Thursday, August 28, 2008

Molly at 2 1/2 Years Old:The Age of "No, IIIIIIIIIII Do It!"

Good Golly Miss Molly! My little girl turns 2 1/2 years old today (sniff sniff). I haven't really done an All About Molly update as of late, so I thought that I would take this opportunity to inform friends and family about our little gal.

Physical Size: As of today at 8:30 am, Molly is

  • Height: 35 1/4 inches
  • Weight: 24.6 pounds
  • Clothing Size--there is no "one size" for this kid. 12 month skirts and shorts still are too big in the waist. Dresses are more like an 18 month size; Shirts are 18 month-2T. Pants--who knows? Even after a year and a half, I wander through the store, unsure of what size to buy. I can't get a feel for how much she will grow during any given season. Somehow I manage. Just look in her closet.

Stage of Growth and Development: Molly is now in her "No, IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII do it!" phase. Oh, joy. I remember the days where I couldn't wait for her to talk and to become more independent. Little did I know that this growth and maturity would come packaged with such an endearing (read annoying) phrase.

Books: Molly no longer has a favorite book, but has moved beyond Dr. Seuss, Sandra Boynton and other rhyming books. Just when I had all of the rhyming books in the house burned into every brain cell in my head! I truly enjoy introducing the wonderful world of books to Molly, and having her move into more complex literature is so exciting!

Music: Molly is starting to sing along to all of her favorite songs. She has always loved songs with actions (like Itsy Bitsy Spider). As she has matured, she has begun to make up movements for her favorite songs. She has a different dance for every song on her Laurie Berkner CD, and they are a hoot to watch. She loves to the listen to same music over and over, which just about kills Tony.

Athletic Interests and Accomplishments: Our cute, dainty little Molly is amazingly adept at running, climbing, jumping (from heights higher than I would like), and swinging (thinks its cool to try to swing no handed- yikes). She can handle anything the playground can dish out. Well except for the mulch that keeps getting into her shoes.

Molly also is a swimming fanatic--no baby pool for this kid. It's right into the deep end of the big pool for her. Wearing a swim vest, Molly is fish-like. She easily navigates the water without assistance. With no vest, she can jump into the pool, submerge, surface and tread water (insert "No, IIIIIIIIIIIIII do it" here).

Molly is so skilled at the stairs that we recently removed the baby gate from the bottom of the stairway. She loves the new found freedom, and has quickly adapted to the gate-free life. The gate has been gone for weeks and Tony and I still can't walk up the stairs without reaching for the lock on the gate. I guess we don't adapt as fast.

Fashion: Molly doesn't care what she wears on her body, but oh, the shoes. She's got a ton of them. I'm not exactly sure why she has so many pairs because she adores her Crocs. She insists that they go with everything in her wardrobe. All of the other shoes get modeled in multiple shoe fashion shows every week, but the Crocs are for wearing. Daily. Regardless.

Speech: Molly has a huge vocabulary and some of it you can even understand! She is starting to string together longer and longer sentences. She totally amazed us with her recent understanding how language works. It's like she finally understood how this whole language thing worked. You could almost see the light bulb go on over her head. She has some cute Molly-words that I will miss as she grows up and drops them from her everyday speech. Here are a couple: baby hoot (bathing suit), boopa (blanket), lele (pillow) woo woes (noodles) mee-ooohl (mail). Oh, by the way, her favorite phrase? "No, IIIIIIIIIII do it!"

Extracurriculars: I swore that I wouldn't be one of those mothers that over scheduled her kid. But golly gee, it gets boring just sitting around the house. We do a pretty good job of not letting that happen. Molly is in 2 playgroups, attends a Little Gym class, a Mommy/Child Interaction class, speech therapy, library story time and a Chinese singing and movement class. In between we go to the pool, zoo, park, children's museum, and run errands. It's really not a bad as it sounds. Really.

Molly's favorite toys-her babies and her baby stroller, pretend food, shopping cart and dishes and anything that makes a lot of noise or sings the ABCs.

Academic Achievements: Molly can count to ten, if you don't require 3, 4 or 5 (here's Mollycount: 1,2, 6,7,8,9, 10). She can sing her ABCs, sort of. She knows all of her colors and many shapes. She reads several books. Oh all right, she has them memorized, but it is awfully cute to watch and listen to this.

Typical 2 Year Old Behavior: Tantrums, testing and retesting, and even more retesting of boundaries, trying like heck to become as independent as possible, oh and a little whining thrown in for fun. We have it all. Before becoming a parent, I thought that the "terrible twos" were a result of permissive parenting. I truly believed that if I established clear, consistent boundaries for her behavior and was diligent about enforcing said boundaries that I would completely avoid this stage of development. Imagine my surprise!

And have I mentioned that she says "No, IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII do it!" a lot? Molly even wants to drive the car (no joke). Sticker charts have prove very motivational and have helped to remedy many annoying behaviors but they do nothing to minimize the use of this phrase.

Foods: Molly's new favorites: grilled cheese sandwiches, pancakes, french toast, muffins, and smoothies. She even knows the recipe for smoothies and recites all of the ingredients from her high chair while I prepare them. She still loves her noodles, rice, melons, broccoli and cauliflower.

We are trying desperately to get her to try new foods, but get the violent head shaking back and forth along with pursed lips. Annoying.

Sleeping: Molly is a gold medal Olympic sleeper. She probably tires herself out by saying, "No, IIIIIIIIIII do it!" all day long. Molly sleeps 10-11 hours straight through every night. And I do mean every night. She also takes at least a 3 hour nap each afternoon. Yes I know I am lucky, but throw me a bone here...I am a 44 year old mother of a two year old. I deserve something!

So there you have it. Miss Molly in a nutshell. What can we say; it's been a wild ride so far, but we are so in love with this little girl. She brings a joy to our lives that words can't even begin to express. Good Golly our little Miss Molly!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Little Surfer Girl

We love the beach. Tony had been working like a mad man all summer long, so when vacation time was approved it was a no-brainer...we were going to the beach. We walked into our local AAA and walked out about 20 minutes later with a nine day itinerary in hand. Yep, we were going to the beach. Couldn't wait! Just love those long relaxing days, kicking back, watching the waves, reading stacks of books, hunting for seashells.

This is actually the picture I had in my head until about 2 days before we departed for the coast. It was then that it dawned on me: we are bringing a 2 year old. Duh! Hello! There is going to be no time for relaxing with a book or kicking back. This was going to be a full on, play-until-you-drop vacation. I quickly adjusted the picture in my head and packed.

About the same time that I had the 2-year-old-at-the-beach epiphany, it also occurred to me that we are bringing a child who hates sand to a place that was knee deep in the stuff. When I say that Molly hates sand, I don't mean that she would rather not play in the sand box at the park. I mean that she practically levitates about the stuff . She won't touch it, doesn't want to look at it, and lets out a shill scream that makes all of the neighborhood dogs howl in the event that sand touches her. And who knows how she'll react to salt water and waves. Yea, this was going to be a great vacation!

Luckily, as you can see, Molly quickly got over her issues once she hit the beach. She adjusted to the water immediately and she made friends with sand shortly after.

I guess she figured there was no escaping the stuff so she might as well accept that sand was going to be a part of her life. Of course a little immersion therapy didn't hurt either!
In no time at all, Molly was running through the sand and playing in the surf like an old pro, as witnessed by the following photographs:
The take off...
A minor mid-air adjustment...
and she sticks the landing.
When I say that Molly took to the water like a fish, I mean it. From day one she wanted to be out in the surf. Way out in the surf. A lot further out in the surf than Mommy would like to see her baby! That's why Daddy was the captain of all ocean excursions. Actually, Molly was good at giving the orders, so maybe she was the captain and Tony was the first mate.

Hang Ten Dude!

Get that board in the water, Daddy!

This is kid stuff. go further out, man!

Now we're talking. I want to catch a monster wave!

Now that's what I am talking about!

Hey Mommy...the wave was thiiiis big!

Our entire vacation revolved around 2 things: the beach and the pool. We were total beach bums. Woke up in the morning, put on our swim suits and we were gone for the day.

We didn't go out sightseeing, shopping or hang around in the hotel room. In fact the only time we put on clothes was to go out to dinner. Since we bought beach chairs and an umbrella once we arrived, I could have fit what we needed for the trip in a carry on. Hmmm....I guess the six pieces of luggage that we brought with us was a little bit of over-kill.

Here are some random cute shots for your viewing pleasure:

Hunting for sea shells. That's Momma's girl!

Sweet talking Daddy into a boogie board ride.

Molly cracks herself up when she wears Daddy's flip-flops. I am still at a loss as to why that was so funny to her. I guess it's a two thing.

Taking a rest on Mommy's leg.
Before you get the idea that the entire trip was sunshine and puppy dogs, let me tell you about a few rookie parent mistakes we made.

Mistake #1: The drive down to the coast was about 14 hours. We thought that we’d leave about 4 am and Molly would sleep until 8 or 9 and then take her 3 hour afternoon nap. Yea, right. She woke up at 4 am and didn’t sleep a wink in the car for 14 hours! She didn’t cry or complain the entire way so we thought we were good to go. We paid dearly for it the next day. We almost packed up and came home.
Mistake #2: I decided not to bring the pack and play. There were 2 beds, Molly would be fine....I guess you don’t transition a sleep deprived child from a crib to a bed while on vacation. Bedtime was an “adventure.”

Mistake #3: I also decided not to take the travel high chair. I figured we were on vacation. We'd eat out most of the time. As it turned out, we had a full kitchen in our room and ate in a lot of the time. I spent most of my mealtimes trying to corral a child who thought practicing her sprinting and hurding was much more fun that sitting at the table in a big girl chair. Let's jsut say most of her calories were consumed on the fly.

Now I had a over stimulated, underfed, sleep deprived toddler who was totally off of her daily routine. That could only mean one thing: MELTDOWN. Yep, we had our share of those. Luckily, a few minutes out on the balcony in a mommy or daddy time out helped to ease the pain. At least for us. The balcony was magical. Nothing like this view to destress a person:

In the end, we made it home with all body parts intact. The good memories are taking root and the bad memories are fading fast, In fact, we have another beach vacation in the works for the not-to-distant future. Yes, we ware that stupid, er, I mean brave. Stay tuned!