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Friday, September 28, 2012

Happy Anniversary Bigou!

Tomorrow marks the hubby and my 5 year anniversary. Hard to believe it's been 5 years already; that's a long damn time when you think about it (although nothing compared to the almost 14 years we've been together!). I am incredibly grateful to still have my best friend by my side. He's an amazing father, partner, provider and person and I'm lucky I locked him down when he was a wee lad (although I'll forever tell him it's the other way around!).


Tomorrow night, we're celebrating our big milestone at our favorite restaurant, Mastros. I'm very much looking forward to our decadently over-the-top meal - we deserve it!

In honor of our anniversary, I thought I'd post our vows. We decided to write our own vows for our wedding and I'm so glad we did. It's nice to look back on them and remember the promises we made to each other and the love that we felt that day. And they remind me that I better be more proactive about getting him those snuggly socks when he climbs into bed with those ice blocks for feet!

Chanel’s Vows, September 29th, 2007

As I stand here today, across from you, I think back to the first time I saw you, nine years ago, the new kid sitting in the corner of the gym at TASIS orientation.
The smooth talking charmer that you are, you won over the Senior girls, but luckily it was me who caught your eye.

Throughout the years, we have stood side by side as a unit, as a couple, and as best friends.
In happy times and in sad, we have been each other’s rock, laughing, crying, a shoulder to lean on, an open ear to talk to, a pillar of strength and reassurance that everything was going to be okay.

You know me better than I know myself. If soul mates exist, you are without a doubt the person that my soul was meant to meet and spend the rest of my life with.

As we embark on our next journey as Mr. and Mrs., I promise to be the best partner, mother, wife, friend, and confidante I can possibly be.
On nights you can’t sleep, I promise to make nook readily available, along with a good head scratch every once in awhile.
If you’re feeling cold, I promise to make you a nice cup of tea and fetch you the snuggly socks.
If you’re feeling blue, I promise to do whatever it takes to make you smile.
And on days where you just want to act like a goofball, I promise to be right there beside you, creating life stories about random strangers riding in cars, or repeating conversations over and over again, saying “do you think other couples are like us?”

In the days leading up to today, many people asked me if I was nervous and if I was having any second thoughts about making it official and getting married.
Not one time have I doubted this next step in our relationship – it feels natural; it feels comfortable.
I am so honored to become part of your family, who have all been nothing but welcoming since the day I met them. 
I am so excited for what lies ahead, for what the future will bring – our first house, and some day, miniature versions of us.
I am so thrilled to finally be able to call my bigou, my husband and to spend the rest of my life with my best friend in the whole world.

Before we decided to move to LA together, you wrote me a note that said, “those meant to be together always will be in the end…”

I can’t wait to spend our forever, together.

 
 
Grant’s Vows, September 29th, 2007

When we got engaged, I told you about the first time we met,
but I didn’t explain the whole, somewhat embarrassing story.

Later that day, we took a class field trip to a terribly boring cathedral in
Chichester, England – it was cold and damp and I was nursing some serious jet lag.

We went to lunch with a group of about 12 new, for me, classmates at the local
Pizza Express and I wound up sitting right across the table from you.
And while I like to think of myself as cool and calm,
I was giddy and nervous and had butterflies, as I was full of excitement.

In a retrospectively un-smart attempt to keep up the cool front,
I kept it simple and ordered a plain Margherita Pizza.
Apparently, the extremely British waitress was not familiar with my “California speak” and brought me some type of indiscernible meat and mushroom covered concoction.

In an effort to continue winning your affection and not disrupt the meal,
I smiled and gladly accepted this pizza that I clearly did not order
and began to attempt to enjoy the food.

Unfortunately, upon first bite, I found out that not only was the pizza covered in mushrooms, which I despise (and some unknown meat), but it was also wildly spicy.
Within a couple of bites, my tongue was on fire
and I was starting to wonder how I could eat this entire thing.
However, I was working far too hard to earn your favor to possibly be so rude to return it, so I just gritted my teeth, tried to hide the perspiring forehead and drank a lot of water!

And while the food at that Pizza Express in Chichester was terrible, almost ten years later, I still consider it to be one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten because if I had been a bother and sent it back, who knows if you would have fallen for me so?

So the moral of the story isn’t that when going to Pizza Express, one should just always order the dough balls and garlic butter, (which is true!) or that England has terrible food, (which is also true!), but rather that today, like I did almost ten years ago on the first day we met,
I promise always to eat the spicy mushrooms; I promise to always order loud and clear;
I promise never to send anything back; I promise to always sit next to you at the table;
I promise to make sure that you are always happy and most of all,
I promise to always have those butterflies in my stomach when I am with you.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hayes-isms - 19 months

It's been awhile since I've posted some Hayes-isms and there's lots to report. It seems like even in just the past couple of weeks, our little guy has grown up SO much. He is such a little man now!

...he fully understands the concept of something ending and waving goodbye. He waves to EVERYTHING - whether it's leaving his binkies on the shelf when he wakes up, a clerk at the grocery store, the house as we pull away in the car. I've seen him blow kisses to a pair of shoes on more than one occasion.
...WE HAVE SOME WORDS!!! Finally, the kid is speaking! His official first word was "nana" for banana. We're also saying "buh bye", "mama", "dada", "ha" (for hot) and we've heard murmurs of "more" once or twice (although his baby sign language for that word is far cuter - and used very frequently!).
Turns out, the kid isn't a mute after all!
...he loves to dance. His signature move looks something along the lines of what you envision 'tapping that ass' to look like, one arm up in the air, the other waving back and forth. All class around here!
...he started school last week. Well, it's a parent & me class at a pre-school down the street but they go off of a school curriculum/schedule and I happen to be the homeroom mom (how adult of me!) so it sure feels like school! It's just him and 3 other little ladies so he's definitely the BMOC.
...he's taken to using the potty before his evening bath and is so proud of himself after he goes, he gives himself a round of applause. We are encouraged and think this means he's definitely on the right track with that whole potty training thing.
...it's true what they say, kissing boo boos make them feel much better, specifically when they're kissed by your Mom. Hayes is aware of this. I'm glad it seems to ease the pain ;-)
...he's figured out how to break open our child safety locks on the cabinets. Sweet.
...he's old enough now that he'll sit through longer books at bedtime. For the first time in his life, I was able to read him "Love You Forever", a personal favorite of mine, cover to cover while he sat in my lap. I loved that.
...the kid has more hair than we know what to do with. I seriously think he could use a haircut every week. We're trying to think of something he can be for Halloween based on his signature hair (because of course, he won't tolerate a hat) - any suggestions??

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Slow down...

I stumbled upon this article this morning and after wiping the tears away from my face, I was reminded just how important it is to slow down and relish the moment.

Having a kid is amazing - seriously the best thing ever. I look at our boy and find it hard to remember what life was like before he was around. What kept me going? What did I do with all that free time? Where was I hiding all of that love I now find myself bursting with for Hayes? 

On the other hand, having a toddler is also exhausting. The kid cannot sit still. It requires an INCREDIBLE amount of patience and serious skill to be able to put yourself in the mindset of an 18 month old to know how to handle a situation (a skill I learn more and more about everyday). It can be frustrating. It can become tedious. It makes you realize how much you took your freedom to be selfish for granted before you had kids when you get excited about small things like being able to spend a whole 40 minutes at the gym. The reality is, it's not always cupcakes and rainbows.

But then I read an article like Cornmeal's and realize just how lucky I am to have a little guy who still wants to sit on me every morning to drink his milk. Who follows me around like he's my shadow. Who's interested in every single thing I do and imitates small mundane actions that's he's picked up without me even realizing (side note: every morning when I get ready for work, I "warm up" my eyeliner by blowing on it. Hayes will go into my make-up drawer, pull out a eye liner pencil and do the same. It is seriously the cutest thing ever.). 

It reminds me that it won't be this way forever and in a couple of years, Hayes won't voluntarily go in for that family hug when we're saying good night. He won't put his head on my shoulder when I give him a quick rock before putting him in his crib. He won't get so much enjoyment out of the game we play every night when I throw his lovie, Fred on his face and say "Where's Hayes?!" (I literally have to do this 4-5 times every night before turning off the light - it's become a bedtime ritual). 

I like reading articles like this because it reminds me to slow down and savor the moment. Yes, firsts are exciting. But you can't constantly be wishing your kid's life away, wondering when he'll say his first word or get rid of his binky. Lasts are so final; it's called 'last' because it never happens again. And that scares me! Our baby boy is growing up before our eyes and as important as the next developmental step is, it's also important to enjoy the one he's in. 

Tonight, I won't get frustrated when Hayes doesn't finish his bedtime milk in one sitting; I'll enjoy him taking a couple breaks and coming back for more on his own time. I won't rush through his bedtime books. I'll squeeze him a little bit harder before putting him in his crib. Hell, maybe I'll throw Fred on his face 10 times! Most importantly, I'll remember that these routine moments are fleeting and take a minute to enjoy our boy in the present.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Jetsetting...

I inadvertently took a little hiatus from a lady this past week - life got busy and as a result, I didn't have much time to sit down and update you on all the happenings!

September has been a bit crazed - always seems to be for some reason. We used to take a 5 day vacay to Hawaii every September in honor of our anniversary. We vowed not to change that once we had kids, but alas, the past two years have had such busy September months, we couldn't find 5 days to steal away if we wanted to!

I feel like it's been non-stop since my trip to DC in August. We're gone three out of the five weekends this month, then again the first weekend of October. Whoever said having a baby slows down your travel sure doesn't prescribe to the same parenting format we've become accustomed to! But I am exhausted and find myself longing for a weekend to lounge around at home, with no plans more substantial than brunch at Toast or a trip to the park. Grass is always greener, right?

Hayes has become quite the professional little traveler. He's pretty darn good on the plane (our trick is to keep his mouth full of binky or snacks the whole time!) and vacationing looks good on him. Our only downfall is his sleeping habits when we're away from home. For a kid who is so predictable and thrives so much on routine, taking him away from his own crib and expecting him to sleep soundly in an uncomfortable pack and play in a strange room can be a challenge. As relaxing as our mini-vacations are, Grant and I often find ourselves pooped at the end of the weekend due to his sporadic sleeping habits (5:30am wake ups - oy vey!).

Still, I wouldn't change it for the world and am happy that we've been fortunate enough to be able to have flexible jobs and an easy-going enough kid to make that a reality.

This past weekend, we escaped the LA heat wave and headed to Scottsdale to see my folks (talk about a reversal in weather patterns!). Hayes had a blast with his Nana and Papa and filled his days by swimming, playing his first round of golf (or more like riding in the golf cart, eating oatmeal cookies with his mama!) and going to his very first sporting event: the AZ Diamondbacks vs. the SF Giants (Giants won, thankyouverymuch!). It was a great weekend - here are a couple of snaps:

Human checkers at Outlaw before dinner...

Breakfast for the boy!
Hayzey's Jordans nestled in Papa's new golf shoes - savor the moment, it won't be like that for long!
Who says 18 months is too young to drive?
Golfing with the boys... (and Nana, not pictured)
First sporting event!
Cotton candy and popcorn... what more could a boy ask for?!
Proud daddy ;-)

Friday, September 7, 2012

18 month check-up!

Good news - No need to schedule the speech therapist quite yet! We had our 18 month appointment this morning and the doctor says that based on the fact that Hayes has great receptive language (that's being able to understand many words without actually saying them) and because he babbles and can imitate sounds when we ask him to (most notably Nana, Mama and Bye), there's no need to worry about that whole speech thing quite yet. Phew! We'll re-visit the issue if he still has no words at 2 years so we've got a whole 6 months to work on that!

Hayes now weighs 27.4 lbs (up 1 lb from his 15 month appointment - probably would have been more but he's had little appetite this week as he's been fighting off a virus) and measures 33 inches long (1.75 inches longer than last time). His head is 19.5 inches (.25 inches more than our last appointment). He's 50-75th percentile in weight and height, although even our doctor was surprised at that - he just looks so darn big!

We had a few shots - DPT, Hepatitis A and Flu (and Mom and Dad also got their flu nasal sprays - Cohens are ready for flu season!) and he handled them like a champ. We celebrated by having mac and cheese and lobster cobb salads at McCormick and Schmick's for lunch afterwards ;-)

We're laying low this weekend, getting some stuff done around the house as it's one of the only weekends we're in town this month. On the agenda?:

...date night at Angelini Osteria this evening. Can't wait for their signature lasagne and a good bottle of vino - yum!
...intimate backyard BBQ with some friends tomorrow afternoon. Gotta enjoy this warm weather while it lasts!
...I'm hoping to organize my closet, specifically my jewelry shelf/drawer. I'm inspired by this blogger's post on her closet - seems much more inviting and practical than the tangled mess I have going on in there right now!
...in the spirit of organization, I'm hoping to go through Hayzey's closet as well, retiring some of the clothes our growing boy isn't fitting into anymore (sniffle, sniffle...)
...resuming our Sunday family night dinners. We've taken the past couple of weeks off and I want to make sure this is a tradition that sticks!
 
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 Hope y'all have a good weekend!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Loves...


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The end of Summer is a little bittersweet for me. On one hand, I'll miss the warm Summer days where Hayes needed nothing more than his birthday suit to hang out in. On the other hand, I'm super excited to transition into Fall clothing - rich colors, comfy leather boots, warm and cozy scarves and fur vests. Fall also means a shift in cooking - I'm anxious to dust off the old Le Creuset and make some yummy soups and chilis!
 
The best egg sandwich you'll ever have (recipe here). The secret is in the way you cook the eggs, kinda like a crepe. This has become a staple weeknight meal for me when the huz is out of town - simple, filling and comforting all in one!

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Maybe it's because this year is the first year I've been able to vote (Hello, citizenship!) or maybe it's just because I'm getting old, but our TV has been tuned into the DNC this week (I even opted to watch Bill's speech last night instead of catching up on Bachelor Pad - can you imagine?!). I'm not one to talk politics, but Clinton rocked the house and if Michelle ever decided to run for pres, she's got my vote!

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Such a great idea to capture a snapshot of what you did on a certain day. I'm a sucker for nostalgia and love to look back to see what I did this time last year, 5 years ago, 10 years ago. We gave my dad a leather bound journal with a similar concept for his birthday this year and I'm thinking I might do the same thing with a little homemade version of my own. Let's get crafty!

I stumbled upon this gem of Grant when he was around Hayes' age when we were up in Angel's Camp and had to share. Do you think Hayzey's his father's son?!? Love.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The sign of a good vacation is not wanting for it to be over... I think we were all a little sad on Sunday afternoon when our weekend up in Angel's Camp had come to an end ;-(

We had a really fun weekend with the Greats - Hayes had an absolute ball exploring their house, playing with all of the toys they'd stocked up on (although he was most happy with the hose and watering can!) and spending some quality time with GG and Pops. We went to the pool everyday, ran around the golf course and played at the park. We witnessed the Hurricanes first win of the season and enjoyed a lovely al fresco dinner at the club. It really was perfect.

Although we got off to a worrisome start the first night when Hayes decided to wake up at 3:45a for the day, we quickly acclimated to our new surroundings and slept like a champ the rest of the time. Hayes was definitely the talk of the town - on more than one occasion, golfers would slow their carts as they passed the house and call out to Myrna, "Is that Rutherford B.?" or "Is this one yours?". It was so adorable and Hayes ate up all that attention!
 
We already can't wait to go back for Thanksgiving in November and are thinking we might even make this an annual Labor Day trip, so long as the greats will have us back ;-)
 
Here are some shots of the weekend. Hope your Labor Day was as fun as ours!
 
 

petting the horse with GG and Dad...
panning for gold...

being serenaded...
bowling alley...
helping GG water the plants...
driving the golf cart...

breakfast in Murphys...
swimming with Pops...

swings with GG!