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Friday, March 16, 2018

Highs & Lows...

Throwback to my 'lil leprechauns on St. Patty's Day, March 2014.
3 Highs:

 1. Getting my first YogaClub box in the mail.

2. A fun catch up with friends who we hadn't seen in too long.

3. A couple of great workouts at my new fave studios, one here and one here.

3 Lows:

1. Adjusting to Daylight Savings. We've had some looooong bedtimes with a very wide awake Hayes and the mornings have seemed brutally early. I don't remember it being such a transition other years!

2. Depriving myself of any sweets or alcohol all week - a semi-detox of sorts. Happy the weekend is here and I can indulge in my vices (dessert and wine) once again!

3. Appealing our property taxes and being told that even though they admit the system is backwards, there's nothing they can do about it and it is what it is.

Best Thing I Ate This Week...

A last minute pizza party on Wednesday night in honor of Pi Day.

Weekend Plans...

Grant had to take a last minute trip up to SF today and likely won't get back until late tonight (plus, it's supposed to rain) so laying low this evening.
Tomorrow during the day, we have our pre-school Family Festival at Franklin Canyon which, although it's going to be a chilly 59 degrees, is always fun for the whole fam. Tomorrow night, we're going to a casual Mexican fiesta dinner with some pre-school friends.
And no plans Sunday, except to try out a new-to-me yoga studio in WeHo.

Have a good one and Happy St. Pats!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

My Hayes...

Whenever we ask the kids who they love more, Greyson 100% of the time says "Daddy!" (he's his best friend and I'm a girl, duh!) and Hayes will usually say, "I love you both the same", which reminds me of when I was a little girl and my parents would ask the same twisted question and not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings, I'd give the exact same answer.

We often muse about how Hayes should be a politician, his answers are so PC.

But we all know the truth. Grant is honestly Greyson's favorite (his first word was even Daddy) and I'm #1 in Hayes' eyes. Jury's still out with Henny Bear (although I think she's inclined to be more of a mama's girl!).

Last night, somehow it came up and in a shocking moment of honesty, Hayes actually admitted that I was his favorite. When asked why, he said, "Because you were the first face I saw when I was born."

I just can't, I love that kid so much. 
As Colisha would say, he's filling up my love bucket (and then some!).

Friday, March 9, 2018

Highs & Lows...

3 Highs:

 1. Solo afternoon dates with both boys this week.

2. A fun girls night out with old pre-school friends at a.o.c.

3. An impromptu matinee to see Game Night at work one afternoon. If you see it (and you should), check out the Nissan Maxima placement throughout the film - our team did that!

3 Lows:

1. Realizing all of the crap the kids will need (and we'll need to buy) for our ski trip at the end of the month. Nobody ever said skiing was cheap!

2. Feeling sad about the fact that I just finished my very last baby book for Henley.

3. Not cooking at home once this week.

Best Thing I Ate This Week...

This was a good week of eating. Chicken taco from Loqui, antipasto board from Eataly, eggplant parm courtesy of Chef Grant and a pigfest at a.o.c last night - hard to pick just one thing!

Weekend Plans...

Our gourmandise continues tonight with dinner at Son of a Gun with some of Hayes' friends' parents. 
No plans tomorrow - it's supposed to rain - so after my hot yoga class, I intend on parking my butt on the couch for the rest of the day!
And having some friends over for dinner on Sunday night. They have a daughter Henley's age so I can't wait to see the shenanigans the ladies will get into.


Thursday, March 8, 2018

This is 37!

Not pictured: Greyson, who had fallen asleep on the couch before dinner and Grant, the photographer...
While I've had quite a few friends jokingly wish me a happy 45th birthday this week - which caused me to pause and think about how 45 really isn't that far off! - I did celebrate the big 37 this week and it was pretty damn perfect.

In typical fashion, the birthday was celebrated over multiple days and while I'm feeling like I've eaten my weight in ice cream cake and other various sweets, birthdays are important and should be celebrated! 

This birthday had a little bit of everything... Dinner (and uber karaoke - what a hoot!) out with friends at my favorite, Cassia. Casual lunch date with the Hs, Grant and his dad at my other more low-key favorite, Loqui (pun very much intended). A nice Monday night antipasto platter at Eataly with my love and finally, an at-home celebration with the kiddos - eggplant parm and ice cream cake. Yum!

I've heard before that you often don't start to discover who you really are - what's important to you, your likes and dislikes, etc... - until you get a bit older. That your twenties are meant to figure out where you fit into the world, your thirties are for having kids and navigating the early parenting years and your forties are the most enjoyable as you aren't "old" yet, but you're also not "young". I'm probably not putting all of that into the most eloquent of words, but you get what I'm saying, right? 

And although I'm not forty yet (thankyouverymuch), as I enter my late thirties, as the fog of being in the thick of having three small children is lifting, I've been able to shift the focus back to myself a little bit and am entering 37 with a renewed sense of purpose and enthusiasm for everything that's going on around me.
Birthdays are a good reminder to look around and be thankful for what you've got. 
37 is everything I dreamed it would be... and more.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Highs & Lows...

Sleepovers with these two this week made for not the best night's rest, but they're sure stinking cute...
3 Highs:
 1. A fun birthday celebration for Hayes on Monday, with dinner out at 'Factorys' with Nini and Pa, followed by cake and presents at home. Only thing missing was Grant ;-(
We've decided this is likely the last year Pa can pick Hayes up on his birthday...
 2. Finally getting digitally organized. I went through photos and videos from the last 15 years and I cannot tell you the sense of satisfaction I have that it's all organized exactly the way I want it to be. Plan on backing everything up this weekend/next week and that's a big fat check off of the old to-do list!

3. Getting my hair done. Mama was in need of a color refresh and I chopped a couple inches off.

3 Lows:

1. The saddest conversation I've ever had with Hayes about Grant missing his birthday.

2. Not being able to work out once this week.

3. Quite a few sleepless nights in a row with Henley. I feel like a zombie today.

Best Thing I Ate This Week...

A pastrami sandwich from Factors. And a few more creme eggs than I care to admit...

Weekend Plans...

It's cold and rainy in LA this weekend so we're keeping cozy inside with some take out tonight. 
Greyson's last karate class is tomorrow (hallelujah!) and I'm taking a yoga class at a new hot yoga studio I found.
Tomorrow evening, we're celebrating my birthday with friends at a favorite restaurant of mine, Cassia.
And on Sunday, we have the first big Cohen Fam Dinner of the year and I plan on kicking G's butt in our Oscar ballot.

I'll leave you with a video of the birthday boy blowing out his candles last week. I was happy to see that although saying I have a 7 year old feels like I basically have a  teenager, he was still happy to sport his birthday crown and sticker, which he wore well into the next day ;-)

Have a good one!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Childhood: This is Seven!

Hayes turns 7 today! Well, technically at 6:06pm this evening, which he reminds me every time I wish him a happy birthday!

Last night over dinner, I told Hayes about the day before he was born and explained every detail I could remember leading up to the minute he arrived.

He was due on February 24th. My parents were in town as I had insisted they be at the hospital when I was in labor. So when the 24th came and went and we were all getting a little tired of playing the waiting game, we decided to take a road trip to Santa Barbara to go wine tasting (I know, completely insane looking back on it! And rest assured, I wasn't drinking any of the wine, merely accompanying my parents since I was basically told by our HR that everyone would be more comfortable if I spent my last week of pregnancy "working from home").
I had been eating pineapple like it was going out of style, having been told by someone that it helped induce labor. And whether it was the pineapple or the bumpy car ride on the LA freeways, that evening, when G and I were at Akasha for dinner with my mom, I started getting some pains, a little tightening, nothing serious, but they made me optimistic that labor was beginning.

I was so disappointed the next morning when I woke up, well rested after a full 8 hours, and realized that I hadn't actually gone into labor. I sat down at the kitchen table with my mom, bowl full of pineapple in front of me and complained that our little boy was never going to come. And as if on cue, I got my first contraction.

Rushing to our room, I told Grant I thought it was time, hopping in the shower and shaving my legs since I figured I'd never have time to do that again. We needed to eat, so we made our way to a dirty diner near us called Nicks. The wait was too long and by now, my contractions were pretty strong and pretty regular so we decided to ditch Nicks and head over to Factors (aka Factorys). I remember patrons around us asking my mom when I was due, me sitting white knuckled, unable to breathe as the contractions came and went, my mom joking that she thought I was going to have the baby right there! I had a bagel and cream cheese and we headed back home to wait until it was go time.
After a call to the doctor on-call (who wasn't mine), we decided the pain was getting intense enough that we should make our way to the hospital. But being first time parents, we were terrified that we were going to be told it was too soon, so we left my hospital bag in the car with my parents, who dropped us off at the ER entrance.

I had 3-4 contractions before we even got to the maternity ward and when they checked me, I was already 8 cm (!!). And after less than six hours, our lives were forever and ever changed when our first baby boy, Hayes Traxler was born. Pa brought us pizza for dinner and we began our journey into parenthood.

Details like these, I never want to forget. And this is why I started writing the kids letters every year on their birthdays.

So this is seven, buddy:

You went from a chubby faced little kindergartner to a real BOY in the blink of an eye. You leaned out and were hard and bony, with barely any fat on that little body of yours. You seemed to sprout up overnight and I often would look at you in the morning and think you looked inches taller than you had the night before. My little baby wasn't such a baby anymore and while I got anxiety just thinking about how fast it was all passing us by, I was also super proud of the boy you were becoming. You were legitimately helpful around the house now, especially when it came to Henley, who you adored (and she adored you right back). You could be counted on to go and get her from her crib when she woke up in the morning and were quick to get a wipe when there was a spill or bring us something when we needed an extra hand. Daddy travelled a lot and although we joked that you were the man of the house while he was gone, you really played that role well, turning on the alarm at night and making sure all of the lights were off. You also felt right at home sleeping in Daddy's place in bed while he was gone, which we both loved; you'd snuggle right up next to me to fall asleep, often holding onto my hands and positioning your face inches from mine. You were a very affectionate kid, still sitting on my lap when we read books at night and insisting on a kiss and a "huggee" every time I checked on you when you were going to bed. I still had to check on you every 5 minutes until you fell asleep; you were kind of neurotic about it - "check on me! every five minutes! even when i'm sleeping!!" I frequently had to tell you not to worry about the time, that I would be back in five minutes, even when you were sleeping, because I could see how much angst it was giving you. You slept with about 6 stuffed animals, the same ones every night, including my childhood Beige Bunny and Daddy's childhood Mutt. You'd put them all under the covers at the foot of your bed. You still sometimes slept in a sleeping bag on the floor of our bedroom but as your seventh birthday was nearing close, it had been months since you'd last done that. You just liked to be close to us. You still held my hand in public and although I gave you your goodbye kiss at school on the corner of the block so you could run ahead and join your friends, I don't think you'd be embarrassed to do it in front of them. You were quite popular at school, sticking with the same three buddies (Jackson, Zach and Romeo) whom you clicked with in Kindergarten. You guys would constantly hold hands when you were walking, which was the cutest - and everyone always seemingly wanted time with you, which I think you were actually quite oblivious about. Your transition to 1st grade was seamless, in large part because they kept the four of you boys together in the same class. You liked to play a game called 'Two Touch' at recess and loved basketball. You wanted to be an NBA player when you grew up. Daddy coached your basketball and soccer teams and you really loved both sports. Baseball not as much, but you were a good sport about giving it a second chance. You were super easy going and had a good attitude about everything you did in life, which made spending time with you genuinely enjoyable. You seemed to have quite a knack for the arts; you drew a very impressive 'Fly Guy', a character from a book you adored. You were also very musically inclined; you remembered lyrics to songs and had your favorite top 40 hits that you'd insist I'd download and you'd listen to over and over again. You still loved a good costume and were known to throw on the police get-up every once in awhile and cruise around town in your police car. And although the obsession was nothing close to what it was when you were four, you still had a penchant for anything police. You were a rule follower and would often worry that our meter had expired or remind us to put on our seat belts when we were in the car. You were quite dramatic when you got hurt, screaming at the top of your lungs as if you'd lost an appendage when you fell down and scraped your knee. You'd say, "this is the worst day of my life! i hate this!" when something really bad happened (a bloody nose at the park, for instance).  You requested the same thing for lunch every day - a turkey and cheese with mayo and honey mustard, crusts cut off. You weren't a fan of vegetables and would eat pizza and pesto pasta for every meal if we'd let you. As you were getting older, you were better about trying new things; you loved avocado toast (probably what I was most proud of when it came to your eating!) You still loved chocolate croissants from Starbucks and drank an obscene amount of milk. You didn't have a huge appetite, but then some days you were insatiable. You still requested cinnamon buns or donuts every Saturday and Sunday. You lost 5 teeth this year and on your seventh birthday, you were sporting the goofiest toothless smile; but you were so strikingly handsome. You loved doing workbooks, but weren't the most academic in school; you seemed to rush through things and didn't care all that much about the schoolwork. You learned how to read this year! You liked legos and would play so nicely with Greyson, when the two of you weren't ripping each other's hair out. You were a technology guru, knowing how to work the AppleTV and constantly on my laptop, either watching youtube videos or playing some educational game (so I couldn't complain that much about all that screen time!). You were Lego Batman for Halloween. Pa taught you how to ride your bike this year and you loved cruising around town on it, often accompaning Daddy when he went on his runs. You were never tired. Like, NEVER tired - just like your dad. Often when Daddy was away, we'd get into bed and watch a show and I would fall asleep before you! You were sensitive and reminded me of myself when I was your age a lot; you never wanted to hurt anyone's feelings, trying to make sure your outward love for me and your dad was equal (even though we both knew you were a total Mama's boy). They always say when you're pregnant with a boy how much boys love their mothers - and in our case, it was so true (and so reciprocated). My bond with you was so strong; I had the hardest time saying no to you and couldn't stand when you were disappointed.

I know birthdays are supposed to be happy occasions and don't get me wrong, I was so excited to see Hayes' face this morning when he walked into the front room and saw his giant bouquet of balloons and presents and I will happily indulge in a fat piece of homemade chocolate cake (birthday boy's choice) tonight after dinner. But I can't help but feel a little sad every year on Hayes' birthday because another year passing means it's another year closer to when the boy that made me a mom flees our coop (even if he says he's never moving out of our house!). I've had a lump in my throat all day and was brought to tears this morning when I took a stroll down memory lane on my sister-in-law's instagram story, which consisted of pics she'd posted of Hayes over the last seven years. It's just all going by so fast! I know it's cliche but what I would do to stop time in this exact moment and stay here forever, crazy and hectic as it is, it's our crazy and hectic, our kids are safe and home and all ours.

But I digress, we have a birthday to celebrate god dammit and we'll do so tonight at birthday boy's favorite, 'Factorys', followed by present opening, cake and all the seven year old snuggles I can get my hands on.

Happy birthday, Hayzey.
You'll never understand just how much love I have for you in my heart, sweet boy.

Here are some of my fave pics from the past year, that perfectly capture the spirit of our badger...

Friday, February 23, 2018

Highs & Lows...

The only cute photo from Henley's school pictures, girlfriend wasn't feeling it that day...  {photo credit: Aldo Fratti}
3 Highs:

1. Taking the boys to see Peter Rabbit, which was surprisingly entertaining.

 2. A fun happy hour moms night out with some pre-school friends.

3. An unexpected raise!

Thanks for ruining the picture, Hens...  {photo credit: Aldo Fratti}
3 Lows:

1. Another expensive vet visit for Greta, who had to have three teeth pulled and stay overnight. Oh, and that weird rash thing on her face is still there ;-(

2. A disappointing yoga class (adorable studio though!) which was a little too hippy for me.

3. Grant leaving this morning for Barcelona. He's going to be gone for a whole week this time!

Best Thing I Ate This Week...

Lunch at Baco Shop. Grant and I snuck away for a lunch date and the food did not disappoint!

Weekend Plans...

I'm on a solo mission this weekend, but we have a lot planned.
Tonight, pizza + movie night with the boys.
Saturday, the usual basketball game and karate (although we might skip out on karate and watch the game instead). Then Greyson's pre-school class is participating in the African American Festival at the Eco Station so we're going to watch that (I think they're doing a dance of some sorts). Hayes has a birthday party tomorrow afternoon that a friend is taking him to and I'm doing something really silly: posing for a friend's wine label. Nini and Pa are coming to babysit tomorrow night so I'm going to dinner with a girlfriend.
No plans on Sunday, just getting ready for the big birthday on Monday. How is he turning seven!??!

Enjoy the weekend, friends!