Monday, December 15, 2008

'Tis the season

So, you might wonder why, if I have a final exam tomorrow evening, I am staying up to work on the blog instead of studying. Well, besides the obvious procrastination answer, I figure, if I have pictures from three holiday seasons (Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas), I am really falling behind on the blog! And really, which is more important, school or blog? There you have it.

So I didn't get a picture of Elizabeth wearing her duck costume before Halloween, so here is a reenactment of a pre-Halloween moment. Vanessa still talks about how Elizabeth was a duck for Halloween (she even mentioned it today as a matter of fact), so I figured I should document how cute Elizabeth was! Vanessa of course had to be in her Tigger costume and pose for the picture too.

Vanessa is learning how to be such a good big sister now. She usually remembers to give Elizabeth something before taking away a toy that Vanessa wanted. It used to be that Elizabeth was in danger if she started crying, because Vanessa wouldn't know how to help her feel better and would try "burping" her very roughly, sometimes in her face! Now Vanessa will sing to Elizabeth or bring her a toy. And Vanessa knows that she should use "small burps" and "small hugs" for her small sister.

I meant to get a picture of James feeding Elizabeth, but she just seems to feed herself nowadays. Well, at least James was reloading her spoon for her.

Elizabeth actually ploofs us sometimes! (Some people call a ploof a zerbert I guess, but I like the word ploof much better.) She may have been trying to eat her daddy's belly button in this picture, though, not sure.

Vanessa did a great job of helping her Grampa rake some leaves over at Nana's and Grampa's house. We spent the night over there before Thanksgiving. Vanessa's bedtime always ends up a little later if there is anything different about her bedtime routine, but at least she is familiar with Nana's and Grampa's house.

Of course, one of the reasons she would rather stay up and play is Kyra. Have I mentioned how much Vanessa loves that dog? James caught a pretty cool action shot of Vanessa throwing Kyra's orange bat. Vanessa was so excited about playing fetch with Kyra!

Aw.... so gentle.

I neglected to bring my camera the first time Elizabeth met her Aunt Kalena and Uncle John, but I had my camera for their second meeting! Elizabeth seemed to be quite comfortable with her aunt and uncle!

And Elizabeth and Uncle Brian are starting to be good friends, I think!

Grampa and Elizabeth, as I mentioned before, seem to have a special bond. I think it might be that they both like being mellow and listening to music.

Here is Elizabeth's six-month photo of her with her special toy bunny. Elizabeth was 17 pounds, 26 1/2 inches at her six-month check-up. She's pretty big for her age. She outgrew most of her nine-month-old clothes before I even knew she was ready for them. Elizabeth is pretty stable at sitting up by herself, she stands holding onto my hands, and she is almost able to put Cheerios in her mouth. She's doing just great!

And you guessed it, if Elizabeth was going to get a picture taken, well, Vanessa was going to be in the picture too! Also holding a bunny, of course.

Here's Vanessa's 27-month picture with Miss Dee.

And another picture from the photo shoot that I thought was cute.

Elizabeth saw her first snow. (And Vanessa threw her first snowball the next day, with a little help from Nana.) The snow came just around bedtime, so we just stayed inside and marveled at it for a while.

See Daddy over there, Elizabeth? He was taking your picture while you weren't looking!

Vanessa's old enough now to hang ornaments on the tree, with a little help from me or Nana. I remember last Christmas, Vanessa was so excited about the colors of lights on the Christmas tree, she learned all of her colors. This Christmas season, every morning when she comes in the living room she shouts, "Christmas tree! Christmas tree!" and jumps up and down, smiling! Now she not only knows colors, but she has assigned them to people with a certainty that defies objection. Vanessa's favorite color is blue, Daddy's is red, and mine is green, so any objects she finds around the house are immediately classified to an owner according to color. Word to the wise, don't let Vanessa know what your favorite color is, unless you want a lapful of small objects!

Elizabeth has been getting her first tooth! I think her persistent cough is related to teething. The cough makes it hard for her to get enough sleep at naptime. One evening while preparing dinner, I heard bouncing, bouncing, bouncing, and then silence. Poor dear, all bounced out.

Vanessa is learning how to make tortillas in this picture. I think she's been getting some rolling and cutting skills at school. The other day while I was cooking dinner, Vanessa moved a chair to a kitchen counter, opened a pencil box that I thought was out of reach, removed a pair of scissors and some paper from it, and proceeded to start cutting (which I've never seen her do with one hand before!). I watched her do all of these things, thinking that it was keeping her busy while I didn't have time to entertain her, but it really got me worried about toddler-proofing my house to the next degree. I've done some work getting more things out of reach, but it does seem like a never-ending battle sometimes!

I think this picture provides its own explanation!

We hosted a Christmas party for some of James's coworkers. Here there are at least three children in the tunnel. The kids also had a blast bouncing on the BOSU's (like exercise balls, but only hemispheres) and playing with the toddler golf sets downstairs. When I went down to see, it was pretty much mayhem, except that even though it was past everyone's bedtime already, everyone was having fun and no one was getting hurt!

The kids built and decorated their own gingerbread houses. Kids seem to be able to do so much with only minimal help from parents.

Here are a couple more of the kids who made some really great gingerbread houses.

It's already been a fun holiday season for us. I can't wait to see how Vanessa and Elizabeth enjoy Christmas morning!

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