Sunday, August 30, 2009


The other evening I came into the kitchen and found Martin asleep and snoring on the kitchen floor.

I shouldn't be surprised, as we are approaching the two-year mark of not sleeping.

Last night I cut Martin'sn hair. Not the best haircut I've given him, but it wasn't awful. At least, it didn't need a buzzing afterward.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Movers and the Shakers

Everybody's on the move these days. The Cooks have left us. It was VERY sad. It's weird to think that I won't see Tara watering her flowers, or Harry and Zoe coming home from school, or Doug running to meet the bus in the morning. They will have a wonderful adventure in New York... I only wish we could've packed ourselves into their luggage and gone with them!

Another mover is our Greta Bird. She is soooooo clooooooose to crawling. She is never still anymore, she always wants to be on the ground, wiggling, rocking, learning the crawling motions.
There isn't really much news. Tonight Martin and I were eating country ribs and reminiscing about our courtship. Martin used to bake me things and bring them to my apartment. I'm sure I've mentioned that on here before. We were talking about these specific cookies that he made for me once and it really made me want them.... chocolatey and raspberry-y and absolutely delectible. Martin spent all of his time and money trying to win me over and I never answered or returned his phone calls. Oh well--it all turned out ok in the end, I suppose!

Oh, here's something funny. We went down to K.Dee's tonight (it being Thursday and all) but we were too late to bother with instruments, so I just sang one song with them, and that was it. But afterward, Kim invited Martin out to the BrewCo with all of them to try the new beer they have that is brewed with K.Dee's coffee. Strange concept, but Martin said it was really good. Anyway, the point of my story is that MY musician friends invited HIM out for beers. HELLO!? What about me?! Kim said I had to let him go with them, in appreciation for him being such a good husband and father. I guess he's right, but STILL.

Anyway, I'm kidding about being jealous and/or bitter... I actually had an enormous headache and being social and having a beer was about the last thing I wanted to do. I am so glad that Martin went though because he had a really good time and he got to hang out with all of my musician friends and his own friend Gerry (who is really more his friend than mine because they talk 2nd Ammendment, etc.) and he came home really happy, and that's always fun to see. Plus, he NEVER goes out without me. And everybody loves the BrewCo. The funniest thing about him going out was this: at the end of the evening, after Gerry had left, the waitress came to talk to Martin. He didn't really know why... and she was telling him about Gerry's bill. She offered to give Martin the reciept to take to Gerry saying, "cause he's your dad, right?" Haha! Did she not notice that Gerry is a million feet tall, and Martin is tiny!? Funny, funny stuff.

If anyone read this post last night or early this morning, you'll see that I've now added some pictures. Oh! Some more moving and shaking that's gone on here, is with this cabinet that I snatched up from the Cook's house the other night while I was helping Tara clean. Funnily enough, I'd been admiring it during one of the times I was there to water their plants while they were in Utah. It's just this wooden cabinet with "glass"paned doors that are really plastic, but it is so cute. So I took it. And I put it in my kitchen, next to our blue shelves, and it looked REALLY BAD. And I knew it looked bad, but I didn't know where else to put it, and it's not like it was just a useless piece of furniture; having it has allowed me to clear some of my messy kitchen counter! I moved some of my spices over there so that now my spice rack is much tidier and my countertop is less cluttered and dirty.

But last night while Martin was out with our friends, I had a fabulous idea to get rid of the pedistal that holds the CD player, which always falls over, and is a huge mess, and to put the cabinet there instead. So I did, and this is what I got:AND I LOVE IT!!! Martin commented that its new location makes our kitchen look much more cute and much less antique store. It really did look bad right against the blue shelves where it was before, and I knew it. I'm so glad I thought to move it. Now there are very few nasty areas of our kitchen. Always a good thing! (Notice the books on the bottom shelf of this cabinet. Those are to replace the torn paper bag full of books that sat in the doorway for months because they wouldn't all fit on the living room shelves. Also notice that the yellow CD player still has a home in its same spot--the back of the top two shelves are open, so the cord isn't even visible! Perfect!)

And now for some more pictures to please the eye and brain. Mary Grace and Greta--one day apart in age, and HOLDING HANDS!!!!!Anja looked so cute this day in her little green checked shirt and overalls. Greta's overalls are blue checked with little flowers on the bib pocket. I just HAD to take a thousand pictures...

This is my funny omlette that got suctioned into the lid. When I lifted the lid to fold the omlette--whoops! We laughed and laughed. And took a picture, of course.
The Cook and Schap girls: Ellie, Greta, Kenna, Anja, Zoe.
Anja during naptime.
Harry Cook took this picture of the girls and me. I know it's a little dark, but I still think it's a nice little picture.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


How weird.

I just left Tara's house. I said, "Bye Tara" and walked back to my own house, right next door. And that's the last time I'll ever do that.

But it was funny to see a car in the back of a moving van.

Friday, August 21, 2009

If I Needed You

I think it can be agreed upon that one of the best kinds of falling in love is when you've forgotten you're in love, but then something little reminds you, and it's like falling in love all over again for a second time. Tonight Martin and I fell in love again.... WITH TOWNES VAN ZANDT!!!!!! "Uncle" Kim brought us by a live Townes Van Zandt album this afternoon and it's awesome. Martin has a live album, but this one is waaaaaaay better. Townes can be a little bit like Bob Dylan at times... you know he can sing better than he does. And when he DOES sing better, it's amazing!

Greta is big enough for the exersaucer now, so even though it's 9:40 and she's still not in bed, I don't mind because she's happily playing right here beside me while I blog! In fact, right at this moment she's working the little plastic steering wheel pretty well.... driving already! They DO grow up too fast!

After I make this post, I'm going to create a new poll. I figure since Anja never sleeps anyway, I'd try some experimentation... of course now it's the crazy weekend, so my real trials will have to start next week.

This weekend is going to be nuts! We were going to go up to Chicago on Sunday, but that turns out to be the day we're celebrating my sister-in-law's birthday, so we switched Chicago to Saturday (tomorrow) and will do birthday stuff on Sunday. I'm very excited to meet our new nephew, Carlos. I was going to make banana bread, but I ran out of flour! So we're just going to take up some Farmers Market fruit. Good enough, especially if we get lucky with our watermelon choice. This morning Martin cut open the last of our watermelon stash and we ate half of it for breakfast. I put the other half on the kitchen table and Anja and I nibbled it away throughout the day. Delicious!

Then my mom brought me a chocolate milkshake that had been in the freezer. I put it in the fridge for not very long, and it might've been the best milkshake I've ever had.

We'll leave for Chicago sometime tomorrow morning. I've got everything we need packed up and waiting by the door. We'll have to make it to the grocery sometime tomorrow so that I can make a pie or a cake for TusaRebecca's birthday sometime before Sunday afternoon. I say "pie or cake" but I know I'll make a pie, because I love making pies. I saw in Country Living Magazine some pies with cut-out crust laid on top of the fruit, instead of a flat crust with designs cut out of it. Now I want to collect all sorts of weird cookie cutters and start topping my pies that way.

And speaking of cookie cutters, Anja found her little tin tea set under the bed today so we kind of had a tea party. Except she didn't quite understand the concept of a tea party, so she spent most of the time playing with her tea set in a bowl of water that had already been on the table, and trying to bury the tiny teacups in the watermelon that was also on the table. It made me really look forward to when the girls are older than they can really have little tea parties together and I will make them tiny cookies for them to share with their dolls and with Theodore, who will most definitely be the guest of honor at every tea party. (The other day I gave Anja a plate of hard boiled egg, and she and Theodore shared it! So cute!) For our wedding, Anne gave us a set of miniature cookie cutters that are shaped like leaves and acorns and pumpkins. They are sooooooooo cute, and I now have visions of tiny leaf-shaped snickerdoodles set out on tiny plates with tiny teacups full of a very small amount of apple juice. I CAN'T WAIT.

Today our dryer finally konked. It's lasted a good two years, but it's been a little unpredictable for the last couple of months and today it finally buzzed it's last buzz and didn't start up again. So on the way home from work Martin bought a clothes line at the hardware store. I can't figure out where we'll string it, as we only have one tree.... but I guess we could run it from the tree to one of the posts by the patio. We'll see tomorrow morning. I have to get it up soon because I've got two big loads of clothes, all wet, sitting in both the washer and the dryer, and I can practically smell the mold they are intending to grow soon if I don't get them out of there. It's funny that our dryer broke this week, because just on Sunday I was telling my mom about how in the winter, Martin puts my towels in the dryer for me while I'm in the shower so that I have a nice warm towel when I'm finished! It's a lovely treat that will now just be a lovely memory. Haha! Oh well.

I'm also taking baby steps to get the house in order, including the back room. The problem with my baby steps is that my real baby takes steps that are much bigger than mine, and also much more destructive. So even though I'm working hard, I don't really feel like I'm making much progress. However, I did organize one corner and one closet of the girls' bedroom today! So even though the rest of the room is a complete disaster, that 2' x 2'corner looks just beautiful.

Time to see if Greta goes to bed... hopefully I'll get that poll up, and also something to the cooking blog before I go to bed myself....

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Is This For Real?

I'm so glad everyone liked the story of our squirrel snack. I love blog comments!

I shouldn't be surprised to think that Greta might be going through a growth spurt and that must be why I'm hungry all the time. This baby is CRAZY. She is almost crawling. You probably are reading this and thinking, "Aw, silly new mom, she thinks her child is so advanced, yadda yadda yadda...." but I'm serious. I have no problem saying that Anja has been developmentally slow in all major milestones. Greta, however, is a lunatic. First her tooth (!) and now this crawling business. If she is on the floor, she is on her hands and knees, rocking. And just within the last few days she's started doing with her knees what her knees are supposed to do when one crawls.... which means, she's kind of shooting herself forward a lot. She hasn't figured out the hands part yet, but when that happens, look out! I think the time has come to invest in a playpen.

And speaking of being developmentally slow, remember that awesome routine we had, where Anja was waking up at 7:00, taking a regular nap, and going down at 8:00 without a fuss? Yeah, that lasted about three minutes. We're back to driving her every night, and sometimes in the middle of the night. Again. It's pretty awesome.

But when we're not battling sleep, at least we're having a good time. Martin has been working late lately, and especially late on Mondays because their office is open late, so on Monday I went to my parents' house for dinner, and my sister and all her kids were there. Anja always has such a great time with her cousins! Gracie, Bella and Anja played in the kiddie pool all evening. It was so cute! I think Grace likes finally having little girls to play with.

We saw our old friend Lisa yesterday and that was really nice. She is moving to New York, just like our neighbors! Seems to be the thing to do. And speaking of our neighbors, they came back from Utah early, so we'll see them for a whole week!! We were so happy to see them this evening when they got home.

Everybody seems to be going on vacation. And getting engaged. I've already been engaged and I didn't much care for it, but I could go for jumping on the vacation bandwagon. Warm beaches, tropical music, hawaiian shirts and pina coladas... sign me up!

This isn't quite the sparkling sand of the seashore, but it's as close as we can get, and not too shabby anyway. Also, I think it's important to take lots of pictures of your kids picking their nose.

Monday, August 17, 2009

This is Martin. Martin went hunting this weekend, and he got this squirrel. This is the story of us and the squirrel. Martin is very proud.Martin is very happy.
Anja is very interested...

Martin brought the squirrel home and skinned him. Martin had never skinned a squirrel before, and he said the number one rule is, DON'T GET THE SQUIRREL HAIR ON THE MEAT. The squirrel hair, once on the meat, doesn't rinse off. It's like velcro. Well. ....Martin got squirrel hair on the meat.
And I picked it off, hair by hair, with my eyebrow tweezers.

We thought, "how will we cook the squirrel? BBQ? Crock pot?"
We grilled the squirrel. With seasoned salt and pepper and Tony Chachere's.
The squirrel didn't provide much meat. He was a very fat squirrel when he was just hanging by his dead tail, but once on the grill with all his fur gone, he didn't look like much. It was the perfect snack-for-two on a Sunday night, though. Martin ate the squirrel angrily, saying "MMM!! ME KILL SQUIRREL! ME EAT SQUIRREL! YUM!"
I ate the squirrel daintily, saying, "Mmm! I love to eat happy little frolicking squirrels!"

Theodore ate the squirrel ravenously, saying, "Just like when I was living in the wild and I would eat grilled squirrel....aaaaah, memories!"

It was a VERY tasty snack, and hopefully next time there will be more than one so we can fill our bellies full of good, frolicky squirrel. Yuuuuuummm yum!

...Stay tuned for raccoon season!

The Unfriendliest Day

That's how Martin described Monday. Boo. We are beat from a long, fun weekend. I'll post all about it later, with pictures. But for now, we're going to sit on the porch swing and eat watermelon and drink vanilla chai from Vienna (Martin's out getting it now) while our girls sleep and this lovely rainstorm rolls through. And then WE'RE going to sleep!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

It's the Weekend Again!! AT LAST!!

(this post is from Friday. I'm posting it now, on Sunday night, because I just found it, unfinished in my list of posts. I'll make another post soon, with pictures from the weekend.)

Tonight we were supposed to be hosts of an art opening over at Vienna at 7:00. The girls go to bed at 8:00 (A) and 8:30(G), so I was already a little nervous about it, but then Anja didn't take a nap, and I was even more nervous about it. Poor Anja. I hate it when she doesn't take a nap, but I don't hate it for my sake anymore, since now I know she'll be going to bed at 8:00. Now I hate it for her sake, because every day she doesn't take a nap, she starts to fall asleep around 4:00 or 5:00 in the afternoon, and I can't let her fall asleep, or we'll all be up till midnight. Today I found her dozing on the living room floor. I came in and said, "Are you falling asleep?!" and she jolted up with a big grin. She hates/loves being caught falling asleep... she thinks it's hilarious.

So anyway, it was kind of a relief when the artist called me late this afternoon to tell me she couldn't make it and ask if we could reschedule. Not only that, but Martin was likely to get home on time since it's Friday (it's about the only day of the week he gets home on time these days) and we had dinner taken care of, thanks to Laura who dropped off a bag of homemade spaghetti sauce to us this afternoon. (It was delicious! We added some ground venison to it, and had a lot of leftovers so tomorrow I'm going to put it in a dish with some cheese and make a baked spaghetti for lunch.) However, we didn't eat until 10:00 at night. This is because when Martin got home we walked down to K.Dee's. We got some coffee, hung out for a little bit, looked through magazines for pictures of dogs (Anja's favorite pasttime)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Revenge of the Fruitflies

So, I must have somehow offended the fruitfly gods or something. My kitchen is swarming with the little buggers. My sister came over today and assured me that my infestation is far less than the one at her house, where evidently you can only see the person sitting immediately beside you at the dinner table, the cloud of fruitflies is so thick. I find it hard to believe... I really feel like I'm being overrun.

We had a cheerfully unexpected day around here. Anja woke up at her usual time, but Greta slept in, which is always kind of nice. I like being able to give Anja a lot of attention in the mornings, and it's nice when she and I can eat our breakfasts together. When both girls wake up at the same time, I am very slow to get ready for my day, and I usually don't eat breakfast (and sometimes don't even get to have my coffee!!!) and I certainly don't have time to sit down with Anja while she eats her breakfast. So this morning was nice. We were all ready by 9:00, which is about when Laura came over to walk with us. I really like our morning walks with Laura and Mary Grace. It forces me to get out of the house. It forces me to be social. It spends pretty much our whole morning, Greta gets her morning nap in the stroller, Anja is thrilled to ride around on my back in the Ergo, and by the time we get home it's naptime for Anja. Perfect. Plus, Laura is so nice and Mary Grace is so darn cute, what's not to like about it? Today it was the usual thing, except when I got back to my house a little before 11:00, I realized that Anja had fallen asleep on my back. Oops! I was on the phone with Martin when I noticed, and he suggested that instead of messing with her and possibly waking her up, I should walk on up to my mom's house for a visit. So I started up that way, but when I got to Highland Park I turned back around and went on home. Anja wasn't snuggled into the carrier like she had been, and I couldn't manage to wriggle her back down, so her head was hanging back. Not only was she going to have a completely sunburned face and neck if I walked another 20 minutes, but she could not have been comfortable and I worried she'd wake up with a stiff and aching neck. So I went home. When I was almost home, I got a call from my sister who was stopping by to drop off some toys for us! We got to my house at the same time... I tried to put Anja down on her bed, but of course she woke up, as I knew she would. That's okay though, because she loves her cousins. We all hung out on the porch, and with other children to play with, Anja doesn't feel compelled to run off down the sidewalk like she does when it's just me out there with her. All the kidders played in the driveway while Sarah and I sat on the porch and talked. Then I made a pot of coffee and we all moved inside, and they left when it was lunchtime and when poor Gracie's eyes started to itch. It's really sad that they are allergic to King Lovey Boy Theodore the First, because I like having them over, but it's probably really not worth it to them to be itchy and runny for the rest of the day. (Sad face.)

We had a happy little afternoon. Martin came home for lunch and we ate leftover chili which really isn't very good, so I froze the rest to eat on some day when I don't really feel like cooking and when I will be grateful for a frozen meal, even if it is less-than-yummalicious chili.

Later in the afternoon, my sister-in-law stopped by to show my her completely awesome and adorable sweater that she knit herself for the fall. It screams "COZY AUTUMNAL DAY." (I used the word "autumnal" for my sister there, just then.) This is not the first sweater my sister-in-law has knit for herself. She knits socks in a small number of hours. Really cute socks, too. And amazingly delicate scarves, just like the ones you see in the knitting book. You know, the ones with drool spots on the photos. Can you sense my jealousy, or should I keep going?

Martin got home from work at a decent hour, so the evening was delightful. Anja is already in bed, and I'm going to put Greta down right after I finish this post. While I make some carrot soup, Martin is going to read me some word puzzles he found on the internet. This was my suggestion as something to do while I made soup... I suggested he look some up on the internet too, but when you look up things like "word puzzles" and "brain teasers" and things like that, you mostly get stuff for kids. However, when you put in "adult puzzles" or phrases of that variety, you kind of have to use discretion when filtering through the results.

Tomorrow I have a [begin scary music] root canal. Yikers.

So I'm reading this HILARIOUS book called "Addition" and it's maybe one of the funniest books I've ever read, and definitely the funniest in the awhile. (Okay, it's the first novel I've read in a long while.) The main character is totally OCD, except seriously. I'm just at the beginning of the book, but it seems she's actually lost her teaching job and is on disability because of her bizarre counting/numbers obsession. So anyway, I often get a little bit away from reality whenever I'm reading any novel, but I found it pretty weird and funny this evening when I was sitting at the kitchen table reading and I realized that Anja had been awfully quiet. I look up from my OCD novel and there she is behind me, opening and closing the pantry door. Over. and over. and over. and over.... Is that normal?

Time to put Greta to bed and start on some delicious carrot soup.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Toys

A few months ago, my mother-in-law brought over this little baby doll stroller for Anja. Anja loved it, in a way... but she wasn't too keen on the idea of sharing with her baby dolls. We let her sit in it herself until it started to break, then once when she wasn't looking we sneaked it off to a deep closet for another day.

This afternoon though, she was trying to push her baby dolls around the house in her own umbroller. It wasn't working so well, since she is so short. Until that moment, I'd completely forgotten about the doll stroller. I'm so glad I remembered it today. The look on her face was PRICELESS when I brought it out to her. And she played with it for the rest of the day. I'm not kidding when I say that she played with NOTHING ELSE. She'd put her doll in, have me buckle her, push her around the house, take her out and hold her, put her back in... admittedly, it was a repetitive afternoon for me, having to do all that buckling and unbuckling, but she was SO THRILLED to be pushing her baby doll. Eventually we went out front and she spent a good hour pushing her baby doll up and down the sidewalk. She was so happy. I hope she loves her little doll stroller as much tomorrow as she did today!

But before the stroller made it's second debut (is that an oxymoron?) I took some cute pictures of Greta.

I'm not sure why my pictures are showing up so grainy on blogger. It's kind of weird. They are not that fuzzy on my computer.

I'm just typing now to take up space so the pictures don't get jumbled up together when I post them on here. To the left you see Anja in her own stroller, parked next to "Cook Baby" in the doll stroller. Anja is reading a story to Cook Baby. Anja loves to read things stories. She reads to Greta, her dolls, her stuffed dogs... and sometimes she sits on the couch and reads aloud to herself and it is SO CUTE. Oh! And she's getting better at animal noises! She knows more than cat and dog now! She has added cow and rooster noises to her "vocabulary." Okay, now the Greta pictures.

Could It Be?!?

Oh. My. Gosh.

Believe it or not, lovely readers, after all these months of trial and error regarding Anja's awful sleep habits, staying up until midnight, etc., I think we've finally got it figured out. Sorry if I've already posted about this... understand, I'm still sleep deprived, I just have more of an evening now!

So sometime during his vacation, Martin made the suggestion that since enforcing a bedtime was not working after almost two years, we might try waking Anja up at the same time every day. He says that's what grownups are supposed to do in order to achieve good sleep. (FYI: we don't do that ourselves.) So we've been waking Anja up every morning at 7:00 for the past week or two or three, and holy hell, it seems to have cured all the bedtime problems we had! We haven't driven her to sleep since starting this. She goes down at exactly 8:00 every night. She takes a delightful nap around 11:00 that doesn't last three hours, just an hour or two, and even if she doesn't nap (she's skipped a couple) it doesn't matter; she just has some quiet snuggle time, then the rest of the day is fine. And since I know she's going to go to bed at 8:00, I don't care if she's up all day. I know when I'll get to fold the laundry, check the blogs, go to the bathroom, etc., so it doesn't seem so bad to have to wait. It's really great! Our evenings used to be so frustrating... Martin would come home, we'd scarf down some dinner, then start trying (and failing) to put Anja to bed. We'd switch off, give her two or three tries to go down at home, then drive her. Sometimes we wouldn't get to sit down and talk to each other until 11:00 at night. Martin NEVER worked out (what he loves to do) and I never did anything for myself either. He'd drive her until she fell asleep, come home, and we'd all collapse into bed... except of course, for those few weeks when Greta was staying awake until midnight or so as well.... but she's over that too.

I am so delighted with this! I kind of can't believe it's finally happened. Anja has a bedtime! Like a real child! And the best part about waking her up every day is that if she DOES go to bed late (as she did on Sunday when she went to bed at 9:00 after a day at the river) it doesn't throw off the entire next day, because she'll be waking up at the same time. She might take an earlier or longer nap, but that doesn't even matter.

Anyway, I'm done rejoicing now. I just can't believe that for the past few nights, Martin and I have spent real time together, talking, reading together, PLAYING BANANAGRAMS! It's seriously amazing.

P.S. Did you know? I'm madly in love with Arlo Guthrie.

I'm about to make another post full of pictures. Yay!

Monday, August 10, 2009


Look at this girl! Caught red handed getting into the cookie jar! And she looks so pleased with herself...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Hey, Melonhead!

When I was growing up, I despised canteloupe. My dad loved it, so we often in the summers would have a melon or half a melon in the fridge, and the way it smelled (and made all the rest of the food in the fridge smell) was SO GROSS. They kind of smell like poop, I think. So I spent many a year thinking that I still hated canteloupe as much as I did when I was a kid. But the other weekend when we had breakfast with Martin's family, Anja really seemed to enjoy it. She ate about three slices of canteloupe all by herself, so I thought I might give it another shot as a grownup... AND I LOVED IT!! This summer will probably go down in our memories as the summer of the melons. We've eaten more melons this summer than in all of my childhood summers combined. Just today we bought two canteloupes down at the Farmers Market--one for today, one for tomorrow! We filled the kiddie pool this afternoon and spent some time outside eating melon and playing in the yard... except the whole point was to let the girls cool off in the pool, but nobody wanted to get wet. This is a recurring problem around this family. These girls sweat and sweat and love to play in the bathtub, but for some reason the idea of an outside bathtub just doesn't appeal to them. So after we finished our melon we went inside to keep the babies from dying of heatstroke, or at least developing heat rash.

This morning we walked down to the Farmers Market and got our coffee there because we were out of creamer here at home and we got most of our produce for the week there. Not only does it feel good to buy local, but I think we saved a lot of money. The only thing I know I spent more on down there were the eggs we bought. I didn't realize how cheap eggs are at the store... and we eat A LOT of eggs. We buy 2 1/2 dozen flats at Target and we often have two in our fridge at once. But the green peppers?!?! I got four for a dollar!!! At the grocery they are a dollar EACH. Carrots were MUCH more expensive at the farmers market, so I saved them for the store, but I got cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, potatoes... anyway, I got a lot of good deliciousness and I'm glad. But the canteloupe.... oh my gosh. To die for.

That's an old picture of Anja on the swings at Tapawingo Park after Riverfest. She loved the playground! She likes the swings okay... for about half a minute.

Here's a picture of my happy family in the morning from our vacation. Followed by some more recent ones.

Happy Weekend! Eat some melon!

Friday, August 7, 2009

One More Cup of Coffee (for the road)

Both girls are sleeping, I have this nice mug of coffee, I'm listening to Folk Alley (OH MY GOSH IT'S ERIC BOGLE PLAYING THE BAND PLAYED WALTZING MATILDA!) and thought it'd be a nice time for a quick blog post. Martin just put some meat on the grill and I made potato salad to keep in the fridge for the weekend.

This morning the girls and I took a nice long walk with Laura and Mary Grace! I love it that Mary Grace and Greta are only about twenty-four hours apart in age. Anja has decided that the stroller is not nearly as cool as the pack-pack, so she's been riding on my back in the Ergo for the past two days. Not just for our walks.... I mean, she pretty much is on my back all day long. The nice thing about it is that I can still get stuff done while she's on my back (unlike when Greta is on my front) but the bad thing is that it's very hard to bend down to pick something up when you have a 25 pound body on your back... especially if what you're picking up is a 16 pound body. But it's still kind of a nice feeling to have Anja all cuddled up there against my back. And it doesn't matter at all for walks either, since Greta seems to fit well in the stroller.

Tomorrow I want to wake up early and go to the Farmers Market while it's still cool and while Gerry still has coffee at his booth. We have made our Farmers Market shopping list for the week, deciding that we're going to try to get all our produce there. Then later in the day, whatever we can't find there and the rest of our list that is not food we'll get at Target.

Anja and Greta are such good pals. Greta is so laid back that Anja can pretty much do whatever she wants to her and Greta just smiles and laughs. Yesterday I gave both girls a bath at the same time, but Anja quickly decided that Greta's bath was MUCH more interesting because Greta was kicking ALL the water out of her tub! It was very funny, but Anja thought it was absolutely hysterical.

Okay, so I guess my life is REALLY unexciting.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Back on Folk Alley

Martin is working out back here and I came back to mess around, mostly just to listen to this fabulous playlist on Folk Alley. I CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF IT. And it just DOES stuff to me...

This morning Anja was in a terrible mood. Finally I convinced her (after A LOT of coaxing) to get into her stroller so we could go for a walk. As soon as we were out the door, she was so happy and stayed that way for our entire walk. As soon as we were back home, the screams began again. She didn't take a nap, but was relatively happy all afternoon. (It's funny--the grumpier she is in the morning, the less likely she is to take a nap.) Later in the day we decided to walk down to the Farmers Market since it was Thursday afternoon, but nobody was there! So instead, we walked up to K.Dee's where Kim and Jacob and George were playing music. I haven't played the last couple of weeks because Martin has been getting home late from work and it isn't do-able for me to play without him there to watch the kidders (and get me to the coffee shop, since two babies plus guitar and banjo take up more hands than I have.)

I love folk music.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Growing Up So Fast!

Our little bird has a tooth!! I discovered it today after she wiggled off her blanket and I was pulling dog hairs out of her mouth. I thought 4 months seemed a little young to have a tooth, but there it is, bottom left, plain as day. I guess that might explain her unusual fussiness last week. I can't believe how big she seems already. She is already getting up on all fours. Not properly--not like preparing for takeoff-- but she does it. She scoots herself all over the place and I'm to the point where I have to put two quilts on the floor because one only contains her for a few minutes. She generally just goes all over the place, but often enough she'll do the backward scoot and end up lodged underneath something or between two pieces of furniture. And this sounds like I'm leaving her alone for long periods of time to allow her to accomplish this, but it isn't true... this most often happens when she is in the doorway to the kitchen and I am washing dishes. *Put Greta down, wash plate, look over, find Greta gone from quilt and recover her from underneath green table.*

Meanwhile, Anja has entered a sort of clingy stage. Today she wanted to sit on my lap ALL DAY LONG. And it was really funny because she would find ridiculous excuses. When she wants me to sit with her she says "Mama!" and points beside her, or pats beside her. I will sit and she'll craw into my lap, then get up and find a book or something, and return with it. Today she made me sit, sat in my lap, then looked around for a minute, got up and found Martin's "American Rifleman" magazine and came back with it. I didn't think she was so desperate for attention! The weirdest part is that Greta took awesome naps today while Anja only slept about 50 minutes (because I knocked something down in the kitchen and woke her up! Grr!) so she and I had LOTS of one-on-one time. Oh well.

Martin and I have a new nephew! My sister-in-law (Martin's sister) had her second baby boy this afternoon. I think we will not be going up to Chicago this weekend to meet the new family member because our girls have been rashy this week. I am still excited to meet him though!

I haven't been taking many pictures lately. I should be better about that.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

How Do You Tell Someone You Don't Love Them?

I realize that is incorrect grammar, but I don't care. It's a great song. In need of some fresh music today for our drive up to the cottage, I raided our CD collection in the back room. I found Cowboy Mouth, and remembered how great they are, and listening to the CD totally took me back in time. I LOVE track 2 ("how do you tell someone") and I listened to it over and over in the car tonight when Martin sent me to Vienna because he thought I was having a nervous breakdown. One fun thing about driving without passengers (of the youth or the adult variety) is that you can blast your music and know that you're not hurting anyone's ears but your own.

Tomorrow morning I am going to the dentist. The last time I went to the dentist was just over a year ago. They were going to give me a root canal, and told me that some kind of drug they were going to give me had a mild birth control agent in it. Since I knew there was a possibility I might be pregnant at that time, we came home before the root canal appointment (which was scheduled for just a few hours later) and took a pregnancy test... and that was the day we found out about Greta! Just as a precaution, I did the same thing tonight. The good thing about finding out I'm not pregnant is that I'M NOT PREGNANT. The bad thing is that I now have NO excuse for all the extra pounds I've put on this summer.

Martin and I recall three summers ago when we were both lean and brown and active. We ate well, we got enough sleep, and even though we didn't know it (we were engaged and we had neither jobs, nor housing for after the big day) we were living a life of leisure. This summer we've become coke addicts (of the Cola variety) and haven't had the time (or the patience of Greta) to take very long or frequent walks, resulting in a slightly chubbier silhouette for both of us. We are eating well, though. In the car today we were talking about "the Perimeter Diet" which is where most of your food comes from the perimeter of the grocery store (not including the ice cream and popsicles on the far end). This is basically how we eat, except for our abnormally large peanut butter intake. Our big problem is coke, which has become a big problem. We NEVER used to have coke in our house, and only drank it when we went out to eat, which was also infrequent (and is now even more infrequent.) But we've been spending so much time up at the cottages this summer that we spend our weekends drinking cokes!!! "Booooo!" say my hips and widening buttocks! Today I told Martin, "at least in the winter we won't crave cokes all the time." He responded with, "no, because then we'll be craving vanilla chai." Ugh. He's so right.

We had a fun weekend! We spent most of the day on Saturday with my family celebrating birthdays and much of the day today with Martin's family doing the same thing. Yesterday with my family we got together at the river and ate ourselves to death all afternoon, then went to mass in Delphi. Today with Martin's family we got together for brunch! I really am generally not a fan of breakfast foods, but I LOVE the idea of getting together with people for breakfast. I made quiche, my sister-in-law made banana bread, and also contributed some fruit, some leftover blueberry cobbler that a friend of hers had made, canteloupe and something else... and we had a homemade feast! Then we hung out for awhile, the Antonio cousins came to visit along with a neighboring basset hound, and we were home in time to mow the lawn. Except on the way we stopped at Rural King and bought Anja a kiddie pool for $6.39. She loves it! Martin never did mow the lawn.... we filled the pool, took a quilt out and ate a watermelon and roast beef sandwiches in the backyard until Anja realized she was very cold and wet, having gotten in the pool in all her clothes. (It wasn't really a very warm day. ) It was a terrific afternoon and way better than mowing the lawn.

I checked on my cucumber plant today and found it completely and utterly dead. It's all shriveled up and brown and I have no idea what happened! I'm wondering if I could've uprooted it once while I was watering... I know dumping the hose on my garden is not the best idea for watering, but we don't have a sprinkler, and I don't have much time to water. So I just glug-glug-glug the hose over the plants for about ten minutes and call it good. For living across the street from the library, you'd think I could get some gardening books and read up on this hobby. Maybe if I did that I wouldn't be such a failure...

My niece got a guinea pig this week and its name is Sweet Pea. That's a fine name for a guinea pig, but before she met Sweet Pea (who came with that name) she was planning to name her future pet Sylvia. Now I don't know about you, but I can't think of a more perfect name for a guinea pig. Absolutely perfect!!! I tried to gently convince her to change Sweet Pea's name to Sylvia, but she didn't go for it... I think she fell in love with every bit of Sweet Pea, including her name.

Greta used to be an incredible sleeper. Now she's worse than Anja. It's pretty awesome.

Dear Joannie...

I've lost some phone numbers and yours was one of them. I keep thinking of little things to text you, then I go to do it and realize I don't have your cell phone number anymore!!!! Please help me with this problem by calling me, or sending me a text. Thanks!!!!! And remember--YOU'RE THE BEST!