Winter showers

You know what we haven’t marked in a while? A Milestone!

  • Milestone: Molly asks for, and takes, a shower.

Hard to believe, but it’s true. Actually Molly had her first two showers at the pool, where I for some reason had a rhyme going to talk her into leaving — and she subsequently very much liked the idea of being a “Flower in the shower.”

When Molly says it, the phrase sounds like Tutter the Mouse, sort of a Boston thing going: “Flowa in the shaowah.” Sorry, no shower pictures, but she’s of course adorable doing it. She asked to be a flowa in the shaowah at home this week for the first time, soaped up, rinsed, and was generally pleased with herself. πŸ™‚

Chef Molly has added another recipe! We call them “sausage spaceships.”

…It’s just what you think it is, and the product of having leftover sausage. The upshot was they were fun to make, but when they came out of the oven she mostly just wanted to pick the sausages off and eat those, leaving behind the bisquick bit for daddy.

We had an unseasonably warm day yesterday — high 60’s and sunny — so we dashed to the playground park for a quick run around. Good times, but after a half hour or so the wind picked up. “That’s a big storm!” said Molly.

And it was.

Fortunately we all got home safely before the big (80 mph!) winds hit. Holy cow! The power unsurprisingly went out, but we were well prepared — full bellies, plenty of flashlights and candles, and a warm house.

Molly took it all in stride, reading books with mom by the light of her headlamp. πŸ™‚

Molly eventually fell asleep after much walking around and what-not, managing it even absent her usual white noise. At one point, after I explained we couldn’t play the white noise because there wasn’t any power, she thought about it, and said “Turn on the fan.” πŸ˜€

Her other bit of sleepy adorableness: right before she finally gave up and fell asleep, she was lying in her bed, and I was next to her on the floor. She’d kicked off the blankets, and I figured I’d wait until she passed out and pull them up on her. She sat up halfway on her elbows, looked down at me, and said “You need to cover me up. So I can be safe.” πŸ˜€

So I did. πŸ™‚

The big work came in the morning, with several pieces of fence and gate blown down, all unhelpfully covered by a fresh 4-5 inches of wet snow. But it all got patched up, to the relief of the dogs — who were house-bound until fence repairs could be effected.

Bonus video: Molly’s got a new game in mom’s office, where she runs a clean piece of paper through the printer, then takes the now-warm paper over to her table to color. πŸ˜€

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Car, pig, dog, bus, cat.

Turns out Molly can read all these words. Moments ago, we wrote them during bathtime with tub markers, and she read them.

  • Milestone: Molly apparently can sight read. How about that!

I wonder how many words she knows? Clever girl. πŸ˜€

Happy camper

Molly was invited to her friend Will’s 2nd birthday party, and it was all she talked about leading up to the event. She woke up from her nap the day of, and said “Will’s birthday party!!” πŸ˜€

There was singing, and cake. Cake was the main attraction for Mo, I think.

 

…Although baby Natalia was a close second. Molly talked about her a lot, too.

 

And, of course, there’s a lot to be said for playing with someone else’s toys. πŸ˜€

 

The next day we decided to take a night a try camping out, in no small part because dad had scored a big tent on the free section of Craigslist, and the fall weather was staying relatively balmy. The packing/planning was fast and fierce, but we managed to get away Sunday morning. Molly was, to put it mildly, excited.

The fall colors were starting to peak around here, and the drive to the park in the mountains was about a half hour. Not bad at all, and Molly was remarkably patient.

The payoff was a fantastic campsite.

Fortunately, since we arrived for a Sunday night, we had the run of the place, because I think we found the only spot that could accommodate our 18-foot-long tent! πŸ˜€ Such a view:

“Are you kiddin’ me?!?” πŸ˜€

At the edge of the campsite was a bunch of big rocks Molly found impossible to resist.

As if on cue, right after we got camp basically set up, a horse trailer pulled in next door. Molly of course ran over and cute-smiled her way into the owners’ hearts, and talked them into not only “Saying hi!!” to each of the horses, but even a quick sit on the back of one of them!

Here’s Molly, letting a complete stranger pick her up if it means getting to sit on a horse. πŸ˜€

We threw together some quick quesadillas for dinner; the campground’s fire pits were perfect for building a fire and pushing hot coals under the grate.

And of course there were s’mores (Molly was interested in the chocolate, and the marshmallows, but not together exactly) and hot chocolate!

After dinner we took a short hike down an aspen-fringed trail, stopping to look at “bear caves!” along the way.

On the way back, Molly picked up a few yellow leaves. Mom told her she could put them in her pockets, so she did. πŸ˜€

When it got dark we all got in the tent and read books with our headlamps on!

Molly did fairly decently that night, for her first time in a tent. She finally fell asleep reading “Cat in the Hat” on dad’s phone, and woke up a few times in the middle of the night — probably mom and dad going in and out of the tent flap, zipping and unzipping the thing to go use the bathroom, was the main culprit. She started out between us, but after a few wake-ups dad migrated to a separate sleeping pad and let the girls share the big mattress; that seemed to work best. Fortunately the tent was huge enough to stand up in, so we could hold Molly and rock her to sleep fairly comfortably.

  • Milestone: Molly spends the night in a tent, at a real campground, sleeping outside and everything.

The next morning, mom got the fire going early for breakfast! A banana held Molly over during the cooking.

Then mom made pancakes and even eggs-in-the-hole (the star-shaped hole was dad’s contribution)!

Dad got his coffee, and Molly got hot chocolate. Hooray!

We were thinking of another hike in the morning, but decided it was probably best to pack it up and head home. Molly helped load the van — she was pretty ready to get home and tell Blaze (her Radio Flyer horse) all about the horses she’d met on her camping trip. πŸ™‚

For the record, she almost made it out of the state park’s boundaries before sacking out.

It was a great time, hard work notwithstanding. I’d do it again in a heartbeat — as soon as we get everything washed from this trip. πŸ˜€

Bonus video: Molly gets a box in the mail (thanks for the popcorn, cousin! We took some camping, and it was a big hit!). πŸ™‚

Words

There’s always something standing in the way of a good picture-full blog post these days, so I’m going to get past the pictures backing up and write a little. Look for photos and a movie or two shortly.

Several things I had to get down in terms of Molly-ness of late:

  • Milestone: Molly uses the potty.

It was last week, and just once, and she hasn’t tried again since. But: I was bringing her post-swim nakey self upstairs for a fresh diaper the other day, and she squirmed around and said “No diapey! Potty!”

I raised my eyebrows and we went into the bathroom. As I was fixing the potty seat onto the big toilet, where she’d sat many a time giggling (and doing little else), she said “No, Molly’s potty!” and pointed at her much less “popular” little potty.

She walked over, sat down, and used it. Asked for TP, used that, dropped it in the potty, and toddled out the door like she does it all the time — after, of course, a brief bunch of hugs and praise from mom and dad.

And that was it. Any suggestion she might try all that again lately has been met with an emphatic “No.” πŸ˜€

Molly loves new words and phrases. She’ll try them out immediately, and if they sound funny, she’ll repeat them over and over — and even will take to heart and implement gentle corrections on pronunciation.

Recently, while she was impressing me with her ability to climb up her slide barefoot and sideways (while making appropriate little monkey “ooooh-ooooh!!” sounds), she slid back down and stopped herself before hitting bottom. I told her it was nice to see her in such good control, stopping and going when she wanted to.

“In control!” she said. “Molly sliding in control!! Molly stop!!”Β …and so on. Plus she uses the playground to express pretty complicated notions to me: “Molly slide (she points) all the way over there, over all woodchips.” πŸ˜€

The other day mom came home from work and was greeted with “I love youuuuu!!” from Molly, an uncharacteristic and wholly unrehearsed phrase. I think Molly just knew mom would like to hear that, so she tried it out. Worked, too. πŸ™‚

We’re somewhere in Week 2 (or 3??) of weaning, e.g. no mommy’s milk, no way, no how. Molly still grumbles or wails about it a fair bit when she remembers, especially at times like right before bed. But she’s slowing starting to get used to the idea that just being carried (throws up her arms and says “Carry you!!”) or cuddled by mom is pretty good stuff, too.

Molly’s imagination is a ton of fun, although sometimes it’s a touch inscrutable. Coming home from school before a thunderstorm the other afternoon, Molly was pointing to the horizon and talking about trains “…way over there! Smoke! Trains!” It took me a bit to figure out she was looking at the big thunderhead forming, and figured it looked a lot like steam (smoke) from a train, and therefore there must be a really big train way over there making the clouds. Fantastic stuff.

She knows more words to her songs these days than I do. As a result I often don’t get what she’s singing until the chorus, since the tune’s a little shaky. πŸ˜€ Her canon includes the ABC song, of course, and its companions “Twinkle Twinkle” and “Baa Baa Black Sheep.” More off-beat include her own versions of the Banana Boat Song and “Singing in the Rain” — the latter best performed with her little umbrella over her shoulder, sweeping back and forth and knocking everything off the countertops as she parades through the kitchen, “The sun’s in my heart and I’m ready for gloves!!” πŸ˜€

Molly’s recall is eerily good. I told her once about the guitars and other instruments hanging on the wall by my office, and she knows what each one is — including which is the “lectric guitar” and which is the “hollow body lectric guitar.” She can get sound out of a harmonica, and can keep steady beats with her new drum and cymbals (no big surprise, she loves ’em). And she’ll strum, in time, and sing a few songs if I hold down the chords on the guitar or ukulele — even, as I said, starting to carry a tune.

We picked up a used balance bike in Boulder last week, she got on it once and has been hard pressed to try again, despite the lack of anything bad happening the first time. Probably just too hot for anything not pool-related. Frankly I agree.

Molly has near-complete mastery of the iPad, unlocking it and choosing and running her own apps, especially puzzles, which have become increasingly complicated. She’ll bang out regular wood puzzles she’s never seen before pretty quickly, too, as I discovered at the library the other day.

And her favorite is still critters, be they bugs or bunnies. We spent a lot of the relatively cool mornings this week and last at parks, “sneaking up” on rabbits and squirrels, only to watch them “Hopped away!!” πŸ˜€

As I said, I’ll get some snapshots up here in a bit. But I wanted to remember all this stuff. πŸ™‚

OK, thanks, buh-bye

Molly’s really stepping out on her playset lately. She found — and conquered — the rope ladder….

…and if I hold her up, she’ll hang on the monkey bars and giggle like crazy until her grip gives out (and I catch her).

Slightly closer to the ground, I showed her the trapeze bar. That was an instant winner, for sure.

This morning when I took Molly to school, she was (as usual) the only one of her class there, so her teacher and I sat down to play with a few things during the “transition” time — to ease her into the idea of dad leaving.

Today, her teacher took down the class hermit crab tank, bringing it down to the floor so Molly could peer in. Then she let Molly pick the little guy up, and touch him. Molly really, really found this interesting — and after the third time daddy said “Gentle, Molly, be gentle!” she stood up, walked over, planted a big kiss on me, stepped back and started waving, saying “Bye bye!” πŸ˜€

So I got up and put on my coat, told her I’d be back after naps. She waved and said “Bye bye!” again, then turned back to the hermit crab.

  • Milestone: Molly kicks me the heck out of school so she can play in earnest. πŸ˜€

Big, big girl. πŸ™‚

Here’s a quick video from the other day that shows Molly’s distinctive dance style. I’ll have to think of a name for it.

The end of two-fisted drinking?

Always some excuse not to blog, isn’t there? Shame on dad. I can sleep when she’s married. πŸ˜€Β Besides, something of a Milestone today, and since we haven’t had one in a while:

  • Milestone: Molly drinks orange juice from a regular cup – with one hand!

…Hairstyle by Two Hour Naps Salon, Inc. πŸ˜€

We’ve mostly been staying inside to wait out the cold snap, so we’ve been playing differently in the same spaces — going into the tub without water in it, for example, to draw with bathtub crayons, or jumping off new and different pieces of furniture. πŸ˜€

This morning we ran a quick errand, but Molly nodded off on the way home — and slept for about 20 minutes, which meant she fought her daily nap off until around 1 p.m.

When she woke up from her “real” nap, she just wanted to be held quietly and rocked for a half an hour or so, and I happily obliged. Squeezed her tight and hummed a bit, reminding myself (as I increasingly do) how there will come a too-soon time when she doesn’t want daddy to pick her up and hold her for long periods.

I already can guess how much I’m going to miss it. πŸ™‚

The Two-handed Kiss

Molly was up early, and raring to go to school, so we left before mom again this morning. We were the first ones in her classroom, so Molly got her pick of toys.

It was a calm start to the day, for certain. Molly’s first classmate showed up after a bit, and they looked at the fish together. As I stood up to leave, Molly had a piece of plastic toy fruit in each hand, and I asked for a kiss goodbye. She gave me one, and watched me wave goodbye and listened while I told her I’d be back after lunch.

And didn’t cry at all as I left. I even listened at the door. Not a peep of upset Molly sounds.

  • Milestone: Molly doesn’t frown, much less cry, when I leave her at school.

And even when I came back — and, as usual, snuck in on her — she wasn’t frantic about me being there and needing to go right away. She saw me, and pointed to a few things (and people) she’d played with during the day, eventually taking me over to her coat and shoes so we could get going.

Now, one thing she did do this afternoon when I picked her up: after we got her shoes and coat on, she grabbed me on either side of the head and pulled me up close and tight for a big, long kiss — complete with her making a “Mmmmm!” sound. And a big hug after, as we walked out.

Mom got the two-handed “Mmmmmm!” kiss tonight, too. That’s a quick new favorite for both of us. πŸ™‚

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