I heart emails!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


...he is obsessed with all of the silly little things that make five year old boys laugh - farting, penises, poop. He calls a vagina a 'pagina'.
...he's started this new, strange form of dancing in which he moves his arms slowly around and gets this zen, calm look on his face. We call it his tai chi.
...he is a legitimate hoarder. The other day, we had thrown away a broken helicopter toy, an unopened package of gumballs and a strange plastic pillbox thing one of those free toys from a machine come in and guess where I found them all? Behind a cushion on the leather club chair. Buddy, if you're going to take stuff out of the trash, at least hide it somewhere we can't find it!
..he is his little sister's favorite person and can make her laugh every time. And he loves it.
...last week, after soccer, we were heading down to the playground to play for a bit and Greyson was whining about needing to be carried. Our hands were full; Grant had Henley and a football in his, I had the giant diaper bag and our picnic blanket in mine. Not to mention it was 95 degrees. So Hayes stepped up and carried his brother the entire way there. My heart melted.
...he asks to stay up late every single night. 
...his favorite singer is Israel Kamakawiwo╩╗ole, the big Hawaiian gentleman who sings "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and he often requests we play "the man swimming" (the album cover) on Pandora. The Cohen Cabana is frequently tuned into the Hawaiian station; all that's missing are the hula dancers and roast pig.
...he's learned how to pour himself his own milk in the morning, which is quite impressive since even I have a hard time wrangling a full gallon. He loves to do it all himself, pulling the stool over to the cupboard to get his cup, pouring the drinks for him and Greyson. He also knows how to navigate the apple TV and my iphone better than I do. I'm already feeling like a tech dinosaur!
...the countdown is on to kindergarten and he's super excited that there are only 2 weeks and 6 days left of summer. Let's hope it stays that way!

...since Hayes has his hands down his pants 24/7, I frequently ask him, "Is your penis still there?", hoping to make him realize how ridiculous of a question that is and encourage him to get his hands OFF OF HIS DAMN PENIS! Well, turns out Greyson has picked up on this and now, when he goes to put his hands down his pants, he'll frequently say to me, "I'm just making sure my penis is still there." 1 for the boys, 0 for Mama.
...while he mostly wants to be a big boy, I can tell he sometimes struggles with the fact that he's no longer a baby and is kind of caught in this weird in-between (is that part of middle child syndrome?). The other day, he sighed heavily from the backseat of the car and said, "I wish I was still a baby."
...on the opposite side of the baby spectrum, he is the most fiercely independent toddler I know and makes a big deal of doing absolutely everything himself. I've had to teach him that it's okay to ask for help if he can't figure out how to do something, but he still finds a way to own the task. For instance, if he can't get his legs into a pair of pants, he'll ask me to help him, then as soon as his feet are through the hole, yell that he can do it himself. If I pull his pants up for him by habit, he'll sometimes pull them back down and then up again, just so he knows he's done it.
...when we were at the rental car place in Boston a few weeks ago, some older kids called him a baby. He was pissed. I could see the wheels turning in his head as he stewed over the insult, not exactly sure how to handle it, but angry as hell that these kids couldn't see that he was a big boy. Suddenly, he ran back over to them, pulling at his pants as his legs moved, determined to show them his underwear, because of course, babies don't wear underwear so this meant he had to be a big boy. Grant had to literally tear him away. I was dying.
...he calls McDonalds "Old McDonald".
...he frequently refers to Hayes as his "little brother".
...he'll only wear Hayes' clothes. He goes to bed every night swimming in his older brothers' pajamas.
...him and Hayes have races to see who can get into their car seats first. Greyson doesn't know how to buckle his up yet (but he sure as hell tries!) but in order to slow Hayes down, he'll sneakily buckle the seat belt in Hayes' seat when he isn't looking so Hayes has to waste time unbuckling it before he gets in. This infuriates Hayes to no other. I often see Henley's harness buckled as well before I go to put her in her seat.
...he is super generous with the kisses and hugs, but usually only when he wants something from you. Every night, he comes into Henley's room when I'm nursing her before bed and whispers, "Kiss her feet? Now a BIG hug!". Usually it's right when she's fallen asleep so I'm a little annoyed he's in there waking her up. He must sense this, because after kissing his little sister, he'll come around the side of the chair, lips puckered and say, "Now it's your turn, Mommy." I.die.

...she loves her brothers. Like, can't take her eyes off of them when they're in the room love. When I try to nurse her when they're hanging around, it takes twice as long, she's so distracted.
...she likes to kick her leg while she's nursing, over and over again.
...she's getting the hang of rolling over from back to front and is so damn proud of herself when she does it.
...she's clinging onto what's left of her baby hair and has this little strange rooster tuft that runs down the middle of her head like a mohawk. 
...she's much more interested in toys these days and will lie on her jungle mat for up to twenty minutes (forever in baby) and study the toys hanging from above. 
...when she gets angry or excited about something, she becomes very vocal in quite an aggressive manner. Girlfriend wants her voice to be heard!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Squidge eats!

So this happened...
Squidge has officially eaten her first bites of solid food. 
And it turns out, she is not the gourmand her brothers were ;-(
In her defense, the bland mostly breastmilk oatmeal powder she had to begin what I hope is a lifelong love affair with all things yummy (she's a Cohen after all, food is a BIG deal around these parts!) must have left a lot to desire, especially since the rest of the family was chowing down on our usual Saturday morning cinnamon buns and fresh fruit salad. But while her brothers seemed to pick up on what eating was and how to eat pretty effortlessly, happily slurping whatever was on the spoon into their mouths, pushing it to the back of their throats and swallowing with gusto, Henley... not so much. She had a pained face the entire time we tried to feed her and the oatmeal all came dribbling out at once; I'm not sure any of it entered her body at all!

Alas, we'll keep trying and I know she'll pick up on it eventually. I was wondering if maybe she just didn't like the oatmeal so we tried butternut squash this morning but that was also a no go. Girlfriend just isn't into it.
You know who is? Hayes. He begs me to let him feed her (almost as much as he begs me to let him hold her, "standing up" - seems he's ready to graduate from the sitting down requirement we've installed when it comes to him holding his sister) and now that we've opened the floodgates of food, he's constantly asking whether she can have this or that. Last night, in a moment of single parent weakness (Grant's in Idaho for work), I took the boys to McDonalds for dinner and Hayes suggested that maybe we save their leftovers to give Hen-a-wee Ben-a-wee today. And while I'm sure she would enjoy a chicken mcnugget and french fries far more than some pureed slop, sadly it doesn't work that way, buddy boy.

(here are Hayes and Greyson's first tastes of the good life...)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Cape Cahd...

My family has grown a LOT over the past 6 years. Not only have each of my sisters and I gotten married to our beaus, but we've also had seven kids between us, making what was once a core family of five now an extended family of fifteen.
Living spread out across the country makes it difficult to see each other as often as we'd like, which is especially sad for the cousins, who are all basically the same age (6, 5, 4, almost 3, 18 months and 5 months - I told you, it's been a busy 6 years!) and view our family get togethers as one giant playdate. So we're really trying to make the effort to make this happen more often and finding ourselves needing to get creative with where these get togethers will take place for all of these people.
My sister Jess and her family have spent the past few summers in Cape Cod. They rent a nice house that's within walking distance to a beach and a lake and set up shop for 4+ weeks. The house is perfect - plenty of bedrooms, giant pool, big basement and lots of room for grown-ups and tiny humans alike. So this year, for our annual family reunion, we all decided to join them, with half of us staying with the Kellys and half of us staying a few houses up the beach. 
The travel days getting to and from there were loooooong. Dealing with three kids and all the crap that comes with that, plus incompetent airport employees, unexpectedly long lines for an early Tuesday morning at LAX, and a couple of full on melt-downs due to irrational reasons is no easy feat. But we took deep breaths when they were needed and the three days we spent there, filled with lots of lobster, perfect weather and family time turned out to be worth it. 
My sister was a gracious host and I was impressed with her seemingly effortless ability to make lunches and dinners for so many people. The boys were definitely excited to see each other, naming their foursome "The Adventure Crew" and taking turns beating up on each other (sadly, Greyson and Gus always seemed to be the victim, although those two bruisers could sure handle the torture much better than their older brothers). The girls were like three ships passing in the night; when one went down for a nap, the other two woke up and so on and so forth. But we did manage to get some cute pics of the three of them in those rare moments when they were all awake and I'm eager to see how their friendship grows as time goes on.
The nicest part of the trip, besides getting to see the kids spend so much time together, was the quality time we got to spend with my sisters and their husbands. The house served as a nice home base and during the day, everyone was able to kind of do what they wanted to do, or in our case, whatever nap schedules dictated had to be done. 
We spent the last night celebrating my dad's 68th birthday, with sunset cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, followed by a yummy dinner and cake. And of course, a few rounds of my new favorite game, Fishbowl, for the grown-up kids ;-)
Happy birthday, Papa!
Oh, hi, selfie stick!
We're thinking this is going to become an annual thing and I'm already counting down the days until next year. Here are some pics of our trip.
Dylan on the left, June on the right...
Hayes and Gus surveying the scene...
First time putting her toes in the sand!
Napping on Nana...
The Adventure Crew ;-)
Nightly meeting for the crew... pants optional.
We were brave enough to take these maniacs out to breakfast one morning...
Lots of auntie love...
Right before his first time on a boat... He tolerated it but asked to come back to shore immediately,
Me and my crew...
Til next year, my new friend, Dennis!