Saturday, August 29, 2009


Due to a suggestion made in the comments I am fully intending to write a loving, kind, and considerate post about my husband. But probably not today. No, today I am going to share with you a peek of the deliciousness that came my way only yesterday, from a kind and loving friend!

That's REAL whoopee pie cream people, not the frosting I wimp out and use on the rare occasion I make them because it's quicker.

On the plus side, this whole gestational diabetic thing has proven to be quite the silliness, so I can EAT things like this with no hesitations whatsoever. Although I did share with those around me! Thank you Beth!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

The reason our middle child can confidently claim that position now...

Ah yes, little Thomas. We have no pictures of him, aside from these ultrasounds, but there are certainly things to talk about! Not the least of which are his ears, which I am totally expecting to look like Michael's!
The truly least expected, we were certain that Zachary was to be the last on so many levels.
That said, he has become is also the most anticipated, as even Michael made a comment the other day. Zachary had asked how much longer before Thomas comes (he regularly announces he "misses" him) and when I replied a few more weeks, Michael clapped his hands and said, "He's coming that soon?"
I grinned and teased Michael a bit, "What? I thought you didn't WANT another little brother?"
And he grinned, and said, "No, I don't..." but he laughed.
Things like today, Dustin came home from school with a notice about Lego League not starting until September 28th. His comment? "That will be after Thomas comes!"
We are waiting with baited breath... some of us more comfortably than others!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mama's Boy (Unless Daddy's in the Room)

Oh, little Z. Named with the last letter of the alphabet because he was to be the last one.

This child came out of the womb with attitude, and I mean FULL of personality. Only about an hour old this picture was taken:

My husband swears he was thinking, "Mom, do we know this guy? He looks a little crazy, are you sure?"

After the most horrible 9 months of being able to accomplish absolutely nothing, and the scariest labor of them all, our family was rewarded with this little piece of Heaven that made, and still makes, every single one of us smile.

Even doing silly things like moments ago looking for his bathing suit, being told it was in the car, and running out to the car to get it.

Completely naked.

Not a stitch of clothing on, nor a care in the world about it!

He has the face of an angel, and charm oozes from every pore. Women have complimented his appearance, and actually stated that he is cuter than all of their own children. I'm serious!! But she swore me to never tell! As discussed in an earlier post Zachary means God remembered, and four the last four years he has been a reminder to us of the love, joy, and blessings God wants each of us to have.

Now, he is FAR from perfect. He has timeouts when he hits (generally when he didn't get his way), he can whine regularly about having to do some of the basic things asked of him (like get dressed), and he has recently discovered that just because he was the one to do something wrong doesn't mean he has to ADMIT to being the one who did it. A few weeks ago he even managed to hide the crust of his sandwich behind something on the dining room window and told Mommy he had finished it (needing to eat the WHOLE sandwich is a daily "discussion" between us). He also announced in a class full of 4 year olds at church recently that he can say he's sorry when he kicks his brothers in the nuts.

That got me a friendly call from the teacher Monday morning! :-)

With three big brothers, and the oldest 13, he is often trying to be older than he is, but he tosses and turns so much at night that I haven't figured out how to get the brick to stay on to slow him from growing.

I suppose I shouldn't try, with every day he just grows deeper and deeper into my heart. As do all of them, it's a crazy thing, a mother's love. He starts preschool in about 3 weeks. I haven't allowed myself to think about how much I will miss him, because he is SO thrilled to be going. In fact he was devastated to hear recently that he wouldn't be going on the same day as his big brothers. I think we will manage to find something fun to do together, though, and frankly I'm looking forward to it!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Middle Child

That just might sum him up!

Well, that and the fact that he is a Jones, through and through, which I think has made him the hardest for me to understand. He is VERY outdoorsy, and has been since the day he was born! He has always loved the farm, the hayfield, the animals, the fairs, and he has been waiting to be a part of it all (showing his own animals) since he could walk and talk!

Speaking of talking, he was in speech for several years as well, but in a very different way. He would talk, but through clenched teeth, not really opening his mouth. Literally when I first brought him the therapist stretched his cheeks every day before we began! He has overcome this as well, unless he is under stress, and then it floods back, one of the ways I can tell if he's having a hard time with something.

He is playful and fun, but has a distinct soberness about him as well. I was able to bring him to the school when I volunteered to work in the copy room. He was four years old, and I told the volunteer coordinator I wouldn't have been OK with bringing my other boys at that age, but with his quiet demeanor Michael would do just fine, and he did! He liked to push the buttons and play shy whenever another adult walked in the room, and he LOVED to see his brothers at school!
His biggest challenge these days is that he is a worrier!! Even when something fun and exciting is planned, it never fails that he will come up with at least one reason to not want to go, or why it will turn out badly. We are working on this, though, and I have to say I am very proud of him, because he generally does it anyway, and has a good time! He is definitely a homebody, though, another quality from the other side of our family. My family, especially my mom, tend to get itchy feet if it's been awhile since we have gone away. I love where I live, but sometimes it's nice to see new things and places. Michael gets the most nervous about going overnight somewhere without an immediate family member. I would like to think he'll outgrow that, but I'm not entirely sure, and I'm not in any hurry!

At school, however, he is a different child! He apparently has taken to being the class clown with two or three of his friends! I'm curious to see if this continues with the new school year, as he will be with almost all different kids. Mind you, he is only silly when it's OK, I've never been brought to school to deal with lousy behavior, thank goodness. Another difference between school and home is at school his teachers say he is always helpful, and while he does his share at home he usually grumbles... A LOT!

A quality that my family and Bill's family could compete to claim is his ability to hold a grudge! For example, the one time he did get his name on the board in first grade (two years ago now, mind you) he will be more than happy to tell you was for a "stupid rule. Only one person at the trash can at a time, I needed to sharpen my pencil, it's a stupid rule."

I had to agree, but reminded him he needed to try to follow it anyway. The funniest part, in my opinion, was his offense at having his name on the board. There was no inside recess, no note home, no privilege lost... but he was (and still is) TICKED about the whole thing!

He has always wanted to do what his brothers are doing, and this has led to soccer and T Ball, followed by baseball. This year he is branching out, realizing soccer is not so much fun to him, and trying out basketball, like Dustin. Lots of his friends play, and he is really looking forward to it, already practicing dribbling and shooting in the yard. I hope he likes it, as much as I like to watch soccer, basketball doesn't overlap the fair season!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Child #2

Now this one has given me a run for my money! He scares me still to this day with the things he is willing to do and try. As a toddler he simply had no fear, and probably only survived that stage because his mother was terrified he would be hit by a car or something and rarely let him out of her sight! If he wanted something, you could put five barriers between him and it, and it only lengthened the time before he got it, he truly would NEVER give up!

For that matter, as a small child he had three people he would go to or stay with, Mommy, Gramma, and Great Grammy. Yes, my mom and her mom. Crazy as it may seem, Daddy was not on the list. He also had trouble learning to talk, spending years in speech therapy. When he was two he wouldn't put his lips together for sounds like m and b. Someone asked me what he called me then, and I said, "He doesn't have to call me anything, I'm always here!"

All that time and energy paid off though, today he is pretty well adjusted. I figured out a lot about him as he grew, including the reasons he wouldn't stay with other people, he is connected to the McDonald family (my mom) in a manner that is just unique. First to be born after my Granddad passed away, he looks like him, acts like him in many ways, and has taught us a lot about ourselves!!

Something that skipped over my mom and me, though, is his adventurous side! He was the first to be invited to drive the boat when we spent the day at the Harrington's camp this month:

Doesn't he look cool! He asked several times if he could go faster, but I answered before Mr. Harrington with a firm no! We also held onto the toddlers a bit more tightly, because turning becomes a bit precarious at those speeds!!

And then there's the thing from Philadelphia he did, at The Franklin, a museum. They had a contraption a good 50 feet in the air, and he wanted to ride it. Mom put him off when they were walking in, but on the way out he begged and she caved, figuring there was a safety net, how bad could it be?
Cool as a cucumber, enjoying the ride!

But the best part about him, in my opinion, is his love for the underdog. He has such a strong heart, and compassion like no one else I know. He roots for the team that no one else (at least in our family) likes, the NASCAR driver everyone else is glad to see lose, and the kid on the playground that no one else wants to play with.

Never was his compassion more evident than during his friendship with Savannah. She was Michael's age, but Michael has always been drawn to play with Kiara, her sister. Brian on the other hand would sit for hours, playing Gameboy, or watching a movie, joking back and forth quietly. Even when we were making that ridiculous amount of strawberry jam, Savannah was allowed to use the Kitchen Aid to mush the berries, she ran to invite Brian to come help her, and they had a blast! It's one of my fondest memories.

Definitely having given me the most exhaustion of any of my young children, I have learned from him that the more work put in, the greater feeling is the reward. He is smart, diligent, stubborn as a bear, and for that I am eternally grateful!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My oldest...

This one here, my oldest, has been thirteen for a few months now. The transformation has been truly remarkable. He got taller, built muscle, and his voice deepened in about a week! He also developed this pesky desire to push things and exert his strength. But interestingly enough, a couple of talks later and he got it all under control, well, as much as any of us in the house do anyway.

I told him that I understand he feels like an adult and wants to be treated as such. But I told adults treat each other a particular way, and he needed to focus on attitude and TONE. I pointed out that when I speak too harshly to his dad, or vice versa, it is usually because we are tired and cranky, but we immediately try to acknowledge that the tone was not intended, and then (crazy thought, I know) we APOLOGIZE. It's been pretty easy to call him on that and have him see it since. Sometimes he has even apologized for a tone I didn't think was all that bad, but that he noticed wasn't intended toward me and wanted to fix. Between that and a couple of lectures about the Lord expecting us to be able to control our tempers, things have been wonderful this summer.

I'm a bit worried about him going back to school. He has a great class, the graduating class size has fluctuated between 45 and 50 kids, and most of them get good grades and are generally nice. But so many parents don't think teenagers can have control of themselves, and I hear terrible stories about drug use in the high school (he'll be in 8th this year, it's coming right up) I worry about his being influenced by that. I don't think he will succumb to peer pressure necessarily, but I wonder if he will see his parents in that light that his friends will, and think we need to lighten up.

I tell him regularly he is going places, and I firmly believe it. I believe he will travel on his mission (our young men tend to serve a 2 year proselyting mission once they turn 19), and that he can get the type of education that will prepare him for a career, one that I would love to see take root in Maine, this place I love, but realize it might not. I try to tell him, again and again, that what happens in school socially may seem overwhelming at times, but this is only the beginning, and soon he will have more choices and control over what he experiences, that the grades are what will take him far, not the people.

He makes a great big brother, and I can see someday he'll be a good dad. He plays with his brothers, and the other day he came in all excited after shooting hoops with Michael. He told me about teaching Michael how to steal the ball from him, "I said don't watch the basketball, watch my belly button. I told him I can fake him out moving the ball around, but I'm not going anywhere without my belly button!" And Dustin was so excited when his little brother did it like he showed him and got the ball!

He's a hard worker. He went on a 3 day scout hike/canoe trip, and received the greatest compliment from a man who has known his dad for decades... "He sure is a Jones." Apparently, he was always looking for something productive to do, always willing to do just what you ask, and helping others with things they needed, not complaining. At home I try to watch myself, I know he will do just about any task I ask him to, whether it's swapping the laundry, making a sandwich for a brother, getting something from the car, or even reading Zachary a story to get him off my back. I really try to watch and be sure I don't ask him to do too much, he is still a kid after all, but especially with being due to have a baby in six weeks it has been a HUGE blessing this summer, and something I have missed on the days he's been gone!!

His reward for this help? No, I can't afford to give him an allowance. His reward is he gets to hang out with the grownups, and do things like Facebook and drive tractor in the hay field, staying up late playing Settlers or Clue with the adults. His uncle even gave him a lesson on driving his pickup truck in the hay field the other day. That's all it takes, he works doing things like the grownups do, and gets treated like a grown up.

Funny thing about it is, us grownups are REALLY enjoying his company! So while it is a reward for him, it's been fun for us too!

Monday, August 10, 2009

My boys...

I have amazing children. I mean AMAZING children. I was laying in bed this afternoon (my favorite place to be this pregnancy) thinking about the unique, wonderful qualities of each of them. Lots of moms decide to post about their children on their birthday, listing accomplishments and milestones, that has never appealed to me. I think instead I want to make a post about each of them, right now while it's fresh in my mind. I'll be publishing them over the next few days (I hope!)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Big Babies...

So, my midwife (not the one who delivered all four of my boys, sadly she has changed professions) met with me this past Friday. She said, "OK, let's look at the ultrasound results... hm... how big did you say your biggest baby was?"

"Nine pounds, 12.6 ounces."

"Oh, ok, it looks like we may have another big baby here."

He apparently measured over five and a half pounds. He could be a preemie and still come home from the hospital. For those of you unaware (I have to be reminded every pregnancy) babies tend to gain half a pound a week the last eight weeks. We have seven weeks to go, which means 9 pounds by the 20th of September.

So, I rattled off to her 9 lbs, 12.6 oz, followed by 9 lbs, 6.4 oz, then 8 lbs, 12.6 oz (exactly a pound less than the first) and the last was 8 lbs, 2 oz, but came out with his fist beside his forehead. Big babies don't scare us.

Bring him on!