Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A bit of everything

It has been crazy busy in the Jones house.  March is most definitely the busiest month.  Ethan just had his 8th birthday, which I will share with you this week, and we had our basketball party.  I am truly blessed that I get to teach those young men.  I love them!!  Now we are settling back into some sort of normalcy. I only have two weeks of yoga left which I am totally bummed about.  I need to find something else to go do at least once a week.  I love yoga.  It is really empowering and not to mention it has given me back some abdominal muscles.  I really had no ability to hold my stomach in after having Jack.  Now I can suck it in, lol! 

I started cloth diapering again.  I tried this when Jack was first born for about 2 weeks and I couldn't hack it.  I think it was probably because little babies pee and poop every 5 seconds.  Add that to changing Regan also and I was stressed with the massive amount of laundry.  Now there are longer times between changes and we are working on potty training Regan so its a whole different ballgame this time around.  I ordered some pocket diapers to try out and I love them. 

My parents got me a great patio set for my birthday but the annoying weather has been chilly since we got it and I have yet to go out and relax.  It seats 6 so we can all go out there and enjoy it.  I think I will look in the garage for that old booster seat of Regan's and clean it out for Jack.  Then we can really all eat outside.  It looks great through the window though and I'm dreaming of warmer weather and a fantastic summer.  Tomorrow is my birthday.  I am feeling sort of melancholy about the whole thing.  I am fine with the number, I'm only going to be 28, but I am feeling rather blah about how I've spent my 20's (I know they aren't over yet).  I'm just not quite where I want to be.  Then as I write this I think of all the things I will have accomplished and perhaps 28 is the year to accomplish the things I haven't finished yet.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mom to Mom: How I get my kids to eat their veggies

We went to Olive Garden not that long ago and all of my kids ate salad.  You betcha there were people looking at us in amazement.  I have a pretty hardcore approach to eating good food and vegetables and my kids know I mean business.  In this house "If you don't eat it for dinner you will eat it for your next meal and not anything else until you finish."  My oldest has had green beans for breakfast.  Ellie went on an eating strike over cottage cheese, of all things.  They all know I will make them eat it the next day.  I don't falter on that one.  I've read somewhere that it takes at least 10 times of trying a new food before a kid may like it.  It is certainly hard to get to even 1 time if your kid won't even try it, I know I've been there!

I know you're wondering how we got to this point.  I used to get frustrated with Ethan when he wouldn't eat things that he had eaten before (and liked I might add) and I did not want to have a battle every evening.  This only works when they have a concept of when the next meal is around age 4 or so.  Regan at 2 is too young but since she is the third she just does whatever they do.  I don't get upset or frustrated anymore, I just calmly tell them that if they don't eat it now they can have it at the next meal or snack.  I also tell them that it usually isn't as good reheated.  Then when mealtime is over, I wrap it up and put it in the fridge.  Sometimes telling them that in 5 minutes its going to be put away is motivation to finish it up.  At first we tried making them sit there until they had finished but it just made everyone stressed and my kids are stubborn as all hell so that never worked.  Time limits are a must.

There are also things that make it simple like, I don't put too much food on their plate.  So finishing isn't going to stuff them so much they'll explode.  Once they finish their plate they are welcome to any leftovers.  Ethan hates tomatoes but he knows that if we have salad he is going to have to eat them.  He has also learned that if he eats them first he gets it over with.  He has taught his sisters to eat their veggies first, because they follow his every move.  Ellie is a self proclaimed "fruit and vegetable girl," so I usually don't have any trouble with her.  Although if Ethan is struggling she will usually encourage him.  I still get some lip every now and then, but as a result Ethan (my picky eater) has learned to like more things and we don't have a struggle.  He even ate zucchini the other night!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Jack's 9 month Photo Shoot

So here is Jack at 9 months.  I'm sure he will appreciate someday that I put him in this vintage sailboat romper so that I could see his chubbiness.  And if he doesn't his future wife will I'm sure.  I'd like to say that I'm an amateur photographer, but that might be pushing it a bit.  I have a great digital camera (not a DSLR but as close as I can get), cute kids and I snap a lot of pictures so I'm bound to get a few good ones.  I still need some uninterrupted time (I know I just said uninterrupted time and I have four kids) to figure out my new camera.  I just haven't mastered a few things on it yet.  Someday I will get a DSLR and take a class with Ashley Ann and then I might be able to call myself an amateur for real.  For now just humor me.  Oh and if you're a real photographer- humor me too and just look at how cute that little guy is in his vintage romper.

We have such a good dog.  She is so protective of her babies.
For the most part he is a happy guy.  He is always smiling when I let him play in the yard.
This may be my favorite.  It perfectly captures this stage.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dining Room Remodel

When we first moved in there was black and gold fruit wallpaper and a dated glass tile fixture.  We took out the wallpaper, replaced the chandelier and gave it a fresh coat of paint.  I wanted it to be filled with the things I love, vintage, romantic as well as be inviting and functional with a touch of femininity.  I also love deep rich wood.  Everything in my dining room fits this description now.  

Most of the plates on my wall were my grandmothers, the big silver spoon was my great grandmothers. There are vintage milk bottles and an old flour sifter.  The book was one I found in my garage, its from the 1950's and is all about San Francisco cuisine (and I'm from San Fran so it has extra sentimental value.)  The curtains I made for our bedroom when we lived in Edmond.  I wanted to use them again because I love the color and texture.  It goes well with the colors in our living room and ties the spaces together.  This was somewhat important because they flow into one another.  The curtain ties are just pieces of vintage lace seam binding from my mothers stash she gave me.  I love that I could re-use these curtains.  I have a hard time letting go of things that I've made.

My husband and I made our chandelier based off of the Mason Jar Chandelier tutorial at Kara Paslay Designs and we put the old one up in the attack.  I found Kara through Ashley Ann's blog, Under the Sycamore, I read her everyday.  I'm totally addicted!  Anyway we tweaked it a bit and used spray paint to make the lids of the jars and the cover at the ceiling match.  I still think we should add a few more, but its not on the top of my to-do list if you know what I mean.  Dale also used super strong magnets to attach the cover to the ceiling. 

I love that its sweet, nostalgic and functional without being too fussy, stuffy and too over the top.  I still feel like there are a few more things to add but I've been really picky and I don't want it to look too busy.  It's a finished work in progress I suppose. 
I love this table.  We fill all of the seats.

I still use this flour sifter.  Its functional and decorative.  Mostly because I'm too lazy to buy a new one.

This is my favorite plate from my Grandmother.  It's chipped, but I love it- unconditionally!

Monday, March 14, 2011

What an awesome responsibility

Saturday I was sitting on the couch nursing Jack and watching a movie while Regan was down for a nap and the older kids were playing outside with their friends and Dale was tending to the garage sale.  I looked around at the toys on the floor and the breakfast dishes still on the table and I couldn't help but smile in the stillness.  I get to watch movies, play games, sing songs, dance, create and live with these people.  I am so lucky.  I get to shape and mold four human beings!  What an awesome responsibility!! 

I will be the first to admit that I am not always a good parent.  Sometimes I yell (well usually its a shriek with a whole lot of "what on earth possessed you to do fill in the blank with something like squirt out all of the toothpaste or sharpie all of the doors in the hallway.)  Sometimes I expect too much out of them and then get frustrated at myself when I get back to reality and fill that expectation with a "duh Julie they are only 7, 5, 2, 3/4."  One thing I have learned though, is that if I make a mistake, I should apologize.  My children are very forgiving and I think it is important to treat them with the same respect that I expect.  If I make a mistake and apologize I am teaching them to accept responsibility for their actions and I am also teaching them to put another persons feelings above their own. 

This past week Ethan and I were talking about what to do this summer.  I told him that I knew they didn't always get to go places or do things because we have littler ones in the house but that the older they got the more we could do.  His response was so sweet "It's okay mom, I love them and I'm glad they're here even if we don't get to go places."  He can always melt my heart.  Ethan is at "Boys Week" at my aunts house with some of his cousins.  He left yesterday and it lasts until Friday.  It is his first time really away from home for more than 2 nights.  I'm not sure if he will make it the whole week.  He is always the first to get homesick.  Here is to a good spring break and some better weather tomorrow.  And just because I really like you here are some more pics from my Ten on Ten post.  I took way more than 10 pictures.  Go check out a bit of sunshine and see some of the other entries, they are truly amazing!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ten on Ten

So early this morning I was catching up on my blog reading and I discovered a bit of sunshine and her Ten on Ten photo project.  Here's the scoop, every month on the tenth bloggers from all over the world take a picture for ten hours straight.  10 pictures 10 hours.  So I did it.  Are you ready to see them?  I won't make you wait any longer.

The 8am hour.  I am really hoping this is not how the rest of the day will be.
The 9am hour.  I know Alex, I want out of here too!  It's noisy!

The 10am hour.  Mom where's my snack?
The 11am hour.  I'm gonna get it!
The 12pm hour.  Off to school!
The 1pm hour.  I love that the flowers have lasted so long.
The 2pm hour.  He always redeems himself with his charm.
The 3pm hour.  I was cleaning out the garage and found this fantastic 50's cookbook from my hometown of San Fran. I'm smitten with it. 
The 4pm hour.  She tried on my Kindergarten dress.  The only editing I did was cropping.  Thank you sun and yellow flower.
The 5pm hour.  He went a little higher than he usually does. 
The 6pm hour.  How could you not love pearls, a vintage frock and some barbie rain boots? She is perfection.

There you have it.  My ten on ten.  I think I have found a new addiction.  This was ever so much fun.  Oh and reading all of the other ones is addictive as well.  I hope you enjoy!  And please won't you join me next month.  I can't wait!

Regan's "Betty Bear's Birthday" inspired Party

The older kids had both had Elmo birthday parties when they turned 2.  It was refreshing that she just thinks Elmo is cool but not as cool as her bears.  To decorate the table I purchased one of those cheap plastic tablecloths.  It is always too long for our table so I cut off the excess and used it to cover the birthday chair also.  I used recycled tissue paper (no telling how many birthdays its been through) to make flowers and lily pads.  You see in the book her friends use lily pads for plates.  I hot glued them to the tablecloth and chair.  This way I wouldn't see them all over the house.  I used a piece of lace and a pitcher of flowers to complete the look.  Every little girl loves real flowers.  Total cost- less than $15 including the flowers.
I love this book.  I'm glad she loves it too!

Ellie was in charge of getting all of the bear friends out for the party which she had a hard time doing after I set out the coloring books and colored pencils.  After a lot of convincing Regan that we would open presents after the book we read our Betty Bears Birthday book and then opened presents as promised.  I made her birthday cake using my Wilton Teddy Bear Cake Pan and used chocolate and coconut pecan icing to make it super yummy and really "bear" like.  After cake we grilled up some hamburgers and hot dogs and I had homemade chili simmering in the crockpot, yum! 
I put her in this Betty Bear inspired vintage dress for the party.  I love how sweet it is!
I love this one.  She was really getting in there!  My mom used a re-usable grocery bag and attached wrapping paper to the front and back instead of a traditional gift bag.  A gift for me too and so creative!
Of course when it was cake time she had already put on some of her new birthday clothes.  She had on two skirts, lol!

We had a great time with family and friends.  Regan is such a sweet girl, lets hope she stays that way through the terrible two's!  Now its on to planning a slumber party for Ethan.  Oh and I've missed you guys.  We have had a house full of ear infections.  Let's hope that Ethan and I don't get hit with it, so far we are the only ones!  The good news is that I've completed a ton of projects, and pending no more trips to the doctor, I may actually get to share them with you!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I can't decide!

It's late.  Jack fell asleep on Dale and I can't decide whether to use this time to sleep or sew or clean or just be up with everyone asleep.  I'm sure by the time I figure it out someone will be awake.  Today was one of those super productive days where I got more done in one day than I normally get done in a week.  Which is excellent during birthday and basketball week, but will make every other day this week seem incredibly unproductive.  So off I go.  I think I'll take a shower and work on my sewing corner until that sweet baby boy wakes up.  Babies have some sixth sense about when you are getting something done, or about to.
Jack has found himself under the chair again.  He thinks it is really cool, unless he can't figure out how to escape!
 So what did I end up doing?  I showered, cleaned the shower, started the laundry and loaded the dishwasher.  Not fun but productive.  Then Jack was up.  He knew I was on my way to bed!