Simon Says

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31 January 2013

"I'm going to take them on a power walk to get their wiggles out."

While I was watching the Bachelor Simon said (with an air of disgust), "thank goodness you have the kids around to bring your IQ up a little."

Upon hearing that most of his siblings were on Instagram Simon said, "what?! I thought that was just something housewives did."

After taking a shower and getting dressed Simon came out of the bathroom and said, "my muscles are looking a lot bigger and it is absolutely from carrying your kids around."

When he asked how I made some granola bars and I started by listing quinoa as the first ingredient Simon interrupted and said, "just stop."

When he caught me smiling mid-conversation Simon seriously said, "why the wry smile? are you undressing me with your eyes?"

(uh, no.)


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29 January 2013

 the Greats and big bad Theodore

We made a quick trip to the quad cities to visit my grandma and Simon's grandpa (and coincidentally ... Simon's mom!) and are really busy being treated like royalty. Fancy breakfasts! A king size bed! a TV with channels! OJ in a "weally wittle" glass for Julia! A dark spacious closet for Basher's cage! The list goes on and on and on. I hope you click on and enjoy these links until we get back home tomorrow ...

We are two episodes behind on Downton (and thank you, sweet internet for ruining the tragic surprise that I think I know happens in episode 4 ... that's what I get for rarely to never unplugging ...) but I'm going to try to talk/bribe/blackmail Simon into watching Sean and the Crazy Ladies so that I can e-sprint to Ashley's sure to be hysterical recap.

Remember when Jessie kindly guest posted? Welllllll ..... go congratulate her on their super exciting news ..... seriously.

And while you're in a congratulatory mood ... head over to Kelly Jo's and take a peek at brand new sweet McCartney Jo!

Bonnie is hosting the first annual Sheenazing Blogger Awards and if you're in the market to find some bigger, better, faster, stronger, everythinger blogs ... I highly recommend that you head over and check them ALL out right after you cast a generous vote in Camp Ridic's direction ... or not. Thanks a zill in advance ... either way!

Are you stuck in a blogging rut and need post ideas? I loved Rebecca's recent love/hate post and will be shamelessly copying her very soon. Wait for it.

I've loved stalking all the hosts of the Mama Style Linkup but isn't Bridget's outfit especially stellar? If you aren't a reader of her blog already .... you should be.

Ain't No Mom Jeans can post no wrong and I can't wait to carve out enough time to try some of these brilliant (dirty) hair helpers. My rapidly shedding mess of headthread needs h-e-l-p.

I get so excited when I see a new post from Hallie in my reader and if I were in the habit of printing and saving posts ... this would totally have made the cut. Really, really good.

I hope you're having a wild Tuesday.

You know she is.

Mom Style

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28 January 2013

This getup looked about seventy times better in my head than it does in front of the camera and now on your computer/phone/iPad/gadget screen.  I think we'll all live but I probably won't wear this exact combo of clothing together ever again. My cheerleading skirt is actually a dress covered mostly by the chunk of knit on my top. Again .... so much better in my lively imagination.

I'm joining Anna and a whole host of other fashionable mothers for their "Mama Style Linkup" (you should too!).


My kids don't call me mama (Julia calls me Grace, Mom, or Mommycakes and Sebastian and Theo call me ............... absolutely nothing) so I felt like a liar titling my post "Mama Style". Part of the linkup fun is to tell a little bit about how one's style has changed since becoming a mom ...

I hate to admit it but I think I dress way frumpier and comfier in the trenches (at home with the kittens) and try a little bit harder when I'm out of the house among the living. Am I out to prove that stay at homers of three little kids don't have to look haggard and harried? No, I'm not a magician but I have clung to a little bit of my pride and I just don't think my housefit of over-sized moose print pajama pants paired with a nursing tank and scary mascaraless lashes is necessarily Target/Costco appropriate. Do my new favorite hooves paired with my go-to magenta jeggings smeared with unidentifiable bits of regurgitated toddler lunch look a tiny bit silly on a diaper run? Absolutely. Who cares? me .... a little bit.

I wore this outfit to Mass yesterday and Sebastian was so poorly behaved that I broke out into an actual sweat while trying to wrestle him into submission. The forehead sheen had nothing to do with my current level of physical fitness or with the fact that I was wearing a spandexy dress under a sweater along with tights that hit right at the ribcage. It was freeeeeeezing rain (hence the fancy hood) and I almost broke my neck, Julia's neck, and Sebastian's skull carrying them out to the car on the icy slick walkway (pictured above). There were very few people in attendance at Mass and I'm wondering if they were hiding behind the slippery conditions excuse? Ridic. But I did appreciate the vast back pew vacancies because I really hate slinking into the front pew during the homily.

outfit breakdown:
jacket: Forever XXI
dress: Forever XXI
sweater: Forever 63
tights: Kohl's
boots: Hunter via eBay

Mass Behavior:
Julia: D+ (she snuck to the back to wash her hair in holy water which she claimed was "doing peace")
Bash: F-
Theo: A+

some not terrible things

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27 January 2013

I've been in the throes of a really ugly baditude lately. Really!! ugly!! Or as Julia would say, "riddy ugwee". I'm just kind of ready for the super tough days to be the exception and not the rule around here. I wouldn't be acting all sorts of Anne Shirley post Diana Barry's raspberry cordial/currant wine debac if only Simon's schedule were a little more forgiving, if only my clothes would just fit semi-properly, if only all three kids could stop timing their wake up times to perfectly coincide every single morning, and if only it wasn't the worst kind of weather ever: COLDER THAN CURSE. If .......... times a trill.

So ... I've been really dreading this weekend with every fiber of my broody being because Simon is working so many MANY hours. Fortunately I've (finally) come to realize that the anticipation of these types of weekends is usually worse than the actual weekend. Of course I start the anticipation a solid 5-7 full days prior to the awful because my name is Grace and my childhood heroine was Rainbow Bright.

Cutting to the cheery chase ... soon. Here is a list of some surprisingly happyish things that have been going on around here. Just let me stray into the land of optimism and promise for a few ...

We got to visit Simon twice today I think the van could easily get itself to the hospital sans driver by now. Julia's thing of the day yesterday was a friend's birth announcement which she (of course!) clutched and took to the hospital to visit Simon. On the way out tonight she purposefully opened a drawer in one of the lobby side tables and retrieved said announcement. I guess she had tucked it away for safekeeping away from big bad Bash? Hopefully she starts depositing some other 'things of the day' in her secret drawer as well (little Dora doll, medium Dora doll, and big Dora doll .... for starters).

Julia-led potty training I know. She's been asking and I've been obliging. I don't expect it to last and I think I'll probably never leave the house with her not diapered but ... it's a start.

Theo takes a pacifier sort of for short periods of time. I really really appreciate it because the Julia-led potty training requires a lot of Grace's time and talent.

Nine dollar boots from Forever XXI and they don't even have that signature plastic heel that's meant to look like wood. My trips to the hospital cafeteria just got a little bit fancy and ridiculous looking.

Two songs on repeat this one (the coolest. I played the violin many moons ago but now I wish I'd taken up the cello. One of the kids can do it for me ... perfect) and this one (judge me, please).

I worked out for 15 unenthusiastic minutes this morning in between runnnnning upstairs to replace Theo's pacifier and breaking up the 99 fights that Julia and Sebastian (HOW? Sebastian knows two words) got into. I didn't do much more than march in place and lift one three pound weight as high as my clavicle one time but again ... a start.

I made something sort of healthy because while I'm not ready to give up my multiple daily handfuls of chocolate chips, spoonfuls of peanut butter, or general gluttony altogether I saw that Janssen had made these No-Bake Brown Butter Quinoa Bars and I was intrigued. We'll see if they pass the Simon "I hate quinoa" test tomorrow.

Julia is making a concerted effort to say "Sebastian"and it sounds exactly like "Sir Bastard".


skincare + makeup routine

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25 January 2013

I can hear the collective sighs and the chorus of "we don't cares" now. Sorry. It's been a beast of a week and we're heading into an even uglier weekend in the Simon-is-working-how-many-hours? department so rather than pelt your pupils with the nit and grit of these woes-o-mine I'll just copy a million other bloggers and do one of these super informative posts.
not a current or even remotely relevant photo. I hope you'll accept my half-hearted apology.

My routine is probably pretty minimal compared to a lot of ladies and probably pretty involved compared to a lot of others but it works for the limited amount of time I have in the bathroom before 1. Sebastian breaks through my leg barricade and scales the toilet to break/drink/break yet another something 2. Julia's woodpeckeresque asks to wear bakeup drive me completely insane or 3. Theo sirens and signals that he needs my undivided love, affection, and attention ... now.

1. Kirkland Daily Facial Cleansing Towelettes: These are the only way my face gets washed (cleansed?) every night and every morning. I don't know what I have against traditional cleansers that require water and a washcloth but I won't/don't use them if I buy them. These do a superb job of getting my eye makeup off which is really nice because I hate waking up looking like mama coon. I like to think I make up for my laziness with the next item on my list ...

2. Clarisonic Pro: Roxy (who has thee best best skin) sold me on the almighty Clarisonic and so I asked for one for my birthday when I was pregnant with Sebastian last summer. I can tell a huge difference (much smoother and clearer skin and has made a nice dent in my significant acne scars) when I use it and still have two of the little sample bottles of cleanser it came with but otherwise I use baking soda or coffee grinds to exfoliate super efficiently.

3. Roc Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Daily Moisturizer: While Googling whether or not Cindy Crawford's line of moisturizer was all that she was claiming it would be I found a sort of hierarchical chart (that I can't find anymore, of course) of anti-aging moisturizers and this was at the top of the list. I've only been using it about a month but it smells great (Simon even noticed which is saying a LOT) and maybe it's my imagination but is my Grand Canyon forehead wrinkle a little less canyony? Maybe.

4. N.Y.C Smooth Skin Perfect Primer: On a trip to Wichita last summer I forgot my entire makeup bag (the horror) so I ran to Target and bought the cheapest essentials available. I had never even heard of primer so I don't know why I bought this but I'm glad I coughed up the $3.99 because it just sort of smooths everything out and lays the foundation nicely for ...

5. Bobbi Brown BB Cream: When Simon is on nights and I've run out of internet and it's 3, 4, or 5 in the morning I usually read beauty product reviews. Fun. People sang the praises of this stuff and I had an Amazon giftcard to use so I ordered it (in Light - after reading multiple reviews of the hues). I liked it a lot better in warmer/humid months. It hasn't dried my skin out but it kind of leaves a duller finish than I'd like. I know people don't love a 'dewy finish' but I'm all about the dewy finish.

6. N.Y.C Bronzing Powder: Another one that I picked up on my emergency run. The cheapest and the best.

7. Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash Mascara: After reading Natalie's post on her big mascara experiment I ordered the holy grail of mascaras. I know everyone (seems to) have their favorite mascara that they'll be buried in and I guess I just haven't found mine yet (not for a lack of trying a zillion different kinds). I like it a lot but would I order it again? I don't think so.

8. L'Oreal Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner, (Brown): I read about this on a blog a long time ago and am so glad I remembered the name when I went to the store later that week. I love it and have had the same pencil for well over a year and will wear it forever and ever. Amen.

I'm sure I'm missing out on so many great products .... I'd love if you let me know if your absolute favorites. Simon's starting nights again soon so I'll have trillions of petrified hours to read up on your claims.


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23 January 2013

1. quality family time in front of the mirror
2. and sucked in by Sean

3. no place like home ...
4. and every home needs a pair of antlers

5. daytime Theo
6. nighttime Theo

7. fun 1/2 of the stay at home Pattons
8. boring 1/2 of the stay at home Pattons

9. Theo, Simon, Julia + a spare pair of Julia's socks
10. this morning

11. 45 seconds of babysitting ... a new record
12. our big 4-year-old

13. "what's dis? what's dis? what's dis? what's dis? what's dis? what's dis?"
14. Sebastian's capri pants and Julia's maxi skirt

Conversations with Julia

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21 January 2013

Oh, I know there are a zillionfinity smarter/cuter/verbaler/pottytraineder/longerhaired two year olds out on the big bad internet to read about. I know.
productive + happy morning at the Camp

But we hunted and gathered the essentials: almond milk, detergent (dish AND laundry), fruit snacks, and bananas a la Costco this morning and even though Theo had a tiny meltdown and I came thisclose to accidentally driving away with alllllll the goods still in the cart we survived and I'm going to need to take the rest of the day to decompress and maybe journal in my tangible diary about the sojourn. So I'll just leave you with a few of Julia's one liners that I've managed not to forget ...

Picking up Simon's empty beer bottle, examining it carefully, and furrowing her brow ...
Julia: What kinda wine is dis one?!

After reporting that she needs her (very dirty) diaper changed ...
Grace: (sighhhhhh) okay ....
Julia: is you so fwustated?

Getting all up in a crying Theo's face ...
Julia: you havin a tough wake up, Fee-oh?

Getting all up in a crying Sebastian's face ...
Julia: you havin a tough wake up, Basher?

While buying newborn diapers at Target ...
Julia: who doze for?
Grace: Theo
Julia: (clearly disappointed) oh. the stinkpot.

While watching me try (in vain) to wriggle into a pair of jeans:
Julia: Mommy doin her exercises?
(guess so)

After asking me how old I am so many times in a row ...
Julia: How old is you, Mommy?
Grace: you tell me.
Julia: Fixty nine!!!

What I Wore Sunday

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20 January 2013

1. peace
2. serenity
3. and grace (sans super cooperative clutter)

Photograph number two is pretty much exactly what Mass looks like these days (and by days I mean Sunday ... daily Mass will have to wait until the year 2029, at least). Sebastian being terrible in between flashes of pretend happy, Julia nervously chewing on her nails in between telling me that she is ready to eat doughnuts, and Theo just quietly swimming in his clothes and donning the skin tone of an angry raisin. (And I wonder why someone very seriously asked if he was my "birth child"/adopted last night? Yes, my brow is still furrowed.)

Moving onward and forever upward ... this outfit (minus the shoes) is brought to you entirely by the years 2007 and 2008 and I'm guessing it probably stopped being even remotely cool somewhere around then as well. Nothing like dressing the postpartum body to make you reallllllllllly miss dressing the hugely pregnant body. The khaki jeans aren't (shockingly) Mudd or JNCO but these photos just may have convinced me to never let them see the light of public again.

school uniform:

kids' Mass behavior:
Julia: A-
Sebastian: D+ (I think next week we'll just bring him in his car seat and keep him restrained in the aisle ... or hire a prison guard to babysit him at home)
Theo: A+

Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple ... you know the drill by now.

Guest Post from Laura of The Fantastic Mrs. McCants

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19 January 2013

I hope you're already a lucky reader of Laura's fantastic blog. She and her husband had their first baby, Mary Margaret, in October and she's written about the first few months of parenthood (struggles with breastfeeding and going back to work among many other things) with great wit and candor. I just wish she would start posting on the daily . . . 

I was beyond thrilled when Grace asked me to write a guest blog for her. Charlie (my husband) and I have been following her for a while now, and privately have conversations like we actually hang out with the Pattons. I think I told everyone I knew (that also follow Grace and some that didn’t) that she had asked me to write this post.
Pattons, Charlie and I are so excited for your little clan to have another addition (and surprisingly early!), and know he is going to be just as exciting to receive updates on his antics along with the other mischief makers.

Raising a Catholic daughter (as a Protestant)
To start this epic story, I am not a confirmed member of the Catholic Church; my husband is and our daughter will be baptized in the Catholic Church, but currently I’m not.
There -- that’s a good start.
I’ll go even father back to discuss when Charlie and I were dating and then married.
Upon meeting Charlie and beginning to date, it was loosely alluded to that he would not marry someone who was not Catholic, which I wasn’t and didn’t really plan on becoming. We didn’t have a Catholic wedding, and, to be honest, our marriage isn’t even recognized in the Catholic Church (this is mostly because we’re lazy and haven’t done the paperwork).
I am confirmed Presbyterian and have attended Presbyterian churches for my entire life. There was a time in 2011 where Charlie and I were members at two separate churches. If anyone has tried this form of separate but equal worship, it is a strain on a family each Sunday and can makes for some hurt feelings.
I won’t go into the reasons why I’ve left the Presbyterian Church, but for the quick and dirty, I didn’t find a group or place that I really felt comfortable at that church, and the jumping between churches really didn’t seem worth it.
Early 2012 we began going exclusively to our fave Catholic parish in downtown Raleigh, NC, Sacred Heart Cathedral. When we got pregnant in January 2012, I felt we needed to have a church home for this little bean that we had made.

I say all of this to say that in late October 2012 we welcomed a brand new little girl into our lives (YAY!). And we want our family to have a strong stock in a faith and church. It may seem that I have just “given in” and began going to the Catholic Church because Charlie did and he is more devout than I am on churchly matters. Well, that is half-true: Charlie is getting his Masters in Theological Studies at Duke Divinity in May 2013 (Yipee!!) and it is his driving that is bringing us together as a family in the Church.
BUT, we have also found a group of new and young parents through the Catholic Church that have met a few times over the fall and I have really found needed support and commiseration with the moms (and dads, I guess) during this changing time in our lives.
Charlie and I have discussed what having a daughter in the Catholic Church will mean, what our stance will be on her behaviors, how her teachings will be done, and how to answer the tough questions she will get from people about priests, Popes, Eucharist and the rest of it. We will teach her about the Saints and about how all of these things are important in her daily life.
Only, this is difficult for me because I have a tough time believing in certain aspects of the Catholic Church myself, most notably the Eucharist. Charlie has gone ‘round and ‘round about the body and the blood and I can’t really wrap my head around it. I love the obviously traditional nature of the Catholic Church, the reverence, the hymns. But Mary Margaret and I will have to learn about the “meat” of the Catholic Church together, and she’s gonna have to be ok with that.
Wonder if she’ll mind me coming to class with her? I’ll bring cupcakes and even let her be the teacher’s pet if she wants.

7 Quick Takes

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18 January 2013

Joining Jen and her flock of followers on this fine Friday. And then I'm going to alliteration cessation camp.

Cue cackling crickets.
Stopping. So sorry.

1. Let's start things off on the most pressing foot here with Mr. Bachelor Lowe himself. I'm having a hard time narrowing down a favorite girl ...
... don't ask me why.

Basically I can't handle Sarah's whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiny voice, Tierra's entire personality (obviously), and everyone else is just okay. I guess Desiree might be a potentially decent Mrs. Lowe but her dress was maybe a little bit too small on their date? Or maybe I'm just jealous that she can wear black spray paint over 8% of her body and call it a dress ... I don't know. My girl, Jones, really outdid herself with this week's post. I won't admit how many times I've read it but I still literally LOL every single time. 

2. Maybe should look into hiring her because I think they're kind of struggling in the photo caption writing department ...
... or maybe my standards are just set too high.

3. Julia can't decide if there's a crapodile or an elevator on my shirt today ...
... hopefully she'll solve the mystery before bedtime.

4. After taking a quick gander at my recent Instagram pics ... it's apparent I've been favoring Julia lately and I am all about being an equal-opportunity mother so here are some clips of Sebastian doing what he does best ... dance dance dance. The boy is still holding strong with his one word, "woof" but he cuts a mean wood floor ..

to Pitbull

and Lana Del Ray 

fine ... one more for fun.

5. I'm struggling and it's only numero cinco. Here's a great banana bread recipe that I found by Googling "best banana bread recipe" (the key is to follow the comment suggestions and add rum and chocolate chips). It's normally fail-proof but I totally botched it this morning because I took it out of the oven ~20 minutes too early and apparently it doesn't take kindly to a little re-bake after it has cooled completely into a doughy disaster. So there's that.

6. I'm not letting a little undercooked dough stop me from picking out alllllllllll the chocolate chips because I just can't let 1/2 a cup of semi-sweets go to waste.

7. We've been the lucky recipients of so many sweet gifts for Theo and the big kids and I hate to play absolute favorites but I don't think I'll soon forget the sweet treat some kind folks brought over last night ...
... or maybe after we put it to good use I will forget.

Bad joke Friday.
Laughity laugh laugh.

Go see Jen for all the better givers.

Postpartum Living

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17 January 2013

1. Are my Target generics showing? Whoomp, yes they are.  < -- click it and try not to dance, seriously.
2. Frustrated and defeated because he wouldn't answer her new favorite question, "what's your name, Fee-oh?" despite her 98 repeated attempts in a machine gunned row.
3. Paper cut by way of a cardboard book. We had piercing screams, blood, and a concerned (from a safe distance as she hates to get dirty) Julia to prove it.
4. Make way for the Pattons ... along with Julia's buttoned alllllllll the way up cardigan c/o her OCD.

Exactly how long can I claim to be postpartum before it starts to get a little eyerolly? Not much longer? Well then I'd better get my litany of complaints out while I can. No, things are mostly okay ... until they aren't ... but then they are again. Repeat. And repeat again. Probably my biggest issue is figuring out a way to attach everything in the house to the ceiling because Sebastian is into approximately everything ...

Oh, Sebastian dragged the downstairs bathroom trashcan upstairs and has turned it upside down and is using it as a vehicle to climb up onto the counter to play with the block of knives? Too bad, I'm feeding Theo.

Oh, Sebastian is biting Julia and breaking skin and pulling out tufts of her already super fine hair? Figure it out dearhearts, I'm still feeding Theo.

Oh, Sebastian ninjad his way into the locked guestroom and unfolded allllllllll the laundry that I spent my precious two-armed free time folding before the chickens cackled this morn? I'd help him hide the evidence because I'm actually ... feeding Theo.

Oh, Sebastian is gnawing on a nursing (breast?) pad again? He's gross and I think it can wait until I'm not completely naked and about to pop in the shower for a 34 second rinse off but thanks Officer Julia Grace. 

We have managed to get ourselves dressed and looking almost presentable enough to go out into civilized society two days in a row because while I am a hermittess and an introvert and a homebody there are only so many millions of consecutive days of cabin fever even I can handle. We made it as far as the hospital cafeteria (where else?) both days. But to the couple in the car that was on the prowl for a coveted parking spot in the parking garage and sat and waited and waited and waited and waited while we toddled all the way to the last row where the van was parked, buckled alllllllllllll the car seat buckles and finaggled my way out of the apparent goldmine with the little bit of breathing room you left me ... don't do that again or I'll have a legit attack of the anxiety variety .... thank you not so kindly in advance.

Anyway, one of these days I'll have to bite the bullet, stuff Theo to his little esophagus, fill my purse with sugary bribes, and make the trek out to the land of the almighty Costco to hunt and gather some diapers and almond milk.

Our adventurous spirits know no bounds.

*and postpartum living last time around ... (I need to hire a post title writer)

Guest Post from Meg of Trip Over Joy

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16 January 2013

While I've never technically met Meg (I don't think) ... we both went to the same college (I'll let you guess which of us is the geriatric ... ) and she grew up in the same neighborhood as Simon in Wichita. So, I hope our paths cross at some point or another because she is the cutest and has the cutest blog and the cutest baby and I won't say she has the cutest husband because a. I don't want to get a Cougar rep and b. I'm a married lady.

She kindly wrote a super helpful post on a topic that I wish I'd read way back when Julia was a baby. Unfortunately, this isn't even a little bit pertinent to my life because to be perfectly honest - I don't envisions us traveling (unless my favorite hospital cafeteria counts!!) with three children ..... ever. (Until May when Simon's sister will get married .... if I haven't been eaten alive by Theo by then.) 

Enjoy ...

Traveling with a baby, it’s a reality most of us have to face at some point or another. Sometimes I find myself wishing I never had to leave the house, ever, so I could have little Miss Rosemary on a perfect schedule... and then I think about how loathsome that life would be.  I mean truly, I would basically be Rapunzel, minus the long pretty hair, the high spirits, and the sweet disposition... so, more along the lines of Mother Gothel.

For me, it’s the prep work, and idea of leaving the house that, 95% of the time, end up being scarier than actually leaving.  All of the ‘what ifs’ float around in my head. ‘What if this throws of her sleep schedule?’ ‘What if she has a major poop explosion?’ And, when we’re finally out of the house.... we’re all much happier.

Because my husband and I live so far away from our families, we’ve spent quite a bit of time on the subway, in the car, and on planes since Rosie was born 4 months ago. This makes me nothing of an expert on traveling with an infant, but I’m always looking for advice, and willing to share what works for us! So here are some things that we’ve learned just by our own troubleshooting.

1. Moby Wrap Forever: If I had an AIM screen name, it would be exactly that, or some semblance of that (mobywrpfrever88?). Especially for boarding a plane, I would dare to say, it’s necessary (or any front pack carrier I suppose). For us, it’s become a routine, it expedites the boarding process, as you now are able to use the 2 hands you couldn’t use prior.

2. Cut the Crap: Travel as lightly as  possible. If you can shove everything from your diaper bag into your purse, or vice versa, you’ll be better off. Juggling 2+ bags and a baby only adds to the frustration. Oh, and that third change of clothes, (just in case!) that you never use, unnecessary.

3. Haters Gonna Hate: There’s no doubt about it, when you walk on a plane with an infant, people are praying you aren’t occupying the seat next to them. It use to drive me crazy how people would stare if Rosie made a single noise. But, I think I’ve finally learned to ignore them. You can’t control how other people are going to react, so don’t waste any time worrying about it, worrying accomplishes nothing.

4. No Expectations: You can spend hours preparing for an outing or trip (I certainly do) but try not to have expectations... especially about sleep. We did all we could to schedule flights around her sleepy time, sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. The OCD, over-prepared mother in me died a little when things didn’t go exactly as planned. But I’m learning more and more: less expectations, equals less disappointment.

So what are your tips? Do share!

 Meg and her adorable family ... you can find more of them here.

And if you have a spare minute (you do! I know it) .... watch this clip that explains a bit about what she and her husband do in Brooklyn. (It really impressed my dad and you know you want to follow suit ... )

reader q + a

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14 January 2013

I wasn't going to post at all today for a multitude of reasons (Theo won't stop nursing, Theo won't stop nursing, Theo won't stop nursing*, Sebastian emptied the super full trash thrice in a row, and I was scared you might be able to see my good hair/face/clothing day through the screen and feel inferior) but then I checked my email and had some questions from a kind reader by the name of Stacey so I thought I'd just answer and post them here. And if you'd like to call me lazy I will happily ship Theo and his Goliathesque appetite over to your house for a slumber party. I'll do it. Don't test me.

Here we go ...

Why haven't you put up Theo's birth story yet?
Because it was such a traumatic and emotionally scarring experience that I can't bring myself to think about it for long enough to type it out. 


It's actually not all that exciting and I've been using my 3 hour chunks of free time to do more exciting things like orchestrating complicated dance routines for the kids to this unpopular song, taking cellular phone picture montages of the sweet kittens ...


 brothers from the same mother (they both got my toothy grin)


and debating whether or not I should stand up and walk to the bathroom to retrieve the nail clipper to cut my fingernails or just grow them out which actually transitions beautifully into ...

Why do you always cut Julia's hair? Mullet's are in for toddlers.
Are they? I'm so out of the hair trend loop. Fine ---- no more spur of the moment chops  "just to even out the rat tails!!"

Mullet nation .... hear her roar.

What are you favorite toys for the kids? (My niece's birthday is coming up and I need ideas! She's turning two!)
I've typed about this trumpet before. It's loud but the kids love it so much that I don't mind. If she's anything like Julia she'll love a tube of cheap chapstick to put on her "mips" and some Dora underwear (that she won't wear but will happily tote around and bust out only in the most public of places). Also, both kids are obsessed with this book they got for Christmas.

Will you really post the story of Simace?

Does it feel weird that random people know random things about your family via internet?
No. Mostly because there are a zillion bigger blogs with a zillion more readers than the Camp will ever see. And I think I keep things pretty surface level around here. If ever I start posting about that fight Simon and I had over that really petty thing that I was absolutely RIGHT and he was absolutely WRONG about ... well then ... maybe I might feel weird. But since I mostly just type about impersonal subjects like breastfeeding, diaper contents, and our sex life ... I don't feel weird at all.

... and do YOU have a question? send it on over.

*and yet he's gained zero weight and lost one ounce since birth according to today's weigh-in. A conundrum for the masses to ponder ...

What I Wore Sunday

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13 January 2013

1. Altogether now, "framer"
2. Rainbow (super) Bright and guardian
3. A fork in his right hand and a fork in his left hand ... which only gave me slight palpitations when he went drunk-sprinting down the middle of the street.
4. Where's innocent little Theodore? Licking his multiple milk hangover wounds after being a little glutton and nursing for 8 straight overnight hours followed by a quick two ounce Similac suckdown. I'm guessing he's gained five pounds since birth. Maybe ten.

Is it freezing in your neck of the world, too? I'm always ready for sweater weather until it actually descends upon us and then I hate it.  And that will be the last sentence I dedicate to the weather today.

We've only got a few hours left until Simon returns home from a looooooooooong weekend at the dilation station and I go running out of the house to go to the grocery store to buy nothing and to enjoy a sliver of silence. Oh, I'm sure you'd win the "my weekend was rougher than your weekend" contest but just let me think I had it martyr-level bad. I appreciate it.

Somekindone approached us after Mass at the hospital this morning and mentioned that she reads the blog and I wish I could go back in time and stammer out more than the two words that I did. I was 1/2 embarrassed that I looked exactly like I'd been hit by a truck and 1/2 super surprised. Forgive me and my God-given socially awkward tendencies.

I'm going to enjoy the fact that all three kids are in their designated sleeping pens and are being relatively quiet while I watch the Bachelor premier for the third time this week. If you think I need an intervention you are probably a little something I like to call ..... right.

Kids' Mass Behavior:
Julia: A- (would be an A+ but she loudly explained to me that she was "finished with Jesus" during the consecration)
Bash: C+ (would be a D+ but he was being very generous with his not-at-all-gross open-mouthed kisses which were a nice change from his usual face hits and groin kicks)

life vest: Gap via eBay
skirt: Target (could it be any tighter? don't answer that)
prune tights: Kohl's
boots: Carlos Santana via Famous Footwear

Linking up with the pretties over at Fine Linen and Purple. I'm so predictable.

Guest Post by Jenna of Call Her Happy

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12 January 2013

I don't take blog recommendations lightly and so it is my distinct pleasure to introduce you to Jenna's brilliant blog (assuming you've not read it which probably isn't the case ... ). She is the mother to hilarious 17-month-old Ellen and is currently incubating another little bebe (although she most certainly doesn't look it). 
Her pregnancy announcement is among my absolute faves and Jenna is one of the charitable few that responds to my responses to her comments ... keeps me young and sort of fun. She's running an excellent series on how to Celebrate Like a Catholic that you should check out right after you enjoy the following ...

When Grace asked me to write a guest post for her, I was all "of course!" And then, she didn't get back to me for a few days, and I was all, "she must be really busy." Instead, Grace was all, "I'm in labor!" Welcome Theodore Augustine Patton! So glad you had your heart set on 2012. Now, put a steak on that eye. Now, I'm guessing the number one thing on your mind these days is finding new and creative ways to dress your toddler who is in that stretch pants and t-shirt funk. I have a few solutions for you on how to use up all that extra time you have in the morning while getting your little one dressed. Or, you could just do it when you plan on leaving the house and seeing people you need to I do. Here are a few of my fave ways to make sure Ellen looks ready to precariously toddle the runway before falling down and bruising something...per usual.

Baby Blazer I got this number for $7 at Target a few weeks ago. Have you ever seen something so polished as a baby in a blazer (with avocado smeared on her eyebrows, cookie remnants framing her mouth and a new found penchant for drilling her finger up her nose...thankfully not pictured)? I didn't think so.
 extremely expensive baby gate...

Supervised Scarfing So, the other day, Ellen stole this from my mom's closet, and it looked so awesome I let her wear it...until my dad told me she was going to strangle kill. So, I let her wear it if I'm watching her.
You can take your own risks for fashion.

Trusty Cardi Ellen wears this pretty much always. She loves Julia's so much, that we had to go out and her her a sweater to layer over her flannels.
I also had to go out and get a flannel for myself because I was jealous of my 17-month-old. Shallow? Maybe.

Glitter. Enough Said. Maybe I got this ridiculous obsession from my mother (who puts glitter in her paint before painting walls in their house), but I love me some sparkle. Perhaps I am forcing it on Ellen. Perhaps I am also making her life a little better. Yeah. I think so.  
You might miss the glitter shirt (and skirt) and bow in her hair because you are so distracted by her eyes...or her finger up her nose. One or the other.
You might miss the glitter shirt (and skirt), collar and bow in her hair because you are so distracted by her beautiful eyes...or her finger up her nose. One or the other. 

Fashion Glasses...kind of. So, she has a hard time keeping these on her head, but girl's got the idea.

One Upon a... Child. Go there. Spend little money. Get your Gap and Janie and Jack apparel for $1 a piece. I love this place more than Salvation Army. I said it.

I pretty much like to dress Ellen how I dress myself (anything that looks like it should be for an adult but is in child size pretty much captures my heart). When I shop, I look for things that I can throw on or layer and make me look really put together when really I probably laid on the couch until five minutes before we had to leave. I love creating the illusion that I have it all together. Sometimes I even fool myself. No, wait. No, I don't.
 Sometimes Ellen comes up with her own thing.


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