Saturday, November 29, 2008

Comfort, Comfort!

Happy Advent to all! Father Dick would totally hate me.... we put up our Christmas decorations on Saturday. I couldn't help it. I am SO excited for the holidays this year... I was super excited for Thanksgiving, and now I am so glad that Advent has begun and then the real Christmas season just beyond that. This holiday season is going to be SO much better than last year.

Our extended weekend has been delightful! Thanksgiving this year was with my side of the family, at my mom's house, with all of us and my brother-in-law's parents. I made the cranberries, a green bean casserole, and a peach pie with frozen peaches I had from this summer's Farmers Markets. The pie turned out pretty cute--I used some mini cookie cutters that I got from Anne for our wedding to make the top crust, and even though when Martin and I laid it on we got it a little off-center, it still looked pretty cute! The day was very fun and included a few rousing rounds of BOGGLE, my new favorite game. It's sooooo much fun. I'm really bad at it (I think I've every time come in second-to-last place... with the last place going to my six year old nephew, Christopher) but it's so addicting and fun! The day after Thanksgiving we went back up to my parents for a leftovers dinner, which was maybe even more fun because we just kind of all hung around.... and played more Boggle. The only downside of the weekend is that it's gotten Anja totally freaked out and not wanting to sleep--EVER. If we thought we had a rotten sleeper before, HA! If we'd only known it could get worse! Hopefully this next week she'll get back on track. Until then, we're just trying to roll with it.

On Saturday we got an early start on our day, which included getting our plethora of Christmas decorations out of the closet. Luckily I was somewhat organized in putting them away last year--one box of stuff we didn't use, one box of stuff we did use. We invited TusaRebecca over for some hot chocolate and decorating fun, and our house now looks SO COZY. Another little detail that is already WAY better than last year. Last year I threw up the Christmas decorations in a hurry and we didn't even get a tree. We didn't even bother decorating one of our fifteen hundred fake trees. This year we drove out past Linden to that tree farm and got a tree from them! It wasn't a cut-it-yourself place like we thought it was--you went out into the tree fields and picked out your tree, then the boys came with their chain saw and cut it down for you--but we did get to pick our own tree, watch it be cut, and then ride back with them on their big tractor wagon! Our tree is four feet tall and it sits on our table right at our window. We had our friend Joel come over and we made more hot chocolate and sat around in our glowing living room drinking hot chocolate and chatting. It was a nice time.

And then what better way to bring in Advent but with the year's first snowfall??? And it was the perfect morning too--not too cold, and windless. We walked to 9:30 mass and it was just perfect. On the way we gave Anja a taste of snow from some bushes. We didn't get a lot of snow, only maybe an inch or so, but it was enough to coat the branches and all of Main Street, and Main Street looks so wonderful in a fresh snow, on the first Sunday of Advent!!

Unfortunately, it now looks like on top of the craziness of the holiday weekend throwing her off, Anja is getting a cold. What a bummer. Luckily she hardly ever gets colds, and when she does they are pretty nothing. She's only had one reeaaalllyyy bad cold, and that was when she was tiny and we were freaked out by her anyway, so it seemed extra bad.

And a quick shout-out to our friend Father Alex who married us, baptized Anja and evidently now reads my blog! Hello!!

That's it. Tomorrow starts a new week and Martin's new job. I am hoping for a calm, quiet week in the house for us. It would be welcomed after all this holiday fun. It's kind of sad though--up until just recently all our friends still came back to Lafayette for Thanksgiving. Now they just will come back for Christmas because hardly anyone is in school anymore--we're all living real lives with real jobs and real families of our own and it's harder to justify getting away for a four-day weekend. Not like in college when they hand you a few free days and tell you to go home. *sigh* I'm finding it hard to grasp the reality that Perkins is a citizen of New Jersey and that Joannie is a citizen of Tennessee. That's where they vote now. That's where all their mail goes. That's the address on their drivers license. So weird!!!

Alright, I'd better go do a little bit of quick tidying up before bed so I can start the week off with a clean house. That always seems to make Mondays easier!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm Thankful For...


The other day Mrs. Schap brought over a few new books she got from the Goodwill for Anja. One of them was "A Baby Sister for Frances." Now, I remember the Frances books, but I don't REMEMBER them. I don't remember how sweet and calm and charming they are! (Or at least this one...) It seems like so many kids books these days are filled with children who are constantly getting in trouble and parents who are never happy with whatever it is the child is doing. SO FRUSTRATING!! However, this book was filled entirely with sweetness. I read it to Anja today and then a little bit ago Martin read it to her, and he stopped halfway through and said, "I like Mother and Father." And so do I!!!!!! I know they are just badgers, but I hope that Martin and I can be as sweet of parents to our little babies as Mother and Father are to Frances. And it's so refreshing to read a story where no one argues, where parents are encouraging, where the little storybook children (or badgers) have good manners and even though they do silly things, they are understood as just being baby badgers, not as being stupid and "bad kids."

I'm thankful for a lot of other stuff too. For example, the fact that I got my pie crust dough ready and in the fridge to chill AND the green bean casserole put together this afternoon while Anja played happily on the floor. I'm thankful that our friend Joel is in town and is coming over in a few minutes. I'm thankful that I drove Martin home from his Wabash job for the last time ever, that he'll never have to travel again, never will arrive home at 2:00 in the morning from Evansville like he did last night, never have to be treated so badly by his coworkers for being a Republican. And I'm thankful that ANJA CAN CLAP NOW, only a few months later than normal, that she's also started folding her hands for prayers, that she can "sing and play guitar" just like her Mama, and that today I asked her where the kitty cat magnet was, and she said kitty cat and found the cat magnet right away. It's the only one she knows, but I think it's a great accomplishment, especially considering it came a day after the very delayed clapping accomplishment! I'm also thankful for cranberries (which I'll make tomorrow) and turkey. I'm not thankful for ham, because I don't like ham, but I guess in a way I am thankful for it because other people like ham, and that will leave more turkey for me!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!!! I hope you all eat yourselves into a coma while remembering all the things that make your lives good.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I'm really not the type of person who calls up other moms and schedules playdates for my baby. I think the idea is nice, and I do like to see my friends and if they happen to have babies of their own, great, but I'm not going to go out of my way to set up outings so that Anja can play with someone her own age for a few hours. That's what cousins are for, anyway!

However, this morning I was delighted to get a surprise magazine-style playdate handed to me! Today is the last Annie Car Day ever (well, today and tomorrow, since he'll bring a college car home tonight after being in Evansville) and once we got to Crawfordsville Anja was tired of being in the car so she and I went down to Campbell's for a treat. We got some kind of scone and she ate most of it. I was kind of killing time, just hanging around with her waiting for it to be a little closer to 11:00 (it was only 9:30 when we got there) so she'd be able to fall asleep on the way home and not cry the whole way instead. I noticed when a young-ish mom came in carrying a baby in a sling who was wearing cute stripey tights and Robeez shoes, and that mom noticed Anja on the floor and came right over to talk! Lucky for me she was a more outgoing person than I am, because we had a really nice time! She was a cloth-diapering, homemade-gift-giving person who is looking into the Catholic schools in Lafayette because "We like God!!" and her older daughter is now in Kindergarten. Her name was April and her baby's name was Ella and we talked about cloth diapers, homemade flannel wipes, BABY LEGS! (Anja's recent birthday present from my sister) our big dogs, traveling husbands, and lots of other stuff. It was a good time! And at 11:00 on the dot, Anja started rubbing her eyes, so we headed home and she fell asleep right away in the car. A good morning!

Monday, November 24, 2008

And Now.... The Weekend

We had a pretty great weekend. On Friday night we went over to campus for awhile, with Anja dressed in her cute fuzzy bunny jammies. We were going to Von's to pick up a birthday present for Martin's sister and while we were there decided we'd have a Vienna date and spend some fully punched cards for free drinks. However, when we got there, Moron Annie ordered the wrong drinks (I ordered small instead of larges) and we didn't want to waste full cards on smalls, so we just paid regular money. It was still fun though! Nothing like a Vanilla Chai from Vienna on a cold, cold November night. And a FRIDAY night, too! Talk about big time.

On Saturday we had a wonderfully lazy morning before going to a birthday party that was for Martin's sister and her son. It was so nice! It was a nice small group of people and we had really yummy soup and animal crackers and chocolate cake. Anja had a WONDERFUL time, and was soooo happy right up until 4:00 when it was very clearly naptime, so we left. Now that she's getting bigger it's fun to see her interact with her older cousins. Aurelio is two and they find each other pretty interesting. It was a really nice time.

We got home from the party and kind of wished we had some friends. I didn't make dinner since we'd been eating all day, but we didn't just want to stay in. In the end we went to Vienna again... by ourselves... and DID spend our fully punched cards for free drinks! It was another nice little time out.

Sunday we went to 7:30 mass, Anja took an early nap and at 11:00 we went to brunch with my family to celebrate my parents' wedding anniversary. YUM! That was lots of fun, and Anja fed herself from her own plate the whole time. In the afternoon I made [gross] brownies and at 5:00 when Anja had just fallen asleep in the car, Martin drove me over to St. Boniface so I could help set up for the Christ the King celebration that night. I think all the foods looked delicious and we were lucky that Anja had her nap schedule thrown off for the day because she woke up right at 7:00. Martin got her dressed (she looked so cute!) and brought her over, I gave her a little fruit I'd saved back for her, and we headed over to church. We really ended up missing most of Vespers between being over in the kitchen for the first part, and then leaving after the procession to go back to the kitchen and get the food put out. But at least Anja got to participate in her first Christ the King procession, and she got to see her cousins again. And eat strawberries.

Not surprisingly, she didn't sleep well last night (such an exciting weekend for a little girl!) so Martin and I were both up most of the night. I really don't understand her sleep habits. She is an incredible napper--goes down most days at 11:00 on the dot without a fuss, sleeps between two and three hours, wakes up happy and SOMETIMES does the same at 4:00, sleeping only an hour or two. But then bedtime comes and she freaks out and we have to drive her to sleep! It's so weird!!

I've started on a quilt for Anja. It was supposed to be a quilt for the new baby, but it's going to end up being kind if big AND kind of girlie... and since I have more of a feeling than I had with Anja that this baby is a boy, I think I'm just going to continue on and make this quilt for Anja's bed and make the new baby's out of some homespuns that I have. I might even try to do that applique star thing. I think that'd be really cute for a boy or for a girl. Either way, I'm happy to be quilting again. I feel so productive and I'm better at quilting than I am at knitting, plus doing it all by hand gives me a real sense of satisfaction. It makes me feel like I'm doing a little bit to keep alive a lost art. So many quilts are pieced and quilted on machines--I'm happy to be able to make them entirely by hand! I think after this one and the one for the new baby (so, a couple years down the road) I'll get Martin's high school quilt out and finish it. Then we'll have matching twin-sized quilts for our kids that have been made by both their parents. That's something special!

Okay, the fact that I just almost spelled "special" as "speshal" makes me think I should be joining Anja for her nap...

Twas Three Days Before Thanksgiving...

Yikes! All this enthusiasm for the hoildays, and already I've let Thanksgiving sneak up on me. It's this week!!! Aaah!! This wouldn't be a terribly big deal (three days is a long time to prepare for an upcoming holiday) except that the stores only sell whole cranberries around Thanksgiving, but I like to eat them all year long. I only have three bags in my freezer right now!!!!!! MUST STOCK UP QUICKLY!!!!

I'm always a little sad when Anja goes down for her afternoon nap. Our mornings are so delightful it's kind of too bad when they end. The afternoons are never as great as the mornings--they get hectic toward the end and the second nap is harder for her to catch. But our mornings are SO NICE. She is so much fun these days, and so good. She just plays on the floor or eats her cheerios while I either do a little housework, or just have a cup of coffee and watch her play. This morning she was loving on her baby doll, who has a removable hat. She had the hat and was trying to put it on the doll, but would just rest it in the general vicinity of it's head. If it didn't fall off, she was SO PLEASED with herself!! She'd done it!! She'd put the hat on!!! Hahahaha, she is so silly, but so ridiculously fun.

However, she is also ridiculously constipated these days. Does anyone have any suggestions? It's becoming kind of an extreme thing. I know she eats a lot of breads and a lot of milk, and that's pretty much the problem. Yesterday she basically ate strawberries all day long and I was hoping all that fruit would help move things along, but this morning I had to put her in a warm bath in order for her to *go*. And she cries while she does it. It's REALLY SAD. And just as sad is the fact that we got a can of pumpkin yesterday, but I left all the groceries in the car! (Toilet paper too!!!) So until Martin gets home from work, we're just eating our same old starchy foods.

Okay, well I kind of do want a lot of suggestions on the his poop problem we're having, so I'm going to end this post and make another one about our weekend to keep people from being distracted who might otherwise have good ideas.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Why Yes, I AM Wearing My Coat and Scarf!

I think I'm going to ask dear old Santy Claus for wireless internet. Brrr.... Here I am in my Big Back Room wearing my coat and scarf and drinking a cup of coffee trying to keep the frostbite away while I check the blogs. Well, okay, it's not THAT cold yet (although all those things I'm wearing and doing are true) but IT WILL BE!! We've hung a nice blue and white quilt top at the end of the hallway and it does a marvelous job of keeping the warm air and the cold air where they are supposed to be. I don't care about not having heat in the back room--we're thinking it's going to save us a heap of money to not run the furnace back here--but I'm afraid when it really does get so cold that it won't be good for the computer. Or for the dog, whose cage is back here. Or for me, who gets cold easily.

We woke up to something pretty sad this morning. Anja's birthday fish had died. We saw it coming... we were watching them last night and saying that one in particular really wasn't looking good. This morning one of them was floating at the top of the bowl and the other was kind of swimming retardedly along on the bottom. Martin flushed them both without Anja seeing, and I think she's forgotten about them already, which is good. Still though, it makes me REALLY sad. Those were her first pets! And she really did love to see them swim around.

Speaking of Anja, we have such good times together. One time last winter when Anja was just a couple months old, my brother stopped by during one of his outings to the library. He came into the kitchen where Anja was sleeping in her swing and I was washing dishes and he said, "do you guys just kind of hang out all day?" Well, yeah, we kind of do! At the time I remember thinking I'd better live it up because when she gets bigger life will be a lot more work. And I guess in a way it is, but with just one, and with one who is so happy, life isn't really much more than hanging out together all day. It's pretty great. And I've decided that I don't really care that my house is a little on the dirty side because it isn't filthy, it's just cottagey, and cottages are supposed to be cozy places that don't mind a little dust.

Last night we went to Barnes & Noble because Anja looked so cute in her coat and hat that we wanted to take her out and show her off. We ran into my friends Scott and Greg there, and I hadn't seen them in FOREVER, so it was nice to catch up. One of them now raises llamas. Odd! I got to look through the new Mothering magazine and it gave me another idea of what to ask Good Old Santy Claus for.....

I've got pieces cut for a quilt for the new baby, but I have yet to sew a seam together, so I think I'll go start on that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

During Naptime

I never thought I'd say this, but...... I'M TOTALLY IN LOVE WITH LYLE LOVETT!!!!!!!!! Last night's World Cafe was AWESOME, and one of the songs late in the program was "If I Had a Boat," which I've heard before for some reason... I think either Kim or Ryan play it. Somebody plays it, and if it's neither one of those guys, they both should start playing it RIGHT NOW. I just bought the song from iTunes and can't get enough of it. I'd start playing it myself, but it's definitely a man song. Oh well!

Yesterday was a great last day of our vacation. We took both of Anja's naps with her, had baked chicken for dinner, and walked over to the library where I got a OneSkein book. I really wanted to go because of a recent post of Clare's about Jan Brett books. I was really excited to see if they had a good selection and get some to read to Anja, but when we got over there we found the whole Youth Room CLOSED!!! It won't be open again until December! What a bummer. Oh well, it gives me something little to look forward to, I guess.

Anja's having a bit of a constipation problem these days... sorry if that's TMI, heh heh... it's actually really sad. She cries when she poos, and her diaper might as well be full of rocks when she's finished. Tonight after dinner I think she and I will go to the store and buy a can of pumpkin for her. That sure did the trick last time.

I'm excited that winter is here and I'm excited for Martin's new job and I'm excited for the Holidays. I've got to get started on the few Christmas presents that I'm making because soon I'll be out of time. I'm just feeling so cozy these days and really looking forward to the craziness of the holidays! Our last two Christmasses were a little less than enjoyable... the first year we we'd only been married a few days and spent the whole season annoyed with our families, then last year Anja was in the throes of her milk allergy (though we didn't know it) so the whole thing was really difficult. This year Anja is the perfect age and we are finally feeling like grownups and I'm just REALLY looking forward to all of it! Although, we probably won't be doing Midnight Mass, which is kind of sad.

Anja gets so much more fun every day. I keep expecting her to just take off walking one of these days. She's starting to "talk" more, though only we can understand what she's saying and half the time I think we're making that up. Although yesterday we were talking and Martin said he was going to put his shoes on, and she pointed to his shoes and socks on the floor and said what sounded just like "Shoe." So cute! I'm afraid when I tell people things she's started doing that
they think I'm playing the "my baby is such a genius" game, but really that's not true at all. I just like sharing all these funny things she does! I know she's not anything special when it comes to brains... she's probably perfectly average. And I don't even pretend to think she's advanced since the only baby I can remember at this age is Christopher, who by the time Grace was born when he was 14 months old seemed like a little adult. He was talking so well by that time, he practically had full blown conversations with us. So I hope nobody thinks I'm bragging on her smarts, because I promise I'm not.... I just think she's hilarious!

Yesterday at Target we ran into an old friend of ours who is becoming a daddy in April! He is soooo excited, and I'm excited for him, although it made me think, EVERYONE is having babies! It's very crazy. Another good old friend of ours who just got married in July is having a baby in June. Seems like all our friends are getting married and having babies right away!! I didn't know we were old enough for all this... I barely feel old enough to go to the bars. Not that I go to the bars anymore...

Speaking of that, I was driving over on the West Side last night and it was snowing kind of a lot, and it was the first substantial snow I've seen this year and it made me think that if we'd been only dating or without kidders, Martin would've invited me out for a beer to celebrate the first snow.

Last night I woke up and Anja wasn't in her bed. She'd slid down between the beds and was sleeping in the space between them. I tried to put her back on the mattress, but she cried and slid back down into the space again. She slept there until morning! What a weirdo!

Mmmm.... time for lunch.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Back Home Again in Indiana

Our trip to Tennessee was absolutely delightful. It was pretty much the best vacation ever. I think I'm always going to take trips with a regularly napping baby or toddler because it really forces you to take time each day to just relax, which is awesome. As if our days were anything BUT relaxation.... here's a glimpse of a daily schedule from this weekend:

Wake up early
Eat summer sausage and cheese for breakfast
Visit Mimi
Come home and sleep
Wake up and visit Mimi
Come home and eat dinner
Go visit Mimi again
Come home and sleep

It was a pretty great weekend. We stayed in Martin's grandmother's house which is about four blocks from her nursing home, so it was a quick trip over. We kept wanting to walk over, but as soon as it stopped pouring rain, it got really cold, so that plan never quite worked out. Anja loved visiting her great-grandmother because she had this furry duck that made mechanical quacking noises, AND she had the best thing ever--a mug full of rubber bands! These kept Anja very happy for a ridiculously long time, and after she was finished playing with those she found a safety pin, which was even better. Mimi was amazed at how easy to please Anja is, and she's right--it doesn't take much to entertain our little Pie. Still though, as much fun as she had in Tennesee, I think she was glad to get home to her animal book, her animal magnets, and her best friend, Theodore.

I understand that Mimi has been up and down for about the past year. She's been from the hospital to the nursing home a couple of times, I think, she's fallen once and broken some toes, and evidently there was a time when she really wasn't doing well. However, this weekend when we visited, I just couldn't understand why she was in a nursing home at all! She gets around marvelously, even if she does use a walker, her mind is all there and she tells the funniest stories and even remembers things from our visit two years ago that I had forgotten! On Sunday we said we'd like to bring her lunch, and she said she had been planning to take us out. So we drove to Martin, a town about 20 minutes away for lunch and evidently that was the first time she's gone out in six months!! Anja's youth and cuteness must've done her some good.

On Saturday we decided on a whim to go up to Reelfoot Lake to show Anja the animals, see the lake, and eat at Boyette's, which has the best catfish ever. It was a lot of fun, even though it was cold and rainy. Last time we went there it was hot and rainy, so I'm beginning to think I'm never going to see Tennesee in the sunshine. Anyway, we were lucky enough to be squawked at by one of the bald eagles and Anja thought that was pretty cool. We went out on the boardwalk but we didn't see any critters; I think it was too cold for them. That was after lunch at Boyettes, and on the way home we were frozen so we stopped at a little gas station for hot chocolate. A good day!

So we kept pretty busy between napping, eating, and visiting with Mimi. And when we got bored, we found pleasure in reciting super lame inspirational quotes from a Thomas Kincade book in our best Garrison Keillor voices.

The only thing that was less than enjoyable was the nighttime when we all three were sleeping on the pull-out couch. I realize the benefits of a family bed, but I also realize that it is NOT for us. I enjoy snuggling up with Anja for a daytime nap, but at night, I like it that she is in her own bed next to ours. She is soooooooo wiggly and usually ends up upside down in the bed. One night I wound up sleeping curled up at the foot of the bed like a dog while Martin and Anja were both sprawled out, taking up the entire mattress. It was nice last night to have her back on her own little bed.

The trips there and back were pretty good--Martin is a trooper. He drove the whole time both ways while Anja slept restlessly on the way down, waking up every hour or two, and slept through the entire six and a half hours without a peep on the way home! I, shamefully, also slept most of the time on both trips. I was so determined to stay awake and keep Martin company, but about two hours into the trip I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.
I think we succeeded in making it a pretty cheap vacation too. We packed a cooler full of bread, cheese, and a huge stick of summer sausage, a package of balogna and a jar of mayo from home. We ate up almost all of that food and only bought our Boyette's meal, and a can of spaghetti-o's for Anja. We saved all our reciepts to see just how cheaply we got by. I'm excited to find out how much money we saved by only eating out once. The only thing we bought daily was our coffee from McDonald's, but that was less than two dollars a day.
So that's it! It was a really great trip. Pretty sad to leave though; we really felt like we were deserting Mimi. She is so much better off than the rest of the people there--a lot of them have a hard time getting around, or have a hard time functioning in general. Mimi still has her own teeth and stays till the end of the meals to help get the other old ladies (who have about half their minds, or less) back to their rooms alright. It's really cute.

Now we're back home and Martin took the day off. This morning we went to Vienna with our friend Matt and now Martin and Anja are asleep upstairs and I am hanging out on the computer for a bit before I go up and join them. I found a frozen chicken in our freezer so tonight we're having baked chicken and mashed potatoes!!!!!!!! I can't wait!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

And... We're... OFF!

We'll be leaving in a few hours for Tennessee! I'm so excited for this trip. A little vacation. A little fun. A little get-away. Just what we all need! Martin is cleaning out the car right now (so we can mess it up again with different stuff) and Anja is asleep. There are only a few more things to be done before we leave, and everything is perfectly do-able. I'm excited! We've got summer sausage, bread and cheese for on the road, which is what we used to eat when we'd go on picnics when we were dating. Also I got a big batch of cookies made yesterday so we've got sweet treats as well. Milk, apple juice... we're all set!

I'll post pictures upon my return! Hope you all have a lovely weekend. I heard it's going to snow--and STICK!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Wow. Let's just say I haven't taken a trip to anyplace in a loooooooong time. I realized yesterday that I'd better get some clothes washed for us. I realized this morning that we're almost out of milk and that we'd better pack a cooler to take with us for Anja's milk and medicine. Then I thought we should take sandwich makings so we wouldn't be eating out all weekend. And then I thought... "what do people pack clothes in for trips?" All I could think of was Martin's small black suitcase which has been packed and unpacked every weekend for the past eight weeks. But I don't have a small black suitcase, and I really couldn't remember what I used to pack my clothes in when going on trips. Gee, do you think I'm ready for a vacation? That means I've been in this house for a year. I haven't stayed overnight anyplace for AN ENTIRE YEAR. That's craziness!

I'm really looking forward to this trip. It'll be good to get away for a long weekend, good to see Mimi, and fun to have a roadtrip with Martin again since we haven't had one in forever. We're planning to leave around 8:00 or 9:00 tomorrow night and arrive in South Fulton around 4-ish in the morning. It shouldn't be bad at all!

Sometimes living within a four-foot radius (both social and geographical) of all your family members can be a challenge, but sometimes it brings good things. For example: My mother-in-law picked up a coat from Goodwill sometime over the summer, only to get home and see that it didn't fit her, it was too small. So she gave it to my mom, but I guess it didn't really fit her either, so she gave it to me! And let's just say this coat has pretty much become my best friend. I LOVE IT. It's a red Land's End barn coat with corduroy collar and nice pockets. It's made of that kind of canvassy material, but the best part is that it's lined with plaid wool, but only over the torso, like a vest. So the sleeves are just the canvas material but your core is kept warm by the wool. It's AWESOME because its not at all bulky, but still warm!! And I think it's cute. I mean, okay, it might be a liiiiitttlle bit frumpy, but generally speaking, for an every day coat, it's pretty cute. Besides, I found out this past weekend that I can still fit into my gorgeous brown coat from last winter, which is completely awesome. Obviously I can't button it, but STILL... I was sure the thing wouldn't come close to fitting me.

Martin went to Evansville last night and didn't get home until after 2:00 in the morning. Booooo. Only one more trip to Evansville for this job and then it's busrides and better work environment forever after! I can't wait for him to be done with all this silly travel. But at least last night's thing was an alumni dinner so he was fed well. I went up to my parents' house and made dinner for them. I made Lemon Garlic Chicken, which is super easy and quick, and they said they liked it. They might've been lying, but I guess you can't very well turn up your nose at a free meal.

Anja had a well baby visit this morning and it went fine, except that she was tired, so she reeeallllyyy wasn't digging the whole strangers-touching-her thing. She cried and cried. On the way home she fell right asleep... it's only a few minutes from the doctors office to home, so that was pretty impressive. The poor little tired thing!

Anyway, except for preparing to leave for Tennessee, nothing much else is new. I did want to make cookies while Anja sleeps though, so I'd better get moving on that.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Big One!!!

What a weekend!! I am so incredibly glad I worked so hard last week getting the house in order--it made for a very stress-free weekend, and as a result we had loads of fun. Well, except for the part where Anja kept getting injured... if this is toddlerhood, I'm not sure I'm digging it. On Friday (a last-minute Annie Car Day) on the way home from picking Martin up from work, Anja was reeeaaallllyyyyy cranky. In fact, she'd been pretty much a giant crab all day. Finally, while we were eating dinner I grew suspicious of an ear infection because she kept rubbing at her face--so much that it looked kind of bruised! Now, earlier in the day she'd had a little fall and had hit her mouth on a chair. I was right there, I saw it happen--and I KNOW that she didn't hit her whole face when she fell. But I started wondering if maybe I just hadn't seen it well enough and that maybe she'd really banged her face. But I thought it was more likely an ear infection, especially when she just kept crying for no reason. So I took her to the Urgent Care, and sure enough, my intuition was right. So back on the Pink Stuff we go! So that was Friday.

On Saturday, while she still probably wasn't feeling the greatest, I put her in the bathroom with Martin while he was showering so I could do something else (I don't remember what.) I heard a big thud come from the bathroom and ran in--she had fallen into the tub! She had a big bump on her forehead, but was fine. Poor thing though! And she was all wet, too. Then about ten minutes later, the dog came running through the kitchen, jumped over her, and caught the top of her head with a toenail--and gave her a little scratch on her head, which was minor, but she was very upset. Again--poor baby! THEN, on Sunday while we were having lunch, I was stupidly scooping food from a pan onto our plates at the table while she sat on Martin's lap, and she reached out and touched the hot pan!!! We are such bad parents!!!!!!! Poor little Anja Pie, just one traumatic event after another.

But other than that, the weekend was great. We worked on the house all day on Saturday (except for the small amount of time we spent out shopping, where I got a super cute brown dress and a super cute red sweater from Motherhood, both for very cheap Sale prices!!!!) and then in the evening went to John and Elisabeth's wedding!! It was beautiful! And I'm so happy for them--they are a really perfect couple. Anja only had one meltdown when she wanted a bottle and I'd left them out in the car. Other than that, she was pretty content. After the wedding we had to go home to get the gift and by the time we'd driven back from our house to the reception (about four blocks) she was already almost asleep. So we dropped our gift off, got ourselves Vanilla Chais at Vienna, and came on home. I was sad to miss out on the reception, but bedtime is bedtime.

And thennnnn.... SUNDAY! HER FIRST BIRTHDAY! We went to 7:30 mass where Anja was the best she's EVER been at mass. She was AWESOME. Sooooo happy the whole time. Afterward we were going to go for doughnuts at Krispy Kreme, but we decided instead to go to Target and get a little box of them and eat them at the Starbucks there. We figured it'd be cheaper and we also needed a couple things from there. It was a nice little breakfast for us! People came over at 4:00 to celebrate, and wouldn't you know it--she was asleep! We finally woke her up at 4:30 and I thought she might be a crab, but she was sooooooo happy. And going against the warning that all babies have meltdowns on their first birthdays, she had SO MUCH FUN. She loved it when everyone sang to her, she loved all her presents, and the only disappointing thing is that she didn't make a mess of her cake. Oh well. Maybe next year! I am SO GLAD we had such a party for her. I know we'll never make such a big deal out of any other birthday for any of our kids--it'll always be little family get-togethers, which is great, but I wanted to go all-out just once. I think everyone had a good time! I hope they did, anyway. I hope nobody felt awkward not knowing everyone in the room, and I hope that Martin and I were good party hosts. It was sure a fun crowd anyway!

Anja got some GREAT gifts from all our very generous friends and relatives. Funnily, her very favorite was the possum puppet that Martin got for her!! You can kind of see it in this picture. It is a really cute puppet. Seriously though, people are so sweet and generous! Maybe it's because Anja is so cute. My dad mentioned that the parties we throw always include such an eclectic crowd, and I think he's right! I like it too. I never had my camera, but I wish someone had taken more pictures of our guests because I would've liked to have had them.

Another cool thing that Anja got was a bowl full of her first pets:

I think their names are Bacon and Cha-Cha, but I'm not sure which is which and how the names came about can be blamed on Martin and Kim. The one whose face is kind of covered has these huge cheeks. They are really fun, and Anja adores them. Martin got up with her first this morning and evidently she LOVED to see them first thing. I love it that she loves animals so much!

After the party we went to Arni's with AnnLaura and Aurelio. It was really nice to just be able to chill out and have a relaxing dinner with our babies. Here again you can see Anja loving her possum. Arni's turns out to be the perfect place for us to go to eat--we can get a cup of soup for her (last night was Chicken & Dumpling) and she can have the ham and cheese from my salad and it works out nicely. Last night she started drinking from a straw! We'd never thought to try it before, but we offered her a cup of water with a straw and she knew exactly what to do. I guess it's one of those weird human instincts... though I don't know that they had straws back in caveman times.
In other news, this weekend we're taking a trip down to Tennessee! This was decided just last week when Martin was tying up the ends of one job and figuring out the beginning of the other. He's got a lot of unused vacation, so he's taking off Friday and Monday and we're going to drive down to see his grandmother. I have only been down to see her once, just after we got engaged. That was also the last time Martin's been down, which means she's never met Anja! I'm really looking forward to going down. We wanted to go this summer but it just wasn't in the cards. We tried a couple of different times to work it out and it just couldn't happen. So I'm very glad to be going down this weekend. We're going to leave on Thursday night at Anja's bedtime and drive "through the night" which is only about half the night because it's not a very long trip. But that way Anja is guaranteed to be asleep, which will make it an easier trip for all of us. We'll do the same thing coming back on Sunday and then have Monday to recooperate. Hopefully we'll be able to pop down to Nashville to see Joannie while we're there too!
So a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our one-year-old!!! I'm glad she had such a wonderful day.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Crazysaurus / BIG NEWS

Sometimes in the afternoons Anja and I go upstairs to hang out in the bedroom, which is now the perfect child-friendly place for her to play. Yesterday she was a bundle of energy! When we got there, the cat was sleeping on the bed, and Anja LOVES to attack the cat. Strangely enough, the cat doesn't mind much. Theodore purrs and purrs while Anja mauls him. It's really weird! And absolutely hilarious! Yesterday she was trying to catch his tail that was flipping around, pulling on it every time she caught it. Then she got some other weird idea in her head, and started going after it with her mouth. She was just tossing her head back and forth after the flipping tail with her mouth open, trying to eat it! Finally she gave up her exact technique, caught the tail with her hands and took a big bite. Purrr.... purrrr..... purrr...

I had an Annie Car Day yesterday and when I picked Martin up from work all I could think about was how I didn't want to eat the vegetable soup we had at home for dinner. I made it a few days ago and didn't cook it long enough the first time we tried to eat it. It was gross. So the next day I added potatoes and cooked it all day long... but it still tasted kind of gross. The idea of having to eat it a third day in a row made me nauseous... so we went to Arni's for dinner!! I was totally craving an Arni's Junior salad, and it ended up being PERFECT. I never can finish them, but last night was the closest I've ever come. Anja loved eating the ham (we'll be a good pair--I don't like ham, but evidently she does!) and cheese bits and we also got her a cup of cheese soup, which she didn't eat much of so we brought it home for today. It was a nice little family dinner out.

Martin got me up when he got up this morning. We went to bed at 9:00 last night and Anja slept relatively well, so it wasn't hard to get up. My days go so much more smoothly if I can get up and completely ready before Anja wakes up. Now we are both here in the back room eating Cheerios together! What a life.

So, we've had this big news to tell for about a week but wasn't given the go-ahead for public announcement until yesterday... when I forgot to post it! Haha! Anyway, the big news around here is that MARTIN GOT A NEW JOB!!!!! He'll now be working at Ivy Tech as a student advisor, which is a job he can be pretty sure about since it is my brother-in-law's old job! This new job will mean only good things for us; normal work hours, no commute, an easy bus ride from the library to the school, NO TRAVEL, among others. We're super excited! He starts on December 1st, and he's got some days of travel between now and then, be we are counting the days to his start date. And just in time! I don't think I could do another snowy winter with him driving up and down 231 every day.

So that is our big news. I've been very eager to post it!

I'm off to check Mike Prangley's forecast. I was planning to walk up to my mom's today to visit the invalid, but Martin called the Time & Temperature and they said thunderstorms. Now I'm remembering that Mike Prangley had mentioned that too.... so I'd better make sure before I set off on any long walks.

Gee Whiz!

I was looking forward all morning to getting online and reading people's reaction posts about the election, and hardly anyone has even posted!!! What a bunch of sillies.

Well, our man didn't win, but the bright side is Obama didn't become King-O-the Universe, he just got elected president so he's a definite out in 4 or 8 years. We can handle that. He can screw a lot of stuff up in that time and pass a lot of crazy/awful things, but if things get bleak enough the country will demand "Change" again and we'll be back on track in time. And I'm not going to start the "I'm Moving To Canada!" whining because that's exactly what all the democrats say every time a republican gets elected. And besides, we've got to stick around and put up a good fight!

HOWEVER... if I were to come up with a plan for us all to avoid all this, it would be for John McCain and Sarah Palin to set up shop in Alaska and for all the die-hard republicans, true Christians (not the social Christians, but the real-deal Power Christians) and true Catholics to make our own new country there while the liberals, the wishy-washy swing voters, and those crazy American Bishops who are always going against Rome stay here and bask in their liberalism. Or socialism. Or whatever they end up having here. I've heard Alaska is beautiful and maybe if we lived there, Martin would let me have a baby seal for a pet!!!!!!!

Okay, that's all for politics!

I'm tired of this Indian Summer. I have a few cute maternity turtlenecks that won't fit me once I get too big and I'm eager to wear them. This morning Anja and I went out to Hobby Lobby to price some crafty things I'm looking at for Christmas presents. I didn't really find what I was looking for, but I did find some gorgeous floral fabric that made me want to make [another] quilt. Yikes. As if I don't have enough quilts going already, with no time to work on them!

I think my rag doll is going to be Anja's birthday present instead of Christmas present because I'm almost finished with her dress and then she's done! I will post pictures when she's completely finished.

It might be time to clean the kitchen.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things

I'm thinking about starting a little blog series on here called "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things." It'd be a pictoral tour of all my favorite stuff. Because I really do love so much of what I have. A pitcher here, a mirror there... the mirror, in fact, is what made me think of it. Upstairs in our Book Nook we have a really neat little mirror on the wall that our friend Zula gave to us as a wedding gift. I love it! And it fits PERFECTLY where it is in the Book Nook. But that is just one of the many little details I love about my house. And I would like to share them!

In other news, Anja and I had a wonderful morning out together, came home and she went right down for a nap! Since she went down (about an hour ago) I've gotten loads of housework done including DUSTING (something I rarely do) and getting a pot of soup going on the stove. I know we all have our trying days, but overall, I think there's nothing better than the life of a stay-at-home mom.

And speaking of moms, mine evidently broke her foot! Haha! I mean, it's not actually that funny, I guess... but if we're being honest, it kind of is. She was playing "Mother May I" for heavens sake. Who breaks her foot while playing "Mother May I"?! "Red Light, Green Light," maybe, but sheesh!

And this is the end of my second, non-political post of the day.
Okay, I think Martin looks SO CREEPY in this picture.

At Your Friendly Neighborhood Poll!

We've done our civic duty here at the Schap household this morning. Martin woke me up at a horrible hour to get up and go vote. I did--just down the street at the police station--and saw a whole bunch of people I knew, or at least recognized as downtowners. It was actually pretty fun. My mother in law was there, along with my highschool friend Charlie who is a police officer now. I asked him how far apart in age his little boys are, knowing they were close, and he said, "Fifteen months. Are you pregnant?!" When I told him Anja doesn't sleep through the night yet and she'll be one on Sunday, he said I am mommying her too much, and I said, "well, yeah!! Of course I am!" I like Charlie.

Martin has been going around this morning chanting "Yes We Can" in Spanish. I finally said, "You voted for Obama, didn't you?" He replied, "I voted for Change, Annie. Because I want to kill babies with guns that don't belong to me. And after that I'm going to go after all the retarded ten-year-olds, because, really, they should've been aborted." (Obviously he's kidding.) I may be delusional, but I think McCain has a real chance today.

But what is all this?!? I don't talk politics on my blog!!

Well, a Happy Election Day to all my blogosphere friends. I'm spending my week in giant preparation for next weekend, which will be very busy including Elisabeth and John's wedding on Saturday (even though it's in the evening, any family outing around here takes all-day preparation) and Anja Pie's birthday party on Sunday! I'd like to deep-clean the house before the weekend so I can just concentrate on the cake on Saturday and Sunday. I'm kind of nervous about it. It's hopefully going to look like a duck, but I'm not much of a cake decorator.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

After a Long Weekend

Well! We've worked hard this weekend, and I'm happy to say that our house is very nearly COMPLETELY in order! And after close to two years, I'd say it's about time.

Okay, I said we worked hard this weekend, but that's not exactly true. Yesterday we literally sat around all day. I don't even remember what we did, it was that boring. I think we took a nap. Oh yeah! We did! We went somewhere... obviously nowhere important, since I can't remember where it was... and when we got home our neighbor Doug was talking to some young Obama supporters who were walking through the neighborhood dispensing their literature to stupid poor people in the ghetto. Ha! They chose the wrong house when they chose the Cooks'! We watched through the window and Doug looked like he was really getting into it. Hand gestures and everything. And you could tell that these poor Obama suckers were sooooo not expecting anything like that. The girl looked like she would rather have been dead, and the boy just looked extremely uncomfortable, though he kept his smile whereas the girl looked a little bit... well, to be honest, she looked a little scared. (She didn't need to worry. Doug is not a big man, nor a violent one. He's just opinionated!) Well, we really didn't want to deal with these people [again] (they come through our neighborhood about every weekend. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but the come by a lot) so Martin put a Post-It note on the door that read "GO AWAY" and we went upstairs to take a nap. And wouldn't you know it, they didn't even knock!

So that was yesterday. We all slept until about 6:30, then woke up and went to dinner at Chipotle. I don't really like Chipotle all that much, but this was a completely free dinner, a value of just under $18. FREE! After RiverFest, my dad had a whole load of Chipotle cards to give away--free burritos, free dinners, all sorts of stuff--so we ended up with a good pile of them. The one we used last night was "Burritos for Two" and it was the entire dinner. Two burritos, two drinks, plus chips and guacamole (AWESOME guacamole that Anja adored as much as I did, and the salt they use on the chips is amazing as well) all for nothing! It was pretty great. Especially since we were all sleepy and hungry and ready to get out of the house.

This morning we went to 7:30 mass (and thanks to my dad, we got there at 7:30 instead of 6:30!) and afterward went to Vienna, where we spent a $5 gift certificate we had leftover from a couple that Dan and Laura gave us! I think they gave them to us when Anja was born, so we've had them for a long time. So our two-coffees-and-one-scone-for-Anja breakfast cost us all of seventy-three cents. What a deal! But the funny part was that as we pulled up, so did our friend Matt, and so we all had coffee together and it was nice. That's the second time that's happened in recent weeks. Very strange.

We took a drive up to the cottage straight from there, intending to just pick something up, but Martin's mom was there and Anja fell asleep, so we didn't really stay, but we also didn't pick up the piece of wood he wanted. Oh well. It was a really nice day for a drive, and it gave Anja a great nap.

When we got home, we hit it hard upstairs in our bedroom, and in just a couple of hours it was completely done, which also means that Anja's room was emptied out, since all of her crib pieces were still down there until the crib could be fixed (minor breakage) and put back together. The room looks great. BOTH rooms look great, in fact! I even tied back the curtains into storybook pigtails with some white satin ribbon I had. Everything looks really nice, and everything is clean, and even if Anja never starts sleeping in the crib, at least it's up there for the new baby right away. I think I'll go ahead and take the bassinet up tomorrow too. I told Martin today, when I was pregnant with Anja my whole idea of preparing her room and the house was "Meh. We have plenty of time." (And when she was born, nothing was ready, surprise, surprise!) This time, all I can think about is what limited daily work time I have and how much we have to do to prepare, and even though we still have five months left, can we really get it all done in that amount of time?!? So today felt VERY good to get two rooms completely in order. Now the only addition to Anja's room will be a cover for the footstool that I've been working on up at my mom's, and is definitely no emergency except the footstool it's being made to cover is incredibly ugly.

The above picture is Anja, unable to decide what to make for dinner. (One of her favorite things to do is to play with my cookbooks and take all the recipes out of them and scatter them, or carry them around. No big deal until today when the dog drooled water all over them. Oops.)

And now... Halloween:

That's the three bears chasing Goldilox out of their woods. Martin's costume was especially good this time since he didn't have to bundle up, and therefore could show off his chest hair and leg hair. And for some reason he wore his slippers instead of regular shoes. Hm.