Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Williamsburg and Chesapeake

This past weekend, we visited Williamsburg and Chesapeake. James and I loved visiting William and Mary campus, where we went as undergrads. Some students were already arriving for the fall. Some things had changed, but the atmosphere was still the same. Somehow toting a toddler made us feel old as well as nostalgic!

We spent the evening at James's parents' townhouse. They had brought their dog Lily along. Vanessa's previous encounters with Lily have been a little uncertain. No more! Vanessa was so excited about Lily that she hardly left the poor dog alone! Vanessa now adds a little "arf" to her sign for dog. Between Lily and Vanessa, we had quite a cheerful racket in the house.

Here I am trying to protect Lily from Vanessa! (Actually, Vanessa was quite gentle.)

Vanessa loves to play peek-a-boo with her Daddy's hat. It's the best game to keep her happy during car rides. My favorite part is when she signs "where?" when she's hiding behind the hat.
On Saturday, we visited Vanessa's Aunt Kalena and Uncle John in Chesapeake. Her great-grandmother and great-grandfather were visiting too. Vanessa spent most of her time there going up and down the stairs of her aunt and uncle's new beautiful home.

Vanessa really liked Kalena's and John's dog Callie. It's hard to say which one was more excited about meeting the other. Vanessa's great-grandma helps give them a little space from each other.

I asked Kalena to give Vanessa a little demonstration of flute-playing. Vanessa just stared open-mouthed. I think she had a hard time believing that such a pretty sound could come from such an excitingly shiny instrument!

When she wasn't going up and down the stairs or chasing after the dog, Vanessa was playing the keyboard. She had a whole-body method of playing -- she used her hands, elbows, knees, and feet to push the keys and all the special feature buttons.

Thank goodness that it wasn't always me who had to chase Vanessa up and down the stairs! Here, Vanessa's Grampa helps out. Uncle John peeks at her from behind the wall.

Later, when the power went out in the neighborhood, we escaped the suddenly air-conditioning-less house by heading to the mall. Vanessa's great-grampa helped Vanessa shop for jewelry. Hmmm.... she might like jewelry when she's a little older. She does like shiny things!

I was a little leary of letting Vanessa go on this automated "boat" ride at the mall. She surprised me by doing an excellent job of holding on (although, of course she stood up during most of the ride).

James's brother Brian and his girlfriend Joanna came down to visit too. It's remarkable that Vanessa has been able to see ALL of her aunts and uncles in the past two weeks. Vanessa just thrives in all of that attention!
Here's the whole group in Chesapeake -- the fellows in the back row are James's grandfather Phil, James's dad, Brian, and John. In the front, James is standing next to his grandmother Lou, and then there's me and Vanessa, James's mom, Joanna, and Kalena. In the front of this picture was Brian's dog Kyra's furry head in an extreme close-up, but I cropped her out of the picture. I hope Kyra doesn't mind! I think Vanessa's watching Kyra in this picture. She saw so many dogs, and so many people who love her! What a terrific weekend for Vanessa!

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