Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Too Cute!

Here she is ready for her rice cereal!
Making raspberry noises...often we do it back and forth to each other. It's adorable!!
For a couple weeks Greta absolutely gobbled up all her rice cereal in the mornings. But the past few days she hasn't been too interested in it. She seems to like the routine of helping me get it ready (well, accompanying me and watching me intently as I do it...), getting in her special chair and getting her bib on--but then once I give her the cereal she makes a face like "yuck, this stuff is weird, blah!" Oh well. She doesn't actually need the cereal, it's just to help her get ready for when she will need solids. Plus it's fun to put her in a bib--we have a wide assortment of them! This one her Aunt Melissa made.
Last weekend my Dad and Linda came up for a visit. We went to Stanley Park. It was Greta's first time there and it was such a beautiful day for the special event! We walked a bit around the seawall and along the beach, and then her Grandma and Grandpa MacD took us all to the Teahouse for a lovely dinner. Unfortunately Matthew was out of town at the time getting ready to preach in Tacoma, so we did miss him. When Greta is a little older we can't wait to get a special bike seat or trailer to put her in so we can go for a family ride around the park! Vancouver is such a great city, and it's wonderful for having a baby in--there's so much to do here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Family, Friends and Five Generations

A couple weeks ago we visited Spokane, where I have grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins from my mom's side of the family. Here is a photo of Greta with her two "first cousins once removed" (my cousins) Mary and David. On this day Greta had the much anticipated 5 Generations Photo taken, and she was treated like quite the celebrity at my Great Grandmother's home! Everyone had cameras, and many, many photos were taken. Unfortunately my camera decided to act up that day, so I didn't actually get any photos...good thing all that paparazzi was there to back me up.
Here are Greta and her Great Grandpa Ronnie. He was so sweet with her and took her out on his deck to admire the flowers every morning. Maybe in a few years he'll let us use the much loved fire pit in his backyard again. We used to have hot dog and marshmallow roasts on it when I was growing up, and I would love for Greta to experience all that fun.
Five Generations: Great Great Grandmother Margaret (Nanny, as we all call her), Great Grandpa Ronnie, Grandma Kathy, Mama Megan, and Baby Greta. It was so beautiful to see Nanny and Greta together. My mom said that when we arrived at Nanny's house she perked right up--she was so excited to meet Greta! She kept saying that Greta was very smart :-) Greta loved gnawing on 98 year old Nanny's knobbly knuckles. We would love for Greta to meet her other Great Great Grandmother, Granny Pearl--on Matthew's side of the family. She will be 100 this year! But she lives in Detroit...a bit far away for us.
Last weekend we visited Tacoma and Seattle. Our good friends Curtis and Julia hosted us at their home in Seattle for a lovely dinner, a reunion with old friends, and a lovely breakfast the next morning. They are great cooks and we always appreciate the scrumptious food they prepare for us! Here is Greta with Lillian--their daughter--who is a little over a year old now. Even though Lillian is so much bigger than Greta she was very gentle and careful with her. She shared her toys and loved grabbing onto Greta's baby feet! These little gals are sure to be great pals in the years ahead.
Every Wednesday a group of new moms and their babies gets together near my neighborhood. I met them at a parent/infant class at the community centre. Sometimes we meet in a park, or a coffee shop, or someone's house--it is always fun for the babies and mamas to socialize. Yesterday we met at Michelle's home and played in the wading pool. Here is Greta with two of her friends: Jesika and Tai. She is one of the youngest babies and can't sit up on her own yet like some of the others. Good thing there was a special seat for her! She loves the water. After this outing Greta was very tired. As soon as I started walking us home she fell asleep! What a busy day we had!

In Tacoma we stayed with Grandma Judy and Grandpa Hans. They gave Greta many new toys that had been donated by another one of Greta's "first cousins once removed"--Amy. She has 4 kids, none of whom are babies anymore, and very thoughtfully mailed many toys to Grandma Judy's house for Greta. We kept half of them there, for when we visit, and took the other half home. Grandma Judy spent a lot of time playing with Greta and taking her outside to see her beautiful yard. Too bad we didn't get any pictures of them together! But here is a photo of Greta with her Aunt Melissa at Jamjuree Restaraunt in Seattle. Grandma Judy took us all out to dinner and ice cream one night--it was a lovely evening. Greta even had a couple licks of ice cream...but then was up most of the night because Mama just HAD to have fudge on her ice cream...Greta's body doesn't like it when Mama eats chocolate. Oops. Sometimes I conveniently ignore that and then pay for it later! Greta, someday you will LOVE chocolate, I'm sure of it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Greta Goes Gobbly Wobbly

Just yesterday Matthew got out the hideous exer-saucer that was given to us by our friends Nathan and Mareesa--their son Daniel no longer uses it. This is one of those items I sort of thought I'd never own, mostly because they are so ugly and take up so much space. But now what' s good for baby is much more important than my taste in interior decorating! Greta loves this thing! We put her in it for the first time yesterday and she immediately had eyes for nothing else. She spent a good 15 minutes in it without a fuss--the only thing that got her a bit riled up was that the items on the exer-saucer are not available for her to pick up and put in her mouth (she tried!), so we gave her a couple mobile toys to get that mouthing craving satisfied while she continued to exer-sauce around.

All that exer-saucing led to some much anticipated rice cereal--her first solids--this morning. Matthew got out the video camera and recorded the momentous occassion, as well as snapped several photographs. My baby book says that usually babies are reluctant to try much solid food the first time it is offered to them-- but this was not the case with Greta! I fed her the cereal from my finger and she had me scraping the bowl at the end! She wasn't demanding about it--I just kept offering her more cereal and she kept taking it until it was all gone. Since she was going to take a nap afterwards I followed the cereal with a nursing session and she gobbled all that up too! (too bad it didn't induce the long nap I had hoped for...) She is growing up so much and becoming such a big baby! It is all very exciting, but sometimes makes me sad. Part of me just wants her to stay a baby forever...but of course most of me is so excited to watch her grow and know that I'll be her mom through it all. Thank goodness for Matthew. He knows just how I feel, and when I get a little emotional and teary about these things he's always there to hug and comfort me.

Greta is peacefully sleeping for the night now. I am looking forward to when she wakes up so that she can play in her exer-saucer again, and I can't wait to feed her more cereal :-)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Summertime at 4 Months

Recently we took a nearly 2 week long trip. We went to Seattle to meet up with Greta's Grandpa Paul, Aunt Melissa, and Uncle Kristen--then we went to Leavenworth for Papa to take a class, halfway through the class Greta and Mama went to visit Grandma Kathy and Grandpa Shayne, and also saw Grandpa MacD--then we all went to Spokane to get a 5 generations photo. It was quite a trip and Greta weathered all the changes in routine and scenery pretty well. However, she really does not like to ride in the car, and often one of us would have to sit in the backseat to comfort her. On her 4 month birthday we were in Spokane, and we drove out about 25 miles north to Loon Lake. Growing up I went to Loon Lake often with my family, and since we've been married Matthew and I have gone nearly every summer. There's a beautiful family run spot there called Granite Point with cabins and a little store and lots of sandy beach and clear, clean water. It was so special to bring Greta there! She was very curious about the water. We took her in a couple of times in her cute little swimsuit. I especially enjoyed sitting along the shore with her and letting the waves rush up to us--in the photo you'll see that her Aunt Jenny joined as well. Greta seemed to love watching the light shimmer across the surface of the water, and would gasp when the waves crept up a little too far on her little baby body!

As I mentioned before, we spent some time in Leavenworth so that Matthew could take a class. While in Leavenworth Greta officially found her feet! She'd been grabbing them here and there for a few days, but then all of the sudden realized she could put them in her mouth. This photo was taken a few days before her 4 month birthday--the day her mouth found her toes! On this day Greta spent quite a lot of time sucking her big toes. Greta is growing and changing so much. She rolls herself around to get places, and she has begun to scoot a tiny bit. Usually she is still pretty quiet, but recently she has spurts of being very vocal! She squeals and chuckles and makes little cat-like noises--it's very amusing for Matthew and I. While in Leavenworth I read Anne Lamont's Operating Instructions, about (among other things) her son's first year of life. So much of it really spoke to me and my time as a new mother. Lamont writes on nursing her baby as: "The easiest, purest communication I've known"--she writes that her baby's "giggle sounds like a bell" her baby's "face looks like moonlight" and "hands look like stars". To Greta her toes are like lollipops :-)

A few weeks ago my mom came up to Vancouver for a visit. On this visit we decided to take Greta on her first swimming excursion at the neighborhood pool. She loved the water right from the beginning.

Papa stood Greta up in the water--she still absolutely loves standing--and he also dragged her along the surface of it. I think in this photo the sun had gone down...she looks a little chilly!

Mama and baby ready for a dip! It's great fun to introduce her to things that are so brand new, and it helps me to remember to appreciate the little things that make life so special.

I love where we live so so so much. There are not many days that go by that I don't take a minute to appreciate how much I love my home and my neighborhood. Just a block away is a little park with a nice grassy area. In the day time it is scattered with summer camp kids and people on their way to or from the community center, library, or senior center--and in the summer evenings it's often filled with families playing badminton or children practicing their bike riding skills. The weather here has been so lovely, and several times I've taken Greta over to the park to play outside for a bit. Here she is with a look of sheer determination as she tries to scoot herself! She is wearing a dress my mom made for me as a baby--I like to think of it as her summer picnic dress :-)

Gazing up at the trees, sky and birds...With the way I behave Greta will probably not take too kindly to creepy crawlies...but I hope to instill in her a great love for the outdoors nonetheless!

Happy Summer!