Monday, February 25, 2013

Cinnamon rolls, light fixtures, and a microwave.

Happy Birthday to me! I turned the big 2-6 yesterday. Its not a milestone birthday by any means,  but to me it feels like the beginning of the downward slope towards 30.

For my 30-something-year-old friends, there's nothing wrong with being in your 30's. I just personally am not ready for it! I'm also having a hard time believing that at 26, I'm now older than a lot of the people in positions I've admired for most of my life, like college-age and Olympic athletes and break-out musicians and actresses. Most musicians in the current music scene are early-20's, and on more than one occasion I've seen the Backstreet Boys referenced as "old school" -- I wanted to scream "NO!! They are not OLD; they were popular when I was younger!!" Then I remember... that wasn't just a few years ago anymore. That was 14 years ago. Yikes!

To celebrate my impending demise new age, the hubby greeted me yesterday morning with hot cinnamon rolls, and played with the kiddos while I enjoyed a hot shower without little knocks at the door or "Mommy! She hit me!!" being yelled through the wall.
Daddy and his boy!

A little pre-breakfast playtime!

After breakfast we made a family trip to Lowe's to pick out light fixtures for the new house. Two toddlers and a 6-week-old in Lowe's on a Sunday morning (when they are surprisingly busy!) was a fun adventure. Jordyn was furious with us that we put her in the shopping cart while Jailyn got to walk "like a big girl"... When the cart filled up and we were forced to let Jordyn walk, she took three steps on the polished cement floor and wiped out. Multiple times. No tear-worthy spills, but it definitely slowed down our progression towards the check-out counter. As we waited for the cashier to ring us up, Jailyn reached into Jackson's carseat to "see what he was doing" and poked him in the eye, setting off the alarm of baby wails that echoed through the store. Oy.
My shopping buddy, pre-eye-poking.

Glad to be out of there, we loaded up our goods and hauled them over to the new house, where the girls ran around with the dog while we walked around admiring Jaret's progress on the house. It is so close to being move-in ready, its crazy!

Let me interject on the birthday-happenings to tell you a bit of the story about our house:
We set out on our house hunt with a very specific budget in mind, and quickly figured out that the only thing we were going to be able to afford in town/in budget/in our desired size was a fixer-upper, so that is what we got. About halfway into the demo, we realized that updating the kitchen and painting some walls weren't going to cut it with this house-- we had water leaks, mold issues, tile on top of linoleum, busted door frames, shotty electrical wiring... So many more issues than we initially expected. So what was just going to be a few weeks worth of work has turned into going on 5 months. BUT in that five months, and only working a limited amount of time per day (3-4 hours in the evenings, during the days on weekends) Jaret has accomplished so much! Unfortunately most of it is work that you can't immediately SEE. When you walk into the house now, you see pretty newly-painted walls and trim... What you can't see is the new insulation, new wiring, new plumbing, new wall studs and hours of man-power that went into those walls, before the sheetrock even went up. THEN there was mudding, caulking, texturing, priming, and painting; all new trim and casing cut, installed, primed and painted; old (hideous!) tile chipped up BY HAND, all the glue and remnants sanded and buffed away, and new tile laid and grouted; a new kitchen custom-designed, cabinets ordered and installed, then primed and painted; and several large alterations such as removing a crappy DIY kitchen pantry, compliments of the former owners, and expanding the closets between the kids' rooms to make one gigantic closet. And don't forget the 6-7 full truck-loads of trash that was loaded up and hauled off to the dump during this process! I'm sure you can understand now how ALL OF THIS being completed in only a few hours each night and on the weekends, can take longer than we would have originally preferred. If one more person asks me "When will you be in the house? What's taking so long?" I might judo-chop them. Seriously.
~~Rant over.~~

Here's some cuteness.
Naptime :) Love those lips!

I took the kids back to my mom's house and got them settled down for naps, then went back to our house to see what I could do to help Jaret. I got the happy task of installing new switch plates and outlet covers. Let me tell you what-- they're the best looking outlet covers this side of the Mississippi. My screwdriver and I were working in perfect harmony. (Jaret hasn't let me do much concerning the remodel, so anything I have been able to do, I take great pride in! Even if its something that Jailyn probably could've done, and probably in a shorter amount of time.)

We reached a stopping point, went back to my parents' house to get cleaned up, and then enjoyed a nice dinner out with the kids, my parents, and my brother. The girls were very confused as to why I didn't have a "birthday party" or presents to open... I had to explain to them that birthdays are different for mommies and daddies, that sometimes our presents can't be wrapped. On Friday, I picked out and purchased new bedding and luxurious sheets for our new master bedroom... saving Jaret the trouble of having to shop for a birthday present for me. :) On Saturday my mother took me shopping for a kitchen staple for the house: a new microwave. Trust me when I say: I'm very very excited about it! I never thought I'd see the day where small appliances, light fixtures or wall color swatches would bring me such joy. This adult stuff is weird, I tell you.
Jailyn finished my birthday dessert for me. The girl is not shy around chocolate cake!
Makes me proud :)

We spent the rest of our evening playing with the kids until bedtime. It was the perfect birthday. I have everything I could have ever asked for, and more!
Jordykins is always the life of the party!

Jack and his favorite lady.

"I don't always pose for pictures...
But when I do, I give 'em the stone face."

I'd better start planning a certain almost-4-year-old's birthday party, since her birthday is rapidly approaching! This past 6 weeks of my maternity leave has flown by, so I'm sure the four weeks between now and Jaibug's birthday will be gone before I know it, as well.

Until next time!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Krazy Kids

Today is a yucky, cold, wet day in our little corner of paradise in NWA. Its the kind of day that makes you want to curl up on the couch with a warm blanket, a hot drink and a side table full of various snacks, put the phone on silent and watch 8 consecutive hours of sniffle-inducing chick flicks. Grey and dreary outside, making the day feel a bit sad.

So, to remedy this, I thought I'd brighten your day by regaling you with tales of my two little stand-up comedians. If this doesn't make you smile, well... you must not have a soul. Ha.

Enamored with little bro :)

I've been home on maternity leave with Mr. Jackson for the past six weeks, so I've had an unlimited amount of time to witness my girls in all their wildness... The kind of wildness that, during our normal life routine of me being at work and them going to their great-grandparents' houses, I wouldn't normally get to experience. Sure, I would get to see this side of them on the weekends, but I just contributed/blamed their craziness on the fact that they missed me throughout the week so they were just REALLY excited to be spending Saturdays and Sundays as uninterrupted time with Mommy... But I see now that I was wrong. So wrong. My kids ARE wild, crazy, unstoppable little balls of energy. All the time. Every moment of the day. I would say "except when they are asleep" but I'm pretty positive they probably even dream in this same state of craziness. They are never-ending. Its actually quite impressive!
Meeting Baby Brother for the first time!

Sibling time on the living room floor :)

Such a great big sissy!

Stinker face Jordyn and her little buddy :)

Bringing Jackson home from the hospital was a bit of an adjustment. The girls wanted to hold him, touch him, kiss him every second. If they couldn't get close enough to him for their liking, they let me know it. We spent lots of moments those first few days home with ALL THREE kids in my lap or surrounding me in bed or on the couch, so they could continue to analyze him. Of course this included a million questions, most of which I couldn't answer with a straight face.

"Mom, why is he so small? Is there something wrong with him? Can he wear my dolls' clothes?"
"Mom, why does he have so much hair? Are you going to cut it off? Can I touch it?"
"Mom, why does he cry? Can't he talk? Can he say my name? Can he count to ten? Because I can!!"
"Mom, can he eat peanut butter and jelly with me at lunch?... Why not? He doesn't LIKE peanut butter and jelly?!?!?!!"
"Mom, why are you holding him all the time? Can't you just put him down and let him walk on his own? He's probably going to get tired of you."
This momma's boy will get millions of kisses in his lifetime!

Ahhhh. Be still, my heart. :)

My favorite questions were the ones that I wasn't really prepared to answer. Yup, you guessed it: "How did he get out of your tummy?", "Why does he have to eat under a blanket?", and "MOM-- what's that thing right there?!! Is that his TAIL?"

The "out of your tummy" question still hasn't been definitively answered. These little munchkins are too smart for their own good. I've told them he's come out of every toddler-appropriate orifice: I coughed him up, I sneezed him out my nose, he came out my ear, he came out my belly button, etc... They didn't believe a single story. When my answers weren't satisfactory, they asked my mom, dad, brother and Jaret. Mom and Dad made up stories not too far off from mine. Jaret told them the doctor cut me open, took him out, and sewed me up with magic stitches that healed instantly. My 16-yr-old brother opened his mouth to answer but I cut him off, afraid of what he'd say. Finally when Jailyn STILL hadn't gotten an answer that she deemed reasonable, I heard her resort to asking the source itself. I laid Jackson down to sleep in his bassinet in the bedroom one day and went to the kitchen to make lunch. Jailyn snuck back to the bedroom and I heard her say as she peered into his bed "Ok, Jackson, how did you get out of Mommy's tummy? You better tell me the truth!"

I know that breastfeeding is nothing to be ashamed of, but I still tried to conceal it from the girls, at least for the first week or two when we had lots of drop-in visitors. You just never know what a 3-yr-old is going to use as a conversation-starter with your boss or the neighbor across the street. When I finally let them witness Jackson nursing, they asked the basic questions ("why are you doing that?", "can I do that too?", etc.) but it really didn't hold their attention for very long. I guess it wasn't interesting enough. Still, I knew one day it would creep up in conversation in public or with a stranger, or at an inappropriate time. Sure enough, in the middle of my best friend's daughter's first birthday party, Jailyn decided to announce it to the entire table during a lull in conversation that "My brother eats my mommy's boobies!" Proud moment. Not just what she said, but also the fact that obviously she's misunderstood what's going on... She thought he was eating ME. Wonderful. This led me to let them witness a pumping session in hopes that they would better understand WHAT he was eating.

The penis question is my favorite. Everytime I change Jackson's diaper, I remember the look on Jordyn's face as she witnessed a diaper change, gasped and pointed, and shrieked "Is that his TAIL?!?!" I laughed so hard I had tears pouring down my cheeks. She then turned to Jailyn to announce it to her, even though Jailyn saw it as well, that "Baby Brudder (brother) has a TAIL, Sissy!!" When I finally gained my composure I explained that it was not a tail, that it was a body part that differentiated boys from girls, that there was nothing wrong with it or with him, and it was normal. Both girls were enamoured, couldn't wait to hear more about it. Jailyn wrinkled up her nose and said "Is it SUPPOSED to look like that?!" Oh that girl, she lets you know exactly what she's thinking. Still, even after all of my explanations, Jordyn told her daddy when he got home that night that her baby brother had a tail and we needed to cut it off because it was getting in the way of his diaper.
My favorite boys!!

When Jackson isn't doing anything interesting enough to hold the girls' attention (i.e.: when he's sleeping, eating, being held by someone other than them, being changed, getting a bath, or just not making any noise) they are all too happy to entertain themselves. Over the past six weeks, we've watched a lot of Disney movies, had a lot of tea parties and dress up time, completed lots of puzzles, and read lots of books. When these activities get tiresome, the girls find other things to do, including but not limited to: faking injuries in order to be able to play "doctor" and wear band-aids, hiding "buried treasure" all over the house and then finding it like Jake and the Neverland Pirates, jumping off of the couch onto a beanbag with arms outstretched like Buzz Lightyear, and spending a significant amount of time fascinated with umbrellas and my large purses (thanks Mary Poppins!), among other activities as well. Along with this adopted play, they've picked up a wide new range of vocabulary and short phrases from movies and the Disney Channel. Jordyn often announces the end of her afternoon nap by coming into the living room and saying "Ahoy, matey!" and has called me a codfish on more than one occasion... We may need a time-out from watching Peter Pan. Jailyn runs through the house singing songs from Tangled and brushing her hair. They're also both newly interested in trees, thanks to The Lorax.

Things are always interested around the Bonds! :)

Until next time!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Let's Try This Again.

Hmm. My last attempt at keeping up with a blog was not so successful. I'm really disappointed in myself! But in my defense, I didn't have internet at home at the time, so that really limits the amount of posting you can do, especially when the mobile Blogger is less than cooperative...

Ehh, no excuses. I just didn't make it a priority.

SO-- Let's try this again!!

Life as we know it has had some changes, and they deserve to be documented. And probably poked fun at!

Since December of 2011 (the date of my last entry) I have changed jobs at Walmart, Jaret has taken on a lot more responsibility with his company, we've FINALLY rid ourselves of the rental house from Hell, purchased a house in Rogers and are in the last stages of the remodel process, have temporarily moved in with my parents during said remodel process, and last but not least: grown our family headcount by one more J-baby!! I don't know about you, but I think that's a LOT in a 14-month time frame! It's been stressful, exciting, confusing, exasperating, and at times we've thought "We. Are. Crazy." -- and I'm sure others have thought the same about us (that we're crazy!) -- but its ok. We're keeping the spice in life. That's what its all about, right?

In early summer of 2012, we began the house hunt. We decided early on that we'd like to purchase something in a good location with good potential that needed some TLC, and make it our own. I also began the job hunt, internally, at Walmart... Looking for something new, exciting, fulfilling, and most importantly: doing what I love, which is helping people. In June. I left my comfort zone of the Electronics Merchandising/Replenishment department and joined the Transportation HR/Recruiting team. My team of 5 people recruit, interview, and hire the drivers for the Walmart Transportation Private Fleet. Its right up my alley! I LOVE the recruiting field, and aspire to be a recruiter for Walmart in the future. Right after this transition, we found a house, made an offer and took off on a roller coaster process (called such due to the fact that it had a LOT of up's, down's, drops and deadly curves, and I spent most of the time feeling like I was going to vomit) that lasted 3 1/2 months of agony and frustration, until we FINALLY signed the papers in October, two days after our 3rd wedding anniversary! We moved in with my parents at the beginning of August, thinking that we'd be closing on the house in just a few short weeks... which turned into months... and then with snags here and there with the renovation process, we are still here. Yes, 7 months later. Yes, we're managing -- ALL 8 of us, in one house -- and yes, its safe to say that EVERYBODY is looking forward to the day we move out. :) During all of these changes, I had a little secret. A little secret that kept growing bigger and bigger, until we could no longer keep it concealed as a secret: another baby Bond was on the way. Baby Jackson joined the gang in mid-January, and we are thrilled with our new addition! He's so sweet and snuggly, and his big sisters are beyond smitten with him. As much as I would have loved to have spent my maternity leave in our new house, with my "first born" furry child, getting things arranged and decorated and enjoying our own space, my parents have been great about adapting quickly to this new little person in our lives and making room for him in their home. I can gladly say that the house is coming along GREAT and we'll be in very soon; all we're waiting on now is carpet install and kitchen countertops. Then let the moving madness begin!

Also in the midst of all of these changes, Jordyn Leigh turned TWO, our family gained another new niece in Dallas, my sweet Lena Marie (my best friend's daughter) had her first birthday, and Miss Jailyn is just four weeks shy of turning FOUR. I seriously don't understand how time flies by so quickly. It's just not fair!

The J-babies are quite the bunch. I have many names for them: my munchkins, my mini-me's, my minions, and my favorite: my three-ring circus.

Jailyn Renee' is quite the little mother hen over her baby brother. She runs to him when he cries, adjusts his blankets, gives him a pacifier, strokes his hair... I'm fairly certain she'll be my main "competition" in terms of his affection and attention in years to come. I'm ok with that. :) When she's NOT playing "Mom" she's marching around here like a 3-going-on-18-year-old, often with her hands on her hips, my sunglasses on her head, two pockets full of attitude and a quick comeback just WAITING to pop out. She's a fiery ball full of sass. Part of me hopes we outgrow this phase very quickly, and yet another part of me hopes she always stays sassy and just defiant enough to not let others influence her into conforming to "one of the crowd", but that she stays her own person, full of spunk.

Jordyn Leigh is a running, laughing, eating, shrieking, dancing, skipping, singing, jumping, tumbling, silly little fireball. This child is incapable of walking: it doesn't get her anywhere fast enough. She has her father's "wonderful" gift of selective hearing, and can tune out anything she puts her mind to, except the "Dinner's ready!" call. She would eat constantly if we let her, but she runs/jumps/dances every calorie off. She has a head full of curly hair, a body full of energy and a mouth full to tell you, at all times! Always telling stories, singing songs, or sometimes just rambling on in words/sounds that only make sense to her. She's only quiet when she's sleeping. She keeps us on our toes... I wouldn't have her any other way! :)

Jackson Keith is our newest little love. He's the spitting image of Jordyn as a baby. He is super smiley, super cuddly, and super sweet. I'm so in love with this new (little) man in my life!

That's about enough of an update on the life of the Bonds for now... or at least, that's as much of an update as my kids will allow me to type right now. They're climbing all over me, the laptop, and each other as we speak.

Until next time!