Category Archives: Posted by Lee

Lucy the XIX

“Up and over. Arm one. Arm two.”

This is my mantra for putting on my kids’ shirts. I started this way way back in Molly’s early infancy, I don’t know why, but since then if I am helping the kids put on a shirt.

“Up and over. Arm one. Arm two.”

These days when I am helping Lucy get dressed I get a resounding “TWOOOOOOOO” every time. Lucy knows 2, she actually pretty much knows 1 – 10. In any of the various counting books we have she is about 90% in numeral recognition, for a 1.583333 year old that’s pretty amazing.


Counting is just the beginning, the whole world of language and communication is flourishing at alarming speed. About 30 days ago I would see her point and grunt at things as a means of saying “I would like that book.” Just today she clearly said “the owl book,” a harbinger of what’s coming. I vaguely remember Molly going through this same process in which one day she woke up and quoted Siddhartha (not really…well maybe). Lucy is at the cusp of a mental explosion.

Did I mention that even though she doesn’t always have the words for things she basically understands every single thing we say to her?

“Lucy do you want a snack?” “SNAAAAAA!” and off she runs into the kitchen to rummage through the cabinet.

“Where is the (insert animal name) in this (insert picture of animals)?” A quick pointer finger slams down on the correct answer.

“Lucy let’s do a drawing” Off she runs to the art table yelling “PAINT!!!”


Beyond just the milestones of listening and speaking, Lucy is the most good-natured kid I have seen (yes I’m biased). She always has a smile, she always laughs at a joke, she always wants a hug, she always wants everyone to be happy. My great wish, she maintains her sunny disposition through the challenges ahead such as potty training and preschool. I do not worry though, half of Lucy’s cheerful personality is enough to get you through anything.

3rd Birthday, The Final Frontier

These are the voyages of the Springer household. Intergalatic, planetary, planetary, arts & crafts? Yes! Welcome to the birthday party of a 3 year-old. At 1 the party theme is just because the parents want one, at 2 the theme is mostly because the parents want one, at 3 the theme is suggested and then talked about in anticipation every day for months. 3 year-olds do not forget, so when you say we are going to have an outer space rocket ship party, we are going to have an outer space rocket ship party.

Unlike last year, when the weather was balmy and delicious, this year was cold and threateningly rainy, so our house had to become a galaxy unto itself. We managed to accomplish this with some homemade papercraft planets, appropriate signage, an epic rocket ship crochet blanket, space themed goodie bags, and mostly space themed cupcakes (cosmic colored frosting with space dust™ and planet sprinklage©).

Aunts, uncles, cousins, nanas, papas, grand-nanas (gra’nana), and many preschool friends joined us to setup, celebrate, color, wear silly hats, paint, eat, and party! Molly was a blur of activity, bouncing between snuggles with family to running around the house with her friends.

Then it was time to celebrate in earnest and issue the birthday girl her 3-candle-adorned cupcake. She had no trouble blowing out the candles this year. So much fun was being had that we almost forgot to open presents before our guests had to go. Shortly after everyone left, both of our girls completely powered down so that we could clean up.

And as I cleared the disaster that was our girls’ playroom, it started to dawn on me that we have a 3 year-old daughter, we have been parents for 3 years, and Leah and I have had a daily discussion about children/parenting for at least 4 years (thanks 9 month gestation). That’s almost 1,500 days worth of thoughts and worries (1,461 to be exact), and a collective 3000 days of experience. Yet, it all still feels so new and surprising. Tonight Molly giggled as I repeatedly made jokes by inserting the word applesauce into our conversation until she decided “Applesauce is too silly daddy. Let’s not talk about applesauce.” If there is a metaphor in that statement, surely Molly understands it better than I do.

One Year of Lulu Magoo


Lucy’s actual birthday fell on Thanksgiving Day and since we wanted to not divert due attention to her party, we decided to hold the birthday party a couple of days later on the weekend. What a holiday weekend it was, Starting with hosting 15 family members for T-Day! We rearranged our house to make way for the influx of friends and family.

Lucy got quite a turn-out with the entire T-Day crew returning to celebrate as well as additional friends and play-mates. At one point I am fairly certain we had 30 people in the house. The theme of the party was birds to celebrate our little chick.

Due to a new hatred of napping, Lucy was quickly fading right as the party came into swing so we quickly rushed through an introduction to cake and the receiving of presents. The cake itself I had made the night before, Yellow Angel Food with Robin’s Egg Blue frosting. Lucy was somewhat impartial to it but the rest of us enjoyed our slices. Then just as quickly as the party had assembled, it dispersed and our birdie took a well deserved nap.

How much can change in one year? For someone turning one, that question is heavily loaded. You were born. You learned to drink. You learned to smile. You learned to eat. You learned how to use your body. You grew teeth. You learned to babble. You learned to roll over, to sit up, to crawl, to walk in short bursts. You learned all of these things and there is still so much more to come, more talking, more walking, more singing, more dancing, more laughing, more learning. A year can bring you your entire life so far.

How much can change in one year? For a young toddler a year can bring you a little sister, your friend, your foe, your parents’ other attention. A year can bring a need to share, and to care, and to dare. A year can bring a new home in a new town, a whole new set of explorations. A year can bring a new school, new friends, new experiences. A year can bring learning to read and it can bring a rapidly expanding vocabulary. A year can bring memories that just might stick.

How much can change in one year? For two parents a year can bring you a massive amount of stress. A year can bring you a new pregnancy and then a new child to love. A year can bring you a reason to move and experience the highs and lows of both selling and then purchasing real estate. A year can bring you perspective that things always work out in the end. A year can bring you great joy, then great frustration, then great joy again. A year can bring you your family and make it closer and make it more dear and make it more yours. A year can bring you a feeling of contentment that cannot be captured in words.

So what can change in one year? Everything.

IX Take 2

3/4 years old and what a animated blur we have in our house. Turn your back for 10 seconds and Lucy is halfway up the stairs, all the way across the house, or in the bowl of cat food. This girl is not even walking and she can out run me. She is never content to be still unless some form of food is being served.

And all of a sudden our little bird who chirped is now the sheep who went baa baa baa baa baa baa baa all day long. “Hi Lucy,” evokes a response of “BAAAAAA”

“What did you do today Lucy?”

“Ba ba ba ba baaaaaaa”

“Can you say da-da Lucy?”

“MmM mmmm mom momomomomomomomom”


The constant babbling and cooing and other lingual practice now has to contend with a mouth full of 2, YES 2, teeth….. finally! Lucy has graduated to the world of semi-firm foods which can be gnawed and drooled on including blueberry muffins, pasta, barley, rice, and various snacks. No longer content to be spoon fed, Lucy tantrums occur when food is on the table and it is not in her hands on the way to her mouth.

It’s scary to think upon how fast the last 9 months have passed in our house. Once upon a time we had a 2 year old and a newborn, once upon a time we had one toddler, once upon a time we had one newborn, once upon a time we were newly weds, once upon a time we just met, once upon a now we have two amazing young girls who laugh and smile and make their parents very very happy.

And lastly a word from the wunderkind


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!


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)!


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.

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 10.10.18 PM

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.


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


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


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


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.


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


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.


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.


Costume check. Cuteness confirmed.


A tail!?!!?!


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


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


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


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


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


Taking Stuart Little out for a drive!


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.


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.


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.


There have been epic “Flashdance“** parties.



There has been some pretty serious coffee talk.


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


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!


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:


  • Esfirra de carne(ground beef cooked in bread)

Esfirra di carne

  • Empadas (chicken & olives in pastry dough)


  • Risoles de milho (corn & cheese croquette)


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



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.

Birthday Ladies

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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