hopefully you won't see me on the front page

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


So, I have this fear. Bare with me. It is admittedly equal parts completely over-dramatic/ unrealistic/ nuts. I have this fear that one morning I will wake up, walk out to get the paper (note: we definitely do not to even subscribe to a paper to be "got") and the front page will read one headline that reads in big black and bold ink (the BBB's) the following: Karim Jones is fraud! 

Now, I know what you might be thinking.

A) What in the world is this girl rambling on about NOW?
B) This looks like it's going to be a long wordy post. I have no desire to sit through this. 
C) Are there going to be pictures of her kids? Because that's all I really care to see. (I don't blame you. If you are thinking this, please do skip this post and peruse my previous posts that are loaded with pictures of the kids. I'd do the same.) 
D) Well, this is just absurd. True, newspapers subscriptions have really been hit in recent years, but there is no way they'd turn to an almost 27-year old mother of two who often has crayon on her pants to magically drive up sales. (And actually, right now it's not crayon. It's bits of Pato's chewed-up quesadilla. See? Galmorous. Who WOULDN'T want to jump to read a newspaper story about me?!) 

If you are still reading this, then I will try to not make this too painful for you to sit through.

SO. Why do I have this really dumb fear? (Because truly, in my head, it's not a matter of "if" this will happen, and more of "when?" But, maybe it won't appear in the papers.) Why do I feel like someone's light will click, and that the news that I'm a fraud will spread like wildfire? Simple...I'm admitting that I'm not the person I want to be. I'm not patient enough or considerate enough. I could be a better friend. I'm not always the most dependable. (That's a tough one to admit.) I don't remember birthdays.  I've spent way too much time on gossip. (Also, tough to admit.) And, more often than not, I'd much rather run away from my problems rather than face them.

But, I'm also not a person I don't want to be. Does that make any sense? I don't want anyone to get the idea that I like to sit at home and gleefully think, "Who will be he lucky recipient of my horrible-ness today?" It's not like that. 

Then, 2013 happened to me and my family. This was my growing year. I learned some hard things, and learned that I couldn't just let things happen to me. I needed to make them happen. 

I feel like I finally became an adult and started to think about grown-up things. I feel like I am finally beginning to figure out WHO I really am. I thought I knew before, but I know much better now. I am finally comfortable in my own skin. 

This is the year that I really want to start being the person I want and aspire to be. I know this is a life-long process, but I'm ready to start.

I want to say "thank you" more.
I want to be a better listener instead of trying to just be a solver. 
I don't want to sweat the small stuff. 
I want get on the floor more to play with my children. 

I am finally at a point where I actually sorta really like myself, but I know I can be so much more. I don't want to be Karim 1.0 anymore because I know the newer model(s) are capable of more. 

2013 had a lot of ups, but it also had a lot of downs. I'd be lying if I said I was sad to see it go. I have big hopes for 2014 and even bigger hopes for a better me.

 

But, I mean, at the end of the day these two always make me feel like a million bucks.

So let me tell you about our weekend...

Sunday, December 29, 2013

We took husband/wife selfies. His idea one hundred percent. I guess I was okay with it.


We made a couple trips to the park. Recently, S has been waking up from her naps immediately asking for tunnels and slides. 

I swear S does not feel cold ever. J, on the other hand, does not like to be cold. And he does not like to keep his mittens on. We may have a problem.


On Friday night, we had a great time watching Big Fish on Broadway. I have to say, I wasn't a huge fan of the movie, but the show was really enjoyable. We rounded off the already awesome evening with a midnight run to Shake Shack. You could take me anywhere with the promise of Shake Shack afterwards. I love that place entirely too much. Their burgers just melt in your mouth. And I wasn't hungry when I started this post but now I'm starving.


I told them to strike a pose, and I got these.


I know I sound like a broken record, but these kids are really such a joy. They have been so sweet to each other lately, and S has really stepped it up and taken it open herself to take care of her Pato.






Probably pointing to an airplane. It's always the same-ish conversation.

"Oooh. Listen sound! Airplane in sky! So fast!" 

The talking stage is amazing. It's all going so quickly. C and I have recently been talking about when we'll send S to pre-school, and I promise I got all choked up at the mere idea of her being away from me for several hours a couple times a week! The tears started coming out and I decided that I wasn't ready to think about it too much. My list of "things I can't talk about or I'll cry" list is slowly getting longer. Please tell me it gets easier?



So, you know that moment when you realize your kids are way cooler than you? Well, that moment came a long long time ago for me. I'm done even trying to catch up. But, these kids seem to want to remind us of that point every day. Whatever.


And last but not least...winner winner sushi dinner. I could eat sushi every day of my life. Spider rolls FTW.

S first date to the movies


Welp. We decided that S was finally ready for a trip to the movies, and let me tell ya...girly had a blast! First trip to the theater and first time eating popcorn all in one afternoon. She was in heaven! We saw Frozen, and even C and I enjoyed it. S was absolutely mesmerized the entire time and her little hand pretty much stayed in the popcorn bag the entire time. 

While we were out, C and I talked about how nice it was to get special one-on-one time with her.  She had a great time and talked about it for a few days. I'm already looking forward to our next movie date.



Mini Yogi

Thursday, December 26, 2013



Well...not really. Pretty sure half the stuff she does isn't considered real yoga, but we're just going to overlook that. On the day that these were taken, she randomly decided to go all downward dog all of a sudden. And I'll tell you this...she's never seen ME do these things. Anything that resembles working out makes me nervous. 

I kept telling myself as soon as I was done nursing Pato I would maybe start working out. Well, it's been a couple weeks now. Yes, I no longer nurse him, and no, I'm not ready to talk about it yet. We are fine. December 2010- December 2013. For three years my body has not really been completely my own. You better believe I popped some Advils after my last headache after not being able to take them for so long.

Anyway. While we're in Summit I have far too many taylor ham, egg, and cheese bagels calling my name to think about exerting too much effort.

So...Christmas. It was wonderful! S LOVES Christmas so much. We took her out for a drive around town to look at Christmas lights, and I promise she did not stop talking the whole time. Like...an hour. I will do some catch up posts for more details.

The kids are changing every single day and I've realized I really need to write these things down so I don't forget them.

S is just a funny little thing. We sang a new song to her at bedtime about animals. Each verse talks about another animal, and at first, we helped her pick the animals. After a bit of coaxing, she picked the animals on her own. She had us sing once about a frog and twice about a chicken. She tries to delay bedtime as much as she can, and sometimes it's so hard to put her down when she is being so sweet and fun.

Oh, and she can say her name perfectly now! It's great. Today I was changing Pato's diaper. When he was done I said, "Okay, Pato! You're all clean!" Then S said, "I don't want turn. Not S turn." 

Pato continues to be the cutest thing ever and I just want to squeeze him all day but he has zero time for that. Today he ran around the house with his pants down to his ankles (his pants are always too baggy) and he just kept going and going

We'd buy him a belt, but then his pants wouldn't fall to his ankles and then what would we do?

first update from new jersey

Tuesday, December 17, 2013



Hello, from New Jersey!

I feel like our Christmas holiday season has officially begun, and we're are thrilled to be at Ita and Ito's house! We've only been here a few days, and already we've been greeted by not one, but two waves of snow.

We are absolutely thrilled about it. (That's what happens when you live in a non-snowy area like Williamsburg long enough. Snow gets super exciting.)

We've been crafting up a storm (thanks, Ita!) and had a blast playing with a whole new set of toys. And ask me how many glass ornaments my kids have broken?

Zero.

Christmas miracles ARE real.

S has decided to take her imagination up a notch these days and absolutely cracks us up. She will sit alone for periods at a time just talking to herself as she plays. She has a little school bus with little wooden people in it, and she has named every one of them. Most are named after family members, but a couple are named after her friends.

"Oh! Hewwo, Cana! Go in bus. Go to school. Bye bye, Cana!"

She also likes to be her own narrator.

"How are you, stickers? All stickers in bus. Okay. I do it. Oh, sticky. Sticky. Another sticky. Bye bye, bus."

And every night before bed, she likes to say goodnight to stuff.

"I coming! Night night, Cri-cris tree. Night night, weath. Night night Cri-cris mights (lights.) Night night stairs. Ee you layer." 

Pato has really surprised us by starting to talk as well. Aside from Mama and Dada, he says nana for banana. Awa (agua) stop, shoes, bye bye, night night, okay and "I did it!" He hears S say, "I did it" so often, that I'm really not surprised he has picked up on it as well.

And now, I think some hot chocolate with big fat marshmallows are in order.


Williamsburg's Wreaths

Wednesday, December 11, 2013



I have a to-do list about a mile long before we leave on Saturday for the holidays. But, the temperature was nice and brisk and the sun was out, and I knew we had to seize the moment and spend some time outside.


Every year, magic hits Colonial Williamsburg and the entire area gets even more beautiful. Gorgeous wreaths hang on the doors of the different buildings, and I love how different they are. In between naps, I took the kids to go check them out. We did not even see half of them. That's just what happens when no one wants to ride the stroller. That's okay. I'd much rather have them run around anyway. 













This wreath was probably my favorite. I love sharing all these things with S and Pato. S ran around yelling, "Weath! Weath!" We'd talk about what was in each wreath and I told her that no, we couldn't eat the fruit that adorned some. J especially was pretty bummed about that. So, he found some dirt and stuck that in his mouth instead. Some older women walking by looked at me like I was letting my kid eat poop. Or maybe they noticed that (at that point) he didn't have a coat on and thought I was cruel.

Yep. I'm cruel. I actually feed my babies trash for dinner and enjoy watching them freeze. Guilty! 




If you ever get the chance to make a trip to Williamsburg around the Christmas holiday, I promise you won't regret it!

Lately...

Sunday, December 8, 2013



Lately...

S and I made a paper "Chri-Chris" tree and a snowman. She did a pretty good job putting everything together, but wasn't a huge fan of getting glue on her fingers. I had to keep wiping them off with baby wipes. After we were done with the snowman, she asked me to make him some pants. Keeping it G-rated apparently. Guess she's over with Pantless Wednesdays.

***

We went to C's end-of-year holiday party at work. About thirty minutes in, J tore off the bottom half of a poster on the wall. I was assured the poster wouldn't be missed, but I wasn't even surprised. This kid is such a destroyer.

***

While S and J sure do love each other, they have just barely started to fight. Maybe it's the fact that J is getting closer in size to S or that J's long-ish hair has given him a newfound feeling of power, but he won't put up with toy thievery any longer.

***

You know Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite? I love it just as much as the next person, especially during holiday season. S, however, will NOT let us listen to ANYTHING else. As soon as that song is over, she declares, "Mas! Mas Skoky! Fess-Fess want Skoky. Tato want Skoky. Dada want Skoky. Mama want Skoky." We've been watching the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular on Netflix a lot these days, and they have giant stuffed bears dance to the Nutcracker. S loves dancing along.

***

Both our kids need haircuts. Badly. But, I can't bring myself to do it because I know I will just be a sobbing mess. Anyone want to just get it over with and come over and do it in their sleep?

fake it till you (do or do not) make it

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


This picture is not at all related to this post. We took it last week in Texas. Somewhere in that gold ornament you can find the four of us.

Welp. Today was one of those days. I consider myself pretty lucky that days like these come very rarely. But, today I was pretty sure my kids had it in for me. So, I decided I'd have to fake it today. I'd pretend I had my crap together and that I was super-mama. I'd do some laundry, feed the kids, play some puzzles, and I'd do it all with a smile on my face, dangit. 

My first step when "faking it" is getting dressed in an outfit I like. When I feel okay about what I look like, I tend to feel a bit more put-together emotionally as well. So, I put on one of my favorite gray shirts with my most comfortable jeans. Nothing fancy.

The just-okay day progressed, and J decided he'd rather babble and yell in his crib than nap, and S decided she'd cry for thirty minutes before finally falling asleep. An hour into her nap and J's yells woke her. And I'll tell you what...homegirl is NOT a happy camper when she's woken up before she's ready. Huge whinefest.

I took them out of their cribs and decided I needed to fake it some more. So I did what any normal woman does when she's starting to the feel the pressure: I curled my hair. Believe me, as I sit here and type this, I am realizing how nuts this is. While I curled my hair, I had both kids pulling things out of the drawers and yelling at each other. And I just curled on. Until S slammed J's fingers in one of the drawers and J tried to retaliate by poking her in the eye. I actually watched him point his little finger and aim for her eye. 

So, then I decided I'd put on my faux fur vest. My hair was curled and I had my cute vest on. "I've TOTALLY got this!" I thought. I checked for broken fingers and that all eyes were intact. But, all I wanted to do was grab a monstrously huge bowl of pretzels, have my kids go at it and lock the door to my room with me inside it.

We had a few minutes to get ready before the kids' music classes, so I asked S to please stand by the door while I changed Pato's diaper. This boy poops ALL the time. I don't even know how he does it. But they were both whining and whining and getting mad at each other...so I ran to the bathroom. I grabbed my make-up bag and put on my favorite red lipstick. Faking some more.

"I've got this."

Somehow I got their diapers changed and matching shoes put on their feet. I normally pack a light dinner for the kids since we don't get home till close to bedtime, but all I could manage was to grab a half-full box of unwashed grapes and one pack of pretzels. Did I mention S followed me around the kitchen saying, "Sowwy, Mama. Sowwy." My little love knew I was feeling out of sorts and was saying sorry. Just rip my heart out, why dontcha?! She is very sensitive and can easily pick up on changes of emotions. Oh, I love her.

We made it to music class and we had fun. Eventually, everything was okay. I didn't even have to pull out the gold jewelry. Phew.

Why am I writing this? Because I felt sort of silly showing up to music class in faux fur and red lipstick just because I was trying to talk myself into thinking I could handle it all. No one is expecting me to be supermom. Sometimes, I just have to sit back and be okay with the house being a disaster. As I talked to one of my best mama friends on the way to music class to gather my sanity, she assured me that sometimes, it's really okay to just NOT have it all together.

I'll admit...the red lipstick did help. A bit :)

a matter of time

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Today as I was getting ready, I looked down at Pato. Whenever I'm in the bathroom doing my make-up, he and S like to wander in and go through the drawers. (Did I mention they broke a bottle of deep red-purple nail polish all over the bathroom not too long ago? Right under my nose. Yeahhh...cleaning it up was just the best.)

Anyway, as I looked down at him and S, I kept thinking, "It's just a matter of time."

Just a matter of time before J won't want me doing his hair anymore.

Just a matter of time before S asks for her own makeup.

Just a matter of time before J falls and breaks his arm/leg/nose/etc. (I expect this to be any day now.)

Just a matter of time before J catches up in size to S. Oh, how the tables will turn!

Just a matter of time before the kids realize that I don't know what I'm doing at least half the time.

Just a matter a time before they start keeping secrets.

Just a matter of time before they will prefer the company of their friends over me.

BUT

It's also just a matter of time before they start coming to us for advice.

Just a matter of time before a simple hairbow or ponytail won't be enough, and I'll have to youtube "how to do a french braid" at least a dozen times.

Just a matter of time before the kids will stay up late to have family movie nights.

And it's just a matter of time before they become more seasoned, mature, and wiser versions of themselves. It's a big job being a parent. I can only hope I can help them want and choose to be loving, accepting, kind, and amazing little people.

and we're back



The blur. That boy. I just...sigh. Someday I'll get non-blurry shots of him, right?

Anyway. We're back. So, you know how when you go on a trip you try to leave the house clean? The kids have only had a few waking hours back in it and have already torn it apart. 

Poor S has been asking for her Grammy and Poppy all morning and sobbed when we took dada to work. But, chin up buttercup. We're going to make it through this day.

A trip to Trader Joes should perk us up a bit :)

school buses and giving thanks

Sunday, December 1, 2013


The kids are in bed and we have almost re-packed all our bags. Don't you hate when something you've looked forward to for what seems like forever is almost over? Don't even get me started on the post-Christmas blues. Bleh.

Today after church we stopped by C's old high school to take a look at some school buses parked in the parking lot. We talked about the big wheels and spelled out the letters we found all over the bus. I love that my kids are at a stage where they love to explore and learn. Sometimes you don't need manuals or planned-out lessons...just one look outside gives us a plethora of learning opportunities. I'm trying to learn to take advantage of those opportunities. 


I'm thankful for these two kids who make me see the world in a whole new way every day. Gosh it's an amazing place.

I'm thankful for my husband. He is my biggest supporter and makes me feel like I can accomplish anything. And, I'm thankful that I married a man who will pull over to jump in leaves and inspect school buses :) 

I'm thankful for the chance I get to be a mama. It's exciting and often draining and sometimes it feels like I don't get one second for me, but there's nothing else I'd rather do.

I'm thankful for my parents and that I am able to call them some of my very best friends. 

I'm thankful for my brothers. And that they still love me even though I'm THAT bossy older sister. 

I'm thankful for my in laws. They don't come better than mine. Really. 

I'm thankful for extended family and for their love for my children. Seeing those I love love my children is truly a special thing. 

I'm thankful for those I'm able to call my friends. They somehow stick with me even when I'm so bad at keeping in touch or forget their birthdays. 

I'm thankful for my religious beliefs. I believe in a loving God and that my family can be together for all time. 

My life is nowhere near perfect. Not even close. But I have much to be very thankful for. 

checking in

Friday, November 29, 2013

Eyes shut and everything. He was clearly committed to this shot.

We are alive and more than well in Texas with our Jones family. We've been filling our days with lots of food and time with family. When we get together...wow. We're a sight. My kids have the best aunts and uncles around. And their cousins. Oh, their cousins. They are simply amazing. I can already see friendships being formed and it makes all the missed naps and messed up routines totally worth it. We've pretty much broken every rule in our book in just these last few days.

J has developed a huge crush on his Grammy and reaches for her whenever she's around. It's truly the sweetest thing and I LOVE how much my kids love their grandparents. But, tonight at dinner, he had so many wet kisses for his mama and it reminded me that I'm still his #1 girlfriend :)

turn that frown upside down

Monday, November 25, 2013


You know that moment when you can tell you're about to get a whole lotta whining? I was at the ready with my camera (she loves it when I take pictures of her mid-breakdown) and this girl was thisclose to causing a scene in the Barnes and Noble parking lot. She caught sight of a leaf (!) and quickly turned into my happy girl again. 

***

Tomorrow we are off to Texas! We've been talking about this trip for a long time now, and S always says, "Mammy? Popeye? Tetas?" I think her head will explode when she sees them tomorrow. I'm starting to get nervous about the plane ride, so please cross your fingers for us. Today, S told me she was scared of the sound of an airplane...talk about good timing. 

Check them out...

So, I have always known I had wonderfully smart and talented friends, and a few are taking part in some fun and exciting things...

I didn't know I needed more (or any) dried flowers in my life until I looked at everything my super talented friend, Tina creates. She sells gorgeous (seriously) arrangements on her etsy shop, Flores del Sol. And the people at Gardenista love her as well. Check out the awesome article they just did on her here! I've already booked her for S's wedding someday. IG: @floresdelsol

Casey has an amazing eye for fashion. She lives in London with her little family, and blogs about their fun adventures. Just try not to get jealous! She is currently doing a giveaway on her blog that you should enter if you have any sort of child in your life. Of if you're a really nice neighbor and want to give it to the kid next door. IG: @cmatheny

I should also mention that each of these ladies above have daughters that are hair twins with S. So, that would make them hair triplets, right?

And lastly...

My friend Jenny Rose (isn't that the most gorgeous name of all time??) and her friends started a little paper company. I am super excited about this because anyone who knows Jenny knows how hilarious and so darn creative she is. Cobalt & Dash does not have an online store yet, but you should check out their blog. We will definitely be in line for a print once they open up. IG: @cobaltanddash


little tree-sized victories

Thursday, November 21, 2013



The other day, S and I played outside while Pato napped. It was chilly and I found myself asking S at least three times if she was ready to go back inside, but she didn't seem to mind that our fingers were freezing. I thought maybe I'd make some hot chocolate, then realized we were out. Then I mentally weighed the dangers of leaving my sleeping son alone for a seven minute run to the nearest drive-thru for some. Don't worry. I'm not that crazy and I didn't leave him alone. But, come on, hasn't every parent kinda ever had that "what if I ran out for just a minute?" thought? 
So, we wandered to our neighbors yard and she tried to break into their storage shed. I kept an eye on the road because I was sure a cop would drive by and accuse me and my two year old of trespassing...or maybe I just had "crazy mom who abandons kids for hot beverages" written all over my face. I know... sounds absurd. I was too scared to be a trouble maker in school, can you tell? 
But, onto the small victory part...

We had initially gone out because I wanted to take a picture of this tree in our backyard. S decided she wanted to climb it, and up she went. This was a small tree, so really, she was probably just a foot off the ground. But, it may as well have been ten feet because I was so proud of her for doing something that was sort of scary. (Not that I really want her climbing up tall trees, let me make that clear.) Once she made it up she kept saying, "I did it! I did it!" And I was so excited for her!

One of the best things about being a mom is seeing my kids succeed at something or learn something new. I tell ya... when S overcame her fear of stamps (the kind you get stamped on your hand) after crying every week at the end of music class, I was SO proud of her. I have no idea why getting her hand stamped scared her so much, but now she looks forward to it and loves showing her stamp off. And, when J started singing "ba ba ba" in time with the music teacher (something S still won't do) in our most recent class, even Mozart couldn't have impressed me more.

I love the small victories.

colonial garb is totally normal to me now

Monday, November 18, 2013

Four years here in Williamsburg, and we are still discovering new places. We finally made it a point to visit the Governor's Palace gardens on Saturday, and it did not disappoint! I kicked myself the whole time for forgetting the memory card in our DSLR, so the iPhone had to cut it. (Counting down the days till my upgrade next month! #firstworldproblems)
I was telling C that ever since I became a mom, I suddenly see the appeal of open spaces where I can just let me kids roam free. They were happy as larks just running around, picking up pebbles, and pointing at squirrels.
It's always fun to see people dressed up. I'm at the point now where I see people dressed like this in the grocery store and I don't even think twice about it.
We are not sure how much time we have left here in VA, but the end is somewhere in sight, and already I feel a little sad pull on my heartstrings because I know I will miss it here. Especially living just five minutes away from Jamestown and CW. Growing up in NJ and feeling like an East Coaster through and through (my heart is in the shape of a taylor ham-egg-and-cheese bagel), I never imagined I would feel so at home in the South. I feel so lucky to call this my home.
***

Start planning your VA trip, people. We have room for ya! And I promise to even put a non-Hershey-brand chocolate on your pillow. 

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