Monday, October 26, 2009

Joyful, Joyful!

Yesterday we took a spur-of-the-moment trip back down to Stuckey Farms to pick the last apples of the season, and visit their pumpkin patch. (Anja loves to pet pumpkins, and she had a ball... but she told Martin at bedtime that her favorite part had been the tractor ride!) It was a great day and the girls had fun, but there was one tragic moment... we lost Cook Baby! It was my fault. I was holding her while Martin lifted Anja up to pick some high-up apples. Somewhere along the rows of apple trees, I lost her. I went back and looked for her but never found her, and we asked two separate times at the register, but no one had turned her in.... so we went home without her. To make things more complicated, Anja has been borrowing a copule of dolls that belong to her cousin Grace. They were long overdue for return to their rightful owner, and I'd planned to do it on Sunday.... but that would leave Anja without any of her beloved dolls! (This is slightly untrue... she has more. She's just particularly obsessed with Cook Baby, and any dolls that belong to somebody else.) So we made a decision that we would buy her a new doll. TODAY. I have the car and this morning I loaded the girls up and we went to Target. I told Anja what we were doing: Returning Gracie's dolls to her, then going to buy a brand new doll for herself. She was SO GOOD at giving Gracie's dolls back, and then she was ecstatic when we got to the store. There were no carts in the lot (there never are... Target seems to have extremely efficient cart attendants) so Anja got to hold my hand and walk through the parking lot to the store.. Did I say walk? I meant run, and drag me along behind her, hauling Greta in her carseat, while shouting, "Gheeeee!! Gheeeee!!" (Translation: Doll!!!!! Doll!!!!) We got inside and she was wiggling with excitement in the basket of the cart, still calling "Ghee!" Through the store. We made it to the aisle of baby dolls, and she probably wet herself a number of times, but luckily she's still in diapers. She was absolutely beside herself with excitement. We looked at every doll, ranging from $70 to $3, and settled for the perfect one, on sale for $8.99. It's called a "starter doll" and it's just a regular baby doll, no bells and whistles, no electronics. It has blue eyes, which Anja chose (there were also brown eyed dolls of the same model) and a pink dress with a flower on it, and it has SHOES!!! And it wears its own diaper!!!! As soon as we paid for it, we just pulled the car to the wall and got it out for her. She just stared at it, smiling. It was amazing. She is SO CUTE. My only regret with the entire outing is that Martin wasn't there to see it.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Lady Burpsalot

So, I used to not be able to burp. Really, it was a rare occasion when the bubblies in my tummy made it all the way to my mouth and became audible. I know I am not unusual.... my sister's college roommate, for one, had the same problem! One the one hand, it's kind of nice because you never have to be embarrassed for burping in public. On the other hand, it's really annoying because you tend to get these bubbles of air moving up and down your inner workings for long periods of time, whereas with normal people, the bubbles of air just float to the top and become burps. Anyway.... I've suddenly begun burping! And I can't stop!! It's the strangest thing. I don't know what's changed, but I'm just a burp a minute these days, and the worst part about it being a new phenomenon is that I haven't had all the years of practice at holding in my burples like other people my age have!!! So now I'm this otherwise normal-looking adult who can't carry on a conversation without belching in your face. It's gross!

Anja is really into puzzles these days. We got a bunch from my sister when she cleaned out her playroom awhile back, and Anja has just kind of re-discovered them. She's actually really good at them! I was surprised.... and a little embarrassed. I'm thrilled that she's into them because I LOVE PUZZLES. However, I am very, very bad at doing them. In fact, she has this one that is a bunch of cars, and 9 out of 10 times, she figures out where the piece goes before I do. I think it's kind of hard! But anyway... I love it that she's doing them because they are fun, and she gets really excited. It's become our bedtime routine, sort of, to do a few puzzles before [Martin drives her to] sleep.

I have had a hard time this year getting into the season, but I'm finally feeling excited about Fall. It was really hard for me to let go of summer this year, as I've mentioned before. I think it's because I used to adore winter, before I had children. I now see Winter as a huge pain in the neck, bundling little into warm clothes anytime you want to leave the house, shoes, socks, etc., not being as able to walk to church, limited time playing outside, no more walks around downtown, and everything taking five times the amount of time it takes in the summer, when you can just grab your car keys and go, with or without your shoes. Winter used to be an adventure. Now it's got baggage. One of the best things about winter when I was in school would be walking over in the snow, being slightly damp and cold, then stopping at Vienna for a chai on my way to class. Then the classroom would be so warm and cozy seeming. I loved it. And Martin and I took many a midnight walk through snowstorms in our childless days.... one night it was SO COLD, way below freezing, and super windy, and we ran from my apartment down to Hunters Down Under where the Woodstove Flapjacks were playing, and we met up with our friend Matt Spencer and Kim, and it was a really fun night. Then we ran all the way back to my apartment, and I will never forget how cold it was! Really, really cold!!!!!!!

However, what's made me so excited for Fall at last is.... ANJA'S BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe she's turning 2!!!! Unbelievable. It's going to be wonderful, we're going to get her some cute presents and she's going to love unwrapping them and we're going to have a little party the day before and she's going to love that too. I can't wait!!! I love the idea of birthday parties for the girls. And I love it that Anja's birthday is in the fall (my favorite season, even with my newfound bitterness toward winter) and that Greta's is in the early spring, right when the Daffodils are perfect. (And other than Greta's birthday, I hate spring.)

And speaking of Anja and Greta, they are both asleep now and earlier this evening Anja helped me to make some chocolate-chocolate chip cookies, which now Martin and I are going to enjoy with a couple of glasses of milk before bed. Yum! Also, Anja is so incredibly cute. So is Greta, who crawls all through the house at lightning speed.... Anja's favorite place to sit is between the fridge and the blue shelves, on this stepstool that I got for a friend's wedding, which I didn't go to, and never gave her the gift.... she now has three or four children....... anyway, she sits on the stool and sings songs her herself (and tonight she ate a cookie there too) and it's adorable and I love it. She was really into singing tonight! So cute! Another cute/weird thing is that she is completely obsessed with my religious statues, and she demands that I get them off the shelves for her. At first I was a little nervous because they all mean something to me and I don't want them to get broken.... but she is so gentle with them, and all she wants to do is point out the color of their garments, then put them to bed in a pile of blankets at the top of the stairs.

Cookie time!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fall Fridays

Aaaaah, there's nothing like a Friday night downtown! Tonight after dinner, Martin put Anja to bed. (He's been doing that lately, and now she sometimes asks for him to do it! Very sweet!) When he came down, he demanded that I put on his brown cashmere sweater (a garment leftover from his single days, when he didn't think he'd ever get me and therefore thought he'd be a bachelor for life and would never have children and so would be actually be able to logically wear cashmere) then when that was on he actually dressed me in my raincoat as I stood at the door wondering what was up. Then he stuffed a few dollars bills and some change from the change jar into my hand and gave me my phone and told me that he had gotten coffee today (during his lunch break with our friend Matt) and now it was my turn, so goodbye! and he literally shooed me out the door and closed the door behind me before I could even argue with him. So off I went! By myself! On foot! It was a gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous Fall evening and everybody was out. I love downtown in the evenings. The whole area smells like dinner, everybody is dressed up and holding hands and smiling and eating and drinking and being merry. It's so exciting, fancy, romantic and fun! And I made a vow to myself that I will stay skinny through retirement and I will dress cutely. And I'll be rich. Martin and I will go out to eat at fancy restaurants every Friday and Saturday night. We will wear good, expensive clothes and not have to worry about them getting ruined because we won't anymore be wearing every course of our meal. We will jaywalk! And stand right on the curb, (as opposed to standing six feet away from the curb, with a ginormous stroller stretched out in front of us as we do now) holding hands. It's going to be great.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Are you SERIOUS?!

Is this for real, Greta? Aren't you a little young for this?? More pictures to come later on...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


This morning when I was getting out of the shower, Anja wanted one of the little Willowtree figures that are up on the top shelf of the bathroom shelves. There are a couple embracing, an "angel of courage" and a little knock-off angel playing a harp. She wanted the knock-off. I gave it to her and told her to be very careful because it was breakable. She has been walking around with that thing, holding it so carefully, petting it, and telling me that it's sleeping (not because its eyes are closed, but because it has no eyes at all!) all morning! It's SO CUTE!! I'm very nervous about her dropping and breaking it Not that it would mean anything to me if it broke.... I think those things are cheezy and that one in particular was here when we moved in, though the others were gifts. But I can only imagine how heartbroken she would be if the poor little angel's head got broken off in some kind of 2-year-old accident. She is being so adorable and loving with it! And when Martin left for work, he gave Anja a kiss, but Anja insisted that he kiss the angel goodbye too. She's so cute!!!!!!! I love having little girls!!!!!!

Last night I was up until midnight, (partly by choice, but partly because Greta woke up around 10:30 ready to party) working on a doll for Anja's birthday... or Christmas... or something. It's a Sock Baby. I made it up. I have these little ankle socks that I never wear because I hate ankle socks, so I cut one of them up and made a doll out of it. It actually turned to to be really cute. I got the idea while looking through this "Magic Cabin" catalogue that we got in the mail. I love everything in it, but OH MY GOSH, it's really expensive. I mean, like hundreds of dollars for dolls expensive. But flipping though it, looking at all their adorable little fairie dolls and stuff, I thought, "I bet I could make those...." and so I did. And the one I made last night doesn't have arms or legs yet, but it has a cute head and a nice, argyle print body! I am thinking these will make good Christmas gifts for my nieces. I'll post pictures and instructions soon.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I got a little book recommendation from my Motherin Magazine this month. Straight over to the library I went, to check out "The Passion of the Hausfrau: Motherhood Illuminated." I am telling all of you blog readers (because you are all ladyfolk with childrenfolk) you HAVE TO read this book. It's a riot! I know it's hard for some to admit that life with young children can be less than sparkly, but what better way to come to terms with the truth than through humor? This book is perfect.

Also, I wanted to say a couple more things about Anja that I forgot to put in my last post. One is that her birthday is coming up. She'll likely be getting a tricycle unless we save it for Christmas. Next year, when she turns three, we are going to hollow out a pumpkin and give her a kitten. We debated doing it this year, but agreed that she's probably too young. We are SO EXCITED about this idea though, that I don't know if we'll actually be able to wait!!!! We've been wanting to give her a kitten since she was born. Two years down, one more to go.... I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

Also, she has become such a help to me, no joke. Yesterday evening I was clearing out the dish drainer so I could wash dishes, and there was one thing that went to the dining room. It was her green egg tray on which she prefers to eat her meals and snacks (especially when those meals and snacks include cheese.) I asked her to put it away for me, and off she went, and delivered it directly to the washstand in the dining room, where it lives. Amazing! And she was so pleased with herself! Later she helped me pick up the living room. She put her dolls to bed in their cradle and put her dolly stroller in the corner where we keep it. So cute!

Another funny thing about her is that she almost never does anything without thinking it over first. Friday night I was putting Greta to sleep in the living room and Martin was hanging out with Anja in the kitchen. He would send her into the living room to get a book for them to read and she'd come running in, then she'd stand in front of the bookshelf for a few long minutes, looking at everything, before carefully choosing the book she wanted. It was so cute! Once she pulled out a book and another book came with it. She was so careful to unstick it from the book she wanted and replace it to its spot on the shelf. She is amazing!

Oh man, it's 7:00. I have to take a shower. READ THE PASSION OF THE HAUSFRAU!!! But if you live in my town, don't plan to get it at the library.... I'm a slow reader.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oh My Oh My Oh What a Weekend!

Siiiiiiiiigh. It's been a long, mostly-fun weekend. Well, okay, Saturday was long and mostly-fun, today was slow and relaxing and everyone was happy all day long and it was great.

On Saturday morning we dropped the girls off at my parents' house and Martin took me up to the Klein Brot Haus in Brookston for breakfast. It was great to see our friend Steve, and he invited us to a bonfire at his house that night... sadly, we couldn't go because I was playing in Delphi later. Boo! They have two boys, we have two girls, and their youngest is a little younger than Greta. This is the second time we've been invited to their fall bonfire and haven't been able to go. Bummer! Anyway, it was fun to have a date. Unfortunately, when we got back to the girls, we learned that Greta had been majorly upset the entire time we were gone. A little nursing and snuggle time cheered her right up though. We went home for naps, during which I made an Apple Skillet Cake (another recipe I should post on the Cooking Blog and probably never will!). The girls both took terrific naps--so terrific, in fact, that we had to wake them up as two o'clock came and went and we were supposed to be in attendance at my sister-in-law's Halloween party at 2:30. We just kind of slipped them into the car and left. The party was lots of fun, especially for Anja. Her Chicago cousins were there, as well as her Antonio cousins. We ate a lot of junk food, as is the case at every family party. From there we went to Delphi where I thought I was playing at 6:30, but it might've been 6:00, so we planned to get there right at 6:00. As we were coming into town, I recieved a text from Kim saying we weren't playing until 7:00! We met up with Kim, George and George's wonderful wife, Gina, at the Stone House Restaurant. This is where the night became un-fun. We dropped my guitar and banjo off at the library (where we were playing) before going to the restaurant. Through the window, Anja saw a baby doll in the Children's section of the library, which was locked. She wanted that baby. BADLY. We couldn't cheer her up and her upsetedness (I made that word up) got worse and worse as the night progressed, so that we ordered some pie but didn't get to eat it and just before we started playing, Martin left the library with a loudly screaming Anja and a not-so-happy Greta. The night ended more smoothly. He calmed Anja down, when Greta got hungry they came back to the library and Anja was pretty happy for the rest of the set. Still. Not the best playing experience ever.

Today we accidentally slept through both alarms and didn't wake up until 8:30 which put us going to the 10:00 mass and we were even late for that. We sat by my favorite little family. The girl I recognize as a barista from Murky Waters back in the day. She and her husband have a little boy who was 5 months old on Ash Wednesday, which was the first time we met them, when I was sitting on Andy Korty's lunch cooler, ginormously pregnant, surrounded by people, with a VERY CRANKY ANJA. Their little baby was a good distraction for Anja that night. Anyway, now we often sit by them during Mass at St. Ann's, and I really like them. Okay, I want to BE them. Well, I want to be HER. She is tall and skinny and has a face that looks like she should be in classic movies. She is so pretty. And their baby boy is very cute too! Maybe he will go to Catholic Schools and he will ask Greta to the junior/senior prom.

And speaking of Greta...... the personality differences between Greta and Anja are amazing and so hilarious. Anja is so....... weird. She is spunky and funky and lives in her own little world. Greta, on the other hand, is a bowl of sugar. We imagine that Anja will be this wild, martini drinking artist while Greta will abstain from alcohol, and maybe will be librarian, but will not judge people who tend to drink a little bit, or who talk loudly, or are slightly anti-social like her sister is. Greta is not a judger.

Oh, I forgot to talk about Friday night. Friday was my niece Gracie's SIXTH BIRTHDAY PARTY. It was a tea party and it was beautiful. Pictures to come someday. I can't believe she is six!! Anyway, Anja liked it for awhile, but not long into the party I found her by herself in the den, reading touch-and-feel books about animals. I read with her for awhile, then the cutest little girl named Joy came in, and they did puzzles together.

This afternoon we went to the grocery store, we walked to K.Dee's to say hi to Jerry and Kim, and we did a lot of winterization tasks around the house. Well, Martin took care of those. I baked a chicken dinner for us. And then right before dinner, we cut our pumpkin from the vine! And now it is looking decorative on our porch. We might carve it..... but we might not.

That's it. Happy Weekend!

Oh yeah, and Friday was a good day with lots of visitors..... and MG learned to crawl! At my house!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Week in Pictures

Our precious, smiling Greta Bird
Ok, this picture is pretty old, but it was in the same folder because I never uploaded it from the camera.
Anja at the Feast!
My mother-in-law and sister-in-law, making soap
If I had a nickel for every picture I have of Martin standing next to the fire over the years, I'd have AT LEAST five dollars.
This is Anja saying "squirrel." It's her best word.
Our precious niece and goddaughter Bella, throwing a precious fit! A few moments later, she was throwing herself down on the ground!! Adorable.
The girls (can you see Greta under her colorful blanket?) hanging out on the quilt pile. The other little girl is Emily, a new friend, who, sadly, lives in Kokomo.
A really awful family picture. But hey, at least it's all of us. And doesn't Martin just look thrilled to be alive?
I have a picture similar to this from last year that I wanted to post alongside it, but I can't find it now.... anyway, it's framed and hanging in the girls' room. I love it.
Sisters: Anja, Greta and Cook Baby.
Sunday night after all the festivities had ended and everything was packed away for next year; the girls and I sat down to read this cat book, and Theodore came to hear too. Anja is learning the names of the cats in the book (they are all individually photographed and named in the back) and her favorite is "Solo" the black cat with big orange eyes. She says his name! It's the only one she knows by name.
Dinner from the other night.... that pan full of what looks like barf is actually a DELICIOUS bean recipe that I have been meaning to post on the cooking blog forever. It's Great Northern Beans with apples and spices and ketchup.... it's completely awesome. Someday I'll remember to post it.
Martin, digging in.
Another of Greta. She's lying on this quilt that I made recently. In my single years, not only would I not have bothered making such a basic quilt, but it would've taken me about a week. This one has taken me months to complete, and it's just six fat quarters sewn together, no batting, backed with a high-quality (but doesn't fit our bed anymore!) sheet and bound with some leftover binding I had in my sewing box. I didn't quilt it with thread, but used some brown yard to knot it together. It's cute enough, and turned out to be just what I wanted--a somewhat warm, easily replaceable quilt that is not so thick that I can't just stuff it into my purse on the way out the door.
My new socks! TusaRebecca knitted these socks for me for my birthday! I absolutely adore them, and they match my green sweater perfectly. The shoes were my Feast shoes, which I got from my neighbor Tara, but when I realized how cute they were I didn't put them back in my pack basket. I wear them all the time now!
Anja is a princess now. If you ask for a kiss, she will daintily extend her hand.
Our fat, nasty, obese cat, who despite his utter disgustingness is still my precious lovey-boy and will always be my number one man. Sorry, Martino.
Coloring!!!!!!!!!!!!! She takes such care! She will make big loopy circles, then crouch down over her paper and make tiny lines and dots and scribbles. It is so freaking adorable. And she has an idea of what she's drawing, because after every scribble, she'll point to it and tell me an animal sound. Believe it or not, this page is full of farmyard animals! Luckily, I'm quite a fan of modern art, especially when it's done in crayon.
Also, the Big Back Room will be without internet for awhile starting in the very near future. We got a letter from Comcast telling us that our bill is going up THIRTY DOLLARS. They are wanting us to pay $70 for basic internet. Um, no thank you. I have way better things I could be spending $70/month on. I imagine we'll be without internet until we get the wireless set up (which is until we get both computers cleared of unnecessary files and then hookup the wireless stuff) so who knows how long it will be. So posting from my end might be sparse, but I do live conveniently near the library, so it shouldn't be nonexistent.

Another Garbage Day Already!?

I have been wanting to post on multiple occasions throughout the past week, but we've been having some serious going-t0-sleep issues around here and blogging has taken a back seat to other things, like getting sleep for myself.

The Feast was cold. The girls did great, especially Greta, considering all the smoke, noise, people and frozen noses. I bundled them as much as I could, each with three pairs of tights and three undershirts underneath their costumes. Anja had a [most adorable!] cape and Greta had a wool blanket that she kept cozy in for most of the time. Each day we made a couple of trips back to the car for some warm-up time and for Greta to play in the trunk on her belly (I love the Malibu Maxx!) and that made such a difference. This was the first year I've ever paid for parking. I was against the idea of spending $10 to park for the Feast, no matter how close it was to the grounds. I have two legs and I can perfectly well walk the mile and a half to the grounds. But on Saturday A LOT of people were getting their cars towed out of the mud and I figure ten bucks is cheaper than a tow truck and so it made it worth the risk. Also, it was awfully convenient to have our car just across the street. For one thing, we didn't have to carry our babies AND all of our mountains of stuff in with us in one trip. Also, I guess in recent years we have parked at our camp site, which is also very close and convenient, but also muddy enough to make it not worth the risk. And no, we did not camp this year. Even CJ said it was too cold to camp!
This is CJ. She helps at the soap booth every year, she used to live here in the neighborhood but I think she's moved away, and she administered the silly homeowners class we had to take before we bought our house from NHS. She is very funny and nice and I always enjoy seeing her every year.

It was a good Feast, though not THE BEST EVER. Shopping was slightly disappointing.... my favorite pottery people seem to be phasing out my favorite of their glazes for something very different--also nice, but it just isn't me. Greta screamed during the entire mass on Sunday. We invited the Smiths and the Langenkamps to work the booth this year, and I barely even got to say hello to any of them! And we went home a couple hours early both days. However, I did get what I need for Martin's anniversary present. Our 3rd anniversary is this December and the traditional gift is "leather." I had good luck, but he didn't have so much luck in looking for a gift for me. Oh well. Maybe he'll give me a pony.

Last night when Martin got home from work I slipped out to make a run to Gap and see if I could use my giftcard that is now more than six months old. I've been waiting and waiting for a cute shift in their styles, and my sister-in-law had said they'd gotten their new stuff for Fall. Plus, I hadn't been in a long while to see for myself, so off I went. And as long as I was out shopping by myself--something that never happens--I thought, after MUCH conflict between the I-Want-It me and the Better Judgement me, that I just would spend my gift card, almost in it's entirety, on a sweater. It's a cute sweater, very cute in fact, and very versatile. And I paid full price for it. FULL PRICE. I never pay full price. Ever. I'm not sure yet if I have Buyers Remorse.... I still have to actually wear it. Then we'll see how deep is the damage.
We've been eating well lately. On Monday night we took all our squirrels from the freezer and baked them, chicken-style, in my big roasting pan with carrots and onions and potatoes. The next night we ate the leftovers, with mashed potatoes and cranberries. I asked Martin to make the cranberries while I put Greta to bed, and I told him exactly how to do it and he did exactly as he was told. Then when I was eating them, I realized I'd told him the wrong proportions. They were too sweet to eat, really, and it was kind of a bummer because I really love cranberries. But then when I came down later from putting Anja to bed, there he was, making fresh cranberries for me with the correct proportions! That was after dinner so I didn't eat any then, but I ate the entire pot for breakfast today. Tonight I made a big pot of chicken barley soup. It was okay... not great. I also made cornbread and apple dumplings for dessert. I don't know what I've been doing wrong with my pie crust lately. I used to make a killer pie crust, but now it just won't set. It's always mushy, no matter what. My dumplings were flat as pancakes and they tasted raw, even though they cooked until they were brown. I just don't get it.

Meanwhile, Anja has been learning more animal sounds and is practicing her colors. One day I got her to say (SAY!) "red" "green" "yellow" "blue" and "pink." The only ones she's retained are blue and green and sometimes pink. "Blue" sounds just like her other "ooo" words, such as juice, spoon, and moo/cow. "Green" sounds like all the "eee" words, such as cheese, keys, please, Petie, Greta, Baby Doll, Cook Baby, etc. (I know those last ones don't really say "eee" but she still uses that same sound to mean all of them.) One of her best animal sounds is the rooster. It's hilarious. What's not hiliarious is that she has this little rooster magnet and Martin invited the rooster along on the drive to put her to sleep last night. On their way out the door though, Anja dropped Rooster.... and we searched and searched, but it was dark and we never found him. She was making the rooster sound all the while we were looking, but then she happily settled for a couple of her dolls as ride companions instead. Then this morning when Martin got her up, he thought he heard the garbage truck, so he ran outside to the porch with her.... and she started making the Rooster noise!!!! So sad!!!! As soon as it was light enough I went out to find him, and there he was, right outside the door. I have no idea how we missed him... he wasn't even magnet-side-up, he was colorful-side-up! We are blind, blind, blind.

I've been letting my total coffee addiction get the best of me, and so for the last few days I've tried to limit myself to just my morning coffee... instead of gulping it down all day long. We'll see how long it lasts, and if it helps Greta sleep better.

I think I'll go make a picture post now. Did I mention that my girls wore matching skirts to the Feast? And that I felt like they were being stalked by the paparazzi all weekend? Stay tuned for more pictures (from me, not the paparazzi.)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Birthday Goodness

Yesterday was so much fun. We packed everyone into the car and were off by about 8:00, but it was a pretty long road trip with many stops along the way, mostly for Greta who would get fussy, but Anja liked getting out of the car and playing in the rainy parking lots. Our first stop was Vienna for some breakfast, then it took us an hour to get out of Tippecanoe county, HAHA! Oh well, the long drive was totally worth it. When we finally got to the Dunes, we stopped at the big visitor center where Greta got to play on the floor and Anja got to play with all the toys they had. She made a rubbing of a Marsh Marigold and was so happy to be running around looking at pictures of animals. She loves animals. The nice man at the visitor center advised us to take the scenic route to Mt. Baldy because it was a nice, quick drive (and he tipped us about a secret road that isn't pictured on the map!) and he thought Anja would really enjoy playing on the beach. So we set off, but most of the way down the scenic road (which was totally worth it) there was something going on... a house being built, or something.... and there were all these trucks in the road. We waited for awhile, and men came and went from the trucks, but nobody seemed to be in a hurry to move them out of the way for us, so finally we turned around and went back to the highway. It was okay, because we still got to see the lake and all the amazing lakefront houses. Also, it really wasn't very long back to the highway and then on to Mt. Baldy.
By the time we got there though (only a few extra minutes) both girls had fallen asleep! So we sat in the parking lot at the foot of the dune and let Anja sleep for an hour.... during which, Martin fell asleep as well, and Greta woke up! Greta and I moved to the way-back of the car where she was delighted to play on her tummy for a nice long time. It was sooooooooo cozy. It was cold and rainy and wonderful, and we were all bundled up and happy.

We woke Anja up after an hour or so of napping and took off down the trail to the beach. It was really, really pretty. Anja found rocks and sticks and thought walking through sand was very funny. The trail was through a woods and it was so pretty. Martin and I saw a deer, but I don't think Anja saw it. It was great. Then Anja got her feet caught in a wave and was wet and Greta was getting a little grumpy so we decided it was time to go. Through one very minor error, we somehow ended up in Gary, and that was a little frightening, but we eventually found our way out. We made a pitstop at McDonald's for warm coffee and a little snack for Greta, and most of the drive was very nice--we only spent about 40 minutes singing "B-I-N-G-O!" for Anja, who was thrilled to be able to get out of the car when we arrived at my parents' house for dinner.

Yum, yum, roast beast. And presents!!!! My sister made me some gorgeous earrings and my parents gave me (drumroll, please) and external hard drive!!!!!!! This is the one thing we needed in order to get our wireless set up!!!!!!!! I am eternally grateful. Or at least I will be, when we get stuff cleared off of our computers and are able to set up the wireless stuff.
Home for bed. It was a lovely day!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

WAHOO!! It's my BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!

Happy Barfday to MEEEE!!!! Martin was so excited to give me my birthday present, I thought he was going to wake me up at 4:30. I came downstairs this morning to see a bunch of stuff stuck in a toaster. It was a new toaster--ours broke a few months ago and it's not something I've cared too much about replacing, but having one will definitely be a good thing, since I usually forget about the toasts I make in the oven and have wasted LOAVES of bread by burning them to bits. Anyway.... in the toaster slots were three new CDs, all Eels, our current kick, a strip of lottery tickets and two envelopes, one that said "open this LAST." Happy birthday, happy birthday, and in the last card were a pair of hoop earrings from Von's (!!!) and written out road directions. There was also a little wad of money and a note that said, "the money is for our breakfast and lunch." I had no idea what the road directions were, but as it turns out, he's had this day as vacation since he made his request in the summer and he's taking us to the Indiana Dunes today!!! I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So Martin gets major points today for all aspects of birthday present giving. Cuteness factor, surprise, and general awesomeness of the gift. Go Martin! It's going to be a fabulous birthday! Time to shower and get the girls ready so we can skeedaddle.

Monday, October 5, 2009

"The Birds are Safe with Us Around!"

Good golly, what a weekend. Last Thursday I played at K.Dees and we walked down in the cool cloudiness and came out to rain. So Martin walked home to get the car for us, but we ended up staying till about 8:30 talking to Jerry. It was really nice... until the girls kind of lost it at the same time. It's good to have friends, especially when coffee is involved.

I think Friday was kind of a crazy day... I think both girls were grumpy and didn't nap well and nothing got done. But then Friday ended and Saturday arrived! Up until now I've haven't really been passionate one way or another about "the Family Bed." Sometimes I'd get annoyed having the girls in our bed, sometimes I didn't care, sometimes I would move to the floor so they could have the bed, etc. But after this cold weekend, where all four of us slept in our big cozy bed together, I came down this morning and told Martin I'd decided I liked the family bed, and he admitted that he did too! I still like the girls to start out in their own beds when we haven't gone to bed yet, because I don't like the idea of them rolling off the bed... but there is nothing cozier than waking up on a rainy Saturday morning with two happy babies between you under mounds of quilts. And then it's even better when the maid comes in with your coffee and hot cinnamon rolls on a tray.... oh, wait.... no. That didn't happen. Poo.

Saturday was cold and drizzly. It was perfect weather for the first annual Octoberfest down on Main Street. We walked down through the Farmers Market earlier in the morning to buy some apples, and wandered up Main just to see what the festival was like. It was SO CUTE!!!! Loads of pumpkins and home-jarred goods, and fallish crafts. Food vendors on the street, live music.... sort of... I was supposed to play with my friend George from noon to 1:00. We showed up and the stage wasn't quite ready. My parents came to help Martin watch the girls; he took Anja down to K.Dees to get some coffee for us, and my parents took Greta to go to another store. But then on the way down, my mom fell while she was carrying Greta. She banged herself up, but Greta seemed okay. I was still worried about her because she seems like the type of baby who would be like, "no really! I'm okay! I'm okay!" and then be dead. So when Martin said, "The good doctor is here!" and there were the Watsons, I was sooooooo happy. Plus, I just love the Watsons anyway. Greta got a nice checkover and was declared to be fine. My parents went home (but returned later) and George and his wife, Martin, the girls and I walked up to K.Dees to sit for awhile and wait for the stage to be ready. Outside the coffee shop we ran into our friend Turgay who joined us and we had a really nice time. Gina (George's wife) bought a couple of baked goods to share and it was a cozy way to relax. We eventually went back to the stage, which still wasn't ready. So we hung around.... for awhile.... and awhile more..... and then the second guy who was booked to play showed up..... and then left..... and finally, George and I started playing a little after 2:00 and got in three songs before the third band showed up! And I later found out, that that band only got in three songs before it started raining, and since the stage wasn't under any sort of cover, that was it for them too!!! Haha! It was really silly. But in all that waiting around we got a lot of talking done and saw a lot of friends. Then Anja had a meltdown and we went home and made hot chocolate for her and tea for us and were all cozy. I baked a turkey for dinner and it was awesome.

Sunday we missed the 7:30 mass and the 9:30 mass (just barely) but made it to the 10:00 at St. Ann's! Afterward we packed up and headed right out to Lazy Q Farm for my uncle's annual Fall Party. We've been looking forward to this for a very long time. Usually it's just my extended family hanging around eating chili, with pumpkin carving for the kids. This year it kind of got turned into Redneck Fest. Martin brought his clay pidgeon thrower and everybody brought their guns and we all rode down to the meadow on a tractor to practice our shooting, led by my 10-year-old cousin, Tyler, who has his youth hunting liscense and has already been hunting this year, who shot every target thrown for him. I missed every one of mine, much to Martin's dismay. It was really fun though, and then we sort of got the kids to line up nicely with their carved pumpkins:
But Anja would rather have been drawing on her pumpkin.
After everyone was gone, while I was getting the girls into jammies and having a little wind-down time before the drive home, Martin ran down to the woods and shot us another squirrel for the crock pot. Oh, how I love Indiana.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Prove It

Boy am I in trouble now!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October! October! Best Month of the Year!

This is how happy our Greta Bird is to be welcoming October.

Last night after dinner, we were just kind of hanging around, and Anja brought Martin my colorful baby wrap. I knew she wanted to wear her baby (and Martin knew it too) but he said, "my, this is an awfully big blanket!" and he started rolling her baby doll up in the wrap. Oh my gosh, she got SO MAD AT HIM. It was absolutely hilarious. When we'd caught our breath back after laughing so hard, we wrapped the baby onto her and we all went outside for a walk, which didn't get very far, since there were so many squirrels playing in the trees, and eventually we decided to go to the library. I checked out "The Passion of the Hausfrau" because it was noted in the current issue of Mothering Magazine. Martin got some books on processing your own deer.

This cold weather makes me really crave wireless internet. I am picturing myself in coat, hat and gloves while making blog posts this winter and it's not such a pleasant imagining. Of course, once we win the lottery, we're going to totally re-do the back room, including adding about nine furnaces to it, so then I'll just kind of live back here and make blog posts all the time.

Yesterday Greta had her 6-month checkup in the morning. She weighed in just shy of 18 pounds. From there we went over to the Smith's house to visit our friend Mary Grace, and her mommy. They fed us coffee and biscotti, Greta slept half the time and Anja was in desperate need of a nap and was SUPER cranky, but it was a fun time anyway!

Here's a business opportunity for anyone who wants me hanging around as their best customer: I saw a sign in the window of Burton Pools (Main and 8th... or 7th, I can't remember) that they have moved, or are moving. This is the place that used to be that giant antique store. I think it would be the perfect location for a natural food store, a Nature's Pharm or Sunspot kind of place. Not only would it be a great location for the owner, but also for ME! Which is, obviously, the most important part.

Don't miss out on this fall's hottest accessory:

Squirrel Purse! Found in a forest near you!

Also on the to-do list today is making fall cookies!! Yahoo! Oh how I do love cookies shaped like leaves and acorns. It makes them all the more delectable.

Happy Day!