Greta’s birthday

All Greta asked for her birthday was a cake and candles. Greta’s second birthday started out a little rough. She woke up a little grumpy after sleeping in her room by herself from 10 pm to 6 am for the first time in her life!

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We had set up her gifts so she could see them when she woke up.

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We got her an easel with some art supplies and a big thing of playdoh (which I mainly bought for the playdoh toys) and a few pairs of socks (she LOVES socks).

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After a little breakfast of fruit and donuts, Greta did a little playing her with playdoh.

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Soon after Matt was done decorating her cake. Thankfully we were able to fulfill her one dream of a cake. While I bought candles I didn’t account for the fact that we had to get rid of all matches and lighters when we moved. So I totally failed on the candle part. We did put a candle on her cake, but it was not lit. At about 9:30 or 10 we gave her the cake.

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Since the cake was just for us we just let her dig in with a fork (after we sang to her of course).

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Then we had a little painting session out of the patio.

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After a lunch of mac and cheese (the requested meal), we headed up to Matt’s extended family picnic and pool party. This was Greta’s first time in the pool this year, so we were excited to see that she enjoyed the water. She loved the water and was really trying to swim and keep up with the older kids. It was definitely a work out holding on to her in the pool. She put her face in the water several times on her own. Hopefully we will get to do some more swimming this summer.

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When it was time to leave, Greta was ready. She was exhasuted. She said goodbye with no problems and promptly got in the car and fell sound asleep. We got home and she went straight to bed.

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upcoming

We have some exciting stuff coming up. First, Greta’s 2nd birthday is on Sunday! We are planning on going to mass on Saturday, so that we don’t have to fight her all during mass on her birthday. Most likely on her birthday we will do something fun in the morning, including presents and cake. Then we are going to head up to Matt’s extended family picnic and pool party in the afternoon. It will be Eloise’s first big family function. She has met a few of Matt’s aunts and uncles, but she will get to meet nearly all of them at the party. Greta loves seeing all of her family and she will get to go in the pool since it is heated! Last year she loved the water, so we shall see what this year brings.

Then Monday is a holiday, so Matt has the day off! Oh…also Matt gets half-days every Friday during the summer. He works an extra hour Monday – Thursday and then takes Friday afternoon off, so this weekend will be a nice long weekend for him.

Tuesday afternoon/evening my parents and middle sister arrives for about 5 days. On Saturday, Eloise’s baptism is at 10 am. Matt’s immediate family will all be joining us, along with my other sister (Eloise’s godmother), and a friend or two. After the baptism we are having Greta’s birthday party at a local park. Should be a fun, packed day!

About two weeks after that we close on our house! Then the work begins. So far the work we are planning is some painting, installing a dryer hookup, possibly planting a garden. We are hoping to move most stuff ourselves and then possibly hire movers to do the big stuff. We don’t have a definite date to be done by, but hopefully by mid-July we will be out of here and in the house.

another trip to the zoo.

Ever since our first trip to the zoo, just two weeks ago, Greta has been asking nonstop to go back. We decided to head there today. We met Matt’s brother and his daughter there since we are allowed two guests each visit! We had a great time and got to check out some different animals. Here are lots of pictures and videos.

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new stroller

We got a new stroller! We decided to get a double stroller so that we can go for longer walks with both girls. We got the Baby Jogger City Classic. We bought it used on craigslist for more than half-off. We definitely couldn’t justify the cost of a new one, especially since we don’t use it that much. Some of my favorite features are the super easy folding and the huge sunshades. Annoying things are that there are no drink holders and the underneath basket is impossible to get a full bag in. We wanted a stroller with bigger, more durable wheels because there is a nice canal path that we go on that has gravel and the regular stroller is awful on it. So far Eloise doesn’t love it, but in time I’m sure she will. Greta loves the new stroller and won’t let us use the old one anymore. Here it is in use on our trip to the zoo today.

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maryland road trip

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This past weekend we packed up and headed south to Maryland to visit some friends. Our first stop was in Annapolis. We hung out with my college friend, Kristen, her husband, and little boy, who is about 2 months younger than Greta. We went to downtown Annapolis and saw ducks, boats, and water.

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Then we met up with another one of our college friends, Tara, her husband, mom, and little girl, who is just 5 days older than Eloise. We had a nice meal in downtown Annapolis followed by yummy ice cream.

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After that we headed to a college friend’s parents’ house for the evening. They live on 2 acres and Greta loved just running and running through the field. She ran for at least and hour nonstop. She chased their dogs and attempted jumping on the trampoline. She wasn’t much into the trampoline. We had a nice dinner with them and spent the night at their house.

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In the morning we got up and played for a little while before heading to church. After church, we headed to downtown Silver Spring to meet up with a bunch of people (2 college friends, my sister and her friend, and my longtime friend, Josh and his wife). Then we packed in and headed back home with a stop in southern NJ to buy a double stroller from someone on craigslist.

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Thanks to everyone for visiting with us and especially to Robin and Mark for hosting our craziness overnight! We hope to see you all again soon.

23 months

movie star

I can’t believe that Greta is nearly two years old. I am so late in getting this done. I better hurry before Greta actually turns two. This month it appears that TWO has arrived.

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In the middle of the month Greta was sick for a couple of days with a fever and general yucky feeling and ever since then she has been throwing tantrums galore. We aren’t sure if it is because we gave into her demands more when she was sick, or if she realizes Eloise is sticking around, or she feels like she isn’t getting enough attention, or that she is two. Who knows. All I know is many days is is a struggle to get out of the house with her.

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Greta continues to learn new words and combine more and more words. She knows all of our names and they are all getting clearer and clearer. One of her new favorite words is pay. Anytime we mention buying something, whether that is at the grocery store or new pajamas, or even when grandparents send her new things in the mail, she always asks pay, pay. Yes, Greta we/they paid for the item. From the moment something enters the grocery cart she asks if we are going to pay. Clearly there won’t be any stealing in this family. We aren’t quite sure where this fascination came from, who knows, maybe she will be a cashier or accountant or banker or something one day. This month Greta decided ‘sure’ was the answer to everything. She answers sure when you ask her if she wants to do something, even if she doesn’t want to do it. Kind of funny.

Greta loves the number two. Pretty much anytime we ask her how many things (anything at all) the answer is two. For a while she would hold up one finger on each hand, but now it has turned into holding up a whole hand. Who knows. She does know that she is going to be two years old, at least most of the time.

Greta does not like to be dirty. One day we were playing outside and got a little mud on our shoes, so now Greta inspects all of our shoes all the time. If there even appears to be a little speck of mud we must clean it off. If her pants get dirty outside she needs new ones on. I used to do this sort of thing when I was a child as well.

This month Greta has really become more dependent on us for play. She doesn’t like to sit and look at books alone anymore, but instead wants us to read all day long. Greta started nursing her babies, bears, dogs, etc. The first time she did it I had the camera out and she added in the sucking face to imitate what the bear was actually doing.

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My analysis of Greta this month is that she decided she wasn’t getting enough attention and so decided to demand more of it any way she could come up with. Even if that meant fighting like cats and dogs for a simple diaper change. Let me tell you, not fun at all when it takes 20 minutes to get the child’s diaper changed. This month has definitely challenged me. Most days Matt has way more patience than I do.

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This month Greta pooped on the potty once! And then she was afraid of the potty, so no more poops. Basically what happened was one of us was changing her diaper in the morning and she farted on the diaper changer (which she thinks is the funniest thing in the world, be forewarned anyone who might change her diaper). Since she normally poops in the morning we decided to try putting her on the potty. Lo and behold a few minutes later there was some poop in the potty.

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Greta adores Eloise. She brings her toys to play (even though Eloise has no interest in them and would rather smile at Greta) and is constantly trying to feed her. She feeds her all sorts of fake foods and whatever else she has imagined to be a piece of food. Eloise just smiles and smiles at her.

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Greta’s sleeping is still iffy. Many nights she wakes up screaming a couple of times. We can’t figure out why she is screaming and often it takes her 10 minutes or more to calm down no matter if someone is there or not. She loves to snuggle up with Matt in the early mornings and wakes up if he even thinks about leaving the bed. This month Greta really started fighting naps. Towards the end of the month at least one or two days a week she wasn’t napping anymore.

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This month we had a visit from my sister, Caroline. Greta enjoyed having a playmate for a week.

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Greta continues to be a very good eater. She loves just about everything.

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Greta has gotten much better at coloring. She now tries to color in the actual picture. Previously she mostly colored wherever, now she aims for the picture and does a pretty good job. Greta got to paint for the first time this month. She was a little rough with the brushes, but seemed to enjoy it.

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Greta is getting really good at doing puzzles. This month she finally got the idea of rotating a piece to make it fit in the correct hole. Since then puzzles are easy peasy!

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This month we took several trips to feed the ducks. Greta LOVES the ducks. We were even lucky enough to see several sets of baby ducks/geese. The first set we saw was the best, because the babies were quite small and there were 9 of them! Greta just holds the bread and yells eat to the ducks. She hasn’t quite grasped the idea of the throwing the bread and wants to ducks to eat out of her hands.

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Greta is pretty darn funny and makes us laugh often. She remains a very sweet and loving child. Anytime she gets even the littlest hurt she wants whatever body part kissed. Often times I don’t realize she bumped into something and just end up with a hand in front of my mouth or a head or leg. It took me a while to figure out what she was doing since she wasn’t crying or anything.

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Easter was this month and along with that was Greta’s first egg hunt. We went to Matt’s parents’ town the day before Easter and attended the egg hunt. Greta got two eggs. She wasn’t so sure what to do and many others in her group had overachieving parents who picked up all the eggs for them (a 6 month old shouldn’t have an entire basket full of eggs).

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This month we spent more time outside since the weather was much nicer. Greta got to take her bike that she got for Christmas outside for the first time. We don’t take it out often since the bike lives two floors above ground, but I’m sure it will get much more use when we move. Greta enjoys kicking the ball outside and attempting to run into the street.

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Greta has grown tired of Albert, or at least it seems that way. She is quite mean to him. I’m not sure what happened, but hopefully soon she will be nice again. Here is a quick photo of her trying hard to to be nice.

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church these days

Greta has been quite the handful in church ever since Easter. Since she is talking more and more, it is very hard to keep her quiet and she definitely hasn’t learned about her inside voice yet. Usually on the way to church we ask what we do in church and she puts her finger to her mouth and says shhh. But by the time we are in church that idea is long gone. She has learned some new words lately and likes to talk about them at church. The words, priest and money. For a couple of weeks she was just going on and on about the priest, pointing to the front and saying priest over and over. While cute, it isn’t great since it is loud!

One time a few weeks ago as we were singing the closing hymn we said it was almost time to go and Greta said bye bye priest and then started blowing him kisses. We thought it was cute and funny, especially since she is usually very skeptical of strangers, especially men. And this particular priest met us when I went to register at the parish a few weeks ago and Greta was terrified of him. Pretty much she was just ready to go. Greta has experienced her first (and hopefully only) tantrum in the middle of the aisle. Last week as we were getting ready to leave, the priest was saying the final blessing and doing announcements, Greta decided she was ready right now. We were sitting in the front of church since Eloise had a blessing (for some reason they bless babies before the actual baptism). Greta took her bag of books and headed into the aisle. I tried to grab her, she wouldn’t come back in, so I took her bag and put it back in the pew. She proceeded to lay down in the middle of the aisle. Lovely. After mass two people commented on how adorable Greta was.

This week she learned the word money. She knows we give money during the offertory, so the whole way to church she was talking about money. Today all during mass it was priest, money, priest, money. I’m pretty sure everyone around us thinks we are teaching our daughter that we have to pay the priest or something.

Greta also has walked up to communion and held her hands out saying food, eat.

Clearly we have a ways to go in teaching Greta about everything that goes on in church. One day she will get it all 🙂

trip to the zoo

Yesterday Matt took the day off and we headed to the Philadelphia Zoo. We decided to join the zoo since we plan on going more often now that Greta LOVES animals. Plus parking is included in the membership and we can bring two guests each time we go. All in all a good deal. The Philadelphia Zoo is very nice. We enjoyed it much more than the San Antonio Zoo. It seems much less zoo-like since many of the exhibits are more natural. There was also lots of nice shade.

Greta definitely enjoyed the zoo. We spent a long time in the primate house, just watching the gorillas, the orangutans and monkeys. There was a baby orangutan with it’s mommy, which will be exciting to go and visit and watch grow. Here are some pictures and videos from our trip. We can’t wait to go back and visit again.

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2 months

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Eloise has changed quite a bit this month. At two months, Eloise weighs 11 lbs, 11 oz and is 23 inches long. That puts her in the 75th percentile for weight and 80th for height. While she has definitely grown, she is growing so much slower than Greta did. I keep thinking she isn’t growing, but she certainly is, just isn’t putting on nearly as much chub as Greta. I think this is mainly due to her nursing habits. She likes to nurse, but definitely not nearly as much as her sister did. Greta would nurse for very long periods of time, where Eloise just eats and is done, not much comfort nursing going on at all.

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She is mostly a very calm and content baby. She LOVES to smile at all of us. Eloise smiles so easily. With Greta, I always had to work to get a smile. Greta definitely saved the big smiles for Matt, while Eloise is equal opportunity towards her parents. Greta usually gets the biggest smiles from Eloise. Eloise enjoys laying on the floor and kicking her legs. As long as Greta doesn’t come in and attack her with kisses or hugs she will lay there for a long while by herself or while looking at us. She also enjoys her bouncy seat and rocking chair. She likes to sit and look at all that is going on around her.

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Eloise sleeps through most noise, at least once you get her into a deep sleep. This is very helpful since our house isn’t exactly silent most of the time. She doesn’t fall asleep quite as easily as she did previously, but still pretty easy.

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Eloise has long arms, fingers, and toes. Her torso is also very long. So far neither of the girls have very long legs, but seem to have Matt’s longer torso. Eloise wears mostly 3-6 month clothes, but can still wear some 0-3 month pants, since her legs are not very long. Her eyes are still definitely blue and should stay blue of some shade. Right now they are closer to my eye color than Matt or Greta’s, but time will tell. Eloise’s dark hair is falling out and much lighter hair is coming in.

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midwife

Overall, Eloise is a very easy baby. She likes to held and snuggled, but also likes to chill out by herself. She adores her sister. Eloise hasn’t really noticed Albert at all yet, I think because Albert doesn’t really seem curious about her at all. He seems to know what she will turn into and has decided he shouldn’t bother with her. Eloise likes the car as long as she is fed. She often falls asleep in the car, although we also tend to leave when she is tired.

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This month Eloise took her first road trip to visit Matt’s family. We went up the day before Easter. Eloise got to meet her only living great grandparent, Matt’s Pop-pop. She also got to meet her great-great aunt, Pop-pop’s sister. This month we had a visit or two from Matt’s family. Eloise loves everyone and enjoys giving out smiles to nearly every person who holds her while she is awake. Greta was always a happy baby, but Eloise is so much happier. We didn’t think it was possible for a baby to be so happy all the time.

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This month Eloise nearly got her first taste of food. Greta was making Eloise smile, so I turned around to grab the camera (I didn’t even leave the room). When I turned back around Greta was putting a cashew into her mouth. Thankfully I got it out before it really was in her mouth, but still not fun for me. Greta likes to give Eloise play food to eat and Eloise enjoys Greta shoving stuff in her face, even though it looks a little uncomfortable to me.

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Eloise is quite a talker. She loves to have conversations with us. She tries to mimic mouth motions when you are talking to her. I suspect that she will talk earlier than Greta due to her fancy cooing, but who knows.

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Remember how Eloise was rolling last month? Well she gave up on that. She did it consistently for about 10 days to 2 weeks and then no more. She definitely knew how to do it, but maybe since she did it so early she didn’t really know how to use the skill, so she decided it wasn’t worth the effort. Who knows. Eventually she will be rolling, it is just a matter of time.

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Eloise likes bathtime, although I have to admit she doesn’t get bathed all that often. She doesn’t get very dirty and especially now that she rarely spits up (of course now that I say this, she will start spitting up a lot again).

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We have been spending more time outside lately. Eloise likes it as long as she isn’t in the sun. She squints and throws her head back anytime we go into the sun.

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Eloise celebrated her first holiday, Easter! She got a few little things in her Easter basket, some empty plastic eggs, some books, a flower headband, and that’s all I remember.

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