Thursday, October 30, 2014


Birthday Bash.

Like all of parents of children who have birthdays, I can't believe it but Sebastian is three. He holds up five fingers to proudly show off that he knows how old he is ... "free." Indeed.

I thought all little boys were as mischievous as Sebastian until Theo came along and just didn't have the same penchant for getting into everything messy and sticky and oily and shampoo-y and makeup-y all the time. If Sebastian is awake and he is quiet for more than 1.3 minutes I know, without a doubt, that we are going to be cleaning some sort of catastrophic afternoon ruining mess up together. He always justifies his mischief by claiming that he just wanted, "to party" which bodes very well for his teenage future.

Yes, Sebastian might be a special breed of trouble but he has the sweetest temperament. We were out running errands, just the two of us, this weekend and even though he is in the refuses-to-hold-moms-hand stage of his life he was sure to rush to open the driver's side door for me as we approached the van in every parking lot stop. He always slyly kisses my hand goodbye at school because he hasn't outgrown public displays of parental affection completely but he doesn't like to be showy about it. And he's always so eager to help Julia when she is in the throes of a meltdown and can be snapped out of almost any bad mood if he catches Phoebe smiling in his direction.

We celebrated his birthday this weekend with my brothers. Train cake and all ...

He had picked out many train shaped cakes that he Googled (with my help) and was not so interested in a cake with toy trains on top with Kit Kat tracks but in the moment he seemed pleased ...

thank goodness.

And tonight we will celebrate with some mini red velvet cupcakes a la grocery store.

We like, we like to party.

Happy Birthday, sweet Sebastian! I'm so excited to embark on the final chapter of your potty training adventure together, it's going to be good. I know it. ;)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

living room facelift

One of my many life skill deficits is having a totally blind eye for interior decor; or any decor but most especially the interior variety. I'm mostly totally okay and comfortable with my God given not-talent but when we spend so much time sitting/playing/reading in the living room I've often thought it would be nice not to feel less than warm and tingly feelings about its appearance. My brother and I painted it last Thanksgiving which most certainly helped a ton but with the help of Lulu & Georgia (spoiler alert: quickly scroll down for an awesome giveaway or stay here and listen to me) I was able to freshen things up a bit. And now the feelings are all kinds of hot and happy. Inappropriate feelings about a living space? Why not?!

Our awesome wedding photographer (well, his awesome wife) sent this wedding canvas to us because 5.3 years in and we have yet to print any wedding photos to hang. And Simon's grandpa sold his house and is slowly getting rid of furniture and so we lucked out with this 8,000 pound mirror that I adore. Lulu & Georgia sent this gorgeous Lullaby Rocking Chair that is awesome because you can just wipe it clean and it's totally Bash-proof as he has already done his best to destroy it. Love this corner.

It's tough to strike the "have to live here but don't want a massive mess" balance with kids and their toys although we are mean parents and relegate two baskets of toys and a few books for the upstairs (the rest goes in the basement but is slowly being donated before we move .... sshhhh) but I thought this Lulu & Georgia Ronan Bookshelf would help solve that conundrum ...

Simon doesn't trust the kids around our nice books (rightly so) so he's already packed some of them away but I saved a few for the top of the shelf ....

... and if you were wanting to compliment me on my faux greenery creations, you may. And if you were thinking they look hideous and terrible, they were totally Simon's idea.

And here we have another mirror snag from Simon's grandpa's attic. And my fearless prop in Phoebe'e circus ...

I've had that Ikea couch since long before I met Simon and we'll probably have it for many years to come because it's so easy to clean with baby wipes but I don't love it.

I do love these Lulu & Georgia LiLou Pillows that spruce it up a bit ...

... and Prop #2 does too, obviously.

Lulu & Georgia has tons of amazing inventory like this and this and THIS. Each page is better than the next and manages to walk the "not so trendy that this will look weird in five years" line very well. I was so flattered that they wanted to collaborate because our house is the furthest thing from stylish but it was a ton of fun to help it along. When we go down to look for houses in Florida I know I'll just be envisioning where I can put my new grown up furniture and not worrying about bedroom logistics or if the backyard is fenced in for my runners. 

So there's a $250 Lulu & Georgia credit up for grabs today! Theo has generously volunteered his affection to all the losers (ahem, non-winners) ...

... so how can you go wrong? (Phoebe says, "you can.")

Follow the Rafflecopter to victory and thanks for reading and playing!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bash Chats

shirt & vest - thredUP
shoes - Vans via eBay
hair product - watermelon juice

As we were driving by the Arch recently ...
Bash: WOW!!!!
Julia: what?
Bash: Look at that mountain!!

In an effort to avoid bedtime the other night ...
Grace: okay, time for bed!
Bash: no
Grace: it's time, Bash
Bash: did you know you're looking so pretty, Mama?

After he told me that he read a book about a witch at school:
Grace: what was the witch doing in the book?
Bash: oh, just sleeping around
Grace: sweeping around?
Bash: yeah, sleeping around

Despite my 99 requests that he please, "stay close to me!" at the grocery store Sebastian bolted to the toy truck aisle and gave me a 1.5 minute heart attack before I found him  ...
Bash: No, there YOU are!
Bash: I told you, "stay close to me, Mom!!"

While playing with Phoebe's face and touching her monster pumpkin cheeks ...
Bash: You're face is so big and so cheeky, Beebee!!
Bash: turns to tap the back pockets of my jeans and your bottom is so big and so cheeky too, Mommy!! 
After he got in trouble for biting Julia and he was protesting a timeout ...
Bash: but Mom!
Grace: please go sit
Bash: but MOM!!!
Grace: please go sit down
Bash: but moMMY!!
Grace: please go sit down, Sebastian
Bash: but GRACE, no I won't go!

After he heard Phoebe loudly filling her diaper ...
Bash: God bless you, beebee

While looking at a photo of himself petting a camel at a petting zoo ...
Bash oh, I loved that polar bear!!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

meet me in Indiana

You will all be so disappointed to read that I'm pretty confident this is the last conference trip Simon is taking within driving distance of St. Louis and therefore the last conference trip in which we can tag along and blog about. So disappointed, I know.

But, savor this last one full of crisp cell phone snaps and precious memories.

Let's begin by stating, for the record, that Simon kept assuring me that the drive to Indianapolis was, "an easy three hours away" but in reality, it was actually a grueling 5.5 hours full of traffic and angry children. It was fine. In the moment those drives are so full of hair pully hours and resolves to never ever ever travel again but once we get there, all is usually forgiven.

I have to admit that I was a tiny bit apprehensive about marching into the very nice hotel lobby with the ragamuffins. It would be totally understandable if the hotel staff bristled. Simon says rental houses should require that tenants put down a child deposit rather than a pet deposit because kids are far more destructive then animals and so ... a slight bristle was almost expected.

we're not that innocent

But instead of giving us the up/down and asking the pointed, "and how many people will be staying in your room?" questions they were so gracious and warm. It was awesome. They let the kids pick little toys out of a basket (HEAVEN for the older three, Phoebebadger did not care - like always), and kept smiling in our direction. At one point Theo decided he didn't want to stand with Simon who was checking in but wanted to come back to the fold with Mom and the gang. So he ran across the lobby and dropped his blankie in the process. The concierge picked it up and wrapped it around his shoulders like a cape ...

... Theo says no words but was so thrilled and I have to admit that I was taken aback by his kindness.

Chugging along. Let's move beyond check-in, Speedy Gonzpatton.


The room!

Here we have the big kids up at some ungodly hour and totally and completely mesmerized by the free ice from the row of ice machines on the second floor.

The bathroom was big enough to fit a portacrib. Praise the LORD. It made all the difference getting Theo down for his (mucho necessario) afternoon naps and getting him to bed for his (also necessary) early bedtime. The trip would've probably gone down 89 quality points if he had had to sleep out with the commoners in the actual sleeping area.

The more you know.

One of the nights we walked over to the mall for a little food court dining. There was also some sort of christian women's conference going on at the neighboring conference center so when we saw that the mall was hosting ...

... complete with booming top 40 beats spun by a deejay and a fashion show featuring one of the Real Housewives of New York (I didn't see/hear which one because Phoebe was having a leedle bit of a meltdown so I had to mallwalk with her for a few and I'll never forgive myself) I knew we were in for a treat.

Let's just say the dance routine (that Julia still talks about, terrible parents!) that was performed to some bumping Beyonce was maybe not totally appreciated by all of our fellow food court patrons. The awkward permeated the air.

Part of Girl's Night Out was a table full of Cinnabon samples and Theo took full advantage of the situation ...

by the end of the night the Cinnabon gals were bringing him new sugar whenever they noticed he was out. He was a smitten sugar rushed little kitten.

I promise we did more than just go out to eat but Simon had a little window of free time during one of the days so we decided to try to find some food outside of the hotel Starbucks/attached mall downtown. At one point we pulled over to Google, "family friendly restaurants in downtown Indianapolis" and it turns out we were parked right in front of the first placed listed. Fortuity for the vin.

Outside said establishment ...

It was 57 degrees. Julia GRACE Patton for a reason.

One of the most exciting 90 minutes of the entire trip was when all the kids magically fell asleep at the same time. God bless sound machines.

forever and ever ...

... Amen.

worth noting:

+ We met up with my cousins, Jimmy and Bryan, who are 2/3 of a set of triplets for dinner one night. They are in their first year of dental school and I went the entire meal unable to tell them apart.  After about seven minutes of enjoying our company one of them (I think it was Jimmy) commented, "it's like kids are a full time job!!" ....

... indeed.

+ I took the kids to Target to buy Simon a black belt because he forgot his. It was about as exciting as it sounds.

+ So many people suggested we hit up the children's museum and I was a total lame-o and didn't heed their advice. Mostly because I can barely make it through a grocery trip with some of them contained so I can't really imagine a museum situation (Bash is a runner and does not care if I'm out of sight for an eternity) and the last (and only) time we went to the St. Louis children's museum a few years ago the kids proceeded to get more sick than they have ever been. Three weeks of super sick and super hell that left me with a bad case of children's museum PTSD. And yes, I'm obviously totally fine with taking the kids to the hospital on a weekly basis, my logic knows NO bounds. This was not worth noting. I'm sorry.

+ And while I wasn't there to see Simon give his presentation I'm positive that he did a phenomenal job, Target black belt and all.

The End.
We'll most certainly miss our conference trips but I know you'll miss them more.