Declan's birthday party was at Grandma's house on Sunday, the day after his birthday. Lot of friends and family showed up to shower him with love, attention, and gifts. In true procrastinator's fashion, we put the guests to work decorating and setting out food as soon as they got there. My mom grilled lots of food, there were margaritas for the adults, and the kids swiped as many sugar cookies as they could get their hands on (I'm looking at you, Ez). It was a very low fuss day and Declan seemed to go back and forth between loving being the center of attention and hating it. One thing he did not waver on was his disdain for cake. He smashed his hands right into the frosting, took one lick, and promptly started screaming and gagging. It was a complete 180 from Ez's cake smash, when I turned around to get some paper towels, turned back, and the cake was gone and Ez was licking his lips and smiling. After the disappointing cake smash, we let Declan loose on his mountain of presents, which he preferred climbing to opening. He was so spoiled with so many great toys and clothes, A big thank you to everyone that came out, helped out, and made his day so special. And an even bigger thank you to Gangy who went above and beyond making sure his day was just right. We love you!
Thursday, June 30, 2016
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
We celebrated Declan's actual birthday in a pretty low key way. We tried to feed him various birthday treats, which he vehemently rejected. We chased him around the way too hot playground. We tried to give him his present, which he had no interest in opening. There was a Target trip where he got to pick out a new vtech car. And I spent lots of time frosting cookies. (The same ones he promptly smashed into the grass). That's the nice thing about first birthdays, the expectations are nonexistent and it doesn't take much planning or money to make it a great day. Don't worry though, Declan did get a proper celebration the next day, but I'll save all those photos for a different post. For now, here's a few pictures of our newly one year old, as well as a fun little wishlist for anyone shopping for a first birthday present ;)
Saturday, June 25, 2016
I'm sitting here on the eve of your first birthday thinking back to one year ago when I was alone in the living room watching Law & Order reruns while your brother and daddy slept, reading birth stories on my phone, and wondering if tonight would be the night you made your appearance. I finally fell asleep around 1am only to be awoken three hours later with a contraction that I just knew it was the real deal. What I didn't know was just what a hurry you were in to be born. With your brother I really had to labor hard just to get him to leave my comfy belly and join us in the real world, but you were exactly the opposite. There was no keeping you inside, and trust me, several nurses tried. You were gonna do things on your own time in your own way and everyone else better get on board or get out of your way. I remember holding you in my arms afterwards and looking at your serious, sleepy little face and wondering if that labor and your birth would be indicative of your personality. Now, one year later, I can say wholeheartedly YES, that is you to a T.
You are headstrong and determined. You see an obstacle and your eyes light up because you have to overcome it. You don't require an audience or applause or any prodding, you just get a personal satisfaction from overcoming every obstacle you see whether anyone else notices or not. (But don't worry, mommy always notices and mommy's always cheering you on.) Just today we went to the playground but everything was too hot to touch. Did you give up and walk away? No. You touched the stairs from several different angles just to make sure it really was unpleasantly hot. Then you touched the railing and decided that was ok to touch. And then you taught yourself how to walk up the stairs using the handrail instead of crawling up like you normally do. You never once cried for us to help you or thought about giving up. You were going to make it to the top of that playground, the only question was how.
You are playful and serious, loud, but also quietly calculating and scheming, you're sweet and stubborn, you love to follow your brother around but deep down you're a leader. You are so intelligent. Too intelligent. I think the phrase "curiosity killed the cat" was coined specifically for you. Everyday you make me laugh with your funny little facial expressions, the way you snort like a bull when you're frustrated, or do a long, wound up fake cry to make your point. You love to joke around with us and you're always the first to laugh at anything daddy says. You understand so much but you choose to listen only half the time. We know it's a calculated choice and not ignorance because you give us a pointed look that says I know you want me to stop but I'm not gonna. You keep us all on our toes and if there is an escape route open or a child proof lock that isn't fastened correctly you instinctively know it and head straight there.
Everyday I marvel at the world as you see it and I feel so proud and blessed that I'm on this journey with you. One year is short but at the same time it feels like you've always been a part of our family. I am so excited to see what the future has in store for you. Or, perhaps more accurately, what you have in store for the future. Your daddy, brother, and I love you more than you'll ever know. Happy birthday sweet boy.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Our Father's Day weekend kicked off with an attempt at family photos. Trying to wrangle Declan, who wanted to sprint out the door into the mall every .2 seconds, and Ez, who was bursting into tears and throwing himself on the floor like a melodramatic teenage girl every five minutes or so was probably the most exhausting physical and mental workout I've done in a long while. The above picture is the only one we got of the two of them looking in the same general direction. I'm pretty sure our photographer was ready to quit on the spot and we may or may not have ripped part of their set. Whoops. Turns out Ez had a fever and both of them took nice long naps afterwards and woke up in much better moods.
Grandma Kat came to visit for the weekend and she and Joe took the boys to explore Stanford on Saturday while I went to Baconfest for my cousin's birthday. I don't eat bacon, and literally everything was baconified, so I stuck with beer and a green salad (minus the bacon). Yes, I was that person. We did catch a glimpse of Guy Fieri (from Food Network) which was pretty cool, and catching up with my cousin is always lots of fun.
Afterward I went to try on wedding dresses with my mom. I tried on about eight dresses and had it narrowed down to two that I loved. Eventually I chose the one that looked best on me in the photos. Turns out that was the very last day I could order it while still leaving the required six weeks for alterations. And it's due to arrive on my birthday, which I'm taking as a good sign.
As soon as the boys woke up on Sunday they gave daddy his presents and showed him his video (which Ez requests to watch daily) and then we played some Mario Kart before heading out for brunch. Ez loves running around the couch pretending he's part of the race while we play, then shouting "I won! I won!" when it's over. For brunch we wound up at a Turkish cafe which had the most delicious bread. Then we wandered around Mountain View wearing the boys out so that they'd take nice long naps. We capped off the day with L & L Hawaiian food and more Mario Kart. All in all a yummy and relaxing day.
Hope you all had a great weekend spoiling the dads in your life!
Monday, June 20, 2016
Happy 1st day of Summer!!
Summer gets me excited for a few reasons: long days, water activities, ice cream, and mine, Joe, and now Declan's birthdays. The downside is the heat, which makes me want to camp out in front of the a/c from 11-5. Supposedly last year was uncharacteristically hot for the bay area, so fingers crossed we get a more mild Summer this year. Either way, we've got lots of exciting things planned. In less than a week my babiest baby is going to be one whole year old! In so many ways Declan seems like he's already older than one, but he's also my baby and it's crazy to wrap my head around the fact that it's been a full year since I first held him in my arms. I still remember waking up with labor pains like it was yesterday. But I'll save all this sentimentality for its own post. The other exciting thing we've got planned for the end of summer is our wedding. Lots of progress has been made in the past few days, and as I was trying on dresses and the sales lady was telling me that many people book all their vendors a full year in advance, and a lot of dresses would take four months just to order, not including alterations which take another six weeks, I suddenly had a mini panic attack and realized just how close the big day is. Then I got on the phone bright and early this morning and booked everything up. Whew. Since we're beginning and ending the summer with these big events, I'm aiming to keep the rest of our summer goals pretty simple and lazy, just the way summer should be.
What's on your agenda this summer? Any big family vacations in the works?
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Happy Father's Day to the #1 tickle monster, best dance partner, comfiest pillow, funnest mountain to climb, king of shoulder time, best friend, playmate, and our overall hero. Thank you for all the hard work you do, all the memories we've made, for always taking care of us, for your endless energy for games of tag, shooting hoops, running around the playground, and all while carrying at least one baby in your arms. You know you're doing fatherhood right when you get tackled by two toddlers as soon as you walk through the door in the evenings. We love you!
A little look back:1st Father's Day
2nd Father's Day
3rd Father's Day
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
On our last day at Disney we stayed just long enough for a post birthday brunch with all our favorite characters followed by a long drive home.
Brunch was at the Paradise Pier hotel and Ez was so excited to greet the characters as they came by the table. It was a total 180 from last year when he wanted nothing to do with them. He even shyly shared his brand new monster truck with Mickey, an honor that Declan rarely (i.e.- never) gets.
Declan, on the other hand, was ready to fight every character that came his way. I'm pretty sure he threw some punches at Stitch. The only way we got any cute pictures of him with Minnie and Stitch was that they snuck up behind him and he was smiling at himself in the camera for a few shots before he noticed them.
Stitch definitely went above and beyond all the other characters. Not only did he lead a dance party, but he got down on the ground to play cars with Ez and he even helped Ez blow out his birthday candle. Then he tried to steal the cupcake. Can't say I blame him.
After filling up on chilaquiles and waffles we hit the road, with Ez in our car and Declan with the grandparents. Both Ez and Declan did surprisingly well for being crammed in their car seats for 6+ hours. Ez still thinks we're going back to Disneyland about half the time we get in the car, and explaining that we're actually going somewhere far less exciting, like Target, has led to a few meltdowns. I'll just take that as a sign that it was a perfect and completely memorable birthday week for him. Now that I'm officially done recapping our trip, I think it's about time to plan the next one ;)
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
"And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” - The Great Gatsby
We'll just ignore that there's still a week left of Spring because it sure feels like Summer to me. The a/c is running, we took a dip in my sister's brand new pool, Declan devoured his first popsicle, we've been on several hikes, and my handy little helpers have been helping me tame our garden, which is a pleasant term to use for our jungle of weeds. This is the best part of Summer when the days are long, the nights are cool-ish, and it's not so unbearably hot that we can't venture outdoors during the afternoon.
Summertime just begs for exploring and adventures, and we've covered a lot of ground in recent weeks, spending as much family time outdoors as possible. We visited Stanford where Ez and Declan found a fountain to splash in, drove across the Golden Gate Bridge and ate an al fresco lunch overlooking Sausalito's bay, and we even spent an afternoon rowing around the lake at Golden Gate Park. Ez loved being on the boat, helping us row and pointing out all the turtles, but Declan was not at all impressed with the experience. He alternated between stony faced indifference to flat out whining. You lead a rough life, kid.
Mixed in with all this fun we've had round after round of sickness going around the house. Ez has gotten the worst of it, starting with a fever, then swimmer's eye, then a fever again, then a cough, then a stomach thing. He's handling it like a champ, and still his usual energetic self for the most part, but I'm hoping this is the week we turn a corner and he's completely healthy again.
So there you have it, a completely random, catchup post filled with lots and lots of pictures. I have a feeling there will be quite a few of these this Summer because as soon as the weather turns warm blogging turns into an afterthought for me.
Hope you're all enjoying the warm weather as well!