Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Our Thanksgiving was indeed a happy one. We had a great time with so many friends and family over the holiday!

We saw James's brother Brian, Brian's girlfriend Joanna and their dog Kyra on Wednesday, and the bunch of us played games with our friends John and Liz, and their dog Riley. On Thursday, we had Thanksgiving dinner with James's parents, and dessert at our house with my mother, my sister Heather and her husband Terry, and my brother Zak. On Friday, we hung out with my friend Eleanor and her husband Andrew who were in town from Colorado. On Saturday, we went to the Baltimore Aquarium with Heather and my mom. Vanessa loved the sharks (her daddy's favorite aquatic animal) much more than she loved the sea turtles (my favorite), much to my chagrin.

Seeing friends and family was fantastic, but I don't want to discount one of the other great parts about the holdiay -- that Vanessa and her daddy got to spend lots of quality time together (and I got lots of rest)!

Vanessa loves her daddy's glasses so much. She's not sure if her own shades are quite as chillin.'

Daddy gives Vanessa a much-coveted chance to play on the laptop.

When Vanessa and daddy read a story, they both get excited when the book is at its most thrilling parts...But sometimes, they yawn when the plot gets a little thin... (or when the characters yawn, as in this goodnight story!)
Grandma and Vanessa got some good grooving done on the piano. Vanessa likes to play the piano by sitting down upon the keys repeatedly, but she does actually play with her hands from time to time!
Vanessa was SO excited to see Brian and Joanna's dog Kyra again. Vanessa's favorite things about dogs seem to be their barking and their licking. Even though Kyra wasn't too much into either of those things, Vanessa just loved hanging out with her. (Perhaps it was her tail-wagging she found so endearing!)

Vanessa was very gentle with Kyra (and of course Kyra was very gentle with Vanessa too).

Vanessa's newest favorite activity is making little lines of similarly shaped toys on every surface she can find in the house. Sometimes she moves her index finger as if tapping all of the shapes, the way I do when I count them for her. When I do manage to tidy up, I find that most of her toys are grouped this way (and all over!).

Vanessa says, "Who me?"
Vanessa's obsession with the moon hasn't wavered in the slightest. Here she's pointing out the moon to Grandma (a position she held for several minutes). When I feed her oatmeal in the morning now, at first she's very interested in eating, but as the white oatmeal particles start looking a little thin against the dark blue bowls we use, I'm in for it then. "Moo'?" she asks, pointing to each miniscule white particle that looks remotely round. "That does look like the moon," I always say, but I do tire of this game and clean up her hands before she's finished pointing at every last one.

Vanessa enjoyed getting to know my friend Eleanor and her husband Andrew. They gave us a treat by inviting me and my mom out contra dancing. We all had a great time and danced energetically for hours (only getting the steps confused part of the time), and I'm slightly embarrassed to say that of all of us who went, I was apparently the only one sore the next day!
Vanessa was a little shy around Andrew at first, but warmed up to him really well. We all agreed that Vanessa would like to go rock-climbing when she's a little older, like Eleanor and Andrew do from time to time.

Monday, November 05, 2007


Vanessa had her first trick-or-treating experience this Halloween! We visited just a few neighbors, and got exactly three pieces of candy, one of which I ate, one of which I think we actually gave back to the same neighbor's kid by coincidence when she trick-or-treated at our house later (is it unkind to re-gift Halloween candy?), and one of which is still around here somewhere, I think. I'm happy that Vanessa isn't old enough yet to know any better about candy, although she does like the crinkly and shiny wrappers that candy comes in!
Vanessa was a little witch for Halloween! The costume was inspired by the striped orange pants she got from her Grammy Dee (she's also wearing an orange honey-bunny onesie that she got from her Aunt Jessica and Uncle Jake, that remarkably still fits even though it was intended for her to wear last Easter!). Vanessa sometimes wore her hat for a few seconds at a time! She did enjoy playing peek-a-boo behind her hat, and it was also a good place to store her three pieces of Halloween candy during trick-or-treating.

Vanessa got to see some of her friends at a Halloween party. Vanessa and little golfer Grace are standing, and the wild animals creeping around at their feet include the lion Tess, tiger Eric, and mouse Revie in the foreground.
Grampa came over to keep Vanessa and I company while the trick-or-treaters came by, at least until Daddy got home from class. They gave each other some very nice hugs, played piano together and called Nana to wish her a happy Halloween.

In other news, Vanessa's signing has really taken off. She finally signs "eat," "water," and "more," those three signs that I think are so useful and for some reason she took much longer to pick up than some other more obscure signs. Sometimes when I read her a story, she makes a sign for something she sees on every page. Occasionally she'll notice a balloon, rock, flower, or bear or something else in the background that I never pointed out to her before, and she'll point to it and make the sign.

Vanessa's latest trick is climbing chairs to get onto tables, which opens up an entire new level of baby-proofing for me! She also likes to climb into the rocking chair (under my most careful supervision so she doesn't squish her toes), and she likes to make it rock. In fact, she tries to rock just about any chair. She gets really excited when a chair sits unevenly and will wobble a litle. One result of this is that she has learned how to move her head and body forward and backward, and when she dances now, she looks like she's head-banging!