Reader Q + A

04 February 2014

"Ask my mom anything at all but don't ask her to help you get your toys back because she'll start yapping about sharing. It's useless. And makes for a dismal existence."

It's been a minute since I've done one of these posts and maybe you hate them so I'll keep them to a minimum because I only aim to please the good readership. I've noticed a few specific questions pop up in my inbox over and over again over the past few months so I thought I'd throw them up right here. Right now ...

1. Sound Machine: What type of sound machine do you use? We have three of these HoMedics sound machines from Bed Bath & Beyond and I love them because they are relatively inexpensive, small enough to travel with, and are nice and loud. Simon says we are probably causing future hearing loss and I say so what. If you're in a pinch ... this is a great website and I like (don't love) the Sleep Machine Lite app as well. The only way I can get all three kids to nap at the same time is because of these blessed machines and I am equal parts baffled and impressed by babies and kids that nap without white noise.

2. Kids in Church: How do you take your kids to Mass while still getting something out of it and not feeling defeated by the end? Wellllll ... I'm not qualified to answer this (and I'm sure there are many, many, many moms that are!!) because there are Sundays that I walk out and highly doubt I could tell you much of what went on outside of our pew. It's always been important for us to go as a family and I know some people split up and go separately which is genius and really tempting some Sundays but with Simon's schedule it's nice for us to stretch our family time and go together. Also - I took Julia by myself when she was a baby and never again. We used to be pretty dedicated hospital Mass goers (30 minutes ... no shame) but have started being better about going to a parish Mass. We've noticed avoiding the back pews, not taking kids to the back (they see it has more of a reward), and bringing books (I need to find some religious books but we just take regular old heathen books for now) for the older kids seems to keep things to a dullish roar for the most part. The kids haven't been awful these past few months but this past Sunday was a (really!!! bad!!!) nightmare because we slid into the very back pew at the last minute and so hopefully they aren't regressing but maybe they are. Again, I'm not qualified to answer this - you'll know this especially if you've had the pleasure of sitting near us during Mass .... ever.

3. Making Slideshows: How do you make the photo slideshows with music? (example and example again) I use Picasa Movie Maker because it's free and pretty user friendly. I've been able to Google any and all questions I have when I hit a snag (and I hit MANY the first time I made one) and I just upload it to Vimeo and that is that. I'm sure this is a pretty archaic method compared to a lot of slideshow making methods but it works for grandma grace for now.

4. Prenatal Vitamins: Do you recommend a certain brand of prenatal vitamins? No way josé because I'm not a doctor and I take the gummies. But! I also take a few other supplements that I talk alllll about right here.

5. Starting a blog: Any tips on starting and growing a blog? I always feel bad when people ask this because I really am super clueless and there are bloggers that have it so much more together than I ever ever will but I wrote a post with some tips here. And I know the buzz around the net is that the face of blogging is changing and fewer and fewer people are reading blogs and blah blah blah but I'm still holding onto shreds of hope that people still want to read blogs. I'm holding on pretty tight.

6. eBay: What's the secret to finding deals on eBay? Lots of patience and persistence and lots of patience and persistence. I usually have a very specific idea of what I'm looking for (I like buying New Balance tennis shoes for Bash because his feet are really wide and Hunter rain boots for the older kids because they can put them on themselves and they can share them and they SHOULD last for a the next two kids at the very least) and I have a dollar amount that I won't go over. I generally don't spend more than $5 on tennis shoes for the kids. I "watch" items that I hope to win but once they go over a certain amount I take myself off the watch list so that I'm not even tempted to bid on something. I looked for Frye boots for over a year before I found thee pair. I've bought Salt Water Sandals a few sizes too big knowing the kids will eventually grow into them because they were in great shape and being sold for $4. Simon always jokes that I dress Julia like a boy (and I guess I sort of do) but it's really nice that she and Bash can share the vast majority of their clothing and now that Theo is a little bigger he can get away with wearing a lot of their stuff too. Jeggings y todo.

7. Is Simon your OB/does he deliver your kids? No. No, no, and no.

Have a question? Let me know. I love hearing from the charitable souls that read the blog and I try really, really hard to quickly respond to emailed questions and hopefully I haven't missed you but if I have I know three little piglets that you can blame.

Sebastian's new favorite recreational activity is to sprint circle around Theo and declare that Theo is "trapped" so ... I spend a lot of time talking Theo down from his "hand crushed by toddler boot" hysterics. A lot of time.

And I know that no one really cares what I think about anything but I needed a little something to do while I played heartless nap nazi for Julia's first stint in her big girl bed because she is trying every last trick in the book to wriggle right on out of my favorite time of day. NO.

oh! and more q + a right here!

43 comments:

  1. So I don't know any wives of OBs or Family practice doctors who deliver babies who actually are patients of their husbands. I generally guess it makes sense but would actually like to hear more. I'm sure you ask Simon a lot of questions and I'm sure he has thoughts about your care in that he has the knowledge as well as a love for you. How do you balance that?

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    1. haha I don't think anyone actually goes to their spouse for prenatal care .... I doubt it's illegal but I don't think it's totally okay. I think some residents have definitely "caught" their wives babies but .... that's not for me :) I do ask Simon a lot of questions but ultimately we both trust that my OB will make the best decisions for me as a patient :)

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  2. Of course we care what you think! And I just went back and reread your blogging tips. I feel like my blog is drifting a bit... I have so many unpublished drafts and can't seem to focus on much of anything these days. Maybe it's because I don't really have a niche?

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  3. I love these posts, because if one person is asking it sure enough someone else is thinking it. Like the ebay question! That was totally on my mind because I attempt a good deal, but I never really find one. So continuing with the question train...are there certain sellers on ebay that you buy from? Because lets be honest the Patton kids have a pretty sweet shoe collection going on!!

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  4. Re: taking the kids to Mass. I'm not a parent, but there's a family who comes to my church who has 4 kids and they ALWAYS bring them into the service instead of sending them to children's church and they ALWAYS sit in the 1st or 2nd row and while their kids aren't perfectly behaved (they're KIDS, I wouldn't expect them to be perfectly behaved), they do pretty well. They have a "church bag" and each kid has his or her own little bag of books or toys inside that they can ONLY use in church, so it's a treat, and they stay focused on their books or toys. You may have heard that suggestion before but I thought I'd pass it along. I always love reading your posts!

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  5. Well I really love your blog and I was going to ask about the sound machine! :D

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  6. That look on Theo's face is priceless! He looks adorably grown up in plaid.

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  7. FYI from one platypus footed toddler mom: Nike frees are great too. My options are nil other than those & NB. Grrr...

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  8. Big fan of that sound machine too! It's a sleep saver with a loud toddler and baby in the house. I think I bought mine online at Target.

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  9. Oh, Theo's sweet little toes in that first picture. I love baby toes.

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  10. I love that noise machine! We have 2 and don't think I haven't contemplated getting a third...

    And I'm totally going to start searching ebay for shoes - I had no idea you could get them so cheap!

    Love the new design, by the way :)

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  11. I never even thought about Simon possibly being your OB! no way man. although my dad was a family doc for over a decade and I know he did a lot of my mom's gyn stuff, which...gross.

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  12. And #7 gets me every. stinking. time. I usually just say he's in husband-mode then. :) Good read Grace!

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    1. hahhah okay I thought Davis delivered E? Maybe I'm confusing you with someone else.

      But no ...... unless it's some (please no) home birth ... Simon will stay firmly in dad/husband mode :)

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  13. I'll fess up that I sleep with a sound machine. Because our bedroom is on the ground floor, with hardwood floors and I have loud, stomping children who wake up at the crack of not-morning. And since they have now reached the age of "don't bother Mommy until there is a 7 in front of the time" - I NEED the sound machine. And stick to your plan on church - I've done both the nursery (which I never really liked but felt pressured to use) and taking them to Mass and I vastly prefer taking them. It's a relatively short period of time that they have trouble behaving, vs. sending them to the nursery and then battling it out with a 4 year old over proper Mass behavior. I know you will have naysayers and cranky older people who think children don't belong there, but they are the future of the Church. So ignore the stink-eye people and hang on!

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  14. And let's see a post about the foray into the big-girl bed!

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  15. Not sure how you feel about them, but I heart me some VeggieTales books. Who wouldn't love to read "Peas and Thank You"?! I kept our daughter with us during mass because you could hear her screeEEeeeeam all the way down the halls...she possibly had separation anxiety...which could explain her [explicative] delay in arrival into the world. I'd keep her occupied by whispering questions in her ear because she was inquisitive and lots of books. And Cheerios. Lots of those handed slowly. I only have one but I've seen moms hand off a Cheerio to the oldest who would pass it down to the others whilst absorbing the homily. She was amazeballs just like you!

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  16. We had that sound machine... and deemed it too quiet. We now have a CD of white noise that we loop, volume all the way up, on a cd player. I guess hearing loss is a sure thing around here. oops.

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  17. I'm still waiting on a post about baby names. Your children have pretty fabulous monikers and I'd love to hear how you and Simon chose them.

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  18. I saw a Grace going into Walmart today. She had a baby in an infant carrier and a Theo-sized barely-walker. She was holding the hand of the Theo and he did a complete face plant in the parking lot. I felt so bad for her that I wanted to rush over and help her but I was actually driving and there were cars behind me. I did the best I could - I kept the road blocked until she got the toddler picked up and carried both into the store. I saw them later and Theo had a balloon which seemed to cure what ailed him. Later, while i was getting my hair cut, I actually described your baby farm to the stylist who was pregnant with number two. Blogs may not be the hippest thing happening in the WWW but without them I'd have nothing to discuss while getting my hair did. *hugs* Heather

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    1. This was so sweet! I loved this comment, Heather.

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  19. Yes! On all the mass tips. We started sitting in the front, and I've noticed our 20-month old take more of an interest in what's going on on the altar. We also bring a board book (like you, I keep saying we need to get religious ones…one day), and that totally helps too. Now once we bring this baby in utero to the mix, I'm not so sure I'll still want to sit in the front…but we will see. :)

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  20. I love the thought of Sebastian running circles around Theo.

    I really like FAQ posts! I'm going to email you a bunch of questions repetitively just so that you feel compelled to write another one of these.

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  21. I found this highly entertaining! But then again I always find your posts entertaining.

    I'm going to go stalk eBay. Because. Who knew!? And ugh. Napping in a big girl bed. I feel ya. I fought and fought my eldest and ended up giving in to her tantrums and now she goes to bed earlier at night but is napless. It was a huge adjustment. May the force be with you.

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  22. Heck, I can't even sleep without white noise, forget my kids! We have huge box fans in their rooms (and one in ours), which unfortunately don't travel very well. We ended up using some weird sound on my husbands phone for part of our time in Florida last week. Sooo, I think I'll need to look into a few of those sound machines. And LOL about #7!! Some people have commented to me (during my pregnancies) that it must be nice that my husband is a doc (he's not an OB though) and he could deliver a baby in an emergency and so on. No. No. No. I mean he could, technically, but just, NO. I think that would be a worst nightmare for both him and me :) Loved reading this post.

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  23. Just read your blog of Mass with one baby. I am sure you are so glad you recorded this event and how awful it was for both of you.....Aren't you grateful you didn't know what was ahead?? Hang in their Grace - you are doing a great job.

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    1. haha. I maybe should've reread that before linking .... kind of funny to read. But believe it or not I still haven't taken the kids to church on my own --- aside from the hospital which doesn't REALLY count because it's so short. It obviously scarred pathetic me :)

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  24. Woah woah woah! Why has there not been a "Julia's big girl bed" post yet ? With lots of Instagram pics? Not mocking in the least. Totes serious. I shall wait patiently.

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    1. HA. okay she should've been in a bed probably OVER a year ago ... oops. I thought we'd find something awesome on Craigslist but we ended up having to paint a mediocre bed .... and as soon as I find some decent bedding I'll take and post a pic -- you know me :)

      But she did fine last night --- even slept in!

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  25. I'm so thankful my church has a great nursery! I wouldn't even want to go if I had to bring my son in, and I've only got one! Also, I'm definitely going to have to check out eBay. I totally second not paying more than $5 on shoes...or anything, really.

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  26. Just wanted to pipe in with a LOVE for the new blog design. LOVE! That is all.

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  27. heartless nap nazis forever!!!

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  28. I hope people still want to read blogs too! I actually don't see that changing any time soon!

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  29. Love Julia's polka-dot cardi... Peanut has the same one, and I gotta say... I'm envious it didn't come in big people sizes, too. And yes, I suffer from matchy-matchy syndrome, but don't plan on getting help anytime soon. :)

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  30. playing catch up, I totally had a blanqi with tindra and looooooved it!

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  31. Grace! First of all, now that I have a little one of my own I am even more impressed by you! Seriously, how do you do it. Because I am exhausted. And I feel like I hardly get anything done!

    I'm so glad you recommended that sound machine app. It's been a lifesaver in the last 24 hours. At some point, I need to get brave and venture out in to the cold to get a real sound machine, but this app sure is handy until then.

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  32. We have used a noise machine with our kids for the last 5+ years, ever since our oldest was born. When people ask me how we have three boys all share a room, I always say it's because of the noise machine. One of them can wake up crying and screaming in the middle of the night, and the other two don't even realize it's happening. We went the even cheaper route and just made a CD of white noise that we put on repeat. At the time, I couldn't find a noise machine that had a wide enough volume range, and the CD player has worked like a dream. I'm glad to find another mom who has used white noise as religiously as I have!

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  33. If you're a grandma, I must be a great-great-great grandma because I cannot (for the life of me!!!) figure out how to upload the slideshow/movie from picasa to vimeo. I think I clicked every possible thing and googled it too, with no avail. But I am not a very patient person, so I probably did not dig hard enough.

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    1. Wow. I just figured it out. in like 2 seconds. I am questioning what sort of state I was in last Wednesday because that ridiculously easy.

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  34. Just started reading your blog! Love it! I once survived residency and fellowship with babies... Hard to believe my husband's been in practice 9 years now... Wow, we're getting old... But it's amazing the difference when it's all over! Hang in there!

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  35. I use the sleep lite app and I use a humidifier in the baby's room during naps. But I'm strongly considering a white noise machine. I like this post! Off to check out eBay

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  36. Love hearing your thoughts on things and tucking them away for when I have kids.

    And I refuse to believe blogging is over. No sir, no way. (I hope!)

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  37. We are finally giving this sound machine a try! What sound do you use with your kids? Do you turn it up all the way? We cosleep right now, which is something I'm hoping to change with the help of a sound machine...but I'm not sure I'll be able to sleep with it for the time being...ugh! Anyways, any extra info would help! :-)

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