Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Aunts and uncles and grandparents, oh my!

We've been so lucky to see so much of our family recently. I think we've seen all the aunts and uncles except Jake, and we're so excited to be expecting a visit from Jake and the girls this spring! We have pictures from our visits with Kalena and John and our visit with Hannah, but we're missing pictures with the rest of the crowd!

Vanessa has been talking all about her aunts and uncles lately. Today, she said, "Kyra coming soon? And Brian and Jo-nana?" James and I are are simply ecstatic about Joanna becoming an official aunt soon! Vanessa also said today, "Let's go to Texas. We can fly in an airplane like a bird." She has been looking at the pictures of uncle Jake and her cousins in Texas, and can't wait to see them soon! She has also been talking about having a great time playing baseball with her uncle Zak, playing with her aunt Kalena and uncle John, reading stories with her aunt Heather and uncle Terry, and going to the aquarium with her aunt Hannah.

It's great to see Elizabeth responding and developing relationships with her aunts and uncles too!

Plus, we've had some great times with grandparents in the past couple of weeks. Have I mentioned that Vanessa and Elizabeth have some fantastic grandparents?

Elizabeth gets so excited now when she sees her daddy coming home from work. She also starts waving when she senses that anyone is preparing to leave. Here is Elizabeth playing with her daddy's lanyard and pretending to get ready for work just like her daddy.

Here is Elizabeth on the "blast-off" number mat, which she loves to rip apart at the moment. She is sitting on one of her favorite books. Elizabeth has really started to get into books, turning pages and pointing at pictures.

Elizabeth and her daddy love each other so much!

This picture, well... See, James has a garden, which is harrassed by chipmunks among other things, and he bought an owl with a bobble head to try to discourage garden pests. Vanessa immediately claimed it for her own. She carried it off to her room and put it in her bed to give it a nap. Here she is giving it some "coffee" for breakfast. The owl probably needed it, since it's well, a night owl. (I'm pretty sure she has no idea what coffee is, since neither James nor I drink it.)

Here is some of the garden with some lettuce, chives, and a few other seedlings already planted. The owl is for protecting the tomatoes and strawberries rather than these.

I think our garden looks quite pretty this year, especially with all the flowers planted between the broccoli to discourage cabbage moth.

James has been busy! Our garden has more than doubled in size this year. I can't wait to see what great things come out of more gardening space and more gardening experience!

Elizabeth LOVES Vanessa's jacket. She fusses and fusses if she can see the jacket but it's out of her reach. And once she gets it, she loves to try to put it on. Maybe she is pretending to be Vanessa? Or maybe she just loves the smooth texture and the rustling it makes. In any case, it drives Vanessa nuts. She can't stand letting Elizabeth play with her jacket! Ah, Elizabeth, I should probably get you a matching one of your own!
Although Vanessa doesn't want to share special things like her jacket, she has really been trying hard to be a good big sister lately. She practices being kind to Elizabeth every day. She shares food with her at every meal and brings Elizabeth toys that might interest her. Vanessa gives her little sister gentle hugs. She likes to protect her little sister, including putting her hands over Elizabeth's ears so she won't get water in them when I wash her hair. I love hearing Vanessa say, "I am taking care of her."

Here are the girls with their Grandma. Grandma and Vanessa are reading "Peter's Pockets," by Eve Rice. A great library find. Elizabeth is taking advantage of the distraction to get in some more playing with Vanessa's jacket!

When Grandma was here, we got some falafel from Moby Dick's. Vanessa loves their bread. Tasty and as big as the moon!

Other kids sleep with teddy bears... Vanessa likes to put garden owls and strollers in her bed! Vanessa has discovered that she fits inside her pillow case, which she says is a sleeping bag just the right size for Vanessa.

Elizabeth loves to play at Nana's house. Great people, great play food to chew on!

Vanessa is starting to get to know her aunt Kalena and uncle John! Kalena helped me keep Vanessa and Elizabeth in check while I tried on a couple of things at the store (thank you thank you!). The next time we see them, I bet the weather will be just right for playing a little soccer outside with them!

Vanessa and Elizabeth never cease to be amazed by the disc music box and Nana's and Grampa's house. Its music really does have a beautiful, sonorous quality.

Elizabeth is officially walking. She had been taking timid little steps between objects as she cruised about, but today she started standing up in the middle of the floor without anything to pull up on. When I was in the kitchen today, I saw her toddling past the doorway, and I thought it must be Vanessa at first, because she was going with quite some speed!

Elizabeth has also been working on feeding herself. She can return her spoon to her bowl and get more food. She still needs practice, but I find it to be a useful trick already! (Now I can focus on feeding myself at meal time!)

Her little Fisher Price phone car is one of her favorite walking toys. She really can race with it quite fast up and down the hall. Turning around, on the other hand, she still needs my help with.

Look at me go, mommy!

When I was listing family members who have visited us, how could I forget Dean? Vanessa has adopted him as an honorary uncle. She even "made" some muffins for him.

Vanessa had great fun with her aunt Hannah and Grandma K. We had a fantastic time at the aquarium. After Vanessa sprinted around the main exhibits for a good 20 minutes, she was so exhausted that I wasn't sure she would make it all the way through, but she did, and really enjoyed it! So did Elizabeth, actually. Elizabeth had an excellent view of the fish and sharks from her position in the wrap Grandma K used to carry her around. Elizabeth is definitely responding to pictures of sharks and fish differently since the aquarium. And I had a great time too!

Aunt Hannah, Vanessa, and Grandma K. All in blue, Vanessa's favorite! We had such a nice time playing with these ladies! Grandma K and Hannah had brought a foam US map which Vanessa loved finding states on, and Elizabeth loved pulling apart... both Grandma K and Hannah did a marvelous job taking care of Elizabeth and entertaining Vanessa!

Vanessa and Elizabeth both loved having Kyra stay with us for a week. Elizabeth got fairly thoroughly licked, Kyra got fairly thoroughly read to, and Vanessa got fairly thoroughly exhausted from all that running around after a dog. So THAT's why parents don't mind having pets!

Vanessa has occasionally been asking to wear bows in her hair or to wear dresses. Usually this is because she sees a character in a book wearing a bow or a dress. She might wear a bow from time to time, but I'm afraid she doesn't have much chance of being a girly girl growing up in our house! There's only so much we can do to protect you from the geekiness of your parents, my dear!

1 comment:

Samantha said...

Vanessa- I love the bow in your hair!

Elizabeth- Can't wait to see you walking!

James and Sarah- Can't wait to steal from your garden!