Saturday, August 30, 2008

Global Festing it Up

We had such a wonderful day today! We all three slept in a little bit, not getting up until 8:00 this morning--what a treat!--and the first thing we did was go to the Farmers Market for breakfast. We got some blueberry scones and Anja enjoyed eating the soft middle. We also got a loaf of bread from the Klein Brot Haus. No veggies though... Martin starts traveling this week so I'm not doing a lot of meal planning. Who wants to cook for just one person? It'll be back to Yummy Chicken and Minute Rice every night, just like in my single girl days. Anyway, I don't know what we did with our morning... played with Anja, I guess... and then she took a nap right at 11:00 and it was a good, solid nap. That was lucky because we had a busy afternoon ahead of us! As soon as she woke up I called my neighbor Tara and she and her oldest daughter Zoe (age 7,) and Anja and I walked down to McCord's and we bought a bunch of chocolates. Yum, yum, yum. The funny part of that is that it was a surprise for Martin while he was working out, so I told him Anja and I were leaving, I put her in her umbroller and left, and didn't call Tara until I was outside. She took a minute to be ready, so I walked up and down the sidewalk while I waited for her, and on my way by our house once, Martin came to the door (it'd been about 10 minutes since I'd left) and he was like, "What are you doing?" I must've looked kind of like a crazy person, telling him I was going out for a treat and then just walking up and down the sidewalk outside our house.

Well, anyway. I came home, we ate half the chocolates, and then we loaded Anja into her stroller and headed over the bridge to GLOBAL-FEST!!! I have no idea why I'm so in love with this festival. I think it's because I sold things at a booth one year for this person I didn't know, and I had a really fun time, and it was just before I started working at Latitude Zero and Chris Foster was in the next room and it was a really fun day. Anyway, I think it's a super fun festival, but this year has been my favorite so far. Mostly because of Anja.

We met up with Martin's family there--even AnnLaura and Aurelio came! We ate yummy food and listened to this really fun steel drum band, saw a bunch of people we know, etc., met up with the Aikens, then went in to the booths. First stop: The INTERNATIONAL PETTING ZOO!!!! They had lots of critters in tanks, and a pen of two really funny armadillos, but the best thing by far was the mostadorableintheworld SLOTH!!!!!!!!! HE WAS SO CUTE!!!!!!!!! Anja was totally in love with him, too. I can't even describe how cute he was, and I should've taken a picture of Anja with him, but I didn't even think of it!! How lucky for Anja to have seen (AND PET!!) a sloth at only 10 months of age! I think this was my first close-up encounter with one, ever. Sloths are not soft, their fur is very straw-like. But he had the sweetest face of any animal I've ever seen.

Then Anja and I went through the international marketplace and looked at all the stuff that we used to sell at Latitude Zero. It's too bad they moved away. That was a really cool store and I would still shop there all the time if it were still around. I miss it a lot. Anyway, the thing that lured me in was, of all places, the Ecuadorian booth where I had an interesting conversation with the lady running it about ear infections in children. ....and then bought two hats!! They were just so adorable. They are wool hats with earflaps, and I'll definitely post pictures sooner or later, but Anja's is brown with a colorful middle stripe and three points on top with pom-poms hanging off of them, and a tie under her chin. Mine is... brown, I think... but different colors. Mine's a little big and I hope I don't look completely dopey in it, but Martin assured me before I bought it that I didn't, so I guess I have to trust him. Anyway, mine doesn't have three points, it just has a colorful braid coming out the top. VERY CUTE!! Anja looks absolutely adorable in hers. They are wool, but fleece-lined. VERY cozy for winter. I can't wait for snow now!!

We wandered around upstairs for awhile too, and I got lured in by the sale going on in the pottery room. I don't know who was selling, if it was students or teachers, or what, but everything was super cheap. I got myself an adorable little soap dish for $3, and because I felt bad for going on such a spending spree, I bought Martin a handsome mug, also for only $3.

The Ecuadorian booth is my very favorite. They also have these childrens sweaters that are absolutely adorable. When Anja is bigger I might get one for her... but I they are better suited for little girls who aren't growing as fast as 1-year olds. Also, the baby-sized ones are kind of ugly.

After GlobalFest (which takes place at the Morton Community Center, which is down the block from Vienna, our favorite coffee shop) we all went to Vienna (and took up half the room with our strollers and family members) and enjoyed drinks and chatter. Mrs. Schap (Anja's grandmama) brought little rubber animals for the kiddies... a daddy and baby cow for Aurelio, and a wonderful pig for Anja!! She LOVES pigs! But the best part was that by the time we got to Vienna she was getting near meltdown mode. I thought we'd have to leave before getting drinks, but as soon as Mrs. Schap gave her that pig, she was happy as a clam, for the rest of time... which was at least an hour, but I think it was a lot longer than that. She loved it!! I also got to run over to Von's with my sister-in-laws, and that's always a fun place to go. Anja clutched her pig the whole time.

Then we walked home and eventually Anja went to bed, but not without a pit-stop at Ooma and Oompa's house. She was wide awake at 7:30, so I thought she needed to exert some energy while Martin was out to coffee with our friend Matt. It did the trick! She fell asleep on the way home and is still sleeping.

And now I'd like to be asleep. We had such a fun day! I LOVE Saturdays that turn out like this. Also in the morning we thought the family might come over, so we cleaned up the house and that always feels good.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Nice Things

Yesterday for one reason or another was a really rough day. It seemed everything was going wrong in unimportant, but very annoying ways. So I was in a pretty sour mood yesterday, but today has already started out to be a thousand times brighter. Anja slept until 7:00, which is the PERFECT wake time for her. Last night she had a very tough night of sleep, not because of her bad sleeping habits so much as because she had a stuffy nose, and so she was having a hard time breathing through her nose. But I have to say... she is SO CUTE when she can't breathe. She would fall asleep with her mouth hanging open and was making all these cute snorty noises in her sleep. It was really adorable. I mean, kind of sad, but so cute. This morning the stuffies went away pretty much right away, so we figure maybe the bedroom air was just too dry for her last night, or something.
Aaaanyway... she and I set out for a walk over to Vienna right after Martin left for work and on the way home I was thinking about all sorts of nice things. Among them:

-Daughters. This opinion might be slightly biased, but I think daughters are the absolute best.

-Thugs & Hipsters who offer to help me get my stroller up the pedestrian bridge stairs. They are so nice to offer, but I always explain that it really is easier to do it by myself, and it isn't heavy at all.

-Vienna. Even though they've given it a facelift over the summer, it still feels like home.

-Lafayette. I think it's the greatest town ever with the BEST old buildings.

-Fall. I'm planning a trip to River Knits today to pick up some yarn and start a fall hat for Anja since all of her hats from last winter are (obviously) too small for her this year. I'm going to see about their organic cotton selection.

-Theodore. He is my one true love.

Those are just a few. I can't really remember the rest now that I'm home. Anja and I always have such a nice time when we make it up to Vienna in the morning. We share a scone and I get a chai and there's hardly anyone there so early in the morning. Most of the customers are in-and-out until lunchtime. Anja loves the whole wheat scones... I give her the soft bits of the middle and she can't get enough and she always cries when it's time to leave, then falls right asleep in her stroller. That's where she still is now. Today we saw our friend Jackie, mommy to Aria, who is one of those babies who should be featured on the cover of every baby magazine because she is so classically cute. And she has these perfect blonde curls. She's about a month and a half older than Anja, and Jackie said she's just now starting to change from a baby into a little girl and it's really depressing. I think it'll take awhile for Anja to make that change... mostly because she's so short and bald.

I have TONS of laundry to do today. I've been putting it off for waaaaay too long.

I'm getting really excited for fall. I realize it's a little premature... but I remember wishing last year that Anja would come early enough for us to enjoy the last bit of fall together, all bundled up outside in the crispness... of course then she was born the day before winter set in and we never took her outside because we were afraid she'd die. However, she is much older and sturdier now and I intend to have a lovely fall with her. On the very cold days we might not take walks all the way to Vienna, but I plan to still get out for our daily walks. That's why I'm going to make her a hat!

There is a spider living on our porch. I detest spiders, but this one actually has captured my interest. She (it's the girls who spin webs, right?) started out having a perfect National Geographic style web between one of our hanging flowers and the porch swing chain. She'd sit right in the middle of it from evening till morning, and then all day would perch on one of the links of the chain and sleep. It was pretty cool looking, but I still didn't want her around. Then on Monday when all the kids were playing on the swing, her web got torn down. I didn't really care because I wouldn't mind if she moved out. However, the next morning it was back, and bigger than it had been before. Then yesterday afternoon Anja and I went out to sit on the swing, and I noticed the web had come down again. I couldn't find the spider, so we didn't sit on the swing; we went back inside. But later last night when I was driving Anja around 10:00, the web was back, was flawless, and HUGE. And there was the spider, spread out dead center. Talk about a tenacious arachnid! She still freaks me out, but she seems to just mind her own business for the most part, so I can't hate her too much. But Martin reminded me that she'll probably lay eggs soon... yikes!

And another picture for you that I forgot to post yesterday... Anja very generously offered to clean out my pantry one night while I was making dinner! How sweet of her!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Smile for the Camera!

Karenin is going to be fine. The vet knew what was wrong with her right away... she has something called Gastro-"something"-itis. He said the trick is this medicine he gave her and a strict, bland diet. For now we're going to switch from Pedigree to Purina at the vet's suggestion and probably whenever we get some freezer space, we'll start the raw diet. The raw diet is a little bit like doing cloth diapers--it's a big heap of expense that you don't have to pay again for a long time. It might be well worth it, but it's hard to want to put down all that money at once.

So our plan for the dog now is to finish fencing in the yard so that I don't have to take her out on the leash through the winter, and hope for the best!

I thought you'd all enjoy some peek-churs of my Anja Pie. It's been awhile since I've posted any.

This is Anja enjoying some rice cereal. Yum!

Working up a sweat in her crib

With the knitted teddy bear that I FINALLY finished... and it turned out to be bigger than she is!

The snake who lives in our yard

Evil Carrot Eater

This turned up one morning in our flower bed. I kept it so Martin will have someplace to go next time he's in the doghouse!

A very special trick

Taking a morning walk!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Miscellaneous Update

I am having the most difficult time eating this egg sandwich I made for myself. The egg keeps sliding out from between the bagel slices every time I take a bite, and falling into my lap. I have to put the whole sandwich back together in order to take another bite... and then it just happens again. Good thing I'm wearing my apron!... which now should probably be washed...

Anja's been waking up earlier lately, which means our morning walks happen earlier. This morning was so beautiful! So crisp. We saw Mr. Gettings and our friend Matt Scherger. As much as the return of the Purdue students is an inconvenience when it comes to traffic and empty tables at Vienna, I do like having them around for the most part. Through the summer whenever Anja and I took an early morning walk we wouldn't see anyone but the bums. All the working people were in their offices and nobody else was around. But now the trolley stops are full of students with their little iPod earbuds and their cute, trendy clothes. I really like seeing them. And knowing that so many college kids are living downtown makes me feel safe.

Tomorrow we're taking Karenin to the vet. We don't know what we're going to do. If her bowel problems are just the way she is, we might have to have her put to sleep. We've taken numerous poo samples to one vet who kept telling us she was fine, but she's so clearly NOT fine. The days when she has a solid poo are few and far between. She's had constant diarrhea since the beginning of July (and before that, since Easter, it was about every three days) and she's skinnier now than when we brought her home from the shelter. We can see her rib bones. And then this morning she's been poo-ing blood. So we're taking her to a different vet tomorrow and hoping he gives us a decent answer of some sort. But if he says there's "nothing wrong" we may just put her down. It isn't fair to make an animal live so miserably. But, we'll just wait until tomorrow to see what they say and make our decisions from there.

Today I'm making my mom's spaghetti sauce. I haven't made it in more than a year! Today is the perfect morning to start it, all cool and sunny and I have the doors open and the breezes are coming in. I'm taking dinner to the Daily family tonight who recently had their seventh baby--a little boy after a line of six girls! I figured if I made enough spaghetti sauce I can take them a whole batch to eat and freeze the leftovers, and we'll have enough for dinner for ourselves and hopefully a bit to freeze as well.

But I'd better get started, my morning is slipping away!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Worst Haircut Ever

The first year after I graduated highschool I very stupidly got my hair cut the day before Christmas Eve. At the Lafayette Beauty Academy. Now, I had been to the Beauty Academy before and been perfectly satisfied with all my experiences there. I wouldn't have necessarily raved about anything, but I didn't have any complaints. However, since that Christmas haircut (years ago) I've never been back to the Beauty Academy for anything. It was by far the worst haircut I'd ever had in my entire life. That includes ALL mushroom haircuts from my youth. This was BAD. You can see remnants of that haircut on my Songs from a Bungalow CD cover. That cover photo was taken that following March, three whole months after the butchering job, and that's all the longer my hair had gotten. (Although admittedly, it looked a lot better than it had.) That haircut was very nearly traumatizing.

And then today I wound up with the exact same haircut.

I don't know how it happened. I went in and requested a cut like Meg Ryan's in "You've Got Mail." He said he knew that movie, yes, he knew that haircut. Snip, snip, snip... I don't look anything like Meg Ryan. I look like someone cut all the top of my head, slmost none of the back, managed to make one slightly bald spot, some horrid bangs and a combination of lengthy pieces at the back of my neck that can either be gelled into a rat tail, or left as a natural mullet.

This haircut is BAD.

So now I think I'll go hide under a rock for about three weeks until it grows out enough so that it can be fixed. *sigh* And I was so looking forward to a cute haircut today.

19 Pounds!

That's how much our Pie weighs. Our Anja Pie, that is.

She had a doctors appointment this morning. It was a horrible morning and I was sure we'd miss the appointment, but we made it a few minutes early and ended up having to wait a long time too, so I shouldn't have freaked out the way I did. Anja woke up at a perfect time, around 6:00, but Martin informed me before I was even out of bed that I wouldn't be able to take a shower because he had Drano-ed the bathtub and it hadn't all gone down and some had washed back up into the tub when he poured the hot water down, so he announced the tub to be out of order for the day. Grrr. So I wet my hair and shaved my legs in the sink, washed my face and felt as good as if I'd showered. Anja was super happy all morning. She and Martin took a long walk together while I was getting ready, and we left the house only 15 minutes later than we'd planned. But then Anja screamed the whole way to Romney until Martin and I sang "Five Little Ducks" to keep her quiet until we got to Linden, where she wasn't having any more of that, so we stopped and I fed her. I thought she'd fall right asleep after eating, but instead she cried the rest of the way to Crawfordsville. Had we not had a 9:00 doctors appointment, we could've had a nice time walking around campus in the cool morning. Unfortunately, we had to get back to Lafayette. So I fed her again in hopes that she'd fall asleep on the way home... and she eventually did, after I kept singing "Five Little Ducks" over and over and over again until we were almost back to Romney. I was pretty disappointed that the appointment was so early. It would've been very nice to take a stroll around Wabash for awhile. The students aren't there yet, it was so quiet and nice. (We took a VERY short walk, during which she was very happy.)

Doctors appointment was fine; her ear infection is gone, she still has a big head, and she's healthy as a horse.

We came home and I got some dinner in the Crock Pot, tried to put her down upstairs for a real nap (since she only got about 15 minutes in the car) but she woke up right away. So I put her in the car and we went to Vienna for an iced vanilla chai. DELISH!! I haven't had one in a long time, so I treated myself. Back in the car she was so happy to just sit and play with her hands. We listened to Patty Griffin and took a little drive around the edges of Lafayette. G-R-O-S-S. We don't often drive out Creasy Lane, but I did for a change of pace today and discovered that we now have a David's Bridal in town. I think that officially makes us a big city. The sprawl on the North side of town is just as bad as the spawl on the South side. It's one strip mall after another, just like Indianapolis and Naples, Florida. It's like a whole little town of its own out there. So strange!

Now I'm going to post a BBQ recipe on the Cooking Blog.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Old People

Okay, I realize that it's not even 10:00 yet, but Martin and I WERE in bed... embarassingly, since 8:30... but we're both still awake, not a bit sleepy! Maybe it's because Anja has had a run of fairly good night sleeps lately. Maybe our bodies have become accustomed to running on only a very short supply of sleep and since we've recently been getting more, our bodies are overflowing with rest and think they don't need any more sleep. Um, if that's the case, our bodies are definitely wrong. But still, maybe that's the problem. It also might be because we both got naps today. I fell asleep with Anja when putting her down for her afternoon nap (by the way, she napped AWESOMELY today, went down for bed at 7:15 and only just woke up for the first time a few minutes ago) and ended up sharing her entire nap with her, which was exactly two hours. Whoops! Then after dinner Martin took a nap on the couch while I went to the grocery store with Anja. And since it was just the two of us, and I knew Martin was sleeping, we took our sweet time. Anja loves the grocery store. So that might be some of his problem too.

But then the other, much more annoying problem, is that our air conditioning started making this horrible high pitched, steady noise. It's one of those noises that once you notice, you can't STOP noticing. So I was lying there, trying my best to block out that noise by thinking about other things, when I looked over at Martin, who looked back at me and said, "Do you hear that annoying high pitched noise?" I told him it was the air conditioning, he said he thought it was something outside. So I went downstairs where it's quiet to listen for something outside, and it took me a trip to the bathroom and back before I could get the noise enough out of my own head to realize that it was nothing outside, it was just the air conditioning. I went back upstairs and switched it from medium to low and that stopped it. It still went on in Martin's head though, so eventually he got up and came downstairs to read. I then realized I was hungry... so I came down too. So here we are!

Anja and I went to the Farmers Market this morning. We were supposed to go peach picking with my family, but at the last minute they found out the Peach Picking Place was closed! Bummer! I still wanted peaches though, so I bought some from the Famers Market. I even got a big bag of seconds for a dollar. I also got a pint of blackberries and three apples to make those delicious apple cinnamon scones. Yum! I should make them tonight so we can have them for breakfast tomorrow... hmm....

So in the afternoon after my wonderful nap with my wonderful baby, I blanched and peeled enough peaches to fill two freezer bags. I recently froze some blueberries as well. I figure if I freeze enough fruit now, I'll be all set to make pies all through the fall. I had made some pie crust in the morning, so while I was making dinner I put together a blackberry pie with the blackberries I'd bought, it baked while we ate, and was hot for dessert! Except we didn't eat any of it. You see, I'd kind of filled up on the raw crust.... heh heh heh....

And it was an otherwise pretty uneventful day. I'm really dreading Martin's travel season, which starts on September 2nd, although the bonus of this year is that the Cluster Flies seemed to have not returned. At least without as much gusto as last year. We've only had about five all summer, and by this time last summer they were BAAAAAD. Still though... it's going to be a poopie two months. Because last year while I could hole up in my house and watch chick flicks and eat popcorn and Subway sandwiches to my heart's content, this year I have a baby to look after.

But I'm also a little bit dreading winter. Mike Prangley is calling for a mild winter and an early spring, which is good. It will be a little bit okay since Anja will be one and able to go for winter walks... but we just spend so much time outside, and she loves being outside! Sometimes when she gets fussy in the house, all we have to do is sit on the porch swing together and watch the cars go by and she is happy as a clam. I guess I'll just have to invest in some good hats and mittens for the winter.

Also, one of my shelves fell off the wall yesterday. That's annoying. But nothing broke, so that's lucky.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Magazine Pages

Weird. I guess Blogger has revamped its main page. It always throws me off when things change like that, and I always wonder, what's the point? Ugh, used to do that all the time. It drove me nuts.

So a little bit ago Anja was pulling all the magazines out of the magazine basket. Then she started flinging one around and all of a sudden--riiip!--out came a page! She looked absolutely shocked. It was hilarious. And since then (it's been like a half an hour) she's been carrying her magazine page around with her everywhere. What a funny baby!

Anja's been in a great mood the past two days. Yesterday we went to the Farmers Market in the morning and Anja took great naps both in the morning and in the afternoon. Martino and I just kind of hung out; I intended all day to make pie crust, but never really got around to it. We also intended to go to the Pilgrimage mass in the evening, maybe even do the end of the hike with them, but Anja fell asleep again right around 4:00 so we weren't able to do that either. We didn't eat much for dinner because we'd bought a box of Cheez-Itz earlier in the day and Martin ate the entire box. Well, ok, I helped him out a little bit, but I seriously only ate maybe 15 crackers, and then went back later in the evening to eat some more and the box was only full of crumbs. While he filled up on Cheez-Itz, I gorged myself on this delicious loaf of toasted garlic bread from the Klein Brot Haus and green olives. I felt so Italian.

Of course later that night when it was time to drive Anja around to sleep (as usual) I was so incredibly thirsty from all the olives I'd eaten (and, oh my gosh, that bread with butter and salt dipped in the olive juice was AMAZING) we stopped at my favorite drive-thru gas station and got a giant Powerade. Yummm yum.

This morning we were late for the 7:30 mass, but we made it. It was actually my fault we were late. Usually I can blame it on Anja, but this time I fell back asleep while Martin was walking the dog and didn't get up until almost 7:00. Anja woke up right after me and Martin got her ready and they were all set and waiting on me for a long time before I finally got myself out the door. Anja was sooooooo happy all through mass! And afterward we sold Germanfest tickets. We didn't think we'd sell any--but we sold FIVE!!! Isn't that incredible?!? And the big sales gave Martin this huge surge of confidence and he started talking about all the people he's going to try to sell to in the next week. So we'll see how many we get sold! We also got to sit behind Andy and Kristin Korty and their new little baby Anna who is sooooooo cute. She smiled at us over her daddy's shoulder! She is so tiny with big brown eyes. You can tell she's going to be another one of those really pretty Korty girls.

After mass we went to brunch with the Schap side of the family! Very fun, as usual, except for the part where we all had our eye on the same dessert, which we all thought was something different, which turned out to be nothing more than jello. Isn't that lame? They had these delicious looking desserts in sundae cups on this iced tray that was surrounded by blue lights. So in order to really see what something was you had to pick it up and study it away from the blue lights, which distorted everything. I took something I thought was chocolate (after I realized the first dessert I'd had my eye on--thinking it was oreo mousse--was jello) and got back to the table only to discover it was blueberry pie filling with a dollop of cream on top. Very disappointing! But the brunch itself was delicious, as always. We went to the Trails.

This afternoon we went out to Prophetstown for their Front Porch Sunday. Not many people were there, but Aunt Anna May was; she was working on her super cute baby blanket on the front porch. Definitely the way to relax. We wanted to show Anja the animals, and today she was most interested in two sheep who were chasing each other around. She thought they were very funny. The pigs came right up to their fence to say hello to us, and while I was patting one, another one bit me!!! It was so funny!!!! And I was covered in mud and pig spit, which was only a little bit gross, but definitely worth the experience of getting bit by a pig. I guess he more just kind of gummed me... but still. VERY funny. The cows and horses were not in the barn so we didn't get to see them, but there was a very friendly kitten lounging around and the chickens let Anja get very close to them, but wouldn't let us pet them.

We were going to go from there to Columbian Park to see more animals, but Anja fell asleep in the car and by the time she woke up we'd kind of lost our enthusiasm and Martin wanted to mow the lawns and so we decided to go on Wednesday after I pick Martin up from work. I'll have the car because Anja has a doctors appointment! Not as exciting as usual though, since she got weighed at the emergency room and that's the whole reason I look forward to her appointments. My wonderful neighbor Tara called me though and asked me if we'd had dinner. When I said no (I hadn't even thought about it yet) she said she'd make us a homemade pizza and bring it over! So she did and it was delicious. And very funny because I've been meaning to look up a dough recipe and was planning on making homemade pizza one night this coming week. Now I know I can just call Tara for the dough recipe!

Oh, another thing that happened last night when Anja was refusing to go to sleep, was we decided to go to the Frozen Custard. It was really fun. Anja was so happy and there were other little babies there that she liked to look at and one very chubby dog. I got a chocolate soda, just like my mom always used to get when we would make Custard runs when I was a kid. On the way home we talked about the fun times when Martin and my sister and I would all hang out, back when I lived with them and there was only Christopher and Gracie and for some reason we all seemed to have a ton of free time. What happened to those days?! Anyway, one night specifically we were remembering was when we had that wonderful Sally girl as our waitress at Luxies and it was just the three of us and Martin was kind of flirting with Sally, so Sarah and I pressured him into asking her out, and he did!! He said, "I was wondering if I could take you out sometime?" and she handled it beautifully. She said she was so flattered but that she had a boyfriend, and could she buy him a drink to thank him for the offer? Isn't that wonderful!? She was such a nice waitress. I miss that place sometimes.

And then another time the three of us went to the Main Street Ice Cream Shoppe and got grasshoppers, except only Martin and Sarah could get them because I wasn't 21 yet. So those to got to enjoy their deliciously minty alchoholic beverages together while I just had hot chocolate. But it was a fun time anyway.

That's another place I miss. I had a lot of good times at that Ice Cream Shoppe... like the time Matt Spencer and I roller bladed down there and Kim was playing. Or the time Martin and I went there during the ice storm after throwing rocks on the frozen river. *sigh* Good times.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Seaside Escape

Gosh, I love Mike Prangley. "We will never forget how we had severe weather and rain for like 100 straight Fridays!" That is a direct quote from his blog. I love him! He should be a chick-lit writer.

So I haven't been to a beach in 6 years. But whenever I mop my kitchen floor I can close my eyes and smell the "seaside escape" aroma of the floor cleanser and imagine I'm lying on some sandy shore with palm trees gently shading me. I think it's funny all the ways that household cleaners try to make the lives of housewives seem more pleasant. Laundry detergent called "After the Rain" to trick you into thinking of peaceful, deliciously scented raindrops instead of wet dogs tracking mud all over your floor that was just a beach party a few minutes before... And the "fresh apple pie" scented stuff that make your kitchen smell like you actually have time to bake apple pies every day. Or all those citrus cleaners convincing you that you really have a beautiful orange grove in your backyard... even though you live in Indiana and really all that's back there is a dead garden and a scummy alley.

I think I've mentioned this before, but the only bad thing about being married to your soulmate is that it's hard to surprise each other. Last night was another rough night with Anja and then this morning she nursed from 5:00-after 7:00. She simply wouldn't let me go. Finally, I tried just getting her up around 6:30, but she wasn't having that either. Eventually I was able to get her detached and remain asleep and I came downstairs where Martin told me to get in the shower. Well, I really didn't have time to be taking a shower when he wasn't even ready for work yet. So I told him, "No, there isn't any time." He said, "Oh, sure there is." And I thought, "he's going to get bagels for breakfast." So I started laughing and I HAD to tell him that I knew what he was doing, and he was a little bit disappointed, just like he always is when he tries to surprise me and I call him out on it. I should just keep my mouth shut and pretend to be surprised, but it's hard. I like that better though than when we were dating and engaged and I would try to buy him surprises and almost every time I bought him something (mostly books) he already had it. Grr! That was frustrating. But I guess I knew what he liked.

Speaking of baking apple pies... Laura mentioned on her blog that she's going to bake one for Dan's birthday and I am in the mood for a pie myself. I think I'll have to make going to the Farmers Market a priority tomorrow and I'll get some berries to make some pies. I was really on a pie-making kick for awhile, but then I realized I couldn't button my pants anymore so I had to stop. I can't resist the urge though with this cool fall weather!

The Feast of the Hunter's Moon is earlier than it's been the last few years. I'm looking forward to it. It will be Anja's first Feast and she's all set to go with her own little pack basket, some moccasins, and I think she even has a little Feast shirt and I can whip up a little skirt for her in no time. I'm really excited. I love the Feast!!!

Anja has taken excellent naps today and I'm hoping that is a good sign for tonight. We're going to the Otterbein mass tonight (is it at 6:00 or 6:30? Anyone know?) and I'll have her in her pj's and hopefully she'll fall asleep in the car on the way home at her usual bedtime.

Man, I'd like to bake a pie RIGHT NOW!! Too bad it's Friday and there isn't a Farmers Market and I don't have a car, and even if I did, Anja is asleep so I couldn't go anyplace right now anyway. Tomorrow!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Blast from the Past

I'd like to preface this post by saying that we are not die-hard Purdue fans in this house. We are loyal to them as our local university, the owners of the spot on which we got engaged, builders of our favorite fountains, location of our favorite coffee shop, etc., but I think overall, we could take it or leave it. So why has our carpet been colored black and gold??

Oh! That's because our idiot dog got into a set of oil paints and ate two tubes! One black, one yellow. This blasted dog. Seriously.

Anyway, the other day I was driving down to Crawfordsville with Anja and she was a little bit upset to be in her carseat for so long, so I started singing to her. I sang an assortment of show tunes and Disney soundtrack songs and she seemed to really enjoy them. So that got me thinking about various soundtracks I used to have on cassette tape; I came home and looked for the, specifically keeping an eye out for The Little Mermaid and Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Well, I didn't find either of those (the only soundtracks I found were Beauty & the Beast and Hoosiers) but I did find an entire box of REALLY GOOD forgotten cassette tapes from my highschool days. All afternoon Anja and I put in tape after tape and listened to all this great music, and I could almost feel the non-airconditioned stickiness of summer driving in my '78 Cutlass with this music blaring from the little battery powered jambox I kept between the seats. Aaaah.... and it made me want to eat a lot of Papa Johns pizza. Sausage and Pineapple, especially. We had such good times in highschool!!! I miss having Perkins around all the time and I'm always begging her to move back here. Maybe someday she actually will.

So when Martin got home we started talking about highschool and our cars and the music we both listened to. Martin drove a white '87 LeBaron with red interior. I drove a white '78 Cutlass with green interior. We both made mix tapes for ourselves all the time and listened to music nobody else listened to. We were totally in the running for coolest kids at school. (That's a joke.) But if there is one regret I have about my life, it's not taking the backseat out of Hilda before I sold her to those drug dealers. That back seat would've made an incredible couch, and it was always my plan to take it out and keep it, but then I didn't. Ugh. I'll always regret that. Especially now since we're looking for a couch for the back room!!

If we had a lot of money, I would want to start a store. It would be called Schap Naturals and it would be located where H. Leon's studio used to be--a perfect sized store with exposed brick walls, wood floors, and a really pretty white built-in bookcase looking shelf. I would sell homemade soaps and perfumes and shampoos, and maybe some knitted things made from organic cotton. A total hippie-dippie store. Wouldn't that be great?? And I would have so much fun decorating it and displaying everything and especially at Christmas time, making little gift baskets and putting up a Christmas tree and hanging little soaps from it. I would loooooove to do that. Ah, someday.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"It Makes Me Want to Buy School Supplies"

Any of you die-hard "You've Got Mail" fans will recognize that quote. It's what Martin and I have been saying back and forth to each other lately whenever commenting on this fabulously fallish weather. So tonight after Anja went to bed, we put in our mutual favorite movie!!! Isn't it the best??? We laughed though, wondering if our kids will think it's totally dated and lame. They won't even get the loud dial-up whenever the characters sign on to the internet. And probably AOL will be extinct by then because it's so rotten and they won't understand that either. But seriously... whoever thought that a 90 minute ad for Starbucks, AOL and Barnes & Noble could make such an incredible Chick Flick!?!? I LOVE IT!!! And it makes me want short hair again too, specifically, exactly like Meg Ryan's.

Anja has stopped showing interest in her solid foods and I'm really afraid that it's because she loves her ear infection medicine so much. She gobbles that stuff down and cries when I put it away. But when I offer her sweet potatoes, carrots or rice cereal, she kind of turns up her nose and looks away, like, "where's the yummy pink stuff?" Great. My 9-month old has a sweet tooth!

Not much else is new. I made tomato tortelloni soup tonight and I was disappointed with how it turned out. The cream curdled and the tortellonis got huge and I accidentally over-cooked them because I stupidly put them on to boil and then went out to sit on the porch swing. I'm really not very smart sometimes.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Our First Trip to the ER

We had a long night! So Anja fell asleep last night at 7:00 but woke up again around 8:00 or 8:30. I was getting ready to put her down at 9:00 and she suddenly started throwing up. And throwing up... and throwing up... It was so weird! She's never been sick like this before, so I got really worried and we decided to take her to the emergency room. We waited foreeeeeever while she kept throwing up and this weird wheezing man was wandering around breathing on us and kept thinking Anja was a boy. It was very slow but everyone was so nice and she eventually got seen by a doctor and as it turns out, she has an ear infection!!! Who knew?!? She was so happy and fine all day, I never would've guessed. So we were at the emergency room until after midnight (I did get to see the boys from the US win the gold in swimming) and then we filled her prescription so we didn't finally fall into bed until almost 1:30. Whew! She seems to be fine this morning though, back to her old cheery self. I'm glad we took her in.

So that is my news of the day!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Blog Post Continued...

So as so often happens, as soon as I was finished making that last post I remembered more things I'd wanted to say!

One was about the milkshakes. Anja was asleep so we just went through the Steak N Shake drivethru. And as we were waiting there at the window to pay, Martin was fiddling with his debit card and dropped it down the window slot!!! HAHAHA!!! So now his debit card is forever in the belly of our drivers side door and he has to order a new one. AGAIN. This is hilarious. I couldn't stop laughing when it happened. If you knew how often this guy has had to replace his debit card, you'd laugh too. Some people are just like that I guess.... when I was little I remember my dad ALWAYS losing his checkbook! Hahaha, soooo funny.

Letsee... the other thing... well I can't remember the other stuff right now, but that was definitely the funniest. OH! Laura lent me "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" so maybe I should go read it and learn how to make my baby sleep at night!

My Favorite Things

The other day I was feeling pretty sour, and decided to think up a list of things I love. I wrote them all down, but then I used the list as a bookmark and when I finished the book I was reading, I threw the list away. Whoops! I do remember a few things though.

One thing that has just made the list is "Anja in the laundry basket." I love it! I can't really fold laundry anymore while she's around, which is a minorly inconvenient, because she loves laundry. Love to roll in it and throw it around and eat it. She loves to climb into the laundry basket, and fall back on a pile of clean clothes and laugh. She's so weird! But cute, of course. Another thing she loves is Nalgene bottles. So she was playing with one on the floor today and she started playing a little peekaboo game with it, putting her face down on it and popping back up. Well, this Nalgene was straight from the fridge. As she played, her little nose turned redder and redder!

Anja slept monsterously last night, meaning she was pretty much awake from 1:30-sometime after 5:00. I spent much of the middle of the night driving her around town. As soon as I would bring her inside, she'd wake up crying, but not want to nurse, etc., so off we'd go again. At one point around 4:45 I made a wrong turn over on campus and ended up back behind Elliot Hall where this policeman was staked out. I was sure I was going to get pulled over, but he didn't even follow me. Maybe he had fallen asleep. So aaaanyway, this morning Martin had to go down to Crawfordsville to "work" which meant he had a recruit coming to see the campus, but the kid didn't show up. I rode down with him (he had a feeling the kid would be a no-show) and we got milkshakes and went home again. A silly little trip, but not all bad. When we got home I was soooooo tired, so Martin put Anja in the wrap and put the Gentle Leader on Karenin and took them both on a walk for AN HOUR!!! I fell right asleep on the couch and didn't wake up until about 5 minutes before they got home. It was amazing!

Our neighbors are grilling out with a lot of lighter fluid and I keep thinking our house is on fire. It's such a yucky, electric kind of smell, and we've got such bad wiring in this place we're always expecting it to burn down.

I wanted to get some veggies at the Farmers Market this morning to feed Anja, but we chose to sleep in a little bit instead. I definitely don't regret that decision! Now I'm off to the store to buy a sweet potato and maybe some bananas or something too. My mom lent me her food processor, so I'm hoping it works better than our regular blender at mashing up hard things. Anja does love her sweet potatoes!

I think my garden has died. It makes me want to sing that sad Elton John song...

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I really don't have time to post right now, but I just wanted to blogosphere to know that little Anja is completely fitting the description of "mobile" today. She's pulling up and getting into everything!! This is a sudden new skill, just learned today. She pulls up to tables and is very curious about the glass jars and books on top. She pulls up on laundry baskets full of clean towels that aren't heavy enough to hold her. She pulls up on empty bookshelves, full bookshelves, chairs, unused baby swings, boxes of art supplies..... but at least she isn't a baby who feels the need to put everything in her mouth. Mostly she just likes to touch and look, not eat! Amazingly enough!

Must chase her down now!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Stink Problem Solved!

Martin emailed me this article today that explains the awful smells over on the West side!
It's true that it's improved since the spring. It was REEEALLLY bad for awhile there. As you all probably remember.

Anja is now pulling up on everything she can find and has just begun to timidly move from one piece of furniture to the next. Today she moved from the laundry basket to the coffee table. It took her a very long time to do this and when she got there she was so proud of herself, but she didn't quite know what to do next... so she started eating the books on the coffee table! One of the books she tried to eat, which I rescued from her, was this book that Martin [unfortunately] bought from Barnes & Noble with a giftcard he'd recieved for his birthday. He ended up being very disappointed with his purchase. It's a book written by a guy from Lafayette (he didn't know that until after he started reading it--an interesting added fact!) named Jaime Salazar who evidently decided it would be a good idea to join the French Foreign Legion, then write a book about his experience. Well, from what Martin tells me, he didn't like his experience very much, but some of the little things he talks about are rather humorous... like the fact that throughout the book he says how religious he is, and in one part he tells a prostitute that he won't pay her for sex because he's a Christian, and Christians don't do that. Um... hello? Martin says that as much of the book that is about his experience in the Foreign Legion is also about all the girls he sleeps with. Then in the Afterword, it tells about some of the characters in the book and the author and what they're doing now... the author currently resides in Texas with his girlfriend and their newborn child. He is considering either going to Business school or joining the priesthood. HAHAHAHA!!! Sounds like this guy's got some screws loose.

This morning Anja and I finally got back to our morning walk. I intended to go over the bridge, around the movie theatre and home, but while I was on the bridge, JOANNIE called me! She wanted to take a walk!! How funny. So Anja and I turned around and met up with her and we made the same route, the second time making it around the movie theatre.

And speaking of movies, not only do I live under a rock, but it's a bigger rock than I'd thought. I've been hearing everyone talk about "The Dark Knight" and the more people I hear talking about it the more I wonder what it is I'm missing out on. So finally I start thinking maybe this is something I SHOULD know about... like maybe it's a film that Pope John Paul II made in secret and is just now being released to the public. Maybe I should be as hyped up to see it as everyone else... or at least know what the heck it is. So I looked it up the other day. And it's a freaking BATMAN movie!!! Although, since I'M the one who lives under a rock, I'm sure all you reading this already KNEW that it was the new Batman movie. I still feel a little silly for not knowing what it was... but not too much. I mean, it's not like I have time to go to the movies, or even to read reviews online. Ask me what else is playing these days--I have noooo idea.

So Anja didn't want to take any naps today. She fell asleep for about two minutes between our walk and the time Joannie left--then the phone rang and it woke her up and I wasn't able to get her back to sleep. So we stayed up and played and then early afternoon began fading into mid-afternoon and she was getting a little bit crazy and I was getting a little bit desperate, so I called my mom and asked if she'd come pick us up and drive us around for a few minutes to see if Anja would fall asleep that way. What a treat! My mom took me to the Custard for a vanilla coke and then we drove around looking at pretty houses. She took me through the neighborhood where she grew up, then showed me some GORGEOUS houses that I'd never even seen before on Center street, and then we took a spin through Highland Park and she told me stories about different houses from when she was little. It was really fun! And her little dog, Maizie, was with us, and she's such a good little dog. She just sat on my lap the whole time! Seriously, for a tiny little yip-yap dog, Maizie is great. I mean, I think she's great anyway... but I would've expected her to be bouncing all over the car, climbing on my mom's lap, getting up underneath the dashboard... not the case! She's just happy to ride on the floor or as was the case today, quietly in my lap.

For dinner I'd planned to make steak stir fry. Last night I made a creamy chicken and broccoli pasta that turned out pretty good for having made the recipe up! Martin tupperwared the leftovers to take to lunch today, but as it turns out, he didn't eat them. Well, we had a lot of leftovers yesterday after dinner so I assumed that that much was left for tonight and I said I wouldn't fix dinner tonight, we'd just eat the leftovers. So he brought them home and I opened the tupperware to find a skimpy one-person serving of last night's dinner. I asked him what happened to all the rest of it. He said it was mostly pasta so he threw a lot of it away. I asked him what happened to all the sauce and he said he'd take me out to dinner. So we looked at our trusty peelers (we've got TONS of peelers because both our parents buy them from the CC kids and then give them to us) and decided to go to Pizza Hut. While we were getting Anja in her carseat, TusaRebecca called and invited us out with them to Logan's! Haha, so we went there instead and I ate some delicious popcorn shrimp that I didn't finish and Martin got a steak that he didn't finish, so now we STILL have some small portions of leftovers. I've found that one problem with cooking for two is that you only usually have enough leftovers for about half a person... but still too much to just throw away. So we end up with tupperwares of leftovers stacked up in our fridge, and I keep making new meals every night. Eventually we have to dump out all the moldy tupperwares and we could've saved ourselves a lot of time and fridge space by just tossing out the food in the first place. It's kind of ridiculous.

We HAVE to get our video camera cord replaced soon so we can record Anja eating sweet potatoes. It is the funniest thing I've ever seen in my life.

Is there anything better than a clean quilt from the dryer? Mmmm, I'm wrapped up in one now. I don't wash my hand-made quilts (I know, I'm gross) but this is a surprisingly cute, soft, and durable Walmart quilt I've had for years and years and it's our usual picnic quilt. It was really covered in dog hair so I washed it and now it smells soooooooo good and its all poofy and soft and snuggly. Mmmm. Good thing I'm already in my pajamas... I'm ready for bed!

Monday, August 4, 2008

It Used to Be Large!

Anja and I went for a stroller walk today around noon. We didn't get all that far before a big dark rain cloud came over us and I felt one drop. It was really hazy and I didn't have the rain cover for the stroller with me, so instead of risking it, we just turned back toward home. Of course, by the time we got there the big dark cloud had passed and it didn't look nearly as threatening anymore. Also, I came down with a sudden craving for a Green River from McCord's. So I strapped Anja to me and went back out with my pocket full of quarters that I conveniently found in the bottom of my purse! So I walk into McCord's, where I haven't been in awhile, and I ask them if they still HAVE Green Rivers, because I haven't ordered one in probably YEARS, and they say yes and while I'm staring directly at the cup sizes displayed on the wall that say SMALL, MEDIUM, LARGE, and JUMBO, I order a "LARGE" green river instead of a Medium!!!!!!!!!! I WAS STARING RIGHT AT THE MEDIUM CUP AND I SAID LARGE!!!! What's WRONG with me?!?!? I swear, they used to only have three sizes and they were Small, Large and Jumbo. I KNOW THAT IT'S TRUE. So then somebody else rang me up and my first thought was, "wow, they put a heavy tax on their fountain drinks" and then the other kid gives me my colossal drink that's so big I can hardly carry it in one hand, let alone carry it home and keep Anja from stealing the straw or biting through the styrofoam... and my second thought is, "no, I ordered a LARGE..." but I didn't want to embarrass the kid so I took it and left and then finally when I was outside on the sidewalk I finally realized my own stupid mistake and felt like such a pig carrying this nuclear green drink the size of Texas down the street on my shoulder, which is where I have to carry things to keep them out of Anja's reach. Especially things that are as heavy as a Large drink from McCord's. Sheesh!

In other news, we had a fun weekend. Except for the part where Martin discovered he'd broken the mower... but other than that little detail, it was pretty fun!

On Friday we went to the birthday cookout over at my sister's house to celebrate the birthdays of my nephew Christopher and my dad. It was a good cookout! I'm always sorry when we have to leave so early. We try to give Anja a bedtime and sometimes she takes it, and sometimes she doesn't, but she's always tired around 7:30. So we took her home and I tried to put her down with no success, so we put her in her stroller and we took a walk through the Gallery Walk. We went up to K.Dee's where Kim was playing with George and Jacob and I sat in for a few songs and it was fun. I miss playing out, but there isn't any way I can do it anymore. Nobody wants live music before 7:00 and Anja doesn't go to bed without me. Heck, Anja can't stand to be out of my sight. I now have to take her into the bathroom with me when I need to potty--this had never been an issue until recently.

So that was Friday. On Saturday we woke up to the details of my latest post, and then headed up to Merrilville for my cousin's wedding. We grossly overestimated our travel time and got there an hour and a half early. It was funny to see all the people at the wedding, people Martin didn't expect to be there and I didn't expect either until I saw them. My family, the Traveling Circus, all sat together in one pew. The reception was pretty fun... but poor Bella and Anja. They just wanted to have their own baby time on their blanket, but the big kids wanted to play with them. They both got pretty annoyed. You KNOW life is hard when Bella gets upset! I was really sad to leave before the dancing. This was our fifth and final wedding of the summer and we've never gotten to stay for the dancing. But at least we got to eat our whole dinner, which is better than usual. We didn't stay long enough for cake though. Too bad.

On Sunday morning we had decided we weren't going to try to go to 7:30, we were going to shoot for the 10:00 at St. Ann's. So we woke up at 8:00 and ate Cookie Crisp in bed and let Anja crawl all over us again. We got ready for church and could've even made it on time, but Anja was having a meltdown so I put her down for a nap at 9:15 with the intention of waking her up right before it was time to go... but I realized I hadn't dressed her yet, and I'd have to feed her again, and Martin said we shouldn't wake her from her nap and let's go to the noon mass instead. So we did, but before we left we got a voicemail from my mom inviting us out to brunch after the 9:30 mass! We were bummed.... had we been able to make it to the 10:00 we could've gone to brunch. But later we though going to dinner would be a good idea, especially since we had a bunch of peeler coupons. So for dinner after a boring, lazy afternoon of reading books at home, we met my parents at Mountain Jacks where Anja devoured a jar of sweet potatoes and still wanted more, and everyone had a good time. My mom wanted to take home the napkin that Anja was loving on, but when it was time to go, she forgot it. The only bad thing that happened is that we might've left one of Anja's favorite toys there and that would be a true tradgedy.

There's no air conditioning in the big back room so we open the windows and I love to hear the cicadas. It's sad that school goes back next week. I've been thinking about summertimes when we were kids and we'd ride bikes all day and go swimming at my aunt and uncle's house. Aaah, those were the days!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

All Pooped Out

The other day Jill had a post that was titled "Just the normal chaos around here" or something like that... and that's how it is around here today, except I'm getting veeeerrrrryyyyyyy tired of it.

Oh.. *WARNING* this post is not for those with uneasy stomachs. Laura, if you're reading this, you might not want to continue. It might make you more nauseous than you already are.

Anja didn't sleep great last night, but she wasn't up every hour as she is some nights, so there's something to be thankful for. We woke up at 7:30 this morning to her crawling into our bed! It was soooooo adorable!! She'd managed to get off her bed (happily) and when I woke up she was coming up onto our bed. I opened my eyes and there she was, grinning at me! It was super adorable. She was in SUCH a good mood, so we all played in bed a little bit. She loves to crawl over bodies now. Then she found some yummy power cords so we had to call off the games and go downstairs.

...where we smelled a familiar smell that reminded me unpleasantly of the 4th of July.

Karenin had done it again. She'd had diarrhea in the night and it was everywhere... except it was more like it had been everywhere, before she ate it all. So her cage was relatively clean, just the door was spattered with poo. Talk about GROSS. So, once again, Anja and I sat outside with her while Martin cleaned it all up. While we were sitting outside with her she started throwing up all the poo she'd eaten. It was so disgusting. I mean, obviously... I guess I don't have to actually SAY how disgusting it was, I can just tell the story.

So anyway, now Martin's spent his morning outside in the yard with the dog who promptly got hosed off and is still drying out. Right now he's got Anja out there with him. I just took a shower and somehow we all have to get ready by 1:00 and go up to the Region for my cousin Phillip's wedding which is this afternoon. What a day!!