Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The trip

Yay, Molly's asleep early (fingers crossed) so I have time to post some pictures from our weekend.

Molly and her grandpa:

Eating jelly at the diner Saturday morning:

The girls at the Saturday night cook-out.

Molly at Mendon Ponds park, where the three of us had lunch Sunday.

Memorial Day parade Monday morning:

The cousins:

We did a lot of other fun stuff, too. On Saturday Jim and I left Molly with Oma and Grandpa, then went out to lunch by ourselves. We had SUCH a good time. We've been meaning to do that for a long time but always ran out of time or energy. This time we made sure it was one of the first things we did when we got into town.

We also went to two big family parties on Sunday and got to spend time with Luutsen and Annie, who are visiting from Holland.

OK, I spoke way too soon about Molly going to bed early tonight. I've been back in her room, oh, about four times since I started this. Her nose started running on Sunday and by Monday afternoon she was having a full-on wiping-her-nose-on-people's-shirts cold.

She's all stuffed up and it made for an unusually harrowing drive home. We had just gotten on the Thruway when she made a horrible gagging noise and then threw up all over herself. We got off at the next exit, cleaned her up and changed her clothes. She seemed to recover immediately so we got right back on the road. She wanted "chssss" (cheese) and bread and melon and pretty much anything I could hand back to her to eat, so I figured her stomach was fine. About an hour later we found out that everything was not fine. She threw up again all over herself. We got off the highway and cleaned her up again. Jim rode in the back with her for a little while after that, but she seemed perky enough. This time we told her the "chsss" was gone and limited her to white rolls and water. Eventually she fell asleep and the rest of the ride was uneventful.

I don't think she has a stomach bug. Sometimes when her nose stuffed up eating seems to trigger her gag reflex. The cold is making it hard for her to catch up on sleep, though. She stayed up much later than usual all weekend and appears to be physically incapable of sleeping past 5 a.m. under any circumstances.

Fortunately Jim had the day off work yesterday so we had a little time to rest. We couldn't go anywhere in the car most of the day, though, because Molly's car seat had to be cleaned. I was very disappointed to find out that the seat cover must be hand washed in cold water and air dried and, even worse, the straps and buckles don't even detach from the plastic frame. Clearly the people who designed it that way never had to scrub puke out of a patch of velcro with cold water and a scrub brush while balancing a car seat on the kitchen counter. Definitely an oversight on their part.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


We had a fun weekend visiting family. Here's a video of Molly and Lucy playing together at the diner. They're going to be trouble!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Planting time

The weather has been perfect these past few days. We got out in the garden yesterday and started planting our seedlings.

Sometimes I think I need 10 arms just to keep up with Molly in the garden, to stop her from pulling out plants, stomping in the garden beds, scooping soil out of the beds in to the paths, dumping seed packets and causing general mayhem.

She's been great this week, though. She helped me plant green beans, moved mulch around, brought me seedlings and told me where to put them, carried the notebook around and generally put her energy into helpful tasks.

It's so much fun to have a little helper with me all the time (even when she's not so helpful). The other day Molly fell asleep on the way to the grocery store so Jim stayed in the car with her while I shopped. I thought it would make the shopping faster, but it was just kind of boring. I missed my little companion.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Some Fun Pictures

Here's few pictures of Molly at play the last few days. She's getting much more creative.

Note the blurry hands. She was flapping pretty good once she got the tub to stay on.

And here's some random cute (she likes to choose her own outfits).

Make of this what you will.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


This was a fun moment the other day. I caught Molly doing something that appears to be singing, albeit in a monotone and not really with the music.

I love that babies start dancing and responding to music so early. That was a big surprise to me. I just read a really interesting book, "Animals in Translation" by Temple Grandin, a scientist who has autism, and she talked a little bit about how music has a lot to do with language. She actually believes that animals use song to communicate at such a sophisticated level that it is truly a form of language itself. She also thinks humans learned music from birds long, long ago, rather than inventing it ourselves.

By coincidence, I also just read this article about how parrots dance in time to music, and how dancing appears to be a skill specific to animals (including humans) that have the ability to learn language.

I'm not sure what this all means, but it just seems cool.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Late talker?

I'm all worked up tonight because one of my neighbors gave me a hard time again this afternoon about Molly's talking abilities. This otherwise fun mom has it in her head that I was wrong to teach Molly baby signs and that it's delaying her language. I've told her nicely in the past that studies show signs actually help babies talk sooner, but she doesn't believe me. Tonight we were leaving her house and I asked Molly to sign "thank you." I was so proud that Molly is learning manners that I was caught off guard by her disapproving questions such as, "What does her doctor say about her speech?" and "Oh really? He's not concerned? Well, I guess you don't have to worry then."

It's true Molly doesn't say a lot of words compared to some kids at this age, but she's still well within the range of normal. It's pretty mean to imply that she's developing too slowly and it's my fault. I know it's just the way this woman is. She gives another neighbor a hard time about her kids' outbursts and tantrums, implying it's all the mom's fault ("He behaves so well as soon as you leave the room").

Still, it's hard to tune it out. It's a blessing and a curse to live near so many toddlers (and their sometimes opinionated mothers!). How do you not compare? The little girl across the street just turned 18 months and she's potty training already. (She also has gorgeous long hair, a full set of teeth and looks twice Molly's age). Meanwhile the boy down the street who's about 18 months has a sweet baby face and walked a little later than Molly. They're all happy and healthy, and they're all growing up so fast!

Everything I've read says that it doesn't matter in the long run which baby skills develop early or late -- it doesn't say anything about the kid's talents or weaknesses as they get older. Right now, though, that just doesn't intuitively seem true. It's hard not to worry.

So for the record, here's a video of one of Molly's newer spoken words. She says "bye-bye" and she likes to play a little game with me where she says "bye-bye" and closes a door between us. It's not the safest game ever, especially when she's trying to close herself into the bathroom with a full tub or close me out of the stairway and then climb up on her own. She stumbled upon a funny version of the game yesterday when she would run down the hallway to her bedroom, say "bye-bye" and shut the door, then jiggle the door knob trying unsuccessfully to get herself out again. After a few minutes I would hear her in there sweetly saying "Mama Mama" until I opened the door for her.

Anyway, this is from the other day when she was playing on the deck ... and TALKING.

Oh, one last little exciting note. Molly took a nap in her crib yesterday for the first time in at least two months. It was a late nap -- so much excitement with Oma and Grandpa here -- so I thought it might be a fluke, that she thought it was nighttime. But today she went down at 11:10 a.m. in the crib, no fussing, and slept for more than an hour. Yay! Maybe I can stop worrying about her falling out of our bed every day. :)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Lookin' for trouble

Molly has made a big leap in independence this week. Her attention span is suddenly longer than just a few seconds and she'll now sit on the kitchen floor and put objects into a dish tub and take them out again for 15 minutes or more sometimes. Occasionally she's so engrossed that she doesn't run across the room when I open the dishwasher or freezer. I've been waiting for this for a long time.

What I wasn't prepared for was that this new independence would mean I need to pay more attention to her, not less. We have had more injuries and mishaps in the past week than ever before. Nothing big, thank God, but I'm exhausted. Here's just one example of what I see when I look over to check on her quiet play.

Jim actually took this picture after we moved her little adventure sport onto the carpet from the hard kitchen floor.

In the past few days Molly has pulled a high chair down on her head on the cement basement floor, trying to climb into it. She has fallen out of our bed in several different ways, one resulting a scrape all the way up her back from the nightstand.

You just can't turn your back on her, even when she's doing something that used to be completely safe. The other day I showed her a pretty row of flowers on our bleeding heart plant out front. I looked the other way to pull a few weeds and when I looked back she had two fists full of flowers and a pile on the ground -- not one left on the plant.

None of this is malicious. She's just so adventurous and curious.

She's also really silly. We spent some time on the deck this afternoon running around having puppy crazies.

She's dancing to the music in her head.