the actual birthday!

We put Greta in her birthday dress to take some pictures. As you can see it is still quite long on her, so we only made her wear it for pictures, since crawling and long dresses do not mix! She was not in a great mood for the photo shoot, but we were able to get a few good ones.

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Greta’s friend came over for her party. They played very nicely with each other. Greta even ‘gave’ him a hug goodbye at the end.

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Greta wasn’t sure what to think of the singing. We had Matt’s parents on the computer (using Skype), so that they could sing along and watch Greta eat her cake, and my parents were here with us. I made Greta a strawberry cake, which was basically a butter cake (from Martha Stewart), with strawberries and whipped cream. Greta loves strawberries, so I thought she might be interested in the cake if there were strawberries. Greta wasn’t really into eating yesterday, so she just picked the strawberries off the cake and threw them to the side. We tried to put some whipped cream and cake in her mouth but she wouldn’t open up, so oh well. No cake for the baby. She enjoyed the couple of minutes playing with the whipped cream.

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Greta got a few gifts, but I video taped her opening, so we don’t have pictures of it. She got a baby doll, a fridge DJ, some books, puzzles, blocks and her push car. We still need to go and get a sandbox with some of her birthday money, but I am holding out for a cheap one on craigslist.

7 quick takes

1. My parents are here to celebrate Greta’s birthday. Greta gave them a lovely welcome by screaming the entire drive from the airport to the house. She has warmed up to them and even gave my mom a kiss goodnight last night.

2. We are going to the zoo today! The zoo here is supposed to be really great, so I’m excited. Hopefully Greta will like at least some part of it. She loves animals, so hopefully that works in our favor.

3. Tomorrow is the big birthday! Greta will be one year old! Soon I hope to have a slideshow together from her first year. The problem is that most of my photos are on an external harddrive and it takes forever to transfer to the computer.

4. We are having a little birthday party. It will just be us, my parents and Matt’s former co-worker, who has a one year old. Should be nice. We will be having BBQ chicken, mac & cheese, fruit salad and strawberry cake. Yum.

5. Greta can identify her first body part! Not surprisingly it is her tongue. One day I was taking pictures of her and asked where her tongue was and she stuck it out at me. Now we are working on other body parts.

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6. Several of our friends have recently announced they are expecting babies! Congrats to all of you, we are very excited. Too bad no one lives near us.

7. Since we don’t have a swimming pool to go to regularly, we bought a little pool for the back yard. Greta loves it!

i love this girl

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month 11

This will be the last month update until after Greta’s birthday next week, since month 12 isn’t over yet.

Vocally, Greta learned this month to talk to Albert in a high-pitched voice. She also apparently uses this voice on dogs. It is adorable!

Greta now has an interest in actually reading books. She still doesn’t really let us read them (we turn the pages too slow for her liking), but she will sit for long periods of time looking at the pictures and turning the pages. We have some big books (12″x12″) that she just loves. They are bright colored and are mostly pictures.

Greta is standing a lot these days. She has even managed to stand no-handed for up to 20 seconds at a time.

This month, we finally transitioned her to the big bathtub. We were still bathing her in the baby tub since it was easier and she didn’t seem to mind. She hated it at first. She would scream and try and climb out almost immediately. Bathing her became a two person job for a while. Matt would squat with just his feet in the water and holding her while I did the washing. Eventually she got used to it and now likes bathtime again.

We only went on one quick trip this month, to Houston for Easter.

One day when we were watching something on tv, the audience clapped and Greta clapped along. She learned to clap at the right time. She also started to clap during church at the right time (like when someone makes an announcement).

Greta learned to shake her head no this month. Most of the time it wasn’t meant to mean no, but more just the motion. She also got two more teeth this month, her top two side teeth.

Greta discovered the concept of behind this month. We hide the remotes and phones and other non-Greta toys behind the couch pillows. This month she learned that we were putting them there and would move the pillows to get to them. Darn. Now we need a new hiding spot.

That’s about all for this month.

month 10

Month 10 starting out by flying to PA to visit Matt’s family. She was definitely more interested in playing with her cousins than previously. They kindly handed her toys and showed her how things worked. She definitely enjoys playing with kids, especially those older than her.

When we got back she went to the doctor for her 9 month checkup, which I already mentioned in the 9 month post. The night before we went to the doctor, she woke up around 2 or something with a fever, her first. Her temperature was 101.9 a real fever. Thankfully we were headed to the doctor for her checkup, so while were there they did some blood tests (which they were already going to do anyways, to check her iron levels and such) to check for flu and such (long before we knew about swine flu). Everything came back normal and her fever was gone in about 18 hours. Still no idea what it was, but since we had been so many places (FL, PA, plane) she might have caught a little bug.

As usual, the doctor asks if Greta is doing certain things and lo and behold she does them a few days after we go to the doctor. This month they asked about hitting two objects together. She wasn’t doing it at her appointment, but a few days later she was!

This month she started trying to play with Albert. She took Matt’s belt and was swinging it around and Albert tried to attack it. She thought it was funny and kept on doing it.

Greta learned to gracefully go from standing to sitting this month. She also decided that crawling in the grass was acceptable. Previously, she would not crawl at all in the grass, but would crawl like crazy in the house. Who knows.

Greta top two teeth broke through the gum this month, taking her total to four! She kind of started waving this month, mainly at church. We usually sit in the back row and at the before mass begins she loves to stand up and watch all the people walk in and she kind of gives them a little wave. Her wave basically just involves putting the hand in the air, there is no actual finger movement or movement of the whole hand.

Greta of course continues to adore Matt. She shows this by copying everything he does. For some reason she mostly refuses to copy what I do, and saves the copying for Matt.

This month we got on another plane and headed to South Florida for a wedding. Greta got to experience her second wedding and also her first trip to the beach. The first day she loved the beach, well at least the sand. The water was still a little chilly for her liking.

Greta learned a few new sounds this month and was really into babbling nonstop!

The funniest thing she started doing this month was speed crawling away when she was doing something wrong. We are always trying to get her to stop chewing on her books and she knows that. So when I see her chewing on one, all I have to say is ‘Greta’ and she throws it to the side and takes off in the opposite direction. It is quite funny.

This month seems much more developmentally exciting!

month 9

Since Greta’s birthday is only a little over a week away I figured i better get my booty in gear and post about all the months I missed. Hopefully I will get them done in a timely fashion.

I don’t have too many notes from month 9, so it seems it was rather uneventful in terms of development. At her 9 month appointment, Greta weighed 23 lbs and some ounces and they claim she was 28.75 inches tall, although we doubt that measurement. She was saying several sounds, although no actual words yet.

This month she learned that she could twist her tongue! She did it often. Greta also learned to pull up on the tall couch. Previously she was pulling up on som lower things like laundry baskets and stools.

Greta’s accptance of solid foods was improved this month. She would actually eat some stuff, although mostly on her own.

This month she learnd to clap! What fun! Babies clapping are too cute.

This month involved lots of traveling. First we flew to Orlando and saw Katie for the last time. Then we drove to Tallahassee and stayed for almost a week. Greta turned 9 months old while we were in Tallahassee. Since her birthday is on the 30th, I don’t really know what day we claim she turned 9 months, but we were there through March 3 I think, so if we use Feb. 28 or Mar. 2, we were in Tally.

While we were in Tally she also did some terrible, she picked up a dead cockroach off the floor! I didn’t realize it was on the floor, otherwise I would have gotten rid of it. We had a thorough hand washing after that.

Next up: Month 10

complaint letter

To: Champion AC
12682 FM 1560 W suite #205
Helotes, TX 78023

I recently purchased a new air conditioning system from Champion AC of San Antonio, TX. While I am grateful to have cool air again, and hopeful that this system will last us many years, I have to say I am quite disappointed in the service I received.

When I called on Friday, May 1, 2009, the response time was great. I had someone at my house very shortly. Lawrence suggested a new system to me and we talked about different price options and which system would be best for us. We agreed upon a price and I was told that we would have cool air by that afternoon.

Shortly after Lawrence left, I received a call from Tony telling me that the deal we had agreed upon with Lawrence was incorrect. While I was upset that we were not getting as great of a system we came to a compromise and I was content. Tony told me that someone would be at my house by 3 pm. At 3:45 pm I called since no one had arrived at my house. I was told that someone would be there within an hour. At 5 pm, I called another time and was told the installation crew had just left and was sitting in traffic. The installation crew finally arrived at around 6 pm, 3 hours after the initial time. This was a particular hardship as we have an 11 month old daughter that goes to bed at 7:30pm most night.

The installation crew did work hard to try and get everything done on the inside so that the baby could go to sleep, but it still wound up taking quite a while. By the time they left it was well after 9 pm and I could tell they were exhausted from a very long day. They assured us that cool air was coming out, but that it would take several hours for the house to cool down, since it was over 90 degrees.

The house never cooled down that night. I called the next morning around 9:30 am and was told someone would be here within an hour. Around 11 I called again. Finally around 1 pm Lawrence showed up at our house. After working for a while, he discovered the problem was apparently a relay issue. He did not have the correct one in his truck and so went off looking all over town for the correct one. We assured him that if he couldn’t find not to worry, since he had tried very hard to get us up and running.

On Monday morning I called bright and early to ensure someone would be at our house soon. The installation crew showed up about 9:30 am and knew the problem was the valve not the relay. While I understand that the valve was replaced on Friday night along with everything else and it happened to be defective, that does not explain why we were unable to get that solved on Saturday.

On Friday, May 8, 2009, as we were headed to the airport, we realized the house was no longer cooling. I called immediately and someone was able to come while we were gone to fix the problem. However, I am still unsure why after less than 5 days after being installed the AC unit needed to be repaired.

In summary:

1. We waited around all day Friday and Saturday for someone to show up at our house. We did not receive much feedback at all concerning the delays, and were only provided updates when we called the office. We expected to be notified if there were delays so we could plan accordingly. Instead, we were forced to have someone at the house (without air conditioning) while waiting for service.

2. The main reasons I agreed to go with you as an installer of our new system was based on two things: price and timeliness. In the end, we got a lesser system for the same price and we also did not get cold air until Monday mid-day. By the time we learned of the lesser system, it was later on Friday and we figured at least we would be getting the system installed that Friday.

3. I have not received any sort of receipt that shows what we actually had installed. I need this for both my tax rebate and CPS energy rebates. I called about this on Thursday, May 14, 2009 and spoke to Charles. He said that it should be complete by Friday, May 15, 2009 and in the mail to me. As of Thursday, May 21, 2009 I have yet to receive it.

We found all of the employees we encountered to be very kind, polite, and hard working. We understand that there are delays associated with installing systems, and that sometimes things do not work exactly as they should when they are installed. However, we found the overall information provided to us from your company, including unit and price, scheduling installation and finally receipt and unit information to be subpar and unacceptable.

Charles told me that he relayed my complaints to Tony on Thursday, May 14, 2009 and that Tony would be getting in touch with me. However, a week later I still have not heard from him. If these issues are not resolved in a timely fashion, I plan to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing a response.

Sincerely,

Lucy