Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin Time

Have I ever mentioned that Therese loves to hang out on her side? Like she's posing or something? It's adorable!
Greta is really into this park lately--Maple Grove. It's several blocks from our home, but an easy walk. It has a playground and tons of big trees and old tree stumps. In the summer there's an outdoor pool to visit there as well. It's super great!

When I was working outside the home more, Greta used to have "Papa Days" regularly. This just meant she spent time with Matthew, WITHOUT ME, for several hours. She loved this, and she misses this...and so does Matthew. So now the Papa Day has been re-instated for at least once a week. Last week they went to the big fancy pool and had a blast! It's fun for me too, because I have time with just Therese. We went to the library :-)
Greta has discovered that she likes taking the lids off the markers so she can put them on her fingers. What fun! The girls in the kindergarten class I taught in always liked doing that too...after I saw Greta do that for the first time I told her about the kindergarten girls, and now it seems to have even more appeal.

Another funny thing about our dear little Greta that simply MUST be recorded in this blog is that lately she has taken to narrating herself. For example, she said at dinner the other night "I want some more milk, she said very loudly", or "I'm all done, she yelled". I am smiling right now just writing about it.
Hanging out under the table while Papa and Greta color.
Greta and Matthew watching a Donald Duck movie together. Matthew and I laugh nearly as much as Greta when we watch these cartoons!

Recently Greta saw a picture of Mickey Mouse and some other Disney characters on the back of a Little Golden Book. She asked me about who all the characters were, I told her, and then decided to introduce her to Mickey Mouse via YouTube. What really caught her attention, though, was Donald Duck! Since then she has watched many short Donald Duck movies from the 1940s-1950s. She LOVES them! She actually laughs out loud at Donald Duck, and I have never heard her do this while watching a show before. The first night she saw a Donald Duck movie she completely lost it and turned absolutely SILLY. We couldn't have any sort of English conversation with her as we got her ready for bed, all she would do was Quack. Now she insists on being called Donald. It used to be that she had an alternate name for herself: Meh (which she made up and introduced herself to people as...lovely ha?) and now she introduces herself as Donald, or Donald Duck, instead. Just today we were at the gymnastics drop-in place and the teacher asked Greta what her name was--she said "Donald" and the teacher said "What?" and I chimed in, "Her name is Greta" and Greta interrupted with "No I'm Donald!" and I finished "...but she likes to be called Donald Duck". Is this strange?
Good old Donald Duck in the hammock she made out of the blanket and Papa's legs.
Last weekend we went to the pumpkin patch. Greta has been anxious about pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns ever since last year's ill-fated jack-o-lantern experience in our kitchen (she was terrified of the face Matthew put in the pumpkin!)...and really, I am NOT exaggerating. For awhile any time she saw anything resembling a pumpkin or jack-o-lantern she would put her hand up to it, shake her head, and say firmly "No!"
On the wagon ride to the field of pumpkins, listening to music and thinking about why her parents would put her through this AGAIN. (No, I think she had a good time, but she was rather quiet and contemplative throughout the adventure...not much Donald Duck silliness could be seen!)
In the corn maze we did sort of get lost. I was thankful to not be alone, or I might have really freaked out.

We got our pumpkins!

Home sweet home, safe and sound :-)
Safe and sound...but with pumpkins! Fortunately Matthew carved a decidedly HAPPY face into this year's pumpkin, with a little artistic input from Greta. Mostly, though, she stayed far away from this activity.
Will this picky eater try pumpkin seeds? Yeah right! But it was still worth making them :-)
Getting a good picture of Greta with the jack-o-lantern was a very comical ordeal, she would not cooperate! She insisted on holding a ruler over her face for nearly all the shots.
Shortly after this photo was taken Greta went to her room and gathered some peace offerings for the pumpkin: she brought it several toys and her new pairs of pink, white and black tights. Of course.
Therese is too little to be freaked out by this pumpkin, but she has been looking at it rather suspiciously lately.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Therese Hits Half a Year!

On Sunday Therese turned 6 months old! Here she is happily playing under the credenza. She did a little bit of official crawling today, but still prefers her army crawl for getting places efficiently.
Naked Baby! Such a happy girl!
I can't believe she is already 6 months. It goes too fast!!! Part of me wants her to just stay this way forever...to smile all the time, wiggle with delight when she sees me, giggle adorably, and be her chubby little smiley little self. I try to savor the sweet-baby moments as much as I can, and be grateful that she will always be my daughter even if she won't always be a baby :-)
Last weekend our big girl Greta stayed with Nana Kaka and Grandpa Shayne for 2 nights!!! She was excited, but nervous, beforehand. At one point after talking it over with Papa a few minutes prior to Nana Kaka's arrival at our meet-up place in Mt. Vernon, Greta said happily, "My tummy feels better now!" ...I guess she already gets a nervous stomach! There were no tears when she went with my mom, just excitement over what lay ahead. She was really anticipating going to the children's museum in Olympia, and she couldn't think of much else as soon as she saw my mom. They had a very busy weekend together: visiting the museum, shopping, going to the pumpkin patch, and eating lots of treats...basically getting thoroughly spoiled by her grandparents (as she should be!) She slept in a sleeping bag in a tent in my mom's office, which Greta deems as "her room" when she is there. I guess her first night there, after watching about 30 minutes of a movie, she resolutely announced "I'm going to my room"--she was ready for sleep! When we met up again in Mt. Vernon on Sunday Greta was a little reluctant to come home and face reality again! She had a great time.
Greta and Matthew look SO much alike here!
And here too! (although according to toddler pictures of me I think she might have my nose...one feature which we might share!)
Pretty girl!
This photo was taken at a park near our home. There were lots of fallen branches around and Greta loved trying to pick up the really big ones!
I love this picture!
And this one too...
While at the park we realized the scenery was really conducive to some beautiful family photo shots!

I love the way Therese is looking at Greta here.
And here too. She really watches her, and Greta continues to be very sweet and caring with her baby sister. If Therese ever gets bonked or upset or something (really, she doesn't fuss much at all!) Greta voluntarily does something to help her feel better, and says "I'm helping her feel better! She's not crying anymore!" Greta tends to be very empathetic.
Our little family of four.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Two and a Half!

It's official: Greta is now two and a half years old!!! She is really growing up fast.
The other day while waiting for a bus ride to a fun gymnastics drop-in program, Greta noticed some fancy beaded necklaces. These necklaces were part of a Halloween display at a thrift shop. The next day I went and got her a few dress up accessories there and she was very excited to put her new fancy things on after quiet time! Here she is all sheeky-shocky (supposedly this is what they say in Brazil, where my dad and grandparents lived for a number of years, and our MacDonald family always used to say it growing up--now Greta says it very well too!)
Matthew approved of everything but the shoes :-) She loves to walk noisily around the house in them, though.
On her half birthday.
It's fun because Therese usually gets up from her nap a little later than Greta, so we have some one-on-one time together every day.
Matthew has been doing a LOT of "working on the railroad" (as Greta still calls it) lately. As a result Greta has experienced a serious Papa deficit! Here she is the other day trying to do some work with him. Fortunately today he reserved for her as a complete Papa Day! She is having a blast. They went out for a muffin this morning and now they're at the gymnastics place. It's nice and quiet around here with Therese napping for the time being!
From August to just last weekend there was a Farmer's Market in our neighborhood. I took the girls almost every Saturday. Here is a photo of them under the sign for it. Greta nearly always got a treat and danced around to the live music.
On our way home again after a busy time! We left a bit prematurely because Greta has developed a bee phobia (gee, I can't understand where she could've learned that...! ...um, I have a slight bee problem actually) With all the sweets at the farmer's market, and this time of year, the bees are out in full force lately!
Greta loves to climb around everywhere. Here she is climbing from the couch to the ottoman. She also likes to jump off of these things all the time too. She and I invented a new game where we run from the dining from and jump onto the bed saying "Woo woo woo woo woo!!!" It reminds me of being a kid and jumping on the bed :-) (I'm usually sore from it the next day...yikes!)
Climbing a bit too far up on the couch...the one rule with the couch is not climb on the top ledge of it! Sometimes she climbs up and immediately jumps down saying "But I jumped off!"...well the point is she's not supposed to get up there AT ALL! Sneaky girl :-)
We got another high chair seat recently, because Therese is starting more solids. The seat is a bit big for her, and Greta was happy to take the new one and let Therese use her old one. That's one great characteristic about Greta--even as a toddler she really is not possessive about her things much at all.
Greta usually just sits at the table with us in her booster seat, without the tray, but now that Therese is using a tray Greta wants to use one too. They look so cute together sitting side by side!
This is how I found Therese the other day, in the girls' room.
She is after something...
Hmmm...a train and a pink ring...
Success! The train was what she was after! It was way in the back behind other toys!

Such a smiley girl!!

Getting ready to really crawl any day now...but for the time being she gets around really efficiently.

Soon she will hit her first half birthday!!