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Friday, February 28, 2014

Hayes Turns Three!

We've had a whirlwind of a week celebrating Hayzey's birthday and just like Christmas and Valentine's Day, I think he's starting to understand why holidays and birthdays are so fun. Wednesday birthdays are tricky since they fall in the middle of the week, so you're bound to start celebrating the weekend before or continue the celebration into the weekend after. Oh, who am I kidding, it's us we're talking about - birthdays are like Ramadan around here!
 
We had an "Up, Up and Away!" themed birthday party at the house last weekend, with about 20 of Hayes' little friends and 30 adults (mostly his friends' parents - my how our parties have changed!) congregating at the Kibbutz for some jumping, balloon decorating and good eating. There were no bouncy castle casualties and very few meltdowns (none from our kids at least, so that was a relief!), so all in all, I'd say it was a very successful day! Birthday boy thoroughly enjoyed being in the spotlight and soaked in every minute of the 8 hour rental period for the bounce house. And Mom and Dad were very proud of how well he shared his toys and welcomed his friends to his turf - 'cuz you never know how that's gonna go!
Even Baby Grey got some bouncing time in...
wiped.out.
As if the excitement of Sunday wasn't enough, we treated Hayes to his first ever trip to Disneyland on Monday, leaving Baby Grey at home with Nini so we could really let loose and enjoy ourselves. I don't think he quite knew what to think about it at first, but by the end of the day, he was assuring us not to worry, as he had a flashlight in his pretend backpack so we didn't have to go home when it got dark out ;-) For a random Monday in February, it was still plenty crowded, with 30 minute waits for most rides, but Hayes patiently waited his turn and we felt like we got to see everything we wanted to including Dumbo, Astro Orbiter, Teacups, the Mark Twain River Boat and two spins on the Autotopia racetrack, which seemed to be Hayzey's favorite. Throw in a Mickey Mouse & Friends show and a visit to Toontown to meet Goofy in person (oddly the only character we saw roaming the park) and for a first trip, we covered a lot of ground!
 
Here are some pics of the day...

Checking out the "treasure map" to see which rides we should hit up first...
Patiently waiting in line for Dumbo...
Astro Orbiter with Dad (unfortunately I missed this one as I had to spend 20 minutes in the Baby Care Center pumping - a definite first for me!)...
Obligatory funnel cake...
Hugs for Goofy...
Yep, Hayes can drive. Has his license and everything!
Adding to our pressed penny collection... FYI this is the cheapest souvenir at Disneyland at 51 cents. Unfortunately, we were also suckered into getting the real goods - personalized mouse ears and $22 Mickey Mouse gloves that he hasn't touched since we got home. Can you say goldmine?
We loved that we got to take Hayzey solo (thank you, Nini!) and I think it meant a lot to all of us to have that special time with each other ;-)

Happy birthday, kiddo. Hope you enjoyed it!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

This is Childhood: Two

 Hayzey Badger turns three today and this 'ole sap is feeling super nostalgic about my baby not being my baby anymore. Just like I did last year, I wanted to pen him a letter about his second year, so I could remember some of the things that made Hayes Hayes at this point in his life.

 
Your few words quickly turned into sentences and the grunts and noises that used to be your only form of communication were quickly replaced by non-stop chatter and observations. You seemed to go from a chubby toddler to a lean little boy in the blink of an eye. Your imagination was running absolutely wild. You loved to play pretend, whether it was owning a quesadilla-serving restaurant, being a handyman who "fixed the wall" or throwing on a pair of scrubs and checking our heartbeat, you were rarely simply 'Hayes' anymore, rather a character from your imagination. String became magic ribbons, regular pieces of paper became treasure maps (you carried a rolled up sonogram of Greyson's around for weeks calling it your pirate's treasure map). You also loved music, constantly playing your guitar and singing songs. You were a negotiator. If we said you can have one of something, you asked for two; if we said two more minutes, you'd say five more minutes. You were an absolute snuggle bunny - you never turned down a kiss or hug and would happily 'nuggle in my lap while you watched television. You adored your little brother, always asking after him and telling him how much you loved him. You justified your attempts to smother him by exclaiming "Gway likes it! Gway's laughing!" as you were dragged away (and in your defense, he usually was laughing - he was completely enamored by you as well!). The day Greyson was born, you seemed to age multiple years; you just seemed like such a big BOY.  You handled your new role like a champ, experiencing very little regression and seemingly really loving being a big brother. Your favorite color was green. Your favorite food was quesadillas. You loved milk - you'd drink a gallon a day if we'd let you. Your treats of choice at Starbucks were madeleines and cake pops. Your favorite song was "Itsy Bitsy Spider", but you did a mean rendition of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". You loved flopping on the bed, going for runs with your dad and watching television. You were a hoarder, taking menus and business cards from wherever you could get them from. You remained our sweet boy and we were so proud to be your parents. You made me excited to wake up every day to see what you would do or say next and made me realize why people had more and more kids when I already felt nostalgic for the phases you were going through before you'd even go through them.

My love for that kid grows everyday. I cannot get enough of him and am trying my best to soak in every moment, every sweet kiss and hug, every innocent laugh and genuine question he has before he gets any older and wants nothing to do with me. I can't believe he's already three - he's such a big guy now but will always be my first baby. 

Happy birthday, my love.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

3 months and 3 years!

The boys had their wellness appointments this week - 3 months for Greyson and 3 years for Hayes. And luckily, no shots for either, so it was relatively pleasant!

Hayes is weighing in at 34.6 lbs these days (50-75th percentile) and measuring 38 inches long (50th percentile). He charmed the doctor by telling her that he, too, was a doctor himself and helped himself to a pair of fresh new doctors' gloves to add to his kit. He wasn't so keen on peeing in a cup, so we've taken one home and will attempt to provide a sample next time I take Grey in. The only not so great part about Hayzey's check-up is that he didn't pass his hearing test, but the doctor didn't seem too worried and said it was probably due to him being congested and sick - 'tis the season! We'll re-test again in 6 months and keep an ear out (pun very much intended!) to see if he has any hearing issues in the meantime.

Greyson is weighing in at 15.5 lbs (75-90th percentile) and measuring 24.75 inches (75th percentile). Although he screamed his face off for the first half of the appointment, he then became his smiley self and exhibited some solid tummy time to show the doctor how strong he was. While to me, his head seems much flatter than Hayes' was and I'm sure a helmet is inevitable, the doctor says she actually thinks Hayes' head was worse and that if we up the ante on TT, we might be able to avoid the dreaded headwear. She also said that because he has almost doubled his birth weight, we can start thinking about sleep training Grey soon, which means we will be able to drop the 2am feeding he has become accustomed to. Hallelujah! This mama needs some sleep!

As promised, here are the pics from the last month (link below picture), which include our trip to Hawaii.

Enjoy!
We have a very busy week coming up as the badger gears up for his third birthday on the 26th. Aunt V and Thomas are in town for the big birthday party this weekend (we have 20 kids and 30 adults descending onto the Kibbutz on Sunday - oy vey!) and we're taking Hayes to Disneyland for the first time on Monday as a special birthday treat (leaving Greyson at home with Nini so the day is really all about Hayes). GG and Pops are coming for a visit next week to finally meet their second great grandson (they missed his birth by mere hours back in November!) and in addition to celebrating Hayzey's actual birthday on Wednesday with a traditional family dinner at Factors Deli (where we went for brunch when I was in labor), Hayes also gets to be Earth Ranger at school next week, which means we get to bring a birthday snack and he gets to wear a cape to school and sit on the couch with the teachers for circle time.
Still can't believe my baby is turning three... where oh where has the time gone??

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Playing Catch Up...

I've been seriously slacking in posting the pics from around here the last 6 months but have finally had the time to upload them all to our share site, so head on over and check them out (links underneath photos below). They date back to Fall 2013, so get ready for photo overload!
Fall 2013 Pics
GDC Month 1
GDC Month 2, Christmas, Chicago
Next week, I'll post GDC's 3 month photos (Happy birthday kiddo!), as well as the professional shots we had taken when he was just a week old ;-)


Friday, February 14, 2014

Isms...

Greyisms...

...he is a seriously smiley guy. He has a hard time keeping a straight face if you look at him and when he smiles, he raises his eyebrows and has a twinkle in his eye, as if he's in on a joke that you're not a part of. His smile is truly contagious.
 ...we've also gotten some laughs around here, which are the.best. He seems to laugh at the same things that got Hayzey chuckling as a babe, silly repetitive phrases like "Petunia Picklebottom wears a purple pantsuit" or "Snow already?!?" said a hundred times in a row. Mom and Dad are glad we still have it ;-)
...he loves his tubby time, but HATES the few moments of discomfort when his tub is over and the cool air touches his wet body.
...he much prefers sleeping on his tummy vs. his back. Always has. I'm counting down the days until he's an expert at rolling over so he can start to sleep face down.
...speaking of rolling, we've got a roller over here! Last weekend, he put on quite the show for us, rolling from tummy to back 4-5 times in a row. I hate to compare, but his athletic feat at 11 weeks puts Hayzey's first time at 5 months to shame.
...his noggin is looking a little flat. I think another Doc Band is in our future ;-(

Hayesisms...

...he is obsessed with pretending to be a doctor. He's got the full scrubs and doctor's kit and is constantly adding items to his haul (note pads for prescriptions, rubber gloves, empty medicine vials). He even has a door hanger he puts on the door handle for when the doctor is in (even though it says he's at the beach...)


...when he comes home from being away from us, he gives us a big hug and says, "I missed you Mama!". melts.my.heart.
Wearing his "cowboy hat", magic ribbon and harmonica...
 ...he's repeating everything. You won't even be aware he's listening to the conversation until he mimics something that has been said. Dangerous.
...he's also ratting people out. He told us yesterday that Nanna Susu smoked cigarettes in front of him, on her balcony, with him outside. I forgot to buckle him into his carseat one time on our way home from the park (we made it about 50 feet down an alley before I remembered and stopped the car) and sure enough, the next day, Grant informs me that Hayes said the last time we went to the park, Mama forgot to buckle him in. The little snitch!
...when he's uncomfortable (ex/ he has to pee suddenly) or if something happens that shouldn't have happened (ex/ he drops his milk on his lap), his first reaction is to let out a loud "ERRRRRRRR!"
...we've been riding a rollercoaster when it comes to sleeping through the night since Grey was born. Some nights are great, some are terrible. The night after we got home from Hawaii, he spent from 1a onwards on the floor in our room, just like he did for months last year when I first found out I was pregnant. So we told him if he slept through the night in his own bed, he would get a prize in the morning. Now he gets a prize every.single.morning. And he reminds me that he'll be getting that prize before he goes to sleep!


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Hawaiian Heaven

For the past 3 years, we've spent a luxurious week in January in the Hawaiian islands (Maui the first year, the Big Island the last two) with my parents. It's a trip we look forward to all year long and even though it seems a bit decadent to be jetting off to Hawaii mere weeks after the holiday madness ends, it makes it all the more enjoyable and the holidays ending all the more bearable :-)
Enjoying the view on our walk back from visiting the dolphins...
We decided to stay an extra day this year so we were there for 7 full days and 7 nights. We stayed in a gorgeous oceanfront house at Waikaloa, within walking distance to the beach and with plenty of bedrooms for our entire brood. Wayne and Penny graciously gave Grant and me the master since the logistics of the other rooms for the kids worked out better that way, so it was all the more enjoyable ;-)


Unfortunately, I came down with a really nasty cold while we were there (one I'm on antibiotics for now) so the vacation was a little tainted by my constant hacking and inability to breathe through my nose. I suppose there are worse places to be sick than Hawaii though - or that's what I keep telling myself at least to make myself feel better!

The trip was especially fun this year as Hayes is at an age where he LOVES swimming and going to the beach. The kid basically lived in the water the entire time we were there and we were even able to sneak away one afternoon while Nana watched Grey so we could spend some quality time at Ha'puna, our fave beach in the world (although sadly the snack shack was closed so no Hawaiian shaved ice this time).

I also got the best massage of my life at the Fairmont, an oceanfront hot coconut oil scalp, shoulder, neck, hand and foot treatment, courtesy of my parents, who I think felt a little bad for their sickly daughter. I'm still dreaming of it and will definitely be repeating that experience next time we're there!

Here are some more shots of the trip. With this gloomy 60 degree weather LA is experiencing this week, I'm seriously wishing we were back in the tropics ;-(

Getting a ride from Papa...
Vacation napping...
...at it's finest!
Cohen men relaxing...
It's 5 o'clock somewhere!
My little Grey goose...

Listening to the ocean...
One of many sunset swims...
Bros...
Mama and her boys...
Chillaxin...
Hayes enjoying a private concert at Lava Lava... (seems a generous tip warrants a couple of renditions of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!)
Hayes was feeling pretty comfortable in his own skin by the end of the trip...
Nana and Grey...
My guy...
Final cheers of Hawaii 2013... Until next year!