And so it begins...

Monday, November 7, 2016

I few days ago, S came home with a little patch (the kind you find ironed onto clothes or uniforms) and informed me that a little boy in her class gave it to her. I really didn't think much of it because the first ten minutes after the kids get home from school are a total madhouse. Shoes, backpacks, and papers are thrown throughout the house, and I am following them along behind them trying to pick up every little thing I find on the floor. I also almost always find myself thinking, "Wasn't it JUST peaceful like twenty minutes ago? And did I really just spend all morning cleaning up just to be tidying up AGAIN?!" 

Anyway. The patch. I put it on the bookshelf in the kids room and walked away.

Well, the next day, S came up to, frantic because she couldn't find the patch. I didn't get what the big deal was, but I helped her locate it and all was well in the world again. Well. Until we had the following conversation. 

S: Oh, good! You found it. I thought I lost it! I'd be so sad because "Billy" gave it to me. (I'm changing the names in the story) I played with him all day today.

Me: That's nice. Is he a nice friend?

S: Yeah! He gave me a kiss and a hug when I said goodbye.

Me: What? He kissed you? WHERE? On the cheek?

S: Yeah, on the cheek! He says he wants to marry me. He told me he used to want to marry "Alice," but now he wants to marry me.

Me: Were you okay with that, love? With him giving you a kiss?

S: MOM! Yes! I was okay with it!

(I then talked with her about how if she ever feels uncomfortable around another person, she needs to say something, and that it's okay to tell the other person "no, I don't like that." Never too early to teach about consent.)

And then this morning she told me that "Billy" said he wants to get her flowers.


And this, my friends, is why I will never be able to give up Coke. 

Sunglasses c/o Jonas Paul Eyewear, and you can find them HERE. Sof got a pair of glasses and sunglasses to try out from their online store, and she LOVES them. I crack up because the regular glasses are non-prescription, but she loves to wear them at home and while we're out. If she's anything like her mama, she'll get the chance to wear really need glasses when she's older. They have so many cute styles for kids, and I wish they had been around when I was younger!

Jones Halloween Twenty-Sixteen

Friday, November 4, 2016

This may have very well been my favorite Halloween to date. The costumes the kids picked weren't crazy elaborate or creative, but I kind of love that we put it together all ourselves. Also, the kids were SUPER into Halloween this year, so, like everything else, when they are more excited about something, the more excited I am about it, too.

Serious props to Chris for making Pato's costume together. Especially those gloves. He cut out the felt and glued those black things on to the white gloves and spray painted the ears black. I feel like Pato always gets the short end of the stick on a lot of things, but this year, I really think we made his Mickey costume dreams come true. S made an adorable flamingo, and she told me, "Mama, I really like when people tell me they like my costume." She said this after the Halloween parade at her school. She waved to everyone as she passed by, as if to say, "Hello! Hello, adoring fans!" She was in heaven with her sparkly pink skirt that shed glitter everywhere. And I do mean everyyyyywhere. Poor Oscar somehow had glitter stuck to his scalp for a couple of days and I'm still finding it around the house. Did I mention glitter is C's worst nightmare? Worst.

I couldn't imagine a more perfect neighborhood to go trick-or-treating in than our own. They ran from house to house with their little friends, and excitedly filled up their bags. We ended the night by visiting the house from the movie Up, and called it good.

And in case you were wondering, I have already picked out all the 100 Grands and Snickers out of their bags, and fortunately, they have no idea. 

Oscar's Forest Animal Romper is from Little Cottonwood, and can be found HERE. It's one of those pieces you will have to pry from my cold dead fingers if you wanted to take it from me.

A Year of Oscar: Seven Months

This month's update almost escaped me! Between having family coming into town and the holidays, it feels like someone pushed the fast forward button on just about everything. Why is it that summer has a way of just dragging the heck out but fall is over before you have a second to realize what just happened? I would gladly give up the last month of summer for an extra month of fall. I'd give up the whole entire summer to be honest.

Anyway. Seven months! I hate that this means that he is closer to being a one-year old now! I keep trying to remind myself that each stage is so fun, but that's hard to do when I love this baby phase so much!

This month, Oscar has finally figured out how to get the whole sitting thing down. He had been sitting up for a little while, but I could never leave him alone because he would topple over after a minute. But, one day it's like the switch went off, and then he figured it out. 

He can be pretty wiggly, and often, when you're holding him he will turn his body around so he can face outwards. It feels like he wants to jump out of my arms, but I just tell him, "What are you gonna do, buddy? You can't crawl! Where will you go??" He hasn't figured out how to crawl yet (I am in NO rush for him to master that yet!) but he is able to move in an entire circle around him when he's on his belly. Seriously...once he's over.

He continues to be an absolute sweetheart with a smile that makes my entire day. And that dimple! I check every day to make sure it's still there. Im afraid one morning I will wake up and it will be gone. 

He loves to babble, and say ba ba ba. And I swear it sounds like he says, "Al-fal-fa." And no, he hasn't been watching The Little Rascals.

Still nursing and eating like a champ, but if he had his choice, he'd be drinking my Coke and eating whatever I'm eating. What am I going to do with you, Oscar boy? 

Holding my breath for an apple cake.

Monday, October 31, 2016

I love a good apple pie. Serve it up warm with some ice cream, and I'm in heaven. I love to see pictures of apple pies with their beautiful lattice designs and I always look at them and think, "Yeah, I could never do that." I was craving something apple-y, and something that I knew would make a little bit of a mess. Don't you feel like oftentimes, the bigger the mess, the better something tastes?

Anyway, I decided to try my hand at a nice and easy apple cake instead of a pie. There was something  slightly therapeutic about peeling and cutting the apples, and mixing things together on a cool fall day. As I was getting ready to put the cake in the oven, I did that thing where I held my breath as I slid it onto the cooking rack. And then I said a silent prayer saying, "Please, please, please turn out okay. Don't let it poison anyone. Please don't explode or burn or set the house on fire. And if it does set the house on fire, please let it not get to the fence because C just finished painting it, and I'm sure our HOA would not be happy about it."

Anyone else ever do that? Talk to your food before you're ready to cook it, and try to convince it not to turn into a disaster? That's totally a normal thing to do. Anyway. Here is the recipe I tried. I would suggest following the link because she gives a couple of great suggestions and if you're into raisins or nuts, for example. But, I'm a firm believer that nuts and raisins have no business being in desserts, so I left those out. 

Apple Cake (recipe found from Pretty. Simple. Sweet

1⅓ cups (180g/6.3oz) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon combination of your favorite spices (ground nutmeg, cloves, ginger)
½ cup (113g/4oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup (100g/3.5oz) granulated sugar
½ cup (100g/3.5oz) brown sugar
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (120ml) buttermilk
250g (about 2 cups/2 medium) apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch cubes (cut first, then measure)
Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Grease and flour an 8″ or 9″ round springform pan (8″ pan will yield a taller cake).
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and spices. Set aside.
In a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until combined. Scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. Beat in vanilla extract. On low speed, beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating it with buttermilk in 2 additions, starting and ending with the flour. Do not over mix. Fold in apples.
Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Serve cake warm or at room temperature.
Store cake at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days or refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Cake can be frozen for up to 2 months.

And in case you were wondering, yes, this tastes very good for breakfast, too :)

The stages of parenthood I didn't know were coming.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Maybe it's because the house is quiet, and I can actually hear my own thoughts. Mabe it's because last week's flowers are well past wilted. Or maybe it's because I have the Bon Iver station playing on my Pandora station, but man, I'm feeling all the feels.

One thing I didn't expect about parenthood, and being a mother to little people, is that childhood is all about stages. Some stages seem to end as quickly as they began. Some stages feel like they will never, ever, end. Some stages make you so happy that you almost want to hold your breath because already you know it's fleeting, and if you exhale, it will be over. Some stages seem easy and rosy and good. Some stages are dark, sludgy, and you go to bed laying with your eyes wide open, wondering how you'll make the sun shine in the morning. And some stages are invisible ones. Ones that you didn't even notice were there until you've already left them behind.

But this. This right here. I don't know what I would call this stage, except that it brings so much joy to my heart. I feel that lump in my throat thinking about how one day, I'll have to search deep into the sacred place where I hold my fondest memories to remember the scent of his skin and the quiet sounds he makes as he nurses. I'll close my eyes and try desperately to remember the way Pato gently brushes his hair to the side a hundred times a day. And I'll never want to forget how much I love to peek at S when she's working hard at making something. She will often quietly sing a made-up song as she works with her little hands, and giggles when she catches me watching her.

I don't have a time machine to stop time. I don't have the guarantee that I'll remember every single second of my children' lives. But, I do have a grateful heart. I very, very grateful heart. There is nowhere else I would rather be.

That time I was determined to make Fall happen.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Okay. So, today I sat down and started jotting down things that I wanted to do with the kids or as a family in the next couple of months. It was prompted by an email that I received that was announcing some upcoming events near us, and you would have thought that Mindy Kaling herself was coming to Utah or something because all of a sudden I started researching every fun thing we could do from now until Christmas. 

I actually personally blame Target for how quickly fall seems to fly by. Are you listening, Target? Because I'm talking to you. They start putting their Christmas stuff out in mid-May (someone should probably fact check this...) and it just makes me feel like September and October are the annoying old friends who talk too much and are being rushed out the door because you have dinner to get to. Did that make sense WHATsoever? 

Anyway, yesterday C came home earlier than normal, and I sprung up the idea of going to pick out pumpkins and surprising the kids with a fun activity. I was worried it wasn't going to happen, however, because Pato has decided that he doesn't like fall, and we literally have a ten minute battle every morning because he now hates wearing long sleeves or pants. He says long sleeves and pants are for winter, and that he will like them then. Instead, he likes to wear the same shirt and shorts for days at a time. His current favorite shirt is a grey and black Star Wars shirt. He doesn't even know what Star Wars IS. He always asks, "Wait, who is this on my shirt?" "It's Yoda, buddy." "Oh. Right. Yoda." He also calls Darth Vader "Dark Vader" and just learned two days ago that he was a bad guy.

Now I'm rambling. Back to the pictures, which of course, are what the grandparents really come here for.

"Hmm. What is this stuff? Verrrrrry interesting. Bet it tastes good. Mom says I shouldn't eat it, but that's also what she said about that leaf I shoved in my mouth the other day."

"Huh. There's more over here, too. Better eat some quick before anyone sees. Don't you give me away, pumpkin."

"Oh, hey. What? No. I'm not eating the hay...I swear. I was just looking at it. As if I'd eat HAY."

So, as much as I love the bond that our two oldest share, I can't wait to see how Oscar fits in their mix. In fact, numerous times, Pato has come up to me and said, "I wish Oscar was big now. So we could play with him."

Funny thing. We always thought that Pato would be the one who would have a hard time when O was born, but as it turns out, S was the one who has had the roughest transition. I guess "rough" isn't the right term to use, but let's just say that she was pretty lukewarm towards her new baby brother at times during his first couple of months. For a while, she would draw pictures of our family but wouldn't include him in the pictures. But now! Oh, how she adores him! She loves to make him laugh and hold him whenever she can.

And look at that smile! He is probably the smiliest of all our babies, and I've said that he is the kind of baby that makes people want more babies. We are all pretty crazy about him!

So, please don't hate me if you start seeing a bunch of fall stuff over here, but I was telling my friend earlier that I am determined to squeeze out every bit of fall that I can. Last year I feel like I let my kids down a bit in the "fun mom" department what with being pregnant, in pain, and in a new city. This year I'm determined to make it memorable. 

Even if it means it's in shorts and a Star Wars t-shirt.

I wish I were five-year-old me so I could be friends with five-year-old her.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

If I had a picture that would perfectly portray one Sofia Jones at just barely five years old, it would be this one.

The twirling. Everything she wears is measured by its "twirlness" factor. When a skirt or dress fails to fly around her as as well as she would like, she gets a sad look on her face and says, "This one is only a little bit twirly." While it does get a bit complicated to get her dressed sometimes, I do love this about her. We will have to figure out what to do when I have to break it to her that she needs to wear pants sometimes. That'll be rough, you know, with their twirliness factor of zero. 

I should also mention that she wore that dress every single day for a week. We told her she had to wear something else this week. #rudestparentsever

The bow. Sof always makes sure that every bit of her outfit comes together, down to the bow in her hair. The other day she came out of the bathroom with her hair in two "braids" that she had made in front of the mirror. (Although, really she had just twisted her hair around and called it a braid.) She had clipped two bows at the ends and asked me quite seriously, "Mom. Do I look high school-ish?" Are ya KIDDING me, kid? What will I do when she is ACTUALLY in high school? I swear, they need to do a medical study on me because I am certain this girl is aging me at an astonishing rate.

And did you catch that little tongue sticking out? She does this almost every time she is getting ready to twirl. Or when she's hard at work making a masterpiece out of some colored paper, glue, tape, and pompoms (o'course.) 

I'll say this. There have been some rough times with Sof where I felt like every second of that day was just trying to survive her. There have been moments where I wanted to hide from her and hope she couldn't find me. 

But, I can truthfully say that right now, I wish so badly that I were five-year-old me so I could be friends with five-year-old her. She makes life more exciting, colorful, and I wouldn't change a single thing about her.

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