Wednesday, August 30, 2017

13/13 - Out with a . . . Sparkle

We're in the last full week of [what I consider to be] summer and I'm so sad to see it go. It's been such a good one.

Looking back, welcoming Elsie was the definite highlight of the season. She is full of smiles, happiest when cuddled, sleeps like a star, and has the most kissable cheeks. I consider this to be a nearly perfect combination of newborness. ;)

I think we spent our best moments sitting and playing in the lawn each evening after dinner. There was usually a cool breeze after a hot day, a visit from our landlords, or a pretty sunset. (And sometimes all three!) I loved seeing Samuel's joy as he played with his Dada or splashed in the pool. I loved wearing Elsie all snuggled up next to me in the wrap.

I already miss the slow pace of these lazy summer days. We had hours to go for walks, read books, and dig in the sandbox. I will always treasure the way we took so many naps together. There's just something about having both babies asleep on me that fills my little heart with a lot of peace and gratitude.

Even though some days felt really long, it was mostly wonderful to have so much time to be in the moment and to be together.  Farewell, summer. Thanks for being so sweet!
♥, Molly

Saturday, August 19, 2017

12/13 - Two Months of Elsie


Welcome to two months, baby girl! 

You are a delightful little lady and we are enjoying your smiles and coos a lot. I'm still not sure what color your eyes are, so we'll continue to call them dark grey. You really took advantage of your sixth week growth spurt and grew a ton. Your eyelashes grew too. We can't say the same for your hair-- it's rubbed off around the back of your head and left a bald strip. It's still dark brown.

This week at your two month check-up Dr. Cooper weighed and measured you. You're now 12 pounds 9 ounces and 23 inches long. I am in love with your squishy little legs.

In your second month of life you . . .

  • survived the tongue release "stretches" and are making great improvements to your nursing. We think you are so strong and so gracious about all of the aftercare you had to do. 
  • continue to be a great sleeper. You have a new habit of waking up around 4 or 5 in the morning and getting really wiggly. You don't fuss or cry, but you keep your mama up with all your aerobics.
  • delight us with your smiles, "stories", and coos. You have a lot to say, but are usually very nice about it. The exception to this is when you're in your carseat. Then you SCREAM!
  • love to be snuggled up next to Mama in the wrap. Dada has just started wearing you in the Ergo baby carrier and you like that as well.
  • aren't a huge fan of tummy time. Sometimes you stiffen your legs and put your little bum in the air like you're doing downward dog (more like downward face plant) in yoga class.
  • have started tracking us and using your eyes to follow us around the house.
  • enjoy lying on a blanket in the grass. You seem happy to be outside.
  • are very patient with your brother. He thinks pulling out your soother is a fun new game. You don't even mind when he tries to put it back in your mouth. He also tries to play catch with you, touch your eyes, and sit on you when you're in the bouncy chair. He has moments where he cares for you, too. Whenever you cry he yells, "Uh oh!" and runs to where you are. He enjoys signing baby. When we ask him where you are, he always points your way. Lately, he really likes to hold you and kiss you on your head. We all do!
♥, Molly

11/13 - Rogue River

The Rogue River near the natural bridge.

Last weekend our little family went camping at Union Creek, Oregon. The "community" of Union Creek is just a wide spot in the road with a restaurant, an ice cream shop, a little general store, a lodge, and a BBQ chuck wagon. Our friends' parents own a cabin in the Union Creek campground, so we made that our home base. We didn't sleep in the cabin, but it was wonderful to have a few extra amenities with the babies. Who can complain about a kitchen and a flush toilet?

The main attraction in the area is Crater Lake National Park, just 15 minutes away from the campground. Due to time, road closures, and wildfires we opted to stay closer to the cabin and just do a few mini-adventures.  We visited the natural bridge, a lava tube that channels the Rogue River underground before it gushes out of the tunnel a little way downstream. We also drove to the gorge viewpoint, which lets you peer over the edge into a pretty intense section of the Rogue River.

Picture by Steph
We didn't have to go very far to find nice walking trails: the cabin sits right on the Rogue River with footpaths that go along the banks. We took the little river trail to the place where Union Creek empties into the Rogue and along the way we stopped to let Samuel play on a blip of sandy beach. He loved every minute of it.

Brent and Lucy the lab brave the cold
Digging with Auntie Steph 
He could have spent hours splashing along the edge and digging in the sand. The rocks on the beach were pumice (from the explosion of Mount Mazama) and when Samuel would throw them into the water they would bob back up to the surface. He would throw a pumice stone into the water, Brent would fish it out and toss it onto the sand, Samuel would grab it and lob it back into the water, and then the game of "fetch" would repeat. It was a good gig.

Doug and Samuel finding rocks

Back at the cabin, Samuel's dreams came true when he was able to play monster trucks. "Wow!" was the only word out of his mouth for a bit. Life just kept getting better for our little guy when our hosts, Doug and Sandy, introduced Samuel to rides in a wheelbarrow. It became a fast favorite. When he saw a wheelbarrow at home this week he ran to it and knew just what he wanted.

wheelbarrow rides

A highlight for me was spending time with Mark, Steph, and Mark's parents. Their hospitality went above and beyond. They prepared meals for us, played tour guide, and brought heaps of toys and baby gear for our kids. Everyone was also a wonderful help with Samuel. You know it's a good trip when the mama is able to take a nap. ;-) Brent's highlight was watching Samuel play with the monster trucks and I think Elsie's favorite might have been snuggling in the wrap around the campfire. (Or maybe that's another one of my favorite memories.) I made a little video to recap the weekend and some of our trip "highlights" are easy to spot.

Camping on the Rogue River from Molly McGraw on Vimeo.

Picture by Steph
Thank you, Obad-Schmors! We love spending time with you and are looking forward to more camping trips in the future!
, Molly

Sunday, August 6, 2017

10/13 - Dragonflies

Each evening as we sit outside in our little yard, we're often joined by dozens of dragonflies. Samuel usually steals the show, so they routinely go unnoticed. However, if I'm paying attention, I'll see them land on the fence to rest.  It's not uncommon to see three or four of them all in a row. I've never seen so many dragonflies in the same place so consistently. I like to imagine they're all showing up at their neighborhood hangout to swap stories at the end of a long day. ;-)

I practiced using manual mode this evening. I also used a different lens than I normally do. The close-ups of the dragon flies aren't as clear as I would like, but it was still a fun challenge.
, Molly

Saturday, July 29, 2017

9/13 - Tractor Time

This week we made a little trip to my hometown to spend time with family and framily (when friends become like family). Elsie met everyone, Samuel was able to fulfill his toddler dreams with a ride on the tractor, and I came home feeling refreshed. Win, win, win!

, Molly

Saturday, July 22, 2017

8/13 - Nada

The week was over before I knew it . . . and I didn't take a single picture. Instead, here's a favorite from last week to make up for it. 

Most of our summer evenings are spent sitting in our little yard and watching Samuel play. He's so content when he gets to dig in the sandbox and splash in his pool. However, if we really want to pull out all the stops, we let him play with the hose. The baby goes wild! He runs and wiggles, laughs and shrieks, and dances around in the most charming ways. Seeing his joy as he gets all wet is already one of my favorite memories of this summer.

, Molly

Tip: Bystanders fare best when the nozzle is set to "mist". ;-)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

7/13 - 1 month today!

Little Elsie has been with us for one whole month. So far . . .

  • She's an awesome sleeper!
  • She enjoys eating, but has a poor latch and some intense gassiness. With the advice of our lactation consultant we went to Portland for a tongue and lip revision last week. We are counting down the days until we no longer have to do the aftercare stretches!
  • She's started observing more around her.
  • She's working on learning to enjoy car rides. Oh my!
  • She loves being held. And we love holding her.

, Molly

P.S. We're more than halfway through the summer! :(

Saturday, July 8, 2017

6/13 - Hold the Phone

Samuel is doing a lot of talking these days -- just not in words we can understand. He knows exactly what he is saying and then looks at us like we should be on the same page. His latest game is to find random objects -- fridge magnets, high chair buckles, toy boats -- and then use them as a phone. He'll often start off jabbering and then transfer the call to his mama and dada. We will "talk" for a bit and then we try to put him back on the line he shyly refuses. It's been fun seeing him start to play imaginatively!

, Molly

Sunday, July 2, 2017

5/13 - Berry Good Time of Year

Summer is my favorite season! (Which I may have nonchalantly also mentioned here and here.) To make the most of it, I brainstormed a little list of things to do. Here's our Summer Fun List:

  • watch a movie outside
  • make giant bubbles
  • fly a kite
  • build a sandcastle
  • visit the splash pad
  • pick fresh fruit
  • go to the fair
  • swim in the river
  • go camping with friends
  • bake a pie
  • dive off a dock
  • make fresh ice cream
  • go to the Oregon coast
  • ride horses
  • attend Grace Gate's church in the park
  • see the solar eclipse
  • play with sparklers
  • make fresh lemonade
  • ride in the combine
  • sit around a campfire
  • enjoy a picnic lunch
  • take a short hike
  • ride bikes
  • eat smoothies for lunch
  • go on a slip and slide
  • watch the stars come out and the moon rise
♥, Molly

Monday, June 26, 2017

1 Week of Elsie

So hard to believe, but when I took this picture our baby girl had been with us for one whole week! ( a few days...) I sometimes just catch myself staring at her in amazement. I know how babies are born, but really -- how are babies born?!

, Molly

Sunday, June 25, 2017

4/13: Introducing . . . ELSIE!

In terms of life changing weeks, the last few have been pretty high ranking: we finally got to meet little Elsie Pearl Adams! After 18 hours of labor, she was born at 5:42 pm on June 16, 2017. She weighed 8 pounds, 5 ounces and was 21 inches long -- the exact same stats as her big brother! We were able to follow our plan for a home birth and are thankful everything went smoothly. I am especially grateful to our incredible team of midwives who supported and cared for us in every way. Samuel came back home later that evening and it was wonderful to snuggle up in bed as a family of four for the first time. Elsie is fitting into our family so perfectly. She is an amazing gift!

♥, Molly

Saturday, June 17, 2017

3/13: Again, again, again

Samuel is in a new phase of book reading: he wants to read the same books again, again, and again! I think I can practically read his favorites in my sleep. At the library we typically check out books about construction and animals, which he then reads on repeat for a few weeks.  Since our home library doesn't have a ton of selection, he's forced to branch out a bit. Here are his top ten reads that he pulls off the shelf on a daily basis:
♥, Molly

Sunday, June 11, 2017

2/13: Lunch on the Lawn

The past few days the weather's reminded me of spring: high winds, rain showers, and temperatures in the 50s (F). Earlier this week, however, the weather was just like summer should be--hot and sunny! It was the perfect opportunity for Samuel and I to eat most of our lunches on the lawn. Samuel (14 months) is working on using a spoon to feed himself. He's getting better and better, but it still gets a bit messy at times. In addition to the enjoying the sunshine, the easy clean-up is another good reason to eat outside.
♥, Molly

Sunday, June 4, 2017

1/13: Summer Daze

Each year when my birthday rolls around, I like to set a few goals for the upcoming season of life. One of my hopes for my 34th year was to use my DSLR more often. As a motivator, a friend and I created a little challenge for ourselves called the 13 Weeks of Summer for the 13 Sundays in June, July, and August. We're keeping the rules simple: the photo must be current from the week and it must be taken with a DSLR. That's it!

I only took two photos the first week, so even though this one is a little blurry, it will have to do.

My first photo is of my little family enjoying one of our favorite Sunday rituals: an afternoon nap! It's an ideal way to kick off our summer days . . . or daze. ;-)
♥, Molly