Saturday, February 28, 2009

Nods and winks

Elizabeth is nine months old today. She has been developing so many new skills! Lately she has started to imitate our actions. If we shake our heads side to side, or nod up and down, she will too! Tonight even after Vanessa said, "No, no, no," without the head movement, Elizabeth started shaking her head side to side. So, now I have to worry about her learning to imitate Vanessa's creative ways of getting in trouble... Elizabeth has learned already how to open drawers and cabinet doors and pull out interesting items.

Vanessa is now two and a half. She has been developing so rapidly this month especially in her speech -- she is pretty much willing to try to pronounce or read any new word (although sometimes she'll hide under a sheet or run to the other side of the room before saying it, just in case it's not perfect!).

Vanessa is always making the most intriguing arrangements of objects around the house. Here's one of them. She made this "party" of animals and their meals. I understand the horse eating the carrot and the farmer eating ice cream, and maybe the cow eating peas too, but I'm not sure what to make of the dolphin eating the potato or the horse eating a hamburger.

I heard Vanessa muttering "bigger, bigger, bigger," as she later arranged the same group of animals from smallest to largest.

Here's another one that she likes to build frequently -- a stack of containers of Play-doh in rainbow order. The weird thing is that she insists on stacking it with the purple on the bottom, which means she has to build the rainbow in reverse order.
Like the grimace? That's another thing that Vanessa's been learning lately -- how to control her facial expressions. She's frowning deliberately to make me pretend frustration, just so that she can please me so much when she smiles.

After smiling for this picture, she said, "That was a nice picture!"

Here's another intentional smile. Now if she had just learned this before the Christmas pictures...

Here's a "wink." Well, that expression still needs a little work, I guess!

Elizabeth's dexterity is improving, and she can feed herself even these mostly mashed slippery strawberries.

She really liked the strawberries! I hope we can provide her with strawberries and all kinds of yummy foods from our garden this year.

Vanessa's discovered that I will allow her to feed Elizabeth if she wants. She does a pretty good job I'd say. I love how this picture shows Vanessa sticking her tongue out. Even I can't help opening my mouth when I feed Elizabeth. What is it with that instinct? Utterly unavoidable.

I like this picture because Nana is able to keep such a straight face while she is playing a movement game with Vanessa that just cracks Vanessa up!

For some reason when Grampa and Nana were here last, Elizabeth decided to use Grampa's knees for a trampoline! She just started jumping and laughing and couldn't stop! Our girls are lucky to have grandparents who make them laugh so much.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Warmer weather and other happiness!

I have been reflecting lately that warmer weather and kiddos who are feeling better make me feel just terrific. I am loving the freedom to GO places! Woohoo!

Even when we're hanging around the house, we've been having a good time. Here are our silly girls being found in a game of peekaboo!

Vanessa's been dressing herself lately. I like the one-shoe look.

I think in this picture Elizabeth is challenging Vanessa to a duel at high noon. The weapon of choice? Probably our squirty bath toys.

Grandma visited for just a little while last week. Vanessa tackled her. That's how Vanessa shows she loves someone these days!

Grandma is helping Elizabeth stand! Elizabeth has been taking so many practice steps lately, and stands all the time -- in her crib, under the table, etc. She's also gotten much faster at crawling and we definitely have to be more aware of her movements!

This is the kind of snow I like best -- the kind where the weather is warm and the snow is melting! Vanessa saw her daddy shoveling snow, so that's exactly what she wanted to do too!

Elizabeth explores the feel of snow for the first time. I put a tiny bit of snow near her so she could touch it while staying dry.

Here's some more for you, Elizabeth!

Daddy and Elizabeth watch Vanessa hard at work shoveling some more snow.

We drove out to Dinosaur Land today just for something low-key to do. It was still closed for the winter, but we had fun looking at the dinosaurs in the front anyway!

The area of parenting in which I definitely have not been too successful in so far is NAPS! We avoid naps for Vanessa to make bedtime more manageable, but still sometimes the poor thing needs a little rest in the day. Mostly she likes to rest in little hiding places like this book shelf or under the piano. I once fell asleep on the edge of a bathroom sink when I was little, and my little brother once fell asleep on top of a kitchen cabinet. I wonder where I might find Vanessa one day if she actually nods off during her little rest?

One day this week, I even mismanaged Elizabeth's naps! Well, I think it had to do with a certain someone interrupting her nap... but anyway, the poor dear didn't quite make it through dinner.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Too grown up?

So here are some things Vanessa has said lately that makes me think she is growing up way too fast:

Me: "Can you answer mommy's question?" Vanessa: "No, Vanessa busy."
"Mommy and Daddy, go to Mommy's and Daddy's room. Lie down. Go to sleep." (This so she could play with the laptop.)
Me: "Vanessa, please don't eat that." Vanessa: "Vanessa eat it anyway."
"No mommy tell me what to do."
"Vanessa erase Mommy's kiss."
*Door slam!* "Vanessa close door tight."

But, she also always says, "I love you, so much!" to Mommy, Daddy, and Elizabeth! And she talks lovingly about her family and friends every day.