Saturday, February 28, 2009

Exciting week!!!

We're all aflutter over here because Molly has a new baby cousin, Frederick James. He was born yesterday afternoon. We can't wait to meet him!

It's been a wild week. Jim is at karate camp for a long weekend so Molly and I have been hanging out here by ourselves.

Our adventure began a few days ago when we went to Vermont to visit Lex and Eve. Molly took a bath with Eve (see photos here). They played together very well for toddlers, peeling stickers off Eve's potty charts together, carrying around their dolls, and sitting on my lap together to read books. We had a blast.

Unfortunately, Molly seems to have brought a stomach bug with her to Vermont and infected her little friend. Major bummer. I spent all day today cleaning up messes and snuggling Molly, who apparently doesn't have it nearly as bad as Eve does. It's probably something she picked up at play group. That's such a breeding ground for germs. Yuck!

Speaking of illness, we almost didn't make it to play group this week (oh, how I wish we missed it!) because Tuesday morning I woke up with a frightening red rash all over my body. It turns out I'm allergic to penicillin and related antibiotics, which I had been taking for a week for my ear infection. Ugh!! The rash is gone now and I know never to take penicillin again.

Here are some other photos from the week:

Molly went through a phase a few days ago when she constantly asked for her crayons and pad of paper. Sometimes she colors. Sometimes she plays with the materials and tests the rules (color on the paper, not the floor, etc.). Sometimes she does weird things. That's why I like this photo. Lately I often look up to find her doing odd things, like stare off into space with her butt in the air.

This is Molly with her neighbor friend, caught in the act of some sort of weird hug. It was an odd moment because mostly they play side-by-side and ignore each other (a big improvement over pushing each other out of the way and trying to stay away from one another).

Silly play with Daddy. We sure are looking forward to his return home tomorrow.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


This is so weird. Last week the neighborhood moms were talking about earaches because Molly seemed a little cranky and one of the other kids just got diagnosed with one without having many symptoms.

Well, not a day later we're coming home from lunch and MY ear starts hurting. I had no idea adults could even get earaches! It's so painful and it's been going on for days. We went to the doctor Tuesday and confirmed that, while my eardrum ruptured and it's going to be months before I have my hearing back, Molly is perfectly healthy. Yay! I am so glad it's me and not her.

Molly and I have been getting along really these past couple days, although our bad moments are full-fledged toddler. It's like somebody flipped a switch in her this weekend. Once in a while out of nowhere she flips out. We were getting in the car to go to the grocery store and she went nuts. She's gotten strong and she kicks so hard it's hard to hold onto her. Then it's gone and she's happy again. In the parking lot of the store I tried to take my datebook and wallet out of her hands to put them back in my purse and she flipped out. I told her to put the items back and she calmed right down and did it. Apparently all she wanted was to do it herself. Yikes.

But anyway, mostly our days have been delightful this week. We've done a bunch of coloring. Molly continues to bring me items of clothing for me to put on her, then she goes to her bedroom mirror to check out her reflection. She understands commands like, "come sit in my lap" or "go get your socks and shoes" (she'll go to her bedroom, open the dresser drawer, pull out either a pair of socks or two shoes -- occasionally both and often the shoes are a matching pair).

Here she is eating a banana in her (upside down) wings -- again, her fashion choice. She loves those wings.

This photo shows just the tip of the iceberg of how messy our house has become while I've been sick and Jim has been taking over a lot of toddler duty. (There are worse ones, but I can't bring myself to post them).

And here's Jim's photo of Molly with her monkey (look familiar, Lucy?), which is one of a handful of toys I'm sort of trying to turn into "loveys." The monkey has been sleeping with her in the crib at night. The first two nights he was there, she slept until 5:50 a.m. and then 6:15!!! Looks like the monkey is there to stay.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

If you can't beat em...

Set your alarm for 5 a.m. and adopt your toddler's schedule. That what we've been doing for the past week or two and it's working out pretty well. Jim runs in the morning now and Molly and I don't worry about being quiet (not that we did a good job of it before). We all eat breakfast together and by 8 a.m. I'm ready for bed. :) The past few days were rough because Molly was waking up around 4:30 and crying, so our day started pretty early. This morning, though, she slept until 5:50!!! It was SO nice to sleep in.

Not much else is happening around here. Molly is learning to use a fork. It's weird because she can't really use a spoon, but the fork is actually easier because stabbing food takes less wrist control than scooping. She's also getting a little closer to talking. She says "Ma Ma" a lot more now and the sound she makes when she points to things sounds a lot like "that." She's imitating sounds sometimes when you say a word, like tonight Jim was saying "block" and she said something back that started with a "b" sound and ended with "k."

She thinks it's pretty funny when somebody hops. She can't do it herself, but she tries really hard. She looks like a little bird trying to fly. She likes to dance, too, (she knows how to turn on the little radio in the basement) and sometimes she spins in circles.

Here are some photos from the past week or so, and a video of her playing with the camera (kind of playing peekaboo with me around it).

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bunny love

A few days ago, Snowplow discovered how to break out of his fenced-in play area in the basement. I haven't caught him in the act yet, so I have no idea how he does it.

It works out well, though, because whenever he breaks out I let him hop upstairs and Molly gets a chance to play with him. I think they're bonding. Molly has discovered that she can feed the bunny treats, so now whenever we go near his cage she makes the "eat" sign. (I hope this means "I want to feed the bunny," not "I want to eat the bunny.")

Tonight she chased him around with Cheerios in her fingers, trying to get him to take them. He was a little put off by the way she shouted "Eh?" at him over and over again, but eventually he warmed up. Here she is feeding him parsley.

Snowplow did some big binkies (twisty leaps in the air) and silly sprints around the living room, which means he was about as happy as a bunny can be. He even ran between Molly's legs and seemed to be playing with her. Molly stroked his fur, mostly avoided poking him in the eye and tried to put a necklace on him. It's not surprising they're friends, considering they have so much in common. They both are attracted to electrical cords, they both eat anything interesting they see on the floor and they both love raisins, bananas and Cheerios.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sleep, the never ending quest

I hesitate to complain about Molly's sleep schedule (or lack thereof) because we are worlds away from where we were six months ago, when she woke up every two or three hours to nurse every night.

Now she sleeps a solid 9 or 10 hours most nights. She occasionally cries out as often as every few hours all night, but usually she goes back to sleep on her own ... often just as one of us has finally gotten out of bed and stumbled into the hallway.

The problem now is that she has an internal alarm clock that goes off around 5 a.m. every single day. Typically she starts crying around 4 or 4:30. Jim usually takes any wakings before 5 because he's better at getting her back to sleep. She usually only stays down for about 10 or 20 minutes, though, before crying again and by 5 she's up for the day.

This morning he went in several times. On his last trip she said "Da Da!" when he walked in the door (apparently she was standing there waving at him). I think it was around 4:50. I got up and we played in the dark until breakfast. Ugh!!

We've been experimenting with ways to get her to sleep longer since December and nothing is working. One book said to try to shift her bedtime later, as well as meals, naps and every other routine during the day. We did that for a week or two and ended up with an overtired toddler, frazzled parents who lost their window of quiet time before bed and still a 5 a.m. wake-up every day. We've tried (and continue to try) keeping the house dark in the morning, delaying her morning feeding (so hunger wouldn't be waking her up), bringing her into our bed (last time we tried this she said, "Da Da!" and waved at her sleeping father, then kicked her legs, hugged Jim's head and gave him kisses, kicked off the covers and was quite entertained, but not sleepy), lying down with her on the couch, and lying down with her on her bedroom floor (that actually worked two or three times). Our latest approach is from another sleep book, which says kids wake up early when they're sleep deprived and recommends moving bedtime earlier rather than later. No luck. Early bedtime has only caused her to wake up earlier.

I think Molly's just a lark, a kid who goes to bed relatively easily and wakes up ridiculously early by nature. I guess I'll be going to bed at 9 p.m. for the indefinite future. It could be a lot worse.

On a related note, Molly is generally taking just one nap a day now instead of two. It's kind of unpredictable (as her naps have always been), but lately she's been falling asleep around 11 or 11:30 a.m. and sleeping for an hour or an hour and a half. I've been dreading the drop down to one nap, but actually it's kind of a relief. It's so frustrating to never know when or how she's going to nap, and to spend hours sometimes trying to nurse her down when she's fighting it. It's nice to only go through that once a day.

It also helps that she just recently picked up the sign for "sleep" and occasionally even uses it.

Here's a picture Jim took (before dawn) this morning of Molly helping in the kitchen.

She drags the chair up to the counter and climbs up. Aside from the times when she grabs sharp knives or pulls the chair up to the hot stove or knocks food onto the floor, this has turned out to be very useful. Now I don't have to carry her around on my hip as I cook and clean with one hand. I can set her up on a chair and she's satisfied. Today she even stood with me at the sink while I washed dishes! She also helped me make dinner by putting spinach leaves into the salad spinner and swishing them around in the cold water. Any little chore I can get done while she's awake is a chore that I don't have to do in my precious little free time while she's napping. We're working on showers next -- for some reason she is terrified of me taking a shower. The running water makes her nervous and if I so much as try to step in she melts down. We made it through a quick shower with the curtain open today (water went everywhere, but that's how badly I wanted a shower). Yay!