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 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 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. 

An open letter to Mindy Kaling:

Saturday, November 16, 2013 if your name is not Mindy Kaling, please feel free to skip this post and go grab a cookie or something. But, preferably not a peanut butter cookie because I don't like those. And one without raisins because adding raisins pretty much negates everything that the cookie stands for. 


Girl. I'm not going to beat around the bush. I love you. I had a great time devouring your book, and my husband earned major bonus points when he came home with it for me. I also think he felt slightly rejected because our conversations were about three words long during the time I took to read it. 

"Yeah. Trader Joes." 

At least they were important words. 

Anywho. I wanted to address a few things from your book. First off. No, Mindy, everyone is not hanging out without you. Okay....that's a lie. I have no idea. But should you ever feel left out, please know you can call me any time, day or night, and I would be more than happy to eat Indian food with you. I'll probably want to make friendship bracelets with you, but I promise not to include our initials in them since I don't want any awkward-ness should JLMP choose to get back together. 

The summer camp diving board fiasco. What the HECK?! I can't believe that butthead (FYI autocorrect tried to change butthead to but thread) made you jump off the highest board even though you told him you didn't want to! Scott, the handsome counselor, clearrrrrrllly has zero appreciation for the beauty in weeds and algae. (Next time you want to get a a good look at them, may I suggest choosing anything other than a high diving board?) And, you didn't tell anyone? I would've been calling for his counselor impeachment (75% sure that's a thing) had my jump resulted in a huge bloody gash on my leg. As a child, you were already a more honorable person than I. 

Your advice for teenage girls to not peak in high school?? Amen, sista. There are girls that I know of that let's just say may have peaked in high school. Maybe they didn't...what do I know? But, at 26, I certainly hope I haven't peaked. I hope to peak around forty two. That seems like a nice ripe time to peak. But, can I just ask this: what happens after you peak? Are you just supposed to be all like, "Welp. I peaked. That was cool?" Do you just sit around watching other young people peak around you? Sigh. This is opening a whole can of peak worms and I ate far too much Salvadoran food tonight to want to dive into this subject. 

Thank you for clearing up the whole gift bag question. As a non-Hollywooder, I thought all the swag bags were filled with diamond bracelets (small diamonds), Botox coupons, thousand dollar face cream, and chocolate bars dusted with 14k gold. I appreciate you telling us that they are mostly just protein bars in there. Being famous just got a little less glamorous. 

I wasn't aware people wanted more movies about board games. Whattt? I am just as flummoxed as you are. Should you ever create Yahtzee, however, I will stand in line and go. May I suggest a tag line? I think an over-zealous, "WHAT are the CHANCE-ESSSS?!" would be great thrown in there five or six times. Have the actors throw their hands up in the air for a greater effect. 

And lastly, Mindy, Mind (can I call you Mind?) I appreciate your honesty. I appreciate how frank you are about your image and your weight. I actually would not call you chubby at all. I'm sorry that Dante Diallo from Senegal was unkind to you in school. I sincerley hope he is not a warlord like you mentioned. Obsessing about weight bananas. Talking about weight is up there among things I hate the most. I wish people would love themselves for what they look like and not hold others to that same unrealistic bar to which they hold themselves. How many times have we had the, "Oh stop. You are so skinny!" conversation? I say if people want to lose weight to feel better then yes! Please do so! But, do it for yourself. Beauty has so many faces. 

I look forward to your next book. I hope it is, indeed as you said, filled with stories about your husband, your kids, your cool movie career, and other things you've learned. My husband thinks you should title it I Want Dirk Nowitzki to Host Saturday Night Live So Much That I'm Making It the Title of My Book. I don't know why your publishers didn't think that would sell, but I think you need to revisited that title. 

And, since I know you're all into selfies, I thought I'd share one with you. 

You need to teach me your selfie ways because I always end up looking like the most awkward person on planet earth. Maybe the galaxy. I haven't done enough research yet on that subject. 


Ps: can you just tell us who that movie star with the creepily similar looking stand in is? 

**To everyone who read through this nonsense and has no idea what I was talking about, you can check out her book. It's called Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). Mind you, it's not for everyone. If you like the Mindy Project or Kelly Kapor you will probably enjoy it. I'd like to tackle Bossy Pants next. 

slowing down for my backseat driver

Friday, November 15, 2013

The other morning, on the way to taking C to work, we passed by a huge pile of leaves. It was deep, and you couldn't tell where the curb ended because you just sank in the leaves. I'll admit, I wasn't expecting to face anyone in public that morning in my baggy sweats and fuzzy red slippers, but I couldn't pass it up. Especially when I feel like I'm not taking enough time to slow down. A bit ago, I read one mom's story about how she was always in a hurry, and how she felt like she needed to slow down for her children. Whenever we leave the house, S yells, "Hurry! Hurry! Faster faster!" At first, I thought it was just a cute and funny thing she did. But then I realized that hello! I must be telling her to hurry faster. I don't want my kids to feel life is just rushing all the time. Luckily, my kids are teaching me every day to appreciate the tiny things. 

And speaking of going fast....this girl is a total backseat driver. Sigh. This is what our car rides usually sound like:

S: Go, Mama. Go!
Me: Okay, S. I'm going, I'm going.
S: Faster! Go! Go! Cars! Mas (more) cars! WAIT CARS!! WAIT! STOPPPP! WAIT!
Me: Let's count the cars, okay? One...two...
S: ...three...four. Oh, no! Cars! Wait! Mama. GO! GO! GO!
M: S, I can't go! The light is rojo. See?
S: (very dramatically) Oh, no! I can't go! 

I'm not even exaggerating.

And, if there are school buses around? Forget it. Same conversation, only with five or six bonus, "COOOOOOL BUSSS! WAIT cool BUS!" added in there. 

jones eats: fried chicken and waffle sandwiches

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Before I say anything else: I did NOT make this! My incredible husband did. He is an amazing cook and if the whole history professor thing doesn't work out, he's going to open a food truck. We have an awesome name for it already. 

Okay, kidding about the food truck. Mostttttly. 

When he first told me he was going to make fried chicken and waffles I was hesitant. I am picky about my waffles, and I've never had a savory waffle before. (Those amazing waffles were packed with bacon, green onions and cheese. I love all those things individually. I should have known better.) And whenever I think of fried chicken, I think of me gusta. 

Had I actually been able to eat my words I would have, but I was too busy stuffing my face with this deliciousness. C gave me permission to share the recipe since I had a few people ask. Please go make this. Your loved ones will love you even more. 

...and a follow-up.

Monday, November 11, 2013

I felt like I needed to write a follow-up to my last post because the amazing support and feedback I have received sure did make my week. It opened up new conversations with people, and at the end of the was straight up therapeutic for me. It literally felt like my heart was saying, "thank you thank you" to myself for finally getting my thoughts down on paper. (Or iPad, which it was in my case.)

Life had other plans for us, and you know was perfect. Thanks, life! Ya did good. Because when I see S wrestle J to the ground and they roll around the floor laughing, or see them purposely drool water out of their mouths at lunchtime just to get the other to laugh, I can't and don't want to imagine what it would be like without our little Pato. 

Our children's books would be in a lot better shape. Probably.

p.s: I am always surprised when someone tells me they read my blog. Can I just say thank you? It really means a lot to me. And to those who have said they like my writing... I really have you fooled. Listen. It's not good writing because I cheat. I write just how I think/speak. Which is usually disjointed, often off the cuff, and seldom coherent outside of my brain. If you can actually make sense of what I say then maybe that tells you that you may be a bit disjointed, too.

But, C reminds me often that I just need to accept compliments. So, okay. Compliment accepted. And thanks :) 

emotions of an unexpected pregnancy

Saturday, November 9, 2013

So...I recently wrote about my experience of finding out I was pregnant with this little guy. I had been meaning to write it for as long as he's been alive, and I finally did it. And let me tell you. It felt so. good. And when I go back and read it (as I have more than once...or twice...or five times) it still hurts a little. But it hurts so good. Does that make any sense??? I was nervous about sharing it, but I'm so glad I did because the response I have gotten from strangers, friends, family and friends of family has absolutely floored me. I have received so much support from people that I don't even talk to on a regular basis, or at all. I must admit, sharing it felt like one of those standing in front of the room stark naked type of feelings.

It was a difficult experience to go through, and my own personal trial. If you're interested in reading my story, please feel free here:

And now some pictures of the best surprise we've ever gotten...
Hope you liked all the blurry shots. Because with this kid, that's all I can ever get. 
Okay...and one of this girl. She looks pretty miserable, doesn't she??

cat and mouse

Saturday, November 2, 2013

If only all mice were this cute...
SO happy!
Then...SO sad. I don't remember what he was crying about. Probably us telling him not to do something. He gets extremely offended when we tell him no.
Sweet little kitty cat. Missing her furry vest and whiskers. She loved having me draw whiskers on her the other day, but today, not so much.
Cat chasing mouse. S chasing just a normal day. (Missing is J's cute little rat tail. Wait, did I just use the words "cute" and "rat tail" in the same sentence? I meant mouse tail.)

These pictures were for Grammy, Poppy, Ita and Ito. Enjoy!

fall leaves and fess-fess

Friday, November 1, 2013

This little lady is such an outdoors girl and I really haven't a clue where she got that. She would run around in nothing but a diaper in the freezing rain if it meant she could stay outside. While I don't quite share her enthusiasm, I feel like it has begun to rub off on me. But, don't even try to get me to go camping because you're going to lose that bet. Nope. No thank you. You can keep your s'mores. 
How about those colors though? Right?!  I particularly loved the yellow one with the green stripey part in the middle. Turns out, this was a great way for S to practice her colors. Rojo! Verde! Amarillo! That's my Spanglish baby for ya. 

Oh, and lest you think I was totally ignoring J, I'll have you know he was napping. His morning naps mean S and I get busy coloring, playing with her letters, coloring, stickers, oh, and yeah, MORE coloring. You should see the poor state our crayons are in. 

Some other tidbits on this Friday evening....

I am starting to mentally prepare myself for the day J breaks an arm, or a leg, or his collarbone. Today, he fell flat on his face and we saw some blood on him, and we think it originated somewhere around the mouth area. Not sure though. In places where there is one small step to descend, instead of crawling down it, half the time he just steps off knowing he will fall. He just gets up and keeps going. Then does it again. Total opposite of S who is normally so careful and hesitant. 

So, S refers to herself in the third person. She calls herself "Fess-Fess" and points to her mouth (???) while doing so. 

Fess-Fess is crazy about school buses. My word. She spots them from a mile away. One time we drove up right next to one and it reminded me to Beatle-mania. Or Bono-mania :) 

We call J "Wanderer" a lot because he wanders all over the house. The boy has ants in his pants. 

And I'll leave you with one of the coolest things I've seen this week. Thumbs up, Pope Francis.

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