Archive for the 'grandparents' Category

Summer with the Goose

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Wow. Ok. So… We haven’t done a proper post in quite some time. There’s been a lot going on! Lucy had her birthday (attended by the usual string of parties and presents, spread out over several weeks), and now she is two! Bampa was here for that week, and we had a successful unveiling of the birthday dollhouse followed (later in the day) by a dinner at Dozen of “mackie-cheese” and cupcake.


Many thanks to Bampa for trekking down for the week! We had a great visit.


That weekend, we had Lucy’s big birthday party. It was a great success with family, friends, and neighbors in attendance (including many kiddos running this way and that). It’s very nice to be so friendly with the families on our street and in our neighborhood. I think Lucy will have many friends up and down the block!


The rainbow cupcakes (also from Dozen) were a big hit! Many thanks to family again, this time Grandmom and Granddad, for the huge help throwing this shindig.

Our newly-minted two-year-old has not wasted any time adding to her life experiences. With music class going so well, Laura thought a dance class would be good. Lucy does like to move. As it turns out, ballet seemed to be the only option with a readily available two-year-old class; and not just any ballet either, ballet at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre! Those who know Lucy might think “hmm… ballet? That seems a little structured…,” but she seemed to really like it. While she didn’t often follow along in class, she loves showing off her passé and tendu at home.


There was another little girl in the class named Lucy, too, and, since she had a little more experience with ballet class, she was very good at pulling our Lucy into it.


Of course, it helped that Lucy really liked the leotard, tights, tutu, and shoes!


In other Arts development, Lucy has also now officially been to see a movie – not at a movie theater though. We went with some friends (led by Loring!) to an outdoor showing of Where the Wild Things Are (Pittsburgh Citiparks does some neat stuff in the Summer). In any event, we weren’t sure if the movie would be too scary or whether she’d even stay awake, but in the end, she watched almost the whole thing. We had to leave a bit before it finished as she was getting tired, but she seemed to enjoy the movie itself. [Aside: I really enjoyed it too but still haven't managed to watch the last 20 minutes.] Going with friends and having a picnic dinner beforehand was a good idea, and Lucy really liked jumping from lap to lap during the movie.

We’ve had the pleasure of several house guests over the past month. Loring and Kate stayed a night before heading West. Lucy misses Loring greatly. However, as soon as Loring drove off, Aunt Na-nah (Jana) arrived for a week. Jana did a great job of hanging out with Lucy while Laura and I were at work. The heat that week was brutal, so Lucy and Aunt Jana spent a lot of time at the public pool (a membership there was money well spent).

Lucy is pretty “high energy,” so Jana gets all the more credit for keeping up! Thanks, Jana.

Amy and Julia also came for a visit (overlapping slightly with Jana). It was great to see them and to watch how much Lucy enjoyed her time with them. They introduced us to some other local friends/kiddos, and she took them all to the Aviary and introduced them to the penguins!


We also got in a quick visit with Jen, Jeff, Audrey, and Jackson when they were on their way through town a few weeks ago. Of course, Lucy took them to the Children’s Museum.

All in all, it’s been a great Summer so far. And we still have August ahead of us! I’ve left out a few of the good stories, saving them for separate posts, so stay tuned. Be sure to hit up Flickr for more (many, many more) pictures from the last couple months!

All Kinds of (yummy) Things

Friday, September 11th, 2009

Happy 15-Month Birthday, Lucy (only 2 days late)!


[note: this picture was not taken on Lucy's birthday, but the activity had a celebratory vibe]

Lucy is growing and learning and absorbing the world around her like a little sponge.  On her birthday, she had her 15-month check-up (including shots :-( ), and while her height is in the 50 percentile and her weight is in the 75th percentile, her head circumference is off the chart! All the things she’s taking in have to go somewhere…

Tonight, I was getting ready to take Lucy up for her bath. Laura was chopping veggies for our dinner (halibut on a sweet corn zabaglione), and she offered Lucy half a cherry tomato. Lucy took it and started to bring it to her mouth, but at the last minute, she stuffed it in my mouth. I don’t know if she knows that I don’t like tomatoes, but there was a certain impishness to the act. I thought I would get her back by feeding her a sliver of raw onion, but again, the joke was on me: she seemed to like it and ate several more slices before we adjourned to the tub (where she lifted her foot out of the water to feel the running water on her toes).

New experiences abound for the Goose. Above is a short video of the two bucks (one of which had at least a 10-point rack) that we watched for several minutes from our backyard.

The picture below is proof that Laura and I left Lucy overnight for the first time (we’re in the 2-seater convertible we rented during our 27-hours in San Francisco). Lucy’s Grandmom and Granddad came to stay with her while we were gone, and she barely seems to have missed us (thank you soooo much, Barb & Rick).

Us in our convertible

Finally, Lucy’s ability to communicate back to the world is growing by leaps and bounds. She has mastered the appropriate use of “Hi” and “Bye” including waves and kisses (blown and otherwise). In the video below, she demonstrates (and says “Night night” for the first time that we know of).

Many (many) more photos and videos are up on Flickr.


Monday, August 3rd, 2009

As Laura mentioned, Lucy now makes gorilla noises when prompted (either by “what noise does the gorilla make?” or “what noise does Daddy make?”).  It’s very cute, but it’s not her only new vocal trick.  Lately, she’s been exploding with new words, sounds, and imitations.  She was on the (speaker) phone with Uncle Justus the other day and said “Hi Duhtuh,” which I’m positive was “Hi Justus.”  I could feel Justus beaming throught he phone.  Jana, who had been pretty excited just to hear a resounding “hi,” was also thrilled to get a “Hi Nahna” (or something close to that).

Playdoh Snakes - "Hisssss!"

Aunt Jana and Grammy Peg are here now, visiting, and while playing with homemade playdoh, Lucy quickly learned to make a snake sound, “hisssss,” with Grammy’s coaching.  Animal sounds may be her next big category of word, though she also very clearly says “ball” with unmistakable meaning.

Tea Party

One last story: Lucy and I were playing on the third floor with her tea set.  I poured (imaginary) tea and sipped, saying “mmm… mm.”  Lucy looked at me like I was playing some kind of joke (”why did you pour air for me when you so clearly have something tasty?”), but when I looked away for a minute to upload a picture to Facebook, I heard a little voice saying “mmm… mm.”  Lucy was drinking some imaginary tea… and quite enjoying it!

Happy Birthday – only two weeks late!

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Well, we’re behind again! Eben is busy testing out our super-fast internet to upload lots of photos and videos to flickr. We’re trying to get caught up! So, I think we’ll write a few posts to catch us up on all that’s been going on here!

And of course that first post should be an official Happy Birthday to the Goose who turned 1 year old two weeks (and one day) ago! She was busy hanging out with family and friends in Maine and her parents were mostly without internet to properly update the blog. (Apparently we have yet to upload the birthday pictures – I will modify this post once they are up!)

We were so lucky to get to spend Lucy’s birthday with family and friends – new and old!

(Listen for Asa saying “Lucy” at the end of the video.)

Lucy got to try her very own chocolate cupcake.
Surprisingly she enjoyed the chocolate cake part, but wasn’t overly enthused about the frosting. It was a lovely little party and would have been lovelier if Lucy hadn’t been sick. I think it was all the flying and staying up late that did her in. She had a fever, a cough, and a runny nose on Tuesday (June 9th), but she was feeling much better by Wednesday.

On Saturday, we had another birthday celebration with Jana, Peggy (Grammy Peg), and Justus. Cheesecake was on the menu that night. And Lucy had no trouble deciding that she wanted some of that!

For her third birthday party, Lucy had more friends and family over the following week for a party at her new house. This time I baked – making the infamous carrot cake from our wedding into nut-free birthday cupcakes. We have LOTS of icing leftover.  Lucy seemed to like this cake the best (not that I’m biased or anything) and she was a great host for her three small friends and many growed-up friends too.

Lucy is a great one year old – crawling everywhere, pulling herself up to standing on the edge of the couch, the edge of the bathtub, the edge of the laundry basket, the edge of the suitcases, you name it…..  Wonder what she’ll do next!

So Miss Lucy, I just want to wish you happy birthday one last time.  We’re so lucky to have you with us.  You’ve reminded us how easy it is to be happy and delighted by the world.  All it takes is a wide smile, a few waves and some claps!  I love you, I love you, I love you!

9 Months!

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Happy Birthday Lucy Goose! As your Bampa likes to observe, you’ve now been out as long as you were in (give or take). And what a 9 months it has been. Just compare this cellphone picture from November…


…with this cellphone picture from March:


Your hair’s longer. Your face is looking much more child-like (as opposed to baby-like). And though you can’t see it in the pictures, you can be a very chatty kiddo (I especially like “Gog gog gog” – your latest and greatest).

I know that sometimes it’s hard when Momma is nearby and you have to hang out with me instead, but I still think you’re the most amazing little girl. You are so good when we read stories before bed, helping me turn the pages and listening so closely. And when you’re ready to sleep and you nestle your head into my shoulder, I want to hold you all night long… but I have to put you down so you can sleep through the night without distraction.

Happy 9-month Birthday, my Goose!

For those of you following along at home, there’s a whole slew of new pics and videos up:

Oh yeah… she’s mobile! (sort of)

Clapping, Waving, Saying “Mum-Mum,” and Other New Talents

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

It’s been a busy couple of weeks in Lucy-land. And we’ve got the pictures (and videos!) to prove it…


We were visited by Lucy’s Grandmom and Granddad, as well as Amy and Julia.


Lucy continues to develop at top-speed. One of her latest tricks is clapping on command:

…which she does often (and with predictably adorable results)…

She practices her clapping frequently, especially when waiting for one or the other of us to come home.

She can wave, too (as you may have noticed in the previous video). Our Goose has also been practicing her vocalizations. “Mum-mum” is probably her word for the rice rusks that she gets sometimes as a treat (oddly enough, they’re called Mum-Mums). Often, however, “Mum-mum” or “Momma” seems to clearly indicate Laura.

And then again, sometimes it’s just “mum-mum-mum-mum.”

Thankfully (for our bookshelves’ sake), Lucy isn’t crawling yet, but she is getting stronger, sitting up more…


…spending more time on her tummy…


…and not completely collapsing when placed in new positions.


She fuels this surge in activity with lots of food. Her palate is growing to include many more solid foods, although sweet potatoes remain a favorite.


Of course, Lucy continues to be a happy girl, sharing laughs with her family.

A Well-Traveled Christmas Goose

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

This was quite a holiday for our family. We traveled to Winchester, Deer Isle, and Hallowell to see family, with short stops in Freeport and Manassas to visit friends. On one day, Lucy saw all five of her grandparents (three different households in two states). On another day, she spent time with nine (9!) different dogs. Lots of visiting.

Lucy was a trooper through all of it, smiling and charming everyone she met (including an aunt and uncle and a great aunt whom she had never met before). It was exhausting, but it was really great to see everybody. We’re sorry we didn’t get to see everyone (there’s only so much time, and weather/sickness put kinks in the plans).

All pictures and video are on Flickr now, here and here. Some highlights:

Opening presents at Grandmom and Grand-Dad’s house


Lucy’s first Christmas present from Santa


Dinner (for Goose anyway)


Playing while Bampa reads


Bonding with Uncle James and Aunt Emily


Hangin’ out with Grandma Alice


Yay Christmas Eve Carrots!


“I love you and your carrots, Uncle Justus.”


First Christmas morning ever


Christmas morning with Grammy Peg


Reading about hexaflexagons with Aunt Jana


“I love you and your sweet potatoes, Aunt Jana!”

Uncle Justus makes the Goose squeal


First time in the snow


After falling over in the snow


Having a conversation with Great (Grand?) Auntie Deb


Getting fed by Aunt Bethany

Fascinated by Asa


Playing with Asa and friends in Manassas


A short hike at Sky Meadows on the way back from Manassas


Four generations of Titus/Reidt/Farra/Myers women

All-in-all it was a great trip. Thanks to everyone for their hospitality! Have a Happy New Year!


Sunday, December 7th, 2008

It’s now been a week and a half since Thanksgiving, but I wanted to take a minute to post some things that we’re thankful for… (and, of course, pics from our Thanksgiving holiday in VA and MD)…

Laura says that (according to Real Simple magazine or the NY Times or something else she was reading) it’s important to be thankful for the small things along with the big ones. There’s all the little things that make our lives a little easier or a little more fun like Grilled Stuft Burritos from Taco Bell (which are remarkably compact and easy-to-eat in the car), bubble baths, knitting needles, public transportation, the Times on my Blackberry, eggnog, good gas mileage, the internet, etc. There are many more, but these are a few of the things that come to mind tonight.

For my part, I am thankful to have a job that I love, working with smart and talented people on projects that challenge me to learn and grow. And I am especially thankful that our family has had the good fortune to have choices where many people have none.


Most of all I am thankful for the family that surrounds us. It is wonderful to have supportive, generous, loving parents (we love you, Mum, Dad, Alice, Rick, and Barb) and siblings (we love you too, Beth, Joe, Justus, James, and Jana — and soon, Emily). And we are so lucky to have three wonderful great grandparents for Lucy (love to Bop, Grandpa, and Grandmom aka Great Granny). And aunts, uncles, cousins, and everyone else; we love you all. Of course, we are also thankful for all of our amazing friends who enrich our lives in so many varied ways. And where would our family be without Safi and Lucca?


Having a happy, healthy Lucy Goose in our life is cause for major gratitude. I feel so lucky and happy when I come home and see Lucy watching for me in the window (I feel even luckier when she waves her arms in recognition and excitement). And then when I get upstairs, to be greeted by a warm house, my daughter, and my incredible, beautiful, generous wife, I feel like the luckiest man alive.


Thank you, Laura, for being an amazing partner. You are my love; you are my family. I love you, and I am thankful for you most of all.

A whole year later

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Well, this whole experiment in blogging started exactly one year ago today – 11/11/07 (and of course one year before that – 11/11/06 – Eben and I got married!).  As I suppose I am a little too fond of saying – “it’s amazing what can happen in a year!”  But look at us now.  Lucy continues to grow and change at an amazing rate!  Eben and I have a lovely dinner (no manwich) to look forward to tonight after the Goose goes to sleep (she’s been blessing us with some nice un-interrupted time in the evenings).  And everyone (pets included) seems pretty well-adjusted!

Of course there are pictures and important updates to record.

Last Friday, November 7th, Lucy rolled over on her own – from her stomach to her back.  She of course did not want me to capture this feat on film, so I was patient and yesterday I managed to catch her in the act!

Over the weekend we had a super quick trip down to the lake for visiting with Grandmom and Granddad


and Aunt Bethany and Uncle Joe.


We had a yummy lunch and ANOTHER birthday cake (to go along with Eben’s Devil Dog Cake from last Thursday and my Carrot Cake – Grandmom’s recipe on Sunday).  We have probably had our fill of cake for a while.


Even Safi enjoyed herself, I think….

Also, we’ve been spending lots of time with our new friends Auden and Sansea. Mostly we take walks, but since the weather is getting colder, we’ll need to find new things to do to keep us entertained!


And for a good laugh, check out Lucy and the hair dryer – it’s pretty hilarious!

Thank you all for your well-wishes for our birthdays! We’re so lucky to have such great friends and family!!


Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

What a wonderful way to end the day!


Happiest of birthdays to Allen and to Peggy!