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.

Fall, I missed you!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Okay, all you summer lovers. I gave you your summer. I waited long and (sort of) patiently as you rejoiced in your beach going and bathing suit wearing and watermelon eating. Well, I love watermelon, I rejoiced with ya there. But, it's fall! And I feel like this fall is a little bit more special because it's Oscar's first time experiencing it. 

On the first super chilly day, I took him out while the kids were at school, and let him play on a blanket outside in the yard. Oh, the squeals that came out of him! He kicked and kicked and waved his arms around as if to say, "Yes, ma! This is amazing! I love it out here!" Listen, O, I know how you feel. That's how fall makes me feel, too! I want to kick my legs and wave my arms like a madwoman, but, let's just say that a 29-year-old woman doesn't quite pull that off as well as a baby. 

Unfortunately, the one downside to it being fall now is that I've recently discovered that not only have the big kids outgrown most of their warm clothes, but they somehow now have giant kid feet and their shoes don't fit either. Maybe I can convince Pato to really pull off the Mowgli look? I mean, less clothes= less laundry. 

Serious thoughts.

A Year of Oscar: Six Months!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Half a year has flown by, and I can say that these last six months with this sweetheart have been some of the happiest times of my whole life. Sure, we had to pack an entire house and move across the country when he was just two months old, but I swear, it's like I've almost forgotten the whole pain that was. This little guy right here is pure joy. I feel like everywhere we go, I catch people smiling at him and making funny little faces to get him to smile. I mean, I don't blame them! One little peek at that dimple and you just can't wait to see it again!

How would I describe O boy? He's one part honey-child, one part monster sleeper (come on, O! Let's get this night thing down already!) and 100% loverboy. Guys, I'm really good at math. I know that all made mathematical sense. 

Why, oh why, does time go by so quickly? As I was putting him to bed last night I thought, "I know every stage is wonderful. But dang, I really really love this baby stage here right NOW." Which of course, led me down to that big question: does the baby fever ever really go away? But, let's not go down THAT rabbit hole. Not today, anyway :)

A little more about this should see him eat. Or rather, you should see him watching other people. He just lunges right for anything you're about to put in your mouth. He looks at your food so intently, and then starts smacking his lips. I actually started feeding him some solids here and there earlier than I did with S and Pato simply because he was practically begging for it! 

He's not moving around just yet, but if you put him on his back, he can go clear across the room just by pushing off with his legs. He normally only does this when he's upset though. This reminded me that Pato was beginning to scoot at six months, and well, I'm okay with O taking his sweet sweet time.

Hoping this second half of the year moves at least a tiny bit slower than the first.

That time I needed a really big ol' print of my baby.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Do you remember the olden days? You know, back when you had to wait several days to get your filmed processed, and you would cross your fingers that maybe you'd look half-decent in one of them? My middle school days were a time when my dad should've probably invested in Kodak with how many disposable cameras my friends and I would go through. And then when you got your pictures printed, the quality was never super great anyways, so you were left with stacks of pictures with weird looking-pimply people in them. Or wait...maybe that's just because those people really were pimply middle schoolers.

Nowadays, we've come a long way when it comes to printing pictures, and thank goodness for that. When Parabo Press approached me with the chance to try out some of their products, I jumped at the chance because I like to take pictures of my kids here and there. And by here and there, I mean that scrolling through the day's pictures when I'm ready to go to bed at night is one of my favorite things.

When I checked out their site, the very first thing that stood out to me were their Engineer Prints. They are huge. No, really. Let me say that again. They. Are. Huge. And since I figured that my love for my kids is ALSO huge, then clearly, I needed a print that would be big enough to prove it. Now, I really put Parabo Press to the test here when I decided to try out one of these prints. I chose a picture of O-boy that was already a close up, and I really was skeptical that an image blown up that huge would print well.

I'll tell ya what. I was wrong.

As I unrolled the print out (it took two people to do so, by the way) I was absolutely giddy with excitement and I couldn't wait to display it. The quality of the image was fantastic and I knew it would make a perfect statement piece in our home.

To hang our large Engineer Print, I also ordered a set of Parabo Press's wood poster rails. The rails are magnetic, and all we had to do was line up the print on them, and that was it. I love the idea of having several Engineer Prints printed, and switching them around every once in a while. I'll need at least two more so the kids don't think I'm playing favorites. (Although, if we are going to be completely honest, let's just say that O is definitely not my least favorite child. I'm just joking around, people. They are ALL my favorite! Okay!)

Really, though. If you're trying to think of an inexpensive way to spruce up one of your walls, I would highly suggest one of these prints. And get the rails, too. They're awesome.

Since I already foresee needing to print off more images, I also ordered the large skeleton clips that you can find HERE. What I love about these is that you can use them to hang your prints without having to poke any holes in them. OR, you could just turn them upside down and use them as photo holders. Parabo Press also sell's sets of washi tape if you'd rather hang your prints that way.

Can you imagine, though, if these prints were actually around back when we were those pimply middle schoolers? Big, huge, prints of all our tall platform wedges, blue eyeshadow and rainbow butterfly clips. Hm...maybe it's actually a good thing they haven't been around till now :)  

Cue the Backstreet Boys music.

**This post was a collaboration with Parabo Press. They're awesome. Really. If you want to learn more about the Engineer Prints I was talking about you can find those HERE. And those nifty wooden rails are HERE. 

**ALSO!!! If you're a first time customer, you can try them out, and receive 25 free square prints for free using the code JONES. Do it. You know you have 25 pictures you've been meaning to print don't ya? 

Ten Things I'm Not Even Mad About

Monday, August 22, 2016

I'm not mad that from the moment I wake up, I'm already tired.

I'm not mad that my hair is falling out at a crazy alarming rate. I know it's common, but dang. Just when I thought that this time around maybe I'd get to escape that post-pregnancy hair loss, bam. 

I'm not mad that O pooped on my side of the bed.

In fact, I'm so not mad about it, that I just wiped it up with a baby wipe and slept on it.

I'm not mad that almost twenty-four hours later, my right arm is still really sore from O falling asleep in my arms yesterday at church. He rarely does that, so nope, not mad.

I'm not mad that I have mom arms. And mom stomach. And mom thighs. And mom butt. Not mad about that.

I'm not mad that no matter how many times I sweep a day, there are always crumbs on the floor. It defies logic, I tell ya. Someday the kids will be older, hanging out with their friends who are much cooler than I, and I'll be begging them to sit with me just a few minutes longer and spill crumbs everywhere.

I'm not mad that Sof woke me up this morning with her face (and morning breath) in mine.

I'm not mad that summer is beginning to head on outta here. It's been good, but I'm not the tiniest bit mad to say bye to it.

And lastly, I'm not even mad that Pato told me he wanted Daddy, not me, to take him to school this morning. I'm okay with that. Especially because as he was getting ready to go, he put a picture of "Pato and mama" in his little orange backpack so he could think of me. 

Lots to just not be mad about today. 

**Matching Mama Bird and Baby Bird shirts from The Bee and the Fox. They can be found HERE. I promise, they are two of my very favorite shirts. I'll be hanging on to them forever, I'm sure.

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