Friday, June 20, 2008

Elizabeth's second week

Elizabeth had her two-week check-up on Monday. She was 8 pounds 2 ounces and she was 21 inches long. She looks quite a bit more pudgy I think! And she seems much stronger to me. She tries to lift her head and pushes more with her arms and legs. It really is phenomenal how much changes in a week at this age.

We've been trying to reestablish something of our normal lives (well, as normal as they were as parents of one very busy girl!). We actually managed to have some friends over for a game night. Hooray for recreation!

Sandra meets Elizabeth at our game night! It doesn't seem so long ago that Sandra was one of our first friends to meet Vanessa. Interested in reminiscing? Here's the link to our blog entry from that day.

Elizabeth takes a little nap in Dean's arms. In this picture, Elizabeth is wearing the same outfit that Vanessa wore when she first met Dean!

Somehow we didn't get a picture of our friend Paul holding Elizabeth. He'll have to watch out next time!

Elizabeth is well-loved by Vanessa. If anything, Vanessa might love her sister a little too much some days. For example, Vanessa likes to give her lots of hugs (which often turn into squishes) and likes to point out the parts of her face (which usually involves touching Elizabeth's eyes). Plus, Vanessa loves to give Elizabeth certain objects that she finds interesting. Here a shovel, a thermos, and two aspirators have mysteriously found their way into Elizabeth's crib. Vanessa's wooden toy hammer, an empty Brita water pitcher, a child-size broom, and various crayons have also seemed like worthy gifts for her little sister. I position Elizabeth's head as far as I can towards the wall just in case...

Elizabeth went to her first play date last Thursday. Everything seemed to go really well. I'm glad that Elizabeth seems pretty easy so far. Vanessa enjoyed visiting her friends that she hadn't seen for a while. Here Grace is giving her a push on the toy train at Revie's house.

Revie is looking forward to having a little sister of her own very soon. She seemed to appreciate the practice in holding Elizabeth.

Here are just some of the moms and kids (oh, and there were also two grandmas) at the busy play date!

So, I learned that I still do have a bit to learn about being a parent of two girls. I took Vanessa to Burke Lake Park last Friday. She loved going on the train ride (visible in the background) and the carousel. She still talks about the train going through the tunnel! I enjoyed seeing my friends Taylor and her daughter Prestley (on the left of this picture) and Kim and Grace (just behind Vanessa). But, I learned that I need to have a stroller with me to contain Vanessa should the following circumstances coincide:

1. Vanessa decides to try to sprint after a squirrel that has ventured onto a disc golf course.

2. I am carrying Elizabeth in a baby wrap, making it difficult for me to run after or pick up Vanessa.

3. Elizabeth needs to be fed, as she is loudly reminding me.

4. Dinnertime is imminent and Vanessa hasn't napped. A recipe for a tantrum!

A rather amusing situation now that I look back on it. Well, it was definitely worth the trip out to Burke Lake. Not just to see my friends and to give Vanessa a memorable train ride but to get some parenting experience in a situation where I have friends to help me if I get in a tight spot!

James and his parents took Vanessa to a water park on Saturday. Vanessa loved the huge shallow pool to splash around in. (Meanwhile, I enjoyed some quiet time alone with Elizabeth!)

The pool was shallow enough that Vanessa could sit down in places. Here she is concentrating on her pouring skills. The bucket is too heavy for her to lift when it is full of water! An interesting challenge for her to figure out how to pour the water out.

I thought since I posted pictures of Vanessa planting corn, I'd post an updated picture of our corn plot. There are also some strawberries in this picture. Vanessa and I have been enjoying eating sweet peas and strawberries straight from the garden!

Monday, June 09, 2008


Vanessa has been counting everything she can find lately. Elbows, crayons, everything. She can pretty consistently count to eight, and usually she can make it to nine and sometimes ten. We're very proud of Vanessa (too proud, sometimes?) and we think that it's great that she loves numbers! Counting does have its drawbacks, however. For one thing she leaves little piles of small countable things all over the house.

For another, time-outs don't seem to work anymore. Today I gave her a time-out for climbing on the back of a chair after I told her not to. I held her in one spot on the couch and counted to 60. She didn't resist my grip at all. After I finished, she put my hands back around her tummy and said, "More, more!" She wanted me to keep counting! Argh. Time for a new strategy.

I meant to post this picture of Vanessa in the bath with her boots, including a new pair that Heather and Terry got for her. She somehow managed to get both pairs in the water before her Uncle Terry and Aunt Heather could stop her. Vanessa does love boots!

Sunday, June 08, 2008


Elizabeth's first week has been very eventful! We've had lots of friends and family come to visit.

Life can get pretty busy with two little ones, but oh, the joy of synchronous naps!

Grampa Maxted got to hold his new granddaughter after returning from a trip to NY.

James and I are so lucky to have such a supportive family! We had help from James's mom while Elizabeth and I were in the hospital, and help from my mom during this first week.

Vanessa seems to be more interested in Nana's hair tie than in the camera during this picture.

Elizabeth had her first bath Friday night. She lost her umbilical cord today so she can get her belly button wet in future baths. But as she could only be slightly subermerged during her first bath, it was a little chilly for her. Vanessa observed her cold, wet, and understandably unhappy sister a little nervously.

Ah... Elizabeth felt much better after getting dry.

Yesterday, we had visits from several friends -- John and Liz, and Greg and Christina and their two kids, Nathan and Cora. My sister Heather and brother-in-law Terry also came up to visit.

Cora enjoyed playing with the tissue paper that came from unwrapping some of the gifts that Vanessa helped open. At six months old, Cora is a masterful crawler. I wonder if I only have a few months to enjoy sprinting after only one child...

The three little girls at our gathering -- Cora, Vanessa, and Elizabeth, with the two mommies, me and Christina.

Everyone seemed very excited to welcome Elizabeth!

The two Elizabeths!

Liz brought a very special present -- stuffed letters spelling Elizabeth from when she was a child! Vanessa couldn't have been more excited about playing with the letters. I wonder if she'll object if I hang them up in Elizabeth's room!

I love the contrast in size between Elizabeth and Greg in this picture. If you look closely, you can see her little foot, smaller than Greg's thumb!

Vanessa and Nathan played pretty well together, considering their age difference (although, they only differ by about a year and a half!). Here they're playing with the lock box my mom made when I was Vanessa's age.

I think Vanessa might be turning off the piano while Nathan is playing it in this picture... but actually, they did a pretty good job of sharing in their piano playing.

Aunt Heather and Uncle Terry have been eagerly awaiting the time when they could come up and visit their new little niece! Elizabeth seems quite content to be held by Heather.

Fast asleep in Terry's arms!

We've had some opportunities to visit our local pool. Vanessa wasn't sure about the water at first, but now she absolutely loves the pool! Here she is with Heather and James. So far, Elizabeth hasn't seen the pool because she's napped in the stroller both times we took her.

A post about a visit from Aunt Heather wouldn't be complete without a goofy picture. I won't even try to explain exactly what we were up to.

A picture with Vanessa's Dee doll at 21 months.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Pictures pictures pictures

I thought I'd take the opportunity during a sleep cycle to update the blog with more pictures from our trip to Lake Accotink as well as some first meetings with Elizabeth. There's also a really cool proud parent picture of what Vanessa can do towards the end.

So like we said, we went to Lake Accotink on Sunday thinking that we'd see the cardboard boat regatta where local kids try to race boards made out of cardboard. We didn't know at the time that we'd be welcoming Elizabeth just a couple of hours later. They had a festival like atmosphere with games, food, and a ton of people.

Vanessa loves playing with her marble roll at home. You can imagine how much she loved a giant marble roll for prizes.
We took a break to have a picnic lunch by the lake. You would never guess from this picture that Elizabeth was deciding that today was the day of the jailbreak.
Vanessa doesn't normally like getting sprayed by water. But it was toasty out so she braved a run through the sprinklers with mommy.
I don't believe Vanessa had ever been to a beach before. Here she approaches the water cautiously.
That caution didn't last long.
Vanessa loves her daddy, especially when she gets an opportunity to be so tall!

So now we'll fast forward to the next day. Daddy went to Nana's house and came back with Vanessa and Nana to see Sarah and Elizabeth.

Vanessa REALLY loves her mommy and missed her a lot.

Elizabeth was getting checked out by the doctor when we arrived, so Vanessa decided to entertain with her favorite game, Where's Vanessa. We had a really hard time finding her. We thought she might have snuck out and went down to the cafe for a snack.

Nana and Vanessa meet Elizabeth. Vanessa still isn't sure about this whole baby thing.

Uncle Brian works in the area so he stopped by after work to meet his new niece. Hopefully a second grandkid for Nana will continue to keep the pressure off him and Joanna and Kalena and John.

Daddy was a little bit tired, so he took a little break with his new daughter.

Sarah and Elizabeth checked out A-OK so we got to leave the hospital after only one night.

At home, Grandma had come to relieve Nana and got to meet Elizabeth for the first time.

The next morning we asked Vanessa where her baby sister was. She found her!

Vanessa still isn't sure about why mommy can't pick her up right now, but she seems to have mastered the answer to the question: Where's Elizabeth?

We went for a walk today down to the school playground. Not sure Elizabeth will remember her first stroller ride too well. It was nice to finally use the two-person stroller for our kids instead of Vanessa and her various stuffed animals.

Vanessa, daddy, and Grandma all play on the playground. Vanessa loves bouncing on this bridge.

So this this the official doting "Look what our kid can do" section. Vanessa has started building symbols out of her blocks without any help. After she built them, she gave them to us and told us what they were.

You can see two of the 1's were pretty basic, but the other 1 is great! Then she built an F as well and gave us a nice EFFFFFFF sound as she handed it to us. Not too shabby for a 21 month old! Must be trying to get a head start on that whole sibling rivalry thing.

Monday, June 02, 2008


Just a quick post, but Sarah and Elizabeth checked out of the hospital tonight and we're all safe and sound at home. Thanks for everyone's thoughts and prayers!

Elizabeth Katelyn Maxted

So we had intended on posting some pictures of us at a cardboard boat regatta at Lake Accotink today, but around 4:00 PM today Sarah started feeling some contractions and Elizabeth Katelyn Maxted decided to come a week or so early (June 12th was the original due date). She was born on June 1st at 9:51 PM at Fairfax Hospital, weighed 6 lbs 13 ounces, and was 20 and 3/4" long.

Labor went fine and Sarah kept her streak alive of no epiderals and/or painkillers. She and Elizabeth are doing great, and I expect they're both asleep at the hospital right now. Elizabeth did have some bruising on her face during birth, so if she's a bit purplish in the photos, its not for lack of oxygen. The doctors say her bruises will actually look worse tomorrow, but should go away shortly thereafter.

I think the plan will be for me to bring Vanessa by sometime tomorrow to meet her new sister. That should be interesting. ;) Here are a few pictures before I head to bed.