I heart emails!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hasta Luego, folks!

Oh, don't mind me... I'll just be saddled up to this bar, enjoying poolside margies for the next 5 days in full relaxation mode. Basically the definition of 'checked out'. Ahhhhhhh..... I feel relaxed just writing that!

Yep, tomorrow the huz and I are off to Cabo San Lucas to enjoy a sun and fun-filled long weekend with three other couples. My parents have very (very!) generously given us access to a house at the One & Only Palmilla, which is supposed to be to.die.for. Hayzey will be staying behind with his other grandparents and Auntie V, holding down the fort in LA and making sure Greta Faye doesn't throw any parties.

So forgive me for the blog silence on a lady... over the next week or so. I'm not bringing my computer, I'm not using my phone for anything but taking glorious photos of scenes a la the above (call Grant's cell if you need to reach us!) and I'm looking forward to...

...delicious dinners al fresco, with plenty of accompanying margaritas.
...a day at sea on Saturday when we rent a private boat to take us around Cabo for the afternoon.
...heavenly massages a deux with my love.
...lots of sleeping in and lounging by our own private pool, no baby monitors in sight!

I'll miss my little booginhead (is it strange that I kind of miss him already?!) but I know he's in good hands ;-) Plus, with FOJ upon us as soon as we get back, I know I'll have some mid-week QT with the boy...

So until next week, hasta luego my friends!

Monday, June 25, 2012

A perfect summer weekend...

This weekend was one of those perfect summer weekends... gorgeous temps, lots of time outside, fun with friends and of course, plenty of BBQ and bevvies.

What screams Summer more than rocket pops, lobster trunks and your own private plunge pool?
We kicked off the weekend with dinner on Friday night with our friends Lizzie and Paul at our fave, Son of a Gun. Although it wasn't my favorite experience there, the food - smoked mahi mahi dip, shrimp toast, linguini with clams, lobster rolls, fried chicken sandwich, hushpuppies filled with ham and cheese - and cocktails - shaken pina colada for me and a delicious looking frosty snow cone libation for Grant - didn't disappoint. We left full and satisfied ;-)

Saturday kicked off the beginning of our Summer Saturday parties at the Kibbutz. You see, we decided even before we had Hayes that having a baby meant we'd need to do a whole lotta entertaining at our house so our friends could come to us and we could still have a social life. So we created our Summer Saturdays, themed out summer parties filled with fun, food and flowing drinks. We figured one a month was a good number as it would give us some time to recover and plan the next one.

Caribbean Vibes was the theme of this month's Summer Saturday so there were pitchers of rum runners, Jamaican beer and a food spread that included jerk chicken, Cuban black beans, roasted plantains, coconut shrimp and a homemade upside-down pineapple cake with coconut pineapple ice cream to finish it all off (more on that later this week...).

This party was particularly fun for Hayes as he is finally old enough to really seem to enjoy playing with his little buddies. We blew up the kiddie pool and they splashed around while the adults mingled. And as WT as Grant and I felt on Sunday when we were lying in our backyard while Hayes swam in his above-ground pool, we both decided that it was far more relaxing than having a real pool due to that whole worrying-about-drowning thing!

King Hayes getting a ride from his friend, Ollie...
Ollie, the biter, caught on camera...
Ollie and Gavin having a tete-a-tete
 We grilled up some homemade burgers, chili lime corn and caesar salads last night and all went to bed a little more bronzed, with fond memories of the first weekend of summer.

Home ownership and having kids definitely means you're an adult but it's weekends like these that remind you growing up ain't so bad after all ;-)

Check out those buns.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Because sometimes, you just need to get every.last.drop...

ps... this reminds me of my mother, who often claims that when we lived in England, real Canadian maple syrup was so expensive that when we were finished with our pancakes, she would lick our plates clean before putting them into the dishwasher. Seems Hayes is picking up some habits from his 'ole Nana afterall!

What?? Do I have something on my face?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Innocent until proven guilty...

I got home from work last night and Nanna Susu was flustered, to say the least. She had misplaced her keys and had spent the last half hour frantically searching for them, to no avail. She'd looked in cupboards and closets, couch cushions, toy bins, litter boxes... She was on her way into the kitchen to put on a pair of rubber gloves so she could go diving through our trash bin outside. No luck there either...

You see, Hayes is pretty fascinated with a couple of our trash bins in the house because they open and close with a sensor, so he'll take things from around the house and deposit them into the trash. I've found pajama bottoms, socks, footballs - things that I wasn't quite ready to part with, casually placed atop a pile of garbage. And those are the items I've been lucky enough to find! Who knows what has gone missing forever, accidentally taken out to the trash bins outside and transported to the landfills of Los Angeles (ahem... the diffuser to my hairdryer, maybe)?

So naturally, our first reaction last night when Nanna Susu couldn't find her keys was to blame the little man. After an extensive search, she told me she was going to catch the local bus back to her place (she lives about 5 minutes away in Beverly Hills), to which I told her she was crazy, to get her stuff and I would drive her home. We joked around on the way home about how that little monster was into everything these days and how we were sure it would turn up in the strangest of places. What had Hayes done with the keys?

When I was making dinner last night, every cupboard I opened, I half expected the keys to be sitting right there. It was driving me crazy. Before I went to bed, I got down on my hands and knees and searched all throughout the front family room again. I found some plastic balls from a toy of Hayes' that I didn't even know were missing, along with some of Greta's toy mice, but no keys. 

Susu had told me that along with her car keys, she also had her house keys, our house keys and the keys to the home of the other family she nannies for, along with some spare keys to her friends' homes. "Those keys are my life. I have the keys to Paris on there!" (turns out the Eiffel Tower is her keychain...).

Feeling annoyed that I hadn't found the keys and a little irritated at Hayes for being his rambunctious self and stealing something so important, I decided to call it a night and figured Susu could turn the house upside down today when she was back to find them. I started to put my folded laundry away that was on our bed and noticed that a menswear nightshirt of mine had been placed with Grant's clothes (Susu does all of our laundry - we know, we're incredibly spoiled). I snatched the shirt from the pile and lo and behold, there they were, Paris and all!

And good lord are those keys that woman's life. 13 keys in total, car keys, storage locker keys, what looked like bike lock keys (the mental image of Susu riding a bike makes me chuckle...) - she could be a janitor with all of those keys!

So to make a long story short, although we were quick to blame Hayzey, the case of the missing keys was solved and it turns out the poor kid had nothing to do with it at all! That's not to say that the next time something goes missing, his curious nature won't be the first thing I think of to blame, but it goes to show that you just never know. 

And that lost keys always show up in the last place you look for them ;-)

Hayes actually being helpful for once, putting the sheets in the dirty laundry. And yes, this bin was also checked for the keys...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Terrorism 2 .0

The level of terrorism has reached a new high at our house - we are on red alert.
Hayes blows through rooms like the Tasmanian Devil, in destroy mode during his every waking moment. He's happy and easy going when he's doing it, but the damage is being done.
I find myself following closely behind him, cleaning up his messes like a human vacuum cleaner. He tears my shoes down off the shelves, rips my purses off the door handle. The tupperware cupboard is emptied out multiple times a day. Yesterday, I left him alone for a nanosecond, only to return to the dining room to see him standing on the bench, about to climb on the table.

...but cute as the dickens!
 It's times like these I wish I had eyes on the back of my head, because boy oh boy would those come in handy right about now!

I'm excited that our little man continues to be passionately curious. It's as if I can literally see him learning new things everyday, which is fascinating. It's still unbelievable to me how much of a sponge they are at this young age, and how much he's soaking in absolutely everything we're doing or saying. 

I just fear that our house is about to be completely raged. Oh well, c'est la vie!

This past week was a whirlwind of travel, starting off with me going up to SF to meet the huz last Tuesday night, then the whole fam heading to Chicago on Thursday for a long weekend. I happened to have a work event in Evanston, IL, so we used that as an excuse to make a trip out there to visit our friends Dan and Cassie, as well as my sister-in-law, whom we've taken to calling Auntie V.

Technically, you don't have to buy a seat on the plane for kids under the age of 2, so Hayes traveled as a lap infant on the 3.5 hour flight. The way over wasn't so great - we were trapped in our row by a 400 lb beast, who occupied the aisle seat. Hayes was cramped, missed out on both of his naps, and due to a faulty arm rest that wouldn't stay in an elevated position, he really had nowhere to go but our laps. We told ourselves that we would never fly with out him having his own seat again and were even reconsidering going on our annual Hawaii trip as it just seemed too hard to travel with a toddler anymore...

But then something miraculous happened on the way home. We were fully expecting it to be a hellacious 4 hours, but when we got on the plane (which we nearly missed by mere minutes!), we situated him in between us, put YGG on the iPad and a calm silence ensued. He pretty much sat in between us, not making a peep for the entire 4 hour flight. At one point, the flight attendant even asked if he was always this good (which I was sure was going to jinx his good behavior). He was a total rock star and I think he may have earned his September beach vacation back ;-)

Here are some snaps from the weekend. As you can see, Hayes and Collins continued their love affair as kisses and hugs were aplenty. It was great to see the Carvers and Auntie V and we just wished we lived closer so we could do it more often...

First kiss xx
A romantic tub...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

In honor of Dad's day, I asked the Super Dad of our family to answer a couple of questions on fatherhood. So, enjoy this guest post of sorts from Grant:

Your Parenting Philosophy:
Definitely don't have a "philosophy" per se - and actually think people who try to stick to a certain "philosophy" either have never been a parent or are crazy. If you cant figure out what makes the most sense for your kid in each given situation - particularly when they are less than 2 feet tall and can't talk - then you've "got a real problem".

What did you learn about being a father from your own dad?
Teaching my son to love the Niners, Warriors and Giants - and really sports in general... then we'll always have a shared passion, no matter how different we are in life stages.

First words that pop into your head when you hear "dad":
A tall loud bald guy who likes to eat way too much... then the realization that's exactly where I'm headed this decade.

Fill in the blanks: "The key to being a good dad is":
There is no "key", otherwise it would have been written about in one of the 750 books most woman have read about child-rearing and they would just kick all of us dad's to the curb once they got their kid. Just be a normal person - as that's pretty much the best you can do - and hopefully your kid turns out okay.

Best part of fatherhood:
Getting your kid to laugh uncontrollably (even if only for a few seconds) - its the single most fun thing I can think of that doesn't include a college football team or the city of Las Vegas.

And Happy Father's Day to all of the dads in our lives. You're all an inspiration in your own special way and I couldn't think of better role models for our little man. We love you!
Papa, Grandpa and Hayzey, Christmas 2011

Pops & Hayes, May 2011

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June 12th...

Today, June 12th, is an anniversary of sorts for Grant and me for a couple of different reasons. 

It was 13.5 years ago today that we shared that first smooch that officially kicked off our union. We stopped celebrating half year anniversaries awhile ago, but I still like to acknowledge them!

And it was 9 years ago today that we crossed the border into California and started calling LA our home. Who knew that not only would we still be here all these years later, but that we would have planted firm roots down by buying our first house and that we'd have also started our family here? I don't know if we'll stay in LA forever, but it will always have a very special place in our hearts.

 This afternoon, I'm meeting the huz up in San Francisco, the City by the Bay, for a one-night-only dinner a deux, followed by a party his company is throwing. Grant travels to SF pretty much on a biweekly basis and he's constantly hitting the town with his co-workers, who sound like a hoot, frequently ending their evenings at various hole-in-the-wall karaoke bars. Not sure what I've signed myself up for, but should be fun!

Grandma is taking care of the boy tonight, which we're so grateful for. I have to say, even though it's only one night,  I was a little sad this morning when I said goodbye to him and am already missing this face terribly ;-(

We're back tomorrow and will pack our bags right up again to go to Chicago on Thursday. Hayes is joining us for that one and we're excited to see some good friends and Hayzey's future wifey. Their arranged marriage has been in the works basically since we found out Collins was going to be a girl (she's a younger lady by 2.5 months) and I'm anxious to see them together again. I think they're gonna love it.

Collins & Hayes, August 2011
 Will try and post again before the weekend, but keep your eyes out for a special guest post as well, in honor of Father's Day on Sunday.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

An early Father's Day celebration...

 One of Grant's favorite things on earth is dim sum. Living in a large city like LA, we have a bustling Chinatown that's full of dim sum options, but we rarely make it down there as it's such a schlep and let's be honest, how often are you in the mood for a huge Asian brunch spread? Nevermind what your waistline would look like!!

Last year, on Father's Day, Hayes and I took Grant to our go-to dim sum restaurant, Empress Pavilion. We decided that, it being Grant's favorite and all, we would make it an annual Father's Day tradition.

So you can imagine how bad I felt when I realized that a trip to Chicago we had booked for next weekend (a work trip for moi that we're folding some pleasure into) coincided with Father's Day - hence making it impossible to partake in our new dim sum tradition!

So we've improvised and yesterday Hayes and I surprised Grant with a little pressie (matching father and son Canes attire) and the news that we were going to be celebrating the day in his honor a little early. We'll still honor the day next weekend in Chicago, but we'll have had our little tradition - and you all know how much of a sucker I am for tradition.

Happy Father's Day bigou. I couldn't ask for a better dad to our boy. We love you.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Some Hayes-isms to start your weekend off right...

...he has started walking around with his hands behind his back, much like an old, pensive man would do. Not sure where he picked this one up, but it is adorbs.
 ...he has a repertoire of tricks, but will only do them when you're one-on-one. Not in front of the camera. Not when someone else is there (he makes me look like a delusional crazy woman on a daily basis when I ask him where his ears are in front of others and he responds with a blank stare). He knows where his nose, ears, eyes, mouth, tongue, teeth and feet are. When I ask him where his belly button is, he points to his penis... hey, I guess it's in the general region!
...he bids friends and family adieu with an enthusiastic wave and smooch, only he doesn't realize that to give an air smooch, you must blow the kiss away, so he'll stand there with his hand over his mouth. He's also unbiased about the right time to blow kisses, as evidenced by the greeting he gave his dad last night when he got a peek of him arriving home through the kitchen window.

...he adores being chased.
...sometimes, he'll go into his room and help himself to a mid-day binky (he only gets them when he sleeps). He knows this isn't allowed, so he'll come up to us with a cheeky smile, waiting for us to ask him to hand it over. He does so quite willingly, but I think he views this as a fun game more than him really wanting his binks at that time.
...we're learning how to feed ourselves with a spoon. As you can see, it's going quite well...

On the agenda this weekend?
Nada Mucho.
We have a busy week ahead of us next week (more details on that later) so we're hanging around this weekend, doing dins at home tonight and a double date/art gallery soiree with some friends tomorrow. Hoping to take the boy to the zoo some point soon, although we might not be able to squeeze that in this weekend...

Hope y'all have a good one!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A weekend fit for a foodie...

I feel like all we did this weekend was eat. 

Grant made quite an impressive sushi spread on Friday night, complete with three different rolls and some asian-inspired cocktails and sides. He was literally in the kitchen for 5 hours preparing the feast and boy-oh-boy was it delish. Here are some snaps of the sushi chef hard at work, as well as the finished result:
Cocktails & fresh cevice...
GI-normous roll...
Needless to say, I always think of sushi as a light meal but we both went to bed stuffed to the gills and Grant swears he put on 4 lbs overnight!

We re-visited Plan Check on Saturday night and tried their burger again. I was afraid that we'd just had a knock-your-socks-off experience the first time and that it was a total fluke. How could such a new place that I hardly ever hear about have a burger that is on par to some of LA's most famous? But let me tell you, it did not disappoint the second go-around. In fact, it's elevated it's status on our list and is currently occupying the #1 position.

It's not a light burger - actually, it's one of the heavier burgers you'll have. Two kinds of cheese, one of them fried, bacon, a fried egg, a little hot sauce, and that delicious ketchup leather I was telling you about, all on top of a greasy patty of meat and sandwiched between a nice soft bun. Uh-mazing! Definitely not good for the 'ole cholesterol but a nice treat once in awhile. We'll for sure be going back to enjoy it again.

Sunday was the SORO Festival so the three of us walked down Robertson and enjoyed some of the food trucks. We had gyros for lunch from Kosher Grill on Wheels (when in Rome, right? They were just okay, kind of bland) and a delicious Hawaiian shaved ice from the King Kone Truck. Hayes could not get enough - I can't wait to give him a taste of the real thing when we resume our annual family trip to Kona (fingers crossed in September!).

After gorging ourselves all weekend, both of the Cohen boys had doctor's appointments to get ready for this week. We took Hayes in for his 15 month check-up yesterday and amidst all of the swooning from Dr. Sabeti and the nurses, we discovered he weighed a hearty 26.4 lbs (our little porcachon is in the 70th percentile!) and measured 31.25 inches long (50th percentile). His head has also grown from his last appointment and is now 19.25 inches around.

Developmentally, the doctor said everything looked great - she observed how smart he was on more than one occasion! But she did say that at 15 months, he should have about 3 words in his vocabulary and if he doesn't start communicating via words by his next check-up at 18 months, she may refer him to a speech therapist. This isn't because she's concerned that he won't speak, but because when they get to be about that age and can't communicate with words, they get very frustrated and tantrums ensue. Makes sense. So let's hope he expands his vocabulary beyond "mama" over the next couple of months! 

We should keep in mind that the kid has already started his spy training and in addition to English, he's mastering Farsi - so the dual language thing might slow him down a bit. BTW did you know 'zaboon' means tongue in Farsi? See, even Mom and Dad are learning a little something!

Superman golfs?!
Khodahafez, my friends!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Weekend Agenda

Cheers to the freakin' weekend!

We're staying local this weekend and have a bunch of fun plans, including...

...tonight, Chef Grant-San is whipping up a sushi feast. Yep, that's right - homemade sushi ;-) We've stocked up on some fresh fish and asian-inspired sides at Whole Foods and I'm leaving dinner and drinks in his very competent hands. Looking forward to an Omasake in the comfort of my very own home!
...tomorrow, assuming it's nice weather and June Gloom hasn't taken over SoCal, we'll do some fun outdoor activities with the boy, maybe take him on a hike or to horse around at the park. Grandma and Grandpa are coming up tomorrow evening to assume babysitting duties while the huz and I hit the town for a date night.
...plans for our date night include catching a flick (What to Expect when you're Expecting would be my top pick) and then re-visiting a new gem we discovered a few months ago, Plan Check. Their burger is up there with some of the best in LA - they use a delicious 'ketchup leather' which is sweet and salty and has a nice solid consistency that is present in every bite - my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
...Sunday is the Annual SORO Festival, which stands for South of Robertson, the area we live in. We took Hayes last year when he was just a tiny babe and it was a fun local thing to walk to where they had all sorts of activities and food trucks. Perfect for a casual Sunday afternoon!

In other news, my sister-in-law, Victoria just started an adorable food blog called Dahlicious Eats in which she details her adventures in cooking and just being a foodie altogether. Her very first post inspired me to try a different technique for a recipe for a faux fried rice with kale, which we happened to be having last night (great minds!), so I'm looking forward to seeing what else she has up her sleeve. Check it out when you have a chance!

And I've decided to try the #photoaday challenge again for the month of June, which I'll be posting on Instagram and FB in lieu of this blog. If you're interested, follow me on Instagram - my name is chanel115. Here's the challenge:

And finally, here are the boy's 15 month pics for your viewing pleasure:

Hope y'all have a great weekend!