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Tuesday, January 29, 2013


...his vocabulary has exploded over the past couple of weeks. We had been keeping a tally and were up to just over thirty words and now I have no clue how many the kid's got. Mostly just fragments of words ("wa" for "water", "da" for "Greta", you get the jist) but a few phrases as well. His favorite phrase is "All done!" which he says as he holds his hands out to the front, like take this away now! My favorite is this:

...Staying on the vocab category, he now knows the entire intro to "Gaga" (aka Yo Gabba Gabba) and will scream out the characters' names as they come on the screen ("Muno!" "Fufu!" "Beebee!", "Tutu!", "Crax!"), all the while squealing in delight and clapping his hands. His enthusiasm is the only thing that makes the sound of YGG at 6am these days tolerable.
...He loves to give kisses and once he starts, it's hard for him to stop. He puts both hands on your face and squeezes your cheeks real tight, then purses his lips and goes in for the smooch. I. die.
...As I mentioned yesterday, it's been a week of change, what with the whole transition to the toddler bed. Previously, when Hayes was still in a crib, when he wanted to tell us that he was angry about going to sleep or that he was done with his nap, he'd forcefully chuck the binkies out of the crib and onto the floor. Now, since he no longer has a crib, we have a lock on his door that keeps it open just a crack (mainly so I don't have to worry about him wandering the house at night - we go to him when he wants out, don't worry!). When he wakes up from his nap, he'll come to the door and push the binkies through the crack, as if to say "All done!"
...He is scarily adept at technology. If you ask him to, he'll find pictures of himself on your phone and knows exactly where the YGG videos are kept.
...The kid loves stickers. I find them everywhere; on bottoms of shoes, on pillows, on clothes, in purses, in my car. You know somebody's been spending time with Hayes when you find a sticker haphazardly placed on the back of their sweater. 
...He's started offering to help me cook and seems genuinely interested in what I'm doing. Last night, on his own accord, he dragged the step stool from our closet, all the way into the kitchen yelling "cook! cook!" the whole time after I told him I was going to start getting dinner ready. So proud!

Here are his 23 month pics, which include NYE in Scottsdale and our amazing trip to Hawaii. 

The party planning for the Big #2 has begun!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hell Week...

You know what people forget to mention SUCKS when it comes to raising kids? Transitioning from a crib to a toddler bed, that's what. Just when you think you're in the clear, you've got almost two years behind you, have established good sleeping habits and your kid is basically the world's only 2-year old who's adjective should be 'terrific' and not 'terrible', the boat is rocked and everything is turned absolutely upside down!

Toddler beds weren't even on my radar; I was ill-prepared to say the least. I thought I had at least another 6 months or so before we would have to start worrying about that whole thing. Our nephew, Hank is almost 3 and he still happily sleeps in his crib. Our friends, who have seemingly more rambunctious little guys than we do, all have yet to get rid of the ultimate safe haven. So when we got back from Hawaii last week and Hayes effortlessly swung his leg over the side of the crib one night in an attempt to get out, I was definitely taken by surprise.

The monkey making his grand escape...
This wasn't a one-time-only occurrence, folks. The little monkey soon thought of it as a game, so our only choice was to rock him to sleep every nap and nighttime before the big boy bed arrived. Doesn't sound too bad, right? Try rocking a kid who has the energy of somebody who has just ingested a liter of Jolt to sleep when they have no interest in going to bed. Throw in some violent kicking and hitting (accompanied by maniacal laughter every time I loudly protested, "No!") and multiple middle of the night wake-ups, and you have what we went through last week. Good times, let me tell you.

So toddler bed was ordered and arrived on Thursday. Everybody says to make a big deal out of it, let the child be involved, have them help you pick out some new sheets... All great advice for someone who is of normal age when making the transition, but not our Hayes who, at 23 months is at the early end of the milestone spectrum and doesn't understand what the hell is going on. 
We enlisted his help in assembling the bed and tried to make a big deal out of it throughout the day. We went into night #1 with a solid plan and told each other that no matter how long, we would do whatever it took to get him to sleep in there. Fast forward two and a half grueling hours and over 450 times of putting a laughing, crying, wailing, screaming, then laughing again toddler back into his foreign bed and the evening ended with an unhappy baby, a mama in tears and a dad who resorted to ye old faithful rocking-him-to-sleep technique.

Explaining to Hayes what's going on...
Getting him excited for the bed... This was before the 450th trip back into his room.
 Keep in mind, this entire time, Grant and I are both sick with our second colds of the year and everyone is crabby and tired, especially Hayes, who is used to clocking in 11+ hours of uninterrupted sleep in the comfort of his crib. So let's just say tensions were high around the Kibbutz!

We quickly decided that the Super Nanny technique was not going to work with our persistent little guy so we abandoned that idea and moved onto some other tactics. Grant tried sitting in his room for a whole hour in silence one afternoon while he was supposed to be napping. The result of that experiment wasn't a tired baby, but a lesson in Feng Shui from a 2 year old. We tried leaving him in the room and locking the door so he couldn't get out. 5 minutes later, that experiment was over (come on, you know I don't have the heart for CIO). We tried reading his books in bed and patiently waiting for him to calm down and go to sleep. Result: an angry mama leaving the room to get dad to take over, who once again, needed to resort to the rocking.

On Friday night, we had plans with friends for dinner and happily left Hayes in Nini and Pa's (new names for Grandma and Grandpa) hands. We were sure he would still be awake when we got home but alas, a miracle occurred on Livonia Street... 3 minutes of back rubbing and the boy was out!

Saturday evening wasn't very kind to Grant and me - seems the norovirus made it's way into our home and helped us both get reacquainted with our bathroom floor (Hayes still hasn't gotten it, thank god). At 4:30a on Sunday morning, after a fainting episode and what was bound to be a serious plumbing bill, we called up the grandparents and told them they needed to come up stat. To make a long story short, Nini was able to hone her craft a few more times on Sunday and although it's not the most ideal (gone are the days where we can leave Hayes awake in his room and expect him to go to sleep on his own), for the short term, we have a new technique (one that requires a great amount of patience, a firm rub and quiet-as-a-mouse tippy toes) that seems to do the trick and we're hopeful this new week will bring back a sense of order in the sleeping department around here!

It was a seriously trying week, which crescendoed with the worst stomach bug I've ever seen but it will be a story to tell and we survived.

Here are a couple snaps from the weekend, when we were actually able to get out of the house before Norovirus 2013 made it's nasty debut.

Ready to brave the cold rain...
LACMA Metropolis

Keep an eye out for Hayzey's 23 month pics later this week! Can't believe this is the last "month milestone" we'll be observing!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Vacation Bliss...

Hawaii was, in one word, GLORIOUS! I always forget how much I forget that place until I go back. I've decided there's really no reason to ever vacation anywhere else if you're looking for a nice, relaxing trip where the most important decision of the day is whether to go to the beach or the pool.

Hayes was in his glory all week long, swimming in the pool, playing with the hose and enjoying lots of quality time with Nana and Pa-PA. The flight there and back was a breeze, thanks to the fact that we plunked down a well-worth-it chunk of cash for him to have his own seat. He slept about as good as we could have hoped (minus one night where he was insistent on escaping the crib - more on that later) and could not have been more in his element in the islands.

I'm devoting this post to a recap of pictures from our amazing vacation for I'd like to acknowledge it as such before beginning to explain the struggles we've started to deal with since we've been home. Put it this way: the terrible twos have arrived with a vengeance and I think we are in for a real treat.

In the meantime, here are some snaps from a fantastic week. Already looking forward to next year!

Checking out the beach at Hualalai with Uncle Don...
My boys...
Soaking in the view from the lanai during breakfast...
Kisses for Pa-PA!
First Hawaiian Shaved Ice in Hawaii...
Celebrating Mom's bday at my favorite place on earth, The Beach Bar @ Hualalai...
The boys golfing at Mauna Kea...

Although he looks pained, this is in fact, Hayes' new smile...
An impromptu dance party with Nana and Papa...
Bringing YGG to the islands with a little father/son puppetmaster...
Cheers to an amazing trip!

Saturday, January 12, 2013


For the next 6 days, these tootsies will be submerged in the warm Hawaiian sand as we take what's become our annual beat-the-winter-blues island vacay with the parentals. So please excuse the silence on a lady as we happily welcome island time and work on nothing more than achieving the perfect tan. 

Warm Aloha!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

22 Month Photos...

A few weeks delayed but better late than never, check out Hayzey's 22 month photos:


Monday, January 7, 2013

Family Getaway & NYE

We decided to break up our trip to Scottsdale a bit with a mini family getaway. Not wanting to spend too much time in the car, but understanding that wherever we went from my parents' place out in the cuts would be at least an hour+, we chose Tucson mainly for it's proximity.

We didn't know too much about Tucson before we went there. I pictured it being a quaint little town with lots of Hispanic heritage, art galleries, cute cafes and restaurants and killer Mexican food. Unfortunately, not so much. I'm still not convinced that we didn't just miss that part of town - our hotel was in the Casa Adobes area, which was about 20 minutes away from downtown - no where to walk around per se. And the few restaurants we went to were definitely smack dab in the middle of residential areas vs. happening city streets. So maybe that quaintness exists, we just didn't see it.

I can't say we'll ever rush back but the vacation served it's purpose. Grant, Hayes and I enjoyed some quality, relaxing time with each other - Hayes enjoyed the pool and hot tub (and added the word 'pool' to his vocabulary!), we had a nice visit to the zoo where we were able to feed giraffes (which Grant and I thought was pretty cool, Hayes was terrified) and I was finally able to take Grant to a restaurant I've been talking about for 10+ years!

New family tradition: pressed pennies.
Tearing into some ribs at Pinnacle Steakhouse in Traildust Town

We returned from Tucson on the 28th and spent some quality time with Auntie Whitney before the troops descended for NYE. My parents had a huge NYE soiree, complete with DJ and photo booth and Hayes decided to join the party right before the countdown (like parents, like son, I suppose!). 

Drum fun with Auntie Whitney (I swear, this kid's going to be a percussionist)...
Big boy going down the slide all by himself!
Hayzey bear...
NYE 2013
The girls and Hayzey, NYE 2013

We had a nice vacation but traveling for 10 days with a toddler is a long time and we were all quite happy to be back home in our own beds. Unfortunately, right after we got home, Hayes came down with croup (which should really be called crap) so the Kibbutz has literally been an infirmary for the past 5 days. Not the most ideal way to start off the New Year but I guess better now than when we're in the islands next week (6 days, but who's counting?!).

Isn't this the saddest thing you've ever seen?!

Here's to hoping this is the worst of our sickness this year.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year!

 Hard to believe another year has come and gone! 2012 was a great one and I'm excited for what lies ahead in 2013. One thing is for certain - with the amount of friends of ours we have who are expecting, Hayes is about to triple his friend count, which is always a good thing! Exciting, exciting times ;-)

Figured I'd take this opportunity to reflect on my resolutions from last year, as well as add a couple I plan on working towards in '13...

Last year, my main resolution was to stop texting and driving. While I have definitely made a valiant effort, I can't say that I've 100% stopped this dangerous habit so it's definitely #1 on my list again for this year. And I intend to bug everyone who I drive with to do the same thing (ahem, Grant!) so consider yourself warned!

I also wanted to take up reading again, which was happily achieved. In 2012, I read the following books: 

- The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain
- Bringing Up Bebe, by Pamela Druckerman
- 50 Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
- The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, by MaryAnn Shaffer & Annie Barrows
 and I'm currently reading (and LOVING) Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

My goal was to read a book a month so coming in at 11 isn't too bad! And having just gotten a brand spanking new Kindle Paperwhite from the 'rents for Christmas, I plan on continuing my new habit for many years to come.

In 2012, I also wanted to cook more for ourselves and Hayes, including cooking out of my comfort zone. I think this was pretty successfully achieved - I tried cooking with a variety of different meats and fish and truly believe I perfected the chocolate chip cookie with this recipe (they are seriously divine). Cooking is something I enjoy and can happily always practice getting better at. In 2013, I'd like to make more of an effort to make sure Hayzey is getting a wide variety of vegetables. It's so tempting to slack on his meals and take the easy way out by heating up some mac and cheese or throwing some frozen chicken fingers and pre-made sides into the oven. Ultimately, him eating and liking a wide variety of food will benefit us all so I think I can put a little more effort into that.

My last resolution from 2012 was to try and keep an open-mind and stop being judgemental of others. There have been many times this year where I've reminded myself of that - sometimes the reminder has worked and I've refrained from thinking aloud something I wouldn't have thought twice about saying before. Sometimes, not so much. So just like the cooking, this is something I can continue to work on.

I have just a few others to add to my 2013 resolution list, including:

...be a little more selfish. Take some time to do things for myself and not feel guilty about it, whether it's going to a class at the gym (there's a yoga studio literally within walking distance of our house - I'd love to take up yoga again!), going to bed at 9p just because I feel like it or getting a monthly massage (another habit I would have no problem jumping on board with!), I think it's important for everyone to have some time to themselves and would like to make a concerted effort to carve some more of that out for me.
...don't sweat the small things. Remind myself that whatever seems like the end of the world in that moment, probably won't matter much 5 years from now. Try to have more patience and slow down a little.
...drink more water. This should be an easy one; it was doctor's orders to drink 3-4 liters a day after my kidney stone debaucle after all. I just need to make sure I keep that up.

So there's that. The holidays ending are always a little bittersweet for this Christmas loving gal. I already miss the fam and all of the festivities that occur in November/December but I have to say, I'm looking forward to resuming some sort of a routine (traveling 10 days with a toddler is no easy feat!) and I love how January starts the year off with a blank slate. Plus, I have a vacation to Hawaii to look forward to in 10 short days!

I promise to catch up on picture posting this weekend (I'm still in editing mode so although it's a bit backwards, I want to make sure I have everything to share in one place). In the meantime, here's a teaser of NYE - the only family picture the Cohens were able to capture amongst all of the chaos!

Hope you had a good one and here's to a spectacular '13!