Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Making Lemonade

Here was the plan:

I would take Molly for a late afternoon swim at the pool while Tony stayed home--all alone!--and got some things knocked off the honey-do list. Later, I would meet Tony at the park where I would hand off Molly. The two of them would play and I would go home--all alone!--shower and cook dinner. What a fun-filled time for a four-year-old. The pool, the park, mommy time, daddy time.

Here’s what happened:

We changed into swim suits, applied copious amount of sunscreen and began to pack the pool bag. But wait…where was the princess beach towel? In the washing machine? Oh, the injustice!

Molly went into full-blown meltdown mode. Screaming, yelling crying and insisting that I remove said towel mid-wash and, with my magical mommy powers, dry it instantaneously so that we could bring it to the pool. She was promptly informed that her request was not going to be honored and was offered a delightful fishy towel. Molly was not impressed.

Things quickly escalated and Molly began beating on the washing machine door with both fists. When that didn’t produce the princess towel, she turned off the machine in mid-wash forcing me to start the entire wash cycle from the beginning (one drawback to the new front load washing machines-IMHO). Now the towel would be trapped in wash-dry land even longer.

More screaming, more, yelling, and even some foot stomping ensued. Time to take more drastic action. Molly was whisked upstairs for the dreaded time out. Not to be deterred, Molly began throwing toys from her bedroom down the stairwell. Oh, yes she did! I gathered the projectiles and loaded them into the Goodwill bag and locked them in the trunk of the car. Oh, yes I did!

Eventually Molly settled down and was released from her timeout. First thing she said was--and I kid you not, “I’m ready to go to the pool now.” Right. Like that’s gonna happen.

Being ever resourceful, Molly then suggested that we take her to the splash park--after all, she was still in her swimsuit and and still coated with copious amounts of sunscreen. Ummm, that wasn’t gonna happen either.

Not willing to give up the fight, Molly marched her little independent self to the backyard, IMG_3111dragged out the sprinkler,IMG_3119and made her own little splash park.IMG_3127IMG_3136And yes, she did eventually have to use the fishy towel!IMG_3140     When life gives her lemons, Molly makes lemonade!

Funny, when life gives me lemons, I eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hot, Hot, Hot!

This summer has been hot. Hotter than most, in my opinion. Not that I am complaining, mind you. I love hot weather. Even the humidity doesn’t bother me much. I am just so grateful that the skies are blue and that my fingers and toes aren’t frozen that I sweat glow with a smile on my face.

On a particularly hot and humid day last week, we were looking for an activity that we could do with the girls where we could enjoy the outdoors without being reduced to a complete sweaty glowing mess.

I suggested a local botanic garden. They have a great children’s garden and tons of shaded areas to protect us from the sun’s rays. Sounded like a good idea…at the time.

When we arrived, half of the park was under construction. There were backhoes, jackhammers and construction workers everywhere. Three quarters of the children’s garden was closed, as were many other areas in the park.

We attempted a nice little walk on one of the many trails but were met with mud and mosquitoes. My last encounter with mosquitoes left me temporarily disfigured IMG_2650so I wasn’t too keen on staying in the woods very long.

And to top it all off, Molly got blisters. On both feet.Sounds like kind of a bust of a day, doesn’t it?

Not really.

Molly and Mattie Gail had a great time chasing each other around, screaming at the top of their lungs (still haven’t figured out why screaming is so fun but both girls seem to enjoy it, much to our chagrin).

Tressa and I had time to carry on a conversation that didn’t involve princesses or silly songs or what outfit to dress the baby doll in for the day. So, it really wasn’t a bust of a day at all.

And to top it off, there were lots and lots of places to take pictures of the girls, which we have been known to do from time to time. Take a peek….


Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Fun #4 Swimming

If you have read my previous Summer Fun posts, it may appear that we have a social calendar chocked full of activity and excitement: farms, splash parks, playgroups, ice cream at Mickey D’s, the zoo and hanging at the mall. Yeah, we’ve done all of those things, and had a great time doing every single one!

But my good friend Stacy politely pointed out that I have posted all of these once-in-a-while things and have neglected to post what we do almost 



Our normal daily schedule is to wake up, eat breakfast in our jammies, and pack the pool bag with lunch and fresh towels.  Then slather on the sunscreen, change into our swimsuits and drive to the pool. We stay all day and arrive home just in time to shower and eat dinner. Heck, some days we never even get dressed.

Our bronzed skin reflects the amount of time we spend in the sun. Before I hear about all of the negative effects of the sun’s damaging rays let me just say that we got those tans through 50 SPF sunscreen that is reapplied at regular intervals as recommended by the manufacturer on the package directions. Honest. I’m all about safety, baby.

My favorite spot at the pool is a lounge chair on the zero entry beach with my feet in the water, a frosty Diet Dr. Pepper in my hand, and my friend Stacy at my side.

Molly’s favorite spot is in the water. I swear the girl has gills. She is a fish.

Here’s a glimpse of my little Esther Williams. I am far too young to actually know who Esther Williams is, mind you; I only remember the name because that’s what my parents used to call me at the pool when I was a kid. Okay, I may have seen Esther once or twice on an AMC rerun or something, but I am definitely too young to really know who she is. Honest.

Molly at the ready, just waiting to perform her skills, stunts and tricks for you, the viewing audience.IMG_3063

Treading water…amazing isn’t it?IMG_3065

Backstroke..a little more impressive.IMG_3075

Freestyle…now we’re talking.IMG_3076

Breast stroke….okay, now she’s just plain showing off!IMG_3077

Moving on to stunts and tricks: Here’s Molly retrieving dive toys from the bottom of the pool.IMG_3078

And here’s the repertoire of fancy jumps into the pool. First is the classic feet-first jump.IMG_3079

And the split jump.IMG_3080

The helicopter jump which features a 180 degree turn in mid air. Impressive, I know.IMG_3081

And finally the spread eagle…Wahoo!IMG_3082

The next stunts are just too difficult to capture with still photographs. We must move to video!

Yes, Esther Williams would be proud, Molly!IMG_3088

We are rarely at the pool alone. As I said before, I am on that lounge chair next to my friend Stacy. Molly is in the water with her friend Mia and Mia’s siblings Max and Megan. For this I am eternally gratefully because if they weren’t there I would have to actually go in the water Molly wouldn’t have near as much fun.

Molly and Mia, best buddies!IMG_3095

Mia and Molly doing their best Michael Phelps impersonation.IMG_3098

Bathing BeautiesIMG_3109

Megan entertaining the girls. Love ya, Megan!IMG_3110

               Can I just say one more time: I LOVE SUMMER!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Fun #3: Life on the Farm

Every once in a while you run across something that is unexpectedly fun. Ya know, something that you usually wouldn’t do because it doesn’t sound like your kind of thing.

My friend Tressa texted the other day and asked if Molly and I would like to join her and Mattie at a farm outside of town. I’d never heard of the place, had no clue where it was, but more to the point, it didn’t sound like my kind of thing.

Nothing personal, but farms are typically dusty, smelly and full of, well, farm animals who are also dusty and smelly.

But I knew Molly would love it, and I knew that I would enjoy seeing her love it, and I knew that  would love spending the day with my good friend and her adorable daughter, so I willingly agreed. Besides there were pony rides.

Surprisingly, I really dug the farm! It was cool. That’s saying a lot for this city gal.

The animals were dusty and smelly, as expected, but they were also exceptionally friendly. The whole place was interactive. It wasn’t a farm where you go and look and watch, but rather a place where you pet, hold, feed and ride. Nothing was off limits. You could climb in the hayloft, sit on the tractors, take bunnies out of cages, whatever. There were no signs that told you no or don’t. The signs told you yes and how to. Pretty. darn. cool.

Yes, the best part was seeing Molly have a ball, and spending time with my good friend and her adorable daughter, but I dug the farm. Me. The city girl.

So here it is…the farm:

Mattie gave Molly this oh-so-cute! shirt from her recent trip to Disney. Yes, the to girls turned a lot of heads down on the farm. Miso Cuties? Totally!IMG_2701.2Yeah, yeah.Miso is technically Japanese, but it is thought to have originated in China (didn’t just about everything?). And c’mon, it doesn’t get much more cute than this.

My thoughts exactly, Enough said.IMG_2705

Super friendly animals! My scared-to-try-anything-new daughter was even game for feeding these guys.IMG_2719

Lots of other fun things to do at this farm like swing…IMG_2729

and climb in the barn…IMG_2742

and hang out second story windows….IMG_2746

and drive tractors!  IMG_2751

And remember when I said there were pony rides?

Mattie riding Buttercup.IMG_2762

Molly riding Belle (Yes, just like the princess, as I was reminded sooo often).IMG_2763

I know what you are asking yourself, Mom: “Why does Mattie have on a helmet and Molly doesn’t!” They didn’t offer me the option. Really. They just stuck her on a pony and sent her off into the  (very dusty and kind of smelly) arena. I’m not sure why they gave Mattie one. Maybe a helmet wouldn’t have fit over Molly’s perfectly coiffed buns!IMG_2768

Stopping to take a cuteness break.IMG_2775

This place even had tame deer. You could hand feed them. Heck, they were begging you to do so!IMG_2793

This is one of my favorite pictures because you can see Tressa’s camera in the upper right corner. The Mamarazzi were out in force!IMG_2807

And one more random act of cuteness. This is my blog and I reserve the right to post as many deliciously precious pictures of my child and her equally precious friends as I so desire.IMG_2832

And while I am shamelessly bragging…. 

I told Molly that we needed to write Mattie a thank you note for the gifts she brought  back from Disney. Usually I dictate what she says and then I have her sign her name.

Not this time. This time she told me she would write it. This is what SHE did:IMG_2996

While I washed the breakfast dishes and cleaned the kitchen, Molly asked me how to spell each word. From time to time I would tell her to leave a bigger space or put in a period, but she did this.

She’s four and this is what she did.

Up until this point Molly would write lines of letters all smushed together, in no particular order, spelling absolutely nothing unless by accident, and then BAM! Sentences. With neatly formed letters of uniform size with even spaces.


It’s probably because I am he mom and am proud of (amost) everything she does (except maybe the tantrums), but Good Golly Miss Molly, you never cease to amaze me!

Look who else was pretty proud: IMG_2990 Beaming with joy (while wearing her princess nightgown, of course)!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer Fun #2: China Friends

I’ve said it before and I will say it again: I love Molly’s China Friends play group! And she does, too. Loves them. Each and every one of them.

I knew from the get-go that this would be a fun little group for Molly. What I didn’t expect is that it would become a tight-knit little group with friendships that grow stronger at each meeting.

Each girl seems to have their own special friend; the friend that they seek out whenever the group convenes. But sometimes that special friend isn’t there. That’s happened with the girls a few times this summer. It has been fun to see the girls forge new friendships and find common bonds with other girls in the group.

Here are pictures from a couple of our summer outings.

Peek-a-boo Molly.IMG_2834

The slide is extra slippery when you get wet first.You know dare-devil Molly is all about speed and had this figured our right away.IMG_2847

Chloe takes a picture of… IMG_2848

…her new jie jie (older sister) Mayleea, who just arrived from China!IMG_2839

Elizabeth and Molly bond over princess cupcakes.IMG_2850

Somehow each playgroup ends up with a big old sugar rush.IMG_2856

Another day, another chance to play.

Alex, Molly, Abby and Nicole.IMG_2954.1

Abby, Mia and Molly. IMG_2958

Why didn’t they have splash parks when we were kids. They make our run through the backyard sprinklers look pretty sad.

Alex, Molly, Emily, Abby, Mia, Nicole.IMG_2960

Alex and Molly looking for adventure.IMG_2961

Some seriously big bunnies and some seriously cute little girls, too.IMG_2963

Splash Park Silliness.IMG_2965

Waiting for the fountains to turn on…apparently having water shoot up your bum is fun when you are a kid.IMG_2966

Sweet treats for sweet girls.IMG_2969

Yep, another playgroup, another sugar rush.IMG_2973