... and as far as night float is concerned

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31 January 2014

done. el fin. the end. peace out, nf.

Well, notsofast Pollyanna.

Let's consult one of Grace's handy dandy visual aids here ...

I really hope I got that complicated math right ... I think I did. I used a website meant for elementary school students so ... let's hope real hard that I did. 

So. Last night was the last night of the float for Simon's third year of residency. Praise all the sanity saving gods.

Simon told a real knee slapper this morning when he got home and said, "wow, that month flew by!!" and even Julia couldn't conjure up one of her borderline obnoxious faux laughs .... because .... not funny. Not funny at all. We still have to chug through numerous call weekends and the two remaining night float months of chief year but ... we're getting there. Don't tell me that we aren't unless you have a hankering for a knuckle sandwich. I don't know why I typed knuckle sandwich - my name is Grace Patton not The Fonz. Never again, I promise.

I know I'm super obnoxious with my pathetic night float monologues and I appreciate the two of you left in the nosebleed section that are still occasionally reading the blog by the end of these months. I think I took the post down (because it was such a downer even for ME) detailing why exactly night float is so terrible (Simon leaves at 5pm and comes home at 8am or later and the sleeps during the day - REPEAT, repeat, repeat, repeat, AWFUL) but it's just the perfect storm of awful with the no sleep and the solo bedtime routines and the no sleep and the nonsensical paranoia that a predator is going to break and enter and kill me every minute of every hour of every night. But ... we're done for now.

So now? We sleep.

Or Simon plays basketball while I type for a few more seconds ...

I'm not even going to think about potty training Sebastian until he is using complete sentences to beg me to potty train because I learned that lesson with Julia .... you wait until the toddler is ready. Oh ... please don't tell me how much more dificult boys are to train because everyone has told me that and I know. I do. Hence .... the waiting. And I've read enough of exactly one potty training book to know that I hate them all so .... just let me do my parenting thing all wrong here. But tonight he was desperate to wear underwear and he wore me down so I let him and ye of little faith Grace ... guess where I found him a few minutes later?

Sitting on the toilet. Triumphant. Oh so very triumphant with a grin and his feet dangling having hurdled the hurdled that is labeled "2" ... if you catch my drift. But there was just one teeeeeny tiny little snag of a detail.

In his haste he had sort of forgotten to remove his freshly broken in underwear.

So. We'll call it a half victory and pour one out for the soiled Toy Story unders that are having a nice little permanent sleep in the big trashcan outside. 

And there. Right there ends all the excitement for tonight.

Except!! Thank you thank you thank you to anyone that generously cast their vote in the Camp's direction for the Sheenazing awards. You're the best. Every last one of you.

And goodbye January.
You won't be missed.


a quick holler

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or holla.

or hola if I wanted to stay true to my New Mexican roots.

I think I've mentioned a few thousand times before that I hate not posting on the regular. Yes, even missing a day gives me a case of the violent shakes. Detachment? No - I've never heard of it and I'm not interested in living my best life with intentionality. Give me Internet or give me e-death on a padded platter.

Anyway. Now that we've established that I missed you yesterday and you all have #dontleaveme and #clingygf conversation hearts securely in the mail .... let's move on.

First of all ... didn't Danielle do an incredible job with the blog redesign? I was a paying customer so this isn't sponsored and she didn't ask me to link to her at all but she was so awesome to work with and not melt completely down to the ground after my 68th email asking if MAYBE this and that could be tweaked .... again? I HIGHLY recommend her skillage - she can do both Blogger and Wordpress blogs and is my new favorite. 

Okay. Moving on again.

I'm sitting in the Philadelphia airport and my flight keeps getting pushed back and .... I don't care.

Well. This Ansel Adams knockoff is actually from my flight from St. Louis to Philadelphia. I cut it a little close when I had Simon drop me off 23 minutes before my flight took off and I think security could sense my error in judgment and quickly threw themselves into dead slug mode and shut one of the lines down and then insisted that they test my hands because my license was in my back pocket (whatisgoingonpleasejustletmegonownownow) but I made it and who cares about all of that?

I did. Deeply.

Anyway, if I had the kids with me the delayed flight situation would and could be likened to a tall glass of hell but I'm all alone and I think Simon will still be able to pick me in time to get a little nap before he goes into work so ... c'est la lap of luxury in the empty boarding area for now.

I had a phenomenal time filming my little segment of the Momnipotent book study and I can't wait to see the finished product to share with you although I do wish I could've just sat at the table and blogged my bit as talking out loud to a crowd of more than one human is not an area where I necessarily excel ... at all. I woke up three minutes before we were supposed to leave for filming yesterday morning and after I got over the bizarre shock of waking up to the sound of a child not crying I danced around in freak out mode and wished I'd been blessed with the gift of looking fresh-faced without the time consuming hurdle of a shower but nope.

Intermission for flight and life. Resuming typing lay-hate at night. 

The highlights were ...

+ meeting all of the other moms participating including Danielle (okay - she's really heading this whole thing up and to call her a mere participant would be a grave injustice) who has a natural gift for making people feel super at ease and steering conversations in meaningful directions all while wearing very high and very cute heels.

+ meeting Kate and Lisa who are both living and breathing residency wife survivors (among a zillion other things, of course) and were so great and easy to chat with all while making me feel like my feelings on the horrors of night float are perfectly normal. At least they did a great job pretending that I'm not a total nut ...

+ seeing Rachel again and beating her ear drums raw with my incessant talking because apparently she has a gift for making Grace talk nonstop. I roomed with her sister, Jojo in college so it's been so fun getting to know Rachel and corrupting her by way of teaching her how to use phone emojis. ;)

+ meeting everyone at Ascension Press because they were just the nicest folks with a true knack for hospitality and were all so genuinely gracious. 

that adorably petite and sweet brunette at the table is actually not me. I know - just trust.

+ the hotel room. I just love staying in hotels. All that clean.

+ getting off my returning flight this morning and expecting to go outside to wait for the crew to pull up in the minivan but instead seeing them arrive on foot inside the port ...

I burst into tears (this pregnancy and the crying - it needs to stop before I drowned myself or a child that is already ex-utero) which quickly dissolved into laughs as Simon recounted a "had to be there to believe it" tale of Sebastian confidently getting on the airport escalator and then deciding .... nope .... but it was way too late. Apparently he was riding boots up and head down until some strangers freaked, yelled panicked obscenities, and carried Mr. Fickle up the rest of the escalating stairs because Simon's hands were tied with the stroller and Julia's death grip because she is is p-e-t-r-i-f-i-e-d of riding escalators.

I don't care what anyone says about 13 month olds and their smarts ... Theo is SO punishing me for leaving him while he was a little bit sick and a lot a bit cutting some molars. He started things off with a serious dose of the silent treatment and then flipped the switch into super cling-whine mode for hours upon other hours tonight and I suspect that tomorrow might bring biting with his newest pearly white molar. Yes, singular. He takes after his mom in the martyr department.

Okay, I cracked the laptop open to try to figure out how much water I should be drinking every day and instead I click clacked this out because I am committed to hydration.  Clearly.

I don't ever nap and I usually don't fall asleep until around 3 or 4 or 5 these days but I have to confess that I nodded off thrice while typing this so .... I know it's a winner. A big winner of a post.

Quitting while I'm behind and before I start signing off with "love you!!" and questions about the whereabouts of the teething gel.

I'll be back in a flash. Swear't.

Julia and Sebastian go to Preschool ...

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28 January 2014

Well now that I promised a post about it I'm sitting here staring at the wall and wondering what I should report that anyone would find even remotely interesting? Probably nothing. But that's not my reserved style.

I'll share it all.

We had toyed with the idea of putting Julia in preschool this spring for a multitude of reasons but procrastination is one of my strongest suites and I hadn't done a thing to propel the process forward so I thought maybe we'd just figure it out in the fall. Then Simon overheard a couple of nurses talking about how much they loved their kids' preschool one night when he was on call in December and happened to catch the name of the school and wait - wasn't that the school at the end of our street? Why yes, it was. So he asked and the kind nurses answered (high praise, we wouldn't have to sell our fourth born to afford it, and more high praise) and all of a sudden Simon had set up a tour and we genuinely loved the teachers and the setup and bada bing they were enrolled (Julia two mornings a week and Sebastian one) and wow this wasn't the crazy process I assumed it would be and bada boom ... there we were on the first day.

Would I have been as on board as I was (and am!) if Simon worked less insane hours and I was involved in some sort of playgroup or mom's group or ANY socialization situation at all? I don't know. Probably. Most likely, yes.

I think I sort of half expected the stereotypical knee clinging/sobbing/dramatic goodbye from at LEAST Julia on the first day but no. Sebastian couldn't even be bothered to turn his head to nod a goodbye in my direction but at least Julia tolerated an awkward one-armed hug from me. The next time I dropped her off she permitted a polite handshake. I pretended not to be mildly offended but ... come on, Coolia. Yesterday they made it as far as the parking lot before their teacher offered to walk them in and they thought that was just great and so next time I think I'll just stay in bed and see how they fare because clearly they are ready for their first cubicles in the workforce.

A few highlights ...

... Sebastian has gone from talking in two word grunts ("no, Theo!!!") to talking in incomplete sentences ("no, Theo!! too dangerous!!") and should I give all the credit to the school? Of course not but it's a funny coincidence. At least once a day Simon or I say to the other, "he's actually kind of talking ... it's crazy" because he was content to live in the shadow of Julia's prattle for so long and we'd just gotten used to life with our strong and silent.

... The first day we dropped the kids off was Simon's first day on nights and so he came with me and afterwards we found ourselves with Theo in the Costco parking lot 20 minutes before the warehouse even opened. To kill time we popped down to Best Buy to buy a replacement battery for the minivan key remote. I hate to say I can feel the life jealousy you're experiencing at this very moment permeating through the screen but .... back off.
... We drive by the school almost every time we leave the house and after the first week as we were driving by Julia chanted out loud to herself, "the rules are ... no crying, no fighting, and NO pooping in your pants!!" and I'm as good as sold. Preschool forever and ever.

Stuck on You generously sent the budding scholars personalized backpacks and lunch boxes ...

And the day they arrived was years better than Christmas because we all know how Julia feels about anything that can further enable her hoarding habit. When packing her lunch yesterday morning we found her lunchbox stuffed full of all of Sebastian's trucks and her dirty socks filled with her chapstick collection. Sebastian thinks he now has a purse like Julia and Julia loves any excuse to talk about how to spell her name, "J" .... we know we are doing a phenomenal job at home.

Sebastian loves to point out his name and when I ask him what it spells he thinks long and hard and eventually settles on, "me" .... again with the phenom.

They obviously have a little growing to do as far as the backpacks are concerned but they are such great quality and my hope is that the style is timeless enough to last their elementary school years. And that Sebastian doesn't get fed up with trying to spelling his name and request a legal name change at the tender age of 5.

Stuck on You has an amazing inventory of personalized items for kids but I think my favorite favorite would have to be the name puzzles. If I had had one of those as a kid I wouldn't be here with you today because I would've died. Cause of death? Extreme happiness.

Stuck on You is giving away three $20 credits and I'm going to hope really hard that YOU are one of the lucky winners ...

Good luck, thank you for reading AND most especially thank you so much for all your comments and emails over the weekend regarding preschool - you're the best and I'm a lucky blogger. Really. 

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What's Good

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25 January 2014

When Theo wakes up 80 hours before the other kids .... this is the only trick in my book. It's a quick read.

I know I'm perpetually blogging about the trivial details around here but thought I'd pound out a little behind-the-scenes post. I don't know. I thought and now I'm doing. Let's roll.

ahem. I feel like I'm starting a Christmas card letter.

It's hard to believe but residency WILL eventually come to an end. Simon recently applied for Urogynecology fellowships which is pretty much exactly like applying for residency when you're in med school. You apply to a bunch of programs and then wait to hear back from programs with interview offers, cross your fingers you even get interview offers because fellowship spots are competitive, go to the interviews, and then make a rank list of your program preferences and say a lot of prayers that at least one program liked you enough to want you (this type of fellowship has one spot per program and since it's a relatively new fellowship there aren't a trillion to choose from) before the "match day" comes in June and if you matched you find out where you'll be moving the FOLLOWING July (when residency will be over forever and ever amen) and living for the next three years. I hope that makes sense.

Anyway. So he's heard back from some programs and scheduled interviews and we'll be saying our prayers until June. And then we'll stop praying. Just kidding. I just hope I don't give him a bad haircut before he hits the interview trail because I've been known to do that.

Fellowship hours will still be rigorous but I'm 99.9% sure there is no nightfloat and no in-house call which would be every synonym in the thesaurus for AMAZING.

And - that's that!

Julia and Bash started preschool a few weeks ago. Julia goes two mornings a week and Sebastian goes one but because of the weather and illness and the holiday on Monday they've only gone twice so far. I'm going to (of course) dedicate an entire post to this but they love it. I was talking about how great it was for them the other day when Simon interrupted to say that the person it was really great for was .... Grace. And it's true - I can't deny that. We weren't planning on putting them in preschool at all but things just sort of fell into place and the school is a block from our house (when it's warm enough they'll be taking the bus --- aka the triple jogger --- hope they don't embarrass easily) and I don't know why I go into justify mode when talking about it. I think it's a symptom of reading too many differing opinions about schooling on the internet. You just do what you gotta and I'm trying not to feel guilty about loving it.

Theo recently learned to say, "mama" ... he knows his throne is about to be disassembled and he is pulling out all the stops.

I made the 22 minute trek to Costco yesterday, parked the van, looked at the kids in their car seats, started the car again, and turned around to drive home. You know how much I love a good Costco run but I've hit a pretty stubborn fatigue wall that I know will magically dissipate when the weather isn't reminiscent of hell frozen way over. I do get to fly out to Philly (no kids! Simon's mom is going to come watch the kids and will be canonized a saint by the time I return) for a couple of days this week to do a bit of filming for the Momnipotent study. I'll be holding my breath until my flight takes off that they don't realize they've asked the wrong Grace Patton to participate because I'll be in some pretty intimidating company. More to come on that as well!

And my skin is starting to flake and itch because this post is dry. Let's liven it up with some links to greener pastures ...

Bonnie is hosting the fun and only Sheenazing awards again this year. The Camp was nominated for a few awards (inspiring blog, blog by a mom, funniest blog, smart blog, and cool blog and all super undeserved) and I'd love love love your vote but I'd also love to be chugging a big gulp chocolate milk shake at this very second so sometimes I dream a little too big. You can vote here or just go admire the floral background that Sebastian is especially taken with because ... he's Sebastian.

Jenny is blogging about what she's dubbed, "the wellness project" in an attempt to feel more like herself after just having a baby. It resonated with me and I'm still pregnant so it's definitely worth checking out no matter your gestational or married or whatever state in life. I've been trying to read fewer blogs because I'm terrible at comparing and contrasting my own to others and our floor really does need to be mopped more than once every four months but I could never ever quit Jenny. She's the best. And I don't type that lightly.

Now to sound like a total hypocrite ... there are a lot of blogs I wish would blog more but one that's at the top of my list is Fran's blog. Consider this my beg, Fran(k).

And last but most most most importantly .... the biggest congrats to Ana!! Yee haw.

okay, goodbye forever.

right. you know me better than that.

Minnetonka goes Camping

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24 January 2014

the moc lineup:

Well, well, well - look who managed to stage herself as the fun parent for once in her motherhood? Of course, I slipped right back into my role as resident whip cracker... be impressed not. It was a blast while it lasted though. Also, lest the title fooled you ... no real camping was enjoyed or loathed for the sake of these photos. We're mildly adventurous at best ... but we're not crazy.

Minnetonka was so kind and generous to send the family moccasins a plenty a few weeks ago and while I can't speak for Theo and Sebastian can only sort of half speak for himself ... we are all huge fans. What is that you're chanting? "Elaborate!!"

Yes, yes .. always ...

I know I've mentioned before that Simon is pretty particular about his shoes because he has a bad back (technical term) but the Boat Mocs quickly got the style AND comfort seal of approval from our beloved geriatric.

I tried my hardest to channel my inner Bridget with the Back Zipper Boot (complete with hard sole ... in case the Costco parking lot ever proves to be mildly treacherous) and I mostly failed but ... try try again ... I shall.

Julia is the other picky shoe wearer of the family and she is a "one and done" type of lady if she has a less than stellar comfort experience in any pair of kicks but ever since her Tramper Boots arrived she's requested that she wear her "mops" everywhere we go (so - the store and the other store).

I was surprised how much Sebastian loved his Thunderbirds because he is pretty partial to his rain boots but since he and Julia wear the same size - if she so much as glances in their direction - war.

The Velcro Back Flap Booties now make up half of Theo's vast shoe collection for when he wants to give his running shoes a breather and because it is a consistent 0 degrees in St. Louis these days I'm loving them for around the house and beyond (again - the store).

It was actually pretty embarrassing how much I hemmed and hawed over which moccasins to pick for everyone (well, Simon had strong opinions on wanting boat shoes and I kind of overrode Julia's request for pink in the interest of hand-me-downing) because Minnetonka just doesn't make an ugly shoe and I knew that whatever I chose would be insanely comfortable. And I was right ... don't think I didn't Cinderella my way into Sebastian's shoes after he went to bed the other night. I did.

Want a chance to hem and haw for yourself? Fancy that.

We've actually got one of these handy ...

Minnetonka is generously giving a lucky, lucky reader not one but TWO pairs of moccasins (winner's choice!). Seriously - you want two pairs for yourself? Go to town. You want to be generous and gift them to your angelic kids? You selfless soul. Their website is your oyster.

Off you trot and cheaters will be passed over in the tragic event that their name is picked. We don't mess.
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health and beauty game changers

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23 January 2014


Linking up with Hallie and the gang!

I have a million favorite and a million not-so-favorite things about blogging but one of my favorite things about blogging (aside from my mini-blogging addiction beast that cannot be tamed by the name of Instagram) is that people are awesome about throwing recommendations my way. And not just beauty shop recs but maternity favorites, beloved books, baby names (I especially love these because generally Simon and I are on VERY different pages in that department), and MORE. But I have to admit that I especially love hearing about a favorite nail polish (lots of people sang OPI's Lincoln Park After Dark's praises and lo and behold ... I love it), shampoo for lifeless hair, or the latest and greatest in mascara because me and vapid are best friends forever. Here are a few of the lone soldiers that have made a lasting impression around these parts ....

1. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer - I don't remember who first told me about this but Tatiana confirmed that she loved it when I mentioned it in an old post so I bit the bullet and now I love it too. Some people mentioned how much they loved Dr. Jart+ Beauty Balm but it was a little too thick and heavy for me (I got a sample in a Birchbox - thanks to Kayla!) where this stuff is juuust right. It's just the right consistency and goes on like a slightly slightly heavier than regular face lotion and gives just the perfect amount of coverage without making me look like I slathered my face in something tinted. I'm sure that makes sense.

2. Blood Builder - and for the lone health segment of this post we have Blood Builder. I've trumpeted about this before in my post about pregnancy supplements and exercise but I'll press on until everyone is a believer. My mom insisted I take this when I was pregnant and anemic with Julia. I think anemia is pretty common during pregnancy and this stuff will pop those hemoglobin levels right back into the healthy range without the nasty side effects of taking straight iron. Obviously - consult your OB/midwife ... my OB is fine with it and it has extra folate ... which is great because my prenatal gummies don't exactly cut it in that arena. I've had several friends (pregnant and not) start taking this and report that their energy levels have greatly improved - but maybe they're all telling me bold faced lies. Who knows.

3. Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting Liquid Exfoliant - if I had to play favorites out of the five this might be it. Elaine told me about this a few months ago after we swapped notes on acne products that have and have not worked for us. She said that the exfoliant had really done a number on her old scarring and I have a lot of old acne scarring and she was SO right. The key is to swipe it on with a cotton pad (it's a liquid which you'd think is drying but - it dries like a lotion - like magic) and wait for about 15 minutes before going about your morning/nightly routine. I only use it at night and have been using it for about a month and wish I'd taken photos because the difference is pretty incredible. I could go on and on about Paula's Choice products but .. I won't. You can read user reviews for all of their stuff on the website and they are awesome about returns and exchanges if your skin doesn't particularly enjoy any of their products. They discount their stuff often and if you use my referral link you'll get $10 off your first purchase but ... no pressure. Ever.
4. Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Cream for Stretch Marks - one of my old college roommates (hi Shannon!!) was obsessed with Palmer's Cocoa Butter and got me hooked back in the day so I couldn't help but try the stretch mark version when I was pregnant with Julia. Are stretch marks the end of the world? No. Absolutely not. Babies wreak havoc on bodies and that's just the way it is but this has been an inexpensive way to keep them at bay throughout my 3.5 pregnancies thus far. This baby might do me in though ... and life will go on!

5. CND - VINYLUX TOP COAT - Meredith (commenter and now blogger extraordinaire!) told me about this top coat and now I will blindly follow her off any cliff because this stuff is impressive. It basically laminates your nails and I am on day five (!!) of nary a chip despite giving the kids multiple baths and battling the boys 24/7 mission to pick and peel the layer of black off of mom's nails. I've tried two other top coats from the almighty Essie and eh. This top coat kills them dead.

I'm hoping to do another mascara post sometimeish soon so let me know if you have any new favorites OR any health/beauty favorites at all.

Please? I'd love you for a day. At least. 

high + low

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21 January 2014

I thought I could do a little high/low of the week but then I consulted my brain and realized that it is only Tuesday.



So .... high and low for the last 24 hours, I suppose.

Here we go.

Low time.

Last night I tried for a third time in two days to get my thyroid meds from the pharmacy (first time - they closed five minutes early and there was much figurative fist shaking on my part, second time - it wasn't in stock and I almost took the fist shaking to the literal level) and I had no choice but to take the kids because a little birdie by the name of common sense tells me that I can't leave them home alone. Julia has a bad cold and badder cough that prohibits her from walking in public - as those coughs tend to do - so she had to ride with Theo in the cart which left Sebastian on foot. Sebastian is a runner but I thought maybe he would sense the urgency of the mission and stay tucked in next to his keeper.


If ever there were a time to leash a child ... this would've been it. But I was fresh out of child leashes so we made do with the awkward push-the-massive-cart-with-car-attached with one hand and tight hold of Sebastian's paw with the other. And then we spotted those stupid little kid carts that are good for one thing: maiming adult ankles. Simon let Sebastian use one once (thanks, Sime) and Sebastian hasn't forgotten and so once he realized that I wasn't going to leave the store with bloody ankles ... tantrum like he's never tantrummed before. On the floor. He threw himself on the floor for allllllll to watch and gawk as my massive-cart-with-car-attached blocked the store's entrance. It was one of the most clich├ęd parenting moments with strangers giving those awful looks of half pity and half annoyance and I'm just happy I was too mortified to cry as I scooped all 35 pounds of tantrum up and ran away as fast as a massive-cart-with-car-attached would let me fly.  Which was speeding bullet fast, as you can imagine. And then we were 6th in line at molasses pharmacy but ... free cookies for "kids 10 and under" (and their mothers ... I presume) at the bakery so ... the low was low but saved by some refined sugar.

High time.

Again with Julia's cough. She's been staying up with me while I clean the house after the boys go down because once I put her down it's a real gamble whether or not she'll hack up a lung (despite the 90 degree angled situation I've constructed for her to sit-sleep in in her bed with 987 pillows) so don't question my logic here. I just think putting her down when she's basically asleep makes the most sense ... mathematically. Or scientifically.

It's weird. We can manage to lose every single match to every single sock in the house but those pretty little Halloween socks that she scored for free at the hospital last year? Always together and readily available. Always.

Tonight, as I finished up in the kitchen, she asked if, "you and your tummy need some help with the cleaning?" and, "did daddy say you could use his sponge?" because I guess Simon is usually the sponge wielder. I never claimed that cleaning was my charism.

And then when her eyelids were headed for droopsville and we were walking to her room to put her down she reminded me, "and just please don't forget my bitch."

Of course not. I could never forget your Vicks vapor rub. Never ever.

(I've found that a touch of bitch on the bare bottoms of her socked feet CAN help her to cough less throughout the night ... but hopefully you don't have a coughing child on your hands to help you test my theory.)

And there will be less rambling tomorrow, I reckon.
See you then.

precious moments

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20 January 2014

... I meant to throw this together on Saturday as sort of a "no one reads blogs on the weekend post - it will get glossed over anyway" but then my phone (holding all of these grainy diamonds) inexplicably breathed its last and I'll scratch the l-o-o-o-o-n-g story involving the terrified look the Apple Store employee gave us when we ALL trudged in to see about a broken phone but suffice it to say that this here LifeProof case better help a mother out. (They are so confident in the waterproof factor that they promise to buy you a new phone if yours is water damaged while being cradled by said case ... let's hope I don't find out but not act surprised when I do.)

Anyway, I wanted to pop these up because all the internet needs is more crystal clears from my phone (they mysteriously popped up in my new phone so maybe Theo backed it up in the middle of the night ... who knows). But really, in a fit of lazy I found myself reading back through old posts the other night and mostly cringing but sometimes smiling over how much things have changed and how much they haven't over the course of our bout with parenthood. We were clueless when Julia was born and we mostly still are but it did a weary preg some serious good to see some of the difficult (and in retrospect - fleeting - but at the time - eternal) stages we've lived through and probably would've forgotten completely had it not been for a detailed post I pounded out on the fun SO ... I did have a point here. These are just for the sake of future nostalgia ... I suppose.

left: Theo is cutting his incisors? his molars? crying wolf and I'm an idiot? But he just wants to be rocked a lot at night and so I've been caving and some expert authors that have penned books on baby sleeping ... would definitely argue that I'm spoiling him. Sebastian ruined the moment by hollering from his crib perch around 3 in the am where I found that he'd chucked his pants and diaper before he fell asleep and woke up confused and all but drowning in his own manmade ocean. So our bedtime routine now involves serious ultimatums about diaper removal.
right: I don't know what's going on here but Julia curated this gem of an outfit and then asked for a photo and Sebastian doesn't know how to breathe without Julia by his side but he didn't take it so far as to mimic her ... prayer? I'm jealous of her childhood. Really.

left: Bash requires very very little sleep and it mostly drives me a little bit crazy but he loves nothing more than to stay up late with me (and Simon if he's home, duh) after Julia and Theo have gone down. He's so happy to just puppy dog around and say 3-4 word phrases that I do not understand but pretend that I do. He's going through the "most exasperating but most endearing" child phase - also known as, "being two years old."
right: Judge us and judge us good but sometimes we take the kids to walk the mall when it's winter and cold and everyone is going insane in the house. The kids love it and they ride the little rides that "don't move" (although curse the parents that paid to let their twins ride the firetruck the other night as our kids watched in SERIOUS disbelief) and Julia's favorite store? Hallmark.

Speaking of winter and going insane. The other day I (oh-so-stupidly) thought it wasn't too cold but didn't factor in the windchill so I woke Simon up in the middle of the day to take a walk with what he deemed, "the Easter bunny of doom and her three little Easter eggs" ... it was too cold but I swear ... our spirits were lifted if only for a frigid second. 

Friday morning. Waiting for Simon to get home for the weekend with some cafeteria donuts. Everyone is happy and confused as to why in the bleep mom is SO happy for the first time since .... last Friday morning. The promise of a weekend .... even if the weekend is sure to be filled with the same head colds and toddler coughs that won't quit and toddler death matches that never die and teething meltdowns that make you cry ... it's still good.

And thank you to Apple for taking the trite liberty to rename all the photos in all iDevices ... "moments" ...

Oh-kay. Whatever you say.

And would that make these photo-moments precious? Probably.

Alternative titles:
From This Moment a la Shania.
Hanging by a Moment a la Lifehouse.
aaaaand thatsit

Simon & Sebastian for Boden + a $100 giveaway

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17 January 2014

shirts: c/o Boden {SimonSebastian}
Simon's denim: Old Navy (via our every-other-year painful trip to buy him new jeans)
Sebastian's kicks: Sperry from super generous Caroline
Simon's kicks: Clarks via
Simon's sweater: Gap

{and to see some REAL Simon diamonds .... check here or here .... scoooot}

Simon recently said, "people always say that Theo is so cute ... and then they add that Sebastian looks just like me and I'm just not quite sure how to take that."

I have to admit I don't exactly see the Simon/Sebastian resemblance but ... I'm sure it's there. Maybe it's the stick straight dirty blond hair vs. the voluminous brown locks that throws me. I don't know.

Anyway - I've always loved Boden's clothing for the kids and the few pieces we do have I foresee being passed down to child after child over the years because the quality is topnotch and the styles are always classic and sure to withstand the test of trend-happy time. I'll admit I'm not even sure I knew they sold clothing for adults but was pleasantly surprised to find that they do AND they even have a maternity collection. What? J.Crew is just scrambling to play catch up at this point.

I have a pretty terrible habit of letting clothes sit and sit and sit and sit AND sit in the dryer long after they've dried and usually that means I have to live with some seriously wrinkled clothing or surrender to the terrible fate that is ironing. I washed Sebastian's shirt (on clearance!) and let it do the customary sit stint in the dryer and it came out ... not starched and pressed but definitely not wrinkled (well, the proof is in the photos - see for yourself) like the kids' other shirts and I'm sold. And Simon's "Italian Stallion" (really the name of the style) shirt fits him like a dressier shirt should ... not hanging from his underarm rafters and is long enough in the arms which is a minor to a major miracle. All hail Boden.

Want to win a $100 credit to Boden? You do. They have a ton of stuff on clearance right now so you'll be sure to get a lot of bang for your credit.

You know the Rafflecopter road well and you should know that cheating and shortcuts are punishable offenses. Smile.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

click ye click ye

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16 January 2014

Lots and lots of better places for you to spend your quality time today ...

Bonnie is hosting the second annual Sheenazing blog awards and Kelly Thee Hilarious wrote a priceless roundup/smear campaign of some her nominations. Don't miss it. And most most most importantly ... please keep Bonnie's sweet James in your prayers!

Janssen is letting me kick it (yes, I am 17 and footloose and fancy free and have plenty of time to "kick it" places ... ) over at her phenomenal blog today. She's started a really cool series where she interviews bloggers about their favorite and not-so-favorite books.
I've been known to frantically text Janssen from the library for book recs and she ALWAYS delivers so .... go forth and get lost in her blog after you restrain yourself from judging me too hard for not being a fan of H. Pott.

How is everyone feeling about the Bachelor this season? We are two episodes in and I'm not sure I've heard Johnboy string three sentences together in one sitting ... other than to gush about surprises. I thought I'd love him but ... he's even making personalityless Brad look more fun. Clare is AshLee reincarnate (AshLEY and I are in agreement over this which is why are we e-bffs) and there is no clear favorite in Grace's book quite yet. Ashley sums everything up so much better than I ever will.

One thing on my longish list of things to do before the baby comes is to cobble together some sort of "gallery wall" in the living room even though I'm confident Theo could "curate" a better looking situation than I will. Don't you love the super necessary "quotation marks" they are "the best" ... "I know". Anyway, until I hunt and gather enough stuffs ... I'm happy to have Pinterest to make me feel super adequate in the decor department. I am forever grateful to Jenna for inspiring (not a word I use lightly) me to TRY embroidery to maybe mount in my future gallery if it doesn't look too terrible. I've watched all her vlog tutorials twice and I'll be back for more.

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting up with blogger extraordinaire Audrey for lunch. She was so sweet and I had the best time and I'm scared to see her post any new photos because she might be earless after I talked and talked and talked and talked her ears right off her person. She just started a really helpful and practical series on starting and growing your blog and you're going to want to head right on over and start studying. 

And sorry for double posting this from Instagram but Simon's photog skills merit double praise ...

Happy Mommy Box was kind enough to have the campers on the cover this month. I think there is a waiting list to order the box (which is awesome because they just just recently launched!) but you should check it out. It's pretty genius. I went to college with Natalie and will totally pull the, "I knew her when .... " card when she strikes it huge(r).

And now I think I'll take the charges for a drive while dreaming of busting the stroller out of hibernation in a few interminable months. Creative Mommy for the big dubya, always.

now all the babies in the place

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15 January 2014

now when I say whine you just whine one time ...

And so on.

Well, actually - let me clear my throat.

Okay, go.

Or we could've cut the crap and just titled this, "a whiner's manifesto" but .... too fancy.

I never set out to write downers of posts but I can feel it in my melancholic bones that this just might qualify. (Oh my goodness. Okay, melancholic might be a little dramatic but ... what's a good word for seriously struggling? I'm too busy to pinpoint a good one because I'm struggling. Seriously.) You know where the nearest exit is. It looks a little something like .... X.

I put the kids down for bed two hours earlier than their usual bedtime tonight because week two and night four of night float already has my left eye twitch-twitch-twitch-twitching nonstop from the vicious cycle of extreme exhaustion coupled with the unnecessary anxiety that every night delivers like clockwork. The older kids got in one fight too many (probably over a piece of lint because what one has and the other doesn't is instantaneous GOLD ... even if it is just a rock hard bit of leftover Annie's organic) as Theo cackled and threw a spoonful of twice swished applesauce back in my face and .... done! Mom was done and made the executive decision to just wrap up the fun before it got really great. So now I'm sharing the couch with a pile of cold unfolded laundry that has been leading a lonely and wrinkled existence in the dryer for days upon days and ... I'm being real productive on the net. Obviously.

I know that life wasn't meant to be easy and breezy and that motherhood isn't some idyllic dream filled with hazy moments of happy and contented sighs interrupted only by super fulfilling minutes that make up the hours that make up the years that I will eventually tell some young mother are "so short" but these months really stretch me. They stretch us really thin on a lot of fronts and I know it probably makes the other months feel relatively easier but holy hard could we do without them.

Exhale. Cold damn. Is Grace going to pull herself out of this tailspin of a depress-a-post anytime soon? Yes. But not before the internet knows that she has it the worst of all the people in the world. I'm sure we're clear on that fact by now. I promise this rotation will end and I'll get a few nights of more than 30 minutes of sleep and I'll be pelting your eyes and hearts with a beautiful rendition of, "I can see clearly now - the float is gone" and you'll wish I was back to writing the Memoirs of a Positive Thinker. 

I've mentioned before that one of the only - or thee only nice thing about night float is that Simon has the weekends (Friday morning - Sunday evening) off like the repellent. So ... the parents can frantically try to catch up on sleep and gear up for the next week that will most likely beat them to a frazzled pulp all over again and talk dreamily about a nightfloatless life in the distantish future. It exists. And I'm sure it is one hell of a dream.

SO this weekend we ....

Oh, wait. This was Thursday night. But Sebastian asserted himself for the first time in the wardrobe department and this was the end result ... jockey meets jockey. Genuine height and all.

Also Thursday. Theo is totally turning toddler 'tude on us so it's nice to look back on these happy baby moments. May they RIP or resurrect aaaaaany time at all.

The kids LOVE secrets these days so Simon told them via whisper that he was going to take them to Frozen.

Off they went. Julia was suffering from a bit of anticipated separation anxiety here. Also ... she will be buried with that purse that is filled with nine different socks that are all filled to the brim with her trinkets. Color her well adjusted.

I asked the Facebook page (love those Facebookers - they always have the best advice/insight/everything) what they thought about taking a 3-year-old and all but two people answered in the affirmative so Simon took Bash too. And guess who asked about leaving early? Not the two-year-old. I mean ... Julia liked it but she didn't sing its praises which is strange because she could sit and watch every single episode of ALL the children's shows on Netflix for 99 days straight without blinking or breaking for sleep or nourishment. But! The hours that I was home alone with a sleeping Theo? Life changing.

And that's our story for tonight.
Sleep extra tight.

Julia Styles

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14 January 2014

dress - thredup
boots - Lands' End via thredup
scarf - from our favorite Lauren

At the grocery store recently ...
Grace: Okay ... now we need to find the pickles
Julia: (loudly) the nipples? okay!
Julia: (still louder) are the nipples in this aisle? nooo
Grace: (not loud) the pickles
Julia: (and even louder) are the nipples in THIS aisle? noooo
Grace: (not loud) I said pickles
Julia: (aaaand louder) are the nipples in THIS aisle? noooo
Grace: here are the pickles
Julia: (booming voice) OH .. the PICKLE nipples. Got it.

While throne reigning in the bathroom and watching Theo crawl in to watch ...
Julia: one day you will be like me and be potty trained, Theo
Theo: (stares)
Julia: But for now, can you just give me some pribacy?
Theo: (stares)
Julia: that means get out
Theo: (stares)
Julia: now
Theo: (stares some more)

After she accidentally dropped and broke a plate and I walked in to survey the situation ...
Julia: okay Gracer, just take a deep breast
Julia: and we'll take this one step at a time

While on a frantic search for her mother who was a tiny bit desperate to not be found because ... long day ...
Julia: mom?
Julia: mommy?
Julia: MOM?!
Julia: Grace Patton, this is a serious sing!!!!

While she was enjoying the lap of luxury that is a bath all to herself ...
Julia: ahhh what a beautiful day it's been
Julia: allll dis pribacy

In conversation with Sebastian ...
Sebastian: Julia?
Julia: Well, do I look like a Julia?
Julia: Then I am Julia, what do you want from me?

After she walked in on me in the bathroom in the middle of my stomach flu vom plague of death ...
Julia: ooooo I wouldn't do that again
Julia: okay, I'll just give you some pribacy.
Julia: (whispers) Merry Christmas

Encountering Sebastian directly after he'd dropped a fresh bomb ...
Julia: Bash! you smell riddy riddy bad!!!
Julia: I sink even Theo can smell you!!
Bash: yeah

Holding up one of her sweaters ...
Julia: where did you buy this again?
Grace: Old Navy
Julia: oh, but what was the old lady's name?

After the kids begged for scrambled eggs even though Theo is the only child that will eat scrambled eggs ...
Grace: are you SURE you're going to actually eat them this time?
Julia: well ... we can probably promise that we will eat them

After insisting that she accompany me into the bathroom stall at the hospital ...
Julia: wow, Mom.
Julia: wow
Grace: what?
Julia: those are the biggest underwears I've seen ever EVER

Picking up one of my bras from the laundry pile and giving it a good inspection ...
Julia: And THIS is what holds the baby inside.

And today on her second trip to the Costco family restroom because it was an "emergency" ...
Julia: (emptying bladder and chanting) fresh from my body and stray-hate to the potty!
Bash: (nodding in agreement and offering her a square inch of toilet paper) yeah.

23 weeks + a giveaway

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12 January 2014

dress - c/o PinkBlush Maternity
boots - Hunter via eBay
cardigan - thredUP (similar)
hat - Amazon (Simon still has a lot to say about that and he aaaalmost shamed me into taking it off in the top photo but nope)
scarf - c/o Surfdome 
diaper bag - c/o Lily Jade

aaaaaaaaaaaand she's off.
talking all about her pregnancy.
somebody stop her.

Well, it's worse than that. I'm actually going to focus on the stomach flu during pregnancy. Feel loved and blessed. I had it pretty bad at 36 weeks with Theo but had it really really bad this time around at 22 weeks and flew my baby white flag high and proud and went into the hospital for fluids after the 5th sip of water over the course of 8 hours just would not stay put. Of course you know me well enough to know that I had a straight up novel typed out that gave Tolstoy a run for his brevity but deleted because .... I don't hate you. Let's just sum up that distant memory of a Sunday to say  ...

God Bless Zofran.
God Bless Simon who got sick on the way to pick me up from the hospital ... with the kids in the car.
God Bless Sebastian's shoddy memory for FINALLY forgetting his new favorite, "what the fack?!" parroted phrase after being in said car with sick Simon who went through the slowest pharmacy drive-thru line known to all of mankind to pick up some magical dissolving Zofran.
And God Bless the nurse on duty that asked Simon if I was going to blog about my brush with the plague because .... YEP.

The end.

Of those paragraphs.

Remember Kris? She's getting ready to temporarily close her shop chock full of gorgeous jewelry as she gets ready to have her second lady baby but kindly let me know that she's offering free shipping with the code: FREESH ... her stuff is the bomb and you really can't beat her prices and I want it all. Maybe I'll chat with Simon about the concept of a "push present" .... if you hear him laugh all the way around the world ... you'll know why.

Okay. Back to me me me me my my my my pregnancy. I thought I'd turned a corner around 20 weeks with the wretched morning sickness but I really and truly turned a corner after my brush with the plague a couple weeks ago. I'm finally feeling that oh so fleeting, "burst of energy" and still feeling large but I know the largest is yet to come so I'm just enjoying the fact that the kids seem to think the baby is housed in the more northern chestal regions of my thorax and I have to be verrrrrry careful when to ask Sebastian about the baby because he'll pull the collar of my shirt down to my "belly butt" in about .000004 seconds flat and proudly show off his erroneous geographical smarts.

I have a follow-up ultrasound tomorrow because of a "placental lake" .... hopefully it's resolved itself but from my not so extensive Googling and extensive reassurance a la Simon ... I don't think it's a huge deal. Or even a big deal. The baby was in the 62nd percentile (which, according to Simon, is "huge") at 20 weeks so .... I don't think we're having annnnny issues with growth like we thought we did with Theo (and he was fine too).

Is this boring you? I thought so. I've been trying to type this post all week and now all of a sudden I'm 24 weeks along (which is not 6 months pregnant - does that drive anyone else insane?) so there's probably a reason I keep losing interest. Sniggedy snore.

Let's talk about my dress. If you're in the market for a maternity dress that is not going to make you feel like a slooze in the length department, is stretchy but not clingy, and is light enough to wear in the summer and awesome for layering in the winter .... get all up on this one from PinkBlush Maternity. They even have a tunic version and you know how I feel about tunics. And really - all of their stuff is great without breaking the bank and staying right on trend. A word to the pregs - if you're in between sizes I would size UP ... their stuff fits a little on the small side. But just a little so don't go crazy with the overestimations.

Want to win a $25 credit to PinkBlush? You should. Get down on it .... via the old Rafflecopter. Best of luck.

AND - cheaters never prosper. I'll find you, fear not.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

7 DIY Beauty Hacks

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09 January 2014


This weather is killing us. Well, it's killing me not to be able to take the kids outside to get their wiggles and giggles out and Simon actuallllly went through with the, "the next toy you fight over - it goes in the trash" threat when he got home from work this morning and he says we're going to keep going until this house is toyless. I think he meant it. So maybe it's just killing the parents around here BUT my one solution to the insanity is to give the kids baths. Every single day and another one (or three - if we are doing solo soaks) at night if sanity necessitates such little luxuries. If they bathe separately (or sometimes they can handle two at a time ... sometimes) they are super happy little guppies and the other one or two are content to have all the toys to themselves.

Long explanation to explain that this isn't turning into a beauty blog complete with YouTube channel and tutorials on how to shape your unruly brows ... rest very much assured of that fact. I'm just sharing some of the things I do to keep myself entertained while the kids enjoy these life saving marathon soaks and Theo (his baths are a little more high maintenance because ... drowned factor) circles the bathroom in search of some mischief (none to be found, thank your brother for that, Theodoro).

When I was a tween I used to love poring over one of those little beauty books they sell by the candy in the checkout line at the grocery store because the little book told me how to: whiten my teeth with mashed strawberries! and speed up the nail polish drying process with a bowl of ice water!  and other things that clearly made a lasting impression because I've forgotten but here .... take take take my advice. Drink it up ....

Hacks might be a bit of a stretch but .... let's lean with it. Rock with it. And roll with it too.

Also .... let's all marvel at that horrific bit of photo editing brought to you by 3 in the morning and 3 hours of sleep in the past 3 days.
end marvel.

1. green tea cubes for a puffy face/eyes: I'll be honest and admit that I only made the ice cubes out of green tea one time and now I just use plain old ice cubes but I do think the tea makes a difference. Basically (no matter how much sugar, salt, and coffee I avoid) I feel like my face is always puffy and it's especially terrible when I'm pregnant. If I melt half an ice cube on my face I think it helps. Call me super crazy, that's fine. If you can stand to do the whole cube and completely lose feeling in your face .... I'm impressed. This also works if you're out of coffee in the morning. Zaps you right into awake mode. You'll see.

2. cold water on wet nails: Well .... just nails that aren't completely dry. You know when your nails seem dry but then you get a toddler dressed and it looks like someone embossed hyroglyphics onto the polish? Yes, it's the worst. It's not the end of the world but I just fill the sink with super cold water (not a problem this time of year ... in the summer you can pop an ice cube in .... I'll let you) after painting your nails and letting them dry to just over the sticky hump and .... submerge for a minute. It sets the polish niiiiiice and smooth. Just watch.

3. epsom salt + baking soda bath: I obviously don't do this one while the kids are bathing because we do not own a feeding trough and we would not all fit but it doesn't take long so usually I can take a quick bath while the kids are eating breakfast or lunch. Simply dump a cup or two of epsom salts into a warm bath along with a few generous shakes of baking soda and any fragrant oil that you like (I'm on a lavendar kick but the first trimester I was alllllll about the lemon) and .... toxins be gone. Supposedly. I've read about so many celebrities that do this and .... maybe they are lying but I'm not and I promise I can see the swelling in my ankles decrease by the time I pop out of the mini-soak.

4. baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth: You've seen it all over Pinterest. I've only done this a handful of times but I can tell a difference. Just make a little paste in a little bowl with a tiny bit of toothpaste so you don't die a salt-gagging death and brush brush brush. My gums and teeth are crazy sensitive and CRAZY super sensitive when I'm pregnant but if I do this every other day .... they behave. And don't hurt. I've read about people adding salt to "exfoliate" their teeth but .... I haven't gone that far yet.

5. coffee scrub: I'm a connoisseur of the facial scrub. I don't know why but if you slap the word, "scrub" on a tube of gunk and tell me that it will slough of dead cells and minimize my pore size ... I'm alllll over it. So I've tried about a million. Never have I ever found one as effective as coffee grounds. Here's my recipe but really just a little coffee and oil and maybe some sugar is all you need. If you have sensitive skin .... I highly do not recommend moving forward with this diy. Not at all.

6. baking soda scrub: And if you do have sensitive skin ... baking soda (little bit of baking soda with just enough water to make a paste) is a great one to try. I've talked about it here and I haven't had to do it in a long time because summer was a million years ago or maybe I've done it enough that my clingy melasma is gone forever.

7. coconut oil on cuticles and heels: Ah. This is the winter of the dry extremities. My hair, my cuticles, my feet, my hands - always my hands. I've found that rubbing coconut oil on my cuticles and heels and then wearing socks (only on feet, not on hands ... although that's not a bad idea) overnight and (most likely in my lazy case) way into the next day ... dry no more. And everyone loves a moisturized heel, right? Right.

I know you've got a million better ideas.
Let the lady of the blog know.
She'd be most appreciative.


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