My little family!

My little family!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Benny turns 15 months!



15 months and cute as pie. 

Curls upon curls -- this was right after a morning bath :)

Giggles!

Watching Layla (sorry for poor quality of pictures bud -- iPhone!)

Thumb Sucking is your fav. 

<3

Oh I love you!





15 month stats:
Weight: I'd guess between 28-30 pounds.
Height: I'd guess around 33 inches.
Eating:  A lot - and everything in sight! I'm so proud of you! Also chugging almond milk & water!
Clothes: Mostly 2T - a bit big but it is so cute!
Diaper: Size 5.
Shoe Size: 6.5 WIDE!

B,
I'm so so sorry this is a day late. No excuse other then gorgeous weather forcing us to spend the day at the zoo & our passover Seder last night -- so here we are, 15 months & 1 day old. Can that seriously be true?! I feel like your 1st birthday party full of mustaches & music was yesterday - or last weekend. But NOPE! You turned 1 a whopping 3 months ago -- and you've been full steam ahead ever since.

You are a running, climbing, jumping, dancing machine -- always on the go and adoring your independence. You've perfected walking -- in fact, the very rare times you choose to crawl are a shock! You even love to walk backwards -- it's hysterical because you inevitably bump into anything behind you. You mostly wear your "dressy" brown shoes but we were lucky enough to get Andrew's old blue crocs which are perfect for all the warmer temps!! You are pretty good at holding hands but when we go for walks outside, you always choose to head straight for the busy street. Adventurous? Crazy? BOY!
You LOVE to play, giggle, hold hands with Layla, play outside, eat, chase the cats, suck your thumb and snuggle with Brian, your stuffed lovie. You are really starting to enjoy being around other kids. You love your cousins (I think Ava is your favorite) -- you always want to be with the other kids but like to explore by yourself. Your favorite toys are balls & blocks -- and you've recently discovered toy trucks -- we may have to get you some! You like to build castles and sit on your chair. You love books (sometimes) and reallllly love to dance.

You're still not very interested in TV. You will watch an episode of Jacks Big Music Show when bored and you love the beginning of Doc McStuffins but that's it. If we're in the car and Layla's watching a movie, you'll glance up. Music is defintely your favorite thing and you'd much prefer listening to some good tunes :)
You've had your 8th (I think) ear infection which STINKS!! I feel so bad because you're usual happy demeanor is always replaced by a sad, tear streaked face. I love antibiotics because they make you feel better but hurt your belly SO bad. We may talk to the doctor about tubes - I really don't want to so we'll see. You're still sleeping excellent -- going to bed around 6:30 PM and waking up around 6:30 AM (sometimes earlier if you hear your sister) -- you are napping twice a day around 9 AM - 10:30 AM and then in the afternoon around 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM. I wake you from your morning nap so that you can take a nice afternoon nap. Recently, there's been a couple of days that you didn't nap in the morning. I wonder if you're going to start giving up that nap? I wouldn't mind as it'll allow us to have more fun in the morning!
You are a TALKER!! You can say a lot (although I may be the only one that understands you) and you can repeat everything. You're also very good at understanding & comprehending -- it's amazing how much you know and retain. We're working on animal sounds which you are slowly picking up!
You LOVE food -- It's a huge relief as your sister is a picky eater. Last night, you chowed down on gelfite fish & black olives. You'll basically eat whatever we are eating. You love bananas, pouches & danimals but prefer "mama & dada food!" We gave up cow's milk for almonds milk to help your belly and I think it's making a big difference.
Every Monday we go to music class followed by lunch with Pop-Pop. You LOVE it and dance while playing with instruments. We recently joined Toddler Tunes at Romp & Roll and you're finally starting to love it. The first two weeks were fun but you were very hesitant to try anything new. Now you were running around, climbing and LOVED the bubbles at the end! SO cute. I'm so excited for SPRING - warmer weather equals time outside, playing and running and laughing.
My favorite thing about you is your LOVE for cuddles and hugs. You'll be in the middle of playing and will look at me with your big brown eyes, run up and throw all of your weight on me while sucking your thumb and lay on my shoulder. It's the sweetest moment and the best feeling. I think it's safe to say you're a mama's boy!!!!
I love you so very much - keep growing and running and jumping and dancing and being the curious, sweet boy you are!!!!!
Love
Mama

Ready for summer!!!!!

Always intertwined with Layla!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Lately...


  • The weather is FINALLY warming up. Hopefully we are saying goodbye to old man winter & hello to spring & summer. It's still quite chilly in the mornings (high of 60 today) but I'm not complaining. It's SO nice to spend time outside going on walks. Even errands are easier -- I'm ready to throw our winter jackets in the closet and never bring them out again ;)
  • Yesterday, I had lunch with 3 of my best girls. Karen, Shari, Melanie & I all decided to have a yummy meal out -- and I took a chance and brought Layla. It was smack in the middle of her usual nap time so I was a little nervous but she rocked it! Karen lives in Virginia so I was really happy she got to spend some quality time with LJE. My favorite part of the afternoon was Layla making friends with the table next to us. There were 4 little girls (ages 4-8) that were playing in the corner. Layla immediately wanted to join them - no fear to make new friends. I let her go play and they were so warm & welcomed her right on, holding her hand and teaching her the game they were playing (an odd version of musical chairs combined with follow the leader). I'm SO proud of her when she does this -- it's not easy to talk to people you don't know and she always does so proudly and with a smile. I tend to make friends easily and I hope she will have the same attitude. It's nice to meet people -- it can be a very lonely world when you are shy -- she is so great at bringing out the best in people. At only 2 years old, she's a rock star. 
  • The move to Florida in 2015 is becoming more & more of a reality. It's very excited and terrifying and awesome and anxiety-ridden. I'll write more on that one day, maybe. 
  • We have big changes coming our way, professionally speaking. In fact, I just updated my resume and I'm thinking about getting back into the working world - just a bit. I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a stay at home mom and I want that to continue to be priority # 1 - but if I can bring a little extra money in the house, that's not such a bad thing. I asked a recruiter to find me a part-time, stay at home position and he's working on it. Fingers crossed!!!
  • Layla's sweet napping sounds make me swoon. I'm going to go lay next to her and perhaps close my eyes. But most likely I'll be researching houses in South Florida ;) 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Aruba...

We are back!

The past ten days, our little family of four was away on vacation and it was FABULOUS.

We had such a lovely time - and as quickly as it went, now it seems like a distant memory (and I'm already planning our next vacation -- hello Turks & Caicos!)

I wanted to give some details about our vacation as several people have asked questions and I'd love to share our experience!!!

SO...

Two Sundays ago, we flew to Ft Lauderdale. A side note -- I'm now realizing that flying with a 33 month old & a 14 month old is NOT fun. It used to be pretty easy to travel but these last 3 trips down South have been pretty rough. Layla gets antsy and bored quickly - Benny can't seem to get comfortable and never sleeps longer then 40 minutes (despite it being during his nap time) - it's never fun and I always feel like the people around us want to throw me out the plane. BUT.. alas,  I know this will pass and we'll be traveling easy again soon (ya know..until we add a 3rd baby one day and everything goes completely bananas, ha!)

Anywho...we had a great couple of days in Florida. I was able to have breakfast with my dear friends Amy & Stacey in Boca along with their babies (Kole, Connor & Colin). I took Layla along with me while Benny napped and we had a great time. After breakfast, Josh, Layla, Benny & I went to Laura & Clay's to have a playdate with Owen!! I love seeing our babies together. They were also babysitting their niece Kylie so it was truly babies galore!! We had a great time. Josh went to hang out with friends & I finished packing for Aruba.

Tuesday was spent with family -- that night -- Josh & I were Aruba bound!!

My first recommendation -- John's Car Service . Josh's family lives in Ft Lauderdale & our flights were from Miami Airport. This is about 40 minutes South of Ft Lauderdale and a tough place to drive. We contacted John's Car Service and it was excellent. He picked us up in a town car, it was easy - not too expensive and he was SO nice. We ended up using him for the ride home too. If you are in the Florida area and ever need a ride to one of the airports - I'd use him! (He also specializes in cruise transportation)

Anyway.. Josh & I left for Aruba. Can I just say... traveling without children feels like a JOKE - it is SO easy!! haha! We flew American Airlines. It was a great, easy flight and we made it to Aruba no problems. It was late at night so it was hard to see how gorgeous the country was (but we saw it the rest of the trip). Our main hotel was booked so we stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort Aruba. It was a gorgeous hotel and I was so pleasantly surprised. If we are lucky enough to head back to Aruba, I'd probably stay here. The rooms were gorgeous, the pool and beach was really beautiful and it wasn't very expensive.

As a side note -- Aruba is VERY expensive across the board. I'd compare it to Manhattan in that everything is just more money then in the states. It was a huge surprise to me -- if you decide to travel to Aruba, be aware nothing will come cheap (except for taxis -- they were much cheaper then expected). 

We woke up and realized how GORGEOUS Aruba truly is. The weather is better then anything I've ever experienced. Hot (average of 85 degrees everyday) with a bright, bright sun (the country is very close to the equator) -- but the crosswinds and intense. I couldn't believe how windy it got at times -- I LOVED it - I don't think I ever broke a sweat despite the hot temps!!! It makes it perfect for the beach or pool. So when we woke up -- we decided to start our day (after I slept until almost 9 AM - holy moly) -- we had a (not great) breakfast at the Holiday Inn buffet and quickly checked out before heading to our hotel. I figured we'd take a cab but found out we were only a few minute walk to our hotel -- the Hyatt. I need to explain Aruba -- it's unbelievably clean & you feel SO safe. Normally when I travel (Punta Cana, Jamaica, Bahamas) -- I stay in my hotel (never really walking the streets) - total opposite of Aruba. We walked everywhere -- it was SO amazing and the best feeling. I really loved exploring and wish we stayed longer so I could have seen more of the country (to be fair, Josh wanted to take a drive one day to explore and I convinced him it was a better idea to be lazy by the pool - ha!) -- so we made our way to the hotel and checked in. Our room was nice - nothing incredible (and the balcony was tiny which was annoying - i love reading outside and this wasn't an option) -- but it worked. We made our way to the pool. It was beautiful and extremely relaxing. I found it annoying that every single day, we had to quickly reserve seats at the pool or they were all taken. If you wanted seats at the beach, you had to go EXTREMELY early in the morning to reserve (or pay $35 for "better" seats") -- this was a pain. If I'm on vacation, I don't want to have to rush around to make sure I have seats. We had a great day at the pool - got ready for dinner - and went to one of the best dinners I've ever experienced. We ate at Passions on the Beach -- it was a few minute cab ride from our hotel - the driver pulled over and said we're here! I looked around a little concerned - I saw a small sign and a small hut but nothing more. Quickly I realized the entire restaurant was ON the beach - close to the water! We kicked off our shoes and walked to our table - feet from the water and enjoyed the sunset. It was incredibly beautiful and a wonderful experience. The food was very, very good too!!A great first night! I was exhausted so after playing a bit in the casino I went to bed and Josh met up with his work friends.

Thursday morning, we woke up to find out the water main broke in our hotel. UHHH - no water from 8 AM until 5 PM, quite literally. We made the best of it and spent the day at the pool reading. We also picked up our free gift from Josh's company - a pair of Ray Bans! We both love the pair we chose. We had breakfast at an AWESOME local place Dushi Bagels -- its was so yummy. We spent the rest of the day reading, eating (we had lunch every day at the hotel), riding the awesome water slide & of course playing Bingo every afternoon (we even won one day, two free smoothies!). The water was fixed but our shower barely let out a slow, cold trickle. We made it work and went to the welcome dinner thrown by Josh's company. It was on the beach at the hotel and really beautiful. That night, Josh & I went to the casino and had a blast. It was so nice!

Friday morning, we had breakfast at the buffet in our hotel - SO good. I really loved it. We decided to go to the beach that day and it was really nice - they said they'd find us a free set of chairs - it was nice they did that except our chairs were really far from the water so it was HOT -- we spent some time in the ocean before switching to the pool for the rest of the day. In the afternoon, we went back to our room to shower only to realize our shower still wasn't working. After a couple of hours of back & forth, it was (sorta) fixed. We missed our first dinner reservations at Gianni's and ended up eating at Amazonia  -- a really yummy Brazilian steakhouse. We loved it and it all worked out. That night, we went to the casino and did AMAZING!!! SO much fun playing poker!

Saturday morning, we ended up having breakfast from Dunkin Donuts (ha -- we are loyal) and spent our last day at the pool. I loved every second and really tried to just enjoy the quiet and music and sun and warm air. We missed our babies so much but it's so nice for the two of us to spend time together. I think every married couple needs & deserves time away to just enjoy marriage. (That's a post for another day). After explaining to the hotel that our shower still wasn't working, they fixed it again and took care of some charges on our room (as well as giving us $100 from the water main break) -- it was very nice of them. That night, we had our goodbye dinner again thrown by Josh's company on the beach - it was SO good. The food was amazing (I had lobster for the 2nd time in my life) -- loved it!! They even had entertainment - I felt like I was watching the Mummers! Great costumes and live music. We tried our luck one last time at the casino but lost it all - oops. Lots of fun anyway.

Sunday morning, we woke up and had breakfast at the buffet one last time. We packed, hung out and before we knew it - it was time for the airport. :( Another important part about Aruba -- you MUST allow 3 hours pre-flight. Customs for Aruba AND America is done in the Aruba airport. This means LOTS of lines and lots of security (you basically go  through customs and security once for Aruba and once for USA) -- it was crazy intense but i liked it - upon landing in Miami, we were able to just get off the plane and leave. Much easier.

So that's that -- I highly, highly, highly recommend visiting Aruba if given the chance.

Side note -- we left our very expensive good camera in the room and the hotel found it and saved it for us -- I'm extremely impressed as they could have told me it's gone. Good job Hyatt!!


Happy traveling, ya'll!

The night before our vacation, we had a wedding - the kiddies loved spending time with Miss Jenn!

On our way to the wedding - red-light selfie ;)

Playdate! Owen, Layla, Kylie & Benny

Kole & Layla!! (Can you melt???)

Family picture before Josh & I left them in the fabulous hands of Grandma & Grandpa!

Hellloooooo Aruba!

Smooches at the pool

Bingo obsessed. It's like I'm 30 going on 75.

Lovers.

Passions on the Beach

Dushi Bagels - YUM!

View from our balcony!

Sporting our new sunnies!

<3

haha

<3

Beautiful sunsets.

Crazy beautiful

Reunited with our babes.