Monday, July 27, 2009

Rachael and Edgar's wedding

All the talk in our house this week is about being married. "Mommy, Elizabeth and I are married!" says Vanessa, excitedly holding her sister's hand. "Mommy, this frog, this frog, and Vanessa are married!" says Vanessa, holding up two frogs. And so on. Well, I guess Vanessa enjoyed being a flower girl! The whole family had a wonderful time at Rachael and Edgar's wedding.

But first, I just wanted to post a few pictures of happenings before the wedding. My friend Lisa came over to visit. Elizabeth was fascinated by her necklace, and made fast friends! Vanessa has been talking and thinking about Lisa's visit a lot -- she even spelled Lisa on the fridge with magnet letters this week (well, she spelled it Liza, but what the hey).

We took Elizabeth and Vanessa to a science museum in Roanoke in the morning before the wedding. They both thought it was pretty cool to play with the giant plasma ball.

I think my personal favorite exhibit was the TORNADO OF STEAM! Elizabeth thought it was pretty neat too, but Vanessa wouldn't go near it.

The girls enjoyed seeing themselves on a TV screen with a digitally inserted background.

On to the wedding! The girls both loved running around in the open spaces of the church before the ceremony started.

Vanessa and Elizabeth have been so affectionate with each other lately. My favorite is when they give each other a spontaneous kiss (usually when Elizabeth asks for one by puckering and saying "mmm?")

Vanessa made it down the aisle, no stage fright, no trip-ups! She took her job pretty seriously.

Elizabeth was mostly quiet during the ceremony, thanks to falling asleep part way through it. This is one of my favorite pictures of me and my girls!

And I'm glad to have gotten a pretty good shot of all four of us!

I can't fully express how nice it was to pass off Elizabeth to Grandpa while I went back in to prepare Vanessa for the photo shoot. That little girl is getting really heavy lately! Grandpa never seems to mind though...

A picture of the lovely couple. They both looked just radiant and happy!

I'm glad we had a chance to hang out a bit with Kalena and John! Uncle John kept Elizabeth entertained through a good part of the wedding ceremony. It was so sweet to watch Elizabeth bonding with her uncle!

At the reception (as opposed to the seriousness of the ceremony), we saw LOTS of smiles from Vanessa! Vanessa's always happy to be around her Nana!

These candles captured Vanessa's and Elizabeth's attention during the reception. They really were quite pretty.

Vanessa and her daddy do a little dancing on the sidelines, while Rachael and her dad dance the father-daughter dance.

A girl came to Rachael's wedding wearing a flower girl dress from another recent wedding. She took little Vanessa under her wing, passing the torch of flower-girl-dom.

On the way back home, we decided to stop at Luray Caverns. I think it was probably my first visit. It was definitely Elizabeth's first visit, but Vanessa had come there once before with James. In any case, both girls thoroughly enjoyed it. Vanessa said her favorite part was the formation that looked like sunny-side-up eggs. My favorite part was the "Dream Lake," where the water made a perfect mirror for the stalactites above. I think Elizabeth might have liked the stalactite organ best. This picture is one of Elizabeth running and dancing around in the open space near the organ.

Vanessa, Daddy, and Elizabeth in front of the organ (a little part of it is visible in the background).

When I watered our grass with a sprinkler last week, Vanessa decided she needed an umbrella. Of course she needed an umbrella, never mind that she was already soaking wet from playing in the sprinkler already!

Our garden produced corn this year! Yay! Squirrels 1, James 1. And very tasty corn it is. I don't know where our squirrels are this year, but I definitely don't miss them.
I wanted to end this post with a quote from the day of the wedding. James mentioned very quietly to Vanessa during the wedding ceremony that some of the writing in the hymnals was in Latin. "Daddy!" Vanessa exclaimed, "I have Aladdin on my underwear!"

Monday, July 06, 2009

Elizabeth's extra milestones

Elizabeth has made some really cool progress this month. I seem to remember with Vanessa that there were a few weeks where leaps and bounds of development happened all at once. I think this must be one of those times! Elizabeth has been practicing more complicated communications of her thoughts. For example, the other day, she said, "close door," and then closed the door! Sometimes she shakes her head and raises her eyebrows, meaning, "I don't see it, where is it?" and makes a noise for a clock, or a fish, and then opens a book, finds a picture of the thing, and points to it. I love when she does this for finding her own bellybutton -- she shakes her head, says something that I guess sounds sort of like bellybutton, and then lifts her shirt to find it. She'll also play peekaboo now by covering her eyes with her hands (except for a teeny tiny space where she peeks through), and then takes her hands away.

We just took Elizabeth to the zoo for the first time -- too bad we forgot our camera! Her favorite animals were the gorillas and the elephants. I set her down just on the other side of one gorilla who had his back up against the glass. He eyes got SO wide, and she kept signing gorilla and staring. Then she got so excited she needed a hug! When we went to the elephant house, there was a little more room to maneuver, and she kept stomping around like an elephant, signing elephant, and pointing with gaping mouth and wide eyes at the ENORMOUS elephants! These ones really were huge, and they were quite close. I think I honestly have forgotten how big elephants can be! When we asked Vanessa what her favorite animal was at the zoo, she said the tiger. We didn't get to hear it make the loud "A-roo" kind of roar she was hoping for, but I guess she thought it was pretty cool anyway.

This was both girls' first time actually going to see fireworks. We went down to the Iwo Jima memorial and watched the fireworks across the river over the Washington Monument. Elizabeth was awake and in awe of the first burst of fireworks, and then promptly passed out. Vanessa stayed awake for the whole thing. Her favorites were the blue ones, of course!

Elizabeth and Vanessa with Jaeger, whom we dog-sat recently. They pretty much adored him, and kept trying to feed him his dog food.

Elizabeth and Vanessa playing dress-up in some of my clothes. Elizabeth loves dressing up just like her big sister.

Vanessa seems to be spending more and more time upside-down these days. I think this handstand of Vanessa's was part of James's motivation in getting a moon bounce for inside our house! (Well, that and Vanessa's new addition to her bedtime routine of doing 100 jumps on her bed every night.) It's a small quiet one -- the moon bounce holds the air without constantly running an air pump. I can't believe she did 100 somersaults in our moon bounce today. Maybe we need to give Vanessa gymnastics classes instead of dance classes! Vanessa has just started dance class two lessons ago, but is still too shy to try to follow along with the other kids. She gets SO excited about dance class at home between lessons (especially her noisy new tap shoes), so maybe this week she'll break out and actually do "I'm a little teapot" with the teacher this Friday evening.

Vanessa in the new moon bounce.

Vanessa in her snappy taps!

The girls and James and I have had a fun weekend celebrating my cousin Mollie's birthday! We're glad she chose us to spend it with!