Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Day in the Life

Good morning Greta! On most mornings, when Greta wakes up around 7, we bring her into bed with us to snuggle for a bit :-) Greta is usually pretty squirmy and excited to be awake!
Playing music with Papa! This morning we turned on a Motown cd from the library and we were all really into it. Alongside the cd we played Greta's instruments and all bounced around to the beats.
After a great morning and a big lunch, Greta slept for about an hour. Usually when she wakes up from nap we give her a snack. Here she is with her rice cake--which she loves--and her new cup with water and a tiny bit of juice in it. Greta is really into her cup. She has figured out how to get the liquid out of it and she can really suck it down! When she's upset lately, she cheers right up if I give her the cup :-)
In the afternoon we went out again. This morning we went out for a Saturday treat of muffins and coffee and tea, and this afternoon we went to the bank for laundry money--how exiting. After the bank we went for a little walk. Many of the trees here are already blooming and the birds are full of songs!
For dinner tonight we had homemade pizza. Before dinner we had crackers with goat cheese as an appetizer: Greta loved this. Here she is with goat cheese all over. Oops...I forgot to put her bib on.
All ready for bed!
Greta still only has 2 teeth! But we still need to brush them :-) She often tries to suck on the toothbrush...she likes the orange flavored toothpaste.
Night night Greta! Greta goes to bed at night very easily (naps are another story). After a long day of fun, she is ready for some rest in her cozy bed.

The last couple of weeks have been quite a whirlwind. We went to my Nanny's (great granmother's) funeral in 8 hour drive. Actually, I didn't actually get to go to the ceremony because I was very sick the whole time. But, I did get to see some family that I hadn't seen in many years, so it was worth it for that. Also, this past week I started my new nanny job where I was allowed to bring Greta. Greta had quite an opinion about that: she cried much of the time we were at the new house, and for various reasons the family decided it was not the right match (I know they were right...). So, I'm back to the drawing board with finding a solid income. And it looks like a Greta-friendly nanny job might not be the answer. I will keep you updated on how the search progresses, but in the meantime I at least have the curriculum development work I can do from home. Working from home is hard to fit in with a baby, though!!! She's about all the work I can manage sometimes :-)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Passing the Torch: In Memory of Margaret Storer

On Thursday and Friday afternoons, I, Matthew, look after Greta while Megan tutors Jett. During these afternoons, Greta and I usually like to have a walk around our neighborhood, Kerrisdale. Today however, the Vancouver Winter Olympics interfered with our routine. The Olympic torch passed through Kerrisdale, and happened to do so while we normally have our walk. Though I am not a supporter of the Olympics, neither am I the sort of person to avoid a spectacle. So we stuck around and waited in the mob of people that crowded our usual route. We saw this fellow run past carrying a fire that was kindled far away and quite a while ago now. The above pictures give you a glimpse of the exciting mayhem that is ensuing in our fair city, and that is likely to persist for a little while.

The first picture, however, was not taken in Kerrisdale. This picture shows the coming together of five generations of Greta's family: her great-great grandmother Margaret, Margaret's son Ron, Ron's daughter Kathy, Kathy's daughter Megan, and Megan's daughter Greta. The picture was taken this past August during our visit to Spokane, WA.

Margaret was born in 1911, she lived to see nearly a hundred years on this earth. She lived through thirty Olympic games. She lived under the governance of eighteen U.S. presidents. She read headlines about the World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. She lived to see the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution which would give her the right to vote - which she did. She lived to see women elected to public offices, and she saw the election of America's first black President. She lived through a century of great changes, both good and bad.

Margaret lived to give birth and life to two sons, Ron and Robert. She lived through the births of her grand children. She met her grandchildren's children. And this August she met her great-great grand-daughter, Greta Bess.

Greta and I had to stand and wait amid the crowds today to see the Olympic torch carried on. As the runner drew near, a light rain began to fall. Loud music-blaring trucks drove by trying to associate the event in people's minds with corporate products. Then some police cycled past. Finally, the young man jogged by in a brilliant white running suit, his face far out-shining the foreign flame that he bore. He stopped at the intersection and jogged in place, turning around and pumping the torch in the air. Then, turning to his left, he jogged on. Just a little while after he passed from our view he passed the torch on to the next runner, who would, in their turn, beam as they carried the torch onward.

About the time the Olympic torch passed out of the hands that carried it past Greta and me- and into the hands of the next runner, the light that Margaret carried for nearly a hundred years passed into the Light of the world, which surrounds us all.

Margaret bore a light all her own, and she now shines it with the Light that made her. Greta doesn't carry that torch, but a light of her own. Like Margaret's, her's is a bright light than has illumined our lives more than I can say. Greta does bear a version of Margaret's name, and I know that she will one day feel great pride and curiosity for the woman whose name she carries. We will tell her all about what a fine lady Margaret was.

O HEAVENLY Father, help us to trust our loved ones to thy care. When sorrow darkens our lives, help us to look up to thee, remembering the cloud of witnesses by which we are compassed about. And grant that we on earth, rejoicing ever in thy presence, may share with them the rest and peace which thy presence gives; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

First Steps!

Today, at just over 10 months old, Greta took her first steps. She's actually a bit sick today, so it's kind of strange that it happened. We were in her room and she saw a picture of Matthew and I on the wall and she took 3 steps to it on her own saying "Dada"! We'd been trying to get her to walk to us for the last couple weeks--but she always ends up crawling, so this was quite unexpected. Afterwards I tempted her into taking more steps by offering her my phone, and later Matthew got a few more steps out of her as he tempted her with his i-pod. So much for the classic first steps into mama or papa's arms! She wants the electronic devices.

Another update: I now have my job situation figured out. I will be working a little over part time for a family with 2 children: one girl about Greta's age, and a boy who is in preschool. This will probably increase to more hours in the fall. The family is so nice and they live right near the seawall in Vancouver, so it will be especially fun over the summer--they have absolutely no problem with me bringing Greta along! Also, I just began writing curriculum for a nanny organization that offers online courses for nannies from overseas--I can do this from home, and I will likely be teaching a college level early childhood education course at a Vancouver area college this spring. This is all such a blessing, and, paired with Matthew's internship at St. John's Anglican Church, we feel very well taken care of, encouraged and happy about our life here in Vancouver and excited about what's in store for the future.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Beach Day

Much to the dismay of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics organizers, the weather here has been mild and beautiful lately. So on Sunday we decided to head down to the beach for a bit. Here is Greta looking ADORABLE (if I do say so myself), all ready for the outing. I recently went through a box of Greta's "bigger girl" clothes to see if she could fit into any of them yet...and it's a good thing I did! We almost missed the window of opportunity for her to wear some really cute items, one of which is this adorable hat Nana Judy passed down to us.
If you look closely you can actually see Nana Judy in a photo in the background. About a month ago I printed off a bunch of pictures of Greta with the many special people in her family, and put them down low on the walls of her room covered in clear contact paper. She loves looking at the pictures...but here she's loving looking at Papa.
At the beach.
Sticky sand on the hand! Only once did she attempt putting sand in her mouth...
Our little sunshine!
Greta loved this big log--I think she could have sat and studied it for a good long while. It had such interesting textures on it.

We were such a sight at this beach: we each had our cameras and Matthew also brought the video camera! What a first born she is.
Papa and Baby.
Ready for night night after a busy day.
These pjs say "I will make a difference" on them. What a fun thought :-)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

10 Months Today!

Standing up all by herself! Greta is standing on her own more and more every day. She can easily squat back down and get back up, and she can hold things in her hands while doing so.
Clapping! :-)
We hit the jack-pot and were given tons of clothes by the family I work for. This little outfit looks ADORABLE on Greta!
Chuckling after a meal--this was a good one. Greta is really into eating. She gets so excited when it's time to eat, and it's really sad when she realizes she doesn't like what we've offered her. Squawking and squealing ensue, until something is presented to her that's satisfying. Some of her favorites are: kiwi, pear, cooked apple with cinnamon, beans, bread and butter, peanut butter and jelly, and even peanut butter with cooked peas snuck in as the "jam"!
Greta almost always sits with her ankles crossed. So cute.
Play play play! The three of us built and knocked down block towers tonight. Greta would sometimes try to carefully take off one block without knocking the tower down, but sometimes she would go right into destruction mode.
Towards the end of the day today Greta was very tired and needy. Reading stories with Papa helped cheer her up. She loves this book from the library about pandas.
On the swings at the park down the street! These make her a little nervous...
We recently got her a Muddy Buddy outfit--an all in one rain suit--so we can go out and about in the winter weather.
Last Sunday we went to the aquarium for the second time. There's a little play area there, and Greta loves these special windows in it!
Looking at the sea creatures in the play area. We also saw a 15 minute 4D movie there--water splashed and sea snakes "bit" us! It was amazing! Greta didn't get scared (well, no snakes bit her) was her first official movie.

We are certain Greta will be walking before another month goes by.
Happy Birthday little sweetie!