Thursday, July 30, 2015


Last week we spent a morning picnicking by a lake at the arboretum while fending off very persistent ducks that wanted a bite of our Subway sandwiches. Afterward we explored some of the picturesque, flower lined paths. Everything was blooming and very idyllic until I noticed a loud buzzing and realized a bush I was standing next to was crawling with bees. Since I was just stung two weeks ago, I hightailed it out of there with Declan, calling for Ez to follow me. Instead, he falls directly into the bee bush. Joe and I are yelling for him to hurry (while Joe is also snapping pictures), but in true toddler fashion Ez just slowly saunters up the path, completely oblivious to the bees or any hint of urgency we were giving him. Apparently his calmness paid off, because thankfully nobody was stung. 

Aside from the fact that I'm not too fond of wildlife, the rest of the morning was perfect. Lots of gorgeous scenery and Ez was totally in his element collecting rocks and sticks and roaming around all the wide open space.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

1 Month Already??

My cool lil dude is a month old. What?!? I swear, baby time moves way faster than normal time. 

Declan, you are the sweetest little boy. You love all the typical baby stuff that big bro shunned: a pacifier, white noise, your swing. You spend your days snugging on our laps, eating, sleeping in your cradle, or staring inquisitively at your surroundings. You make this parenting job easy. We've spent the past month soaking up your newborn smell, all the snuggles, giggling at your silly expressions, and staring into your inquisitive gray eyes. Our hearts are so full. We love you more than you'll ever know.

A few things we forgot about life with a newborn:
  • If you have a screaming baby in the car, it is guaranteed you will hit every red light. It's one of the lesser known laws of physics.
  • Sleep. Eat. Poop. Repeat. Our life revolves around this cycle.
  • Newborn clothes only fit for three weeks. And chances are you won't even get dressed for the first week. Save your money for bigger clothes (or diapers!).
  • Your heart will grow a million times bigger in an instant. From my love for Declan, to my love of Joe as a second time father, to my love of Ez in his big brother role, my heart is just so, so full.

Since the blog posts have been a little scarce around here, I decided to make up for it with an overload of Declan cuteness. It is his one month birthday, after all ;)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Christmas in July

I don't know if you've noticed this, but summer is seriously lacking in holidays. Especially of the present-giving variety. Thankfully Courtney, Elizabeth, Jamie, and Amanda took care of that with a Christmas in July blogger gift exchange. The more Christmases, the better! 

Ally over at Even Miracles Take a Little Time and her adorable daughter Lia put together the sweetest box full of fun gifts for Ez, and even included a little something for Declan. Talk about spoiling us! Ever since his birthday, Ez has really gotten the hang of present-opening. In fact, he's a little overzealous and assumes anything in a bag or box is a present for him. All our explanations otherwise have so far fallen on deaf ears. But last Thursday was his lucky day, because he got a whole box full of wrapped gifts to open up! Talk about toddler paradise. 

Ally hit all the bases as far as Ez's interests go. There were some construction vehicles, some dinosaurs, some wands, a puzzle, books, vehicle flash cards, and monster truck stickers. Stickers are actually a new obsession over here, so the timing couldn't have been more perfect. We immediately tore into those and got to work sticking them onto a card and peeling them off over and over again. Throughout the day he kept going back to the box and rediscovering something new. Thank you so much Ally, you really made it feel like Christmas over here!

Be sure to head over to the linkup to check out everyone else enjoying their gifts. Merry Christmas in July!

A lil something for baby bro. So sweet!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Hello 32

Traditionally Joe and I like to do a mini getaway for our birthdays, since they're two days apart. This year we were thinking a day trip to Catalina Island would be doable with a newborn, but we realized we'd have to lug a lot of baby equipment on the ferry, and then this happened:

Torrential rain and lightning storms in July! That's not something we typically plan for in LA, so we improvised. Donuts for breakfast. A naptime shopping spree. Nachos. Cake. That pretty much covered my birthday wish list. And, most importantly, I got lots and lots of snuggles from all my boys. 

I'm officially at that stage of life where people ask me what I want for my birthday and I can honestly say I have everything I want. It's a nice stage to be at. Although the shopping spree was fun and kind of necessary, cause postpartum style is tricky.

I came across a few other bloggers who have birthdays within a few days of mine, and they both had really thoughtful posts about the life lessons and wisdom they've gained over the years. It got me thinking about what I've learned in my 32 years. But let's be honest, my brain is postpartum, sleep-deprived mush right now. The only bit of wisdom I can think of right now is: "stock up on coffee" - which is more of a grocery list than profound wisdom (although I still think it's good advice). 

Kate and Stephanie, on the other hand, are both so eloquent and thoughtful and came up with some great life lessons that had me nodding along and wishing I'd known all this a decade ago. Maybe by next year I'll have regained enough brain cells to write my own post (brain cells grow back, right??) But this year, how bout I just send you over to their blogs with a big "ditto!" and "what she said." 

Life Lately

A lot of people have asked how Ez is adjusting to Declan, and for the moment his views on big brotherhood are a mix of emotions. He's curious, affectionate, and every now and then he can be persuaded to share his cars (aka, he lays them gently on Declan's chest for half a minute before he hurriedly takes them back). He has a fascination with touching Declan's face, which isn't Declan's favorite thing in the world, but it could be worse. He's also extremely jealous of all the time Declan spends on mommy's lap, but that was expected. So for a two year old, I think he's handling all these changes like a champ.

Joe has been working from home, so most of our days include lots of couch-time snuggles while we avoid the midday heat. My favorite part of the day. 

We're settling into a nice routine of morning and evening play dates so Ez can run off some energy while Declan naps in the stroller. 

Some of our favorite ways to cool off this summer include splashing in the water table or the hose, pretending to wash mommy's car, froyo dates, the splash pad, and evening walks.

And that pretty much sums up our summer so far. Since I feel somewhat comfortable in our routine, that means it will change again soon. Like tomorrow. Parenthood has a way of always keeping you on your toes ;)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Happy Birthday Joe!

Back when I was heavily pregnant with Declan and sleeping on the couch each night because it was the only place I could get remotely comfortable, I had a really vivid dream that Joe was knocking on the front door. Then, in real life, while I was still half asleep I leapt off the couch and ran to the door to let him in. Except that he wasn't outside at all. He was sitting on a chair in the living room watching me in disbelief and amusement (mostly because I hadn't moved that fast in months) and asking what the heck I was doing. It was so surreal and crazy how vividly I thought he really was knocking on that door. Pregnancy hormones are weird.

So why am I telling you this now, months later? 

Because Joe still makes fun of how I tried to "escape" and says I was all dejected when he prevented me trying to run away. Nowadays, when Ez or Declan (or most likely both of them) are particularly grumpy, he'll say something along the lines of "now I understand why you were trying to run out the door that morning." Or, "If I knew they were gonna act like this, I would've ran out the door with you." It never fails to crack me up. (And I swear, I really wasn't making a run for it!)

But again, why am I telling you all of this??

Because that's the kind of day Joe's birthday was. Times ten

Tag team crying, a lot of divide-and-conquer parenting strategies, and a huge tantrum on the way to dinner that resulted in a mid-route turn around and takeout Indian food. 

In Joe's words, it was the "best worst birthday ever." Worst, for obvious reasons. But still the best because we spent the day together as a family, and all days that we get to spend with these crazy two boys of ours are good days (even if some days are a little better than others).

Every time someone would start crying for the thousandth time I'd tell Joe "Happy Birthday!" and he'd respond with, "happy parenthood!" And he's right, these kinds of days won't be isolated days, there will be many (many, many) more of them throughout this journey of parenthood. I'm so glad that I've not only found the perfect person to share the burdens and responsibilities of parenthood with, but I've found someone that sees those burdens and responsibilities as the blessings they are. Someone who always has just enough patience leftover after a major tantrum or non-stop whining to throw a little humor into the mix and automatically make an annoying situation hilarious instead. And someone that always puts himself in the kids' shoes and sees the world through their eyes. So that when Ez decides to scream bloody murder because he wants to play in the water instead of go out to eat, Joe gets that he's not trying to ruin our evening, he just has his little two year old heart set on playing at his water table. That's not to say we don't get mad or annoyed. We're not saints, obviously. But we try really hard to roll with the punches and look for the good in the day, while laughing at the bad parts. 

So even though we didn't have grand birthday plans to start with, we wound up downgrading to a day at home, cooling off in the backyard while waiting for our Indian food delivery to arrive, followed by the Bachelorette's Men Tell All. Joe deserves the world, and I wish we could've done something more elaborate for him, but I love that he was content as long as we spent the day together. Ez, Declan, and I are so lucky to have him. 

Happy Birthday Joe! We love you and appreciate all you do for us.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Our 1st Family of Four Photo Shoot

We got our photos back from that infamous photo shoot, and you know what? I actually love a lot of them. We took these when Declan was a week old and there's not a single "perfect" family photo. I would've loved some more shots with Ez, but he was having none of it. The only way I managed to get any decent shots of Declan and me was to take a break midway through and go nurse him for half an hour. Oh, and he had a full, stinky diaper in several of those shots. But now we're three weeks into this whole family of four thing and I've accepted that perfection doesn't represent our life right now. The house is messy, the boys wear nothing but diapers most days, and I still haven't figured out how to run errands with these two guys all on my own. There's also a lot of cuteness (and a lot of tears) plus some really sweet awww moments. This is real life. Perfection is overrated. 

I've mostly just included my favorite photos, but at the end are a few where you can really see that Joe and I are exhausted. Shell shocked is probably a better word. These two boys wore us down that day, and it shows. I'm assuming one day Joe and I will look back at this and laugh, so I left them in as a little snapshot of us adjusting to life with two boys.

Are we done yet??