Sunday, September 21, 2008

A trip to the zoo

Today we went to the zoo as a family: Grandma and Grandpa, Uncle Jim, Aunt Whitney, Molly's cousin Jimmy, and of course me, Molly, and Mike. It was a beautiful day for it: sun shining, but not too hot.

Molly is way into the animals. She loves to watch them, point at them, and growl at them. If, that is, it's an animal that growls. Mainly they are, and they do, so she does. Her favorites this time seemed to be the giraffes and zebras, a sea lion that she barked at, and some of the different birds. She walked for most of the trip so I'm expecting/hoping she'll sleep good tonight!
Before we left, Grandma and Grandpa let the kids pick out a souvenir and Molly chose a plush snake! She wraps it around her neck or slings it over a shoulder and hisses away at people. This evening she took it to a little girl's birthday party, and it was really a hit! Other little girls were asking to play with it and, luckily, Molly shared nicely. That was not the case with her cheddar-broccoli soup, though.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Little Helper

Here are a few household chores that Molly does around the house to help me out:

She vacuums with her play vacuum while I do it for real (a special note here to point out that she is not afraid of the vacuum at all, so she's braver than my cats, at least). At Grandma and Grandpa's house, she is quick to call for the Dyson when she finishes her meal... or rather, finishes dropping her meal. She also loves to walk on the pile of dirt I just swept up in the kitchen, or sets small toys or food in the dust pan for me.

She can put a few clothes into the washer or dryer for me, but the big job is pushing the laundry basket full of clothes into the living room to be folded. My favorite part is when she sits on my lap while I try to fold the laundry. Another laundry job Molly's in charge of is throwing away the used dryer sheet. Of course, she usually stops to scrub the floor with it on her way to the trash can.

The trash can is definitely Molly's favorite household item. It is her official job to throw anything away. I can entertain her for hours (minutes, really - we're talking about a toddler here) by ripping up a sheet of paper and having her throw away a piece at a time. We're still working on the "don't take anything out of the trash can" lesson, though.
You can also ask her to deliver something to someone (like the mail to Daddy) on the other side of the room. The only time she doesn't come through is if it's food of some sort.

The point of my list? Sure - Molly's help is usually more trouble than it's worth - but she sure looks proud when she does it, and it makes me feel like a million bucks that she wants to do something for me in the first place.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Swing, Swing

Yesterday I took Molly to a playground that I used to ride my bike to. She didn't want to go down the little slide, but instead went down the tallest tube slide there - all by herself. She didn't wait for me at all and I had to jump off the equipment to meet her at the bottom. It was kind of a neat moment; to realize that she takes for granted that I'll be there for her. I'm glad she does.

After she braved the slide, we went over to "swing swing." Molly loves to swing. When I push her I count to three; dive in and out of her path; tickle her through the swing; sing the ABC's; pretend she's kicked me... it cracks both of us up. Well, that day, I decided to swing next to her in the "big girl swing" and at first I tried to match up my swing with hers, but then I took off. I hadn't really been swinging since maybe elementary school. In the 4th grade, that's all I did with my friend, Carla. We had a whole routine made up: commands we would shout to each other like it was synchronized swimming. This time, I concentrated on my feet reaching into the air as high as I could - and I even talked myself into leaning all the way back! I haven't played like that in a long time. And you know what? It felt really good.

Molly and I stayed on those swings for about 30 minutes. She just didn't want to get off, and I just didn't want to make her.

walk in the sunshine

The first alarm clock I ever owned had "walk in the sunshine" written on it. It had the loudest, most annoying ring of any alarm clock I have had since. I have always taken it to be a choice (though voiced as a command, really) to literally look on the bright side of things. It's been a sort of mantra I repeat to myself when I want to relish the simple things in life.

When I got married, it was an outdoor wedding, and we considered the time of day when deciding which way to face so the guests wouldn't be looking into the sun... but guess who was? Me. For parts of the ceremony I ducked behind my husband so he could block the bright sun, but mainly I squinted into the sunshine and delighted in all the tiny rainbows that danced on my eyelashes. Sometimes I have to remind myself about those exact moments in the sunshine when something in my life now is getting me down.

When I found out I was having a baby girl in 2006, I immediately began calling her my sunshine girl, even before she was born. Each morning I greet her with "Good morning, my sunshine girl," which usually makes her smile. Starting a day with my beautiful daughter is all the sunshine I need to get me through the rest of it.

So here I begin what is to be *hopefully* a positive blog, following mainly me and my daughter as we choose to walk in the sunshine.