The Rigors of Raising Saints

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28 February 2013

(alternate title that I almost flew with: The Rigors of Raising Hellions)

I only type about it every other sentence so it isn't news to you that this has been a really rough month. I always tell myself I won't write a "this was a horrible month" post after Simon is finished with nights but look at me now: defying and denying my former self. It's been the month of so much tired and the messiest house and the worst diet and so many visits to see Simon that never ended in a visit but with long waits in the car and then (maybe?) a zoom out of the hospital parking lot in a really nasty mood with three crying kids - two of which may or may not have been buckled into their car seats. They're sneaky and crafty and I hate it almost as much as I loathe these rotations. I tried to remember that we were in a similar situation last January when Sebastian was two months old and Julia was 15 months old and Simon was on nights and that it didn't last forever but it felt like IT WOULD. More than forever. So when Simon asked, "do you ever wish you could just go back to your time in DC?", as we pulled out of the driveway this past Friday night on our way to a family outing to Costco I surprised myself by quickly answering that I didn't.

He pressed on, "you don't?! all that time to yourself and getting dressed in nice clothes every day and going out with your friends whenever you wanted??" and again, but a little more hesitantly I answered that I didn't.

And it's true. Oh, would I give my third born's locks to go back to a Thursday night of dancing followed by a Friday morning headache and frenzy of emails about the slightly hazy memories that were always funnier when stifling laughter and shuffling papers at my desk at work? Bleep yeah.

I actually think this was from a weekend trip to NYC because, you know, I could do fancy things like that.

I remember telling Simon (and he doesn't let me forget it) that the reason I was so unorganized was because I had an hour long commute to and from work every day. I was busy!! I had to walk to the metro every morning and sometimes if it was extra full I had to stand on the 40 minute ride and then walk from the metro all the way to work and do the same thing in reverse every day after work. So much toil. So much alone time that my current self would slay for as she is pretty excited about a solo trip to get blood drawn on Friday morning. 

Sometimes I would take a break from emailing to give tours of the Capitol (in my lenses that look suspiciously transitional) because my job was .34 steps above that of an unpaid intern. Can you spot the Blackberry that made me look centuries more productive and important than I actually was?

It was an easy and fun life that I still managed to find fault with from time to time. When Simon and I were dating long distance we would talk for hours on the phone every night and I wouldn't go to sleep till 1 or 2 and had to wake up at 7 to get myself ready for that big odyssey of a commute to slide into work by 9. I thought I knew the meaning of tired. Knee slap.

St. Patrick's Day 2008. On the metro and on our way to have a terrible time.

What was there not to miss? Every weekend's greatest conundrum was the pressure of choosing thee most fun thing to do. Staying in over going out? Let me bite my nails and nervously mull that over lest I make a decision that I'll regret ..... never.

So three weeks into this rotation that just won't quit it would make sense that one might long for the carefree life of the DC days. Build me a time machine and take me back and away from these! kids! These kids that I love but that are very skilled at finding my last nerve standing and having a stomping contest all over it.

Sebastian weaseled his way into the refrigerator earlier this week and had made an impressive pile with the carton holding 18 eggs, the syrup bottle, and the barbeque sauce container all on the floor. He hadn't broken anything or spilled a drop and was pretty proud of his architectural genius. Before I could decide whether to scold or applaud his efforts he had cantered off to scratch and draw blood from Theo's face and (again!) was pretty proud of his accomplishment that left his victim crying his first real tears.

Julia painted all ten of her fingers and her lips with dark nail polish this morning and won't stop telling me that "it hurt her." My greatest triumph yesterday was figuring out how the back windshield wiper worked and the day before that it was getting all four of us from the house into the car in a record-breaking 4 minutes even if we were all outfitted in clothing that could've passed for hobo-pajama-chic.

Staying at home with little kids is really hard. It's grueling and nonstop and exhausting in the worst and best ways. I keep hearing that it gets easier as they get older and I'll believe it when I see one of them put on a pair of socks or voluntarily put something back where it belongs but I wouldn't trade these years for a former, funner world. An especially frustrating day? A million times yes but I think I'd probably be missing Julia's unique sense of modesty and minimalistic hair accessorizing ...

along with a whole host of other toddler quirks. So on the days that seem to go on for 99 hours and when I'm way too tired to even begin to rectify the paralyzing feeling of needing to interact with people that can speak in complete sentences sans multiple speech impediments I try to remember that fact. I usually fail but time flew when I was having fun and time will have flown when I was in the trenches and raising my little saints. 

So she hopes and so she thinks.

Sometimes I think these types of posts sound like a good idea at three in the morning in between placating Theo's grunts and so I type them. I usually don't publish them but I just couldn't let all those screen shots of ancient Facebook photos go to waste. Forgive me.

He's growing up ...

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27 February 2013

and I hate it.

Oh ... obviously we're big fans of big fat chunky monkey babies around here but if someone were to invent a newborn growth stunting machine .... I'd be tempted to keep the celery stalk legs, slit eyes, and pterodactyl squawks around for a little while longer.

Theo will be two months on February 30th and he has very few tricks to show for it. He smiles rarely, cries sometimes, and flails his t-rex arms about always.

If I had a penny for every time someone responded, "like the chipmunk?" upon hearing his name he would have enough lettuce to purchase his mom a tube of dollar store lipstick.

Happy 1/6 of a year, Chippy.

*And if you care to click ... Julio at 2 months.

Open to Interpretation

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Kayla and Erica are graciously allowing me to join them for another round of Open to Interpretation. Here's Erica's pick:

And here's my interpretation:

It's not every day that I get to bust out my burgundy velvet. Nay! I reserve it for Saturday night live trips to Target with one child to hunt and gather essentials like chocolate chips, cream cheese, calcium chews, and the Almanac for Alliteration Addicts.

Simon had a few things to say about my necklace layering and I had one glare to share in response. I think I was subconsciously making up for the fact that I don't have any bracelets or a notsmall purse that doesn't fit at least 4 diapers, two sippy cups, one pack of wipes, and a wide variety of stale fruit snacks.

Some down the street neighbors were out walking their dog and caught us taking photos and I was more than a little embarrassed which (as Simon pointed out the obvious) is ridiculous because the photos are going to be seen by a little sliver of internet and are our non-friends going to all of a sudden cut ties? No.

(Still embarrassed.)

blazer: Ann Klein (believe it)
jeans: Goodwill
shoes: c/o Blowfish Shoes
shades: c/o
shirt: Asos

Now go see how Kayla and Erica interpreted the look. They always make me rethink my approach.

Right Now

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26 February 2013

I'm hitting a real fashion high note. I don't even remember putting this running shoe (no run involved - ever) + moose pajama pant ensemble on but we're out of plastic grocery sacks (because it's Costco or nothing these days) that house our dirtiest diapers so I've been making a lot of runs out to the big trashcan today. Every time I pop outside in my meese with a diaper in hand I always always run into our cute and fashionable female neighbor and her cute little dog. Always.

Sebastian got into the brand new bag of chocolate chips directly after I bathed him and put on a fresh set of clothing (pajamas) that should've lasted him at least 36ish hours.

Julia is on a rampage to find a blue crayon. A very loud rampage. She needs a diaper change but I'm trying really hard to avoid anymore run-ins with the neighbor for tonight at least.

And Theo is cuddling with a Christmas blanket that until about 7 minutes ago I'm 100% certain was in the dirtiest "really should be washed today" laundry pile.

Simon left for work about an hour ago and is in a delivery but I'm hoping we can break up the monotony of his lazy night with a quick visit because a change of pants, a change of scenery, and a fresh breath of hospital cafeteria is sounding really, really nice right now.

Update: Julia reports that Sebastian is in "big trubbo" and she is covered head to toe in what appears to be ... baking soda?

Come onnnnnn cafeteria. 

Update on the update: It was actually cornstarch c/o these.

Conversations with Julia

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photos in response to, "can you put your hands on your hips?"

Sebastian: disobeys me/disobeys her
Julia: "No sweetheart!!!! No!!!!"

Simon: "I have to go to work now"
Julia: "oh, you need to go eat french frize?"

Grace: "do you want to go use your potty?
Julia: (marches into bathroom) "I need a book, please."

Grace: "are you done using the potty?
Julia: "no, I not done, Grace."

Grace: (tries to get Theo to take a pacifier while he was crying in the car and veered onto the side of the interstate hitting the noise-making divots)
Julia: (laughs) "Grace had a gas!"

Julia: "what show is this?"
Grace: "the Oscars"
Julia: "no, its a circus."


Simon Emails

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25 February 2013

I think Theo got his dad's hair and permagrin.

We are still in the thick of the interminable night float month straight from hell and I'm still not sleeping a wink before the hour of 8 in the am because I'm very busy deciding whether or not the noisy heater is an intruder or just the noisy heater or an ax murderer or just the noisy heater. Simon has been coming home from work and letting me sleep for a couple hours before he goes to sleep for the remaining hours before he has to report back to labor with the ladies. Yes it takes a special breed of saint to be married to this neurotic nut.

Anyway, apparently it's wasn't all time-flies-when-you're-having-fun and haven't slept in 20 hours during Simon's shift with the little loves this morning because I woke up to this diamond in my box.

(And I have no clue)

What I Wore Sunday: Not a Hat Person

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24 February 2013

Let's just get the thing out of the way that goes without typing three separate times: the hat was a dumb idea. I didn't even wear it to Mass so Simon said these photos are a lie anyway. I just see so many cute bloggers rocking the hat and looking so cute cute cute but I'll just stick with what I know: not hats.

We were back in action at our favorite hospital Mass this morning where Sebastian was horrible in my lap but a little angel in Simon's. The lady in the front of us slathered on three pumps of hand sanitizer before the sign of peace but she did offer a hand to Julia which was the highlight of Julia's little day until we hit up the cafeteria for a sprinkle doughnut and watered down coffee in her sippy. Theo didn't make a peep and Simon said when the elderly lady behind us came back from communion and noticed his car seat in the aisle she did a triple take and gave a little look of disbelief that there was another Patton angel in our midst. Believe!! Simon doesn't exaggerate like I tend to do so he was probably right. Like sometimes.

you didn't ask but I'll still tell ...
tunic: Old Navy via Caroline
boots: Hunter vie eBay
hat: Forever a mistake
glasses:  c/o Firmoo

Mass Behavior:
Julia: B- (freaking about her sippy not fitting into the pew pocket)
Sebastian: C+ (usual shenanigans)
Theo: A+ (still as a statue, silent as something super quiet)

Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple. You should definitely do the same.

***thank you thank you thank you for all of your nice comments on yesterday's post. Simon read them and declared more than once that my, "plea for attention worked".  Always a fiesta of feel good around here.

7 Quick Takes

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23 February 2013

Joining Jen for Quick Takes Friday on a Saturday. Rebel, tardy, and all that tap dancing.

1. Simon said he hasn't heard me laugh as hard as I did at this clip

in "a looooooooong time". Ashley also introduced me to my favorite comedian Jones so basically she is the consummate curator of funny.

2. Bleh. I've been having second, third, fourth, and fifth thoughts about blogging. I'm hoping it's just a Roosevelty, "comparison is the thief of joy" moment but there are so many bloggers that write gooder than I'll ever be able and maybe I'm better suited for the reading rather than the writing bench. Woe is Grace. Not a pity party just a truth soiree. It'll pass.

3. Julia is going through a terrible stage where she takes off all of her clothes (diaper included) whenever she is out of my sight. She acts genuinely sorry when she's reprimanded and thanks me repeatedly as I get her dressed ... AGAIN. She doesn't do it when Simon's home and I'm hoping she doesn't teach Sebastian how to do the same because I get enough of a cardio workout pinning him down once every two or three days to change his clothing. No need for more. 

4. Because the kids spilled my bag of Chia seed the other day I went to grab a new one at Costco (after I freaked out and hopefully made them feel very guilty) and saw bags of Hemp seed in the same aisle.

There are 11 grams of protein per (3 tablespoon) serving which is 6 more grams than Chia can offer and I'm of the mindset that more protein = more energy and less of a desire to eat all the chocolate chips in the pantry? I don't know. They don't get stuck in my teeth and are relatively tasteless in yogurt and smoothies. I'm a believer for now.

5. You know me and my workout DVD problem. I can't/won't stop. I relied on Jillian's 30 Day Shred to shed the weight from both Julia and Sebastian's pregnancies even though I hate almost every second of it. The beginning is insanely long and there is no option to skip or fast forward through and sometimes 3 minutes of alternating two strength exercises is kind of monotonous. Also ... if Sebastian or Julia turn off the DVD player in the middle .... I can't tell you how frustrating it is waiting waiting waiting waiting through the beginning credits about The Biggest Loser for the 8th time. So ... I've moved onto Jillian's Ripped in 30 and it's a lot more varied during the 3 minutes of strength, no opening annoying, and there are 4 workouts instead of just 3. Even my excess stomach skin is sore. I'm a fan.

6. I was totally shocked by this week's episode of the Bachelor. I definitely thought Catherine was getting shipped off into greener pastures and I'm still not sure Sean did the right thing. AshLee is a total nut and if she is the last lady standing I'll be disappointed. Team Catherine forever. I was minding my own business going through my reader when I came across Morgan's blog and without a SINGLE WARNING (remedied now) she gave away a spoiler. I'm still working on forgiving her and maybe she was wrong? Jones (of course!) wrote another stellar recap. My will to read blogs will cease to exist if she ever stops recapping. My obsession has moved to a whole new level as I watch and pause each episode to read her blog (and tweets) as I go.

7. This post has now taken me 30 something hours to publish. I'm sure it was worth the toil on my part and the wait on yours. We always want to do something every weekend but then my hate for going out in the cold usually leaves us on the couch talking about doing something and herding children most of the day. I do have grand plans to make these. I can't wait.

Hope you're being more productive.

Go see Jen for a million more.

Snow Night

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22 February 2013

the thing that I was certain would never happen ever ever happened last night: Simon had a snow day (night ... ) because of the weather. Apparently the roads were terrible and some of them were even closed but people were having no problem speeeeeding down our little street all evening long so I'll never really know. Of course he had to go in today to relieve the day team that worked overnight but it's a nice change to not feel like death crawling to the microwave for a 30 second zap after a night of 30 stilted minutes of petrified sleep.

What did we do? All things crazy. Made and ate chocolate covered pretzels for dinner, asked Julia to say things like "lion" "laundry" and "look" because she cannot say her L's for the wife of her and we are woving parents. We watched the Downton finale and while the internet had already spoiled it for me - Simon had no idea and kept guessing that Edith committed suicide or that someone accidentally dropped Baby Sybil (if only it were something so trivial ....). The roads are perfectly fine today which is a relief because we are out of all the essentials: bananas, chicken nuggets, yogurt, small diapers, and a breath or 89 of notinsidethisconfoundedhouse air. After I touch up my nail polish (the color of "purpow chocwet" according to J) we'll be making the trek to my favorite warehouse because we can only live on peanut butter on tortilla and peanut butter on spoon for so long.


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20 February 2013

1. Tossed him in
2. Grandma's mascara done right and a giant teacup

3. after a long night of work for one and a long night of awake for the other
4. Serene whilst driving Bash on dry land crazy with bath time jealousy

5. she didn't get that volume from her mom
6. 3 weeks vs. 4 weeks (comparing kids and finding fancy fonts are hobbies of mine)

7. the big kids are down ... PARDY
8. happy x 1.5

9. taking a break from his futile attempts to get out
10. fresh

11. I don't see the neighbors often but when I do ... I make sure I'm rocking my moose pants and housecoat
12. "is? is? is? is? is? is? is?" (new word, no clue)

13. cheer up
14. practice eventually made almost perfect

15. menace and mom.
16. NOPE.

7 weeks vs. 7 weeks

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18 February 2013

(same onesie, same swing, same parents, and same instafilter ... not the same pants because I am an organizational notnut when it comes to baby clothes)

What I Wore Sunday: Baptism Edition

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17 February 2013

Oh, the silhouette of this dress? It's called "empire-waisted bell" and it flatters approximately no one.

Do baptisms seriously stress anyone else out or am I the only crazycake that makes an Everest out of a speedbump? I can never find the gown (in the heating vent this time ... thank you, dear Sebastian) until the 11th hour, Mom's still in that terrible in-between clothing/swollen face stage, there's the worry that the baby be attacked by a case of the audible hangries during the blessed event, the heathen should probably be bathed prior to the big day, and "coffee and donuts at our house afterward" turns into a stupidly early wake up to make a mediocre breakfast casserole + failed (but time consuming) cinnamon rolls + we might not have enough orange juice, and the more you want to focus on the sacrame- we definitely don't have enough orange juice - distractions consume and consume some more.

They even get the best of Simon Stressed Never Patton. By the time the homily rolled around, he had leaned over and asked, "how is this going to work?" three separate times because the thought of heaving all three kids up to the altar in the middle of Mass must've not exactly screamed, "feasible" to Mr. Worrynot.

Luckily, Mr. Lipless did great ...
while the other kids were okay. Julia didn't didn't freak the freak out when we made her hurriedly march up with only one shoe on, and Sebastian was oddly calm and didn't pull my hair once or let on that he was wearing one white sock and one blue sock.
Theo's godparents are super skilled in all parenting arenas and trained their three other children to quietly stay in the pew with their shoes on ... we're hoping they give us lessons ... soon. They also saved us from an orange juice famine and brought champagne. Best of the best.

All that worry for almost nothing and we've got a shiny new Christian on our hands. I would ask for an Alleluia but .... tis not the season.

it's not about Mom but ...
dress - Goodwill (altered)
plums - Kohl's
shoes - c/o Blowfish

Mass Behavior:
Julia - B
Sebastian - B
Theo - A

Linking up with FLAP .... like always.

Love, Theodore

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15 February 2013

7 Quick Takes

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14 February 2013

Joining Jen as I always, always do. You should too.

1. Let's just start things off with an honest to goodness photo filler:
Theo fake smiling at Julia who is tucking him in for a nap (that he was obviously on board with) only to have Sebastian come up .3 seconds later and rip both cotton candy covers right off and out from under his person.

2. Let's talk S. Lowe. I don't even need to say it ... praise the good Lord that Tierra the Tierrable is gone because she was insane. I'll never not crack a little smile when I think of her sparkle outburst though. What a gem. My favorite of the remaining four is Catherine but she seems to have approximately zero confidence in herself or her "connection" with Seany. So ... I'll be shocked if she makes it to the most dramatic season finale of the Bachelor YET. You know my favorite funny lady Jones wrote a hilarious recap ... as she tends to do. AND ... taking my obsession with the edification station to a whole new level .. I recently discovered Sean's sister's blog. Enjoy that as well.

3. How was your Valentine's Day? The highlight for me was visiting Simon at work and after repeatedly warning her not to ... discovering that Julia ate the entirety of a packet of pepper.
paper included.
What's that, J? I'm trying so hard to channel my inner Care Bear but .... it's tough/impossible.

4. Did you enter the Happy Baby Wrap giveaway? I hope so.

5. We found a runaway dog named Daisy this morning and before the owner came flying down the street in her Volvo to pick her up, the kids enjoyed some time with her.
Sebastian was so overcome with emotion that he broke out into a series of speed squats.

6. And of course we can't forget about Baby Theo. This might win the prize for most enthralling Vimeo ever. Ever.

7. If you're an NFPer and have a quick second, Heidi asked that I share this survey with you. It's just 10 fast questions and will help her parish determine the best way to go about starting up an NFP outreach program that can eventually be taken to the diocesan level. Your participation is greatly appreciated! Danke.

Go see Jen and the gang for more more more. 


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