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31 October 2013

Sebastian turned two years old yesterday and what a day it was. No, it wasn't. It was just another day with a grand cake finale that he better never forget. Julia was more excited than he seemed to be that it was his special day and Theo didn't even acknowledge the blessed event. I kept thinking I should make the cake in secret but then I realized .... he's two and he is clueless .... who cares.

Anyway, there are a lot of days that I feel really terrible with how exasperated I get with Sebastian (he shipped my phone off to a watery grave a la toilet on Tuesday and just.didn't.get.the.problem with giving it, "a bath!!" then mixed LOTS of oregano in with the rice bath where the phone was breathing its last and still .... why are you so upset, crazyhorsemom?!) and his impressive knack for getting into trouble because he is a sensitive little soul. He is always quick to apologize and often remembers that he was naughty even after his nap and gives the knee hug/sorry which makes me feel even more terrible.

For not having many words in his little vernacular he has an impressive manner skill set and always says, "welcome" when he hands anyone anything and does the little head nod whenever he says, "thank you" which sounds like, "dan do". Nothing makes him angrier than a parent trying to dispose of one of his pungent diapers in the big trash can in the driveway and not taking him with for the adventure and an hour of his life is not complete until he makes someone smell his feet and give him the exaggerated, "ewwwww" -- even though exaggeration is never necessary because his feet smell terrible. Simon says they are going to ruin all of his chances with any ladyloves in the future and I think Simon is right.

Okay. His favorite color is blue and his favorite number is blue and he chucked a large rock at Julia's face while she was standing a mere 3 feet in front of his hand on Monday and she has the battle wound to prove it. And she'll tell you all about it even when she's in 7th grade - guarant.

Moving on.

It's been decided that in the future we can either celebrate Sebastian's birthday or we can celebrate Halloween because this underwhelming cake took it out of me and the kids are set to go trick-or-treating (unless it rains? please?) in some yet to be determined costumes (Julia is still deciding between a princess, a scary butterfly and a ballerina anyway - lay off) in a couple of short hours. And they did hit up a Halloween party in the hospital lobby earlier and as we walked out Julia sighed, "that was such a FUN Halloween .... " so maybe Halloween is already over.

Simon said I was giving devil glares here. I said that's just my natural face.

Oh, what was that? You want detail shots of that b? The readers get what the readers want.

I might make a fake Pinterest account (Grace C. Ake) just to pin these with the description, "obvious A for effort but a generous D for finished product delivery"

Anyway. He loved it and drove all over it and was so pleased with his trucks that we are saving his one wrapped present for Christmas that is conveniently wrapped in Christmas wrap from 2009 as it is.

oh! And Happy 10 months to Theo! In case we forget your first birthday. Third borns and their rough upbringings.


sort of.

oh! And ...

Sebastian's birth story
an ode to the middle child
Sebastian as Julia last Halloween ..

Fine Art

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29 October 2013

boots - Forever XXI super dupe clearance (but these are similar and much cuter)
skirt - Goodwill (altered)
sweater - Banana Repub via thredUP

Yeah, yeah. Yadda, yadd. Outfit photos of the millennium. We had about 47 seconds before Mass on Saturday night to snap these and it was windy and okay those are my only excuses. I asked Simon what he thought of photo number second and he said, "well, aren't the weirdest faces the most bloggable?" so. But rather than skip posting I tend to opt for quantity over quality around here. Always.

Okay so back to Saturday night. I know it sounds awful and possibly sinfully blasphemous but whenever Simon works on Sunday and we have to go to the hour long Mass it feels a little bit like walking the plank of doom. Simon's recovering from his 24 hour shift, I'm recovering from Simon's 24 hour shift, and the kids are at the delicious just-up-from-naps-and-ready-for-dinner-not-half-a-granola-bar-in-the-Odyssey phase of the evening. You know it well, I'm sure. So it's always nice when the kids aren't too twitchy and terrible and we only have to hiss a couple of, "yes, if you're good you can watch Dora Snow Princess!!" instead of one of us taking Sebastian out for one too many hymnal page rips/limb thrashes.

I think I'm going to make Sebastian start wearing a sign that reads, "just shake my hand during the sign of peace or risk breaking my heart into a million shards" because ALL he wants out of his pew/jail time is some hearty handshakes and all he's been getting lately are terse smiles and quick nods in his direction. I know kids are germy and maybe even contagious but I know you keep one of those little bottles of sanitizing gel in yo purse. I know it.

Okay. I started this post yesterday but then it was interrupted by a certain someone and his crap nap (the worst kind, the short nap, the one that foils all plans of blog posting and um other noble things) so I'll keep on huffing and puffing. I decided to move past the simple coloring stage of art time (four minutes always, these kids and their attention spans) and go wild last week. I reallllly talked up the fact that we were going to do, "arts and crafts" after naps and the kids had no idea what in the bleep I was talking about but were still "so es-sided!!!" and so when it was all said and done Julia announced ...

"I just love arts and craps! What kind of crap should we do next??"

And I think we've all peaked. Right here. If anyone has any (SIMPLE) ideas .... I am alll eyes. I started a Pinterest board but ... snore.

Okay the only way to save this post and really make it sparkle would be to throw you a meal plan. Razzle dazzle. And that's something I've yet to master. So I'm off to see about some bread bowls for tonight because it's 4pm and I fly by the strings of my apron and then I need to research some crap - for the kids.

oh!! and there's one medium ad and two small ads left for the month ... if you wanna

Paul + Pauline (and some other things)

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27 October 2013

Okay so I'm still not entirely convinced that my little brother isn't pulling my gullible leg here but ...

this is my brother Paul (on the right - in the event of any confusion!!) and the little lady he escorted to (on? for?) his college's homecoming court (I hope that's correct). Her name is Pauline. Paul claims Pauline and her mom (mother of nine! love it) are dedicated readers of the blog and thought they'd get a kick out of some posted pics.

So I'm believing and delivering.

Lie and tell me they aren't the most adorable. You can't do it. Because they just are.

Anyway, I may have made the bit up about "dedicated" because how dedicated can anyone be to reading a blog who's genre is: complaining ... but still. I hope any mothers of nine that read this blog just get a nice little chuckle every now and again over my pathetic leedle plights.

So Paul and Pauline. That was the main event.

Moving onto less exciting.

Mouse in the house. I was down in the basement a few minutes ago with the big kids when out ran a baby mouse. Just like that! Into plain sight. Julia jumped three feet right onto the nearest raised surface and Sebastian chased it around and I freaked. Until I put a glass over the brave little sucker and trapped it's bottom until Simon gets home from work tonight. Simon suggested I slip a piece of paper under the glass and just flip the glass over and take it outside.

Where is the hysterical laughter emoticon?


One thing at a time, Dr. Dreamer. Let's work on my gigando medal-o-bravery first. Milk chocolate or platinum will do. Either/or.

Life hacker what. So I like the blasted pumpkin spice lattes just fine but I really, really, really love the stupid salted caramel mochas to a fault. A big fat fault. I've found that purchasing any kind of caramely creamer (chocolate caramel, or whatev) and then salting (with sea salt because iodized table salt just kind of takes the fun out of it, you know?) the caramely creamed coffee is a very worthy subsititue for the real deal.

Don't hate me cuz you ain't me. Don't laugh and rain on my parade but I'm going to at least attempt to make a truck cake for Sebastian for his second birthday this week. Yes, I feel guilty because Julia got store bought cookies for her birthday this year but you know what? I tried last year. I did. It's a mostly selfish act because the cake will be carrot (my favorite) and the dirt is going to be crushed Reeses (my other favorite) and his big presents are going to be the trucks adorning said cake. Three birds - one very time consuming stone. I'll post pictures if it's 1/29304829348204th as okay looking as the real deal. And I realize Pinterest has way crazier cakes to shoot for but I know my limits and I know them well.

Stage mom. So I think I've touched on the fact that Julia is obsessed with ballerinas, performances, and anything to do with dance dance dance it's a toddler thang. I found some tap shoes in her size on thredUP and after missing out on a pair of cowboy boots for Bash last week I snapped them up and then happened to mention my genius purchase to Simon the other night. Never have I ever seen the man google (while simultaneously guffawing and eyebrow arching and looking at me like I had 9 new heads) something so fast in my life. "Do tap shoes ruin wood floors?!!!!!!!!!" and he was waving all the rants from fellow dumb parents in my face in about .000005 seconds flat. Fine, point taken.  (And there are some toddler boy tap shoes still for sale if anyone is in the market to ruin their floors like I was. Formerly fun mom.)

Triathlon Training. But not. Not ever. I saw this on Facebook (thank you Megan Rose!!) and thought it looked doable for the first fewish minutes of nap time?? Maybe? At least the first week?

It's getting a little bit too cold to run in the mornings so we'll see if I can stick to this. 

Pumpkin farming, apple picking, crisp fall weekending. Nope.

Call weekend for the lose.

But you know me and sports so lets focus on the Irish and the Cardinals victories yesterday ...
oh, and Pollyanna attitudes. Love those.

(Sebastian striding straight for the fake tree bark chips that would go straight into his mouth. Always. Grow up, dude.)

Anyway. Have a happy rest of the day ...

Or don't ...

I'll never know. 

keep on trucking

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23 October 2013

*this post's sentiment is sort of inspired by Rachael's but she'll always outwrite me. Every ding dang time!!

I mostly blame it on the rigors of Simon's schedule and the fact that we live near approximately zero family and the ever changing and evolving needs of the kids but I haven't felt in control of well - pretty much anything in a really long time.

But! There have been lots of glimmers of "is that a stride we're hitting?" lately and I don't want to jinx (Simon is big into jinxing things and he's made me paranoid) it so instead of biting off more than the child rearing, light (light!!) cleaning, and meal making that devours my days and evenings and middle of the nighting I'm just enjoying the little flashes of light that just might overcome the cloud of overwhelmed that seems to follow me and my melodramatics around all day every day.

I took the kids to Target this morning because my bottle of Excedrin was woefully empty (me + Excedrin are simpatico ... we all have our things) and even though Theo can't get the hang of sitting in those poorly engineered front seats (seriously - he is a solid sitter but the tilt along with the strangly seat belt is too much) so I had to carry him while holding Julia's hand and pushing the cart with my thorax -- it was okay. I almost eye-murdered the idiot that idled and watched me load and buckle each of the kids into their car seats and put the cart away so that he could get a spot two spaces closer to the store front but ... I refrained. I under-my-breath death wished him and gave him two angry pocket birds instead. Calm down, I'm like 23% kidding.

After a few fussy and frustrating weeks with Theo I finally figured out that he just wants to be around his peoples. His peoples not being his parents but his peoples being his siblings. He's content to sit in the basement and watch while they play game after riveting game of their current trifecta of favorites: sleepover, ballerina, and trucks - repeat.

Sebastian will stop hanging on my kneecaps if I give him something to clean - (a loaded Swiffer for the floors, a freshly Windexed mirror to muck up all over again, or a baby wipe to attack the pleather couch) - his second favorite pastime after playing trucks. The truck thing is endearing but out of hand - he eats only out of his dump truck, sleeps with ALL of his trucks, bathes with the truck that doesn't make noise, opts to cuddle with his herd over any blankies or warm bodied mothers in the morning, and heaven forbid I try to change a diaper if he isn't accompanied by at least one of his posse to hold his hand through the torturous process.

Oh, and he calls them, "truckies" - much to Julia's horror.

"No, Stub-bastian. They actually are called, 'trucks'" ...

And Julia is happy if she's wearing no fewer than four tutus (pictured at the tippy topy) at a time and has an audience of at least one for her ballet performances that involve a lot of graceful high kicks and dizzying twirl after twirl after twirl after twirl after twirl after twirl after twirl that make the rickety tilt-a-whirl at the parking lot carnival look downright pleasant.

This week is sandwiched by two call weekends and the rest of the year isn't looking much better and surprise! Simon has an extra week of night float to enjoy before Christmas but that's the name of the game for now. It won't kill us - I don't think.

Simon and the kids haven't kicked me out for introducing kale to our meals (smoothies for the kids, dressed with lots of flavor and fruit and smiles for Simon) and one of these days I swear I'm going to break out of the Annie's (¡Organic!) Crack and Cheese lunch rut that the kids have grown far too attached and accustomed to.

So we're trucking.

At an imperfect pace but it's really nice to finally feel like the world might not come crashing down around me the majority of the time.

You know? Tell me you do.

Instavida + FAQ

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21 October 2013

I know!! I know - total cheater cheater pumpkin cookie eater of a post. Despite the fact that Simon worked this weekend and Monday's shift should feel like a soft pillowy landing - I still managed to pull out of the Costco parking lot with my groceries stillllll in the cart and said cart neatly tucked away in the corral. It's as if Theo is 9 days not 9 months. My excuses are running low/I've got none.

So! Cop out post. Boo me hard.

1. Julia is very into all things ballet and performances these days. Theo makes up her entire fan club. It's called, "The Enthusiastics" ...
2. Sebastian waiting for Julia to notice his lap doll. And waiting for her to freak. She always does.

3. "Here's something that should go down niiiiice and easy"
4. Great Grandma and Little J tricycle derby. Does anyone want to teach J to peddle?

5. Sebastian's hell. 
6. Theo's attention hogging heaven.

7. Theodore + John Deere = bffornever.
8."Bash and I are just playing ballerina while I pick some corn."

9. If Julia ever sees this post - consider them dead.
10. If you're giddy and you know it ... smile.

I'm sorry - these are all repeats. I won't do it again for another few weeksmaybedays.

And I started putting together a little FAQ page .... if you dare to care it's over there. And I'm serving kale for dinner ... in case I go missing ... question Simon. He may have thrown me out.


the bests {in my book}

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19 October 2013

Why so serio?

I don't know. It was the 6th anniversary of Simon sending me the Facebook message that started it all (full story here) and since he's working 3 of the 4 weekends in October we took advantage of the occasion, nabbed a sitter for 90 minutes on Wednesday and went to dinner. I think it was a little too dark/windy for pictures but here's one where I'm not eating my hair. Okay enough. No one cares.

I'm letting myself putz around the internet while two of the kids sleep and the other one plays trucks in his crib because I took them all to the post office this morning and didn't die. I prepped Julia and Sebastian that we would have to wait in a long line and if they didn't stay right next to me then something really REALLY awful would happen. Julia seemed to get it and Sebastian just nodded emphatically and stuck by her side. When I was paying Julia tugged on my sleeve and whispered, "um, so where's the wine?!"

I thought I'd share some of my current best of picks ... because I didn't get my act together to join Hallie last week and I'm not big on scheduling posts in advance so ... seizing the moment now.

Best Nude Nail Polish: My top TOP pick is Sally Hansen's Cafe Au Lait but I can never find it in the stores anymore so I tried OPI's Samoan Sand and it's a super, SUPER close second place - it's just a tiny bit more on the pink rather than the beige side.

Best Sippy Cup: Okay - I'll be honest and admit that if we'd let her Julia would still totally drink out of a bottle at three years of age. This was my fault for not nipping her favorite pastime at the recommended age of one exact year and let's not dwell on my mistakes, thanks. I did a bit of research (don't you love when people use the research euphemism when what they really mean is Googled a little) and found these Boon Sippy Cup. They are far and away my favorite. Even Theo loves when he gets to play with them and has an easy time drinking a bit of water out of them and there aren't a million parts to lose in the dishwasher and I love them. Oh, and I told Julia that her old bottle died after she wouldn't accept the, "lost" lie thinking she would just forget it and drop it but she is very eager to tell anyone that's willing to lend an ear about the tragic death. I'll dedicate a chapter in my parenting manual to "tough stuff" ... fear not.

Best Slouchy Sweatshirt: It's really nice that the slouchy look is in because I can just change from my yogas to some denim if we need to venture out into civilized society during the day. I saw this sweatshirt over on Natalie's blog and trusted her judgment and ordered it online. I washed and air dried it once and it didn't shrink up to my clavicle and it might be a stretch to say it looks Madewelly but it definitely doesn't scream Forever 21. Or maybe my 30-year-old judgement is clouded. I have pretty broad shoulders and ordered a small and it's still slouchy mcslouch. Like a boss. You can sort of it see it in action on my person here.

Best Blog: Okay well no. I could never choose a favorite blog but I love reading Fran's blog because she gives really great and honest reviews of clothing. And she's funny about it. And she has impeccable style that somehow doesn't seem terribly far fetched or unattainable. And she's in med school and I can feel like 1% of her pain after dating Simon during his first year - (I would never claim to know the hell that is anatomy lab!! Promise.) She has me almost sold on the Everlane t-shirt. I'll keep you posted.

Best Pinterest Boards: I've already told you about Mary's - genius. And now it is my great pleasure to ship you over to Anna's masterpieces. I need to waste less time on Hulu and devote more of my vegging to Pinning.

Best Readers: Duh. All of you. Always. Thanks for voting over here last week. Have an extra piece of Halloween candy I know you have stashed somewhere. You deserve it. Maybe two.

And if you think you know of a better than best listed above, don't hold back!! You're probably right. 

Now I'm off to search for the best acorn squash soup recipe. I bought one last week and Simon made it very clear that he would be having absolutely nothing to do with, "that green thing" so ... his loss. Or not.

what was that song Lamb Chop used to sing?

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18 October 2013

Here are the cold hard facts with nary a whiff of whine: Simon woke up at 4am yesterday so that he could run to the hospital and round on his patients and then catch a flight to "Saint Vegas" (as Julia calls Sin City ... ) for a conference. He'll return late tonight and head into work bright AND early tomorrow morning for a quick 24 hour shift. So, Simon has a lot to complain about and I should be reveling in ALL of this quality time I'm getting with the children. Okay ... maybe just a quarter tsp of a complaint ... it's feeling a little bit like the marathon that ne-hever ends at this point and to be perfectly honest I'll be rilllll happy when we are in Mass with crazy no-sleep hangovers battling Sebastian's flailing limbs on Sunday morning.

We'll get there.

And then we'll hit up a call weekend next weekend as well. November should be pretty, I guess.

So to break up the thumb twiddling that moms with smallish children tend to do in between allllll of their downtime I took the troops to the regular grocery store last night. We were out of yogurt which is Theo's lifeblood these days and I was in the mood to herd cats in a public place.

I busted out my favorite piece out of outerwear: the vest. I carefully wiped the front down with a baby wipe, threw size 5 shoes on Theo (he wears a size 2) who seems to have no matching socks ever and off we trotted.

I can hear it now ...
"have you heard of the blog, Camp Patton?"
"oh, hmmm is that the one where she only ever types about taking her kids grocery shopping and posts incessant photos of herself in the mirror?"
"yes, it's awful."

(Hair tutorial? I knew you'd ask. Soon!!)

Sometimes I exercise my indulgent parenting skills and let the kids pick one thing to take in the car ... Julia went the unpredictable blankie and sippy route (two things, indulgenter!!) and Sebastian went the traditional dirty cookie sheet route ...

Julia is mothering from the sidelines, "is that your final decision? okay, but you'll have to live with it all the way to the store."

It was a mostly uneventful trip aside from Julia's impromptu dance recital she threw together in the juice/dairy aisle. By the looks of her moves you'd think she was getting down to some Ace of Base or maybe a little Macklemore?

Wrong and wronger. Just the softest of jazz. Kenny G. wannabe was her musical muse.

And Julia sniffing out every single piece of Dora merchandise. Every single one. The balloons, the beanie Doras, the foaming handwash, the other set of balloons, the plates, the cups, the fruit snacks, the everything. It's really just a deathtrap for fatigued and weary mothers. I only caved on the cookie because the promised free cookies were all gone. Still -- I know I'm a massive sucker. I do.

Bash managed to finish his entire cookie before we made it to the checkout line but still dutifully and honestly plopped the soggy plastic wrapper on the conveyor belt before I noticed. The high school cashier was thrilled to death.

And we came home and I unvested myself to find that the back of the vest was covered in spit up? yogurt? something from the tepid spring. Whatever. You only life once and retroactive humiliation is a virtue and all of that. All of it.

Anyway, no - it hasn't been terrible and there have been no oil spills or bleeding foreheads or maybe I'm speaking too soon. Please let that not be the case, patron of interminable parenting shifts. I decided to be a fun mom last night and let Julia sleep with me. Right. We settled in and between tossing and turning I thought it was a weird coincidence that she was awake and staring at her mom every time I turned to look at her. Finally at 6am, with blood shot eyes she confessed that she hadn't slept at all so I popped her in her bed where she slept all morning. And is now napping again. So - my hopes and dreams of she and Sebastian sharing a room at some point are momentarily dead.

BUT after a week of acting as though he was cutting all four of his wisdoms at once Theo popped his fifth tooth so now he should stop grinding his first four (PLEASE) and he shall be the happiest baby on all of the blocks forever and ever, amen. Right?

Fib with me.


the almighty internet

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17 October 2013

oh, internet. Love it, hate it, can't live without it mostly. Lots of greatness to be found this week and I wanted to share it with you, and you, and you.

Every single link is worth a fair click. Really!!

Jen wrote a great, great recap of our time together in San Antonio in September. Only she could write something hilarious, introspective, and thought provoking about herding seven children down miles of carpeted hotel corridors ... go!!

I've tried and tried to rock the baseball cap somewhere other than on my little walk/runs with the kids but I always look ... weird. Anna makes me want to reconsider because she be looking bomb.

Do you blog? Whether you're a seasoned veteran or just starting out - Lauren wrote a fantastic post with some great pointers for all bloggers tall and small.

This is the only thing all five members of the Patton Camp can agree is edible these days. Sebastian won't even eat cookies - little weirdo. But Bridget hit the bread on the head. Or something.

Maybe everyone already knows about these but these are Sebastian's favorite FAVORITE toys of all time. He sleeps with them and they buy me about 15 minutes in the morning before he cries to be rescued from his chambers ... if you're one of those incredible early bird Christmas shoppers ... put these on your list for your sons, daughters, whomever. (And a huge thanks to Ruth for getting him started on the obsession!)

And! drum roll ... I need your help. Like always. You gave such great mascara suggestions and now I'm turning to you for tinted moisturizer/BB cream advice. Everything I've been trying lately makes me look like Casper the China Doll - even when I mix it with serum and/or buy a shade slightly darker than my natural skin color. I just want something that stays FAR away from the matte look - I prefer the dewy or even oily look to a spackled face. Should I put this fancy stuff on my Christmas wish list? Everyone seems to love it ... or is there a knockoff version worth trying? Or maybe this is as good as it gets at 30. China Doll Gracie.

Oh and what oh what would a Patton post be without a photo collage of my children? Impossible and bizarre - that's what!

Several weeks ago we were at the park and a fellow mom with a toddler boy (age 3.5 - she volunteered the info) asked how old Sebastian was and let her jaw go flying to the padded playground floor when I said he wasn't quite two, "but he's so big - I mean - um, tall ...". Looking at these pictures from yesterday I guess the cow she had was somewhat warranted (and I hope it was delicious! because it was a huge Holstein she was wolfing ... ) because he is looking a little bit more Goliath/less David ... or maybe it's just me and beef hearting playground mom that are seeing it.

Have a tolerable one.

Julia Styles

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16 October 2013

shorts - eBay
sweater - Gap via thredUP
boots - c/o Joules
scarf - from sweet Lauren
dance - the "ta-da" dance ... it's electric

oh, you think it's too soon for another one of these? Me too. Me too, dear reader. But it was this or a little hash about the morning that involved Grace leaving the pantry unlocked for the hottest of seconds and Sebastian pouncing and pouring out 1.25 gallons of vegetable oil.

mmm. just let that seep and spread for a minute because that is enough oil to cover our (albeit small) kitchen floor and spill downdowndowndown the stairs. And trip Theo - who was innocently sitting in the enemy's path. 

My fault? Fine but really - not really. When do these children start acting on the little bit of sense they was born with?

Anyway, the yellow rain boots are shining brighter than my pocketful full of sunshine and the kitchen floor is a hazard to your tailbone because it be slick. If you come over in the next six months .... watchit or you'll dropitlikeitsrealhawt.

So, Julia. I'm guessing the toddler years are a gentle foreshadowing of adolescence? I'll be curious to see if I've gone fully bald or fully grey by then - stay tuned. This morning Julia offered to "watch the kids" while I ran the errands we have to run (no, but thanks - I'd like "the kids" to be alive at sundown) but in the next breath was marveling at a sizable bit of gold she'd mined from her nose ...

... and in the following exhale she was carrying on about how I should probably rush her to the hospital because Sebastian had gently tapped her on the forearm whycuz she was bleeding (she was not).

When we returned from our errands Julia was confused and upset that we hadn't seen her friend, "Erin" even though we know no Erins. Errand/Erin .... to be on our next and first spelling and vocabulary lesson. Right now we're busy working on the concept that St. Louis is more than just the inside of our house, "we're home to our house, St. Louis!" and that Wichita is more than just Simon's parent's house, "I think I'll just go inside Wichita and see Grandma ... "

And she has Sebastian trained to applaud after every single bathroom performance and should he accidentally forget the verbal affirmation she's sure to give him permission to do so, "you can say good job now, Bash."

So he does.

Or maybe adolescence will be more fun. We'll see.

Julia asked what she should do for a picture ...
Grace:  hmmm maybe put your hands on your hips?
Julia: oh, okay. I will.

And she did.
She did good.

deviated system

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14 October 2013

three strawberries
unrolled roll of toilet paper
another roll of toilet paper (still tightly rolled)
all of my makeup
Theo's socks (feet removed)
all things I found in the toilet before the hour of 9:45am 

wanted out of bed
wanted to stay in bed
wanted out of bed
wanted mascara in hair
wanted deodorant in hair
wanted oatmeal
didn't want oatmeal
wanted Theo to play trucks
didn't want Theo to touch his trucks
all things Sebastian threw a tantrum about before the hour of 8:30am

wanted to watch Strawberry Shortcake
wanted to watch Strawberry Shortcake
wanted to watch Strawberry Shortcake
wanted to watch Strawberry Shortcake
all reasons Julia threw separate and epic fits within ten minutes of rising on this glorious Monday

so really - really at first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth glance one might think it was just another keep on keepin' ON type of day here at our abode. But no. Nope. Nay!

I love a good game of diaper roulette and I've gotten pretty good at knowing the exact hour that we will absolutely be totally and completely OUT out. Like out of the ones stashed behind the passenger seat of the van, and the ones smashed behind the dresser, and even dipping into the forgotten pack of Target generic size 2's that are all things cruel to pour poor Sebastian into. And today was the day. Costco diaper run it was! (I get diapers every third week, I get almond milk, chicken, bananas, avocados, greek yogurt, and Theo's poison powder every week - burning questions answered right here).

But we weren't stopping with a Costco run. Who do you think we are?

We forgot the sound machines and half of the baby monitor at my Grandma's this weekend because sometimes Simon and I parent as if Julia was born yesterday and I've sirened on and on about the starring role that sound machines play in the feature presentation that is: The Patton Children's Sleep so .. we rigged an old iPod with a free sleep machine app (weak, very weak - but it works) but Sebastian sleeps like a newborn Patton needs the real deal sooooo Bed, Bath, and Beyond it was!!

where one Theodore was buh-lown away.

Julia was overcome by all of the neatly made beds and thinks that Wednesday would make a great day for a sleepover at that store, "does that sound like a good plant, Bash?"  .... he agreed.

Oh, back up. It was 63 degrees this morning so naturally I had us all dressed as though Christmas was tomorrow and the first snow just might start dancing at any blessed minute ...

everyone ELSE out in public in flip flops and Cardinals t-shirts was giving us the up-down and checking for sweat glistens ... warranted! very, very warranted.

So. B-cubed. First exotic item business. And the trip went down with only one little pout fest from Julia about how she needed a (hideous!!) neon purple pillow for the floor in her room. No, and no 99 more times.

And the Costco trip saw zero hair pulling fights betwixt the Bobbsey Twins which was a first and made the second crazy item-o-biz. We won't talk about how this bizarrely blissful semi-silence was completely cancelled out by Theodore's stealth Pear Harboring of his diaper because it was an event that I'll gladly sweep under the blurry rug of disastrous public parenting lows. Plus Julia will tell you ALL about - just ask. Or don't -- she'll still tattle on a brother in a heart beat.

Sebastian got in a fight with Maybelline's Volum' Express. And he lost. How I didn't notice this until we had a lovely sit down lunch of hot dog and pizza and lemonade .... is beyond a stay-at-homer.

Julia rode dirty out in the parking lot to the Odyssey and didn't freak ....

"weeee - but just go slow - weee - don't go fast, please!!!!"

And then we came home to Julia insisting that they watch "no shows!!" which is embarrassingly weird. Super weird. She is just really obsessed with her new favorite game, "sleep over" which involves pretend snoring and talking about sleeping and pretend snoring some more. Play on, playas.

And now for the grand finale that is the classic irony of the evening ... Simon has to work late (happens lawts) and I have dinner made (happens never) ... when will I learn? Tomorrow, tomorrow I'll learn ya, tomorrow. Okay.

So anytime I'm tempted to complain about how staying at home can seem a little monotonous .. please direct me to this post. Because I know how to deviate from a system that isn't even broken in the first place.

*oh! And I'm slowly(!) adding some things to this Instagram account if you'd like to take a look. No pressure. I'm terrible at sales. 

Seven Quick Takes

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12 October 2013

Linking up with Jen!

ah. it's Saturday. I started this yesterday with the intention of finishing it up last night after we drove up to see our grandparents here in the Quad Cities but then as we were trying to leave Simon got called back to work (nothing shocks in the residency department anymore - nothing) so our departure time was delayed by a lot and then we hit lurch and go traffic on the way out of St. Louis because the Cardinals were playing (forgiveable!! Especially if they clinch the series - did that sound sporty natty enough? I hope so) and we all collapsed into bed upon arrival. Well, Theo into dark walk-in closet. Bright side? I didn't see every hour of the clock last night with the hackers like I have this past week. The kids were so tired that they just slept right through their lingering smokers coughs and I woke up in a mood that can be likened to that of Giselle's ... 

it was crazy.

1. First and most most importantly ... Happy Happy Birthday to my bff+e, Jessica!!!! I hope you're having the best day. TGIBirthday.

Jessica wrote my favorite guest post the Camp's ever had the pleasure of posting and here's a birthday post from two years ago and if anything you have have have to click on her halloween costume from last year. Pure platinum. Good luck topping that this year!!!

2. I've been meaning to pen an entire post to all the people I met in real life on our vacation that I initially met on the internet but I have children and they have reached brand new heights of needy this week - for good reason because of their illness but now Theo has come down with it and he is the neediest of them all and I'd like to get this pounded out before the next illness strikes so here we go!!

In order of appearance ...

3. (no pictures! what was I thinking? nothing smart!) ... I've been reading Sarah's blog for quite some time as she and the birthday girl used to work together and I used to work with Sarah's sister at Hot Dog on a Stick (my resume? it sparkles). Anyway ... she has a daughter a little bit older than Julia and a son just a few days older than Theo so we are basically a match made in real life heaven. Sarah had us over for banana muffins and princess dress up and had thee best music mix playing in the background the entire time. I wish we lived in the same city because I would be that annoying friend - despite my deep introverted tendencies - that would just happen to be in the neighborhood and stop by incessantly. She is one of the most genuinely kind people I've ever met. Not an ounce of saccharin to be tasted - just good people. Really good.

Oh! And her daughter, Piper, is a legit movie star. Really. She is.

4. And then we lucked out and were able to meet up with Emily and Nick in San Antonio. They are both residents so I really have nothing to complain about in the crazy schedule department (but I still do because welcome to this entire blog) but they were so sweet to spare some of their Friday night to meet us for ice cream. And share their ice cream. Theo gobbled a chunk of his body weight straight from their cup and then Sebastian polished off their cone. Great impressions ... we make them. Emily even braved the bathroom with me and the kids and lived to not tell anyone about it. Anyway - she is the cutest and if my kids ever wind up in the ER (pleasenoPLEASEno) ... I hope we have a resident half as awesome as her. Even a 1/4 as awesome would be just fine. Her blog is one of my favorites to read (you know the ones that you click on first in your reader? yes) because it's neat to read about life from a female/wife resident's perspective and I want all of her clothes. And her bangs.

5. And finally celebrity blogger extraordinaire, Jen Fulwiler!!! She made the two hour (more like four because of rain and traffic) trek down from Austin when we were in San Antonio to be greeted by a bathroomless hotel room (Bash was asleep in his suite/el baƱo when they first arrived and it was pouring rain) and nothing to do!!! We wandered the halls for over an hour and let the kids run wild in the lobby - where they helped themselves to cups upon cups of cucumber-lemon-ginger infused water.

You can see three little water shooters if you look carefully. And one of her girls is taking the photo -- WHEN is that milestone? That will be my favorite of all them all.

Jen's girls were so sweet and helpful with Sebastian - sprinting after him when he bolted which really was a huge help to me because sprinting after him gets riddy riddy old after awhile and at the end of the night Simon watched her three oldest girls so Jen and I could run down with Pammy to grab a quick plastic up of wine at the bar and he reported that our kids had a lot to learn from hers in the manner department. Anyway - the visit was far too short and I wish we'd had 12 more hours to hash and if you'd told me a year ago that I'd ever get to meet Jen in the flesh I would've laughed a cackly laugh so - it was a HUGE treat for me. Hopefully she'll agree to meeting in the flesh again .... hopefully.

6. Catholic Mom did their good deed for the year and ran a little feature on the Camp ... check it here. It's quick! And painless!! (Thank you, Sarah!!!)

7. And I'm guessing something really terrible is going to happen to me next week because everyone was so kind this week. Kayla let me pop over to her awesome "1 Stylish Mama" series

Head over! And read her hilarious new post He Said/She Said about what her husband thinks of some of her outfits. Too cute.

8. Bonus!! Lucky you. I put up new stats and ad rates yesterday if you're interested in an ad space. Giddy up. I'd be so thrilled to have you! You can start any day of the month so ... be not afraid, or shy, or anything at all. Email me with questions. The kids are asleep so doitnow!!!


off to not watch football.


Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookies

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10 October 2013

On Sunday night I wanted to do something nice for Simon because he'd just worked a zillion weekend hours and the hours he spent at home were with sick kids and a vom-covered wife and approximately zero fun in the club. So! His favorite kind of cookie is chocolate chip and since we finally got our oven fixed after many months ... it's best to not even turn the oven on in the summer unless you fancy yourself a sauna which I do not during the St. Louis summers so it wasn't a huge deal plus we all know me + any sort of food prep is mostly laughable but! now that it's fixed I'm like ... 'oh how difficult can home made hamburger buns REALLY be?!' - we'll find out in about 10 minutes. Simon, I apologize in advance and wow this was a digression from the original digression. Back on track. Snapsnap.  ... I turned to my favorite forum for question asking ... the Facebook page and asked you fine readers what your favorite recipes were. You MORE than delivered and I was swimming in options! So as I started to narrow them down I realized that we had no eggs in the house. Of course we didn't. So I looked up a few eggless recipes and combined and tweaked and when Simon finally hailed from the hospital he sang their praises. Fake song or not I'll take it.

preheat oven to 350 degrees
gather ...
2/3 cup butter or margarine (but really, butter is much better)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons of water or black coffee (coffee! use coffee)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 cup of chocolate chips (I prefer milk chocolate, Simon hates them so we go with semi-sweet, boo)
Melt the butter and mix the first four ingredients until blended. Add water/coffee and then the flour, soda, and starch until just combined. Slowly add chips but don't over mix. Just don't. I know it's proper baking technique to use 4 different bowls to mix various groups of ingredients but not my style when I'm holding a Theodore and telling a Sebastian, "you can have a spoonful but you'll hate it" as I give him a shake of curry powder on a spoon. I was right. Really right.
for 9 minutes. Our oven seems especially hot in comparison to our old oven in Wichita so ... use your best judgement here, I guess.
And the best part about eggless cookies?
the dough ...

Julia was semi-involved until she grabbed a cookie that was still a little bit warm and she claimed that she had suffered a burn that would require an antacid (a pink one) and some milk on the couch. So ... she and her little club of imaginary drama queens were clubbing it there.

During the summers when I was home from college I worked as a server (waitress?) at Red Lobster. Make all the fun you want but it was generally insanely busy and decent dinero and taught me great lessons about tipping and customer service and how to deal with the rudest people on the face of the puh-lanet. Anyway if you've not been you won't know about the addictive Cheddar Bay Biscuits that are basically Bisquick and cheese and garlic and delicious and 33 grams of fat a pop. They have plenty of butter mixed in - trust me and the grease stains on my shirts - but you'd be shocked at how many tables acted completely flummoxed when I didn't bring butter to accompany the biscuits. The running joke among servers was, "should I bring a cardiologist to the table too?" laugh, laugh. Not funny but it was at the time! Anyway, these cookies probably house more butter per cook than the biscuits with extra butter so .... joke's on me. Or us. I guess.

The end.



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