I really wasn't planning a trip back home so soon after our summer vacation, but found some super cheap fares that I couldn't pass up...especially since Molly now requires a seat of her own. With some of the difficulties that we had on our beach vacation etched into my memory, I was a bit leery about the whole trip. I was alone this time, too; No husband to help me play defense when things went awry. Turns out that our Little Miss Molly was a perfect angel. Well, as perfect as you can be when you are 2 year old.
A few weeks before the trip, Molly seemed to turn the corner on the terrible two behavior that we have been experiencing for the last six months. Almost overnight I got my sweet, lovable, agreeable, fun-loving daughter back. Just in the nick of time.
I have learned that Molly really needs to be well prepared for what lies ahead. It makes her life (and mine!) much easier. A full month before we left for Colorado, I started talking about our trip: who was going, where we were going, who we would see, and most importantly, how we would get there. I have been on a few flights with Molly where, if it were socially acceptable, I would have cried and thrown a tantrum right along with her. I didn't want to relive that experience. So, I came up with the Big 3 Rules for the Plane:
- Sit down
- Be quiet
- No crying
My goal was to make sure that she did not commit on of the unwritten cardinal sins of airplane flight for children. (Side note: When Molly gets a little taller, I am going to add "No kicking the seat in front of you" as rule #4!) You know, the things that kids do that really tick off travelers who obviously have never parented or have forgotten how difficult it is to travel with children. I hoped that if said rules were followed, I wouldn't get any of those disapproving glares from the other passengers.
Molly knew the rules inside and out. She could recite them on demand and model the appropriate behavior. The real test came the day of the flight. Low and behold, the rules worked! Stop the presses! Contact the mother-of-the-year committee! Holy cow, I finally did something right. I guess even the blind squirrel gets a nut once in a while.
My little baby sat quietly in her seat, played with her toys, ate her snack and napped like a seasoned traveler. I was so proud. And I didn't have to slink off the plane, avoiding eye contact with all of the other passengers.
Enough of the journey and on to the All About Me section of the post. Here are just a few of the hundreds of pictures that I took on the trip. As you can see, it was truly all about Molly....
Outside of the Downtown Aquarium. I lived most of my life in Denver and never visited this place. Funny, now that I am a mom, all sorts of things appeal to me know that never did before.
Molly's favorite part of the aquarium: the alligator.
I know, I know, it's an eel. I tried to explain that over and over to Molly, but to her it was an alligator.
Checking out the jellyfish.
Molly's first trip to the mountains: a weekend trip to Vail...rough life this kid has, huh? Here she is with cousin Stephie.
And here she is all alone, but looking adorable in her new purple outfit. (Oh yea, baby! I did some shopping for fall. Maybe I need to do a post on the new wardrobe. It's big, it's bold and surprisingly, it's not all pink.)
A view of the blue skies, mountains and changing aspen. Toto, I don't think we are in Kansas anymore!
Checking out the statue outside of the hotel. (If you know who this is a statue of, would you please leave me a note in the comments? I know he is a famous artist, but who the heck is he?)
After checking him out, this is about as close as Molly wanted to get.
Dinner with my dear friends from college.
I met these wonderful girls on the first day of my freshman year of college and we are all still just as close 25 years later. How often does that happen? I know that it looks like it might be about me and not about Molly in this picture. Trust me, it was all about her. Becky's (bottom left) two daughters adored Molly and played whatever Molly wanted the ENTIRE evening. When we left for the evening, Molly was asleep in the car seat before we got out of the neighborhood.
Molly and Luke horsing around at the Historic Museum.
Luke and Molly are pals from way back in China. They slept in cribs that were side-by-side for the first year of their lives. Luke's parents live about 2 blocks away from my sister. Talk about fate. Luke's mom and I are now bonded by these two amazing children. I so enjoy spending time with this special family. They are truly some of the world's best people. I am blessed that they are now a part of our lives. Adoption comes with so many miraculous gifts.
Here's Luke trying to sneak a little smooch. Boys! It is astounding to watch these two at play. They seem to know each other on some deeper level. I know it sounds crazy, or that I am just looking for some connection to bond them together, but they really do seem to share something with each other that Molly doesn't have with other kids. She is totally at ease with Luke.
Oh Yea, Double Trouble!
And the trip would not have been complete if Molly were not totally spoiled by....
Yep, after all of this, Molly was surely thinking, "This trip is so totally all about me!"