18 months! I know I say this every month but this past one has really been my favorite stage. Molly is on the brink of some major cognitive development because she comes up with 2-3 new words every day, tiptoes forwards and backwards, hops like a bunny, counts 1-2-3 and knows a mind-blowing number of letters. She has also started stringing words together to make simple sentences (“Up, Mama,” “round and round,” “all through the town,” and the particularly cringe-worthy – yet impressive – “No Book! Watch Elmo!”), makes up games to play (tonight it was 1-2-3, fling yourself onto a pile of pillows), and she sings! She sings la-la-la-la-la and looks to me and I put words to the la-la-la’s and the two of us are just a regular jam band. I am constantly singing to myself so the fact that she has picked up this trait is beyond delightful to me (I’m sure Lee feels just as happy to have two crazies singing to themselves all the time). She says “I love you tooooooo” and when I say, Molly, who loves you? She whispers “Mama” and gives me a big grin. How right you are, my sweet girl. How right you are.
Another interesting and timely development this month has been Molly’s sudden affinity for all things baby. She now owns more stuffed animals than I can count, including four dolls (and one pink penguin…not my doing, but you can’t win them all), one of which she has named Mimi (short for Menina, which is Portuguese for girl), and at least two of which are tucked under her arm at any given moment. After she pointed to the printed sonogram photo on our fridge and asked “this?” I told her, “That’s going to be your baby sister. She’s growing in my belly.” Molly responded by patting my belly and saying “baby!” I don’t think she can fully comprehend pregnancy (I mean, I don’t even fully comprehend pregnancy, and I’m almost 32) but she is (not always, but) often a bit cautious of my belly, these days. I think suddenly wanting baby dolls is more of a developmental stage than anticipation of the baby coming, but it’s still nice to see her be gentle and give her baby dolls hugs and kisses.
We have packed so much into this month, including a visit with cousins Linda, Nina, Zach, and Kyle, a trip to see Nana Sandy, Grand-Nana Ruth, and Grandpa Erling, and our annual, epic, whirlwind of a college reunion trip back east, where we even got to see Susie & Rich, Tyler, Liz, and Sebastian on a last-minute detour. This year we rented two houses in upstate New York, since we decided that it wasn’t really fair of us to pack 14 adults and 7 children into Kristin and Mike’s house. The houses were right next to each other and had a huge yard, tennis court, and a pool, which was perfect for all the kids and adults. Every year there are more and more kids and every year Labor Day is one of my best weekends. There is just something so special about spending time doing nothing except for laughing, eating, and catching up with old friends – and watching our kids run around together makes me feel all the feels. Old friends really are the best friends.
We also currently have Papa Marc and Nana Laurie (formerly known as Glamma before Molly decided no, she is in fact Nana) in town, where they are acting as our nannies du jour while Josi is away on vacation for the week. Today is day four of their visit but day two of being full-time caregivers and as much fun as everyone is having, they did seem a bit tired tonight…perhaps a vacation from this vacation is in order!
Snaps from this month: