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Friday, January 22, 2016


The boys snuggling my belly last week...
 Greyson, 2 years:...according to him, if you have a mustache, you're either G Pops or a pirate.

Hayes, 4 3/4 years:...our normally easy-going guy has been having a rough week and hasn't really been himself, throwing tantrums over tiny things like watching shows during dinner or being able to have chocolate milk and egging his little brother on to do bad things like bite other kids at the park or take off down the hallway when our nanny, Lauren goes to the bathroom. We're not sure what exactly is going on; perhaps it's some form of attention seeking or anxiety about the new baby coming, or maybe it's just something almost-five year olds go through, but we're doing our best to give him what he needs (and not kill him in the process). Next weekend, when we get ready to move, the big boy is actually going to stay up in LA with us while Greyson goes down to hang with Nini and Pa for a couple of days, so hopefully that'll help give him the one-on-one time he's craving and will make him feel a little less insecure. 

We did take the boys to the LA Police Museum last weekend and while I'm planning on doing a whole post about it, I couldn't resist including this teaser of Officer Hayes, who was in absolute heaven...

Note, the scrunched up face and leg up pose "makes it more serious"...

In what's definitely the most exciting news of the week, we've signed all of the paperwork and fingers crossed, as of Tuesday, January 26th, we will be second-time homeowners!! I will refrain from celebrating until it is 100% official (bank needs the weekend + a business day for the funding) but we're pretty excited and can't wait to start calling Esther home.

When we signed our paperwork for Livonia 5 years ago, I was 9 months pregnant and battling a pretty nasty stomach flu. This time, I'm 9 months pregnant and am dealing with one of the worst colds I've had in awhile, so I guess that's my M.O. when "celebrating" big milestones like home purchases. Hopefully by Tuesday I'll be all better so I can celebrate properly with a half a glass of champagne ;-\

Finally, a hankering for Chinese food and the need to use up some veggies we already had in the fridge made my options for a new recipe of the week limited, so I opted to try a side dish from Jessica Seinfeld's Can't Cook CookBook: green beans with sliced almonds. Not usually a huge green bean fan, but these were yummy and the perfect complement to another recipe I love from the same book for bacon-wrapped meatloaf. If you haven't checked out the cookbook, I highly recommend - lots of easy recipes you can whip up quickly and the results are usually quite tasty.

Hope y'all have a great weekend!

Friday, January 15, 2016


The police costume is still being worn on a daily basis and yesterday, the robber's costume made a return debut. As soon as Greyson put it on, he asked for a treat - smart kid!

This week, we tried two new recipes. One, a fail - Broiled Salmon with Tangy Tarragon Mayo from Keepers - Grant said it was the worst meal I'd made in awhile (something I should probably be offended by but actually appreciate the honesty - it was gross). Probably didn't help that Hayes spent the first half of the meal throwing an epic tantrum about chocolate milk and Greyson ended dinner having to be put to bed early because he was having a meltdown about god knows what. Just one of those meals - they happen and you just gotta laugh about them. I redeemed myself last night by making a seriously yummy Sausage, Red Potato and Spinach Soup, courtesy of Whitney in this year's Delish cookbook. That one will definitely be reappearing in the rotation - unfortunately, we were too eager to eat it to remember to take a pic, but you'll have to take my word for it - it was a goody.

Esther is moving along - we signed some papers extending our loan rate lock so we have a bit of breathing room and have scheduled the move for Monday, 2/1, a little over two weeks from now. Everything is pretty much done at the house - we hoping to get our Certificate of Occupancy next week and pass final inspection on Monday (fingers crossed!). We're down to purchasing the final small items - mailboxes, hand towel rings, those kinds of things - and are super anxious to get moved in and settled. 

Get this... Our extension gives us until January 26 to close on the house, the same day {5 years later} that we closed on Livonia. So to recap the similarities between this pregnancy and Hayzey's:
- same original due date of 3.2 (Hayes was moved up to 2.24, Bean's has been adjusted a day to 3.3)
- lived in the same apartment complex for both
- will be moving almost a month to the day before baby is due
- same exact closing date on the purchase of our new home with each kid.
How weird is that?!

Speaking of the bean, we peeked in on the little thing earlier this week and all is looking well. Baby was head down (yay!) and average to on-the-small side (fine with me!). I got major boy vibes again and we managed to capture a couple pics of the little one who was acting a little shy this time.

We're looking at the side of its face from the top - its hands are in front/kind of tucked underneath the chin and its arm can be seen in the bottom picture.
How squidgy and pudgy does it look?! 

Absolutely perfect. I'm both terrified and excited to meet it in 7 short weeks ;-)

We're laying low this weekend, having our standard Friday evening dinner at the Farmer's Market with the boys tonight and hoping to go see a movie and dinner tomorrow night. Basically trying to enjoy what's bound to be one of our last relaxing weekends for awhile!

Hope you have a good one!


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Bebe Luna Tres

We returned last night from a lovely babymoon in San Jose del Cabo, refreshed and relaxed and in a minor panic about everything that needs to be done in the next 8 weeks before the bean gets here!!
Morning capp with a view...
We departed Friday morning, leaving the boys in our nanny Lolo's capable hands (first time they've ever spent the night with anyone who isn't family! Nini and Pa took over on Saturday am). Flight was quick and uneventful and after an annoyingly long trek through customs (apparently I wasn't quite pregnant enough for the customs official to take pity on us and pluck us from the long line of travelers excited to get their vacations started!), we arrived at Cabo Azul just in time to throw down some poolside tacos and enjoy the last few minutes of sunshine.
The hotel we stayed at is great - highly, highly recommend. This was our second time back (we stayed here for Greyson's babymoon in August 2013) and I cannot say enough good things. Service is attentive, everything is brand new (they had to close for a year thanks to Odile and just recently re-opened in September 2014) and the decor is how I wish my house could look. Every room is a suite, complete with a separate sitting area that has a pull-out couch so although we opted to leave the kiddos behind this time, it would be a great place to travel as a family if you didn't want to spring for a whole house rental. There are swimming pools everywhere, plush lounge chairs and the location can't be beat, so long as you're planning on spending most of your time in San Jose del Cabo vs. the rowdier Cabo San Lucas. We didn't even venture into Cabo San Lucas this time, instead opting to explore the adorable little town of San Jose and hit up some of our favorite spots for lunches and dinners. Last time I was in Cabo, I departed on the afternoon of Hurricane Odile, which absolutely raged the entire city, so I was happy to see that mostly everything seemed to be restored/rebuilt and tourism was back to normal. It really is one of my favorite places (and so darn convenient from LA!).
I woke up one morning recently and all of a sudden was HUGE!  32 weeks bump shot - can't beat the backdrop!
Besides logging a whole lot of pool time, we indulged in some fine dining (Javiers at the hotel the first night, Lolitas for lunch in San Jose on Saturday, our absolute fave, Flora Farms Saturday night and La Forchetta on Sunday to finish off the trip), Grant kicked my ass in some games of Gin Rummy and I got lost in a new book, All the Light We Cannot See

Poolside lunch - fresh shrimp and white fish cevice in a coconut water marinade with sliced cucumbers and a grilled romaine salad with chicken - YUM.
We've got a lot on the horizon with the big move coming up and the new family member joining our crew shortly thereafter and Grant and I are well aware that each of us is going to unfortunately get the brunt of stress taken out on each other, so this was a welcomed getaway, just the two of us that I think we'll fondly look back on in the months to come.
The only pic we took of ourselves the entire time we were there...

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Let's try this again, shall we?

Brunch with GG, Aunt V and Thomas {photo credit: Thomas}...
We're happily getting back into the normal routine of life after the lengthy holidays. Don't get me wrong, it was lovely to be home with the boys and to get to spend so much time with the fam, including Grant, who pretty much took off the whole two weeks (give or take a couple hours here and there) to help me with the little guys. But it is hard work being on non-stop with these ones, with no structured activities planned and holiday schedules impacting what's open and what's not (learned that one the hard way after we drove 30 mins to the Police Museum in Highland Park one day, only to find out it was closed. Argh! After a whole lot of blaming those lazy police for closing early on a day that they were so obviously supposed to be open, this prego double checked the website and there it was, clear as day in bold red writing "Museum will be closed on these days..." - can you say baby brain?!).

Hayes and Greyson have enjoyed the holidays, playing with all of their new toys (Grant and I have become very good at building legos) and building pillow forts every night. It's fun to see their relationship grow and absolutely hilarious to be a fly on the wall watching them interact with each other (Last night they disappeared into Greyson's room to "tell jokes"). They take turns doing whatever the other one says (it's amazing how often Greyson is calling the shots) and while the fighting and clawing at each other is increasing a little bit (Greyson's new favorite thing to do when he's angry - which is multiple times a day now - is to forcefully say "Shut Up!" to express his rage - slightly humiliating when he does it in public, but also hard not to laugh at the same time), for the most part, they get along pretty well.

boys being boys...
Even a backyard full of dirt is better than no backyard at all!
Anyways, the grown-ups have enjoyed their time back at work this week and our nanny, Lolo returned from her couple week break seemingly rejuvinated and refreshed, ready to take on the monsters again ;-) School resumes tomorrow for both boys and we're excited to return, especially since El Nino has officially begun (I was a non-believer until I started stalking my weather app and saw just how much it was supposed to rain over the next couple of weeks) and that means some mighty fine puddles to jump in on the playground.

I've started off some of my resolutions strong - well, the ones that involve eating at least - and have made three new recipes this week. Can I stockpile them so when new baby comes I have some banked? Or is that not how it works??
And Hayes has had a bite of broccoli for dinner the past two nights so I consider that a win!

Hayes insisted I take a picture of him serving himself his orzo risotto "he made" - funny, I don't recall him being in the kitchen at all during the prep of this meal!
First new recipes of the year: 1: Pork Tenderloin with Double Apple Sauce (SO yummy and easy) and 2: Toasted Orzo Risotto-Style (both from one of my fave cookbooks, Keepers), plus simple steamed broccoli with lemon on the side.
3: Chinese Chicken Salad (from the Mailloux Girls' annual cookbook, Delish - thanks for the recipe, Jess!), with a side of Tradered chicken shu-mai (was not a fan of those, pork ones are 100 times better)
All is hopefully on track with the new house - we're feverishly sending emails back and forth to the bank and our developer hoping to get all of the paperwork signed before we depart to Mexico on Friday (have I mentioned how much we're looking forward to that?!), but the plan is still to hopefully close next week and then move a few weeks after that.

Here are some shots of the new digs that were taken recently. We're down to the last details now and are SO excited to call this place home shortly ;-)

Note, the address is actually 10707 - the guys who hung the numbers took some creative liberties with the 7s and decided to hang them straight up and down - something we're having them fix asap! There will also be different spanish tiles on the risers of the front stairs. The railings were put in for the inspection but we actually like them so are planning on keeping them as they are.
Powder room
Guest bathroom
Living room
Barn door from living room into kitchen...
Storage cabinets in hallway...
Kitchen island, bar sink, one of two dishwashers and pendants...
Farmhouse sink and copper fixtures...
Pantry and ovens...
Desk in kitchen...
View from family room into kitchen...
Built-ins in family room...
Built-ins in Master...
Flushmount in master hallway...
Mama's half of the closet...
Master bathroom...
Master boudoir...
Backyard (pool will go on the left)...
Back of the house (master is on the left)

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

I'm always a little sad when the new year comes, mostly because it means that my favorite holiday of the year is over, but also because I have a strange nostalgia for things of the past that I can't ever experience again (something I've apparently passed onto my four year old who gets teary eyed everytime we talk about how it will never be 2015 again!). 

But the new year also brings on a fresh start of sorts, an excuse to try and live life a little better and make small changes that will hopefully increase your quality of life as a whole. I'm big on resolutions (whether I end up keeping them or not) and find that it helps to write them down somewhere. And what better place than this trusty ole blog?!

So here goes:

...drink more water. Always a resolution of mine, one I have a hard time keeping every.single.year.
...be more organized. Perhaps this is my prego nesting instinct kicking in, but I'm craving some organization in my life. We've been living in what feels like a state of chaos for the last 6 months in this apartment, stacks of papers constantly building up, corners full of boxes and beach bags and purses. When we move, I'm going to try my best to put things away, right away.
...give the kids a better variety of food. We did a better job at this in 2015 when we started eating dinner as a family, but I often feel like their food choices are repetitive, especially in Hayes' lunch box. Come August when the little guy goes to kindergarten, I'm going to have to get creative with lunch 5 days a week (oy!) so better start finding some good staples to add to the rotation now!
...exercise more . I had been doing pretty well with this in '15 with my Cardio Barre addiction, but then I got pregnant and all of that went out the door. I'm giving myself a pass while I create this little life here, but come Springtime, I need to incorporate some sort of exercise into my life again.
...stealing this one from my older sister, Jess as I think it's a great one: cook one new recipe a week. I have a million cookbooks (one of my favorite pastimes is flipping through a good cookbook) and would love to try some new things in the kitchen. Perhaps I'll even be motivated to blog about it?
...be less passive aggressive. This is probably going to be one of my hardest ones, but it's something that bothers me about myself and I know it's probably pretty annoying for Grant to have to deal with (since he gets the brunt of my passive aggressiveness). If something's bothering me, I'll address it directly and move on. I'm thinking this will be especially important this year with the arrival of the baby bean, since those first few months are always a little stressful and fuses tend to run short.

I feel like most of these are doable, even with everything we have going on in our lives in 2016, so wish me luck!

Happy 2016!