“Because you have boots!”

Did I mention we got a season pass to the zoo? Makes for more fun days, I think, with less pressure to see everything all at once.

Plus we can indulge Molly her current fascination with balancing on stuff. πŸ˜€

And we get to spend more time at things Molly finds interesting. Like the super-big turtle sharing a tank — but separated by a glass wall — with a super-small one. Molly concluded one must be the others’ mommy. πŸ˜€

 

We had a snack at the same time as the gorillas!

 

And the orangutans, too.

 

I mistakenly called this one a “she,” but as I found out by reading there was a mommy up in the rafters, with a brand new baby. You can just make out the little orange puffball in the middle of this picture:

It was right after visiting these fine primates that we passed a woman heading in to clean one of the habitats. Molly walked up to her and said “You’re a zookeeper!”

The woman smiled and said “Yes, I am!”

Molly: “I’m a zookeeper, too. I take care of the animals.”

Woman: “How did you know I was a zookeeper?”

Molly (pointing to her thigh-high waders): “Because you have boots!”

πŸ˜€

One of Molly’s must-stops at the zoo is a simulated critter burrow, where she likes to point out I can’t see her, unless she peeks out:

And, of course, we must stop for snacks. We did find a place last week that has chicken, but the old standby of chips and cheese is hard to resist. πŸ™‚

Dad found a deal online for a play tent; after the coupon it was $9 including shipping, so we figured we couldn’t go wrong. It was a hit!

 

Eventually we moved in the sleeping bag, and Molly just sat in there being pleased with herself. πŸ™‚

Lest you think your eyes deceive you, the eggs in the next picture are in fact green. It’s not an early St. Patrick’s Day deal, but more a “green eggs and ham” attempt by Chef Molly. She’s telling us the eggs “c’est magnifique!!”

Yep, I found her a chef’s hat. She wanted to make sure her tow truck Mater knew about it, too.

 

We call this one “Dangerous Art!!” for obvious reasons. Molly did this one out in her playhouse. On the plus side, it was easy to put up on the wall when it was finished. πŸ˜€

Out-of-town grandma and grandpa sent some of dad’s old toys for Molly to enjoy. The surprise hit of the box was the biggest: dad’s old Star Wars AT-AT! πŸ˜€

…Although I don’t remember the pink bear being on there.

Molly loaded up all her Winnie the Pooh characters (and anyone else she could think of) for a ride on and in the “big robot!” Then, of course, he’d had a “big day” and needed a nap.

Nap time, big robot! πŸ˜€

Mom found a big kids’ expo at the convention center downtown, so we piled in the van and went. It was big fun, from the moment we got there and Molly saw the big blue bear out front. πŸ˜€

There were pony rides, and a petting zoo… Molly told me “I’m a very good farmer.”

There was a stage show at one end of things, which Molly found quickly. She also immediately ran around behind it and found the stairs up to the stage for a quick run-around behind the show before mom grabbed her and brought her back down to crowd-level. πŸ˜€

 

There was a dress-up spot, with a photographer. Molly was in her element there, too.

There was a booth that had free jumprope lessons. Well, Molly had to try the Double Dutch!

Molly’s record on successful jumps was “one,” but really she wanted to swing the jumpropes, anyhow.

 

There was an insane blow-up obstacle course that was packed with a constant flow of kids. Molly got right in there and picked the hardest route the first time over. She took it easier the next dozen times through, though. πŸ˜€

 

There was also a climbing wall. Molly got into her harness like a seasoned pro — a point commented on by everyone running the climbing wall. She also actually climbed quite well, instead of just swinging on the rope!

I took that picture right before I handed off the camera to mom, since they were willing to let dad climb next to Molly for a bit. She did very, very well, and only had a little help from time to time from her climbing buddy. πŸ˜€

Her climbing buddy’s pretty happy he gets the job. πŸ™‚

“Let’s flambΓ©!”

Molly’s communication skills have just exploded recently. She’s saying very interesting things, asking questions about what things mean, and making connections all over the place — and expressing them very, very clearly.

For example, the other night we’d watched a Wallace and Gromit animation, where Wallace had given Gromit a birthday card — it said, “To Gromit, Love Wallace.” Molly asked “What it says?” so we told her.

Later in the evening she started making up her own greeting cards and telling us about them. “Dear Papa, Love Tutu.” “Dear zoo, love playground.” “Dear apples, love oranges.” “Dear (pizza restaurant), love (Mexican restaurant).” And so on. It turned into a game of connections, and was just delightful to encourage.

And we’re hearing back nearly everything we ever say to her, and in the funniest ways. For example right now when she takes a shower, the most important part for her is to peek out around the curtain at me every 90 seconds or so, and announce “Just a minute, I’m in the shower!!” πŸ˜€

We had more good weather, and in addition to some more harnessed swinging on the big tree, Molly got out her stomp rockets. Listen to her explain the whole thing to me:

 

The semi-annual free day at the railroad museum fell not only on a day we could all go, but a decently sunny (if cold) day. So we went to see the trains!

Molly was impressed, I think.

We wandered around the outdoor exhibits, climbing on whatever we were allowed to. Then we bought a ticket to ride the Galloping Goose!

It was running! We stood in line, and at first I was worried we’d have to wait for the next “departure.” But at the last minute, the engineer beckoned us over — and we got to ride in the cab, right behind him!

He’d been in on the whole restoration, so told us all about it as we circled the yard a few times. Molly thought it was grand.

 

For just about the entire time we were there, Molly was pointing out how much she wanted an engineer cap. Actually, she called it a “conductor” cap, with a “big bill.” πŸ˜€ She picked a pink one, and we got a whistle, too, which she figured out pretty quickly.

 

Now when we play trains at home, Molly wears her cap, and knows that before you leave the station, it’s two blasts on the whistle followed by a hearty “All aboard!!” πŸ˜€

Impossibly, we had another great weather day when we could all get out and do something together. So we went to the zoo! Molly loves the zoo.

We visited a bunch of animals, and went down into the “observation cave” to check out the lions.

 

We took a few rides on the zoo carousel, which is probably Molly’s favorite.

And Molly got to feed what she called “nectar tea” to the lorakeets! She loved talking to them, asking them if they liked their nectar.

 

One of them gave her a surprising little peck on the hand, which alarmed Molly. But, of course, eventually she was convinced it was an accident. “I forgive you,” said our dear Molly. πŸ™‚

Back home, Chef Molly’s wearing her Crocs now for all cooking activities, ever since she saw one of the chefs on television wearing them.

 

I was saving this old wooden oven/range thing I’d found as a surprise, and was going to install it out in the playhouse this summer. But Molly, amazingly, said to me “I want my own oven.”

So I figured, heck. I walked out into the garage and got it. Greatest daddy ever!! “You got me an oven!! Just like daddy’s!! Let’s flambΓ©!!” πŸ˜€

Dad’s forgotten skills

Sometime in the night, I remembered I knew how to hand-tie a climbing harness. I also remembered that I had the appropriate webbing in a bin in the garage, that we had an incredibly long rope still in the tree from the tire swing, and that today was going to be another fantastic sunny day — the last one before more snow tomorrow.

So, of course, Molly thinks I’m the coolest dad ever. And I think she’s the coolest kid. πŸ˜€

\

 

After some great swingin’, it seemed like a good idea to go for a tricycle ride. We decided to go all the way to the goose park, because heck, the weather was nice.

Molly visited the statue of the little kids, this time showing them a little love…

 

…And she demonstrated that these days, little things like balance beams a mere foot off the ground aren’t even remotely frightening. I barely got a picture off.

And we did some more swingin’… this time with a little musical element. πŸ˜€

 

We’ll be ready for the weather tomorrow, but let no one say we didn’t take advantage of today’s! πŸ™‚

“I want to do this again!”

Sometimes Molly does something she likes so much she demands to do it again before the first go-around is even really over.

This weekend, we drove up north to an indoor zipline park mom found, to see whether Molly would find it fun.

Well. πŸ˜€

First off, there were a bunch of rope-style bridges, with platforms and slides to try out. That was fun.

Then she spotted the kids on ziplines. “I want to do this!!”

So an attendant got her into a harness, showed her a brief safety video (she even sort of paid attention), and off she went.

Huge fun.

Pictures were tricky — moving Molly, poor light — so the videos will tell the story better. First off Molly tried out the low-level zipline. The woman was great, helping her get into her harness up top — and another attendant on the ground (also named Molly, amusingly) would help her out down there. We had the place almost to ourselves on a Sunday morning, so Molly got all the attention in the world. πŸ˜€

 

Big Molly would grab Little Molly πŸ™‚ and give her extra swings. “I want to do this again!!”

 

Molly finally got a zipline buddy, another girl a little older. And she found her Tarzan voice:

 

After a bit she wanted to try the high zipline. She had a couple of hesitant leaps from way up there — “I was afraid, a little bit,” she said later — but she kept climbing back up to do the high one again, and finally was hopping off with no trouble. You can hear in the background of this one another girl’s grandmother, who couldn’t believe Molly wasn’t even three yet. πŸ˜€

 

Speaking of being almost three, Molly has figured out how to tuck her pinky finger under her thumb and show you how old she’s going to be on “My birthday, May 25th. I’m going to be three!!” She loves being able to do numbers with her fingers.

Last night right out of her “showah,” Chef Molly wanted to make cupcakes. So dad whipped out a small portion of pound cake batter, and mom got it into little cups, baked and frosted. Molly was in charge of the sprinkles.

Like a lot of sweet treats, Molly was more into the idea of cupcakes than actually eating them — I think she finally had a bite or two, mostly of frosting. But the sprinkles? She ate every one of them she could pick up! And for some reason wanted to eat them in a chicken hat. At least her wet head was warm! πŸ˜€

Bonus video: Molly and I hit the free day at the museum, where she enjoyed the kids’ “Discovery Zone” again. This time, in the dancing area, she decided she wanted to do “conducting.” πŸ˜€ A few kids even seemed to think they needed to pay attention to her, and appeared to be waiting for instructions. Command presence!

Apron strings

Finally snapped a picture of Chef Molly in her apron this morning, as she was enjoying yet another successful waffle.

…It’s a phone picture, but hey, it’s a picture. πŸ˜€

We spent the morning riding the carousel and train at the mall. The biggest news (other than that Molly didn’t throw a fit about leaving) was that there was a new person running the little train. Molly took one look and turned back to me to say, “It’s a girl conductor!!” Then she hopped over to her delightedly. “Can we ride please?”

The “girl conductor” took a little different route, and swerved in and around people with a little more gusto. Molly was pretty pleased. I didn’t realize how much it had all meant to to her until we got home and she revealed she had committed the woman’s name to memory — after only a casual mention in the pre-ride briefing. “The conductor’s name was Crystal! She was a girl conductor!!” πŸ™‚

(This she remembered, yet “keep your hands inside the train at all times” seems to have slipped by again… πŸ˜‰ )

Molly’s comment yesterday on her gradually improving cold was a doozy: “When I have a cough, sometimes I get boogies in my mouth. And then I feel all better!” πŸ˜€ And she does seem mostly better; now mom and dad just need to kick Molly’s cold. πŸ˜€

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˜€

Fairies, cowgirls and chefs, oh my!

The snow is slowly starting to melt, despite what feels like colder days. Molly thinks it still tastes pretty good.

In my last post I talked about how good the costumes were for dress-up at school. That isn’t to say they aren’t pretty good at home, too. Molly’s Dancing Fairy Princess does pretty well for herself. πŸ™‚

It’s a singing act, too. πŸ™‚

And of course there’s the cowgirl get-up. I’m fortunate she likes her cow boots with this one, or I’d need to invest in Tony Lamas.

Have I mentioned Molly named her little dolly “Ofa”? Ofa’s been getting some good attention lately, a mimicry of what we believe is how Molly thinks we treat her. Which is a good sign, if so… she’s pretty darned kind to that doll.

Here she was explaining to Ofa how to wash her hands and brush her teeth.

Then it was time for Ofa’s nap… Molly got her into the crib and gently pulled up some blankets, then lay down next to her like mom and I sometimes do. Almost too cute for words.

And of course the tea parties. Molly’s really gotten into them, she’ll set everything up then come invite us.

“May I have more tea?” I’ll ask.

“Why, sure!” says Molly. πŸ™‚

We met local grandma for Valentine’s Day lunch, and Molly did pretty well at the restaurant. More impressively, she seemed to intuit that the cherry was the best part of dessert, despite never having one in her life.

Speaking of food, Chef Molly now has an apron (thanks to mom), and has expanded her offerings to include pizza. This was pretty fun, I gave her a whole wheat pita for crust, some sauce and slices of mozzarella, and these neat little mini-pepperonis. Not bad!

Bonus video: Since dad finally got on painting the back side of the bathroom door, mom decided to sew a curtain for the bathroom door window! Molly of course was interested, and mom found her a job helping take out the pins. She took it very seriously, and was quite careful!

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