Annika had her first play date today. It went very well. Stephanie is 7 months older than Annika, and is the daughter of Sheryl, a very nice woman in Biology at Joerg's university. I thought that the age difference would be a problem, especially since Anni is a little delayed for her age, but it worked out just fine. Annika had no problem sharing her toys; in fact, Stephanie was a little overwhelmed because Anni kept giving her everything! She definitely has the sharing thing down pat, and I hope that doesn't change, but I have the feeling that the concept of "mine" is probably going to occur to her sooner or later. Actually, Stephanie is just hitting the age where she doesn't want to share, so it worked out pretty well as Stephanie would grab something away from Anni and Anni would just beam at her. Stephanie is mainly around older kids, so that doesn't happen to her too often! Of course, her mother, Sheryl, was there, too, and she was very faithful about telling Stephanie that "she needed to do that over" when she grabbed something from Annika (making her give it back, and ask nicely) and made her practice giving things to Annika instead of always the other way around. Anni was just so excited to have another child around. She had so much fun that she fell asleep halfway through her lunch today. One minute she's eating chicken, the next she's slumped down in her highchair, snoring softly.
There was a get-together in Wisconsin of lots of families of children with liver transplants or other serious liver problems last weekend. Joerg and I thought seriously about going, as it's not too often that you have a chance to meet so many people who have had a similar experience. We decided not to go, though, as we were just enjoying being at home so much, and also Anni's immune suppression is still a little high, due to the rejection episode that she had back in February (they can begin lowering 6 months after the episode). We're now *so* glad that we didn't go, as all the kids, and many parents, that went seem to have come down with a seriously nasty bug. 2 have been hospitalized. It's very sobering to realize that we'll always have this risk when we go to a large gathering.
Anni got her first scratch from Hepburn today, but that hasn't done much to deter her. So Joerg and I are going to begin a program of nail clipping for the cats. It's good for them, too, as they can't scratch each other up as much when they play at night. Also, we spent this afternoon replacing screens in the windows that the cats scratched up over the past couple of years, and we really don't want to have to do it again soon.
Our yard is finally beginning to look civilized. We have flowers in the pots outside, and the roses have been nicely pruned (and they're blooming like crazy,although they're not as fragrant this year for some reason--anyone know why roses might be more or less fragrant???). Our new little tree is finally beginning to look at home. It had a rough start, as the tree planters from the nursery accidentally planted my tree in the wrong yard. I noticed that they were putting in the wrong kind of tree in my yard, which is how the mistake was discovered. They had to go back and dig it up from the other yard, and it had an unhappy couple of days. Of course, the head of this new tree is nearly as big as that of the tree we've had in our front yard since moving into this house, so it's already a reasonably good-sized tree. We're looking forward to getting our playset into the backyard so that we can start planting trees around it in the back.
In food news: Mom, I've discovered something that you are going to *love*. Edy's makes these frozen bars that are called "Whole Fruit Bars". Joerg likes the lemonade kind, and I usually get the strawberry. They're a lot lower in fat than ice cream. However, they now have a flavor that is the best ever: creamy coconut. I'm addicted to them. Also, I've begun cooking again, and I just discovered a new chicken dish that is wonderful. Joerg even liked it, even though the second main ingredient after chicken was spinach. And Joerg has always refused to eat spinach before. It's an Indian-spiced, curry-like dish. Really good. I did discover, though, that if you're going to deseed and chop fresh jalapenos, you should probably wear gloves. My hands were tingling for the next 4 hours after I cut them up!