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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mini-getaway to the Desert...

My parents graciously gifted me a few nights to use at one of their Quintess houses for my birthday, the only stipulation being that I had to use the nights by the end of April. We thought about going somewhere a little more exotic a la Cabo San Lucas, but we wanted to bring the boys and the schlep of going on a plane, etc..., not to mention the fact that littlist man still doesn't have a passport, made us decide that a quick weekend getaway to the desert was in order.

Since a lot of our friends have kids the same age as ours, we've been trying to make an effort to do more family vacations with them. Our friends Dan and Cassie have been braving the cold winter tundra in Chicago for the past six months and we thought they might benefit from a thawing out of sorts, so we invited them to join us for three days at the Rat Pack Retreat in La Quinta.

It was a great weekend and we felt like we were on a real vacation, with nothing more to do than lie by the pool and relax. Hayes and Collins (Dan and Cassie's 3 year old daughter and our future daughter-in-law) got along famously, splashing in the pool in their floaties, doing yoga and dancing on the loungers and eating every meal side by side. Watching them interact with each other was so amusing to me - they seemed like such big kids, with Collins quickly putting Hayes in his place when she didn't like something ("I don't like that Hayes!"). And while Cassie and I definitely encouraged some kisses between the two of them, I almost melted when I witnessed a stolen smooch in the pool one day. I hope it's the beginning of a long friendship!

The younger lovebirds (their daughter, Kensi is 9 months and is the same size as Grey!) didn't seem all that interested in each other yet, but enjoyed some pool time and were just along for the ride. 

We were reluctant to return to reality on Monday morning and I'm already dreaming of our next trip to the desert... although the record-high temperatures in LA this week are kind of making us feel like we're still there!

Hope you're staying cool and comfortable wherever you are!


Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Weekend

The Easter bunny visited the Kibbutz this weekend and boy did he bring a serious haul! Between wanting Hayes to have plenty of eggs to hunt for and not being able to decide which chocolate treats I wanted to be able to partake in sharing in, we have enough Easter candy to last us for the next 10 years. Needless to say, my coworkers have me to thank (or resent) this week for their afternoon sugar rush ;-)

Hayes and I got into the Easter spirit on Friday morning by whipping up a batch of Easter thumbprint cookies, which were simple but delicious!

Since we were going down to Irvine for our annual Easter brunch at Strawberry Hills Golf Club, we knew there wouldn't be a whole lot of down time on Sunday morning to have a leisurely hunt, so the Easter bunny decided to come to the Kibbutz while Hayes and I were out grocery shopping on Saturday afternoon. As you can see, when Hayes spotted a few errant eggs scattered on the front steps of the house, he was prrrrrretty stoked to say the least.

The boys adorned their bunny ears and Hayes quickly retrieved the haul that was strategically placed around the backyard, finding the big baskets waiting for them at the end. He amazingly seemed more interested in making sure that everyone else had sampled some chocolate vs. eating a whole lot himself (don't worry, he's had plenty since - what's a hallmark holiday without eating chocolate in bed first thing in the morning?!).

"Now, we hop!"

Sunday morning, we headed down to meet the rest of the Cohen clan for a delicious Easter brunch and spent the rest of the day relaxing at Nini and Pa's, capping off the weekend festivities with a homemade traditional Easter meal, courtesy of Nini and Aunt V. 

Hayes was hell bent on ruining the family picture...
Aunt V and Grey have some snuggles...
Cohen Family, Easter 2014
Hayes and Thomas...
Pinterest-worthy dinner centerpieces...
It was a great weekend and it was so nice to be with the Cohens for the holiday. As you can see, it tuckered our youngest bunny out, but I'm sure he'll be quite anxious to partake next year ;-)

Hope you all had a great Easter!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Another mouth to feed...

Big things happening around the Kibbutz lately... We officially have another mouth to feed as we started solids for Grey man last week. So far, we've sampled some rice cereal and sweet potatoes and plan on foraying into the world of peas next.

Up until last week, we hadn't really seen many signs of readiness from Greyson. He didn't seem all that interested and knowing the hassle of having to prepare and serve the food once we started it, I wasn't all that eager to start. But then all of a sudden, he started reaching for our food when we were eating and perhaps the most telling sign of all, he started smacking his lips together when he observed us dining or when it was close to the time he was usually fed, which I took as a very obvious sign that the boy was hungry and it was time for some food!

I wasn't expecting the food to help with the sleeping at night quite yet - I remembered with Hayes that it wasn't until we could start incorporating protein into the mix that he started sleeping through the night. And I hate to even talk about it for fear of jinxing things, but ever since we started giving Grey some real food, his sleeping has changed dramatically for the better. This could also be a mere coincidence as we've upped the ounces of milk we're giving him throughout the day and he's finally getting over a nasty cold he's had for the better part of a month, but whatever it is, you won't hear me complaining! Now if only we could get that 3 year old to sleep in a little more...

I wanted to post some pics and videos of both boys' first experience with the good stuff. 
Being that Grant and my worlds pretty much revolve around food, it was a pretty important moment that needed to be captured! 
Both were a couple days shy of 5 months when they started their foodie adventures:


Okay guys, I'm ready!
The big moment...


Not bad... what else ya got for me?

I love how Hayzey's video is long and leisurely and Greyson's is appropriately hectic - things have to be captured a lot quicker these days as the boys battle for the attention!

Here are Greyson's 5 month photos (click on 'Enjoy')and a snap of Hayes when he was the same age:

Hayzey at 5 months
 As you can see, Greyson has kept his dark locks, whereas by this time with Hayes, he'd lost most of his hair and it was growing back in blonde. They definitely have their own unique look, but I personally think they're both cute as the dickens ;-)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Weekend Getaway to Del Mar...

We packed up the car on Saturday morning and headed down to Del Mar, leaving the boys with Nini and Pa for our first getaway solo since Greyson was born. And don't get me wrong, we love our kids, but boy oh boy was it nice to have 36 hours to ourselves, filled with nothing to do but lie by the pool, catch up on our books, eat some tasty meals and most importantly, SLEEP!

We stayed at the same hotel we stayed at last year, L'Auberge Del Mar, which we couldn't recommend highly enough. The hotel is in a great location, within walking distance to a ton of great restaurants and boutiques and the decor is seaside adorable. They even have mini cupcakes to welcome you when you check in - my kind of place!

We got down to Del Mar around lunchtime on Saturday and after checking in and changing into our suits, we walked over to Board & Brew to pick up some yummy sandos to eat poolside. Within an hour of sitting down, I was sleeping on the lounge chair (apparently, I was tired!) and spent the rest of the day finally getting into the book I've been reading since Grey was born, only taking a break for some gelato and a game of cards. We had a late afternoon hot tub, then drinks at the bar at the hotel before heading to Prep Kitchen for dinner. An early nightcap back at the hotel bar and we were both sleeping by 11:30pm - my how times have changed.

The next morning, we slept in nice and late and after a pit stop at Sbux across the street, we took a nice long walk along the railroad tracks overlooking the ocean - a gorge view and perfect weather. Since we wanted to maximize our pool time, we picked up sandos from Board & Brew again and spent a few last hours soaking in the sun before heading back to reality.

It was a great little getaway and I can't help but think we lucked out again on the whole weather front; it really was perfect. It was nice to reconnect with the hubs sans the distraction of kiddos and we decided that we should try and do it every couple of months (while we'd love to make it a monthly thing, that just seems financially frivolous!) so I'm looking forward to that!

Nini and Pa had a great weekend with the boys, with Greyson even giving them a break and waking only once throughout the night. We're convinced they must be lying about that as that's definitely not the case when we're around! But happy nonetheless that he was easy on them so they'll want to take care of the monsters again ;-)

We're lying low this weekend and getting ready for a storm of guests the rest of April is bringing, with Aunt V and Thomas in town next weekend for Easter and a weekend getaway to Palm Springs with the Carver clan at the end of the month. There's never a dull moment around here!


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Isms and 4 month/3 year Photos!


...after 3 years, he's finally embraced the lovey I've been pushing on him, a small spotted dog named Fred. Fred is the ONLY thing allowed in bed with him at night. He sleeps with him draped over his neck like a scarf. Greyson is NOT allowed to touch Fred either, which I saw Hayes not so subtly remind him yesterday as he yanked it out of Grey's unsuspecting hands. 

 (came across this video of Pa and Hayzey when he was Greyson's age, avec Fred)

...at night, before Hayes goes to bed, he tells me he wants to talk about the day and says "what was your favorite?", meaning what was my favorite part of the day? I love this. I'll tell him mine and ask him his - frankly, that conversation right there might be my favorite part of the day.
...he's very concerned about when the day is going to be over. He's always been fascinated about whether the sun is out and when the moon will be here, but lately he'll start asking me at around noon if the day is almost over and is visibly relieved when I tell him no.
...he is pretty obsessed with Mickey Mouse's Clubhouse on Disney Jr. He gets so excited for the hot dog dance at the end of the show that we can only allow him to watch it when Greyson is awake, otherwise his enthusiastic stomping shakes the whole house. In the show, there's a little flying tool called Toodles who swoops in and helps the characters solve problems. Whenever Hayes encounters a challenge in his day, he puts his hands to his mouth and yells "Oh Toodles!", as if he's going to magically fly down and help him out.

...he's very PC. If you ask him if he likes someone more than someone else, he responds by saying, "I like them all".
...best trick yet: when I tell him, "You're my boy, Hayes", he responds with "You're my girl, Mama". melts.my.heart


...his nails are like talons. They grow like a werewolf with sharp pointy corners, no matter what I do to round them out when I cut them. I think I'm going to remember his infancy with the constant fear of him taking the skin off of my chest.
...he HATES having his nose picked. He dodges the finger heading towards his nose like a caged fighter, turning his head left and right and doing everything he can to block the access. This has been especially fun since he's had a cold all week so not only am I constantly trying to clear his tiny nostrils from the accumulating snot, but getting the nose-sucker Nosefrida up there is near impossible. Good times.
...he's rolling all over the place and was even army crawling a little bit the other day. The thought of him being mobile soon terrifies me.
...he snorts like a pig when he's excited. Judging by his weight/height class being in the 95th percentile, we think he might actually be part swine.
...his primary form of communication is a high-pitched scream.
...if you make eye contact with him when he's stirring from a nap or first thing in the morning, forgetaboutit. Once he locks eyes with you and flashes that killer smile, you might as well stop everything you're doing or go and turn on that Nespresso machine because you're now his for the next 90 minutes until the next sleep cycle begins. 
...sometimes when you go into his room to plug that binky back into his mouth, he grabs onto your wrists as if he's holding onto you for dear life. To say he's a strong little guy is a vast understatement.

Here are the pics from 4 months/3 years (link below).