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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Solo Dates with the Boys...

Hayes has adapted amazingly well to having to share the spotlight with his baby brother 24/7; we really could not have asked for it to go any better. Sure, sometimes he's a little rough with his hugs and kisses and sometimes he just has to have whatever it is that Grey is using in that exact moment, but for the most part, he really loves the babe and has made the transition of becoming a family of four much easier than we anticipated. 

I'm on my own with the boys two days a week and although I try to be more flexible about Grey's napping schedule so we aren't stuck at home all day long, the fact of the matter is, things just aren't as fun for Hayes when his brother is there and he doesn't have the one on one attention to do all of the things he wants to do. Grey is usually strapped to my chest when we're at the park in the afternoons, making my full participation in whatever game we're playing limited. And although Grey is a fantastically well-behaved baby, you never know when he might not be feeling what we're doing and that makes it difficult for everyone.

It also goes the other way - because, for the most part, Hayes is always around, Grey hasn't been able to experience a lot of one on one time with us so we've yet to take him to any of the music or gymboree classes he would probably be enjoying at this point.

So when my fabulous mother-in-law suggested implementing Monday dates with the boys so we could both get some solo time with each of the kids, I thought it sounded like a great idea. Sometimes she'll watch Grey while Hayes and I go on a fun adventure; sometimes she'll take Hayes on a date so Grey and I can spend some QT together - genius!

We kicked it off this past Monday, with Nini coming up to spend the afternoon with Grey while Hayes and I went to a destination that couldn't have been any more summer-appropriate: the Santa Monica Pier. I've lived in LA for 11 years and thought it was about time I experienced the iconic ferris wheel and who better to do it with than my little guy?

We headed to Santa Monica and took a lap of the Pier, taking in everything there was to do before deciding where to start. There happened to be a private event going on where all of the rides (including the ferris wheel) were and the park wasn't opening until 3 so we had some time to kill. 

After picking up a souvenir at the gift shop (Hayes chose a toy ice cream truck that he's slept with every night this week), we headed to The Albright for lunch (shrimp caesar for me, cheese quesadilla for the boy). A quick pit stop to play some arcade games (half of which I didn't even have to put money in as Hayes was quite content with the demos - I'll take advantage of that while I can!) and we were on our way to the ferris wheel.

This was hilarious to watch...

After choosing our vessel (Hayes insisted on red), we started going up, stopping every so often to let people on and off. The Santa Monica ferris wheel offers amazing views of the city and the weather couldn't have been more perfect for the activity. And thankfully, Hayes had zero fear of heights - it never even dawned on me that he would be scared but we were really high up!!


No trip to an amusement park is complete without the obligatory funnel cake (Mama's favorite) so we indulged in some of that before heading home, running some errands along the way.

It was so fun for both of us and I'm excited to make more memories with both boys as we continue our new Monday Fundays ;-)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Baby Sister's all Grown Up!

This past weekend, the entire extended family descended onto Casa Mailloux for some quality family time and to shower my little sister, Whitney for her upcoming nuptials.

Whitney isn't one who is particularly interested in the kind of parties that have lots of cheesy games and definitely didn't want to partake in anything that required penis-shaped straws or blow-up dolls (I mean really, who does?) so we had a subdued affair at the house with a decadent brunch and some relaxing hand massages, catching up with friends and family. 

Soon to be Mrs. Benson {etsy}
Favors: Essie Blushing Bride, Starter Wife and Borrowed & Blue, with mini glittery nail files {Old Navy} and customized W+R 10.11.14 tags {etsy}
Pictures of the bride and groom adorned the favor table. A shabby chic box contained favorite family recipes of invited bridal shower guests...
Each guest enjoyed a mini hand massage - bliss!
The spread: Homemade quiche lorraine, baked french toast, make-your-own yogurt parfaits, watermelon, tomato and feta salad with toasted almonds and arugula, and a wide array of sweets including various cakes, banana bread, nanimo bars, cupcakes and marble fudge.
Make-your-own Mimosas, white wine and sparkling fruit-flavored beverages.
Even Galahan, the family horse made a debut!
My aunt gifted Whitney our grandmother's wedding rings - Whitney and Ryan are getting married on the same day as my grandparents' anniversary. Such a sweet gesture to acknowledge such an important day...
Mother of the groom and mother of the bride...
ASU friends...
The last of the Mailloux sisters is getting married!
My mother did a phenomenal job with the food prep (still need to get my hands on the recipes for the quiche and the most delicious baked french toast I've ever had) and I think the bride-to-be enjoyed her special day.

Less than four months to go until Ryan becomes an official member of the Mailloux clan and we couldn't be happier to add such a great guy to our growing brood ;-)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Kids say the darndest things...

Hayes is an absolute firecracker these days - you never know what's going to come out of his mouth and we often wonder where he comes up with the things he comes up with. We find ourselves being endlessly amused with his antics and I want to bottle up his naivete so I'll never forget the joy it brings me on a daily basis. Here are a couple of snippets of a day in the life of Hayes...

...when getting into a hot car to go to the park:
"Mom, it's a scorcher today!"

...when we arrived at school last week for his parent/teacher conference:
"Who's gonna watch on us while you have your consultation?"

...when we discovered a bird had made a nest on the balcony outside of Papa's office and I was explaining to him how the bird had chosen this safe, quiet spot to be his little home:
"Mom, this isn't a little home; it's a big home."

...when he has a scraggly fingernail: 
"Mom, can you please fix my toenail for me?"
...when he told me I could put a stamp on him (a first - kid hates anything on his skin, tattoos, stamps, stickers - he is all about clean living!) and I asked him where he wanted it, he pointed to a mole on his arm and said:
"Mom, I want it on this nipple."

And the other little guy in our lives? 

He's become quite adept at communicating through shrill screams, which he practices in his crib in the wee hours of the morning while he waits for his day to start. To an outsider, it must sound like we're housing a wild bird sanctuary in our home.

Oh and he's sprouting his first tooth! Hayes didn't get his first pearly white until he was a full year old so we weren't expecting anything anytime soon, but lo and behold, what did I see the other day but a tiny little tooth poking through on the bottom left hand side. This kid is growing up too fast  - stay a baby awhile longer, won't you Grey?!

This weekend, we're staying local and have a few fun activities on tap, including...
...bringing the boys for an early picnic dinner while we enjoy some jazz on the lawn at LACMA.
...a Triple Crown themed party to kick off this season of Summer Saturdays at the Kibbutz. We're having NY-themed fare, which'll include NYC street dogs, waldorf salad, soft pretzels and Kentucky chocolate pecan bars with fresh whipped cream.
...a lazy Sunday relaxing as we gear up for a couple of busy weekends ahead, filled with out-of-town visitors and a trip back to the desert to celebrate my baby sister's impending nuptials. 

Hope you have a good one and Go Cali Chrome!