Thursday, April 23, 2009

Easter and too many pictures!

I didn't get any good pictures of us having Easter brunch with James's parents, and still I have an abnormally large number of pictures to post from Easter time. I blame the excessive charm of our recent visitors.

Here is baby Lilly and her mommy Kim! James and I were super excited to meet Lilly for the first time. Look at her strong little legs! She's only four months old. We definitely been missing Kim and Stacey since we've moved up to nothern VA from Blacksburg.

Here's Lilly with her daddy Stacey. Lilly has such gorgeous blue eyes.

Elizabeth was a little shy, but she can sense another mommy, I think!

Vanessa shows off her big sister skills. She knows just how gently to hug a baby!

Our grown-up friend Vanessa and her daughter Samantha visited us for a little Easter egg hunt and a night on the town. We've been admiring Samantha on her blog for months, but this was the first time we got to meet her. If possible, she's even cuter in person! I think this picture is funny because everyone is looking in different directions! But I think it's cool because it has James and his daughter, as well as grown-up Vanessa and her daughter. I can't quite put into words how grateful I am to grown-up Vanessa and our friend Dean to give us a great excuse to get out of the house AT NIGHT WITHOUT CHILDREN. James and I haven't done that in more than a year! And now seems a great time to mention that I have the best in-laws I could ever have wished for -- because of course they watched Vanessa and Elizabeth for us.

All Vanessa could say while we were taking this picture was, "Dean, Dean, Dean."

Our Vanessa's not so sure about sharing her friend Dean with Samantha. Soon Samantha will be wanting Dean to read books to her too... I'm not sure what will happen the next time we get together!

Vanessa was excited about her Easter basket and her egg hunt. Daddy had put 5 different types of Vanessa's favorite snacks in them. She talked about her yummy snacks for days!

The little ones enjoyed their egg hunt too -- although instead of looking for them throughout the room, they just looked through their baskets. Elizabeth ate all of her own yummy snacks and then moved on to Samantha's.

Ooh, shiny egg.

Shiny, and full of yummy snacks. I can't blame them, that does make for interesting eggs!

And another picture of Vanessa cuddling with Dean!

"No, Mr. Owl, look this way!" Elizabeth's new obsession is our garden owl. It does, after all, have a spinny head. I'd say she spent upwards of 20 minutes playing with it the other day.

Daddy and his little sweethearts!

My cousin Mollie visited us recently for a fun few days. I very much enjoyed going shopping with her, which is saying something, because shopping and I usually don't mix too well! I'm glad Kalena came along, not just because she's great company, but because of her shopping expertise!

Mollie was just awesome with the girls. I think she did a better job of putting Vanessa to bed than I usually do. And by the end of her visit, both girls were completely enamoured with her.

Mollie and Aunt Heather taught Vanessa a fun game -- throwing tissue paper and hiding Vanessa under it!

My Dad and sister Hannah came to visit. Hannah was so sweet with both girls, gentle with Elizabeth and wacky and playful with Vanessa.

Hannah indulged the girls in some time on the swing.

My Dad spent some time showing Elizabeth all of the wonders in her backyard.

What could be more fun than bouncing on the bed with the help of Aunt Heather?

How about, bouncing on the bed with the help of Aunt Heather AND Aunt Hannah, dressed in a tunnel.

Vanessa enjoyed Heather's and Hannah's Mexican hat dance. Vanessa is tipping Heather a plastic muffin.

My girls love their Uncle Terry. And I love that he entertains them so well and gives me so much of a break! Elizabeth has become fascinated with all the sticks and leaves and flowers in the back yard, and Uncle Terry spent lots of time helping her explore them.

Elizabeth is showing signs that she is starting to enter toddlerhood rather than babyhood. For example, she's walks most of the time now. She can crawl up the stairs, and, much to my surprise, she can climb up on child-sized chairs and stand on them. Today she brought me her socks and shoes and then begged at the door to go out and play. She also really likes to put socks inside various shoes that she finds around the house. Her word recognition is rapidly increasing, and she can say a few words, including "mama," "dada," "uh-oh," "echo," and I'm pretty sure she also says "shoe." When I gave her a plastic O today and said "O," she looked at the writing on her pajama shirt and pointed out the "O" on it.

Vanessa, meanwhile, is rapidly leaving toddlerhood. She has been making me laugh so much lately, even though sometimes I shouldn't! Here is a recent conversation I had with her:
me: "Vanessa, Mommy's going to eat your French toast." (this so Vanessa would stop playing and recognize lunch time)
Vanessa: "Mommy, if you eat my French toast, I'm going to eat you up."

Here's another one with Daddy that she had while visiting Daddy at his school, George Mason University. They were passing the student life center that had an interesting drawing that looked a bit like a banana but was geared more towards family planning. :)

Vanessa: "Daddy, I see something!"
Daddy: "You see something all right."
Vanessa: "Daddy, I SEE something!"

This conversation was a bit of a stalemate, and only became more complicated when Vanessa later saw graffiti (adult pictures and words) in the men's room. I knew that reading would get her in trouble one of these days...

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