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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Lake Arrowhead

We spent last weekend in Lake Arrowhead, a sleepy mountain town an hour and a half northeast of LA and I have to say, it was love at first sight!


I'm only slightly embarrassed to say that I first learned about Lake Arrowhead while reading one of Tori Spelling's terrible books. Her family vacations there quite often and after doing a little bit of research into it and finding out that it was so close (we always thought going to the "mountains" meant a 5-6 hour car ride), we decided to take a joint family long weekend with our friends, the Blakes.

I found an adorable little cabin on airbnb (for those of you who aren't familiar, airbnb is a house rental website) and we packed up the car to drive out first thing Friday morning. After getting through the LA freeways, the landscape changed from concrete and cars, to windy roads through huge mountains, surrounded on all sides by lush trees - basically the complete opposite of Los Angeles.


The house was perfect, with three bedrooms on the ground floor that our family took (Hayes slept in a bunk bed for the first time and thought it was the coolest thing ever) and a master in a loft-type setting that the Blakes and their little guy, Ryder took. The main room was everything you'd want out of a mountain cabin - plush leather couches and chairs, each with their own blanket, lots of wood, a stone fireplace and a coffee table filled with any board game you could ever want. The house was perched up on a hill so you felt like you were living in a tree house - especially nice in the early mornings when Greyson and I *enjoyed* watching the sunrise.

Grant fired up some lobsters on the grill on Friday night after the kids went to bed. Saturday, we took a tour of the lake on our own privately chartered boat (Greyson's first boat ride and Hayes even got to drive!) and had dinner in the adorable town square at a little Mexican restaurant. And Sunday, we went to a private beach club and relaxed while Hayes splashed around in the water. In between all of that, when Greyson was napping, Hayes enjoyed going on "adventures" in the woods, collecting pine cones and other mountain treasures.

We liked it so much, we actually looked at some real estate while we were there and are considering purchasing a second home. To be able to offer that kind of getaway to our boys on the reg for a relatively affordable price would be amazing - and the fact that it's so close makes it all the better!

Here are some more pics - we can't wait to go back!

Grey Grey wasn't too sure about the life jacket...
Captain Hayes...
The water in the lake literally had flecks of gold in it...
Brave Hayes letting the water go neck-high...
Rainbow sherbert in a chocolate sprinkly waffle cone? What more could a guy want?!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Snova

We had an amazing weekend in Sonoma (or as it's lovingly called around here, 'Snova') with Nana and Papa. It was so nice to get away, breathe in some fresh air and do absolutely nothing for 3 days.


We stayed in a very modern manse at the top of the Lovall Valley Loop. Although the house was a little cold feeling, it was very nice and had just about the most amazing views of the Napa valley you've ever seen. We spent the majority of our time outside in the infinity pool, with pre-breakfast hot tubs and lots of swimming practice for Hayzey. Other activities included a picnic in the park in the Sonoma Square and a trip to Sonoma Train Town, an adorable little amusement park that had a ferris wheel and roller coaster, among a few other rides.
Sunset vino by the pool...
While it felt weird to go to wine country and literally not visit a single winery, we got our fill of the good stuff at dinners in town, visiting Mamma Taninos with the kids the first night (great food, not-so-great atmosphere and not a very leisurely dinner with a 8 month old who had skipped his nap that day), The Girl & the Fig (just okay, but delicious cocktails) and Cafe la Haye (simple restaurant atmosphere but amazing food, especially their daily risotto and to-die-for desserts).

Nana brought Hayes a special treat, some of my barbies from way-back-when (some of them are seriously 30 years old - heirlooms, if you will!), which he happily kept busy with for the whole weekend, dressing them up in their various outfits. He has slept with them every night since he got them and has given Greyson strict instruction that he is only to touch Ken, since he doesn't have "soft hair". I'm just happy they're getting a second life - I missed my old friends!

On our way to the airport Sunday, we stopped off in Walnut Creek and visited our favorite deli, Genova - giving both boys a taste of the good life with the most delicious turkey sandwich ever made and their famous raviolis on the side. Greyson has proven to be quite the foodie and we're having a great time introducing him to various delicacies, which he shoves in his mouth in the blink of an eye! In addition to the aforementioned sandwich and pasta, he also has cotton candy, macaroni and cheese and a quesadilla over the weekend - we're not winning any parenting awards, but I feel like we're at least offsetting the junk with plenty of fruits and veggies!

The boys enjoying dinner together...
Mac and cheese was a hit!
We really enjoyed the weekend spending time with my parents - thanks for letting us tag along on your trip! Here are some more shots. Enjoy!

pre-breakfast hot-tub...
practicing our swim lessons...
ferris wheel selfie...
successful first roller coaster!
taking a ride on the sea monster...


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hayesisms and Greyisms...

Summer is flying by. Hard to believe that it's already August and that summer is almost over. Luckily, SoCal summer really goes until about the end of October (on Grant's birthday last year, I was sunning my 9+ month pregnant bump at the pool!) so we have a few months left of warmth but it's still pretty crazy how fast the last couple of months have flown by.

The boys are changing everyday, especially Greyson, who seemed pretty hell bent on not staying a baby for too long. He is months ahead of where his brother was with regards to his developmental milestones - we think it's because he's trying to keep up with Hayes, who he absolutely ADORES. And Hayes is a busy bee, constantly talking, always occupied with one activity or another. We've managed to keep him pretty busy this summer, with various summer camps, swim lessons, Soccer Shots and an exciting August filled with weekend getaways lying ahead. 


Here are some isms that capture where each of them are at in this moment:

Hayesisms {3 years, 5 months}...


...he is still fascinated with being a doctor. If you ask him what he wants to be when he gets older, he'll reply very matter of factly, "A doctor. For babies.", as if it's the dumbest question in the world. When we leave the house, he puts a pretend sign on the front door telling everyone that the doc is out. My left knee has been bothering me lately (no clue why as my lack of physical activity as of late is astounding) and when I was complaining about it, he hauled out his kit, donned his scrubs and gave me a check-up. After he was done, he told me I was lucky that the doc was in b/c he had been closed for the day.


...he likes to make the blanket a tent over our heads, protecting us from the pretend rain and having "secret kisses".
...you know those inflatable air-dancing blow-up men with the spiky hair that flop around outside of stores to get your attention? The ones you often find outside auto-repair shops? Well we have one close to our house and Hayes has named him Carlos. He frequently asks me if I think "Carlos will be popping around."
...we've been taking swim lessons, which Hayes hasn't been all that enthused about. Our instructor has flaked on a couple lessons (which is beyond annoying when you've left work early and dragged your 3 year old all the way there), but Hayes doesn't mind. In fact, when I asked him last night what his favorite part of the day was, he said, "My favorite part of the day was not having swim lessons." Ha!
...although he hasn't been enthused about the swim lessons, you sure wouldn't know it by the way he insists on traveling to the pool. No shirt, no shoes so he can be ready to swim as soon as he gets there!
...as I mentioned, we're going away a few weekends this month. One of our trips is to a house in Lake Arrowhead that we found on airbnb. I showed Hayes pictures of "the cabin" once and he hasn't stopped talking about it since. He asks me everyday to see the pictures again, especially his favorite one of the "boring games" (they have a shot of the board games in the coffee table in the gallery). Too much.


Greyisms {8.5 months}...


...he is all over the place, crawling, pulling himself up, starting to cruise. He is a seriously athletic baby for his age. And 'graceful' wouldn't be a word I'd use to describe it - you can hear his meat hooks slamming the ground from miles away...


...he has proven to be a total foodie, eating everything that's put in front of him. I don't think I've ever stopped feeding him because he was full; the kid would keep going and going if I let him. He uses his whole hand to shove food into his mouth and drinks his water like he's been dying a death of dehydration in the Sahara desert and it's his first drop of liquid. 

...he loves his older brother. His face lights up when Hayes walks into the room. This morning, he couldn't get close enough to him, climbing all over him and giving him open mouth kisses.


...when he gets really excited, he flaps his arms up and down like a little bird.
...when he sees his bottle, he needs it in that exact moment, or there will be hell to pay.
...he is a seriously early bird. Kid wakes up usually between 5:45-6a and I make him squawk in his room until 6:30a. It's worth it when I go in though, because you've never seen a baby happier to see you. And I secretly love the one on one time I get to have with him in the early morning hours, even if it means I'm passed out in bed by about 9:30p these days!

One final thing - I go back and forth with whether the boys look alike, mostly thinking they don't really (I think it's their eyes). One thing I can't argue about is that they definitely have the same look of annoyance they give their camera-happy mother!


We're off to Sonoma tomorrow for a long weekend of rest and relaxation with Nana and Papa. Looking forward to seeing the old folks and spending some quality family time eating our way through wine country. 

Hope y'all have a good one!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

7 and 8 month Photos...

I'm very delayed in posting Greyson's 7 month pictures... So delayed, in fact, that I already have the 8 months one to share as well, so without further ado, please enjoy!

{click on the link below the photos to access the pics on a lady's photos}

7 month photos!

8 month photos!
I really can't get enough of either of my guys right now. Turns out 3 1/2 years and 8 months are pretty awesome ages and we are enjoying every minute.


Greyson is a crawling machine. He went from showing the classic signs of being ready to crawl to taking off across the room seemingly overnight and wasted no time perfecting other skills like going from crawling to sitting, pulling up on tables and in his crib and trying to stand whenever he can. Something tells me he won't be on all fours for very long, even though he started a full 3 months before his big brother did.

He is such an easy going and happy baby, constantly smiling and "talking", which consists of repeated short screams and lots of blabber. He's also started making this strange, guttural sound in his throat that makes him seem slightly possessed, so that's been interesting.

Hayes continues to make us laugh on a daily basis with the things that come out of his mouth. He is a sharp and observant fellow, constantly outsmarting us and making it harder to fib reasons why he can't do things. He's had a little bit of separation anxiety with his mama lately - not sure if it's because he's a bit threatened by his little brother's new crawling status or because of the change in schedule over the summer vs. the normal routine - but we're getting through it and although it's hard sometimes, I'm also kind of enjoying this time when I'm #1 in his eyes, because lord knows, it won't last forever!

Hayes and Theo at the Green Beginning Talent Show...

Our big news of the summer is that he's learning how to swim. He's been taking private lessons with his buddy Theo and is doing great! We're 4 lessons into a 12 lesson package and he's already floating on his back sans life preserver and doing "sleeping fish" like a pro. We're hoping that by the time we go up to Sonoma with my parents in August that he'll have the basics down so we can spend the weekend practicing our new life skill.

Keep your eyes peeled for a swimming post to follow - we couldn't be prouder of our little fish ;-)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

FOJ Recap

We had a great FOJ weekend - one of the best we've had since becoming parents. I think we finally accepted the fact that America's birthday isn't the excuse to rage like it once was and have adapted our expectations to be a little more family-friendly ;-)
Hey! Don't forget about me!!
We headed down to Laguna Beach first thing Friday morning so Greyson could catch a snooze in the car and we could avoid any potential traffic. After getting settled at Nini and Pa's, we headed over to our friend Lizzie's parents house, where we swam for a bit before enjoying a delicious spread of sausages, dogs, various salads and the aforementioned PB chocolate chip cookies Hayes and I baked the day before.

The view wasn't too shabby...
FOJ Farmers Market sausages...
Ollie and Hayes...
Greyson and Clara...
After lunch, we walked down to their private beach (a beach within walking distance is an amazing thing when you have sandy kiddos!) and let the kids play around for a couple hours. Hayes is brave enough now that he'll go into the water, which is so fun to watch, but also a bit terrifying at the same time. And Greyson hung out on the blanket with Mama, who tried to minimize the amount of sand he put in his mouth.

These two look like they're plotting to take over the world...
My happy little chunk...
Flirting with Clara...
Best buds...
Beach tickles...
We headed back to Nini and Pa's and had enough time to sneak in a quick hot tub, before giving the kids outdoor showers and getting Greyson down. Hayes wasn't going down without seeing some fireworks, so we let him hang with us while we made dinner and caught the show from the pool. Hayes' favorite? "All of them, Mama!" He is his father's son!

The rest of the weekend was pretty relaxed back up in LA. Our babysitter bailed on us last minute for Saturday night so we had a nice evening at home and hung around the house on Sunday, celebrating National Fried Chicken Day with a family dinner out at Roscoe's (stay classy!).
Impromptu dance party...
Al fresco apps from East Borough...
Loving our summer nights...
An LA institution...
The huz and I are headed to Palm Springs this weekend for an adults-only getaway while Nini and Pa watch the boys. So looking forward to working on my summer tan, sleeping in on Sunday and kicking Grant's butt at Gin Rummy ;-)

Oh and in other news, this is happening at our house now:


Scary how quickly he picked up on that whole crawling thing. And our nanny said he pulled himself up onto the coffee table yesterday! Slow down buddy!