Category Archives: Posted by Lee

2! 2 Years Old! Ha ha haaaah!

H’oh boy. Molly is 2. Molly is 2!!!! Molly is 2? Didn’t I just write about her 1st birthday?

Very wisely we decided this year to pair up Lucy’s Naming Ceremony to occur the morning of Molly’s party so that all our friends and family could pop-in for a Springer family fiesta. We also hosted the parties a couple of days before Molly’s actual birthday so that it could occur on a Sunday and not a Tuesday. Recently Molly received a fabulous Hanukkah gift from her cousin Becka consisting of a nearly complete set of the If You Give… Book series. Molly LOVES these books and so we themed her party based on the titular book in the series, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

So off Leah went to plan decorations, including getting several illustrations from the book blown up and printed on large posters, and off I went to plan the most important of birthday items, le gâteau. Of course my immediate thought was, “why not make the cake look like a chocolate chip cookie?” To which I replied to myself, “why bother with cake, let’s make a giant cookie!” I ended up somewhere kind of in-between and made four 9-inch chocolate chip cookies which I then stacked on top of each other with layers of homemade buttercream frosting in between. The end result served its purpose and was delicious.

To round out our festivities, a round of Mediterranean themed dishes that were procured at nearly the last minute from Whole Foods (btw thank you Whole Foods) after nearly every actual Mediterranean restaurant we contacted about catering managed to completely flake.

The party ensued immediately after Lucy’s naming in our new (to us) backyard at our new (to us) house. We chatted, we toasted, we drank, we ate, and then the moment of cakery or cookiery or cookery! Since Leah’s sister Jodie and Molly are birthday twins minus one day, we continued the tradition of having them collectively blow out the candle. I think we all agreed that this is a tradition that shall continue in perpetuity.

Next up, getting Molly through the bounty of presents that had piled up in our yard. Leah and I had to intervene in the process as Molly was quite content to enjoy each present individually for hours on end, so for the sake of our guests we helped her open and appreciate all of the wonderful gifts that had been brought by our fabulous family and friends. After some more chatting we bid adieu and retired* for the day with Molly’s Nana Laurie, Papa Marc, and cousin Nina. *Retiring here means I made an epic quiche lorraine for everyone for dinner.

Fast-forward a couple of days to Molly’s actual birthday, in keeping with tradition we all took the day off to spend time with our favorite birthdayee. We took advantage of the amazing weather and random Tuesday, to go to the Oakland Zoo where Molly had an absolute blast. “MONKEYS! I PET A GOAT! GIRAFFE LONG NECK!”

It’s been an amazing year watching our toddler grow in to a loving, fierce, comedian. And now for my own stress level I am going to start planning birthday numero tres a little early.

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The Springer Quartet!

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Déjà vu, some serious events have transpired… again. We sold a house! We bought a house! We moved! And sometime back in February we conceived another baby! 41 weeks and 1 day later on November 26th, 2014, Lucy Elizabeth Springer was born, weighing 7 pounds, 14 ounces and 20 inches long. Team Springer is now a trio quartet and ready for our next adventure (which seem to come in no short supply)!

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The XX

I was going to start this post in usual fashion with some exclamation of how this month has been crazier than every month before it but I realized doing so has become incredibly repetitive. So instead a large gallery of photos with captions to capture the fun of Molly’s 20th month.

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An impromptu trip up to Fort Bragg and the historic Skunk Train. For being roughly 4 hours of pretty slow train riding, she enjoyed herself.

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Halloween happened, which means you take your toddler to a pumpkin patch and of course you rock your sunnies.

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Selfies on the hay ride through Spina Farms pumpkin patch, grumpy cat came begrudgingly.

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You like selfies dad? Let me show you how it’s done!

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A moment of interest while most likely watching a video rendition of “Wheels on the Bus”, which Molly now knows pretty much all the lyrics to including British stanzas I have never heard.

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Playing on Glass Beach in Fort Bragg. Of particular fascination…. mussel shells.

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I get a text from Leah, “Took Molly to the Childrens’ Museum,” followed by, “Started at the bubble station…rookie mistake.” Molly left the museum with a new outfit.

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Halloween! Rocking matching Waldo outfits with Josi. Molly quickly learned the arts of Trick O’ Treating and made out like a bandit with roughly her weight in lollipops.

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Costume check. Cuteness confirmed.

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A tail!?!!?!

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Taking a break from singing “ABCs” to practice new form of pouting.

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Given a huge playground, of course our little one scales the 3 story slide complex designed for much older children.

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Checking out our new suburban digs. We’re moving to a single family palace!

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Sticker love!!!! Put them on things, take them off things, put them back on things!!!! All day long!!!!

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After many warnings about jumping on the couch, we went flying off the couch and earned a new badge.

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Taking Stuart Little out for a drive!

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20 months old and happier than ever!

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Dezesseis Meses

World Cup fever has come and gone in our household as Molly became Brazil’s biggest fan (after Josie, and after Ulisses, and after a whole bunch of people in Brazil). She was great luck until Brazil had its epic meltdown during Molly’s nap, a clear sign that she was having a bad dream.

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Much like Molly Ringwald in “Sixteen Candles,”* our Molly at Sixteen Months is experiencing a new found sea of emotions around growing up. We’ve seen her have attachments.

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We’ve seen her get emotional and well up with tears over random things such as “Twinkle Star & Owl” (thanks for finding that out Leah). We’ve seen her showcase her will, usually defiantly.

It’s really amazing to see how much changes in a short month. Between garbled sentences of gibberish there are clear enunciations of HAT, HEAD, TOES, CAT, and BALL. This along with previously mastered HELLO, UP, and APPLE and we’ve got a good communication framework going here, even to the point that we talk about our wishes together.

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There have been epic “Flashdance“** parties.

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There has been some pretty serious coffee talk.

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Even though Molly seems to be entering (e.g. already in) a full-on Mama phase, it’s amazing to watch how fast things change in 4 weeks. I’m expecting a thesis by month 18.

* I fully pat myself on the back for the Molly -> Molly and 16 Candles -> 16 Months reference here. If I’ve learned anything it’s that I can apply the 80s to everything.

** 80s again!

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14 months in the ‘ole ’14

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14 months…. toddler time all the way. The last month has been an epic leap from babyland to mini human (or toddler). Running, jumping, climbing, more climbing, falling, more falling, but never crawling, Molly is in full locomotion. Singing, screaming, chatting, “bow wow wow”, “apples!”, “UP DOWN”, “Elmo!”, Molly is also in full vocab expansion mode. At first I thought she was merely parroting sounds but she absolutely knows that when you point at an apple one should declare “ABBLE!” This also means it’s now time for the adults to watch the potty mouth around the house. Swear jar here we come!

One thing that has been not so epic is that Molly seems to have regressed in sleeping habits. I don’t really feel like we have changed our approach but she now needs to scream at the top of her lungs for 15 – 20 minutes before falling asleep. It seems like we have gone backwards in time to when she was around 4 months and refused to be put down without constant attention. Our hope is that this is merely a matter of some serious teething. Molly now has a near complete set of chompers that are capable of tackling bacon, corn on the cob (probably the cutest thing ever to watch), Dad’s fingers and nose, and large plastic items (kidding… maybe). Now with 12+ teeth we can say that we are more than 50% done with teething which is a reassuring tidbit. Here’s a tip of the wine glass to that tidbit meaning silent nights in all of our futures.

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1 Year Old!

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And just like that 365 days passed and Molly went from looking upon the world with true innocence to a personality filled near-toddler. Molly’s birthday celebration was a Brazilian blowout, thanks to Manny Ulisses and an authentic menu of treats consisting of:

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  • Esfirra de carne(ground beef cooked in bread)

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  • Empadas (chicken & olives in pastry dough)

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  • Risoles de milho (corn & cheese croquette)

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  • Brigadeiro (Chocolate bon-bon) & Beijinho (Coconut bon-bon)

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Mannyama

Molly’s favorite friends and family came out to celebrate in style including her Aunt Jodie who was also celebrating a birthday of her own.

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Then after much celebrating/cake-eating it was time to take a short interlude to appreciate the local flora.

Official Dandelion Inspection

Presents were opened and in good time since it decided to start raining. All in all it was an epic first birthday party (even though technically it was held two days before Molly’s actual birthday).

So when the next day came around, Leah and I decided to celebrate Molly’s birthday by taking her to the science academy where minds were blown.

Lastly a photo review of the 30ish days between 11 & 12 months!

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¾ Years Old!

November… the start of the Holiday crush, cold weather, and the warning bell that New Year’s is right around the corner. Also, most importantly, November brought Thanksgiving and Hanukkah for Molly’s first (and only*) THANKSGIVUKAH! Molly’s first Thanksgiving or more generally Molly’s first November, found her eating anything and everything that was placed in front of her.

A mountain of garlic with a couple pieces of chicken…. yes please!

Fish tacos…. of course! Delicious!

That piece of paper you just found of the floor…. amazing flavor profile!

A full multi-course Thanksgiving meal…. hey why did everyone else stop eating?

Latkes…. munch munch munch munch munch….

Indian palak paneer…. OMG YUM *burp*!

Anything with eggs…. …. …. if you don’t give me more I will shank you with this soft baby spoon.

All this eating aside, I went out of my way one morning to teach Molly some new phrases. I was fighting with her on the changing table to stay still while I was trying to get her pants back on. In a fit of inspired frustration, I looked her in the eye and said “UH OH, CAN YOU SAY UH OH?” Since then, pretty much all I have heard is “UH OH UH OH UH OH UH OH UH OH UH OH UH OH.” Next time I think I need to work on something more along the lines of “BOOYAH!”

I can’t believe we’re already talking about planning a birthday party.

 

* Technically it was everyone’s first and only Thanksgivukkah since the last one occurred in the late 1800s and the next one will occur sometime 70,000 years from now.

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Eight Months!

8 Months! 8 Months! No really where did the last 8 months go? Parenting definitely puts time into hyper-drive. Molly was born, I blinked, now she is 8 months old!

So what comes with the octo-month? Our little monster is everyone’s favorite party guest. She says hello to everyone, she strikes up a conversation, waves to people across the room, and then starts dancing.

Boogey time! She’s always on the move and is no longer entertained by sitting still with toys. She needs to be cruising, crawling, hopping, or banging on everything. Unless of course you are up for a tickle fight, she loves tickle fights and giggles up a storm.

Teeth! More and more teeth! If Molly would sit still long enough for a goofy smile photo you would see she now has 4 teeth which she is very adapt at using to deconstruct cheerios, bananas, apples, and sometimes human flesh (yes ow).

Speaking! Last month was all “Ma ma ma ma,” well, finally, this month it is “DA DA DA DA DADA!” Booyah, DADA is in the house. My excitement about this also helps me ignore the fact that she will look at nearly anything, point, and declare “DADA!”

Waving! If you wave frantically at our little girl she will in turn wave frantically back. It’s not the most graceful thing in the world (still working on our royal wave) but it certainly is endearing. The accompanying screech also warms the heart.

Molly continues to grow in fantastic ways, her little personality is not so little anymore and it’s just a matter of time before she lets you know about it. No really, blink, the next post you see will probably be written by a 12 year old girl (if you think blogs will be alive in 12 years). That’s how parent time works.

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Dingle Way Day 4: Slea Head to Ballyferriter

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  • Distance: 9.5 Miles
  • Time: 3 Hours 23 Minutes
  • Elevation: 906 Feet

We ended up spending the night before our 4th hiking day in Ballyferriter (Baile an Fheirtéaraigh) due to booking issues in Slea Head (Ceann Sléibhe), so we ended up shuttling backwards to begin our hike back to the B&B we were staying at in Ballyferriter (more on the B&B later). So the fourth day of our hike picked up right where we left off on day 3, we began from our stopping point near Dunmore Head (An Dún Mór) and continued north along the coastal cliffs to the same village of Dunquin (Dún Chaoin). From here the Dingle Way left the roads and brought us up close and personal with the cliffs of Blasket Sound (Bealach an Bhlascaoid) until we reached Clogher Head (Ceann Sratha). We continued north through a large flat area heading towards the Three Sisters (An Triúr Deirféar), three prominent peaks overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Just as we neared the sisters the Dingle Way takes a sharp right bringing us to the beach at Smerwick Harbour (Cuan Ard na Caithne). We walked along the cold windy beach until we reached an access road which took us back to the lovely village of Ballyferriter.

While we were in Ballyferriter we stayed at the An Spéice B&B under the fantastic care of Alice. Hands down, Alice is the best B&B proprietor I have ever encountered. She immediately fell in love with Molly and went out of her way on more than one occasion to make sure  that we had everything we needed. Need a ride into town? No problem, she gave us a ride. When we ran out of diapers and the closest store with “nappies” was all the way back in Dingle? No problem, she went completely out of her way and picked us up diapers and dropped them off at the next B&B. Not only that but she also makes a fantastic breakfast, I recommend the full Irish. Alice optimized the hospitality that we encountered throughout our stay on the Dingle Peninsula and she made our trip fantastic. If you ever find yourself in Western County Kerry, stay with Alice and her family at An Spéice, you won’t regret it.

And now the pictures from Day 4!

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Dingle Way Day 3: Dingle to Slea Head

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  • Distance: 8.7 Miles
  • Time: 3 Hours 15 Minutes
  • Elevation: 1,610 Feet

Our third day of hiking brought us from Dingle (An Daingean) to Slea Head (Ceann Sléibhe). As we headed out of Dingle we walked around Dingle Harbor (Cuan an Daingin) and headed West towards the town of Ventry (Ceann Trá); however, instead of bringing us through the town, the trail meandered around the small hill (188 meters) of An Chathair Aird, bringing us to the beach at Ventry Harbor (Cuan Fionntrá). After all the walking on roads and in fields, the walk along the beach was rather difficult. Firstly, it was incredibly windy, secondly, I forgot how little traction one has in sand, and thirdly, we were trying to eat lunch on the go so my hands were full of sandwich and miscellaneous wrappers. We finally left the beach after roughly 2 miles and meandered through a couple of small villages where we met a very nice local couple on the trail. They immediately took an interest into us (Molly most of all) and hiked with us, chatting about homebirth, Irish hippies, and life in general. They even took us on a shortcut along the “old” Dingle Way. Apparently a farmer had the trail moved from cutting through his fields to the main road, mostly due to the fact that in his fields are several old ruins. The enterprising farmer realized that if the Dingle Way hikers were moving along the road instead of through the hills of his lands, he could charge a small fee to let people in to see the ruins. Thanks to our new friends we got the see the ruins for free, although in a very hushed and hurried manner. At one point we were told, “move quickly and act like nothing is wrong,” and I realized we were on an adventure instead of a hike.

We headed off road again into sheep pastures that cling to the steep banks of Mount Eagle (Sliabh an Iolair). At this point our hiking directions simply stated, “follow the stone wall, more or less, for 5km,” which equated to 3.2 miles of ascending and descending steep inclines while surrounded by staring sheep. As we came to the last (and steepest!) hill we finally saw Dunmore Head (An Dún Mór) sticking out into Blasket Sound (Bealach an Bhlascaoid), letting us know we had reached our destination. Even though the distance wasn’t quite as long as day 2 of our hike, it certainly felt like more of an effort. And what about Molly? Once again she slept for nearly the entire day, unaffected by the wilds of Ireland.

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