do you have a minute or 99? take a seat.

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26 September 2013

I'm dealing with the S L O W E S T internet in all of the first world's land so .... bear with my rosy tones here.

Maybe this will post in 2027 and everyone will be like, "internet? remember when that was a thing?" .. no. The internet will always be a thing. I hope. The most action my laptop has seen these past few days has been playing the white noise from one of my favorite websites, "free online sound machine" and to be perfectly honest with you ... it is killing me not so softly. I know lots of people get some sort of crazy recharge from unplugging and this is probably a very telling sign of a normal and healthy and functioning human. But me? I hate it. Maybe I'm a little bit like Jen or maybe I'm just so grossly reliant on my e-social interactions that I need some sort of mandated sugar detox - hold the sugar, add the internet. All of the stupid internet.

But we're not here to dwell on my addictions (because let's not get started on goth nail colors, homemade coffee ground facial scrub that basically removes the entire dermis, or Gavin Degraw's genius) - nope! We're here so that I might throw a lot of nonsense at you. The usual that you've come to know and silently groan about, I'm sure.

So here we go.

Twice now Julia has started "grooving" (her word for dancing, my word for seizing) and singing, "uh-plause, uh-plause, uh-plause" at the beginning of a song that's playing from my mom's van's radio while we've been driving around. As soon as the refrain comes on I realize. Of course. Of course she would know Lady Gaga's latest single because I am a cognizant mother that has her daughter's best interest at heart. I've never been one to listen to lyrics which is how I justify liking/loving 96% of the top crappy 40 but if she's going to start picking up on the smut that is radio-appropriate music ... we're going to need to hook Sister up with an iPod loaded with Raffi. Or something. My name is Grace, not Sacrificial Grace. My sanity saving van trips loaded with poppy tunes will live on. And on. AND ON.

Things that plague me: our next leg of the trip (starting tomorrow) consists of a trip to San Antonio. Simon has a conference to attend and we're tagging along. I don't even really care about the flights even though I bet they are full full full - they should be relatively quick. Texas is big but New Mexico is rightnextdoor. No, I'm really wondering if the hotel "cribs" will be those insitution-like rolly hospitalesque cribs? If so - it probably won't fit in the bathroom which is where Sebastian will need to sleep. Let me stress the need. Maybe you've dealt with docile toddlers that will just snuggle up in a hotel bed and conk out at an acceptable hour but Sebastian will not. Julia will - after a long chat about things big girls do and requests to "wrap her in" (tuck/wrap are synonymous just like because/whycuz) I should just call and ask if they have pack-n-plays and be done with it and prepared to face the horror music but I hate making phone calls.

I forgot to tell you on one of our flights on Saturday I tuned in and out of the conversation happening directly behind me. It sounded like a lady was telling her seat neighbor all about her grandkids or maybe her kids, "well, he isn't scared of the dark but she won't go downstairs alone unless I get up and turn the hall light on .... " and "oh they love my sister when she babysits them because they get so spoiled .... " and "their favorite food is filet mignon but it has to be marinated for at least 24 hours beforehand ..."

Oh-kee. kids with refined palates?

No. A lengthy listen to the tail end of the one-sided conversation that lasted the entire length of the notshort flight led me to the cold hard truth. She was talking about her cats.

A feline hater I am not but if I ever make your ears bleed for that long while I force you to listen to stories about my human offspring? Yank my vocal cords. Take them all. Forever.

And the blog doesn't count. I'm not holding you hostage on a sky-locked vessel for hours on end.

Okay, that's enough.

Oh! But wait! A storyboard starring my kittens ...


caps lock off.

okay. that's really enough.

Under the New Mexican Sun (part one)

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24 September 2013

um, this post has taken three days to craft. Ignore the kids and the sunshine and just spit it out, Grace.

1. the theme of the trip for Sebastian has been: freak at any given moment for no reason at all.
2. attachment grandparenting
3. Julia was telling Bash the "plant" for the day and Bash is like, "Dad poured me into Theo's shorts. Everything else is I don't care."

4. Simon gave Theo a bath and I really hope that utensil is just a spoon ...
5. attachment aunting
6. Someone's having a tough time switching back to daytime living ... old age'll getcha

7. the mountain will only be photographed with a blurry human in the foreground. photography tutorials all over the internet haunt me. I know.
8. Simon was upset he forgot his "swim shirt"
9. $ shot. (Kidding, calm down.)

Let's bold and categorize everything flying around my nog ...

the flights: weren't that bad! Ranking in order from most poorly behaved to the best behaved: Bash, Simon, Theo, Julia, and Grace. Simon + airports have a complicated relationship. It's like we switch personalities and he goes from the most laid back human on the face of the planet to a Grace Patton (not laid back, never laid back, rarely fun). I'm normally the antsy and paranoid half of the relationship so it's all very entertaining and when we (always) make it to our gates with miles of minutes to spare -- it's very hard not to give him the smug, "I told you so .... " look. I mostly resist. I think he missed a flight once so his PTSD is real and understandable but when he starts barking up trees at 6:45 on Saturday morning about our flight that's leaving at 9:05 .... look OUT. (Simon approved this paragraph by stating, "we can't have people thinking I'm a saint.")


The kids bad mood blips were fortuitously timed as other passengers were boarding our flights and neither flight was full so - rows to ourselves!!! Halleluiah. The biggest hiccup came when Sebastian thought the gentleman behind us was definitely, "grandpa!!!" ... and the man looked to be about the age that it might be insulting to be mistaken for someone's gramps so luckily the faux granddad was open-mouthed sleeping and Sebastian's garble can be understood by almost zero humans SO ... no harm no foul blahblah.

Ah. And when Julia absolutely had had had to use the bathroom and so she dropped jeggings and Superman unders ( boys unmentionables are always thicker - better to absorb a teeny tiny accident on the go) in the middle of the terminal ... we made it to the bathroom and she went the entire day accident-free (if that sounds sort of braggy - I'm sorry! I never knew these milestones would be so life changing .... truly) so we'll just sweep her stint as an exhibitionist under the rug. 

the weather: sexy talk. I now remember why I kept a sparkly Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers attached to my key chain at all times in high school. Not because I was the queen of the coolias but because if you don't moisturize your lips every 23 seconds in the desert then your lips will chap, crack, and probably fall off. I have no other complaints about the glorious weather other than the fact that going running (.06 miles - and I'm sore - really sore - it's the altitude!!!!!!!!!!) at 7:48 will leave you chattering despite the leggings and long sleeves you don BUT by 11am you'll be slathering on the SPF or risk death by sunburn after 10 minutes of sun exposure.

the culture: I was driving behind a Jeep this morning that was rocking a Harley Davidson spare tire cover but also donned a "Namaste" bumper sticker directly underneath. I love the Land of Enchantment.

Much, much more to come. I miss you all.

Yes, even YOU.

Seven Quick Takes

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20 September 2013

Joining Jen and the givey givers ...

1. I wasn't going to do a quick takes post but ... what the hell? There are a bunch of things I've been wanting to post about but will probably just fester and die in the recesses of my brain so let's air them out here.

2. A couple of weeks ago I was on a little bit of a trash picking bender. It started innocently enough with a doll stroller

but then I was on a run and spotted one of those push cars ...

yes, that.

I ran home and told Simon about it so we popped in the car and drove by and Simon was "98% sure" that the people had just left it out in their yard and that it was not for greedy Graces to "steal".


So the next day I was running and oh, look. Same toy with a "free!" sign taped on the hood. Simon said I looked like a proud cat coming in from a hunt as I wheeled it up our walkway and while I don't appreciate being compared to a feline .... he was probably right. I tried sort of hard not to gloat but ... not that hard. It's rare that I'm the right one in the relationship so I had to lap it up lap it in ... you know.

3. And then the next day I was out on a run with the kids in tow when the same house had set out this sparkling diamond ....

a traveling circus of kleptos.

It had another "free!" sign on it and I kind of wonder if the family set out cameras to watch my face light up as I snatched up yet another one of their reject toys. I finished my run with our loot sort of intact and I could blame exactly no rubber neckers for doing their thang as they drove by me and my accomplaces.

I run by every day half expecting a live pony complete with premade Pinterest approved birthday party for one of the kids waiting for us ... I'll never quit dreaming.

Anyway, the next day I ran by another house that had a John Deere tractor outside dying a sad trash pile death and while I knew Sebastian would love it -- our basement is starting to resemble a helter skelter of a shelter for trash pile and craigslist rescue victims so ... I exercised some restraint and made Simon proud.

4. I saw a truck with this bumper sticker the other day and I love it.

5. This video. I watched it twice in a row last night and laughed out loud both times. I sent it to Simon and his response was, "where did you find this?" sooooo know that sometimes my humor bar is set very low.

6. TEN different kind and generous individuals sent me this Whole Foods post and if it wasn't on your Facebook feed ... come out from under the boring rock from which you dwell because ... people were loving it. It's pretty accurate which makes it hysterical.

7. You see us floatin' and hatin'. Okay, dumb. But last night of the awful float! Ah. It's such a terrible month and I'm so happy it's over and that we can have Simon back under our roof during normalish hours once again. Julia refers to the hospital cafeteria as his living room and it really sealed the deal when she saw his call room with the bed ... as she now assumes that he "whiffs dare". But we're done with 5 out of 8 of these months. Progress. Definite progress for the Patton peoples.

Have a nice cold one or ten on our behalf.

Bye now.

Interview with a couple of teenagers

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18 September 2013

In the past week Julia and Sebastian each seemed to have aged a year or three. Tomorrow I'm going to wake up and they're going to be pulling out of the driveway headed to high school (although by then I bet the driving age will have been bumped up to 19 years of age or something convenient like that) and I'll wonder what happened to the toddlers responsible for my head full of luscious grey locks. I don't know what it is because they still get into the screamiest squabbles and rely on their parental units to be fed, bathed, dressed, and coddled but I've noticed little things they say and do that have me and Simon looking at each other and saying the old wistful cliché, "they're really growing up." Of course now that I'm sitting down I can't think of the best examples but off the top of my flighty little head I remember Sebastian hearing Julia wake up from her nap yesterday evening (sister J needs her marathon naps .... or else) and he scrambled to get up from the table and get a fork from the drawer so that she could eat her dinner when she came out of her room. Maybe he was being nice or maybe he was just anticipating a tantrum if she didn't have the exact same utensil as Bash but I'll take it either way. Julia voluntarily gave Theo her very beloved purple sippy last night on the way home because he was a hot mess of tears and I think she could sense that Mom was headed that same direction if he carried on the entire drive to our house. Sebastian readies the bathroom for Julia's visits (I guess this might be a little weird .... ) by setting up the step stool and putting the little potty training lid device thing on the toilet and then patiently waits to be allowed to flush when she's all finished. And Julia is constantly making deals with me, "if I'm patient for five minutes then I can have two magical jelly beans - does that sound like a plan?" etc.

And whenever Sebastian falls down and starts crying Julia drops what she's doing and starts making a big fuss over him, "oh, sweets - are you going to make it?" ("sweets" is not a term of endearment I use ... although I do frequently ask if the injured party is going to make it .... let's cut to the chase, dear child) Bash has started to refer to himself as, "bitchy" - I'm assuming trying to say, "bashy" and he says thank you all the time. It will be a short-lived phase but it's one I'm enjoying as opposed to his trash-emptying days that seemed to be neverevereverevereverending.

Julia will be three in a couple of days and Sebastian will be two next month and I've seen these types of interviews (although I'm sure they are shorter -- brevity will never be something I ever pretend to strive for - ever) around the web and so I asked them both these questions this morning. I'm sure a lot of their answers would be different just five minutes later ...

what is your name?
Julia: Julia
Bash: (nods)

How old are you?
Julia: two
Bash: two

What's your favorite thing to do?
Julia: I like to go on rides
Bash: (picks nose)

What's your favorite book?
Julia: my Dora book
Bash: (walks away)

What's your favorite show?
Julia: Dora Christmas
Bash: show

what's your favorite song?
Julia: the Giggle Giggle song
Bash: no

What does Daddy do at work?
Julia: he works
Bash: donuts

What do you want for your birthday?
Julia: a sparkle (sprinkle) cake
Bash: dance (dances)

What is your favorite color?
Julia: purple
Bash: blue

Whats your favorite outfit?
Julia: purple outfits
Bash: blue

Where's your favorite place to go?
Julia: go get cookies
Bash: cookie

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Julia: a princess
Bash: truck

When you get sick what makes you feel better?
Julia: coffee
Bash: sorry?

What scares you?
Julia: the vacuum
Bash: thank you!

What makes you happy?
Julia: cookies
Bash: baths

Who's your favorite person?
Julia: mommy
Bash: Dadda

Whats your favorite toy?
Julia: big girls don't have toys
Bash: no

Not just for moms and medical professionals anymore ...

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17 September 2013

top - thredUP
jeans - Target
leather cuff - c/o ONE little Momma Shop
clogs - duh

(ha. obviously that title is not exactly true because I am mom, hear me roar-type about my kids every day of my mom-life.)

The other day I was sitting at a stoplight when I caught my reflection in the side of a windowed building and I almost laughed because I know that I drive a minivan but I guess I've never thought about the fact that I drive a minivan. I didn't care when we took the plunge into stereotypeville and if we're ever lucky enough to have enough kids to necessitate something like this ... bring it. I'd happily drive a whip like that. BUT I still refuse to tote a huge diaper bag around even if it is meant to not look like a diaper bag. We all have our things. Oh ... and I have one more! I have to admit that it took me a long time to come around to the idea of mom-friendly footwear. If you ever see me wearing sporty sandals please try to pull my fake face off because surely someone has just fashioned a Grace-face mask over their head. I was also pretty opposed to Birkenstocks until I read Natalie's convincing post on the matter yesterday. And never had I ever thought I'd be a clog lover but then I saw this picture on the Sartorialist and my mom gave me an old pair of her clogs and I've never looked back. I don't love wearing flats unless they are boots which is ridiculous - I know!! But the clog fits the bill for me and my idiosyncrasies on so many levels.

Dansko is constantly coming out with gorgeous new twists on an old classic and I would totally rock the professional clog all over town but I really love these ........ because they are heely and are really comfortable. Simon and I took the kids on a walk around a big park the other night ... hills, gravel, clouds of gnats and all and I wore my clogs and was perfectly fine. Simon is a fast walker and I didn't have to beg him to slow down one single time. And Julia loves them because she thinks they are for tap dancing. I do not know where on earth she learned about tap dancing but .... tappity tap tap tap. Cool toddler mom at your service.

Want a chance to win a pair? Winner's choice! Dansko is being kind and generous and giving away a pair to one of you fine readers. I hope you win and love your hooves as much as I do.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Discovery Zone

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15 September 2013

Not the place. Although I'm fairly certain those are now extinct ... but I could be wrong. And I'm also fairly certain that there is at least one other post on this here blog that goes by the name of Discovery Zone as well. Live and let live and move on. Now, Grace.

Tonight was the last super depressing Sunday afternoon of 2k13 that Simon had to trudge into the trenches. The float will be waiting for him in January but let's focus on the positive and the present that is the last week of this rotation that will not kill us dead. Oh, it's tried rill hard. Won't work.

In the mean time ... some things from the weekend. 

The movie Safe Haven ... right. More like Horror Haven. Nicholas Sparks is treading in some very dark waters these days as I genuinely could not watch a very large chunk of his latest novel-turned-movie last night. Simon got to pick the last movie we watched (Safety Not Guaranteed ... which was admittedly WAY better than I anticipated ... even though I fell asleep after the first 8 minutes ... I liked the beginning) so he agreed to watch the romantic drama before he realized it was a Sparks masterpiece. Theo loved it. Simon tolerated it.

And I'm still having nightmares about it even though I couldn't even begin to tell you what the villian looked like because I distracted my eyes by snapping quality cellular images whenever I sensed he was coming on the screen (often - it was often).

Tone it down next time, Sparkie. I should disclose that I could never in a million years read any of The Hunger Games books alone at night so .... my scary standards are 96 yards below the lowest low. Seriously.

I'm not the lazy piece of trash I thought I was. Well not as lazy. Maybe. I found myself with some freeish time (?!) after Julia ruined a family outing to a playground on Saturday morning because she suffered a paper cut of a scrape to the shin and acted as thought we were going to have to amputate at the sight of .05 drops of blood. After we drove the bleeder home Simon made it up to Bash by walking him to a nearby playground, Theo was sleeping off the PTSD of listening to her screams, and the patient was talking herself off a ledge in her room. So I went outside to attack the weeds in our driveway's crevices -- you know the ones that creep and grow and all of a sudden it's sort of Jungle Booky looking? Yes. I hated pulling weeds when I was younger but found the task to be ... enjoyable. Almost. Definitely gratifying and why is she typing about this? I don't know. Not that I'm any sort of Cinderella (laughlaughlaughlaugh .... if you've ever come over) but the change of pace from light (VERY light) housework and child rearing and feeding and bathing and mediating and diaper changing was really nice. So basically if you want me to come pull weeds --- I'm game as long as you watch the kids which should be a real picnic for you. I have to add that Simon came home and finished the job and swept the driveway back into tip top shape so I really shouldn't be waxing boasty about my 27 minutes of yard work. But ... I yam. If I ever take up gardening ... I just don't know if the internet has enough word space for me because you know I'll be walking you through every painful 'tail. Every one.

Self-timer family portraits attempts are rarely futile.

 Sebastian had dashed five miles by auto-snap numero dos.

 Theo graduated to the big kid bath club and dramatically improved my quality of life.

I love chucking the baby bathtub into the storage room around this age because what a buzz kill that thing is. It's always in the way and it's so nice getting them all bathed in one fell swoop of a session and Theo's new happy sound is a roar and he just roars up a storm from his perch as caboose because he is clam-level happy. The getting them all out and dressed while trying to avoid a cluster of meltdowns is still a work in progress but ... we'll get there.

We'd starve in Hollywood. We made a little movie for Wendy's flatbread sandwich (we tried the Asiago Ranch and it was so good) on Saturday night. Our acting was atrocious and people thought Sebastian was cursing (never out of the realm of possibility) and I've not a creative bone in my bod so ... watch and cringe. And then cleanse your palate and watch about a billion more creatively hilarious clips and even add your own right here. I know you can do so much better.

In a moment of dizzying thirst and insanity I bought a bottle of kombucha. I gave it five thoughtful sips and came to the conclusion that it tastes exactly like carbonated feet. Sweaty Sebastian Feet. Never ever again.

I'll stick to my old faithful and familiar carbonation (sparingly, I swear). Forever.

Seven Quick Takes

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13 September 2013

Joining Jen and her flock.

1. Hopefully you're all reading Regina's blog by now because it's really good and hilarious and edifying but you should especially pop over and read her most recent post. It is beautifully written, poignant and tear jerky and worth your time. SAHM's honor.

2.  I've read a few different people claim that Instagram is in and blogging is out or that Instagram is the new blogging. NO!!! While I love Instagram and seriously abuse the system at least three times a day ... please don't let this be true. I don't think it will really happen because books aren't even close to being an endangered species and I don't think humans will settle for grainy postage stamps of babies, food, feet, skylines, and more babies (guiltiest party right here) in lieu of fantastically written posts like the one you're reading right now. Wink wink wink. Frantic wink.

3. So Theo has been in rare form the past few days.

okay, fine. But this was after Simon woke up for a few minutes today and gave him lots of attention which proves my parent thesis that moms are just eager and useless servants. KIDDING, calm down. But anyway I think he just has a little cold on top of teething or something but he acts like any surface other than my body is molten lava that is scalding the shit out of his little rolls and so ... I hold him a lot. And that would be fine but ... this is not the month for that, dear Theodore + other children + how can I miss you if we're alwaystogether??

My point! I ordered an amber teething necklace which I've always thought was a little hocus pocus but people swear that they work and I don't care ... I'm really desperate for a shower to the soundtrack of not a screaming bebe. I don't even care if Julia comes in and gives me a factorial on why Sebastian is ruining her life. Bring it.

I'll let you know if it works and I'll eat my big fat doubting skeptic Thomas for three squares.

I realize this makes me sound super heartless ... I don't think I am. I hope I'm not! I'm just short on arms and sleep and patience. 

4. In our wanderings of the hospital this past month we've deduced that Julia la-la-la-la-LOVES riding elevators. She welcomes the awkward quiet with strangers and flirts with pushing the alarm button but doesn't ever go so far as to push it (thus far!!) and so we thought she'd love a little escalator ride. WRONG. She freaks and cries and freaks some more while Sebastian looks at her like she crazy because he is a lover of the 'lator.

Things you've always wanted to know. I'm full of them.

5. A week from Saturday we're flying to my native land and I'm super excited but accompanying that excitement is a small to medium wave of pure terror because of Sebastian freaking Patton. I think Julia will be okay because she's sort of out of the restless body syndrome bologna at Mass but Sebastian is not and he is a large boy and once he starts flailing and kicking ... watch your teeth that happen to house fillings.

6. Stretching this into two because I'm boring and tired. Basically I'm hoping there are some magical apps you fine people know about that will work in the sky? Or can I download shows on iTunes for him to watch? We don't have an iPad or anything like that (and the ONLY reason I can ever come up with to try and convince Simon we need one is for when we fly with the kids and we RARELY fly so ... moot point) but we have our phones and hopefully he'll be lured by the glow of some long clips of trucks (we are REALLY into trucks right now ... ) or something. Help me if you can. I don't want to bring (any, really) gobs of toys or books because Sebastian eats board books and loses toys. FuN mOm fOrEvEr!!!!

7. Now that Julia is over her phobia of public restrooms (not that she can be blamed) - tonight I took her to a new-to-her bathroom at the hospital and she swung the stall door open, audibly gasped, and exclaimed, "what a PERFECT toy-wet!!" and then thanked me profusely for bringing her to said sparkling throne. Lest you think she is all sugar and no spice - this is after she pitched a mini fit that one of Simon's co-workers couldn't come home with us for the night (feel loved, Allison -- or feel sufficiently smothered by toddler infatuation). Anyway, maybe for her birthday I'll make our toilet shine like the sun and wrap it with a pink ribbon. The third birthday is the bleach-on-porcelain birthday, correct? Good.

Have a nice life.

jk. I'll never e-die.

Conversations with Julia

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11 September 2013

*this post is dedicated to Caitlin, gracious receiver of annoying emails from Grace

"Welcome to the Julia-holds-a-ribbon Show!!"

After a long complaint sesh about the full swings ...
Grace: well we can't just kick the other kids off the swings
Julia: welllll what about if we NICELY kick them off the swings? Is that a good idea?

Walking into the house after visiting Simon last night ...
Julia: Welcome home, Julia!
Julia: Thank you, house!!

99 times a day ...
Grace: please be patient
Julia: patient?? who is patient? what is patient??

While in the middle of yet another search for a sippy cup ...
Grace: did you find it?
Super Serious Julia: No I did not. It must be a mystery.

After it got way too quiet in the basement ...
Grace: what are you two doing down there?
Julia: oh, we're just banging out.

"wook! I'm doin the swips!"

After I made a new changing table cover ...
Julia: ooooh now I'll never have to potty train again!!!

Following me into the bathroom ...
Julia: Don't worry, I'll just share your pribacy with you.

Meeting a kind nurse at the hospital while visiting Simon
Kind Nurse: and how old are you?
Julia: well I'm just wearing underwear, see? (shows) 

After giving adorably pregnant Katrina an up-down ...
Julia: you have big muscles

While proudly showing off a tangible and pungent potty training accomplishment with a flourish of her hand ...
Julia: well well well what have we here?

When she had a very slight runny nose in the middle of the night when Simon was at work ...
Julia: my nose isn't working
Julia: I think I have the chokes
Mole-eyed Grace:
Julia: Maybe if I get up and read ten books I'll feel better.
Mole-eyed Grace:
Julia: Maybe if I get up and play for just 20 minutes I'll feel better.
Julia: I need some Bicks or some Baseline up in my nose
Mole-eyed Grace:
Julia: my nose is frowing up!!!
Mole-eyed Grace: good night, Julia

Five Favorites

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10 September 2013

Hola Chicas. I've said it before and I'll say it again - 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 with some writing deadlines looming so she generously allowed me to guest host because she's a veritable charitable soul.

So! Here are mine ...

1. I was really flattered to be included in Modern Mrs. Darcy's roundup of some of her favorite blogs along with some of my favorite reads (Shana and Jen!) It was fun to see what other blogs she reads and you'll definitely want to pop her blog into your reader - which reminds that I don't know if I'm feeling the bloglovin' love lately. I hate to say it but I might have to move over to the dark side and bite the Feedly bullet. I'll keep you posted.

2. I've been wanting to tell you that Costco has been BRINGING it in the chip department lately.

I know. Photo quality is poorer than poor but my food photographer is away on business and I had a teething Theo in one arm, a Sebastian at my knees wanting to be in my other arm, and Julia carrying on at my feet about who the bleep knows. Something important.

The sweet potato chips and the seedy chips are both really great substitutes for tortilla chips and the edamame chips have a texture similar to Sun Chips and all three varieties go really well with hummus or salsa. Even the big kids will eat all three varieties and they aren't easygoing in the food department. I don't think Simon's seen the seedy ones but I kind of doubt he'll even touch the bag because he is highly allergic to anything somewhat healthy. And if you don't consider these varieties of chips to be super healthy well then .... we strongly disagree and that's okay. Next week I really want to try the pumpkin chips (Simon will love!) ... has anyone tried them?

3. This Instagram account. Thee cutest family that will make you want to move to the English countryside. Now. (Thank you Jessica for pointing me in their direction!)

4. The gentleman at Target today that asked to be shown around because it was his first time to ever visit the bullseye. His first time to visit a Target. I'm guessing he is from Pluto. He stormed out when the cashier took too long to find someone to come bustling out with a tray of champagne and hors d'oeuvres. The cashier just shrugged and kept on trucking and I don't know why I found the whole exchange super entertaining.

5. Dear Sweet Theo,

Can you pretty please skip the toddler phase?

My heart can't take another one of you turning on me because I let you off the swing like you asked or made you the meal you requested or tried to brush your teeth.

Thanks in advance.

Have a great night/day/whathaveyou and thanks for reading and linking and everything else.

you can't have the sweet without the sour and other stupid idioms

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Doesn't it seem like they come in handy when you're in kind of a crap situation ... "you're barking up the wrong tree" or "a leopard can't change his spots" or "no use crying over spilled milk" blah blah blah. Basically I need to be more circumspect. Last night after I'd gotten us all ready to go visit Simon and we were in the car and pulling out of the driveway .... there was a crash c-section that Simon had to do and I know that's his job and that's the point of him being there and as one disgruntled reader put it once, "he's helping the sick and dying" (welllllll .... a bit of a stretch but .... fine) I still had a really tough time trying to hoist the giant baditude off my back. Even Julia told me she was "having a bad moon" when I told her we had to wait because apparently rosy dispositions are hereditary. I opted for the park because I had about zero other options. I walked Theo around in the stroller while the older two did what they do (Julia stares at the kids and Sebastian goes and talks to strangers in syllables while they stare at him ... circle of little life and all dat)

my little social butterfly. and do you see that pirate doll? she left it at the park and after everyone was carseated in she remembered and we had to go retrieve it ...... four frantic minutes shaved right off my life.

... hmmmm and WHY were all of the other parents looking at me and looking back at me again and again? Had they never seen an unkempt mom + children out in public?!

Of course. The zipper on my shorts? Wide open.

I didn't even bother being discreet in zipping it back up because at that point I think the kids could've asked for 44 oz caffeinated sugar waters and I would've said, "sure!" because holy long ass of a day.

Anyway, we eventually got to see him and have a nice visit and had Grace from earlier just seen the light of the future ... maybe she wouldn't have acted like the apocalypse was imminent at the beginning of the night. Maybe not.

And! Julia had her first accident-free outing. And it was a long outing. We did have to throw her on the nice and low handicapped toilet three times over the course of three minutes but still .... she "did NOT pee on Dora's face" so ..... silver lining? Totally. Absolutely.

Unfortunately, last night was an absolute dream compared to how tonight went down but we're going to water under bridge that shit and hope that third time's a charm tomorrow. Told you ... leopards and their spots.

Next month of night float I'm not blogging once. I promise. No one should be subjected to this kind of sunshine. I'm sorry.

Let's shift gears to Theodore Patton and his mother's cellular device. Theo sometimes wakes up circa 3 or 4 in the am ready for THE DAY. Happy, chirping, insane, grabby. Sometimes I'll indulge him and play with him and rock him back to sleep (I'm a sucker and I know it and I'm clapping my hands, I promise) but last week I was not having it. I vaguely remember giving him my phone to play with and going back to bed but I was mostly sleep walking through the motions as you do in the mom life on occasion.

Theo is 8 months old and has the dexterity of a drunken sailor just so you don't think this is flashing lights and mom brags. I was mostly just shocked that he unlocked the phone in the first place ...

The first night he hit up the Twitter ...

The second night he Facebook friend requested a Megan Andrews on my behalf. So ... I highly doubt there is a Megan Andrews that reads this blog but know that I am not creeper mcCreepy but that Theo is.

The next day he went ahead and threw up an inaugural status update for me ....

And the next night he took and pinned a photo of the attic ceiling onto my baked goods board.

I've since started giving him an age-appropriate teething toy to aid his insomnia.

And in the event of any sort of smartphone sibling Olympics .... this is what his competition looks like ...

200 more photos exactly like this and I'm walking and grimacing [cropped, you're welcome] in every single one. Julia's handiwork.

And this is from last year but this is the best work I've seen from Sebastian who was toddling around with my phone when he landed on this upstanding individuals gram account ...

 So I think it's safe to assume that Theo will probably crush them.

without a doubt.

d. x.r f kjdfneuwefhfbsadkjajknwe83 $


How to kill a blog ...

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06 September 2013

... and try to bring it back from the dead with one ramble of a post sprinkled with tens of photos.

Let's go.

I'm feeling a little rusty. And reckless .... abandoning ship for a week? Who cares? I know, not a soul! My biggest complaint about St. Louis (or more specifically - me in St. Louis) is that most days it still feels like we moved here two weeks ago because I do not feel integrated at all. This is 100% my fault but all of the emails that have hit my inbox this past week make me feel like who needs tangible friends when you have the internet?

Not I.

Anyway, the break was unintentional (you already dedicated one paragraph to your sabbatical! no more no more no more .... ) but I was able to find a dark little basement even below the bottom floor that is super survival mode and went into gum-on-a-sidewalk mode.

Or Theodore's bottom lip on a padded playground floor mode. 

Or ... lazy. Or ... slacker. I hope you roll your eyes at my wines + an h ... but night float has just been especially tough this time around -- which still comes as a ridiculous shock to me. It's lonely because whenever Simon and I see each other it's as if our brains have been thrown into a blender and whipped into a vommy smoothy. We are tired. Really bleeping tired. And even though I love my kids and laugh every time Julia mandates yet again that Sebastian is going to dress up as a "costume" for Halloween ... or that when I'm holding Theo and trying to make lunch and Sebastian busts out his second two word phrase that is, "hode you?" ... it's really inconvenient but mostly really endearing ... they do make better company than no one in the house ... but I'll gladly bury vampire Simon in two weeks time. Bring on the semblance of normality. Please. Pretty please.

So. What's been going on around here? More of the same.

We went to Wichita last weekend and I did a terrible job of documenting but snapped these ...

It took Simon three tries to get the overalls on correctly.

As usual, we were spoiled by Simon's family. Super spoiled.

And the big kids love for Frankie makes me almost consider becoming a one pet family again in the VERY distant future but ...... probably definitely not.

We visit Simon as the laborers allow ...

 ... and Sebastian is getting extra bold and stealth and bolty in public which is really great. I'm pretty okay with taking the kids to playgrounds myself (this only took me about 7 months after Theo was born ... I adapt to new situations beautifully) but Sebastian has to be watched like a hawk. I hope you never have the pleasure of seeing me holding poor Theo while sprinting after Sebastian headed toward a pond, parking lot, or street because it's an ugly scene that Sebastian repeatedly finds hilario.

And actually my empty-armed chase is pretty and poised as well.

oh! And the biggest news of all is that we had visitors! Glorious visitors.

Ana and her three little ladies came through on Wednesday and left this morning. The visit lifted my spirits immensely and I love Ana's blog but I love her even more in real life and wish there was some crazy bloggers commune where we could all just retire at the age of how about today? I was a terrible hostess and totally hit up Costco's snack bar for lunch one day and Dunkin Donuts drive-thru for an after dinner park snack and after feeding the kids and putting them to bed last night it dawned on me that I hadn't fed Ana. So ... come visit. You'll eat really well.

You'd think it would be chaos central with six kids under the age of five in a not-very-big house but the kids got along great and Julia is still sad about her friends being gone and that I'm probably less likely to entertain her grating game of "Fee-Fi-Fo" which involves stomping around the house with a super creepy Gollum voice than Ana's sweet girls did. It was so nice to hang around with someone that understands that minivan floor diaper changes are the norm and that tantrums are a toddler's love language. She even had the pleasure of waiting in the hospital parking lot with a screamy Theo as we waited to see Simon for 3 minutes between c-sections. Red carpet treatment. She got it.

the Patton offspring are like .... wtf is that? getting along? looking happy? not for us.


I'm back. And as mediocre and melodramatic as ever. Run while you still can.


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