A Gingerbread House for the Jones Kids

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

I bought this gingerbread kit (Trader Joes does it again, guys) weeks ago? A month ago? Anyway...I've had it tucked away in a closet, waiting for the perfect day to take it out.

Today did not start off as the perfect day. Lately, it feels like we spend more and more time not being on the same page as one of our kids. This one child will often disregard our requests repeatedly, enough where I was beginning to wonder if my voice was actually on "mute." And to be honest, it's really hard and very frustrating. C and I often go to bed feeling exhausted and defeated. So, after a morning of tears (and a hard lesson on consequences) I decided we needed something to perk us all up. So, I sent the kids downstairs for a few minutes, promising them a "Christmas surprise" and got to work making the icing and setting out the gingerbread spread.

Isn't it amazing how it's the simple things that make your kids think you're the best parent ever? When they came up the stairs and saw what they would be working on, they were thrilled! We had the Christmas music playing in the background, and for the next hour, everything was a perfect, sweet, and sticky mess. I told myself beforehand that I would get in the way, and just let them decorate it however they wanted. I kept catching them sneaking little pieces of candy and their fingers were in their mouths only a hundred times.

And here is the finished product! They were so proud! It is now sitting in their room (I know, bad idea) right on their dresser. I'd be willing to bet that over the next few days, pieces of the house will not-so-mysteriously go missing. It's a good thing our house isn't made of candy or else we'd be completely homeless. 

Lines for Hugs

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

So, yesterday, C picked the kids up from school, and came home and told me that as S left her classroom, ", five or six boys lined up to give her a hug goodbye."

Sof proceeded to name them all, and said, "It was actually four boys."

So. Yeah.

Christmas on the Farm...and My Own Five-Year-Old Christmas Wish

So completely unrelated to the above picture, but as I sit here sipping my hot chocolate I came to the conclusion that I might not mind working at Starbucks during the holidays. You guys...Christmas music is playing (and I already spotted a few customers bobbing their heads along), there are little fake trees with adorable little Starbucks ornaments, and everyone just seems so dang happy. Like..."Thanks for coming in!" And you almost want to say, "You're welcome! You are SO welcome to enjoy my presence. And a happy festivus to you!" If someone comes out wearing a Santa I might just lose freaking my mind. (In the good way of mind-loss.)

Oh gosh. Oh gosh. For real, a worker just came out with a bag full of toys to be donated to a kids charity group. You guys....send my husband. Send my kids. I might not leave this place.

Moving on...somehow.

We were invited by our favorite little farm down the road, Petersen Family Farm, for a night of fun, and it was almost perfect (aside from the huge freak-out our kids had when they spotted a cat.) We started the night by visiting Santa, and guys, he was just the sweetest Santa. Although, I feel like the Santas nowadays have gone a bit soft. When I was little, I remember my heart racing as I waited in line, and then Santa always asking very firmly, very seriously, "Have you been a good little girl this year?" It was like he was asking my very soul if it had been good that year. It was THE most important question of the year, and I felt like if I lied he would see right through me and give me nothing but coal. Yes, Santas back then knew better. I'm pretty sure a ton of kids could get away with anything today and Santa would be fooled. So, yeah. Kids of 2016- consider yourselves lucky.

After S visited with Santa, I asked her what she told me. She responded by giving me a look and said, "Mom. I can't tell you. It was just for Santa." 

Moms...always putting their noses where they don't belong, right? (Sheepish.)

Now that I think of it, my earliest Santa memory was the when I asked Santa for a "Dance Magic Barbette." I couldn't say "Barbie" for the life of me, but somehow I had no problem saying "Barbette." You guys, I LOVED that Barbette. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, I found a picture of her HERE. Just looking at the picture reminds me of all the times I would sit and comb her hair and don't even get started on her color-changing lips. Also, for a second, I am reminded how much alike S and I are. She would go crazy over a Dance Magic Barbette, too. (And if you can imagine how much I enjoyed this doll, you should have seen me with Hollywood Hair Barbie. Talking about losing my collective mind. I styled and sprayed the crap out of that doll's hair. It's a wonder why I am useless at doing my own daughter's hair.) 

After visiting with Santa we took a ride in a covered wagon lit up with sparkly lights as we bundled up under blankets, listened to a Christmas story and sang Jingle Bells. The kids were especially good at ringing their bells while they sang...they've been getting in some extra practice lately.

We ended the night by warming up with some delicious hot chocolate. This hot chocolate was really unique, and I was actually pretty confused when I saw it. We were handed a cup of warm milk, and then chocolate + marshmallows that were on a wooden stick. You would then stir the chocolate into the hot milk until it melted. And voila! 

Thanks for the fun night, Petersen Family Farm! And thanks for letting me take a tiny detour down Christmas memory lane.

A Year of Oscar: Eight Months

Monday, December 12, 2016

With a pit in my stomach, I look at these pictures and realize that we are getting closer and closer to having a little one-year-old on our hands. I know every stage of childhood brings its ups and downs. The first wobbly steps are delightful, hearing those first words are something you never forget, and seeing your kids learn things and need you a little less is both amazing and a little heartbreaking at the same time. But, there is absolutely nothing like the baby stage. We still aren't sleeping all night. I still end the day with milk, drool, and baby food on my clothes and in my hair. And I still can't get enough of his baby smell. 

This month his little personality has continued to peek out. He has started to get sad whenever I leave the room, so when I can't sneak away, I place him right outside the door when I have to use the bathroom. He still doesn't have any teeth, but I feel like those will come out any day now. He is pretty good at army crawling around the house and sticking every tiny thing he sees in his mouth. Ask me how many near-heart attacks I've had already after finding bits of stuff in there! 

Our little peanut continues to be as sweet as sweet can be and we can't get enough of him.

Sometimes I really wish I were a baby...

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

...and this is why.

Coziest shirt from Jean & June found HERE. Now, if only it could make it sleep all the way through the night...

I like matching pajamas and I cannot lie.

Monday, December 5, 2016

I know what you're thinking. Well, I have a few ideas anyway. So, I'll address them now.

Yes, I went there. We have coordinating family pajamas! Man, just when I thought my Christmas pajama obsession couldn't go any further. And they're so comfortable! You can ask C. Ask him how many days in a row he wanted to wear those pants.

Also, no. We don't always look that happy. Are you kidding me?! If you walk into our house at any given moment, there's a fair chance you'll find at least one person in this picture crying or feeling frustrated because someone else keeps touching their stuff.

Also, because Thanksgiving is over, and I never really talked about what I'm thankful for here on the blog (still recovering from the cheese thing...if you're confused, maybe it's better you don't know what I'm talking about) I wanted to share a couple thing I am thankful for about each person in this little family of mine.

C: I am so thankful that he doesn't expect me to have dinner on the table the minute he walks in the door and have the laundry all done at all times. I am thankful that he is a person who sticks up for others. I am thankful to have someone by my side who supports all my endeavors. I'm sure if I said I wanted to start a career in making sculptures out of butter he would be my biggest supporter. 

S: I am thankful for her because she made me a mother. I am thankful that she has a forgiving heart, because I mess up a lot. I am thankful that I have a daughter who loves to sing and make up songs. I am thankful that she has such a good memory because oftentimes, before we go to the grocery store, I tell her what we need and have her say it all back to me when we get there.

J: I am thankful that he was given one of the kindest most loving hearts that I have ever known. I am thankful that he still wants to cuddle with his mama. I am thankful that he adores his little brother and is always eager to help out when I need it. I am thankful that he always knows what day of the week it is because some days I feel like I don't even know what year it is.

O: I am thankful that this little guy will sit and watch Baby Einstein videos so I can brush my teeth and get dressed. I am thankful that at least one of my kids doesn't care what I dress them in that day. I am thankful that he is such a good eater! I am thankful for the joy that he brings to our family every single day. I'm thankful for his dimple that melts me when he smiles. Oh, and I'm thankful that he doesn't remember that time he rolled off the bed and got a bloody nose.


All of our pajamas are from Burts Bees Baby, and can be found HERE. We have several of their sets, and I promise you can't go wrong with any of them. They are so cozy and festive, but not like, too festive, ya know?

A post where I try to not be political but just end up talking about cheese.

So, I had a very sweet friend point out to me today that I hadn't blogged in a little bit, and wondered if it had been due to the latest presidential election. (Yes, the last time I blogged we lived in a world where people still thought there was no way he would win the election. Turns out, people were wrong.)

I really don't want this post to be about DT, so I'll keep it brief.

Yes, part of the reason I haven't blogged in a few weeks is because I am so darn disappointed and still wake up wondering if I had just dreamt it all. The day after the news broke, I felt this feeling that I don't know how to describe entirely? It was like I had fallen asleep one night and then woken up, stepped outside, only to discover that everyone's bodies were turned inside out. I know that sounds graphic, but can you imagine the confusion one would feel? Like...I thought I KNEW what our country looked like, but all of a sudden I didn't. I'm not saying that overnight, everyone who voted for DT had their hearts turn black. I'm not saying that. Because I know people that I love who voted for him. But, now there are all these people walking around with their guts hanging out and I'm just puzzled. 

Another part of the "don't know quite how to describe" feeling is if you were playing a game with friends, and choosing teams. Your best friend knows you're not the best kickball player, thinks it's endearing (and I mean that in the sweet way...not the "you're a dope" way) the way you fall on your butt every time you kick, and tells you that you're doing a good job, anyway. But, when it's time to pick teams, your best friend doesn't pick you first, second, or third, or even last and instead wants to pick a piece of cheese instead of having you on your team. And you're left standing there not only feeling betrayed, but also kinda like...REALLY??? Cheese?? (However, my imaginary cheese doesn't grab anyone by the p****.)

Anyway. For a little while, I just didn't FEEL like sharing my life with everybody, ya know? Like, WHY should I move on if I'm not ready to? Why should I put on a happy face for anybody?

Anyway...this is already more talk of politics than I intended.

But, what I want to say is this....

I still love all you inside-out people.

I'm trying not to be offended that cheese was picked over me. I keep telling myself there's a good reason for it, and that you love me just as much as I think you do, but you just really needed cheese on your team at that moment. I truly hope cheese works out for you. I hope cheese gets a home run for your team, but I hope cheese will also hit a home a home run for all of us. I hope cheese is able to play better than I think a piece of cheese ever could. I REALLY hope cheese will stop stinking. 

And I wish Alec Baldwin a very healthy next four years.


NOW: for something ENTIRELY not political....

It's the holiday season! It's upon us! And that makes me so happy. You know what else makes me happy?

1. Every time Pato reads that letter board, he says, "I smell my snow." 

2. Christmas pajamas! Aren't they the best? O has quite the collection, partly because of his awesome hand-me-downs. The polka dotted ones on the top are my favorite because all three of my babies have worn them. I remember picking them out for S before she was born. I had no idea what she would be like, nor any of our other children. Turns out they are a hundred times more amazing than I ever could have imagined. 

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