's cherry tree. I made a total of four pies from them, and two of them are small Martin and Annie-sized pies. I froze them because we had too many baked goods to eat at one time, and I'm hoping they will make a nice treat some night when we're craving dessert.
Trading Babies
My really, really attractive husband and his precious goddaughter
Gracie Girl, starring as the DishSoap Monster
Because we're all CRAZY!Theodore, taking up the majority of our dining room table.
Anja and her Mommy enjoying our new porch swing!
The other side of the family: kisses from Cousin Aurelio

Fresh out of the tub and so happy! And finally, a family portrait.

I know this is kind of picture overload... No more for awhile, I promise!

The Floor Pictures

Yucky carpet!!!!


A kind of dark "before"

Kind of a dark "after"

A brighter one of "after"

A Cozy Corner

What you see now when you walk in the door.

The After View, from the couch... except you can't see the coffee table.
I guess, looking at the pictures, it doesn't look like much has changed, but we've hung up more things on the walls and there are subtle differences, such as the plant on the table, and which tables are where. Trust me, it's MUCH better with the wood floors!
Sorry for the delay in posting them.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Why Are Daddies So Funny?

I will never be able to make Anja laugh the way Martin can. It's hysterical!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Worst Fourth of July Ever?

Last year on the 4th of July I wore my favorite maternity dress and we hung out at Eight West, the martini bar at the top of the Holiday Inn with our friends Joel, Alison and JC. We watched the fireworks from the balcony and it was sooooooo neat because we could see fireworks everywhere all along the horizon. It was really, really cool. This year we hung out with Joel again, and there were some explosions of a sort, but the night was definitely NOT COOL.

Early in the evening we were hanging out at home and Karenin pooped in the house for the first time in months. There were firecrackers going around our neighborhood all day long, and she never wanted to go outside to potty, so obviously she'd held it until she couldn't hold it any longer and let loose in the dining room. Poor thing. We felt bad for her, but still caged her and went up to my parents' house for a cookout.

It was a fun dinner, starting with homemade fried chicken, ending with homemade cherry pie and chocolate cake. Good stuff. That part of the night was great.

Then we were having Joel over after he came into town. (He's here for the week.) We ran home to prepare for him, and when I came into the kitchen with Anja, I heard Martin from the back saying some arrangement of curse words followed by "we have a sick dog." Turns out, Karenin had completely exploded INSIDE her cage and IT.WAS.EVERYWHERE. Martin marched Karenin, Anja and me outside where we sat in the backyard while he cleaned everything up. Most of the stuff in the mud room got thrown away. The cage got pulled outside and hosed off, and I dont know what he did to clean the walls and floor of the mudroom, but they were clean when I went back in. Not a very fun way to start our evening, that's for sure! The poor dog was absolutely freaking out.

But wait! There's more!

So once the place was cleaned up and I put Anja down for bed and my dad randomly came over to deliver a bottle of wine and ended up staying for a beer on the patio with the boys (while I was putting Anja to bed) we gathered back inside the house, in the living room to try to enjoy what was left of the evening. Ha! Karenin kept trying to poop on the floor in the dining room again, so Martin blocked her into the kitchen and we all congregated in there to visit. But we weren't there more than half a minute before Karenin squatted down and proceeded to explode her bowels all over the kitchen. It was amazing, to say the least!! Quite a show. Joel and I were standing on our chairs screeching and Martin stood out of the firing range and it went on for quite awhile before she was finished and the house smelled horrible and Joel and I moved the party out to the porch while poor Martin stayed back to clean up the kitchen. He sat in the kitchen with the dog and read his book all evening while I hung out on the porch with Joel and Tara. It was very sad. After our friends left we stayed up until a little after 1:00 until Karenin seemed to be empty and the fireworks were pretty much over for the night. What a bummer of a holiday!

On Saturday night some of our crazy neighbors were setting off HUGE fireworks in the library parking lot. Karenin freaked out again but not nearly as much. It was another long night.

We went to 7:30 mass on Sunday morning. It was a difficult mass (following the theme of the weekend.) Anja woke up on her own around 6:15 which on the one hand was good because we were all ready to go and made it to mass on time. It was bad because when she gets up that early she usually isn't really ready to get up and would like to be back down again about an hour later. We walked to church with the stroller in hopes that she would fall asleep and once we got there Martin sat down and I stood in the back pushing the stroller back and forth until she finally fell asleep As soon as we went in and I sat down though she woke up crying, so I held her and she was sooooooooo tired and upset, I sat back in the corner of the pew and nursed her until she finally fell asleep. It took her almost the entire mass to actually fall asleep, but once she did, she was completely out. She made the transition from arms to stroller without a peep, and continued to sleep while we walked home so Martin could change clothes, then we walked up to Vienna for coffee. I guess she woke up while we were there, but she was in a much better mood so we hung out for awhile before going home.

That was about the only nap she got all day though, and through the day I made tabouleh, pie crust pinwheels and two gooseberry pies! At 7:00 we met up with the Schaps, Tapias and Aikens at the Delphi Dairy Queen (our odd, but usual place of meeting) where we at ice cream and visited and exchanged GIFTS!!! Anja gave Aurelio a jar of the pie crust pinwheels I'd made. And I got a present too!! Behind my back, Martin and AnnLaura had gone in together on a lovely Didymos wrap for me!!!!!!!! It is shorter than the one I have, making it better for the hip cross carry which has become my new favorite way to wear Anja. It's blue and yellow and green. Soooooo pretty. I wanted to take pictures then but by the time I got my camera, Anja was already snatched up by her relatives and there wasn't any getting her back, even for a picture. But I'll get one soon.

The other fun thing about the weekend was the new porch swing that my mom bought for us!! It's gorgeous and is such a great addition. We pretty much spent the entire weekend on the porch. This morning Martin woke me up early and invited me out to sit on the porch to watch the thunderstorm! It was so great!! Anja slept through it, amazingly enough... some of that thunder was pretty loud, but she slept until almost 9:00! After Martin left and Anja woke up, she and I sat out there for awhile and watched the rain and the early library goers. It's so nice to have a porch swing.

Anja is so cute! Today she is wearing her favorite little french dress. It's her favorite, you see, because it's my favorite and I get to pick what she wears!!!

Anja had had some sunburn on her cheeks this week, so we limited our walks to early mornings and late evenings this weekend. Her cheeks are looking better today and if it rains for a few days that will be good... then we can start our daytime walks again and I will put sunscreen on her cheeks. I've never put it there because I get nervous putting stuff on her face...

This is a long post that has taken me three days to write!! WOW!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bad Things

Yesterday I figured out why mamas of the olden times were always so fat. Sure they worked hard, but most of that work was in the kitchen. And spending your energy rolling out pie crust doesn't go far by way of exercise when you then eat all the leftover trimmings.

Yesterday I made a peach pie. The crust didn't turn out very well because I initially forgot the salt and had to add it later and it just wasn't the same. The filling was fine. But after I'd made the pie and stuck it in the oven I started cleaning up the counter where all the discarded crust trimmings were. I like raw pie crust, it might be one of my favorite things... and it's especially good if you sprinkle a little extra salt on top, roll it up into a tube and dip it in the bowl that once held the fruit filling. Needless to say, I came out of yesterday at least five pounds heavier.

The other bad thing is the place that once was the U.U. church at the end of Alabama Street. They U.U.'s aren't there anymore and the black people have moved in. I wouldn't care so much, except that they put a shiny new coke machine outside by their parking lot and when I am taking walks during the day, here I come down 7th Street and I see that happy Coke machine glowing at me, and I know that as soon as I get home Anja will go down for a nap and I'll have some time to myself, and how can I NOT stop to spend 75 cents on an ice cold Coca-Cola, go home and add some chocolate to it in a frosted mug?!? Too tempting!!!!! So on the one hand, I'd like to thank the Church of Greater Macedonia, but on the other, I wish the U.U.'s and all their healthful habits had never left.

But I'm telling you, a surprise chocolate coke in the middle of a hot afternoon is pretty nice. And sometimes I sit out on the patio to drink it while I look at my garden.

Last night we had intended to do lots of yardwork. Martin got home at his usual time and he wanted to mow the lawns right away, so I put off making dinner until he started mowing. How mowed and trimmed the bushes and when he got back we ate dinner (lemon-garlic chicken and blanched grean beans with peach pie for dessert) and Anja had been asleep and I'd woken her up at 6:30 and she was not happy with my decision to do that, so instead of sticking her in her exersaucer in the yard while we did more yard work, we packed her up and walked down to the Dulcimer Gathering where there was a birthday party going on for a certain 5-year-old friend of ours! When we came home afterward, Martin said that sometimes people have parties that are fine, and other times people have parties where everyone walks away talking about what a great party it was. That was the kind of party it was last night. Since we just stumbled upon it we didn't have any sort of high expectations for fun, and it wasn't anything special--just a bunch of moms and dads sitting in the grass drinking strawberry lemonade and talking while all the kids were running around playing. But it was so much fun! I'm definitely glad we left the yardwork for that.

I got a lot done yesterday morning and now this morning I'm feeling particularly lazy. I think Anja and I might take a walk over to campus.... if she ever decides to wake up.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Fiddletastic Weekend

Well, the weekend's festivities (and Martin's extra days off) are over and it's back to our regularly scheduled programming for the next three days, before the 4th and all its festivities. Actually, we're planning to stay home and do nothing on Independence Day, mostly because we don't want Anja and Karenin to die from Fear of Fireworks.

Anja was such a trooper this weekend!! We headed out on Friday night after the thunderstorms passed, and we were there in time to see the first concert rung in. They started late because of the storms, so we didn't stay the whole night, we left a little before 11:00, but the evening was really fun. Soggy, but fun. All our families were there, along with Doug & Tara. Sarah, TusaRebecca and I all bought silk dresses from the Amused booth and were very excited about them! Unfortunately, I ended up returning mine because it turned out to be a little bit big when I wasn't wearing clothes underneath it. I exchanged it for a cute brown shirt though, and I'm happy with my exchange, even though the dress was sooooo pretty and I wanted to wear it to Tim's wedding next weekend. Oh well. It was so cool on Sunday night that I was able to wear my shirt all evening, AND the next morning as well because it was still pretty cool! Hasn't the weather been BEAUTIFUL these past few days?? Today's forecast is calling for "abundant sunshine." Aaah, nothing better than that except all-day rain.

On Saturday we stayed home from the workshops and Open Mic in an effort to get Anja to nap a little bit. That didn't work out so well, so we went on out for the afternoon shows and I was hoping she would fall asleep sometime then too. WRONG!! This little girl barely napped all weekend long! But the best part was, she didn't seem to even need it. She was sooooooo happy to be out there. She loved it. She got fussy each night around 10:30 when it was finally dark, and other than that she was thrilled to death to be there.

The bands were great, as always. We saw lots of friends and I played Open Stage on Sunday. The only part that makes me sad is that we missed the Gospel Sing AGAIN. Every year I want to go to it, and every year I end up missing it for one reason or another. I've never been there for it in all these years!

On Sunday after everything ended, Martin stayed out there to help take down the stage and I went back to get him a little later. That's when I changed my clothes and tried to put Anja down at a relatively reasonable time, but she wasn't digging that, so we went out for coffee with Matt Aiken. We walked over to the Levee Starbucks and it was SUCH a nice night for a walk. Anja didn't sleep well that night.

Then yesterday Martin was using another vacation day. He went back out to Battleground in the morning to continue helping with the cleanup. He left us at home because Anja was still asleep, but when she woke up he came back to get us! I'm glad he did--the cleanup ended up being a most-of-the-day thing, and Anja and I had a good time walking around the battlfield and looking at the little Methodist cemetery. Then for lunch the group all went to TC's, and Martin wasn't lying--it's delicious! Greasy goodness. YUM. Their french fries are incredible. Like CC french fries, only BETTER!

When he was finally finished cleaning up out there we took a walk over to Vienna, which was a nice wind-down from the weekend as well as the first time we'd had to ourselves all weekend! We never got any time away from people, which is fine--we had loads of fun--but it was nice to just be our little family again for awhile. We even took Karenin. We sat on the Vienna patio for awhile and had our coffee and relaxed until it was about dinnertime and we went home.

I made a pretty good dinner too, and made enough to feed five armies.

I'm hesitant to admit this, but I'm actually getting used to Daylight Saving Time. It's not that I ever know what time it is or anything, but I'm starting to appreciate the extra time after dinner that we have to hang out while it's still light out. Last night we took a walk up to Hidden 8th Street and on the way home we stopped by the Presti's house. We let Karenin and Farley run around in the backyard while we sat on the patio and visited with Mrs. Presti. She loves Anja! And Anja gets such a kick out of the whole social scene. She invited us back anytime this week to pick cherries from her tree. We're thinking Wednesday would be a good day to do that, and I told her if I do, I'll make her a cherry pie. We headed home from there and stopped by a house where the lady has recently died (we think) and it's been gutted and is for sale. She was big into flowers and now the driveway is full of clay flowerpots and trash. We dug out some of the flower pots and took them home with us.

And then something beautiful happened. Anja went to sleep on the first try, and slept really well all night!! She probably only woke up three times!! That sounds like a lot, but trust me, it's NOTHING compared to the past few weeks. She must be so exhausted from the weekend. She woke up super happy this morning and after Martin left for work she and I walked down to the Farmers Market. I got a few things including a small pile of peaches and I'm going to make a peach pie today. I just made the crust and it's chilling in the fridge. She went down for a nap at 9:00 and is still sleeping! What a tired baby!

So it was a great weekend. Yardwork didn't get done though and it NEEDS to be done, so tonight we are skipping both Dulcimers and Knitting in order to get our yard cleaned up.

My garden is really producing. My tomatoes are all getting quite plump. I don't think it'll be too long before I'm picking cherry tomatoes for dinner every night! I'm telling you, planting those herbs was one of the best things. It's so nice to make dinner and realize I've got the fresh herbs for it in my backyard! Next year I'd like to add chives and parsley.

Time to continue on with my day!