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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Around here lately...

Holy moly, I hadn't realized it had been 3 weeks since I last posted. 
Time sure does fly when you're having fun!
The new schedule is insane. It's nonstop from dawn (well, sometimes before dawn) until bedtime and there's little time to do anything until it's time to go to bed and do it all again the next day. Between the boys' new school schedules, we feel like we spend half our lives dropping and picking up kids, then there's homework, making lunches, feeding children, laundry, school volunteering... Oh and that little thing called 'work' that has actually been keeping me busy lately (the nerve!). It's crazy
town around here and we're just doing everything we can to keep our heads afloat!

Hayes is in his fourth week of kindergarten and is still a little luke warm about the whole thing. It's a lot for him, being there every day, 5 days a week for almost 7 hours. He literally counts down to the weekend all week and loves his "early out" Tuesdays (they get out at 2:30 everyday except for Tuesday, when they get out at 1:30), but has made a couple of little buddies and seems to be enjoying it enough. He told me yesterday that he was part of a club at school that consisted of him, his friend Jackson, his friend Romeo and another kid from the other kinder class who's name he couldn't remember. What did they do in their club, I asked? Why, chase the girls, of course. Yep, it's already starting - we're instituting a 3 feet on the ground rule around the Cohen Cabana stat.

A birdfeeder Grey and I made a few weeks ago - I think it was the happiest day of his life. He keeps reminding me, "Remember when we made the bird feeder? Just you and me, Mom?" Kind of breaks my heart a little and definitely makes me realize I need to carve out some more one-on-one time with the kid!
Greyson seems to really be thriving at his school, even though he protests every morning about going and is quick to remind everyone that he doesn't have school everyday. His school has started a blog that's specific to his classroom and I absolutely love seeing pictures and videos of him in that environment, dancing and playing with his friends, since his go-to answer to what did you do at school today is the already frustrating "I don't know." This is one of my favorite pics of him from the blog - look at how relaxed he looks!
He's taking swim lessons again with Hayes' old swim coach, Mikey and seems to be doing well. We plan on doing that through the end of September and hope that by then, he'll be able to competently swim on his own. And when he's not in school or swimming, he's spending his days infuriating us and testing us like only a toddler can. He is out of control lately and we're hoping he doesn't send our new nanny running for the hills!
Henley has finally taken a liking to eating (thank god!) and is enjoying an array of sludge, her favorites being sweet potatoes and pears. We're slowly introducing more formula and less liquid gold and as much as it pains me to be done nursing my last baby, it's also really liberating not having to deal with all of that anymore. I will mourn the loss of these days when they pass, but she really seems to like the formula (maybe even moreso than the breast milk) and my philosophy has always been 'fed is best' so after a 6 month run of strictly nursing, I think I can be pretty proud of that. We are loving this age with her - she's easy going and lights up with a big toothy grin the moment you lay eyes on her. And she's finally starting to sleep through the night, which is the best news to report of all!
Grant is busy busy busy with work and has a hectic travel schedule planned for September, with trips to Cologne, Germany, Las Vegas and NYC over the next 3 weeks. I'm in a slight panic about being in single mom mode for so long, but it is what it is. He's embarking on a new career this Saturday as he coaches a team of 9 boys under the age of 6 (Hayes included, obviously) to win the figurative (they don't keep score) gold in AYSO (soccer). 

As for me, besides keeping busy with all of the above, I'm unhappy to report that my kidney stones are back ;-( Lots of aches and pains over the last couple of weeks and currently taking Flomax, a drug more commonly used for enlarged prostates in 85 year old men, I'll go have a CT scan next week to see what the situation is and then we'll determine whether I can pass these bad boys or have to go down the surgery route again. Good times!
That's a 10,000 foot view of the Cohen Family currently. Promise to be better about keeping y'all up to date with the happenings, but we're doing (mostly) well and excited that Fall is upon us ;-)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to school we go...

BIG week around the Cohen household - both boys started school - Greyson as a Polar Bear (toddler program) at Green Beginning and Hayes as a Kindergartner at Overland Elementary.

There have been mixed feelings about it on both of their parts, but we're keeping our chins up and our minds open and I'm confident that in a couple of weeks time, once we acclimate to the new normal, they'll both be quite happy with the new routine.
Greyson actually started last Friday; he'll go three mornings a week, MWF, 9-12. He has the same teachers - Rachel and Edith - that Hayes had for two years during his time at GBCP. Like I mentioned last week, it felt both foreign and familiar to be there for him instead of Hayes. This is our 5th year at the school (I can't even believe that) and the teachers and parents there have come to feel like a family to me so I was happy to be back and knew Greyson was in good hands.
He happily posed for pictures with his "suitcase" on the front steps and insisted on wearing big brother Hayes' Batman tee.
When we got to school and he realized I'd be leaving him there solo, he wasn't quite as happy. We had a tearful goodbye and I tried to block out the wails I was hearing coming from the school yard as I hopped in my car to head home to take Hayes to kinder orientation. Luckily, according to his teachers, the cries were short-lived and after distracting him a little bit with some lettuce watering, he happily played until pick-up.

He was pretty stoked to see me when I picked him up and after asking him to go get his lunchbox from his cubby, he looked at me and sternly said, "Okay, but don't leave me again!". He had school this week on Monday and Wednesday and it's been a similar scene at drop-off so hoping he gets over that soon. I hate leaving him there like that, but also know that he'll be well taken care of because I have such a comfort level with that school.
Hayes started kinder on Tuesday and was an absolute rockstar at drop-off. I, on the other hand, kind of lost it for a minute there but masked my tears with another hug and shook it off. His teacher's name is Ms. Cohon (easy to remember!) and although I haven't heard the most glowing reviews from other parents (she formerly taught 4th grade math), she seems perfectly fine and we're keeping an open mind. Sadly, him and his buddy were not put in the same class, which was a shame, but he's already made a couple of new friends and I think he'll be just fine.

We walk to school every morning with the other kids on our block who go to Overland, which is kind of a nice way to start the day and definitely feels very suburban. Yesterday's drop-off was unexpectedly tough - I figured since we'd made it through day one with no tears, day two would be a breeze, but not so much. I felt absolutely terrible about leaving him there like that, but figured he would be fine and a quick exit was the best approach.
Hayes seems kind of luke warm about the whole kindergarten thing, which I'm hoping will change as he gets more comfortable. The days are long - 8a-2:30p - and I think that's tough for him. He's also never done consecutive days in a row, always being on a three day a week schedule so it's tiring. He is literally counting down until the weekend and I think the word "Fri-yay- is about to enter his vocabulary.

When I asked him last night what he thought the hardest part of kindergarten was, besides the long days ("it felt like I was there for like, 9 HOURS mom!"), he said he was hungry! So I said that was an easy fix and today, I basically sent him to school with two lunches. All the more reason to keep that Costco membership I guess!
It's been a long week for all of us and this whole new schedule thing is going to be a transition that'll take some time. To be totally honest with you, as a creature of habit who hates change, I don't really like kindergarten so far. I feel like I'm dropping him off at jail and especially yesterday when I had to leave him with his teacher pulling him into the classroom, yelling at me to shut the door, it broke my heart a little bit. I know I'm being dramatic - trust me, I'm reading how ridiculous I sound. But kindergarten is just another step closer to my baby not being my baby anymore and I hate how my familiar days of having all of my babies at home are slowly slipping away. It's something I struggle with constantly, the bittersweetness of life moving forward and being proud of my kid's accomplishments but constantly wanting to freeze time and stay in this moment forever and this week has been a tough one. I know I'll get over it, but it feels heavy right now when we're in the thick of it and it sucks.

(BTW if you really want to feel all the feels, read this article about the 1st day of Kindergarten -

We do also have some good news to report: we found a new nanny! Her name is Marcy and she seems great, totally capable of taking care of three kids and juggling the insane schedule. She's from Chicago and is in her late 20s but best of all, she wants to be a nanny for her career so we hopefully don't have to worry about her going anywhere. She'll do a training day next week with Lolo and then will start week of 8/29. She's got big shoes to fill but I think we're really going to like her.
Looking forward to spending a carefree weekend with my babies ;-) Hope y'all have a good one!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Lately, around here...

Summer has literally flown by. I can't believe school is starting this week (I also think it's an absolute travesty that kids have like 5 weeks of summer vacation in California, but I digress...) and that it's already the middle of August. Fall is right around the corner and although it's usually my favorite time of year, I know I'm going to long for the lazy days of summer spent poolside with the kiddos.

Luckily, it's blazing hot in LA until end of October so we have a few more months of that ;-)
The last couple of weeks have been a doozy. Our beloved nanny, Lolo, gave notice last week; she's going to pursue a marketing opportunity she's been offered and will be leaving us at the end of the month. We're pretty devastated, especially me, since I've come to think of Lolo as a little sister of sorts. My heart literally dropped into my stomach when I found out and her and I have shared some tears over how sad we both are that she won't be around anymore (to which I say, STAY! Why are you leaving us if you're so sad?!). But it's a good opportunity that she should take and I'm being a grown-up about it and trying to be happy for her. I'm hoping she'll remain in our lives somehow because we're really going to miss her. She's left some big shoes to fill.

I came down with a nasty cold last week and unfortunately passed it on to Henny Bear. She was pretty miserable for a few days and seems to just be finally coming out of the fog. Poor thing - it's the worst when they're sick. The 1.25 ml of infant Tylenol I'm allowed to give her might as well be sugar water. And poor me - Grant's been in Idaho all week for work so I've been solo with the kids. We've had a couple of rough nights and I'm ready for hubby to come home!
Greyson starts school tomorrow. Um...what? We had our Back to School night last night and it was so strange being there for him and not for Hayes, back in the old classroom, with the old teachers. It felt familiar but so foreign at the same time, seeing his cute little mug on the wall and crafting a scrapbook page for his first day of school. I'm excited for him - I think he's going to love it. Greyson's been ready to go to school for awhile now and I think it'll be nice for him to finally have his own thing, his own friends. We've also signed him up for Soccer Shots in the Fall, which he will kickass at, no doubt. He continues to infuriate me in the way only a two year old can, but on the flip side, I look at his little face and personality sometimes and think about how lucky we are that this little human is ours. 
Making rootbeer float popsicles in our backwards underoos...
And Hayzey boy, my big kindergartener... He has a kinder orientation tomorrow (not sure how I'm going to be there and drop Greyson off at school at the same time, where's my clone when I need her?!) where he gets to meet his teacher and we finally find out if he's going to be in the same class as the only buddy he has who's going there (fingers crossed!). Then he starts school on Tuesday. I'm anxious about that, the new routine, how we're going to get our act together to get him to school by the 8:11am start time. But he seems excited and judging by how much he loved the Developmental Kindergarten component of pre-school last year, I know he'll really thrive in the kinder environment. We also started speech therapy a few weeks ago and that's going well; he seems to really like his new friend Sam (the speech therapist) and looks forward to his sessions. I think he mainly likes that it's something just him and I do together - he'll take the one on one time wherever he can get it, I guess!
Baby Henley is 6 months today! She is so lovable and smoochable and I seriously can't get enough. She's learned to turn onto her stomach, but not the other way around so night time has been a little tough for the last couple of weeks as she keeps getting stuck. But she's also started sleeping on her tummy, which means she's sleeping better when she's sleeping. She's still not into the whole solids thing, although in her defense I haven't exactly tried in the last week or so. Wondering if she might  be one of those babies who likes finger foods more than purees, which would be just fine with me!

Most of the crew, minus one family...
We got away to Austin, TX for a couple days last weekend with 4 other couples who are college buddies of ours and their kiddos - 10 adults, 9 kids. I thought we had gone insane for planning such a trip, but it was actually really fun - the kids kept themselves busy, which was nice and everyone just hung out at this giant house we stayed in right on Lake Travis. Hoping to make it an annual thing, with a different locale each year. 

Some shots of the weekend for your viewing pleasure...
Hayes (5), Nicholas (8), Max (16 months), Hudson (4), Sophia (4) and Grey Grey (2)...
The pool and view - basically if you were outside, you were in the pool. It was a scorcher!
Men and (some of) their babies...
Max listens to live music...
Daaancing!
An inpromptu group hug...
Donuts for days...
The house from the lake...
Tubing for the first time...
Back for a second round with friends... and goggles.
Two thumbs up from Grey Grey...
Silly faces...
Henley and Parker, 9 days apart (and with very different political views! #Henswithher)...
The most ridiculously large pizza you ever did see - EVERYTHING'S bigger in Texas!

Keep Austin Wierd...
Hope your summer is going swimmingly. 
Will post an update on our Cohen Fam Summer Bucket List next week!






 


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Celebrating Victoria...

Last weekend, we hosted my sister-in-law's bridal shower at the Cohen Cabana. And while I'd like to take credit for the way everything effortlessly came together for the festive soiree, I must admit, it had absolutely nothing to do with me!
My mother-in-law, Nini and her sister, Lisa both own the cutest shoe stores you ever did see. They're called Tootsies and their motto is "affordable and adorable" women's shoe wear. Lucky for them, if the whole shoe thing doesn't work out, they could easily run a successful florist/catering business between the two of them. It was thanks to them that the shower was such a beautiful and yummy success.
We had about 16 or so ladies in Victoria's life gather at the house for an afternoon of eating, present-opening and a few little non-cheesy bridal shower games thrown in for good measure. The boys were banished from the house for a couple of hours and happily went to a hole in the wall burger and dog joint for lunch, followed by some time at the golf range. Greyson napped and Henley, reluctant to miss out on anything (so seems to be the story of her life these days...), donned the cutest little halter top dress (side note, halter tops on 5 month olds are just to.die.for) and joined the party.
Hayes and Uncle Thomas on a walk earlier that morning...
On the menu?
Crispy tostadas with a citrus shrimp guacamole and sour cream drizzle...
Grilled baby bell peppers stuffed with greek salad...
BLT stuffed roma tomatoes...
Burrata and fresh peach on grilled ciabatta with torn basil and sliced almonds...
The only dish I didn't capture a picture of - and probably one of my favorites - was a miniature waffle adorned with carrot slaw and a piece of mouth-watering fried chicken...
It was a lovely afternoon and although it was super hot in LA, we put our outdoor awning to good use and took advantage of the indoor/outdoor space we created when we designed the house. It really was perfect for the event and I think everyone had a great time.
Henley and the other GG...
Henley and both her GG's (lucky lady!)...
The bride and maid of honor, Clara...
Henny Bear and GG...

Tuckered out with Nini...
Uncle Thomas putting in work...
Officer Hayes even made a debut, making all of our guests go through security on their way out...


Looking forward to celebrating the bride and groom in early October - can't believe the wedding will be here so soon!