Thursday, November 26, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving! Today I am thankful for many things, but the biggest is that our Gretabird has gotten over her Big Sickness. It was a long road to recovery, but a full week and four doctors after it all started, she was given an antibiotic and within 24 hours was back to her old self.

By the time we got her medicine, she was just like a colicky newborn. She'd sleep for most of the day, and any time she was awake she was screaming. She would pitch herself forward, as if her stomach hurt, and scream. We were given answers that it was a virus that she'd get over; that it was a virus that she was pretty much over; and (after a night in the ER) that it was just gas. Finally on Tuesday a doctor in Indy told us she had a bacterial infection in her chest. Yesterday, as I gave her each dose of antibiotic, I was calling Martin to excitedly relay her progress. We were joyful about such stupid things as her opening her eyes (!!), showing interest in my earrings, being awake for an hour and not crying! She smiled for the first time in a week last night, and we were beyond thrilled. She got better and better at lightening speed, and last night we were back to the good old days--up until after midnight with a very happy, insomniac Greta. It was a very worrisome 7 days!

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bringing Home the Bacon...or Venison.

Martin shot this 8 point buckaroo out at Uncle Johnny's farm. This follows the wife he got on Wednesday that is pictured a few posts back, but here's another picture of her.

So actually, I'd forgotten that I had already posted about the doe, and Martin told me I had, and had provided a picture as well. But once I put a picture on here, I don't know how to delete them (unless it's by accident, of course!) so now you're stuck hearing about this deer twice. Sorry.

Greta has been sick since Wednesday. I took her into the doctor yesterday, he said it's a virus. Blah. She's got a fever and is acting very sick and sad. Poor baby. I wish he'd done a test for a bladder infection because she acts like her tummy hurts. If she's not any better by tomorrow, I might take her into the Urgent Care.

I am excited for the holidays. I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving, and I'm looking forward to putting up our Christmas decorations and getting our tree. I think Anja will really get a kick out of the Advent wreath, though I might not put up the advent calendar this year. I can just see all those little pieces getting carried all over the house by Anja and then Greta choking on them. So that might have to wait until next year. But still, I'm excited.

Also, I think we're going to do the whole Christmas Card thing this year. I really used to think Christmas cards were lame, but I've been thinking about all our friends who have moved away and who would probably get a kick out of receiving a Christmas card from the Schaps. Not only that, but we've get a handful from others every year (EVERY year, as if it's been so long, lol), and I absolutely love them. So I'd better get moving on that idea... but I think it's almost a definite go. Something I always said I'd never do! Oh well, I guess it's one of those many opinions that can change once you have kidders.

We had a possum on our patio tonight and Martin (again) wouldn't let me invite him in to sleep in our bed with us. Grrr. He actually went out and tried to club the poor, adorable, homeless thing. Seriously, people who hate possums should be burned. Do you realize how stinkin' cute they are?!?!?

And speaking of cute....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Double UGH!

Remember way back in my livejournal days when I heard on the radio that Joni Mitchell had put Rudyard Kipling's poem "If" to music and had recorded it on her new album? Do you remember my hatred for her at that time, and my wanting to scream at David Dye, "I DID IT FIRST!!!" Well, it's happened again!! Only this time, it's with the Advent tree that I just posted about the day before yesterday. I am currently reading Amanda Blake Soule's (the famous "SouleMama" blogger and crafter) book, "The Creative Family." I really like it, not only because it's giving me good ideas, but also because it's full of things that I already do, or already plan to do when Anja and Greta are a little older. (I feel like I've posted about this before... have I?) Anyway, I was just reading along enjoying myself when I come across her part about their family's "Season Tree" and how in winter it is an Advent tree, with "something hanging on the tree for each of the days leading up to your celebrated holiday." UGH!! I swear, I thought of it before I read this chapter! But I always feel like such a loser when these things happen, like no one will believe me that it really was an original idea, even if ten thousand million people have already thought of it before. I DON'T GET OUT MUCH!!!

Another idea in her book, which I got from my wonderful neighbor Tara (and admittedly, is a pretty popular idea anyway, according to the author) is to build fairy houses with your kids. I think this is a beautiful idea, and the Cook children used to do this all the time! They even had this huge old aluminum milk jug that held their "Fairy Food." Tara gave this to me to keep until further notice, and I fully intend next summer to give all the fairies in our neighborhood a good feeding. The cutest part about it, is that when I asked Tara on the phone what fairy food was, she wouldn't tell me "mostly birdseed" she just said, "Oh, you know... fairy food." That was it! She is so fun.

Anyway, I HAVE gotten lots of good ideas from this book and lots of encouraging of activities for tykes as young as Anja. The only annoying thing is reading your own ideas in somebody else's book that is making them rich and famous, while you're left looking like a lame-o who is ripping off other people's ideas and trying to pass them off as your own. *sigh*

Happy Hunting

Is there anything more encouraging than a 2-year-old wearing a blaze-orange hat and watching herself dance in the bathroom mirror? Evidently not. Martin took all of Anja's encouragement and went out and shot himself a deer yesterday.

A nice fat doe who will be soon turned into summer sausage and all sorts of other deliciousness to be stored away in our chest freezer to last us all year.

We actually have a video of Anja in her orange hat doing what we call her "Happy Hunting Dance" but we tried and tried last night to get it to post not sideways, and we couldn't figure it out. It is SO CUTE though. She has the craziest way of dancing.

And then last night Greta threw up and was awake crying for most of the night. Poor baby! She seems to be feeling much better now though, which is good.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Good Idea

Okay, seriously, I go weeks without posting and then I make three posts in a day. haha! I just had to share my good idea though, since it's about the first one I've had in my whole life! So I was driving home from buying some non-weight control cat food with Greta just now and thinking about Christmas music and Advent and the Holidays in general, and I was thinking it'd be nice to start a few fresh traditions for our little family. And I came up with one, that everyone is welcome to steal (or claim, and let me know that I am a total loser for thinking I'd come up with it on my own!) I thought it would be cute to combine the advent calendar/growing nativity idea and make an ornament for every day of Advent. They would be not just the people/characters of the nativity, but of the entire advent season, including Elizabeth and John the Baptist, and maybe if you run out of people you could throw in some animals too. I thought it would be cute if the girls could make little clothespin people ornaments every year in this tradition. Cute, huh? Obviously we won't be starting this tradition THIS year, but soon, hopefully. Or maybe I'll just do it by myself. Maybe we could have an advent tree AND a christmas tree. Or maybe that's a little much. I dunno, just an idea.

And because I can't help it, even if it does embarrass him, and even if it is a little gushy, I have to share Martin's good idea, which was to send me something in the mail. I recieved it today and it read: "(pet name for me): I am glad you are my best friend. Your best friend, (pet name for him.) " Do you recognize it? It's the letter Frog sent to Toad in the story!!!! Anja is completely obsessed with "Frog and Toad are Friends" these days and we read it over and over and over and over again. SHE LOVES IT. And that happens to be my favorite story in the book, and I think it's cute that Martin sneakily mailed me a letter just like that.

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Soooo.... Martin and I have started using "Time-Out" as a punishment for Anja when she intentionally beats up on her little sister. Yeah. It is SO not working. She loves Time-Out, and I really have no idea why. After she hits/bites/smothers/kicks Greta, we talk to her in a firm voice, telling her that Greta is very sad because Anja hit/bit/smothered/kicked her. Then Anja practically begs to be put into her Time-Out chair. The Chair is one of the dining room chairs, just a normal wooden chair, pretty, but nothing super special. When we noticed that the chair alone wasn't working, then Martin told her she has to sit up straight, because she's in Time-Out. But she loves that too, and she'll sit up very straight with this proud little princess smile on her face. I really don't get it. And what makes it horrible is that Martin has to talk through his hand to tell her to sit up straight while I'm holding Greta in front of my face because we are HORRIBLE PARENTS who can never stop laughing over Anja's cuteness, even when she is being absolutely rotten!!!!!

Okay, that's not true.... I don't ever laugh when she hurts Greta. It's just that Greta recovers quickly and then we all think life's so funny that Time-Out seems like just another funny thing. Ugh. I"m afraid our kids are going to grow up to be really annoying people, thanks to us. I sometimes wonder what God was thinking giving us children at all!?!?

"His Weight Saved Him"

As you know, we have a hefty cat. He hadn't been weighed in awhile, but we took him to the vet this morning and Theodore weighed in (on the dog scale) at 22lbs 4oz. The last time Anja was weighed she was 23lbs. Our cat is as big as our two-year-old! He is my precious loveyboy and I love him as much as I love my daughters, even though he is kind of disgusting and has a habit of missing his litter box. Anyway.... we've been noticing that he's been acting weird for a few months. We had a short battle with fleas late in the summer, so we became very diligent about the flea medicine. Then in the past week he's developed all these bald spots and sores, and has been really kind of crazy and almost eating himself he licks and chews his skin so often. I know, this is so gross. So we took him into the vet (I love our vet) and as it turns out, we've been doing EVERYTHING WRONG. First, we feed him weight control food. Evidently that's very bad. It doesn't supply them with the nutrients they need, and the sores on his skin were because his skin was deteriorating from not having enough nutrients!! How awful is that?! We are supposed to make sure he gets more fiber (luckily, he loves Cheerios!) and we are putting him on regular Iams food, not weight control. The vet predicts he'll drop below 20lbs in six weeks. The other thing we've been doing is using over-the-counter flea medicine, which is very toxic and builds up in their bodies and they can actually die. This vet has had nine animals die this year from cheap flea medicine. Isn't that terrible?! And this is where they told us "his weight saved him." MY LOVEYBOY COULD HAVE DIED!!!!! I feel like such a horrible pet owner, doing everything wrong. But the good news is, we know what to do now, we've got good flea medicine (Advantage) and hopefully Theodore will be feeling better and acting normal and dropping some poundage over the next few weeks. Poor boy!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cooking With Wine

This past Saturday we went to a wedding. I was really looking forward to dressing up, going out, and having a good time. In my mind, that good time included lots of adult conversation with people I don't see very often, and a glass or two of red wine, maybe a dance with my hubby, and a slice of wedding cake, but mostly I was excited to wear my brown dress and to have a glass of wine. Unfortunately, my girls had a different idea. Martin missed the entire wedding ceremony, as Anja was unable to be quieted and therefore was taken outside to run around the parking lot and watch trains go by. I missed half the wedding ceremony due to a hungry Greta, but I have to say, I did have a good time sitting on a very comfortable couch in the fancy "behind the scenes" room. After feeding Greta, someone had come in late and taken Martin's seat, which meant I had to crawl over people to get back to my own seat, so instead of returning I just went outside with Martin and Anja. When we noticed that the ceremony was over, we went back inside and followed the crowd upstairs to the reception. (This wedding was in a very cool building called the Mavris in Indianapolis.) To try and appease Anja, Martin had promised her cheese. Even for a cocktail hour, we assumed there would be some form of cheese to munch on. But, as usual, we were wrong. I think we might have been there forty-five minutes, but maybe it was less. Anyway, the girls both melted down and by the time we left Anja was practically screaming for cheese. I never got my wine, though I did get to talk to a few old acquaintances, and we ended up going to a McDonalds in Lebanon all dressed in our fancy clothes, and eating cheeseburgers together, just the four of us. I guess that's just the way things are meant to be sometimes. Not quite the way we had envisioned the night, but it makes for a good memory.

But anyway, I was still missing my glass of wine. I am not a big wine drinker in general, but I felt kind of cheated on Saturday. Something about a brown polka-dotted satin party dress just calls for a glass of red wine, and doing without was kind of a big bummer. However, I had coincidentally planned this week to make a pasta sauce that my sister-in-law had given me the recipe for, and it called for one cup of red wine. Because I cook with wine even less often than I drink it, this meant we bought a bottle at the grocery on Friday night when we were buying our groceries for the week. And tonight as I was making my "Ragu" sauce (definitely NOT the stuff from a jar, or anything like it) I had myself a big ol' glass of red wine. At last!

Martin is on vacation this week. He is going to do a little deer hunting and hopefully we'll have a freezer full of meat soon. Martin is into hunting more for the meat than for the sport, but I am learning a little more about the sport of it anyway, and it makes me laugh. Men are so funny!

I am knitting a pair of slippers for Anja for Christmas. I'm nervous about them. I'm afraid I'm going to put a lot of time into them and they're going to turn out completely wrong. The pattern is fairly easy (or should be, but I'm a terrible knitter) but there are no pictures! So when I get the the end of a section, I'm not sure if it looks like it's supposed to look! And I won't know until the very end when it's time to put it all together. I also have some felted Christmas plans, but can anyone tell me, when using felted wool sweaters, do you felt the sweaters first, and then cut them as felt? Or do you cut up the sweater and then felt the pieces?

I have so many things I want to get Anja for Christmas. I'm so excited for this Christmas, I think she's going to really love it. I'm excited to show her the nativity scene and to decorate our tree. My sister-in-law gave her a snowsuit for her birthday, so now I'm excited for snow!

We changed Anja's earrings this weekend. Last year for Christmas she got a pair of blue and a pair of red studs from my mother-in-law, and I've never been brave enough to change them. But on Sunday we asked her if she wanted to change, and she said yes. We let her choose her new pair and she chose the blue ones. We sat her up on the bathroom counter so she could watch, and she was thrilled to pieces. She just looked at her ears in the mirror and smiled. It was so adorable!!! Now she walks around touching her ears and saying "blue" and "grandmamma." (As of now the names of both her grandmas sound the same and we have to ask her which one she's talking about. It's kind of confusing.) She is so cute.

Holy smokes, it's after midnight!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Quick Post

I really have to be using my time more wisely than this, because we're almost to the middle of November and I have zero, I repeat, ZERO Christmas presents finished. Many have been started and scrapped. One has been started and not yet scrapped. Three are still sitting in my head, not started. Yikes! I'm going to be a busy, busy bee from now until Christmas Eve.

We've all been sick since the middle of last week. We're still snotty and coughing, though I don't think we're contageous anymore. That's good. Still, it's hard to have Anja and Greta snotty because tiny noses are hard to wipe.

We have a wedding to attend tomorrow afternoon. For the last wedding we were supposed to attend, I could barely zip up my dress (I have one nurseable fancy dress that I have worn to every wedding/semiformal event since Anja was born) so I kind of sank into a mild depression and refused to go. That was in August. I'm hoping that Saturday sees better results and that I don't have to make up some lame story for my in-laws to explain why we're not going.

I am currently reading Amanda Blake Soule's "The Creative Family" and it makes me feel good about myself. So far, much of her ideas are things I already do, or have already planned to do when Anja is a little older. However, I'm still getting good ideas and I am really loving reading it.

Ok, time to get back to the crafting!!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Birthday Bash

Yesterday was our party for Anja's birthday. We originally invited all our family members and friends (via facebook) but then the girls got these monster colds last week that by Saturday night had morphed into croup for Anja and just an icky bad cold for Greta. On Sunday we went to different masses alone and kept the girls home. We didn't cancel the party, but we advised people not to come, so it ended up just being the hardcore family members: The Grandparents. And AunT! And it turned out to be perfect. Very low-key, Anja woke up awhile after everyone got there in a great mood, Greta slept for most of the party, only joining us at the very end (also in a great mood) and since it was just familiar faces, Anja was her usual, comfortable self the entire time. It was great! It was SO MUCH FUN to bring her out and tell her that everyone was here for her birthday party. She was so thrilled. She was even more thrilled when after a round of "Happy Birthday to You" we all sang "B-I-N-G-O" to her! SHE LOVED IT!!! I realize I look like I have a ginormous belly in this picture, but really it's just Figgy's dark pants behind mine.

I have to say, our families have done a magnificent job of gift-giving in the past two years. Our girls have only received thoughtful, wonderful gifts. Our house is not full of junk that is thoughtlessly given as "just another toy." My mom gave her this little soft farm book that comes with little animals that are housed in their own barn. She gave her this because Anja loves this Little Red Riding Hood book of my mom's that is the same style. So far I don't think she's figured out that the animals and the book go together, but she is loving playing with the animals and the barn! She also gave her a little wooden stool for her table in the kitchen. It's perfect. Martin's mom gave her the most hilarious red knit dress that is actually REALLY CUTE, if maybe meant for a slimmer two-year-old. When she opened it, she wanted to put it on... and as soon as it was on, she ran away saying "red! red!" and got her matching red shoes. She is too cute!The umbrella came from Martin and me. Mrs. Schap also gave her a pile of bangle bracelets, which is a perfect Anja gift. TusaRebecca gave her a storybook and a package of tiny barettes, which she was absolutely thrilled with!!!! Give this girl fashion accessories and she's happy. Last Christmas we were so pleased with the things people gave her. Really thoughtful gifts that are perfectly suited for our home and for Anja. I hope the trend continues forever!! A cute picture of Greta and her Grandmamma.

The colds that the girls got last week have finally made it through all of us. Martin and I are in the thick of it now, and Anja is mostly better. She just has a lingering cough. Greta is still pretty snotty, but I bet she'll be lots better by tomorrow. This thing lasts forever! I have a feeling we'll all be coughing for the rest of the winter. Bleh.

This is Anja at our last trip to the Stuckey Farm orchard, the day we lost Cook Baby. Did I ever mention on here that Cook Baby was retrieved? She was. And she received a beautiful green sweater from Aunt Anna for Anja's birthday!

Anja received a package in the mail today from her Auntie Joannie! So exciting!!! She got a set of wooden blocks and a card with cupcakes on the front that she carried around with her for a long time.

I met my sister and brother-in-law at the CHOICES meeting tonight. I missed most of it because I took such a long time getting out of the house, and when I got home bedtime was a complete disaster, but oh well. The girls are finally down now and maybe we'll have a better night than last night, when Greta woke up screaming bloody murder at 4:00 and I found a wadded up piece of packing tape inside her pajamas. What the heck!? Who knows how it got there, or how she made it until 4:00 without noticing!

And what's the only thing worse than congratulating someone on her pregnancy when she isn't actually pregnant at all? When the roles are reversed! Ouch! Looks like I'll be asking for a gym membership for Christmas!

Happy Birthday, Anja Pie!

Happy Birthday to our Pie!! It's been a terrific 2 years!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Saved by the Stick People

The following is a post I made last night up at my parents. I will make another post tomorrow, with pictures from today's birthday party!

This afternoon on this absolutely gorgeous day we took a walk downtown. We went to Two Tulips to look for possible birthday presents for Anja, and we were successful. We had really wanted to get her a stuffed squirrel, and specifically were hoping for a squirrel puppet from Von's, but Martin checked and they didn't have any. So that's disappointing, but we did find a really cute ladybug umbrella and this stuffed animal that we're not sure if it's a rabbit or a dog, but Anja really liked it. We were able to get her to put things back at the store, even her most favorite things, but as we were walking home, she spotted the end of the umbrella poking out of the shopping bag. And she threw a giant fit, as any two-year-old would. Once we got home she was still screaming, and since she has this cold it was a really miserable sight, with snot oozing and bubbling out of her nostrils and drool hanging from her chin. But then Martin totally saved the day by getting out his saw and making her a little family of stick people! SHE LOVES THEM!! There's a mama, daddy, baby and dog! I swear, sometimes I don't know why I don't join the workforce and let Martin stay home with the girls. Last night Anja kept saying "star" over and over again, which is confusing since it also sounds just like "heart" and we couldn't figure out what start/heart she was talking about. Finally, Martin suggested that they go draw stars and hearts together and then she could color them. Brilliant!
We're up at my parents' house for dinner tonight, so I'm blogging from their computer, but in our back-and-forth saga with Comcast, it seems we've won, maybe by their mistake, but hey, we'll take it! We've been told so many different current and changing rates and it's been kind of a huge mess, but today we got a bill that was only $2.25 more

Friday, November 6, 2009


Anja has been sick with a cold. Poor baby! Yesterday was the worst; today she seems to be feeling a lot better. I hope she's back to her old self by Sunday for her birthday party!

Martin is calling Comcast today during his lunch break to tell them that a $30 increase is ridiculous and that we're not paying that, so thanks a latte, but we'll take our business elsewhere. I'm making him do it because while I think it's ridiculous and I am not about to pay $70/month for basic internet, I would just call and say we're cancelling our service, but he wants to put up a fight and see if they'll keep our bill at $40. Meh. We live across from the library and cold winter is coming, so blogging from home would be frigid anyway. I could do without the internet for awhile. And maybe if I didn't have it, I would spend my few-and-far-between spare moments doing something more productive, like working on Christmas presents.

I am not a fan of Starbucks coffee, but those VIA packets made up as a cafe au lait are to die for and I could definitely go for one right now!!!!!

Martin and I might have recently stumbled upon the farm of our dreams. Good thing it isn't for sale, or we'd have to name it The Poor Farm, as opposed to the totally perfect name we are giving our farm on the day we get it. Maybe this place will turn up on the market around the time we're able to get out of our house. That'd be good. Until then, our next project is turning the Big Back Room into our bedroom.... again. Hopefully this time it'll work out a little better, and then the girls can have their own room!

So, this might be my last blog post for awhile. Don't miss me too much, hahaha!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Putting Things Away

I just put away the jungle-print infant swing that normally sits in the kitchen, in front of the tall blue shelves. It hadn't been used in so long that it was full of toys I kept throwing in when I was sweeping the floor. Anja had even lost interest in snapping and re-snapping the clasps. *sigh* The newborn stage is definitely not my favorite of my babies.... in fact, it's my very least favorite. I know some people love it, but I tend to have screamers, and look forward to my life being more like what it is now, when everyone is laughing and cheerful and playing games, as well as being snuggly. But still. It's sad to put things away. Who knows when I'll get it back out again? So sad. My babies are growing up.
At the risk of jinxing myself, I have to say that Anja is getting so much better at this whole sleep thing. Yesterday she had a three hour nap AND went down for bed at home, at 7:00!! That's a miracle. She's also started eating well again. For awhile we couldn't get her to eat, and it was so frustrating. I know she isn't going to starve, and I know she'll get her nutrients one way or another, even if she goes days just picking at her food. But the real annoyance comes from her being so doggone grouchy when she doesn't eat. We had a few days where she refused everything I offered her and she was just such a crab! Now we're back to our old ways though, which are curious ways, as illustrated last night when I pulled some nice warm brownies out of the oven and poured us each a glass of milk and handed out three slices of brownies with our dinner. Anja took one bite of hers and said, "blech." She put it back on the plate and returned to eating her sugar snap peas. I know I shouldn't complain that my 2-year-old prefers vegetables over sweets, but really.... what's WRONG with her?!?
One more funny story: The other day out with my sister and sister-in-law, we went to Plato's Closet (woohoooo!) where, even though I swore to myself that I wouldn't, I did a little impulse buying. And then I felt guilty. As cute as it is, I don't NEED a flowery tank top. And as fun and funky as it is, I surely don't NEED that long, billowy, colorful blouse that is just so interesting and reminds me of my friend Alison, I can't wait to wear it. Fun, but not a necessity. So after showing them to Martin, I told him I was going to return them the next day. He said he wouldn't let me. I said his opinion didn't count. You know what he did? He dug the reciept out of the bag and set it on fire! What a weirdo! So now I'm stuck with my impulse buys, I guess. Although, they are so, so cute I really can't complain about that either.... and the flowery tank top I think will look really good with my brown sweater. !!!!

There are a zillion cute things Anja did yesterday, but how can I document them all? And when Greta woke up at 10:30 after being asleep for a few hours, what could I do but bring her downstairs and let her play with us while we had rootbeer floats? She is so darn cute. I wish my girls looked cuter in the pictures I post of them. They really are very cute girls, though they always look a little weird in the pictures.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Will This Post Get Published?

I've lost track of my number of unfinished drafts that sit in my list of blog posts. It's hovering somewhere around three zillion.

My brother and sister-in-law were in town for a visit this weekend. They got in on Thursday last week and left this morning. It was so great to be able to chat with Anna, make fun of Ben, and hang around with my three crazy nieces. Anja had a fabulous time with all of her cousins. In fact, she had such a blast that at the close of their visit, in keeping with her true fashion, she threw up! Good times!

No, but seriously, I have to do a little posting about her wonderfulness. Yesterday Martin took the bus to work, so I had the car all day. Shortly after the girls woke up I hurried them into their clothes and we went up to Ooma's house to start our day. Anja played beautifully with her cousins, and in fact, there was an hour or so--AN HOUR OR SO (!!!!!!)-- in the upstairs playroom when Anna and I just sat and talked after Julia and Greta had both fallen asleep nursing and Zita, PeterXavier and Anja played together so happily that just thinking about it makes me feel all bubbly inside. WARM FUZZIES!!!!!! After awhile, Sarah, Anna and I ran a couple of errands just with my girls and Bella with us, and I took Martino his lunch (thanks to Sarah who drove me there) and after that, my mom told us that she and my dad were taking us out to dinner, so I headed home in hopes of getting Anja a short, late nap, just to give her a boost to make it through the rest of the evening. I tried our usual routine, and she was too wound up to sleep. So I went for a little drive, and she just sang songs and recited all the names/sounds of her family members. I was frustrated, thinking the night would be a complete bust. BUT I WAS WRONG! SO WRONG!! Usually, on no-nap days, Anja starts melting down around 4:00 and I begin counting the seconds to bedtime. Yesterday, however, 4:00 came and she came to me with her little doll stroller loaded up with friends, asking for a walk. Greta wasn't sleeping either, so I put Greta in her stroller and the three of us walked over to the library. Anja was perfect. We went to the kids section and straight back to the board books, where she sat down and "read" book after book after book. (She said she was reading to Greta.) Then when Greta started fussing, I told Anja it was time to go and asked her to stack all the books on the edge of the bench we'd been sitting on. She immediately hopped up and collected all four thousand fifty board books and stacked them neatly on the bench. Then she got behind her stroller and headed for the door with her dolls. A-MAZE-ING. I am telling you, this has never happened before. I usually try to not go to the library much because it seems to make Greta grumpy, then Anja throws a fit when it's time to go, and those librarians tend to be a little grouchy themselves, so I most often feel it's best just to avoid the idea altogether. But yesterday changed my mind. Yesterday was great!

So then it was about 5:00 and Greta went down for a nap and Anja played and I don't know what I did until 6:00 when G woke up and we went up to my parents house for a quick stop before we had to pick up Martin at 6:30. I still can't believe how awesome Anja was. 6:30 is her usual bedtime on days with no nap, and here she was, complying perfectly with my every suggestion! It was a quick stop, she happily left to pick up Martin, and we met my family at the restaurant where Greta just hung out in her carseat and barely made a peep, and Anja ate a little bit and just seemed happy to be alive and with her cousins. It was fabulous!! Just fabulous! So fabulous, in fact, that after dinner we jammied up the girls and as we were driving home, Martin asked if we wanted to stop and get Anja a treat for being such an incredibly good girl all day. So we stopped at Target and intended to get her a Schleich animal, but she chose (oh, gee, you think?) a baby doll instead. It's actually a cute little one that we call "tiny baby" and she seems to reeeeeaaaalllly like it. In fact, Tiny Baby slept in her bed last night!

....until she threw up at 1:00 and me fussing with her woke Greta up and so the whole family was up until after 4:00. But you know what? It was amazingly pleasant. Anja wasn't really sick. She threw up twice, we gave her a bath and read books for awhile and she was her old perky self when we went back to bed at 4:00. And Greta, Most Awesome Baby in the Universe, was perfectly happy the entire time, until it was time for bed again and she nursed to sleep in a matter of minutes.

And if that wasn't great enough, both girls went down for a nap within the 10:00 hour this morning. Greta is just now waking up (as I am hearing through the monitor) and Anja is still asleep. With all that empty time I have been SO PRODUCTIVE. I've done laundry, cleaned the bathroom, washed the dishes.... whew! It's been a very good day.