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Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Molli has really been exploring the idea of verbal communication.  Her tongue sounds clumsy and she can't say very many things well, but she is trying things out everyday.  Some of her favorite words are:
Daddy- "dahdee"
Molli- "Mah-yee"
No- "No"
Bye- "BYE!, buh-bye, bubbies"
Night-night- "nih-night"
Elena- "Ah-na-na-na"
More- "Maaaah" (which also means please, I'm hungry or I want something)
Hello?- "A-oo?" (answering phone)
Book/banana- "buh"
Ball- "Bah"

There are probably several others, but these are what came to mind.

It's all so sweet!  We've been trying to teach her to say "I love you" because she's tried it our before.  When she does it, it usually is just a sloppy mess of syllables and tongue movements.  It definitely doesn't sound like anything, but it's cute when she tries.  More often than not, however, when we tell her "I love you," she will say "Bye!".  She has heard us say "I love you" in a salutation enough times that the two have become synonymous for her.  One day she will figure it out, but for now it's just sweet.  It makes me happy that Myles and I are telling the people we love on a regular basis, that we do, in fact, love them.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Recent happenings

If you haven’t figured it out, my daughter is the joy of my life.  She makes ordinary things so much more interesting on a daily basis.  Something as simple as drinking water from a straw is an activity, not just a refreshing sip of water.  Walking through leaves is a whole sensory experience with sound, texture and cause/effect.  A meal is an opportunity to explore tastes and textures, a tactile experience to hold the food in her hands and sometime mush, crunch or smear it around.  I don’t typically like messes, but I am willing to let them happen if it means my little sponge will benefit. 

Halloween happened and I was almost certain it was going to be a disaster.  Judging from our costume fitting, I was sure Molli would spend most of the evening freaking out until I relieved her of her costume.

Fortunately, she proved me way wrong!  She rocked her feathery costume and was so interested to participate.  Of course she didn’t understand what was going on, but she had fun nonetheless! 

A good friend of mine got a new job and I’ve been watching her little girl, Elena.  It’s only been a handful of days so far but it’s really been a positive experience.  I am blessed to have the opportunity to stay home with Molli and I really try to use our time in a positive way.  I engage her and provide learning experiences the best I can.  I can help her develop her skills in many areas, but having her friend here has really shed light on her social development.  It’s amazing how much kids learn from each other.  After one day of playing together, Molli learned to say “no.”  So I’m stretching myself to engage two one year olds in a meaningful way.  So far, so good.  They are learning more about sharing and being a friend.  I am so glad for both girls to have the opportunity to play together, especially now that the weather is turning on us and we are stretching for sufficient attention-keeping activities.

In other news, Myles has a job interview this weekend.  We’ll be traveling to Wabash, Indiana to spend some time with the church and hopefully will see if we’ll be a good fit there.  I’m torn.  I so badly want Myles to finally have a job he loves and has been working hard towards, but at the same time…Indiana?  That is like the opposite of what we want.  We’ve spent time living in Florida and now the Midwest and I’m really quite ready to move northwest, toward family.  The Midwest does little for me.  It’s flat and windy.  There are fields and little else.  We have a small group of friends but we need grandparents and aunts and uncles around for Molli.  Not to mention, I need some mountains in my life!  I want something to look at and climb up.  Our first winter here the town had a snow day and I witnessed children sledding on plowed up snow in the Walmart parking lot.  Are you kidding me?!  I cannot let Molli grow up sledding on a parking lot “hill.”  So, anyway, I have determined that my prayer for the weekend is that the church and my family will leave encouraged and the answer for this job will be plainly obvious to everyone.  Whatever that may mean. 

So, please pray with us. Pray that whatever is determined with this job will be perfectly clearly God’s will.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love.

This is where the magic happens.  From the first day we brought Molli home from the hospital, through today, we have shared lots of special moments right in this spot.  Between the treasured framed pieces on the wall and the dresser full of Grammy’s provision, and right underneath the stuffed animals picked out and made specially for our girl is the magical throne of special things.  We knew before Molli was even born that we’d need a comfortable chair to facilitate lots of bonding moments.  Here we nursed, rocked, read, sang and sometimes even slept.  This chair has been the go-to spot for so many special moments for our family.   

A couple days after we came home from the hospital I sat in this chair, nursing Molli while Myles read a book to her.  He read “Just in Case You Ever Wonder,” By Max Lucado.  Basically, the combination of a tear-jerker book being read by a sweet husband/ new daddy, post-pregnancy hormones and rocking in this chair holding the world in my arms, made for one of my most incredibly vivid memories. 

At the risk of copyright infringement, I’m going to share part of that book with you:

…The same hands that made the stars made you.
The same hands that made canyons made you.
The same hands that made trees and the moon and the sun made you.
That’s why you are so special.  God made you. 

But as you grow and change,
Some things will stay the same.
I’ll always love you
I’ll always hug you
I’ll always be on your side.
And I want you to know that…
Just in case you ever wonder

Most of all, I’ll teach you about God.
He loves you.
He protects you.

He and his angels always watch over you...

Which leads me to the magic of today!  We sit in this chair and do all these wonderful things, including reading Molli’s Bible.  When we sit there around nap or bedtime, she reaches up and points to her Bible saying, “Buh? Buh? Buh?” (Book) and gets so excited when I pull her Bible down to read it to her. 

Her Bible lives in this cute little nook shelf... and she knows it. 

We don’t read much at a time, sometimes not even a whole story.  I read until she gets too grabby or bored.  I hope she will always love and get excited about me reading her Bible stories. Keeping it at a length she desires is one way I hope to maintain her excitement. 

At the end of the story after her nap, I peeked ahead and saw that next story in line is Jesus’ arrival!  This is very exciting!  I know she doesn’t realize the importance of it all, but I hope that as we plant this good seed in her it will grow and she will take root in Jesus’ never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

It’s funny how over time we forget to revel in simple pleasures.  Or worse, the simple things become a task, an everyday occurrence that somehow loses importance. 

This afternoon Molli was being a crab-cake so I pulled her onto my lap and held her for a little bit.  It wasn’t long before I realized she wasn’t squirming or trying to take the ball out of my hands anymore.  She had fallen asleep on my lap, in my arms. 

Rewind a few months and you’ll see why this very sweet, most special thing had become commonplace in our household.  Each and every time Molli fell asleep it was in my arms.  Every nap, every bedtime, in my arms.  I knew it was sweet then, but I was also somewhat aggravated by it.  It required a lot for me to drop anything else and walk, sway, rock or lay with her in order for her to ever sleep and certainly limited what I could do before or during naptime.  Our house is loud so I couldn’t really even blink without immediately pulling her out of her sleeping state. If I was still, we had a much greater chance of her remaining still.  I’m SO glad to be past that now. 

So today I feel blessed that I got to have that special moment with my little, growing girl.  Every single day Myles and I look at her and ask her where our baby went.  She is looking and acting so grown up!  I know my opportunities to hold my little girl as she drifts off to sleep are limited and I hope I never take those moments for granted. 

I also want to say how incredibly happy I am to have had the opportunity to stay home with her for this year.  I know that we will never be rich, and I am aware that by having me stay home, we’ve missed out on a lot of financial successes. We’re definitely not attacking our student loans like we were when I was working.  As a general life rule, we don’t live above our means.  Subtracting my paycheck and adding all the costs of having a child has been a challenge this year.  But well beyond worth it to me. 

Thank you Myles for being the provider for our family.  I know we are not in a particularly fulfilling life situation right now, but thank you for making the best of it.  You’ve been a great dad and husband and I am so, so thankful.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to stay home with our daughter and for making sacrifices with me in order to benefit our family the best way I can.  I love you! Also, thank you to those who have encouraged us along the way!  We really appreciate your support. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Momma and her big little girl

This morning there was a sweet moment between a growing little girl and her momma who was sad to see that her baby has disappeared.  This momma sat on the couch and watched as her big little girl, wearing Dora jammies with unkempt feathers of hair atop her head, took a bite of a cracker.  Her big girl teeth took bites and chewed, her big girl feet walked her around the living room until her big girl heart heard her momma sniffle. 

This momma couldn’t help but realize that her little girl is becoming more and more capable each day.  It’s a sad and exciting reality, one that will continue to grow each day and wont cease when she leaves this home.  There is a dichotomy in celebrating the new wonder that a child has become and mourning the loss of the child that never will be again.  A small sniffle, a full heart. 

This little girl was distracted by the sniffle and immediately clutched her cracker tightly and climbed curiously on her momma’s lap.  She snuggled in, seeming to know that she had a job to do.  She was her momma’s baby again, with the added sweetness of a big girl.  She offered two of her rare kisses, which melted this momma’s heart even more.  A bit of that puddle of heart slipped out of her eye and to her surprise, the little big girl wiped it off with her clumsy palm and gave her another kiss, with cracker sprinkles and all.  She topped it of with her head resting on her momma’s shoulder and both arms patting her.

Knowing that she had filled her momma up to the brim, she climbed off her lap and walked away. Delaying her exit, she glanced over her shoulder and waving she announced, “bye!” and toddled off.  And just like that, this momma imagined how many times over the next 17 years she would witness the same farewell before this special, little big girl packed up her bags, announces, “bye!” and goes off to do life out from under her momma’s roof.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Thank you all so much for the support and positive feedback on yesterday's trials.  I needed the encouragement and definitely found it in your words.  Today wasn't as awful but we are still not back to any sort of "normal" yet.  Molli has just been so incredibly irritable which I've decided is due to three things: being sick, cutting her bottom molars the rest of the way and side effects from her immunizations.  Any one of those things could be cause for her crazy behavior, but the three combined is a sure recipe for an exacerbated bad attitude.  Thankfully Sunday and Monday are Myles' days off so I will have a partner in this madness.

Although she has been using it in a negative way, let me focus positively for a second on my daughters' intensity.  She is a girl who does everything with great passion.  When she plays with something, she plays with it very hard for a short time before focusing her entire attention on the next item of her interest.  When she "talks," she does it very loudly and intentionally.  There is not a babble that comes out of her mouth these days that isn't followed by a look that demands a response.  She definitely knows what she's saying and wants to communicate.  When she engages playfully, she wants undivided attention and will grin and get so excited once she has it.  She's an intense little girl, and usually it's best seen in her play.

Amanda (my best friend who lives in Chicago right now) commented on the phone today that she noticed a difference between our daughters.  When her daughter, Addison (who is 6 months old) gets mad, she grunts a little bit.  But when Molli gets mad, her whole body gets mad.  She tenses up and she clenches her fists until her face is red.  The anger is very sudden and reverberates through her whole body.

Although her intensity is most obviously seen when she is frustrated or angry, I am interested to see how it changes with her as she grows.  I think it can be a really awesome characteristic if we teach her to use it correctly.  I hope that as her parents, Myles and I can guide her to do as Colossians 3:23 encourages, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not men..."

My girl is a passionate little thing.  Tomorrow, when she throws her fits, I will intentionally pray for her to one day turn that passion into a positive and beautiful trait that can be used to glorify the Lord.

Friday, September 23, 2011

tough stuff

Molli is in rare form today.  She has been a fairly difficult child from the beginning but today is pushing me to the edge.  I know she doesn’t feel well and is most likely cranky and needy because of her ear infection and cold.  But you know what?  I don’t feel well either!  I’m cranky and needy but instead of getting to rest and be tended to, I have been doing my best to summon patience from someplace deep inside me and tend to my needy girl.  Unfortunately, Myles isn’t feeling well either, so our whole household is fresh out of the “feel goods.”

She’s been throwing ugly fits all day and wanting me to hold her, but when I do she wants down.  Up, down, up, down, up, down.  Cry, cry, cry.  She has definitely mastered throwing fits and has been practicing her form on the living room floor.  She wont eat, she wont play, she wont sleep, she wont even pretend to be content with anything. 
And I am severely on edge.
I want to put her somewhere safe, and leave for a few hours minutes.  Currently she’s in her crib, crying and I was trying to clean up the house, but she could hear me walking and it’s making her more upset.  So, I’m sitting, listening to my baby girl cry. It’s heartbreaking and I just don’t know the right thing to do.  Should I take her comfort into consideration and continue to hold her and risk losing my cool?  Should I just let her cry?  I just don’t know.  It might be one of those days where it’s just a matter of time before I cry and have my own tantrum right next to her.  On days like this, it seems like there is such a fine line between failing and doing the right thing.

Being a mom is hard sometimes. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Year one recap

As if I don’t talk enough about how big my little girl is getting, let’s recap.

By her first birthday Molli has:
Learned to roll...

This is where she learned to roll



and walk!

Mastered solids... 
and the sippy cup

Been on 19 different airplanes

(Before first airplane)

Been to 8 different states (Illinois, Indiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Idaho, Alaska, Florida, Arizona)

Got her ears pierced

Learned several words, or at least her own versions of them (Hi, bye-bye, ball, Mom, Dad, dog, Papa, baby, book, more)

Learned to sign a few words (please, more, thank you and all done)


Gives hugs and kisses

Knows, more or less, what a dog, kitty-cat, cow and bear say.

Cut 12 teeth
(Two of the first!!)
Never been sick…

(Poor first time sickie)

…that is, until now.  My poor sweetie has her first cold, and upon an afternoon visit to the doctor, also has her first ear infection.  

(At the doctors office)

She has had a rough past few days.  Her naps are limited and restless, her hand keeps finding its way to her ear and yanking on it and her nose keeps filling and emptying disgusting mucus.  It’s outrageous the amount of snot that little nose can produce! I’ve been torturing her on a regular basis with the nose sucker.  If noting else, maybe this experience will help her become less reliant on her pacifier since she can’t very well suck on it and breathe at the same time.  The doctor prescribed Amoxicillin (YUM) so we’ll go get that soon and hopefully she’ll be feeling like her old self again soon!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy birthday Molli!

My baby is one.  How is this possible?  It seriously seems like last month that we brought her home from the hospital.  Everyone told me that time would fly and I’m glad I believed them.  I have made and still do make an effort everyday to just watch Molli and appreciate her at each stage.  She has grown so much this year! 

When my mom and dad came to visit right after Molli was born, I told them how sad I was when she turned one week old, then two weeks old.  I was sad because I knew that each passing week was one that I wouldn’t ever get back and before I knew it, she’d be one.  And here we are.  I have a one year old.  I’ve been a mom for a year.  Not possible!
Looking back on this past year brings back so much joy!  Molli has been an incredible light to our family and I’m so grateful that she has extended family members who are excited to share in her childhood and love on her the same way her dad and I do.  As she transitions from baby to toddler, she is becoming such a fun little girl.  She’s intensely full of life and personality.  Anyone who has spent time with her would certainly agree.

We had her birthday party two days early, on Sunday, and it was so much fun. Amanda and Drew came down on the train and brought Molli’s BFF with them.  Addison is such a sweetheart!  Molli loved her!  It was adorable to watch Molli interact with her.  She wanted to give Addi hugs and kisses and be as close to her as possible.  She did a pretty good job of sharing her toys, but we’ve got some work to do in that area =)

Molli popped a squat into the boppy, right behind Addi

She loved touching her...her hands, her face, everything!

Again, the touching


The birthday party was stressful beforehand but it all came together and I think everyone had a good time.  Molli got to see so many people who love her!  She had a piece of watermelon, which is her favorite food, and got to have a cup cake.  She loooved it!  My girl was sticky as can be and was full of sugar!  She got some wonderful gifts from family and friends…now her momma is slacking with thank you notes!

We went for lots of walks

So here we are, without a baby, waiting for toddlerhood to emerge.  We are somewhere in the middle, grieving the loss of babyhood but celebrating the next upcoming, wonderful phases.

Happy birthday sweet girl.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The sleep battles...

We’ve cried it out, we’ve put her to be drowsy, we’ve put her to bed asleep, we’ve let her sleep with us.  We’ve done pacifiers, attempted sleep props, and even weighted arms to trick her.  We’ve rocked, we’ve walked, we’ve driven.  We’ve gone for stroller rides.  We’ve read books, sang songs and stuck to bed time routines.  You name it, we’ve done it. 
And here we are…
My girl is turning one and we are still lost in terms of sleep.  We’ve made major strides in the last few months, for which I am proud.  But I’m also at a loss.  We’ve come to a new point in this lovely adventure where our previous tricks are not working.  Holding her to sleep was always the sure way for bed time to actually happen.  Now she fights and squirms.  Where holding her tighter used to calm her, it now frustrates her. 

I get insanely jealous of those whose kids just babble and maybe let a fuss or two escape before drifting off to sleep for hours, day or night.  Hours, during the day?  That actually happens?  Darn right it does- I’ve heard incredible dreamy rumors from many-a-parent. These moms have it good, and probably don’t even know it!  I wish our biggest child related problems were related to accepting a sippy cup, resisting diaper changes or crabby bath times.  Are you kidding me?  Stay awake for a year, then we’ll talk.  (of course I’m exaggerating…a little)

Our experience with crying it out has been awful.  Molli will literally cry and cry for hours.  The longest we have let it go on is 5 hours, and every minute was torture.  We tried it for a long time and never saw a light at the end of the tunnel.  Molli was miserable, I was miserable and I’m sure Myles wasn’t thrilled about it either.  There is nothing as discouraging as feeling like a failure and having those feelings confirmed by others.  Since all else seems to be failing, or at least not succeeding, we are reverting back to the crying. 
*Side note- this is not aimed directly at any particular person, more a general sense that I gathered from those more distant from our situation*

Last night we made her start from scratch.  She was beyond tired, utterly exhausted.  And angry.  I kept checking on her every 15 minutes- with reaching in the crib snuggles and a drink of water.  I set in my mind that if this big time crying goes on until 1:30am, I’d go get her.  That was my deadline.  That would have been three hours of crying… An hour and a half later, she fell asleep sitting up!  Success

Nap #1- Forty minutes of crying, then 25 minutes of sleep- Success!
Nap #2- SIX minutes of crying, then an hour nap! Super, amazing success!

I just put her in bed and I’m not even kidding, by the time I turned on the monitor she had stopped crying and was laying down.  She wasn't asleep immediately, as evidenced by short bursts of vocal frustration. Maybe ten seconds of crying... I am amazed! 

My girl became ready for sleep training, in her own time.  I am hoping (and praying big time) that this is a permanent improvement to her sleep habits.  It is so far vastly different than our past experience with crying it out, in that she is actually sleeping and not getting upset and stiff each time we go anywhere near the crib. 

I hope that anyone reading this can glean some hope from our experiences and trials.  It seems that people are quick to pass along advice, ensuring that it’s golden.  They likely have all the best intentions and truly believe that their words will solve all your problems.  However, every child is different and I want to encourage anyone who needs to hear it, don’t feel like a failure when some bit of “solid” and “sure” advice fails you.  You take what you want, try new things and don’t believe for a second that there is one right way to do things.  You are not a failure if something doesn’t go quite as planned and your child is not a failure if he/she does not respond to whatever training attempts.  Keep trying and in time, something will work.  Some kids just don’t fit the mold that inspired all the parenting books.  Be adaptable and consistent.  Take some advice and leave some but don’t feel bad about it.    

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I am certain that within everything a child provokes a parent to do and deal with, there is a lesson to be learned.  I have, along with anyone who has ever met her, seen time and time again the stubborn streak in my daughter.  Her incredible persistence to make her own choices (even at this age) drives a number of decisions everyday.  Sometimes she will learn that her desires will not grant her the wonderful experience she is hoping for, and likewise, she will learn that those who care for her will set her up for wonderful experiences.

Yesterday Molli ventured off into her bedroom, which is allowed.  I had set some toys out for her to play with and I was listening as she played by herself.  “Happy play” sounds like this:  Babble, jabber, jabber.  Clunking toys, squeals and more jabber, jabber.  When those noises cease, worry ensues. “Happy play” noises ceased yesterday and I sat in the living room for a moment, listening to the quiet, waiting for an indication of what was happening within the walls of her bedroom.  Then she called for me.
Quietly at first, “Maaaaaa…”
A little louder, more urgent, “Maaaaaa!”
I walked into her room and found her facing her dresser with her all fingers (minus thumbs, which are lacking a joint, therefore, aren’t fingers and don’t count) stuck in a drawer. She couldn’t move. 

I’m not going to lie, I wanted to grab the camera… but I played the role of Good Mom and rescued her.

Now, she wasn’t hurt at all, and this certainly wouldn’t have been a big deal except I can’t help but note that she KNOWS she’s not supposed to use the drawers.  We have a common saying in our house that goes a little something like this:

“Molli, no _____.”  (insert forbidden act/object here- cords, climbing, phones, drawers, remotes, touching, computers, biting etc.)

We have recently simplified our common phrase to a more general, “That’s a no.”  It covers all grounds. 

Anyway, she knows drawers are a “no” but with the absence of her bossy mom, she got sneaky and made the choice to follow her curiosity to open the drawer to unseen wonders and all things exciting.  How enticing were those pretty green knobs and how urgent the desire to peek inside.  What wonders could this gigantic drawer hold?  Certainly she never found out.  The drawer is too high for her to see into and she was, undoubtedly, stuck before enjoying the neatly folded towels within.  Sorry kid. 
And sorry she was. 
I can imagine her frustration at the realization that not only was she stuck, she also had to get Mom’s help.  Which means BUSTED!

I can draw lots of conclusions and make a few different lessons out of this scenario, but today I will leave this thought:

How often do we, even as adults, make unwise choices, based entirely on our whims, end up stuck and hesitantly ask for help, or just plain busted?  We see it on TV everyday and I know it’s in our lives, to some extent.  (Although, I must add, in my life, I’ve seen this more often in attempts to rearrange my bedroom furniture as a kid.  Nothing like getting all the heavy furniture stuck in the middle of the bedroom and either getting busted or stuck and having to ask for help.)

I love my crazy girl.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Blog problem temporarily resolved!

I have a blog problem.  It’s the same problem I have when I journal, or when I think about calling someone I haven’t talked to in a long time.  I hate being absent, but I get overwhelmed at the prospect of filling in the gaps with a chunk of words revolving around my life that will remain interesting enough to someone other than myself.  Bear with me…

My good friend, Chandra, summed up a special event I want everyone to know about- a beautiful reunion with our dear college friends and their babies.  (How do you like my cheap attempt to get out of a blog I should have written, but slacked?)

Molli has, of course, been such a joy to us.  She leaves Myles and me astounded at the end of everyday and we are in awe of the remarkable strides she has been taking.  She is growing and maturing in every single way.  I seriously don’t even know where to begin. 

(She went to the beach!)

(She went on her first bike ride)

Motor skills:
Molli took her first few little, wobbly steps in Arizona, in July.  They were not graceful, and they still aren’t.  She is getting more and more brave, experimenting with stepping from one person to another, or wobbling on her feet from one piece of furniture to another.  I am proud of her when I glance over and see her standing in the middle of the living room after walking from the couch.  She knows no fear.

(This is so Molli)

She’s a climber.  It’s hilarious and terrifying.  The other day I set her down, noticed that she was crawling toward the bedroom doorway (which was blocked off with a gate).  Literally 2 seconds later I looked and she was somehow up at the top of the baby gate, just about to tip over and probably crack her head open on the wood floor awaiting her.  My little Humpty Dumpty! Agh!  I caught her just in time and true to her stubborn nature, she continued this attempt several times until I removed the gate and closed the door.  Sheesh. 

(One of many attempts to get over the gate)

We are learning that our pre-toddler is not ready to express manners, but she does express love.  When prompted, she will make kissy sounds/kissy faces and will occasionally come in for a wet one.  She hasn’t mastered keeping the pucker going and sometimes will just open her mouth or stick her tongue out.  Last night I suggested she give her baby-doll a hug after I put her jimmies on, and I was surprised that she reached out and did it!  Since then, I’ve been making her hug everything.  She’ll hold it, put her head on it and pat it with her hand.  It’s just so sweet.

(Sweet kisses)

(wet kisses)

Her communication skills are also really advancing lately!  We have been using a couple of signs with her (more, please, all-done, thank you) and she has caught on to more and all-done.  She does her own little versions of these signs, but it’s so cute to know that she is communicating her wants with us. 

Her receptive communication has been taking off.  She will point to a couple body parts and will almost always stick out her tongue when you ask where it is.  She can follow, well, understand, basic directions. 
“Please put that down.”
“Give it to Mommy, please.”
“Please sit down.”
“Sit down.”
“Molli, we sit in the bathtub.”
“Not in your mouth, please.”
“Can I have it?”
“Have a seat.”
…you get the point.

She is also exploring animal sounds.  She has been making “doggie sounds” for a couple months, but now she’s trying to do more.  She sometimes does a bear (her growly sound) and now a kitty cat.  The kitty sound cracks me up though because it’s not an actual “meow,” instead, it’s a high-pitched “maaaaaaam.”  So cute =)

Her problem solving skills are really fun to watch.  She knows now, how to search it out when something is hidden and how to hide/be silent when she is being sneaky. She knows how her toys work and looks for the pieces to make it work right.  She can’t do her puzzles correctly, but she knows that the pieces somehow work to make the puzzle and she bangs the pieces onto the board. 

So there you go.  Many of the facets of miss Molli’s life all squished into one post.  I also would like to point out that the entire time I wrote this, she has been napping.  I also ate lunch and worked a teeny bit on a craft project beforehand.  Can I get a hallelujah?! 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Visiting the Sansotta’s house always leaves us feeling very full.  Being an Italian family, there is always more than enough food, and being doting grandparents, there is an equally abundant amount of love.  We are a very blessed family, and I am so happy to be here with Molli’s Papu and Nanette.  What’s one more week of us being spoiled with extra calories and Molli being spoiled with heaps of attention?! 

Marc is so cute with our little one.  He is enthralled with every squawk, spastic arm motion, and silly expression.  Despite constant back pain, he is on the floor, right there with her.  He holds her at every opportunity and makes it very clear that he would give her the world.  The pride he has in his granddaughter is incomparable.  He has no reservations in showing her off to strangers and friends alike, providing the vital details (including name, age in months and weeks, where she lives, and of course, how much he loves her).

Myles’ step-mom, Suzette, aka “Nanette,” has been really great with her too.  Not having babies of her own, she has become enamored with Molli.  She gets excited over the little things and is so proud of her accomplishments.  Suzette is one of the most genuine people I know and it shows when she interacts with Molli.  Molli receives her undivided attention as she shows Molli how a particular toy works and expresses her excitement when she figures things out. 

We are so full.  Full of burgers, chips and dip, and cheesecake.  Full of love.  This family is generous with love and it’s fun to reap the benefits! 

To top today off, our dear friends from college came over with their 17 month old son tonight.  Between Cooper and Molli, this house was filled to the roof with personality!  They were so fun!  I think it’s so important to expose Molli to other children and I am convinced that she has learned a lot of social skills, even at this young age, just from being with a handful of other kids.  We witnessed sharing, poking, laughing, hitting and squealing.  All in all, they did well together!  Chandra and Andrew, thank you for spending your evening with us!  It’s so good to see you!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Love, love, love!

Molli and I got to spend an amazing week in Arizona with my family.  I cannot even express the sweetness of this week.  Molli and Jackson were incredible together!  They are total opposites, in pretty much every way.

Molli is a tall little girl, Jackson is a little on the shrimpy side.
Molli is rough and tumble, Jackson is sweet and sensitive.
Molli is wild and constantly on the move, Jackson is content to sit and watch.
Molli loves to touch and be touched, Jackson is brought to tears by Molli’s touch.
Molli is working on her ninth and tenth tooth, Jackson has zero.
Molli was quick to sit/crawl/walk, Jackson is in no hurry.
Molli wants everyone’s attention, Jackson prefers Mommy and Daddy.
Molli is busy and LOUD, Jackson is calm and quiet.
Molli fights eating, Jack is an eating champion.

I could go on and on.  They are seriously so very different, and both so perfect. 


The overriding theme of the week was most certainly “love.”  I think in previous posts I’ve made it clear just how much I love Molli.  However, I never thought I could love another child with comparable intensity. My darling nephew, Jackson, is so perfect, and perfectly wonderful.  I am blessed. I feel like the grinch at the end of the story- although I was never grouchy about anything- my heart feels like it has doubled in size.  The same way I cannot bear to think of anything bad ever happening to Molli, and the desire I have to watch her grow up healthy, happy and confident is equal to the desire I have for all of these things for sweet Jack. I love these babies.

My parents were absolutely in heaven with these babies.  It was such a joy to me to watch my parents interact with them.  Mom and Dad were so amazing with them and the love they have for both of them simply radiated from their faces.  Their eyes lit at the opportunity to help with what are otherwise everyday, commonplace tasks.  They were thrilled to take care of bath time, feedings, dressing (except involving Molli, who thrashes), bedtime bottle and pushing the stroller.  So thrilled, in fact, they became jealous when the other got to do these things too often.  Dad jumped at every opportunity to lull our cranky babies to sleep in the stroller, and Tamara and I were more than willing to offer our tired tots in order for Dad to fulfill his hearts' desire.  Mom says Myles and I are good parents, but I can only hope that we do half as well as she and Dad.  I love my parents.


My brothers are such special people to me.  Growing up we didn’t always get along.  It wasn’t until high school that we really became friends.  Nate and I had each other’s back, and Brian and I did each other’s homework.  When we played our cards right, we stayed out of trouble and got good grades.  Nate and Brian were in Arizona and it was very fun to hang out with them.  Unfortunately, Zach wasn’t able to come on the trip, but he was definitely thought about.  I can always count on my brothers to make me laugh, and with two of the three present, you can bet we did a lot of laughing.  I love them.


My sister-in-law, Tamara has grown to be someone very close to my heart.  I never had a sister growing up, and although I know I can never replace her beloved sister, I am honored to be sisters with her in this way.  God knows what he’s doing and I am sure glad that He has brought her into our family.  She knows how to laugh at herself and be silly (which is important in our family).  She also has proven to be a wonderful, caring mother who puts her son and his needs first.  I am glad that she and my brother have each other, and I look forward to many more years getting to know her.  I love my sister-in-law. 


My husband has been so understanding about letting me go on trips without him.  He has taken his role as the provider for our family seriously, and therefore stays home to work while the two most important people in his life leave him.  Molli and I both miss him when we’re gone, but I’m sure not as much as he misses us when he is all by himself.  I definitely wish he could come with us on all the trips I have taken with Molli, but I am so very thankful that he realizes how important it is to my family and me to see one another.  We are glad to be back together, and are excited about our next adventure that begins on Wednesday; As a family, we are going to Florida to be with Papu and Nanette!  I love my husband.

So much love in this family!  I am so very happy to have had the opportunity to spend time with these people whom I love so dearly.  Family, you are wonderful!

(There are lots more pictures, these are just those I had on my phone...I'm sure I will not keep them all to myself.)