4 months

As we near the 5 month mark (tomorrow!), I’m finally getting around to writing about Eloise’s 4th month. At her 4 month check up Eloise weighed 15 lbs, 3 oz (90th percentile) and was 25 inches long (75th percentile), and her head was 25th percentile. It looks like Eloise may have my head, rather than taking after Matt in head size like Greta does.

At about 3.5 month Eloise mastered rolling from her back to her belly. Once she started she couldn’t stop. She pretty much always rolls onto her belly now. We definitely don’t have to enforce any tummy anymore since she does it all herself. Even though she rolled from her belly to back a long while ago, she hasn’t really done it recently and seems to have forgotten how or something. So thankfully for now she doesn’t roll all around the house.

Eloise loves to laugh. She is very easy to get to smile and laugh. She smiles at strangers all the time and is always getting their attention.

Eloise has become a hair-puller super star. Whenever she sees Greta she immediately dives for a fist full of hair. She has ripped quite a bit of Greta’s hair out of her head. (Now that I write this, no wonder Greta started getting jealous). She also pulls my hair and grabs at Matt’s beard and can somehow instantly find the one piece of chest hair that happens to be poking out and grab onto it. We all just love this new trick!

Eloise became interested in toys! She loves her Sophie the giraffe toy and will gnaw on it for a long while. We thought the movers lost part of Greta’s exersaucer, so we looked on craigslist and found a super fancy one in great shape for a cheap price. So we bought Eloise a new exersaucer. During the move, we discovered that we actually didn’t lose any parts so now we have two of them. Eloise loves the exersaucer. Greta has also been joining in and showing Eloise how to play with it.

This month Eloise was baptized! She babbled and talked rather loudly through most of it. She enjoyed the water being poured on her head. We had a nice family baptism, rather than like Greta’s which occurred during Sunday mass.

Eloise had a surge of sleep fighting. She definitely has become better at fighting sleep, but still usually gives in pretty easily if mama is around. This month she started having more of a preference for me at night. Typically bedtime starts out in Greta’s room with all of us reading books on the bed. I nurse Eloise during that time. Sometimes she falls asleep and sometimes not, depends on when her last nap was. Either way, Matt usually takes her out while I stay and cuddle with Greta until she falls asleep. This month Eloise decided she didn’t want to hang out with Daddy during that time many nights. And well Greta refuses to have Daddy put her to bed, so it was often Mama and girls all trying to go sleep in Greta’s bed.

I’m sure there are plenty of things I’m forgetting, but this will have to do for now.

defying stereotypes

I look over to the bookshelf in the playroom and see this:
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I ask Greta who is driving the front-loader. She says ‘girl’, then ‘grocery’. I say I’m not sure we drive front-loaders to the grocery, she responds, ‘church’. Apparently around here girls drive front loaders to the grocery and church.

24/25 months

This is so darn late. Sorry pictures aren’t in here. I’m just so behind I need to get it done. Pictures will hopefully be added at a later point. Greta is 2 whole years old, 24 months! (I’m so behind, that I’m going to combine month 25 in here as well). Wow! At the doctor’s visit, Greta weighed 28 lbs and were 34.5 inches tall (both 75th percentile). She gained 4 pounds since 18 months, which seems like a lot since she lost weight from 12-18 months. Who knows. This last particular month has been quite a big month for Greta. Greta is learning so much and continues to amaze us with each new word she learns (which seems to happen at least daily). She has learned quite a few new phrases which she uses often. Greta now says bless you when someone sneezes and even says it to herself when she sneezes. She also says excuse me if someone is in her way. She definitely learned that from me, because she is always right in front of where I want to walk, so I’m saying “excuse me, Greta” all day long. Greta also says “bye, you” rather than bye or bye-bye. We all think it is totally adorable. I’m not sure where she picked it up from but we love it! In month 25 she really started combining words a lot more. Another favorite thing for her to tell us is “self”, which she uses whenever she wants to do something by herself, such as sleeping in her new bedroom (which she has yet to accomplish), or putting on ┬áher clothes, or going upstairs, etc. Greta also says that everything is sleeping if it isn’t currently available. Where are the dogs when they aren’t outside walking, sleeping. When we cross the street and don’t see any cars coming, where are they, sleeping. When the bunnies hop away, they are going to sleep. Another cute thing Greta does is call everything mama and baby. If there is a small rock it is a baby rock, a big rock is a mama rock, etc, etc.

Greta has been practicing jumping by jumping on the bed. She is getting quite good and LOVES to jump, especially with daddy.

On your actual birthday we headed up to Matt’s family picnic and Greta got to swim. She loved it. She was big into kicking and playing with the noodle. Now everytime we talk about swimming she tells us that she is going to swim like a fish, and teach Eloise how to kick in the pool. Greta continues to add to the list of things she is going to teach Eloise. So far she is going to teach her to crawl, swim, ride the goose on the front porch, run, read.

This month Greta has been much nicer to Albert, finally. She still isn’t nice all the time, but it is definitely an improvement from a month or two ago. When we brought Albert over to the new house, Greta walked around with him telling him what each room was.

Greta is really getting into singing. We have a tape (yes, I know, a tape) in the car that we have been listening to for months. Greta has now started singing just about all of the songs. She is really enjoying it! We have several books that are songs and she enjoys singing along to those as well.

This month Greta decided she was done with napping. By the time she turned two, she was napping maybe once or twice a week. The only way she will nap is if she falls asleep in the car or the stroller. Usually it takes quite a while in the car (45ish minutes or so). If she falls asleep in the stroller it is usually on a walk in the late afternoon, which again is not ideal. The giving up the nap thing has been rather tiring for me. For the past two years I have enjoyed an afternoon myself, so I wasn’t ready for no nap anymore. Most days she isn’t that cranky and she definitely falls asleep MUCH quicker at night and much earlier. By the end of month 25, there was only a very rare nap, maybe once every two weeks.

Greta is getting quite good at counting. She can count to 5 pretty much unassisted. Greta is pretty good at identifying her colors. She knows them all, but sometimes just won’t say them right, even though I know she knows them.

We traveled to DC to visit some friends this month. Greta enjoyed hanging out with Adam and running wild in the field. We also made a couple of trips up to Matt’s parents’ house for different things.

We thought everything was going along swimmingly and Greta was totally adjusted to Eloise being here. But apparently after about 3 months, Greta must have realized she was really sticking around and started to get a bit jealous. She mainly wanted to be held A LOT more and would tell me to put Eloise down, or give her to Daddy or whatever. It definitely isn’t as bad as it could be, but I thought we were out of the woods.

Greta also began throwing tons and tons of tantrums right around the time she turned 2. Everything from where I wet the diaper wipes to which diaper to where I changed her diaper was reason enough to throw a huge fit. Basically she wanted to control every little thing! The tantrums have calmed down a bit, but definitely still there, especially when she is tired.

Even though Greta’s behavior was worse at home, she somehow became quieter and better in church! We had about 2 or 3 months of pretty awful church behavior, and we didn’t make it through a mass without leaving. Now she is much improved and leaving doesn’t always happen and usually only once if it does. Towards the end of month 25 we started sitting on the far right side, kind of close to the front. She can see much better, plus is actually finally interested in what the priest is doing. Often, when she thinks church should be over she starts saying all done, bye bye priest. Adorable, yes, but not quite as much when we are just standing for the gospel or something.

I’m sure there are oodles of things I’m forgetting. Some might get added when I add pictures, they tend to remind me of things I’m forgetting. We are nearly at the end of month 26, so hopefully once I get Eloise’s 4 month post done, I’ll be on to the 5, and 26 month posts.

bullets

— Everyone is enjoying the new house. Here is the color of Greta’s room. Eventually there will be a chair rail in between the colors.

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— We have been spending lots of time outside playing with balls, in the sandbox, blowing bubbles, sliding down the new slide, looking for rabbits, watching the rain.

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— Albert has made himself at home. We take him out in the backyard on occasion. The other day while Matt was washing dishes, he saw something out of the corner of his eye, and it was Albert exploring the upper cabinets. He certainly is a curious little bugger.

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— There is a playground about a block away from our house! The other week we drove by and noticed it was gone. Thankfully the were just upgrading and not taking it away permanently. The new playground is in and we went the other day. It is a little advanced but after watching a little boy Greta did much better. I’m sure we will be visiting often.

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quick takes on a monday

1. We have moved! Well, mostly. We still have lots of random stuff at the condo, but our furniture is at the house and we are sleeping at the house, so YAY! So far, Greta seems to be adjusting mostly alright. This move was definitely easier on her than the move from Texas.

2. Packing and unpacking takes A LOT longer with two little ones around. It is a good day when I get 5 boxes unpacked.

3. I am going to try and fix all the pictures without making all of my photos public again. Flickr also upgraded itself and so I’m not sure if that caused part of the problem or if it was just the privacy settings, since changing them back to what they were doesn’t seem to fix the problem. ugh.

4. We will be taking our first plane trip with two kids at the end of the month. We are headed to Florida to visit my parents and will be there for my 30th birthday!

5. Now that we have moved, my list of projects that I WANT to do has increased exponentially. Maybe one day I will get to them all. For now I need to focus on the unpacking.

6. In our backyard we get to see rabbits every morning and evening. I’m pretty sure Matt and I are just as excited about this as Greta and Albert. We will definitely have to fence off our garden when we finally get one put in!

7. Here are Greta and Eloise showing off some new tricks!

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pop-pop 6/27/10

Yesterday morning Matt’s grandfather passed away. He was 93, had a long life filled with children (16), grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He is loved by many and will be greatly missed. This also marks the end of Matt and my living grandparents and the girls’ great-grandparents. We are grateful to have had Pop-pop in our lives for so many years. Here are some pictures of Greta and Eloise with their great pop-pop. As Matt likes to tell people, he has more flat panel TVs (3, 42″ LCDs) than any other 93 year old we know. Pop-pop loved his TVs. He is survived by 13 of his children, many grand and great grandkids, and 3 of his 12 siblings.
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father’s/mother’s day craft

Last week Greta, Eloise and I worked on a little project. We made one for Matt, one for my parents, and one for Matt’s parents. They were easy to make and turned out cute!

Start with a salt dough recipe. Just google salt dough recipe and you will have your choice of ratios. I think I ended up using 3 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt, and 1 cup of water. Mix the dough.

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We rolled it out into three oval type shapes. Then I pressed each girl’s hand into the dough.

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Then I trimmed the edges with a pizza cutter to make them look a little prettier. And I poked a hole with a toothpick so that we could put a ribbon through when we hang them.

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We baked the handprints for a LONG time. I think they were in the oven for 3-4 hours at 200 degrees. They still didn’t get quite as hard as I was hoping, but they are hard enough.

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I let Greta do the painting, although I did have to help guide her a little. I just made sure she painted the new color where there wasn’t any color before to avoid turning the whole thing brown. She chose the colors and how much of the color to put on at a time. After they paint was dry, I traced the hands so that they were more visible and added their names, the date, and a message on the back with a sharpie. I sprayed them with polyurethane to give them some shine and to hopefully make them last a long time. I think they turned out rather nice, and everyone loves them!

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welcome to the neighborhood

Today Greta, Eloise, and I went over to the new house to drop off some paint and play with the toys Matt brought over there for Greta. I left the diaper bag in the car, but then decided I needed the blanket for Eloise to lay on and play. So I went out to the car with Eloise, instructing Greta to watch from the screen/storm door. The car was only in the driveway, which is what like 10 ft from the front door. I got back to the door and Greta had locked the storm door. I had my car key, but all the other keys were inside with her, along with my cell phone. I tried to get her to unlock it and she tried, but she couldn’t do it. I tried to teach her how to use my cell phone, press the green button (I knew on of the last calls had to be either Matt or my parents). No luck.

I told her to watch from the door again as I walked across the street. No answer. Then I went next door. “Hi, I’m Lucy, your new neighbor. My two year old locked me out of the house, can I use your phone to call my husband?” Thankfully the older couple who lives there was there. I borrowed their cell phone to call Matt, but alas he was not at his desk (he has no cell phone service at work, since his office is 3 floors underground). I left him a message telling him to leave work and go to the condo to get the keys (I never thought to put a key to the storm door on either of our key chains), and come to the house to let Greta out. After a little bit I decided this was silly, since I had no idea if or when he would get my message and it was only 2:30 pm, so he wouldn’t be home for at least 2 hours, and Greta was starting to get a little scared. I decided we would just slit the screen. However, our neighbor was actually able to peel it away a little and reach his arm in to unlock the door.

At one point Greta said “up, up”, meaning she wanted to go upstairs. Thankfully she listened when I said no. In fact the whole time she listened very well and stayed right on the floor on the other side of the door, rather than wandering around the house. The house is definitely not ready for her to be alone anywhere in it. We have no outlet covers, she can open the basement door and easily fall down the steps, etc.

So now we just need to figure out how to keep the lock from working, and also hide a key somewhere or give one to a neighbor. Apparently this couple is the rescue couple since they also broke into someone’s basement to unlock their door when they first moved in. At least I’m not the only one!

P.S. This is the first time Greta was stuck somewhere I couldn’t get to her. I’m just glad it wasn’t the car. I definitely would have panicked a bit more on that one.

homeowners once again

We closed on our new house today. The couple we bought the house from are so nice. They have lived there for 50 years and raised 4 boys there. They left behind quite a few things for us, including a special book for the girls. We hope to invite them over for dinner once we get all settled in. I know some of you have been dying to see pictures, so here they are.

The front of the house:
Front

The back yard view from the house:
Back yard

The back yard view from the edge of the back yard (notice the GREAT covered porch):
Back yard

Here is the family/living room. The door is the front door and you can see the stairs on the right hand side:
Living Room

This is the playroom (lots of great shelves). Through the door is the front door, with the stairs behind the white wall:
Playroom

Here is the playroom from the other side. The doors are (from left to right) in-law suite bedroom/ old garage, in-law suite kitchen, bathroom, kitchen.
Playroom

First floor bathroom:
1st floor bath

In-law suite kitchen:
Extra Kitchen

Off of extra kitchen

Main kitchen:
Kitchen

Kitchen looking into dining room:
Kitchen looking into Dining

Upstairs bathroom:
Pink Bath

The bedrooms are nothing exciting, 4 walls, a closet, and a window. There are 4 bedrooms upstairs. Greta has picked hers out and wants it painted pink. There is also a rather large basement that is half finished/half unfinished. We don’t have a set move date, but hopefully soon!