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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Another mouth to feed...

Big things happening around the Kibbutz lately... We officially have another mouth to feed as we started solids for Grey man last week. So far, we've sampled some rice cereal and sweet potatoes and plan on foraying into the world of peas next.

Up until last week, we hadn't really seen many signs of readiness from Greyson. He didn't seem all that interested and knowing the hassle of having to prepare and serve the food once we started it, I wasn't all that eager to start. But then all of a sudden, he started reaching for our food when we were eating and perhaps the most telling sign of all, he started smacking his lips together when he observed us dining or when it was close to the time he was usually fed, which I took as a very obvious sign that the boy was hungry and it was time for some food!

I wasn't expecting the food to help with the sleeping at night quite yet - I remembered with Hayes that it wasn't until we could start incorporating protein into the mix that he started sleeping through the night. And I hate to even talk about it for fear of jinxing things, but ever since we started giving Grey some real food, his sleeping has changed dramatically for the better. This could also be a mere coincidence as we've upped the ounces of milk we're giving him throughout the day and he's finally getting over a nasty cold he's had for the better part of a month, but whatever it is, you won't hear me complaining! Now if only we could get that 3 year old to sleep in a little more...

I wanted to post some pics and videos of both boys' first experience with the good stuff. 
Being that Grant and my worlds pretty much revolve around food, it was a pretty important moment that needed to be captured! 
Both were a couple days shy of 5 months when they started their foodie adventures:


Okay guys, I'm ready!
The big moment...


Not bad... what else ya got for me?

I love how Hayzey's video is long and leisurely and Greyson's is appropriately hectic - things have to be captured a lot quicker these days as the boys battle for the attention!

Here are Greyson's 5 month photos (click on 'Enjoy')and a snap of Hayes when he was the same age:

Hayzey at 5 months
 As you can see, Greyson has kept his dark locks, whereas by this time with Hayes, he'd lost most of his hair and it was growing back in blonde. They definitely have their own unique look, but I personally think they're both cute as the dickens ;-)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Weekend Getaway to Del Mar...

We packed up the car on Saturday morning and headed down to Del Mar, leaving the boys with Nini and Pa for our first getaway solo since Greyson was born. And don't get me wrong, we love our kids, but boy oh boy was it nice to have 36 hours to ourselves, filled with nothing to do but lie by the pool, catch up on our books, eat some tasty meals and most importantly, SLEEP!

We stayed at the same hotel we stayed at last year, L'Auberge Del Mar, which we couldn't recommend highly enough. The hotel is in a great location, within walking distance to a ton of great restaurants and boutiques and the decor is seaside adorable. They even have mini cupcakes to welcome you when you check in - my kind of place!

We got down to Del Mar around lunchtime on Saturday and after checking in and changing into our suits, we walked over to Board & Brew to pick up some yummy sandos to eat poolside. Within an hour of sitting down, I was sleeping on the lounge chair (apparently, I was tired!) and spent the rest of the day finally getting into the book I've been reading since Grey was born, only taking a break for some gelato and a game of cards. We had a late afternoon hot tub, then drinks at the bar at the hotel before heading to Prep Kitchen for dinner. An early nightcap back at the hotel bar and we were both sleeping by 11:30pm - my how times have changed.

The next morning, we slept in nice and late and after a pit stop at Sbux across the street, we took a nice long walk along the railroad tracks overlooking the ocean - a gorge view and perfect weather. Since we wanted to maximize our pool time, we picked up sandos from Board & Brew again and spent a few last hours soaking in the sun before heading back to reality.

It was a great little getaway and I can't help but think we lucked out again on the whole weather front; it really was perfect. It was nice to reconnect with the hubs sans the distraction of kiddos and we decided that we should try and do it every couple of months (while we'd love to make it a monthly thing, that just seems financially frivolous!) so I'm looking forward to that!

Nini and Pa had a great weekend with the boys, with Greyson even giving them a break and waking only once throughout the night. We're convinced they must be lying about that as that's definitely not the case when we're around! But happy nonetheless that he was easy on them so they'll want to take care of the monsters again ;-)

We're lying low this weekend and getting ready for a storm of guests the rest of April is bringing, with Aunt V and Thomas in town next weekend for Easter and a weekend getaway to Palm Springs with the Carver clan at the end of the month. There's never a dull moment around here!


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Isms and 4 month/3 year Photos!


...after 3 years, he's finally embraced the lovey I've been pushing on him, a small spotted dog named Fred. Fred is the ONLY thing allowed in bed with him at night. He sleeps with him draped over his neck like a scarf. Greyson is NOT allowed to touch Fred either, which I saw Hayes not so subtly remind him yesterday as he yanked it out of Grey's unsuspecting hands. 

 (came across this video of Pa and Hayzey when he was Greyson's age, avec Fred)

...at night, before Hayes goes to bed, he tells me he wants to talk about the day and says "what was your favorite?", meaning what was my favorite part of the day? I love this. I'll tell him mine and ask him his - frankly, that conversation right there might be my favorite part of the day.
...he's very concerned about when the day is going to be over. He's always been fascinated about whether the sun is out and when the moon will be here, but lately he'll start asking me at around noon if the day is almost over and is visibly relieved when I tell him no.
...he is pretty obsessed with Mickey Mouse's Clubhouse on Disney Jr. He gets so excited for the hot dog dance at the end of the show that we can only allow him to watch it when Greyson is awake, otherwise his enthusiastic stomping shakes the whole house. In the show, there's a little flying tool called Toodles who swoops in and helps the characters solve problems. Whenever Hayes encounters a challenge in his day, he puts his hands to his mouth and yells "Oh Toodles!", as if he's going to magically fly down and help him out.

...he's very PC. If you ask him if he likes someone more than someone else, he responds by saying, "I like them all".
...best trick yet: when I tell him, "You're my boy, Hayes", he responds with "You're my girl, Mama". melts.my.heart


...his nails are like talons. They grow like a werewolf with sharp pointy corners, no matter what I do to round them out when I cut them. I think I'm going to remember his infancy with the constant fear of him taking the skin off of my chest.
...he HATES having his nose picked. He dodges the finger heading towards his nose like a caged fighter, turning his head left and right and doing everything he can to block the access. This has been especially fun since he's had a cold all week so not only am I constantly trying to clear his tiny nostrils from the accumulating snot, but getting the nose-sucker Nosefrida up there is near impossible. Good times.
...he's rolling all over the place and was even army crawling a little bit the other day. The thought of him being mobile soon terrifies me.
...he snorts like a pig when he's excited. Judging by his weight/height class being in the 95th percentile, we think he might actually be part swine.
...his primary form of communication is a high-pitched scream.
...if you make eye contact with him when he's stirring from a nap or first thing in the morning, forgetaboutit. Once he locks eyes with you and flashes that killer smile, you might as well stop everything you're doing or go and turn on that Nespresso machine because you're now his for the next 90 minutes until the next sleep cycle begins. 
...sometimes when you go into his room to plug that binky back into his mouth, he grabs onto your wrists as if he's holding onto you for dear life. To say he's a strong little guy is a vast understatement.

Here are the pics from 4 months/3 years (link below).

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Greyson Decker Cohen: Superstar!

I am way delayed in posting these pics but better late than never, right?! 
Newborns are only newborns for so long, so with both boys, I felt that it was really important to capture their newness with some professional pictures. Having Greyson so close to the holidays also meant that this would be a good opportunity to get some pics of the fam that we could use for the Christmas card - added bonus!

While I liked the company we used for Hayes' newborn pictures, the shots were very simple and plain and for Greyson, I was really hoping to find a photographer that was able to really capture the cuteness by using timeless props that would enhance the photos. I had a photographer I'd found online booked to come a week after he was due but when the due date came and went and I looked into rescheduling, she sadly informed me that she wasn't going to be in town for the rest of the month (it was Thanksgiving, after all!). 

Alas, it was a blessing in disguise, for if the original photographer hadn't been unavailable, I would never have found Diana Henderson (a referral from my friend, Lizzie), who was simply AMAZING and turned out to be everything I was looking for. Not only was I able to pick and choose props from an extensive collection (even down to the way the floor looked, people!), her package philosophy was no bullshit - we got to keep digital files of whatever she took (high res and low res - unheard of in the photography business), with a few retouched photos included (most of them not even needing to be retouched). This meant that we would be able to choose from over 300 photos that we now owned the rights to - the possibilities were frankly, overwhelming, but a good problem to have!

On top of the adorable props and great deal, Diana was the sweetest, with two young boys of her own. She was not only a baby whisperer, gently moving Greyson into whatever position we needed our baby model to be in, holding his limbs tight when he fussed and even bringing a space heater to keep his little bod warm, but she was incredible with Hayes as well, keeping him engaged and interested and hamming it up for the camera until the very end. 
We couldn't have been happier with how the photos turned out. Many of you saw a collection of them in Greyson's birth announcement/holiday card, but here are some of my other favorites, as well as a link to all of them on our shutterfly share site. We've gotten a few of them framed and will be hanging them at the house as soon as hubby's cast comes off.


 And probably my absolute favorite from the whole shoot:


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Back in the saddle again...

I've been back at work now for about a week and am slowly re-acclimating to my working-mom role. Of course, it helps tremendously that I am afforded such a uniquely awesome situation, working from home two days a week and from the office three days a week. The schedule really allows me to enjoy the best of both worlds - I don't feel like I'm missing out on too much of the boys and I'm also able to preserve my sanity by engaging my mind in something non-baby and toddler-related (not to mention the amount of personal things I'm able to get done - 10 hours is a long day!).

Coming back to work last week was harder than I expected it to be. When I returned to work after having Hayes, I didn't have any issues; I basically didn't think about him when I was at work, so in a way, I kind of forgot to miss him. I'm not sure if it's because there's double the love now, or if it's because I'm leaving an animated three year old and not just a baby blob (sorry Grey!), but I really missed those guys on my first day back! I physically missed holding them in my arms.  I found myself a little jealous of the nanny because I knew she was getting to spend all of that quality time with my boys while I seemingly twiddled my thumbs at work. 
The second day got easier and then it was already the weekend, where I got to spend a full four days with them. Then yesterday back at work was easier still and so on and so forth. It helps that Hayes could literally care less whether I'm there - when I drop him off at school, he is so insistent on updating his teacher Edith on where "Umi car" is (from Team Umizoomi) that he hardly notices as I'm leaving. And when he wakes up in the morning, he reminds me how much he likes the new nanny, Diana (a huge relief!), basically before he even says good morning. When I told him that I would miss him when I went back to work, he gave me a hug and said "Don't worry Mama, I'll see you when you get home!". So I'm thrilled that he's transitioned easily from having me around 24/7! And Greyson is so young, he doesn't know the difference, although his sleeping has gone to absolute hell the past week so I'm wondering if he's trying to make up for lost quality time with Mama by insisting on waking up every hour throughout the night. God damn 4 month cognitive surge!

Anyways, now that I'm back at work, I ironically have more time for this ole blog so you'll hopefully be hearing from me again on a more regular basis ;-)

Here are a couple of videos of the boys we've taken as of late.

Hayzey has started a soccer class every Saturday at a local park (with about 5 of his friends so that's been nice company for Grant and me). We've only been to one class so far and his enthusiasm was lackluster but when push came to shove, he did what he was supposed to do with the ball and we're hoping he sees the fun in the sport as he gets used to it.

And Grey is still our smiley guy, laughing at the same silliness Hayes used to laugh at, as you can see from the video below:

Man I love those guys...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Pats!

On my last official day of maternity leave (sniffle, sniffle!), we're embracing the color green, drinking shamrock shakes and pretending to be Irish...

Happy St. Pats!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Hayes Turns Three!

We've had a whirlwind of a week celebrating Hayzey's birthday and just like Christmas and Valentine's Day, I think he's starting to understand why holidays and birthdays are so fun. Wednesday birthdays are tricky since they fall in the middle of the week, so you're bound to start celebrating the weekend before or continue the celebration into the weekend after. Oh, who am I kidding, it's us we're talking about - birthdays are like Ramadan around here!
We had an "Up, Up and Away!" themed birthday party at the house last weekend, with about 20 of Hayes' little friends and 30 adults (mostly his friends' parents - my how our parties have changed!) congregating at the Kibbutz for some jumping, balloon decorating and good eating. There were no bouncy castle casualties and very few meltdowns (none from our kids at least, so that was a relief!), so all in all, I'd say it was a very successful day! Birthday boy thoroughly enjoyed being in the spotlight and soaked in every minute of the 8 hour rental period for the bounce house. And Mom and Dad were very proud of how well he shared his toys and welcomed his friends to his turf - 'cuz you never know how that's gonna go!
Even Baby Grey got some bouncing time in...
As if the excitement of Sunday wasn't enough, we treated Hayes to his first ever trip to Disneyland on Monday, leaving Baby Grey at home with Nini so we could really let loose and enjoy ourselves. I don't think he quite knew what to think about it at first, but by the end of the day, he was assuring us not to worry, as he had a flashlight in his pretend backpack so we didn't have to go home when it got dark out ;-) For a random Monday in February, it was still plenty crowded, with 30 minute waits for most rides, but Hayes patiently waited his turn and we felt like we got to see everything we wanted to including Dumbo, Astro Orbiter, Teacups, the Mark Twain River Boat and two spins on the Autotopia racetrack, which seemed to be Hayzey's favorite. Throw in a Mickey Mouse & Friends show and a visit to Toontown to meet Goofy in person (oddly the only character we saw roaming the park) and for a first trip, we covered a lot of ground!
Here are some pics of the day...

Checking out the "treasure map" to see which rides we should hit up first...
Patiently waiting in line for Dumbo...
Astro Orbiter with Dad (unfortunately I missed this one as I had to spend 20 minutes in the Baby Care Center pumping - a definite first for me!)...
Obligatory funnel cake...
Hugs for Goofy...
Yep, Hayes can drive. Has his license and everything!
Adding to our pressed penny collection... FYI this is the cheapest souvenir at Disneyland at 51 cents. Unfortunately, we were also suckered into getting the real goods - personalized mouse ears and $22 Mickey Mouse gloves that he hasn't touched since we got home. Can you say goldmine?
We loved that we got to take Hayzey solo (thank you, Nini!) and I think it meant a lot to all of us to have that special time with each other ;-)

Happy birthday, kiddo. Hope you enjoyed it!