Our Jones Family Experience

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Easter Wonderland

I know it is usually winter wonderland, but since there were still patches of snow on the ground, I think it is fair to say Easter Wonderland.  We got ready for our wonderland by visiting the Easter bunny at the mall and painting eggs.  I also spent the majority of the day baking and prepping for our Easter dinner. 

Years ago when we first started making holiday meals for people, we invited over the single Marines.  They were usually far away from home, missing family, and very excited for a home cooked meal.  Over the years as our duty stations changed, most of our holiday meals were married couples and families.  There just were not that many single Marines around. 

This year though, all of the families had plans.  We decided to invite the Navy students that Gideon would be graduating with.  While I enjoy cooking for the families, the appreciation and enjoyment of the Navy “kids” reminded me again of how much I love doing this.  The oohs and aahs over the food made all of the hard work worthwhile.

We were also lucky enough this year for one of Hadley’s good friends and her family to join us for dessert and the Easter egg hunt.  Jade is such a sweet girl and my girls get along with her so well. 

The Navy kids had way to much fun hiding the eggs

The "trap" they created

Malia outsmarting the trap

We had so much fun and I can’t wait until our next holiday to celebrate with family and new friends.

Only Big Girls Here

When we were trying to get Hadley to potty train, we told her once she went on the potty all of the time she would get a big girl bed.  We told Malia the same thing. 

Malia showed no interest in going on the potty, so we didn’t push at all.  Occasionally, we would ask her if she wanted to sit on the potty, but she always said no.  I thought she would be closer to three before we were out of diapers, but one week before she turned 2.5 she said she wanted to wear panties. 

We put on panties and within a month she was completely potty trained, even during naps and bedtime.  Since we were moving soon and trying to sell the house, we didn’t want to convert her bed to a full size.  Instead, we took off one of the rails and converted it into a toddler bed. 

Seeing her bed for the first time

Very excited

Pretend sleeping

Her first night in her bed

We have two big girls now and potty training wasn’t nearly as bad as everyone warned.  My girls are independent and knew when they were ready.  

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Winter Break for the Girls

While you never really get a break from winter while living in Vermont, it is nice that the schools give the kids a week off to have some fun.  Gideon still had classes, so I set out looking for something the girls and I could do that wasn’t too far away.  

We were also having our floors refinished in preparation for listing the house, so I decided that a vacation where we could spend the night would be good.  I had heard that Manchester, NH had a science center and as most of you know, we are all about kid’s museums and science centers.

The one in Manchester was not what I expected.  It was small, and had few exhibits.  That didn’t stop the girls from having a lot of fun.  It was our only event planned for the day and the only thing in Manchester that I knew the girls would enjoy, so we visited all of the exhibits and most of them multiple times.  We were lucky that a traveling dinosaur exhibit was there at the time. 

After spending the night in Manchester, we continued on to Boston, one of my favorite cities.  We started the day at the aquarium.  I knew it was under construction, but not to the extent that it was.  The whole center column was closed. 

Next we visited Hard Rock Café for lunch.  The girls loved their desserts.  We got two shooters which we were all supposed to share.  I got a few bites of each and then the girls took over.

I’ve always wanted to take the girls to Build A Bear, so I decided it was the right time.  After picking out their bears, we stuffed them, bathed them, and looked at all the pretty clothes for them.  When we left, we added Rainbow and Heartful to our family.

We ended the day with the Children’s Museum.  Without a doubt, Boston’s Children’s Museum is my favorite that we have been to so far.  There is so much to do and the girls never get bored with it.  We managed to see all of the exhibits, but I know the girls could go back every day and still have fun.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Malia is 2.5 Years Old

Dear Malia,

While most two year olds are busy throwing temper tantrums and fits for not getting their way, you continue to be the most laid back, funny kid I have ever met.  There is very little that ever gets you down or makes you mad, and you are always ready for your next adventure. 

Before you never wanted to leave Mommy’s side, but you started going to “school” at Ms. Christy’s house.  You love going and have so much fun.  It has helped a lot with your separation anxiety and now you are much more willing to go places without me.  It has been good for both of us to have some time on our own.  I think it makes us appreciate all of our time together that much more.

I love watching you and Hadley play together.  Seeing your imagination grow is wonderful, and I am always amazed at the stories and scenarios you create.  When Hadley isn’t around you want me to play “baby, mommy doggie” with you.  Sometimes you get frustrated with Mommy when I don’t know what to do, but you never stop trying. 

You never seem to give up on anything you do.  You continue to be very determined and focused on what you want.  While that would seem to contradict with your laid back attitude, somehow you pull it off. 

Just last week, you decided you didn’t want to wear diapers anymore.  You are doing great and already waking up from naps and bedtime dry.  It won’t be long until you get your big girl bed.  You are becoming my big girl too.  While you are getting taller and skinnier, you have managed to keep your big ole belly.  I love giving you kisses and tickling your belly. 

You love to laugh and make everyone around you laugh too.  Gym is one of your favorite things to do.  Whenever we go you pick a stuffy and carry it around the whole time.  Austin is your favorite stuffy right now and we can’t go anywhere without him.  While it can be hard always keeping track of him, I love how attached you get to objects and people.  I think it shows how much you love and care and how big your heart is.

I hope you always keep your big heart.  Remember to keep laughing and love with all you have.  Mommy will always love you and adore your funny, quirky, mischievous personality.