Tag Archives: baby

Oliver: 12 Months

1 Jul

A little late, this is the last monthly post I will be doing for Oliver. The next one will be at two years! At 12 months, Oliver…

:: Is walking! Not for very long, as crawling gets him where he wants to go much faster, but he is venturing further and further on two feet.

:: Makes the best noises when he and Charlie get all silly and “tackle” each other on our bed.

:: Has six teeth.

:: Enjoyed celebrating his first birthday at the park.

:: Was very serious about his first birthday cake. He ate the entire thing like it was his job.

:: Wants to be outside. If our front door opens he is bolting over to it like a cat.

:: Wants to eat ALL the rocks.

:: Is a huge fan of smoothies.

:: Figured out how to play Charlie’s bongo drum.

:: Figured out how to climb up on (and sit on) Charlie’s tractor.

:: Figured out how to climb up on the rocking chair and rock back and forth.

:: Figured out how to make me paranoid that we are going to end up in the hospital before the month is out because oh my goodness this child climbs.

:: Is fascinated by dogs and cats. I think he wants to ride them.

:: May also say “dog” as his first real word (possibly already has).

:: Has a new favorite bathtime game of handing things to whoever is on the outside of the tub, grinning, and then waiting for you to drop it back in the water.

:: Has more curls. They are super cute.

Oliver: Three Months

17 Sep


At three months, Oliver…

:: Is so very happy and smiley. It doesn’t take much — just look him in the eyes and smile and he will grin right back!

:: has an incredible sense of wonder. He loves to inspect every aspect of the things around him, and will focus on fabrics for ages. He just generally seems very impressed by the world around him.

:: likes to “sing” and chat. All those cute baby noises, I just can’t get enough!

:: Is going to sleep on his own at night! I am still completely in awe, and I fully understand that his sleep habits can and will change as he grows, but for right now, we do our bedtime routine, I tell him goodnight, and he goes to sleep without so much as a peep. Charlie always needed a lot of cuddling and I don’t think he went to sleep completely on his own until he was past two (except for a random few weeks around 5 months). Oliver just has a totally different personality, and it will be interesting to see where his sleep journey goes. But for now, I am reveling in the fact that by 8pm I normally have two sleeping boys who will stay that way until at least midnight. Gotta enjoy it while it lasts (the four month sleep regression is just around the corner).

:: doesn’t like long naps. Maybe it’s because he sleeps so soundly at night, but during the day it’s rare for him to sleep more than 20-30 minutes at a time. He usually wakes up quite happy (and at this age, short naps are pretty normal), but I am hoping some nap consolidation happens soon.

:: Enjoys touching his hands together. He discovered they could reach together last week and now loves to watch himself touch them together, or sit and hold them across his chest, looking very dignified.

:: Wants so badly to roll onto his stomach. He’s been working really hard on it and can get all the way on his side. I’m cheering him on but also trying to relish his current (relative) immobility.

:: likes to scoot backwards. He can actually get pretty far (but it takes him a long time) by doing this push back with his legs. I have a feeling he might end up being a bum shuffler before he crawls (Charlie pretty much went straight to crawling).

:: Really enjoys pulling blankets over his head, especially when he’s in the pack ‘n play in the kitchen. There’s a (breathable) blanket over the sheet to make it a bit softer, and he loves to grab it and pull it over one side of his head. Charlie and I joke that he’s making his own little fort before fixing it for him.

:: continues to be a bath maniac. Sheez. I feel like I never want to miss a moment of bathtime with him, he is so excited and wiggly and giddy. The grins! The laughs! It’s like he remembers being born in the water and made a special connection with it or something.

:: is on the way to become “legal.” We have an appointment at the London Embassy in early October to file for his passport. We are hoping it will come quickly so we can get his UK visa and enable him to travel.

Ten Months

18 Oct


At ten months, Charlie…

:: Pulls up on everything. I mean, e-ve-ry-thing. My legs, the window ledge, chairs, stools — he’s even begun climbing up steps and trying to crawl out of the bathtub. The kid is ready to go.

:: Is a pro at our wooden walker. He smiles so big when he pushes it across the room, then waits for one of us to turn it around so he can go back again.

:: Just started “properly” crawling. He rocked the army crawl for quite a while (until it turned into the modified pirate crawl), but just two days ago he broke out the classic hands and knees crawl. I know I was impressed.

:: Loves our hair dryer. This isn’t a new thing, but I don’t know that I’ve mentioned it before. Every morning, when I blow dry my hair, I count to three before turning it on. The second the noise starts, he grins like crazy, and starts to say, “Ahhhhhhhh,” imitating the noise of the hair dryer. I love how fascinated he is by it!

:: Enjoys drinking out of a cup but has also learned how to use a sippy cup, which is a bit less messy when we are out and about. I’d like to transition him to a simple free-flow one soon, but hate to keep buying different kinds of sippy cups when he enjoys drinking out of a glass so much when we are at home.

:: Has recently started saying “Ba Ba” when we get to the page with the sheep in “The Very Busy Spider.” He says “Ba” a lot anyway, but I can definitely tell that he’s imitating me when I say “Ba” on that page. I have a feeling more animal noises are soon to follow.

:: Has four teeth — two on the top, two on the bottom. The top two aren’t completely finished coming in, but they are nearly there.

:: Got to see his Grandad and Uncle Josh! They had a layover at Heathrow on their way to Egypt to help at an orphanage. We only had a few hours, but he really enjoyed seeing them and getting lots of love. We’ll be with them again for a visit in less than a month and a half!

:: Isn’t a huge fan of sleep right now. Between learning how to properly crawl, two teeth coming in at the same time, a cold, and the standard 10 month sleep regression, it’s taken a lot more to get him down to sleep. There have been a number of nights when he’s up at three, ready to party — whew! It’s honestly been more exhausting than when he was a newborn, and this past week is the first time we’ve actually felt like “new parent zombies.” I know that it’s a phase, though, and even last night he slept a bit more solidly than before, so hopefully we’re on the downward curve towards easier settling (I don’t expect sleep to be a simple, thru-the-night thing until he’s much older, because it’s actually super normal for babies to wake in the night until they are nearly past toddlerhood).

:: Current favorite playthings — his walker wagon, crocheted balls, homemade noise shakers, books.

:: Is still called by lots of nicknames — Dr. McHappy, Nugget, Goober, Bug, Goof, Mr. Crazy.

:: Has started getting really sweet and snuggly (or “cwtchy” as the Welsh would say) when he’s sleepy. He’s never been a huge cuddler, so I’m really enjoying it.

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling

8 May


We’ve got a roller. It took a few days of alllllllmost rolling over, then another day or so of grabbing on to various objects to heave himself onto his stomach, but on Thursday he made it happen. Now I can barely set him down for a minute without an immediate flip over. He hasn’t figured out how to roll from his stomach to his back yet, so after a few minutes of grinning, looking around, and an excited scream or two, he’ll start getting fidgety until we flip him back. I guess this is the first step on the road to actually babyproofing our house (well, to some degree).



Also, I pulled out my “nice” camera and actually used it! Yay! I’m keeping it in the living room now, out of its case, so that I will hopefully be using it more.





Wales: Settling In

3 Apr


My handsome husband, in front of a castle.

So we’re here. In Wales. I can’t believe I’m just now writing this, but things have been pretty nonstop. Moving to a foreign country can keep you quite busy, especially when there’s a baby involved! Even simple things like moving in and putting our mountain of IKEA furniture together take twice as long as they used to, since one of us is hanging out with Charlie.

We’ve been here for about six weeks — it’s hard to believe it’s already April! We are thankful for it, though, because the snow has melted (yes, we  had snow last week!) and the sun is out. We know our hot Florida summers will be nowhere to be found, but we are excited to do lots of exploring as the mountain air warms up a bit.


The view from our bedroom window just two weeks ago.

Mr. Jones and I have both been hit with sinus bugs (blerg), but I’m on the mend and Caleb is no longer coughing every ten seconds. We hadn’t thought about the fact that all of our immunities are no good here! We will be hand-washing, citrus-intaking fools while our bodies get used to this new environment, and hopefully we can keep from catching every virus that goes around. Charlie, thankfully, is healthy as ever. He had his first GP (general doctor) appointment this morning and she called him an “applesauce baby” (I guess that’s kind of like a US “Gerber Baby”). She also jokingly tried to steal him and said she’s never seen a baby so happy and full of energy at his age!

photo 5

My “9 to 5”

I am starting to adjust to what daily life looks like here. It’s funny, too, because I’m also just now starting to adjust to being a full-time stay at home mom. We had so many things to do before we left the States, and nothing was consistent, that it just wasn’t something that I had to deal with. I love it already, and running our household/raising Charlie is what I want to be doing more than anything else. But I also know that it is a slow process when you’re a new mom in a new place. It takes time to build routines and friendships, and it is harder than normal being away from all of your family and friends. Thankfully, technology has been a huge blessing. Through the magic of iMessage (and thanks to the fact that most of my friends/family have iPhones), I can text as easily as I did before. We’ve had a blast using FaceTime and Skype to catch up with people, and I can share plenty of photos of Charlie via Instagram and Facebook.


FaceTime is fun with this chunky guy.

Social Media is a double-edged sword though. Though it can be wonderful, it can also steal our time so easily. I want my focus to be on my family and on “real life” more than on the world inside my little black box. To help keep things balanced, our family is going to start doing a “Social Media Sabbatical” on the first weekend of every month. I got the idea from Lara Casey (I’m a little obsessed with her Making Things Happen series right now) and I think it’s very necessary. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Speaking of goal setting, it’s something I’m working on a lot this week. April is, in a way, our January — it’s the beginning of a new season and the beginning of a solid routine in a set place (something we haven’t had for quite some time). One of my goals is to blog more, and to take the pressure off of what a blog post needs to be. I’ve talked about this before, but I feel like I’ve never kept up with it the way I want to. I want this to be a place where my friends and family can keep track of what we’re up to; where I can share and record things that happen in our family; where I have zero pressure to be anything but exactly what I am. So, new season, new goal, and we’ll see what happens.

Finally, a few photos of life here lately!


Coffee breaks are very frequent here. Charlie, you’ve got a while before you hit this stuff!


Lovely cafe in Cowbridge where we ate with some friends from church.


Happy Easter from Charlie! His Great-Grandma got him the sweet blue sweater and he loves it.


We stayed with friends for the first few weeks here and they had llamas outside their kitchen window!



Charlie may have been born in Florida, but he’s okay with the cold.




Pregnancy Update – 27 Weeks

28 Sep

How far along? 27 weeks

How big is baby? The size of a head of cauliflower (2.5lbs)

Total weight gain: +21lbs

Maternity Clothes? A sweet friend of mine gave me some of the pieces that she’s outgrown, and I’m so glad to have a pair of shorts to wear to Sea World tomorrow!

Stretch marks? Nerp.

Sleep: Not much of a change except that without fail, I am now waking up 20 minutes before my alarm goes off. No matter when my alarm is set to. I’ve thought about setting it for 20 minutes past when I actually want to get up, but haven’t felt like taking that chance yet. It’s strange — maybe my child can read my alarm and just wants me to lay in bed and hang out with him for 20 minutes before getting up? Who knows!

Movement: Movin’ and shakin’! This last week of work has been a busy one, and I can tell now that whenever I get stressed, he notices (and moves around like crazy). It’s a good way to practice my relaxation breath, especially when I’m driving.

Food cravings: This week has been pretty food craving-free. I’ve been majorly watching my sugar intake though (hello gestational diabetes test next week), so I’m pretty sure I’ll be due for a trip to Bon Ami after next Wednesday.

What I miss: A number of my shirts that still kinda fit but are too short to wear without a tank top. And at this point, layer in the Florida fall is still way too hot for me.

What I am looking forward to: Not feeling like everything is up in the air. We’re still waiting on things from the UK Border agency, and the backup may be longer than we thought. We’re looking into some other options, but there’s also  a chance that we will be here until after the Wee Baby Jones is born. I’m really hoping we can get everything straightened out, but it’s a weird feeling not knowing whether we will be leaving here in two weeks…or four months. I feel like God has given me a great peace about where we’re at, especially since we know that everything is up to Him anyway. Even so, I am definitely looking forward to having a better sense of where things will be going in the next few months.

Milestones: His eyelids can now open and close, which seems crazy to me because I definitely can’t open my eyes underwater. It’s fun to think about what his view might be (and what on earth he thinks about where he is).

Oh, and THIS: Mr. Jones got his blood tested this week, and he’s Rh positive (the typical type). Since I’m Rh negative, I get to enjoy an awesome RhoGAM shot next week. Blech. If you’re like me and had no idea that your blood type could mean you might have to get a shot at 28 weeks (and after the baby is born), check out this article from the American Pregnancy Association.

Pregnancy Update – 23 Weeks

31 Aug

23 Week Update

23 Week Update

How far along? 23 weeks

How big is baby? As long as an ear of corn! And apparently my uterus is the size of a soccer ball. Weird.

Total weight gain: +15lbs

Maternity Clothes?  Target must have known I was coming, because they had a ton of stuff on clearance. I ended up with two super comfy shirts, which were a welcome addition to my tops. After doing a thorough closet try-on/clean-out, I at least feel like even if my wardrobe is limited, I can grab anything in there and feel comfortable wearing it.

Stretch marks? Still nada. I feel like I’m just skating by and they’re going to attack suddenly, without warning. But I’ll enjoy it while I can!

Sleep:  Much better! Thanks to one of my sweet friends from church, I now have a wonderfully soft (and long) body pillow that has really helped. Now, I’ll typically wake up once or twice a night, but I go right back to sleep. I do have an internal alarm clock that seems to pop me awake about 15 minutes before my alarm goes off, but that I can handle.

Movement:  I’ve started to get used to his general patterns of movement — it varies during the day, but he’s pretty much always moving around when I drive to work in the morning, right after lunch, when I drive home from work, and when I’m settling in for bed. I have to be careful when I’m driving, because I always want to have my hand on my stomach to feel him move. Which is fine, except my car is a stick-shift, so I typically need two hands if I’m not just cruising. Safety over savoring the moment, sometimes that’s just how it has to be!

Food cravings:  Since I have my Glucose Test coming up in a few weeks, this week I decided to really start watching my sugar intake. It’s been going pretty well and I haven’t broken down and eaten an entire pint of ice cream or anything yet. I am allowing myself one Hyppo popsicle a week, because most of them are just straight fruit (and because they are soooo so good).

What I miss:  Nothing new this week, really. :)

What I am looking forward to:  Our first little baby shower is this week, and I’m really excited about it! Since we’ll be on the other side of the ocean for the last part of my pregnancy (when most baby showers typically happen), I’m so glad I get to do a bit of celebrating with friends here before we leave.

Milestones:  How about first transition in seasons? Spring to Summer doesn’t really count because, well, Florida. But we’ve had a ton of rain this week, and I spent an evening cozied up in Barnes and Noble with a hot chai tea, looking at knitting books…and all of a sudden, it was fall! Yes, I am going to the beach this weekend, and it will probably stay in the 80s/90s for another month or so, but I am declaring it fall.

Oh, and THIS: I just recently realized that my belly button is not in the center of my stomach. Super odd, right? I always thought it was symmetrical, but now that it’s poking out a bit, it’s definitely a half inch to the right of where it should be. I’m not sure how common it is, but it’s definitely strange to me.

The Wee Baby Jones: Boy or Girl?

6 Aug

This past Thursday, we had our first ultrasound appointment. We were so excited to find out whether we were having a boy or a girl, but we decided that we’d wait until after the appointment to find out. We wanted to make it fun, with a little bit of “Jones” tradition thrown in. Silly string was our method of choice — I don’t think I’ve been to any Jones holiday celebrations where there wasn’t a gigantic silly string fight, and they just seem to get crazier as the years go by.

We had the radiologist write the gender on an envelope and seal it, then we gave it to Caleb’s sister-in-law and brothers. I bought five blue and five pink bottles of silly string and had them all in a box, ready to go. With our backs turned, they opened the envelope  and gave us the corresponding silly string, with the color-indicating caps removed. At the count of three, we shot it into the air to find out whether the Wee Baby Jones was going to be a boy or a girl!

You can watch the results in our video below, and they also took some lovely photos that I’m so happy to have.

The Wee Baby Jones: Boy or Girl? from toWales on Vimeo.


It’s a boy! We were thrilled, but also had to laugh because on both sides of Caleb’s family, there are tons of boys. While I know that his mom and grandma are looking forward to dressing up a little girl, it looks like they’ll have to wait a little while longer. Meanwhile, they’re going to have a lot of fun with another crazy Jones boy!

There are so many fun ways to do a “gender reveal” and find out whether you’re having a boy or a girl. Even though it took a little patience, I’m so glad we did this! We loved being able to celebrate with family, as well as get loud and excited without worrying about making too much noise. Plus, who doesn’t love an excuse to play with silly string?

Pregnancy Update – 19 Weeks

3 Aug


How far along? 19 weeks (and 3 days)

How big is baby? The size of a small cantaloupe.

Total weight gain: +11 lbs.

Maternity Clothes? I broke out two of my “big” tunic-y maternity shirts this week. They’re still on the large side, but boy are they comfortable. I also got a pair of maternity skinny jeans from Gap, but they’re still a bit too large to wear. I think I’m going to keep them, because at the pound-a-week rate I’ll probably be ready for some bigger jeans in another month or so.

Stretch marks? Still nada!

Sleep: Still sleeping fairly well, although it’s guaranteed at this point that I’ll be waking up around 4 or 5am every morning. I’ve been tempted to buy one of those crazy big pregnancy pillows, but I know there’s no way to take it across the ocean, so I’m making do with a long throw pillow.

Movement: Definitely more movement this week! Still no major kicks, but a lot more jostling around. I know it will get to the point where I’m being kept up late at night, but so far I’m loving it!

Food cravings: Still on my trusty fruit cravings, but this week I also had a huge hankering for french fries (I know, terrible). Luckily, a stop for waffle fries was all I really needed, and hopefully my taste buds will be satisfied for a while.

What I miss: Balance! I’ve been getting more and more klutzy as the days go by. I know it will only get worse as my stomach gets bigger, and I definitely miss being able to walk around without bumping into something every ten seconds.

What I am looking forward to: Going on vacation very soon and seeing my parents (and grandma). I’ll be up north at the shore and in Pennsylvania, and I can’t wait to just read and relax with family. It is definitely much-needed!

Milestones: Our first ultrasound! We had our anatomy ultrasound yesterday and it was so much fun to see the Wee Baby Jones move around. We even got to see a cute little baby yawn! We had the ultrasound tech write the gender down and seal it in an envelope, and then found out with the help of…silly string! We break out the silly string at pretty much every Jones family celebration, so it only seemed right. I’ll share more photos and the video tomorrow, but the most important thing: it’s a boy!

Oh, and THIS: Our apartment is all but empty — we had a giant moving sale last Saturday, and we’ll finish getting everything else packed before next week is over. It’s very surreal, but also incredibly freeing, and I’m excited to be done with the moving process and have some time to just hang out with friends while we wait for our visas to go through. I do have a few little “boy” things that I’ll be taking over with me, and I’m also looking forward to some small knitting projects while we’re still here.

Simple Baby Gift: Knit Bunnies

19 Jul

I love knitting things for babies. To start with, babies are small—therefore the projects are small, and are usually accomplished quickly. It’s so nice to start and finish in the same weekend. It doesn’t hurt that babies are extremely cute, so whatever you make for them is instantly elevated by their adorableness.

I came across this pattern when I was looking for something to make for two mom-to-be friends of mine. It’s from a great book called “Vintage Knits for Modern Babies” by Hadley Fierlinger. All the patterns are pretty easy to follow, and the knits are cute and classic. I always enjoy making things that seem timeless, so that hopefully one day I can pass down the same projects to my children.

Knit Bunny looking for carrots

This bunny knits up quickly and is pretty simple. It’s a nice size for newborns because it’s easy to tuck in to their car seat but it’s not so small that it gets lost in a bag. I use natural cotton yarns with the thought that there’s a good chance a little guy (or gal) might be chewing on it at some point.
Nana’s Bunnies
Beginner / intermediate

Finished Measurements
Height: 5½”

1 65 g skein Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Organic Cotton (100% cotton; 150 yds [137 m]) in #30 Birch (MC)
1 65 g skein Skinny Dyed Cotton in #305 Pink (CC)
US 4 (3.5 mm) straight needles
Yarn needle for finishing
Small amount of organic carded wool or polyester fiberfill or yarn scraps for stuffing
Yarn or embroidery thread and needle for embroidering on face and details
1 (¾” [2 cm]) pom-pom
Tip: The 2 skeins of yarn will make 2 to 3 bunnies, if you want to make several.

28 sts and 34 rows make 4″ (10 cm) in St st


Beg at bottom of bunny. With MC, CO 12 sts.
Row 1: *Inc1; rep from * to end—24 sts.
Knit even for 7 more rows with MC.
Knit 8 rows with CC.
Knit 2 rows with MC.
Knit 2 rows with CC.
Knit 2 rows with MC.
Knit 2 rows with CC.
Next row: With MC, k4, (k2tog) twice, k8, (k2tog) twice, k4—20 sts.
Knit 1 row with MC.
Next row: With CC, k3, (k2tog) twice, k6, (k2tog) twice, k3—16 sts.
Knit 1 row with CC.
Break off CC.

Cont on 16 sts in MC only.
Next row (RS): *K1, inc1; rep from * to end—24 sts.
Work 9 rows St st, ending with a purl row.
Next row: *K1, k2tog; rep from * to end—16 sts.
Next row: Purl.
Next row: *K2tog; rep from * to end—8 sts.
Using yarn needle, thread yarn through rem sts, pull tight, and fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing up the back.

Ear (Make 2)
CO 6 sts with MC.
Row 1: *Inc1; rep from * to end—12 sts.
Work 11 rows in St st, ending with a purl row.
Next row: *K2tog; rep from * to end—6 sts.

With RS together, using long yarn tail at top of head, sew back seam of head and body, leaving bottom open. Turn bunny right side out, stuff lightly, and then finish stitching bottom. To create “legs,” using same yarn, stitch through stuffing up the middle about 1½” (4 cm) or to first band of CC. Join ear seam, stuff ears lightly, and sew to head. Weave in ends. Embroider face on bunny using embroidery thread or yarn oddments. Sew on pom-pom for the tail.

Knit Bunny just chillin'

The pattern is reprinted from The Oregonian with permission from Vintage Knits for Modern Babies. Copyright © 2009 by Hadley Fierlinger, Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.

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