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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Memorable Memorial Day

We spent Memorial Day with the entire Mailloux clan in Scottsdale - a rare treat to have everyone in the same place at the same time. Weather was perfect - slightly cooler than usual but still in the mid-80s, hot enough to lie by the pool but not too hot that you were sweating profusely and having to continuously dip in the water to cool off.


Our little guy had a harder time than usual adjusting to his weekend digs - naps were pretty much non-existent and putting him down included much more rocking and forehead rubbing than we're accustomed to. We were sure we had ruined him and his impeccable sleeping habits for good, but much to our delight, the night we got home, we followed the usual routine, he hopped into bed, happy as can be and it was off to slumberland. This morning, he didn't wake up until 8:45 (I selfishly snuck in before I left for work just so I could give him some morning smooches!), so I think it's safe to say he's back to his old self. Phew!
If Hayes were a girl...
We did notice that another tooth is FINALLY coming in - the top right hand one next to where his front teeth would be - so I imagine that had something to do with his behavioral changes whilst in the desert. It's already broken the gum and I can't wait to see his new silly grin with a spattering of teeth here and there throughout his mouth. Hobo Hayes?

Hayes was literally Hank's shadow all weekend, giving him hugs, observing him play and following him around everywhere. I think Hank got a kick out of it, which was a good sign for his unborn brother or sister who'll be here before we know it.
Kisses for Hayes!
Playing in the rocks (which infuriated Nana & Papa but kept the boys busy while Grant & I were on babysitting duty!)
Not so stoked to share his tub...
...but quite happy to share his milk!
 I couldn't resist sharing this adorable video of the littles as well. Please excuse my father and brother-in-law's inappropriate Brokeback Mountain jokes, it's just some cousin love!


Speaking of Baby Kelly II, the girls surprised Jess with an impromptu baby shower of sorts, which included mani/pedis, followed by lunch at the English Tea Room. It was fun to spend some time with the Mailloux gals and talk about the exciting addition that'll be a part of our family soon. Jess and Matt have opted to be surprised on the sex of the baby, but most of us think Hank will be getting a new little brother. I guess we'll know soon enough!
Mailloux gals + baby-to-be having a spot of tea...
 Other than that, we spent the rest of the weekend golfing (well, Grant did at least!), lounging by the pool (I finally finished '50 Shades of Smut' and have happily moved onto 'Bringing Up Bebe') and eating far too much BBQ. That's what Memorial Day is all about though, right?!

Who's been sleeping in my bed?
Matching Vilebrequins...
 
Hope y'all had a great holiday!





Monday, May 21, 2012

My guy...

Oh how I love my little guy... At a couple days shy of 15 months, he is at such a great, fun age. While he doesn't say any words (besides mama, but those are really just some sounds meshed together), he is definitely understanding much more than we think and we're quickly learning what he's trying to communicate through his various sounds and nonverbal cues. 

If you ask him if he wants to give Greta a treat, he'll excitedly run to the cupboard where we keep her food, eager to get the tiny morsel in his clumsy hands so he can hand it off to the cat. This is the only time Greta lets Hayes close to her and it's a big deal. After he deposits the treat into Greta's mouth, he ever-so-gently pats her back, all the while making a "Khee..." sound (maybe that's the beginnings of the word 'cat'??).

He's also started a work-out routine... I guess it's never too young to put your health first, right?:


He sleeps as if he's a bear in hibernation. Sometimes Grant and I lie in bed in the morning and wonder if he's ever going to wake up. On Saturday and Sunday, he slept from 8p - 9:20a, fully embracing his lazy weekend mornings. Today, understanding it's a Monday and all, he was up at an "early" 8a, ready to face the work week. I think our friends with kids want to kill us. We think Hayes must have some really bad behavior in store for us to make up for the love affair he's currently having with Mr. Sandman...

When he has playdates with friends, he never whines or cries, is always super eager to share his toys and is just such an easy-going and mellow dude. We think it's because he spends so much time around us and our friends, so he's taken note about how to act like an adult. Or maybe he's bottling up the biggest tantrum known to man and is planning on pulling it out at a really awkward moment, say Thursday afternoon when we're on the plane to Scottsdale.

Anyways, I don't mean to gush (but hell, this is my blog so I can do what I want!) but I am just so enamored with my little guy these days and am really enjoying this stage he's going through. I'm sure there are rough times ahead but I think we'll always look back fondly at this age - he really is the.best!

Here are some snaps of the weekend... Enjoy!
Twinsies!

Chowing down on a very LARGE strawberry at Larchmont Bungalow...
Hmm, this is pretty good!
What? Do I have something on my face??
Horsing around the backyard - so grateful to have so much space for him to run around...
A new friend at the park. Hayes got to baby first base (holding hands) pretty quickly after becoming acquainted on the swings...
Loving the sand...


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Toddler Muffins

Hayes has been less than enthused as of late about eating his fruits and veggies. Kid loves carbs - pasta, rice, bread - and dairy - cheese, milk, yogurt - but his intake of good 'ole traditional fruits and veggies is definitely lacking.

For a long time, I resisted the urge to hide nutritious things within other foods. I wanted him to eat veggies in their simple form and like them goddammit! But after a few weeks of feeling like a bad mom because my toddler's diet consisted mainly of french fries and cottage cheese, I decided I would do whatever it took to sneak some wholesome foods in there!

I came across this recipe for Toddler Muffins on Pinterest (where else!) and although the picture didn't really do them justice, a quick scan of the ingredient list convinced me that these were worth a shot. The only substitutions I made were instead of a cup of grated zucchini, I did 1/2 zucchini, 1/2 squash (I happened to have a twosome from the store I needed to use), and I also added in a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a handful of raisins. The muffins created an intoxicating aroma throughout the house on Saturday morning and much to my delight, Hayes loves them!

And they aren't too bad alongside a cup of joe for a grown up version...


We also discovered the fruit/veggie puree pouches, which Hayes enjoys sucking on. These felt like a step backwards for us (weren't we done with purees?!), but again, if the kid is getting his nutrients, it's fine with me. And we do keep having to remind ourselves that the poor thing only has 2 teeth still! A side bonus of the pouches is that he becomes pretty consumed with putting the lid on, taking it off, sucking some out, then repeating the whole process. So it keeps him busy for awhile - a trick I intend on using when we're on the plane to Scottsdale next week!


My final trick to get Hayes to eat something with nutritional value is to dip berries in flavored greek yogurt (we prefer vanilla) and then freeze them. So simple and easy and Hayes loves it. I have to cut the berries into quarters when they come out of the freezer (otherwise we're dealing with that whole choking hazard!) but it's a satisfying nutritious dessert for kiddos and adults.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Weekend Recap...

This weekend was one of those great LA weekends - weather was perfect, not too much going on (but just enough to keep busy) and I went to bed Sunday night feeling very content and ready to take on the new week ;-)
Saturday morning tickles...
We started off the weekend with dinner with some friends of ours, Jodie and Omer, at a trendy Westside resto called Gjelina on Abbott Kinney. Grant and I headed over to AK early and had a quick drink at Tasting Kitchen next door, then met up with the Barons and enjoyed a smorgasbord of food including lots of yummy pizzas, burratas, caponatas and a delicious lamb gnocchi (and I don't even usually like lamb!). I met Jodie through my Mommy & Me class way back when and we've become quite good friends - we usually meet for lunch just the two of us and have done a couple of classes with the boys (they have a son, Gavin, who is a week younger than Hayes) so it was the first time we'd done an adult dinner with the hubbies - and it was a lot of fun!

We didn't really have a whole lot planned on Saturday and so we thought it would be fun to pick up some sandos and go on a mini-hike, then have a picnic somewhere outside where Hayes could roam free. The last time we went on a hike, it was such a schlep to pick up the food, drive to Franklin Canyon, park the car, figure out where we were going... You get the jist. By the time we got there, it was time to turn around and come home! So this time, we were in search for something a little more local and decided to try out a park that I drive past on my way to work every day in Culver City. It actually turned out to be perfect. The hike was definitely on the easier side (we opted for the interpretive nature walk up these wooden planks) and we ended up picnic-ing in a large baseball field, which was definitely a first, but the boy could run around as much as we desired and it was just a quick trip back in the car to get home in time for his afternoon nap. 
Hayes making his first home run on Daddy's shoulders...
Hayes' favorite activity seemed to be lugging our bag of trash all over the field, switching the bag from hand to hand...
It's the little things in life...
And Sunday - Mother's Day - was perfection. Hayes and Grant surprised me with a mini-breakfast in bed consisting of a piece of PB & honey toast and a thin mint (Hayes insisted!), along with some GORGEOUS flowers. We went on a family run after breakfast (way better than a solo workout at the gym) and after Hayes' am nap and a quick pit-stop at Nanna Susu's to drop off some well-deserved Mother's Day flowers, we had a family brunch, complete with rose prosecco, at The Lobster. My afternoon consisted of some shoe shopping and a pedi at Tootsies, then an early dinner with the in-laws at their new fave, 370 Common. It was the perfect day and I was reminded just how lucky I am to have such a great family - we may be a teeny tiny family of three but my two guys are everything I could ever ask for and I hope they know that doesn't go unnoticed ;-)

Tonight, Grant and I are having a long-overdue date night at a restaurant near our hood, Oliverio. He's off to San Fran tomorrow for work so we're squeezing in a mid-week dinner before I'm back to single mom mode for the rest of the week. Lots of travel for Grant lately and I think it's only going to get worse, but it comes with the territory when you've got something in common with this guy:



Yep, that's right, Grant received a well-deserved promotion a few weeks ago and is now a VP at his company! I couldn't be prouder - congrats bigou!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Since becoming a mom...

The world wide web is abuzz this week with all things Mother's Day. From flash sales to parenting articles to fashion Q&A's, it seems May 13th is on everyone's mind. I don't remember Mother's & Father's Day being such a big deal before having a babe of our own, but I feel like it's all I hear about in May and June and well, seeing as it's a holiday to honor yours truly, I'm happy to oblige in the festivities.

I just finished reading an article on Refinery 29 about cute-mom style. What interested me more than the style was the set of questions they asked each of the moms. So in honor of Mother's Day coming up this weekend, I thought this would be a good forum for me to answer the same set of questions to give you a little insight as to how I'm feeling 14.5 months into this new adventure. So here goes:

What's the most surprising thing you've discovered about yourself since becoming a mother?:

There's a couple things... 
1 - I never knew it was possible to feel so much love for another human being. It's a different kind of love, completely unconditional, completely overwhelming and a little scary at times. 
2 - I don't think I really comprehended before having Hayes how unselfish motherhood makes you. You don't have a choice - his needs come first. Period. End of story. 
3 - Your body can take a whole lot. Pregnancy, childbirth, lack of sleep, little exercise (again, that whole unselfish thing!). You can take a whole lotta pain, you can and will bounce back and once you have a few nights of no sleep, 3 hours feels like a full night and you realize as nice as it is to have a full 8 hours, it also isn't completely necessary.

How has your style changed since you've had kids?:

It hasn't really. I've always had a no-frills, comfortable sense of style. Maybe I wear shirts that are a bit more flowy now, but I think that's more of a current trend thing vs. mom-style. I do accept that when I wear bracelets or chunky necklaces now, I have to share them with Hayes - kid loves him some accessories!
What's the best advice you've ever gotten from your mother?:

"This too shall pass..." I remember when Hayes was 4 days old and my parents were still at the house helping out. Hayes was fussy, I was incredibly sleep deprived and my new-mom baby blues were in full effect. As I sat there in the chair in Hayes' room, nursing him for the zillionth time, crying my eyes out about how much harder this whole motherhood thing was than I thought it would be, my mom sat at my feet and let me vent. She reminded me that this was a phase, that we would get through it and told me we were doing the best job we could. I think of her advice when we're going through a rough patch and although it's hard to accept in the moment, looking back, the rough patch always passes and you're a stronger parent as a result.
What's the one piece of advice you WISH you had gotten before becoming a mom?:

Be spontaneous, because once you have a baby, you can't do things on a whim anymore.
And if you feel like wasting a day sleeping on the couch, don't feel guilty about it - be selfish and do it, goddammit!

If you could give yourself a mother's day present, what would it be?:

I don't need anything materialistic. I'd like a day with my boys, a nice brunch, time to relax and some appreciation for this huge hat I wear. I don't want to have to think about when to put Hayes down for a nap, or what to feed him for dinner. I just want to enjoy being a mom, without all of the daily necessary chores that come along with it. Although I wouldn't turn down a massage or mani/pedi... ;-)

What are your favorite things to do together?:

Snuggle on the couch or in bed when Hayes has his am and pm milk. Go to the park together. Do things as a family so I can spend time with my two favorite people. Hear the little guy's infectious laugh and capture it on camera so I can hold onto that moment forever ;-)


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

VIP Service...

Leave it up to Hayes to have a personal hair stylist who'll trim his locks in the privacy of his own home. Our very own Nanna Susu is a graduate of the Vidal Sassoon Academy and was a certified hairdresser (cut and color thankyouverymuch) for twenty years before moving onto her next venture (I swear, the woman has done it all!).

A few months ago, unbeknownst to us, she took it upon herself to give Hayes his very first haircut. As you can imagine, I was less than pleased; Grant even told her she better enjoy her day with Hayes as it might be her last! While I would never fire someone for something like that (let's be honest, we need Susu in our life more than she needs us!), I did tell her that I was upset and asked that the next time she felt the urge to get out her shears, she tell me so I could at least be there for it. And luckily she saved the hair for me so I couldn't be too angry...

Fast forward a couple months and the bangs on our boy were down to the middle of his nose; he desperately needed a cut, but Susu refused. Finally, after a couple of weeks, I think she got sick of him not being able to see out of his eyes and so one day, she brought back in her fancy scissors and we made plans to set up the salon that afternoon.

Since we weren't there for his first cut, we counting this one as Official Cut #1. We've left the hair longer in the back as it's becoming this great mound of blonde curls and wings and because Hayes'll have the rest of his life to keep his hair short so why not let him enjoy a more relaxed look while he can?! 

Here's a video of the big event - so grateful it wasn't me who had to do it as I'm sure an eye would have been poked out. That kid cannot sit still!


Friday, May 4, 2012

Ole!

It's Cinco de Mayo this weekend, one of our favorite holidays! I mean, who doesn't like an excuse to gorge on Mexican food, drink margaritas all day long and beat a donkey named Diego with a stick until loads of sugary candy falls out? Guilty!

Pinterest

Our friend Susan has an annual Cinco de Drinko party every year at her place on the Westside. Usually it's a day-drinking affair but modifications have had to be made since having the little guy. The grandparents are comin up tomorrow late afternoon so we'll head over at a more respectable 6p to throw back a few cold ones at Susan's and then start a Westside bar crawl along the Mexican joints that line Washington Blvd. Can't say I'm looking too forward to the way I'll be feeling on Sunday morning...

Since we don't have any plans until early evening tomorrow, we're planning on taking Hayzey back to Gymboree. I had to talk to three different managers there to get him into the class - apparently, it's quite a popular one and they're making an exception for us for tomorrow only - but we really think he'll love being able to climb around on everything, since when we took Gymboree with him before, he wasn't even crawling. Then moving forward, we can stop in on the Sunday class whenever we want. It'll be a good place to take him with no commitment (most of the other classes you have to sign up for a month, they have weird make-up rules and they make you feel really tied down) and since we needed something to fill the swim lesson void, we thought this was perfect.

The only other thing on the agenda this weekend is a surprise birthday brunch on Sunday for one of our friends at Papa Cristos, a delicious Greek restaurant downtown. Other than that, there will just be a whole lotta this:


Hope you enjoy the weekend!
xx

Thursday, May 3, 2012

14 Months!

Hard to believe our little man is already a walking, babbling 14 month old. My-oh-my how time flies!
Here's a couple of recent Hayes-isms we've been enjoying:

...he's obviously taken note of his dad and Nanna Susu's love of cleaning (and maybe mama's lack thereof!) and taken to helping wipe the table and floors after mealtime.
Bus boy in training?
...he loves to be tossed. That is, when we pile up pillows on the couch and toss him into them. He laughs and laughs and comes climbing back for more.
...the only time he'll sit still during the day is right before he goes to bed, when we're watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune on TV. That kid is going to be a game show whiz...
...when toes are exposed, he's trying to get them in his mouth. We weren't sure if it was just his Mama's feet he was partial to, but it turns out he's not picky - his Dad's sweaty, post work-out feet will do just as well. It's becoming a problem.
...he LOVES to push buttons, whether it be on the alarm, garage door, DirecTV box. He would literally stand there for hours opening and closing the garage with the clicker. Side note, the closest we've seen him come to throwing a tantrum was when we took said clicker away from him. It was as if we had told him he could never eat macaroni and cheese again.
...he loves to be chased. He gets all excited and squeals with delight. 
...he is fascinated with the toilet and garbage cans. Toys have been found floating in the toilet bowl and objects have gone missing, presumably thrown into the trash.
...He calls everything 'mama', including me. Don't know if it means anything, but if he can only say one word, you bet your ass I'm happy it's that one ;-)

Click the link below for his 14 month pics:
Enjoy!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A perfect weekend...

This past weekend was prrretty perfect. Weather was amazing (seriously, couldn't have been better), the boy was on his best behavior and it was really nice to spend some much needed time alone as a family.


As I mentioned last week, we started the weekend off with a lunch play date at The Grove with some old friends from our Mommy & Me yoga days. Hayes and Collin hit it off and even shared a lunch and fed each other at the table. The cutest! It was really nice to reconnect with my old friend and we both decided that we needed to be better about staying in touch moving forward, especially after we saw how much fun the boys had together.

Buds.

Hey, wait for me!
I cannot get enough of shots from the back. Too.Cute.
Grant caught the earlier flight back from Atlanta on Friday so after an afternoon run with his dad, we took a pajama-clad Hayzey over to the Pico-Robertson Block Party and loaded up on a food truck feast to enjoy al fresco in the backyard. We decided to forgo the Nom Nom Truck in order to try some of the other offerings, which included a delicious burger, belgian style double dipped fries and sweet potato and pepper jack croquettes. For dessert, we had a dirty mint ice cream sando and to wash it all down, Grant made some delicious frozen lemonade cocktails. I think the meal must have totaled over 5,000 calories but it was mighty tasty! And so convenient to have within walking distance of the house. These events are held the last Friday of every month throughout the Summer so we'll definitely be in attendance for more of them.




As I mentioned, the weather on Saturday and Sunday was perfecto so we got some good use out of the backyard and also had a picnic on the grass at the LA County Museum of Art. Hayes loved running around and checking out all of the activity going on there and we'll definitely do that again. It's great to be outside in wide open spaces as we don't have to worry so much about him falling down and hitting his head on sharp corners, etc... And a little fresh air is good for everyone, right?
Twinsies...



Check back tomorrow for Hayes' 14 month photos.

xx