beat the heat

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30 June 2012

Sebastian says, "torture."

Is it 100+ degrees where you live too? I'll be careful not to complain because I will take a heat wrath rash and is-this-skimpy-outfit-immodest-or-just-sensible? over grey skies and not-enough-overpriced-North-Faces-in-the-world-to-convince-me-to-go-outside (which is why you'll find me living in a strictly tropical climate when the joy that is residency comes to a blessed end in precisely 1095 days).

We're weathering another Simonless Saturday over here and surviving with the help of:
1. Watermelon turned sticky juice alllllllllll over the floor and the lowest two feet of every interior wall c/o Sebastian's happy hands
2. Julia's continued insistence on ditching the diaper and wearing only the emperor's new clothes while reading books to an uninterested Sebastian from her little throne while I Google "is two fistfuls of Swedish Fish too much reward for two teaspoons of potty productivity?" because I'm running out of enthusiasm and cheerleading steam in that and almost every parenting department.
3. Our little morning jaunts around the hood before the temperature hits a high of 'will melt children' where we encounter every headphoneless male that is willing to furrow his brow at Julia's unmistakable and detailed announcements about her potty triumphs while I blurt out, "don't you mean you see a doggy?!" or "please be quiet, he doesn't care" or "almost home, please stop talking" in between multiple to infinite gasps for breath depending on the state of the incline or decline we are enjoying at the time.

Because I'm confident you are always curious about the intricate details of life with the poky little puppies.

And lest I leave a single 'tail out, I've been thoroughly enjoying this book while the kids simultaneously nap and/or are simultaneously quiet which is many hours on end as you can imagine.

must clicks

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28 June 2012

open-mouthed sisterly solace usually does not cure what ails him.

Rather than report on the big news around here: Sebastian's inexplicably rosy mood and Julia's inside climbing expedition that ended in a lot of innocuous mouth blood and ear piercing toddler screams I'll go ahead and ship you off to more exotic e-destinations.

I feel bad I am about 3 years late in mentioning the Snapshots .. check them over at Cari's blog. There were some real gems this time around, as always.

A priceless Tumblr on one of Simon's old roommate's sense of unique fashion. A true must click. Really.

I hope that one day I can have my home decor act together enough to do this super smart and cute idea c/o Hallie. In the mean time, I'll work on printing and maybe framing a single photo of the kids.

I'm fairly certain I pack more unnecessary necessities for weekend trips and could learn a thing or 16 from Rachel who put together a super handy packing list for her trip to (cue semi-inappropriate envy) Italy.

35 weeks of twin baby bumpage never looked so good. My former singleton bump is only slightly jeal.

Fine, another one: the cutest single bump complete with the most hilarious big-sister-to-be. 

A belated welcome and congrats to Dwija and her sweet Mary Isabel! I'm dying to read her homebirth story so if she could just get right on that . . .

Colleen's anatomy of her (long!) run ... inspires me and my one minute bursts of morning jog.

And some insanely delicious looking 4th of July cocktail ideas that will make you very, very thirsty. 

Happy clicking. Stay cool.

basher the victor + videos

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27 June 2012

I was just minding my own yesterday while busying myself with preparations for our weekly outing to Costco for diapers and social interaction with the sample givers when I noticed the kids were playing nicely together. It was most certainly out of the ordinary but I almost pressed onward anyway to scan my outfit for baby/toddler bodily fluid stains before I herded the kittens out the door. I decided to stand and watch their little game called, "Julia sits on Sebastian's lap which they both find hilarious until Big Bad Basher comes out to play" or "the 8 month old destroys the 21 month old" instead.


*Julia feigns victory in the last high res square even though we all know she was begging for mercy in the form of "suuuuccccckkkk" (stuck) mere seconds prior

I tried to capture it on video today but this is all I got:
1. quick sit
2. a sinfully long peek into our insane morning (and where in the house does Sebastian hide his happy juice? I'd like to know.)
(both 1 and 2 come complete with annoying mom voice free of charge)

just another edition of: Things Parents Think Are Amusing Enough To Share With The Undoubtedly Unamused Internet


mother bear does Monday

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26 June 2012

"aw faw down"
(at the close of a dramatic round of her favorite game recently renamed, "ashers, ashers" with her inappropriate playmate that she continues to find and dismantle over and over and over again)

Instead of risking sounding like a scratched compact disc, I prudently refrained from reporting live from yesterday's events which were a lot like a lot of other days around here: all sunshine, smiles, order, and enunciated multisyllabics. Yes, I held back and I held back some more until I stopped holding back and started typing ... this.

Fortunately, I'm good at enabling my momnesia when necessary but I wasn't able to successfully block out a little tiny mishap on our morning walk/run. As usual, I had perfectly timed one of my one minute runs (sandwiched by two minute walks) down a long and steep hill. This has taken quite some time to perfect and I'm pretty sure a lazy fairy gets her wings every time I successfully time the incline to be walked and the decline to be run. I got to the bottom of the crazy elephant hill only to realize that Grandpa Sebastian was fighting his morning catnap ... empty handed. He had been gnawing the bleep out of the hooves of Sophie (or "Sophia" as Simon calls her) the stupid 18 dollar giraffe but she was now nowhere to be found. How on God's green earth she escaped his fist and tooth death grip will forever be one of my life's great conundrums.

I slowly and emphatically rolled my eyes, roused Sebastian and begged him not to sleep and ruin his blessed afternoon hibernation, turned and looked up the ninety degree slope of hell to see Sophie standing upright on all fours and taunting me from the tippity ippity top. Despite a techno version of Country Roads blaring in my ears, despondency met her maker as I adjusted my hat (that much like an old tight fraternity shirt on a pot-bellied middle aged man screams, "respect what I used to be, not what you see here!")  and trudged up the mountain to rescue the ridiculous toy whose purchase was made possible with the help of a generous Amazon coupon found in a parenting magazine in a doctor's office: a little trick I learned from Janssen.

lesson learned: leashes aren't just for dogs and kids anymore

The rest of the day followed a similar pattern and it's (thankfully) a little fuzzy now but I'm pretty sure a cafeteria lunch date with Simon turned into a parking garage melt of all melts that left him unsure if he should continue to cautiously nod with feigned understanding and pat my kneecap or run for (more fun!) cover in the clinic of waiting well woman exams. 

Luckily for woe-is-me, Julia has gleaned a true gem from all of her parental eavesdropping and is absolutely convinced that she has, "ah-jeez" that require quite a bit of Benadryl that has magically turned her afternoon nap into an afternoon-evening nap that allows me to devour edifying literature and no-cal banana bread and has been known to magically transform Mondays into something resembling something manageable. The saving grace that is saving Grace that is simultaneously making bad puns.

(and this is why I need to post every day or every hour -- too many empty words build up -- apologies or 'ap-jeez' to you sophisticated toddler readers)

and then there was 8th grade graduation

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23 June 2012

The kids pulled my least favorite stunt of all time today: they did not nap the same time. So I rewarded Sebastian's unappreciated behavior with a photo shoot of all of his new big boy tricks. All two of them: sitting up and pulling up on anything that he can get his paws to successfully grip and support all 24 pounds of manbaby. Soon he'll be strapping Julia into her car seat and driving us to his Sumo wrestling class. Yes, I am being that annoying and sentimental mom. Hopefully you aren't reading this too carefully because it's Saturday and you have about 98 other and better things to be doing.

1. permahalfsmile
2. always on the slither
3. pride goeth before the inevitable fall

And just for Veronica and Mary ...
the reading material Sebastian never fails to pluck from the bookshelf. Ready yourselves, little ladies.

7 Quick Takes

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22 June 2012

I told myself that I would not saturate the takes with talk/complaints of Simon working nights this week but I have a feeling I'm going to fail. You might just want to skip and move onward to a more fun blog. 

1. By the time this post drops, we'll be mere hours away from our last night of the absolute hell that is night float until September. How we weathered an entire month of this nonsense in January with 2-month-old no-sleep-ever Sebastian was an insane miracle because this week with two decent sleepers was embarrassingly treacherous.  Hopefully one of these days I'll learn to not be so hyper paranoid about possible intruders (I'm well aware that I am completely insane, thanks) but until then I'll continue staying up until 5 when the sun rises and I feel somewhat safe to drift off next to our block of kitchen knives only to be sweetly awakened by the chirp-a-doodling of a little boy wanting his first breakfast of the day before he settles back in for a power nap to ready himself for his second breakfast an hour later.  If you were the unlucky recipient of any email or communication from me this week, especially sent between the hours of midnight and 5am, I'm sorry for the rambles. Just destroy and forget. Many thanks.

2. (Nope, she's not stopping there!) I knew I had hit the point of crazylady on no sleep when I took the kids to the grocery store to pick up a prescription that was supposed to be ready a few days earlier. When the pharmacist informed me for the second day in a row that she didn't have the medicine in stock but that I "was welcome to try back again tomorrow" (for a third! time) I don't remember exactly what demon of pathetic came over me or what I said exactly but it was something along the calm and rational lines of how tough it is getting three people dressed (myself included -- laugh out loud) to come out in public (gasp) to the tune of valiantly fighting back tears of frustration. Oh, yes. A new and embarrassing low. She blinked a few times and said I could pay $98.00 for the name brand meds and I'm pretty sure my little cart riders are still suffering the effects of grocery cart whiplash from my quick and mortifying turn and exit. Hopefully you're feeling much better about yourself now as I only aim to please.

3. Needless to say, we're all very happy that this week is coming to a merciful end.
You see? giddy with excitement.

4. Did you watch the Bachelorette this week? SPOILER ALERT!!! DO NOT READ IF YOU DIDN'T WATCH (Hallie). It was by far my favorite episode (not a difficult feat, as we all know) because Emily sent Ryan the Arrogant Bottom home and of course what was there not to love about the most dramatic rose ceremony ever? Nothing. I ate it up. And next week promises to be even juicier with the Arie (total frontrunner) d-r-a-m-a.

5. On the other end of the quality programming spectrum, did you see that Anne of Green Gables is going to be made into a TV series? The tortuous producers are going to make us wait until 2014 which is basically an eternity away but we have Downton in 2013 to keep us happy in the mean time.

6. More TV talk. Forgive me. Or don't. To keep me company at night I've been watching a lot of Felicity. I don't love it but it promises to never ever be scary and has every single episode on Netflix which is probably about 90 million minutes total -- new material for years. Am I going to have to watch the whole series to see if she ends up with Ben (please) or Noel (no!)? And will her hair ever grow back out? I hope so.

7. I saved the best for last. Jessica so kindly dedicated a whole post to two great recipes for yesterday's linkup. Check them out and thank her for her kind dedication to the 'stop feeding the family three daily squares of noodles and graham crackers' cause.

*bonus round* (sponsored by Julia's future mortification): someone got out of her bath tonight, purposefully grabbed three books, went to her potty-mini, read her books and did her business (yes -- business of the second variety) tonight even though (don't worry!) I am not even thinking about potty training her. I think I scared her with my freak out and I guarantee that my little prodigy won't be doing that again for several more years.

Go see Jen for takes that are actually quick and interesting. 

Gooey Butter Cookie Recipe + a recipe link-up

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21 June 2012

Saint Louis is obsessed with Gooey Butter Cake (and knowing where you went to high school - odd). I like the cake. It's really good but the consistency is a little too gooey for boring Grace. Enter the cookie version which is the perfect less-goo-but-still-good solution.

I know they look pretty ho-hum-glum but they are ho-hum-not. They are kind of like lemon bars sans lemon and with lots of butter. I'm not helping their case. Just trust me. I finally made Sebastian hide them from me last night before I ate all two dozen of my crop. He obliged and promptly hid them in his teeny tiny stomach like the obedient child that he is.

Yield: two dozen
4 oz. cream cheese softened
1 medium egg (and I am serious about medium -- not too much egg)
1/4 cup butter softened
1 box golden butter cake mix (any brand -- I bought Duncan Hines because it was on sale, some people use yellow cake mix -- use your best judgement here)
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 c powdered sugar to coat the cooks

preheat oven to 350 degrees
cream together the butter and cream cheese (cream? mix. whatev)
throw in the egg, salt, and vanilla
add cake mix and blend wellllll

Now, now, now, if you're dough resembles frosting, you are probably doing it right. I'm sorry I didn't take a photo of my frosting dough. I was probably busy rescuing Sebastian from his new favorite post behind the toilet. You're going to have to channel your inner Nike and just do it -- dig in and roll the dough into 1 inch balls. If you can't do it -- add a tiny bit of powered sugar to thicken it up -- I won't tell because I did it myself.  Roll your raws in the powdered sugar ...
in case you need a visual.

and then place them a few inches apart on a cookie sheet ... I don't know why I'm coddling you through this easy step

Our oven is pretty hot and I baked them for 11 minutes which was perfect. It is MUCH better to under cook these babies than over cook them so be conservative - be - be - conservative. Okay.

Wait until they are somewhat cooled before shoveling them off the sheet and into your mouth because the goo needs to settle.
And then try and beat his 30 second cookie devouring record using only two teeth and one left hand.

Let me know when you do or we'll risk unhealthily bloating his pride and ego which would be no good.
No good at all.

And now for the fun. Do you have a recipe anywhere on your blog? I don't care if it's for better Gooey Butter Cookies or pasta boiled in milk instead of water (smartest ever - btw) or Thanksgiving turkey but I'd love it if you left the link below. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of your inaugural blog posts and now I need some creative help in the kitchen. I assure you I'm already indebted to your kindness as I'm stuck in a three meal rut. Thanks a zill.

little fleeting thorns

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20 June 2012

detected: not Mom's lap. dislike and dismount immediately.

I'm not trying to potty train Julia but unfortunately we are still suffering the wrath of the accident on an almost daily basis around here. You know the one: the puddle on the floor that appears out of nowhere? I don't know how it happens. Does that much time lapse from the time I get her out of the bath and into a new diaper? Did she just feel threatened by a smiley Sebastian, take off her diaper and mark her territory while I was busy sorting and organizing her dresser that she emptied for the 12th time which was interrupted by Sebastian's hangry "why-have-I-not-been-spoon-fed-my-fourth-breakfast-yet? First-lunch-starts-soon" cries which were interrupted by the dirty bathroom that couldn't be ignored for one more second which was interrupted by sudden and suspicious "why is Julia being so quiet?" thoughts? I guess. I can't be bothered with a game of bodily fluid Clue with a person that speaks 1/9000000000th of the English language when I have boxes of bonbons waiting patiently for their meeting in my SAHM office.

Fortunately it's not as gross or inconvenient as a lot of other potential situations involving the short Pattons. I just throw a laundry bound towel down and then finish the job with a baby wipe and go on my merry way back to drawer organizing and feeding Sebastian and cleaning the bathroom with the other side of the used baby wipe while half listening for signs of not trouble from Julia and humming that awful Chamillionaire song I have stuck in my nog. And yes she has access to her little potty and no I do not want potty training advice. I might need it but I don't want it. Maybe when Simon's hours normalize a little bit we can hurdle that mile high milestone but right now is not the time.

Am I finished talking about pee on the floor yet? no. It gets less exciting. Sebastian has a bit of a height advantage over me in the great urine treasure hunting race and I have to admit that he has crocodiled his way over to the liquid booty before I can say "no means stop slithering now, please!" and he happily has a nice splash (maybe some licks but I don't want to embarrass him or myself) party while I grab the baby wipes to give him a "bath".

So, this is the tiny thorn in my side this week. Last week was Julia's clinging (which is still not great but she allows Simon to change her diaper now which is greatly appreciated) and next week I'm sure it will be something so wildly exciting that I can't even begin to fathom what it might be but it will eventually pass just like this week's pee thorn (that is poking me sharply even though I am not bringing this upon myself by attempting to potty train her highness -- let us be clear -- I am the martyr) will soon be a distant memory that I won't even remember unless I come back and read this quality post that is littered with zero run-on sentences.

If you're worried that my baditude has suddenly vanished and I've morphed into an optimistic parenting unicorn with a heart-shaped tail, please don't be. I'm just an obviously wise mom veteran of almost two whole years sharing an earth shattering and probably short-lived perspective with all of you readers that can't think for yourselves. You can thank me now. Or later. Or never.

instavida: New Mexico

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19 June 2012

1. Uncle Pedro and Skinny Mouse
2. Aunt Sawah and there's something about Julia

3. Mascara application
4. amused for zero seconds

5. enjoying
6. the talent show

7. Uncle Andrew got Sebastian's swimsuit on in 22 minutes flat
8. Uncle Paul missed the no smile memo

 9. teeeeeny tiny balloonist
10. off to drink Margaritas without the kids

11. speechless
12. hoping that it was a large chocolate animal cracker to devour with his two bottom teeth slivers

13. horse and pony
14. speechlesser

I don't know if I'll ever forgive myself for forgetting to bring my camera when visiting my family in New Mexico last week. Fine, I will. Forgiven. Anyway, sorry for the glut of gram goodness -- I promise not to dump anymore on you for a very short and unspecified period of time.  

date night: City Museum

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18 June 2012

I know my cell pic collages adorned with descriptive blips will not even come close to adequately explaining the labyrinth of insanity that is the City Museum in downtown Saint Louis. Everything inside and outside the museum is made from recycled/repurposed material. Think hundreds of bread pans, old shocks, rubber stamps, Daniel Boone's son's legit log cabin, hunks of old gorgeous architecture from ancient buildings that you jist downt see enymor on modern day structures, and so so so so SO much more. More including slides -- lots and lots and lots of terrifying slides. I only went down one and was generous with my shoe brakes so I can't imagine flying down the 10 story monstrosity in the dark. Nope. Cannot.

Here is
a) the wristband waiver that suggests you list your phone number in case you get injured/knocked unconscious -- I chose to play with fire and left it blank
b) a list of all the slides of which we saw not that many because this place is huge huge huge and lots of things are kind of hidden -- in a good fun way

Speaking of huge
a) I walked down the stairs that you must scale to get to the slide and my legs are feeling the gelatinous burn two days later
b) burn burn burn

and the exterior
a) yes, that is a bus dangling from the rooftop. Simon braved it -- I'll let you guess who most certainly did nothing of the sort.
b) kids/monkeys climbing very very very high cage things on the roof

and on the tippy top of the roof
a) this very long slide
b) that can also be climbed overhead - not for me

also on the roof
a) Ferris wheel with shaky cars - my palms are still perspiring
b) a praying mantis for kicks and prayers

and what have we here?
a) much to Simon's absolute delight and my chagrin a thrift store!!!!!!!!!!
b) a whole rack of butchered cropped mens polo shirts - why oh why?

back to the business at hand
a) Simon asked if we should make ducks faces to go along with our selfie celly shot? we didn't and you're welcome
b) f-f-f-ff-f-fff-f-f-u-u-u-u--uu-nn-n--n-nn-n-n-n

and if you're a real adventurer and want a real museum feel
a) you're in good company. Simon loves a good placard and this place has plenty.
b) I prefer pictures to words -- as you know.

and then we put on our open-toed fancy shoes and nicer shirts and went to Bridge because we had a giftcard and it was very, very good and surprisingly reasonably priced
a) sorting through the encyclopedia of beer
b) I enjoyed some sparkling Moscato and lots and lots and lots of food that I won't bore you with here

Moral of the post: if you are ever in Saint Louis I would highly highly recommend going to the City Museum but let me babysit your kids that cannot walk up multiple flights of stairs at a fairly swift pace.
Just keep this handy equation in mind:
City Museum + strollers/baby carrier = instant death of fun. don't do it.

And if you just want to come over and watch our funions while we go back ... that's your problem but I won't complain.

Happy Father's Day!

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You know what I should be doing? Stepping away from the computer. Poor Simon started his new horrific schedule today and I could type a novel about how the first six ugly ugly ugly hours went here at the 'stead but I'll refrain and spend those moments praying that we survive the next zillion. And yes of course I figured out a way to type about myself on Father's day ... of course. 

Today is Father's Day but Simon (along with many, many others - I'm sure) deserves to be recognized for his great husband skills as well.  I wish I could say that it is not common for me to say something along these pleasant lines
but sometimes I do and Simon just laughs and obliges because he is the best and I am the worst. When I confessed that I really had nothing planned in the way of gifts, special meals or cards for today Simon said that he was just happy to have something to hang over my head after Valentine's Day.

Simon always writes the most wonderful Mother's Day posts and I wish I could even half match his kindness but I know that I can't because he is the much nicer spouse and the much nicer parent. I think I've written before about how blown away I was by how nice Simon was when we first met and continues to be today. He is a genuinely kind guy and I can only hope that Julia and Sebastian inherit or at least emulate their father's polite nature (and his hair please).

Shaving Sebastian's head yet again at my request because I'm sure if we cut it enough times it will magically turn curly and voluminous. I just know it.

When I put the kids to bed it is a big fat harried race to the finish but when Simon is home to help he takes the time to do it right. He lets the kids splash in the bath for as long as they want, reads them a book or books of Julia's choosing, and he changes them out of their clothes and puts them into actual pajamas. He then always cleans the kitchen after the kids have gone down while I sit in the corner and stare and am absolutely no help.

Simon loves his sleep more than anyone I've ever met but never ever audibly grumbles about getting up with the kids in the middle of the night before he has to get up for work at a truly ugly and dark hour of the early morning. He doesn't complain about the crazy hours that he works to provide for the family nor does he complain about the fact that I complain about the crazy hours that he works to provide for the family.

We're very lucky to have him.

Happy Father's Day ...

OTI: You Decide

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15 June 2012

I initially saw the top photo of Emma Stone and used what I could see of her ensemble as my outfitspiration but upon further Stone stalking I realized that I probably came up a little to a lot short with my 'fit but I think life will go on and on. I think.

Please cue:
1. soundtrack of two crying children 
2. paranoia that the neighbors we've lived next to but I've never met are staring and eye rolling
3. soundtrack of two children crying louder now
all we got ... count your lucky rabbit feet that you don't have to see my unamused face. 
shirt: Old Navy, pants: Target, Shoes: Target

I bet Erica and Kayla are smiling from their posts. 

And now let's see what you lovely ladies plucked and interpreted from the internet ...

Simon Says

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14 June 2012

 "Well, it sort of looks like an elephant but you are wrong."

After I complimented him on the good hair day he was having Simon said, "tell me something I don't know."

In reply to my request that he pick up some teething gel for Sebastian on his way home from work Simon said, "why? are we out of Jack Daniels?"

After I told him that Hallie told me she enjoyed this movie Simon said, "I don't think that is a very wholesome movie so I'm sure you and she will get along just great."

When he showed the slightest bit of trepidation around some horses in New Mexico and I poked the slightest bit of fun at him Simon said, "give me a break, you know I'm a city slicker."

While Julia was being extra annoying and wanted to be held in Mass last week Simon whispered, "pick up your cross."

In yet another attempt to pinpoint the kids' temperaments Simon said, "Julia is all urine* and vinegar like her mother and Sebastian is all sugar and spice like his father."

After observing a weirdly lax Sebastian for a few minutes Simon said, "I'm afraid we'll never know if he comes home high when he gets older."

*family friendly censoring, as always.

Open To Interpretation: Vote Winner

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Nicole's winning inspiration photo

I tried to shake up the pose situation with a sitting Grace ... which was a real success.

Note to my future self: headscarves tend to erase your already almost invisible eyebrows -- Whoopi Goldberg style -- so don't ever wear one again.
shirt: Old Navy, magentas: Target, mistake in hair: Goodwill

Once I've recovered enough to mentally revisit yesterday's flight home I'll be sure to pound out the tails for eager you and yours. You will then understand why I look like so refreshed and radiant and why Julia is grounded for the rest of her years under our cottage roof and why Sebastian will need to find himself a responsible sitter/temporary guardian to stay with if we ever travel again. 

Go see Erica and Kayla and link up your pretty outfit before I get tempted to get extra wordy and vom type all over your screen even more.

OTI: Kayla's Pick

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13 June 2012

Day Three. I think I can. I think I didn't.
Repeat offender here. I'm wearing another one of my mom's necklaces and the shirt I rolled up and wore Cinderelly Gus style yesterday. I guess it could technically be a tunic or a super scando dress. One of the three. When I told Simon that I felt like a huge frump in this outfit he lovingly replied, "well you can go ahead and blame your sandals because they are only appropriate for frolicking in the desert and feasting on locusts."

So here we have an obvious frolic and a slight frown in the desert but nary a locust in sight.
shirt: Target, skirt: Old Navy, sandals: Old Navy

No more celly photos starting tomorrow, I hope. Sorry for scalding any eyes thus far with these high res images.

Go see how much better Erica and Kayla did on this fine Wednesday. 

And then link up your stuff -- stat.


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