Simon Says

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30 April 2013

Let's take the kids to the park and take a selfie. We can call it "responsible parenting".

After changing an especially pungent diaper Simon said, "this is exactly like living with glorified barnyard animals."

In response to me asking if he needed anything at the grocery store, Simon didn't skip a beat and said, "maybe pick up some 5 Hour Good Mood for yourself."

Before coming home from work on Sunday night Simon asked if I wanted anything from the cafeteria and before I could respond he added, "and I'm sorry but they do not sell vodka."

While on a walk someone asked if the kids were triplets and Simon (quietly) replied as we walked away, "they are! The two big ones ate the little one's placenta in utero hence the insane size discrepancy."

Upon being jolted awake by the (sort of! loud) alarm on my phone one morning, Simon grumbled, "I didn't realize I was sleeping with Helen Keller."

weekendy things

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28 April 2013

1. I just want someone with a matching vernacular to play with me.
2. Lamb Sandwich
3. and that will cost you one 4 minute almost quiet shower, Mom

The weekend's not over yet, unfortunately. I'm standing here in my running stuffs listening to Julia standing on the dining room table and open bag after bag after bag after bag of fruit snacks and frow them at Sebastian who is being contained in the high chair where he just washed his hair with almond milk. Simon should be home soon and I'll wave as I trot off into the quiet. I hope he hears this post from the hospital. You'd think we'd get better at these call weekends but I seem to have only regressed in maturity levels when it comes to dealing with them. In lieu of one of my usual tirades about how it all went down I'll break it down into fancy numbers with complaints and maybe a few nice things just to keep you on your toes ...


1. If you accidentally leave the bathroom door open ONE time Sebastian will slither in and chew on a razor. Lots of blood but no tears. This really solidified my diagnosis that he is a normal human being.

2. House of Cards is a really good show. Really good. I love it. It's always fun seeing shows/movies set in DC because I used to work on the Hill (where the most important thing I ever did was ask Newt Gingrich how to spell his name - which is when my career really took off) and I think the glitz and glam is a little over the top but it's a genuinly entertaining show. All thumbs way up.

3. There is a little boy living in St. Louis named Billy Bob and he along with the entire population of the city were at the Chick-Fil-A playground last night.

4. Saint Louis still thinks it's January. It's supposed to be nice this week - I'll believe it when I'm out running and the kids aren't dressed like Eskimos.

5. If you leave an event early before the dancing starts they will play Thrift Shop as soon as you leave. So many bad words.

6. If you leave a pot of water boiling on the stove long enough it will eventually evaporate and FILL the house with smoke. I mean - I knew this but now I KNOW it. You know?

4. Theo's just happy to get the ceiling's attention sometimes.
5. after Bash swept the carpet - he styled my feet.
6a. Friday night before Simon turned back into a work pumpkin
6b. Saturday night after Mass - Julia looks 5-years-old. Also, my name is Mom.

the Juice, the whole Juice, and nothing but the Juice so help me Hungry

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Ever since the moratorium on iodine in my diet was lifted a few weeks ago I have to be honest in admitting that I've been going a LITTLE crazy with my dairy + all bad food intake. I'm sure I'm not unlike most normal humans in that my diet greatly affects how I feel. I've just felt kind of bleh - and to try to distract the bleh-ness I would throw back another mindless handful or three of chocolate chips and wonder why I felt slumpy the rest of the afternoon. I needed to hit some sort of reset button but didn't want to do the 21 day sugar detox because 21 days sounds like an eternity.

So! The awesome people at Skinny Limits in Austin, Texas sent me their three day juice cleanse to try. I really enjoyed the one day cleanse I did several weeks ago and was curious to try and see if I could make it for three whole days. Here's how it went down ...

The cooler of juice arrived on Tuesday morning and each bottle lists the ingredients in each juice ...

They included a detailed sheet of tips for success that I was able to read before my 18-month-old Mr. Clean promptly threw it away. I was so happy I read the the sheet because I think it helped me to (mostly! I'll get to that) not cheat.

- drink each juice within 5 minutes of opening and don't nurse it until it's time to drink the next one (true!! So true ... could tell a huge difference if I accidentally went the nursing route)
- drink the last juice 2-3 hours before going to bed (did! and wasn't hungry before bed or when I woke up - awesome)
- drink a cup of hot water and lemon in the morning (drank tea instead - no lemon juice in this house - what kind of kitchen runner am I?)
- drink them in order
- drink a juice every 2.5-3 hours 

- binge eat the night before (um, I did have some cookies -- I didn't die the first day but I didn't feel awesome)
- binge eat the day after (!!!!!!!!!!! seriously, you'll feel like death if you do)
- eat at all during the 3 days, if possible (I did have some bites of avocado when feeding the kids - totally on accident - promise)
- listen to your husband when he tells you no one will know if you cheat
- work out like a crazy person (which I took to not work out at all because I'm a real go getter)

the Nit and Grit:
Okay ... Simon thought I was out of my mind when he found out that there is no eating involved in juice cleansing. I was really surprised that I didn't mind the no eating because I'm a big grazer/snacker/eat all the timer. I think the big difference from the one day cleanse I did was that I genuinely liked the taste of all of these juices. They all tasted good (although the Scorpion Lemonade wasn't my favorite only because I don't like cayenne pepper at ALL) and I didn't have to psyche myself up to choke them down. They were sweet enough to satisfy my (super) sweet tooth but didn't give me that sugar high that I'd grown so accustomed to. The last drink of the day was REALLY good and I will consider my life to be a great success if I can figure out a way to make that bad boy with my own two hands.   

I was a little more irritable than I normally am but I can't blame the juices 100% because I'm always a pleasure to be around in the week leading up to a call weekend. I didn't get any crazy headaches but I did feel a little loopy occasionally. I did have a few weird energy bursts and did some out of character things like clean some mirrors, clean the bathroom, and fold a bunch of laundry. I get really bad insomnia and Sebastian always wakes up around 5 every morning and I usually can't get back to sleep after he goes back down but I actually fell back to sleep this week which made a huge difference in my energy level and level of tolerance for toddler squabbles throughout the day.

Drinking the last juice ...

(just for kicks I also went on shower strike during the cleanse - hence my appearance here. forgive a Grace)

Would I do it again? Yes! I felt great the last two days especially. I didn't love watch Simon eat when he was home and it was REALLY hard to pass up the Kettle Corn samples at Costco. I had a weird hankering for a Dorito the first day but after that most junky food sounded repulsive. They really recommend easing back into food on the first day with fruits and vegetables. I made a salad (ahem - mango salsa on spinach - I know, I know, I know - yum), and ate mostly fruit and veggies the rest of the day up until I made some lethal mistakes. I pre-gamed before Simon's work dinner and had a mini bottle of wine and then I had another glass of wine at the dinner along with an entire steak.


I spent almost the entire night cursing myself and my stupid decisions. I felt fine the next day and wasn't even tempted by the cherry frosted Pop-Tarts (my FAVORITE) that Simon brought home from work. I was shocked when I especially missed the juice (apple, kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, parsley, and lemon) that I drank three times a day. My idea of a healthy juice drink is a sugary Naked juice so this was pretty crazy. Everything tasted so fresh (um, duh) and even a smoothie didn't quite satiate my craving for something sort of similar. It's been so nice not experiencing the all too familiar sugar highs, crashes, and lows of the old Grace. I'm hopeful that I can steer mostly clear of junk, junk, and, junk from here on out. Oh! And my skin felt really soft - a first since birth.

Now ... I'm tempted to get crazy and try a six day cleanse. Has anyone done one? Am I woman enough? 

A big thank you to Skinny Limits for sending the goods - my blood sugar is forever grateful.

7 Quick Takes

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26 April 2013

Joining Jen who is back home with el bebe and the rest of her brood. Thank goodness.

1. I just put the kids down for their naps BUT first I had to do the traditional purple fuzzy blankie hunt for Sebastian. Julia's aren't allowed out of her crib because ... I'm mean and hating looking for blankies. I looked and I looked and I looked ... normally Sebastian can find it but today he just gave me the blank stare and was happy to stay perched delicately on my hip while I climbed up and down all the stairs looking and looking and looking and looking. And then my prayers and curses paid off and I FINALLY I found it!

In the toilet in the locked bathroom.  Little Houdini.

2. On another Sebastian note ... he can be ANYWHERE in the house ... ANYWHERE at all (you understand that I said anywhere, right?) but as soon as he hears me changing a diaper (the side tab noises? I don't know) he comes bounding over to throw the diaper away. Nothing brings him greater pleasure than to dispose of a diaper. I don't worry about him at all.

3. Julia has recently gotten into princesses lately? We've never seen a Disney movie (I'm not opposed ... we really need to broaden our stupid Dora horizons) and she doesn't specify the princess but one time she asked me if I looked like a princess and I couldn't burst her bubble so I lied and said, "yes, I do." Anyway, I ordered a shirt from this cool shop and Jude's wife Alisha (pregnant with a boy named Simon!) threw in this adorable crown that she made. I won't stop pestering her until she starts selling them online because I've hung my crafting hat up until Theo is a little older and they would make the best gifts.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair.

Whenever Bash puts it on Julia calls him a king which is very ironic considering the nature of their usually somewhat caustic relationship. I tried to get a pic but ... you know ...

(that is the shirt though ... and it's awesome ... feels like it's been washed a million times already so it's soft and perfect and if I'm not careful I might just pen an ode to my patriotic shirt)

Again ...

you get the point. He looks like a king.

4. Okay so I'm going against my better judgement and sharing this story. Simon and I joined another couple and went to a Josh Ritter show last weekend. It was kind of crowded and we were standing toward the back and I was holding a mostly full drink when whuh-ham - the girl next to me with the giant purse with spikes (why are those in? I know I'm 80 but I don't get the spikes) knocked my drink out of my hand with said spiked luggage. The drink fell and spilled and I'm not exaggerating when I say that a FEW drops splashed onto her pants. Okay ... keep in mind we were thisclosetogether ... actually let me get the pic off my phone ...

(and that is Josh on stage who was great and smiled the whole time while singing -- man's got talent)

so she turned to the two guys she was with and went on and on and on and ON about what a b I was for spilling my drink all over her pants and not apologizing. She went on for an entire song. It took a lot of will power not to tap tap tap on her shoulder and say something ridiculous. I reminded myself that I had three children at home and a cat fight probably wasn't the classiest way to lose an eye. Anyway, Simon brought it up as we were cruising home in the minivan and Simon isn't a drama queen like I am so .... are you nodding off? And on the VERY off chance that Spikes is reading ... I forgive you.

(before we left ... Simon's holding me back)

5. Happy Happy Birthday to Kayla!!

6. Simon is on call this weekend but he gets a few hours off this evening to attend the annual awards dinner for the OB-GYN department (I think it's an awards dinner?). I'm wondering how many people would notice if I wore the exact same thing I wore last year? Probably no one. (please note that the weather warranted NO COAT last year - not the case today)

7. And because Simon is on this weekend I wasn't in the rosiest mood this morning because I hate (to put it mildly) call weekends but Bridget sent me this little day brightener and because I'm not shallow at all ... I was so happy she did.

(ps if there is anything NOTSCARY on Hulu notplus or Netflix that you loved ... I'm all wide awake eyes)

the day that below average built

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25 April 2013

Our internet keeps going out so if this gets posted it will be a 1/2 miracle.

I wish the internet going out didn't ruin my day as much as it does but it really ruins it. I know, internet cessation classes are all the rage but ... not for me right now. (Although I don't think I knew the extent of my addiction until the robot lady prerecorded help BS with the internet company asked, "a series of questions" ending in, "and has your modem ever worked?" at which point I covered Sebastian's ears and let Soothing Voice have it.)

Okay, so today! Not great. Wow, that Grace - she really only blogs about her bad days. Well, you got me.

And really? Does she need to post SO many pictures of her kids?

1. Julia put lipstick on to go to Costco because that's what we ladies do around here.
2. laugh-cry because I stopped doing jumping jacks ... his favorite thing to watch and try to emulate with forearm flaps
3. I walked out to dispose of a diaper (is that all I do ever? I'll never tell) and came back to the corpse of Theo content with his fitting from our resident cobbler, Sebastian

Okay, so it wasn't terrible but Julia. Ohhhhhh, Julia. I guess I never realized how pleasant she was until she became the person she is today. Former Julia was mostly fun with splashes of really awful and now she is mostly really awful with glimmers of, "oh, did she stop growling for a second? that felt nice." I think she still isn't feeling well (ha! says the mom of the bratty two year old) even though she hasn't had a fever for a few days and I'm hoping she snaps out of right quick or else I might be seeking employment somewhere else. Not funny because I'm not joking. Simon thinks she is maybe experiencing a touch of early onset PMS. Also, not funny because he wasn't joking.

Sebastian spilled a bag of flour ... I was too frustrated to even take a picture which is very frustrated because we all know I love a "kids making messes!!! this is awful!!" photo op. He does this thing right before he knows he's going to get caught where he speed works. In this case after he was spotted he grabbed three more rapid fire handfuls of flour out to throw into the floor vent and onto Julia's precious Dora socks (which she thought was about hilarious as you can imagine: n-o-t). Anyway, I know I need a pantry lock. I'll get on it.

Let me send you off to happier pastures via the Internet ....

I kind of bet you've already ready Dwija's post, "NFP doesn't work. You have so many kids!" but it's good. The internet is teeming with NFP posts but this is a really good one.

Also, I kind of bet you've seen Anna's new design but look how pretty and polished it is!

Another one you've probably already seen ... Hallie's Five Favorites (and ALL the linkers!) ... always a mood lifter.

And I'm starting to read more (fine, I recently read two books and now I think I can put "avid reader" under hobbies on my resume) but Jen recommends five books over here. Again, I'm sure you've seen it.

Anyway - if you hear about a St. Louis internet technician that escaped near death by way of a frazzled housespouse ... you'll know he came in and woke up all three kids. Beware, Justin.

(oh, and his hair is thinning. Just what this stage mom needs.)

Open to Interpretation

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My pick this veek ...

Here's my interpretion ...

(it's called magic, pretend to be impressed)

I don't know why but I just can't pull off the Sporty Spice look via footwear which is why it was super smart of me to pick the photo inspiration (people hate when other people type, "inspo" right? I thought maybe) that I did. It was pouring freezing rain (because this is the spring that ISN'T) when I took this picture so the hat serves as my face umbrella and my splash of sporty. And I don't have to tell you that I wore this outfit outside the house for about 6 seconds to dispose of some diapers that turned out to be real treasures. It was a happy funeral.

I've been looking for a baseball cap that isn't going to set me back a million dollars or commit me to any sort of athletic situation (a 5K I'll never run, a team I know nothing about, etc) and I found this lacey number at Forever XXI for $5.00 and there went the rest of my gift card from the Christmas of 2011. Also, I wasn't exactly sure what to wear these red clogs with without looking too Christmasy or 4th of Julyesque but I think I found a winning combo that will be perfect for Valentine's Days in our future home: the tropics.

Shirt: Forever XXI
kidney beans: Target
clogs: Moheda c/o
hat: Forever XXI

Now head on over to see how Kayla and Erica did. They never disappoint unlike someone I know.

So you want to start a blog ...

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24 April 2013

I know very little about blogging. VERY LITTLE. But in an effort to steer you down a wildly successful (WINK!!!!! please catch my joke drift) path .. here we GO.

Step into my office. I'm open from 1pm - 3:30ish most days of the week.

This doesn't mean I think I'm a successful blogger! I don't have thousands of followers like so many other blogs do and I wouldn't classify myself as a work-at-home mom because of the blog or anything like that but I love blogging and I think it's a great outlet for a whole host of reasons. So! I want to share my journey with you. If you think I typed that last sentence seriously ... Hi, My name is Grace and I hate the words share and journey used in that context. So, that sentence was just a dumb joke that is now over. (I'm on day two of a three day juice cleanse that I will write about in a few days but I think it's making me sober-tipsy so excuse my poor attempts at humor - this entire post is probably a stupid idea and I'll blame the juice.)

1. Pick a host. I use Blogger but I think Wordpress is a lot prettier. I guest posted on a Wordpress blog a few years ago and when I got "behind the scenes" of the post I felt like I was on the fanciest and most frustrating rocketship ever. I'm just used to Blogger. I'm sure I could easily adapt to Wordpress but I don't want to switch so I'm not going to.

2. Get a domain. So I used to run with which was some latin something that made sense at the time but I eventually switched to to match the name of the blog. It's $10 a year on and it's worth it. Dwija advises that you match the name of your blog with your domain name and I think that she is a genius. Do it.

3. TURN OFF WORD VERIFICATION. I don't care if you get spam. I check my email so many times a day and more times than not some spambot has told me what a great site I have here and that it looks like like his old blog and would I please check out his watch store? Delete. Who cares. Word Verification screams .. it SCREAMS, "PLEASE don't comment on my blog!!!!!!!!!!!" When I host or co-host linkups I REALLY try to go check out a good chunk of the posts and about 94% of the blogs have word verification and well ... no comment for you or you or you or you. Turn it OFF. And here's how.

4. Express yourself/Copycat with Caution Sing it. No, I kid. I know everyone says this when they write posts like this but it's true. Just because your favorite blogger posted about ... I don't know ... the lint in their toenail crevices accompanied by a heavily filtered photo of their pigs doesn't mean you have to do the same. You can! And if it's such a specific emulation (that's a stretch of a euphemism for COPY) then maybe throw them a little link credit? Obviously blog posts aren't copyrighted because they are silly blogs and anysillyone can start one but don't feel like you have to fit any sort of mold. I went through a (and I cringe now. I cringe just typing it) phase of altering thrift store clothes almost every single day. I still wear a lot of the clothes and it was a lot of fun but I read a LOT of sewing/fashion blogs then and thought that that was what was WHAT. [A few weeks ago I walked downstairs to find Sebastian SCREAMING in pain and I couldn't figure out what the deal was until I inspected very closely and saw that he had wrapped a spool of thread around his neck 48 times VERY tightly ... I won't say he nearly decapitated himself but it was no good so my sewing stuff is up and away for now which I don't love but I have a few things I want to fix so maybe I'll risk it during naps one day soon] Anyway, I bristled when people (my family actually mostly my brother) called this a "mommy blog" but I had to be honest with myself in that if I was going to be writing about poop 5+ times a week I should probably just own it. I prefer mom blog and I think some people call mom blogs "lifestyle" blogs but I'm not above the mommy even though Julia usually calls me "Gwace!! Where ARE you??!!"

5. Social Media. I love having a Facebook page and I'm starting to like Twitter more. They aren't necessary but I strongly recommend a Facebook page (but I don't put my posts on my Grace Patton page because I don't know .. I just don't). I've read "social media is here to stay!" more times than I've driven to the hospital to visit Simon which is a lot of times so ... don't be scared.

6. Engage. Figure out how to respond to comments via email and respond to your comments that have their email attached to their name. I know I do a horrible job of responding to comments IN the comment section but I have a long list of things I plan on improving and that is near the top. 

7. Pictures. I probably overdo it with the pictures. I think I'm trying to make up for my writing inadequacies? I don't know but I like posting with pictures and I like reading posts with pictures. I have no idea if I'm a visual learner and I do read (a few!) blogs that never have pictures so don't classify me as a total dunce. I know they are a lot of work but I think it's worth the effort. I also think it is FREEZING outside at 49 degrees so ... you know.

(but this is where I blog during naps)
(someday we'll get fancy with a desk)
(also, Simon calls these my "weirdass pants" and says he can't take me seriously when I'm wearing them and lots of other things that I've conveniently forgotten)

8. Sponsors? Giveaways? What??? Where to even begin? Maybe you don't want to monetize your blog (some people might think of it as 'selling out' and I think of it as 'now I can hire a sitter so that I can sit in the Wendy's parking lot, eat some fries, stare at the steering wheel, and remind myself that residency is a temporary situation') and that is great. Don't! Don't do it if you don't want to. If you are interested in making a little bit of lettuce I will not think you're selling out. Blogging takes a lot of time (a lot!!!!!!) and if you can make some mascara money off of your blog - I think that's great. There are a zillion different ways to go about it. I felt icky about having a "sponsor" tab for a LONG time and I still kind of do but whatever. It's there. I'm sure people might disagree with this but I think it's a good idea to have your stats on the page (I basically copied Bridget). Some people just have options to purchase ads up on their sponsor page without listing how much traffic they get ... whatever you want. Oh my goodness ... who even cares about this? Anyway, email companies (with your stats! don't make them have to go the extra step and ask) you're interested in working with, join Blogher (they are great!), don't accept every offer than comes your way if it's a weird fit for your blog, and just know that we can't all be Cup of Blogging Empress. Have an obvious contact page and I'm stopping now because I really am the novices of all novices when it comes to this. (But really .. I emailed a few bloggers asking their opinions on when to start trying for sponsors - some said 500 followers, some said 1000 followers, some said 100,000 monthly page views and I don't have 1000 followers and I didn't wait until the 100,000 monthly page view mark so go with your gut and follow your heart or something.)

9. Design. I don't have an eye for this but lots of people do! I'm sure anything you come up with will be better and cleaner looking than the field of grass background the Camp was rocking a couple of year ago.

10. It's just a blog! I'm currently listening to No More Monkeys on the Toddler Pandora Radio Station to keep Julia happy while I finish this which is how I know that maybe this post has sucked up too much of my time. I try to only blog during nap times or when Simon is at the hospital on call weekends but emails can bleed into the hours after the kids have gone to bed.

Thanks for reading .... let me know any questions and I'll add them here! ALSO -- OH THANK YOU JULIA FOR YOUR CAPS LOCK HELP.  Also, if I've missed something and you're a seasoned blogger .... hit me with it. Thanks.

One > Three

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23 April 2013

Julia wasn't feeling well this morning ("I havin a tough time" ... "everything just hurts" ... "I have a fever in my tummy" .... )

and so after the 999th emotional meltdown because her blankets touched or Sebastian looked at her blankets or I walked down the stairs too fast I popped her in her crib and told her to please figure it out. Several minutes later I found Sebastian shaking her crib and shrieking in her ear to no avail because she had fallen asleep. This never happens. Please don't think that ever happens. She usually naps in the afternoon but never just falls asleep willy nilly in the morning. So, Theo had just gotten his wiggles out on the living room rug had been tucked into his bouncy seat to sleep and it was just me and Sebastian.

Let me just type that Sebastian is not a clingy kid. Julia is the clingy one and I guess Theo is clingy only because he relies on other humans to get him around these days but Sebastian is happy to sprint around the house, occasionally beg for food, bite Julia or Theo, dance on tables, and be on his jolly way. But today he turned into a clinger. You know that thing kids can do when you try to put them down and they hold their legs up around an imaginary person and refuse to stand or sit down? That. He kept doing that and he has never done that before. So I kept him on my hip as I made him some lunch ... we took some framers ....

and eventually he agreed to sit in his high chair and eat like a civilized toddler - if! and only if! I sat right next to him and made airplane noises and laughed when he did something "funny" (toddler funny is generally not funny in this house ... it is very confusing). If I dared to stray to the kitchen in selfish search of something for myself ... the grunts that can grate against God's ears began in full force.

in between jokes and grunts.

The memories of the summer before Sebastian was born came flooding back and I physically shuddered a little bit. We had just moved to St. Louis and the lonely realities of residency (you're working every single weekend night this month?!) were setting in and it was just me and Julia. I have the most vivid recollection of sitting on the kitchen floor with a just learned how to crawl 10ish month old while picking the yogurt covered Cheerios out of the box and debating going to the store to get another box just to break up the monotony but Julia HATED the car seat so what was the point?

I don't miss that summer.

I would never argue that having three relatively little kids is easy because if you walked into my house right now you would be prompted to remark, "weird, I didn't hear any tornado sirens last night?" before your tact could stop you. I'm fairly certain I saw Simon cower while he ate breakfast as I ogred about after getting up with sick Julia at 10, 11, 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and finally 7 this morning. And I just gave my appearance a once over for the first time all day and am thoroughly confused because I don't remember putting on an outfit that screams: invalid meets Mr. Rogers meets someone that isn't quite committed to a workout but is maybe thinking about it.

What's your point, oh wise veteran mother Grace?

Well! Three kids is much busier, much louder, much more overwhelming, and SO much messier but my little forced date with Sebastian was a good reminder for call weekends and night float months and random Tuesday mornings when I just want to throw my hands up and yell, "my life!! my life is harder than all the lifes!!" (oh .... my path to martyrdom is a rough one) that maybe I should first give a little nod and whisper, "RIP" to the kitchen floor and the cheerful memories of Cheerios past.

(I'm not saying all moms with one child and a husband that works a lot of hours are having a tough time ... maybe I'm a special breed of whine.)

(Also, I know Simcha already basically said this and so much more and she has nine kids)

(And I know a lot of moms cherish special one-on-one time with their kids so I should've put on my grateful spirit t-shirt and run with it but he tried to bite me 33 times over the course of 30 minutes and I can only laugh and gently reprimand that so many times before I'm so very over it.)

Conversations with Julia

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22 April 2013

"I just want to be a baby wike Fee-oh ...."

As you wish.

Trying to take a picture (like never) ...
Grace: can you smile?
Julia: let me see ...
Grace: okay?
Julia: let me just tickle myself for a wittle bit

In the middle of the night she was having the mother of all coughing fits ...
Grace: what's going on, Julia?
Julia: I just have the chokes.

Watching the neighbor girl in her driveway from our post on the deck
Julia: What's going on down dare?!
Julia: You wook so cute!!

Hugging my bare and unshaven legs ...
Julia: ouch!!
Grace: what?
Julia: your legs are sharp!
Julia: Dare sharp wike knives!!

Taylor Swift's I Knew You Were Trouble comes on Pandora ..
Julia: oh!! Dis is my SONG.

A wordless slow violiny jam comes on Pandora ...
Julia: oh, I not wike this one. Dis is Bash's song.

Cut (hardly!) her gums from falling in the basement ...
Julia: (between sobs) I just need a kiss
Grace: okay (kisses cheek)
Julia: no! A kiss on my tongue!!
Grace: maybe later

Heard a crash come from the basement ...
Grace: Julia, are you being bad?
Julia: Yes, I are!!

In the car when a song comes on ...
Julia: Who sings this?
Grace: umm I think maybe Gwen Stefani
Julia: No, I think it's Pink

Watching me change Sebastian's bomb ...
Julia: um, I think he ate some chocwate cake

Watching me change into run/walking gear
Julia: Is that your belly button?
Grace: Yep
Julia: And those are your other belly buttons??
Grace: go find something else to do please

Taking another (rare) picture ...
Grace: Can you smile, please?

Julia: I are smiling.
Grace: Okay.

What I Wore Sunday

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21 April 2013

(linking up with FLAP, you should do the same!) 

1. Simon asked if that was a position I assumed naturally in everyday life
2. which made me laugh like a horse because he was right on the lettuce - no.
3. ah! immodesty hole in my t-shirt

I've always had a knack for dressing inappropriately for the weather (my blog that will talk solely about the weather should be up and running soon ... in the mean time I still need to talk about it because it makes me really angry) and this morning was no different. Even though it is basically May which is basically the middle of summer it was still a frozen tundra this morning but we were running late (uncharacteristically, of course) so I had to brave the conditions in my casual corner on top + prairie mom on the bottom. It was warm in time for the FLAP shoot but still ... this weather is driving me to threaten to drink. By the time August and its 111 degree temperatures roll around I'll be donning leopard mink and fleece lined platform sneaks but right now I just want to wear dresses that spur me to ask Simon, "is this too short?" and he pauses for a long time and says, "do you think it's too short?" which means, "um yes but please don't spiral your annoyance at me" which doesn't matter because I leave the confines of our house .......... never.

What else? Nothing.

Prairie wear:
shirt: (poorly altered by guess who?) American Apparel
skirt: Target
clogs: Moheda c/o

Mass Grades:
Julia: C+ only because we brought her security blanket because she was running a fever and I recently had, "sucker" inked onto my ribcage
Bash: D which really should be an F but sympathy points because his request for a handshake from the priest was ignored as we walked out
Theo: A+ sat pretty in his car seat the entire time

And now for some photos and captions from this afternoon because this is a blog and that's what blogs do (other than post deep and introspective outfit photos that you care about deeply, I'm sure) ...

1. I asked Julia who dressed her in that sweet little getup? Her answer, "um, just my Simon."
2. I think Julia told me 48 times in a row that Sebastian had "poopy on his fay-yace!!" and I think Sebastian stood just like that for the entirety of her tattling tirade.
3. I have no idea what they're doing here but I can guarantee it's nothing my yardwork skillset can handle.
4. He gets his smile from his smiley mother.
5. While we were all outside toiling carrot top was inside chatting with the ceiling fan turned to still as a statue setting. Spoiled.

Have a tolerable afternoon.

7 Quick Takes Friday

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19 April 2013

Guest hosting for Jen once again! I communicated with her via text message around 9pm St. Louis Standard time and she was set to take sweet JT home in one hour. I'm sure this isn't late breaking news but I'm reporting anyway. I'm sure she could still use our prayers as we all know new babies in houses are wonderful but the transition can be ... let's go with interesting. But Transition > NICU, I'm sure. Let's all hope and pray that the homecoming went smoothly!! (update: they're HOME!!!!!)

1. I tried to play it cool when she asked me but I think I set a new exclamation point record in my email saying that I'd love to host again. And I think I probably misspelled my complicated multisyllabic first name for the first time since never because I was SO!! Excited!!!

2. I'm almost 100% sure you've seen the Dove Beauty sketches YouTube floating ALL over the e-world. You have, I know it. But have you seen the men's version ...

(thank you Ashley!!)

3. Oh, here's a sketch a street artist drew of me in Chicago in 2006 ...

I'm sure he went on to do some great things in the caricature world.

4. A clip of the two eldest Patton males ... (the reason I sound wenchy is because the pants he is holding are saturated in Julia's urine)

5. Simon watched the kids the other morning while I went and froze my fingers off in an adequately air conditioned Starbucks and surfed the Internet, answered some emails, and became addicted to going to Starbucks alone with a computer. Anyway, he sent these three photos to assure me that everything was going just fine at home ...

a. it's not bleeding, don't worry (BashDracula got to Julia's back)
b. having fun!
c. Julia's about to tear his face off (for being super OCD about keeping her Dora plate free of any food debris between meals she keeps her crib really messy and yes she notices if I remove a single piece of little paper)

6. One of my good friend's (Hi Colleen without a blog!) brother's wife, Regina, who also has three kids under three just started a stellar blog and I think you'll love it. Head on ova ...

7. Have a nice weekend. We're going to see Josh Ritter ... I've been trying to listen to his music on Pandora as much as possible so I'm a prepared listener but I'm wondering if he'd humor a little Thrift Shop request?

8. Most importantly: I just woke up to read about the nightmare going on in Boston and surrounding areas ... I know I join many of you in praying for everyone involved. 

Oh! And since Kelly asked so nicely last week - I got permission from the Boss to do reverse order linkage. Enjoy.

April 17, 2013

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18 April 2013

(Does that title ring any Sublime song title bells or am I crazy? I know. I crazy.)

 Yesterday circa 2:15 in the pm ...

Let's rewind a few hot minutes. I started getting the troops ready to go to Costco around 9:00 yesterday morning and we finally sailed out of the driveway at an impressive 11:58 am. The trip went relatively smoothly, there were samples galore, and the timing worked well to meet Simon for lunch. I managed to walk out pushing the cart and juggling three hot dog + soda combos while coaching Julia to NOT let go of her beloved receipt with the smiley faces because last time the wind whipped it out of her paws she had one of her more impressive emotional breakdowns. Indiana Jones does Costco? Yawn.

We met Simon and ate outside the hospital because it was 80 degrees for the first time in St. Louis in the year 2013. The kids managed to find the only small body of water within a 100 yard radius and soak much of their clothing but who cared? It was finally not freezing and my heart was starting to thaw from it's long and strong dislike for St. Louis. We got home and I mapped out a brilliant plan to avoid dying while trying to haul in the goods while fighting Sebastian to stay inside AND avoid our super chatty neighbor that can sniff out an ear faster than you can say, "selfish with my time". Clap clap!! I left the kids in the car and sprinted in and out of the house hauling groceries in and throwing them in their proper refrigerated receptacles before I went to retrieve my young. I should've been more suspicious that Sebastian was happy to just sit in his car seat while Julia performed elaborate gymnastic routines all over the seats because he normally goes into caged animal mode as soon as I park the van. I unbuckled him and he slid down and I saw the dirty damage ...

I started praying via momchant, "please don't be poop. please don't be poop. please don't be poop. please don't be poop."

Maybe he stuffed some M&M's in his diaper instead of eating them and they melted just so? Laugh.

"please don't be .... "

I did a cautious close-mouthed inhale.

"..... shit."

Poop in the heat in the car seat and all up his back and down his legs.

I ran him inside and laid him on a dinner napkin (has seen the light of the set dinner table once? will be used never again) and stripped him down praying silent prayers that the chatty neighbor wouldn't catch wind that there were humans outside to chat with and while I was scrubbing poop out of the carpet and wrangling the army of soiled wipes (Simon claimes we have different "wipe philosophies" he uses TWO no matter the damage and I use the appropriate amount which is usually 4-15) when Sebastian snuck-sprinted out of the house in only his socks. Luckily, Julia had triple back-flipped her way out of the van and had started picking the blooms off the the tulips (?? my thumbs are the color of pigment) and Sebastian decided to join her and not play j-chicken with the cars driving by.

I ushered the big kids inside and rescued poor abandoned Theodore from the car and here we were.

... fighting over whether or not they'd get to eat strawberries before naps.

(I won)

And this was a good day.

And today?

I knew you were curious. Today is a bad day because it's pouring rain and I could've sworn I saw the kitchen walls taunting me as they closed in a little tighter to get a better look at World War III: Julia vs. Sebastian over the only sippy cup they both seem to like because they hate me. Sebastian hit Theo in the face with a metal measuring cup right after he bit Julia really hard for the infinityieth time, and when I lost my cool in the face of the zillionth sippy battle Julia told me, "it's not your fault" which made me feel really mom-of-the universe-y.

Oh, I know we all have our days and I'll have a million more but TAKE ME BACK to the sunshine and shit.

My Five Favorite Things

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17 April 2013

for today anyway.

Linking up with Hallie and the crew. She's sharing a whole wealth of knowledge on pregnancy supplements (and she just sainted herself in my book via her SIXTH natty birth) so if you're currently in the pregnancy boat ... go.

And here are my useless contributions ...

1. New blog design!! Jenna did a stellar job redesigning the Campsite (cringe, Grace. Sorry). I obviously have an eye for design (laugh - see the collage above) but don't have the FIRST clue about HTML and graphics etc. Anyway, Jenna is currently looking to grow her graphic design business so she's offering blog redesigns at super discounted rates. If you're in the market to beautify your blog ... I highly recommend you contact her before her discounted spaces fill up. She has a great document that you fill out and give your likes and dislikes etc. and then she comes up with a design ... tweaks what you'd like tweaked and installs it in a matter of minutes. Amazing.

2. L'Oreal Studio Secrets Magic B.B. Cream: Natalie sang the praises of this cheap B.B. cream and I echo her infatuation with the stuff. It comes out all white and pasty but then the beads "burst" (I guess?) and it leaves a nice non-cakey layer of pretty on your face. Simon asked if I'd gotten some sun recently and I swear it made me look sun-kissed. That is the last time I will type sun-kissed. I promise. (I use Light which is a step up from Fair ... fyi)

3. Zevia All Natural Soda, Black Cherry: I bought this on a whim which I might regret because I'm already terribly addicted. Unless Simon was lying - he loves it too and he generally won't touch anything sweet unless it's made with refined sugar. Plus, if you order it off of Amazon it comes in "frustration free packaging" which has to be a great thing.

4. Nivea Body Skin Firming Moisturizer, with Q10 Plus Complex: Okay I haven't actually tried this lotion but (a whole different) Natalie swore it actually worked and I believed her and ordered some. I'll let you know if she broke a swear.

5. Popchips Katy's Kettle Corn: I got suckered into buying these at Costco this morning. I LOVE kettle corn and I love Popchips so this was a marriage I couldn't refuse. Julia sucked on a chip for 6 minutes of glorious silence so I think they'll be worth every penny if her obsession continues.

I swear this isn't one of those cheesy end of the post questions but I'm generally curious if you've discovered any gems recently. I'm a maid (matron??) in Simon's sister's wedding in two weeks (!!!!) and I have shoes that would work but if you've seen any champagny heels floating around that don't scream "matronly" but that I won't break two ankles wearing ..... I'm ALL eyes! Simon just told me has has to stay for a c-section so distractions from my annoyance by way of shoes/anything are GREATLY appreciated.

(And be sure to go and see all the other linkers over at Hallie's!)

Surviving Three Under Three

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16 April 2013

And I do mean surviving in the literal sense (and yes I know what literal means). I'm not thriving. Julia was 27 months old when Theo was born but sometimes it feels like she requires more mental energy than both of the younger boys combined. I've had some days that I think will never ever come to an end and the spans of time where someone is not crying (myself included) are much shorter than the teary ones. There is very little regimentation and I recently took up coffee chugging after a really idiotic hiatus. I've just found what mostly works for me and my kids colorful personalities and I really think we're on a very gradual incline in the "getting easier" department. I do! (Rachel's post made me feel a LOT better, too). These aren't suggestions ... these are commandments. That was a joke, lighten up Buttercup.

a. did Julia get hit with an invisible ball?
b. Sebastian has the sweetest smile

1. Accept Mediocrity. The other night I made fried rice with shredded chicken and used quinoa in place of rice (Simon was ecstatic about that substitution). I put ice cubes in two cups of water and Simon and I sat down for 34 seconds before one of the kids needed something. Simon said, "congrats on your first postpartum dinner!" and Theo is 3.5 months old. He was mostly joking but it's mostly true. I've made dinner a handful of times but Simon has stressed 99 times that he'd rather come out to a dinnerless table and a wife that isn't suicidal in the kitchen than dinner and an angry Grace. The house generally looks SORT OF presentable but if you look closely it could use a REALLY good scrubbing. The list goes on and on and on and on and on and on. I read a blog post (how I got there I do not remember) recently stating that the old "chicken nuggets for dinner and I never shower" attitude is getting old and that moms should strive for better. Right now, this is my better and sometimes it involves chicken nuggets for dinner.

2. Thank Your Spouse. I know it annoys a lot of moms when other moms say, "my husband is babysitting the kids" because he's the dad and they are his kids and he should watch them to give Mom a break and it shouldn't be called babysitting!!! Well, true. But! I can count on zero fingers how many times I've finished up my work at home to drive to the hospital to clock in and start getting paged by antsy nurses, placate angry patients, deliver miscarried babies to distraught parents, and intercept frustrated texts from Simon who's at home with the kids. Oh, I know it's not exactly the same but I can't take Simon's help for granted. I know how tough and demanding the kids can be and when he insists I leave the house with no agenda I am eternally grateful.

3. Don't Get Dressed. I know for a lot of moms getting dressed is an essential part of their day and they can't get the day started without suiting up in their non-loungy armor. NOT the case at the Camp. I like to shower every other day, change my comfortable getup and put on tennis shoes. The first weeks and months after having a baby for me getting dressed is hell because it's just an annoying reminder that my clothes still don't fit and I'm stuck in a now familiar limbo between maternity and regular clothing. The limbo will pass but until then I'll stick to stretch pants and t-shirts with a dash of mascara if I'm feeling fancy.

4. Be Short-Sighted. If I wake up thinking about the fact that Simon won't be home till late late or the next morning if he's on call then my mood will start and stay dark all day and all night. If I focus on getting through wake ups and breakfast first then dishwasher unloading then I'm almost setting myself up for success! Then we move onto a little laundry and perhaps some "gather round Theo having some reverse tummy time and watch him smile and don't scratch/hit/bite him". By the time naps roll around I'm generally more than ready for a nice blast of quiet and can regroup before the second half of the game begins before bedtime.

5. Be Grateful. This is a repeat from my super insightful Surviving Two Under Two post because it's important. The kids are difficult but I know how blessed we are to have three healthy kids. We've never had to deal with infertility, miscarriage, or any sort of health scare and we are a lucky bunch. We absolutely cannot count on a single healthy future pregnancy but we can hope and be grateful if and when it/they occur!

6. Have Outlets. My good friend, Ruth, has two kids 11 months apart and she is the lucky recipient of some of my most frustrated emails. She also works from home (!) and hopefully enjoys a nice eye roll at my melodramatic plight but I appreciate her sympathetic eyes and the solidarity she offers. Also, I blog almost every day which is probably a really selfish way to spend nap time after making lunch for myself and quickly picking up the main floor but I can't stay away. Also, this might not fit in here but I always have music playing and I think that makes things less chaotic sounding. Oxymoronic? Maybe.

7. Naps. Both of the big kids go down for naps around 1pm without exception every single day. I commend you moms that are flexible and casual about naps but my sanity and the safety of the children depends on those naps. It took a lot of tweaking to get them to nap at the same time (let Bash sleep for 20 minutes in the morning so he'll still be tired at 1, etc) but it's very necessary.

8. Exercise. Maybe not for everyone but my day is exponentially better if I power through a workout DVD (this is still my current favorite) or take the kids on a walk/run (this has happened twice and I blame the weather 100%). Sometimes I have to pause the DVD 54 times to get through 23 minutes to break up fights or comfort Theo or peel Sebastian off of my thigh but it's worth it. I'm working towards waking up before the kids to do this. It might happen eventually.

9. Leave. With or without the kids. Even though I hate the idea of leaving the house and sometimes I regret going anywhere with the kids it generally does everyone a world of good. Before Theo was born I had a sitter come once a week for a few hours and hopefully we can get that going again because Simon is about to start several months of grueling rotations.

10. Enjoy it. I'm so guilty of just wanting to finally get the Mt. Vesuvius of laundry piles folded after it enjoyed a nice camp on the guest bed for a week or an email responded to instead of enjoying the times when the kids are in pleasant moods. Today I snapped out of a silent tirade to get all the toys picked up off the kitchen floor to hear Julia making Sebastian a pretend cup of blueberries and he didn't respond by biting her but actually entertained her imagination and pretended to eat them for 2 seconds before he laughed and ran away. Yesterday Sebastian didn't wake up hating life and wanted to be held while the other two kids slept. Rarities! But they do happen and Simon says, "sometimes they warm you to your cockles." And I agree - SOMETIMES they do.

If you think I'm being too easy on myself I don't blame you. I'm aware of the vast warehouse for improvement. I'll get there one of these years but in the mean time I'll fake it till I make it like my mother (of seven) always told me to do.

What I Wore Sunday

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15 April 2013

1. topless prop
2. slit eyes, empty pockets, can't lose

Meg sent me Mindy Kaling's book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), (LOVE love love love it) and in one of the chapters she talks about how one of her former bosses is always talking about how stressed out she is ...

A note about me: I do not think stress is a legitimate topic of conversation, in public anyway. No one ever wants to hear how stressed out anyone else is, because most of the time EVERYONE IS STRESSED OUT. Going on and on in detail about how stressed how I am isn't conversation. It'll never lead anywhere. No one is going to say, "Wow, Mindy, you really have it ESPECIALLY bad. I have heard some stories of stress but this just TAKES THE CAKE."

(hopefully she never reads this blog if she feels the same way about whiny moms because ....... )

Anyway, her feelings on stress talk mirror the way I feel when people say they are tired. I'm fairly certain that 98% of the time most parents/people with jobs/the entire world are all really tired so I'm not going to tell you how tired I was yesterday after sleeping zero minutes when Simon was at work on Saturday night. I just don't want you to think I always look high on illegal contraband. The angels sang a song and he was able to sleep for three hours at work so he took the big kids to the park so I could nap but Theo just chuckled and scoffed at that little plan. However, I did climb into our King Double bed around 8:23 last night so my lipz are zipped in the tired department until Simon is on call again next week.

You'll be thrilled to know we hit up our favorite hospital Mass yesterday where the kids acted like caged chimpanzees and there was a priest (in vestments) sitting next to us who didn't add to my stress (just for you, Mindy!) level at all. After Mass the visiting priest announced he was staying in the hospital receiving cancer treatments so that made me feel even better because he's probably not feeling ill at all.

Here's what the older kids wore because you already saw what Theo was swaddled in in the photo above ...

stolen from here and here.

Julia and Dora had matching footwear (c/o my super stylish grandma) and Sebastian threw about 99 tantrums directly after I took that photo.

the stuffs:
shirt: Forever XXI
pants: Old Navy (I want a pair in every color which of COURSE they have)
shoes: Target

kids Mass behavior:
Julia: C- (wanted me to put Theo down in the pew so she could be held because as usual, she 'not wike him')
Bash: F you know that when Simon leans over in between wrestling matches and tells me, "he gets an F!!!" before Mass is even over that his behavior was ..... BAD.
Theo: A- but if he started sleeping through Mass again like a docile little newborn I wouldn't complain.

Linking up with FLAP ... hopefully you were on the ball and did the same yesterday.

Some not terrible things

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14 April 2013

(Call weekend! You know the drill - I rant. Sorry.)

I really, really, really, really, REALLY wanted to title this post, "is eff-bombing residency eff-bombing over yet?" (no, no it is not still 2.3 years to go) to convey my true feelings about today but in an effort to make this a positive space on the Internet - LUH-HI, that is a lie. I don't care to make this a positive space because I think there are plenty of positive spaces on the internet. In an effort to not sound like a raging + ungrateful b I went with the cheeriest title I could think of/recycle from an old post.

Whenever Simon is on call (why is it called "on call" when he's at the hospital the entire time and is rarely able to sleep for more than one 30 minute feline nap? - because all things related to residency make absolutely no sense) after a little bit of time not being on call we generally get into a small to medium fight/spat/tiff. We just do. Whether it's related to a failed attempt at visiting or Grace just being her crazy self it generally happens ... I just didn't expect it to flap its petty wings and fly at 7:45 this morning. It did and it's over but in the middle of my fuming and all three kids waking up in their special moods reserved for when Simon isn't here to help I realized the stupid internet wasn't working. Judge away but a call weekend without internet just won't fly. I have to sleep with Hulu blaring and I really rely on Netflix as my babysitter when I'm busy brooding over petty fights or need to do something without Julia demanding a hug and a kiss (her new thing when she senses I just might be being productive).

So, I called (hate calling but going online wasn't going to work even though I tried) the place and dealt with the she-robot voice for awhile before she started spewing her, "I'm sorry, I didn't quite get that" in response to my barks at the kids for I don't remember - they were being bad - trust me. So finally after persistently demanding, "talk to an agent, TALK to an agent, TALK TO AN AGENT" I eventually talked to a human who saw me through my crisis and as politely as possible observed that I sounded somewhat frustrated and that he was very sorry. Bless him and shame on me.

Anyway, in the midst of unplugging routers and shutting down the computer and plugging the modem back in and making a bottle for Theo WHILE carrying Princess J around I heard a very bad sounding splat and saw this ...

Yes, he is but not right now because I'm trying to talk to this patient man that is probably about to drive out here and throttle me if I say, "um ... which one is the modem again?" one more time.

Also, not pictured are the two eggs that Bash managed to squirrel away and suck down because he is disgusting. Anyway ... that was an introduction (brought to you by my friend brevity) to my short list of semi-sweets because one day maybe I'll graduate to embracing the power of positive thinking.

1. (small) Run: I finally womaned up and took the kids out in the triple jogger alone on an actual run this morning because the weather was finally not reminiscent of Santa's backyard. I couldn't even make it up the hill I used to conquer when I was in my first gag-heavy trimester with Theo and he is now 3.5 months old but ... a millimeter of progress at a time.

2. Theodore Augustine: The other night Theo would not sleep. I got in bed 5-6 times in a row thinking he was all tucked in and ready to rock a goodnight but no. I was frustrated but it dawned on me how good of a bebe he normally is because that sort of thing hasn't happened for a long time. I should probably thank him.

3. Julia's hair: When it's down it's a messy nest of, "why do you keep her hair short?" but when she requests "veggie tails" she almost looks like a normal female toddler whose mother hasn't butchered her locks 4 too many times.

4. the buck stopped at the eggs: I think Sebastian sensed that he had crossed the invisible line of doom with the egg toss and held it together in the disaster department for the rest of the day. He spilled a full cup of water all over himself at the hospital while visiting Simon but .... his problem. Well, he also bit Julia's leg this morning and tonight when I put her pajams on the teeth marks were still very visible but .... her problem.

5. My sister blogged: FINALLY.

6. The weather. I went there. Seasonal Affective Whatever - it affects me and it was gorgeous today. If it snows again Simon and I might need to discuss a long distance marriage and he can visit me and the kids in our new found home: tropical climate.

7. Music: I know it's all over the radio but I still love this.

8. Trickery: Our SUPER DUPER chatty neighbor sensed that I was about to take the trash out so he parked himself in front of our house just as I walked outside this afternoon so I just walked back in through the back door because -- we love you Gene but nap time could not be delayed 34 minutes while we discussed lawn weeds again.

Fiddlesticks. I really thought I could come up with ten things but apparently you can't blog yourself into being an optimist.

Next time! With rose colored spectacles on emoticons and all.


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