Saturday, January 30, 2010

I can't help myself

Martin has started making fun of me because I've been embroidering owls on EVERYTHING.
And here's a snail! These are Anja's big girl underpants!

This was once a shirt of Martin's, now it is Anja's paint smock! I cut it up a little bit and put thick trim along the bottom and on the sleeves. I love it!
And up until this afternoon, these pants were a pillowcase! (sorry the picture is yellowy... bad light.)

And I'm adding things to my Etsy store!!! Did I mention I've gotten my sewing machine set up at last?! IT'S AMAZING!!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Busy Keeping Busy

Here is a taste of our lazy life lately, in pictures. Anja has been spending a lot of time on the ledge in the hallway that connects the front of the house (the old part) to the back of the house (the new part, which we think was built in the 50's.) Where she's sitting now is directly across from the laundry room. Anyway, she sits up there with my button tin and plays with the buttons. FOR HOURS. She loves them. She studies each and every button and tells me about it. "Gooooo. Gahr." (Blue heart.) There are mama buttons and baby buttons, broken buttons and buttons of all different colors. If she starts getting a little out of control at any time during the day, all I have to say is, "would you like to sort your buttons?" and that solves all problems. It's amazing.

This is just a picture of the girls playing together and being cute. They've really started playing together instead of just around each other. Anja has always been good at interacting with Greta and being patient with her babyness (in other words, the fact that she doesn't really do much) but Greta is finally getting it. They wrestle, laugh, make weird noises in each others faces, and fight--just like real siblings!
And they share bananas too! A banana is actually the perfect snack--they each get half and while much of Greta's ends up on the floor, both girls can finish half a banana.
Anja has only been wearing dresses lately in order to make potty training easier. She's also been choosing her outfits for the past couple of weeks (and sometimes Greta's too) which makes for some interesting combinations. This one isn't so bad though.

This is a picture of one of Anja's drawings. She often fills a page with tons of tiny spots. Translated, this is a picture of dogs, cats, and all of her favorite family members.

We spent some time in the bedroom today.

Greta ADORES Theodore.
Anja plays upstairs by herself sometimes and I can hear her through the monitor. Yesterday I went up to put Greta down for a nap, and Anja was looking out the window with her doll. I ran downstairs to get my camera but when I got back she noticed me and moved. This is not-as-good recreation of the moment.

And that's pretty much it. I've FINALLY set up my sewing machine and have begun making things.... lots of things... and I have a growing list of creations to make and add to my Etsy store. I am very excited! I still feel like I am not completely in control when I use a machine, but I can't help liking the speed of it! I can start and finish a project in one evening! Woohoo!
Happy Weekend!

Monday, January 25, 2010

What I Shouldn't Be Doing

Blogging is definitely NOT the way I should be spending my time right now. I should be cleaning up the kitchen so that the first thing I see when I come downstairs in the morning won't be a pile of dirty dishes glaring at me. I want to up in the warm part of the house reading "The Handmade Home," which Martin so thoughtfully brought home to me from the library today. But those are things that technically can be done while the girls are around, and since both girls are sleeping and Martin is returning my dad's truck to my parents' house, I thought I'd take the chance to jump on the computer and update you all on my extremely boring life. Yesterday Martin drove up north and brought home a truckload of firewood and our newest family member: I don't think it has a name yet but Martin's got hearts in his eyes as he wears it around on his belt. Silly boys. His cowboy gun left us and this was the replacement. Funnily, having a gun was something I never really thought of, even when I lived by myself downtown, until Martin had one. And then the short time he was without one left me really wanting one. I hope that doesn't make me sound violent... it's just that I worry about him when he walks down to the VP at night to buy us our winning lottery tickets. Potty training is going remarkably well. The only trick is, the "big girl underpants" (that I might or might not have embroidered with owls and snails) aren't much motivation. They must feel too much like diapers because the only accidents we've had are when she's wearing them, otherwise she ALWAYS goes on the potty. She's going on the potty so often now that she's stopped expecting stickers after every time! What a big girl. And can I just say that toddler training underpants are the cutest things IN THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am floored by their cuteness, especially when worn on my beautiful Anja's little rumpus.

I updated Greta there on my sidebar and behind her you can see the little curtain I made to hide the CD player in the front room. It was a cute skirt, but it makes a cuter shelf-hider.

And here is the apron I made from a little girls size 4 dress. I wish the print showed up more clearly because it is MOST adorable:

Ok, actually you can't see it at all. Well, trust me, it's really cute, with these funny little men on it and these funny little hot air ballooons. I really should've done a close-up. I used the buttons down the back as a waistband and it looks really cute! Unfortunately, it is extremely unflattering. I try not to think about that though when I'm wearing it.

We're getting lots of snow. Good night for hygge!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Garden Planning

We came to my parents' house for dinner--yummy pasta. You can probably guess the quality of the meal by its name.

One other thing we've been doing with our time lately is planning our garden. With a chunk of our tax return money we are planning to finance our summer vegetables and flowers. In the fall when our new neighbor Kelsey moved in, her dad told us we could have her vegetable boxes, which the Cooks built, because she wasn't going to use them and he would just be throwing them out. This makes me EXTREEEEMELY excited. Not only does it extend our garden by two or three times what it was, but the soil will be better than what we have, and we won't have to worry about that Black Walnut tree poisoning our produce. So we're hoping for a better year in the tomato department.

One box will be devoted to peppers and tomatoes. Another will be carrots and onions. We're going to have a couple or few cabbages and try our hand at making saurkraut. We're turning our original garden plot into a canteloupe patch, our pumpkin went back to the trash pile by the driveway, I threw some potatoes out into the Jungle with high hopes, and we're also (in the normal garden) going to have zucchini and lettuce. I've decided to extend my herb box by hanging some boxes along the fence so along with basil (in its own pot), thyme, oregano and cilantro (what I had last year in my herb box) I will have chives, parsley and dill. I am SO EXCITED. I'm also excited to work in my garden this year because I have a good feeling about it this year. I am not PLANNING on being pregnant this summer, I won't have a newborn, and my girls will be old enough to play outside happily for long amounts of time. And if our Easter plans of fixed-up tricycles turns out well, they will have a summer full of trike riding to keep them busy while I work. Our backyard is mostly sidewalk paths (except for a small grassy area and the areas that are the garden) so it's the PERFECT place for tricycle riding. We have vowed to make our yard great this year (finally.) So here's hoping! I'm really excited! We drove down to Crawfordsville awhile back

Break Time

One really fun thing about Anja being a toddler is taking her out on errands alone, with either Martin or me. Right now she's out with Martin going to the bank and to Rural King. She was excited to go, and since Greta went down for a nap as they were heading out the door, I have a little mid-morning break! I realize it's coming up on noon, but that is another thing that makes this day amazing: we all slept in until almost 9:00! Considering we all got to bed at midnight, that doesn't make it SO amazing, but still.... it was a rare treat. Greta and I woke up first and started making pumpkin bread for breakfast... Anja woke up shortly after and came to help. She loves to help me bake! I saved back some of the pumpkin to give to Greta and she liked it but it was EVERYWHERE by the time she was finished with it and while I was wiping her down I said, "Greta, you may need a bath after this breakfast!" Moments later I heard some racket coming from the bathroom and it was Anja getting Greta's baby tub out and putting it in the bathtub! Then she proceeded to take all of her clothes off and climb in. She wanted to take a bath with Greta! It was very cute. She likes to have the faucet dripping during her bath so she can drink from it and fill up her cups. This morning she would get water on her hand and shove it into Greta's mouth to feed it to her. Luckily, Greta was just as amused.

Last night we ate dinner as soon as Martin got home and then planned to go to the grocery, but Anja wanted to go to bed instead, so she did and after awhile Greta and I went to the grocery alone. Greta was very happy and awake when I got there, but I pulled into a parking place and reached for my purse--and realized it wasn't there. Whoops! Back home we went. I received a text from Martin on my way that Anja was awake and he was getting her back to sleep. I got my purse and headed back to the grocery. I pulled in this time and saw that Greta had fallen asleep. Hmmm... it was a little early for her to go to bed for the night, but a little late to have a nap. I got a text from Martin saying Anja wasn't going back to sleep and I texted back questioning if we should come back and get them. He took a long time to respond, so I just risked it and woke Greta up and took her into the store. I got her situated in a cart and was buckling her in when I heard back from Martin: Yes. So I unloaded Greta from the cart, put her back into her carseat (screaming) and headed back home AGAIN! I wasn't too upset though because I much prefer to go grocery shopping as a family. Since we kind of live under a rock, our weekly grocery run is about the extent of our social outings. So it was a good night. Anja got some stickers. When we got home, she told us she had to go pee-pee, and she did it! So she got to put some stickers in her sticker book. That was by far one of the best gifts we've ever given her. She LOVES it. And she keeps it in her own special place on top of her crayon box. When she's finished, she puts it away herself. So fun!

And that's about all the news from here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Gakey! Gakey! (An Update on Things, Girls Included)

Whew. This might be one of the only times I'm relieved to come into the back room! I was up in the kitchen making dinner and practically had my entire body stuffed into the oven in order to add the cheese that I'd forgotten to our skillet dinner.

Anja is still refusing to wear clothes. Today (as I mentioned in my comment on my previous post) I was begging my blue toddler to wear clothes, but she screams, "Noooo! Gakey!!! Gakey!!!" (Nooo! Nakey! Nakey!) Okay, it isn't THAT dramatic.... but today I was having an especially tough time and she was really looking cold. So finally, I found this box of stuff my sister had sent over. In it was a blue dress with large sunflowers all over it. I hope this doesn't offend anyone, but it was a pretty ugly dress. And a size four--clearly too big for Anja. But, it was knit and long-sleeved and very snuggly looking. So I told her it belonged to Grace.... and OH MY GOSH, she couldn't get the dress on fast enough. And then she held her little hands out very daintily while swishing the skirt around and smiling at herself and saying "Gace. Gace." She is so in love. To her, Gracie is the image of perfection.

Greta has four teeth! She's had her top teeth since about Christmas, but I keep forgetting to mention it on here. They are HUGE, as I guess all new baby front teeth are. She looks very cute and very goofy with them. She zips along the furniture and I sometimes find her in places and think, "how did you get there?" Martin thinks she'll be walking before she's 1, but we will see. She still has awhile yet to fulfill that goal. And other than that, Greta loves everything. Except baby food. She refuses to be spoon fed (much unlike her big sister who still prefers to be spoon fed--by us) and so we've skipped the baby food stage and went straight to small bits on her highchair tray. With this comes a new stage of motherhood, which is the cook-serve-clean up-repeat stage. I swear, I feel like I spend my entire day in the kitchen. Today I needed to make bread and I didn't find the time to do it until after Anja was asleep! But Greta is a good little eater and Anja often shares her own lunch with her sister because she is wonderful. She squishes up the food for her and everything.

I spend a lot of my time thinking up good titles to things. I think "Pinch" would be a good name for a cookbook. Specifically one with recipes like my own, which tend to have no measurements.

And speaking of no measurements, my mom recently gave me our Italian family cookbook, which is completely awesome, and I will be making a dinner from it this week. Although tonight we are having a version of Shepherd Pie which is turning out to be, unfortunately, like a pizza gone horribly wrong.

And speaking of Shepherds, I saw my sixth grade teacher at mass on Sunday! She is not Mrs. Shepherd anymore, but she looks just the same and I hadn't seen her since I was 12. She recognized me right away, which was cool, since I thought I would have to explain who I was and she still wouldn't remember me. But I tapped her on the shoulder and she turned around and said, "ANNIE!" It was really good to see her. She was probably my favorite teacher ever.

I thought Greta would be going to bed early tonight, but it's looking more and more like I was wrong about that. It doesn't matter too much though... she'll eventually go to sleep and when she does, Martin and I will have HYGGE and it will include warm bread & butter with tea. Mmmmmmmm.. Sounds delightful.

I am finishing this post after dinner and I have to say that while the suspcious-pizzaish dinner was kind of bland, it was definitely NOT trying to be pizza and all it needed was a little more zip. Funny, since I had already added spices thinking that the recipe itself looked awfully boring. Next time I'll know to add A LOT MORE.

I can't really think of anything else to say, but hey, look! The dog's puking!

Monday, January 18, 2010


Oh my gosh. As soon as I win the lottery I am buying a laptop. Then I can once again be in touch with the outside world. It's not just about the cold of the back room, it's about TIME. All day long I think about blog posts, but I have zero time to get back here actually type them out. Anja usually wakes up either when I do or only about half an hour later. And she doesn't take naps, so until 6:30 I'm unable to get back here for any real amount of time. Then there's Greta who does take a nap, but it's when Anja is awake, and then she doesn't go to bed until... well, she never really goes to bed. She kind of takes cat naps from about 10:00 until 9:00 in the morning. Sleep an hour or so, wake up to play for awhile, sleep for another hour or two..... you get the picture. It's a definite repeat of the Anja days, but at least this time we know not only that they WILL end, but we have a good idea of when that end will come! And sometimes that light at the end of the tunnel is all you need.

Martin had to sort of work today. Ivy Tech had a "day of service" and he was leading part of it, so he was gone for most of the day. He ended up going to coffee with some people afterward and felt bad about it so he brought me home a mocha and a magazine then (after an errand to Von's for a sticker sheet for Anja who went potty TWICE in her little potty today!) sent me upstairs by myself to read my magazine for awhile. It was heavenly. And it's SO WARM up there!

Yes, we are dabbling in potty training these days. I don't really have much of a choice since Anja refuses to wear clothes most of the time. We've had some small successes and some accidents. We've put the potty in the bathtub, we've accidentally stood next to the potty and pee-peed on The Poky Little Puppy. We've almost pottied on the couch, we've pottied on the dining room chairs, the kitchen chairs.... gosh, it's no wonder my house smells like a hampster cage. All this pee pee combined with our cat who has some seriously jerkish bathroom issues adds up to one stinky house! I think I won't be inviting anyone over until we have potty training conquered. (which might be a few years.)

The thing about potty training is that I don't really care if Anja learns to use the potty or not. It's much like sleep and bottles. I am reasonably sure that she won't still drink a bottle of milk to go to sleep when she's in college, and I'm almost as sure that she'll know how to use the toilet like a grownup by the same time. And if she doesn't learn before then, we'll just save her the embarrassment and homeschool.

Oh, Martin's home! He's going to help me with something on here and then we're going to embark on the most glorious adventure of all: Sleep.

Friday, January 15, 2010

"Redesign is a Death Sentence"

Well. I thought my blog needed a facelift, so I spent a little time I didn't have and gave it one. What do you think? Title change and everything. "Blogging it Up in the Ghetto" was kind of reflective of my "old" life. You know, the one that had to do with stuff outside of raising children. "Sticky Kisses" is catchy, and kind of sums up my day-to-day life. Plus, I thought it would make a great name for an Etsy store, but it was already taken.

Anyway, tell me what you think. And if you know how to change the title font, tell me that too, because when I tried to change it, it changed my post text font instead. I am SO not good with computers.

In other news, it's been a loooooooooong week and it will be a short weekend.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Sewing Machine

So a loooooooooooooong time ago.... as in, 7 years ago....... my mom gave me a sewing machine. She gave my sister one too. I think my sister uses hers a lot, but mine lived in its original box at my parents' house until just this year when it moved into our house and has since lived on a hallway shelf, still in its box. However, I've tried to set it up a number of times. And one time, I even got the top string threaded (correctly, I think) but then I realized you had to have a bobbin for the bottom string and that was something I didn't have. A long time and a lot of searching later, I got a bobbin. I think I got it from my sister, who knows how to use her sewing machine. So I tried to set it up with both strings, but I couldn't figure the thing out and I gave up. (Some background information: I HATE SEWING MACHINES. Every time I use one, I break it. And since I would be using this one in my own house by myself, if it broke, I wouldn't have anyone here to fix it for me. So I have spent my entire life happily sewing the old-fashioned way.) So last night I realized that I have a ton of projects started (or planned) and there is no way I'm ever going to get them done if I only sew by hand. So I decided I would set up my sewing machine. (A little tidbit of dreaming: The upstairs landing, which used to be the "book nook" and which now is where our dressers are, is someday going to be my "craft nook" which I will call my "craft pantry" because it sounds cute, even though the landing is not a pantry. But if I ever live in an old house with a butlers pantry, you'd better believe that little room is going to be my crafting space! Until either of those times, I'm stuck with setting my sewing machine up in very inconvenient locations, including, but not limited to, the bathroom floor.) So I texted my neighbor, Kelsey, who seems to be pretty crafty and cute and asked her if she knew anything about sewing machines. She didn't. It didn't matter much because the girls were up ALL NIGHT, so I wouldn't have ever had time to actually get the machine set up, let alone sew anything, blah blah blah.... and then this morning I cleared some hidden space to store some crafting stuff in the living room and then thought I might set up my sewing machine on one of the little tables in there. So I dug out the box and pulled out the machine and--BIG MISTAKE. Anja totally freaked out. She was terrified of the thing! I have NO idea why!! Needless to say, I put the machine right back in its box and I feel totally justified in keeping it there for awhile more and continuing on with my sewing projects by hand.

And just because you might be curious, one of those projects includes a blanket for Pink-Pink made of a fat quarter of the most adorable fabric I've ever SEEN on one side and on the other side is a brown recieving blanket from the girls newborn days, and on the back bottom corner I'm embroidering an owl. I think it's going to look really cute!

And another project is with some other super cute fabric from the same line (this stuff includes pictures of adorable raccoons, squirrels, birds, and possums!) which I am going to make into a little apron for Anja. VERY CUTE.

Then there's Anna's secret Christmas present which may or may not be done by next Christmas...

and then there's all that knitting I'd like to do. I made a hat for Greta which is kind of cute, but I don't really know why I bothered making it, since she won't keep hats on her head, except for this kind of ugly Old Navy hat which has "Old Navy" stamped uglily across the forehead.

And there's always my woodland people addiction.... and those cute little owls....

I know this is not original at all, but I am realizing the cuteness of owls. REALLY CUTE! Not as cute as possums, but much more craft-friendly. I can't really imagine embroidering a possum on Pink-Pink's blanket, but an owl is easy.

Martin's been working way overtime lately (though don't let the word "overtime" fool you there...) and it's kind of depressing. Although Anja got a nap today so she's up with us for dinner and he is home and playing with her, which is great.

I can see my breath back here!

Picking up Toothpicks

Just a little bit ago I was cleaning up the disasterous kitchen.

Over time, the toothpicks, which we keep on the kitchen table in a little glass holder, get spread all over the table. Today I thought, "it's time to clean the table." So, one by one, I collected all the toothpicks and put them back into their tiny holder. Another thing that tends to get spread all over the table is the table salt (along with various bits of meals) and so I sighed and reached over to clear off the spilled salt and dried bits of food. And, oops, my hand bumped the tiny glass container and there went all the toothpicks.

And that pretty much killed any motivation I'd had to clean up the kitchen.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Keeping it Warm on the Feast of the Epiphany

Please excuse the snot-encrusted noses.

Greta's new favorite hangout--under the coffee table.

During the last snow

Sorry again for the line of pictures... silly Blogger.

This evening Anja stayed up late so we could have a big dinner together and open small gifts for Twelfth Night. Martin came home on his lunch break and fed Anja her lunch while I ran over to Von's to pick up some gifts. I was going to get Anja stickers--just stickers--but their blank books lured me in with their many cat-picture-cover options. And so I caved and got Anja a book with a pretty cat on the front and gave it to her as a Sticker Book. I felt a little foolish because I thought she would be too young to understand a sticker book, but she actually caught on right away and LOVED IT. Loved it so much, in fact, that she didn't take one bite of her dinner! She spent the entire dinner engrossed in her stickering. SO CUTE. Serves me right though, for opening presents before eating! Ha! Lesson learned. Oh well, it'll make a good breakfast for her.

It only occurred to me while I was waiting for the potatoes to finish boiling that I should've made the girls crowns for our festive dinner! So I zipped in and whipped one up for Anja as fast as I could (and with Martin's help) but even so, I was not fast enough and the venison that was on the stovetop turned out a little dry. Was it worth it?

For Greta we got a paperback copy of "Town Mouse, Country Mouse," a book we didn't yet have, but is a bookshelf neccessity.

And for Martino, the newest Bob Dylan album that was released some months ago, and these:

Made with love. They actually were really easy, except for the mistake of getting carried away on the thumbs and making them really, really long. They are lined with brown fleece which I scored for about a dollar (for a ton of it) at Jo-Ann's the other day in their remnants bin. (The remnants are already on sale, but everything was an additional 70% off! Yahoo!) I pulled some cute, yet manish buttons off of something else I had lying around and the loops that hold them back are little green yarn braids. I figure if I spend enough time on the details, the big mistakes will be more forgiveable.

Another craft I've been working on too much lately are these little creatures:Admittedly modeled after Santa's Gnomes these little woodland creatures are completely addicting. I can't stop making them. Luckily, Anja adores them and they get along very well with the friendly gnomes.

So this is how I've been spending my time while the girls just play in the front room, which is the warmest room in the house these days, until we get our woodstove up and running. Brrrrr.... anyway, I keep hearing that we're going to get a lot more snow tonight or tomorrow. Yay! Maybe Ivy Tech will have a snow day and Martin won't have to go to work! Well, we can hope anyway.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Gnome Sweet Home

Last night we had dinner up at my parents house (again!) and my mom had set aside an issue of Old House Interiors for us to look at. There was an article in it featuring these mushroom houses in a neighborhood up in Michigan. According to the article, these houses, designed by Earl Young, were all built in a short amount of time from 1928-1929 until the Great Depression hit and that was the end of them. So there are a very limited selection and when I Google Images-searched "mushroom house" this is the one that mostly came up. It was also the one in the big picture introducing the magazine article. Anyway, aren't they ADORABLE?! I don't think I need to state that Martin and I fell in love with them. And while Martin's first reaction was something like "you couldn't pay me to live in Michigan" my mom pointed out that he had married an architect's daughter...
So now all we've been talking about is mushroom houses and living in one of our very own on our farm. Someday.
Greta's crying.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Marriage is a Wonderful Thing

Martin's always full of thoughtful surprises. So this morning when I asked him to re-burn a mixed CD for me and add two more songs onto it that I'd forgotten to put on it the first time, I expected him to tack an extra on to the end. I thought it might be a sweet little romantic song, maybe Ben Folds or a version of "Barstool." Or I thought it might also be another one of his crazy gun songs. I did not, however, expect--after listening to a very mellow mix of folksy songs--to hear "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" to close out the disc. Wow, Martin. You might just listen to the Avett Brother's "I and Love and You", then Jackson Browne's "The Pretender" THEN put on that crazy tractor song and feel a little bit of the surprise I felt this morning! Ha!

I am making clothespin dolls for my nieces.

my fingers are going numb.

we're going to dinner with my 'rents

i think thye like us because they've been asking us to hang out for awhile. either they like us or they're trying to recapture their youth by being around our blissful youthfulness.

br. fingers. all numb. brr

Friday, January 1, 2010

Knittin' Mittens

I wasn't going to post about this because it was supposed to be a secret, but secrets can't be kept long in this house. I think I got an afternoon worth of work done on them before Martin realized that the fingerless mittens I was making were for him. Doesn't help that they are practically camoflauge. They were supposed to be green with just a brown snowflake, but the yarn wasn't bulky enough. I had gone to the yarn store by myself after my mom read my Facebook status and offered to watch the girls so I could go alone, so when the yarn wasn't right, I tried to go back, WITH the girls, to exchange it for something bulkier. Not only was the trip disasterous, but they didn't have any colors I liked in the bulky wool, so I just left. When I got home I realized I could double up the yarn so now the mittens are brown and green and I think the snowflake will be an oatmeal color... or maybe I won't make the snowflake, I haven't decided yet if that's too girly. Anyway, I thought I'd knit these for Martin since last winter he left his "homeless person" gloves on the bus and looked around for a day and never was able to track them down... probably because a real live homeless person picked them up and kept them. I think if these turn out big enough I'm going to line them with fleece. That's the plan, anyway.

I also need to send my brother and sister-in-law their Christmas/New Year/Epiphany box of presents, but I am making something for my sister-in-law.... and my nieces.... so it might be awhile. Worth the wait though, I hope.

And speaking of my sister-in-law, when they were visiting this past October she was clearing out some stuff and gave me a lot of clothes and fabric. Many of the clothes I kept to cut up because the fabric was so cute. One of the things was a really cute Gap dress that didn't fit me. Well, at the beginning of Advent we moved our big huge CD player to the front room and tucked it away underneath our white table and we realized it's really nice to have it up there. Not only does it get it out from underneath the kitchen table, but it's nice to be able to play music up in the front of the house! However, it is kind of an eyesore, and I didn't know what to do about that.... until tonight, when I remembered this Gap dress, immediately found it and cut it up and now the CD player is covered by a very cute and room-brightening floral curtain! I LOVE IT!! It really does a lot for the room while it's covering up the ugly "boom box."

Okay, I'm freezing. I just wanted to post about my current crafts. Oh, my point about the mittens is that this is the first time I'm trying something like this (something with a thumb!) and it's going REALLY WELL so far. I am learning a lot, taking it slow, and have only had to rip out very small portions at a time, although I made the thumb abnormally long so I think I'm going to have to go back and shorten it somehow, but I'm pretty sure I can do it fairly easily.

Okay, seriously, I think I have frostbite on my nose....

Two-Thousand-Ten? Twenty-Ten? Happy New Year, However You Pronounce It!

Much like Christmas, this year was by far one of the best New Years Martin and I have ever had! New Years is usually a dreaded holiday for both of us and always has been. Ugh. Year after year I've gotten my hopes up for a fun New Years Eve, only to be disappointed. This year, however, was an exception! We had invited our wonderful friend Joannie over for dinner. We thought three seemed kind of a lonesome number so at the last minute I also invited our neighbor Kelsey to come over. We had venison meatballs (which are basically personal-sized meatloaves) broccoli with almonds, and tomato bisque. After dinner we roasted chestnuts in the oven and then ate them... sort of. We all thought they were kind of gross. But it was still a festive thing to do.

Kelsey left after dinner and I put Greta to bed and Joannie stayed for hygge, which included Martin's famous spicy hot chocolate in our hugmugs! And even though none of us had planned on it or expected it, she stayed until midnight! And by that time both girls had woken up and wouldn't go back to sleep, so we were ALL up to ring in the new year together! Lucky us!! It was a very festive night. Unfortunately, the festivities continued waaaaaaay past any reasonable bedtime, as neither girl wanted to go back to sleep, and when we tried to drive the back door was frozen and wouldn't latch, so obviously, we couldn't go anyplace (unless we wanted Greta to fall out of the car onto the road... which we didn't.) Eventually Martin got the door to close and we went for a drive, which did not put anyone to sleep (except me) so we went back home and they both went down--Greta easily, Anja not so easily--only to wake up an hour or two later (Greta) and stay up for an hour or so more....

But even with all that, it was STILL one of the best New Years ever! And this morning we woke up and were getting ready for Mass and I said, "gosh, I wish my parents would invite us up to their house for a new years brunch." and then we thought about a little bit and decided to call them up and invite ourselves! So we did! And that's where I am now, keeping warm while I write this post and patting my full belly. Yum yum yum!

And so, in closing, I ask you: how will YOU pronounce the new year?

Happy day!