I heart emails!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Festivities

We've been busy busy this week with various Halloween festivities. Hayzey's school had their annual Fall Festival last Saturday and my office had it's annual Halloween party yesterday. It's much more exciting this year as Hayes seems to grasp what the holiday is all about - and what kid doesn't love an excuse to stuff his pie hole full of candy and treats?!

We decided to go with a monster theme this year, thanks to our friends Max & Ruby. Hayzey's favorite Max & Ruby episode centers around Ruby having the hiccups. After going through various remedies to cure said hiccups, the thing that finally ends up working is when Max dresses up like a monster and scares them out of her. Hayes loves anything Max does, so naturally, he loves to also dress up like a monster (which entails a blanket thrown over his head as he yells "MONSTER! MONSTER!" - see video below) - so when trying to come up with something for him to be for Halloween, off to etsy I went to order to cutest monster costume I could find.

He was a little apprehensive to put the monster hood over his head, but quickly learned that no hood meant no candy, so on it went!

Monster and nerdy monster.com web developer...
Astronaut monster playing guitar (duh!).
We didn't capture any shots of him at my office party yesterday, but he had a grand old time on the trick or treating parade (he politely selected just one candy from each of the bowls along the route), decorated lots of Halloween cookies, rode the train down Main Street and bounced to his heart's content in the bouncy castle.

Sadly, the poor chap woke up with a case of croup this morning - not sure where he picked it up from but I suppose a sickness was bound to come out of all the time spent with so many kiddos. He seems to be in good spirits (besides sounding like a barking seal), but Grant and I are a little concerned that Deuce might decide to show up early - and the last thing you want around a newborn is a toddler with croup (not to mention the last way you want to have to introduce big brother to little brother is with him having to wear a SARS mask!). So we're hoping Deuce stays put for another week or so (I'm due next Friday) so we can get over this sickness and all be in good health.

Here are some other snaps of the past week or so, including our field trip to Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch and life around here...

Brave boy tackled the slide on his own this year...
...and loved every minute!
Hayes and his friend, Luca...
He rode Elvis, the horse, insisting that I hold his hand the entire time. He wasn't too stoked when I abandoned him to take a picture, hence the "what the hell, Mom?!" look on his face!
We've got the baby equipment out and are all prepped for Deuce. Hayes still doesn't understand he outgrew that swing a long time ago...
But although he's acting like a baby in some regards, our big boy got his first lesson in how to shave your face by his brave dad...
We got another haircut (turns out a short 'do requires much more maintenance than a long one!)... he wasn't too thrilled about it, and neither was the bitchy hair stylist we got stuck with!
We're all ready for actual Halloween around here, even though we aren't anticipating any trick-or-treaters in our strangely Jewish neighborhood. But we've carved our pumpkins, roasted our seeds and as long as the boy is feeling up to it, plan on venturing to a trick-or-treating friendly neighborhood tomorrow evening to partake in a final round of candy hoarding!
Happy Halloween 2013 - our last as a family of 3!
Hope you're all staying healthy - go on and get your flu shots now!!


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Soaking it all in...

Grant was up in SF last night for work so the boy and I were home solo. I spent the majority of yesterday and last night waiting to go into labor, expecting Murphy's Law to go into effect and have to experience worst case scenario, me delivering Deuce solo at Cedars during the window of time that Grant couldn't catch a flight back from up north. I'm happy to report that Deuce is still snug as a bug in a rug inside my belly and based on the doctor's observations yesterday, it looks like he'll hopefully be staying put for the next couple of weeks.

I've been battling a cold for the past week, so when Hayzey went to bed last night, I followed suit. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, he kept waking up throughout the night, so what was supposed to be my luxurious evening of 9+ hours of uninterrupted shut-eye quickly turned into a tedious hourly trek to his room to put him back to sleep, 45 minutes for me to fall back to sleep and repeat. After 3 times of this, I threw caution to the wind and invited him into bed with me, where we slept blissfully, side by side for the last 4 hours of the night. I know I'll be regretting that decision tonight when he comes into our room in the middle of the night and expects to snuggle right back in beside me, but in the moment and based on my mother's guilt as of late for what's about to happen to life as we know it, there was nowhere I'd rather him be.

As we enter these final few weeks of pregnancy, I find myself in an odd state of emotions about what's to come. On one hand, I'm ready to not be pregnant anymore. The past 9 months have felt like 9 years and I'm anxious to have my body back, be done with these tired maternity clothes and stop feeling the burden of the extra 25 lbs I've grown accustomed to carrying around. I'm also dying to find out what this little guy is going to be like... will he look and act like his brother? Will I be as enthralled with his every move as I was the first time I had a newborn? Is it true what people say about love being infinite? I can't possibly imagine loving somebody as much as I love my little guy, but according to what other parents of multiple kids say (and being the second-born in my family, hoping my parents subscribe to the same theory!), there is PLENTY of love to go around.

On the other hand, frankly, I'm terrified. When Hayes was a couple of days old, I remember looking at Grant holding him in the wee hours of the morning, desperately doing anything he could to get him to go to sleep and thinking to myself, "What have we done? We had this perfect life and now we've had a baby, a human being who we can't return, and we've gone and ruined everything." Of course, that was a weak moment of sleep-deprived insanity and I quickly came to realize the joys of parenthood, but I fear (and expect) those same thoughts are going to come right back to me this time around. We have gotten our lives down to a pretty solid routine - Hayes is at an adorable age, sleeping through the night (well, besides last night!) and on an easy and predictable schedule. We're about to go mess all of that up - and I know it'll be great in the long run, but the next couple of months are going to be tough. 

And what about Hayes? He has been the center of attention for his entire 2 years, 8 months of life, never having to share the spotlight, always being #1. Is he going to understand what it means to have to share that moving forward? Are we bringing a new best friend into his life, or will Deuce and him have nothing in common and end up resenting each other as they get older? Will Hayes feel like he's playing second fiddle to the baby all the time, especially in the near future when people ooh and aah over him and forget about the old-news toddler? We've tried to prepare him as best we can and have bought him the presents and played up his big boy status, but what if it isn't enough?

The train has left the station and don't get me wrong, it wasn't unscheduled. We wanted a second baby and more specifically, we wanted the kids to be close enough in age that they could grow up being besties. But in these final days of facing the unknown, I would be lying if I said these thoughts and fears weren't going through my mind 24/7. 

So, in the meantime, I'm trying to enjoy some extra snuggles with my guy, reading him more books at bedtime and relishing in the one-on-one time we have when we're out and about and not yet distracted by a needy newborn. And I'm also trying to remain positive and excited about what's to come because I owe that to the second little guy who's about to enter our world and change it forever ;-)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Belated Weekend Recap

Auntie V and Thomas were in town last weekend so it was a busy one, filled with lots of time with the Cohen clan - Hayzey Badger was in his element, soaking in all of the attention before he will reluctantly have to share it with Baby Brother.

Auntie V and Thomas got into town late Friday night, so we just stayed home and ate our favorite Italian take-out, Brunello Trattoria (a truly hidden gem in Culver City which is not known for it's ambiance but the food never disappoints). 

Saturday morning, we headed over to a classmate of Hayes' birthday party. While I know the kid's mom fairly well (we're co-room parents this year at school), I wouldn't have been able to pick her kid out of a line up, so I wasn't sure whether it was a sympathy invite or what. I'm glad we went though, as the guest list was mainly kids from Hayes' class at school, which enabled Grant and me to get to know some of the other parents better. We were happy to see that there seemed to be some potential friend prospects - which is always a good thing since these are the folks we'll be socializing with in the school setting at least for the next couple of years.

Hayzey's favorite part of the party? The giant ba-moon centerpieces...
The theme of the birthday party was animals and along with various adorable crafts for the kids to do, there was a full petting zoo. Hayes, who has a slight fear of anything canine, asked on the way over whether there would be any dogs at Lincoln's house, to which I replied that I didn't think so, but that there might be goats... He seemed fine with that answer and although it took him a little while to warm up to the smelly farm animals, by the end of the party, he was throwing feed all over the pot-bellied pig and was even brave enough to pet the bunny rabbit. 

Do I have anything on my face?
Saturday evening, we left the boy at home with Nini and Pa and headed out to a new trendy taqueria on Beverly for an adult dinner. The food and drink were yummy, but I'm finding myself with less room in my stomach than usual due to the human being growing inside of me (which as a nice side effect means I've gained barely any weight the last couple of months!) so I wasn't able to enjoy it as much as I usually would have.

Sunday morning, we headed to the pumpkin patch to play around in the bouncy castle and hitch a ride on the train.

Father & Son twinsies!
Fun on the train with Auntie V and Thomas...
Cohen Fam Pumpkin Patch 2013
The rest of the day was spent lazing around the Kibbutz while Pa whipped up a delicious crab cioppino for dinner. While I missed the Maillouxes terribly and wished we could have been in DC with them all celebrating my home and native land's Thanksgiving, I was happy to have plenty of other family around for a more non-traditional holiday meal.

Hope y'all had a good one!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Life around here lately...

Life's gotten pretty busy around here lately - we've looked up and realized that we're less than a month away from Deuce's arrival, which is both an exciting and terrifying prospect! In a short month, we'll be immersed back into the madness of a newborn, juggling feedings, diaper changes and 24/7 care for a helpless little being with the hectic and chaotic life we've come to know with a toddler.

I tend to look back on the newborn period and just remember feeling overwhelmed, especially in the first few weeks. I'm hoping that people are right and that although two kids is a life-changer, it's also easier the second time around, a) because you know what you're doing and b) because you don't have enough time or energy to worry about every.single.thing that is happening. Hayes was an easy babe for the most part and I'm really hoping his brother follows suit.

Hayzey's getting excited to fulfill his new role as big brother. We keep telling him that after Halloween, baby brother will be here so I'm hoping he stays put until then! He's very interested in everything baby - the crib, the old (well, new to him) baby toys we've started taking out, things that he can do that baby brother can't (we've made a very big deal out of this - baby brother can't go to a movie! Baby brother can't eat lollipops! Baby brother can't wear underwear!). He's also told us that he's going to give his beloved binkies to baby brother when he gets here - I'll believe it when I see it, but it's a nice idea!

 Getting ready for baby brother by babysitting Baby Ryder...

Hayes doesn't realize he outgrew 3-6 month clothing a LONG time ago!
My sister-in-law asked me today if I had any funny Hayes stories from this week and after coming up blank, I reasoned that there are so many, most of which we probably don't appreciate as much as we should since we're around him all the time, that every time he opens his mouth, something funny comes out. It truly is a great stage he's in - he's using his imagination and surprising us with things we never would expect from him. He's also been extra snuggly as of late, treating his old mom to lots of morning cuddles and "knock-you-over kisses" - sometimes I think he's more aware of the changes that are coming than we give him credit for and that's why he's relishing in a couple minutes of extra shut-eye in the morning or one-on-one time with mom and dad. I hope my little guy has an easy transition with this big change - it's honestly my biggest worry about what's to come, which I think is good. It's something I can be aware of and make sure his needs are addressed as much as the baby's.
Hayes has been really into wearing a swim cap lately, which he calls his yellow hat - just not necessarily to swim!
What else...? Trying to button things up at work so whoever the poor soul who takes over for me while I'm out has some sort of an idea of what to do. Grant's in the midst trying to determine what he's doing with his job and hoping to figure that out soon so he's not in the strange state of limbo he's been in for most of the year. The guy who built our house is trying to convince us to sell since he thinks we can make a pretty penny on it right now so while we haven't put it on the market, we've been showing it to prospective buyers (why do moves always happen in conjunction with new babies?!). 

And when I'm not adding to the giant to do list in my head (finish the baby's nursery! sterilize bottles! set up the swing! call the alarm company! order Hayes' Halloween costume! probably should get on packing that hospital bag!), I'm trying to enjoy these last couple of weeks with a lonely only - taking advantage of the gorgeous SoCal October weather by going to the beach multiple days in a row, reading him a couple extra stories at bedtime, getting out of the house as much as we can, catching up on Fall TV now that it's finally back. November 8th will be here before we know it!

My boys playing football on a perfect October beach day...
This weekend, Auntie V and Thomas are coming to town so we're excited to visit with them. We don't have too many plans - Hayes has a birthday party to go to on Saturday, we're going to go to a cas dinner at a taqueria on Sat night and then planning a trip to the pumpkin patch on Sunday. I usually whip up a Canadian Friendsgiving feast every year but I just don't have the energy for it right now so I'm depending on my family, who'll all be in DC celebrating without me (tear!), to have an extra slice of pumpkin pie in my honor.

So much to be thankful for right now and so much more to come ;-)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Weekend Recap and Big Boy Haircut

We had a great weekend, one that I think I'll always look fondly back on as one of our last as a family of three ;-)

We kicked off the weekend with an anniversary dinner at Angelini Osteria, our absolute favorite Italian resto (their lasagne is to.die.for). With pre and post dinner cocktails (well, mocktails for this 'ole prego) at Petty Cash and Picca, we really felt like youngin's out on the town for a Friday night!

Since our weekend schedules are determined by where and when the Canes are playing that week, we took it easy around the house on Saturday morning while Grant cheered on our team (who gave Savannah State an absolute ass-kicking, thankyouverymuch). The boy and I had a breakfast date at Starbucks and we spent halftime at the park. After our naps, we headed to West Hollywood to run some errands, which included the biggest news of the weekend: a big brother haircut for the boy!
The before...
The during... (side note, this is when I was almost in tears. After that first chop, there was no going back!)
Almost done! Happy boy!
I'm not gonna lie, I got a little teary when the hairdresser first put the shears up to Hayes' golden locks, but his hair had gotten out of control and it was time. I didn't want him to start being aware of people mistaking him for a girl and he had started to walk around with his head permanently angled to the side so he could see through his bangs. The hairdresser did a great job and we are thrilled with the results, although he does seem like such a big kid now - I swear, it's aged him 3 years!

Sunday was beautiful here in SoCal so we headed to the beach in the morning, then spent the afternoon preparing our anniversary feast. The boy helped me recreate our wedding cake (and gave a thumbs up on the cream cheese icing) and gave his parents a break by going to bed at a reasonable hour so we could enjoy dinner aux deux (a skipped nap might have helped a little too!).
Busy boy...
The feast!
Overall, it was a great weekend spent as a family of three before the madness arrives. Countdown is on - just a little over a month to go!