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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Photos and Videos Galore!

I've spent the day doing some housekeeping and trying to organize my life in photos and videos, so here are some very belated links (below photos) to pics documenting our lives for the last 3 months!

GDC 1 year, Halloween, Grey's 1st Bday
GDC 13 months, Thanksgiving, Christmas #1
GDC 14 months, Christmas, trip to DC
I also brought our youtube channel current so check that out if you have some time on your hands. I made all of the videos public (for the most part) again as I was told that even when you subscribed, you still weren't able to see the ones I'd marked private. So until I figure out the best way to showcase these, they'll stay public on my youtube page (grrr...).

Note, uploading these videos to youtube is another place for me to store them should something terrible happen to my computer or dropbox and I lose everything (my worst fear!). So some of the videos are boring and inconsequential to most people - but I know I'll want them when my boys are grown and I'm feeling nostalgic to see my babies again ;-)

*Hayes is VERY into a Disney show called Octonauts lately and every night, him and Greyson have a dance session to the Creature Report. Currently my favorite part of the day ;-)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

two / fifty two

Hayes, age 3 years 11 months: ...recently discovered the photo booth function on my mac and we accidentally recorded some fun we were having with the space alien effect (and boy oh boy am I glad we did b/c I could watch his little amused alien face over and over again!)

Greyson, age 14.5 months: ...after a few unusual moments of peace and quiet at our house the other day, he was found with two fist-fulls of kitty litter in his hands - on Daddy's watch (Mama would never let that happen!). Nowhere is safe and if it's something you don't want him doing, there's a 100% chance he'll be doing it.

Chanel:...I'm jumping on this bandwagon a little late but just finished the Serial podcast and have so many questions. Grant and I have been listening on our commutes and find it's a main topic of conversation between the two of us. And after my first foray into podcasts, I'm hooked. What should I listen to next??

Grant:...his trip to NYC got cancelled this week due to that whole Juno nonsense, which unfortunately meant that my trip to come meet him for a few days in NYC also got cancelled ;-( Fear not, he's booked us at The Parker Palm Springs for a short weekend getaway and we're both looking forward to adding some color back into our pale skin!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

one / fifty two

Y'all know how sporadic my blog posts are. I'll have weeks (not many, but c'mon, there have been some!) where I'll post 2-3 times, weeks where all I can find is 10 minutes to post once and weeks and weeks that go by with nary a blog post at all.

So when I was catching up on a blog that I used to read (and reminded why I liked reading it so much when I found myself back at some of her posts from Thanksgiving!), I decided to be a copycat and feature a similar set of posts on a lady...

The idea is to feature a weekly series of an "in the life of" - a simple sentence about what the kids are currently into, maybe or maybe not accompanied by a photo, so we can look back and see how they've changed over the months, how long certain obsessions have lasted, how quickly they may change. It's basically like my -isms, but a quicker, less descriptive version (don't worry - I'll still do my -isms!).

I think of it kind of like a one line a week (you know those one line a day books? My sister Whitney got me one for Christmas last year and I'm obsessed - I love picking out the most important thing about my day and capturing it in writing. I love looking back on what I was doing a year ago and seeing how it compares to what I happen to be doing that day. But I digress...). Anywho, it'll be my one line a week about the boys, but for fun, I'll also throw Grant and me into the mix.

I can't promise I'll be great about committing to doing it every week, but I'll try my hardest.

So here's the first installment. Hope you enjoy!

Hayes, age 3 years, 11 months: ...likes to tell people he's "Fwee and fwee quarters" when they ask how old he is. Is insisting on having a Frozen themed ice cream cake for his 4th birthday party.

Greyson, age 14 months: ...is his brother's copycat. Give him a sippy cup with milk and he wants nothing to do with it. Give him (or better yet, let him take) his brother's milk-filled sippy and you can't pry it away from his hands.

Chanel: ...is finally finishing Greyson's baby book and feeling pretty nostalgic for those newborn days. I can't already have been bitten by the baby bug again, can I?

Grant: ...has been working hard on the deal terms for a potential new house we may be building. I hope to have some exciting news to share in the coming weeks ;-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

On Sunday morning, I received some really upsetting news about the son of a colleague of mine who I've worked with over the past 7+ years. Her three year old boy had gotten really sick just prior to Christmas. He'd come down with a very high fever and when they brought him to the hospital, it turned out that he had a very serious case of pneumonia. Pneumonia quickly snowballed into a myriad of issues, including a collapsed lung, RSV and a staph infection called MRSA. His body was in toxic shock and the family was at his bedside, watching him fight for his life.
My colleague, Ali, sent daily updates to keep everyone informed of what was going on. These updates contained the facts and medical jargon and always ended on a positive note with the words, "He is a fighter and he will walk out of the hospital." Friends set up a support site where people could donate to help the family's changing needs - hospital parking, morning coffee, dinners... I had an open tab on my computer to remind me to choose a day to send a meal to the hospital when I got to work this week.
Sadly, little Ryder Brown didn't make it and he passed away on Sunday morning. I am completely heartbroken for this family and can't stop thinking about them. I had anxiously checked my email every morning for an update; some days were good - not much had happened so Ryder had a chance to rest and gain some strength. Some days weren't so good - they'd had a setback and had to adjust and modify their expectations and next steps. I never thought that Ryder not making it through was even an option - I mainly felt terrible that this little guy had such an uphill battle, that he would be weak and he'd need to overcome this terrible unfortunate sickness that had snowballed. I never thought that he wouldn't make it through.
His passing has affected me way more than I thought it would. Although I've worked with Ali for the better part of a decade, we live on opposite coasts and can go months without talking so I'm not particularly close with her. I've never met her family or her sons (she has another little guy, Griffin, who's about Greyson's age). But the thought of what she and her family must be going through is crushing me. My heart is so heavy and I just feel so sad for everyone.
Ryder's passing was a really tragic reminder of how fragile life is. Everything can change in a moment; what you take for granted on a daily basis can be taken away, just like that. There's no way to prepare yourself for something like this and you can't live life thinking about the what-if's all the time, but I'm trying to use his passing as a reminder to live my life better, to appreciate all of the moments big and small. To be more patient and slow down and really, truly be in the moment for you don't know if that moment will be there tomorrow.
I don't have the words to communicate to Ali and her family just how sorry I am that they lost their little boy - truthfully, I don't think those words exist. But I'm thinking about them everyday and hoping their positivity will help get them through the tough times they face ahead.

Hug your loved ones a little tighter tonight.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

...And Babies Make 6!

I mentioned briefly in my last post that I was now the proud auntie to two little nieces, June and Dylan, who were born right before Christmas. The little ladies join big brothers Hank and Gus and have made for a very full household at my sister's place in DC.
June on the left, Dylan on the right...
They've got the help over there covered with around-the-clock nannies and night nurses - the only way to survive 4 under 4 with no close family nearby to lend a helping hand. But we still wanted to go out and visit everyone, understanding that with four kids, there is no such thing as too much help!

Although this went against one of my new years resolutions to include Grey Grey in family outings moving forward, we knew that bringing a 13 month old tornado along would render us completely useless (plus we booked this trip in 2014 so technically the resolution hadn't gone into effect yet!) so we decided to leave the little man back in LA with the grandparents and take Hayes along to visit his cousins.

We left on Thursday and spent 3 nights in DC. Hayes was a dream traveler, sitting in his seat the whole time and sleeping on a fold out cot in our room. He LOVED spending time with his cousins - he was enthralled with the babies, asking to hold them and taking the initiative to wash his hands before he touched them and we had some fun afternoons at various museums with his older cousin Hank while his younger cousin Gus napped.

Best buddies at The Air & Science Museum...
Competing in a pretend spelling bee at the Natural History Museum...
Just a tad colder at the park than it is in LA!
Storytime with Uncle Matt...

The babies seemed so tiny - at only about 6-7 lbs still, they weighed less than Greyson did when he was born and they're already 3 weeks! Or maybe you just forget how teeny newborns are... Either way, they were delicious and snuggly and I'm sad to think how much bigger they'll be the next tie I see them.

Hayes meeting June - he was so nervous to hold her at first, I don't think he breathed for a full minute until we assured him she wouldn't break!
It was a really nice weekend and I'm hoping we can be better about planning more get togethers for the littles moving forward.