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.











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.


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


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.


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.


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!




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:

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:

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.

First floor bathroom:
1st floor bath

In-law suite kitchen:
Extra Kitchen

Off of extra kitchen

Main 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!

3 months


Boy does time fly. Eloise is now 3 months old (well now almost 4, but must get the 3 month update done first). I hardly remember what life with one child was like. Eloise is showing her personality more and more. She still loves to smile at everyone. She is a very easy going baby and is happy to smile at everyone and doesn’t even mind being held by people other than her ma and pa.



Eloise is very close to laughing. She definitely has some joyful noises, but I wouldn’t quite call it laughing just yet.



This month Eloise got to experience her first stroller ride. Her first few rides were quite short lived since she started crying and so I carried her.


Eloise got to meet both of my sisters. Caroline came down for almost a whole week during her spring break. Catherine met us in DC and then drove back to PA with us for a day.



This month’s big accomplishment was talking. Eloise is quite the talker. She babbles all day long and is LOUD.

We went on our first road trip with two kids this month. We drove down the DC area to visit with some friends. Eloise got to meet her first friend her age (Annie is only 5 days older). Eloise was great in the car, definitely an improvement over the days of Greta as a baby, in which we avoided car travel like crazy. In turns out Eloise doesn’t mind the car, so we will definitely be taking more road trips. Hopefully we will get down to the DC area again this summer.



Eloise and Greta continue to ADORE each other. Greta tries to shove every little piece of plastic food into her mouth. She is definitely getting practice for when the real food starts in a couple of months. Greta gives her toys and tries to teach her how to take care of animals and babies. Eloise just sits there and smiles so big at Greta whenever she pays any attention whatsoever. Often times I think Greta might be a little rough and I look over to tell her to be gentle and Eloise is just flashing the hugest smile, so I guess she must not be too rough.









Eloise got to take her first two trips to the zoo. She enjoyed looking at all the people when she was awake and she took quite a long nap as well.



Eloise is learning how to fight sleep a bit better as she gets older and is much more distracted by the world around her.


This month we started putting Eloise in the Bumbo for a few minutes. She seemed to like that she could sit and look around, although she was still a bit young for it and couldn’t stay in it for very long before her head started drooping.


Eloise is learning how to splash in the tub.


We took a trip up to Matt’s parents for Matt’s oldest goddaughter’s first communion.



Towards the very end of the month, Eloise discovered her built in chew toys, her hands! She also really started chewing on them, I guess the beginning of teething is here. She still really enjoys tummy time, most of the time.





I need to apologize to everyone who has sent us gifts. We have received so many wonderful and thoughtful gifts for Eloise (and some for Greta too). I wrote most of the thank you notes MONTHS ago, yet for some reason have not been able to get my act together enough to address, stamp and mail the little things. So to those who sent gifts, thank you. Thank you for thinking of us. We really appreciate everything. If Eloise isn’t playing with the toys, Greta certainly is, and Greta shows the toys to Eloise. Soon, the real thank you notes will be in the mail. Thanks for your understanding.

memorial day parade

On Memorial Day we headed to our local parade. The parade started a little late and was a little slow at parts, but all in all we had a good time and Greta seemed to enjoy her first parade. We found a nice spot alongside a building so that we were standing in the shade. It was quite hot and humid out, but we all survived. I definitely should have packed more water though as Greta chugged almost the whole thing by herself. Here are some pictures from the parade.






Greta got a little scared from the gunfire, so Matt told her to cover her ears. She did it very seriously.






The fire trucks were super pretty and all freshly shined.








lawn obsession

Last summer, our lawn in Texas took a major beating. It was definitely one of the worst looking lawns in the neighborhood. There was a bad drought and we didn’t water as often as most folks. When it came time to sell our house we knew the lawn would be a problem. Once we were off water restrictions we planted some rye grass seed. We watered it like crazy in the beginning. We knew it was a winter grass that stayed green all through the winter and since that is when the house was on the market we were hoping it would work to our advantage. The yard was definitely quite green when we left, but we were curious about how it was doing. I told Matt to ask one of his friends to drive by since he was so obsessed about knowing how it was doing. The other day he looked up our address on google and saw that the images had been updated in 2010. Now if you look at our house (the one with the red arrow), you can see our house is the only one with green grass!

green lawn

Now to zoom in a little:

green lawn zoom

Matt is so darn excited. He even woke me up last night to show me. Finally our yard is the only green one around. Now who knows what it looks like now that it is hot and probably dry in Texas, but for a least a little while we had the best looking yard!