Thursday, December 22, 2011

Growing Anticipation

Yesterday I finished one gift, today I finished another. I still have four more gifts to make and assorted baking obligations. I've been making a lot of cookies but they keep disappearing. And just as odd, my kitchen chairs keep rearranging themselves. I come into the room and see that the chairs have pushed themselves over to the kitchen counter. The counter where I leave the cookies before packing them into tins. Hm. Maybe I have really hungry chairs??

Tonight Martin and I went out to dinner at a downtown Italian restaurant to celebrate our five year anniversary! The girls had a fun time staying home with their AuntT. Our friend Joannie met us for dessert which was great.

And so the preparations continue! BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Decking the Halls

I can't believe that Christmas is just a few days away. I'm doing all I can to get things wrapped up (haha, a pun!) before Saturday so that I don't spend all of Christmas Eve running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. I am not making as much this year, but I'm really happy with everything we've gotten for people. We started budgeting/shopping many months ago and I feel like that gave us the chance to be truly thoughtful, rather than what we often are, which is more like waking up on December 24th and saying "what?! It's Christmas already?!" ok, I admit, that's more MY attitude than the ever-prepared Martin, but still. I'm happy with our givings this year. And I did manage to make a FEW special homemade things.

Martin and I will be celebrating our 5 year anniversary on Thursday. I had lots of good ideas for this year's traditional gift theme: wood. Sadly, I wasn't able to find just the right thing. So unless something falls into my lap in the next couple of days, I'll be giving him a lame-o flame-o anniversary gift. Boo.

I got my hair cut! I got it layered with swoopy sort of bangs. A fabulous change for someone who hasn't bothered to get a professional haircut in more than two years.

"The bump" is growing. Unfortunately, it's growing in the belly as well as the *ahem* behind.

...And the Christmas goodies just keep rolling in....
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Secret's Out

So, it seemed like just about the stupidest idea in the world to advertise this to the blogosphere while it was going on, but for the past year-and-a-month Martin has been working a second job. It started last fall when our original mortgage company sold our mortgage to an ultra scummy company and our monthly payment jumped up something like 80%. (ok, not THAT much, but the increase was huge.) we had about one month's warning for this. We knew the solution would be to refinance and get away from scummy NationStar, but that takes time and we had to keep paying the sky-high payments until then. At Martin's regular job he can't guarantee to be out of his office by a certain time. During busy times he is sometimes at work until 8 or later, so an after-work job was a no-go. Martin found an ad on craigslist for a nighttime security guard job on Friday and Saturday overnights, midnight-8am. And for awhile it was PERFECT! but then the new wore off. There were still the obvious advantages: extra money (he committed to a year, even though we were able to refinance by late winter and get our payments back to reasonable) we still could go to church as a family, and I had this amazing opportunity to stay up late watching chick flicks every Friday and Saturday night!!! (this is in fact how I got my green sweater made so quickly. I stayed up late knitting every weekend! For a long time I had this great routine--put the girls to bed, Martin napped on the couch until he had to leave, and I would get myself a Starbucks drink and sit at my kitchen table knitting and listening to the folk music programs on NPR. Lovely! But then I finished my green sweater and summer came and we wanted to be more active than during the winter when Martin would sleep during the days as soon as he got home. Meh. Still, he stuck it out until the date he'd set! And that date was TODAY!! two weeks ago he began growing his beard back (he had to shave it for the job) and this morning he came home at 8:00 for the last time. Hooray!

You can see why it would have been foolish of me to basically say "hey all you lurking Internet loonies! My children and I are all alone overnight! Come and get us!!" haha.

In other news, I've been scoring some beyond-belief deals on clothes to fit my growing-but-not-exactly-maternity-clothes-ready belly/waistline. My new rule for shopping is that I will not pay more than $5 per item. And then I find $2.99 racks!!! I am buying clothes for less than the cost of a peppermint mocha. Awesome.

We have seen the Christmas tree at the Union and the girls loved the gingerbread house there. We are enjoying Advent SO MUCH and I am impressed by Anja's spirit of preparation.

Now it's time to read some stories to my cute children who are being piglets this morning. So cute! Here's hoping this posts! BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Saturday, December 3, 2011


This was the best picture I got during my little Christmas card photo shoot the other day. For awhile they were being AWESOME, but my camera was being way less than awesome and every single pictures was nothing but blurs. By the time I found my phone and started using that, they'd both lost interested in the photo shoot and had started fighting. This was the one picture I got where one face at least was clear!

So, one of the things I really hate about parenthood is when I have to read those books to my girls that have scenes where the characters are going to sleep. They always look so cozy, so sleepy, so wonderful. I read those and I think, "please, can't I go to bed too? Please??" And of course, the answer is always "No, it's only 3:00 in the afternoon." (Or sometimes it's "No, you've only been awake for an hour and a half.") It's so sad for me. And then by the time it is time for me to go to bed, I don't want to because I get this burst of energy that comes with the knowledge that I have a few hours in which I can do ANYTHING I WANT. BY MYSELF. My days have become pretty exhuasting lately. Not necessarily in a bad way......... it's just that our days are very full of activity... and talking.

As you know, Anja is 4 years old now, and evidently 4-year-olds are very curious people. Anja lately is wanting to know every detail about every subject in the whole wide world. She wants to know how electricity works. She wants to know why bird poo-poo is white when her poo-poo is brown. She wants to know all about deserts and hippopotamuses and she wants to know every last detail of the Life of Christ. But it isn't just the facts she wants. Oh no. Anja wants to know the emotional details about everything as well. "Mama, what did the poor animals eat if the Baby Jesus was lying in all their good hay?!?" I spend my whole day, every day, thinking up answers in words suitable for a four year old while maintaining honesty without making her afraid of everything. "Yes, Anja, if you ever encounter a hippopotamus in the wild, he will probably eat you. But don't worry--chances are you will never see a hippopotamus in his natural habitat, or at least if you do, you probably won't be all by yourself." And the questions are CONSTANT.

Meanwhile, as Anja and I are involved in a steady stream of question-and-answer sessions, Greta is trying to kill herself. Greta is one of these energetic children who doesn't stop until someone gets hurt--and really, she has to be the one getting hurt before she stops. She just goes and goes and goes. It makes going out in public somewhat difficult. And it doesn't help that she has a true talent for running into large store displays. (She seems especially attracted to the cardboard kind that spill their contents and fall over easily.) Earlier in the week the girls and I went to Barnes & Noble to try and do some Christmas shopping for Martin. We did get the shopping done, but it took a long time and it was not what I would label an "easy" outing. Greta was dead set on getting Daddy a game. (Barnes & Noble has quite the game selection now, did you know that?) So we visited the many shelves of games, where Anja asked me the detailed playing instructions of each game as Greta ran laps around the display shelves. Eventually we got away from there and a long time later, with our purchases, made it up to the checkout. Anja happily participated in the standing in line and the checking out politely while Greta "swam" on the tile floors. (In case you don't know what "swimming" is, it's when she gets down on her tummy and pushes herself all over the floor like a little otter. It seems more acceptable when she does it in the privacy of our kitchen. Also, she usually wears a swimsuit.) Anyway, we did make it out of the store, across the parking lot, and to our car (which currently is my parents' van that we are borrowing while our car sits mostly dead in our driveway) and we even got all buckled in (miracle!) before we realized that Greta had lost her [very small] panda bear inside the store. Oh, tears. We called right then and then went back later that evening, but nobody had turned it in and we couldn't find it anyplace. Bummer. Probably some other little child has a new toy. And it would've been mostly okay because Greta actually has two of those very small panda bears.... but then last night she lost the other one at some point when we were down in Indianapolis. Sadness.

But even with the exhaustion, as long as we stay in the safety of our own house, our days at home are glorious! We've been planning and making some small Christmas presents for some people in our families. Lots of fun. Advent is wonderful with kids. Anja and Greta are REALLY enjoying it this year... the singing, the candles, the nativity scenes, the looking forward to Christmas. The planning gifts, the trying *every* grocery run to remember to buy molasses so we can make gingerbread......... did I mention the singing and candles? It's a wonderful time. And surprisingly not busy...... we don't really do the holiday party thing (it helps to have no friends), and everything else that goes on we can just pick and choose and decide spur of the moment whether to partake in any given activity. (Example: Dickens of a Christmas was today; we didn't go. But this week they are having Christmas festivities every day over at the Union and I expect that at least one day we'll be able to hop on a trolley and get over there to see the giant tree and hear some music!)

Oh! I've just been invited to a music show in the living room! I'd better get in there....

I hope I didn't paint a negative picture of my children in this post! It's just all those sleepy, cozy childrens books I'm forced to read every day... *yawn*

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Double grr.

Great long post was written.

Apparently the "publish" button and the "delete" button are a sort of all-in-one deal.

Grrrrr. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop