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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

thirty one / fifty two

Hayes and his teacher Stacey at their pre-school Fall Festival...
Hayes, age 4: ...We are basically living with a full-blown police officer these days. He wears his uniform all the time, lounging around the house, out to brunch and dinner. Last weekend, he made Grant go out and buy him a tie so he could wear that when his uniform was taking a rest. He's obsessed with the color blue and asks us questions all day about police officers - what do they do on their day off? Do they like chocolate milk? Do they have blue eyes? Do they sleep in their underwear? 
When we went to our go-to Mexican joint at the Farmer's Market last week for dinner, Grant ordered the boys a chicken quesadilla, which Hayes was none-too-pleased with when he found out it wasn't his standard cheese. Grant explained that this was a special quesadilla that was filled with protein - something police officers ate to give them energy on the job. After hearing that, not only did he gobble up his "quesadilla with protein", but on Monday, when him and Nini went there for dinner, he requested the same thing. I'm thinking I could for sure be using this tactic in my favor for a variety of things I'd like Hayes to do ;-)

Greyson in his happy place, driving the ambulance at Zimmer Museum...
Greyson, age 23 months: ...We are continuing to be challenged on the regular with Mr. Independent, as I like to call him, trying to stay patient and understanding of his big two-year old emotions. He's particularly attached to Grant these days, which I think is probably a good thing with the bean en route and all. I had the pleasure of spending the whole day with him one-on-one on Monday while Hayes was at school and then with Nini for the afternoon and it was like being with a different child. So lucky to be able to have that solo time with both boys as the time with them is entirely different when they aren't competing for attention.

Where's Greyson?
Oh, there he is!
The Bean, 22 weeks: ...Baby is the size of a spaghetti squash this week, which I thought was huge (especially if you saw the size of the spaghetti squash we're having for dinner tonight - Grant basically needed a machete to cut through it!), until I looked ahead and saw that next week, it's going to be the size of a mango (huh?). We had our 3D anatomy scan last week and the little thing is pretty photogenic, if I do say so myself! 

Major boy vibes on my part, but friends and family seem to be split down the middle.

Esther: ...It's been a few weeks since I posted any photos of the progress so I snapped some the other day when we were there. 

Fireplaces are in... this one is in the living room.
H standing in front of the laundry room...
View from the kitchen to the family room. We'll have built-ins around the fireplace in here...
Our glorious Western Sliders. The ones on the left open all the way to the left and the ones on the right all the way to the right...
Another view of the living room fireplace and windows...
Hallway... To the right of where Hayes is running will be built-in storage...
Very large front door, which will be painted black.
Exterior shot...
Silly boys ;-)
The insulation is all in now so next up is the dry-wall. Our doors have arrived, including the back sliders that we splurged on that open up the entire family room to the backyard. Everything looks great and we're so excited to see it coming all together.
Target date to close is January 11th, 2016 so fingers crossed El Nino stays away for another few months so we can finish up with no hiccups. That'll give us about 6 weeks to get moved in and ready before baby arrives (yikes!).

We've got a weekend of fun Halloween festivities planned for Officer Hayes and his little convict, Greyson starting with Hayes' favorite day of the year tomorrow, my office Halloween party. For actual Halloween, we'll be going to a friend's house with a bunch of other families and taking Greyson on his very first trick or treat, which I'm sure he'll absolutely love.

Cops and Robbers, Halloween 2015
 Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Desert Weekend Recap...

It's taken me awhile to gather all of the photos taken from various places from our Mailloux family reunion in the desert a few weeks ago, so apologies for the tardy post, but let's go back in time to our Canadian Thanksgiving get-together and take a look, shall we?
The Mailloux cousins, in birth order: Hank, 5; Hayes, 4; Gus, 3; Greyson, 23 months; June, 10 months; Dylan, 10 months.
My family is spread all over the country; a sister and her family (including my nephews and nieces) all the way on the East coast in D.C.; a sister and brother-in-law who've just celebrated one year of wedded bliss in the windy city of Chicago; parents who live the semi-retired life in the blazing desert of Scottsdale, AZ and yours truly on the West coast in the land of LaLa. We went from a core family of 5 to {currently} 14 and counting, so getting everyone together in the same place is no small feat. Since in-laws and far too many children are now involved in holiday gatherings, we decided to pick a weekend once a year to convene as a family - and Canadian Thanksgiving, which falls on Columbus Day weekend every year seemed to be a natural fit.
The "boys'" table...
This year, my dad had a boys' weekend planned to a football game over Columbus Day so we celebrated a tad early the weekend before and all 12 of us descended upon my parents' home to shack up and spend some QT together.
Snug as a bug in a rug!
Ladies who lounge...
And although it was madness, especially for my poor parents who aren't used to the chaos that comes with 6 kids under the age of 6, it was such a nice weekend and I was so happy to be able to spend some time with my sisters and their hubbies and get some loving in on my little babes, who I don't get to see nearly enough. Not to mention how much fun the kiddos had together - it was basically like having a friend over for 3 days straight, in a new environment, with new toys - the kids were just slightly excited ;-)

My parents went all out and arranged for all sorts of fun activities to do with the kids. From pumpkin carving, to a Halloween treasure hunt complete with choice of costumes for both the kids and adults, to a delicious Canadian Thanksgiving spread, we were well taken care of and the kids had a blast.
The angry convict...
Police Officer Hayes finding some loot...
Just silliness....
Side note, the last time I wore this costume, it was to a Halloween party in high school that Grant wasn't allowed to go to b/c he was on some sort of school arrest for doing something naughty on a school trip (this was pre-our love connection but I was obviously already keeping tabs on the new guy who had caught my eye). Happy to see it still fits 17 years later and when I'm pregnant, to boot!
I think we all agree that it was a little hectic for my parents to host everyone so we may consider renting a house next year in some neutral territory, but we are truly thankful to them for providing the digs this year and hope the dust has settled at Casa Mailloux since we left!
Uncle Grant reading the boys their final bedtime story about Little Critter going to the dentist. I'm still cursing the author for writing about how when you have cavities, you have to get scary shots to numb your gums. Hayes tells me everyday now how he never wants to go to the dentist again - although it is a good tactic to get him to be thorough in his tooth-brushing!
Hard to believe that the next time we have plans to all be in the same place (July, 2016 in Cape Cod), the bean will be alive and there will be a grand total of 15 extended-Mailloux family members. Never a dull moment around here!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

thirty / fifty two

Hayes, age 4: ...He has a new buddy at school, Santiago, who he's been talking about nonstop. Apparently he likes this little Latin fellow because Santi is always up for a good game of policeman. Yesterday, I took the boys to their school field trip to the pumpkin patch and talk about feeling like old news! Hayes wanted NOTHING to do with Greyson and me, happily chasing Santiago around the straw maze and holding meetings in the center "jail cell". A good thing actually, since this mama had her hands full with the Grey man and it was about a thousand degrees outside!
The "jail cell"...
A little happier, hamming it up for the camera at the pumpkin patch...
Greyson, age 23 months: ...I'm counting down the days until we can turn his car seat around in the car. Poor guy still faces backwards and absolutely hates any time spent in transit, screaming and crying the entire time. It takes every ounce of my pregnant being to force him in there and I dread having to take him anywhere these days. I'm praying that facing him forward (which we'll do when he turns two) will help, but am a little concerned that no matter what way he faces, unless he's sitting in the driver's seat where he can start the engine and honk the horn, he's not going to be satisfied ;-(

In other news, both boys have been sick with bronchitis this week - and have unfortunately passed something along to their old mama, although I've thankfully yet to develop the nasty hacking cough that's been plaguing our home for the past month. Not hard to see how germs are shared around here when you see pictures like this one I snapped of the brothers watching TV the other day (I swear this wasn't staged!)...


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

My Loves... Nursery Edition

The bean is going to have a lot of hand-me downs, whether it's a boy or a girl. If it's a boy, it'll be using round five of some items of clothing his brothers and cousins have used (oy!). If it's a girl, the fact that she has twin girly cousins will come in handy. So either way we're set in the clothing department and I figure if by some odd chance it is a she, until she's old enough to request dolls and other feminine playthings, the hand-me down toys her brothers have will do just fine!

The one place I would like to have a little bit of fun with is the bean's nursery. Since we aren't finding out the sex until the baby is born, I need to decorate under the gender neutral guidelines, but I think I can still have some fun with it and add some boyish or girlish finishing touches after he/she arrives.

These are some of the things that have caught my eye lately...

 How adorable are these animal nursery prints? Living in California, we can't hang anything above the bean's crib for fear of earthquakes happening while the little one sleeps, but I got crafty when I was pregnant with Grey Grey and mounted some cute prints on some thick stock and I think I could do the same with these. Bonus points for these ones on etsy since they're a fraction of the price of similar ones I found on RH Baby (and pretty much identical, although a little smaller and sans frame...).
 I've been eyeing this small shop on etsy, iviebaby since I was pregnant with Greyson and am obsessed with the designs she has for sheets, bumpers, changing pad covers, boppy covers, you name it! Thinking after going through two kids, it's time for an upgrade to our changing pad cover and while the design above skews slightly feminine, I think it could work for a fashion forward little lad. Come to think of it, we'll likely have to get a whole new changing pad situation since Greyson will still be in diapers when the baby arrives (gulp!).

I've always loved these life-sized giraffes (this one's from Pottery Barn Kids) and think they would be a nice addition to a nursery or playroom for many years to come.

 I underestimated the importance of having a comfortable chair when I was pregnant with Greyson and cursed myself every night when I was sitting in the very nice-looking but not-so-comfortable chair we purchased for his nursery. I stumbled upon this gem at West Elm last week and took it for a test-sit and was in love. Bonus points for being sleek enough to use in a room that isn't meant for baby. In fact, they don't even market it as a glider for a nursery!

 Love this ceramic garden stool as a side table and would totally use one like this for a simple nursery side table.

A glider in a nursery needs an ottoman and what's cuter than this adorable shaggy sequin cube pouf from West Elm? Reminds me of the decor at our favorite hotel in Palm Springs, The Parker...

How cute is this gender-neutral teepee where baby bean can play for years to come? And it's so stylish that I wouldn't mind at all displaying it in other more heavily trafficked areas of the home.

I feel a craft project coming on... These spray-painted gold plastic animal heads are mounted on thicker paper stock and framed. They'd go swimmingly with the other animal heads I'd like to use as decor and would be a fun and cheap project to do with Hayes...

Finally, this would have to be an add-on at the end in the odd-chance that the bean is a little lady (I'm not holding my breath!) but if it's a she, there's got to be some gold and pink involved and I think this would look absolutely darling hung across the wall somewhere. And if not for the baby, maybe I can find somewhere to put it for me if I reign the queen of the castle!