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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Currently...

Making: "sprinkle pie" with Greyson. He had been asking to bake for weeks and we finally donned our aprons and got busy in the kitchen this week.
Cooking: Grant's been traveling a lot lately and since I pretty much just eat after-school specials (grilled cheese and tomato soup, anyone?) and avocado toast when he's gone, on weeks he's home, I've really tried to cook A LOT. I added quite a few new cookbooks to my collection this past Christmas (Chrissy Teigen's Cravings, Julie Turshen's Small Victories, The SkinnyTaste Cookbook, and of course, Delish 2016); this week alone, I've made three new recipes from Delish 2016 - kale and chickpea curry (added some rotisserie chicken to up the protein content - leftovers were seriously restaurant quality!), slow cooker beef tacos and tonight, we're having fish filet with tomatoes, white wine and capers.
Drinking: Trying to drink so much water, but it's so hard for me! The other day, I realized that I had gone the entire day without having a single sip of water (I had a Fresca for lunch) until dinnertime, so I've reinstated my post-surgery rule that I have to have a glass of lemon water every morning before I have my capp and then aim to drink four 22oz bottles of water a day.
Reading: I had been reading Luckiest Girl Alive, but to be honest, I found it terrible and after trying on and off to get into it for the better part of four months, I finally abandoned ship. I never usually do that, but I decided it was pointless reading something I just wasn't enjoying at all, especially when I have such limited time to read for leisure. I downloaded a new book called Sisters One, Two, Three at the beginning of January but haven't really gotten into it yet, again for lack of time. Do I just need to accept that I should be on some sort of reading hiatus while I have three kids under the age of five??
Wanting: new stuff for the kids' rooms (see this week's post about My Loves)...
Looking: At a very green Los Angeles! All of this rain of late has resulted in a good soak to the earth - and the plants couldn't be more thrilled. Our neighbors had basically a front yard full of dying grass and dirt and now all you see is a blanket of green.
Playing: Lots of games in Hayes' speech app. We're making it a priority to practice speech in between sessions and it's making me realize that I could easily be his speech therapist. More on that later...
Eating: Mostly healthy, low-carb food since Grant's on his month long detox diet. But managing to sneak in some pizza and cheesecake on the weekends ;-)
Wishing: that I could freeze time. I'm having major anxiety lately that my babes are growing up and finding myself in a bit of a panic about it all.
Enjoying: Planning our trip to Cabo in March. We just booked a long weekend with some friends and couldn't be more excited to bask in the warm sun for a few days.
Loving: The aforementioned LA rain - nothing better than snuggling on the couch with my boys, watching a movie while it pours outside.
Needing: To start planning Henley's 1st birthday. Poor gal isn't having a party - we're having a big family dinner the day after her birthday and intend to do cake, etc... then, but thinking I need to at least order some decorations or something to make it somewhat special!  
Smelling: Gucci Rush, an old perfume I recently rediscovered - a warm, spicy scent that's perfect for the cold winter.
Feeling: A little nervous about work - lots of changes happening around here and I'm praying I can stay put!
Wearing: My warmest Ted Baker sweater, the most comfortable jeans I've ever owned and boots with thick socks. I sit by a window at work and it is chilly!
Following: Every news article I can about our disaster of a President and feeling sick and helpless about it all.
Reminiscing: About 6 years ago today, when we took ownership of Livonia and 1 year ago today, when we took ownership of Esther. January 26th is an important date in our family!

Monday, January 23, 2017

My Loves: Nursery Edition...

It's been a LONG time since I've done a 'My Loves' post, but here's what I'm currently digging these days...

Greyson finally graduated from crib to big boy bed and when we finally took the damn thing down a few weeks ago, we realized their room was in dire need of some redecorating. Because we'd had the bunk bed and crib in there, none of the furniture was in it's final resting place, meaning we weren't able to hang any artwork and the room felt very unfinished. 

We moved the bunk bed down the wall a little bit so it's now anchoring a corner of the room and in lieu of a chair, which the boys will never use, we've decided to get a kid's desk and rug. 

Here's the rug I just bought today (the picture really doesn't do it justice). The space is kind of awkwardly shaped, so a circular one made the most sense. I liked this one as goes well with the colors of the bedding and looked like it would last for years to come:
Ring Around the Ribbon Blue Round Rug, Land of Nod
As for the desk, I'm stumped. I've looked everywhere to try and find a cute one, but haven't found any that I'm in love with, so if you have any recos, please send them my way!

Boring furniture aside, the fun part about redecorating a room is the artwork, right?

For the boys' room, we have a distressed wood California Republic sign (a HomeGoods find - score!) and a small beach/waves painting that Grant bought me for one of my birthday presents in college. But there's a huge blank white wall that is crying out for something cool to put on it. How cool is this chalkboard map I found at RH?:
USA Chalkboard Map, RH
While I was perusing RH, I of course had to take a look at the more girly stuff as well, for truth be told, Henley's nursery was never quite finished the way I wanted it to be. 

I've been trying to find something to hang above her crib and living in earthquake-prone California, it couldn't be anything that was in a heavy frame with sharp corners. 

I found literally the perfect thing at RH, which marries my need for a soft tapestry-like piece of art with my love for Moroccan wedding blankets:
Moroccan Wedding Blanket Tapestry, RH
It's pricey, so it's definitely an investment (and probably not one Grant is too interested in investing in...) But I could use it in her room (or mine!) for years to come! Absolutely in love with this piece...

I also bought these prints, which I plan on doing something with - just need to mount and frame them. Hoping they'll add a pop of color to the room:
All prints, Ivie Baby
(side note, this etsy shop, which is a favorite of mine, also has the cutest crib sheets. 
They are outrageously priced though, at $65 a pop. 
I seriously need to learn how to sew and start my own damn shop...But I digress.)

Anyways, that's what I'm currently lusting over. Once the kids rooms are finished and we buy a piece of furniture or two more for the front family room, I think we'll finally feel settled in the new house (oh, just a year after we moved in!). And then maybe, just maybe, I'll get around to taking pics of the finished product!


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Isms...

Hayesisms
...a few weeks ago, we were watching a Christmas movie (my childhood favorite actually, One Magic Christmas. Side note, that movie is depressing as all hell!) and Hayes dropped some real gems.
At one point, Mary Steenburgen's character was singing in the shower. The shot showed her from her shoulders up, but the implication was that she was obviously nude. Hayes looks at me and says, "Ew... are they going to show her pagina?!".
The story of Pinocchio has also apparently resonated with him although he's definitely a little confused as to the whole nose-growing thing. At one point, he said to me,
"She looks like a liar, right? Because her nose is so big?". I just about died.
...when we were putting his Christmas list together, he was telling me he wanted basically everything in the Toys R Us catalog. I reminded him that it was important to tell Santa what he wanted most since he only brought a certain amount of presents and some of the stuff Hayes was asking for was quite expensive. He reminded me that all presents from Santa were free. Touche.
...bedtime is an hour-long struggle with the boys. Every. Single. Night. Between the teeth brushing, books, timer, check-ins, water, bandaids, eczema cream, hall lights on, air conditioning on, making their sheets flat... You name it, they think of it. Hayes needs to remind me every time I walk into the room to "Check on us every 1 minute!". Even when he's half asleep and sees me come in, he musters up all of his energy to remind me of the importance of the every minute check-ins.
...he's obsessed with snapchat and is frequently making unauthorized guest posts on my Instagram stories.

Greyisms
...the other day, we were in a bathroom stall together. He did his business and while he was waiting for me to do mine, he reminded me that I didn't have a penis. I said, that's right, girls don't have penises. He said, "Ya, you just have a butt."
(side note, one of our friend's kids calls her number one no no place a front butt and I laugh every time)
...he has been on one lately - there is a full blown threenager living in our home and sometimes it takes every ounce of my being not to throttle him. The words "Do I look like I'm laughing?" come out of Grant and my mouths more than we care to admit. But it is really hard to stay mad at Greyson when his response to that question is always, "No, you're not laughing. But I am."
...this is kind of a sad ism, but he says it so effortlessly and matter of factly now that I just can't help but laugh. Any time I tell him I love him, he stoically responds, "I don't love you."
...he'll only let me kiss him at night before he goes to bed. If I try to kiss him any other time of day, he says, "nah ah ah, only at bedtime!". I guess I'll take what I can get!
...he literally asked me to put cream on his butt the other night, just to prolong bedtime.

Henleyisms
...her favorite book is this Peekaboo Baby Faces book she got for Christmas. She smiles as soon as she sees it and can't wait to read it before bed every night.
The last page has a mirror on it for the baby to look at herself and everytime we life that flap, she dives into the book to give herself a wet, slobbery kiss.
...my favorite part of the day with her is first thing in the morning when I go into her room to get her. She puts her head on my shoulder and we have a little morning snuggle in the chair in her room. She's such a squirmy worm now that it's one of the rare times during the day she'll happily sit in my arms and I'm trying to soak in every moment.
...our nanny, Colisha, says she's heard her say the words 'light' and 'cat' - I'm not so sure about that, but I swear she asked for her "ba-ba" (bottle) on two different occasions yesterday. And although I keep telling myself it's just a sound she's perfected, I'm pretty sure she's also saying 'dad' (and knows who Dad is - wtf!)
...when she gets super excited, she sneers at you. Full on crinkle nose, air blowing in and out aggressive sneer.
...girlfriend knows how to bust a move.


Monday, January 9, 2017

Christmas Break 2016

We had such a nice couple of weeks off and although I was sad to have to come back to work, I had a couple of moments on my last day home solo with the three munchkins that reassured me that it was time for some normalcy to resume in our lives ;-)
The boys both had long breaks - Greyson had 2.5 weeks and Hayes had 3 and we were able to squeeze in a lot of stuff to do, while also feel as though we had plenty of lazy time to relax as well. I haven't missed the madness of the brutally early kindergarten routine one bit and part of me wishes Hayes could stay on break forever... or at least go to a school that has a respectable start time!
Reading The Grinch, a classic...
What was nice about this break was that our nanny, Colisha continued working the whole way through, so I was able to do fun things with the boys and not have to adhere to Henley's napping schedule, or be one on three, which is never a good idea!
Trip to the LA Zoo - giraffes seemed to be the biggest draw and we lucked out and were able to feed them as well!

We packed in quite a bit over the holidays, with a trip to Santa's Village in Lake Arrowhead, Scottsdale to visit Nana and Papa for Christmas, Aquariums, Zoos, movies (if you're looking for a good kid movie, go see SING!, it's awesome), Hanukkah, family dinners and a boys sleepover at Nini and Pa's.
When we booked our tickets to Santa's Village, this magical sounding Christmas-themed amusement park in one of our favorite places, Lake Arrowhead, it didn't even dawn on us that a) sleeping in one hotel room together would mean we would ALL (including our 10 month old baby who goes to sleep at 7p) be sleeping in the same quarters and b) to check the weather in the mountains because oh, it's a little thing called December and the likelihood of encountering rain and snow (or both!) would be quite high.
Well, lesson learned the hard way - boy oh boy was it cold and rainy, but nonrefundable tickets meant we were going goddammit! We hit refresh on accu-weather every hour on the days leading up to our adventure and since it looked like the rain would be subsiding in the late afternoon, we lunched and hung around the hotel (which is an amazing place to go during Christmas, for future reference!) and headed over to Santa's Village around 3.
We lunched at one of my favorite Arrowhead spots, the cozy Cedar Glen Inn...
The boys enjoying hot chocolate at the hotel before we braved the cold at Santa's Village...

The place was... interesting. I think if weather was nicer and it didn't cost an arm and a leg to go there, it would have been a really cute place. They had a little theater, a train ride, a place where the kids could write and send a letter to Santa and make an ornament, and lots of little bakeries and coffee shops where you could buy treats (we had one of the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever had, so that was a bonus!) and of course, a place to visit with the old man in red. There was also a skating rink, which the boys and I were eager to experience; unfortunately, by that time, it was REALLY cold and rainy and we had a very unhappy baby so it was a quick trip around the rink for both boys, while clutching onto me for dear life, then we had to call it a day. 
"A firetruck that shoots water and a drone." Hayes x'd out the rest of the page because "those were the only things he wanted." That kid kills me.
Oh and said drone broke on Christmas Day (Amazon fail!), but fear not, it new replacement is on the way!
Mailing his letter to Santa...
The biggest lollipop you ever did see...
And, thanks to Grant creating a makeshift bedroom for the baby in the bathroom closet, 5 people sleeping in one room was tolerable (dare I say, it was actually kind of fun?!) and when we look back on the trip, it's what I remember most fondly. A cranky baby who had skipped both naps meant Grant had to dine solo with the boys (a glass votive on the table may or may not have been broken - yep, that kind of dinner) while I stayed in the room with Henley and ate french onion soup out of a plastic container, but I will say that my glass of pinot that evening was one of the best I've ever had and it sure felt nice and cozy - in a good way - sleeping with the whole fam.

Anyways, don't think we'll be going to Santa's Village again, but I would definitely return to Lake Arrowhead at Christmastime... And maybe, just maybe, one day we'll finally buy our second home there that we've been lusting over, as the trip in December reminded us just how much we love that darn place.

I won't go into detail on every aspect of our break, instead choosing to let the pictures speak for themselves, but it really was such a nice couple of weeks off and I returned to work feeling refreshed and ready to take on 2017 ;-)
"The Real" Santa Claus stopped by on Christmas Eve...


Signing our letter to Santa... Hayes wrote all of the sight words in this years' note himself! 
Grant putting together his traditional Jewish Christmas morning spread...
Finding Nemo at the OdySea Aquarium...
SHARKS!
Monkeys at the LA Zoo...
Slithering like a snake...
Hayes was super into feeding the giraffes...
Grey Grey was a little more apprehensive...
Hanukkah Dinner with the Cohens...
We rang in the new year at home with friends and family... and the most Insta-worthy cheese and meat board.
Hope your 2017 is off to a good start!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Resolutions...

The end of holidays leave me sad, but the new year signifies a fresh start, in a way and I'm always excited to begin January with some resolutions under my belt.

I've found in years past that writing my resolutions down actually helps me to keep them, so here goes...

- drink more water, always.
Getting another kidney stone this year was a major wake up call that I need to take this more seriously and even just 3 months post-surgery, I can already see myself slipping back into my old ways. I need to really make a conscious effort to keep sipping the H2O all day long, even when I'm home with the kids (I find it much easier to remember to drink when I'm at work for some reason).

- be more decisive - and embrace change.
We had to make a couple of pretty large decisions this year when it came to childcare and I suffered some serious internal struggles with whether or not the decisions we were making were the right ones. Part of the reason was because I'm so afraid of change - often, even when I know in my heart of hearts what the right decision is, I have a hard time convincing myself that's the case because if it were up to me, I'd keep everything just the way it is forever and ever. But I know life, especially with three children, will be filled with decision after decision and I need to make an effort to stick to my gut, trust myself a bit more and recognize that sometimes change is a good thing.

- spend some time focusing on myself...
Life is crazy hectic - and always will be. But I need to remember to put myself first sometimes - get that manicure, go to that Cardio Barre class, indulge in a solo matinee one weekend afternoon.
If I'm happy, I feel like everyone will be happier.
- and also focus on my grown-up relationship.
It's sometimes hard to remember that before we were a party of five, it was just Grant and me. Relationships fall into the mundane routines of daily life and we've learned that you really need to make an effort to continue to enjoy your spouse's company or you could quickly fall into the roommate zone. We're going to try and do more things together as a couple, whether it's watching a new series on Netflix, going on a day date to go wine tasting, or changing up our typical Friday night dinner + falling asleep on the couch and playing a game of Scrabble instead.

- be more patient.
No explanation necessary. 

- watch more TV.
I know, this one sounds weird, but hear me out. After the day is done and the kids are finally in bed, I'm often too tired to even watch a 30 minute sitcom on TV, so I feel like we're constantly missing out on these great shows everyone is raving about. Thanks to Netflix, we literally have every show we'd ever want to watch at our fingertips and I intend to start taking advantage of that.

- have more quality experiences with the kiddos.
I've been in a panic lately about how fast the years are passing and I want to make an effort to make sure we're having quality experiences together while they're still at the age where they want to hang out with us! It's okay to skip a nap once in awhile to spend an afternoon at the zoo, or let them stay up late to watch a movie as a family. The bigger experiences are what stand out among the million little moments and I don't want to look back on these years and wished we'd done something differently.

- and finally, disconnect every once in awhile.
I am a sucker for documenting every moment, which is good because it means I can revisit it over and over again, but bad because I'm often too distracted to enjoy what it is I'm documenting in the first place. The first thing I do in the morning is check my email on my phone, followed by Instagram and Facebook. And while it's unrealistic to expect that to change all that much (it is 2017, after all), I don't really need to have my phone attached to my hand 24/7 and I'm going to make an effort to put it down and enjoy the physical company of those whom I'm with a bit more.
(And that, by the way, is a resolution I plan on implementing for the whole family!) 

So those are my resolutions for 2017. Grant, who is notorious for NOT making resolutions actually had one this year. In his words, it's to "start my days like a beast, be more efficient and get a lot done." He began 2017 by cleaning the entire house (we had people over last night), including the sink full of hand washing he was planning on leaving for me so if that's what he means by starting his days like a beast, I am all for that! 

I explained what resolutions were to Hayes and Greyson yesterday and asked them what they wanted to do to make themselves better in the new year.

Hayes said he wants to work on his writing. Greyson said "the same what Hayzey did". ;-)

Hope your new year is off to a fabulous start and here's to a great 2017!