the almost proficient parent.

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30 July 2013

Here's the thing about parenting - the second you get a little bit cocky you better be hungry for some humble pie, size extra huge because your kids are going to smell that chin of yours that you're holding so high and they are going to grab it and squeeze it and bring it crashing duh-hown to the ground. If you don't know what I'm talking about ... congratulations! Your kids are better than my kids and would you like to trade broods next Tuesday? because I'm tired.

Welllll I wouldn't say that I was getting cocky .. because hello this entire blog filled to the brim with toddler shenans and big fat parenting flops and I should probably go an entire half day without texting Simon, "these kids want me dead" before I start getting my confidence britches cleaned at the fancy dry cleaners. But this morning I realized we were in a bad way as far as the wipe supply goes and so of course that means ... Costco run.

If you're wondering why in the hellllll I go to Costco so much - wonder no more!! It's because of the big carts that can comfortably fit all three chickens. It's because of the generous samples that entertain 2/3 of the cluckers. And of course ... we drink a lot of almond milk, Theo needs his powder to survive, the kids go through a lot of diapers, and we eat a lot of bananas and avocados and yogurt and frozen fruit. I don't buy everything every week but it's a nice outing and had my former self known I would've ever called a Costco safari a "nice outing" she would've flared her nostrils and said .... "you lie."

So, Costco run. We've been doing it forever and last week we even dined in so really ... ain't no thang. Until we walked in the sliding doors and just as Julia was waving us in with my Costco card that is covered in bite marks that she babysits until we check out and Sebastian followed suit with his empty gift card (he stopped falling for the "and this crumpled up receipt is YOUR Costco card, Bash" trick today ... I expect facial hair tomorrow because these kids and their growing up!) when a kind man came running up behind me all out of breath, "Miss!! you left all of your van doors open .."

Cue silent curses and an awkward laugh and red cheeks as everyone turned to look at the idiot that left NO door unopened and a speed walk back out to the far corner of the lot where I parked but hey! hood and trunk were shut so .... points for a rainy day.

It was a mostly uneventful trip except for the mom that came over to tell me in a LOUD (close - toooooo close, sistermom) whisper lest the elderly couple 9 yards down would hear that, "they're giving out diaper samples - they might even give you two if you ask nicely" and when Sebastian went into a weird pizza comatose state ...

and Julia begged and begged overandoverandoverandover again to go in the "coldy-cakes" room even after we'd made two laps because apparently I keep the kids lives just exciting enough that a freezing room full of produce can be likened to the thrill of a coaster ... roller style. Fine, I'm a thrill seeker too, Little J.

And Theo - the baby that smiles so big and so hard that you can practically hear it from the next room - was crying the saddest + biggest + loudest tears as we walked out because the cashier jostled the cart on accident and Theo's first words just might be, "PTSD - Costco cart jostle - July 30" because I've never seen him so MAD/SAD/SAD.

Ah! and Julia learned a new trick ... the fake sleep.

Not even Bully Bash could get her to break character which is basically a miracle if you've seen them wrastle. It's bad. I know my standards for humor are pretty low these days but I couldn't help but bust out a little smile crack.

Today is the second day of Simon's nice rotation (the crowd roars) so we stopped and ate with him where Bash ate cement by way of a serious trip and Julia picked an illegal amount of planted flowers before we noticed. And Theo stared off into the abyss because he always knows when the older two are putting on enough of a show. He likes his stage to be quiet and lonely so that he might glean every and all attention from his guardians.

So what's the problem? What's the big complaint?

Oh, nothing earth shattering. No. I pulled into the driveway and you know that deeeeeeep breath you take before you have to get kids out of car seats and herd them inside while somehow propping the front door open and sprinting the groceries inside before one of the toddlers escapes down the driveway to the Never Never Land that is the neighbor's ginorm yard? It should be cleansing and charging ... you know? Well today it was pungent. And not just, "oh, there's a diaper that should be put on the priority list" pungent no .... it was more than that, it was more like two priority diapers pungent with a kick. And once I got my crew inside I discovered that the "kick" was actually the missing piece of a trifecta of pungent golden tickets just begging to be unwrapped. Three bombs all secretly set to blow at the same time. Those little shits - fig and lit.

And maybe some people are subconsciously sending their eyes sailing north because doesn't that Grace ever have a good day? Well, yes. She does! Sunday was a good day because Simon and I both got almost three hours of sleep despite the fact that she was manning the homestead and Simon was at work. And even though she woke up thinking, "it's a beautiful day outside and I bet it's going to be crazy at the zoo ... definitely a place to avoid" the Pattons totally ended up at the zoo even after we had to collapse our chariot to get in. It was a good day and today wasn't a bad day. It was a challenging day. Every day is really challenging around here and I know it will be a long time before an entire day passes that one of the kids doesn't do something to shock and exasperate me but that doesn't mean it has to be a bad day. I mean, it's only 4:27 and the smoke alarm battery is dying and beeping and might wake up one of the kids before they are ready to wake up and I'll have dragon breaths and dragon moods to deal with so "bad" is still definitely up for grabs. But! it will probably be okay. Bombs and all.

I told you ... loner + his stage.

Win $100 to Albion Fit

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29 July 2013

and lest you think my life is all posing in parking lots ...

I had the pleasure of holding this skinny little grump while we watched his older siblings hunt "gooses" and any listening grammar nazis ...

"Just come here, yous!!!"

She has perfected her technique. Watch out.

I'll be honest in admitting that I'd love to not be the cliché of a mom that wears her workout clothes all day even though she sometimes doesn't even work out (although if you've ever had the pleasure of lifting Kettlebash then .... you might let me off the "rest days" hook) but I totally am. So you can imagine how my little lycra loving heart burst when Albion Fit sent me these workout pants and this top. What I was not expecting was to love the shirt so much that it is now the first thing I reach for when I dress up in street clothes to go to places like the park. And it will get a tour of Costco tomorrow. It is that comfortable and soft and drapes perfectly and is the perfect length for tucking or not and looks nothing like sweating attire.

But don't let my obsession with the shirt make you think I don't love the pants because I do. I thought I'd never be able to top my favorite Gap G-flex workout pants that I live in during the winter months (which have happily coincided with postpartum months these past 3 years so ... I really love them) but these do. They're not glorified tights like a lot of workout pants can be and don't get any ideas (aka: I'm not pregnant) but the first thing I thought when I slipped these suckers on was how great they'd work as maternity. The waist band is super stretchy but still really supportive. If they make them in black anytime soon I'll be all over them. Or they'll be all over me.

So .. what did you learn? That if you've been on the hunt for the perfect long sleeve shirt ... this is it. And the pants are perfect so if you win you'll want to get those too. Oh! And they carry gorgeous swimsuits too ... this is my favorite.

!Albion Fit is providing a super generous discount code for $20 off any order of $50 or more ... patton20 and it's good through the end of this Friday, August 2nd. Use it!

And onto the rafflechopping ... may the best reader vin.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


puh-park it real good

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27 July 2013

Hey Grace, you know you don't have to blog about every single time you load up the Odyssey and fly the nuthouse ... right?

I know. I know. But at the tail end of five week rotations that have left us feeling like residency is going to just swallow us whole ... clothing, nail polish, faux fur blankies, and ALL (or as Simon says, "we're not going to live through another call weekend") ... I think it will do a Grace some good to look back and read about some times that didn't leave her feeling like the world was out to git her. Because ... the world ... it revolves around her, as we all know.

But really. Yesterday was another one of those days. We were stupidly optimistic that Simon would get out (at the VERY latest) by 6 which isn't too late but considering that he had to wake up to trudge into a 24 hour shift this morn ... it wasn't the most ideal. But! Of course he hadn't even scrubbed for his last surgery at 5 and so another day went down like they usually do. I finally rant-texted a fellow resident's wife (sorry Tory!!!) a straight up novella about the injustice of it alllll and then decide to stop wallowing foronceinmylife. Once. Just once!!

I texted Simon as I loaded the kids in the car that we'd be at the park by the hospital and that hopefully he could meet us. Maybe I added an "xo" so it didn't sound as cold as it could've because my mood -- it was out to bite. Anyway ... you know where this is going ... my favorite place of all time ... the drive-thru. Of course. We flew through Chick-fil-A's gates on the way to the park and enjoyed the 73 degree temp (we drove by a bank en route ... although I am usually pretty big on checking the hourly weather predictions) in the company of virtually no one at the park. No one at the park is HEAVEN if you've ever had the pleasure of going to a park teeming with parents that follow 6 inches behind their capable toddlers and onto the play structures the entire time. If you want to get Simon going - talk to him about these parents. Let the children play! And fall! On the super soft ground that so many playgrounds are padded with these days!

But I yell-digress.

Us. Always us ...

 ^^^ you see this? Right after I snapped this masterpiece the world's biggest drama queen fell over and landed on her HEAD. She popped right up and said "I okay, I just fell a wittle bit." Let the children play.

 ^^^ had we not stopped them they would've pushed their charge right over the loooong drop ... not an ounce of remorse in sight.

^^^ lie and agree with me that my scar is definitely fading. It is, right? Let me just Shallow Hal it for one second.

 ^^^ I'll give you one guess who's the favorite swing pusher ... hint: not the one that doesn't put her back into it.

some highlights:

+ Simon eventually met us (duh) and the kids running across the park to greet him with their grins and shrieks didn't entirely make up for the day but ... maybe 88% of my faith in humanity was restored. 

+ on the way to the park Julia announced that she didn't love me anymore and that she only loved Daddy "because he is cuter" but she thinks that Bash might love me. Maybe.

+ Bash was pushing the empty stroller around and a couple that was walking by hand in hand watched in HORROR as he pushed it (and he quickly followed) right off a one foot drop off into some sand. He was fine but they - they might still be recovering.

+ when Julia is pushed on the swing she reports to be "feeling so much energy" with each push. I can assure you that this can be attributed to something she's seen on Netflix.

+ Bash beg-grunts to get on the swings and .0000001 seconds later he is scrambling to get the hell out of that torture device. He does this an average of 99 times per 30 minute playground visit.

+ Theo loved the swing ... moving or still. He's always been my favorite.

+ Bash fell twice before Simon was able to meet us and he had a bit of bleeding from his lip the second time. He stopped crying 4 seconds after the fall whereas his older sister would still be limping around and requesting that we resurrect a memorial at the site of the fall to recognize the fact that she lived to tell the tale to any that might lend a listening and sympathetic ear.

And that was last night in all of its not terrible glory. Just call me Salvage. Maybe Sal for short.

Seven Quick Takes

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26 July 2013

Linking up with Jen

1. Numero Uno item of business today is to thank you ALL so much for all of your birthday wishes! I've said it 50 times and I'll say it 50 more ... the people that read this ridiculous blog are the very best and the very nicest people and I'm most undeserving of your readership. Thank you thank you thank you!!

2. Okay, realquick becausenoonecaresaboutyourbirthdayasmuchasyouthinktheydo ... I had the best day yesterday as Simon arranged for a sitter to come for four (4!!!!!!!!!) whole hours while I got to read a book with no interruptions and undergo the torture that is: mani + pedi while a gift card to The Beauty Store burned a hole in my pocket because even though our bathroom cabinet is notexactlyempty ... Simon knows I'm a product junkie. We'd never had that particular sitter before and when she texted that "Leo" was napping (100% my fault as I sprinted out of the house before she could change her mind while Julia was showing her the nonexistent but VERY painful booboo on her knee - so she probably had to rely on Julia's articulated speech to figure anything out) I hoped that the kids weren't killing her softly but when I got home the house was sparkling and the kids were happy so ... dream come true. Babysitters take note: if you clean my house while you babysit ... I will love you FOREVER.

3. I will admit that while the kids napped yesterday I found myself aimlessly wandering the house not because I didn't have anything to do (hello dryer of 99 loads of clean laundry) I've gotten in the religious habit of always blogging during that time. Blogaholism is a thing and I've got it bad. BAD. I need to give you guys a breather every once in a while. But ... just as I was wishing that our oven worked so that I could bake (my favorite food of all time) a carrot cake ... the doorbell rang and behold: a package of Carrot Cake Larabars from sweet Hallie. The only problem is that the (picky) kids LOVE them so ... battle of the Pattons whenever I open yet another one.

4. and 5. and 6. because this really deserves its own post

Okay let's talk about a human being that is not memememememememmemememeME.

Emily!! My sister Emily ...

(and before she books it into an Internet cafe and sees this: she's single ... just throwing that out there to the readers with eligible brothers!)

She just finished hiking Camino de Santiago (way of St. James) in Spain. When she told me she was going to do this with her bff+e Chanelle I was like ... well, that's cool. Very cool. And when she texted me a photo of what she would be wearing for said hike ...

... the 90s style catastrophe that was the pants that could zipper off into shorts? I was like hmmmmmm ... are those really necessary?!

But, yes. Because do you know how many MILEZ she hiked with her bff+e Chanelle?

(she's one in from the right and Chanelle is on the far right)


Holy Curse.

If you're not familiar with the "walk" (as I was NOT) let me direct you here. (Yes, it is an Aboutdotcom page ... I'd rather not cut/paste/plagiarize so ... go). Anyway, I was up with Theo in the middle of the night on Wednesday and saw on Twitter that there had been a really bad train crash in the city she was in ... she is totally fine but that was a very pit-in-the-stomach few hours. Anyway -- bravo to Em and Chanelle. Bra to the freaking vo.

"Santi-freaking-ago. More blood, sweat, and especially tears than I could have even imagined. Words cannot express the emotions, but I made it. God is Love."

I almost can't even look at this picture without getting a little bit emotional and proud. Pardon my big sisterself.

7. Okay back to America. And the yawny Pattons. (And please accept my apology if you already saw this on Facebook or Twitter)

Catholic St. Louis (the Magazine of the Archdiocese of St. Louis) interviewed us over the squawks of the kids back in May. They focused on "keeping it real" and if you want to read about an impressive family that is not us ... start on page 12 ... and we're just one turn over on page 14. Thank you Jennifer Brinker for not making us sound like the people that stammered "uhhhh ... hmmm ... yeah ... I don't know" because WE DID. We're those chatty people that are great at creating awkward pauses. Pray you never meet us in real life.

And off to the weekend you go. Awdy-ose.

Birthday at the Camp

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25 July 2013

Today's post is being written by Simon, not Grace is her birthday.  Part of her birthday present is getting to take some time to herself which means no blogging and only light kid duty (well as light as it can be around here).  I am sure if you were to take to your social medium of choice to join me in wishing her happy birthday she would love it.

I tried to enlist the kids' help as well but as you can see from take #15:

...there must have been a miscommunication somewhere.

I'll spare you the whisper video and the one where they just yell (more).

As Grace documented here, her birthday 5 years ago was also the day we were engaged, which means two things:
1. I am always reminded today of how lucky I am she said yes
2. It set the birthday present standards bar pretty high

In terms of number one-I really am lucky that 30 years a few decades some years ago Grace was born and fate decided to bring us together.  As the loyal readers know Grace is funny, witty and a dedicated mom (understatement of the year).  What some of you know and many may not is that real life Grace blows blog Grace out of the water. 

Regarding number two--tune in tomorrow where (maybe) you can find out how she spent her day.

Please join me, Julia, Bash, and Theo in sing-yelling...."HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you...."

These are the Days

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24 July 2013

There's a bird on the loose in the house right now.

The back downstairs door has been open a good chunk of the day because ... new a/c installment day!! I wonder what they men would do if I handed them each a broom (one pink and child-sized) and kindly asked that they go on a wild bird chase? Simon suggested it but I said no.

Anyway, I keep thinking that I've made enough noise and flailed my arms and stomped my feet loud enough while the kids watch with rapt and confused attention that it's taken the hint and sweetly flown out the front door or the back door.

But no.

No. no. It soon resurfaces and after 65 minutes of fruitless frustration ... I quit because if there's anything I'm really good at doing it is quitting.

I'm 64% sure it's under the bed in the guest room where Sebastian's sleeps so .... hopefully they get along because nothing gets in the way of naps around here. Not even avian aliens. (Although after e-telling Hallie and Jen of my plight - Jen has me slightly concerned about possible droppings .... thanks Jen).

The installation has meant keeping the kids contained upstairs and out of the basement and backyard where the men are working. Aka ... not impossible but not enjoyable.

^^^we gave the front yard a whirl but it's always a matter of time before Sebastian gets in the mood for a little game of Chicken with a passing car and as much as I love playing the frantic yelling mommy with a baby in my arm role - my voice gets hoarse after the third car has snailed on by. And the kids pick the tops off of our pretty plastic picket so ... win/win there.

^^^Theo is wearing an oversized shirt because his diaper was such a disaster last night that before Simon had even undone the little tabs he'd frantically yell-asked, "CAN YOU HELP ME PLEASE?!!?!?"

^^^and Sebastian has been big on "nice!" lately ... even if it means a little slip of the tongue when he kisses lucky Theo so we're working on toning down the force of the skull cracking slit-eyed side hugs.

I'm not opposed to a little hire of the Netflix nanny but Sebastian loses interest after the "ba-skinning" as Julia calls the opening credits of any show and I draw the line after the unplugged laptop has run out of juice. Only light brain frying allowed around here.

Julia was livid that I wouldn't let her talk to "her guys" in the basement and Sebastian threw a tantrum so great that at one point he was open and closing the oven door with the force of a resurrected Goliath. I tried to ignore him but I couldn't hold my laughter in any longer when Julia got involved and up in his screaming grill as she told him that "Daddy wasn't home to save him" and that "maybe he wanted to go to timeout for a bittle bit?"

... she's available to babysit small domestic house trained animals if you're interested. 

I did throw caution to the wind and left the house in the hands of Julia's mans to take advantage of the fact that Simon had time to meet us for lunch ...

^^^Hallelujah. Pork flying and hell freezing and everythang.

On the way home I thought it'd be nice to buy the guys some Frosties as a sort of thank you/I'm sorry the kids were bugging and screeching and fighting and making your work less than enjoyable over the blaring of your Nickelback soundtrack ... so I pulled into the drive-thru and got up to the window to pay and you know one of the worst feelings eve?

"um, just one second ... I can't find my card"

fumble fumble 

sweat frantic sweat

Wendy's employee not amused

admit defeat ...

"well I guess we'll come back"

So I pulled into an empty parking space and just as I emptied my purse out completely - Julia piped up, "oh!!! your card is in MY purse ... I put it in MY purse, Mommy"

and girlfrand wasn't lying.

Back through the thru and home to the scene of spilled Frosties that never made it into the hands of the toilers because I was too busy trying to chase the bird out of the house to notice that Sebastian had plopped down on the floor and used his hands as spoons before crying about the fact that they were cold. He may have gotten his dad's pretty face but his smarts? They come from his mother dearest.

"I jus need to get my shit off"

(it's actually a very short dress but ... points for the wild guess)

And now this little muffin is putting up the no-nap best fight EVER because as soon as he senses his kind guardian has plans to leave the house to tire her charges out to guaranTEE some quality nappage ....

(yes, I always look that good and that happy)

And now I'm off to see about a bird that I'm sure has gathered supplies to build and feather a nest, laid some eggs, and maybe hatched some young. How do you spell fun?

Just like that.

Five Favorites

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23 July 2013

Welcome Favoriteers! I highly doubt there is a single soul that reads this blog that doesn't read Hallie's blog but in the crazy event that you're not familiar with the Five Favorites link-up ... it's very simple: just pound out any five of your current favorite anythings ... beauty product, blog post, recipe, etc., post it and link it good right here. Hallie is a busy little bee getting ready to fly with half of her brood down to Texas (so send any flying with children tips her way!) and she is being generous and letting me host for the week.

So! Here are mine ...

1. thredUP

thredUP is a genius online thrift store (complete with children's clothing!). I love eBay but have you ever sold something on eBay? Kind of a hassle especially if you don't enjoy taking three kids to the post office which perpetually houses the longest line of silent people ever ... not fun. thredUP has a ton of cute inventory (those red pants are from Zara via thredUP and I also found a pair of Emerson Fry jeans for a frickety fraction of their retail price that I have been drooling over forever ... crazy) but they don't stop there. No. You can request that they send you a bag and then you just fill it and put it outside your door because the shipping is covered (so so so so nice) and then they'll email you with what they've kept and how much they'll pay you in $$$ or store credit and what they're going to donate (well, you can request that they send the stuff back if you'd like). I'm super addicted. Take a look and if you use this link you'll get $10 off your first order. Awesome.

2. Nude nail polish

I'm a pretty loyal Sally Hansen's Cafe Au Lait devotee but Target didn't have it in stock and I'd read on a few blogs about OPI's Samoan Sand and I really can't tell much of a difference in the bottles (yet to be nail-tested). Let me know if you have a favorite hue that makes it look like you didn't even paint your nails. Why I don't just paint them clear is beyond me.

3. Chicken and Cilantro Wontons. I'm SO excited that Costco has started carrying these. I would make special trips to Trader Joseph's just for these wontons because they are so easy to make and even my stupidly picky kids like these but now they're selling them at Costco ... as if I needed another reason to pledge my undying love to the warehouse of all warehouses.

4. I've come to terms with the fact that I'm one of those ladies that just can't pull off a red lip. I know, I know ... "anyone can!" well ... I can't. I look super clowny and kind of scary. I do love Revlon's Colorburst Lip Butter in Peach Parfait and Creme Brulee ... easy does it for this geriatric layduh.

5. Okay this isn't a favorite but more of a favor. Do you have a current favorite blog or blogs? You know the one that you read the second a new post drops? Lately I've been loving Natalie, Emily, and Sydney and I have a ton of great ones in my reader but am always on the hunt for new ones ... big, small, medium, whatev. Thanks a trillion!!


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Linking up with Blair.

1. Every Tuesday I wake up with a little skip in my stumble out of bed to cater to a crying child because you know what is hot and fresh and waiting on Hulu? Another episode of the Bachelor/ette. Even though this is the worst season in the history of the franchise ... addicts will take what they can get.

2. I let the big kids drink from the drinking fountain at the (nice!! St. Louis has some impressive playgrounds) park. I don't have enough fingers, toes, eyes, ears, mouth and nose to count how many times I've watched a mom kindly or not so kindly reprimand their children for even touching the drinking fountain at the park but ... it seems to be one of the (MANY) unforgivable parenting sins. Drink on, little darlings.

3. I talk a big game when it comes to crying it out. Theo has been requiring these insane marathon sessions to be put down for naps and bed that leave me rocking back and forth in the fetal position in the corner where I stay for about 2 minutes until he cries and wants more coddling. He needs to cry it out and so I pep talk myself into doing the deed THAT NIGHT!! only to have him go down easily. And then the marathon strikes again after he's tricked his dumb mom into thinking that he is an angel child. I'll walk the walk soon enough. 

4. I took all three kids to Target for the first time by myself today. I know. I'm a coward and it's pathetic that Theo is almost 7 months old and I am just now braving the bullseye but ... I know my limits.

Anyway - I was out of nude nail polish so the trip really was important and worth the hassle and to the people that wonder what stay at home moms do all day? We do this. In between sips of champagne and nibbles of the finest chocolate (soft "ch").

5. Every single time we go to Costco Julia asks if we can sit at the tables and every single time I say no. But today I said yes ...

 ... and no one died. Sebastian almost succeeded in mounting that water ski beast in the background but the kids weren't terrible and Julia even walked us out while holding onto the cart that she promised she wouldn't let go of ...

... (until she did to sprint ahead but we all lived and learned valuable lessons about parking lot safety - save me from myself).

6. Every day is a new beginning, a fresh start, a blank slate, a something. I wake up every morning telling myself that we are going to have a good and harmonious day that looks nothing like yesterday with minimal mom meltdowns and toddler tantrums and overall frustration. But then 7:14 in the am rolls around and I fail to let Julia smell her blankie for the appropriate amount of time (don't get me started on her normalcy ... ) before getting her out of bed and she wages a world war against her cruel mother. Tomorrow .... definitely tomorrow.

7. I'm back on the coffee. There was a little spell where I stopped drinking coffee mainly because I kept forgetting to buy creamer and so I went with it (enter timely new addiction to diet soda) but then I happened to glance in the direction of the faux creamers at the store the other day and they restocked straight up chocolate creamer (not mocha, not chocolate-caramel, just chocolate) for the first time since I was pregnant with Sebastian and so ... I'm back on the coffee. Only in the afternoons though - when no one can beg for a sip and then spill it and then explain that "its not my fault because it was an axe-dent" ... no one.

8. Friday was a boiling mess. We were stuck in the house all day waiting for various a/c technicians and comfort advisers (? that is what it says on his business card) to come and go. Simon was stuck in a late surgery after being stuck in clinic late on Thursday and the house was a balmy 86 degrees at 7:00 in the evening (new a/c tomorrow!). So after throwing chocolate chips in the general direction of the big kids for several minutes and watching their faces turn into another mess I didn't want to deal with I was sort of proactive about the situation. I marched the kids and their bare feet and chocolate faces out to the van, cranked the a/c, cranked the beats, and texted Simon to let me know when he was home because then and only then would I return to the scene of the longest day ever. Oh -- I know. I'm a doer. We only drove around for about 30 minutes before he was able to meet us so I'm not any sort of bizarre housewife on strike activist ...... yet.

9. This mess? Still there. But the upside is that Sebastian has added a new syllable to his growing collection ... "MASS!!!!" every time I open the door.

10. I took the kids on a walk and didn't wear headphones.

Simon was working late again last night (this rotation? needs to end. Thanks) so we went on a second walk for the day and I decided to just enjoy the company of the kidlets rather than the blare of Rihanna. 99 requests to walk to the hospital to see daddy the savior, 88 cries for a blankies, 77 questions about watching "just one episode" of a show, 66 yells for no reason, 55 cries from Theo as he settled in for a 3 minute snooze, 44 accusations that I was walking too slow, 33 requests to find a sprinkler, 22 complaints that someone was too cold, 11 yells that someone was too hot and ....... Never Will I Ever Again. But now I know.

7 Quick Takes

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19 July 2013

1. So we're finally pulling the trigger, biting the bullet, whatever the whatever and buying a new air conditioner. Yay --- funnest purchase ever. The guy was going to come over "for 30 minutes" to walk me through different options and give me quotes (and I was fully prepared with my "we just want basic - not a bell or whistle in sight - please and thank you!" speech to be delivered with a smile) but after 4 minutes of sitting at the table with the big kids as they ate lunch and Julia peppered him with questions like, "are you a mans?" (I don't know if he was a day over 19 so ... jury's out there) he popped up from his chair and told me he'd just email the quotes instead.

Come on, Scott, you can't hang with the crazies?

No, he was really nice and polite and I appreciated that he didn't give me the deets on different units because no comprendo that kind of prattle. He sent quotes that are a bit cheaper than we'd anticipated - never happens so .... bright sides abounding. 

2. I'm still loving reading all of the love stories that are linked up over here.


3. Okay ... the Bachelorette. Why is the Men Tell All a week early? I'm fairly certain that they normally have it narrowed down to two people when they air this episode, right? Something is rotten and fishy in the state of the franchise and I don't like it. I guess my pick is eh ... Drew minus a bottle of hair product? I was leaning more toward Chris but after that bizarre nasal treatment his father gave him combined with him saying "brb" in serious conversation ..... toast. Good thing it's up to me. Ashley has the whole hilarious scoop - like always. Checker.

4. I Googled "depuff face" in the middle of the night because me and insomnia are bff+e and I woke up feeling like my face had been stung by a bee - minus the pain - plus the puff. I found this awesome list of masks and scrubs and I have alllllll of the stuff in my kitchen. Fancy that. I've only done the coffee + honey but can't wait to try the rest and listen to Julia's observations ... "well, maybe, you just got some dirt on your face maybe." Yep.

5. So I've never even met Kayla in real life (or IRL if we're getting internetty uh-round here) but she sent me a BirchBox subscription for my upcoming birthday. Nicest lady alive. (also the edgiest - check out her totally functional and grocery store friendly ways to wear faux leather) I had to laug - ahem LOL when I opened it because ...

my kryptonite. I love it. (and it's a good thing it came with nail polish because ... nook at dat half naked thumbelina)

I had a lot of fun filling out my "beauty profile" ...

I'll take everything, please. 

Anyway ... best gift ever ever.

6. Another phenomenal blogger that I've never met but grown to love is Shana over at Ain't No Mom Jeans. Even if you aren't big into caring about the latest trends Shana's blog is still totalllllly worth reading because she's quick and hilarious and relatable and as real as they come. It's a good thing Philly is faaaaar away because I'd be knocking on her door faster than she could say "we need to move AWAY." She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy last week and she's been putting on the bravest face despite the fact that her recovery looks like pure hell according to her grams. She kindly let me guest post and if you don't want to click over and commit to reading a long post - fear not! I thought it was going to be a mashup of posters so I kept it short for once in my life. 

7. Okay. Giving up. If this post is totally incoherent it's because Sebastian now takes the world's shortest naps 

 ^^^ oh, are you tired? I'm so sorry.

that don't even qualify for kitten status and he always finds a way to wake Theo ...

 ^^^ who be like ... thanxalot.

and tries to wake Sleeping Beauty but nothing will get in the way of her four hour siestas because she is her father's daughter. 

Off to buckle my fun belt because Simon isn't even close to starting his last notshort surgery of the day so ................ TGIF-it. 


she wears mom shorts

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17 July 2013

Linking up with Kayla + Hallie 

glasses - c/o SmartBuyGlasses
shorts - Old Navy
clogs - c/o Moheda

Kayla is hosting a fun style challenge link-up for peoples that want to try out a trend they've pinned. Technically I didn't pin these but I'm poorly channeling a mashup of Danielle's gorgeous outfit and Bridget's novel clogs + shorts look. Laugh on. I know.

And Hallie's link-up always brings the girls to her yard with her Five Favorites. Here are mine for the minute ...

1. Summer despite the holiest hottest weather and our 95 degree kitchen c/o our faulty air conditioning. I think I'm just now thawing and shedding my thick layer of loathe for the weather after the delightful winter and spring we were blessed with this year. Swimming in sweat trumps bathing in SAD tears any day.

2. my shades that I am guarding with my life because the kids can smell my favorite things from infinite miles away and hatch elaborate and successful plans to break or lose my precious tangibles. The person that invents ceiling storage - no matter how ugly and cumbersome - will be my hero because detachment from stuff has always been a strong suit of mine. SmartBuyGlasses is hosting a giveaway for a similar (foldable!!) pair on their Facebook page ... hop on ova!

3. running shoe tips over on el Facebook page. Lots of people said to go to a running store so they can watch you run which I've done and got the Brooks Adrenaline which were great so maybe I should just run with those again even though my DSW clearance pair of Reeboks have been totally fine for my little teeny tiny walky runs.

4. cut the umbilical cords - as Simon so sweetly dubs it. After a night of waking up with Sebastian every 30 minutes last week I finally agreed to sleep with the monitor off. We can still hear the kids if they are screaming SCREAMING (and they do - sometimes) but only getting up once with Theo at night has been glorious. I'm not hacking up rainbows in the morning or anything but ... I don't feel like I slammed a bottle of zillion proof alky-hall the night before either.

5. this sea salt spray - Sebastian emptied my favorite bottle of hair powder into his hair the other day (and I think he thought that he'd murdered my best friend by the way I slightly overreacted) but I remembered that I'd picked this stuff up a few months ago and it's great. Not perfect like my powder but definitely a keeper.

And bone-us ... I'm putting together a FAQ page (why did you cut Julia's hair to pixie length for the first two years of her life? how do you keep your house so dirty? etc) so if you have anything for me ... throw it over!

Conversations with Julia

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16 July 2013

Before we went outside ... 
Grace: Do you want some sunscreen?
Julia: oh, SURE I'll take some ice cream

This morning ...
Grace: what would you like for breakfast?
Julia: can you just cook me some coffee?
Grace: mmm how about something to eat?
Julia: oh! can you bake me come coffee, maybe?

An ongoing discussion ...
Julia: okay so when is my birthday?
Grace: 2 1/2 months
Julia: okay
Grace: in September
Julia: okay ...
Julia: okay so now it's my birthday?
Grace: still 2 1/2 months to go
Julia: okay so what about now?

I found her furiously tapping the desk downstairs with her fingertips staring straight ahead ...
Grace: what are you up to?
Julia: oh just doing my nemo
Grace: your email?
Julia: yeah, my nemo

When she saw Simon's never worn white coat hanging on a chair ...
Julia: did Daddy be a doctor today?!?!

Randomly when I called her by her given name of Julia ...
Julia: no, no, no, no I'm Goldilocks

Every single time I walk into the bathroom:
Julia: Can I watch?
Grace: no, please, no
Julia: (ignores) Bash!!!! come quick!!!

While Simon was watching her ...
Julia: tantrum tantrum tantrum tantrum
Julia: tantrum tantrum tantrum tantrum
Julia: (walks away) I just havin' a tough time

While anxiously waiting for some friends to come over ...
Grace: they'll be here in 40 minutes
Julia: okay, but - how many weeks is that?

On potty training ...
Julia: I'm too grumpy to potty train today
Julia: I'm just not in da mood to potty train
Julia: I'll just wear a diaper today, please 
Julia: I just want to be a baby and Theo can be the big girl

After tripping and starting to cry hysterically ...
Grace: what did you hurt? Your toe?
Julia: (in between sobs) NO!!!! MY PIGGY!!!!!

During Mass during that long period after communion but before the final blessing and with zero music to muffle ...
Julia: oh, I just had a gas!!
Julia: (sniffs the air) but, can you smell it?!

While watching me walk into the swimming pool in my swimsuit ...
Julia: is your swim diaper making your bottom big, Mommy?

After spotting a pair of Birkenstocks on the floor this weekend ...
Julia: oh! is JESUS here????

While I was getting ready to change Sebastian's bomb of a diaper:
Julia: Can I watch?
Grace: you really want to?
Julia: yes, and I promise that I WON'T eat it!

While sitting in the back pew and after a loooong stare at a little girl throwing an insane tantrum against the glass door of the cry room during Mass ...
Julia: do you think she needs some help with the door, maybe?

Giveaway: Blowfish Shoes

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15 July 2013

If you win ... you can pick any pair you'd like but might I forcefully recommend you run with the Illi? Good. I can't say enough good things about this shoe. It's the wedge for the lady that hates to wear heels, or the mom that has to SPRINT after her ragamuffins while looking sort of pulled together, or the frump that wants to put forth no effort to dress up her t-shirt and denim. They have Grace written all over them. I'm hoping Blowfish comes out with a peep toe Illi and they're welcome to make them my namesake so that I might die a happy wedge loyalist BUT in the mean time this neutral pair has served me well even in the heat of the summer. And the Gypsy has filled in very nicely when duty calls - she's earned her stripes and spots as well. Okay and I love the look of the Silvia - she looks like the Illi's polite little sister.

B-b-b-best of luck and thank you to Blowfish for being so generous!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Paradise, thy name is Ozark

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I didn't think there was anything more annoying and sticky and gross to clean up than formula. But there is! There always is, isn't there? And it is concocted with a mound formula on the floor and finished off with a nice and generously sprinkling of proud Sebastian urine. 

Bleeping Discovery Zone around here. Learn something new every second and all of THAT.

But I'm not here to teach you about all things gross. No, I'm here to tell you about the kindness and generosity of others because combined with our 4th of July road trip and this past weekend I think that we're going to make it through these last 2 weeks of the 3 month rotation stint-o-hell. We just might.

I know I'm a true millennial because I really have Facebook to thank for a lot of things. Obviously it reconnected Simace but it also helps me stalk the innocent and force them to be my friend. I saw that a college acquaintance of mine (we studied for a semester together in Austria .. WHY we didn't hang out is a conundrum for ALL) had moved to St. Louis so I sent Tara a pushy message and demanded that we hang out and even dragged her with me to Costco once - bless her, bless her. She and her husband Jeff put up with me and Simon when we get a sitter and turn into little panting puppies begging to be let out to socialize with other adults. And now ... weirdly ... they are moving to Dallas and don't think that we haven't entertained the idea of following them there when this whole residency nonsense is over and done wit. They can run but they can't escape our suffocating love. 

Anyway, Jeff's parents had never met us in the flesh but still let us come and visit them at their hideous house with this pathetic little backyard ...

Basically if we had to choose anywhere to go and visit (okay, barring family) we would go right back here. Even though it was just a weekend it felt like the most luxurious vacation because the kids had their own rooms to sleep in (hotel rooms are death traps for families with young children - unless your young children are nothing like ours) and dogs to feed and harass (I'm sorry, Hendrix!! - Sebastian doesn't know his own "gentle! please be GENTLE!!" strength) and "pillow presents" (I think Julia's heart burst right then and there in front of the bucket of goodies) waiting for them and the whole getaway felt like a straight up Christmas in July for the Pattons.

Behold it all.

^^^ that dog boarded the raft and set sail all by himself and it was one of the more entertaining moments of my adult life

^^^ the couple that should write a book on the art of hosting with a few chapters dedicated to catering to crazy families

 ^^^ not in this snap but earlier in the day Julia sat down and asked Jeff, "so, how was your day at work?" ... oh, I know she's my child but it still cracked me right up, up, and away.
^^^ still up for debate if that is a dragon or an "allifagator"

Some highlights:

+ the kids were terrified of water that touched above their ankles unless they were pressed up fully against a parent. I was shocked that Sebastian was such a little lady about the pool but it is just fine with me for the time being.

+ grilled nachos. they exist and they made them and they are my new favorite meal - breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and dessert.

+ and all of the food. We were beyond spoiled with homemade waffles, bomb guacamole, octopus hot dogs for the kids (figuratively, don't worry), and much much much much MUCH more.

+ Tara's parents had us over for dinner on Saturday night and if there was a way to throw the entire meal and the house onto a Pinterest board ... I would because it was delicious and her decor was gorgeous.

+ Allergic. Julia's eyes puffed up and her nose went into faucet mode and she had a few hives on her face - she wasn't bothered at all but I went into "THAT MOM" mom and wondered if maybe it was the Nutella/hazelnuts? Dumb. Just the cat. A little capful of Benny fixed her right up and we can tack on her new found feline allergy to the long list of "her mother's daughter" traits (along with: irrational, emotional, and irrational again).

+ Julia LOVED Jeff's parents. She ran right into their arms which is something she doesn't even do to me unless she's suffered a life threatening injury like a paper cut. She thinks their both "so cute!" and whenever Susan wasn't around she'd start pestering us about her whereabouts. Maybe they'd be interested in running a little summer camp for toddlers? Wink.

+ Jeff's mom has saved tons of toys from Jeff and his sister's childhood so the kids were in My Little Pony heaven on earth. Sebastian was especially taken with the unicorn ... "moo?" he wondered. Yes.

+ I love Theo but there was always someone else willing to hold him which I also loved and he's having "always held" withdrawals today. Big time.

Simon won't get vacation for two more months and so this was absolutely the highlight of the summer thus far for us and we can't thank them enough for letting us descend and invade!

And now we're back to the grind. Formula-urine putty and all.


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