Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2011

Easter arrived a day early this year. My sister-in-law Karen and her husband Jeff invited us to their country club for brunch and an Easter Egg Hunt. How can you say no to an offer like that? So Saturday morning we got all dolled up and headed to the club.

Molly was thrilled to get her picture taken with the Easter Bunny. Six months ago this would have involved, at the very least, some heavy bribery, coaxing, processing of feelings, and tears. A lot of tears. And even after all of that, there was a good chance that there would be no lap sitting anyway.

What a difference a few short months have made!IMG_6019

Molly was so eager to sit on the Easter Bunny’s lap that she volunteered to do it again with her cousin Allison.IMG_6022

At brunch, Molly got very brave and tried two new foods: bacon and sausage. Healthy? No. Delicious? Yes! And Molly agreed whole-heartedly. She devoured them with gusto. 

This might not sound like a big deal to you, but a few weeks ago I tried to get Molly to try one little nibblet of corn. The gag reflex kicked in before it was even on the fork and she almost hurled right on her plate.

Eating two whole pieces of bacon and a piece of sausage for the first time is big news in my book!

After a delicious brunch it was time for the Easter Egg Hunt. It wasn’t so much of a hunt as it was a grab. There were eggs everywhere. Non-stop rain for an entire week had left the lawn completely saturated. As a result, the hunting ground had to be reduced to a patio.

No matter, Molly still had a great time collecting her eggs.IMG_6030IMG_6032

And she loved having her Allison help her!IMG_6033

After the hunt Ally and Molly headed back to the clubhouse to check out the goodies. It was sugar-fest, as Easter should be.IMG_6035

Then it was time for family pictures. How cute are we?IMG_6041IMG_6043IMG_6048

In addition to everything else, the club has hired two people to make balloon sculptures. Molly was beyond thrilled.IMG_6055

She picked a pink flower. A perfect selection.IMG_6057

Uncle Jeff had to attend a family funeral so didn’t make the brunch or hunt. He did manage to make it right before we left, so had to get him in a picture. Karen and Jeff, Thanks for inviting us to spend the day with you. We had a great time!IMG_6058

Back at home, it was time to color Easter Eggs.IMG_6060

Molly took this job very seriously. In previous years, she did not have the patience to let eggs sit in the dye very long. We had lots and lots of pastel eggs. This year, she had boatloads of patience.IMG_6062

She let her eggs marinate for what seemed like hours so that she could get nice bright colors. She carefully checked, and rechecked, and check her eggs again.IMG_6064

Nope, not even close to being done…IMG_6066

There was plenty of time to take pictures (and do laundry, and wash dishes and mop the floor and…) while we waited for the eggs to achieve the perfect hue.IMG_6073

Finally, the task was completed (and it was almost time for bed).IMG_6079

Molly had more fun after the eggs were done. She sat and mixed colors, moving liquid from one cup to another to see what would happen. A hot mess is what happened, but she seem to be thrilled with the results.IMG_6084

Late last night the Easter Bunny visited, filling Molly’s basket to the brim.IMG_6094

Molly was up at 7:00 AM, eager to check out her basket. Her Dad and I were not so eager. We invited her into our bed to cuddle and grabbed a few more ZZZZZ’s.

By 8:30 we couldn’t delay the inevitable any longer so headed downstairs.IMG_6096

Molly carefully inspected each little surprise that the big furry guy left for her.IMG_6103IMG_6104IMG_6106IMG_6110

Yes, she was a happy girl!IMG_6115

Mmmmm, nothing says Easter like a sugar coated Peep. Yummy!IMG_6118

I am sure Tony (and the jowls that Molly created for him) are less than thrilled with this picture, but dang if that little Molly isn’t looking cute as a bug!IMG_6120

Since it was raining, the Eater Bunny left a big basket of eggs with instructions for mom and dad to hide them in the house.

Five-year-olds are not great and finding things that are right in front of their faces so trying to find things that are hidden is a real challenge. Maybe the country club had it right, just throw the eggs out everywhere and let the kids grab.IMG_6121

After what seemed like an eternity, Molly found all two dozen eggs.IMG_6122IMG_6136IMG_6138

Then she got cracking, opening up each egg to reveal its sugary surprise.  IMG_6147IMG_6145

Sure, there’s a smile on her face now, but there will be tears and a timeout later--after the sugar high wears off. Just saying.IMG_6150Happy Easter, Baby!

And Happy Easter to all of our friends and family!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Some Random Pics, The Zoo, and Some Video, T00!

Because my parents are always pestering me for more blog posts, here is some random pictures taken over the past few weeks.

Random Pictures 1:

Molly had Pajama Day at school. The school had a charity drive where the kids brought in new PJs and books for underprivileged kids. In return, they got to wear their pajamas to school.

Molly was so thrilled at the prospect of this, she picked out her PJs a week ahead of time. The night before, she took her bath and put on her favorite panda footie pajamas. She thought it was great to go to bed, wake up the next morning and already be dressed for school.IMG_5610Molly and the rest of the class had a blast and collected a lot of needed items to donate.IMG_5611

Random Pictures 2:

Every year on Gotcha Day, I give Molly a small gift that we purchased for her in China on our adoption trip. This year it was a puzzle of China’s Provinces. Molly loves puzzles so was eager to get started.

I assumed that there was a picture underneath the puzzle so that she would know where to put the pieces. Right before Molly dumped the puzzle over, it occurred to me that I paid the equivalent of 10 cents for it in China. The quality might not be that high. There might not be a guide picture.

I took a little peek under one of the pieces, and discovered that there was not a picture underneath. Luckily, I have my new all-in-one printer/fax/scanner/COPIER. I plopped the puzzle on the copier and got a rockin’ color copy to act as a guide for reassembling.IMG_5612It didn’t take Molly long to get all of the provinces neatly tucked back into their proper location.IMG_5614

Random Pictures 3:

Every year Tony buys seeds, starts his little vegetable plants sprouting, loving transplants them, waters them, weeds them, tends to them and then leaves them on the vine to die. Seriously. He never harvests them. Whatever.

Apparently this year is no exception. Here are Molly and Tony getting this years crop ready for their inevitable fate.IMG_6017IMG_6016

Random Pictures 4:

Molly saw me writing this blog and told me to take a picture of her work of art that she drew on her white board. So hear it is:IMG_6018

It’s a brachiosaurus in the rain. I was told that you can tell it’s a brachiosaurus “because it’s standing next to a tree.” Well duh, isn’t that obvious? IMG_6019 

As the title to this blog post implies, there are random pictures and Zoo Pictures. Guess what is coming next?

It was a beautiful day last Friday. I picked Molly up from preschool and was walking back to the van when I had a spontaneous moment. I don’t have those very often, but I did that day.

You see, the zoo is located next to Molly’s preschool. The sun was shining, it was warm, and I could see the zoo. I actually strung all of these occurrences together and realized we could spend the rest of the day at the zoo!

Wow, what a concept!

We rarely go to the zoo alone. Most of the time we meet friends there. So this was a pretty special day. Add to that the fact that this was a spontaneous trip so I had nothing with me. That means we actually consumed overpriced, greasy, sugary and nutritionally void zoo food for lunch. Told you it was special.

I did have a camera with me, so did capture the memories. Molly actually ran from place to place and demanded asked politely if I would take pictures of her.IMG_5769IMG_5777IMG_5778IMG_5779IMG_5780IMG_5785

When Molly was three, she asked to play on the zoo’s playground. It’s one of those multi-level play structures where you climb around inside. I said sure and turned her loose.

When it was time to go, she disobeyed me and ran back into the play structure (which I can’t fit in) and continued to play…four separate times. Yes, four times.

When I actually got my hands on her she was in some serious trouble. I restrained gently carried her from the back of the zoo, through the exit at the front of the zoo and all the way across the parking lot. All the while she was kicking and screaming at the top of her lungs, “Put Me Down!”  Joy.

Once she calmed down I told her that she couldn’t play at that playground until she was four. An entire year. She knew she was in trouble, big time.

Ya know what? She never asked to go back to that park at all when she was four. Not once. She’d look at it and say, “That’s the park where I got in BIG trouble.” But she never asked to play.

Now that she is five, I guess she figured it was safe to ask to play there again. She was very polite and told me that she would come down the first time she was asked.IMG_5787IMG_5788IMG_5789IMG_5790And that’s just what she did. I guess she learned her lesson!

And now for the moment you have all been waiting for, well at least my mom and dad have been waiting for….the video.

Little technical problem, though. You have to tilt your head to the right to view the videos. You see, I captured these clips from my regular camera. I held the camera portrait style. Apparently once you download to the computer, you can’t turn video like you can turn pictures. Who knew? They are stuck in landscape format. So you have to watch sideways.

Here’s the first exciting clip. It features Molly jumping over her jump rope 20 times. Yes, 20 times. Sit back, relax. It takes a while.

Jump, Molly, Jump!

Did anyone besides my mom and dad really watch that whole thing? Be honest.

Next we have Molly saying a dinosaur name for every letter in the alphabet. Riveting!

Dinosaurs A to Z

And finally, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, in Chinese. Mostly. I think.

Chinese Twinkle

There you have it. Random Pics, The Zoo and Video Too!