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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy Birthday Nana!

I have an strange knack for remembering birthdays - I'll look at the calendar and the seemingly inconsequential date and then suddenly recall that it's somebody's birthday who I went to elementary school with, even if I haven't spoken to that person since elementary school!

My grandmother (mom's mom) who we affectionately called Nana would have been 104 today. Of course, her birthday shouldn't seem random to remember, but the truth is, she passed away over fifteen years ago and spent the last few years of her life battling advanced stages of Alzheimer's Disease so she wasn't all there. But every year, on March 28th, I spend a lot of the day thinking about her and hoping she's in a better place now than she was those last few years.


My parents were both the youngest siblings in their families (by a lot, like 9+ years) so our grandparents were always ancient compared to our friend's grandparents. Sadly, my dad's mom Nana Gladys passed away before any of us were born (which was even more sad b/c as a mother of three boys, she would have no doubt been tickled pink with the three girls my dad was cursed with!) and my dad's dad, Papa Al, passed away just a few years after I was born.

My mom's parents were the only grandparents we grew up knowing. Pompa (who gave me one of the best nicknames I've ever been bestowed - PLG for Precious Little Girl!) was completely with it up until his unexpected death my senior year of high school. Nana became sick with Alzheimer's when I was quite young so my memories of her are few and far between. What I do remember was that she (very much like my own mother) was always put together (I don't recall ever seeing her in a pair of jeans my entire life), she loved to go square dancing with my grandfather and made all of her own dresses and she also made a killer batch of fudge (which, to this day, us Mailloux girls are still trying to replicate!). 


Having not had a living grandparent for 14+ years, it's always been really important to me that my kids are close with theirs. Hayes is incredibly lucky in that he has all four of his grandparents and was able to meet four of his GREAT grandparents (his great grandfather 'Papa Golf' passed away in October 2011). That is seriously rare. I love seeing him with the people who raised Grant and me and hope that it's as fun for them as it is for us (plus, they sure come in handy in the whole babysitting department!).

So in honor of what kids these days are calling 'Throwback Thursday' (or #tbt for those of you who have heard of this thing called twitter), here are some pics I scrounged up of my Nana from back in the day. 

(Side note: Look at the mullet on Penny!)
Now go call your grandparents and tell them you love them - I sure wish I could ;-)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Awake!

Here's a peak into a new game we've been playing around the house lately, aptly called Awake!
 
 

(There was supposed to be more to this video but alas, the 1000+ pictures and videos I have on my iphone have depleted whatever storage I might have had so this is as much as it would let me record - I'm in dire need of a iphone spring cleaning!)

The game came about after Hayes decided he didn't want to give kisses anymore, which was obviously unacceptable. So we've somehow tricked him into being generous with the smooches by pretending to be asleep and, like sleeping beauty, we can only be awoken by the kisses of HTC. 

A funny side note to this story... the past few days have been challenging to say the least in the whole sleep department with Hayes. He's all of a sudden decided that he doesn't want to go to sleep in his own room. Hours of standing at the door crying every night and coming into our room to have his last hour of sleep precisely in the area of our bed that is usually reserved for yours truly has made everybody a little grumpy around here. But the other morning, when him and I were lying with our faces mere inches apart (I pretending to sleep so I could relish in a few more minutes of shut-eye and he staring at me, sucking feverishly on his binky), he spit his binky out and put his wet lips against mine and said ever so quietly, "awake!"; and although I was a sleep deprived zombie, I couldn't help but giggle at my little silly goose ;-)

Friday, March 22, 2013

This week seemed to creep by at a snail's pace. I don't know what it was but I found myself frequently saying, "Is it only Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday?!?!". Very happy to welcome Friday with open arms and hope the weekend takes just as long ;-)

On tap?

...tonight, we're headed to our fave pizza place, Mozza with some close friends. I've been craving some good za all week and I think a slice of the fennel sausage will hit the spot!

*
 ...our weekend days are likely to be filled with college basketball. The husband's even gone so far as to change our guide settings so it ONLY shows the channels that get the games (thank goodness my DVR'd Zoe and Kardashian garbage are still accessible!). Anyways, I don't mind too much as our beloved Hurricanes are a pretty solid team this year and after jumping on the bandwagon and filling out a bracket, I feel like I have a horse in the game (even if my bracket's pretty much busted already!).

... diving a little deeper into my book, Defending Jacob, by William Landay. My friend, DeLane recommended it and so far I'm completely hooked. Makes my time on the elliptical at the gym fly by!
...date night tomorrow: a trendy art gallery, followed by dinner at our one of our favorite burger joints
...lots of relaxing - Hayes and I have both had colds this week so I'm hoping to kick those in the ass
...whipping up a batch of these bad boys - I'll let you know how they turn out!

In other news, Grant's days of leisurely unemployment are coming to an end on Monday, when he returns to work, running business development for a cool new company, Gradient X. He's spent the last couple of months searching for the perfect opportunity and although Hayes and I will miss having him around all the time (especially on days like today, when he decided to fire up the grill for a weekday bbq full of dogs and pulled pork sliders!) we're really excited for him. 
Knock 'em dead bigou!

Hope y'all have a great weekend and Go Canes!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Advice to my son...

This article has been lingering around the internets for quite some time, although I just rediscovered it this morning. The writer's words of wisdom holds true and it's actually great advice for anyone to consider as they make their journey through life. 
 
I can only wish Hayes remembers a fraction of this as he gets older...
 

Advice to My Kids

By Leo Babauta
I have six lovely children — one of them now an adult, and a couple more almost there — and I give a lot of thought to what I think they should know as they grow up and go out into the world.
What could I best teach them to equip them for life?
This is what I’d like them to know:
You are good enough. Most people are afraid to do things because they are afraid they’re not good enough, afraid they’ll fail. But you are good enough — learn that and you won’t be afraid of new things, won’t be afraid to fail, won’t need the approval of others. You’ll be pre-approved — by yourself.
All you need to be happy is within you. Many people seek happiness in food, drugs, alcohol, shopping, partying, sex … because they’re seeking external happiness. They don’t realize the tools for happiness aren’t outside them. They’re right inside you: mindfulness, gratitude, compassion, thoughtfulness, the ability to create and do something meaningful, even in a small way.
You can start your own business. As a young man, I thought I needed to go to college and then be employed, and that owning a business is for rich people. That was all wrong. It’s possible for almost anyone to start their own business, and while you’ll probably do badly at first, you’ll learn quickly. It’s a much better education than college.
Everything useful I’ve learned I didn’t learn from college … I learned from doing.
That said, I’ve had some amazing teachers. They’re not always in school, though: they’re everywhere. A friend I met at work. My peers online. My mom, dad, siblings, grandparents, uncles and aunts. My wife. My kids. Failure. Teachers are everywhere, if you’re willing to learn.
Spend less than you earn. Thirty percent less if you can manage. Most people get a job and immediately spend their income on a car loan, high rent or a large mortgage, buying possessions and eating out using credit cards. None of that is necessary. Don’t spend it if you don’t have it. Learn to go without, and be happy with less.
Put away some of your income to grow with the power of compound earnings. Your future self will thank you.
Learn to love healthy food. It’s all a matter of adjusting your tastebuds, slowly and gradually. Learn to cook for yourself. Try some healthy, delicious recipes.
Learn compassion. We start life with a very selfish outlook — we want what we want. But compassion is about realizing we are no more important than everyone else, and we aren’t at the center of the universe. Someone annoys you? Get outside of your little shell, and try to see how their day is going. How can you help them be less angry, less in pain?
Never stop learning. If you just learn something a little a day, it will add up over time immensely.
Have fun being active. Sure, there’s lots of fun to be had online, and in eating sweets and fried food, and in watching TV and movies and playing video games. But going outside and playing with friends, tossing a ball around, swimming, climbing something, challenging each other … that’s even more fun. And it leads to a healthy life, healthy heart, more focused and energetic mind.
Get good at discomfort. Avoiding discomfort is very common, but a big mistake. Learning to be OK with some discomfort will change your life.
The things that stress you out don’t matter. Take a larger perspective: will this matter in five years? Most likely the answer is no. If the answer is yes, attend to it.
Savor life. Not just the usual pleasures, but everything and everyone. The stranger you meet on the bus. The sunshine that hits your face as you walk. The quiet of the morning. Time with a loved one. Time alone. Your breath as you meditate.
Meditate.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. They are some of the best teachers. Instead, learn to be OK with mistakes, and learn to learn from them, and learn to shrug them off so they don’t affect your profound confidence in who you are.
You need no one else to make you happy or validate you. You don’t need a boss to tell you that you’re great at what you do. You don’t need a boyfriend/girlfriend to tell you that you’re lovable. You don’t need your friends’ approval. Having loved ones and friends in your life is amazing, but know who you are first.
Learn to be good at change. Change is the one constant in life. You will suffer by trying to hold onto things. Learn to let go (meditation helps with this skill), and learn to have a flexible mind. Don’t get stuck in what you’re comfortable with, don’t shut out what’s new and uncomfortable.
Open your heart. Life is amazing if you don’t shut it out. Other people are amazing. Open your heart, be willing to take the wounds that come with an open heart, and you will experience the best of life.
Let love be your rule. Success, selfishness, righteousness … these are not good rules to live by. Love family, friends, coworkers, strangers, your brothers and sisters in humanity. Love even those who think they’re your enemy. Love the animals we treat as food and objects. Most of all, love yourself.
And always know, no matter what: I love you with every particle of my being.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hayes-isms

...he's started stringing words together and likes to identify what belongs to everyone. So for instance, he'll say, "Mama shirt... Hayes shirt... Dada shirt" or "Dada Outshide", or the following:


...he knows a variety of ways to kiss, including two handed, old lady, slug, eskimo and butterfly (my personal favorite is a very passionate two handed kiss... ask him for one next time you see him, you'll be literally knocked off your feet).
...he's quite capable of feeding himself, but sometimes he likes a little excitement in his dining routine, so he'll give the fork to us and ask us to do car, train or AEHH PLANE, which he screams at us as if we're standing in the other room. And when we're not there to do it, he'll happily entertain himself:


...we've been teaching him to stay sleeping until the light on his clock turns green (which he's been doing a pretty good job at!). He'll come to the crack in his door in the morning and yell "Mama!"; I'll come to the door and ask if the clock is green and he'll excitedly jump up and down saying "Geen! Geen!". He'll then insist on bringing the clock into our bedroom to put on my side table while he drinks his milk. When the green light turns off (the stupid thing turns off as soon as you hit another button on it), he used to get very distressed but now he just happily says "Bye geen!".
...his favorite thing to do these days is to take large containers of things (balls, toys, legos) and dump them all over the floor.
...he also loves to color and will help himself to "paypay" from the printer in the office. We've had to ration how much paper we keep there so he doesn't blow through trees worth at a time.
...I've never seen a child get more thrill out of honking the horn on the car. Our neighbors must think someone is sending out a distress call on a daily basis.
...In the morning, when I change his diaper, I also take off the socks that he sleeps in (we have a hard time with footy pjs these days since he'll unzip them in protest to going to sleep so we've had to start sleeping in socks). As soon as I take them off, he looks at his feet and says "Hi toes!"




Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Yooooooo GABBA GABBA!

On Friday afternoon, we did one of the sillier things I've done in my life... We schlepped all the way to Santa Barbara to go see Yo Gabba Gabba live in concert - and it was a hoot!
As you know, Hayes is completely obsessed with Brobee, Muno and the rest of the Gabba gang. So a few months ago when I came across tickets to the show, I couldn't resist buying some, even though it required an hour and a half each way in the car. We figured we'd make a day out of it and call it Hayzey's birthday present (I can think of nothing he'd like more).

We were a little concerned that the whole thing could backfire and instead of having the best day of his life, the large life-like characters might scare the bejesus out of him, but luckily our guy was completely awestruck and seemed to really enjoy himself, as evidenced by the photos below.

The show begins and Hayes is intrigued...

A closer view and he can't take his eyes off the stage...
star.struck.
A mouth full of popcorn and YGG Live - What more could a boy ask for?!
 Feeling the music and getting his sillies out...

And a special guest appearance by Biz Markee made it all the more fun for mom and dad ;-)

Monday, March 4, 2013

2 year check-up!

Friday was a busy day for the boy...

We started the morning off with a speech evaluation at his school. For those of you that aren't in the know, there had been some concern as of late about Hayes' speech development compared to his peers, which was brought to our attention by the school about a month ago. They were concerned at his lack of speech, both expressive and receptive, and had also noticed some facial muscle tonal issues that they thought we should get checked out. We thought they were crazy in their observations about the receptive language being delayed (the kid has been doing push-ups on call since he was 15 months old!) and in the whole facial muscle thing (maybe his mouth wasn't moving b/c he wasn't saying words - duh!) but overall agreed that it couldn't hurt to get checked out and obviously wanted to offer him whatever support he needed to get him to the same level developmentally as those his age.

After a month of back and forth between various therapists, insurance companies, the state funded program - you name it, we explored it - we finally had our eval, which we decided to do at the school since that was where most of the concern was. 

The kid blew everyone's mind away and aced it. I kid you not, the teacher sat there with her mouth hanging open as Hayes not only receptively answered every question or command the therapist had, but also expressively told her what things were and strung multi-word sentences together. It's as if he knew what was going on and he wanted to prove everyone wrong. The therapist said she saw little to no delay and we were tickled pink that the teacher was able to see a snapshot of his true development. 

The therapist did say that she noticed some muscle tonal issues but they were nothing a few simple exercises couldn't fix (including switching his sippy cups to ones that have straws - who knew?!). It was a great evaluation and we couldn't have been prouder of our boy.

Friday afternoon, we visited the pediatrician for our 2 year check-up. Hayes is weighing in at 30.4 lbs and measures 35 1/4 inches long - 75th percentile for both. Doctor was pleased with everything and told us to keep on doing whatever we were doing and that we'd see her in another 6 months. The biggest news to come out of the appointment is that we were told to make the switch to 2% milk so now everyone in the family shares the same milk, something which for some reason makes Hayes seem like such a kid vs a baby now! We're also supposed to set up an appointment at the pediatric dentist since he has most of his teeth by now. That should be interesting...

Check out Hayes' 24 month pictures in the link below.

Enjoy!