Monday, May 31, 2010


I just learned something life changing. There is a yarn made by at least a couple of different companies, which is spun from POSSUM FUR. It's an Australian/New Zealand possum, so it's not exactly the wiry, trash-speckled coat you'd find in your own backyard here in Indiana, but STILL. If there was every any question about what fiber I'd be using for the hourglass sweater I intend to make for myself, an answer has been found. I WILL make myself a possum sweater.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pictures of Summer

It must be Memorial Day Weekend! Happy Summer, everyone! You may now wear white pants!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Big Toddler, Little Toddler

I've been having kind of a difficult time keeping up with Greta lately. Especially compared to Anja, she is a real handful as a toddler. She's a climber AND an eater-of-everything. Yesterday while I was picking up whatever it was I was trying to keep out of her mouth, she ran over and started climbing up the ladder back kitchen chairs. What is she doing climbing the chairs? Often she is trying to get to the table to eat the dirt out of the flower pot that's there.

However, Greta IS a pretty good napper, and yesterday during her nap, this is what Anja and I did: We'd had to come in a few hours before (while Greta was awake) because I simply couldn't keep her from eating one nasty thing after another. (One example of nasty: The hair from the bathtub drain. SHE EATS IT.) But after she was napping Anja and I went outside and spread a picnic blanket on the lawn and I was able to get a lot of knitting done while Anja stood by the fence singing and looking for the neighbors' cat. We read some Peter Rabbit. We chatted. She picked flowers and showed them to me:

It was really nice! And then Greta woke up.

For the past two days this week we went up to my mom's house in the afternoon and swam with The Cousins. The first day both girls had a really good time. The second day Greta had a good time, but Anja fell asleep in the car on the way and had a TWO HOUR nap on Ooma's couch! So we were in for a long evening. We took a walk around the block, which lasted approximately one hour.

Greta pushed and was very mindful of Daddy and Anja bringing up the rear.

Pink-Pink rode along, as always.

And this is a wonderful picture of Anja that has a wonderful story behind it. I've seen various poll-like questions over time about lying to your kids and if/when it's okay. In this case, we say it's okay. Before I begin the story, let me clarify, in case there is any sort of misunderstanding: Anja doesn't just like her cousin Grace. She is completely obsessed with Grace. And so, yesterday she wanted to wear this dress to bed that used to be Gracie's. (Although that turns out to be not quite true, even though we didn't lie about that, we were just mistaken.) The problem with wearing this dress to bed (or ever, on these summery days) is that it is not a summer dress by any means. It's long-sleeved, heavy cotton, and since it's about four times too big for her, it comes down almost to her feet. She wore it all winter. If she had worn it to bed, she would've cooked in the night.
So we told her a little lie. We found a different dress, better suited for summer bedtimes, and we told her it had belonged to Grace too! She wasn't buying it. So Martin made a little phone call (to Time & Temperature.) He talked to Grace, described the dress, and "Grace" said that it was indeed her old dress! Hooray! But what makes it even better is that at the time, Anja was also wearing a pair of Gracie's underpants because she'd had a little accident up at Ooma's house and there is a drawer full of extra clothes there for just such occasions. So when I asked Anja if I could take a picture of her in Gracie's dress to show to Gracie, she posed like this--showing the underpants too! Hahahahaha!

Ahhh, two-year-olds. DEFINITELY my favorite!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

This Post Is Not Going to Sound Nice

Okay. I've been reading some annoying blogs lately. It's not quite a love-hate relationship that I have with them... it's really mostly hate. These people sound so arrogant, so much like they are on show for the rest of the blog world and like their one goal in life is for people to think that they have absolutely no problems and that they don't put anything in their mouth that is not organic, and that they are the epitome of "all natural."

But then, as I read through these blogs and their archives, I realize that these people are sad and that I should feel sorry for them. Because they are idiots. Because they need multiple resources for how to play outside with their children.


I'm not kidding. I was just reading a blog--a VERY POPULAR blog--where this woman actually listed all these resources she uses for how to get her toddler out in nature, and activities to encourage nature play. Suggestions included playing with water, having sticks and logs available to your kids, and in fact the first idea on the list was "Use your outside door." And these aren't jokes, people, these are serious resources, which this author quoted as being "phenomenal." And she had a whole list of books/websites like this.

What happened to just going outside to play? Who says you need to "set up" nature? Why do people have to be told that a good thing to let their kids do is dig in the dirt? DOESN'T ANYONE ELSE FIND THIS DEPRESSING?!?!? Seriously, I read these things and I get so fired up, but I'm absolutely speechless at the same time. I try to complain to Martin about it right after reading it and find I don't even have words to express my feelings. I am bubbling over with a sort of rage that can't really be described.

And you know what else is completely depressing?! That people all over the world are making money by writing books telling people that it's okay for their kids to play with sticks and touch water that comes from sources other than the kitchen tap. I am astonished!!!!!! Where did we lose touch with nature??? Maybe it's my upbringing (and that of everyone I know). Maybe it's the mentality of the Midwest. Maybe I'm just lucky and don't realize it. But I'm realizing that there are people out there who live their lives moving from their house to their car to their office parking garage with a convenient skywalk who probably see very few insects during their days. I don't know these people. If I did know these people, I wouldn't be their friend. I cannot fathom living that way and I find it hard to believe that anyone does, but it must be so--for all these things to come (much like the eating garden foods and meat without added hormones) as a brilliant epiphany.

I am repeatedly flabbergasted.

Monday, May 24, 2010


We spent most of the day in the yard today. We found this friendly neighborhood snail: Much less cool was the ginormous beetle swimming in my iced coffee that I discovered as I was drinking it.
Anja with her snail friend. Sadly, we lost him in the grass. Well, it was sad for Anja... a great victory for the snail. Yesterday she brought two of her worm friends inside and one of them got lost and the other one she handed to me just to hold onto while she did something else, and it was completely squashed and dead because she'd been carrying it around in her fist for an hour or so. It was so gross. She carried this poor snail all over the place too... she dragged out all these shovels and stuff and had such a hard time because she wouldn't put her snail down even for a minute. Then, of course, when she finally did, we lost him.

In the afternoon a funny thing happened. Anja found the spray nozzle for the hose so I thought I'd attach it and let the girls water the garden. So I attached it to the hose, tossed the hose in the grass, then went to turn it on. When I came back, there was a huge upward stream of water just like a sprinkler. I'd forgotten that I dropped the nozzle on the cement last year and it got a big crack down the side--the water was spraying out the crack and it was amazing! SO FUN!! The girls jumped in right away.

We were sooooo wet and muddy when we got back into the house... I tossed the girls in the bathtub and had to change my own clothes. I'm so glad it's summer!!!
P.S. Please excuse the tall weeds in the snow on the mountain back by the house... I was letting them grow for awhile to use them to dye some fabric because I'm pretty sure it's Queen Anne's Lace.... but now it's all overgrown back there and I can't reach them without wading into the Snow on the Mountain and I have SEEN the spiders who live in there and there is no way I'm walking through that stuff without stilts. *shudder*

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Oh, Sunday

What a weekend! Lots and lots of yard work with some yummy meals and desserts in between. I'll admit it: Martin did most of the work. But I kept the kids entertained all by myself! And I did plant a few flowers too. I always hate to see a weekend come to a close. Looking ahead, the work week seems so long and gloomy. Although at least this week the rain is supposed to finally be gone... I really enjoyed it while it was here (many rainy evenings spent on the patio drinking tea and knitting/reading together) but as soon as it was gone, I realized how happy I was to see it go. Sunshine! Summer! Bare feet! Yippeeee!!
And of course the obligatory pink flamingo bathing suit. Admit it--you want one. (I know you can't actually see the flamingo, but trust me that even better than the pink flamingo itself is when Anja manages to get one foot all the way to her tummy to show that her PINK shoes match the PINK flamingo on her bathing suit... Gink uhm Gink!)
Can I just go on a little bit about how much I love summer and how glad I am that it's finally here? While I really did enjoy last week, wearing my cozy wool socks and birkenstock clogs every day, I am absolutely thrilled to wear tank tops and my Keen sandals. And shall I mention iced coffee and the fact that Martin and I were thinking of it at the exact same time!? Eating all our meals outside, watching our garden plants grow, smelling all those summery smells like fresh mown grass and asphalt. Man. I am REALLY glad it's summer.
We had dessert on Saturday night AND tonight--strawberry shortcake on Saturday and the most delicious peach cobbler EVER tonight... it was seriously amazing and seriously bad for us. The first step of the recipe is to melt a stick of butter in the pan and then pour the dough in. Wowzers. I just used a big can of peaches in heavy syrup and the stuff was ridiculously good. I'll try to post the recipe on The Cooking Blog soon.
We are going to have a garage sale soon and the motto is "everything goes." That is, everything in the Big Back Room. Almost every item back there can be replaced, save a few things... but for the most part, we would like to clear out that room and start fresh. So I felt pretty clever when I remembered this wooden bench that was back there, covered in dust and dog hair, that houses all our board games and junk we don't know what to do with. I emptied it off and hauled it outside... and now it's my herb holder! It's really cute... it's the bench in the top photo (can you tell I'm just figuring out how to use photo effects on Picasa?) except now instead of two little girls on it, it has four little terra cotta pots holding rosemary, chives, cilantro and parsley. Hoorah! My thyme and oregano are in their splendid box nearby and the basil is aaaaaalll the way at the other end of the yard, where Anja and I planted sunflowers a few weeks back that are now just a few inches tall. They live in a big, ugly, plastic pot that I got from our neighbor, who is giving us so much I feel like we need to buy her groceries for the entire summer.
Our To-Do list still goes on and on though. Now that The Jungle has been cleared (with Martin's zombie hacker... he actually wrote on the blade that that's one of it's uses) we are planning to put down some kind of rocks and plant a blackberry bush. They have baby blackberry bushes (and raspberry and blueberry and strawberry) at Lowe's for only ten dollars. When I think of living in this house for a number of years to come and NOT having blackberries growing along our fence, I get sad. So... I guess I'll just have to purchase a baby blackberry bush. Right?
To give you an idea of how much work was done and how bad The Jungle has gotten in the past three years (or more... I'm not sure how long the house was vacant before we moved in) we weren't used to seeing our neighbor's house. Martin was cutting down weeds that had grown into TREES between the houses. This was some serious overgrowth we're talking about, and he hacked it all away and now we are dreaming of fine landscaping.
Okay. This post must be fantastically boring. Tomorrow I will till the old garden plot and we will plant our melons.... and hope for the best.

I Forgot to Mention...

See the happy one in this picture? The check is in the mail and she's officially ours! No sending her back now! We are without baby-related medical bills for the first time in three years. A very good feeling!

Welcome to the family, Greta!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Craft Overload

So first of all, EVERYBODY'S posting about Anna Maria Horner's book "Handmade Beginnings" and I really hope that the next time I find myself pregnant, that book shows up on my doorstep via the "Brown Truck of Happiness" as Martin and his forum friends call it. (Not pregnant now, btw.)

Isn't it ridiculous that I and others have to constantly let people know that I'm not expecting? I wonder if this is just a Catholic girl thing? Hmm.... Anyway, I've been keeping on top of it well lately and so my mom hasn't asked me in a really long time!

Anyway, this is not what my post is about. Let's get back to crafting.

One project in that book is the fabric stacking blocks. Years and years ago, my sister told me about these blocks that a friend of our brother had made for her kids. Were they fabric? Felt? Lidded? I can't remember, but I just remember thinking I needed a set and have looked everywhere for them or a pattern to make them, and until seeing reviews of this book had found nothing. So whenever I do find my hands on that book, that will be my first project to complete. At last!

Another completed project is this:

I finished it up yesterday morning and it fits the doll perfectly! As you can see, the knitting is not great. I for some reason had a really hard time remembering how to do ribbing... hm. But this is my first sweater to knit and finishing it gave me the urge and confidence to do more. So I'm putting my dream of an Hourglass Sweater on the shelf for awhile while I complete a sweater for Greta in this same green wool. I think it's going to be really sweet looking and VERY Greta. It will be a jacket... may or may not have a hood and pockets, but will DEFINITELY have big wooden buttons down the front. I am tossing around the idea of lining it with some gorgeous flannel I've had for years that's just waiting for the perfect project.... this may be it. But I'm not sure how I feel about sewing lining to a handknit sweater and possibly ruining the entire thing. Any suggestions on this?

As for the doll for whom the sweater was knit, she is going to be ugly, but lovingly made. She's rather modeled after me--short, stumpy legs, no torso to speak of, and surprisingly nice arms! she has a very unfortunate neck... many wrinkles and crinkles... and since she's made out of one of Martin's old undershirts, she looks to be in serious need of some sun. I intend to make her a little floral skirt whenever I do that, I'll also sew up a little scarf for her, to try and cover up that unfortunate neck. The eyes turned out decent, and now I'm sewing on the hair. I try to tell myeslf that of course it won't look perfect because I'm too lazy/stubborn to use a pattern, but it's still kind of frustrating sometimes to be creating something so unbeautiful. Anyway... Anja is really excited about it and is always telling me to work on Greta's doll.

So anyway (do you think I can stay on track here for more than a paragraph?!) I've begun the sweater for Greta. I'll need to get more wool, but it's just Lambs Pride so it's relatively inexpensive and they've always got loads of it down at River Knits. I'm doing a garter stitch for the edging instead of ribbing because I'm tired of trying to remember how to rib. (Purl the knits? Purl the purls? Arrrgg!!!) I get ribbing and seed stitch mixed up. This never used to happen! But now I CANNOT keep them straight. Anyway, I think if I work on it as diligently as I have been since yesterday (goodbye, housework!) I can have it done by Fall. And I have these beautiful visions of Greta toddling through the Farmers Market, hugging pumpkins as big as herself, wearing this fabulous, green, Mama-made sweater. *sigh*

Yesterday was a really great day. The girls slept in, giving me an extra-long morning, and everyone was SO HAPPY all day long!!!! I did absolutely no housework. I just sat with them, played with them, and knit while I watched them play. When Martin got home from work [late] he suggested we go out to Chick-Fil-A for dinner because if you went and told them you listen to the local country station (which we occasionally do) you get a free meal. Not a bad deal! So we loaded up and drove out there--and couldn't even get through the turn lane to get into the parking lot!!!! The line was out the door. And it was kind of cold and raining. So no Chick-Fil-A for us. BUT, Martino always has something up his sleeve, so he turned around and instead of going home, he took us to Outback Steakhouse!!!! Talk about a treat! We haven't been out to a restaurant in.... well, it's been a really long time. I actually can't remember the last time we ate out. But anyway, the girls were awesome and it was really nice to go to a restaurant with just the four of us!! We had a number of fun little things to celebrate, so we promised each other that we wouldn't feel bad about spending the money. And we didn't! We just kept talking about how much fun the evening had been. Then this morning Martin got up and in his interenet checking noticed that he had recieved his last payment for the class he taught this semester--almost exactly the total of our bill last night! He thought he'd already been paid for the last time for the class so it was really like free money! How perfect is that!?

Also, in the car on the way to dinner, Martin asked me to be his girlfriend! So I guess we're official now! Aw, what a good night!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

In the Morning, When We Rise

My morning: Yummy toast for breakfast; Sweet notes written on my chalkboard mug; the last piece of a doll sweater I'm knitting nearing completion; my two favorite magazines; a letter from a friend; and see that yellow bag? It's full of Smarties!

And it's FINALLY supposed to be sunny and warm today!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Self Portrait.... Wednesday?

I am still working my way through the SouleMama archives and I'm only to the fall of 2006 and this weekly tradition seems to already be gone, but for awhile there at the beginning, she was participating in a little online fad called "Self Portrait Tuesday." Kind of fun to read every week, and then I got to thinking maybe I would try it. I hate, hate, hate having my picture taken, seeing pictures of myself, etc., but I've begun to think this might be slightly unhealthy. And Martin pointed out the other day that it's going to be sad when our girls are big and there are so few pictures of us together. So, I thought a way to get over that would be to start up the Self Portrait Tuesday blog tradition. But then Tuesday came and I forgot. So here is my Self Portrait Wednesday photo, which is not a self portrait at all, but a picture taken by Laura She and MaryGrace came over on Monday and kept me company while I made bread. My buttermilk bread recipe yields 4 loaves, but I've been getting frustrated with how small my loaves have been turning out lately. So I decided to only make three loaves per batch, and this is my reward:
Huge, soft, golden deliciousness. Never again will I be baking 4 buttermilk loaves at once. However, in about 5 days I'll hopefully be baking my first sourdough loaf and then may not be making buttermilk as often anyway. We'll just have to wait and see.
Yesterday was cool and rainy (AGAIN) and the girls and I took a late afternoon walk. It was a little cool though--Greta's little hands were frozen by the time we got home, even though I thought she was bundled enough.

Taking walks with the girls has gotten a little difficult. Nobody wants to ride--they both want to walk themselves. But when they are "walking", little distance is actually covered. They spend almost all their time picking flowers, weeds and grass to pile up in a little spot for the squirrels. And then Greta likes to climb every set of stairs we see, which is a lot when you're walking through a neighborhood that's on a hill.
Another little Tuesday tradition we've brought back is our Tuesday Date Night that came about when Martin and I were dating. When he was working for the State, we didn't always see each other as much as we would've liked, so we made Tuesday Date Night to ensure that at least once a week we had a date together, no matter what. And if we ended up seeing other every day, great! But we always kept Tuesday as our evening together. Our new Tuesday Date Nights are family dates, which is fun, and they are always to Starbucks because on Tuesdays at Starbucks you can pick up a little card with a code on it and get a free iTunes song! Music is "Aah!" in Anja language (along with trucks, lawnmowers, hairdryers and anything else that makes noise), so whenever we go now, she goes up to the counter and says "Aah! Aah! Aah!" very urgently and nobody there knows what she's talking about and probably thinks she's crazy. But anyway, it's a fun way to get a date once a week and a free song to build up our music library. And yesterday Martin got the girls each a chocolate cookie. Greta was not at all excited.

And Anja got a little hot chocolate, which is really cute because of the baby-sized cups.

Anja found this tulip tree blossom on our walk and carried it with her for the rest of the day. She also looked around everywhere for one for Greta. It was really cute. When she did finally find one, Greta didn't care about it and that was really sad.

And now I'm going to tell all of you blog readers that you should join in on the Self Portrait Wednesday tradition so I don't feel like such a narcissist. Happy Wednesday!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Owls, Mushrooms and Snails, Oh My!

For many, many, MANY years I've wanted to get into pottery. I've never done it. But I still want to, and if I ever do, I'm going to make a pair of salt & pepper shakers that look like mushrooms.

Here's a picture from the party over the weekend (more to come on that in a minute) in which I'm wearing that green sweater I put the buttons on. Awhile back a girl I went to highschool with posted on facebook that she's having a little girl and is thinking of how to decorate the nursery. She got lots of suggestions and mine was "Owls and hedgehogs in pinks, greens and browns!" It's not an incredibly original idea but a cute one and it made me want to give the girls their own room just so I can decorate it that way. I would of course also have possums in there... in fact, I would make everything in their room from various prints of the "Frolic" line that their little kitchen aprons and Pink-Pink's blanket is made of. I freaking love possums. I think they are so, so cute.

On Saturday morning the girls and I went yard saling. We weren't going to, but we'd had a nice morning already by the time Martin left for his interview for TEMA and the girls were happy, so I went for it. We walked up to Highland Park for their big neighborhood garage sale day. It was pretty much a big bummer. Anja got a cute little rabbit for fifty cents, but other than that, it was a bust. On the way home, going down 6th street, Greta screamed pretty much the whole time. She was so tired she didn't know what she wanted.... she didn't want to walk, she didn't want to ride, she didn't want me to carry her, and I tried everything but nothing kept her from screaming her little head off. About halfway down the hill we came to a house where a VERY OLD MAN was doing yardwork. I mean, this guy was at least a hundred years old, and probably two hundred. So we come up to his yard and he looks at me with this sad face and says, "Madam, do you need some help?" Luckily, giving Greta my cell phone kept her mostly quiet for the rest of the way, and then we stopped shortly at Martin's mom's house and visited for awhile with everyone there (family and friends) before making our way down to the Farmers Market to meet up with Martin. We saw a few friends there too, and it was a nice day to be out.

After the yard sales and the Farmers Market we drove up to the river for our nephew PeterXavier's birthday party. He turned FOUR on Sunday. I can't believe that. Unfortnately, I didn't get many good pictures. (Martin and I are tentatively planning to buy a nice camera for Christmas as our Christmas present to each other... we would both benefit from it. He used to be pretty into photography and I have one of his photos framed in our living room. Our little 5-year-old Coolpix doesn't quite cut it anymore though for more than regular snapshots.) The day included LOTS OF FOOD as it always does, and lots of family.

Greta really enjoyed both the green beans and the cake. Here she is with some cake that may or may not be hers. Eating with Greta requires great caution... she will take any food she sees no matter who it belongs to. Everybody watching the frisbee match going on in the yard between Uncle Morton and Christopher.

Sunday was yardwork day. Martin worked hard all day and DID get a lot done, even if the most of it was moving only one of the giant vegetable boxes over from the neighbors yard. But he also cleared brush (goodbye, Jungle!) and mowed the lawn. It was suppoed to rain all day and didn't, which was a good surprise. Anja and I played in the garden for awhile, pulling weeds and planting basil... today we will plant our two tomato plants and two pepper plants, and maybe if we have access to the car we will get some seeds. We've decided to afterall plant some seeds, even though we're a little late. We'll just do it and hope for the best with a later harvest.

Anyone who has been reading this blog knows that I am pretty dead set against the idea of having a boy baby. EVER. After my two delightful daughters, the idea of a little boy and what to do with them and how to channel all their boy engergies TERRIFIES me. Obviously, I won't send him back if I ever do get a little boy, but if I had a choice I would gladly take many many girls. But yesterday I realized that it might be nice for Martin to have a boy--even though he also says he'd be ridiculously happy just to have daughters. After dinner last night it was still barely 6:00--two hours before bedtime. We wondered aloud what to do to keep the girls happy until that time, and Martin suggested he take Anja fishing! So he loaded his tackle box and fishing pole and Greta and I took her pink stroller to walk around the pond and the four of us drove up to Armstrong Park. Such a good idea--Martin cut up some old turkey we had for bait and had everything ready to go for them... but Anja was more interested in frolicking through the grass, singing and picking flowers. Martin ended up fishing by himself (and not catching anything but watching lots of little fishies nibble his bait away) while the girls and I sloooooowwwly made our way around the pond. It was a very fun time, but I felt kind of bad for Martin and sort of, for the first time, hoped that *maybe* he'll get himself a little boy someday. Maybe.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday Morning, 6 am

I know it's been here for awhile now, but I'm still kind of shocked that spring is actually HERE. The baby corns are popping up, the trees are all filled in, and the other night we sat out in the rain and I was hardly even cold! I am SO GLAD it's summer. I was so sick of winter by the end of it. And this has been such a nice spring with a mix of the warm sunny days and cold rainy days that I love. On one of the recent cold rainy days, I took a sweater my sister-in-law passed along to me (I am her pre-Goodwill stop, remember) right after Anja was born, which had kind of a funnily big neckline making it awkward to find the perfect thing to wear underneath. I wanted to wear it more often--like, all the time--so I ripped some buttons off of some scrap clothes and sewed them onto the neckline. I don't have a picture, but it ended up looking really cute! And now I can wear the sweater with anything I want underneath. The sweater is really silky feeling and soooooo comfy and bright green. It's also very loosely knit, making it a perfect summer sweater.

But speaking of sweaters.... I've been inspired by so many things lately that seem to be screaming at me, "GET OVER YOUR FEARS AND KNIT YOURSELF A SWEATER!" that I am just going to do it. Soulemama recently posted a finished sweater of hers, which is the Hourglass Sweater from "Last Minute Knitted Gifts"... which just happens to be the book TusaRebecca lent me over the winter that I've never given back. So I flipped through, checked out the pattern, and realized that's the sweater TR knit for herself back when she first started knitting, which turned out really cute. The next day, she happened to stop by with a gift for me--a huge tote bag with a frog and a dragonfly on it! It's the perfect bag for a sweater project. Not only that, but she told me it's actually a really great pattern because it's knit in the round and it's measured by inches, not by rows--so almost no counting is invovled! That's been the main thing keeping me completely away from knitting lately. I don't have a free five minutes to be counting and concentrating. AAAND she said she wants to make another of that sweater in a different, lighter yarn and that we could each start one together and help each other out (translation: she will help me until I get frustrated and after she finishes her sweater in a couple of weeks, she'll finish mine for me.) The only other start to align is to find some perfect, preferably on-sale yarn. And then I'm going to go for it.
Yesterday I went to Bennett's looking for some plants/herbs. I never found the vegetables, but I did find the herbs. It was kind of a disasterous trip... Anja has taken to running away. It would've been better, except that I was wearing my elephant skirt, which is a wrap skirt, which doesn't fit me (*ahem*) quite as completely as it used to... so where it used to wrap all the way around the other side of me, now it comes more to the middle in the front, where it is likely to blow open even at the slightest little puff of a breeze. Yesterday was kind of windy... and the greenhouse was full of people. AND, Greta was screaming THE WHOLE TIME. (Imagine that!) It was horrible. And then we almost got run over twice by the same huge SUV in two different places in the parking lot. So we left and went to the hardware store where both girls could be happily situated in the basket of a shopping cart with a bowl of crackers and I was able to find and purchase two baby basil plants, two baby green pepper plants (really babies... SO CUTE!) and two baby Celebrity tomato plants. This is the start for the old garden plot, but on Sunday we are bringing the garden boxes over from the neighbors house and the garden will be officially begun. I CAN'T WAIT. We were going to do everything from seed this year, but we weren't on the ball enough (who, us?) so now we're buying baby plants.
Greta seems to have a little cold so she's not sleeping well. Yesterday we purchased for a deal on Craigslist, two window unit air conditioners. One for our bedroom upstairs, one for the bedroom downstairs which is centrally located, and it looks like we'll successfully be able to not turn on central air for the entire summer. HOORAY!
And one last picture of Anja with the Nydegger....

Friday, May 14, 2010

Learning Young...

(She is singing "Ginkle Ginkle...Gaaaaarrrrr")

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Day!

I had a lovely day beginning with this: With a [non-pictured because I forgot my camera] date by myself to K.Dee's where I had a mocha on the house, with a flower drawn in the foam.

And this kind of dinner: (venison burgers, oven fries and beer)
With the day wrapping up with this ginormous ice cream sundae over at the neighbors' house:
Actually, the morning wasn't all that fabulous. The girls woke up ridiculously early, so Martin's plan of getting up early and waking me shortly after with the surprise of coffee in my chalkboard mug (how cute is that?) and a new magazine to read before the girls woke up didn't quite work out. But it was still a wonderful treat! (And the flowers are not from him--Grandmamma brought them over for the girls when Anja was sick.)
Another part of the day that was less than fabulous was Greta. She has never had a day that she's been more completely and utterly psychotic. We didn't even make it to the Gloria at Mass before we were in the back, and the back was no better than the pew. She would thrash around until I put her down, but she didn't really want to be down, so she would throw herself down on the floor screaming. Yeah, it was pretty awesome. Eventually I took her outside where she was happy to walk all the way around the church and back to the breezeway, and that was a good place to stay because at least I could HEAR the mass, even if I couldn't see it. She was happily entertained for a long time by the stairs going to the rectory. And later in the afternoon she did take a nice long nap and woke up happy, but in general today, she was absolutely nuts.
But the day was a happy one. Martino, of course, made a big fuss in treating me like royalty and while our families all ditched us for the holiday (his side was out of town, my side was sick) we did get to go to an ice cream social next door for the neighbor who is engaged. It was SUCH a cute party with adorable details. And the girls were wearing very cute matching dresses. Anja wore a wool sweater that I got at a yardsale on Saturday (yes, I have gone yard sailing three weekends in a row) which is an adult sweater from American Eagle, but had obviously been shrunk in the wash. I cut the sleeves a little bit and sewed on some ribbon to the edge that I had in my box that just happened to match the ribbon on the inside of the sweater! I have to say, it's pretty much the sweater I've always dreamed of having for my children and I am completely in love with it and I kind of couldn't stop taking pictures of Anja in it. As you will be able to see in these pictures of the rest of our day.

We made phone calls on the porch swing. Oh, I made that pillow yesterday for the porch swing. Pretty cute, I think, and a very nice touch to dress up the porch and make it more of an extention of our living room. We spend so much time out there, that's really what it is, and I thought it ought to have as much of an outside living room feel as it could. The fabric came from some scraps my sister-in-law gave me, the buttons on the back (which you obviously can't see in this picture... or any of the pictures) are from a shirt that my mother-in-law gave me to repurpose (ugly shirt, good fairy dress material) and the pillow form is an old bed pillow we had in a closet (have I ever mentioned how many pillows we have in this house? When we moved in there were almost as many pillows as Christmas trees in this place!) that I cut to make a square. The only problem with that idea is that now I have all this fluff hanging around the house, which the girls inevitably pull into tiny bits and drag around to every single place they can think of.

This are our little hungarian princesses. One of their new favorite activities is to wear scarves on their heads like this.

Don't they look like old fashioned homeless children? So cute!

Anja reading the new magazine (which also included a subscription) which is for our family, not just me, and is sort of a "survivalist" magazine, which is to say it's a "crazy person" magazine. Martin has been reading it since he was 12. That should tell you what kind of magazine it is.

And we spent some time together on the porch.

....being silly, of course
Just another shot of Anja's sweater. I can't get enough of it!

I felt like I needed to include a picture of Martin since he was so nice today....

And this is just a glimse of Greta's craziness.

I hope all you mamas had a fabulous day as well!