Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Talking Herself to Sleep

I had to post this because it was so, so cute. Evidently, her tooth/teeth have again made it through their rough spot. This evening after dinner, after a horribly whiny day, Anja's mood magically improved and she was happy as a clam until bedtime--when she refused her bottle, lay down on her bed and talked herself to sleep. She made all of her favorite noises (including snorting, and this strange honking sound she's recently started making) and I scratched her back, and then suddenly she was asleep. IT WAS SO CUTE.

I keep meaning to take some new pictures, but I never think of it. Tonight the cat was sitting on top of the dog cage while the dog was in it. It was so adorable!

Where to Begin?

Gee, it's been awhile. Those cold snaps are a surefire thing for keeping me out of the blog world. There are major benefits though--daily naps with Anja! I'd like to say that the benefits are getting a lot of housework done, or catching up on [insert productive activity here] but the truth is, I've been sleeping for the majority of her naps lately, all snuggled up in bed with her like a couple of puppies, and it's been wonderful. I keep thinking that it'll be something to get used to once the new one comes, not having the luxury of a 2-hour nap every afternoon... but then I remember that I won't be pregnant anymore either, which might be motivation enough to keep me going through a whole day without a nap!

I have been somewhat productive--I've started knitting again! Not only that, but I bought a One-Skein Wonders book on Sunday and it looks like just the thing to teach me new techniques without being too committal. One skein isn't much to rip out and start over! One skein isn't much to waste on something ugly! I've already started one project and another one is a little bag that I'm excited to make because it specifically works with Noro yarn, and I got two unmatching balls of that for Christmas! It's also felted, which is cool, because I've never felted anything before and I bet the Noro will look really cool.

In other news, we had a nice weekend. On Saturday Anja took a nice long nap in the afternoon and when she woke up Martin's mom came over and watched her while Martin and I went out for a late lunch! It was so much fun! We went to the Brew Pub and had Scotch Eggs and Cheddar Ale Soup, and each had a rootbeer. We had recently cashed in our change jar and came out with roughly $60, so that was a fun way to spend some of that extra cash. After lunch we were going to go over to the Art Museum and look at one of their exhibits--Martin has a photo entered in it--but when we got there there looked to be some kind of opening or something going on, so we didn't even go in. Turns out, it was the opening for that exhibit! Haha, we are a couple of shy nerds. We still hadn't heard that Anja was dead or melting down, so we took a little more time and ran over to Vienna for coffee. We didn't stay because the place was PACKED and there were no empty tables, but we did stop to talk with our friends Turgay and Charlie, although mostly it was Turgay and Martin talking about war books. When we got home, Anja had had a wonderful time with her grandmother, reading books and playing with blocks and looking through the Schleich catalogue (which we look through over and over again every day now!) What a relief! This leaving her business is getting easier and easier. I'm glad she does so well without us. On Saturday night I stayed home with the sleeping Anja while Martin hung out with our friend Matt. He picked up a pizza on the way home and we ate pizza and played Bananagrams. It was great!

Sunday we slept in and went to the 10:00 mass at St. Ann's. When Anja woke up from her nap we met up with Martin's brother, Tony at Barnes & Noble. That's when I picked up my knitting book. We were planning to get coffee at the cafe there, but this must've been the weekend for coffee because again, there were no free tables! We walked over to Panera at the mall instead, and had coffee and pastries.

Anja still seems to be teething. Or something. She still chews on her hands all the time and wants to be held a lot, especially when I'm making dinner. I've started wearing her in the Ergo on my back while I make dinner. She LOVES it. I love the Ergo because the hip strap rides below my baby bump--but I must be a sight to see with a baby in the front and a baby in the back! Haha. One of these nights I'll try to remember to have Martin take a picture. Last night she ran a slight fever in the night. It had lessened when we woke up and by naptime it was completely gone. Isn't that a sign of teething? I think my sister told me that once... anyway. She's not quite herself, but she doesn't seem to be actually SICK, just uncomfortable somehow. We'll see how tonight goes.

We were so hoping that Martin would have a snow day today. Instead, his is one of two Ivy Techs in the state that didn't close. BUMMER. It would've been so fun and I had planned to make popovers for breakfast if he'd gotten to stay home.

We've finally decided how we're going to get the back room into working order again. Unfortunately, it comes at the cost of our little Book Nook upstairs, but I think that it'll all be okay in the end. We're planning to move all our books downstairs to the back room and set up our library there, arrange the small living area as it was, although hopefully with the addition of an area rug, then take our dressers up to the Book Nook and make that kind of an extension of our bedroom. I think it'll end up being really nice. Now we just have to get moving and get it done!

I think Anja might have woken up... she went down pretty early for her nap, so I wouldn't be surprised!

Friday, January 23, 2009

All of My Favorite Things

What a morning I've had! Anja MUST be teething. For the past few days she's just been a real grouch, but also she's been randomly biting me, chewing on her hands, and chewing on toys that she normally doesn't put in her mouth. I'm wondering when these teeth will pop through... and how long this teething phase will last. However, today she seems to be MUCH better. No biting so far, and she's been in a delightful mood--which made my morning even better than it would've been anyway!

I've fallen behind in the laundry a little bit so I really had to scrounge to get Anja dressed today. However, she came out looking ADORABLE in a little brown skirt with pink polka-dots, a pink sweater, and pink tights with white and brown flowers on them. Also, her brown shoes. !!! She is such a cutie. And the outfit totally inspired me... to go shopping!

I thought Once Upon a Child opened at 9:00, so we drove out there a little after that, but as it turns out, they don't open till 10:00. No big deal, since Goodwill is right down the road. We popped in there and I came out with a wonderful Moses Basket for the new baby marked only $12!! It's great because it's wider than I'm used to, but it still has the cute hood on it. I'm not sure if the reed is synthetic, but does it really matter? No, it doesn't matter at all. Twelve dollars is a bargain whether the reed is real or fake. Now I just have to figure out what to put in the bottom of it... I'm thinking of possibly splurging on a sheepskin.........

Anyway, also at Goodwill I found myself a post-pregnancy Fat Shirt. It's cute and springy, blue with flowers and a cute square neck, but it ties around the middle so it will hopefully be kind to my post-baby figure. (figure=pooch.) Those were my only purchases from Goodwill, and I just checked the reciept and I spent less than ten dollars. I KNOW! That means I didn't pay full price for the Moses Basket!! HOORAY for sales!

On to Once Upon a Child, with a pit-stop at the gas station drive-thru for a cherry coke because we still had a few minutes before 10:00. Yum yum, and then we get to Once Upon a Child where they were pretty much giving everything in the store away for free. There was a whole rack of clothes for a dollar! A DOLLAR!! From that rack I got Anja a cute yellow sundress for the summer and a very cute pink skirt. From the Maternity section I got myself a nursing shirt for a few dollars and a really cute pink cardigan that is lined with kimono-type material. Kind of weird, but really cute at the same time. Then we looked through the new-baby things and I got the first article of clothing that is just for the new baby: a little white sleeper with monkeys all over it!!! Perfect for either a crazy little girl or a crazy little boy, whichever we get. The grand total? $15.30. So I came out this morning having only spent about $25 for ALL THAT STUFF!

Anja was soooo good in the car and when we got home I was getting her out of her seat and she said, "Bot-bot. Bot-bot." Even though it was only a little after 10:30, I put her down easily for her nap. She is such a sweetie pie. And now I'm blogging! Another one of my favorite things!!

My blogging has really fallen off lately, which is too bad. It's because it's so cold back here and I totally got out of the internet habit during the weeks when we didn't bother to get it working again. I can't even remember the last time I checked my emails, so if any of you has sent me an email to which I still haven't responded, I'm sorry. But don't hold your breath waiting for a response, cause I probably won't ever read it in the first place.

Yesterday Martin called me after he got to work saying he'd forgotten that it was someone's last day at the office and he was supposed to bring something for the carry-in party. Silly Martino! This happened ALL THE TIME when he worked at Wabash, but he would never tell me--he would just stop at the gas station on the way to work and buy a box of gas station doughnuts. Um, gross. I was pretty happy yesterday when he called and asked if I could bring something out to him before lunch. I tried making some chocolate peanut-butter-filled desserts that are from my Hershey's recipe box, but after I got them started I realized there was no way they'd be done in two hours, since they chocolate had to be in the fridge overnight before I filled them. Oops! But it was okay, because I made Tabouleh! And since there aren't that many people in his office, he brought the uneaten stuff home and it was the perfect amount for my lunch! So now I'm eating one of my favorite things for lunch and still drinking the cherry coke I got this morning, and I am one happy camper. Also, Martin just wore a light jacket to work today, which left his House Coat here, so that's what I'm wearing to blog!! I'm toasty warm!

On Tuesday Martin forced me out the door to go to Knit Night at Barnes & Noble and he stayed home and PUT ANJA TO SLEEP. This is wonderful! He's never been able to do that before, and now suddenly she is going to sleep for both Martin AND my mom! And she's staying with people who aren't me and not freaking out!! She stayed with my mom on Tuesday during my doctor appointment, and she was wonderful and happy the whole time!! After my appointment I picked her up and we all went to the grocery store together. From there, Martin called me and invited me to meet him out for a lunch date, but on the way there Anja fell asleep, so we just went to the Wendy's drive-thru for sandwiches while she slept. It was festive and fun! Anyway, it was nice to go to Knitting, but it felt kind of strange being out without either of them. Then last night Martin went by himself over to Vienna to prepare stuff for his class today (did I mention on here that he's teaching a class at Ivy Tech? He is.) and he texted me and told me that it felt weird to be there without me. I guess it's been a pretty long time since either of us have gone to a coffee shop by ourselves. Anyway, I feel like I've been leaving Anja a lot lately and even though I know this is a good thing and I know I need to do more of it, it's very hard. I just don't want to. I like being around her, and if I leave her when she's in a bad mood, I'll worry, and if I leave her when she's in a good mood I'll feel like I'm missing out on her cuteness. But I KNOW that it's very important for me to leave her because in about a month we'll get to the "well, I guess it could come at any time" point, and even though it might not come for six weeks after that, it's best to be prepared. But I still don't like leaving her.

Martin is going to start competing in Power Lifting competitions! I'm so happy for him. It takes some courage to take your hobby public, and I'm glad he's finally doing it. Depending on baby-related circumstances, he may compete at something in April, and if he does that, then there's a chance we'll go to a National competition in July out in Virginia! If that happens, we can visit people, which will be fun. Also, there's something lined up for him to compete in November near Muncie. Go Martin!

I'm getting so excited for this new baby. Buying things for him/her makes it seem so much more real!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Back in the Back Room

Brrrrr. I'd forgotten how absolutely freezing it is back here! It's been a long time since I've made a post from the Big Back Room, but here I am again, wearing my pajamas and Martin's "Coat House" which is this extreme weather coat that Martin bought from Land's End when he was in college, but hardly wore because people made fun of him so much. Isn't that sad? Except kind of nice too, because now he has this brand new coat that's perfectly suitable for this sub-zero weather we've been having. And it comes in very handy when I want to make a post but don't much feel like suffering frostbite for it!

So, I seriously feel like I've had a weekend off. I was so spoiled this weekend!!! I mentioned in my last post that Martin took Anja on a date yesterday while I stayed home and read my chick-lit book (and finally vacuumed the dining room, which is something I rarely do because Anja is afraid of the vacuum, but the dining room is right below the bedroom so I can't do it during her naps either! I am so proud of myself for thinking to do that while they were out together!) Well, this afternoon after Anja's more-than-three-hour nap, we went up to my parents house to take care of their little dog, Maizie. That's where we were when I last posted. Well, the whole time we were there (which was a good while) I just hung around on the computer while Martin chased Anja all around the house, followed her up and down the stairs, and fed her her lunch. AND THEN, straight from there I was going out with my friend Alison. I was planning to take Anja with me, but Martin insisted I leave her at home with him! And so, for the first time since Anja's birth, I went out without my husband or my daughter. I felt amazingly naked! But it was GREAT!!! And after we'd been out for awhile, Martin and Anja showed up, and then JC (Alison's husband) showed up too!! It was so much fun to hang out with them, and Anja was AWESOME. For the longest time she just sat on my lap being cute, and then she played on the floor a little bit. There was another little girl there, older than Anja, but still a baby girl who was very cute, and the two of them were very interested in one another.

So anyway, I've had a really great weekend. This morning we went up to Vienna and our friend Turgay was there so we sat and visited with him for awhile.

I'm feeling very lucky to have married Martin. I know that most the girls reading this have it pretty great too with their hubby-wubbies, but I just think sometimes about how lucky I was to finally come around and see what a great guy he is! I could've done soooooooo much worse. I'm also really lucky to have a mom and a mother-in-law who are friends. Today when we were leaving my parents' house, my mother-in-law's car pulled into the driveway. She was coming with a pizza to share with my mom! Isn't that hilarious? Since my mom wasn't home, we invited her back to our house and we shared her pizza with her and it was delicious. So I guess that's another thing that makes me feel lucky--that my mom went out of town today and asked me to let her dog out because in the end I got yummy pizza and she didn't.

I have a doctor appointment tomorrow and I'm leaving Anja with my mom. Yikes!! Leaving her with Martin when I am readily available is one thing, but leaving her with anyone else is a little scary! I know, I am SUCH a baby about this. It's just that it's taken me 14 months to get my nerve up to leave her and now it seems like I'm leaving her all the time!!! I realize this is something that has to become okay for both of us (I'm pretty sure Anja's mostly fine with it and that I'm the one who is holding onto my fears) since in a matter of WEEKS (!?!?) she'll be left with our families, like it or not. Can you believe that?! I'm exactly two months from my due date. That's not very long--especially if it comes early like Anja did.

Anyway, that's all that I've got for tonight. I'm happy to have the internet at home again. Oh, and if anyone has a very small dresser/chest of drawers they're trying to get rid of, please offer it to me. I'm beginning to realize that I'm not sure where I'm going to put this new baby and all of the clothes that will be coming out of boxes for it. A minor detail!

Whew! Thoughts from the Past Few Days

This morning Anja made a mental connection! She was playing with her toy moose in her bedroom and then she looked on the quilt on the bed, found the patches with the moose and bears and pine trees, pointed to a moose and said "moose"! (Like "horse," "moose" sounds like "doo" or "djooo".) I was so proud of her!

Also, Anja has her first black eye. Last night she was going from the footstool to the bed, and I saw her falling and just couldn't get to her fast enough. She hit her face on the frame of the bed and it took off a little bit of skin and was one of those bruises that comes up right away. Today she's a little puffy and bruised around her eye, but she doesn't seem too bothered by it and even let me wash it in her bath this morning. I tried to put ice on it last night so it wouldn't puff up too much, but she didn't like that at all, and as soon as I stopped trying to force her to let me put a bag of frozen peas over her eyes, she stopped screaming and was perfectly content to sit in her rocker and fill little plastic bowls with unused outlet covers.

It's been a really nice 3-Day Weekend. Martin seems to be done working at the Bookstore, so we've had the whole weekend to ourselves whereas we thought he'd be working Saturday and Sunday. He walked over to the Bookstore on Saturday morning, but called me when he got there saying he was unable to clock in and couldn't find a manager, and they didn't seem to need him anyway, so he was just coming home. When he got back--he'd bought me flowers from Rubia! What a guy!! The rest of the day was spent hanging out at home and going out to Target as an emergency trip because we had run out of diapers. Whoops! Anja took two naps instead of one and in the evening we went over to my parents' house and played Bananagrams! We ended up eating dinner there, even though that hadn't been part of our plan, and then we drank coffee and ate popcorn while we played our game. It was very fun.

We went to 7:30 mass on Sunday and Martin and I joined Anja for her nap. Usually we can count on her for at least 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep (today she slept more than 3!) but she woke up surprisingly only an hour and a half after going down, and she was WIDE awake. I was slightly bitter about this, since I'd been counting on a longer nap for myself and she hadn't slept well the night before either, and I shouldn't have complained, but I did, and Martin offered to take her on a date so I could relax for awhile more. It was reeeaaalllyyy nice.

Martin got the internet back up and running at our house, though it's still in the back room. Turns out our computer just doesn't have the stamina to run the programs. He can get it working for a minute, and then everything just collapses. This should not be surprising to us, since for a long time we haven't even had enough memory to burn a CD. We're thinking that tax return time might be the time to look into a new laptop. We've considered also getting an external hard drive. It's no emergency and we'll figure it out... until then, I'll be looking forward to spring and blogging in warmth!

This post is shorter than I'd intended, but my friend Alison just called me to hang out, so here I go! I think Anja is going to stay with her daddy again for a little while, and then they might meet up with us.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

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An Assortment of Pictures

Some pictures now, for your enjoyment. Anja eating lunch at her "table" which is really a cooler with a "tablecloth" on it, which is really a curtain.
Hugs for her best friend, Theodore.
With her godparents, Matt and Joannie at Watson Game Night!
Annie, Anja, Joannie and Matt at Watson Game Night

Our Family
One of her favorite faces
Wearing her colander on her head

Pancake Breakfast

Wearing her baby doll's hat on her head. She thinks this is hilarious! The sweater is the one her Aunt TusaRebecca knit for her!!

Happy 2009! New Years breakfast at Krispy Kreme after Mass you can't tell, but she has chocolate doughnut all over her mouth.


Anja has been reaching some very important cognitive milestones lately. She really likes boxes and she's learning how much fun it can be to put things INSIDE a box. She finds the whole idea very amusing. But even better is that her interest in the toilet is rapidly growing! She's always liked to lift the lid and look in at the water, and she used to really enjoy eating toilet paper, but lucky for us, that phase didn't last long. But today she finally did it--she threw her first toy into the toilet! I was so proud of her! It wasn't actually a toy at all, it was one of these hair bands that she's been carrying around with her since Christmastime. She also likes to pick off bits of toilet paper (very, very tiny bits) and put those in the toilet too. The other day I was in the shower and I kept hearing the toilet lid shut. I looked out, and that's what she was doing. Picking a piece of toilet paper veeerrrryyy carefully, then lifting the lid a tiny bit, and dropping the paper in. Repeat! Hahaha, she's so cute. Also, she's becoming quite the little helper. She likes to throw away her dirty diapers, hold the lid to the catfood tin while I feed Theodore then put it back on, hold the tops of her bottles while I fill them then put them back on, and last night she was being very helpful up here at my parents' house after dinner but "loading" the dishwasher. I'm sure she thought she was being so helpful by taking out all the dirty silverware from the little plastic basket and holding it out, piece by piece, for the dog to lick clean. Then she put it on the floor. In the end, she did put them back in the dishwasher, but she missed the basket every time and they fell through the holes to the bottom of the dishwasher. But I think she kind of gets it! And it's really cute.

Martin has one particular pocket knife that is very special to him because his third grade teacher gave it to him. It's a really nice, perfectly sized Opinel knife and he's carried it for years and years. However, he's not very good about keeping track of it and it often gets lost in pants pockets and misplaced on weird shelves or dresser tops. One time as he was leaving my apartment and getting his keys out of his pocket, it fell out and into my driveway and he didn't notice, but luckily I did. Finally, he decided it was time to retire the knife as an every day tool and replace it with something that held no sentimental value. We went to Target and he got a very slim Swiss Army knife. It has only a few (I think more than one, but not many) blades on it, and it's about the same size as the Opinel. He is so satisfied with it! He takes it out of his pocket every night and says, "Isn't this a great knife? It's perfect." And if it ever gets lost, it can be easily replaced.

We are at my parents house this morning because I drove Martin to work and was going to go to the doctors office from there to take that weird glucose test. I was supposed to take it at my last appointment, but totally forgot. My doctor said it was no big deal, just come back sometime after Christmas. Um... so I've kind of been putting it off for a long time and now my next appointment is coming up next week! Whoops! This morning I was going to leave Anja with my mom and go to the appointment by myself, but the roads were reeeaaaalllyyy bad when we were driving out to Ivy Tech to drop Martin off. We were sliding and had a very hard time making it up South Street hill. On the way up, he asked me to cancel my appointment and just hole up somewhere out here on the South end so I wouldn't have to go back down the big hills to downtown. He's so funny and such a worrier! There wasn't really any appointment to cancel; I just can go in anytime and tomorrow is as good as today. So now I'm up here at my mom's, and it's Anja's naptime but she isn't used to sleeping anywhere but her own room so I think we're going to have to try to go home in a few minutes even though it's still snowing.

Gosh, you'd think I'd have more to say after being weeks without internet. But really we've been living a very quiet winter life. In the morning we play. During naptime I do housework. In the afternoon we play some more. Much like Anne, the other morning Anja was still in her jammies and we were just playing in the front room while I fed her breakfast. Martin bundled himself up and went out to wait for the bus, and there we were, cozy as kittens in our lovely living room. No obligations for the day, not a care in the world, just hanging out, drinking coffee (me) and eating Cheerios (Anja.) It was great! But it doesn't make for such an exciting blog.

Last night Martin worked at the Bookstore until 10:00. Anja fell asleep at 6:45 in the car (I wasn't intending to drive her to sleep, but she just zonked) and slept for an amazing and unusual 5 hour stretch! I came home intending to do so much--clean the bathroom, do some laundry, put clean clothes away, and make some Challah bread with my new mixer--and instead, after I picked up the living room and switched out the laundry, I put on an XL long-sleeved tshirt, cuddled up in a quilt on the couch and read my chick lit book. FOR TWO HOURS. I cannot remember the last time I had a chance to just lay on the couch for two hours and read. It was amazing. I loved it! And I can't believe Anja slept all that time!!! Unfortunately, she woke up after five hours (right after Martin and I had gone to bed) and had a difficult rest of the night. But that's okay! Two hours reading on the couch by myself was totally worth it. When Martin got home at 10:30 I had a hot dinner for him of honey-bbq wings--except they were absolutely disgusting. They'd been in the crock pot and I guess they were in for too long because they were all burned and I don't think the sauce was a very good recipe anyway. Too much soy sauce for honey wings, in my opinion. I felt bad--I would've made something else instead of vegging out on the couch if I had known they were so inedible.

Right now my mom is trying to put Anja to sleep. Anja has never gone to sleep with anyone but me. In her life. I'm trying not to interfere because it's really important that Anja get used to other people before, oh, March 20th or so. However, it's really hard for me. I keep hearing her little whimpers and I feel bad that my mom is spending her time pacing my baby around while I sit here and mess around on the internet. BTW, that's Anja whimpering, not my mom. If my mom were whimpering, I think I would step in.

Letsee, what else. Well, speaking of March 20th, have I mentioned how ENORMOUS I am? Seriously huge. And this morning I think I discovered some stretch marks on my butt. That is baaaad news. I was spoiled with Anja--I had no stretch marks at all, anywhere. And I realize that since I am not a nudist, stretch marks on my butt aren't so bad. But STILL. They'll be there forever! I'm marked for life. I might as well get a tattoo as well. Anyway, I will be absolutely shocked if this baby is a girl. I feel so strongly that it's a boy. I did not feel this strongly about Anja being a boy. It's funny though--I can't imagine this baby as a girl, and Martin can't imagine it as anything other than a girl!! He's absolutely certain it's another girl. It'll be fun to see who's right!

Speaking of Martin and baby girls... yesterday he took his lunch break with me and Anja at Barnes & Noble. He had a coupon for a buy one, get one free drink at the cafe, so that's what we did. Well, they sell Melissa & Doug toys there now, and Anja spotted them. She saw the chunky puzzle of the barnyard animals and stared saying, "horse, horse, horse" ("doo, doo, doo") so Martin went to show her the puzzle. Then he let her bring it back to the table with her. Then he said, "She doesn't have this puzzle at home, does she?" And then he bought it for her!! He's so funny. She did love it though--she held onto the horse piece all the way home.

Anja loves animals. When we play in her bedroom with the door shut, Theodore usually comes scratching after a little bit. I'll say, "Someone's at the door! Who do you think it is?" and she gets VERY EXCITED. When I open the door, she gets even more excited, and usually mauls Theodore with hugs and kisses right away. So the other night, Martin was coming in the front door when we were in the living room. I said, "Anja! Someone's at the door! Who do you think it is?" and she got VERY VERY EXCITED. However, when the door opened and Martin stepped in, her smile completely disappeared and she just stared at him with no expression at all. It was like she was disappointed that the person at the door had been an actual person--her own daddy--and not a cat.

OH MY GOSH!!!! MY MOM GOT ANJA TO SLEEP!!!!!! Talk about milestones!!!!! Wow, what a relief this is. She's asleep on the living room floor right now with some quilts. She's so cute. She is wearing a red knit poncho today and she looks hilarious.

Whew! What a relief. That is one checkmark off the list of things to do before the new baby comes: teach Anja to fall asleep with someone other than me. Hooray!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


I'm not one to use the Instant Message lingo of my generation, but at times, all you can think to say is: OMG.

So, as I've said, (by the way, we're still without internet; I'm at my mom's house again and this time she's feeding me!) Martin has picked up a second gig at University Bookstore as a way to gain a little extra cashola. Well, the main reason he jumped on board with this was to cover Christmas expenses, but as it turned out, we kept within budget wonderfully at Christmas, and didn't really need the extra money anyway. I thought he was saving his Bookstore money to buy himself a gun (a very specific gun, which is very cute and "Tombstone" looking, although I doubt he'd want me calling his gun of choice "cute" on the internet... so I will say that it is cute in the most manliest of ways) that he's wanted forever. This made sense to me, and plus, that's what he told me he was going to do. Not knowing I was married to such a liar, I naturally believed him.

Well, I'm not going to lie. The past week has been rrreeeeaaaaalllllyyyyyy hard. It's not his second job that is the problem. It's his second job on top of the fact that Anja has been going through some kind of really horrible phase and she's been really hard to deal with. She's very clearly not sick--she just hates the world. (Except this should all be explained as past-tense, because today she is magically back to her normal, chipper self.) We don't know if she's getting some teeth (I wanted to ask everyone on here, when do babies normally get more teeth, after the first 4?) or if it's Martin's absense that's making her crazy, but whatever the reason, she's been kind of a monster. We agreed that Martin wouldn't stay on through the spring, if that became an option, and that he also wouldn't go back for any more Book Rushes. (This is especially do-able because he found out on Friday that he's teaching a class at Ivy Tech!) Two gigs is enough, three seems a little extreme, and it just turned out to be too hard. Aaaanyway.... this was all agreed, and I was satisfied, although there is still at least another week of late nights at the Bookstore. WHICH IS FINE, because he committed to it, and he needs to stay until he's no longer needed. I wouldn't ask him to just leave them hanging, no matter how difficult our toddler is.

Okay, this story is getting long. Anyway, the other night Martin mentioned he was going to get me a present. I thought he was going to get me a "Cute Overload" calendar ( but I told him that was silly, I didn't need any sort of present. But last night we were driving Anja to sleep and he was very insistant that I drop him off at the mall. So I did. And I got Anja to stop screaming and to fall asleep, and when I came back, he was there at the door waiting for me

WITH A GORGEOUS RED KITCHENAID MIXER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They were majorly on sale and he said he's wanted to get one for me since we were married. When we were doing our Christmas shopping he asked what color I'd have if I ever got one. It was not such an obvious question at the time--we just happened to be meeting up in the Homewares Department at Macy's, and the mixers were right there on a huge display. I thought nothing of it! I thought if he got me one it might be for next Christmas, or later than that.... but he got it for me last night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I told him I really hope his New Years Resolution involved gaining A LOT of weight. The first thing I'm going to make are some Chocolate Cherry Molten Lava Cakes. I'll make bread all the time now that I don't have to mix in the flour by hand.

Oh, that's the thing I haven't mentioned. I've never had a mixer of any sort. I have a hand-mixer that was my grandma's that I can't make myself throw away, but it doesn't work. It never has! So up until now, for my whole life, I've been mixing things entirely by hand--which takes kind of a long time. And a lot of energy. So this opens whole new doors for me!!!! I'll be able to make bread dough during naptime! I'll be able to make desserts for dinner!! I'll be able to turn on the mixer, and things can still be mixing in the time it takes me to rescue Anja from killing herself when she's trying to climb up the pantry shelves!! I'm telling you: this is a wonderful thing.

I don't know how long he's been planning to spend his Bookstore money on me instead of on himself. But isn't that just the sweetest thing ever? His reasoning was that it was a lot harder for me that he had the second job than it was for him (even though he's the one eating balogna sandwiches for every meal) and while I think he's completely ridiculous and a big scumbag.... it's awfully wonderful!!!!!

But more on Anja--
Today she seems completely back to normal. After a week of complete awfulness (and I am not one to speak poorly of my children, but this was EXTREME) she started out on the same foot this morning, and then suddenly in the middle of mass her tantums magically ended and she became her old delightful self. It was SO WEIRD. It was as if it was a tooth that had been bothering her the whole week that finally punched through and didn't hurt her anymore. Except there aren't anymore teeth in her mouth... but it was SO BIZARRE. And now she's fine! We spent more than an hour at Vienna today and she was a total peach! I am soooo happy to have the old Anja back. I will make a Chocolate Cherry Molten Lava Cake just for her, to show her how grateful I am for returning to her old cheery self.

So the good thing about this bad week is that I really don't have any news to share and I never had anything to blog about until last night, even if I'd wanted to. Since Martin's working all the time the internet at our house is still out of order, but it doesn't matter much. And it won't matter for a long time, either, since I will be spending ALL of my free time baking from now on.

Did I mention the mixer is RED?! It looks soooooooooooo cute on my kitchen counter.

So anyway... that's my big news. I married such a great guy. If I were able to have a job, I would totally save all my money and buy him his perfect, shiny, cowboy pistol.

Oh, and as for Bananagrams, I was on a winning streak, but it broke last night and now Martin is really whooping me. It's SO ADDICTING!! We play every chance we get! We're actually LOSING SLEEP over this game!

Now it's time to read up on the lives of others. There's a slight chance I'll post some pictures after dinner, if I have my camera in my purse and have the time.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Second Post in an Hour

After reading up on [almost] everybody else's lives, I've thought of more to say!

Martin had mentioned on his blog that our friends Turgay and Charlie stopped by the other night. It's true! And they came bearing gifts!! Not just any old regular gifts--they came bearing CHOCOLATE!!! They brought us a very cute crock that has blue painted kitchen utensils on it and a bag of M&Ms, which were embarrassingly gone by the next day. (okay, they weren't gone THAT fast, but they could've been if I'd been lacking any more self control than I already am.) It's always funny when people randomly stop by, and they were the last people we expected. But we had a nice visit and it was Charlie's first time to our house. He especially liked Theodore. (Really though, what's not to like? He's marvelous.)

Then I was reading on Clare's blog about housework. It's funny, I only just now am beginning to feel like I have a real handle on our house. Martin and I were raised in houses that were polar opposites of cleanliness. Because of that, I feel I owe it to him to keep a clean house, even though my own habits tend to lean toward that of his mom rather than of my own who has always kept an insanely immaculate house. I'm never going to be the person who washes my baseboards on a regular basis--or ever--but I think I've reached a nice medium of clean. Of course I get behind, mostly on days when Anja is being crazy, or when I'm out of the house all day, but in general, stuff gets done and is pretty well kept up with. And that brings me to my next thought.

Laura is due to have their first baby at the same time as we are due for this second one. I am amazed at how much more prepared I am for this second baby than I was for Anja. Anja was a complete shock to me when she was born. I somehow had managed to go an entire nine months of knowing I was pregnant without realizing that at the end I would have a screaming baby who needed taking care of... along with an incredibly dirty house, because at that time I hadn't yet gotten a handle on the housekeeping!! Not only that, but Martin was still commuting, still traveling reguarly, we didn't know what the heck we were doing as new parents, and we spent most of our time with the dark cloud of the next Travel Season looming over us. I'm not saying that life wasn't enjoyable... but it took me awhile to find my groove. And now that I've found it I feel totally ready to take on a new baby. I am much more prepared for the challenge than I was with Anja, which sounds impossible since going from zero babies to one seems like it would be way easier than going from one baby to two. And maybe I will be proven wrong in March when this new little family member arrives... but for now, I am feeling very confident.

The other thing I'd like to mention is Martin's new job. It's been a looooooooong time since I've heard Martin say "I love my job." (He used to mention that a lot when he worked as the CC librarian.) But he says it nearly every day now!!!!!! The other day he told me, "I love my job. Both for what it is, and for what it's not." His co-workers are actually nice to him, and seem to be genuinely nice people! He's only missed the bus a few times since he started, and even now in the midst of their busiest time, he comes home happy! And not exhausted! And still enthusiastic for a rousing game of Bananagrams! I'm telling you... this is a complete turnaround. And a great one!

Okay, I think that's the end of my second post now.

Out of Order (a post from my parents' house)

Remember how I mentioned that my sister-in-law gave us a wireless router for Christmas? "Installs in ten minutes!" is what the box advertised. Well maybe if you're a professional geek, but for Martin, it's taken a lot longer than ten minutes. Not only that, but while trying to install the glory of wireless, our whole internet went out. That's why I haven't posted lately. Now Martin is back at work, which cuts out most of the time he had for messing with it, so not only do we still not have wireless at home, but we don't have any internet access at all. Also, last week my phone mysteriously broke. I was able to connect outward, but nobody could call or text me. It was very annoying, once I figured out what was going on. Then it just as mysteriously fixed itself. But good grief! Technology is not being kind to the Schaps so far in this new year. If we keep up this way, soon my only means of connection to the outside world will be by carrier pigeon!

All that aside, we've been having fun lately. We've suddenly become quite the game players. When I was little, my family played games a lot--mostly Outburst Junior, which was really fun. My parents have always kind of been into games too, so maybe it's genetic. Martin and I have never had many games--just Scrabble (ugh) and Battleship (which we played constantly during our first months of marriage.) But for his birthday last year, his sister gave him Bananagrams, this funny Scrabble-ish kind of game, except it is SO MUCH BETTER THAN SCRABBLE, I can't even begin to describe how much fun it is. It's the perfect mix of strategy, vocabulary and speed. We find ourselves staying up late at night playing it. We're a little bit obsessed. Anyway, the night our internet broke for good, my mom called me inviting herself and my dad, along with Mrs. Schap and John Mooney, over to play games at our house. It was so much fun! We played Boggle first, and I can't remember who won, but it pretty clearly wasn't me. Then we switched to Taboo, which was hilarious. Each player had his own style of play--for instance, Martin has good clues, but he thinks too much and talks too little, so he doesn't get many words. He thinks my dad is the perfect player because he remains calm and gets lots of words. Mama does not remain calm. Mrs. Schap sat through her whole first turn unsure of what to do, and the first thing out of John Mooney's mouth on every one of his turns was one of the "taboo" words. It was great!

Christmas is officially over now. It's pretty sad. Our front room looks pretty barren without all the lights and greenery. Our happy little tree is gone. *sigh* We did a little bit of rearranging when putting the room back together, so now our front room is doubling as a playroom with a bookshelf full of Anja's books and toys where the mantel was for Christmas, and where the yellow table used to be. It looks nice, but I miss the stockings and nativity scene.

Not much else is new. I will be "term" next month, which seems absolutely impossible. There was so much I wanted to accomplish before this baby's birthday, and so far none of it has happened. For example, the quilt I'm intending to make for him/her. And the fact that Anja STILL isn't sleeping [anywhere remotely close to] through the night. Oh well, I guess it'll all work out in the end because everything does... but still.... leaving Anja for the birth is the only thing that makes me nervous about having a second baby!!!

Time to read up on everyone else's lives now.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Out with the Old, In with the New

Happy 2009, everyone! Last year at midnight I'm pretty sure we were driving Anja around to try to get her to sleep. This year at midnight Martin was asleep and I was refilling Anja's bottle. Wow, not much has changed over the last year: we're still HUGE LOSERS!!!! Hahahahha.. we actually had a very quiet and enjoyable New Years Eve. Anja went to bed at 7:00 (but had a restless night) and Martin and I played "Bananagrams." His sister gave it to him as a birthday present back in July but we just played it for the first time last night. It was so fun! It's like your own personal Scrabble game, and you compete with the other player's personal game. Martin beat me, but it was a relatively close game throughout... until the end when I got way behind and he had just the right luck to win. FUN GAME! And it took almost the whole evening. Still though, we made time for a few rousing rounds of Boggle. My passion. We didn't invite any of our parents over and I'm glad we didn't, since I was running upstairs every 20 minutes to rescue Anja who kept rolling off the bed. (Remember, "rolling off the bed" means gently rolling onto the floor from her very squishy mattress on the floor. I don't want to sound like I let my child repeatedly take large falls onto her head or anything.)

This morning we went to the 7:30 mass and Anja was Craaaaazy (with a capital C!). Her new thing is climbing. She wants to climb EVERYWHERE, and she usually succeeds too, unless we intervene. She's nuts! But at least she was in a happy mood, and afterward we went to Krispy Kreme to celebrate the new year with doughnuts. They sell mini doughnuts now, so we got one for Anja. They are really cute and she loved it!

When we got home Mrs. Schap came over for a little visit, and thankfully Anja was in a good mood. It's a bummer that during school, her only break in the day falls exactly at Anja's naptime. So I always hope that when she is able to see Anja she's in one of her best moods, which today she was!

We took Anja's nap with her, which was only an hour and a half long. After that and lunch, we invited my parents over to see our newly set up nativity scene that they gave us for Christmas. It's soooooooooo great--one of the wise men is riding an ELEPHANT!!!! Very, very cool. While they were here we played some more Boggle, and sadly, since it's their game, we gave it back to them. So ends our Boggle playing days. *tear*

The other day my good friend Perkins said, "You guys don't have a TV, do you?" I said, "No, we don't." She said, "How do you watch movies then?" I said, "Umm... we don't." "Oh," she said, and kind of hesitated. "That's sad." But really, who has time for movies when you spend all of your free time playing BOGGLE?!?!? Seriously though, the truly sad thing is that I love this game, yet I am SO BAD at it. I lose every time. No matter how many people are playing, I almost always come in last. My words are rarely more than 3 letters long and they are always really dumb, and I always forget to pluralize them if the option is there. I'm so dumb!

The point of saying that Anja only slept an hour and a half today is that now she's sleeping again. This is very important because it means we're able to go out to Joannie's parents' house and play games with them!!!!!!!! I'm really excited about this. Rumor has it our friend Matt is going to be there too. Matt and Joannie are Anja's godparents! Also, Jill and Patrick are going to be there with their cutie-patootie little boys!! I'm very excited. I'll be sure to take pictures.

Last night I did get a phone message inviting us over to the party at St. Boniface, and this made me very happy. Because even if we couldn't go because Anja was already asleep and we were almost asleep, at least they thought of us! At least they cheered my name in the background! It made me feel loved. Yay!

I'll try to get pictures up soon. I got my camera back from my parents' house the other day and have been a little bit snap-happy...