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Friday, February 26, 2016

This is Childhood: Four

Five years ago today, Hayes made me a Mama. It has gone by in an absolute flash and I can't believe my baby is turning five, off to kindergarten in the Fall and big brother to two younger siblings. 

I am head over heels in love with the person he is becoming and he makes me proud everyday that I get to call him my boy.

This is what being four was all about...

This was the year of the police. You started off the year loving everything Octonauts, then moved onto Paw Patrol, showing particular interest in the police dog character, Chase. That transitioned into an obsession with all things police and there seems to be no end in sight. I think you truly believe that you are a police man, constantly talking about how you have to work on certain days ("I don't know if I can go to the park on Saturday because I'm working") and wearing your police uniform daily. You approach policemen and security guards when we're out and about, confidently saying hello and hanging out with them for as long as they'll let you, asking questions about anything and everything: what do they wear to bed? what's their favorite food? what would they do if a bad guy escaped? It's provided a new found respect for police officers from both your dad and me, who always found them a little intimidating to approach before your fascination with them opened up a whole new world. You like to call yourself the chief of police and Greyson is one of your helpers. You love to play dress up and are also super into arts and crafts, constantly wanting to hold onto old toilet paper roles and empty boxes so you can make creations out of them. You are the biggest hoarder I know and will remove things from the trash can that you aren't quite ready to part with. You are a mama's boy, generous with the snuggles and always choosing to stay with me over doing anything else. At night, before you go to bed, you like to hop into our bed to watch one last show with me, cozying up underneath the blanket. You love to have sleepovers with me when Daddy goes out of town. This year, you started sharing a room with Greyson and it went surprisingly smoothly. You insist on sleeping with multiple night lights and with the door wide open and hall light on, but have been good about going to sleep on your own after setting the timer on my phone for five minutes of me lying down with you. You're quite a picky eater and eat like a little bird - we joke that we don't know how you thrive off of the tiny scraps you eat. Your favorite food is cheese pizza. Your favorite fruit is grapes and honeydew melon. You love milk and would drink it by the gallon if we let you. You're still in diapers at night and show no interest in cutting that out anytime soon. You play so nicely with Greyson and legitimately miss him when he's not around. You are a huge helper with your new little sister Henley and are constantly asking to hold her, picking out her clothes and making sure she's always comfortable. You're thoughtful, always telling us when you like something new in the house and offering to share the last bites of whatever you're eating. You're inquisitive and have a huge imagination, loving nothing more than setting traps for "the bad guys" and playing tricks on your dad. In the month of December, I think you watched Home Alone every single day. You love Christmas more than any kid I know (which makes me so proud, by the way) and still wish for Christmas trees every opportunity you have. Your best friend, Theo moved away this year and you haven't quite found someone you clicked with as much at school, but seem to have plenty of friends, lots of which seem to be more interested in you than you are in them. You are very sensitive, reminding me of myself when I was your age. You're quick to cry when your feelings get hurt or when you don't get what you want and it makes you seem pretty vulnerable in the moment, which breaks my heart a bit. You love DK and routine and I think you'll really thrive in kindergarten, even though you're sad that none of your Pea Pod friends will be going with you. You love to help out around the house, whether it's baking with me, washing dishes after dinner or hanging out with Daddy while he cleans the garage, you're a great little companion and always happy to keep us company doing whatever we're doing. And although I've asked you to stop growing after you turn five and you've told me that isn't possible, you did promise me that you'll never leave home (when I explained how after high school is over, you'll go away to college, you started crying and said you never wanted to go away to college) and I'm banking on that buddy boy ;-)

As we do every year, tonight we'll go have a family dinner (our first out as a family of five!) at "Factorys", the restaurant I brunched at while in labor with Hayzey five years ago, then birthday boy will open some presents and enjoy a confetti cake complete with blue icing at home (his request, of course). We celebrated his birthday with friends a few weeks ago, the weekend after Henley was born (which I had planned for that weekend so we wouldn't have to worry about catering to a newborn's needs. Alas, little sister had other plans!).
This next year will be a big one for the badger, what with going off to big boy kindergarten in the Fall. I do wish I could freeze time and keep him this young forever, but like a fine wine, Hayes seems to be getting better with age and I'm excited to see what's in store and what kind of fun things he'll surprise us with next.

Happy birthday Hayzey boy, we love you more than you'll ever know! xo

Monday, February 22, 2016

She's Here!

Introducing Miss Henley James Cohen...
Born 3 weeks early on Thursday, February 11th, 2016 at 1:03pm; 7 lbs 5.5 oz and 20 inches long.
Daddy and his girl...
We are completely over the moon that our little girl has officially completed our family. Big brothers Hayes and Greyson are doing great in their new promoted roles and so far we are surviving as a family of 5! Hayes is a great caretaker, constantly asking to hold the babe, helping mama pick out her outfits and making sure she has her binky and her tootsies are covered by her blanket. Greyson forgets she's here half the time (honestly, we all do, she sleeps so much!), but when he remembers his little sister, "Baby Henry", he's smitten.
So far, she's been a great baby, snoozin' most of the days away and offering up delicious newborn snuggles to whoever wants them. Nighttime has been a bit more challenging as she refuses to sleep anywhere but on or next to Mama in bed. For now, it's the only way we're getting any sleep - and we're both actually feeling pretty great considering the fact that we have a 10 day old baby - but obviously this isn't scalable long-term and we'll have to toughen up and put her in her crib eventually. 

The little lady really threw me for a loop with her early arrival. Not only was I expecting her to be a March baby, but I was also 100% convinced she was going to be a he! Here's a little bit more about her surprise entrance into the world...

The night before I went into labor, I was up for an hour in the middle of the night dealing with Braxton Hicks. I knew they weren't the real deal, but I woke up that morning in a panic that we didn't have a plan for the boys should I go into labor in the middle of the night. On Wednesday night, before I went to bed, I texted Grant's best friend, Pat and our nanny, Lauren to tell them to keep their cell phones on in the middle of the night moving forward so should something happen, they could be on call to book it to the house to watch the boys when we went to the hospital.

3 hours later, I turned over in bed and after googling "what happens when your water breaks", I realized that my water had, in fact broken. 3 weeks early. 10 days after moving into our new house and 3 days before we were throwing Hayes' 5th birthday party, planned for that particular early date to ensure that I wouldn't be holed up with a newborn (!!!). I was in a panic, sitting in the bathroom bawling my eyes out. Grant was a champ; I hadn't packed a hospital bag or anything so he ran around the house for me packing the essentials while we waited for his dad to drive up from Orange County. 

At that point, I hadn't had any contractions yet and still wasn't 100% sure that my water had broken (perhaps I was just suddenly incontinent?!). I paged my doctor twice and no response (wtf?!). Then a contraction came and we decided we couldn't wait for Grant's dad so we called Uncle Pat and told him to head on over to wait until he arrived. You see, the boys were such speedy labors that we were sure this one would literally fall out of me - we weren't taking any chances!

We checked into Cedars and a few hours later, I got an epidural. Sweet relief, but because the bean wasn't ready to make it's debut yet, I had to endure 4 hours of feeling like a paraplegic, which was really the most uncomfortable part of the whole thing. Finally at noon, it was go-time and after waiting for my damn doctor to finish up her lunch break, I pushed through two contractions and out the baby came.
Traditional 1st sushi meal post-birth...hello tuna, old friend!
This delivery was the most emotional one for me, probably because I knew it would be my last. The relief I felt when I saw the baby is something I can't even describe and when the doctor asked us to look and see what the baby was and it turned out to be a GIRL... well, we were absolutely floored. I still look at her and am amazed that she doesn't have a penis; I was so sure I was going to be a mom of boys and am absolutely in love with our perfect family.

We've spent the last 10 days acclimating to life with three kids and I'm happy to report that we're surviving just fine. A meal train from Hayes and Grey's school has helped immensely - we haven't had to cook at all since we came home from the hospital so that's been great. Grant took off most of last week and our nanny being around was a huge help. But, I did take the baby and Greyson to the park this morning solo (Hayes had school) and it was a success so I'm feeling a bit more confident in my abilities to take care of Hurricane Greyson and a newborn.
Little lady is always smiling in her sleep ;-)
I've got lots of updating to do for you all, including pics of the new house which we are LOVING. I promise to try and check in more often when I can. But for now, just wanted to share the good news that Henley has arrived and everyone is doing great ;-)