Thursday, December 30, 2010

Merry Christmas!

At 4 months till the due date! A few days before our Christmas trip--
Our first stop: Curtis and Julia's place in North Seattle. Greta and Lillian had fun playing together (I look a little bored sitting here at the kid's table though!) It was great catching up with our good friends.
Next: Melissa and Kristen's place in Seattle!
And a day trip with Mama and Papa to the Seattle Center (yikes, I almost spelled it Canadian-style "Centre" just now!)
Greta is looking through this fence at a big snow globe of Frosty--trying to get as close as possible.
Matthew and I have mixed memories of the Seattle Center, considering all the kid-trips we'd taken there before with the little children we'd taught and looked after...but it was sure fun to bring our own daughter there!
Having a "nack" (snack).
Papa sharing some sweets with his sweetie.
We also ventured into the Children's Museum at the Seattle Center. I'd never been, but Matthew was a veteran. He showed Greta and I all the great spots there and we had a wonderful time! Here is Greta getting static-y in the seaweed.
Painting at the Children's Museum! This is the first time Greta had painted at an easel--quite a milestone indeed. She absolutely loved the experience.

If we had more space in our home we'd get an easel...but alas, we'll have to wait till our next home! I'm sure we'll all make-do just fine in the meantime :-)
Playing instruments with Papa at the museum.
We didn't get a picture of the drum area...but we spent a LOT of time in it! Greta loves the Christmas song "Little Drummer Boy" (she calls it "Umpabum") and the three of us spent a lot of time singing and drumming to that song at the museum.
There's a little stage area at the museum and Greta had some fun hamming it up for her audience.
At Melissa and Kristen's place one night our friend's Gavin and Kim came for a visit with their little 15 month old Estlin.
We were all entertained by Greta and Estlin playing kissy-face with each other!

Greta and "Auntie"--as she calls her...and "Meeeee-ow!" as she calls Spike the cat. For much of our stay at Melissa and Kristen's Greta chased poor Spike around saying "Meeeee-ow!" and trying to catch him. He was a pretty good sport about the whole thing and let her get closer to him than he ever lets Matthew get :-) (that's really not saying much, though...)
Borrowing her cousins' (Ida and Poppy) rocking moose while holding the Angel ornament Kim had given her. Greta really loved Kim and spent a lot of time carrying this hand-made ornament around--unfortunately it soon broke :-(
On our way to Nana's we stopped over at Jenny and Dalton's place in Federal Way. Greta was glad to see another cat or two there as well!
Bonding with Uncle Dalton and the "Meeeee-ow!"
Altogether at Nana's house. Look at those three sets of beautiful blue eyes!
Greta loved playing with her cousins, and was pretty good about knowing who was who--she says their names well :-)
I love how the twins seem to be in such awe of their older cousin here!
Our nieces are such sweeties--and so different from each other considering they are twins! They look very different and have very different personalities! In a couple of years cousin-time will be SOOOOOO FUN!!
Trying on Nana's jewelry.
After a night at Judy's in Tacoma, Matthew and I headed back to Seattle to celebrate our 7 year wedding anniversary. We stayed overnight in a hotel and went to see the play my sister was in at the 5th Avenue Theater (the debut showing of "A Christmas Story: The Musical). Greta had a fun slumber party with Nana :-)
Having a donut breakfast the next morning--yum yum!! After all this sugar we went back to the hotel to use the workout romantic! ( but what luxury--to do whatever we wanted!) We did miss our girl, though, and were excited to pick her up at Nana's mid-day.
Next stop: my mom and Shayne's place in Olympia.
Wearing some of Nana Kaka's dress up jewelry! Clip on earrings and all! Greta made it clear to my mom that she also wanted earrings, and then she paraded gracefully around this house adorned in style.

See below: the giant Tigger that greeted us at my mom's place! Greta loved this and often looked out the window at him saying "Tiga, ha ha!"
Christmas Eve with my sister, my mom and my girl.

Looking a bit on the tired side of things...Greta got a little sick on our trip, with all the traveling and staying up late and adjustments to her routine. In fact, she's still sick now! Yesterday morning she woke up crying and pointed to her ear saying "Eeye". I said "Does your ear hurt?" and she nodded her head. We took her to the doctor and she was able to determine (through lots of wiggling and crying on Greta's part) that Greta's ear was indeed a bit pink. Lots of tylenol and spoiling for her--those were pretty much the doctor's orders!
Opening a gift on Christmas Eve...I think it's Eeyore inside, from us.
Yep, there she is with Pooh-Kaka and Eeyore and Aunt Jenny.
Christmas morning--opening up Tigger in her new dapadadas from Nana Kaka!
Oops...these pictures got a little out of order (not surprising considering the mountain of photos I had to go through for this post!)
Here's Greta with her new drum from Nana. After breakfast at my mom's Christmas morning we stopped off at Hans and Judy's for a bit.
She loves her new drum!
Ok, back to Christmas morning at my mom's...having a little snack before opening presents.
A comb and jingle bells (see her ankles) in her stocking!
And a new trike from Nana Kaka and Grandpa Shayne! She will get this officially in January when they come up here for a visit...we couldn't fit it in our car to bring back home with us...
Greta watched Jenny and my mom play the piano quite a bit as Matthew and I packed up (yet again!) to get ready for the last leg of our trip on Christmas morning. After watching them she got a piano book and flipped through it, then quietly set it on the piano and referred to it as she played.
Merry Christmas! (My mom made Greta this adorable the way)
After our stop at Nana's we landed at our final destination: my dad and Linda's place in Gig Harbor.
This is how Matthew felt for the majority of Christmas Day. He and I had gone to a late-night church service the night before and did not get to bed until nearly 2:00am (this did NOT include Greta--she stayed at my mom's and was asleep by 7:00)--only to get up at 7:00am the next day!
With Grandpa Dan. Greta had been calling him "Ada Dan" but this soon morphed into a cute r-trilling "Grampa!"
On the day after Christmas (what we call Boxing Day here in Canada--I like having another holiday right after Christmas!) my grandparents came for a visit and Greta got yet a few more gifts! Here she is reading a new book with Great Grandma Hope.
Dancing to the Muppet Christmas album at my dad's. I grew up listening to this and now Greta loves it too--especially the songs that Miss Piggy ("Piggy") is in: "The 12 Days of Christmas", for example.
She also loves to hear any version of "Jingle Bells" and says "Ding ding!" when she hears it!

We had such a lovely and full Christmas season! We are glad we got to see so much family, but definitely felt the absence of Matthew's dad who celebrated at his home in Arizona. We look forward to seeing him in February, though--Greta often mentions "Grandpa Paul." I recently bought a collage picture frame and was able to fill it with pictures of Greta with each grandparent, Auntie and cousin--it now hangs in her room and she loves to point out all of her loved ones. Even though none of them live close, we want her to have a close relationship with each and every one of them!

Sorry for the long many of you know this is my form of scrap-booking. I've finally converted the blog thus-far into a hardbound book! It will arrive in late January and we will set it with our other much-loved "old fashioned" pre-digital photo albums. I can't wait to get my hands on it!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Card Preview

These photos, and many others, were all shot with our little digital camera set on self-timer mode. Greta was not really that committed to our effort, but she cooperated fairly well. Take a good look - with a busy young daughter, and with one more on its way, our family doesn't look this polished very often! We are looking forward to seeing our Washington families soon, and our hearts and minds turn frequently to those further away during this season. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

"Cooks" and Christmastime

Helping make sugar cookies...and of course Pooh is nearby :-)

We had some great minty sugar cookies at a tea store in the neighborhood recently, so Matthew decided to try out the idea at home. After he got the dough ready, she and I cut out and decorated them. They were yummy!
She did some taste testing, of course. Mostly she liked playing with the flour.
This is the face Greta makes when a taste surprises never comes after having bitten into a "cook" though.
Pleased with herself after having gotten a little bit of brownie one night after dinner (you'd think all we feed her is sweets, from this post!)
Matthew sneezes every time he eats dark chocolate, and the few times Greta has had chocolate she sneezes as well! The sneeze is not the reason the chocolate is all over her front, though--she's just a messy eater :-)
Getting ready to watch the classic 60's Rudolph clay-mation Christmas special. This was the first time we all sat down to enjoy a show together. It was so fun!
Out for a stroll.
Getting our Christmas tree last weekend. We went to a great place in Richmond (a bit south of Vancouver) where you could cut your own or pick one out. We went the easier route, with our little 20 month old running around everywhere. It was very festive there, with cider, Christmas music, lights, a touch of snow still hanging around and other Christmasy decorations.
She calls snowmen "man".
Just the right tree! I wanted it taller than me--it's by far the biggest tree we've had in awhile, but I was determined we should have it for our small home. I got my way :-)
Having a sit down right outside our building...I think she was supposed to be getting in the car. She's trouble!
So cute.
Crazy picture! Helping Papa put up the Christmas lights on our tree. When Matthew got these out she set the record for the number of enthusiastic "Oh"'s that can be said within about 5 minutes.
Ready to decorate!
Greta was really into helping us hang decorations on the tree, and especially liked it when we pointed out who certain decorations were from (she learned how to say Grandpa Paul: "Hampa Paul" because he has given us many ornaments!)
A job well done. And two nights in a row of staying up later than usual! Every night Greta gets ready for bed right after dinner...but with the Christmas season here we've been busier than usual, and she had a couple nights in a row of activity AFTER dinner--how special!
So fun!
On Friday I had the day off from work. It's been nice having a 3 day weekend!
Friday afternoon we all visited the aquarium. Greta was interested in the fish for a bit, but she mostly likes the playroom there. Here she is looking through the cool glass in the playroom.
Sweet girl.
Playing with the pretend phones in the "veterinarian" section of the playroom, and studying the other children nearby.
After the aquarium we went to see the Christmas lights at Stanley Park. Greta was overjoyed to see a display involving Pooh and Tigger! She kept saying "Pooh Caca" and "Tiga Ha Ha!" (Matthew has learned how to imitate Tigger's laugh and Greta requests it regularly, and often says to herself happily "Tiga Ha Ha!")
Happy girl! Sometimes she just says to us with a smile, "Happy!" :-)
Last night we went to our old church for their preschool interactive Christmas show (the one where we played the Holy Family last year...) Greta was excited to go to "chuch"...but here she does look somewhat sleepy...we have been running her (and ourselves) a bit ragged I think!
Getting ready to play her part as an angel in the pageant. Greta went up on the stage with the other bigger kids for different parts of the show. She did really well with this and often exclaimed "chuch!" as she paraded around with the children.
And here she is getting ready to be a tired sheep.
After the show we had treats downstairs. She's very good about accepting when it's time to be "all done" with treats--even if they are low on a buffet table and right within her reach!
Having some down time today in her room. She really likes to be at home.
Helping Papa decorate more cookies for a cookie party down the street!
What a busy time...but oh so fun :-)
And, for those of you who didn't know...we found out last weekend that we're having another girl! This time next year will be even busier!