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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

We survived!

Our first time traveling as a family of four and I'm happy to report that we survived! Whitney and Ryan's engagement party was last weekend in Chicago so the entire Mailloux clan (and most of the Cohens - we missed you Pa!) congregated in snowy - well, more rainy - Chicago for a long weekend of festivities. 
Ready for the Chicago cold...
We arrived Friday evening to balmy 35 degree temperatures, thanking our lucky stars that the party wasn't the weekend before when Chicago experienced record breaking lows. A good friend of mine has a lovely apartment at the Drake Towers that her family graciously offered to us to use for the weekend so after a quick pit stop there to drop off our stuff and freshen up, we headed over to Whitney and Ryan's for a casual pizza dinner with the littles. Hayes loved seeing his cousins, whom he hadn't hung out with since Montrelolo last July. Gussy Goose is walking now and Hank is fascinated by all things pooh (my favorite part of the evening was when he looked at me and said, "Auntie Chanel? Do you know how cats clean their butts?"). Being an immature 30-something, I still appreciate a little potty humor now and then ;-)

Saturday morning, the family met for brunch, then the boys went to a museum and the girls (and Grey) headed out to the burbs to partake in some dress shopping for the bride-to-be. Whitney quickly found what she was looking for - a gorgeous dress that is exactly the kind I pictured her in - and although I fear Greyson's relentless crying may have served as a good dose of birth control for the various brides trying on gowns around us, it was a successful trip, celebrated with a round of champers for everyone in attendance (which, of course, I can't show you pictures of because then the  top secret gown would be exposed!).

Saturday night found us at the engagement party, celebrating Whitney and Ryan's big milestone amongst friends and Ryan's very large (50+ people!!) family. My amazing mother-in-law served as our babysitter for the boys so Grant and I could go out on the town for a couple of hours and it was nice to let loose a little with our sisters and best friends, who also attended the party.
We intentionally booked our returning flight for Monday morning so we could hang with said best friends and their two gorgeous girls who are conveniently Hayes and Greyson's age (there may or may not be some arranged marriages in their future). And Sunday night, we laid low and after finally getting both boys down, enjoyed some take-out Italian while watching the Globes.

Take it easy, Hayes...
Kensi & Grey...
Hayes & Collins...
Doubling the odds...
It was a great weekend and although the weather was relatively kind to us, we were happy to return to our perfect 85 degree weather in LA - we really are spoiled!

This little guy is two months today and him and we started our weekly Mommy & Me class this morning. It's a smaller class of about 7 moms, all to second or third babies and I think we're going to really like it - and will hopefully make some new friends in the meantime. Like the instructor, Elyse said, even if we don't learn anything from her or even if we don't make any friends beyond the class, it's at least an hour and a half per week that we can come and stare at our second baby's face, because lord knows there isn't a lot of time to do that at home with a busy toddler running around!

We're here for the next ten days and then are off to our favorite trip of the year, 7 glorious days and nights on the Big Island in Hawaii with Nana and Papa. Cannot.wait.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Bump Watch 2013

When I was pregnant with Hayes, the one thing I regret not doing more of was taking regular pictures of the growing bump. I think from start to finish, I had a total of about 5 bump pics - hard to really see the progression that way!

What I thought would be my last bump pic, on my due date, 11/08/13. Little did I know that Grey had plans to bake for another entire week!
I've done my best to do everything for Greyson that I did for Hayes - the same pregnancy journals, the same online baby book. It definitely feels like more of a chore the second time around, but I know I'll be thankful to have them to look back on when things aren't so crazy around here. The one thing I've actually done better with Grey than I did with Hayes was taking regular bump pics, thanks in part to this handy dandy app called CineMama

CineMama sends you reminders every couple of days to take pictures of your growing bump, then puts the whole progression of pictures into a cute video. It definitely made remembering to document this exciting time easier and I'm happy I have a reminder of what I looked like throughout my second pregnancy (and still can't believe an almost 9 lb baby was inside of me!).

I know it's a little late (little man is 7 weeks old today!) but wanted to share. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

We rang in the new year at a cocktail reception at Fig & Olive - it was the perfect scene for what we wanted, not too crowded, flowing cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, a place to sit and good music to dance to (not to mention good company!). The boys gave us a break when we got home, with Grey only waking once throughout the night, and Nini and Pa (and poor Auntie Wee Wee who slept on the couch that night) were on duty the next morning so we could catch a couple extra hours of shut-eye. Although it was low-key, it was one of my favorite new years as of late ;-)

As has become tradition on this ole blog, I wanted to reflect on my 2013 resolutions, as well as put some 2014 resolutions in writing in the hopes that it'll make them easier to stick to. 

My main resolution from last year was to be a little more selfish, taking time to do things for myself without feeling guilty about it. It sounds like an easy one, but it can sometimes be tough when you have a toddler and newborn to take care of. I think I successfully achieved a level of that though, napping every afternoon when I was pregnant (something I definitely don't feel bad about doing now that I'm a sleep deprived zombie!), taking pre-natal yoga classes and, after the baby arrived, managing to get away to get my nails done a few times and even treating myself to a blow-out, scalp massage and accompanying mimosa on New Years Eve. So, resolution accomplished and I'll happily continue incorporating a little bit of me-time in my life. 

I also resolved not to sweat the small stuff, to be more patient and slow down a little. I think I achieved this, maybe not so much by choice, but by realizing that if I didn't, I would literally go crazy raising a toddler. 2 year olds require a new level of patience and if you aren't willing to let some things go, pick your battles and have the patience of a saint, you'll spend your life basically freaking out about what's going on around you. So, check!

Finally, I wanted to drink more water. I need to work on that still. I don't need another kidney stone rearing it's ugly head!

For 2014, my main resolution is to be more in the moment. I find myself super distracted lately, always on facebook or instagram while life goes on around me. While I'm usually capturing the memories on these social networks, perhaps I should actually live the memories instead. It's not going to be an easy one - I'm kind of an addict - but I think it's important that our boys especially don't remember their childhood having mom and dad constantly with a phone in their hands. 

...Be more organized. 
...Play with the boys more - don't spend so much time in front of the TV (my favorite babysitter!) and encourage them to use their imaginations. Take time to be with each of the kids individually, doing fun, age-appropriate activities. 
...Make my quality time with Grant exactly that: quality time (touching on that whole in-the-moment-and-not-distracted-by-technology-thing!).

I'm looking forward to what 2014 has in store for us, excited to welcome a new brother-in-law to the family and happy knowing that since I won't be pregnant, I won't be battling nausea and other pregnancy ailments in my daily life (although 2013 was very good to us because we welcomed our new nugget, I think I'll look back and remember feeling like hell for most of it!).

Here's a final reflection of 2013 in reverse. 2014 has a lot to live up to!

I'll be posting lots of pics in the coming weeks of the last few months, as well as a bump watch retrospective that I put together for Greyson, so keep your eyes open!