My little family!

My little family!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Benjamin is 11 months!









11 month stats:
Weight: 27 pounds. I am not kidding.
Height: I'd guess roughly 32 inches?
Eating: Lots. Everything. He still gets about 4 bottles a day. Will be switching to organic whole milk soon.
Clothes: 18 month, 18-24 month and yes.. even 2T. Catching up to your sister ;)
Diaper: Size 5 (since the age of 3 months, lol)  

My gorgeous brown-eyed boy....

11 months. SO quick and yet... I can't remember what life was like before you? Or maybe I just don't want to. You fill me with such happiness and love. I am forever kissing your sweet face and giggling along with you. You love to climb in my lap and gently rest your head while sucking your thumb. It's so sweet and innocent.

Your so big -- it's so cute. Your hands and feet are giant - your still chubby but you're continuing to slim down the more you move. And move you do, constantly!! You are very fast and always on the go -- you are amazingly quick when you crawl and you're so good at standing & cruising on furniture. I think you'll be walking soon -- any day, in fact. You have no fear and will try anything so one day, I know you'll take your steps and soon after you'll be running around with Layla.
You have lots of cute tricks -- you are really good at "SO BIG!" and waving bye-bye. You love to yell and scream (LOUD!) and love to laugh and fake laugh. You use anything & everything as a push toy. You love to play with Brian, your favorite stuffed animal. You like when we make castles with blocks so you can knock them down. Your favorite toy is a ball - you can have a catch for a long time. You love the stroller and to take long walks, especially outside. It's a good thing we're in Florida for a while - we've been taking daily walks and you just sit and stare at the birds & trees. You love to point to the sky when we mention there is an airplane!

Your not very into the TV (except for Jacks Big Music Show) -- so opposite of your sister. You LOVE music and always dance if something comes on. So cute!!!

You are a master sleeper. I'm SO proud of you -- I was worried you'd have trouble since we're in Florida for a while, but you've adjusted beautifully!!! You sleep every night roughly 6:30-6:30 (waking earlier here but staying in your crib until 6:30) -- you nap twice a day, 1-2 hours each. I'm so lucky you've turned into a great sleeper!!! Right now, we're using Tylenol because you have your 4th ear infection (had to go to the Florida doctor yesterday) -- poor little thing. But you're a champ!!
You are getting very good at talking!! You say Yeh, Hi, Mama, Dada, Layla, Dog, Cat & Ball.
You're a great eater and will pretty much eat anything we have... I hope this continues!!! Your sister was also a great eater around this time and now she's so picky! Hopefully you'll continue to try new foods and enjoy them all. You don't love fruit (but you love your fruit pouches) -- I think it's a little sour for your taste? You love sweet things and I'm excited to see you eat your first piece of cake at your birthday party!!!
We have been in Florida since the 16th and we're here until the 30th.. so great to spend so much time with your family. This is your 5th trip to Florida, pretty crazy!!! Mama & Dada went to Jamaica last week -- it was the first time we were away from you and we missed you SO much. You did great while we were away and when we got back, your eyes lit up and you SCREAMED in delight!! So sweet and loving. My little boy.
We stopped nursing about 4 weeks ago. The last time was a Sunday morning - it was early and everyone else continue to sleep. You played with my cheeks and brushed my face and it was so gentle and sweet. I really miss nursing you and wish we could have continued -- I loved nursing you so much and will cherish those moments.

We sent the invitations on Monday -- I can't wait for everyone to get them!! We are having a big mustache bash -- it's a music class party and it will be so much fun. We can't wait to celebrate you!!!

We love you so much sweet boy. I'm sorry this entry is so late -- please know how special and amazing you are. I can't believe you will be turning ONE so soon!!!!! We have lots to celebrate and do -- your birthday, your party and then... DISNEY WORLD!!!

Love you Benny Boy,
Mama

Monday, December 9, 2013

Beauty.

Happy Monday, ya'll!

With the temperatures below freezing and the snow covering everything in sight, it felt only right to cozy up in the corner of my sofa and write a bit.

We had a lovely weekend despite the frigid air. We made our way to Sesame Place on Saturday -- after much confusion (we got there at 11:15 AM and realized the park doesn't open until 1:00 PM... ah!), we were able to squeeze in the last reservation for the lunch with the characters. It was perfect, per usual - Layla loved seeing everyone from Elmo to Telly, even Santa! Benny was completely indifferent - he stared at the characters but didn't smile or cry. Just looked and went back to eating. The kid is amazing.

Yesterday was filled with snow so we spent the day at the gym, followed by playing, napping, eating, playing, outside time and more.

Now it's a new week and I thought it would be fun to change it up a bit -- my beauty regimen.

I always see these on blogs and take notes of new or cool products.

Recently, I've decided to (drastically) change the products I use on both myself and my babies. I'm trying to stay away from chemicals and use lines that are way more organic and body friendly. This isn't easy but I'm heading towards a good routine. It all started after having a fabulous facial & massage at a local spa thanks to Livingsocial -- it's called Eden Organics and I'm completely hooked.

I told the woman doing my facial that I've had horrible skin since 7th grade and pregnancy/nursing hasn't helped. Combined with my current Mirena, my skin is breaking out circa 1995. So she reminded me it's important to use good products that aren't filled with bad chemicals. I also recently discovered Arbonne after my friend Shannon started selling it. It's a great line that is organically made and really good.

Ok, so moving on. My routine. If you have any products you love, please let me know -- I'm learning (at the ripe age of 30) how important skin care is.

Andalou Naturals Meyer Lemon Creamy Cleanser is my new (and very nice) face wash. I use it every night. It's soft, smells great and is really good for your skin full of natural products.

Two to three times a week, I use Earth Pure Organics Ultimate Pore Refining Exfoliating Cleanser. This makes me skin feel incredibly soft and I love it. It can be drying (so I'm told) so I limit the use.

Every morning (and most nights if I remember) I use Earth Pure Organics Sheer Essential Moisture. I was never a nighttime lotion user and I'm learning this was a big mistake!

I currently use Clean & Clear spot acne treatment but I'm searching for an organic spot treatment.

I just got two new eye products from Arbonne - I can't review them because I've literally used them twice but I like them a lot and can't wait to see results!! I'm using the RE9 Advanced Corrective Eye Cream at night and the Calm Soothing Eye Gel in the morning.


...so that's that!!! I'm going to switch my make-up too but I'm slowly going to get there. These products aren't cheap but a little goes a long way and I'm happy to take care of myself. I'm also switching the kids shampoos, body wash and diaper creams to more natural.

So.. any products you can share that you love??

(I wasn't paid or asked to write this - all opinions are my own and for fun!)


Friday, December 6, 2013

Layla: Version 2.5

One day old. Cute as a button. 


My Dearest Layla.... 

It's been 6 months since I last wrote you. After 2 years of monthly letters, it seemed silly to continue the trend. But now I realize these are the precise months I SHOULD be writing you - these days seem to be zooming by and you seem to be changing almost daily. 

You are two

You are discovering, testing, learning, loving, emotional, dramatic and a bit sassy. You are a sponge and soak everything up around you. 

How you look... You are petite. We haven't been to the doctor in a while (knock on wood) but I think you're still hovering around the 25/26 pound mark (same as your brother!). You are just so little - it's so cute. You are tall but seem to be around average for the kids in your class. Your hair is SO long - after a recent haircut I swear it seems longer then ever. It's a beautiful shade of light brown. Your eyes are the most gorgeous shade of blue. Your skin is so fair and I'm careful to not ruin that. 


Your Schedule....Right now, you go to school 3 days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). Tuesdays are spent with Benny & I. Thursday are spent at Mom-Mom & Pop-Pops. And the weekends are our favorite... we always plan fun things to do (mainly based around you!) -- you love to play with all of your toys and every weekend day is spent napping with Dada in the afternoon. You LOVE to nap in our bed and it's always 2-3 hours. During the week, I'm lucky if you nap an hour in the crib. At school you nap perfect. At Mom-Mom & Pop-Pop's it's always hit or miss. You go to sleep beautifully between 6:30-7:00 PM every night. We read the Lorax to you in our bed, you put your "red" (it's actually white) sleep sack on and into the crib you go. You still use the sound machine and love a nice, dark room. Your current sleeping buddies are Mr Bear, Kyle, Peter, the frog & Kermit. You also like to sleep with the big Princess blanket we bought you for Hanukkah. You're so cute when you're falling asleep, always one hand by your hand (same as when you drink milk). I'm nervous for the inevitable switch to the big girl bed that's coming soon but for now we're sticking with the crib!j

Your Likes....It's all about princesses. I mean.. they seem to be taking over our lives. Cinderella. Ariel. Rapunzel. Tiana. Jasmine. The list goes on.. you love them all. I can't wait until Disney World in January.. I think your head is going to explode when you meet the princesses in person. You still love to watch movies (we have 51 movies we switch through). You love the read books. You love to do puzzles. You love to color. You love to do puzzles on the iPad. And you REALLY love to watch the most random videos on You Tube. These include (but are not limited to): Play Doh videos, princess videos, Disney World videos, Disney on Ice and random people playing with toys. So strange. You love to play in your kitchen. You love to play in the basement in the ball pit and with your princess castle. You love music and to sing & dance.  You love to brush your teeth, wash your hands, put on "make-up" and look at your clothes. 

Your Dislikes: You don't love the bath (or water on your head, in general). You don't like being away from your mama for too long. You don't like when Benny takes your toys (but otherwise, you're Benny obsessed). Your tantrums are far & few between -- but don't get my wrong, you are two through & through. You love to test your boundaries and want so badly to be a "big girl" sometimes. You're currently in a mama phase -- you want me, quite often. I know this bothers Dada and can be a bit taxing on me when I'm needed elsewhere but of course I secretly love it. 

Your loves: You really love Mama, Dada & Benny (and sometimes smother us in hugs & kisses). You are obsessed with your cousins (all of them). When we're all together, you run from cousin to cousin screaming and yelling "HI ABBEY! HI AVA! HI MARLEY!" -- it's so sweet and genuine. You're in between the ages (the big girls - Ava, Abbey, Marley) and the little girls (Remi, Sami) so you get the best of both worlds. You love your grandparents so very much. We FaceTime daily with Grandma & Grandpa and try to see Mom-Mom & Pop-Pop as often as we can. It's a wonderful connection you've made with them and I love it. You LOVE school - your really in love with your teachers (Miss Jenn, Miss Ashley... and also Miss Lizzie from last year). You talk about all of your "friends" at school. You also really love Isabel, a friend you made at music class. I love her mama so this works beautifully - we've gone to the movies twice with Izzy and you remember both times, talking about them often despite it being a long time ago. Your memory is quite good! You love Disney World and always ask about it. 

Your Food: Whole milk, all day everyday... haha. Still quite a picky eater, you have your few foods that we know you'll always eat. Danimals (yogurt drink), bananas, yogurt, cheese, snacks, pork roll, french fries, matzah ball soup, chicken nuggets. Oh and chocolate, of course. You're sometimes willing to try new foods and you'll randomly shock us by eating a full steak or 3 meatballs. But it's rare. As you're getting older, you're getting better at trying -- also, if you're around a big kid who is eating something, you'll try it. ;)

Your Thoughts: Your speech is incredible -- we have full conversations now. You repeat everything and remember a lot. You are getting really good at your colors. You are good at your letters (but we're working hard to perfect them). You know lots of basic questions (name, city, age, school, teacher's name, mama's name, Dada's name, brother's name). You know the words to a lot of songs and can sing them (somewhat) on key. You are good at your shapes. You're so very observant and soak everything in -- between learning at home & learning at school, you're amazing and so very smart. 


I could go on & on ... my dear girl, my love grows for you every single day. I love when you climb into our bed every morning and snuggle into me while you drink your milk. I love when you ask if I want to sit with you to watch a movie or do a puzzle ("Mama, wanna sit with me on this couch?") I love how you say Hi BENNY, hi BENNY all day, everyday. I love how you just want to play with him all day and always tell him to come near you ("Come here, Benny.. come here!!!"). I love how you ask where Dada is all day and then calmly say "Oh, he's at work Mama!". I love how sweet you are and always ask everyone how they are doing. I love how I ask you if we should have another baby and you always reply with "YES, baby Ellie!" I have no idea where you heard the name Ellie but rest assured, should we have another baby girl, we will need to name her Ellie. You have a very sweet and gentle soul and I am so lucky to call you mine. 

Two & a half is such a special and fun age... I can't wait to see what these next 6 months will hold. Of course your 3rd birthday is already being discussed  and I can't help but think about how fast time is going. I adore you, my sweet girl. You are very special and very loved. 

Happy 2 1/2 birthday!!!!!!




Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving...Hannukah....Thanksgivingakah!

Hi everyone!!!!

While the kiddos are playing by themselves (and ever so nice, might at add) - I figured I'd update!!

The past week has been nothing less then extra special.

It all started last Friday -- Layla was Shabbat girl for the first time at school. Every Friday, the kids celebrate Shabbat by saying the prayers, singing songs and eating Challah. Each class selects one kid to be Shabbat boy or girl - and on Friday, 11/22, Layla had her chance. I was a little nervous because at her first (and only) public appearance at school for Purim in April, she had a total meltdown when she saw me. This meltdown resulted in me having to sit on the stage during the Purim Show. Talk about embarrassing... BUT.. I had high hopes because Layla is now TWO.. independent and loves the stage.

I was happily right. She rocked it. My dad, Josh & myself when to see her... she was incredible. She said every single part, said all the prayers, picked her own special Shabbat song (entitled Princess) and was really beautiful to watch. I was so proud of her and ultimately realized she has no fear of public speaking and loves the spotlight. It was great.

On Saturday, 11/23, Josh & I took part in something really amazing. I had been reading about these local BYOB painting facilities. Basically, it's an open art studio - you are free to bring in all you can eat and drink. I set up a private party and about 15 of us went to paint. It was SO much fun I can't begin to explain. I have zero art background and enjoyed every second - it was actually therapeutic. We already scheduled our next private party for 2/15 and I cannot wait!!

On Sunday, I hosted a little "mini-mall" at my house.. I had 5 vendors selling various items! It was a lot of fun - a bunch of women came and Layla was in kiddie heaven. My basement was swarming with kiddies!! We also collected a lot of food for our local food bank - very cool and exciting.

The fun doesn't stop there.

On Wednesday, we started off the holiday but having Layla's Hanukkah show at school. Once again, she was amazing -- singing and clapping on stage! Great performance by the cutest little two year olds you've ever seen. After the show, the school served donuts and latkes. So cute and sweet. My mom and Abbey came to see the show along with Josh so it was really nice.

Wednesday night was the first night of Hanukkah -- we lit the menorah and gave the first night's gifts. I gave Josh a Banksy print, the new Artie Lang book and a new game for his new Xbox 1. He loved it :) I gave Layla a Rapunzel doll and horse (she screamed in excitement) and Benny got this amazing activity box with puzzles and assorted other things. It's great and a really fun first night. Shari & Brian came to have dinner with Josh & I and it was a lovely night with friends, per usual.

Thursday was Benny's first THANKSGIVING!!! We spent the day lazy (besides an early morning work-out, go me!) -- that night, my brother Adam & Heather hosted 30 people for the dinner. It was SO SO SO nice - a perfectly fun night and yummy too. My mom has hosted Thanksgiving for 30+ years so it was weird not being there, but the whole night was a huge success. Layla & Benny both got amazing gifts from Mom-Mom & Pop-Pop and we did the kids swap as well. I had Ava & Abbey - Danielle had Layla & Kim had Benny. The greatest gift we got was an amazing authentic UCF football helmet for Benny - too cute.

Friday, we took Layla to her first ever theatre production. This was her major Hanukkah gift - we saw Beauty & The Beast at Academy of Music. My parents watched Benny for us. On the way downtown, Layla passed out -- we woke her up and hurried inside with 5 minutes to spare. We had 6th row seats -- the show began and Layla was immediately mesmerized. She loved the music, dancing - all of it. Of course, she kept asking where Belle was if not in stage, but who can blame her?! She behaved better then all the children around us and they were all much older. She's incredible! I was so proud of her. I can't wait to take her to NYC to see a Broadway show!!!

Saturday, the fun continued. We went to the movies to see Frozen with my brother Matt & Ava - last night Josh & I snuck away for a date night to see Hunger Games 2... and now, here we are. A lazy Sunday.. everyone is napping. Josh made a lasagna crock pot. My parents are coming for dinner.

Oh, and it's DECEMBER?! Insane.

I'm so sad to see this weekend come to an end.. I love having Josh home with us, Layla takes epic afternoon naps, Benny can't get enough Dada kisses... so much fun. Happy holidays everyone.

Next up... Layla's 2 1/2 on the 6th, Benny is 11 months on the 14th and we're heading to Sunny South Florida soon!
xoxoxoxo

Oh this boy <3

Playing while I cook dinner... those are K-Cups and spatulas ;)

My little lady.

Enjoying snacks after the Hannukah show - Layla & Abbey

Hannukah show - wearing the t-shirt she made!

At the Hannukah show - sitting next to Ariella!

Josh with his gifts.

Benny with his gift.

Layla with her gifts.

Two little butts looking outside.

Turkey fun! lol

4 generations... Mom-Mom Millie, my mama, me & Layla

Passed out on the way to Beauty & The Beast

We made it!

So excited!

Amazed.

Layla's napping?? Great.. I'll bash her baby doll ;) lol