Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So much excitement

I have so many things to say about Molly, but at the moment all I can think about is how excited we are to find out that Molly's new cousin is going to be a boy! Yay for healthy babies!

So lets see. We had a fabulous weekend with our two special visitors, Molly's Oma and great-grandma. Molly had so much fun playing with them.

Her great-grandmother gave her a curl in her hair.

And we all went to pick out a Halloween costume. Here's a preview.
The other big excitement was that I had play group at my house for the first time. The last hour before it started I ran around the house worrying that I hadn't child-proofed enough, that I had prepared too much food, that I hadn't prepared enough food, that nobody would like the food, that I didn't have enough space, not enough toys, too many toys, not enough dishes, not clean enough, etc. It turned out fine. We had 5 adults and 7 toddlers, plus Molly and me. The kids went nuts with the toys while not breaking anything or getting in any fights -- pretty much the best you can hope for at play group. The adults were fully of flattering things to say. One mom told me she liked the smell of my dish soap. They're very nice people.

After sitting in the middle of the living room with her tongue hanging out for a few minutes, Molly loosened up and jumped right in the middle of the commotion. She snuggled up with one of my neighbors, who she's only met a few times before -- I think it was her long brown hair. She tried to take the glasses off one of the toddles and put her fingers in his mouth while he was drinking his bottle. She banged balls and blocks with the older kids. She seemed lost in the afternoon when the house was quiet again.

She's got some funny new quirks that I'm trying to catch on video. Now that she knows how to use her push toy, she likes to make all kinds of things into push toys. She kneels and pushes over-turned pots around with her hands. Last night she walked across the kitchen floor pushing a tall plastic mailbox toy. Today she even tried to push her big piano toy across the room.

She has also started shaking her head "no." She just does it out of the blue for no apparent reason. It's funny when it seems like she means it, though, like the time she was playing with the mesh walls of her Pack N' Play (which she's still using instead of a crib -- grr!!!) and I asked her if she was sleepy and wanted to take a nap. She shook her head.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Push toy

Look what Molly figured out how to do.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fun with germs

It appears a cold can be spread through slobbery wet baby kisses. Who knew?

So I'm the latest victim of the virus. Molly's doing better than I am. I was a mess today because I was up last night sipping tea and moaning, while she was sleeping a little better than the night before.

She was surprisingly full of energy today and generally happy, except when I came at her with a tissue. This is the first cold she's had since she's old enough to put up a fight. As I was lying around moaning this afternoon, I came up with a list of the top five objects Molly would rather wipe her nose on than a tissue, but it's just too gross to share.

Taking care of a baby when I'm sick remains one of the hardest tests of endurance I've ever faced in my life. My respect for all the women and men who have raised children throughout the world only deepens with each passing day.

Here's a silly shot from today.

Here's a photo from the other day when Molly was climbing in the cabinets as I was typing. She pinched her finger in the hinge side of a cabinet the other day, so I'm less enthusiastic about cabinet exploring now.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

9 months old

Molly is 9 months old today. Our poor little baby was up several times last night and woke up this morning with a cold. We had to skip play group so we don't spread germs.

We just got back from her check-up this afternoon. Everything went great. The doctor noted that Molly hasn't grown much in the past few months. I noticed that, I guess, but I didn't realize quite how little she has grown.

I just entered her stats into the Baby Center calculator and she's now at 25th percentile for length (about 27 inches), 25th to 50th for weight (the med. assistant got 18 lbs, 13 oz. -- I weighed her this morning at 19.4lbs, which is 50th to 75th percentile) and 25th percentile for head circumference (17 inches). No wonder her spring clothes still fit! It's strange to go from thinking of Molly as an unusually large baby to thinking of her as little.

The doctor asked me a lot of questions about what she's eating, then basically came to the conclusion that he's not worried. He said she'll probably have a growth spurt in the next month or two. I just hope she doesn't outgrow all the new PJs I bought. (sigh).

In honor of her 9-month birthday, here's a photo her daddy shot last night of Molly engaging in one of her favorite new activities.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Playing around

We've been spending time with our 2-year-old neighbor lately, helping to keep him occupied while his mom works on renovations to their house. Molly has a good time in his play room, putting various big kid toys in her mouth and taking apart Teddy's train tracks. He's a pretty good sport about it and, though he's hit her on the head quite a few times, I don't think it's intended to do her harm. :) One day last week we played outside. Here you see Teddy answering the phone and telling Molly it's a call for her.

We also had fun this weekend apple picking with Lex and Eve. I would have great pictures if I hadn't left my camera in the car for most of it. We even saw Steven Tyler at the orchard (I just saw him from behind, but I heard his voice ... so cool!) and no camera. Oh, well.
This is the only photo I got all day.

The weather was cool last week so I got out some of Molly's spring clothes to see if they would still fit. I was so excited that she can still wear her overalls!

I also put socks and shoes on her, which is a new thing. She's been barefoot all summer. The nice thing about shoes, though, is I can put her down on the ground when we're out in public. It's a great way to distract her at a department store check-out ... until she plops down on her hands and knees and crawls away. (sigh)

The big news around here is that we just had two nights in a row of solid sleep from bedtime until around 5 a.m.!! Oh, and also I noticed a few days ago a little hard spot on Molly's gums that I thought might be a tooth but I wasn't sure. Yesterday I could see a little white spot! Looks like a first tooth. That would explain a lot. This is so exciting!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Giggly girl

Yesterday was such a crazy, and yet somehow typical, Molly day.

She woke up crying and was fussy all morning. Her first nap was only a half hour and she woke up even fussier. By early afternoon I was going nuts. She was crying for no apparent reason, other than that she was sleepy. Her second nap lasted only a half hour, too. When she woke up it was pouring rain and thundering out, but I threw her in the car anyway and went out to run errands. I thought the car might put her back to sleep and I was out of ideas.

She didn't sleep, but she did undergo some sort of magical transformation. At the stores I kept noticing strangers looking at us, and then I looked down and realized that Molly had been flirting with them. A lady at one store said something about what a happy baby she is and how she must be happy all the time.

By the time we got to the grocery store, she was in such a good mood that I almost believed that she is happy all the time. I bent down to get something off a low shelf and kissed her toes, which were dangling out of the shopping cart seat. She thought this was hilarious. For the rest of the shopping trip, all I had to do was look at her and she burst out laughing. She was laughing so loud that it echoed off the ceiling of the store. Her laugh made me laugh, which just made her laugh more. I was torn between shushing her so we didn't cause a scene and making her laugh harder.

She did finally take a 45-minute nap when we got home (that's a long one these days!). I have no idea what's going on with her sleep. Night sleeping has gotten better. For the past few nights she's been going to bed around 7:30 and staying asleep until around 3:30. Then things get a little rocky until she's up for the day around 5:30 or 6, but at least we've been getting that solid block. Maybe that's why her naps are so brief? I don't know. Sleep is supposed to beget more sleep. She drooled a lot yesterday so maybe she's finally cutting a tooth. Maybe it's something she ate. Or maybe there's just no pattern or explanation for it. Whatever. As long as she keeps laughing and giving generous kisses and hugs, we'll all be fine.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

New skills

Life with a baby has officially gotten less easy. Molly opens cabinets. (She's opening the one at my knees as I type this).

She's also working one of her other new skills: standing on her own. She just pulled a pot out of the cabinet and then stood there with two hands on the pot and nothing else. It's funny because she acts as though she's always been able to do it. It takes a minute for us to realize what's happening.

I'm afraid we're ramping up for another burst in development. She hasn't done much new in a while, other than get better at crawling. She hasn't even grown much this summer. She still fits in the clothes she wore in late spring and she hasn't outgrown her infant car seat yet.

We have her convertible car seat all ready to go when she does. Looks like she's ready for it, too. I turned around the other day to find this:

Now, suddenly, stuff is happening again.

She's starting to imitate sounds, which is so cool. The other night at dinner Jim made the Tarzan cry (why, I don't remember) and she kind of repeated it.

She's also getting a little naughty streak. We've been trying to keep her away from the television and until recently it's wasn't too hard to just pick her up and take her somewhere else whenever she went near it. Now once in a while she deliberately catches your eye and then heads right toward it. We had to do a couple baby time-outs this weekend. No fun, but necessary.

The other thing we did this weekend was put up a mirror for her to play with in her bedroom. She loves mirrors, so I thought this would be a cool toy. So far, so good. The first thing she did was lick her face. You can sort of see the mirror in this photo.

She spent the afternoon pulling her books off the shelf and flipping through them rather than napping. This is the face she made when her daddy walked in the room.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Yay, we got videos working!

This is from a couple nights ago. This is another way Molly is more child-like and less baby-like. She plays with us now.

Big kid emotions

Molly has been doing some things lately that seem more like little kid stuff and a little less like baby stuff.

She throws mini tantrums now when we try to strap her into her car seat, and sometimes into the high chair, too. She arches her back and she's so strong now that it's hard to fight her. She almost launched herself onto the floor when I tried to get her into the high chair the other day. Yikes! Usually she settles down and gets happy again once she's strapped in. It's just like her little way of exerting her will.

Also, she has these little fears and she doesn't just cry like she used to. She tries to get away. The big fear lately is the sound of the water running to fill the bathtub. She crawls away furiously. If her daddy is there, she grips him and almost crawls up his chest to get away. Last night she crawled as fast as she could out of the room. I followed her around the house as the tub filled. At one point she was in the doorway of our bedroom and it looked like she was trying to make up her mind. She crawled into the hall and looked at the bathroom door. Then she crawled back into the bedroom, sat, turned and looked toward the hallway. Then she crawled back out into the hall, back into the bedroom, back into the hall. I wish I had the video camera. Silly monkey.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Quiet days

We've been working on restoring routine around here for the past week or two, so there hasn't been much going on other than the usual naps, meals and play.

I don't want to jinx it, but Molly's sleep seems to be getting a teensy bit better. We've had three nights in a row now without any night feedings. She still wakes up every night, sometimes two or three times, but we've both been able to get her down without eating. That's progress. For most of the summer she's been waking up to eat two or three times each night.

Her naps have changed, too. Until about two weeks ago, my routine was to nurse Molly down to sleep for all naps and night sleep. It was just the easiest thing to do. Then one day she stopped falling asleep while nursing. Weird. That finally gave me the boost to change the routine, though. Now, like a miracle, I just rock her while humming a lullaby for a minute or two then put her down. She fusses for maybe a minute then goes right to sleep. It freaks me out. We didn't even need to do any crying it out, she just made the transition. I'm still nervous that one day it will just stop working.

Here are some photos from the last few days. We got some cute videos, but our main computer melted down a few weeks ago and we still haven't transitioned everything to this computer. I'll post them as soon as I can.

This is one of the newest generation of diapers -- fleece on the outside, bamboo velour on the inside ... very squishy!
Here's Molly eating a watermelon/pineapple popsicle, thanks to her daddy (he made the popsicles and also had the idea to let her try it -- no wonder she loves him so much).