Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We had a fantastic time celebrating Vanessa's second Christmas. While still too young to understand about Santa and still young enough to try to eat the baby Jesus in her nativity set, this year she is old enough to be truly excited about her new toys and to be really eager to get to know all of her extended family.

I think that Christmas lights have been one of Vanessa's favorite parts about this holiday season. She loves to try to find all of the blue or all of the yellow lights especially ("boo" and "yewow"). James and I are wondering how long we should wait before putting our lights away. It is New Year's already, but we know she will be so sad if she comes downstairs one morning and the lights are missing!

Vanessa loves all of her grandparents! She points to their pictures on the fridge and asks about them at breakfast or whenever she happens to think about them! Here she is having a fit of giggles with Nana and Grampa on Christmas day.

Vanessa lounges in her new rocking chair with matching ottoman. She really does enjoy climbing into chairs, especially ones sized just for her!

Here's the Maxted family on Christmas. Vanessa's Uncle John and Aunt Kalena are in the back, and her Uncle Brian and Joanna are in the front. Vanessa enjoyed taking roll call of the group, pointing out who was where when we asked her to tell us where a particular person was. She's becoming more and more attached to her extended family!

"Ooh," says Vanessa. "My first golf clubs!" Vanessa likes wielding them about while walking around, and even gives the whiffle golf balls a few whacks from time to time.

Vanessa cuddles with her daddy while enjoying some graham cracker snacks from her Christmas stocking. Last year, she didn't get snacks in her stocking because she was just starting solids!

Grandma Satterlee brought all kinds of exciting books to share with Vanessa. Here, Vanessa is reading The Very Quiet Cricket. I have a feeling that Grandma's lap will always be a favorite place for Vanessa when reading stories!
I was simply overjoyed to see my friend Sara and her husband Lee and baby Aryana a few days after Christmas. They live in Kentucky, and it's hard to see them as often as we would like. Aryana has grown up so much since I saw her last! She is a beautiful, smiley baby. Vanessa and Aryana are both enjoying vinyl bath books in this picture (Aryana has her own way of enjoying hers!).

We enjoyed hosting my dad, Donna, and Hannah this weekend. Vanessa especially liked being chased all over the house by her Aunt Hannah! The group of us visited my Aunt Teri, Uncle Bob, and cousins Brett and Danielle in Ashburn, just an hour drive from our house. Vanessa's Uncle Terry and Aunt Heather came too! Plus, my brother Zak has been staying with us for a couple of weeks, and he came with us as well. It was a fantastically fun party. Alas, I forgot my camera, so it might be a while before I can borrow some of my family's pictures to post!

As previously mentioned, Vanessa loves to be chased and loves to hide. She spends a good part of the day hiding under our dining room table as she is in this picture. That morning, she picked out her new dress-up tutu from her Aunt Jessica and Uncle Jake to go with her overalls. She's definitely been exercising her ability to make choices lately, from the clothes she wears, to the books she reads, to the foods she eats. I love watching her mature this way, and her choices are usually pretty good ones! Haha, but boy do James and I have it coming when she gets closer to two, or worse, adolescence!

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