Thanksgiving Weekend Report

This long holiday weekend was just amazing.

 Joel's parents got into town on Wednesday afternoon. It was the first time they had met Leo, so it made their visit extra special - and they were just enamored with him. 
They also couldn't get over what a "mini-Joel" he was. 

Can I tell you how nice it is to have Grandparents at your house to help. They stayed in our guest room/nursery, and while I was worried that we all may be too cramped, it was actually amazing. I felt like I was on vacation having them here! 

Wednesday night we ordered in thai food, prepped a few Thanksgiving dishes, and just hung around catching up.

Thanksgiving morning Joel and I have a tradition of running a turkey trot, and I was so proud of us that we made it happen this year too. 


I think I was rewarded for my 5k efforts, because as I was waiting for the race to start, the Affleck family showed up next to me. Ben and Jen were there together (with one nanny per kid) which made for a pretty solid sighting. And if you're interested, Ben does not seem like a very friendly guy and Jen seems adorable. 

 The race goes through the Pacific Palisades and is absolutely beautiful.

I ran pretty well, just stopped at the hills (and beat Ben and Jen)- and Joel polished the race off and was the 7th overall finisher. 

We stopped for coffee and bagels on our way home, and then after showers got to Thanksgiving prepping! 


We started the day off with my Holiday Crack Dip and shrimp cocktails and lots and lots of champagne and baby cuddles! 

We served dinner around 6, and in typical holiday with a newborn fashion, Joel wore the Solly wrap all through dinner.

All of our dishes turned out amazing, and even though we only had 4 eaters, we made enough to feed an army so that we would have leftovers for the week. 


After a great dinner, we stayed up way too late playing Trivial Pursuit and eating my favorite pecan pie. It was an amazing Thanksgiving - and even more special with my sweet little turkey. 

Friday morning we decided to try and work off all of our indulgences and went for Leo's first hike. It's been really cold in LA in the mornings, so we stuffed him into a little bear suit and made our way to Westridge Canyon. 

We timed it over a morning nap, so he pretty much slept the entire hour that we were hiking. We had breakfast at Coral Tree Cafe before heading home and just hanging out for the rest of the day. 

That "night" (around 4), Joel and I took advantage of our free babysitters and snuck away for our first date since the baby was born. 

We've been wanting to try Ester's in Santa Monica since I was pregnant, and it did not disappoint as a perfect spot to indulge in drinks, cheese, and (somewhat) baby free conversations. 

We had a great bottle of wine and it just felt so good to be out and about. We were home by 7:30 to give Leo and bath and put him to bed - but it was still such a fun break. 

Saturday, Joel's brother Andrew came up from San Diego to hang with us, and we spent all day just lounging and watching football.

When Andrew left, we ordered pizza and played another few rounds of Trivial Pursuit and stayed up way too late for a baby who still wakes up at 3am and 6am! 

Before Joel's parents left on Sunday, we made it back to Church for the second time and Leo did great. 

Joel's parents left early that afternoon, and we were all so sad to see them go. It was so nice having them here and we will all miss them terribly until our next visit. 

And now, it's officially time to get back to reality...



Five on Friday

::: 1 :::
We put up our Christmas decorations last weekend and this past week I spent a little time put the finishing touches on everything. Every year I like adding a few new decorations to the mix, and I love the ones I added this year. I'm hoping to get a post up with more pictures next week but here's a sneak peek.

::: 2 ::: 
We have use a faker for our Christmas tree and the only thing I miss about a real one is the smell. I spotted these at Target (and then later at Michaels) and they are AMAZING. They're $7.99 and pack a major punch that doesn't smell artificial at all.

::: 3 ::: 
I feel like maybe I shouldn't admit this, but I'm recently obsessed with Justin Bieber. I used to think we was the biggest d-bag EVER - but man, oh man, has he made a comeback for me. His new songs, are like, so good and these videos won me over. Have you seen them? This one and this one are just hysterical.

::: 4 :::  
 This is the ABSOLUTE best rose champagne EVER. It's bubbly, refreshing, not too sweet....just perfect. If you're in California, they sell it in for $18-20 dollars are bottle at Bristol Farms or K&L. If you do find it, buy two bottles.
Allimant Laugner Cremant d'Alsace Rosé

::: 5 :::
And most importantly, it's my mom's birthday this weekend. I wish we could be there to celebrate with her, but the best thing about her birthday is that it marks the 2 week countdown of when she and my dad come out to LA to spend December and January with us! 
Have the best holiday weekend! 

"The most important thing is to enjoy your life-to be happy- it's all that matters" - Audrey Hepburn


Thankful doesn't even cut it

I love Thanksgiving and the focus it brings on the magnitude of blessings we have in life. I can truly say that without out a doubt, I've never been more thankful and grateful than I am this year, and I plan on spending the rest of my life making sure he knows it. 


The First Two Months [of New Mom Life]

I blinked and somehow we're already two months into life with Leo. 

We've come a long way since the first two weeks and I really wanted to get my thoughts on paper (err....well, here) before I blink again and forget them all. 

He is such a good baby....and I'll get all of his really adorable traits written down on his two month post...but I think we truly hit the jackpot with this guy. He's easy to please and goes with the flow. It's nice now too, I started to learn how to read (for the most part) what he needs, and I try to stay ahead of that as much as possible. We are following Moms on Call and it's worked really well for us. This week we are transitioning to the 8-16 week schedule which is throwing us a little off, but I'm hoping in a week or so we'll be back in a great groove. 

The first month for me was hard. Not so much physically, but mentally and emotionally I struggled. On top of just normal, yet out of control hormone swings, I had a really hard time coping with my anxiety. For weeks I lived in this scary, terrified place that was all encompassing. My anxiety buzzed through my body at all hours of the day. I hid it well, and tried to do things that helped; walks, getting out of the house, socializing, but the fear was still there - and it was overwhelming.

At my six week appointment, I was open with my doctor and we talked about ways to manage my anxiety, and since then....along with the passing of time and getting more familiar with life as a new mom....things have been so, so, so much better. 

Breastfeeding, again - after the first two weeks (p.s. are they that hard for everyone??) - has been mostly very enjoyable. Lately, Leo eats every 2-3 hours, and takes his last feeding as a bottle (4 to 4.5oz) that Joel gives him around 8:15/8:30. While Joel is giving him a bottle, I pump to stay on schedule with him, and a few times a week I will pump during his morning nap to try and build our freezer supply.
Leo has been a good sleeper from the get go. In the beginning, he would give us 4 hour stretches at night pretty typically, but over the last few weeks we've made our way to almost 7 hour stretches. After he falls asleep at 9, he seems to be down until 3-4am, and then gets back up between 6:30-7:30. No two days are exactly alike, but I don't think I can complain about lack of sleep compared to some. During the day, Leo gets two long 2-hour naps, and then a few catnaps here and there too. 

I sure have a new dumbfounded appreciation of anyone who raises a child alone. I honestly do not know how they do it, and know with certainty that I would crumble without Joel. I don't really like to even say that he is "such a big help', because he isn't "helping" me raise our child. He is just as invested as I am, and truly goes out of his way to make sure that we're both getting breaks and time to do what we need to do without the baby. Not only has he proven himself to be the most amazing dad, he has stepped up as a husband too. I needed Joel more in the last 2 months than I ever had and he's been there for me, and molded to what my ever changing needs every step of the way. We've had plenty of low points where moods and exhaustion and fear made us lash out at each other, but overall,  we have emerged the first two months as better friends, spouses, and parents all the way around.


I'm really enjoying not being pregnant, but when I do have another baby, I hope that I can read this post during the first two weeks and have this serve as a reminder that it will get better, a lot better, and such great joy lies ahead. 


Weekend Report

We stayed close to the home front this weekend, but for a weekend that we didn't do anything all that special - it actually was a fantastic weekend for the three of us.

cozy. warm. spicy notes.:

With each passing day, we are getting the swing of things more and more and it's been nice, and fun, to just enjoy it. 


Both Saturday and Sunday we were like a mega tag-team of productivity. As soon as the babe got up and fed, I snuck out for a 2.5 mile run. On my way out, Joel had put Leo in the ergo and was tidying up....All of this before 8am.

And, I'm no where near back into the swing of running, but it feels so good to blast my Pandora music and just zone out. 

  During Leo's nap time that afternoon, Joel snuck out for a quick run and then once he was back home, I ran out to get a much needed mani/pedi. 

That afternoon we decided to bring out all of the Christmas stuff. I still have a few Thanksgiving pieces out, but I'm not regretting putting up the tree a little early.  

We had fun showing Leo some of our favorite ornaments and it honestly just made me giddy to have him here with us for the holiday season. He's obviously just a little guy but I have a feeling we are really going to try and make everything that much more special for him. 

We had planned to go out to dinner Saturday night, but by 6pm we were so freaking exhausted we scrapped that idea and ordered in sushi. 

Leo must have known that his parents were exhausted because after we put him down around 9:15, he slept until almost 4am! A record for him for sure, and it was glorious! 

Sunday morning we walked about to Coffee Bean to plan out our Thanksgiving menu!

Joel's parents are coming into town to spend Thankgiving with us and meet Leo. It will only be the 5 of us on Thanksgiving, but we're going all out anyways. 

That afternoon I spent 3 hours and 2 cups of coffee later and chugged out our Christmas cards. I'm doing a dual Christmas card/birth announcement so I want them out in early December and knew I just needed them done. I'm waiting for my stamps to arrive and hopefully they'll be in the mail a week from today.

We made chili for dinner and just vegged out on the couch after a productive, family filled weekend that left us feeling restored and happy....the best kind of weekends, especially before the holiday week.

I was terrified when I was told I would be laid off from a job that I love. And now, I'm so excited to be starting something new and better suited to me.: