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 ;).

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lulu at 7 Months

Lucille Jones turned 7 months old this past week. She's so darling! Like most babies her age she smiles at strangers all day long, but is getting quite attached to her parents! 

It's been so hot outside, and Lulu really enjoys being on a blanket, or a walk. She likes the car, too. She can hardly stand to nap, there's always so many interesting things going on all around her.

She's started solids. She's not a big fan, but we're working on it.

She also started crawling. Now it's just a matter of time before she can catch up with her sister.

Then life should really get interesting! We love you, Lulu. You're finally starting to sleep a bit better, and we're all better for it. Your smile brightens the day, and your lovely spirit is always a joy to have around.

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Girl Called Yay-Ya

Penny has a best friend. I don't know why this is somewhat strange to me. Maybe it's because I don't remember being two years old, and when I think about having had friendships back then (the 70s!!) that I no longer remember, it strikes me as kind of odd. Anyway, Penny's BFF is named Estella, and boy, does Penny love her. She talks about her constantly, and when she's with Estella she has a love in her eyes reserved only (or so I thought). The funniest thing is that Penny can't even say Estella's name. So she calls her "Yay-Ya", and Yay-Ya has no problem with that at all. Penny and Yay-Ya go to daycare together. Here they are showing off their Fourth of July craft.

We took it to the next level by setting up Penny's first playdate with Estella this past weekend in our back yard. Since then, Penny has requested "Yay-Ya at my house" every single day.

There are so many great things about their friendship, but one is certainly that they influence each other, mostly in positive ways. Estella is a much more adventurous eater than Penny, and if Estella is eating something, Penny will eat it, too (hello, strawberries!). It's amazing how early peer pressure starts, isn't it?

There's room for two on the slide, as long as the right person is squeezing in...

Then there's that kind of "secret language" that best friends have. Estella decided to talk some nonsense into a tupperware lid and Penny...well, look at her face. Penny was in love with her for it. 

Penny and Estella share really nicely, and they're really polite with each other, too. They really admire each other. They've known each other for so long, and I really hope their friendship continues. Estella is getting twin sisters in the coming months, and I think Penny is hoping that means more time for "Yay-Ya at my house". We'll take her!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Crafty, Lately

There's no doubt my crafting has slowed down a bit. With 2 kids, a new house (to redecorate), a job and a never-ending commute, things are so very busy. I do manage to eek out a few rows here and there, however. Here are some links to things I've been doing outside of this blog, if you're interested.
  • I crocheted the bread warmer, above. It was my first ever finished crochet project! Read all about it here, and Ravelry link here.
  • About every 2 weeks, I host a podcast. Lately I've done one about Men and Crafting, and Crafting in Summer. If you need an audio companion, maybe I'm it!
  • I'm learning to weave! It's going...ok. More on that, soon.

Monday, July 7, 2014


The Fourth of July offered me the opportunity to dress my children up in garish outfits. You might remember this tradition from last year, when the in-laws were in town. I kept it up merely because I thrifted their dresses, on separate occasions, months ago. And what day doesn't go well when it's started with red, white and blue homemade waffles for the entire family? 

This year was our first Independence Day in our newly purchased house. We found a flag in the basement, left to us by the previous owners, so up it went...

My Jones, Resident Alien (if that isn't true...), clutched his half American offspring proudly.

The neighbors told us that each year the children hold their own parade, decorating their bikes and riding and walking down the street with their parents. But we couldn't find the parade! Online research came up with nothing, so we headed to the parks, as usual.

Then we retired to the back yard for a picnic lunch. I set up the camera's self-timer, and Penny loved pressing the button and running back to sit on our laps. I don't think she understood what was really happening, but she could feel the suspense. Later in the day, we went to a bbq with some of my oldest friends and their children. 

It was also great to get some photos of the four of us. Yesterday was Mr. Jones and my third wedding anniversary. We were married in 2011, had a baby in 2012, had another in 2013, and bought a house in 2014. Life is sweet. What could be next?

Monday, June 30, 2014

Lulu at 6 Months

Well, everyone has been saying it, and I finally believe it to be true. Lulu looks JUST LIKE Penny at 6 months. It's pretty amazing. I don't think I believed it because Lulu is such a different personality that I don't see them as similar at all.

This baby is so smiley and giggly that when she does anything but grin, it shocks us.

She looks at everything, taking it all in. She fights sleep so she can watch everyone. When someone speaks to her, she flashes her open-mouthed grin and it melts them. "Well, Hello Smiley!". I must hear that ten times a day.

At six months, Lulu is sitting up! From her new vantage point, the world seems to make a bit more sense. She can see long distances to check out her sister and parents or a bird or tree, waving in the wind. She's so happy on a blanket in the middle of the action.

Lulu is also moving so much that I think crawling is in our not too distant future! She's a mover, just like her sister was at this age. I think she would get up and run after Penny if she could. We'll take a couple more months of sitting, though, Lulu. It's so sweet to have you by our side. We love you so much.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Start of a Beautiful Relationship (Please?)

We make no secret of the fact that we had these babies 20 months apart with many hopes. One was that we would see them through diapers and crazy sleep patterns (the latter being our phase, too) at similar times. I'm also not getting any younger (ahem). More importantly, however, was that we hoped by having them close in age that they might be close friends. I guess you can only try your best to foster a close relationship between siblings, and see what happens. 

Lately though, Lulu has really been fascinated by her sister, and Penny certainly loves Lulu. When Lulu is sleeping in another room, Penny will have a sudden attack. "Where's WuWu?" she'll shout, with her hands in a questioning position. When Lulu and I pick Penny up from daycare and the other kids come to see the baby, Penny always stands next to her car seat shouting, "MY WUWU!". The other day at the park, I was able to capture what seems like times of real conversation between the two of them. It's amazing to see a relationship between my two girls begin.

Nothing builds relationships like snacking together:

Then we went to the swings. After everything Penny does at the park, she shouts, "WuWu's turn!". Usually, I tell her that Lulu is too little for ladders and slides and balance beams. This time was different. Lulu was able to join her on the swings for the very first time! She loved it so much, and Penny loved watching her.

Then we sat down on the grass again and I told Penny that Lulu wanted to sit down in front of her. Sometimes Lulu touching Penny isn't really welcome, but this time Penny thought it was hilarious! She even gave her sister a kiss.

I'm sure they have a future, like any siblings, of fighting over shared toys and parental attention. It just really encourages us that at such young ages they acknowledge each other, feel good about one another, dare I say love each other? We will continue to hope it's the start of a long and close friendship.