Quick Takes

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30 August 2013

Linking up with Jen!

1. When do concrete memories kick in? Three or four years of age, I think? Was I a late bloomer? Who cares. I'm wondering if the kids are going to remember the hospital visits to see Simon that have probably hit one hundo at the very least by now...

Don't get me wrong ... I'd like if they did because they are always fun ... unless we don't get to see Simon at all but that hasn't happened in a while and if I'm jinxing myself here would you go rap on some wood for me? Thank you. 

2. We are mere hours away from finishing the first week of night float. It hasn't been the worst week ever. We will survive. Whatever.

3. Okay so the Katy Perry documentary was really good. I don't have the greatest taste in literature/music/tv/movies/anything so take my endorsement with a grain of your favorite seasoning but I really enjoyed it. I did cry which is one step below mortifying but I Googled what happened with her and her then husband and he sounds like a real doll. Not. He does not. Basically I'm now emotionally invested in her happiness and I hope she stays far away from "broken bird" (her words, not mine) John Mayer because he is not worthy of my new favorite singer/song writer. Stopping. Oh! But if her Prism tour hits St. Louis I'm going. I'll cry with the teeny boppers and everythang.

4. So clearly I know nothing about potty training as lots of you (kindly, oh so kindly) commented or emailed yesterday that your kids didn't potty train until around 3 or a little after etc. I don't know why I thought it was potty train before your third birthday or be a life failure. Oh, because I read a book stating that if you train your child after 30 months of age .... they'll be wearing diapers to kindergarten. No ... that was an exaggerated summary but I'm glad I didn't take the author's words to heart and make everyone miserable by forcing the issue at the age of 18 months. I nodded off typing all of that - let's move on.

5. um ... another picture.

maybe this should induce some sort of mom guilt but it doesn't. Not this month. I'm kind of happy Sebastian will watch whatever Julia wants in the evenings while I clean up and get Theo down and whatever else I need to do ... stare at the wall, usually.

6. Simon very seriously told the mobile kids recently that if they run into the street that a car will squash them like a bug. Well then. This has had a profound effect on Julia and she told a gentleman climbing into his car next to us in the grocery store parking lot yesterday, "please don't squash me wike a bug!!!"

Simon says and it works. I guess.

7. And here's what I'm running to these days. (If you're reading this on a phone - you fancy!! and it should open up and keep playing as you browse/click/whatever around -- a little background music is always nice, right?) It's definitely my favorite playlist to date. What rock have I been living under that I justjust heard song number one for the first time yesterday?? I've made up for lost time though as even Theo doesn't blink anymore when I bump it in the kitchen ......... yet again!! And if you hate it ... I don't understand you.

Happy Holiday.

Sporty Plain

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29 August 2013

Linking up with Hallie.

shirt - Kohl's  (someone help me with my chronic shirt tucking ... it doesn't always work, Tucker Patton) : (
pants - old Banana Republic, altered
clogs - c/o Moheda
glasses - Firmoo (Sebastian broke the pair they sent me last year but I missed them so much that I ordered another pair -- and they don't house transitional lenses -- despite what photo number one of my ape stance might lead you to believe)

And now I'll tag along with the masses and tell you all about my five favorite things

1. Let's be rebels and start with a notfavorite. Great. Rebel yell and chest beating and maybe a little face paint for flare. Future Julia ... if you ever read this ... I have failed you because you have Beetlejuice hair. You do. I can't get it right. I cut it and it looks pretty much terrible and I let it grow like the wind and ...... BeetleJulia. Hopefully pigtails are acceptable in high school because ..... yikes.

2. Okay I've never heard a Sara Bareilles song that I like even a tiny bit but I have to own that I love love love her new song, Brave. Simon's heard me play it so often that he asked if it was my nightfloat mantra. What if it is, Patton? Anyway, the video is hysterical. My favorite is Library Dancer. And if you watch it and don't start itching to bust a move ... might I prescribe some alcohol? Go.

3. So I took the personality test that tells you if you're an INJKLMNOP or something like dat and clearly I answered multiple questions wrong because it told me that I was a superior interior decorator which is literally (oooo ... she's using literally!! tell her what literally really means!!) the furthest thing from the truth. I wish I had an eye for design and all things pretty and paint colors etc but I don't. Basically my greatest decor achievements involve ordering tangible Instagrams because I'm a bit of an Insta-slooze and I've got a lot of grainy squares floating around my phone waiting to come to life on our refrigerator. When Sebastian dunked my phone in a glass of water 99 times in a row before I realized that he was drowning my surrogate bff I lost a LOT of photos but luckily for everyone involved ... a lot of them had been thrown on the gram and so ... sort of saved. Get to the point, Grace. Okay, fine. I ordered more magnets from Stickygram and they just go right into your Instagram account and grab the ones you want .... all from the comfort of your phone. That should not have taken a chapter book to explain. Anyway! If you order any .. let me know and I'll get right back to you with my referral code so that you can save some lettuce.

4. We'll give you a break because #3 was too much.

5. More potty training prattle!! Okay so I would honestly give Julia an 8 out of 10 so far on the training front. Yes ... the cutting of the unders off of her body was obviously not a step in the right direction but for the most part she's not rebelling and peeing on Sebastian's face or anything crazy. Probably because, um, she'll be THREE in less than a month and I suspect 100% of 3-year-olds are potty trained. I don't know. I am thee consummate novice mother. So on Monday she insisted on venturing to Costco in a notdiaper and I resisted but she insisted so .... we went. I threw a towel on her car seat because stale urine isn't a smell I want to associate my life with all the time and she wore a pair of underwear from Sebastian's collection (ahem - so needed) because they are about 99% more absorbent than the paper thin Doras. She did great until she told me she needed to "get a treat by going potty" (priorities, always) but took one look at the giant real life commode in the family restroom at the warehouse and turned right back around and said she didn't need a treat. Ooooookay. Fast forward to one little teeny tiny block from our house when I hear an honest admission from the backseat ...

Julia: I just did a little bit of potty in my underwares
Grace: that's okay ... you just had an accident?
Julia: no, it was on purpose.

Sooooooo, maybe realistically? A 7 out of 10 but generosity never killed a soul.

extraordinary time

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28 August 2013

I had a couple of lows today. Not emotional lows because you know I'm always very happy to pull up a chair and share about those but I'll spare you that pleasure for now. No, these lows were just day in the lifers that made me laugh to myself while the kids stared and my former younger self look at my current self with some serious incredulity. So take a seat and make yourself at home because I know that curiosity is lethal to felines and I don't want any humans falling victim to that fate after reading a teaser opener of a blog post.

The first one occurred on my run with the kids this morning.

It was hot and before I'd even listened to my first of 45 plays of Roar the back of my hands were little sweat fountains blah blah, humidity, blah. I was just minding my own business running on the side of the street because the sidewalks around here are just too bumpy to be comfortable for slumbering Theodores and the neighborhood isn't busy so .. what the hell? Street it is. I happened upon three (3) parked cars right in a row and in my way so I made sure there were no approaching cars coming from behind and veered into the middle of the road to slowly ascend what seemed to be the identical twin of Kilimanjaro. And when I say slowly ascend please know that this is a generous descrip. Let me lay it out for you right here ...

And I do mean "running" in obnoxious quotation marks because really it's just a hunch over the stroller with furious feet paddles leading to nowhere.

Back to the ascension. It was very slow. So slow that by the time I had passed all three (3) sedans I turned in time to see that a funeral procession's (minus the funeral) worth of cars had been patiently/impatiently waiting behind me. I've tried to block it out but it isn't an impossibility that I didn't stop for a very short breather somewhere in there. And the moral of thistory is that I've already volunteered Sebastian to get out and help me push for tomorrow's speedoflightathon. And maybe I should bump my Katy beats a little lower.

The next came when I found myself smiling and really, really happy to be getting out of the house for 40 minutes. I loaded the kids up to go to Costco for the second time in two days. We bought our food yesterday but today we needed gasoline. Costco is not close to our house but I was desperate for Theo to nap and for the big kids to be quiet and for the radio to play me something - anything other than the scent of urine soaked toddler undies which brings me to potty training!!

My brother calls this a mommy blog and I have to admit it is SO a mommy blog as much as I'd love to throw myself under the Lifestyle category ... mommy it is. So I really don't want to dig my grave even deeper by going into woeful tales of progress and regression and more regression but ... I will report that Julia has figured out how to empty her bladder in 2 or 3 shifts so that she can get 2 or 3 Starbursts over the course of just five minutes. But she also, "forgot that I was potty training - oops! haha!!" today and her little memory lapse cost me a huge pungent mess that ended in a ceremonial cutting of underwear off her person and throwing them in several bags and out to the big trash.

And Sebastian has been showing serious interest in all of the training so I almost entertained the thought of just death wishing it and doing them both at the same time but then today ... he rifled through the newly organized bathroom cabinet, unwrapped a napkin of the sanitary variety, walked me into the bathroom, and laid himself down for a change with his new fangled diaper. So .... he can wait. He can wait forever for all I care.

hospital grade, postpartum size. In case you were wondering. So really ... he wasn't too far off base.

waxing wordy

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27 August 2013

I guess this post could aptly be titled, "brain dumps like a truck .... truck truck" but less class and more trash isn't the theme of the post. Not that there is ever a theme. Especially this one. No cohesive theme to see here so don't try looking.

I would use the word random but that word got run into the ground circa the year 2001, don't you think? It did in my neck of America.


Let's go.

Simon started the rotation that gives me cuticle chewing anxiety for a week prior and exhausting PTSD for a month after on Sunday night. I was going to be cool and brave about it this time and just not mention it because after all! this is our fifth month of this nonsense (I really wanted to say fifth month of this shit ... but I sort of refrained) and you'd think I'd just surrender to the awful and roll with the kicking and screaming but never. Ever. Everything gets all screwy and I actually get jealous of the sleep I got when Julia was a newborn and slept for approximately one consecutive hour a night. Basically if you were to Google, "despondency" during these months you would probably see my notsmiling face.

Like this but more brow furrowing and less bangs. I cannot do bangs.

I'll happily admit that I rely pretty heavily on my trusty babysitter by the name of Net Flix - you've heard of her? during these months. The kids can watch an episode of something super edifying while I make them dinner or zone on the couch or get all of their various formula/water/lemonade drinking devices ready to go visit Simon. But tonight ... our internet went out and let's just say that my exasperated little chat with tech support was seasoned with a lot of toddler screaming and fighting and attempted discipline via yell whispers and I can guarantee that the internet lady typed a line or six in her note about our call that was recorded and monitored for quality assurance purposes stating that Grace Patton should be put on hold for 68 minutes next time she calls because ....... she crazy and her chimpanzees? they crazier.

But there will be plenty of time over the course of the next several weeks to doom and gloom it on that front so let's move onward and upward by looking backward ...

our anniversary.

We used some Christmas gift cards from some super nice attendings at el hospital to go out to a reallllllly amazing Italian restaurant. And I don't even really like Italian food. I hate hate hate hate cold leftovers but I made an exception for these leftovers and I fear they've ruined me for all future dining experiences.

And other odds and ends ...

Sebastian sometimes goes on these smiley rants of yelling, "shut up!" but it sounds like, "shop puck!" and it cannot be taken seriously. But it has to be! I can't be letting him get away with that but ... I also can't take him seriously so it's a vicious cycle ...

I'm going to go ahead and blame his pronunciation skillage on his medicated birth.

Speaking of births, I've been getting a gross amount of spam on the birth story link-up about spell casting?! I try to delete them as they come but I have not succeeded and well ... wtf. It's very weird. Weirder than weird. But you know what? I still refuse to throw word verification up and at you. Never will I ever.

I was putting some bags of clothing in a donation bin today when I spotted a baby stroller in a trash pile across the parking lot and you better believe that plastic baby got thrown into the trunk faster than you can scream, "trashy". Dumb. That was realllllly dumb on my part because now the older two just fight over their new flashy toy and Julia hides it all over the house and then tells Sebastian, "I hid the stroller upstairs from you but DON'T go and find it, okay?!" and Bash is off like a shot up the stairs and Julia spirals straight into hysteric mode which always brings ALL the warm fuzzies to the yard on the parenting front.

And last and most certainly least. At the hospital yesterday I was walking around the courtyard with Theo and Bash waiting for Julia and Simon to return victorious from the cafeteria bearing donut gifts after Mass when a lady approached me in all my stroller pushing and Sebastian herding glory and asked if I smoked and if she could bum a light off of me. Mmmmm. I looked at the 88 signs telling everyone to, "¡no fumando!" and had to confess that I did not which seemed to shock her.

this is actually from hospital sojourn number two of the day but you get the general photograph. She stereotyped me good. God bless her.

And now back to my Katy Perry documentary which is embarrassingly interesting. Judge me hard.

Seven Quick Takes

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23 August 2013

Linking up with Jen over at Conversion Diary.

I swear I could write a post about each and every one of these takes so watch me struggle as I try to make them less long. Shorter. I'm already failing and I haven't even started.

1. Around the internet ... uh-row-nd the internet ... to the tune of name that song . . .

Kelly wrote a really informative post about how to weed the crazies out of your Facebook feed without hurting any feelings. She's a genius. A hilariously brilliant genius.

Emily's posts always crack me up but today's post was especially great. Especially number five. Let me type e-s-p-e-c-i-a-l-l-y one more time. Dare. Dat's better.

Anna and I were roommates in college and she's taking a huge step today (many congratulations!!) and starting her own business ... go check it out and enter one of the most awesome giveaways on the web right now. Right now.

2. So the weather is finally reminiscent of St. Louis in August rather than St. Louis in October and I'm not complaining one bit. I want to be good and ready and fully appreciate the arrival of the cooler temperatures ... you know? Because they last too long as it is. The kids played in the pool today and I had to dig around to try and find some sunscreen for the first time in weeks. I posted a question from a reader on the Facebook page re: sun protection for the face and people had lots to say. Some people apparently just use coconut oil? Is it that easy? I can handle that. If you want to go weigh in .... I'd love it. If you don't .... that's fine too. I suppose.

3. Julia and Sebastian are going through some serious growth spurts and all of a sudden they look 15 years of age in certain pictures and ready to hit up the DMV for some flattering photos and licensure.

 ^^^ they think life is bad now wait until I make the smileys recreate this photo in ten years.

And all they have to show for it is that most of their pants from last year are legit capris soo I've been slowly scouring the virtual racks over at Thredup to try to get them outfitted for when fall officially shows her face. I've been pleasantly surprised by how new everything has seemed. Some of the stuff still has the tags attached and as much as I love hunting around at Goodwill ... I will never take all three kids in there. Ever. Sebastian has a special knack for ruining clothing so we'll see how long the consigned "newness" lasts but they're sitting pretty in the dresser drawers for now. If you use my referral link you'll get $10 off your first order or you can ignore and move on with your life. Either/or.

4. So I mostly hate the look of Toms ... hate me if you must but my mom sent me this snap of Emily finally returning home after being gone for 2390428340 days and 19023819203819238190238910 miles of walking and ....

I kind of love them now. Thanks for proving me wrong, Em.

5. Long story sort of short .... yesterday morning Bash tripped and hit his forehead on the corner of the desk downstairs. There was a lot of blood and I totalllllly freaked and called Simon 88 times (or twice, maybe it was just twice) before I called the hospital and I'm fairly certain the nurse that answered thinks that Sebastian was breathing his last the way I was carrying on. Simon came home and glued him up real good and all was well and I'm so happy it wasn't Julia. She would still be screaming 30 hours later. She would because she is a mini-Grace. I don't give Bash enough credit because he is at the unique age where he knows how to throw a tantrum but doesn't know how to communicate why he's throwing a tantrum and he is blatantly defiant and laughy about said defiance so he gets the most frustrating age award for the time being.

 ^^^So much badassery alllll up in this profesh photo collage. Don't argue with me.

Anyway, while he was still bleeding and I was applying pressure to the wound while trying to look at it and not look at it all at the same time Julia started carrying about HER (fake!) cut. Bash fell for her faux plight, quickly pulled it together, sniffled, and walked away from me to go give her a kiss because while he is the most exasperating he really is too sweet. He's even kept his band-aid on all this time and I've caught him kissing his hand and slapping his wound while walking around because he also gets the cutest award on occasion.

6. Let's chug through some more positivity. I had to run to Target yesterday for a few key items and I let Julia walk and the boys ride and I was expecting a disaster because holy mother of insanity. It was more packed than Black Friday and Christmas Eve's eve combined. I think it was back to college day or something because it was filled to the brim with coolios and coolias donning Greek lettered attire and buying vodka and bean bags and guess who fit in juuuuuuust great in that crowd? Yes, me and my kin. But Julia stayed with me and didn't pitch a single fit about the 99 Dora items she asked me to buy and I said dee-nied! and Bash was good too and Theo just slept and even after waiting in line for 20 minutes to check out (I timed it while listening to the couple behind me talk about whether or not they'd get carded - they did - and it was awkward and I covered my ears and sprinted out of there) the kids didn't melt or anything. For every one of these trips there will be five that go notawesome but it's nice to be pleasantly surprised sometimes.

7. Now! For the most important take of them all - what do you think the odds of me convincing Simon that we should watch Definitely, Maybe are? I'm thinking paper thin but maybe he'll pull a Bash at Target and shock me.

Let's go find out.

SEE ya.

Four Years

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22 August 2013

Simon and I are celebrating our four year anniversary today so hello! And welcome to gushfest 2K13 .... you may leave at any time. I think it's probably pretty common (and if not ... I'd like to know what species you are because surely you can't be human?) for married couples to come to know and notlove a few things about their spouses as they continue to get to know each other in the early years of marriage. Simon has learned that when I say, "let me just change real fast" what I realllllly mean is, "let me try on 8 different outfits before I put my original outfit back on - it will take 18 minutes" and that I make Everests out of ant hills and that my definition of "the! worst! day! ever!" involves a lot of shitty diapers which really isn't that bad of a day at all and he rolls with all of these things and more. But I'm not here to dwell on the negative - for once. Nay! I'm here to tell you four of the things I've come to learn and really appreciate about Simon since we've been married. Maybe this is more of a birthday type of post but I have no marital wisdom to impart on you and yours today and well ... this is what I'm doing to the tune of Theo crying and crying and crying. Bear with me.

Simon is ......................

The nicest guy. Really. Our moms went to high school together and I can't tell you how many times (long before Simon and I even became a thang) that my mom would say, "Ann Patton is thee nicest person I've ever known" and she, along with Simon's dad, passed that genuine politeness down to Simon and his siblings. More times than not when I'm talking to Simon when he's at work do we get interrupted because Simon spots someone that looks a little lost so he always stops to see if they need help and/or directions. I remember being taken aback by how nice and considerate he was when we first started talking and I probably should stop and appreciate this more because, like many things, I take it for granted far too often.

Ever the doer. My idea of downtime after the kids have gone down for the night is something along the lines of Hulu or wall staring. Simon always pops down to the basement to pick it up or grabs his books to study or exercises or takes charge of the laundry disaster etc. Lazy is my thing, not his.

Open to life. We talked about this at length while we were dating and while he's open to having as many children as God blesses us with he is always quick to qualify that statement with the fact that we have a great responsibility to raise kids to know and (hopefully!) love their Faith. Julia equates decent Mass behavior with cafeteria donuts so I'd say we're doing a great job in that respect thus far.

He's curious. Oh I love to make fun of his little placard loving heart but when I was working in DC he was genuinely interested in the types of faxes I sorted. He loves to pick my dad's brain about his work, enjoys hearing about the plot of the trashy beach reads I'm reading, and I always find the most interesting Google searches in the morning if he's stayed up later than I have (steampunk was my favorite).

And I could go on and on but I have to save some juicy for the written card.

Happy Anniversary, Simon! And cheers to a few more ...

... at least!

more more more ...
first anniversary
second anniversary
third anniversary 
and wedding pictures for the infinitionth time

Harem Time

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21 August 2013

Linking up with my girl, Hallie

top - Forever XXI
pants - Kohl's
shoes - c/o Blowfish Shoes
necklace - c/o Sassy Steals

This post is dedicated to Janssen, Erica, and Kayla - (friendly!) loathers of the harem. Don't hate too hard, ladies.

And now for this week's five favorite things with Hallie ...

1. This blog. One day when I grow up I will right half as good. And I'll convince Simon to let me name a baby girl Joan Bea just so that she is sufficiently creeped.

2. This maxi dress AND this maxi dress. I first learned about Sammydress from Janssen and she has yet to steer me wrong in the book and recipe department so I trust her.

3. Ana's post on her makeup essentials. I think I need that mineral powder because my 30-year-old skin is acting 16 and I swear I caught Simon staring at a particularly bad patch the other day but he swears he wasn't ...... liar? We'll never know.

4. I know it's a really common problem with lady babies but I don't think a single person thought Julia was a girl until somewhat recently. Her hair growth has helped but there were times Simon would be at a loss when strangers would say, "spitting image of his father!" .... when he was holding Julia. Wellllllllll remember when I told you about this nice article? Simon was operating yesterday when the attending surgeon mentioned he'd read the article and said to Simon, "so you've got three little boys?"

(one of the accompanying photos )

Sorry little Julio.

5. Give it to me gently - do you hate the harems? Simon is coming around but isn't completely sold so I guess I'll have to wear them daily until he buckles or lies. I'll keep you posted - it's a job I take very seriously, unfortunately. 

hasta manana.

I got the eye of the needle.

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20 August 2013

I think that post title is a little much but the alternate, "stella's gonna get her needle back" didn't quite do it for me. But can I just say how elated I am that Katy is beating Blurred Terrible on iTunes? Yes, I keep a close eye on the top songs list because I am always on the prowl for something to keep me run-walking because I think all three kids combined with the weight of the jogger is probably pushing one fitty these days. Fine, not that much but it's a freaking lot.

Anyway ... hopefully it's obvious that this is a post about sewing. Jodel, get your party hats on, and your red solos lined up for some pong. Good! Now you're ready to venture into the treacherous waters of excitement.

I don't think I've sewn anything since before Theo was born? I don't really feel too guilty about that because I only sew recreationally (as opposed to seriously) and mostly just to make the secondhand clothes I purchase ... fit better. So! (I was going to do the "sew!" but .... you were spared) remember my flares from a couple weeks ago? Wellll I think I went a little too narrow and made them into bootcut wranglers but ... they are more practical for my line of work and no more stepping all over the hem of the glorified maxi skirt with slits.

why the arrow? A question to ask my graphic designer. I think it looks .... necessary. Right.

Oh! Were you wanting to duplicate that magic? Step right over to my super clear tutorial on pant butchering. It's a lot of fun.

And let's quickly switch gears over to changing table pad covers!! Well, just one. The other two I made are still intact and fine but I have a bit of a fabric surplus and won't be making kids clothing ever ... I thought Julia's room could use a little facelift (well, this might qualify as a brief eyebrow raise but still). I love this super simple tutorial that even I can't screw up - mostly. Basically when it says to pin the hem -- do it. I never do and always have to pay for it with a niiiiice long date with my seam ripper - many ways to skin felines these days, I'm told.

I know changing tables are super unnecessary but we found this dresser combo thing on Craigslist and I'll admit I like the luxury with Theo. The big kids get the short end of the floor changes stick.

The kids will probably never touch those books because they seem to think all books are begging to be dismembered and eaten. Please tell me your kids do that too?

And now! For something that doesn't involve sewing or me. Katrina came through town last weekend and stayed the night with her adorable son Ryan, her 30 week baby belly, and her glow that my former pregnant self covets and she covets hard.

She was such a great guest and didn't balk at our basement guest quarters or the hot dog dinner or Lucky Charm breakfast AND she made this!!

I know I already showcased it on the gram. Deal wit it, lean, rock, whatever. Anyway - I posted this on Mother's Day as my favorite cross stitch from Simon's grandma's kitchen and Katrina straight up replicated that bleep. I never had the pleasure of meeting Grandma Janet which breaks my heart because something tells me I may have unhealthily worshiped her and her dry sense of humor. Anyway - guest of the century as she also she had gifts for the kids and Simon. She wins everything.

So the moral of the post is that I'm back in the sewing saddle and I'll try to keep the sewing posts to a minimum but I'm terrible at balance and even-steveness so we'll see how annoying I get with my alterations. My guess would be very to VERY.

See you then.

Highs + Lows

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18 August 2013

One of these days we'll get the hang of the call weekend. You'd think after two years of dealing with these blasted weekends I'd just get used to them, resign myself to the shit factor, and get over it. But no. Nope. The one before this weekend was just a 24 hour Sat-Sun stint and wasn't tooooo TOOOO bad and I thought I could just use the momentum gained from that weekend and power through this one but lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place ever, does it?

So let me just walk future Grace through the high and low from this morning so she can look back, read this, and laugh and smile in two years when we've kissed our very last call weekend goodbye forever. And while I'm reminiscing hopefully I'll have the gall to write a letter to the inventor of the name of the call weekend because "call weekend" is very misleading as it sounds like something involving waiting at home for calls - which is nawt the case. It should be called, "work-your-ass-off-and-don't-sleep-all-weekend" or something solely involving curse words in all caps.

^^^ she only got to honk the car horn once and Bash did it twice and life is the worst of all time.

We'll start with the high that occurred after the low and saved me from calling up all my imaginary friends and throwing a pity kegger all day long. This is guaranteed to underwhelm the masses but it was a big moment for Sebastian's mom. I was changing Sebastian's diaper when I sneezed and he looked at me and smiled a proud-as-a-peacock-in-poop smile and said, "bwess you". Stop the orbit of the sun. I know - I couldn't believe it either. If you've ever met Sebastian you'll know that his regular vernac consists of about four words: mine, no, mama (if mama isn't home and he knows it), and dada (if dada isn't home and he knows it) so for him to say two words in a row is HUGE. I might not fail him in the speaking department after all! And yes I did about 99 more fake sneezes just to hear him perform his new trick and I clapped like a giddy 16-year-old cheerleader at a homecoming game every single time. The boy will be sentencing before we know it.

 ^^^ I wish I could be the mom that was always on top of the face crust but ... someday!!!

And the low. The kids all caught some weird 24 hour runny nose cold mash-up which I KNOW is the best kind of sickness because it's not a 24 hour stomach bug which always haunts me for weeks after and it's not a clingy cold that could turn into a cough that will keep everyone awake for nights on end. But still. The perils of a cool August include 24 hour colds, apparently. So Theo was the last to get it and he was an angry baby this morning. Angry ANGRY. He just wanted to be held and bounced and in my left arm while he chewed on my right thumb and if I deviated from that there was fiery hell to pay. After doing this for many, many hours and almost joining him in the thumb feast because I was selfish and hangry I started to put a smoothie together in the blender only to not be able to find the lid anywhere. There's not a doubt in my mind that it met its death by way of a trip to the trash by Sebastian (where also lies two electric toothbrushes and the bowl part of Julia's potty which is sort of essential to my life) but I just decided to make do with a frying pan as a lid. I don't have to tell you how well that worked out for me but I'll glass-half-full it with a pun and say that I'm glad half of it flew out of the unsealed part because!! I forgot ice and it was just warm banana yogurt slop that I still drank but at least I only had 6 gulps to conquer instead of 12-15.

Just count your blessings that I'm choosing to bypass Julia's announcement in the middle of her notnap that she, "frowed up" because I'm diagnosing it as isolated and hoping for the best.

I'd love to hear your highs and lows to get me through the last hours of the cursed weekend but I understand if you're busy S L O W L Y backing away from this blog forever for fear that I'll pelt you with more rounds of precious moments again and again. And again.

I understand completely.

Seven Quick Takes

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16 August 2013

Linking up with Jennifer.

1. Remember my story about the cop last week? Lie and say you do. Thank you. Anyway, on our way home from Mass yesterday morning I saw some flashing lights in the rear view mirror and felt my heart sink to my stomach as one does when they get pulled over. We were on our street so I knew it wasn't for speeding and that shiiiiit yes, it was probably because our tags expired in July and yesterday was August 15th. Correct. Well! It was the same cop from last week and once he saw the kids in the back (Julia and Bash did not blink once! Traumatized for all eternity by the siren!) and realized it was me he didn't even make me pull out my Kansas license (tsk! get your life in order, Grace) before he just smiled and told me to have a nice day. I think I love him. The most platonic of loves but he is a dear.

2. Another day another mention of the weather. It's been chilly in the mornings and the evenings and I was sitting under a tree at a park this afternoon with the kids in a long sleeve shirt and WAS COLD and shivering. But you know once these temps roll around and we start thawing out next spring ... I'll be sweating up a tropical storm.

To answer the question that everyone is asking ... this is not me.

(do you think it's the same girl though? I found them/her on Pinterest ... I'm undecided)

3. Out of the blue I've gotten a few emails asking about an old post that lists all of the Franciscan University alum bloggers. It's is woefulllllllly in need of an update so if you're not on there and you'd like to be ... if you want to send me an email with the subject line "fus blog" and a paragraph describing your blog and the name of your blog hyperlinked I'll pop it in there. And if you'd rather not be associated with me ... I understand. Oh! And if you're a current student ... you count too!!

4. I'm curious if anyone has any flashcard recommendations? I'm in the market for basic number and letter (I mean .... not that there are complex letters or numbers but you KNOW what I mean ... right?) flashcards with maybe a little picture like an apple with the A ... does that make sense? I have this crazy theory that if Julia could learn her letters (right now every single letter is "J" because the world revolves around her) maybe she and Bash would fighttothedeath less. Just let me dream big here. Thanks.

5. In case you are ever tempted to make puppy chow with Lucky Charms let me be an experienced naysayer and yell at you not to do it. My standards are low for culinary ventures involving peanut butter and chocolate but ... just suck it up, go the store, and get the generic Chex.

6. I'm sure you've heard by now but the fact that Friday Night Lights is big screen bound makes me happier than the minutes leading up to a season premier of the Bachelor/ette. Which is a feat. I'm not sure I've ever hit up opening night of any movie ever but this might require that I do such a thing ... even if Simon is working and I have to go alone. No shame.

7. And now I'm off to put on my helmet, elbow + knee pads for a fun little evening game of hospital roulette. Will Simon be free to see us? Or will something come up when we pull into the parking lot? You never know and that's half the fun. Hope you have a similarly great night planned.

Wait. I can't throw up a post without a photo of a Patton. Here is Theo showing off his newly not mastered milestone ...

(he was fine and smiling because the playground is padded .... God bless St. Louis)


Grilled Nachos

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15 August 2013

some disclaimers to get the fiesta cracking:
* I blatantly stole the font idea (on the above photo) from Bridget ... plagiarism is a bad habit-o-mine
* we also thieved the grilled nacho idea from Susan ... the hostess that slays all others in the hospitality department

So. This gorgeous weather is so crazy blah blah blah. We decided to be wild and spontaneous and put our fancy nacho dinner on a pizza pan, throw it on the grill, and pray that we didn't ruin the pan and our the gourmet meal in the process. Success! This is my new super lazy dinner that will join his comrades known as "other super lazy dinners" in my current repertoire.

Why grill?? Well ... just because. The chips are crisped nicely and honestly ... I don't know. These just really hit the spot last night and I'm wondering how opposed Simon would be to round dos en esta noche?

I feel silly even giving you instructions because it's pretty easy but here you go ...

chips (we like tortilla but if you're feeling the potato ... no judgment here)
cheese (essential)
chicken (not essential but I skinned a formerly cooked rotisserie chicken so don't feel like you hafta get fance)
veggies (or one singular vegetable in our case -- un green bell pepper)
salsa (essential)
avocado (not essential)

Layer the chips, chicken, cheese, and veggies onto the pizza pan ... or you might have a grill pan? Use that if you do. And when I say layer ... multiple layers. I think I went with three layers. Do at least that many. You don't want a mountain of dry chips topped with tons of cheese etc. Layer like it's the dead of winter and you're setting out to slowly walk a marathon. Lots of layers. Make about half as much as you think you'll eat because these are deceptively filling and these do not make good leftovers. Atall.

I emailed Simon for grilling instructions and he said, "fire up the grill, put the nachos on, wait about a Corona and a half, don't be impatient, and just wait for the cheese to melt."

You should probably write that down. Pront.

Why I post recipes when there is a thing called Google and a thing called Pinterest and about 999,999 actual food blogs .... is beyond me. Dumb. Dumbest.

Okay! Once the cheese is melted and the chips are super crispy ... pour the salsa on and throw some sliced avocado on unless find your resident avocado cannibal with her victim that she snuck and ate and is now using as a vehicle for water drinking ...

  ^^^ the name of that game is GROSS.

 ^^^ but she refused to admit we were right.

Then you eat. And let the food settle with a rowdy game of "hide-and-sink" ...

^^^ after she counted to 4 ... she ran to hide, "I betcha can't find me, Dad!" aaaand don't worry! We directed her to safer hiding spots after this photo. Priorities.

I think that's it.

okay going now.

dress code

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14 August 2013

Linking up with pretty Hallie.

pants - Loft via Twice
shirt - oldie from an outlet
shoes - Targit

I wore a uniform all through high school .. both private and public. It was popular to complain about it but I secretly liked it because I've never been even remotely fashion savvy and truly thought that XXL t-shirts tucked tightly in and pulled back out just so were totally appropriate to wear on any occasion. Formal or not. Anyway ... this would've been mostly dress code friendly because there's not a patch pocket in sight and my shirt is sort of tucked in and I totally could've argued with my geometry teacher that it accidentally came untucked. But I wouldn't have done that because have I mentioned that I'm shy? The most. To a fault.

And with that pointless paragraph out of the way and having sucked 1.1 minutes out of your life forever here be my five favorites for the week ...
1. This interview with a 7-year-old named Hattie. Cracked me right up. Rye tup.

2. The fact that last night we went out for frozen yogurt with the kids (always seeeeems like such a fun idea ... ) and we took turns taking the kids in and getting our goods. Although now that I think about it I had Julia and Theo while procuring the yogurt so that plan really made tonz of sense. Anyway, I filled cups for both me and Julia and spent $6 and Simon went in with Sebastian and filled up cups for the two of them and spent $3. How does that happen? I blame it on the fact that Simon only likes fruity yogurt and lightweight fruit toppings (boooooring) while I only go for all things chocolate and cake and peanut butter and then all heavyweight candy bar goodies. Men are from Mars ... yaddda.

3. Let's talk about last night some more. Clap clap clap. Grin. Julia insisted that she and Bash take baths when we got home because they were sticky and she is super OCD about being clean so in a rush to get them undressed and in the tub it was a bit of a cluster and something hilariously terrible happened. Julia was laying on the ground and a naked Sebastian was standing over her. He suddenly took aim and bada-BOOM ... golden shower to her face. I can't even type this without laughing until the tears stream. I've never seen a more stunned Julia. Ever ever. And I've never seen a more pleased and amused Sebastian. Ever ever.

4. All of Simon's questions while we took these photos ...

"Are you doing some sort of "back-to-school" uniform theme?"

"Is Theo wearing Fubu jeans?"

"Do you think people like these posts with pictures of your outfits?"

"Wait, so you are trying to look like your dressed in a school uniform? I'm confused."

"Do you think the kids can sense that Theo is your favorite?"

5. Julia's been calling the boys and many of her dolls "sweetheart" lately and she tried thanking the Costco employee that drew the smiley on the receipt today by saying, "thanks sweetheart!" but it came out, "thanks sweetfart!" ... she has no idea what that word means because I have a weird aversion to the word (I know! I'm funfunfun!) but it gave him a little chuckle and really confused her. Anyway .... crazy day in the LIFE. You know how it is.

Simon Says

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13 August 2013

"please make sure I'm not in the shot."

"delete that picture you just took."

"crop my face out."

While teaching Julia how to play hide-and-seek in order to keep her entertained while we tried to talk for a few minutes after he got home from work ... Simon said, "well first you go count to four million .... ".

While eating lunch with the kids at the hospital I spewed one of my requisite cafeteria bribes ...
Grace: no cookies until you finish your french fries, kids
Simon: and that should be the title of your first book*

Randomly while we were driving Simon blurted out, "so I wonder if they're going to come out with a sequel to Pitch Perfect??"

Countless times after studying Theo's face, Simon asked "and you're SURE he's mine?"

After a super fun morning of receiving venty email after venty email from me about how much I hated how dirty and unorganized our house was (with only myself to blame), Simon simply emailed in return, "I love you even when you hate me."

After I stood up to go see what Julia was freaking about after I'd put her down for the night Simon said, "welcome to the Patton household where kids don't cry it out until they're 17 years old." 

In the parking lot at the park while I was corralling the older two and after he'd put Theo in his car seat and made an unfortunate discovery AND very much within earshot of surrounding peoples Simon shout-asked, "could you please stop lollygagging there is POOP ON MY HAND."

Seconds after Simon got me to admit that the newest Bachelor isn't the ugliest man in all of the land I received an email titled, "my workout inspirashe" with this photo attached ...

And after I texted him a photo of the two of us from the weekend he immediately responded, "what do you want me to do with that?"

*no plans to write a book ... Simon is just super nice. 

pack it in ...

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12 August 2013

... let me begin by saying that this morning Sebastian threw a huge fit about the fact that I wouldn't let him take a (wrapped!) tampon to the playground. I held strong while I got dressed in normal clothes but forgot to take off my shoes from my walk/run before we all piled into the car (forgive me, Jenny!) and while I understand if you think athletic shoes + regular clothing might look a little something like this ...

... but when it comes to me it does NOT. No, I always end up looking like a tourist ...

minus the helmet and the chariot and I've never been a lover of the one strap backpacks but ... I've got my whole life ahead of me. I guess.

... but it didn't end up mattering because on the way to the park it started pouring rain ... torrential style. So we turned around and I decided to interstate it home to make it faster but then we hit the most stubborn traffic jam which ... why didn't I think of that? Snail speed traffic at 11:45 on a Monday morning. We lived. It's over.

But ... this weekend? This weekend was glorious. No traffic jams or anysing. It was all productive and doing stuff and very uncharacteristic of the Pattons. When Simon isn't working over the weekend we're usually getting the bleep out of town to see some familiar faces or recovering from a long week of long hours or just .. I don't know what we do but it's usually pretty forgettable - apparently.

I'm tempted to dedicate a five part series to the weekend but I don't hate you that much so settle in for a little siesta while I walk you through it all. All of it. Right now.

After almost three years of parenting Simon and I have finalllllllly figured out that it's really best to get the kids out of the house to do something .. ANYTHING during the day. Usually we just go on a walk to the elementary school playground but we upped our game big time on Friday night ...

"I guess I just don't understand them." - Simon on the harems

We hit up a park (?) full of climbable turtle/snake with egg monstrosities that the kids loved. Loved. There's a very rickety old school playground nearby that they also loved but the real hit was the pedestrian bridge that went over the interstate ... of course. 

... but Julia was quite taken with the snake egg garden even after she'd already seen it twice as well.

Next day? Nature reserve time!!

directly over the kids playgroundy area ... fair enough.

And that was actually documented quite thoroughly on the gram here, here, here, and here so I won't go into detail about that but I thought it was great. However! Simon noticed and commented that it was too bad you could still hear the highway traffic from the reserve but Simon also loves to read placards so .... different strokes. Also .. Simon you are the almond butter to my low sugar jelly and I love you ... all in the goodest fun.

And moving right along to Saturday night formerly known as live ...

Pizza Party!!

Maclaren sent us the mac daddy of all picnic baskets complete with accessories galore including a thermos, stroller blanket (not necessary QUITE yet although this cool August is making me VERY nervous for the fall/winter situation), tote bag that Julia has claimed as her own despite the fact that it comes up to her rib cage in the height department, and one of those awesome bags that keeps dishes warm - Julia also loves that to carry things like a single q-tip around town. Thanks Maclaren!!

Sorry Sime. Every single snap caught you mid chew. 

You know what game the kids love love love to play? Fetch.

And it's awesome. Very little effort for a huge return in the energy burning department.

this was mostly not staged as I had to throw Theo in but occasionally the older kids coexist in harmony for a few hot seconds and it's really really nice.

and for dessert we have one Theodore directly before he pulled the most shameless Janet Jackson I've ever seen which is saying nothing because I missed that blessed event due to the sad fact that I'm a sport unenthusiast mostly.

And I'm not even going to drone on about the fiesta we hosted on Sunday because after using no fewer than 999 baby wipes over the course of six hours to clean the casa we pulled a super lazy and threw out a hot dog bar and some Costco chocolate chip cookies and called it good. Hosts with the mostless. Or something.

Happy dappy Monday to you and yours.


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