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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Greyisms

Oh, Greyson...
Baby Greyson taking a nap in Baby Henry's rock n play...
 He both infuriates and fascinates me these days and the stuff that comes out of his mouth is absolutely hilarious. It is really amazing to be able to comprehend the thoughts of somebody his age; we never experienced that with Hayes since his speech was so delayed and he didn't really start talking in a conversational manner until he was closer to three. Not so much with this one who has been speaking in full sentences for as long as I can remember.

Here are some things that Greyson, age 2 years 4 months is doing that are making us laugh around here lately...


...we're all a little new to the whole baby girl bow thing and for the boys, the only times they've seen bows is when they are adorned on packages that are meant to be torn into. A few weeks ago, he was searching for a pair of scissors and when I asked them what he needed them for, he told me he wanted to cut the bow off of Henley's head. Those promptly got moved to a higher cupboard where they would be out of reach!
...he calls sparkling water "fucking water"

...anytime he references something that happened in the past, he starts off by saying "Last morning..."
...a few weeks ago, I peeked in on him napping and found him like this:
 He fully understands what the potty is for, that he'll get treats for using it and evidently doesn't like to have a wet diaper on, but refuses to use the potty. When we ask him when he'll be ready, he says "Not yet, maybe when I'm smaller."
...when he wants your attention, he will physically grab your face so you can't look away.
...he's very particular about what is in his room when he sleeps. This is both good (as in when he chewed through his last pacifier and didn't like the new brand Grant brought home, effectively ending his relationships with said binkies once and for all last week!) and bad (as in when Hayes broke his collarbone a few weeks ago and I tried to sleep on the top bunk to be closer to him and try and entice the boys to go back to sleep at 3 in the morning, Greyson forcefully yelled, "What are you doing?! Go back to your own bed!" until I had to remove him from his crib and from his bedroom and put him in my bed with Grant). 
...he's also very territorial about his stuff. When he saw a squirrel poking around the huge hole in our backyard that will one day be our pool, he yelled, "Get out of our hole!"
...for the most part, he still forgets "Baby Henry" is around, but when he does remember, he'll always give her a passing kiss as he walks by and often asks to hold her. The instant she starts crying though, he wants nothing to do with her. In fact, his teacher Patricia told me that when asked what it was like to have a little sister, his response was "She cries." (and she doesn't even cry that much!!)
...we vacillate between putting the boys to bed together and putting Grey down before Hayes at night. Oftentimes, when we put Grey down first, he'll quietly hang out in his crib until Hayes comes to bed, sometimes up to an hour later. A few weeks ago, he did this and soon as we walked in the room, he popped up and said, "Oh, hi Mr. Funnypants!" 
Now we've taken to calling him Mr. Funnypants (he really is!)
...he's always asking what people's names are and what kind something is and is very quick to tell you whether he likes something or not. For example, when eating a snack the other day, he asked what kind of pretzels they were, to which I responded that they were from Naturebox. His response? "Oh I like Naturebox!"
...he calls it "Hide and Sneak".
...when he gets really upset about something, he takes his fingers and moves them really fast around his mouth. Totally bizarre but he's been doing this since he was a baby.
...A few weeks ago, we went to a friend's wedding so I got all dolled up. Right before we left the house, he looked up at me and said, "Mommy, you look like a princess!" Heart melted.
Helping us bake cookies and sneaking bites of flour...
...he thinks he's pretty awesome - and I agree.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Still Surviving Over Here...

Wanted to post a quick update to let y'all know that we're still alive and surviving over here. 3 kids leaves little to no time for luxuries like blog writing, but I promise to dive back into it when I return to work and have some time at a desk for a few hours every day.

This little miss is 5 weeks today and we are loving having her as the latest addition to the family. She is, overall, a pretty easy baby, for which we are very thankful for. She spoiled us by sleeping for literally the first three weeks of her life. Around her due date, right when we started bragging to people about how much of a breeze having 3 kids was, she began to act like a typical newborn, needing to be held at inopportune times and keeping us up at night. 

I will say that our of all of the kids, she's been my most enjoyable newbie - I think because I know she's my last so I find myself relishing in the newborn snuggles and being more patient with the inconveniences of having to stop what I'm doing to pick her up and give her some love and attention. 
Look at those baby toes!
Nursing has also been a fabulous excuse to kick up my feet and let Grant handle the boys - and he has stepped up big time since Henley was born so I'm very grateful. Between him, our nanny Lauren, various family visitors and Grant's mom, Nini, I had actually managed to avoid being on my own with all three for more than an hour or two over the last 5 weeks until today (?!). And I was really thrown to the wolves for my first day trying to be Supermom since Grant has been out of town in SF for work since Tuesday morning! I'm doing okay for the most part and even managed to make it out of the house this morning to take all three kids to the park (yay for me!), but honestly, certain times over the last 24 hours have seemed like the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I wish I was joking!

The boys have been great big brothers to their new little sister. Hayes in particular can be very helpful when he wants to be, holding her and keeping her distracted when I need both my hands to cook dinner or get ready for bed. They can also be super naughty and test every last ounce of my patience, so there have been a lot of deep breathes taken around here lately ;-)
Snuggles with G Pops...
I've got some posts up my sleeve and promise to write more when I have time (I'm particularly looking forward to penning a post on Greyisms - the kid is absolutely hilarious lately and I need to capture some of what comes out of his mouth). In the meantime, enjoy some photos of the last month and I'll check in again soon.
Just doing some yard work (since our gardeners don't...)...
We've started digging the pool and the boys are pretty enthralled...
Greta, constantly trying to insert herself wherever possible...
Gusser and Aunt Jess came for a visit last weekend. The boys had a ball playing "hide and sneak"...
Officer Hayes and his sidekick, Officer Gus...
Happy St. Pats!

Friday, February 26, 2016

This is Childhood: Four

Five years ago today, Hayes made me a Mama. It has gone by in an absolute flash and I can't believe my baby is turning five, off to kindergarten in the Fall and big brother to two younger siblings. 

I am head over heels in love with the person he is becoming and he makes me proud everyday that I get to call him my boy.


This is what being four was all about...

This was the year of the police. You started off the year loving everything Octonauts, then moved onto Paw Patrol, showing particular interest in the police dog character, Chase. That transitioned into an obsession with all things police and there seems to be no end in sight. I think you truly believe that you are a police man, constantly talking about how you have to work on certain days ("I don't know if I can go to the park on Saturday because I'm working") and wearing your police uniform daily. You approach policemen and security guards when we're out and about, confidently saying hello and hanging out with them for as long as they'll let you, asking questions about anything and everything: what do they wear to bed? what's their favorite food? what would they do if a bad guy escaped? It's provided a new found respect for police officers from both your dad and me, who always found them a little intimidating to approach before your fascination with them opened up a whole new world. You like to call yourself the chief of police and Greyson is one of your helpers. You love to play dress up and are also super into arts and crafts, constantly wanting to hold onto old toilet paper roles and empty boxes so you can make creations out of them. You are the biggest hoarder I know and will remove things from the trash can that you aren't quite ready to part with. You are a mama's boy, generous with the snuggles and always choosing to stay with me over doing anything else. At night, before you go to bed, you like to hop into our bed to watch one last show with me, cozying up underneath the blanket. You love to have sleepovers with me when Daddy goes out of town. This year, you started sharing a room with Greyson and it went surprisingly smoothly. You insist on sleeping with multiple night lights and with the door wide open and hall light on, but have been good about going to sleep on your own after setting the timer on my phone for five minutes of me lying down with you. You're quite a picky eater and eat like a little bird - we joke that we don't know how you thrive off of the tiny scraps you eat. Your favorite food is cheese pizza. Your favorite fruit is grapes and honeydew melon. You love milk and would drink it by the gallon if we let you. You're still in diapers at night and show no interest in cutting that out anytime soon. You play so nicely with Greyson and legitimately miss him when he's not around. You are a huge helper with your new little sister Henley and are constantly asking to hold her, picking out her clothes and making sure she's always comfortable. You're thoughtful, always telling us when you like something new in the house and offering to share the last bites of whatever you're eating. You're inquisitive and have a huge imagination, loving nothing more than setting traps for "the bad guys" and playing tricks on your dad. In the month of December, I think you watched Home Alone every single day. You love Christmas more than any kid I know (which makes me so proud, by the way) and still wish for Christmas trees every opportunity you have. Your best friend, Theo moved away this year and you haven't quite found someone you clicked with as much at school, but seem to have plenty of friends, lots of which seem to be more interested in you than you are in them. You are very sensitive, reminding me of myself when I was your age. You're quick to cry when your feelings get hurt or when you don't get what you want and it makes you seem pretty vulnerable in the moment, which breaks my heart a bit. You love DK and routine and I think you'll really thrive in kindergarten, even though you're sad that none of your Pea Pod friends will be going with you. You love to help out around the house, whether it's baking with me, washing dishes after dinner or hanging out with Daddy while he cleans the garage, you're a great little companion and always happy to keep us company doing whatever we're doing. And although I've asked you to stop growing after you turn five and you've told me that isn't possible, you did promise me that you'll never leave home (when I explained how after high school is over, you'll go away to college, you started crying and said you never wanted to go away to college) and I'm banking on that buddy boy ;-)

As we do every year, tonight we'll go have a family dinner (our first out as a family of five!) at "Factorys", the restaurant I brunched at while in labor with Hayzey five years ago, then birthday boy will open some presents and enjoy a confetti cake complete with blue icing at home (his request, of course). We celebrated his birthday with friends a few weeks ago, the weekend after Henley was born (which I had planned for that weekend so we wouldn't have to worry about catering to a newborn's needs. Alas, little sister had other plans!).
This next year will be a big one for the badger, what with going off to big boy kindergarten in the Fall. I do wish I could freeze time and keep him this young forever, but like a fine wine, Hayes seems to be getting better with age and I'm excited to see what's in store and what kind of fun things he'll surprise us with next.

Happy birthday Hayzey boy, we love you more than you'll ever know! xo

Monday, February 22, 2016

She's Here!

Introducing Miss Henley James Cohen...
Born 3 weeks early on Thursday, February 11th, 2016 at 1:03pm; 7 lbs 5.5 oz and 20 inches long.
Daddy and his girl...
We are completely over the moon that our little girl has officially completed our family. Big brothers Hayes and Greyson are doing great in their new promoted roles and so far we are surviving as a family of 5! Hayes is a great caretaker, constantly asking to hold the babe, helping mama pick out her outfits and making sure she has her binky and her tootsies are covered by her blanket. Greyson forgets she's here half the time (honestly, we all do, she sleeps so much!), but when he remembers his little sister, "Baby Henry", he's smitten.
So far, she's been a great baby, snoozin' most of the days away and offering up delicious newborn snuggles to whoever wants them. Nighttime has been a bit more challenging as she refuses to sleep anywhere but on or next to Mama in bed. For now, it's the only way we're getting any sleep - and we're both actually feeling pretty great considering the fact that we have a 10 day old baby - but obviously this isn't scalable long-term and we'll have to toughen up and put her in her crib eventually. 

The little lady really threw me for a loop with her early arrival. Not only was I expecting her to be a March baby, but I was also 100% convinced she was going to be a he! Here's a little bit more about her surprise entrance into the world...

The night before I went into labor, I was up for an hour in the middle of the night dealing with Braxton Hicks. I knew they weren't the real deal, but I woke up that morning in a panic that we didn't have a plan for the boys should I go into labor in the middle of the night. On Wednesday night, before I went to bed, I texted Grant's best friend, Pat and our nanny, Lauren to tell them to keep their cell phones on in the middle of the night moving forward so should something happen, they could be on call to book it to the house to watch the boys when we went to the hospital.

3 hours later, I turned over in bed and after googling "what happens when your water breaks", I realized that my water had, in fact broken. 3 weeks early. 10 days after moving into our new house and 3 days before we were throwing Hayes' 5th birthday party, planned for that particular early date to ensure that I wouldn't be holed up with a newborn (!!!). I was in a panic, sitting in the bathroom bawling my eyes out. Grant was a champ; I hadn't packed a hospital bag or anything so he ran around the house for me packing the essentials while we waited for his dad to drive up from Orange County. 

At that point, I hadn't had any contractions yet and still wasn't 100% sure that my water had broken (perhaps I was just suddenly incontinent?!). I paged my doctor twice and no response (wtf?!). Then a contraction came and we decided we couldn't wait for Grant's dad so we called Uncle Pat and told him to head on over to wait until he arrived. You see, the boys were such speedy labors that we were sure this one would literally fall out of me - we weren't taking any chances!

We checked into Cedars and a few hours later, I got an epidural. Sweet relief, but because the bean wasn't ready to make it's debut yet, I had to endure 4 hours of feeling like a paraplegic, which was really the most uncomfortable part of the whole thing. Finally at noon, it was go-time and after waiting for my damn doctor to finish up her lunch break, I pushed through two contractions and out the baby came.
Traditional 1st sushi meal post-birth...hello tuna, old friend!
This delivery was the most emotional one for me, probably because I knew it would be my last. The relief I felt when I saw the baby is something I can't even describe and when the doctor asked us to look and see what the baby was and it turned out to be a GIRL... well, we were absolutely floored. I still look at her and am amazed that she doesn't have a penis; I was so sure I was going to be a mom of boys and am absolutely in love with our perfect family.


We've spent the last 10 days acclimating to life with three kids and I'm happy to report that we're surviving just fine. A meal train from Hayes and Grey's school has helped immensely - we haven't had to cook at all since we came home from the hospital so that's been great. Grant took off most of last week and our nanny being around was a huge help. But, I did take the baby and Greyson to the park this morning solo (Hayes had school) and it was a success so I'm feeling a bit more confident in my abilities to take care of Hurricane Greyson and a newborn.
Little lady is always smiling in her sleep ;-)
I've got lots of updating to do for you all, including pics of the new house which we are LOVING. I promise to try and check in more often when I can. But for now, just wanted to share the good news that Henley has arrived and everyone is doing great ;-)

Friday, January 22, 2016

3/52

The boys snuggling my belly last week...
 Greyson, 2 years:...according to him, if you have a mustache, you're either G Pops or a pirate.

Hayes, 4 3/4 years:...our normally easy-going guy has been having a rough week and hasn't really been himself, throwing tantrums over tiny things like watching shows during dinner or being able to have chocolate milk and egging his little brother on to do bad things like bite other kids at the park or take off down the hallway when our nanny, Lauren goes to the bathroom. We're not sure what exactly is going on; perhaps it's some form of attention seeking or anxiety about the new baby coming, or maybe it's just something almost-five year olds go through, but we're doing our best to give him what he needs (and not kill him in the process). Next weekend, when we get ready to move, the big boy is actually going to stay up in LA with us while Greyson goes down to hang with Nini and Pa for a couple of days, so hopefully that'll help give him the one-on-one time he's craving and will make him feel a little less insecure. 

We did take the boys to the LA Police Museum last weekend and while I'm planning on doing a whole post about it, I couldn't resist including this teaser of Officer Hayes, who was in absolute heaven...

Note, the scrunched up face and leg up pose "makes it more serious"...

In what's definitely the most exciting news of the week, we've signed all of the paperwork and fingers crossed, as of Tuesday, January 26th, we will be second-time homeowners!! I will refrain from celebrating until it is 100% official (bank needs the weekend + a business day for the funding) but we're pretty excited and can't wait to start calling Esther home.

When we signed our paperwork for Livonia 5 years ago, I was 9 months pregnant and battling a pretty nasty stomach flu. This time, I'm 9 months pregnant and am dealing with one of the worst colds I've had in awhile, so I guess that's my M.O. when "celebrating" big milestones like home purchases. Hopefully by Tuesday I'll be all better so I can celebrate properly with a half a glass of champagne ;-\

Finally, a hankering for Chinese food and the need to use up some veggies we already had in the fridge made my options for a new recipe of the week limited, so I opted to try a side dish from Jessica Seinfeld's Can't Cook CookBook: green beans with sliced almonds. Not usually a huge green bean fan, but these were yummy and the perfect complement to another recipe I love from the same book for bacon-wrapped meatloaf. If you haven't checked out the cookbook, I highly recommend - lots of easy recipes you can whip up quickly and the results are usually quite tasty.

Hope y'all have a great weekend!
 



Friday, January 15, 2016

2/52

The police costume is still being worn on a daily basis and yesterday, the robber's costume made a return debut. As soon as Greyson put it on, he asked for a treat - smart kid!

This week, we tried two new recipes. One, a fail - Broiled Salmon with Tangy Tarragon Mayo from Keepers - Grant said it was the worst meal I'd made in awhile (something I should probably be offended by but actually appreciate the honesty - it was gross). Probably didn't help that Hayes spent the first half of the meal throwing an epic tantrum about chocolate milk and Greyson ended dinner having to be put to bed early because he was having a meltdown about god knows what. Just one of those meals - they happen and you just gotta laugh about them. I redeemed myself last night by making a seriously yummy Sausage, Red Potato and Spinach Soup, courtesy of Whitney in this year's Delish cookbook. That one will definitely be reappearing in the rotation - unfortunately, we were too eager to eat it to remember to take a pic, but you'll have to take my word for it - it was a goody.

Esther is moving along - we signed some papers extending our loan rate lock so we have a bit of breathing room and have scheduled the move for Monday, 2/1, a little over two weeks from now. Everything is pretty much done at the house - we hoping to get our Certificate of Occupancy next week and pass final inspection on Monday (fingers crossed!). We're down to purchasing the final small items - mailboxes, hand towel rings, those kinds of things - and are super anxious to get moved in and settled. 

Get this... Our extension gives us until January 26 to close on the house, the same day {5 years later} that we closed on Livonia. So to recap the similarities between this pregnancy and Hayzey's:
- same original due date of 3.2 (Hayes was moved up to 2.24, Bean's has been adjusted a day to 3.3)
- lived in the same apartment complex for both
- will be moving almost a month to the day before baby is due
- same exact closing date on the purchase of our new home with each kid.
How weird is that?!

Speaking of the bean, we peeked in on the little thing earlier this week and all is looking well. Baby was head down (yay!) and average to on-the-small side (fine with me!). I got major boy vibes again and we managed to capture a couple pics of the little one who was acting a little shy this time.

We're looking at the side of its face from the top - its hands are in front/kind of tucked underneath the chin and its arm can be seen in the bottom picture.
How squidgy and pudgy does it look?! 

Absolutely perfect. I'm both terrified and excited to meet it in 7 short weeks ;-)

We're laying low this weekend, having our standard Friday evening dinner at the Farmer's Market with the boys tonight and hoping to go see a movie and dinner tomorrow night. Basically trying to enjoy what's bound to be one of our last relaxing weekends for awhile!

Hope you have a good one!

xo

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Bebe Luna Tres

We returned last night from a lovely babymoon in San Jose del Cabo, refreshed and relaxed and in a minor panic about everything that needs to be done in the next 8 weeks before the bean gets here!!
Morning capp with a view...
We departed Friday morning, leaving the boys in our nanny Lolo's capable hands (first time they've ever spent the night with anyone who isn't family! Nini and Pa took over on Saturday am). Flight was quick and uneventful and after an annoyingly long trek through customs (apparently I wasn't quite pregnant enough for the customs official to take pity on us and pluck us from the long line of travelers excited to get their vacations started!), we arrived at Cabo Azul just in time to throw down some poolside tacos and enjoy the last few minutes of sunshine.
The hotel we stayed at is great - highly, highly recommend. This was our second time back (we stayed here for Greyson's babymoon in August 2013) and I cannot say enough good things. Service is attentive, everything is brand new (they had to close for a year thanks to Odile and just recently re-opened in September 2014) and the decor is how I wish my house could look. Every room is a suite, complete with a separate sitting area that has a pull-out couch so although we opted to leave the kiddos behind this time, it would be a great place to travel as a family if you didn't want to spring for a whole house rental. There are swimming pools everywhere, plush lounge chairs and the location can't be beat, so long as you're planning on spending most of your time in San Jose del Cabo vs. the rowdier Cabo San Lucas. We didn't even venture into Cabo San Lucas this time, instead opting to explore the adorable little town of San Jose and hit up some of our favorite spots for lunches and dinners. Last time I was in Cabo, I departed on the afternoon of Hurricane Odile, which absolutely raged the entire city, so I was happy to see that mostly everything seemed to be restored/rebuilt and tourism was back to normal. It really is one of my favorite places (and so darn convenient from LA!).
I woke up one morning recently and all of a sudden was HUGE!  32 weeks bump shot - can't beat the backdrop!
Besides logging a whole lot of pool time, we indulged in some fine dining (Javiers at the hotel the first night, Lolitas for lunch in San Jose on Saturday, our absolute fave, Flora Farms Saturday night and La Forchetta on Sunday to finish off the trip), Grant kicked my ass in some games of Gin Rummy and I got lost in a new book, All the Light We Cannot See

Poolside lunch - fresh shrimp and white fish cevice in a coconut water marinade with sliced cucumbers and a grilled romaine salad with chicken - YUM.
We've got a lot on the horizon with the big move coming up and the new family member joining our crew shortly thereafter and Grant and I are well aware that each of us is going to unfortunately get the brunt of stress taken out on each other, so this was a welcomed getaway, just the two of us that I think we'll fondly look back on in the months to come.
The only pic we took of ourselves the entire time we were there...