Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Anonymous Letter-Writer: REVEAL YOURSELF!!

I recieved the following letter the other day in the mail:

I stumbled onto your blog about a year ago. I have a couple questions for you.

Why is Anja still on the bottle. She's way past that.

Also, you have created her sleeping problems. Why is she able to get to your bed in the middle of the night? If she couldn't get out of bed, she would go back to sleep. It's normal to wake up during the night. Everyone does it. She needs to learn to get herself back to sleep. She may cry but she'll learn that it's not acceptable to wake everyone up because she's awake She should be put to bed awake. (even at naptime) She's way past being driven to get her to go to sleep. It may take several nights of crying by both you and Anja but she needs to learn.

No greeting, no signature, no return address and no city stamp on the envelope, though it had been through the post office. (Does that mean it's local?) Hm. Now I realize that some people would respond to this note charitably, maybe assuming that they had good intentions when writing this. But I just can't bring myself to respond that way.

So, Captain Anonymous, in response to your "couple questions" I have a few of my own for you:

First of all: How creepy can you be?!? Why did you have to send me a letter in the mail rather than make a comment on my blog? I mean, REALLY! Did you go to stalker school or something?? It isn't as if your thoughts were too lengthy for a blog comment. It isn't as if you were trying to befriend me. You CAN make comments on my blog anonymously, you know. You are a creepy, creepy person.
Second: Um, helloooooo. I don't think I need to be told that things aren't quite right around here regarding nighttime routines. How stupid do you think I am? I read the handouts they give at the doctors office; I've read sleeping books and parenting books and pamphlets and websites. I am perfectly aware that my daughter's sleep habits are not normal for a baby her age. Thanks for your [bizarre style of] concern, though.

Third: Have you considered a hobby? Maybe whittling, piano, or Tae-Kwon-Do? Something that doesn't involve writing weird anonymous letters to authors of random blogs you read. You are criticizing me because my daughter's sleep habits are abnormal? If you want an example of "not normal" take a look at your own recreational activities.

And finally: Who the heck are you?!? Do we know each other? Are you an old school mate? Someone from my musician days? A friend from a past life? Do you live in my town? Or are you a complete stranger as well as a complete lunatic?

I am not upset by your letter. I'm mildly freaked out that someone tracked me down from my blog and sent me a hand-written letter (in pencil! Who even uses pencil past 4th grade?!) I'm also not sorry for responding here with mean sarcasm. I think you deserve it after sending out such accusations and unwanted advice to someone whose shoes you've not walked in, and not even having the courage to sign your name at the bottom.

But I'll answer your silly questions. Anja is still on the bottle because we want her to be. Her "bot bot" is a comfort to her. Had Greta not come along when she did, Anja would probably still be breastfeeding (I'm sure you have your problems with that too.) Sleep is a difficult thing for Anja, and it always has been. I know that she is well past typical bottle age, but if having a bottle before going to sleep makes falling asleep more of a comforting experience and less of a frustrating one, then we're willing to let her have that habit.

Thanks for rubbing it in, but I'm well aware that I created her sleeping habits. Maybe when you have a baby who is screaming inconsolably night after night for the first four months of her life, and then you discover that riding in the car miraculously puts her to sleep in only a few minutes, maybe then you'll understand where our habits began. (And maybe when that happens to you I'll web-stalk you and send you mean letters!)

As for sleeping in her own bed, I'm pretty sure I've been clear about our sleeping arrangement on my blog over the past 18 months. We had intended to have The Baby's room downstairs, but of course, she started out sleeping in a bassinet in our bedroom, upstairs. By the time she outgrew her bassinet, we not only were used to having her upstairs, but we didn't feel comfortable having her so far away from us. It's not like her bedroom would just be down the hall... it would be downstairs and at the opposite end of the house. If we had a fire, we would likely not be able to get to her in that room. So we set up a bed for her in our bedroom, right next to ours. For a long time she did stay in her own bed, and I would just spend half of my night in that bed with her. But eventually she learned that our bed is really a lot more comfortable, and it must be awfully nice to be able to snuggle up between the two people you love most in the world and fall asleep. A lot of nights she still does stay in her own bed. But we do often invite her into ours, especially when it's cold. I do not think that everyone should be in the practice of The Family Bed. I also don't think people should criticize it too harshly. I think it works for some people and not for others, and it's a family decision that isn't anyone else's place to judge.

Aside from that, Anja is at a funny age. She is really still a baby, but she is such a little person that it's hard sometimes not to think of her as just a regular little kid. But still... she's only 18 months old (not even!) and she can't be reasoned with. We can't tell her to count sheep. We can't explain to her the importance of sleep, or of sleeping in her own bed. We tried countless different methods to try to teach her how to sleep, and nothing worked. Until she's a little older and able to be talked to as a person and not just taught as a baby, I'm afraid we've missed our chance. And until then, we have chosen to put Anja's sleep as a daily fact higher on our priority list than whether Anja stays in her own bed all night. Of course she's too old to be driven to sleep! But a drive in the car puts her to sleep in minutes, and that is more important to us these days than whether she falls asleep by herself, in her own bed. We'll have plenty of time to work on technicalities later. For now, as long as she's getting an adequate amount of sleep, we are happy.

And one more thing, Creepy McCreep: I am very happy with the choices we've made so far. Believe it or not, I enjoy my babies, and I like snuggling them to sleep. Before Greta was born I LOOOOOOVED my afternoon naps with Anja. And I love having my whole little family in one room together at night. When Greta wakes up and decides she'd like to have an hour or so of wakeful time, I love walking around the bedroom with her and being able to see my whole little family all at once. Often Anja is snuggled underneath Martin's arm and I can't tell you how many times I've been so tempted to run and get my camera, and the only thing that stops me is that I know it would wake both of them up. I think our current sleeping situation is good for our family. Everything about it might change in a few years. Who knows if and when it will not be the right setup for us anymore. But for now, it's perfect, and who are you to criticize it?

Besides, what Martin and I have always said anyway is that if Anja were a good sleeper on top of everything else, she would be the absolute image of perfection, and nobody is that lucky.

Monday, April 27, 2009

On Friday night Martin sent me out to Vienna alone to get a hot drink and read by myself for awhile. It was just what I needed after a week of no naps and day-long screaming bouts from Greta.

On Saturday Martin went shooting and I stupidly waited until after he was gone to try to put Anja down for a nap--so of course, it didn't happen. When he got home he called his sister over to hang out with Anja and we went out to Pepe's for drinks and taquitos! A festive little date and Greta fit right in while wearing her Chiquita Banana Lady dress.

On Sunday we were unable to get everyone ready and out the door in time for the 7:30 or the 9:30, so we went to the 10:00 mass at St. Ann's. The girls wore not-quite-matching white embroidered dresses.

Who doesn't love a baby yawn? For the rest of the day Sunday we did yard work, and took a couple of walks.

It seems Greta has slowly gotten her days and nights completely backwards. It's too bad since there is nothing I can do to keep her awake during the day and nothing I can do to get her to sleep during the night. At least last night we made it fun by brewing a pot of [decaf] coffee and hanging out on our cozy roofed patio while it rained.

Anja looks a little dopey in this picture since you can't actually SEE the teeth she's showing off. There's another funny picture that I can't find anymore of her lifting the cat off the ground by his tail!!!
I will post another MUCH more interesting post as soon as I get the chance to sit down and write it. Unfortunately, when I go to my "edit posts" section, I look at the list and they're all labeled "draft." I really do try to keep my blog updated... it just never happens.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

April 23, 2009

Dear Diary,

Today Greta cried all day. Anja cried for the whole morning, then decided she'd skip her nap. She was miraculously happy and patient with me all afternoon. Then Greta screamed all evening.

It was fun.


This is what I would've written in my journal today if I were in 1st-4th grades. For some reason, after almost every sentence in my early journaling times, I would add the phrase "it was fun." So I thought I'd add that in to today's diary entry above, just for laughs. But really, who's laughing?

I haven't cleaned my bathroom since Holy Saturday.

Time for bed.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Gussied Up

I don't know why she keeps making that weird face for the camera. Now she will go and find my camera and bring it to me while making that weird face. That is NOT her normal smile.

Yesterday after lunch, Anja got dressed up. Now, I'll admit that I am the one who put the shoes on her. But the beads are a daily accessory (she got a strand of purple beads on Mardi Gras when we were out someplace and she's worn them almost every day since then--she's worn them so much that they aren't purple anymore! For Easter my sister-in-law brought over a whole bunch more and I think they ALL got left at our house... and Anja finds them all over the place and will wear as many as she can find.) and the hat she found herself. The dress just happened to be what she was wearing, and a perfect match with the rest of her get-up.

So far this week I've been lucky with naptime. Yesterday I took Greta to her one-month checkup (happy 1-month birthday to her today!) and when we got home it was naptime so my mom stayed and held Greta while I put Anja down. Sooooo nice. Today Anja woke up extra early so she was ready for a nap by 11:30, which is conveniently when Greta fell asleep as well. Both have been asleep ever since! And I have been wasting time on this dumb computer.

This morning Martin subscribed me to Mothering Magazine. What a treat!

Yesterday I made the most delicious carrot soup from a recipe I got from my sister-in-law. She brought it to our Easter gathering. Maybe I will post it on The Cooking Blog if I get time. With it we had beer bread, a recipe I got from my friend Mary, and the easiest thing to make in the whole wide world. However, more than one slice will make you feel like death. We've changed around our evening routine a bit since Greta was born. In the past I've always tried to have dinner on the table, or very nearly there, by the time Martin gets home from work. I found this task to be absolutely impossible once Greta arrived. Martin has always, up until now, worked out after dinner, usually while I was putting Anja down for bed. But now he comes home and works out right away while I make dinner, then we all eat, then Anja goes to bed. And it's perfect because then Martin is there when I need his help. Since we've made this change in routine, we've been having better dinners (which have turned out successfully, another important point) and I think Martin has missed fewer workouts. So everybody's happy!

Another reason to be happy is that Anja has gone down at home TWO nights in a row without having to be driven to sleep. And last night both babies only woke up ONCE! It's only slightly annoying that Greta's internal clock has scheduled her to go to sleep around 11:00pm. That's pretty late for someone who'd like to be getting up early enough to have a shower and a cup of coffee before the kidders wake.... which they do, shortly after I am up.

I think Greta is a pretty baby, but I'm having a hard time getting a picture of her prettiness. This is the closest I've come, and even in this, the color is weird. She has such a nice darkness about her. Oh my gosh! Did I ever mention on here that she has a Mongolian Spot? Just like her Antonio cousins! The pediatrician at the hospital told us to look for it to go away in a couple of weeks and if it didn't, it was a Mongolian Spot.... well, she still has it! So if I'm ever being accused of child abuse, I'll know not to have my sister as someone to speak for me... if they looked at her girls' bottoms, they'd find the same thing!

I am constantly amazed by the differences in Anja and Greta as newborns. For one thing, Greta is wearing clothes at one month of age that Anja wasn't able to wear until she was at least two or three months old, and even then they started out a little baggy. Greta looks completely different, except for the square forehead and maybe their eyes. It'll be interesting to see how she changes in these first few months and whether or not they end up looking more like each other.

I wish this picture could be bigger... finally, Anja looking like Anja for the camera! This is her playing hide-and-seek behind the chair. And this is Anja cracking up:

Nothing more to say from The Ghetto...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Work of Art

Look at this! Two days in a row of posting! Lucky, lucky me.

I didn't put any captions in with the pictures, but most of them explain themselves except for the first one, which calls for a little gushing. Anja gets more hilarious and cute every day, and now she's started really playing with her baby doll. She's always loved it and carried it around with her, but now she PLAYS with it. She "straps it into the carseat" by throwing it in, messing with the straps, messing with the visor, and looking very pleased with herself; she "changes its diaper" by throwing it (usually by its head or leg) onto the changing table, and putting a diaper on top of it; she "bundles it" by putting it on the floor, dropping a blanket (or t-shirt, or pair of pajamas) on top of it, then picking up the whole pile and walking around smiling and patting it. IT'S SO FREAKING CUTE. I almost can't stand it. And she spends all of her time doing this. She hardly looks at her books anymore, and she's uninterested in all of her animals. Her life is taken up by this baby doll and caring for it. It's adorable!!!!!! So anyway, in the first picture in my last post, I was keeping Greta happy by patting her across my lap, and Anja promptly joined me with her baby doll. I love it!!

I don't think moms are given enough credit for the amount of bodily fluids they wear on a daily basis. Today Anja took a spill in the kitchen and hit her forehead on a cabinet door. I felt bad for her because we were getting ready for her nap so she was already tired, and it sounded like it hurt. So I picked her up and cuddled her for a long time--not knowing that when she hit her head, she'd bit her lip and was bleeding all over!!! (Nothing shocks like pulling back your baby to check for a bump on her forehead, only to see her whole chin covered in blood!) It was not a bad cut, it stopped bleeding in about three seconds, but her lip is all puffy now. Poor baby. But now I have blood all over the shoulder of my favorite sweater and a small spot on my only white camisole. Does anyone have any advice for getting blood out of clothing????? IT'S MY FAVORITE SWEATER!!!

Last night I looked at my calendar and saw that Greta had a doctors appointment at 9:00 this morning. Whoops!! So at 9:30 at night I called my mom and luckily she was free and willing to come watch Anja while I took Greta to her one-month appointment. Both girls were up by 7:30, making the morning slightly hectic (Luckily Martin and I had woken up early!) and I was five minutes late to the appointment. But when I got there they told me my appointment is TOMORROW! And it isn't even at 9:00, it's at 11:00! I am such a moron! I have no idea how I got mixed up... I came home and checked the appointment card, and sure enough, it said tomorrow at 11. On my calendar: Today at 9. Grrr. I wish I were not so bad about time and days and everything else. I'm one of those people who's going to get mixed up and miss my own funeral.

Last week Greta being awake made naptimes for Anja a struggle. I'm lucky to still have Martin coming home every day at 2:00... last week on the nice days, we were able to take short walks as a family! An hour lunch break isn't much, but when it's from 2:00-3:00 it makes the rest of the day go quickly, and it's so nice to see him in the middle of the day. Today was easy; I think both girls are still worn out from the weekend!

I've been making bread lately, and really enjoying it. Last week I made two loaves, but as soon as I took a bite I realized I'd forgotten the salt. So it isn't very good bread, but my mom suggested I make it into bread pudding! So I've got bits of bread toasting in the oven right now and we'll be having that for dessert after some yummy chicken and noodles for dinner.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Big Day for the Schaps!

I'm finding one of the hardest thing about having two babies is finding enough time to blog!! Sadness!!!!! I can't tell you how many times I started and re-started the same post this past week, only to leave it open and unfinished on the computer for the rest of the day. But now it's the weekend--and oh, what a weekend!

It isn't often that we decide to pack up and do an all-day outing, since we've had Anja, especially outings that take us far from home. We usually plan our days around her nap and break up our activities accordingly. This is not to say that we never have any fun, or never do anything... we just usually do things that keep us in total control, so as to give Anja an opportunity to nap, no matter when she needs one. This being said, yesterday was quite the day for us!! Martin competed in his first Power Lifting meet yesterday. It was up in Winchester, Indiana, right near Muncie. My parents came up as well, and it ended up being very fun. My parents REALLY enjoyed themselves at the meet! I was so glad too, because I felt a little guilty that they came... I mean, lifting weights is not the most exciting of sports to watch, and I sort of felt like I'd forced them into going by maybe making it sound like I wouldn't be able to go unless they went too... so I was really glad they had so much fun. The meet ended up lasting a lot longer than we'd expected, which was fine; my parents and I went out to lunch with the girls, and on the drive back Anja fell asleep, so she DID get a nap. Greta slept through the entire day, and still slept miraculously well through the night! After the meet (Martin left after he was finished, we didn't stay for the very end or the awards) we drove to Muncie to the Minnetrista Center, which is located right on the land where the Ball Brothers lived, evidently. We saw the "Can It!" exhibit, which was very interesting, and another exhibit they had was "Make it Move" which was for kids, though Martin got way more of a kick out of it than Anja did. The only time everyone got grumpy was between the Minnetrista outing and going to mass at 5:30. Everyone was tired and hungry, and Martin and I had ginormous headaches. At Mass (an interesting mass... very interesting...) Martin kept falling asleep. (Over the past two or three nights we'd only been getting about 4 hours of sleep, as well.) Finally, he took Greta to the car and he slept there with her. I'm so glad he did! When we were finished we all went out to dinner at this place called "Amazing Joe's Grill" and it was really fun!! I'm so glad Martin slept--and that my parents stopped for some Excedrin on the way to the restaurant--because we were both feeling much better by dinner and it was a lot of fun. Anja ate and ate, Greta slept and slept, my mom and I had margaritas, and it was a really fun time! By the time we were finished with dinner, it was nearly bedtime for the girls (a good thing) so we dressed them in jammies for the night and took off toward home. Anja fell asleep pretty much instantly, even with Greta screaming her head off for the first twenty miles. Finally, we pulled off at a McDonalds and got Greta out and just hung out with her, letting her be awake and happy. I don't remember what time we got home, but this morning we all slept in until 8:30!! What a treat!!

Our friend Perkins was in town this weekend, so she came over around 9:30 and we all went to Vienna for breakfast. Nothing starts your day like Quiche in the Morning and a Cafe Au Lait! So festive! And for the first time, I dressed our girls in matching dresses. !!!!!!! They look SO CUTE. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten a picture of them together yet, and as the day goes on Anja is just getting dirtier and dirtier.

After Anja is awake and fed we're going out to get flowers for the house. We've decided to only show the front of our house (Living room and Dining Room) for the Home Tour. With only a few weekends left to work on it, we're a little bit overwhelmed. I had wanted to show the kitchen too, but looking at it now there is A LOT we'd have to do to it to make it presentable for a tour, and the thing is, I want to show it because I love my kitchen... but I love my kitchen because it's homey to us. Our fridge is covered in pictures and animal magnets and keepsakes. And the stuff that makes it look junky (like the Cheerios box on top of the pantry) is stuff that lives there. I wouldn't know where else to put it! So we won't show the kitchen. *sniff* But that's okay, because the front two rooms are the two that we KNOW are the original part of the house, so it sort of makes sense in a way to just show them. And they are easy to clean up and they are cute. Well, at least I think they are cute.

And we'll also work hard to get the outside looking really good. That's what we're trying to do today; Martin's been clearing out The Jungle and I'm going to pot and plant flowers for the porch, and also for the backyard, even though nobody will be seeing that on the tour.

**this post is old, but i don't care! i'm posting it anyway!!**

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Calling In the Reserves

What a morning. Martin and I accidentally slept in until 7:00, meaning he had to be beyond speedy to make it to work on time and I wasn't able to get a shower before he left. That always makes my mornings slightly more complicated than when I'm able to shower without having to listen for babies. Shortly after he left, I went upstairs to check on sqeaking Greta and found Anja wide awake, playing on the bed! (Greta was still asleep, just having noisy dreams, I guess.) Anja and I went downstairs where I changed her explosive diaper and we had some breakfast together. Shortly after that, while Greta was still sleeping, Anja and I went into the bathroom and I attempted a shower. Oops! Silly me! I only got as far as washing and rinsing my hair before that familiar squawking (more like a banchee cry) came through the monitor. I dried off as fast as I could while she screamed and screamed, and then ran upstairs in a towel with dripping hair to rescue her. She was very hungry, but didn't fall back asleep... and so began our morning.

It wasn't that they were grumpy--on the contrary, they were both very happy. But Greta didn't want me to put her down. She NEVER wants me to put her down. And I kept wanting her to fall back asleep so I could at least change into something other than a bath towel and maybe comb my hair a little bit. But she never did. Well, she would doze off sometimes, but as soon as I would put her down (I tried various places) she'd wake up right away, screaming. At noon Anja started going to the fridge asking for her bot-bot. At 12:30 I thought Greta was asleep enough for me to put Anja down... wrong! The look on Anja's face when her baby sister started screaming was priceless... but sad, too. Anja so badly wanted a nap. When I took the bottle away to go get Greta, she wailed and screamed for it. (Of course, the one time Anja WANTS to sleep, I'm unable to easily give it to her!) We tried a few more times, but every time I thought Greta was asleep, I guess I was wrong. Finally, at 1:30, when both of them were so far beyond tired that they were screaming their heads off, I called my mom.

Thankfully she wasn't doing anything at that very moment. She came right down (I mean RIGHT down--I think she was here within the minute!) and held Greta while I put Anja down. She fell asleep right away. I feel so bad for her when she is so tired. BUT! Thanks to my mom, she got a nap! Martin was coming home at 2:00, but lately his appointments have been running into his lunch hour, and I didn't want to risk him being late, or not having time to come home, and Anja missing out on her nap completely. So, thanks Mama!

And speaking of Anja's naps--she is back to taking them!! Praise the Lord!! Not only that, but she's letting ME put her down in HER downstairs bedroom. I just sit on the twin bed and rock her and then put her in the pile of clean laundry that is always on the bed, and she sleeps like a log. And suddenly, my life is SO much easier again!! In fact, right now both girls are asleep, and it's been a long time since that's happened.

This Saturday Martin is competing in a weight lifting meet up in Winchester, IN. Evidently this town is very near Muncie. This morning I was reading my new Country Living magazine (which came in the mail a week ago, but I haven't had time to look at it until today) and there was a little mini-article on Ball mason jars. Turns out this is the 125th year of those jars and something I didn't know was that Ball State University is named after the brothers who created those famous canning jars. (Although they didn't actually invent the screw-on top jars--that was John Mason, whose patent had an expiration date.) And so, up at Ball State there is an exhibit called "Can It!" and it's all about those jars. Since we're going up there on Saturday, I REALLY want to go to this exhibit. Unfortunately, Martin doesn't know much about the layout of this meet because he's never competed in weight lifting before. This being said, I was a little bit nervous about going to the meet with the two babies anyway, since there's a chance I would be by myself with them, in a strange, loud gymnasium, for an entire day. Talk about YIKES! But this "Can It!" exhibit could save the day!!! You see, I told my mom about it, heh heh heh... if she and my dad decide they want to go, I will not only have an emergency escape home (their van) but I'll also get to see Martin lift without being nervous about the day, and I'll get to see this exhibit!

Other than that, I'm sporting my "Homeless Person" look today. Here are some random pictures from Easter and the week before: Anja having a snack at Ooma's house.

Greta, going to Sunday Mass for the first time!

Greta and her Oompa

Anja sharing her pretty headband with her sister.

Anja and her godmother, Auntie Joannie!!

Martin and Anja doing some very important newspaper work at Bella's birthday party

Gracie, Anja, and Christopher. Gracie was SO MAD at me for making her be in this picture.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hoppy Easter!!!

We had a great Easter! Anja woke up earlier than usual, but we managed to make it to mass fifteen minutes ahead of time. Not bad! We all looked okay, and my parents sat with us, then my sister's family came down from where they'd been sitting in the choir loft and sort of sat with us too. Greta slept the whole time, which was perfect because I knew when she woke up she would be a hungry hippo. And she was!!! But luckily, she didn't wake up until we were leaving afterward. The St. Boniface 9:30 Easter mass is my absolute favorite mass of the year. It's better than Christmas. It's soooooooo wonderful, with all the flowers and the trumpets, and today since it was such a sunny Easter Sunday, it was even better. It really felt like Easter!! And did I mention how lovely our little girlies looked???

It's funny, I'm realizing how different it is to have two children compared to one. It's not so much that you forget to do stuff, but there just literally isn't time. Greta never got a bath because I never got a free minute to give her one. We worked all day on Saturday baking and and cleaning (with the exception of a family walk across the bridge,) and I never found the time to bathe Greta, or to clip and clean Anja's fingernails. It's been such an unexpected change, this having no time! And it can really end up being kind of embarrassing sometimes... like this morning when I kept not having time to put on a slip, so now half the parish knows that I wore Christmas underwear on Easter. Oops!

After church we went up to my parents' house for brunch. Except it wasn't so much brunch as it was dinner at 2:00 in the afternoon. (Much better--I think breakfast food is gross.) We had turkey and green beans and mashed potatoes... YUUUUM YUM!! I made a loaf of blueberry bread, which is the same as the strawberry bread I made last week, just with blueberries. I was happy because they were blueberries I had in my freezer from last summer's Farmers Markets, so it was good to get to use them. It was the last of my frozen Farmers Market fruit.... but in less than a month, we'll start that all over again! This year I'm going to be better about freezing stuff for the winter months.

Aaaanyway.... it was fun, except for the part where PeterXavier choked on the egg yolk, and after an afternoon up there we came back to our house for the Schap side get-together. I'd made a gorgeous loaf of Challah bread, a green bean casserole (that I put in the oven and promptly forgot about, so it came out a little dark... but it didn't end up mattering because then I put it on the counter to cool and forgot about it again until everyone was finished eating,) and "oven fries" which I guess is what my sister calls the potato wedges baked in olive oil with seasoning (which I learned from Joannie!) It was a good time. Now I feel a little over-sugared and I am beginning to have my doubts about losing any baby fat so long as we have the bowl of Easter candy sitting there in the dining room and all those soft drinks in the fridge... but whatever. I love Easter and I love candy.

It's been so long since I've posted that I have some very outdated pictures that I'd intended to put on here in a timely fashion. Like this one of my gorgeous goddaughter and neice, Bella, on her FIRST birthday! She's in the sink after making a wonderful mess of her birthday cupcakes.

Don't expect to hear from me, unless I get a lucky free moment this week!! I'm not getting my hopes up. Happy Easter!
Okay, I hate it when I post the wrong picture and then can't get it to delete. Ugh.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Time? What's that?

Mostly I have zero time to do things like blog. But in the few evening minutes I have been able to snag, I've still not been able to do anything other than quickly skim other people's recent posts. It has been a veeerrrryyyy crazy week around here. And as I've learned from attempting to make posts on three different occasions, I just don't have time to blog about it all. So sad! So I'll just hit the main points.

Greta is a delightful baby. I'd started telling myself that maybe I was mis-remembering the Anja newborn days, that maybe she wasn't that bad. But now I realize that it's not true. Greta is a normal newborn. She cries when she wants something: food, diaper, or sleep. And I almost always know what she wants, and the only time she keeps crying is when she wants sleep, and even that almost never lasts more than an hour at a time and is mostly contained to the evening. It's amazing to feel like I've succeeded in filling her needs. It's also amazing that she will just lie in one place and happily watch the world go by. The only unfortunate thing is that she doesn't like her swing--the one thing Anja DID like--and that makes it hard to be in the kitchen, because that is the safest place for her in that room. She really prefers to lie flat on her back and will lie on the changing table happily for as long as you'll let her. She usually sleeps like an old dog (except for last night when she was sleeping for about 10-minute intervals from 1:00 to 6:00) which is also great. And she is so cuddly! Basically Greta is everything in a newborn that Anja was not, and Martin and I can't help but imagine she'll be a terror or a toddler since Anja was a very difficult newborn but is the best toddler I could possibly imagine.

Okay, I know that some people REALLY like the newborn phase, and I think it's fine, but I am REALLY enjoying this toddler thing. Anja is finally old enough to "help" me cook!!!!!!! We made strawberry bread one day last week and then we made brownies the other day as well. Also last night she helped me put together some tuna salad. Really she just stands on a chair and eats her Cheerios off the counter and watches me do everything while sometimes sneaking tastes of whatever it is we're making. She is SO CUTE. I'm going to make her an apron as soon as I find the time to do that.... which will probably be never, becaaaauuussee......

Anja has recently started refusing her naps! Two days in a row she's not gone down. The first day I kind of freaked out about it, but it ended up not mattering--she was a delight all day long anyway. The next day (yesterday) she was a little grumpier, but still not TOO bad. I'm worried that this is going to be a permanent thing. This is a very scary thought. I NEED NAPTIME. When else am I supposed to clean my bathroom!? Seriously, the idea of Anja not taking a nap means VERY BAD THINGS for my already-less-than-desireable housekeeping.

Yesterday my mom called and asked me if I was going to church. I said, "No. I'm not going." And for the first time ever, I didn't go to church on Good Friday. I would've attempted it, if I hadn't tried to go to the library with both of them a few evenings before and even though I was only gone ten minutes, it was a disaster and Martin met us outside the library to help us get back home. Had it been a walk-able day yesterday, I probably would've at least attempted to go to church, but the fact that it was also cold and rainy made me kind of not want to take Greta out anyway, especially on a walk. So I was completely unholy on what should've been the most metitative day of the year.

Tomorrow is Easter and we'll celebrate with my side of the family in the afternoon at my aunt's house and with Martin's side of the family here at our house in the evening. Since tomorrow is a full day, I have to do all my preparations today. Part of those preparations include making Challah!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I survived the first week alone with two babies! The days are not so hard... it's still just the nights that are horrible. I expect someday Anja will learn to sleep, I only wish I knew when that day would come. Hopefully before she goes to college. I'd feel awfully cheated if she didn't start sleeping through the night until after she left home.

I know that everyone has an opinion about The Family Bed. My opinion is generally that I have no opinion. I figure it works for some people, it doesn't work for others. In our house, we have a Sometimes Family Bed. It happens spontaneously. This morning I woke up to Greta wanting to eat and I noticed that Anja was snuggled up between Martin and me. I fed Greta and she and I both dozed off, and when I woke up again, there we all were, the whole family, tucked up in one bed. It was cozy and warm and really nice... until Greta threw up on me and that kind of killed the moment.

Eventually we all did get out of bed and I made pancakes for breakfast thinking "Anja really likes pancakes." Turns out, she doesn't like pancakes at all and she wanted her plain old Cheerios for breakfast, just like she has every day. So Martin ate most of the pancakes and Anja had Cheerios.

Then Martin and Anja went to CVS to pick up Anja's THIRD round of antibiotics for this horrible ear infection that now has jumped from the left ear to the right ear. I ask you, how does a baby get an ear infection WHILE taking antibiotics?!?!? This poor girl is turning out just like her parents. I hope Greta has a better time of it. Ugh. I also know that people have opinions about antibiotics for ear infections, and I do have my own opinions about that, which is why I give her antibiotics in the first place. Maybe I'm wrong, but I just can't change that particular opinion.

When they got home, we all went for a family walk up to the Art Museum. I carried Greta in a colorful wrap and recieved many compliments. I think it's funny that so many people notice the wrap carriers and comment on how great they seem, yet so few people actually use them.

We got a package in the mail from Auntie Joannie yesterday!!!!!!!!!!! It contained all sorts of deliciousness including LaVazza coffee and SEA SALT CHOCOLATE. Since my two favorite foods are salt and chocolate, you can imagine how happy I was to see that. (And I was even happier to eat it!)

I think we are going to take another walk this afternoon over to Great Clips and get ourselves some haircuts. I don't know if that'll actually work out, but that's the plan anyway.

Today I ordered my vegetables from the little girl next door who's school does an annual plant sale. That's where I got them last year too. I'm very excited! And evidently my dad bought a small tiller. I'm excited to start working in my garden. I'm excited also to buy flowers for the yard and get it cleaned up and ready for spring. Our yard looked so lovely last year for a short time.... Hopefully this summer I won't be pregnant and will be able to keep everything going through the entire season!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pink is My Favorite Color

This morning I nursed a newborn while bathing a toddler. I think I might actually have become and official mom.

I've also figured out the trick to having two babies: Don't expect to get anything done. Ever. As long as I wake up every day and tell myself brightly, "I will get absolutely nothing done today!" my day is fabulous. It's when I start making plans that things go awry. But that's okay! Because then when I DO get things done, I feel SO GOOD about myself!! And to be honest, I'm having a relatively easy time of it. Martin is the most awesomest person on the planet, Greta is the opposite newborn baby that Anja was (a good thing) and I am recovering from abdominal surgery as if it never happened at all. I am keeping up with all of the laundry (at least the washing and drying... not so much the folding and putting-away,) I am able to easily reach the sink again for the first time in four months, which almost makes washing dishes fun, and last night I even made dinner!!

Nights are a little bit tough. It doesn't help that Martin and I have both fallen into the habit of thinking, "what's the point in even going to bed?" so we stay up until midnight and then are up all night with both babies, and then we sleep through Martin's alarm and the mornings are rather hectic.

And other than that, the only really tough part is that I'm still not allowed to pick up Anja. This is terribly annoying, mostly because I feel so good. I went in on Monday to have my [suture?] [stuture?] [what is that word?] taken out and I thought for sure the nurse would tell me I was okay to carry on with my old life. But no! She told me I'm under the same silly restrictions until my 6-week postpartum checkup. Gee whiz. And the only reason I'm following the rules is because if I do carry Anja around and then I hemorrhage and die, I don't want to be blamed for it. Well, okay, if I actually died I guess I wouldn't care, but you get the idea. Plus, Martin probably isn't so keen on the idea of raising two small children without a wife to help out a little.

Look at our Little Bird! Doesn't she just have a beak of a nose?!? Funnily, this is pretty much what I always imagined our children to look like. She is much darker than Anja, much more Jewish looking. We just can't figure out where Anja got her fair skin and red hair.

Sometime last week when Martin was still home from work we took a family walk to Kathy's Kandies and got chocolates to celebrate our new family member. We are much bolder this time around about taking the new baby out into the world, although on Sunday we still went to mass separately. I think this week we'll go as a family again. We really hate going separately, and I went by myself! I haven't been to mass by myself since the Sunday after Anja was born. It was a little bit lonely. After awhile you get used to having at least one of your family members around at all times.
I've been drinking a lot of coffee lately. It seems to have absolutely no effect on Greta's sleep. She is a good sleeper so far.

Last night we split a beer. It's good to be back in our old ways of alcoholism. (Totally joking. I don't think splitting a beer once a week or so makes either of us an alcoholic.)

I'm looking forward to getting out and walking again!! My sister came over the other day and she asked if I was able to go for walks. I said yes because I am, but I hadn't thought about pulling the stroller up and down our steps. It'd be worth it though--I am so ready to get out and start burning off baby fat!!!! I am determined to wear every one of my cute skirts this summer--EVERY ONE of them!!!

But in the mean time, I have loads of cute post-preggo shirts to wear. And now: Our Pie.

She is showing me her teeth. I'll post a few pictures of the two of them together in a little bit.