Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas trip

In photos ...

Cousins reunited at the diner:

Little House on the Prairie party, beginning with Uncle David's hay ride.

Patting Freddy's head.

Christmas Eve party:

Christmas morning:
We actually had four Christmases but I'm just realizing I stopped taking photos after about 11 a.m. so the rest will have to live in our memories.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More Play Transcripts - Molly Cooks

I become aware of the following in the background as Molly takes an empty mixing bowl, and empty containers of yeast and honey from the cupboard. Parenthetical notes added for commentary/clarification.

"honey in it
1/4 half of tea spoooooon...of honey
1/4 half tea spoon of eest (yeast)
we done
I use a boon (spoon), to overthere the counter
I try and use a boon
I put some flour in Daddy
half of tea spoon salt
kay...stir it.
I know, put some water in
1/4 half of milk
1/4 half in eggs
I stir the eggs
put these back in the cupboard, kay.
Help with this Daddy (screwing on the lids)
(some stiring)
1 teaspoon of water
1 teaspoon of yogurt
(some gibberish/singing)
1/4 spoon of sugar...sugar, sugar, sugar
kay, lets stir it.
Keep it in the bowl Daddy."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cupcakes and play

What a day! After presents this morning, Molly's neighbor friend Rhys came over for a special play date. Playing with Rhys is always a big treat for Molly and I think both kids had a good time today. Rhys tends to be pretty quiet and Molly was so pumped up that she was practically dancing circles around him trying to get him to play. She's started telling him what to do -- "Rhys, sit at table. Rhys. Sit here. Rhys." -- and he just stares at her. He didn't want to leave, though, so I hope that's a good sign.

After nap, Molly helped me make cupcakes (while simultaneously baking pretend cookies in her own kitchen). We had noodles in tomato sauce for her special dinner. That's the closest we could get to fulfilling her birthday request, which was to have tomatoes for dinner. The cupcakes were her choice, too. She wanted vanilla cupcakes with whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles. I tried pretty hard on several occasions to talk her into putting chocolate frosting on but she wouldn't have it.

So here she is with her cupcake.

She's smiling here because she really got us. I walked over to the table very slowly with the candles lit, Jim with the camera, both of us singing.

We got through "Happy birthday dear Molly..." and POOF! She blew out the candles. We just stared at her, stunned, then cracked up. How did she even know that's what she was supposed to do?

Jim lit them again to give her a chance to make a wish and have a little more ceremony about it. He said "OK, I'm going to count to three ..." POOF! Molly grins. We laugh. Everybody gobbles down cupcakes.

This is a shot from earlier in the day, chillin' in the kitchen with yet another cup of tea and the new baby doll that she picked out. I've been trying to get her to pick a name, but the only one she comes up with is Harry. I tell that one's already taken, can she think of another? Yes, she says. Baby Doll. As if all her dolls aren't already named Baby Doll.

Birthday morning

We couldn't wait. We opened presents as soon as Blueberry Moon told us it was time to get up.

Molly is now enjoying the special breakfast of her choice -- luke-warm herbal tea in a sippy cup and dry cheerios. She is putting colored chalk into her new oven, now hanging utensils on hooks, now standing there with the cup of cheerios and sippy looking at the stove, now saying "Mommy sing happy birthday," then "again," now putting her sippy in a pot on the stove and stirring with a 1/4 teaspoon, now putting the measuring spoon in her mouth, now hanging another utensil ... it goes on like this. I think she likes her kitchen.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dresses for Harry

We brought a very special baby doll home with us from Ganny's house at Thanksgiving. The doll was naked and we were given the mission of clothing her.

Here's what we came up with.

Molly helped at the machine. She can lift and lower the presser foot and sit on my lap while we sew. She also helped pick fabric and figure out sizing on the baby, which she then named Harry. We gave Harry a sponge bath and now she's a part of the family.

Molly likes to walk Harry around the house and put her to bed for quiet time. She also likes to give Harry kisses.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Blueberry moon

Here's our latest attempt to get a better night's (morning's?) sleep.

It's called the Good Nite Lite. It has a timer. In the evening it glows blue like a moon and stays blue all night -- a sign to your child that it's time to stay in bed. At the time you set for morning, it switches to orange and becomes a sun -- time to wake up.

Why is this necessary? Because even though she's almost 2, Molly continues to make it almost impossible for her parents to sleep like normal human beings. For weeks on end she will wake up every morning between 4 and 4:30 a.m. and stand in her crib calling to us for 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes ... it's unbelievable. When she was a baby she just cried. When she learned words she stood there shouting "mama" and "dada." Now that she talks, she has a wide repertoire of requests: "need blankets," "need diaper change," "need tissue." If you ignore it, it just goes on and on. If you respond, you find that she doesn't really need a diaper change, etc. and she cries harder when you leave. If you bring her into bed, she plays and kicks but does not fall back to sleep. No changes in bed time, earlier or later, have made an impact. It's like an internal alarm clock that tells her 4:30 a.m. is when the day begins no matter what.

I don't want to jinx it, but since we got this little night light that little moon has given us about five good mornings in a row -- and by that I mean, she didn't call out to us until the sunshine turned on between 5 a.m. and 5:15.

AHHHH! Sleeping in.

We had to find a friendly name for the moon because the first night we tried it she told us it was scary and couldn't stop staring at it. Now she gets excited when it turns on and has a little ritual of touching Blueberry Moon's face, sometimes kissing it and saying hello.

All hail the Blueberry Moon!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Molly Must Have Been Good This Year

What's this, the hay and carrots are gone?! Someone has been here!Molly must have been good this year because Sinterklaas has left her lots of goodies.

"A red car!"

"Comfy jamas"

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Decorating a Tree, Stuffing Some Shoes

Here are some pictures from our evening of decorating the (fake) christmas tree and putting out some wooden shoes for Sinterklaas.

An attempt at a family photo in front of the tree.
A Very Lucky Man
Here Molly puts some hay and some carrots in her wooden shoes for Sinterklaas.
...and puts them by the door.
We're pretty sure she doesn't quite understand the whole concept, but she's pretty excited anyway.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Trolly Day

Black Friday felt like my first day off in two years! Molly, Lucy and Freddy stayed with Daddy, Oma and the guys while we went out shopping ALL DAY. We spent hours in JoAnn's and not once did I have to ask anybody to put the monkey appliques back on the rack or to stop playing with the bias tape packets.

I missed Molly terribly by the end, but she had a good day, too. She played with Grandpa's train...

And got lots of quality cousin time.

We all got to see lots of family this week. Here's Molly dancing with Beppe on Thanksgiving morning.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hair cut

Our big girl had her first professional hair cut yesterday. I think she really enjoyed it.

She did so well that I let the hair dresser give her a little lollipop afterward. Molly was so innocent. She carried it around for a while not knowing what it was until I told her to taste it. Then she asked "what this?" quite a few times and practiced the word "lollipop" -- just in case she needs that word again. ;)

Here she is with long bangs before the hair cut.

Here are the nice, straight bangs afterward.


We've had a lot of excitement in the past week, including a visit from Oma and Grandpa and a trip to VT to see our friends (see photos here). Now the count-down is on for Thanksgiving. We're all very excited.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The bunny trainer

We were down in the basement this morning chasing the bunny around (yes, it's not even 6 a.m. as I write this) and it reminded me about the new and unusual bond between Molly and the bunny.

This little critter, who leaves droppings everywhere and is barely potty trained himself, seems to be teaching Molly to use her potty. It's like magic. She sees him hop into his litter pan, and she stops what she's doing to sit on her potty. She doesn't come tell me, I don' t have to remind her. She just does it. We had our longest stretch yet without a diaper the other day -- three or four hours -- thanks to that bunny.

She also likes to "read" to the bunny, just like we read to her on the potty. She sits next to the litter pan with a book, usually upside down, and tells him about Elmo's play day or something from some other book she's had in the bathroom that day. Sometimes the bunny pokes his nose at the book and it looks like he's following along.

When I ask Molly if she needs to use the potty, usually I get a big toddler "No!" But Snowplow? All he has to do is hop over to the corner and she wants to be just like him.

Of course, this desire to emulate the bunny also causes her to hop around the basement in circles, stuff her mouth with raisins and lick her feet and legs.

It's a price I'm willing to pay.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Great Brook Farm State Park

A couple of pictures from our trip to Great Brook Farm State Park in Carlisle. It was a beautiful day if a bit brisk, and after our hike we got to see some rabbits, goats, sheep, and cows.

Friday, November 6, 2009


The following images may be considered too cute to be legal in some states:

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween night

What a perfect Halloween! It was 70 degrees here all day with wind blowing the leaves all around.

Molly was eager to get her costume on and go out.

Here she is waiting with Daddy to see other trick-or-treaters.

All set to get going...

And here she is afterward with her nice little haul.

Molly did very well at the trick-or-treating, though she was a bit stunned. We didn't get a single "trick-or-treat" and only one barely audible thank you, but she did manage to hold up her bag and wave goodbye to almost everyone. The costume was a big hit and got many comments from not only the people distributing candy but they many passers-by as well. She really hit her stride after we got back home.

Molly had way more fun putting candy in the kids' bags when they came to our door. She sat on the stoop for 30-40 minutes and had lots of fun. Above we see her waiting to hand out handfuls of candy. Towards the end of the evening there weren't enough kids stopping by for her so she decided to go find some. She walked down the front steps and took off down the sidewalk at a sprint, candy in hands, giggling insanely. I didn't have any shoes on so Jim chased after her. The sprinting chef went back and forth past the front of the house at least three times and had many of the neighbors laughing as she flew passed with her father in hot pursuit. All in all a good night and certainly the most fun Jim and I have had on Halloween.

Random Play Transcript

This stuff kills me...

Right now Molly is standing behind me with her baby at her toy sink.

"Wash this hand"
"wash wash wash"
"Wash other hand"
"scrub scrub scrub"
"all done hands"

Here comes the pink teddy bear.

"Dance dance dance"
"Teddy bear!"
"Grocery Daddy, teddy bear, grocery"
"Right there, eating, hi, eating" (they're on the kitchen chair now)
"want some teddy"
"yummy teddy bear, num num"

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween party

We just got back from a party at our neighbor's house down the hill behind us. What a great time! I was worried that Molly wasn't going to like it. It started around the time we would usually be getting her ready for bed and it was geared toward older kids. I figured we'd put on her costume and at least stop by, as a test run for tomorrow night.

Here she is, Chef Molly.
Aside from the shrieking of sugared up first-graders that greeted us when we walked through the door, nothing at the party seemed to bother her. She found the food table right away and slowly worked her way into a chocolate stupor, then washed it all down with a juice box. Good thing she wasn't driving home.

Here she is with her pirate friend Teddy, eating the remains of a giant chocolate witch's hat cake and frosting thing -- yow! She got it smeared it all over her costume and her face, which just made her costume look even better. :)

This video shows what we've been practicing to get ready for tomorrow night. I'd say there's a 99 percent chance she'll be frozen in fear the first time a friendly neighbor opens the door and hands her candy, but we're going to be prepared just in case.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Photos posted

I just added two new albums to Shutterfly:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


It's only a little less than 2 months until Molly's second birthday. She's such a big girl!!!

A few days ago I decided it might be time to buy Molly her first underpants. Why? Because she dragged an over-turned laundry basket to my dresser, climbed up and opened my underwear drawer and pulled out several pairs of underpants. Then she pulled each pair up to her waist over her clothes and ran around giggling. I thought I got them all off, but then we were walking outside the neighborhood when I noticed a pair of underpants peeking out from under her coat. Hmmm. So we took a trip to Target and she picked out what she liked. Now she wears underwear instead of diapers for a few hours each morning and we practice taking them off and on to use the potty. I guess that means we're potty training, huh? I am SO not ready to give up cloth diapers.

Molly also gave up nursing a couple weeks ago. Jim put her to bed one night so I could have dinner with some former coworkers and she lost interest really quickly after that. She hasn't even mentioned it except one or two times since. I was not expecting that to be so easy!

The side effect is that we're reading a lot more books now as part of nap and bedtime routines. Molly is finally getting the attention span to sit through books other than little board books, which means I get to read the words in books again and not just reciting them from memory. Yay!

We've been having great fun lately with family visiting. We've also been having fun hanging out at home.

This is from Saturday when Molly asked her dad to get out a guitar, then ran into her room to get this little toy one for a jam session -- all her idea. :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009