Sunday, September 28, 2008

A New Discovery

I couldn't get this to upload in the regular format... so here's a link to Avery's latest "little joys."
How wonderful!

Friday, September 26, 2008


Greg came home from work tonight and requested a Grey Goose martini. (It's been quite a long week-or-so with travel, back-to-back sick kids, etc.--like I need to justify!) With my bartending past, I was more than happy to oblige. Happy Daddy = Happy Family (wink)

Now for the Child Protective Services (CPS) issue... 
The girls saw Daddy's "fun" drink and decided it was necessary to have their own. Great idea!
Water and a green olive in a "fancy" glass = Great Time!


Geneva wasn't "sold" on the green olive... though she was the one who really fought for her martini.

Anyhoo... Happy Friday!
xxoo ~ The Joneses

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Things I Love Thursday

  • Drinking my daily coffee from the mug the girls made for me for Mother's Day.
  • Coming into fall and the prospect of sweater/slipper weather.
  • Appreciating my husband and our first 6 years of marriage. Looking forward to celebrating the anniversary of our partnership this weekend.
  • Prednisolone. The magic medicine that quiets a Croupy cough.
  • Crayola Color Wonder markers and the absence of mess they leave behind on my furniture and children's clothing/bodies.
  • The idea I read in Cookie Magazine to start an g-mail account for each of the girls. This will be an easy place to record memories, funny things they say or do, and little messages about what they mean to me. I will share their email addresses with family members so that they can do the same.
  • This recipe for roasted lamb chops that I made on Monday night. Delicious! I used the frenched rack from Costco and served them with parmesan mashed potatoes.
  • CNN reporter Campbell Brown's rant "Free Sarah Palin."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Gettin' Crafty!

Our babysitter-extraordinaire, Katie turned 13 yesterday! (Yes, my babysitter is only 13)
We (meaning I) made her a stationary set as a gift to accompany the beautiful artwork the girls made.

I printed the chocolate polka-dotted boarder and  her name using Microsoft Word, then cut it out and attached a punched and scalloped square in pink cardstock. I ran the ribbon around the card and attached it to the backside with glue. If the ribbon looks familiar, it's because I just used it in another project recently posted here.
Centered on the square cutout is a white circle, a brown flower, a smaller pink circle, and a white silk flower (I found in the clearance section of silk sprigs at Michael's). I fastened those layers together with a pink brad and attached them to the ribbon with a few dots of glue.

When the card face was finished, I attached it to a folded piece of white cardstock that is the actual "card." I wish I had enough sheets of a coordinating color cardstock to use as the background/main card... but I did not.

To finish the gift, I stamped a small pink flower and her initials in chocolate at the lip of the envelope.

My laundry pile is even bigger now, but I had a great time doing this instead!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Goodbye's and Family in California

We were back in California this week for my grandmother's funeral. The services were really nice. My brother Toby's speech at the church was amazing. I was happy to have found the shirts my grandmother wore the first time she held my babies. I will have them made into Memory Bears for my girls. 

We spent a lot of time visiting with the family in town we rarely get to see. My great-uncles John and Mo were tickled by the girls and the feeling was definitely mutual. It was a pleasure to see my grandpa looking so good. On our last visit he was dragging an oxygen tank behind him everywhere and his coloring was not good. This time, he put on a brave face for everyone and truly seemed like he was doing well. The oxygen tank is gone and he sported his very first pair of tennis shoes! The man's been cruising around in work boots his whole life--no wonder he had a little spring in his step.

Uncle Toby and Aunt Terry were out from Florida. The Purse Boys had to stay behind. Whenever Toby is around the girls have a fabulous time. It was a good thing they were there too because Avery managed to keep our thoughts off of our grief by coming down with a wicked case of Croup. 

Toby and Terry came to our hotel room, confirmed that she needed to be seen immediately, and then stayed with Geneva (who slept through the entire ordeal) while we rushed to the hospital at 1am with our barking baby. After a few interventions: steroid shots (2), breathing treatment, Tylenol suppository, etc. Avery was able to breath again.

Did I mention? Avery was not a happy camper. She was definitely not a fan of any of the procedures done to her... however, she was a fan of breathing... so she stuck it out (like she had a choice).

On another note: Geneva became a HUGE fan of Stan's Donuts... just like the rest of her family! Why does Uncle Toby insist on bringing three dozen into the house? Doesn't he know I have no willpower? 

This just in: Confirmation that I eat my feelings.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Things I Love Thursday

  • All of the wonderful messages and heartfelt thoughts sent my way from friends and extended family remembering my beautiful Grandmother. I also am learning to love the journey toward feeling joy in celebrating her life more than feeling the sadness of losing her.
  • This pear sculpture we found at the West Linn Art Festival on Saturday. It was made by Marta Farris as a piece from her "Garden Art" but we love it in the dining room:
  • The way Avery sways her head and sings to herself when she's riding in the car or playing by herself.
  • Keeping myself busy in accomplishing tasks that have been on my "to-do" list for months. Here is some of what I've done in Avery's room (mainly staining, assembling, and hanging the shelves).
  • Tempered with some "bitter" is the "sweet" I find in Geneva's transformation from a little girl to a big girl. 
  • My neighbors. We had our first progressive dinner party on Saturday (if you're wondering what that is click here). There are six families in our "culdesac" and five were able to participate. We had a Mexican theme and everyone went all-out. The food was amazing, the decorations were great, and the conversation was as entertaining as it was enlightening. I love it here even more now. If we could only talk Dan and Judy (the best neighbors ever, from Elk Grove) into buying this house on our street we'd be set!
(Shelly Wells, Me, Michelle Cervenak enjoying appetizers, sangria, and margaritas at Amy and Craig Dubin's house.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Keeping Myself Busy...

...with menial tasks is how I avoid spending time thinking about how much my heart aches.

As a result, the girls' art cupboard was completely de-cluttered, revamped, and organized. Of course, my time would have been better spent tackling my enormous pile of laundry and packing for our trip to California for Grandma's memorial; however, that would have required me to climb out of my denial...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Most Amazing Woman

We lost my grandmother today. She really was the most amazing woman I have ever known. She was strong and smart, practical and grounded. She was full of life and vibrancy until cancer took too much away from her. She was an optimist through and through; refusing to recognize the "not so flattering" facets of her loved ones. When I was finishing primary school my brothers and I came to live with my grandparents in the house my grandparents bought when they moved west from "The Dakotas," the house where my mother and her three younger siblings came home from the hospital after they were born, the house that was my childhood "home." In this house and on this couch (below) is where my grandmother drew her last breath late this morning. My grandfather was right beside her in the end that we all knew was coming quickly, which by no means determines the number of tears yet to fall. I am, in many ways, at peace with her death. The end was made graceful only with morophine and I am strengthened by her own faith in her heaven. More than anything in this moment, my heart is breaking for my grandfather and his great loss. 

August 2005 - Geneva's first visit to Grandma and Grandpa's house. 
Geneva on my lap beside my Grandmother's mother who we lost earlier this year, my Grandmother, and my Mother.
Geneva was the first 5th generation grand-daughter in our family.

Grandma and Geneva

April 2007 - Grandma and Avery during a first visit to meet her great-grandparents.

While I am grateful they got to have the time they did, my heart aches at the loss I feel for my girls to not have the pleasure of knowing their great-grandmother. Of course they will come to know her through my own memories as I retell our stories and try to live her lessons everyday: patience, unconditional love, optimism, quiet strength, passion for learning something new every day, and enjoying the rewards of simple, hard work done well.

August 2007 - Grandma and Avery "Littlefoot" (as Grandma called her).

Friday, September 12, 2008

Maybe I'm listening... the radio too loudly in the car?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Vomitville...'s where I live. Monday night was Geneva. Tuesday all day was Grandma Lulu. Greg hasn't left the bedroom since we lay our heads down last night at 10pm. Violent barfing began at 4am (and hasn't completely ceased). When my husband throws up it sounds like he is calling dinosaurs-- and fully expects them to hear him (despite how very long they have been extinct) and come thundering into the bedroom to find out why he sounds so desperate. In other words, he's LOUD. Seriously, the poor man. The poor neighbors. 

Needless to say, I'm sleeping in another room tonight.

Monday, September 8, 2008

O Man...

... had such a great day going today. Grandma Lulu is in town so the girls got to wake up and see her (always a bonus). We all took NeeNee to school at 8:30. We got home, had a bit more breakfast, coffee, newspaper browsing, etc. Grandma and Avery walked to the park and with my 2.5 free hours I managed to tackle several unfinished projects in addition to some general clean-up that was sorely needed. 

Geneva's departure from school at 12:30 went more smoothly than it had last week (less fussing about having to go home--yea). The girls went down without too much complaining and they both actually SLEPT! Avery had her best nap in weeks (over three hours). During nap-time, my motivation continued. I made progress on Avery's room (pictures coming soon), got some painting finished that I started (like 4 months ago!), spent some time caring for my plants, and folded a monster pile of laundry that's been taunting me and growing like it's on steroids for the last few days. I even had plenty of time to surf the web, catch up on my blog reading, and make and eat a great salad.

Post-nap we had a little time to play and be silly before it was time to hit the gym. Grandma decided to keep Avery home with her for some one-on-one which was nice for Geneva and I too. I had a great workout (I always feel great when I make it through that class). NeeNee and I got home at 6:45pm. She complained about a stomach ache on the way home. She was vomiting all over me and the kitchen sink by 7. Without a fever, we weren't sure what was going on. She went to bed on time at 8pm. 

It's 11pm now. She has thrown up 6 times. We are on our second round of laundered sheets and have moved the spare twin mattress onto her bedroom floor. She is obviously "empty" at this point; however, the bile continues. Through it all she has not shed a single tear. She stays so calm and sweet. The frightening thing is that the last two times she's vomited, she hasn't really woken up enough to roll over off of her back... It's going to be a sleepless night for some of the Joneses.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Things I Love Thursday

  • Getting home from a great family getaway and back into the swing of things.
  • Thumbing (over and over) through the book, Scrap Mettle my friend Scott sent me of his work.
  • Babies bathing in the sink. Having two "big girls" now, I forgot how much I love the sight of a baby in the sink. Norah Bills reminded me how beautiful this is during our vacation in SunRiver:
  • Jon Stewart. Most recently, this clip from The Daily Show yesterday.
  • This picture of Geneva, after her day at "Clown School" thanks to Fort Funnigan and SunRiver Resort.
  • How much fun Geneva reported having at her new preschool yesterday and the fact that she was sporting a smock and painting in thick blue paint at the easel before I had even signed her in for the day.
  • Enjoying a dirty martini with my husband after the children have gone to bed.
  • Afternoons in West Linn when the weather is about 73 degrees.
  • How well my pedicure has maintained despite all the hiking and swimming we did on vacation.