Still here.

I haven't given up on the blog.  I'm still here....just super busy (and tired).  My only free moment during the day is on the off-chance that I've been able to get both kids to nap at the same time.  And then if they do, I usually join in.  Then, by the time they are in bed, toys are picked up, dishes cleaned, other household chores done, I've gotten a shower and finally eaten (which doesn't happen until 9pm if I don't work it out to eat earlier), it's 11pm, and I'm exhausted and anticipating Charlotte's next feeding, which is usually between 1 and 3am.

I have one full week left in my maternity leave.  That could also have something to do with my lack of blogging.  I'm trying to cherish every second.  Although, I don't feel like I'm doing so well at that.  I'm getting better at balancing two kids, but it's tough.  I feel bad when Collen looks at me and says, "Sit down, Mommy.  Do puzzle." or wants me to jump, run, play....anything to interact with him.  He is good at entertaining himself, but I know he enjoys having a playmate (aka Mommy) to enjoy it with.  :( When Charlotte is napping, I'm usually getting a meal prepared, a snack prepared, using the bathroom (I know!! God forbid!!), trying to squeeze in some cleaning.  Don't think I don't play with the child, though.  I do! :)  Today, we did puzzles, played with his inflatable sword (that he calls banana and uses as a boat...haha), took Sesame Street characters for a ride in his bus, and he educated me on his cars.  I know I don't have to entertain him all the time; it's good for him to play by's where his huge imagination can be put to use.  But I do feel guilty that I can't spend the time with him that I used to.  He actually told me to put Charlotte to bed the other day....he was very upset that I couldn't do what he wanted me to do at that moment.  That's when my heart breaks a little bit.  However, I know he is also testing and pushing me.  He's two, and he's learning how to manipulate ("Be nice to Collen" - imagine your toddler saying THAT to you. Oh....who wouldn't be tempted to do anything in the world for them in that moment!?)  We're working on discipline and trying to figure out strategies that he understands.  Today, we did time out.  He somewhat understood why he had to sit down and couldn't get up, and he was obedient.  Very proud of him.  He is becoming quite resistant at times, so I'm having to stay firm.  Parenting....tough, tough job, but definitely rewarding in the good moments...and even the tough ones when you realize you're providing your children with structure and values that they will grasp and appreciate....someday.

So, I'm still here.  I promise to share a lot of photos soon!  Charlotte is 7 weeks old!  Where in the world did the time go?!  She is growing more and more beautiful every single day, and she looks so much like Ayden, it's scary.  I told a friend the other day that I am confident that God made her a girl because she looks so much like Ayden.  If she was a boy and dressed in blue/boy clothes, I'd mistake her for him all the time (except the dark hair and long fingers).  She smiles like him, moves her mouth the way he did, has a temperament like his, and so much more.  It is a sweet, sweet reminder and helps me feels so close to him by all of the flashbacks it brings to mind.

Hope you all are well.  And I hope you'll see another post from me, soon!

A year ago today...

...was the last time I saw my dad alive.

Has it really been a year?  Some days, it feels like just yesterday.  Others, it feels like a lifetime, and I look at the next 50 years with such dread.  This world is not my home.  That has been made crystal clear to me since August 25, 2009.  Oct. 20, 2011 was just our reaffirmation of that fact.

A year ago this weekend, my parents, myself, and Collen went to Jeremy's football game.  My dad was so, so proud of Jeremy and those boys.  They won that night, and the smile on my dad's face was priceless when that clock ticked down to zero.  He was thrilled for Jeremy.  Thrilled for his team.  Just beaming with pride.  He loved sharing those moments with Jeremy.

A year ago this weekend, I spent Friday-Sunday with my parents.  This was rare because my dad worked out of town a lot.  I had gotten used to not seeing him consistently and spending a lot of time with my mom.  That weekend, though, daddy was home, and we happened to have a lot of family events going on that allowed us to spend a lot of time together.  In hindsight - I see that that was completely God.  Of course, I didn't know then that that would be my last weekend with my dad, but I remember making a point to soak it all up and cherish those moments.

A year ago today, my dad helped work on Collen's swing set.  We went to church together as a family. We laughed - a lot.  We watched Collen being super cute.  We all went out to eat dinner as a family.  And...unusual for my dad...he didn't rush out to get back home.  Jeremy had gone to a meeting, so my parents came back to our house with me so I wouldn't come home to an empty house.  My dad helped me dress Collen for bed.  We whispered and laughed together as we both changed his diaper and his clothes.  I'm sure daddy called Collen "Papa's man" one last time before kissing him goodnight.  And as my dad walked out the door, I stopped him to give him one more hug, "just in case."  I had done that a lot a year ago around this time.  Something kept tugging at my heart saying, "Tell him you love him, Lindsay.  Hug him.  Cherish these moments with your dad.  Soak him in."  It had become typical for me to hug him several times before leaving "just in case."  Daddy caught on, and he would say, "I'm not going anywhere."  Oh, how I wish that had been true.

I still have moments when I forget.  It feels like he has been away on business....for a very long time.  I still live with that anticipation of, "I'm going to see him soon.  I'll see him tomorrow when he comes home."  But tomorrow never comes.  I still go to call him some days.  I'll get off the phone with my mom and have the overwhelming urge to talk to him because I always called him on my way home from work after I called my mom.

 I want to tell him all the funny things Collen is doing and saying, and I want to tell him how beautiful and sweet his granddaughter is.  I want to hug him and have his arms wrapped around me because there is no place safer than wrapped in your father's arms.  The little girl in me - at 28 years old - would still have the urge to run and jump into my dad's arms whenever I saw him.  In those moments, the world was just a little less scary.  I miss that so much.  I miss the security, safety, and peace I found while in his presence.  I miss the connection we shared.  I just miss him...

He was one of a kind.  One of those people who made everyone he met feel special and loved.  He never knew a stranger - one of the friendliest people you could ever know.  There was no mistaking that he was a man of faith because he lived it and spoke it every day.  It seems cruel to take a man like that away from his family and out of the world so soon - a man who, in our minds, still had so much work left to many lives left to touch.  But God saw that his work was finished.

Your prayers and thoughts are appreciated as we reach the one year mark October 20th.  It isn't easier.  I know that from experience - it doesn't get easier.  The hope, though, get sweeter as each day passes and we are one day closer to being together again.  I had 28 years with my dad.  Some people don't get that.  I'm thankful for those, and even more thankful that I didn't waste those years.  I knew how blessed I was.  I knew that I had a treasure in the man I called "Daddy."  And I didn't take a second for granted.


Every moment of every day is consumed these days.  I survived my first week at home by myself with 2 kids.  It was surprisingly easier than I expected it to be.  The first day, my goal was to get everyone fed, dressed, and for everyone (including me!) to get a nap.  I accomplished my goal and felt like Super Mom!  From that day, I've tried to do a little more each day.  I'm learning that if I want to clean, I'll have to do a little at the time, so I do a little bit of something every day.  I now do laundry every single day!  Laundry used to be a weekend chore, but with 4 people in the house, it builds up quickly!

I'm learning a lot about balancing my time and attention between 3 other people.  I don't know how many unfinished conversations I've had, re-warmed meals, forgotten meals, long overdue bathroom trips, showers at 10pm, etc.  Thank God for maternity leave and the ability to try to gain back some semblance of "normal."

To sum up everything that's been going on (and because I'm too tired to really elaborate - it's almost midnight, and I should be sleeping) the rest of this will be a run down of what has been going on with us Joneses.

- Collen is 2 and showing it.  It is a big challenge for me, and I'm trying to figure out how to handle it.

- I'm tired.  All the time.

- Football season is in full swing, so Jeremy doesn't get home most nights until after the kids are in bed. So meals, baths, diapers, clean up, bed time....all me.  Hence the reason I am tired.

- Charlotte has slept through the night twice. (6-7 hour stretches)

- I probably just jinxed myself.

- My sister turned 28 yesterday, and it was our last of the "firsts" without my Dad.  I shed my share of tears missing him yesterday.  It just still doesn't seem real....still very, very hard.

- I go back to work in 4 weeks. :(

- Collen is talking A LOT and talking very well.  He will repeat anything you say.  Our favorite right now is, "Don't patronize me!"  He talks all the time - literally, all day long!

- Charlotte turned one month old yesterday.  Here are her stats:

9lbs 13 oz (up from 6lbs 12oz - lowest weight)
21.25 inches (up from 20)
head: 38cm (up from 35)

She is in the 75th percentile all around, so she is proportional. :)

Now that Charlotte is awake more, she is having fussy periods.  Late usually her fussiest time.  She will nurse, nurse, nurse...cry...nurse...cry...nurse.  I've figured out that she wants to go to sleep, but I guess she gets frustrated with milk coming into mouth when she just wants to sleep.  She has come to rely on a paci to get her to sleep in those moments.  When she cries, it's either because she's hungry or she's tired.  She is easy-going and content most of the time - just a good, good baby.

And because you didn't come here to read...I know you want to see some updated pictures.  Here you go.  Enjoy:

Bath time!

Wearing one of my outfits.  This one is 29 years old and looked so precious on her!

We have a picture of Jeremy with each of the kids just like this!

Happy 28th birthday to my sister!

One month old!

Beautiful lady

I asked Collen to put his plate in the sink after breakfast.  I found this
that night when we went to brush teeth.  Silly boy!

I braved the playground with both kids.  We survived and had a lot of fun.

Sweet, cute, funny boy!