Saturday, September 13, 2014

Penning and Woo Woo

Penny and Lulu (or Penning, as she calls herself, and Woo Woo, as she calls her sister) have gotten a wee bit closer these days. Penny went from completely disregarding her sister, to regarding her, to now....maybe, considering her.  I'm hoping we're on our way to "liking her" someday. Once in a long while they'll share in an activity and really seem to enjoy each other's company. Of course, when that happens, my heart jumps for joy.

They've played music together a few times this summer:

Once in a while, they'll request to get in each other's beds, and have some pajama time together:

Lulu tries to get in on the fun anytime Penny has a friend over. This really brings me back to my childhood, when the only friend around was our neighbor Elissa, my sister's age, and I tried to do anything I could with them, when they'd let me.

This past week, Penny was swinging in the hammock and suddenly requested "Woo Woo get in". Mr. Jones and I looked at each other, then at Penny. "Really?? Ok, here she comes!" They did some swinging for a good 20 seconds before Woo Woo was sent away. That might be a record for proximity!

The girls also take a bath together each night, and really enjoy each other's company. One thing we've noticed is that now that they go to the same daycare, they've gotten a lot closer. Lulu looks to Penny whenever they're in the same room, and Penny has a couple of chances each day to visit her sister in the baby room. She kisses her head and pats her back and sometimes tickles her feet, making a high-pitched "eeee" sound when she does it. For a toddler who's never really been enchanted by babies, Penny is really looking out for her sister. Thanks, Penning!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Out of the Box

The most recent film from Laika, "The Boxtrolls", is soon to be released. Of course, Mr. Jones worked on it the whole way through, and I dipped in briefly to help out.

I'm happy to share this featureette with you:

It conveniently answers the question, "What does your husband do?" 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Entertainer

On a hot August afternoon, we headed down to the amusement park. We knew from last time we had been there that there wouldn't be many rides the kids could go on, but it's a fun place to hang out anyway, and Penny would surely love the train. After she rode it, we had some fries on the grass and then tried the carousel. Penny seemed interested.
She waited patiently (and gosh, this really isn't her strong suit these days) for the other kids to finish.
Then she tried out two or three of the animals with her daddy, before the ride even started. Do you remember doing this - racing around the platform making sure you got just the right animal? In the end, it all proved a bit too frightening, and Mr. Jones took her to the bench for her first carousel ride. As you can see from her face, it was exciting enough...
There's also a beach to the river near the park! We walked down, thinking we could relax and enjoy some time on the sand, but with no interest from the girls we headed back to the rides.

Lulu Jones hated the place. It was just too loud and stimulating for her. She gripped at my arm the entire time, and shook when we got too close to the rides.  Poor Lulu.
Then the funniest thing happened when we thought it was time to leave. Penny found a stage where a Native American performance had just wrapped up. Other children were running on the stage, so Penny climbed up and to our surprise, started performing! She did a tap dance and started singing into the mic.

The kids did intermittent concerts at her previous daycare, so being in front of people wasn't completely foreign, but she seemed to get real enjoyment from performing. Who would have thought?!

Back at home, she seems less interested in watching herself perform, than seeing herself fall down in this clip. She requests to watch it and laughs hysterically, every night before bed. 

What a diva ;)!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lulu at 8 Months

Lucille Jones turned 8 months old the past week. She's just the dearest baby, ever. She gets such pleasure out of almost everything she encounters, and it's just such a delight for us all.

She's become so much more active. The crawling is so quick these days, as is the pulling herself up to couches and tables. She's not a big fan of sitting still in the carseat now, but that all changes when her sister is in the backseat with her. She's almost turned sideways, just staring at Penny. She laughs at her constantly, and when Penny hears her fussing she tells "Woo-Woo" that "It's ok, we're almost home". It makes my heart soar.

Lulu loves the garden but for a girl that's not a huge fan of solid foods, everything in the garden goes in her mouth! We have to watch her constantly and she always gives us a cheeky smile when we ask her if she ate something.

She's exploring every inch of our house, and she absolutely won't be left in a room alone. There's immediate crying and then crawling right up to your legs for a pick-up. Lulu just isn't missing out on anything, if she can help it!

This has been the first month where I can see the one year mark in our sights. With mobility, Lulu has lost her intense dependence on us for stimulation. She can move around rooms, find things to explore, and is busy figuring things out for herself. Of course, we're constantly supervising.

With so much of the anxiety I had with my first baby gone, I've enjoyed Lulu so, so much thus far. I can revel in her forward striving. I'm charmed by her attachments, and unconcerned with her frustrations. I know (most of the time I know, I mean, I still hope) that she'll continue to enjoy life. I can anticipate the toddler she will become, and I can't wait to meet that little person. And yet, I can still mourn that each day she's less of  a baby because wow, has she been the cutest, cuddliest, friendliest baby we could have ever hoped to have in our lives.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Enter: Pigtails

At almost two and a half, Penny Jones finally has enough hair to put in pigtails. Doesn't she wear them well? Her teacher at school started putting them in, and when I asked how she got Penny to sit through the process, she said, "I don't ask her. I just do it." So I started doing it, too. She likes them so much she tells me when I haven't put them in, and doesn't like to go out of the house without them. Hooray!

Chris, her bear, certainly approves. She accessorizes her pigtails with a homemade dress.

The pigtails really keep things tidy when you're getting, er, UNtidy in the backyard. Oh what fun we're having these days. We don't want summer to end!

PS. The first time Penny ever wore pigtails (a year ago!).

Friday, August 8, 2014

Thirty Nine

I turned 39 on Monday. I didn't feel well on my actual birthday, but last weekend we celebrated with a meal out (and not just IHOP, but IHOP, too) and some extra times in Portland parks. This visit to Mt. Tabor was especially sweet. Sometimes you get to a park and the evening is so crisp, and the kids are giddy, and everyone just seems so happy as the massive trees tower above you. It's just a great time. 

Mr. Jones was busy helping both of his girls with the walking, on different terrains.

We especially love how Penny gets to a new playground and surveys the territory. She always requests the swings first, and has a look at all the other options, deciding what she'll do first. Then she really gets busy.

Lulu could stay on the swings all night if her big sister would let us push her (and she won't, for long).

Penny's lost all her nerve on the slides. Remember her brave days? Now one of us always has to accompany her. It would be slightly embarrassing - we're usually the only parents trying to fit on these baby slides - except we enjoy it, in a way....

Once she's tried the slides and the swings and the merry-go-round, and hung on the monkey bars and climbed the fake rock wall, there's always a moment of calm where she always just picks around in the grass, collecting pinecones and bringing over leaves and sticks. This part of the park trips is always my favorite.

It was certainly a low key birthday this year, but that doesn't mean it wasn't fun. Time with these three outside is always really special. Next year is the big one! What will I do? Everyone is asking.

We have no plans, but I've already taught Penny how to say "Hawaii":).

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bring The Happy

My grandmother's sister Betty was an avid crocheter. She made blanket after blanket that she would show off to us when we would see her at holidays and other family get-togethers. This was when I was young, before I could knit or crochet, or tell the difference between the two. Now, 30+ years later, I am taking up crochet myself. I've finally found what I like to crochet! Things for the home, whether they be mine, or someone else's. My first project was a bread warmer, which I plan to give as a gift. This is Junior, the cloud pillow, my second ever crochet project. I think he really brings the happy. He's going to a friend who I think will really enjoy him.

The pattern is from the book "Amigurumi at Home", a book I've fallen in love with. There's so many cute things to make! And this amazing rainbow blanket? My coworker Heidi made it (pattern here and details here) and I'm doing a complete duplicate of it right now to give to my friend when her twins are born. I might make a little cloud pillow, as a toy, to go with it!

Because both of these will be gifts, I'm not letting my girls catch sight of them. They'll want blankets and clouds for themselves, immediately. I showed Penny a picture from the cloud crochet pattern and she was grinning. She gave her sign of approval with a shout of "Baby!", a name she calls everything she loves (excluding her sister, who is only known by her name, WooWoo).

I am dreaming of crocheting so much more. I'm thinking I might start to make things now for the girls' rooms when they have twin beds - it won't be long, I guess! I should start quilts, and crochet throws, and make a few more cloud pillows for them: one in white with a smile, and one in gray with a frown would be cute. I don't know why these juvenile objects constantly inspire me. Maybe it's because they really do put a big smile on my face, as I embroider a smile on theirs :).

Friday, August 1, 2014

Dorothy Klein

Before "Strong Woman" was even a phrase, there was Dorothy Klein. At age 102, she passed away today. My grandmother taught me to strive to do the best job I can, and to not be afraid to say what I feel. Growing up, she and my grandfather enabled our family to afford our home, family vacations, and higher education. There seems to be no better gifts than those. Dorothy Klein kept an impeccable house and garden. She loved entertaining, playing bridge, and traveling. She sewed and cooked well. She had a competitive spirit. She loved church. She was so proud of her two granddaughters, my sister and me. 

When I think about all the things Mrs. Charles Klein saw in her 102 years of life, my mind is blown: World Wars, women voting, inventions from the car to the tv to the internet. Most important to her, however, was her son, my father, who I believe she loved most of all. She outlived him by almost 11 years, but today we are hoping that they are together again. My sister and I raise her three great-grandchildren. We will surely tell them of her strength and determination in all things, about her good health and longevity, about the hours of piano lessons we spent with her, and all the good times, too ;). We love you, Aralia K. Rest in peace.

P.S. When Penny met Dorothy.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Model Behavior

My kids did some modeling lately, for knitting patterns for the company where I work! It resulted in some pretty adorable photos, taken by the talented Amy Cave. Here are the photos they didn't use (and gave me permission to post).

Penny points to Lulu's Scrunchy Booties:

It might be hot out, but Lulu doesn't mind sporting her Bee Stitch Hat (and giant pom pom)!

Penny got to wear the cutest poncho. I want to make one for each of her friends!

After 10 seconds she was tugging on it ("Done, Mama, DONE!"), so I offered to push her on the see saw and she enjoyed the ride, while keeping her hands off the knitwear.

 There is nothing cuter than a baby in a pointy hat. That is a FACT, friends.

You can find this pattern on the website, and you can find these photos in grandparents' homes from the East Coast to middle England. I can hear the framed pictures being nailed to the walls as I post this; am I right? Because professional modeling doesn't happen very often. Penny and Lulu don't wake up for less than $10,000 a day. That's a fact, as well ;).