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.

What I Really Hope They'll Learn This Year

Monday, August 8, 2016

So, the kids started school this morning and I'm just all over the place. Last night, we packed their backpacks, ironed and laid out their clothes, and stayed up late making one of their favorite breakfasts for them so it would be ready in the morning. (Never mind that I took it out of oven too early and ended up undercooking it. They ate the fully cooked parts and didn't even notice) We knew this day was coming, we've been talking about it for weeks, but as I walked away after dropping them off to their respective classes, it suddenly hit me. And it hit me hard.

They are gone. They are off learning things, making friends (I hope), doing stuff...without me. I feel like the annoying little sibling who is left out and is sitting sadly in the corner thinking, "But, what about me?!" That's one of the points, though, right? Figuring out how to do things without your parents right next to you. Figuring out you. 

I could sit here and write about how it feels like they were just tiny babies in my arms. Or how it seems like just yesterday that they were bouncing around in diapers and footie pajamas. I could write about how Time is dead set on becoming my worst enemy and he always seems to be winning. 

There's a ton I could write. But, since I'm sitting in a Starbucks and am not in the mood to have a bunch of strangers watch me cry, I'll write instead about some of my hopes for my kids this year.

To S and P:

I hope you will discover and rediscover the brave little people I know are in there. I hope that you will find good friends, and that you'll be the kind of friend you wish to have. I hope that you will be helpers. I hope that you'll always choose kindness. I hope that you'll understand that it's more important to be nice than it is to be right. I hope that you will be challenged and make mistakes, just so you learn to try again. And finally, I hope you'll be fine with me hugging you a little longer at night because I just miss ya.

And now, I'll go back to watching the clock and counting down the seconds till it's time to see them again :)

Ah, shoot, here come the tears. This is just a really good hot chocolate, okay people??

Why I won't be apologizing for my son's long hair.

Monday, August 1, 2016

When we're both much older, and I'm thinking back on my first boy in all his almost-four-year-old glory, this is how I'll imagine him. Wearing blue, because that's his favorite color. In his sandals that he's so excited about because he can buckle them all on his own. With a bowtie because that's what Daddy wears. And running because that's his favorite way to get around lately, it seems. Each time his foot hits the floor, it's followed by a loud "stomp stomp stomp." And what I'll remember even more than all those things is his long hair.

He loves his hair. It's become a huge part of him. He's had one haircut before (last summer, actually) and we've started discussing getting another haircut soon before he starts school soon.

As I was getting ready this morning, I started thinking about all the different responses we've gotten about his long hair through the years. It's funny because they have almost become predictable, and don't vary much. Here are the responses we usually get...

The "OMG! His hair is so gorgeous" Response

Obviously, this one is our favorite, because, we totally agree! It IS really beautiful! He hardly ever gets knots in it, it's super soft, and has a really pretty color. The sun has given him a few natural highlights, and I've found myself eyeing his hair enviously more than once. We always respond with a, "Thank you so much! He really likes it, too!"

The "Girl" Response

This has several parts to it. I've been asked, "So, are your girls twins?" a hundred thousand times. I could have him wearing a shirt that says, "I'M A BOY" in huge block letters and people will still think he's a girl. He actually has a sweater that says, "Hey Ladies" on it, and he's gotten some strange looks from it. (But, that's a whole other discussion, now, isn't it? Another day!) When I was pregnant with O, I also had people ask if I was "...finally getting [my] boy?"

What do I do when people refer to him as a girl incorrectly? I always try to gently correct them by saying something like, "Actualllllly, he's a boy!" Or, "No, they're not twins. HE is a year younger than his sister." Lately, however, Pato has no problem saying, "I'm a boy!" 

Which leads to the part 2 of The "Girl" Response.

After we tell people that "she's" actually a "he," we always get the same looks. The look of surprise, and then they look at him again even closer, and more often than not, they quickly apologize and say something about his hair. (Or, they look at me like I'm crazy, and don't really know what I'm talking about. I kid you not, once I was asked, "Are you sure?" Yes, I'm sure. I'm married to a man. I've seen what my body looks like, oh, just my entire life. I've changed more diapers than I can count. I've been peed on by both female and male parts. (In case you're wondering, pee is pee. It's bad no matter where it came from.) And you know what? If I DIDN'T know, there's a 100% chance my kids wouldn't even be alive. Let's think about that.)

Okay, I know it sounds like a bit angry, but I promise I'm not. Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time, I'm not at all bothered when people mistake my son for girl. But, as I was thinking about how I my own reaction to others, I realized that too many times, I've found myself apologizing for the confusion. As if it were my fault! I've said, "Oh, I'm sorry! It's because his hair is long." Why am I saying sorry for that? It's 2016, people. By now, if you're cringing at the possibility of little boys having long hair, it may be time to step back and rethink things a bit. I am so glad that we live in a day where we can tell girls they can do anything a boy can do. When Sof told me the other day she wants to be a construction worker, and asked if that was something girls could do, I said, "Yes, of course!" I love that it's become more acceptable to tell a boy that it's okay to cry and to have feelings. 

But, the very best response came from my son. One time, when someone mistook him for a girl, he said, "That's okay! Because girls are great, too!" You are so, right, Pato! Being compared to a girl is not a put-down, and we shouldn't apologize for the mix up as if it were a bad thing. Because girls are just as strong, talented, athletic, and amazing as boys.

So, while I will still gently remind people that, nope, this awesome and wonderful kid is actually a boy, I will no longer apologize for their confusion because of his hair being long. And those people who just assume he's a girl but never ask, I'm totally okay with you thinking he's my daughter. Because girls are great, too :) 

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