Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Slumber Wumber

The girls are sleeping in today, which is not surprising, considering Greta didn't get much nap yesterday and Anja was up from about 3:30-5:30 in the night. Before Greta was born, I asked Martin what we would do if they were both up all night every night. He assured me that it wouldn't be that way--that they would tag-team it. He was so right. Most nights Anja only wakes up once or twice and goes right back to sleep with some snuggling and a bottle. Greta is our new bad sleeper. However, last night Greta basically slept through the night and it was Anja who kept me up all night! *sigh* Someday when Martin and I are rich, well-rested and bored, we will look back on these days very fondly, I'm sure of it. But until then, I think I'll make another pot of coffee.

Our Christmas season has been delightful but I'm a little bit dreading the end of it. Christmas is SUCH a cozy time. What will I do without my festive Christmas lights and happy little tree? Plus, the end of Christmas means I have to put away all the presents, and that is a scary thought!

We are really looking forward to getting the back room cleared out and installing our woodstove. It's going to be a lot of work, but soooooooo worth it, and I think it'll result in us spending most of our time back here. And when we win the lottery, we're going to rip up the carpet back here and install wood floors. We're planning to win the lottery any day now.

And that's about it.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas to All!

Sorry about the pictures being all at the top and in no specific order... for some reason I can't get blogger (or my computer, for that matter) to do what I want. Oh well.

I think I can pretty much say, without a doubt, that this was the best Christmas Martin and I have had in a looooooooong time. It was really great! No family stress, very little baby-related stress, and lots of excitement and magic. A short rundown of Christmasses past: Up until we were married, the best thing about Christmas was our Christmas Game Nights, when on Christmas Night we got together with all of our friends and played board games. This was a VERY fun tradition that has lasted many years. The year we got married we were wed on the 22nd, spent the 23rd buying groceries and everything we needed as newly-living-together people after living in our parents houses forever, spent the 24th buying all of our stupid, thoughtless gifts for our family members, spent Christmas bouncing between both families, planning out some kind of honeymoon for some time in the future... which we never got, but that doesn't matter. Year two: The year of The Screaming Anja. In short, Christmas was awful. Year three: Better. Still kind of weird though, having a child, but one who didn't quite care about Christmas. However, Anja did take her first steps on Christmas night! Also, we spent Christmas Eve doing all of our shopping. BARF. Year four, this year! WONDERFUL!! Anja LOVES unwrapping gifts! We got wonderful gifts for people! We were so excited to be with our families, to give them meaningful things, to eat food that Martin had shot and I had prepared! Everything was really great!

On Christmas Eve we went to the 4:30 mass with Martin's family and my parents. The girls were really horribly behaved, despite the fact that they'd both had naps. Oh well. For the past fifteen minutes of Mass, Anja shouted, "Gagy! Gagy!" (baby! baby!) wanting to go up to the big nativity scene to visit the baby Jesus. She also was crying out for the donkey. She really likes donkeys.

Christmas at Ooma and Oompa's house was so fun!! We got a Seal-A-Meal from my parents, and a woodstove from them too, which means when Martin comes home with squirrels, we can seal some up while the rest are frying atop the woodstove. SO EXCITING. Anja received a baby doll that is pink, which is the first doll she's named herself: Pink-Pink. Pink-Pink is now a treasured member of the family. I'm afraid Greta has been teething, which is torture for everyone around, but she got a funny orange teether doll, and a lot of other good toys to gnaw on. Anja got a gorgeous wooden doll stroller from my parents as well. We ate loads of food. It was loud and crazy and fun. Aunt Anna May came! Everything was perfect. Best presents we gave: A monetary contribution to The Gorilla Foundation in my dad's name, to buy Christmas presents for the gorillas; a deer antler coat/hat rack for Christopher made with antlers we had here (not from anything Martin shot) and a piece of wood from my grandparents' barn; a quilt kit for Grace with pinwheel block instructions, all in a cute white basket.

Santa came in the night and left Anja and Greta all sorts of lovely treasures. A family of colorful gnomes with mushrooms, a new umbroller that is brown with pink butterflies, some books, some toys, some tights. After all the hard work on Anja's blue slippers, she hasn't really cared much about them. Too bad! Maybe they'll grow on her. After opening presents in the morning, my parents and Martin's sister came over for Christmas breakfast. I had put a venison roast in the crock pot overnight, and I mashed up some potatoes and we had a loaf of challah bread, and it was a really fabulous Christmas breakfast. Shortly after we ate, we all took off for Chicago for Christmas with Martin's side of the family.

More craziness, fun, good food, and presents. Anja and Greta were showered with thoughtfulness, as was I. My sister-in-law made aprons for everyone, including Anja! They are reverseable and wicked cute. She gave Anja a doll carrier that looks like a tiny Ergo. !!!! Greta got more things to gnaw on. Martin's mom gave him a pulley thingy for his deer, and renewed his NRA membership! My other sister-in-law gave me a flower necklace that is much like the one she wears that I've always secretly coveted. We gave everyone gift baskets full of Martin deer sausage, Fair Oaks cheese, Oliver wine and dried salted peas that I imagine must be local because they are from D&R. I think everyone really appreciated them. The ride home was scary slick. We were going 35mph down the highway and still sliding. We passed wreck after wreck and were sure we were going to get pounded by one of the idiots whizzing past us. Scary! Then Greta woke up and we pulled into Fair Oaks Farms and got her out of her seat for awhile; Martin bought a little thing of ice cream and a big cup of coffee and it was snowing the Star Wars snowflakes, and it was really pretty cozy.

On Boxing Day we went shopping with TusaRebecca and I got two shirts from Gap, but I got home and decided to return them because, thanks to two years of nursing, my "girls" just aren't what they used to be and I don't look right in any kind of clothes. *sigh*

Anja is so cute. My mother-in-law found sheepskins for all the grandbabies. We put Anja's and Greta's on the floor in the living room and Anja has been rolling around on them all day, burrowing in and snuggling up... too cute.
We've been taking it easy for the weekend. We're getting some snow--nothing major, just a few inches--and it's a very cozy snow. We did run out to the store this afternoon, but other than that, we've just been cozied up in the house together, letting everyone come to us. Last night Martin's family brought pizza over for dinner, then our friends Perkins and Joel came by. It's been a really nice little Christmas weekend. Tonight we're going to try frying squirrels and see if I can succeed at doing it. I have never had success in frying anything breaded... so we'll see. And from what we've read, frying seems to be the best way to have them, with gravy, so I do hope they turn out. Martin was going to go hunting today after mass, but he got halfway there and realized he hadn't changed the barrel on his shotgun. By the time he got home he decided it wasn't worth the drive back out, and the roads were getting full of snow by that time as well. Maybe next weekend!
This afternoon we put the girls in their snowsuits and played outside. Greta and I came in early, but Anja had a great time playing out front while her daddy shoveled the walks. Yay snow! I'm glad it's finally here. Winter is so much more cheerful when there's snow on the ground.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

On the Eve of Christmas Eve...

Ugh. I don't know how long it's been since I've read ANYONE's blog. How depressing.

What's not depressing is that tomorrow is Christmas Eve!! I am soooooooo excited for Christmas this year. It actually FEELS like Christmas to me, and I'm ridiculously thrilled to give our gifts to their recipients and most of all to bring Anja downstairs on Christmas morning. Martin and I are a little bit sad that it's going to be a few years before we can be back at the Midnight Mass, but that's okay. I'm sure the 4:30 will have a sweetness of its own. In any case, it'll be better than last year when I don't think Santa Claus even visited our house and we bolted out the door first thing in the morning to make it to the 7:30 mass like a couple of old people. That was less than fun. This year everything is better. I have basically finished my shopping... one thing I finally thought to get for Martin I can easily pick up tomorrow afternoon, and if I don't get it, oh well. It's not that special anyway. Tonight we are going to sip hot cocoa in our HUGMUGS that we recieved for our anniversary from the Watsons (THANKS!!!) and finish up all the wrapping and the small bit of crafting we have left to do. Then I will organize the present according to family/child/santa/mommy and daddy and go to bed knowing that tomorrow all I need to do is cook and bake. Well, and get that one thing for Martin... but that hardly counts. Martin works until 11:00 tomorrow. Hopefully I can get two pies made and a venison roast simmering in the crock pot all before he gets home. Anja getting a nap tomorrow is A MUST, and we'll go to the 4:30 mass at St. B with my parents and Martin's family, then back to my parents' house for dinner and Christmas with them. On Christmas Day we will be our own little family and have our little presents and a nice breakfast of venison roast, (which I intend to cook overnight in the crock pot) and fried potatoes or oven fries, then we'll head up to Chicago after breakfast for Christmas with the Schap side of the family. It'll be a busy, but festive couple of days!

For now I must go tend to fussy Greta so Martin can make the hot locolate. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hygge, Anyone?

Christmas is only a few days away at this point, and for the first time in a few years I actually feel completely prepared for it. Well, as of tonight, anyway. I am really feeling good about the gifts we are giving people this year. I think we've really succeeded in choosing thoughtful, perfect-for-that-person gifts that really haven't cost us much at all! Some people are, as always, getting gifts that are lovingly given, but not anything super special. But I feel like with a lot of the gifts, we've really done well. Not to toot my own horn or anything... it's just that for the past three years we've spent Christmas Eve doing ALL of our Christmas shopping (literally) and rushing to get everybody anything that will fit within our budget, no matter how stupid or crummy, or "Oh, thanks, another coffee-table book!" it is. So this is a refreshing feeling! Not only that, but I have even begun my wrapping. Hoorah! I LOVE wrapping presents. This year's cutest wrap-job goes to Joannie's gift, which is also one of our most thoughtful gifts, which is also funny because it might be the first time I've ever given Joannie a Christmas present, even though she is my oldest friend!

Okay, so anyway.... I spent all of Friday in the kitchen making tiny gingerbread angels and chocolate chip cookies, which I piled onto a plate on the kitchen counter and bundled into little paper bags with tissue paper in them. I was trying to make a nice assortment of the two kinds of cookies, and I got six bags done yesterday. Then this morning I came downstairs to find all the chocolate chip cookies GONE. Martin had eaten them ALL! So now people are only going to get gingerbread and no chocolate chip cookies. Sorry, everyone! And also, they might be kind of stale because I don't know when they'll actually get delivered. Maybe you can drill holes in them and use them as tree ornament. Oh well... the theme is Christmas cheer, not Christmas punctuality.

Today on the radio Martin heard a story about Danish people and their word "hygge," which roughly tranlates to mean "coziness." They talked about how Denmark has terrible, dark, depressing winters and how everyone there could very well be all full of gloom, but instead, they are saved by "hygge," which is to say, they spend their dark evenings sitting by candlelight with their loved ones, drinking hot chocolate and enjoying the dark coziness of winter instead of wishing it were sunny and warm. In the spirit of "hygge" Martin made some of his famous spicy hot chocolate and we lit all the candles in the front room and sat around eating--OOPS! Guess nobody's getting any cookies at all now!--gingerbread people. The cozy and calm was only slightly disturbed by Grabby Greta, who made it necessary to move all of the candles up to high places, and to hold our hot chocolates high in the air and to have to drink them standing up so she couldn't get at them. But still... we tried.

Also, I have to say that my sister throws the best parties! She also makes the best food, especially her tomato bisque. YUM!

Anja has been having a splendid time lately, spending lots of time with her Ooma and with her cousins.

Today my friends Perkins and Alison both came over!!!!!!!!!!!! Perkins has a broken foot and Alison is pregnant!!!!!!! It's very sad that Martin and I have zero friends living in Lafayette, but it does make seeing them that much more exciting.

Time to go back up to the front of the house to keep my manfriend company. He is cleaning his guns after an unsuccessful day of hunting. Too bad! The season ends tomorrow, and I want him to go out to try for one more doe, but he is being stubborn.

I wanted to start this post "last night when Martin was filling his powder horn" but then I couldn't remember what it was we were talking about while he was filling his powder horn. Still, it seemed like a funny thing to say.

Anyway... both girls are asleep now, so we can catch up on our "hygge"!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Blogging? What's that?

Oh my. I not only feel like I am never going to keep up with this blog again, but that I don't even have anything to say! My life has never been overly exciting, but these days it's just plain boring. We are in a nice routine at home. Actually, scratch that... ANJA is in a nice routine at home. Greta, on the other hand, seems to have fast-forwarded through her childhood and now is in teenager mode, staying up late and sleeping till noon. We had one lovely night when she went to bed at 7:00 and slept until 7:30 the next morning (not straight through by any means, but she didn't get up to play) but except for that one night, she's been going down anywhere between 7:00 and 9:00 and then waking up an hour later, wide awake, happy, screeching, smiling, playing, etc. At least she doesn't wake up screaming. I mean, it could be worse. But still. Sometimes I crave sleep.

Anyway, enough complaining. Our days have been delightful! This week I've been taking Martin to work in the morning and having the car for myself in order to do some Christmassy kinds of things. On Wednesday I left the girls with my mom for awhile and got some hardcore shopping done. I scored big at Old Navy, where I was not shopping for my girls, but someone else, and could not pass up the amazing sales they were having! I got Anja an ADORABLE red toggle coat for an amazing price, as well as a matching Fair Isle knit hat and mittens set. At Once Upon a Child I got a few books for the girls and some wooden toys for Greta. I bought the toys new because I had no idea that they sell used toys along the back wall. My sister told me later that day. I have never gone to the back wall because that's where the big kid clothes are and I've never had reason to go back there! I feel slightly cheated, but I don't mind so much. I didn't pay much for the things I got Greta and I think she'll like them. Especially the funny little Melissa & Doug caterpillar thingy.

Letsee, what else. Since Martin's injury last week (he's still not recovered) we lost some time on our Christmas crafting, and so the trikes are going to be an Easter present to the girls instead. This is fine, because Martin will be able to spend an appropriate amount of time on them and they'll get to ride them outside right away. My felted blocks for Greta turned out to be disasterous, (which is why I had to buy her some toys) but oh well. I'm really excited for Christmas. I can't wait for Anja to come downstairs and see that Santa Claus has come in the night and eaten up the cookies we are going to leave for him and left presents for her and Greta. Really, really, really, I'm excited.

Yesterday the girls and I went out to visit MaryGrace and Mrs. Smith! It was a lovely break in our day, and Anja just loves to be social, even though you wouldn't believe it by the way she just plays by herself the whole time. After that we came to my mom's house and then were surprised by an invitation out to Moe's for dinner with everyone. Anja was sooooooooo excited to go to dinner with her cousins, and she was wearing some very pretty new pajamas that were purple and had cats on them. Her Ooma gave them to her when she spilled water all over her clothes. Plus, it was pretty much bedtime.

So, seriously, I'm a very boring person lately. We just kind of hang out, run a few errands... we went to the grocery store today and Anja got to ride in the car cart, and she was SO EXCITED. Then her hair got really staticky and she looked hilarious. She's taken to wearing these hot pink leg warmers with everything and she puts them on herself. In fact, she's getting really good at dressing herself and it's the funniest thing I've ever seen in my entire life.

Time to go pick up Martin from work! (I'm at my mom's. Anja wants to spend all of her time here now.)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My Joy Bubble Went *Pop*

So, yeah.... remember my elation over our new wireless internet? All the joy I found in looking up recipes in my kitchen? How it made me a better mom because instead of just hanging around on my blog all day (as I had expected myself to do) I actually looked up crafts and things to do with Anja, and we made a paper plate wreath and were going to make play-dough ornaments, but I was all out of salt. AND, we were listening to Christmas music nonstop on Pandora (which I often call "manna" because it is heaven-sent) and having a jolly time, all the time. I ACTUALLY CHECKED MY EMAIL. Miracle!

Well, then tonight we started hearing this horrible noise and realized it was coming from our laptop. It had gone all crazy, and we still don't know what went wrong, or how it went wrong, or why it was making this awful noise. But anyway, it's dead now and we don't know how to fix it, so don't expect to see me around this blog very often after all. It's back to the dark ages for me. *tear*

It's not like we don't have internet though, so I still do have a link (haha! That's like a pun!) to the outside world. It's just that it's a very, very COLD link, being here in the unheated Big Back Room....

Anyway. Martin's old hip injury has flared up so he's kind of an invalid, poor boy! Many pain pills and lying on a heating pad. I'm glad I'm not an athlete of any sort! Best to be lazy and fat and in one piece that physically fit and lying on a heating pad, in my opinion. Just teasing, Martino! I feel sorry for you, and I'm glad you're physically fit!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ho Hum, Just Another Post...

....FROM MY KITCHEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am sitting at my kitchen table. Right now. And I'm on the internet. CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE IT?!?!? It's taken almost a year from our first attempt at setting up our wireless, and now we finally got all the necessary components together and we got the whole thing set up, and--most importantly--working. Jubilation is not enough word! This opens up so many opportunities for me. I will no longer feel like a hermit crab in my lonesome tank! If I can't find a recipe in my cookbooks, I can look online! And then I won't even have to write down the recipe (as fast as I can, on whatever scrap of paper I can find, while Anja is doing who-knows-what in the front of the house unattended) because I can just leave the computer screen up and look at it as I go! This is amazing. If I am wondering if it's too cold to go out for a walk, instead of just assuming that it is, I can look up the weather! If I'm not sure if it's going to rain, I can do the same thing! I can blog more often, because I will not have to wait until the girls are asleep, or being cared for by Martin! This is so great. Not only is this great for my social life, but also for my chances of frostbite. Tomorrow's high is only 16! Brrrr! Thanks to our newly setup wireless, I will be keeping track of the arctic air from the comfy warmth of my own kitchen, with my girlies scampering happily around me (as Greta is doing right now) and a cup of coffee that isn't icing over right here on the table. Hmmm... I wonder now if I should change the title of my blog... Rants and Ramblings from the Kitchen Table? Any suggestions will be welcomed. Oh! Another thing I can do is play my Snapfish slideshows of my Skinny albums... like when Martin and I were CC prom chaperones, and the summer we were engaged, and when we got married. I was so skinny! I can watch the slideshows while I swing my kettlebell in the evenings! THIS IS GOING TO BE SO GREAT!! Thanks, Wireless Internet, for saving my life on so many levels!
And while Martin was busy with computering tonight, and Greta has been ridiculously happy and curious about all of Anja's toys (poor baby... it's a rare thing when she gets to play with whatever she wants and not have to worry about it being snatched right out of her hands and replaced with something much less exciting and/or yummy), I have been working on Christmas presents. I am thrilled to report that I have FINISHED the knit slippers for Anja. And although they sport many a flaw, they are made with love. As she requested, they are blue, with one pink inside and one green inside. They are really cute with little straps around the ankles that button. Unfortunately, one of my button holes came out really tiny, so it's kind of difficult to get that one buttoned, but that's okay, at least they won't fall off, I guess. Always a bright side. The pattern calls for them to have little crocheted flowers on the toes, but I don't know if I'll add anything on there or not... we'll see what kind of time I have on Christmas Eve.

So, those are done, and those were my one big project. My other big project is a cat quilt for Anja, which shouldn't be too bad, especially if I do it on machine. I have all the pieces cut, and it's really not too many... it's this really cute kit that my mom bought for me one day at JoAnn's. I think Anja is going to ADORE it... the whole middle is this funny cat print fabric, and all the other fabrics are different textures. There's a furry one, a silky one, a flannel one and a homespun. The cats are regular cotton. I'm really excited to give it to her, because I can see it becoming a favorite "gaky" (blanket). She is such a cat lady!
And, oh my gosh, so incredibly OCD. She did the hair brushing thing again the other day. I swear, she'll stand on her changing table for as long as I let her, just brushing her hair over and over and over again with brush, brush, comb. She's so funny! But Martin told me tonight that when he's out deer hunting he just sits there and counts. So I guess that's where she gets it. What a couple of weirdos.
Anyway, along with finishing the slippers, I pretty much finished the second knit mouse too, which is wool and colorful and sort of felted, except one piece (the biggest one, unfortunately) didn't felt up very well, so it just looks kind of hairy. Also, while the pieces didn't felt so much as they shrank into funny shapes, this mouse appears to have legs, and kind of a squished-up nose. He is cute though, and has much more personality than the green one I made first. I'm giving these to the girls, which was not my original plan. I had planned to make one for all of our nieces and nephews, but then I realized that was ridiculous on many levels. For one thing, I don't have that kind of time. For another, when I told someone this, her response was, "do they all have cats?" and I realized that it kind of would look like I was giving them cat toys. But I think my girls will love them.
Last year for Christmas, my parents gave Anja this adorable wooden hedgehog that has three different lengthed pegs and four stacking discs, with a different number of holes in them. I'm not explaining that very well, but it doesn't matter. What matters is that Anja has never really cared about it, but Greta LOVES IT. How funny.

And a few nights ago both girls took crazy late naps, so we had this evening free with a couple of happy girls.... so we went out for ice cream! Anja had no trouble choosing her flavor--BLUUUUEE!!! And she insisted that I wear my wooly earflap hat to match hers, so we took a picture.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mom of the Year

In all my rage against Twitter, I forgot to post about the Mom Of The Year Award I received on Monday. Well, I kind of gave it to myself. And it wasn't for being the best--it was for being the rottenest.

Sunday was the second week in a row that Greta went to church in her pajamas. The first time she was wearing some semi-cute ducky pj's that were at least fuzzy and warm, so I didn't look negligent, just lazy. This Sunday, however, she was just in this funny onesie-type thing with long-ish legs and long-ish arms that is really old and worn out because it's a three-time hand-me-down from my sister-in-law. On our way out the door, I tossed a dress and tights into my purse for her and figured I could get her dressed at church. So we got to mass (late, as always) and didn't even LOOK for a seat. We went straight to the back and just kind of camped out there, seriously, like homeless people, with our carseat and blankets (I brought a mountain of them since Greta was practically naked) and whatever weird toys Anja decided to bring along with her. Anja was wearing the dress that matched the dress I brought along for Greta, which are a nice soft orange with a very asian, blossomy print, except she was also wearing these hot pink, paisley leg warmers and her snowboots. So after I get over my embarrassment a little bit, I decide to get Greta dressed.... only to find out that her dress is so much too small for her that we can't get any of the buttons fastened! So she's in this smock-dress with an open back revealing her homeless person longjohns (which are cute and WARM, which is why she was wearing them in the first place, even if they are kind of ratty) and I try to cover her with a blanket, but she's so squirmy and she just wants to crawl around, making my life very difficult. After mass we went to my parents house, and I can't remember what else happened, but I remember feeling like kind of loser of a mom all day.

And then on Monday afternoon I realize we'd forgotten St. Nicholas day!! We didn't just forget to put the girls' shoes out, we forgot about it completely. In fact, today is the first day I've known what day it is the entire month of December, and that's only because my mom called me yesterday to tell me today is a holy day, and so today I know it is December 8th.

I guess that's the extent of my current scumminess. I could really go for a Starbucks salted caramel hot chocolate, but I don't think they make them anymore. Poo.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Better to Do

I swear, they do some kind of story that has to do with Twitter EVERY DAY on npr. I am so sick of it! Why do you have to keep telling me so blatantly that nobody in our country has enough to do?!? I know that there are people who are very against blogging and Facebook, etc., and I do kind of admire them... more for being against Facebook. I myself am completely addicted to Facebook, and after I've spent a stupid amount of time webstalking people I feel like a complete loser and go around for the rest of my day/night thinking about what better things I could have been doing with my time. Blogging is a little bit different... blogging is more like a journal. I mean, you do get something out of keeping an online account of your life... you get to look back on it and laugh, and blogs can be helpful things when looking for advice and opinions, inspiration, etc. So blogs are different. Facebook stinks. And this is coming from someone who thinks about checking Facebook way more often than I actually check it, which is very embarrassing.

Anyway, I think that Twitter takes this whole online social networking thing to a whole, disgusting new level. In fact, I'm so fired up about it right now that I'm sort of speechless. I can't think of the words to describe its stupidity. And you call your little entries of what you're doing this very instant "tweets"? OH MY GOSH. That's right. For those of you unfamiliar with it, on Twitter, you "tweet." Which is to say, you update your life moment-by-moment for all to read. "Hey, online world! I'm going to the bank!" "Hey cyberspace! I'm taking out the trash!" "Hey, billions of people with nothing better to do with your time! I'm brushing mats out of my dog's hair! And thinking about how much of a waste your life will look like when you are eighty-nine years old and in a nursing home remembering your youth!" I know this is harsh. Maybe some of you reading are really into Twitter. But seriously. Status Updates on facebook are stupid, pointless, and insanely addicting. I actually do make status updates that are as ridiculously lame as "I'm taking out the trash." But that's what I do when I'm also looking at newly posted photos of my nieces and nephews. Twitter just seems so far below that.

I dunno. Maybe it has something to do with my dislike of video games and seeing the similarity between the two, as far as being complete wastes of time. Maybe it's because the guy I dated in highschool played so many video games that for Christmas his family gave me a "bored girlfriend survival kid" full of other things to do... cute crafts and things, in fact... for when he wouldn't put down his game controllers, even though I was right there. BTW, his parents were so nice! For more reasons than just giving me funny gifts, that also included a very cute little dragon teapot. Well, anyway, I've gotten way off topic now.

Whatever. Twitter is lame. The end.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Curse You, Goodwill Store!!!!!

I have big plans for A Very Crafty Christmas. Obviously, since my entire extended family reads this blog, I can't go into much detail, except for the girls' presents, one of which, is felted blocks for Greta. Wool felt being kind of expensive, I had the great idea of getting a few Goodwill sweaters and felting them myself to use for my Christmas crafting. So tonight I had Martin drop me off at the Goodwill while he drove around and put the girls to sleep. The Men's section was pretty much a bust, but the Women's section held a pretty fine selection... OF THE CUTEST SWEATERS EVER. I went through in fast-forward speed, feeling everything and then if something felt like wool, I'd check the tag. 100% wool in a nice color made it into my cart. But then I'd look at it again... just my size.... name brand.... REALLY FREAKING CUTE.... And so, I bought 7 sweaters at the Goodwill tonight, and right now 4 of them are in the washing machine on the hot cycle. Yes, I kept three for myself. I just couldn't part with them!!!! And besides, as Martin so helpfully pointed out, I am in great need of more sweaters. See? If he says it's true, my purchases are totally justified.

My crafting ideas are getting a little out of hand though. Last night I told Martin I was thinking about knitting Bella the same pair of slippers I'm knitting Anja (which I have been working on for WEEKS, and which have been climbing the ranks of my "Project From Hell" list, inching their way up to the tippy-tippy-top) and Martin literally begged me--he actually said "I'm begging you"-- not to start another Christmas project. And he's right. I am completely overloaded. I have a total of twelve handmade gifts to give this year, and only two completed. Some of them I haven't even found/bought the supplies!!! And this doesn't include any of the regular shopping for people we've got to do, which I'm hoping to keep at a minimum, but still there are always those necessary little details. Our Schap Family Christmas is going to be held a few days early, so that gives me a little bit of timeline priority for those gifts, which is kind of calming. I'll have at least a week to get everything else done after that.

If you haven't been keeping up with Martin's blog, this will be news to you: We snagged a couple of tricycles from our fabulous neighbors, The Cooks, before they moved. There's a regular sized one and a smaller one, and both are in need of some work. One has a broken seat and they are both pretty rusty. Martin has big plans to repaint them, and he's been looking at online tutorials for things like plaids and stripes and adorable color combinations and accents. He's really excited to get started on them, and I'm really excited for Christmas morning when Anja sees her very own trike sitting in the living room under the Christmas tree. I am so insanely excited for Christmas with Anja this year. I can't WAIT until they put the nativity scene up at St. Boniface--she's going to LOVE IT. She loves our Christmas tree and she loves candy canes. We've been listening to Christmas music and hanging out in our cozy, twinkly front room, and it has this wonderful calming affect/effect (I will never, ever, ever, understand how to use those words) on our house. We spent yesterday and today making gingerbread cookies, which are delicious, and we've been filling our bellies with junk food and happy thoughts. My mom last year for Christmas gave us a gorgeous Fontinini nativity and Anja adores it. She carries the baby Jesus around with her everywhere. Very cute!

If I ask Anja, "what do you think [insert any name here] wants for Christmas?" She will answer with her cat sounds. If I ask her what SHE wants for Christmas, she will answer with her cat sound, with the specification of "brown."

I love the holidays. And it was completely awesome having all our friends in town and actually getting to hang out with them. Just like normal people!! Amazing!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Here are some pictures from our wonderful holiday weekend. Crazy face in the mirror.
Old friends! Emily and Perkins (and Joel, not pictured) came for dinner the night after Thanksgiving. It was so nice!

The burley man who cut down our chosen Christmas tree for us took this family picture. We love going to the tree farm to get our tree! They don't let you cut it yourself, but you do get to go out to the little tree field and pick it out, then the man comes and finds you with his wagon and his chainsaw and cuts your tree down, then gives you a ride back on the wagon. Anja loved it!
They have candy canes for the kiddies, and she loved that too. Her first one!
Old friends, Tim and Joel. Tim is holding his baby, Belle, who is three months younger than Greta. Joel has Greta.
Mama and baby
Anja rocking her baby by the "fireplace"

Is there anything cuter than a toddler who just discovered putting olives on her fingers?!? Delightful. She loves olives!